A couple of local residents have mentioned the dominance of Andrew Pelling related letters appearing in the local papers. A week doesn't seem to go by without one or two letters discussing the virtues of the MP for Croydon Central. There is little doubt he will stand as an independent in the next election even though he is still a Conservative Party member. The politics of his standing is intriguing:
- His success is dependent on the independent brand, which is becoming increasingly attractive to the electorate. Roy Hattersley said the independents' rallying call is, "Vote for me for who I am", but what do they stand for??
- He is a well known constituency MP with a band of dedicated supporters, mostly from within the Conservative party, who continue to write into the local papers. Surely, they are not planning to maintain this level of output right the way through to May 2010??
- Labour are no doubt rejoicing that he is standing as he will split the Conservative vote and allow their candidate Gerry Ryan to sneak in. Croydon Labour must cheer every pro-Pelling letter that appears in the paper.
- The Conservatives are in a tricky position because he is a Tory! What are they supposed to do? They can't criticise his voting record and they wouldn't dare discuss his arrest in 2007.
- Many people will remember Andrew Pelling's last minute leaflet designed for the BNP areas of Fieldway and New Addington back in 2005. The then incumbent Labour MP Geraint Davies showed me the leaflet at the hustings at Croydon College. I remember seeing a picture of Andrew Pelling cuddling a pit bull! The whole leaflet was designed to attract the 'narrow minded' vote. Geraint was absolutely livid.
- He has attended all the recent Greenpeace or Friends of the Earth demo's, yet at the launch of the Croydon Environmental Network he said he favoured airport expansion albeit not at Heathrow.
Tags croydon, greenparty