Many ordinary people struggle to pay their annual council Tax bill.
I know we do and we are only in a Band B property.
Even so that is £1,143.69 a year. As pensioners that is a huge cost.
Under the old rates system we would be paying much less. But Tory PM Margaret Thatcher wanted the rates scrapped. In came the dreadful poll tax, followed by the community charge and our current council tax system.
The top rate of council tax locally is £2940.92.
That is six tax bands higher than mine. That is a maximum tax and payable on mansions worth millions if there are any locally. There will be some.
The rates were not perfect but Thatcher’s argument that they hurt some vulnerable and elderly people was a gimmick.
In fact the changes led to wealthier residents getting a financially better and more affordable deal on local taxation
And that funding goes toward a range of local services including police and fire.
In truth the government should fund such vital services
But the following is what is what happens when you go down the road of local taxation being a one fund pays for all.
“Plans for 150 more cops for Essex Police - but council tax would increase to pay for it”
What could and should replace the #CouncilTax when we are in government?
Morning thoughts 😉
Did you watch any of the Alan Bennett airings last weekend on UK TV?
We caught some including replays.
A couple of things must have implanted on my brain one being Alan Bennett singing They Fuck You Up Your Mum and Dad, from a Philip Larkin verse, to the theme tune of Last of the Summer Wine, which after an unsettled night I woke up singing Tuesday.
The mind is very strange or at least mine is.
Bennett talked in a documentary about various things including Miss Shepherd the real Lady in the Van.
If you have seen the film or read the book you will know that she was from genteel stock but lived a hand to mouth existence.
Turns out she was also a Tory supporter.
But she had her own views on who should lead the country politically and politics did not always come into it.
Tall herself she thought a shorter person did a better job.
So she preferred Harold Wilson Labour to Ted Heath Tory but simply on height - yes size matters to some.
This moved my ponderings onto a former work colleague at the NHS.
This person tried giving me a friendly lecture of sorts in the run up to the 2010 General Election; she was voting Liberal Democrat as Gordon Brown and the Labour Party was ruining this country and she thought I should too.
I asked her what she meant by "ruining the country" and went on to ask her why SHE was bothered after she talked a great deal about our banking system.
It was post the financial crisis and it seemed the mainstream media and election campaigners had sucked her in.
She was adamant.
It was hard not to gloat post election after the Lib Dems agreed to form a coalition government with the Tories.
She had put her faith in Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and he had let her down miserably.
The point is this person lived in social housing, was a single parent, needed income tops from the DWP and had a child claiming Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA).
EMA was scrapped pretty quickly and this woman felt the pinch pretty sharpish.
She learned the hard way that your vote matters and should never be squandered.
That woman faced a tough future but who was to blame for that - in the end herself?
But it highlights how some ordinary people with plenty to lose and lots to potentially gain vote in weird, wonderful and lunatic ways at times.
We can never take election success for granted.
The best person for the role of British Prime Minister at this time is Jeremy Corbyn leading a Labour government.
Having to convince those who should already know that may still be a sad fact of life.
If you are eligible to vote and register to do so by 11.59pm May 22, 2017, you can vote June 8, 2017, for the next government of the UK.
Tuesday Jeremy Corbyn along with key players in the Labour Party kicked of Labour's General Election 2017 campaign.
The Tory's unelected leader Theresa May was also out and about but it was a very different game she was playing.
Take a look at the images above from Michael Crick a senior Channel 4 news reporter.
Perhaps Mrs May and her team are opting for a carefully controlled campaign environment for many reasons including;
He has fiercely chased allegations of Tory electoral fraud.
Following the General Election 2015 senior BBC journo Nick Robinson revealed it was a very different scenario at the BBC to Channel 4. The "Mail Online ran a story titled "Cameron threatened to 'close down' the BBC after general election row, claims political editor Nick Robinson"."
Theresa May and her team are dictating events. Tonight she and her husband Philip will appear on the One Show on BBC. Monday BBCDP host Jo Coburn was caught on camera smirking at the thought of Jeremy Corbyn and his wife appearing on that show at a later date.
This week Jeremy Corbyn, Labour politicians and their supporters have been election campaigning.
Unelected Tory Party leader Theresa May has opted for a more limited campaign so far.
Well she is called the "submarine" by some for obvious reasons and also "mummy" by some in her cabinet also for obvious reasons.
The General Election June 8, 2017, is important. Such elections are always important but this one is crucial for many voters and for many reasons. If Theresa May wins and wins big time she will have a free hand to extend so called austerity measures.
The Tory Party has a huge election campaign chest stuffed with money and will outspend the Labour Party.
But that does not guarantee the Tories will win on June 8.
One of the few promises the Tory Party has ever kept is holding an in or out European Union referendum. While the Tory Party is split and having serious rows behind closed doors the truth is that many Tory voters and supporters have a vested interest in the UK leaving the EU.
The Labour Party will respect the EU referendum result and British democracy but ensure we all get the best deal available.
Watch the campaign launch below, make sure you are registered to vote and on June 8 #VoteLabour
After watching PMQs Wednesday John Sargent writes:
In the lunchtime TV news following today's PMQs, rather than focusing on the fact that Theresa May either could not or would not answer perfectly reasonable questions from Jeremy Corbyn, why did the report instead feature her bullying, hectoring personal attack on him?
I would have thought it was more newsworthy at this time to hold Mrs May and her government to account for the past six years - the bulletin should have reflected the fact that she had no answers and could not defend her government's actions or the distress and inequality that has been caused as a result of those actions.
Does the BBC really equate refusal to answer, refusal to debate or the aggressive verbal bullying and insulting behaviour she displayed with being a strong leader?
It is my belief that just one of the chief protagonists in this election deserves the title of 'strong leader' and he demonstrates that week in week out regardless of the personal attacks made on him which are repeated by the conservative media.
Today's bulletin was yet another surreptitious attempt to undermine a very powerful, principled man who has all the right values to deliver a fairer and decent society for all of us. If you are concerned about the plight of education, about the crisis in the NHS; if you care about the old, the disabled, the vulnerable; if you are appalled that there are food banks and more children than ever are now living in poverty, then on June 8th help to put things right by voting Labour.
Op-ed; There are a couple of growth industries in the UK right now and the list includes supporting conflict, the weapons industries, pointless polling and costly elections and referendums.
One media source reports "Cabinet office minister Mark Harper estimated that the 2010 election cost the public purse £113,255,271. This was broken down to £28,655,271 for distributing candidates’ mailings and £84.6million for carrying out the vote. This was a spending increase of almost 60per cent compared to the 2005 election."
So much for austerity!
Since 2010 there have been council and by elections, the General Election 2015, the Scottish Independence referendum and the 2016 EU referendum.
Is there any wonder some people are not politically engaged?
Of course disenfranchised voters suits the British Conservative Party. You can bet the Tory faithful will be ready, willing and able to vote.
Political parties are busy raising funds to help their current election campaigns.
The Labour Party could be outspent again as its supporters sometimes have limited funds.
Even if there is nothing in allegations regarding the Tory party in effect stealing the 2015 General Election with overspending make no mistake the Tories have a well-stuffed election chest available.
If you still wonder why Thatcher was determined to hit the unions and any Labour Party support they gave what planet are you on? It was always about weakening the Labour Party and the opposition; removing party donations and ensuring there is no level playing field.
But in 2017 the Lib Dems election funding chest is now also fit to burst.
Just who is financially helping the Lib Dems out and why?
But what will Farron do if voters still vote to leave the EU?
For some this election is all Labour BRexit.
For this voter it is about securing a strong, fairer government that will not leave whole sections of society behind. For this voter that is a Labour government with Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister and John McDonnell Chancellor. Do I trust them? Yes I do. I am proud to be supporting Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell.
Below are a few images, memes and cartoons. Feel free to share.
The Lib Dems, Tories and UKip and possibly the SNP have big money backing them-fat cats will work hard to prevent a Labour government becoming reality. Do you really think they are doing this for your best interests?
We have people power on our side and have it all to win.
Previous Tory fund raising;
Op-ed; Unelected Tory PM Theresa May announced on Monday that a snap General Election would take place June 8 if a majority of MPs agreed.
Some MPs were quick to announce they would not stand in the general election but contrary to some reports that is not unusual and it has not been a peculiar Labour Party phenomenon.
Saturday Tory MP Eric Pickles announced he was stepping down at this election and we thought we would post a reminder of Mr Pickles, a true Tory through and through.
Tory Eric Pickles £500,000 luxury limo spend October 2014
Larger-than-life U.K. Tory politician is an example of a fat-cat in every way. Loathe as we usually are to poke fun at any person for their physical traits, in 2014 Britain it is the norm. As things hot up in the run up to the 2015 General Election the Tory PR machine is throwing its weight behind attacking Labour and its leader Ed Miliband. The attacks are personal and include Ed's appearance but was there ever a bigger figure of fun than Pickles?
His name is the stuff of jokes but then there is his extremely rotund appearance.
News Monday that Pickles, 62, "spent £247,775 on two ministerial cars in 2012, £185,935 in 2013, and £103,091 in the first six months of this year" should shock the electorate to the core.
As a representative and member of the Nasty Party of the U.K., the Tories, Pickles is adept at espousing about austerity and welfare benefit scroungers but once again he is a minister proving to be a big scrounger in every sense of the word.
For 2014 the cost, number crunched by Labour and the Daily Mirror, represents an 11% increase on the previous costs of Pickles' luxury limos.
According to the Mirror, "Shadow Cabinet Office minister Jon Ashworth said: “This looks like seriously wasteful activity. “Mr Pickles should be cutting costs, not driving around in luxury courtesy of the taxpayer.”"
They point out that "Westminster is only two stops on the London underground from Mr Pickles’ Whitehall office in Victoria. A return ticket costs £4.40 - and £536,801 would pay for 122,000 of them. He could buy an annual travelcard for £1,256 - and the money he spent on limos would pay for 427 of those."
Tories trying to defend the use of costly luxury limos have tried to turn the tables on Labour claiming the number of limos used by ministers has reduced from six to two and saying Labour is hypocritical.
No matter what the truth about the figures the Tory led coalition are operating in supposedly tough austere times and they expect the people of Britain to tighten their belts to within an inch of being able to breathe.
Pickles, as Community Minister, told authorities around the U.K. to slash travel spending to save money.
If that does not make him one big fat hypocrite I don't know what does.
Pickles would benefit from leading by example and getting off his butt instead of swanning around in limos paid for by the hard-pressed electorate of the U.K.
No argument justifies his hypocrisy.
If the fact that he is one minister who could never blend into a crowd is part of the problem then he must know what he needs to do, and it is not sit in luxury limos while telling the people of Britain to suck up austerity.
The current wave of spin, propaganda and Labour bashing is more hypocrisy.
Have they never heard of "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" or "look no further than the nearest mirror"?
Part of the campaign is continuing to use UKIP as a threat to Labour when, if needed, the Tories and Ukip will simply unite after the 2015 election as a right-wing Tory or Ukip led government of the U.K.
Currently it is all about putting Labour out of the picture. So tell me again--who are the hypocrites?
NOTE: And in 2017 why the hell would you vote Tory?
Will Sir Eric Pickles be shuffling off to the House of Lords and more money for old rope?
More re Mr Pickles here http://www.tekjournalismuk.com/only-in-the-uk/eric-pickles-belt-tightening-transparency-hypocrisy-and-gagging
Op-ed; With 47 days left on the clock ticking down to the General Election 2017 now may be a good time to consider the NHS, its future and your health.
Having worked for the NHS for around 13 years ahead of retirement this blogger has seen the good, the bad and the ugly side of the NHS and that includes from its users.
But when we fall ill the NHS is there for us ALL; it provides our care often under extreme circumstances and never forget that NHS staff face a seemingly continuous merry-go-round of changes which sometimes reset the clock again and again.
In fact we used to say work here long enough and you see every change come around again.
What a waste of money and how demoralising for staff!
However we are now into new uncharted Tory territory.
Take a look at the letter shown below;
So on April Fool's Day 2017 a part of the NHS was handed over to Tory fat cat Richard Branson.
A man who already makes money out of previously nationalised services such as British Rail.
Tory PM Theresa May and her health Minister Jeremy Hunt have been working hard to undermine the NHS. Using tried and tested Tory tactics it is game on.
With privatisation end game NHS the aim. Vague claims of money pouring into the NHS, real reports of restricted pay for staff, morale hitting rock bottom and the wait for some services extended beyond what is acceptable the Tories are working hard to destroy the NHS before dismantling it.
Tory PM Thatcher sold off water, electricity, gas and some social housing.
That is one reason we have increased homelessness and sky high bills for utilities.
Mrs May and Mr Hunt take the general public for fools.
And they are raking it along the way.
Just how many more reasons do you need to #VoteLabour?
Should Richard Branson's company have access to your health records and your care?
Op-ed; We are just a few days into General Election mode and a few things are already clear.
Theresa May will not tour the country in quite the way some would expect. Instead she will appear at carefully stage managed events where her massively overstaffed spin team will make sure she gets an easy ride and the mainstream media will help her along.
She has refused to take part in televised political debates. David Cameron initially refused in 2010 but finally made limited performances. But his spin team were allowed in the spin rooms and got first spot on TV screens post debate.
If the TV debates go ahead without Mrs May this must not be allowed to happen again.
As a sitting PM Mrs May has it all to lose in TV debates but you do need to bear in mind she has no mandate as she was not elected by her party members to lead the Tories nor the country to be Prime Minister.
Theresa May is many things including a liar.
Within a short time of denying the Scottish people an independence referendum, stating now is not the time, and saying she would not call a general election before 2020 she did just that.
On Monday she said she was calling a snap general election to be held June 8.
The timescale is short.
Other parties could have refused to play ball and let Mrs May stew but instead the majority agreed to a general election and why wouldn't they?
This Tory government is crippling communities around the country and needs removing.
Mrs May also claims to be a Christian regularly attending church services but that means nothing. As someone raised in the Christian faith this blogger as a child would watch the backstabbing and nasty comments which often followed a church service; some members of the congregation seemed to think being a good Christian was simply about attending church services missing the message of Christ entirely.
So why did May call an election?
There could be many reasons including;
The Tories always manage to hold their divisions close to their chests. They know loose lips sink ships and that showing a united front to the electorate works. That may be phoney and hypocritical but the Tory government is morally bankrupt so what do they care?
In 2010 the Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalition government pushed through the fixed term parliament act. The act means that no Prime Minister can force through an election on a whim. There would be no early election.
It was no longer every four years either but FIVE.
But when it suits the Tory Party this week they rush through a general election.
MPs of course have a final say but it highlights how the Conservatives use democracy and the political process to suit.
With council elections in May political parties will struggle to campaign with limited funds.
The uber wealthy Tory Party with their fat-cat establishment friends will have no such financial worries.
Memes and cartoons are overused these days but the one below picked up on Facebook for me says it all
I will just add #VoteLabour for a fairer country with a government that works for us all not just the few.
Op-ed; Jeremy Corbyn publicly launched the Labour Party's 2017 General Election campaign Thursday morning around 10.30am..
Mr Corbyn stayed true to his political beliefs refusing to spin the truth to suit. Instead he talked about rebalancing the country and working for an inclusive society.
An honest decent man; a rarity in British politics.
There had been an event in Croyden Wednesday night to kick of the campaign but Thursday's event was streamed online and televised.
Unlike Theresa May who opted for a sheltered environment to launch the Tory campaign Jeremy Corbyn took questions from the media.
Laura Kunnesberg BBC was first up when it came to taking questions. She and an ITV and Channel 5 reporter stuck to the tried and tested questions including a stab about the Islington elite, Jeremy Corbyn's constituency, but Jeremy batted all away with sensible but light-hearted responses.
Reporters stay focused on polls which damn Mr Corbyn but selective polls were wrong when it came to the 2015 General Election. We were drip fed negative polls ahead of GE2015 until polls closed at 2015 when exit polls suddenly painted a clear picture that the Tories had won.
Who is Jeremy Corbyn?
In December 2015 I thought I would take a brief look online to see what I could learn about Jeremy Corbyn.
Certainly since he was first elected Labour Party leader on September 12, 2015, there had been more than a fair share of bad press about the man, his supporters and his team.
This is what I wrote following a quick scout around the Internet:
LABOUR PARTY LEADER JEREMY CORBYN HAS A HUGE GRASSROOTS FOLLOWING, IS BOTH POPULAR AND YET CALLED A CLOWN BY SOME MEMBERS OF THE ELECTORATE AND HIS OWN PARTY, IS A PRINCIPLED MAN AND A VETERAN CAMPAIGNER.
THRUST INTO THE MEDIA SPOTLIGHT THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA CONTINUE TO CRITICISE CORBYN AND TRY TO UNDERMINE HIM AS PARTY LEADER, HELPED ON AT TIMES BY SOME PARTY MEMBERS AND EVEN MPS.
YOU COULD SAY THAT IS DEMOCRACY BUT IT IS NOT HOW PARTY POLITICS SHOULD WORK.
CORBYN WAS PUT ON THE BALLOT AND ALTHOUGH SOME OF HIS SUPPORTERS NEVER BELIEVED HE WOULD BECOME PARTY LEADER THAT IS WHAT HAPPENED.
THE REST NOW NEED TO GET OVER IT, AND THEMSELVES, AND HELP UNITE THE PARTY IN ORDER TO GAIN ELECTION SUCCESS.
BUT WHO IS JEREMY CORBYN?
EVEN IF YOU ARE A LONG STANDING LABOUR SUPPORTER MR CORBYN MAY HAVE ESCAPED YOUR POLITICAL RADAR.
JEREMY IS THE ESTABLISHED MP FOR ISLINGTON NORTH, IN LONDON; HE HAS HELD THE SEAT SINCE 1983 SHOWING THAT HIS CONSTITUENTS ARE CONTENT WITH HIM AS THEIR POLITICAL REPRESENTATIVE
LOOKING AT THEY WORK FOR YOU MR CORBYN'S TRACK RECORD IS NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF, ALTHOUGH IT MAY IN PART EXPLAIN WHY THE SO-CALLED "BLAIRITES" WOULD PREFER HE WAS NOT PARTY LEADER:
JEREMY CORBYN CONSISTENTLY VOTED AGAINST INTRODUCING FOUNDATION HOSPITALS, WHILE MOST LABOUR MPS GENERALLY VOTED FOR.
JEREMY CORBYN ALMOST ALWAYS VOTED AGAINST LABOUR'S ANTI-TERRORISM LAWS, WHILE MOST LABOUR MPS ALMOST ALWAYS VOTED FOR.
JEREMY CORBYN GENERALLY VOTED FOR AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE IRAQ WAR, WHILE MOST LABOUR MPS ALMOST ALWAYS VOTED AGAINST.JEREMY CORBYN CONSISTENTLY VOTED AGAINST THE IRAQ WAR, WHILE MOST LABOUR MPS GENERALLY VOTED FOR.
JEREMY CORBYN ALMOST ALWAYS VOTED AGAINST REQUIRING THE MASS RETENTION OF INFORMATION ABOUT COMMUNICATIONS, WHILE MOST LABOUR MPS GENERALLY VOTED FOR.
JEREMY CORBYN GENERALLY VOTED AGAINST INTRODUCING ID CARDS, WHILE MOST LABOUR MPS ALMOST ALWAYS VOTED FOR.
JEREMY CORBYN GENERALLY VOTED AGAINST ALLOWING MINISTERS TO INTERVENE IN INQUESTS, WHILE MOST LABOUR MPS ALMOST ALWAYS VOTED FOR.
JEREMY CORBYN GENERALLY VOTED FOR A TRANSPARENT PARLIAMENT, WHILE MOST LABOUR MPS GENERALLY VOTED AGAINST.
JEREMY CORBYN GENERALLY VOTED AGAINST REPLACING TRIDENT WITH A NEW NUCLEAR WEAPONS SYSTEM, WHILE MOST LABOUR MPS GENERALLY VOTED FOR.
As I said in December "Personally I see nothing above to cause concern. On the contrary many people in 2015 would agree with all of the above except for possibly the renewal of our nuclear deterrent Trident which remains a divisive issue.
Born in 1946 age is against Mr Corbyn and I say that as one of his contemporaries. He has the benefit of experience and is a wise man but by the 2020 general election he will be aged around 71.
Of course we are being expected to work into older age and the House of Lords is packed to the rafters with the country's law-makers and many are extremely aged.
But in spite or perhaps because of his age Corbyn has inspired a generation to become politically active, vote and take an interest in current affairs.
Corbyn's register of interests is fairly meagre compared to other politicians. For instance - he received £150 for a lecture on December 16, 2014. Hours: 1 hr - compared to David Cameron - his page shows donations such as - name of donor: Mrs Marjorie Glasgow, Address of donor: private, amount of donation or nature and value if donation in kind: £5,000.
Mr Corbyn lives by his own admission a fairly frugal life, is a vegetarian [reportedly following a stint working on a pig farm], has been married a couple of times, has children, does not have a car, still rides a bicycle, speaks fluent Spanish and is an ardent Arsenal supporter.
Even in football he manages to campaign - this time for the Arsenal football club to pay its staff a living wage.
There are many many more reasons why Corbyn should be applauded and welcomed rather than attacked and undermined such as "in 2013, Corbyn was awarded the Gandhi International Peace Award for his "consistent efforts over a 30-year parliamentary career to uphold the Gandhian values of social justice and non‐violence."
Monday the Daily Telegraph prefers to try having a laugh at Corbyn's expense with a report that dates back to 2006 -"Jeremy Corbyn dresses as Father Christmas on live television. Footage emerges of the Labour leader dressed as a 'Secret Santa' on the BBC's Daily Politics show handing mince pies out. The Telegraph tries to make him sound the fool saying "Jeremy Corbyn's perfect role has emerged – not as Labour leader – but as none other than Father Christmas."
However Corbyn spent Saturday December 5 collecting donations for refugees while wearing a Santa hat and what is so wrong with that?
He joined his local Labour group to sing Carols and shake the collection tin - and it was not a fake publicity stunt.
Again he shows his human and common touch which appeals to many of us.
Corbyn has a 'momentum' of support behind him that other politicians can only yearn to achieve. He has caught the 'mood' of many. He may have disagreed with the party on some issues but looking at the list of some of those disagreements above you have to say - Kudos to Corbyn.
You can check out Mr Corbyn further here
April 20, 2017
A vote for the Labour Party is a vote for a fairer, better society in the U.K. and I look forward to voting.
Dear Maureen Henry
You came a little unstuck on Twitter Monday after posting the message above.
It is not that we Jeremy Corbyn supporters are a cult, yes I said CULT, or that we mindlessly follow the Labour Party leader but rather that we have political loyalty seriously lacking in some sections of our party.
Just why you are campaigning on the doorstep ahead of elections is not clear. If you seriously want the Labour Party to win elections why would you post such a tweet?
They used to say loose lips sink ships and the same applies to elections.
From Tom Watson being ashamed of what he calls "MY party" rather than our party last week to the various councillors, MPs and old new Labour supporters who have opposed Corbyn from the day they realised he might just win a leadership election a great deal of work has been done to undermine him, in other words the party and its members.
People such as Tony Blair, Lord Mandelson and Alastair Campbell have used each and every opportunity to undermine us all.
They have the money and the ear of the mainstream media and have used it for their own ends.
What do they care if the Tories stay in power? In truth they are such wealthy establishment figures now they have little if anything in common with traditional Labour Party voters.
But Ms Henry with less than a month before a by-election and some local council elections what is your game? If you are truly campaigning and hoping for a Labour victory nationally or even locally why go public with such subjective negativity?
You may as well save yourself some shoe leather and time.
In one tweet you have destroyed the good work done by others. And you know it was wrong as the offending tweet was quickly deleted.
Ordinary party members have been suspended and or expelled from the party for less.
Sadly it is all too easy to imagine your response to negativity on the doorstep.
What you choose to privately message your friends or say in private conversations is up to you but social media and on the doorstep?
Will Ms Henry's social media activity result in action by the Labour party compliance unit and the party's general secretary Mr Iain McNicol?
If you want to contact Ms Henry https://www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/councillor/councillor-maureen-henry
Op-ed; Google The Labour Party Wednesday morning and expect a wave of negative news reports including many opinion pieces like this one.
But of course THEY get full prominence as so many are courtesy of the usual anti Corbyn suspects within the Labour Party and via the well-funded mainstream media.
With a by-election and local elections a few weeks away now is not really the time for a torrent of negative Labour Party news. We have political opposites who are perfectly able to damage the party's reputation without high-fliers linked to and part of the Labour Party leading the charge.
The latest furore centres around former London Mayor and Labour Party veteran Ken Livingstone and comments made last year during what looked to be a carefully crafted set up.
Labour MP John Mann was on hand last year with convenient camera crew to challenge Ken Livingstone over comments made and viewed as anti Semitic.
Tuesday following an NCC ruling on the affair Wes Streeting, Tom Watson, Michael Dugher, John Mann, David Miliband and a few others have opted once again to publicly attack a political party they claim to love.
Watching a Newsnight clip of Wes Streeting saying his piece on their offering Tuesday night I was struck by his well polished appearance and words. There was no passion just well rehearsed words.
Presumably these usual suspects had been rehearsing their next moves ahead of Tuesday's NCC ruling.
Big boy of the Labour Party Deputy Leader Tom Watson according to BBC News Wednesday is 'ashamed' Livingstone still in party. Of course many Labour Party members suspended from the party last year may have similar feelings toward people like Mr Watson.
Watson has also been busy on social media however as this blogger is one of many party members blocked by him online I can only quote, if I wanted to, via resources such as the BBC.
Failed former Labour leadership contender David Miliband has also been quoted as he apparently "grieves for state of Labour Party."
He does this from a distance as he turned tail and quit the U.K. moving over to the U.S.A. following his leadership defeat.
If he cares so much about the party one has to wonder why he did not stick around and actively work to help the party win elections.
Still he could not even help his brother Ed win the general election so why would he help Jeremy Corbyn who is a socialist?
The Labour Party elects ruling bodies and cannot cherry pick decisions it likes. A ruling has been made. That is it end of story.
As supporters of Ken Livingstone and those who would prefer him hung out to dry fill the Internet with news and views they guarantee election losses in May.
The anti Corbyn brigade will somehow make any losses all about him and his supporters but negative news from fat cats within the party will cause untold damage
The NCC has made a ruling and we either respect that decision or give up. The other alternative and one that looks increasingly the only way forward is the party splits.
But hey I am no one just a retired woman who has voted Labour all her life, only joined the party during Ed's time, talked up the party at each and every opportunity, consistently criticised the Tory Party and who wonders why new young things in the PLP feel it is fine to disrespect and bully veteran politicians within their own party.
Is it more to do with who donates the most to the party? Who has bought their way in? He who pays the piper calls the tune and all that.
Good luck to Afzal Khan the excellent Labour Party candidate standing in the Gorton by-election. Good luck to all the excellent Labour Party candidates standing in local elections around the country. We have our work cut out particularly with Article 50 in mind and political opportunism from the Tory party and the Liberal Democrats and now our candidates have public party division thrown in for good measure.
If we fail in the May elections there may be many reasons including KenGate. And if we fail we fail some of the most vulnerable and poorest people of our country.
Related reading and more;
Op-ed; Pollsters GfK claim that a new poll shows Jeremy Corbyn is as unpopular as Donald Trump in the U.K.
Another polling organisation so let's look at them first.
The man behind that poll is Keiran Pedley.
Who the hell is he you may wonder? This blogger certainly did. There are just so many of these anti Corbyn pollsters who know that such polling grabs headlines, makes money and more.
"Keiran Pedley is an Associate Director/ UK elections and polling expert at GfK NOP and presenter of the podcast ‘Polling Matters’. He tweets about politics and polling at @keiranpedley."
Now the poll which is being repeated in various publications in the U.K. as a cast in stone poll worthy of note.
"GfK surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,938 GB adults between March 1st and March 15th, 2017" wow so many and over such a long period of time says she with heavy sarcasm.
That massive representation of the British electorate apparently shows that;
The first two points have resulted in wild headlines such as this one at SkyNews "Corbyn 'almost as unpopular as Trump' in Britain, according to poll." That post has a bad image of Corbyn too for good measure.
And of course Brexit is still a big issue with some of the electorate in the UK.
There is more on Pollsters GfK website with this note toward the end "
What that fails to say is 17% of GB adults POLLED. It reads as an assessment of the electorate as a whole.
So what is the point of that poll?
There could be many reasons for such a poll but none are really valid. Such polls;
Never forget that some people fill in polls for money or just for the hell of it.
This blogger was a mixture of surprised and amused when she saw that Jamie Reed when he was an MP was avidly filling in YouGov polls. (See image below report)
Readers of this blog are usually fairly clued up and bright as buttons but readers of other publications repeating the poll results as a news story may be more easily persuaded.
We all know that perception is key. If you say something often enough it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Be under no illusions.
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
Dear Iain McNicol, Labour NEC, Jeremy Corbyn and Compliance Unit,
I note that the word Blairite no longer represents Labour values and is in fact a banned word.
Around 20 years ago Tony Blair and his Blairite New Labour were touted as the best thing since sliced bread.
But times change and BLAIRITE is now a four-letter word in all but letter count.
As a 64-year-old working-class woman I find it odd that since becoming a Labour Party member almost two years ago my vocabulary has been curbed.
I can no longer use the word Blairite, or a few others, during any social media activity. If I do and am reported to you guys I could be suspended or expelled from the party.
Of course my Labour Party vote of 43 plus years would still be welcomed by you all I suppose.
Yet Sunday according to the usual anonymous Times source Tony Blair is considering a return to British politics and one reason is because he thinks Jeremy Corbyn is a "nutter."
Surely that verbal attack is worse than calling a person a blairite, tory-lite, scum or traitor.
Fair enough scum is a bit strong but it has been widely used through Labour Party history during industrial action and beyond.
In namby pampy 2016 political correctness rules the Labour Party but is that only when it suits?
Having emailed the validation team regarding John Ferrett, Alastair Campbell and a few others who have been abusive online no reply is ever received.
Campbell's favourite word on Twitter when he is challenged is to call the person a "twat."
I imagine this open letter and email will again fall on deaf ears and you will not respond.
But here's the thing.
If the next plot is already underway, if Labour split or whatever, the only real losers will be "we the voters."
Perhaps the flood of MEPs set to lose their jobs on the back of BRexit, and MPs who will be shoved out in the cold with Tory boundary changes, are going to fill the necessary posts of a new type of Labour Party.
But whatever is playing out behind the scenes "the Labour Party management" are making us all look like fools.
Democracy in the Labour Party must be restored and that must mean taking veteran party members such as Tony Blair to task for calling Corbyn a nutter.
The Labour Party has its roots in fair play.
Time you acted in a fair manner
Note: If the news story is incorrect please offer an official statement. If not we have to assume it is true.
All things Corbyn
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