Eddie Izzard was out campaigning in Croydon town centre this morning with local Labour leader Tony Newman. Cue jokes from all other political parties about there being more than one comedian in Croydon Labour…
It’s unclear whether many of the shoppers really recognised Izzard – who is an intriguing potential candidate to stand for Labour in six years’ time, possibly against another political joker, Boris Johnson, as Mayor of London.
It also seems doubtful whether the potential voters could get anywhere near Izzard for photographers from the local newspapers and London Labour HQ, or Labour activists, such as Councillor Wayne Lawlor and Catriona Ogilvy, an unsuccessful candidate in Labour’s selection for the Croydon Central parliamentary seat, but who were available for the photo-op at around 11am on a weekday morning.
It all seemed like an object lesson in preaching to the converted. Izzard made a speech so brief that it was shorter even than a Maria Miller apology, and delivered almost exclusively to Labour candidates and activists, who numbered fewer than 20.
But then “getting Labour’s message across” is taking some odd turns this week.
Yesterday, they dragged two members of the House of Lords over to New Addington, a curious play of presenting unelected privilege to the potential voters in a hard-pressed neighbourhood where many residents are notably under-privileged, and where Labour really does need to win both council seats at the local elections on May 22.
But the visit of Lords Collins and Bassam (The Editor writes: who they?) to New Addington had already been trumped at the weekend in West Thornton, where a hereditary Viscount was knocking on doors for Labour.
This time last month, Viscount Stansgate was plain Stephen Benn.
But upon the death of his father, Tony Benn, Stephen opted to take up the hereditary title which his father had spent nearly four years of his life battling against the Establishment on the highly principled position that such inherited privilege is wrong, and for the right to stand for election to the House of Commons.
At the weekend, his lordship was walking the streets of West Thornton with his daughter, Emily Benn, who after being selected for the ultra-safe ward is expected to attain her first elected office.
At least Eddie Izzard, Viscount Stansgate and the other Labour Lords are seen to be making an effort to canvass support for their party in Croydon ahead of the local elections.
Steve Reed OBE, the MP for Lambeth South, was busy at the weekend canvassing for his party, though not for Labour in Croydon.
The Heathfield resident spent part of the weekend tramping the streets of Clapham (pronounced “Claam”), in what is hardly a marginal ward, appearing in somewhat self-indulgent selfies.
Maybe Reed is confident in Labour’s chances of winning in Addiscombe and Waddon, and therefore Croydon Council, on May 22?
Recent Inside Croydon election coverage:
- Council spends £200,000 on drop kerbs in flood-risk area
- Tories pick ‘Osland of the Yard’ to stand in Thornton Heath
- Newman struggles to get Labour singing from the same songsheet
- Councillors get two months off to work out what they stand for
- What Barwell fails to tell you and the myths of Council Tax
- Council allowances and local politicians’ secret consensus
- Tory ward chairman quits to stand for UKIP in Ashburton
- Snap! Croydon Tories use same leaflet graphics as council
Coming to Croydon
- Opening of Marlpit Lane bowling and putting greens, Apr 17
- Arts and Crafts Market, Exchange Square, Apr 19
- Private Peaceful, Charles Cryer Theatre, Apr 23-26
- Alison, A Rock Opera, Spread Eagle Theatre, Apr 23-26
- David Lean Cinema: Short Term, Apr 24
- Stop The Incinerator Beer and Bingo fund-raiser, Apr 28
- Hauntology – the architecture of Croydon, Apr 5-May 2
- Norwood Society Talk: West Norwood – a place of change, May 15
- Croydon RFC charity memorial day, May 17
- Norwood Society Talk: The Concrete Church, June 19
- Crystal Palace Overground Festival, June 26-29
- Norwood Society Talk: War Memorials, Sep 18
- Norwood Society Talk: From Fire Station to Theatre, Oct 16
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough: 72,342 average monthly page views (Jan-Mar 2014)
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