If you’re lucky enough to have taken a southward stroll down Kilburn High Road recently, or unlucky enough to have been sat in endless traffic heading the same way, then you may well have spotted the latest posters put up by the Conservative party. A few weeks ago, Tory candidate Chris Philp’s cheery face appeared temporarily on several billboards around the postcode, telling us about the various things he’d done for the local community. The latest Conservative posters on the High Road are part of a national campaign featuring a smug, demented-looking Gordon Brown, smiling away as he informs us of his “achievements”, like how he lost £6 billion selling off Britain’s Gold, or how he doubled the tax rate for the poor.
This is typical of the negative-style campaigning rife in the election build-up of all the major parties; a recent Conservative newsletter tells us to look out for tactical smearing by the Lib Dems, and supplies an “official” Lib Dem smear-watch email address for people to write in to. Within days, a leaflet from the Lib Dems themselves came through the letter box with ‘BEWARE!’ written on one side, and the reverse telling us that in fact it’s the Labour party who are conducting a desperate smear campaign. This all basically amounts to the playground classic of ‘I know you are, but what am I?’
In other news, quite a few people have been commenting on the fact that Labour haven’t shown much of a presence on the campaign trail yet. Well, that’s all changing now with the opening of the party’s constituency HQ on Kilburn High Road. The volunteers in the Labour office have been busy stuffing envelopes, which will no doubt be coming soon to a recycling bin near you. And either they’re clinging onto a glorious past, or they have been credit crunched good and proper, as they are currently operating underneath a large ‘Hampstead & Highgate Labour Party’ banner. So last season, darling.
But if all this election talk is getting you down, why not go for drink at one of Kilburn’s many fine pubs? If you do, you might bump into Tamsin Omond and her fellow Commoners, who tonight will be on a pub crawl sing-along, performing their latest To the Commons ditty. I think they may have misunderstood the concept of a political “party”…