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, May 19, 2010

They never learn

You'd think Compass would have understood the damage they did to themselves and the Labour Party by advocating tactical voting.

But in what I assume is a deliberate attempt to wind-up and antagonise as many Labour activists as possible they have announced that Green MP Caroline Lucas "has just confirmed to address the Compass National Conference A New Hope".

The Greens may have interesting ideas we would want to engage with, but Ms Lucas just two weeks ago beat by a narrow margin a really very good Labour candidate, Nancy Platts, in the marginal seat of Brighton Pavilion. If we want to win a majority again we have to win that seat back.

Compass' track record on picking progressive allies to engage with ain't great. Remember that Clegg guy they said we should be finding common ground with?

Those of us who have fought the Greens at grassroots level know that they don't view us as potential allies but as a hostile force that needs to be beaten.

To take Compass' cheesy "A New Hope" Star Wars analogy further, if Labour are the Rebel Alliance they just invited a Sith Lord to speak at the briefing on how to attack the Death Star.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spot on Luke. A kick in the teeth for Brighton Labour activists after the disappointment of their recent defeat.

The Compass Star Wars theme is about as original as an X Factor cover version, sack the creative guys!

5:23 pm, May 19, 2010

Blogger Merseymike said...

I think the difference is that the Greens have some very good ideas that we really could do well to listen to.

5:45 pm, May 19, 2010

Anonymous M said...


8:05 pm, May 19, 2010

Blogger DocRichard said...

Politics is a game of 2 halves. One half is competing in elections for votes. The other half is working together on what is the best way to change the world to bring about the greatest happiness for the greatest number. The election is over. Now is the time to do the work together thing.

11:59 pm, May 19, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nancy Platts was, indeed, a very good candidate and will be so in future.

Equally, Caroline Lucas is a very able candidate and, as Merseymike says, someone we could learn a great deal from; particularly in relation to green industrial policy.

My one reservation is her silence on equality of opportunity. No less than I'd expect from a public-schoolgirl, though.

It's hard to shake the feeling, however, that this piece is not, in fact, about Platts or Lucas at all, who're merely being used as a stick with which to beat Compass.

Intellectually dishonest, I'd say.

12:33 am, May 20, 2010

Anonymous T_i_B said...

Would you rather they have Eric Illsley speak instead Luke?

8:49 am, May 20, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Compass-bashing risks leading us into exactly the kind of fratricidal aggro that tends to keep parties in opposition for the long term.
We surely should not be wasting time lashing out at groups, for the most part at least, give active support to Labour and want to contribute to the debate on its future.
We need to accept that a big part of the potential support for Labour does not like a wholly tribal approach< If we are not careful we will end up like trots - blaming our failure on ill-discipline etc, rather than the fact that the Labour government got plenty wrong in recent years

10:33 am, May 20, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luke - any more Compass bashing and you are going to lose yourself several votes for the NEC at least.
At a time like this it is profoundly pointless to lash out at one of the few active groups who, for the most part at least support Labour and want to help rebuild it.
Your comments risk fuelling the kind of fratricidal aggro that is proven to keep parties in opposition for long spells.

10:38 am, May 20, 2010

Blogger Merseymike said...

Must say I agree. If there is going to be one thing that is important in opposing a coalition (no matter how lacking in principle) it is a sense of unity. Compass and Progress remain part of the party and will continue to do so.

11:09 am, May 20, 2010

Blogger rb said...

The New Hope Conference intends to invite Liberal Democrats along side members of various Cuba Solidarity societies (communists).

Compass think that they can cobble together orange book centre-right liberals with communists. They're living in fantasy land.

11:18 am, May 20, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't they balance things out a bit by also inviting the GMB Convenor at Sellafield? Or indeed the vocally pro-nuclear local MP, Jamie Reed (Copeland)?

This was supposed to be a key marginal seat but Labour held on comfortably - and the Greens got 0.9% of the vote.

Nowhere is it more clear that the Green Party are not on the same side as ordinary working people than in Copeland.

12:16 pm, May 20, 2010

Blogger Merseymike said...

If 'ordinary working people' means the defence industry, then so be it. There will have to be major cuts in defence and that will mean redundancies in that area. We soend far too much on defence and are involved in far too many skirmishes which are none of our business.

1:07 pm, May 20, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...


I think you're confusing us with Barrow.

Copeland has three sites nominated for civil nuclear new build - with the prospect of 1,000's of new jobs

If you would like to suggest scrapping these proposals, then you are very, very welcome.

Just don't expect the people of Copeland to vote for it - not least the proverbial "white working classes" who actually work in the industry.

99.1% of those who voted in this constituency voted for a candidate that supported nuclear new build - even the Lib Dem candidate was in favour.

3:54 pm, May 20, 2010

Blogger Merseymike said...

I don't believe in the expansion of civil nuclear power. I can't imagine any candidate in Copeland being selected on a platform which advocated its abolition, however, but the same could be said about all sorts of industries which are prominent in a single seat.

5:21 pm, May 20, 2010

Anonymous Ben said...

Luke is right. This is a kick in the teeth for loyal Labour people in Brighton.

Compass continue to be a shocking liability.

12:19 am, May 22, 2010

Anonymous Warren said...

Yes have an open debate and learn from others, but the timing of this could not be worse. Here in Brighton the Greens have been taking seats from Labour for 15 years and have focussed all their efforts on ousting us as the opposition to the Tories and stopping Nancy from holding a Labour seat and becoming one of the best of the new intake of Labour women MPs. As others have said, a kick in the teeth.

7:26 pm, May 22, 2010


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