Et tu, Kevin?

21 May

Defenestrated Labour councillor Kevin Jenkins provides some acid-tongued advice to residents unsure of who to vote for tomorrow. He suggests asking four questions about each of the candidates:

  1. Do they make specific pledges for your area alongside the general borough-wide pledges?
  2. How are they proposing to keep in touch with their electorate in the ward over the next four years or do you anticipate seeing them again in four years’ time when they want your vote again?
  3. Are they promising to have a regular surgery in the ward each week?
  4. Are they old political hacks or do they have a genuine conviction for your ward and the wider borough? Will they toe the mayor’s or a party line, or vote for what’s best for your area?

That doesn’t read to me like a clarion call to vote for his former colleagues.

5 Responses to “Et tu, Kevin?”

  1. Birdman May 21, 2014 at 11:56 #

    Kevin has always tried to work hard for the people of Newham and has done since we were at school together. Now he is no longer shackled by the whip system he can say publicly what I am sure he has been saying in private. I left the Labour Party after many years membership mainly because it did not tick any of the boxes that Kevin lists. As I and others have posted before, Robin Wales is a disgrace to the Labour movement and the toadies that surround him taking his largesse are pond scum. A vote for most of the Labour candidates ( and there are some honourable exceptions like John Whitworth and Ann Easter) is a vote at best for intellectually challenged lobby fodder and at worse, a vote for money grabbing slime who are more Tory than the Tories.

  2. Southpawpunch (@Southpawpunch) May 21, 2014 at 15:20 #

    I’d have more time for such comments, if people would stand up, identify themselves (I’m not a LP member – former or current – looking to do this) and give details of the specific behaviour, with examples, about which they are referring. Others, such as former Labour Cllr, Sarah Ruiz have done this.

    Until such time as such guts are shown by others, the local Labour Party will continue in power but get increasingly rotten and will, one day, be swept away like all such almost mafia-type regimes have been in the past by a disgusted electorate, like the once Braddock family owned LP in Liverpool or the near 100% Labour councillors and MPs of LB Islington who all went over to the SDP and who all then lost their elections.

    When, say, the LDs win most seats in Newham in 2022, with the Muslim Party picking up the rest, it will be too late then to turn on the Grand Duke. He will have long retired with his large bank account.

    But it will be under his reign that the lack of surgeries, casework, difficult questions at full Council, constructive criticism etc will all have destroyed Newham Labour and given types like the LDs the opening to do the casework and maybe do a Southwark – from no LDs elected to an MP and council control – or a Tower Hamlets (LDs took control of the council in the 80s).

    I expect the Labour Party to continue as it is and, in my dreams, it will be my own Left Unity or TUSC, or even a regenerated Left only Respect that will use the hubris of the Newham LPs to take control in a sort of similar way that, in the boss-like Newham LPs 30 years ago, people like Reg Prentice MP were beaten by Bennite activists.

    However, the far Left is famously useless and I fear it is more likely a savvy bigger party will take advantage of the inevitable fall of Labour locally.

    Will the clever strong social conservative message in that Newham Tory leaflet be an indicator of a clever strategy to attract votes from those who dislike the claimed high number of gays and atheists working for the council?

    Could Newham Tories one day rule in much the same way Tories ruled Scotland for so long as, in effect the Protestant party (with the Labour Party in places like Glasgow sometimes closely tied to Catholic clubs). A two-party system makes odd but predictable alliances: e.g. the northern Liberal democrats in the US and their fellow party members in the south, who were the strongest proponents of the US apartheid system.

    Either way, if Wales etc continue, their victory on Thursday will prove to be illusory.

    • Martin Warne May 21, 2014 at 16:50 #

      See my earlier post on the 8 stages of loss. Newham Labour are clearly on this path.

      • Southpawpunch (@Southpawpunch) May 21, 2014 at 17:49 #

        That’s an interesting article and I will read the ERS paper. I would put Newham at stage 3 as well, but I wonder – LBN has been at 3 for a while and I’m not aware of even a glimmering of 4 yet; I wonder if there is any Labour cllr who will start this. If they do, I suspect it will be for their own ends (e.g. to become the successor), rather than for any altruistic motive.

        There was a well-known book (or article?) written by two Tory activists in the late 70s/ early 80s about the ‘leftwing infiltration’ (as they saw it) of a Newham, or the Newham Labour Parties (which) they joined, ‘undercover’ and the epic internal battles there e.g. Reg Prentice MP left Labour (he had been deselected) quite early – he switched parties to become the Tory MP for Newham NW in 1977.

        It would be interesting to compare now with then. I expect the organisation of the Newham LPs to be the same moribund organisations it was then – although probably with a much lower membership. The right-wing then was often older locals in manual worker jobs; now they are professionals and the self-employed, especially small business owners, although in truth many now have no politics – if they moved to Guildford tomorrow, they would join the Tories and not because that’s necessarily their politics, they would just join whoever may get them elected.

        But there is now no equivalent to the young, sometimes student opposition who joined Labour in that previous period – and hoping to change it. It’s that which, I think, will finish them.

    • Birdman May 22, 2014 at 12:04 #

      Not sure if the above comment is aimed at me, but if it is I have stood up to be counted on many occasions and have detailed letters published in the local paper. I have also tried to make complaints through the Labour Party machinery, and one of the reasons I left the LP was because the complaints were never investigated. Worth noting the last complaint I made was through a regional official called Ken Clark who is currently standing as a councillor!

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