Gio: How he became a Tory

KAPOW! Interesting talk with Giovanni Spinella, the comic book councillor from Frognal this week. He reckons geeky superhero lovers are usually left wing or have no politics at all and he bites his lip at conventions when he really wants to be arguing back.

He told me there were three reasons that helped him get active in the local Conservative group in Camden:

1. During his upbringing in Italy left wing simply meant communism and links to the Soviet Union.

2. He says he has a romance for the underdog, drawn to the Tories in the wake of William Hague’s election pounding in 2001.

3. Chris Philp.

Number three reveals how the former Camden councillor who was 42 votes from beating Glenda Jackson in Hampstead and Kilburn at last May’s general election influenced. When the Tories shared power in Camden with the Liberal Democrats, cabinet posts went to the old hands: Andrew Marshall, Andrew Mennear, Mike Greene and Martin Davies – men who had been waiting for years for an opportunity to see what the power benches felt like. Philp,  however, has brought on a new breed of activist. They love him, they were inspired by him, they want to be like him. If Conservatives find themselves with a crook of control in Camden again – and Gio doesn’t discount it – it will be interested to see which of Philp’s disciples move to the front.

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