On London recently reported that local activist Delia Mattis, an enthusiastic Corbynite who in the past has backed controversial Labour figures Chris Williamson MP (currently suspended over complaints relating to antisemitism) and Jackie Walker (now expelled over antisemitism), was seeking to become Labour’s candidate for the Enfield North parliamentary seat currently occupied by Joan Ryan, who left Labour in February to join what is now called the Independent Group for Change. Sources say Mattis still hopes to win the selection contest, but she faces significant competition from others on Labour’s Outer Left.
Politics Home reports that Momentum national co-ordinator Laura Parker, a resident of Lambeth who has abandoned trying to become Kate Hoey’s successor in Vauxhall, will today announce her bid to stand in Enfield North, which Ryan won by a distance in 2017 after years of the seat being a Labour-Conservative marginal. Parker called on people to “occupy bridges and blockade roads” in protest against Boris Johnson’s decision to prorogue parliament, but for some Enfield North electors this pedigree might seem tame compared with the stances of others, including Mattis, who hope to be Labour’s candidate in the general election thought likely to take place later this year.
Calvin Tucker (pictured on TV above), who is vice chair of Enfield Southgate CLP and national campaigns manager of the Morning Star, announced on Monday that he has applied to be the candidate and posted a statement on Facebook. In this, Tucker describes himself as “a socialist and trade unionist all my life, always advocating and organising for the overall interests of the working-class” and adds, “I always treat working class and poor people with the respect and dignity they deserve.”
Tucker, who used to run a Far Left website called 21st Century Socialism with his brother Noah Tucker, a councillor in Haringey, believes that as an MP he could help “develop national strategies to challenge neo-liberal dogma” and make a “key contribution” on economic policy, drawing on “15 years experience in the City as a headhunter, covering investment banking in emerging markets in Russia, Eastern Europe, Middle East and North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa”. He thinks he could be useful on foreign policy too, saying he has “strong personal relationships and regular closed-door meetings at presidential and ministerial level with governments across Latin America and Africa”.
Tucker is a supporter of President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela, who is engaged in an ongoing power struggle with Juan Guadó, the country’s opposition leader. Guadó has the support of over 50 other countries, including the United States and most fellow Latin American nations. Maduro is backed by Cuba and Russia. A United Nations report has accused Venezuela’s rulers of multiple “grave violations” of people’s rights and numerous alleged extrajudicial killings. Tucker has accused the BBC and the Guardian of running a “propaganda campaign” against Maduro.
Also entering the Enfield North field is Enfield councillor Tolga Aramaz, who has announced his intentions to “Comrades and Enfield Residents” on Twitter. Aramaz introduces himself as “someone who has lived in Enfield all my life”, enduring many years of poverty and still, at the age of 24, sharing a bedroom of six square metres with his 16-year-old sister. Aramaz says he has studied politics and international relations at university and “a Masters in Political Economy”. He writes: “I truly believe that politics is a realm where I am successful and passionate about.”
Aramaz, who emphasises that he is BAME and a socialist, says his life experiences drive him every day to retain hope that “we can create a better society” and that he is daily energised by the famous saying of 18th century philosopher Edmund Burke, regarded by many as the most influential conservative political theorist: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
Joan Ryan has yet to make known if she intends to defend her seat when the next election comes.
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