Did someone say, “Happy Christmas?”

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Did someone say “Happy Christmas?”

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Happy Christmas, and A Peaceful New Year.

I want to say it to you all, but I really  want it to be true. 

If Theresa May is talking about whether we can mention Christmas, I wonder where her concerns lie.

Britain is not full, despite what is being claimed by some. Try driving around ….there seems plenty of empty land, most of it in the hands of very rich people whose ancestors acquired it by force centuries ago. Perhaps the papers would like to report on that?
People migrate and always have done, it’s good for sharing of skills, ideas and good for the gene pool. If everyone is provided for no-one would object.

There is not only space for more, there is work for everyone to do. But we import merchandise produced cheaply and unsafely, and manufacturing here has been closed down. Poor quality imports are everywhere, making riches for someone.

Tories dismantled industry, leading to decline unemployment and poverty.

They turned our shelter from homes to assets, so people became more concerned about their house prices than whether everyone could have a home.

We can satisfy our own energy needs by renewables, but I hear about fracking and nuclear energy, as rich prospectors are rubbling their hands.

But more importantly, we all need to appreciate the problem of division is not about immigrants, not about religion, it is about power. The very rich have power to cause suffering because we allow that.

It is time people opened their eyes to the truth, and reject Tory lies, and the poison from the Mail, Express and the rest.

Neoliberalism is flawed, and the answer is socialism and compassion.

I am an atheist, but I can see if Christmas -or Yuletide if you prefer – had any real meaning it’s not about anything that Theresa May is talking about. It is about community, life, and solidarity.

I remember my father- in-law in tears reading ‘The Little Match Girl, to my daughter. Now I hear about the homeless freezing to death on the streets of my home city, Birmingham, and I cannot get it out of my mind. The Dickensian thinking remains as those who sit around their Christmas trees, with their brandy and crackers, their goose and their gifts, consciences content with a contribution to some charity or other, are unwilling to recognise that voting for an extreme Conservative government means they are culpable. It is inexcusable.

The answer is Socialism, … so let’s make it count, all year round.

Here’s My “Christmas  Card”  Merry Christmas All!

But this isn’t Dickens, it’s today. 

Who will change it?

It won’t be  May, Trump or Farage- It won’t be  warmongers, Trident for  Arms

It won’t be the Frackers, Hinkley or Oil -It won’t be  FatCats watching us toil.

It won’t be the media just for their  ends. It won’t be the bankers – nor their rich friends.

It won’t be me – or  you on your own. But together we can take neoliberalism down.

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So how can we change it?

Not by division, nor fighting within, but getting together – we know we can win!

Unions, Communities, Relations and Friends: United we stand to achieve just ends.

So Maggie smashed the Unions, Society? – “no such thing!”

But the neoliberalism tide has turned, Capitalism’s  on the wane.

Equality and Justice, Peace and Hope  remain.

A World Devoid of Poverty is ours to reclaim!

Homeless man froze to death – Birmingham Mail 

The Little Match Girl

This isn’t Dickens, it’s today Winters Cold, Homeless and Hungry

No Glory In War – Dandelions. Moving video #remembrance – Lest we Forget

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Remember those wasted lives

Remember the mistakes of History

Remember the Living

But please, don’t glorify war.

This is a very moving video, reminding us what we are remembering. Today, and every day. Lest we forget.

Dandelions

 

Steve O’Donoghue wrote Dandelions about Arthur, his mother’s father.

“He joined up as a boy, lying about his age. He was a sort of yellow colour due to the mustard gas. He never talked about the war, except to say, I’ve seen things no man should have to see.”

Arthur was not keen on poppies being used to glorify war. A better image for him was the dandelion, its seeds blown away in the wind.

Dandelion Lyrics:

Now Arthur was only a young cub
A brave lion and merely fifteen
But with the rest of his pack
He was sent to attack
To a war that was cruel and obscene
But those lions fought hard and fought bravely
While the donkeys just grazed in a field
They had no sense of shame for their barbarous game
And the thousands of lions they killed

And when he saw them marching up Whitehall
I remember what old Arthur said
He said the donkeys are all wearing poppies
So I shall wear dandelions instead

Now every remembrance sunday
Well I pause at eleven o’clock
And I remember those dandy young lions
And those donkeys and their poppycock
Cos they’ve taken those beautiful poppies
And they use them to glorify war
Well I remember those dandy young lions
And I don’t wear a poppy no more

And when he saw them marching up Whitehall
I remember what old Arthur said
He said the donkeys are all wearing poppies
So I shall wear dandelions instead

Now if you take an old dandelion
And just blow it quite gently he’d say
You can see all the dreams of those soldiers
In the seeds as they just float away
But then the wind takes hold of those seeds
And they rise and quickly they soar
Like the spirit of all those old soldiers
Who believed that their war would end war

And when he saw them marching up Whitehall
I remember what old Arthur said
He said the donkeys are all wearing poppies
So I shall wear dandelions instead

Cos those lions were dandy young workers
Who those donkeys so cruelly misled
And if the Donkeys are gonna wear poppies
I shall wear dandelions instead.

And when he saw them marching up Whitehall
I remember what old Arthur said
He said the donkeys are all wearing poppies
So I shall wear dandelions instead

Source: No Glory in War

Free Speech – Preserving the right to express and share opinions

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We share these concerns expressed, of information of individual members being suspended, for what would seem to be expressing personal opinions, or sharing others, and look upon the Labour Party to preserve the right of free expression.  Please see below the text of a motion from Henley BLP and reasons for their support of the motion.

(Permission to post given from member of Henley BLP:)

TEXT OF FREE SPEECH MOTION

This branch believes that there should be no infringement on the rights of free speech and free criticism within the Labour Party. The thousands of suspensions of Labour members during the 2016 leadership election, based often on one-off comments on social media, unsubstantiated claims or association with left wing organisations, appears to have been politically motivated.

This process was an affront to democracy and this CLP condemns the entire process. Legitimate grievances should be dealt with according to the principles of fairness, with suspension as a last resort not a primary action. We demand the reinstatement of all those still suspended without a hearing.

Regarding expulsions, there should be no ban on memberships of campaigns or organisations as long as they are not campaigning against the election of a Labour government or Labour councils.
The only acceptable political limitation on membership of the Party, other than the exclusion of proscribed organisations, is that people who join or are members or supporters, commit to support Labour candidates in future elections. Earlier electoral activity is of no importance.

We call on the CLP to welcome in any supporter and member prepared to make such a commitment.

We call on the National Executive Committee to ensure that these principles are reflected in the membership application process, so that all party units will welcome in any supporter and member prepared to make such a commitment.

We demand the Party implement the proposals in the Chakrabarti report.

STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF MOTION

I believe that if there is to be any real unity in the Labour Party, we must have transparency, fairness and people must be free to express their opinions freely, without fear of reprisals.

In the run up to the election thousands of members were purged; the figure is now given as 182,000.

The entire Brighton and Hove District CLP were suspended – the Labour Party’s biggest CLP with 6,000 members – days after a vote that installed officers supportive of Jeremy Corbyn in key posts. The entire Wallasey CLP, was also suspended after they threatened to pass a vote of no confidence in Angela Eagle when she was nominated as a candidate in the leadership election.

Others have had the most tenuous accusations to justify their suspensions: retweeting a tweet from the Green Party in 2013; posting a tweet supporting a rock band, the ‘ Foo Fighters’; unsubstantiated accusations of ‘ abuse’ with no details of rights to appeal, or pending investigations.

The Labour Party have gone through members’ Facebook and Twitter accounts for periods up to three years back, in order to dredge up treasons to purge them, contravening their democratic and human right to free speech, a right of privacy and due process.
Many of the purged have had no reasons given to them at all, such as two bed ridden grannies with terminal cancer who have participated in no political activity whatsoever. We have no idea how many conference delegates were suspended.

What most of the purged have in common is that they supported Jeremy Corbyn.

Anti-Corbyn supporters have not been purged in the same way despite a tide of insults, including one who described Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters as Nazi Storm Troopers.

Given the timing it is reasonable to assume, it was intended to reduce Corbyn’s mandate.

Many of those who have been suspended remain distressed. One woman claims to have developed depression. Others are afraid to say what they want on social media, for fear that their accounts will be snooped and things will be used against them – because the purge continues.

Last week Labour suspended the black Jewish vice-chair of Momentum, Jackie Walker, after she asked questions deemed inappropriate.

People must be free to express their opinions freely in the Labour Party. There must due process and the right of appeal. These things are natural justice and the Labour Party, must be seen to enact them. The Labour Party has always been a broad church and we must not conduct a witch hunt of our members or silence people by exclusion and force.