Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Vote Remain

For our children and grandchildren - vote to 'Remain' in the EU

Vote 'Out' is a gamble not worth taking.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

We must campaign even harder now to remain in the EU - that is what Jo would have wanted

This morning I should have been out in North East Ipswich campaigning hard for Britain to remain the EU instead I am sat at home watching rugby but my mind is in overdrive as I worry what will happen to this country after Thursday - what has already happened to this country with a 'Leave' campaign being run that has at times more in common with 1930's Germany or early 70's England - blame all our problems on immigration.

But I am not out campaigning because the Labour Party has suspended campaigning because of the horrific murder of Yorkshire MP, Jo Cox. I understand why we have halted the campaign but am not sure Jo would have been happy with the suspension. From what I have read about this young and promising politician for her the most important thing would be remaining in the EU - her Labour politics were like mine - based on true internationalism.

So from early tomorrow morning when the campaign resumes, I will be out delivering leaflets - hoping to persuade residents that we should not become a country of 'little Englander's' - isolated from the rest of the world. That is not to ignore their fears about immigration, we can't (the Labour Party) just blame a right wing press. We need not only to dispel the myths about immigration but also to look at ways to control immigration when needed, to help communities integrate and that would include funding for housing and education to help local authorities who see the most new arrivals.

We have to expect the sort of front page the Mail printed this week - of a lorry load of  refugees that the Mail declared were arrivals of EU migrants - a full front page - followed the next day on page 2 by a 4 line apology to say that their own front page was a lie!

I do fear for this country what ever happens on Thursday but as an internationalist we are not only stronger and safer in the EU but it is also the right thing to do, to help others not only in Europe but in the Middle East and Africa.

Not a great fan of all that George Eaton writes in the New Statesman but his article about Jo Cox, really touched a nerve with me, I read it over and over and made me not only more determined to continue to campaign but also to make the Labour Party is a party that attracts people like Jo that we remain an 'internationalist ' party not one that is also happy to cut our ties with Europe.

So on Thursday please vote 'Remain' 

For those Labour members and supporters who are unsure, I leave you with these words from George about Jo Cox - they not only talk about why Labour is and should be an 'internationalist' party but also the concerns and fears that Jo and many of us have about the future of our party and that battle for the soul of our party will continue what ever the result of the referendum on Thursday.

George Eaton on Jo;

Her internationalism, too, shaped her decision. "Our party has a proud record," she wrote in October 2015. "From the thirties and the International Brigades, where thousands from our movement stood shoulder to shoulder against fascism during the Spanish Civil War, to the modern day humanitarian interventions led by Labour in Sierra Leone and Kosovo, stopping ethnic cleansing in its tracks." 
She added: "I don’t believe this internationalism is an accident. Rather, it stems from our ideology, from our belief in equality and justice. Our belief that all people have the same right to peace, justice and prosperity no matter where they live. Where we act (not only stand) in solidarity with those oppressed and marginalised." 
Cox's fierce awareness of the necessity of power to improve human lives made her determined to achieve a Labour government. It was the seemingly distant prospect of doing so that led her to write a self-critical piece with fellow MP Neil Coyle, regretting her decision to nominate Jeremy Corbyn (who paid dignified tribute to her) for the leadership. They warned that "poor judgment and a mistaken sense of priorities" were "offering the Tories the prospect of power through 2020, 2025 and beyond". 
Jo Cox was a Labour MP. There are innumerable ways in which the parliament and the party she served can be improved. But as long as they attract figures of the calibre of Cox, they will be in far better health than many suggest. 

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

End to Tory lies in Rushmere?

Over the last few years, Ipswich Tories have attempted to tell the electorate in Rushmere Ward, Ipswich that the Labour run council evicted the local sports club from the Ransomes site in order to build (Council) houses.

Last Friday I was privileged to be shown round the new sports pavilion at  Ransomes - a very impressive building with changing rooms built to a higher standard than many other facilities at Football League clubs.

That is not the end of the work - we will soon see a new car park and the return of the renovated Ransomes Memorial gates. We also hope to see the bowls green back in use (the bowls club were evicted before the council took over the running of the club)

Over the next few weeks we will see St Margaret's Cricket club using the new pavilion and then (newly promoted) Ransomes FC will start to share the facilities.

So maybe an end to the Tory lies but do not expect an apology from them for misleading local residents.