Politics can be a here today gone tomorrow game so how come some people are drawn to it?
For some it is a desire to improve the country or the lot of its people while for others it is for what they can get out of it.
BUT I hear you say look at all those MPs who lost seats last week after Mrs May gambled, held a General Election and the gamble did not pay off?
Well take a look at this share from Facebook. The first sentence is an opinion and the rest via the Birmingham Mail:
Don't feel to sorry for the MP's who lost their seats, their leaving package is very generous, even for those who have not held the job long :
There have been allegations that Iain McNicol and his election campaign team were far from even handed during the 2017 General Election campaign.
Was this simply mismanagement as some believed the hype that Jeremy Corbyn was unelectable or something more sinister?
Some seats classed as "safe", if there is such a thing these days, were widely supported while more marginal seats were left to get on with it.
Certainly at our last CLP meeting, when one person asked about campaigning in more marginal seats, they were given short shrift.
But look at the above received by a Labour Party member in Hackney South.
Now read what this person has shared with the JCEffect Monday:
the Skwawkbox has shared an article about not funding marginal seats. [see below]
Labour Press statement June 3
Conservatives’ campaign chaos as extent of millionaire donations revealed
The Conservatives election campaign is in chaos as the extent of their millionaire-backing is revealed, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn says today.
In the latest in a string of errors and about-turns, Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon’s pledge that people would pay no more tax under the Tories was immediately contradicted by Theresa May, who refused to rule out a tax hike on working people, through rises in income tax or higher National Insurance contributions.
The Tories were already reeling from the chaos and confusion over their plans for social care and where they would set the cap they originally said they had rejected, and were forced to withdraw their school breakfasts policy after it was exposed they had only set aside 6.8p per meal.
The threat of further Tory tax rises on working people comes as it was revealed just 49 individuals have donated more than a third of all Tory party funding since Theresa May became Prime Minister.
In contrast, Labour’s manifesto clearly commits to no income tax, National Insurance or VAT rises for 95 per cent of taxpayers, with big businesses and those paid more than £80,000 a year asked to pay a bit more to reverse years of underinvestment in our NHS, schools and other public services.
Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Leader, said:
“First social care and school breakfasts, now the Tories are in chaos over their tax plans for the super-rich, as it is revealed they are entirely dependent on them for their funding. While Michael Fallon claims there will be no tax rises, Theresa May refuses to rule them out. You can’t trust a word the Tories say.
“Labour is the low tax party for the many while the Conservatives are the low tax party for the few. We won’t raise taxes for 95 per cent of taxpayers but will ask high earners and big businesses to pay a little more so we can give nurses and other public servants a pay rise, and invest in the public services we all rely on.”
Andrew Gwynne, Labour’s Joint National Campaign Co-ordinator, said:
“The Tories are bankrolled by millionaire bankers, tycoons and hedge fund bosses – the very people they’ve given tax breaks to while everyone else pays more. In contrast, Labour is funded by thousands and thousands of people making small donations because they want a better society for everyone.
“Labour’s plans are fully costed and fully set out in our manifesto for everyone to see. The only numbers in the Tory manifesto are the page numbers. The wheels are coming of the Conservatives’ election campaign, with Theresa May hiding from the public, refusing to debate Jeremy Corbyn, and backsliding on social care, NHS and schools funding, and now their tax plans.”
Steve Howard who worked for the NHS and is now retired but has a pension from the NHS which he paid for says;
I'm a pensioner twice over as I have an NHS pension as well. The Tories are aiming to introduce means tested benefits to pensioners. Once we accept that the WFP should be means tested we are only one short step from having our old age pensions (which they have deceitfully renamed benefits) means tested too.
I worked all my life to get my pensions.
I resent some person in a fancy suit telling me they are benefits.
I also resent the fact that the contract I started work on all those years ago, which kept me in this country and loyally paying taxes and any other dues such as rates, VAT, poll tax, council tax and more, can now be arbitrarily taken away by a Tory government that has a history going back Centuries of stealing out of the mouths of the poorer members of British society.
This austerity hasn't stopped the increase in sales of luxury yachts or cars, has it, Sir Philip Green, Mr Virgin and others?
Nor has it stopped the building of luxury housing and priced most people out of our large towns and cities.
To me all I see is Austerity for the Masses and Socialism for the Rich. Once again they are buying this election and unlike 200 years ago all the papers and mainstream media virtually support these crooks.
I dont want my inheritance to be limited to only £100,000. Theirs isnt, in fact they use trusts and off shore accounts to hidden their wealth, while we the people patriotically pay our dues.
The Tories have never been friends to anyone but themselves. They will step over the homeless to get into their Savoys but they wont lift a helping hand to help one.
People who refuse to vote or 'just dont care' are as guilty of treason against this fine country of ours as any disaffected refugee fleeing our bombs and dont take this statement as an excuse for terrible atrocities, but as a fact.
Terrorism doesnt happen in well adjusted households/societies that have community values as its underpinning purpose. I mean real family values, not the sort that are 'sold' to us as values where we are encouraged to compete against each other in activities where we should be cooperating and collecting our ideas and building a better environment for us all. (Mental illness excluding , of course)
And thats another area incidentally that the Tories flagrant Austerity has shunted back into the dark ages of prison, run by private jailers or back on to the streets of despair.
This country, as Corbyn very rightly points out is on the cusp of a complete return to the dark ages of where Class and Status were the guiding principles under which we lived.
I don't want it.
You shouldnt want it and if you cannot see it then you've got your eyes firmly shut, because you are afraid to accept your own role in allowing it to happen.
It is said that the first step to recovery is recognizing your disease. So to those of you who are still keeping your eyes closed and hoping that your Apathy will go away, all I can say is open them, see your part and play it next Thursday because if you dont , you'll bring the rest of us down with you too. And
you dont want that do you?
Thank you Steve Howard.
#imvotinglabour for the many not the few
As Theresa May and her colleagues use their new catchphrase "The Money Tree" Phil Tyler shares a few thoughts;
Where will the money come from?
Here are few ideas I have collected, from here and there, for finding the money to support public expenditure etc. They are all controversial in one way or another but people have thought them; I am sure there are many more thoughts and ideas around.
1. Last year the government (Bank of England) created, £70bil, (not out of taxes or borrowing, but part of the £420bil Quantitive Easing Programme) and put it into the banks and financial markets. This has only helped for the few but in future could be put into the real economy where we live work and earn a living.
2. Avoid spending £billions on Trident.
3. Increase the national income, and the tax taken, by investing much more in infrastructure, without increasing government debt, by putting the Bank of England (BOE) created money directly into projects or through a national or regional, investment bank/s. This would create decent jobs and help build the communities where we live.
4. The same could be done for housing by building social housing and not selling it off.
5. We could stop the financial institutions and large corporations avoiding tax and getting billions in handouts.
6. If the receipts from National Insurance had been used for generalised spending; It is said that there is enough money in the NI account if it were used for its intended purpose.
7. £2.8 billion pounds are taken out of the railways in profits to shareholders etc. annually and we also subsidise the system. Nationalise the railways and save money. Money put into renationalising the railways would not be inflationary and so could be produced by the Bank of England without debt.
8. Legalize and regulate and tax cannabis, and perhaps some other drugs.
9. Build social housing and increase public ownership of housing so that billions in housing benefit is kept in the public sector thus using this money more than once before it disappears from the real economy into our bloated financial sector.
10. Have a higher rate of VAT on internet purchases. This could help level up the playing field for smaller/local businesses and effectively get some tax out of large corporations who avoid paying any. This tax take could be used to reduce business rates particularly for small businesses who employ local people.
11. Stop foreign investment in UK housing so that Housing Benefit money circulates within the UK economy.
12. Restructure/pay off at original value / expropriate PFI schemes, by money created by Bank of England.
13. Banks have close to complete control over the supply of new money. New Economics Foundation (NEF), Positive Money and the Copenhagen Business School have shown that this monopoly means in practice an average annual subsidy of banks by us of £32bil. If the Bank of England issued electronic money, this cost could be avoided and further money gained to invest in the real economy.
Where there is a will there is a way and it is all about political choices and priorities..
I know many of you can't access articles behind The Times' paywall, but they asked me to explain what drove me to take the fight to Michael Fallon on the Marr programme yesterday, and below is the article I have written for them.
It's a lot to do with my upbringing and the way I've always believed in standing up to bullies, and it's also the fact that - when you're confronted with an opponent who trades in lies and hypocrisy - the only thing you can do is expose them for what they are.
I hope you enjoy the article, and please as ever let me know your thoughts.
When I was growing up in Guildford, I discovered a hole in the fence at the bottom of the playground at my secondary modern. If I climbed out, I could walk over some wasteland that backed on to our estate, and I was home fifteen minutes quicker than if I left by the school gate.
There was only one problem. This was also where the school’s biggest girl gang liked to hang out, and nine times out of ten, I’d have to run the gauntlet past them on my short-cut home.
Usually, the abuse was just verbal but occasionally I’d get back to my mum and brothers with a few clumps of hair pulled out, and some scratches and bruises where fists or kicks had landed. But without fail, the next day, I’d still be climbing through that hole in the fence at 3.30pm and taking my chances.
I wasn’t a glutton for punishment. I just couldn’t bear the idea of going the long way round, feeling like a coward, and knowing the bullies had got the better of me. So I stuck it out.
I’ve always taken that same approach in politics, and believe me, the level of bullying in Westminster can sometimes make that gang at school look like the Hare Krishnas. But I’ll always try and stand up to it, just like I did when I was a scrappy teenager.
And that gut reaction to fight back rather than run away is what snapped in me yesterday on the Andrew Marr show when I found myself up against Michael Fallon.
Michael prides himself on being the Tories’ lead attack dog. Throughout the 2015 election, if Labour had a good announcement to make, Michael would be unleashed to bark some gratuitous personal abuse at Ed Miliband just to distract the attention of the media. And he’s performing exactly the same role, with even more ferocity, in this election.
Labour could cry foul about the tactics, but this is a game without a referee. We could get down in the gutter and launch our own personal attacks, as New Labour spin-doctors all too often did in the past, but that is something Jeremy Corbyn won’t tolerate, and I admire him for that.
Or we could do what I did yesterday and point out the hypocrisy of Fallon and his fellow attack dogs, shaming them for their double standards. And let’s be clear, when it comes to exposing the two-faced nature of Michael’s recent charges against Labour, we are spoilt for choice.
When he claims the Tories are as committed as Labour to tackling tax avoidance, we could point out that he was the director in charge of pay and bonuses at the Tullett Prebon brokerage in 2009, when they publicly announced they would help staff relocate overseas to avoid Labour’s bonus tax.
When he claims Labour is unpatriotic when it comes to our armed forces, we could question the patriotism in putting our brave servicemen and women in harm’s way in Syria when there is no strategy to get them out again, and when there are still diplomatic options left to pursue.
And when he questions why Jeremy Corbyn was meeting Irish nationalists 34 years ago in an effort to broker peace in Ulster, and says that doing so makes him soft on terrorists, we could ask – as I did yesterday – about Michael's visit to Damascus less than ten years ago to celebrate Bashar Assad’s re-election, and whether, by his own standards, that makes him soft on tyrants.
But there is one other hypocrisy which matters more than all of these others in terms of the choice the voters face on 8 June.
Michael Fallon routinely says that Labour’s sums don’t add up and that we can’t pay for our spending commitments. And yet yesterday, on both the armed forces and social housing, he could not say where a single penny of new money would come from to fund the Tory pledges, falling back on the old chestnut that the proceeds of growth and mythical efficiency savings will provide the booty.
Where Labour is prepared to list line-by-line each of our spending commitments, say exactly how they will be paid for, and take the hit from certain quarters over the taxes we intend to raise to do so, the Tories just continue to ignore the funding gap for their own promises, and tell the bare-faced lie that they have “no plans” to fill it by raising National Insurance.
No wonder Fallon and his Treasury colleagues have refused to let the independent Office of Budget Responsibility conduct an official audit of both the Labour and Tory manifestos in order to tell the British people which party’s sums truly add up.
Instead, their tactics are clear: keep slinging mud at Jeremy Corbyn; tell people it’s unpatriotic and dangerous to vote Labour; make popular promises that they cannot afford and will never deliver; smack down any critics; and hope that any real scrutiny of the facts, the policies and their record gets buried until they’ve secured another five years in power.
It’s both a shameful and a shameless way to do politics; it’s Michael Fallon all over; and, with just three weeks to go, it’s high time the Labour Party started biting back.
Nick Vamos, CPS Head of Special Crime, said: "We have considered files of evidence from 14 police forces in respect of allegations relating to Conservative Party candidates' expenditure during the 2015 General Election campaign.
"We considered whether candidates and election agents working in constituencies that were visited by the Party's 'Battle Bus' may have committed a criminal offence by not declaring related expenditure on their local returns. Instead, as the Electoral Commission found in its report, these costs were recorded as national expenditure by the Party.
"We reviewed the files in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and have concluded the tests in the Code are not met and no criminal charges have been authorised.
"Under the Representation of the People Act, every candidate and agent must sign a declaration on the expenses return that to the best of their knowledge and belief it is a complete and correct return as required by law. It is an offence to knowingly make a false declaration. In order to bring a charge, it must be proved that a suspect knew the return was inaccurate and acted dishonestly in signing the declaration. Although there is evidence to suggest the returns may have been inaccurate, there is insufficient evidence to prove to the criminal standard that any candidate or agent was dishonest.
"The Act also makes it a technical offence for an election agent to fail to deliver a true return. By omitting any 'Battle Bus' costs, the returns may have been inaccurate. However, it is clear agents were told by Conservative Party headquarters that the costs were part of the national campaign and it would not be possible to prove any agent acted knowingly or dishonestly. Therefore we have concluded it is not in the public interest to charge anyone referred to us with this offence.
"Our evaluation of the evidence is consistent with that of the Electoral Commission. While the role of the Commission is to regulate political finances and campaign spending, the role of the CPS is to consider whether any individual should face criminal charges, which is a different matter with different consideration and tests.
"One file, from Kent Police, was only recently received by the CPS, and remains under consideration. No inference as to whether any criminal charge may or may not be authorised in relation to this file should be drawn from this fact and we will announce our decision as soon as possible once we have considered the evidence in this matter."
Notes to Editorshttp://www.cps.gov.uk/news/latest_news/cps-statement-on-election-expenses/
Labour will transform education for the many not the few
Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, will today outline Labour’s transformational plan to invest in a National Education Service to ensure no one is held back and create a more skilled workforce and productive economy.
Labour’s plan to increase schools funding and introduce free, lifelong education in colleges is at the heart of its commitment to create a society run for the many not the few.
Jeremy will be joined by Angela Rayner, Shadow Education Secretary, and Rebecca Long-Bailey, Shadow Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary, at a college in Leeds on Wednesday to announce the details of the plan.
Labour’s key pledges are:
The plans will be funded from the £19.4 billion that will be raised by reversing the Conservative Party’s cuts to corporation tax. Labour has previously announced extending free school meals to all primary age children will be funded by levying VAT on private school fees.
Jeremy Corbyn said:
“People of all ages are being held back by a lack of funding for education, and this in turn is holding back the economy by depriving industry of the untapped talent of thousands of people.
“The Conservatives have spent seven years starving schools of funding, meaning headteachers are having to send begging letters to parents to ask for money. They have also cut support for students and forced colleges to increase fees. It’s created a downward spiral that is bad for the people being held back and bad for the economy.
“Labour will do things differently. Our new National Education Service will transform our schools and education system to ensure a future for the many not the few. We will reverse the Conservatives’ tax giveaways to big business and put money back where it belongs, in our schools, our colleges and our communities.”
Angela Rayner said:
“Our plans for a new National Education Service show there is a clear choice at this election. Between the Tories who have broken their promises to parents and children, or a Labour party with a real plan for education for the many not the few.
“We will invest in schools and in our young people, ensuring no primary pupils go hungry during the day, reducing class sizes so children can learn and teachers can teach, and restoring the maintenance allowance and grants for students in both further and higher education.”
Notes to editors:
Shared from Labour Press
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?"
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.
Jennie Formby: Labour's new general secretary