Marshalling The Opposition: Guest Post by Simon Cross.

We now know Soubz is the Tory choice for 2015, but what about the other parties? The Lib Dems tell me they are not selecting until 2014, but it won’t be Watts, who has decided to put his aspirations on hold after failing to stand as PPC in Chesterfield. His campaign video is viewable here. Former Labour activist Sarah Brown, perhaps? Certanly be a fitting gift for her floor crossing.

Labour’s selection is underway, and as mentioned before, is a sensitive subject. I still feel it’s going to be Palmer, though I’ve received some messages telling me how misguided that assumption is, assuring me it’s a lot closer than expected. Thus, I’m giving all candidates an opportunity to present their case here.

The first is from Simon Cross, on behalf of Greg Marshall. If the other candidates want to send me their pieces in, I’ll get them hosted. I must state I do not personally endorse ANY candidate, and as I’m not a member of Labour, or any political party, it would be wrong for me to state a preference. I merely want to provide a forum. Over to Simon Cross:

Marshall(ing) the Opposition to Palmer


When Nick Palmer lost his seat by just shy of 400 votes in the 2010 General it was a fair bet we expected him to return and face Soubry in 2015. He underlined his determination by taking out adverts in the Beeston Express to encourage locals to join the party and support him in this endeavour. But it hasn’t worked out quite like he had hoped as the Labour Party now embarks on its process to select a parliamentary candidate to contest Broxtowe.


Nick’s loyalty to the Blair leadership (don’t mention the war or his soon to be godfather role in the Murdoch dynasty) over 13 years is well documented and has rendered this otherwise thoroughly decent chap vulnerable to a challenge for his right to return as his party’s standard-bearer. Constituents have long memories and those who feel betrayed and let down by the now discredited New Labour model are seeking a more credible candidate whose actions and campaigns speak as loud as their rhetoric … the race to be anointed Broxtowe’s Labour candidate has become less predictable.


So who could become the main challenger? Enter (stage left) Beeston born and bred left wing Councillor Greg Marshall, a politician never known to duck a challenge and who perhaps unusually – given his strong campaigning political proclivities- speaks fluent common sense. The good Alderman Marshall, of Beeston West parish and a governor at his alma mater Chilwell Comp, is the son of the ex-union convenor at Plessey works. He is also standing on a platform in clear opposition to the drift and malaise that characterizes much political debate – especially in how the economic crisis should be tackled.


Cllr Marshall’s distinctive espousal of an anti-austerity message and searing critique of NHS ‘reform’/butchery (i.e. privatization), academisation of schools and attacks on the welfare state has provided clear red water between him and his principal rival Nick Palmer who started off as the frontrunner. It has shaken up what at first seemed a predictable contest that also draws in parachutists from West Bridgford, Bulwell and even the Wirral. With Cllr Marchall’s hat now in the ring Labour politics in Broxtowe has become truly local and seriously interesting. As they say, watch this space …


Simon Cross 29 June 2013