Thursday, 9 July 2009

Those Norwich North Candidates

Here is the list of candidates for July 23rd's by-election in Norwich North:

Peter Baggs (Independent)
Thomas Burridge (Libertarian Party)
Anne Fryatt (None of The Above Party)
Bill Holden (Independent)
Laud Howling (The Official Monster Raving Loony Party)
Craig Murray (Put An Honest Man into Parliament)
Chris Ostrowski (Labour)
April Pond (Liberal Democrat)
Rupert Read (Green)
Chloe Smith (Conservative)
Glenn Tingle (UK Independence Party)
Robert West (British National Party)

All the smart money seems to be on the Tories taking the seat from Labour, with the LibDems and Greens scrapping for third place.

But - annoyingly - there is a glaring omission from this list, and that would happen to be a representative of the far left. Paraphrasing a dead Russian, vote catching may well be the lowest form of class struggle but they are an essential property of British political life. I'm sure it wouldn't have been beyond the ken of the far left as a collective to have fielded a candidate we could all rally around. But it hasn't happened, and so we can chalk it up as another missed by-election opportunity.


Denzil said...

Thank God! At last - someone who doesn't consider the Green Party to be left-wing.

Charlie Marks said...

I'm hope Norwich comrades will be backing the Green Party's Rupert Read - a man big on nationalising the banks, as it happens.

Ken Livingstone's said that a strong showing for the Greens will rattle New Labour - and for sure NL's always been worreid about challenges to its left (sadly, never been all that strong).

Phil said...

Well, a chance to vote for Craig Murray is not to be missed (unless it's a different Craig Murray). Other than that, I think the Greens are occupying an awful lot of the space that would be occupied by a new left party. Some of the bits of it that they don't occupy are very important - the trade union bits in particular - but I'm not convinced there's enough room to build a Left party alongside the Greens.

ModernityBlog said...

Agreed. The British Left never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity?

But looking at the existing candidates you'd think they could have cut down the range?

What purpose does Craig Murray have in standing? Other than to raise his profile and get in some free publicity?

HarpyMarx said...

I am not sure if anything will rattle NL, their mindset now is the expectation of a Tory government.

Anyways, I kinda agree with Modernity, why indeed is Craig Murray standing other than to raise his profile and get some publicity?

And who has heard of him now as he has kinda fallen off the political radar, and what is his political platform other than the "'onest bloke, really I am guv'nor"....

Jim Jay said...

I'm sure most of the left will be voting either for Murray or Read (who's getting a lot of stick in the lib dem leaflets for being a left extremist incidentally) but I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing there's no left candidate, although not for the reasons you might assume.

I think knowing what you're doing is important and the hard left is extremely weak in Norwich so a hastily put together candidacy that gets one percent doesn't make any difference to anyone - and it doesn't really matter whether that candidate was on the ballot paper or not - apart from serving to demoralise the left perhaps.

Far better I think to wish for an actually existing left that is organised and competent than to wish for a candidate just for the sake of one.

I think people should be comfortable with the idea of their organsiation/whatever not standing in places where their vote would be embarrassing or counter productive.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Craig Murray all the way, a good man and would make a great politician out there.

Charlie Marks said...

Denzil - Phil BC uses the term "far left", thus not excluding the greens.

Phil - I agree, a "new left party" would be in competition w/ the greens without agreements in certain areas & such agreements have been difficult to achieve in the past.

Modernity & Harpy - Norwich is Craig's home-town.

ModernityBlog said...

thanks Charlie, didn't know that :)

Anonymous said...

maybe some greens could post up their local election leaflets to show us how class-based, left-wing and socialist they are?


Charlie Marks said...

Karl, how's this take your fancy?

Rupert Read, candidate for Norwich North:

"We are starting to hear about the many MPs who earn thousands through second jobs and directorships, who instead of listening to their constituents are listening to big banks and corporations. If I am elected, my only job will be to serve and represent the people of Norwich North at Westminster" []

"Train privatisation, from the beginning, was a very flawed model. We can't keep socialising private companies' losses and privatising their profits. We need a national train network under direct public control and with full public accountability." []

Anonymous said...

good so far...

will he stand on a workers' wage???!!!

maybe expecting a bit too much!


Charlie Marks said...

I don't know, ask him.

I'll query this myself.

Anonymous said...

Although the Greens have some good policies, Read is a narcisistic cock, seemingly determined to make a career in politics.

He says a few daft things (seemingly off the cuff) and has made some serious gaffes that don't endear to him to some left-minded people, never mind the public. The animal rights agenda and bans on stem-cell research are off-putting personally, along with some anti-Israel rants etc

And he's called Rupert.

Charlie Marks said...

"And he's called Rupert."

That's hardly his fault, is it?