The United Kingdom is a tolerant, open and ambitious country

Despite what left wing organisations such as the Labour Party , the Marxist organisation known as “black lives matters”, the criminal-damage-creating members of “extinction rebellion”, and other snowflakes who take great exaggerated offence at any remarks of anyone they disagree with, I believe our country is a place of tolerance and freedom. Even the BBC with the furore over the possible removal of patriotic songs at The Last Night of the Proms, now has to be grouped directly into this group of out-of-touch organisations.

In July, some of the London Olympics 2012 was repeated on the BBC (national events is about all that the BBC is good at) and (along with the Paralympics that year which was broadcast on C4), 2012 demonstrated the best of our country and “Inspired a Generation”, as Lord Coe promised.

It brought together people of all different ethnic and social backgrounds in harmony and with a sense of national pride which brought together the whole country, in our common desire for our participants to succeed.

British participants , like all nations that summer, were not judged by their ethnic origin or where they come from, but their ambition. When they won, we cheered. We celebrated some nations sending female contenders for the very first time.

The opening ceremony celebrated British history and the image of the statue of Churchill saluting Her Majesty in her helicopter ride to the Stadium with James Bond is not diminished by those people who don’t understand who Winston was and his strength of character and how he helped us win the War.

Her Majesty the Queen showed her sense of humour in this unique portrayal before she apparently parachuted into the stadium.

At the time, not even Captain Hindsight’s predecessor Red Ed Miliband, talked the Olympic effort down (despite him spending the previous 2 years talking down the economy).

But Labour members have spent the last 5 years turning their organisation into a student protest lobby, since the bearded Comrade Corbyn turned it into an anti British laughing stock which is beyond repair. The current leader is incapable of reversing this trend as a large portion of the membership seems to consist of a mindset which remains thoroughly anti British. The leader himself, Sir Sneer, tried to stop Brexit because he doesn’t understand British thinking. Why on earth did the bearded one appoint someone who didn’t believe in his shadow portfolio to be Labour’s chief spokesman?  And we all know about Lady Nugee’s distaste of national pride.

However, outside the metropolitan North London bubble elite, the real people of this country retain those values demonstrated so eagerly in 2012. The negative impression Labour and their media outlets known as the BBC’S Laura Kuensberg (who had to be security protected at Labour’s Conference because they hate her so much), Robert know-it-all Peston and Beth droaning-moaning Rigby bears little resemblance to reality.

The Conservatives under Boris Johnson were re-elected last year because we share those values of national pride and tolerance and celebrate our pride in our Wartime leader and our real Bristish values.

It’s time for Boris Johnson and the Government to swat away the left wing cynicism, bash down the awful TV journalists in their endless attacks and say to the Left: We Won The Election. You do not represent the majority.

I don’t pretend everything is perfect and yes, many do suffer from discrimination and unfair behaviour. But the country has NOT turned into some loony rascist country since 2012. We are one of the most diverse countries in the world and welcoming to people who wish to contribute.

Lefties and so-called liberals launch protest groups , launch tirades on twitter and march on Parliament Square if they don’t like something (whatever it is this week).

People of small c conservative thinking , don’t try to shove their dislikes down other people’s throats so visibly. Instead we might write a letter to the paper or switch off the TV and do something else. We are the silent majority.


Why does the Left now hate the working class?

The short answer is that the “little people” have developed minds of their own. Brexit is a great example, where long-term Labour-supporting families voted Leave in the referendum and supported that result through two subsequent general elections. It is easy to forget that Corbyn, as a backbencher from 1983-2015, was a fervent and vociferous Leaver, only to become a prisoner of Sir Sneer‘s Remoaniac faction. This faction includes Lady Nugee (above, who doesn’t use her title), who sneered at a white van driver in Kent, flying a cross of St. George (left). Patriotism, like the desire to run one’s own country, is so infra dig to Her Ladyship and her ilk. However, Labour still claim to “own” manual workers as they do visible ethnic minorities (which must be news to our Chancellor, Home Secretary, Business Secretary and Attorney General, inter alia) and gay people.

As a result of their arrogance, December’s general election was Labour’s worst since 1935 and they haven’t won an overall majority or even been the largest party since 2005. Last month, we reminded you that the Liberals’ last overall majority win was in 1906, twice being the largest party in 1910, by two and one, before retaining the premiership via the wartime coalition and the Liberal tail continuing to wag the Conservative dog for four years.

Is Labour heading the same way? Was Blair the new Henry Campbell-Bannerman (left)? Does that make Captain Hindsight (below) the new Lloyd George?

Tom’s Statement on the BBC Licence Fee

Like many, I’ve had concerns about the BBC for a number of years now. The coverage of Brexit and last year’s General Election are just some of the high-profile examples of where the Corporation’s output has fallen below the standards the public expect from their national broadcaster.

However, I’ve always stopped short of joining others in calling into question the future of the licence fee. For me growing up, the BBC represented a unique part of our national identity and the role it played in our country’s life always gave me an emotional connection which I wouldn’t have with any other broadcaster.

I also recognised that the BBC has come in for criticism from both Conservatives and those on the radical Left over the years so perhaps the BBC was getting somewhere near the middle ground.

This has been my view on balance until the last few months where the BBC’s coverage and the actions of many of its publicly funded executives and journalists have unfortunately become completely out of control; leading me to reflect seriously on whether the licence fee continues to be justified.

Last week I sought the views of my constituents by setting up an online poll, asking people whether the licence fee should be abolished.

In total 4773 people took part and 97% were in favour of doing away with the licence fee. I asked people to enter their postcodes so I knew which responses came from constituents. The results were just as clear. Over 870 Ipswich residents voted with 90% in favour of abolishing it.

I understand this isn’t a scientific poll and that there is no perfect way to capture the views of everyone in Ipswich. I also know some will be disappointed they didn’t know the poll was up. Nevertheless, I do think the feedback provides a window to where many local people stand and how considerable their concerns are.

It’s with great reluctance that I now have to say I’ve reached the same conclusion as them on the licence fee. I’m reluctant because I do think in principal having a national broadcaster can be a public good. But the negative direction the BBC is heading in has only accelerated over recent months and I don’t believe the Corporation can ever get back to a position where my concerns will be alleviated.

This hasn’t come from a lack of warning from those of us who continued to hold out hope that the BBC could change course for the better. In June I spoke in Parliament about the important role local BBC services like Radio Suffolk and Look East play in our local democracy. And how plans to cut funding for popular regional news broadcasting would only heighten the sense among people in the country that senior executives at the BBC are out of touch with their audience and determined to take the Corporation on an ever more London-centric trajectory.

At time when the BBC should be further localising its services and looking beyond the M25 it seems to be going in the other direction.

Add to this the BBC’s decision to remove free TV licences for most over-75s and it becomes clearer how seemingly at every turn the BBC’s leadership makes bad situations worse.

This has been a bitter pill to swallow for many of my older constituents who have told me they’ll struggle to pay for a service which has anyway become completely detached from mainstream public opinion.

While the BBC has been making plans to cut back what makes the licence fee stomachable, it’s been chipping away at many of our most cherished cultural institutions. And has been played like a fiddle by woke Leftists who have demonstrated their determination to radically change the character of this country.

This has now reached an unbearable crescendo with the farce over the Last Night of the Proms. The reports of plans to expunge ‘Rule Britannia!’ and ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ entirely and then the BBC’s announcement they would be played without their lyrics, represent an assault on one of the most important nights in our cultural calendar.

This decision has been taken under the cover of Covid-19 with no concert audience there to disappoint directly. And the messaging that dropping the lyrics is a one-off this year is ridiculous as the words to other songs will still be sung.

This condescending and judgemental censorship follows the mass removal of past episodes of British comedy programmes like Fawlty Towers and Little Britain. I wrote extensively earlier this year about how this politically correct attack on our sense of humour is not what the vast majority of tax and licence fee payers pay the large salaries of BBC executives to do.

We don’t fund these executives at our supposedly politically neutral national broadcaster for their views on politics, but increasingly this seems to be what guides what they say and do.

Many will have read the disgraceful comments by the Executive Producer of the BBC’s Songs of Praise programme likening the singing of Rule Britannia to Nazis singing about gas chambers because of the slave trade.

In her rush to apologise for the history of this country, she must have forgotten the blood and treasure the Royal Navy spent in abolishing the appalling Atlantic slave trade and how we can be proud of that today.

This is by far not the only abject failure of impartiality by those paid well to keep their biases in check. The article on exam results by Newsnight’s policy editor, Lewis Goodall, which took the front page of the left-wing New Statesman magazine last week, didn’t even pay lip service to the principle of impartiality in its hostile and partisan attacks on the Government.

By all means people should criticise the Government whenever they feel it’s appropriate but too many times journalists at the publicly funded BBC have taken advantage of the special and privileged role they hold and forgotten the responsibilities that come with it.

In other words, if Lewis Goodall wants to make a living out of launching political attacks on the Government I’m sure he can find a well paid job at The Guardian or the New Stateman but I’ll be dammed if I’m going to be silent whilst both I and my constituents contribute towards his publicly funded salary at the BBC.

This bias now also frequently seeps into the BBC’s own news coverage. People won’t so readily forget the Newsnight programme at the height of concerns about PPE which presented the views of five doctors and nurses critical of the Government who all later turned out to be long-standing Labour Party activists or supporters. Or the time when even the BBC felt it had to rebuke journalist Emily Maitlis for her completely one-sided television monologue on Dominic Cumming’s decision to go to Durham (something that I myself expressed concerns with at the time, but that is beside the point).

It’s given me no pleasure at all to go on this journey with the BBC and I’m sad it’s got to the point where I can no longer look my constituents in the eye and justify them paying the licence fee if they don’t want to.

But the BBC has continued its long, and now irreparable, march away from its audience. Not the other way around. The woke, metropolitan and censorious worldview that the BBC is offering no longer interests vast swathes of people up and down the country, many of which have become frustrated at being obliged to pay for content they don’t want, cuts to content they do want and an organisation which fundamentally doesn’t represent them and doesn’t even look like it wants to.

Sometimes it seems as though the BBC exists in its own parallel universe and even if it wanted to change, I believe it would be unable to do so. Outgoing BBC Director-General Tony Hall stated last week that post-Brexit the BBC has a unique responsibility to promote our country’s “voice and values”, sadly, I’m not sure whether the BBC leadership even know what these values are and I can’t think of a group of people less suited to taking on such a pivotal ambassadorial role..

I haven’t taken this decision lightly and my decision is in no way a reflection on the highly effective local BBC journalists that perform such a key role in supporting local democracy in Suffolk, my view is that they’ve been badly let down by the organisation’s national leadership.

As it stands I know the Government is seriously considering decriminalising the non-payment of the BBC licence fee and I will encourage the them to take this step. This would be a significant step and one could well path the way for the whole licence fee structure as a way of funding the BBC being reviewed at the nearest opportunity (most likely when the BBC Charter is next up for renewal). Ultimately I believe its time to look forward to a future where the BBC is no longer our country’s publicly funded state broadcaster.

IBC meeting: 29th July (2)

Having covered the main part of the meeting here, we now come to the motion (“This Council was appalled by the racist posts shared by former councillor Robin Vickery on social media and is glad that he is no longer an elected councillor representing Ipswich.
However, this Council is concerned that, if this councillor had not voluntarily resigned, there is little or nothing in the way of sanctions that could legally be brought against him and that he could just have sat out his term of office, claiming an allowance at the expense of the council tax payer and impacting on the well-being of BAME residents and IBC staff.
This Council therefore requests that the Chief Executive write to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government stating that we wish the Localism Act 2011 to be updated to re-introduce the sanctions of suspension and barring from public office for major breaches of the councillors’ code of conduct.“)

I don’t know how many of you have heard of Richard “Racehorse” Haynes, the Texan defence lawyer, but his main tactic was to change the subject and to occasionally “cross-examine the empty chair” by calling an absent character a “key witness” and questioning them so that they could not reply. Here the motion refers to an ex-councillor who was not at the meeting in any capacity, quite apart from the very ironic diversion of a Labour councillor making accusations of racism in a debate that was supposedly about the Localism Act.

Here are the key speeches on the motion: from Ian Fisher and Nadia Cenci, who made the latter point particularly effectively.

Why our Children must go back to school and why Headlines can damage your health – so read on…

I am writing this article not just as a borough councillor or as confidence coach and trainer but also as a Nonna to 4 beautiful and clever grandchildren.
Throughout this Covid19 pandemic I have had only one golden rule and that has been to follow the government guidelines and listen to the chief medical officers. I am not an expert and whether I agreed with everything in their strategy or not, I made the decision that I was not prepared to risk breaking the rules and finding that my actions placed any one of my community in danger.
That’s for arrogant fools, not a responsible member of the community.
But where I am experienced, and I’ve been running my business since 2004, is on the edge of the education system using my unique skills to help young people be more confident, focused and motivated in being the best that they can be. I’ve developed workshops to bring new skills of accelerated learning and revision techniques, either in groups, or on a one to one basis and I’ve also developed whole programmes, within a college, to support potential NEETS (Not in employment, education or training) in becoming employable, confident and successful.
If you think the Government has been trying to control your life then you’ve been watching the ads, while the main event has been playing.
From the very moment that the pandemic took hold, the mainstream media, the left and the unions took it upon themselves to use the opportunity to undermine every decision. They have been the finger that picks away at a wound, so that it never heals. They have been the shadow cast over a whole nation – pretending to be your best friend while having an agenda to sabotage you and your family for purely political aims, be it wanting to extend the transition period or by bringing the government down to replace it with Corbynistas.
Before these recent years, never had I experienced the mainstream media becoming such an enemy of the state, smarting because they couldn’t get their way – Brexit, Boris becoming PM, the genuine affection many of us have for him, the 80 seat majority that crushed Momentum and then there was Dominic Cummings (oh, how they hated failing in getting him sacked). They have been purposefully obtuse, with misleading headlines and summaries, succeeded in creating anxiety and confusion and then, with no compunction whatsoever, tried to blame the government for everything. Just think Piers Morgan and it describes perfectly what I’m saying.
They also love to use the soundbite ‘U-Turn’ at every review or new intervention. Masks for high schools will not be mandatory and are to be used only in those schools who are in a lockdown zone, and only in communal areas where social distancing is difficult. There is no U-turn, there is only exception rule application, where applicable. But this phrase is repeated to undermine the government and to build mistrust in their handling of the crisis. Quite frankly I believe they may have indirectly contributed to loss of lives and people spending longer in isolation than is necessary.
They do not want Brexit to succeed, this is how crazy they have become. So they have one aim – turn you against the government and scupper your lives so that they can say ‘Told you so’. They are not team players because they want the government to fail even if you are one of the victims along the way. A means to a glorious end. They want you miserable, negative and anxious. Well, over my dead body.

IBC meeting: 29th July (1)

At the full meeting, by Zoom, the Labour administration continued their policy of finding excuses (Covid this time) to close necessary services – remember that we used to have an airport – like the Tourist Information Centre and Profiles gym. Cllr. Rudkin, responding to questions during a car journey, channelled Norman Collier in his famous “faulty microphone” routine, so that nobody could understand a word she said.

Anyway, here are some of the best speeches from the night: Ian Fisher and Edward Phillips on the main debate and Edward on Treasury Management. We will discuss the motion later.

Vintage politics

The renowned composer Ennio Morricone died a few weeks ago and this brought his “Chi Mai” to mind. It became the theme of BBC1’s 1981 serial “The Life and Times of David Lloyd George”. Quite apart from Philip Madoc (“Your name vill also go on ze list”) in the title role, it also starred Ruth Madoc (his wife until that year), Fulton Mackay (as Bonar Law, surely the unluckiest man in twentieth century politics), Eric Longworth, Patrick Troughton and Desmond Llewellyn. When Lloyd George entered the Commons, Gladstone was Prime Minister, the first such to be recorded.

A relatively unknown American named William Hootkins played Churchill, portraying him paradoxically but accurately with a full head of reddish brown hair. Real footage from the pre-1940 era is, of course, almost exclusively in black and white, so Simon Ward’s (left) earlier “Young Winston” is another rare fictionalised portrayal. Red hair does grow darker before going grey, as images or film of Steve Davis would show.

Also in 1981, ITV’s “The Wilderness Years” saw Robert Hardy portray Churchill in the tumultuous decade from 1929, still with brown, if receding, hair. Here the cast is even more stellar and Carl Davis’ theme is only slightly less memorable. There are with several familiar faces from popular comedies, including Richard Marner when Churchill visits Germany and Peter Vaughan as Sir Thomas Inskip. Peter Barkworth, Robert James and Eric Porter are the other three intervening Premiers. Martin Gilbert was the historical adviser, as AJP Taylor had been  to the earlier series. However, the scene where Clementine Churchill poisons Baldwin, Hoare (Edward Woodward) and Inskip seems to have been lost.

I wonder how posterity will remember the political figures of today, particularly as audio-visual and cinematographical technology surely cannot evolve so quickly as it did from 1874 to 1965?

Shayne Pooley for Gainsborough

Good day to you all. my name is Shayne Pooley.

I am many things but first and foremost I’m a father to 4 children who I adore and a husband to a wife who I worship.
I would make a great candidate because I’m an average Joe, your next door neighbour, someone you would chat to you in a queue in the CO-OP, a parent you would see picking my children up from a local school, a voice for those who can’t speak and a hand to do my share of the chores.

I am very much at home in the kitchen or looking after people in hospitality, I went to an average state school in Ipswich and love the area I grew up in.
I moved away to Kent to work as a restaurant manager and that is where I met my now wife.

We decided to move back to Gainsborough, Ipswich, back in 2004 to raise a family. I have been living here ever since and have so much love for the area.

I also feel a certain responsibility to making sure Gainsborough is and will stay a lovely place to live and want nothing but the best for the local residents.

Why Labour are as dangerous now as they were under Jeremy Corbyn

The Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle, who has recently resigned (16 July) from the front bench following a pointless skirmish with the author JK Rowling regarding transgender rights, is yet another example of a hard left Labour extremist who is not only damaging his own credibility, but is also unwittingly helping to destroy his own party.
The MP for Brighton Kemptown & Peachaven has claimed that hatred & abusiveness directed at him from the right has forced him to resign as the Minister for the Natural Environment. Funny how it always seems to be the fault of the right wing media who are to blame for Labour’s homemade problems, isn’t it?
Last time I checked it was Mr Russell-Moyle who chose to get directly involved in an online spat with the Harry Potter author over a marginal – all be it sensitive – issue. Ms Rowling was expressing her genuine concerns citing her own ordeal involving sexual assault. Mr Russell-Moyle then made some sort of crazy counter argument that this was just an excuse to circumvent the rights of trans.
In the end the Labour MP apologised for his ill considered remarks, but of course by then it was too late: the damage had been done. One has to wonder if there was really any point in the MP making such a public personal attack against the well respected author considering the theme in question has so little relevance in our current society.
The country is preparing for a separation from the EU, whilst trying to deal with a global epidemic that effects the lives of every single British citizen… and this Labour MP has nothing better to do than to make aggressive accusations towards a Novelist about Trans rights? Has he gone completely insane?
The real question is: Has Labour lost the plot entirely and are heading towards self annihilation? Obviously, I think it has. But I do believe my argument is convincing enough to make that assertion.
I have to say that for a Labour MP to cry foul regarding his treatment – citing ‘online hate’ for his resignation – is a bit rich. Firstly, he has a track record of some anti-Semitic positions regarding Zionism, so he knows all about hate. Secondly, this man is deliberately using aggressive divide & separate tactics to claim the high moral ground. For an MP to get directly involved in an argument and take sides – in this case belligerently pushing through an agenda on trans rights whilst simultaneously maligning feminist supporters & activists – is a perfect example of what I would rightly claim as dangerous.
Our MPs are surely supposed to weigh up the differing positions of an issue with great care from all sides and declare a reasonable, respectful decision with which they are free to express in a dignified manner and in a time & place that is appropriate. This Labour MP has failed miserably here. But it is not only Mr Russell-Moyle who is guilty of unprofessionalism.
Many other Labour MPs have clearly demonstrated a failure to live up to this standard as a whole. They don’t often get away with it. Memories of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Naz Shah MP and Ken Livingstone disastrously involving themselves in multiple anti-Semitic scandals come to mind.
But sometimes they do get away with it. I can remember when, in 2019, the MP for Birmingham Yardley – Jess Phillips – was involved in a disgraceful episode in her own constituency. There was a demonstration outside a school from local Muslim residents who protested their anger regarding their school’s practice on the teachings of homosexuality & general LGBT policies towards their young children. It’s important to note that this was overall, a peaceful demonstration, regardless of whether you agree or not with the protestors views.
Ms Phillips then took it upon herself to confront these protestors in front of Sky News cameras – I can remember watching it. Unsurprisingly, the meeting became confrontational. Ms Phillips proceeded to demonise and castigate these individuals for their beliefs, as they were damaging towards “equality laws”. The Birmingham MP did not seem at all interested in listening to the protestors. What made it worse was that this was clearly a politically motivated points scoring exercise.
The behaviour of the Labour MP was disappointing to say the least. Ms Phillips has to realise you cannot simply cherry pick multiculturism. If one wishes to embrace a multi cultural society with people expressing and following different beliefs, faiths and ideologies then it seems absurd to me to then enforce those with differing religious beliefs on LGBT rights to accept equal positions on delicate matters such as homosexuality.
I thought the event shameful then, and I still feel it’s shameful now. How Ms Philips remains an MP for her constituency is beyond me. It’s one thing to disagree with someone’s position, quite another to confrontationally impose your PC views and exploit it on TV.
Once again, it’s further proof of just how low Labour is willing to sink. How many times will they continue to encourage separation & division between different groups of people – whatever race, gender or religion – and pit them against one another all in the name of moral righteousness? In the end, it’ll be their own undoing.
We Conservatives need to call out this behaviour from the extreme Left more often. It is genuinely dangerous and intolerable. We must do everything within our power to prevent Labour’s unethical attitude to ever be allowed to have power of this country.
As the former Prime Minister, Theresa May, said at Party conference in October 2018 during her keynote speech: “Let’s say it loud and clear: Conservatives will always stand up for a politics that unites us rather than divides us”.