Wednesday, 31 October 2012


By now most of you will have heard that the Labour Party's candidate for the Police and Crime Commissioner elections in Northamptonshire, Lee Barron has been forced to quit the race after it emerged he was arrested during a town centre disturbance 22 years ago.

I do feel sorry for Lee, despite all my troubles with the party I still consider him to be a friend, and the law in this case is truly an ass when it allows for Prime Ministers and Home Secretary's to hold office with aged convictions but disbars others from standing in PCC Elections.

I also have a conviction from when I was 19, and I don't try to hide it, I was at the time arrested for supposedly kicking a drunk in the "lower testicle region" after he had stumbled into me. I did push him off me and over on to the floor, but I did also point out to both the Police and Court at the time that I had 24 stitches in a leg wound following an accident at work (I cut through my leg and muscle with a stanley knife when working on a roof in London) and that I was walking only with the aid of a stick, when this drunken buffoon walked into me driving his knee into my damaged leg, I also pointed out to them to little avail that if I had of kicked the guy, then like the proverbial one legged man in an arse kicking contest, I would have fallen flat on my backside, and if I had meant him any harm, wouldn't I have hit him with my stick rather kicking him with my only good leg? The court was not impressed and still found me guilty of Actual Bodily Harm and fined me £250

But like so many others have said, I know see it as part of who I am,  and as part of me becoming a different person in later life, and despite my own brush with the law I still went on to stand for election and become an MP, and also became a warranted Police Officer.

People should therefore judge Lee and indeed all of us, on who we are now, not what silly things we did as teenagers. And I ask you one question, who is better served to represent the local electorate? people like Lee and myself who got into scrapes as youngsters? or people like Sally Keeble who is Labour's  candidate again for the Parliamentary seat of Northampton North despite having been caught abusing parliamentary rules leading her to "misclaim" expenses to buy new kitchen fixings and beautify her garden in her Northampton Home when she was last in office?

The Tory press also attack Lee for  encouraging union members to break the law during speech he gave at a demonstration in London last year.

During the rally, Lee can be heard saying  “Every time we refuse to cross your picket lines we break the law but we’d rather break the law than break your picket lines any day of the week.”

So let me also be clear on this like him I would rather risk breaking a rotten law before I crossed any picket line, it's called principle, something sadly missing within the current political climate.

However the response to Lee's plight from the Labour Party is as always so predictable and also so  stomach churning, Lee points out in a statement to the local newspaper that they knew all of the above all along and that they supported him and his candidature. And then he talks about hoping he has not let people down and of building his party's position in the future, and the party in the same piece then drop him like a ton of bricks by saying they were "disappointed" to learn from Lee something they presumably already knew and then they suspend him, withdraw their support and organize another local witch-hunt, sorry investigation.

What really puzzles me though is this.  I knew all about this rule 5 months ago when ex Falklands war hero Simon Weston was forced to withdraw his candidature and I first heard rumours that this story might break about 2 months ago and yet no one in the party it seemed deemed it necessary to check the position until after Lee's £5000 deposit had been paid, leaflets had been printed, and the date for withdrawal and replacement candidates had passed!

Speaking of ineligible candidates I was also told at roughly  the same time that candidates with live IVA's (debt repayment arrangements) were also not eligible to stand and yet the Lib Dem's candidates Paul Varnsverry's IVA is listed on the net as in place until Jan 2013?

Of course he could have got himself released from it early in order to stand for election, but in the circumstances I think he should inform us all of his situation or else we might see the field reduced even further!

Back to main story though , expect further internal problems within the Local Labour Party as they all now distance themselves away from a decision and a region intent on destroying any essence of local autonomy at the price of keeping the Labour Party in Northampton permanently off the East Midlands map.


  1. Sorry to hear of Lee's enforced withdrawal and you're right, the law is an ass.

    But may I point out that were it not for your article I wouldn't even have known of his participation. With just over 2 weeks to go until polling day we've had one leaflet in our area, from the UKIP candidate, and not a sausage from any of the main parties. I'm beginning to think that for the first time in my life I will refuse to vote, because if the candidates cannot be arsed to tell us who they are and what their perspective on law and order is, then why should I show any more enthusiasm than them by actually voting?

  2. Good point Roger, these will undoubtably be the most unpopular national elections in history. Turnout? 19%?

  3. I think you've missed a decimal point out there! Like Halloween, voting for a Police Chief is a daft American idea that should stay over the other side of the pond.

  4. Unfortunately Tony I came across this blog from your promotion of it via facebook and the Chron website (which itself is quite depressing - same old four or five people commenting day in day out on political issues. Don't these people have jobs?)

    Anyway - I am a local Labour Party member, have been doing what I can for Lee and like many feel devestated for him.

    What has made a real difference though even in the last twelve hours is the response of the guy.

    They say the measure of a man is not how he responds in the good times but how he reponds in the toughest of times.

    I recall when you faced your 'issues' (which are not even comparable to Lee's) your first response was to attack the party that had got you into Parliament and then stand for another political platform.

    In Lee's statement on facebook he has spoken with dignity and he committed himself to continue working towards the greater cause of the Labour movement.

    It is dissapointing but not surprising to see you using this opportunity to have another paranoid go at the 'region' and push your own situation.

    As someone once said - I know Lee Barron. You are no Lee Barron.

    1. I'm one of the four or five people who comment on political issues- usually to do with the town centre.But i also have an interest in personalities.How sally has the brass neck to stand again, how lee is so dogmatic in his views, ditto john,how paul varnesy is above the fray,of course cllr hadland as one time leader wagging off the bund meeting for important biz only to be caught red handed on the telly sitting in the question time audience was to me the all time only fools and horses buffoon classic.

  5. Apropos your comments re Mr Varnsverry in the Chronicle:- There is also no doubt that a huge conflict of interest arises here.

    On the one hand he openly boasts that he has in the past and currently works for the police through his 'company', PVA TECHNICAL FILE SERVICES LIMITED, and therefore one assumes receives some sort of fee for this activity and on the other he wants to become PCC, a post which would see him giving instruction (TO) the very people he earns a living from. Can't be right and unless he has suspended or intends to suspend all company activity which relates to connections with the police force, surely he should not be a candidate!!!!

  6. Labour party member (Anonymous 1)
    How dare you conflate the Labour party with the labour movement.The movement is bigger and broader and more resilient than the New labour shell. After 40 years in the Labour party in Northampton there is one thing blindingly obvious,there are far more ex-Labour party members than actual members.Are we all exiled from the labour movement?

  7. You political types can't see the wood for the trees can you? Most people may be vaguely aware there's an election coming up, but without some publicity re candidates' stance on law and order how on Earth are we supposed to make a decision? This post we're voting for SHOULD be above petty and irrelevant party politics, but I'm not naive enough to assume it is for a moment.
    The whole thing is an irrelevance anyway and I along with 80%+ of the elctorate certainly won't be motivated to vote unless you lot tell us who and what we're voting for. Stop your ego-boosting petty internal bickering and do what you're supposed to and promote the election!

  8. Some interesting and at time irrational thoughts! Anon (1) as John calls him protests far too much, my post as can be seen is very friendly to Lees's plight and I agree in it that his response was as I would expect from him, but how then can anon (1) escape the criticism that despite Lee having told the Party of his position before nomination that there immediate response now is to say that they were "Dissapointed to learn" and then despite his loyalty to the party and positive words they suspend him and launch another investigation! What for? They signed off the nomination form and stamped it as valid in possession of all the facts, so shouldn't they therefore investigate themselves and not Lee?

    Also comparing my expulsion with this issue is pretty despararte, for the record as said before I left the party because they lied, cheated and broke their own rules when selecting candidates for the Borough Council elections in 2007 and I challenged them then and now to prove otherwise.

    I am not and never will be Lee Barron, I am Tony Clarke, you can love or hate both of us if you wish.

    Roger, I agree to a point but it is not for us to promote a failed election process.

  9. 'Scuse my ignorance, but if it's not the job of the candidates and/or their parties to shove leaflets through our doors, etc to promote an election, then whose is it?
    You might guess from my posts that for some odd reason I do actually want to vote as I've never not done so in the past, but you lot and/or "the process" (whatever that is) are making it as difficult as can be!
    No wonder folk have no time for politicians these days.

  10. Would you vote for a man who cannot keep tabs his own accounts?

    In January 2008 both Mr Paul and Mrs Pamela Varnsverry undertook Individual Voluntary Arrangements, in plain and simple english they owed money to quite a few people and couldn't pay it back. An IVA is a means of repaying on the 'never never'. The situation only came to light some months later after the Chronicle was notified. Mr Tony Woods (at that time the Borough Council Leader) claimed he knew all about it and supported the duo in an article in the Chronicle in August of that year.

    Now this person wants to control a significant budget - he's having a laugh, isn't he?

  11. Apologies, the first line should read:-

    Would you vote for a man who cannot keep tabs on his own accounts?

  12. Roger T

    First you say that it "a daft American idea that should stay over the other side of the pond" and then "I do actually want to vote"

    The mind boggles!

  13. tony.
    are you sure this blog is about yourself,and lee barron

    as in your clever and crafty way,you leave ths main story to attack,Paul Varnsverry. your last sentance proves this, as you state. back to the main story.

    your ex/cllrs of the nbc,

    all know there a strong conflict between the two of you.

    you lost your own chance,to run, and you tell us it was something you in your youth when you was 19 years old.

    i also recall in the news of the world,in 2004 you blamed that on your youth you said it something you did in your youth, when you was 16 years old,something about west ham supporters club.
    you cannot keep hiding behind your teenage days.
    so with all sour grapes sorted let the,Police and crime elections run its own course.

  14. The Chronicle keeps changing the headline in order that the comments are sidelined and it appears as though they are championing Mr Varnsverry.

    Page 3

    1.4 (111) "you are a police officer or are directly or indirectly employed by the police"

    Page 4

    (v11) "you are the subject of a debt relief restrictions order or interim debt relief restrictions order or a debt relief restrictions undertaking"

    Surely either or one of the above covers Mr Varnsverry?

  15. Anon (odd name that) - I still reckon it's a daft idea, but people have died in order to get us "plebs" the vote so I shall endeavour to use my democratic right, that is if anyone actually tells me who and what I'm voting for before 15/11.

  16. It's as clear and precise as Roger T - you might as well be Roger the rabbit!

  17. Can't all you anon's get your act together before posting! One of you say the motive for the post was to have a dig at the Labour Party, another says it is simply to highlight the Lib Dems discomfort, you are both wrong it was to highlight every single word I wrote on both of the above and the silly rules which have led unfairly to Lee Barron having to stand down but supposedly still leave his name on the ballot paper.

    People then suggest that I lost my chance to stand myself? when I never was going to stand, which had more to do with the financial cost of candidature, despite whether or not I would have been eligible! Roger T has some valid points but even a democrat like me is finding it harder and harder to think of casting a vote in which is increasingly day by day becoming a shambles! As for hiding behind mt teenage days! when?

    I am 100% comfortable with who I am and what I have achieved in my short life to date, I hide nothing and crave nothing, everything I do and say and post is open and in my own name (take note all you anons) and this remains one of a very few blogs which allows free speech and criticism and for the truth to be aired, and long may that continue.

  18. The comments feature is good. Fitzy doesn't allow comments because they might disagree with him!

    Over on the chron site i think you bettered both the crime reporter (couldn't he have called himself the law and order reporter for this) and the editor.Fettling those two on their own turf is pretty good going.

  19. Election for police commissioner goes into meltdown, as investigation into who and when any of them went "scrumping".

    If you recall seeing anyone of them with an apple when children….

    Contact your local press

  20. I was gobsmacked to see the Lib Dems had chosen Varnsverry as their candidate considering his past financial problems, problems which may have never come to light had I not broken the story.

    I wish Simmonds would come clean over his golden handshake from NCC. I understand the vacancy has not been filled...what are the odds of him getting it back should he fail to be elected as PCC?

  21. OMG - I'm all for allowing anyone on your site Tony but there should be a basic 'can you string at least one sentance together' test before posting.

    At least your 'back up' blogger John Dickie can use grammar.

    You're not still exhausting the line that you left the Labour Party are you? You were kicked out for standing against it. Whether you jumped or were pushed is incidental.

    I thought you were the torch bearer of the truth? We all know you didn't stand for PCC for two main reasons

    (i) you wouldn't have won

    (ii) you wouldn't have got past the first criminal records check let alone any further one.

    "I am 100% comfortable with myself and crave nothing" says the former MP who following losing his seat spends his time sharing his thoughts, bitterness, pseudo Leader of the Opposition speeches and mild obsession with the 'region' with the weird, wonderful and dispossesed of the town centre blogosphere.

    Not really the elder statesman is it.

    1. you cheeky pompous git. Since when did the franchise include an english exam you moron. Thats why we put a cross when we vote. This includes illiterate people, and people of low intellect.You certainly wouldn't get past a bigot test anon one, and you are very lucky to get a bye on the idiot requirment.You are a bitter twisted wannabee living vicariously through the achievements of others never having done anything with your life and having failed at everything you've ever tried.You've crawled out of a peice of cheese to come on here and snipe in a cowardly anonomous way

      The hypocrosy of OMG text speak preceding an english lesson?

      'can use grammar'. What sort of english is that?

      You took the stringing a sentence together test.You failed.

  22. Anon (1) I will leave your post above as it is a classic example of the continuous spiteful abuse myself and John and others get since we "left" the party, I chose to stand against the party on the day they refused to allow me to put in a party nomination that they had signed off, just like the one they signed off for Lee in the PCC elections! Do you want to blame me and John for that as well?

    I did not stand for the PCC elections because I couldn't afford to, it's as simple as that £500 deposit another £15,000 minimum for leaflets, no thanks. It was only after I made that call that these silly rules on teenage wrong doings became public knowledge.

    And as for elder statesman, don't be so cheeky, I am 49, and I have a long time to go in haunting the Labour Party yet, but can you even begin though to tell me why it is that 6 years after I was expelled that the Northampton Labour Party is a worse situation, making the same errors and suffering from the same incompetence from their regional office as on the day I left?

    1. not in anyway associated with the embittered anon one, and mostly in admiration of your various activities but if i was milliband this is how i would see it.

      Some time ago there were three amigos.There was a row, first an mp lost his seat over too many wars, and then he fell out with the local party.There was also an issue of central office parachuting people in.Another one of the amigos had his own issues and an interest in the police authority.Including not agreeing with a directly elected PCC.

      These two amigos sat wearing their sombreos one day disscusing how they could pay out the local office.How could they make it look even more stupid and incompetent? And this stupid idea of a directly elected police commisioner how could that be buggered?

      Then one of the amigo's suddenly said ' i have a cunning plan. What if we got them to back a duffus with minor conviction, and then he withdraws only after the time to withdraw had passed.The local party would look like idiots and we could make sure that they got the blame, and his name would still be on the ballot with a good chance of legally voiding or at least discrediting the election.Head office will be livid."

      The other amigo said."good plan.But how can we rely on the local party being so stupid and where do we find the duffus?"

      Just then the third amigo walked in, the other two exchanged a look and amigo one said 'we have a daring and audacious plan that we want to put to you......

    2. "Okay, three amigo's ride!" They all shouted and did the funny three amigos dance throwing their sombreos in the air.
      "By the time i'm finished even the other gringo candidates will be feeling sorry for you."Said gringo two."And we will attack them, drill down into their back grounds, they will never see us coming."
      "And like in a film"Said Gringo three" My misdeamenour can become the defining moment that shaped my life.When my picture goes in the guardian the words that go with it will be heroic,brave, and inspirational.I am the victim in all this!"
      "Three amigos ride!!!!!"

    3. hey i' ve just reread this and i've put gringo two and three, when i meant amigo two and three.

  23. 'spiteful abuse' - me thinks you need to toughen up a bit.

    I genuinely think you are the only person who believes the local Labour party is in a worse position than when you left it.

  24. anon (1). You've got to be some sort of clown to believe that the Labour party locally is is anything other than a pitiful state at the moment. It's not a great deal better Nationally!.

  25. A hustings has been organised for Tueday night 7pm at the Hind Hotel, Sheep Street, Wellingborough. I shall attempt to get a straight answer out of Varnsverry if someone else does not beat me to it!

  26. Not a clown Tony - just a member who is part of the regular campaigning, knocking on doors and leafletting. Not pitiful at all. Thinking you need a dose of what's going on in the real world. Nationally? You should take a trip to Corby every day and see that foot soldiers out there doing their bit. Hard as it to believe, its improved some what since you got chucked out.

  27. If you think that being in the Labour party is only about giving out leaflets and knocking on doors then you are pitiful.
    Strangely enough for almost forty years I did that, but also had time to debate ideas,develop policy locally,and even spent time trying to convince people that there is a socialist alternative.
    Anon(1)-when was the last time your ward had a meeting of over 20 people and discussed socialist policy-not how to distribute a candidates leaflet?
    Note ward!

  28. Anon (1) I never called you a clown another anon did. As for Corby, I wish Andy well he will be a good MP

  29. Ward meeting? Ward meeting? Things have moved on John but good for you for coming back into the debate to back Tony.

    Up and down the UK (Birmingham Labour Party a great example) there are local parties meeting in town/city wide Labour meetings and guess what? The membership of the party there is growing.

    I accept that old habits die hard. Just thinking how many people living in deprivation and cold and hungry kids were helped while the local Labour Party met in the town in smoke filled rooms debating whether there should be a 'socialist alternative'

    Leaflets may be a little less stimulating but getting Labour voters out is more important that meaningless discussions about some make believe yesteryear.

    I think Andy will do well - even though he is new Labour to the core, works alongside Sally Keeble and was put in his by election position by the Region.

    Over to John.

  30. This went off the boil when you stopped the name calling. There is a book you should all read, one you will never have heard of and is out of print, but considered by some a masterpiece.The book can be gotten as a free PDF download, it's about a town called personville or poisonville, the books called red harvest.

  31. Anon 1
    It may come as a surprise that for over 30 years I like many others gave out leaflets and knocked on doors and tried to represent the people of the ward I live in-the most deprived in Northamptonshire.During that time we had to battle central government both Tory and Labour. I'm not sure about the smoke filled rooms, but Charles Street was a bit uncomfortable,however we met there and in considering a socialist alternative never lost sight of that vision of a better,more equitable and co-operative society.
    But then we had a purpose and that was indeed to fight for those least able to defend themselves,and were not wannabe MP's,or councillors or climb the greasy pole.We considered ourselves activists.
    Now let me guess your probably a student union official,looking for an intern-ship and then maybe a berth as a councillor and who knows,in the hollowed out labour party even a parliamentary seat!
    New labour as a concept destroyed the Labour Party, both in its socialist and indeed social-democrat incarnation.
    I have no doubt that if allowed to Andy will make a fine MP, I have known the family for years and would remind you the sort of Mp his father Phil made.Compare his voting record to that of Keeble and then tell me who was closer to socialism!

  32. I've just seen 'andy' and lee on the telly in corby town centre. I think the labour candidate will win because the last mp was aloof, and all this clearing off to the jungle and new york has annoyed people.

    The role of the police and crime commissioner is different to an mp. He has to have a five year plan, and set priorities. How can he do this if he has high principles or is a socialist? Imagine if Lee had been in charge during the miners stike? It would be like louie walsh agonising over sending one of his own acts home even though they are clearly rubbish, with the chief constable playing the part of declan- i'm going to have to hurry you lee and stop crying we need to out source and privatise.

  33. Tony mentioned that twenty thousand pounds was needed to stand in an earlier reply. 5K deposit, 15k for leaflets.

    So my question is who pays? At least one of the guys is skint- i mean if you are some kind of bankrupt where do you get 20k from? So is it the political partys that pay?

    And then, not meaning to be unkind to Lee, if the party did pay, and the money is lost, will he have to pay it back? If it was his own money, i expect he's gutted.

    1. And of course if it's the local party's are they thrilled at losong 20k, are they dancing a jig? Do they have money to burn? If a business mislaid 20k therre would be hell to play, heads would role. Is this the same sort of irresponsibility that the police authority would have been run with?Money never matters when it's someone elses.

      The people on here pontificate about this and that, but the rest of us pay the bill.


    Adam is Paying is 4 buddies £65000 each!





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