We Earned Them Votes Tonight in South Shields 122

“We earned them votes tonight”, said Emma Lewell-Buck. The House of Commons has gained a social worker who can’t speak English. The auto-didacts of the early Labour movement would have been horrified. I am aware that the readers of this blog are among those who believe an inability to communicate in standard English is a mark of authenticity; I fear my view is that it has been a hundred years since the state education system in this country was so patchy that there is any reason beyond sloth for inability to follow the most basic of grammar.

But she spoke truth in one sense. They did indeed “earn them votes”. Producing fraudulent postal ballots by the thousands is very hard work, and the Labour Party in the North of England should perhaps be congratulated in bringing back aspects of manufacturing heritage in this regard.

*This was the first parliamentary constituency election in British history in which the postal ballots outnumbered the polling station votes. UKIP beat New Labour in the polling booth ballot boxes by a very clear majority, according to my mole in the count.

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122 thoughts on “We Earned Them Votes Tonight in South Shields

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  • Evgueni

    “UKIP beat New Labour in the polling booth ballot boxes by a very clear majority”

    Proof positive, indeed. Or is it. What about confounding factors, how do you know that typical UKIP voters are not less likely to choose the postal ballot? Just picking holes in your theory, for all I know you could be right but if so – by chance.

  • craig Post author


    Proof positive, no. Pretty strong indicator though. I put it together with what I witnessed with my own eyes New Labour do in Blackburn, to reach a pretty high level of personal certainty.

    In Blackburn the postal ballot manufacture hinges very much on a particular ethnic community. Not so, as far as I understand, in South Shields. Interested to know how it works there.

    I am utterly opposed to the postal vote. The secret ballot gives certain essential protections whereas the postal ballot – where people can and do come to your home to collect it or demand to see it – does not afford those protections. New Labour’s massive expansion of postal voting – which before Blair was only available to those physically unable to get to the polling station – is a deliberate act of rigging.

  • 5566hh

    While we’re on the subject of grammar: “All of them support war and massive military spending. UKIP supporters probably want even more of the latter: less foreigners here…” (from your post “No Politics is Local”). It should of course be fewer, not less.

  • John-Albert Eadie

    Love this about England. We in Canada are challenged by
    too many American Blacks in Toronto, and far too many Chinese
    and Japanese in Vancouver. They often turn out eventually
    to speak better Canadian than I do, which I hope is
    the case in Britain, but scary right now.

    Class system is so right, and so wrong, as
    I’m sure you know. And I’m talking out of turn,
    because I only know it from *MANY* English novels.

    I hope, that at a minimum, that Britain keeps a standard
    English for novels and such, for the rest of us …
    so I argue for Eton, etc. mistakenly, or no.

  • CanSpeccy

    The inability of most Britons to speak standard English, i.e., the English of the ruling class, can be explained in only one of two ways. Either all the billions if not trillions spent by government on public education has been a total fucking waste, or the elite use the education system to ensure that even when everyone is dressed in jeans and a t-shirt the plebs are easily distinguished from their betters.

    Either way, the the stupid liberal-left experiment of having a bunch of twats like Blair and Brown and Clogg and Cameron spend half or more of the GDP has been a total disaster that should be ended now. But of course it won’t be because the welfare state is the chief employer of the miserable, half-educated, middle-class, liberal-left bastards who read the Guardian and listen to the BBC.

  • Techno

    “In Blackburn the postal ballot manufacture hinges very much on a particular ethnic community. Not so, as far as I understand, in South Shields. Interested to know how it works there.”

    Interesting to note that an Asian independent came fourth.

    60 per cent did not vote, and that doesn’t include those who are not on the voters roll because they don’t return the registration form.

    (Crikey. The spam defeater is 8 x * = fifty six. I actually had to take time to work that one out!)

  • Jay

    Lovely, lovely, lovely, may, may, may.

    To all, my friendly people; have a gay day.

  • Steve McGhie

    Hi Colin, context is everything for Labour! We earned them votes – she obviously means that Labour earned the votes for UKIP. Or maybe she’s down with the yoof

  • April Showers

    It is going to be a good drubbing for Agent Cameron and Cleggover. Perhaps the UKIP success and the low turnouts will make them realize the extent of our disgust and discontent. The connection of Cameron to the Thatcher funeral of recent memory is still stuck in our craws. Cleggover has had it and had better seek out a new career.

    Mr Eadie I thought English and French were spoken in Canada, not ‘Canadian’.

  • April Showers

    Lewell-Buck was a last minute choice, the selected candidate having bailed out.

    Emma Lewell-Buck (born c. 1978) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Labour MP for South Shields since the 2013 by-election, the constituency’s first female MP.[2][1]

    From a family of ship-yard workers, Lewell-Buck was born in South Shields. She is a direct descendant of William Wouldhave, the inventor of the lifeboat.[3] Lewell-Buck studied politics and media studies at Northumbria University,[1] before gaining a Masters degree in social work from Durham University.

    As a social worker, she has specialised in child protection, and has represented the Primrose ward in Jarrow as a South Tyneside Councillor since 2004.



    On Miliband D, the people of South Shields were spot on.

    In Westminster, the talk may all be about David Miliband jetting off to New York because he hated being in his brother’s shadow. But that’s not how many people see it in South Shields, the north-east England coastal constituency the elder Miliband has represented since 2001.

    “He’s been offered more money, hasn’t he?” said David Oley, selling copies of the Shields Gazette on Ocean Road in the town centre. “You don’t leave a good job for another unless you’re getting paid more, do you?” Quite right, said a customer, Gordon Haslop. “It’s obvious he is going to be handsomely paid in New York – and you already get a lot as an MP.”
    There was much unhappiness among the local party faithful when Miliband, then head of Tony Blair’s policy unit, was chosen in 2001 to succeed the former cabinet minister David Clark – another non-local, who was retiring to the Lords after 22 years. Anglin admits a few noses were out of joint, but Miliband won most people round over time.

    “He wasn’t very good at talking to ordinary people at first,” said Anglin, “but he became much more comfortable….


  • Summerhead

    The beauty of English is its fluidity and flexibility. Foreigners learning English are often relieved to find that grammar has less importance for comprehension than most languages. It’s always amusing to watch the Society of Pedants (formerly The Pedants’ Society) frothing at the mouth about something of such little importance.

  • перекрещивающимися линиями

    перекрещивающимися линиями

    Зашифрованные коммюнике FBD 8еру3нда

    Re:Смущение Habbuku/Zabolotny

    Насколько сложно поймать идиота​​​?

    Инициировать процедуру 355h «Грамматика отправиться в ад»

  • Abe Rene

    @перекрещивающимися линиями

    From google translator:

    crossed line
    Encrypted Communique FBD 8eru3nda
    Re: Confusion Habbuku / Zabolotny
    How difficult is it to catch the idiot?
    Initiate 355h “Grammar go to hell”

  • Horseman Joe

    Can a candidate ‘earn’ votes? It sounds a bit off to me. She earned our votes, so we paid her with our votes. Votes are not payment.

  • Horseman Joe

    Her name reminds me of John Lennon’s Sir Alice Doubtless-Whom. Emma Who’ll ****?

  • перекрещивающимися линиями

    Агент Абэ Рене.
    Вы делаете слишком легко для них.
    Там будут последствия.

  • KingofWelshNoir

    ‘I am aware that the readers of this blog are among those who believe an inability to communicate in standard English is a mark of authenticity.’

    Do you have any evidence for that dismissive smear against your readership, many of whom are very loyal and supportive?

  • doug scorgie

    At least them LibDems lost their deposit

    Hugh Annand (Lib Dem) 352 (1.42%)

  • craig Post author


    Everyone told me off for being rude about estuary English, about eighteen months ago!

  • Richard Gadsden

    Parties that have well-established organisations get their solid supporters to vote by post so the party doesn’t have to knock them up on polling day.

    It’s hardly surprising that those who voted on polling day – a group that the strongest supporters of Labour have been selected out of – didn’t support Labour all that strongly.

    You could say the same for any seat with a good local organisation for one party – in Eastleigh, postal votes were mostly Lib Dem, polling station votes were much more UKIP, because Lib Dem campaigners had identified strong Lib Dem supporters and persuaded them to get permanent postal votes five years ago.

    I don’t like postal voting at all – we should abolish it entirely, and go to the Irish system where people who can’t go to the polling station register that fact, and they make an appointment for officials to visit them with the ballot box. Nursing homes, hospitals, etc, usually have a temporary polling station on the premises for an hour or two on polling day.

    I can remember the pre-1997 system well, and there were plenty of nursing homes where all the residents were registered for postal votes and the owner of the home or the matron would collect all the ballot papers and cast a block vote – usually for the Tories in those days.

    But while we have it, the assumption that all postal votes are dodgy is not a correct one; most are perfectly legitimate votes. The fiddle is on another level: people who strongly support Labour are registered to vote by permanent postal vote, 75% of them vote; people who don’t strongly support Labour have to turn out on the day; 25% of them vote. This is a large part of why marginals have such high turnouts – two parties have got their supporters registered to vote by post instead of just one.

  • KingofWelshNoir

    ‘Everyone told me off for being rude about estuary English, about eighteen months ago!’

    Ah! I missed that. Perhaps ‘some of the readers’ would have been better – there are still a few out here wot pride themselves on talking proper.

  • Fred

    “Can a candidate ‘earn’ votes? It sounds a bit off to me. She earned our votes, so we paid her with our votes. Votes are not payment.”

    I have searched google for the phrase, all the links point to this blog.

    I searched google news, nothing.

    I looked through the available videos, again nothing, she didn’t say that in the video of her acceptance speech, the nearest was in a BBC interview when she said words that a Sun journalist might have interpreted as that.


    Not that it matters, I don’t see why the people in a working class town in the north of England shouldn’t have a MP who doesn’t speak estuary English, Craig might not see her as ruling class but I doubt it matters to the people of South Shields.

    Labour won a solid labour safe seat as expected, some people might see some sort of conspiracy in that I see nothing out of the ordinary.

  • Alan

    Richard, you wind-up merchant, surely “a group out of which the strongest supporters of Labour have been selected” would be a more appropriate rendering on this thread…

  • craig Post author


    Actually she said it last night on Sky News, at approximately 12.50 I think, in an interview after the count. You didn’t see the question, but I presume she was being asked about postal votes. She went on to claim that in four weeks she had knocked on every door in South Shields.

  • April Showers

    Gideon has acquired a glottal stop, or at least when he was speaking to the workers at the Morrisons depot. A few days later 300 job cuts were announced by Morrisons as far as I remenber.

    Gideon Osbore’s speech today – What bloody awful diction. Faux chummy glottal stops galore. Made Tony Blair sound like Gielgud.
    4:57 PM – 2 Apr 13

  • Michael Stephenson

    Isn’t it more likely that knowing the turnout for the by-election could be quite low, she encouraged the Labour voters she met to postal vote rather than miss the chance to vote on the day, by circumstance or forgetfulness?

    In terms of the numbers nothing seems at all suspicious http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-22393317 the seat has been Labour since 1935.

    UKIP weren’t even on the ballot in 2010


    It would be quite a stretch to believe UKIP could win it outright, it was quite a stretch they have done as well as they have considering. Obviously by poaching the BNP vote and a significant part of the Tory vote.

    Nothing except Craig’s anonymous “mole” remotely points to postal ballot stuffing on behalf of Labour.

  • craig Post author


    There was a major difference between the percentages for Labour and UKIP in post ballot and polling booth – not just my mole, Sky News reported that last night too. There are numerous protections in the polling booth – nobody else can touch your paper or ask to see how you voted – which do not exist in postal ballots.

    You evidently have not witnessed the intimidation and audacity of the New Labour machine in northern English urban environments, going round people’s homes and demanding to see and sometimes be handed postal ballots. I have seen it with my own eyes, and interviewed many eyewitnesses.

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