To UK readers – A vote for Labour is a vote for yourself, for ourselves

Agent of History

Dear friends,

I’m sorry I haven’t been blogging in recent months. It’s been a combination of a bit of a crisis of confidence (which I’m over) and a lifestyle change that’s seen me move away from my desk for a few months. I’m actually working as a tour guide for a bit here in Oxford, before I move with my family to Bristol in late July. It’s been fun!

Anyway, here we are on the eve of another general election. I just want to make one main point – that a vote for Labour is really a vote of confidence in yourself, in ourselves, in society, in hope. I’ll explain what I mean in a second, but, first, this statement comes with a massive caveat: if you are in a constituency where Labour cannot win, but another party other than the Conservatives can then DON’T VOTE LABOUR. PLEASE don’t increase…

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Why we should all resist the Tory art of distraction

It’s been a privilege to read your blog posts Jeff. I hope I’ll be able to shake your hand someday, that will be a privilege too. Take care mate…

Ramblings of an Ordinary Man

The General Election has entered familiar and predicable territory. The Tories, struggling to resurrect a failing campaign, devoid of policy and, well, any campaigning, have opted to distract and smear instead. It’s a sign that they are terrified and ultimately a backhanded compliment for Labour.

However it is important we challenge their attempts to pull the wool over our eyes. Their obsession with dredging up long lost quotes and comments and their desire to distort for their own ends, is worrying. If it’s not challenged, politics could become a sterile exercise, with people terrified to voice opinions for fear of falling outside the ‘mainstream’.

I’m nearly fifty now. It actually pains me to write that. Not that I’m ashamed of my age. It’s just, well, I really don’t know how it happened. Like many of you reading this, it feels like one minute I was 17, then I blinked and…

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May’s politics of fear and the avoidance of scrutiny

It will be in towns like Manchester and Liverpool that the tide will turn. The future will be one of love not hate, helping not exploiting, sharing not accumulating wealth, participating in the decisions that affect our live, not being lead…or we have no future worth having.

Ramblings of an Ordinary Man

There are two paths we can take in the face of violence and hate. Manchester just pointed out the right one.

Theresa May, however, has chosen to use the understandable fear and revulsion of the people of Britain to justify the continuation of a failed approach to global terror, which has cost countless lives, billions of pounds and has left us even less safe than we were before. The temporary suspension of campaigning in the general election was appropriate but it must now be lifted, so that the opposition can hold her to account.

We have never needed a debate about the role our country plays in the world more than we do now. There is another way to respond to this atrocity and the public needs to hear it. To allow Theresa May to shape our response to terror without debate, risks a continuation of failed policies.

In the…

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Tory “Dementia Tax” chaos: May hits self-destruct

Kep them coming Jeff….

Ramblings of an Ordinary Man

The mask has finally fallen from Theresa May’s face. In truth it had been dangling precariously for weeks now. However the complete chaos surrounding the release of the Tory manifesto and the botched attempt to roll back from her flagship policy, the “dementia tax,” reveals once and for all an utterly shambolic leader, devoid of principle and lurching from one crisis to another.

The eventual release of the Tory manifesto turned out to be an unmitigated disaster. In it was a promise to make the elderly pay for their care by forfeiting their children’s inheritance. Radio phone-in shows have been bombarded by angry voters, calling in to complain. Even the Tory Bow Group described as the biggest stealth tax in British history. To add insult to injury, The Spectator declared that people earning under £85,000 per year would be better off under Labour.

Lynton Crosby’s decision to turn the…

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“Solid Conservatism.” It’s just punishment for a crime we didn’t commit

There’s defiantly a change in the air – what odds are the bookies giving for the Tories to lose the election?

Ramblings of an Ordinary Man

Today the Tory Party published its manifesto. Theresa May described it as “solid Conservatism” and the BBC dutifully reported that she was now targeting “mainstream Britain,” whatever all that guff means.

Presumably the Prime Minister has now grown tired of parking tanks on various lawns and begging Labour voters to lend her their votes. Judging by the protests that greeted the launch, in Halifax, of ‘Forward Together,’ they’re not too keen anyway.

Solid Conservatism? What’s that all about?

I remember when I was a kid ear-wigging a conversation between my mum and a neighbour. They were discussing another woman and I recall my mother, her voice full of derision, saying “she votes conservative now you know.” Her friend looked shocked and then snorted, “You’re joking! What the hell has she got to conserve?” They both erupted with laughter.

I’ve no idea what year this was or who the object of…

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Labour’s manifesto: a triumph of leadership and hope over cynicism and despair

Hope at last…

Ramblings of an Ordinary Man

As I reflect upon the Labour Party manifesto, I am struck by its breadth and scope. It is the most transformational programme offered by any political party, certainly in my lifetime and possibly since the post-war Attlee government. It offers real solutions to the problems faced by millions of people and it’s fully costed.

For students weighed down by loans and their parents worried about how they’ll pay them back, or afford a home of their own, there is hope. A promise of lifelong learning, within the grasp of all, offers a route out of poverty for many and, for business it holds out the prospect of a skilled and capable workforce, fully updated, motivated and productive.

For those unable to afford the rent or who have given up hope of ever owning a home, Labour’s housing policy offers a pathway to safe and secure housing. What’s more, the £10…

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