Archive for ‘Phil Woolas’

January 13, 2011

>Polling day in Oldham East and Saddleworth

>It is polling day today in Oldham East and Saddleworth. The election is having to be re-run after former Labour incumbent Phil Woolas’ election was declared void by a special election court.

Labour have been trying to play up the by-election as some kind of referendum on the coalition, and in particular Liberal Democrat involvement in the coalition. As well as showing once again that a supposedly ‘progressive’ party still can’t get their head around pluralist politics, this is yet another grave tactical error from Ed Miliband and company. With a strong, and clearly popular, local candidate in Elwyn Watkins, and a lack of confidence in a MiliE led Labour party that just won’t shift, there is every possibility that the people of Oldham East & Saddleworth will vote ‘yes’ to the Lib Dems in Government, and give them a 58th MP  today.

The polling data coming that has come out of Oldham East and Saddleworth in recent days still has Labour ahead. Ed Miliband though really needs something to kick-start his leadership. He has hardly set the political world alight since his narrow, questionable, victory over his brother. If the coalition, and the Liberal Democrats, are as unpopular as he would like us to believe, anything other than a substantial victory will show Ed Miliband exactly what people think of his ‘new generation’.

Nick Clegg on the other hand is embattled, supposedly the country’s least popular politician, the great yellow (orange,) hope gone wrong. The Liberal Democrats didn’t win the seat in May, although only just, and the nonsense narrative just laid out, which is being peddled by many, says they shouldn’t win it toady. However, the residents of Oldham East & Saaddleworth will have been shown clearly what the party can achieve locally, and is now achieving nationally. Given many of them supported the party in May, is it not more likely that they will back the Liberal Democrats now that they are actually delivering on some of the things these voters supported? Such a victory, which is very much a possibility, would show support both for a strong local candidate, and for the Liberal Democrats being at the forefront of decision making in Government.

That said, the result won’t be the game changer that some are making it out to be back in the Westminster bubble. It will though give a nice new year kick off to whoever is victorious. A few days nice headlines, a bit of a positive buzz among activists for MPs heading back to their constituencies for the weekend, a slight shift in the narrative, but nothing Earth shattering in reality.

As for the people of Oldham East and Saddleworth, the people that actually matter in all this, who have been caught in the eye of a political storm for the best part of 2 years now, they must just be glad it’s all coming to an end.

December 16, 2010

>Writ moved in Oldham East & Saddleworth Election

>The Liberal Democrats have served the writ which will bring about the by-election in Oldham East and Saddleworth. This will decide who will replace disgraced former Labour MP Phil Woolas. Polling day has been confirmed for January 13th.

Having it on this date breaks the convention of not having a by-election over Christmas, but the delivering of the writ had to be delayed while Phil Woolas continued his legal battle. The people of Oldham East & Saddleworth will now have an MP in place by the middle of January.

In May, Liberal Democrat Elwyn Watkins was only 103 votes behind Labour.

December 2, 2010

>Breaking: Woolas High Court ruling expected tomorrow

>The news is reaching VN that the High Court ruling on the judicial review into the decision from the  Oldham East and Sadlleworth election court will be announced tomorrow. After this it should become clearer when an election re-run, if it happens, will be held. VN believes there is still the risk that Woolas could continue appealing in Europe but, given his stance on immigration, appeals to foreign based bodies should be left well alone….

November 22, 2010

>Woolas makes constituents wait

>VN understands that no final legal decision will not be made in time for the election re-run to be held before Christmas. Woolas’ determination to explore every possible legal avenue, after being found guilty in a special election court, means his former constituents could remain without an MP for months. It is this arrogant, selfish attitude that made Woolas so unpopular in the first place…ok that and the poor immigration policy. And being taken to the cleaners by Joanna Lummley. And the Gurkhas.

On the ground though the campaign is really heating up, as the Liberal Democrats try and win a 58th seat in the commons.

November 12, 2010

>How to win a judicial review, by Phil Woolas

>Continuing his tantrum like a petulant toddler, Phil Woolas has transformed himself from an incompetent immigration minister and purveyor of provocative campaign literature, to a political prisoner. Luckily though he is fighting the legal judgement via an appeal via his website, which includes the well known tactic in legal circles….mock the judiciary.

The black and white Victorian picture demonstrating how Woolas has been wronged by an outdated legal system is fantastic. ‘IT’S THE 21ST CENTURY, WE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO BE RACIST AND TELL LIES DAMMIT’.

The idea that Woolas is now some upholder of political freedom and integrity is more laughable than can be expressed via mere digital dots on a screen. Frightening though, how much grassroots Labour support he stills seems to have.

Woolas has managed to make it Stateside though, being appropriately mocked by Jon Stewart in yesterdays ‘Daily Show’
November 9, 2010

>Unity…well that didn’t last long

>Labour Deputy Leader Harriet Harman is said to have faced “mutiny” over the decision to disown disgraced Phil Woolas, as she addressed the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) yesterday. After all the pleading with the public post leadership-yawnfest that were now going to be a united party, Labour seems to have slipped back into infighting as comfortably as they have slipped back into opposition. Tony and Gordon must be delighted that the party are standing by at least part of their legacy.

Interestingly, there seems to have been more internal criticism of the decision to disown Woolas than the one to bring him back as a Shadow Immigration Minister while he was in the dock for distributing racist campaign literature.

November 5, 2010

>Stripping the Week 1-5 November 2010

>This week President Obama faced the biggest test of his presidency thus far as Americans went to the polls, but  that was nothing compared to what faced the men in white at White Hart Lane. [You’re so fired, Neutrality Ed]. Inspired by Rafa Van der Vaart, Gareth Bale, and over 30,000 increasingly hysterical fans, Tottenham beat the European Champions and are now on the verge of qualifying for the knock-out stages.

Over the pond Americans face an altered, and slightly more bonkers, political establishment after the election of some Tea Party members. The looney uber-libertarians won a variety of significant seats, but thanks to Christine O’Donnell probably stopped the GOP taking control of both Houses of Congress. Shame. It’s alright though, because she’s not a witch…she’s just mad. Talking of right wing loons, Nigel Farage has returned as leader of UKIP, which is nice.

Elections also took centre stage in the UK too, as Phil Woolas’ election in Oldham East and Saddleworth was declared void. Woolas had recently been appointed as a shadow minister, but has now been unceremoniously dumped out the party. There will be a by-eleciton pending the Judicial Review that Woolas is seeking. Nobody is really that sad to see the back of him. Remember, remember the 5th of November!

Listening to this week: Christmas songs being played by Scott Mills on Radio 1
Reading this week:  Russell Brand –My Book Wook 2
Watching this week: The Daily Show with John Stewart

Hero of the week: Gareth Bale BALE BALE BALE
Villain of the week: Phil Woolas

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November 5, 2010

>Phil Woolas’ found guilty, election declared void


Phil Woolas’ election in Oldham East and Saddleworth has been declared void by a Special Election Court. This means that, pending a possible appeal, there will be a by-election for the seat that he narrowly held from Lib Dem candidate Elwyn Watkins.

The case centres around sound rather nasty campaign literature that Mr Woolas and his team spread about the constituency:

Woolas had recently been brought back to the front bench by new Labour leader Ed Miliband. This looks an even more staggeringly poor piece of judgement given todays events. As of now though, Woolas is no longer an MP. Good riddance VN says.

UPDATE: Phil Woolas has applied for a judicial review into the ruling.
October 11, 2010

>Phil Woolas goes from the dock to the front bench

>The appointment of the Shadow Ministerial team has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous as Phil Woolas has returns, as a Shadow Minister for the Home Office. Yes, the same Phil Woolas who has just stood in the dock of a special election court on account of his racist campaign literature will continue to be involved in a portfolio that deals directly with immigration and hate-crime law. The decision is so poor it is actually funny.

Woolas’ infamous elcetion leaflet

This appointment of Woolas to the Shadow Home Department team shows a staggering lack of judgement by new Labour leader Ed Miliband and his advisors. How can a man tainted by accusations of racism Shadow the Home Office? How can you appoint someone to such an important position when there is the distinct possibility that they will not be an MP for much longer? Frankly it also shows an unbelievable level of arrogance and lack of political nouse from Woolas himself. Accepting the role is in utter defiance of those he offended during the General Election campaign. No doubt this will be spun as  faith in a team member on the part of the leader , and belief in his own innocence on the part of Woolas, but it is a bad decision, pure and simple.

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