John Sargent from Helston, Cornwall, shares his election thoughts. For the record this not BBC personality and former newsreader John Sragent simply a member of the electorate:
"I'm increasingly concerned and annoyed at the way Jeremy Corbyn continues to be portrayed by the media.
Sadly they have done a very good job on Jeremy from Day One.
They have painted a picture of him as a disrespectful, non-tie wearing, nuclear disarming, unelectable Communist with no idea about how to run the country or manage the budget.
It's been cleverly done and this dishonesty makes me so angry.
I wonder how Mrs May and her government's record would stand up to similar undermining scrutiny and ridicule?
The fact is that her mistakes, flip flopping U Turns, and the commonplace despair that this government's policies have caused across the country get no coverage.
If issues are raised they are quickly dismissed.
At this time, with an election looming, why is it that the most vulnerable in our society are not being asked for their views on how they have suffered during the last six years?
Why is the plight of those forced to use food banks not being highlighted?
What about families who cannot afford a mortgage or the increasing rents?
How are they coping?
Why are those struggling on zero hours contracts being canvassed for their views?
Why isn't May taken to task over and over again over the collapsing NHS and her ridiculous proposal to bring back Grammar schools that nobody supports?
Why aren't the funds desperately needed by these services being constantly compared with the figures that are proposed for refurbishing Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster and a royal yacht?
Why aren't the tax affairs of corporations and leading Tory MPs taking centre stage and compared with average earners who have to pay their whack?
Why isn't Iain Duncan Smith always being put on the spot for his inhumane treatment of those who rely on society's support? Why isn't he held to account for the increased incidence of suicides and deaths amongst those declared fit for work?
If there was fair and balanced reporting in the media it might lead to a very different attitude towards Corbyn from those with closed minds and others too lazy to think and carefully reflect.
The problem we are all faced with is that the Tories control the media and they are only too happy to fight dirty.
It never ceases to amaze me that when Jeremy Cotbyn asks Theresa May about an issue that she'd rather avoid, she doesn't answer but resorts to personal insults.
The appalling thing about this is that rather than the news bulletin centring on the fact that she couldn't or wouldn't answer, her insults are also broadcast.
To the unthinking, this gives the impression that she has dealt with the issue and also with the silly man opposite.
It's all completely wrong.
A vast swathe of people have been manipulated into thinking that Jeremy Corbyn is some total incompetent.
If they simply stopped and thought, they might, just might realise that Mr Corbyn is a man of integrity, a man with decent values, a compassionate man who understands and can empathise.
Through voting for him, they would be voting for a different type of politics where people are valued more than money and where society was fairer and better for all.
Why don't we all see that?"
Op-ed; George Galloway was once a Labour man. He was expelled from the party in 2003. He has since stood against the Labour party on more than one occasion and before Theresa May announced there would be a snap election June 8 Mr Galloway declared his intention to stand in the Gorton by-election.
The Gorton seat was held by Labour MP Gerald Kauffman who sadly died earlier in 2017. Mr Galloway could have selected other seats to contest but opted for political opportunism directly opposing the Labour Party.
Mike Coulson living in Yorkshire has shared his thoughts on the Gorton election;
"The only election I have been active in was in New South Wales when our candidate was secretary of my local branch (I was treasurer).
We were one of the two most marginal seats, and it was close enough for a recount.
Then when it came to the federal election our candidate stood down in favour of someone who hadn't been a member for 12 months as the rules required but had opposed him in state election.
We could have had a Labor government in New South Wales if that ***** hadn't split the vote!
I hope George Galloway won't do the same in Gorton!"
We say "Don't let Galloway split the Gorton vote just #VoteLabour."
Thanks to Barnaby Griffin for sharing;
My father, Andy Griffin, met Jeremy Corbyn last year in Blyth. I asked him to write down his experience. This is what he sent me:
Jeremy Corbyn at Blyth Spartans’ Club
19 November 2016
Ronnie Campbell invited Jeremy Corbyn to give a talk to the Blyth Labour Party in 2015 – after their last Christmas get together. He agreed to come.
Within that year he had become the Leader of the party and Ronnie Campbell had life-saving cancer treatment.
The afternoon prior to the visit he was chairing an important Labour party policy meeting at Loughborough but he drove to Blyth to honour his commitment to the local party gathering.
There was a meal at the club and when he arrived he received a standing ovation from his supporters.
There were around 100 at the venue and 10 tables with ten guests at each table. Between courses he visited each table and had lengthy conversations – mainly listening to the supporters’ situations in the dour economic climate. He was very patient and allowed group photographs to be taken.
There was never any posing he was just very accommodating to the public.
He sat beside me and I had a brief chat.
I commented that I had heard his interview (from Loughborough) and that Radio Five had given him an opportunity to comment on the success of the day. It was a brief, but very good interview and he came across very well. I told him so and he expressed surprise that they reported his words fairly and that they were not out to trip him up.
I said this was rare.
He laughed and agreed.
l asked how he could overcome the bias and unfairness and he shrugged and said he was powerless to change the media and all he could hope for was that his message could get through – like today’s meeting at Blyth.
He added that he had his own personal, permanent paparazzi photographer who sits in a blue car and waits for him to come out the house every day. He accepts that it comes with the job.
He continued to circulate around the entire room and was still talking to people late into the evening when we left.
It was genuine.
He really wanted to know about ‘ordinary’ people’s lives and how the Labour Party could help. There was no proselytising; he just showed human concern, and everyone who I spoke to, felt he was genuine and naturally sympathetic.
After dinner he first of all thanked the staff at the club who had served the meal. He praised Ronnie Campbell for his work and loyalty to the grassroots of the party. JC also knew the details of the Blyth MPs condition and praised his public battle with cancer.
The ground he covered was familiar territory: NHS, carers and the rich exploiting the poor. In his speech he showed a steely determination to change our unfair Society. He was eloquent and quietly determined and passionate. He had no notes but his sincerity could not be questioned. My wife, who is not political, was genuinely moved and emotional.
After his words he discreetly headed for the kitchen and spent some time with the staff that had been behind the scenes. He wanted them to know he appreciated their contribution to a very successful evening.
I have heard people say that ‘Corbyn seems a decent, honest bloke but I wouldn’t vote for him.’ Why not? It makes no sense.
Clement Atlee was not Mr Charisma with his glasses and pipe and quiet demeanour but he hammered the ‘war-hero’ Churchill at the ballot box.
And he gave us the NHS! If all those in favour of decency and honesty, vote for the man who has it in abundance, then the UK would be a better place to live for everyone.
Labour Party email to CLPs:
Emergency candidate selection procedures.
The National Executive Committee has agreed an exceptional selections procedure for candidates in the General Election to be held on Thursday 8 June 2017.
The NEC has agreed MPs will be reselected automatically if they wish to stand again. Vacancies will be advertised on Friday 21 April and after close of applications on Sunday 23 April will be selected directly by panels of the NEC and Regional Board members in order to ensure candidates are in place and endorsed by the NEC before the nomination deadline of 11 May 2017.
It is with the greatest regret that local party members will not be able to select parliamentary candidates. This process is necessary and it is only due to the exceptional snap General Election circumstances and will not set any precedent for future elections.
It will be simply impossible to hold trigger ballots, selection hustings and meetings in the 631 Parliamentary constituencies in the given timescale, especially at a time when members are out campaigning in the local and general elections. As with standard election campaign procedures, meetings at all CLP meetings have now been suspended for the duration of the local and general election period except for campaign planning purposes.
All sitting MPs have been asked to confirm their intention to stand for re-election in the next General Election by 6pm on Thursday (tomorrow). If they decide to stand again, they are deemed automatically reselected.
Where MPs retire, vacancies will be advertised via the Labour Party website from Friday 21 April and applications close on Sunday 23 April at noon. The NEC will make decisions in the normal way about All Women Shortlists in all seats, but as a minimum where a women MP retires, that seat will be an All Women Shortlist to at least maintain the number of women MPs in the PLP. To be eligible to be a candidate, individual members must have 12 consecutive months' membership of the Labour Party on 18 April (ie joined on or before 18 April 2016), and not be in arrears or under any NEC-imposed restrictions such as suspension. The NEC will then longlist applications, interview longlisted candidates and then select a candidate for each retirement seat.
All other seats
In all other seats, adverts will be placed on the Labour Party website from Friday 21 April and applications close on Sunday 23rd April at noon inviting applications from party members seeking selection. This will be in the form of a standard CV and monitoring form. Candidates will also be asked to indicate their preference of seat in which they are seeking selection.
Candidates who stood in the 2015 election, and who remain in compliance and eligible to be a candidate, will be contacted by Regional Offices asking that they seek selection again in those same seats.
A panel of NEC and Regional Board representatives will evaluate applications and appoint candidates in each seat. Successful candidates will need to confirm they intend to accept nomination as the Labour Party candidate.
Scotland and Wales
Following the rule change at annual conference last year, the Scottish and Welsh Labour Party will run their own selection procedures. Details of these procedures will be issued by Scotland and Wales to members in due course.
We hope all party members will now fully focus on campaigning and opposing the Conservative Government and ensure that the Labour message is breaking through in every community. We would like to wish you all the very best for this campaign.
Thursday 20 April - 6pm Deadline for MPs to declare intention to stand
Friday 21 April Applications open for candidates in all seats including retirement seats
Sunday 23 April - Noon Applications close
Week commencing 24 April NEC officers long-list, interview candidates in retirement seats
By close of Friday 28 April Candidates selected in retirement seats
From Sunday 30 April NEC and Regional Board panels meet to appoint candidates in all other seats
By close of Tuesday 2 May All candidates in place
Thursday 4 May Local elections
Thursday 11 May Close of Nominations
Thursday 8 June General Election
Op-Ed; There is a call for televised political debates in the U.K. in the run up to the 2017 June 8 General election.
However unelected Prime Minister Theresa May will not play ball.
She or rather her spokes people are adamant that she will not take part.
Mrs May herself has said she will be campaigning on the ground but will not engage in official political debates.
Just why is Theresa running scared.
Surely it cannot be the terrible Tory track record in office and her no doubt nasty plans for the country post GE2017?
Campaigning on the ground may mean she is able to lie through her back teeth as she spins like a whirling dervish confounding some of the electorate.
Televised political debates could mean Mrs May is challenged on policy and will struggle to sell it to the electorate.
In 2015 David Cameron took part selectively in political debates. He called the shots, his right arm spin team, people such as William Hague, swamping the post debate spin rooms but at least he sort of took part.
In truth though it took many calls of chicken and people dressed as chickens cornering Cameron for him to take part.
I guess this time the Tories and Mrs May will rely on their heavily supported sections of the right-wing media with George Osborne actually overseeing what passes for news at the Evening Standard.
Labour Press writes:
Rebecca Long-Bailey Labour MP for Salford and Eccles writes Tuesday;
"Today Theresa May announced her decision to call a general election on June 8th.
Salford and Eccles like many other communities in Britain has suffered immeasurable damage at the hands of this Government.
Over the last 2 years I have heard first hand in my constituency office, the horrific stories of hardship and injustice people and businesses in Salford have faced.
Our public services are on their knees, our NHS is on the brink of collapse, social care is teetering on a cliff edge, our education and skills sector is facing cuts on a scale never seen before and most people are worse off financially than they were before the financial crash in 2008.
Lest we forget that we were told that this austerity was necessary in order to rebuild the economy, that we were 'all in it together'....
Nothing could have been further from the truth. Instead the Government has presided over a rigged economy that has turned a blind eye to tax avoidance and seen tax cuts for a wealthy elite whilst at the same time imposing savage cuts to the support of the most vulnerable.
When the Government should have been providing business and industry with the tools they need to succeed and to deliver the high paid high skilled jobs of the future that would have ensured more money for our public services through increased tax recepits, they failed.
They failed to adequately invest in infrastructure, research, development, and skills. They failed to provide access to finance and they failed to adequately address even the most basic issues affecting businesses such as the recent hike in business rates.
Britain’s record on investment is already poor relative to our EU counterparts. In 2015, as a proportion of GDP, we invested about 17.6% compared to 19.2% in Germany, 20.3% in the US and 22.3% in France.
Even in the sphere of Brexit, where it is critical that we forge a new industrial agenda that fiercely promotes and supports British manufacturing, the Government is failing again to provide businesses with the assurances and stability they need. For example, reshoring supply chains, investing in skills and infrastructure, dedication to securing single market access. Simple assurances that would demonstrate that Britain is a good place to do business.
Instead they seem to be offering certain businesses bespoke Brexit deals on an adhoc basis and leaving the rest to sink or swim.
These are not the actions of a Government that wants to make sure we are a world economic leader nor are they the actions of a Government that seeks to ensure that through economic and political will, they deliver the best possible quality of life for all.
Now we have the opportunity to elect a Prime Minister who will really put our communities first.
A Leader who will deliver a vision of hope for the future where British businesses are supported with an industrial strategy that ensures that business has the skills and infrastructure it needs to thrive.
An economy that leads the world in new technological and scientific advances and uses political and economic decision making to promote and champion home grown businesses and supply chains.
An economy where it is patriotic to ensure that workers in Britain are the best paid, best supported, most secure workers in the world.
An economy that delivers wealth to every corner of every community. Where we demand nothing less than world leading living standards for the people of Britain, building high quality homes for all and delivering the best education system and NHS in the world.
A society that respects and supports our retired people after having put so much into our country.
An economy that says 'thank you' to our armed forces veterans and gives them the support they deserve when they return home.
An economy that makes sure that places like Salford truly do become a economic force to be reckoned with where we are leaders in a 'real' Northern Powerhouse that gives us the investment we need to thrive and prosper.
We have the talent, we have the drive and we have the passion to succeed, we just need a Government who helps us to realise our potential.
On June 8th we have a chance to elect a Leader who will deliver this vision and more.
His name is Jeremy Corbyn."
Unite statement on call for an early general election April 18, 2017
Responding to today’s (Tuesday 18 April) announcement by prime minister Theresa May of a general election on 8 June, Unite acting general secretary Gail Cartmail said: “The prime minister has gone back on her word regarding an early general election and the electorate will remember that.
“The country now has a choice between whether to vote for a Conservative party which is determined to pursue a hard, disastrous Brexit and is wedded to continuing with miserable austerity and destroying the rights and living standards of working people, or a Labour party which is presenting real, positive change based on a fairer economy and determined to ensure that on leaving the EU, jobs and communities can thrive.
“Labour has the policy platform that voters want. Now it is time to take it to the country and win the change working people so urgently need. During this upcoming electoral period Unite’s work to support members at their workplaces will continue unimpeded.”
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on
Notes to editors:
- See more at: http://www.unitetheunion.org/news/unite-statement-on-call-for-an-early-general-election/#sthash.5jtF9FxX.dpuf
Jeremy Corbyn Just Isolated The Tories
Has Jeremy Corbyn just pulled off some magnificent political skullduggery?
The last two weeks have been quite remarkable, in that it appears as though Jeremy Corbyn has just isolated the Tories into their right wing, neoliberal pen.
Whilst the Tories and the rest of the political right have been on their holidays or dreaming up their next batch of unfounded slurs or both, to use against Jeremy Corbyn and the labour shadow cabinet, in a game of ‘personality politics’, they were too preoccupied, that they failed to realise that Mr Corbyn and the team, were playing an entirely different game. The game of policy politics.
In one week they have announced the policies to attract the young, the old, workers, remainers, brexiteers and even business. He has covered the entire political spectrum from the very poorest right up to neoliberalism’s front door, effectively sweeping aside the rest of the centre ground by creating policies attractive to them and pinning the tories into a right wing, anti europe, anti single market, anti immigrant, pro tax evasion, anti disabled, poverty creating, child starving corner, that they can’t escape from.
It is time for Parliamentary Labour Party to unite behind Jeremy Corbyn, if only because they have nowhere left to go.
Appropriate that this should happen at Easter, don’t you think?"
Thomas Heavey (Political Blog Spot )
Tuesday unelected Tory PM Theresa May announced a snap General Election scheduled for June 8 if parliament approves Wednesday.
There are many reasons why May has chosen this move and we will look at just a few later.
But one dead cert is the Tories have money to burn with plenty of fat friends who will fund a Tory election campaign.
The Labour Party is not so lucky when it comes to funding but it has the bets and fairest policies in place.
As the GE2017 election campaign kicks off an appeal from the Labour Party for donations; whatever you can afford to contribute will help Labour win.
"Theresa May has just announced a General Election on 8 June.
We're proud that our campaigns are funded by small donations from passionate supporters like you.
Will you be one of our first donors?
I'll donate £8
I'll donate £18
I'll donate £29
I'll donate another amount
The Tories already have a war chest provided by a small group of multimillionaires, and with just 50 days until this election, whatever you can afford will help. We will hire organisers across the country, order print and advertising and kick-start our digital campaigns.
Labour will be offering the country an effective alternative to a government that has failed to rebuild the economy, delivered falling living standards and damaging cuts to our schools and NHS.
Together we can work to ensure the British people vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first.
Leader of the Labour Party"
Press release: Jeremy Corbyn comment on the PM’s visit to Saudi Arabia
Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, commenting on the Prime Minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia, said:
“The Prime Minister should put human rights and international law at the centre of her talks with Saudi Arabia’s government this week.
“Numerous human rights organisations, including the UNHRC and Amnesty International, have documented the dictatorial Saudi monarchy’s shocking human rights record.
“The Saudi-led coalition bombing in Yemen, backed by the British government, has left thousands dead, 21 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and three million refugees uprooted from their homes.
“Yemen urgently needs a ceasefire, a political settlement, and food aid, not more bombing. British-made weapons are being used in a war which has caused a humanitarian catastrophe.
“Britain must halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia immediately, throw its weight behind a ceasefire resolution at the United Nations and back a full and genuinely independent investigation of the evidence of war crimes in Yemen.
“As it stands, the British-Saudi relationship is damaging to the people of Saudi Arabia, Britain and the wider Middle East, and helping to export insecurity to the rest of the world.
“Unless the Prime Minister challenges the Saudi regime over its abuses this week, it will be clear she is ready to sacrifice human rights and security on the altar of the arms trade.”
Jennie Formby: Labour's new general secretary