Monday, January 18, 2010

Congratulations Natalie

I don't normally announce candidate selections but I'll make an exception in this case. Camden Green Party have selected Natalie Bennett to stand in the prestigious Holborn and St Pancras seat which, I'm told, got the fourth highest Green vote at the last General Election.

Natalie is the founder of Green Party Women and has been the driving force behind ensuring the Greens nationally have the most progressive abortion rights policy of all the parties, as well as initiating our policies for 40% women on boards, a national rape crisis hotline and our position on gender bias against asylum seekers to name just a few.

She's also a dedicated community campaigner and uses up far too much of her spare time doing thankless tasks as well as being involved in cross party organisations like Keep Our NHS public and the campaign against developers crushing the wishes of her local community.

I asked Natalie whether she is looking forward to the campaign and she said that "I suppose I am, I guess I should be, there will be bits of it I'm looking forward to." She then told me "I wasn't aware I was being quoted, can I have another go at that question?" Sadly there wasn't time.

Natalie's opponents are an interesting bunch. First of all we have sitting MP Frank Dobson. Mr Dobson was health minister during my time in the NHS and didn't particularly cover himself with glory as far as staff were concerned but I suppose the last phase of his ascendancy in politics was when the Labour apparatus used him to stand against Ken Livingstone in the 2000 mayoral elections, in which he was royally trounced and has languished on the backbenches ever since.

We have Tory George Lee who is a very rich man and seems to be bankrolling slick Obama style posters in the area whilst issuing bizarrely awful statements on China killing Camden residents with mental health problems. The Lib Dem candidate, Jo Shaw, who is unlikely to do particularly well has taken to describing herself as the 'shadow MP' much to the derision of the local press.

Anyway, I'm hoping for a strong performance from Natalie who should be able to break that 10% barrier this time round and possibly lay the ground work for Camden becoming a Green target seat in the election after this one.


Joseph said...

Congrats Natalie, good to see a strong progressive candidate standing in Holborn and St Pancras. I used to work in the area for Camden Council so I know that there are some real areas of poverty and deprivation there. I am sure that your journalistic experience will also come in very useful

Natalie Bennett said...

Thanks very much Joseph.

As a resident of Somers Town, with male life expectancy 11 years less than Hampstead's, those deprivation issues are visible to me every day.

Matt Sellwood said...

Here's hoping for a few 10%+ results in North London this time round...!

Congrats on selection, Natalie, you'll be a great candidate.


Natalie Bennett said...

Thanks Matt! I'm sure you'll be joining the 10+% club, and possibly creating one much higher up.