The old man and I popped into Hull City Centre Monday evening to attend an event hastily organised by Momentum.
Kingston-upon-Hull is the UK City of Culture 2017 and is situated on the north bank of the River Humber in Yorkshire.
It was an anti Trump protest, Hull Demo Against Trump Muslim Ban, and it was a good-natured but rather chilly event. Still at least it was dry as we tend to say here in Yorkshire.
It was held from 5pm and around 200 people turned up. Not a bad turn out when you consider it was an "emergency demo."
Some people would have been unable to attend that early due to work commitments. Yes it was not a gang of layabouts gathering as one person allegedly said in a text message to the BBC.
Young and old, white and non-white, British and out-of-towners gathered to say no to Trump. We met in Victoria Square, a pedestrianised area with the Maritime museum, Ferens Art Gallery and the City Hall close by. The huge temporary Siemens wind turbine blade art installation towering above us.
There was even at least one dog; the one we encountered was called Henry, aged 18 and with dementia but he was a big sweetie unlike Trump.
Hull is by and large a 'white' town. That is not meant offensively but simply an observation. So it was good to see some ethnic diversity Monday. A couple of Trump supporters staged their own sort of protest and one was the son of an immigrant.
But it remained a peaceful protest.
Donald Trump has been President of the USA for just over a week and it was not been plain sailing.
Some of his executive orders were expected but that does not make them any better. And some are payback to those who supported his presidential campaign such as the gun lobby in the USA?
One speaker highlighted how Americans are far more likely to get run over by a vehicle than killed in a terrorist attack. Of course they are also more likely to get their brains blown out by a home-grown gun toting American.
With little time to organise Monday's event it was a few speakers, a bit of music and a bit of crowd shouting but it was an important event.
Staged in Hull, second only to London when it comes to WWII bomb damage, the message was say not to fascists and fascism.
And with elections in many European countries in 2017 it is an important message.
As they say the writing is on the wall.
The star of the night was a young lad who opted to dance on the steps of Victoria Square; he was probably aged around 5 or six more or less.
So enough of my drivel and onto some images of the event.
The images were taken on my old camera. As usual I had left my specs at home so could not see to alter flash etc. So the images will not win any prizes but will give a glimpse of the event.
Op-ed: Two by-elections are upcoming. Both are the Labour Party's to lose and other political parties to win. Both by-elections are a result of resignations. Before Christmas 2016 Jamie Reed announced he was quitting for a plum job and on January 13, 2017, Tristram Hunt followed suit. Both elections will be held February 23. Both are in areas that voted by a majority for BRexit, Copeland and Stoke. In the case of Stoke new UKip leader Paul Nuttall is the UKip candidate. As Stoke was the top BRexit area of the UK he may feel he is in with a good chance. Labour have yet to select their candidate. Thursday Gillian Troughton was selected as Labour Party candidate for Copeland.
That is roughly the state of play Saturday.
First thoughts Saturday "come on Labour and get a candidate for Stoke selected." UKip are already campaigning hard in Stoke for Nuttall.
The Labour Party needs to hang on to both of these constituencies.
Rumour has it that Tristram Hunt was not popular with his CLP, Constituency Labour Party, and that they were looking to oust him. Was he a good MP or did he let Labour down locally? If he did how will that impact on the vote?
One big cause for concern is the time-frame of these elections. Campaigning will not be easy with two by-elections on the same day and in such a short time.
You may think "well it will be the same for other political parties" but as stated above it is Labour Party seats which could be lost and others have it all to gain.
It could be that the Tories will throw all they have at Copeland and UKip concentrate on Stoke.
UKip and the Conservative Party are after all both on the right-wing of politics and in some ways one and the same. UKip has one seat in the HoC and it is occupied by a Tory who jumped ship. They have more seats in the Welsh assembly with at least two occupied by Tories who also jumped ship.
The Labour Party endured a divisive year in 2016.
Jamie Reed and Tristram Hunt were hostile to party leader Jeremy Corbyn from the day he was elected in September 2015; in truth hostile from the moment his name appeared in the leadership race.
That will leave many questioning the timing of these by elections. Collusion springs to mind.
With mainstream media reports, from unnamed sources as usual, that more Labour MPS are set to quit if and when they can get plum jobs it could be another bumpy year.
2016 self-servatives in the Labour Party launched a coup. The coup failed but it damaged Labour's reputation and left deep divisions. In some cases decent Labour Party members were given kangaroo court treatment and purged from the party.
None of it was a good look for the electorate as it played out with the media lapping it all up greedily.
But make no mistake.
There is only one political party that will truly serve the people of Copeland and Stoke and that is the Labour Party.
If you value the NHS Labour must surely get your vote?
There are other issues but both UKip and the Conservative Party have their sights set on a privatised health service.
With narcissistic loud mouth Donald Trump in the White House and the UK leaving the EU we are living in very uncertain times.
If you need a reminder of how many Tory MPs stand to win big with NHS privatisation follow this link.
January 7, 2017, the Guardian was just one publication reporting;
"An Israeli embassy official has been caught on camera in an undercover sting plotting to “take down” MPs regarded as hostile, including foreign office minister Sir Alan Duncan, an outspoken supporter of a Palestinian state.In an extraordinary breach of diplomatic protocol, Shai Masot, who describes himself as an officer in the Israel Defence Forces and is serving as a senior political officer at the London embassy, was recorded by an undercover reporter from al-Jazeera’s investigative unit speaking about a number of British MPs. The Israeli ambassador, Mark Regev, apologised to Duncan on Friday. An Israeli spokesman said Regev made clear that “the embassy considered the remarks completely unacceptable”. The Israeli embassy said Masot “will be ending his term of employment with the embassy shortly”. Masot declined to comment or to elaborate on what he meant when he said he wanted to “take down” a number of MPs."
Unelected PM Theresa May and her Tory government have tried to shut down the story this week.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn made his letter to Mrs May public Friday in an attempt to get the issue debated and any breaches addressed;
Len McCluskey has allegedly "suggested" that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn may take a step back to make way for a new party leader closer to the next General Election in the UK scheduled for 2020.
Now how does that make big news January 2, 2017, and why?
Mr McCluskey is standing for re-election as Unite union boss. He has been a firm supporter of Jeremy Corbyn. The man standing against McCluskey is not a fan of Corbyn. He is standing on that anti Corbyn platform.
Gerard Coyne also standing for election has seized on today's convenient news being spun to death by the mainstream media.
According to BBC News Len McCluskey has said that "'Awful' polling could derail Corbyn" but that word awful is more spin.
That report continues "Len McCluskey, head of the Unite union, described the party's standing in the opinion polls as "awful" but as we all know opinion polls are meaningless. If they were truly independent and had any credibility Hillary Clinton would be looking forward to moving back into the White House, David Cameron would not have won the UK General Election in 2015 and the UK voting population would have voted for the country to stay in the European Union.
It highlights how lose lips sink ships though even in 2017.
The Guardian opts for this headline "Len McCluskey: Corbyn should consider his position if polls don't improve" highlighting how news is spun and soun again.
The slightest slither of Corbyn related news, however vague, is seized upon as long as it is negative news of course.
Theresa May the country's unelected PM is left to go on her merry clueless way as Tory Party infighting and allegations of election overspending in 2015 go unreported.
Those of us who support Jeremy Corbyn have been watching, waiting and seeing the signs.
Jamie Reed's untimely though welcome resignation as MP for Copeland appears to have fired the starting pistol.
In Labour Party Corbyn based forums and groups Keir Starmer's name is being bandied about as a possible and natural successor to Mr Corbyn.
Age is definitely not on Corbyn's side which makes the despicable way some Labour MPs have treat him as even more despicable.
The Labour Party needs unity and it needs Jeremy Corbyn.
If campaigners in the party had given Jeremy's first year as Party leader a better shot at success we would maybe in a better position now.
We will never know.
But if and when Jeremy Corbyn decides it is time to quit, the Labour Party will not easily come together.
What happens and is sometimes maliciously reported as news continues to impact on the Labour Party, its members and supporters.
People desperately need a change of government yet self-serving destructive people within the party seem to prefer election defeat to success wth Jeremy as Prime Minister.
Highlighting that the Labour Party is allegedly still in the hands of big unions is all part of the long Tory and mainstream media game. Whether it is true or not is immaterial to them.
So comrades what do you make of today's big non-news story?
Note from six days earlier http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/len-mccluskey-jeremy-corbyn-unite-document-election-campaign-a7497916.html
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