The hands of Big Ben are approaching the designated hour, and the bells are about to toll for our Readers’ Representative Award. Only a few days remain for you to vote for your favourite parliamentarian.
Dwindling time is not the same as no time, of course. New runners can emerge and overtake old favourites in an instant — and that is what has happened this week. Thanks to the brouhaha over an EU referendum, names such as David Nuttall, Douglas Carswell, Jon Cruddas and Kate Hoey have started appearing in our postbag more frequently. One reader, Edward Bartlett, says of Mr Nuttall that ‘in fighting for an In/Out referendum, he has fought on behalf of the people’. Another, Maggie Piper, describes Mr Cruddas as ‘an independent mind in an age of lazy groupthink’.
Some readers are still taking the exercise less seriously than the rest. After last week’s nomination for Larry the Downing Street cat, Steve Evans has put forward the Downing Street mice for consideration. ‘They dwarf the political pygmies who occupy their street,’ he writes, ‘and that cat doesn’t seem be troubling them much either.’ And Douglas Fearney is not the first person to commend Gordon Brown for ‘staying as far away from parliament as is possible for an MP’. He ends on a blunt note: ‘If only Ed Balls would join him, then I’d nominate him too.’
To submit your own last-minute nomination, simply go to new.spectator.co.uk/parliamentarian and make a case, in no more than 250 words, for the parliamentarian of your choice. The best-written, most persuasive entry will win its author a pair of tickets for the awards ceremony at Claridge’s on Wednesday 16 November. Good luck.