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.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Another sad loss to the PLP

As regular readers can imagine, I am crying into my keyboard at Bob Marshall-Andrews' decision to retire.

Maybe next time they might get a Labour MP in Medway (i.e. one that actually votes with and doesn't attack their own government).

It's in my home county of Kent, so maybe I might be persuaded to give it a go, just to see Bob's reaction ...

I make that just 17 MPs restanding from the incredible shrinking Socialist Campaign Group.


Anonymous Andrea said...

So far 6 Campaign Groupers officially retiring + Wareing desperately trying to avoid deselection.

In a couple of cases the retiring MPs can hope for a candidate with similar views getting selected, whilst in others they would just use remaining seats to fill all MPs wishing to stand again (boundary changes and reduction of seats)

5:23 pm, July 17, 2007

Anonymous Michael said...

What was Thathcers parting shot in parliament? Something about how 'destroying socialism in the labour party' was her finest achievment? I didn't realise luke was such a fan!

Perhaps with the camapign group gone they'll be no-one to whinge about the privatisation of Prisons, the PFI scandals whose long term cost is now around £85bn, the Trident genital extender missile, etc etc etc.

Your right Luke, thank god they're going!

7:46 pm, July 17, 2007

Blogger el Tom said...

I think that many campaign group members have a valuable role, and that all have a valid place in the party.

8:11 pm, July 17, 2007

Blogger E10 Rifle said...

"I didn't realise luke was such a fan!"

Didn't you? I clocked it straight away.

10:24 pm, July 17, 2007

Blogger Chris Paul said...

Luke is hoping for a Medway MP to vote with the government for a change? He'll no doubt be campaigning for the Tories then ... as they have come to the rescue more than once when times were hard due to Blair's critic voting "Labour" rather than "with Blair".

Best to lay off the PLP left Luke ...? Try to think unity, reconciliation, peace and justice.

10:34 pm, July 17, 2007

Anonymous TB said...

Luke loves to attack members of the Labour Party.

BTW how big is the Progress Parliamentary Group?

12:38 am, July 18, 2007

Anonymous Ravi said...

Luke said,

"Maybe next time they might get a Labour MP in Medway (i.e. one that actually votes with and doesn't attack their own government)."

To my mind on issues such as the war in Iraq he has the support of an increasing majority. And this is my point. If the Labour Government continues to "carry on regardless" on a wide range of issues, and in complete rebellion to conference more people (in and out of the party) will speak out. Principled objection to policy is a right all memeber have (especially when conference resolutions are not being followed by government), be they normal members or the PLP. I am no fan of Marshall Andrews (he did not back John McDonnell) but his analysis on the war and the path of the Blair governemnt was spot on (though that is my opinion, you might have a different take!!!). We have different views but I certainly would not want you to be silenced, as I feel a healthy debate is good for the party as a whole. I personally feel we don't need another New Labour clone in parliment (I think it might be fair to say you are well represented there!!) so I hope we select a nice left wing candidate, although in the end that is up to the Medway CLP.

9:56 am, July 18, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nominating Brown showed that Marshall-Andrews is no left winger when it matters. He can talk left (in between trousering huge sums as a QC and part-time MP) but when it comes to the key decision about the leadership he meekly gets into line behind Brown.

10:30 am, July 18, 2007

Anonymous Ravi said...

I think that is a little harsh on Marshall Andrews afterall he was vociferious on the war and voted against the government on it. His voting record is quite left wing (and therefore impressive!!!)


I do however share your views on the leadership issue. Real change can only come with a radical rethink on our economic philosophy, something John stood for and I agree on.
Brown to his credit has made some excellent decisions. Things like the calm and measured response of the Govt when Glasgow and London were attacked, the U turn on Supercasinos, giving councils more control of city acadamies, letting councils BUILD new council housing and ofcourse critically not being "joined at the hip" to Bush. As I have said before I will back him when he is right and oppose him when he is wrong. That is what it means to be part of a mature and democratic party. People like Luke have their issues and we on the left have ours. As long as the party continues to be a broad church we will have debate in our party.
As for Mrs Thatcher's critique on socialism, it is just plain wrong. Like any ideology socialism is a mix of different tribes we all have issues of difference. The tennent of "for the many and not the few" is a common binding philosophy and something that even folk on the right of the party can (and should) associate themselves with (sorry Luke I hope that does not insult you too much!!). The Labour party is an alliance of such tribes so we must expect lively debate and remembertfolks we are all comrades(!)

12:38 pm, July 18, 2007

Anonymous Ted Harvey said...

Ravi I agree with you that time is increasingly showing that it was appropriate and right that MPs such as Bob Marshall-Andrew stood their ground and voted against their own Government when it was right to do so.

I think it is rather weak and mean that Luke choose to make such a remark about a departing colleague when Luke is trying to claim the high moral ground; and as you said it was the Tories who could be depended on to support the Government when men of decent principle refused to bend and do so.

2:05 pm, July 18, 2007

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

TB asks "how big is the Progress Parliamentary Group?".

There isn't one. The right of the PLP hasn't had an organised group in Parliament since the disbanding of Solidarity, which was in the late '80s.

Progress is a political education organisation so why would it organise a group of MPs?

2:17 pm, July 18, 2007

Anonymous Andrea said...

"So far 6 Campaign Groupers officially retiring + Wareing desperately trying to avoid deselection"

I've been told that another Campaign Grouper (Frank Cook) has lost the trigger.
From what I've read his relationship with his CLP totally collapsed a few years ago (and they already weren't good before), so maybe it's hardly surprising

10:49 am, July 25, 2007


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