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, August 12, 2010

By-election result

Only one by-election tonight, unfortunately a lost seat, in a part of the country (north Kent) that is of critical electoral importance:

River Ward, Medway UA. Con gain from Lab. Con 617 (44.6%, +5.6), Lab 544 (39.4%, -0.7), LD 104 (7.5%, -0.7), Green 45 (3.3%, +3.3), BNP 39 (2.8%, +2.8), Eng Dem 33 (2.4%, +2.4). Swing of 3.2% from Lab to Con since 2007.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

all those fascists standing didnt help and green

but not good enough comrades

I know our vote is hard to turnout

but need to work harder

in by elections

1:54 am, August 13, 2010

Blogger Nick said...

The main difference on the previous result seems to be that UKIP did not stand this time, whereas the Greens did. It had previously been a split ward, and there have also been some demographic changes that (I'm told) are favourable to the Tories.

I imagine that the Tory vote in the south might well prove a lot more resilient than the Lib Dem vote in the north though.

11:22 am, August 13, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is ocncerning and shows a long hard road to recovery. A lot of the recent sucesses have been in ocnstituencies that elected Labour MPs to the 2010 Parliament.

8:25 pm, August 13, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its about taking council elections a lot more seriously

no excuse

Norwich and Exeter must show the way

if we can beat the Tories in rural Suffolk we should be able to win in Kent

Country Standard

8:38 pm, August 13, 2010

Blogger Robert said...

Southerners have to decide if they want to be terminally selfish and greedy, or actually show solidarity with the rest of the UK. This result, like the general election, suggests that the former sentiment prevails at the moment. Its a matter for them. But let me just say this. If Labour are re-elected resoundingly in the Scottish and Welsh assemblies, but are still defeated in 2015 by a south eastern block vote + gerrymandered constituencies, then the ultimate break-up of the UK is very probable, and indeed justified. There is absolutely no reason why the large anti-Conservative majorities of Scotland and Wales should continue to accept the authority of a predominantly English Conservative Parliament. As a unionist, I hope that the saner members of the Conservative Party will accept this and start rebuilding their bridges, above all with Scotland. If they do not, the current Tory government will preside over the ultimate catastrophe (for them) of losing the Crown's sovereignty over Great Britain. They are well on the way to this. Labour must be ready not only to govern Scotland and Wales properly, and establish model communities where justice and equality of opportunity prevail, but also form a workable partnership with a bitter and, at least initially, very right wing and angry England. It will not be easy to help my fellow-ccuntrymen to shed the shackles of five centuries of rampant imperialism...

10:32 pm, August 13, 2010

Blogger Merseymike said...

North Kent seats will be Tory in an average year, and it appears to me that the South is more tolerant to the government than the North

12:14 am, August 14, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

All those Northerners and Taffies in the South they vote Conservative more than the born and bred Southerners.

8:55 am, August 14, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its not rosy in the South.

If you own a home then you would believe you benefit from the over inflated astronomical housing values.

If you are stuck renting or a 1st time buyer your saddled with excessive hyper inflated housing.

The wages in the South are ok for the parasites in Gerrards cross & Hadley Wood set, but most jobs would not even pay rent on a studio flat.

Labour failed us in 13 years of power it let the housing market boom creating a 2 tier system.

9:00 am, August 14, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the time Labour supporters refer to middle income earners in Southern suberbia as 'parasites' it is unlike the party will gain much favour in the area. The 'cloth cap' attitude is of questionable value even in the North and a total turn off down South.

10:43 am, August 15, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even a lot of middle income earners can't afford to buy a home in the south and are struggling to pay the rent.

The housing market should have been regulated and controlled, as this housing hyper inflation causes instability and bad social consequences in our society.

11:33 am, August 15, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is merit in 11:33 AM's suggestion of regulating the property market but, as it did not happen during thirteen years of Labour, it is even less likely to occur now.

On the other hand, a hyper-inflated property market causes no more social problems than a housing price collapse, so it is not an easy problem to resolve. It is also difficult to see how one sector of the market can be regulated in, what is otherwise, a free market economy.

Certainly any suggestion of housing market regulation would be a real vote loser in the south of England and would hardly be received with rapture in many other parts of the country.

8:36 pm, August 15, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

not seen you around in the by-election. where are you hiding, you coward? gather your candiday is in turkey. you're not getting my vote this time.

ex labour supporter - voting for Ben Mathis.

2:41 pm, August 17, 2010

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Dear "ex-labour supporter",

You haven't seen me in New River because

A) I'm on holiday in Cornwall

B) I can't walk well enough yet to leaflet or doorstep canvass

Our candidate this time is John Burke who lives in Bergholt Crescent in the ward.

4:39 pm, August 17, 2010

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

And he is definitely not in Turkey.

4:42 pm, August 17, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

He may has well have been!

7:24 pm, August 17, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor Robert...! And we had a Labour Government for the last five years based on gerrymandered (by your slightly insane definition) seats in Scotland. On that level it's just the pendulum swinging. It will swing back, although more slowly than might otherwise have been expected based on the performance of the 'Opposition' in recent weeks.

9:14 am, August 18, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I can say to Robert on his break up of the UK is "bring it on." Sure we English would much prefer to choose the political colour of our government rather than having one foisted upon us, as we have until recently, by Labour voters outside our borders.

Mind you, these national definitions are in themselves questionable for, like many English born and resident families, ours traces its roots to the Highlands. Nonetheless I am sure we could govern our seperate countries, whilst still having mutual respect and co-operation, perhaps even better than the perpetual bickering that goes on now.

10:54 am, August 18, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Southerners need to be educated about the damage housing inflation is doing to our economy!

11:43 am, August 18, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Do you seriously think that most ordinary Southerners, other than property speculators, enjoy housing inflation. It is outside their control as it is elsewhere. Look around you for from Anglesey to the Gower Peninsula, the Cotswolds to Cornwall local people are priced out of the market. It ain't unique to the Home Counties or even just the South. Southerners need no more education than anyone else even though that may be a popular notion in parts of the North.

1:11 pm, August 18, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

They do require more clarification on housing inflation damage in the South and other parts of the country as people actually support housing inflation and the governments always put housing inflation down as economic growth, which of course to us more educated people its nothing more than long term damage. People have to think more further than the value of their home.

3:55 pm, August 18, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:55 PM Apply your intelligence properly, my friend. For most people the housing ladder is one where the next step always gets more out of reach. Yes, the current two up and down may have increased in value but the three bed semi needed for the expanding family has gone up by more. There is no tangible profit in it all the time one's abode is needed as a home.

Maybe one gets to a level where the residence is adequate for one's needs but, then we remortgage it to help offspring through university or to cover a shortfall arising from unexpected redundancy. Life has its ups and downs but few people ever massively profit from their place of residence. That is the perogative of the speculator and multiple home owner.

Probably the only time we pocket any cash is when we down size in old age but, for how long, with needs to supplement pensions or pay for care.

No, my intellectually superior friend, most of us do not support housing inflation, having no desire to have to increase our mortgage repayments simply to get an extra bedroom for the growing family. Housing inflation happens due to supply and demand and is certainly not helped by out of control immigration and population growth. Or does saying that make me a bigot!

8:52 pm, August 18, 2010

Blogger Wilfred said...

Hi Tosh

If no one wants this housing inflation then why a couple of years ago were people boring me to tears going on and on about their frickin homes going up in value by £2,000 a Month.

People bloody need a good thick ear to put some sense into their stupid skulls, the housing inflation is the curse of our Nation and its causing us to be less competitive in the global economy, as high house prices cause higher wage demands then leading to inflation in other areas.

Its time we had a political party with the guts to deal with it!

10:27 pm, August 19, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

and what of rural working people

Tory councils have done nothing on social housing

could have but prefer not to

now housing to have ballots in villages

never willhappen !!!

just build somebloody social housing in rural areas

Typically countryside alliance done nothing

10:44 pm, August 19, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wilfred, you really should be more selective with your acquaintances, if they bore you with the rise in their house values, unless of course they are all speculators.

As a property owner, who would dearly love another bedroom but cannot afford the step up, I am no fan of housing inflation. Nonetheless I accept it is something outside the control of governments.

Some writers to this page seem to want to turn home ownership into another class war as though property prices and social housing were somehow inter-twined. Get real, almost two thirds of our population are home owners and, as such, they would never support any move which placed the value of their home below the level of their mortgage.

There is also little or no money in the public sector for social housing so, as the last government found, the only way to increase housing stock is to support the private sector and encourage a percentage of new builds to be affordable. Only trouble with that is, how do you define affordable?

It is a problem easy to whinge about but very difficult for any government/council, of whatever political hue, to solve.

Tosh (what a quaint lower deck name!)

10:43 am, August 20, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 1990 recession was caused by the housing market becoming overinflated and 2008 credit crunch was caused by over borrowing a product of housing

11:16 am, August 20, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:16 AM Whilst I would agree with your comment you offer no answer.
Housing inflation is not unique to the UK and, indeed, the latest global recession was more down to ill conviewed lending in the USA.

There is no easy solution.

12:07 pm, August 20, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoops - in the last post it should read 'ill conceived' not 'ill conviewed' so the old senile dementia kicked in or maybe a touch of dyslexia.

12:59 pm, August 20, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Housing inflation can be controlled. Through a National consensus all houses can be valued as they did with the council tax bands and they should not exceed that figure in a sale.

5:51 pm, August 20, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:51 PM As a former property valuer I can assure you that your proposal would be a nightmare to get right and would never get the majority support of the electorate.

Two identical semis in the same road can be of different value because of improvements, decor, side of road, north or south facing garden and even outlook. One could be what agents describe as 'sought after' whilst the other might constitute a difficult sell. You cannot lesgislate for that kind of thing, leastways not in a democracy!

6:43 pm, August 20, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can do as they have done valuations with the council tax.

Someone has to have the guts to break this astronomical hyper housing inflation madness and many other regulations and controls could be integrated, if this is not done we will just go around in the boom and bust circles getting worse and worse each time.

The electorate need to be informed and educated on this subject as time goes on there will be more people priced out than those on the property ladder, then some reforms will have to be done.

12:02 pm, August 21, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

weight loss success stories

12:39 pm, August 21, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The valuations used for Council Tax banding are the subject of ongoing criticism. The well decorated house is tomorrow's 'in need of redecoration', the view disappeared behind a new development, the road suddenly became a busy thoroughfare and so on. Value is ever changing because of factors other than market trends.

If, 12:02 PM, is correct in forecasting that a point will be reached when more people are off the property ladder than on, then there may be popular support for set values controlled by government.

Until then, however, it would be immensely unpopular and its imposition would be 'Orwellian.'
The very suggestion of 'educating' the public has a nasty ring to it reminiscent of the 'we know better than them' attitude too prevalent amongst politicians.

5:14 pm, August 21, 2010

Blogger Wilfred said...


This circle needs breaking as we are getting no where and can't sustain this outrageous stupid inflation of housing.

7:35 pm, August 21, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wilfred, your comment is not without some merit but far too much importance is attached to housing inflation which is but one cog in the economic machinery. Others might argue for more control of the stock market or the banks, maybe even the prices of essentials. Whatever, without electorate support it is doomed to failure.

Sadly it was the 'Big' government approach and the 'We know better than the voters' attitude in the last government which contributed to Labour's demise in May. Any dictatorial approach to the free market economy, all sections, would reap similar reward at the polls.

7:52 pm, August 21, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the point of wining electoral support, only to be tied up in unregulated economic mess?

If you do a job do it properly!

8:34 pm, August 21, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:43 PM

Without electoral support you have dictatorship. It might also be argued that attempts to over regulate contributed to the mess we are in as a nation.

Governments should be a bit like good parents of grown up children. Advising, guiding without interfering and in some ways helping but, never ever, telling what to do.

We as a people need to learn to sensibly manage our own affairs and, as a vast majority, not need governance. The unfortunate minority, who, through no fault of their own, cannot manage, should be the only ones needing help.

The down side to 'Big' government is that, ultimately, the unfortunate minority become the majority.

9:52 am, August 22, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Going back to the By-election topic originally under discussion, is the originator of the first comment suggesting that facists would otherwise vote Labour were there no facist candidates. Interesting suggestion that!

4:50 pm, August 22, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Democracy is red tape and leaving the market free in an anarchic state is no way to govern.

The economy must be managed and housing inflation must be squashed otherwise we go round and round in the boom and bust many more credit crunches and recessions following and stupid booms pricing us all out.

7:07 pm, August 22, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Heaven forbid that people of your disregard for democracy should ever have a say in the governance of this country. Your red tape is more 'red' mist in front of your eyes in your case but, I am sure you would fit in well with ZANU/PF in Zimbabwe. They don't go much on democracy either though its disregard has done nothing for their economy.

8:04 pm, August 22, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would anyone invest in Zimbabwe?

Well, here's the surprising bit. The outlook for the country is gradually picking up. Just over a year ago, the government stopped printing the Zimbabwean dollar. Zimbabwe now allows trade in the US$ and the euro, sterling, South African rand and Botswana's pula. Inflation actually fell below zero within weeks of the move.

8:33 pm, August 22, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You lot all ways sneer at Zimbabwe sinse it has its independence and many crisis, but very soon with the New economic management structure it will be on par with China-Mean while in the UK we have a ridiculous boom, bust, credit crunch and recession cycle getting worse each time and all some people can say we must not manage our economy as this would be a threat to democracy. We can't blame individuals as they are sucked into this mess it needs real government to break our economic cycle of boom and bust

11:18 pm, August 22, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:18 PM, I can assure you I would never sneer at Zimbabwe but it makes me very sad. Each time I have returned the pot holes have got bigger whilst the power cuts longer. The country's people starve and some four million of us have left to seek work elsewhere. Many of whom now send hard currency money back to support families.

Zimbabwe may well be on the road to recovery, indeed, let us hope so, but it has taken thirty years of misery, beatings, starvation, loss of life, galloping inflation and a denial of democracy to get there. It is only since some restoration of the democratic process and the power sharing agreement with the MDC that change has started to happen.

What Zimbabwe does illustrate is that totalitarian governance can never work yet there are commentators to this blog who seem to be obsessed with the idea of government control of house prices.
Gordon Brown was a control freak, he claimed 'no more boom and bust' yet during his tenure as Chancellor, property prices in parts of the UK trebled.

If he could not control prices what kind of government could?

9:08 am, August 23, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gordon Brown was a Muppet and just carried on with the Tory economic policies, hence property prices trebling under him as Chancellor.

11:25 am, August 23, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:25 AM

Gordon may, or may not, have been a muppet but he was a Labour one. He did a reasonable job of controlling inflation but not house prices. Having said that, house prices had fallen well behind inflation in the early nineties so some adjustment was inevitable.

1:53 pm, August 23, 2010

Blogger Bluenote said...

Luke, what an amazing blog! You launch an item on a by-election result in Medway and we go from facists through housing inflation to electorate intimidation in far flung Filabusi and Marondera. Obviously one or two Zimbabweans in your following not to mention the odd left of left.

All makes for a fascinating exchange.

3:36 pm, August 23, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

View all Topics | View all Messages < Newer Topic | Older Topic >
Waste, the tories know all about it 23-Aug-10 04:42 PM
Good old British rail, John Major decided that it was not value for money and he sold it off to save money, but like all things the tories did it sounds good but ends up costing us billions

With the rail network the taxpayer now pays higher subsidies to private companies than we paid to state-owned British Rail. A report by Dr Richard Knowles, of Salford University, showed that passenger rail subsidies topped £1.34bn in 2002-2003 compared to £1.07bn in 1993-1994 under BR.

Who those clever tories really know how to save us money: lol

Rail companies are still ‘profitable', that is, they still make money and pay themselves immense bonuses because the bedraggled taxpayer covers their losses and then pays through the nose for a ticket to ride one of their trains,

So to summarise, tories tell us it will save us money and that private ownership will make a more efficient rail network at no real cost to the taxpayer, but in reality it costs the taxpayer billions, the service is still crap and the only people benefiting are the city fat cats who own the franchises: Now Cameron is singing the same ture about the remaining state assets:

And some people dare to comment on labour wasting money, at least they were trying to improve the lives of the less well off while major and his tories just wanted to line the pockets of their big city friends:

Now we know just how much taxpayers money is wasted on these franchises, is Conman going to put them back into public ownership: Answers on a postage stamp please

1:02 am, August 24, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

1:02 AM

If that is your idea of intellectual debate it might be better if you keep quiet in future. Seldom have a read such a load of ill informed, bigotted rubbish.

Even the Labour party does not believe in state ownership anymore but you, my friend, are evidently still in the dark ages. Long may you remain there.

10:16 am, August 24, 2010

Blogger Tristan Osborne said...

FYI to readers


River Ward is about to have a new by-election.

10:24 pm, September 02, 2010


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