Change of Prime Minister
Boris Johnson is gone. The work of government will become more managerial. There will be less pyrotechnics. There will be less transformative ambition. Levelling up is effectively dead. It will be fascinating to see how Keir Starmer responds.
As it stands, Labour is ahead in the polls. Labour is heading for a majority of 16 and forming the next government. A new prime minister could completely change that landscape. Generally, I think we tend to place too much importance on the weekly Prime Minister’s Questions knockabout, but the first few encounters will set the tone. I would be worried if Keir Starmer continues to emphasise the ‘safe pair of hands’/experienced organisational leader qualities. It is time for him to present his analysis of where we are and how we move forward as a country.
The energy famine western Europe is facing as a consequence of the war in Ukraine is difficult in the medium term. The price impact is going to be the most visible effect and something that puts lives at risk for the poorest. However, the price change is a function of scarcity. So, as well as protecting the most vulnerable and businesses, we’re going to have to try to reduce the demand for gas. I’d like to see Keir Starmer grab the opportunity to talk to the nation. I don’t think now is the time for picking at detail. We’re going to need real leadership. It’s harder for the Leader of the Opposition, but given Boris Johnson rarely took to serious dialogue, and the indications are that Liz Truss prefers to pretend everything is rosy, there’s an opportunity for Keir Starmer. We need to show that Labour gets the serious stuff.
I’m on the Panel! This means I’ll be listed as a person available to be nominated and shortlisted for selection to stand as a Labour Candidate in next May’s local elections. So, I’m really hoping I’ll be nominated by the members of the new Lostock and Barton Ward for their shortlist. It will be a few weeks before the timetable is sorted.
A motion in favour of Proportional Representation was put to the meeting. Labour is never going to support PR. It is understandable that the most influential voices in the party are MPs and councillors. In England that means those influential people have been elected under First Past the Post system and on the whole it’s never going to be an attractive option to them to change that system. It’s a shame that we’ll never have a proper debate because looking at the bigger picture, invariably in elections there’s a majority to the left of the Conservative Party. It is almost invariably true that the consequence is the Conservative Party forming the Government. The motion was defeated.
We also had a Momentum motion on instructing Labour’s frontbench to attend picket lines. I was one of two members who voted against the motion. Keir Starmer has taken a line and I just think we have to back it. Frustratingly, we weren’t allowed to debate the motion and this key aspect of the motion was not mentioned in the preamble. We really need to have a Conference that presents Labour as ready for Government and not at war with itself but the motion was passed.
Canvassing in Sale
A good response. Concern over crime and anti-social behaviour seemed to be the biggest issue raised with me and I’ve passed to the councillors.
Bus fares capped at £2. The first step in getting buses back to providing the backbone of our public transport provision.
Application to demolish Event City and prepare the land for Therme Wellness Resort
Alarm raised over canal path deterioration between Kelloggs and Barton Bridge.
Lostock Community Partnership Meeting this Saturday 10am – Legacy of Circle Court exodus.
Improved response from council and police to illegal parking on match days.