09 May 2005
Justine Greening MP

“Justine Greening...Justine Greening...Have I heard that name before or am I just imagining it?” That was the question I found myself asking when then news came through that she had won Putney for the Conservatives on Election Night.  The face seemed familiar but it did occur to me that that could just be because I wanted to believe that I had at some point bumped into the attractive blonde who has hardly been off the TV screens or out of the newspapers since.

Then I read the paper and saw that, like me, she had been at Southampton University in the late 1980s.  Still didn’t ring any bells though.  So, I did some Googling and got the shock of my life.  Seems I had bumped into her before.

Thoughts:

  • Still doesn’t ring a bell.  All the other people mentioned on that page I remember very well and in some cases rather wish I didn’t.  But her?  Not a sausage.  I must be gay.

  • I don’t remember a thing about the debate either although clearly Tim and I won.  What can you say in defence of being poor?

  • What sort of person posts up details of debates that took place almost 20 years ago that even the participants can’t remember much about.  And why?

  • Of all the people participating in the debate that day, including the chairman, she would have seemed the least likely to have become an MP.  Indeed, I cannot recall her having any involvement in the Conservative Association at any time in the course of the next three years.  And yet, to my knowledge, she is the only Southampton graduate currently sitting on the Conservative benches (or any other for that matter). 

  • There’s a lesson in there somewhere.

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  1. Doesn’t Andrew Sullivan’s description spark any memories:

    ...a meandering uninspired dribble of half-coherent talking points, uttered in a weak, piping drone, swallowed in her throat as if terrified to make a mark.

    Posted by Andy Wood on 10 May 2005 at 01:29am

  2. Oh, I don’t know, I think I can forgive her that.  If I’d just been elected I’m not sure I would have been that coherent.  Let’s face it - where do people get public speaking experience these days?  And if it was vapid sounds rather like she was fulfilling the job description.

    Posted by Patrick Crozier on 10 May 2005 at 02:08am

  3. Patrick

    Her name seemed familiar to me too. It turns out that she was the candidate in Ealing last time and so I must have voted for her then. Unlike Sir George Young who actually became an MP for Ealing, she didn’t buy me a pint just before election time.

    Posted by David Farrer on 10 May 2005 at 08:58am

  4. >Let’s face it - where do people get public speaking experience these days?

    Er… University debating societies?

    >Indeed, I cannot recall her having any involvement in the Conservative Association at any time in the course of the next three years.  And yet, to my knowledge, she is the only Southampton graduate currently sitting on the Conservative benches (or any other for that matter).
    >
    >There’s a lesson in there somewhere.

    Well, I’m thankful that we have *some* politicians who weren’t active in student politics.

    Posted by Scott Campbell at Blithering Bunny on 12 May 2005 at 12:01am

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