Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Rumblings of discontent in Labour's Gateshead ranks

A few visits to Gateshead Civic Centre are always enough to glean some hints about what's happening in the Labour party. That, plus one or two other sources have helped fill in an interesting picture. There are rumblings and grumblings in the ranks of the "socialist" brethren.

Firstly, I hear of moans about the normally safe Labour ward of Saltwell soaking up lots of time and effort following the sacking of their popular and widely liked Councillor, Joe Mitchinson. Secondly, there were rumblings of discontent about the need to bail out Labour in Dunston Hill and Whickham East ward where a letter to Labour supporters had to be delivered. Questions have been asked about the level of activity of the two sitting Labour councillors in the ward. Unhappy comments have been made about the fact that the first Labour election leaflet didn't even contain any photos of either of the councillors. "Socialists" are asking why they should turn up to help those whose own visibility is something of an issue.

Thirdly, not all "socialists" are unhappy about helping in Dunston Hill. Indeed, some take the view that the ward needs more help but is losing out in the battle of resources to the campaign in Lib Dem held Whickham North! The thinking is that, a Labour win in Whickham North could alter the power balance in the Labour group. Those happy with the status quo have not been seen in this key battleground ward.

And finally, holiday arrangements appear to have ruffled a few "socialist" feathers. A decision to head off for a couple of weeks in sunny Texas during the election campaign won someone no fans. And a key "socialist" activist in a marginal ward headed off to France recently, forgetting that they had an action day in that person's ward. A small number of helpers turned up. Alas, nothing could be organised for them to do and they returned home, waiting for the wanderer to return.

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