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Labour candidate unacceptably mocks working class people

Delegates to Labour Students’ National Council on Saturday were shocked to hear terribly snobbish comments by guest speaker Andrew Pakes, Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Milton Keynes South (one of the party’s top 106 target seats for the 2015 General Election).

He told a story of encountering two shop stewards from a West Midlands car plant being closed speaking at a conference he attended some years ago. He derided them for being “drunk”, having what he termed “Noddy Holder accents” and being so inarticulate that it was like “listening to someone outside a nightclub.”

Delegates looked round in shock to hearing such patronising and stereotyped statements directed towards working class people. Such stereotyping language would not be tolerated if it were directed at an ethnic group.

The question is, is this the kind of Labour Party that members want? Where our prospective elected representatives in parliament display nothing but contempt for the working people they are supposed to be defending from the onslaught of Tory cuts?

With the National Executive Committee’s recent commitment to solving the ongoing crisis of working class representation in Parliament, Ed Miliband needs to make clear that there is no room in the Labour Party for such snobbery as was shown by Andrew Pakes on Saturday.


  1. RedShift says:

    This is outrageous. This guy has no place as Labour PPC

  2. phil Din says:

    What’s wrong with Noddy Holder ? Seems to have done Ok for himself, especially at Xmas!

  3. treborc says:

    This of course is about right for the area this person is standing in.

    I suspect he’s been picked to look like a Tory so he can win the Tory seats, either that or his parents have dropped labour a few bob.

    I suspect he will fit right in with the posh people of the Labour party, Mandy may well be offering him some advice on how to get rich

  4. john reid says:

    hwe could get even more money Trebor if he gets indavilidity benefit too,

  5. treborc says:

    John stop being a xxxxxx mate slow down check your spelling at least, stop going back to the ancient past and come into the future.

    Invalidity benefits stopped under Thatcher she gave us Incapacity benefits.

    You must get over Blair mate, he’s gone.

  6. Pat McIntyre says:

    And did someone on the Labour Students’ National Council stand up and oppose what this Blairtory PPC said? And was Pakes
    censured for his nastiness?

  7. Duncan says:

    Pakes was always a “character”… He quickly swung from being on the left as a first-yera student to finding a path towards NUS President, etc (i.e. moving to the Labour Students mainstream / New Labour position). From there he appears to have followed the traditional route to be a PPC! I don’t think he’s from an especially privileged background and at least he’s relatively local to the area he has been selected for – he’s not a New Labour parachute, despite his NUS background and unacceptable mockery of Brummies…

  8. treborc says:

    Horses for courses, he I suspect would fit in well to the area he’s standing in.

    Round peg in square hole and all that.

  9. paul says:

    “The question is, is this the kind of Labour Party that members want?”
    Answer: Yes – and has wanted and has had this type of candidate and MP for the last 10 years minimum. The difference being this guy is honest, whereas the current lot of MP’s are more skilfull at hiding their contempt for working class people.

  10. I thought we were starting to see a demand for inspired individuals who wanted to LEAD, not just to hold “power” who wanted to utilise the awesome influence of British diversity and be respected by civilised society. Clearly some people only want cheap laughs and the respect of only the over-privileged, middle-england, non-regional dialect brigade. This kind of divisiveness and ignorance isn’t what a labour movement should be about. I hope Andrew Pakes retracts his statements and apologises both to the people he crudely mocked, and to the student movement who he disrepected with his low expectations. I’d like Mr Pakes to try raising the bar, instead of lowering it.

  11. Rachel Barker says:

    So I was a delegate at conference…and I have to say this article is quite misrepresentative of what happened…

    He did mock them for being drunk and said they were inarticulate and general had ridiculous views…because they were from the SWP. It was not at all a comment on their class.

    The Noddy Holder comment wasn’t acceptable; but when he was called up on it he responded with humility; he apologised and spoke of the importance of working class values in the Labour Party and labour movement. That’s not to defend the original comment; but as much as we would all like to think of ourselves as infalible…we are not perfect, he said something shitty but the way he dealt with it afterwords reflected, I thought, well of him.

  12. Victoria Walley says:

    Snobbery? The only snobbery here is from the comments that because it is Milton Keynes we must all be middle England Tories. Nobody comes from MK we all landed here having been driven out of our homes to look for jobs on Tebbit’s bike in the 80’s. Andrew Parkes is a good hard working party member who keeps the Labour Party alive in this hostile neck of the woods. Cut the bloke some slack.

  13. treborc says:

    The Noddy Holder comment was not acceptable, but of course it was how he saw it, and that is a problem is it not.

  14. Chris says:

    “He did mock them for being drunk and said they were inarticulate and general had ridiculous views…because they were from the SWP. It was not at all a comment on their class.”

    To be frank, the SWP are right about these sorts of issues.

  15. Nick Wright says:

    Pakes should be directing his attention to the de industrialisation of the area including the motor industry in Luton and Dunstable. Perhaps he should read the free Manifesto Press book An Economy for the People

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