Archive for the 'politics' Category

20
May
08

Closing down blogs, and post offices – Et tu David?

David Wright MP recently silenced a blogger over a parody website. I’d be wary of the approach of the blog in question, (if you are going to parody, it needs to be so far fetched so that no ambiguity can occur), however what I find less appealing is David’s handling of the situation.

Mr Wright said he met police and officers are now examining legislation to see if any criminal offense has been committed.

“This kind of thing debases politics so I have now referred the matter to police because this type of activity needs to be stopped.

This approach, to see whether he can press charges against the blogger, is of wider concern. So in true internet solidarity, I thought I’d have a pop at him too, by publishing this rant, which I’ve been sitting on for a few weeks.

I’m sure that most of you know that the Royal Mail has decided that the only way to keep themselves afloat is to close down 2500 of their 14000 branches. They claim that the service is leaking between £3.5-4 million per week, and the cull should fix the issue. Cue them eying up every small post office in the country, including the one up the road from myself.

The development forces each of these small outlets, and the people who rely on them, to fend off the onslaught. So who would vote for such a thing to happen? Well, David Wright MP for one. And then at every opportunity, voted to congratulate Gordon for a job well done. So from the votes cast, David is happy with taking away this service from the most vulnerable in his community, he doesn’t want a lengthy consultation, and will congratulate the government in doing so.

The audacious part of the plot is when he produced and distributed this letter. (Click for full size)

Letter from David Wright MP

(It isn’t an April Fools, I did wonder about the date.)

The Post Office has announced that…

It’s a thoughtfully crafted letter, raises concern over the closure, and his commit to the fight for saving post office branches. However, it seems more than slightly duplicitous, in light of the voting record in the links above.

If we are to save this branch…

If you are an MP, your gladiatorial arena is the House Of Commons. And when you vote to close schools, post offices, or hospitals, you are voting to close YOUR school. It’s not good enough to vote for a nationwide closure, and then say “as long as it doesn’t happen on my turf”. By not standing against it, you are electing to put your locality forward to suffer the losses. And by implication, that your constituents are happy with it. If that is not the case, you need to be fighting it.

There’s one great thing to come out of this. It is the ability for adversity to mobilise a community into solidarity, and action. There was a highly attended public meeting, and the opinion against the closures was heatedly aired. Representatives from Royal mail were there, as was I, (through gritted teeth, the meeting was arranged by the Conservatives).

The local feeling of hostility towards closing the branch was positively electric. If I were a politician, say an MP, I would have considered it perfect opportunity to show support for such a hot local campaign. Get my face about, show my outrage; easy votes. Stick one to the Tories. Except we have a Labour MP who voted to close it in the first place. David Wright. Best keep the head low eh?

Lets see this one get pulled…. Oh, hello officer..

02
May
08

An open letter to Labour MPs from Labour voters.

I share this sentiment with Mrs SP, so there are at least two of ‘us’.

An open letter to Labour MPs from Labour voters.

Hello,

It’s been a rough night hmm? We’re on TV trying to figure out where it all went wrong. I say we, but I suppose you and “us” parted company a few years back.

Perhaps you’ve forgotten us. We are the tax paying, voting people. Remember the folks who put the X in the box in 1997, and waited with you, fingers and toes crossed, for the results to come in? The ones who sang to D:REAM as Michael Portillo was slumping, shell shocked into the background. We are the ones you said you’d listen to, and would work for. The plan was that you’d go in there, make them behave. Take away the power ball, and give it back to us. We made sure you got the job.

And now 11 years later, to this morning, you’re mulling over the 10p issue, and how big a mistake it was. Perhaps that’s why we don’t love you anymore. But I’ll let you into a little secret. The 10p won’t make a difference, even if you put it right again. This all started to go wrong once toeing party lines became more important than being our voice in parliament. Then you start to vote for ID cards and anti-terror laws, Trident, and Iraq. You even voted against transparency and openness of parliament. What came over you? You should have asked before you started making decisions like that on your own. We don’t need new anti-terror laws, or ID cards. If there’s another attack, we’ll deal with it pragmatically, like we always have. Stop wasting our money on it. And stop wasting our money by being in someone else’s country. They don’t want us there, and we don’t want to be there.

Remember “education, education, education”? Why are you are cutting funding to science in universities? Don’t you agree that there’s little point in giving the kids the gift of language and mathematics, if at the end of it, there’s nothing for them to get their teeth into? It isn’t enough to make sure that they can read Dick and Dora, or a Dole form. We should be inspiring them to greater things, and then giving them the infrastructure to play so that they become masters of their fields. It doesn’t matter how much this costs, (we could pay for it hundreds of times over with ID card money).

And what’s up with the services? Why do we need to attend meetings to keep the post offices open? The post office you voted to close. We don’t care that it’s losing money. You do realise that services are, by their very nature, going to leak money, right? The trick is to accept that, and get on with it. Just tell us how much, and we’ll put our hands down the side of the sofa.

Maybe you’ve just lost touch with what you are actually there to do. Labour isn’t “everything that Gordon or Tony says”. It’s supposed to be an ethical principle that we all share. Please, stop following ‘the party’, and get back to the principle. We really, really want you to grow a backbone. Stand up to the idiots in the front seats, when they’re doing something stupid. Spit paper balls at the back of their heads, and bully them into submission. We need a government of rebels. Be one of us again, our voice. And if they ask, tell them that we sent you. Tell them if they refuse to behave, we’re taking away the ball. And what’s worse, we’ll probably end up giving it back to the Tories.

Love and kisses

Us xxxx

P.S. Tim Ireland had his finger on this pulse ages ago: