Labour: dying before our very eyes

by Ray_North on December 9, 2016

imagesAnother week, another by-election where the Labour Party candidate has seen his vote decrease. This week its Sleaford, where Labour eventually finished fourth behind UKIP and the stirring Lib-Dems.

Should those of us on the left be nervous about this?

Too right we should. Labour is currently embroiled in a slow and painful descent towards irrelevance and that is bad for all of us, regardless of our affiliation or belief.

Labour’s problems are profound, and potential solutions are thin on the ground.

Putting aside, Labour’s leadership issues for now, Labour’s first problem is Brexit. For Labour this issue goes beyond being a tricky political and policy conundrum and is absolutely existential – Labour is, and aspires to be, both the Party that can best articulate the views of the working class and the liberal left. And, on Brexit, the views of these two constituencies are polls apart – broadly speaking the liberal left, are in favour of remain and treat the idea of free movement and immigration as a positive thing. Whereas the traditional working class see the movement of foreigners onto our shores and into our jobs and communities as part of the process which has seen them fall behind in socio-economic terms.

So what should Labour do? Pro-immigration, will see them lose ground to UKIP; pro-Brexit will see them lose their liberal votes to the re-awakening Lib-Dems; do nothing, or fudge it and they are in danger of becoming irrelevant.

I’m hard-pushed to think of a similar situation in British Political history where a mainstream party has found itself so hopelessly squashed by all sides in a debate so fundamental to the age.

Labour has to make a choice.

And, surely, the choice has to be the progressive one, the positive one – it has to bite the bullet and start to put forward the arguments for both Europe and immigration – it must remember that there is a distinction between being a party that is there to articulate the prejudices of the working class (and I’m sorry, not wanting Turks or Albanians in your street, is prejudice) and being a party that is there to garner and encourage the aspirations of everyone, which must include putting into place socio-economic policies that will assist in the education and employment of the traditional working class and the improvement of traditional working class areas. In short, if Labour is to remain relevant, it must become braver than it has ever been, cleverer than it has ever been, it must walk the line between being radical and realistic, popular and pragmatic.

And this comes down to leadership.

Which is Labour’s other problem.

It is a rather tragic irony that at a time when our political climate is possibly the most challenging that it has ever been for conventional parties, Labour are led by people who are singularly not up to the task. I have a certain regard for Jeremy Corbyn, but his politics are one dimensional, his analysis is far too simplistic and his solutions are confused. He doesn’t have the ability or personality to gain the trust of both the liberal left and the traditional working class, whilst the chances of him appealing to former Tory or SNP voters is miniscule.

It seems to me, as an outsider looking in on Labour, that the party is now dominated by a number of very angry and very enthusiastic amateurs (and if that sounds patronising, I apologise but it’s true), who rather cowardly judge everyone by the compassion they postulate than their ability to ask the really difficult questions that Labour now must ask.

Because if Labour continues to dodge the big issue of our age, if Labour continue to be more concerned with intellectual left-wing purity than the concerns of the ordinary man and woman – then the fourth place it managed in Sleaford will be replicated time and time again at the next general election and the result will be devastating for Labour and for our nation.

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Can a Democrat be Elected as President in 2020?

by Jackie_South on December 8, 2016

Image result for image clinton cryingLast month, the Democrats faced the most unpopular presidential candidate in the last thirty years, and lost. The victory of someone as dangerous as Trump against such an experienced figure as Hillary Clinton, the unexpected nature of the outcome by most commentators and the fact that she won the popular vote by over 2.6m have all contributed to a state of shock and despondency amongst Democrats and the left further afield.

Hill, not Bill

But the result should not have been as unexpected as it was. The Clinton campaign in 2016 was a world away from that of her husband in 1992: then, the plucky charismatic outsider beat the sitting, tongue-tied president – the ultimate insider. In 1992, Bill Clinton taunted Bush with “It’s the economy, stupid!”

In 2016, the roles were reversed: Trump played the charismatic outsider railing at the establishment; Hillary played the role of the target for all that anger.  This time, it was the Democrats that were seen as an aloof elite that was out of touch with the economic problems of the ordinary person. Her perceived dishonesty about emails (not helped by her secretive and controlling nature), her cosiness with Wall Street, all contributed to a sense that she could not be trusted to deal with the problems that were hurting the most.

To me, that criticism seems misplaced, and to think that Trump is in anyway a solution seems bizarre. But that is beside the point, and it is a point that is not specifically about Clinton. The Democratic Party – once the party of the common man – seems to have lost its common touch.

The warning signs were there a long time before the primaries even started. Of the fifty states, only 16 now have Democrats as governors: there are more than twice as many Republican governors. Two years before Hillary Clinton lost Obama-voting states like Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, Republicans were re-elected to serve a second term as their governors. All of those states also have clear Republican majorities in both houses of their state legislatures.

2016-us-governors

The American system means that those outcomes are not unconnected – they are not simply different elections held within the same state boundaries. Governors, state officials and state legislatures get to set the rules of the electoral process, and that can matter a great deal in a close election. Those governors and state legislatures also get to draw up congressional districts every ten years: capturing those state positions in the 2010 Tea Party elections led to them redrawing boundaries to give them a baked-in congressional advantage in the 2012 elections that will remain in place until 2022.

Jesus, The Felon

Morning, Sunday 6 November
I’m in a rundown, dust-blown, neighbourhood a bottle’s throw south of downtown Phoenix. Between the empty housing lots, the ramshackle shotgun shacks look ready to collapse and join their departed neighbours. Canvass list in hand, I reach between the metal bars of the grille to knock at the paint-peeled front door. It cracks open and a heavily tattooed twenty-something man, dressed in a stained wife-beater vest, stares bleary-eyed at me as I ask

“Hi. Is that Jesus Ramirez? I’m Jackie and I’m a volunteer with the Democratic Party. Will you be voting for Hillary Clinton on Tuesday?”

“I can’t vote. I’m a felon”

***

I was in the States to see the Presidential debacle first-hand, helping out in my own modest way in Arizona, spending the last six days of the election knocking on doors to get the Democratic vote out in the Copper State.

Arizona was one of the Democrats’ better results among the states it lost. A state that Obama lost by over 8% in both his elections, it had not initially seemed competitive this time around, yet the result ended up being a lot closer here (3.5% behind) than those in Obama states such as Ohio (8.1%) and Iowa (9.4%), and slightly better than fiercely-targeted North Carolina (3.7%).

Clinton did well among areas with large Latino populations. Whilst the nation swung to the Republicans by 1%, Arizona swung the other way by 2.8%, California by 3.5% and Texas by 3.4%. In fact, the Democrats did better in once solidly Republican Texas than Iowa, which has voted Democratic in five of the last six presidential elections.

2016-us-pres-winning-margins

Elections are not just won at election time

With Arizona emerging as a late target state for the Democrats, it seemed clear that not much had been done in the way of canvassing until the final weeks: targeting of the Get Out The Vote efforts was at registered Democrats and non-partisan Latinos rather than electors identified as saying that they were likely to vote Democratic in these specific elections. Such work might have saved me the time of knocking on the door of Mr Ramirez on the last weekend day before the election.

More worrying though was this lack of preparation seemed evident in states that have long been targeted: a friend who assisted in Miami reported much the same – all the canvassing there seemed targeted at demographic profiling rather than hard canvassing returns.

If the Democrats are to reverse the trend of recent elections, they need to be out regularly getting this sort of hard data between elections, not just in a rush a few weeks before them.

Tackling Voter Suppression

But my story about Jesus Ramirez* tells a more important story.

Unlike the United Kingdom, having a criminal record for an offence that has a theoretical maximum sentence of over a year leads to a prohibition on voting in many states, and given the racial disparity in who has those records it tends to be Republicans that are keener to apply those penalties. Maricopa County – with a population of 4.2 million that makes up 60% of Arizona’s total – has had one of the USA’s worst records of racially-profiled arrests. The county’s notorious Republican sheriff, Joe Arpaio, took the view that any Latino was potentially an illegal immigrant and could therefore be stopped and searched, or raided (never mind that Latinos have been living in Arizona for much longer than Anglophone Americans). Minor issues where the police might turn a blind eye for non-Hispanic white citizens quickly escalated into significant crimes for Latinos. Arpaio then made life as miserable as possible for these “criminals” by making them work in chain gangs and making them live in prison tents in the scorching desert heat, along with making them wear pink underwear to humiliate them.

And of course once those “felons” were released, they lost their right to vote and to challenge the system that they fell foul of.

“Racist Joe” Arpaio is a throwback to those 1960s sheriffs of the Deep South, only with Mexicans at the receiving end rather than African Americans. In some ways, he was worse: at least those 1960s figures like Bull O’Connor and Jim Clark were acting out of a massively-misplaced sense of preserving what they thought of as law and order. Arpaio on the other hand was found to be in contempt of court for continuing his racial profiling practices. He knew he was acting illegally and yet carried on regardless. And being a sheriff for 24 years in a county of 4.2 million means that he damaged far more lives than O’Connor or Clark ever did.

Policing is not the end of the racial problems in voting in Arizona. In the state’s primary elections, huge queues deterred many voters in Phoenix and other parts of the state with large Latino populations. Those queues were caused by a huge disparity in the number of polling stations: the city of Phoenix itself (population 1.4 million, 41% Latino) had as many polling stations as the city of Flagstaff (population 70,000, 18% Latino), a twentieth of its size.

Despite these factors weighing against the Democrats in Maricopa County, for the first time in at least fifty years the county’s vote share for the Democrats exceeded the average for Arizona as a whole. The Republican county recorder, whose job it is to oversee election processes there, lost to her Democratic opponent. More importantly still, after 24 years of misrule, Arpaio lost his job to his youthful, tough-as-nails Democratic  opponent, Paul Penzone, by a ten-point margin.

So, on a bad night for the Democrats, there were glimmers of hope in Arizona. If the Democrats can build on this, and undo the results of decades of racist voter suppression, they can do well here in the future, if they put the work in.

With the Democratic losses in the Rustbelt, results in areas with Mexican Latino voters and the better than average swings in Colorado, Georgia, Florida and North Carolina suggest that the Democrats increasingly need to adopt a Sunbelt strategy to offset declines further north. Part of this is about race – minority ethnic growth in the Sunbelt makes those states increasingly Democrat – and part of it is the linked issue of urban growth. The Sunbelt has rapidly growing cities, the Rustbelt has declining ones.

But victory will not fall into their laps: the Democrats seriously need to invigorate the dynamism of Howard Dean’s Fifty State Strategy of a decade ago.

Can The Democrats Win Next Time?

Given that the Democrats actually won the popular vote and only narrowly lost in a number of swing states, it would seem that if Trump’s presidency becomes unpopular it should be relatively easy for them to prevent his re-election. But such a victory is dependent on two conditions.

1. Laying the foundations

Given that the Democrats are in a minority in the Senate, House of Representatives, governors’ mansions and state legislatures, they need to make up ground fast if they are going to have a chance in 2020.

The House is probably too gerrymandered to make a majority in the 2018 mid-term elections likely and the selection of senate races then puts the Democrats more in the position of trying to hold on to what they currently have than being able to win new seats: the six-year election cycle for the Senate means that they are defending senate seats won in their strong performances of 2006 and 2012.

2018-us-senate-races

The Democrats might want to look at gaining Nevada or Arizona, but they will have a tough fight holding on to states like North Dakota, Missouri or Indiana.

So, meaningful gains are probably going to have to come from governor and state legislature races. My experience in Arizona shows though that it is precisely those state races that will matter most if the Democrats are to triumph in 2020. The map below shows the governor races that will be fought in the next two years – the greyed out states either have governor races in 2019 (Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi) or 2020 (the rest).

201718-us-governor-races

The Democrats would hope to win New Jersey and hold Virginia next year. In New Jersey,  Chris Christie is term-limited and his administration is mired in the scandal on Bridge-gate. Virginia will need defending, as its governors cannot serve consecutive terms of office in this swing state, but they will start as favourites to hold on.

But for them to be in a position to recover the White House in 2020, they will need to be making significant gains in 2018. They need to be fighting back in those states where the 2010 Republican victories laid the foundation for Trump’s victory: Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. They also need to be looking for gains in Sunbelt states like Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada and New Mexico. Texas may be a struggle, but they need to run a strong campaign there too: the presidential results suggest that the Lone Star State should be no harder to win than Iowa or Ohio.

That sort of strategy needs the right leadership nationally. The party chair able to mobilise and energise the Democrats sufficiently to have that competitive edge across the nation was Howard Dean in Obama’s 2008 victory and the 2006 mid-term elections that preceded it. Fortunately, Dean has put his name forward for that position again. The Democrats would be well advised to pick him if they are serious about winning again.

2. Picking the right candidate

The second, of course, is picking the right candidate in 2020. We do not yet know the conditions of that election, but looking back to November and where people have stopped voting Democrat, I would suggest that such a candidate has to not look like a member of ‘the liberal elite’. That probably means that they should neither be a Washington-based politician (a senator, a congressman or indeed the outgoing Vice-President) nor from a state that might be dismissed as representing that elite, such as California or in New England. The worst possible pick would be a New England senator, such as the much-touted Elizabeth Warren.

Those two conditions rapidly narrow down the field to the handful of Democratic governors not from those states. That is a fairly short list, that becomes shorter once you rule out those that are probably not viable as candidates: Minnesota’s Mark Dayton will be 73 by the next election, West Virginia’s Jim Justice (the state’s only billionaire) is too far from the politics of the party elsewhere, America probably isn’t ready to elect the openly bisexual Kate Brown of Oregon as its president.

That leaves ten:

  • John Hickenlooper from Colorado
  • John Carney from Delaware
  • David Ige from Hawaii
  • John Bel Edwards from Louisiana
  • Steve Bullock from Montana
  • Andrew Cuomo from New York
  • Roy Cooper from North Carolina
  • Tom Wolf from Pennsylvania
  • Terry McAuliffe from Virginia
  • Jay Inslee from Washington

Carney and Cooper have only just been elected, and so it seems early to judge them – although a swing state such as North Carolina would be a very good state to be based in. As of course would Pennsylvania, although Wolf will be 71 in 2020.

Virginia is another key swing state, but unfortunately McAuliffe is too much of a Washington insider (former chair of the national Democratic National Committee, and friend of the Clintons to boot) to be viable. Hawaii might be a bit too exotic to be relatable to blue collar America.

That leaves Bullock, Cuomo, Edwards, Hickenlooper and Inslee. Of the five, I think the strongest pick might be Steve Bullock: relatively young at 50 and Montana is far from the model of the “liberal elite”. With a record of job creation and defending union rights, he might be precisely what those blue collar voters who abandoned Clinton are looking for.

The candidate might not be a governor of course, but few other politicians from outside Congress would have the stature to be a strong candidate. One might be Julian Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio and Obama’s Housing Secretary – a young, dynamic Latino who was briefly considered as Hillary Clinton’s running mate. He probably needs to run as the Democrats’ candidate for Texas governor to get the stature needed for a decent shot in the Primaries, but the strong Democrat showing among Latino voters in the Sunbelt this time suggests that he would be well-placed to inject some fresh appeal to the tarnished Democratic image.

Conclusion

So, that’s my formula for a Democratic Presidential victory in 2020: plenty of hard ground work between elections to get candidates known and to collect voting intention data; picking a Democratic National Committee chair who knows how to energise the party broadly across the states rather than narrow focusing on perceived swing states; expanding the map to include Sunbelt States like Arizona and Georgia; concentrating on governor and state level elections in the 2018 mid-term elections; picking a fresh-faced non-Washington candidate in 2020 from outside of New England like Steve Bullock or Julian Castro to have the folk-appeal of Clinton in 1992.

None of these are earth-shattering ideas, but they need the Democrats to make the right choices. It remains to be seen whether they will.
____________________________________________

* Whilst I met a number of  Jesus’s and Mr Ramirez’s in my campaigning in Arizona, I have used a pseudonym to protect the identity of the real “Jesus Ramirez”

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#1088: 2016, Leonard Cohen, You Want It Darker

December 6, 2016

It seems like years ago since I last posted a song. And, it’s true, in that time, much seems to have happened, and most of it seems to have been bad. One of the worst things has been the death of Leonard Cohen – one of the true giants, a poet, a musician, a legend, […]

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Speeding Down To Trump-ton

December 3, 2016

We are only 48 days away from the beginning of the Presidency of Donald Trump. For me the very idea still seems so absurd as to be almost conceptually impossible. How could any electorate vote for someone so singularly ill-suited for office? But as every day goes by with more freak show appointments from the […]

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#1087: 1978, Kate Bush, The Man With The Child In His Eyes

December 2, 2016

2016 really has been a godawful year in so many ways.   Perhaps the winner of the ‘worst year since the Second World War’ competition.  Politically – Brexit, Trump, the Labour Party descending into an unelectable leftist cult, the rise and rise of Marine Le Pen in France.  Artistically – the deaths of David Bowie, […]

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What does the Richmond Park By-Election tell us?

December 2, 2016

I don’t know what to make of Zach Goldsmith – man of principal or man of huge arrogant ego? A couple of years ago, I’d have given him the benefit of the doubt and plumped for the former, but, after his mindless London Mayoral campaign, I feel that perhaps Zach Goldsmith is just a poor […]

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Cine-East Film Club Presents #70: 1964, Dr Strangelove (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb) (Stanley Kubrick)

November 30, 2016

General Jack D Ripper: ‘Mandrake, have you ever seen a commie drink a glass of water?’ Group Captain Mandrake: ‘Well, no, I can’t say that I have’ Three weeks after the US Presidential election, it is still hard to come to terms with the fact that the American electorate (or at least that part of […]

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‘Taking Our Country Back’: A Day in the Life of Nigel’s Slogan

November 18, 2016

Perhaps it’s the lawyer in me, but I’m not a big fan of slogans – Making America Great Again: how? And what do you mean by ‘great’? Working Hard and Playing By the Rules – don’t even get me started on that load of nonsense. But, what is perplexing me, and has indeed perplexed me […]

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Too Much Polling Can Make You Blind

November 15, 2016

If it had happened once, then ok, maybe they could be forgiven, but in the last few years, pollsters have consistently fed us information that has at best been unhelpful, and at worst, down right wrong. The last general election was too close to call they said – no it wasn’t, the Tories won quite […]

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The rise of the Alt-Right: This is not normal

November 15, 2016

John Oliver laid into the result of the US Presidential election, on The Last Night Tonight he said, “A Klan-backed misogynist internet troll is going to be delivering the next State Of The Union address. This is not normal. It is fucked up.” Exactly. We have got to a point where major elections or referendums […]

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Lazy assumptions about Trump and Brexit voters is bigotry on the other side of the coin

November 11, 2016

One of the most disturbing themes to come out from the post Brexit and post Trump landscapes is the lazy assumption that all Brexit / Trump voters are bigots. While I don’t agree with their direction of vote, I am uncomfortable with a narrative that moves towards the demonising of all Brexit/Trump voters. Such assumptions […]

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Brexiters Voted Our Country Down

October 13, 2016

Damn us Remainers for expressing concerns based on factual evidence on the economic alarm bells ringing since the EU referendum. We now have a pound sinking faster than Donald Trump’s election prospects, inward investment flatlining, a slump in the housing market, inflation concerns, increasing retail prices and tax revenue decline concerns as a result of […]

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#1086: 2016, Kate Tempest, Europe Is Lost

October 10, 2016

Pretty good angry analysis of so much of what’s going wrong from the poet/rapper Kate Tempest. I’m usually a bit more positive but quite hard when you put it like this and with everything going on. “I can’t see an ending at all, only the end” Um…

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Post Brexit, the future is…… Australian!

September 22, 2016

G’Day Sport! Throw another snag on the barbie and open us a tinny. We had better get used to it, because the future of Britain is no longer dependent upon our relations with Europe, but, according to the Government and the Brexiters, Australia. Yep, fear not – the fact that the EU is showing no […]

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It is getting scary now – Donald Trump might win

September 15, 2016

2016 is proving to be a shit year. Our iconic celebrities are dying, the Tories have no real opposition and don’t even get me started on Brexit. There is enough shit news out there at present but potentially even worse is to follow. I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but Donald […]

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#1085: 2016, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Skeleton Tree

September 15, 2016

When Nick Cave’s 15 year old son Arthur died of head injuries after falling from a cliff last July, a parent’s greatest fear and worst nightmare became so horribly real for him. After a period of private mourning, Cave has now released a breathtakingly beautiful, grief-strewn album about the tragic loss of his son. A […]

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The boundary changes aren’t just about party politics

September 15, 2016

If we’ve learned one vital from the Brexit debate, it’s that the people of the UK are profoundly underwhelmed by our democracy – the prevailing feeling from the doorstep was that not only did people have little confidence in Europe, but, but they didn’t have a great deal of confidence in Westminster either. People felt […]

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Northern Ireland Boundary Proposals: Good News For Sinn Fein?

September 12, 2016

Tuesday sees the Boundary Commissions for England and Wales publish their draft recommendations for the Parliamentary constituency boundaries for the next general election. But as a taster, Norther Ireland’s commission published their draft recommendations a week earlier. These appear to offer good news for Sinn Fein, less good news for the Ulster Unionist Party and […]

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Back Of The Net Special With Ray North – The Legendary Pre-Season Preview

August 17, 2016

Ok – it’s a week late, but I’ve been on holiday, and there’s been the Olympics and, well, you know, life gets in the way. But, I’ve now got five minutes to spare and can share my thoughts on what I think will be the most interesting football season, since, well, since the last one. […]

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…..Meanwhile, back at Lib-Dem Headquarters…….

August 15, 2016

Everything should be going really well…. shouldn’t it? Er no. Despite the fact that the Labour Party is in absolute disarray, the Tories have conducted a swift, but bloody civil war, and half the nation (well almost) has decided that it is in favour of Europe, the Lib-Dems are still struggling. Opinion Polls last week, […]

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#1084: 1980, Grace Jones, Private Life

August 10, 2016

There are great albums and then there are very good albums. For me, truly great albums are a pantheon of about 50 or so and few artists record more than one. For example, taking The Beatles, Revolver, Abbey Road and Sergeant Pepper are great albums whilst Help, Rubber Soul and The White Album are very […]

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The Republicans Can’t Dump Trump

August 8, 2016

As Donald Trump’s chances of becoming the 45th President of the United States have plummeted over the last ten days (13 points behind Hillary Clinton among likely voters in the latest Monmouth University poll released today) there has been growing speculation that the Republican Party might need a Plan B to stay in the running. […]

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#1083: 2009, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Home

July 25, 2016

We had a couple of days of sunshine up here – which was strange as it was July, school holidays and up here, is North Wales where things don’t tend to get sunny. What was even stranger was that the sunshine co-incided with me having a few hours off work – so, I decided to […]

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Jeremy Corbyn and the Cult of Personality

July 25, 2016

Battle is joined. After Angela Eagle had the balls to step up and challenge Corbyn for the Labour leadership and then nobly stood aside for Owen Smith so there was a unity challenger, we now have maybe the last chance to save the Labour Party as a coherent political force. Something that after Brexit and […]

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Cine-East Film Club Presents #69: 1971, Wake In Fright (Ted Kotcheff)

July 23, 2016

John Grant: ‘What do you do?’ Doc Tydon: ‘I drink’ The title is misleading. This is not a horror movie. Well  maybe it is in a way, but it is certainly not a horror movie in a traditional sense. There isn’t actually a bad character in it, let alone an evil one. Pretty much every […]

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#1082: 1977, Suicide, Ghost Rider

July 23, 2016

Last week saw the sad death of Alan Vega, the lead singer of New York electronic punk act, Suicide, who have so far never had a song in Songs To Learn and Sing. With their minimalistic electronic sounds and repetitive drum machine backing, Suicide were in their way almost as influential as Kraftwerk. Famous for […]

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Euro 2016: Well done Wales and why England are so woeful….

July 18, 2016

Let’s take some brief morsel of respite from our increasingly bizarre world and consider the recent European Football Championships. I predicted before the competition that the last four would comprise of Poland, Italy, Germany and France – I got two right, but the Poles and Italians, who both looked good in the group stage, perished […]

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Will You Be My Running Mate?

July 14, 2016

To take my mind off the car crash that is British politics, and the Labour Party in particular, I am having a look at the key decision that both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will be taking over the next eight days on the eve of the two parties’ conventions: who will stand to be […]

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Does Jeremy Corbyn Need the Support of 51 MPs to be on the Leadership Ballot?

July 11, 2016

By the end of Wednesday we will have a new Prime Minister, as Theresa May succeeds David Cameron, without challenge. The Tories will to power is once again triumphant – they made the mistake once in 2001, choosing IDS over Ken Clarke – we know now that they won’t make it again. Andrea Leadsom will […]

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I was wrong about Jeremy….

July 11, 2016

This time last year, I embarked upon a short-lived and rather embarrassing Summer romance. I was tired with my relationship, bored with doing the usual things and listening to the same old stories; I wanted something new and exciting, I wanted something different. I wanted that button popping passion that comes an illicit and dangerous […]

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