Saturday, 16 April 2011


Just a few snippets from the weeks campaigning:


News reaches me of another fine piece of electoral brilliance from East Midlands Labour Party who it seems are running the Northampton Campaign from their office somewhere up north.

This week they spent a lot of members hard raised cash by sending out glossy leaflets to target voter telling them all the reasons why they should vote Labour in the Local Government Elections on Thursday May 5th 2011.

And where did they send them?

Phippsville of course, one of the several seats where they have failed to stand a candidate.

What was it about fools and their money? And which of the named candidates elsewhere will this election expense be placed against?


Thursday's online Chron debate on Sixfields had me chuckling as the big three out bid themselves as to how quickly they would meet the Cobblers and the Saints after they took power after the election
"Within 50 days of taking office" said Labour Leader Lee Mason totally forgetting that she had told the Chron that the party were aiming for 15 seats of the 31 contested by the Party out of 45 vacancies. Hmmm problem there Lee, If your aiming for 15 and you need at least 23 for a majority (almost impossible out of 31 candidates) then your not going to take office are you?

"The week after the Vote" said David Palethorpe trumping Labour

"We have already met them lots of times" Said Brian Hoare on behalf of the Lib Dem's (well a lot of good that did)

I met with someone from the Saints last weekend he added getting ahead of himself

"Monday 9th of May said David Palethorpe", the first working day after the vote

"The day after the election we will be on the phone to organise a meeting with the Saints and the Cobblers" said Lee Mason for Labour still forgetting that difficulty of forming an administration on the 15 seats she hopes to win.

The oneupmanship on who could meet who first was only marginally beaten in the humour stakes though by the often off topic and nauseating one sentence platitudes posted by all three leaders. My favourites in order were:

1) Lee Mason (Lab): "Northampton Labour supports bigger sports stadiums."

2) Brian Hoare (Lib Dem)"Don't take any notice of the vote on the screen it is easily manipulated."
after his party was reduced to 8% in voting intention

3) Lee Mason (Lab) "Good luck to the Saints / Cobblers in their next match"

4) David Palethorpe (Con) "Pete - you mention parking in the town centre, that's why Conservatives would introduce the first hour of free parking in Borough Council car parks" er.... slightly off topic David

5) Lee Mason (Lab) "Sue, My view is the same as yours in that we should have had IKEA here in Northampton"securing the shopping vote

As to what each of the Parties would actually do rather than meet and hold more talks? Well that bit was as expected missing, and despite a couple of questions to them offering cross party support and a few solutions they as usual stayed silent and pretended the Independents who posted on the site were not really there!

It was like being back in the Council chamber!


Whilst out campaigning in Scholars Court, myself and Malcolm couldn't resist knocking the door of one local resident called "Eric Pickles"

Was it the man himself? Eric got himself in hot water once before with a live Question Time audience over the need for his "second home " to be paid for from his parliamentary allowances.

We wondered if we had found a third?

Unfortunately for all. the big man, if it was indeed him, was not at home.
But we may call back.


As the risograph printer in my back room goes into hyperdrive with Independent candidates all printing off their own leaflets to save cash and the environment (it uses vegetable soya ink) News reaches me of an upset in the Castle Ward Labour camp about how useless the material is being sent down to them from the Nottingham Office!

They are very poor, in fact pretty pointless, but then what should they expect from someone sitting behind a computer 60 miles away who has probably never been to the ward? 

The imprint is also interesting:
Printed by Grafton, 23 Upper Prior Street Northampton NN1 2PT, Published and Promoted by George Carr - Williamson on behalf of Mohammed Aziz; Danielle Stone and Winston Strachan, all of 23 Barrett Lane, Attenborough, Nottingham, NG9 6AD.

So apart from us not knowing who Grafton is? and there being no such place as Upper Prior Street, it also seems as if the three candidates rather than being c/o the regional office all seemed to have moved there!

In despair I now understand that my old mate Winston Strachan has decided enough is enough and he has produced his own leaflet, to counter the East Midlands Offices punt attempts?

I haven't seen one yet, but I will keep my eyes peeled.


  1. Norman Adams

    Local paper sets the agenda like Chron debate on Sixfields

    I note that the issue of the day on Monday is parking

    Monday April 18: Parking.

    · Very tempted to reopen ‘Astragate’

  2. smell the roses17 April 2011 at 09:14

    What about the eventing course on Delapre that was never reinstated by Ron Maydon of Jack Barkers, contrary to planning requirements? The town lost another annual and prestigious event because of this 'oversight' The conservatives were then in power but it was all conveniently SWEPT under the carpet while the Varnsverry duo pontificated about the little portion of untested soil near the entrance to Delapre. All the real 'crap' is near the rookery and in the driving range. Glynane stood by as thousands of cubic metres of 'inert' whatever was used to build the banking around the driving range and then attempted to claim credit for reducing the amount of rubbish that was dumped around the perimeter of the golf course in the name of security. This bunch of Liberal Democrat inepts have allowed Maydon to Lord it over Delapre since they were elected.
    One of these days in the not too distant future, he will relinquish the lease and leave them all in the proverbial 'S..T'.
    Mark these words.

  3. Norman Adams
    Tony points out the following:
    Printed by Grafton, 23 Upper Prior Street Northampton NN1 2PT, Published and Promoted by George Carr - Williamson on behalf of Mohammed Aziz; Danielle Stone and Winston Strachan, all of 23 Barrett Lane, Attenborough, Nottingham, NG9 6AD.

    The one for Delapre & Briar Hill reads as follows:

    Printed and Promoted by EMLP, 23 Barratt Lane,Attenborough, Nottingham, NG9 6AD. Promoted by G Carr-Williamson on behalf of Northampton Borough Labour Candidates, all at 23 Barratt Lane, Attenborough, Nottingham, NG9 6AD.

    Would seem that Northampton Labour as moved to Attenborough? WITH LUCK

  4. It didnt take long did it - local elections on the horizon, chances to change the voting system for the first time in a long time and the Independents are still obsessed with ... East Midlands Labour Party!

    Come on now, that dog died a long time ago and Tony it only makes you a hypocrit as in this blog and elsewhere you talk quite rightly about 'old' politics and how you offer something new? News from 'inside Castle Ward Labour Party' isnt really fundamental to the campaign is it?

  5. IndepenDENSE, If that dog died a long time ago then why is the whole of Northamptons Labour Party's campaign beingbrun from Attenborough?

    Why is the local party (Northampton South Constituency, not jusy Castle Ward) still suspended?

    And how did they manage to not contest 14 seats in the town including many which they would have had a good chance in?

    I don't know I get criticism for being too national and now too local?

    The interesting thing about imprints on leaflets though is that at the last Borough election some kind soul from the Labour Party reported me for missing an imprint on a leaflet and insisted with plod that I be questioned under the Election offences legislation!

    It is only by exposing the ways of ''old' politics that be can begin to build the new

    I am sorry but this is a valid local election story,

  6. Labour Canvasser; "Hello there, I'm here on behalf of the Labour Party. Can we count on your vote here in Northampton?"

    Elector; "Well I am concerned about the market square, I do worry about the future council housing and our parks are not being looked after but do you know what, since I learnt that your campaign is being run in Attenborough I just can't bring myself to vote for you."

    Labour Canvasser: "Well the most important thing is policy and ....."

    Elector: "to add to that your local party is suspended and quite frankly the geographic production of a leaflet and whether 6 or so of you meet every month will destroy this town."

    Labour Canvasser: "we have a manifesto ......"

    Elector: "No sorry. I will only vote for a locally produced leaflet and someone who can promise me a meeting of your party members every month."

    Labour Canvasser: "sorry"

    Elector: "That's okay - now talk to me about Libya and what the Guildhall can do about that ...."

  7. indepenDENSE, Have you been eavesdropping on our canvassing?

    Its just that a lot of your satire has a sad ring of truth to it!

    Although what they usually say in Castle Ward is along the lines of

    "The Lib Dems are a Joke at the Town Hall, I have never voted Tory and never will, and the Local Labour Party are too busy fighting each other at the minute and are not fit for office"

    The real issue is that the Labour Party having only fielded 31 candidates and still not entrusted to run their own affairs by the Party are a shadow of their former self, but will still win more seats on May 5th, not because of the Market Square, or local Housing policy but simply because they are now the official (only) opposition at Westminster

    I also do believe using local printers is an important election issue, Councillors wax lyrical enough about protecting the local economy that it would be nice if they practised what they preached.

    Anyway the point is that the story is an election short, of interest to some and obviously not to all.

  8. I'm just not convinced that single mums at the top of flats in Spring Boroughs or OAPs in Semilong care about where a leaflet is printed or would know that the Labour Party is apparently 'fighting itself' but I am not out there knocking so don't know.

    What I do know is that when it comes to local issues most poeple are switched off if we judge it by turn out.

  9. IndepenDENSE, People understandably start with the local and then broaden their interest

    The top issues of course are Housing, Litter, Anti Social Behaviour, Flytipping, Parking i.e. things that immediately effect the environment people live in

    Then People talk about town wide issues i.e. Market Square, Sixfields/Franklins, the cuts to services etc.

    Some do engage in national political issues and some international, people have views and are eager to share them with people who are interested.

    I probably get more Labour Party woe stories than most because people in Castle Ward understand what happened 4 years ago and it still cuts with them.

    It really is a mixed bag and never as simple as just concentrating on the election in front of you.

  10. it's a curious fact of local political life that most people really don't much bother about local issues and indeed are generally unaware of what council does what-until of course something impinges on their life.
    If indepenDENSE ever attends local residents meetings he/she will know that they are only well attended when there is a burning local issue.
    But then its also true to say that most people really aren't all that interested in national politics either and take a set of thoughts from the popular media or conventional prejudices.
    When the 'issue of travellers'was a big story locally,everyone and his dog had a strong opinion-now? maybe everyone has become an instant expert on the burkha !
    Political thought and action is still a minority sport in this country,look next week at the millions who will watch the marriage of Mr and Mrs Wales eldest lad, and never reflect on the 6% who own 70% of the land.
    Such a lot to do, and so little time to do it!

  11. Two things IndepenDENSE and Tony...

    Can we not get back to the important stuff?
    Like stopping the Tories gaining from all parties?

    It is them (and if you two wish us Lib Dems) that you need to worry about.

    Labour have 15 out of 45 seats, even if they by some bizarre twist of fate win all of them (they won't, and you BOTH know that) they will still need a further 10 plus seats that support them to form the administration.

    I don't think we will be forming that with them. So that leaves you Tony and the other independents/groups and the Tories.

    My other point, and I hope IndepenDENSE won't mind me assuming here; but I think their point is ~ can you not just drop the Labour thing Tony?

    I know it must be hard for you and I know you still have a socialist heart etc. but let it go mate. Let them emploade (spelling again)You will be the one left standing, and you will be the better man...

    Or... they will make a huge come back and beat everyone standing in their way. You will be welcomed back with open arms, and we will have another 20 years of Labour rule ~ which they might get right this time!

    Either way, you are better than this my friend.

  12. Nicky, The Labour Party are standing in 31 seats and hope to win 15. They currently have 5.

    My estimate is that they will get around 12

  13. Fine...

    But you are worrying about the wrong ones mate.

    It's not Labour you have to worry about, it is (and will always be) the Tories!!!

    They run the County, if they gain the borough we all might as well all leave now!

    Come 5th May, can the last person to leave Northampton please turn the lights and heating off?




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