Southend-on-Sea is home to two constituencies, although you would be hard pressed to recall much mention of Southend West nowadays – especially in Labour circles. However, whilst a political long-shot for Labour as regards to Parliamentary aspirations, it is home to some promising prospects as far as local council elections are concerned.
|Mr Corbyn and another packed room|
Even Jeremy seemed to forget the West exists, often name-checking Rochford and Southend East (home to the second-best result in the General election in Southend-on-Sea). Those who want rid of Amess are bound to feel the pangs of disappointment.
Still, now that Rochford and Southend East is a target seat we will witness visits from the great and good in Labour circles. Yesterday, Mr Corbyn himself paid a visit.
I was invited to the Chamber of Commerce round-table policy discussion that preceded the rally, and it was a generally useful exchange of ideas about the challenges facing coastal communities, especially Southend-on-Sea. The assembled included a quartet from the Labour Group on the council, and an assortment of business men and women. I made my contribution, interjecting following praise by association on the support given by Labour to seafront businesses.
The rally that followed was very well attended; I was guess that more than 300 were present to hear Jeremy Corbyn. There were a few spare seats, which must have disappointed those who applied and failed to get a ticket for the event. Jeremy is not a bad speaker, and certainly has a style of his own. He promised to return to Rochford and Southend East – and maybe he will pause during the journey to consider the delights of Southend West.
I am pleased that Southend-on-Sea is on the map as far as Labour HQ is concerned. Of course, I take special pride in the fact that the biggest Labour vote in either constituency comes from Milton ward, a safe Tory ward until I was allowed to throw myself at it.
Labour is not a fan club for whoever leads it, but a cause for social justice and a fairer society. The rally was about Jeremy, but it was a Labour rally. We celebrate our successes, and plan to move Britain forward, fixing the mess that the Conservatives are daily creating. With Mr Corbyn in number ten, and perhaps a Labour MP in one of the Southend seats, the world will be a better place.