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Ealing and Northfield

Political summer

I have just got back from a weekend in Paris with my wife to find Gordon Brown being acclaimed as the new leader of the Labour party with Harriet Harman as deputy leader. The Labour Party will be very different over the next few months and in the short term the Tories are going to be slightly on the back foot as shown by this weekend’s poll which showed the Tories behind Labour for the first time in months.

There will be some real polls in the next few weeks in our part of West London. Cllr Brian Castle’s funeral took place on Friday and there will be a by-election on 19th July, less than four weeks away. Ealing Southall’s MP, Piara Khabra died last Tuesday and campaigning will start in that election as soon as his funeral is over on Wednesday – although there have been rumours of Labour doing telephone canvassing for some weeks now.

In Cleveland Labour should be nowhere, see last year’s results. The Lib-Dem’s candidate Francesco Fruzza (see Lib-Dem press release) got within 100 votes of the worst performing Tory then. Francesco has a long-standing interest in local politics, he turned up to the Ealing North Conservative primary which selected Ian Gibb as the Conservative’s candidate and lost Cleveland in 2006 and 2002. I would expect that the new Conservative administration’s effective and focussed concentration on voter’s issues, such as the environment, community safety and council tax, will be translated into votes for the Tory candidate.

Ealing Southall will be altogether more interesting. The 2005 results are here. Although Labour dominated with 23,000 votes there were big votes too for the Lib-Dems with 11,500 votes with the Conservatives with 10,000. I fail to see why Southall’s Asian community should always be natural Labour voters and in any case Southall, and more importantly the constituency which includes a large part of west Ealing, is changing fast. None of the three major parties have selected candidates for this seat yet. Although this looks like a safe Labour seat and the Lib-Dems try to present themselves as the second party I suspect that there will be significant change in Ealing Southall over the next couple of months.

2 replies on “Political summer”

West Ealing local politics would really benefit from some heterogeneity. The five Electoral Wards, bits of which make up West Ealing, are currently served by 13 Conservative Party Councillors and one Labout Party (ie the other conservative party) Councillor In the absence of any independent candidates, a Liberal Democrat Councillor in Cleveland Ward would at least give us all some different political opinions from the monopolistic Blue ones virtually smuthering W13.

I hope you were Green enough to take the train to and from Paris Mr Taylor.

Eric,

West Ealing needs strong leadership from a council that knows what it is doing. That’s what it has now. Labour did nothing for Southall and West Ealing through 12 long years. The last thing West Ealing needs is another LibDem asking for more vision. Labour had a vision, or at least talked a good game, but no ability to deliver. Our ambition is modest but deliverable. The cleaning statistics in Friday’s Gazette tell you all you need to know. By focussing on the achievable we have delivered tangible improvement.

If you are a closet LibDem you might at least say Eric. It is usually good practice for residents’ associations to steer clear of party politics and asking for dilution of the governing Tory group is making a political statement. There used to be eight more Labour councillors in the five wards you are talking about so voters have already decided what they want!

As for Eurostar I did use the train but digging a ruddy great hole in the ground and then landfilling the spoil is not exactly green. Anyone doing a full lifecycle comparison of flying and using Eurostar is likely to find that flying is not much worse. It might even be greener. You could argue obviously that the massive environmental costs of the tunnel are sunk, but no-one would do this again! Money is usually a good proxy for energy and the finances of the Chunnel are just mad. It will never pay for itself.

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