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.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Bethnal Green shortlist

Candidate Rupa Huq is reporting that the final shortlist of 6 for the Bethnal Green & Bow Labour parliamentary selection (the winner of which will have the delight of wiping the smirk off George Galloway's face at the next election) is as follows:

Helal Abbas
Rushanara Ali
John Biggs
Rupa Huq
Shiria Khatun
Lutfor Rahman


Anonymous Anonymous said...

First time I've seen your blog site.
A public affairs adviser to the arms trade? Are you sure you're a party member?

4:36 pm, April 16, 2007

Anonymous stevemilligan said...

So, a two-horse race between Rupa Huq and John Biggs then, with the GLLP nomenklatura pulling out the stops for the local lad? Abbas could barely remain leader of the council five minutes and wound up enough a long the way to rule him out.

I really like Rupa and think John Biggs is a puffed up gimp (kinda John Reid lite) but suspect that Rupa would be better off in a less charged local selection and subsequent election.

4:41 pm, April 16, 2007

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...


2 of the kind of charmless comments that really give blogs a good name.

Mr Milligan - as you've slagged off John Biggs I will put on record that I support him, and so does the Regional Political Committee of my union, Amicus. Rupa is a good candidate too - she doesn't need people slagging off her opponents.

Anonymous - my party membership number is A113881 - you can tell from the A and the number being below 200,000 that I was a member when the national membership system was set up . Are you a party member and if so for how long? (more to the point, which party?) I'm proud of my association with an industry that provides tens of thousands of Labour voters and Amicus, GMB and TGWU members with skilled, well-paid jobs and makes the kit that enables the Labour Government to implement the defence and foreign policies that have won it 3 general elections.

5:32 pm, April 16, 2007

Blogger el Tom said...

"the kit that enables the Labour Government to implement the defence and foreign policies that have won it 3 general elections."

Um. I wouldn't exactly say that Iraq played monumentally with the electorate...

Luke, I think that trade in arms should be reduced to the lowest level possible. Those bombs aren't for killing public schoolboys and dictators. They're for killing working people, all over the world.

8:43 pm, April 16, 2007

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Tom I don't disagree. If every country in the world was a democracy there would be no wars, no need for weapons other than for the police, and defence companies could concentrate on making air/sea rescue helicopters or civil passenger aircraft.

As it is I think the UK government is right to try to ban the sale of arms to governments that would use them for "external agression or internal repression" which is the Labour Government's position.

While there are dangerous regimes like Iran or non-state actors like the RUF or Taliban around though, democracies need armed forces and there is nothing intrinsically immoral about the business of arming them.

10:07 pm, April 16, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Galloway aint standing.

11:58 am, April 17, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luke--- you are deluding yourself. You are obviously an intelligent and talented individual, yet you have sold yourself to an industry the end product of which is death and destruction of not just soldiers byt civilians. No doubt you are handsomely paid for your efforts, you're fooling no one trying to defend your career choice with trite propoganda.
What was Iraq if not 'external aggression'. The intrinsic moral stance is not to arm not only others, but also ourselves. It's called leading by example, or as dear Robin unfortunately said 'ethical foreign policy'. I don't see many of those crazy foreign aggressors taking advantage of Ireland's mini-Army, or Iceland's or New Zealand's or, well, take your pick. Why play the 'we're the big boys in the world'? Why don't you play the big boy and do something that doesn't involve bribes, whores and killing?

7:09 pm, April 17, 2007

Anonymous De-Nuke the Luke said...

Luke, I know you must get very irritated by near-constant attacks on your career-choice, so wouldn't it just be much easier for you (and better for your parliamentary hopes) to move into a less controversial job? Maybe a think-tank or a charity or something?

9:45 am, April 18, 2007

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Dear "de-nuke the Luke"
thanks for your concern but you should know that I am already trying to move into a less controversial job working for a good cause by seeking selection as a Labour MP. A few points for the record:
a) there aren't "near-constant attacks" on the nature of my job - it gets mentioned once every few months on this blog but has never been an issue in my local Labour Party or in any election I've stood in
b) lobbying for the British defence industry is acceptable for leftwing stalwarts like Derek Simpson & Jack Dromey (it's a big part of both their jobs)
c) I currently work for 12 clients. Only 3 of them are defence companies and one of those is primarily involved in civil aerospace and automotive. The other 9 are a museum, a nightclub fighting against a planning application, a civil engineer, the owners of a market, a faith-based community centre, a housing repairs and maintenance contractor, an environment quango, and 2 local authorities
d) my "career-choice" was dictated by who would employ me when I had to resign as a local government officer on selection as a Parliamentary Candidate. In the real world people take the jobs they can get for the skills and knowledge they have, they don't make an assessment of the political correctness of their employer
e) I'm not so desperate to be an MP that I would pretend to be someone I'm not to help get selected - if people don't like me, my job or my politics that's their prerogative but I'm not going to apologise for who I am
f) there is not much hope for Labour remaining electable if we regress to the days when anyone associated with defence was considered "bad"

11:16 am, April 18, 2007

Blogger Chris Paul said...

Luke [s]does not agree[/s] does not disagree with El Tom thusly:
"If every country in the world was a democracy there would be no wars, no need for weapons other than for the police, and defence companies could concentrate on making air/sea rescue helicopters or civil passenger aircraft."

But as Luke well knows countries like Britain sell weapons all the time to countries which are less than democratic or likely to become undemocratic. And let's face it some "democracies" behave extremely badly. Mentioning no names. But you know who you are.

France sold Exocets to Argentina. Marvellous.

USA sells all sorts to Israel and other clients. Fantastic.

Britain sells to Saudi for goodness sake.

And Pakistan - with those Hunt "trainer jets" being a particular favourite of mine.

Where Iraq got the chemicals she destroyed ahead of any conflict is well documented. "We know what she has, we have the sales vouchers" OWTTE said some witty fucking wag from the USA. Ha ha.

The fact that Raytheon (RSL in Scotland) sell dumb Cluster Bombs to the world - a fact highlighted by Lib Dem Willie Rennie who worked for and part-owned a similar PR and lobbying operation - has not brought any joy to that world.

As El Tom says it is working people that bear the brunt. To the fore in the cannon fodder. And under the bomb sights of the brave fighters for democracy.

Time to move to selling soft soap or lard-free ready meals Luke. Arms Trade is a Harm Trade.

I learnt to shoot rifles and sport pistols as a youth but I'm not looking for second amendment rights to bear arms. It is obvious that the more arms out there in belligerent countries (esp USA) the more they will get used.

But Luke would sell ANYTHING to those violent feckwits. After all they are a "democracy" and a valued "ally".

11:23 am, April 18, 2007


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