Posts Tagged ‘Dan Jarvis’

Uncut predictions for 2017: More moderates will rejoin the frontbench

02/01/2017, 12:03:55 PM

They may not agree about the destination, but more Labour moderates will return to frontbench duties in 2017.

They will come to two inescapable conclusions.

The first is that its essential Labour improves its woeful performance in holding the government to account. The party – actually, the country – deserves a functioning Opposition. The current offering is decidedly Sunday League.

The second conclusion is more personal.

Moderate figures will eventually realise that only someone who has shown they can work with the grain of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership will succeed him, probably after the party loses the 2020 general election, or perhaps earlier Corbyn if calls it a day before then.

They will look at Keir Starmer and see him edging ahead of the pack, using his role shadowing David Davis to good but not spectacular effect (imagine what Robin Cook would do with the job…)

How much longer can figures like Dan Jarvis, Chuka Umunna and Tristram Hunt afford sit on the sidelines and allow their leadership chances to wither?

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The three choices facing moderate Labour MPs at tomorrow’s Budget

15/03/2016, 09:55:09 PM

by Greig Baker

Some people accuse Conservatives of wanting power at any cost. Having worked for the party during some of its darker days in Opposition, I can assure you that is not the case. However, most Tory MPs do understand you have to be in power to wield it.

When the Chancellor sits down after delivering tomorrow’s Budget, ambitious Labour MPs will have three choices if they want to wrestle the keys to Number 10 away from Cameron’s successor. First, they could drink the kool aid and hope against hope that Jeremy Corbyn has stumbled upon a new way of winning elections. More realistically, they will have to choose between options two and three – quietly rebelling or carefully splitting.

The rebellion option will be embodied by Rachel Reeves, Dan Jarvis, et al, who will set out their own response to the Budget, coming from a dramatically different position to Labour’s frontbench. In contrast, the splitting option has already been demonstrated by David Lammy and Andrew Adonis, who have been willing to give Corbyn a few more days’ bad headlines in return for the promise of actually getting stuff done.

Given that Andrew Adonis’s recommendations from National Infrastructure Commission will get great big lumps of real hard cash thrown behind them tomorrow, the understated rebels are going to have to do something special to persuade colleagues that they can offer a viable alternative.

Either way, the reaction to tomorrow’s statement will give us a clear sense of which Labour MPs know that you don’t have to be a Tory to want to be in Government.

Greig Baker is Chief Executive of The GUIDE Consultancy

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Dan Jarvis is right. We must show the Tories are the gamblers

10/03/2016, 10:37:13 PM

by David Ward

Maybe I left my Yorkshire tea bag in too long, but on Thursday morning I had a vision. There I was at the kitchen table with the radio on, listening to Labour MPs cheering the defeat of the government on Sunday trading. Fair enough you might think, we’re winning less than Manchester United at the moment.

But then I was transported to 2020. I could hear the next Tory Prime Minister. “At this election we’ve got a choice. Do you want a stable economy, a strong future? Or do you want the danger of the unholy alliance of Jeremy Corbyn and Alex Salmond voting down the will of the country as they’ve done 20 times this parliament. It’s a risk I don’t think we can take.”

Of course it’s right that Labour opposes legislation like this that harms working people. Angela Eagle has done a fantastic job to win the vote. But you don’t have to be a genius to work out the Conservatives will fight the election on security.

If Labour are going to win we need to do two things. First, deal with our weaknesses. That means stop banging on about Trident, or admitting people with dubious backgrounds. These only give credence to Tory charges against us. As we found in 2015, if people see us or our leader as weak then tactics like the ‘tartan scare’ will work.

Second, we need to reframe the debate so the Conservatives don’t equal stability. That was the case that Dan Jarvis made on Thursday. “When you hear George Osborne say ‘long term economic plan’, what he really means is ‘short term political gain’.”

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Who’d want to be “the next Labour leader”?

25/01/2016, 12:26:31 PM

by Jonathan Todd

“You have to be ready for anything,” Dan Jarvis told the BBC when they recently asked about his Labour leadership ambitions. “Owen Smith: I am interested in being Labour leader,” reads a New Statesman headline from earlier this month. This appeared not long after Jess Phillips had been the subject of similar in the Spectator. Stephen Kinnock and Michael Dugher have also been touted as future leaders.

That foraging in the undergrowth is the cut and thrust of competition to be trademarked “the next leader of the Labour party”. Andy Burnham was sufficiently deemed so to enter the 2010 leadership election as favourite, while Chuka Umunna once had the strongest claim on this title among the 2010 intake. Those comprehensively beaten by Jeremy Corbyn (Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall, as well as Burnham) may struggle to again accumulate the political capital necessary to mount viable leadership campaigns, while Umunna has slipped behind the likes of Jarvis et al in “the next leader” stakes.

The experiences of Burnham and Umunna ought to be salutatory to those now seeking to be “the next leader”. “The next leader” is rarely the next leader. Gordon Brown in 1994, for example, was “the next leader”; Tony Blair was then the next leader. Given that Labour is unlikely to recover in 2020 the 59 parliamentary seats lost in Scotland in 2015, and the boundary review will probably cost Labour a further 20 seats, a new leader before 2020 seems a much worse bet than Blair in 1994 to be the next Labour prime minister.

All the more reason to not want to now be “the next Labour leader,” right?

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Police cuts: No battle is won without support in depth

05/10/2011, 03:00:49 PM

by Dan Jarvis MP

Yesterday we heard the latest in a long line of speeches from Theresa May about her vision for our police force: cuts of up to 20%, changes to police terms and service conditions and pension arrangements, electing police commissioners at a cost of 3,000 police officers, and vitally, a lack of strategic vision on policing – a far cry from the speech we heard last week from Yvette Cooper.  The Home Secretary believes that these changes will not effect the front line. I know, as we all know, that this is a catastrophic misjudgment and demonstrates a naivety of the work our Police force carries out.

We regularly hear the falling crime statistic which Labour achieved in government but it is worth mentioning again- a 43% fall in overall crime, 7 million fewer crimes a year and the first government in the post World War Two era to leave office with crime rates lower then when we took office. This is undoubtedly due to the extra police we put on Britain’s streets, the PCSOs and the community groups which were set up to tackle crime in their neighbourhood, but it is also due to a greater understanding of the causes of crime: that our children need an education, our young people need opportunities and adults need jobs.  We had to be tough on crime, but also tough on the causes of crime.

Theresa May, in her speech cited Bernard Hogan-Howe, the new Metropolitan Police Commissioner who has stated that police officers aren’t social workers, they’re here to stop crime, catch criminals and help victims. I couldn’t agree more, but, as I learnt from spending a week on the beat with South Yorkshire Police, Theresa May’s solution of cutting vital police numbers is not the answer. (more…)

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Trying to keep up with Dan Jarvis in Barnsley Central

12/03/2011, 11:30:36 AM

by Dave Roberts

Labour’s second by-election victory of the year was a moment to celebrate – and not just because the Liberal Democrats were obliterated and the Tories humiliated – but because it demonstrated that Labour could still campaign – and campaign hard  – even in a heartland seat such as Barnsley Central.

The overall result in Barnsley was never really in doubt – the constituency is about as Labour as you can get.  On the doorstep, voters were determined to show the Tory-led government what they thought of the cuts, and for many the memories of the brutality of Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s were very real. But the way the Labour team campaigned was impressive and the landslide victory that the voters delivered should linger in people’s memories for some time to come. People should not underestimate the significance of this result – to increase a numerical majority with a decreased turn out is a significant achievement.

The result was also a huge moment for the successful candidate, Dan Jarvis, the former paratrooper who overcame his outsider status to win the respect, and a few hearts, of the people he now represents. Dan threw himself into the campaign from the moment he was selected. His enthusiasm, dedication and sincerity were recognised by all who met him. Dan’s ability to convince the wavering voter that it was worth going to the polls to vote for the Labour party, was outstanding.

However, the lasting memory I will have of my four days in Barnsley is the sheer pace of the campaign – and here I refer to genuine speed. Being a man who has run marathons in the desert, Dan is not short on fitness – something he demonstrated every day by running between doors. Up hill or downhill, in the morning or after eight hours canvassing – Dan was still running. On polling day we started running at 10am and finished twelve hours later. And the amazing thing is that this energy infected the whole team. I am no runner, but on polling day I, and the rest of the team with Dan, was still moving at an alarming pace when the day ended.

The pain in my legs caused by all that running has now subsided but the pain suffered by the Tories and Lib Dems in Barnsley Central will continue for some time to come – and Dan Jarvis and “team Jarvis” will be there to remind both parties of their humiliation in Barnsley.

Dave Roberts is a Labour activist and director, Morgan Roberts Ltd.

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Why Dan Jarvis’ election can help Labour serve our communities

04/03/2011, 12:00:01 PM

by Jim Murphy

The election of Dan Jarvis to Barnsley Central is great news for Labour and for Dan personally. Dan is a good friend and an exceptional man. He will bring something new to Parliament and will be an asset in our ranks.

It’s excellent news for another reason. I have said before that I believe Labour would be strengthened by having more former armed forces personnel in our party, as councillors and in Parliament. Dan, who served for 15 years in the parachute regiment, was an army major and saw action in Afghanistan, will bring insight few others can to defence and security policy.

At this historic moment, when recent dramatic events in North Africa and the Middle East are rapidly reshaping the security landscape, Labour must be central to the debate on future defence policy. There is a major challenge now for the UK on how we best position ourselves to help shape events around our values and priorities – democracy, freedom, human rights. It is not enough for Labour to point out that the government response has been lacking (shockingly so). We must ourselves grapple with challenging global defence issues if we are to be a credible and serious alternative government, not just an effective opposition.

I wanted to be shadow defence secretary because I believe defence should be natural Labour territory. A start must be to tackle the ill-informed old orthodoxy that the Tories are the party of the forces and Labour is the party of the NHS. In truth, we must be credible on both, especially when Tories are no longer credible on either. (more…)

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Thursday News Review

03/03/2011, 06:48:53 AM

Brega sends Gaddafi’s forces packing

Attacks by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s fighter jets and artillery have been repulsed by the rebels threatening to end his 41-year rule of Libya. While the dictator sounded a defiant note during a public appearance in Tripoli, a surprise assault by his forces using 122mm heavy artillery on the town of Brega was repelled after bloody fighting in the town. And air strikes on an arms dump outside Ajdabiya again failed to ignite the enormous weapons stockpiles hidden in bunkers filmed by Sky News earlier in the week. Eyewitnesses say the battle in Brega was waged across sand dunes on the edge of town and around its university. Col Gaddafi’s air force again struck by dropping bombs on the university, but failed to stem the rebel counter-attack. While their forces have managed to hold off pro-Gaddafi onslaughts so far, opposition leaders continue to plead for outside airstrikes to help them oust the ruler. The question is now whether or not the rebels can turn their counterattack into a more sustained offensive and move the pro-Gaddafi lines further west after days of stalemate between them and the regime. – Sky News

A bloody counter-attack by crazed Colonel Gaddafi flopped yesterday – as the Mad Dog’s forces fled with their tails between their legs. Two hundred troops still loyal to Libya’s tyrant swooped to seize back a key oil port from democracy campaigners – arriving in a convoy of 50 sports utility vehicles. The handful of rebels guarding it were caught napping by the surprise dawn attack and scarpered in terror. Jubilant Gaddafi, 68, later went on state TV to launch another rant at armies of protesters out to end his four decades of iron rule. But his glee at retaking the country’s second biggest oil and gas terminal – Brega – was short-lived. By mid-morning rebel reinforcements were already streaming out of the nearby city of Ajdabiya in pick-up trucks – defying warplanes sent to bomb them. Soon it was the turn of Gaddafi’s men to run for their lives. By mid-afternoon they had retreated to the campus of a university – where they found themselves cornered. Late last night the tyrant was enraged to learn they had all fled. The hapless last stand at the university was summed up by a bomb dropped by one of Gaddafi’s warplanes. It harmlessly hit the nearby beach in an explosion of sand. – the Sun

Off to the polls in Wales and Barnsley

On election night the vast majority of candidates face the very public humiliation of losing, and years of commuting and committees await the winner. But just as there are men and women who feel compelled to jump into the arena and get their name on a ballot, so there are also people who give up their evenings and weekends to take part in even less glamorous campaigns. The issue of whether the Assembly should gain new – strictly defined – powers to make laws in the 20 areas for which it is responsible is not a topic of conversation that you will often hear at the hairdresser’s or during half-time at the Millennium Stadium. But on Thursday, the people of Wales will be asked to vote on this very topic. When just 38.2% of people cast a vote in the 2003 election to decide who they wanted to be in charge of Wales’ education, transport and health services, what chance is there that even this number will take part in the referendum? However, for two women in Wales this is too important a question to be left to the political anoraks and the constitutional obsessives. Neither is a professional politician, and each holds down a demanding day-job. But each cares passionately that you should take a few minutes to think about whether you want the Assembly to become a more powerful institution – and both of them want you to vote on March 3. Rachel Banner, an English teacher and Labour activist from Pontypool, campaigns for a No vote with True Wales. Cathy Owens, programme director for Wales for Amnesty International, is convinced the Assembly is ready for the next stage of devolution and works with Yes For Wales. And they both want you on their sides. – Western Mail (more…)

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Dan Jarvis: an opportunity to send a message to the government

02/03/2011, 05:23:32 PM

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Sergeant Watson sends a postcard home from Barnsley

09/02/2011, 07:00:50 AM

by Tom Watson

I always find it amusing to be described as “Scottish” in the newspaper columns written by famous people I have never met. I think Jackie Ashley started the trend. Back in 2006 she described me as “burly, Scottish and a former engineering-union official….most people’s idea of the archetypal Brownite”. She was spot on, except that I am neither Scottish nor a former trade union official, though I did work in the political department of the AEEU and some may describe me as “burly”. Had she written, as Ann Treneman once did, that I was a “down market Billy Bunter” she would have been more accurate.

Actually Jackie, I’m a Yorkshire man. South Yorkshire. With heritage in mines and steel that stretches generations. That’s why it’s so great to be in Barnsley helping Dan Jarvis win for Labour.

I think there’s going to be a by-election here soon. And the climate here is a gift for the political campaigner. The people on the doorsteps are writing the slogans. “I want you to go to London and tell that David Cameron that I’m already sick of ‘im, me love”, said a kindly pensioner who voted Tory last May. (more…)

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