Monday, 20 April 2009

Woolas plea just alienates voters

It seems that I was too quick to turn off BBC's Radio 4 Today programme on Friday.

Once I heard the words 'Nelson Mandela', that was enough for me, but Freedom columnist Sally Wood, has scolded me for being much too hasty.

She wrote:

"You should have carried on listening to Radio 4 this morning as it got quite interesting.

It seems that John Humphreys used to live in South Africa, 30 years ago, and he went back to his old house to see how the neighbourhood has changed.

The houses all looked the same and the same old trees were still there but the huge difference was in the security: there was barbed wire everywhere and large electric gates.

He went to speak to the lady who now lives in his old house and she told him that she is often followed home from the shops by those intent on robbery, and so the gates have to close very fast behind her as she enters her drive.

He also visited a white squatter camp and asked a white man why he didn't go and look for a job, but the guy said he stood no chance of getting work as they only want to employ blacks."

Sally also draws my attention to Martin Kettle's column in Friday's issue of The Guardian. He believes that when the expenses claims of MPs are released to the public in July there will be suicides and by-elections!

Having watched last night's Dispatches programme on Channel 4 about the Westminster Gravy Train, I can well believe that this could be case.

Plenty of drivel in the weekend newspapers but one important report in the Mail on Sunday which you can read here

This is what we need. Senior Labour figures telling people to vote for any political party other than the BNP.

Such statements devalue the importance of a vote for Labour and rather than encouraging people to come out and vote, in fact confirms what many people already think - "that all the old gang parties are the same".

Disillusioned Labour voters will never 'Vote Tory', and at election time will either just stay at home or go out and actually 'Vote BNP' to punish the Government for letting them down.

It is such a naive statement from Woolas that I can only think it is a special message for ethnic minorities who are new-arrived in this country and who have no grasp of partisan party politics. I can't believe Woolas was addressing former miners in South Yorkshire telling them to vote for a Conservative Party that has destroyed their industry, community and way of life.

Another cracking photo taken in Exeter on Saturday.

Peter Lucas wrote in his accompanying report:

"Towards the end of the Second World War the Royal Air Force seemed to operate two distinct offensive strategies. Down in the South West these principles seem to have evolved, also. Bomber Command managed to muster 1,000 aircraft to attack one target during the course of one night, an incredible feat of organisation. Fighter Command would send out pairs of locomotive and tank busting Typhoons and Tempests on "interdiction" raids where they would roam the sky looking for targets of opportunity on the ground.
James Wallis and Mike Wainwright do the latter in Cornwall, organised by the formidable Cynthia Wainwright. On the 16th April the two of them raided three towns in one day handing out hundreds of leaflets and chatting with dozens of interested parties.
Laurie West over in East Devon takes the former approach and amassed eighteen activists to "bomb" the centre of Exeter on Saturday. A photograph of just some of the Magnificent Eighteen is shown here, the remainder having hared off to the other end of the Shopping Mall.
Both systems seem to work and both compliment each other as the recent enquiry rate indicates."

If anyone has any news on this week's three by-elections I would be very grateful for it. In the prediction thread on the Vote-2007 website, there are a wide range of BNP percentages suggested which probably means that no one really has much idea of the outcome, so it would be useful to be able to shed some light on this.

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