Eddie Izzard‘s visit to promote Ken Livingstone’s six promises for the capital was accompanied by the buzz that Labour’s candidate for London Mayor will add a special seventh promise especially for Croydon and Sutton: he will block the Beddington Lane incinerator.
It could be a shrewd divide-and-rule move across the two boroughs, where Sutton’s LibDems are backing the multi-million pound incinerator scheme, while the Sutton Conservatives – under “expert” guidance from Steve O’Connell – are opposing it; meanwhile in Croydon, the ruling Tories – who include Kenley councillor Steve O’Connell – made an election promise to oppose the incinerator, but have now voted it through.
Labour’s Croydon councillors are hopeful that Livingstone will promise that the Beddington Lane incinerator will not get past him if he is returned as London Mayor in May. The Mayor has the power to call in and refuse planning permission on major schemes.
In Croydon and Sutton, such a promise would turn the Mayoral election into a referendum on the incinerator in wards close to the Beddington Lane development and downwind of the proposed burner across Croydon.
Izzard’s visit certainly created a stir, as the comedian received a warm response from students and college workers outside Croydon College with his message on reduced fares and the reintroduction of an Education Maintenance Allowance.
Izzard was more than a match for quips from Surrey Street stall-holders.
Asked by Inside Croydon on comedy’s role in politics, Izzard said it helped to communicate ideas, though he was against having buffoonery at the top of that agenda, a less than oblique reference to Mayor Boris Johnson.
Izzard repeated his desire to get into politics by 2020, describing himself as a “radical centrist” with an enthusiasm for the energy of those engaged in community life and with the luxury of the resources from his show business career to allow him “to have no need for the trappings that go with political office”.
- Inside Croydon: brought to you from the heart of the borough, free of charge, an independent voice standing for freedom of speech for the people of Croydon
- Eddie Izzard adds a laugh to Croydon campaigning (insidecroydon.com)
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- Paddick joins opposition to Beddington incinerator (insidecroydon.com)