Members to control candidate selections in 80 marginals this autumn


A crucial victory was achieved by the left at the NEC meeting last week, where Tom Watson’s absence allowed decision to pass that will be welcomed by the vast majority of Labour members.

ballot box redAfter the frustration of having to accept imposed candidates because of the short notice of the General Election, local Labour members will control the candidate selection in key marginal seats this autumn.

CLPs will elect a ‘procedures committee’ that will oversee the process and draw-up a shortlist for members to vote on – ins CLPs with a branch/general committee structure, branches, together with affiliated unions and societies, will be able to nominate candidates.

As the next General Election could be any time between in the next five years, Labour is looking to have candidates in place in readiness and the NEC’s decision will allow members in target marginal seats – around 80 are believed to be on…

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For These Small Mercies

Today’s post is unusual in that I began to write it as a normal, diary-type, blog post in which, after writing the first sentence, I recognized its potential as a poem! For that reason, it will also appear on my poetry blog Archive Mined and Freshly Spun.


For These Small Mercies (we proffer thanks)


Today, so far at least,
is one of gentle shattered-ness;
welcome relief

from yesterday’s griping
pain and aches.
An ever present undertow,

of generalized discomfort,

still leaves the space
for a richly varied range
of sensory attacks.

Will it be muscles,
joints, gastritis, or other
less easily defined

components of
the neurological kind.
Today at least

I have enjoyed a time
of gentle relaxation,
an ease of body

and a calmer mind.


Malcolm Evison
20 July 2017




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Corbyn’s social media initiative welcome – but enforcement clarification awaited


In an initiative driven by party leader Jeremy Corbyn, Labour has launched a new Social Media Policy document – and it’s one which will be studied eagerly by members who have seen supposed ‘abuse’ weaponised against the Left by Tories, the Labour right and their media supporters when most abuse seems to come from those very quarters.

lab smpIt’s a document of two distinct halves. One seeks to establish the principles by which Labour members and supporters should seek to conduct their social media interactions – and it’s difficult to find too much to disagree with:

soc med principles.jpgIn fact, this blog considers it likely that most members will agree with its assessment that the influence of the Labour leader and his team can be seen very clearly in these principles.

Slightly less free of difficulty is the ‘National Executive Committee statement’ section. There is little to object to in statements such as:

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Video: Abbott’s harrowing abuse testimony – and Tory minister’s ‘dismissal’


Last week, a Westminster Hall debate took place on the subject of abuse endured by MPs. Testimony was given by MPs of different parties about their own personal experience.

The debate was attended by Tory minister and Whip, Guto Bebb. At the end of the week, he recorded a video telling his Facebook followers about his experiences of the week – including his experience at the debate.

Bebb introduces this section of his video by appearing to dismiss claims by “some people” that abuse is suffered by MPs of all parties:

While some people are trying to claim that this is something that happens to all candidates…

Bebb even goes on to talk about his frustration that, as a minister and government Whip, he was not able to speak up in support of his colleague Simon Hart. Hart, also a government Whip, started the debate with a speech in which…

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Children CANNOT ‘consent’. What the **** is the MoJ playing at?


Horrendous news reported by the Guardian this morning that the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) – an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has denied compensation to around seven hundred children for sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of adults – even after those adults have been jailed:

guardian cicaCICA’s reasoning? That the children consented to their abuse.

What kind of people is this government made of? What kind of people is it employing in roles that require huge empathy and sensitivity?

Children CANNOT consent. They’re children – they’re legally incapable of giving consent.

That’s why it’s called abuse – and why it’s a crime.

Absolutely rightly, as a society we encourage the victims of abuse to come forward and we reassure them they are not to blame for what’s been done to them – one of the most common reactions among victims is to feel somehow responsible…

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It’s time the government took some lessons in the ethical use of power and influence amid the discussion about abuse

an excellent examination of the hatefully abusive / offensive (mainstream ) right-wing media

Politics and Insights

Image result for Daily Mail Jo Cox Image result for Daily Mail Jo CoxImage result for This is for britainImage result for Daily Mail Jo CoxImage result for Daily Mail Jo Cox

Irresponsible racist scapegoating discourse and an utter incapacity to join the dots in the media. When Jo Cox was murdered, her killer shouted “Britain First” – the name of the political party formed by former BNP members, which has over 1.5m likes on Facebook. The Daily Mail buried the news of his conviction for murdering a sitting MP on page 30, almost as if the Mail thought it was somehow unimportant.

Minority groups are demonised and denigrated as a matter of routine and tradition – at what point does our feigning ignorance of this process turn into complicity with it? The problems we face as a society is not caused by immigration, but by socioeconomic inequality, with widespread, growing poverty, exclusion and youth unemployment faced by working class people of all ethnic backgrounds. Pointing the finger at immigrants is an attempt to mask how current government policy is…

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Video: at last blairite admits what we all knew – they wanted #GE17 to go badly


It’s long been believed by many Corbyn supporters that the right wing of the party wanted Labour to fail badly in the General Election under Jeremy Corbyn – and by almost as many that they were doing their best to make it happen.

How better to explain the constant briefings and whinings to press and broadcasters about unelectability, the manufactured misogyny smear (and worse), the damaging interventions by New Labour dinosaurs no longer in Parliament and the attempts by right-leaning HQ staff to undermine Corbyn and weed out his supporters? Hard to think of a better explanation that fits the facts.

‘The truth will out’, as the saying goes – and former New Labour front-bencher slipped up and let it escape his lips during a television interview.

Asked whether he was disappointed by Labour’s surge in the General Election because it spoiled the chance of getting rid of Corbyn, Johnson…

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