Archive for May 2010
In the Guardian yesterday.
The murder of three women working as prostitutes in Bradford has reminded us of the terror that gripped the streets of Ipswich four years ago. During Steve Wright’s killing spree in the winter of 2006, many of the women I work with became acutely aware of their vulnerability and wanted to get out, there and then.
We can introduce new legal measures, and various groups can keep spitting vitriol about decriminalisation, legalisation or whatever their preferred option is; but unless we as a society learn to deal with drugs more effectively, we will never see an end to what is a desperate and dangerous activity that destroys lives.
Now Brian is a person for whom I have the utmost respect.
I really mean this.
But what does this highlighted sentence mean?
I know for a fact that yesterday in the streets of Ipswich that there were women with very obvious drugs problems. And men.
Like really serious heroin and crack users.
They have not gone away.
Brian may recall our Trades Council Meeting to which he was invited (as he has strong links with the labour movement). We talked about this very issue. I said that heroin use devastates people’s lives.
I meant the case of two of my really closest friends. The beautiful Sue Tout (her brother from the group Renaissance – here) and her boyfriend Lawrence. Lawrence ended up throwing himself on the Tube line at Finsbury Park. Sue died from heroin-related complications. Both from socialist and communist families. You can imagine how it affected their even nearer and dearer
This was thirty years ago but what has changed to make people get off this poison?
I do not think, Brian, will all due respect, that a programme of this
“acupuncture, aromatherapy, reflexology“
is going to do it.
Esteemed Comrade Abused Under Tory Misrule.
“The in angustiis pecuniae caused by the renovations at Giles Corner are not there “pour rein”.
Even the crows on the street in Ipswich know what a financial failure the Conservative-Liberal coalition has caused.
How could they appoint Benedict with this local background?”
So much for Ipswich Spy’s puerile accusations of nepotism and family loyalty!
Frank Field’s Deputy For Welfare Reform.
This is really serious.
When I signed on yesterday the woman on the counter asked me of what things I’d done to seek work.
I replied, “I am interested in a career in the Civil Service.”
Now apparently I will have my opportunity: volunteers to run the Job Centre!
In 1981, McDonnell was elected to the Greater London Council (GLC) as a member for Hayes and Harlington. He became the Chair of Finance, responsible for the Greater London Council s budget, and was Ken Livingstone‘s deputy leader. In an interview with Ronan Bennett for The Guardian newspaper, he described his role during this time as being, “to translate policies into concrete realities on the ground.” He further discussed his performance by indicating, “I was a fairly hard-nosed administrator. We set in train policies for which we were attacked from all sides but are now accepted as mainstream: large-scale investment in public services; raising the issue of Ireland and arguing for a dialogue for peace; equal opportunities; police accountability. We set up a women’s committee, an ethnic minorities committee”.[
Livingstone removed McDonnell from the post of deputy leader in 1985, shortly after they came into conflict over the GLC’s budget. Margaret Thatcher’s government first cut central government funding to local government, and then introduced rate capping, preventing selected councils from raising local taxation beyond a set level as a means of reducing public spending. Encouraged by the success of the Liverpool City Council, which delayed issuing a budget in 1984 until the government agreed to restore some funding cuts, twelve Labour councils that had the cap imposed on them chose not to set a rate at all in the spring of 1985, demanding that the government lift the cap. The GLC also faced capping, and McDonnell headed a campaignn amongst Labour members to adopt this strategy in response. Unlike the local councils, however, the GLC faced a legal obligation to set a rate by mid-March. McDonnell contended that accepting the cap would lead to a reduction in spending and prevent the GLC, which had already lost all of its funding from central government, from honoring the manifesto pledges Labour had been elected on in 1981.
In his book If Voting Changed Anything, They’d Abolish It, Livingstone outlines his belief that McDonnell presented exaggerated figures in order to support his proposal. Despite paying lip-service to the “no rate” campaign, the GLC set a legal rate on schedule, passed by moderate Labour councillors with the support of Conservative opposition members.
Comment: I happen to think that McDonnell was right.
Abbott’s Street Creed Support is Growing.
Jonathan Aitken has given his backing for Diane Abbott as leader of the Labour Party
From today’s Independent on Sunday here
Aitken was jailed for perjury in the late 1990s, so his endorsement might not have been the first Abbott sought. Still, there it is:
“She has outstanding qualities. She’s a standard bearer for the left, and a good communicator. It’s what Labour needs. I wish her well.”
Given the former Tory minister’s bluer-than-blue background, the move might come as something of a surprise. Still, the pair have history: They worked together at TV-am and Abbott’s son is Aitken’s godson. And, who knows? If she gets Michael Portillo’s backing, she might overtake Ed Balls as the Opposition’s favourite candidate.