Posts tagged ‘Labour Party’

Poe’s Law conundrums (Millipede Jr’s 2014 Conference Speech edition)

Is this a typical Gruniad sub-editing fail or have they just repeated the briefing notes verbatim:

The Labour leader’s big six goals are designed to restore a lost faith in the future. They are:

  • Ensuring as many school leavers go on to apprenticeships as go to university.
  • Help working families share fairly in the UK’s wealth.
  • Meet the demand for new homes by doubling the number of first-time buyers from the current 200,000 a year to 400,000.
  • Halve the number of low paid – defined as those earning two-thirds of median earnings – from 5 million to 2.5 million.
  • Create a million more hi-tech green jobs in a bid to overhaul the number of Germans and Japan.
  • Restore the NHS by integrating health and care services, ensuring joined up preventive care to keep the healthy out of hospital.

Kipped out

And so the quinquennial farce that are the European Parliamentary Elections draw towards an end as those who can be bothered to cast a ballot get the opportunity to do so at various times over the next 4 days with the results starting to be announced after the polls finally close on Sunday evening.

Farce, you cry? Well yes. What else do you call voting for a parliament with few powers? The real power lies with the European Commission and the members of that august body (no sniggering at the back) are appointed by national governments without any voter consultation.

Given that, is it any surprise that the European electorate aren’t expected to bother? Barely 43% bothered in 2009 – ranging from as high as 91% in Belgium and Luxembourg to just shy of 20% in Slovakia (the UK managed just over 1 in 3) – and I doubt it would surprise anyone if it is lower this time around.

As any UK resident will be aware, the main media story of the campaign in this country has been UKIP and the likelihood of them topping the poll – thus leading to them taking more seats on the European gravy train than either Labour or the Conservatives.

To call the campaign acrimonious would be an understatement. With it being impossible (since they have no effective power) to formulate an election strategy based on what the pan-European electoral grouping each national party is affiliated to might achieve should it become the biggest (pretty much nothing), the UK parties have fallen back on national issues. Therefore the election will (in the UK at least) be seen more as a protest against the ‘Establishment’ rather than as a serious attempt to produce a ‘Government’ (in the loosest sense of the word).

I suspect only those who have been concentrating will be able to recall anything memorable that iDave, Millipede Jr or Nick have said during this campaign but, thanks to the media attention focused on the party, can probably mention several things said by UKIP leader Nigel Farage and various candidates (whether for the European or the local elections) – especially the ones that cast the party in a bad light.

The charge of racism has been levelled at them since they made immigration (or the right to live and work anywhere within the EU) the focus of their EU election strategy and various comments have shown that there are certainly some candidates who have distasteful views regarding skin colour or, more generally, anyone perceived to be ‘foreign’.

I very much doubt that those sentiments are confined to just UKIP supporters or candidates but the repeated accusations and exposures of candidates opinions has, it would seem, demonstrably failed to make any negative impact on UKIP’s polling figures. We shall find out the truth of the matter on Sunday. What has been rather more amusing is watching the development of a bunker mentality amongst the more vocal of their supporters on social media and a run on tinfoil as their belief that this is all a conspiracy grows.

In the end though it matters not if UKIP top the European Parliament ballot in Great Britain. Until they manage to get some MPs they are going to remain an even more useless protest vote than the Lib Dems.

If you wish to vote UKIP (or, indeed, anyone else) then go ahead. Just don’t think it will change anything.

Local Elections 2012

In my ward there are 6 candidates standing: Conservative, Green, Labour, Liberal Democrat and 2 Independents.

Only three of these (Green, Lab, Ind) live in the ward. The sitting councillor (Ind) isn’t one of them.

Leaflets were received from only two candidates (Lab, LD). The LD one didn’t even give their candidate’s name.

The Labour candidate is a perennial one.

So, if I follow my usual rules of not voting for anyone who

  1. doesn’t live in the ward, and/or
  2. doesn’t bother to try and solicit my vote

then I’m left either voting Labour or spoiling my ballot paper.

Anyone got any good insults?

Clinging to the Wreckage

Eric Joyce, former Army Major, thug and the most expensive MP in the country – by allowances – has resigned from the Labour Party following his assault conviction saying:

“…the standard of my conduct fell egregiously below what is required by a member of this House, or indeed anyone, anywhere”.

Which is all well and good as far as it went but sadly he somehow forgot to say that he was taking up the Stewardship of the Manor of Northstead.

This ‘egregious’ oversight means that we are apparently stuck with him and his expense account until the 2015 General Election (assuming this Parliamentary term goes the distance) at which he has said he will not stand.

Whatever happened, I wonder, to that promised ‘right of recall’..?

“Sugar and spice and all things nice…”

Well, well, who would have thought it? It turns out that the ball-breaking harridan Harriet Harman we all know and love hate is just a front put up by the real Harriet who is, apparently, so meek and mild that she needs protecting from all the nasty men.

I mean, what other conclusion can possibly be drawn from revelation that this year’s Labour Party conference will have a women only session entitled ‘What Women Want’?

Before you feel that I am being too harsh on Mrs Dromey (if that is at all possible) it is seems that it is not just poor Harriet who feels this way as the session came about after ‘what is described as an “uprising” by female members’.

The session will be led by the senior Labour female figures of Harman, Yvette Cooper (aka Mrs Balls), Baroness Royall and Baroness Scotland and whilst the agenda is as yet unknown they are canvassing opinion from the female membership and expect that:

There will be formal resolutions based on suggestions from female members, who are being invited to the platform to put their case on education, childcare, the economy and the NHS, as well as party rules.

Presumably because none of these issues matter at all to the male members of the Labour party?

It will not be entirely women only though as Labour leader Ed Milliband will be allowed in, with a source telling the Independent that “Ed will be there as an honorary woman”. What such an ‘honour’ says about Ed’s masculinity I leave to the speculation of reader…

Local Election 2011 Round-Up: Labour Party

With barely any time to go before voting day, the Labour Party tried to make a play for my vote on Tuesday by delivering their candidate’s leaflet. As they have finally made the effort I’ll be reasonable (yes, yes, I know) and take a look at what they have to say.

Like the watermelon he lives in the ward, which is a good start. He has also been a councillor before but I do not know which borough and when. I do know from looking up last years’s result for this ward that he stood then and came fourth.

He makes a point of saying that he sends his kids to the local schools but doesn’t say which ones. Given that the borough contains 4 of the grammar schools (all single sex, split evenly) left in the country as well as a well respected Catholic secondary school (plus plenty of dross) I wonder which schools he is referring to? This supposed attempt at being one of the locals is followed up by a swift dig at the Liberal Democrats over tuition fees. He’s obviously forgotten which party introduced university fees to start with…

Anyway, enough of the national issues, let’s see what he has to say about local stuff. The leaflet makes a great play about local services, such as the police, libraries and children’s centres being under threat. Well obviously no-one wants to see services like these cut, do they? So what claims is he making as to the likelihood of reductions in the aforementioned services?

  • Police: Allegedly up to 400 Police Officers are under threat, which is obvious electioneering as I doubt the borough has even seen 400 coppers within its boundaries, even at airshow time. Whether the 400 figure is accurate on a county wide basis, or indeed if all 400 job cuts will be from the ranks of the police, rather than support staff, I do not know.
  • Libraries: He is focused particularly on the one in the ward, which is only fair, saying he will oppose plans to reduce opening hours or close it completely. Seeing as how I never done anything but walk, cycle or drive past it I can’t comment on how well used it is but having checked it is second only to the one in the main town in the number of hours it is open for on a weekly basis so will having a few hours trimmed from this make a massive difference? He would also like it to become the focus for local activity within the ward, which rather implies that it isn’t currently and, assuming that market forces are at work here, seemingly doesn’t need to be.
  • Children’s centres: This was apparently a throw away remark as no further reference is made. Scaremongering? Looks like as ‘Children and Learning’ spending would appear to be going up according to a quick glance at the budget.

His priorities, aside from the local library are this familiar restrains of dog fouling and littering – both banes of any urban environment it seems. And here it seems I am in agreement with him and he wants action against those who are guilty of such annoying behaviour. Score one for a socialist, who’d have thought it?

The back of the has, as I suppose is mandatory, something from high command. In this case that something is a picture of Millipede Jr. trying to smile (he shouldn’t) and a message telling us we should vote Labour to oppose the cuts as they will mean that our children will be back in the workhouse. Ah no, sorry, he just said that they will mean only the privileged few children will be able to get good jobs and opportunities. That’s right, he is opposing the cuts for the sake of the children. He is already on that fallback line? Not good for someone who has only been leader for 6 and a bit months.