It seems so far away now, but back in May 1997, when the middle classes were taken in by Blair & that risible headline "Cool Britannia" appeared in just about every national paper, delight in the Tories' hammering was accompanied by the question, "Were you still up for Portillo?"
I was, knocking back the lager in what was then Kitty O'Shea's in the city centre.
Michael Portillo's seemingly safe Tory seat of Enfield, North London suburbia, fell in the New Labour landslide to a clearly nervous & ill-prepared Stephen Twigg.
Fast forward 12 years & we find that Twigg has surfaced as the official Labour candidate for Liverpool West Derby. Sitting MP Bob Wareing was deselected a couple of years back; he hadn't done himself many favours with the local party, but his deselection came from Labour HQ rather than the constituency itself.
For reasons best known to himself, David Bartlett has given over his Dale Street Blues blog to a post by Twigg (http://blogs.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/dalestreetblues/2009/05/guest-blog-stephen-twigg-on-ro.html ).
It's all well & good to highlight the issue of road safety, as Twigg's piece ostensibly does. However, it descends into little more than a personal manifesto statement, the sort of self-serving drivel that will be on leaflets pushed through letterboxes this time next year. One wonders why Bartlett would allow Twigg to deliver what is basically an electioneering tract. It also ends on a rather presumptuous note:
"Having worked in Enfield [on road safety] I am pleased to have the opportunity to do the same here in Liverpool," he crows prematurely.
West Derby may be seen as a "safe" Labour seat normally. However, the move to parachute Twigg into the seat has caused a lot of resentment & anger in the local party. Twigg shouldn't take support or victory for granted.