Bridge ward monthly report 59

A much sunnier month both in terms of weather and events.
Riverside Festival was thronging, ditto The Beach, the Carnival brought out smiles, the trams celebrated their first year serving The Meadows and succeeded in their first opportunity to bring people to both events and Lilian Greenwood MP came to see much of the progress being made in The Meadows.
Event of the month was the WASPI stall in the city centre – busiest campaign stall I’ve ever seen.
MME Bridge ward OVERVIEW progress v160831 1200 aa1754h
The Rio de Janiero Olympics were great of course, cos a platform that matters is given to sports that don’t usually have one.  But the concern remains that this is not converted into higher activity.
England broke the One-Day International batting records at Trent Bridge and cricket playing is up, of course with the new pavilion at the Meadows Recreation Ground.  Progress at the park included repairs to the paddling pool and the new street lighting is erected and due to be switched on soon.
Less sunny was the Labour Leadership contest.  Inappropriate behaviour, particularly on social media, was a theme Ricky Gervais picked up in on interviews about his David Brent film.

The robbery of Meadows Post Office was a setback.
Ditto, the threatened loss of 300 jobs at the Pizza Factory.
Re-surfacing will smarten up Willersley Drive and Bathley Street (once the tarmac settles), but one cul-de-sac in the New Meadows looks a bit uncared for so a number of reports sent in.
In the city centre, the new streets in Hockley look good, but a bit of work is needed on speeding and noisy trophy cars and motorbikes strutting through the Lace Market.
1715 issues logged for chasing since being elected as a Bridge Councillor.
Other news on Facebook and Twitter.



Nottingham Labour achievements since May 2015

A quick list of recent Nottingham Labour achievements since May 2015
· Setting up Robin Hood Energy – delivering low cost energy across the UK and saving the cheapest price possible for Nottingham residents
· Opening the new tram line providing affordable public transport to the south of the City
· Investing in electric buses to keep Nottingham green and cut down on pollution
· Harvey Hadden Leisure centre opened providing a world class facility to residents
· Creating smoke free areas around events with children
· Provided hundreds of free books to children under 5 by supporting the Dolly Parton imagination library
· Continued to ensure free bulky waste collections
· Introduced the Robin Hood Card for integrated transport across the City
· Delivered on Carbon reduction targets 4 years early
· Plus much, much more


Watching the Mick Rutherford Band and it turns out the harmonica player works on the steam engines at the Wollaton Industrial Museum.
Then Lilian Greenwood MP announces she got to work on the footplate  on a steam locomotive.
And the LMS’s Princess Elizabeth is in Derby, which I think my Dad once drove (I know he drove Castle class locos).
And all I have to boast about is that I once operated IBM XT’s with their optional 256k of RAM and their 10Mb hard disk.
La de da, la la.


Lilian Greenwood MP has decided to be public about abuse she is receiving as an MP – most particularly from members of her own party.

“What is acceptable behaviour by @UKLabour members nowadays?
“I emailed Nottingham South members recently to explain why I’m voting for Owen Smith.

Replies – remember this is from local Labour Party members – included “How about fuck off” … being called a ‘traitor’ & a ‘pseudo Tory’, ‘never contact me again’ and ‘If you are the Labour candidate at the next election my vote will go to the Green’s. Hopefully you will be deselected by then’
Of course most replies are a polite mix of I agree/ and I disagree but should I really just ‘ignore it’?
Is abuse and threats of deselection what Labour MPs should expect now?
And not just MPs facing abuse of course.  A brilliant Councillor told me today she’s supporting Owen but not saying so on publicly – too worried about abuse & being deselected.”

A disappointment that it’s happened.
But it gets worse as some social media correspondents thought the way to tackle this was to point out there were victims on “the other sde” too.
Proper response – new complaint, a new message or posting.

What actually might be the proper way to behave in social media is to say it should copy Parliament’s ways of working.  Frowning heavily on any kind of abuse. And kinda familar.  But how to enforce?   (And what to do when people want to exchange vitriolle with each other?)

Facebook’s Code of Conduct is one example of what could be expected in public correspondence.
As a user of the service you will uphold this code of conduct, and are responsible for all activities and content you post/upload.
In addition to upholding this code of conduct, you are responsible for adhering to all applicable local and national laws.

Prohibited Uses

  • Incites, advocates or expresses pornography, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity, hatred, bigotry, racism, or gratuitous violence.
  • Provides or creates links to external sites that violate this code of conduct.
  • threatens, stalks, defames, defrauds, degrades, victimizes or intimidates an individual or group of individuals for any reason; including on the basis of age, gender, disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation, race or ammuition or firearms.
  • Contains or could be considered ‘junk mail’, ‘spam’, ‘chain letters’, ‘pyramid schemes’, ‘affiliate marketing’, or unsolicited commercial advertisement.

A shame that when you report something as offensive, the complaint offers five options, not matching the structure of the code.

Not allowing people to post anonymously might stop a lot of problems.

This is an issue that Ricky Gervais has also been talking about.


Owen Smith rallies Nottingham

A good rally.
Proper passion, conviction and persuasion from Owen.
NPost Owen Smith article db0444h
Impressed some of the undecideds present and gave a fillip to supporters.
Lilian Greenwood MP started the meeting, explaining Nottingham’s reasons for backing Owen.
Cllr. Sally Longford introduced Owen, expressing her disappointment with Jeremy Corbyn as Leader.

There’s coverage in the Nottingham Post.
Owen made big points on the European Union and got national coverage for his stance again today.

Campaign video –

Welcoming Owen Smith to Nottingham

Welcome Owen, to Nottingham.

Nottingham – home to the Tales of Robin Hood.
For the many, not the few.
And we carry that standard.
Robin Hood Energy,
offering cheaper energy rates,
including for those on pre-payment meters.
Helping most those who need help most.
Radical change,
delivered by mainstream Labour,
Councillors who I know are voting for Owen Smith.

Welcome to Nottingham University,
served by a tram extension,
opened a year ago this week,
made possible by charging those who continue to drive to work,
rather than a general burden on the “rates”.
Radical change, green change,
delivered by mainstream Labour,
Councillors who are voting for Owen Smith.

Welcome to Nottingham South,
served by a Labour MP,
who understands that it is not acceptable to be undermined at work by your boss.
A Socialist and trade union value – isn’t it?
And we know Lilian Greenwood is voting for Owen Smith.

And by the way, Nottingham South voted REMAIN,
including in neighbourhoods that MOSAIC said wouldn’t,
and in Nottingham East
cos we cared about the result –
and overwhelmingly, those that cared and those that campaigned – are voting for Owen Smith.

Welcome to Nottingham,
here, where the physics of body scanning was developed,
and in the city centre, where Ibuprofen was invented.
Home to Boots and a large number of small enterprises doing biological research.
Our message – do not play politics with Nottingham’s jobs and Nottingham’s economic future.
A very Nottingham reason – to vote for Owen Smith.

Greetings from the John Heppell Tiger Squad,
and the campaigning here and in the marginal seats that says,
we can talk to people who vote Conservative,
And win them over.
3 Conservative Councillors left out of 55.
Big gains,
Made possible by the street craft and passion of mainstream Labour,
MPs and Councillors – who are voting for Owen Smith.

We need no angst from people about principles vs. power.
After years of commitment,
it is second nature to us – we need both.
And with both we deliver radical change –
led here by MPs, Councillors and campaigning members – who are voting for Owen Smith.

Because Owen, you have demonstrated a commitment to radical change, and to winning a General Election.

Welcome Owen, to Nottingham.

Minority zeitgeist

A Jeremy Corbyn rally in Nottingham has been announced, and really given the way he finished off the Glasgow hustings, you wonder how can something so wooden be so “popular”.
IMG_1864xb0685h Labour leader debate Glasgow 2016 reaction
The Corbyn style is a kind of anti-politics.
Many aspects of it would have been criticised by the Left of the late seventies and early eighties, especially if it had been done by the Right.

A colleague told me how his daughter had joined the Labour party because of a fear of something special being lost.
It comes across sometimes as Jermey Corbyn being the only Socialist in the village.
Owen Smith has done plenty to contend that, but one of the surprises is how the influx of new members have not wanted to have anything to do with those of us who’ve been working for years – and I say that as a branch secretary and principal authority councillor (and assuming that Nottingham is not atypical of the country).
The other big surprise is how some of the exacting “standards” of the late seventies / early eighties of left polictics have been lost (and I say this assuming Birmingham then was not atypical of the country).  These standards include –
Collective: we so used to think it wasn’t about the individuals, but the bringing together of all our talents;  now there is a tad of St.Jeremy around, sometimes referred to as a a cult.
Being a fair manager: the treatment of shadow cabinet members who felt the need to resign, most specifically the statement by Lilian Greenwood.
Inclusion: there was a bit of the joy of words with political correctness, but there was also an earnest desire not to use language as a way of re-affirming mores that led women, minority ethnic groups and LGBT to feel excluded, and the treatment of some women in the shadow cabinet and the anti-Semitism rows are examples of things that would have just been abhorred back then.
Anti-racism: just surprising how the anti-Semitism concerns were not dealt with;
Abuse of patronage: the award of a CBE to a declared independent chair of an inquiry into problems in the Labour party, that appeared to clear the Labour party.
The embrace of a primary system: back then the notion of candidates for anything being decided by those who could pay a fee would have been seen as the very worst of a kind of American-style primary politics that was to be resisted.
The separation from the mainstream Labour movement: unlike the seventies, where the national shop stewards movement, and striking campaigns over ownership and alternative technologies.
Policy development outside of the party: a range of pronouncements by a Leader outside of the procedures agreed by the party.
And more recently –
Advocating a cross party coalition: the notion of progressive alliances has been around for a long time, but never the idea of election coalitions; (we wait to see how serious this idea is and whether it is something Jeremy Corbyn supports);
Celebrating anything said by David Owen: er …

Certainly the claims to a new honest politics look tarnished now (e.g. Traingate).

That this has tapped into a zeitgeist that is popular, is only true, if popular is not taken to mean majority.

It’s not that Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters –
– are not left-wing, or
– have been unique in responsibilities for transgressions in political conduct (accusations of Nazi stormtrooping were bizarre, inaccurate and trivialised Nazi stormtrooping), or
– are unique in instances of hypocrisy or contradictions within their own belief system; cos such that too big a chellenge for anyone, or
– that Jeremy Corbyn  would not have son support from the Left back then

More that supporters of the Left prespective from back then would have been surprised by some of what is taken to be Left now, and would have been relentless in highlighting, and repeatedly condemning, some of the things that have happened.


Inappropriate on the road

The most striking thing about watching sometimes inappropriate humour with sometimes inappropriate lines in the cinema is realising that sometimes people in the audience laugh inappropriately.
David Brent’s Life on the Road is getting some criticism
and it’s striking that in watching the promotional interviews (on youtube) the excerpts are funnier cos they’re not part of a first hour of relentless inappropriateness and defeat.  Ricky Gervais celebrates David Brent cos he keeps trying but the film would have been a tad better if Brent had a few more small victories along the way.
The interviews are interesting cos Ricky Gervais repeatedly makes telling points about the awfulness of reality television and the impact it may be having on culture.  Best moment was from an interview with LBC where their presenter joins in on the criticism of people who get media roles cos they have a track record for being inapproprite (irony or satire?).
Ricky Gervais wonders where this is all going and makes points about Donald Trump being a sympton of the problem.  Maybe we need an intiative to resist it all.

Scoreless at halftime

Sunderland fans crossing our paths after the match were gracious enough to say Salop had been unlucky.
IMG_1864ba0390h Ogogo on Salop at Sunderland 14064224_1062938607130668_5319848697931780953_n
They were kinda right – we’d dominated in the second-half, mainly though through the inspiring tactic of giving the ball away and then robbing it back from them, leaving them unorganised for what followed.
Now people who know football will say – “that can’t be right” – but I don’t have the knowledge to exxplain a strategy that sees us strive for scoreless at half-time and then re-organise to dominate after.
But it’s to no avail of you can’t create killer opportunities, and whilst I’ve seen one missed in the last minute at both Coventry City, and now at Sunderland, in truth, it doesn’t justify “unlucky”.
Still up against Premiership players (albeit 6 of them second team – David Moyes had the grace to say his first choices were injured), Salop did well, and certainly looked upset at the final whistle.
IMG_1862cb0509h Salop at Sunderland WP_20160824_19_51_11_Pro
Only problem from the heights above the cloud, the game does look incredibly slow.