Bridge ward monthly report 47

August 2015 was an extraordinary month for The Meadows and Nottingham.
The Ashes test and the cricket pavilion construction that it enabled.
Building of new council housing in the south-west of The Meadows begun.
The start of tram services serving The Meadows on the lines to Clifton, to the QMC and beyond.

1446 cases.
Largest number of visits to the web-site for any month.
20150831 monthly stats b0615h

Tony tries again

If you’re angry about welfare cuts, then two things are obvious: those are cuts to programmes Labour introduced, and we only introduced them by being in power.” – Tony Blair, former Labour Leader, former Prime Minister and three times General Election winner.
20150830 Gdn Tony Blair on reality part 1 b0755h 20150830 Gdn Tony Blair on reality part 2 b0597h 20150830 Gdn Tony Blair on reality part 3 b0793h 20150830 Gdn Tony Blair on reality part 4 b0563h 20150830 Gdn Tony Blair on reality part 5 b0475h
Tony Blair says his article published in The Observer may well generate a counter-reaction that only makes things worse, to which he’s probably said, “how can it make things worse”? (‘The Life of Brian’ is a gift that keeps on giving, isn’t it?)
Critics haven’t pulled any punches – “Isn’t it about time TB died … ”
Jeremy Corbyn on Saturday went on record saying “we don’t do the politics of personal abuse“. Oh yes, “we” don’t.
As for the article, again Blair’s focus on reality overlooks the hope he offered in 1997, which was missing in 2015 – and I can’t believe that if he’d been in charge this time around, he wouldn’t have tried to find a vision that was more forward looking than a triple-lock on spending plans.
I don’t accept Blair’s election analysis either – “published polling and focus group evidence about Labour’s defeat … say[s] the same. Labour lost because it was considered anti-business and too left; because people feared Ed in Downing Street with SNP support; and because he didn’t have a credible deficit reduction plan“. I didn’t hear concerns about “left” or “reduction plans” – I did hear the other bits, economic insecurity and lack of belief in Ed as a person – I think Blair pulls a punch here.
There is something to be done about developing an economic approach that makes money work for us, develop activity beyond financial markets and do it in an environmentally sustainable way. Corbyn’s writers have strong points here – the question is whether they can use the Blair skills to fashion it into winning package that adds Middle England to huge parts of London, and the urban North & Midlands for the majority needed to win a General Election. Corbyn’s explanation of how segregated train carriages for women has been tried in Mexico suggests they haven’t got those skills. What at most was a suggestion that should have been treated as case work has now reached a totemic significance which isn’t that far away from the caricatures Labour suffered throughout the eighties.
And Blair does in essence get right that the (protest) movements that are apparently successful in Europe and America are from across the political spectrum; though he doesn’t draw on Bernard Crick who would readily identify these movements as anti-political.
An imperative read, even if I don’t agree with all of it.

Farewell 1906 Meadows Cricket Pavilion

IMG_8167b0545h VE MRG 1906 Meadows Cricket Pavilion being demolished
Demolition began on Thursday.
Even if it fell into disuse and then ill repair in its last decades, the pavilion enabled cricket and football for many more decades and was a success because its design was copied elsewhere and because we’ve wanted to copy its distinctive features in its replacement.
IMG_8170b0364h VE MRG Meadows Cricket Pavilion under construction
I’ve asked for the pavilion to have a formal address (Meadows Cricket Pavilion, Victoria Embankment) with a distinctive postcode, so that satnav guided visitors can find it and events related car parking more easily.
Even though the new pavilion will support as much football as cricket, we’ll keep cricket in the title in part cos of the nature of its design and to distinguish it from the football only pavilion elsewhere on the park.
Also, it was the cricket trust that drove its redevelopment, using the Ashes test as the catalyst, so maybe the address should include “8415” to commemorate that Stuart Broad bowling performance.

Booked for singing a George Benson song

20150825ShrewsWeb b0221h Salop score
Commiserations to Shrewsbury Town FC, knocked out last night of the League Cup last night at top flight Crystal Palace, despite taking the lead after nine minutes.
Too difficult a night out for me, but I know family had a good trip.
Instead, I was reduced to publishing memories of my trips to Crystal Palace, and re-discovering Victor Kasule, who was booked at Crystal Palace for singing a George Benson song, but was special because (for an all too short period) he was an electrifying player for Salop.
Vic Kasule stfc footballer a0187h
What a story, including that special moment when he smashed a late winner against Leeds United, and then broke a toe in a celebratory somersault – yes I was there.
Football as entertainment provides special memories, but Kasule is quoted on being remembered in a very sobering manner.

P.S. pale blue, white and black as a second strip combination was never going to clash with Crystal Palace, unlike a few years back when a blue first sip and a red second strip and no third strip meant Salop wore Wolves second shirts. BUT the BBC reporter referred to the kit as the Argentina strip, and however good at football that country might be, the farces of 1978 and 1986 (and 1966 even) are still raw, and I just don’t think we should have that strip, even if we did once have it in the nineties. A combination of red and white, or red and black, or all white – the traditional options – would suffice.