Amy Kennedy, Charlotte Vere, Caroline Lucas and Nancy Platts – what have you been doing?

I was thrilled to discover three things on my return to Brighton this evening, while reflecting on why on continental Europe (or The Netherlands to be precise) is able to deliver cleaner streets, do road repairs in the evening, and (no surprise here) get so many people onto bicycles.

But the three delights.  First there was Green councillor Amy Kennedy appearing on Just a Minute with Paul Merton, Gyles Brandreth and Jenny Eclair.  Actually it wasn’t Amy but the equally admirable Pam Ayres.  I do confuse the two of them.

Then I read a press release from the Conservative candidate in Brighton Pavilion, Charlotte Vere, attacking Green candidate Caroline Lucas.  But the attack was by proxy, it was an attack on Green councillor Keith Taylor who was “representing Green Party leader Caroline Lucas”.

What amused me and anyone else who knows about the internal politics of the Green Party will know that Keith Taylor representing Caroline Lucas is a contradiction in terms.  Keith can’t stand Caroline: she defeated him to become the first Leader of the Green Party, then trounced him to become the candidate in Brighton Pavilion.  Keith has been absent from the campaign trail, not a bad thing in itself as he is hardly an electoral asset.

But what of Labour? The artist who drew the rather flattering image I use on my Twitter account (whose identity is yet to be revealed) sent me a link to a Sunday Times article which I had missed as I was away, and anyway I don’t read the gutter pres.  The article is about reds under the bed.  My contact said “It lacks any real political analysis – disappointing journalism, but names Nancy Platts as one of the ‘new awkward squad’ who will create a ‘lurch to the left’.”   Much more praise like that and Nancy will be back in poll position in Brighton Pavilion.

Nancy was unavailable for comment, she had a revolution to organise.  A great bit of publicity for her, but a pathetic piece of gutter journalism.  Have a read: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article7061145.ece

It’s great to be home.  I’ll be looking at who is contributing what to the various election campaigns next.

67 days to go, or is it 25? With tactical voting it will be Kemptown Labour, Pavilion Green and Hove …?

Conventional wisdom has it that Gordon Brown will go to the country on May 6th. But Labour friends have hinted that, given the narrowing of the polls (Sunday Times has it down to 2 points although that is probably a rogue poll), Brown might pop in to see the Queen tomorrow in order to have the election on March 25th!

David Cameron’s speech today amounted to little more than raising the bogey of “5 more years of Gordon Brown”, which might prove counter-productive given that Labour now leads the Tories on who people trust to care for the economy. George Osbourne just doesn’t instil confidence.

The “Vote for Change” slogan is rather empty.  Change to what?  Faced with  little of substance (other than not being Brown) when coming to cast their vote, electors will go with the devil it knows (that is other than Brighton Pavilion which increasingly looks like Caroline Lucas of the Greens).

The Greens organisation is really coming together, and the blitz of the constituency this week, well beyond the Muesli Belt, is demonstrating that the Greens, by concentrating on Brighton Pavilion, will almost certainly see the election of the first ever Green MP.

With the closing of the polls, and the concentration of the Greens on Brighton Pavilion, Brighton Kemptown will return Simon Burgess as a Labour MP if other non-Tory supporters vote tactically. As for Hove ….?  My heart goes with Celia Barlow.  What I would welcome is the Greens advocating tactical votes for Labour in Brighton Kemptown and in Hove.  Should they do that, then Labour supporters would be more inclined to vote tactically in Brighton Pavilion.  I just wish that Nancy Platts (I am a big fan) was the Labour candidate in Brighton Kemptown.  With her energy, integrity and enthusiasm, she would win comfortably.