Post by timmullen1 on Jul 26, 2021 8:35:07 GMT
I think it’s maybe slightly more nuanced than that: there were splits caused by the introduction of Elected Mayors - although opposed in the Group there was disagreement whether to hold a referendum and get it done with, ultimately they narrowly voted not to hold one and pro-Mayoral campaigners found a willing ally in The Sentinel to argue “Labour’s denying you your voice”. There was also a lot of egos in the 60, combined with a schism between some in leadership who were never on the Blair bandwagon and found it easier to blame their problems on national government (I recall the Group overwhelmingly voting to write to Blair warning him that he was “certain” to lose 2001 because of his policies) and a number of the fringe groups were Old Labour leadership walking away from the Party when they lost a policy argument. A more genuine problem was Blair/Brown’s free market policies which allowed the last of the pottery industry to be sold and production outsourced to Far East Asia (Malaysia specifically). Finally there was a huge complacency around elections (much to my frustration as an Agent) - I had an argument with one councillor that two thirds of the Chamber having qualified for 20 years long service badges wasn’t something to be proud of - and actually the door was initially opened to the BNP who kept their national policies under wraps and focussed on community organising and working (they even ran a dog walking service for the elderly), the City Independents etc filled a void of an acceptable recepticle for a non-Labour vote; I guess with the benefit of hindsight this was also the first manifestation of the mood that would lead to a 68% Leave vote in 2016.