‘Chicken run, my arse’ – Labour tightens hold on Greenwich
I’ve been back home an hour and my hands are still cold after a count held in what used to be the David Beckham Academy, in a hall with no heating and plenty of artificial blasts of cool air. Brrrr.
Greenwich Labour upset the pundits and tightened its hold on the borough, knocking out two Tory councillors in Kidbrooke with Hornfair and the borough’s only two Liberal Democrat representatives in Middle Park and Sutcliffe. The general election tsunami surged through the results, nullifying Liberal Democrat challenges in Greenwich West, Tory challenges in Shooters Hill, and the Green challenge which I was a part of in Peninsula.
I personally got 1,066 votes, which I’m really touched about and can’t quite believe I got; but it wasn’t anywhere near enough as the Greens slipped to fourth. Congratulations to incumbents Mary Mills and Dick Quibell, and to newcomer Miranda Williams too. To the victors, the glory; the vanquished, bed after being up for 29 hours.
The Peninsula result was greeted with a cry from council leader Chris Roberts, who switched from marginal-looking Peninsula to safe-as-houses Glyndon last year in a move which ruffled feathers within the local Labour party last year. “Chicken run, my arse, that’s my comment for greenwich.co.uk! Chicken run, my arse!” I turned around to find he was heckling me. Classy stuff.
Actually, over the past 28 hours I’ve met and chatted and gossiped with loads of lovely people from Greenwich Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats – including four hours outside a polling station cracking jokes with Tory opponent Toks Bailey which must have left Greenwich Millennium Village residents wondering what the hell was going on. I also spent some time with a man readers of the blog will know as Mr Glum – my opponent Miranda Williams’ partner. He was actually anything but glum, especially for 7am outside Rathmore Road youth club, and 4am staring at a table of ballot papers…
The Conservatives looked shell-shocked – their hotly-tipped Eltham parliamentary candidate David Gold was surprisingly beaten by Labour incumbent Clive Efford to rub in the pain of a national election night which hadn’t gone as well as they hoped it would. There’s little comfort they can draw from any aspect of this defeat, and the loss of the Liberal Democrat councillors means Greenwich is stuck with one over-mighty ruling party and a weakened opposition, which is no good for anyone. But I came out of the experience having learned a bit too, and I hope the Green campaign added something positive to the process.
In the meantime, I’m just going to have to get used to my street being covered in junk after the bin-men call each Monday, aren’t I?