Posts Tagged ‘Labour Party’
Last night Enrico Tortolano, spoke on neo-liberal economics and politics to a public meeting at he UNITE offices held by the Ipswich People’s Assembly Against Austerity.
Up to 30 people turned up her brother Tortolano, who has worked on human rights with social movements in Latin America, and now is a research officer for the PCS union as well as writing for Tribune.
Enrico gave a talk of great clarity on how the wealthy have established free-market economics as the foundation of state policy in many countries. Everybody is told to be ‘self-reliant’ as taxes are lowered for the well-off and all forms of redistribution are undermined. We have, Tortolano said, crept back to pre-First World War levels of inequality.
In Britain attacks on welfare and privatising the state were being pushed through as part of what Naomi Klein called the “shock doctrine”. That is, taking advantage of a crisis to push through extreme free-market ideas.
He noted that the first to apply this method had been Augusto Pinochet , the Chilean dictator.
The recently deceased Margaret Thatcher had admired the leader of the Chilean coup, which had left thousands of left opponents dead and many more imprisoned and tortured.
From annual get-togethers in Davos (Switzerland), to thousands of ‘think-tanks’ and sympathetic media, their message has been relayed by all the main political parties in the West.
British politics seem to be restricted to the limits set by the ‘orthodox’ free-market economics.
The People’s Assembly, Tortalano said, offered a real opportunity for the left to unite and to put forward a different economic and political strategy. Ultimately the threat to the planet’s resources from the market would affect everybody.
The audience, which included trade unionists, local Labour councillors, library campaigners, and activists from the Green and socialist parties, joined in a fruitful discussion on this talk.
It was suggested that the People’s Assembly should take up the issue of low pay (very important in Ipswich), of the Bedroom Tax, and the fight against the wave of further cuts in public spending that will affect council (above all County Council) services in the coming months.
The Secretary of the Trades Council, Teresa Mackay pointed out that 80% of the cuts were still to come.
It was argued that the People’s Assembly needs a constructive and a positive message. It was not enough to just fight neoliberal economics and the hatred of the poor and migrant workers stirred up by the Liberal-Tory Coalition.
The left has to offer a democratic and egalitarian way of creating institutions for equality and collective need.
A co-ordinator will organise E-Mail contacts for the Ipswich People’s Assembly.
Transport will be available from Ipswich to take people to the London Assembly.
In the coming weeks we will be organising a campaign locally to draw attention to the links between Primark and other retail outlets and the terrible deaths of garment workers in Bangladesh.
As an activist said, “The numbers of the dead just keep rising.”
Tory Judy Terry is Out: The Heavens Cry their Joy!
Suffolk Election Results leave the Tories in Charge.
Labour and Co-operative 3
Liberal Democrat 7
UK Independence Party 9
This is a good result for Labour and their candidates who have worked really hard, year in and year out, on the County Council (where they were only 4 till today) and have fought against austerity and privatisation tooth-and-nail.
It is a good result for the labour movement more widely as Suffolk Labour Parties have worked closely with the union and left campaigners against the Tory-led Council cutters and floggers-off.
One result brought great joy to the progressive Suffolk masses: the defeat of Judy Terry in Rushmere (figures and intro from Ipswich Spy).
“The Conservatives have LOST the Rushmere Division, previously held by Cabinet Member Judy Terry, to Labour’s Sandra Gage.
Ellis, Peter (UKIP) 401
Gage, Sandra (Labour) 1117
Jackson, Dale (Ind) 34
Jones, Garath (Lib Dem) 90
Terry, Judy (Con) 628
Wilmot, Kirsty (Green) 94″
As a County Council Cabinet member she has pushed through the privatisation agenda, notably creating a so-called Industrial and Provident Society (private ‘charity’) for the Library service. This has caused great damage.
Overall Labour made gains in urban districts, notably Ipswich, which has more in common with parts of London (including the ‘inner city’) than rural Suffolk.
In my own ward there was a very a good result (I campaigned for Mandy – Labour),
Labour have GAINED the St Helen’s Division from the Liberal Democrats, who were pushed into last place, with UKIP second, two votes ahead of the Tories, and the Green’s in fourth.
Gaylard, Mandy (Labour) 900
Lockington, Tim (Lib Dem) 155
Parkinson, Katherine (Con) 359
Tinney, Mark (UKIP) 361
Wilmot, Tom (Green) 201
There was also a by-election,
Labour have taken the Borough Council by election in Alexandra, a gain from the Liberal Democrats. Turnout was 27.6%.
Cook, John (Labour) 772
Cotterell, Stephen (UKIP) 279
Phillips, Edward (Con) 274
Toye, Kenneth (Lib Dem) 126
Wilmot, Thomas (Green) 193
“So the Liberal Democrats have gone from first to last in what was a bastion of Liberal Democrat power in the town – just three years ago they held all three Borough Council seats, plus the County Council seat. It means the Liberal Democrats are reduced to just three councillors on Ipswich Borough Council.” So says the Spy.
In fact it was not so much as a Liberal Bastion but a freak base, created by boundary changes, and a protest vote against the Labour government, which was always going to go back to Labour when real politics kicked in.
The worst result is in Whitehouse and Whitton where UKIP slipped in.
9 UKIP councillors on the County Council is a disaster.
They did well elsewhere though not enough to win.
Note that in the area I live (St Helen’s/Alexandra, which cover the town centre and is largely working class or employee, and highly ‘mixed’, including a substantial migrant worker population) UKIP came above the Liberals and even the Tories with hardly any local activists whatsoever.
Or indeed none...
Their vote comes from a ‘virtual’ campaign of leafleting, and the full-time agitation of the far-right daily press, the Mail, the Express and the Sun.
They beat poor old Kevin in his vain attempt to win Chantry for the Tory (Holy Roller) Party.
UKIP put the Tories into 4th and 5th (no guessing which Tory came 5th) and the Liberals, way out on the margins at Monster Raving levels of support. (Algar, Kevin (Con) 1043 Armitage, Helen (Labour) 2169 Broom, Barry (Green) 404 Cenci, Nadia (Con) 1096 Fletcher, Julie (Lib Dem) 243 Gardiner, Peter (Labour) 2051 McHardy, Stuart (Lib Dem) 146
Newton, Robert (UKIP) 1301)
Across the County UKIP have pushed the Liberals out to the fringes (7 seats) and are not far behind Labour.
Campaigning on an openly racist basis, against the threat of Romanian and Bulgarian migrants, they join a sorry list of European far-right populist parties.
The left has long shouted about the menace of the tiny and irrelevant English Defence League.
Dealing with UKIP is going to be a lot harder than shouting ‘nasty Nazis’ at them.
But this is a start,
Galloway and Friend.
Galloway in Secret meeting with Miliband, the Mail reported on Sunday.
Phil in a quick response on A Very Public Sociologist unwisely commented,
It’s good politics to explore areas where some form of cooperation can be reached across party lines, even when a MP is from an organisation many times smaller than your own. And, needless to say, it is an utterly mundane and common occurrence. The only surprising thing about Ed and George’s meeting is that it hadn’t happened before now.
This led to the usual crew of pro-Galloway cretins (as one could politely call them), praising the Great Man whose immense political weight has been recognised at last.
Now in the Guardian Mark Ferguson of Labour List comments,
There’s been a certain amount of (entirely justifiable) anger and confusion from many Labour supporters today at reports in the Mail on Sunday that Ed Miliband met George Galloway in his Westminster office recently. The spin from the Mail – to the surprise of no one at all – was that “Red” Ed Miliband was attempting some form of reconciliation with George Galloway, in an attempt to have him rejoin the Labour party.
Thankfully, this is not the case.
A senior source in Miliband’s office told me this afternoon that this was “certainly not about reconciling with Galloway”, while another told me that “there is no possibility, prospect or chance of George Galloway rejoining the Labour party”. Allowing him to rejoin the party would happen over my dead body – and I suspect a substantial proportion of the party membership feel the same way.
In fact, the meeting was about a rather more prosaic – but crucial – matter: the boundary changes vote that at the time looked like it might come down to just one or two votes. All parties in parliament (except the Tories) were approached, and it paid dividends as the boundary changes fell. A Labour party spokesperson confirmed that this afternoon, saying:
“There is no attempt to bring George Galloway back into the Labour party as many of his views are unacceptable and extreme. Ed met him purely as a courtesy to discuss the recent vote on changing parliamentary boundaries. No communication has taken place since.”
Now this is may well be a matter of winning a “crucial Commons vote” .
But why on earth did Miliband have to talk face to face with Galloway?
One can imagine that Galloway is chuffed.
We will no doubt learn more, from other sources if not directly from North Korea’s greatest friend’s own foam speckled mouth.
On this meeting one could say, “”C’est pire qu’un crime, c’est une faute!”
Showed Raving Loonies What’s What.
All left-wing eyes are on Manchester where Respect’s Catherine Higgins (182 votes, 1,1%) unexpectedly beat the Monster Raving Looney Party’s Howling Laud Hope (78 votes, 0,5%).
It’s onwards and upwards for Britain’s fastest disintegrating political party.
|Labour Co-op||Lucy Powell||11,507||69.1||+16.4|
|Liberal Democrat||Marc Ramsbottom||1,571||9.4||-17.2|
|Trade Unionist & Socialist||Alex Davidson||220||1.3||N/A|
|Monster Raving Loony||Howling Laud Hope||78||0.5||N/A|
|People’s Democratic Party||Lee Holmes||71||0.4||N/A|
|Communist League||Peter Clifford||64||0.4||N/A|
|Labour Co-op hold||Swing|
Catherine Higgens, who supports the 9/11 ‘truth’ campaign, could not be contacted at the time of writing.
Update. National Respect issued the following statement,
This brilliant result shows that if you want change in Britain vote for Respect. Catherine Higgens has shown that nowhere is safe for the Monster Raving Loony Party. Yvonne Ridely and George Galloway are at present recording a rap, “do the Taliban mash”. Watch out Rotherham, we’re coming!