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Labour’s farcical 1-day window to apply for vacated Hartlepool seat – and who may be going for it

Centrist Williams and left icon Pidcock said to be considering, but the left should leave Starmer to drink from his own poisoned chalice

Labour has set a rushed selection process for the Hartlepool by-election, even though no date has yet been set for it to take place. The seat was vacated yesterday by the resignation of incumbent Mike Hill, yet the deadline for applications is 5pm today and a new candidate is to be selected at an online hustings on Friday:

Among those said to be interested are the left former MP Laura Pidcock and former Stockton South MP Paul Williams. Williams’s strong pro-remain views would not enhance Labour’s chances in a seat that bookmakers expect them to lose.

A Labour loss would be a damning verdict on Keir Starmer’s blighted tenure as Labour leader and his betrayal of working-class leavers, but if a left MP stood the party’s right and their media allies would shamelessly blame the result on Jeremy Corbyn and left politics. Even though victory for a left MP would be a huge win for the movement, left hopefuls should bide their time and let Keir Starmer drink from his own poisoned chalice in an election where the best he is hoping for is a scraped win.

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47 comments

    1. So, it’s all going to happen and be in the bag by Sunday (and Not The Andrew Marr Show). That’s fast.

      They’re up to something.

      1. If this is one of the so called Red Wall seats, it’s inconceivable that Labour voters would vote for a Tory isn’t it?

  1. I cannot imagine Sir Keir allowing Pidcock to be selected in any case. He will do all he can to ensure that the chosen candidate is not left wing. Presumably if a by-election loss in Oldham on your watch is sufficient for large numbers of your colleagues to call for your resignation a by-election loss in Hartlepool on your watch should elicit the same reaction.

    1. Thomas I think its “best” to leave it to the right wing.ITS only one seat .Bolton ,the other side of the Pennines had at one time 3 Labour mps,.You should see the damage caused by all them years of entitled Labour MPs and Council.Last time another one of those knights of the realm buggered up one of the seats whilst he was busy polishing his armour in Westminster.The Town looks just about the same as Hartlepool(abandoned).L….ITs time for the right wing destroyers of the Labour party to take the Applause,unfortunately for them the audience have left the Theatre.

  2. Sounds like someone, just, wants to get it off their desk.

    Or, they think that being one MP down will hamstring the PLP, in some way. 😉

    I’ve given up wondering how their minds work.

  3. Yup.

    Leave them to it.

    They wanted the party, to the extent of sabotaging their own election campaign, now let them own everything that means.

    Put a man who deified the whip 7 times to push for a second referendum up for a seat that voted 70% to leave. See how it goes.

  4. Sorry. Ruke 1, Section 1 of any left wingers internal rulebook is “Don’t give the right wing Tories any free rides”. Your so-called “advice” is a craven capitulation to the forces of reaction in the shape of our present government.and will be resented by members of Hartlepoool CLP and by the rest of us on Teesside.

    1. Sorry. Ruke 1, Section 1 of any left wingers internal rulebook is“Don’t give the right wing Tories any free rides”.

      Right ok.

      …So what’s YOUR excuse?

      1. No “excuses”. Just fight the campaign on behalf of local people who don’t need a Tory hegemony.

      2. Tory hegemony?

        stammer’s as good as handed the nation that. Unless, of course, you wish to tell us the difference, seeing as the other arch stammerite on here point-blank refuses to when asked??

    2. What on earth leads you to think that the thoughts, opinions and needs of Hartlepool CLP members will be of the remotest interest to Sir Keir ‘Stalin; Starmer and his functionaries in the LOTO Kremlin? You are dreaming.

      1. That the question you ask if they regain the seat.

        As it stands right now, and up until the result’s declared, keith’s really REALLY interested in what the people of hartlepool’s thoughts & opinions are.

    3. Reply to David Walsh
      In reply to your comment about carven capitulation to the forces of reaction and your ref to Tory hegemony in your later post the people of Hartlepool are used to this -Peter Mandleson was their MP for years.

    4. It’s my guess that a good left winger could take this seat, particularly if they voted against Brexit which is now being seen as a massive case of self harm by many in Hartlepool and the surrounding area.

  5. “Judge a tree from its fruit, not from its leaves.” — Euripides (484-406 BC)

    Even the bookies are not pretending that Starmer’s Labour is in with a strong chance with Hartlepool.

    Less than a year in post and Sir Keir Rodney Starmer, the self-acclaimed Unity Candidate, with his billionaiire and multi-millionaire sponsorship has already made the Labour Tree very sick indeed . Dutch Elm Disease and Ash Dieback and Labour Decline will be the knight’s legacy as alleged Labour Leaader.

    The leaves of the tree are still healthy, so members can fight-back, but woebetide us all if Keir Rodney Starmer were ever to be Prime Minister.

  6. I welcome Laura Pidcock to apply for the position. The most likely scenario is that she wouldn’t even make it to the long list.
    However, should Laura be elected PPC or a local socialist of good standing, it would be a question of the local and wider left rallying around to ensure that Laura or a local socialist retain the seat..
    I don’t buy the argument that if a left candidate loses to the Tories they would blamed on Corbyn. Of course they are going to blame Corbyn and the left even when a right wing candidate loses.
    We are going to be attacked from not helping in Hartlepool and for creating disunity within the Party blah, blah, blah. Hence, since we are going to be blamed anyway, rather better to try to win Hartlepool with a left candidate that no even enter a socialist for PPC and leave the field to the right wingers.

    1. Maria For some reason I can’t register a “like” to your post but I think you are absolutely right!

    1. MMM, but also Sir Keir’s connection with the billionaires probably results in him knowing that they want us back in full lockdown by the end August (and all for a disease that the WHO tells us has a .33% fatality rate).

      They’ll be going for an as-soon-as-possible by-election and – like all powerful elites – are using the pandemic to get their evil (anti-democratic and anti-socialist) ways.

  7. By now Laura pidcock will have figured out that its best to let the right wing take the prize for the longest suicide in History.We can clean up the mess later..They wrecked the Labour party now they own it.

  8. Well, frankly, those of us in these parts are going to have a go here. It would be helpful if other comrades rolled up their sleeves and joined us, rather than staying as keyboard internal obsessives.

    1. You lot can own it walsher….bloody Muppets who think a second rate tory tribute act will impress the voters of Hartlepool.Let’s have Panorama filming the celebrations has you lot go down the pan….You never learn just like the Torys.ITs just a game to you “Never mind the quality feel the width” and bugger the people of Hartlepool..thats your ideology so Own it.

    2. You are letting wishful thinking get the better of your reasoning power DW. The Left has everything to lose by standing, and almost nothing to gain. I f Left candidate stands and loses we will be blamed, if that person won, it would just be another small voice in an emasculated Left in the PLP. Let the Right have it and lose, and we will have another electoral failure stick to beat them with, especially if the local government elections go anything like as badly as is forecast. We really have nothing to gain on this one.
      ,

    3. Hilarious!
      “COMRADES” wah hah hah hah, how very Neolabour Neoliberal!
      “US” There is no us in two opposing, polar opposite political parties.
      “joined us” to do what exactly, put a far worse, dangerous, out of control maniac in Nr10 than the current one?
      You don’t just change a name and all is good, that’s how we ended up with 41 years of Neoliberal Thatcherite/Blairite misery. ‘Under the breadline’ are growing fast lots of Fantasy Comfort Fluff Bubbles have been popped, nothing I love more than the wailing and rivers of tears from those who were warned 2015 to 2020!
      There is nothing left to be done! We did our best 2015 to 2020 the forces were too powerful, now we can only wait for enough people to come and join us under the breadline and wake up from their slumber.
      To pin hope on the False Prophets of the so called “Labour Party” is a waste of good energy that will come in handy once we regroup!
      The UK Labour Party is dead, nothing left, but throbbing gristle in the skin of a dead host.
      At least they cant touch nor have they the interest for The Hardieist Democratic Socialist UK Labour MOVEMENT as that belongs to the people not the Neoliberal going on Neoconservative Neolabour Party.

  9. If Laura Pidcock applies and she isn’t shortlisted, when Labour loses Hartlepool the left can counter that the right was so afraid of Laura retaining the seat for Labour that she wasn’t even shortlisted,
    It would reinforce what most of us already know: they right wing of the Party rather prefer to lose a seat that to allow a socialist to retain it.

  10. The Tories are slightly favourites, Labour even money the Tories 4/5. It’s not looking good for New New Labour.

  11. If Laura stands for this seat and loses it they will say its because of her support for Jeremy Corbyn. If Laura wins they will say its due to the Starmer effect. its a win win situation for him.

    1. Smartboy, was Laura to lose the seat Starmer will of course blame the left, but why should we care? The are blaming everything that goes wrong on the left already. So what is new?
      As left our first priority has to be, to stop the hemorrhage of members that joined under Corbyn and are leaving the Party in increasingly large numbers.
      We need to think in the mid and long term consequences to the left within the Labour Party. if a recognisable socialist candidate fails to apply to stand in Hartlepool
      My guess is that Starmer & co are going to construct a narrative that is going to present Laura no standing as the left running scared because, we are fully aware of the damage we have inflicted to the image of the Party and we know we cannot win it and we are making excuses, blah,blah,blah.
      How many members that joined the Party under Corbyn and are presently pondering whatever to stay or to leave are going to stay in the Party when Starmer & co spin Laura no standing as a craven surrender by the left?
      Do you envisage Laura and the other four left reps retaining their NEC’s positions if a large number of members that voted for them, were to leave the Party in desperation?
      In an even longer term, how many MPs members of the SCG you envisage be allowed to fight under the Labour banner the next GE, once most CLPs go back under the control of the right wingers because of rank an file members leaving in increasing numbers?
      Hence, what about the left taking the initiative and the opportunity presented to us and try our best to ensure that Laura retains the seat?
      .Moreover, I don’t see Starmer agreeing to select Laura Pidcock as PPC for Hartlepool; by failing to even shortlist her it would prove that Starmer is running scared, that he rather lose a seat that allow a socialist to retain it.
      Thus, no allowing Laura into the shortlist will damage Starmer far more than Laura standing and losing the seat will damage the left within the Party.

      1. Thanks Maria
        I left the party because of Iraq and re-joined to support Jeremy Corbyn. I am also one of those who is on the verge of leaving again. I have hung in there so far so that I can use my vote for Left candidates as and when the need arises.
        I understand the points you are making but I still think it would be a mistake for Laura to stand assuming that she is given the opportunity to do so. The people we have in charge now are Blairites, full of ambition with no care whatsoever for working class people. If they do decide to let Laura stand it will be for no other reason than those I mentioned earlier. In my opinion she should steer clear.

  12. I was wondering 😔 how to celebrate ST Patrick’s day,now the Labour party have given me a reason in Hartlepool.Loss of a Labour seat and a hammering in May should see Strimmer on his way out.OF course it also helps that the local stout is fifty cents.!

  13. Of course, one aspect they’ll be keeping a close eye on, is how canvassing goes. Will they have enough local support, or will they have to bus-in canvassers from near and far?

    Smeeth must be sweating cobs, on which strategy she’ll have to use. I’m assuming Smeeth will be the Election Manager.

  14. The left dont deserve a socialist Labour party, so that’s Hartlepool and Liverpool we abandon, get off your knees
    Always for a Lion never a Lamb
    Laura Paddock has all the qualities to win this and challenge Temporary Embarrassment, everyone available should get behind her

  15. Off Topic, but our former DPP doesn’t appear to have any idea whatsoever about how sentencing works. He likened a MAXIMUM sentence (for the idiotic defend-a-statue law) of 10 years, to three chosen sentences for rape which were less than ten years. Shockingly he doesn’t seem to know about the sentencing guidelines for rape which have a maximum sentence of life imprisonment (and embarrassingly, even Johnson knew that!).

    There are plenty of criticisms he could have made, but one demonstrating his own ignorance of the law appears to have been attractive to him.

  16. Apologies for quoting from Guido Fawkes:

    Guido brought you the Tory MPs who have been the beneficiaries of Saudi largesse. Of course the Tories weren’t the only ones – there are numerous Labour MPs who have also enjoyed the generous hospitality of the House of Saud. Five Labour MPs enjoyed lavish all-expenses-paid trips to Saudi Arabia earlier this year. Who were the lucky five…
    • Mike Gapes (Lab) Visit to “deepen understanding of Saudi Arabia.” 9-13 April 2018. Paid for by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Shura Council. Value: £8,762
    • Kevan Jones (Lab) Visit to “deepen understanding of Saudi Arabia.” 8-13 April 2018. Paid for by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Value: £8,762
    • John Spellar (Lab) Visit to “deepen understanding of Saudi Arabia.” 9-13 April 2018. Paid for by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Shura Council. Value: £8,762
    • Paul Williams (Lab) Visit to “deepen understanding of Saudi Arabia.” 9-13 April 2018. Paid for by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Shura Council. Value: £8,762
    • John Woodcock (Ind, formerly Lab) Visit to “deepen understanding of Saudi Arabia.” 9-13 April 2018. Paid for by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Shura Council. Value: £8,762
    John Spellar has since interrupted Emily Thornberry in a recent Commons debate to object to her opposition to the UK selling planes to Saudi Arabia, without declaring his interest. The total value of the MPs’ junckets came in at a cool £43,810. It’s safe to say that they got better treatment than tortured and murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi…

  17. It is looking like Laura Pidcock hasn’t put herself forward for selection and Paul Williamson will be the only candidate

      1. PAH! but thanks for the guido fawkes link. “huge division with the Labour Left over candidate selection”

        No, HUGE resignation to the fact that our ‘new management’ is determined to end Labour’s 2nd-party state in FPTP.

        They must be so happy over at that site at what the billionaires’bought-boy is doing to Labour as Leader. All theiir tax-free dividends are coming at once!

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