Archive for the 'About the site' Category

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The new one member one vote rules will transform Labour’s leadership election

Monday, May 11th, 2015

Dan Jarvis rules himself out while Liz Kendall tells Andrew Neil that she is in

Well we are off in the race to find the next LAB leader. Last night one of the most heavily tipped possible runners, ex-army Major Dan Jarvis, announced that he would not be putting his name forward. A few hours earlier the relatively unknown Liz Kendall told Andrew Neil in a live TV interview that she would (link above).

A key element is that the party’s electoral system has been radically changed since Ed Miliband had his narrow victory over his brother five years ago when the contest was decided by three electoral colleges. These covered MPs, party members and affiliated organisations which largely meant the trade unions.

This time there’ll be a “one member, one vote” (OMOV) system. Candidates will be elected by members and registered and affiliated supporters, who will all receive a maximum of one vote. This means that, for example, members of Labour-affiliated trade union will need to register as Labour supporters in order to vote.

The biggest challenge initially is that in order to stand, candidates will need to be nominated by at least 15% of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) – now 35 MPs. The vote, as in previous elections, will be held by the alternative vote system. The deputy leadership election will be held under the same rules.

    In my judgement the new system will put a premium on strong communication skills and being able to perform effectively on TV.

On this score I was hugely impressed with Liz Kendall’s performance yesterday with Andrew Neil who is not the easiest of interviewers to face. Kendall is a fresh face without baggage from the past. Her prospects have been enhanced by Dan Jarvis, another good communicator and fresh face, saying that he won’t stand.

Paul Waugh has a good piece here on likely runners and riders.

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    Mike Smithson




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    Announcing PB’s General Election night event + today’s Populus poll

    Friday, April 17th, 2015

    Finborough Arms   Google Maps

    2200-0600 May 7th 2015 – Finborough Arms Kensington

    This is from Jeff Bell who used to post as Stonch.

    Kensington and Chelsea have now granted me and all night licence for the Finborough on May 7th so I can go ahead with an election all-nighter.

    The event will be ticket only from 10pm when polls close (the pub will be open to the public that day from 5pm however). The cost is £15 and that includes tea and coffee, mineral water and some snacks. The bar with extensive range of real ale, craft beer and all the rest will be open all night. The large HD screen is visible from every spot in the bar. We will show BBC coverage.

    I’ll be looking to close up at 6am when of course public transport will be operating. For tickets people should email me at finborougharms@gmail.com. Numbers will be limited of course but I don’t expect to have a problem with capacity.”

    The address is 118 Finborough Road, Kensington, London SW10 9ED. Thanks to Jeff, Fat Steve and others who have played a part in setting this up. Jeff tells me that there are two good Wifi connections (a primary and a back-up) and all the mobile networks have coverage in the pub. 4G seems to be good across the board.

    Mike Smithson

    For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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    Some pics from last night’s gathering

    Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

    Fat Steve and MikeK
    Fat Steve & MikeK

    Sunil and Stodge
    Sunil & Stodge

    Richard N and Antifrank
    Richard Nabavi & Antifrank

    Maybe because it was mid-week in a new venue but last night’s PB London Gathering didn’t attract the numbers that we have got used to. Still about 20 made the trip to a congenial pub close to Liverpool Street station for what turned out to be a really good evening.

    Clearly the the budget and the general election were very much in mind and, as you’d expect, everyone had strong views about what was likely to happen.

    Above are three of the pics of regular commenters that I took with my phone.

    Thanks again to Fat Steve for organising the event.

    Mike Smithson



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    Marf for Wednesday and a reminder for next week

    Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

    clarkson

    Reminder: PB gathering March 17th at 7pm

    The next PB get-together will take place on Tuesday March 17th from 7pm at the Shooting Star in Middlesex Street. As the map below shows this is just round the corner from our normal venue, Dirty Dicks. We are hoping that this will be less crowded and noisy than the pre-Christmas bash. Thanks to Fat Steve for finding the new venue.

    There are also plans for overnight May 7/8 – details soon.

    shooting star



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    Marf on the murder of Boris Nemtsov and details of the pre-GE15 PB gathering

    Saturday, February 28th, 2015

    camerondemandstransparency (1)

    Date for your Diary March 17th at 7pm

    The next PB get-together will take place on Tuesday March 17th from 7pm at the Shooting Star in Middlesex Street. As the map below shows this is just round the corner from our normal venue, Dirty Dicks. We are hoping that this will be less crowded and noisy than the pre-Christmas bash. Thanks to Fat Steve for finding the new venue.

    There are also plans for overnight May 7/8 – details soon.

    shooting star



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    PB gathering – Ilkley, Yorkshire: Monday July 7th 2014 starting 6.30pm

    Friday, June 20th, 2014

    Wharfedale Brewery   The Flying Duck Brew Pub   Church Stret Ilkley (1)
    The Flying Duck Ilkley

    As has been mentioned several times on the site the next PB get-together will be at the Flying Duck pub in the heart of Ilkley in Yorkshire. It’s in the town centre not far from the station. At that time of the evening on a Monday night it should be reasonably quiet.

    At the moment I have no idea who many might be attending – it could be half a dozen or several times that.

    The plan is to run it like the Dirty Dicks events in London. We’ll find a corner to meet and see how the evening goes.

    I’ve not been to the pub but will be in Ilkley from the Friday beforehand and will check it out.

    If those planning to attend could drop me an email with a mobile number on I’ll have some means of contact if there are any late changes. It will also help to have an idea how many will be there.

    Mike Smithson

    2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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    PB Euro election competition winner

    Friday, May 30th, 2014

    Congratulations to Wulfrun_Phil to winning the competition, thanks to everyone who took part, and a big thank you to Mark Hopkins to setting up the website for the entries.

    Just a note, on the above picture, I’ve hidden the individual differences for each party column (so not to make the above picture unreadable) the total diff column is the sum of these individual columns.

    A link to the spreadsheet with everyone’s entries and rankings is available here.

    TSE



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    Remember: Next PB gathering: Friday May 2nd starting at 6.30pm

    Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

    Usual location: Dirty Dicks pub opposite Liverpool Street station

    Thanks again to Fat Steve for making the arrangements.