Liverpool West Derby Selection

I have applied for the Liverpool West Derby selection. I'm not out to unseat Bob Wareing, but his CLP has decided to hold an open selection and I'm convinced a working class area of a city is where my energy would achieve the most good.

Just to be clear, my understanding of party rules is that, as a declared candidate, I may not refer to any other candidate in negative terms, I may not attend any party meeting in the constituency unless all the candidates have been invited, and I may not make any public comment on the selection procedures in the constituency. So don't try to draw me into banned topics in the comment stream.

Firstly, I'm not from Liverpool - and while I have a few tenuous links with the city, I'm not going to pretend to anyone that I'm not a Londoner.

However, I'm from East London; I left school as a teenager with no A-Levels; I have had to scrape by on £2.35 an hour (before the minimum wage existed) and the Labour movement is in my bones.

My father was a Mirror Group printer and FoC at the Sporting Life; his father was a printer and FoC at The People in around 1929; my great grandfather, a carpenter, was a member of the Labour Party a hundred years ago and my gran, a child at the time, used to tell us that her father came home from a Labour Party meeting one day excited that a young lawyer called Attlee had joined the branch. I help people publish websites for a living which is as close as I'll ever get to being a printer myself.

You can thank my parents for this, but I learned about socialism and solidarity more often than I went to sunday school - and my mother hoped I'd grow up to be a preacher. This is why I'm active in the party today and why I was motivated to set up this website.

For me, being an MP is not the aim; it's just a means to an end. My aims are born of a frustration that we still haven't built a fair society.

I am frustrated that the minimum wage is set at a level that affords poverty, not dignity; that a man or woman who works full-time for any employer should be valued so low. I am frustrated that a 16 to 21 year old attracts a miserly percentage of even that poor wage. As far as I am concerned, anyone on or near the minimum wage receives an assault on their self-esteem when they receive their pay-slip and that isn't good for an individual or for any community where low wages and unemployment are common.

I'm frustrated that the political elite perpetuates itself so blatantly, when there is no need for a political elite. How is it that a Cabinet half-full of Oxford or Cambridge alumni attracts little comment, yet if there were no Oxbridge graduates after a reshuffle, it would be major news? Why, in a supposedly open democracy, is a government of barristers more acceptable than a government dominated by any other form of public servant? Yet any move toward democratic reform is resisted. I refuse to accept that Eton, Harrow, Oxford and Cambridge hold monopoly of the talent in this country.

I'm frustrated that there is any perceived difference between environmentalists and socialists. Environmental sustainability is a socialist imperative because when resources become scarce, it is the people we stand for who will lose out first.

I want to be a force for Labour Party unity. I grew up in Thatcher's 80s. My father, a man who had worked from the age of 14, was made redundant and my mother was falsely arrested by a corrupt and politicised police force. But in the 80s, Thatcher was rarely popular, we just failed to provide a unified and credible opposition and that happened because we didn't show each other enough respect as comrades. Too often we stopped listening to each other and descended into name calling.

But I like to call Labour members comrades - not because I think you're all, deep down, yearning to nationalise Britain's major industries - but because whether I like you or dislike you, whether I know you or not, that card in your pocket says that we stand together for those who can't stand for themselves. And when we don't stand together, I know there's no-one else who will stand for the vulnerable, the weak and the poor.

But Liverpool West Derby - what do I have to offer that constituency? I don't know if there are any West Derby CLP members who read or maybe write on this site, but if there are I'd like to ask you:

Who's going to go out every week and talk to those kids whose only experience of self-respect comes from carrying a knife or being in a gang?

Who's going to get teachers and headteachers, school governors, parents and LEA officers into a room and work out with them how the local schools can instill discipline and ambition into their pupils?

Who's going to challenge, convince or cajole local employers and new businesses to take a lead in developing an economy that nurtures people's talents rather than exploiting the lowest paid workers they can find?

Who's going to raise funds from any source that can be found to help the youth offending teams and offender management service to offer more support and rehabilitation and training to people who can't always see a way out of a destructive lifestyle?

Who's going to take the time to go to the nurses and the street-cleaners and the doctors, dentists and housing officers, the firefighters, council administrators, the voluntary workers and carers and everyone else that delivers public services - just to say thank you; just to remind them that they are appreciated - and to ask them what a Labour government can do to make their jobs easier or more effective?

I'll do these things because this is my ambition - not simply to be an MP.

And if I'm blessed enough to be selected as the West Derby candidate and a voter approaches me and says they don't think they can vote for me because they don't believe in socialism, I'll say, "It's OK, you'll be alright - because socialism believes in you".

Alex Hilton
[email protected]
07985 384 859
0151 324 1997


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Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#1)

Let's hear it for Lord Wareing of Norris Green!

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#2)

Defend Bob Wareing from this drivel

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#3)

Alex, you're of course perfectly entitled  to apply to  be PPC. Is Labour Home the place for your  CV?  Would  it not be at least   a bit gracious  to Bob Wareing to keep this between you and the constituency? Were  I in that CLP, this would not exactly  help your case.

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#4)

Grim, Owen,

I have applied for an open selection and I have not had any hand in the process before this point. I really can't discuss the candidates or process without breaking the rules.

This is relevant for this site and I would hope other people seeking selection will use these pages to talk about their politics - though I tend only to put selection results front and centre on the main page.

If you want to scrutinise my politics, please ask me questions in this open forum - but like I say - I can't discuss the candidates or process for Liverpool West Derby now that I have applied for the seat - and please note I didn't do so when I was just thinking about it either.

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#6)

Two a penny

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#5)

"Would  it not be at least   a bit gracious  to Bob Wareing to keep this between you and the constituency?"


Why?
It's hardly a secret that Wareing lost the trigger ballot. And the local paper already has a piece about his potential challengers (Stephen Twigg, Tristram Hunt and Blur's drummer Dave Rowntree have apparently applied).
Wareing himself is quoted on Liverpool Echo calling some of his challengers "voltures" ("The vultures are out and there are plenty of them"), so he's not keeping between him and his constituency either.

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#7)

Stephen  Twigg and Blur's  drummer???? Aaaargh.....

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#8)

If I had  opportunistic  vultures  like that circling round my head, neither would I. These are not even serious  Liverpool-based activists, just the usual  parachuted-in yes-men. What an insult.

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#9)

"These are not even serious  Liverpool-based activists"


There may be some of them...I don't know...the 3 I mentioned were the names mentioned in the local paper, but there will certainly be other applicants.

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#13)

I think Bob Wareing has always been treated badly by the Blairites. Didn't they try to force him out before?

However on the issue of Liverpool activists does anyone know if either of local councillors Steve Munby or Louise Baldock are going for it?

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#14)

"Didn't they try to force him out before?"

he lost the trigger ballot before 2001 GE too

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#15)

I don't think you have to be a 'Blairite' to think that an MP with a well bellow average Commons attendance level who describes the Labour leader as the "Mussolini to George Bush's Hitler" might be bad news.

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#17)

"don't think you have to be a 'Blairite' to think that an MP with a well bellow average Commons attendance "

I don't think Wareing has not a bad Commons attendance. Since 2005 GE he attended 80.8% of divisions that took place. It's indeed above avarage. He has 149 MPs with an highest attendance and 491 with a lower attendance.
In 2001-2005 Parliament he attended 82.7% divisions and in 1997-2001 Parliament 74.9% of divisions

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#18)

Perhaps Bob Wareing's troubles have something to do with the fact that 9 USDAW branches all affiliated to the Liverpool West Derby CLP at the same time as each other.

We need more principled, activist Labour MPs who actually stand for, erm, something. We need more hacks like we need a bullet through the head

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#22)

So an Oxbridge elitist, precisely the type of person that Alex was writing about, has the audacity to criticise a person who didn't attend university. Ha!

Oh, and Owen is an MP's researcher as well! A well trodden path of hackdom, talk about hypocritical.

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#23)

"Laurence",

I went to a comp in Stockport. I'm guessing that you think that only Southern public school kids who've bought their education should go to Oxbridge?

If I was a hack with any intention of pursuing a political career do you really think that I'd work for John McDonnell?

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#24)

You work for John McDonnell? Didn't know that. Is anyone else here working for politicians (or is one)?

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#27)

"However on the issue of Liverpool activists does anyone know if either of local councillors Steve Munby or Louise Baldock are going for it?"

Oliver Martins is going for it
http://www.olivermartins.com/timetable.html
All Labour local councillors are backing him

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#10)

Grim, I don't feel like an opportunistic vulture or a parachuted-in yes-man.

True, I'm not from Liverpool and if this is an overriding factor for the local Labour Party, then they will support someone local.

On the other hand, I do have something to offer, and if the local party thinks that's enough to overcome not being local, well that's their decision to make.

I'm a Londoner and it would not occur to me to urge Frank Dobson to go back to York, Kate Hoey to Belfast, Glenda Jackson to Birkenhead or Jim Fitzpatrick to Glasgow.

I might make an exception for George Galloway.

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#11)

Wasn't  really referring to you. All I know is that  Liverpool is teeming with activists and trade unionists. So where are they  on the list?  I hope, as they have decided to  go down this route, they give all  a fair hearing (including Bob) we have seen too many stitch-ups....

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#31)

Dear Grim

My branch is affliated.  I know one trade unionist who is applying is Amicus's Chris Matheson (middle of the roader)

John

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#16)

"On the other hand, I do have something to offer"

As I've said, two a penny

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#12)

What evidence is there that Dave Rowntree is a "yes-man"?


Interesting that Tristram Hunt is looking to enter the Commons...

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#19)

As A Blur fan. I hope that Dave Rowntree isn't considering it as when would he have time to go on tour. Especially as it is rumoured that Graham Coxon is considering rejoining and we can have the original line-up back.

Maybe I need to go to Blur home to check the veracity of this rumour.

On Tristam Hunt, he is involved with the Fabian's but can't see him applying for a Liverpool seat even though he is a great admirer of Victorian Civic Politics and architecture. Also his strongly pro-monarchistic views probably won't go down that well.

Stephen Twigg's name seems to be attached to every seat that comes up. Does somebody just like typing Stephen Twigg (Look you've got me doing it now)

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#20)

I'd have thought that LH was a good place for this sort of posting / debate.

Bully to Alex for posting his thoughts in public.

Matt 

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#21)

The answer to your questions is NOT Bob Wareing. But then again he does other stuff instead. He may yet survive and wouldn't rate this cods'.

On the other hand this is a safe seat. The place to be doing all this stuff in particular as you don't want to be an MP is as a councillor and/or as a long game PPC in a tough seat where youth and working people have been neglected, gone on strike against the LP and need bringing back. Why on earth would they pick you?
 
You won't make the six. The CLP is a waste of your time and money and energy. Withdraw your papers. Turn again AH.
 
With the greatest respect this is just silly Alex.
 
Don't want to be an MP? Want to work with disaffected youth? Become a social worker, a trainer, a teacher, a social entrepreneur or at a pinch a local councillor. Fuck Westminster.

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#32)

I understand why you would say that Chris - but I think that's a fundamental problem with our democracy: too many people don't think Westminster is for them. And inevitably, it's the working class that gets squeezed out or marginalised.

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#25)

With all due respect Alex, I don't think you would be the best MP for Liverpool West Derby, but I think you'd make a brilliant MP in London.  I do have a problem with people like that Hull MP who was a London Assembly member ( Diana Johnson?). I can see the dilemma. I'm not the biggest fan of my MP's politics, the now whip from Mithcam and Morden, but if I wanted to become an MP, I'd have to apply for Wimbledon, Streatham if I wanted a winnable constituency nextdoors, and so it goes on. Talking of Streatham, thought about this vacant seat?

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#26)

"I do have a problem with people like that Hull MP who was a London Assembly member ( Diana Johnson?)"
 
yes, D Johnson, Mp for Hull North, was a London AM from 2003 to 2004

"Talking of Streatham, thought about this vacant seat? "

yes, it is

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#28)

I know it's vacant, I was suggesting it for Alex

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#30)

ah, sorry, you put a question mark and so I thought it was a question

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#29)

I know it's vacant, I was suggesting it for Alex

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#33)

I think though that it's a bit unfair to compare MPs directly. There are a thousand different talents you can bring to the job, and many of them are mutually exclusive; and I wouldn't like to judge those with the quieter talents more harshly than those whose abilities are more easily apparent.

In all seriousness, I have applied for Liverpool West Derby. My first mission is to get on the shortlist and my next is to convince the CLP members that I have what they are loking for.

I'm rather hoping not to be available for selections beyond that but we'll have to see.

And by the way, it's very kind of you to say I'd make a good London MP.    :)

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#34)

Out of interest, what is the difference between a London MP and a non-London MP?

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#35)

a London MP represents the constituencies within Greater London, non- London MP's represent constituencies outside Greater London

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#36)

'London MP's'

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#37)

Oh sorry, I thought you were making a political point, not a geographical one - though maybe they're the same.

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#38)

I am saying that Alex is from London, and I think therefore thats where his talents to become an MP should be focused

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#39)

All 609 square miles of it?

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#40)

if the boundary commission has made some startling changes.............

Re: Liverpool West Derby Selection (#41)

Who is on the shortlist?