Hampstead Liberals Arise!
Posted by jonathanfryer on Saturday, 23rd August, 2008
The term ‘Hampstead Liberal’ has often been used by the conservative right as a term of abuse for left-leaning intellectuals who live in the north end of the London borough of Camden, including many people who used to vote Labour before Tony Blair dragged the party towards Thatcherism. Hampstead Town ward is the natural habitat of this much-maligned species and indeed for quite a long period, the ward was represented by three Liberal or Liberal Democrat councillors. The last of these, Margaret Little, stood down in 2006 on health grounds.
On that occasion, Ed Fordham, Linda Chung and I were unable to prevent the local Conservative campaigner Mike Green succeeding in getting two colleagues in with him to represent the ward, even though we suspected that the said Mr Green would desert Hampstead in his quest for a Conservative parliamentary seat in Bournemouth before his term was up, as he has now indeed done. There is just over a month left to the resultant by-election, in which Linda Chung – a prominent ethnic Chinese local businesswoman – will be flying the LibDem flag. Given the way David Cameron is letting slip some of his rightist tendencies, it is maybe time the good burghers of Hampstead reasserted their liberal credentials by returning Linda this time!