England & Wales Democracy, devolution and governance

Alastair Campbell Vs Peggy Mitchell


We blogged back in February saying Eastenders would run a story on Peggy Mitchell standing as a councillor, and here we were, wondering whether the BBC would take the campaign seriously. Well, it would seem that they are, as is Alastair Campbell.

In a world where fiction and reality have collided, Alastair Campbell (real person) gave advice to Peggy Mitchell (fictional person) on her councillor campaign strategy. Campbell advises Peggy that she should stand for issues that affect quality of life – lack of respect, graffiti, petty crime, litter, dogdirt (see Andy’s blog earlier this week on this very issue) – and also that she should knock on doors as there is no substitute for face to face contact. Well, at the LGiU we think he has got a point, and with empowerment one of the top issues on the local government agenda, taking the time to listen to citizens and their concerns is important. Prospective candidates take note!

And Peggy has responded! She may not be real, but her response did show real passion for what was happening in her (fictional) local area and most importantly, passion to make a difference. So now we are hoping that aside from providing an amusing storyline, this may actually raise the profile of councillors and inspire people to think about doing the same. ‘Surely if Peggy can be a councillor, then so can I’……..

So those of you who don’t usually have an excuse to watch Eastenders, here it is, your legitimate reason: see Peggy in action.