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, January 15, 2008

Memo to Steve Morgan

According to today's Guardian, Peter Hain's campaign manager Steve Morgan claims ""My work ended the day the election for deputy leader took place [June 24]. "

Er.... no it didn't and therein lies the fundamental problem.

If you are running someone's campaign your work ends when you file the return of expenses and donations with the relevant authorities, not at the end of the count.

I almost feel sorry for Peter Hain given the muppetry of his camp-followers (who I note include John Underwood who had a huge fight with Kinnock and Mandelson over the direction of Labour's press office back in the early '90s), but then I suppose you get the campaign team your politics deserve.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The buck must stop with Hain. He appointed his back room staff and must take the blame. His arrogance is preventing him resigning and Brown's weakness is stopping sacking him

8:45 am, January 15, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

I don't believe for a minute that Hain knew nothing about what was going on. He must of known about this so called "Think Tank" and must of known about how much was spent.

It's all too easy just to pass the buck to those people that are not accountable to the electorate.

This is very close to money laundering, and for you or me would almost certainly mean prison.

This looks very bad on Brown and the whole government.

10:03 am, January 15, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Party is obsessed with wealth. Almost all the big problems it has faced in power have come about as a result of that. Mandelson's home loan, Bernie Ecclestone, selling peerages, wallpaper for Derry that most core supporters couldn't afford in a lifetime. Meanwhile contributors here argue about whether private healthcare insurance should be taken up and used. I doubt Cabinet Ministers have any such compunction, and they certainly aren't defending the interests of those who do.

10:52 am, January 15, 2008

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

My MP (Maria Eagle)was a prominent backer of Peter.

I remember the manifesto pack he sent out to all the CLPs. His looked decidedly glossy copmpared to ther others. In fact Alan Johnston's and Jon Crudas (my choice) campaign material was pretty non existant yet they got further up the poll.

I like Peter (I met him at the dep leader hustings and was very nice) but for his sake and the party as a whole he should resign.

10:56 am, January 15, 2008

Anonymous jdc said...

Luke - I can't recall if I've asked this before, but the really puzzling thing about Peter Hain's campaign to me is this - wasn't Phil Woolas his campaign manager?

Now, I've always seen Phil Woolas as probably the closest MP to your politics, and a very competent administrator. I've always seen Peter Hain as the furthest, and a bit of a muppet.

What was that about, then?

11:16 am, January 15, 2008

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Personal loyalty because of the GMB connection. I agree with your high opinion of Phil, and would also note that a lot of the Welsh MPs who backed Hain are good people.

11:21 am, January 15, 2008

Blogger Chris Paul said...

It may be the case that Hain contracted Morgan only to election day. He's expensive and arrogant and a prima donna, Morgan I'm meaning.

Money laundering Rich? How so?

It seems to me the arrangements for George Osborne and others to not personally declare monies to EC or RMI is far more like money laundering and their behavbiour reprehensible and the so called exonerating email nothing of the sort. For reasons I began to suggest. A wooly answer to the wrong question to the wrong body at the wrong time.

Hain is a chump. He has questions to answer. I'd not put him in any cabinet on his maverick public performances, reliability etc. And any idea he is there because of his backroom competences is also showing up now as quite peculiar. Why is Hain in the cabinet? Why was he in Blair's?

But let's not let Osborne and indeed Cameron and the cronies off the hook.

11:57 am, January 15, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

All MPs of this 2.5 party political system are crooks. What needs to happen is a complete reform of the funding, voting and party budgets.

First of all there needs to be proportional representation.

Parties should be funded by the tax payer and have very limited budgets.

Complete ban to all donations including trade unions.

12:02 pm, January 15, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Brown today has been on another crusade on Europe.

Can someone please tell me when I get my referendum? Tony Blair made a promise so when do I get it?

If you bunch of Labour zombies believe in democracy and trust these liars....then what happened to this promise.

They are scared of the electorate.

4:28 pm, January 15, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Don't worry Brown and Darling have it all under control. Sound economic principles will mean that Britain will never return to the Tory Boom and Bust days.....

RPI = 6%
Inflation = 2.1%
One Bankrupt Bank
FTSE Down 3% in one day
Housing prices....crashing
Unemployment very questionable figures.
Immigration no historic comparison
Iraq War

Still think Labour can win a general election?

10:06 am, January 16, 2008

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

What the Labour government have managed to achieve:

National Minimum wage

Record investment into the NHS (though I think the NHS could have done without the imposed targets and so called reforms)

Some (piecemeal) restoration of Trade Union rights

Devolution of NI, Wales and (more importantly!!) Scotland

Signed up to Kyto and human rights treaties

You may question unemployment figures all I can tell you the New Deal helped get my first job

I grant you we have had 10 years in office. There have been many mistakes and I would have like to have seen a more democratic socialist govenment (in the mold of the SNP as a compromise to the right of the party).

Yes I am a member of the party but even if I was not I would still vote Labour because the alternative would be even worse, I still remember the 80s and early nineties)/

9:56 am, January 17, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

You think the 90s were bad, Labour took on a very healthy economy. What's coming could be a lot worse and I'm just hoping and praying that we manage to ride it out.

Brown has bragged on for ten years about boom and bust and how the British economy is the model for Europe. I found Browns attitude to Europe very arrogant and almost boastful. Germany and France must be laughing right now.

In just 10 years the Germans have managed to turn the idea of green energy into a multi biillion euro industy....and our government is still talking about it.

But look where the UK is in the league of richest countries. Just above Italy and since Labour has been in power we've dropped 4 places.

Housing prices have been pushed up by the availabilty of cheap credit and many families now face ruin again, despite the promise of Brown to prevent this.

Minimum wage I agree with you on this and very much welcomed.

However, Labour have failed to tackle poverty.

I'm great believer if someone in a job isn't performing you sack them. Why carry on supporting a party if they are basically incompetent?

10:33 am, January 17, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

I think the amount of money spent on an internal election for an utterly superfluous post is simply daft.

Hain has his good points but he doesn't stand by what he claims to believe sufficiently.

Didn't realise you are in Liverpool, Ravi!

Rich: the question is for me, is there are better alternative? The LibDems may be, the Tories, definitely not.

4:38 pm, January 17, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

I don't think there is one party out there at the moment that will make a damn difference.

Let's be realistic we only have 2.5parties in the race anyway, which is why I believe we should change the voting system. What to i don't know, but I'm not paid to make decisions like that...that's up to government to make brave decisions.

When was the last time we radically changed our election system?

I'm certainly not going to keep voting for the same old rubbish.

5:23 pm, January 17, 2008

Anonymous Ted Harvey said...

"but then I suppose you get the campaign team your politics deserve".

That observation could maybe with some cruel truth applied to Wendy Alexander's vale of tears on similar issues in Scotland over her non-campaign for Leadership of the Scottish Party.

It always did seem odd and a bit unseemly that her erstwhile detractor Charlie Gordon ex-Glasgow City Council Leader, when he became an MSP should have been so assiduous in solicting undeclared wealthy businesman's donations to her leadership bid. (a businesman resident in the Isle of Wight or Jersey?!)

Just a pity Charlie boy was allegedly not so assiduous in his adherence to the rules and has got Wendy mired in similar formal enquiries into his and hers doings.

1:44 pm, January 18, 2008

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Yes we are heading for rougher economic times. I agree building an economy on debt (i.e. easy credit) is terrible. This process was first started under Calligan and Healy (reluctant moneterists) and then fully embraced by the Mad Old Bat, whom deregulated the credit market. After which Tone and Gordie thought it was a wizard idea and carried on the policy.
I still hold to that Old Labour maxim of living within your means (not bad for a 28 year old!!), but as you know being much older than I, it was never that popular at the ballot box (that would be the 4 gen elections we lost, even though, in my opinion our stance in the pre Blair years will be vindicated in the future).

Lets see where this takes us, if Brown can grapple with this and succeeds he is assured victory, although like you I agree he is to blame for this. He has kept a close eye on wage increasements for the public sector (i.e. small figure budgets)yet seems to give a blank cheque for white elephants like the Olympics (naa I'll be fair to him on this it might increase the economy but based on other Olympic cities I really doubt it), it is a bizzare way to plan your finances. I also think it was wrong of him to give the Bank of England independence as he is storing up a fight for the future with the Governor (no not the Queen, Mervyn King).

On voting Labour, Rich you said this first:

"I'm great believer if someone in a job isn't performing you sack them. Why carry on supporting a party if they are basically incompetent?"

Then this:

"I don't think there is one party out there at the moment that will make a damn difference."

If the above is true what is the point of living?!
Seriously though Rich if you feel the parties are that ineffective at government what are you planning to do about it? Leave the country or make a meaningful contribution on the elected stage? As enjoyable it is for us politicos to get our jollies tally ho-ing on blogs does it really make a diference in the grand scheme of things? My suggestion to you is to run for office and see the realities of governace first hand (if ofcourse you get elected). I still feel Labour has an ounce of socialism still left in it and therefore will continue to vote Labour, although I doubt it will renationalise the railway and the bus networks, implement Warwick, utilities, stop private interference in the NHS, scrap tution fees, stop prescription charges, build more council houses, get rid of our nuclear weapons......etc

On another point you made about the funding of political parties, my view has always been thus, if you have enough support from members and affliated associations to your party then your party has a legitimate reason to exsist. If however the support for your party is such it would not be financially viable to exsist then I am afraid it deserves to die on its feet. I do though agree with you on a cap on spending, this would certainly help.

Mike, I've been here since 2001 with me missus, which department do you work in?

1:51 pm, January 18, 2008

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

I just read Ted's post, brilliant!!

1:52 pm, January 18, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...


What you want and what Labour are delivering are very different. When people elected Labour there were expecting pretty much what you just said, but they got a continuation of conservative policy.

The conservatives now are probably more left wing than Labour and the Lib Dems are probably one of the only mainstream parties that have adopted a liberal approach to many of the big issues.

Labour might have some socialist beliefs but they are not in the cabinet.

As for Brown I can't honestly think of a worst PM to choose. He's completely incompetent and I can't see him lasting till the end of 2008.

What Labour are actually doing is giving power to the tories. Cameron is a baffoon but still manages to steal a 12 point lead over Labour. Even the Labour back benches are starting to question Brown.

12:41 pm, January 21, 2008

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