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.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Barrow selection

Both Iain Dale (http://iaindale.blogspot.com/2009/10/labour-selection-woes-in-barrow.html) and Alex Hilton (http://www.labourhome.org/?p=7875) are trying to throw dirt around regarding the likely selection of John Woodcock as PPC for Barrow-in-Furness.

This is somewhat bizarre as Barrow isn’t a last minute parachute exercise into a safe seat just before an election. It’s a relatively marginal seat and the selection is a full process with the local members in the driving seat making a democratic choice of Labour candidate.

Alex’s problem seems to be that John Woodcock is the runaway favourite and has won the support of every single ward party in the constituency. In the through-the-looking-glass world of metropolitan Labour hackery, John’s moderate politics and track record running Labour Students and working for sitting Barrow MP John Hutton and then for the PM are seen as handicaps and Alex can’t understand how such a candidate could win without jiggery-pokery. But in real world Barrow, outside the beltway, where the biggest local employer is the shipyard that builds Trident submarines, Labour people want a candidate with Woodcock’s politics and see his closeness to the MP they trust, Hutton, and to Gordon Brown, as endorsements worth something.

John Woodcock also happens to be an extremely able and intelligent young man. He will be a great asset to the PLP. It’s a shame that Alex can’t get over his jealousy and stop smearing someone who is winning on merit and because they are the right kind of candidate for that kind of seat.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a piss-poor PR peep you are.

You just managed to avoid mentioning all the scams and fiddles that Woodcock has been engaged in to try and stitch the seat up.

Same old Labour party. Same old lies.

12:26 pm, October 15, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...


I have some respect for you for standing up for a friend if that's what you're doing, but I didn't make the allegations. I'm not throwing dirt, I'm highlighting the very serious concerns raised and seemingly ignored by a local member. That member is retired MP Colin Pickthall.

Are you going to start slagging off Colin or am I the easy target?

Answer this, do you believe the party interferes with internal elections and selections? Do you think it's wrong?

I'll take it as read that on some level of faith you believe that Barrow has been a clean selection so far regardless of Colin Pickthall's complaints.

Alex Hilton

1:04 pm, October 15, 2009

Anonymous Ian G said...

I think we may be getting a tad overheated about this, because I'm sure the members in barrow can make their own minds up.

The little advantages which can be conferred on favored PPC do irritate people though.

For example, is it right that an aspiring parliamentary candidate can use the party's official web platform for his website?

Would a more 'awkward' potential candidate be allowed the same luxury?

4:42 pm, October 15, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember Peter Law and the quite disgraceful way he was treated by this bunch of cretins in government.

Will these people ever learn?

For once I almost find myself in agreement with Alex Hilton.

Generally I try to ignore his opinions - he's too much up his own arse but he may have a point here.

He is still a little shit mind.

5:19 pm, October 15, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What scams and fiddles? There are no scams and fiddles. It's all hot air and no substance.

Woodcock (who I have known personally for years I should declare) has always been one of the really good guys. He's a great and effective campaigner but he's not and never has been any kind of cheat.

Some people would say Peter Law didn't behave all that well at the time.

It's all in the "who's telling it."

Which brings me on to Pickthall who represents a Lancashire seat.

What's the story here behind his involvement in a marginal seat across the county border?

Or more to the point is he going to tell us that bit?

6:51 pm, October 15, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colin Pickthall retired from the Commons in 2005 and moved back to his home area within the constituency. He is the Branch Secretary of the ONLY functioning branch within the CLP and thus able to speak with excellent authority.

When the officials from NW Region put out a press statement saying no evidence of wrongdoing had been presented, that is simply untrue. They may not feel the breaches were sufficiently severe to take action, but it is a fact that they have acknowledged various irregularities within the process.

9:03 pm, October 15, 2009

Blogger Duncan Hall said...

I find it slightly surprising that Hackney Councillor and former Labour Students National Secretary Luke Akehurst should dismiss the concerns of a Barrow BLP secretary while complaining of 'the looking-glass world of metropolitan labour hackery' and still manage to keep a straight face!

10:26 pm, October 15, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one takes any of these labour bloggers seriously - it's not personal against Luke - they really are just a bunch of dreamers and misfits and generally dishonest brokers.

There needs to be a complete clear out of these spivs and suck arses who only tow a party line - irrespective of how morally corrupt that line may be - just to get a possible future position in a government attached job.

With Labour activists its always the same - run for office, not get elected, get some 'important' job for an MP or go for a council position. Never actually do a real job. What have those Milibands ever done?

Apart from crying because his wife wanted him to defraud the taxpayer more quickly what has Andy Burnham ever actually done?

As detestable as John Prescott is (with his stealing tax payers money for his imitation wooden beams and toilet seats, his affair with his secretary where she gets punished and his playing croquet at Chequers while claiming to be working class) at least he has done a job prior to being an MP.

What has that pantomime clown Mandelson ever actually done?

And remember even if the PLP hated Peter Law the voters loved him and ultimately, as much as they hate that fact it is the people who decide.

If a lethal dose of realism isn't quickly administered to all levels of Labour supporters we really are doomed and even if twats like 'Arnold' on this blog and that little dickhead Alex Hilton seem to get too high a profile they should be challenged at all costs.

11:18 pm, October 15, 2009

Blogger Merseymike said...

I think its a case of the resources he has as opposed to others. Everyone knows that this is an example of the party machine pushing a candidacy so why pretend otherwise?

Colin Pickthall, an excellent former MP has raised his concerns.

I feel sure that selecting this candidate will see the seat fall to the Conservatives, and if it stops the sort of interference we have seen here and in Calder valley, where Steph Booth will come third at best and perhaps even fourth in a Labour-held seat, and the nonsense at Erith where another London-based 'researcher' was bigged up by the hierarchy, then I hope he loses.

If he's that good - then let him win fairly. No chance of that here

6:52 pm, October 16, 2009

Blogger Merseymike said...

Oh, and in any case, given that John Hutton has been the MP here, a Tory win would signify a shift to the left - Hutton should have never been allowed to join the Labour party, let alone represent it. He is a Tory, simple as that

6:53 pm, October 16, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oi Merseyside Mike

Perhaps you hadn't noticed the Deputy Chairperson of the party?

Anthony Charles Linton Bliar?

Lord Hattersley?

Mandelson? (URGGHHHHHH!)

You think they are Horny Handed Sons Of Toil?

Millibands? etc etc etc

Wake up Mike, you New Liebour scally - you've been rumbled and the games up.

People will come out to vote just to see the look on Browns face as he's dragged from the bunker hanging on by his fingernails - oh he hasn't got any....

5:47 pm, October 17, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all it is good seeing you up and running Luke, but I must take exception to this article.

1 I know this area well and I can tell you these people are working class pro union men and women

2 They need somebody who maybe pro defence industry, but will look after the rights at work

3 Barrow is a town of high unemployment and need a strong fighter neither Hutton or John (nothing personal) are not this.

4 The biggest union in the area is Unite, and I know the regional political committee, which I am a member of would sooner give a union actvist the support

and so on and so on.

Luke get the picture on this

Yes John might be a decent bloke, this is politics and on this one mate you are out your depth.

Labour Home and Alex are correct and the new Labour project is dead. Lets get our party back and win the next general.

Lets choose candidates who do care. Barrow needs a fighter not a adviser

3:30 pm, October 18, 2009

Anonymous Eddie Lierberman said...

Having worked on the original builds in Barrow I fully concur with that last remark.

The other comments are clearly from some London based Metropolitan Elite Class of people who really don't understand the working man and should stop claiming that they do.

I also agree with the previous remark about that Alex Hilton being a little shit.

He is and the sooner the blogs get some proper Labour representation the better - he does us all a disservice.

Tell me how his sort will appeal to your average shipyard worker - the supposed demographic Labour voter.

8:41 pm, October 18, 2009


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