A campaign to stop an MP from launching campaigns has been launched by a weekly title.
The Croydon Advertiser’s tongue-in-cheek ‘Campaign to End All Campaigns’ is aimed at Gavin Barwell, MP for Croydon Central, who has launched five of his own campaigns in little more than a month.
They include a drive to stop a local authority from closing a recycling centre, a push to building of a new entrance at East Croydon railway station, and a plan to save school fields from being built on – as well as petitions on the subject of green fields protection and landlord licensing.
The Advertiser’s campaign stemmed from an office discussion about the number of campaigns launched by Mr Barwell.
Editor Glenn Ebrey said: “It was becoming a bit of a running joke but also raised a serious issue about politicians being, shall we say, more proactive when an election is on the horizon.
“We settled on the idea of starting a campaign to stop Gavin Barwell launching campaigns and, after that, the ‘Campaign to End All Campaigns’ line seemed to fit quite nicely.”
Advertiser designer Alex Leys produced a cartoon of Mr Barwell dishing out petition slips dressed as Father Christmas, pictured above, to accompy the campaign’s launch.
Readers have also been invited to sign a petition, calling on Mr Barwell to cut out the campaigns.
Added Glenn: “The approach we’ve taken is a little tongue-in-cheek but, within it, we’re trying to make a point about politicians propensity to act, or least be seen to act, more forcefully when their future prospects are on the line.
“We’re always looking to do different, interesting things and, though this may seem a little off the wall, it shows there’s room for a bit of political satire even at a local level.”
When asked about the issue by the Advertiser this week, Mr Barwell said: “There’s a danger of overdoing it but, the trouble is, lots of issues have come up at the same time.
“It’s not ideal but I think it’s more an issue for the media than for voters because most of the campaigns are geographically focused.
“People will care about what affects their local area and not notice the other ones.
“But you do have to be careful not to be seen to try to do too many things at the same time.”