Labour – Now then Jeremy can you be clear? – Sadly it seems not

www.indy100.com/article/jeremy-corbyn-press-assocation-interview-scottish-independence-referendum-7629241?utm_source=indy&utm_medium=top5&utm_campaign=i100

The link above to the Independent web site is amusing but it also hits fair and square at Labour’s weakness these days – their inability to be clear about things. This is just another example when they have also been all over the place about Brexit amongst other things.

On Brexit their MP’s and Lords were whipped to back Teresa May’s Government yet Jeremy then pops up to say he backs campaigns to ensure EU citizens get the right to stay in the UK after we have left it. But hang on a minute Labour MP’s and Lords had just voted to back the Governments position i.e. not to guarantee such rights in Parliament!

Of course locally here in Sefton we had Labour pledging to save the Green Belt from development whilst in the Council Chamber of Sefton they voted to release Green Belt land for development.

Saying one thing and then backing the opposite seems to be what Labour is all about these days. They may well be incapable of being a Government but they are also seemingly incapable of being an effective opposition either.

With thanks to Jen for the lead to this posting

Did the Lib Dems hold back the worst excesses of the Tories?

www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/david-cameron-and-george-osborne-should-not-forget-the-lib-dems-know-where-the-bodies-are-buried-a6952641.html

The Independent has the story on its web site – see link above

I think even the most extreme Coalition hater (I await the rants to start) will concede that the answer to the question is yes especially as those worst Tory excesses are being played out now as there is no brake on the Tory right wing what so ever.

You see you have to try to see past the Clegg hating which for some, after his Tuition Fees U-turn, is all but impossible. To many voters if Nick Clegg said today was Monday they would automatically assume he was lying even if today was indeed Monday! What a legacy Nick has to live with.

But of course this Independent article makes some well informed comments, although it has to be said the electorate actually voted, under our utterly unrepresentative electoral system, for more right wing Tory policies in 2015. Well that was the effect if not really the intention because the Lib Dems were either battered for holding the Tories back or alternatively battered for not holding the Tories back enough. Only our first post the post electoral system (so loved by Tories and Labour) could deliver a new government of the Tory far right when more than 60% of the electorate was seemingly trying to create the opposite.

But to return to the Independent article, I was also taken by this quote from David Laws “The Lib Dem leader thought that a major weakness of both David Cameron and George Osborne was that they had little sympathy with or understanding of people on very low incomes, and were inclined to write them off politically as ‘not our voters’.”

Yes of course it sums up well how many Tories look at those less fortunate in our society but I have also heard Labour folk use a similar turn of phrase when talking about other matters. In other words if you come from a section of society or a place that does not return Labour MP’s/councillors why should we give a stuff about you.

It is of course pure tribalism and both Labour and Tories represent their own tribes and care little and indeed have great hatred for the other tribe. Sadly, UK politics is very much based on such appalling tribalism and that’s why we are in the mess that we are in.

With thanks to my spotter Jen Robertson

The Independent is no more – Should we be concerned about its demise as a printed newspaper?

A bought a copy of the very last edition of the Independent newspaper yesterday as a little bit of history has been made with the passing of the print edition.

The-Independent-Logo

I don’t usually buy newspapers but when I have done it has usually been the Independent.

Most people buy newspapers that reinforce their own strongly held prejudices. Hence the Daily Mail is so popular even with people who claim to be left wing. I can’t get my head around that but I am drawn back to a telling remark made to me by a young Labour Party member back in the 1980’s. He said quite chillingly that you would find more racists in the Labour Party than in the Tory Party, or words to that effect.

My point is that many people who vote Labour do so because they see Labour as being their tribe not because they have left wing views. Indeed Labour’s dilemma is that they often look right wing and act right wing because their support base is partly right wing and and they read the Daily Mail, Express etc.

But I digress the demise of the Independent is a worry because it means that the printed press automatically becomes even more right wing as another paper which is radical, progressive and left of centre has gone.

When I walked into a local newspaper shop yesterday two things struck me. Firstly, the huge piles of Daily Mails. There must have been 10 times the number of any other newspaper on sale. Secondly, the age profile of those buying newspapers – I watched for a while and saw no one under say 55 buying one.

I also mused on the fact that in the Sefton Central Constituency where I live the middle class voters have returned a Labour MP with a massive majority whilst at the same time many of them are reading a diet of the right wing Mail and Express! Funny old world.

An avenue for the expression reasonable/rational/open minded debate was closed off yesterday by the demise of the printed Independent but it died because virtually no one under 55 buys a newspaper these days and those that do, mainly the over 55’s, want their prejudices fed not free thinking informed and open minded debate. So yes a sad day but not a surprising one.

Britain’s political system will stay broken without PR

www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/britains-political-system-will-stay-broken-without-proportional-representation-chuka-umunna-warns-a6861161.html

This is an interesting article in the Independent Newspaper which Roy Connell has picked up on – well worth a read.

Must admit Chuka is a little too right wing for my tastes but on this he is right.

Network Rail – Tories selling our major railway stations – Will Liverpool Lime Street be sold off?

www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/network-rail-earmarks-18-major-stations-for-privatisation-in-bid-to-tackle-debt-a6886551.html

So it seems that the first 18 major railway stations in the UK are being set up for some form of privatisation but so far we don’t know which ones will be in the first tranche of sell-offs.

Lime Street Station 2r

Click on the photo to enlarge it

Will Liverpool Lime Street appear in this or a future list for sell-off? What will be the consequences for the travelling public? Will we find it leads to restrictions about who can access the stations? Will even bigger car parking charges be imposed at privatised stations?

More public assets being flogged off without a by your leave?

The photo above is also amongst my Flickr shots at:-

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

Edgar Mitchell – A man who went to the moon

i100.independent.co.uk/article/one-incredible-quote-from-edgar-mitchell-the-6th-man-to-walk-on-the-moon–Zklu22ptj6e

A wonderful quote from a man who went to the moon that many of our politicians should ponder on:-

‘You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty.

You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch.’