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NPG 3953,Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston,by Francis Cruikshank

There’s been a lot of speculation over the last few days about celebrity names being touted for the Kensington selection, much of it unfounded. After much digging, we can exclusively reveal who is really in the running:

  • John Snow: A doctor by profession, he solved the Soho cholera outbreak of 1854, which must be worth a few percentage points. On the downside, he was born in York and moved to London for work so isn’t really a local candidate.
  • Jon Snow: The bastard son of Ned Stark, he has military experience as a veteran of the Night’s Watch. Worth considering that his aristocratic background may serve to reinforce the image of the Conservatives as a party of the well-to-do. The good news is that now winter has come and gone, he’ll have more time on his hands for a May campaign.
  • Viscount Palmerston: Kensington is ideally suited for the Big Beast type of politician – and who can be bigger than a two-times Prime Minister, as well as former Foreign and Home Secretary? Born in London, he was educated at Harrow, which should be sufficient counterweight to concerns about the influence of Old Etonians in the Cabinet. Appropriately, he spent many years concerned about Russian expansionism in Eastern Europe, which might come in handy. His only weakness is that he has been dead for 150 years, but this would at least prevent him taking a second job outside Parliament.
  • Dr David Starkey: CCHQ are known to be concerned that there is insufficient shouting and heckling in the modern House of Commons, and some see Starkey as the natural answer to the shortage. Having called Boris Johnson a “jester despot” he may also prove a convenient antidote to the Mayor’s perceived popularity in London. Plus, a Wolf Hall-themed election campaign would be too good to miss.
  • Ant and Dec: If two people can do the job of one television presenter, there’s no good reason why two people couldn’t serve as one MP – particularly when it is impossible to remember which is which. If anything it would be a sharp rebuke to the idea of MPs with two jobs to have two people doing one job. They recently criticised Ed Miliband, one of them (Ant? Dec?) supported the Conservatives in 2010 and they already know Nadine Dorries quite well from the jungle.
  • Lady Gaga: If there’s one thing the green benches really lack, it’s someone who wears clothes made of meat. She’s thought to be considering her options, but is wary of giving up her existing peerage, bestowed by John Major for services to local government.
  • Ed Miliband: Far and away the Conservatives’ biggest asset of the General Election campaign, there’s something to be said for installing him in a strong heartland seat, with a majority even he couldn’t mess up. Probably.

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