Just before the Manchester bomb went off, and the UK scene changed, I and 300 other Putney voters went to the local hustings in the non Conformist church in Werter Road. The street where ,at different times, poets Swinburne and Laurie Lee once lived is now dominated by Sainsburys.
The six candidates are Tory, Labour, LibDem, UKIP, Green and a glorious Independent. You paid your money. Justine Greening is our long standing popular Tory MP and for many years a successful minister. She looked the part, she becomes better groomed and better dressed with every year in power, it was ever thus. That night started as part of black Monday for the Tories as their election procession was turning, with its social care U turn, into a car crash . She handled it reasonably well, she is always sensible and caring rather than charismatic.
Labour had obviously decided Putney was a no win. Dr Neeraj Patel ,an A&E consultant, waved his hands, talked too fast, clapped enthusiastically,called us his friends and addressed questioners as honourable. When questioned on immigrants in the NHS he tried to make the case that immigrants did it for the good of their home economies. Sending money home. Forgetting the personal advantages of earning £100k plus as a consultant .
Liberals had a plausible boy David, he made jokes,he took off his jacket, he felt like some one who had gone from university politics into NGOs and was starting his political career in a no hope seat. His joke that living for a year in the constituency was an example of multi culturalism, some of his neighbours were from North of the River. How we laughed. His claim that multi culturalism was only positive would within hours be painfully farcical.
The Greens really do make you sit up. They were putting up a deaf and blind(I kid you not) computer genius. Unfortunately he could not be with us, but if he had been he would have to talk to us through an interpreter. His spokeswoman told us that he was the first with such disadvantages to stand for parliament, what, this is the start of a trend? I’m not sure if we have had any dumb amputees stand before, come on you Greens.
UKIP’s lady we had seen before, she told us her mediocre life story more than once, language teacher, journalist, consultant. Somewhere this had led to a Damascene UKIP moment. So what?
And so we come to the star turn Lotta Quizeen. If the cheers of the audience win elections she is a shoe in. A big and glamorous lady, smart with big hair and a big nicely exposed chest. Rather like the bossy one in Are You Being Served. Her slogan “They Brexit, I’ll Fixit.” Being nice to shop assistants, saying hello in Waitrose, Aga not Lager were her slogans. “Vote Lotta and Bring Sensible Back.” When asked her qualifications she said, ”I look after Hugo my son,he loves his pizzas and he is 33.” I may work for Justine but I’m voting Lotta.
Tories must be thanking the suicide bomber for rewriting the election agenda.