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.

74 days to go: Will the campaign in Brighton Pavilion be overshadowed by the Ludicrous Left in Brighton Kemptown?

There are just 74 days to do, and the campaign in Brighton Pavilion remains as close as ever, with ‘undecided’ voters probably holding the key.  This is good news for the Conservative, Charlotte Vere, who can reasonably expect the majority of votes from those who claim to be undecided.  Whether or not they will bridge the gap between her and the Green’s Caroline Lucas, is another matter. 

Yesterday’s poll in the Argus, while giving a boost to Labour’s Nancy Platts, is generally regarded as misleading.  What won’t change is Nancy’s single-minded determination to fight for every last vote until the polls close on 6 May.  The Andrew Rawnsley ‘expose’ today will not, ultimately, hurt Gordon Brown.  Those who were not intending to vote Labour will have a further ‘justifification’ for not doing so.  Already there is evidence that people are beginning to see the alleged ‘bully’ as the one being bullied.  Attacks on Brown have been overdone and will prove counter-productive.

Ultimately, when faced with the coise between David Cameron and Gordon Brown, people will remember that (in spite of earlier dithering) Brown was the one who was decisive when it really mattered – that weekend when it looked as though the banks would crash.  All we get from George Osborne is the ludicrous proposal to sell cheap shares in the nationalised banks!

But the ‘big’ story of the week – not GB’s Piers Morgan show, not ‘Rawnsleyrot’, not Labour’s substitute for its spring conference – is the launch of  the mighty TUSC , the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, which is standing in Brighton Kemptown at the General Election.  Its candidate will be Dave Hill, former Labour Councillor and parliamentary candidate for Brighton Pavilion so long ago that even I can’t remember when!  Dave is an energetic and passionate candidate, but his impact, and that of the Ludicrous Left, is likely to be nil.