Posts Tagged ‘Vernon Coaker’

Conference Notebook

01/10/2012, 01:19:30 PM

by Jon Ashworth

An eminent philosopher gave us an exhilarating, thought provoking and at times brain aching lecture on the floor of Conference yesterday. It was certainly a departure from the usual Sunday Conference afternoon though I concede the jury is still out on twitter as to whether it succeeded. But it was definitely popular in the hall. Just fancy, a party Conference discussing big ideas, whatever next?


For ten years I spent the Sunday evening of conference locked in soul destroying conference rooms in, often, soul destroying compositing meetings. Usually these gatherings would go on till the early hours of Monday morning but I’m told this year they were all done and dusted in a few hours, it was never like that in my day!


Freed from any need to be in an arid room trying to hammer out a political compromise,  I’m able to explore the Sunday night receptions. Deciding to give the rival Compass and Progress rallies a miss I head to Labour Friends of India where I’m joined by many friends and colleagues from Leicester. Brent MP Barry Gardner excels as the compere without compare and I get the chance to say a few words. Sadiq Khan joins us and tells an anecdote about a senior shadow cabinet member who addressed this gathering a few years ago with the opening line “it’s great to be here at Labour Friends of Israel…” Moments later a shadow cabinet member arrives to address us and makes the same mistake.


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Philip Cowley finds the incumbency factor alive and well in 2010

07/10/2010, 02:20:12 PM

The first obvious evidence of what (at least to me) was one of the more surprising aspects of the election results came at just past 2am on 7 May, when Labour held Gedling. It was the first obvious manifestation of something which the 10pm exit poll had claimed to detect, but which I wanted to see for myself before I believed it: evidence that hard-working Labour incumbents – in this case, Vernon Coaker – could survive against the swing.

The Conservatives would end the election having taken almost a clean sweep of seats from Labour in their top 100 targets. But of the nine they failed to take, eight were held by an incumbent Labour MP. (more…)

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Shadow cabinet: please consider voting for Vernon

24/09/2010, 07:04:24 PM


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Good MPs and committed activists DO make the difference, says Bex Bailey

06/06/2010, 08:27:52 AM

Douglas Alexander called it the “word of mouth election”. Gordon Brown said it would be fought “street by street, school-gate by school-gate, workplace by workplace”. And now Labour leadership candidates trip over each other as they scrabble to praise our grassroots supporters.

I spent the election campaigning for Vernon Coaker in Gedling, the only key seat retained in the East Midlands. What I saw there was a campaign with local activism at its heart that produced a victory many thought unlikely.

In the speech announcing Labour’s campaign pledges back in February, our then Prime Minister said that the party’s secret weapons in the upcoming election were our beliefs and our policies. This was true. But our other secret weapon was each and every supporter of the Labour party. Those people who were out talking to voters, come rain, shine, or (as was the case many times in Gedling) snow. (more…)

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Vernon Coaker on why he is Ed Balls’ campaign manager

19/05/2010, 02:49:45 PM

The Labour leadership contest provides our party with an exciting opportunity to debate the future as well learn from the past and reflect on the 2010 General Election result.

It has also been inspiring to see a party which, while disappointed with the result, is not dispirited or downhearted. A party which will not allow our proud record of 13 years in government  to be trashed and one which will hold this new coalition to account for their actions in a responsible but determined way.

So the person that we select for our leader has to be someone who will stand up for our record but also recognise our shortcomings. Someone who sees this election contest as a way of re-energising our thoughts and views about how we tackle the issues that matter: immigration, housing, welfare reform. Someone to stand up for the decent, hard-working majority.

Such a person will need to be strong and willing to face down the Tories and Liberal Democrats as they attack us, but also able to listen and connect with real people in real communities up and down the country. (more…)

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