Friday, December 9, 2016

No surprises: Sleaford and North Hykeham by-election sees election of Dr Caroline Johnson for Tories, the big story of the night is that the Labour Party is heading towards 'electoral disaster' both North and South of the Scottish Border, people have completely lost faith in the Labour Party, what it stands for and how it is run

Dear All

You will at some point in your life look around and ask yourself what planet are some people on, I know I do.

Prior to leaving the Labour Party, I going to leave straight after the Holyrood Election, I was asked to stay on and consider putting myself forward as a candidate, the thing that prompt to me consider this was the actions of rebel Labour MPs of the Blair faction who wanted to oust Jeremy Corbyn as leader.

It was a nasty low down dirty trick which was to backfire spectacularly on those involved.

The Labour Party clearly has serious and major problems, it didn’t start with Corbyn’s leadership, it started when Labour Party Candidate Selection in the main shifted to become a more or less middle class only affair. The middle class careerist mostly straight from University took over the party and then decline started. Over time buoyed up by trading on the Labour brand, these people sat back and did nothing for their constituents.

Then there is the cronyism which has plagued Labour.

This behaviour didn’t start under Jeremy Corbyn, but it has contributed to the decline of the Labour Party on both sides of the Scotland/England border. In Scotland, the Labour Party has been wiped out at both Westminster and Holyrood level; their presence in Holyrood is due to the discredit list system. Next year, the party face being wiped off the political map for a third time.

This is what Glasgow Labour thought was acceptable.

I left Labour because they thought it was okay to discriminate against me, if the party doesn’t really badly in Glasgow, it isn’t my concern, it was clear to me as a member of Labour that I wasn’t welcome as a working class member. I am better than a psychic medium who claims to have communicated with the spirit of John F Kennedy? 


Down South in recent by-elections, the Labour Party has done incredibly badly as well; the by-election in Richmond against Zac Goldsmith saw the party trail to a miserable fifth place finish with a less than gracious candidate who hadn’t the brains to keep his mouth shut post result.

Given the extent of the Labour Party being rejected, Veteran MP David Winnick, 83, says the latest result shows that the leadership has to ditch its "bunker mentality" and join the real world.

Whoo, that sounds like rebel talk, but Veteran MP David Winnick misjudges what the problem is, the problem isn’t Coprbyn, he is a figurehead of a movement for change, the real problem is the ‘Blair’ faction which goes under the name ‘Progress’, this is seen by many to be a party within a party which acts against the interests of the members.

Owen Smith is the poster boy at present for Progress, in a recent TV interview, he said he didn’t accept the Brexit result and would vote to have a second EU referendum, in his view the majority of the people votes don’t matter. This is the nub of Labour’s problems, there is are two Labour Parties, those who on the left who follow Corbyn as leader and those on the right following Smith or whatever proxy takes his place further down the line.

The result of the Sleaford and North Hykeham by-election saw, you guessed it another middle class university educated person elected, this time under the Tory banner.

Dr Caroline Johnson.

To see the damage that the Blair/Progress faction have done to Labour with their anti democratic stance,  the Sleaford and North Hykeham by-election provides this in spades, Ukip has emerged as the runner-up to the Tory candidate Caroline Johnson. Is this the start of Ukip taking over as the second party of British politics?

No, there is a huge mountain for them to climb both inside the party and out, they aren’t ready yet, because information and knowledge are ‘key’ to making them have a big break through.

Dr Caroline Johnson won the by-election fairly; she ticked all the right boxes and came away with a landslide 17,570 votes. The full results were:

Caroline Johnson: (Conservatives) - 17,570
Victoria Ayling: (UKIP) - 4,426
Ross Pepper: (Liberal Democrats) - 3,606
Jim Clarke: (Labour) - 3,363
Marianne Overton: (Lincolnshire Independent) - 2,892
Sarah Stock: (Independent) - 462
The Iconic Arty-Pole: (Monster Raving Loony Party) - 200
Paul Coyne: (Independent) - 186
Mark Suffield: (Independent) - 74
David Bishop: (Bus Pass Elvis Party) – 55

Out of about 60,000 in a constituency, the Labour Party only managed 3.606, this is humiliating but it reflects what both leaderships of the Labour Party know, the problem is the very real damage done by those who are part of the Progress movement. They have brought down the Labour Party and unless the party membership removes these people as MPs, the party will not recover. The Blood price muted by Blair back in the day is now, a systematic removal of people like Owen Smith, Angela Eagle, Ben Bradshaw, David Lammy, Tom Watson and even Hillary Benn, these people have crossed their rubicon.

If removing Jeremy Corbyn is the obvious fix to Labour’s problems then the membership would have gone with Owen Smith, they didn’t, and removing Corbyn solves nothing. No matter who is in charge of Labour when the party goes into the next General Election, the odds of a Labour Government looks rather remote at this point in time.

Ukip leader Paul Nuttall, who was at the count, said it was a "great result" for the party following the turmoil of recent months.

Coming second does sound rather good but the numbers don’t lie, Ukip pulled 4,426
Votes, a long way away from anything like the 17,570 of Johnson.

Anyway Nuttall said:

"If someone would have offered me second place at the beginning of the campaign, considering we were in the middle of a leadership election and the party resembled a bit of a shambles over the summer, I would have bitten their hand off.  I think it's a really good way to get my leadership off the ground. This is a small step on a long road."

And at 4,426 Votes, it is a baby step.

The Labour Party was the party to suffer the most in this by-election, with its vote share dropping 7.1 percentage points compared to the 2015 General Election. This is as I wrote, entirely the fault of Progress and the damage they continue to inflict on the party by their actions. Progress should be treated in the same way as Militant was in 1980’s and expelled from the party.

The middle class have hijacked the Labour Party and turned it into a clone of the Conservative Party, and the people don’t like it; that is why Jeremy Corbyn attracted a huge increase in members, it was to wrestle control away from a small self serving elite and return democracy back to the members.

When the returning officer says at an election count that someone has been elected to serve the constituents, perhaps the Blair/ Progress should have taken that on board. In Scotland, the party is run by the Blair/ Progress, the results here are something Veteran MP David Winnick would have a hard time to twist as being Jeremy Corbyn’s fault. When the worst defeat in Scottish Labour’s history happened in 2015, it was at the hands of Blair/ Progress faction in Scotland.

Given the way things are going for 2017, the Scottish Labour Party stand to be wiped off the map drastically, this will be a Scottish campaign run by Scots all the way.

The only real information which the Sleaford and North Hykeham by-election reveals is that people don’t want to vote for or feel comfortable about placing faith in the Labour Party at present while a ‘civil war’ rages on both sides of the border. As someone recently said to me, the Labour Party is finished in Scotland, and that they will never come back as a major force.

Who do they represent and what do they stand for, there aren’t people of the calibre of Gordon Brown, Donald Dewar, Nye Bevan or a Keir Hardie which is kicking about the place.

Congratulations to Dr. Caroline Johnson on her win and for Labour, I would say you need better candidates, a cull and a new campaigning model.

Yours sincerely

George Laird

The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


D Stewart said...

The most telling statistic from Richmond was that in a constituency that supposedly held 1600 Labour party members, the Labour candidate managed to attract 1500 votes in total. Gurgle, gurgle......

G Laird said...

Dear Mr. Stewart

If we assume that all of the votes came from members, we must then conclude that no one voted for Labour beyond. I think however that some of the public did vote which begs the question how many of the CLP did, and was the reluctance of the rest because of the choice of candidate.

In short, the Labour Party does pick some right clowns.


Al C said...

In other words, back to the drawing board.

D Stewart. said...

Dear Mr Laird,

I concur.

Anonymous said...

Georgieboy I never knew what my parents voted, they said son its none of your business , oh those were the days

Laird for 17