Home Politics Parmjit Dhanda invites Lib Dems to Join Gloucester Labour

Parmjit Dhanda invites Lib Dems to Join Gloucester Labour

by Barry

It seems there may be some disquiet in the Liberal Democrat Camp.  Some of the membership are feeling betrayed by the Coalition and the fact that every time Nick Clegg says something, he seems to blunder at every mouthful. I don’t think its all one sided, apparently a lot of Tories are also uncomfortable with their bed fellows.

Parmjit Dhanda is taking some positive action to help the Lib Dems in Gloucester, he is inviting those who feel uncomfortable to come and join Gloucester Labour.  Its a good time to join the many people who are swelling our ranks.  When we have our General Meetings in Gloucester, we tend to only have standing room left.  Its amazing just how many people have joined since the election.  On a National level, the leadership race is on, with many of the candidates promising to revitalise the Party at a grass roots level which can only mean the party that will come back better and stronger.

All that national stuff aside, there are a lot of people who feel very let down by the Tory MP, Richard Graham.  He is certainly not as responsive as Parmjit was, and many people from all parties think he is a great disappointment.  I was talking to a Tory councillor a month ago who was greatly embarrassed by the amount of bad press he had gained in such a short period of time. Though the Councillor was pleased that he didn’t have to suffer him as his own MP.

It will be interesting to see just how many people are bold enough to make the move.


Joe K August 22, 2010 - 6:51 pm

You’ll have to excuse my scepticism here, Barry, but when you say that the ranks are swelling, and that the ‘General Meetings’ (how often are they held, incidentally?) are so well attended, I think back to Kate Haigh’s blog entry about local Labour supporters travelling up to Exeter to help with council elections in September. I.e., if support for Labour is on the up, why does canvassing help have to be ‘bused’ in? My suggestion to her, that Gloucester would help Exeter because they expected the favour to be returned, didn’t get past moderation (which is particularly strange, since my second comment to that blog did, so unless ‘I do wonder if the council, either one, will continue to blame the government for not allocating enough funds..?’ rang alarm bells, I don’t know what put me back in pre-mod…), but the fact remains that swelling membership should translate into ample volunteers, in Exeter as well as anywhere else.

Now, while the last paragraph might be seen as an excuse to throw in a little dig at another Labour blogger (because it was :)), it’s also relevant to Gloucester Labour, and how they operate. That is, a little too much control freakery. I started having reservations about the local party when I started to see something fishy about the selection process that gave us Parmjit Dhanda, but if Phil Ellaway is to be believed, Tess Kingham’s selection was dodgy too. I’ve never liked how our local Lib Dems operate, but wouldn’t they just be jumping from the frying pan into the fire?

It’s definitely in Dhanda’s interest to make this ‘appeal’, if only to keep his name in the paper, but LD councillors know which side their bread is buttered. I think their existing supporters are the die-hard core, too, though anecdotal ‘evidence’ of disaffected voters can always be found.

bazkirby August 22, 2010 - 7:31 pm

The General Members Meetings are held monthly. (with the exception of this month due to being the holiday period).

Yes, your right, Kate Haigh did organise some of Gloucester Labour to help in Exeter, and why not. While membership is on the up, what is wrong with going to help out another area when they need it. Its called teamwork.

The candidate selection process is laid down by the party itself. We are just going through the next (local) election candidate selection process and the whole thing is mandated centrally to ensure the whole thing is audit-able.

I think a lot of Tories and Libs (Mr Graham especially) hoped Parmjit would go back to London, mainly becuase they know that he lost on the national issue of the party, not on a local level. They all know that should a by-election come up, Mr Graham is toast. And should he see the whole parliament out, it will be his only one, if he keeps going in the same vein he has started out in.

Joe K August 23, 2010 - 10:49 am

‘Yes, your right, Kate Haigh did organise some of Gloucester Labour to help in Exeter, and why not. While membership is on the up, what is wrong with going to help out another area when they need it. Its called teamwork.’

That sounds a mite defensive, Barry. I didn’t say there was anything wrong with it per se, just noted, in response to KH’s (possibly rhetorical) question that they probably ‘did it’ because they would get something back. I even felt a bit bad about saying that because, on closer reading, she pretty much said the same thing. I think what took the biscuit, though, was my ‘Parthian Shot’ that the Tally Ho! crowd did something very similar for Richard Graham. Which has nothing to do with me finding myself back on pre-mod, mind. Now I wonder if I could make any comment on that blog now that would turn up, or is it Dhanda all over again? Or worse [!], Drew?

I remember asking about the meetings (well, the ‘AGM’) I’d heard about before, and finding that they were for members only. It seemed to me then that it wasn’t a good thing for an organisation to be so closeted, not if it led to the kind of candidate selections they were making. You’ve referred to the blog entry in which I mentioned Harjit Gill, Barry, and therefore you’ll know that I’m looking to find out when Ahmed Hansdot was selected, because there’s the specific date given by his, as it turned out, Tory rival, Saj Patel, and there’s a much later date given by an anonymous supposed resident of Barton which would make Saj Patel a liar. I can’t believe, from my own experience of Gloucester Labour generally, and Sonia Friend in particular, that I will get a quick answer from them if it was actually October 3rd, 2009. Who do you think would be the best person to ask?

I certainly thought there was a lot more chance of Parmjit Dhanda going back to London if he lost than if he won, I just wouldn’t have wanted to place a bet on his having already booked the removal van. I agree that Richard Graham hasn’t turned in much of a performance to date, although for achievements, his record is probably not much different from Dhanda’s at the same time in his career, it’s just that that ‘experienced politician’ didn’t make such noticeable gaffes at such an early stage. Unsurprisingly, I’m more bothered about his accountability to his constituents, as I was with Dhanda, and would like to see a proper blog, with individual entries, and a comment facility. The big difference between us, Barry, is that you have seen one side of Dhanda, while I have seen the other, and who’s to say who saw the truth, if either of us? But for me, I don’t want Dhanda back, and I’ll support the person with the best chance of keeping him out*. That was Graham at the last election, but I’ll happily support de-selection if he doesn’t get his act together. I’m going to let someone else start the ball rolling, though. Kind of getting sick of being the ‘point man’ of grumbling dissatisfaction.

*like a different Labour candidate?

bazkirby August 23, 2010 - 11:39 am

Joe – Yes the Labour meetings are for Labour Members, as with any organisation really. However, I can get you in if you want to have a say in the canditure, just click here http://www.labour.org.uk/join/ fil out the details and I would gladly take you along 🙂

I don’t know that much about the selction of Ahmed, I was going through my own “road to Damascus” and was unaware of the other issues. I dare say I can find out though.

Yes, I guess we will always disagree about Parmjit. As throughout our exchanges, I’m not going to try and convince you that (IMHO) your wrong. I personally think that Parmjit is the right Labour Candidate for Gloucester, and we will probably just have to agree to disagree.

Joe K August 23, 2010 - 2:18 pm

Phew, thanks for sorting that eyetalics thing out…

I lolled (lol’d? loled?) wryly at your link. I have always been averse to paying subscriptions to a political party (and I know they have to charge), even if I could afford it. It rankles that they remain so closeted, as I said, but then expect the public’s trust. As it is, I try to be involved with local orgs that aren’t holding out subscription forms, but still don’t have an address for the Barton & Tredworth Labour Party, though I believe its chairman is Mike Bubb.

cilla September 1, 2010 - 8:32 pm

Joe I have to say along with Barry and echo the comments that were helping in Exeter because we are a Team, part of Labour ethos is “Community Spirit” and together we achieve far more. Take a look at the Labour website return to our basics -it helps put what we stand for into perspective.


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