Full Council – July 2019

A special meeting celebrated the service and commitments of 9 retiring and retired Councillors by appointing them as Alderman and expecting them in turn to represent the city and city council at events – and more particularly do tours of The Council House.
The 9 have 199 years of service on the council between them.
I moved Glyn Jenkins, my fellow civic in 2017/18 (see comment below).

Fuller res photos are available.

A motion on LGBT rights and solidarity was agreed after amendment by Labour, who had consulted LGBT groups. The Clifton Independent leader declared he would oppose the amendment, but after a storming speech by new Councillor, Angharad Roberts, he backed down.

The first questions from the Clifton Independents saw confusion as –
– they tabled a question condemning special allowances for Councillors; in effect calling for them to receive the same allowance as the Leader and all Portfolio Holder and chairs of committees; (this differing from Ashfield Independents who have recently increased Special Responsibility Allowances);
– then they forgot to ask the question;
– when they did ask the question, they followed up by announcing they were giving their personal allowances away for local spending in Clifton East; different again from the question tabled; but omitted to ask a question, so the leader was not called to reply.
Beyond the confusion about the asking of the question, the proposal challenges one of the core values of any kind of a free society – that elected representatives are compensated for time and effort given, because it’s right and so that people of less then independent means can consider standing at all. Financial support for elected representatives was a principle first advocated by the Chartists around 200 years, and Nottingham was the only city to elect a Chartist MP.
A DAY AFTER THE MEETING, THERE IS STILL CONFUSION OVER THE COMMITMENT MADE, SO THIS MAY BE REVISED – DIFFERENT WITNESSES TO THE MEETING HEARD DIFFERENT THINGS!

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D-Day 75th Anniversary

A bit disheartened by the pompous tv presentations of the events.
British servicemen were fighting to defeat the Nazis, and they’d resolved to have a new Britain, but instead it was repeatedly stated that it was “for freedom”.
I’d not seen the statues before, but the American one seems more human.
Nor had I seen the purple poppy – to remind us of the loss of animals.

A shame, given all the frictions there’s been with the U.S.S.R. and with Russia over the years since, that Russia couldn’t be at the events. The Steve Bell cartoon is controversial cos it talks about freedom for Europe, when of course, the Eastern bloc did not enjoy freedom post the German surrender, but D-Day can blind us to both the Russian effort and (infamously) the allied campaign through Italy.

Maybe I missed the representation or participation of Canada, the free Poles, and all the other countries especially from the Empire at the event.
I understand a commentator on BBC Radio 5 kept saying how the Canadians reached furthest into Normandy on D-Day; at some chagrin to those who know and celebrate the Kings Shropshire Light Infantry who were in fact went the deepest and captured the ridge overlooking Caen.

My own efforts to remember have instead been to watch more documentaries from the internet, and I was particularly struck by one that explored Monty more – concluding that he was a bit useless in communicating with peers and superiors, very good with his own officers and soldiers, and has perhaps been misjudged on Caen and on Operation Goodwood.
That his objective was for the Nazis to exhaust their armies and resources in the predictable and inevitable counter-attacks to any Allied successes, so when the break-through was to come, progress was much faster. (But how Caen suffered.)
I don’t know enough, but the “Patton” movie and other films suggests huge frustration at not taking Antwerp faster to relieve the burden of the long supply lines, and Operation Market Garden seems to be very much about wanting to gain territory quickly.

Nottingham Forest banners


Seven banners shown last night before the Derby County derby, showing 7 Nottingham heroes –
Brian Clough, Robin Hood, DH Lawrence, Alan Sillitoe, Helen Watts, Eric Irons and Ned Ludd.
Meanwhile there was another banner across the stand celebrating Garibaldi of the red shirts fame that inspired the founders of the football club and their choice of colours.
Quite a radical choice – and not including often cited Albert Ball, Jesse Boot, Paul Smith, and less often cited Peter Mansfield and Stuart Adamson.

Forest won the derby 1-0, fine, though it turns out my Mum’s Dad supported Derby County after he moved there from the Black Country before WWI.

BTW, as explained elsewhere on the site, Forest played at a 10,000 stadium called the Town Ground, being the Town Arms pub win the city side of the Trent Bridge – home of the first crossbars used in football.
When they chose to expand – at the end of the 19th Century, Nottingham was celebrating being made into a city, so it seemed obvious to call the new ground the City Ground.
Back then the city boundary took in part of what is now regarded as West Bridgford, and only became part of Rushcliffe when a land swap gave the city land to build Clifton estate as well as Wilford village and Ruddington Lane in (circa) 1954).

Mary Queen of Scots

A worthwhile re-telling of a much rehearsed story of rivalry between Mary, Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth of England.
Critical reception is not good, but seeking to outdo Vanessa Redgrave and Glenda Jackson is a heck of a challenge. Especially without the budget for crowds and showing places like medieval Carlisle properly (rather than as an isolated castle with no town).
Historical criticisms of the film include – Elizabeth and Mary never met (yep, a dramatic device), the friendship of Elizabeth and Mary is overstated, Elizabeth would not have wept as shown (can agree), Mary would have spoken with a French accent (kinda wish part of learning a language was learning to mimic the accent, so not sure); and “the tagline attached to a poster of Mary reads “born to fight”, while the tagline attached to the poster of Elizabeth reads “born to power” … it should really be the other way around”; indeed Simon Schama’s tv history was critical of Mary’s political skills.
(3 stars; e:4, s:3, p:3); Wiki; Guardian.

Rosa Luxemburg

This mid-80s German film tells the story of Rosa Luxemburg, a Pole who became a big activist for revolution in those heady early years of the twentieth century. As the First World War was about to start, Germany had elected the equivalent of our Labour Party in as a majority, but they did not have British Parliamentary powers. And they went along with the war. Rosa was notable for advocating against socialists and trade unionists supporting the war, but failed. Often held as a political prisoner (for “her own protection”), she set up Spartacus with fellow revolutionary, but they famously divided when he started a revolution in post-war Berlin when she judged working people were not ready. She joined in, but they were both arrested, clubbed and then shot, with her body thrown into a canal, days short of 100 years ago.
The movie plainly can’t afford to re-create scenes of mass crowds at rallies and in revolution. And the kinda BBC tv 70s drama style, where much of the action takes place whilst people are eating dinner at table, gives an unreal impression of who this organiser and activist must have been.
Subtitles and a foreign language diminishes the film’s impact, but I didn’t know enough of her story and realised it was meaning more to those behind me in the cinema, who were grunting with recognition at the various episodes.
(e:3; s:3; p:2)