Hartlepool By-Election

theclaud

Openly Marxist
Location
Swansea
The Keir Starmer thread is, like the present leadership, dying on its arse, so I thought I'd best stake out new ground for this one.

Mike Hill, the Labour MP for Hartlepool, rolling with the zeitgeist, has resigned amid accusations of sexual harassment (which will be the subject of an employment tribunal), triggering a by-election, which will be held on May 6 alongside the various other elections around the country. The Labour top brass have published their candidate selection schedule:
  • Freeze date for eligibility – Tuesday 16 March
  • Applications close – Wednesday 17 March, 5pm
  • NEC longlisting – Thursday 18 March
  • NEC shortlisting – Thursday 18 March or Friday 19 March (depending on availability)
  • Online selection hustings – Friday 19 March or Saturday 20 March (depending on shortlist date)
Yes, that's potentially a 'longlist' and a shortlist on the same day, and the whole thing done and dusted in five (max). If that seems precipitous, a leaked email from the secretary of Hartlepool CLP appears to suggest that Paul Williams, the MP that lost Stockton South (another brick of the so-called 'Red Wall') in the last election and the current candidate for Cleveland Police & Crime Commissioner, is being lined up for the gig via what is euphemistically called a 'shortlist of one'.

1616025703039.png


EDIT: Williams has Tweeted that he 'just heard' he's been selected as the candidate. Looks like the polls were spot on!

View: https://twitter.com/David__Osland/status/1372603414828421135?s=20


Guido is all over this fiasco, natch. Not least because Hartlepool voted around 70% Leave and Williams has apparently been furiously deleting Tweets calling for a second referendum. I'm not sure if he also deleted the Tweet he sent a few years earlier after returning from an £8.7K jolly to Saudi Arabia, paid for by the Saudi regime. It said 'My previous notions have been blown out of the water. I’ve seen a modern, progressive Saudi Arabia that has totally changed my view of this country.' I'm sure the people of Yemen concur. Accompanying him on this jolly were none other than Mike Gapes (where do I start?) and John Woodcock (more on that story later, while we're on the subject of sexual harassment).

The Labour vote in Hartlepool has been declining for two decades, especially from 2005 onwards - except for in the 2017 general election when it increased by 17%. In 2019 Labour dropped 15% and held the seat with a majority of just 3,600 over the seond-placed Tories. 25% of the vote went to Richard Tice of the Brexit Party. The BP has now rebranded as Reform UK. Tice is its Leader and he's threatening to stand again. The Speccy is advising the Tories to poach him and put him up as their candidate.

Enter, stage left, The Northern Independence Party, to fill the gaping representational gap with an infectious blend of democratic green socialism, populist rhetoric and entertaining left-wing shitposting.

View: https://twitter.com/FreeNorthNow/status/1372112078358581248?s=20


Place your bets, CC peeps...
 

bikingdad90

Veteran
Personally I think people will get behind MP Paul Williams because of how vocal he is about the NHS and as he is also still a serving doctor he is popular within the medical circuit.

As for how the selection process is done I would like to hear how Paul feels about his selection, Did he voice an interest or was he told he would be the candidate? I feel he will be questioned on this matter in any debates.

As for Paul Williams when he was MP for Stockton South where I am from and he took the seat from conservatives in the last elections but then lost it to Matt Vickers who promised to get Brexit done (and he did) but didn’t focus on any local issues in his campaign unlike Paul who did which led to a huge defeat in the polls, not helped by Jeremy been in control of Labour. I suspect now Brexit is done the seat will revert back to labour as traditionally Stockton South is more interested in local issues and people have taken a very bad dislike to Matt Vickers blocking people on social media who don’t agree with him. The local Facebook groups are hilarious sometimes.
 

Dan77

Well-Known Member
Location
Worcester
Labour no longer does democracy. I detest Starmer.

We'd be 4 years into a very different type of government if it wasn't for him and the other wreckers.

I hope they lose, to anyone, so that the pressure is put on Starmer. He's already making excuses for the losses coming in May elections.
What I'm hearing though is that the 10k Brexit party voters from the GE are favouring Labour. The bookies, however, have them neck and neck with Tories and Labour both at 10/11.
 

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
Hartlepool has been quite a colourful seat over the years.

The MP was Peter Mandelson in the Blair years, and the seat has often attracted fringe candidates; Monster Raving Loony and the like, not to mention Arthur Scargill as an independent.

Iain Wright beat 14 other candidates in 2004.

I saw Wrighty give evidence in a crown court trial against a local activist accused of harassing him.

Everyone in court thought Wright was a terrible witness, perhaps they were expecting a more polished performance from a parliamentarian.

The activist was convicted of one offence, which the judge dealt with by a fine.

He was quite a character.

A few weeks later I was chatting with the judge, Nick Lumley QC, outside the court.

We were hailed by a friendly shout from a building site next door - it was the loony activist who was then working as a scaffolder on the site.

Back to the Hartlepool seat, given that Brexit is now done, I can't see a win for anyone other than Labour.
 
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Bromptonaut

Rohan Man
Location
Bugbrooke UK
It seems that the current MPs resignation, while foreseeable, was not expected immediately. Although, to me, observing from a distance, there doesn't seem any need for the byelection writ to be laid quickly I guess there's an attraction to doing it on the same day as the 'locals' and also not leaving the constituency unrepresented for too long. If Dr Williams, a proven MP, is ready and willing then that's a good reason to parachute him in. If it's a one off to meet that need and, as the date of the next GE is likely to be some time off, there are proper candidate selections for the generality of constituencies including a fair crack at the whip for women and ethnic minorities then I don't think Hartlepool tells us a great deal about Starmer's intentions or instincts.

As for his tweet about Tory MILFs well it's a bit embarrassing now but was probably even less truly offensive in 2011 than now. When I first heard about sexist tweets I thought it was much more serious; perhaps something personalised. Actually it's just a bit of an 'off' joke. If that sort of thing in the distant past is enough to disqualify I'd be out of the running and so would an awful lot of other people.

Not just men either, I've overheard stuff in predominantly female gatherings that'd make one's hair curl.
 
Williams: MPILF
 

Cirrus

Active Member
Will be interesting, not a substantial majority (3.5k ish) in the last election. Would not surprise me in the least if it went blue.
 
OP
theclaud

theclaud

Openly Marxist
Location
Swansea
It seems that the current MPs resignation, while foreseeable, was not expected immediately. Although, to me, observing from a distance, there doesn't seem any need for the byelection writ to be laid quickly I guess there's an attraction to doing it on the same day as the 'locals' and also not leaving the constituency unrepresented for too long. If Dr Williams, a proven MP, is ready and willing then that's a good reason to parachute him in. If it's a one off to meet that need and, as the date of the next GE is likely to be some time off, there are proper candidate selections for the generality of constituencies including a fair crack at the whip for women and ethnic minorities then I don't think Hartlepool tells us a great deal about Starmer's intentions or instincts.

As for his tweet about Tory MILFs well it's a bit embarrassing now but was probably even less truly offensive in 2011 than now. When I first heard about sexist tweets I thought it was much more serious; perhaps something personalised. Actually it's just a bit of an 'off' joke. If that sort of thing in the distant past is enough to disqualify I'd be out of the running and so would an awful lot of other people.

Not just men either, I've overheard stuff in predominantly female gatherings that'd make one's hair curl.
I couldn't disagree more. It's the first constituency by-election of Starmer's tenure, in a seat with a thin majority and colourful electoral history in the middle of the territory he is prioritising as his target. There's not a way in hell it's just a matter of haste or contingency.

A sexist Tweet 10 years ago is one thing. Doing credulous PR for the Saudi Regime (and that's putting the kindest spin on it) is quite another. In Starmer's Labour, supporting Palestine gets you a suspension, while supporting Riyadh gets you a shot at a seat in Parliament. And the 'shortlist of one' is not an isolated stitch-up - it comes hot on the heels of the Liverpool mayoral interference, the Bristol West AGM fiasco, and dozens of other displays of undemocratic control-freakery.
 
OP
theclaud

theclaud

Openly Marxist
Location
Swansea
It appears that the long list of one was the request of the local party, not something imposed by the centre.

https://www.theguardian.com/politic...to-find-a-way-to-install-hartlepool-candidate

If we're talking undemocratic control freakery, it's been alive and kicking for years inside all parties. No party leader is immune.
Sorry - I should have said that the pic I posted in the OP was from the CLP chair. I'm not sure how that makes it better, TBH - I don't know whether you are or have ever been a member, but contrary to popular misconceptions the most furious factional organising is on the right of the party. And I don't disagree with your last sentence, but I am apparently much less sanguine about it. It is Not A Good Thing. But Starmer's instincts are managerial and profoundly undemocratic.
 

Craig the cyclist

Well-Known Member
Sorry - I should have said that the pic I posted in the OP was from the CLP chair. I'm not sure how that makes it better, TBH - I don't know whether you are or have ever been a member, but contrary to popular misconceptions the most furious factional organising is on the right of the party. And I don't disagree with your last sentence, but I am apparently much less sanguine about it. It is Not A Good Thing. But Starmer's instincts are managerial and profoundly undemocratic.
So were Blair's, and he was the most successful Labour PM in ages. Maybe this approach is actually what the Labour party need to get a decent shot at getting re-elected.

It may not sit well with a lot of the 'left' wing of the party, but the proverbial man on the street may well find it an option worth going for?
 
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