Monday, December 23, 2013

Steph Booth: Labour says No to Cherie Blair's step-mum

Steph Booth
You would think that being the step-mother of Cherie Blair might count for something within the Labour Party. Yet writer and political activist Steph Booth - fourth wife of actor Tony Booth since 1998 - has discovered that extensive relevant political experience (quite apart from family connections) counts for little or nothing to the worthies of socialism-lite.

For I learn that Steph's application to join the Labour Party local government panel - to be included on the list of potential candidates for 2014 council elections in Calderdale (in West Yorkshire) - was rejected back in October. She was told she had insufficient experience. But as Steph says: "I've been in the Party since 1982 and fought every local and national campaign since. Wrong kind of experience I suppose."

She adds: "The local government panel have yet to forgive me for insisting the election of our PPC [Prospective Parliamentary Candidate] was open and fair - ie. they could not slip in their own preferred candidate. They were very cross when I got the general secretary's office to enlighten them about procedure."

Many will say this is a healthy sign that a direct family link to Labour aristocracy is entirely irrelevant - and perhaps it is. But others may speculate whether such a link works against Steph's interests given the controversial figure ex-PM Tony Blair has become, both within the Party and nationally. Certainly she has never attempted to capitalise on her position within the Blair/Booth family and has only asked to be rated on personal political merit.

Final word to Steph (half in jest?): "Maybe I should read the runes and just give up on the Labour Party?"

Meanwhile, she has her work cut out caring for husband Tony who has Alzheimer's. She is currently filing occasional pieces to the Irish Times on life with the actor.

In one article she reveals: "After becoming a pensioner himself Tony [Booth] began to channel some of his political energy into the pensioners’ movement in the UK, speaking at rallies and conferences. His activities were sometimes an intense irritation to his son-in-law, Tony Blair, who was then the British prime minister. My Tony wasted no opportunity to inform the other Tony just how poor the provision for pensioners was in the UK and how much better it was in Ireland, urging the prime minister to do better." To read more, click here.

1 comment:

C Rehill said...

Worst thing they did was selecting Luciana Berger. Ex mainsqueeze of Euan she thought it would be "frightfully funny" to be an MP for a few years. So a safe seat in Liverpool was chosen. Berger parachuted in over local candidates.