One of my photos

Crawley leadership hustings and vote

July 20th, 2010 · Posted by Skuds in Music/Politics · 13 Comments · Music, Politics

Another week, another Labour leadership meeting.  This time round was different for two reasons: as it was my own local party I could actually vote this time, and there was a hustings first.  Oh.  And there is a prog rock angle too.Let’s deal with the most exciting part first – the prog rock.

When I turned up at the Hawth I was looking at the posters of forthcoming attractions and amidst all the details of musicals, tribute bands, and musicals based on tribute bands that seem to constitute modern middlebrow theatre fare, there was a poster for something called “The Anderson Wakeman Project 360” which turns out to be a 20-date  tour by Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman (i.e. 20% of the classic line-up of Yes) with Crawley the second date on the tour.

I know I won’t be able to resist it, and yet the tickets are £32.50 each. Eek.  Don’t suppose I can persuade the local papers to hire me for a day as a reviewer, so it looks like I’ll have to treat myself as a slightly belated birthday present.  Brilliant to have two performers of such stature playing in Crawley though.

Everything else was going to be an anti-climax after seeing that, but the meeting went very well.  It was an unusual hustings in that none of the candidates was there, but four of them sent advocates to speak for them.  David Miliband had Ivan Lewis MP, Ed Balls had Sarah McCarthy-Fry, Andy Burnham had Cllr Keith Dibble from Hampshire and Ed Miliband had Tom Simons.

Not sure exactly who Tom is.  He is either a party worker or an ex-party worker who has joined Ed’s team.  Nice enough bloke though and he did a good job considering he is not as accustomed to public speaking as an MP an ex-MP or a councillor.

It really is a shame that nobody from Diane Abbott’s team was available, but some of the other surrogates did actually make some points in her favour.  Specifically when discussing the past, one of the speakers did point out that Diane Abbott is the only candidate totally free to criticise past mistakes, having not been part of the cabinets that went to war with Iraq, messed up the 10% tax etc. etc.

For me that summed up the spirit of the event and the whole contest so far.  There was a lot of respect and civility from all sides: none of the surrogates attacked each other or the other candidates.  The candidates themselves seem to have refrained from personal attacks and this can only be a good thing – they will all have to work together when it is all over after all.  The personal relationship between Blair and Brown and their followers really poisoned the party for a decade so I’m glad to see a more constructive atmosphere with this lot and I hope it continues.

What we do not need is a competition like they have in the US for presidential candidates where the front runners spend months providing ammunition for their opponents to use in the actual election.

All the speakers who were there did a difficult job well.  It can’t be easy having to speak on somebody else’s behalf, making sure you don’t misrepresent them, and making it clear where you are offering a personal opinion or something that you know your preferred candidate believes.  They also all made good points in favour of their candidates, making it really hard to know who to prefer.

This should mean that whoever wins we will end up not only with a capable leader, but one with a good team around them – as long as they can see this through to the end on good terms.

The result?  David Miliband got the nomination on the third round of counting preferences, with his brother coming second.  I think I would have been happy to see any of them nominated though.

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13 Comments so far ↓

  • Richard

    A. Zionist whose first allegiance is NOT this country & its people.

    Well done New Labor.

    • skud's sister

      Richard – I’m not sure of your eligibility to vote in this country. Here we spell it l.a.b.o.u.r.

      • Richard

        A deliberate mistake SS – but good to see you on the ball.

        NEW LABOR

        “New” alludes to the old Blairite nonsense – remember the ‘Third Way’ ?!

        “Labor” alludes to the Blairites tendency of travelling up the posterior of a former American president & his war criminals, especially in Iraq.

  • Richard

    The “Coalition” will be delighted…

    “Mauled by a dead sheep” comes to mind.

  • Peter

    I agree. It was a good meeting. Good that it took place at all and good that everyone is positive and forward looking. So different to the Cons when they spent years on introspection and infighting after 1997. It gives me some hope that we will come back soon.

  • Richard

    “…we will come back soon”

    You should be back NOW in real opposition – there’s more than enough to be fighting for – education, health (NHS), robbed blind by the Big Banks, doing what the TUC/Unions should be doing (who are proving as much use as a chocolate teapot).

    But where are you !?

    ‘Millipede’ leading the charge ?
    ‘Mauled by a dead sheep’ as I’ve said.

    Get your b##### act together – 15,000+ voted for you lot locally.

  • Danivon

    Richard, if you think you are in any way encouraging people, I have to tell you that it’s failing.

    ‘Zionist’ indeed. He’s from a Jewish family, but he also expelled an Israeli diplomat this year. Your conspiraloon tendencies are clouding your judgement, man.

  • Richard

    Answer the question, Danivon – play the ball, not the man.

    Is David Milliband a “Zionist” ? Yes, he is – and that is NOT being anti-Semitic.

    Danivon, if you have a problem understanding “Zionism” – which (surprisingly) you apparently do – look it up. There’s not a paranoid Conspiracy Theory in sight – unless you are looking for one.

    I stand by what I say about Millipede – he is as much use as a chocolate teapot in opposition – do is his brother.

    Whether I encourage people or not is totally irrelevant. I’m surprised at you Danivon – I thought you were better than that.

    • Danivon

      ‘Play the ball not the man’? You first, Richard. You accuse Milliband of putting Israel ahead of the UK in your first post, and then in your second and third repeat give a lame personal jibe about ‘dead sheep’, and call him ‘Millipede’. And then you make out I’m an idiot for not knowing what Zionism is. Heed your own advice.

      As you your question, I am in Rugby, and I am publicising what the Tories are doing up here – closing fire stations, care homes and community centres. Once I am given the keys to the local party website I intend to do far more. Ok?

  • Gordon Seekings

    The think I “like” about the Labour party leadership contest is the total hypocrasy of the candidates. They all got elected on Labour’s manifesto of electoral reform (support for AV) – and one assumes that goes back the 13 years it’s been party policy – the leader will be elected by AV, they will all get support from various unions who will decide such matters by AV and yet they argue now they are all against it ‘cos it does not give parliament enough “legitamacy”. Does that mean there leadership will be illiitimate then?

    • Danivon

      Gordon, I think there’s a difference between a vote for a single national leader and a vote for a representative legislature. I’m sure if you put your mind to it you can figure it out.

      I expect that the leader we end up with will favour AV, and could well campaign for it. That doesn’t mean that all the members have to agree.

      But don’t let that get in the way of worrying about what idiocy Clegg is going to do next in order to try and deflect from the Forgemasters decision. Has he actually misled the House over the dilution question? Did he expose the government on Iraq when he got too flustered?

      What I ‘like’ about the Lib Dem leadership is that they will soon be a leadership without a Party.

  • Richard

    The Labour Party ‘elite’ should be drowning in their hypocrisy…

    The sooner they get back to (& build again upon) their historical roots – especially the moral ones – the better for all of us.

    But I can’t see that happening – we seen to be lurching towards the Orwellian nightmare, as laid out in 1984.

    Or are we already in the nightmare, and we just don’t know it ?