IF Frank Dobson and Glenda Jackson are apprehensive about what will happen at the polls on Thursday, this picture of an easy win will seem like a faraway place. It’s the photo used in the Camden New Journal‘s coverage from the July 2001 General Election, Blair’s second victory.
The results were so easy to telegraph before the ballot back then, this analysis was demoted to pages 16 and 17. Nobody in seemed really bothered, the status quo expected: Two Labour winners.
A small clue of what was to come in Camden could be found in the Lib Dems polling better than people imagined. Flick Rea, the then leader of the group locally, promised the party would take on the Town Hall. Five years later, its leader was occupying the leader’s office.
While there aren’t a lot of pictures from the count to reminisce about lost haircuts with, there is this colour piece about the Labour celebrations – presumably held a little earlier than 6 am. Sarcky diary writer John Gulliver suggests a massive Labour shindig with celebrities like Harry Enfield and David Baddiel was meant to kick off after the count at the Camden Palace. Dobson and Jackson, apparently took the stage, with only 65 people looking on.
“We stuffed them here, we stuffed them there,” ‘roared’ Frank nevertheless. “We stuffed the Tories everywhere.”
I wonder if they’ve booked the Palace – now called KoKo – for an aftershow celebration this time around. If both MPs are returned again, there will be one heck of a Labour party.