Young peoples debate

“It was an act of vandalism” – Cllr Sally Longford on the abolition of the Educational Maintenance Allowance.
Sally has recently retired as an F.E. teacher. Such a simple measure as E.M.A., helping those most in need, but in return for actual attendance transformed her teaching experience and brought a new focus to learning.

During the full council’s young people debate, Nottingham Conservatives moved an amendment seeking to remove all the elements of the motion that was critical of the ConDem government, but didn’t bother to reply to the debate on their amendment.

It is a shame that politics isn’t better. As Alexei Sayle said recently, “even politics doesn’t seem able to change politics”.
Already that day, the leader of UKIP had blamed traffic delaying a visit to Port Talbot via the M4 on immigration; go figure.
And a Conservative member of the House of Lords had apologised for suggesting that the poor were poor cos their cooking skills were not good enough.
We deserve better.

But one of the problems for Councillors is that emphasise how much they, indeed we, try to maximise the opportunities for local youngsters for employment through education and employment services, when the firms are only offering low hours, temporary work.
The lump is back and society is not yet re-learning why we need secure work, and the powerful trade unions that delivered it, back again.
Same too for the working conditions – listening to young people at an event organised by Glenis Willmott MEP, it was clear that they thought some of the conditions in bars etc., were not safe enough.
Exploitation is in the DNA of business – witness Next recruiting in Poland.

And we need young people to vote in bigger numbers to make the point clear; to lower the age of majority so that the E.M.A. debacle is fixed and never happens again.


The new movie “Pride” evokes the 80’s and tells big political stories. History. Tales from our own time.
The miner’s strike.
Victimisation of gays.
Public health responses to HIV and AIDS.

Big tales of the time to tell, and the film does it well. Of personal suffering. Of victimisation. Of struggle. Of defeat, and of victory.
Perhaps too much at the expense of one family portrayed.
Perhaps too much of the other worldliness of South Wales – despite them dancing to the same disco music as the rest of the world – well, the women anyway.

Pride directed by Mathew Warchus
But some great humour. A favourite scene – a Welsh gay, returning home after many years, and pretending to be from Rhyl. No – we won’t have that – not someone from North Wales. A wind-up, masterfully executed.
And an excellent, triumphant end, with some sadness.
Authentic. Makes you think about the value of making bigger demands in politics.
Reminds you of some of the events of the time at work and in Nottingham.
One tiny moan. Celebrating the NUM driving the Labour Party conference to adopt gay rights. But no mention of the New Labour government passing the legislation that was sought.


Nottingham Post says: Stunts will not help our pupils

N Post have been slightly premature in running their story about Nottingham secondary schools being placed in special measures – the moderations are still taking place – but their editorial is clear –

LET’S get some facts straight. Nottingham isn’t a dead-end city full of poor schools and no-hope kids. If any national politician dares to suggest that, then they are playing games with our children’s futures.

Cheryl – for the many

20131103-110145.jpgNominated by South Derbyshire Labour Party to be their candidate at the next General Election, Cheryl Pidgeon offers a stark contrast to the current Conservative MP.
Focussed on the quality of work available to working people and the young,
… rather than the cold indifference to zero hours contracts.
Understanding the significance of Europe to the businesses that employ South Derbyshire people – Toyota, Nescafe, Rolls Royce and so on –
… rather than a dogmatic opposition to the European Union.
Concerned for the living standards of working people,
… rather than at the beck and call of local landowners, and neo-liberals who (having made their fortune the City of London) only believe in trading in gold.
I bet Cheryl will be better at “casework” too.
Cheryl’s life has so been about helping the many, and not just the few.