June 10th election results spell out IWCA potential

The election results in Oxford and London have spelt out the IWCA’s political potential with a huge capital P. Though the primary reason for standing in the Mayoral election was to increase the IWCA profile, the actual results demonstrate the numbers reached by our message-over 49,000 Londoners put their cross against IWCA candidate Lorna Reid.

In Oxford the IWCA, in winning three seats, will undoubtedly be one of the main dynamics in what is now a hung council after Labour lost overall control.

For a party which put up its first candidates in May 2002 this demonstrates fairly dramatic progress and something one might have imagined the media would have had the good grace to acknowlege. Far from it.

Papers like the Guardian, while lauding the Oxford Greens capture of four seats, insist on describing the three succesful IWCA candidates as ‘independents’. The BBC meanwhile sought to explain away the IWCA success as part of the ‘anti-war protest vote’. Even on the day after the election and six weeks of campaigning, The Independent decided their readers would benefit from knowing that Lorna Reid is a member of a party called ‘Independent Work’.

To get the full flavour of the IWCA gains it is to necessary to compare and contrast results with other parties the media regard as the radical alternative. Respect, headed up by renegade MP George Galloway, received substantial pre-election coverage as did the BNP, while the IWCA was never mentioned even once. Moreover, acccording to both Respect and the BNP each spent around £250,000 on self promotion. Even these extravagant amounts pale when set against the £2 million reportedly invested by the UKIP. Money and the media were not the only areas where the IWCA was at a disadvantage. According to some the BNP has a membership of about 5,000 while Respect is actively sponsored by various Muslim groups and the SWP. Despite this, Respect have so far emerged from the elections without a single candidate elected, while the BNP made a net gain of one councillor. In addition the BNP and Respect stood candidates in every constituency for the assembly while the IWCA only put up a candidate for Mayor.

In discussing performance and overall potential it is useful to draw a comparison between the IWCA, BNP, and Respect where the parties went head-to-head on a more level playing field. By this we mean the London constituencies where the Lorna Reid’s campaign either captured the attention of the local media, resulting in some favourable, albiet limited, publicity, or where through bashing the pavement IWCA activists carved out a profile for itself simply by going door-to-door on the working class estates.

For more details on the IWCA’s Mayoral Campaign see IWCA national site


Spring 2004 Newsletter


by Nusret Sen, Peter Sutton and Carl Taylor

Two years ago we stood in the council elections as independent working class candidates. We argued New Labour only represents the middle class in this area – they act in the interest of loft-dwelling City workers and their developer friends . We said that the working class majority in the area needed independent representation. We wanted to put your issues first and after talking to over 1000 people on estates in the ward we campaigned on the issues of crime and anti-social behaviour, housing repairs and transfers, and defending our vital community facilities.

Against a Labour Party bankrolled by big business we did well. With no experience of standing in an election before, we came within 90 votes of winning. We were the closest to beating Labour anywhere in the Hackney South and Shoreditch constituency. More people voted in Haggerston than in neighbouring wards, mainly because people who don’t normally vote saw us as something different and gave us a chance.

But Labour scraped back in. Since then what have they done?

• Haggerston pool is still shut (and now Clissold pool in Stoke Newington is shut as well)

• Laburnum School was closed despite protests from parents and the community

• Estate management has been handed over to private companies – tenants and leaseholders weren’t even given the choice of staying with the council

• Grant funding to Apples & Pears adventure playground and the One O’clock club has been cut

There will be another council election in two years time. It is our view that Labour do not deserve to keep representing this ward. We think there should be another independent working class challenge to Labour – whether this is us, or other independent working class candidates. That challenge has already begun. We know how to fight elections now, but we also understand that community politics is not about ticking a box once every four years. It’s about our involvement in the day to day issues of Haggerston. We will work with anyone who wants to fight Labour’s plans for privatising and gentrifying this area.




Tenants Petition ShOW over New Development
Activists from the Shoreditch Tenants Association have been petitioning the estates in the Pitfield Street area of Hoxton about the proposed redevelopment of the old cinema. Shoreditch Our Way (ShOW) have pushed a bid for the site, currently a warehouse. They say they want to reopen it as a community cinema. However, the planning application leaves it open for “mixed use”. Local residents are clear that while they would welcome a local community cinema — including a Saturday Morning Club for local children — they object to more yuppie flats and late-night bars. In short, local people do not want the so-called Shoreditch “cultural quarter”, with its high prices and anti-social behaviour, to creep further North from Hoxton Square into residential areas. Shoreditch T/A’s petition will be submitted to both ShOW and Hackney Council’s Planning Office.

£30 million – Down the Drain?
Hackney hit the headlines again with the closure of the £30million Clissold Leisure Centre. During the last election, the IWCA campaigned for “the re-opening of Haggerston Pool as a publicly owned facility at affordable prices.” A fraction of the cost of Clissold would have refurbished Haggerston Pool, but New Labour preferred to open their very own Millennium Dome in the borough instead.

Working Class Candidate for London Mayor
The IWCA recently announced its candidate for the London Mayoral election on June 10th. Lorna Reid, 39, is an advice worker who lives on a council estate in Islington. She aims to give a voice to the concerns of the millions of working class people in London who find they are ignored by the mainstream parties. The message she is sending is: “We live here too!”

More information: http://www.iwca.info

Get Involved with Community Politics!
This newsletter is put together by community activists who want to work together to defend working class interests in Haggerston and Hackney. If you would like to work with us then contact 020 7684 1743

The Truth about the Olympics
Ken Livingstone and New Labour are promoting the lower Lea Valley for the 2012 Olympic Games. While vital sports provision for the rest of us continues to be cut (bear in mind that dozens of football pitches on the marshes will be lost to make way for a coach park), what is being kept quiet is the plan if the Olympics doesn’t happen.

Thousands of jobs will be lost from the hundreds of local companies who will be evicted, so that thousands of riverside flats for Canary Wharf yuppies can be built.

Camden Tenants Fight Housing Privatisation
Housing Minister, Keith Hill called tenants in Camden “irrational” after they threw out government plans to hand their homes over to an ‘Arms Length Management Organisation’ (ALMO). More than 3 out of 4 tenants voted against the ALMO, rejecting the advice of Labour councillors, highly-paid consultants and top council officers. ALMOs are limited companies, set up to run council housing but tenants realised that it would quickly be sold off to a housing association. There has to be another vote before this can happen, but the ALMO is just a half-way house which the Council uses to get tenants used to the idea that Council housing should be privately run.

Minister Keith Hill has shown the contempt he has for tenants who don’t just go along with Labour’s privatisation plans and who want improved council housing with no strings attached. Watch out for Labour’s plans for bringing in an ALMO in Hackney.

New Labour – Privatise Locally, Privatise Globally
The charity War on Want has recently criticised the government severely for tie-ing overseas aid to the privatisation of public services. Hackney residents have become very familiar with New Labour’s fetish for privatisation. However, until recently most of us didn’t know that New Labour’s commitment to selling off everything that moves also extends to Africa, Asia and South America…

Hackney Council Publicity Unit Member Joins Labour Councillors

Labour easily won two bye-elections in the East of the Borough tonight (Tuesday 10th December) on a greatly reduced turnout. In both Wards Labour increased their majority, while getting a reduced vote. The only conclusion can be that voters are not impressed by Labour or any of the 4 parties who opposed them.


The new Labour councillor for Leabridge Ward, Ian Rathbone, has only just left the employment of Hackney Council, as head of their press and publicity unit. We have never had any illusions about the neutrality of this unit, but it is nice to be proved right. The unit is there to put Labour’s case forward, never mind the facts. Leading Labour councillor even recently described Hackney Today as resembling Pravda (in N16 Magazine).
Hackney IWCA (Hackney Independent as of summer 2004) members were amused recently to see a Council spokeswoman give her comments in a Hackney Gazette story where Hackney Independent members and tenants had complained about the Kingsland estate being covered in rubbish. Next to a photo of bin liners piled high across the estate, the Council spkeswoman was quoted as saying the bins were “full but not overflowing.” We never believed a word they were saying. We always said it was just Labour Party propoganda. Now with Councillor Rathbone’s elevation we have the proof.

Mayoral Election – what the candidates say about Laburnum School

Election for Mayor of Hackney


3 candidates support us – 5 ignore us


Elections are going on now for the Mayor of Hackney. The Save Laburnum School Campaign wrote to all the candidates asking them to support us.


5 of them ignored us (Labour, Lib Dem, Tories, Hackney First and an Independent)


3 candidates gave us their full support. You get a 1st choice and a 2nd choice on your ballot paper. We recommend that you give your votes to 2 of these candidates:
Terry Edwards Independent
Paul Foot Socialist Alliance
Crispin Truman Green Party
But we can’t leave it up to the politicians. We need your support if we are going to keep the school open. Come to the next meeting of the campaign:


Tuesday 8th October, 5pm at 75 Hebden Court, Laburnum Street.


Here is what the Mayor candidates said to us:


Terry Edwards (Independent)
“I went to Laburnum School as did my brothers and we got a good education here. If I am elected Mayor of Hackney, Laburnum School will not close.”


Paul Foot (Socialist Alliance)
The answer to your question is an unequivocal Yes I support your campaign. The elected mayor will have little power, but will be able at least to block and stall council closure plans, and use the influence of the elected office to campaign against them. I would do these things most energetically. I would like to say that I will also be available to – and supportive of – your campaign if I am not elected.


I went last week to a meeting at Kingsland school, which is also threatened with closure, and was impressed by the level of local fury the council have stirred up by their policy. In a borough where problems are so obviously caused by deprivation and poverty, it seems to me quite incredible that the council should be closing schools, nurseries and libraries. That is why I agreed to stand as Socialist Alliance candidate for mayor.


Crispin Truman (Green Party)
As Mayor of Hackney I would fully support the kids, parents and staff of Laburnam School and the wider community in your campaign to keep the school open. It’s my strong belief that the work you are doing to protect and improve our borough cannot be dismissed by Hackney Council but must be welcomed and supported if we are ever to turn things around. It’s the role of Mayor to put the interests of local people at the top of the local agenda, protecting services for the future instead of sacrificing everything we have to the obsessive need to please the government and its accountants.


I have two young children of my own, one of them attends William Patten School in Stoke Newington, so I am very acutely aware of the importance of having a local school which kids can walk to, with their mates living close by. I’m also struck by the importance of a thriving school to a healthy community – as you say it’s not just pupils and parents who benefit, but all adults who can contribute and learn as part of the wider role a school has in bringing people together.

Encouraging Result for Hackney IWCA Candidates

(Note: Hackney Independent Working Class Association (IWCA) are now known as Hackney Independent.)

Hackney IWCA candidates in Haggerston ward chalked up impressive results last night, narrowly missing out on a council seat. The full results were:

Total Turnout: 2269
Percentage Turnout: 32.15

Boff, Andrew The Conservative Party 435
Bright, Afolasade Oluyemidale Labour Party 802
Ellis, Alexander The Conservative Party 404
Rae, Benjamin Christie The Liberal Party 270
Sarikaya, Erdogan The Conservative Party 420
Sen, Nusret Independent 504
Sutton, Peter Independent Working Class Association 595
Taylor, Carl Independent Working Class Association 610
Thompson, Coral Christian Peoples Alliance 87
Tiyamiyu, Suraju-Deen Olatunde Labour Party 700
Young, David Labour Party 841

Candidate Peter Sutton stated “We are the official opposition to Labour in Haggerston and will use that position to put pressure on the Council to take action on crime and anti-social behaviour, to improve the repairs, cleaning and manageement of our estates and to resist any loss of community facilities in the Ward.

While Labour gained votes acros Hackney South – winning every seat in the constituency – the trend was bucked in Haggerston where they lost votes on their 1998 results. Labour are on course to lose Haggerston in 2006 or in any by-election before then.

We would like to thank everyone who voted for us, and there are a number of tenant and community leaders – you know who you are – who put themselves out to support our campaign.”

Elsewhere, IWCA candidates did remarkably well, winning a seat on Oxford’s Blackbird Leys estate and coming second to the Lib Dems in the Clerkenwell ward in Islington. Meanwhile in Havering, IWCA candidates averaged a massive 950 votes each but failed to win seats. It’s clear that the IWCA is starting to make a big impact on local politics and that’s something we’ll be continuing to do whether there are elections on or not.

IWCA Slams "Misleading" Labour Election Leaflet

Community activists from Hackney Independent Working Class Association (Hackney Independent as of 2004) have slammed a Labour election leaflet distributed in Haggerston Ward. The IWCA – which is standing candidates in the ward – have accused Labour of trying to mislead potential voters.

“In the leaflet – the Haggerston Rose – Labour are claiming to have solved problems that they themselves caused,” said IWCA (Hackney Independent) activist and candidate Carl Taylor. “And they have claimed that things are getting better when all the evidence is that they are getting much, much worse.”

The leaflet claims that the £30 million secured by the council from central government has ended the threat to libraries and nurseries, that Labour were responsible for terminating the costly ITNet revenues and benefits contract and that they have brought improvements to schools, street cleaning and social services.

“The news that the threat to libraries and nurseries has been ended must be news to workers and users,” said Carl Taylor. “Each week in the Gazette we read about the ongoing libraries dispute and renewed threats to existing nursery provision. The ITNet contract was brought in by Labour in the first place and they were forced to sack them only in the face of the anger and misery of Hackney tenants. Thanks to Labour, ITNet nearly bankrupted this borough. Rather than claim credit for sacking them they should be apologising to all of us for their own incompetency. The massively overspent Service Team street cleaning contract and the Initial school meals fiasco shows that they haven’t learnt anything from ITNet. As for social services, how can anyone claim that reducing home care for the elderly and cutting Freedom Passes to the disabled are ‘real improvements’!?”

The IWCA (Hackney Independent) have also condemned labour councillors claims to have ‘worked hard to keep open the Apples & Pears Adventure Playground’. The IWCA’s Peter Sutton – another election candidate in Haggerston Ward – said “the only reason this valuable site is under threat in the first place is because Labour councillors are determined to sell off our facilities. Apples & Pears was only saved from the hammer at auction because volunteer workers and parents got a court injunction which has delayed the sale. Are Labour now saying they have no plans to sell the site, or do they intend to push the sale again after the election when it will be less electorally damaging? Whatever their plans are they should come out and say so. No wonder people are increasingly fed up with this kind of dishonest ‘politics’.”

The IWCA (Hackney Independent) believes that Labour’s claim that they will ‘continue to stick up for local people and vital community facilities’ is nothing more than a joke, and not a particularly funny one. “Labour’s record on community facilities is abysmal,” said Peter Sutton. “They have broken their promise in their last newsletter, put out over a year ago, to reopen Haggerston Pool. Why should people believe what they read in this one? We share people’s frustration at this kind of ‘economy with the truth’ and are committed to campaigning with local people to prevent more cuts and sell-offs. We will continue to do so whatever happens at the elections. Fortunately people now have a choice in Haggerston.”

Haggerston Ward Election Manifesto 2002

Council elections: this time there is a real choice

Hackney Council has been running this area down over the last few years. The Council says it has no money, but keeps putting the rent, service charges and council tax up while cutting back on the essential services that our community needs. Since the last election Labour, Lib Dems and Tories have all taken turns running the Council and they have all played their part in bringing the Council to its knees. The Council is millions of pounds in debt and the only answer from the government and from our Labour, Lib Dem and Tory councillors is more of the same – more sell-off’s, more privatisation and more policies aimed at replacing Hackney’s working class majority with middle class city workers.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Over the last few years, Hackney Independent Working Class Association (IWCA) has worked alongside community representatives and other residents of the area in trying to implement another vision of Hackney. This vision is of a Hackney where ordinary residents get to decide what the priorities should be in their area. Only the IWCA has asked the residents of Haggerston for their views on what should be done in this area. All the other parties want to do is impose their vision of a privatised Hackney on the rest of us.

That’s why this election is different – this time there is a real choice.

The election manifesto has policies in the four areas set out below. But we know that none of these policies stand up on their own. You can’t deal with anti-social behaviour without realising that closing down youth clubs mean more of our young people will get drawn into crime. Campaigning for security doors on blocks is a housing issue and an anti-crime issue. And it is because councillors have been unaccountable that they have got away with things in this area for so long. We need councillors who will get involved with the community in finding solutions to these problems.

The IWCA spent six months talking to over 1000 people on 17 estates across Haggerston. You told us your priorities were crime and anti-social behaviour, housing repairs and cleaning and the lack of community facilities. You also told us that you don’t think your councillors represent you. The following manifesto is based on what you told us.

Hackney Council wants to sell off Council housing throughout the borough. Every estate they sell ends up with less homes for rents we can afford and more homes for high rent or sale. This is part of the Council’s plan to increase the middle class percentage of the borough, claiming they are creating “mixed communities.” We will oppose all Council plans for sell-off’s of estates in this Ward and across Hackney. Where tenants decide that they have been so let down by the Council that they will accept privatisation we will work to make sure they get the full facts and the best possible deal.

The current standard of housing isn’t acceptable. We will continue to campaign with tenants and residents and their associations for more money for essential repairs on our estates and for a better standard of cleaning and repairs. We support free parking for residents.

Labour encourages the building of £200 a week flats for City workers. We will campaign for new council housing aimed at overcrowded Hackney tenants and young people living at home.

We will campaign for every empty flat in this Ward to be done up and let on a council tenancy – not high rent housing association tenancies.

We oppose any rent or service charge increases at least until the Council meets its obligations to manage, repair and clean our estates.

We will work with private and housing association tenants to fmake sure these landlords fulfil their responsibilities. We are opposed to housing associations building for high rent or sale in this Ward.

Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour
This is your number one priority and it would be the main issue for IWCA councillors. We do not claim to have all the answers on this issue. IWCA councillors would convene a genuine community-based conference on this issue to look at possible solutions to the problem.

Dealing in hard drugs in this ward must be stopped. The Council and the police have a duty to take action to stop it.

While trying to force the Council and the police to be accountable about the way they operate and the priorities they choose, we will also look for community-based solutions to the problems of muggings, car theft, burglaries and vandalism.

We will campaign with tenants and residents and their associations for block security measures and improved lighting throughout the Ward.

Community Facilities
Public space in Hackney is under attack from developers and their friends in the Council who are encouraging the selling off of land and buildings that belong to all of us. Everyone suffers when public amenities are turned into a source of profit for private builders. IWCA councillors would oppose each and every move that leads to the loss of facilities such as playgrounds and parks for our community. We are supporting the campaigns to prevent the Apples and Pears adventure playground being redeveloped and to keep the Haggerston One O’clock Club open and also back the re-opening of Haggerston Pool as a publicly owned facility at affordable prices.

We oppose all Council attempts to close down or sell off public assets in this Ward and across the Borough and will participate in any campaigns to protect our community facilities.

Electing IWCA councillors will not change the World, but it would be a clear signal to the Council and the government that the community has a vision of its own for the area that doesn’t involve making it a playground for the wealthy.

IWCA councillors wouldn’t be doing the job to promote their own political careers. They would work as part of a team within the IWCA and with the community to expose the Council’s plans and come up with viable alternatives

These are just a few ways in which IWCA councillors would be different from the other parties:

We would call a Ward Meeting as soon as we were elected and then every six months and invite everyone who lives in the Ward to come along and participate. Councillors would report back on what they have done in the last six months and outline what would be likely to happen in the next six months. In this way councillors would be held directly accountable to the community.

We would open an office in or near the ward – probably in a shop. This would be an easy way for you to contact your councillor. The IWCA would use the office to run advice sessions, surgeries and as a base to run campaigns from.

All decisions that our councillors have to vote on would be displayed in the office and on our website – so that you could have your say on them first. We would look at every possible way of getting people involved in decision-making, including use of the internet.

We will never form any alliance with the establishment parties that have let Hackney down – Labour, the Lib Dems or the Tories. We will work with tenant and community groups and anyone else who is on the side of the working class majority.

We know that we would be in a small minority at the Town Hall and we will not waste our time point-scoring with the other parties. We would arrange for delegations of local people to have their say, and would confront councillors with the effects their policies are having on this Ward. The main role of IWCA councillors will be as part of the IWCA outside of Council meetings – in the community. IWCA members will be at meetings on your estate or in your community. We will be part of campaigns in this area and will be accountable to you.

After the election – who will stand up for the working class majority?

The IWCA is completely different from the other parties. While we campaign 52 weeks a year, you only ever see the other parties at election time – if at all. And while the other parties only want your votes, we want you to vote for us and get involved.

If Labour councillors get in they will be able to vote for things like increased charges for home helps, scrapping the Freedom Pass for disabled people and selling the Apples and Pears adventure playground site – and claim they have your support.

If the IWCA get in, our councillors will be able to put pressure on the Council, but it needs far more than 3 councillors on their own. The IWCA is creating an organisation that doesn’t just hold protests, but can force the Council to manage and repair our homes and that can take action to make our streets and blocks safe again.

We want you to join the IWCA.

The first thing to do is to ring Carl Taylor on 020 7684 1743 and see how you can help in the election campaign. This could be anything from just putting a poster in your window to giving some leaflets to your neighbours or even coming out and knocking on doors.

But after the election when all the politicians have forgotten Haggerston again, the IWCA will still be here creating an organisation that involves and stands up for the working class majority in this area.


Nusret Sen – Independent
Peter Sutton – Independent Working Class Association
Carl Taylor – Independent Working Class Association

Why Should We Pay?

note: Patrick McCrudden has been in touch and we urge others who are interested in standing independent working class candidates to contact us.

Why Should We Pay ? – letter in Hackney Gazette 23rd January 2001

The following letter appeared in this week’s edition of the Gazette. It wasn’t sent by an IWCA member but echoes many of the things we’ve been saying about standing independent candidates against the middle class councillors we have now. If the writer of the letter is serious in his points here, we would urge him to get in touch.

Hackney Council, its present concillors, and managers etc. want to increase tenants’ rent by up to £8 a week, plus increase our council tax by £84. What services are we residents in Hackney really getting and why are we the people/ residents/ workers in Hackney having to foot the bill for the council’s mismanagement ? Why should the people of Hackney suffer and pay, especially those on low incomes ?

Max Caller’s on a nice little earner, but I bet he’s not taking a pay cut. No, but these people who provide services will take pay cuts. This is why I am in full support of strike action…This is what all tenants, residents and council workers should do to those bosses and councillors in Hackney Town Hall – direct action, residents’ action groups, non-payment of council tax. Enough of this softly, softly approach. It’s time the people of Hackney got off their backsides and take the councillors and bosses by the neck and tell them “you’re not making us pay for your mistakes and incompetence”.

What we really need is to elect independent candidates who will stand in the next local elections on anti-cuts/anti-corruption. This is why I and othyer sactive in Hackney have decided to stand against the Liberal/Labour/Conservative coalition. Residents of Hackney – it’s time to stand up and come to the call to arms. The councillors voted in the cuts to jobs and services, so dump your rubbish on the councillors’ doorsteps.

Patrick McCrudden, Stamford Hill

Power to the People
letter in Hackney Gazette 8.2.2001

As the letters page of your paper shows, more and more people in Hackney are fed up with how our lives are being made a misery by the incompetence and political careerism of councillors who “run” the borough. Some of your correspondents have called for marches, demonstrations and produced the odd snappy slogan, but where have these things got us in the past ? I was more interested to see Patrick McCrudden’s letter in last week’s Gazette which called for independent candidates to be stood in council elections.

The IWCA has long argued for this, but it is only part of a bigger picture of community politics and can’t work just on its own; a recent event might highlight this. Two weeks ago, around 100 tenants from all over Shoreditch attended a meeting of the New Deal where proposals to demolish entire estates were being put forward. At short notice, and with impressive self-organisation, these people forced the New Deal to back down: a display of the power that working class people can have when we work together (a fuller report is available on the news page).

If we are serious about changing Hackney for the better for its working class majority, then we have to be serious about how we approach it. Standing candidates is one part of that, but those standing should be prepared to get involved in the issues that working class communities themselves feel are important, not just appear overnight and hope to pick up a few votes the next day. We would be genuinely interested to hear what Patrick McCrudden is proposing.

Dan Carter (Hackney IWCA)

Independent councillor is Shoreditch's way forward

Letter in Hackney Gazette 10th August 2000
We read Myrna Shaw’s letter in the Gazette with interest and would agree that the way forward is to stand independent candidates in the council elections.

It is clear that the four main parties in Hackney are only interested in the middle classes, so we believe it is essential that independent candidates represent the interests of working class people (and of course this includes many pensioners).

With this in mind we are seriously considering standing candidates in the Shoreditch Neighbourhood in the 2002 elections and would welcome discussion with Mrs Shaw – and other interested individuals or tenant’s representatives – in deciding how best to serve the interests of this working class majority.

We would urge anyone who wishes to discuss it to contact us at PO Box 48, 136 Kingsland High Street, E8 2NS

Dan Carter, Hackney Independent Working Class Association

Extracts from responses to above letter

“I don’t mince my words and will never speak diplomatic, sugar pill English. I told Sedgemore the middle-class had won and that was England done. If anyone broke English working class values it was Labour. At least from the time of Brown and Wilson, if not earlier, the old streets were torn down in ‘slum clearance’ to make way for the ‘inner city.’ Labour did nothing to preserve anything that was truly and not just ‘trades union working class’, and they still don’t.”

“I read your letter Gazette letter with interest. But I do have my doubts! The campaign of course would be the thing, but what chances do you think you have of obtaining a poll tax type putsch in Shoreditch?”

“I do not mean to be negative, but it is going to be a long hard slog, with a large element of distrust of the organisers the first hurdle to overcome.”

“It’s about time someone stood up for working class interests. Labour abandoned us twenty years ago. In Hoxton we’ve tried the Liberals and even the Tories. I’m prepared to give you a go.”

“I agree with standing in the next elections, and there’s still two years to prepare for it. Couldn’t you stand in Clapton as well?”

“Standing for the working classes alone is divisive. Although I own my own home and run a business, I want my streets kept clean and a low council tax just as much as my cleaner does….”