In a quite magical display of English usage, The Evening Cancer announced yesterday: “A former Bristol city councillor, who was paralysed from the waist down after a motorbike accident, has failed in his bid to stand for election as an MP.”
Instead Bristol North West Labour Constituency Party members have opted for the charms of Sam Townend who coyly tells the local press he’s “a lawyer from Hackney”.
Leaving aside the fact that according to the Labour Party nobody in Bristol is up to the job of representing the city in Westminster, for some reason Sam is not being entirely honest about his background here.
This ever so ‘umble lawyer from Hackney – perhaps earning a small crust from legal aid work for the downtrodden citizens of the UK’s poorest borough? – is no such fucking thing. He’s actually a – wait for it – Cambridge educated barrister, specialising in corporate law, living in the rather more charming and upmarket environs of Southwark!
Although despite his expensive education, Sam doesn’t seem to be too sure where he actually lives at the moment. On his crappy little Bristol North West campaign website he seems to be suggesting he lives in Henleaze, which is one helluva commute every day to his barristers’ chambers in the Temple district of the City of London.
No doubt the fact he has “established a home” in Bristol will come as good news to his constituents in Princes Ward, Lambeth where he’s supposed to have been representing them as a councillor for the last year. And no doubt too they’ll be over the moon to learn that Sam’s so committed to the interests of Princes Ward and Lambeth that he spent the recent local elections campaigning in Bristol for them!
Of course any suggestion that Sam might be another dodgy carpetbagging Labour lawyer out for himself is entirely preposterous. There’s no evidence at all here to suggest that if he’s elected in Bristol he’d spend all his time in London focusing on his career in Westminster is there? You need only look at Bristol East’s Labour lawyer, Kerry McCarthy, to know that would never happen. Ever.
As for the long-suffering residents of Avonmouth, Lawrence Weston and Southmead what hope is there for them? Their choice for elected representatives at the next election is currently between career politician Charlotte Leslie, 29, MA Classics, Balliol College, Oxford or career politician Samuel Townend, 31, MA History, Trinity College, Cambridge.
What’s the difference? Both are posh, rich, live and work in London and both share the innate belief along with their respective parties – inculcated at their privileged and elitist Oxbridge colleges – that they have some divine right to rule over us.
Don’t let ’em!