Saturday, 10 April 2010

Suzanne Moore: Unlike Abbott, my kids have gone to school here

I'm not sure how widely read the Mail on Sunday will be in Hackney North and Stoke Newington. Here's Suzanne Moore's piece about why she's standing against Diane Abbott: Something's got to change... that's why I'm standing for Parliament.

The story gets more interesting toward the end.

Suzanne says she could have gone for an easier target than Diane Abbott but: "In the past, vague overtures have been made to me for a safe Labour seat. For me this is another indictment of the current system. Why on earth should someone like me be super-imposed on some Northern town I have never been to? I am sure people have enough problems without some pretend local claiming to represent them. Is it naive to think you should know the place where you stand for election?"

She said: "I know my patch and I love where I live. I also know how unglamorous the problems are: poverty, unemployment, crime, a general feeling of lives closed down before they have properly started. Unlike Abbott, my kids have gone to school here. She has been an MP for 23 years and is now part of the Establishment. Change is needed."

But there wasn't much detail about what she wanted to happen in Hackney.

She said that there is "huge anger among voters, which is wrongly mistaken for apathy". In Hackney North and Stoke Newington, less than half of voters voted in 2005 and 2001 and just over half (52%) voted in 1997 and 63% in 1992. So Hackney North has been getting pretty apathetic/angry.

She said: "This is fundamentally DIY politics and I am learning every day. For as jaded as I may be, I am seeing that the process of democracy is alive if not well. In finding out how to stand I realise that we are made to think that becoming a candidate is incredibly difficult. It is not."


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  2. Look, I love Suzanne Moore. She nails it every week - I wish I could do it as insightfully and precisely as she does.

    But I don't understand her decision to run against Diane Abbot. While I'm lukewarm about Diane as my MP, she's hardly "part of the machine".

    Suzanne knows she's got a huge mountain to climb if she's going to defeat Diane. Sorry, but identity politics will trump her anti-establishment platform.

    Suzanne have a much better chance running as one of the local councillors. If she ran in my ward, she'd probably get top vote. Serious.

    There is more opportunity to change, this time, at the local level. If she wants to overthrow an entrenched regime, she needs look no further than our insanely dysfunctional council.

    Is that the point - that she might actually win a council seat and have masses of constituent problems to deal with?

    Maybe I'm an old cynic - but I think she's taken the easy way out.

  3. PS

    She could have blown the doors of the Mayor of Hackney race.

    Suzanne Moore, Mayor of Hackney, has a nice ring to it.

    I'd would have volunteered to be her malcolm Tucker.

  4. Take your point but its not feeling easy way out at moment! Will get specifics to all soon but also need to raise some dosh.
    Who would have thought it all comes down to money...cue some Tucker type swearing.
    And Dear Blood if I can call you that there is a bit more to me than shoes and hair. I hope.

  5. Kris, I'm sure you're right. I've got a nasty exam tomorrow so my mind is not on this. Suzanne, apologies for the hair and shoes reference - probably a bit unfair and 15 years old. I was hoping you might have time to answer some questions - once I've thought of some.

  6. Not a problem! Have to learnt to live with it. You take time with your questions and I may even have some answers. So get in touch and also anyone else who wants to help please do too.