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.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

For those of you that missed the hustings:

Hazel Blears on Wednesday night:

“like all of you I am sick of tired people actually putting us into separate camps. So let's end it right here – no more Blairites, no more Brownites, just Labour because we're all….In case anybody hasn't noticed, Granita is shut.

… It's about electing a team that can go on to win the next election and I think that the deputy leader should be Labour's campaigner in chief – motivating, enthusing, leading the charge, out there on the streets in our estates. I don't believe the deputy leader should be the deputy prime minister. I think this is a vital Labour party job, elected by the members, not an add-on to some prestigious government department; and this is no weekend job, it's going to be a full time job to get us to win us that next election.

I'm Labour through and through, and I've always put Labour first. I am loyal to our leadership because I believe that unity and loyalty are how you win trust with the public and it's also how you win elections. But make no mistake. I'm nobody's fool and I will fight all the way for the things I believe in. I grew up in Salford in the 50s and 60s, my dad was a fitter in a factory and was an AEU shop steward, my mum was a secretary for the electricians union, they left school at 14, my brother drives a Manchester bus. I don't need a sociologist to talk to me about white working class: I did it the hard way, and that makes you pretty tough.

And if I could sum up the attitudes and values of working class families in this country it would really be this: it's about ambition. And it's ambition not just for themselves but for their communities. It's to get a better house, a better job, make a better neighbourhood and to have a better future for the next generation. I've never met a miner who wanted his son to be a miner, and that's why I believe that Labour should be the party of ambition and success, giving people the chance to work, the powers to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour, driving up standards in inner city schools so the middle class don't opt out and leave the area. Ambition, success – but also fairness. Labour values and the values of the British people.

I think the deputy leader should focus ruthlessly on winning the fourth term, especially in marginal seats in London and the southeast. Focused on recruiting that new generation of activists because activism is how you win elections. And finally, use every platform to attack the Tories. David Cameron's not going to have an easy ride over the next six months because we're all going to be out there fighting David Cameron and the Tories.”


Anonymous Fears Blears said...

You forgot the bit where she said she was looking forward to some more global warming.

10:01 pm, May 19, 2007

Anonymous dan said...

Your old boss Frank Dobson once joked that the good think about global warming is that at least Hazel Blears will be the first to go.

It's funny because it's true!

10:43 pm, May 19, 2007

Anonymous Michael said...

Did she refer to the possibility that unless earth gets democratic socialism soon it wont be long before the nukes are flying over some geo-posistioning or grab for resources on behalf of each nations respective ruling class... why doesn't Hazel talk about that?

How about actually using the Socialist International to do something Socialist and International - some kind of socialist trading bloc, or the taking into democratic public (workers) ownership of firms on a europe wide scale since doing it on a national level is tre pointless (excepting the natural monopolies) given the global economic environment?

What does Hazel think about the letter that was printed in the Torygraph sent by Angelea Merkel to her fellow national leaders saying that they will keep every legaly important part of the constituition and only formally change the appearence before passing it, without consulting the people of our continent as a 'treaty'. This plain admittance of the anti-democratic practices and near feudalistic attitudes of the politicians should surely be denounced as treacherous to everything that democrats and socialists stand for.

12:43 am, May 20, 2007

Anonymous Michael said...

The same goes for Gordon actually...does thou know!

12:44 am, May 20, 2007

Blogger Jo said...

Hi Luke -

can you explain - what exactly can, and can't CLPs do with nomnations for the deputy leaderships and leadership. Can we still nominate Gordon ?

7:27 am, May 20, 2007

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

CLPs can continue to nominate for both Leader and Deputy Leader - the Party is updating the list of Gordon's nominations from CLPs and affiliates on their website, the same as for the DL candidates.

8:18 am, May 20, 2007

Anonymous frankallaun'sgran said...

Yes, let's all get nominating for the Dear Leader......what a farce.
Re Hazel: what a tough life she has had.Well, I grew up in the slums of Manchester.And she's the last person I would vote for.

10:24 am, May 20, 2007

Anonymous duncan said...

What's the point of nominating Gordon? Trying to give him some sort of legitimacy? One-candidate elections are not considering terribly democratic, internationally speaking.

11:36 am, May 20, 2007

Blogger HenryG said...

Luke what do you make of this article in the Independent today entitled:

'Brown backers unite to 'crush' Blairite in deputy leadership race'


12:13 pm, May 20, 2007

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Like the article says, Brown himself doesn't seem to share the view expressed - particularly as Hazel played a big public role in preventing him facing a Blairite challenger. I guess the amount of vitriol being thrown in Hazel's direction reflects fear she has a chance of winning. If she wasn't doing well then the same attacks would be being made on AJ.

12:40 pm, May 20, 2007

Blogger HenryG said...

One bit in the article I though was funny was the talk about encouraging second preferences away from Hazel. How can candidates ensure that happens? I suppose they could encourage their MP supporters to do that, but certainly not members and trade unionists. I know Brown's line is that he is neutral, but it's pretty obvious that the vast majority of senior Brownites are backing Harman. Which for a number of reasons is very disappointing.

12:43 pm, May 20, 2007


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