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.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Labourlist.org goes live

The new Labourlist.org website went live over the weekend.

It's taken a while to get there - Derek Draper who is the editor was discussing the project with Labour bloggers back in the summer when the political context was a very different one of imminent meltdown.

I think it's going to be a very important resource for Labour activists in the run-up to the election.

The critical thing to note is that it won't just be a multi-writer blog like LabourHome - as the header on the webpage says it will be the home of "an independent grassroots e-network" - where you can sign-up to get email alerts and daily briefings sent to your inbox. That provides quite a powerful tool for keeping Labour supporters updated with the latest political developments by email. That's why the name is not "Laboursite" or "Labournet" but "Labourlist" as in email list.

The Guardian has picked up on my involvement saying I am a "respected Labour blogger". I think this must be a typo - surely it should read "detested Labour blogger"?

Anyone got any suggested on what my first post on Labourlist should be about?


Blogger Duncan Hall said...

Gaza, if you want to get the site buzzing a bit more...

Otherwise, maybe a good 'roundhead' post about organisation, campaigning and whatnot?

11:15 am, January 12, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anyone got any suggested on what my first post on Labourlist should be about?"

How about why we need to sell more arms to Israel?

11:17 am, January 12, 2009

Anonymous Harry said...

Your resignation?

12:01 pm, January 12, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, if you're playing up to the characiture of yourself you could have a whinge about the Lefties being responsible for all Labour's woes and insist that government ministers need to reaffirm their commitment to the principles of New Labour.

Alternatively, as Duncan suggests, a sensible post about the importance of campaigning and organisation might be a better use of everybody's time!

12:04 pm, January 12, 2009

Anonymous mark baker said...

Luke asked:- "Anyone got any suggested on what my first post on Labourlist should be about?"

How about a piece defending Prince Harry, saying it's all the fault of those PC Lefties for blowing it all out of proportion.

It's just banter, ain't it Luke? That's more or less what Gordon Brown implied with his feeble "condemnation" of Harry.

The title of your piece should be: "I get called a gigner tosser all the time; these darkies should just learn to get on with it!"

12:53 pm, January 12, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i did not think there was many labour activists left is that why you need a list as they are too hard to find .thats why they to rely on the union members as the ordinary working men and women abandoned labour a long time ago when labour became new labour you will find them in the bnp or communist parties or even the apathy party the labour party has no resemblence to the labour party of my youth

1:51 pm, January 12, 2009

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...


being a PC leftie myself I would take a less tolerant line on the language HRH used than the PM did - despite him being a fellow Ginger.

I'm not massively surprised he appears to have reactionary views on race and gays, given that he is heir to a hereditary monarchy.

2:18 pm, January 12, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

well done harry keep up the good work

2:38 pm, January 12, 2009

Anonymous Michael said...

Attacking the idea of hereditary monarchy Luke - are you turning into a Lefty after all in your old age?!

3:43 pm, January 12, 2009

Anonymous tim f said...

On Prince Harry - I thought the whole episode was more revealing about the Tories than about Harry.

This from the BBC website:

'Rod Richards, who served as a Foreign Office minister in former prime minister John Major's Conservative government and also as an officer in the Royal Marines, defended the prince on the Today programme.

He said he regarded "Paki" as an abbreviation, and the prince, in his view, had "not crossed the line".'

That's a Tory Foreign Office Minister who reckons **** is an acceptable abbreviation. And not one who served 50 years ago either, only back in the 90s. At least Prince Harry apologised rather than trying to justify it like this racist Tory scum.

5:13 pm, January 12, 2009

Anonymous Rich said...

Nothing Prince Harry said on his movie was offensive.

1. The video was not meant for public broadcast and therefore should not have been published.

2. The manner at which he used the word "Paki" was in good humour and was not said to offend. ie "My Paki Friend".

3. Names are used throughout Military life, I was called spuddy, others paddy, blackie, Paki, Taffie and Jock. God the list goes on and on....I can't remember them all. None were meant to offend and if they did you would give them a slap and that would be the last of it. Good relations with the lads are probably more important in the military than anywhere else as your life is often on the line.

4. Political correctness will not be tolerated in the military. It is a closed shop and what goes off on tour stays on tour.

If people get offended then that is their problem for reading such a crap news paper. The video is a private log of his training and should not have been published. If Harry had public ally shouted Paki across the street then that would then be a matter of the press.

5:48 pm, January 12, 2009

Blogger Duncan Hall said...

Sorry Rich but I completely disagree. I think you have touched on the serious aspect of this (once we make the obvious points about some over-privelaged twit being - unsurprisingly - an ignorant bigot); this clearly is institutional and cultural. Yes, those names are bandied about all the time, and if you want to have a quiet life you laugh along with it and pretend you find it funny. It used to be the norm in lots of other walks of life too, and thank God that sort of harassment would be unthinkable in most jobs. The forces cannot be a closed shop - it needs to conform to the law, and it needs to be a fair and non-discriminatory employer. The challenge here is not so much for Prince Harry, but for those who run the armed services to expunge this sort of culture from their institution. Because it is an institution where people are careless about offensive language, or reduce people to 'ragheads', etc. which will produce some people who will beat up prisoners or shoot civilians who they see as being less human than their families back home. That might sound an extreme point - and I'm certainly not levelling that accusation at Prince Harry - but essentially what you're saying (and what I think that video proves) is that the army is institutionally racist, and that is a much more important job to tackle than one predictably offensive royal.

7:14 pm, January 12, 2009

Anonymous Rich said...

Duncan, racism does exist in the army as it does in any part of life. However, there is a big difference between calling someone "My Paki Friend" to hurling it offensively at someone you don't even know. We often take the piss of those we know and we know we can get away with because we know we don't offend each other by doing it.

Some people even refer to each other as Nigger, which I find offensive but between two friends it is just the language they use. We even here it in films these days.

So what you are saying is that the colour of your skin determines what language you can use.

I think this video is a newspaper slur and please don't forget that this man his serving his country.

The military is like no other job and you are expected to do things that no other employer would ask you to do.

10:47 pm, January 12, 2009

Anonymous Rich said...

What I am saying is that they make their job more palatable by having a laugh. Sick humor maybe....but takes the fear away.....part of the training....look it up.

10:54 pm, January 12, 2009

Anonymous robert crawford said...

Rich does make a good point about the n word. Why is it OK for blacks to call each other n****r?

And don't give me none of this crap abaout reclaiming the word, since it wasn't their word to begin with!

10:33 am, January 13, 2009

Anonymous Rich said...

It's only ok to say Nigger if the person it is aimed at is ok with being called a nigger. Personally I find it offensive but thats because of the history of its use. Historically it was used as an offensive term hence why so many people don't like the word.

If, however, people choose to use this language in private and both parties are happy to be called such words then surely this is not a matter for anyone else other than the people in question.

My Grandad often called Black people jungle bunny's and he hated Koreans....but maybe that had something to do with being a prisoner of war in Korea. I just ignored his comments and put it down to a generational difference.

Prince Harry should have realised that any comment he makes could be used against him, especially one concerning the race of a fellow officer. But he made these comments over 3 years ago and when he was still an immature little brat.

6:25 pm, January 13, 2009

Anonymous david said...

I'd suggest an article arguing for Heathrow (and aviation generally) expansion

It annoys me
to hear a load of middle class, well-off people whinging about airport expansion - even if taxes on flying were put up, these people would still be able to afford to travel by air. How many of the celebs who've brought land will be foregoing their own personal and professional air travel?

There are several arguments to be put forward:
1) How many jobs does Heathrow currently support in the area within which there are several Labour marginals)? I would wager that those whose livelihoods depend on the airport are more supportive, at least privately, of expansion. How many jobs will be created by the construction of a new runway?

2) Shouldn't Labour be exposing Boris' policy to move Heathrow (which is outside his powers anyway) about moving 250k plus jobs to soemwhere 40 odd miles away (where no middle class potential TOry voters live) without any thought as to where people are going to live and what the people left behind in West London would do? (Not to mention the lack of infrastructure in the area etc etc). Nice idea, shame it's not really been thought through.

3) THe Tory idea of improved rail links to Heathrow and high speed lines should also be subjected to scrutiny. It is worth noting that a relatively small number of people actually travel from domestic airports to Heathrow therefore does the cost of new links outweigh the benefits?

4) Travel is a great democratiser. 200 years ago, travel to exotic climes was the privelege of very few extremely wealthy people. Access to travel to a wider proportion of the population has got to be a good thing, eg appreciating cultural differences, broadening horizons or is it so good that is should be kept for a priveledged few? Restricting air travel would not stop the better off travelling as they would still be able to afford it... The less well-off would be the people who suffer.

I appreciate above is more in the nature of a brain dump and not terribly cohesive - however, there are arguments not being put forward that are worth considering in the debate as to whether we should allow a third runway / extra runway capacity in the south east.

10:55 pm, January 13, 2009

Blogger Duncan Hall said...

But it isn't actually about restricting air travel is it? It's about choosing not to greatly further expand air travel, kicking lots of people out of their homes and communities and making a large area uninhabitable while we're at it.

Travel is a great leveller. But I don't think there is a progressive argument for kicking people out of their homes in order to facilitate the gridlock of our airspace.

9:58 am, January 14, 2009

Blogger Shamik said...

Well said David!

I think it's high time those of us on the right side of these arguments organised some demos in favour of airport expansion!

Why is it always the nutters who have the monopoly on demonstrations? Probably because the rest of us are too busy working, unlike the unwashed eco-warriors and full-time peace campaigners!

10:40 am, January 14, 2009

Anonymous Rich said...

You can't argue for higher motoring costs as a way of being green and then pass yet another airport expansion. The whole argument just doesn't make sense....you are either for reducing carbon or you are not....and what is does this policy say about Labour.

You can't keep on setting carbon limitations when you have no intention of ever keeping your promises.

The world economy has to shrink or at least say static. The argument for allowing airport expansion to allow for economic growth is crazy. We need to make what we have more green and stop the environmentally damaging growth.

7:08 pm, January 14, 2009

Anonymous Rich said...

David, yes it is nice to travel the world but if we all start doing it then you can kiss goodbye to our planet. Unfortunately we all have to accept that our standard of living is going to take a dent or order to save the planet. The are billions of people living in developing countries that still don't have running water yet you moan about your holidays. How can we tell developing countries to cut down when we are so keen on pursuing hedonistic lifestyles.

Access to travel is going to stop but those privileged few who run the airline industry want to make a packet out of it while cheap oil makes it still possible. It won't continue for more than 10 years...I'm willing to bet on it.

This really isn't the time for expanding air travel is it.

7:17 pm, January 14, 2009

Anonymous The Editor said...

A grassroots alternative to LabourList has launched today. LABOURIST.org has the same content (which Derek kindly agrees to share) but without the heavy handed comment moderation. We welcome open and lively debate from everyone, not just the Labour-minded.

6:21 pm, January 16, 2009


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Free Hit Counters
OfficeDepot Discount