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% Continue reading “A little more empathy”

Ssssshhhhhh!

A slight malfunction in my routine last night and I wake up at 5 am, and stay awake.  It’s something I do every so often, go to sleep without my sleeping tablets.  Not the perfect start to a weekend after what has been a busy week at work but one where progress is made towards supporting vulnerable adults into accommodation.  Soon I’ll have the joy of another Universal Credit application….

Continue reading “Ssssshhhhhh!”

Hair loss and perspective

The ageing process doesn’t just mean hair loss, weight gain and increasing health issues (though I’ve managed to escape 2 out of those 3).  It also means you gain something important called perspective.  The big story this week is the announcement of a General Election by Teresa May.  I make a conscious effort to be positive, it doesn’t come easy to me but the alternative is depression, which is worse.  I would like to be positive about the outcome of the forthcoming General Election.  But it’s difficult.  My own life story is in a small way tangled up with Jeremy Corbyn’s.  I lived in his constituency.  I was a party member in it and I campaigned with other members to get him elected for the first time in 1983.  I’m active in a different way nowadays.  I no longer knock on doors on election day trying to get the vote out.  I just try and have an influence with family and friends and anyone else I come into contact with on a personal level.  And I also try and do so through social media and my writing.  Jeremy is not perfect and I would be suspicious of him if he were.  He could be a better leader of the party.  And there are members of Parliament who could have done things differently to.  Divided parties are not usually successful and what will be will be with regards to June 8.  Afterwards I expect Corbyn to reflect on the outcome and make a decision about how best to serve the interests of the most vulnerable members of our society. Continue reading “Hair loss and perspective”

The allure and illusion of a progressive coalition

I was signposted to an article today about a call by the Green Party co-leaders for a pact between Labour, Liberals and themselves.  With opinion polls forecasting an increased majority for the ruling party it is easy to see why non-Tories might find this an attractive prospect.  So lets try and look at this objectively.

Do the non-Tories even like each other?

The Liberal leader has already ruled out a pact as has Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn.  It is only the Greens advocating this.  Let’s look at the voting figures from 2015;

  • Conservative 11.3 million 36.8%
  • Labour 9.3 million 30.5%
  • UKIP 3.9 million 12.5%
  • Lib Dem 2.4 million 7.9%
  • SNP 1.5 million 4.7%
  • Green 1.2 million 3.8%
  • Others 1.1 million 3.8%

Continue reading “The allure and illusion of a progressive coalition”

We beat Arsenal!

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Happy Easter to all but let’s not forget about those who have to work bank holidays and weekends.  Such as care workers.  This week a study said 900 a day are leaving their jobs, and 60% of them get a job in a different setting.  One worker said

“It’s upsetting and disheartening when you find out that people earn more than you do in a supermarket just for stacking shelves.”

Is this the best as a society we can do?  I think we can do better. Continue reading “We beat Arsenal!”

Enjoy life

My three day week became a two day week as Wednesday greeted me with a bout of sickness and a day allowing my body to recover.  Thursday was Penny’s birthday and Jafer and Kenan have visited for the weekend and we will celebrate later tonight in Flavours of India along with Yazeed, our visitor from Saudi Arabia.

And birthday celebrations are part of the life cycle which we must honour if we are to make sense of events.  Like many of you I have been silent about events in London on Wednesday.  The news was like a punch in the gut.  In the absence of information on the day a man killed five people and injured many more we have speculation.  Channel 4 even provided us with a name of a suspect.  Who turned out to be still in prison, as far as his solicitor knew.  By the following day the identity of the killer was known and he turned out to be a British born convert to Islam from a black British family who had a normal childhood in a village not far from where I live in Hastings, it’s about halfway to Tenterden.  I don’t have simple solutions to making the world a safer place.  Because there aren’t any.  Mr. Masood was not here because of freedom of movement within the European Union.  Mr. Masood was in the UK because he was born here.  Mr. Masood’s family in all likelihood migrated to Britain because they were part of the British Commonwealth.  Which used to be called the British Empire.  So Mr. Masood and I have something in common.  We are both in the UK as a result of historical events before our lifetimes.  But don’t worry, I am not going to kill people. Continue reading “Enjoy life”

Taking the Mick

An exhausting week, all I can face today is pottering around, writing and hopefully watching Palace beat Watford on a live internet stream later.  And a 3 day week to look forward to as I’m using up what’s left of my annual leave.

Are the best things in life free?  Maybe not for some.  I once (1990-91) completed what was called The Counselling Intensive course at City University. I was working at a small care home in south London and Bernadette and Karen had preceded me on this course and it came recommended.  I went along for the interview and the course leader, a middle aged bald man called Dave took me and two others across the road into the square and we sat on a bench.  ‘Why do you want to do this course?’ he asked us all.  I explained how I’d been doing a 10 week course in speaking and listening and had come to the realisation that I was quite good at listening already.  But the speaking was the problem.  Dave nodded as I was speaking.  A place on the course was mine. Continue reading “Taking the Mick”

Erdogan and his war on Europe’s Nazis.

‘Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.’

So said Muhammad Ali.  Last week the Tory Chancellor announced tax increases for the self-employed.  Today the government did what some might have said was impossible. Make no mistake, this is not an honourable retreat.  It is a defeat and shows that if they come under sustained pressure they have to give in or face the voters fury at the next election.

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Continue reading “Erdogan and his war on Europe’s Nazis.”