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:
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.
MORE ON THE LABOUR MANIFESTO
In this section I will share four links to posts concerned with the Labour Manifesto:
The Skwawkbox have produced a piecethat 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:
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.
Much of this post will be sharing finds from elsewhere, but there will also be some pictures of my own. I will be starting with politics, moving from there on to transport, then some science and finishing up with some stuff about autism. Other than in this introduction most of the text will be coloured, and links as usual will be in bold and underlined.
There is a particular reason why I am mixing red and green in this section and priveleging green by having it come first. The Greens have pulled out of a number of seats in the upcoming general election to make Labour’s task easier. These seats include at least one held by a current cabinet minister. I urge Labour to reciprocate by at the very least not fielding a candidate in Brighton Pavilion (the only seat currently held by the Greens), and preferably also by leaving a clear field for them on the Isle of Wight, and in a few other seats that the Greens are particularly targetting. In my own constituency of Northwest Norfolk Labour is the only party with a chance of unseating the Tory, and I will thankfully be able to vote Labour with a smile as they have very sensibly reselected the excellent Jo Rust as their candidate. My first two shares are both about Labour’s plans to deal with tax avoidance. The two pieces in question are:
I conclude this section with a reference to Labour’s manifesto, now in the public domain. I have read the document in full and urge you to do likewise by clicking here. As both an aperitif and a lead-in to the next section of this post I reproduce the transport section:
Having covered water creatures and the ancestors of air creatures we finish with land creatures, and the largest fossilized footprints ever discovered, with a diameter of 1.7 metres. These dinosaur footprints are located near Broome in northwestern Australia, a place I visited in 2006. The largest creatures living there these days are crocodiles which at an absolute peak might grow to a body length of six metres. The article is titled “World’s largest dinosaur footprints discovered in Western Australia” and accompanied by some good pictures, one of which I reproduce below.
The prints indicate enormous animals that were probably around 5.3 to 5.5 metres at the hip. Photograph: Damian Kelly/University of Queensland/EPA
I finish this section with a link to piece from thesilentwaveblog. There is another very recent post from this same blog that will be featuring in the post I shall be producing for my birthday. As a clue I will tell you that due to the particular number it will be I am calling this birthday the “Douglas Adams Birthday”. Today’s link is to a post titled “Asperger’s / autism and microaggression” with the picture reproduced below:
Just a few photographs today, mostly of items going under the hammer at James and Sons next auction (full catalogue available here):
In the comments section a certain Howard Reed cited Paul Mason’s five point policy plan, which is as follows:
1/ If Theresa May calls an election today, a progressive alliance can beat the Tory hard Brexit plan. Here’s how…
2/ We set up an independent website to show how tactical voting can beat the Tories and grassroots cross party alliance promotes this
3/ Labour has to guarantee Scotland a) right to remain in Single Market b) second referendum
4/ Labour should offer *today* Caroline Lucas to be in shadow cabinet, form Green/Red alliance, stand down 1x further candidate for Greens
5/ Libdems need to decide: with the progressive forces of Britain or in a perpetual flip flop with the Tories. You have 15 minutes.
The first two of the five points are scene setters, and very uncontentious. Point 3 is the one that the Labour Party, or at least some elements thereof, will find hardest to accept, but SNP support will only be forthcoming if it is honoured.
The fourth point is obvious, and those who remember my Fantasy Cabinet, a response tothis piece on Tax Research UK, will realise that I am 100% in favour. For the fifth point, the ball is in the Lib Dems’ court. One mistake can be forgiven, especially given some of the comments May has made in calling for this election. However, precisely in view of those comments, a second decision in the space of seven years to throw in their lot with the Tories would put them utterly beyond the pale.
SOME FURTHER LINKS
In addition to the Tax Research UK piece that inspired this I have read a number of other cracking pieces about this upcoming election.
From Evolve Politics, this excellent piece: “The Left MUST put aside its differences and form an alliance, or usher in a One-Party State“.
In my own constituency there is only one party with the support to have even the proverbial “cats chance in hell” of unseating the Tory who bar the years 1997-2001 has held the seat since 1983, so my General Election vote is already decided. Something else that this snap election has done is demonstrate once again that FPTP is a relic from the past that needs replacing asap. My final words in this post (other than picture captions) take the form of a social media hashtag:
New £1 (in circulation since March 27th, but this was the first I have seen, last night) – obverse
New £1 – reverse
New £1 – both faces
Comparison pic – new £1 and Britain’s only other dodecagonal coin, the brass threepenny.
Politics and nature combine to form one YUGE blog post!
In my part of the world there are local elections happening on May 4th, so I thought I would use some thoughts about them as the starting point for this blog. I will go on from that to sharing various interesting and important stuff, and of course there will be some of my own photographs.
Although my polling card is safely in my possession I have yet to receive any communication from any of the candidates, and can therefore talk only in general terms. I will definitely be voting. Since I became of voting age more years ago than I care to reveal I have only once failed to vote in an election I was entitled to vote in, and that was in the first election for Norfolk Police Commissioner. I will not be voting for any right wing parties or individual candidates. After their massive betrayal of those who voted for them (myself one of them) in 2010 the Liberal Democrats have much ground to make up and at this moment the odds against me putting my cross in that particular box are of the “write your own ticket” variety. While it is possible that I will be impressed by someone standing as an Independent candidate it is not very likely. This leaves me looking at two options:
Labour – if the candidate is of the right type and not someone who will use their entire campaign to bash their party’s twice elected leader I may be induced to vote for them.
Green – this party stands for many of the things that I believe in, and I am not going to hold the entire party to account for a mistake made by one of its co-leaders (Jonathan Bartley endorsing “light it up blue”, which readers of this blog will realise is an absolute guarantee of an entry in my bad books). If they can find a candidate with the qualities shown by Sian Berryin her campaign for London Mayor and subsequently in her work as a Greater London Assembly member I will certainly by influenced in this direction.
I will probably be voting Green because I see the way forward as being in a red/green partnership, and I think the Green side of that partnership needs strengthening. Also, a Green vote has the merit of being a vote cast unequivocally in favour of Proportional Representation.
After this start it is time for some…
I start with a piece by Richard Murphy titled “Time For a New Political Party?”, in which he looks at a suggestion originally made by Richard Dawkins in a piece in the New Statesman. While I would say that the launch of a new political party should be delayed until FPTP is replaced with PR (under FPTP the Tories have a built-in advantage that would only be strengthened by the addition of a new party) I believe that Professor Murphy is pretty well on the money with his suggestions about this new party. Please click on the screenshot below to access this post, and if so inclined add your voice to those commenting on it:
Next, from the Skwawkbox comes the most recent piece on the story I have dubbed Coynegate – the massive breaches of the Data Protection Act by right wing candidate for Unite general secretary Gerard Coyne. To read this story, titled “EXCLUSIVE: COYNE TELLS BBC HIS LABOUR DATA USE ‘CONCLUDED’. IT ISN’T.” please click on the image below:
My next link is to the homepage of the We Own It Campaign’s website. To find out for yourself what they are all about click on the screenshot below:
The focus, including my photographs is about to shift to Nature (note to my many fellow autistic bloggers although you do not feature in this post I have some of your finest stuff bookmarked for use in the very near future), and the turning point is a campaign against the large scale felling of trees in and around Sheffield. I have two links in connection with this. First, for the benefit of those of you who use social media, a Thunderclap, which you can boost by adding your own connections on facebook, twitter and tumblr. I link to it by way of the screenshot below:
The second link on this subject is to the page that lists all the campaigns in and around Sheffield that are now grouped under the umbrella of Sheffield Tree Action Groups (STAG). I link by way of a screenshot once again:
The last piece of shared content for today before moving towards my photographs comes to you from Sweden, and has a section to itself:
ANNA INTRODUCES EMMELINA
Anna is a Swedish blogger who needs to no further introduction to readers of this blog. As for Emmelina, that will have to wait for the moment. Yesterday Anna put up a post about a very curious little creature she had photographed on her door, which she called “Who’s This?”I thought that the little creature was a stick insect, but the reveal when it came today was far more interesting. It turns out that the creature is actually a moth that resembles a stick insect. Here is a link to the piece in which Anna reveals the identity of the creature. Finally, revealing the Emmelina part of the title, here is Wikipedia on Emmelina Monodactyla.
To end the post here are some of my own photographs…
As a veteran of Norfolk County Council’s attempt to foist an unwanted incinerator on King’s Lynn (failed – we kicked up sufficiently much of a fuss about it that the dishonourable Mr Pickles, then the minister responsible for such things, felt obliged to intervene on our behalf) I offer both solidarity and encouragement – these scum can be beaten. We fought against the plan to build an incinerator on the edge of King’s Lynn not as NIMBYs (Not in My Back Yard), but as NOMPs (Not On My Planet)…
Information has reached the SKWAWKBOX that had slipped beneath the radar until now. It’s of particular interest because everyone knows that Tories will screw over Labour areas without a second thought, but the usual assumption is that they will protect their ‘heartlands’, if only out of self-interest – for example, the ‘Surrey sweetheart deal‘.
But this case shows that they will screw over their own areas just as eagerly as soon as it suits them – as long as they think they can get away with it.
Even if it means lying to do so.
Illustration of GCC’s planned Javelin Park incinerator
The case involves Tory-controlled Gloucestershire County Council (GCC), which has been involved for some years in negotiations for a planned waste incinerator – or rather, a cabal or subset of its Tory councillors have, as until a few weeks ago even most GCC councillors were unaware of…
A selection of political stories from the last couple of days.
This is the third and last politically themed post in this series that I have been putting up today (although I have held some stories that might be considered political back for the next post which will be the last – I will then create a page containing links to these specific posts for ease of reference).
TORY STEALS MOD SECRETS, USES THEM TO HELP ADAM SMITH INTERNATIONAL
This story, which shows Tories at their worst and most unprincipled was brought to my attention by David Hencke. To read the full story of how MOD secrets were stolen and used to load the dice in favour of Adam Smith International click the image below.
ANOTHER ANGRY VOICE ON TORY ELECTOTRAL FRAUD
Thomas G Clark who blog as Another Angry Voicehas more on the Tory electoral fraud story, in the form of whistleblowers who have admitted to unknowingly assisting the Tories to commit electoral fraud. Click the image below to read the full piece.
I have two pieces on Personal Independence Payments (PIP for short) for your attention. Firstly, DPACare asking for people who would be willing to be involved in a legal challenge to changes to PIP. If you are able to help DPAC, or would like to share their piece please click on the screenshot below.
The second PIP comes from 38 Degrees, in the form of a petition calling for people with mental health issues to be treated fairly under PIP. Please click the image below for more.
A situation that allows a party who gained 37% of the votes cast (under 25% of the electorate given the turnout) to form a “majority” government is obviously unacceptable. If you agree with this and are a UK resident please click on the screenshot below to sign and/ or share the petition, which is currently on 93,217 signatures, meaning that another 6,783will trigger a debate in the house. Just before putting up the screenshot link one final point for those who bring uop the orevious referendum on this subject: AV IS NOT PR
ROWSON SKEWERS HAMMOND
To end on a lighter note, below, with a link to the original, is Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowson’s take on Philip Hammond’s budget:
An account of Jack Monroe’s splendid victory in a defamation case that centred on twitter.
This is the second politics themed post in this series. In this case it deals with a defamation case that has recently been settled after 21 months. The plaintiff was food blogger and political activist Jack Monroe, while the defendant was someone who cannot be described in broadcastable language and does not deserve to have her name further publicised (the usual adjective used of her is in this context deeply offensive to trolls).
THE BARE BONES
Jack Monroe launched the case over two tweets posted a few hours apart. The defendant had the opportunity to settle out of court for a mere £5,000 but chose to fight on. This resulted in an award to Monroe of £24,000 and the defendant being ordered to pay costs totalling a further £83,000.
I have three links for you about this case. First, by clicking the image below you can read Mike Sivier of Vox Political’s account (the picture is his as well):
Nathan Capone examines the implications of this verdict from a case-law point of view in this post.