Monday, 28 July 2014

And So To Beds?

The New Statesman's article on the rise of Evangelical churches as local voting blocs that Labour needs to mobilise, not news to longstanding readers of this site, is not yet online.

But its account of the remarkable manner in which the unexpected selection of Gavin Shuker as the Labour candidate at Luton South led to the unexpected Labour retention of that seat, both due to the activities of his congregants, ought to attract the attention of Martin Bell.

Although it is now hardly remembered, Bell sought in 2001 to unseat Eric Pickles at Brentwood and Ongar (which latter Bell could not pronounce correctly) due to the "infiltration" of the local Conservative Association by a Pentecostal church.

Pickles had never been a member of the Peniel Pentecostal Church in Pilgrims Hatch. Whereas until his election at the age of 28, Shuker was the pastor of the City Life Church in Luton, and another member of it now chairs his Constituency Labour Party in place of a party machine stalwart who had not wanted him as the candidate.

All to the good, say I. Of course a figure like that (who is white, if it matters, as I expect are most or all of the members of his church) is Labour, and is already a Shadow Minister, for the sake of retaining whom and others variously Evangelical and Catholic on the front bench no whip was imposed on the definition of marriage. Such is their clout within Ed Miliband's Labour Party, however modest their numbers may be.

None of this is remotely surprising to anyone who knows which way the wind blows. It is anything else that would be flabbergasting. Shuker and I have mutual friends, and I strongly suggest that you do not take your eye off him.

But where does it all leave Martin Bell, himself originally from the East of England, where the two Luton seats are Labour's only remaining redoubts in this Parliament, with one of them having been held by these means?

Bell is getting on a bit. But his nephew, who wrote his totally cynical election address at Tatton in 1997, is still only 50 or 51. I refer to Oliver Kamm.

To Kamm's mind, the situation at Luton South, and the influence of figures such as Gavin Shuker within the Labour Party, must be utterly egregious. The idea of the erstwhile pastor of the City Life Church as an International Development Minister must be as horrific to Kamm as it is exciting to me.

Following this week's New Statesman article, if Oliver Kamm does not announce his candidacy at Luton South, then there will be no remaining reason to take with even so much as the slightest seriousness anything that he might ever say on any subject whatever.


  1. Evangelicals don't hate Catholics any more, so why would they vote for the party that closed every Catholic adoption agency in Britain?

    Like the silly masochistic Catholics in America who still vote Democrat after that party has spat on Catholicism every chance it gets (with Obama backing the courts imposition of gay marriage on every state and even including the contraceptive pill among free healthcare coverage that Catholic Universities and businesses are now mandated to provide).

    If any Christians vote for the Labour Party-or the US Democrats- they are lapsed Catholics and fallen Christians.

    1. Bless.

      Their social thought is now so important to Labour, as are their votes, that Ed Miliband, under heavy pressure from elsewhere, refused to whip the Conservatives' redefinition of marriage, for fear of losing them.

      Do try and keep up.

  2. What's happening with Gimlet? I have not heard hide nor hair of the short arsed little joke for many a long year. Does he even still write?

    1. This could be his big chance of a comeback.

  3. The social thought of Labour's gay marriage opponents is important?What, all 12 of them? HAHAHA

    Don't embarass yourself.

    Miliband hardly needed to "whip" anyone did he?
    After all, 217 Labour MP's voted for it willingly.

    And is it supposed to be wonderful that the official Opposition doesn't "whip" it's MP's to vote with the Government?

    I guess that sums up the state of our Parliamentary democracy.

    The Government didn't whip its own MP's either.

    Didn't have to. It knew it could certainly rely on "the Opposition" to get it through.

    Imagine a Catholic voting for the party that closed every Catholic adoption agency in Britain...

    I shouldn't laugh.

    1. Oh goody, a thick toff. You are not called the Stupid Party for nothing.

    2. You mentioned thought, Mr. L. You have discombobulated the coked up little Bullingdon scumbag. He wants to bring back grammar schools now that private schools are so expensive and thanks to the comps he has been overtaken by plebs who he thinks don't deserve to be there. He believes his own caste has a divine right to lord it no matter how stupid they are and he now even has the gall to want the rest of us to pay for it. You have proved that you are below the salt by using the word "thought".

    3. On topic, please.

      Although I shall be coming back to that one, why the people who suddenly now support grammar schools do so. You are essentially correct.

      Still, on topic, please.