Here comes Progress…

Harriet_Harman,_January_2009_1NEW Labour pressure group, Progress, are to take over Camden Town Hall at the start of next month for their ‘Winning With Women’ conference.

Speakers include Harriet Harman, former Islington councillors Lucy Rigby and Jessica Asato (now fighting parliamentary seats) and Camden’s own council leader Sarah Hayward.

But how will this jamboree go down with the dyed-in-the-wool union backed side of Camden’s often fractious Labour group?

Well, there have been one or two frowns about the idea of a group which they see pulling Labour closer back to Blair setting up shop in, of all places, their own back yard. It’s been taken by the most irritated left-wingers as a two finger salute, a sod you lot response to loss of Mike Katz from the council election ticket in Kilburn and the success of Tulip Siddiq in the parliamentary selection race in Hampstead and Kilburn.

To try and put this squabble in context, at times during the Hampstead and Kilburn parliamentary candidate selection campaign, it was whispered that membership of Progress could be a vote-loser in a contest where certainly some supporters of the winning team felt it was important to establish traditional left wing credentials.

The feeling over Progress harks back to the basic fault line in Camden’s group, a kind of division between the crowd who will never forgive Tony Blair, always viewed as a Prime Minister who not only wasted Labour’s chance in government but was dangerously destructive to boot, and the loyalists, some of them Progress members, keen to ensure the best bits of Blair are not erased from history with each revision.

You’ll hear the latter reminding colleagues about how many elections he won but it doesn’t hold much sway with the members who remain resolutely suspicious of the shiny, happy Progress people heading to Camden HQ in a couple of weeks.

4 Comments on Here comes Progress…

  1. Your source should get out a bit more and talk to residents. No one on the outside world apart from our political opponents will be interested in anonymous stirring from the self-styled left. People know that Tony Blair stopped leading the Labour Party over six years ago in 2007 and have moved on – and want Labour representation, not personal recriminations.

    What Camdeners might reasonably ask is why someone actually felt the need to brief against – of all things – a women’s conference which includes the Deputy Leader of the Party?

    Obviously there are always going to be differing opinions in a political party: but in the absence of coming up with some actual policy ideas to debate, the soft option – evidenced here – is to label people you don’t like as one thing or another and hope that doing it enough will get traction. (For what end?)

    Back on Planet Earth we have a new leader in Ed Miliband and for the rest of us our relentless focus is on making Camden a better place and challenging the Coalition’s record on housing, investment, schools and jobs and their cuts to police, the NHS and the local council.

    • Das Kapital // August 19, 2013 at 8:59 pm //

      Are you having a laugh or what …………..

      ‘challenging the coalition’s record on housing’.

      It’s been years since any politician treated the subject of housing like the crisis it is today hence the mess we’re in at this time!

      Tenants at risk of being thrown out of their homes because of the bedroom tax, further cuts to almost non-existent services in Camden – when are labour going to march through Camden and beyond in protest. Surely that’s the question you need to be addressing!

      A women’s conference at Camden Town Hall when many single mothers in Camden aren’t able to keep their necks above water and the loan sharks at bay, pensioners worried sick as winter approaches and yet more hiked up bills!

      You hide behind ’empty’ equality task force reports, which fail to even highlight the huge disparity in income between the rich and the poor in the borough – out of sight out of mind, eh!

      You all stand outside an isolated police or fire station with banners and think you’ve then done enough to get voted back in again!


      • Das Kapital // August 19, 2013 at 9:18 pm //

        and as for your average politician keeping in touch with the masses…………….

        The shoulder pads in the photo went out with the ark – a bit like some of labour’s policies!


  2. 'self-styled left' // August 22, 2013 at 12:36 pm //

    So much narcissism from Cllr Blackwell.

    The only person who leaks and briefs from inside the Labour Group is you. Stop briefing against yourself.

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