Last night I was listening to a radio phone-in about whether there will ever be a black British Prime Minister. Someone 'phoned in and said, "I believe I've already met the first black British Prime Minister." He went on to describe Marianne Alapini as a young, Kenyan born woman who is "Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton rolled into one." He claimed the Labour Party are fast-tracking her to Parliament. She's currently a Kensington & Chelsea Councillor but the caller insisted Labour are going to let her contest a "safe" Labour seat (if there's such a thing anymore) at the next General Election in order to set her on the path towards No. 10.
As the caller said, 5 years after Bill Clinton was elected to the White House Labour gave us Tony Blair. If the caller is right, it looks like they're trying the same copycat trick again. After all, he reasoned, Labour must be thinking how they're ever going to get elected again and pulling this off might be their best chance. Incidentally, the caller knows Alapini through his work with her for an anti knife crime concert she's putting on at the Royal Albert Hall. He used to tour with Stevie Wonder and is hoping to get him over for the concert.
"Blimey" I thought. This was all news to me so this morning I've been going a little digging around. I found out Alapini is indeed a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Woking in Surrey (I was born in Surrey, you know. Not Woking but Carshalton).
She organised an event on Saturday 8th November to celebrate Obama's victory. "Obama's Roots" was held at London's Cumberland Hotel and attracted around 500 Kenyans.
According to Alapini herself she is "passionately committed to serving...community" and "dedicated to building awareness of the issues round Breast Cancer and HIV/AIDS". She also professes to be a Christian.
Her specialist area appears to be fundraising. She develops contract management and monitoring & evaluation framework in order to contribute to the effective working partnerships between the community, beneficiaries of the funding application, lead organisations and delivery partners.
Judging from the various committees she is a member of, she is also interested in matters of health, investment, licensing and planning.
Alapini could be coming into the public eye sooner rather than later in the unlikely event Gordon Brown is stupid enough to call an early election. Labour would lose the election but might gain an MP who is a "community organiser" of Kenyan origin. Now doesn't that sound familiar?