The Blair Generation aim to take over the Tory Party locally

A member of the local Conservative Party has contacted me, writing “I am not keen on ‘leaks’ but as the foremost political commentator in the city …” (I like a bit of flattery – it impresses my four regular readers) “… I think it is important that you know that the young Conservative modernisers are cringing just like any rational observer does when Tory activists post comments on your blog claiming that the Greens’ are ‘Communists’ and the like. Such behaviour is in conflict with the ethos of the modernisers, who place the needs of our City and the need to make our city even greater for future generations above the temptations of divisive Party politics.”

It appears that the Conservatives are beginning a stage of renewal locally.  Conservative councillors from the Thatcher generation are, according to my correspondent, “finally yielding to the One Nationist Conservatives of the younger generation.  It might also surprise you to know that newly-elected leader Geoffrey Theobald is very aligned with the modernisers, in conflict to Mary Mears who in an enduring fit of hubris actively sough to obstruct the entrance of fresh new talent into Party affairs locally and thus became the main architect of the downfall of the previous administration, though there are also other reasons of course.”

Harsh words. I wouldn’t agree that Mary was the main architect – there are many, many reasons, not least government policy, EMA, student fees, etc. And then there is the continuing decline of Labour and the Caroline Effects and the impressive organisation of the Green Party. I understand that the organisation of the Green Party machine (with Pete West and Alex Phillips two of the main organisers) was as impressive as anything Labour was capable of in its heyday. And I wouldn’t blame Mary Mears for the Enigma that Is Christopher Hawtree who, singlehandedly, put the Tories in Central Hove to the sword.

One Nation Conservatives, perhaps. The Blair generation, even? I recall that Momma Grizzly (and she is not my informant) describing Blair as one of her political heroes.

But, my Conservative friend, your insight is fascinating, and I look forward to further such observations. (And I invite other party activists – even those in what remains of the Lib Dems – to email me their observations. I do respect anonymity). I would be particularly interested in the mood within the Lib Dems at this moment.

Labour talking a good fight and paying respect to Pat Hawkes

The Honey Monster (Craig Turton) has reacted to my comment that “So disorganised are they (Labour) in some seats that members have complained about not being given posters for their windows”. Craig says that could be because “like in East Brighton ward – where doorstep enthusiasm for Labour far exceeeds 2003 and 2007 – demand for posters is outsripping supply. Same in Hangleton and elsewhere.” Nice try, Craig, but the empty windows suggests otherwise. There is still no enthusiasm for Labour. Brighton and Hove is not like the rest of the country – the Caroline Effects will still make a difference.

As for enthusiasm for Labour in the future, Blue Labour isn’t going to play at all well in Brighton and Hove. I wanted Red Ed Milliband to win. What on earth is he doing? He is proving to be a disaster, while Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper are, at least, putting some clear water between Labour and the Tories.

Steampunk suggests that Labour has given up on Central Hove: “A Labour party member told me ruefully last weekend, ‘no matter what you do, the Tories will always win in Central Hove’. So I suspect that having come fourth last time round, this year they have been focussing on the more winnable wards further out such as Wish, Hangleton and the two in Portslade. Or perhaps everyone has gone to Queens Park?”.

Blue Lady Linda says that “There is a hive of activity going on in most of the wards from our activists: telephone canvassing, envelope stuffing, literature deliveries, knocking up and general cross ward support. There is much that goes on ‘under the radar’”. Lady Linda is right that traditionally the work of the Tories is not that obvious but they have been able to get out its vote.

She says that she thinks that all parties other than the Tories have given up on Hove Park. “I come to this conclusion, because I have yet to see any literature or sighting of a candidate, other than Tory, in Hove Park Ward.”

MJ must be a Labour hack because who else would come out with the following tosh: “Word is that the Greens are under pressure in Regency and are stalling in Queens Park and Brunswick. They may also drop one seat in Hanover, Preston Park and Goldsmith. The Labour vote is too high to see Green or Tory gains.” There’s no such ‘word’, there is no such pressure, they are not stalling, and the Greens are not going to drop seats. Luke Walter’s reaction is right when he simply responded “LOL”.

The love within Labour is overwhelming. Baron Pepperpot writes: “As a paid up member of the Labour Party who fully supports our Queens Park campaign, I would like to say how happy I would be to see us get completely stuffed in Hollingdean and Stanmer…”. Wow! I’m intrigued as to why you feel this strongly. Do say more. And if this is the mood with Labour ten days out from an election, what levels of fratricide can we expect if my predictions are correct and Labour is left with a smaller rump than they currently have?

Christina Summers, one of the Green candidates has responded to my praise of Luke Walter and his campaigning zeal: “Don’t worry BPB, Luke is most definitely not a lone Green campaigner in Hollingdean & Stanmer…and our opponents are most definitely not complimentary nor do they resemble any sort of firework…apart from the occasional banger…usually when we’ve leafleted their homes.”

As regular readers will know, I have been predicting two Greens and one Labour (Jeane Lepper) being returned in Hollingdean and Stanmer. This would see the end of the long and illustrious council career of Pat Hawkes who has represented the area for many decades. She has also been an active trade unionist, rising to be President of the NUT. Consistency in service (although not always in views) means that she deserves respect, and she certainly has mine.