Monday 2 November 2015

There Is No Oldham West By-Election Purge

Appalling bad journalism is par the course for The Telegraph these days, and this idiocy from James Kirkup on the Oldham West Labour shortlist is no exception. Screaming, Daily Mail-stylee that "With an icepick in Oldham, Jeremy Corbyn's purge of Labour has begun", things must be very serious indeed. Except, of course, they're not.

As was announced earlier, the four to make the Oldham West shortlist are local council leader Jim McMahon, Chris Williamson (ex-of Derby North), local councillor Mohammed Azam, and Jane East, our candidate in Colne Valley this May. It's a strong field and I think it's fair to say it reflects well the range of views in the party. Though I must declare for Chris as he was a dedicated, energetic, and effective MP for Derby North. He's also the best candidate politics-wise to build on Michael Meacher's legacy. And, lastly, I know him. That is, of course, should he actually still be standing. At the time of writing a rumour is doing the rounds that he's pulled out. The others I cannot speak for, though a cursory glance around suggest Jim and Jane are somewhat more centrist than either Chris or Mohammed.

Not that these facts bother wee Jimmy Kirkup. Because my old mucker Kate Godfrey, former Stafford candidate who was recently embroiled in the controversy around Seumas Milne's appointment, didn't make the shortlist it obviously means that nice Mr Corbyn has unheated cattle trucks ready to deport Blairites en masse to his Islington allotment gulag. Of course, I don't know why the three-person shortlisting panel appointed by the NEC overlooked Kate, though I doubt a week's worth of boat rocking would have enhanced her chances. But a purge it does not make, especially when the "purgers" included Keith Vaz and Ellie Reeves - people hardly noted for hard left credentials.

And neither is it when you consider the constituency. The article might have made sense if the shortlist was rammed with lefties, but it isn't. Or if it was a right wing Labour MP who'd passed away as opposed to a stalwart of the left, but that wasn't the case either. What we have is yet another intellectually dishonest scribbler trying to shoe horn a story into a pre-fixed narrative. In short, another cock-up by Kirkup.


Anonymous said...

"a cursory glance around suggest John and Jane are somewhat more centrist than either Chris or Michael."
That would be 'Michael', as in Mohammed, then? ;)

Phil said...

I really need to stop blogging late at night :)

Anonymous said...

According to Guido Fawkes in the Sun, Kate Godfrey, in her role as a lobbyist, said regarding Osborne's Budget -

" “the Chancellor promised a ‘straight-forwardly Conservative’ budget, and he delivered it.”

Kate added that it was a “confident budget” welcomed by “all sides of the House”. "

Ok, it's in the Sun and Fawkes is no friend of Labour but, if true, then this would be enough for Ms Godfrey to not be added to any shortlist in the near future surely.

Also, Ukip have now chosen their candidate - John Bickley.

He can second (by 600 votes) in the Heywood and Middleton by election last year with slogans such as,

" Protect your jobs and benefits. End open-door immigration".

It seems his father was a Labour supporting Trade Unionist and he is said to represent the "Red Ukip" tendency.

No matter who the Labour candidate is, Bickley's comment here gives an idea of how he'll campaign -

"Far from believing in the people of Britain, Corbyn’s Labour Party would rather sympathise with the IRA than sing our national anthem to honour our brave armed forces."

John R

Phil said...

It's worth quickly noting that Chris has not announced his withdrawal from the selection contest, and should therefore be considered fully in the running.