Akehurst

The left has been on a feeding frenzy on X – the social media platform – over Labour imposing Luke Akehurst, the bought and paid for lobbyist for Israel, as their candidate in North Durham. We understand the visceral hatred for the self confessed “Zionist Shitlord”. But he is probably enjoying all the attention and none of it is going to affect the outcome in this safe Labour seat.

Farage

On Monday Nigel Farage announced that he was taking over as leader of the Reform Party from the hapless Richard Tice and standing in Clacton, a safe Tory seat (majority 24,702). Farage does not care. He has lost in his previous seven attempts to enter Parliament. This will give him all the media attention he craves, boost the Reform vote nationwide, and when he loses, that cast-iron 24k majority will be his alibi. In the two days after he announced his candidacy Reform shot up in the polls from 9% to 17%, ahead of the LibDems (10%) and the Greens (7%)

Labour Landslide

Polls are predicting a Labour landslide and a Tory wipe-out. Labour is going to win comfortably even if the polls are over the top. But it does suggest that hatred of the Tories is much stronger than mistrust of Labour, which is bad news for most of the independent left candidates hoping to use the general election to launch a socialist alternative. Neither independent candidates nor the Workers Party feature separately in the opinion polls, but “other parties” are only on 2%. Of course high profile candidates like Jeremy Corbyn and George Galloway will poll a lot more than that and may even win their seats. Lots of other candidates and their campaign workers, good socialists with lots of enthusiasm, are going to be disappointed.

Faiza Shaheen

The Labour Party had to back down over Dianne Abbott but it still has a problem with smart, outspoken black women who support Palestine. It deselected Faiza Shaheen as the Labour candidate for Chingford and Woodford Green who then quit the party to stand as an independent. She said she had been “penalised for describing my experiences of Islamophobia” and claimed there was a “hierarchy of racism” in the Labour Party, adding she had “been prevented from speaking out” on issues including Palestine.

Yousaff Khan, the Workers Party candidate has announced that he is stepping down to support Faiza. This is a welcome development. And all independent candidates in the Birmingham Yardley constituency have agreed to step down to allow Workers Party candidate, Jody McIntyre a clear run in his bid to oust Labour right-winger Jess Phillips.

Tax breaks

Following the ITV “debate” between the Prime Minister and that other bloke a row broke out about spending plans. During the slanging match Slippery Sunak in the blue corner tried to wrestle Slimy Starmer in the off-red corner by using one of the oldest moves in the election wrestlers handbook – yes, the spending plans attack. According to Sunak Labour’s spending plans would cost the “average” taxpayer £2,000 a year. Turns out it was £2,000 over four years. We asked our election wrestling expert, Giant Cornstacks for his opinion: “It’s always a good move to try to unsettle your opponent early doors,” he told us. “But if you are going to try to baffle the audience with a planned move, at least try to get the numbers correct. His trainers will be disappointed he messed that one up. Besides, let’s be honest the old spending plans attack is old hat. The fact is that as we all know nobody keeps to their spending plans, or much else in their manifesto, if they win the match. £350 million a week for the NHS anybody?” (DM)

Forensic

After the corruption and ineptitude of the Conservative government it is time for change. Are you looking forward to the corruption and ineptitude of the Labour Party instead? Some left wing candidates were suspended too late for their constituencies to choose a replacement. Luckily the NEC has the power to step in and make late selections. And six of those selections were members of the NEC. There’s handy for you.

Finally, this week the Labour Party announced it was dropping its court case against former Corbyn staffers at Labour head office for leaking evidence of institutional racism, sexism and deliberate sabotage of left wing candidates in the 2017 general election. The case has cost Labour around £2 million in legal fees. All we need now is for someone to leak the non-disclosure agreements that will reveal the compensation paid as part of the settlement. Thank goodness we have a top lawyer leading the Labour Party. There’s forensic for you!

Welsh Woes

Meanwhile all is not going well for the Welsh Labour Party where Welsh Leader, Vaughan Gething, this week lost a confidence vote in the Senedd. This is immensely embarrassing for the party, though so is a leader who takes donations from a company which has twice been convicted of environmental offences. Following the £200,000 donation it turned out that Gething had lobbied on behalf of the company. Plaid Cymru withdrew their support from the Government meaning that it is almost impossible for the Labour Party to push any legislation through whilst Gething remains in post. Luckily for him nobody regards him as on the left of the party otherwise Labour HQ would have kicked him into the Taf by now. As it is the other parties are likely to raise integrity at every possible opportunity on the doorsteps (assuming anybody bothers door knocking this election!) As the election gets underway this is exactly the sort of corruption scandal the Labour Party do not need. (DM)


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