Clwyd South CLP

#GE2019: Reasons to #VoteLabour

In the run up to the General Election on December 12th, I will be writing a number of political posts aimed at any indecisive voters that may still exist in our pulverised country.

I will not apologise for arguing the case for a Corbyn-led socialist Government that will deliver the real change that the UK is crying out for. The fact that it will improve conditions for the disabled community, is a welcome bonus.

I will now hand over to my good friend and political comrade, Adam Samuels, who has written the must-read piece below.

#VOTELABOUR #JC4PM #VOTEHOPE #VOTECHANGE

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ROLL UP! ROLL UP! THIS IS YOUR ONE-STOP LIST OF THINGS TO SHARE/EDIT/RE-PHRASE AS YOU WISH RE JEREMY CORBYN & LABOUR. WE HAVE BEEN ASKED MANY TIMES TO SHARE THIS NOW, AND SO WHEN THE PEOPLE ASK, Clwyd South Labour Party RESPONDS!**

Many people now are no fans of Blair & Brown (while acknowledging good things were also done), but Labour didn’t cause the crash in the UK. In fact, Brown took steps that assured it wasn’t worse. The Tories backed EVERY penny of Labour’s plans then, as admitted recently by Osborne. In 9 years the Tories have missed EVERY SINGLE ONE of their own fiscal targets. By their OWN figures, people will be on less on average in the mid 2020s than they were in 2007. TWO decades of unprecedented wage stagnation and regression. The Tories, in those 9 years, have borrowed more than every Labour government combined. Ever.

Borrowing is not the issue, but borrowing AND implementing the economically stupid & morally reprehensible austerity shows how shit they are re economics. We are, literally, the most unequal country in Europe. Slowest growing major G7 economy. Foodbank usage was 41,000-odd in 2010. It’s now 1.6 million. 14 million people below the poverty line. 4 million children. Meanwhile the top 1% have DOUBLED their wealth in that same time period. 60% of those in poverty are IN work!!! IN work!! Record homelessness, record suicide rates, record insecure work, record worker rights and union repression, record crime etc etc etc.

Labour’s economic plans are backed by 130+ of the world’s top economists, including at least two Nobel Prize winners. Every penny of where money came from and where it will be spent was fully costed in Labour’s ‘Grey Book’, which will again be published for this election. Labour’s plans are based on the National & Regional Investment Banks as used so well in Germany and elsewhere. So, unless you think the best economic minds and Germany are economically stupid…Add to this that Johnson has REMOVED worker rights, environmental protections, consumer protections and food standards from his Brexit Deal, and them OPENLY admitting they will be changing worker rights if we leave…

Re Iraq, Corbyn organised the 2 million people march AGAINST it and his own Party. Check out his voting record. He was correct re Iraq X 2, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria X 3 now, not arming Saddam Hussein in the 1980’s when we did, Apartheid where he was getting arrested for being anti-racist when the Tories were literally calling for Mandela’s head, the financial crash of 07/08 down to the specifics of the American sub-prime mortgage market issues (and was ignored), Israel/Palestine, the Birmingham 6, the Guildford 4, started the proper NI peace talks and is cited by both sides as doing so, he, along with Abbott & McDonnell was one of only 6 MPs voting against Windrush, AUSTERITY when he and anyone supporting him was told in 2015 that to be anti-austerity (which NO other Labour leadership candidate was) was a “Far Left, commie, utopian, unelectable, loony left fantasy” Now even Tory MEMBERS are anti-austerity!!! Now Johnson & the Tories are pretending they will out-spend Labour while trying to claim Corbyn is a Marxist dictator?! You can’t have it both ways!!!

Corbyn has tripled membership of the party, making Labour the biggest Party in western Europe. In 2017, he gained the biggest vote share increase of any party leader of any party since Attlee in 1945. With the entire media establishment against him/us. He’s made the party far more democratic than ever before, and as with the famous, popular 2017 manifesto, it gets written by everyone from me up to Corbyn. He gets hourly death threats, has had assassination attempts on him (Darren Osborne-see court records), punched in the head etc etc. All for US. Not him, US. He cannot be bought, hence The Establishment hating him and smearing him. He is the most lied about politician of all time (see independent LSE report, BBC bias report etc-there are several). He’s defeated coups, has the ENTIRE media against him on all formats, with no mainstream media on his side (The Mirror & The Guardian previously turned on him).

Oh, and to nip this one in the bud…he has been made Right Honourable by the Queen. Which means he’s on the PRIVY COUNCIL-i.e. access to top level UK & world secrets, where you have to be vetted by MI5, MI6, GCHQ etc….therefore, he OBVIOUSLY CANNOT be pro-IRA murders, a Russian stooge, a Czech spy, an anti-Semite (to paraphrase the great Andrew Feinstein who was a South African MP under Mandela, lost 39 family members in the Holocaust & lectures on the Holocaust: “Jeremy was there from day one re Apartheid. He’s literally the least racist person I know. I am proud and honoured to stand as a Jewish man with Jeremy”), or whatever rubbish they try and make people believe he is because they’ve lost the political argument-so try and discredit the individual.

He pays TOO much tax (check out his public tax returns), pays for members of his own team out of his pocket, donated his pay rise to charity as promised, then uses what money he has left to fund the local Credit Union for people who cannot get loans. Indeed, in the 80’s he took out a £30,000 to build a desperately needed community centre used by many different groups-it wasn’t even in his constituency!!! He was there day one re Orgreave, Hillsborough (we have a Corbyn & McDonnell banner on the Kop at Anfield), and was the lowest ever expenses claimer-£8.95 for an ink cartridge when some Tories were claiming £100,000+ to clean their moats amongst other things! Literally!

So, if you want an NHS, vote Labour. If you want a second ref-literally the ONLY way is to vote Labour. If you voted Leave and reject the dangerous Johnson/No Deal, Labour has already agreed a Leave option in theory with the EU-so vote Labour to choose that in the Ref if you are a leaver. If you want to end austerity, literally the only way is to vote Labour. Only two people can be PM-Johnson, a man backed by fascists & billionaires who is openly going to sell off the NHS to Trump, who voted AGAINST STOPPING privatisation of the NHS last week, along with the Tories. The Lib Dems abstained???!!!, or Jeremy Corbyn.

I do not want to look future generations in the eye when they ask “Why did you get rid of the NHS, why can’t I buy a house or even afford the rent, why have I got unpaid hols, why in the environment getting worse, why is there no secure work, no pensions worth having etc” and then tell them “It’s because Corbyn didn’t sing the National Anthem, they believed the lies, someone didn’t like the way he wore a suit etc…”. Justify that! Justify my terminally ill friend having his benefits cut again to literally fund a tax cut for billionaires.

Whether you love, hate, are indifferent to Corbyn, this election is WAY beyond ‘normal’. It is a battle for the very soul of the UK. Labour built the NHS, the Welfare State, a National Education system in their 1945-1951 government. From scratch. When the country was truly broke after WW2 with debt at 250% of GDP. While growing the economy far faster than previously-with SOCIALISM/Social Democracy. Ditto FDR in the USA who massively grew the US economy in the 1930s the same way. Ditto Portugal now who, via anti-austerity, have completely turned around their economy after a horrific Conservative failed government. Scandinavia has been doing it for years. Bolivia, under Morales, has been an amazing success story and are now independent of the World’s Bank. Ecuador under Correa for ten years was a huge success.

Re Tax Increases: If you earn £82,000 a year, you’d pay £8.30 more a month in tax under Labour. Don’t forget ONLY 5% of the UK earns £80k or more- 95% OF US ARE NOT AFFECTED by these tax rises. In return, we’d get a Green New Deal, free education, a proper NHS and homes for all. Don’t let the CONservatives et al scare you with their outright lies re Labour’s tax plans. Oh, and Labour plans to raise corporation tax to levels STILL lower than Germany, the USA etc. I don’t see companies fleeing those countries…SME (Small Medium Enterprises) will be supported to adapt to any changes with taxes, or, for example, the raising of the minimum wage.

Debt per GDP here in the UK is now 88% approx (MASSIVELY increased since the Tories took over in 2010). So I am quite sure we can easily do what Labour wants now. If WE fight for it and stop believing the white noise of lies. Corbyn is NOT a pacifist, but he is force ONLY as the LAST resort. He has won at least 3 International Peace Prizes, including the Gandhi Peace Prize. He does not want to get rid of our armed forces-quite the opposite-he wants them properly paid, not sent to war on a lie or for some power/oil-grab, he wants them housed and not on the streets as many are, with proper kit if they do have to risk their lives. But this is a fight we MUST win. Let’s make sure we don’t blow it, eh? ✊❤️

#VOTELABOUR #JC4PM #VOTEHOPE #VOTECHANGE

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Raffle

It wasn’t planned or anything. Promise.

Last night I attended An Evening with Mark Drakeford – a Clwyd South CLP event in Llangollen.

About this Event

An opportunity to meet Welsh Labour leader Mark Drakeford in Llangollen.

There will be an introduction from local AM Ken Skates and your £10 ticket includes a light buffet. There will also be a bar and a raffle with a range of prizes to be won.

 

The First Minister spoke brilliantly at this event about the forthcoming EU elections, the rise of the far right and the achievements of Welsh Labour.   One of the four Welsh Labour candidates in the forthcoming EU elections – Mary Wimbury – also roused the audience and explained why she needed their support. It was also good to catch up with Ken Skates AM, who I used to work with at North Wales Newspapers, and Susan Elan Jones MP who supported me throughout the campaign.

The personal highlight of the evening though came with the drawing of the raffle. I had bought two strips of tickets and was fortunate enough to have one of my numbers plucked from the hat by the First Minister himself at the start of the draw. I therefore had my choice of all the prizes on offer and chose a bottle of whiskey from the House of Commons which can be seen below.

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This is something I will enjoy once I have finished my WILG reassessment and all former ILF recipients in Wales are happy with the support they are receiving…

This will certainly be a good reason to raise a glass to the efforts of this proudly socialist Welsh Government.

Essential Viewing: Wales Live

PLEASE WATCH THIS. APOLOGIES FOR THE LENGTH OF TEXT, BUT PLEASE READ & SHARE THIS (via copying and pasting or going to Clwyd South Labour Party Facebook page if you can’t share from here. Thank you).

Video is from approx 8mins 35 secs in.

Another superb report about the Save the Welsh Independent Living Grant – WILG campaign by the BBC’s Paul Martin, who again puts his UK-level colleagues to shame by showing how journalism should be done.

With Plaid securing a debate on WILG on Wednesday in the Assembly, we at Clwyd South Labour Party & Labour for Wrexham join our MPs Susan Elan Jones MP & Ian Lucas in calling on the Welsh government, OUR party, to finally make the change that absolutely NOBODY (apart from seemingly some Cabinet Ministers), ANYWHERE-inside or outside Labour-is against!

Both Mark Drakeford AM & Julie Morgan, Assembly Member for Cardiff North are good people, who we campaigned, phonebanked, door-knocked & supported passionately during their respective campaigns; both have been openly supportive of what we are trying to do.

So, if anyone is in doubt as to how important this is, or why it is ESSENTIAL that the Welsh Independent Living Grant with a confirmed TRIPARTITE (recipient, Local Authority, WAG-with WAG controlling admin & money) system is saved, then let us present evidence in addition to expert opinion:

-via FOI, VERY clearly, without a shred of doubt, the evidence in black & white shows that the current system implemented last year is failing lots of people. Demonstrably so. We have pages and pages of evidence and reports that prove that, putting all emotional pleas to one side, NOT keeping WILG with Tripartite is demonstrably worsening the lives of many, while as Dame Tani Grey-Thompson says, the inevitability of it costing MORE by NOT doing this!

Add to this we have plenty of evidence of what happens when the WILG equivalent is kept as in Scotland & Northern Ireland (very successful) V when it is scrapped, hence WILG to begin with, in England-i.e. Terrible results for the most vulnerable. Not surprising given this is, no matter how it is dressed up & accepting it was not the original intention, very clearly a Neo Liberal policy-the antithesis of what we stand for in Labour.

-NONE of the recipients are creating a two-tier system. WAG is. Both at the initial stage-their choice, but also now with the wildly differing results from Local Authorities. THAT is a two-tier system! Also, the number of recipients is only going DOWN, so if WAG do not think it is obvious that THE most vulnerable people in Wales deserve their direct protection (Tripartite), then we would love to know why.

-Democracy: We are very pleased to see Mark Drakeford re-emphasizing how we are a democratic, member-led party in Wales. Therefore, we expect, obviously, that the vote at Welsh Labour conference 2018 is upheld and that we keep WILG with a Tripartite system. Otherwise, as one of the first acts of the new administration, it’s not exactly a good look if the largest ever defeat for WL is ignored given the committed stance on democracy!!! Many would question what the point of conference motions are if this is ignored.

-Total unanimous support to Save the Welsh Independent Living Grant – WILG from the following:

The Labour Party membership inside & outside Wales

Labour MPs inside & outside Wales and AMs, Councillors etc in Wales

The Leader of the Labour Party at UK level Jeremy Corbyn

The Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell

Welsh Labour Grassroots- The Home for Momentum in Wales

Unite the union

Baroness Tani Grey-Thompson

The UN

The Official UK-wide Disability Group for Labour who also passed our motion

ALL other political parties in Wales. ALL!

Every single Constituency Labour Party (CLP) in Wales that we have had direct contact with, and many we haven’t

Wrexham FC, Ken Loach, Mark Thomas, Atilla The Stockbroker, Joe Solo & MANY other cultural icons

Do we need to go on? We repeat, we have faith in both Mark Drakeford & Julie Morgan to do the right thing as they are good Socialist people. IF, and we say IF, this is a failure of consensus politics, then annoy those objecting in your cabinet. Not the most vulnerable people in Wales. IF this is being stopped by the egos of others, because OBVIOUSLY it is not based in evidence, is it?!, then I am afraid WE, because WE are Labour, MUST stand up to anyone wishing to block what is an ABSOLUTE NO-BRAINER!!!

To be clear-our campaign will only heap praise on Mark Drakeford, Julie Morgan & Welsh Labour if they secure what is ethically, economically, politically & procedurally the right thing to do. We will praise them for listening and PROVING this new administration is a listening one, that it is very much a Socialist one, and very much an administration that respects democracy. It will be a statement of intent. It will, to quote Rhodri Morgan, show “Clear red water” between the Tories in Westminster & Labour in Wales. Nathan & the campaign has done everything by the book, jumping EVERY admin/democratic hurdle.

Now with this democracy-centred, inclusive, Socialist administration in addition to all the glaring, factual evidence, NO OPPOSITION either internally or externally, the UK Leader & Shadow Chancellor, the UN, Welsh MPs & AMs, THE CONFERENCE VOTE etc etc…This really is VERY easy to do from every conceivable angle-morally, politically, economically, PR-wise etc. It should be like shooting fish in a barrel.

We want to be proud to continue the fight to oppose social injustice. The average life expectancy of someone with lead campaigner Nathan Lee Davies‘s condition, is 35 years old. Tomorrow-Tuesday 12th February 2019-is Nathan’s 42nd birthday. To quote Nathan himself:

“I do not want to be using what precious time I have left fighting against the hierarchy of the party I love and campaign for. But I will if I have to. Please don’t make me.”

On behalf of the campaign, please do not make us have to, either. Do the right thing. You are good, decent people who we are proud to campaign for & defend daily. Yes, no one says your job is easy-far from it. But this decision is. PLEASE, before the party we love gets exposed in the Assembly on Wednesday, PLEASE LISTEN. THANK YOU!

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Support from Plaid Cymru #SaveWILG

I am pleased to announce that the Clwyd South Plaid Cymru constituency party officially support the #SaveWILG campaign.

We want  to collect as much support from local constituency groups as possible, regardless of your political persuasion. If you feel that your constituency could help play a part in the #SaveWILG campaign, then please do not hesitate to get in touch. The time to act is now for the sake of disabled people with high care and support needs across Wales.

There are postcards, badges and other resources available to any constituency party who would like to get involved on whatever level. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Official Supporters so far: Clwyd South CLP, Wrexham CLP and Clwyd South Plaid Cymru CP.

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Welsh Labour Conference 2018 #SaveWILG

There is so much to say about my first Welsh Labour Conference. I don’t have time to share everything that went on during this wonderful weekend as I have much to catch up with and organise for the next few busy weeks. Instead I will share a Facebook post that I added on Saturday night along with a collection of photographs taken by comrades during the weekend.

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This was a hugely important conference for myself and all recipients of the Welsh Independent Living Grant due to Motion 4 that was proposed by Clwyd South CLP. The Motion read as follows:

Contemporary Resolution to Welsh Conference 2018

Clwyd South CLP

MOTION: TO DEFEND AND SAVE THE WELSH INDEPENDENT LIVING GRANT (WILG)

The Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG) was introduced to help people who previously
claimed from the UK government’s Independent Living Fund (ILF), which closed in 2015. More
than 1,500 people are helped by the WILG scheme across Wales and recipients all have a high
degree of care and support needs.

The WILG was due to run until the end of March 2017, but it has been agreed that funding
would continue for another year. The annual £27million fund will then transfer directly to local
authorities during 2018-19 so they can meet the support needs of all former ILF recipients by 31
March 2019.

This conference calls upon the Welsh Labour government to maintain the WILG, at least until
the next Welsh Assembly election, and to do so whilst retaining the following principles:

• Preservation of the triangular structure of the grant between the local authority, the
individual and a third-party stakeholder

• That the available funding should be ring-fenced in the future to ensure that allocated
monies are used for the purpose for which they are intended.

• That the well-being of disabled people should not be put at risk.

• That the most vulnerable people in society should be protected not endangered.

• That quality of life is a human right for our vulnerable individuals, rather than merely
maintaining existence.

The Welsh Labour Party to report back progress to conference 2019.

Following the proposal of this motion by my friend and comrade Angie Evans, the motion was supported by three other passionate delegates all of whom played a vital role ensuring that the proposal was passed convincingly. Cue celebrations.

The following post is from Facebook:

Saturday afternoon:

BOOM. What an emotional day at the Welsh Labour conference where Motion 4 was passed to #SaveWILG after comrades took the stage to praise a certain campaign and activist. However, this victory is not just mine but is key for disabled rights across Wales and throughout the UK. All my fellow campaigners should also take a bow – this wasn’t just a one man show. We should all rejoice while remembering the fight is far from over as we need to ensure Welsh Labour listen to the will of their members.

I propose a #SaveWILG celebration and review meeting next week. Have a drink for me tonight and sing ‘Ohhh Nathan Lee Davies‘ 

PS – Good riddance Carwyn…

[The following article first appeared on the excellent All too Human blog – After Carwyn Jones]

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The important thing to remember is that the #SaveWILG campaign still continues as although we have won a key battle in our attempts to save WILG, The war to preserve independent living continues…