Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Vote David Ellesmere, Vote Labour!

with 5 comments

Ed Miliband came to Ipswich yesterday.

He was interviewed on Look East.

Ed showed a sure grasp of the key issues facing people in the Town*

These included a low wage economy, a town centre in need of regeneration, and people working on zero hour contracts, as well as the health service and education.

The Labour leader has visibly grown in stature over the last few weeks.

He responded with clarity and modest determination.

It was impressive.

Miliband spoke to local paper, the Star,

..he said the key message he had heard from local people was that the economy had not got better for ordinary workers.

He said: “It may be better if you work in the City of London or you’re one of the highest-paid people in the country, but this idea that the wealth will trickle down is nonsense.

“The people working hard to try to improve their lives are not seeing any improvements, and it is time we changed things to ensure that any recovery is shared by everyone – not just the richest.”

David Ellesmere was present to welcome Labour’s Battle Bus.

David has also risen in – political – stature during the election campaign.

As leader of the Labour Group in Ipswich Borough Council he had headed a team dedicated to making things better for ordinary people.

Labour councillors have  has introduced the Living Wage for all its employees – and contractors.

They have banned the use of ‘workfare’ by the Council.

The Borough has engaged in a programme of building council houses (although one project has been held up by Eric Pickles).

It has invested in land, in supporting schemes to help ordinary people (such as the Credit Union), and a range of community bodies.

More broadly Ipswich Council has backed progressive policies, such as an anti-racist march.

David appeared at the first public meeting of the Suffolk People’s Assembly (SPA), along with Owen Jones, and the Secretary of the Trades Council, Teresa MacKay and other trade unionists.

Campaigning locally for the Living Wage, Ipswich Labour, local community groups, and the SPA, have tried to extend this principle.

On Suffolk County Council, the Labour leader, Sandy Martin – who also works with the SPA – has attempted to get this administration to adopt the Living Wage. The Conservatories have blocked it.

Recently David came along to a SPA/UNITE protest against the sanctions regime for benefit claimants -a  major cause of the rise of Food Banks.

Ipswich Labour, and David Ellesmere, have done a through, careful, job of making things better for ordinary people – just as Ed Miliband intends to do.

They have earned a lot of trust in the constituency.

By contrast Tory candidate Ben Gummer is looking increasingly rattled.

His efforts to claim credit for every thing positive that has happened to the town, up to and including the recent sunny weather (I made that one up – just…), are, people admit, at least pleasanter than his colleagues’ attempts to spread  fear of a Labour doomsday.

Ben Gummer tries to show his liberal side, but has come down hard in favour of the sanctions regime, and other regressive Tory policies.

Many people are tried of free-market politicians who lay ownership of economic upturns (never downturns), while disclaiming government responsibility for the precarious existence a large number of working people, not to mention benefit claimants, have to live.

I have no insight into the voting intentions of the public.

But if Ipswich is anything to go by, the hard-graft of politicians like David and his colleagues, is beginning to pay off.

 * population 133,400 – up to 200, 000 if you include the coterminous villages and small towns.


5 Responses

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  1. Can you tell me who runs Ipswich Borough council and is therefore responsible for the policies that have caused the town centre to get run down?

    Kevin Algar

    April 23, 2015 at 11:06 am

  2. “the visit by Jeremy Hunt to Ipswich Hospital on Monday was a total farce.

    I’d been told I’d have the chance for a good interview about how wonderful the hospital was – and to raise other health issues. In the end the “private” part of the visit over-ran and his special advisor (the dreaded “Spad” immortalised in The Thick of It) insisted that he had no time for a long interview with me.

    The television interviews were far more important than the local newspaper – and very enlightening they were too.

    Frankly it sounded as if Mr Hunt had swallowed a dictionary containing the phrases “Mid Staffs Hospital,” “Long-term economic plan,” and “Prosperity increases tax receipts” and spewed them up for the viewers’ benefit.

    When I tried to ask questions on other subjects, I was told by Ben Gummer I was factually wrong and Mr Hunt was bundled off to the station to allow him to have some other cheesy photographs taken in Clacton.

    Mr Gummer later apologised to me for being squeezed out and told me that campaign organisers expect local newspaper reporters to be “19-year-olds who don’t understand the subject.”

    Okay, I don’t have it tattooed on my forehead that I know what I’m talking about – but I suggest that any campaign organiser who thinks I’m a 19-year-old really should go to Specsavers!

    To be fair, Mr Gummer also stepped in and arranged for me to have an “e-mail interview” with Mr Hunt about the issues I was unable to raise – but it’s not quite the same thing and frankly it’s the way you’re treated on the day that sticks in the mind.”

    “the next time the Tories send a bigwig to town, I’ll think twice about whether it’s worth bothering to cover the visit. Or maybe I’ll just turn up in my old cheesecloth shirt and flared jeans – that’s what 19-year-olds wear, isn’t it?”


    Andrew Coates

    April 23, 2015 at 11:17 am

  3. Andrew. We don’t go to the town centre anymore, largely because of age, but surely, what has happened to it in recent years, is as a result of the Tory led governments policies. We are keeping everything crossed hoping David will win on May 7th, and got our voting virgin, and heavily pregnant Grandaughter to apply for PV for herself and partner, and to put two in for David,even though she is otherwise engaged at the moment.So yes, that makes us Great grandparents as well, making us feel real bloody old

    Gill and Jim Auton Colchester Road.

    April 23, 2015 at 11:34 am

  4. Thanks you Gill and Jim –

    It’s a good place Ipswich and there are lots of people who think like us.

    David is an honest and hard-working person and a great bloke (er, and also he lives about 2 minutes walk from me…..)

    Labour have made the town better, but honestly how can a local council do a lot against national Tory policies which are designed to undermine the lives of the majority of people who live here?

    Or indeed, things like the Internet’s effects on every High Street?

    Andrew Coates

    April 23, 2015 at 12:32 pm

  5. Indeed.

    Ipswich has often been very close in the past and is likely to be so again, so votes there have been disproportionately (and of course massively unfairly) important under FPTP. One particularly interesting election was in 1970 when the Tories won by a mere 13 votes – their appeal, over the issue of offshore and commercial radio, to boomers voting for the first time clearly having been enough to swing it (and of course predictive of the long-term separation of the party from “Toryism” in the cultural, Burkean sense).


    April 23, 2015 at 10:40 pm

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