Ballot papers have now gone out to LI members for the post of Political Education Officer, which became vacant following the retirement of Pat Byrne.
The candidates for the post are Robert A Howells (LI Moderates) and George Massey/ Calum Paramor – (LILA)
George and Calum are both well-known to LI Members through their activity in their respective branches and active participation in LI circles, but what of new arrival on the LI scene Robert Ashley Howells?
Details of Comrade Howells’ background are hazy, but after some research by our intrepid reporters at LILA, we can shine a little more light on those murky corners of the past.
First off, Robert/Bob/Ashley would seem to change his political affiliations as frequently as his first name: in his pitch for the EO post, our Robert makes much of how he was elected ‘each time he stood as District Councillor’. But there are no details or any information for that matter. Like which Council? How many times?
‘Okay everyone talks their CV up’, and, being a thoroughly fair-minded lot most LI members would accept that as reasonable, though maybe over-stretched blag. However, like all CV’s, it’s what they don’t say that’s really important, in this case, the small matter of Ashley’s longterm Conservative Party membership.
Sometime around 2006, after just four years in the party, Robobash left the Labour Group in a huff at failing to become Council Labour Group leader, and so threw his lot in with the Conservatives. This wasn’t unusual for Blair supporters once Brown became leader. Howells evidently had far more success in the Tory Party as a councillor, ending up as Tory Deputy Leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council.
Bashley’s success as a councillor (made an Honorary Alderman in 2016 by his grateful Tory friends as a retirement gift) was limited, to say the least. His less than complimentary pronouncements on the people of neighbouring Stoke-on-Trent forced him to delete his Twitter account, so are not available at the time of writing. His Twitter comments apparently portrayed the Stoke ‘underclass’ as ‘overweight benefit scroungers’, and were “ hurtful, inaccurate, insulting and incredibly arrogant” as described in a local political blog, which also described him as an “excuse of a politician”.
And it wasn’t just the local bloggers. His local Conservative Association described his words as “completely out of order” and “Oh dear, that’s not very good is it?” which is about as damning as it gets in Tory language.
Former Stoke Labour MP, Tristram Hunt, was distinctly unimpressed.
Opinion: Hard to imagine what kind of political education someone who failed in two parties and has such disdainful attitudes towards working class people can bring to Labour International .
Rob Two Names has decided to withdraw from the Labour International election after the above was discovered. Congratulations to the LILA jobshare candidates, who we are sure would have won anyway.