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.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Starting as they mean to go on

Nice to see a warm welcome to our latest recruit to the PLP, combined with loyalty and a sense of giving the new leadership a chance to bed in being exhibited by the McDonnell camp, over at Owen Jones' new blog: http://laboursfightback.blogspot.com/


Anonymous jdc said...

I can't help but agree that the man ought at least to be encouraged to clarify what aspects of Labour policy, apart from not having a referendum on the Constitution/AmendingTreaty/Whatever, he agrees with.

It's a little bit worrying that all I know about him so far is that he's pro foxhunting, against the minimum wage, and against gay rights.

1:49 pm, June 27, 2007

Blogger Jackson Jeffrey Jackson said...

"our latest recruit to the PLP"


A turncoat Tory scumbag with even fewer principles than the rest of his party. Forgive us if we don't dance for joy.

1:59 pm, June 27, 2007

Anonymous Ian G said...

I agree with Luke on this one. If someone says they want to join us, we shouldn't kick them in the teeth. This man isn't going to single-handedly reverse Labour's commitment to equality.

In the meantime, his defection will help us beat Cameron's Conservatives (they are the real enemy, even if you'd be forgiven for losing sight of that while reading this blog) so let's welcome him on those terms.

3:14 pm, June 27, 2007

Blogger Owen said...

I'm loyal to the Labour party and the labour movement - not to New Labour.

This Quentin bloke is a rightwing, Thatcherite, homophobic bigot. Aren't you at all concerned that such a total reactionary identifies so strongly with Brown's politics and "vision for the country"?

Politics isn't a football game. We're not interesting in beating the other side just because they're the other side. We fight the Tories because we oppose everything they stand for - whether that be opposition to progressive social reforms or rampant homophobia. How does embracing someone into our ranks who is more reactionary than the current incarnation of David Cameron help our cause?

3:14 pm, June 27, 2007

Anonymous irritated said...

Owen, grow up. The man clearly hasn't suddenly converted to democratic socialism. His main object is to hurt David Cameron, and I'm fine with that. This move helps the Labour Party. But no, once again you've got to carry on with your incessant bitching.

3:25 pm, June 27, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'm loyal to the Labour party and the labour movement - not to New Labour."

Labour Party is a broad church. I am uncomfortable with people who claim to represent "true Labour" which comprises (apparently) of them and only people who think like them.

3:28 pm, June 27, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...


I wouldn't waste your time on such a pathetic, needy, little waste of space. Don't give him the publicity that he so obviously craves.

3:32 pm, June 27, 2007

Anonymous Tommy said...

I have no problem with Quentin humiliating Cameron - good luck to him! His criticisms of Cameron resonate.

However, that does not mean we should welcome him into the Labour Party - it seems bizarre that (a) he wants to join; and (b) we would want him . . .

jdc and Owen are right on this one

3:36 pm, June 27, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of the issues on which Davies has been most fiercely criticised have always been free votes.

But this must be the first time in decades that the PLP has included someone who is in favour of capital punishment.

AFAIK the last Lib Dem MP ever to have voted for hanging was Cyril Smith.

3:50 pm, June 27, 2007

Blogger grimupnorth said...

It's not "incessant bitching" to believe a pro-hanging , homophobic, reactionary Tory should NOT be in the Labour Party."Warm welcome."? You must be joking. Saw him on newsnight last night and he's a sick joke.Which will backfire spectacularly

4:05 pm, June 27, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does Owen really believe that the Labour party and trade union movement is full of righteous, liberal, fair-minded people with an unstinting commitment to progressive social causes? Get real. Some of the worst bigots I know are card carrying party members and trade unionists.

4:12 pm, June 27, 2007

Anonymous jdc said...

I welcome all converts, but I don't see how this man is a convert at all. There are rumours that John Bercow is next - that would be fine, he's a man who has seen sense and should have joined the Labour Party five years ago, but for pity's sake, not until he'd renounced the Monday Club first!

4:12 pm, June 27, 2007

Blogger Doctor Dunc said...

I'm amazed by some of the comments here. So the fact that there are some bigots in the movement should mean we should welcome high profile bigots with open arms?

It's an absurdity - this guy's been fighting our party for all he's worth until the day before yesterday. If George Galloway crossed the floor tomorrow, would you welcome him back?

If Quentin Davies were to anounce that he'd changed his mind, then good for him - but even under those circumstances I think he should have to do the hard yards. Was there a Labour PPC in that constituency?

5:59 pm, June 27, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Doctor Dunc thinks bigots are ok as long as they're 'our' bigots?

6:09 pm, June 27, 2007

Blogger Dave Brinson said...

My instinctive reaction is in line with JDC and Owen on this one. However, we welcomed Alan Howarth and Sean Woodward and they both followed the party lines well. A few points need clarifying, though:-
1. Is QD perepared to support the policy of the party, not just when whipped but also in the wider media (would require a fairly substantial conversion !)
2. Is he going to moderate his homophobia- with particular reference to the Equal Opportunties rules of the Labour Party ?
3. Is he going to join an appropriate Trade Union (Howarth and Woodward did)
4. Most importantly, is he going to be required to face a selection by Labour members if he wishes to fight the next election as a Labour candidate ? (again, both Woodward and Howarth did.)
I think we were right to capitalise on his defection, and it would have been ridiculous to say we wouldn't have him, but we are right to be suspicious, and it is right that he has to do some serious political legwork before he is fully accepted.

6:18 pm, June 27, 2007

Anonymous Gregg said...

Thinking of all the hoops Livingstone had to jump through, why is it so much easier for people who have always opposed the party to join than for those who have been expelled to re-join?

6:42 pm, June 27, 2007

Blogger Doctor Dunc said...

Anon - how on earth do you reach that conclusion from what I just wrote?

7:09 pm, June 27, 2007

Blogger Chris Paul said...

I think Quentin D identifies with having some policies, with being relaxed about Europe, and having some substance. The suggestion that Brown is an ultra right, Thatcherite, homophobe by association with some of this guy's past works is just plain ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.

His resignation letter is a gift to Labour - new, old or just Labour.

And whatever else we all think, say or write about this it has been done. It's a done deal. Spilt milk crying is not the most valuable activity IMO.

The Guardian called it "devastating" for Cameron. If/When some more follow tomorrow it will be this in spades. I don't expect politics to be pure and simple and comfortable all the time.

Stuff happens. For the moment this is playing well for Labour and to be honest I cannot see it biting back and causing any great difficulty.

7:42 pm, June 27, 2007

Blogger Owen said...

Frankly I am slightly shocked that being critical of welcoming a rightwing, Thatcherite, anti-union, homophobic Tory MP into our ranks is even remotely controversial among fellow Labour supporters.

No-one has suggested that Gordon Brown shares the same politics as Quentin "Thatcher is second to none" Davies. What I have pointed out is that it is fairly disturbing that an individual with such politics would feel so politically comfortable with New Labour.

Though come to think of it, Gordon Brown has never actually voted for gay rights in ten years...

7:57 pm, June 27, 2007

Blogger Doctor Dunc said...

Chris, you're probably right that it damages Cameron, but that isn't the be all and end all of everything. As it happens, if Brown gives Davies a government role, then I think this will bite back surprisingly quickly.

Brown is very good at appealing to people's ambition and vanity, but sometimes you can try and be just a bit too clever by half. I've been seriously unimpressed so far.

8:24 pm, June 27, 2007

Anonymous David Floyd said...

Agree with Owen on Mr Davies's politics but I don't see anything wrong with letting him sit on our side for a couple of years if he wants to.

Realistically, what was Brown going to do? Say "no, you stay put on the opposition benches voting against my bills and under no circumstances make the Tories look like they're still a chaotic shambles."

It would be another matter if this 'convert' was shoe-horned into a safe seat at the next election.

It is pretty bad news for Cameron, though, because rats generally don't leave a ship if they think it isn't going to sink.

8:38 pm, June 27, 2007

Blogger Sham said...

Yousuf al-Qaradawi, anyone?

Ken Livingstone's mate, makes Quentin Davies look like a model of tolerance.

And will Owen or anyone on the Left criticise al-Qaradawi or his fellow Islamic extremist who think gays should be stoned to death?

Unlikely ...

11:55 pm, June 27, 2007

Anonymous Gregg said...

Gracious, I hadn't heard al-Qaradawi was joining the Labour Party too. Will the vile bigot be in Brown's Cabinet? Which CLP will now be expected to accept him as its candidate and campaign for him at the next election?

2:05 am, June 28, 2007

Blogger Jackson Jeffrey Jackson said...

Sham's just trying to change the subject as usual. I don't recall al-Qaradawi being offered a cabinet post in London or anywhere else.

Most lefties I know would have no hesitation in condemning him.

10:01 am, June 28, 2007

Blogger grimupnorth said...

A new era seems to have dawned. One in which it's OK for ANYONE to be in the Cabinet, join Labour's ranks.And, hey, let's be cool about it as it's great publicity. I can just imagine someone like Nye Bevan being "relaxed" about Quentin Davies. The man is a right-wing buffoon and if I lived in Grantham I would be demanding a by-election.
As for Gordon's pronouncements on the "new politics", don't get me started.....

10:17 am, June 28, 2007

Anonymous tim f said...

Everyone will have forgotten Davies' name in a couple of weeks, but the mud thrown at Cameron will stick.

I might not be the biggest fan of Brown, but should Davies start demanding compulsory euthanasia for all gay people/vote with Tories/refuse to comply with PLP protocol in some other way, I've no reason to believe Brown will be sentimental about Davies' attachment to the Labour Party.

This defection might hurt our pride, but it hurts the Tories more.

11:07 am, June 28, 2007

Anonymous Ravi said...

It has to be said I love seeing the tories in turmoil. They used to watch us on the sidelines as we had to deal with militant and the SDP.
My view on the man is simple he is a lowlife. A lowlife is a lowlife no matter where he or she hails from on the political spectrum. Gordon obviously wants to make as much political capital as he can from this. This can only be a good thing if it hurts the tories. However in my analysis I don't believe this bounce will last very long. My sympathes lie with his CCP and consituents. The seat is tory. If they wanted us there they would have voted our candidate. As it happens he won the seat a tory and there should be a by-election now that he has crossed the floor. However our glorious leader was not even voted into his position so I can't imagine he has much care for the democratic right of a few thousand folk in Grantham.

8:45 am, June 29, 2007


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