WE must get to Brighton, for Labour members are already there getting their first taste of conference under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. But down the coast a wee bit, the Greens are still in Bournemouth, trying to be heard. If they can’t get the interest of mainstream channels, then perhaps it’s not surprising that they are willing to go down other routes to have their message shared. And so, outside the conference centre, up the hill, Sian Berry, the party’s London mayoral candidate (and Highgate councillor), can be found talking to the ‘Artist Taxi Driver’ YouTube channel, rather than the BBC or Sky News. She is actually asked how she expects the media to handle the City Hall elections next year and here she accuses London’s paper, the Evening Standard, of not being willing to say anything negative about Zac Goldsmith, the favourite to run for the Tories.
“The Evening Standard won’t say a word against him, which is interesting and worrying,” says Sian, who is due on the main conference stage later today. “They definitely pride themselves on being influential at the election. They’ve been quite balanced about the other candidates but for instance when they [the Green Party] selected me I made a speech in which I said bad things about the other candidates – did they report a word I said against Zac? No, they didn’t. The fact he’s voted against renewable energy, voted against welfare cuts in parliament, I mentioned those things, but you won’t find that in the Standard. So, it does seem like he is being anointed by the Establishment.”
Later in the filmed interview, Sian claims that Sadiq Khan is already disappointing the Jeremy Corbyn supporters who backed him to run for Labour, and that he is risking handing her left-wing votes with this apparent betrayal. “It’s a move to the right, he’s definitely distancing himself from Corbyn,” she says. “He’s alienating his potential support base. People who joined the party because of Corbyn want a candidate in this election. He ought to be that candidate, but he’s letting them down, so a lot of them are saying ‘we will vote for Sian then’ – which is great.”
WE ARE SO PERFECT
BRIEFLY occupied by UKIP campaigners in April, the nesting spot outside Waitrose in Finchley Road has been re-taken by the Conservatives. Yesterday, local organiser David ‘D-Dog‘ Douglas was among the crew manning the street stall and greeting passers-by… wearing his prized W.A.S.P. t-shirt. A what t-shirt? A huge heavy metal fan, the heavily-tattoo’d D-Dog is a fan of the band W.A.S.P., screeching noisemakers from the 1980s. What the group’s founder Blackie Lawless thought the acronym stood for is apparently a never-ending debate among collectors.
Not being a fan of people playing guitars up at eleven and singers shouting themselves hoarse, I had to check Wikipedia for the answer. There you will find no definitive answer, although we learn that, over the years, strong candidates have included: We Are So Perfect, We Are So Powerful, We All Smoke Pot, We’re All Side Players…. the list of suggestions goes on, getting more charming as it does…. We Are Satan’s People, We Are Satan’s Preachers, We Are Sexual Perverts, and last and definitely least, We Appreciate Stinky Puss.
The grans popping into Waitrose for a chocolate twist can’t have known where to look.
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