Sunday, 2 September 2012


Regular readers of this blog, and those I socialise with would acknowledge I hope, that I am very "up front" with my views and opinions and rarely if ever do I feel the need to hold back on the truth or water down my true feelings.  And those who have been here on this blog from the start will also know that I have had in recent years an ongoing love hate relationship with the Labour Party. To catch up on how it all began just click here

The Labour Party is of course a number of different entities these days National, Regional and Local and it wouldn't surprise many that individual members at National and Local level who we're my friends pre expulsion remain my friends to this day. I intend this week to go down to Parliament to meet up with old acquaintances,  Others however within the party treat me post 2007 with a mixture of either unnecessary fear and/or unexplainable indifference. I have become the family member who left home under a cloud and who nobody now is allowed to mention! I sometimes wonder, can I really after all be that bad a person? I am not "anti" Labour in any way, I actually believe that Andy Sawford will be a very good MP for Corby and I wish him well in his election campaign, if his values are anything like his fathers then Corby and the Labour Party have everything to gain. Equally Sally Keebles reselection as Candidate for Northampton North leaves me cold and asking "Will they never learn?"

Anyhow despite the views of others and much I am sure to the annoyance of some local members I have now decided to come clean on the recent events and attempts to woo me back to into the fold and to rejoin the party I left 5 years ago, and I will also try to explain to you all how difficult a decision it has been to make, being asked to put all the past to one side in exchange for a "lets move on" reconciliation.

Being expelled from the Labour Party in 2007 hurt me very deeply, I had given over twenty years to the movement and I represented them at all levels all the way up to Westminster, so to be treated in such a crass and unfair fashion by the very people you considered to be on your side, and seeing people you considered to be friends reluctant to stand by you in case they themselves were targeted left some very deep and open wounds. Of course the expulsions didn't just end with yours truly, they extended beyond any sensible trawl for supposed trouble makers and led to many good innocent people being wrongly judged and punished. Indeed whenever asked about rejoining I have always made it clear that if I ever said yes then those expelled would walk back in together rather than special favours been offered to individuals.

For the record my expulsion was automatic, having stood as an Independent candidate in the Borough Council elections in 2007, but that decision was only taken after the party had lied, cheated, abused it's own rules and accused good people of wrongful intent. And it is also worth remembering that when the Labour Party instructed me not to submit my nomination papers as a Labour candidate on the nomination day for the Borough Council elections, that I was a fully endorsed candidate, one of three fully endorsed candidates for two seats in Castle Ward for that election!

On three occasions now since 2007 I have been asked to rejoin the party in 2009, 2010 and most recently in December 2011. On each occasion I have listened to the reasoned arguments and tried to apply logic to any given answer.  I still remain after all the same political animal I have always been, independently minded but always of the left, and always mindful of the advantages and disadvantages of collective action, combined strength and cooperative engagement.

But now I still find myself in a period of indifference towards not just a party but towards a whole political system I find myself unable to make a final decision which I am comfortable with owning, so I am doing what I always do, taking council, asking for views, trying to explain my dilemma and then using the exercise to help form a decision.

But to offer advice, you the readers of this blog will need to know exactly what has been occurring, and also to understand my thinking, to understand what I feel is still wrong within the party and also share my discomfort that it's issues are still left undealt with,  after all it is easy to make a flash judgement which could then have a heavy cost for many people if not thought through fully, why bother rejoining if I find myself expelled again with weeks by saying something others think is best left unsaid?

The case made for my rejoining is made mostly but not exclusively in Castle Ward by normal electors and party members alike who tell me that they want me to continue as their Cllr,  they care not if I am Independent or Labour, both suit them, they say that with the vote being split between Labour and Independent that they risk losing my input unnecessarily. They believe that at a time of real need in the area that we need strong representatives who will bury past differences to collectively fight against continued cut backs and attacks on the vulnerable, their case is a compelling one.

In the opposite corner are those from a much wider base than just Castle Ward who have completely lost all faith with the political system and judge all party's to be as one, and as bad as each other, they wish me to contine to carry a torch for Independence and in doing so help lead the way to a different political future altogether. Again all well considered and intelligent expressions, after all membership of political parties and trust in the same is now at an all time low

The third factor, if I am allowed' is a personal one, do I really want back in? And at what cost to my reputation? If I went back in to fight the battle from the inside how long would I last? And what would I do about all of those open faultlines laying within, I couldn't bite my tongue and to be a member of an orginasition in which you knew wrongdoing was present but didn't act, that would be totally immoral. So what are the facts and how do we separate the individual from the plural? How do we encourage those inside to help with any subsequent cleansing and just what is my best individual course of action? 

After all doing absolutely nothing and sitting back and taking a rest from the whole cabana is an equally if not far more attractive alternative option.

So in this and a couple of other posts I will outline all the facts, warts and all as usual, and let you have your say, I will tell you things you never knew, draw venom from those who would prefer everything kept swept under an ever growing hump under the red carpet, and then I will make a decision.

So to start, and to set tongues wagging, I should reveal that the latest invitation to rejoin the party came as recently as December 2011 came via the County Council Labour Group who amazingly offered me instant party membership (meaning a guaranteed lifting of my then still in place expulsion) if I would consider being the Party's candidate for the forthcoming Police Commissionaire elections. A high prize indeed, but not necessarily an attractive one, and I also couldn't help draw a comparison with my reasons for expulsion (The Party fixing candidate selections in their favour) and my invite back (The Party fixing a candidate selection in my favour!) Will they never learn? Of course they are not alone, all three party's play the same game, open selection where it suits them, or a fixed coronation of the favoured son/daughter when it is more useful to their cause.

Needless to say the invite was not accepted and I was pleased to note that an open selection did indeed thereafter take place and a candidate was chosen fairly. The other irony being that if I had said yes I would have had to then withdraw Simon Weston style due to a conviction during my misspent youth, I can stand for Parliament, become an MP, and of course serve as a Police Officer for 4 and a half years in the Special Constabulary, but the crazy rules on this election bar all but those who are squeaky squeaky clean. 

But even after this prize had been offered and rejected the opportunity to rejoin the party still remained, and it was a tempting one in part because the County Council Labour Group are a thoroughly decent group of people, they are as a party group well organised, and well disciplined, they campaign effectively and more than hold their own in full Council meetings, they seem to work hard both collectively and in their respective divisions, they are also as individuals very nice people. No my problem doesn't lie with the County Labour group. it lies elsewhere, not too far away in fact just a few yards over the road at the Town Hall.

You see I have always been a "Borough" man, when elected to the County in 2009 BBC Northampton asked me what my hopes were for the 4 year term ahead and I replied "I hope the County Council gets abolished" I still feel the same way, our two tier system of local government in Northampton serves none of us well, apart from of course the Tories, who will if they get their way turn into a three tier system propped up by Parish Councils across the town providing services only to those who can afford them. To me a Unitary Northampton Council has always been the end game and any future Unitary Council will need strong local representatives to lead it, and that is where I see the labour Party failing at present.

In fact is is not just failing, it is irrelevant, and it is in my opinion corrupt, all the fault lines are there for all to see and all of the complaints and attempts to challenge any wrongdoing have been ignored, and for me or for that matter anyone else to wanting to join or rejoin the Labour Party in Northampton we would need to be assured that these underlying faults are being addressed before we put our names on any membership list.
Some good new Councillors were elected to the group in 2011 (others not so good) but the old guard are still holding sway and I am sure I am the last person in the world who they would want to walk back in. Sometimes you have to shake the tree if you are to allow new fruit to bud, sometimes you have to clear out the old in order to make room for the new. And sometimes you need to do nothing more than be prepared to tell the truth in order to start the cleansing.

And so in my next three posts, I will tell you of three separate incidents.  I will fairly explore the internal allegations made regarding three of Northampton Borough Labour Cllrs, one who we are told lied to a court and also committed what the judge concluded to be a forgery, one who allegedly feels that the cost of political support equates to sexual favours in return, and a third who we are understand thinks that it is perfectly reasonable to use their Council position to bolster their own private income. I will be fair to all of them and stay firmly within the law,  I will stick to facts and not rely on simply here say, I will not judge them, others in some cases already have done, but I will only reveal what has already been revealed both to me and to the party's whips and then leave others to question why in some cases no action has been taken, and in others why the victims rather than the perpetrators feel that they have been punished rather than the alleged wrongdoers,  I will also, for now refrain from naming any of them.

It was Groucho Marx who most famously said "I would not join any club that would have someone like me for a member" For me it is more of question of not wanting to be member of any party who preaches equality fairness and justice whilst presiding over an internal executive system which denies all three to its own members who have made complaints. And of course let no one think that the Labour Party are alone in Northamptonshire in buying ever more wardrobes to host an ever growing clutter of skeletons!

As always your comments will be very much welcomed.


  1. You can be such a teaser, BUT why not…. I THINK we will have three Councillors sitting at home touching cloth ( sounds nicer than sh*ting themselves )

    In respect of the :
    And so in my next three posts, I will tell you of three separate incidents. I will fairly explore the internal allegations made regarding three of Northampton Borough Labour Cllrs, one who we are told lied to a court and also committed what the judge concluded to be a forgery, one who allegedly feels that the cost of political support equates to sexual favours in return, and a third who we are understand thinks that it is perfectly reasonable to use their Council position to bolster their own private income.

  2. Now I am very intrigued, I cannot wait to read more. Get typing Tony :~)

    I cannot offer you much of an opinion on your dilemma whether to rejoin Labour or not. I am not at all impressed with any of the three major parties and that‘s putting it mildly! Contrary to what some may believe, none would get my vote right now. Some cross party individuals make more sense and sing from the same sheet as me, but there is always a party line to be towed by them, and that is where they fall down! That is politics I guess, so good luck with that one. Would not ask anybody to do something I would not do myself…..but if you could sort the wheat from the chaff, so to speak….I may have a rethink!

    When is the next instalment?

  3. Tony, i for one wont be wishing yet another Party "keep it in the family" Labour candidate, didnt Sawford senior being consistent vote Strongly against the Iraq War and then vote Very Strongly against an ivestigation into the Iraq War, the fact that 75% of Labours P&CC,s were unopposed, adds to the cliquieism and elitism of Labour like the other two Tory Parties, what next the sprogs from the Tory in the Red Coat, being "selected" . i must say i am "slightly" [ lol] interested in these "alleged" [due to legal reasons haha] Lab Cllrs, excellent blog.

  4. Tony, You know my views well, after forty years living in Spring Boroughs and thirty years a ward councillor I think more than ever what the folk round here need is strong and effective representation,and consistency.
    In all my wildest dreams I never thought I would agree with Kinnock but now more than ever a 'battered shield' is better than no shield.
    however the real dilemma is the lack of a compass-moral or otherwise displayed by the Labour Party at thye moment.
    There are some fine people left in that party,some are even socialists,but time and time again their silence is breathtaking.
    As an opposition on the Borough they really seem unable to oppose their way out of a paper bag!
    Their slogans consist of 'listening to the people'-How much listening do they need to do.Being in opposition is not about bloody listening but speaking out clearly and loudly on behalf of the people they represent.
    An excellent example amongst the many is their silence over the abomination of the fountain in the Market Square.have any of them an opinion?
    Bob Dylan once said the people need leaders 'but get gamblers instead'We haven't even got gamblers,we have timid shadows afraid to ever get involved in discussing ideas or exploring alternatives.
    It would be interesting but almost certainly unlikely if any of them ventured into public debate on this website.
    Why we might even persuade some one to use the word socialism!
    Of course maybe they're all out listening......

  5. Tony as someone who left the Labour Party in 2007 before expulsion for precisely the same reasons as you did probably I admire your candour and honesty and also despise the duplicity of the Labour Movement since the Balirites gained control of our party.

    A trade unionist for over 20 years I feel strongly that Labour was always a party of the people, defending what is right and just and being a voice for those who cannot take action.

    Although never being put forward for candidature I was always a grass roots activist and desperately wanted those in need to be heard and supported.

    We need in government at every level, those who are prepared to work for the electorate, to go against the whips and the party line where it is not in the interest of those who vote for you.

    When I look nationally I see disappointment and self serving and locally having only just moved into the area 10 months ago I see a Tory party that instils everything I hate about politics, power and selfishness.

    I for one believe that people of good character and care for the electorate should stand irrespective of party backing. Several of my friends from Plymouth have rejoined the party in a an attempt to claim it back. it is a long road and most of them decided it was better to fight form the inside than the outside, focus on local issues and election to restore the working classes' faith in Labour and hopefully see the good that is being done, so this will filter to the top.

    I wish you well in all your endeavours



  6. Isn't it time just to move on Tony? Mark 'bullsh@t' Bullock asking you to re-join is hardly a ground swell of support. The polls are looking better, the ConDem Government is struggling, members across Labour in the county are working hard in Corby. It feels like you need the party more than it needs you - but I am willing to listen. Just why would Labour ask you to rejoin?


    1. Party Insider, the polls eh? i remember when Thatcher trailed over 20 points in the polls and we all know what happened, have a look at the William Hill betting and you will be closer to reality. Labour spent 13 years in power outdoing the Tories, and the Tories along with their LibDem chimps are carrying on the brutal legacy of Labour,and im thinking in particular of Welfare Reform, and their "compassionate" contracts to the likes of ATOS, SERCO, etc If Labour hasnt wakened up to the fact its a party hijacked by the privileged, careerist elitist then it will continue to lose more then the 5m+ natural Labour supporters its lost since 97, Keeble making a contribution of 16,000, and if Labour thinks i am going to vote for that Tory in the Red Coat they definitely have lost the plot, she recently had none other than "High - Flyer" and shadow Secretary to the Treasurry no less,RACHAEL REEVES m.p, on a "walkabout" Rachael of course is carrying on Labours Work Programs by having 6 unpaid interns [now can a poor person afford to be an unpaid intern? And why should they been unpaid in the first instance?] its Vote Labour get a Tory.

  7. Tony I used to sit up all night waiting for the results of elections and wishing the Labour Party well but I became disillusioned locally about 14 years ago when the Labour administration hung a really good Town Hall Keeper out to dry for political reasons, they then paid him a sum of money because of their unfair actions on condition that he kept his mouth shut.When this was mentioned in the Chron they slated him publically and of course he could not answer back. If there are still members of that administration around I hope they are ashamed of themselves

  8. In that case Tish let's get Tony back in the fold without hesitation. Seeing Labour bring in the national minimum wage, reach a record low for kids in poverty and peace to Northern Ireland was ok but letting down that town hall keeper put it all in perspective. No wonder the electorate chose the ConDem Government.

    1. excuse me the the "minimum wage" you mean the "poverty wage" whereby working families have to visit over-stretched Food Banks to feed their families, put the M.P,s on a minimum wage, on second thoughts better not, they would be on the expenses scandal again, now lets see Labours shadow [ a wide one cast]DPM and hubby, then there is Balls, Cooper, Jowell etc all the Head Honcho cheats, and child poverty INCREASED under labour, get your facts right..Keeble told a group of mums that that bollocks at the Blackthorn Community Centre and how future Governments were "locked in" to decreasing it, the mums had fits of mirth and anger equally at the same time, and the voters did NOT choose or vote for a coalition..

  9. Labour insider, you miss the point by several yards...or miles and I am confused why as a party member you are attacking a Labour County Cllr (Mark Bullock)? I was asked to rejoin by many including the leader of the County Group and several MP's in Westminster, not just Cllr Bullock, but now Labour do not have to ask me as my period of expulsion ran out in May 2012. Tish's point is critical to the party ever being trusted again, local party's do not make decisions on the minimum wage or peace in Northern Ireland, but they should ensure equality and fairness at a local level, issues such as sacking a Town Hall Keeper unfairly therefore are important as are opposing cuts to local services as is whether or not the party is willing to simply cover up for its own failings and misgivings let alone the actions of some of its elected members. These are the issues that effect local people like Tish who want a Labour Party fit for purpose, what I want to know as part of making up my mind on membership, what's the point in me rejoining if they expect me to stay quiet on such issues?

  10. teddy mcnabb you need to calm down sir. You are wrong - child poverty did go down under Labour and I am sorry you oppose the NMW. Do name me another Labour Government in UK history that introduced a higher NMW and I'll stand silent on this issue.

    Tony - not a party member and even if I was you would struggle to find one that doesn't agree with me on Mark. Leader of the County Group? Big wigs calling for you now then. My understanding is that you still have to apply and it still has to be accepted. Do you seriously think it would be?

    I don't think any party (even those that would want you sir) would have a problem with you raising issues about town hall keepers. I think they just wouldn't see it as that important to people like .... the mums that Teddy talks about in his posts.

  11. Tish,
    I was Leader when a Town-Hall keeper was sacked,and to be absolutely clear it was not for political reasons, indeed it had little or nothing to do with the local politicians,but was as I remember an issue with his management.During my time in administration we were only ever directly involved when it was Directors of Service jobs, and in line with an election promise that we made,we reduced the senior management team by two posts!
    The big issue remains that in these troubled times the Labour Party nationally and locally needs to give leadership-that means listening by all means but then articulating a vision for the future.
    One of the great strengths of the partyt used to be the robust debate of ideas that used to take place,nationally at conference and locally every month at Charles Street.
    Wards and unions used to submit resolutions, that were debated and argued about all evening, and policy was hammered out.
    In those far off days policy was created by the District party and implemented where possible by the group on Council, who were answerable every month to the District party delegates.
    that sense of exploring ideas appears to have vanished, how sad for instance that the only place left to explore ideas is places like this web site,and yet no labour Party member or Councillor is prepared to speak,or even use their own name in public debate.
    What's up comrades? Cat got your tongues.Its a sad day when the only Councillor prepared to use the blog is the former Leader of the Tory group!And even he does not allow for debate!

    1. John Dickie If it was for the reason you give why was there a large pay out to him and a keep your mouth shut clause? I was actually in attendance at the meeting that night and was disgusted at the attitude and unfairness of it all. The man's future was being discussed meanwhile Councillors were chatting among themselves and catching up with letter writing, a more ignorant bunch of people you would not wish to meet. Too full of their own importance and taking management's side against a committed employee who was a better man than all the Councillors put together

    2. tish,
      I'm beginning to wonder if we are talking about the same guy.There was a Town Hall keeper many years ago who was sacked for misconduct with other employees-I was unaware that case was ever discussed at a Personnel Sub Committee by elected members.Indeed for some years I was on that sub committee and we never discussed individual cases.Perhaps your talking about an appeals committee?If you want to enlighten me further you can e-mail me at It would be a shame if you damn a whole decade of sometimes some quite progressive initiatives for an incident so described.

  12. Thanks John, this blog has always been open and always will be. Tell me this Labour insider, the three cases I raise above are well known about, so why has no action been taken? Do you defend the individuals actions? and do you think it is right to allow them to continue in the party when good members have been expelled for little or no reason? and if you are not a member then could you be a member of a party which acted in such a way? I also think your comments re Mark Bullock are unnecessary, here is a Cllr who has done nothing wrong and you ridicule him? what about others?

  13. Party Insider I am not going to dissect everything you’ve said, but “Isn't it time just to move on Tony?” No, the electorate deserve to know the truth particularly if those in question still hold their positions and call the shots!

  14. Tony You are quite right to state that issues of trust are fundamental to the election hopes. I would not trust Sally Keeble as far as I could throw her, If she is an example of the calibre of candidate we can expect from Labour then God help us all. My worry is that folk will be so sick of the status quo that they will give her another chance, I am looking forward to her having an open meeting when I will take great pleasure in asking her opinion of The Telegraph website's take on her expenses. I am not interested in the answer that she was first to publish her expenses! what I am interested in is DID she claim for a new boiler, new windows etc? if the info is wrong I expect her to sue the Telegraph

  15. Apologies to butt into the 'big issue' of 'who did what and who too at the Guildhall' over the Town Hall Keepers but reading back your blog Tony I can't work out what the 'big three cases' you refer to are?

    Incidently Mr Dickie I agree with you that during your tenure at the Guildhall a good many things were acheived. If some members had shown some b@lls (including many on the Labour benches) over RTI, Millenium Bridge, LifeSpace and Ikea I have no doubt that the town today would be a different abd better place.

    Anyway - back to the 'Tony Clarke Three'......

    1. Party Insider. I am tempted to ignore your sarcasm about the issue I raised with JD but you still don't get it do you?The reason grass roots members have deserted Labour in droves is that they lost the moral compass years ago and are no better than the LibDems or Tories.I have it on good authority that brown envelopes were regularly given to a well known Labourite by a local builder for LA contracts over a long period some years ago. And now we are saddled with a failed ex MP as a candidate and the ones who want Labour to get the seat back are disenfranchised. Be honest today's Shadow Cabinet have no idea of real life and have never had a proper job. Not for nothing does Private Eye call your leader Mr Millibean!

  16. Insider, as per my blog

    " I will fairly explore the internal allegations made regarding three of Northampton Borough Labour Cllrs, one who we are told lied to a court and also committed what the judge concluded to be a forgery, one who allegedly feels that the cost of political support equates to sexual favours in return, and a third who we are understand thinks that it is perfectly reasonable to use their Council position to bolster their own private income. I will be fair to all of them and stay firmly within the law, I will stick to facts and not rely on simply here say, I will not judge them, others in some cases already have done, but I will only reveal what has already been revealed both to me and to the party's whips and then leave others to question why in some cases no action has been taken, and in others why the victims rather than the perpetrators feel that they have been punished rather than the alleged wrongdoers, I will also, for now refrain from naming any of them"

    My question is these cases are all known to the Labour Group, so my question to you was what is your view and why do you think that no action has been taken against these individuals?

  17. Party Insider Labour pledged to halve child poverty, it reduced the numbers in its first two terms to 2.7m and increased it in their 3rd term to 2.9m , a pledge from Labour is the same as a pledge from the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, worthless.

  18. Tish - I am afraid 'I have it on good authority' just doesn't cut it. I have been involved in the Labour movement in Northampton for years and that old chestnut about planners and brown envelopes has been doing the rounds since year dot. If its true (and by that I mean you can prove it) then take it to the Police.

    Anon - what were the child poverty figures when Labour took office in 1997 and what were they when they left office in 2010?

    Tony - I'm not sure where I can take that. I do think you have to have a 'people in glass houses' approach a little to this. If I recall a member of your staff broke the law and went to prison. Whether you think justice or not was done a court made a decision so tread carefully on this one.

    How can you 'fairly explore' it when you can't/won't share the facts (only your views) and won't give any names? If someone lied in court you have a duty to report it to the Police with the evidence for a purgery prosecution. If sexual favours were given and you feel that strongly about it, again lets have the name (not sure about too many details!)as if you are confident about your claim the person won't have any comeback.

    If you dont do any of the above you are taking part in what so many other criticise politicians for - idle gossip.

    1. Party insider, lets have YOUR name then and I will publish mine if you do. You are asking for names so lets have it! I would love to take this to the police as I have the names of both parties and believe the source but as you say proof is the thing isn't it? for example I think Tony Blair and his cronies both male and female were lying toe-rags who would say and do anything to get their ideas passed no matter how many people were killed in illegal wars but could I prove it in a court of law? no! but if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck its probably a duck! Desmond Tutu refused to share a platform with Blair and he was speaking for free. Was Blair? Not in a million years. Socialists? don't make me laugh!

  19. Tish, I have to agree with Party Insider, the story about the Labour Councillor,the dodgy developer and the corrupt planning officer has been around in some form or another since I was first elected in 1973.There was also the usual obligatory reference to the Masons, the rolled up trouser and the funny handshake.
    Many years ago I wanted the Council to make a £1 donation to the Masonic Charity to see who would declare an interest!
    Strangely that suggestion was described by fellow members of the Labour group as flippant and unworthy.....
    I am familiar with TC's complaints and evidence, but then so is the former Group Whip and now Leader-Terry Wire.What has he to say?Can he give his members a clean bill of health and will he say so on this blog?
    Or maybe he will think them as flippant and unworthy....

    The great strength of the Labour Party that I joined was that it had a set of values that set it apart from the other bourgeois parties.Now I always accepted that at best it was a Social Democratic Party,but at least it had a common purpose and had a sort of ideology that encompassed socialism in its broadest sense.
    Now it seems that its only purpose is to get people elected,that now its whole purpose is to be an electoral machine.But why?
    Of course we will get some like Insider talk about 'being better than nothing',but didn't the scandals of MP's on the take reveal the shallowness of those claims?Could you spot the difference?
    This blog is required reading of almost all labour Councillors plus the stooges at Regional Office.
    During the difficult political times in the 70's and 80's there were Party members who were willing to be the public face of the Party and speak out.
    Why are the current local councillors so shy of engaging in public debate?Why do they hide behind pen names?
    There is an irony that the only Labour Councillor in Northampton willing to engage in any sort of discussion on the web is the former Tory leader.
    Why so coy comrades,why?
    Oh and Tish, I gave you my e-mail address so that you could tell me more about the Hall Keepers case-you gone all coy too?

  20. Tish you make me laugh - that 'proof' thing really isn't helpful is it in modern democracy. Always getting in the way of justice. If you have both names then I think you should go to the Police. Let them investigate and if not evidence of wrong doing then you can sleep well at night.

    Let's not share real names - it will only get in the way of open discussion and debate. If you send me your address I am happy to send you Tony Blair's autobiography. You might not enjoy it but it will be change from the Socialist Worker stuff you must be reading.

    If I'd have been on the Council John I would have supported you on your freemason motion. That would have smoked them out! I also smiled at your comment about the modern Labour party just 'wanting to get people elected' - seriously? The problem with democracy is that you need to be in power to change things. Decades of opposition and motions at the Party Conference make for good folklore but does very little to help those in need.

    Come on Tish - drop John an email.

    1. PartyInsider Have you had too much sun today!? I never mentioned the Freemasons or the Labour Party "just wanting to get people elected" Thanks for the offer of Tony Blair's book but the charity shops are full of them and another copy would only line his pockets more! I absolutely promise I have never read The Socialist Worker in my life. I am just an ex labour supporter who is totally disillusioned by their bullyboy tactics. Over and out, have a nice night and do calm down

    2. partyinsider
      My apologies for assuming all your comments were aimed at me just because my name was on the header! I stand by the rest. As for your last line I don't think Johm Dickie needs your help, I would certainly do as he asked but I am too polite to do so without the consent of the man concerned. That in case you don't know is called good manners

  21. ps I think that everytime someone on this site mentions 'region' when blogging about Labour they should be struck off from contributing for 10 days.

  22. Tony
    Meanwhile back on topic. I can understand your dilemma. As a well respected but Independent NCC Councillor I guess your chances of changing policy are pretty slim unless the Independents get a lot more seats. However you are able to let the public know more of what is going on than ever happened previously and it is appreciated. At least you are on the inside now. I think Labour will continue to get stuffed at the polls until they learn from past mistakes, in the meantime the Tories may be slowed down a bit following the LibDems decision not to support boundary changes and they may not get a full majority for a few years by which time there will be nothing left to save

  23. I complained to councillor Terry Wire about the poor performance of a Labour councillor in our neighbourhood. We never see them at the resident association nor they answer calls from residents. On three separate occasions I contacted Terry Wire about this inadequate Labour councillor and on all occasions he did nothing about it. Terry Wire, in my view, has proven to be a useless Labour Leader and that David Mackintosh is running rings around him. Not surprised at all to hear Tony Clarke has other examples when complaints have been ignored.

  24. I'm with Tish - let's get back on topic. 'Labour continue to get stuffed at the polls'? At the last election in Northampton Labour gained seats across the town (interestingly the independents didn't). I don't think you can criticise a Leader Anon just because he didn't get back to you. The wonderful thing about democracy is that if you don't like your Cllr or you think they are not doing a good job then you can vote against them next time. What about the child poverty figures?

    1. Anon
      I am afraid this is par for the course, we have a Tory Councillor who is just the same, The trouble is they are so plausable when they want your vote.Terry Wire as party leader should listen to your concerns but hey ho it's not going to happen is it?

      Party Insider
      What about Blair filling his boots and building up a portfolio of homes? What about SK and the expenses? What about the inept and risible Mr Millibean who stepped over his own brother to get power.
      I think you said you are not a party member? What is with your nom de plume then and why do you feel the need to be an apologist for the whole sorry lot of them?

  25. tish tish tish - sorry if you feel I am an apologist just because I dont agree with you. I don't think Labour get it right always of course they dont. Like all big membership led groups there is no way everyone will be happy all the time and decisions will be made that will upset some members. Tony Clarke wasn't the first member of a political party to leave because of how he felt and he wont be the last.

    You're Tony Blair comments are a little Daily Mail led if you dont mind me saying. If the former PM is in demand across the world and is making money from it I say good luck to him. Surely we are not against profit are we?

    Love your comment on Millibean stepping over his brother. Good to hear that you are a David M fan but whats your point? Don't stand for a position if your brother is? In that case neither of them would have stood.

    You make lots of points but give very few answers.

    1. Partyinsider
      Last post on this as it is getting very boring now and we will never agree. For some strange reason, I expected better from Labour than the Tories. When Blair and his wife,had more than enough money to live comfortably it would have been good if they had donated appearance fees to child poverty for example. You still did not answer why Keeble has been given a shoe in despite huge questions over her expenses,when I asked her leaflet deliverer I was told no one else had any experience or was good enough. That does not say much about their prospects for the future.We all know some people will vote Tory or Labour because their families have always voted that way, so it is hard for Independents to make a mark,Tony has done that remarkably well in my opinion.I like to think I have an open mind and am not swayed by rags like The Daily Mail. Locally and nationally the Party appears to be struck dumb and now resembles a rabbit stuck in the headlights.After all the euphoria and hopes of Blair's early days to see it thrown away is heartbreaking

    2. Partyinsider
      make your mind up! one minute you accuse me of reading The Socialist Worker and in the next post you say my comments are Daily Mail led! Get a grip!

  26. party Insider
    Tony and myself and others did not chose to leave the Party,we were expelled! Now its true we broke the rules,but if you bother to read the history you will see that everything we did was in the interests of the party locally in Castle Ward, a properly convened ward meeting selected Tony in an emergency situation created by Lee Barron's insistance that he had to stand down.
    Over 40 years I had many disagreements with the party,but asI keep endlessly saying on this blog, there was always room for debate and disagreement.
    I was willing as ward Secretary to accept responsibility for my actions,but then on the same night as we correctly selected Tony,with party officials present,down the road St James ward quietly allowed Terry Wire to stand down and be replaced by his wife as candidate.
    party insider can I respectfully suggest you come clean and identify yourself-or change your name to Party Apparatchik!

  27. Come on Tish - it now seems you believe what you are reading. I am no supporter of Tony Blair but his work for the Middle East Quartet and his Africa Foundation is all done for no salary. As for Sally I'm afraid its the old chestnut of democracy again. She stood for selection for Northampton North and was selected by party members. As someone in your first post who said your involvement in Labour was watching election night on TV your knowledge of the local party is excellent.

    "We broke the rules but it was for the good of the party" I hear you cry John. If you ran any organisation like that it would be total anarchy. Yes I agree Tony was selected to be the Labour candidate many moons ago. My memory is that then Tony stood as an Independent and therefore automatically was expelled. By all means people should do what they think is right but they do it in the full knowledge of the rules and should not carp on when they are judged by those rules.

    I am dissapointed that just because I hold a different view than you guys I am some how a party patsy.

    One thing I am sure we can agree on is that Labour won't have Tony back even if he applies (which he won't because he know he won't be accepted)

  28. Insider you are a patsy and you know it. So lets do a little recap:
    TC as an independent has proved to be the most effective Councillor in Northampton.The labour Party needs a robust and effective voice,especially in an area like mine and with the difficult times ahead.
    The sad reality is that in the current climate it is party machines that get people elected.
    So the labour Party needs people like TC for the battles ahead.
    Telll me 'Insider' why are the local Labour Party willing to accept with open arms the former Tory Leader but not the former Labour MP?
    Palethorpe is a decent guy,indeed I wrote a column about him ages ago, but his history is very different from that of Tony's,or indeed Peter Evans,or Geoff Howes or Anjona Roy...
    So just think what TC is saying.An able young local politician whom most parties would welcome with open arms,but before he applies again has a number of questions that need answering.It's quite simple really.
    The three cases he cited of dubious behaviour by three sitting Councillors were all referred to the leader of the group Terry Wire.
    He refused to acknowledge the complaints or take any action.
    it would appear that the entire Labour group have taken a vow of omerta!
    And it would appear that you, the secretive 'party Insider' is also happy to sweep such issues under the carpet, and by the way your menmory is extremely faulty, TC was selected as a candidate and on the day the nominations had to handed was texted by the regional office telling him not to submit his nomination papers-no explanation-but then I expect you knew that as an insider!
    You will also know that I was happy to take responsibility and be expelled-as long as the ward could have the candidate it selected.
    It's a strange old party that welcomes Tory defectors with open arms and refuses to accept former Labour MP's!
    My own view for what it's worth is that TC should apply and that the Party should accept him willingly.Perhaps had he defected to the Tories and then applied for the whip there would have been a ready acceptance.
    Finally just to gladden your little patsy heart-I have no intention of reapplying to join.

  29. A recap indeed:

    "Tony has been the most effective councillor in Northampton" - not according to the electorate last time round who kicked him out of Castle Ward in favour of three Labour Candidates.

    Former Tory Leader is on board as he abides by the Group Whip and is fully behind the party's policies.

    Sorry dont know who Peter Evans is. I do see Anjona Roy and her meaningless witterings on facebook. I would imagine the party in Northampton will survive if these guys dont make the membership list.

    Independent Cllr who does nothing but stir rumours against Labour on this blog reports three Labour Cllrs to the Labour Group Leader and expects a response? Seriously?

    I just can't see how Tony rejoining the party would benefit anyone. It would boost egos perhaps but would do very little else.

  30. Clearly Insider is a senior figure in the local party's new leadership-probably a newly minted councillor.
    TC is not a run of the mill 'independent', a long serving Labour Councillor and twice elected Labour MP.that suggests to me a long term commitment to the Labour Party.
    You see Tony is a socialist and the Labour Party more than ever needs strong socialist voices atevery level.
    Curious to know which party policies ex-Tory leader is behind? I read his blog and see that he spends a lot of time attacking the policies he promulgated a few short months ago.
    I guess he is impressed by the fine political analysis his new comrades offer him,
    360 degree turns on every conceivable topic suggests that Terry and his chums are brilliant political theorists and tacticians.Can I suggest that Miliband recruit them immediately.

  31. Have you thought about joining the Independent Socialist Network (ISN). It is part of the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), but allows involvement within TUSC structures to those of us who do not (at this time at least) want to be a member of any political party?

    All the best,


  32. tony
    could you have run for aufona has misinformed the public that you was afull p.c. for a number of years he refers to you as
    [xpctcxmp] but as corrected that you was only a special he now refers to you as [xspctcxmp].
    and then for some reason aufona wants you to appear before the standards board as three times in his aufona page he has spoke about you appearing before them [the old standards board].
    now two weeks ago in his aufona page, he seems to be asking the same of the new standards board for some reason or other.

  33. Anon, I was a special for 4 and a half years which unlike a community support officer carries the full title of Police Constable as Specials receive full training are warranted and have the full powers of a regular PC. so it should be xpc still not xspc

    I cannot stand for the PCC post because I have a conviction from my youth which did not stop me being a police officer or an MP or chairing the Northern Ireland Select committee, but stops me being a PCC candidate!

    The standards board complaint is I am told still outstanding but the old board has now been wound up! I think the council are hoping it will go away as if they find me guilty my comment will be something like:

    "I am thoroughly delighted and honoured to have been found guilty of this charge, it was always my intention of standing up for the people I represent and speaking out on their behalf so I wear this ruling as a medal of distinction and thank the Council for bringing the matter to the attention of the electorate"

  34. tony
    in my comment,i mentioned TWICE a statement of[for some reason] and the last sentance of your reply anwers my [for some reason].that reason was that AUFONA [ass editor of the chron]was promting the standards board to bring you before them to be found guity,so youcould openly make that statement.YOU STATE that i am delighted and honoured to be found cuity e.t.c] you needed an excuse for print,i was that excuse so instead of[for some reason] i can say i know the reason.

  35. Anon, can you run that past me again please, I lost the thread half way through

  36. tony
    i am surprised that was the only answer you could come up with,my honest opion of you is that you are a very very clever man and by know you know who i am. and since i met you in 2000 after twelve years i have learnt your crafty ways.the first time i met you was when you entered the town hall you was wearing what looked like a german trench coat, with a attractive dark haired lady,that being in the town hall at one of your surgerys.
    i have learnt from YOU,over the years,
    to get aletter printed in the chron ihad to wait for you to make a
    mistake and feed of that.i think i did quite well as ihad a good teacher,i say sorry you could not uderstand my blog of above,but being over my sell by date iam just learning how to use a computor
    so hoping that with your experiance you can cope with an old man of 73 years of age.i will never be as good as you but still learning.
    a bit of advise you would make a verygood councillor if you only took on council work, and stop trying to be our third m.p[unpaid] remember tony i learnt from you,and you say,say it as you seeit
    hope this expain things of the above,good night.

  37. sorry tony my second attempt to answer,but still leaning to use it and what you are seeing on your blog is my first attempts of using it.what iam saying icould not understand WHY afona was trying to set you up with the standards in his afona page he mentioned it 3times with old standard board and two weeks ago with the new standards board.and my OPION ONLY,you are friedly with afona,and cannot work out he is taking this action,and because of your repley ,your last sentance reads as ifyou wanted to be found guilty
    and the only thing i can think of it was afona was promting standards board for action so youcan make the statement that you did




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