Start the month with a massive one-man rifle assault on a country & western concert, witness an ex-hurricane hit the British Isles mid-month and finish with reports of record levels of CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere.
The Conservative Prime Minister has a nightmare at the conference and still appears to have gained ground. Even a former Conservative prime minister calls for the suspension of the rollout of Universal Credit.
Celebrities having been called out for sexual harassment, politicians follow – first Conservative MPs and Ministers – then it turns out a Greater Nottingham Labour activist had been raped and party officials appear to give poor advice.
Seems like a Trump campaign manager has previous for money laundering. Following a triumphant declaration that he’s releasing all the JFK files, as he was required to do – and then failed to cos he got the process wrong. Meanwhile, the JFK files bring out all the conspiracists out, who never stop to think how “they” want them to believe in conspiracies.
Catalonia strikes out for independence from Spain without a proper referendum and with plenty of people saying they don’t support the change.
Brexit doesn’t feel any better.
Labour hold three Nottingham city council seats in by-elections, but low turnouts in October remain a challenge, despite many new party members.
Then a boundary commission recommends splitting The Meadows into 2 parts. The Conservatives requested it, but the commission does kinda recognised that nobody else had even thought of it and so are looking for further comment.
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So where in any of this is there hope or perspective or joy?
Perspective is brought by the documentary series on The Vietnam War shown on BBC 4 tv.
Hope comes from learning about the Luddites in Nottingham 200 years ago. How they struck out for values and the vote.
And keeping on keeping on with regeneration and parks improvements.
The joy – lots of opportunities to tell stories about Nottingham this month, especially at Goose Fair, and at the launch of the city of culture bid, and of hoodwinked; recognising that not only did Herbert Kilpin found AC Milan, but he gave them the red and black stripes of Notts Olympic; oh, and comedy bikes and Salop going 15 league games unbeaten.
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.
Triathlons and marathons showed The Meadows off to advantage. Some issues to sort out regarding traffic regulation orders.
Some progress on long running issues regarding mice and anti-social neighbours but more to do.
Now more than 2000 matters raised (2005).
Looking out for issues in the south-west corner of the New Meadows.
New Meadows based troupes in the Carnival and a mini road network for kiddies to learn bicycle riding and road safety. A spider conference and the European Squash championships – squash came home.
A Radio Nottingham show, reflecting on the disappointment that came with the first Forest vs Salop match and on the failure to do enough with Nottingham history stories, including the Battle of Mapperley Hills.
Celebrations of independence for Jamaica, India and Pakistan, though with a smack of imperialist condescension.
Rain spoiling the Salop match, but serious damage being done elsewhere – in the USA who’ve ignored Al Gore, his movie and his sequel, and in south Asia.
Political news from the USA was worse – including the condoning of a terrorist attack by The President. So we remember Heather Heyer. And in Nottingham, we remembered Alan Clark and Kate Rush too.
Certain intractable issues in The Meadows are still being tackled – many reviewed during a visit by Lilian Greenwood MP.
A site visit to St.Peter’s.
The Lace Market had a mixed time, a scrubbed street, renewed rest gardens and a car park fire. Sorrow over the demolished Black Boy Hotel.
An eventful and emotional August.
Lilian Greenwood MP cames to The Meadows as part of the annual Summer tour of the constituency and held coffee morning in Brookfield Court to hear of local concerns including construction timetables and crime, and visited the Community Information day run at Bridgeway Shopping Centre.
Highight was beating a team of 6 in Connect 4!
Bridgeway Shopping Centre is fully used in the first time in years.
A very impressive “Lifestyle Centre” geared to helping the elderly and less mobile is many ways has moved in, and the facility is impressive.
Elsewhere, we’ve put small goals alongside the new castle play equipment on The Green.
A small road system has been installed on The Embankment, separate, for kids to learn road sense on their bicycles and pedal cars.
We’ve announced a series of measures to improve visibility at junctions along Robin Hood way, accessibility for buses at 3 of the bus stands, protect parking for residents on a number of streets off Robin Hood Way and we are considering 2 hours limits on streets serving communal facilities. Also struck at how the new volumes of parking on Robin Hood way has slowed traffic down.
Construction of new housing on Arkwright Walk has begun.
The Riverway pub and the Arkwright Stores have re-opened.
Nice events at Meadows Library (garden party) and Community Gardens (AMCG summer fayre), and at Bridgeway Consulting (Queens Award).
In the city centre, The Art File also won a Queens Award, and we saw Nottingham Beach back again and Pride – very good feeling.
In the wider city, the Chinasaurs and a test match.
Lots of positive things, but lack of money in people’s pockets remains the big concern, with dealing a widepsread concern in The Meadows, highlighted by a serious stabbing;and growing repeated begging in the city centre.