Tuesday, October 28, 2008

West Midland Regional Conference

Off to Malvern this Saturday for the West Midlands Regional Conference. Malvern’s a great place, it’s like a seaside resort in the hills, so miles from the sea. Support from regions like the West Midlands is essential for victory at the General Election. It’s a region based manufacturing and chock full of marginal seats. Clearly many people are worried about economic prospects but the first few weeks have shown that when the going gets tough its Labour people turn to - David Cameron has disappeared and as for the Lib Dems?

I’m looking forward to the conference and seeing one of our best organised regions in action.

West Midlands Labour Party

NEC Sub Committee – 21st October

The Sub Committees I’m a member of met on Tuesday so I was down in London all day. The women’s race and equality committee had Phil Woolas MP and immigration minister along to outline what the Government is doing on immigration policy. It’s a balancing act of some proportion to juggle the competing needs and views involved. I raised the question of women being trafficked for sex. Many came to this country for a better future, possibly working in an office and instead are forced in to prostitution and threatened with deportation if they attempt to contact the police. Phil promised to look in to the matter in more detail and get back.

We considered the success of events at conference and received reports on the work of the various equality and faith task forces etc. It was good to hear how much work the LGBT Labour group are up to. To process a range of membership and rules issues around the country and for once I got out of it without picking up and NEC panel to chair. In the afternoon we had the organisation committee, again dealing with a wide range of issues for Labour on how to raise the contract rate in strong Labour seats.

There was discussion about the euro campaign which is being steered by Gary Titly MEP. We then considered Parliamentary selections – 90% of seats now have a candidate with 31 of the remaining 64 under way.

General Election

The last possible date for the next general election is would be July 2010, 21 months away. It’s a fair bet that it will be held before then and it could be less than a year away. The primary duty of the NEC is to ensure the party is in a state to win elections and I’m going to do my best to get round as many of the key marginal’s as possible over the rest of the year, to see how many members are preparing for the election and how they feel things are going.

I’ve been getting around North West and Midlands marginal’s and its good to see the way the mood is turning on the ground. The members in Warrington South were well up for the fight and South Ribble are busy canvassing and working hard. Any CLP which would like me to get along, just give me a ring on 07880790182 and I will do my best to oblige.

Crewe and Nantwich

Many members will be glad to hear that Crewe and Nantwich have selected their candidate for general election. Tamsin Durwoody, our by-election candidate decided not to stand again and the party have picked a former Rolls Royce apprentice and current Usdaw Political Officer, David Williams. We look forward to seeing Labour winning back Crewe and Nantwich for Labour.

Glenrothes By-Election – November 6th

Reports from my mate up at the by-election are beginning to become encouraging. It’s important as many members at possible make the effort to get in to the by-election. I’m hoping to get up there on Wednesday and Thursday of election week and I know the North West Labour Part are organising a coach. For more details ring 01925 574913. Contact details for the by-election are Gregor Poynton tel: 07834098692.


Sorry I haven’t posted much since conference, my day job as a trade union officer has meant the last couple of weeks have been very busy. The credit crunch has had a major effect on confidence in manufacturing and we have seen a big up-surge in redundancies and short time working. Most firms related to construction are having difficulties, the exception being those working on public sector contracts. That’s why its so vital we resist Tory attempts to cut public spending.

The big issue for the government is clearly steering the economy through the difficult economic period and they have top pay particular attention to job protection and job creation and preventing re-possessions. Personally I think there is a very good case for putting a 12 month freeze on all re-possessions involving the principal residence. You could make an exception for gross negligence on behalf of the borrower but many of the repossessions are the fault of irresponsible greedy lending by financial institutions and a 12 month breathing space for borrowers would be that useful thing, the right thing to do AND popular with the elections.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Salford and Eccles CLP Fundraising Dinnner

Date: Friday January 30th 2009
Venue: Isis Restaurant, Bolton Road Pendlebury
Guest Speaker: Alistair Campbell
Ticket Price: £25 - 3 course meal


Starters: Leek & potato soup - Italian meatballs - Buffalo mozzarella and tomato salad - Chicken liver pate

Main Course: Chicken Boscialo - Herb crusted salmon - Lamb san giovale - Risotto tricalore ?

Dessert: Tiramisu - Strawberry cheesecake - White Chocolate profiteroles - Cheese and biscuits ?

All meat options are available with Halal meat. Vegan alternatives are available. Hotel rooms are available (£65 - £80 for a double room). For tickets or more info please contact Peter Wheeler on – 07880790182.