Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Migrant Workers

The exploitation of migrant workers was highlighted in our local paper the other week with the story of six East European workers being "based" in a garden shed.

Salford Council took prompt action to end this situation and the local Party are now getting together with local Trade Unions, community groups and churches, publications and the Council to establish an organisation to tackle this sort of abuse.

The local Polish organisations are keen to be involved and I'll let you know how it goes.

Sheffield Hustings

Sunday 27th May 2007 saw the Leadership Hustings in Sheffield.

A car load of us went from Salford to see how it was going.
Held at Sheffield United Football Club there was a good turnout of around 300 (by my count!)

There was a question and answer session with Gordon Brown in which he displayed the qualities which I believe make him the right man for Britain's next Prime Minister - solid ability, commitment to social justice (both here and internationally) and an ability to generate trust and support amongst Labour supporters. His description of the effect of debt relief in places like Kenya, where education is now free and 1 million youngsters suddenly appear at school is very moving and reminds you of why we do what we do.

The platform for the Deputy hustings was a very crowded event. Candidates made a short speech and then answered questions from the floor. The questions were obviously genuine and the whole debate was intelligent. I genuinely think we're lucky to have such a good field of candidates.

At the minute its looking like it could be a very close result and its vital party members engage and involve themselves in this debate. When its over we then need to focus relentlessly on the opposition and winning the next General Election.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Dennis Skinner comes to Bolton

Bolton North East - Friday 22nd June

Looks like a good night out in Bolton as Dennis Skinner M.P. will be speaking at a fundraising dinner at the Devere Whites Hotel, DeHavillard Way, Bolton (The Reebok Stadium).

The evening starts at 7.30 p.m. in The Lion of Vienna Suite.

Tickets are £20.00 - cheques to Bolton North East CLP and more information from: Enid Ramsden, 9 Briggs Fold Road, Egerton, Bolton BL9 9JG (07752 828299) E-mail Tel 01204 309463


Starter: Melon, berries and coulis - Buffalo mozarella salad - Chicken liver pate

Main: Chicken breast White wine cream sauce - Grilled salmon - Tortellini ricotta

Desserts: Cheese biscuits - Fruit tart and cream - Chocolate tart and toffee

Tea / coffee

Three courses for £20.00 - good value - let Enid have your menu choice

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Usdaw backs Hazel for Deputy

Hazel’s campaign received another boost today when USDAW, one of Britain’s largest unions, announced that it is putting its support behind Hazel Blears in the race for the deputy leadership.

In a meeting this afternoon, the union’s executive endorsed Gordon Brown as leader and nominated Hazel to be his deputy.

General Secretary John Hannett said: “We are backing Usdaw member Hazel Blears as our candidate for Labour Deputy Leader because we believe she has the right blend of energy, commitment and experience to make sure that the party’s manifesto commitments are delivered.”

Tories - Party of Women, Party of The Family?

Ignore the re-branding, when you get back to reality the Tories haven't changed!

A recent article in the Manchester Evening News describes a court case brought by Pauleen Lane, a Labour Councillor from during her term as Mayor of Trafford with a Tory administration.

Because she wanted to breastfeed her son, the Tories ruled she had to be accompanied by another adult if she wanted to travel in the mayoral car.

This led to her and the baby often having to follow the mayoral car, which carried her chain of office, in her own car! You couldn't make it up!

Pauleen is now suing for sex discrimination - Good Luck Pauleen

Friday, May 18, 2007

Northerners For Hazel

Monday night in Salford saw a well attended meeting of Hazel supporters from throughout the North West to discuss how we can maximise support for her.

We are aiming to contact as many members as possible to get Hazel's message across and to get supporters nominating her in every CLP across the region.

All CLPs are encouraged to hold an All Members' Meeting to decide their nomination and nominations have to be received at Head Office by Friday 2nd July 2007 - so there's not much time.

Please pass this message on to your friends and encourage them to get involved.

Anyone who wants to get involved in telephone canvassing, getting along to hustings, coming to Hazel's team meetings or in any other way, can contact Pete Wheeler on 07880 790 182.
Our next meeting is Tuesday 22nd May 2007 7.00 p.m. in The Annexe, The Crescent, Salford. For donations please contact Pete. Please try and get along and encourage your friends to come.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Leadership Elections - Hustings Meetings

Tickets and Details can be obtained via your Labour Party mpurl site.

Here is a schedule of places and dates:

Sunday 20th May: Husting, Coventry

Saturday 26th May: Unions Together Husting, Bristol

Sunday 27th May: Husting, Bradford

Wednesday 30th May: BAME Husting, Leicester

Saturday 2nd June: Husting, Glasgow

Sunday 3rd June: Unions Together Husting, Newcastle

Wednesday 6th June: Unions Together Husting, London

Saturday 9th June: Husting, Cardiff

Sunday 10th June: Youth Husting, Oxford

Saturday 16th June: Husting, London

Sunday 24th June: Leadership Conference and announcement of ballot results, Manchester

National Executive Committee (13.5.07)

Sunday saw a hastily convened NEC meeting at Victoria Street in London to agree details of the Leader / Deputy Leader elections.
Both Tony Blair and John Prescott addressed the last meeting of the NEC and were warmly thanked for making our Party electable and delivering three successive election victories.

Aspiring candidates have until Thursday to get nominations from MPs. There will then be campaigning and hustings meetings throughout the country. CLPs are asked to hold all members' meetings to discuss who their CLP should nominate. These nominations have to be submitted by Friday 1st June.

This will be a very busy time for the Party and hopefully one where we begin to focus on the task of taking on the Tories at the next election.

My only concern was that there was no provision for a hustings in the North West of England - the biggest party region in terms of members (I think!) There is one in every other region (except Eastern) and two in London. Given that we are rightly having special hustings aimed at youth and ethnic minority members - it seems wrong not to have women and LGBT sessions and this issue was brought up by Angela Eagle.

The General Secretary promised to look into this and do what he could - but if the national party can't do it we might need to organise our own!
Anyway, for the record, elections are meant to be energising experiences and help refresh the party. We all have different views and its right the candidates campaign hard to win our support. I just want to see the campaigning done in a positive fashion which sees us emerge stronger after it.

Personally I'm voting for Gordon Brown for Leader and Hazel Blears for deputy - but whoever you support - enjoy the election.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Tony Blair

The news from Trimdon Labour Club was hardly a surprise but the significance of it is still great for all of us.

Time for discussing the record of the last ten years will come but for today we should acknowledge just how much we as a party owe him.

Ten years ago this country was on its knees - its not perfect yet but it’s a damned sight better!

Thanks a lot Tony.


In Wales we didn't get the hiding expected and are still the largest party - no-one can form a Government without us.

We campaigned on a good record of delivery of Labour achievements and saw some excellent results on holding the Vales of Glamorgan and Clwyd and gaining Wrexham - well done Lesley Griffiths!

Losing seats like Preselli Pembs, Cardiff North, Aberconwy and Clwyd West hurt - and should remind our General Election strategists that we need to support our Welsh marginal seats as much as any others.


It must have been heartbreaking for the party in Scotland to have been written off and vilified by our opposition in the media - fought back so hard and then just being beat by one seat by the SNP as largest party.

Obviously there's a lot of serious negotiating to do to determine the future at Holyrood over the next four years. Two key points stand out from this election: even under proportional representation the far left couldn't get anyone elected - the SSP / Solidarity managed zero between them. Just in case anyone needs reminding the alternative to Labour in Britain is not the far left - its the right.

The arguments that proportional representation lead to the end of votes being "wasted" look a bit lame when 100,000 and have been quite literally binned! The fact that we now only control two Councils in Scotland is no reflection on our members and Councillors. It’s the adoption of proportional representation which gave these Councils away.


Results I'm getting from the rest of the country are patchy but one that needs highlighting is Leicester where we gained 18 seats and regained control - reducing the Liberal Democrats to six.

Well done Leicester.

I also hear Nottingham did very well.

North West

Across the North West as a whole, we lost 52 Councillors - 42 in the Councils having all out elections.

On Merseyside the results in Liverpool were again very good with four gains (and one loss) and we gained a seat in Sefton and in Wirral. Still no Tory Councillors in Liverpool.

In Chester the Tories gained control but largely as a result of the Liberal Democrats losing heavily.

It was sad to see the Tories gaining Blackpool and South Ribble but I know we'll be bouncing back in these seats.

Congratulations to Burnley where three of the four defending BNP Councillors were defeated - one on the toss of a coin which shows the importance of working till then end. (unhappily I hear the BNP did gain one in Burnley - so the fight goes on).

Greater Manchester

Across Greater Manchester the results were a mixed bag but the big factor was the failure of the Tories to make the big gains they had anticipated. They failed to take control of Bury (gaining only one seat) and Bolton and still are nowhere near getting a Councillor in Manchester.

In Wigan we gained three seats - two in Bolton and one in Tameside.
We lost good Councillors in places like Rochdale, Prestwich and Oldham but hopefully this year marks the end of retreat in Local Government and we can start going forward next year.

It was really good to see Rosa Battle elected in Bradford ward in Manchester with a majority just short of 1200 - well done Rosa.


Across Salford we gained one seat from the Liberal Democrats, lost one to them and lost two to the Tories.

The broad picture seems to be of the Liberal Democrats declining and the Tories picking up slightly.

As a party we need to get better at prioritising our effort and build up the local branches. Losing good Councillors like Eddie Sheehy, John Cullen and Christine Hudson is a blow and we need to prevent it happening next year.


Just an update on the situation in our ward. We had a really successful election result cutting the Liberal Democrat majority from 442 to 150. Not bad considering we did a lot to help in the more marginal ward of Weaste and Seedley, where we again cut the Liberal Democrat majority to 89.

Local party members are really enthused and we are going to spend the rest of the year working hard to win next May. It won't be easy as we're up against the Liberal Democrat leader but we're determined to do it.

We're attracting new members and have already delivered a thank you leaflet all round the ward.

Sorry that I've been away or a while, i've been busy on the elections.

We used this great new Usdaw, Anti-BNP leaflet in Claremont. You can view it at Usdaw's website:

To order copies you can phone Usdaw's Politics Office on 0161 249 2452 and ask for David or Gary.