Friday 19 May 2017

In Order To Administer The Punishment

Oh, how I had longed to vote Labour this time, to vote for almost all of this manifesto, to vote for Jeremy Corbyn. How I still do long to vote Labour this time, to vote for almost all of this manifesto, to vote for Jeremy Corbyn. But there is no way that I can do it.

There is the manner of the Labour candidate's selection; even if she won, then she would almost certainly be deselected during the next Parliament, due to the unrepresentative nature of what are not yet her fully formed opinions. There is the fact that she walked out of the Teaching Assistants' Solidarity Rally when it called for a vote against all Labour candidates at what were then the forthcoming local elections. And there is the fact that, due to the failure to take that excellent strategy and run with it, Labour did not, after all, lose overall control of Durham County Council this month.

Thus, it remains unpunished, both for the abuse of the Teaching Assistants as such, and for the long list of offences of which that abuse stands as a symbol, a list that now includes my own impending show trial, which is a "racist, sectarian and partisan hit job" that "recalls the darkest days of Northern Ireland or the American Deep South, with no dividing line between the Police, a massively dominant local political party, and a secret society bound by oaths", and which calls seriously into question any pretence of the Crown Prosecution Service to political independence or impartiality.

Therefore, in order to administer the punishment that ought to have been administered on 4th May, it will be necessary on 8th June to defeat all of Labour's parliamentary candidates in County Durham apart from Grahame Morris. Here in North West Durham, we have the benefit of being able to vote for Owen Temple, who with Alex Watson is one of the two County Councillors to have done the most in support of the Teaching Assistants, and who is the only candidate to have been living in this constituency on the day that the General Election was called.

Am I a Lib Dem? Not remotely. But Owen is head and shoulders above the other candidates here. Demographically, this should never have been a safe Labour seat. The shock of losing it would be good for the local Labour Party, and making this a seat that had to be fought, as it always should have been, would be good for the constituency.

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