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Luke Akehurst departs Planet Earth

Luke Akehurst in spacesuit orbiting planet EarthI’ve found Luke Akehurst to be a friendly chap. He may be pretty sectarian in print and on the blogosphere, but as a leading light of the shadowy organisation, Labour First, he’s traditional Labour Right and at least seems to be at the right party unlike some of his Blairite friends in the Progress camp. But in his last couple of Blogs, he seems to be living on a different planet from me.

First, under the heading Sectarianism is alive and well on the Labour Hard Left, he attacks Michael Meacher (who unfailingly describes himself as centre-left) for daring to analyse the politics of the new Shadow Cabinet and for being trapped in the “early ’80s paradigm” of a divided party with “factional slates“. This is from the man who maintains the Labour First mailing list  for circulating right-wing slates, as he has readily admitted to me and others on Twitter.

But it is commenting on Michael Meacher’s response that reveals the sorry depths to which his judgement has sunk:

  • Labour’s moderates are just as ideological and just as visionary about changing society as he is – it’s just we have a set of policies that can win elections,” (our emphasis – Ed) he says. Really? Someone should let him know the result of the last general election.
  • The Hard Left has ideas based on the rhetoric of 1917.” He appears to believe that Michael Meacher is, in fact, a Bolshevik.
  • I don’t recognise this portrayal“, he claims in response to Meacher’s explanation that New Labour lost 5 million votes because the last Labour government was “accommodating to neoliberal capitalist policies throughout the Blair years – deregulation of finance, privatisation, shrinking the State in favour of unfettered markets, weakened trade union rights, and ballooning inequality“. Which bit of that does he think is wrong?
  • He says how glad he is that we have “a very imbalanced PLP“. Ironically, his previous blog at Progress waxed lyrical about Refounding Labour which seeks a more inclusive party.

Oh dear, Luke. I know you voted for Ed Miliband, but I’m not sure you quite follow his message.


  1. Labourvoter says:

    Luke must be one of the oddest people in the Labour Party.

  2. Chris says:

    Well, pretty much anyone can win elections with the right funding and propaganda. It’s what you intend to do in power that matters.

  3. Graham Peasantry says:

    I quote from Ann Black’s NPF report from Gillingham last year (link below):

    ‘The new NEC member from Labour First regretted missing the chance to “measure the relative strength of the different ideological wings of the party”, which I find rather sad.’

    Hypocrisy or what?

  4. Syzygy says:

    I see that you already have a link to this excellent riposte to the Blairites of all shades.. but it is worth repeating the link here on the thread.

  5. Phil C. says:

    Not sure what to make of this – maybe Labour’s right wing have a re-packaging exercise in mind, casting themselves as “moderates”?
    i.e. now that Cameron & his chums have extended govt policies a bit further to the right, there’s scope for Blairite/ Progress policies to be re-designated as “centrist” and anything centrist to be re-designated as “left” (which would allow anything slightly left-of-centre to be designated as “hard left” and thus be deemed “unelectable”).

  6. Gary Elsby says:

    I had to laugh when I heard the term: ‘Unelectable’.

    The state of play for Luke’s Party is as folows:
    100,000 members walked out.
    Branches and CLPs not meeting throughout the UK.
    Loans for Peerages.
    Illegal wars?
    (Bankrupt UK).
    Not in Government.
    Rigging selections for ‘friends’. (because Eton boys can’t beat miner’s boys in fair selections:)
    Paying out small fortunes in compesation.

    The Tories are now slashing everything, as they do before breakfast even when not in Government.

    Does Luke Akehurst actually look people in the eyes and talk up Labour’s success?
    His Labour, may I add.
    Are we to have more?
    Does he wish to upload more to us because it was always the right course of action?

    Remember, he asked the public to acknowledge the hard work done and they gave an answer.

    I think and know that the politics supported by this lot is crooked and run by crooks.
    They buy patronage ans fix ballots if seen to be losing.
    Run it out and run the lot out (as the Country run us out).

    Fair politics, fair play, fair and open selections, fair ballots, fair conference and a fair working class party.
    Winner wins and loser loses.
    This is way too complicated for Akehurst to compute.

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