Labour’s new civil war over racism and power

To see senior Labour figures literally kicking verbal lumps out of each other may be entertaining to those of us who despise the authoritarian Labour Party but what is going on is more than a spat about racism vitally important though that is.

For a party supposedly of the left to be openly at war over racism is bizarre in itself but I go back 30 years or more to one of the most telling things I was told as a young politician. It came from a young Labour Party member who quite openly said to me that there were more racists in his party than in the other political party or words to that effect. And it seems to have come to pass many years later played out on our TV screens with senior Labour figures making such allegations about others in that comradely Party.

But of course this is just the latest spat in Labour’s ongoing civil war. The Red Tories want Corbyn out, they want him to look like he can’t lead his party, they are making the Labour Party impossible to lead.

Yes Corbyn is no great leader of men and women but neither is he the appalling man many of his own MP’s are trying to make him look like. He probably has many principles which his own party is trying to make him compromise. They may, in many cases, be principles that we libertarians could not agree with but at least he has principles.

Burnham is quite obviously jockeying for position as he can smell a possible end to Corbyn’s leadership and he needs to reinvent himself again after getting such a pasting in the last leadership election. He’s even using left wing rhetoric these days; very different to that he used when he lost to Corbyn and even further away from his days as a Blairite Minister privatising the NHS.

The majority of Labour MP’s want their party to swing back to the right, to be Blairite under a more palatable title. No more New Labour by name but very much so in policy terms.

My argument is that a right wing Labour Party is no good for the UK. Yes they may be able to unseat some Tories but why do we need Red Tories to replace Blue Tories? The changes would only be at the margins.

What we need is a radical, diverse and yes yet more radical alternative to Labour settling back down as the just slightly better alternative to more Tory years. Canada has that alternative model and those of us who want open inclusive government should take note. Why even some Americans can see that a more radical path needs to be taken with the rise of Bernie Sanders in the Democrat Party. I am always amazed to hear Labour Party members arguing for Hilary Clinton to win the Democratic nomination.

Justin Trudeau did not come to power by being slightly less right wing than the Canadian Tories he did it by turning the Canadian Liberal Party into a radical party that is openly prepared to tear up old outdated policy stances.

Radical policies are not based on class war as Labour and its core supporters believe, they are based on true empowerment of people, celebrating diversity and getting voters to coalesce around a common radical and positive agenda. Labour are incapable of such an approach whether the left or right is running their show.

The UK is crying out for a Justine Trudeau type leader not talk of moderation and aiming for the center ground, or worse centre ground positioning dressed up by left wing rhetoric. Is Tim Farron up for that?

Seaforth – How not to blow up a block of flats!

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/seaforth-residents-life-hold-after-11256192

The Liverpool Echo has the latest on this rather bizarre story. Bring back Blaster Bates or Fred Dibnah?

Must be a right old carry on for the poor Seaforth residents who have had their lives disrupted.

17154559395_34a57ac232_o

By the way there’s another block by Bootle Strand Railway Station that is due to meet a similar fate (see photo above – it’s the unrefurbished one of course), but not too similar we all must hope?

Hillsborough campaigners – ‘confronted the British establishment at its most corrupt’

The quote above was not actually made about the Hillsborough campaigners but I thought it was most apt when I came across it only this week when reading ‘Against the Grain’ by Norman Baker.

The quote comes from Peter Oborne of The Spectator who reviewed the book but, as I say, I read it just as the the Inquest Jury was announcing the historic verdicts. I suppose it was just a coincidence of circumstances that I happened to pick up the book at the same time but none the less I feel that it sums up what the Hillsborough campaigners have been doing.

Their 27 years of fighting for justice, which of course is ongoing, has been quite remarkable especially as the ruling political establishment over the years had seemingly wanted the whole thing brushed under the carpet.

A quite remarkable group of campaigners.

Labour rattled by Independent candidate in Maghull & Lydiate’s Park Ward

Readers will recall that I let slip that Labour had almost lost a by-election in Maghull a few weeks ago to an independent Green Belt campaigner – they clung onto the seat by just 3 votes. This was the election that for some very odd reason the local press decided not to report the result of and that suited Labour down to the ground.

However, I knew they (Labour) would be rattled and therefore it was no surprise that when a Labour election leaflet popped through my door the other day that it was attacking the Green Belt campaigners that they are so frightened of.

Under the heading of ‘Vote Independent, get Conservative?’ Labour are clearly trying to suggest that the independent candidate (in Park Ward) may be a Tory sympathiser. BUT the lady standing as the independent candidate was a Labour supporter until Labour said they would defend the Green Belt but then voted on Sefton Council to build on it! She is fighting Labour because they said one thing and did the opposite.

Bizarre or what?

Formby – The Asparagus Town

Formby is famous for asparagus growing this historic agricultural heritage is being celebrated by some interesting sculptures in and around the dunes and woodland.

Here are a couple an interesting wood carvings/sculptures related to the cultivation of asparagus that I have come across whilst walking the lovely dunes of the Sefton coast:-

Digging up the asparagus r

Asparagus Trees

Click on the photos to enlarge them

The National Trust has an Asparagus Trail to walk if you visit their Formby Point site – see link below:-

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/formby/trails/formby-asparagus-walk-trail

Asparagus Trail - Formby Pine Woods

The first photo is amongst the recent additions to my Flickr pages and the second one was added some time ago – see link below:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Halton Curve – Rail scheme given a further green light

Green light to the Halton Curve rail scheme by Liverpool City Region Authority.

There’s every chance that this one will be announced to death as every step towards the opening of this rail curve seems to be the last green light only for more to pop up as someone/some organisation needs to be seen to be giving the last green light, if you get my drift. The following is from Merseytravel in response to the Liverpool City Region Authority giving their green light on 15th April.

‘This will open up leisure and work opportunities by offering new connections between Liverpool, Liverpool John Lennon Airport, Runcorn, Frodsham, Helsby, Chester and, in future, North Wales. Work is due to start on site in June 2017 and be completed by May 2018.

Approval of the business case unlocks the £10.4m allocated to the scheme through the Government’s Local Growth Fund (LGF). At today’s meeting, the CA also approved an additional £5.67m for the scheme to come from the City Region’s LGF pot. This is in recognition that the initial bid to Government in 2014 was based on a high level estimate at an early stage of scheme development.’

I think the extra £5.67 is local authority speak for we got the sums wrong or more likely Network Rail did?!