The Lambeth wank

Casually leafing through – like you do – the agenda for tomorrow night’s meeting of the Council for the London Borough of Lambeth, The Blogger’s eye is caught by Agenda item number 10 – Cabinet Portfolios. It says: “The administration has advised on changes that need to be made to the cabinet portfolios agreed by Council at its annual meeting.”

Well, one portfolio that remains unchanged is the Deputy Cabinet Member for
Young People’s. The Cambridge educated barrister Sam Townend will continue to receive £20k a year in allowances to represent the citizens of the Princes Ward of the Borough and, on top, continue his sterling work on behalf of the many, many deprived young people of the borough. Townend might therefore be reasonably expected to put in around at least 20 hours a week to perform these important duties.

Surely this can’t be the same Cambridge educated barrister Sam Townend selected as the Labour parliamentary candidate for Bristol North West last week (Blogger passim)? The Sam Townend who publicly says: “I commit to working as a full-time candidate based in Bristol North West”

Indeed yes. It is that very same Sam Townend. Isn’t it remarkable what you learn at Cambridge these days? Like how to be in two places at once and fit four jobs into your life.

Townend also makes a lot of noise on his Bristol North West campaign website (as opposed to his Lambeth Labour site) about his fantastic campaigning skills that created a swing to Labour in his Princes Ward of 31%. Although he does seem to have forgotten to mention anything about the material posted on to his election campaign website about his Lib Dem opponent Charles Anglin that had to be hurriedly removed after allegations that it was homophobic.

Now The Blogger can reveal even more about our London barrister friend’s much vaunted (by himself) campaigning skills. The following has been leaked to The Blogger from Labour’s official online discussion forums where a Labour Party member wrote:

There was a brilliant campaign in Lambeth in the last local election, with two ‘grassroots’ campaigns put up by concerned locals to unseat Lib-Dems by focussing on the Lib-Dems, on the issue of a new school and closing Clapham swimming pool.

Actually the campaigns were not grassroots at all, the Local Education Action Plan being a slick front, a stalking horse put up to get Labour back in, if not a Trojan horse were LEAP to have won any seats at all. They targetted Lib Dems specifically and only, an odd tactic considering if they were really interested in office they’d have bandwagoned onto demolishing Labour seats (as happened everywhere else). Labour indeed retook Lambeth, the only council gain the party made on the night.

Sam says on his local website: “He is serious about bringing that campaigning drive to the now marginal Bristol North West constituency.”

Great. We’ll look out for the dodgy community campaigns appearing in Bristol North West soon then. In the meantime why not spend some time trying to work out what the fuck the Labour Party are trying to foist on us now… Alleged homophobe… broken promises already… specialist in dirty tricks campaigns…

But it’s all alright ’cause he’s a barrister that went to Cambridge.

This entry was posted in Bristol, Bristol North west, Elections, Labour Party. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Lambeth wank

  1. S F says:

    Labour are often helped by the sudden appearance on the electoral scene of “independent” activist campaigns that target everyone except themselves, like this LEAP; or, the T&G with home-care right here in Bristol.

    I’ve been doing some searching on the web on the Lambeth elections, and found the best quotes during the election itself are on a discussion forum from a Conservative Cllr, Bernard Gentry, who was cllr in Clapham Town. (In the end he lost his seat after these quotes were made on.)

    “Maybe ‘Purplemoth’ would like to say who told the SLP [South London Press] about Anglin. It has always been accepted that this came from Labour so comes as rather a surprise that he is trying to say one of my colleagues leaked the story. This is just a red herring. The best way to judge who leaked something is to look at who gains from it. The only people who stand to gain (or at least believe they do) from the Anglin story is Labour.”

    “Labour are fighting a nasty, negative campaign designed to frighten the electorate and to smeer members of other groups. I am sure that they will run more smeer stories over the comming couple of weeks to try and deflect attention away from their own problems and lack of detailed policies.”

    “I think the electorate will see through Labours spin, smeers and lies and reject them. Instead supporting those of us who are putting forward positive ideas to make Lambeth better. As for the hate I leave that to the Labour Councillors on Lambeth who are full of hate as shown by their disgraceful personal attacks on other candidates during the election campaign. They should be ashamed of themselves.”

    “I have just had a leaflet from ‘The SW4 people’who claim to be an Independent group. It is rather odd then that at the bottom of the leaflet the Imprint says Printed and promoted by M McSweeney on behalf of the Clapham Town Labour candidates. That does not look very independent to me. It appears that the SW4 people are in fact a Labour front group. Looks like Labour are mis-leading the public again.”

    “Not only will Labour lose tomorrow but they deserve to lose. They have conducted the most negative campaign in Lambeth over the last few weeks that anyone can remember. Not only that but they have also failed to put forward a single detailed, costed policy.”

    “‘SW4 People’, ‘LEAP’, ‘Streatham Hill Independents’, and others were clearly Labour front organisations, as were the letters from ‘ex-Tory candidates’ warning people not to vote Tory.”

    After the election, Labour leader Steve Reed Labour won because they fought on local issues. Funnily enough, exactly what Cllr Holland said in Bristol too right after Labour had run the most negative campaign in recent memory!

  2. S F says:

    Mind you, looks like Lambeth Labour werent alone in this kind of tactic in 2006. Waltham Forest Labour wanted a piece of the action too
    http://www.blink.org.uk/pdescription.asp?key=15136&grp=66&cat=433
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-4126.html
    Must be something about these new, young, “high-flying” Labour wannabees from London! Guess they all went to the same politics kindergarten.

  3. Anonymous says:

    SF: “Labour are often helped by the sudden appearance on the electoral scene of “independent” activist campaigns that target everyone except themselves like . . . the T&G with home-care right here in Bristol.”

    Whether or not you agree with the politics of Labour or their Trade Union supporters, you can’t try to portray the T&G as underhand dirty-tricksters. They are a Labour affiliate, their members pay political-fund subs to campaign for Labour and regularly democratically vote on their relationship with Labour. Trade Unions also register with the Electoral Commission as “Third Parties” allowing them to legally campaign for or against any party. No dirty tricks. Nothing underhand. All perfectly legal and democratic.

  4. Babbers says:

    awrite me cockers!!!
    hows r kid doin:-)

  5. Sophie says:

    I dont think the Lib Dems have anything over Labour in terms of dirty local elections techniques

    Imagine if it had been the other way around the Lib Dems would have made much more fuss if Anglin had been a Labour candidate.

    It also reeks of arrogance on Anglin’s part that he could think that he would be able to make himself available for casual sex on a gay website and not have it thrown back at him when he want to appear to be reputable

  6. Woodsy says:

    I rather like Terry Pratchett’s solution as mentioned in ‘The Last Continent’: house all elected politicians in jail since it will save time later on!

  7. Anonymous,
    ‘…you can’t try to portray the T&G as underhand dirty-tricksters. They are a Labour affiliate, their members pay political-fund subs to campaign for Labour and regularly democratically vote on their relationship with Labour. Trade Unions also register with the Electoral Commission as “Third Parties” allowing them to legally campaign for or against any party. No dirty tricks. Nothing underhand. All perfectly legal and democratic.’

    What bullshit, legal yes, democratic no. The campaign run in Southville this May was certainly unethical. It grossly misrepresented Green policy on Home Care for start. If they’d given the whole truth about the Greens policy Labour may well have lost again.

  8. Peter Goodwin says:

    Anonymous,
    “Trade Unions also register with the Electoral Commission as “Third Parties” allowing them to legally campaign for or against any party”

    No, the law forbids them from campaigning for a party. That’s why the dirty war in the May elections was fought with T&G leaflets saying “Don’t Vote LibDem” in wards where it was all between Labour and LibDem, but in Southville they said “Don’t Vote Green” (conveniently forgetting that the Green candidate was actually on their side on this issue).

    So technically the object wasn’t, on the face of it, to get people to vote Labour, it was to take votes off their nearest rival. To you and me that might be the same thing, but the letter of the law seems to say otherwise. In Southville it meant that far more was actually spent on promoting the Labour candidate than the law allowed, and of course, combined with the disinformation they were spreading, it gave Labour a six-vote victory.

    Underhand? Dirty? Tricksters?

    Make your own judgement.

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