Op-ed: Thursday this blogger will be out voting in local council and PCC elections. Paula Baxter, Labour, a local woman who knows and understands the many challenges voters face on a daily basis will get my vote in Boothferry Hull Ward. Humberside PCC candidate Keith Hunter, Labour, will also be my choice.
In 2016 local council and PCC elections are more important than ever to Labour voters.
The Conservative party is tearing itself apart over the upcoming in / out EU referendum but unless you look closely you may miss that; the mainstream right-wing section of the media is concentrating on Labour party woes which are part of a Tory smear campaign.
So first the Tories who are:
But when they are on the ropes the so-called Nasty Party, the Tories, run true to form.
In the House of Commons Thursday Chris Grayling, Tory and Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons since 2015, used and abused parliamentary privilege.
He made vague allegations against Labour's Humberside PCC candidate Keith Hunter.
The Yorkshire Post reported Thursday "Mr Grayling was responding to a question in the Commons today from Brigg and Goole MP Andrew Percy over whether former police officers standing to become PCCs should be forced to make public their service records.The Leader of the Commons responded: “I am aware of allegations about the Labour PCC candidate in Humberside. “If the stories alleged about that candidate are true, he is unfit for public office, and it is a matter of public interest that the truth should be known before election day."”
So there the 'allegation' sits festering in the air ahead of the election.
Andrew Percy later tried distancing himself from Grayling's naming and news channels reported Thursday night that Grayling's office had not responded to requests for comment.
He has still not responded.
Sunday the affair was mentioned on the BBC morning political shows along with the John Mann and Ken Livingstone row that has been grabbing headlines since Thursday.
Helped along by backstabbers within the party, those wanting to oust Jeremy Corbyn as leader, the right-wing is having a field day; and that includes the right-wing of Labour.
As I type BBC lunchtime News again has Jeremy Corbyn, John Mann and Ken Livingstone as the lead story this time with London Mayor candidate Sadiq Khan thrown in for good measure.
The top billing spot should tell you all you need to know; it is a smear campaign pure and simple.
In Humberside the current PCC and up for re-election is Tory Matthew Groves.
Mr Hunter has accused Groves of failing in the role he has held since 2012. Grayling and his colleagues have a vested interest in ensuring Groves is re-elected and follows the party line on policing.
A spokesman for Mr Hunter said: “Keith has an exemplary record from 30 years’ service for Humberside Police with Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of the Constabulary stating he made ‘an outstanding contribution to performance in all his posts’.
And Sunday the smear hangs in the air possibly affecting how some people will vote.
If you are a Labour supporter in Humberside voting locally has never been so important.
Tory and Ukip voters will be out in force and we must follow suit.
If you support Jeremy Corbyn as Labour party leader ignore the hype, smears, right-wing media manipulation and backstabbers in the party and send a message to the Parliamentary Labour Party and the Tories.
Labour often lose out to voter apathy but not this time if you play your part.
PCCs are a fairly new and Tory concept. But like it or lump it they are here to stay at least for the foreseeable future.
Thursday May 5 get out and vote and make that vote count.
Under the terms of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, PCCs must:
Opinion: The Tory onslaught on the poorest and most vulnerable people in Britain continues and if you believe it is based on austerity measures you are mistaken.
These cuts are about fulfilling a Tory agenda, one that helps the rich get richer, shores up the establishment and outs we the little people back in what they view as our place.
Last week a majority of MPs voted to scrap a £30 a week ESA payment which was created to help people with disabilities try to return to the workplace and offer financial support.
But that cut must not be considered in isolation as the entitlements that are being scrapped are many.
On it goes in relentless fashion with DWP boss Iain Duncan Smith and sidekick Priti Patel spending a small fortune to implement damaging cuts.
The debate and votes on the work and welfare bill last Tuesday had more than a touch of Groundhog Day. The bill was sent back to the Commons for further debate after the House of Lords refused to simply rubber stamp the cuts.
This has not led to a period of soul searching by the Tories but rather a commitment to appoint more right-wing Lords and Ladies who will agree to push on with the party's damaging Social Security cuts, rebranding and reforms.
The cost of buying votes in this way is not cheap, nor probably cost-effective, but it does help the Tory party push forward their vision of England in the 21st Century.
In early February BBC News reported "Nearly 14,000 disabled people who rely on a specialist motoring allowance have had their cars taken away from them following government welfare changes. Figures seen by the BBC show almost half of those having to be reassessed for this support under the changes lost their Motability vehicle. Many had been adapted to meet their owners' needs and campaigners warn it could lead to a loss of independence. But the government says the new process is fairer and people can appeal."
But of course following the 2015 General Election defeat that party under the temporary leadership of Harriet Harman let the Tories get a firm footing back in July 2015.
At that time the Independent wrote "The Government's bill that will cut spending on welfare by £12 billion has been passed in the House of Commons, with 308 votes to 124.Despite 48 out of 216 Labour MPs going against the whip and voting against the bill, far more abstained, letting the bill pass with a large majority. Abstainers include many contenders for the Labour leadership, including Andy Burnham. However, he did vote for a Labour amendment which came just before the main vote, which said the Government's bill should not get a second reading. This vote was defeated, by 308 votes against 208.Leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn was the only candidate to vote against the bill, going against the whip's instructions. The other potential leaders, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall, both abstained - although all are believed to have voted for the defeated Labour amendment."
Little wonder then that support for Jeremy Corbyn continues to sky rocket.
Harman was of course in a damned if I do damned if I do not position and misguidedly believed whipping MPS to support the bill but try for an amendment would somehow show the party as electable but it did not. It spectacularly backfired but was too late to make an election difference nationally.
It was however one more reason people voted Jeremy Corbyn to lead the party as after all England does not need another middle-of-the-road, centric or right-wing party it needs a party that is comfortable owning the left-wing of the political spectrum.
As the Tory axe gets into overdrive again, probably following the March budget, there are many things we all should consider.
Cameron promised to triple-lock entitlements for pensioners in the UK but only until 2020.
He may yet have to break that promise but if he does not the so-called grey brigade, which includes this writer, should not be complacent.
By 2020, Cameron will have stepped down as Tory party leader, boundary changes which are coming into effect will have redrawn the political landscape of England and the UK and in doing so strengthened Tory election hopes while weakening that for other parties including Labour, the number of older citizens in the UK will have also grown but people will not be able to retire until older unless they have an independent income, so overall the one-party-state will be well on its way.
In other words your vote in 2020 will have been weakened unless we fight back now.
There has never been a more important time for Labour supporters to unify and the conclusion made when some do not is that they prefer a self-serving route.
The media makes much of Corbyn’s record as a backbencher of not obeying the party whip and voting with his heart and conscience but is that so bad. Check out his voting record here.
Note from above text “This vote was defeated, by 308 votes against 208. Leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn was the only candidate to vote against the bill, going against the whip's instructions.”
Like me you may admire him for that.
Disabilty Rights UK and members respond to Commons defeat of Lords amendments last week which begins by saying "Liz Sayce DR UK CEO says: "There is no evidence that the £30 a week paid to disabled people in the work related activity group acts as a disincentive to work. Instead, all the evidence from a recent Parliamentary review finds that the cut will make it difficult for disabled people to be able to afford to take part in things like training and work experience. It will also lead to disabled people struggling to pay food and heating bills which will have a damaging impact on their physical and mental health.
British political scene
The next General Election in the UK may not be scheduled any time soon but the British political landscape is changing. With that in mind this blog will concentrate on the political scene but with a left wing perspective. Opinion pieces and news will bring you the stories that the MSM prefer to ignore.
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