“Labour is old news in Brighton” declared the Green Party poster above, which greeted conference delegates as they arrived by train last week. Unfortunately for Caroline Lucas, this news obviously hadn’t spread to the outskirts of the city and Sussex University.
The 90+ societies represented at the Sussex University freshers’ fair last week boasted a strong complement of political groups including Labour Students, Liberal Youth, Unite Against Fascism, SWP, Stop the War and Model United Nations. The fact that the Green Party couldn’t rustle up a couple of students and a table for a few hours would not be an issue but for the fact that Brighton Pavilion is their number one target seat.
Any election agent worth their salt will tell you about the edge that student activists can give a campaign. Green Party leader and MEP Caroline Lucas represents the best hope for the party’s first MP but the so-called “story of unparalleled Green electoral success” in Brighton is in danger of stalling badly if they can’t be bothered to organise on campus. In a week where Ladbrokes have shortened the Greens’ odds of toppling Labour in Brighton to 13/8 – equal with the Tories – this may say something about the party’s organisation on the ground.
Stalls and freshers fairs recalls an idiom involving p*ss ups and breweries.