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May 4th Local Election

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Well the votes have been cast and are in the process of being counted.

Already we know that the Tory’s are leading in number of seats gained. A fair few from UKIP but even more from my party Labour.

I cant say that I am surprised by the collapse in the UKIP vote. Their Reason Detra  was a referendum on leaving the EU. Which thanks to David Cameron they got. And being the smaller party in favour of leaving the EU they were pushed to the sidelines in the sidelines int eh campaigning, and weren’t even the first to be spoken to when the result went their way.

The man who is Mr UKIP has stood down from the leadership. Ok not straight away their was a little tooing and froing where he was leader, then he wasn’t, then he was, then he wasn’t again.

Now UKIP’s leader is a man who’s bullshitted about having mates die at Hillsborough. Is under investigation for election fraud after claiming to live in a house that hadn’t been lived in for years to stand in a by election. A by election caused by Tristram Hunt stepping down after being offered any historians dream job.

So UKIP are being sent so far wholesale back down the hole they came from. And, to be honest it has been a long time coming and more then welcome.

As for leader the vote has held so far in wales and only dropped 65 seats in England as i write this.

Not a lot of seat given there’s over a thousand up for grabs this election. But, enough that councils have been lost and as I write one new Regional Major is a Tory.

I have to be honest here, I didn’t vote for my party this time. The first time in my voting  The person standing for my party in my area is someone I have no respect and in fact don’t like. I voted for an independent candidate. A woman who has held both local and county council seats for our area for over twenty years. A massive feat given that normally to get elected in our area all you have to do is wear a blue rosette.

I personally have know this lady for most of the time shes held her seats. My mother was elected to the local council in the same election and as the only Labour councillor she was basically an independent and worked very closely with all the independents. And this lady was the best of the bunch. Slightly annoying and in your face, but worked bloody hard and got the job done.

So on a local level I deemed my vote was best to go to the person who has a long track record of doing right by her constituents and gets things done, over someone who only joined a political party in their dotage and claims that peoples homes don’t exist cause their not easy to get to.

There will more then likely be another long post about the election when its all said an done, but in the mean time I’ll be Volunteering in my local Citizens Advice Office with one eye on the results and one on the training I’m doing to become an advisor.

Labour Party Conference

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Today is the start of the Labour Party Conference.

I myself wont be there. I’ll be honest with things that have happened during the last few months I forgot to apply to steward it, like I have done in the past. But my Grandmother as always is there. Yet again she’s working it and is working in the backstage area. There you have all the works for sound and video, but also an office for the Leader and Deputy leader to use where pretty much no one can get to.

As a steward your expected to work hard for min wage but you have fun doing it. Your pretty much all access ID lets you in the hottest events and often during the leader and deputy leader speeches every one working manages to be in the main room to watch.

This Conference really is the first chance that the leadership can properly put across their plans for the party and how they are going to make them happen.

This Conference is the “biggest one” for the party in a long time. Even more so then last years. Last year was about shooting the starting gun for the run up to the election. This one is about proving that the new left wing leadership voted into place in the last three weeks has what it takes to unite the party and lead us in to a bright future.

This isn’t helped by the likes of Simon Danczuk writing opinion pieces in the Daily Mail trying to tear apart the party. Complaining that Corbyn won. Saying that they themselves are being bullied for not being fully behind the new line up.

Well Mr Danczuk I’ve got news for you. I didn’t support you on a personal level while i was living in Rochdale. But that didn’t stop me from campaigning on your behalf. Using the basket on my three month old son’s pram to hold the leaflets you wanted putting out.

It didn’t stop me from coming to meetings to plan the next weeks events and taking part in them. Hell having bad post natal depression and being scared of going outside I still managed with a lift from someone you’ve now tried to drag through the mud to get to the Head office in Rochdale and help organise drinks and food for the people who where helping out on election day.

To me it was just what you did for your candidate. I can remember my mother eight months pregnant with a two year old in a pram and a nearly five year old me posting leaflets through doors during the 1992 election. My mother wasn’t impressed with the candidate we had then but she still did her bit.

So for the likes of Mr Danczuk this week at Conference is about pulling the party together, showing the world that the party can unite behind a leader who was fairly elected to the post and look to the future and what we can do to get elected and make the country better for every one.

The biggest Challenge this week will be on Tuesday when Corbyn gives his first ever Leaders speech at Conference. This is always the part where the party unites and hangs on the leaders every word. Hearing what their plans for the next year will be.

I was in the room when Tony Blair gave his last speech as leader. And I’ll admit I shed  a little tear at the end. It was moving and full of hope for the future.

I was in the room for John Prescotts last Deputy Leader’s speech. My main memory of that was of laughter. Just like all his past Deputy speeches it ended the conference on a high note to cheers from the crowd.

I was in the room for the first speeches of Gordon Brown and Harriet Harman. Neither where as moving or funny. But both where full of hope and setting out their vision for the future of the party.

For all Leader and Deputy speeches the lines to get into the room start forming at least two hours before bums on seats, which itself happens about an hour before the speech is due to start.

To get into the room if your not working you need a special ticket which is like gold dust. If you don’t have one of the tickets by the middle of the first day of Conference you aren’t getting in. Even the press have to have one of the tickets. The only reason i got to see the speeches I did was because i was working as a steward in the room on those days.

I don’t see it being any different this year. If anything the tickets must have run out earlier then normal. All MP’s have to be in the Leaders speech and are often seated before anyone else close to the stage. That sadly includes the likes of Mr Danczuk.

To be honest I think people like him who go running to the opposition news papers to make a few quid and tear apart the party should give up their seat to someone who is willing to work for the interests of the party no matter who the leader is. In politics as in life you might not like your boss but you show a united front against the world no matter what your opinion of them is.

I know a lot of people who aren’t happy that Corbyn won, but who’ll be watching his speach as avidly as any other by a leader. Who keep their opinion of him to themselves in public while working for the party and putting on a united front. We have a leader who was voted in with a vast majority by members of the party, so we have to respect that and work towards the future united and with one clear message.

Is that really too much to ask for?

I’d like to think it isn’t.

I’ve voted

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That’s it. my on-line ballot for the Labour leadership election as been filled out and submitted.

Instead of sleeping i was awoken by a light night phone call and couldn’t get back to sleep. To try i thought I’d read all the stuff the candidates in the election have sent me. I hoped it would help me sleep. Sadly it didn’t,  but it dd spur me into voting before i see my Grandmother in nine hours time.

I know the first thing she’ll say to me is have you voted? Not did you have a happy birthday as it was my birthday yesterday. that’ll be second on her list of questions. right before how are you?

And to be honest i wouldn’t have her any other. My Gran is the labour party and as long as she’s around i will always know the gossip.

So after an hour of reading my mind was finally made up.

While i really like the things Jeremy Corbin says sadly i couldn’t vote for him as my first preference. Too many stories of Michael Foot’s time in charge and how Corbin is like him have been circling in my head for me to vote for him.

So that left Burnham. I’m not sure he really is the best man for the job but i think he’s probably the best of a bad bunch. I can’t see the two women candidates being able to make much headway in parliament. As much as that saddens me. I would love to have a female leader of the party but the two who’ve put their names in the hat just aren’t the right fit to make anything happen.

I’ve never had a problem choosing who to vote for, for deputy leader. It was always Angela Eagle. She is well known to the party having been an MP for over twenty years. And on a personal level she is personally known to the family.

OK personally known to my Grandmother. You cant be a Labour MP in the North West without being personally known by my Grandmother it would seem.

Even so I have never heard a bad word about her by any one in the party and she is a leading activist for LGBT rights. As far as I’m concerned anyone who’ll fight for my best friend who’s gay to have the same rights as me a straight person gets my vote.

Hidden amongst the leadership election is also the National Policy Forum Election and the Conference Arrangements Committee.

I wont go into the voting for that as a lot of the names put forward for it aren’t in the public eye and i don’t feel right talking about it.

I know that the vote is supposed to be secret but I hope by writing this it will help someone else make their mind up. Plus this is a chance for me to my excuses… sorry reasoning straight in my head for when i face the force of nature that is my Grandmother.

You may agree with the reasoning you may not. but it’s mine and helped me come to a decision on who I voted for. If you’r able to vote in this election please do. Don’t waste your chance to have your voice heard. And if you haven’t voted but could have when the poll closes keep your mouth shut if the person you wanted didn’t get the post. You’r vote might have been the one they needed to get the post.

Even if it doesn’t at least you’ve had your voice heard and can say with pride my person might not have got in, but i voted and now it’s time to join together and work towards a Labour government and a better future for us all.

Voting begins

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So the ballot papers have hit our mats. Yes we’re in the home straight of this seemingly never ending leadership election.

If your like my Grandmother the filled in ballot will have been sent off within minutes of getting it. I’m pretty sure the postie was still on her street when she set off to post her filled in ballot. And as predicted i got a call as soon as she got back home.

“Gemma the ballots have arrived, fill it in now. The RIGHT way and get it posted today!!!”

Yes my Grandmother is bossy. If I lived closer to her I’m pretty sure she’d find her way to mine on a normal election day, march me to the polling station and stand next to me as i fill the ballot in to make sure I vote the “right way”. She has very firm ideas on what is the right way to vote and likes to make sure the family votes that way.

Anyway during the phone call i had to admit i havent got my papers yet. They went to my dads address instead.

A bit of a back story is needed here i think.

In a past post i’ve mentioned that my mother was very active in the local party as i grew up. so active in fact a lot of the older folks in our clp where called auntie and uncle by us kids as we saw more of them then our real family. As the clp is run by people who aren’t very good at dealing with change I can predict what will happen at every meeting and the time it will take. Having been bottle fed, napped and finally taken part in the meeting over the last nearly twenty eight years i chose to stop going to the meetings. I believe the final straw was they stopped the holding the meetings in a pub. Yes once i was old enough i drank my way through the meetings. Hard to let your mouth run away with you and insult people you’ve know your whole life if your mouths fall of straws!

So when i moved and realised i would be living within spitting distance of a couple of these older members who i have a hard time saying no to when they corner me, i left the membership address as my Dads. I still get any important post.

And more importantly for me I haven’t had to deal with what I am assured is a true mountain of snail mail related to the election. Getting twenty thousand emails daily is bad enough. OK i might have over egged the number there but it sure feels like when the phone keeps beeping to tell me i have a new email.

Back to now. Having made my admonition to my Grandmother i waited for the expected lecture to happen. Instead i got told to get my arse over to my dads and get the ballot filled in now. Remembering to vote the right way. and to call her when its done to make sure she likes the way i voted.

I’m now dodging her calls as it’ll be a couple of days before i can to dads to fill in my forms. Luckly for me shes in her eighties and is a little scared of the internet so the chances of her seeing this, and my head losing touch with my body are slim to none.

But, even though the ballots have now hit our door mats there are still hustings going on and planned to go on till the last second before the poll closes.

I might be a lone in holding this view but surely once the papers have been sent out all hustings ect should be stopped. It should be treated like a normal polling day. No campaigning allowed.

Again going back to my Grandmother even though she has filled in and sent her ballot back tonight she’s been at a hustings and plans on going to others over the next few weeks.

Why i ask. Because her friends will be there. People she only sees at conference. And there’s food and drink on offer.

If you ever want to hold a political event have food and drink on offer and you’ll be stampeded. At conference if you plan your day right you never have to pay for food and drink. but thats another story.

So i guess at the end of the day, the old people are going to the events having already sent their forms off to have a good chin wag while younger people like me are still scratching our heads wondering just who to vote for.

I still don’t know who’ll get my vote. I may end up voting just as the polls close going with the candidates my Grandmother is backing.

Labour leadership election.

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Its been dragged out for five months and there is sill nearly a month to go.

I don’t know about anyone else but i’m getting sick to the back teeth with it.

I’ve been a member all my life. Yes i know you cant join till your fifteen, but i think your member as soon as you start pushing leaflets through doors and for me that was pretty much as soon as i could walk. At the age of four i was pushing leaflets through doors while my eight month pregant mother watched on holding the huge bag of leaflets yet to be posted.

Growing my my mother was a labour councillor and worked as an party organiser. So for me My first party leader was John Smith. i meet him not long before he died. My mother had spent a week driving him around and had my sister and i delivered to the train station to meet him before he went somewhere else. while we waited we had choc ices. being six and three at the time we got it every where and there wasnt time to clean us up before the big man arrived.

with out a pause he took a hankie from his pocket clean my hands then shook my hand. My little sister didn’t want to shake hands with him so i stuck my other hand out to for him to shake. with a laugh he did then was ushered onto the train.

My best memory of a labour leader and i’ve meet all of them since more then once. Not one of them can torch to the big man in my mind.

So to get back to the point the four that are standing this year are nothing like him and the party will be worse for it. how many of them could you imagine laughing while carefully cleaning up a child before shacking their hand. a child they had never met before and never will again?

Maybe its the way she’s been portrayed in the media and by the other candidates but i find it hard to believe Liz Kendell would know what to do in that situation.

Not that its the be all and end all of my decision making.

And i wouldn’t vote for her anyway. Having looked at her policies and listened to what she has to say i find it hard to believe that she really does want what’s best the party. More like she wants what’s best for her on the after speaking dinner circuit.

Jeremy Corbin is seen as a communist and generally not a safe person to trust with the party.

I’m not sure i believe that. there has to be more to the man for so many grass roots members to support him and turn up to his events in such numbers that they end up out on the street looking in.

I have found myself agreeing with him on some issues and liking the way he’s dealt with the others when they’ve tried to interrupt his answers to questions. often questions they themselves have asked.

Yvette Cooper. I don’t know what i can say about her. pretty much before this election campaign the only thing i knew about her was that she was Ed Balls wife. And so far that’s still pretty much all i know about her. she gets drowned out of the debates by the others. So i cant see how she’ll survive PMQ’s where the whole house is in uproar when she gets lost in the voices of three other people.

Andy Burnham. The lad from up north. Probably the best known of the four contenders. I first met him ten years ago and can remember being blown away with how down to earth he was. I’ve met him a few times since then thanks to my Gran’s local party inviting him to a lot of their events. He’s a great speaker and has got a room full of the most stubborn people you will ever met rallying behind his every word.

Could that translate into a nation wide movement. I don’t know. He has a lot of baggage from the last labour government to over come. even more so when you take into account he was the minister for health. health hasn’t had good press since before he came to the post, and the Tories won’t be able to stop themselves throwing any failures that happened during his time in office in his face every chance they get. So weekly at PMQ’s.

So in seven hundred words I’ve scratched the surface of these four and well i still don’t know who i’m voting for. I’ve managed to narrow it down to three. If i cant get a first place in my mind, i might just give the ballot to my Gran to fill out for me. She’s had her mind made up from the beginning and if i was less stubborn myself i might have gone with her choice before now.

Just a quick one line to say I’ve know who I want to be deputy leader all a long and that’s Angela Eagle.  I have a lot of respect for her and having family who have dealt with her in the past and to some extent in the present who only speak good of her, (which if you knew my family you’d know how much of a miracle it is they agree about her!) i think the party will be safe with her in the deputy seat.

Its been a while

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its been a while since I wrote in here. since the last time a lot has happened.my depression has risen and fallen. I’ve sought therapy which helped a little and grown as a person a bit.

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to get used to living in my own place and juggling bills and spends on my son. not really easy to do when i spend a lot of time not wanting to leave my flat! any one with depression and anxiety will know just how hard it can be to have the get up and go to do anything.

the political climate at the moment in England hasn’t helped. every year with the budget more and more bad news comes. less in in-work benefits for people who don’t have full-time jobs, more companies only offering part-time or zero hour contracts. now isn’t a good time to be trying to get off benefits and earning your own money.

but then what do the people in power care when they have the ability to never worry about where the moneys going to come from to keep the lights on and water in the tap?

but my writing bug has been reactivated with the idea that I could possible make money from my writing by putting it on e-reader sites. which is something I’ve always wondered would I be good enough to do.

my dad is on board to help me work out which stories are any good and if I could possibly work them into longer stories people would pay money for. it helps knowing that my father who i think of as one of the most intelligent people i know believes that I have the ability to do it,  I’m going to try a new track and use my six-year-old to bounce ideas off.

he’s currently really into dragon and apart from the how to train you dragon series there really isn’t a lot of dragon books for kids his age. not ones with dragons as main charactors  anyway. so for him I’m going to try to write some and post the ones he likes on here before going full steam ahead and finding an artist for the pictures. hopefully my sister. a real family enterprise! it’ll either bring us all closer together or someone will end up dead. most likely my dad as he’s got the coolest head and most patience.

Cat fight in downing street.

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Yes you heard right.

 

Theres been a cat fight in Downing street. And it’s appeared on the news as a lead story!

Now the fight wasnt between any two cats. It was between the Prime Ministers cat and the Chancellors cat.

Again it’s not really big news.

Unless you take into account that the PMs cat is well-known for just laying about sleeping. disappointing the residents of Downing street as it was meant to be a rat catcher.

Yep they managed to find the only cat who’s lazier then Garfield!

 

 

The cat was only bought because a few times during live broadcasts from outside number ten there where large rats running about.

So after this cat proved himself to be a lazy cat the cancellors cat was moved into the street. Rat problem sorted.

they’ve been living together quite happily for a year and then the other night the chancellors girl cat turned round and cat punched the PMs cat. all in front of the policeman who’s thankless task it is to just stand outside the door of number 10.

No one stepped in to stop the fight. instead they did what every these days seem to do, take pictures and put them online.

So why is this a big story?

Well historically the residents of numbers 10 and 11 Downing Street have found it very hard to get on. Often refusing to talk to each other, unless there really is nothing else they can do.

So newscasters are now trying to say because the cats are fighting there must be something going on between their masters.

Me thinks their trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill.

Cats in my experience can be cuddled up to one another one minute fighting the next and back to cuddling the one after.

People must be really desperate to see something happening between Cameron and Osborne other than brown-nosing each other all the time.

To be perfectly honest I wouldn’t be surprised if in the back rooms of numbers ten and 11 they have manikin’s of each other they beat up so they can keep the “we’re best mates” act going in public.

Can we have some proper news now this silly story has done the rounds for a few days?

 

Some how I don’t think it’ll happen any time soon.

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