The fringe candidates in this May’s local elections in Brighton and Hove

In the last couple of days I have commented on the independent candidates standing in Wish (Mr and Mrs Jenny Barnard-Langston), Hangleton and Knoll (Jo Heard) and North Portslade (Theo Child). But there are other fringe candidates standing,and I don’t mean the LibDems or UKIP. If you read between the lines of what I have written about those parties you may have gained the impression, I can’t think why, that they are not my cup of team (forexample, “I’d rather stick pins in my eyes than vote for UKIP”).

The most spoken about Independent this May is former mayor, former Lib Dem and sitting councillor David Wakins who is hoping to defend his seat in Brunswick and Adelaide. His candidature could be characterised as the Mr Angry Candidate, not that David is the angry sort, but his treatment by the Lib Dems has not been kind and his is a spoiling campaign designed to undermine support for the Lib Dems in their last remaining area of representation.

Trade Unionists and Socialists Against the Cuts may have worthy intentions, but they are likely to mobilise no more than a few dozen votes. Standing for TUSAC are an uninspiring bunch who have failed to rally the working classes time and time again. There was a song, can’t member who by, that went “As soon as this pub closes, as soon as this pub closes, as soon as this pub closes, the revolution starts”. The chorus was sung by an increasingly drunk singer. The final chorus went “As soon as this pub closes, as soon as this pub closes, as soon as this pub closes, ……… I think ….. I’m gonna ….. be sick”.

Now I’m not suggesting that any of the TUSAC candidates are partial to a drink or two, but they are a mixture of uninspiring individuals (Bill North standing in East Brighton) and more enthusiastic, less cynical types such as Jon Redford (Hanover and Elm Grove). He is active in the Stop the Cuts Coalition and, at least, has some get up and go about him. At just 23 Jon is one of the younger breed of candidates and he has been part of the campaign against cuts in Education Maintenance Allowances.

Also standing for TUSAC in Hollingdean and Stanmer are Phil Clarke, Tony Greenstein (how is it that he hasn’t yet been expelled from TUSAC – he has been expelled from evey other fringe group on the left) and the Peter Stringfellow of Brighton politics, Professor Dave Hill. Dave Bangs is standing for TUSAC in Moulsecoomb and Bevendean.

What is touching, yet quite sad about this bunch, is that unlike Don Quixote who charged at imaginary enemies, this lot have real enemies yet they tend to focus on others on the left and fail to mobilise real opposition against the Tories. They just don’t know how to organise an effective coalition. Their handful of votes could just let the Tories in in very close contests. One wonders if this is what they hope for …..

Gerald O’Brien is standing in St Peters and North Laine. He has stood in more elections than the number of comments left on this blog by the Legend that is Christopher Hawtree. He is yet to top 100 votes and even being most generous, is unlikely to win in this seat, the safest Green seat in the country.

Mohammed Asaduzzaman is standing as an Independent in Queens Park. A respected local businessman, concerned with crime, he has stood before but has little chance of making more than a ripple on the result in Queens Park.

And finally we have Yuri Borgmann-Prebil (Preston Park) and Susan Collard (St Peters and North Laine) standing for the European Citizens Party. Now for many weeks I have been collating comprehensive files on both Yuri and the European Citizens Party. In fact I have focused on little else …. zzzzzzzzz

Dave Hill, aka Peter Stringfellow (what?) and David Essex (huh?) is a rare character in today’s politics

The Daddy of the Left in Brighton and Hove has shown that he has lost nothing of his ability for self-promotion. If you were to ask the TUSC (Trade Union and Socialist Coalition candidate for Brighton Kemptown, Dave Hill, whethere his campaign was about policy or personalities, he would reply “policy”.

But look at this weekend’s Argus.  Front page – Dave Hill saying that he is being confused with Peter Stringfellow.  Photos of Mr Stringfellow appear alongside Mr Hill, sorry Professor Hill.  Dave, did someone really ask if you were PS or was it an inspired way of comanding the attention of the Argus in what is otherwise a completely dull campaign in Brighton Kemptown? 

But not content with this dubious comparison, Dave Hill says that as a younger man he used to be confused with David Essex.  What?  But fair play to him, on the inside of the Argus are more photos of Dave Hill, today and as a young man.

But what I did love was how the Argus presented Dave Hill as the main candidate, mentioning as an aside that the other candidates inclue Simon Burgess, etc.

What it does sho is the lack of ‘characters’ in politics today.  In the 1980s Dave Hill was forever creating stories, controversies and campaigns.  His equal was former councillor Brian Fitch.  More measured but equally effective was the late Dennis Hobden, and younger councillors like Steve (now Lord) Bassam, Richard Stanton and Andy Winter (who co-incidentally also appeared on the front page of the Argus today in a story about debt).

Now debt is an issue that Dave Hill could campaign on.