By John Eden.
We have been leafleting Croydon door to door since the end of June, with the intention of standing candidates in the next local elections in 2014, without going into all the reasons why we are standing, I think Croydon is unusual, especially in the South of England in that it as only two parties on the Council, Labour and Tory, there is no third-party such as the Lib-Dems or Independents (ie usually meaning Independent Tories).
The Tories control the Council which is divided 37 Tory 33 Labour, all the wards in the North of the Borough are labour, in the South all are Tory, the Centre is divided between the two.
The elections in 2014 might spring a very interesting situation, should the Labour party win two seats, the Council would be split 35 seats each, one party would have to supply the Mayor, who only as a casting vote, therefore the Mayor’s party, in the bipartisan politics of Croydon, would always be in a minority.This is a real possibility because of entrench positions in the North and South of the borough.
So no party would logically want to propose a Mayor from their own ranks, I was speaking to a labour Party member from Croydon about this, and he said, that if this did arise the most likely out come is that one councillor, lured by the possibility of becoming Mayor would jump ship, and join the opposition, most likely someone who would never have been considered having the possible qualities in normal times.
The only difference between the two parties in local politics nationally, is their enumeration for being part of the quite recent introduction of the cabinet system of local government, the leader of cabinet of the ruling party might get £70k per year, other cabinet members less but still substantial, the Leader of the opposition cabinet a few thousand less, but the politics are the same, Labour in London Boroughs where they are in control have made cuts just as deep as the Tory boroughs. So Jumping ship can be very rewarding.
Time to elect Communists Councillors.