Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Democracy - the 'new' way to do it.

These articles need reading in full.

From this article
Labour is planning to install the leader of the National Union of Mineworkers, who was convicted of a public order offence after a football match, in a safe Labour seat.
Ian Lavery, the union’s president who was on the front line of the miners’ strike in 1984-85, is likely to be selected on Monday as the party’s candidate in Wansbeck, Northumberland, which has a solid majority of 10,500. 
The Wansbeck seat was expected to run an all-women shortlist to select the Labour candidate, but this was quashed amid allegations of interference from allies of Mr Lavery.
Instead, the all-women shortlist has been imposed on North Tyneside, prompting the resignation of a local official, Eddie Darke, who said that senior party figures appeared keen to ensure Mr Lavery’s selection.
From this article
Yesterday, more than 70 councillors with responsibility for social care wrote to The Times to say that the generous arithmetic in the Government’s Personal Care at Home Bill imposes a cost on local authorities far in excess of Gordon Brown’s public promises. They went on to say that it is wrong for the Government to raise the expectations of vulnerable people that help is at hand when, in fact, the proposals are quite unrealistic.
The signatories to the letter were mostly, but not entirely, Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors. However, as the afternoon progressed, those Labour councillors who had put their names to the letter began mysteriously to fall away.
From here
All five Labour authorities that signed a letter to The Times criticising Mr Brown’s free home care idea as flawed and unfunded issued retractions within hours of the Department of Health learning of the existence of the letter. It also emerged that Downing Street knew of the operation to silence the Labour councils.
From here
The way has been opened for Jack Dromey, deputy general secretary of the Unite union, to stand as Labour candidate for the relatively safe seat of Birmingham Erdington in the wake of the unexpected decision of Sîon Simon, the culture minister, to stand down as an MP.
Dromey, ..... had previously aimed to stand in Leytonstone, the seat vacated by Harry Cohen, but was meeting hostility from the local party in east London. He ..... was the centre of controversy after it was claimed that he was being parachuted into a seat in 2007. Dromey will hope that in Erdington (Labour majority 9,575) his background in a manufacturing trade union will stand him in good stead when it comes to the selection meeting.
A bid to allow local constituency officers to attend shortlisting meetings conducted by Labour's selection panel was rejected .....
Sîon Simon announced ... that he wants to be mayor of Birmingham, a post that does not yet exist. On Thursday a special Labour selection panel decided that the seat should be an open contest, with no all-women shortlist.

 And away from politics, from here
Andrea Charman stepped down (that's 'resigned' in old-speak) from Lydd Primary School — which she had steered out of special measures — for “personal reasons”, but it is understood that she was hounded out after an internet campaign that saw threats to her and to the school. 
The campaign took an ugly twist when personal threats to Mrs Charman were posted online and another Facebook page called for her to be banned from teaching altogether. Others wrote on the internet that they wanted the school burned down.
the decision to slaughter the lamb had been approved by the children’s pupil school council, with a 13-to-1 majority, and by the board of school governors. 
Nowhere in the article does it suggest the local Police arrested, or even interviewed, any of those who threatened to burn down the school.


Witterings From Witney said...

Accept what you saying, but would suggest they are examples of the present democracy - the new democracy will be when 'we' have managed to level the playing field!

Mrs R said...

Yes, you're right, they're examples of the 'now' and it has to be changed so that 'they' are accountable and there really is a level playing field.