Will apathy kill off Thurrock Labour?

RECENTLY, the Thurrock Constituency Labour Party held a meeting to put forward a collective nomination for a leader to succeed Ed Miliband.

Of the eighteen Labour councillors, only one (Cllr Martin Kerin) turned up.

The meeting barely scraped double figures. Outspoken members such as Scott Nelson made their feelings plain whilst others just put it down to post-election blues.

However, this contrasted with other constituency groups around the country, where there still appears to be a fire in the belly and iron in the political soul.

Our sister paper, www.yourharlow.com reported that over 40 attended the meeting of the Harlow Labour Party.

One of the reasons put down in Thurrock, was that it was the summer and people were busy etc. However, a week before there were Thurrock Labour councillors in their droves, "enjoying the hospitality" in the VIP section of the Village Beach.

Your Thurrock has questions on the green belt and homelessness left unanswered by their respective Labour portfolio holders.

In the chamber, the leader, cllr John Kent publicly sacked his portfolio holder for crime, cllr Terry Brookes after a series of no-shows.

In over eight months, we will all be back at the polls for another round of local elections.

Labour have much to lose. There are seventeen seats up and Labour are defending eight of them

Sue Gray: Belhus

Gerard Rice: Chadwell St Mary

John Kent: Grays Riverside

Yash Gupta: Grays Thurrock

Richard Speight: Stanford East and Corringham Town

Terry Hipsey: Stanford West

Lyn Worrall: Tilbury St Chads

Oliver Gerrish: West Thurrock and South Stifford

Not all of them may stand. Yash Gupta is standing down. They will miss Yash. They will miss his ability to win elections.

But there are a number of seats that look vulnerable. Belhus, Chadwell, Stanford East and Tilbury St Chads could all go to Ukip whilst Stanford West could go to the Conservatives.

UKIP may well win because in Thurrock they act like the SNP. "Labour has forgotten you. Come with us". And in May 2015 they ended up with 13 councillors.

And in many ways, Thurrock Labour have ended up like Scottish Labour. For Belhus see Belshill and Ockendon, the Ochills.

Watch again, the acceptance speech by UKIP councillor for Ockendon in May. He immediately talks about how Labour have let Thurrock down and name-checks the MP Hugh Delargy, who died in 1976!

He could easily have been an SNP candidate making the same point name name-checking Richard Buchanan in Glasgow Springburn.

Again, back over in Harlow, UKIP had five councillors in May 2014. In one ward they polled 600 votes. Nine months later, there was a By-Election. They polled 300 votes. One of the main reasons was that Harlow Labour worked very very hard to get those votes back.

It seems to us that Thurrock Labour have a core of hard working activists but on too many occasions, they have too many people who are playing cameo roles, when they should be the leading men and women.

In conclusion, we have attached the maiden speech of SNP MP Mhairi Black. Perhaps Thurrock Labour may like to take notes……

We will watch the next nine months with interest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.