Labour hold Denton North East

Thought old Labour was done?

After securing almost half of the vote, Labour have held their council seat in Denton NE.

Cllr Denise Ward swept to victory with 1,258 votes. Second place went to the Conservative Party candidate Floyd Paterson with 660 votes, followed (worryingly) by the British National Party with 358 votes.

Congratulations to all involved.

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Why we're Labour.

Labour's job fund commitment.

Once again, I am playing catch-up with the rest of the blogosphere on Labour’s latest announced scheme, but better late than never!

The Attleeite in me was rejoicing today at the news that Labour is to announce job creation, up to 150,000 new jobs for young people and the long-term unemployed, funded by the Future Jobs Fund.

Yvette Cooper vowed that the Labour government would not let young people or the long term unemployed get left behind after the recession passes, as has previously occured in the 80s and 90s (note: the Tories believed unemployment was a price worth paying in order to balance the books – not exactly unsimilar to Cameron’s current stance, although he won’t specify what the price we have to pay under the Tories will really be!). Sadly, this announcement hasn’t seen much coverage, just a sidebar mention on the BBC website – despite being a scheme that doesn’t consign an entire generation to the dole queue and poverty with no way out!

The Tories short term cuts may balance the books, but they will deep root yet more social problems and instill isolation and resentment in many communities – why? Because if a service that one person considers wasteful, you are actually cutting off a vital service that communities rely on. Testament to this is the situation in my own village – thousands of students are denied the oppertunity to go to one of the best colleges in the country because the planned bus link to Norwich (instigated by the Labour council) was cut when the Tories took control of the council. The bus service would also be vital for commuters who can’t reach the nearest train station (which is nearly 3 miles away). If these are the kind of cuts we are going to see from the Tories, then I fear for the next generation. The Tories do not, and have never seen that balancing books at the expense of ordinary people will only create more problems than they solve. I don’t like scaremongering, but I have seen the damage Tory cuts can do first hand.

It appears that today’s Labour job scheme announcement has brought out the rabid Attleeite democratic socialist in me, as one can probably see from my rants above. Normal moderate leftism will resume tomorrow (unless the Tories decide to talk about public spending again – then expect another diatribe!)

David Davis – backbench troublemaker?

That David Davis – he’s becoming quite the troublemaker from his position on the Tory backbenches.

Yesterday, he made his opinions very clear in The Times regarding the announcement that medical records could be transferred and handled by Google under Tory plans. Given that Davis vested himself as the “Great Defender of Liberty” after his dramatic resignation and by-election win, he has suddenly become the independent voice of civil liberties, or so this article would suggest.

Some of his statements could be seen as a direct attack on David Cameron – if Cameron’s close links to Google are taken into context. Politics.co.uk reported yesterday that Davis has come from his quiet hiding place to become a prominent thorn in the side of Mr. Cameron. Only a few weeks ago, Davis was opening up the grammer schools debate once again – another Tory sore wound. In a recent speech to a meeting on grammer schools, he took a swipe (or what might be described more accurately as a right-hook) at Cameron’s Eton background, and the educational demographic of the shadow cabinet:

“In a thinly-veiled swipe at Eton-educated David Cameron, he told a meeting on grammar schools the only winners from the death of the selective education system were the public school boys who now “dominate” Britain.”

The previously lethal issue of grammer schools caused a long-running headache for the Tory leader in the early months of his leadership. Rather kind of Davis to drag up the issue again.

I wonder how this is going to go down in the Tory frontbench? There are hints that some consider Davis’s remarks to be an open declaration of war. Don’t get too excited – Davis is clearly provoking some kind of reaction, but I seriously doubt Cameron will allow himself to settle the old score with his one-time adversary. I doubt the Tory leader needs a war whilst he’s trying to win the next election, no matter how much provocation Davis attempts. If I happened to be Tory leader, I wouldn’t rise to the bait. Cameron could easily spin Davis’s attacks as deeply-engrained bitterness towards him since losing the 2005 leadership contest – if he wanted open warfare.

Any indication of verbal warfare or political punches is speculative at the moment. I just wait to see what Davis has to say about Tory public spending policy. It could either expose the hidden divisions in the Conservative Party, or show Davis as a bitter loser.

Ex-Downing Street mouser Sybil dies.

The Darling family announced today that former Downing Street cat Sybil has died, BBC News reports.

It’s clearly a slow news day, unless I wish to give Esther Rantzen the oxygen of publicity or announce another resignation.

Tory hypocrisy knows no bounds.

After slamming the Labour Government for courting and appointing Sir Alan Sugar as business tsar, the Tories have turned their attention to Jeremy Clarkson as as possible transport adviser.

Such an appointment is hardly compatible with the “Vote Blue Go Green” agenda is it?

Clarkson himself has accused the Tories of double standards over courting his attention and slamming the Labour Party for appointing Sir Alan.

The Tories defence has been that Clarkson would only be advising the opposition, not the governing party. That, in my mind, makes no difference whatsoever. The Tories have been the most vehement opponents of Sir Alan Sugar’s appointment as a business adviser – surely to have Jeremy Clarkson as transport tsar would be equally biased? Additionally, if the Tories win the next election, will he keep his job and act as an adviser in that particular government? The double standards are completely obvious.

The Tories may (supposedly) have shed the image of the Nasty Party, but once again their hypocrisy is apparent.

I don't wish to raise any suspicion…

…but why exactly is the Metropolitan Police Authority refusing to publish the report of an inquiry by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in the public domain?

The report was read and considered, yet publication has not been confirmed and there is no explanation why.

Well, it wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that the report clears Sir Ian Blair of any wrongdoing over Scotland Yard contracts and “friendly favours”?

Mayor Johnson has, of course, remained quiet. Whilst it’s impossible to accuse him of anything, it is the right of the accused, in the name of justice, to have their name cleared on a specific allegation.

The politics of the GLA become more and more theatrical by the day. I suppose Boris did promise entertainment – sadly at the expense of justice, decency and common sense.