Humiliation for Labour party in Newbury – beaten into sixth and eighth place by wife and husband team

Founded in 1900 by Keir Hardie, the Labour party has a very proud history of governing the country and it has staff and volunteers numbering into hundreds of thousands, with the support of countless union members.

Yet, yesterday in Newbury, Berkshire, the two candidates for that proud national Labour party were humiliated as they were beaten into sixth and eighth (last) place in a town council by-election by a wife and husband team who founded a little local party a few years ago in a pub.

How the mighty have fallen!

Keir Hardie! Michael Foot! Tony Benn! Tony Blair! Clement Atlee! Neil Kinnock! Ed Miliband! Your boy and girl took one hell of a beating!

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15 thoughts on “Humiliation for Labour party in Newbury – beaten into sixth and eighth place by wife and husband team

  1. Seeing Labour knocked into 4th place by the Apolitical Democrats, that are neither non-political, nor democratic is worrying.

    Although this was a local election, the Tories [abridged by webmaster] attempted to exploit the unjustified fears of the public regarding immigration and Europe, in a town that is and has been historically dependent on strong international links.

    The Liberal Democrat Party needs to continue to use its current position of influence to defuse the current negative myths about such topics if we are to assist in the development of a more progressive and inclusive society.

  2. Hello Paul. It would be helpful if RUP could evidence his comment that “the [second named party] attempted to exploit the unjustified fears of the public regarding immigration and Europe” because as far as we remember neither Charlie nor Dave did anything or the sort and campaigned pretty much exclusively on parish issues. I recall that the Conservative literature talked about immigration, so perhaps he’s confusing us for them? As for us being non-democratic that’s silly, but there are other forums to engage RUP in that debate. Cheers.

  3. Well that that’s an extraordinary comment from Mr Uduwerage-Perera!

    While we did point out in our Apolitical literature that his running mate Mr Payton had been voted out by the people of Thatcham (which he had been) and now here he was trying for Newbury (which he was), it is absolutely fatuous to suggest that moving from Thatcham to Newbury is ‘immigration’.

    As we were the ONLY candidates to be scrupulous about sticking to Town Council matters, we consider that what Mr Uduwerage-Perera has written is a gross libel we insist that he explains himself here, immediately.

    And by the way pretending not to understand what apolitical means in our context doesn’t make anyone look clever. For the record: the Collins dictionary definition of ‘apolitical’ is “politically neutral; without political attitudes, content, or bias”.

    • I have removed the original reference to the second named party in reference to immigration/Europe (in the comment on 11th May on this string by Ruwan Uduwerage-Perera at 7:43am) as it appears to have been erroneously drafted. The commenter has made clear (by email to me) that he was not referring to the most recent election, however the actual comment was originally written so as to have the opposite effect. I have noted my abridgement in the text of the original comment.

  4. I agree with Simon Kirby that Mr Uduwerage-Perera should evidence his comment. I look forward to any ‘pending clarification’ he can give.

  5. I must start by stating that if individuals within a political group have taken umbrage by what I have said then I apologise, but my comments were made after standing on many doorsteps listening to why people were going to cast a protest vote for the Apolitical Democrats whom they saw as the Ukip ‘stand ins’ in this election, and Europe and Immigration were the first things on many of these people’s lips.

    Personally and politically I am staunchly for the UK’s continuing membership of Europe and the development of a positive immigration policy that does not discriminate, but rather seeks to attract and embrace the ‘brightest and the best’ from anywhere.

    The Apolitical Democrats themselves implied in their own literature that it is their belief that they are the natural replacements for the Tories:

    “The Conservatives know that we are the best candidates, but Party Politics prevents them from allowing us to stand unopposed” and as such one can only assume that the Apolitical Democrats hold similar values, albeit apparently further towards the Right.

    As for ‘fighting fair’ well I am not so sure that the Tories or for that matter Labour would agree considering the following statements:

    “The Conservatives have put up two unknowns to stand against us. Neither has shown a jot [of] interest in standing for the Town Council before now…”

    “Labour’s Richard Garvie, “the mouth piece of the Labour Party in Newbury… has instead sacrificed two newbies to his cause””

    The comments about the LibDems were questionable, and personally upsetting for the former Councillors who thought long and hard about their positions before standing down, but due to personal and professional circumstances chose put their service to the public before everything else. As the Branch Chair I can assure you that the previous Councillors stood down for genuine reasons, and to suggest otherwise without finding out the reasons is at least uncharitable.

    Regarding the definition of Apolitical, well just because one uses a name, it does not mean that one abides by the definition, and the Apolitical Democrats by using such a ‘handle’ are identifying themselves as a political group.

    We will I am sure recommence this conversation again in twenty months time, but in the mean time I wish the members of the Apolitical Democrats well, and the result has demonstrated to everyone that clearly the messages of mainstream political parties are being misunderstood, or in the case of Ukip perhaps being frighteningly understood by the electorate.

    In conclusion, as a Ward Councillor, I will undertake to serve the public as I did throughout my policing career “without fear or favour”, and as such the personal political views of the residents whom I represent are ultimately an irrelevance to me, so whether one is a Tory, Labour, Apolitical, Ukip, BNP, etc or they hold no political affiliation my duty is to serve them as best I can.

  6. Charlie, On the 9th of April I received through my letter box in Victoria Ward, “A message from David Yates”. I have retained it.

    I would simply state that this letter covers a very wide range of issues including local council political matters and a very interesting thesis on the monetary system, including some fascinating historical background. It posits an interesting theory about banking, by way of mentioning Cyprus and the Chinese property bubble. It also puts forward the highly interesting point about “money lenders” having “President Lincoln shot for making (a) statement” about fiscal matters.

    The letter also states “Everything that you consider is of issue today, be it education, healthcare, immigration and housing. Europe, and our freedom from control by Brussels. Clean energy, excessive fuel prices, and the cost of living. savings, pensions and our children’s futures. Regeneration of the regions, infrastructure or the economy. All of them can be resolved by this one truth, “we must wrest from the banks control of our money supply”.”

    The letter ends with the bolded rallying cry:

    “We need to bring to an end, the practice of new money being created by banks as interest bearing debt!…Vote Apolitical on 9th May! Vote Yates and Farrow!”

  7. Paul,

    On a very technical point, the leaflet you are quoting from was brought out by Dave under his own personal imprint outside of the election period and as such doesn’t qualify as official election material – for example it can’t be counted on our election expense returns. This may seem a very small point but it was important enough for us to do it this way.

    David as you note believes very passionately that our monetary system is flawed and impinges on every aspect of public life, even down to the minutiae of parish precepts. And he sees it as his duty to inform people about it.

    I and other members of the campaign team believe this link from monetary policy to our ability to fund Parish Council services to be very complicated and probably too difficult to explain in necessarily short campaign flyers, or even on the doorstep. So we agreed that our ‘official’ shared campaign literature should bear only very direct relevance to Town Council matters and matters pertaining to this parish election, and that David would put out his preliminary leaflet as a personal communication.

    In your quotation from his letter, “Everything that you consider is of issue today, be it…” he is clearly identifying issues that people may have concerns with, but which would cease to be issues at all, if only we took control our own money supply. But he makes no comment whatsoever, one way or the other, on those issues in terms of his personal opinion.

    Equally in his 2010 general election literature he identifies that debt based government is predicated on immigration – effectively the importation of tax payers. This is an observation and an interesting one, but at no time does he take a view on immigration or the contribution of immigrants other than as taxpayers. In my opinion his general election literature was highly interesting and very relevant to that election.

    One of the key points of our movement is that it is the views of the electorate that are of paramount importance:

    • We believe we should be guided by our electors’ wishes, considered evidence, our real world experience and expertise, and our consciences. In that order.

    It is this that the electorate seems to have found refreshing enough to double our share of vote at the expense of the Lib Dems and Tories and put us third ahead of Labour in Newbury.

    I fear we can’t say the same for Mr Uduwerage-Perera who tells us that “the personal political views of the residents whom I represent are ultimately an irrelevance to me”. I bet he didn’t tell the electorate that! No wonder they say the parties aren’t listening. They’re not!

    • Thank you, Charlie. I note that the message from David Yates says “Vote Apolitical on the 9th May” and “Vote Farrow!” on it, in large, bolded font. It also bore the emblem of your party, not once but twice.

      “our freedom from control by Brussels” does not appear to be a choice of words normally associated with a dispassionate view on Europe.

      Your last paragraph is very unfair. Ruwan made that comment meaning that he would serve residents even if they are of different political persuasions to him.

  8. Just for reference: from the Electoral Commission document “Local elections in England and Wales
    Guidance for candidates and agents
    Part 3 of 6 – Spending and donations”:

    “The regulated period
    The regulated period begins on the date you officially become a candidate and ends at the close of the poll.
    The earliest date you can officially become a candidate is Tuesday 26 March 2013. You will become a candidate on this date if you or others have already announced your intention to stand. For example, your party may have issued a press release when you were selected, or you might have mentioned your intention at a residents’ meeting.
    If your intention to stand has not been announced by Tuesday 26 March, you will officially become a candidate on the earlier of:
    • the date your intention to stand is announced
    • the date when you submit your nomination paper”

  9. Charlie, you are I feel choosing to misquote me, which is not unusual in my experience, and in politics I actually expect so no offence has been taken on my part.

    I believed that my comments were clear as Paul has highlighted that I care not what another persons political, or for that matter religious or other beliefs are if they are in need my assistance. I served throughout my career as a police officer in the service of all without ‘fear or favour’, and I will continue to do this.

    I have personally had to protect people who have abhorrent views and would happily have and would still do others and myself harm, and I have been involved in the prosecution of people who I had once and in a few cases still do admire.

    As I said on the doorsteps and genuinely meant, I will work for the benefit of the community, and individuals within it whether they are LibDem’s, Conservatives, Labour, UKIP, BNP, Apolitical, etc or non political. Let me know if this is not plain enough?

  10. Ruwan,

    Indeed I did do that on purpose, here on this page where people can see those words that you wrote. You don’t like it either when you are quoted out of context with a completely different interpretation placed on them from what you plainly intended.

    Mischief-making or mistaken, your comment above (that Paul has edited) which provoked this exchange was neither sportsman-like nor gracious in victory, even had it been true.

    It’s Paul who’s doing the quoting out of context, but you made a groundless blind swipe at us for reasons best known to yourself, which to use an old fashioned phrase “wasn’t cricket”.

    I think it is a great pity that you took this stance Ruwan, and I’m disappointed by your apology above – “if we’ve taken umbrage” come on! Although I must give credit to Paul for allowing me to respond in a healthy libertarian way, (but your dates are wrong Paul).

    • I’m closing this discussion now. Any further debate on this ought to be done over coffee at Costa…. I’ll happily pay for the coffees.

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