Smug condescension

 


When the Conservative Chancellor proposes £10,000 a year as a little bonus for those little extras, when schools have suffered slashing cuts of 10 times as much.

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Light a Candle – Go Vote

Having been following the mid-term election campaigns for some weeks, and then viewing the coverage of killing 11 Jews in a synagogue, and the mail bombs sent to leading Democrats, I worry that the United States is about to go into a deeper political darkness.
A friend we celebrated yesterday said rather than curse such a darkness, you should light a candle.  The best way to light a candle is to vote, and if an estimated 90 million people cast votes in the 2014 mid-term elections, let us hope an extra 10, 20 or even 30 million candles be lit on November 6th.

– –

Found it re-assuring to see Channel 4 tv’s Jon Snow had gone to Pittsburgh in the USA to cover the murder of 11 Jews in a synagogue.
Was disappointed to hear him ask the Mayor what could be done to get the temperature of exchange by the political classes in the USA brought down a notch.

On one level, as if journalists and news media aren’t also a significant part of the problem.
On another level, cos the actual challenge is to equip people so that they don’t reward people who tempt them with messages of hate.
On another level, cos not all in the political spectrum are casting problems to an equal extent.

Cos the Alt-Right have triggered the anti-Semitic murders in the synagogue on Squirrel Hill.
Cos the Alt-Right have triggered the mail bombs to notable Democrat supporters.
Cos the Alt-Right were responsible for the death of a civil rights activist in Charlottesville last year.

Cos Donald Trump is culpable.
Cos when people are murdered in a synagogue in a hate crime, the response is not to suggest a degree of culpability cos they hadn’t employed a security guard.
Cos the first response to hate bombs being sent to opponents is not to say that you’ll tone down your language, but to say agents of justice will identify and try those responsible.
Cos the first response to Charlottesville should have been to condemn the anti-Semitism (remember “the Jews will not replace us”).
To paraphrase the movie “The Contender”, “culpable, but not responsible”.

A further challenge to the politics of the United States (and to all of us – cos they are that important) is is demagoguery and Nationalism.
– I don’t agree with those who call Trump a s fascist, but many pf the tests set out for fascism are ticked by Trump.
– Trump redefining the Republican Party as a Nationalist party, on top of the previous phase of what’s called Neo-Liberalism (but I see as globalism being used to give more to the very rich) rather than a conservative party grounded in the public health provision and the common endeavour of the two world wars.  (A phenomenon we’re seeing in the UK with the British Conservative party.)

So what should the common endeavour be?
Promoting a free society, where people are able to organise as they wish to win mandates to become the government of the country, principal authority or any other local authority.
A democracy – all responsible adults having a vote is very radical – underpinned by a full electoral register and proper elections.
Judicial systems and community safety.
Rights and responsibilities, that come with citizenship, for all irrespective against class, gender, race, sexual identity.
Full employment in proper jobs, and tackling all the other giant evils – with social security, housing for all, free education and free health at the point of use.
Tackling the opportunities and challenges that come with globalisation, people living longer, climate change and peak oil.
Proper conduct in public life, including being accountable for what you publish in social media (see Nolan principles below.
Audit systems and freedom of information to enable better debate and better journalism, especially over the ambitions and use of public assets and resource.
Politics overseeing how we organise and live, but not replacing it – everything is not political.
7_NOLAN_PRINCIPLES

Is the above only supportable by democratic Socialists?  Well, Socialism would go further – “no unjustifiable inequalities”, test what we do against deprivation, and greater emphasis on industrial democracy, public ownership and co-operation.

We don’t need a fresh constitution either – although “love, life and the pursuit of happiness” carries a certain zing (More fully”… in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity …“)
160120_FASCISM_FacismIntro-chart.jpg.CROP.promovar-mediumlarge
TO BE REVIEWED.
P.S. Not sure calling Donald Trump a Fascist is particularly helpful.
The Washington Post has done a check and think Trump falls short.
I think more a demagogue.

25 years service as a Councillor

EPSON MFP image
Seven years as Bridge ward City Councillor; on top of 18 years serving Mapperley Division and ward, that makes 25 years in total.

There should be award, or a medal, or a grand thank you!  Hey, what about an OBE?
Well, not really.  The role is a vocation and we should expect little else beyond proper allowances, pensions and logistical support.

And there’s the experiences and stories to recount!  And I do recount them.  And I notice people getting more and more bored as I tell, them.

Ah, but what about all the casework and achievements!
Again, it’s what’s expected, and it’s kinda hard to say what is it that you have achieved, without the help of anyone else, especially when you have co-Councillors and work with others.

Ronald Reagan once said achieving in politics and using politics to achieve isn’t difficult, the challenge was in making the achievements something that you alone was responsible for.
There are times when a particular outlook and resolve as an individual can make a difference for the good, but even then it draws upon widely held values and others’ capabilities.

Enough.  Let’s focus instead on what there is to do, take pleasure in ward events like today’s, note that I picked up 6 requests today and say thanks to the hundreds of thousands who demonstrated for REMAIN today.

P.S. Original posting showed 1989 photo with Neil Kinnock, rather than the 1993 elections address.

Dirty tricks on voter registration

The current senator for North Dakota who is up for re-election was elected 6 years ago by under 3,000 votes.  She is a Democrat party member.  She was supported in large numbers by native Americans; around 10,000 of them.
GettyImages-155682075.0
(See report by Vox; also their photo (AFP/Getty).)
Electoral Registration is more political in the United States of America, and Republican Party supporters changed electoral registrations rules to say a voter cannot give a postal box address.  Many native Americans in particular North Dakota counties only have postal box addresses.  And so, a measure was introduced to target and cut out a particular group of people.  Ethnically targeted.
Georgia also is state where people are being cut out from the register.  Requiring precision in the way names and addresses are submitted in a way that excludes more. black people.  Here the officer controlling registration is also the Republican candidate for the Senate.

Even in casting postal votes in Britain, officers can take the view that signatures can be sufficiently similar, even if the master signature is written say ‘Michael Edwards’, when the signature is written say ‘M.M.Edwards’.

Mike Leigh, in a broadcast interview after the premiere of the movie Peterloo, said if people from then were here now, they’d be appalled that not all working people register, and that not all working people vote.

Register to vote.  Use the vote.

Columbus

Shot in Columbus, Indiana. Viewed on Columbus Day.  And I had no idea.

Columbus is a very good film.  You’ll no doubt find the story slow.  And perhaps less entertaining than you’d hope.
But you gotta go see.
Great acting. Great ethos. Great shots. Great architecture and interior design.  Drawing on extraordinary hallmarks of other great directors.
(r:9.5.; s:4, e:4, t:7 (out of 5).)
So much so, I’ve broken my already broken rating system, but in a new way. 7 out of 5 for the technical aspects.

The core of the story is a high school (check) graduate who is mature beyond her years because of her love for her mother and the support she’s given to help the mother through a drug-addiction.  She loves cooking for her mum, her home city and loves its specialist architecture.  She’s bright but is choosing to stay home to help her Mum rather than break out.  Catalyst for the breaking out from this life is the son of an architect,  who’s come to the city cos his father has fallen seriously hill.  And they develop a bond cos they can talk with each other beyond her joy in telling stories of the local buildings. And with all the potential for “drama”, not one argument, not one strop.  Such an antidote to soap operas and many films.

Now, I didn’t know about Columbus, Indiana (population 44,000).  That it’s home to many exemplary modernist buildings cos of the vision of a wealthy couple and the husband who managed a successful local engine manufacturing company.
So beautiful buildings were commissioned, from the fifties on.
Now, the controversy – cos The Guardian in reviewing the film describes the beautiful buildings as brutalist.  With my limited knowledge of architecture drawn from membership of the planning committee, I don’t think they are brutal.  Not least cos of the massive space often available to these buildings – something Nottingham doesn’t have room for; nor does modern British capitalism (e.g. Station Street).
Yet the weaknesses of the buildings restarting to come through, even in the film; the weathering showing the buildings often don’t know how to manage the rain.
So architects and planners should also go see this film, if only to take in the success and the failings.

 

Bridge ward monthly report 84

TO BE WRITTEN UP.

Main effort has been making reviewing progress made in the ward (see mid-month graphic).
New development prompted debate at planning committee.  A conservation area for the Old Meadows was considered.  Astonishment that a builder decided to build a new house on Glapton Road without permission.
Hoodwinked brightened the city centre for 3 months.
Frank starred at the ward walk.
BT concede on their phone boxes in Bridgeway Centre.
Oh, and Brexit and Trump, again.
The Kavanaugh hearings were extraordinary – and even if the supreme justice candidate is appointed without deserving it, violence against young women has been given another hearing.
Trump was laughed at by the world, but the Republicans have been losing ground for some week now  and the mid-term elections could