Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Labour problems...

Oddly enough Labour and the BNP have a common problem in Stoke Central.

Both parties’ candidates are facing challenges from former members who became disgruntled with the leadership.

Former BNP city councillor Alby Walker is standing against the BNP’s Deputy Leader Simon Darby (see post below).

Meanwhile the former chair of Stoke Central Constituency Labour Party is standing as an independent after quitting in protest at the “fix” which saw TV historian Tristram Hunt take the candidacy.

Gary Elsby (above) said quitting Labour and standing against it after decades of membership was a hugely difficult decision.

He said it was one he felt bound to take when he saw the lives of people in Stoke become pawns in the chess game being played between various figures at the top of the party.

He believes Stoke Central was given to the Blairite faction of the party in return for other safe seats being handed to Balls’ union boys and Harman’s all women shortlist brigade.

But it was really only the final straw by the sounds of it. Elsby said that Stoke residents had been paying taxes but for years had been given little in return compared to other places.

“We are only just starting to get regeneration here. We’re only just getting Building Schools for the Future going. If I’m honest we haven’t really achieved anything here in the last five years,” he said.

If the chair of the constituency party felt that way, I wonder how many other Labour people in the city do too.

1 comment:

shriekinleek said...

I am an observer of the Stoke scene now for some time. I was a Labour Councillor in the Hartshill ward in the 80s and up to 05 I was a Labour County Councillor in Leek about 12 miles away. I left the party in 05 although I know a few people who are still active in the Labour Party in Stoke. I'm actually a Green Party member. There are no Green candidates in Stoke or in Leek and I have been helping out Tristram Hunt mainly because he is best placed to resist the BNP threat.

Firstly in the little canvassing I have done for Mr Hunt I do not detect any great sense of disillusionment or movement towards the BNP. In fact as was pointed out to me the BNP parachuted their own candidate Simon Darby over a local Councillor Alby Walker who is also standing as an independent. Most people were keen to see Mr Hunt and I did not see or hear any sense of rage.

Secondly the credentials and reasoning of Gary Elsby whom I have known since the 80s needs to be examined. Gary has stood as a Labour candidate in his own ward and has been defeated by the BNP and its his abrasive qualities that tend to drive people away. The Spectator carried examples of Gary's tendency to lose it and accuse people of all sorts of things in on line debates.

Gary also was an enthisiastic supporter of the Iraq War and pushed the Blairite line during this time. he managed to alienate many people at that time.

And as far as having little Government money on the contrary it has regularly received funding from the 70s through the 80s with the National Garden Festival, 6-7 SRBs in the 90s and finally its one of the 7 pathfinders in the country.

Whether the money has been well spent is another question.

As I said I'm not a Labour party member I just happen to believe Tristram Hunt offers the best chance for my home town

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