Results of Lewisham elections called

Campaign group the Electoral Reform Society has named the winners of the constituency elections in Lewisham East, Lewisham West and Lewisham Deptford, declaring Heidi Alexander, Jim Dowd and Vicky Foxcroft the victors respectively.

The seats are among 364 across the country that the First Past the Post system renders dead certainties due to tribal voting patterns. With the national picture poised so dramatically, it's a shame there's not more at stake at a local level. To be fair to the candidates, the academic nature of the exercise hasn't stopped them campaigning hard.

47 comments:

Peter Tooke said...

There's an absence of genuine political debate in Lewisham and relatively few people seem prepared to depart from the narrow local 'political orthodoxy' and shout out that, metaphorically, the Emperor has no clothes. Old Labour has been mediocre in Lewisham for years, reliant on the electorate to return any candidate standing under the red rose. Hopefully the influx of educated professionals imn recent years (the much maligned 'gentrification') will in time have an impact and give us a more open-minded, questioning electorate who look at the performance of their elected representatives rather than just their political label.

David J said...

If you think 'gentrification' will lead to a more open-minded electorate then you really are overly positive. Most of these people are apathetic, apolitical children of Thatcher who only care about No 1

Brockley Nick said...

Most people, of whatever background, are tribal - preferring to characterise the opposition as loony or evil, rather than listen and evaluate the arguments.


I wish people were more "apolitical", since people who describe themselves as "political" are invariably interested in ideology rather than ideas and evidence.

David J said...

Let's see what future voting figures are like. Your "apolitical" dream will probably see less engagement and understanding about local politics. People who are 'apolitical' tend to wear it like a badge of honour but really it masks an ignorance and reluctance to be engaged in local and national issues

Peter Tooke said...

Spot on, Nick, I'm with you on this!

tammy said...

Tell me Peter - what kind of forum do you think would enable genuine political debate in Lewisham (departing from the "narrow local 'political orthodoxy'" you suggest is in operation at the moment)?

anon said...

The Brockley Labour Dictatorship

Charlie said...

The results in 2010 were:
Lewisham Deptford - 54% voted Labour, 12,499 majority
Lewisham East - 43% voted Labour, 6,216 majority
Lewisham West and Penge - 41% voted Labour, 5,828 majority.

Anon said...

If I was living in a 4 beds house paid by the Council I would continue to vote Labour. UK debt went from £550bn to £1.2tr under Labour before it all went pear shape. It is not difficult to guess where all that money went and why Labour is still preferred in some areas.

terrencetrentderby said...

What about all the state industries sold cheap by the Tories? And the council homes? What happend to the oil money? Financial recklessness isn't exclusive to Labour.

terrencetrentderby said...

I'd be more worried about the BrocSoc brownshirts smashing in your upvc windows.

Peter Tooke said...

I'm not sure what you mean by 'forum' - I'm just advocating a more open political culture locally where different points of view can be voiced and taken seriously rather than instinctively rubbished if they fall outside of a narrow consensus. This happens here on BC of course but is now unlikely to happen within the Council where all but one Councillor, and the Mayor, are from the same group. A good example of the political deficit locally is that whenever changes to public services are discussed the default always seems to be the tired old mantra that we must 'defend public services' (some sort of ossification?) when the discussion should really be around how services should evolve to address prioirity needs in a changing society. If things were framed in this way we could have more a sensible, mature debate and, in time maybe, get a Council and MPs that better reflects the breadth of local opinion.

tammy said...

What I mean by forum is a place were people can meet, exchange ideas, agree ideas and then move them forward to a place where these ideas might start to gain traction and become implemented. At a borough (or national) level this is unlikely to happen in online communication because the 'seats of power' are analogue rather than digital. What I mean is that if you want a voice in, say, Lewisham, the only truly effective route is to become a councillor (and then your ambitions may/would be suffocated by a mayoral dictatorship), but it's a start.
Of course, you may argue, there are areas of communication that the council may refer to – the lewisham pensioners forum for example – but this is a token nod from the council and can be accepted or rejected as the council sees fit, so has no democratic voice.
And of course there are activists who try to make their points through other means, and these may have a political effect in embarrassing the council into doing something, but, ultimately the council will take credit for 'doing what the people want'.
A clear case in point in Lewisham is the Labour hijacking of the Save Lewisham Hospital campaign, which was in fact started by activists (of a few flavours) and not politicians (well, you have to accept that is *was* started by politicians as it was they who brought the hospital(s) into crisis in the first place by their foolish financial agreements).
But change can only happen with a mass mobilisation of the population and getting (honest) people into positions of power. Regrettably there are few people of honesty left these days . . .
I hope that answers your question

Monkeyboy said...

The debt has continued to rise under the current mob so a bit of a meaningless argument without any context.

Alex Margolies said...

A-ha, Conservative Central Office is even monitoring Brockley Central, wow - be proud Nick.

Monkeyboy said...

Labour isn't covered in glory when it comes to smart ideas for health spending but they agreed to pay for the legal challenge if that's what you mean by 'hijack'.

Monkeyboy said...

Well I'm glad they did if that's the case. Did the SLH campaign object to that? I know they objected to the PB4P clowns appropriating their name.

Peter Tooke said...

Or, as I suspect, many very capable people of integrity are turned off by party politics . . . .

Abdoujaparov said...

Phenomenally misinformed there, Anon, but not surprising given the current standard of political debate.

Public debt soared in 2008 because of the global financial crisis, not because Labour was spending too much on schools, hospitals or welfare!

Public spending as a proportion of GDP:
Under Thatcher - 41 per cent
Under Major - 38 per cent
Under Blair - 37 per cent
Under Brown - 37 per cent



These figures are the God's honest truth - look them up.

Abdoujaparov said...

But the onus is also on politicians to focus on policies and explain them in ways that the general public can relate to and engage with.


Lynton Crosby's campaign for the Tories is an absolute shocker of negative campaigning. mud-slinging and character assassination. It's good to see that it's starting to show cracks.

Algernonian said...

Is it just me, or is this election campaign entirely based on the past, rather than focusing on what we should be aiming for in the future? We can't change the past, but we should learn from it. I'd love to see a party with a real vision for the future, and realistic goals for achieving it!

Robert said...

The figures only make sense if we see them under the Callahan government before Thatcher - and under Cameron. My suspicion is there might be a big drop under Thatcher - and another reasonable drop under Cameron. Though could be wrong.

David J said...

It is the politicians' job to keep you informed but as you explain their negative campaigning shows they don't want to do this. It's up to us to "keep informed". A lot of people don't want to do this under the guise of "being apolitical" or whatever you want to call it. However, a lot of local politicians do a good job and someone who is annoyed with national politics shouldn't be put off by engaging locally.

Monkeyboy said...

No. They dropped the attempt when challenged. By the way, this is 'hitching to the bandwagon' you seem to find distasteful http://www.savelewishamhospital.com/legal-challenge/ looks like SLH were quiet happy to have the support. Give my love to ray.

pete said...

Your first statement there is incorrect - first you say "PB4P clowns appropriating their name", then you say "They dropped the attempt when challenged". Neither of these is the case, so what do you mean exactly?
The SLH were happy to have the support of the Council by the way because the Labour party already had their finger up the a**e of the campaign.
But as you seem to know little about the facts I suggest you discontinue.

Anon said...

With an elected Mayor with no responsibility for the councillors the council chamber is the forum where his decisions should publicly face scrutiny.


The whole point of an elected Mayor is to free councillors from the shackles of the party and freely raise concerns they or their constituents may have over decisions made by the elected Mayor.

Yet time and again you'll see the major party have nothing to say on controversial matters before the Mayor, they don't even raise concerns when it's clear something doesn't add up.


The local assemblies could be useful forums for the public to have discussions along with councillors on non party lines. One way I've found to get politicians to open up is to show interest and ask questions without declaring a view or an allegiance way one or the other.

Monkeyboy said...

theres no need to go full "George Galloway". Sounds like you're not a supporter of the SLH despite PB4P claiming to be founding members. Well I'm glad they formed and glad they maintained a cross party non-sectarian professional campaign. you guys could learn from that. see attached, they were not fans of your shabby oportunism.

Demi said...

If you all so wish to have councillors from a different party in an election year then I'm done with SE London, it's all getting too yuppified and self centred.

iain said...

Pete, You're talking bullshit and lies. Don't go confusing stuff you hear down a pub from people who support PbP with a history of the SLH campaign. For starters, do you not realise how silly it sounds to suggest PbP ran the campaign, yet somehow ended up giving it all up?
The reason PbP ended up on the margins is because they never ran the campaign, and they took themselves out of the campaign following their own failed attempt to hijack the campaign - the best evidence of that is the fact they appropriated the campaign name. As well as that, they would attempt to pack meetings with their supporters to try and lever their own electoral positions onto the campaign, and try to dictate who spoke at the end of rallies (consistently voting against SLH allowing local MPs or councillors to speak at events). In the end, after failing their quest to hijack SLH, they threw all their toys out of the pram, left, and spent the next couple of years telling anyone who listened that they were forced out by a labour conspiracy to silence the people of lewisham on PFI. The big problem with their delusion is that the campaign steering committee has less than one in five members from the labour party - most people are 'apolitical' or not members of anything, some are members of radical organisations. Also, the campaign has remained opposed to PFI.

So think again before reproducing stuff you hear from old stalinists. I have no doubt this thread will drag, and I'm too busy to keep abrest. Sorry if I don't reply. But get some popcorn, sit back, and read some proper entertaining stories with that stalinist/hollywood attachment to history.

And Nick, be aware, I've been threatened to be reported to the police by pbp officers under the Electoral Act during the council elections. I don't know if blog owners would be liable in such circumstances, so to be clear, they never 'stole' the campaign name. Just listed their candidate as 'Save Lewisham Hospital - People Before Profit', without ever telling or asking the campaign. Then they refused to change it to something less misleading after several requests. And I am not suggesting their candidates have broken any laws.

If anyone is serious about open politics and involvement in issues, feel free to check out www.savelewishamhospital.com and get involved

six of one.... said...

The Blair-Brown, along with many other governments wanted to borrow money at cheap rates to finance their projects and followed an economic policies to encourage that. That led to a credit bubble and lots of dodgy loans.

It is not smart to let politicians off the hook and just blame bankers. They are a convenient scapegoat.

At least a lot of the government borrowing went on education and health. Think about where the money came from for all those shiny new health centres and schools.

You win some, you lose some.

Dave Crowley said...

For us not sure who we will vote for, please quote the official/de facto source for your stats. It helps improve the quality/standard of debate. :-p

Vicar's Knickers said...

How many didn't bother voting?

Vicar's Knickers said...

They are all disingenuous, they have all consistently run the UK's finances as a Ponzi scheme, as there is no incentive for them to do otherwise. Forget the NHS, it's doomed as it's unaffordable under this funding stream.

Vicar's Knickers said...

I think the question here is, if you are consistently taking out and putting nothing in, should you be allowed to vote?

Vicar's Knickers said...

These are correct. The left always likes to present MT as a savage cutter of Public Spending. Even with someone who was as driven as her found it virtually impossible to cut the size of the State to fit the income.

Vicar's Knickers said...

Politicians always need someone to blame and bankers are a very convenient scapegoat. The Labour government had their noses so far into the trough they could not see what was going on around them. You only have to look at the share price of the banks to see there was a huge problem which they chose to ignore. I remember watching analysts quizzing bank bosses about acquisitions way before the crisis and not getting any answers. The Tories would have made the same mistake with the exception of public sending mistakes.

Vicar's Knickers said...

There are many sources for this data as it's public knowledge. This is one https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AonYZs4MzlZbcGhOdG0zTG1EWkVOQzNJMHM3QXZIQlE#gid=0

Vicar's Knickers said...

I agree. We do need radical solutions not wedded to political doctrine.

Kriss said...

I Tweeted a question to all the Deptford ward candidates on their position on a policy area - and only one bothered to respond. I'd would have thought they would be keenly using social media - seems not (I won's say who responded).

Try it for yourselves and see what happens. Here's their addresses: Lib Dem: @MichaelBukola Green: @lewgreenparty Lab: @vickyfoxcroft Con: @BimAfolami

Brockley Nick said...

That's interesting. What do you ask about and go on, say who responded. I'd guess Vicky as she seems fairly active on social.

Kriss said...

Actually it wasn't Vicky - who I assumed would have one of her team looking after her SM. I'm a tribal Labour, but really pissed off with them in Lewisham - so for the first time I will taking my vote elsewhere. I hope enough others do the same - a narrower majority will hopefully make our candidates a bit more accountable.

Tamsin said...

Malcolm Martin (Christian Peoples Alliance) at a hustings yesterday put an interesting spin on voting in a safe seat - a chance to vote for whom you fancy rather than having to vote to keep the people that you don't like out of power. (He came over as a good chap - nothing ostensibly Christian about him at all - and sound views.)

Woman of Brockley said...

First past the post system does definitely skew voting choices. I am planning to vote for a party I would think long and hard about if they actually stood a chance of being elected. I'm doing it because I would like to think that the majority parties might just pay a little attention to which minority parties appear to be gaining more popularity and adjust their policies accordingly. A huge majority is not a good thing for a constituency. Having an almost entirely one-party Council has been a very bad thing for Lewisham, in my view.

Kriss said...

I've just come across this: http://voteswap.org/
I'm swapping - sorry Vicky!

AlkanJohn said...

Well I've decided to vote Green in this election for the first time. Tribal Labour voter for decades, but as Lew. Deptford is a complete cert. for Vikki Foxcroft, and more importantly, I agree with most of their policies! Abolish Trident, no HS2, and certainly their education - scrap SATs, abolish Ofsted, bring academies and 'free' schools back into local council control again. Bennett is a poor speaker, and we can do without the nutty side like banning the Grand National, but they get my vote this time. Oh, and the candidate is a musician!

Anon said...

The green candidate has the worst councillor attendance record of all the Lewisham councillors.

Catford Saint said...

I wish our Labour candidate and probable future MP would champion the regeneration of central Catford ( demolition of Milford Towers etc.) Not a mention of it in Heidi's election info.

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