A Viscount, two Lords and a comedian back Labour campaign

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…

Eddie Izzard, centre, off on a shopping trip with Croydon Labour's Tony Newman

Eddie Izzard, centre, off on a shopping trip with Croydon Labour’s Tony Newman

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.

Labour council election candidate Emily Benn canvassing in West Thornton with Viscount Stansgate. Or "Dad"

Labour council election candidate Emily Benn canvassing in West Thornton with Viscount Stansgate. Or “Dad”

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.

Steve Reed OBE, to the left of the picture, if not of the Labour Party, canvassing with Lambeth's "Co-operative Council" councillor Christopher Wellbelove at the weekend

Steve Reed OBE, to the left of the picture, if not of the Labour Party, canvassing with Lambeth’s “Co-operative Council” councillor Christopher Wellbelove at the weekend

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:


Coming to Croydon


Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough: 72,342 average monthly page views (Jan-Mar 2014)

If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, a residents’ or business association or local event, please email us with full details at inside.croydon@btinternet.com

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
This entry was posted in 2014 council elections, Boris Johnson, Catriona Ogilvy, Emily Benn, Heathfield, Louisa Woodley, Mayor of London, New Addington, Oliver Lewis, Steve Reed MP, Tony Newman, Waddon, Wayne Lawlor, West Thornton and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A Viscount, two Lords and a comedian back Labour campaign

  1. davidcallam says:

    I seriously question the effectiveness of these celebrity endorsements, whether for washing powder or political parties.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s