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Labour in the Calder Valley

From Tom Standfield

Monday, 27 September 2010

Now that Labour supporters have a leader most of us can support with some enthusiasm, what is happening in the Calder Valley?

Are we in the Calder Valley this time going to have a candidate about whom we can feel equally enthusiastic? Perhaps someone from the Labour Party could let us know.

Bear in mind that if the Liberal Democrats were to finally realise that they risk losing all their votes by supporting the planned savage cuts, the consequent rise in unemployment and downturn in the economy, another general election may not be as far away as we think. So Labour, please give us a candidate we can all rally behind.

From Ian M

Monday, 27 September 2010

Interesting to see that only today the IMF has stated that the UKs economic policy seems to be working and that it views the cuts being made as necessary!

From Mick Piggott

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Ed Miliband has started off with his very reasonable speech which, as Tom Standfield states, most of us can support, perhaps with reservations; but so far, at least, to local Labourites and progressives of most hues, Ed looks like a huge improvement on the 'New' Labour' ancien regime.

However, we who are on the progressive/Left side of politics now need to brace ourselves for the slanders which will inevitably be poured down on the Labour Party by the crazy Right.

We've all seen how the Right can react with the frothing-at-the-mouth insanity of the American Republicans when faced with a few mildly progressive moves by the current U.S.A. President.

People may be less aware of the vitriol heaped upon the Australian Labor P.M., Julia Gillard: during their recent election campaign, she was roundly condemned for being, not just a woman (Shock! Horror!) but even worse, for living with her partner in an unmarried state, for not bearing children, and for being an atheist. Her hair, makeup and dress-sense were subject to constant vilification by the rightwing press. Her voice and speech were lampooned, and the Australian media (much of it Murdoch-controlled, of course) did all it could to inspire fear and loathing of Gillard in the electorate. (They failed; the Australian Labor Party is still in government.)

Ed Miliband has already been named 'Red Ed' by sections of the British press. I'd like to make a little prediction: before long, we can expect similar attacks on the British Labour Party leader to those we have seen in America and Australia.

Ed Miliband's father was a refugee from Hitler, so we can expect the question of his 'Britishness' to at least be mentioned, in a pale reflection of the movement amongst American Republicans to brand Obama as a foreigner. The Miliband family were/are Jewish; as far as I know they are non-observant, but I think we can expect something to be made of their Jewishness by the rightwing crazies. And as in Australia, you can be sure that our own Christian Right will make much of the fact that Ed is not married to his partner; even worse, she is the mother of their child. And of course, Miliband senior was an intellectual academic and a Marxist. To the likes of the Daily Mail (and, it must be said, the less intelligent of their readership) all of this - and more, no doubt, whatever they can dig up - adds up to a very dangerous combination.

We can only hope that not too much time will have to be wasted opposing such reactionary propaganda. We must hope that an increasingly aware and educated public will not be taken in by the poisonous rubbish which will be spewed by the Daily Mail and the Murdoch press, and the rest.

What I can't predict is how long it will take for all this to build up a head of steam. I guess the links with the trade unions will do to be going on with!

From Susan Press

Thursday, 30 September 2010

It has already been reported in the Courier that Calder Valley CLP has passed a resolution calling for an open shortlist next time we choose a candidate.

As Ed Miliband has said, the era of New Labour is gone so we will be doing our utmost to select the candidate with the best chance of winning the seat back from the Tories.

Given that the Liberal Democrat vote is hopefully going to collapse due to the Party's inglorious association with the Tories, we stand every chance of winning the Valley back.

I think Ed Miliband is a decent and honourable man with the right instincts against inequality, and for traditional Labour values. As Neil Kinnock has said, it feels as though we have "got our Party back." I hope those who have felt disillusioned in recent years will come back . But in order to win trust we have to fight the coming cuts with as much energy as we can. Only Labour recognises that slashing and burning everything in sight is not the answer. Am also hopeful Ed will reverse policy on Trident and he has already pledged support for trade union rights to be stepped up. We chose the right Miliband

From Allen Keep

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Certainly the choice of Ed over David is positive in that it has loosened the grip of the Blairites over Labour and is probably at least an echo of a mood for a fight in the unions - but it was hardly a choice between right and left was it? The idea that New Labour is dead just because the brand name has changed is ridiculous and sowing illusions in Millibland/ Middlebrand is quite dangerous. Labour is not the only force to argue that cuts aren't necessary - miliions of ordinary people know so and can be won over to opposing them. Unfortunately, Ed won't be leading that struggle anytime soon and neither will the Labour party. My hope is that the left - in or out of the Labour Party - will show some unity and mobilise themselves to agitate for real opposition in the unions and on the streets. Waiting for the next election won't do when the wolves are at the door.

From Andy M

Friday, 1 October 2010

Speaking of politicians and the Calder Valley I seem to recall we have a Conservative MP but have heard virtually nothing of him since the election. Maybe I'm not looking in the right places? Should I try the woods, up on the moors maybe?

Perhaps we should have an MP watch thread..and a prize!