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  • Chuka Umunna wins Streatham selection

    by Leon
    15th March, 2008 at 8:31 pm    

    Chuka Umunna has become the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Streatham constituency beating his nearest rival Steve Reed by a mere 13 votes. Given the current vote in the seat he’s got a good shot at becoming an MP at the next election.

    Result in full. First ballot:
    Cathy Ashley 60
    Dora Dixon-Fyle 7
    Steve Reed 143
    Naz Sarkar 3
    Chuka Umunna 125

    Transfers from Cathy, Dora and Naz went 19 to Steve and 50 to Chuka.
    Final result
    Steve Reed 162
    Chuka Umunna 175
    Keith Hill described Chuka as a charismatic 21st century candidate. [Via LabourHome]

    an interesting exchange on Luke’s Blog about the selection.

                  Post to del.icio.us

    Filed in: Party politics

    25 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs

    1. Rumbold — on 16th March, 2008 at 11:56 am  

      Is there a wider issue here? Everyone seems to be covering this selection.

    2. Leon — on 16th March, 2008 at 2:14 pm  

      Wider in what sense? As far as I can see one angle is that its the selection of a BME candidate in a safe Labour seat (there aren’t many BME people in Parliament so it’s significant for that alone)…you got any links to the other coverage?

    3. Rumbold — on 16th March, 2008 at 2:50 pm  


      “Wider in what sense?”

      I don’t know, I was just wondering why so many blogs reported this. Not that there is anything wrong in posting it, but I thought that Chuka Umunna must have in done something before. I saw this piece, which was why I asked:


    4. Leon — on 16th March, 2008 at 3:18 pm  

      Well as I say a black candidate in a safe seat is pretty significant. I think also from my understanding Chuka has been seen as a rising star for some time. Some I’ve spoken with expect a cabinet role and even a shot at the leadership within 20 years.

      We could be looking at a future Prime Minister…

    5. Sunny — on 16th March, 2008 at 6:34 pm  

      I think its interesting for several reasons:

      Chuka is a chrismatic and interesting candidate. He’s part of Compass, the left-wing Labour group and he’s obviously from an ethnic minority. So I can’t help but support a progressive left-wing candidate!

      Well done Chuka!

    6. Leon — on 16th March, 2008 at 8:44 pm  

      Chuka has put up a short note of thanks on his campaign blog: http://www.chuka4streatham.com/?p=153

    7. Rumbold — on 16th March, 2008 at 9:19 pm  

      Another lawyer in Parliament. Oh good.

    8. Leon — on 16th March, 2008 at 9:25 pm  

      He’s not elected yet! But yes another lawyer although one that maybe a little different from the usual given the type of law he practices…either way he represents a new generation (don’t worry Rummy the Tories have their own coming up too) that are now starting to make their first breakthroughs. More of this to come from what I know.

    9. Rumbold — on 16th March, 2008 at 9:31 pm  


      There are too many lawyers in parliament. Not that all lawyers are bad, just that it would be nice to draw our law-makers from a mix of professions, so that they have more experience of the world when making the law. How many Labour MPs have run their own business, or served in the army? How many Conservatives have worked in domestic violence centres?

    10. Rumbold — on 16th March, 2008 at 9:45 pm  

      What I would be interested to know is what his policies are. On his website he simply states a number of broad statements (‘peaceful solutions’, ‘terrorism is bad’), and intersperses this with statistics to show how wonderful the Labour Government is. Then he talks about widening income inequality over the last 15 years is bad, which appears to be Mrs. Thatcher’s fault, despite her not being in office for 18 years.

      He may indeed make a good MP, but what measures would he actually push for?

    11. sonia — on 16th March, 2008 at 10:05 pm  

      good questions Rumbold. Of course that’s usually difficult to tell with any politician. and in the end does it make a difference what with the party system being what it is and the whips.

    12. Leon — on 16th March, 2008 at 10:14 pm  

      C’mon you can’t deny Thatchers affect on this country whether you liked her or not! It’s not about whether she’s in power now obviously, its about the effects of her policies while in power and how they were continued.

      As for Chuka, I’m sure once a General Election is called you’ll have all the policy detail you need to decide whether you will vote for him if you’re a Streatham resident at that time.

    13. Leon — on 16th March, 2008 at 10:21 pm  

      There are too many lawyers in parliament.

      There are too many middle aged white men from privileged backgrounds too.

      There are not enough women, there are not enough younger people, and there are not enough working class people either. Parliament as it stands does not reflect the country it’s meant to represent.

      Another lawyer who is black (and understands those roots and culture) may not be perfect but it’s a step in the right direction.

    14. sonia — on 16th March, 2008 at 10:33 pm  

      Is it? Why? The representation thing is a farce really isn’t it with our current system of governance. It’s not like white males currently in power actually do something to help the white males who are not in power? they don’t really give a damn apart from keeping themselves in power. You can have a society of brown women who have similar party political systems, with the person who gets into power completely “representative” of the group - but yet, have the same problems of power - i.e. once they are in power, they are divorced from the reality of the people. And this is the problem of all societies who choose governance systems with ‘leaders’..and give the leaders all the power, once they are elected. Doesn’t matter shit if the leaders are the same colour, sexuality, ethnicity, class as the people, it really doesn’t ( look at the political problems a place like Bangladesh has if you don’t believe me) - that is NOT the problem with our current system of governance. The ‘parliament’ has to look like the people in society - is a red herring.

    15. sonia — on 16th March, 2008 at 10:37 pm  

      what the problem actually is - is giving person xyz and a a few of their ‘followers’- power to make decisions for all of us - on the basis of promises they make- when they are asking us to give us that power. The power is To do a specific set of jobs. And we are the employers! And it is all in our name! And we sit back, and when those in power do not do what they said they would - what can we do - nothing. Because we have given them silly amounts of power - and they are actually our RULERS by now, and we have to wait till the next round, and boom! we do it all over again with another lot of people. DOES NO ONE ELSE SEE SOMETHING WRONG WITH THIS SYSTEM?

    16. sonia — on 16th March, 2008 at 10:40 pm  

      frankly, this crazy system is basically voting for a dictator for a set term, that is what it is. Don’t know why we can’t call a spade a spade - if this is the system people are happy with - fine - but let’s be honest!

      and the colour/sex of a leader never made any difference to anyone, has it? “Monochrome” societies have proved that definitively.

    17. sonia — on 16th March, 2008 at 10:43 pm  

      12 - leon - of course, if chuka becomes the prime minister then sure..i was meaning while he is a puny MP who has to listen to the party whip..and lick ass if he wants to get to the top..

    18. sonia — on 16th March, 2008 at 10:45 pm  

      and of course mrs. thatcher had an influence on this country - she was the bloody dictator for a good-ish while wasn’t she? just because she was voted in -(by people who wanted to see some change!) doesn’t change that fact…

    19. sonia — on 16th March, 2008 at 10:49 pm  

      So I don’t know that its much use to worry about the colour of the dictator’s skin..but if it makes some of us feel better about being led by someone who looks more like us, sure. History has shown us we don’t mind being bossed around by those who look like us..but show us a different face and background, and boy then we don’t like it. India is a good case in point - we always hear about empire, do people really think that the brits were the only imperialists in india? what was the caste system all about? people don’t point to that - oh no- the maharajahs and the princes - why they were “on top” of our system - so that ws fine! and it was god-ordained - even better! kept us in place all those years…! and along come some foreigners, and oh then, we didn’t like it as much. Made no real difference to the people at the bottom, whether you got a white man at the top, or some brown high-caste person..but it seemed to symbolically..or did it ever? the indian nationalists were never exactly low-caste people.

    20. fugstar — on 17th March, 2008 at 12:54 am  

      i like his shiny head and look forward to see his election moves.

    21. Sunny — on 17th March, 2008 at 3:21 am  

      So I don’t know that its much use to worry about the colour of the dictator’s skin..but if it makes some of us feel better about being led by someone who looks more like us, sure.

      sonia - you’re unfairly focusing on one aspect. We have multiple identities, remember? You sound like one of those right wing bloggers when one says people might vote for Obama based on his race. That is not the ONLY reason to support ethnic minority candidates. I wouldn’t be supporting right-wingers for example, others more right wing won’t like Compass candidates despite their ethnicity. Don’t get too hung up over it. Jeez.

    22. Leon — on 17th March, 2008 at 10:43 am  

      I agree with Sunny regarding multiple id’s. Sonia, I’m not sure why you’re only talking skin colour when I qualified my point about him being black by mentioning understanding roots and culture…

    23. marvin — on 17th March, 2008 at 11:03 pm  

      Speaking of St Reatham, more gun crime (right next to where the shootout happened, with 16 bullet cases on the ground, and opposite the Ice Rink where a kid got shot in the head, oh and where a reveller exited the nightclub with a sub-machine gun)

      Good luck to this fella if he gets elected. I debated politics with his girlfriend, nice girl.

      I’d like to know what’s to be done about all this gun crime.

    24. marvin — on 17th March, 2008 at 11:05 pm  


    25. S Loeb — on 22nd March, 2008 at 9:31 pm  

      Marvin - very, very surprised to hear this fella has a girlfriend. Very surprised indeed.

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