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Monday, 2 May 2016

We, and the people we represent, must not allow the hypocrites, liars and mountebanks to gain control of our party.

Some Labour frontbenchers are threatening to resign

A Times article, enthusiastically reproduced and embellished by Sky News and other media (and all full of the usual anonymous "sources"), graphically confirming that the real reason behind the furore over "anti Semitism" is the seditious conspiracy by some members of the Parliamentary Labour Party, encouraged and supported by sections of a duplicitous media, to remove the leadership of the Labour Party in some sort of coup. A coup which has been in preparation since the summer of last year and now uses the smokescreen of anti Semitism to mask the real intentions.
Duplicitous hypocrites, liars and mountebanks skulking in the shadows hiding behind press anonymity. Should these people actually quit, it would be a case of good riddance, and take your schemes, plots and conspiracies with you and join another party.

New Agenda on Sunday. is out! Edition of 01 May 2016

Good morning everyone

The Hillsborough Inquest jury, has returned the verdict that the 96 fans who died on the 15th April 1989 were unlawfully killed. After 27 years the police, ambulance services, local authorities and others, are criticised for their part in the disaster.
Read more in New Agenda on Sunday or on this Blog.

Corbiere lighthouse

We have decided to take a few days off and watch the sea go by at Corbiere and a few other spots, in our favourite Channel Island retreat of Jersey. A daily problem associated with this break is deciding on which restaurant to eat at, followed by the even greater problem of what to choose from the very extensive menu’s. It has been known however that we have occasionally failed to make a decision and settled for large cod and chips, (with mushy peas for me) from a local “chippy”. 


Notwithstanding what I have said in the past about Condor Ferries and their “white elephant £50 million flagship”, I have booked car and two passengers on the” Liberation”, sailing from Poole. The reasons for this are twofold. Air travel and the associated necessity of getting to and from Exeter International Airport (or any of the other available airports) and then hiring a car in Jersey is inconvenient and prohibitively expensive. Secondly, driving down to Portsmouth for the “Commodore Clipper”, Ro-Ro service would take too much time out of the limited few days we have set aside. As Condor is the only operator providing a UK mainland to Channel Islands service, it has to be “Liberation” for this trip. However, I do not have to like it.

Hi de Hi Campers.
Another celebrity passes away in 2016 and we have only got through the first 4 months!.
Barry Frederick Howard (9 July 1937 – 28 April 2016).
R I P Barry, or Barry Stuart-Hargreaves one half of the Yellow Coat dancing instructors (with Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves the other half) at Maplin's holiday camp.

I should finally give up on weather forecasting. My trusty old piece of seaweed seems no more accurate that that used by Sky weather, or BBC National or even the local BBC Spotlight. Each seem to give differing forecasts which for some reason are not in concurrence with mine. Ces’t la vie. This week, we have had wind, rain, hail, sunshine and frost, all on the same day and none predicted!.

Have a nice week.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

The "housing crisis" is not new. It has been a national scandal for decades.

Revealed: UK ‘is in the throes of a housing crisis’

Revealed: UK ‘is in the throes of a housing crisis’.


Many of us have been shouting from the rooftops for years that this country has a housing crisis. That crisis has become even worse over the past 20 years and now rates as an national outrage which should not be tolerated by any decent society in this 21st Century.
It is a crisis brought about by decades of neglect and indifference by successive governments who have viewed "housing" as a manifesto topic where they can make all sorts of promises and when elected, find all sorts of "reasons" why they are only able to build a fraction of the number of houses and flats actually required.  
Over the past 6 months, house building organisations, economists and housing charities, have identified contributory factors to the growing crisis. The "right to buy" legislation has decreased the stock of rented housing as on average only one new unit has been built to replace six which have been sold. The "Buy to let" schemes have drive up prices but reduced the availability of affordable homes. The various "Help to Buy" and shared ownership schemes have have been little more than government  gambit's created for public consumption to give the impression that the responsible ministers are "doing something" to address the question.

We need 700,000 new homes

The fundamental problem is that this country is not building sufficient houses in the areas where demand is greatest. The reasons for this are manifold, but essentially boil down to economics. For as long as there is a shortage of housing in the private and rented sectors , the resultant demand will ensure that the price levels remain high.
The government and any subsequent government, must commit to building more houses by actively encouraging developers, constructors and local councils  to build homes for both rent and sale in sufficient numbers  to resolve the scandal.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

It has more to do with "the leadership" than antisemitism

Jeremy Corbyn sets up inquiry into Labour antisemitism claims.

The “antisemitism” controversy currently the main media focus, is not about antisemitism. It is about certain individuals within the Parliamentary Labour Party, sections of the media and a few vested interests who have taken this opportunity to attack the leadership of the Labour party and seek an election to challenge the leader.
What these cynical opportunists have actually achieved is the very opposite of that which they claim they are trying to prevent, namely the local elections for next Thursday resulting in losses for Labour at the polls. It remains to be seen whether or not these "predictions" actually materialise,
It is despicable that a relative small number of members of my own party are eager form a duplicitous conspiracy to oust the party leadership, a conspiracy which they know will cause division within the party and damage electoral success. They are prepared to accept this short term reversal, whilst at the same hypocritically calling for "party unity", in the belief that they will ultimately regain their dominant position within the party hierarchy.
What is obnoxious and repugnant about their tactics, is that they are seeking to hide behind the banner of "routing out “antisemitism” in the Labour party" when their real objective is to remove any opposition to their own ambitions to restore the "status quo" in Westminster.

A "stage-managed" confrontation for the benefit of the media

Antisemitism together with racism, is an abhorrent phenomena and is condemned by the vast majority of Labour Party members. It is reprehensible that it should be used as a "red herring" by a small number of loathsome people, enthusiastically encouraged and supported by elements of the media, to advance their own political aspirations.

Friday, 29 April 2016

John Mann's questionable language and stage managed indignation.

John Mann chased Mr Livingstone up the stairs at the BBC's offices in Millbank, shouting and calling him a "f****** disgrace".

In an extraordinary outburst of venom, questionable language and clearly stage managed indignation, John Mann “confronts” Ken Livingstone in the street and on the stairway of the BBC's offices in Millbank. It is perhaps by coincidence that the witnesses to this verbal assault were, apart from the passing public, cameramen, reporters and hacks from the Mail, Telegraph, Independent and all the usual suspects from the television media and newspapers, eager to grasp any opportunity to attack and discredit the Labour party no matter how tenuous the link may be. The allegation is already doing the rounds that this whole altercation was no more than an opportunistic stunt engineered for the invited audience by Mann for the purpose of advancing his admitted aim of undermining and ultimately removing the present leadership of the Labour party.
What is clearly evident is that during this “confrontation”, Mann excessively overplayed his hand with his almost hysterical rantings, shouting down any response that Livingstone may have chosen to make, which is typical of the “Bully boy” tactics frequently employed by the member for Bassetlaw, known for his Blairite position within the Parliamentary Labour Party and who was part of the campaign challenging the legitimacy of the party leadership election and the alleged  “plot” to remove Jeremy Corbyn in the event that he became party leader.
How strange it is then that the Labour Party should take a decision to suspend Livingstone pending an investigation, on the grounds of, “bringing the party into disrepute”. 
The sight and sounds of an elected MP engaging in an almost demented verbal assault on another member of the Labour Party in public and in front of an assembled audience of press and media, may be argued to also bring the party into disrepute.
Mann should also be suspended “pending an investigation”, but apart from a brief conversation with a party “whip”, nothing appears to have happened. 
An apparent case of double standards where one set of rule applies to John Mann and another set applies to everyone else. 

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

After 27 years, the truth,

Hillsborough families' 27-year struggle for truth vindicated

After 27 years, the families of the victims achieve justice as the truth is finally revealed.
South Yorkshire police, the South Yorkshire ambulance service, Sheffield Wednesday football club and its engineers, Eastwood and Partners, Sheffield city council and other authorities are all criticised in the jury verdicts, particularly the West Yorkshire police and , South Yorkshire Chief Superintendent  David Duckenfield. The conspiracy of lies, cover up and perversion of the course of justice is a scandal of colossal proportions, which demands speedy investigation and prosecution of those individuals, organisations and public bodies involved.Notwithstanding the apologies already made in some sections of the press, the role of the media and the part they played, particularly Kelvin McKenzie and the Sun newspaper, there remains a compelling argument for an investigation into their reporting of this tragedy.

Saying, "Sorry" some years after the event is simply not good enough, no matter how many times it is repeated.

There are many features to be examined over the course of the next few days and months, It is abundantly clear now however, that the South Yorkshire Police must be disbanded and replaced with a body which will restore public confidence in their function and position. They have become completely discredited not only with their conspiracy of cover up in respect of the Hillsborough football stadium disaster, but also their handling of other issues not least of which is the MUM Strike in 1984. The Hillsborough Stadium story reached a significant milestone when the inquest jury determined that the victims had been unlawfully killed. It is now for the DPP and other organisations to complete the quest for justice.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The Doctors strike is the consequence of one man’s ineptitude and arrogance

Hospitals braced for walkout as Hunt says doctors' strike must be defeated

Hunt says doctors' strike must be defeated.

At the general election, only 11.3 million people voted conservative out of the 30.6 million people casting a ballot (66.1%). To state that, “the British people”, voted for the manifesto promise, is stretching the boundaries of legitimacy a bit far. How many manifesto promises have been abandoned by governments the day after polling day should it be expedient to do so in any case.?
There have been two recent opportunities for Hunt to avert this strike and to resume negotiations, but both have been dismissed with the same arrogance and inflexibility on the part of the Secretary of State for Health that has been the case since this dispute started. A dispute created and engineered by a government with a hidden agenda.
The real reasons for Hunt’s and the governments intransigence in this battle is referred to in the headline to this article. The statement Hunt says doctors' strike must be defeated”, clearly spotlights the governments intentions. Hunt, Cameron and Osborn, seek to be the 21st Century “Thatcher”, creating their own “miners’ moment – a dispute we cannot lose”, in crushing the doctors resistance. 

Already it is being proposed that strikes in A&E be made illegal, as a prelude to curbing or even removing completely the right to withdraw labour throughout the NHS,. Everyone , from doctors and nurses, through to ancillary workers and domestic staff would be banned by law from going on strike. It is but a short step from there to completely removing the right of all working people in this country to withdraw their labour to resist injustice and exploitation.
This junior doctors strike, the first in the 68 year history of the NHS, is a strike which could and should have been averted. It is the consequence of one man’s ineptitude and arrogance, encouraged and supported by an intransigent government, intent on crushing the doctors and ultimately all working people in this country.

The government view this strike as a dispute they cannot afford to loose. As for working people, it is a dispute which they too cannot afford to loose.