Monday, 22 May 2017

Why Would She Do Something So Stupid? Oh…Here’s Why.

Is the Dementia Tax a plan to make money for Theresa May and her husband?


“The other commercial opportunity: the dementia tax is a stealth incentive to take out equity release mortgages.”…The commenter adds: “This fast-growing market is dominated by Legal and General in the UK (29pc market share), of which a major shareholder is Capital Group, of which a key UK executive is Philip May, husband of Theresa May.”

Sunday, 21 May 2017

We Appear to Have, For Want of a Better Word, Momentum.

While Jeremy Corbyn addressed a crowd of many thousands in the Wirral, on the Island, a heartening and well-informed audience gathered to hear Julian Critchley speak in Ryde last night. He addressed the Stockholm Syndrome, likening the media refrains about Labour being ‘unelectable’ to the obedience of imprisoned people who have grown to identify with their captors.

He (Jeremy Corbyn) is only unelectable if you don’t vote for him!

The idea that many people want to vote for Labour policies but are having a hard time shifting their thinking to realise that it is within their power is borne out by my experience of canvassing in East Cowes yesterday. Julian also said that he was impressed by the encounters he’d had, canvassing in Newport and Ryde during the day, and a gentleman from Ventnor said the same. We have a large elderly population on the Island, and the Labour ‘Triple Whammy’ against older people in their half-arsed manifesto has shaken a lot of people, making them feel insecure.

Still, at a party for a friend’s 75th birthday later, I was told, in all seriousness, by a friend who claims to have studied economics, that Labour’s manifesto can’t be afforded. I like her, and didn’t want to burst her bubble, so I didn’t ask her whether she’d read the document on which she was pontificating. She seemed to think that the money for wars and tax breaks for billionaires and foreign corporations comes from a magic pot that doesn’t cost us anything and isn’t available to be used for socially useful purposes. Her ‘argument’, was that any change from the way things are is a fantasy and impossible. She is not rich, but neither is she struggling, and it seemed to me that she was displaying a perfect set of Stockholm Syndrome characteristics: she had bought the lie that our economy is a permanent, externally-caused, state of crisis and that There Is No Alternative (TINA); the greatest of the neo-liberal lies. I was left a little depressed by the encounter.

However, this morning, after I had fortified myself, I took a look at news sources and was left with a rather more hopeful sense of what seems to be happening in the country. Firstly, the mechanisms that construct and maintain the Stockholm Syndrome bubbles seem to be under attack. Have a look at this video.

Quite clearly, the BBC has a policy of depicting the tiny huddled rump of Tory activists at this meeting as a large and successful gathering, representing the community in which it tool place. Equally clearly, that is not the truth of the matter. It echoes the famous bus picture, where someone went off-message and took a step back to show that there were a couple of dozen or so Tory supporters pretending to be a crowd.

So far, so depressing: we are a country ill-served by our media and a lot of passive people, including my friend, are happy to accept the air-brushed truth.

Then I saw this.

Eh? Only a few seconds, as well. Don’t get excited.

Except that, in the replies, there was this:

And this:

(I love the original poster’s reply.)

What? Eh?

Over the next few minutes, a series of tweets appeared on my stream, all showing an incredible event. The ‘hugely unpopular’ Jeremy Corbyn had addressed a Libertines gig the night before, at the Tranmere Rovers football ground. He gave a speech to a crowd of thousands and was drowned out, several times, by the crowd shouting his name as if he were a football star.

It almost looks as though, I don’t know: he’s popular, or something. What he says seems to have caught the imagination of young people. People who probably didn’t vote last time.

And it wasn’t just concert goers and football fans.

Theresa May wanted to make this a presidential election. Who looks more presidential now?

On my ridiculous vanity project Labour supporter’s webpage, I have written this:

Deadline to register to vote is Monday 22 May, 23:59. ie, before midnight. BBC is reporting that two million people have registered since the start of the election, and the majority are young people.This is almost inevitably bad news for the Conservatives, as their vote share, while stable, has not increased numerically for several elections. In other words, the larger the pool of voters, the smaller their share.

There is expected to be a spike of applications in the run-up to Monday’s deadline.

In 2015, 500,000 people applied to vote on deadline day while registration for the EU referendum in 2016 had to be extended by 48 hours after the website crashed in the final few hours.


If you want us, as a nation, to escape the common delusions that the ruling classes have been imposing upon us for thirty years, then you don’t want to miss the chance to participate in this election. Register to vote, join the Labour Party and, for the sake of everything that is good about our beautiful, muddled, creative and messy country, VOTE LABOUR.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

I Don’t Want To Jinx It, But…

Amanda and I met half-a-dozen Isle of Wight Labour friends in East Cowes this lunchtime, to hand out leaflets, encourage people to register to vote and to raise awareness of our candidate, Julian Critchley. Julian is speaking at Aspire, Dover Street, Ryde, tonight, and I hope some of the people I spoke to might take the opportunity to hear him.

I was surprised by the number of positive conversations I had. I lost count, but it must have been at least ten, possible twelve, real, thoughtful, issues-based exchanges, in which people expressed frustration about the established politics in this country (no real surprise) and were either ready to vote Labour or willing to consider Labour on the basis of policy, rather than media personality wars.

I really think the Tories have misplayed this election. They have been caught off guard by a Labour manifesto that is coherent, carefully prepared, convincing, and shows up the sheer brutality, corruption and ugliness of the Conservative prejudice-based hate policies. Even the one convinced Tory voter who was prepared to argue with me (and I respect him for his courtesy and honesty, and really enjoyed our conversation), is very uncomfortable with the Conservative management of the NHS, and their ‘triple whammy’ against old people: means-testing struggling pensioners, undermining already insulting state pensions and taking away people’s houses and savings to pay for inadequate care. How is robbing people of the fruits of their life’s work really a Conservative policy? It just shows that they’ve abandoned their own values in return for the patronage of billionaires.

Now, I detest opinion polls, but I do kind of understand them, having looked into the topic after the 2015 election. The following video explores the current situation, and his reasoning is sound.

Leafleting in the street; bothering people as they go about their business, is so not me. I am an awkward person and I am the ultimate Mr Non-confrontational, but I actually ended up having fun. It reminded me that the community in which I live is a collection of people who are, at heart, decent people. We are so used to being shovelled stories of conflict, mutual derision and division, that we forget how strong the ties that hold us together are. I’ve got a busy week at work ahead, but I hope I can fit in some more campaigning.

This afternoon, I am feeling more positive about this election than I have since it was announced. If you want to get involved, even if you are too young to vote yourself, contact the Labour Party and they will put you in touch with the local party. Or, come along tonight, to Aspire, at 6:30, or to Northwood House in Cowes on Wednesday night at 7:30. I think you will find a party ready to greet you with optimism and friendliness.

And, if you’re not already registered to vote, for goodness sake, do so now.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Wise Up

The Labour manifesto is out and the excellence of its contents is now being challenged by a simple PR tactic: the question, “How will they pay for it?”

This inquiry appeals to the economic illiteracy of the majority of people. It is, in fact, a cheaper set of pledges than the Tories’ plan to give away £70,000,000,000 to their rich sponsors over the next three years. That, however, is not the point. The capitalists want everyone dazzled by the Thatcher lie that a country’s economy is the same as the household budget of an office worker or shop manager: wages in, bills out. THAT IS A LIE.

National economics is not that hard to understand: it’s A level, at its hardest. Get wised up. This article, by an influential economics and political journalist, provides a primer relating specifically to the Labour Strategy.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

If You Don’t Vote, Don’t Moan

You have until May 22nd-next Monday-to register to vote

More people didn’t vote than voted for any single party in the last general election. If you didn’t vote then, your vote could change this country.


Click this banner to go to the Voter Registration Page.

Registration is quick and easy. You will need your NI number, which you can find on payslips, HMRC communications or DWP documents addressed to you. Other than that, it’s just a matter of giving your name, address and date of birth. It doesn’t compel you to do anything, but it gives you the option to have a say. You might as well do it. If you want help with it, you can go to The Isobel Centre in Newport, any library, or there is an event in Ventnor this Saturday, (20th) at the Central Car Park, from 10:30 to 11:30.

You CAN register to vote if you are homeless.

Download the Register to Vote (No Fixed Address) form here. Then, find your local electoral registration office here, using any postcode within your area (try the library or post office postcode).

For the Island, the details are:

Isle of Wight Council
Electoral Services
County Hall
Isle of Wight PO30 1UD
01983 823380

And, if you need a little more incentive, here’s a sweary man: