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, December 17, 2008

Misdirected begging bowls

I've just had another email from Compass:

"Dear Compass member/supporter [I'm neither!]

I'm writing to ask for your urgent support to help provide the extra resources we badly need to make real change happen.Please show your solidarity to Compass by setting up a regular donation.

We need your support to successfully make the case for a radical progressive agenda by providing us with much needed financial support. Our aim is to raise £15,000 by the New Year to fund a new post in order to increase our organisational capacity in 2009 and add to our small team of just two.

Please donate now. If only 300 people give just £50 each we will reach our target. Compass may not have rich millionaire donors, but we have got you! If we reach our target think how proud we can all feel going away for Christmas and then start the New Year with a spring in our step."

Or alternatively, instead of finding £15k to damage Labour's chances of re-election by organising against its Leadership, engaging in collective navel-gazing conferences and promoting vote-losing policies, 300 people could give £50 each to their local CLP where it will be spent on leaflets that might actually persuade people to vote Labour.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is it your posting when you should be working?

Keep your head down and your nose clean.

There's missile systems to be sold, human beings to be killed and mutilated, money to be made,

5:52 pm, December 17, 2008

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Usually I am working when I could be posting (I'm in the office most days at 7.30am) so it makes a nice change.

There would be "missile systems to be sold" (or rather the sellers of them to be advised on their communications strategy) if we worked for a missile manufacturer - unfortunately a) all the main UK MoD missile competitions were decided years ago and therefore b) my company stopped working for that client in 2002. Good products though. And a bit pointless having an air force unless they have something to fire.

6:05 pm, December 17, 2008

Blogger Guido Fawkes said...

£50 to damage Labour's chances of re-election by organising against its leadership?

Might just send them some cash in that case.

7:48 pm, December 17, 2008

Blogger Mark Still News said...

What about the half a Trillion pounds damage to the Labour Party that we all have to pay back.

These banks should not have been propped up, but the way forward would have been to fully Nationalise and let the people own and control!

Post Office Privatisation that's a big loser!

The CLP's will have a hard job trying to convince people to vote for LP!

9:38 pm, December 17, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Thank god there are people willing to stand up against NuLabour and stand behind traditional Labour values.

For the first time the UK people may well see the benefits of joining the EU. Thanks to a Labour MEP (Simon Hughes ) workers in the UK will no longer have to work more than 48 hours. To my horror Brown wanted to keep the UK opt out and surprise surprise the conservatives did too.

Any economy where workers have to work more than 48 hours to live is in serious trouble. If Brown wants public support for the EU then maybe he should support many of the social aspects of being part of the EU.

10:32 pm, December 17, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Compass - an organisation "who organise against the leadership" as you put it had the following speakers at their 2008 confernce:

Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP; Rt Hon Harriet Harman MP; Rt Hon Douglas Alexander MP; Bill Rammell MP; David Lammy MP; Mike O Brien MP; Angela Eagle MP; Rt Hon James Purnell MP; Jon Cruddas MP; Jon Trickett MP;

Many of whom are in the Cabinet and others who are party loyalists.

Have a go at their policy ideas if you wish, but you make yourself look foolish attacking Compass as "organising against the leadership" when it is so patently untrue.

Your knee jerk bilious response towards anything Compass does clouds your judgement.

One of these crazy policy ideas, such as forcing the energy companies to pass on price drops to domestic consumers, has now been raised at PMQs by the Deputy Leader of the Party,no less.

My god Compass really are out of touch with what ordinary people want and what the Leadership of the Party think!

11:24 pm, December 17, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

I think its vital that some new ideas are developed. Given the inability of the party to harness its membership in order to do so, it is left to groups such as compass

11:56 am, December 18, 2008

Anonymous Dave H said...

Our CLP would indeed welcome the odd £50 for leaflets. What we’d welcome even more is some more activists to help us deliver them. Sadly membership in the Labour party has fallen dramatically. Members feel - entirely correctly – that their views on a whole range of issues have been systematically ignored.

The one campaign I have been involved in which has actually enthused party members is that of Jon Cruddas’s deputy leadership bid, of which Compass was a very important part. I can’t help feeling that we would be doing much, much better in terms of our organisation, campaigning and recruitment, so on that level, more power to Compass!

Compass have pushed several campaigns, the most recent of which being for a windfall tax on energy companies. Do you really think that would lose us the general election???

I must admit I feel the same visceral hatred for Labour First that you seem to feel for Compass, but we should probably both move on from this factional stuff...

12:23 pm, December 18, 2008

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

I don't feel a "visceral hatred for Compass", I pity their political immaturity and lack of intellectual rigour.

1:06 pm, December 18, 2008

Blogger E10 Rifle said...

As opposed to that of Progress, that bastion of towering envolope-pushing intellects.

Luke, what ARE the policies that Compass are pushing that enrage you so.

Other than 'shutting up and not doing what they're told by the leadership' of course.

5:36 pm, December 18, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Criticising someone else for their "political immaturity and lack of intellectual rigour"!?!

Well, at least it gave me a good laugh.

5:37 pm, December 18, 2008

Blogger Mark Still News said...


With all this UE going up surely the government should bring in a 32 hour a week as job creation? not trying to maintain an opt out of Max 48 hours per week?

6:33 pm, December 18, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

And they wonder why people really don't know who to vote for. We have a Labour party that thinks working more than 48 hours is a matter of choice, when in reality most working people would not choose to work 48 hours + if they could earn enough in 37.5.

The Labour party should be behind its workforce making sure that they get just rewards for hard work. Instead we have a Labour party that has forced the cost of living through the roof while the lowest paid workers have to take two jobs just to make ends meet.

This is why virtually all the jobs created by this government have been taken by foreign workers. Such workers have taken the jobs that British workers simply couldn't afford to take and making it pay by working way above the 48 hour limit. Brown is trying to hide this fact by trying to keep the UK opt out.

This just proves that the UK is in a very poor economic position. We are a low wage economy.

If this government wants public support for Europe then please deliver some of the social policies that the Labour party promised. If we are to be part of Europe then make it a level playing field so that all workers have the same rights.

8:24 pm, December 18, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And remind me how Progress or the shadowy Labour First fund themselves?

9:07 pm, December 18, 2008

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Progress is funded by Lord Sainsbury.

Labour First hasn't got any income beyond the couple of quid people put in a collection to pay for room hire for our AGM at the Brandhall Labour Club.

8:20 am, December 19, 2008

Anonymous Larry Critter said...

Ahh the Puke-nuke-meister,

You remind me of one of those kids at school who didn't get their candy, walked around looking like you had a wasp stuck down your pants. Actually you were probably bullied at school, were really insecure, hence why you're such an egomaniac nowadays.

Of course I could be mature like you- and "pity" your lack of openes, elitist new-Labour "one law for them another one for us" lack of willingness to listen.

How many ordianry people have views like you Luke? Most ordinary people don't like arse kissers!

1:41 pm, December 19, 2008

Anonymous Duke said...

Luke- were you a concentration camp guard in a previous life?!

1:52 pm, December 19, 2008

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Actually I wasn't ever bullied at school so your theory falls a bit flat.

It's strange that if no one agrees with the policies I espouse they still managed to win Labour 3 general elections.

1:58 pm, December 19, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

No, Luke, Labour won those elections because there was no reasonable alternative - the Tories were unelectable.

And I voted for them each time but certainly in 2005, without a shred of enthusiasm.

5:51 pm, December 20, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:54 pm, December 20, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

Rich: sorry but I don't agree. People could live on less but don't wish to. The long hours and overtime culture is much stronger here but I think expectations are much greater. Also, people have too many children too young and then expect subsidy for them.

Most of all, the emphasis on home ownership at a very early age which utterly skews the necessary income.

If the current events mean that this obsession is recognised as economically damaging and unrealistic that can only be a good thing.

5:55 pm, December 20, 2008

Blogger Mark Still News said...

Our overtime stopped in 1999 so we had the credit crunch years ago.

I don't think many people do overtime any more. Most jobs do not have the enhanced overtime rates like there used to, like One and a third normal hours, weekend double time all that has gone, due to restructuring.

7:14 pm, December 20, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Mike where are you living? The germans and the French have a better standard of living yet work less hours?

Engineering and the building industry still have overtime. Standard working week has increased from 37 hours to 40 but overtime is paid at the going rate.

People work overtime so they can afford to buy a home/car or save up for special events like holidays and Christmas. If you can't live day to day without overtime then that is serious.

The UK is lagging behind both Germany and France with respect to wages.

Two things need to happen

1. cost of renting and buying a house needs to fall.

2. Wages should reflect the cost of living not an arbitrary min wage.

Both of the above are not happening despite falling house prices.

12:42 am, December 21, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

The point is that with so much home ownership, prices are going to always be under pressure of spiralling.

But it would take a brave government which admits that the universal home ownership strategy has its problems!

Germany in particular has a very different structure with regard to housing, and because most people buy later and not on huge mortgages it doesn't have the same pressure cooker effect.

I do agree that housing costs are the core of the problem.

3:48 pm, December 24, 2008


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