Labour’s Marvin “LUTHER” Rees, now officially selected as their mayoral candidate, continues to inhabit his own personal alternative universe.
One of the first to congratulate Luther Rees on getting selected as Labour’s mayoral candidate was SIMON WOOLLEY at Operation Black Vote (OBV), a quango that’s dedicated to getting black people to run in elections.
Naturally Woolley is thrilled at Luther’s selection and bangs on about “a true story of tenacity, inner strength and determination to win against the odds” and claims that Luther is “ON THE THRESHOLD OF MAKING HISTORY”. As if Bristolians will elect some random equal opportunities manager as mayor just so that he can achieve his personal ambition and “make history”!
Even more bizarrely Woolley claims that Luther, after the last mayoral election in 2012, was “bitterly disappointed not least because of the attempted SMEARING OF HIS CHARACTER” and then claims Luther “NARROWLY LOST OUT to the sitting Independent Mayor George Ferguson”.
This is not making history. This is MAKING UP HISTORY. Luther, the favourite to win in 2012, was hammered out of sight after running an uninspired, safety first, lacklustre,pro-business campaign aimed firmly at appeasing the city’s business community and managed by a bunch of anonymous middle class arseholes at Labour’s regional office in Swindon.
A campaign that PISSED OFF and PISSED ON many of our city’s most influential social movements. Who are, on paper, his natural constituency. He was NEVER the victim of any smears either. He’s made this up and it may be self-defeating. Doesn’t the self-styled leadership expert not realise people want a strong character to run the city not some whining, poor-me victim?
Another emerging problem for Luther Rees, expensively trained in ‘leadership’ in the US, is that he’s basically a US DEMOCRAT and not an English social democrat let alone a democratic socialist. His last campaign was therefore built on a US-style big business and corporate agenda.
His wholesale and flat-footed support for the crap BRT TRANSPORT SYSTEM and Bristol City FC’s GREENBELT STADIUM PLAN with associated supermarkets and corporate retail sheds at the cost of established communities in South Bristol cost him dear. As did his REFUSAL to challenge austerity in any coherent form and unequivocally back our public services and public realm against cuts and privatisation.
The question now is whether Luther Rees will repeat all of these errors all over again? Already we’re seeing worrying signs. Like an INABILITY to view the city except through the prism of his own limited personal experience, much of it in the US; his SILENCE on grassroots campaigns such as saving the Bush respite centre; RUNNING AWAY from the press when they ask a tricky question; FEAR of any person or group who isn’t wealthy, a personal mate or a member of the Labour Party; an UNHEALTHY OBSESSION with ‘leadership’ and the REFUSAL to condemn right wing austerity economics outright.
What possible reason would people have to vote for Luther Rees over Ferguson when they share an agenda aimed at the comfortable middle classes and keeping business happy?
Both are so similar that we’re effectively being offered a sad little beauty contest run by crap Labour spin doctors.