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, March 23, 2009

Erith & Thamesmead selection

Interesting that the national media is suddenly showing an interest in the Erith & Thamesmead parliamentary selection (here, here and here).

This now looks like one of the most wide-open selections in a safe seat (maj. 11,500) in recent years, after NEC member Ellie Reeves, who was the early front-runner, decided not to run.

Regarded as a left citadel by the Grassroots Alliance - Pete Willsman of CLPD and the NEC lives there -the main fight was expected after Ellie's withdrawal to be between leftwingers Angela Cornforth and Theresa Pearce.

However, as is the case in many CLPs allegedly identified with the left, it looks like the activists around Willsman are perhaps not that representative of the wider membership, and that the One Member One Vote process may throw up someone more sensible as the next Labour candidate, with names being mentioned including Georgia Gould as detailed in the press coverage linked to above, and Unite national officer Rachel Maskell who I voted for when the London Regional Political Committee of the union decided its nominee.


Anonymous Tony McNulty said...

Luke what are you doing after work tonight?

Do you fancy coming over my Mum and Dad's, I mean my house to help me count my money?

5:05 pm, March 23, 2009

Blogger Merseymike said...

You mean after the campaign on behalf of Gould operated by some within the party?

If she gets selected I think the electorate would not wish to vote Labour - a less credible candidate could not be imagined.

2:47 am, March 24, 2009

Anonymous Teresa Pearce said...

Honestly Luke you really are a bit of a twerp. I dont know who this "non sensible" Theresa Pearce is but if you mean me Teresa Pearce then its obvious you know absolutley nothing about me. Also as our CLP has had significant boundary change the majority at last election is irrelevant and the real figure is now half what it was - hardly safe in the current enviroment. Please do try to get at least some of your facts right.

8:58 am, March 24, 2009

Blogger Chris Paul said...

This is just partisan tosh Luke. Is it possible just every now and then for you to raise your eyes from the gutter of perceived L-R within the Labour Party and concentrate on beating the opposition?

Both Angela and Teresa have good track records in the constituency do they not? What is it about them that makes them "left wingers" in a party of the left? Is that just a casually applied smear on your part? Because you don't like Pete?

As I recall you had a bloody good but completely unjustified dig at him over the AWS here and the NEC meet on that. Can't you let it lie?

Why do you get a vote on the nomination anyway? Why not leave it to Unite members in the constituency?

10:33 am, March 24, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps Luke is one of the Unite members who would prefer a Tory government?

10:34 am, March 24, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Georgia Gould seems bright and talented. It's pretty great that she worked as an organiser for a south London constituency for her gap year, and I know that at university she worked hard in local elections - in Oxford and in London. It's clear that in time she would make a good candidate and probably an MP too, without needing the party or her parents or their friends to fix things for her. Yes, she's probably on the Blairite wing of the party in policy terms, but frankly that matters less than the fact that she campaigns hard for the party, which is what we need. I have genuinely been impressed by her - and I expected not to be, having met a number of the sons and daughters of the party's great and good over the past couple of years.

What I genuinely don't understand is this: why is she putting up a serious challenge for a winnable seat at the age of 22? It's the sort of thing that really gets people's backs up, and purely in terms of her own advancement and ambitions, may hold her back far more in the long-term. I'm not opposed to young candidates, but 22 is surely pushing it. If she really is being advised by serious party grandees, I would have thought someone would gently have suggested a run as the Labour candidate in Somewhere and Somewhere Else South-East, where she can put up a good show and get experience whilst working to secure a Labour government in on the doorsteps of the nearest marginal seat.

1:20 pm, March 24, 2009

Blogger Chris Paul said...

Interesting points from anonymous.

But the age thing is a distraction IFF this Georgie girl could relate to the electorate, the membership, the issues at the age of 22 that would be fine.

That would be more likely to have come to pass however if she had left school at 16, worked in Woollies for a year, got a career job, started an FE course to support that, started a family even.

But 22 and straight outta Oxenford? This is unlikely to be an effective parliamentarian or local constituency MP however good she may be at Contact Creator.

On the other hand this may be her only chance for 20 years of a safe (-ish) Labour seat. No-one can blame her for spottign an opportunity and trying to take it. We must just hope the CLP choose someone of substantial real life experience and appropriate to the local situation.

3:38 pm, March 24, 2009

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...


the notional majority in E&T on the new boundaries is 9878 (source: http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/guide/seat-profiles/erithandthamesmead).

If you think that 9878 is half of 11500 you are not qualified enough in basic maths to be a parliamentary candidate.

Learn some manners as well.

5:49 pm, March 24, 2009

Anonymous Paul said...

Georgia Gould too young? Surely not. I mean, when New Labour came to power Georgia Gould was still at primary school.

8:13 pm, March 24, 2009

Anonymous Teresa Pearce said...

The 9878 figure is what the 2005 result would have been had the boundaries been as they are now. What I was refering to is what the current majority is likely to be given the polling results from the GLA vote in 2008. I think the 2008 figures are more telling than a notional working of 2005.

8:19 pm, March 24, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

People are missing the point; they are painting Georgia and her campaign as some sort of re-enactment of the old Blairite-Brownite battles...when in fact she represents the future.

She is quite clearly an incredibly bright young woman who just so happens to be well connected. Labour party is not in a good place right now and it needs young progressive thinking people to modernise and make it appealing to the ever-growing army of apathetic voters.

Anyhow, so far she has risen above the bait and gone about her business of pursueding the Labour party members of E&T to vote for her. I feel if more Labour candidates did that, instead of focusing on smear campaigns, maybe they wouldn't have had to worry about a 22 year old with 1/3 of campaigning time getting all the momentum behind her.

12:03 am, March 26, 2009

Blogger Paul Bell said...

How can someone so young have any experience of real life, especially coming from such a wealthy background? I am sick and tired of these annoying politicians who think they have a right to represent us...

11:27 pm, March 30, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

a very coherent and well argued point from mr anonymous...

but why would he need to conceal his identity?

another family member posting complimentary comments perhaps!

10:56 am, April 17, 2009


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