Welcome to the Walton and Hersham Labour Party

Dear fellow members,

Hi, I’m Dan. For those of you that we have yet to meet personally, on behalf of myself and the other officers, may I take this opportunity to welcome every member, both old and new, to the Walton and Hersham Labour Party (WHLP).

It’s been an interesting and perhaps unprecedented month for UK politics.

Whether you are sat on the fence or are passionately on one side of the debate, politics is hard to ignore at the moment and this can only be a good thing.

I know that many of us have, for years, felt disillusioned by our political system and the politicians that serve it. Personally, I feel that it’s great that we have the opportunity to have this debate, even if ironically, we can’t officially/temporarily have it as the Labour Party.

But what is the debate?

For me, I believe it’s more important that we talk to each other, rather than what we talk about. Of course agendas are important, but we all share one thing in common and that is our humanity. Whatever personal and political views people have, we have the right to freedom of speech. As long as we can all be respectful of our differing opinions, then expressing our differences is what makes life interesting. So let’s start talking and getting to know each other. After all, is this not what grass roots politics is all about? Is it not down to us to help set the agenda and create the society we all live in?

So I put it to you, what do you want us to do?

For me, I want to know what’s important in local people’s lives? That’s why I’m pleased that as a branch we have been meeting regularly once or twice a week for informal meetings. I’m also pleased that this is now expanding to weekend gatherings, so that people who are unable to make our weekday meetings also have the opportunity to meet other local Labour Party members.

As a branch we will also be following in the footsteps of the Esher and Walton Constituency Labour Party (EWCLP) and creating an online forum, just for local Walton and Hersham Labour Party members, so that we have a safe place to share and discuss our views online.

Finally, I don’t mind admitting that I’ve not got a huge amount of experience in politics, some members will have, other may be like me. Either way, we’re all members of the Labour Party and that’s a great value to share. Our membership, both nationally and locally is growing and so there has never been a better time to get involved in our local Labour Party movement. Let’s take this opportunity to start rebuilding our local Labour Party community and hopefully in the process we can start to inspire some wider social change.

If you would like to get in touch, then please use the Contact Us page on our website. If you haven’t already, please join our Facebook group and LIKE our Facebook page to keep in touch.

Kind Regards,

Daniel Ewen
Chair – Walton and Hersham Labour Party

Stompond Lane News Update

Stompond Lane News Update

Elmbridge Borough Council has sold a 7.8 acre residential development site in Stompond Lane to developer London Square on a ‘subject to planning basis’.

London Square will be exhibiting their proposals for the site on:

Tuesday 4th October 2016 | 3pm to 8pm at St Andrew’s United Reformed Church, Hersham Road

Thursday 6th October 2016 | 3pm to 8pm at the Playhouse, Hepworth Way

Further details can be found at:,%20Walton%20on%20Thames%20newsletter.pdf

Do let us know your opinions and thoughts after viewing the exhibition:


Proper Grammar

Written by Richard Leonard

A casual visitor from Mars, or indeed anywhere else outside of the UK, could be forgiven for mistaking the person reading a statement on the steps of number 10 Downing Street recently for a radical left winger, who had just been elected Prime Minister. So when I read a few days ago that Pope Francis had created Theresa a saint I naturally expected it to be the speaker.

In her statement she declared that she would ‘fight against burning injustice, that having a job did not guarantee job security’ and she acknowledged that a private education created privilege. The ‘working class’ (remember them?) who would be at the forefront of everything her government did were mentioned twice. (The Metro and various media 13/9/2016). If Jeremy Corbyn had pronounced those policies most observers would just have nodded in bored approval.

But Theresa May has now firmly laid out her ideology for all to see and it is predictably and frighteningly right wing. Although much of it is throwing red meat to the baying pack behind her on the back benches to pacify them during the long wait to Brexit, she has grasped the deep-rooted Tory ideology of galloping capitalism/privatisation and embraced it with passion. To fuel the Tory obsession with these twin evils one of her predecessors, Margaret Thatcher, destroyed our manufacturing industry by selling off, what a previous Tory PM described as the ‘family silver’, to anybody who would buy it including some of the biggest global crooks in the business world. The mines, steel manufacture, car production, public transport, airports and public utilities all went over time. She set out to destroy the unions on the way. Cameron has virtually and deliberately destroyed the NHS which even Chris Hopson, Chief Executive of NHS providers has said cannot survive in its present condition (BBC 9/9/2016).

Now May has turned her attention to one of the last remnants of the Attlee government’s brave social reforms – the education sector, free for all and available to all, a prize jewel in the Tory crown of privatisation. In this modern climate grammar schools are not free, many parents spend £1500/2000 on coaching their children on how to pass the exam. Poorer working class families who are struggling to make ends meet do not have access to that sort of money unless they run up unsustainable debts, therefore creating an underclass in society at that early age.

May’s speech praising the role of grammar schools can now be valued for what it is. A rhetoric which belongs in the sewer of class warfare and a call to arms to the ‘middle class’ to rid their society of ‘socialist’ values. Believe me I am not using scare tactics on this issue, this has become a real fight for the social ethics of our country. Our children and grandchildren are to be the fodder in yet another Tory onslaught towards privatisation.
Both sides are using statistics to prove their point and in my opinion there is no doubt that statistics prove that grammar schools have a detrimental effect on our society. The system is divisive and creates schisms among the working class. What really concerns me though is the constant use of figures to show that one method is better than the other. We are talking here about children, human beings, who will be judged at eleven years old as to whether they should receive an academic education or set on the road to fill the seemingly insatiable demand for the basic workforce of capitalist industry for the rest of their lives. These children are more than just numbers, they’re individuals, the country’s future and must be treated as such.

To deliberately decide at that ridiculously early age in which part of society a child is likely to spend the rest of its life is inhumane, callous and demoralising. The very thought of it should send shivers up every socialist spine. It is a subtle device to consolidate the division in society which is key for the continued growth of greedy capitalism, in other words divide and rule. A recent study has confirmed that the UK is one of the most unequal countries in the developed world already (Credit Suisse 13/10/2015). This inequality is what keeps the rich rich and the poor poor. It fits neatly with Tory philosophy.

For no other reason but to head off accusations of jealousy, I will tell you that I was educated at a grammar school.

In spite of my optimistic view in the first paragraph of this article, it would appear that the current Prime Minister has more in common with the fiendish Margaret Thatcher than the saintly Mother Theresa.


Labour NEC Ballot: How To Cast Your Vote

All Labour Party members should have recently recieved an email reminder regarding the Labour NEC Ballot.

You will need your unique two-part Security Code within that email in order to cast your vote online.

The National Executive Committee (NEC) is the governing body which manages the Labour Party on your behalf – you can read more at

This year, members will be electing six Constituency Labour Party representatives to the NEC. Labour Councillors also have a vote for two Local Government places. Some members will also be able to vote for Labour’s candidate for directly elected mayor in their area.

The ballot closes at 12 noon on Friday 5 August 2016. Please use all your votes.

If you need a little help in decided who you should cast your six votes for, then you may find the following link useful:

Candidates 2016

Thank You For Your Support …

Labour Candidates for Walton & Hersham wish to thank the electorate for the support given in the May 2016 elections …

Hersham Village candidate, Dr Peter Jepson, says:

In Hersham Village we campaigned for the creation of an ‘Hersham Community Council’ – i.e. in order to protect the identity and community of Hersham. We now call upon the newly elected Councillors of Hersham Village to put residents first and setup this council asap.

 Walton North candidate, Richard Leonard, says:

We came within 88 votes of toppling one of the Tories A huge thank you to all those who voted for me in the May 2016 Borough Election. It was very humbling to realise that so many people turned out to support our views.

Walton South candidate, Vera-Anne Anderson, says:

Thank you for voting for me and the Labour Party.

Walton Central candidate, Margaret Hawkes, also conveys her gratitude.



“Greed is Good”? 

Sir Philip Green has come in for a fair bit of flack this week. The poor dear has done nothing illegal. Yes, he gave his wife, who is domiciled in Monaco (which means she misses our lovely weather) £400M dividends from BHS whilst at the same time running up a pension deficit of £500M. Yes, the £1.2Billion (I spelt it out because the B doesn’t do justice to the numbers) which he paid himself (or his wife I should say) some years ago was four times greater than the groups’ entire profits for the year but there is no suggestion, certainly from this quarter, that he has done anything wrong, legally. Morally and ethically that is a different matter.

My friend Joe, the pedant who is also an accountant, has pointed out to me that it is perfectly legal to pay early dividends providing it is from revenue and does not cause the company to be unable to fulfil its normal liabilities.

The current owner of the beleaguered company Dominic Chappell, twice a bankrupt, blithely finished his email to staff (yes, an email) with “I would like to say it has been a real pleasure working with all of you on the BHS project, one I will never forget… Bonne chance!” That’s all right then, it was only a project not the means by which long serving employees feed their family, pay the mortgage and live; most of the employees on the shop floor earn less than the so called living wage. It was obviously a pleasure for Chappell and his colleagues who took over BHS for they managed to relieve the stricken company of £25M during their brief tenure.

In 1973 the then Tory Prime Minister Ted Heath spoke about the unacceptable face of capitalism (referring to Lonrho), a view echoed this week by some Tory, yes Tory, MPs. It would be nice to think that the whole sorry saga of BHS is a wakeup call for our political masters. Together with the revelations from the Panama papers, in which it is alleged Dominic Chappell features, which showed that the richest people and companies in the world didn’t pay their fair share of taxes anywhere let alone where they should.

Socialists will tell you that all this is inevitable in a capitalist society, but none but the most extreme would have suggested that it was as blatant as it is today. The transgressors are unashamedly open with their ill-gotten gains. I’m sure Sir Philip, Tony Blair gave him his knighthood since you ask, will not be too bothered as he sips his Crystal Champagne on board his new megayacht for which he paid £100M. It’s his third yacht. The length of a football pitch; it is four stories high.

The Leave campaign suggests that leaving the EU would enable the UK to reduce the regulations governing business. I am probably alone amongst commentators in advocating more regulation. For too long business, small as well as large, have seen regulations controlling their accounts procedures and auditing reduced substantially and in some cases removed completely. The behaviour of some businesses is scandalous and must be stopped. Whilst the hard working citizens of this country continue to face severe austerity measures imposed by this uncaring government people like Green and Chappell are able to walk away with millions, sometimes billions, quite legally.

Sir Philip has at last been summoned to meet an MP’s committee to explain the huge hole he left in the BHS pension fund after acquiring a seemingly healthy company in 2000. The final kick in the teeth for the hapless employees is that Chappell, who put the company into administration is involved in trying to buy back some of the more profitable stores. You couldn’t make it up.

Just in case you think, dear reader, that I am in fact making it up, all the above facts can be verified in the Guardian/Daily Mail of the 26th April 2016.

During the height of Thatcherism in 1987, Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) said in the film ‘Wall Street’ – “Greed is Good”. It became the defining statement of the Thatcher years. Some things never change.

Jeremy Corbyn – “Stay in the EU”.

Jeremy Corbyn delivers his ‘Stay in the EU” speech.