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.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Happy Wednesday

Channel 4 YouGov poll of marginals (quote from C4 website):

"The recent financial turmoil has boosted Labour's standing in the polls, according to part two of our Channel 4 News/YouGov Facing the Crunch poll.

The Tory lead over Labour in key battleground seats has reduced from 13 to just five points since the recent economic troubles, according to an exclusive poll released today.A Channel 4 News poll carried out by YouGov in early September predicted a Tory landslide, suggesting the Conservatives could win power with a 150-seat majority.But today's poll of the same seats shows Labour's share of the vote increased from 32 to 38 per cent. Forty three per cent of voters would plump for the Conservatives, down from 45 per cent last month.Just 12 per cent go for the Lib Dems, down from 13 per cent in the last poll.These new results would, YouGov estimates, give the Tories a 50-60 seat majority if repeated at the next general election
."

IPSOS/MORI Monthly poll:
Con 45% (down 7%)
Lab 30% (up 6%)
LD 14% (up 2%)

37 Comments:

Anonymous dyanne costello said...

"Why I am proud to be Labour - part 3"

5:04 pm, October 22, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that's what I call a democratic socialist local government.

5:09 pm, October 22, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you trail your coat don't complain if somebody treads on it !

A sensible decision fro Hackney, and I a e-mailing the Mayor to express my support.

GW

5:37 pm, October 22, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Grow up. It's a breach of council rules to use taxpayer funded premises for public meetings that are "political". There is a blanket ban applied to all political causes whether they are saying positive things about the council or not. It primarily exists so that the BNP and other bigots cannot claim an equal right to hire council premises to preach hate.

5:39 pm, October 22, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lucozade,

A diversion.

Merel Ece. Could you dish the dirt?

Islington resident seeks to dump her and any other carpetbaggers of which I have identified 6 on the council including the leader?

5:41 pm, October 22, 2008

 
Anonymous Arnold said...

Expect a further increase in Labour's poll lead as the full impact of the George Osbourne scandal hits home.

6:44 pm, October 22, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a further increase in Labour's lead? Not sure where you went to school, but they're still miles behind and will remain there.

8:46 pm, October 22, 2008

 
Anonymous dyanne costello said...

akehurst wrote: Grow up. It's a breach of council rules to use taxpayer funded premises for public meetings that are "political". There is a blanket ban applied to all political causes whether they are saying positive things about the council or not. It primarily exists so that the BNP and other bigots cannot claim an equal right to hire council premises to preach hate.

So the social historian Iain Sinclair is "Political" is he? I didn't know he was up for election, did you, folks? Soon Hackney Council will be banning Black History Month and LGBT Month on the same grounds.

8:49 pm, October 22, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Soon Hackney Council will be banning Black History Month and LGBT Month on the same grounds.

No. Council officers have a vested interest in keeping them.

Is it true, Luke, that you claim and get taxpayer-funded expenses and babysitting costs so you can play Dad's Army at the Combined Cadet Force?

Sounds like you are the one that needs to do some growing up!

9:00 pm, October 22, 2008

 
Anonymous Clapton Ali said...

Kim Wright serves Hackney well, again. Check out this sound file. Yet again we are the laughing stock local borough!

9:16 pm, October 22, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

I think this bounce is very temporary. The conclusion to this economic nightmare is far from over. Once people realise that they have still got to pay for this bailout then I'm afraid the anger will really start.

As a country we are borrowing too much relative to our GDP. The problem is that our GDP is about to crash leaving a massive tax black hole. Less income and increased benefit commitments means that the government is going to have to raise taxes.

I feel Brown is hoping that he can hold off tax increases until after the next election. To be honest I'm not sure he'll be able to hold out that long. We have the return of the 10 pence tax debate in the New Year and the potential of many MPs not backing the government.

It will be interesting to see who Labour decide to tax. Will it be a fair rise in income tax for thost earning over £50k or will it come in the form of hidden stealth taxes which often hurt the poorest.

9:29 pm, October 22, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

No it isn't true.

There are no attendance "expenses" for attending council duties - there's an allowance i.e. a salary, that covers the whole of your council activity. I've never claimed childcare expenses but my partner who is a councillor may have when we both have meetings on the same night - that would be a matter of public record if you want to check.

I assume what you mean by the Combined Cadet Force is that one of the outside bodies that I represent LB Hackney on is the Reserve Forces and Cadets Association for Greater London - this is the body that links to the Territorial Army and cadet organisations to the 33 London borough councils. As part of that role I've been pushing for Hackney to give the freedom of entry to the borough to 3MI - our local TA unit 3 (Volunteer) Military Intelligence Batallion. I'm pleased to say that decision will will be taken by Full Council next week. I think that's actually quite serious - ensuring that a borough honours local people who voluntarily risking their lives for their country in Afghanistan or Iraq. We don't have a "Combined Cadet Force" in Hackney but we do have separate Army, Sea and Air Cadet units who do a very good job giving young kids from Hackney some structure, focus and potentially a career in the armed forces. I'm sorry if you find them amusing.

9:31 pm, October 22, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any housing officers in the house?

Terry ~Stacey, deputy leader of Islington Council, lives in an Islington housing association flat.

He also owns a house in Tower Hamlets where he was once a councillor.

Isn't that dodgy?;

9:39 pm, October 22, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

The TA are cannon fodder, very poorly trained. I'm not sure I'd be very happy about being sent to Afghanistan with their level of training.

I accept that people with medical training are important, but the idea of fighting alongside TA infantry unit scares the shit out of me.

We need the TA for homeland security, but I can't agree with sending them to war zones. What we need is more armed forces...you can't fight two wars with a few thousand fighting able troops.

10:12 pm, October 22, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

Is Hackney run by the gestapo, don't you have free speech anymore?

I've just listened to that sound bite, bloody disgusting. I might add that a Library is not owned by the council, it is owned by the tax payer.

Council workers are servants not tyrants and have no right to block free speech.

What have Labour created, shocking.

10:20 pm, October 22, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

He's rather cleverly publicised a book that otherwise very few people would have heard of. Good luck to him. But there's no general right of authors to use their local library to hold events - it's up to the library and ultimately the council who they let in.

10:38 pm, October 22, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

Well the library wanted to let him in....it was the council who objected. The council doesn't own the library, it belongs to local tax payers.

If tax payers object then they can do so by not going to listen.

Launching a book in a library is surely a good place to start. People do go these place because they like reading books.....they might actually enjoy reading this book.

This guy seems a very level headed chap and was just pointing out that many local amenities have been destroyed in preparation for the olympics. He has that right and since this is not China then also has the right to protest without the fear of the council trying to destroy his career.

10:56 pm, October 22, 2008

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

Whilst I think that the wrong decision was made in terms of the library, its hardly unique - the Tories in Bucks banned all 'political' posters advertising events, which included just about everything they didn't agree with. As for Section 28, goodness knows how many books were not purchased because of council/library services worry ab out breaching it.

I'm totally opposed to holding the Olympics and resent every penny of money being spent on it.

11:05 pm, October 22, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Isn't that dodgy?;

9:39 PM, October 22, 2008"


No - the deciding factor is residence.

In any Council there is a general dispensation from declaring an interest where broad votes on Social Housing are concerned.

Many years ago my aged parents owned two houses - One in Whitstable, and the other in South Wales. Needless to say, as good Party Folk they were registered in a marginal ward, Canterbury Seasalter.

GW

11:49 pm, October 22, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"a further increase in Labour's lead? Not sure where you went to school, but they're still miles behind and will remain there.

8:46 PM, October 22, 2008"


Thank you anon for demonstrating your ignorance.

On the present boundaries and demographic allocations the Vermin need a lead of about 7% to twist the result into a hung parliaent. And if the Ashcroft Millions can only buy those figures I rather suspect that despite the flaws of Brown, and they are many, we might see a Fourth Term for Labour.

GW

11:58 pm, October 22, 2008

 
Anonymous Joseph Stalin said...

Iain Sinclair should not just be silenced. He and the librarian who invited him should both be strung up; setting a fine example to our party faithful.

2:41 am, October 23, 2008

 
Anonymous Clapton Ali said...

Luke Akehurst said... "He's rather cleverly publicised a book that otherwise very few people would have heard of."

You should do the growing up - he is a famous author - and this is a classic Hackney council PR own goal - or shot in the foot. Yet again we are the laughing stock local borough!

10:12 am, October 23, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

He is a famous author who I have never heard of until now.

11:28 am, October 23, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That says more about you than you probably meant to give away Luke!

11:37 am, October 23, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

I don't think I was ever going to be a frontrunner for the Culture portfolio.

12:12 pm, October 23, 2008

 
Anonymous Clapton Ali said...

You don't think you should get the culture portfolio?

No dissent there, Luke!

But shouldn't that read: "He is a famous author whom I had never heard of until now"?

5:25 pm, October 23, 2008

 
Anonymous dyanne costello said...

What we have - in effect - is The Hackney Council Un-Olympic Activities Committee investigating 'intelligent infiltration of Hackney and dissent'. One result we can look forward to should be a blacklist of banned actors, directors and writers.

Sounds familiar?

5:48 pm, October 23, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

I just don't think stopping a very well known author talking about his book because a few months earlier he made some controversial comments about the Olympics, is a good thing.

His book by the way has nothing to do with the Olympics.

This is another example of councils abusing their power and another good reason to strip their power completely.

6:19 pm, October 23, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

I think Luke has been completely brainwashed and has no mind of his own anymore.

Everything Labour do appears to be brilliant.

6:21 pm, October 23, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Everything Labour does is brilliant Rich. One day you will see the light.

10:19 pm, October 23, 2008

 
Anonymous Dan J said...

Luke, this is a threadbare excuse at best. Just what was the "political cause" being promoted by a book launch. Iain Sinclair is not a political party, nor is he promulgating a political programme. He claimed on R4 (check the sound file) that the Olympics did not even feature in the book, though he had written pieces elsewhere about the effects of the Olympic build on places like Hackney Marshes and Manor House Allotments.

He didn't generate the publicity, Hackney Council did that themselves. boating that you were never going to be appointed to the culture brief is a red herring: this is censorship based on the same grounds as the fatwa over The Satanic Verses. Less severe consequences, obviously, but in each case, the basis is the same: ignorance. The book is not published until February, so you cannot have read it, nor can anyone else at Hackney Council.

10:40 pm, October 23, 2008

 
Anonymous Dan J said...

Luke, this is a threadbare excuse at best. Just what was the "political cause" being promoted by a book launch? Iain Sinclair is not a political party, nor is he promulgating a political programme. He claimed on R4 (check the sound file) that the Olympics did not even feature in the book, though he had written pieces elsewhere about the effects of the Olympic build on places like Hackney Marshes and Manor House Allotments.

He didn't generate the publicity, Hackney Council did that themselves. Boasting that you were never going to be appointed to the culture brief is a red herring: this is censorship based on the same grounds as the fatwa over The Satanic Verses. Less severe consequences, obviously, but in each case, the basis is the same: ignorance. The book is not published until February, so you cannot have read it, nor can anyone else at Hackney Council.

10:42 pm, October 23, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

If I or any other councillor had made or been consulted on the decision about Mr Sinclair's book launch we probably would have gone with your call on it and decided it wasn't within the scope of the council's rules about political meetings and should go ahead.

But elected councillors don't make those kind of operational decisions about room hire in libraries, and an Officer has interpreted the rule the way they have, so we are unfortunately where we are. I have no idea why the person concerned thought it was a "political" event.

The rule though is an important one - there are some obvious speakers you wouldn't want to have in public libraries - it's a shame Mr Sinclair has got tangled up in a rule that was never designed to restrict legitimate authors like him.

11:12 pm, October 23, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Luke, I could not give a flying F**k on where this decision rose from.

The author trailed his coat. It got trodden on, dont let the Trots run about whinginging unfair. 'Cos it was very fair.

GW
A founding member of the Raymond Mercardo Fan Club - C/o the Whitstable Labour Club

GW

11:45 pm, October 23, 2008

 
Anonymous Clapton Ali said...

So ... does that let you off the peg, Luke ... because this political decision was made by one of Hackney's unaccountable fat cats? Care to tell us which one?

12:45 pm, October 24, 2008

 
Anonymous Dan J said...

"The author trailed his coat"

What depressing twaddle. How exactly, is an author supposed to function without expressing an opinion?

Stick to your fanzines, leave debate to those who can.

7:47 pm, October 25, 2008

 
Anonymous dyanne costello said...

Luke said "If I or any other councillor had made or been consulted on the decision about Mr Sinclair's book launch we probably would have gone with your call on it and decided it wasn't within the scope of the council's rules about political meetings and should go ahead.

But elected councillors don't make those kind of operational decisions about room hire in libraries, and an Officer has interpreted the rule the way they have, so we are unfortunately where we are. I have no idea why the person concerned thought it was a "political" event.

The rule though is an important one - there are some obvious speakers you wouldn't want to have in public libraries - it's a shame Mr Sinclair has got tangled up in a rule that was never designed to restrict legitimate authors like him."


Well said, Luke! So will you be at the forefront of any movement to get this injustice - on an innocent and well-respected Hackney resident - overturned and ensure any censure or reprimand warranted is carried out on the officer responsible for this "political" balls up? [I think we all know who she is.]

Or is it a return to "the Rotten Borough of Hackney - business as usual"?

8:06 pm, October 25, 2008

 

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