Doorstep Brighton 14: Labour for Brighton and Hove – not an endorsement but the launch of an impressive new website

I am grateful to Warren Morgan for alerting me to Brighton and Hove Labour Party’s new website Labour for Brighton and Hove.  I am delighted to say how impressive it appears. It has some welcomed links, for example to the blogs for the campaigns in Hanover and Elm Grove and in Queens Park. Both are very readable websites and the candidates should be applauded for them.  (It has been noted that this blog is not listed under ‘Friends of Labour’.  Remember, I called for Labour votes in both Brighton Kemptown and Hove at the general election. I remain a friend of the Labour Party as well as a friend of the Green Party).

I was disappointed that Tracey Hill decided to blog about Caroline Lucas’s home. Tracey should be told that a basic rule of campaigning is not to stoop to the level of attacking your political opponents.  It suggests that you are sectarian and small minded, and is an important factor in helping me to decide how I will vote.  As Thumper (not John Prescott) in Bambi said: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all”.

Warren has pointed out that the website still has more features and content to come, but that the Party wanted it to go live now.  Of course websites do evolve as content and new features are added.  I am sure that this website will continue to improve.  However, I think that some changes need to be prioritised.  For example, the profile of Celia Barlow that appears in the ‘Candidates‘ section fails to mention 2 things. The first is where she is standing (I assume from reports that it is Central Hove), and secondly, in the very full write-up of her achievements, being elected to Parliament in 2005, being the first of the new intake to make her maiden speech, being a member of a Select Committee, being appointed as a Parliamentary Private Secretary, it fails to mention that she is no longer an MP. A slight, yet important, omission, I would suggest.

On page 2 of the ‘Candidates’ there is the happy, smiling face of Brian Fitch.  A legend returns, but the question is where?  His write up fails to mention where he is standing.  It does say that Brian “has a reputation”. He sure does.  On this occasion it qualifies it by saying “as a man who gets things done.”  And I was overjoyed to see he has campaigned on issues such as ….. bus services.  The main thrust of his campaign is “to save the No 5 to Hangleton which is under imminent threat of being scrapped” (I made that bit up.  The No 5 is not under threat but be assured Brian continues to save it).

And a small word of advice to Caroline Penn (see page 4 of ‘Candidates‘, when posing for election photos, try to avoid the appearance of being in a poll-dancing club.

I am pleased to see that Simon Battle is hoping to make a return to front-line politics. I have worked with this former councillor and admire his work, particularly in achieving the pedestrianisation of George Street.  (As an aside, I was appalled when David Milliband said that he was withdrawing from front-line politics after his defeat by Ed for the Labour Party leadership. Clearly David doesn’t think that being an MP is front-line.  I think candidates in local elections, one and all – even Lib Dems – are in the front-line. David is such a typically arrogant New Labourite believing it is his birthright to hold office and to be leader. I’m still so glad he lost).

All in all, congratulations to Labour for this new resource.  Do take the time to have a look at Labour for Brighton and Hove

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11 Responses

  1. Labour’s candidate for Patcham seems to also be standing in Brunswick. That’s a good start!

    • You can tell it’s getting close to election time in Patcham because we’ve just had a flyer through the door advertising Messrs Theobald, Theobald and Pidgeon’s surgery times … however in the seven years I’ve been living in the ward I don’t think I’ve seen any evidence of Labour activity ever.

      But I’m not wholly convinced by the new Labour website. Smart and slick at first appearance, it appears to be full of slips and errors – almost as if the webmaster has been filling in a template. And here in Brighton where you’re never more than a few yards from a web developer you expect slick digital campaigns.

      • Yes, there are some errors and we are working to correct them – it’s not easy to bring together information from 21 wards and 54 candidates and get it all put up correctly without occasional errors.

        Yes it is a template, WordPress, that is used by many individuals, companies and organisations, including political ones. Look at the bottom of many websites and you will see it is a WordPress one. WordPress has thousands of templates.

        No, we haven’t bought in the services of a professional web designer like the Greens and Tories – we don’t have the same kind of money to spend on campaigns as they do. Our site has been put together by a Party member who is a web professional and who has kindly donated his time and services for free. He is one of over 45,000 people who have joined Labour in the past year, in his case because of one of our local campaigns in the city.

  2. Central Hove has now disappeared from the “all of your Labour Candidates” page altogether?!

    Is Celia-£28,000-expenses-scandal-Barlow standing as candidate for Central Hove or not?

  3. Minus a candidate in Moulsecomb and Bevendean.

    A few kinks, but fair play. A big improvement to the last one.

  4. BPB – On the ‘Thumper principle’ you seem to be failing yourself with your rather snide comments about Brian Fitch and others. Your respondants have followed suit as well – but I think that’s OK. Say what you like about candidates, preferably let it be true, but if not someone will hopefully point out your error.

  5. Celia Barlow is standing in Central Hove. If you click on the name of the candidate in the list it says where they’re standing.

    By the way, is there a naked person in the background of this candidates photo? I can’t find my glasses.. http://brightonhovelabour.com/2010/02/caroline-penn/

  6. Thanks for all the comments and for pointing out the glitches/omissions, all being corrected. We are trying to link it to our Facebook Group “Labour for Brighton and Hove 2011” which rounds up media coverage and news from across the FB groups in individual wards.

    Yes, Celia Barlow was selected to stand in Central Hove (her bio will be changed), and Brian Fitch in Hangleton & Knoll. Their experience – and that of Simon Battle and all 13 Labour councillors running for re-election – is balanced by the new talent we have in Queens Park, Regency, Goldsmid, Hanover, Wish, St Peters, Preston Park and elsewhere.

    No Caroline Penn is not standing in front of a naked lap dancer – it’s a statue in a restaurant…

  7. Glad you like the site!

    The site is Labour for Brighton & Hove.

  8. The site is really good and there is no problems with the picture.

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