Tamsin Omond to stand against Green Party’s Bea Campbell Labour’s Glenda Jackson in latest act of epic narcissism

This post was written by Reuben Bard-Rosenberg on February 26, 2010
Posted Under: Elections,Green Party,GreenFeed,Uncategorized

“Not all companies get the urgency of climate change yet but their customers have more power than they think. Last week, I left the outer packaging of my shopping on the till at Tesco.” – Tamsin Omond demonstrating her commitment to environmentalism by leaving an underpaid cashier to clear up her mess.

I winced yesterday as I read of Tamsin Omond’s latest stunt. Under the banner of her newly established “Commons Party” she plans to run against the Greens and against left-wing labour MP Glenda Jackson in the newly created Hampstead and Kilburn constituency.

It is hard to get a detailed picture of what exactly this initiative is about. The Commons Party website is extremely light on politics and policy. What instead comes through in this campaign is an emphasis upon what I recently described as the “infantile politics of good behaviour“. Tamsin has proudly told the Evening Standard that she will donate a third of her salary to the local commuity and do one day of community work a week. Indeed theses pledges dominate the Commons Party website along with a challenge to other candidates to “match them”. Please forgive me, but I really couldn’t give a flying fuck. What legislators do with the great levers of state power, and the use they make of their significant public platform, is infinitely more important that demonstrations of personal virtue and self-sacrifice.

This patronising approach to her constituents is reinforced by certain unorthodox campaigning methods. Her canvassers will be “going door-to-door offering to draught-proof houses and sort out insulation.” And there I was, thinking that the “treating” of constituents by candidates went out in the 19th century.

As Random Blow notes Tamsin Omond “has a habit of setting up and leading her own organisations rather than working with others”. I am not implacably against people founding new political parties, but context really is everything. Right now the Green Party – with whom I have no affiliation – really are making tremendous leaps forward in gaining popular support, while simultaneously embracing a genuinely radical agenda. As their membership stats demonstrate, they are drawing thousands of new people into progressive and environmentalist politics. Against this background, Omond’s decision – not merely to do her own thing, but to stand against one of the Green Party’s most prominent candidates – smacks of a narcisstic disinterest in engaging with fellow activists.

Needless to say, Tamsin doesn’t have a hope in hell of  actually getting in. Yet this constituency will almost certainly be finely balanced Labour and the Tories. If this campaign prevents Glenda Jackson from gettng back in, this will not only help Cameron into power. It will also remove a prominent voice on the left of Labour, as the party considers its post-election future. If the Greens also risk splitting the labour vote, they do so for the sake of build large and established and increasingly important progressive movement. The  same cannot be said of Omond’s Commons Party.

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Reader Comments

Agree about the narcissistic element. However, I don’t know how much you know about the makeup of the constituency but it’s unlikely to be between Labour and the Tories.

Because of the boundary changes, it’s nominally a Labour seat under pressure from the Tories, but there are new Lib Dem wards coming in which should make it a dogfight between all three parties. Labour seem to be putting little effort in so far; I’ve had plenty of Lib Dem and Tory matierial through my door, but not a peep from Labour.

Glenda Jackson’s “prominent voice” has hardly been seen in Parliament for years – she’s been described by political opponents, not unreasonably, as “the laziest MP in London”. Fortunately, we seem to have two excellent candidates in Ed Fordham and Chris Philp for the Lib Dems and Conservatives respectively, my first impressions are that either would make a good switched-on local MP. A friend of mine, who is a prominent Labour activist in the area, told me the other day that “H&K is gone”.

Either way, it’s going to be a great fight. A “radical” candidate is nothing new – consider her as an independent candidate. It just spices things up a bit more – I’m looking forward to the battle immensely.

#1 
Written By Eoghan O'Neill on February 26th, 2010 @ 12:27 pm

Extremely depressing, severe ecological crisis, what shall I do asks Tamsin, I shall polish my mirror and look at myself.

There is an excellent chance of electing Britain’s first Green MP, what does Tamsin, do to help, nothing.

Lady, drop the ‘ego’ and embrace the ‘eco’.

Those who can’t take the crisis we face seriously, like Tamsin, make me sick.

By the way I am off to canvassing for Caroline Lucas on 6th March, it will be my fifth trip down to help, do join me.

#2 
Written By Derek Wall on February 26th, 2010 @ 9:26 pm

couldn’t put it better. She really does see herself in messianic terms. “I want to light a fire among every different group in this constituency and make them realise this is a place they have control of” she told the ham and high.

#3 
Written By Reuben on February 26th, 2010 @ 10:02 pm
julia

A good piece about Tamson Omond but she’s got an open door into the limelight thanks to Glenda Jackson’s reluctance to work for her constituents which meant that she squandered the massive support and goodwill that she and her party had when they came to power. She wouldn’t have had to do much to keep her constituents on side but she either didn’t have the intelligence or didn’t give enough of a damn to do even that small amount. What a waste.

#4 
Written By julia on February 27th, 2010 @ 12:04 am

Imagine I’m not a Cambridge graduate, who has bumped into her at some awful party, why should I know who this person is? Why does she think she has a profile at all?

I’m genuinely confused…

#5 
Written By Dan on February 27th, 2010 @ 7:35 am

Oh. I’ve done some reading. How very tedious.

#6 
Written By Dan on February 27th, 2010 @ 8:06 am

I’m not opposed to standing against the Greens, but only if you have better politics than they do, not worse. Or, in this case, none at all.

#7 
Written By EddM on February 27th, 2010 @ 12:19 pm

Quite. You have to wonder what kind of moronic sycophants are backing this initiative.

#8 
Written By Reuben on February 27th, 2010 @ 1:51 pm

“I’m Tamsin, a local girl with a lot of community experience. I’m sick of politics so, with your help, I’m going to change it.”

Haha

“When I left university, 3 years ago, I found out about climate change. I discovered that the future I had dreamed about was seriously under threat. There’d be no holiday home and no fast car for my retirement”

Hahaha

“Instead I read about rising sea levels, diminishing resources and immigration like we’ve never known before.”

Disgusting

#9 
Written By David Broder on February 27th, 2010 @ 7:40 pm
Pete

Yeah, interestingly I read the article in the evening standard and have no memory of it saying she was running against the Green Party. But to be honest, I’m very green and now that the Green party manifesto makes a commitment to both halves of Sustainable Development, i.e. it covers more than just environmental issues, being green doesn’t necessarily mean Green party.

Significantly, if what was said about the incumbent MP was true, Labour deserve to loose the seat, point blank. Even a BNP MP would at least go to parliament, shoot his/her mouth off and remind people that politics is actually important. The incumbent, apparently, just didn’t turn up. Although, for the good of my faith in politics/Labour I would be genuinely interested for someone to explain what she did do for the last 4 years.

#10 
Written By Pete on February 27th, 2010 @ 10:52 pm

I thought Omond had “given up frontline politics” after she got nicked on some stunt in Westminster & had to spend the night in a Met cell. Hardly Nelson Mandela, but this night in the cooler shook her up so much she said she would be low profile in future. Looks like she’s changed her mind again. (BTW novelist Jeanette Winterson is another given to regulalry dumping all the packaging on some poor cashier at the check-out).

I live in Hampstead & Kilburn (council flat not mansion) and it looks like we’ll have two egotistical nutters standing at the GE; Omond & Campbell. Green Party has really shot itself in the foot choosing Campbell, the woman is half-deranged. Opponents will only have to dig up some of her past to prove it.

Ritual child sexual abuse? Still believes in it (& satanic abuse) despite being proved wrong over and over again for twenty years and having a book on the subject pulped because it was so libellous. Other left parties? All part of “the mens movement” and inimical to the interests of women. 9/11? Victims had it coming. I could go on, but just look at the responses she got when she said she was now a Green Party member on the Guardian’s ‘Comment is Free’ section, I’ve never known someone get such a coating.

I used to be a regular Labour voter till Tony Blair became leader, since then I have NEVER voted New Labour and know a fair few like me. It’s true Glenda Jackson’s is virtually invisible in the H of C, but when she is there she usually votes the right way (i.e against the front bench) and I wouldn’t call her lazy. She is a very good constituency MP, she sorted out a long standing problem I had with Camden Council very quickly. There are stories of people looking at empty houses in the area having to shove aside large piles of correspondence from Jacksyon to the previous occupiers.

A problem I have with her, as a council tenant is her support for the ‘ALMO’. This was a typical New Labour stunt. The then New Labour Camden Council proposed tranferring all the council housng stock to an “Arms Lenght Management Organisation (ALMO)”. Tenants righty smelled a rat and in a vote told the council where it could stick its ALMO.

This democratic vote infuriated not only the council but also the government which said it was holding back over £283 million to do up Camden’s houses because the ALMO had not been voted for. The repercussions are still being felt today and Jackson continues to support the ALMO from her luxury mansion in Blackhheath.

There is no doubt that the ALMO played a part in the 2006 election when the Labour Party lost control of Camden council for the first time since 1971.

I’m not sure what to do in the general election, it certainly won’t be Omond, Campbell or the Tories. I may hold me nose and vote for Jackson to keep the Tories out, or for an independent if I can find a good one. Failing that I won’t vote.

(BTW I don’t think the comments that “Labour has lost” Hampstead & Kilburn are correct. It used to be Hampstead & Highgate but the boundary changes have brought in more working class areas than the leafy areas of Ham & High. Course, after the past 13 years New Labour may well have a problem getting out what was once its core vote.)

#11 
Written By vinny on March 1st, 2010 @ 8:38 am

Intereting to read a bit of background on Tamsin Omond. She reminds me a little of the do gooding holier than thou young activists I’ve hung out with in rhythms of resistance. All idealogy no reality.
But Glenda Jackson is no longer a good constituency MP. I wrote to her and queued up to see her at a surgery with a serious problem with my freeholder and she didn’t reply, nor was she present at the surgery. There was no one to replace her either.
Bea Campbell on the other hand, I worked with as a photographer years ago and she impressed me very much.
I’m not a die hard Green but I’d probably vote for her.
I would like to stand as a councillor myself but didn’t have the time to attend the meeting….

#12 
Written By msmarmitelover on March 1st, 2010 @ 10:19 am
Christabel

Er…why is Ms Omond shopping at Tesco? That great purveyory of food miles, packaging, increased traffic and loss of local jobs and small businesses is surely not the shop of choice for she…..

#13 
Written By Christabel on March 1st, 2010 @ 11:26 am
Ben

Derek, just to note: like you, tamsin has been in brighton helping out with caroline lucas’ campaign. of course she is committed to, and excited about, britain’s first green MP. but now that she’s announced her independent candidacy, she won’t be so closely aligned to the greens, and is in any case very unlikely to have any free time. at least until the Whitsun recess :)

Reuben, couple of pointers for you: Glenda is not a ‘prominent voice’ to the left. she is almost totally mute, and everyone’s had enough. it was funny for a while to have a film star firebrand, appropriate for the old constituency borders and tastes, but she’s not vocal, dynamic or interested enough to engage with the electorate any more.

Tamsin isn’t standing against one of the green’s ‘most prominent candidates’, as you put it. the greens are sensibly focusing their efforts on the three constituencies they can win: Brighton Pavilion, Norwich South and Lewisham Deptford. to imply that all green party candidates should stand unopposed by green-minded independents would be ridiculous, and so i’ll have to assume that’s not what you mean to say.

overall, i don’t really see why you’re so keen to exaggerate the divisiveness of the Commons campaign. given that so many people in Hampstead and Kilburn – especially young people – are now about as disenchanted with politics as it’s possible to be, having a bit of a ruckus over the election outcome should be welcome. the intention, above all, is to stir up political participation among new groups, to reverse the miserably low turnout trends that we’ve witnessed in this era of triangulation.

and incidentally, there’s been a conspicuous absence of good behaviour recently from those we invest with our power as citizens. as you point out, even an infant can manage to behave well. not so some of our rotten MPs.

#14 
Written By Ben on March 2nd, 2010 @ 12:44 am
Davey

‘Ad for campaign intern 4 wannabe MP Tasmin Osmond ignores minimum wage law. Requiring particular work/days is a contract. http://j.mp/aEReYb

http://twitter.com/ClivePower

#15 
Written By Davey on March 9th, 2010 @ 4:25 am
John Ellis

Great Scott Man, cant you see how rare these people are?

MOST of the candidates in Hampstead & Kilburn should be elected.

They are towers above 99% of the population.

What amazing spirit!

Until you’ve been in a few police cells you haven’t really arrived in Hampstead.

Some people are born every few centuries that break the mould of every party, that shatter the preconceptions of the age, that excite the people and electrify the Commons.

Even the Royal Family rush out to see them.

Tamsin Ormond is one of these rare gems.

The Olympics are coming, we’re already 4th in the world…this little silver island….and the chariots of fire of waiting throbbing near the battle.

Everyone who thinks they can walk should stick it down to the voting booth and VOTE VOTE VOTE for Ormond!

#16 
Written By John Ellis on April 9th, 2010 @ 7:59 pm
John Ellis

including dyslexsics

#17 
Written By John Ellis on April 9th, 2010 @ 8:01 pm
George Burn

Following on from Eoghan’s comments at the top of the chain, H&K certainly is not a Labour v. Tory dogfight. It is probably fairer to say it is a Labour v. Lib Dem battle with significant pressure from the Tories. And it will probably be won by the Lib Dems.

Two weeks into the campaign, and speaking from the Brent wards dropped into this largely Camden constituency, I also back up the criticsms of Labour locally – they are virtually invisible, at least west of Kilburn High Road. The Tories, Lib Dems and Greens are working hard to win votes, but Glenda’s posse is nowhere to be seen and is about as enthusiastic about engaging with the local electorate as the BNP candidate. Perhaps they don’t know how to find their way across Kilburn High Road….

I don’t know about others from the Brent wards, but I’m not feeling very positive about the impact of these boundary changes. For one thing, whoever is elected is likely to invest little time working with Brent Council on constituency issues when only one-quarter of the electorate lives in Brent; much easier to focus on Camden and its residents. Also, and on a more personal note, I’m a real fan of Sarah Teather – not only is she no longer going to be my MP, but she is going to have a very tough time winning the more solidly Labour seat of Brent Central, as a result of which one of the real stars of the Liberal Democrats may disappear from national politics after 6 May. I hope I’m wrong abou that though.

As for Tamsin Omond, yes she’s an attention seeker and there’s plenty to ridicule in what she says, but fair play to her, at least she’s actually been involved in real campaigning on real issues like the nutty idea of expanding Heathrow Airport. It’s very easy to slag someone off when they take a stand but, while I won’t vote for her, I respect the fact she’s trying to do something that most of us would be too scared or lazy to do.

#18 
Written By George Burn on April 20th, 2010 @ 1:59 pm
bw

I’m voting for her – she’s gto great spirit and ideology!

#19 
Written By bw on May 6th, 2010 @ 2:18 pm
John Sullivan

I thought characters like this were only made up by the Spiked crew!

#20 
Written By John Sullivan on August 9th, 2010 @ 9:52 pm

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