Two Great Manifestos

Covering the Labour and We Own It manifestos.

INTRODUCTION

The two manifestos to which I refer are those the Labour Party and the We Own It Campaign. In this post, which as a purely political post features text that alternates between red and green I will share links to some of the posts that the Labour Manifesto has already generated, and links to both manifestos and some of my own thoughts. 

THE WE OWN IT MANIFESTO

This is a must-read document about public ownership. At the end of the document there is a link to click to enable you contact your candidates to ask them if they will support these measures – I have just done so. As a sampler, here is the section on Railways:

Railways

As a coda to the above I point out that most of our railways are in the hands of profit making arms of other countries state owned railways – the Dutch state owned railway by way of Abellio operates more track in this country than there is in the whole of the Netherlands.

THE LABOUR MANIFESTO

I recently shared the draft version of this manifesto with you, The final version was released yesterday, and is every bit as good as expected. The screenshot below shows the scope of the document. Please do read it in full – primary sources are always better than secondary, even on those occasions when the authors of the secondary sources don’t have axes to grind.

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MORE ON THE LABOUR MANIFESTO

In this section I will share four links to posts concerned with the Labour Manifesto:

  1. Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK first response was this post, titled “Labour has delivered a good manifesto for the UK
  2. Following up on the above post, Prof. Murphy has also produced the following, titled “How to pay for renationalisation
  3. The Skwawkbox have produced a piece that combines commenting on the Labour Manifesto with showing the sheer desperation of the Tory response to it. This post also has an excellent accompanying graphic, reproduced below:
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  4. Jeff Goulding on RAMBLINGS OF AN ORDINARY MAN has produced a splendid piece titled “Labour’s manifesto: a triumph of leadership and hope over cynicism and despair“, a very detailed analysis accompanied with some excellent pictures, one of which I reproduce below:

JUNE 8TH

I have no objection to tactical voting where such represents a chance to be rid of a Tory. In certain seats, notably Brighton Pavilion which they already hold and the Isle of Wight among others I would unhesitatingly call for a vote for the Greens, given that they have stepped aside in no fewer than 30 seats to improve Labour chances there and that I have a great deal of time for the Greens. In my own constituency of North West Norfolk there is only one way for any progressively minded person to vote – for Labour Candidate Jo Rust. Make sure you use your vote on June 8th.

PHOTOGRAPHS

Just a few photos to end this post:

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Lot 1107 in James and Sons upcoming auction.
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1107-a – A Northern line train of 1956 stock.
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1107-b: The last two items in the album.
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Mama duck with her brood, the Gaywood River near Beulah Street.

Dream Cabinet

INTRODUCTION

This post is my response to Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK’s challenge to come up with a dream cabinet. I do not quite have a full  cabinet here but I do have names, positions and explanations and/ or justifications for all my choices. I will start by listing the names and positions, and will then go into a little more detail in the next section about my reasons.

THE SELECTIONS

These are the positions I have managed to fill:

Prime Minister – Debbie Abrahams

Deputy Prime Minister – Angela Rayner

Chancellor of the Exchequer – Richard Murphy

Home Secretary – Kerry-Anne Mendoza

Foreign Secretary – Clive Lewis

Business Secretary – Rebecca Long-Bailey

Health Secretary – Jo Rust

Environment – Caroline Lucas

Transport – Thomas Sutcliffe

Neurodiversity Minister – Paddy-Joe Moran (askpergers.wordpress.com)

Education Secretary – Michael Rosen

Arts – Anna Bohlin

Sports – Elizabeth Ammon (@legsidelizzy)

Scottish Secretary – Mhairi Black

Disabilities – Paula Peters (DPAC)

Science – Patricia Fara

Work and Pensions – Mike Sivier

Women and Equality – Kate Osamor

Welsh Secretary – Leanne Wood

Defence – Emily Thornberry

Housing and Planning – Sian Berry

We now move on to the the….

EXPLANATIONS/ JUSTIFICATIONS

I will take each position in the order in which they appear above:

Prime Minister – Debbie Abrahams

Debbie Abrahams has impressed me ever since she entered the shadow cabinet to the extent that I was determined to put her in a top position, and in the end I opted for the top position for her.

Deputy Prime Minister – Angela Rayner

Another who has been consistently impressive since her promotion to the front bench. From what I read of her performance on Question time when she had to contend with three very right wing fellow panelists, a Liberal Democrat and the mloderator, Mr Arch-Establishment Dimbleby (I was not able to watch for myself as I refuse to let the BBC have any of my money) she seems to have done a fine job of further underlining her credentials.

Chancellor of the Exchequer – Richard Murphy

We need his kind of economic vision as a matter of urgency, and how better to get it and than have the man himself as chancellor of the exchequer.

Home Secretary – Kerry-Anne Mendoza

Editor of The Canary and author of many splendid articles. I am sufficiently impressed by what I have seen of her that I have no doubts about putting her straight into one of the four so-called “great offices of state”.

Foreign Secretary – Clive Lewis

He was always going to feature somewhere in my dream cabinet, and I have decided that this is the right role for him.

Business Secretary – Rebecca Long-Bailey

Someone else who has said a lot of the right things since joining the front bench.

Health Secretary – Jo Rust

The Labour Party candidate for Northwest Norfolk (my constituency) at the last general election, active in many roles and a passionate supporter of the NHS. Exactly the right kind of person to take on the formidable task of repairing the ruin caused by the likes of Lansley and Hunt.

Environment – Caroline Lucas

I want environmental policy in the hands of someone who is committed to protecting the environment, and to me no one ticks that box more definitively than Ms Lucas.

Transport – Thomas Sutcliffe

I am aware that it is always risky for selectors to pick themselves, but I believe I can justify this one. I have a lifetime’s knowledge of and commitment to public transport. Although I am creator of a London transport themed website, London would actually be at the back of the queue for attention from me is at it is less badly off transport-wise than the rest of the country. 

Neurodiversity Minister – Paddy-Joe Moran

Paddy-Joe is autistic, the author of several books about autism and also writes the askpergers blog. Having decided to revive the idea of this post (see here for more details) it was a question of who to select for it. I wanted my Neurodiversity Minister to be neurodiverse themselves and in the end I went for Paddy-Joe.

Education Secretary – Michael Rosen

He would bring a lifetime’s knowledge and passionate commitment to the post. Education in this country would improve massively with Michael Rosen in this role.

Arts – Anna Bohlin

I do not know whether we could persuade her to come over from Sweden, but I am sure that she would be excellent in this role and would work well with her cabinet colleagues. For more details about her consult her blog

Sports – Elizabeth Ammon

Also known by hew twitter handle – legsidelizzy. In addition to her cricket writing and commentaries she has made some very sound political points. 

Scottish Secretary – Mhairi Black

Always assuming Scotland have not yet declared indepence, I would want Mhairi Black, who is the youngest but also one of the most impressive MPs currently in the house, in my cabinet, and this would seem the ideal role for her.

Disabilities – Paula Peters

I have gone for someone who is disabled and heavily involved in DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts) for this important role.

Science – Patricia Fara

Author of a book on the history of science, a scientist herself and an impressive speaker (I have heard her give a talk here in King’s Lynn). She got the nod ahead of Brian Cox because I decided that I wanted a woman in charge of science policy.

Work and Pensions – Mike Sivier

Author of the Vox Political blog, carer and very knowledgeable about the misdeeds of the DWP under the Tories he would be an excellent person to undertake the task of putting this area back on track.

Women and Equality – Kate Osamor

Like several of my other choices she has impressed ever since taking her place on the front bench, and she would be well suited to this role.

Welsh Secretary – Leanne Wood

Occasionally sounds too excitable for her own good, but says a lot of good things, and I believe would do them in this role.

Defence – Emily Thornberry

As shadow defence secretary (before being moved to shadow foreign secretary) she was quite impressive.

Housing and Planning – Sian Berry

She ran an excellent campaign for Mayor of London which deserved better reward than third place (in particular, it was a travesty that she ended up behind Goldsmith after he ran such a disgraceful campaign, but also for my money Khan could have had no complaints had she won outright). This is a position I would definitely want in the hands of someone thoroughly committed to protecting the environment. To reuse a remark I originally made as a comment in response to one of Anna’s posts

Preservation of nature needs to be at the heart of planning decisions, not an optional (and often despised) extra. Your battle in Trosa is a battle for all of us everywhere.

PHOTOGRAPHS

After all that text here are some photographs for a bit of light relief…

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The first seven pictures are from yesterday – this is the East Rudham (my parents’ village) egg shop

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Starting with this one my remaining pictures are from today.

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PUBLIC MEETING ON DISABILITY AND PROTEST AGAINST POTENTIAL CLOSURE OF THE FERMOY UNIT

Accounts of a public meeting about disability and a protest against the possible closure of the Fermoy Unit, enlivened with photographs. Read, enjoy and please share!

INTRODUCTION

I am treating these two events together because my attendance at each was connected, and I talked about one at the other. While I had strong personal reasons for attending both events, I was also motivated by not wanting to be in a position of “when they came for me there was no one left to speak out”. I will deal with the two events in chronological order and at the very end will also share some unrelated photos.

THE PUBLIC MEETING ON DISABILITY

This toom place at the Vauxhall Centre in Norwich on Thursday evening. After speeches from various prominent local campaigners came the keynote speech of the evening. This was Roddy Slorach, author of “The Politics of Disability”, talking about the ideas expounded in his book. After this there was time for contributions from the floor. It was during this period that today’s demonstration was mentioned, and more details provided by me as the second part of my own contribution following mentioning the Positive Autism Awareness Conference of the previous Friday. Here are some photos from that evening for you…

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One of the organizing groups displayed this banner.
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Equal Lives provided this superb display board
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Norfolk DPAC had this on show
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A shot of the platform
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The full platform plus the young woman doing sign language translations for deaf people.

THE PROTEST AGAINST THE POSSIBLE CLOSURE OF THE FERMOY UNIT

I took custody of the National Autistic Society West Norfolk Branch banners and some NAS flags yesterday evening, and worked out a way to set up the banners that was suitable for them being on a march:

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Some string and a couple of old cricket stumps provided my answer to the question of how to make these banners suitable for carrying on a march. The appearance may be less than convincing, but it held up for the duration of the march – job done!

We assembled at the bandstand in The Walks at 12 noon, and Jo Rust who did most of the organizing introduced a few speakers, before we set off on our march around the town. Many people expressed support for us while we marched through town, and at least one person took the trouble to express their gratitude that NAS were represented on the march. The event then finished with a few speeches outside the Majestic Cinema. Although organized by the local Labour Party and the King’s Lynn and District Trades Union Council this march was not a party political event, and Sir Henry Bellingham MP had been invited to attend and to make a speech, an invitation that he spurned. The turnout was excellent, helped by bright sunny weather (yes there was a serious nip to the wind, but this is King’s Lynn after all).

I finish this brief account with a few photos…

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At the bandstand
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A great placard produced by a teenage mental health camapigner
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The same placard
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The NAS West Norfolk banner post-march
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Jo Rust making her final speech of the day.

SOME UNRELATED PHOTOS

I start this section with a photographic message for those who have reached this part of the post…

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My remaining photos are presented as a’tiled mosaic’ – to view an individual image at full size click on it…

Saturday Scattergun

A pot-pourri of a post in which you can read a great story from Paula Peters of DPAC, an account of England’s win in the World T20, find a petition to sign and share and link to the latest post on my website.

INTRODUCTION

I have a few new pictures to share, a few good links to share, a good news story that has already had considerable attention but is so great I just have to share it (it will also be going on my London transport themed website for reasons that will become obvious) and news of today’s game in the World T20.

A GREAT STORY FROM PAULA PETERS

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ENGLAND DO IT THE HARD WAY

England lost the toss and were put in by Sri  Lanka in today’s all-or-nothing game in the World T20. A magnificent innings by Jos Buttler (66 off 37 balls) boosted England’s total to an adequate 170. It looked even better when Sri Lanka were 25-4 in the sixth over of the reply, but this England team never seem to do things the easy way. With Angelo Matthews blazing away, Sri Lanka got back into the contest and at times looked like they could do it. Then, with 15 needed off the final over, Ben Stokes who had earlier hit the last ball of the England innings for 6 (the only ball he faced as well!) and taken a fine catch, kept a cool head, and remarkably conceded just four off that over to finish with 0-19 from his four overs. Thus England won by four runs, and will face New Zealand in the semi-final, at the same ground and on the same day as the England women take on Australia in their semi-final.

LINKS

Just a couple of links today:

  • A petition launched by Jo Rust to save King’s Lynn’s Citizens Advice Bureau. Please click here, and sign and share Jo’s petition.
  • A link to the most recent post on my London transport themed website, which deals with St Albans and St Albans Abbey.

THE PICTURES

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Seven (count ’em) boats moored at the jetty today.

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Jailbird! Actually of course this is an ordinary fence and it just looks like the bird is behind bars.

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This map con be seen outside King’s Lynn train station.
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These last three pics featured in my St Albans website post

SAASt Albans Connection

 

An Open Letter to Tim Farron

I received an email from Tim Farron inviting me to join the Liberal Democrats. This post is my response.

INTRODUCTION

I have today received an email from Tim Farron suggesting that I might be interested in joining his party, the Liberal Democrats. What follows is my response…

THE OPEN LETTER

Dear Mr Farron,

I am responding to your email of this lunchtime inviting me to consider joining your party.

While it is true that I voted Liberal Democrat in the 2010 General Election this was for a very specific reason: The Labour Party candidate had made himself impossible to vote for by making as virtually his opening remark of the campaign a comment about Gordon Brown being Britain’s worst ever Prime Minister – which as a candidate standing on behalf of Mr Brown’s party was clearly unacceptable. I did not believe that anyone other than your party’s candidate had a chance of challenging the sitting MP Mr Bellingham (Con), so I voted Liberal Democrat as a desperate tactical measure.

A lot has happened since that General Election, including five years of your party acting as handmaidens to the Tories. In the General Election of earlier this year I was proud to vote for the Labour Party candidate, Jo Rust, and if she is the candidate again in 2020 I will vote for her again. At the same time of the same day I voted for both the Green Party candidates in the local elections.

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While I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of the Labour Party performance over the Welfare Bill, there has been a new leader elected since then, and I am liking what I see so far. I will refer to two recent happenings here:

On Friday, Mr Corbyn missed a rugby match to which he could have had free tickets because he was busy helping his constituents (a surgery that ended up running for seven hours). As far as I am concerned someone who puts his constituents ahead of a rugby match deserves applause. The second thing I wish to refer to is that Mr Corbyn has now revealed plans to renationalise the railways (these were mentioned in his manifesto in the leadership contest, which I read in detail). I offer you this infographic that I picked up on twitter:

Railways

On the question of how credible Mr Corbyn is: I do not think that the leader of a party who crashed from 62 MPs down to 8 or an ex-MP (Sir Vince Cable) are in the strongest position to raise such a question!

There is one other reason you might have thought I would be willing to join your party, which is that one of the many petitions which I have signed happens to have been created by a Liberal Democrat (it was calling for a worldwide ban on FGM). I signed the petition in question because I am in full agreement with its aims, not because of who created it.

To conclude, not only am I not remotely interested in joining your party, I am unable to see any circumstance in which I will ever again vote for them – reputations are hard earned and easily lost.

Yours sincerely,

Thomas Sutcliffe

Borough Council Elections

This post will be in three parts. First of all I have a very important link to share, then I will be writing about the Borough Council elections, and finally I will say something about the Test Match that finished late last night our time with two full days unused.

A HYPER-IMPORTANT HYPERLINK

This link is to a radio interview with leading autism campaigner Kevin Healey. Please listen and share!!

BOROUGH COUNCIL ELECTIONS

In King’s Lynn we have two decisions to make on Thursday, who to vote for in the general election and who to vote for in our borough council election. I have already made clear, both here and on my twitter feed who I will be voting for in the general election, and I will say no more in this post than that it would be folly for anyone in King’s Lynn who considers themselves even remotely progressive to vote for anybody other than Jo Rust. I have not previously mentioned the Borough Council elections, because I had not formed a definite conclusion. The game changer that has prompted this post was the following from our local Green Party

Look to the central part of this leaflet in particular to see why I am so definite about the decision.
Look to the central part of this leaflet in particular to see why I am so definite about the decision.

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TEST MATCH HUMILIATION FOR ENGLAND

Not long after 10PM our time last night the final test of the series between England and the West Indies ended (with two days unused) in a defeat by five wickets for the visitors. England’s batting was woefully inadequate with the exceptions in the first innings of Cook who ground out a century and Ali who made 58. 123 all out at the second attempt when seeking to build on a lead of 68 tells its own tale of woe. The other problem for England was lack of a serious spin option (Ali, the ‘front-line spinner’ recorded match figures of 2-110 from 22 overs on a turner). If Adil Rashid was not the right option on this pitch he never will be.

Whoever they go for, and wherever they find them, England need a genuine front-line spinner (and not a batsman who bowls being bigged up) and they need one as soon as possible. A spinner who takes only two wickets in the match and goes for five an over on a turning pitch does not deserve to be described as such. It was not just the number of runs being leaked but the deliveries off which they were being hit – frequently short (including a substantial ration of rank long hops). Wilf Rhodes, a great spinner a century ago, used to say talking about the length he bowled “Ah were nivver hooked and Ah were nivver cut”

Congratulations to the West Indies on being able to take what was handed them on a plate.

Now for a few more pics…

On Saturday there were no fewer the seven boats moored at the new jetty (I am fairly certain that this is a current record)
On Saturday there were no fewer the seven boats moored at the new jetty (I am fairly certain that this is a current record)

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NHS Action Yesterday

Some very important links, an account of yesterday’s petitioning activity around the NHS and some pictures.

I have a variety of other things to share with you before I get to the main meat of my post…

LINKS

First of all a family of related links. Autism Mom’s latest post “autism-respect-the-beautiful-otherness-of-the-autistic-mind” is the original post that attracted my attention, and it in turn was inspired by two articles:

1)A piece published by the Royal Society and authored by Francesca Happe and Uta Frith.

2)A piece published on medicaldaily and written by Lecia Bushak.

Next, news of a major victory in the battle to save the world’s bees, in pictorial form. While on the subject of conservation, I have a petition to share with you about that horror known as the ivory trade.

My next link is to a piece written by a lawyer who courageously and correctly stood up for his neighbours when they were being bullied by the DWP – it provides insight into just how vicious this department has become since the Idiotic Delusional Sociopath (IDS for short) took control. This post is simultaneously disturbing and inspiring. A natural follow on from that is a link to this post from refuted.org.

Moving on, Tom Pride gives details of some vicious anti-semtism from a Tory candidate.

My next two links are related both referring to matters connected with LGBT rights. The first one was written in response to Nick Clegg publicly ruling out (a rather grandiose thing for soon-to-be ex MP to do in any case) any coalition involving the SNP, and points out just who he might find himself helping if he supports a coalition of the right – the gang of bigots officially known as the DUP. The second concerns the case of an asylum seeker facing deportion back to Jamaica and certain death – anyone actually carrying out this threat will be an accessory to murder and should be punished appropriately.

My penultimate link comes courtesy of julijuxtaposed and is counterblast to the increasingly rabid Scotphobia being shown by the right.

Finally, I include a link to an establishment being run by my latest twitter follower, which seems to be an excellent thing.

A PICTORIAL INTERLUDE

This card was sent to me by Rocio Watkins, an American researcher who  I have been of some assistance to - it contained a small cheque for which I have thanked her.
This card was sent to me by Rocio Watkins, an American researcher who I have been of some assistance to – it contained a small cheque for which I have thanked her.

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This is the stamp on the envelope in which the car was sent. Although being current issue it is not yet of interest to philatelists I feel that I may be so eventually as circular stamps are not all that common.
This is the stamp on the envelope in which the car was sent. Although being current issue it is not yet of interest to philatelists I feel that I may be so eventually as circular stamps are not all that common.

YESTERDAYS NHS ACTION

Between 11AM and 1PM yesterday about 10 of us took to the streets of King’s Lynn to collect signatures for a petition which is at the heart of a campaign to Save Our NHS. Our numbers were a little less than they may have been because of late withdrawals and the fact that some people who would ordinarily have been with us were campaigning in Hunstanton as part of Jo Rust’s election campaign (including Jo herself who would certainly have been with us otherwise).

The weather was decent, and lots of people signed. I, and accosting people I do not know with a petition is something that having Asperger;s definitely does make more difficult, personally got 20 and must have had 10 times that number tell me they had already signed. Given how many others were also collecting signatures and the near certainty that I will have gathered the fewest of any of them we are certainly talking in terms of several hundred new signatures.

Finally, a few more pictures to end the post:

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Look up and across from outside King's Lynn Debenhams and you will see this window display!
Look up and across from outside King’s Lynn Debenhams and you will see this window display!
Details of a post-election public meeting that will very likely be the occasion of my next visit to the fine city of Norwich.
Details of a post-election public meeting that will very likely be the occasion of my next visit to the fine city of Norwich.
This is my enlarged version of the victory for bees picture.
This is my enlarged version of the victory for bees picture.