Monday, 19 May 2008


There have been a number of comments over the past few days about the need for difference between the different political parties. Although Labour, Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats are all claiming the progressive agenda, none of the political parties nationally are squeaky clean enough on it. The Labour Party as a party of aspiration can never do enough as there will always be injustice to set right in the world. However it's easy to lose sight of what has been acheived. Part of the achievement has to be the switch of the climate of politics from the politics of the free market at any cost to the politics of being progressive.

Even a few years ago, the national minimum wage was being billed as the policy that would bring the country to it's knees. Now millions of those on low pay are benefiting from it.

However, Labour Party must do more to claim the progressive agenda. Proposals for 42 day detention and ID cards are really damaging to that agenda. The Labour Party also needs to do a lot more about relating to Labour's core vote. The low paid, those on fixed limited incomes such as pensioners, those who face discrimination and injustice.

So in an environment where everyone is progressive what built in advantages does the Labour Party have? The answer is in our belief.

Belief isn't about a handful of pledges or a set of headlines. It's about being committed to a way of thinking that means that we are bound to fight against injustice. Not just because it's politically expedient, but because we believe in it. It's basing our thinking on the philosophy of the needs of the few and the aspirations of the many, the belief that we can acheive more through the strength of our common endeavour than we can individually.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

We've stopped being critics ... now we're cynics

I've been phone canvassing in Spencer ward today. We've been doing voter ID and promoting the campaign for a new secondary school in the area. Generally the campaign has been received really positively with the exceptions of:

1) people who think that if we set up a new school we maybe closing another
2) people who don't like young people and don't want them coming into the area (they'll be more crime, joy riding, anti-social behaviour)

In contrast there were some older people who emphasised "Our children have grown up a long time back but the kids in this area are so good, that we'll do anything we can to support them. My wife volunteers at the local school and they come round the house to take the dog for a walk. If it's a proposal supports them we'll support it!"

I think the key things that this shows is that people are concerned that they're having the wool pulled over their eyes in the new environment with everyone wanting to be at some time or other "progressive".

That people can and will have their imagination captured by the ability to believe that better public services are possible but they need to feel that human beings are at a baseline that they can take off from.

At the end of the day individuals rise or fall to the expectations put on them ... we need to work harder at making people expect more from life!

Sunday, 11 May 2008

First Post

I've set up this blog to describe events and my thoughts in this period leading up to the next elections in Northampton.

I hope to be posting regularly and welcome feedback from Labour members and supporters.