Thursday, January 28, 2010

Liverpool Wavertree selects new Labour Party candidate

I realise I am a bit behind on the news with this story but then you don’t come here to be first with the stop-press (I use FB for that and was first to let everyone know the result on Sunday). You come here to see what I think about things when I have had time to reflect.

There are those who belittle All Women Shortlists, although personally I have been an arch defender of them since they were first introduced in 1995. There are those who say that they preclude the best person from being selected but in all honesty I cannot imagine the race in Wavertree having any room for any male would-be candidate. The outstanding abilities and talents of the two front-runners, Luciana Berger and Wendy Simon, two very different candidates with different things to offer but both particularly impressive, made it clear to all members that they were going to choose someone special. And Joyce Still was great too, I do hope she stays in touch because she made a lot of friends in Wavertree, we really liked her very much. She will, as they say, make someone a very wonderful candidate!

In an all-member postal vote, open to paid-up LP members living within the bounds of Liverpool Wavertree constituency, there was a very big turnout – 85% or thereabouts, which just showed how much the selection has invigorated the party.

The votes in the end favoured Luciana and she was endorsed in a special meeting on Sunday. She has already started making her presence felt and was welcoming a cabinet minister to the constituency today. I think she is going to blow through the constituency like a breath of fresh air, bringing new impetus, focus and direction that we had lost since Jane announced her retirement. Obviously the LibDems will be focussing on the usual deeply unpleasant personal attacks – the ones that drove Jane out and that continue to be directed at me. They do love to target women, particularly in terms of what we look like – such a delightful party. But Luciana is more than a match for Colin Eldridge and if they are brought together to debate the issues it is obvious who will be the victor!

I love Wendy, and I would have loved her to be our next MP, I was proud to run her campaign but at least now I don’t have to lose her from Kensington and Fairfield where we have been absolutely joined at the hip in the community team, since before I was elected.

So we now have three strong women working in Kensington and Fairfield (you can pause to pity Liam at this point if you like, but believe me he more than holds his own and is taking on an increasing strategic campaigning role within the ward), game on!


Hughes Views said...

Good luck to Luciana and to all the CLP. I have many happy memories of living in Wavertree for a couple of years in the early 1970s when at university - miners strikes, electricity cuts, student sit-ins, Jon Snow getting rusticated, post on strike, black and white telly that went off at about midnight - ah what bliss it was then to be young...

I note that electoral calculus says of Wavertree that "this seat is not safe and voters have a real say on their MP". I hope you hold back the LibDem tide, they were very active there even in my day. We have a LibDem MP and I wouldn't wish that on anyone!

scouseboy said...

Like you, I would have preferred Wendy.
That being said, when 85% of the membership turn out to vote ( unlike the nepotistic Liberal undemocratic way,) the winner (Luciana ) has a strong endorsement. Good luck to her.
I hope Labour go on to win both in K+F and Liverpool Wavertree.

Anonymous said...

hello louise

i like reading this blog but as a lifelong labour supporter i have to say that this selection is one that troubles me

Firstly all women shortlists - NO , meritocracy please even if it is idealistic on my part also
i prefer candidates to have a local connection - i feel re-assured by it as i dont view the job of an MP is one where you should just pick your seat ,and whatever Miss Bergers qualities she doesnt tick that box for me and if any members of the CLP dont realise how important that is then theyre in for a shock .

I know its bizarre but i will happily vote for you in K&F but not Labour in Wavertree - my late father will probably be spinning in his grave at that having banged on his doors for the party all his life
but my neighbours in Kensington simply cant understand why the party have done this - after all the good work you 3 have done locally to pick a stranger is odd