‘If there’s one thing Eddie Izzard can’t be faulted on, it’s enthusiasm,’ Steerpike opined this week on the news that the comedian and actor, who also self-identifies as Suzy, is standing to become the Labour candidate for Brighton Pavilion – only a year after trying, and failing, to do so in Sheffield Central. There’s been a few raised eyebrows in my adopted hometown of Brighton & Hove (so good they named it twice) about the fact that Her Ladyship (I’m not going to call Izzard Her, but I don’t mind going that extra mile, as befits such an expensively-educated type) has promised grandly to make Brighton their ‘main home’ – get you – if they’re chosen as the candidate for Bright-Pav.
There have been some amusingly contemptuous online comments from readers of our local paper on the subject too, though you have to move quickly to read the best ones as the Argus is trigger-happy when it comes to deleting cheeky comments about Izzard. ‘This comment has been removed because it breaks our rules’ repeats with the weariness of a stale comedian’s punchline. One gets the distinct feeling that the Argus, often mocked for being able to come up with hilariously boring headlines in what is such a ‘lively’ city, is looking forward to the day that their drearily domesticated front-page news can be jazzed up with a little showbiz razzamatazz; MP FOR BRIGHTON PAVILION SUZY IZZARD GETS STILETTO STUCK IN NEGLECTED PAVEMENT or MP FOR BRIGHTON PAVILION SUZY IZZARD GOES A-OVER-T ON UNCOLLECTED RUBBISH.
What’s left are thoroughly understandable complaints about ‘parachuted candidates’ which is understandable here as Brighton has ‘previous’ with this sort of thing. We’ve just had a local scandal which saw two councillors expelled from the Labour party over claims they live more than 200 miles away, while last year two Green councillors, Tom Druitt and Alex Phillips – who do at least have a home in Brighton – stood down after it was revealed they’d spent lockdown in their French chateau rather than slum it with their suffering seaside constituents.