A little more empathy

A lovely sunny morning on the south coast but there’ a dark cloud following me.  The results from Thursday’s local government elections confirmed what the polls were telling us.  The Tories have more councilors than before and Labour and Liberal’s and Scottish Nationalists have less.  The Greens and Plaid Cymru also improved their position.  The losses for Labour are offset by some positives.  Their candidates were elected with over 50% of the vote in the Liverpool and Manchester region without the need for second votes to be counted.  That is to say you rank the candidates 1 to whatever and they first count your first preference and then eliminate the least popular candidates and disperse their second votes until someone has over half the vote.  Labour also increased the number of councilors in Dundee, Doncaster, Northamptonshire and Norfolk.  The good news ends there.  Oh, and my local area of Castle and Braybrooke in Hastings re-elected Godfrey Daniels, a Labour candidate, in the East Sussex where the results were as follows;

Labour                    1,848     58.6%

Conservative             684     21.7%

Liberal Democrat      371    11.8%

Green                           252      8.0%

The results across the country in terms of councillors are as follows;

Conservative 1,899

Labour            1,152

Liberal Dem     441

SNP                     431

Plaid Cymru      202

Green                    40

UKIP                       1

If the General Election vote is the same as local government elections the results will be

Con    38%

Lab    27%

Lib      18%

UKIP    5%

Others 12%

As predicted the UKIP vote collapsed, and I suspect most of it will go to the Tories.  One councilor can’t be dressed up as success by any measure.

Those are the facts in terms of numbers but what about the feelings?  I feel profoundly depressed about the possibility of a Tory government being re-elected with a bigger majority.  Their arrogance with a small majority will only be increased with a bigger one.  Interestingly their plus 20% majority in opinion polls wasn’t reflected in the real votes that took place, but an 11% majority is still bad enough.

Another upsetting event this week was a post on Facebook

’10 year anniversary of Maddie McCann tomorrow. If I left my kids at home while I went out for dinner and drinks, social services would be all over and I would have them taken off me. Not these two, they have made an absolute fortune from it. The world we live in is so wrong! Infuriates me’


I have made many mistakes as a parent.  But hopefully the correct decisions I made outweigh the incorrect ones.  I’m sure Maddie’s parents wish they had made different decisions on that fateful night.  They don’t need anyone else to tell them.

Being brought up by a single parent with four children I was often left to fend for myself. That didn’t make my mum a bad mum.  And working in social care believe me you’d have to do a lot worse to get overstretched and underfunded local children’s teams busy visiting you.  And where is the evidence that they’ve made a fortune from their child’s disappearance?  No money would be enough to get your child back.  What’s worse was that this post was followed by others alleging that the parents killed their own daughter.



And Shame again.  I was upset to read it and hope never to have to again.

What I can understand is the anger about double standards which apply if a working class mother has a child disappear.  Let’s focus on that and not be nasty towards others who have suffered. And lets think about those double standards when we vote on June 8 and remember who does represent the working class most sincerely.

I remember Jamie Bulger’s disappearance and the comments made about his parents for leaving him outside a shop whilst they were inside.  I also remember the struggle for the families of the Hillsborough tragedy stuggling to get justice against an establishment that didn’t want to know.  And there is still the struggle for the miners in Yorkshire to get justice for the police brutality they suffered during the miners strike of 1984-85.  The establishment looks after it’s own.  And never forget that it’s political face is the Conservative Party.

On a more positive note this week was make or break for Yazeed, who will either have to join a class or return to Saudi Arabia as the school can’t provide 1:1 tuition when additional students start arriving in the UK.

I asked Yazeed how I could help him get to school on time, asking if he wanted me to shake him to life in his bed. ‘ Put water on my head” he said.

On Thursday he left the house at 10:40 am and yesterday at 9:30 am.  And today he is out of the house early again because he has gone shopping with a friend.  Up till now he has isolated himself in the house but I am hopeful that he is going to start developing the confidence in himself to speak English more frequently, he has already improved in the time he has been here.

And I’m not taking his advice about the water.

Things I recommend; empathy and sympathy.





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