Nick Toczek at Meadows Library

IMG_5119b0402h Meadows Library Nick Toczek
Poet and magician Nick Toczek at the Meadows Library.
It went down very well with the kids, although obviously, the teenagers were a bit keen to say they could see through the tricks – ooh they grow up so quickly.
IMG_5118ncc0235h Meadows Library Nick Toczek poster IMG_5122b0235h Meadows Library magician audience
Nearly 100 kids and over 50 adults came to the Friends of Meadows Library’s show.
The independent group have won funds to promote activity at the well-loved library.
Some more people may now join the committee.

Salop coulda won

IMG_5116m9900c0501h NGW Screenshot (234) BBC Salop Chelsea write up
I agree with our manager. It is annoying. We coulda won.
Not that we deserved to. Although I was amazed at the possession stats published after the game – surely it wasn’t that bad.
IMG_5101b0392h NGW taking a selfie family and friends
Gotta say – only went for the party.
IMG_5107m04b0134h NGW Salop attack Chelsea
IMG_5108m05b0090h NGW Salop attack Chelsea BLURRED header
And when Chelsea cleared a header off the line (see blurred photo – what d’yer mean you can’t make it out!), you wondered if we’d missed the chance.
IMG_5109m33b0151h NGW silent Chelsea fans
The silence of the Chelsea fans half an hour in was testimony to Salop’s performance.
IMG_5110m37b0266h NGW Salop attack Chelsea throw in IMG_5112m43b0132h NGW Salop attack Chelsea cross
Not gutsy, not physical. But good football.
Enjoying Grandison bossing Drogba (who was apparently man of the match – go figure).
Noting that 3 of the Chelsea players didn’t seem up to scratch.
At half-time you wondered again – had the chance gone?
Then the opening 3 minutes of the second half when Salop players just couldn’t get the ball from under their feet and Drogba scored on a break.
Now it was over.
IMG_5114m62b0090h NGW Salop attack Chelsea corner
IMG_5114m7613a0280h NGW Salop equalize GoalZ
But then the goal. A corner that felt good as soon as it was lofted. Grandison and another Salop player soaring above their defence. A knock down with this time the Chelsea player getting the ball stuck under his feet. And Mangan smashing it in from five yards. Pandimonium.
Chelsea brought on 2 subs and Willian was tricky straight away, but their goal came cos a Salop player got the ball stuck under his feet when most of his mates were waiting for a cross from the wing, and Chelsea had a break.
IMG_5116m8025a0173h NGW Shrewsbury-v-Chelsea DM14
The photo from the Daily Mirror and Getty (I think) captures the moment when Grandison gets his head to the cross first, only to glance it into our own goal – by inches.
We coulda won – which is a surprise, but it’s annoying not to.
For a different perspective, see the Guardian.
Actually a bit fed up with the media focus on Mourinho, before and after. He was graceless too, about the quality of our goal.

But a special night because of the performance, and from a squad that was almost completely changed in the Summer, and for whom no transfer fee was paid. Akin to that amazing 1982 transformation. And a performance akin to that special time too.

East Midlands Labour Party conference

IMG_5047b0175h DMU Lcer Dennis Skinner and Hajira
A terrific event for members to get to meet, and speak with, many of Labour’s spokespeople and to talk politics.
A very full first day, where the volume of Labour party policies was rehearsed.
The second day was more about training, but the closing remarks by Dennis Skinner were an absolute treat.
The training works hard at maximising the impact of what we have, but misses a bigger point.
IMG_5044b0175h DMU Lcer Dennis Skinner and Olwyn IMG_5050b0175h DMU Lcer EMRLP conference
The modern style of politics leaves the field of big change (get out of Europe) to UKIP, as mainstream politicians fire-proofs themselves against barbs from mainstream media journalists, who ironically let UKIP off on things like planning to change for appointments to see your GP.
IMG_2522c0065h CLPD Unite fringe meeting aud 1 IMG_2521b0065h CLPD Unite fringe meeting aud 2 IMG_2524c0065h CLPD Unite fringe meeting aud 3 IMG_2523c0065h CLPD Unite fringe meeting aud 4
I spoke at a fringe meeting concerned about the kind of challenges modern politics brings.
If active members of the mainstream political parties had a greater influence, there’d be a better politics; more rounded leading politicians with clearer responses to dealing with the significant challenges Britain faces, such as subsidising the labour market to pay cheap wages, and building up private landlords at the expense of exploited tenants and out-bid home-owners.

Dennis Skinner manifesto speech

Screenshot (233)b0216h EMLP conference Dennis Skinner speakingMain message – bemusement at Labour sticking to ideas of financial discipline on government spending that no-one else bothers with – Ronald Reagen never balanced the books.
Also over missing opportunities to do what the public wants – and to take back control of all the railways.
Delivered with terrific comedy, serious points about breaking out of constraints to British politics that stop politicians from setting out to deliver for the people.
IMG_5040EMLP0336h DMU Lcer Dennis Skinner and MME B07UsgAIgAA8XtR
“Old Labour meets old New Labour”
Just kidding. It’s always about traditional values in a modern setting.
But we were talking about the problems any government faces if it sets its face against borrowing for revenue spend; in essence, it’s a kind of capital investment too – in people and in avoiding bigger bills in the future.