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Monday, 26 September 2016

New Agenda on Sunday. is out! Edition of 25 September 2016





Good morning everyone.



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It is almost October and already the nights are longer than the days, which is even now effecting my sleep pattern. Very soon now, the man with the "clock keys" will be creeping around in the middle of the night to tamper and interfere with the clock settings which will disrupt my sleep even more. Ever since I was a boy, I have been severely affected by dark winter nights which seem to start at around 4:00pm every day and continue till around 09:00 the next morning.
Altering the time on the clock only exacerbates the situation and I spend some 6 months feeling tired and irritable. I really wish that the "powers that be" would recognise that the winter solstice heralding shorter days is bad enough but at least we could dispense with the nonsense of changing the clocks twice every year.



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I have managed to avoid "Strictly Come Dancing" on television and also the considerable number of "reports" in the press and on television of the shenanigans on stage and behind the scenes concerning some contestants, or judges, or judges and contestants. Why this should be front page news in practically every newspaper and magazine is a constant mystery to me, particularly when the same "reports" but with the identity of the personality changed for this series, has been a constant feature of this programme ever since the format first came to our screens almost 50 years ago, (or so it seems).
I appreciate that this show gives pleasure to many people, but there must surely come a time when high kicking women in questionable costumes, men carrying out the same dance routines as they always have, celebrities being insulted by Craig Revel Horwood and the inevitable speculation about which celebrity or even celebrities have become "an item" with their respective professional partners, become too predictable for even the most avid fan of this weekly extravaganza. Again, there are whispers that this may be the last series, We can only hope.






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Staying with television shows for just a moment, who would have believed that a simple cookery programme changing television channels (there are so many cookery programmes on our screens already anyway) would have caused such a furore in the press and quite probably in many homes around the country. I refer of course to "the Great British Bake Off" which is leaving BBC2 to go to Channel 4 and is taking Paul Hollywood with it. The other names associated with this show, "Mel"Giedroyc, Sue Perkins and Mary Berry are staying at the BBC amid rumours that a replacement show is being considered for that channel. The net result is that television gains another cookery programme!






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You may have noticed that there has been a ballot for election of the Labour party leader, and that delegates have now gathered in Liverpool for the party annual conference. This accounts for the rather short narrative here on this e-mail. I will no doubt have some remarks to make next week.

Still rather strange weather patters around the country. Perhaps the man who tampers with the clocks also interferes with the weather.

Have a nice week.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Yesterday, the Guardian preached tolerance and compromise.Today, the Observer throws off the mask.




The Observer view on the Labour leadership election.





Yesterday morning, prior to the result of the election for the Labour party leadership being declared, I wrote a piece under the heading of, "Has the Guardian become converted to the tolerance and compromise idea?" Today, in its disguise as the Observer, there is another piece of "opinion", now masquerading as "Observer editorial", which appears to have thrown the almost reconciliatory editorial of yesterday, into the editors waste bin and reverted to type in attacking Corbyn and seeking to undermine his position by unquestioned support for the Parliamentary Labour Party. It is hardly in the spirit of "Tolerance and Compromise" as proposed by yesterday's editorial, to spew out, less than 24 hours later (and noticeably after the election result), criticism of his leadership using almost abusive phraseology such as "incompetence", intolerance of dissent","unelectable", "encouraged abuse of MP's and anti Antisemitism" and the blatant distortion that Corbyn has "called for the immediate triggering of article 50" which is patently untrue.



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The Observer then excels itself in its support and encouragement for the PLP by emphasising that the Leader must change his style and policies to accommodate the stated objectives of the PLP in exchange for "some space to try to succeed" and to accede to their "proposals" for changes in Party rules to allow elections to the shadow cabinet positions and for the leadership position.
The Observer does grudgingly concede that "Any further attempts to undermine his leadership will be counterproductive" and that, "Labour MPs must hold off any manoeuvres against Corbyn. They have a responsibility to contribute to the business of opposition, whether from the shadow cabinet or select committees, and to do what they can to recruit members to broaden out the Labour church."
Perhaps we should consider for just a moment, what has actually taken place over the last months.
Even before Corbyn was first elected in September of 2015, there were some MP's who publicly stated, even in the pages of the Guardian and Observer, that in the event that Corbyn was elected leader of the party, they would stage a coup to "remove him within days" of the election result being declared. In June of this year, that coup was triggered with the orchestrated resignation of a number of MP's from the shadow cabinet. The expectation of those who resigned and those elements of the media and television who encouraged and supported them, was that Corbyn would resign as Labour party leader. They were mistaken. Corbyn did not resign. A vote of "No Confidence" in Jeremy Corbyn's leadership was arranged and when the result produced some 172 MP's supporting the motion, it was again assumed that Corbyn would resign, but yet again he refused to stand down. The last throw of these MP's to remove Corbyn was to launch a leadership challenge, but even their selected candidate for the task openly admitted that in his opinion, the challenge was ill conceived and premature. Yesterday, 24th September, marked the final defeat of this abortive coup, when Jeremy Corbyn was returned as leader of the Labour party with an increased share of the votes cast to 61.8%.


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In a perverse view of of reality and with logic scarcely understandable to almost everybody except sections of the media and some MP's who even now reject the democratic decision of more than 313,200 Labour party members, there seems to be the belief that the side which has lost both the coup and the subsequent leadership vote can somehow dictate "peace terms" to the side which has clearly routed them. There is no other example, anywhere in the world or at any time in history, where such a distorted scenario has come about.
Jeremy Corbyn has extended an olive branch to the disaffected MP's together with an undertaking to "wipe the slate clean" adding that " we are part of the same Labour family", while party members called for unity against the Conservatives.
Perhaps the Observer today and the Guardian yesterday, are not, even now, ready to accept that the Labour party today is not the same Labour party of years past, no matter how much they and other sections of the media and television may desperately desire it. The party and just as importantly the people, have moved on and now have a different view of how politics should be conducted.
The Observer and the Guardian do their readers a grave injustice by patronising customers with the view that only they and certain members of the PLP have the answers to all the questions and everyone else should bow to their superior knowledge without question or dissent.

They say that Corbyn and the Labour party are unelectable. We shall see.




Saturday, 24 September 2016

Has the Guardian become converted to the tolerance and compromise idea ?




The Guardian view on the Labour leadership. 

Wanted: Tolerance and compromise. Editorial.




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I read this article twice. The first time, I thought that I had picked up a piece which had strayed into the pages of the Guardian, as if by accident from another newspaper. Only upon the second reading did I realise, with a growing sense of incredulity, that this was in fact a Guardian article and moreover, one written under the heading of, ""Editorial": The Guardian view on the Labour leadership: wanted – tolerance and compromise".
I found the "Editorial" to be a little puzzling, because here they are, calling for, "a collective effort to work together or even merely to coexist tolerantly, based on compromise and mutual respect" when, for the past 12 months or so, the Guardian has been in the vanguard of those media outlets calling for Jeremy Corbyn to be removed from the leadership. Successive journalists from this paper, and numerous "Guest opinions", Polly Toynbee, Neil Kinnock, David Blunkett and others, have consistently produced articles unfairly critical of Corbyn and his leadership, and frequently reproducing smear and distortions carried elsewhere, designed to undermine Corbyn's position to assist some other member, more acceptable to the Guardian (and a perception of their readership preference, which strangely enough was not generally reflected in the "comments" sections of the articles). It is widely known that the Guardian preference of candidate in the leadership election of 2015, was Yvette Cooper and it is clearly obvious that Owen Smith received the most positive coverage during this 2016 leadership contest, albeit that the newspaper now seems to accept that Jeremy Corbyn will be re-elected as Labour leader at around 11:45 today. The general theme supported by the Guardian, probably since May or June of last year, has been the "Anyone but Corbyn" line and using any smear or distortion to promote that argument.
This is what I found so surprising about this mornings plea for unity, tolerance and respect within the party, when they have been instrumental for so long in supporting and encouraging those divisive and disruptive elements which have brought us to the position we are in today. However, if the Guardian is sincere in its conversion, and now seeks to throw its considerable influence and weight into the fight against the Conservative government and unite behind the leadership of the party to bring about a Labour victory at the next General election whenever such election may be called, then we in the Labour party should welcome such a conversion and move forward.




The "Independent" off to an early start in the smear and vilification crusade.

Poll for The Independent shows a major disconnect between traditional Labour voters and new Corbyn supporters (well what would you expect from the "Independent")



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       Labour supporters are still backing Jeremy Corbyn in droves

The result of the Labour Party leadership election has not yet even been declared (the time is 06:50 Saturday 24th September), and already the "Independent" is preparing the ground for the next round of the, "We must get rid of Corbyn", smear and vilification campaign. The rest of the anti Corbyn media and television cabal will no doubt wade in with their duplicitous distortions over the next few hours and days (provided of course that at around 11:45 this morning Corbyn is actually declared to have won the ballot) to carry on the deceitful crusade that they have been openly waging for over 12 months against the leadership of the Labour party.
It is widely expected that Corbyn has defeated Smith with some projections putting the figures as high as a 64% to 36%. If this is in fact the case, regardless of the actual margin of victory, we can rely on the media concocting new "facts", smears and distortions to fill their reports from Liverpool.




Thursday, 22 September 2016

Miliband Major is not coming back

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/david-miliband-savages-jeremy-corbyn-and-his-own-brother-too-a7321531.html


David Miliband savages 'unelectable' Jeremy Corbyn, and his own brother too


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There are those in the Labour party who would like to see the return of Miliband Major to British politics. There are also those in the Labour party who rather that he stayed 3000 miles away. Miliband Major never really got over the shock, some may even say humiliation, of being defeated by his brother Miliband Minor, for the "Big Job" in Labour Party politics. Many people, not least of all Miliband Major himself, considered that the matter was a done deal and that he would be anointed as leader, to follow in the footsteps of Blair (via Brown). His disappointment and surprise was evident to all at the special Labour Party Conference, and to those watching on television, as Miliband Minor was awarded the crown, and within a very short space of time, Miliband Major stood down as an MP and disappeared to America to take up a lucrative position as Head of International Rescue Committee in New York, becoming CEO  on 1 September 2013. He has never really recovered from the shock of his brother winning and has spent the last 6 years or so, sulking and posturing from the comfort of his position in America.  




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Like his mentor Blair however, Miliband Major periodically emerges from the shadows to give to anyone prepared to listen or to any "journalist" from a newspaper prepared to give some space, his thoughts, guidance and advice on the ills of the Labour Party and its leadership, and how he has the answers if anyone will listen. However, again like the contributions from Blair, the words waft around in the breeze of British politics for a short time and then disperse to be forgotten and lost in obscurity.
Miliband Major has nothing to say, other than a few sour grapes remaining from his defeat and his realisation that he is not coming back. 



Have you been prevented from voting in the Labour Party leadership election?

https://twitter.com/Grombags


If you have been prevented from voting in the Labour Party leadership election, please complete the survey. 







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There have been a significant amount of expulsions, suspensions and other methods of preventing members from voting in the current Labour leadership election It is presently estimated that more than 100,000 people have either not received their ballot papers on have been prevented from voting by other methods. 

On September 12th my wife was suspended from the Labour party, after receiving a letter stating 

"Allegations that you may have been involved in a breach of that rule have been brought to the attention of the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC). The allegations relate to:
Comments made on social media including on 31 December 2015.
It is important that these allegations are investigated and the NEC will be asked to authorise a full report to be drawn up with recommendations for disciplinary action if appropriate.
In the meantime, I give you formal notice that it has been determined that the powers given to the NEC under 6.I.1.A of the Party’s rules should be invoked to suspend you from office or representation of the Party*, pending the outcome of an internal Party investigation"

My wife has never used social media and has, for personal reasons, not been to party meetings for some months. There is no formal statement from the "accusers" and no evidence is offered in support of these "charges". Consequently, the content of the letter and the allegations therein are totally refuted and which led to an appeal being submitted on the same day.

Notwithstanding repeated e-mails to the appeals at@labour contact e-mail address and other connected e-mail addresses, the Labour Party did not even acknowledged receipt of the appeal. The net result being that the deadline for receipt of ballots, 12 noon on the 21st September 2016, passed and my wife was unable to vote in this crucial election. As previously mentioned, she was not alone in this, as some 100,000 other members appear to have been dis enfranchised also.




If you've been denied your vote in the Labour Leadership Election, Please take a moment to complete this survey

Yesterday, a message appeared in my inbox with a link to a simple survey, requesting information as to how and why, party members had been prevented from voting. The survey has been produced by  Ms G Richards (https://twitter.com/Grombags), who must be applauded for taking a step towards assisting ordinary members of the Labour party, to understand what has happened over recent weeks and the extent to which the party may have been affected.

It seems to me to be essential that Labour party members be given the opportunity to exchange information and personal experiences in connection with the leadership election which has witnessed events and circumstances, unprecedented in the history of the Labour Party and its democratic processes. 
Please take a moment to complete the survey and submit to the organiser.






The alternative is to dump it in landfill.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/first-food-waste-supermarket-uk-leeds-real-junk-food-project-a7317906.html




The UK’s first food waste supermarket opens



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The food, which may otherwise have found its way to landfill, is used to feed 12,000 children a week.

It is a sad reflection on our society that, in the 21st Century in the United Kingdom, there is a necessity for places like this and for Food-banks. We should all feel a sense of shame that we have allowed successive governments to create the environment where the only rapidly growing industries are those charities providing food welfare and even energy welfare in some places, to feed and shelter almost 1 million families in this country today.