Is being the assistant to Sarah Jones, Labour’s candidate in Croydon Central at the General Election, more insecure as a job than being manager at Crystal Palace Football Club?
Croydon Labour is now on to its third campaign assistant since May, which even by the revolving door standards established at Selhurst Park in the past year, seems to be a fairly high turnover.
And, much like the Eagles boss, not even being ostensibly successful appears to provide any guarantee of job security.
First, there was James May (not to be confused with the Argentinian-baiting mate of Jeremy Clarkson off Top Gear), who was Labour’s borough organiser right up until just after the local elections in which the Tories lost control of the Town Hall.
Barely had Tony Newman got comfortable in his new office and started to count the thousands of extra quid he’s getting in “allowances” as the council leader, than May was gone.
It was all quite sudden. Inside Croydon didn’t even get an invite to the farewell piss-up. Perhaps there wasn’t one. It is as if May has been “disappeared”. No one mentions his name in Ruskin House any longer. A bit like no one in the Holmesdale End mentions Tony Pulis any longer.
Bounding in to replace him came a somewhat Tigger-like character called Tom Dewey. Loud, he always seemed TO TALK IN CAPITAL LETTERS. But he replied to email enquiries, he oversaw the opening of Jones’s campaign headquarters, and he had a hand in the re-zoning campaign, which wants to make it cheaper to travel into central London for commuters from East Croydon and West Croydon. Though not from South Croydon.
Dewey has not been seen since the office Christmas party. Oh dear. A bit like Colin Wanker (for non-football fans struggling to follow that reference, think anagrams and the previous manager at Crystal Palace).
What could have happened?
“Tom was on a probation period and his contract wasn’t renewed,” we have been told.
“He was employed directly by the Labour Party, and the local party had no say in the matter. We now have James Goldstone as organiser.”
Will he last until election day on May 7? You have to wonder.
Given how much store Newman and the Labour group on the council has placed in “continuity” since taking over at the Town Hall – to the point of continuing with many of the same policies and using the same council executives that have been in place for the last eight years – it seems strange that with Jones ahead in the opinion polls, her backroom staff has been changed so frequently.
And anyone local to Croydon, and particularly Selhurst Park, will realise that “Goldstone”, with its historic Brighton and Hove Albion connotations, is hardly a well-regarded name in these parts.
In the meantime, Jones’s election rival, MP Gavin Barwell, continues to rely on agent Ian Parker and his state-funded parliamentary assistant, Mario Creatura, to oversee his campaign.
Sarah Jones did not respond to Inside Croydon’s call. Perhaps her phone was on silent.
Coming to Croydon
- Youth Games cricket team trials, Thornton Heath, Jan 16
- Storytime (for under-8s), Oval Tavern, Addiscombe, Jan 17
- David Lean Cinema, Hannah Arendt, Jan 20
- David Lean Cinema, The Imitation Game, Jan 22
- South Croydon business breakfast, Jan 24
- Storytime (for under-8s), Oval Tavern, Addiscombe, Jan 24
- David Lean Cinema, Night Will Fall, Jan 27 (Holocaust Memorial Day)
- David Lean Cinema, Kon-Tiki, Jan 29
- Storytime (for under-8s), Oval Tavern, Addiscombe, Jan 31
- Soul Symphony Community Choir taster session, Feb 3
- Eagle Improv, Spread Eagle Theatre, Feb 4
- Storytime (for under-8s), Oval Tavern, Addiscombe, Feb 7
- Tales of Love, Lost and Found, Spread Eagle Theatre, Feb 7
- Uninvited Guests, Spread Eagle Theatre, Feb 11-13
- Norwood Society talk: Crystal Palace and Dulwich, Feb 19
- Rosie Wilby, Spread Eagle Theatre, Feb 27
- Amy Wadge and Luke Jackson, Stanley Halls, Feb 28
- Holmes Alone, Spread Eagle Theatre, Mar 6
- Eagle Improv, Spread Eagle Theatre, Mar 11
- Iain Lee, Spread Eagle Theatre, Mar 14
- Norwood Society talk: Charlies Dickens in Norwood, Mar 19
- Eagle Improv, Spread Eagle Theatre, Apr 8
- Anatomy of the Piano, Spread Eagle Theatre, Apr 15
- Patrick Monahan, Spread Eagle Theatre, Apr 16-17
- Norwood Society: Balloons and airships at Crystal Palace, Apr 16
- South Norwood Community Festival, July 5
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