Monthly Archives: May 2015

Labour Leadership


“Ancient Chinese warriors  to the emperor it is better to acknowledge defeat gracefully and live to fight another day, we learn the lesson a thousand times and regroup our forces  to win battle.”

Today is our enemy time tomorrow will be the raise of Labour Party to gain full victory.

Many speculations both in the press and social media at the moment regarding Labour Leadership and the funny thing about it the close of nominations has not been completed and all one reads on both press and social media internal fighting and bickering. I strongly dispute the alleged allegations in a nutshell. Our members arkakasndrhe discussing among ourselves who is the best candidate(s) to move Labour forward and we are aware that it’s going to be a hard task which we all recognise from both spectrum of Labour.

The way how the rightwing press and bloggers portraying our party with utter contempt as they want a Conservative Government in 2015 which they made no secret where they nail their colours. Yes, it’s disappointing when the party that you support lose the elections and for now we lick our wounds, regroup, and analyse where we went wrong which is the natural thing to do to move forward.Just before the campaign trail officially started I seem to recall that a number of members also including myself where on the doorstep on a daily bases across the country taking soundings from voters which they intending to vote. Everything seemed to be hunky dory that Labour would stand a chance to win which set off alarm bells and had a nasty sting to it voters began to watch the leadership debates and depending what part of the country you lived in voters we were given very mix messages.

“We cannot repeat the same mistakes again. But nor can we give in to despair, write off the next election as we flail about, or give in to the Tories – as I’ve heard too many people starting to suggest. Those who depended most on a Labour Government have already been let down, we cannot let them down again.”

The problem we have right now is that all these politicians keep apologizing for the global debt and haven’t the “balls” enough to stand up to state the real facts this party won’t ever be in power again because the so called leaders don’t live in our world.

Harriet_HarmanHarriet Harman is correct to say:

I have to begin by saying the last thing we wanted was to be where we are now. 

Being interim leader was not the job I wanted to be doing today.

I wanted Ed Miliband to be our Prime Minister and for us to be in Government.

We’re bitterly disappointed to have lost so many Labour MPs – in England, Wales and Scotland.

I want to pay tribute to Ed Miliband. He is a thoroughly decent and principled man who threw himself into the leadership unstintingly and he could not have worked harder or been more committed.

I would like to pay tribute to Jim Murphy. He stepped up in Scotland at an intensely difficult time and he faced that challenge with energy and determination.

And I want to pay tribute too, to all the thousands of party members and supporters who worked so hard and to all the party staff who put their heart and soul into their work.

The party is still very raw, very upset and we are still all trying to process emotionally and intellectually what happened on May 7th.

We lost. And we lost badly. There is no getting away from that. And it came as a shock.

We thought we had a fighting chance of forming the next Government and the 10pm exit poll was a body blow none of us will ever forget.

It took me back to 1992.  Now we see that election as a stepping stone to victory in 1997.  But that wasn’t how it looked then.  Then, as now, we thought we could win. Then, as now, the polls fuelled that thinking and they were horribly wrong. Then, as now, we fought a good campaign under a leader with many fine qualities. The defeat was all the more painful because then as now, minutes before the exit poll landed, we thought we were heading into government.   

Late afternoon on election day in 1992, I popped up to Transport House, Smith Square, which was our HQ. Tory HQ was in Smith Square too and who should I see wandering around on his own but the Prime Minister – John Major. He looked like a beaten man. But he wasn’t beaten – we were. 

Something else about then. People said we were finished. Not just opponents and commentators. Many of our own activists thought that too. And so did many of our MPs.

It was incredibly bleak.  At our campaign after-party in Milbank I just couldn’t stop thinking of what lay ahead for my constituents and I couldn’t stop crying.  Later, I remember being in our One Parliament Street offices with Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.  Tony – who’d before he became an MP had been a highly successful barrister and had three young children said –and he was only half-jokingly – “What on earth is the point in being a wasted political generation? We’re never going to be in government again and we could do something more useful – and a lot easier – outside politics.” We all stayed and we stayed to fight.

I don’t need to remind you what happened five short years later. We won a truly stunning victory, the first of three, a massive majority that enabled us to do so much to make this a better country.

Let me be clear, I am not saying that we are in the same circumstances we found ourselves in after 1992. That was then, this is now, and it’s a very different era. But some things are always necessary for our party do well. 

  • A strong and charismatic leader in touch with the values of the majority.
  • A talented and largely united team.
  • Values and policies that speak to people’s concerns and choices.
  • A big picture message about change and how to meet the challenges of the time.
  • Local connections which give people confidence in Labour and demonstrate we are on their side.

And, from defeat then, all of that emerged.

It was not obvious at the time when the pain was raw.  There were shocks, setbacks and rows and even the death of our leader.

But on May 1 1997, five years after we were said to be finished, five years after many of us thought we were finished, we were back and Tony Blair was prime minister with a three figure majority.

I remind you of all this, not to say we should be New Labour, Old Labour, Blairite, Brownite, Blue Labour or even Pink Labour. These labels are unhelpful in what is a different era.

I remind you of what it was like then to raise your hopes that great victory can follow shocking defeat. But also to remind you that when we are honest with ourselves about our failures, and above all honest with the public about our failures, then we have shown that we can come back and we can win. We can win in 2020 if we are honest with ourselves and with the public and if we make the right decisions. If we take the right approach now, we will lay the foundations for our fightback and our next win.

How did last Friday morning feel for us? Terrible. But did you notice something else? Did you notice the seeming lack of any real joy or delight among the public that David Cameron was back?

This is not to re-run the arguments of the campaign. It is simply to say that it was not so much that he won but that we lost.

That is painful to admit. But true. So we should admit it.

We fought a good campaign. But not good enough.

We won over new support. But not enough.

We had some good ideas and some good policies which I am certain would have made this a better country than the one we will see between now and 2020.

But none of it was enough. When the undecideds finally decided they decided they did not want us in power.


We need to learn the lessons of what went wrong. There is lots of conjecture; lots of personal anecdotes; lots of commentary from people including those who are now wise after the event.

We need a forensic, honest examination of what happened which looks at and understands the results, looks at the statistics and the all the science, and hears from our party, our candidates who won and who lost but above all, the public.

I am in the process of commissioning this important work and will have to more to say on it when the details are finalised.

But there is one lesson we can and must heed right away. When it comes to elections the public are the boss. We do not question their decision. We heed it.


In modern politics so much of the attention and responsibility is on the leader and Ed took responsibility.

And now we must choose a new leader now and get the right leader, the best leader, the one who can lead us forward from September 12th so that every month, every year we are making progress to a General Election victory the country will, we believe, need more than ever.

But this defeat is also an opportunity to have a much deeper and more fundamental debate about our future than we had when Gordon took over from Tony and when Ed took over from Gordon.

The party must get the right leader. But the party must also take stock of much more than the captain on the bridge. This is also about the direction in which we steer. And that too must be a big part of the debate on which we have now embarked. 

As interim Leader, my role in the leadership election is to make sure the process is clear and the rules are followed and I will stay absolutely neutral.

But there is one thought I want to insert firmly into the process right now. I want to insert it into the minds of candidates, but above all into the minds of MPs who will choose the field of candidates, and of members and supporters who will choose the leader from that field.

As we conduct this debate, as we elect our leader and deputy leader, we must have the public in the forefront of our minds. We must let the public in.

Into our minds and into the process as we make the decisions about who is our next leader and how we go forward.  So we are going to start that with how we do the leadership elections.  When I stood for the leadership it was a cosy contest in front of people who – like us – love politics and love Labour. Very different from the rest of the country! 

We asked ourselves – who do we like?  That was the wrong question.  We should have asked – as we made our choice – who does the country like.  Who knows, if we had done that perhaps Labour would have chosen Alan Johnson rather than me!

Now, we have already fundamentally and radically changed the way we elect our leader and deputy leader – indeed that is an important part of Ed Miliband’s legacy.

We will allow people who are not party members or who are not affiliated supporters through a trade union or Labour linked organisation like the Fabian society to have a vote. Anyone – providing they are on the electoral register – can become a registered supporter, pay £3 and have a vote to decide our next leader. This is the first time a political party in this country has opened up its leadership contest in this way and I think there will be a real appetite for it out there. Already we have had over 30,000 people join us as full party members since May 7thbut this is a new and innovative way of letting the public in on an important decision. And we have changed the rules so that it means one person has one vote regardless whether they are an MP, a Shadow Cabinet member, a trade unionist or a registered supporter – everyone’s vote is equal, as it should be.

But that in my view is not enough. We have to make the whole process more public facing.

If I think back to 2010 leadership election I remember a comradely and well organised debate. I remember hustings that were packed with party members keen to hear what the various contenders had to say.

We have to get to the heart of why we lost and making the right decisions about how we win. We should not be afraid of differences. We should thrash them out.

And nor should we be afraid of letting the public in to see those arguments. Because if there is one thought that should drive the thinking as we elect a new leadership team it is this – which of them has the best qualities and leadership skills most likely to win over the support of the public?

Not the politically obsessed public, the people like us, but the people who most of the time are busy getting on with their lives, not thinking about politics.

That’s why our hustings have got to be different.

I want the members and supporters who elect our new leader to see not just how the candidates react and relate to the party faithful but to see how they react and relate to those we need to win over.

We need robust, tough, televised hustings which involve the public.

We have begun talks with broadcasters about how we make these happen. We are very open and keen to make this work. As interim leader, I have one principle here – let the public in.

And we cannot just hold hustings in our Labour heartlands, we have to go to areas where we didn’t win. Because ultimately we are electing the team that we think can lead not just the party but lead the country. And that must be our guiding thought.  Last time our hustings – in front of Labour members – were in cities where Labour won.  We must have those hustings now in towns and suburbs where Labour lost. We have to go back and ask local people from those areas to be brutally honest about what they think of us and what they want from us.

We need to see this process as one that is not merely electing a new leader and deputy leader. But one that is helping to rebuild old connections and fashion new connections with a public that rejected us North and South.

So I want to see leadership hustings where members bring non-members. Where someone who voted Labour brings along someone who voted Tory or SNP or didn’t vote at all.

We will use the setback to build membership. More than 30,000 people have joined Labour as members since May 7.  That is a small silver lining. There are thousands of people who are so motivated by the disappointment of defeat, they want to get involved, want to do more. Let’s turn 30,000 into 60000 and let’s turn 60 into 100,000.

And let’s welcome them, not by saying this is when we have meetings and this is how we do them and that is how it has always worked. But how do you want to be involved?  Online or in person? How much do you want to be involved? And fitting it around your work and your family not the other way round so that these new members help us on our way on the journey back from defeat?


We can’t be the government we wanted to be.  We applied but we didn’t get that job.  But we have a different one. 

We are the Opposition and that is a very important job which we will do to the best of our ability and with all the commitment and energy we brought to the election campaign and would have brought to government. 

The Tories got elected but they must be held to account – on the NHS, on jobs, on living standards, on fairness. 

We have 232 Labour MPs and that is what we will do. 

We are strengthened in that task by the injection of new blood in the PLP – one in 5 of our MPs our new with 53 Labour MPs elected for the first time – from every region of England and from Wales. 

That task of Opposition is for all of us – including and particularly the leadership candidates. 

Our leadership candidates will be dissecting our defeat and setting out a vision for the future.  But I want to see them showing that they can successfully challenge the government now. 

That is, after all, what they are going to have to do if they win.  So let’s see them do it. 


These are dark days for the Labour party. We are all still bruised by our failure on May 7th and we are still coping with the aftermath.

But we will move on and move forwards.

Amid the wreckage of defeat, it seems hard to see where the next victory might come from.

I’ve been in Labour politics for 34 years. I have known stunning victories as well as devastating defeat. 

But what experience and history tell me is that sometimes it is from that exact same wreckage that the next victory does indeed emerge. That is how we must approach our thinking and our development over the next five years.

These are my priorities as interim leader.

  • Being a strong opposition.
  • Maintaining stability and unity – we will thrash out discussions and it will be painful but we won’t tear ourselves apart.
  • We will learn the lessons.
  • And we will elect a new leader and deputy.

But above all, we will let the public in and elect a leader who can lead not just the party but the whole country.

I’m sure that some people recall a period in 1983 and 1992 all the opinion polls were in favor of a Labour Government only to see it being pulled away from us. See the two examples below:,_1983

See Youtube below:,_1992

See Youtube below:



“Unless Labour can once again become the party of the majority of the working class it has no future, except as a coalition of minority pressure groups and interests. Yet there is only a modest future for a party which represents only such groups, and social forces on the decline. If Labour cannot get back the sort of communities represented by Stevenage, or Harlow, or Swindon, or Slough, we can forget about the British or any other realistic road to socialism.”

I still would have liked to see more Member of Parliament (MPs) preferably more females from from the BAME communities came forward to take the challenge. We have to understand that Labour is a broad church I am originally from London and I was extremely left wing however over the years one realize that not all Labour or potential Labour voters are and we must take them into account. Like I said before we must work together to get them back in government or all is lost for another 18 years I kid you not.



Return The jaws Of Doom Of the Tories

lingOh no, here comes the boring old fart do I hear from some quarters. No is the simple answer I bring strong tidings that some people may not want to read but the wise will read and comprehend where I’m coming from.

If people thought that Labour was the big bad wolf then I’ve got news for you they are not the enemy it’s the conservatives and if you think that is left talk then I must have mugging written on my forehead.

Conservatives are like reprobates over our NHS, Human Rights, Trade Union Rights and Welfare then they have the very cheek to say trade unions laws need amending to make it harder for Trade Unions to strike. This is not the first time that the Tories have done this. Remember the dreaded milk snatcher years aka Margret Thatcher Government smashing the trade unions and coal miners’ strike and breaking up coal mining communities which led many miners on the dole.

IMG_2012Next time at Prime Minister Question (PMQ) when David Cameron harps on about Patrick McLaughlin being the first coal miner cabinet minister let’s us all remind him to stop telling porkies to the public.

Let all the Labour MPs let ripe that Roy Mason was Jim Callaghan’s Northern Ireland Secretary who was also a former coal miner and let us not forget that Dennis Skinner is a former miner and current still a Labour MP but given how few mines there are these days it’s not very likely that were going to see many ex-miner MP’s.

I recall reading somewhere in 1924 the then Labour Government had three and Nye Bevan is perhaps one of the most famous coal miners in the cabinet. Now that I have got this out of my chest back to what will happen with the Conservatives since they won the 2015 General Election.

As the promised by the Tories they will use this time to lay into their programme of cuts as they are aware know that there will be little to stop them as Labour Party and Libdems will be choosing their leader(s) just to give you a flavor checkout their manifesto starting with the incumbent government:

This will give you an idea why they want to start their austerity cuts as soon as possible.

Today I was at London HQ to listen to Harriet Harman and I have to concur with her analyses on what she thinks took place. See below

For this reason I will say if Labour does not get it right this time round my greatest fear is that the party will be cast into the wilderness for 18 years if we don’t get it right with our leader and manifesto. May be the national party con learn some lessons from Birmingham in the West Midlands region where we won 9 seats out of 10 and how to win leadership contest. See below:


Business as usual for Labour Party

IMG_2137Today is business as usual for Labour MPs to continue to challenge the establishment in Westminster whilst Harriet Harman takes the position of Caretaker of Labour(Acting Leader) whilst the National Executives Committee(NEC) decides the timetable for leader and deputy leader contest.

Whilst the process taking place as set out by NEC for Leadership contest I would like to add my  pennies worth on what I think should be in place for members decides who they want to be leader and deputy. The following should be take into account:

1) Who is best known MPs that the voters can relate to when speaking in a language that both working and middle class can comprehend and concur.

2) Set out what they stand for that will make him or her stand out from the rest of the candidates to have the confidence of the members, supporters, young and first voters to continue to vote Labour.

3) Come up with comprehensive policies that  relates to working and middle class by consulting more at a local level and small businesses stop spending too much time listening to quangos and Whitehall staff that have outdated policies that are in it to lines up their own coffers(Consultancies).

4) Addressing disenfranchise members and supporters who crossover to vote Libdems, Greens, UKIP, SNP and BNP to win them back over to Labour.

5) Addressing policies that meet non-voters to encourage them to vote Labour. There are still people who refuse to vote which we can do more to gain their trust.

6) Developing policies that meet the aspersions of first time, and young voters.

7) Define the core values of what Labour Party stands for so members can feel valued and participate in the democratic process to have a stake in the party.

8) There is a general feeling that Labour is taking Black and Minority ethic for granted they feel under represented both in NEC, MPs and not enough is done to encourage them to participate in the machinery at local, regional and national levels.

9) Save our Human Rights, NHS, and Public Services.

Reflecting on 150 days of Campaign Trail

A message from Mr. Sparkbrook and Mr. Ladywood to all Labour Activists see youtube below:


nznsjdjdfFirstly a big congratulations to our Labour candidates who won their seats in both Local and General Elections and a heart-felt of sadness to those who lost their seat(s). I know what it is like to lose their seat. I’m sure our candidates who lost their seat still continue to keep the faith and put a good fight to return a Labour council and government and a new leader of Labour Party in place.

Our fight back continues to grow and has made us more strong and united as one party to defeat a Conservative Government in 2020.A special thanks to the following friends and comrades Councillor Victoria Quinn,  Mohammed Ashraf, Imran Hussain, Angie Stack, Habib Rehman, Mohammed Saleem,Mohammed Shafique, and others whilst on the Labour campaign trail which began from Birmingham and ended up in some parts up Scotland with their wise words and encouragement. No matter what the weather rain and shine.

lop1One of the joys on traveling on the campaign coach with a few friends Mohammed Ashraf, Imran Hussain, and others from across UK we listened to was the announcement of ending zero hours contract that are undermining family life. Labour will pass law that gives employees the right to 12 weeks of working regular hours if they become the next government.

I cannot resist saying this just once more “Hell Yes.” The joys of Labour Activists across the UK in full throttle in campaigning mode during elections, and all year round on doorsteps encouraging voters return to Labour as voters just don’t trust Chicken Cameron and they long to rid of him which was not to be in this occasion as voters did not feel that Labour could match the challenge led by the Conservatives and voters were willing to give the benefit of their doubts to David Cameron on this occasion using the language of fear in this election.

Voters were having no nonsense from Duncan Smith decisions on benefit cuts, they felt he was leading voters up the garden path with other Ministers following suit duping voters by keeping their cards close to their chest by releasing vague messages to the national press and social media on a daily basis where the cuts will hurt the most.

lop2I do recall whilst on the campaign trail and about to have my lunch break a few comrades could not believe whilst listening to an interview by UKIP said that young people should not be allowed to vote in any future referendum on EU because they are brainwashed in schools with pro-EU. In the word of a student who was on the campaign coach with us he said ” When people goes on about leaving the EU ask them what improvement has EU funding in your area and many will say Oh yes this project did this, and that then they say again oh yes they did fund lots of project in our ward”. Is it me or has many of you noticed the use of American language being used in all the leaders debate and is it really good for our country.

I cannot speak for the rest of the public. I had a strong feeling that our great English language was airbrushed over with the use of Americanism in the leadership debate. Not in a million years would I thought that Russell Brand would urge his followers to come out to vote Labour Party in England with only three days left into a General Election campaign which caught many people by surprise with his sudden U-turn. The question many people would like to know did Russell Brand register in time to vote after spending years of encouraging his followers not to vote and how many of his followers actually registered to vote. Well blow me over this was nothing more gimmick to draw attention. Normally I would not give Russell Brand the time of the day. There are people in the Labour circles felt that Ed Miliband did right by turning up to Brand studio to put his side of the argument why leaders should take up challenges that they feel uncomfortable about.

lop3I may have some short memories and will require my followers to give me a good kick up the arise if I get it wrong for the moment. How many will recall the Thatcher and Major years where everything was going well for the Labour Party in the polls but only see it to be yanked from Labour as the then leader( Neil Kinnock) was too complacent and thought he had it in the bag. What followed were the scares of 18 years of a conservative government and the horror stories that came fast and on suit on the backs of voters. Since then I decided not to follow the polls and wait for the exit polls declared on the night which I’m pleased to say I’m glad that I made the right choice.

This is not a criticism but an observation. Now this is where it gets very interesting which I make no apologies for mentioning a former leader(Tony Blair) he gave the country three terms of a Labour Government and he was very effective as a leader and Prime Minister during the Prime Ministers Question Time( PMQs) the opposition leader(Conservatives) would ask questions and poor Cameron would be massacred by the reply that TB would throw back at the opposition which was done to great effect that the leader of the opposition could not come up with a decent follow up question which left them in tatters. Here is an example the Business Community supported Labour plan on the economy and managed to pull it of by having the 100 Business leaders endorsing  Labour business plan. Well David Cameron learned the lessons to use it to throw back at Labour and on the campaign trail which included one of the leaders debate. The moral of this story is when a party has lost an election it would normally take two – three terms for them to recover and heal then go on to win elections. Am I sorry for Ed Miliband who resigned as leader of Labour heck no. He did his best to unite the party and gave it his best shot and he decided to allow time for the party members to choose a new leader. Some would say that Ed Miliband should not shoulder all the blame.

Labour can win in five years, we just need stronger messages for all people, and that means being in the centre then Labour will win.

We just fought and election on the left, we lost. We have some great policy and I did not disagree with any of it. But we did not have a wider message for all people. Just speaking for one section of population the 35% target was not right. Many good Labour candidates who were set to win their seats in just a year back lost.

Out of 80 Tories held seats we much win we only won 4! We were leading in 50 of them last year by 8/10% then more recently 3% then we lost them during the election campaign.

We cannot stick to thinking our vote can only be for working class people, that is not what this party is about. The principles of social justice, equality and fairness has to be for all. We cannot lose sight of that or it is us creating divides in society.

We have to take into account that Labour was hurt more by UKIP without vote being sucked into racism. Sadly that vile attitude will still likely in 2020. So that is another challenge, we do not want people voting racist, but we should not be pandering to be worse than Farage and I do not think the language helped. We tackle racism but showing its support has no impact and gets nowhere.

Harriet Harman got it right when she said there should be “no blame game” in the wake of its election defeat. Labour must do its job of holding the government to account while avoiding “scapegoating”