Welcoming a Labour, Tory and Green love in (while everyone hates the Lib Dems)

Earlier this evening there was a lovely exchange on Twitter. Green Ben Duncan wrote: “Just got canvassed by Labour candidate Tom French – very nice young man. I’ll be voting for me instead though!”. Emma Daniel liked this, writing: “@KemptownBen That’s a really nice tweet! I like it when you guys play nicely!”. Robocop Ben replied: “Well thanks. Me too! We all aspire to be councillors, we have that weirdness in common, whatever our chosen parties!”

Conduct of candidates and councillors has been a theme on this blog in recent days after Craig Turton urged me to focus on issues rather than personalities before rather spoiling it by making some rather personal digs at Maria Caulfield, Mary Mears and Ayas Fallon-Khan.

This being Sunday, Craig has come to confession: “Yep BPB, I admit one could take my references to certain opposition councillors as slightly hypocritical when calling on you to look at issues rather than personalities (GOTCHA in Sun-speak) but my references aren’t nasty, just light hearted (unlike recent Tory vitriol). Politics aside, I get on with Ayas very well but also Maria and they’re both big enough to take a ribbing.”

And before I knew it, a mutual love-in had begun with Jason Kitcat writing: “I agree with Craig, there has been a steady decline in the standards of behaviour on the council. It’s frankly embarrassing to see some of the personal attacks, point scoring and name calling that goes on in some tax-payer funded public council meetings. Governance committee has been particularly bad as well as full council.”

So will everyone sign up to the Reverand Father BPB’s Charter: “Love Your Election Opponent as Much as You Love Yourself”? I won’t hold my breath …. (PS. The Lib Dems are exempt from this Charter!)

Meanwhile, the speculation over Labour’s candidate in St Peters and North Laine is over with Dan Wilson reporting that the “very brilliant Clare Calder will be on Labour’s slate in SPNL”. Fellow Labour candidate in SPNL, Pete Gillman, writes: “Excellent news today regarding the announcement of Clare our new candidate who is a superb addition to the team.”

Clare does make an interesting addition to the body politic. At 18, she is the youngest ever candidate to stand for election for Brighton and Hove City Council, and she makes Momma Grizzly, at 22, look rather aged. Perhaps Grandmomma Grizzly should be her new name! The Calder name is well known in St Peters given that her mother, former Argus columnist Jean Calder, is a former councillor in the area. (My apologies to Clare for having misspelt her name in earlier posts).

So is everyone is happy and are there group hugs in SPNL? Well, no. Geoffrey Bowden, Green candidate in Queens Park sounds a discordant note: “Who cares who Labour is putting up in St Peter’s North Laine at this late stage in the campaign? The Green Party’s sitting councillors and the very large local party team have been campaigning for months and are practically through the third canvas of the ward. Nothing is being taken for granted, but the returns indicate that the majorities for all three Green candidates will be as large as last year’s bi-election win for Lizzie Dean.”

Possibly, but stranger things have happened…

19 Responses

  1. Its just that cockiness that will lose them seats!
    I have a feeling the fresh look of the Greens will soon wear off. Perhaps a win for Labour is what the Greens need – to whoop them into shape to actually become good local councillors. I know for a fact my own mother and many of her friends who live in the ward were extremely let down by the Green councillors with regards to the Lewes Road community garden. Many of whom said they wouldn’t vote Green unless they “pulled their fingers out”!

    Also Lizzie “invisible” Dean hardly got a thumping great result… The turnout was appalling so really its not much to go by!

    I really have to reiterate that Clare would, like her mother and father before her be a fantastic Councillor! And Pete Gillman, another fantastic candidate with a wealth of experience would be by far more capable than the current councillors. I know it seems that perhaps I am being a bit bitter, but I grew up in SPNL and I know the problems and issues that the Green councillors simply do not want to touch.

    • Lizzie may be short of stature but it’s hardly fair to call her invisible. The motion that stopped Sure Start Nursery from being closed down this winter was her work http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/8744324.Lifeline_thrown_to_Brighton_nursery

      And we’re actually really proud of our interventions to prolong the existence of the Peace Garden and our success in persuading Tesco to back-out of the development, so I’m not sure what you’re getting at there.

      More recently, Lizzie has been active in another successful campaign to keep a vital post office from being relocated out of London Road.

      • She has some support within the Green party! Thats good news for her…

        I know for a fact the Greens should not be proud of themselves when it comes to the Community Garden. They really let themselves down in fact! I remember personally trying to get hold of our councillors and them not showing up to support the garden, however Tom French did!

        Pretty clued up on the garden front, my mum was one of the founders of it and was active throughout

      • Sorry we missed the Tom French photo opp. Your mum may not be giving you all the facts here.

      • Oh please, not the ‘Caroline stopped Tesco at the Community Garden’ pish and nonsense again. Caroline Lucas had nothing to do with any reversal of the decision. She has form for this – organising a meeting that achieves nothing, waiting for events to roll on slowly as they were anyway and then taking credit.

        There are 3 possible scenarios about Tesco’s decision not to proceed with that site (if indeed they ever were anything more than moderately interested) – 1) Tesco hadn’t committed to the site and decided it couldn’t be bothered with the wider bad publicity for what is a tiny store, 2) They could never actually finalise a deal because the developer wanted too much rent (most likely explanation) or 3) they are waiting for the developer to build the shop, leave it vacant for a few weeks and will then take a lease on it to make it clearer that it is not ‘their’ development – they are just a tenant.

      • The greens were not there!
        I am not misinformed at all thank you very much! This gets me a little heated under the collar… hard work of average people getting overlooked and pinned on councillors who did not do anything.

      • Well, the three names most commonly reported as being founders of the garden (one of whom sadly no longer alive) are/were all members of the Green Party. I don’t doubt Labour people were involved too but I dislike your dishonest attempt to rewrite recent history.

        Perhaps you’d like to help out on that new community garden behind the Earth & Stars, I hear they’re looking for people who are good at digging holes for themselves.

      • My mother is not party affiliated…

        Also we were talking about councillors – were any of the three people you are talking about councillors from SPNL? (Sad about Gordon, we knew him well).

        I may be many things but dishonest is not one of them so please lose the aggravation

    • Let’s see that result again:

      Lizzie Deane (Green) – 1,816 votes
      Tom French (Lab) – 880

      Yes, turnout was low, but even so…

  2. Labour won’t win in SPNL. I don’t think anyone of sound mind is expecting otherwise.

    By the way, plenty of Young Greens standing in this election, myself included (yes, despite my facial fair, I am a sober 22).

  3. I’m really pleased that more young people are getting involved in politics. It can only be a good thing.

    As for the new nickname, Baps, I’m not entirely sure that I approve. Sure, the real Momma Grizzly may be a young grandmother, but at 22 I think that I may be slightly too young to be referred to as Grandmomma!

    There’s life in these old bones yet.

    • Can someone let me know the names and ages of all candidates under the age of 25. Harris Fitch at 20 (I think) is saving the number 2 bus to Rottingdean. There’s Luke Walter and you, Momma Grizzly, both at 22, Claire Calder at 18, any more? Surely the Estate Agent is another.

      • Alas I am 27, but still consider myself young! Michael Ireland likes to think he is 25, but has just turned 26. 🙂

  4. PS I completely welcome friendliness between candidates, regardless of what their political allegiance is. I’d also like to add that Tom French is genuinely a lovely guy. I’m not sure that an endorsement from Momma Grizzly is something he’s likely to put on his election leaflets, however, so I’ll leave it at that.

  5. I am a thoroughly ancient 33.

  6. Rumour has it that one newly adopted Labour candidate in SPNL has accepted a place at Leeds University to be taken up in September.

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