David Conway was not the only one with a big smile on his face Friday morning as Labour awoke to the short sharp judgement of the residents of Springfields and Trent Vale. Whilst it might not stop the move, the backlash against the move to the CBD was apparent, which raised the spirits of many council officers on Friday morning. Parking in Stoke may not be perfect, but the thought of a daily game of ‘musical parking spaces’ followed by a forced tutorial on how you should cycle to work rather than moan about paying £25 a year to spend 20 minutes looking for a parking spot before abandoning hope and parking in Tesco, is a step too far for some.
Of course, if you survive the journey to work, you will then have the pleasure of being turned out of your office at lunchtime with the instruction from the Labour leadership to ‘spend spend spend’ in the local shops. EyeSpy can see the Quartermasters Store doing a roaring trade already…
The loss of Springfields & Trent Vale to Labour was made even more painful by the fact they had spent the previous 4 weeks shouting about how it was a sure win and the other 8 candidates were all wasting their time. Or at least those who knew how to work the Twitter accounts the PR department had instructed them to get did. The Labour Party’s new ‘odd job’ man (rent a room, start fights on twitter, pretend you like your MP when we all know you don’t) did an entertaining job telling all the other parties just what Labour were up to and proving beyond all doubt that he has the political nous of a fly squashed on the front of Mark Meredith’s car.
Reading his tweets, you could be forgiven for thinking the Tories were the main threat here, which was probably why the fragrant Mrs Brown was apparently so smiley at the count. Nothing proves how effective you are than how much you get up Labour’s nose – and the recent outburst by ‘Labour Len’ (cough) in the comments on a Sentinel article that she wasn’t even mentioned in, will no doubt reassure her and her colleague Jack Brereton just how annoying the 2 young upstarts can be to Labour…
…Of course, Labour were robbed and need to refine their message, however having seen the small novel put out by the City Independents, EyeSpy wonders if Labour would be better rethinking their election strategy altogether. Allegedly turning up late to the count and missing a lot of the action, the hand on that tiller seems particularly weak, but then it is quite busy on parliamentary business in London (amazing how he fits in all those articles in the Observer, isn’t it?). For how long will a weekly article in the Sentinel keep the proletariat happy that their MP is amongst them and one of them, especially now his ‘right hand man’ has gone part time to further his own career? Perhaps Gary Elsby was right all along…?
Meanwhile, the City Independents will be hoping the new addition to their group lives up to her reputation as a big voice for her community. EyeSpy can see some worried faces already as the bombastic Jackie Barnes joins their number. Dave Conway will also be hoping that she proves slightly more dynamic than the other ‘community leaders’ in his group, such as Peter Hayward, who promised so much but seems to have been almost jettisoned since he showed his unwillingness at the Police Authority to support the 0% council tax increase. At least he has firebrand Terry Follows back to stir them up, after a year as Lord Mayor, though how comfortable Terry will be in the group remains to be seen. Once very much a pragmatic (read ‘disparate’) group, Conway still upholds that there is no Whip in the Indies, however makes it crystal clear what he thinks, unlike the slippery Brian Ward before him.
Talking of Police, EyeSpy wonders what the Conservative PCC candidate Matthew Ellis made of his recent trip to Stoke-on-Trent? Labour have been keen to portray the November election as a death match between ‘cool urbanite’ Joy Garner and an anonymous ‘country bumpkin’ Conservative from somewhere down south, however it seems nothing could be further from the truth as at least Matthew made it to Trent Vale, whereas Joy and her henchman/husband Martin kept well away. Could this be because one of M’Lord Tristram Hunt’s aides publicly came out against her in the Party ballot?
EyeSpy will of course be watching with interest.
Off now to check out those election expenses to see whether the ‘hard working candidate’ who had his leaflets delivered with those of the local takeaway declares it….