Wednesday, 13 February 2008
Say it with flowers
All the above pictures taken yesterday (Tuesday) by my friend Paul. Thank you.
The last six days have been absolutely glorious and I have been stuck in our bedroom with my foot up! What I see of Lenton Recreation Ground from the bedroom window is a joy to behold. I have the outlook of a lord when it comes to the park. I see life, trees, grass, kids playing, dog walkers, shoppers and, today, a group of young women having a lunchtime picnic. The trouble is I can't get out there to take any pictures which capture these moments of delight and pleasure. For me, the above pictures say it all. Lenton Recreation Ground is looking great and will get better by the day, so come on down and have a walk in the park.
Today is the 1st anniversary of my starting this blog and this is my 101st posting, so I managed exactly 100 postings in my first year. There are those in the media who are sniffy about blogs and bloggers and see us as sad people who are so self absorbed that we don't notice that the world doesn't care about what we do or say.
Having been encouraged by my friend Rosie to start my blog after she told me she had been blogging for a couple of years, I have to say I have enjoyed it. I take pleasure in knowing that I have a few regular readers and that I am part of a small community of bloggers who promote local parks and open spaces as part of a wider, more radical, social and political agenda. After one year see myself as a park blogger for life.
Last night I missed a very important meeting of the Dunkirk and Lenton Branch Labour Party (BLP) because of my foot. It was a meeting to nominate a potential prospective parliamentary candidate (PPC) to replace Alan Simpson, our sitting Labour MP for Nottingham South. When Alan announced that he was going to stand down, the Constituency Labour Party's (CLP) General Committee (GC) decided it would like an all-female shortlist to select its new PPC. This was also the view of the national Labour Party. The nomination and shortlisting procedures adopted by the Party mean that if a BLP nominates a white woman for possible shortlisting it has to nominate a woman from an ethnic minority group as well. The same rule will apply at the GC meeting next week to decide who goes forward to the actual PPC selection meeting next month.
Last night saw my own BLP and Bridge Ward BLP, with whom we normally hold joint meetings, having separate meetings to nominate potential PPCs. Much to my pleasure and relief both BLPs nominated Christine Shawcroft as one of their choices. Christine is the only openly socialist would-be PPC who is described as 'left-wing' by her critics. In truth she occupies the same political turf as me and others. She is against renewing Trident and nuclear power stations. She is for public service and ownership when it comes to health, education, transport and utilities. She is against our involvement in the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq. She would continue Alan's work as a green MP and a champion of the poor and the elderly and much more besides. What is so unreasonable or threatening about her political stance that makes others fear and oppose her?
There are eight BLPs in the Nottingham South CLP and three have so far nominated Christine (Wollaton West BLP has also nominated her). She is also ahead in the 'popular' vote. Tonight (Wednesday) sees the final BLP nomination meeting in the adjoining Radford and Park ward. Whatever happens, Christine should have done more than enough to secure her shortlisting by the CLP-GC next week, so that she can go through to the selection meeting in March which will be open to all members. Given that six women has so far secured nominations I take the view that they should all be shortlisted and I know that others share this view. Anything less will smack of manipulation and can only be divisive. I won't be at the shortlisting meeting because of my foot, so I can only hope that good grace and commonsense will see all those would-be candidates with nominations through to the final stage.
What we have all known for ever is now official: The cost of living rises faster the poorer you are — the very people the government taxes the most (as a proportion of their income) and then gives below inflation wage and benefit increases to. This news comes on the same day as the government scraps plans for charging super-rich foreigners a flat £30,000 tax to stay in Britain. Now the super-rich will continue to live in Britain tax free.