Find myself on a train heading for Aberystwyth, where I went to University. Happy days.
Big Blog Topics
Here are the club’s tournament charts in full, showing all the members who have paid their subscriptions and played their games before Sue Chadwick, aka Stalin Chadwick, edited them. I’ve been asked by various members of the club for a copy of the charts as of the date before the airbrushing began, so here they are. Curious that you can see the whole chart here but not on the club’s website. There are some games missing, for example I beat Sue Chadwick in the Eric Cohen Cup. Click on the tournament chart to see it enlarged.
I’ve left the Club Championship off, I know. It’s up to Andrew Caswill to report these results to the English Chess Federation. I hope you reported mine properly Andrew? I will check… … as for you Stalin, what did you hope to achieve by gathering all the little jobs in your hands? President, secretary, webmaster, club historian… airbrushing people out of the club’s history is a bit pathetic… and not a very good advert for the club – who wants to help a club that might take your money, has you play your games and then kicks you out of the club’s history without explanation or a refund? Sadly, chess clubs get the Presidents they deserve. Luckily Sue only runs a chess club. Imagine if she took politics seriously!
My Mum & I were walking past Preston Circus fire station, past a picket line of striking fire fighters. I knew they were on strike from the news. They cheerfully rattled their collecting buckets. My Mum stopped, opened her purse and donated £5m, which seemed to me to be an enormous sum. Certainly it was far bigger than anything she had publicly donated to charity. Quietly and quickly she folded it and slipped it the slot of a collecting tin and then dragged me on down the street. I asked why she had given the strikers money. Although her reply is now forgotten, her reasons were clear.
Public sector workers deserve our support. As with the military, there has long been an unspoken covenant between them and us. We have always rewarded their career in public service with a reasonable deal in retirement, by way of a pension. Now the thieving Tory bastards want to change that, by raiding the public service pension funds. None of these people have ever been in the running for any of the jobs in question; that inexperience goes some way to explaining their fumbling attempts to grapple with the situation. Using Vince Cable to threaten us was unwise. Imagining they are as strong as the Thatcher government would be foolhardy. Plainly they are not. They couldn’t even swing a majority.
Cameron caves in each week over something. Some weeks it is a minor issue, some bigger. The right-wing of his faction slaver for the blood of the Liberals freshly slaughtered at an election. The thieving Tory bastards have a much bigger problem to contend with. This looms over everything they do in public but is never mentioned. They have a recruitment crisis. The thieving Tory bastard who recently had the good grace to die at Glastonbury, Christoper Shale, neatly summed it up: “To many potential members the idea of Tory party social activity is at best rather a threat than promise, at worst a perfect oxymoron.” The average age of their local associations is probably unknown but is thought to be over 60. Tim Montgomerie, of the ConservativeHome website said, “there is no real benefit in being a party member.”
That is the nub. Traditionally, people joined the Labour Party because they wanted to engineer social change. Nowadays, these people are rejoining the Labour Party or joining the Green Party. The Liberal Democrats are closed for new members and also don’t want any more votes for a generation – Clegg’s position on that is clear. However, people joined the local Conservative Associations for personal gain. Trouble is, there hasn’t been any personal gain in being associated with the nasty party for quite some time. Daughters were sent along to meet husbands, sons to meet wives. The New Labour Project has successfully wrecked the Conservative Associations by refashioning them into the modern political equivalent of the Freemasons. No-one wants to be publicly associated with them.
If we truly lived in a TV democracy, their lack of young members might not matter but we don’t. Political parties still need people to go and ‘knock up the vote’ on election day. They need people, physically. Without any youthful energy, they just won’t be able to get to enough doorbells. Their presence will not be felt. They may be able to win an election but only just. The longer this situation goes on for, the worse it will become. It won’t fix itself. The older and older the average age of the conservative associations becomes, the less chance their is of them being able to recruit younger people. This withering process has been in motion for some considerable time. It began under Thatcher. Cameron was popular with the massed ranks of the blue rinse brigade at the conference of the conservative associations because to them he looked like the sort of boy you’d like your daughter to bring home. Unfortunately, this is a rather different sort of animal from the man you’d want to run the country. The rest of us can see the difference easily but they are now socially blinkered.
This tunnel vision hampers their judgment. In the winter of discontent, my Mum was on the losing side but only just. The Tatcher government was rocked but a convenient war over some previously unheard of islands came to the rescue. There isn’t going to be a face saving war for Cameron. The battle against Gadaffi doesn’t count because the French started it. His government will limp on from one crisis to another. The next one is on Thursday, when the public service rebels in one massive strike.
Just woke up at 5:00am with the cramps. Gotta get a bed that’s off the floor. The floor don’t cause the cramps but it’s too hard to get off it when you’ve got them.
The kids have stopped talking about sport shock horror. The year is 1988. This is the most successful toy. There are two categories of games: sport and adventure. Innocent days…
It’s easy to make glib statements immediately after winning power. Witness Thatcher misquoting St Francis of Assisi on the steps of 10 Downing Street in 1979:
Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope.
Looking back, it did rather seem that she reveled in discord, disliked harmony, denied the truth and brought only despair. That is why there is an entire generation which will never vote for the thieving Tory bastards.
Bill Randall isn’t in the same league as Thatcher, let alone St Francis. Unlike the former he means what he says and, unlike the latter, he isn’t preaching to the birds. His first statement as leader of Brighton & Hove City council set out plans to reduce the city’s eco footprint and set up a ‘biosphere reserve’ with neighbouring authorities – both plans backed by the business community and other public bodies. Other initiatives include local carbon budgets, which run alongside financial budgets, as well as plans to fit solar panels on schools and other public buildings to take advantage of feed-in tariffs and increase the use of renewable energy.
While admitting that tackling equality will not be easy because of the public spending cuts, he said the first priority will be to protect services for children, vulnerable adults and those on low incomes Other initiatives include introducing a ‘living wage’ and ensuring that the highest paid council officer earns no more than 10 times the lowest paid officer. Involving communities is a high priority with plans being piloted to introduce neighbourhood councils with their own budgets and working closely with the city’s vibrant third sector and trade unions.
Since winning power in May, the Green Brighton & Hove City Council has reversed the closure of the Brighton Start nursery, started a scheme to put solar panels on the roofs of all council buildings and promoted National Recycling Week by sending Councillor Pete West (Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainability) out with the refuse and recycling collection crews.
The local thieving Tory bastards have lashed out at the Green Party victory with predictable poor quality politics. Their first attack concerned the specific group of the homeless, known as the travellers. The Green Party made a positive announcement despite the prejudiced scaremongering, including one thieving Tory bastard ward councillor ‘redirecting travellers to Green wards’ and the Kemptown MP instigating an ill-informed parliamentary debate linking travellers to ‘party houses’ and protests. Cabinet Member Pete West went on the radio to defend the Green policy of facilitating travellers’ presence rather than merely evicting them. He also publically confirmed the ongoing search for a permanent site, the introduction of ‘Good Neighbourhood Compacts’, and the possibility of allowing travellers to stay on temporary sites on council-owned land.
Caroline Lucas’ work this week has been dominated by being on the Committee scrutinizing the Energy Bill. One of the Bill’s main proposals is for a Green Deal to promote energy efficiency. Caroline has submitted a number of amendments to strengthen the Bill, including calling for household energy saving initiatives to deliver emissions reductions commensurate with a 90% cut in greenhouse gas reductions by 2030; to introduce minimum energy efficiency standards in private rented sector and a clear timetable for having only most energy efficiency projects on market by 2030; and to impose a moratorium on off shore oil drilling in the Arctic Circle and other sensitive environments.
In the constituency, Caroline Lucas MP spoke to Brighton and Hove PCT’s clinical network on harm reduction and used the opportunity to launch a debate on drugs policy, following the Global Commission on Drug Policy. She announced that reducing drugs related deaths is one of her priorities. Having the backing of Graham Bartlett of Sussex Police has proved invaluable and coverage of the news in The Argus (The Evening Anus), for example, has been very positive. She will be working closely with Councillor Ben Duncan as well as health officials, the police and practitioners to take this forward – starting with a round table in September.
Plans for a £2.8 million overhaul of The Level are going ahead, after 3,300 residents participated in a consultation. It has long been said that The Level is the most dangerous place in Brighton. Whether this is true or not, I do not know but I have seen (and intervened in) a number of attacks over the years there. My good friend Charles used to have a little nap there on his walk home from a pub in the town centre. I wouldn’t recommend that.
Green Party councillors have been involved in and raised a number of issues, including:
There have been a number of major council meetings, including Adult Social Care & Health Cabinet Member Meeting, Housing Management Consultative Committee, Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Licensing Committee. Members have been kept busy with ward casework requests, and are getting on with chairing/attending Local Action Teams, community group meetings and meeting residents.
In addition, various Green Party councillors have attended:
Following her election to Westminster of the Green Party’s first MP, Caroline Kucas resigned her seat in the European Parliament. That left her European seat vacant. Unlike Westminster, vacancies are not tolerated in Europe. The system allows for the next most successful candidate from a party list to be elevated. Thus Kieth Taylor got elected to the European Parliament on behalf of the Green Party in May 2010.
Although he hasn’t had long in post, Mr Taylor has busied himself. He’s met campaigners in Southampton who are protesting against a 20 acre biomass power station, which is intended to have a 100 metre high chimney just 125 metres from local homes. He’s called for the withdrawal of foreign military forces from Afghanistan, whilst on an official visit to that war-torn land. He’s written to all the UK supermarkets to demand better conditions for pigs on UK farms. He’s petitioned against the European Commission’s decision to give Twinings tea company regeneration funding in Poland while the company is making workers in Hampshire redundant. To promote ecologically sustainable tourism, he recently visited businesses on the Isle of Wight. He supports campaigns in Kent, Sussex and Berkshire calling for 20mph speed limits in residential areas; recently he tabled amendments to the European Parliament Tranport and Tourism committee report on road safety. Britain has the highest road kill rate in Europe. Earlier in the year he hosted at which he called for detailed and extensive risk assessments of new and existing pesticides and research into their impacts on bees. He’s held ‘Fair Fares Now’ protests outside train stations in Brighton, Lewes and Medway. He’s supported campaigners opposing the expansion of Lydd airport near Dungeness in Kent, one of the most sensitive wildlife habitats in the UK and visited the site of the UK’s first community owned solar power station.