By Martin Healy
THE Local and General Elections did not go as i had hoped on May 7th. Thurrock still has two Conservative MPs and our borough council is as split as you like, i didn’t participate at all this year so i deserve my disappointment. Many comrades and candidates worked very very hard fr the Labour Party but did not win. Politics can be unfair like that. Anyway, the good thing about politics is that there is always a new set of elections to prepare for and we do not have to wait for five years.
Next year, 2016, the Thurrock Labour fight back starts in Thurrock and in London there is a Mayoral Election and before all that the Labour Party itself has a leader and deputy leader election this Autumn.
Since May 7th most Labour members have just been shell shocked. We have known for some time now that things are not good and it is not just Scotland. Root and branch throughout the country, the Labour Party was been run like a machine which is wonderful if you are running a large franchise retail outlet but we are talking people and politics here which is different. Nonetheless, the Labour party still got 7m votes nationwide which is not total and abject failure. The party is still HM opposition in Parliament and in Thurrock, despite no overall control, Thurrock Labour Party still run the council.
This week, my friend, a general secretary at a large trade union, told me that the reason we lost was that the Labour Party stopped campaigning on the issues that voters feel are important namely the economy and immigration. Forget about SNP, forget about Miliband as leader being the issue, it was trust on the twin issues of the economy and immigration. The uncomfortable fact for us in GE2015 is that we have become irrelevant to millions of voters who then dumped us and turned up in great numbers to vote UKIP.
As someone who likes a bet and please be warned that i lost a small fortune on GE2015. My preference for Labour Candidate for London Mayor is Dame Tessa Jowell, i have always liked Diane Abbott MP but i think both ladies will be out organised by Sadiq Khan MP. Sadiq will then contest and win the London mayoral election.
My preferences for Labour Leadership are Liz Kendall MP for leader and Stella Creasy MP for deputy leader. I have always liked Everton fan Andy Burnham MP but he may not make it. So the likely winners are Yvette Cooper MP for leader and Tom Watson MP for deputy. Who wins will have to take the advice that when campaigning, it is the economy and immigration that are the things that matter to the vast majority of disaffected Labour voters.
As for Thurrock 2016, the Labour Party will recover. we are extremely lucky to have some great people running the party locally. Thurrock Labour will be back with a stronger offer in Stifford Clays, Stanford, Ockendon and Aveley looking to win those council seats back."