Latest post on Left Futures

Will the Luke Akehurst please

“Apologies for this note of sectarianism in the season of goodwill, but the price of electability is eternal vigilence.”

The left should back off and stop smearing Labour’s hard-working staff. My complaint is the opposite – the daft code of conduct stops Labour staff doing their job. They should not be neutral referees. They should be able to promote the candidates and policies of the elected leadership of the party against their internal critics. Back in Morgan Phillips’ day as General Secretary or Herbert Morrison’s as London Regional Secretary there was none of this nonsense about neutrality, the party staff explicitly had a role in giving the left a kicking. Ah, the good old days!

What on earth is Progress up to?

I was a bit surprised and annoyed to see Progress (a moderate Labour magazine/political education organisation) giving publicity to this weekend’s Compass event in their latest email to members….

it seems odd that Progress would promote an event organised by a grouping/internal party faction whose objectives are so different to their own. My memory of the founding editorial board meeting of Progress (which ages me a bit …) was that Progress exists to ensure party members understand what the leadership is trying to do, whereas Compass exists to change the leadership and policy direction of the party.

I actually think Progress should be engaged in a branch-by-branch, CLP-by-CLP battle to expose the weaknesses in Compass’ analysis and marginalise them as an organisation.

It’s bad enough that some Government Ministers are giving credibility to this pernicious and subversive grouping by speaking at its event, let alone that the people who ought to be fighting them are publicising it.

I really take a strong objection to Compass’ constant undermining of the party and in particular the Prime Minister and think that all right-thinking people in the party should have absolutely nothing to do with them.links to this post

What has Trident got to with MPs

Being an old fashioned type I can’t agree with Jack Straw’s suggestion that MPs will get a vote on replacing Trident –

When did all this nonsense start?

Attlee and Bevin didn’t even tell MPs they were building an A-Bomb let alone consult them.

Whilst we don’t have a formal separation of powers in this country we do have different roles for Parliament and the Government – though some people are members of both bodies.

MPs are there to legislate and to scrutinise the executive.

The Government – as ministers of the “Crown” – are there to take non-legislative, executive decisions like do we have a new generation of strategic nuclear deterrent or do we go to war.

If MPs don’t like those decisions they can always remove the Government in a confidence vote.

It isn’t their job though to actually take part in Government decisions on matters of national security.

We seem to be drifting into an era of phoney “national debates” and “consultation” on key issues where what we ought to have is clear decisions that the electorate then judges at a general election.links to this post

of the Israel war against Gaza

According to Oona, Blair backed a “a disproportionate and bloody Israeli response to Hizbollah aggression” – strange that because whereas I did back the Israelis and wanted them to be able to carry on until Hizbollah had been destroyed, Blair has consistently said he wanted an early and sustainable ceasefire links to this postof Harriet Harman as Deputy Leader

in the unlikely event that she gets elected will the last person to leave the Labour Party please turn out the lights?
links to this post

of donald rumsfeld

Donald Rumsfeld and find the gloating at his resignation distasteful.


1) Well for a start off his strategy in Iraq was our Labour government’s too so if he’s such a bad/wrong person so are we – or at least everyone of us that supported the government line.

2) If you are going to have Republicans in power (and I’d rather we were now 6 years into an Al Gore Presidency) I would rather they were idealistic ones that believed in spreading democracy to the Middle East than Kissinger/Nixon style cynics practicising real-politik and focussed just on national self-interest rather than some higher ideological ends.

3) He’s the fall guy for his boss in the White House who in a European political system would be the one resigning after these elections.

4) He actually did the traditional job of Defense Secretary very well – overseeing two stunning military victories in Afganistan and Iraq in a matter of weeks – what he is being blamed for is the subsequent failiure to rebuild Iraq and of the US armed forces to peacekeep – neither of which traditionally were or should be core US military functions.

My hunch is history will say Rumsfeld made all of us a lot safer by destroying the Taliban/al-Qaeda base in Afghanistan and removing Saddam from power so he wasn’t around to refresh his WMD arsenal and marry it with N Korean missile technology.

There are a lot of Afghans and Iraqis (particularly Kurds and Shiites) who have a lot to thank him for.


  1. Comrade Andy says:

    Sounds like my kind of candidate! 🙂

  2. D.B. says:

    By all accounts the guy is a hardworking Party functionary but also an utter fruit loop politically, as these quotes demonstrate. Someone should write a book full of these.

  3. Akehurst is a truly extraordinary man. For the life of me I have no idea why he doesn’t put himself and all of us out of his/our misery and join the Tories. How come a guy to the right of Tony Blair even wants to be in Labour?

    Oh yes, I forgot. Playing politics is better than getting a real job.

  4. Helen Wilkie says:

    This **** told me to burn my membership card once. No longer a member due to people like him.

  5. Robbie Scott says:

    He is very hardworking I had intended to vote for him for that reason but I’m not sure anymore – the Compass comments have really put me off but to be fair to him he did say it in 2007. The only person I’m definitely going to vote for is Christine because I enjoy reading her articles in Labour Briefing and because she does her bit to expose the sillyness that seems to be the norm in this party. Hmm… Thanks for this, was an eye opener.

  6. Graeme Burrell says:

    Oh dear… it looks like the people behind the ‘democratic’ Left Futures want to “give the right a good kicking”….

    Did you notice what I did there? Put an inflammatory statement in quotes without giving a citation? How about you give citations and *dates* for when Luke Akehurst is supposed to have made the above comments? A quick Google shows that the ‘good kicking’ comment has been taken out of context (in an extremist tit-for-tat game), so I’m presuming the author has done the same for the rest of them…

    The author is lambasting Akehurst about lack of impartiality: a case of pot/kettle/black as far as I can see…

    The author also seems to be against the alleged ‘party within a party’ of ‘the right’… yet another bit of hypocrisy as far as I can see…

    BTW I’m not a supporter of Akehurst, just sick and tired of extremists – of ‘the right’ AND ‘the left’ – putting their own egos and personal political agendas ahead of the good of the party and the country…

    1. Jon Lansman says:

      It’s true Graeme, that I’d like to see the Right-wing slate lose seats to the Centre-left slate, in what I think is now an open and fair election. it didn’t used to be open and fair in the Blair years when party staff actively promoted candidates on the Right-wing slate, an interference Luke supported in his comment and I think it is quite fair to quote what he said. Links are, I believe provided to quotes.

      Unlike you, Graeme, I have allowed the words — Luke’s words — to speak for themselves so readers can form their own judgements about whose opinions are extreme. And I fail to see how clarifying the position and views of candidates puts “egos and personal political agendas ahead of the good of the party”. Contesting internal elections is all about the good of the party. I support the Centre-left slate, Luke is on the Right slate, I’m publishing his views in his own words because I believe that seeing them will lead some people – like Robbie Scott – to think again about voting for Luke. And I think that replacing Luke with Pete Willsman, for example, would benefit the national executive and the party, not least because Luke holds the views I’ve quoted.

  7. Graham Peasantry says:

    Graeme, I don’t understand. You don’t need to Google anything. They are all cited: if you click the big red bold links, you will find the articles in question, complete with date and context.

  8. Graeme Burrell says:

    Wow! So I missed the links!

    That still doesn’t explain away the fact that the first ‘quote’ is out of context.

    And your claims about partiality in the ‘Blair years’ may or may not have been true, but what you’re NOT doing, Jon, is allowing his words to “speak for themselves’: your dogma-driven spin is just as bad as that of those on the ‘extreme’ right in the party.

    The ‘party within a party’ on the extreme left is just as bad as the ‘party within a party’ on the extreme right IMHO… this kind of ‘thinking’ nearly saw the party disappear in the ’80s’, and allowed Cameron to lie and cheat his way into Number 10…

    As I said, I’m just sick and tired of extremists – of ‘the right’ AND ‘the left’ – putting their own egos and personal political agendas ahead of the good of the party and the country…

    1. Jon Lansman says:

      Graeme: I do think that Luke’s views on many significant issues are very right-wing and I have no doubt that is implicit in what I wrote. But I do quote his own words with links which allows readers to make up their own minds. Precisely because I think that’s more powerful than any interpretation I may make of Luke’s position.

      And I don’t accept what you say about the first quote. Readers can make that judgement.

  9. Graeme Burrell says:

    Jon: you may have quoted his own words, but if the first example is anything to go by, they are deliberately cherry-picked and a misinterpretation of the article as a whole.

    And assuming that readers can ‘make up their own mind’ is either naive or manipulation at it’s ‘best’… most people just read the headlines & quotes, and don’t look at primary sources: that’s how we were landed with an unrepresentative Coalition government.

    There again, that’s what pushing one personal dogmatic position by attacking an opposing dogmatic position using spin and misdirection is all about, isn’t it?

  10. john P reid says:

    goodbye helen wilkie and don’t come back I see the 5 million people didn’t vote alobur in 2010 but did in 1997 card has been played again, But don’t mention the 5.2million more people voted labour in 1997 than in 1983, will you ,or the 5.6million less people voted labour in 1983 than 1951. either

© 2024 Left Futures | Powered by WordPress | theme originated from PrimePress by Ravi Varma