24 Sept 2011

Is Luke Akehurst a pr man for merchants of death?

'Labour Party activist since 1988 - firmly on the moderate wing of the party. Elected to Labour’s NEC as a CLP Representative in 2010. National Secretary of Labour Students 1995-6. Parliamentary candidate for Aldershot (2001) and Castle Point (2005). Hackney Councillor (Chatham Ward) since 2002, Labour Group Chief Whip 2002-09, Chair of Health Scrutiny. Supporter of Europe, NATO/nuclear deterrence, Israel, electoral reform. Guardian reader. Dad. Stoke Newington resident. Unite union member. Employment history as a Labour Party Organiser, Local Government Political Assistant, Director at a Public Affairs company. '

All is fair I suppose in love, war and politics, so I only read Luke Akehurst and Linda Smith's
article on how to oppose the Green Party with mild irritation.

Its of course a feel bad piece, not about how the Labour Party can out 'green' or 'out left' we
Green Party members....be lovely it really would to see England's rubbish dominant parties
to move left and green.  That is not Luke and Linda's agenda.

Or to put it bluntly put human beings before market logic, I would like very much to see politics move in a positive direction, there can never be room for tribalism in something as important as human welfare.

Its instructive to read the piece what ever party (or none) you belong to, all about party, all about winning, so little about politics in the sense of improving welfare and looking to a better future.

It did get me reading a little more about Luke.  I was surprised by what I read.

I had a assumed he was a genial Blairite 'moderate', an amicable right wing ginger blogger of some repute.  A sparing partner of Dave Osler.

However 'moderate' has, in our upside down world, often shocking associations.

He may not like we Greens but he has a robust approach to all on the left, for example, he is on record as noting:

Labour staff … should not be neutral referees. They should be able to promote the candidates and policies of the elected leadership of the party against their internal critics. Back in Morgan Phillips’ day as General Secretary or Herbert Morrison’s as London Regional Secretary there was none of this nonsense about neutrality, the party staff explicitly had a role in giving the left a kicking.” (http://www.leftfutures.org/2011/01/luke-akehurst-for-general-secretary/)

Is the labour blogger and Hackney councillor the same Luke Akehurst as the Luke Akehurst with associations with the arms trade?

I think we should be told.

I noticed that Labour are going to bring in £1 membership for those in the army, rumoured to be funded by scrapping low rate membership for those who are unemployed and disabled (?).

Military-industrial complex are us?

This if accurate makes sobering reading:

Herzog’s newest colleague at the center is Luke Akehurst, until recently a “defense” specialist with the public relations giant Weber Shandwick.
Enticing Akehurst to work for her is quite a coup for Lorna FitzsimonsBICOM’s chief executive. He was named UK consultant of the year” at the 2008 Public Affairs News Awards. The prize was in recognition for his invaluable services for several companies that arm dictators.
Libya connection
Finmeccanica, one of his clients, cultivated strong links with Muammar Gaddafi lately. While it has predicted that its revenues for 2011 will exceed €18 billion, the civil war in Libya will inevitably have repercussions. The Italian firm has a backlog of orders worth €800 million from the Gaddafi regime.
Akehurst also represented GKN, which supplied water cannons to Indonesia in the 1990s, unperturbed about how its then military ruler Suharto was overseeing the brutal occupation of East Timor, where out one of the twentieth century’s worst cases of genocide occurred. Serco, another client of his, manages Britain’s Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) as part of a consortium that bands it together with the world’s number one weapons maker Lockheed Martin.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lorna Fitzsimons is a prime mover in Labour friends of Israel and was a witchhunter in her NUS days.

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