Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Congratualtions to Michael

I was very pleased to learn that locally based Councillor Michael Winstanley is to become mayor of Wigan tomorrow.

Despite the fact that Michael is a Conservative I have always had a good rapport with him. I can now reveal that over the years I have tried to convert him to the Labour cause but despite the many leaflets I have put through his door and a recent attempt at canvassing him he has stubbornly remained in the Conservative Party.

I am sure that Michael will be an excellent advocate for Wigan in his role as mayor and I wish him all the best for the coming year

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Unashamed triumphalism - black day for Labour


I am still coming down from the results on Friday. I have rarely experienced a political event like Friday's count and I will probably never experience one like it again in my lifetime.

The Labour Party won 10 seats and now holds 51 out of the 75 seats on the Council. We actually won in 23 out of the 24 seats up for election.

Added to these fantastic results Labour is now again in control of St Helens and Liverpool.

According to some sections of the press Thursday was a dark day for Labour.

Not here it wasn't.



Post election thoughts 2 - Proportional representation

I have been asked if I support PR. The answer is a very firm no. And before it is said that first past the post has suited me in this election I would remind you that I had to suffer the dreadful Thatcher years because of this system but during that time I cannot ever recall arguing for a change in the voting system. We live in a democracy and we have to respect what the people have decided through the ballot box. I think this present result is an excellent indication of the mood of the people - a plague on all your houses and we do not really trust one single party to govern this country.

First past the post is clean and usually gives a clear result. What is happening now between Clegg, Cameron and perhaps Brown in due course is normal in Europe where PR is the norm - it can take up to a month to form a Government and there will be a lot of fudging of policies which the electorate may not have voted for.

I also believe that any voting system must be understandable to ordinary people. I invite readers of this blog to explain to me how the Euro election results were arrived at - and while you are at it please explain the Duckworth Lewis method of deciding a cricket matched affected by rain.

They say that PR will give the people better representation. Can I remind you that one of your Euro MPs is BNP leader Nick Griffin who was elected purely because of a totally incomprehensible PR system used in the Euro elections. There is not one poll I have seen since which has convinced me that his party has amassed enough votes to warrant a seat in Europe on any basis - it was only elected because of PR.

There is another system of PR which requires the winner to have 50% of the vote. On the ballot paper the voter will number the candidates in order of his/her preference. If the candidate with the most votes does not have 50% of the votes cast then the candidate who is last will drop out, his/her votes will be looked at again and the second preference will be allocated to the other candidates. This will be repeated until one candidate has 50% of the total vote. In this system who can tell whether I would have won or not because nobody can say which candidate the voters would have chosen as second.

The only qualification I will make to my stand on this issue is that if a referendum is held and the people support PR then naturally I will go along with their decision.

Post election thoughts 1

Of course I am delighted with the result from Friday but it was a very close run thing.

I would like to thank the Community Action Party for running a clean and I must say very effective campaign. To get a candidate who is virtually unknown in Ashton - please do not read this as a criticism just a fact - to within 200 votes of winning the seat is an achievement which I, as a seasoned election campaigner, must acknowledge. There was one point during Friday when I thought I was going to lose the seat.

I would like to thank the Independents for fielding a candidate but that's all. I hoped that this campaign would be a clean one but I was not impressed by the last minute flier put out in Ashton and the description of Ann Rampling in their material put around Bryn. The Labour Party will remember this for future elections.

I would like to thank the Conservative candidate Malcolm Childs for a pleasant conversation on election night and the BNP candidate for doing absolutely nothing during the campaign and sparing the good people of Ashton from having to read the obnoxious guff that emanates from this now irrelevant party.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Oh dear dear

I have just read that the BNP are in tatters after resounding defeats in its stronghold areas including Barking, East London where Nick Griffin came third.

The national losses were compounded by its failure to maintain a single seat on Barking and Dagenham Council where it previously had 12 seats. It has lost every single parliamentary and council seat across the country where it has faced an opposition.

In Barking the Labour candidate Margaret Hodge gave Nick Griffin a drubbing defeating him by 18,000 votes.

The Deputy Chairman Simon Darby came fourth in Stoke Central and the party's vote collapsed in Burnley.

The voters of Makerfield also overwhelmingly rejected the BNP - their Parliamentary candidate came a poor fifth getting just over 4 per cent of the vote. And I have no idea who the candidate for Ashton was as he did not put out a leaflet nor do anything else to my knowledge.

Those local election results in full


Nigel Ash - Labour - 2,208

Joanne Bradley - CAP - 1,980

Malcolm Childs - Conservative - 571

Barry Longstaffe - BNP - 352

Frank Merry - Independent - 574

Total 5,685 - 62.88% of the electorate

I would like to express my sincere thanks to everybody who supported me in this election. I promise that I will continue to work hard for all the residents in Ashton.


Kenneth Haslam BNP 531

Brian Merry Independent 1,697

Ann Rampling Labour 2,274

Joseph Sheedy Conservative 525

Kevin Williams CAP 609

Total 5,636 62.17% of the electorate

Friday, 7 May 2010

Welcome to my new reader

I found a convert to this award winning blog at last night's count. In the course of political discussions with John Mather, the Independent candidate for Makerfield, he told me how much he enjoyed reading this blog.

Well, John. thanks for that. You have probably doubled my readership.

Those Makerfield results in full

Makerfield - total eligible to vote 74,255
Turnout 43,771 (58.95%)

Itrat Ali Conservative 8,210 18.76% (11.06%)

Robert Brierley Independent 3,424 7.82% (4.61%)

David Crowther Liberal Democrat 7,082 16.18% (9.54%)

Yvonne Helen Fovargue Labour 20,700 47.29% (27.88%)

Kenneth Haslam BNP 3,229 7.38% (4.35%)

John Mark Mather Independent 1,126 2.57% (1.52%)

Total 43,771

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Oh dear

I think the following article on Yahoo written by Ian Dunt might be of interest to readers at this election time.

The British National party's (BNP) beleaguered election campaign hit a new disaster today when its head of online operations quit the party and took the website with him.

Simon Bennett, directed traffic to his own website, where he posted an outspoken attack on the party and its leadership, the Times reported today.

Mr Bennett suggested the party was disorganised, amateurish and constantly wasting membership fees.

"This will no doubt [sic] come as a shock to many of those that read this, particularly those who really don't want to hear it," he wrote.

"However, I have a duty to the members and my conscience, but most of all to my wife and children, to tell the truth behind the spin."

The website was briefly down yesterday afternoon before it was reactivated, but the comments quickly spread across the web.

Party leader Nick Griffin and election fundraiser James Dowson w e re branded "pathetic, desperate and incompetent" by Mr Bennett.

It is just the latest incident of infighting threatening to the derail the far-right party's general election campaign.

Mr Griffin himself recently informed police that someone in the organisation was trying to kill him.


I dreamt I was watching Sky TV this morning and that according to one of the latest opinion polls the Labour Party could be the largest party in a hung Parliament on Friday.

I woke up and found it was actually true.

The Liberal bounce - but not in Makerfield

If you were a resident of Makerfield and you did not have a TV or radio you would not know that there has been a Liberal surge in the country - in fact you would not know there was Liberal party at all because to my knowledge the candidate has not put out a leaflet nor has he been seen canvassing on the streets. He did not even bother to attend the hustings in Hindley held recently.

Does new wonder boy Nick Clegg realise how little effort this candidate has put into his campaign or is he relying on the now dwindling Liberal bounce to get him some votes and possibly save his deposit?

I think we should be told.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Confusion in Ashton Town centre

Candidates and followers from different political parties were in Ashton Town Centre on Saturday. However people were apparently very confused as to who the different candidates were representing. I believe the following parties were there:

1.The local Independent candidates and helpers

2. The two Independent Parliamentary candidates and helpers

3. The CAP local candidates and helpers

4. The BNP

5. The group opposed to the BNP

People tell me that they were confused because the Independent and the CAP were wearing exactly the same colours. They could not understand why there were two Parliamentary candidates and why all these 'independent' groups are asking for their votes when they seem to be saying the same thing.

I just say that democracy is a wonderful thing and I am glad to see it alive and kicking in Ashton.