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.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Back from reality

Well, well, well.

I didn't quite expect to come back to quite so many comments or links here at the end of the weekend. I hadn't actually been aware of the existence of the Libertarian Party let alone that it had so many rather over-excitable members.

Absolute belief in liberty at the expense of all other political goals seems to me just as dangerous as the absolute belief in equality at the expense of freedom promoted by communists. Real politics involves trade-offs between liberty, equality, economic prosperity and security (and probably some other values too) to try to achieve a society that maximises the happiness of its citizens. On 42 days, like the Government, I've come to the conclusion we need to trade in a bit of liberty to get a bit more security, just as we use taxes to trade a bit of people's economic freedom to deliver more equality.

At least the angry chaps from the Libertarian Party are consistent, unlike David Davis who saw no theoretical argument against 28 days but suddenly discovered 42 days was a principle worth resigning over, and whose concern about the potential for the detention for 6 weeks of the innocent is not matched by his stance on capital punishment, where he supports the death penalty, which it is quite difficult to compensate people for if they are found innocent after their execution.

The people I feel sorry for are Tories like Michael Gove who it's fairly obvious to assume were privately supportive of the Government position but were forced to troop through the "no" lobby against their consciences in a vain effort to keep Davis from going postal.

Any way I had a pleasant weekend away from the Internet, glibly innocent of the ant heap I had poked, enjoying a visit to Labour First's Annual Meeting at the Brandhall Labour Club in Oldbury, Sandwell, where we heard from two of the heroes of Tuesday's government victory, Chief Whip Geoff Hoon and Home Office Minister Liam Byrne, and voices from the floor urged the former to take tougher sanctions against Labour's persistent whip-breakers. I also found time to finish writing the campaign plan for the Hackney borough council elections on the horizon in May 2010 (there go all my weekends for 2 years - canvassing starts rather soon) and to visit the Cherwell Boathouse Restaurant for dinner and the Summertown Wine Cafe.

One unexpected potential collateral benefit of the David Davis by-election is that if he is not careful Bob Marshall-Andrews MP may find himself kicked out of the PLP. As he chooses to vote against his own party so often, this might be a welcome formal recognition of the reality - he doesn't behave or vote like a Labour MP, so why keep pretending he is one?


Blogger Merseymike said...

Well, if you intend to hound all who don't agree with New Labour out of the party, expect an even worse result at the next election...

Whilst I happen to share your disagreement with the fringes of the libertarian movement, that doesn't mean that i support your stance on this issue either. It is a step too far, and that means that Labour won't be getting my vote next time.

1:23 am, June 16, 2008

Blogger Exile said...

You haven't been anywhere. You spent the weekend wanking all over the web, including writing "come round and say that" on one blog yesterday.

1:25 am, June 16, 2008

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...


I think you may have been taken in by my "alter ego" over at lukeakehurstsblog.blogspot.com

7:36 am, June 16, 2008

Blogger Oncewerefree said...

I think the Labour Party rules state that you must not work for any candidate standing against the Labour candidate, but as thr anti-freedom Labour Party leadership is not going to stand a candidate Labour Party members are surely free to support whoever they want.

1:11 pm, June 16, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As regards your 2010 campaign plan for Hackney, I hope you will include your advocacy of open-doors immigration and your hostility towards right-to-buy, policies which I have noted you have given an airing on this blog.

I think I can guarantee pitching you out of your ward on these two issues alone.

1:24 pm, June 16, 2008

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

I think you must have been reading the "other" Luke Akehurst blog, because personally I'm a strong supporter of right-to-buy - it was about the only good thing Thatcher did.

Actually my colleagues are sensible enough to keep me in charge of organising canvassing, far cuddlier, more user-friendly people control the policy agenda.

1:30 pm, June 16, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alternatively, they know that you are incoherent on policy.

1:43 pm, June 16, 2008

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Not so much incoherent as not very representative of my colleagues. Unfortunately I am fated to spend my life delivering election victories for people who don't quite live up to my own exacting ideological standards.

1:50 pm, June 16, 2008

Blogger susan said...

Bob won;t be breaking any rules - Tony Benn has also said he might campaign

2:52 pm, June 16, 2008

Blogger Dave Brinson said...

If the PLP is going to opose Bob Marshall-Andrews for campaigning for the Tory in an election where Labour isn't fielding a candidate, surely we could also expect some discipline against Kate Hoey, who effectively came out for the Tory in an election we were fighting ?

6:51 pm, June 16, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

There has always been the right to buy but selling off council estates at way below market value was one of Thatchers worst mistakes.

It's the reason why our social housing programme is in a complete mess now. Sure it made lots of baby boomers really well off but it totally screwed the next generation.

Thatcher was a very clever lass as she knew how to buy voters. And what better than to give them the right to buy their council house for next to nothing. I can't talk as my grand parents purchased theirs for about £400.00 but even they admitted that in the long term it would be bad news unless they replaced them with similar quality housing. The fact is they didn't and most of the new housing stock is being built by housing associations.

Yes people like myself are well off due to combined inheritance but I feel for the those just starting out. Life is getter harder and harder for young working families and housing is at the centre of this.

No government has the right to sell something that doesn't belong to them. This applies to any public asset or service as it belongs to the tax payer. Government needs to learn to serve and not rule and realise that tax payers money is hard earned and should be spent well.

9:35 pm, June 16, 2008

Anonymous lord london fields lido said...

let me guess the detail of your campaign plan:

1. Pick a seat for Munaf Zeena to win. (I'd suggest putting him up in Chatham - he might take you down with him, and it's not as if Guy isn't disposible)

2. Claim he's going to win

3. Thrash Liberals in Cazenove and Hoxton.

4. Thrash Tories across borough, convincing pesky OJ community to vote Labour by pointing out your heart felt commitment to Israel.

5. Defeat Greens in Clissold by ensuring all three left off ballot paper - one wasn't enough last time.

6. Sit unopposed in opulent splendour, apple of Jules' eye, lauding it over the denizens of Hackney.

I think it may actually go more like this:

1. Field Munaf Zeena somewhere winnable.

2. Spend three months giving it the large.

3. Lose Haggerston, De Beauvoir and Queensbridge to the Tories

4. Lose rest of Clissold and SNC to Greens

5. Lose Wick, Hoxton, Dalston and Victoria to the Lib Dems.

6. Lose Kings Park to whoever stood against Munaf (and probably Stauber too...)

7. Get one vote in the OJ wards (presuming Pinter remembers to vote)

8. Lose mayoral election to Aggie from How Clean is Your House standing on "Clean up Hackney" ticket (it's more politically convincing than Hettie Peters...)

9. Take first bus out the borough before Jules does the old Bart Simpson on you

11:19 am, June 17, 2008

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Dear Lord London Fields Lido

thanks for the intel on the Tory and Lib Dem key seat strategies in Hackney South. Very useful.

11:42 am, June 17, 2008

Anonymous Enid Blyton said...

Just noticed your comment about having visited Cherwell Boathouse Restaurant for dinner and it saddens me.

Oh, how it could have been if daddy had been rich enough to buy one a place at Eton and Oxford instead of having to take "Thatcher money" to send one to that shoddy little local private school in Kent, followed by Bristol Uni.

One could have dined at the boathouse every Friday night, joined the Bullingdon Club and sat up late quaffing champers with David and Boris, become a real Tory instead of a cheap imitation NuLabour one...

8:56 am, June 22, 2008

Anonymous lord london fields lido said...

I just saw your post back on this, Luke, and am most amused that you think I know anything about your opposition's "key seat strategies".

1:45 pm, July 12, 2008

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