Since I wrote my first blog, A New Beginning, life and the beginning of our new political group has had more than its fair share of ups and downs. My good friend and associate in this new beginning, Cllr Barbara Potter, has had some serious health issues and has been out of the the picture for some time, thankfully now she is much better and is back in the mix of what we are doing. In-house issues with the council’s hierarchy haven’t helped and the Labour Party has accused us of political point scoring.
The political climate is changing rapidly, more and more discontent across the country regarding the main political parties is opening the door to UKIP as well as Far Right Groups.
People are fed up of cuts, whether it be from the Con-Dem Coalition or “with crocodile tears from the Labour Party, enough is enough! There needs to be an alternative, and we hope that is something we will achieve here in Leicester!!!!
After going Independent, We initially grouped together as the Autonomy Group Leicester, but have since been register nationally as a group under the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), who have been running since 2010, started by Trade Unionist Bob Crow, now led by Dave Nellist. We are defining our message and beginning to build support.
Our Big Bang!! moment came on Saturday (25th October) when after all the issues and changes, we held a People’s Budget Conference, which was attended by around 60 people who will be great activists for our group. Its the beginning of what I hope will be a new era in politics in Leicester, a new movement for the people by the people, with people at its heart.
Both myself and Barbara have had people get in touch with us telling us it was inspirational. It was great to have Dave Nellist speak with such great command about how this is the time for a different socialist group than the former socialist Labour Party to be the part of the people. Cllr Keith Morrell, TUSC Councillor from Southampton strengthened the argument with his heart-warming account of why he left the Labour Party, became independent, gained support from TUSC and went on to regain his council seat with a high proportion and turned around a local issue. An amazing stand, one that we hope to replicate here!
This time of change is a massive learning process, something that has been challenging, awkward at times, but incredibly fulfilling too. And one that has felt right. Its time to move forward and make this happen for everyone in our city!!!!
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and shadow home secretary Diane Abbott chatted to youngsters using a climbing wall Credit: Danny Lawson/PA
Labour Deputy Leader Tom Watson believes the key to Labour’s vote holding up on May 23rd is portraying the election as a choice between the “nasty nationalism of the Farage Brexit Party” and “the tolerant, compassionate outward-looking patriotism of the Labour Party”/Sienna @siennamarla
Cross-party Brexit talks resumed Monday… again.
More than five weeks after the negotiations first began, you might have assumed they would only be ongoing because at least one participant thought progress was being made. But that’s not the case.
I believe there has been a genuine desire on both sides to come to an agreement, yet – as I’ve said before in this email – both leaders have been constrained by their parties.
While Brexiteers were naturally always opposed to the idea of softening of Brexit to win Labour votes, Theresa May has now also been advised by more Remain-y cabinet ministers previously supportive of the talks to pull the plug according to The Times. Philip Hammond, Amber Rudd, et al. reckon it is now time for government-sponsored indicative votes. (Whether the Prime Minister goes down that route or launches directly into the riskier withdrawal agreement bill process remains to be seen. The latter could be more successful as explained here.)
On the Labour side, Keir Starmer has gone public with his view that no Brexit deal can get through the Commons without a referendum attached, as this is a red line for so many Labour MPs. And describing Labour as the “remain and reform party” (a characterisation not recognised by multiple frontbenchers, nor the leader), Tom Watson repeated the Shadow Brexit Secretary’s estimated parliamentary arithmetic this morning. The government was never going to grant the wish of a public vote, so the notion of a Labour-Tory deal has been successfully quashed by PVers.
Labour’s deputy leader has been stepping up his calls for the party to shift on Brexit in the run-up to the European elections taking place in just 10 days. Last week, we reported on the second Future Britain Group meeting, which saw Watson set out a campaign strategy and express concerns about the possibility that Remain-supporting Labour voters will abstain on May 23rd. Today, he will deliver much the same message at a memorial lecture for the late former leader John Smith.
“If John was alive today… I have no doubt that he would have taken a stand very similar to that of his deputy, Margaret Beckett, and backed a People’s Vote as a way out of this destructive mess,” Watson will say at the Fabian event.
He believes the key to Labour’s vote holding up on May 23rd is portraying the election as a choice between the “nasty nationalism of the Farage Brexit Party” and “the tolerant, compassionate outward-looking patriotism of the Labour Party”.
The hope is that this approach also plays into the ‘Farage paradox‘. The latest poll shows the Brexit Party getting more votes than Labour and the Tories combined, however.
150 Labour MPs would reject an agreement that did not include confirmatory referendum//Crimson TAZVINZWA
Keir Starmer has expressed doubts that any cross-party Brexit deal lacking a confirmatory referendum could pass parliament, warning up to 150 Labour MPs would reject an agreement that did not include one.
The shadow Brexit secretary said he feared the party risked losing its remain voters after worse than expected losses in the local elections, but he warned Labour remainers tempted to vote for the Liberal Democrats or Change UK that only Jeremy Corbyn’s party could deliver a fresh referendum.