We have an interesting situation in Blaydon constituency of the Labour party putting out leaflets attacking.....themselves. Labour controlled Gateshead Council want to introduce car parking charges. Labour's latest leaflet (actually their first since the local elections) attacks the idea.
And they attack the ending of the Post Office Card Account and highlight the problems this policy (of their own party) will cause to the elderly and to local communities.
Both these issues figure prominently in our campaigning so they are fighting on our agenda. Thank you! I don't know who runs their campaigning, what little there is from the Labour party up here, but if they pay for it, they should be asking for their money back! Or it may be that they have just left it to a fifth rate wannabee council candidate who thinks that the only way to get elected as a Labour councillor is to oppose the plans the party is putting into action. Perhaps Labour candidates in Gateshead should have a campaign slogan - Vote Labour as Labour are crap. Or words to that effect.
Interesting that that same leaflet should feature Dave Anderson, the Labour MP for Blaydon who was first elected last year. He cruised towards the Labour nomination on a sea of naff soundbites about how "working class" he was, how he had "gone to prison" in the 1980s during the miners' strike because of his politics, how he opposed the war and how he was very much against the New Labour project.
And once elected, he underwent a very rapid conversion on the road to Westminster from left wing firebrand to Blairite bag carrier. In October he was even switching to supporting the war and in the Commons even called for UK troops to remain. Strangely at the end of the month he was appointed to the first rung of the ministerial ladder when he became PPS to an unknown education minister. Seems as though never voting against the whip and sucking up to the government has its rewards. I wonder how his members back in Blaydon feel about him backing the war, foundation hospitals, ID cards and Blair plans for schools.
I mentioned earlier the parking charges plan and the axing of Post Office Card Account. I delivered 330 petition and survey forms on these issues today to constituents. I was a bit disappointed that I only collected 54 back tonight. Last Sunday, I collected 87 from 260 households. I'm finding that Saturday is becoming less and less a good day to collect petitions and surveys door to door. Sundays remain by far the best so I'll be out again tomorrow with more petitions and surveys.