When I was a CLP delegate to Labour conference in 2004 I shook hands with Dear Leader Tone and then later that same day with Billy Bragg (a shake with which I am more pleased).
However, towards the end of the conference, I jokingly remarked to the PPC for my constituency that I hadn’t spent as much time hobnobbing with celebs in Brighton as I thought I was going to. My comrade then said she could rectify this situation immediately and walked off somewhere.
A few minutes later she returned. With a triumphant look upon her face, she thrust into my hand a small card with some squiggly writing on it. It said something along the lines of:
Dear Jako, Love and Kisses, from Floella Benjamin
I gave my sincere thanks to the PPC, but had to then be honest and ask who Floella Benjamin was. I thought she might be some government minister I had not heard of before. Turns out she was an actress and TV presenter. Apparently quite famous, thought obviously not hugely so.
Floella Benjamin was at Labour conference talking about how she supported Labour’s education spending rises. I have not given her much thought since that day in 2004, but I recently came across a very glossy leaflet being distributed by Islington Liberal Democrat in which Floella Benjamin features.
Imagine my (admittedly fairly moderate) level of shock to see that Floella Benjamin is now slamming Labour’s record on education and is instead supporting the Liberals. Another formerly Labour-supporting celeb lost.