"Don't punish us for the mistakes of the Prime Minister" say activists - Then deal with him!


It looks like the chaos that is the Labour Party local election campaign is unravelling already. The Blair effect is being felt on the ground.

Rebel Labour candidates, including the brother-in-law of a senior cabinet minister, are publicly distancing themselves from their own government in a frantic bid to salvage votes in next month's crucial local elections.

In some areas the party has also resorted to 'stealth' leaflets that do not appear to come from the party - including a letter to voters in north London purporting to come from a man living near by, urging them to vote for his 'old friend', the Labour candidate, despite reservations over the war on Iraq. Electoral register searches reveal nobody of that name listed at his supposed address...

Much of the election material, particularly in London, Labour's toughest battleground, does not even mention the party. 'It's every man for himself,' said one veteran activist in the capital. 'Some leaflets are basically saying "don't punish us for the mistakes of the Prime Minister".'

And therein lies the problem with Labour.
"Don't punish us for the mistakes of the Prime Minister"

When are the Labour Party going to get it? This far down the line is is not possible to seperate the leadership from the government and the party. If you stand under the Labour banner, then you are part of it. You are responsible for it. You pay subs to support it, you knock doors to argue for it.

We the great unwashed can only chose the party of government, it is the Labour Party who choose their leader, the PM. The Labour Government couldn't govern in the way that it does without the support of the parliamentary or constituency party.

The Labour Party need to know that untill they clean up their own mess, as Party members they are responsible for it on a local as well as a national level.

It is often said that local elections should be about local issues [comments], and that people shouldn't advocate using them to 'punish' HMG for international or national issues.
But that cuts both ways - if councillors are prepared to stand on their own merits, as independents, they can still work to a local agenda, voting with their local party on local matters.

If they are not prepared to stand on their merits - and party members and activists at whatever level are not prepared to deal with the mess that is the so called Labour Government, then there will be an increasing amount of us saying "Don't Vote Labour!"

Don't Vote Labour Posters and Badges now available:)
[And here's the Flash clip if you missed it last time]

Candidates can easily

Candidates can easily distance themselves from Blair by standing as independents, but that requires having the courage of their convictions or the intellectual honesty to simply resign, as 50% of the party has done sinct 1997.

Apart from everything else, bankrupting your party and halving the membership isn't the hallmark of a great leader.

Thanks for the mention. I

Thanks for the mention. I think the concept of standing as an Independent is an interesting one, and certainly one I've considered. Four reasons I haven't jumped:

1. My roots into the Labour Party are through the trade union movement and I wouldn't be prepared to break that link, particularly having spent half my life arguing to keep it.

2. I resigned from the Labour Party, together with many others on the left in 1968 in protest at Callaghan's Commonwealth Immigration Act and Wilson's support for LBJ's blitzing of Vietnam. When Wilson didn't resign because of my protest, I crept back in.

3. As I tried to indicate in my posting, the electorate are not, like it or not, concerned necessarily with the high matters of state and it's machinations which excite you. By and large, they ARE concerned about things they see directly affecting them, local or national. Someone standin on a NO2ID ticket or 'Stop the Leg. & Reg.' would be lucky to get a seconder.

4. Most important, probably. It's what Blair wants. The prospect of ridding the Labour Party of the left is his ultimate dream. Well, I ain't going.

I work on the principle that this is a blink in the passage of time. History teaches us, as Sinn Fein say, Tiocfaidh ár lá.

We'd be more impressed if

We'd be more impressed if you went to the Labour Party conference and shouted "Nonsense" at Jack Straw. You can watch the last man with any morals being thrown out of the Labour Party here.

Perhaps you misunderstood,

Perhaps you misunderstood, Goatchurch... but I ain't trying to impress you. Presumably, if you're not 'in'... you can't be thrown 'out'? Or perhaps your 'moral man' was also a sell out merchant too, just for remaining 'in'?

Bobby, I think Goatchurch

Bobby, I think Goatchurch was just giving an inversion of the statement "We are unimpressed by you."

There seems to be something about being a New Labour zombo that warps the cognition - as with members of other nutter organisations, you have to ask, does it makes 'em or do they come like that already.

To a large degree, the opinion of the electorate is shaped by the pervasive media PR machine. Manufactured issues such as paedophiles, crime, benefit fraud & immigrants (brown ones) are hyped out of all proportion while significant issues such as the western conquest of the Middle East, genocide, poverty, financial domination of 3rd world countries, removal of UK civil liberties, the incoming national identity system, etc. are supressed. It is not that the public don't care: they do care, they just don't know; it is you that doesn't care.

You, Bobby, are the problem because politically ambitious people such as yourself help prop the bastards up.

I'm not sure Tony Blair

I'm not sure Tony Blair really cries himself to sleep every night over the troubles the Labour left is causing him. After all, they haven't prevented him invading Iraq, turning everything in sight over to a PFI or introducing abominable laws. They also don't seem to be mobilising to make sure there isn't an Iran war.

Suppose Blair were to hire a few dozen actors to pretend to be Labour party leftists, and make token disagreements here and there but not interfere with any of his substantial schemes, in order to try to persuade the population that he is acting out of a consensus with mixed input. I can't imagine they could be any more cowardly than the vote-whores that actually exist.

Dick... you are well named.

Dick... you are well named.

Clearly, any kind of

Clearly, any kind of rudimentary abilities at repartee should form a cast-iron excuse against all accusations of cowardice and fecklessness.

Where do they get these people?

With great pleasure, I rest

With great pleasure, I rest my case.

I'm pleased that Dick and

I'm pleased that Dick and Crink have got so many positive ideas for taking forward left ideas (that is, assuming they are leftish rather than the usual bunch of wimpish liberals). I think they're absolutely correct. I'll withdraw my Party membership and canditure because that has quite clearly sucked in the whole of the trade union movement into affiliation and given a legitamacy to the Blair project. Instead, I'll also engage in serious political activity by giving myself a funny blog name, petty name calling on the interweb and pulling funny faces at the tv screen. That'll bring down those nasty new labour people. Grow up students.

Boys and girls, please! Lets

Boys and girls, please! Lets stop abusing each other too much, and try to stick to the point...

Bob, you made your point about why you don't leave, but I still don't see what you achieve by staying!

I've followed some of you blog, it seems pretty clear that you are not a supporter of this government's direction of travel on many issues - yet the government couldn't travel in that direction without your support. Maybe that is why people react strongly when you make the case you do.

It took me a long time to come to the realisation that the Labour Party have become the problem - rather than just Blair et al being the problem. That seems to be a view shared by an increasing number of people, be they leftish or whimpish liberals. How many people, we shall see the day afer the council elections...

Do you really think the TU movement hasn't been sucked in, and given legitamacy to the Blair project? My Union continues to fund the Labour party [I opted out] and holds to the position that the Warwick agreement actually means something! They mutter darkly, but keep paying the bills...

Thanks for making your points though, because the usual 'Labour' response is just to describe us as scum, get hysterical or more usually ignore us.

I get the impression there are an increasing number of us, and that ID cards, Leg Reg, Civil Liberties wiill not remain Newsnight issues for ever, but will come to dominate the 6'o'clock news and become issues on the doorstep. If that does happen, I guess Labour candidates will long for the days they could discus and defend their position on dog shit...

Thanks for the reasoned

Thanks for the reasoned response. I think your notion of whether or not Labour is part of the problem or solution is exactly right. Whatever people's answer is to that question depends on their direction. Those who believe it's the problem will accuse me of selling out, I'll counter by accusing them of opting out. Neither scenario will move Blair and New Labour's demise one jot closer. I would rather talk about the civil liberties issues than the dogshit any day, unfortunately, as you say, the public haven't yet caught up. There are lots of Labour members, and TU affiliated members who wish these issues were further up the public radar, it would give our arguments in the party more weight as well as those of you outside the Party.

Let's face it, those who are outside the Party have been no more successful in shafting Blair than those of us inside. Blaming each other for the failure is hardly the solution...