Boris Johnson loses

He called an address from Downing Street but pulled his punches.
He spoke to there G7 conference to Parliament, but his jab at Jeremy Corbyn fell flat.
As he spoke, a Conservative MP crossed the floor to join the Lib Dems.
His majority of 1 was lost.
21 Conservative MPs refused to vote with him and he lost by 27.
He’s withdrawn the. whip and now his minority is 43.
He days he’ll call a General Election, but the combined opposition don’t have to agree to one, and will wait until they’re certain that No Deal can’t be passed will Parliament is not sitting.
An ERG Conservative MP claimed today that the proposed General Election Day of 14th October can’t stick because it is a Jewish holiday – and he may be right – but it just exemplified how they can’t be trusted on the date.

It’s been strange during the last few days as the language has slipped from ‘our party is the best’ to ‘we must defend the importance of accountability of the executive to Parliament’.
And if Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings think they can turn the debate into the people vs Parliament and be popular, the snap polls suggested they are wrong. He was pressed 3 times on obeying the law, despite saying he would at the second attempt, cos he muttered. his agreement like a six year old who didn’t’t want to say he was wrong.
Corbyn is apparently to suffer a setback cos he won’t yet agree to a General Election, but he should stick with it for fear of a Johnson trick and because the answer – Johnson can’t be trusted – bears repetition.

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Mrs Lowry & Son

L S Lowry was a rent collector. A former colleague on the city council was too and would talk about the insights into life the job gave.
In this film, one of the insights is that it’s one of Mrs Lowry’s disappointment in her son. Other insights, that Lowry doted on his mother, that his dotage was an aspect (or cause) of a repression, that his mother was wrapped up in ideas of middle class respectability (a theme Orwell explored, as well as ’30s poverty in the north-west).
The revelations include that Lowry had a range of style over his life (yet again, I don’t know enough), and the men, children, cats and dogs were not matchstick (even if they were thinner then). And that the exteriors of buildings were much more interesting then.
The movie hasn’t been rated that highly, but it’s made me want to learn more and perhaps the movie might have been a bit more successful if it had done a tad more about the painting, the paintings and the triumph. (I also wanted more on the Labour Party Councillor who lived next door – la de da.)
Wiki. Guardian.

Prorogation recommendation was kept private and denied

The proposal to prorogue Parliament so that Boris Johnson did not have to account to Parliament in the. run-up to the proposed British Exit from the European Union was kept private. When the press said this weekend that it would happen, the Government denied it. They lied.

Why deny it?
The prorogation takes away precious time for MPs to hold Government to account, as they press on with a proposal likely to lead to a No Deal Brexit.
The leaders of the Brexit campaigns during 2016 referendum repeatedly said that it would be easy to negotiate a deal.
It wasn’t. And ministers spent very few hours talking proposals through with EU officials.
People voting Leave were entitled to believe that leave would be done with a deal.
There is no mandate from the public for a No Deal Brexit.

Snap poll

The most remarkable interview that I saw on TV today was given by the BBCtv’s royal correspondent who said the Queen’s top officials had let their distress at the prorogation proposal, and the position it put the Queen in, be known. This was quite a strong signal, when the Queen is supposed to stay out of it.
Nicholas Witchell went on to suggest that what was driving the concern was the imprecation of the proposal for the union between Scotland and England & Wales.

From the Daily Mirror – BBC Royal Correspondent Nicholas Witchell said: “The Queen has never during her reign refused to accept the advice of her ministers.
“She is a monarch guided by precedent. Therefore she will have felt pretty boxed in – that she had no option.”She and her advisors, I have little doubt, will be frankly resentful of the way this has been done and will be concerned at the headlines which say ‘Queen suspends Parliament.'”

A border between England and Scotland will be pretty pointless. Whatever else happens, it may well be the outcome of the prorogation proposal.

New Towns, Our Towns

New Towns, Our Town – Stories on Screen is a collection of (often sponsored information) films “about (mainly) the first four of the UK’s New Towns – Stevenage, Crawley, Hemel Hempstead and Harlow” from the ’20s to the ’80s. (Peterborough, Basildon and Milton Keynes also feature.)
Without an overarching explanatory narration, and presentations of contemporary perceptions of the towns, the criticisms of the new towns movements quickly spring to mind – lacking a central feature of distinction, designed before the take-off of car ownership, vulnerable during periods of high crime, diminished by people choosing home entertainment, home drinking and shopping in hypermarkets, oh and buying from internet companies who avoid paying tax.
But new and old towns alike have been vulnerable to that criticism. As are the redeveloped neighbourhoods and new suburbs.
Seeing “Crosswall” properties being erected, and the failure of (Harlow) Town Hall, it’s clear the New Towns movement didn’t have enough money to always provide quality.
Cliches abounded – “it’s about people”; loads of kids playing and adults bowling; modern art statues and fountains lined with small square tiles. And one I actually like – success will be when they don’t need us (the development corporations) anymore.
Loads to take in, but in the absence of editorial, the collation struggles to champion the New Town movement.
Highlight, the champion for the Milton Keynes development describing it in 1973 as “the most exciting thing in the world”.
The Guardian article.

Piffle

On election, the new leader of the Conservative party spoke and made the following claim –
“… if you look at the history of the last 200 years of this party’s existence you will see that it is we Conservatives who have had the best insights, I think, into human nature. ….”
Nah.
“Between the instincts to own your own house, your own home, to earn and spend your own money, to look after your own family. Good instincts, proper instincts, noble instincts. 
“And the equally noble instinct to share. And to give everyone a fair chance in life. And to look after the poorest and the neediest and to build a great society.”

They’ve gone backwards in the ability of people to own their own home. The emphasis on homes being an investment, rather than ensuring homes are provided for all has led to frustration in providing both private homes and homes for rent.
To earn – Labour in 45-51 getting servicemen back into work; 1997-2008 – 4 million extra jobs.
Great Society” – kinda Cameron like, but we’re now seeing too many people who are ill being asked to work when they shouldn’t and the appeals taking too long. Now we have the concept of the “working poor”.
National Health Service – not even remotely a Conservative idea; they had to make a major show of conversion to the NHS when Winston Churchill gave a speech at The Molineux in 1949.
everyone a fair chance in life” – yet we’ve just seen another Old Etonian to be appointed as Prime Minister.
So much piffle.
(synonyms: nonsense, rubbish, garbage, claptrap, balderdash, blather …)

And from London City Labour Party – Boris Johnson’s record as Mayor of London:
Rough sleeping DOUBLED
£60m WASTED on a cable car
10 fire stations CLOSED
£43m WASTED on the Garden Bridge (Nothing was actually built)
NO ACTION on fuel poverty
Violent crime UP
£40m WASTED on Routemaster buses
Ticket offices SHUT

Labour stops The Brexit Party winning Peterborough

BBCtv by-election coverage was a bit laboured; emphasising how Peterborough was always Labour or Conservative.
But signals were being given that Labour may have won, beating The Brexit Party into 2nd place.

Thea Labour win is remarkable.

Cos a by-election was called cos of a petition against an existing Labour MP – a bit of a challenge; 
and although I’m prepared to be corrected on this, I understood the reputation of the Labour MP from 1997 – 2005 was not good; 
and I understand Peterborough voted Brexit in the European elections;
and then our Labour candidate apologised during the campaign (having liked or appreciated anti-Semite or bonkers material).

A Labour win in those circumstances is pretty dramatic.
The Guardian reports 7 reasons why.
Or –
“A hold is a hold” – Andrew Neil, BBCtv.

The new Peterborough MP has said she will undertake anti-Semitism training.
Good.
From the Peterborough Telegraph – “The Labour candidate for the by-election in Peterborough has apologised after ‘liking’ an anti-Semitic Facebook post, but emphasised she did not agree with the views expressed. Lisa Forbes said she “apologised wholeheartedly for not calling out these posts” and will “deepen” her understanding of anti-Semitism whether she is elected or not, so she can challenge it in the future.”

I don’t believe she is the first to have gone on record to denounce the IHRA code on anti-Semitism and then been caught out.  But Labour members have got to learn, cos arguments against the code soon come undone.
I’m also frustrated to see people who have previously shared anti-Semitic images sharing statements, each as JVL’s, defending the Labour candidate, when the candidate had already apologised.  
“… trolling of social media accounts is pernicious” says JVL, although I wonder if they meant trawling. Whatever, election opponents are going to check what you’ve said or liked or approved or appreciated.  
I am a tad worried if “like”s or emotion icons are taken as evidence, cos sometimes you can hit something on a screen, and either not realise you’ve done it, or find you don’t know how to fix it. 

But I would like in the future that people who post accusations of anti-Semitism to refer to the IHRA code to explain why.  
Both to demonstrate responsibility in making accusations and to re-emphasise the importance of the code.

Cant from Theresa May

I saw some cant today – Theresa May’s resignation speech.
Followed by more cant – “it was a dignified speech.”
Followed by more cant – it made her look human; (even she should have cried more often).
Followed by some nonsense – it is inhuman not to feel sorry for her.
Followed by some alternative nonsense – she didn’t cry for the victims of her policies.

I mean, why not assess what she actually said?
This was what deserved the analysis. But so much of the reaction was non-thinking.

“… I was driven to make the United Kingdom a country that works not just for a privileged few but for everyone …” NO! She has worked for the privileged.
“… ‘Never forget that compromise is not a dirty word. Life depends on compromise.’ … ” Theresa May is going now because she was pushing her line for the fourth time. But compromise is just one part of a whole skill set of conflict resolution. So, misleading and incomplete.
“… The deficit is almost eliminated. Our national debt is falling and we are bringing an end to austerity. …* I need to check, but I thought the deficit was an indicator of debt rising.
Austerity had needed – No, cuts still being made to public services.
“My focus has been on ensuring that the good jobs of the future will be created in communities across the whole country, not just in London and the South East, through our modern industrial strategy.* DELUSIONAL. And when it’s plain her focus has had to be Brexit.
“We have helped more people than ever enjoy the security of a job.” The employed counted are based on a one-hour per fortnight criteria, and more is being paid out in in-work benefits
“We are building more homes and helping first-time buyers onto the housing ladder, so young people can enjoy the opportunities their parents did.” DELUSIONAL again. The rate of house-building. is way too low.
“And we are protecting the environment, eliminating plastic waste, tackling climate change and improving air quality. DELUSIONAL again – consider the commissioning of environmentally unfriendly office blocks. And we are way behind the Germans and the Danish and the Dutch and so on.
“… to give a voice to the voiceless. ” Such CANT.
“To fight the burning injustices that still scar our society.” DELUSIONAL again, and just what do the Windrush generations think about that.
“And … the tragedy at Grenfell Tower … ” She didn’t meet the victims at the outset and the government is not financing the replacement programme for publicly owned properties across the country.

Or has others have put it –
Theresa May’s achievements in office:
*More children in poverty
*More pensioners in poverty
*More people in work in poverty
*More homelessness
*More families using food banks
*Worst NHS A&E performance
*School budgets cut
*Violent crime up
*Windrush scandal