Library closures : my grandparents dying one by one… / Les fermetures de bibliothèques : mes grands-parents qui meurent un à un….

Library closures : my grandparents dying one by one.

Les fermetures de bibliothèques : mes grands-parents qui meurent un à un.

– Tristan Coleshaw.



Blank votes, pages torn from Anne Frank’s diary / Les bulletins blancs, des pages arrachées du Journal d’Anne Frank.

Blank votes, pages torn from Anne Frank’s diary.

Les bulletins blancs : des pages arrachées du Journal d’Anne Frank.

– Tristan Coleshaw.

April snow, discarded handkerchief of a hayfever sky

April snow, handkerchief discarded by a hayfever sky.

La neige en avril; souffrant d’un rhume des foins, le ciel se débarrasse de son mouchoir.

– Tristan Coleshaw.

A bowl of farfalle, the Madame Tussaud’s of butterflies / Les papillons de Madame Tussaud sont un bol de farfalles.

A bowl of farfalle, the Madame Tussaud’s of butterflies.

Les papillons de Madame Tussaud sont un bol de farfalles.

– Tristan Coleshaw.

When Lords earn their credit…

I know so many wonderful, smart, hard-working women and men whose households depend on these meagre credits. I’m both glad and surprised that it is the unelected nobility that has sent the message back to George Osborne that the poorest should not have to see the biggest cut in their standard of living to pay for the recklessness of the international banking institutions (for which, some of the smartest, most hard-working and wonderful people I know also work). Question is, will the Conservatives use this defeat as an excuse to cut public services even further, rather than increase the 40% top income tax rate (one of the lowest of the major EU countries), or instead of increasing taxes on second homes and investment properties? I have a feeling we’ll find out soon…

Let Labour Be Labour!

220px-Jeremy_Corbyn (1)

Is it just me, or does the assertion ‘Jeremy Corbyn will make the Labour Party unelectable’ sound not only premature, given he was only elected only slightly before we all started making lunch today, but also somewhat illogical? Does the surge in political engagement and the momentum he has gained, not to mention the overwhelming support he has seen outpouring from ‘traditional’ Labour voters, ie. the Left wing, ie. the people for whom Labour was founded in the first place, plus his electoral obliteration of his opponents, say that there might just be a few people around who would vote for Labour if the were a bit more, you know, Labour?

What the Corbyn campaign has achieved is what so many of us on the Left have been crying out for since the day Tony Blair sent our soldiers into Iraq, namely, a fundamental re-evaluation of what Labour means. Do we have to accept the role of the reluctant yet opportunist props to neo-liberalism, of middle-of-the-road panderers to voters on final salary pensions who would switch to any party that promises not to divert any part of their wealth to, say, the generation that’s now paying for their free healthcare? Do we have the right to call ourselves Labour if we’re embarrassed of our relationships with unions? Do we have the right to call ourselves Labour if none of our shadow cabinet has ever had to support a family on the minimum wage? Are we Labour if we demean the working class roots of the Labour movement and the people who still live in conditions unbefitting of a G20 country, in favour of courting swing voters, the middle classes, the Stoke Newington set and retired Labour voters with a bit of capital?

For the first time in two decades the Labour party is being forced to have this conversation with itself, and it’s thanks to Jeremy Corbyn. Labour supporters, pundits and politicians have been calling out for this, and finally it has arrived. Perhaps now, the radical agenda of the Cameron government might come in for some effective criticism. Perhaps now, mainstream political debate can move away from focussing on who is coming into this country and from where, and instead focus on what is being done to the citizens of this country by people the right wing have elected to lead it. Namely, the asset stripping of public services, the demonisation of the poor, the abandonment of the younger generation, the accession of domestic autonomy to multi-nationals? With Jeremy Corbyn, these difficult conversations may finally get some attention. Maybe he won’t win a general election, who knows?  But he will change the complacent debate surrounding what sort of country we want to live in, and maybe, just maybe, enough people will come out of the woodwork who have voted Labour just so as to beat the tories, and actually get to vote for a leader they believe in. Maybe, just maybe, there’s a chance under Corbyn that Labour might once again be able to be Labour.

The most sensible commentary I’ve heard in this General Election 2015 campaign…

‘Britain’s criminally stupid attitudes to race and immigration are beyond parody’ – Frankie Boyle, The Guardian, Monday 20th April 2015.