If you don’t want the NHS to be a political weapon – depoliticise it!

NHS bosses have said that the NHS should not be used as a political weapon in the forthcoming general election:


But it will ALWAYS be used as a political weapon if it is given annual sums of money or has very short-term plans made by the political party currently in power, as is the case now.

The solution is to make the NHS independent of politics, have a long-term funding plan and have it run by non-politically appointed staff.

You can’t have it both ways.

“Tory MPs five times more likely to vote against climate action”

Neil Parish scored 17%: was present for 12 votes and voted positively in 2

Hugo Swire scored 25%: Swire was present for 12 votes and voted positively in 3

Boris Johnson score 0% (yes, that’s right zero), Jacob Rees-Mogg scored 17%, Jeremy Corbyn 92%, Caroline Lucas 92%, Exeter’s Ben Bradshaw 75%, Jo Swinson 50%, Oliver Letwin 17%.

MORAL OF THIS TALE: If you believe in climate change and want to see something done about it, don’t vote Tory, be wary of Lib Dems and vote Labour or Green (or Independent in East Devon)!

“Conservative MPs are almost five times more likely to vote against climate action than legislators from other parties, a Guardian analysis of 16 indicative parliamentary divisions over the past decade has revealed.

The Tories also registered many more donations, shares, salaries, gifts and tickets to sporting events from fossil fuel companies, petrostates, aviation companies and climate sceptics, according to declarations made in the parliamentary record of MPs’ interests between 2008 and 2019.

The Guardian, in collaboration with the investigative environmental journalism group DeSmog UK, rated MPs from 0% to 100% based on 16 parliamentary votes since 2008. The selection sought to cover a range of measures that would affect the UK’s carbon emissions, with an emphasis on votes where MPs were willing to break ranks and put the climate before their party.

The analysis shows that although most politicians publicly express support for ambitious long-term climate targets, when it comes to short-term measures to reduce the UK’s carbon footprint, those in power are less likely to make this a priority.

The scores are not intended to be a definitive evaluation of an MP’s green credentials – both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrat parties complained they had been hard done by.

But experts said the scores were an important tool for voters to make a choice through a climate prism with a potential general election looming. …”


Wright v Swire – this must be a straight contest

In the light of the by-election last night, which saw the strongest pro-Remain candidate win against the incumbent Conservative, Lib Dems and Greens shoyld surely ensure that Claire Wright, who embodies all their policies, must be allowed a straight run against the risible Hugo Swire.

It would probably be too much to expect Labour to do the same, although they should, since their chances of gaining the seat are zero.

Let’s hope common sense prevails so that we can oust the barely seen multi-job London and Middle-East based Tory to the ever-present, ever fighting, ever-local Independent.

“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


“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. …”