Public Health Emergency

The Coronoavirus Covid-19 pandemic is the worst since the 1918 influenza pandemic and is happening in a global age.
A worrying time for everyone, cos none of us know of the like.
How do we do the best for our family members and friends, some of whom will be very dependent on others for help?

Follow the government advice.

The advice on what to do is – follow the government advice.
Nottingham City Council’s response and actions are available. You can phone the council on 01159155555.

I am following government advice on social distancing.
Councillors’ Advice Surgeries have been cancelled.
But you can still reach me.
My contact details are available and you can phone or text me on 07876203352.
You can write to me at

Lilian Greenwood MP continues to reach out to her constituents.
My trade union, TSSA, continues to represent its members.
Responses of other service providers –
Nottingham City Transport
Nottingham Express Transit
Nottingham City Homes

If you want to help on COVID-19

Nottingham City Council’s focus is on help the most vulnerable who need access to food and medication and we are awaiting a list from the NHS of people who need our support the most. We will be prioritising support for these people before moving on to identifying and responding to other needs.

How can individuals help?
By Monday there will be a single phone line operated by Nottinghamshire County Council with the support of Nottingham City Council where you can register your interest to be a volunteer.

If you would like to donate to help those who are vulnerable please donate to the Robin Hood Fund

How can organisations and community groups help?
A spreadsheet has been set up on SharePoint to allow organisations to log their offers of help. Please visit this spreadsheet and fill out the details required or contact NCVS or Nottingham Citizens and ask them to add your organisation to the list:

What should I do if any concerns are raised to me or if I become aware of community tensions?
Please report any community tensions to so that these can be monitored and responded to.

Whilst there is plenty to rehearse and discuss about the Government’s policies and actions, how it has differed from the responses of other countries, and indeed may well be rehearsed elsewhere on this web-site or in my Facebook account,

I will not seek to re-state the Government’s advice.
My advice on what to do is – follow the government advice.

Nominating Keir Starmer for Leader of the Labour Party

Pleased to speak for Keir Starmer at the Nottingham South meeting and pleased to see my trade union, TSSA, supporting him after a membership ballot.
At the Nottingham meeting, his opening supporter explained how Left Keir was, leaving me, as a champion of what New Labour achieved, to wonder if I’d missed a step.
But the country’s politics are in a stale funk, and those that followed New Labour in the party are in a stale funk too – we do need a change cos of the errors made (e.g. too close to the City of London, not valuing public ownership enough / requiring outsourcing, not investing in council housing etc.).
There are some echoes of that in the current debate – e.g. “being. safe cannot win”, “working people in Red Wall constituencies don’t want charity” etc. of that stale funk.
I do regard having a Leader who has done something else, and something important, outside of the role of being a political representative. That as Director of Public Prosecutions, he managed 7,000 people matters. I have confidence that he will be best in handling the challenges and the opportunities that interrogation by the media brings.

Gushing in British politics

I wonder about what we do about gushing in British politics.
“The Nandy campaign is only just getting going and already you can feel the energy and the excitement it is building in the Party and the Country.”
Cos, like this is about someone on your own side. And if you can’t relate to what’s said, it kinda invites a rebuttal or attack.
Another example “Becky has both the brains and the brilliance … “
Yeah, hold your tongue, cos we’re talking about a front-bench representative.
Or for Richard Burgon –

OK, there are exceptions, but too often in politics, we acclaim using amps that “go to 11”.

Most insightful piece on the Labour Leadership race that I’ve seen is a Channel 4 tv interview that was broadcast on 17th, with Paul Mason and Sienna Rodgers (of LabourList).
Paul Mason makes emphatic points –
– There are 2 lefts within Labour,
— one is open, internationalist and democratic;
— the other is closed, top down, bureaucratic and not afraid to use the party machinery to get its way; imposing unsuitable candidates; they often want Lexit, or a Red Brexit; sometimes described as a Morning Star / Unite left; some even openly Stalinist;
– Jezza was poor on Skripal and national security, and his team was poor on seeing through the agreed line on a second referendum; they mis-handled repetitional attacks;
– the poverty that exists in big cities and in towns is different; the metropolitan areas are younger and there is money in those areas, whilst the towns have an older population and there is no money;
– that Momentum on its news beat Conservative central office on the reach of its social media campaign during the General Election;
– sees parallels between Keir Starmer and Alexis Tsipris, who made Greek left more professional and drop some of their doctrine; Starmer has run things and can run the country;
– Labour can’t win if a faction runs the party as a faction;
– we have to deal with “nativism”;
(not all of his posts were compelling or well made – working class life is about having an argument; we have a problem with northerners’ attitudes to Lithuanian taxi drivers);

BTW, it seems the 3 words to characterise Burgon are – pride, passion and loyalty.

Rating Labour Leaders

the most popular Labour leader amongst Labour members.
Blair comes below below Wilson and Calaghan, and Brown beats them all.
Ed Miliband comes 2nd.
Yeah, OK.

Some proportion restored once the “don’t knows” and “not sures” are removed. But poor Tony Blair – below Ramsay MacDonald who actually did enable a Conservative government.
Just not sure the survey is right.
If it is, members are terribly out of kilter with British voters, 41% of whom gave him 0/10.

Seeking an End to the Anti-Semitism Crisis

Yep, recently heard “the Jewish lobby control the media …” so a reminder of the IHRA code on anti-Semitism – including its second contemporary example –

Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

– Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.

The contention that the Jews seek to control the media is just one of those cited in “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion  which is a fabricated antisemitic text purporting to describe a Jewish plan for global domination. The hoax, which was shown to be plagiarized from several earlier sources, … was first published in Russia in 1903,”

One of the problems of picking up on examples of anti-Semitism and then trying to refute it, is that writing anything original requires some knowledge and expertise. So I will try to cite others.
For now, I will merely add that denying such “control” is not just an example of political correctness, that people get upset to hear anti-Semitism, especially when they hadn’t expected to have to refute it – startled even.

Meanwhile a new statement on tackling anti-Semitism within the Labour Party, which all 5 leadership candidates has already agreed to.
Disappointing that Richard Burgon and Dawn Butler, candidates for Deputy Leader, can’t support it. Or that Dianne Abbot should back them up (check).

Tests of Leadership

My tests of leadership are –
1. to make people “see the stars”; i.e. vision that compels;
2. relishing the opportunity to use the mass media to convert people to our cause;
3. demonstrating the ability to convert people through the media;
4. working out what the country needs, and putting meeting the need into a form that people can relate to; (unlike our list of 104 pledges);
5. Socialist, Internationalist and Green, cos it’s what we are; and no need to diss previous Labour governments, cos they all did loads;
6. Condemning of the use of barbarity in political dialogue and
7, an expectation of full compliance with action needed to rectify the loss of trust from Jewish people.

From the 1995 Oliver Stone film, Nixon: 
(Nixon wakes up in the middle of the night.)
Manolo (Nixon's Cuban butler, joins him and ) moves to a cabinet on the far side of the pantry.
Takes out a bottle of Chivas, puts ice into a tumbler.  
	NIXON   	Do you miss Cuba, Manolo?
	MANOLO  	Yes, Mr. President.
	NIXON   	We let you down, didn't we.  Your people.
	MANOLO  	That was Mr. Kennedy.
	NIXON   	You don't think he was a hero?
Manolo pours Nixon a drink.
	MANOLO 		(shrugs) 	He was a politician.
	NIXON 		(swallows the drink)
                	Did you cry when he died?
	MANOLO  	Yes.
	NIXON   	Why?
	MANOLO  	I don't know.  		(then)
	                He made me see the stars ...
	NIXON		(looks outside, to himself)
	                How did he do that?

The Leadership event didn’t really ask the questions that I think are pertinent.
The 40 seconds per answer format may be all you can do for a fair opportunity for everyone.
But it never felt like someone could find the space to impress. Save the final 2 minute statements, which Keir Starmer did the best at helping people “see the stars” (pt. 1).

Jess Phillips was combative on tackling anti-Semitism (pt. 7), but for Rebecca Long-Bailey to celebrate Ralph Miliband, but not Ed Miliband (former leader) or David Miliband (former Foreign Secretary) spoke volumes.

As for a Boris Johnson style oft repeated mantra, only Long-Bailey tried it and she went for “democratising the economy”. Nottingham was the home of the Institute for Workers Control, but it’s not a demand I heard anyone try to sell during the last election, not called for from the doorstep. The nature of work has changed, is less factory orientated, and the intellectual property more internationalised. Perhaps it can work in a legal office, but very challenging for the huge numbers of people employed caring for others in their homes. Difficult to see how the demand for this has been created (pt 4).