Mike Weatherley and Alex Phillips: Eyes on 2015

Of the 200 most recent emails waiting in my inbox (brightonpoliticsblogger@googlemail.com), 58 were from Mike Weatherley, or rather from Michael Ireland, Robert Nemeth and Rachael Bates who all work for the MP for Hove.

Mike, with an eye on 2015, is clearly not taking any chances. The issues he has been raising are no doubt very close to his heart but, co-incidentally, they are issues that would appeal to a wide cross-section of his constituents. These issues range from prisoners’ bank accounts (the liberal vote), drugs (law and order, perhaps?), gay marriage (a bit obvious, that one), stem cell research (scientific progressives), VAT on electronic books, newspapers, etc. (all the geeks in town), and a climate change project (will he get The Dowager, Lady Everton’s vote with that one?).

Having looked at Lady Everton’s Tweets for the past few weeks, she seems to be here, there and everywhere, quietly going about her business, building a solid base for herself, and organising more than her fair share of Hen Do’s. Could it be that May 2015 might see a head to head between The People’s Mike and Lady Everton? It would make a very interesting contest given that the new Brighton Pavilion and Hove will be a boring one-horse race. Brighton and Hove North, on the other hand, will be fascinating, not least should the Greens pick up several additional seats, including Luke Walter winning the seat of retiring (though not shy) Jeane Lepper (a worthy successor to a fine councillor).

But back to the People’s Mike, while he shows a populist touch (get up close and personal to Alice Cooper, for goodness sake), he seems to have made a couple of gaffs in the last week. First, his high profile threat to rebel on Europe came to nothing. (Lady Everton is very pro-Europe, I believe, although believes that the UK’s membership should be renegotiated).

And now Mike has offered to personally evict the the St Paul’s Catherdral protesters @OccupyLSX. What is amazing about the St. Paul’s protesters is the very wide support they seem to be getting, not least from within the churches. At Rochester Cathedral on Sunday morning, for example, when the preacher criticised the closure of St. Paul’s, the congregation applauded. Mike is backing the wrong horse on this one. Today Mike said : “Quite simply, long-term camping in public spaces as a form of protest is unacceptable. Great thinkers and leaders did not find solutions to the world’s problems by lying around in public parks and squares.” I think Mike will find that two of the world’s greatest thinkers and leaders did lie around, one in simpleloin cloth and on hunger strike – and brought down Britain’s rule in India; the other in his prison cell, refusing to be released on anything but his own terms which lead to the downfall of apartheid South Africa.

It would be good to hear Mike criticise bankers’ greed, but then he would have to criticise capitalism. He is as likely to do that as Lady Everton is to down a steak and kidney pie.

3 Responses

  1. Well, it won’t be a ‘head to head’ between Mike Weatherley and Alex Phillips, even if she is selected as the Green candidate, which she hasn’t been.

    There will be a Labour candidate — remember them, they held both constituent parts of the new BHN seat until 2010 — a Lib Dem candidate — they took 22 percent in Hove in 2010, and that vote won’t disappear completely — a UKIP candidate, possibly Mr Perrin — and probably Brian Ralfe too.

    And everything depends on whether the election is fought on the *proposed* new boundaries, which it might not be.

    Whatever the boundaries of the Hove (or Hove-ish) seat, with the likely field outlined above, a candidate could win on little more than a quarter of the vote. And when he she gets to Westminster he/she will find that legislation that they might like to propose has to get run past Prince Charles (see today’s Guardian). Isn’t British democracy great?

    I like the point about Gandhi and Mandela though.

  2. I thought you were referring to Breyten Breytenbach, where is the great man nowadays?

    I don’t understand the local Tories- most of the public still find Thatcherite attitudes still too hard to swallow.

    What about those benign and friendly campers in Victoria Gardens? Is Mr Weatherley going to personally evict those dangerous fellows?

  3. still not ruling out Simon Burgess to stand, the Liberal vote is turning to Labour and Green and if he smells blood he’ll be there.

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