The Good, the Bad and the Also Rans

Pete Gillman, one of Labour’s candidates in St Peters and North Laine, writes: “Anyone else got canvassing injuries ? Sunburn, sore heels , repetitive Q and A syndrome ? I have loved campaigning and the Queens Park blitz for Labour on Monday was fun and effective. It will feel strange when all this is over.”

Pete is a great example of a hardworking candidate who has little (although not no) chance of winning next Thursday. For Pete it will be strange when it is all over. For the rest of us it is a shame that he (and many like him) will no longer be active on the doorstep after next week. One of the down sides of our system of government is that there is no place for defeated candidates. For Pete is a man of integrity who is willing to work hard, but who gets little thanks and almost no recognition.

There are many Pete Gillmans in all parties, working their socks off but won’t be amongst the 54 elected ones next Friday. Amongst their numbers I include Christopher Hawtree, Anthea Ballam, Rob Buckwell, Mohammed Asaduzzaman, Rebecca Taylor, Lis Telcs, Tracey Hill, and Momma Grizzly herself, Rachael Emma Bates. I realise that this is damning with faint praise, and will not be well received by the names Good ‘uns who will be fighting all the way hoping to pull off surprise victories next week.

Then there are the Bad. There are at least two candidates – I cannot say which party or which ward – who are on the unpleasant side of dodgy. Fortunately these two are unlikely to be elected, although their party holds out that they could yet be triumphant. If they were to be elected they would, in a short period of time, bring not just their party, but the City Council, into disrepute. All parties should look at the private business activities and vested interests of their potential candidates and councillors.

And finally, the Also Rans who count amongst their numbers David Watkins, the veteran Gerald O’Brien, and Harris Fitch (red rag to this bull – how long will it be before he comments that it’s still all to play for in Rottingdean Coastal?).

Other than ‘the Bad’, best wishes to all candidates. Even if you are a paper candidate, or someone who will be disappointed at the count, our collective thanks to all of you who are putting themselves out to make democracy work.

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23 Responses

  1. Hey every ward is winnable with enough effort.

    But Pete gillman is by far one of the better candidates that the labour party has. A bank of experience and a definite ability. You may quite see him as a spnl councillor and he would deserve it!

  2. The Blogger says that “There are at least two candidates….who are on the unpleasant side of dodgy….If they were to be elected they would….bring the City Council into disrepute. All parties should look at the private business activities and vested interests of their potential candidates and councillors”. That is a very worrying statement the Blogger makes and I hope that s/he has evidence and will fully disclose any information in the public interest should these two be elected? Of course now that the Coalition has abolished the Standards Board for England there is effectively no independent body with overview responsibility for the behaviour of Councillors.

    • Shouldn’t this information be disclosed BEFORE these characters get elected?

      I didn’t know about the Standards Board, that’s really bad.

  3. Celia Barlow has now popped up on the Electoral Roll, in a leafy suburb.

  4. I couldn’t agree more – it never fails to impress me how much work, sweat and heart candidates put into elections. I may be rooting for my Green colleagues, but I think we should pay proper respect to our opponents for all they have done in the last few months.

  5. Later the same day… I chanced upon Brian Fitch who was ambling through Central Hove. I forgot to ask whether he had got there on the number 5 bus rather than his sportster. I asked whether there were altercations in Hangleton, and he said that he and Dawn Barnett have “exchanged words” but he did not elaborate, still less suggest that blood issued from the vocal cords. He also claimed that they have to ration the “Forward with Fitch” posters to every other door, and lthough he had a view of the Jo Heard factor, he said that he had “been in this game too long” to make any predictions.

    That strikes me as more balanced than the Tom French/Warren Morgan line of Labour gains everywhere. Loook at how Tom French claimed Labour was posied to regain a seat in St Peter’s at the by-election. Utter rubbish.

    I said earlier that it works best when it can be an Ealing or a Carry On Camapaining rather than assume a Bergman hue.

    • Brian’s approach also strikes me as more balanced than your own predictions of Green Party success all over the place, based on the evidence that a dog barked at a Labour/Tory candidate, or someone bumped into someone else who said, ‘hey I don’t like that Tory Party very much’, hence they are in disarray.

      • Brian did, though, have hopes of Wish, and he could be right: an interesting split in the votes there.

        What I think is emerging is a shifting demography which makes many areas unpredictable, and therefore winnable.

  6. In Goldsmid, the Tories have issued a leaflet featuring a section on ‘what people are saying’ about the estate agents. They are all warm assessments – not surprisingly, since those quoted all appear to be Conservative party members!

    They have also ‘gone negative’, especially on one in particular of the Green candidates, and offer a serious misrepresentation of that party’s tax policy.
    Definitely the nastiest piece of literature I’ve seen so far – I do hope it backfires on them.

  7. Mr Hawtree, may I ask which part of Central Hove you live? I don’t recall ever seeing Anthea in the ward.

    • You must be new here? Anthea stood as the Green Party’s parliamentary candidate for Hove in 2001 and 2005. Lots of residents in Central Hove have seen Anthea this Spring even if you haven’t!

    • I spoke with your husband a while ago on a foray along Ventnor Villas.

  8. Being someone who normally recoils when Caroline Lucas is announced on the TV or radio, as I prepare for some more sanctimonious preaching, could I be the first to say how much I enjoyed hearing her on 5 Live this morning. Witty, relaxed, avoiding the pitfalls of questions about the Royal wedding etc. Said nothing about the local elections, or what the Green Party would do in power – or maybe that was why I enjoyed it so much.

  9. The Tories are pumping out a lot of negative stuff in press releases, exhuming some pretty old stuff and making some very outlandish (and even libellous) claims. Seems they’ve seen the writing on the wall and are now desperate enough to throw caution (and any sense of decency) to the wind. Shame.

    • To what outlandish and ‘libellous’ claims are you referring?

      Bit melodramatic there Warren & Clive. I believe the Torys are running a Clean Campaign and I trust them not to publicise anything that could not be corroborated. It might seem negative to you, but it doesn’t mean it’s untrue.

  10. Labour can only prey now, they have to fight on too many fronts next week to make it count on the day so I think we’ll soak that comment up and know we’ve trained hard and we’ll fight easy.

  11. Linda – the claims – easily refuted – will be in The Argus, GScene and NewsforBrighton.com so everyone will be able to see what fools the Tories are making of themselves in their final days.

    Ghost – presuming you mean pray? I’m not of a religious persuasion but wouldn’t feel the need to if I was. Elections are won and lost in the weeks and months before polling, not on the day itself. The Tories lost this one a long time ago, and deservedly so.

    • Yes Warren I must lern tu spel, crikey i thought Bono was pretentious-only joking Warren I’m going to hire a Balloon and you and me can float along and throw rocks at Christians together.

      • Perhaps you’ll both let me know when you plan to go up? Being a Christian myself I had better make sure I’m not below your flight path hadn’t I?

  12. Hugh Woodhouse up in Patcham deserves a mention as another Good ‘un giving it some welly. The people of Patcham would be lucky to have Hugh as their councillor, though sadly that ward is likely to remain Tory.

    • Do let me know who are the other “Good ‘uns”

      • Yes, I think that anybody would agree that Hugh is terrific. Patcham is a fascinating area, and could spring a surprise. I think of the evening a Carolne board went up next to a Charlotte one, and the whole neighbourbood was in mirth at such suburban war. It brought over twenty votes for the Greens in that street alone, and turned out to be a thoroughfare at certain times of day.

        I still chuckle at the chuckle I gave when rounding the corner the day after the order for the board had gone in, and then seeing it in place.

        The mother had been nervous at the prospect but her son said, “go for it, mum!” Teenagers, as yet unable to vote, are an influential force.

    • Without wanting to come over too Chris Hawtree, I think the Greens do have a real chance in Patcham. On a recent visit I saw more Green boards and posters there than any other colour.

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