Archive for the 'Resident Redbloggers' Category


Not popular, but important

Last month I attended the 2012 young Labour conference. I spoke at the podium once, in favour of only one motion. This was the only motion (to my knowledge) which was voted down. But it was close…

69 members voted for the motion that “prisoners should have the right to vote”, with 71 voting against.This overly-simplistic motion is full of holes, I know. It’s also not massively important how a young labour conference votes (however much we kid ourselves), I know. It is the principle that needs to be carefully considered and we must realise that, however unpopular this may, as a matter of human rights, some prisoners should be given voting rights, for a number of reasons.

I don’t see this as merely a detached argument about rights that may or my not be fundamental in the case of prisoners who have been convicted of less serious crimes, but as a practical one regarding the rehabilitation of prisoners towards being citizens within a positive society.
If you are seeking to aid someone on the path to rehabilitation through education, training and substance cessation, there is a definite aim for this process. The aim is that a prisoner should enter the world at the end of their sentence and from that time on function as positive members of the societies they re-enter. I am not a vindictive, swivelled-eyed right winger who believes in punishment purely for the sake of it. Punishment should have a clear purpose and stopping prisoners re-offending should be one the main ones.

Another (and less popular) argument is that we should take the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights. If I get comments on this post that the ECHR is a “foreign court” and should be ignored I will have to have a very very long lie down in a dark room. Britain and its European compatriots set up this court and the European Convention on Human Rights in order to further and protect Human Rights in the whole of wider Europe. After using the court as powerful tool in bringing other countries up to better standards, why should we be immune from its rulings when we are found to be wanting?

If I were to commit a crime and go into prison just as an election is called, why should I not be allowed to vote against a government who would plunge the country into a second recessional dip and cause myself and my family pain once I am figuratively purified by my rightful punishment and looking to give back to the community I have harmed.

It is clear that those who commit violent, disgusting or dishonesty crimes should be barred from voting and judges could also pay attention to this when sentencing those convicted, however we should not stop all prisoners in all circumstances from voting.


Round up of the Week 30/3/2012 with 2 Photohacks*!

It has been a week which has swung from the sublimely ridiculous to the abhorrently ridiculous.

We began the week with some fall out from the frustrating but unsurprising “Cash for Cameron” tory donation scandal.. This means we can have our first amazing “photohack*” from the venerable @DocHackenbush!

…after that, there isn’t much more we really need to say on that subject.


The fallout from the Budget got a really silly this week when this became the week twitter went #pastytax mad! It turns out there is a change in the budget that means heated snack items are now subject to a tax, which means both leading Tories were asked when they last ate a pasty.. the answer seems to be “errr do caviar aperitifs count?”

This meant Labour wasted no time in running to a pasty and tweeting pictures of them eating the cornish delicacies.. oh dear oh dear. With this and the Tory donors story, Cameron is panicking…


More bad news for the government involved Francis Maude pissing off firemen (fire officers?), worrying the public and entertaining the rest of us by suggesting we each keep a Jerry Can of petrol in our garage in case of a tanker-driver’s strike…


All in all pretty bad for the Government this week with labour being able to capitalise..









Then, however, this man became an MP again rather than an incredibly well qualified labour candidate..




A very strange week in politics, we’ll blog about the last piece of news more next week…

Have a more settled weekend, and thanks to @DocHackenbush for his Photohacks*!





*photohack is our new name for the Doc’s creations as cartoons don’t do them justice!


A brief round up of the week and a CARTOON!

We’ve decided this is not a week those on our side of the political spectrum will want to dwell on. With the Destruction of the NHS in the form of the Health and Social care Bill, and a budget FOR millionaires and BY millionaires, lets just all try not to get to upset and instead get angry and get the Tory-led government out of office at the earliest opportunity. The hard work starts now…

We need cheering up so here is great Cartoon (hopefully the first of many) from the awesomely talented @DocHackenbush!


The sun ain’t gonna shine anymore… Only with some anger?

By this stage it is clear to any vaguely interested observer who possesses common sense that there is something endemically wrong at News International. With the demise of its flagship paper the News of the World last year, we hoped that a purging process would follow with all those who had taken part or condoned immoral and illegal practices being exorcised.

Sadly this has not been the case and with numerous police investigations and a public enquiry still in progress into many of its reporters, the first “the Sun on Sunday” was printed recently.

I do not need to make a long argument about the morally rotten core at the centre if the Murdoch Empire so for the sake of your sanity and for my blood pressure I shall not.

What can be done to try and defeat this vessel for hatred and horse-manure-journalism?

Here is a list of ten of the companies that sponsor the Weekday Sun where most of the arrests have been so far. Some pressure on these would no doubt hasten its (and it’s Sunday Cousin’s) end. the list of advertisers is from a Guardian article, here.

1. BSkyB £17m – A very pro-Murdoch company so not much hope here…

2. Tesco £16.7m – Recent uproar about workfare has shown Tesco are not too afraid of a U-turn so maybe a chance here

Twitter: @uktesco




Tesco Customer Service Centre,
Baird Avenue

3. Asda £13.9m – Had a re-evaluation of their investment that closed down the News of the World so another maybe.

Twitter: @asda




Customer Service, ASDA House,
Southbank, Great Wilson Street, Leeds LS11 5AD

4. William Morrison Supermarkets £9.7m

Twitter: @MorrisonsOffers




Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC, Hilmore House, Gain Lane, BD3 7DL Bradford, United Kingdom

5. O2 £6.7m

Twitter: @o2


Email: and click the bottom option and hit next.


Telefonica UK Limited Correspondence Department
PO Box 202
Houghton Regis

6. Argos £5.9m

Twitter: @argos_online



Post: Argos Direct, Acton Gate, Stafford, ST18 9AR

7. DFS £5m

Twitter: @DFS_furniture

Facebook: – no contact to the company seems possible from Facebook



1 Rockingham Way
Redhouse Interchange

8. Sainsbury’s £5m- One of the first to pull out of the government’s workfare scheme, bowing to public pressure

Twitter: @sainsburys




Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd
33 Holborn

9. Everything Everywhere £4.6m

Contact Orange or T-mobile

10. Vodafone £4m

Twitter: @vodafoneuk



Post: Vodafone House, The Connection, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2FN

These ten companies are keeping then sun in the sky. Contact them to make its destruction inevitable.



3 Policies for a better Britain…

We’re all quite depressed right now aren’t we? The Coalition are ruining our country. Cheer yourself up! what policies would you put in if you were in government? These are just three of mine…

Nationalised railways

It has become abundantly clear over the last decade that the privatisation of the railways and more crucially the way in which this was done, has resulted in the UK having a overly complex, overly wasteful and completely unaccountable rail system where the public purse  pays for the vast majority of the investment and the private companies reap the rewards.

Whilst I welcome the Government increasing the lengths of franchises in order that private companies will hopefully invest more, I do not believe that this companies can truly be relied on to do so as the increasing overcrowding, increasing ticket prices and increasing overall dissatisfaction in the railways shows that profit is clearly the only aim of these companies and they know people will still use the railways so long a they do eventually get them from A to B.

Clearly the simplest solution is to nationalise the railways (at least initially) in order to secure the accountability that is lacking so much currently. it is obvious that a situation where the track, rolling stoke and stations are owned by different companies is incredibly problematic and only solution seems to be to nationalise. when my train is late I currently have three entities who may be to blame; the train company? is it transpenine’s fault for not building a correct timetable around passengers (or customers which we are now referred to), is it the track maintenance? is Network Rail to blame? Or is it the company that runs a station for a particular bottleneck at a particular time?.

With a nationalised system the blame game, which now costs the railways an extortionate amount, is ended. British Rail would also not have to negotiate with different companies to run an improvement program or create a timetable or fix problems in the system. British Rail should be re- created as a unified body with the sole aim of improving the passengers experience. No longer should the taxpayer be pitted against the rail passenger as they are all to often one and the same, increase the standard of transport and you perform a vital service for both.

Robin hood tax

I can’t explain this better than Bill…

for more information click here.

National living wage

For some time in the uk there has been an argument about benefits. There is agreement (not always a universal agreement) that often the benefits system does not result in an adequate incentive to go back into employment as often wages can be worth less than the benefits one can derive from not working. It seems to this humble observer that the left and right both pose plausible resolutions to this situation, but that the left’s solution is superior by virtue of its moral worth.

The Conservatives (as well as many of their lib-dem) lapdogs seem intent on what is essentially a race to the bottom with benefits being lowered and given to less people in order to effectively force them to work for whatever wage they can get with the only alternative being destitution.

Labour’s introduction of a minimum wage reversed this and set in play a race to the top. The problem now is people are again arguing that benefits are too high and don’t act as an incentive to work. The next and only logical step is to introduce a Living Wage. The Living wage is currently calculated at £7.20 per hour outside london and £8.30 per hour in London and is aimed to let “every worker in the country…earn enough to provide their family with the essentials of life.” (more information can be found here).

One very important caveat, however, is that, small businesses must be given as much help as possible to be able to afford such wage.


The Future of the Labour Party? Hopefully….

On the 17th of April last year, the previously quiet think tank GEER (standing for Gender Environment Equality and Race) became LabourLeft and began to use Facebook much more as a way to communicate with its members. Since that time it has become an incredibly impressive grassroots movement which is now able to call itself “Labours biggest think tank”. Lead by the MP Grahame Morris and by Dr Éoin Clarke it has gone from strength to strength as a body for promoting Ethical Socialist values at a time when we need them most.

In November an Ebook version of Labour Left’s “Redbook” was published. With its authors drawn from all heights within the labour movement it is rapidly becoming a standard text for anyone seeking to prove that labour still has very strong socialist roots. THIS should be the manual for all Labour Party activists and leaders.

LabourLeft has also had many events both in Westminster and at the Labour Conference. Now, though, this movement is going around the country, using their 17 regional committees to organise a Redbook tour.

For more information of LabourLeft go to their website or Dr Éoin Clarke’s site.

The Future of the Labour Party? Hopefully…




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Thank you.

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