Posts Tagged ‘candidates’

Worried about Stoke

April 1, 2010

The media is certainly hyping up the possibility of futher splits in Stoke-on-Trent Labour Party being caused by tonight’s selection of Tristram Hunt as the Labour PPC.

Stoke is a place where the BNP have made inroads in recent years. The electoral gains of the fash have been aided by Labour divisions.

A controversial shortlist (no local candidates allowed apparently) for the Stoke seat has provoked criticisms by local party members. Some chap who is apparently the CLP secretary happily told a BBC crew that he’d consider standing as an ‘independent Labour’ candidate in protest.

We can only hope that Mr Hunt is able to calm tempers and unite the local membership for the upcoming election campaign.


Widening the Tory Party’s Old Etonian talent pool.

March 19, 2010

I was reading about the Conservative candidate for the safe seat of Penrith and the Border the other day.

I appreciate that it’s an old story now, but it still makes me chuckle that the first post-expenses scandal Tory selection – which was meant to prove that the party was allowing people from outside mainstream politics to win nominations and widen the parliamentary talent pool – resulted in Rory Stewart becoming the Conservative PPC.

How the Old Etonian, Oxford-educated, former tutor to Princes William and Harry and Foreign Office civil servant qualifies as outside the mainstream is hard to tell, though I’m sure he is a talented chap.

Some words of wisdom for Labour’s candidate in Newton Abbot.

February 15, 2010

The world of politics has been rocked by the news that Labour’s PPC for the newly created constituency of Newton Abbot in Devon is resigning his candidacy.

He is apparently miffed that the Labour Party want to devote resources to other seats where there might actually be a chance of Labour winning. Activists are being told not to hang around in Newton Abbot but to go to Exeter.

As someone who spent the early years of my Labour Party membership living in a rural, solidly Tory area, I thought all Labour people standing in such constituencies accepted that they were essentially paper candidates and that the best use of their time would be to support their comrades in more marginal places.

As is the case for many things in life, Nye Bevan hit it on the head:

“The language of priorities is the religion of socialism”.

Have a think about that and stop making such a fuss, Mr Ex-PPC.

Steady on!

February 12, 2010

I initially agreed with much of what Paul Richards wrote in his recent Labour List post. I was nodding my head vigorously as I read:

“The casual anti-Jewishness of most of British society, prevalent before the war, and found everywhere from the royal family to TS Eliot to George Orwell, has largely disappeared. Instead, like a virulent bacillus, hatred of Jews finds new hosts: amongst Islamist hate-mongers, the ultra-left and neo-fascists on the streets, and in the upper echelons of academia and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.”

As any regular visitor to Harry’s Place will tell you, this is all true. We should never be complacent about anti-semitism.

However, when going on to give further examples of anti-semitism, Richards writes:

“…when Peter Kilfoyle publicly attacks a Jewish woman Labour parliamentary candidate for, in effect, being ‘not from round here’ what did he think the impact would be?” 

Eh, what?

Without wanting to get embroiled in the arguments over who would make the best Labour parliamentary candidate for Liverpool Wavertree (near Kilfoyle’s own seat), it is a statement of fact that Luciana Berger (the selected candidate who, yes, happens to be Jewish) is not from around there, being a Londoner and all.

If Richards genuinely thinks Kilfoyle is stirring up anti-semitism – a serious accusation – he will have to come up with something better than that. It seems to me that Richards is ridiculously trying to shut down debate over Berger’s local credentials (or lack of) by raising the spectre of anti-semitism quite unnecessarily.

On a different note, Don Paskini has a good post about controversial Labour selections that diffuses cynicism.

A question for the tantric master.

October 6, 2009

Going back to Andrew Charalambous, the recently selected Tory PPC for Edmonton who also goes by the name of ‘Dr. Earth’, I am a bit puzzled by a discrepancy between his Evening Standard profile and the biography put up on his campaign website.

Charalambous’ campaign biog is a lot drier (emphasising his very respectable volunteering as a Special Constable) than the description of him the Standard found on his Club4Climate site  (“He has completed one of the profoundest spiritual journeys in history”; “He has dated some of the most beautiful women in the world”; “He is a tantric master initiated in India”).

I can understand that the Conservative Party don’t think Charalambous’ tantric skills or pioneering use of waterless urinals will necessarily help him in the rough and tumble of electioneering.

However, I would have thought that his campaign website would mention that Charalambous “has a PhD in the parallels between Plato’s utopia and Spartan society”. The ‘Education’ section of his official biography neglects to mention this. How odd. Possessing a PhD is a pretty impressive achievement, which is undoubtedly why Charlambous previously told people he had one.

So why is there now no mention of the PhD?

Whither Dr. Earth’s doctorate?

Conservative Candidate: “All you have to do is dance to save the world”.

October 4, 2009

The Tories have selected their candidate for the North London constituency of Edmonton. He appears to be quite a character.

Andrew Charalambous is the owner of a nightclub and a property empire. The Evening Standard looked up his website and found him describing himself as a “tantric master” who has “dated some of the most beautiful women in the world”. No wonder Edmonton Conservative Association were impressed.

Charalambous seems to have since edited his website to remove these claims. Perhaps Tory HQ are worried that their candidate – who is apparently a fruitarian – may come across as a bit too fruity for the voters? Or as a bit of a fruitcake?

His nightclub can be found on Pentonville Road, Islington. It has a dance floor that generates electricity or something as people dance on it. Hence Charalambous’ views on the link between dancing and saving the planet. I’ve never been inside the club but I’ve walked by many times. It looks a tad rubbish. Its website is, however, very entertaining. Charalambous likes to go by the alias of ‘Dr Earth’, which is an unfortunate choice of name considering Charalambous’ striking resemblance to ‘Dr Evil’.  In the Contact section it is stated that Charalambous’ Club4Climate is “the worlds [sic] biggest environmental organisation on the planet”. Had you heard of it before? No, me neither.

The Evening Standard profile quotes Charalambous as saying that he was “the first male feminist”. He is such a good feminist that he recently sponsored the UK selection round of the ‘Miss Earth’ beauty contest and was himself the Chief Judge. All feminists should now note that sleazing over women wearing not many clothes is ok if it’s being done in an environmentally sustainable way.

I’ve got a feeling that Charalambous’ candidacy is going to prove a source of much merriment. I only wish we were facing him in Islington S&F. As someone commented on the Evening Standard article: “Mad as a box of frogs”.

Finding candidates of the right calibre, 1970s Belgian style

June 15, 2009

In the light of recent events, Labour supporters may be looking for ways of making sure that in future all of our parliamentary candidates are honest and principled advocates of Tigmoo, etc.

Perhaps we could copy the uber-strict eligibility criteria used by the Belgian Socialist Party in the 1970s?

All potential party candidates had to tick each of the following boxes:

  • Party member for at least 5 years.
  • A member of a trade union and the socialist health insurance fund for at least 5 years.
  • Make a minimum annual purchase from cooperative shops.
  • Have a subscription to the party newspaper.
  • Any offspring must be enrolled in state schools.
  • Any offspring must be members of the party’s youth organisations.
  • Spouse must be a member of the party.
  • Must attend a minimum number of meetings and campaigning events.
  • Insurance must be held in a socialist/cooperative insurance company.
  • Cannot be seated on the board of directors of a private enterprise.

Harsh but fair?

From what I gather this set of criteria had to be moderated not because it was difficult to find candidates but because the party newspaper eventually went bust (though this itself indicates a certain decline in party popularity).

The Belgian Socialist Party split in 1978 into separate francophone and Flemish organisations and I don’t think either grouping thought it was worth keeping these highly selective rules.