Beaten in Belsize, but Piers can still tell you: ‘How To Win A Local Election’

piersWITH conference season at a close, one of the things I keep being told is: ‘I bet you wish you had gone to the Ukip one, that looked like a lot of fun’.

Needless to say, this is a reference to the quite daft turn of events where Ukip’s Godfrey Bloom crunched Channel 4’s Michael Crick on the head with a conference brochure after being doorstepped by news cameras, soon after calling women ‘sluts’. When people suggested that was a bit rude, his press aide insisted we all didn’t know what the difference between sluts and slags were.

It all led to Nigel Farage having a mini-meltdown on stage about Godfrey’s media-distracting free-styling (…you can re-live it all in the clip below).

wauchope2Yet, beside the circus quality to it, if I’d scored a press pass, I would also have been able to see Piers Wauchope, the former leader of Camden’s Conservatives who moved to Kent and joined Ukip, lead a workshop fringe meeting titled: How To Win A Local Election.

Elected in Tunbridge Wells with a purple and yellow rosette, he presumably skated quickly over the 2006 council elections in Camden where a strategy to plunge manpower into winning seats from Labour in Gospel Oak allowed the Lib Dems to snatch his own ward of Belsize. He lost his seat, bringing down the curtain on his lively spell as a councillor in our neck of the wood. And it meant just as his party, as it was back then, had helped prise Labour out of office in Camden (after 40 frustrated years), he was forced to hand over the reins to somebody else. Twas almost Shakespearian.


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