Sunday file 10/11/13: Ed’s umbrella, Mensch’s attack on Hampstead voters

Posting here on Sunday nights, bits and pieces, tweets and links that didn’t make a full post during the week.

* ED Miliband crossed the borough boundary into Haringey on Saturday where, in another sign of just how much Labour will target Lib Dem Lynne Featherstone at the next election, he set up a soapboax in Crouch End Broadway – in the rain – to chew on about energy prices. If you don’t know Crouch End, it’s a determinedly tube-free crossroads on the way to Ally Pally which likes to see itself as one of London’s cutesy little villages… with its village Starbucks, its village Costa, its village Kentucky Fried Chicken, its village Virgin Active gym and three supermarkets next to each other.

The election over there is relevant to Camden and other surrounding boroughs because there will be loud calls to send activists to the Hornsey and Wood Green from inside the Labour and Lib Democrat parties, redirecting energy from contests that seem more clear cut. Why for instance, would you spend too much time in Holborn and St Pancras if you’re a Lib Dem, if you can have a more direct effect on protecting Lynne in Haringey. The same applies for Labour people who may think Catherine West will need more of a hand than a Labour candidate in H&St P. It should be a close run thing in Haringey, but Catherine, the former Islington Council leader, to seek a bigger role than Ed’s umbrella carrier as election day grows nearer:

* FROM the same event, can we expect to see Miliband doing a Caroline Lucas and wearing one of the distinctive ‘No To Page Three’ t-shirts to class? Lucas was told to put a coat over hers when she wore one to a parliamentary committee earlier this year. Ed apparently asked for one of his own on Saturday:

* SUDDEN attack on NW3 voters from former MP Louise Mensch. In her Sun on Sunday column – yup, one of the MPs who quizzed James and Rupert Murdoch on the CMS select committee in 2011 now has her own page in the SoS – Louise says the way to stop immigration is to cut down on the benefits that are apparently luring everyone in. Her analysis: “The Government needs to understand that it’s the snobby, wealthy, liberal voters living in Hampstead who are against tightening the benefits system dramatically. Those most in favour of it are the natural Labour voters their party has left behind — working-class men and women with pride and ethics who work hard in supermarkets, factories and warehouses to feed their families, then see others getting a cosy lifestyle handed to them on a plate. The resentment is epic.” There you go, blame Hampstead.

* THERE was a bit of a jamboree when Camden Council, with unquantifiable pride, unveiled their cycle lane in Royal College Street sectioned off the tyre-armadillos and flower box. A nice idea, but few weeks after the party, as Lib Dem cycling champion’s Paul Braithwaite’s pictures show, two of them have already taken a battering, presumably from cars.


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