Marple Community Forum & Noticeboard

Local Community => Local Issues => Local Elections (May 2020) and Council Matters => Topic started by: chriswallis labour on December 20, 2017, 09:49:37 AM

Title: Chris Wallis: Labour candidate for Marple South and High Lane
Post by: chriswallis labour on December 20, 2017, 09:49:37 AM
Thanks to you, Mark, for creating this opportunity to publicise our candidacies. A little about me:

I've lived in Marple for 25 years. My children went to school here - Ludworth and Marple Hall - and I run my business, radio and theatre production, from here. My company is called Watershed Productions and you may have heard my work on BBC R4 Book At Bedtime or Classic Serial, or taken your children to see one of my shows at the Waterside in Sale.

I should be a Tory. I'm an entrepreneur who invests in that most precarious of ventures, theatre. I employ actors, designers, directors, marketing people, and lots of others, and I risk my capital in the hope of making a profit.  But I support the Labour party because I believe it is in my interest as a citizen for everyone to be well housed, well educated, healthy, employed with proper remuneration, and adequately supported if they cannot work. Only Labour, which created the NHS, free Secondary Education to age 16, council housing, and unemployment and disability benefit, will deliver that.

I’m standing for the Council because I believe that a Labour-controlled council will make decisions about the distribution of the Council’s money, our money, in favour of all the people of Stockport better than any of the other parties.

When our family arrived here in 1992 our new Labour-supporting friends said ' We don't vote Labour here, we vote Lib Dem to keep the Tories out.' That was true then, for General Elections at least, and Andrew Stunell, a respected Lib Dem councillor who became MP, kept the Tories out until he retired in 2015. That changed everything. In 2015 we got a Tory MP who received 41% of the vote, and he increased his share in 2017 to 45%.

In that context it’s very exciting that in the 2016 elections Labour became the largest party on Stockport Council for the first time in twenty years, and now forms a minority administration. However, we only have two more seats than the Lib Dems, 23 to 21. The Conservatives have 14 seats, Independent Ratepayers (Heald Green) 3 seats, and Stockport Residents 2 seats.

Consequently we are vulnerable to the Lib Dems, so if you are a Labour supporter, please don't be taken in by their 'Vote Lib Dem to keep the Tories out' mantra. It doesn't work any more, and they know that. They were reduced to producing misleading graphics in their literature in 2016 which showed their lead over Labour much greater than it actually was - a disappointing tactic for a national party, particularly one with a mathematician as the local candidate.

It’s important that anyone who supports Labour votes Labour, to help us maintain our lead on the Council.

Labour is experiencing something of a renaissance in Marple. Local Labour members want to tackle the 'vote Lib Dem' mantra. We have set up an active Facebook group – Marple Labour Supporters - which is encouraging Labour supporters in Marple to stand up for our beliefs, and offer ideas about how Labour might improve local campaigning and our voter base.  If you support us, please join.

Chris Gleeson – our candidate in Marple North - and I will be posting more in the New Year and addressing specific local issues, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with anything you would like to bring to my attention.

chriswallislabour@gmail.com
Title: Re: Chris Wallis: Labour candidate for Marple South and High Lane
Post by: Victor M on December 20, 2017, 10:40:51 AM
Chris, where do you stand on Europe?
Title: Re: Chris Wallis - Labour candidate for Marple South and High Lane
Post by: chriswallis labour on December 20, 2017, 12:30:19 PM
Hi Victor

I voted Remain. I work in an industry that benefits hugely from membership of the EU - European Cities of Culture, for instance, and open borders that mean we don't have to open our van for customs checks every time we take a show abroad.  Until you've had a French customs officer going through your props skip you have not lived. Many years ago I went to a meeting of my trade association where it was pointed out that if you went to France with £1, and changed it at every border into the local currency, with conversion charges by the time you got to Turkey it was worth 17p. Hence the euro and its benefits for business, although Gordon Brown was absolutely right to keep us out.

But I understand why people might vote the other way. My sister who has a PhD in History, lives in East Kent and is training to be a vicar, voted Leave. She has a sophisticated analysis about international capital and the hegemony of the elites, and she sees the consequences of open borders every day in Dover and Folkestone where the Albanian mafia apparently do very well. But I'm still with Yaris Varoufakis, we should have stayed in to improve it.

My cleaner - now retired - and my builder both voted Leave. Their stated reasons were immigration and being fed up with being pushed around by Europe as in the straight banana fiasco. The Daily Mail and its lies have a lot to answer for. They had both had treatment for cancer, and no one had told them about our involvement in Euratom, the EU wide organisation that is responsible for atomic research and safety, including the isotopes used to treat carcinoma. And I have a great deal of sympathy with the people of Lincolnshire who feel inundated by Romanian migrant workers who, they say, are undercutting local wages.But there are plenty of laws governments of all political hues could have used to control the effects of the free movement policy, they just couldn't be bothered. And it was all going terribly well until the crash.

I go to London a lot as I work there from time to time and my partner lives there. It's another country. You can feel the miasma of wealth engulf you as you get off the train at Euston. It's very difficult not to get caught up in it. If you own a three bedroom house in North London you're probably a millionaire, although lots are asset rich and cash poor. In those conditions, if you were already a member of the elite that went to Eton, it's easy to see - although incredibly incompetent - how you might decide to solve a little local political difficulty by offering the nation a binary choice about the EU.

The matter is far too complicated to be given as a binary choice, as is becoming obvious with the negotiations. But if you watched Question Time from Burnley last week you can't help but be concerned about the level of emotion being expressed by people who don't seem to have any idea how complicated this all is. We live in dangerous times. My concern is that we will leave, and the economy will nosedive, and poor Leavers will feel it most, but they'll blame it on Remainers for interfering in the negotiations. The Daily Mail 'Traitors' headline about the Tory rebels shows how confused some people have become. Members of the QT audience shouted it at Nicky Morgan (I never thought I'd feel sorry for a Tory, especially Nicky Morgan) until it was pointed out that the Leave vote had been about sovereignity, about returning the ability to make decisions to the politics of Westminster, and that's what this was.

The whole thing is a social, economic and political disaster. The electorate were lied to, inadequately informed, and encouraged to believe it could be a swift process. Interestingly there's a government document that says that the referendum was only consultative and not binding - I've seen it on facebook and if I can find it I'll post it here -  and it didn't help that David Dimbleby said, when the result was announced, 'Right, we're out', and continues to say 'The British People voted Leave' at every opportunity. 17.4 million voted leave, on a 72% turnout of a 46.5m electorate - 37.5%, hardly the British people, but Thatcher got in with 32.2% of the electorate in 1987 and hey, that's democracy.

So we're leaving, and we need this mess clearing up, and I'd much rather Labour did the job, as they'll do it for the many, not the few.

Chris

Title: Re: Chris Wallis: Labour candidate for Marple South and High Lane
Post by: wheels on December 21, 2017, 09:46:20 AM
Excellent response Chris except for the last sentence.  We're leaving ...... Rather I'd like to see you and Labour say, as you did, that the referendum was a deeply flawed decision making process and you want us to Excite Brexit.
Title: Re: Chris Wallis: Labour candidate for Marple South and High Lane
Post by: chriswallis labour on December 21, 2017, 10:46:01 AM
Hi Wheels

I'm entirely with you that it was a deeply flawed process, for all the reasons I cite and we all know. But there is now a deep division in the country, and I think people are politically exhausted. Clearly the Brexit process is paralysing government, but I think, whatever the logic and the facts, that re-running the referendum would just make things worse. Until marches of the kind that were against the Iraq war start happening - huge public displays of disaffection, and in places that voted Leave - I don't think it's a runner. I am a Scot, and I have lots of friends in Scotland who were deeply affected by the independence referendum. Families divided, couples not speaking, and no one speaks about it now. Like the Spanish Civil War, which no one in Spain talks about as you have no idea whether your next door neighbour's family killed your disappeared father, etc. So I think we just have to do it as efficiently as possible.

It did occur to me watching QT the other day that the obvious thing to do is a series of local audits of industry and other organisations to determine what leaving means for them. Most people are amenable to logic and if it discovered that the effects would be economically disastrous, that would change most minds. It would also uncover the people who are suffering because of membership. It would be reasonable to assume that an intelligent government would already have this stuff at their fingertips, but  judging by their performance, it would appear not.

The folk whose minds won't be changed - the one's who write to newspapers saying they don't care if the economy collapses as long as we get our sovereignity back - a kind of deluded longing for a bygone golden age - there's nothing to be done about that. But they are in the minority.

Chris
Title: Re: Chris Wallis: Labour candidate for Marple South and High Lane
Post by: andrewbowden on December 21, 2017, 02:25:33 PM
Of course, always worth remembering when casting your vote, that the average councillor doesn't really have much input into the ins and outs of the Brexit process...
Title: Re: Chris Wallis: Labour candidate for Marple South and High Lane
Post by: chriswallis labour on December 21, 2017, 03:15:56 PM
 andrewbowden - yes, a pity though. Localism should be what it's about.
Title: Re: Chris Wallis: Labour candidate for Marple South and High Lane
Post by: wheels on December 21, 2017, 06:05:56 PM
Chris, first of all let me thank you for a sensible and lengthty response which treated your audience with respect. I think you would have won we over had it not been for the conclusion you reach that we are divided and tired of all this and we will just have to make the best of it.  Stopping Brexit is what is driving millions of people to local action both on a personal and organised level. We need people like you to stand up and say this is all nonesense and that the plug should be pulled on the whole process. Unfortunately your party and leader is badly letting the country down in this respect as many Labour members will privately acknowledge.

At the very lest we have to committ to a referendum on the terms with an option not to proceed.

Clearly in the past I might have agreed with you about localism but stopping Brexit is so import it will colour how many vote in May.

Title: Re: Chris Wallis: Labour candidate for Marple South and High Lane
Post by: Dave on December 21, 2017, 07:11:27 PM
Well said Chris - an eloquent and cogent analysis of the Brexit catastrophe. And I'm afraid I agree with you when you write:
there is now a deep division in the country, and I think people are politically exhausted.

Some of us are far from exhausted, but I fear we are in the minority. A large number of people are just fed up with it, bored stiff, and just want the politicians to get on with it. Madness, of course, but you only have to look at the headlines on the tabloid newspapers to judge what is on most people's minds:   Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and then there's the laughable Daily Express headlines (today's is beyond parody: 'Eat salad to avoid dementia')  ::)

As wheels says, what the country desperately needs is for Labour to come out clearly and firmly against Brexit, because it will be disastrous for 'the many not the few'.  But Corbyn is anti-EU, and always has been........

Wheels also writes:
stopping Brexit is so important it will colour how many vote in May.

Will it? I'm not so sure. Do major national issues really have that much effect on how people vote in local elections? 
Title: Re: Chris Wallis: Labour candidate for Marple South and High Lane
Post by: Condate on December 21, 2017, 08:44:18 PM
Clearly in the past I might have agreed with you about localism but stopping Brexit is so import it will colour how many vote in May.

Ensuring Brexit goes ahead is so vital to the UK and to the whole of Europe (if it encourages other to leave), that it certainly has a big impact on how people vote in general elections. It's not really relevant at local level, except in so far as anyone so misguided as to support the EU is probably not going to show good judgement in other areas. However, in local elections, very different concerns are involved compared to general elections. Local elections, even more than general elections are about individual candidates and not about party labels (which really have no part to play in local government).
Title: Re: Chris Wallis: Labour candidate for Marple South and High Lane
Post by: Will L on December 21, 2017, 09:09:21 PM
Brexit naturally will affect how many up and down the country vote. Local Elections are not often fought on local issues but national ones. There is a reason the number of Lib Dem Councillors in 2011 plummeted by over 700 (6 here costing their majority), in a similar fashion in 1999 into their second year Labour lost over 1000 councillors. This will be the first proper set of local elections since the referendum, a lot of people especially young people are going to be energised to go out there and vote and it won't be local reasons unless the Council really really does something stupid in the run up.

I'd expect both Labour and Lib Dems to do well against Conservatives across Stockport.
Title: Re: Chris Wallis: Labour candidate for Marple South and High Lane
Post by: Condate on December 21, 2017, 09:20:10 PM
Brexit naturally will affect how many up and down the country vote. Local Elections are not often fought on local issues but national ones. There is a reason the number of Lib Dem Councillors in 2011 plummeted by over 700 (6 here costing their majority), in a similar fashion in 1999 into their second year Labour lost over 1000 councillors. This will be the first proper set of local elections since the referendum, a lot of people especially young people are going to be energised to go out there and vote

A good reason for candidates to abandon the use of party labels and stand on their own merits and ideas and force people to vote for what the candidates actually want to do and not on perceptions of the party they stand for at national level.
Title: Re: Chris Wallis: Labour candidate for Marple South and High Lane
Post by: andrewbowden on December 21, 2017, 10:23:30 PM
I can see lots of people have thoughts here about Brexit.  I have thoughts about Brexit.

But let's be under no illusions.  When it comes to local elections, the amount of dog poo on Stockport Road is going to be of more concern to the local electorate than whether we should or should not be leaving the EU.

Indeed, before the referendum, Brexit was a complete non-issue in general elections.  Successive opinion polls over many years found the vast majority of the population just didn't see the UK's membership of the EU to be a major issue.  The economy, the NHS, they were the big issues.  The only reason we ever spoke about it was because a small minority of people made a huge amount of noise.  (Let it not be forgot that the ONLY reason - some will not appreciate hearing this but it's true - that there was a referendum at all was because David Cameron was worried about his MPs defecting to Ukip after two did just that.  Not because there was a big uprising in the country.  There wasn't.  We had a referendum because two Tory MPs went to Ukip in 2014.  The end.)

Now let's not beat around the bush.  The Tories may well suffer/gain on a local level because of their handling of Brexit at a national level.  They may well also suffer/gain because their handling of the NHS, education, Universal Credit and more.  But the number of people who will be voting one way or other for a seat on Stockport MBC because they think Brexit is fundamentally wrong/right is going to be tiny.
Title: Re: Chris Wallis: Labour candidate for Marple South and High Lane
Post by: wheels on December 21, 2017, 11:58:09 PM
Andrew you make good points (As does Dave as usual) in particular the point you make about the EU never being an issue with the electorate indeed for years and years we let go unchallenged those who sought to undermine the eu with their lies and distorted stories. We just ignored them undermining of the democratic process, the European Parliament,  in the fond belief that  people could see the massive benefits memberships brings.

I agree it might not be the driving issue in Mays local elections but we all have to take what small steps we can and for me it will be the issue.


Title: Re: Chris Wallis: Labour candidate for Marple South and High Lane
Post by: Dave on December 22, 2017, 09:55:45 AM
At last, some good news - I've just heard that we going to have blue passports again, once we leave the EU.  So, we've taken back control.  That will show those pesky europeans. Rule Britannia..........
Title: Re: Chris Wallis: Labour candidate for Marple South and High Lane
Post by: andrewbowden on December 22, 2017, 11:18:23 AM
We haven't taken bake control on passports because we always had it.  Burgundy was merely a 'recommendation' by the EU.  The Thatcher government of the 1980s decided to make the change.  But we didn't have to.  Croatia has never had Burgundy passports - they kept their blue ones.  The UK could have had blue passports too.  We chose not to. 

So if anyone wants to blame anyone for the "wrong" colour passport, blame the correct people: the Conservatives. 
Title: Re: Chris Wallis: Labour candidate for Marple South and High Lane
Post by: chriswallis labour on December 22, 2017, 12:07:17 PM
I think we can all agree that this is a mess. For the avoidance of doubt, JC has said he voted Remain and would do so again, but is not in favour of re-running the referendum.

To solve a little local difficulty David Cameron has driven a wedge through the UK, with Scotland voting 62% to remain (68% turnout) and not a single council voting out, Northern Ireland remain at 56% (62%), England 54% leave (73%), Wales 52.5% leave (72%).

The posts here show how passionately divided we are - Condate, as I am a Remainer I'd be interested to know your reasons for Leaving, you seem very passionate - and it's the passion that makes a rerun of the referendum dangerous. Take a look at Question Time from Burnley a couple of weeks ago on the BBC iPlayer. If Cameron had been clear that the referendum was advisory, or had imposed a threshold of, say, 60%, both of which startegies have been used before, everything would have been different. Peoples' concerns would have been flagged and the government might have been moved to pay attention for a change; but he didn't. His arrogance and his ignorance of how most of the 'little people' lived, brought us to this.

I'm delighted that the Tory 'traitors' have demanded that Parliament has sovereignity over the decision to leave with reference to the deal. That pressurises the government to make a deal our elected representatives can agree with, instead of going off on a frolic of their own which we will have to fund. And that's what Leavers voted for, I thought. I'm not sure what happens if Parliament doesn't like it. Perhaps that would be the cue for another referendum. Perhaps that's why the Daily Mail is so frightened by the Parliamentary vote.

Labour Remainers' problem is that a lot of Labour supporters voted Leave. The party has to find a way of reconciling their concerns, and the best way to do that as things currently stand is deep scrutiny of the deal.

The question of how much national politics affects the local vote has no definitive answer. There's a trend where large conurbations tend to vote in the opposite direction to the party in power - so during the Labour administration the Labour vote here was about 5%, but has now risen to 13% in 2016 and that's without any substantial organisation locally. The Lib Dem vote was 54% in the local elections in 2010 - and has declined since, to 29% in 2015 but 36% in 2016. The decline may be connected to their betrayal of their supporters over the tuition fees bargain, you may remember everyone thought they were finished nationally. The difference between 2015 and 2016 is that turnout locally in a general election year is about 70%, whereas in a local election year it's about 43% on average, so perhaps Lib dem voters are more motivated to turn out during a local election. Interestingly in the 2015 general election Labour got 18% of the vote across Hazel Grove and 20% in 2017. And of course we got approx 50% of the vote in the Mayoral election.

What is to be done? Locally Labour needs to retain its majority on Stockport Council, and to do that we need to get out the vote. We have more than 800 members in Hazel Grove now, and most are in the Marple wards. Janet Glover got 1001 votes in Marple South in the local election in 2015, so we know the votes are out there, and we should be able to build on that. We only need every member to bring a friend and we're in with a fighting chance to win.

Nationally the Tories fiddle about with Brexit while the working poor get rock bottom wages; child poverty is at 30% - 9 children in every class of 30 - its highest since 2010; the NHS is sold to Branson and Co; and every day there's another scandal. A General Election would be very welcome.

And on passports, my partner's passport is green. She's Irish. I envy her.





Title: Re: Chris Wallis: Labour candidate for Marple South and High Lane
Post by: Dave on December 22, 2017, 12:33:13 PM
Labour Remainers' problem is that a lot of Labour supporters voted Leave.

Well, it depends what you mean by 'a lot'! Is 35% a lot?  See https://yougov.co.uk/news/2016/06/27/how-britain-voted/

The fact is that a clear majority (two thirds) of Labour voters voted Remain.  The Labour party needs to reflect that in its stance on the issue on Parliament.

There seems to be some confusion around this issue because a lot of Labour-held constituencies did indeed vote Leave, but that's simply because of the Tory and UKIP voters in those areas topping up the minority of Labour Leave voters. 

Corbyn is supposedly the Labour leader, and right now we need him to start leading. In fact, the situation is potentially so serious that we may need a cross-party anti-Brexit coalition to go public and speak out forcefully against the damaging nonsense that is coming from the Government. If Corbyn, Keir Starmer, Hilary Benn, Vince Cable, Ken Clarke, Nicola Sturgeon, Ruth Davidson et al were to collectively put their heads above the parapet and campaign noisily for a way out of this mess, people might even start to take notice. 
Title: Re: Chris Wallis: Labour candidate for Marple South and High Lane
Post by: wheels on December 22, 2017, 05:22:34 PM
At last, some good news - I've just heard that we going to have blue passports again, once we leave the EU.  So, we've taken back control.  That will show those pesky europeans. Rule Britannia..........

And it's only going to cost £500 a real snip for taking back control.  I see a great marketing opportunity for EU cover to cover up this nasty blue thing.
Title: Re: Chris Wallis: Labour candidate for Marple South and High Lane
Post by: GeoffAbell on January 19, 2018, 10:03:59 AM
It's clear, positive stance towards our EU cousins was one of the reasons I joined the Lib Dems.  Decades before the ill-fated referendum, which, as you say Chris, was to sort out a domestic dispute in the blue party.  This thread seems to have gone off local politics a bit!

So what's your position on the proposed introduction / increase in car parking charges in the Marple area?

Also could you show me the leaflet from 2016 you claim was misleading?  (Either here or by email - details on Stockport MBC website).  I'd like it cleared up.  Unlike Trump, I believe in truth!
Title: Re: Chris Wallis: Labour candidate for Marple South and High Lane
Post by: Condate on January 19, 2018, 12:35:51 PM
It's clear, positive stance towards our EU cousins was one of the reasons I joined the Lib Dems.

And one of the reasons why I and a great many other people are unlikely to vote for anyone who describes themself as a Lib Dem. Now if you'd said a clear and positive stance to our fellow European nations, that would be different!

However, this has little to do with local elections, as you say.
Title: Re: Chris Wallis: Labour candidate for Marple South and High Lane
Post by: chriswallis labour on February 02, 2018, 04:35:12 PM
Hi Geoff

In response to your request below, I'm sorry it's taken so long to get back to you but I've been busy elsewhere. You ask about the misleading graph. I've copied it below. On the right of the image is a graph scanned from your print that appeared in lots of Lib Dem print at the last General Election. It purports to show the proportion of votes cast for each party in the 2015 General Election, to persuade Labour supporters to vote for you on the grounds that Labour 'can't win here' . On the left is a graph I have drawn using the Tory bar from your graph for scale, and showing the true proportion of the Lib Dem and Labour votes. For some reason your graph has enlarged your share and reduced Labour's share. I can't imagine why. And your candidate has a degree in Maths, apparently. For anyone wanting to check the graphs, the Tory vote was 17882.

What this does show is that Labour could easily knock the Lib Dems into third place. In 2015 we only needed 1874 votes taken from you to do it, 16.5% of your vote, and considering how much effort you put into persuading Labour supporters to vote Lib Dem to 'Keep the Tories out' I imagine you must think we represent a higher proportion of your vote than that. I admit I fell for it when I arrived here in 1991, and indeed in the days of Lord Stunnell it worked, but not any more, as is obvious. And considering he was one of the principal architects of the coalition, perhaps a Tory would have been a better choice. However the good news is that Labour now controls Stockport Council for the first time in almost 40 years, and to keep that control everyone who supports Labour needs to vote Labour on 3rd May.

With regard to my position on car park charges, I understand our administration has decided to reconsider the entire charging structure for car parking around Marple and Romiley. I do find it extraordinary that your party, which in coaltion with the Tories created this programme of austerity under which we are all suffering, including the massive year on year cuts to the rate support grant to local authorities - I believe Stockport is down £18 million this year and £20 million next year - while their statutory responsibilities for health and social care in particular grow more onerous year on year, spends enormous efforts on fighting car parking charges whilst doing nothing to suggest how the council might raise its income to meet its responsibilities.
Title: Re: Chris Wallis: Labour candidate for Marple South and High Lane
Post by: GeoffAbell on February 02, 2018, 08:51:53 PM
Hi Chris,

To resolve your confusion, these are the election results from the 2016 LOCAL election from the SMBC website:-
 Tom Dowse                   Conservatives           1651   37%   Elected
 Colin David MacAlister   Liberal Democrats   1628   36%   Not elected
 Sheila Townsend           Labour                     585   13%   Not elected

I also think that Labour and LibDems have some progressive elements in common.  Probably why you voted tactically, perhaps.
But vote Labour and you sadly will get a Tory.  (Until we get PR!)
Title: Re: Chris Wallis: Labour candidate for Marple South and High Lane
Post by: chriswallis labour on February 03, 2018, 11:47:49 AM
Hi Geoff,

I'm not at all confused. Those are indeed the South Marple results from the local election in 2016, but that's not what your graph represents. The graph I criticise was in your print in the context of a General Election, so you were clearly comparing like with like. You even label it Result Last Time.

With regard to the 2016 local election figures, you’re quite right. But there is a revival of Labour in Marple, which is obvious from the new facebook group Marple Labour Supporters, a near tripling of local membership, and on the evidence of the Labour vote in the Mayoral election, there are enough Labour voters in Marple South and North to poll much more significantly than before. And now that Labour control the council - for the first time in forty years - I think our achievements during our so far brief tenure which I shall be writing about shortly, watch this space - will bring even more voters to our side.

I've commented further on the parking charges question on the message board for that topic.