“People are nice enough to take our postal votes when it is clearly an electoral offence for a member of a party or anyone else to hand deliver your postal vote or even to fill in your postal vote on … Continue reading
“50% of those convicted for electoral fraud since 2000 have been of Pakistan, Kashmiri or Bangladesh origin, although these communities make up only 2% of the UK population. The total number of cases is relatively few, however most party organisers … Continue reading
Child sexual exploitation, the story that won’t go away. Not until it’s fixed, at least in South Yorkshire. How will we know when that has happened? There will be quite a number of men behind bars, that’s how!!! Toby Foster … Continue reading
Asbo is happiest on the anti-fascism, anti-racism soap box, becoming the leader, the man of substance he wants to be. He is sure of his ground and the support of his community. With Respect he changes tone, more the abusive … Continue reading
There is a crack, a crack in everything, That’s how the light gets in –Leonard Cohen What if Rawmarsh isn’t an aberration? What if two things are going on here? A national swing to UKIP and a Labour vote in Rotherham that is … Continue reading
Some food for thought from Rothpol’s email inbox:
So… a by-election for Rawmarsh in May.
Is this the time for a Respect/TUSC ‘agreement’? A ‘Granita’ moment? As we know, a depressingly large number of voters will always vote for the mainstream parties (in which we now have to include ukip and bnp) so the Respect and TUSC vote comes from a reduced pool. In conversation with ordinary voters during the recent parliamentary by-election (see note at end for a declaration of interest here), the non-partisan voters told me that they could vote for either Respect or TUSC, so is it now time for Respect and TUSC to stand side by side instead of in opposition? Because of Labour mind control (what else could it be? Landslide for Sarah Champion? Seriously?), clear second is the initial goal in these elections. When you are clear second, otherwise politically steadfast voters may turn to you at the next election because you then have the appearence of a viable alternative.
With a pooling of resources, second place is achievable now in 2013, and who knows? First place in 2014 locally? An MP in 2015? I say second place now because it’s realistic. Of course you would be striving for first, but even with Rotherham Labour’s poor record, we know how long it takes to gain a shift in voter loyalty.
I have the feeling that Respect already get this, hence the invite for TUSC people to attend the Respect public meeting early in May, but I worry that if individuals on both sides of the Respect/TUSC fence start to worry about being ‘subsumed’, or not being picked as a candidate, or focussing on the differences between the parties rather than the similarities, then we continue to hand victory, neatly gift wrapped, to the status quo. We should learn from the example of SYRIZA in Greece who terrified the Troika by putting aside their differences and forming a left coalition that the public could support. How did they do this? By focussing on the policies that were shared by all and agreeing to differ on the others.
Personally, I will always look first at an independent candidate’s policies and views because I want an elected representative who answers to me and my neighbours, not to a party hierarchy, or an entrenched ideology (of the left OR right). However, time is short for us now – unnecessary genocidal austerity measures from successive governments compliant to the wishes of the financial elite of the City of London, down to the sometimes bizarre and infuriating council decisions which shock and outrage many of us – and we will have to do whatever it takes to change things quickly.
Which brings me back to my main point; although I would class myself as tending towards an independent candidate, I would now vote for the Respect or TUSC candidate in Rawmarsh… But which one? There are issues and policies from both that I support but I can’t vote for both. If this confusion is repeated amongst the disaffected left (who will never vote labour again) and voters looking for an alternative to the mainstream parties, a split vote between Respect and TUSC is inevitable.
Perhaps George should light up a cigar in a back room somewhere so a deal can be reached?
(On the conflict of interest mentioned in the first paragraph, it’s only fair to say that I got the feedback on Respect and TUSC whilst informally canvassing for Simon Copley, the independent candidate. Simon more than doubled the TUSC vote with no resources and no public awareness – just the ability to make sense to those who talked to him, but just think… a coalition of Copley, Respect and TUSC would have received 2641 votes… That would have been a very healthy third, and an outstanding foundation for elections to follow.)
If there was any wrongdoing by Respect, Labour would have reported it, like a rat up a drain pipe.
What I would like to know is if Rothpol has any documentation it would care to share or compare with the growing file I now have in my possession.
And if anyone reading this has been subjected to intimidation, fear or bullying because they showed support to Respect I would urge them to contact me immediately.
I can protect your identities but unless you come forward the thugs, bullies, corrupt and convicted criminals who think they run the town hall will continue to make your lives a misery. They are not above the law, nor do some senior police officers in the South Yorkshire Force give them unconditional support they think they have … quite the reverse.
At this stage I also want to point out that Sarah Champion, as far as I am aware, was not aware of the dirty tricks which propped up her campaign but she would be wise to distance herself from those odious, corrupt individuals whose bonds are now beginning to crumble.
The noose is closing but now is the time to step up to the plate and take me in to your confidence. Let me remind you of the possible consequences of the campaign directed against Respect: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/nov/05/phil-woolas-ejected-parliament-election
In answer to Yvonne’s question to Rothpol, of course we are prepared to cooperate with your enquiries with the caveat, that identities I have undertaken to protect, will remain protected.