Roll over David Amess, and tell James Duddridge the news

Ian Gilbert congratulates Julian Ware-Lane

Ian Gilbert congratulates Julian Ware-Lane

Among the first to congratulate Julian Ware-Lane on his selection as Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Southend West was Ian Gilbert. Ian is contesting the Rochford and Southend East seat for Labour.

Ian said: “I am very pleased that Southend West chose Julian, he will be a strong voice for his constituency.

Julian Ware-Lane said: “Ian and I represent the alternative to the Conservative-led Government. We will be working for real change.

Ian and Julian, who are both Borough councillors, will be challenging the Government’s record. This is a record where working people are £1,600 per year worse off than they were under Labour, where family energy bills have been allowed to rise by almost £300 since the last election, and yet the very richest are getting tax cuts.

This year’s local elections show us that Southend is no longer in thrall to the Conservative Party. They have lost power locally, and next year we hope they will be out of Government” said Julian.

Ian Gilbert added: “We are the growing force in Southend whilst the Tories are in decline.

The Labour Party active membership in Southend is growing, whilst the Conservative Party is a party in decline here. It is believed that the Labour Party is now the biggest party in the borough.

The latest Victoria Voice


Julian Ware-Lane selected to fight the General Election for Labour in Southend West

Julian with supporters

Julian with supporters

Leigh-on-Sea resident Cllr Julian Ware-Lane has been selected as the Labour Party’s candidate for Southend West at the next General Election, scheduled for May 2015.

Westcliff-born Julian will be running a campaign highlighting how the Conservative-led Government has let down residents in Southend West.

It is a tremendous honour to have been chosen to represent the Labour Party in my home constituency. I live within a mile of where I was born, and am committed to making my town a better place.” said Julian.

I will be aiming to get Labour’s message out to as many residents in Southend West as I can” added Julian. “There is an alternative to Conservative failure in Southend West, and that alternative is the Labour Party.

Chair of Southend West Labour Party, Charles Willis, said; “we are really pleased that Julian will be fighting for Labour in Southend West. He brings experience and energy, and is strong advocate for a fairer society.

Julian has appointed Cllr Kevin Robinson as his agent.

Not from central casting but valuing principle over posturing

Ed Miliband made a speech yesterday setting out the standards against which he will ask to be judged as Prime Minister. Here is an extract:

“When people say ‘you’re all the same, you’re in it for yourself, you don’t care about my life’, they are talking about us: the politicians. Millions of people think that for us, it actually is all about us, that we are in it for ourselves, for our own success, not the country’s.

“They believe we value posturing more than principle, good photos or soundbites more than a decent policy, image more than ideas. Unless we stand up now and say that we want to offer people something different, more and more will simply turn away. And if we allow that to continue to happen, we will also rob people of the debate they deserve, about the things that matter.

“David Cameron is a very sophisticated and successful exponent of an image-based politics. He made his name as Leader of the Opposition for some fantastic photos, like hanging out with huskies in the Arctic Circle.

“Even my biggest supporters would say I haven’t matched him on that. It is not what I care most about. And it’s not where my talents lie —as you may have noticed.

“I am not from central casting. You can find people who are more square-jawed, more chiselled, look less like Wallace. You could probably even find people who look better eating a bacon sandwich. If you want the politician from central casting, it’s just not me, it’s the other guy. If you want a politician who thinks that a good photo is the most important thing, then don’t vote for me.

“But I believe that people would quite like somebody to stand up and say there is more to politics than the photo op.”

“If politics is going to respond to the distrust people have, it has to begin to respond to talking about you.

“The current Prime Minister might take a good picture but he can’t build a country that works for you. It is not what interests him. And it is not who he stands up for.

“Here’s what I think matters. The leadership you need and the leadership this country needs is one that has big ideas to change things, with the sense of principle needed to stick to those beliefs and ideas even when it is hard, and with the decency and empathy to reach out to people from all backgrounds, all walks of life.

“For me, those qualities are the gold standard for what a modern leader should offer. I will sometimes fall short of that gold standard. But it is what I aspire to.

“I know the qualities I have talked about don’t just matter to me. They matter to you. They are the bedrock of this party.

“Let’s show people that we have new ideas to address the problems the country faces, that we seek to offer principles that prove that politics can be about more than what is expedient and convenient, that we believe decency and empathy are crucial values not just for our communities but for our country.”

Southend West Labour Party AGM

I have been Treasurer of Southend West Constituency Labour Party for eight years, split into two spells: 2003 – 2007, and 2010 to the present. At last night’s annual general meeting I was re-elected and will (barring accident) get to nine full years. I was also elected as IT Officer (having previously held this post for four years from 2006 to 2010); I was re-elected as the Trade Union Liaison Officer, a post I have held since 2010.

Charles Willis remains Chair of the CLP. Tony Borton moves from Secretary to Vice Chair and the secretarial duties will now be in the hands of Cllr Kevin Robinson.

Thanet Labour

As the crow flies Thanet is not that far away. The Thanet Labour website/blog is worth a peek at –

The under-assistant Westborough promotion man

Sylvia, Linda, Kevin and Lydia - the rest of yesterday's Westborough team

Sylvia, Linda, Kevin and Lydia – the rest of yesterday’s Westborough team

When not painting Milton red I like to help comrades elsewhere. Recently I have taken to my ward of birth to assist there. It was a pleasure to be out with the team yesterday.

South Thanet

I cannot pretend to have a great deal of knowledge about South Thanet. I think my paternal grandmother was born there, and many years ago I twice visited Bembom Brothers White Knuckle Theme Park. I have some ancestors (Goldsack, on my maternal line) from Deal, which is not too far away.

It is a politically interesting place. It was a safe Conservative seat until Jonathan Aitken perjured himself. It went red in the Blair landslide of 1997, and stayed that way until 2010.

year Con % Lab %
1983 56.5 19.4
1987 54.3 20.9
1992 51.7 28.1
1997 39.8 46.2
2001 41.1 45.7
2005 38.8 40.4
2010 48.0 31.4

Laura Sandys is the current MP, but she is standing down. There will be no incumbency factor for Craig Mackinlay who CCHQ hope will replace her.

In 2005 a certain Nigel Farage stood, getting a modest 5% of the vote. In 2010 UKIP’s vote share leapt (sic) to 5.5% (not Farage this time). Nigel has expressed an interest in contesting this seat again, leading Mike Smithson of to state: My money’s now going on LAB in this tight 3-way marginal

Will Scobie is Labour’s candidate here.

Out, always out, and sometimes about

Cllr Julian Ware-Lane, Ami Willis, Cllr Kevin Robinson - part of the team in Milton today

Cllr Julian Ware-Lane, Ami Willis, Cllr Kevin Robinson – part of the team in Milton today

A casual conversation that somehow lasts half an hour with a couple of residents that is somewhat typical. The chatter includes the news that the lady tripped on an uneven pavement and spent some time at A&E, and experience that she was very positive about. Her husband then appears and starts to complain about the local hospital, which just goes to show that our experiences are unique and different even with the same household. Another resident, a teacher this time, who had very little positive to say about the Government’s education policy. One resident showed an interest in joining the Labour Party, another had no time to converse.

The Matryoshka post: I write about Gray writing about St Luke’s

Gray Sergeant has written thoughtful account of his campaign in St Luke’s (St Luke’s Result 2014). I would add a couple of points.

Firstly, it must be remembered that this seat was being defended by a Conservative, a popular Conservative. Gray beat her, ensuring third spot for the blues.

Secondly, in 2012 the Independent Group had a 336 majority – this year that was reduced to 302. (In 2011 it was 601 – there certainly is a trend developing.)

Thirdly, democracy does not exist without opposing views and candidates representing those views. Whatever the St Luke’s residents thought of Labour at least Gray presented them with a socialist alternative.

We must, as democrats, accept the will of the people, and so I offer my congratulations to Cllr Endersby and hope she serves her four years with distinction.

As for Gray, he surely has a bright political future in front of him.

The result:

Caroline Endersby Independent 965 38.6%
Gray Sergeant Labour 663 26.5%
Sally Carr Conservative 557 22.3%
ABC Independent 246 9.8%
Pamela Waldie Liberal Democrat 70 2.8%

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