Friday, February 05, 2010

A Rebel With A Cause

I wonder what Esther Rantzen is up to these days? The celeb-turned-expenses-buster was due to stand as an MP against Margaret Moran in Luton, but since Ms Moran decided to cheat the electorate of their right to boot her out by standing down, a lot of people wonder what the point of Rantzen's candidature is. Maybe she won't end up standing at all, but one thing she has done is make it more likely that MPs from all parties can be effectively challenged even if they have the support of their local parties and in safe seats.

Take this example. The ultra-safe Labour seat of Liverpool Wavertree has selected the 28 year-old best friend of Euan Blair and girlfriend of junior minister Sion Simon to be their candidate - one Luciana Berger. Miss Berger though, as you may know, isn't from the area and seems to know little about it. In fact she even seems to not wish to learn.

But this being Liverpool Wavertree the local population have a dilema; this is rock-solid Labour territory. No other party can touch the majority built up by Jane Kennedy. So step forward Ricky Tomlinson, the TV star and Socialist Party member. Tomlinson is outraged at the outsider trying to be elected in his home seat. Tomlinson seems genuinely furious, enough to quit acting, take a pay cut and be the local candidate that people want. Tomlinson's fame and media pull could make this into another Tatton-style contest. He may not win but he could very well give Miss Berger a fright.

Is this a good thing? Are celebs and their like any better as politicans, can they enliven the political debate or restore faith in democracy? Who knows, but its gonna be fun finding out!


Anonymous said...

Labour: 17060 (49%)
Liberal Democrat: 14022 (40.3%)
Conservative: 2500 (7.2%)
Other: 1207 (3.5%)
Majority: 3038 (8.7%)

Hardly rook solid Labour. In fact looks almost a good a prospect for the Lib Dems as Norwich South.

Antony said...

I'd still wager a small amount that Ricky can beat the LibDems and come at least second

New Dealer said...

I am not sure about the prospect for the Lib Dems in Norwich South as being as solid as Anonymous makes out.

One thing is for certain in the case for Norwich South - that the jury is very much out on this one.

As a Norwich South voter I am not particularly unhappy with my current Labour MP - both on his policies and the issue of lack of personal dynamism. (putting it very politely).

However, and this is whether I start to become controversial, sorry Antony but as a voter I think I am allowed to be on this occasion.
I have seen very little from the Conservatives in terms of their practical policies. The latest leaflet delivered by them seems more to do with Populism than concrete policy.
The fact they are against the fiscal stimulus also makes me worried under their watch we would have seen record unemployment. I am sure Antony you will say you would not have let the debt bubble amount to such a level, but the fact is that what would you have done differently to combat the GLOBAL RECESSION?

The Lib Dems are also to blame for putting populism above policy, and one thing is for certain, I am no clearer on how the opposition parties would have dealt with Northern Rock differently or the Global Recession.

I do believe that cutting the fiscal stimulus now will hurt economic growth. Cutting your way out of recession is not the answer.

We need to structurally change the economy, to reinvigorate our industrial base and start exporting again, while reforming the tax system and discouraging risk taking in the banking system

B Hawke said...

New Dealer's post is a bit long but I do agree with some of his points - although I would have put it simpler and more to the point.

I do agree that the Tories have offered no alternative other than deep cuts in public spending. The Tory cutting machine is already at work at the County Council with more cuts to follow.
The Tories want us to go back to the dark ages by cutting the lights off. You just wait and see when crime goes up what the reaction will be.

Vote Tory - you are having a laugh.
Although I am a Labour man through and through I feel Cameron has offered me absolutely nothing...

And did i mention - I use to work for a nationalized industry i.e. British Steel before Maggie privatized it... Worst thing she ever done.

Unitary guru said...

All I can say to the above comments is BRING ON UNITARY NORWICH.

At least they will not be asset stripping the city and turning the lights off.

Anyhow why should we let county councillors who do not even live in Norwich decide what is in Norwich's best interest.

Norwich unitary makes sense.

Johnny said...

There seems to be a lot of posts here. Not much of it I see is connected with the original story but more to score points...

However one thing is for certain, IAIN DALE will never get to be a candidate for the Tory party.
Firstly because he doesn't actually understand politics - he is more of a commentator of the Westminster bubble, (this is the guy who wrote New Labour Joke book for goodness sake).

I do hope he will never become a PPC because he will loose the Tories a seat.
FINGERS CROSSED he will be unsuccessful tonight in his candidacy to become PPC.

I know this is not originally connected but I thought I would make a prediction.

As for Norwich South - who knows - as I live in Euston, London.

Antony said...

Unitary Guru; read every report on Unitary and tell me which one suggests Unitary would be a success?

Oh, and FYI County Councillors do live in Norwich including at least one cabinet member.

Norwich Man said...

I always find the phrase “historic” interesting as it normally reveals a coward. By pushing a statement into history anything can be true even if it is not in the present…..

Take schools; certain people tend to talk about historical under-funding of Norwich schools, this of course allows them to ignore the 20 million pounds each going to the two Norwich Academies. Most primary schools come in under budget, so they to are not exactly struggling for money. Not a single Norwich school is currently in special measures and their average results are rising. They may have once been a problem but their certainly is not one now!

Also on the county councillor issue. At least 3 Tory County Councillors live in the city, a several only just outside of border. Even more work in the city, or rely on it for the majority of their shopping and social activities, they want Norwich to be as successful as possible not for it to stagnate due to an inability to finance any large scale ventures.