Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Archive for May 2010

Sex Workers and Brian Tobin: A Respectful Comment

with 7 comments


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.

More here.

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.


Written by Andrew Coates

May 29, 2010 at 10:26 am

Posted in Feminism, Ipswich

Tagged with

Cordelia Gummer Speaks Out.

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Esteemed Comrade Abused Under Tory Misrule.

Cordelia Gummer, a long-time sympathiser with Tendance Coatesy, has a view on her bro’s failure to get an  appointment as under-Minister for Paper-Clips.

“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!

Written by Andrew Coates

May 28, 2010 at 9:39 am

Welfare Reform: It’s a-Comin’.

with 4 comments

 Frank Field’s Deputy For Welfare Reform.

A bit more here and here.

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!

Only joking.


Written by Andrew Coates

May 26, 2010 at 9:58 am

Posted in Welfare State, Workfare

McDonnell: The Real Reason Why Some of the Left Oppose Him.

with 6 comments

From Wikipedia:

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.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 24, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Diane Abbott: Jonathan Aitken Gives his Backing in Labour Bid.

with 5 comments

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.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 23, 2010 at 11:36 am

Dianne Abbot: Vote for the City of London!

with 9 comments



City of London School.

Rumours that Dianne Abbot  has been offered a place in David Cameron’s Cabinet have been vigorously denied.

The dapper gal was educated at Harrow County Grammar School where she met her life-time sparring partner Michael Denzil Xavier Portillo.

Her political trajectory from left to wealth  is not unprecedented.

Meanwhile this (Hat  Tip to Sue R)

Her leftwing credentials were dented in 2003 when she decided to send her son to the private £10,000 a year City of London school, after previously criticising Tony Blair and Harriet Harman for sending their children to selective state schools.


Written by Andrew Coates

May 21, 2010 at 11:24 am

Posted in Labour Movement, Labour Party

Tagged with

Diane Abbott: Schmoozing with Portillo too Much ?

with 3 comments


Stands Against Doughty Socialist Campaigner John.

Dianne Abott’s best mate is Michael Denzil Xavier Portillo.

That is only political fact that I retain about her.

Oh apart from bumping into  her a few times a vaguely left meetings.

Now she standing for the Labour leadership (here).

No doubt ‘Sue R’ who posts her will tell us more Diane’s political, and indeed social background.

Apart from her public school education her fling with Jeremy Bernard Corbyn springs to mind.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 20, 2010 at 11:11 am