Here on South Tyneside Labour needs to lose 8 seats to lose control of the council – which is highly likely. If the independent candidates can fight as in previous years around here, then no more will Blair’s henchmen call the shots in Hebburn, Jarrow Boldon and South Shields, as they have done seemingly since the year dot.
The independents, of course, if successful, are not going to pull off any miracles. They will have to manage a tight council budget and be charged with administering a system over which they have very little control – for it controls them, not vice versa, despite the promises on their election leaflets to turn South Tyneside into a land of milk and honey. Local schools will still be forced to close as per schedule, families will still be evicted if they fall behind in their council rents, and council employees will get the boot when the town hall auditor’s start banging their fists on tables.
The local Muppets (aka BNP) will be looking for a local election victory and believe support will be so strong as to enable them to create four stand-alone branches here. They're boasting of a successful campaign here, but I’m yet to see one of their South Tyneside leaflets or any sign that they actually exist. All I can see in this area are paper candidates – the BNP more or less testing the temperature of the water here. Their anti-immigration arguments are perhaps wasted in the Hebburn and Jarrow area, where the "non-white" population is probably about 0.05%, if that. But no doubt they’ll get some support.
The local MP, Mr Stephen Hepburn, has not been up to much. He's managed to get his smiling bracket in the paper a lot recently and in lieu of his councillor comrades having any coverage in the local Gazette throughout the election campaign. His sole obsession at the moment seems to be trying to get the statue of Thatcher removed from the Members’ lobby in parliament. However, a source close to Revolutionary Act snapped this shot, below, of Blair unawares. It seems Blair wants it for himself when he leaves number 10.
Me, I've done my bit to raise revolutionary class consciousness, via a leaflet drop (election address further below), a constant stream of letters to the local press and local commumntiy activity - aiming to turn the Lukes Lane Esate from a community in itself and into a community for itself - so now its up to the workers.
What was that Mr Hepburn said about the erection in the Members' Lobby