Wednesday, January 28, 2015

So, while other parties gear up for the long campaign, we chug to the starting line. Activity so far this week: two letters to the press (I'll put them up here once I know whether they've been published or not). At the end of last week I got some interview practice with a student journalist (who was very good at lobbing soft open questions my way). I explained how often we get stitched up by the media. The debacle of the leaders debates shows what a mess it is, rather than being a tool to assist candidates putting their case forward, the media is a tool of power that shapes the debate, and gets to select who speaks. There's not a shortage of air time, over the next hundred days press national and local will not be short of parties to give ten minutes to, surely? We'll have to find a way to reach as many people as we can. Interestingly the student found out about us from the wikipedia article on Islington North (where I'm contesting my first Parliamentary seat). I know Wikipedia isn't for advertising, but, still. But still.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Us and the General Election

As we can't avoid knowing, there will be a general election on Thursday 7 May. We'll be standing two candidates in London (and another 8 elsewhere in the country).

The two constituencies are: Islington North and Vauxhall where our candidates will be, respectively, Bill Martin and Danny Lambert.

West London branch will be organising our campaign in the two Oxford seats (just up the M40 from west London).

A meeting has been fixed for Thursday 12 February at 7pm in our offices at 52 Clapham High Street, SW4 7UN (nearest tube: Clapham North; nearest overground: Clapham High Street) to form a committee to help organise the campaign in Vauxhall.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August by-election in Lambeth

Here is the result of the by-election in Knight's Hill ward of Lambeth held last week which we chose not to contest. The Independent candidate was standing to protest against the Labour council's plan to sell off to developers land in the area cutrrently used for sheltered accommodation for the elderly

The reason for this by-election, so soon after the full council election in May, is given here.

We will continue to contest local by-elections, especially in the Vauxhall parliamentary constituency.



Saturday, May 24, 2014

Percentages

It needs to be pointed out, and has been, that the percentages that the Lambeth Council website gives for each candidate are percentages of the total votes cast but as each voter has three votes it is not a measure of how many individuals support each party. This method underestimates the number supporting parties which put up only one candidate (in our words, us, TUSC and UKIP), but it is unclear how this could be worked out. Anyway, TUSC, UKIP and us will have more support than the Lambeth website figures suggest, perhaps twice as much.

This means that UKIP has the support of about 5% of those who bothered to vote in the two wards they stood in (Ferndale and Clapham Town). Not much compared with elsewhere. Commentators have been noting that UKIP is not doing so well in London. In fact, when you look at the composition of the population in London, especially central London, you wonder why UKIP thinks it has any chance in the inner London boroughs. Here for instance are the 2011 census statistics for Ferndale ward:

38.7% White British
20.9% Other White
10.8% Black African
9.9% Black caribbean
5.0% Black other

Of course these are unscientific categories and measure only what people classify themselves as when given a limited number of choices and told they must choose one, but, given that most "Other White" will be EU migrants, UKIP's on to a hiding in places like this, just as their parent group, the Tories, have been.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Clapham results

Three of us attended the count this afternoon in the Recreation Centre besides Brixton railway station. The results for the three wards we contested can be found here:

Clapham Town

Ferndale

Larkhall

The results in the two wards we contested both times (Ferndale and Larkhall) are almost exactly the same as last time in 2010.

The new council will be completely dominated by Labour with 50 seats to 3 for the Tories and 1 for the Greens.The Liberals have been excluded from being a serious contender for council seats in the future, with the Greens taking their place as the main opposition to Labour. UKIP got nowhere (look at their result in Ferndale) and, although TUSC got more votes than us in the two wards we both stood in, in the other wards they contested they didn't do much better than we would have done.

Islington result

Junction ward result in: Labour win all three seats, taking one from the Lib Dems. Riddhi Bhalla​ (Conservative​) 320
*Janet Burgess​ (Labour​) 2,228
Michael Collins​ (Conservative​) 361
Giorgia Gamba​ (Liberal Democrats​) 297
Mick Holloway​ (Green​) 717
Daniel Hudson​ (Green​) 621
Stefan Antoni Kasprzyk​ (Liberal Democrats​) 333
*Kaya Makarau Schwartz​ (Labour​) 1938
Bill Martin​ (The Socialist (GB)​ 90
*Tim Nicholls​ (Labour​) 1,779
Jill Renwick​ (Green​) 720
Victoria Savvides​ (Liberal Democrats​) 245
Oliver Peter Jonathan​ (Conservative) 314

I make that about 2.6%, I'll need to read around to see what that says, but, as per last year, I think the signs are a swing to supporting Labour...

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Labourites fall out

Only just got round to reading Tuesday's Evening Standard and so missed this account of a dispute between the Labour MP for Vauxhall, Kate Hoey, and one of the Labour candidates in Clapham Town ward. Apparently, she doesn't agree with him breaking a promise not to support the eviction of long-standing tenants from houses they took over and did up which the Labour Council is planning. Some Labour Party members have more principles than others, even if they all support capitalism. We have a copy of the offending leaflet.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

And all over in Islington too...

So, last night four of us made it out to the Tufnell Park end of the ward, and we got rid of almost all our leaflets (a few will go out today, put probably outside the ward). It was hot work, but many hands made light work. When someone refused a leaflet, I tried to tell him we were from the campaign to re-route HS2 through their street (which would need to be demolished). After all, we have to let them learn it might be a bad idea not to read election leaflets. One man asked us if we'd seen the sign saying "No Junk Mail" we told him it was an election address, which he pompously declared he considered to be junk mail. I refrained from saying what I thought of him. We meekly collected our leaflet and went about our way. The only real difficulty of the night was my colleague, who became ill at the thought of deliering to houses with Arsenal posters in the window. Maybe when Spurs win the sup too, he'll recover...

Campaigning over

We have now finished leafletting Clapham. In the end we did manage to distribute door-to-door and at our three literature stalls some 9000 of the 9500 allocated to us. The Labour Party must have spent a lot on trying to retain control of the council, with glossy leaflets, posters and personalised voting cards. We saw no leaflets from either the Liberals or the Tories. Presumably they are only running a token campaign in the three safe Labour wards we are contesting and concentrating on leafier parts where they think they can win. Surprisingly we saw no TUSC leaflets in the two of these wards they are contesting. Only a Green Party leaflet in Clapham Town ward denouncing the Labour Council for betraying residents who had moved into abandoned properties in the 1970s and refurbished them and who are now to be evicted so the council can get more money by selling the land off to property speculators.

More news about Clapham after the count on Friday.