New Politics and the Tulse Hill Situation

Just when you thought that policies and progression were back on the South London agenda, the Tulse Hill Situation has thrown up a clumsy press release from the Lambeth Conservatives, and a horrid, vile piece of political posturing from those naughty @LambethLibDems.

The unwanted by-election in Tulse Hill has caught all three main politcal parties on the back foot. The Blue Rinse lot in the Rotten Borough are playing the patriotic card, putting up an “Iraq War Hero” at the ballot box on July 1st.

“Iraq War hero Will Blackburn, who served as an officer in the Territorial Army during the immediate aftermath of the invasion in 2003, is the Conservative candidate for the Tulse Hill Ward by-election on Thursday 1st July.”

The campaign picture looks more like an army careers leaflet, with Blackburn pictured standing next to a TA recruitment banner. The Tulse Hill electorate are being asked to vote for a local politician, not to sign up as cannon fodder.

Lambeth Coservatives

The presser continues:

“Voters demanded an immediate by-election after a newly re-elected Labour councillor was arrested and bailed, by a specialist unit of the Metropolitan Police, on allegations of downloading material from pay-for-view child abuse pornography web sites. The Labour councillor had resigned after just 17 days in office — a new record for Lambeth.”

Um, actually, no. The voters of Tulse Hill didn’t demand an immediate by-election. The Tulse Hill Situation was created after the resignation of Toren Smith, *at the request* of @LamabethLabour.

Overlooking the whole legal minefield of innocent until proven guilty (not to mention sub judice,) but being asked by your local party to resign is a far cry from the Tory interpretation of voters demanding an immediate by-election.

Oh – and well done Lambeth Tories for adding extra information into the public domain, purely for the purpose of making a clumsy political point. The original press release has since been edited, with the removal of the totally irrelevant wording that the previous councillor is “unmarried.”

Same old Tories, eh?

“On completing his tour of duty in April 2004, Will returned to working in software publishing and now concentrates on using technology to deliver savings and efficiency in local government throughout the United Kingdom.”

And so six years on after being a war hero, Blackburn now tries to save cash for local councils. He should go down a storm in the Rotten Borough.

Looking over the shoulder of the Lambeth Tories and those mischievous @LambethLibDems have confused the possibility for political debate with a vile and disgusting mud slinging opportunity.

The election leaflet below represents a new low for Lambeth electioneering – and that really is saying something.


The Tulse Hill Situation should be an opportunity to work out how we can progress forward with positive policies within Lambeth. It is widely accepted that the massive 44 43 42 seat win by @LambethLabour on May 6th was helped along significantly with the timing of the General Election.

Voters came out en masse to endorse @chukaumunna and Kate Hoey, adding a tribal cross to the rightwing local @LambethLabour party at the same time.

But the electorate in Tulse Hill is now able to look at the #hyperlocal issues, and see exactly which direction the borough should move forward with. Should Lambeth Living (and it’s Chair, Keith Hill) be allowed to continue? What are the implications of the planned four hundred redundancies from council services? And what the chuffers is a co-operative council?

Meanwhile, our friends from @LambethLabour have been busy doing the #labourdoorstep thing once again. Which is something of a surprise, seeing as though the arrogant new Chief Whip stated at Full Council that:

“Labour will win Tulse Hill, so what is the point of an interim independent seat?”

But the party has been rolling out the big guns, with Ken Livingstone walking around his old stomping ground, eager to handshake the first friendly face he can find in SW2.

I wonder if Ken has actually read the #lambethcoop White Paper? With invites from the Corporate Policy Team for “interested partners,” it’s not exactly progressive. But the photo opp of Ken back in his home patch suits both @LambethLabor, and Ken, in his quest to become Mayor of London once again.

As for the ageing Britpop drummer doing the political meet ‘n greet, not to mention the *gosh* Deputy Prime Minister walking around the mean streets of Tulse Hill, and you can see how all of a sudden, the political classes are scrambling around for our votes with some eagerness once again.

Dave Rowntree

And so war heroes, mud-slinging and photo opportunities – I do hope that the good people of Tulse Hill end up with a local councillor that can serve their #hyperlocal needs, and not the self-interest of the respective party machines.

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