Do you think that the selection by a political party of someone who is to be their candidate in an upcoming election ought to be something in the public domain?
Here at Inside Croydon Towers, we certainly do. Our site’s traffic figures suggest that there is strong and on-going interest in such matters.
Yet the two big beasts of Croydon politics, Labour and the Conservatives, do less than nothing to publicise this matter of fundamental importance in the democratic process.
Indeed, they prefer to try to keep the whole thing top secret.
Recently, when asking about Labour’s selection in one ward for next May’s Town Hall elections, we were given the apparently stock answer of, “We don’t discuss internal selection matters”, which somewhat misses the point that it was the selection of someone who in a matter of months will be asking residents for their vote. Hardly “internal”, is it?
This weekend, the local Conservatives will be grilling 15 wannabes as they select the person who seems guaranteed to be Croydon South’s next MP. Actually, when we say “grilling”, they may be lucky to get a word in edgeways, since the selection panel includes the Sage of Selsdon, Anne Piles.
This whole process, which concludes on Tuesday, will again be conducted behind closed doors.
Don’t just take our word for it. The esteemed Michael Crick, formerly of Newsnight, now political correspondent for Channel 4 News, has taken up the metaphorical cudgels on this topic this week, using as an example the recent selection of the Labour candidate for the safe Welsh seat of The Gower:
“Who is Liz Evans? I can’t find any details about her on the internet… I don’t know what job she does, or how old she is, or what her politics are. To be frank, she’s a bit like the Circle Line on the London Underground. There’s not much evidence she actually exists.
“I’m making a serious point here.
“The political parties are atrocious at giving details of their selection processes, though the Tories are far better than Labour.”
Or here in Croydon, where this weekend will demonstrate that both are as bad as each other.
- Twickenham councillor gets late call in Croydon selection race
- Paxman and Brand unmask deep distrust with local politicians
- Vote in our ‘open primary’ on Tories’ Croydon South choice
Coming to Croydon
- Poppy Cafe, Coulsdon, re-opening: Nov 9
- Aurora Orchestra with Samuel West perform Britten and Auden: Nov 10
- The Kings of Summer: Nov 11
- St Giles School open morning: Nov 13
- Secret Love at the Ashcroft Theatre: Nov 14
- Summer in February: Nov 18
- Much Ado About Nothing: Nov 25
- Future Tech City: Nov 30
- Comedy in Music show: Dec 1
- Steve Knightly at Stanley Halls: Feb 5
- Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough – 262,183 page views (Jan-Jun 2013)
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- Thwack! Ukip’s Godfrey Bloom biffs Michael Crick – Channel 4 News (channel4.com)
- Nigel Farage rules out pact with Tories before next election (telegraph.co.uk)