Sunday, April 27, 2008

Muslims for Labour - Manchester

Last week I took a break from canvassing to go to the Pakistani Community Centre for a launch meeting for Muslims for Labour. The support of the Muslim community has been key to our success in Manchester and there were over 300 present. Speakers included Sir Gerald Kaufman MP, Tony Lloyd MP and Sir Richard Leese - Leader of Manchester City Council. We are attracting new young Muslim candidates and are looking for them to gain seats in Manchester this year.

I brought greetings from the NEC, had a quick curry then back to Salford to leaflet before the second half of City - Portsmouth game - a busy day!

The By-Election

Gwyneth Dunwoody's sad death now means a by-election in a seat with a majority of just over 7,000. It will be a vital test for the party but it also puts a lot of pressure on Cameron and the Tories. If they can't win Crewe and Nantwich at a time like this they will be in trouble.

If you are anything like me you'd be fed up and frustrated with the constant Tory media barrage against our Government and party - the by-election gives us a chance to do something about it - see you in Crewe & Nantwich!

Gwyneth Dunwoody

It came as a complete shock to hear the sad news about Gwyneth Dunwoody.

Gwyneth has been the MP for Crewe & Nantwich since 1974 and in that time she had run the full gamut of Labour Party experience - her victory in 1974, being a Minister in a Labour Government, the horror of Thatcher in the 1980s and the Labour Victory of 1997 and the 2000's.

Gwyneth was present just over a month a go when I went to the Crewe and Nantwich General Committee and in robust form.

She will be greatly missed both in Crewe & Nantwich and the wider Labour movement.

Claremont - Peter Wheeler, Your Labour Neighbour

The local election campaign in Claremont is going well as we are out leafleting and campaigning every day. The quality of our literature is much better than the Lib Dems and we are out meeting the voters which is the most crucial bit of campaigning.

As well as the Lib Dem Leader there are a Tory, UKIP and BNP candidates and we are building a real, vibrant Labour presence in the ward.

We had 17 people out campaigning on Saturday and it was great to see 5 students from Manchester University - Alan, Jason, Dan, Mike and Richard - who worked all day. I understand the Lib Dems also had a big turn out - there were 3 of them.

Anyone with spare time on their hands, if you want to help please give me a ring on 07880 790182.

Warren Flood

Last Tuesday was a sad day as I attended the funeral of Warren Flood, who died very unexpectedly the week before.

Warren had been a councillor for Pilkington Park in Whitefield for 12 years and a councillor in Moorside, Bury for 2 years. He worked as a case worker for Ivan Lewis MP and was genuinely popular with all who new him. As well as a dedicated socialist he was an ardent supporter of Bury FC and a lover of real ale. He really will be missed by many many friends.

His death is such a blow to Cath, who lost her mother recently and our thoughts are wit her.
More bad news in Bury came with the announcement of the death of Gordon Sharkey. Gordon had been a councillor for the old Whitefield Urban District Council and then a Bury District Councillor. A founder member of the Bury Labour League of Youth and a party member for over 50 years, Gordon will be sorely missed - another life long socialist!!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Labour's Next Manifesto

Most of us are in the middle of local elections and its vital that that's where we put all our energies over the next few weeks.

Straight after the elections though, CLPs will be receiving copies of the final draft policy statements, for the policy making process, which will form the basis of our next General Election manifesto.

CLPs can move amendments to these documents and it's important that we consider these documents and make amendments as necessary. We need a radical and practical manifesto which reflects the experience and knowledge of our members.

So, please ensure your CLP discusses these documents during May and gets involved in the policy process.


Dear friends,

Postcards calling on Chief Constables and MP's to do more to enforce the Hunting Act are now available from IFAW. Please could you help by distributing these and asking friends to do likewise.

If you can help please e-mail Tania McCrea-Steele directly with your address and how many A4 sheets you would like. If you know of any wildlife sanctuaries or other organisations that could help do let Tania know also. They’re printed in A4 sheets with perforated edges so they need to be separated before being distributed.

Please pull out all the stops for this one. Together we can make a difference!


Chris Gale
NEC Member
Labour Animal Welfare Society

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Local Elections

Local elections will be held in Wales and much of England on May 1st - and crucially the mayoral elections will be held in London.

Success is vital and I'm determined to do my bit by gaining our ward in Salford - Claremont - back from the Liberal Democrats.

Good luck to all candidates and if anyone has any comments on how the campaign is going or what its like on the doorstep, please let me know.