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.


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.

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.

sorry bro

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My little brother feels that in an earlier post about the Labour Party i strayed from the facts.

He says that during the lastest round of strikes he knew people from the labout party who baked cakes to give to strikers and joined them on many a picket line. From what he was telling me a lot of these people where yonger members who took the day off uni. Nowt wrong with taking the day off uni to join in a strike.

He believes that i have got a large amont of facts wrong due to only dealing with a small number of people from parts of the party. And that my own experinces with a handfl of people from Rochdale clp colours my view point. On that he may just be right. I wont go into detail as its in the past and i’ve moved on.

So dearest brother here is your chance to blog on my site about where i went wrong in my estimation of the party and what you think the party is doing right.

Lord Adonis.

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Flicking through the news websites I noticed that Lord Adonis is quoted a complaining about the train companies, much as I was some three days ago.

Speaking at a meeting at the Labour party conference he is quoted as saying “Train companies must not be allowed to degrade services once they have taken on a franchise”. This will ring true for anyone who travels by a train a lot as they have noticed and complained about how the service they are provided with has gone down hill as the years have passed.

In 2009 national express lost the right to run trains on the East Coast Mainline. the service that they were providing was even worse than any you can find on a normal train journey, which is saying a lot. Even though the fares where some of the highest in the country they were losing money hand over fist. And, as a last-ditch move to keep their trains running they considered taking away all catering on their trains.

On most long journeys it is fair to expect that there will be a catering carriage on the train, where you can expect to pay over the odds for a cup of coffee or a packet of crisps. Having a catering carriage when something happens to the line so your sat in the middle of no where is great as they often offer free cold drinks or in the case of one trip i took things from the fridge as they had lost power and needed to clear the perishables quickly.

Rightly the labour government said that wasnt good enough and took over the running of the service.

Lord Adonis also states that “their is nothing in teh francise agreements signed by the train operaters about proveding catering services” condisering that it can often take three hours to get from city to another i would have thought something as simple as catering would be set out in the francise agreement.

He talks about how governmet should step to keep the companies inline as they are currently running in effect regional monopolies. Which is very true, unlike other consumer based services you cant change which train provider you use as your stck with the one you’ve got thanks to how the system is run.

One last quote which i think sums up how most people feel. “we need a much more active, mch more professional state acting on behalf of the consumer and profound public interest.”

Tuition fees

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Turn on the news at the moment and tuition fees are bound to be in the line up some where. It’s the stick politicians are using to beat each other with during the conference season.

We’ve already heard the Lib dems view on politics, which we must remember is a complete one eighty turn around from what their views wer less than two years ago.

In the run up to the 2010 election the dems were promising that if they got into power they would reverse the tuition fees that labour brought in. There for making it cheaper for students to attend university. Not only have the dems sat in a government that’s upped the tuition fee limit but they have said that they would be willing to see it raise again.

As a member of the labour party there is little I can say about the introduction of the fees as my party brought them in. At the time i argued and petitioned those higher in the party then myself to not go head with them. Sadly like so many others my pleas fell on deaf ears.

If I had managed to get the grades I needed to go to uni I would have been in the last intake to not have to pay the fees. sadly I didn’t manage to get the grades so I missed my chance to do it on the cheap as it where. So knowing that I would have to pay a grand a year for my uni ed after bumping up my grades I worked through the next year and sadly didn’t get the grades yet again.

By the time I got the grades at the age of twenty I had better things to spend the money on. I was pregant and my partner and I where struggling to afford a bigger place and all the things you need that come along with a child. so once again I didn’t make it into uni.

It’s worth it when you consider that I have a wonderful son now who quickly coming up to three. I find that every time tuition fees are mentioned I start worrying about how my son will afford to go in less than sixteen years. already he has a trust fund with money going in monthly for him to use to pay for uni. But the rate that the fees are going up there’s a very good chance that even the fund wont be enough to cover even one years uni education.

In the past year the tory and lib dem government have brought in a new cap of up to £9000 a year. I know that compared to some countries even that seems like a very small amount for uni education. but in a country where in till five years ago you didn’t have to pay tuition fees and in some cases could get grants to help pay for housing and what not, it’s quite a lot.

We’re only on the first day of the labour party conference and already they are talking about tuition fees. they are saying that they want to cap the tuition fees at £6000 a year. which is good of them as most uni are charging the max they can. But, we wouldn’t be talking about the need to cap the fees if the party hadn’t brought them in, in the first place.

The labour party is supposed to be on the side of the working class and making sure that everyone has the same chances in life matter where their from or how much their family earns. under the party rule more people found they could get to uni and then use that to get a better job. it became a right not something that only the rich could afford to do.

By bringing in the tuition fees labour opened to door for the Tories to turn the dream of getting a degree and a good job into the preserve of the rich.

we’re always hearing about the need for more scientists, doctors, etc but with the high rate of fees before adding in the price of housing, etc, means that a lot of people who would have gone to uni to study those subjects can’t afford it and end up doing something that doesn’t help us as a nation.

Now we have the fees in place I don’t see them going away again, all I can hope is that people studying in areas we as a country need are able to get grants and pay less for their degree than those studying mickey mouse subjects that have no use what so ever.