Kingston University’s student paper “The River” has an interesting scoop this week about my work colleague Stephanie Eaton (Lib Dem leader of the opposition on Tower Hamlets council) and me apparently in a handbags at dawn scenario slugging it out to take the Bethnal Green and Bow Parliamentary seat off George Galloway. The excited hack who rattled off the story got a few factual matters wrong. No-one’s been picked as a candidate yet. Labour are going through a selection process as we speak while the Liberal Democrats have not even begun. The election may not be until 2010 after all. As far as Respect go, gorgeous George has said in the past he won’t stand again but I’ve not heard that one recently. There is some speculation about who of their councillors might be put up. Yes we are two gals with offices a few doors apart teaching allied subjects (Stephanie’s a criminologist and I do sociology) who happen to be in different political parties but the forced emnity that the River are trying to create simply does not exist or the contest that they describe. The author’s prose in breathless tabloidese indicates that she’s angling for a job at the Sun I’d say.
A good bit of competition was however in evidence in the constituency yesterday when the CLP selection social happened. The ratio of members to candidates seemed to be skewed somewhat with more of the latter around. I was there in the second category myself but it looks like there are a lot of folk who fancy their bums are good enough to sit on the green benches for BGB – 65 in total as far as I know. You could work out who was standing as the candidates were the ones in suits thrusting their literature around, although many folk are in both categories like practically all the Bangladeshi Labour councillors. Stephanie interestingly told me in the week that even she’s even recieved a CV from one of the pretenders to the throne and she’s not even a Labour party member! Someone else described yesterday’s experience as analagous to “speed dating”. I’ve never done that myself so I wouldn’t know but it was an interesting use of a Saturday morning. If the aim was to “meet the candidates” then I guess for me mission accomplished.