Fact and Fiction over Jeremy Corbyn’s first by election defeat of the year

Jack Paton

Jack Paton: :Local hero Pic Credit: Cumberland News


Guido Fawkes and the Daily Express couldn’t wait to jump on the fact that the Labour Party lost  the first council by election of the year last Thursday.

After all this was in a Labour ward in flood sodden Carlisle where Jeremy Corbyn turned up to help and talk to flood victims and they firmly  rejected Labour in favour of an Independent. Paul Staines was ecstatic predicting a deluge of losses for Labour next May as the party totally disintegrated under Jeremy Corbyn to be consigned to the dustbin of history.

But both Guido  and the Daily Express are guilty of sloppy journalism because if they had looked  or wanted to look more carefully things were not as they seemed.

Myth No 1 was that  the Labour vote collapsed as Carlisle voters following the reshuffle chaos decided Labour was finished. I bet they had more things to worry about clearing up their flooded homes than following what was going on in the Westminster bubble.

In fact the Labour share of the vote – in a low turnout of 18 per cent- marginally INCREASED – from 33.1 to 33.5 per cent.

The party that lost out more was the third placed Conservative candidate whose share of the vote DECLINED by 5.4 per cent. Funny that was not reported.

Myth No 2 was that the Independent got there by taking votes only from Labour. In fact as the excellent Britain Elects Twitter file pointed out last time it was a four cornered fight with UKIP and the Greens standing. UKIP got 14 per cent of the vote but after their disastrous performances in many council by-elections and  the Oldham West Parliamentary by-election, couldn’t even find someone to stand. So it looks as though this vote switched to the Independent.

The third point ignored by the press- and this is where sloppy journalism really takes the biscuit – is that the winning candidate is a local hero.

He is Jack Paton, a former veteran, and a long time campaigner of the old style ” pavement politics ” type which was pioneered in the past by the Liberal democrats.

As the local paper , the News and Star, reported :

“Mr Paton, who has also worked with cadets in Botcherby and is a well-known figure in the area, becomes the second sitting independent city councillor for the estate, with Robert Betton already representing this neighbourhood.

” Mr Paton recently led the transformation of a dilapidated building into a new base for Army cadets, with the conversion of a former hairdressers on Victoria Road and land behind it.

He has also previously campaigned on issues including buses in the area and on kerbs and pavements that he perceived as dangerous for wheelchair users.”

He has his own Facebook page and tweets as @sixtysjack. His Facebook page is full of congratulations from local residents and his family.

Where Jeremy Corbyn might want to take note is that he is an army veteran and a traditional working class supporter who backs our troops. He is the sort of person who would  have warmed to Kevan Jones, the junior shadow defence minister , who quit this week, and was grossly misrepresented by John McDonnell as a right winger.

In that sense the vote is a warning to Corbyn that Labour is a broad church and needs to decide how it is going to keep on side this type of voter. After all the next PM is 2020 will definitely not be an Independent.



8 thoughts on “Fact and Fiction over Jeremy Corbyn’s first by election defeat of the year

  1. Thanks for the information.
    I am optimistic that health in body and mind permitting the next PM will be an independent , that is Jeremy Corbyn.

    That is why he hated by as many within the Shadow Cabinet and PLP as other professional outside the party.

    There had to be discipline within any political party and that within the Tory Party given the great divisions on a number of issue is a marvel and a great credit to the chief Tory Whip and teams. One of the most effective opposition groupings of recent times are the Scottish Nationalists in the Scottish parliament and now at Westminster . AS Churchill is alleged to have said to a new member of the Commons who. . when they faced the Labour party across the chamber or it may have happened when the Libs were the second major party, those opposite are your opposition, your enemies sit all around you.

    Plotting to remove a leader has always gone within all parties at national and local level and when first coming too office the plotting is the most intense as Thatcher, Blair who had Gordon Brown and his henchman at his throat for most his time in office, and more recently pantomime Dave. It is carried out in secret and private although the political media establishment know and sometimes take sides eager to back what appears to be the winning horse.. In reality is not about left or right but about taking power and holding on to it.. There are many ways of stopping and removing threats to hold power, given in and compromise are usually the way as Dave has had to do over the Euro referendum although he hoped he would never have to hold it. Sometimes you find ways to make the threat go away, putting people or the Council of Europe, getting the to head a Committee, moving them to the House of Lords, or finding a more lucrative and influential position out of the country… which was done with Leon Brittan and more recently with Blair and David Miliband but when push comes to shove you just have sack’em The great Labour Prime Minister Clem Attlee is alleged to have just said no good.. The point has now been made this New Year and it was good to see the Foreign Secretary supporting his leader so warmly at PMQ’s this week and Labour joining forces with the Scots Nats to hammer the point home over the damage being done over the introduction of the pension entitlement age to a large group of women 180 plus to nil… bit it wont last and there will be more political blood spilt and political commentators and mainstream media get it… there is going to be change and new style of politics in England, If you are a member of the Labour Party and have not already done so please attend one of Jeremy’s visits to constituencies which he is making several times a week and in addition to listen to what he has to say talk to those attending. Hopefully you will get it and what has to be done for Labour to come back into power in 2020.


  2. Pingback: Fact and Fiction over Jeremy Corbyn’s first by election defeat of the year | David Hencke | Vox Political

    • Ah of course Guido I forgot that you have staff to write under your brand name.
      Sadly I must decline your small wager. I don’t gamble. Not on politics, sport or anything else. The last time I placed a bet is probably over a decade ago when I went to Towcester races with my daughter, wife and sister in law. Then it was £1 to win or 50p each way, a sum I gather bookies refuse to take these days.
      On your main point the situation is fluid and the Tories are resilient, though it is Lib Dems who are mainly losing seats to them in by-elections since the election. Labour are both gaining and losing at this stage.( Banbury and Rochford gains from Tories , Bury and Ashford losses to Tories)
      The main point of the Carlisle article is when you examine the figures there the Labour share of the vote didn’t fall back – it was the intervention of a hard working “local hero ” that swayed the balance.


    • What about London’s mayorial election and chances of Sadiq v Zac will the racist white lumpen proletariat and the anti Heathrow 3rd runway spring it for Zac with his millions or Saiq’s record of representing the interest of the average voter?. I will send you £100 if he loses and you can send £100 to Corbyn’s election war chest if he wins. That’s fair I believe


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