TWO WEEKS AGO, NOBODY in Thurrock had ever heard of Streatham-based Anne Marie Waters. But that was until Labour attempted to turn the selection of a prospective parliamentary candidate for the Thurrock constituency into that episode of Blackadder where Baldrick stands against a daschund called Colin.
Indeed, four months ago, YT was told that a large number of card carrying Labour members would be heading to Thurrock to attempt to be selected for a seat with a 92 Tory majority and just 20 miles from the House of Commons. Dawn Butler, Sally Bercow to name just two and indeed, when Dianne Abbot turned up in the Homesteads to help out with the local elections, you could feel the troops massing on the border.
And at that time, a number of local candidates were also considering their options.
And then came the first rounds of selection on the November 12th in front of a committee.
YT understands that there was only eight on the all-women list: one was a man! two others hadn’t completely rubbed out the name of town on the previous application they had made.
Andrew Mackinlay’s daughter, Sarah put in a below-par performance but by now, many started to get the feeling that Sarah could have mashed up JFK’s inauguration speech, Elizabeth 1 at Tilbury and Churchill’s Blood, Sweat and Tears and still got the thumbs down by some quarters of the Thurrock members.
But somewhere along the line it looked like they needed a “Patsy” to contest the seat against Ed Miliband’s special advisor, Polly Billington.
Polly’s campaign has been a paragon of professionalism to some and to others a clinical expression of new labour political imperialism.
But as the weeks have gone by, the rank and file have started to become a little irritated at the image that they are the lumpenproletariat, expected to take part in less an election in the spirit of Kier Hardie and more in the spirit of polling in Pyongyang.
And so between now and December 3rd, Anne Marie and Polly will be doing battle to fight for the right to challenge Jackie Doyle Price.
YT caught up with Anne Marie down by the river in Tilbury to get a flavour of her political beliefs and how she will approach her campaign over the next two weeks.