Wednesday, 29 June 2016

That'll Teach 'Em

Pat Glass is my friend, and always will be. Yes, even though I was going to stand against her in 2020. That's politics. But there is more to life than politics.

Jeremy Corbyn will not be replaced with Tom Watson and a Deputy from the Left, so there is no excuse for anyone to do anything other than stand with Corbyn.

Angela Eagle voted in favour of the Iraq War. Chilcot will report in one week's time.

As to Pat's future, there is now nothing to stop her from marching with the Teaching Assistants at the Durham Miners' Gala. No one who had failed to do so ought to be considered as her potential successor.

Is there really anyone so desperate to become a Labour MP that they would take on even the "challenging" Constituency Labour Party in North West Durham?

There will be someone, I suppose.

But if that candidate is not sound on austerity, on wars, on wars in a time of austerity, on Corbyn, and on the Teaching Assistants, then vote instead for Owen Temple, at least if the General Election is held this year.

The nine Independents sitting for wards in this constituency, who all voted with and for the Teaching Assistants just as the Liberal Democrats did, ought in that event to declare their intention to sign Councillor Temple's nomination papers and to place their ward level electoral machines at his disposal.

Next door in Bishop Auckland, the Labour MP, Helen Goodman, has refused even to meet the Teaching Assistants.

An adequately resourced local candidate from within that campaign would be a big ask by the autumn, but would deserve support if she were to emerge.

Failing that, the Conservative candidate lost by only 3,508 votes last year, and there were 7,015 votes for UKIP, which ought therefore to stand aside this year and work to win the seat for a suitably local Conservative candidate.

All four Conservatives on Durham County Council abstained rather than support the injustice against the Teaching Assistants.

All four of them sit for wards in the Bishop Auckland constituency. One of those four councillors ought to contest that parliamentary seat.

The parliamentary loss of the western third or more of County Durham, including major historic centres of coal and steel, would shock the Labour Party very badly indeed.

It may even be enough to force a reversal of the sacking of all 2700 Teaching Assistants, and their rehiring on a 25 per cent pay cut, lest a bloodbath of Labour councillors ensue next May.

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