Wednesday, June 30, 2010

West Ham CLP nominate Ed Miliband as Labour Leader

 Tonight there was an “all members” meeting held before our Labour Party General Committee to decide who (if any) of the declared candidates we would endorse. All five candidates were nominated and seconded and there was a lively debate between their respective supporters.

Ed Miliband was nominated by Ellie Robertson who is a new Councillor and Chair of Newham Young Labour. I seconded Ed and was also able to speak in his favour.

My view was that Ed is the candidate best placed to beat Cameron and Clegg which is vitally important since without power - we can do nothing.

However, he also the candidate who has committed to tackling inequality and redistribute wealth, not only because it is fairer but because more equal societies are better societies in all measurable ways not only for the poor but also for the better off.

The previous Labour Government did many, many good things but instead of us having a balanced or truly mixed economy it let the pendulum swing too far to the right in certain areas and “the market” into public services and its provision - and it is now time to swing the pendulum back to the left in order to create balance and a centre left economy. An economy where the public sector does what it is good at and provides not for profit services direct to the public and the private sector does what is good at – creating wealth in the free enterprise business economy.

On a personal note I also mentioned that I supported Ed because I was very impressed with the way he conducted himself when he was the keynote guest speaker at the UNISON Labour Link forum in Manchester last year. Two things in particular struck me. One that he admitted to the forum that the Government did not get everything right. He would be listening to the Radio in the morning and hear about a government announcement and think “why on earth did we do that?” I thought at the time this was a brave thing for a Government minister to say. It was also something very much that I could relate to since I had also in the past choked on my branflakes at some of the things that I had heard the government get up to in the morning while listening to the radio!

The second things that struck me about Ed was that after his speech to Forum in the Q&A - the delegates got stuck in (as UNISON delegates do) with the questions and gave him a “bit of a hard time”. Yet Ed gave as good as he got and while passionate in his responses he was not rattled and in the end the forum organisers had to practically drag him off so they could move business on. Ed in the meanwhile told delegates that he wasn’t going to leave the conference venue and he wanted to continue the debate and invited questioners to carry on where they had left it outside the forum hall. Which he did!

It was a close race in West Ham but Ed was in the lead (just) on the 1st preferences but was confirmed as winner after the 2nd preference count.

On Sunday evening July 18 the West Ham (and East London) Labour movement will have a chance to judge the candidates at the Hustings (sponsored by UNISON who will invite affiliates to attend) that is due to take place in Stratford (home of the first ever Labour MP)

(Picture is of Ed Miliband at the East Ham meeting on June 11th - East Ham CLP have since also made a supportive nomination for Ed. I’ll post pictures of tonight’s event soon)

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