Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"Away and vandalize some phone boxes"*

Last couple of days, managers of the Labour Party Conference and the political editors of the broadsheets have been contenting themselves with the heightened focus on this particular scion of the Old Left**, but I'm more tickled with the news that 17 year old, Emily Benn, has been selected by the East Worthing and Shoreham Constituency Labour Party to be their parliamentary candidate for the coming General Election. Yep, the grandaughter of Tony and niece of that nice Mr. Benn the Younger.

No snidey or sarky comments at my end. I'll leave the apoplectic blogging rage to Mr. Class War 'cos, in truth, her acceptance statement is no more anodyne and generalised than similar type acceptance statements from Labour Party hacks three times her age (see what I mean). And however much Mr Bone's blogging rage is a mighty fine sight to behold at the best of times, I'll get a bigger buzz from sniffing out the blogging envy from such career politicos as L & K.

Just one minor quibble, though: from looking at the selection winning photo above, couldn't her election agent have ensured that she put down her pez dispenser before being photographed?

*Random quote from 'Gregory's Girl' (currently on my mind 'cos the DVD is currently on top of the tv. You either get the reference or you don't). Footnotes are not the place for seven paragraph explanations.

**Roll out Dave O's quip about Ralph Miliband, and his two sons, David (and Ed): "Ralph Miliband devoted his life to making the theoretical case for the proposition that Labour has nothing to offer the working class. David Miliband has devoted his life to proving it."


Duncan Money said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Duncan Money said...

I'm now waiting for the first journalist to ask her the following series of questions:

What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? And, how can we get rid of you?

Now that it's probable his grand-daughter will become an MP it's too tempting not to explain Tony Benn's own politics as an echo of the feudal system reacting against modern capitalism...

Darren said...


It'd be a bit harsh asking a political newcomer those questions. I mean; has her Grandad ever satisfactorily answered his own questions? ;-)

Do you honestly think she has a chance of getting elected in East Worthing at the next election? I bet Labour's never won that seat . . . not even way back in the sunshine days of '97.

I think the local CLP had the luxury of selecting such a novel candidate - with the added cache of her family name - because they already knew it was never going to be a winnable seat for Labour.

It has generated a bit of publicity, helping the local Party and maybe even giving it an injection of energy and enthusiasm for its election campaign. When you read the stories of the empty shell like existance of many local Labour Parties, you have to admit it might just be a canny bit of politicking on their part.

As I mentioned in the post, I refuse to take the piss too much. Her acceptance statement was no more cringeworthy and cheesy as other similar type acceptance statements posted on the net in recent months. It was the usual mixture of platitudes and Labour Party HQ press release

As people have mentioned elsewhere on hearing this news, the general public and the political class can't always complain that teenagers are disengaged from party politics, and then bring into sharp focus their youth and lack of life experience when young politicos actually put themselves forward to be candidates.

I'm sure you have already spotted a whole swathe of future Labour Party hacks at your University . . . and I'm sure the rest of us will see t a fair few number of them in public life 10/15 years from now.

Emily Benn has just happened to steal a march on them by a few years. And, if nothing else, it will look great on her college application. ;-)