Wednesday, 29 September 2010
Stunned not because Ed Miliband won, but how he won. It is quite likely that a large section of trade union members who voted him over the finishing line are not even members of the Labour Party themselves.
Our MP Andy Slaughter voted against the tide of his local Hammersmith constituency party for Ed Miliband, who themselves collectively cast 26 more votes in favour of David Miliband than Ed. In fact Ed Miliband failed to win a single constituency nomination in any London party. Given the sense of anger which was palpable at the conference among many party members about that Andy may have some explaining to do when he gets back to the Bush. And to his fellow MPs -the majority of whom also wanted David.
But the conference wasn't just about that, although the media coverage talked of little else. I saw our MP at a couple of receptions about diverse issues, but it was at the Labour Friends of Palestine reception I got a real sense of how widely respected he is among pro Palestinian members of the party and is internationally known for speaking out on the Middle East in Parliament.
And former Mayor Charlie Treloggan was cheered by the party faithful as he picked up a lifetime achievement award from the new Leader, in recognition of his local campaigning for the party and community work for local people.
I also met Murad Qureshi, also an Ed Miliband supporter and one of our Assembly Members at the Greater London Authority. Fresh from Ken Livingstone's re-election as Labour's candidate for Mayor in 2010 he anticipates a keen fight for our votes in those elections.
And that's what brings me to the relevance of this post to Shepherd's Bush: away from the sound and fury of national politics, with all the personalities and egos they involve (and there are lots of them believe me) this stuff does actually play a real part in our local neck of the woods. The polls currently report a surge in public support for Labour, in the aftermath of the election.
With the impact of soon-to-come spending cuts and Boris Johnson's party's role in implementing them alongside the widely predicted meltdown of the LibDems that makes it more likely that Labour will end Boris' term as Mayor. Which in turn will directly lead to changes in W12 - the western congestion charge zone being an obvious example. If on the other hand Labour turns in on itself because of the way that the election was managed we're likely not only to see another term of Boris but probably Labour losing seats on the GLA. Which will mean our Council, for example, will be emboldened to do more of their radical Tory things to housing, parks and services.
So, like it or not, and for most people it's not, this stuff does end up making a difference. What was that David Miliband said about soap operas...?!
Posted by Chris Underwood at 05:01