Sunday, 26 July 2009

Is it too late for NewLabour?

Norwich North may well be the end of Newlabour as we know it.
Dozens of Labour MP's are tainted with the expenses scandal.Some very senior members,like Geoff Hoon,hazel Blears and Jacqui Smith are all deeply involved.
Brown promises to clean up, and the NEC create a 'star chamber' to root out the bad'uns.
Astonishingly only three NEC members make up the quasi judicial panel and the names of the accused are put forward by Nick Brown the Choef Whip and Ray Collins,the Party's General Secretary.
Si far a magnificent 5 members have appeared before the 'star chamber' and all have been instructed to stand down at the next election.
One of them Dr Ian Gibson, a well liked an competent local MP appeared before only 2 members according to press reports.
His offence was frankly on the lighter end of the scandal, but he was chopped, and as a decent 'sort of guy' resigned his seat.
Nothing has been said about serial house flippers such as Hoon and Blears, and I suspect most people were outraged when the grinning muppet flashed a huge cheque when she went to pay back! Contrition, embarassment,humility-Naw! Just her trademark inane grin!
So Gibson was sacrificed and the labour Party lost a good if somewhat radical member, and they then lost the by election in humiliating style.
A great deal of humbug has dominated the airwaves since last Thursday but there were two significant factors:
1.Traditional Labour voters didn't troll out and vote for alternatives,70% of former Labour supporters stayed at home.
2.The party had troble getting enough enthusiastic volunteers to leaflet the whole constituency.
Wonder where that vast cohort of MP's were during the election campaign?
Charles ClarkeMp for Norwich South described the defenestration of Ian Gibson as "arbitary,unfair,incompetent and unjust".
Absolutely right-but why didn't Clarke speak up ages ago and challenge the careerists who now run the Party/
If he had made his views known, and threatened to resign with Gibson in an act of solidarity-then things might well have been very different.
Trouble is most MP's would rather moan about Big Gordon than realise that the problem is not just a poor leadership.It is a problem of a party that he longer has a political vision and a party that has lost,one way or another,most of its active footsoldiers.
The ieony of Norwich North is that the Tory winner,Chloe Smith,looks and sounds like your average Blair Babe circa.1997.
In the papers today there are hints that other Labour MP's might quit to force other by elections,their purpose is to force Brown out.
A forlorn hope-they had their chance to show solidarity with Ian Gibson months ago, but they fancy hanging on to their parliamentary salaries for a few more months.
NewLabour has done more that simply weakened the ideological base of a once genuinely radical party,it has destroyed the real enthusiasm for socialist ideas and filled its upper echlons with a bunch of careerist numpties.
Truth to tell the next very small PLP will resemble a few dozen Chloe Smith's and not much else!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Sewing the Mailbags

Regular readers to Tony's blog on NIV website will now be familiar with the saga of the Castle ward Two.Indeed someone appears to think that we are both inside at the moment sewing mailbags and pretending that we are Lord Archer and Jonathan Aitken.
No such luck, and I know that will upset some of our fans in the darker reaches of New Labour!

But what the story reveals is the poverty of political nous that sections of New Labour in Northampton demonstrate.
Les Marriott, onetime Labour Councillor and soulmate of Terry Wire was the agent at the County Council elections for Tess Scott.Once again the imposed candidate on Castle Ward Labour Party.

Strangely Marriott appears to enjoy his role in masterminding Calamity Scott's bids for power,last time he was so keen on ensuring she slipped into her Borough seat that he managed to lose his own in St.James.(On the last saturday before the Borough elections he was shoring up his own vote by chaperoning Ms.Scott in Spring Boroughs)
Marriott has been boasting that he was the one who reported our omission on the postal vote letter to all and sundry.his explaination appears to be that if he hadn't drawn attention to our malfeasance then someone else would

So it's now New labour policy to make their political mark by worrying about a letter that we sent to individual named electors in Castle Ward, with Tony's name, address, telephone number and signature all on prominent display.

A serious criminal act or someone wasting Police time?

But then what are the New Labour heroes doing?
Supporting NBC tenants in warden controlled accomodation who are at the sharp end of the cutbacks?
Well there was a demonstration lasr week with a rally addressed by Tony and Ron Mendel of the Trades Council.Binners was there,David Palethorpe was there, and even Malcolm Mildren of the Lib-Dems put in an appearance.
But the magnificent five New Labour Councillors? Not even a message of support from Leader Davies.
Equally important is the issue of privatisation of public services,delightfully described by Tony Woods as 'a market testing exercise'.
With the prospect of many job losses on the Borough and a reduction of services to residents,one might have thought that the issue was tailor made for a resurgent Labour Party looking to take on the Lib-Dems.
Tony Clarke has suggested a call in to examine the process, it would appear that Sally Keeble would welcome such a call in, as indeed would Joy Capstick and the Labour Party Local Government Commitee. Leader Davies is opposed such call in,I understand on the grounds that
1.He thought market testing was not such a bad idea and
2.The Lib-Dems have offered him a place on the committee reviewing the proposals.

So next week it seems highly probable that the local Tories will outflank Labour, anf it is even possible that some Lib-Dems will see the dangers ahead and will support call in.

But then Northampton New Labour have much more important issues to address-like our letter to postal voters in Castle Ward.

And what was the result M & S ?