Keep thinking about what has happened

I had thought the number of options would be filtered out  but if anything they might have grown.
They now are –
– Remain, requires a withdrawal of Article 50, and for the political welfare of the country, another referendum, although the order of these is not particularly clear.
And then a whole range of Leave options.
– Leave the EU on March 29th, but with an extension of membership benefits until a proper permanent deal can be agreed.  Negotiated by Theresa May and the EU says the only “deal” available.  However, the guarantor of no border on the island of Ireland until a permanent deal is made allows the EU to decide when to “give” Northern Ireland back, so no-one seems very happy.
– Leave the EU as above, but work to be a Norway plus arrangement.  Keep the Single Market, keep the freedom to travel arrangements, still pay contributions.  But if this means joining EFTA, which we help form, but left, this ain’t an option cos Norway don’t want us as a resentful new member who will only disturb what they’ve all settled on.
– Let the Labour Party negotiate a new Leave deal. Labour’s six tests will mean the only thing that will change is that we won’t have any political sway within the EU.  (It also happens to be an approach that the Labour Party membership overwhelmingly disagree with.)
– Crash out of the EU on March 29th, a.k.a. “No Deal”  Negotiate new trade deals with the EU and other countries in time, all subject to the requirements of the World Trade Organisation.  And the news is slowly growing as to how unready we are for this.  
– “Hard Brexit” – not so much an option as a challenge to Boris Johnson and other Brexit now campaigners to say what is they they actually want.  
– Withdraw Article 50 and negotiate a full exit deal. Which will take 2-4 years?

Campaigning with the People’s Vote and Chris Leslie MP.
Meanwhile, new lines of attack have been developed on those of us who want to remain.
– That Remain has only campaigned for another referendum and not set about converting people.  Arguably this is true, not least cos of the ‘respect the referendum result’ mantra, and because we’ve been waiting for people to change their minds, which they have but not decisively, in part cos people say they just want the whole thing over with – which of course it isn’t going to be cos of trade and peace in Ireland.  
– That Remain are missing the point by only harping on about trade.  Well we are worried about trade, but we’re worried about peace in Ireland too.  And staying with Scotland.  But if people voted for political change, worth remembering that the political change was more than we don’t want the EU making the rules anymore.  Cos there were people who voted to get rid of David Cameron.  Cos people who voted for extra money for the NHS – which they did not get.  Cos people may well have voted against the political establishment, which arguably only a General Election will fix.  Cos people voted against immigration – which most of any new trade deals will require.    Cos people are resentful because there aren’t secure jobs anymore – which still no-one talks about; the gig economy and the lump has sustained the impact of the 2008 economic crash.  

I do think Remain will win, but we will need a different campaign, and we will have to use our best talents.


Pete Shelley, our teenage fiction romantic

… who has died.
Saw the Buzzcocks twice: in 1979 supported by Joy Division in Birmingham, and at Splendour in 2017 for which I am now so grateful.
And reading the tributes to Pete Shelley, and reading of his life, I kinda get that I might have missed quite a bit that was in the lyrics, as emotion-triggering as many of them were and are. 
Guardian: obituary; a top ten; a relief from punk’s machismo
Strange that their highest chart hit was only no. 12, and perhaps not so strange that it’s not one of my favourites.  But the singles deserved better, 
because despite Shelley “hating modern music: disco, boogie and pop“, people now celebrate his craft of creating wonderful 3 minute pop songs.  
My mate from Gtr. Manchester back then was disappointed at the 1979 performance (trashing the drums at the end did seem odd). But seeing them last year was such a joy.  (I’d kinda wanted to introduce them as there then Lord Mayor, but was declined, and I so coulda done a better job.)  When people talk of famous people being missed, I wonder if people are really saying that we’ll miss the chance to see them perform again, could I would have regretted not seeing them.  

Bridgeway Shopping Centre Christmas Lights switch on 2018

The 3 local primary schools were there, singing and surrounded by parents transfixed on videoing the proceedings.  
I then gave the microphone to a 4 year old who had clearly wanted to join in.  
The lights were switched on by Lord Mayor Liaqat Ali.
The Co-Op provided food and 4 or 5 stalls ran tombolas and sold mall gifts.
The birds of prey were very cute.  
Bridges Community Trust ran their Christmas event and I understand their grotto was very popular.  

Protest against closure of Queen Street Crown Post Office

Lilian Greenwood MP says “Campaigning to save our Post Office on Queen St in Nottingham city centre alongside CWU & Labour members from Nottingham South and beyond including local councillor Michael Edwards and Castle ward candidate Angharad Roberts.
“Strong support for keeping the Post Office in its central accessible location, close to buses and trams, rather than franchised out and stuck in the back of WHSmiths at the far end of the Victoria Centre. Worrying to hear that many experienced staff are leaving rather than be transferred to a struggling retail chain.”

Bridge ward monthly report 86

A massive relief to see the USA reject Trump by 9.4 million votes.  But it took a fortnight to find out what had actually happened.  24.5 millions extra votes for the Democratic Party – candles – in the elections for the House compared to 4 years ago.  Now we just hope that the average 40% approval rate – an historic low – finally crumbles under the pressure of the latest revelations that he put his personal wealth in Russia ahead of national interest.  
Brexit has become a choice between Leave on March 29th, remain for another 21 months under a Gov’t deal before Leaving (with probably no deal for a further 2 years), Remain (probably needing another referendum to confirm), and with none of these options having a majority, I think we’ll lurch towards a no-deal Brexit until the country resolves to withdraw Article 50 so as to negotiate a full Brexit deal, and then ask again.  
Then, for some perspective – the centenary of the end of World War I.  A stupid war, that should bring perspective to the stupidity of supporting Trump or wanting Brexit.  Britain and the USA needs to get its perspective back.

A new format graphical progress report. 

Drama in the ward with a shooting in Fletcher Gate and arson triggering a terrible fire in Cattle Market. (Arrests made for both.)

Busy with a lot of reports and public meetings.  
Bridge ward is being divided into The Meadows and the city centre (with the Park estate and Castle Marina), so I’m now producing 2 graphical reports.  
In the city centre, reviewing ideas for changing some of the pedestrianisation.  
In Castle Marina, hearing of concerns about ASB in the public space by the canal.
In The Meadows, loads of public meetings – Your Choice, Your Voice;  OMTRA AGM; the new Memorial Gardens Association (MeGA); MOzES AGM; and a ward walk.  One concern coming up at these meetings is the proposed government offices by the railway station and their height. 
For the council – full Council, Police Panel, Audit committee, heritage along Carrington Street and in Hockley (The People’s Hall) – and a report on Brexit.
Political protests and meetings – Anti Brexit, John Hess meeting with a former Tory MP, an exhibition on elections – and a tribute to the Nottingham Labour MPs who didn’t get a mention, a presentation on gypsy culture, and a presentation on New Labour.  
And the arts: The Madness of George III; Alleluyah!; Killing Joke; Fahrenheit 11/9;.
Events: Christmas lights and fireworks night.  Panthers losing 4-0, not so much.
And the Remembrance.  The service, the parade, the ceremony.  The start to a new memorial.  They Shall not Grow Old.

P.S. Some solace from other cities contemplating Workplace Parking Levy.  Some sorrow for a Salop manager who was dropped.  And some gratitude to Irena Paxton for her advice, help and support in The Meadows.  

Thank you, Irena

… and thanks for all the help and support.
Irena is moving away to live closer to family and I am just so grateful for her support, help and advice in recent years.
Most particularly during the referendum campaign, where her knowledge of Polish came in very handy.