Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Change, Risk and Judgement

The Labour Party blogsphere is saturated with discussion of "smeargate" emails from number 10 and now the debacle that is the Erith & Thamesmead selection. Makes Northampton Labour Party politics positively tame.

The bloggers response to this been this , which poses a number of statements about the principles under which we operate.

The chaotic and unstructured environment that blogging can produce is something I find attractive partly because I believe most really good solutions to problems involve an element of risk. The risky nature of blogging in that you don't know who's reading and what kind of mindset they have when they do ready your work, I think does produce possibilities that would not usually be there. I guess it is all about judgement in the end, something Damian McBride and Derek Draper showed little of in this episode.

Of course, it's not really true that I don't have a clue who reads my blog apart from the usual suspects ... even with lurkers, word gets around.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Tent Village Spin

With the front page of the Chron focussing on the tent village (now cleared) the local spin seems significant. The site now has an infestation of local lib dem Councillors as they look to get their next quote in the paper.

I'm sure there were some homeless people on the site (at least one to my knowledge) but despite the headline most from the picture are kids I know who have problems with their parents and who like the lack of supervision that creates opportunities to drink large amounts of alcohol and hang out with the opposite sex. The picture features two lads from St James (Symington Street)and one from Kings Heath (Swale Drive). The site has been used off and on by these kids for the past few months.

It highlights the real problems that young people have. The need to feel valued and loved and when they need it proper housing advice that gives then options not to be in a tent. Sasha in the photo has been homeless for some weeks now, and it is testimony to the lack of accessibility of the Borough Councils Homelessness advice that she has ended up in a tent.

The kids are all good in their own way, have said please and thank you when they've eat in my house but need the real things in life to achieve anything more than self indulgence when they get the money.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Time to turn back the tide

The war on terror produced a fundemental shift towards conservatism in the country. It's the culture of fear that makes us want to suspect all foreign students regardless of the fact that 99% of them are law abiding with their heads down trying to get an education.

With not inconsiderable public concern about what did actually happen at the G20 demonstration that resulted in the death of a homeless newspaper seller perhaps the time is right for people to stand up not only for their own rights but also for the rights of others.

I came across this and thought it an opportunity to encourage all of us to think about the way we'd like to think about our neighbours. Hat tip to Nigel Ashton for showing it to me:-)

Monday, 6 April 2009

Will the last one to leave please switch off the lights

With news today that the carnival hangs in the balance it seems like it's going to be a long bleak summer with very little to look forward to. But maybe this is one thing that we really can't blame the Liberal Democrats for. After all it was athe Tory County council which gave the carnival the funding axe. Well think again, as fundemental to this situation is the fact that the Lib Dem Borough council which has given no black or minority ethnic groups any funding in this financial year or the previous one also give no money to the carnival making them realiant on a County Council grant which is no longer available as the Tory county council wishes to spend more pennies in areas other than Northampton where there might be a quite vote or two in it.

With the loss of the St Crispin's Fair and the Balloon festival it's going to be a long hot lonely summer.