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Pendle Labour Party Blog
Nelson Independent Labour Party Exhibition PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Boardman   
Wednesday, 08 August 2012 16:04

An Exhibition featuring Nelson Independent Labour Party, the Clarion House at Newchurch-in-Pendle and Nelson Suffragist Selina Cooper (1864-1946) is taking place at Nelson Public Library during the month of August.

I hope that people will take the time to view the exhibition in order that they can glean an understanding of the development of the Labour Movement in Nelson.

I have written an outline of the history of the ILP below.

The Independent Labour Party (ILP) was formed in 1893. It was one of several burgeoning political parties that were formed to represent workers interests.

The word ‘Independent’ was used to signify that this was a political party which would seek to represent ‘Labour’ (workers) independent of the reformers in both the Conservative and Liberal parties who were competing to represent the interests of the members of the growing Trade Union Movement.

In 1900 the ILP was a co-founder of the Labour Representation Committee which led to the establishment of the Labour Party.

The first two Labour Prime Ministers: James Ramsay MacDonald and Clement Richard Atlee had their political roots in the ILP.

Locally Nelson ILP was formed in 1892, several months before the formation of the national party. Nelson ILP has an outstanding record of achieving many social welfare improvements for the people of Nelson.

In 1975 the ILP transformed its role and became Independent Labour Publications and is now an educational trust, publishing house and pressure group committed to democratic socialism and the success of a democratic socialist Labour Party.

The ILP comes from a long tradition of organisations on the left of the political spectrum that have sought collective solutions to the inequalities and destructiveness caused by capitalism. The ILP seeks to continue that tradition today, to extend cooperative solutions to human problems by democratic means.

The ILP remains committed to Labour's aim of creating 'a society for the many, not the few' and seek to engage with others in discussing how this vision can be turned into reality.

If you want to know more, please come and have a look at the exhibition.

The Co-op’s own Wimbledon Champion PDF Print E-mail
Written by Julian Jordan   
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 13:31

During the brief window we know as the English Summer, a persistent lack of British success at Wimbledon is usually as common as a torrential downpour.
This summer briefly threatened to reverse that trend – in tennis terms at least (not the weather, obviously).  Andy Murray made it all the way to the final only to meet the magnificent Roger Federer who was just too good for him.
The last British men’s singles winner was, of course, Fred Perry, with three successive triumphs at the All England Club in 1934, 1935 and 1936. The feat was all the more remarkable because Fred was a young man of working class origins, born in Stockport, not the traditional background for the sport, as was pointed out by Martin Tiedemann in his recent blog post for the Cooperative Party (

Fred Perry’s father, Samuel was born in 1877 and, at the age of ten, was forced to give up school when his father died. Young Samuel became a cotton spinner like his father before him. What might otherwise have been a more tragic tale was alleviated by the involvement of the co-operative movement.

Co-ops, then as now, have always been dedicated to education and self-help and the Stockport Co-operative Society provided Sam with opportunities he would never have otherwise had. Samuel left the cotton mills and threw himself into the co-operative movement, working for co-op societies in Bolton, then the Wirral.

In 1917, the co-operative movement made the leap into politics and founded the Co-operative Party. The now 40-year-old Samuel Perry was chosen as its first General Secretary and he moved to London with his family, including nine-year-old Fred.

They moved to the Brentham Garden Estate, itself based on a co-operative model very much with co-op ideals – and with public tennis facilities where the talent of young Fred was nurtured.

In 1920, Samuel tried a return to Stockport, by standing as the Co-operative candidate for the town, but he lost the election, failing again in 1922, so the family stayed in London. Sam would become an MP, for Kettering from 1923-24 and 1929-31. He remained as General Secretary of the Co-operative Party until 1942.

And Fred? Well of course we know the rest. He progressed from the public tennis courts on a co-operative housing estate to becoming the world’s most famous sports personality of his era – he’s still an inspiration and his name still adorns the famous clothing brand to this day.

The Co-operative Movement and the Co-operative Party can be proud that they played a pivotal role in giving young Fred the platform to display his talent and tenacity. We all have sympathy for Andy Murray as his search for that first elusive grand slam title continues, but at least for the time being we can still claim ‘Britain’s last Wimbledon men’s winner’!

Interesting new material on Pendle Labour PDF Print E-mail
Written by Robert Oliver   
Monday, 09 July 2012 12:40

Our Women's Officer, Sheryl Waterhouse, is putting some interesting articles on environmental and employment issues, as well of course as on women's ones, on her page on the Pendle Labour website:

The one on Feed-in Tariffs is well worth reading. The Tories look to be further reducing the benefits of getting solar energy systems installed, which a number of people must have considered - despite the weather!

County candidates PDF Print E-mail
Written by Robert Oliver   
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 16:44

Great to see Labour's candidates for the six County divisions announced on our website this month at


The Pendle Conservative site doesn't seem to have been updated since April. I suspect we'll have to wait a long time to find out if their sitting Councillors will dare to stand again in the light of all the cuts they're imposing. But at least we can take it that their absentee Councillor in Pendle Central won't be standing.

The Pendle LibDem site is virtually non-existent apart from a page about Tony Greaves. They didn't field a full slate of candidates for the County election in 2009 and I don't suppose it will be any easier for them to find candidates for the coming one given the chaos in the Coalition.

Conservative MPs running scared as Cameron/Osborne leadership brought into question by the loony right. PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Boardman   
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 12:05

The outcome of last week’s local elections were predictable given the hash that Osborne had made of the Budget, the return of the UK economy to recession, and all the misjudgements by senior conservatives around the Murdoch associations.

The Coalition government’s austerity economics is hurting most people, regardless of whether they are young or old, able-bodied or disabled, students, in work, out of work or retired. Therefore with no economic upturn in sight, people are seeing no gain for their pain! This situation is likely to intensify as Osborne crosses his fingers and stands by “Plan A”.

Worried about losing her seat at the next General Election (and she should be) “Mad Nad” Dorries enters into the fray, spraying out the munitions of votes of no confidence and threats to set up a new loony right party whilst demanding that Cameron and Osborne abandon the centre ground, sideline the Liberal Democrats and give us all an even greater dose of loony right ideology.

David Davis, the failed leadership contender who fought a bizarre and pointless single sided election over 42 day terror detention, has also entered the melee, citing Boris Johnson’s victory in the London mayoral election as evidence that a “strong Tory message” can be a vote winner. What David Davis fails to take into account is that Boris scraped back into office simply because London has yet to experience the worst of Osborne’s austerity plan.

Recent elections in Europe are likely to mean some changes to the economic strategy for the Euro Zone and the wider EU. Osborne will have a difficult task managing “Plan A” as likely changes in European policy interact with the US economy.

The baying from the loony right could distract and trip Osborne up at a time when he will need to employ pretty nifty footwork to keep in some semblance of formation with the US and Europe.

Ed Miliband recently wrote, “While politicians have spent the last couple of days thinking about the local elections that happened on Thursday, I’m fairly sure that's not what has been top of most people's list of concerns.

"They are worried about the squeeze on living standards, about a country that seems to work for a few at the top but not for them”.

I think Cameron and Osborne would be better off listening to Ed Miliband than the loony right.

Nadine Dorries interview PDF Print E-mail
Written by Robert Oliver   
Tuesday, 24 April 2012 11:45

Re the "two arrogant posh boys"  - we always knew, but it's nice to hear it from the Tory backbenches.

Watch the video

Don’t forget to use your postal vote PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Boardman   
Sunday, 22 April 2012 16:10

“I received my postal vote on Saturday, it took me a few minutes to work out which pieces of paper were intended to fit in which envelope but I got there.”

“My mother needed some help in understanding the instructions that came with the postal ballot, but herself and a neighbour worked it out together. I hope that other people who have difficulty in understanding the instructions also ask a family member or friend for help.”

“I hope my mother voted for the Labour candidate in Whitefield; I feel certain she will have done, she has a lifetime’s knowledge from which she can reach a conclusion on which political party will always work in the interest of all working class people and in particular pensioners.”

“I have just used my own postal vote in favour of Barrowford Labour Party candidate Susan Nike”.

“I guess no one would expect me to do anything different, but I have known Sue for many years, she is hard working, absolutely genuine and she has a tremendous knowledge of local government, as a Pendle councillor she would be a real asset to the people of Barrowford.”

“Sue understands how hard it will be for families and pensioners to cope in these difficult times as Family Tax Credits are reduced and Osborne’s ‘grab a granny’s tax’ reforms start to bite. I hope the people of Barrowford give her the opportunity to work hard on their behalf”.

Pendle families asked to pay more so that millionaires can pay less PDF Print E-mail
Written by Robert Oliver   
Tuesday, 10 April 2012 11:49

Following the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government’s budget:

Families on £20.000 will lose £253 a year.
This is on top of the VAT rise which is costing families an average of £450 a year.

4.4 million Pensioners will lose an average £83 a year.
People turning 65 next year will lose most, up to £322.

14, 000 millionaires to get a tax cut worth over £40.000 a year each.

The Tories and Lib Dems are out of touch and George Osborne’s budget has failed the fairness test

At a time when Pendle families are being squeezed by rising fuel prices, seeing their tax credits and child benefit cut, one million young people are out of work and there’s a big deficit to clear, it is the wrong priority to cut taxes for millionaires.

The local elections that will take place on 3rd May provide an ideal opportunity for you to vote Labour and send a strong message to this Conservative and Liberal Democrat Government, that we need action on youth jobs and to stop a tax credits bombshell for working parents, not cutting taxes for the very richest.

Trident replacement - the local view PDF Print E-mail
Written by Robert Oliver   
Sunday, 08 April 2012 12:53

At a Recent Pendle Labour Party meeting, an interesting debate took place on the possible replacement of the Trident missile system. The clear view of the meeting was that the money would be better spent on cutting the deficit and protecting front line services.

The meeting was also mindful of the number of skilled jobs in the North West that are dependent on platforms and delivery systems for nuclear weapons. The meeting called for a government sponsored arms diversification programme into former, traditional and new industries to run alongside the cancellation of the Trident replacement programme, in order to avoid any job losses in shipbuilding and associated industries.

The full text of the motion can be downloaded here.

Maude lets cat out the bag on ideological attack PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Boardman   
Friday, 30 March 2012 11:01

In a week in which the press and media have been occupied in reporting Tory PR disasters, it is perhaps not surprising that they failed to report an important revelation recorded in a letter to the Morning Star by James Chespy.

According to the letter, reporting on a recent extraordinary speech, Francis Maude said,

"The government wants to end state provision of any public service - even if it means they end up being run by private equity companies from tax havens."

You can read the full article here.

Letter to the Colne Times PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ian Graham   
Sunday, 04 March 2012 23:28

Subject: Proposed Housing Development.

Dear Sirs,
Could I, through your letters page in the Colne Times, thank every one who braved the elements on Wednesday 22nd February to attend the Public Meeting that I called to oppose the proposed housing development on the land adjacent to Knotts Mount in Colne.  Despite the atrocious weather, over 30 people turned out to voice their views.  It was decided to form an action group to oppose the development once planning permission is applied for and I will be in touch with all residents again when this happens.  Thank you all for your contribution on the night.  Why build 200 new houses in Colne when there are so many existing properties lying empty due to absentee landlords?
Yours sincerely,
 Ian Graham.

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The articles are written by individual members so do not necessarily represent the view of Pendle Labour Party.