I’ve just seen the first leaflet from Labour’s by-election candidate for St Peter’s & North Laine, Tom French.
Does Tom offer any new ideas for the area or the city? No.
Does he use misleading statistics to support his candidacy? Yes!
Rather than quote figures from the last council elections, recent council by-elections in neighbouring wards or even the recent Parliamentary results in the constituency the ward is in, he comes up with a new metric… Tom aggregates the general election vote across the three constituencies (and thus includes the parts of Lewes district in Brighton Kemptown) to suggest Labour are in a close second place. If that’s how any of these elections worked – maybe, but that figure is of no relevance to anyone as it’s not restricted to the Brighton & Hove municipal boundary, it was for a different electoral arrangement and resulted in Labour winning no MPs whilst the Greens did win one.
Tom also writes that he’s “stood shoulder to shoulder with students, teachers and parents against the cuts in Higher Education” – which is intriguing given that the cuts higher education institutions in this city have experienced so far were all brought in by the Labour government.
Tom – You just can’t walk away from Labour’s record of 13 years in government nationally and over a decade on the local council.
And sadly calling Labour the opposition to the Tories is demonstrably untrue. I’ve sat in the council chamber and seen Labour vote with the Conservatives to end our committee system, award themselves additional allowances, to support health privatisation, curtail councillor speaking rights and much more.
Greens will keep putting forward positive proposals, such as for 20mph residential streets, and we’ll fight elections on the back of our ideas for the future. Let’s have a battle of ideas – that’s what would benefit this city at election times.