Morning update 03.04.15: How to get a pint out of Neil Kinnock

morningupdate5GLENDA’S ‘PEOPLE SKILLS’

YOU may have seen in the New Journal that Richard Wilson, the One Foot In The Grave actor, was up at Tulip Siddiq’s campaign headquarters in Kilburn on Wednesday. I asked him what he thought of David Cameron’s use of ‘Hampstead socialist’ as a slight. He wasn’t bothered and said he liked calling fellow Labour colleagues ‘comrades’, and that he had voted for Ed Miliband for the party leadership over David Miliband because he felt the party had moved to the right and Ed would tilt it back the other way. He said Ed had got better and better as the election had got closer, performing particularly well, in his view, in the first TV skirmishes. It should be said this was before the staring eyes thing of last night’s seven-hander on ITV. No equity loyalties, Mr Meldrew made a joke about retiring MP Glenda Jackson’s reputation for being frosty, although the laughter from campaigners came in what he didn’t say, rather than what he did.

Richard Wilson: ‘I’ve met him [Ed Miliband] a couple of times, he’s a really nice guy, but his people skills… We were talking about Glenda and her people skills. 

Group laughs

Richard Wilson: Compare Ed to Glenda, compare Tulip to Glenda, I mean look at that, a smiley…

Tulip politely made a joke about not having two Oscars to ensure that one didn’t go any further.


NOT to suggest in any way that he too readily guzzles the ol’ oom-pah-pah, but regular readers of the New Journal and these pages will be now be aware that Conservative parliamentary candidate Will Blair has a proud encyclopaedic knowledge of Camden’s pub. So the only upside of this week’s dramatic and disruptive fire near his place of work in Holborn for Will was another excuse to see the inside of a pub. Here he gives us, The Ship Inn by candlelight.


20150328_163727LABOUR members also found themselves in a watering hole for a break from canvassing this week, plucking for the Old Ye Swiss Cottage. It wasn’t a quiet pint (or lemonade), however: Neil Kinnock was in there celebrating his birthday, and campaigners were there singing to him: Haaa-ppeee buuurrrf-day, Lord Kinn-nock. A couple of barflies joined in and asked for selfies. But when the former party leader, now living in trendy Tufnell Park, began a long session of windy anecdotes, not all of the regulars were as enthralled as the young Labour tribe. Interrupting one story of election battles past, a punter said: Are you Neil Kinnock?

KINNOCK: Yes I am.
PUNTER: Are you really the Neil Kinnock?
KINNOCK: Yes I am.
PUNTER: I want to talk to you about immigration.
KINNOCK (sticks out hand for handshake): Yes of course, I’m an immigrant.
KINNOCK: I am an immigrant, an immigrant from Wales.

The pair moved to one side, allowing Emily Thornberry, another volunteer from a safe seat, to speak to canvassers. Kinnock bought his gatecrasher a pint, leaving to the words from his new pal: “I’ve never voted Labour but  I will now after meeting you.” At which point, his watching friends checked the alcohol proof on the drinks.


Labour’s Ed Miliband was called a ‘north London geek’, the other day… but gotta ask: do you get more geeky than a ‘leaders debate watch party’:

National debate, local rivals?

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