You there under the parasol? I’m the one trade unionists want to be Mayor

CL-4GIuWwAAvUFxDavid Lammy Camden FourANYTHING David Lammy can do in the race to be Labour’s mayoral candidate, Tessa Jowell will at least try to do better. And so, just a couple of weeks after David Lammy’s press team itself released pictures of their man busking about HS2 to a crowd outside Euston station lost in their Pret egg and cress, Team Tessa tweets a picture of her recent garden party visit to Hampstead, which dispenses of the usual gallery of rent-a-smilers and reveals an audience looking strangely sapped of the go-go energy her campaign is said to be inspiring. Are we witnessing the end of Campbellian photo op stagecraft in preference for the sleepy reality? Twice is a coincidence, but if it happens again we’ve a trend on our hands, an anti-spin movement. Let’s embrace it.

Meanwhile, top Tessa cheerleader Mike Katz, the former Camden councillor, has done his bit to get her over the line. In an article for the Huffington Post, he declares Tony Blair’s former culture secretary as the trade unionist’s choice for mayor. Mike, who is also backing Liz Kendall to be Labour’s national leader, declares his credentials for such a claim from the start: “As a former trade union officer and now a member of Unison London region’s Labour Link committee…”

The article has nonetheless led to a few shaking heads in sections of the left wing of the party; i.e. those enjoying the Corbyn summer who feel there are better placed people to speak for the unions than anybody ‘out for Kendall’. And in Camden, the story of Mike’s shock council de-selection in Kilburn two summers ago has been mischievously recalled once or twice since the Huff Po pressed publish last week. He had hardly been a slacker during at the Town Hall, but in what insiders said was a mini-win for the lefty left – albeit with scant few people at the actual selection meeting – Mike was replaced by UNITE press officer and Morning Star journalist Douglas Beattie. From the unpredictable territory of ‘Red Kilburn’, the whisper emanates in recent days: “Why didn’t Huff Po ask Doug who trade unionists want to be Mayor?”


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