Well finally, contact has been officially made. Six weeks after joining the Labour Party, I received this letter from my neighbouring ward. After informing me of the sad passing away of the local councillor, the letter got down to business.
“Sadly our attentions now have to turn to electing a new councillor… I’m writing to all Labour members in Haringey to invite you to seek selection to be Labour’s candidate in this by-election…if you are interested in standing, you must complete and return the enclosed form by 5pm on Monday 24 November.”
In other words, welcome back to the Labour Party, do you fancy becoming a candidate? Now I realise that I'm registered in Haringey, so everyone remotely involved with the Labour Party here is deemed to be in possession of two horns and a tail, but do you think there might perhaps be the tiniest sort of vetting process at work? No one has ever been so forward to me on a first date.
I'm thinking of filling in the form anyway, just to see whether I get chosen or not. After asking for the usual personal details, the form continues as follows:
Gender: Male (sorry!)
Ethnic Origin: White (sorry again)
Details of Disability if applicable: Ha ha! I've got a hearing aid! Result!
Labour Party Experience: Hardly any. I went out canvassing in 1983. Once. And in 1997 I drove some old people to the Polling Station.
Other Life Experience: Wife and three kids ('family man'). No previous convictions. Stand-up comedian. (far too self-aware to spout a party line in public).
Relevant Knowledge of Seven Sisters Ward and local government: Been to the planning office a couple of times. It's very nice.
Communication skills: Marginally better than Crouch End Labour Party. (Still waiting to hear)
Campaigning Skills and Experience: See Labour Party Experience.
I wonder if that would get me a place on the short list? I'd send the form off only I'm worried that no one else will apply and I'll end up becoming Councillor Dave of Seven Sisters. In which case maybe it's best that they know about the Cayman Island account and the second wife in Thailand...