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, September 08, 2007

The prodigal son

I spent Saturday morning delivering the Hackney Labour Rose newsletter on one of the estates in my ward.

Waiting for the bus home in Lower Clapton Road, Brian Sedgemore, Hackney South's former Labour MP walked past me. He kept his head down and, I think, deliberately ignored me.

Brian was someone who I considered a comrade - he was on the same side as me on all the local issues in Hackney, and on London-wide politics - and at least on some level a friend (seeing as he attended my birthday parties, which I assumed was not because he loved karaoke).

Since he unexpectedly defected to the Lib Dems on the eve of the 2005 General Election he has completely severed his social, as well as political links, with people who showed him nothing but loyalty during his two decades as MP. He intervened in the 2006 local elections with attacks on Labour councillors who had been his allies in the local party, and in support of Lib Dems he had spent decades fighting.

If you are reading this Brian:

a) surely now that Blair - who I accept you despised - has gone, you should come back to the Labour Party?

b) if you don't feel able to do that, then I hope you will separate the personal from the political and feel you can at least say hello next time we meet.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Ravi said...

Luke said
"..now that Blair - who I accept you despised - has gone, you should come back to the Labour Party?"

Does your invitation include Bob Crow and the milliant RMT, Scargill, Galloway, the the thousands of "old" labour party members who left in disgust?
Or maybe Gordon could take you up on the offer, and instead of trying to confront our comrades in the unions (like Blair) he could actually try and unify the labour movement and remind us what a socialist primeminister looks like.

9:35 am, September 11, 2007

 
Blogger grimupnorth said...

Brown's rhetoric yesterday would no nothing to persuade anyone back....put it this way. I won't be queuing up to hear his Leader's Speech. It will be more of the same....

12:59 pm, September 11, 2007

 
Anonymous Dan said...

Stuff and nonsense. Scargill and Galloway are unrepentant Stalinists who don't belong in any democratic political party. Sedgemore clearly falls in a different category.

3:19 pm, September 11, 2007

 
Anonymous Ravi said...

Dan said...
"Stuff and nonsense. Scargill and Galloway are unrepentant Stalinists who don't belong in any democratic political party"

Stalinism is the political and economic system named after Joseph Stalin, who implemented it in the Soviet Union. It includes an extensive use of propaganda to establish a personality cult around an absolute dictator, as well as extensive use of the secret police to maintain social submission and silence political dissent.
"Stalinism", strictly speaking, refers to an interpretation of a style of government, rather than an ideology per se.
As far as I am aware none of those men support the establishment of a police state in this country, but hey I'm an open minded bloke and would ask you to post any supporting evidence that Galloway and Scargill are stalinists (using the parameters outlined above). If not I might be tempted if I were you to make an apology, as Galloway is quick to sue anyone (Sunday Torygraph).

4:25 pm, September 11, 2007

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

Did you greet him though, Luke?

I have been a member of both the labour and LibDem parties in my timer - though I'm currently not aligned.

Politics is a tribal business, true, but sometimes people really do change their minds and feel they are in the wrong party.

I just wish there was a party I feel I could join again. I was on the verge of rejoining Labour but now we have reports of proposals to criminalise users of prostitutes, whereas I believe in managed legalisation.

Economically, I'm OK with Labour, but I still find their style too socially authoritarian.

6:27 pm, September 11, 2007

 
Blogger Bob Piper said...

ravi said... Stalinism... includes an extensive use of propaganda to establish a personality cult around an absolute dictator, as well as extensive use of the secret police to maintain social submission and silence political dissent.

That's Tony Blair then, eh?

8:41 pm, September 11, 2007

 
Blogger christo said...

Leaving the Labour Party is one thing: switching to the Lib Dems is crossing a rubicon big-time.

8:41 pm, September 11, 2007

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

I don't agree, Christo.

I think political activists have far more in common with each other than non-activists.

So, its not surprising that people disaffected with their own party sometimes opt to jump straight to another one - and then may even return again. I did it!

12:57 am, September 12, 2007

 
Anonymous Ted Harvey said...

dan, you're absolutley right, 'stuff and nonsense' to equate either of the other two individuals with Brian Sedgemore.

I too was surprised and troubled by Brian's Sedgmore's move to the Lib Dems. I suspect that I was more in sympathy with his views than Luke, but I still couldn't work out why he felt a move to the Lib Dems was the right thing.

Possibly it's because it keeps him in politics without going into the barren land of independent candidate or minority party (it's a severe inditement of our so-called democracy that I can make a statement like that). The Tory Party would be out of the question for him, so maybe the Lib Dem move leaves open a possibility of a return to a rediscovered and replenished Labour Party (oh, go on, I can dream can't I?)

9:43 am, September 12, 2007

 
Anonymous Ravi said...

Ted Harvey said...
dan, you're absolutley right, 'stuff and nonsense' to equate either of the other two individuals with Brian Sedgemore

How Brian Sedgemore voted on key issues since 2001: (theyworkforyou.com)

Voted a mixture of for and against introducing a smoking ban.

Voted a mixture of for and against introducing ID cards.

Voted very strongly against introducing foundation hospitals.

Voted moderately against introducing student top-up fees.

Voted strongly against Labour's anti-terrorism laws.
Voted very strongly against the Iraq war.

Voted moderately against investigating the Iraq war.

Voted very strongly for the fox hunting ban.

Voted very strongly for equal gay rights

How George Galloway voted on key issues since 2001: (theyworkforyou.com)

Voted strongly for a transparent Parliament.

Voted a mixture of for and against introducing a smoking ban.

Voted strongly against introducing ID cards.
Voted a mixture of for and against introducing foundation hospitals.

Voted moderately against introducing student top-up fees.

Voted moderately against Labour's anti-terrorism laws.

Voted very strongly against the Iraq war.

Voted moderately for investigating the Iraq war.

Voted very strongly against replacing Trident.

Voted moderately for the fox hunting ban.

Voted strongly for equal gay rights.

Voted moderately against introducing student top-up fees.

Voted strongly against Labour's anti-terrorism laws.

Voted very strongly against the Iraq war.

Voted moderately against investigating the Iraq war.

Voted very strongly for the fox hunting ban.

Voted very strongly for equal gay rights.


Scargill's veiw on the war in Iraq

"To date, over 150,000 men, women and children have died as a result of the US/UK invasion. The Socialist Labour Party would bring all the troops home from Iraq now."


Scargill's veiw on gay rights,

"Lesbians, gay men and bisexuals are still treated as second-class citizens because of their sexual preferences and orientation. The Socialist Labour Party is committed to abolition of all laws, which discriminate against lesbians, gay men and bisexuals.

We want an end to all discrimination at work, including within the armed forces and diplomatic service, and would outlaw discrimination in the provision of goods and services. There must be an end to police harassment, with proper resources for monitoring all homophobic attacks"

Yes I can see the difference in opinion these men have form one another. The only onme speaking nonsence is you and Dan.

11:41 am, September 12, 2007

 
Anonymous Ted Harvey said...

Yes, there are a whole range of people who have impeccably chosen issues on which they have pristine, if opportunist, views.

Just odd that these individuals nevertheless seem to endlessly move on down the road of schism and disunity... in fact, it seems that often where they are, the schims and disunity are.

12:45 pm, September 13, 2007

 
Anonymous Ravi said...

Ted Harvey said...
"Yes, there are a whole range of people who have impeccably chosen issues on which they have pristine, if opportunist, views.

Just odd that these individuals nevertheless seem to endlessly move on down the road of schism and disunity... in fact, it seems that often where they are, the schims and disunity are"

Sedgemore in the 2001–5 parliament was the fifth most frequent rebel on the Labour benches in divisions on government motions and the tenth most frequent rebel on motions put forward by the government. To parapharse the words of a far more eliquent man than me, (his behaviour) "seem(s) to endlessly move on down the road of schism and disunity... in fact, it seems that often where (he is), the schims and disunity are"

2:01 pm, September 13, 2007

 

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