Here’s part of a letter from Hazel Blears MP to her constituents in Salford. She had her snout stuck as firmly in the Westminster trough as any slippery tax-dodging Tory, so now she’s desperate to gain some credibility and hold on to her seat, which has been declared a marginal constituency for the first time in 1,000 years.

I grew up in the 1960s in Salford in a traditional working class street, with children playing outside terraced houses, and neighbours who looked out for each other.

My Dad was a fitter in a factory. As a teenager, my Mum had won a scholarship to a London arts college, but couldn’t afford to go. She worked as a secretary for the Plumbers’ and Electricians’ union.

When my brother and I were little, they filmed the classic black and white film “A Taste of Honey” on location in Salford. The director, Tony Richardson, saw us playing in our street. He asked my mum if he cold film us and my Mum, being a proud working class woman, scooped us up and put us in our Sunday best. The film director wanted us running around barefoot, and my Mum wanted us to be better than that. I’ve still got those same aspirations.

I grew up with a strong sense of social justice – life just didn’t seem fair to me. At 14, I saw a homeless person eating dinner from a rubbish bin, and I was angry that someone had to live like that.

My young friend Melissa and I went to a bit of a garden party at Hazel Blears’ house before the last General Election. There were cans of Stella Artois cooling in the ornamental pond and thick slices of halloumi sizzling on the barbecue. We were all impressed by Hazel’s pro-European stance.

She had her fingers burnt in the expenses scandal and has spent more time in Salford since then. But will it be enough?

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