Analysis Guest article

‘Nine hours later’ – a Labour candidate in a marginal seat speaks: this is different and manifesto isn’t even out yet

Maria Carroll is Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Carmarthenshire East and Dinefwr in south-west Wales. She is about as plugged into the community as anyone could be, having worked in the NHS most of her working life and now running a village shop in the area.

Maria has been campaigning intensively door to door and, like many Labour activists since the campaign began, senses something special beginning. This is her account of her experience so far.

Nine hours later

Nine hours on the campaign trail isn’t of course unusual during a GE campaign. We get used to throwing every available minute of our time to gain a labour government and after all it’s not long since we fought the last one.

It’s  only day four – or is it five, six or seven! After hours of organising, walking, talking, door knocking, letter boxes and more one tends to forget. But it’s different this time. Different to any campaign I’ve experienced.

In 2017 our campaign build and voter response grew as our wonderful Manifesto ‘For the Many, Not the Few’ resonated across the UK, bringing hope and key messages of a better way of delivering governance.

This time it’s different. Here we are a few days in, manifesto not yet out there – and yet the feel on the doorstep is already up there.

Up there with the post manifesto days of ‘GE17’.

Voters are more involved and interested in politics than ever before. Many watching Parliament live, news reports and documentaries more than ever before. Voters want this general election.

There is a clear and incredibly still-growing response on the doorstep to our plans. In 2017 we offered Hope now we offer something so much bigger and voters know it. The message from the public is clear: they want change and they want to end the nine years of increasing desperation felt by so many families.

So those nine hours I just delivered today have been exhilarating. And things can only get better because we have the manifesto to come yet!

So get on your canvassing boots. Join us. Feel the ground-shake that’s coming from bottom up as voters are looking for change – looking to end the days of this poisonous government that doesn’t care.

I promise you will have an uplifting time.

Today my nine hours were filled with incredible real life experiences.

  • Emily a first time voter who just can’t wait to vote Labour
  • Harri a pensioner, who wants to protect Emily and her generation from the kind of childhood he had. He was one of those children that went without until our unions and our labour governments introduced the change that meant kids from his block could go to university, could have a job in a workplace that offered protection, could negotiate a fair days pay for a fair days work. Harri wants that back for Emily and her friends
  • Susan who wanted to vote Green but has been disenfranchised by a pact with a party she would never vote for, enthused by Labour’s plans for a new green economy
  • Sarah a 50s-born woman who has been part of the most colourful and inspiring movement of women since the suffragettes and knows Jeremy Corbyn and John MCDonnell are supporting WASPI
  • Peter and Mair who have been fundraising for basic equipment at their children’s school because this government is all talk on education but no action
  • Ray, a local and successful businessman who treats his employees as they should be treated and who wants to be sure other employers treat their staff the same. Ray’s happy to share his profits at Christmas. That sure beats the experience of another voter once,  when a Tory-appointed Chairman of our hospital gave every employee a mars bar for Christmas whilst pushing the Tory government to introduce local pay bargaining

Those stories are endless.

The doors of voters are opening wide to talk to candidates. To hear more of what we have to offer.

Women inspired by Dawn Butler, Rebecca Long Bailey and all those phenomenal women on our front bench. Good working-class families wanting a fairer more equal society.

Christmas is coming. It’s a Christmas election – not the narrow election the media and other parties want us to think it is, but about real-life issues and our future.

It’s about tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. About our children and our grandchildren who want recognition of the climate emergency. Not a government that simply didn’t dare oppose an opposition motion but a government that will take action on climate change not give way to the mass polluters whilst telling hard-up voters to pay more for energy and catch a bus that simply doesn’t run in their side of town.

Join me, join us. Come and feel the Labour fires reigniting in homes across the country. Just an hour of your time on the doorstep will and can change the way you feel about this election. It will make you realise you are really really part of something big, special and growing.

And our manifesto isn’t even out there yet.

There is no seat that’s not winnable for Labour, including mine. We are determined to bring Carmarthen East back home to Labour. We are determined to unseat Boris Johnson and deliver change. That change can only be delivered by a majority government. And it has to be labour.

If you would like to support Maria’s candidacy then you can donate here.

Let’s fill parliament with MPs that care.


  1. Sorry this comment not relative to above but wanted to say I attended the Labour rally in Conway Hall London yesterday. Several MPs and prominent figures attended. Outside was a small group of men filming us going in and acting in an extremely aggressive manner demanding of attendees,some of them elderly ladies,if they supported BDS and accusing us of anti Semitism. Eventually the police were called to remove them. The MSM have delighted in giving great prominence to a nonsensical story regarding Dan Carden but fail,even on the local news to comment on an attack on the democratic process. Post election victory we need to have a thorough investigation into who decides what is news.

    1. What do the attitudes and behaviour of such Israel ‘supporters’ remind you of?

      Just asking.

    2. Meanwhile, an impeccably authoritative article by Anthony Lerman (Open Democracy/JVL website) provides a thoughtful demolition of the NEC tactic of placating the crude opposition propaganda on ‘antisemitism’. This on a morning when yet another Labour spokesperson has chosen to apologize rather than refute :

      The following extract is a salutary reminder of the consequeces of this scam :

      “The growing numbers of far-right, white supremacist and neo-Nazi extremists in the UK must be delighted at this state of affairs: Jews, the Tory leadership, much of the mainstream media are combining to do their work for them.”

      1. It is, isn’t it?

        It strikes me that Party representatives should challenge interviewers with :something like

        ” Have you read … [this/that/the other – today it might be Bercow on Corbyn, or the Lerman article] because it answers your question … You haven’t? Sorry – I thought journalists researched their subject as a matter of course? Well … what it shows is the exact opposite of the stories that get spread so easily. So … as you haven’t had the benefit of factual information, perhaps I can put the record straight for the public …”

        You get the idea – just not capitulating and confessing as if it was the Spanish Inquisition at the earliest opportunity.

      2. Yes, but the ‘interviewers’ KNOW that it’s all a smear campaign, and that most of the allegations are false and fabricated, and that most of the rest have been grossly exaggerated, and THEY have conspired in it. You make it sound simple, but you’re overlooking the fact that just about all of these ‘interviewers’ are Tories AND totally hostile to Jeremy and the left, and the last thing they’re gonna do is give anyone the opportunity to even BEGIN to expose the smear campaign for what it is.

        As Justin Schlosberg points out in Chapter 4 of Bad News for Labour:

        “In contrast to other contexts, the antisemitism issue by its very nature inhibits the development of a counter-narrative. This is because much of the discursive framing serves to pre-emptively delegitimise any defensive response as ‘part of the problem’”.

      3. In response to the Jewish Chronicle’s front page black propaganda piece a couple of days ago, Jo Swinson tweeted:

        ‘Incredibly powerful message and appalling that any community in our country has been forced to feel like this.’

        Yes, it IS appalling, and as Swinson is well aware of course, the whole thing has been conjured up out of thin air by the fascist forces ranged against Jeremy Corbyn and the left, and the vast majority of allegations and claims are completely fictitious and bogus, and most of the rest gross exaggerations or distortions, and the reality is that every single person who has conspired in this gargantuan fraud during the past four years or so – including Swinson – doesn’t give a damn about REAL anti-semitism, or the worry and concern they are creating – and HAVE created – amongst many in the Jewish community in their quest to sabotage Jeremy Corbyn’s chances of winning a general election and forming a government.

        It’s not only appalling, it is totally evil, and something that only psychopaths/sociopaths could be a party to.

      4. There are of course thousands of Jewish people who know that the whole anti-semitism thing is one Big Fraud and a Gargantuan Deception and, as such, they are not the least bit concerned or worried in that respect, but because they know that it is causing many in the Jewish community unnecessary worry and concern, they are doing whatever they can to get the truth out there AND expose the lies and falsehoods, and along with hundreds and hundreds of Jewish individuals – or groups of individuals – who have written letters to The Guardian (some published and, to the Guardian’s eternal shame, some unpublished), Jewish Voice for Labour have been working relentlessly to combat and expose the smear campaign for what it is.

        Yes, for the tens of thousands of Jews who have been duped by all the lies and falsehoods, it is inconceivable to them that the MSM could be doing such a thing, and even MORE inconceivable that Jewish MPs in the LP – or former LP MPs – could be lying and deceiving and manipulating them OR that their own Jewish newspapers are part and parcel of it all. And Hodge and Smeeth and Austin and Mann and the Jewish Chronicle and Jewish News etc KNOW it.

        But if they DID stop to think about it, they would perhaps ask themselves how it could be that there are all these Jewish people – many of them members of the Labour Party – who aren’t at all worried and concerned about Jeremy and the left and, as such, ask themselves how that could possibly be AND, that if it WAS for real, surely THEY would also be as worried and concerned as THEY are. One thing is for sure though, it would literally blow their minds if they ever DID learn the truth, and their trust – and their ability and their need to be able to trust – would be smashed to smithereens.

    1. The professor’s completely lost it this time – unless he can point to a single example in the whole of recorded history of “the already defeated” being “kowtowed to” by the victors and offered a replay of the war they just fucking lost?
      He implies that Labour making remain an option somehow caused “our Remainer chums” to propound tactical voting.
      It must be obvious to everyone here that Labour’s decision and Gina Miller &Co’s remainer zealotry are completely unrelated – that she and they will press on with their project regardless, whatever Labour’s position might be.

      The professor’s lazily contrived ‘argument’ is what his colleagues and students would smirkingly call a ‘sillygism'[sic] behind his back.

    2. … and the post raises the question of “Who the fuck are ‘We’?

      … because it’s certainly not the Labour Party in any logical interpretation.

      Might be Farage’s lot, on the other hand.

      Duvet and dark room politics strikes again.

  2. Danny, give it a rest. This is the sort of MP the country deserves, she is enthused with helping ordinary people.

  3. Interesting report. I was told yesterday that the young and enthusiastic Labour Parliamentary candidate for Hemel Hemsptead, Nabila Ahmed was also receiving a good reception on the doorstep. She too has picked up on the plight of the Waspi women and the NHS. If this is the case it would mean Hemel Hemsptead where Labour lost its last council seats to the Lib Dems in May, people are changing their minds and are becoming receptive to Labour.

  4. On campaigning, I’ve just noticed this extract from Sky (in the Groan) :

    “The last question put to [Nia] Griffith by [Sophie] Ridge is why can’t Labour shake off the antisemitism allegations?

    Griffith says: “We do need to make sure we stamp this out in the party.” She says Labour is making sure it takes action and investigates.”

    What is the point of this sort of tremulous response, FFS? Even the dimmest, no hope candidate must recognize after using it all this time that, above all, *it doesn’t work*! (Note that Berger is still claiming that she was ‘driven out’ of the Party by ‘antisemitism’ rather than a constituency Party that was fed up with her lack of ability.)

    Worse – it immediately comes over as an admission of guilt – handing the opposition a free pass on a shit-heap of lies. Meanwhile, on the same day, the IOPC gives Johnson a free pass for the election period on the Arcuri accusations and the Tories also continue to be allowed to largely duck accusations of systemic Islamophobia.

    1. my goodness! strange times indeed. Your every word here reflects what was obvious to many for the last too many years, RH.
      My goodness. EVERY WORD. And, did hear McD almost crying on the radio, after kicks from the usual suspects? McD was whining hysterically, almost crying, “we’ve done EVERYTHING THEY ASKED”. NB not everything based on thorough investigation, EVIDENCE to prove allegations eg WHO?, WHAT? WHERE? WHEN? WHO ELSE PRESENT? WHAT EXACTLY DID YOU DO OR SAY BEFORE AND AFTER ie CONTEXT? CONSISTENCY?

      McD whined, pleading for mercy, “WE’ve DONE EVERYTHING THEY ASKED”. TOTALLY UNTROUBLED by Is it right? Is it just? Where is the clear evidence? Are the claims, coverage and responses consistent with eg response to Grenfell, Windrush, Universal Credit Deaths and suffering. Black men shot or restrained until dead by the police. Black people stopoed and searched DESPITE the findings of the Home Office’s OWN detailed study in collaboration with police forces nationwide.

    2. Superb comment. Incisive and right. It’s all about timing. Accepting the accusations made sense at the start, but now that the accusations are being used for propagandist effect by our enemies and also to constrain Corbyn’s pro-Palestinian ethical stance, we NEED to start ‘fighting back’. i) We should point out that the level of antisemitism in Labour is considerably lower than in the population generally and CONSIDERABLy lower than in the Conservative party and, ii) that the accusation unfounded and is being used for political effect by some and iii) to weaken Corbyn’s ethical pro-Palestinian stance by others.

      Labour is the least antisemitc of all political parties. Time to proclaim it loudly and clearly.

    3. Nia Griffiths voted against Trident replacement as recently as July 2016 and, just 3 months later, became shadow defence secretary and one of Trident’s greatest advocates.

      Clearly, not to be trusted at all.

      Also, supporter of LFI.

  5. A fascinating little insight from a simple acid test ::

    Look for stories today claiming some alleged ‘antisemitic’ offence by a Labour Party member.

    Then look for the splash of headlines of the news highlighting the fact that the Jewish ex-speaker of the HoC totally rubbishes the idea that Corbyn has an anti-semitic bone in his body.

    Notice any difference in coverage?

  6. “‘Labour is our only hope’: Jess Phillips calls on party to stay united”

    A bit late after working to throw some good anti-racist Party members under the ‘antisemitism’ bus at the behest of Tory fellow-travellers of the Israel lobby.

  7. Just a bit of amused satisfaction at the revelation of accuracy of reporting in the Groan (the Jewish Chronicle’s sister paper) contained in the following :

    “Antony Calvert announced yesterday that he would not try to retain the Wakefield seat for the Tories after a number of his inflammatory social media posts were revealed”

    There must have been a GE that I didn’t notice, since Wakefield has been held by Labour for decades.

  8. I think backstabbing Philips is suffering buyers remorse after backing the wrong horse…..Uncle’ Toms gone on to richer pickings and left the thugish tendency of moderate stabbers in the Lurch.Big Bens members only club only for the approved Blairites excludes fish wifes and the lower orders of the chicken coup from membership.Magbe its time for swopping horses and joining the libtig party … No offers refused.

    1. Jess Phillips changes tunes like wind. Surely some, even here will trust her dripping noise. Some will feel giving her an X, is a Labour victory. I say a most toxic and violent picric victory. The wish to celebrate a Labour government in name, even a government that will be squeezed with every breath, by the deadly constriction of known vipers. Vipers enticed to remain with ever more counter intuitive begging as whined on radio last weekend by McDonald eg: “We have done EVERYTHING THEY ASKED”.
      Well vipers do what vipers do. The treacherous can’t help being treacherous. It is their nature.

      And, those with a reckless disregard for truth, WANTON selfishness as obscene as their abuse of trust, and gross disrespect for their chance encounters, girlfriends, partners, wives and mistresses …often all at once, those that care not for truth, won’t care for truth, even when important for governing this country… any country. That is their nature. That is Boris Johnson. That is the type that the likes of Ian Austin and his chums endorses instead of Jeremy Corbyn. They are keen to prevent the ONLY GOOD CHOICE to lead this country. He has areas for improvement as all of us do and they can be improved.

      But Jeremy has the vision the other aspirants lack and will NEVER possess. JEREMY has CHANGED the “CENTRE-GROUND”‼️ That, is a quality of TRUE leadership. All cheap imitators, FRAUDS like Boris Johnson and Swinson, are now trying, to deceive the public.

      Their pretend Labour chums ongoing open campaigns for leadership with FULL collaboration of ALL the MSM, including the Mirror and Guardian, prove their incompetence. Even worse, their actions, slanders, and WILFUL sabotage since their increasingly definitive defeats, show that they lack not only vision, but basic morality.

      Make a list of the associates of Austin, Phillips, Owen Smith and Ummuna, Swinson, Blair, Straw, Johnson & Co. It tells all one needs to know. All about their type and all about their inescapable nature. They will not change. They do not wish yo change. All evidence convince, they cannot change.

      1. “Austin, and his chums ENDORSE”.
        “They do not wish to change”.

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