Pre-election roundup

A quick review of some of the literature posted through my door in the last week…

Nothing from the Green Party. Has anyone received anything? I realise they don’t have the funds of the other parties, but I have no idea what they’re proposing. A shame.

The Lib Dems have sent a big sheet with only a small section knocking Labour. Their three key promises are: Save Camberwell Leisure Centre; Introduce Alcohol control zone; and Keep council tax low. Very admirable, very easy to claim, but lacking in detail. They also claim that if you vote for anyone other than themselves or Labour, you’re wasting your vote.

The Lib Dems have also sent a couple of ‘personalised’ letters; one from Councillor Nick Stanton, the other from candidate Gemma O’Keeffe. Both try to position the local elections with the national parties by associating Labour strongly with Tony Blair.

The Conservatives have the most constructive literature, with clearly laid-out policy and only a small dig at the other parties. If only all parties campaigned like this.

Labour also sent a personalised letter, mixing some decent points with a load of attacks on the Lib Dems. They also sent perhaps the most revolting literature I’ve ever seen; a four-page glossy that has absolutely no positive points, and consists entirely of attacks on the Lib Dems. It’s the single most vindictive and unconstructive piece of political campaigning I’ve ever seen. Like Hannah, I’m going to send mine back to the local Labour group and complain strongly. If you’re looking for reasons why turnout at local elections is so low, look no further.

I still haven’t made my mind up about who will get my vote; based solely on the literature that came through my door, it would be the Conservatives. And that shocks me.

I hope everybody gets down to the polling station tomorrow, even if only to spoil their ballot; apathy is not the answer.

Author: Peter

Long-time resident of Camberwell, author of this blog since July 2004.

26 thoughts on “Pre-election roundup”

  1. The Green Party were outside Denmark Hill station on Tuesday night- however I mostly avoided their soap dodging hand-outs so can’t comment on their policies, however one of the candidates did go to Dulwich as he was at school with the Husband. Did someone say middle class crusty?

  2. The Respect Party candidate from my ward (Vassal) told me that they had an agreement with the Greens not to stand against each other, which may or may not explain their low profile.

    I voted this morning at half past eight, as far as I could tell I was only the second person and was treated with much excitment by the officials sorting out my ballot paper. Pleased to see they were enjoying themselves.

  3. I was considering voting Green but as has been mentioned before I’ve seen no effort on their part to encourage anybody to vote — I have usually voted Lib Dem mainly because I used to live in North Southwark & Bermondsey ward and happen to think that Simon Hughes is a pretty good M.P or at least he understands what that responsibility entails anyway…

  4. I think the Green Party blew their budget on the general election when they spent a lot of money trying to secure the Brockley/Lewisham ward where leader Damien Johnson (I think that’s his name)lives…

  5. I voted this morning! It was a struggle to chose who to vote for (the older i get the more i think there should be an “none of the above” section) normally it would be Labour for me but i’d been wavering for some time (well since they invaded Iraq really!) and the leaflet they sent round last week was the final staw. I went Green in the end — not sure if it was a wasted vote but i read their manifesto and i liked what i saw.

    I think the turn out was going to be low, and this is mainly the fault of the candidates. There has been harly any campaigning, and what there has been has been very negative. I only received one leaflet from Labour and one from the Lib Dems — no sight of any of the other parties. I think it has been a common problem for those of us who live on the Southwark/Lambeth borders (or maybe people are too scared to campaign in the Coldharbour Lane area — it’s not all guns and crackhouses you know!) but i can see why people don’t vote — why should be bother to turn up and vote if they can’t be bothered to event send around a leaflet telling us what they stand for (or even their names in the case of the Torys)

  6. In the end we went with Labour. It was a tough call. It seems they have more candidates living close to us, which perhaps may make them care more about our patch — maybe not. Also figured they may have more sway at City Hall generally when it comes to getting hand outs.

    Probably all wrong — but rest assured whoever wins, I plan to now lobby them as hard as they’ve lobbied me the last few weeks, which in my area has been annoying. Now it becomes my turn to annoy.

  7. forgive me if this site’s old news to you but its new to me and seems to have some useful info here about who’s standing and on what issues etc.

    ..that said it still hasn’t made up my mind who to vote for.. the only way to really tell would be to get them all in Alan Sugar’s boardroom for a showdown — and it’s a little late in the day for that..

  8. I split my vote, two to Labour and one to Lib Dem. This was based primarily on local addresses (one of them actually lives around the corner from me so I would hope would be interested in the state of the area); partly on instinctive and habitual behaviour (I’ve always voted Labour); and partly on being disillusioned, to an extent, with my traditional party of choice.

    As opposed to some of you we got plastered with leaflets and personal letters, from Labour and Lib Dem. Got a personalised letter from Red Ken which was lovely(!) Noticeably no mention of Blair from Labour though. We even got a leaflet from the Greens, but it didn’t arrive until this morning by which point I was in too much of a rush to read it. The point is I actually started to get a bit annoyed by the sheer amount of paper coming through my door. We’re in Brunswick Park by the way.

  9. Aah i think Brunswick Park is marginal hence all the interest. Whereas Camberwell Green is pretty much solid Labour so i think they beleive they can forget about us — although maybe they’ll get a shock this year!

  10. God I hope so Hannah. That would give us the fast track to regeneration and renewal.

  11. Southwark as the gay capital of the country???!!! I wonder how the clientele of The Silver Buckle would feel about that?

    We do have my local, though, The Old Dispensary, so maybe that councillor is on to something. Not that I mind the ambience, it’s very pleasant in there, it’s just that £3.25 for a pint of Staropramen must be the dearest pint in London. Outrageous!

  12. So, a quick exit poll of this blog’s readers indicates that the Greens win! If only we all lived in the same ward and were representative of voters as a whole…

    Re: the gay capital of England; Vauxhall’s in Lambeth, not Southwark!

  13. Afraid not Lord Henry, Staropramen is £3.35 a pint in the Grand Union by Westbourne Park, has a beer garden on the canal though. Voted Green.

  14. As a pedallist I would have voted green, Camberwell green obviously, but Southwark mislaid my & my partner’s electoral registrations. I voted for Tatchell when Hughes got in. Although Tatchell was embarrassing, mincing around on his old bike with a basket in front, and was outrageously gay which was a wind-up at the time, that pompous Hughes now looks daft. Tatchell has balls. I am a veteran of Duckie. Perhaps Amy Lamee should stand.

  15. Dagmar — I agree despite the bad press Tatchell gets I think he’s a pretty sound bloke with his heart in the right place — but the tabloids do like an easy target — especially one who wears his/her sexuality on their sleeve

  16. Hi,

    The Green Party scored a tremendous breakthrough success last night, and won one seat in South Camberwell last night, and were close with the other two in that ward.

    A large campaign was mounted there, and much work was also done in Brunswick Park and Camberwell Green, amongst other places (but this is a camberwell blog).

    Someone mentioned ‘crusty middle class’ in relation one of the Green candidates going to Dulwich College — the candidate in question actually went there on a scholarship from a poor background, for only less than two years, lived on a council estate, and thereafter was in the worst state schools in the area.

    The Green Party leafletting in Brunswick Park, which someone referred to, was generally done earlier than 4th May! Due to ill health, and few smaller areas were delayed in their leafletting.

    It should be noted that Peter Tatchell, who was mentioned in this threat is a member of the Green Party.

    There was no agreement between the Green Party and any other party in Southwark; in fact the Green Party stood a full slate of candidates in the same ward as Respect, Independents, and the socialist alternative.

    The budget for these local elections in Southwark is unrelated to the previous general election effort in Lewisham (for Darren Johnson) (which someone insinuated above).

    It should never be thought a vote for the Green Party is a wasted vote — the only wasted vote is one exercised for something you don’t believe in.

  17. Dagmar — Is there any possibility your votes were stolen? This appears to have happened in a number of places — someone applies for a postal vote using the name of a genuine voter, and the vote is sent not to you but to a completely different address.

  18. The Green party guy called around the other night and was talking about the party’s recent achievements.
    He was a bit disorganised and failed to find a leaflet in his bag, although he did have one for the conservatives in there.

    Ah well…

  19. Thanks, Carole, I will take this up with Southwark who are sending me & partner registration forms. What a night. We have a 7 week old baby. On top of that, election chaos — I think you meant thread, not threat, oll. I was looking through the thread to see how Tatchell and the Greens had been threatened. I agree, Eusebiovic, Tatchell was too much at that time — still is, in some ways — he is a wild colonial boy. It annoyed me at the time that he squandered the Labour seat, because apart from being a bit green, I am dyed in the wool Labour, a welfare state kid. Hughes is responsible, I agree, if a bit dry — but like Prescott criticising Norris for his affairs, Hughes pointed the finger at Tatchell. Talking of Norris, I was in the Vineyard restaurant once and Norris and his tory-boy entourage came in — they stared at us, they were vile. Let us not doubt it, the Conservative Party is vile, it is a cauldron of snakes. It wasn’t always like that. And now Blair has shuffled in all the Blairites. Chaos. Blair has not been so bad — but when he comes bleating on the telly, I think, this is George Orwell’s 1984. Ruth Kelly! Agh! The bonkers Christian right. Agh! Still, Labour did OK in Southwark. The Labour councillors are good sorts and well suited to their patch. But what with Iraqi binge-drinkers killing people in Leicester Square, Blair soon to be beatified and everyone working till they’re 80 if they’re lucky, I think it’s no wonder me and our 3 year old go seeking wisdom in the pile of subsoil in Lucas gardens.

  20. Dagmar — I would never vote Tory but the Labour Party is a bit like a post-modern form of Disraeli Conservatism — Thatcherite conservatism is the bastard offspring of American Republicanism and we need not elaborate further there — We have no alternatives except the half-hearted,ill-focussed Liberal Party and the Greens who although well meaning haven’t yet built up the momentum or made the significant progress that I would of expected by now — How long will it take people to realise we need a good 15–20% Green representation in parliament to at least start to make some progress?

  21. I just read the Green Party manifesto and fear my heart has grown too old and bitter to buy into their economic ideals. Then again, just tonight I was complaining about the loud music in the pub.…help me!

  22. Go and commune with the pile of subsoil in Lucas Gardens while it exists. There have been great doings there. Men with hydraulic diggers. My 3‑year-old daughter and I are fascinated. Also, I have seen crusty anarchist-looking people going over the railings at night and found a tent peg by the far wall. I wonder if they have “happenings” there. I knew a mad old hippy once who did the same in Kew Gardens, lunatic frisbee by the light of the moon.

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