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, May 21, 2009

A Call to Arms

I understand a lot of Labour activists are reluctant to canvass for the June 4 elections because they feel demoralised by the expenses scandal and are worried they might get a bad response on the doorstep.

Unfortunately that kind of attitude creates a self-fulfilling prophesy of defeat. You get out of an election what you put in, so if we do nothing we will get roundly thrashed and good MEPs and councillors who are nothing to do with the current crisis will lose their seats - and we'll end up with BNP MEPs.

Now if I wasn't in hospital and could walk I'd be out there campaigning to lead by example. But this time round I can't.

So I want you to do it for me. Think of it as a "get well soon gesture". If you are a Labour activist who was going to sit out this election please get out there and do the canvassing I want to do but am too sick to.

You'll make an ill man feel better and you might even help Labour pull off an against the odds win.


Anonymous tim f said...

Surprised you're not hitting the phonebank from your bed, Luke!

People who are worried about canvassing will probably be surprised when they hit the doorsteps - it is cropping up but but by no means all the time, and people are still more concerned about the economy, jobs & mortgages which we have a much better message on than the Tories do.

Even when it is cropping up we've had very few people who're completely hostile (and this is in a marginal seat), and we're giving people the opportunity to get their concerns off their chest now instead of at the ballot box.

3:36 pm, May 21, 2009

Anonymous Peter Doyle said...

I think that's spot on Luke. At the risk of sounding like some yokel Yoda, the road to political redemption begins on the voter's doorstep, and that journey needs to start quickly. For the future well-being of our democracy, all the mainstream parties must buckle up and get out on the streets. All of them are tarnished by this scandal and they have a moral duty to get out there and talk to the voters. Now more than ever the public needs to hear from their big three political parties and get the chance to express their anger. It's going to be hard and it's going to be painful, but it has to be done. There needs to be some humility and contriteness expressed to voters. It's also the best way to counter the misconceptions, rumour and spin which will start circulating about perfectly innocent, decent candidates. Hiding from the public now is the quickest way to harden their anger and risk voting in some pretty unsavoury characters.


5:57 pm, May 21, 2009

Blogger Tom said...

"the road to political redemption begins on the voter's doorstep"

Pretty, but true.

6:01 pm, May 21, 2009

Anonymous Fred Riley said...

Ah! Like A Japanese Emperor sending the troops to certain defeat, but with honour. Just to give you some encouragement, the bookies today are offering odds of 1-20 on a Tory victory at the next General Election.

8:26 pm, May 21, 2009

Anonymous Dalston Destroyer said...

Sending the poor lambs to the slaughter while your tucked up in bed. Very admirable of you Luke.

All this Westminster corruption will make for a bigger turnout on June 4. I'm looking forward to seeing democracy in action and the corrupt triparty establishment throughly thrashed

8:38 pm, May 21, 2009

Blogger Son of Eric said...

To add that it is nowhere near as bad as people might think and there are still people who can see the context and that Surestart, schools and the NHS are far more important. There are some understandably angry people but we have a lot of representatives we can be proud of.

10:11 pm, May 21, 2009

Anonymous Dirty Euro said...

I would not be surprised if this scandal blows over. It is titter tatter, like the stolen discs, and
there not many people dumb enough to vote BNP as some warped logic of punishing jews, gypises and gays for MPs corruption.
I am sure if 4 parties do well other than the BNP, the BNP will it called the corrupt quadparty system if 5 do better than the BNP will call it corrupt quinparty system and if 6 do better they well call it the sexparty system.

10:14 pm, May 21, 2009

Anonymous eastlondoner said...

Just to add to the comments that in east london at least the feedback from the doorstep and street stalls is pretty good. I was concerned that things might be pretty sticky last weekend but no. As has been said folk are worried about the jobs, their mortgages etc. Whilst they dont approve of the floating duck islands and other lunacies they do realise that this isnt everybody. How many will go to the polling station on the 4th of June is another matter.

11:01 pm, May 21, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hackney Central canvass prior to LGC: G-2, L-18, D-8, Christian-1, Z-2, A-1.


11:01 pm, May 21, 2009

Anonymous Julian Ware-Lane said...

Good sentiments Luke. I am still out and about campaigning, and if we really believe then we must fight on regardless. It is not that bad out there. For sure, the main topics are MPs' expenses and the economy, but I have yet to suffer any abuse. Democracy will suffer if we leave the field open for our opponents.

9:20 am, May 22, 2009

Anonymous John said...

Luke - I'm not stopping at home because I'm scared of the reaction on the doorstep, and certainly not because I don't want you to get better.

I'm stopping at home because it seems like a crushing and humiliating defeat in this pointless and irrelevant election is the only hope we have of jolting the PLP into the radical changes in leadership, policy, and behaviour required to stand even a cat in hell's chance in the one that does matter.

10:05 am, May 22, 2009

Anonymous T_i_B said...

"So I want you to do it for me. Think of it as a "get well soon gesture". "

No thanks Luke. Labour are not worth the time or effort as they have shown themselves be uninterested in serving the common good.

10:23 am, May 22, 2009

Blogger Shamik Das said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:21 am, May 22, 2009

Blogger Shamik Das said...

What if your local Labour MP's a trougher of the worst order? And she's up against someone who hasn't played the system...

What then?

How can one possibly go out and vote for, much less campaign for, such an individual???

11:23 am, May 22, 2009

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

You wouldn't be. MPs are not up for election on 4 June.

In any case you could go and work in another more deserving MP's seat.

11:29 am, May 22, 2009

Blogger Shamik Das said...

Assuming she isn't deselected, that's probably what I'll do!

But you're right, it is of course the Euros, and if's worth campaigning if for no other reason than to stop the BNP.

11:48 am, May 22, 2009

Blogger Merseymike said...

I couldn't care less about the 'personal morality' of an MP. Nothing to do with what they vote for in parliament.

In terms of the European elections, I actually voted LibDem last time, but this time am more likely to vote green as they seem the only voices suggesting that globalisation is essentially wrong

7:26 pm, May 24, 2009

Anonymous Rich said...

Greens have some good policies and I think your voting intentions will be the same as lots of other people.

If we think our economic problems are bad now then consider how bad they will be if current environmental forecasts come true. Sheep of this country think we can just go on living the way we are without consequences.....how very wrong. The fact that we are in this mess now is the result of living way beyond our means and the fact it was encouraged by a very naive Chancellor and a lot of greedy banks.

There are too many people on this planet to pursue such damaging economic polices. Growth needs to be halted and capitalism destroyed so we can go back to making a profit rather than a fortune.

8:59 am, May 25, 2009

Blogger kris said...

"So I want you to do it for me".

Honestly, Luke: Who do you think you are, Paul Scholes?

5:03 pm, May 25, 2009

Anonymous Ed said...

"there not many people dumb enough to vote BNP as some warped logic of punishing jews, gypises and gays for MPs corruption"

No wonder Labour has done so poorly in combating the BNP when it persists in fighting a straw-man BNP rather that addressing the BNP's actual policies.

It is as if the Conservative strategy of fighting Labour was to argue that they are favour of setting up a soviet republic, instituting the dictatorship of the proletariat and have a list of several million class enemies to send to the gulag.

1:13 pm, June 05, 2009


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