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.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Council by-election results

Last night's council by-election results:

Barton Ward, N Lincs UA. Con hold. Con 1576 (64.4%, +15.8), Lab 653 (26.7%, +6.3), LD 220 (9%, -5.8). Swing of 4.8% from Lab to Con since 2007.

Cottesmoore Ward, Rutland CC. Con hold. Con 389 (68.1%, +0.6), LD 182 (31.9%, +31.9). Swing of 15.7% from Con to LD since 2007.

Irwell Riverside Ward, Salford MBC. Lab hold. Lab 606 (37.6%, -13.3), LD 293 (18.2%, -1.1), BNP 276 (17.1%, +3.7), Con 189 (11.7%, -4.7), Green 125 (7.8%, +7.8), UKIP 123 (7.6%, +7.6). Swing of 6.1% from Lab to LD since 2008.

Labour’s election victory in a by-election for the Irwell Riverside ward of Salford City Council has a deeper significance than most. After ten days of hard pounding over expenses, you might think that Labour’s vote would collapse, or that the BNP or Tories might capitalise. Labour’s Matt Mold won 606 votes to the Lib Dem’s 293. The BNP came third with 276. The Tories limped in fourth, just ahead of the Greens and UKIP. So there was no surge in the BNP, or in other fringe parties. The Tories failed to make any headway whatsoever, their consistent position in the northern cities.

Labour won because Labour voters came out and voted Labour. Hazel Blears was at the heart of the campaign, leading the many young activists she has nurtured and encouraged in her local party. Matt Mold, the candidate, is 27 years old. Hazel showed characteristic courage and campaigning zeal, despite discouraging national newspaper headlines. And she proved that her local party is right behind her. As I’ve always said, local Labour campaigning works, and what local people do in real elections often stands in defiance to the predictions of London-based pundits and commentators.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hazel Blears is a criminal.

She's lost the right to represent anybody.

11:43 am, May 22, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hazel Blears is a criminal.

She's lost the right to represent anybody.

11:44 am, May 22, 2009

Blogger Democratic-Centre said...

A somewhat good result for Labour if not a little Bleary eyed.

12:20 pm, May 22, 2009

Anonymous John Merry said...

Luke I would also like to think it was a good result for the Council and the hard work that the Labour Group put in. I will admit most of us are over 27!

12:25 pm, May 22, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Considering the storm over MP's expenses, this was an encouraging result for Labour activists. 26% of Labour votes moved to fringe parties, but the Tory vote went down even more , (29%) and even the Libs lost 6% of their vote. Thankfully most of these votes went to Green or UKIP and only a few to BNP.

3:59 pm, May 22, 2009

Blogger Mark Still News said...


Stand up for workers’ rights
The social dumping of exploited foreign workers in Britain is being carried out under EU rules demanding the “free movement of capital, goods, services and labour” within the EU. Successive EU Directives and European Court of Justice decisions have also been used to attack trade union collective bargaining, the right to strike and workers’ pay and conditions.

9:08 pm, May 22, 2009

Blogger Mark Still News said...


No2EU - Yes to Democracy - Bob Crow explains the campaign for the Euro elections

9:11 pm, May 22, 2009

Anonymous Dyanne Costello said...

I agree Luke. It is really encouraging to see the sort of support Hazel is now receiving. She deserves more of the same!

2:51 am, May 23, 2009

Anonymous Dan said...

Mark, perhaps you could explain how discriminating against foreign workers is at all left wing?


10:55 am, May 23, 2009

Blogger southhackneypunter said...

In the same recent postal delivery I received what I assume to be election pamphlets from 'UKIP', 'BNP','no2eu' and T-Mobile, I couldn't tell them apart (with the exception of the one from T-Mobile).

UKIP, BNP and no2eu all seem to be equally bitterly opposed to European immigration, T-Mobile on the otherhand laudibly appears to actively encourage free movement of workers (although I suspect this ultra-liberal position maybe influenced slightly by their other policy of charging EU-roaming call tariffs).

Could someone explain to me how a political party which seems to have a text-message instead of a name ('no squared eu'?) and which is lead by a tube-driver and supported by trotskyists appears to have a lot in common with the far-right and to be more xenophobic than a mobile phone company?

4:32 pm, May 23, 2009

Blogger Mark Still News said...


have a look at the website don't make silly assumptions without getting facts 1st!

No 2 EU and yes to democracy is not discriminating against foreign workers, we believe in all workers should stand up against the anti worker legislation coming out of this Tory EU! All the main parliamentary parties are now Tory we have a choice now vote no to EU and yes to democracy party!!




4:54 pm, May 23, 2009

Blogger Mark Still News said...

Don't be so snobby either! Its about time a political campaign and party was run by a working class man!

And for your ignorance he was not a tube driver, but worked in the maintenance gangs based at Stratford and went down the tunnels!

5:05 pm, May 23, 2009

Anonymous Dirty Euro: said...

Mark The EU did not privatize the public services. The EU did not stop us buying up northern rock either.
We need a EU so that nations can stand up to exploitation by larger nations. As a trade unionist you should see that.

6:15 pm, May 23, 2009

Blogger Mark Still News said...

The EU has forced through very nasty privatization throughout Europe and has written directives that if we fail to privatize our health service then it has the ability to impose fines on us.

Check these links out!




The Lisbon Treaty and the EU’s privatisation agenda represent a significant threat to working class communities and to the services we all rely on.

The renamed EU constitution forces governments to hand public services over to private corporations – that means handing fat cats control of railways, schools, postal services, energy and even social services across Europe.

Under Article III-147 of the EU Constitution: “A European framework law shall establish measures to achieve the liberalisation of a specific service”. That provision remains in the Lisbon Treaty.

This commitment to ‘free competition’ enshrined in successive EU treaties was the main reason that Tories originally supported the EU. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher signed the Single European Act in 1986 to establish a single European market and John Major agreed the Maastricht Treaty, which created the Euro, the European Central Bank and tied European economies into a ‘Growth and Stability Pact’ that squeezes public investment in public services.
The current economic crisis was created by these discredited neo-liberal policies yet, under the Lisbon Treaty, they become constitutional goals. We should be defending public services in Britain not allowing bankers and eurocrats take them over in order to make money for big business in Europe.

Vote No2EU - Yes to Democracy to defend public services such as Post Offices and the NHS and to renationalise our railways and develop manufacturing in Britain.

8:50 pm, May 23, 2009

Blogger Mark Still News said...

We are not opposed to Europe or Europeans, but the gravy train and mass privatization and the exploitation of European workers!European workers should unite against the Capitalist EU!

8:53 pm, May 23, 2009

Blogger Mark Still News said...

Oh Dear

I think I have upset the Green party, as my topic on the EU keeps getting deleted by them!

Some Labour MP's are now supporting No 2 EU yes to democracy!

This party will grow!

9:32 pm, May 23, 2009

Anonymous Dirty Euro said...

But there is no mass privatization of public services.
We have been in the EU for nearly 40 years and there is no effort to put the NHS into private ownership.
Did the EU fine us when we nationalized rail track or northern rock?
The Hypo Real Estate, and anglo Irish bank nationalizations were approved as were many other banks.

President Morales of Bolivia has spoken of his admiration for the EU as a symbol of democracy, and of his desire to work together with neighbouring countries in the Andes and Latin America.
We need a union of democratic nations, otherwise we really will get major Powers abusing us the way latin American nations and african nations are abused by larger powers. And china will not treat us with kit gloves, if we are divided. America was not as bad to us as they were to latin america, but China would treat us like the USA treats the south americans.
If the EU breaks up we will end up like Africa or latin america.

11:26 pm, May 23, 2009

Anonymous Rich said...

Dirty Euro, The union is falling apart and the union you talk about has no strength and lacks public support.

Any union that lacks public support or cohesion is dangerous. Look at relations between UK and Spain.

Britain needs to remain separate and we need Europe for trade and trade only.

You talk about China but Europe is helpless against globalism while it is being pushed around by big business.

2010 will see the end to the union and the Euro.

11:53 pm, May 23, 2009

Anonymous southhackneypunter said...

Look what Auntie Google has told me about 'no2eu' (I really am starting to get a bit too fascinated by this bizarre outfit, I hope I'm not overpublicising them) ...


That German neo-Nazi MP sounds like a REAL catch fellas, well done, and Teddy Taylor too! What a wonderful amalgamation of stalinists, trotskyists, homophobic German bigots, and John Major-era eurosceptic tories! (perhaps the last ones are the most liberal people involved!)

Crazy, but sadly it's probably just one of those temporary 'Red-Brown' alliances that pop up now and again (like the joint committee of communists and nazis who supported the tram-drivers strike in 1930 Berlin, or Merciar's red-brown government in 1990s Slovakia).

Still, good luck meaninglessly attacking the EU, I particularly like the fact that no2eu is saying 'no to the lack of eu democracy' whilst participating in an eu-wide democratic election, nice bit of Alice in Wonder-Federal Superstate! ...

I think political betting sites have no2eu down for under 0.5% of the vote.

12:05 pm, May 24, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read all about it before condemning a working class alliance! We need an alternative to the New labour Tories!



6:57 pm, May 24, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alice Mahon, the former Labour MP who resigned last month from the Labour Party after 50 years membership, will speak at her first public meeting since leaving the party in Birmingham on Tuesday, May 26th, in support of the No2EU campaign in the Euro elections.

Mrs Mahon, 71, was the Member of Parliament for Halifax from 1987 to 2005.

She joins a number of former Labour figures backing the anti-EU coalition - including the former leader of East Sussex Council Labour Group, Prof Dave Hill, former deputy Labour leader of Carlisle Council, John Metcalfe, and former election agent for Peter Shore MP, John Rowe, who are all candidates for No2EU on June 4th.

The former Labour MP for Coventry, Dave Nellist, is the lead candidate for the trade union backed campaign in the West Midlands.

Mrs Mahon in her resignation letter said she could no longer be a member of a party “that at leadership level has betrayed many of the principles that inspired me as a teenager to join”. Her letter, sent to former colleagues in her Halifax constituency, was sharply critical of Labour’s failure to deliver a promised referendum on the EU “Lisbon Treaty”.

“If that Treaty is ratified”, she wrote, “we can say goodbye to any publicly owned services…… we will be handing over to private corporations, social services, education, transport and postal services. Even the NHS will be up for grabs”.

Ms Mahon will be joined at the election rally on Tuesday, May 26th, 7.30pm at the Carrs Lane Church Centre, Birmingham by Brian Denny, national officer of the RMT trade union, and West Midlands No2EU candidates Cllr Dave Nellist, and Joanne Stevenson, the General Secretary of the Young Communist League.

7:06 pm, May 24, 2009

Blogger Merseymike said...

In other words, No2EU is yet another anti-Europe ragbag this time led by the left rather than the right. What's the difference - none.

As for Hazel Blears, she did nothing criminal. The problem came largely from the government insistence that ministers designate their London home as their primary residence whereas the tax authorities do not. So, she actually was entitled to the tax relief, legally speaking.

In any case, the fact you are so bothered and the British people so hysterical says far more about the moronic sheep inhabiting this pitiful country than anything else. The French must find it all very amusing - the Brits getting all moralistic again. Sad.

7:23 pm, May 24, 2009

Blogger Mark Still News said...

Instead of ignorantly dismissing No2EU yes to democracy listen to what they say!

Its not anti European, but anti privatisation directives that many workers in Europe are resisting!

In November 100,000 people marched through Paris against the EU anti working class directives aimed at undermining workers rights. The EU is now for big business only!

Carry on sticking in your own Tory New Labour world while it all passes by you?

9:03 pm, May 24, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Workers' Unity for Jobs, Services, Democracy" -
that is the sort of platform that a trade-unionbased
slate for the Euro-elections should have,
not "No to EU, Yes to Democracy".
It is good news that trade unionists are
seriously discussing a major union-based
electoral challenge. New Labour has stifled
working-class political representation.
But restoring working-class political
representation means speaking out for workingclass
policies against capitalism, not for "Britain"
against "the EU".
The real enemy is capitalism. It is not the EU.
Capitalism brought the crisis which is destroying
jobs and homes. Not the EU.
Capitalism is the driving force behind the
moves to privatise Royal Mail. Not the EU.
Capitalism, not the EU, gets the supposedly
"Labour" government pumping over £1100
billion of cash and guarantees into the banks -
and leaving the top bankers to enjoy their
bonuses and pensions, and adjust their business
for maximum profit, untouched.
A serious working-class alternative in the
Euro-elections has to focus on demands like:
 full public ownership and democratic
control over the banks;
 expanded public services, and cuts in the
working week, to guarantee jobs for all;
 the nationalisation, without compensation
to the big shareholders, of all the big firms
 sacking workers, and their reorganisation
under workers' control;
 renationalisation of rail and other public
services and utilities, under workers' control;
 Government funding for councils to build
or buy up huge numbers of houses.
With the Daily Star and similar papers
blustering about "British Jobs For British
Workers", and trumpeting anti-migrant and anti-
Muslim lies, it must preach workers' unity - unity
across the borders, and unity across differences
of origin. It must uphold migrant workers' rights.
It must offer a clear alternative to UKIP and
the BNP. It cannot do that if it restricts itself to
anti-EU policies which are very similar to what
UKIP and the BNP say about the EU, plus a
formal declaration "against racism and fascism".
The EU is certainly not responsible for Britain's
anti-union laws, pushed through by the anti-EU
Margaret Thatcher. Remember Tony Blair
boasting that the laws are more "restrictive"

9:06 pm, May 24, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

than any other "in the Western world".
On the contrary, when the EU tweaked the
Lisbon Treaty to give some sops to the Irish
Government, it was Gordon Brown - and no
other EU prime minister - who rushed to
Brussels to make sure none of the extra wording
would increase rights to strike in Britain.
The British government has been the one
major EU government resisting the Working
Time Directive and the Agency Workers'
A serious campaign should take up the antiunion
laws. It cannot do that if it is limited to
"no to the EU".
Of course the European Commission and the
Council of Ministers push capitalist policies. They
are associations of capitalist governments. But
workers in the EU resist those policies. The
answer to EU capitalist policies is not "no to the
EU", but EU-wide workers' unity for socialist
Running even a quarter-serious Euro-election
campaign is a major business. It costs £55,000
just for the candidates' deposits, and at least
£500,000 to cover the "paper" minimum of
campaigning by producing even the scrappiest
material to use the Freepost facility.
The campaign has really started only when
enough activists have been mobilised,
organised, and provided with transport and
materials to reach the doorsteps of at least a
significant proportion of the 24 million voting
To mobilise the labour movement for a
political campaign of that scope would be a great
thing. It would require focusing on the class
issues which unite workers, rather than oldfashioned
anti-EUism which can only divide.
And it would require a thorough, democratic
discussion throughout the movement, working
out a platform after open debates and meetings,
giving every activist a say - not presenting takeit-
or-leave-it slogans and platforms concocted
behind closed doors.
Today's meeting should open an urgent but
democratic discussion of how the trade unions
can reassert themselves in politics, drawing in
the maximum number of activists round a
unifying class programme.
Workers' Liberty. P O Box 823, London SE15.
4NA. 3 March 2009.

9:07 pm, May 24, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...


No2EU - Yes to Democracy - Bob Crow explains the campaign for the Euro elections

No2EU - Yes to Democracy is a coalition of trade unionists, political parties and campaigning groups which have come together to defend democracy here and across the European Union, so lend us your vote in the Euro elections on June 4 to....

10:02 pm, May 24, 2009

Blogger Newmania said...

Luke I just picked up on your health problems , all my very best wishes.

4:10 am, May 25, 2009


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