A lot of high value election entertainment to be had over in the inner city at the moment. Labour’s Lawrence Hill candidate Bush Rat Ali, the Photoshop faker (Blogger passim) has already added considerably to the city’s mirth levels with an election performance so inept that even a turkey would probably vote for Christmas rather than him.
The Bush Rat’s behaviour comes as little surprise to many locals, however. Apparently he’s been running around Easton acting the arse for some time now. Indeed his relations with sitting Easton Lib Dem councillor Abdul “The Mayor” Malik have degenerated to the point where community leaders are considering stepping in to ‘mediate’. (For those of you not familiar with a ‘community leader’, that’s any old boy with a beard who’s prepared to agree with whatever a local politician says)
Obviously these two titans of local politics are engaged in a pitiless battle of ideas for the hearts and minds of East Bristol’s masses. Such ideological concerns as whether, er… Bush Rat the local jeweller’s 4×4 is better than Malik’s the local butcher are high on the agenda as is the ongoing row over who’s got the most expensive shiny suit.
Sod the mediation with these two chancers says The Blogger. Just set up a boxing ring on St Marks Road and let ’em slug it out. They’d be pretty evenly matched – both are useless with the left and I’m sure they could sell a lot of tickets. Maybe they could use the money to employ some more liberal community workers to take them seriously?
Or perhaps they should settle their differences quietly with a spelling contest? Bush Rat “Working for Britin” Ali who can’t spell the country he lives in vs Abdul “The Mayor” Malik who can’t spell the name of the school he’s supposed to manage:
Abdul Malik, register of members’ interests
Quite a contest.
At least Bush Rat’s cretinous behaviour should mean he’s blown any chance he had of winning in Lawrence Hill and saved the city from the major embarrassment of having him sat in the council chamber as the Labour Party, for some reason, would like. This should have been a tight contest with Lib Dem Sue O’Donnell sitting on a majority of just 97. It’s her seat to lose now.
Next door in Easton there still remains a fascinating contest. The ward is held by John Kiely the Lib Dem Executive member for social services who has recently tried to privatise the home care service in the city. This has brought in “I’m the daddy” Beynon’s home care workers by the truck load campaigning hard on Labour’s behalf as well as Jerry Hick’s Respect Party bandwagon that came a very good second in Lockleaze last year.
There’s a lot of wild claims knocking around this ward. Labour claimed a week ago to have 1,500 votes in the bag, Respect 1,000 votes, Kiely’s Lib Dems are confident of victory (1000+ votes) and the Greens, despite not campaigning at all, will get at least 200 votes from daft hippies in Greenbank. This means there’s gonna be 3,700 votes cast today which will involve a highly unlikely 25% odd increase in turnout. Hmmm.
The Labour Candidate in this ward is good value too. Faruk Choudhury has been putting out endless leaflets claiming to be against the war, which must come as good news to Pat Robertson, the solid old Labour former councillor who was deselected by her party from her Avonmouth ward two years ago for expressing the very same views.
Choudhury is also another candidate struggling with the geography of the city. “Welcome to my patch,” he announced to a meeting of home care workers after a “Kiely must go” march through Easton recently. That’s a mighty big patch he’s got then, considering he lives in Cliftonwood and was a stalwart of the Cliftonwood and Hotwells Community Association until recently!
Logic dictates that Kiely should hold this ward as the home care, anti-Kiely vote will be split between Respect and Labour and Kiely’s a good enough campaigner to get his core vote out.
The final inner-city ward is Ashley. Currently held by Lib Dem Shirley Marshall, this ward could be won by Labour, the Lib Dems or, on a good day by the Greens. The incumbent Marshall has barely been seen for months now. Ever since, in fact, she decided to defy almost the whole of Bristol’s black community and join her boss Barbara Janke in backing the city’s embarrassing Abolition 200 celebrations.
This culminated in Marshall holding a ridiculous ‘community meeting’ for the city’s black population which just one person attended. The Coalition of Black Groups, meanwhile, who resisted and boycotted Marshall and Janke’s Abolition celebrations were attracting hundreds to their meetings.
It’s unlikely Marshall will be getting many votes from the black community then. And with Labour fielding a decent-ish black candidate, Ricky Nelson, plus the strong and unpredictable protest/anti-war/socialist vote in the area possibly going to the Green, this contest is wide open.
The Blogger’s certainly not going top try and call it anyway.