Friday, February 05, 2010
Ricky Tomlinson 5 Luciana Berger 0
Last week, in my First Post article on the continuing Blairite takeover of the Labour party, I mentioned how 28-year-old Londoner Luciana Berger, a former NUS NEC member and director of Labour Friends of Israel, had been selected as the party's candidate in Liverpool Wavertree, to the disgust of many local party activists.
Well, the London Blairite crowd must have been feeling very pleased with themselves.
But not anymore. There was this piece in last week's Mail on Sunday.
And now, for the ultra-ambitious Ms Berger, it gets even worse.
The popular Liverpool actor Ricky Tomlinson, star of the comedy series The Royle Family, is planning to stand for the Socialist Labour Party against her.
The Mail reports:
He (Tomlinson)said he was 'incensed' by Labour's selection of Londoner Luciana Berger, 28, for the seat. 'This woman that they have parachuted in from London could not even answer some easy questions about Liverpool,' Tomlinson said.
'It reminds me of when Labour parachuted Shaun Woodward into St Helens.
'At one time Liverpool had a contingent of working class MPs like Eric Heffer [Walton MP from 1964 to 1991]. 'People say if you want you could be letting the Tories in. But there is no difference between the Conservatives and New Labour.
The news will come as a further blow to Miss Berger who has been embroiled in controversy since she was chosen to fight the seat less than two weeks ago.
Miss Berger, the director of Labour Friends Of Israel, beat Liverpool councillor Wendy Simon and Joyce Still by a margin of around 2-1 to win the candidacy for the Wavertree seat from an all-women shortlist.
Veteran Walton MP Peter Kilfoyle branded her a student politician who lacked the experience to do the job.
Last week her lack of local knowledge was exposed when she could not say who Anfield legend Bill Shankly was or who sang Ferry Across the Mersey.
So at Liverpool Wavertree voters will, provided Tomlinson is officially selected as the SLP's candidate, have a choice between a young London yuppie who doesn't even know who Bill Shankly was, or a local working-class socialist.
Predicted scoreline: Ricky Tomlinson 5 Luciana Berger 0.
And let's hope that Bob Wareing, another local working-class, anti-war socialist, who is standing as an Independent, having been deselected by what he calls 'the New Labour mafia', gives the pushy uber-Blarite Stephen Twigg a good hiding in Liverpool West Derby too.
UPDATE: Today's Daily Mail has more on the 'ambitious networker' Ms Berger.
The questions were simple enough for any self-respecting Scouser - who was Bill Shankly, and who sang Ferry Cross The Mersey?
Even the dimmest pub quiz team in Liverpool would surely have come up with the answers in a flash.
But 28-year-old Luciana Berger, Labour's bright young hope to win the crucial Liverpool Wavertree seat at the next election, was forced to admit she didn't know.
Doesn't it show how far the Labour Party has gone from its original working-class roots that they put up a candidate for a Liverpool seat who has never even heard of Bill Shankly?