Why refugees are a gift, not a burden, to society: Alexander Betts

Refugees, via the cruel world of popularist politics, red top tabloid newspapers and social media, have become a problem and many of the underlying issues of Brexit have a foundation in racism and fear of those who are different. I was therefore pleased to see this modern-day ‘norm’ being challenged by Alexander Betts. Have a look at this video via Mark Pack’s web site, it’s an eye-opener:-

www.markpack.org.uk/136124/alexander-betts-refugee-talk/

And to think that not so many years ago the UK was very much at the forefront of helping refugees. Oh, what has become of my country?…………….

Corbyn – What drives his cult-like following or what makes a Corbynista?

Well yes of course I’m no supporter of Corbyn as I’m a Radical Liberal but none the less the almost cult-like following Corbyn has is something I’d really like to at least understand.

That some people think he is the saviour of the left is undoubtedly the case and that he is idolised by some is also a given, but let me throw a few things out there for debate.

Firstly, in the last local elections as I was out and about campaigning and indeed cycling through West Lancashire and Sefton one thing really struck me; it was the Labour poster boards on properties of the well to do houses in fashionably expensive places like Aughton and Ainsdale. And I’m talking about communities where you all but had to have a Conservative Party membership card to buy a house in recent times. Yes I know there are many ordinary semi’s in these leafy communities but it was the Lab’ posters on the larger more expensive properties that struck me.

Labour has always had members/supporters whom the left have called ‘Champagne Socialists’ but they were almost always Social Democrats and most of them would not have put Labour posters up on their properties for fear of upsetting neighbourly relations in predominately Conservative voting areas. Now with a Labour leadership and membership well to the left (whilst the mast majority of Labour MP’s are still Social Democrats) some of the wealthy Corbynistas are bedecking their high-end houses to flaunt their support for him.

Now here’s a link to how Labour and indeed Corbyn did is those recent local elections

www.markpack.org.uk/154799/labour-opposition-leaders-local-elections-record/

The obvious interpretation, to me anyway, is that despite a section of the left being utterly devoted to him Jez is actually not making the big impression on voters that you may expect, especially with us having a completely incompetent and fractured Tory Government at present. Of course this lack of a Corbyn bounce must surely be linked in some way to his bizarre support for the Conservative’s Brexit.

Unless you are a unthinking disciple of Brexit we all know it will lead to a more poorly funded NHS, a weaker economy, job losses and the poor being made poorer. Not end results that you would expect socialist leaders to sign up to, yet by backing Brexit that is indeed what the present Labour Leadership is doing despite it also saying not a job will be lost via Brexit. What an utterly bizarre position for any party adopt, but for a supposedly progressive party! Words fail many commentators…………..

And here’s another link, which is more about the man himself and a book written about his surprising rise to become Labour’s leader.

www.markpack.org.uk/137508/comrade-corbyn-rosa-prince/

The other thing (you could say contradiction) about Corbyn is the support he allegedly has amongst young people; the very people who probably have the most to lose (other than the poor) because of his support for Brexit. I’m guessing here that they like his reinvention of 1970’s left wing policies such as a much larger welfare state with many state provided ‘free’ things paid for by taxpayers. But don’t those same young people want to travel outside the UK into EU countries to live and work there as they please? Don’t they want a stable economy that is able to support an enlarged welfare state? You can’t back Brexit and have a flourishing economy that puts money in the Treasury’s coffers to make a ‘most things for free society’ actually work in any rational way.

Maybe re-nationalisation of the railways is a big hit with the young and indeed the wealthy? I personally have some sympathy with this policy although to hear some of the proponents of it looking back at British Rail through very rose tinted spectacles is a little bizarre as BR had as many bad things about it as it had good. That the organisation of our railways needs a big overhaul to get things right is a given but just recreating BR is probably far too simplistic an answer.

So Corbynistas what drives you? Does it feel like a cult more than a political party? If you are old enough did you feel the same way about Michael Foot? What indeed is the Jez ‘X’ factor or is it something that can only be seen from the inside of New(er) Labour?

Insult and abuse political candidates and lose your vote?

www.markpack.org.uk/151502/electoral-commission-social-media-trolling/

Mark Pack has the story on his web site – see link above

This reminds me of a couple of incidents when I have been insulted on the doorstep whilst canvassing.

The best one was when a chap came out of a house and down his path to insult a group of canvassers. He made his point and then said ‘just wait until I see that Tony Robertson I’ll tell him a thing or two as well’. I was stood right in front of him at this point and he clearly did not realise this. He must have heard us laughing as he returned to his house wondering what had amused us.

Another one was a chap who opened his door and went utterly off his head shouting and carrying on. His performance brought out the neighbours it was so loud and abusive. I just stood there until he ran out of steam and said ‘you are a a rude ignorant man and should be ashamed of yourself’. He looked around realised the whole street was watching him and slunk back into his house.

Those stories could make it sound like abuse from electors is regular, in fact it is not at least not on the doorstep; most folks are really pleasant no matter what their political views are. The problem is the internet. Yes I get abusive responses to my blog postings on the odd occasion, often from people with seemingly false names and e-mail addresses. Frankly, I just ignore and delete them.

Would I take away a person’s vote because they are ill-mannered and abusive? No of course not, except in cases where harm was being threatened to an individual as there’s no excuse for that under any circumstances.

By the way I can’t recall being insulted on the doorstep by a woman. The nearest to it came when a woman said to me she could not vote for me as I had closed her child’s school some years previously. In fact I had campaigned to keep it open and had been at that school as a child myself! But she would not have it and clearly thought I was making up the claim to have tried to save the school from closing. Now that encounter really did hurt even though it was not abusive.

On On the 60th anniversary of the Clean Air Act Lib Dems call for a new Act

Lib Dems call for new Clean Air Act on 60th Anniversary

The Liberal Democrats have called on the UK government to introduce a new Act to tackle poor air quality and ensure vital pollution limits are not watered down post-Brexit.

pollution

Today marks the 60th anniversary of the Clean Air Act, which was introduced in the 1950s to tackle deadly smog affecting UK cities.

In a letter to Secretary of State for the Environment Elizabeth Truss – signed by the Liberal Democrat Environment Spokesperson Kate Parminter, Transport Spokesperson Jenny Randerson and MEP Catherine Bearder – the government is urged to ensure it follows through on EU agreements to tackle air pollution and enshrine essential limits into British law.

The letter concludes that the government must not “betray the legacy of the Clean Air Act by allowing the UK to become the dirty man of Europe once again.”

With thanks to Mark Pack for the lead to this Story

Why are Labour trying to sound like Tories?

www.markpack.org.uk/131028/dreadful-comment-by-harriet-harman/

Mark Pack has the story – see link above

Labour must think that by sounding ‘Tory’ over benefits and welfare that it will bring them votes but to me some of their utterances are getting to the point where even Tories must wince at their remarks.