Gird up thy loins…we’re in for a dirty fight

I’m girding my loins for the forthcoming elections.

A few snippets….more to follow

The commitment by ordinary Labour members to supporting their shower in the elections is in significant decline. Even been heard that many Rotherham Labour members will be working for Labour in Sheffield (in rehearsal for the 2015 fight against Clegg), rather than working for their local duffers.

While not actively supporting UKIP many LP members are sitting back, believing that a UKIP victory is the only means of cleansing the Rotherham party. Then planning a reformed Labour Party with new Leadership in 2015.

Key members of the Labour Group are acting to clamp down on debate within the local party committees as they can’t trust members to toe their line.

Serious concerns are being expressed about some candidates breaking the rules on postal & proxy voting. Something known to be done before, but being even more extreme in 2014 elections and thereby more risky.

Some private polling by the local Party indicates that  over three quarters of the seats in 2014 are in serious danger of being lost.


17 thoughts on “Gird up thy loins…we’re in for a dirty fight

  1. The Compliant Drones will still vote as ordered by the Labour party.
    Only by coercing their voters and rigging postal votes can Labour hope to win seats.
    No change there.


  2. Thanks Wil for your thought provoking piece on this interesting subject.

    Election stealing by illegal means, has long been suspected to have occurred in Rotherham? For this years elections, both ourselves and voters, will be looking out for it and reporting any examples to the authorities!

    There will, very likely, be much more to be explored before May’s elections?

    No one should put up with their vote being stolen by others!


  3. I stopped voting Tory in the 1990’s, because I believed in a greater sharing of wealth and wasn’t fooled by Thatchers so called hard stance on the EU. I thought I can’t vote Labour, but if I don’t vote Tory it will give them a chance to take things back a notch. How wrong I was, all they did was create the same unfairness through a socialist system, rather than a capitalist system. Common purpose being their mantra.


  4. I would love to know your sources will because I too know a number of Labour Party members and nothing in your piece bears any resemblance to what I have been hearing. It would be useful if you could perhaps show some evidence on which you base your conclusions and asumptions on. Otherwise it’s just pure conjecture and a figamant of your creative imagination.


    • Hi Steve H. Can’t blame you for being evidence based. So I’ll show you some of the indicators:

      Starting with the Rawmarsh and the lost election; what wasn’t picked up at the time was the poor turnout of LP activists to support Lisa Wright. Ask her husband who was quite vociferous and scathing on the issue, especially when politically off piste.

      Let’s move on to the Party’s inability/failure to recruit sufficient women to fill key posts and comply with Party policy on quotas. The misogyny by the dinosaur tendency in the Party has finally led to women being turned off. They can’t even find a woman to be Women’s Officer, nor anyone under 80 to be Youth Officer. Sarah, you must remember was an external imposition by LP Central to massage the Party’s image nationally.

      Then there is their decision to appoint a specialist, paid election organiser for the 2014 campaign. This is the first time such has ever been considered necessary in a town where the Labour vote has simply rolled in.

      Yes there is a perceived threat from UKIP & yes Akhtar is paranoid (admittedly with good cause). However none of these factors are especially unique in the history of the LP in in Rotherham.

      No, at the heart of the decision is a clear belief that the hours of voluntary time traditionally provided by Party members is no longer readily available.And what remains needs serious whipping.

      Then there is the factionalism within the Pakistani community. When we see landlords protesting & Laurel (Mahroof) & Hardy(Akhtar) relatively silent, riots and feuding at Wellgate then we can see that the community is fracturing. With that potentially goes Laurel & Hardy’s ability to deliver the vote.

      So Steve I’ve provided a little evidence, and there will be more to come as we build up to the election.

      Now you do a little research. Ask your friends, why a man who only escaped a jail sentence for violence by the skin of his teeth is repeatedly re-elected by Labour Group as their Deputy Leader? , A man who hasn’t shown an ounce contrition, never mind apologised, for his violence?

      My guess is it’s because he has historically pulled in the Pakistani vote without the many lazy white Councillors having to lift a finger or dirty their hands. You just have to follow recent news coverage to see the fracturing of that Pakistani support.


  5. It is time the unions decided whose side they are on, just been to the so called demonstration outside the town hall. There were a handful of people there, mostly union organisers, good job they are not on piece work, and shop stewards. It was so low key that the great leader himself, Roger Stone, felt able to come and talk to them, straight away a union official ran to him. Here it was the photo shoot was on, but wait who are the two renegades approaching, could it be Dave Smith and Mr Lewis? We asked him, whilst the union man stood well back, why he needed to be paid so much; a look of horror crosses his fat jowls. We asked why are the very part time councillors paid so much? Look of horror. Why do we need so many very part time councillors we asked. Look of desperation. Then a light came on these things wont save the childrens centres, it’s the governments fault. So we asked, why don’t you fight the government? A blank expression came across those well fed jowls, so we pushed it, when I made the analogy that when I shout at my dog it rolls over onto it’s back and that is what you and the council are doing; he walked away from us muttering I don’t want to talk to you. There were three unions represented this morning, GMB, UNISON and the NUT, big unions so where were the members, there were numerous loud hailers around and only one was used by the NUT official to say go home. The cabinet met this morning in total silence, no one approached the cabinet members except of course for us. When I approached councillor Gosling from Wath, who during the miners strike had been an NUM official, asked me what I would do I said refuse to implement the government cuts. He then brought up Claycross council who refused to implement Maggies cuts, and said they went to jail; he said would you break the law I said I did during the miners strike; he walked away. It is obvious that the Labour councillors of Rotherham have no morals nor do they have any back bone, the problem is neither do the union leaders. This morning was not a demonstration against the council making the cuts it was a token gesture, protecting the Labour council by just blaming the government. The Rotherham council workers should have no illusions the trade unions will not fight the Labour party to save jobs, ask yourselves how many have they saved up to now. Nor will the Labour councillors put up any fight, I have yet to hear one Labour councillor speak out against what the council are doing to our services. If they were in the armed forces they would be shot for showing cowardice in the face of the enemy. Just so we all know what our councillors will do next week at the budget meeting here is a question that is asked of the scrutiny panel about a Labour councillor who wishes to stand again..Having read the whips report are you satisfied that the sitting councillor has not BROKEN PARTY DISCIPLINE and been a good attender at meetings? I think that puts it in perspective.
    Dave Smith


    • Re: Mr Smith’s post.There are certainly cuts imposed from government but if the council had not spent the last decade or so racking up huge debts they might now have more room for manoeuvre. And then there is the matter of priorities. For example, in these pressing times do you spend over 100k pa on a chauffeur service or use it to help those that need it in our town? The answer to me is obvious.
      Rob Sanderson,
      UK Independence Party candidate for Swinton ward.


  6. One of the principle reasons why RMBC-and other councils-are deep in the financial mire is because of the last Labour government’s commitment to PFI. Stone never condemns the Looney Tunes economic policies of the Labour party preferring instead to blame ‘the cuts’.
    No mention of the 13 years of the Labour government that created the massive PFI debts, “Oh no, not me Guv, it was the other guys wot did it”.
    To answer Dave Smith’s question about trades union involvement in supporting Stone;
    The pseudo-left groups such as the Socialist Workers Party and the Socialist Party dedicate their efforts to concealing the refusal of the Labour Party and trade unions to take-up a fight in defence of their member’s jobs and conditions. They provide Unison and Unite with cover by collecting signatures on petitions and lobbying the council in support of their members. In reality all of the restructuring and cuts have been achieved with the collaboration of Unison and Unite, paymasters of the Labour party.


  7. It is a great pity that Dave Smith is so bitter and offers such a jaundiced view. The demonstration outside the Town Hall was attended by about 60 people, including parents, children and workers from children’s centres together with workers from the Integrated Youth Support Service, whose jobs are threatened. The demonstration was never going to be huge as the vast majority of workers were at work looking after children. Its purpose was to get our message across to councillors and we did that. Councillors Stone, Doyle, Lakin, Wyatt,Rushforth, Hussein, Whelbourne, Russell, McNeely, Simms and Smith all came out to speak to the protesters and our members were able to challenge councillors directly, which doesn’t often happen.. Our campaign will carry on and we’ll be here fighting for public services and public service workers long after Dave Smith and his ilk have tired of attacking all and sundry.


  8. I will never tire so do not hold your breath Robin Symonds. You must have been at a different event than us. Not one of you challenged a councillor you had cosy little chats with them, not one of them looked the little bit agitated as they did when challenged by myself and Mr Lewis. Instead of attacking us why don’t you turn your ire on the council, and I don’t mean in the mealy mouthed way you did yesterday. Why don’t you tell us how many jobs you have saved, tell us what action you propose to take when the councillors next Wednesday ratify the cuts. You cant because you have not saved jobs nor do you have a plan of action when the cuts are implemented. As two good examples let us look at what has happened at the council owned nursing homes, in Dinnington you did the token gesture but after that jobs went and carers hours were drastically changed. I challenged councillor Doyle, the cabinet member in charge, at our local council meeting and he stated that the unions were on board with the changes. By the way what is your position in the union?
    Dave Smith


  9. Your approach worked a treat didn’t it. It may make you feel better to have a rant but the result was that Roger Stone walked away and refused to engage with you. Conversely, our members from the Youth Service (the rank and file union members that you referred to) were able to challenge councillors about the proposed cuts to the Youth Offending Service. To describe them as mealy-mouthed is both offensive and ignorant.

    The key to success in our campaign is not tub thumping or haranguing councillors in the street. The children’s centres are used by 25,000 children. Their families (our communities) can exert significant pressure on the Council. We are working to co-ordinate a community campaign. We have distributed thousands of documents which detail councillors’ surgery times and we are supporting families to lobby their councillors. If you want to snipe then that’s up to you but a more positive contribution to our campaign would be welcome. Thanks for signing our petition by the way.


    • Wait I have an idea…

      Maybe if the idiots who blindly vote Labour stopped doing it (not looking at you, honest…!) and the unions withdrew their support Roger and co might think twice before screwing us all?

      Worth a try don’t you think?


  10. Back to the subject under discussion please, Labour’s ‘dirty electoral tricks’ and their lack of an election fighting machine.

    It is no accident that membership of the Labour Party in Rotherham is at an all time record low.

    The Labour Party in Rotherham is far from being able to make Ed Miliband proud?

    He should have sorted out this corrupt and greedy bunch, when he had the opportunity after the Rotherham By-Election. There is now too little time before the General Election, for any resultant bad publicity before then, to have dissipated.

    No wonder Labour’s support in parts of the Borough is haemorrhaging to others.


    • The sad fact is that Labour don’t need a fighting machine in Rotherham most of the time as the electorate seems to be hopelessly addicted to red roses.

      I’ve always thought that if someone does succeed in engaging them seriously they will crumble as they are an army of conscripts who have never been truly battle tested.

      The problem for independents is drawing them out to do battle as the last thing they will do is stick their head up and take part in public debates.

      Engaging in a debate with a Rotherham Councillor is like clubbing a seal, so easy you almost feel bad doing it.


  11. I will refer to Dave Smith’s first post on this subject on 26th Feb. I quote from his conversation with Cllr Gosling “He said would you break the law. I said I did during the miners strike.” I will remind him of this when he bangs on about the Orgreave truth campaign. He broke the law and got away with it. Who’s telling lies now???


  12. Sorry mate you have me mixed up with some one else you haven’t read any banging on from me about Orgreave. But now you mention it I was talking about the laws wrongly imposed on us by the Thatcher government, and if you have strong enough principle you will break them. The problem you and Rob Symonds have is the same as the Labour party in Rotherham have they do not have the guts to fight against wrong laws nor do their principles compel them to defend the people they purport to represent. Do you people imagine that the right to be in a trade union, the right to vote and the right to have a political party just appeared out of the ether. People suffered, they were thrown out of company houses when fighting to form unions, they were put in prison and forced fed so women got the vote. They broke wrong laws now politicians and union leaders urinate on their graves and people like you are apologists for them. Rob Symonds has more guts than you anonymous you haven’t even got the nerve to put your name, as for you replying to my post on the 26th where is it and have you had the bottle to sign your name to it.
    Dave Smith


  13. I take your point Dave if it is not you who bangs on about the Orgreave Truth campaign. However, I could never ever support your anti-establishment and communist views which I think you believe should be imposed on everyone. Communism that hasn’t worked anywhere in the world except in extremely suppressed countries like China and North Korea. I and I believe most of this country do not want to live like that!


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