Analysis Breaking News

W Mids mayor – shortlist of 3

Left vs right vs centre contest shapes up after shortlisting decision

The contest to be Labour’s candidate for West Midlands mayor has shaped up as a left/right/centre battle after three candidates made the shortlist.

Stop the War activist Salma Yaqoob looks likely to be the choice of the left. Liam Byrne, founder of right-wing pressure group Progress – though bizarrely endorsed by John McDonnell – is the right-wing candidate, while former Dudley council leader Pete Lowe, having started from the left, has swung to the middle with a number of the Sandwell right/Labour First said to be involved in his campaign.

The ballot will be run on a transferable vote basis, complicating the potential outcome still further. A voting schedule has not yet been announced.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here for a monthly donation via GoCardless. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


  1. Anyone voting byrne needs punting.

    Gave the toerags years worth of shit to fling back at labour with that idiotic letter. But not ONLY that – he wanted to ‘help’ dummkopf schmitt with the creation of universal credit.

    The man (And that’s a VERY loose term when it’s connected to byrne) is a monumental gobshite with zero redeeming features.

  2. Haven’t finished…Being a founder of ‘progress’ is (one of) the least disturbing of his pratfalls.

    Seriously, I can understand why politics has become nasty when twunts like byrne are perpetually in the mix. Careerist know-nothings who actually believe they’re making/ have made a positive difference.

    Just F off.

  3. Fuck all mayors but the ceremonial ribbon-snipping kind, they’re an extra layer of pretend government nobody but central government needs – they’re just overpaid backup whipping boys for the 30% of cuts councils can PROVE they didn’t cause.

    1. Agreed. Sinecures for failures & bottlers.

      Add them neither-use-nor-ornament PCC’s to the list, too.

    2. You’re right, David, about this new breed of mayors. Purely an imposition by central government to get the locals to sit up and beg for a few crumbs from the table.

      Local/regional government does need a complete revamp – but in the direction of devolution. This disorganised crapology isn’t it

      1. Rh….you and David are correct,but the position of mayor is a power grab and can be a position of influence..look at Khan in London and the notorious criminal Bozzo all use the position of mayor to launch themselves and influence the public.Its the only game on offer,so we play the game and install a left wing socialist .

      2. I believe in national not local government – that need should drive spending and wealth should drive taxation.
        Look at local regulation from, say, a transport operator’s point of view.
        Parking restrictions that need you to find a tiny sign in the rain, on street pay & display of a dozen different kinds, one way streets at different times, bus lanes with different signage – there’s lots of variability around the country today that never used to exist – signage, regulations and everything else was national.
        Say you’re driving a truck around the country and every mayor in every town wants the right to charge you £20 emission charge and you’re dropping off at five towns today and ten tomorrow. Allowing towns around the country to levy emissions charges is actively being considered.
        It’s a distraction.
        Expanding local government is a nonsense.
        National income-based taxation, national need-based spending is the socialist way – pretending that powerful mayors somehow enhance democracy & localise accountability is a crock of shit.
        Like the poll tax it’s just another Tory wheeze to con the voters into thinking national taxation is reasonable and local taxes are crippling and wasted on fripperies by councils run by idiots – that national government is efficient and local government isn’t – that reduced services and the rising cost of living are all the fault of inefficient councillors that need a highly-paid mayor to bring the benefits of the free market and inward investment to your depressed seaside or ex-mining town.

      3. “I believe in national not local government”

        … which is where we fundamentally part company.

        It’s centralisation that is the real curse of the times; dispersing power is essential to the rebalancing of policy in general. Otherwise you end up with the London syndrome writ large – as we’ve seen.

        Centralised power always corrupts a system – and also tends to incompetence – the two features of the present Tory government. seen in spades.

        The current ‘city mayor’ wheeze also concentrates power, which is the reason not to like it.

      4. Surprised you thought we were ever of one mind, RH.

        The time will soon come when a small cadre can govern us all with little effort and with our fully informed and constantly renewed consent at almost no cost and in full view of everyone.
        No scope for or advantage in corruption and no opportunity for regional preference or bias.
        Provision of services based on greatest need first.
        When everyone sees the last privilege driven from the system and that we really are all equal we can finally call ourselves socialists, chill out and enjoy our differences.
        And we don’t have to sacrifice much more than the concept of privacy in political life and personal wealth 🙂

  4. Is there a silver lining in hat Peter Lowe and Liam Byrne may split the right vote?

  5. Salma a long time leader of respect party and a good socialist candidate.Will shake up the right wing and has already got the usual suspects calling for her blood.That for me is an endorsement.

  6. McDonnell is showing his true colours now. I’m so disappointed. He dragged Corbyn into the leadership role and knows abandoned him. Some friend and ally he is!

  7. Given that the disorder in Santiago Chile is in part a protest against the negligible pension returns, it is not to his credit that Byrne still promotes this scheme as a model to be mimicked in the UK.

    It is indeed a surprise that McDonnell is so positive about this candidate given that Byrne made the statement about there being no money left, undermining the whole of McDonnell Labour’s economics argument and strategy. I can only assume that the Eurofanatic remain alliance has become all consuming in the McDonnall and the LRC camp.

    1. I’m LRC and McDonnell’s recent behaviour is noted by many, further, LRC is not Remainiac territory and is open to many of us who have been Expelled by the Rightist overlords.

  8. Mayors were introduced to subvert democratic control in favour of acquiescent individuals who just toe the line.

  9. Liam Byrne (we’ve spent all the money ha ha ha), bizarrely endorsed by John McDonnell? The old chums act makes perfect sense.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: