Saturday, 17 December 2016

Labour pay a youth football team to deliver leaflets.

It used to be that the only literature you received from Political parties was during actual elections .

But now we get regular campaign issues often disguised as a newspaper  and candidates canvasing years let alone months before an election

This of course takes some manpower and is not a One Man and his dog operation.

But it seems that Labour have a solution.

It seems that a branch of the Labour Party have paid a youth football team to deliver thousands of Christmas cards which contained a political newsletter to people's homes.

According to the Wasting Mule,

The move has upset some residents in the Llynfi Valley who vented their anger towards the players of Maesteg Park FC's youth side, who are aged 16 and 17, on the doorstep and on social media.

The previously rock solid Labour area has been left in turmoil following the resignation of a number of party members and councillors in protest after two longstanding Labour borough and town councillors - Ross Thomas and Keith Edwards - were deemed ineligible to stand for the party again.

It led to Nine Labour members - including serving councillors and a town mayor dramatically resigning  from the party in protest at the actions of senior figures in Welsh Labour.
The group dramatically walked out of a meeting of the Llynfi Valley Labour branch in the town council offices in Maesteg .last month
The Maesteg councillors said their de-facto deselections stemmed from their refusal two years ago to obey the Labour whip and approve what would become a failed merger attempt between Bridgend County Borough and the Vale of Glamorgan councils.
They refused to back the merger claiming it could lead to a loss of vital European funding for the area.
But in  the Llynfi Labour group's Christmas newsletter bizarrely  challenges their assertion that they had been deselected, claiming "there have been no deselections within Labour in the Llynfi Valley - only resignations" as councillors Thomas and Edwards had chosen not to appeal after failing an interview.
I don't know whether a shortage of members prompted the local  party  which has 11 teams and 150 players, to distribute 2,400 Christmas cards and newsletters on Labour's behalf to homes in the area in return for a small donation to the team.
How Much is a small donation ? Should it appear as electoral expenses ? 
 Probably not but with year round campaigning maybe we should reconsider what constitutes Election Literature that must be declared as election literature and what is not.
Andrew Jones, secretary of Maesteg Park FC, hey agreed to do it as the current local councillors, including Ross Thomas and those who have remained with Labour, had previously helped the team to overcome difficulties and ensure its survival.
But he stressed the team has no political affiliations and had no part in the contents of the newsletter.
He said a couple of residents had expressed their disquiet at the delivery of the newsletter by the players.
But he added:
 "There was nothing major, nothing nasty. Just silly remarks. Apparently a couple of people said, 'Don't deliver this **** to my door', and that was fed back to me."
Maesteg councillor Mal Reeves, a member of the Llynfi Valley Labour group, said voluntary groups have delivered their literature for years.
He said:
 "I am amazed at the attitude of ex Labour councillors and members to the delivery of councillors' Christmas cards and newsletters.
"Labour Party literature has been delivered by various Llynfi Valley voluntary groups for several years without a murmur from these ex Labour members!
"This has been something that we as Labour councillors have been pleased to be in a position of assisting local voluntary groups in their fundraising efforts .This crude attempt on social media at intimidating local groups from being involved in this activity and the abuse that they had on the doorstep is totally unacceptable. This is more about these former Labour members not wanting the truth out there than who deliver what and where.
I first thought this story was amusing but its actually disturbing. 

I wonder how wide spread this is throughout Wales  and does it need investigating by the Electoral Commission ?

There no suggestion here  but it could lead  to an understanding of a group of councillors  backing financial and other support to a Club on a implicit or probably tacit understanding  that the Club would provide foot soldiers for such leaflet drops.

How many of Maesteg Park FC are Labour supporters but some may well support another party or be politically neutral .

Were the 16- 17 year old given a choice to deliver the leaflets . I hope at that age some at would be starting to have political opinions of they own.

Did any say that they didn't support Labour and refuse to take part.

I really would like 16-17 year old to take part in politics , but I don;t think this is the way to do it.

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