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.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Surviving an ambush

The micro-politics of the Hackney North & Stoke Newington CLP GC continue to be finely balanced.

Last night I was up for nomination for the London Regional Board. You need your own CLP's nomination in order to run.

Hence a very comradely ambush from Graham Bash of Labour Left Briefing:

"I like Luke but we need to purge these discredited Blairites from our structures to punish them for their 10 years of failure. And he isn't black and the other candidate is" (I paraphrase but you get the general tone).

Result - 10 votes for L Akehurst, 10 votes for incumbent Akhtar Beg.

A kind offer to make no nomination at all is rejected, so we move to a second round of voting.

Result - 10 votes for L Akehurst, 10 votes for incumbent Akhtar Beg.

So a coin is tossed, and having delegated the calling to Cllr Linda Kelly of Leabridge Ward, heads it is and I get nominated on the toss of a coin. You don't get elections much closer than that.

Outside in the street as I head off to Hackney South CLP to speak about our local election campaign, I meet the two delegates whose votes would have made it a bit more decisive, arriving late because of a new and unfamiliar venue.

South of the Abbott/Hillier line they do things different and I got their nomination uncontested - which makes 4 so far: Hackney N, Hackney S, Tottenham and Walthamstow.


Anonymous Paul said...


Interesting, well at least for someone embroiled in micro-politics though not ones where opponents call each other nice.

What is Regional Board entity. Are all regions (like mine in the North West supposed to have one? If so, I wonder why I've never heard of it and it's never been mentioned at my CLP What does a Regional Board do?

6:11 pm, September 26, 2008

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

All regions have one. It oversees campaigning and organisational matters such as council selection appeals and is the lay member interface with the work of the full-time regional officers. It also holds the Labour MEPs accountable to the Party and in London acts as local govt committee for the GLA. The board consists of representatives of the CLPs, unions and other stakeholders like Young Labour, MPs etc. It is elected by the regional conference which is usually every 2 years and is in turn made up of delegates elected by CLPs, unions etc.

Historically the London, Wales & Scottish regions/nations have had more political and exciting conferences whilst the other regional conferences have been less lively.

6:28 pm, September 26, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dont worry, they still get elected and then you only ever hear from them again when they want to get re elected (no doubt Luke will be a bloddy exception to this rule, and so will gain more enemies from the weak and rather tired board that currently govens London Labour)...

8:17 pm, September 26, 2008

Anonymous The Voice of Reason said...

Glad to hear you won Luke and spared your constituents from the indulgences of the hard left.

I sadly have to live under the yoke of Tameside Council which appears to have been overtaken in recent years by a hard left contingent. Only last month in the face of local Post Office closures they were mulling around with the idea of subsidising them in order to keep them open for the supposed benefit of the community.

Don't they realise that it's those sort of outlandish ultra left tactics that nearly broke our party in the 80s? As Tony has taught us with 3 victorious elections; we must let the market decide

9:06 pm, September 26, 2008

Blogger Mark Still News said...

Those known as The hard left these days are hardly extremists, years ago they would have been known as moderates of the party, slightly left of Roy Hattersley's Camp. This is of course worrying, as it proves just how right wing the NLP is? Are NLP trying to out do the Tories in who can be the most Neo conservatives?

12:08 am, September 27, 2008

Blogger Culture Vulture said...

You are so funny.

1:41 am, September 27, 2008

Anonymous Peter Kenyon said...

Dear Luke

I got the same accolade from Culture Vulture, does this mean we are comrades-in-arms?

10:06 am, September 27, 2008

Blogger Councillor Tim said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:43 pm, September 27, 2008

Blogger Duncan Hall said...

I note John McDonnell's comedic skills have been praised by CultureVulture too.

I guess there must be some meaning to it!

2:24 pm, September 27, 2008

Anonymous Adrian said...


Your problem is that you regard this sort of politics as legitimate, indeed you revel in it.

That is why you are not really a Blairite at all.

11:56 pm, September 27, 2008

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

What's not legitimate about it?

I would obviously prefer there were more votes cast for me, but there's nothing unreasonable or illegitimate about my ideological opponents out-organising me.

The problem with the experiments done of other (non-GC) models of running CLPs was that they produced incredibly worthy but dull and bland meetings that quickly downsized because people just got bored - you need a clash, a dialectic, to make it exciting enough for people to stay involved.

9:39 am, September 28, 2008

Blogger Karl-Marx-Straße said...

It's one way of solving such an election stalemate, like drawing straws. I trust though it won't mean that the author of this blog will become known as "Luke the tosser". It'd be wrong anyway, as it was Cllr Linda who did the tossing.

1:41 pm, September 28, 2008


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