It’s all over and as you may have seen elsewhere Rushanara Ali will be Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Bethnal Green and Bow at the next general election. She won by miles, leading all the way from the first ballot – it went to 5 rounds. I had second a fair few second prefs but not enough 1sts to get beyond the first. The ground has already been hit with canvassing to win the seat back started by the new candidate on Sunday (sorry Grammatically Correct, that’s terrible syntax I know but you get my drift).
Back before Xmas Randall Smith of Poplar and Limehouse CLP sent around an email “Seasonal Survey” with two questions. A Mike Smith answered in the following way:
What do you think are the characteristics that the BG&B contestant must have to win?a) The selection?· An up-to-date list of members annotated according to eligibility 3 months before the other candidates · Pals in the bureaucracy who will prevent the other candidates having the same advantage
· A Campaign Manager who knows who hates who most and will spread rumours to your advantage
· A high tolerance for halitosis, BO and tedium
· A car with driver and free petrol
· Convenient memory lapses and strategically-timed holidays or working trips abroad
· Overweening ambition to succeed at any price or Campaign Manager with Svengali tendencies
b) The election?
· Good health and a strong stomach
· A firm padlock on the cupboard containing the skeletons, especially if that involves having appeared on screen in tacky underwear
· A tolerant employer who will grant unlimited time off work
· A sponsor or slush-fund or the discreet appearance of either
· At least a vague idea of the constituency’s boundaries and recent history
· Ability to say Hello, Good Evening and Welcome in 5 languages
· A religion that does not preclude campaigning at weekends
· Some credible connection to the area. Score:
o 10 for having lived here for five years or more
o 8 for being born here
o 5 for two or more family members living here
o 3 for working here
o 2 for drinking here
o -1 for only having passed over on a plane or under on a tube-train
Dunno if I agree with all of the above but undoubtedly Rushanara will make a brilliant candidate and MP.