Outside the Millwall Cafe, seen by a rag-bag of hacks, TV cameras and curious bystanders, the man at the top of a palette at the top of a forklift at the top of a loose south London pavement crane with death-defying indifference to fasten the end of the flag to the corrugated roof.
“The vote of Willow, Winston,” the banner, picked up in the Millwall blue and white. Next to him, still smiling through the industrial-scale Bermondsey the rain, was a portrait of 72 years, Winston, a strange public figure that has taken both the battle to save The Pit and the vicissitudes of the political bunfight with equal verve.
Pro-Millwall candidate Willow Winston to appear on the general election
Twenty minutes later, Winston gave his first stump speech of the campaign of the general elections installed in a sticky plastic table in the interior and supervised by an uncontrolled growth of Millwall memories around the walls. In fact, as a Millwall fan candidate, and another example of the powerful current of the disaffection of the British policy, this was a fittingly energetic and abrasive choice of the launch. Your more cold eyes, Terry Hurlock-style shin-raking was reserved for the board of MP in Lewisham East, Heidi Alexander.
“She is a traitor,” Winston replied calmly, asked to offer an opinion about your Work opponent. “A traitor to his own party. And a traitor to the NHS.” Indeed, Jeremy Corbyn is unlikely to shed too many tears for the local difficulties of his unhappy former shadow health secretary, who resigned acrimoniously that the role of the last year. Lewisham, three constituencies are effectively red of the flag of one-party states, but Alejandro has in the last couple of weeks purchased a new and unlikely band of political enemies beyond the Work’s own internal implosion.
They do not tend to forget a lot around here. When the original the Lair was opened in 1910 Millwall were presented with a plaque by the Football Association which read: “we will never give your back to the enemy.” It is not a joke. Alexander is the latest to discover this is, if anything, a bit of an understatement.
The battle lines are clear in Lewisham East. Winston, who lives on the side of the club, was one of those threatened with eviction on the part of Lewisham’s chosen developers under the stalled “New London,” the regeneration scheme. Alexander was the deputy mayor of Lewisham and cabinet member for regeneration up to the year 2010, at the beginning of the gestation of the regime, and therefore a goal in this choice for those who are still raw and bruised from the CPO fiasco of the last few years.
This week the public inquiry in the council of the conduct and the CPO issued his opening statement. It is from this scandal â€“ marred county special, part city-wide cleanup of the story â€“ that the Millwall Community movement that has emerged. Winston the platform anti-gentrification, pro-community-led regeneration and the force pro-football, with warm words of support in the Millwall Cafe for the struggles of Charlton Athletic fans against their internal enemies. The only really scathing words were reserved for his Labour opponent.
In the heart of the Millwall Community rancor, Alexander was also involved in the consultation on the New Bermondsey with the Renewal, a company owned at that time by two ex-Lewisham council officers, Mushtaq Malik and the former Labour mayor Dave Sullivan. Alexander told the Guardian that while she was in the council’s cabinet member for the regeneration of the regime does not rapidly progress, and that high officials of the council handled discussions with the Renewal, which means that your participation was limited. She said she “had no reason to look inside the structure of the property or the status of the Renewal”, which is wholly owned by an offshore trust, your beneficiaries opaque.
Alexander said that the decisions relating to the application of the planning and CPO postdated for the years of his departure for the council. It was in 2010, when he became an MP, and has not had any involvement since. She said that she did not recall ever meeting or speaking directly to Sullivan in connection with the scheme, and that his contact with Malik was “the same in nature as the type of contact that I had with a number of developers.” Alexander added: “I don’t want to see the club move from their current location.”
For now, the coming weeks promise even more campaign drama, at least not in Saturday’s televised League One play-off final against Bradford City at Wembley, where Millwall supporters groups said that the planning of a banana with themes of protest in support of Winston’s attempt to unseat a local MP the Millwall AMS group of fans have dubbed “team Banana”, a tribute to Alexander’s time with the Lewisham mayor, Steve “Bananaman” Bullock.