Friday, 22 May 2009

Safety First?

Who is going to fill all those newly vacant, absurdly safe Tory seats? I’ll put it another way: which A-listers are going to fill all those newly vacant, absurdly safe Tory seats? Just how much co-ordination has there been between Cameron and the Torygraph on this? I think we should be told.

And note all those calls for “mandatory reselection”. You might have thought that Labour had introduced this, not without acrimony, nearly thirty years ago, while the Tories and at least the Liberal Party (I don’t know about the SDP, which was mostly set up by people whom it had caused to be deselected) always had it anyway. But apparently not.

In those days, and indicating very starkly that they had and have absolutely nothing in common with New Labour (who were doing the deselecting at the time), those with the gravest reservations about mandatory reselection feared that it would give too much power to vocal cliques within Constituency Labour Parties, and argued that a CLP should be at least one twelfth the size of the Labour vote at the preceding General Election.

The CLP in Erith & Thamesmead (Labour majority 11,500) has well under three hundred members. Not activists. Paid up members. If there were two dozen activists, then I for one would be flabbergasted. Take out councillors and their spouses, and there would be as good as none. And to what consequence? Georgia Gould.

Incidentally, a while ago when I wrote about The Honourable Miss Gould (when her mother is ennobled, will that make her The Honourable The Honourable Miss Gould?), someone wrote in comparing her to Tony Benn, also a peer’s progeny, and also selected for a safe seat in his twenties. Well, not quite so very early in his twenties. Only after War Service in the RAF.

And anyway, Tony Benn? The Tony Benn? He was the Tony Benn even then. He always has been. Some people are just like that. But extremely few. And the fact that the comparison, which would be offensive to the point of obscenity if it were not so funny, is even felt necessary proves that Georgia Gould is not one of them; that she is not, and never will be, the Georgia Gould.

Come on, people, we must be able to come up with a candidate for Erith & Thamesmead. This is an open goal.


  1. Sore of Stepney22 May 2009 at 18:42

    John Rowe for Erith and Thamesmead?

  2. Do get onto him, then, since you seem to be in London.

  3. You write as if Georgia Gould is the Labour PPC for Erith and Thamesmead. She is not. She came third in the selection contest. I realise you may not have been aware of this, as Georgia Gould got far more media coverage than any of her opponents.

    Theresa Pearce is the Labour PPC for Erith and Thamesmead, and a very good candidate and MP she will be too.

  4. Why do you want to defeat Theresa Pearce?

  5. We'll see if she's the candidate in the end. The NEC is full of trade unionists and the sorts of longstanding activists who are unlikely to be too sympathetic to Gould. But Gould is wanted badly by some very powerful people. Or are they, these days? We shall see...