Future Reflections

May 14, 2010

David Henry, Salford and Eccles 2010 General Election Reflections

Last week I stood in an election for the first time in my life.

This wasn’t just any election, it was the 2010 General Election which will without a doubt go down in history as the most significant in British politics. Regardless of the outcomes and implications for democracy, I am immensely proud to have played my part.

I’m forever grateful to of all those who did the same – in particular those friends, comrades, allies and hundreds of supporters of all political persuasions who made it all happen. It would take me a lifetime to name them all, but you know who you are…

I wanted to be able to talk more openly about where we are now far sooner, for those who have been waiting I can only apologise. It is vitally important I get my points across properly. so it’s taken me quite a few days to reflect on the highs, the lows, but I’m certain about one thing – we achieved more than we could ever have expected. Those feelings of immense feeling of joy and satisfaction will be with me forever.

Glancing at the news, Twitter, Facebook, not to mention my inbox of 1000’s of unopened emails it is difficult to keep up. Every minute of the day there seems to be another earth-moving development.

This is one of many articles I’ll be writing, so please stick with me. So far I’ve churned out pages which could easily fill several books, so I’ve decided to publish everything all bit by bit.

Anti-Politics?

Less than a year ago you could have firmly placed me in the “anti-politics” camp. I remain unconvinced of the significance electoral activism plays in bringing about social change, in fact these past few months have strengthened that view. I’ve always been firmly of the mindset that grass roots campaigning is the heart and soul and the driving force behind everything that happens above and beyond it, I made this clear when I was selected to stand for Parliament and I stick by that admission to this day.

Anti-Politics as a narrow term is a contradiction. I’ve always had great admiration for figures within the Anarchist movement such as the late Emma Goldman. That’s not to say I should have to define as an ‘Anarchist’ no more than I feel the need to define as an ‘Environmentalist’ for continuing to advocate a sustainable society and being proud of the election of the first Green MP Caroline Lucas.

People have tried their hardest to define me, I’ve been labelled everything under the sun these past few months – mostly with some degree of malice by those who simply misinterpret my open-minded, non-sectarian willingness work with anyone who generally agrees with what I stand for.

Everything is political – voting, parties and policies aside, “politics” in any shape of form from the radio station you prefer to the colour of your socks is a fundamentally human trait. Politics is the nature of choice. We all have the freedom to make our own decisions and that’s a right I will defend until the day I die.

Where Next?

Now for the biggest question of them all!… I’m still not sure exactly where we go all from here, nor have I fully explored the mind-boggling labyrinth of opportunities available. From the start I’ve called for “Left Unity”. Here in Salford that’s exactly what we achieved.

I’m hoping the Convention of the Left and similar collective groupings will lead the way in outlining a programme for the future of genuine, progressive politics.

Shiny new doors have been opened in my own world which I may yet decide wander into, and few have closed but at the moment – I’ve not made any decisions. I’m keeping an open mind with a view to follow what my heart tells me is best.

I’ve got to get back to work, we all need to pay the bills. Employment opportunities were drying up before the election campaign began, although I’ve now got a number of exciting options to pursue as well as community projects I desperately need to return to.

The future starts now, let’s keep looking forward to it.

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NUS Vote for Students – a politically biased campaign?

April 27, 2010

Today I delivered several thousand letters to my fellow students at the University of Salford, and have hand-signed every last one of them.

Coincidently, today the NUS launched it’s final “Vote for Students” list which I signed quite a while ago now. However, I was astonished to discover their list ONLY includes candidates from the main parties. I know for a fact many others have signed the pledge too. I believe my stance goes further than what the NUS is calling for, they no longer campaign against tuition fees or for the restoration of the maintenance grant. I’ve outlined this is my Letter to Students, explaining why a vote for me is a vote for them too.

Please be aware that until the NUS include the full range of candidates from smaller parties and coalitions such as myself and independents, this list is completely undemocratic and biased. There are EIGHT candidates standing in Salford, and in neighbouring Manchester Central there are no less than TEN!

Vote for students has a great platform here, they have the opportunity to enable many first-time voters to participate fully in the elections, but denying them the opportunity to explore all the options is affront to democracy and everything the National Union of Students (of which I myself am a member) stands for.

I call on Vote for Students to correct this injustice, and include everyone who has signed the pledge.


Core Policies

April 24, 2010
  • PUBLIC OWNERSHIP, NOT PRIVATISED PROFIT
  • INVESTMENT IN PUBLIC SERVICES, NOT CUTS
  • JOBS FOR THE MILLIONS, NOT BAIL-OUTS FOR THE MILLIONAIRES
  • WORKERS RIGHTS, EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY FOR ALL
  • PROTECT OUR ENVIRONMENT – STOP POLLUTION, GREENER THINKING
  • DECENT PENSIONS & BENEFITS, HEALTHCARE & WELFARE
  • EDUCATION FOR EVERYONE, SMALLER CLASS SIZES, MORE PLACES, SCRAP FEES
  • DEMOCRACY, DIVERSITY & JUSTICE, SOLIDARITY – NOT HATE OR WAR

Hazel Blears’ Vanishing Voters

April 9, 2010
On Monday 12th April 2010 as Parliament is dissolved, around 15,000 of Hazel Blears’ constituents in the wards of Broughton and Kersal will say goodbye to her forever due to the Boundary Commission’s restructuring  into the new constituency of Broughton & Blackley“.

Local residents have tried to get in touch with her on numerous occasions ever since she vowed in June 2009 to return to her “grass roots”. What a pity she never even came to say goodbye. But perhaps she may be saying goodbye to everyone much sooner that spectators think.

In 1992 Hazel stood for parliament up in Bury (where she lost) she got over 24,000 votes -more than she’s ever polled in her native Salford. That’s 11,000 more votes than she polled at the 2005 election in Salford (which she won).

The actual number of Salfordians voting for Hazel Blears has declined (from 22,848 in 1997 to just 13,007 in 2005).

Since 1997 she has somehow lost roughly 10,000 original voters.

With a reduced majority of 7,945 combined an uncertain level of support from the new Eccles electorate (mostly loyal to retiring Labour MP Ian Stewart) the 2010 General Election in Salford & Eccles could be a close call for Hazel.

Spiralling Majority

2010: T.B.C
2005: 7,945
2001: 11,012 
1997: 17,069

Plummeting Votes

2010     ? ? ? ? ?
2005      13,007    (57.6%)      Salford
2001      14,649     (65.1%)      Salford
1997      22,848     (69.0%)      Salford
1992      24,085     (44.6% )     Bury South