No Change At EuroParl

(BBC) – ISLANDERS HELPED RESTORE THE STATUS QUO in the June 4th European Elections for the UK Eastern Region. All those seeking re-election were granted another term in office, and the three vacant posts were filled by the same parties as before.

The Conservatives won three seats; the UK Independence Party two seats; the Liberal Democrats one seat; and Labour retained its one.

The Conservatives returned Geoffrey Van Orden and Robert Sturdy with newcomer Vicky Ford. UKIP will be represented by David Campbell Bannerman and John Agnew. The Liberal Democrats continue to be represented by the hard working Andrew Duff — and Labour returned Richard Howitt.

… (BBC, 08/06/2009) – Labour fights off Greens in East

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Gordon Brown Fights For Political Life

(Telegraph) – AS ISLANDERS GO TO THE POLLS, Gordon Brown faces a concerted attempt to force him from office as Labour MPs circulated an email letter calling for his resignation.

Draft e-mailThe drafting of the letter has left the Prime Minister fighting for his political future, with rebels claiming that as many as 50 Labour MPs were prepared to put their names to an email demanding that he step down.

Details of what party insiders described as an attempted ‘cyber coup’ emerged after his authority was dealt a potentially critical blow by the resignation of Hazel Blears, the Communities Secretary.

Amid signs that the election results  will be dismal for Labour, Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, has urged Labour MPs to stick with Mr Brown.

A YouGov poll for The Daily Telegraph today suggests that Labour could finish third in the European elections, behind the Tories and the UK Independence Party.

The poll puts the Tories on 26 per cent, UKIP on 18 per cent, and Labour on 16 per cent. The Liberal Democrats got 15 per cent.

Most council results will be declared on Friday, and the European elections will not declare until Sunday night, meaning it will be three more days before the full facts of Labour’s performance are known.

But some of Mr Brown’s critics are set to increase the pressure on him as soon as the polls close at 10pm tonight.

Lord Falconer, who was Tony Blair’s Lord Chancellor, told The Daily Telegraph yesterday that he supported Mr Brown ‘as we go into an election;’ but declined to say if his support would continue afterwards.

Several other senior Labour figures, from both the party’s left wing and the Blairite faction, are understood to be ready to voice public criticism of the Government’s performance once the polls close.

To shore up his position, Mr Brown has been calling backbench Labour MPs to canvass their opinions about the future of the party.

He is also planning a make-or-break reshuffle — possibly as early as tomorrow.

He is still considering replacing Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, with his close ally Ed Balls.

… (politics.co.uk, 04/06/2009) – The eye of the storm

… (04/06/2009) – James Purnell Quits The Cabinet

The European Elections 2009

IN ADDITION TO ELECTING TWO CANDIDATES TO ESSEX COUNTY COUNCIL, islanders will have the opportunity to help send seven other candidates, standing in the European Elections, to Brussels on June 4th. But, unlike the County Council elections, voters will not have the opportunity to select a specific candidate: they must instead cast a single vote for one party amongst the fourteen, or the lone independent, whom are standing.

In the European elections, the higher a party’s vote share, the more of its candidates become elected, with the precise allocation of seats in each of the UK’s twelve regions determined by a complex formula known as the D’Hondt method.

Canvey Island is part of the UK’s Eastern Region, which will elect seven candidates to the European Parliament. Of the seven MEPs who currently serve us in Brussels, three will be standing down this year, and four are seeking re-election by having their names placed at the top of their party’s candidate list.

Those four candidates are featured below, and you can click on their individual photos to examine their CVs and EU Parliamentary records.

The Conservatives

Geoffrey Van OrdenMr Geoffrey Van Orden.

Conservative Office
88 Rectory Lane
Chelmsford
Essex CM1 1RF

There have been 288 parliamentary meetings since his election in July 2004, and Mr Van Orden has attended 89% of them.

Robert SturdyMr Robert Sturdy

153 St Neots Road
Hardwick
Cambridge CB23 7QJ

Mr Sturdy has attended 84% of the 288 parliamentary meetings since his election in 2004.

Liberal Democrat

Andrew DuffMr Andrew Duff

Orwell House
Cowley Road
Cambridge CB4 0PP

Mr Duff has attended 97% of the 288 parliamentary meetings since his election in 2004.

Labour

Richard HowittMr Richard Howitt

The Labour European Office
Unit 3, Frohock House
222 Mill Road
Cambridge CB1 3NF

Mr Howitt has attended 81% of the 288 parliamentary meetings since being elected in July 2004.

… (Echo, 03/06/2009) – Euro MP refutes claim he is one of worst in UK

You can check out MEP remuneration and allowances by clicking here.

Other parties standing in the European Elections on June 4th are: Animals Count; British National Party; Christian Party; English Democrats Party; Jury Team; No2EU Yes to Democracy; Pro Democracy Liberatas.eu; Socialist Labour Party (Leader Arthur Scargill); The Green Party; United Kingdom First; and United Kingdom Independence Party.

Lone among the parties is Peter Edward Rigby, independent.

… (Channel 4, 28/05/2009) – Europe and local elections — who’s who

… (Telegraph, 29/05/2009) – Local and European elections: The smaller parties

… (08/06/2009) – No Change At EuroParl

European And Local County Council Election Campaigns Begin

EditorialIN THE RUN-UP TO THE EUROPEAN AND LOCAL COUNTY COUNCIL ELECTIONS, which will take place on 4th June, we all need to make our minds up as to which way we are going to vote. But, just as importantly, we all need to ensure that we cast our vote wisely, because the mood resulting from the MPs’ expenses revelations is to boycott the polls in justifiable protest and anger.

A boycott would be a mistake — as would be a protest vote cast for a candidate who does not support the needs of the Canvey community. Do not make the mistake of losing sight of the local issues in this campaign: because we may all live to regret it…

The Daily Telegraph has moved into tabloid mode in the pursuit of its story. The fact is: it is not a case of investigative journalists presenting a balanced report to the public they serve — it is all about circulation figures in the midst of a recession and milking a single angle that is designed to sell as many copies as possible.

If you follow the link, you will find thousands of words devoted to miscreant MPs and their expense claims; but you will not find a single article devoted to that vast majority of MPs whom have felt morally obligated not to participate in their colleagues’ gravy train and purposely refrained from claiming the expenses to which they were entitled.

Do not be misled by the story. The fact is that that there are far more MPs in the House of Commons than the 108 named by the Telegraph (which is, statistically, some 16%). The danger is that the paper, by choosing to release its information on a piece by piece basis (as though the story was constantly evolving) hypnotizes us all into believing that every MP has been named — whereas the truth is the exact opposite; whereas the truth is the Telegraph has sat upon this information for some considerable time; and whereas the truth is that it has chosen NOT to publish the single, properly balanced, ‘Special Edition’ that is to be expected from a National Title brandishing the Telegraph’s masthead.

This is not Watergate — it is a cynically manufactured ‘trickle-gate’ with the sole object of maximizing profit. Objectivity, along with responsibility, has been cast to the wind (and I never thought I would be saying that about the Daily Telegraph). The danger is that the newspaper’s sensational approach to its material will further undermine the public’s already low opinion of Parliament, and that democracy will be fatally wounded as a result.

Let us not let that happen. Our children already have enough to face with replenishing the government’s coffers after all its quantitive easing, along with an inadequately funded state pension system to support. Do not let us leave them with an ineffective political system as well.

Use your vote on 4th June, and cast it on local issues. Vote for the person and their policies — not the party.

Do not align yourself with the armchair anarchists; but, instead, make democracy work.

The real story here is the 84% of incorruptible British MPs…

… (16/05/2009) – Just To Prove Me Wrong…

… (28/05/2009) – The European Elections 2009