It’s not most people’s idea of a Thursday night to be stuck in listening to six Labour hopefuls all banging their own trumpets but it’s all done and dusted. The Bethnal Green and Bow Labour selection hustings is now over. It was done yesterday evening at Queen Mary College in a lecture room not dissimilar to the sort I spend my days in. There were about 100 there. I was on sixth – opposite of the shortlisting process where I was first. I laid off the personal stuff and talked about politics… and how it had been hitherto missing from the whole process. I said “This is not the X Factor” or somesuch. I think it went down pretty well among the previously undecideds. I know I have won over converts like Co-op people Jenny and Ismail and Deputy Mayor Ann Jackson who are now on board. There were some real stinker type questions (the one about Sub-Saharan inter-ethnic conflict was not one I had revised) and a Bengali gent took it upon himself to yawn pretty loudly and ostentatiously in the front row but I’ve students like that over the years so was quite unfazed. Oddest question went something like this “It’s election day with 10 minutes before the polls close. You knock on a door and they’re weak Labour, put off by the walk to the polling station. What do you do?” I had no hesitation in answering “give them a lift”. I added, and it still applies at the time of writing, that if anyone needs a lift to the party HQ where polling will be all day Saturday I am happy to oblige.

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