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.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Language in the Labour Party

Former NEC member Peter Kenyon disagrees with the then majority on the NEC about its actions in regard to Tower Hamlets.

He sets out his case here: http://petergkenyon.typepad.com/peterkenyon/2010/10/tower-hamlets-mps-and-labours-nec-are-risking-further-scandal.html

That's fine. He's entitled to his view.

But what isn't fine is his use of the title "Obergruppenführer" to describe former and current London Labour Party Directors Terry Ashton and Ken Clark.

"Obergruppenführer" isn't just a German rank, it's a Nazi SS rank, the highest in the organisation beneath Reichsführer-SS Himmler.

It is childish, tasteless, insulting and gratuitous to use a title associated with the organisation that perpetrated the holocaust to describe Labour Party officials who have been trying to deal with very complex and volatile political situations in a professional way.

What's more, as Party employees they can't answer back.

Peter should apologise to them. This is completely uncomradely and unacceptable language.


Anonymous Alex Ross said...

But don't you understand Luke? Peter just wants to 'Save the Labour Party'!

Spot on blog post Luke, keep it up.

1:19 pm, October 26, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet you don't feel like it at all unless you've read all the instructions twice on the Durex packet.

Oberbollocks has switched its meaning on translation.

I take it to mean laughably and pedantically authoritarian - as in someone choosing to define Oberbollocks in the way you have.

I didn't know its Nazi derivation until you told me.

2:07 pm, October 26, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh dear, seemingly no place for humour in the Labour party these days. Sure the previous commentator was right and that most folk would not make the SS connection but more some vision of a rather dictatorial approach to a complex local democracy issue.

I take the view that I might not always like the persons selected to stand in any given constituency or ward but I do respect the rights of the locals to choose them.

3:49 pm, October 26, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are you so worried about the Bangladesh inner city satellite, forget it move on and get cracking on an answer to the Tories allegations that Labour caused this mess, you have to prove it to the general public that Labour was spa ending to keep people in work therefore protecting the economy,so far the Tories are winning this argument while Nero fiddles Rome burns!

Forget Tower Hamlets its a Bangladeshi thing!

5:04 pm, October 26, 2010

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

anon 3.49pm

Like you "I do respect the rights of the locals to choose them" - in the case of the Tower Hamlets mayoral selection one of the reasons it was overturned was prima facie evidence that a very large number of members not resident in Tower Hamlets had voted based on false or out of date addresses.

5:17 pm, October 26, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I simply don't understand some useful idiots in the Labour Party who will simply back anyone Labour expels, particularly in these circumstances - they won't question how they won the ballot, or why they were suspended, or whether they put themselves beyond the pale by nominating as an independent.

Still, they could be worse - they could openly denigrate such people on their blog then threaten to work hard for them anyway.

7:48 pm, October 26, 2010

Anonymous Bill Turner said...

Spot on Luke and utterly impossible to disagree with whatever one's view on the Tower Hamlets situation. I noted this when I read it but it's helpful to have the exact meaning of the term clarified.

It might be an idea to send this post as an email / letter to Peter and see if you get a response.

11:07 pm, October 26, 2010

Blogger Edward Carlsson Browne said...

If that's the case Luke then can I suggest the NEC publically releases this information?

Because as it stands they've done a terrible job of establishing their case and a great job of making Rahman look like a plausible simulacrum of a martyr.

I'm certain the situation is a lot more complex than that, but not certain how. Actually releasing this prima facie evidence would help convince me for one.

11:41 pm, October 26, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forget Bangladesh town, we are losing the argument against the Tories Nationally, 58% of voters according to surveys believe the cut backs are right. If you don't get this across then Labour will be out in the cold for 20 years.

Tower Hamlets is the least of our worries, its just an extension of Sub continent influences imported!

9:23 am, October 27, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not think that elected mayors are a good idea anyway. They can create problems vis a vis the elected councillors. This is what appears to have happened in Stoke and it was probably a good thing that it was abolished.

Alternatively, they could concentrate too much power into one individual and that is potentially corrupting both legally and morally.

Unless and until someone proves otherwise, then I will regard them aa a gimmick and not a very good one at that.

Their supporters have often claimed that they would increase turnout and interest in local politics. I cannot see any evidence for that at all. In fact, the turnout in this particular election was a very disappointing 25%.

12:33 pm, October 27, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where is Rich these days, can I quote he once said Cable would be good in a Treasury and preferred Cameron to Brown and reckoned Osborne had the right answers

4:45 pm, October 27, 2010

Blogger E10 Rifle said...

Ah Luke, how much easier it is to pick up one ill-advised remark than address the substance of Peter's post, which is serious and well-informed.

I've no particular dog in this race - having worked at TH council in the past I can't say as I detected anything so vulgar as a political principle coming from any of the petty factions within the Labour group on the council - but surely you can see that, once again, attempts by Ken Clark and the NEC to micromanage Labour party selections HAS NOT WORKED for the party. Abbas lost in a democratic election, which surely should provoke some soul-searching and humility. Instead it's the usual vicious backbiting.

None of this is going to tempt TH voters back to Labour. Unless you think they're a lost cause anyway, because they all just vote the way they're told by shadowy Islamists, which is the unspoken innuendo behind an awful lot of the talk around this election

8:00 pm, October 27, 2010

Blogger Merseymike said...

Luke: there are three problems with that being the reason for removing the chosen candidate (who I have no particular interest in supporting , politically)

First, the election result shows quite clearly that he was preferred to the candidate Labour did eventually choose, which suggests that he actually did have the bulk of Labour party members and supporters backing him

Second, if he wasn't suitable, then why was he either a councillor or party member?

Third, why did Labour opt for the candidate who cane third instead of the runner up - so choosing someone who certainly wasn't and has been proved not to be the people's choice?

They cocked up, and really should stop making excuses!

12:23 am, October 28, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9.23AM:

Given the mind-blowingly sycophantic treatment the present government is getting from most of the media (the "left-wing" BBC very much included, I'm afraid) it is no surprise that surveys are tending to show most voters "approve" of cuts in the abstract.....

But even then, examining the small print of these polls shows a rather more nuanced message than the crude simplification above -and this is before the measures have had any significant impact.

Ed did well at the latest PMQs. Keep it up, mate ;-)

12:28 am, October 28, 2010

Blogger johnpaul said...

e10rifle, I was with you up until "Unless you think they're a lost cause anyway, because they all just vote the way they're told by shadowy Islamists" if labour feel that muslim vote the way they are told to by their community why do you think they are "shadowy"

5:43 pm, October 28, 2010

Blogger E10 Rifle said...

I was being ironic.

12:51 pm, October 30, 2010


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