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.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Tory lead slashed

ComRes: CON 36 (-3) LAB 25 (+3) LD 19 (+1)

= Tory projected majority of just 10 seats

Rights for cancer patients

As someone currently being treated with radiotherapy for cancer by the fantastic team at UCLH - and slowly getting better - I'm backing this Labour campaign:

Add your support if you think that everyone with suspected cancer should have the right to see a specialist within two weeks.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Council by-election

Just one yesterday:

Monifeith & Sidlaw Ward, Angus Council. SNP hold. SNP 2486 (68.6%, +14.3), Con 698 (19.3%, +0.8), LD 439 (12.1%, +4.9). Swing of 6.8% from Con to SNP since 2007.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Council by-elections

Only two yesterday:

Ingleby Barwick W Ward, Stockton-on-Tees Council. Ind hold. Ind 1011 (62.7%, -16.4), Con 303 (18.8%, +6.9), Lab 163 (10.1%, +1.1), UKIP 82 (5.1%, +5.1),LD 54 (3.3%, +3.3). Swing of 11.7% from Ind to Con since 2008.

South West Ward, Inverclyde Council. SNP hold after transfers. First prefs: SNP 919 (42.4%), Lab 490 (22.6%), LD 454 (21%), Con 171 (7.9%), Ind 67 (3.1%), UKIP 49 (2.3%), Free Scotland Party 17 (0.8%).

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Euro election stats

Euro election results by local authority are available here: http://www.parliament.uk/commons/lib/research/rp2009/rp09-053.pdf

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I still believe in a place called Hope

Time to dust off the "Comeback Kid" narrative?:

MORI: CON 39 (-1) LAB 25 (+7) LD 19 (+1)

ICM: CON 39 (-1) LAB 27 (+5) LD 18 (-7)

Tories in power...

... aren't very pleasant:


Sunday, June 14, 2009

More on Greens

From comments on the post below:

"Tom Copley said...
Luke, the Fabians have invited Sian Berry to speak at one of their conferences. Are they "bonkers" as well? Caroline spoke very well at the Compass Conference. She even quoted this blog post, which got a good laugh.
6:51 PM, June 14, 2009
Luke Akehurst said...
In this and some other respects, yes. How exactly do you think Labour councillors whose seats are threatened by Greens should react? Campaign to defeat them or invite them to a conference? For heaven's sake man you are Labour organiser in Camden where Sian Berry is taking seats off you. No wonder with your appeasing attitude. Which party are you actually working for?"

Friday, June 12, 2009

Council by-election

Just the one by-election last night:

Stepping Hill Ward, Stockport MBC. LD hold. LD 1773 (47.3%, -6.2), Con 1336 (35.6%, -1), UKIP 257 (6.9%, +6.9), Lab 225 (6%, unchanged), Green 158 (4.2%, +0.3). Swing of 2.6% from LD to Con since 2008.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Why I'm proud to live in Hackney

The Labour share of the vote in Hackney was the 8th highest in the country:

1 Newham 40.28%
2 Knowsley 38.37
3 Leicester City 37.00
4 Tower Hamlets 35.40
5 Aberavon 34.94
6 Blaenau Gwent 34.80
7 Rhondda 34.67
8 Hackney 34.15
9 North Lanarkshire 33.82
10 Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney 33.69

The Green share of the vote in Hackney was the 4th highest in the country and the highest in London.

Hackney also saw the 2nd lowest UKIP share of the vote in England and Wales (after Haringey), the 6th lowest BNP share of the vote, the 8th lowest English Democrat share of the vote and the 5th lowest Libertas share of the vote.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The wisdom of the English Democrats

PETER DAVIES (English Democrat mayor of Doncaster)
BBC Radio Sheffield
Monday, 8 June 2009
Speakers: Toby Foster (BBC Radio Sheffield) Peter Davies
TF: Thanks very much for joining us. I said that we didn’t see it coming - did you see it coming? Did you expect to win?
PD: Well, well not really. A great friend of mine told me the night before I was going to get a great shock, and that I would win. I was thinking of saving the deposit at the time.
TF: I can imagine. What was it you think that made people vote for you?
PD: Well we were the only party who gave a distinctive agenda to the electorate. All the others talked waffle. I looked at all the leaflets, I couldn’t make anything of them all, they were all the same.
TF: You did give a distinctive agenda, you’re absolutely right, you made some real points on that. Let’s just have a look - let’s have a look at them shall we? The first one of course I think’s an easy one - you’re going to cut the mayor’s salary.
PD: That’s the first thing this morning
TF: Down to £30,000 a year. Now, some people could look at that Peter and say, well, you get more than that for running a supermarket these days. Surely a council deserves… a bit more respect?
PD: No, the council deserves somebody who’s going to run it properly, and it deserves somebody who’s prepared to give their services partly free, in a sense - at one time all local government councillors did all the free, er, it’s become a gravy train and I’m not prepared to be part of that.
TF: So what about the people who work for you? The deputy mayor, other people in the departments - are you cutting their wages as well?
PD: Er, well, I’ve discussed that with-, well not- not the people in the departments, I can’t- I’ve no control over what they’ve been given, but the deputy mayor and the rest of the cabinet will discuss that at, at the earliest opportunity.
TF: Well, you say you’ve no control over people in the departments, one of the big things on your campaign was that you’re going to cut ‘PC jobs’.
PD: Oh yeah, that’s a different thing altogether, er-
TF: Which jobs are those?
PD: Well, er, I’m going to look into that. Things like Diversity Officers, er, the things that are usually advertised in the Manchester-, well, it’s not the Manchester Guardian now - in the Guardian…
TF: Right, so have-, so, so hang on, so so there are politically…
PD: I mean, I can’t give you a full list at the moment, but I will…
TF: But that’s what you put on your manifesto - you must have had an idea on your manifesto what you were talking about?
PD: Yeah, yeah, all these people who are, sort of, controlling thought processes and this sort of thing, and er, erm… every department is riddled with this sort of nonsense these days.TF: So currently then, this morning, Doncaster Council is riddled with people who are, who are doing this kind of nonsense, ah… and they’re on notice, are they? People are going to lose their jobs?PD: Er, very likely.
TF: But we don’t know who they are, yeah? But certainly Diversity Officers…
PD: Obviously I… I’m… well, that sort of thing, yes.
TF: So, the Diversity Officer who’s getting ready for work this morning at Doncaster might as well not bother?
PD: Well, he’s… he’s in employment at the moment…
TF: But he won’t be for long?
PD: …I think, I think we ought to be talking about what we’re going to do sort of, er, now and, er, what I’ve discovered - that might be a more fruitful discussion.
TF: Well, I mean… these are the reasons people voted for you. Very bold points, as you said. Er, you’re going to cut translation services for non-English speakers - that’s a very bold point. It’s more than likely illegal, isn’t it?
PD: I dunno… again, I’ve got to find this out. It’s-
TF: Well it is - let me tell you it is, under the European Court of Human Rights it’s illegal.
PD: Well, well, well let… we’ll look into this - we’re getting counsel’s opinion on what I can do and what I can’t do, and that’s…
TF: No, no, you said in your manifesto you would definitely do it.
PD: Yeah, well, I… well, I, er, if, if somebody comes in the way and stops me doing these things, then that is an insult to democracy.
TF: So what was the point of your manifesto? You might as well have said you were going to fly to the moon if you’re just going to say now that you can’t do it.
PD: No, look… I’m going to do my best to do it. If I can’t, I shall tell the electorate why I’ve not been able to do it, and who’s stood in the way of it. The…
TF: Well, the law’s standing in the way of it.
PD: Just a minute, just a minute. The electorate clearly want me to do that. The law needs changing, then, doesn’t it?
TF: Well, you say the law needs changing-
PD: If we get a new government, then we might get rid of some of this ludicrous legislation, and be able to run our own country again.
TF: Okay, now you’re going to cut the number of councillors from 60 to 20.
PD: That is another difficulty, and the first-
TF: Can’t do it, can you?
PD: Er, well, we can appeal to their moral consciences-
TF: So you can’t do it, can you?
PD: Look, you keep telling me what I can’t do. I’ll find out what I can’t do, and if I can’t do…
TF: You are finding out now, I’m telling you, Peter, you can’t do it. You’d have thought you’d have thought of this before you started.
PD: This is quite a pointless discussion. Completely pointless.
TF: Why?
PD: Well - I’m sitting here telling you what I want to do, you’re telling me I can’t do it. I’ll find out - not from you, from other people - if I can do it or not.
TF: Why didn’t you look at to see-
PD: That’s where we go. And then we tell the electorate what’s going on.
TF: Why didn’t you look to see if you could do it before you asked people to vote on it?
PD: Because people want this to happen. And it’s time we-
TF: We all want free speech, Peter, but why didn’t you look into it to see if it could happen before you asked 14,000 people to vote on it? You know what’s going to happen - they got upset with the political processes in Doncaster before, they disliked Martin Winter. You’ve come along, you’ve waved this flag, knowing you can’t back any of it up and they’ve voted for you. How are they going to feel when they realise they’ve been hoodwinked?
PD: They’ve not been hoodwinked, I’m a man of my word, and I shall do everything that I can to put this into practice. And that is something that Doncaster’s not had before.
TF: You’re going to cut the Gay Pride funding.
PD: Yep.
TF: Erm, how much did Doncaster Council fund Gay Pride?
PD: Haven’t got a clue, I haven’t looked into… I haven’t got the details, I… I haven’t even started-
TF: About right, isn’t it? So how much did… how much was it worth to Doncaster?
PD: How…er, what?
TF: The Gay Pride march. 8,000 people in town for a day.
PD: I don’t know. They can still come. There’s nobody stopping them coming.
TF: So you don’t know what it costs, you don’t know what it earns, but you’re banning it?
PD: I’m saying that… hard-pressed taxpayers money should not be spent on promoting any type of sexuality whether it’s straight or gay.
TF: But for all you-, but for all you know it could be making a fortune for the town - you don’t know, you’ve not even looked at it.
PD: Well, it, er… it may, it may or it may not, I’m telling you what I’m not doing, and again it was on the manifesto, it was quite clear people appeared to like what I was saying.
TF: Yeah, but the stuff on the manifesto we’ve already realised - you can’t do anything about it.
PD: I think it’s time we finished this interview, it’s quite pointless. I’ve… I… It’s really wasted… I wanted to say a few things this morning that might have been-
TF: Tell me what you want to say.
PD: …that people might have wanted to listen to.
TF: Tell me what you want to say.
PD: Well, I wanted to point out that this morning I was going to, er, see that two social workers were returned to the childrens hospital, er, which were taken away some time ago for some unaccountable reason. I was going to say we’re getting rid of Doncaster News at the earliest opportunity, and I also wanted to point out that this very weekend I’ve discovered that Doncaster is twinned with nine separate towns, er, that the Mayor… the ex-Mayor had a car, for what reason I don’t know. It’s quite reasonable that the Civic Mayor has a car, but why the elected Mayor has one, God only knows, er, and it looks to me like a Daily Telegraph moment, where I shall be discovering things every day that, er, can be got rid of.
TF: Okay… none of that really means anything, does it? Let’s have a look at Doncaster News. You’re getting rid of Doncaster News, that’s a, er, flyer… er, paper that goes to every home in the borough isn’t it, to tell them what you’re doing?
PD: Well, it was to distort… er, what Mayor Winter was doing, yes.
TF: So now you’re stopping communication with the people of Doncaster?
PD: No - communication will be through the Doncaster Free Press, though Radio Sheffield if we can get some sensible interviews…
TF: Heh.
PD: …and, er, the free newspapers.
TF: So the people who work on Doncaster News, then, are they out of work as well?
PD: I don’t know, I don’t… I, I, don’t know what their full… I’ve… I… I’ve not even got… been in the office yet, I’ve… I’ve not even…
TF: This is the problem, isn’t it…
PD: …had the briefing from the Chief Executive-
TF: You actually don’t understand the laws, you don’t understand-
PD: Okay, I’m stopping this interview, it’s a complete waste of time, er, you’re not asking any sensible questions, and er, I really don’t want to continue.
TF: Peter, all I’m asking is how you’re going to deliver on your election manifesto?[Phone hangs up]TF: Well, I can assure you, that’s going to be one of the easiest he gets.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Compass gives platform to Green leader

Bonkers soft left factionalists Compass have just announced that the latest keynote speaker at their annual rally is Green Party leader Caroline Lucas MEP.

Why not go the whole hog and invite Nick Clegg and David Cameron as well?

In my borough and in Oxford, Norwich and Brighton, the Labour Party is engaged in a strategic electoral battle with the Greens. We don't need a dialogue with these single-issue clowns and their anti-working class policies, we need to attack and destroy them.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

I miss Tony Blair

We'll keep the red flag flying HERE

Result in my home patch, Hackney:

Lab 34.1%
Green 22.7%
Con 15%
LD 11.7%
UKIP 4.5%
Christian 3.6%
BNP 2.2%

Turnout 33%

Now I get what the line is

Nick Robinson has just explained that Mandelson has kept Blairite ministers on board by warning that Harriet Harman will win the vacant leadership if the PM is ousted.

Now I understand the threat, is there a vacant machine gun post I can man in the No10 bunker?

Current Labour Politics in Smiths & Morrissey Song Titles

Heaven knows I'm miserable now:

All you need is me:

In the future when all's well:

There is a light that never goes out:

I started something I couldn't finish: The youngest was the most loved:

I just want to see the boy happy:

You have killed me:

First of the gang to die:

Dagenham Dave:

We hate it when our friends become successful:

That joke isn't funny anymore:

You just haven't earned it yet, baby:

Stop me if you think you've heard this one before:

Bigmouth strikes again:

Hand in glove:

Friday, June 05, 2009

Heaven knows I'm miserable now

Last night I lay in my hospital bed and wept into the pillow.

They were not tears because after two months away I miss my partner and son, or of frustration that I cannot walk, stand or use my hands properly, or of discomfort from neuropathic pain, or even from fear of the tumour growing in my pelvis and attacking my nervous system. I am all cried out from those causes.

They were tears for the Labour Party I love and its humiliation. Its lost councillors. The poor, the weak, the old, the sick, who need a Labour Government and a Labour council.

But also for Gordon Brown, who, whatever his faults and errors or my anger at his ousting of Tony Blair, is a good man who does not deserve what is happening to his premiership.

Please let this be over fast. If we are going to change leader the PLP needs to do it now and end the misery for both Gordon and everyone like me who loves Labour and cannot bear to see the party’s death by one thousand cuts.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

A song for Hazel

I thought Hazel Blears might appreciate the lyrics of this song by an even greater Salford native, Morrissey:

The sanest days are mad
Why don’t you find out for yourself ?
Then you’ll see the price
Very closely

Some men here
They have a special interest
In your career
They wanna help you to grow
And then syphon all your dough
Why don’t you find out for yourself ?
Then you’ll see the glass
Hidden in the grass

Youll never believe me, so
Why dont you find out for yourself ?
Sick down to my heart
Thats just the way it goes

Some men here
They know the full extent of
Your distress
They kneel and pray
And they say :
Long may it last

Why don’t you find out for yourself ?
Then you’ll see the glass
Hidden in the grass
Bad scenes come and go
For which you must allow
Sick down to my heart
That’s just the way it goes

Don’t rake up my mistakes
I know exactly what they are
And ... what do you do ?
Well ... you just sit there
I’ve been stabbed in the back
So many many times
I don’t have any skin
But that’s just the way it goes

Vote Labour

The wrong ministers seem to be resigning.

All 4 - Smith, Blears, Hughes and Watson - will be a loss to the government.

When not distracted by today's radiotherapy planning - PET/CT scan then 3 little tattoos to mark where the rays go in - I've been contemplating the train crash that is the Labour government I've spend all my adult life trying to get and sustain.

But even this shambles is running the country 100 times better and more humanely than the Tories ever would - as my own current experience of a properly funded NHS proves.

So go out and vote Labour tomorrow.

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