Sunday, September 16, 2007

Liverpool West Derby - it is Stephen Twigg

Stephen Twigg has won the Liverpool West Derby selection and will be Labour's candidate for the next General Election. Popular local councillor Roz Gladden was second, Bob Wareing MP came third.

It is usual for cynical members and cynical journalists to suggest that there has been interfernce from Downing Street or the national Labour Party when people from outside are chosen to fight in these campaigns.

I remember the same worries being raised in Wigan, that there would be interfering.

There wasn't then and there wasn't this time either.

Stephen did all his own leg work. He came every weekend to campaign in Liverpool during the local elections, Feb, March and April. Since May he has been here more or less permanently and has used that time to visit nearly every single party member at home and talk to them about the kind of candidate and MP he would want to be in West Derby. He also put in a lot of time in Warbreck, helping with the local election there (even though it is not in West Derby). If you want to win a selection then that is the way to do it, meet the members and prove your dedication.

I dont know what the results were, or how close it was, or where the other three came. But I do know that he and Roz were giving each other a lot of support throughout the contest, despite being top rivals for the job, and it has been a very clean campaign.

Big commiserations to the other people on the shortlist, particularly Roz who would have done a good job if selected, but big congratulations too to Stephen. He is a keen campaigner who gets on very well with everyone he meets and will be very good for Liverpool Labour Party in general.

Personally I am delighted!


Andrea said...

Now that the selection is finished, may I ask what were the driving reasons for Wareing's deselection? Age? Political Views? Him not being an hard-working constituency MP? A combination of all of them?

Louise Baldock said...

Not age I dont think.

Political views certainly played a part and possibly neglect of the local party was a big factor too I think.

I dont know all the detail, it is not my constituency, I am Liverpool Wavertree.

But the local members felt he was not representative of their views and they found his publicly stated views very destructive when they were trying to campaign and win seats.

I think possibly he didnt come to GCs much either or get out on the streets with them in local elections. But it would be best if a local member were to explain rather than me downsay the guy for something that might not be the case.

If you want my general view though, I think he should have retired gracefully when he saw the writing on the wall and then he could have told himself that he might have won a reselection without actually having to put himself to the test.

It must feel dreadful, I am really feeling for him tonight.

Andrea said...


"If you want my general view though, I think he should have retired gracefully when he saw the writing on the wall "

yes, considering his age and years of service he should have gone on hiw own before being pushed.

He seems to have taken the deselection badly as Liverpool Echo claims he will resign Labour Whip, Labour Membership and stand as an Indipendent (to do what? Coming a distant second even there?)

Louise Baldock said...

I suspect he will change his mind nearer the time. He is obviously hurting and hitting out. He wouldnt be able to run a campaign on his own. Who would put a leaflet together for him, let alone deliver it?

It is sad I think, for him personally, but having a temper tantrum and resigning from the party and the whip does show how they were right not to select him again.

JB said...

Maybe people pleased their MP did not vote for an illegal war of aggression in their name will leaflet for Bob.

It is a shame when the Labour leadership shows more warmth towards Margaret Thatcher than to an MP consistently returned by his electorate.

If he was de-selected for disloyalty, we can presume there is nothing to the rumoured overtures from Mr Brown to Lord Owen - hardly the ultimate loyalist, eh gang?

What a dirty game.

Kevin said...

Stephen won on the 3rd round of voting by about 20 votes.

I think its terribly sad that someone with 60 (yes 60) years membership of the labour party has left.
Im not a Bob fan (although i was once)
I voted for Roz.

But im happy with Stephen. Looking forward to west derby having a higher profile and a talented MP (his previous constituents/CLP have nothing but good things to say about him)

In terms of Bob standing as an Indy I really hope he dosent as he cant win, but he does still have a "hardcore" in the local party approx 25 people who may well all leave the LP with him and help him with any election. lets hope not though as membership is alreday pretty dire, somthing that ive previouusly discussed with both Roz and Stephen about addressing asap.
we elect our member here with a 15000 majority and the eligible vote yesterday was 175. very poor and it shoudl never of been left to get like that .

A word for Martin Cummings who I didnt know previously, he gave a really good speech that went down very well with those present.

he came 4th.

Impressed with Stepehn moving to Liverpool straight away as well, and he is going to live in constituency which as our present MP is often AWOL is a nice touch

2nd best result for me, but supppose thats politics. Good luck to Stephen

Ian Jackson said...

Thank god, he's gone at last. Glad to see the back of him. Yes, he should have retired but like so many his delusions of granduer grew over time.

The little energy he had left he used to constantly attack his own party and government! What an Idiot.

Louise Baldock said...

I know it is hard for non-party members to get their heads round. But the fact is that our MPs are meant to represent us, that is why they stand under our banner. If they are not representing us then they have to expect that we wont support them. QED.
If you dont like the system, then join the party and vote for your own favourite.
That is the key message.

This has nothing to do with the Labour leadership. The votes were cast by Labour Party members living in West Derby, no-one else, that is their right.

Paula said...

Incumbent MPs, whether deselected or not, have a certain ability to campaign without party activists. The taxpayer currently funds "parliamentary reports" which some MPs use as glossy leaflets about their activities. Delivery can be paid for.. certainly at least two of the current MPs in Liverpool use this method. Incumbents also have the ability to write loads of letters from Parliament between now and the call of election. During the election every candidate gets at least one leaflet delivered free of charge by the royal mail . So it would be possible for Bob to mount a challenge with very little actual activist involvement and actually very little spend on his part apart from the printing of the freepost. I would imagine West Derby has been a constituency with little actual activist campaigning in the GE anyway. Whether he chooses to stand would, of course, be up to him.

Louise Baldock said...

Good point Paula.

He has said he intends to stand as an Independent, but he may change his mind by then?

Interestingly I am informed that he was selected as the result of a deselection himself.

JB said...

There was me thinking my vote helped select representatives of me and my community. Under a party banner maybe, but not smothered by it.

I have heard nothing but good words for Bob from people I know around Tuebrook and West Derby.

If he does stand as an independent he will have years of popular goodwill behind him.

Andrea said...

"Interestingly I am informed that he was selected as the result of a deselection himself."

and the previous West Derby MP (Eric Odgen) became one of the SDP defector...and I think one. He lost badly in 1983:
Wareing (Lab) 54.5%
Trelawney (Con) 27.5%
Odgen (SDP) 18%

Kensington's very own Old Dick said...

Me and Bob go back a long way, if you remember the Beatles, we were both the fifth and sixth Beatles, Bob got sacked from accordion after a drug fuelled ruck with Lennon in a Hamburg brothel. whereas I got the push for maintaining that we would never amount to anything if we didnt get rid of Paul & John. Well I'm not right all of the time, at least my time in the Beatles is constanlty rememered through the lyrics of the number "Norwegian Dick" or "Norwegian Wood" as it later became entitled.

Augustus Fink-Nottle said...

So Louise, Labour MPs (or councillors) are there first and foremost to represent the Labour Party? And there I was thinking that the first duty of an MP (or Councillor)was to represent all of their constituents whether they voted for him or not. Well at least we know where you stand!

I didn't agree with Bob on a lot of things, but at least he was willing to stand up for what he believed in, instead of just waiting for the daily text message telling him what to think.

When parties get rid of people for not being party clones it's no wonder there is such cynicism and apathy about politics.

Louise Baldock said...

I dont think I said we were first and foremost here to represent the Labour Party.

There are many responsibilities for an elected representative.

Yes we represent our electorate, but we also represent our party. We also represent our government too, back to the people.

It is multi-faceted.

Let me try and marshall my thoughts for you.

A political party exists to gain power and put its policies and idealogy into practice. The first line of the LP constitution, clause 1, makes it plain that our first aim is to win power.

Consequently we spend time and money in campaigning. Our members and supporters’ money, that they give us because they want us to win power.

In a representative democracy we then as a party have to choose people to go to parliament or council on our behalf. We cannot all go, obviously, no building would be big enough. So our party aims and policies are invested in our candidates.

In a broad church political party, we cannot expect our representatives to agree with us on every detail of policy, we cannot as "us" even agree with each other on every detail. But we do expect them to follow the general thrust, otherwise they won’t be truly representative.

We also want our representatives to join with us in fulfilling our first aim of winning power. That means joining in and indeed leading political campaigns in the constituency/ward, even when they are not the candidate.

We also want them to do a good job for those of our fellow constituents. We want them to be tenacious and committed, hard-working, making a difference.

Of course we do.

And so do the constituents who vote for them.

All of these things must come together.

A representative of a political party should be on board with the party, leading campaigning and working for constituents.

Bob was not on board with the party and not leading campaigning. Indeed he was not taking part at all in campaigning unless it was for himself.

He may have done a good job for his constituents, I don’t live there so I wouldn’t know.

You are suggesting that being a good constituency MP should over-ride party considerations. I am saying that the party deserves better consideration from its representatives.

For one thing, representatives who have fallen out with their party are blocking the way for candidates who would better represent the party.

They are letting down LP colleagues in the ward/constituency by not campaigning with them.

There is always room in the world for independents, they can be a good constituency representative, providing they can get elected.

It is not appropriate for someone to stand on a party ticket, let the party pay for the campaign, let the party campaign for their election and yet not support the party.

I got into terrible trouble during the NEC elections by saying that local parties should think very carefully about who they select to represent them when that person is not loyal in return.

Bob was pretty much who I had in mind.

Like many similar politicians he forgot who he owed his position to and how he got there and who had worked to get him there.

He was not elected in a vaccuum.

Local party members felt that he had let them down. It is their right to choose someone else who they feel will more accurately represent them.

If local residents want to get behind Bob the man, rather than Bob the Labour Party representative, then they will have every opportunity, if he does in the end stand as an Independent.

The local party will get behind the person they have decided most accurately represents the Labour Party.

Nobody is owed a seat.

Incidentally my two most favourite MPs are both members of the campaign group and both are standing down this election. Which is very sad and I am very sorry about it.

I am not and never was a Blairite, not even in 1994.

But I believe passionately in representative politics, that together we achieve more than we achieve alone. I do not believe in individualism

Andrea said...

I noticed Wareing was still sitting on Labour benches today at PMQs..has he changed his mind or does he still want to stand as an Indy?

Andrea said...

I noticed Wareing was still sitting on Labour benches today at PMQs..has he changed his mind or does he still want to stand as an Indy?