New Statesman Election Campaign Awards: In Recognition of the Glorious Achievements and Unforgettable Moments of the Past Four Weeks

By Cowley, Jason | New Statesman (1996), May 9, 2005 | Go to article overview

New Statesman Election Campaign Awards: In Recognition of the Glorious Achievements and Unforgettable Moments of the Past Four Weeks


Cowley, Jason, New Statesman (1996)


Best Sport Award (I):

David Blunkett

The former home secretary was discovered campaigning in Worcester by BBC Newsnight's Michael Crick, where the following encounter took place with a young man who was carrying a bunch of flowers. "I've just bought these for my girlfriend," he told Blunkett. "What a star," Blunkett replied. "And if you get on TV with them you get an extra star--so long as you've bought some for your mistress as well."

Best Sport Award (II):

Lucille Nicholson

The Tory candidate for Easington (County Durham), where Labour has a majority of almost 22,000, knew from the beginning that she was in for a difficult campaign. "The first door I knocked on," she said, "I was told to burn in hell. I felt things could only get better after that."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Most Desperate Housewife:

Sandra Howard (above)

The bleached-haired, four-times-married wife of Michael Howard was willowy, fragrant, subservient and dogged in her support of her husband, and got "upset" at the nasty things said about him. Was photographed doing the washing-up. The very model of the traditional breed of Tory wife, in other words.

Worst Haircut:

Stanley Johnson (top, right)

The 64-year-old Tory candidate for Teignbridge in Devon; father of the more famous Boris. His long, grey-blond, New Romantic-style fringe raised disturbing comparisons with early Eighties David Bowie and Simon Le Bon.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Most Unexpected Stars:

The inhabitants of BBC Newsnight's student house

The scruffy bunch from Nottingham Trent University may have known very little about politics, but they certainly knew how to have a good time. Never once bothered to wash up or clean the house before the cameras arrived.

Most Verbally Abused:

A close-run thing between Tony Blair and the repulsively self-satisfied Robert Kilroy-Silk. The leader of Veritas just shaded the honour here because he was often physically assaulted as well--with eggs, water bombs and whatever else the public had to hand.

Most Unexpected Question at a Press Conference:

A man from Waitrose magazine

On the eve of the campaign, Tony Blair hosted an informal lunchtime meeting of the British Society of Magazine Editors at No 10. After a lunch of cheap wine and sandwiches from Pret a Manger, Blair took questions from, among others, Conde Nast Traveller, Motorcycle News and Flower Arranger. …

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