Election titbits: local (mostly)

The frontrunners for Hackney North and Stoke Newington:

Labour’s Diane Abbott, left, and LibDem Keith Angus




Vote now, vote often seems to be the idea in Hackney. Rowena Bond, of Dalston – aka Mrs Loving Dalston — phoned the council to say that she had been sent a Dalston-ward election poll form for a young woman who now lived elsewhere. Mrs LD explained that Hackney had also sent a poll form to the woman’s present address; should the surplus form be returned to the council? “Nah,” chirrupped the official. Mrs LD said that could lead to voting irregularities. Came the reply: “So be it.”

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HOW DESPERATE has the newspaper circulation war become. Loving Dalston happens to know a few of the Dalstoners who subscribe to The Times via News Internationals’ own delivery service. Every morning around 3 o’clock a man drives through North London, personally popping the paper through the letter flaps of the few houses that subscribe to this excellent service.
Delivery today 30 April 2010 included a letter from NI saying that on post-election day, Friday 7 May, the first edition will have been printed too early to include the final election result so, for no extra charge, NI’s delivery cars would send the final edition later in the day. My subscriber friends, their ecological attitudes offended, asked for the later edition only, but it was either the first edition or the double delivery. How un-green.
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DIANE ABBOTT, asked at the green hustings in Clapton on Tuesday 27 April 2010 about immigration to the UK, paused to summarise her idea of the contribution of migrants. Her answer was: restaurants, clubs and, uhm, nurses (“Did I mention my mum was a nurse?”).
Not a word about the contribution made by ethnic-minority people over the centuries, from the 18th-century black violinist George Bridgetower, who came to London and later befriended Beethoven. He’s the subject of an opera by a black jazzer, Julian Joseph, premiered at the Hackney Empire, for God’s sake.
The black American actor Ian Aldridge fled US racism in the 19th century and, at the age of 18, won great reviews for his performances in the West End. I haven’t mentioned the Jews, one of whom became a great British PM, another one of the 20th century’s greatestplaywrights. And he was born in Hackney.
In the present day Afro-French Tidjane Thiam, as the boss of Prudential, is one of the City’s most powerful  figures. And aren’t some English cricketers, footballers and athletes of Indian and Afro-Caribbean origin?
The list of past and present high achievers of migrant origin is long and significant — how dare our MP under-rate their contribution. To save Miss Abbott the bother of having to do the research, feel free to give her further names, either via her website or in the comments section below.
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BROKEN PROMISES by the BNP are not unusual, so how naïve was it of a local newspaper, the Hackney Gazette, to accept and publish the fascist party’s claim in March that it was going to field a candidate for local mayor?
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