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via “Nowhere Else to Go”: The Truth About New Labour, Corbyn and Labour’s Heartlands


“Nowhere Else to Go”: The Truth About New Labour, Corbyn and Labour’s Heartlands

The World Turned Upside Down

14947909_10157552543312355_3408696240562499623_n Jeremy Corbyn at the Durham Miners’ Gala in July 2016 {Photograph ©Tom Eden}

In recent times, various claims have been put forward in defence of the New Labour project. However, the latest by Phil Wilson MP is so fantastical that only a true believer could have the audacity to make such remarks with a straight face. Wilson’s claim is that New Labour was somehow the product of and informed by, working-class demands. According to an account of a recent seminar in The Independent, Wilson told the audience that New Labour was “rooted in making a difference for the working-class communities of the former coalfields of the North-East.”

In reality, the exact opposite was true. New Labour consciously and deliberately shunned working-class communities. One of its fundamental articles of faith was that working-class voters did not matter because as Peter Mandelson put it, they had ‘nowhere else to go’. Instead…

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NHS Insider view

Posted on twitter By Sid@SidLabour

((By an A&E Doctor))

I have just told a young woman she is likely to be miscarrying.

It is a wreckingly, sickeningly tragic discussion, to be had with extreme care, preferably behind closed doors.

However, it is taking place as she is doubled over with cramps on a hospital trolley in a standard curtained-off cubicle in my A&E.

It is a discussion I have undertaken many times. A wave of nausea hits me every time, and the only thing I have in common with this young woman and her partner is it will be a discussion none of us will ever forget.

She has lost enough blood to need to go to theatre and has a long night ahead.

I suppress my anger at the desperate overcrowding forcing me to have this conversation inappropriately, and redouble my efforts for her treatment; pain relief, fluids, antibiotic cover, blood transfusion.

She had known, she says, for two days, and thanks me.

That almost does me in, but with a militaristic stiff upper lip I nod, and carry on my work.

Walking back to the Majors area of my department I am pulled desperately to a cubicle by an alarmed nurse.

Three of her colleagues have commenced emergency treatment on a 33-year-old man who has overdosed on heroin. He is whisked to resus and stabilised as, in another cubicle, an elderly lady with horrendous mental health issues that have catapulted her into mindless aggression, scratches the arm of her allocated staff so deeply that she draws blood.

Illness has worsened her agitation and earlier she spat on and threw faeces at her carers. She is deeply unwell.

I have just reviewed a two-year-old child who is suspected of having either a viral illness or meningitis.

The entire absence of beds in the hospital makes my department heave at the seams with patients who have been in A&E nine, 11, 13 hours. There is just no space.

Specialities cannot cope. GPs reach to us in desperation, as community systems disintegrate and disappear. Everyone seems really sick. During times of crisis, accounts of the NHS tend to drift awkwardly into stories of shock.

The scenarios we face – including death and bravery – are always simmer-ing just under the surface and escalate easily.

If you’ve ever been socialising with a group of healthcare workers you’ll know what I mean.

We find it impossible to get through an evening without those half-amazed, half anguished returns to occasions which cut us to our soul.

I have many myself. I’m an emergency medicine doctor and I work in a busy hospital in a deprived area of a major city in the UK.

I adore my job and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

It both defines and edifies me, and I pour my heart and spirit into it every shift, despite its ability to ruin my mental and physical health, to cost me major relationships, loves, and time with my few remaining family.

There’s nothing inherently special about that because, quite honestly, we all feel the same way.

In the past three weeks I’ve had the dark honour of telling three families their loved one has died.

But I have also been a part of a team that has saved several lives, or accomplished lesser, simpler good things, and traded those against smaller tragedies. There is some balance.

It has already been a difficult winter; the media has told us the truth of that, and I cannot honestly recall the last occasion, while on a night shift at work and dealing with people’s lives, that I took any kind of break.

Within the first three days of this week there have been 17 unfilled doctor shifts of various grades – and far more for nurses at my hospital. When I arrived home on Tuesday morning to eat what I think was dinner I realised I hadn’t peed for 12 hours, but it didn’t matter as I hadn’t had time to drink.

Exhaustion claimed me for a few hours of sleep before it all happened again – the hardest winter pressures any of us have ever seen, with the least amount of social care to back us up, and staff haemorrhaging out of the profession everywhere to different jobs, countries and lives.

So how are we doing it? Because amid that fury and storm, the desperate and dying, we find our victories. Every person saved. Every illness beaten. Every broken bone healed, wound sutured.

Even each and every good death, where life has been fair and everything that could have been done is done.

We win sometimes with less resources than ever.

Wordlessly, our nurse-in-charge puts hot tea in front of me with a smile at 4am.

She may not know it, but she is keeping me going with a mix of enthusiasm and laughter found in some unknown reserve while negotiating the transfer of our sickest patient to a ward.

Her kindness and enthusiasm is a beacon, and she’s not alone.

We MUST do our best for these people. Somehow. The service that gives so much to all of us and may be taken away for so little survives on a force of goodwill alone.

No greater concentration of the best of human character exists anywhere and perhaps that is what makes this worth it, what keeps us coming back.

In illness, and certainly in A&E, you see people at their most human – flaws and all.

The staggering gift that somehow keeps on giving is we are relentless in facing fear, illness and death. We are the shield on which those waves can break.

Don’t forget us. Defend us. Please.

The Mouse and the Milk (inspired by Gramsci)

The Mouse and the Milk – by Mike Quille, with illustrations by John Gordon

£8.00 (plus £1.50 p&p). ISBN978-1-907464-29-4

Culture Matters, an imprint of Manifesto Press, has published a new version of a classic folk-tale from Sardinia, The Mouse and the Milk.

The story was written down in 1931 by Antonio Gramsci, the Marxist philosopher and political activist, in a letter to his children. The letter was smuggled out of one of Mussolini’s prisons, where Gramsci had been imprisoned ‘to stop his brain from functioning’. (In fact, as we know, his brain functioned all the more powerfully!) The story was later re-told by John Berger.

Mike Quille said, “Folk-tales are, by their very nature, metaphorical. They can be re-shaped for a contemporary audience and show the children of today how we can we make the world a better place by working collectively and respecting the environment.

“The Mouse and the Milk is a simple but very profound story. In just a few pages it expresses how practising natural human generosity and caring for the world around us leads not only to material abundance but a kinder, more just and peaceful society. At a time of growing child poverty and threats to the environment, this message could not be more relevant.”

Overstretched police? 19 police cars sent to protect Baronet Sir Philip Naylor-Leyland from fox hunting protesters

Pride's Purge

if you live in Cambridgeshire and found the police too busy to attend your call on the 23rd of December – it’s probably because NINETEEN Cambridgeshire police cars were sent to protect a fox hunt organised by Sir Philip Naylor-Leyland, 4th Baronet.

The police turned up in force and then proceeded to threaten the peaceful anti-hunt protesters with CS spray:

Cambridgeshire police seem to think their job is to protect the wealthy as they go about killing wildlife rather than investigate the robberies, muggings, break-ins and rapes that happen to the rest of us plebs. 


Full report here:



After picking up…

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Labour a FORCE to be reckoned with👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 MORE THAN 30 Tory U-Turns

In spite of Labour’s General Election surge and its continued polling strength – not to mention more than thirty u-turns Labour under Corbyn had already forced from the Tories before the election – the line persists in some quarters that Labour is not an effective opposition.

That line tends to be spouted either by those who think defeating Brexit is the only important task for the opposition – or by those who talk like it for factional purposes – ignoring the fact that Corbyn’s handling of the issue has been intelligent, nuanced and politically skilful.

It’s patent nonsense to suggest that a party that terrified the Tories in June and has forced them into either abandoning their plans or going into hiding is not an effective opposition.

So, as it’s the time of year for round-ups, here is a non-exhaustive list of sixteen u-turns that the Tories have been forced to make because there is an opposition party willing and able to stand for something different.

And for those who think Brexit is the only vital issue, the first three are Brexit-related:

1 Brexit deal vote u-turn

2 Brexit impact assessment u-turn

3 European Court of Human Rights u-turn

4 Dementia Tax u-turn (unprecedentedly dropped from the manifesto before the GE)

5 Pensions triple lock u-turn

6 Housing benefit cap for supported housing u-turn

7 Self-employed National Insurance increase u-turn

8 School meals u-turn

9 NHS Professionals sell-off u-turn

10 Police funding u-turn

11 Fire safety in schools u-turn

12 Grammar schools u-turn

13 Abortion for Northern Irish women u-turn

14 Winter fuel payments u-turn

15 Universal Credit 7-day waiting period u-turn

16 Universal Credit freephone u-turn

17 Fox-hunting u-turn

18 Diesel tax u-turn

19 Manchester terror attack costs u-turn

20 Prisoner vote u-turn

Few if any of these u-turns would have happened had the Tories not been so weakened by Corbyn’s Labour taking a clear, firm stand – and the Labour surge resulting from the party presenting a genuine alternative.

2017 has been a historic year for Labour and much of that can be attributed to Corbyn’s vision, leadership and his strength in standing firm against an unprecedented media onslaught – and it’s been a better year for millions of UK people.

As a result of Labour’s effective opposition.