Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Articles

MI5, E.P. Thompson & the Freeborn Englishman

In Uncategorized on September 28, 2016 by kmflett

28th September

epteu2

The London Socialist Historians Group, which organises the socialist history seminar at the Institute of Historical Research in central London has said that the Home Secretary should apologise to the family of the late historian E.P. Thompson for intercepting his mail in the period 1943-1963 and possibly afterwards.

Some MI5 files on Thompson are now open at the Public Record Office. They cover the period from 1943 when he was in the British Army fighting fascism to 1963 when his landmark book the Making of the English Working Class was published.

Thompson was a member of the Communist Party- a legal political party- but famously walked out with others in 1956 after Krushchev revealed details of Stalin’s crimes.

The historians say that there can be no excuse for MI5’s bugging of Thompson. It is clear from the released documents that they were interested in him not as a Communist activist-which he was in Yorkshire until 1956- but as a member of the Communist Party Historians Group, which produced some of the most well known British focused history of the post-1945 era. Further even after Thompson had quit the CP the surveillance appears to have continued.

LSHG Convenor Keith Flett said, the irony is that certainly during the 1950s the MI5 surveillance covered the period when Thompson was working on the Making of the English Working Class. One of the most well known parts of the book is the chapter on the Freeborn Englishman on how popular democratic rights against overbearing authority were established in the UK. The Home Secretary should publicly apologise to Thompson’s family.

Guardian report

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/sep/28/historian-ep-thompson-denounced-communist-party-chiefs-files-show

Articles

The Ambridge Socialist: Is Titchener set for England football manager’s job?

In Uncategorized on September 28, 2016 by kmflett

The Ambridge Socialist

28th September CONTACT KEITH FLETT 07803 167266

The real Borsetshire Echo: 65 years of class struggle in Ambridge

Is Titchener set for England football manager’s job?

titchenerup

Rob Titchener is set to take up an estate management role in Ambridge working for Justin Elliott in the new few weeks. Apparently the job pays well but clearly nothing like the 3M that the position of England football manager can attract.

On the face of it Titchener is not best suited to the role. He is a lurking presence in Ambridge cricket club and is keen on hunting with hounds. He has no obvious football experience.

Yet we need to go beyond the superficial here.

Titchener is a controlling and dictatorial individual who is determined to get his own way, come what may. He could be just the man to shape and mould the reportedly somewhat wayward ‘stars’ of the England football team into match readiness.

Ambridge Socialist Editor Keith Flett said, it’s true that Titchener does have a few skeletons in his cupboard but the good news is that absolutely none of them are anything to do with football. He is the ideal candidate for England manager.

 

Articles

Campaigners say Labour could win Beard Friendly Conference vote as veteran Flynn gets ovation

In Uncategorized on September 27, 2016 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front

press release                                                  27th September

Contact keith flett                                            07803 167266

_____________________________________________________

Campaigners say Labour could win Beard Friendly Conference vote as veteran Flynn gets ovation

flynn3

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that with a standing ovation for hirsute veteran and Newport MP Paul Flynn at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool it could be on course to win the coveted Beard Friendly Party conference poll

The LIbDem conference in Brighton saw seen a significant upsurge in hirsute attenders, although this was not reflected in platform speakers.

The LibDems are the traditional party of beard and sandal wearers and their conference last won the  Beard Friendly title as recently as 2014

The BLF has observers watching each of the main conferences, LibDems in Brighton, Labour in Liverpool and the Tories in Birmingham with the winner announced on October 5th the final day of the Tory conference.

A stiff challenge for the title is coming from Labour with its first bearded leader since 1908 set to make a keynote speech in Liverpool.

There is an on-line poll which closes on 4th October

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said, Paul Flynn is a regular feature of the Beard of Wales poll and his beard has added gravitas and presence to Parliament for many years. His standing ovation in Liverpool suggests that the conference is focused on beard friendly

Recent winners of the Beard Friendly Party Conference

2013 Liberal Democrats

2014: Liberal Democrats

2015 Labour

Articles

Labour Party membership from Wilson to Blair & Corbyn

In Uncategorized on September 27, 2016 by kmflett

labour

After Jeremy Corbyn’s re-election as Labour leader on 24th September it was suggested on social media that 15,000 people had joined the Labour Party that day. The LibDems by contrast claimed that 300 members of the Labour Party had left to join them.

Membership of political parties- voluntary organisations after all- fluctuates. People move, lose touch, sadly die and so on.

Time allowing I will post a bit more about who Labour members are and who Labour aims to appeal based in part of Gareth Stedman Jones 1982 essay, Why is the Labour Party in a Mess?

Below are some figures (source House of Commons Library) on Labour membership.

We can see that when Harold Wilson was elected PM in 1964 membership was 830,000. However at that time CLPs had to affiliate at least a 1,000 members whatever the actual number.

When Blair was elected in 1997 the figure (now based on actual numbers) was 405,000. By the time Gordon Brown lost in 2010 it was 193,000.

The Labour Party’s own assessment today is that it has over 500,000 members, affiliates and supporters noting that under Ed Miliband’s leadership the membership structure was reconfigured again.

1964 830,000

1970 680,000

1974 692,000

1979 660,000

1980 348,000 (change in counting to actuals)

1992 280,000

1997 405,000

2001 272,000

2005 198,000

2010 193,000

Articles

Haringey TUC: After Jeremy Corbyn’s victory:protest & survive

In Uncategorized on September 26, 2016 by kmflett

corbynsep24

 

I dont usually post Haringey TUC comms to delegates here but momentous times require a change of tone and pace. Do be active if you can.

Keith Flett, Haringey TUC, Secretary

Dear Colleague

The renewed mandate for Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader will be welcomed by the vast majority of trade unionists in Haringey. Jeremy started his political career in Haringey in the 1970s and has always been a good friend of the Trades Council.

In his victory speech he called for a national day of action on education on Saturday and if I get further details on local activity I will circulate these.

In the meantime a reminder on the coach to the Midlands TUC and Peoples Assembly anti-austerity protest in Birmingham on Sunday. What better way to celebrate Jeremy’s victory than with a protest?

Finally on Thursday London Met University UCU (Holloway Rd) are striking over the victimisation of their branch officers and mass redundancies. If you can support in any way please do. Details are here:

https://uculondonmet.wordpress.com/

regards

Keith Flett, Secretary

07803 167266

Haringey TUC has organised a coach for protesters to join the national demonstration at the Tory Party conference in Birmingham.

We will be holding a mass protest at Theresa May’s first Tory conference as prime minister, calling for an end to austerity.
We face insecure employment, low pay, and a drive to privatise public services.
There is a growing housing crisis, our NHS faces its biggest ever funding squeeze and our children’s education is being set back 50 years.
We demand investment in public services, in infrastructure, and in decent jobs for all – and an end to the scapegoating which divides our communities and whips up racism.
The protest comes a week after the end of the Labour leadership contest, the perfect opportunity to unite against our common foe, the Tory government.
Austerity has failed – Tories must go!
National demonstration at the Tory Party conference
Called by West Midlands TUC and the People’s Assembly
 
Sunday 2 October
Coach from North London to Birmingham
  • 8.00am:Leaves Islington Town Hall, Upper Street N1 1XF
  • 8.30am:Leaves Tottenham Town Hall, Town Hall Approach Rd N15 4RY
The coach will return in the evening.
Tickets available from Jenny Sutton on 07707 011374 or reply to this email.
  • Employed £10
  • Unwaged £5
Many thanks to the following for donations to help us keep ticket prices low: Islington Trades Council, Islington NUT, CONEL UCU and City & Islington UCU.

Articles

Campaigners say Corbyn re-election could see beards bristle at Labour Conference

In Uncategorized on September 25, 2016 by kmflett

 

Beard Liberation Front

press release                                                  26th September

Contact keith flett                                            07803 167266

_____________________________________________________

Campaigners say Corbyn re-election could see beards bristle at Labour Conference

corbynsep24

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that with the re-election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader on Saturday beards could bristle at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool.

With the Party Conference season underway the battle has been well and truly joined in the poll for the ‘Most Beard Friendly Party Conference’.

The LIbDem conference in Brighton saw seen a significant upsurge in hirsute attenders, although this was not reflected in platform speakers.

The LibDems are the traditional party of beard and sandal wearers and their conference last won the  Beard Friendly title as recently as 2014

The BLF has observers watching each of the main conferences, LibDems in Brighton, Labour in Liverpool and the Tories in Birmingham with the winner announced on October 5th the final day of the Tory conference.

A stiff challenge for the title is expected from Labour with its first bearded leader since 1908 set to make a keynote speech in Liverpool.

There is an on-line poll which closes on 4th October

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said, we’re looking for a decline in clean shaven suit wearers at the Labour Conference and a consequent rise in a diverse conference audience, including of course beards.

Recent winners of the Beard Friendly Party Conference

 

2013 Liberal Democrats

2014: Liberal Democrats

2015 Labour

Articles

The Ambridge Socialist poll: Titchener- should he stay or should he go?

In Uncategorized on September 25, 2016 by kmflett

The Ambridge Socialist

25th September

Where is Titchener Going?

ammap

Rob Titchener has been given notice to quit Blossom Hill Cottage.

Property in Ambridge- rented or otherwise- is in short supply. However Titchener has expressed a clear intent to continue to lurk in the village.

We ask: should he stay, or should he go?