A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

What's left?

Labour left blogger Bob Piper http://www.councillorbobpiper.blogspot.com/ is excited because he thinks that he's found in me the lost "right wing" of Labour.

I'm actually quite comfortable to be labelled a "Labour right-winger" in internal party terms as long as people show some understanding that objectively that still means I'm on the left side of the political debate in the UK. Having stood against Tory right-wing MPs Gerald Howarth and Bob Spink I can assure Cllr Piper that I'm well to the left of any median/mean point dividing line in the centre of British politics - either measured on where the political parties sit on the spectrum or where the electorate sits. Believe it or not, most voters if they attack Blair do so because they think he is too left wing - on Europe, crime, immigration, tax, human rights, counter-terrorism etc.

The political compass (nothing to do with "Compass") website http://www.politicalcompass.org/ is a site that tells you where you sit on the political spectrum based on a series of theoretical questions. I've done the questions and it says I'm -4.25 on the economic left-right axis and -2.56 on the social libertarian/authoritarian one - on a scale in each case of -10 to +10 (so I'm fairly strongly left wing on economic questions and a bit nearer to the centre but still a leftie on social ones). This apparently puts me in the same quadrant as Ralph Nader, the UK Green Party, Mandela and the Dalai Lama and where Labour was in 1982... so it may not be too accurate... be interesting to know where it positions other Labour bloggers.

As for Comrade Piper's claims that I am climbing the greasy pole, no Bob, it isn't people like me who are consistent and say what they think who are climbing the greasy pole - as my views can and almost certainly will be used against me in selection contests etc. The careerists are the people who rise through the party without ever uttering a political view, or who were Bennites when that was fashionable, then born again as Blairites in 1994, and are now suddenly converts to Compass etc.

I liked the post on Bob's site saying "Luke is a good old fashioned AEU loving rightist. He's a thrown back to the 1950s". The highest compliment possible.


Blogger El Tom said...


6:04 pm, July 02, 2006

Anonymous jacqueline lewis said...

would you like some good quality rope, Luke, or did you bring your own?

6:14 pm, July 02, 2006

Blogger A soft socialist said...

I would consider myself on the left of new labour and was:

Economic - 4.5

social - 3.08

6:35 pm, July 02, 2006

Anonymous Jess said...

Like the political compass site, it's good to be reminded how left wing I am and therefore how many people are likely to disagree with me!

Economic -9.13
Social -4.82

In a way, it's a reminder of why Blair was necessary, even though lots of us in the Labour Party thought he was too right-wing for us, his role was rather to appeal to the majority of the population who aren't as left-wing as us, so that Labour could do some solid left-wing things for the benefit of those who really need a Labour government.

12:36 pm, July 04, 2006

Blogger kris said...

Jeez, other than that Clissold Leisure Centre stuff, I thought that you were a friend of George W Bush, just like me. (I'm bracing myself for the onslaught from your other readers!)

11:35 pm, July 04, 2006


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