Thursday 29 April 2010

Who will be Walthamstow's next MP?

Idol-Worship, or The Way to Preferment. (A comment on the British system of government, c. 1740.)

Who will be MP for Walthamstow on May 7th? I shall be very surprised if it isn’t the Labour Party's Dr Creasy. I might believe otherwise if the windows of Walthamstow were full of yellow posters pledging allegiance to the Liberal Democrat candidate, but they aren’t. I imagine Stella will scrape home with a much reduced majority, and I suspect more people will vote against her than for her, but the anti-Labour vote will be fragmented among the other candidates, enabling her to take the seat. A bit like Chingford, where Iain Duncan Smith will undoubtedly be re-elected on a minority vote, with most of those who turn out voting for the Liberal Democrat and Labour candidates. As for the third parliamentary seat in the London Borough of Waltham Forest: will John Cryer hang on to Leyton & Wanstead for Labour? I suppose that depends on the Harry Cohen factor and whether the electorate is prepared to vote tactically to keep Labour out. The pundits of the national media don't seem to think Leyton & Wanstead is a marginal seat.

Judging by the presence (or rather the absence) of window posters, the local electorate is deeply unenthusiastic about any of the available political choices. There are very, very few posters. One or two houses have giant yellow or red posters, but they obviously belong to candidates. There’s a tiny, tiny scattering of red, yellow and green posters. I have yet to see a blue poster, but perhaps I don’t cycle in the right areas. It's much the same situation where the Archipelago roams. Of course it's always possible that the electorate's sullen disinclination to express overt allegiance may result in some spectacular and unexpected results.

A few leaflets drop through the letterbox. As the various candidates are fond of proclaiming their enthusiasm and support for local business, let’s see where they were printed!

Dr Creasy’s latest leaflet (“fighting for our Cinema and Dog Track”) is printed by the Anton Group of Laindon, Essex SS15 6TR.

Dr Creasy is strangely modest about her doctorate and is equally silent about her cycling. But perhaps years spent on a campus and association with lycra louts might put some voters off. Dr Creasy also appears to be avoiding any repugnant association with socialists by not participating in the May Day Celebration at Ye Olde Rose & Crown on Saturday ("Special guest speaker Neil Gerrard MP") or the following day's "Special Community and Trade Union Fun Day" at the same venue, involving the Socialist Party's Nancy Taaffe and Leyton & Wanstead Labour candidate John Cryer. On the other hand the latest Stella communication shows her side by side with Neil Gerrard (currently a better vote-winning local photographic choice than the leader of her party, who is wisely airbrushed from her campaign).

The UKIP candidate, Judith Chisholm Benli, says she is passionate about “local issues”. Her leaflet is printed by Bishops Printers of Portsmouth, Hampshire PO6 1RU.

UKIP are, of course, unlikely to get the cycling vote, since one of their many deranged policies is requiring cyclists to dismount at roundabouts, so as not to inconvenience motorists. UKIP appears to be entirely comprised of people who regard the Conservative Party as a dangerously pro-European left-wing organisation.

Nancy Taaffe, leading member of the Socialist Party (they used to be called the Militant Tendency) and candidate of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is standing “for the millions, not the millionaires”. Me, I am not convinced that the Walthamstow electorate runs into the millions. Her leaflet was printed by Brylan Print Solutions Ltd of London N7 8XH. To be fair, the fortunes of local printing businesses probably don't come very high on Nancy's tough socialist agenda. If you want a hard left candidate, Nancy's your only choice.

Farid Ahmed, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate, is standing to “Protect Whipps Cross”. That's the local hospital which is seriously car sick

His leaflet is done by the same firm in Hampshire as that of the UKIP candidate, i.e. Bishops Printers of Portsmouth. Did I mention that his name was Farid Ahmed? Every sentence in the Lib Dem leaflet reminds you that Farid Ahmed is the candidate. Yes, that’s Farid Ahmed. Have you got that? Farid Ahmed. Let me remind you in case it’s slipped your mind: Farid Ahmed. Farid is disappointingly reticent about his banking and business background.

Andy Hemsted (“I have lived in Waltham Forest all my life and come from an ordinary working-class family”) is the Conservative candidate. I assume from his vagueness he lives in Chingford, not the constituency he hopes to represent in parliament. His leaflet is cheapskate monochrome, but times are hard and I suppose blue is an expensive additional printing extra. Among his many pledges, “We will allow parents and charities to open new schools”. The same kind of crap as New Labour’s “academies” then, whereby crackpot Christian groups are allowed to impose creationism on the curriculum. Andy’s leaflet was printed by Metloc Printers of Loughton, Essex, 1G10 4PE.

Daniel Perrett is standing for the Green Party. “Daniel’s particular passions are to fight for a fair, stable, sustainable economy and a healthier society”. No detail is supplied as to what these rather broad ambitions might entail in terms of policy implementation. His leaflet was printed by Abbey Lithographic Co, 39 Orford Road, Walthamstow, E17 9NL.

At last! A local printer! Another reason for voting Green, I suppose.

My own particular passions are violent revenge movies, violent horror movies, and blood-drenched vampire movies. If elected (which I won't be as I'm not a candidate) I would like to see all 4X4 drivers chained to their vehicles and publicly burned in the Town Square, with DVDs of The Wicker Man and copious quantities of drugs and alcohol distributed gratis to onlookers. The 'No Alcohol' zone would be abolished. Participation in the annual Naked Bike Ride would be made compulsory for all Londoners under 75. I am on the side of justice, goodness, niceness and more kindness to kittens. And I would like to see less police on the streets, as they all seem to drive like lunatics.

By the way, in case you don’t know, the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Walthamstow is Farid Ahmed.

Yes, Farid Ahmed.

I've so far received nothing from the Christian candidate and nothing from the bloke who's standing on withdrawal from Afghanistan.

(Below) A stained newscutting in the window of the Labour Party office on Orford Road, Walthamstow, proudly announces the candidature of "Dr Creasy", displayed alongside a photo of the dangerous criminal motorist, Ed Balls.