The list of signatories to Laura Pidcock's Nomination Papers was one fifth as long as these things used to be, most of the people on it had never held elected public office, and the one member of the unitary Durham County Council had been elected for the first time a mere matter of days earlier. Gone are the days when all Labour County and what were then District Councillors nominated the parliamentary candidate because they just did, no matter how much they might have despised Hilary Armstrong personally, and when even some Independents also signed up.
There are now two Labour Parties here in North West Durham. One is long-established, and it is fairly leftish. It nominated Ed Miliband in 2010, Andy Burnham in 2015, and Jeremy Corbyn in 2016. It selected and reselected Pat Glass. It is far from Blairite. But it also has a long history of working successfully with this constituency's many Conservative voters (34 per cent last year) and with its many Independent Councillors, as well as with occasional Lib Dems, and with both Lib Dems and Conservatives at Parish level.
The other, however, is the Laura Pidcock Party. A handful of mostly undistinguished local activists, bussed in hordes from far and wide at election time, and a Facebook and Twitter army of her fans from hundreds of miles away. "All" I need is £10,000, and I really will contest North West Durham against Pidcock, with heavyweight local support, Labour until that point, and otherwise. Make it happen. I can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org. All that we need are the readies.