“The Local Elections Showed Banging On About Brexit And Nothing Else Is A Fast Track To Extinction”

“If voters wanted to reward parties committed to making Brexit happen, why would Ukip get wiped out at the polls? If a People’s Vote is such an anti-democratic proposal why did we not see losses to the Liberal Democrats and the Greens? …

… Voters who supported Brexit then or now share something in common with many pro-Remain voters: they want Westminster to pay greater attention to concerns on the doorstep and reconnect with the issues that matter most to them. Brexit was a way of giving the establishment a wake up call. If this was really about making Brexit happen, Liberal Democrats and Greens would be wiped out and swept away. But that did not happen either north or south.

The local election results indicate that bringing the country back together is achievable. It will require offering policies bringing tangible benefits, not playing it overly safe and support for a confirmatory People’s Vote. Those parties learning these lessons stand to weather the European elections best and will have the winning results when a general election is called. Banging on about a Brexit plan no one wants to the exclusion of everything else is a fast track to political extinction, as some parties may find out, unless a swift change in direction is made.”

Thom Brooks is Dean of Durham Law School and author of Becoming British


A little light relief – Baldrick has a cunning plan


“I’ve left the Labour Party after nearly 45 years of service at Branch, Constituency and NEC levels,partly because of it’s continued duplicity on Brexit, partly because of it’s antisemitism, but also because its leadership is complete shit.”

“Independent lite” or Independent – a question

Local people who registered as truly Independent candidates on 5 April or well before can generally be judged by prior actions, sometimes over many years. Involvement in, and fighting for, local issues and supporting no party and therefore no party whip or party line. They have never (or perhaps only a very long, long time ago) been in a mainstream party. They deliberately eschewed party politics to focus only on local issues.

“Independent Lites” on the other hand have had long track records of supporting mainstream parties up to now.

This raises the question – if you were, up to now, Tory, Labour or Lib Dem councillor or candidate but you are now “Independent Lite” what are your political beliefs NOW?

What are you “Independent Lite” of and what do you still support in your former party? You went into politics under their banner and their policies by choice – not wanting to be an Independent – what has changed?

If you were a Tory and changed your mind are you now to the left or right of your former party? Are you, for example, leaning more towards UKIP or even further right but not yet ready to join them?

If you were Labour – are you similarly now further to the left or right of your party and on which issues? What effect do you think they had locally to change your stance now.

If you have left Lib Dems or Greens what parts of their policies did you disagree with that made you leave?

It strikes Owl that “Independent Lites” need to provide us with a lot more information about WHY they have changed allegiance before we can decide if they truly are Independent.

It will be SO interesting to see where some of these “Independent Lites” place themselves on the political spectrum and on local issues after 2 May!

Some of them are so used to being whipped they may feel an overwhelming need to continue it!

8 days to local elections – today’s picture

East Devon mainstream parties have their party machines and party money behind them (just don’t ask where the money comes from).  Independents operate on tiny shoestring donations from local people – or subsidise their campaigns from their own pockets – plus enthusiastic local supporters giving their time for free. Every board you see for an independent (in a garden or near a road) is produced by local people for people supporting local candidates.

13 days to local elections – today’s picture

Credit: Guardian

Another reason to vote Independent in local elections.

Party members have to be loyal to their parties. Voting Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem means you really have no idea what you are voting FOR. Labour and Conservative are each split down the middle (or several middles!) with ideological issues (anti-Sematism, Islamophobia, Brexit, privatisation, nationalisation) with little or no time to think about local needs or local issues. The Lib Dems will have a new Leader soon who may decide to take the party in directions very different to those of current leader Cable. (Not to mention they certainly don’t seem to be able to keep their house in order in Seaton where the disgraced ex-Mayor Burrows is being allowed to stand for them again).

You CAN be sure your (real, of course, not phony “just left my party’) independent councillor has only one aim – representing YOU at district council.

“Dead People Gave More Money To The Tories Than Living Members”

“The Conservative Party made more money in 2017 from dead people than it did from its living members, as the Labour Party surged ahead in fundraising.

The party earned £835,000 last year from its membership, but brought in £1.7m from “legacies”.

Over all the Tories had an income of £45,947,000, compared to Labour’s £55,793,000.

Figures published by the Electoral Commission on Tuesday showed Labour had raked in £16.2m in membership fees. …”


“Labour would rip up definition of affordable housing, Corbyn says”

“A Labour government would rip up the government’s definition of affordable housing and instead bring in a measure linked to people’s incomes, Jeremy Corbyn will say on Thursday.

A report, Housing for the Many, accuses ministers of stretching the term affordable to breaking point to include homes let at up to 80% of market rents – more than £1,500 a month in some areas – and homes for sale up to £450,000. “It has become a deliberately malleable phrase, used to cover up a shift in government policy towards increasingly expensive and insecure homes,” it says.

The Labour leader and John Healey, the shadow housing secretary, set out the party’s plans to link affordability to people’s incomes on tenures including social rent, living rent and low-cost ownership, in the 40-page green paper, to be launched on Thursday.

Labour says one “common yardstick” is whether rent or a mortgage costs more than one-third of a household’s after-tax income.

The green paper says Labour is keen to help not just the poorest in society, but also “the ‘just coping’ class in Britain today who do the jobs we all rely on – IT workers, HGV drivers, joiners, warehouse managers, lab technicians, nurses, teaching assistants, call centre supervisors, shop staff. They are the backbone of the British economy and heart of our public services.”

Britain faces an acute housing affordability crisis, with around 1.7m private rented households currently paying more than a third of their income in rent and 1m owner-occupiers paying more than a third of their income on their mortgage.

Corbyn will say: “When housing has become a site of speculation for a wealthy few, leaving the many unable to access a decent, secure home, something has gone seriously wrong. We need to restore the principle that a decent home is a right owed to all, not a privilege for the few. And the only way to deliver on that right for everyone, regardless of income, is through social housing.”

The paper includes a series of other measures, including creating a new Department of Housing and an independent watchdog, along the lines of the Office for Budget Responsibility, to assess the government’s policies and ensure they are delivered.

A Labour government would also end the right to buy, which the Cameron government extended to cover tenants in social housing, risking the depletion of the supply of social housing. Labour would also lift the cap on borrowing by local authorities, to allow councils to build more social housing themselves.

A Conservative spokesperson said: “Labour would kick away the housing ladder from everyone living in council houses by taking away their right to buy, just as Labour did in Wales. Under the Conservatives, we are investing £9bn to build more good-quality homes that people can afford and have seen the highest number of new homes being built for a decade.”

Healey will say: “The housing market is broken and current Conservative housing policy is failing to fix it. We have to build more affordable homes to make homes more affordable.”