Sunday, 5 January 2014

My week (and the year) ahead 6 - 12 January 2014

Monday – 6 January, 5pm – North East Area Committee Agenda setting meeting
6pm – Area Committee Chairs, meeting – Grafton House
7pm – Labour campaigning

Saturday 11 January, 10am – Labour campaigning – South East Ipswich

A start of a New Year and which will include important local elections for Ipswich Borough, European Elections, plus a referendum in Scotland but with all political groups now focusing on the result of the General Election in 2015.

As a slight political anorak, I of course have an interest in all 4 elections and we in Ipswich are determined to do our bit in increasing our number of seats on the Ipswich Borough Council – including winning the last seat back in Rushmere. Plus we will be helping get the best possible result for Labour in the Euro Elections. These elections often give a slightly distorted view of politics in this country as UKIP have in the past done well in these elections but it is where those voters then vote for in 2015 that is more important.

At least this year at the European Elections we have an Ipswich based candidate in our own North East Ipswich Cllr – Sandy Martin. Is a great campaigner and also well know to residents in East Ipswich so it will be a real boost to the local campaigners in that e will be working for a local resident.

It is harder to work out what our opponents are doing, the Lib Dems have retreated into their ST Margaret’s enclave and even in that ward seem to be doing very little, not even being able to host an Ipswich Lib Dems website is an indication of how far they have fallen down the political ladder.

The Tories do little better on the social media front and seem more interested in internal fighting – mainly over their one safe seat of Bixley, a poor performance at the polls for them in late May will not be good news for a certain Mr Gummer. It is quite noticeable that one a local Tory loses their seat they often disappear totally from the local political scene.

UKIP, I am sure will do in May but they seem to have done little work in the town since winning a seat at the County Council elections last year. But with a free mail drop at the Euro Elections, they will cause problems for both us and the Tories in certain seats.

But all in all, I can see this being a good year for Ipswich Labour, increasing our seats on the local council, more people joining the party and helping us ensure we return a Labour MP to Westminster in 2015.

This year I will be more involved in the Labour Defence team at Westminster, working with the Shadow Defence team in helping set priorities for when a Labour Government returns to power next year. For anyone interested in matters concerning veterans, I ask you to read this article by Dan Jarvis MP, a former soldier and working with the Shadow Justice team – it concerns the number of veterans who ended up on the wrong side of the law. I would ask you to contact your local MP and ask for their support when Dan tables two amendments to the Offenders Rehabilitation Bill about to go through Parliament, there should be no reason that these two amendments do not get full cross party support- read more about the need for these amendments here: Dan Jarvis article in The Telegraph

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