Red Sky at midday …

… hurricane on the way.
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Saw people lean out of office windows to witness this phenomena.
Ex-hurricane Ophelia had picked up sand from the Sahara and other material from Spain.
In the East Midlands, it was a bit windy.
Nothing like Ireland has suffered.
But hang on …
… a hurricane coming straight to the British Isles.
How many more “messages from the Lord” do we need?


European Movement rally in Nottingham

IMG_7547ec0591h European Movement rally in OMS
Turned up towards the end and found the rally better organised than anything we did last year.
Had to acknowledge that Labour respects the mandate from the referendum, but also pointed out that latest poll finds for Remain by 5 points and maybe that margin might grow.
Pointed out how Britain’s focus so needed to be back on jobs, the labour market, health and education and that people had often voted for more money for the NHS and wondered why that hadn’t appeared yet.
Also explained how European the development of Nottingham has been, which is often typical of many English cities.
Finished by thanking the campaigners for keeping on keeping on.
Boris Johnson impersoninator was good fun.


Six foot high presentations of Robin Hoods, stylised as a robin, and to be sponsored, decorated and installed across the city next year to give an attractive set of walking routes next year.
The first is painted as Robin Hood, the second as India.  A third is shown before decoration.
The project reflects other successful schemes in Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle, Brighton and elsewhere.
Launched at the Contemporary gallery.

The prophecy of an Abbott

I know I smiled when Dianne Abbott made the claim (less than) 12 months ago; it was kinda what happens if you get trapped into saying things are going well.
It looked ludicrous as late as May, but June 8th saw the Conservatives win by 2.5 points, and that lead was lost by July 8th.
Now a poll on October 8th says Labour has a lead of 5 points.  (An “exclusive survey for The Independent by BMG Research now has Labour five points ahead of the Tories, who are still reeling from a coup launched by ex-ministers to overthrow Ms May.”)
It’s not a projection of 4 years hence; it is to say this kind of deficit does not usually follow an election victory.
And now the Conservatives seem hooked on whether to get rid of May or Johnson.

May has no vision

Theresa May’s conference speech is famous now for a lot of mishaps.

Being poorly, with a nasty cough; spilling water; a prankster getting her to accept a fake P45, and then talking to Boris Johnson; wearing a chic bracelet using paintings by Leon Trotsky’s girlfriend; the lettering falling off the conference slogan background.

Well, imagine the fuss and ridicule if such mishaps happened to a Labour Leader at their conference speech. The nearest I can think is the huge fuss made over Ed Miliband not mentioning the deficit in one speech.
Now, I know Kinnock and Wilson made conference speeches that defined them; Gaitskill made a famous one too; and Blair’s speeches could sometimes give you something to work with, like his speech on respect.
But I’m not sure I know of a conference speech that has destroyed a leader (possibly Iain Duncan Smith’s “small man roar” speech).

So the real point to draw from May’s speech is her vision of “the British Dream”, which in essence is that the children should do better in life than their parents (just at the time this is no longer proving to be true).
Underpinning this was a repeated assertion in the belief in free markets. (Then kinda undermined by saying more council housing was now needed.)

Better I think to state how we learned that in life, we needed everyone to succeed, especially drawing from World War 2.
So, coming together; full employment, so that people are active and pay in, rather than too many only taking out;  proper jobs and proper goods, so that we’re not subsiding cheap labour and illness;  more common ownership and more money to the many to keep businesses going, rather than profits to the very rich that are  taken away;  free education and quality child development;  health services free at the point of use and service within deadlines;  quality housing and housing services – and stop subsidising the private landlords that don’t deliver;  valuing good government, enabling local government to deliver more and bringing in accountability;  tackle the newish challenges of globalisation, aging societies and climate change;  a global solution for abolishing nuclear weapons;  a free society – rights, responsibilities and respect; and winning the World Cup.
Alright, maybe the World Cup in the modern era is a bit impossible – but elements of the rest were all implemented and overseen by Attlee, Wilson and even Blair.
Things tend to go wrong when you codify this as an ideology, but these are the values of British Socialism / democratic Socialism.  (British cos we were once the country that drove these values, not cos we should be isolationist.)
And big change is needed.  Radical change.  And some kind of repeat of the 1945 “British Resolve” is needed.

Planning committee – September 2017

Consideration of whether it’s better to have a path, grass and trees alongside the city side bank of the River Trent (with parking on the wide access road), or parking (for the next phase of new housing around Trent Basin).

Meanwhile an indication from the twin city of Minsk on how to boost the curve index of buildings.
Meanwhile, they’re still exploring building a new housing estate to be called Nottingham in a British style.

Pride and Prejudice

Rapid cramming on the story by watching videos on youtube in preparation for this production, where the story is adapted for Nottingham Playhouse by comedian Sara Pascoe.   Backed up by defences of the women characters’ priorities cos they were victims of society mores.  And a quick hint of how men manipulate and betray today.
I wonder if a more relevant contemporary theme might have been that people still focus on the importance of marriage, and spend a lot on the wedding days, when the divorce rate is how it is.