General Election 2015

Ten reasons why you should vote Labour tomorrow


vote labour

Tomorrow every citizen of the UK has a vote, to decide who will represent them.

Obviously am going to say that I think you should vote for your local Labour candidate. I am a Labour Party member, an activist, and I believe that Labour policy offers the best future for this country.

If you elect a Labour government tomorrow, Ed Miliband has already laid out the 10 bills which would feature in his first Queen’s speech. I detail them below, so that you can see what is really on offer here, and the better Britain which we are striving towards.

Read on…

Sir David Amess MP, man of the people?


amess carriage
For anyone who missed this story, Southend West’s Tory MP decided last week that it would be a good idea to ride around Westcliff in a horse-drawn carriage driven by men in top hats, with Anne Widdecombe in tow, shouting at residents through a megaphone. For reasons unknown.

Meanwhile, 1 million people in the UK are using food banks.

Blenheim Park campaign diary: The last weekend…


blenheim park bus stop

The last weekend before the election was one of those times that the Southend Labour campaign team would be out come whatever weather. Thankfully, it turned out to be rather nice, and a lot of leafleting and door-knocking was done. This has felt like a long campaign, and I’d love to be able to work out quite how far I’ve walked in the last six months.

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The phrase I’m most sick of this election? “Professional politician”


hoc entrance

Something has been bugging me throughout this election. A phrase, coming up over and over again in the national debate as well as here in Southend. No, it’s not “Long Term Economic Plan” (Though there is a special place in hell waiting for whichever moron dreamt that up -Ed).

This is a phrase which has been used again and again, and each time I cringe inwardly and out. Somehow, despite it being demonstrably nonsense — and demonstrate, I will — it has become so ingrained in our social psyche that it’s like the “Fine,” we utter in response to the Monday morning “How are you?”, despite being very un-fine.

I’m calling time on it then. Let’s have no more of the phrase “professional politician”.

Read on…

The importance of copyright to writers, in the words of a writer


green burning copyright

My post(s) about the Green Party copyright proposals are still getting a frankly embarrassing number of views, but a coherent defence from the Greens themselves has yet to emerge.

I don’t mean to dwell, but I saw this simple, three-sentence summary of the situation from Stephen Volk — the writer behind TV series’ Ghostwatch, Afterlife, and the excellent novella Whistable — which (With his permission, of course -Ed) I think deserves to be shared. it sums up the reason that this is such an important issue, and why people are so concerned about the policy, better and more succinctly than I ever could:

People who debate copyright often do not seem to realise that copyright equates with income for some people. It’s not a luxury it’s a necessity. How can we value creativity if it becomes free?

Green Party, take note…

On the Rochford & Southend East election hustings (Bell Vue Church)


debate

I like to leave a little space between a debate and giving my thoughts on how they went.

Partly, that’s related to my attempt to more widely document such debates, by recording and publishing them. As I discussed with fellow local politics blogger John Barber recently, I think my own views and commentary should remain separate from the actual recording itself, so that people can make their own minds up.

But also, I do like to digest what I’ve witnessed, to give a more thoughtful analysis (Some may disagree on that point -Ed). To that end, getting on for five days later, let’s take a look at the Rochford & Southend East hustings on Wednesday 22nd April 2015, held at Bell Vue Baptist Church.

The first thing I’d like to say, before looking at the candidates, is how well hosted I thought it was. The candidates were mic-ed up, it was all clear and audible, and the questions were wide-ranging and challenging. The evening was, in total, attended by somewhere between 100-150 people, if I had to guess. Most even lived in the constituency, I believe.

If you haven’t had a listen yet, I implore you to do so before reading my own views. Make your own mind up.

Read on…