Eve of election thoughts


So here we are then.

It’s just six weeks since Theresa May called a snap General Election and we are finally at the last evening of campaigning.

As you might have gathered, a huge effort has gone into our Lewisham East campaign on behalf of South Bermondsey resident Willow Winston. And I want to thank everyone for their help – including of course Willow herself.

How will we do?

Truthfully, I haven’t a clue. I’m sure you’re not supposed to say this, but we’re not professional politicians and the correct approach is never to admit the possibility of defeat.

But we have to be realistic don’t we? We have to say that our challenge to the sitting Labour MP and former Shadow Health Secretary Heidi Alexander is an ambitious one.

Some have called it mad – but they tend to be few and far between. And, more often than not, rattled Lewisham Labour loyalists.

This has been a wild card move to enter to election. And events more generally will play their part when voters enter the booths from Blackheath Village to Downham Way.

To what extent will the sad events of the last week impact the Lewisham East election?

Who knows? If the pollsters can’t tell us, I am sure a football fanzine can’t either.

We may get anything from 200 to 2000 votes, possibly more (or less!) Expect the worst and hope for the best as we say down The Den…

To dip our toe into the murky world of local politics however has been quite an interesting experience.

I will let you into a secret, our entry into the Lewisham East parliamentary election was not in truth something that we planned.

Shocking, but true.

Why are we doing it then? Well our target starts (and ends) with persuading (or forcing) Lewisham Council to see a future for Millwall FC in the South Bermondsey area.

That’s all we want.

Solve that – and the Millwall Community challenge would fade away.   It takes a certain kind of arrogance though not to grasp this kind of simple solution.

Lewisham Council have shown a breathtaking level of high-handedness and a complete disregard for anything other than theirs and their cronies’ wishes.

As ever, the ruling clique at the top of the Lewisham Labour tree has proven clumsy, arrogant and incompetent in equal measure.

The sooner new blood comes into the Cabinet room and clears away the deadbeat Mayor Bullock and Deputy Alan Smith, the better.

Hence our election challenge to the former Deputy Mayor and Cabinet member for Regeneration Heidi Alexander – it was just too good a symbolic chance to pass up.

So yes, we hope for the best tomorrow. We hope more than anything though, that the value of community assets like Millwall can start to be seen for the value they truly bring.

If we can extract that from Lewisham Council, then we will have succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.

One last question that people have asked me: will we need to make a similar stand in the Mayoral and council elections of 2018?

We shall see. Certainly the votes required to make an impact against the Cabinet members who voted against us will be less than those needed to be an MP.

One thing the Lewisham Cabinet should note from the sad events of the London Bridge attacks and mark well, is that the Millwall Community makes a great friend – but a fierce enemy …


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