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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Leeds West Selection

Congratulations to my Unite/Amicus colleague Rachel Reeves, who was selected last night as parliamentary candidate for Leeds West, a Labour seat with a notional majority of over 14,000.

That should be a safe enough margin for Rachel, after she managed to lose 84.4% of the 2001 Labour vote in Bromley and Chislehurst during her appearances in the 2005 General Election and the 2006 by-election.

Hard to imagine why, really, as you might expect the highly respectable residents of Bromley to be quite enamored with a former Bank of England economist with a penchant for green cotton tops, smart black woolen suits and chunky costume necklaces. Especially an Oxford PPE graduate with a Masters from the LSE and diplomatic work experience at the British Embassy in Washington DC.

Rachel certainly played up her local roots, although of course she long since moved away. Perhaps it was something to do with the fact that she neglected to campaign full-time until one week before polling day, causing UKIP candidate and party leader Nigel Farage to suggest that she had "thrown in the towel".

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Rachel Reeves
It certainly wasn't left-wing policies that put the voters off. Rachel focused heavily on crime as the key issue facing the voters of Bromley, calling for more ASBOs, neighbourhood police teams and CCTV cameras, along with a knife crack-down, introduction of ID cards to help security and beat benefit fraud, more investment in tough immigration controls and an annual St George's day event in the constituency.

Perhaps the problem was that Bromley and Chislehurst already had a candidate by the name of "Bob Neill, Conservative", with the self-same policies.

Perhaps it was her disingenuity in stating on her website: "At the last general election I stood in Bromley and Chislehurst, securing over ten thousand votes in a safe Conservative seat."

Whereas what she meant to say, of course, was "At the last General Election I reduced the Labour vote by 2,134 or 17.2% of the 2001 total. At the subsequent by-election following the death of Eric Forth, I reduced the Labour vote by a further 8,316 or 81.2% of the 2005 total. My electoral record in the Bromley and Chislehurst constituency has been jolly good, all things considered."
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Rachel Reeves

Or maybe it was simply an issue of over-exposure. She's no shrinking violet, my friend Rachel Reeves.

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Rachel Reeves
Pediatric opthalmologist
Rachel Reeves
Fiction authoress from Tennessee
Rachel Reeves
Student secretary at Emporia State University, KansasRachel ReevesRachel has no fewer than 50 (yes, fifty) photographs of herself on her campaign website (including those on the Flickr display). Essential, one might argue, to distinguish herself from others with the same name. I wonder if the voters mistook her for someone else?


angel thighs said...

I hope you are not implying that Rachel Reeves is - as we say in Leeds - common as muck.

Luke Akehurst said...

Quite the opposite. OK for Henley, but far too upper class for a northern working class constituency.

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