Andy McSmith: Ed Miliband's unlikely supporters


Andy McSmith@andymcsmith
Tuesday 31 March 2015 17:26

Leaflets have started dropping through letter boxes in Doncaster North, urging people to vote for their local Labour candidate, Ed Miliband. They feature endorsements from local electors. Community activist Tony Sockett says “I am supporting Ed Miliband on 7 May because I know he is committed to backing the next generation.” This is not wholly surprising, because Tony Sockett used to be a Labour councillor. Retired midwife Cynthia Bunting declares on the same leaflet that she is confident that Ed Miliband will tackle the problems facing the NHS. Again, no surprise. She is a party member whose photograph appeared in the local paper alongside John Prescott after a fundraising dinner in Doncaster.

The endorsement by “working Dad” Adam Davey is less predictable. His Linkedin profile says that he works for Serco. Not many weeks ago, Ed Miliband warned against big companies that dominate the energy market. “Too often large public-sector bureaucracies have been replaced with a large private-sector bureaucracy,” he said. “A Serco-G4S state can be just as flawed as the centralised state.”

Quote of the Day

“Losing your seat is dreadful. It’s a terrible experience. It’s like being fired in front of millions of people, many of whom go on to remind you about it for years. And, whatever the reasons one loses, it hurts and it hurts for years.”

Lembit Opik has not got over losing his seat in Montgomeryshire in 2010.

Interesting that the BBC gave the job of interviewing David Cameron on the Today programme to Sarah Montague. It is not being suggested that she gave the Prime Minister an unnecessarily easy ride, but there is a family link which may have helped put Cameron at his ease. Montague is married to Sir Christoph Brooke, the 12th baronet Brooke, who was at Eton with Cameron – they are just three months apart in age. The couple were among the guests at the party the Camerons’ Christmas party at Chequers three months ago.

Wally of the Day

Scott Wood, Conservative candidate in Sedgefield, County Durham, has contacted the Northern Echo with a message headed “(NAME MP/candidate) welcomes increased funding for school buildings in (constituency).” When using a template supplied by party headquarters, you are supposed to insert your details in place of the words in brackets.

Jeremy Zeid, UKIP candidate in Hendon, north London, is furious that sentiments which he thought he was confiding to Facebook ‘friends’ have turned up on a website run by the anti-racist group, Hope Not Hate. He had written a tirade against Barack Obama, suggesting that when the President leaves office, Israel should kidnap him and “lock the bastard up”, as they once kidnapped the Nazi mass murderer, Adolf Eichmann. When these sentiments met the light of day, Zeid resigned. Then he wrote another polemic, also leaked to the same website, denouncing “the sneak, the squealer, the ‘informer’, the parasitic tapeworm infesting the bowel of society” who leaked his initial post.

The Hendon UKIP branch must have had an inkling that their candidate was about to combust, because they had a replacement at the ready and no sooner had Zeid quit than they were welcoming their new candidate, Dr Raymond Shamash, a local dentist.

Phobia of the Day

For all their mutual antipathy, it emerges that David Cameron and Ed Balls have a common fear of rats. Cameron admitted his antipathy to the rodents during an interview with Heat magazine, and Balls has since told the Evening Standard that he “can’t even look at them.”

To me, it is a peculiar thing for a married couple to do, to use the social media to congratulate each other on their wedding anniversary. But, each to his own. George Galloway, Respect candidate in Bradford West, married his fourth wife, Gayatri Pertiwi, on 31 March 2012, two days after his sensational win in the Bradford West by-election. This greatly upset the father of his third wife, who thought Galloway’s third marriage was till operative. Galloway was then 58, Pertiwi was 27. They are still together. “Happy Anniversary to my brilliant beautiful wife. Many more God-willing,” he tweeted yesterday. “Happy Anniversary to my husband, father of my son, my soulmate,” she replied.

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