Saturday 22 May 2010

First parliament, now the Tardis

Never mind the first British-Asian women MPs, tonight on BBC1 I think we've just had the first ever Brit Asian in Doctor Who's tardis!  Or at least the first person in there ever to be called Nasreen Chaudary. Am I right? If yes, you go girl!

In fact, reading elsewhere about this just now, Meera Syal has apparently been desperate to appear on the show for some time. I'm not surprised. She and I are about the same age and so, growing up, the programme must have the same iconic status for her as for me. (Though I must say, I've tried but I'd still prefer David Tennant...sigh...him and Meera would have been magic.)

Doctor Who continues on Saturdays at 6.15pm on BBC One.

Brockley MAX Arts Festival

This looks set to be a fantastic event in our own South-East London....
The 9th Annual Brockley MAX arts festival starts on Friday, May 28th and runs until Saturday, June 5th.

There are various events going on all over Brockley, Ladywell and Crofton Park. Lots of talented performers and artists, many living locally, who will provide people with hours of free entertainment. The Brockley area has a bit of a reputation for attracting bohemain artistic types and the area itself is stepped in history.

You can look at the rich and diverse programme for the festival here.

A highlight for our family (if we will have recovered being away for half-term week, more about that another time...) is this event:
Hacienda on the Hill
Sat, 5 June, 12:00 – Sun, 6 June midnight!
at Hilly Fields, 172 Adelaide Avenue, London SE4 (map)
Ten days of events has its finale as Brockley Max reaches fever pitch on Hilly Fields. Our final Reach Out- Express Your Arts blends together in a truly scintillating, magical, creative atmosphere full of delights. From midday to midnight, Hilly Fields will be alight with the Hacienda groove which will hit the mark no matter who you are. The vibe gets going at midday with Art in The Park, a magical, mystery marquee where whimsical workshops of creations take shape in the imaginations of children 0 - 11years. Workshops include puppetry, storytelling, drumming, creative dance, Bollywood dance, Capoeria, badges from recycled materials, face painting, create your own character and much more. The Hacienda Stage raises the temperature and gets our pulses racing for the Brockley Max finale with dance, theatre and music. Zumba® a spicy, hot, hip swivelling workout where African, Caribbean and Latin dance moves are combined with aerobics/fitness.....
.....All this, plus food, a bar, a craft market and the grand opening of the new playground at 2pm by the Mayor.
You can check out my other local happenings at Eltham/Greenwich Events and Places.

Tuesday 18 May 2010

The instincts of Eltham's C2s

Must leave the election alone now. Really. Although I probably won't. But for now just to say, it was interesting to see that two recent stories covered on this blog (here and here) were picked up by the Guardian's London blog by Dave Hill. He seemed particularly interested in my post about some dodgy material on the website of David Gold, the recent Tory PPC for Eltham and quotes my (failed) attempts to get a response from Gold.

Monday 17 May 2010

Although we've come to the end of the road (still I can't let go)*

I'm a bit exhausted by the events and emotions of the last couple of weeks. It has been a fascinating (and yes, an ultimately gut-wrenching) time. Lots to say, but little time, so for now:

Last Wednesday was unbelievable - news of the Cabinet posts trickling out through the morning and then the surreal 'Dave and Nick' show. Are Cameron and Clegg great pragmatists who will sacrifice party lines for the country, or will they do anything to cling on to power, going completely against the vitriol they were spouting about each other only a few days ago?

Then last Thursday morning the LibDem Voice blog orginator Rob Fenwick, resigned his leadership of the Lib Dem party, worth quoting at length:
"Two privately educated white male millionaires stepped through the door of Downing Street this morning to usher in an era of new politics – if that’s new politics, I preferred the old style. There will be many who say that policies are all that are relevant, and not the privileged life of the leaders outside of politics. I strongly believe there are millions in this country who don’t accept that, and who are more alienated from their political masters today than they were a week ago.
I don’t accept that the Conservative party has changed – when Margaret Thatcher lead this country the Conservatives were  guided by a  political philosophy which revered markets, was ideologically committed to cutting state support for the vulnerable, and who passed many of our public services in to the hands of multinational corporate interests. When I look at the Conservative benches I see many of the triumphant faces from that era still resting on green leather."
Since that time we've had all sorts of analysis, including:
  -- just how are the mechanics of a coaltion going to work?
  -- is the Cabinet too 'Male, pale and stale'? Only 4 women out of 23, forgodsakes!
  -- How on earth can Theresa May be Equalities minister with that record? A petition has already been started to have her removed in that role
  -- just how many Lib Dems are actually defecting to Labour in disgust?
  -- Fixed term parliaments and the 55% rule - stability or 'stitch-up?
  -- has Nick Clegg got a real job or has Cameron just fobbed him off with an office with a telephone line that's not plumbed into anything? (thank you BBC R4)

However, despite the first three days of frenzy, I sense a calming down. People are seeming to mind less, I think. Perhaps the fever-pitch can't be maintained and people need to get on with life for a bit. Also, now that we've had some policy diktats from the coalition, certainly the public sector is trying to get its head around what those policies will mean. Now that £6billion worth of cuts are needed, each university is busy doing the maths. More on that another time.

And now the Labour Party leadership. It really feels much, much too soon. Especially for the candidates appearing to be, in effect. on their campaigns trails. Enough already. At least for the moment.

[*I just can't stop myself titling posts with song lyrics - I know it's unsophisticated and juvenile but there you have it. I shall seek help.]

Tuesday 11 May 2010

..... gone

Gordon Brown resigned this evening as PM and as Leader of the Labour Party.

His resignation ends 13 years of Labour government. The Lib Dem-Labour talks failed and there will now be government led by the Conservatives, supported by in "proper and full" coalition with the Liberal Democrats. More details to emerge about what that means...

Harriet Harman is to be acting Leader until a new leader of the party is elected at the September conference.

David Cameron has just left Buckingham Palace having been asked by the Queen to be the next PM. His staff are already waiting outside No 10, for goddsakes - hopeful happy faces, just like the faces were that day in 1997. It all hardly seems believable. Cameron speaking now; he pays tribute to the former PM. More another time.

The weekend after: Eltham was 'low hanging fruit'

I spotted some analytical mentions of the Eltham election result in the press this weekend:

Firstly, in a Telegraph piece, co-incidently by  locally-residing journalist Andrew Gilligan, we have Boris Johnson speculating that it "would have seemed impossible that the Tories would not pluck such low-hanging fruit as the marginals of Eltham, Hammersmith, and Westminster North." Gilligan goes on to ask "Why did Dave not win the C2s of Eltham?" (presumably 'Dave' Cameron rather than 'Dave' Gold...).

The piece goes on: “A bloody good question, a question we need to look at,” says Mr Johnson. “We need to get across a strong aspirational message about helping people who work hard, not being endless slaves to political correctness and not taking their money ...People don’t like being made to feel that their instincts and normal patterns of thought are in some way beyond the pale.”

Oh dear. You know what's coming. Gilligan picks up on that writing "That feels like code for a stronger pitch on immigration. The Tory campaign was a little restrained, thinks the mayor."

Well, as has been pointed out here and here some Tory candidates did decide to pander to fears and prejudices - oh sorry, I mean not to be "slaves to political correctness".

Secondly, the Mail looks at the reasons behind the dashed hopes of the "Tatler Tory A-listers who failed to make it to Westminster".
"...those candidates in the Tories’ ‘Rainbow 1st Eleven’, the official list of candidates happy to be identified as gay, managed an average swing of just 1.2 per cent. Six of the 11 won seats. The losses included two target seats which Tory high command had pencilled in as easy wins. In Eltham, David Gold, a former aide to William Hague, had been expected to topple Labour’s Clive Efford, defending a majority of less than 3,000. However, Gold only managed a swing of 1.8 per cent, allowing Efford to hold on."
The accompanying picture and insert in the Mail piece (shown here) suggests there might have been a homophobic views at work. That would of course have been reprehensible although I have to say that I didn't come across any signs of this (although I accept they are not always apparent). 

And finally, another offering which gives one further assessment of why Efford got back in, and why Gold didn't... A comment on a blog, the 'Liberal Democrat Voice':

"So, in Eltham, Labour held in 2005 but with a slim majority, I saw what an Ashcroft campaign looked like. Slick, but boring. Very samey. Essentially the same leaflet delivered 5-6 times. The decent local Tory councillor who stood last time shunted aside for a vapid Cameron-lookalike and soundalike. This did not work against a sitting Labour MP who does the local man stuff very well, and has enough of a record of not being a New Labour clone to gain much more respect than I’d give the outgoing Labour MP for Lewisham East, as an example. So, Eltham saw one of the lowest swings to the Conservatives in England, and a somewhat surprised Clive Efford re-elected."

The 'decent local Tory' is of course Spencer Drury (who has just failed to win against Nick Raynsford for the Greenwich and Woolwich constituency but who did manage to secure again a place on Greenwich Council as Tory Councillor for the Eltham North ward). Drury stood against Efford in 2005 and polled a decent 12,105 votes against Efford's 15,381.

So that's my Eltham digest for the moment - I'm off now (and, harking back to the end of my previous post - my daughter is now a fully-invested Cub Scout, and has sworn to serve Queen and God, or something like that...don't start, it's late)

Monday 10 May 2010

Going going ....

From the BBC:
"Gordon Brown has said he is stepping down as Labour Party leader.

Mr Brown, prime minister since 2007, said he wanted a successor to be in place by the time of the party's conference in September.

Mr Brown announced his intention to quit in a statement in Downing St in which he also said his party was to start formal talks with the Lib Dems.

The Conservatives won the most seats and most votes in the election and have been in talks with the Lib Dems"
Wow. Not unexpected, by still, wow.  This will keep us all going for a while yet.

(for now, I must tear myself away and attend the ceremony for my 'Beaver' daughter to graduate to a 'Cub scout'...who knows what will have happened by the time I get back...)

Sunday 9 May 2010

Avery Hill Park Cafe protest

A bit of very local news...

Avery Hill Park users are protesting against a decision by Greenwich Council about who will run a new park cafe. For the last five years the popular Javier Pias has run Le Cafe in Avery Hill Park in Eltham but his tender for a catering contract has been unsuccessful.

Locals might remember that the previous wonderful cafe burnt down in October 2005 - it really was a haven then for parents with young children and prams (as we were then - I remember warming up many baby milk bottles there...sigh). But mindless vandals saw to that.

Mr Pias has been coping quite well albeit operating out a 'graffitti-art' covered steel container. A few weeks ago the playground area was dominated by building works, and we wondered what was afoot. My photo on the left shows the state of site at the end of March (click to enlarge).

Around 30 people visited the park to protest against the Council’s decision and support Mr Pias - Friday (May 14) is due to be his last day.  It's a tricky one isn't it - the current owner is popular with locals and has become part of the landscape; on the other hand the Council want to improve the services and site and are legally obliged to tender and choose the best business model. What do you think? [Top photo credit: New Shopper]

I wonder how things will be sorted out by the time of this event:

Saturday 10 July 2010, 12 - 5pm   
Presented by Friends of Avery Hill Park; near the cafe in Avery Hill Park

You can check out my other local happenings at Eltham/Greenwich Events and Places.

Saturday 8 May 2010

If a picture paints a thousand words

What a story, what drama and emotion this photograph captures from today's service marking VE Day and 65 years since the end of World War II in Europe.

The three leaders of the three main political parties were thrown together side-by-side today as they attended this event this morning.

Yet, following the hung parliament result (captured below for posterity, or as long as this blog lasts...) the three are also at the same time deeply involved in trying to put together a coalition government while keeping their own troops happy.

Will it be Prime Minister Cameron, leading an-all Tory cabinet, with some concessions to Lib-Dem policies? Will this be one of Gordon's last public events in some sort of PM-role? Time will tell.

The election on the BBC Asian Network

If you were interested in my posts on British-Asian MPs and the election, you might enjoy this radio piece (also a downloadable podcast). After the election package, there's also some interesting stuff on Brit-Asian comedy ('the 'Asian Provocateurs'!) and a Brit-Asian canoe-ist, well why not! (you get cold and wet, for starters...)

Friday 7 May 2010

Six British-Asian women MPs now

Ok, I'm  having a little break from the local politics just to catch up on what happened in the General Election to the 22 British-Asian women candidates I wrote about earlier. From the British Parliament having no such MPs up until now, it seems we now have an unprecedented SIX female British Asian MPs, as listed below.

Interesting that Labour were willing to put up these PPCs in five winnable seats, the Tories only one and the Lib Dems none (though they had less to play with):

Bristol East - Adeela Shafi - lost (Labour win)
Witham (Essex) - Priti Patel - ELECTED (on 52%)
Stoke on Trent Central - Norsheen Bhatti - lost (3rd place to Labour win by Tristram Hunt)
Leigh - Shazia Awaan - lost (2nd to Labour's Andy Burnham)
Makerfield - Itrat Ali - lost (Labour win)
Birmingham Ladywood - Nusrat Ghani - lost (3rd place to Labour's Shabana Mahmood)
Glasgow East -Hamira Khan - lost (4th place to Labour)

Bethnal Green and Bow - Rushanara Al - ELECTED (on 43%) [pictured above, on left]
Ilford North - Sonia Klein - lost (Cons. win)
Bolton South East - Yasmin Qureshi - ELECTED (on 47%)
Bury North - Maryam Khan - lost (Cons. win)
Wigan - Lisa Nandy - ELECTED (on 49%)
East Worthing and Shoreham - Emily Benn - lost (3rd place to Cons)
Birmingham Ladywood - Shabana Mahmood - ELECTED (on 58%)
Walsall South - Valerie Vaz   - ELECTED (on 58%) 
Scarborough and Whitby - Annajoy David Da-Bora - lost (Cons. win)
Central Suffolk and North Ipswich - Bhavna Joshi  - lost (3rd place to Cons)

Hayes & Harlington - Satnam Khalsa - lost (3rd place to Lab)
Glasgow South - Shabnam Mustapha - lost (3rd place to Lab)
Leeds North East - Aqila Choudhry - lost (3rd place to Lab)

By the way, the Valerie Vaz election in Walsall South also sets another record - it's the first time a brother-sister duo has been elected to the House of Commons - her brother is Keith Vaz MP.

I've spotted a probable omission though - why didn't the original BBC article include Salma Yaqoob, standing for the 'Respect-Unity Coalition' in Birmingham Hall Green? Perhaps she's not Brit-Asian? (although she is a psychotherapist...ahem) In any case, she came second, not too far behind Labour.

[Update: nice piece on One World South Asia on some of these British-Asian women MPs: 'Meet UK's new Asian women leaders']

Eltham wards election results

Just to capture all the Eltham wards (following my Eltham North post):

Eltham South ward results (turnout 63.9%)
Lesley ABBOTTLabour1,645
Matthew Allan CLAREConservative2,603
Eileen Wordie GLOVERConservative2,677
Jan KINGGreen Party391
Michael John LEWISLiberal Democrats1,476
James MAYLabour1,517
Mark Simon PATTENDENLiberal Democrats1,479
Helen Margaret PEARTBritish National Party536
Boba RANGELOVLiberal Democrats1,077
Adam Michael THOMASConservative2,128
John TWIDALELabour1,450

Eltham West ward results (turnout 59.4%)
Ian James BENNETTConservative1,172
Eileen Joan COXLiberal Democrats667
William FREEMANLabour2,243
Michael Ronald HAYESLabour2,255
Carl HOLDWAYGreen Party307
Matthew Mark HUNTBACHLiberal Democrats508
Yvonne NICHOLLSLiberal Democrats465
Remi Melanie RAYMOREConservative1,128
Linda TREDRAYBritish National Party528
Sebastian VON TEICHMEISTERConservative911
Ray WALKERLabour2,075
Roberta Florence Louise WOODSBritish National Party612

(is that right - two BNP candidates in one ward? That's what the Greenwich Council website is showing.)

Middle Park and Sutcliffe ward results (turnout 64.5%)
Ray ADAMSUK Independence Party518
David BRINSONConservative1,587
Robert ELIASGreen Party416
Patricia GILLARDConservative1,486
Mary Catherine GREENLiberal Democrats1,521
Mark Stephen JAMESLabour2,274
Christine MAYLabour2,324
Clare Cecilia MORRISLabour2,247
Paul RAMSEYBritish National Party507
Arujuna SIVANANTHANConservative1,244
Paul WEBBEWOODLiberal Democrats1,571
Brian James WOODCRAFTLiberal Democrats1,552

All Greenwich Council results here.

Eltham North Ward results

Eltham North ward results (turnout 75.1%)
Emily BIRDLabour2,338
Helen BLACKBURNLiberal Democrats1,073
Bernie BORLANDLabour2,395
Rowena DAVENPORTBritish National Party686
Spencer DRURYConservative    3,078
Nigel Mark FLETCHERConservative2,968
Janice Mary MARNHAMLabour2,330
Dermot David POSTONConservative2,774
Edward John RANDALLLiberal Democrats1,126
Elliot SHUBERTLiberal Democrats816
David TURNERGreen Party625

[To compare to previous 2006 Eltham North results, click here]

A not unexpected result. Spencer Drury is obviously a pretty high-profile Tory councillor - Tory PCC for Greenwich & Woolwich and Leader of the Conservative Group. And I'm so glad the people of this ward saw sense about the BNP.
Results for all wards in Greenwich Council can be found here. And there's some commentary already on the 853 blog.  I've now got to stop and will be back to blogging this evening...

Some previous election posts:

David Gold congratulates Eltham's Clive Efford

David Gold, the Tory PCC now has this tweet-message on his website:
"Congratulations to Clive on his win. I am sorry my positive agenda wasn't what Eltham wanted this time. Thanks to all who supported me. - 2 hours 23 min ago"

To be fair that's gracious of him. (Though he never did publish one of my comments on his website nor answer my questions about the subject of my earlier post here.).

South-East London General Election results on the morning after

Good morning. I see that it's not Tory-geddon but looking hung-ish...

[read this post bottom-to-top!]

Main news: 

Scroll further down for figures.

 Some other local headlines:

08.05am: Jo Johnson wins Orpington
MAYOR of London Boris Johnson's brother Jo has held the Orpington seat for the Tories.
The Tories won the seat with 29,200 votes, with the Lib Dem candidate, David McBride, getting 12,000.
Labour's Stephen Morgan polled 4,400 votes, while UKIP's Mick Greenhough received 1,360.
BNP candidate Tess Culnane received 1,241 votes, while Tamara Galloway of the Greens had 511 and Chriss Snape of the English Democrats received 199.
The Tories received 59.7 per cent of the vote, with the Lib Dems on 24.5 per cent and Labour nine per cent.
The seat saw a 12.2 per cent swing from the Lib Dems to the Tories.
[from New Shopper]

What a swing - maybe the celebrity factor played a part. BNP candidate Tess Culnane received 1,241 votes - oh dear oh dear. I shouldn't think she's on course to be Mayor of Lewisham where she also stood - those results later.

07.50am:  Results for Greenwich & Woolwich
NICK Raynsford has won the Greenwich & Woolwich seat for Labour.
He received 20,262 votes, ahead of Conservative Spencer Drury, who polled 10,109.
Liberal Democrat Joseph Lee received 7,498 votes, while the British National Party's Lawrence Rustem got 1,151.
Green candidate Andy Hewett received 1,054 votes and Edward Adeleye from the Christian Party got 443.
Topo Wresniwiro from the English Democrats polled 339, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate Onay Kasab received 267 votes and Tammy Alingham, who stood as an independent, got 65.
Labour received 49.2 per cent of the vote, the Tories 24.5 and the Lib Dems 18.2.
The constituency saw a 5.1 per cent swing from Labour to Conservative.
[from News Shopper]

07.45am: Results for Eltham just in:


[Tweetphoto - Eltham announcement. L to R: David Gold, Steven Toole, 2 unknowns, Andrew Graham (Independent candidate), Allan MacCarthy (Mayor of Greenwich), Clive Efford]

The Labour candidate got 17,416 votes, finishing ahead of Conservative candidate David Gold, who got 15,753 votes.
Liberal Democrat Steven Toole finished third with 5,299 votes and BNP candidate Roberta Woods got 1,745 votes.
UKIP candidate Ray Adams got 1,011 votes, finishing ahead of Green candidate Arthur Hayles, who received 419 votes.
Mike Tibby, standing for the English Democrats, got 217 votes, while Independent candidate Andrew Graham finished last with 104 votes.
Mr Efford's majority is 1,663 votes and the voter turnout was 67 per cent.
[from New Shopper]

Thursday 6 May 2010

Election results night

[Read this post back-to-front - it starts at the bottom ...]

I'm off to bed now. Will I wake up to a hung parliament or Tory-geddon?

The count for Greenwich is underway at the vast former Beckham Academy next to the O2 dome. Apparently there was some nervousness about the Cheryl Cole and Black Eyed Peas fans clearing off after their sold-out O2 concerts there tonight. 

Nice to see two wonderful academics being called on for some TV political punditary. Profess Robert Hazell (from UCL's Constitution Unit) and Professor Peter Hennessey, from Queen Mary London and expert on British political procedures and Whitehall.

That's three women MPs returned so far...

23.40hrs:  Sunderland Central
BNP: 1,913
Cons: 12,720
Lab: 19,485   Julie Elliot   ELECTED
lib Dem: 7,191
UKIP: 1,094
[LAB HOLD. Swing Lab to Cons 4.8%. Turnout 57%]

23.20hrs:  Washington and Sunderland West
BNP: 1,913
Cons: 8,157
Lab: 19,615   Sharon Hodgson  ELECTED
Lib Dem: 6382
UKIP: 1,267
[LAB HOLD. Swing Lab to Cons]
Labour's 11th safest seat. Turnout 54%.

22.48hrs: News that 'hundreds' of people have been unable to vote, locked out, at polling stations in Lewisham (and Manchester, ealing, Hackney and Dalson). Reports that Police officers at a polling station in Brockley in Lewisham, south-east London, tell a BBC camera crew that voters are still being allowed to vote at 10.30pm. Police were called to a polling station in Manwood Road, Lewisham, south London, where around 300 people had yet to vote by 10pm, Scotland Yard said. There were reports of similar situations in other parts of the country.

22.51hrs: Houghton & Sunderland South
BNP: 1,961
Lib Dem: 5,292
UKIP: 1022
Cons: 8147
Lab: 19,137 Bridget Phillipson ELECTED
Ind: 2,462
[LAB HOLD. Swing: Lab to Cons just under 7%]
If this swing replicated across the country, then the Tories would have a majority!!

22.00hrs:  A joint BBC/Sky/ITV exit poll says:
Conservatives would have 307 MPs (up 97 on 2005)
Labour would have 255 (down 94)
Lib Dems 59 (down 3)
Nationalists and others would have 29.

David Cameron would fall 19 seats short of a Commons majority. It would also mean that Labour and the Lib Dems together could not have a majority. Poll based on 17,607 voters at 130 polling stations across the UK.

Get the BBC results charts here. I'm going to record a few happenings here for the couple of hours or so that I can watch the results and follow the Election Night Live Blog at Liberal Conspiracy.

[read this post bottom to top!]

Vote Labour today

I can't put it any better (or quicker, got to do some work today...) than Hopi Sen:

"Vote Labour on Thursday.

For the right strategy on the economy, for lower unemployment, for investment in schools and protected spending on frontline services.

For support for industrial R&D and capital spending, for better transport networks, for fairer working condititions and a society that is more tolerant and more.

For support for Working families, for those looking for jobs, for people trying to pay their mortgages.
Vote Labour for a better, fairer Britain.
 That is all.

Although Sunder Katwala of the Fabian Society also has a really good, though more detailed, piece at:

Why I am proud to vote Labour today

Election Day, 6 May 2010

So the day has finally arrived. The closest UK election for a generation. Liberal Conspiracy is quoting YouGov President Peter Kellner’s prediction of the outcome, as follows:

Conservative: 300-310 seats
Labour: 230-240
Lib Dem: 75-85
Others: around 30

That is still not believed to be enough for Cameron to form a majority government.

The Harris poll, as reported by the BBC on 5 May, is more optimistic about Labour's chances. If people voted like this (to the left) at the general election there would be a hung parliament. Labour would be the largest party, but would be short of a majority by 54 seats.

Let's see what happens. Roll on the results.  I will try to stay up as late as possible tonight, though work and kiddy-duties will mean I might have to give in to sleep.

Wednesday 5 May 2010

Election night results at Queen Elizabeth Hall

If you want to join a crowd in London to track the election results tomorrow night, this sounds a fun (and free!) event, from 10pm onwards:
"Watch the election results live, and join in discussion and debate with leading commentators, comics and political experts in an informal 'open salon' in the foyer of Queen Elizabeth Hall. Featuring big-screen live TV and Twitter feeds, a late bar, reactions, gossip and more, with Martin Bright and guests. Whatever the election result, join us for what promises to be a stimulating evening.

This event has been organised by Southbank Centre Artists in Residence New Deal of the Mind. New Deal of the Mind is a coalition of artists, entrepreneurs and opinion formers who recognise the huge value - economically, socially and culturally - of Britain's creative talent."

Tuesday 4 May 2010

Why no-one should vote for the BNP

Transpontine has just blogged about the latest alarming case of BNP violence:
"Yesterday, Cormac Hollingsworth, standing as a Labour candidate for Council in South Bermondsey, was leafleting an estate in the area 'when he was punched three times in the face and kicked. Meanwhile the attacker kept up a stream of insults and shouted pro-BNP slogans'. (full story at TMP online)."

This is the problem about the BNP. When people say that they merely another political party and that they are being demonised for simply talking about immigration, I say which other party attacks its fellow candidates and members of the public?  Apart from their supporters, BNP politicians themselves, and aspiring ones, are not exempt from criminal behaviour. We're also reminded that:

"David Clarke, the BNP candidate for Heathfield ward (Croydon Council) was convicted last week of two separate assaults on anti-racist campaigners who had been giving out leaflets outside East Croydon station. Full story at Croydon Advertiser."

Co-incidently, yesterday the Raincoat Optimist had a brilliant post about why people should not vote for the BNP, focussing on the Barking and Dagenham where Nick Griffin is standing. He also had this useful digest with lots of interesting links:

"Other reasons for not voting fror the BNP, from other wesbites, are:
Greenwich Council has BNP candidates standing in most wards and constituencies - let's hope the electorate are not taken in by them.You really don't want these people running anything.

Sunday 2 May 2010

The PM in Eltham today

Turns out Gordon Brown made a quick stop in Eltham this morning as part of a whistle-stop tour. The Guardian's Dave Hill reports on having had a brief interview with him. When asked, Brown disagreed that Lab-Con marginal voters (such as those in Eltham) should vote tactically for Lib-Dem - carry on voting Labour was his advice, though others seem to disagree.

Photo above: Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown walks with Clive Efford (Labour PPC) and members of the Metropolitan Police and the Safe Neighbourhood Scheme, in Eltham, south London, 2 May. (REUTERS/Lewis Whyld/Pool)
Gordon Brown went to visit Dulwich and Brixton. Tomorrow South-East London sees Nick Clegg, the LibDem leader, touring - he'll be in Blackheath, Montpelier Vale at 10am....

Saturday 1 May 2010

Tarnished Gold for Eltham


I was shocked to see this comment (red-circled to the left) on the website of the Tory candidate for Eltham. As he is a candidate in a marginal Labour constituency it is a bit chilling that he may become our MP next week.

Would David or any of his team care to explain the implication of the quote? Or confirm that this reprehensible quote will be removed?   It seems to be a scrolling 'vox pop' box by the way so the comment is not static, in case you look for it.