Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Labour cash for Blow-ins

It can be hard being a blow-in, parachuted into a strange constituency miles from home about which you know nothing, yet with huge expectations from London party HQ over your ability to clock-up votes for the Party. The Guardian quotes Peter Wall, former Labour General Secretary "If you can't afford to take a couple of months off work, pay for accommodation and travel, abandon your family and pay for your own materials you are screwed. In other words you need to be a political insider whose boss is supporting them; a trade union official or very rich". Labour's answer, it seems, is more cash for Blow-ins. But wait; what's this in the same story?
"After 12 years of David Miliband as MP, the local Labour party has opted for a local candidate, a woman born and raised in the area. Karen is a bus driver with a disabled husband, who has lived in a three-bedroom home for years – but the coalition thinks they have too much space and has cut their housing benefit."
Hmm. So no need to pay for accommodation and travel there then, or for Karen to abandon her family. And since she's a local choice, local party members will be more willing to pay for 'materials'. It's unlikely her bus company will give her paid time-off, but as she's on income support anyway that may not be too much of a blow. And with a PSV she can drive the party campaign coach, to boot. And with every confidence that she'll be elected she will face a new dilemma; whether as a serving MP to continue to occupy a three bed Council house ...


G. Tingey said...

Buit, was one of the bedrooms formerly occupied by a child, & how long has her husband been disabled?

Sorry Radders, this is unfair - the woman deserves every sucess.
Also, she'll be much more in touch with local voters thatn the milibean jnr

Anonymous said...

Yep. Gotta not agree as well.
Read the rest:
"Now why does an MP such as Karen – local and working class – seem so fanciful? Because in real life they're rarer than hen's teeth. In 1979, 40% of Labour MPs came from a manual occupation; according to analysis by the Smith Institute that is now down to 9%. Just 4% of all representatives in the Commons can claim a background in a manual occupation, which is roughly the same proportion as went to Eton. Over one in four of all Tory MPs were previously employed in finance; more parliamentarians came from jobs in politics than from health, teaching, the army, agriculture and voluntary services put together"

Raedwald said...

Don't get me wrong - I clearly haven't made the point well. I support her as well - rather a local MP of any party than a blow-in professional politician placed by central party HQ.

I was trying to contrast an official party plea for support for blow-ins with their standing a real, propah candidate for this seat - as locals collapse all their arguments for the things that blow-ins need

jm said...

This story is a real fence builder - see dan Hodges in the Telegraph.

One of my friends is a bus driver and earns about £55k pa. He's single, no family and works all the unpopular shifts.

But Karen chooses not to do this. In fact, she chooses not to get anywhere near this and opts instead to claim housing benefit.

While I can understand her position the fundamental question is: should the rest of us finance a person's lifestyle choice?

Anonymous said...

Ok. So what about those people, and there are many, who opt to work less hours and receive working tax/child credit ?
Same thing ?
Or maybe you did not consider that she is a working mother ?
And what level of housing benefit ?
Since she is working it is highly unlikely to be 100%. You'd be surprised what wage you can earn and still, depending upon family circumstance, be able to receive housing or council tax benefit, You would be surprised what the majority of people actually earn at the basement level of wages....
She could probably receive nearly the same unemployed and looking after children than she would working, if you take into account that nearly 100% of rent and council tax would be paid.