News from Nick Palmer

Nick Palmer (former Labour Party MP) Writes:  Many of us who liked Greg Marshall’s campaign style in the 2017 election will be glad to hear that he’s been selected by Labour (with 92% of the membership supporting him) to stand next time. Broxtowe is one of the first seats in Britain to select its Labour candidate, reflecting the closeness of the result last time. With luck the Greens will swing behind Greg this time, making it closer still.

I’ve now completely moved down to Surrey because of my job as Head of Policy for Compassion in World Farming – I waited a few months to see if the job was working out, but it’s good fun and it was time to stop 3-hour commutes every weekend. I’m still going to be visiting friends from time to time (and saw at least 10 constituents who I recognised when I was up this weekend), but it makes sense to concentrate on m new surroundings, which are very different – you wouldn’t think Surrey and Bulwell (where I was living since last year) were the same country. It’s extremely pretty, twice as expensive (for rent anyway) and…a bit quiet. But I’m getting involved in Surrey Labour and exploring a few new sides of life that I’ve neglected up to now.

I’ll continue to chat about national politics now and then. The current state of affairs is extending the soap opera parallel: in the last two weeks, we’ve seen Cabinet-sourced attacks from colleagues on the PM, the Deputy PM, the Chancellor, the Foreign Minister and the Environment Minister. On the Jeremy Kyle show, they’d make an amusing family if you like that sort of thing; as a Government at this difficult time, they’re not really functional. I’m not saying they’re individually useless – May seems level-headed, Gove is doing a generally good job at Defra. But they’re not a team.

By contrast, Labour seems generally coherent, despite the occasional squabbles, and it’s very obvious that the leadership is focusing on offering a reasonable alternative government: it’s a long time since Corbyn and McDonnell were seen as gaffe-prone amateurs. The key issue financially is whether you think that the policy of borrowing at current low interest rates to improve public infrastructure will pay off: With the challenge of Brexit looming, I think we need to attend to our ramshackle economy with this type of focused approach – near-Saharan levels of low productivity growth (“let’s try to catch up with Upper Volta”, as the Economist put it sarcastically last year) and near-record level of payments deficits cannot continue indefinitely. I’d like to see buying out the PFI contracts given lower priority – it makes sense in the long term to bring the drain on finances to a close, but rushing out of all of them would be the same type of mistake as rushing into them turned out to be.

Best wishes, Nick

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12 Responses to News from Nick Palmer

  1. Steve Carr says:

    No Dr Palmer, some of us did not like the campaign style of some of his supporters on the doorstep. We were inundated with complaints, as were the Conservatives, about their aggressive and arrogant behaviour.

    Furthermore, many poster boards were vandalised. You might like the antics of Momentum but I for one do not.

    • Joan Wade says:

      If there were genuine complaints Steve Carr why were these not raised with the police? We need to get away from smear politics and debate issues. Good to see Nicks efforts to protect animal welfare reported here and sorry to see that MPs have refused to help protect such welfare.

      • Patrick Ratcliffe says:

        Well said about the dirty politics, Joan. A lot more honesty and sincerity would attract people back to full involvement.

      • Steve Carr says:

        No because the law was not broken. However, aggression and arrogance is not yet a crime but it is not pleasant from someone who knocks on your door uninvited. I am aware that the Conservatives have completed a file of events that were against the law. I do not know if they reported these to the police.

      • Steve Carr says:

        Mr Ratcliffe. I don’t think we have ever met? So how you can infer that I am dishonest and insincere I do not know!

      • Joan Wade says:

        I agree Steve Carr that it is not pleasant to have someone call at your door uninvited – I have a no cold caller sign for this reason. However, cold calling by people from political parties is not confined to any one party and is really not a justification for smearing any one party

    • Ian Blakeley says:

      I’m assuming Steve that you actually have absolute proof that it was Labour Party members who vandalised poster boards at the last General Election. I saw quite a few posters damaged, of all parties. As at every election recently.

      What I can say without any fear of contradiction is that the Labour canvassers who knocked on my door were polite, charming and answered my questions and comments without aggression or arrogance. I wish that I could say the same of the Tory and Lib Dem canvassers but unfortunately I cannot —– because nobody else canvassed my road.

      • Steve Carr says:

        You have not read my post properly. I did not say that Labour Party members vandalised posters so please don’t put words into my mouth.

      • Ian Blakeley says:

        I quote (twice) directly from Steve Carr’s post. 1) “No Dr Palmer, some of us did not like the campaign style of some of his supporters on the doorstep”. 2) “Furthermore, many poster boards were vandalised. You might like the antics of Momentum but I for one do not.”

        I think that I did read your post correctly Mr Carr. To me that post said that you blamed Labour supporters. So again I ask you again, have you got any proof.

      • Barry Morrison says:

        I don’t recall anyone canvassing where I live. Plenty of election gumph, but no callers.

  2. Fred R says:

    Thanks for the update – I was wondering the other day, after Marshall had been anointed as parliamentary candidate, what had happened to yourself. CWF does important work, so kudos on that and good luck with the future.

  3. patrickratcliffe says:

    Mr Carr. We have met. I was stating an opinion – that I don’t like dirty politics: you know the sort of thing, politicians lying, modifying facts, pretending that they are representing the truth, but I made no suggestion about YOUR sincerity or honesty; was merely offering an opinion about how ordinary folk could be attracted back to involvement in politics. However if you feel the shoe fits, I can’t prevent you from having your opinion.

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