Wednesday 8 May 2024

Nil Desperandum Auspice Deo

Dan Poulter has never voted as a Labour MP, and Natalie Elphicke repeatedly declined to do so this afternoon. People who have been without the whip for years are more reliable than that to the Whips.  In a statement undoubtedly approved by Keir Starmer, and delivered in his presence, Elphicke announced that "The centre ground has been abandoned" by Rishi Sunak, whereas Labour now "occupies the centre ground of British politics". By "the centre ground", she means her own position up to noon today, and indeed still. Starmer agrees.

On the day that Elphicke was welcomed as a non-playing member, the Labour Party centrally has imposed its own choice of Leader on Sunderland City Council because the Leader since 2018, Graeme Miller, had supported the selection of Jamie Driscoll as the Labour candidate for North East Metro Mayor. He had fully supported Kim McGuinness once she had been selected. But he had dared to favour someone else at the selection stage. So, following significant gains for Labour in Sunderland under his Leadership last week, he has been purged by a WhatsApp message from London. How a Leader of the Opposition runs his party is how he would run the country as Prime Minister. We have been warned.

But when I tell you that there is going to be a hung Parliament, then you can take that to the bank. I spent the 2005 Parliament saying that it was psephologically impossible for the Heir to Blair's Conservative Party to win an overall majority. I predicted a hung Parliament on the day that the 2017 General Election was called, and I stuck to that, entirely alone, all the way up to the publication of the exit poll eight long weeks later. And on the day that Sunak became Prime Minister, I predicted that a General Election between him and Starmer would result in a hung Parliament.

I have no plan to join the Workers Party of Britain, although nor would I expect to stand against it. But if it did not contest North Durham, then I would. To strengthen families and communities by securing economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, including national and parliamentary sovereignty, we need to hold the balance of power. Owing nothing to either main party, we must be open to the better offer. But there does need to be a better offer. Not a lesser evil, which in any case the Labour Party is not. We have made a start.


  1. Sunderland is an open goal the media are missing.