YOU don’t have to work for the Guardian newspaper to stand for the Green party in north London, but it looks like it helps.
The candidate lists in Camden and Islington reveal at least three of the newspaper’s team are on the slate for election this Thursday. By working at its offices in King’s Cross, any regular member of staff can stand in the Islington elections with the rule that working in the borough is enough of a qualification. It’s the same rule that, in Camden, allows Labour’s Abdul Hai to be a councillor and indeed the Town Hall’s crime chief despite living in south London.
So, journalist Susanna Rustin stands for the Greens in Highbury East, even though her home address on the candidate statement is listed as being in Westminster, where she stood for the Greens in the 2009 by-election. She wrote about that past adventure for her paper, explaining: “I am convinced we need a more pluralist system, with a greater range of opinions represented – and with the world still deep in denial about global warming, the Green party seemed the best place to start.”
Also on the council election slate in Islington is Ozoda Muminova, the Guardian’s ‘deputy head of insight’, while on the Camden side, Dominic Kendrick, a software developer on the paper’s website and – commiserations Theo Blackwell and John Bryant – the best beard on the ballot paper, stands in King’s Cross.
Bloomsbury candidate Dee Searle has the newspaper on her CV too, as, of course, does the national Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, who is standing in the Holborn and St Pancras parliamentary constituency next year. She edited the Guardian weekly, a digest for audiences overseas, for five years up until 2012
It should all make things very interesting when the top brass ask for a show of hands over whether to support the Lib Dems again at next year’s general election.