Local Tory MP in ‘not to be trusted’ shock…..

For todays post, I am pleased to share an article by Tom King, an activist and organiser from Wyre Forest CLP, and part of their ‘Young Labour’ group.

Tom is passionate about investment in education and schools, and I hope you’ll agree that this comes across. Tom also shows, as always, why we cant trust the Tories.

Throughout the election campaign the Tory candidate, Mark Garnier, insisted that his number one priority was rebuilding Wyre Forest’s schools and dismissed other candidates who alleged a Tory Government would the cut of Labour’s school rebuilding programme.

As our MP, Garnier watched on as Michael Gove announced that over 700 schools would lose their BSF rebuild, five in his own constituency. He didn’t even ask a question to the Secretary of State for Education on the numerous occasions Gove was called to clarify and apologise for his gaffe-filled statements. Garnier seemed distinctly inactive on the issue that was his number one priority.

When Gove made his ‘efficiency saving’ and took the axe to Building Schools for the Future, he had no comprehension of what it would mean for communities up and down the country. Communities like Wyre Forest. The reorganisation of schools in the area had left many, with hundreds more students than they were built for. At Stourport High, our 1950s building, built for just 900 students, must now accommodate over 1,300. As a result, the school has spent £1 million on nine portable classrooms and a further four portable classrooms are rented at the cost of £50,000, the equivalent of two teachers. This is not only a drain on the school’s resources but also provides an impractical and inconvenient learning environment. The fact that these temporary solutions must now become permanent arrangements shows the arbitrary way in which this cut was made. No consideration was taken of the unique demands placed on Wyre Forest schools. Furthermore, Wyre Forest schools have been twice hit. During the reorganisation, funding for building improvements was put on hold whilst decisions on the future of our schools were made. Meanwhile, money was poured into improving Haybridge, in the already affluent Hagley, creating a modern, high-tech school environment to be envied. The canceling of BSF leaves some children to be educated in the same run-down buildings, whilst others have had millions invested in fantastic new buildings. It creates a two-tier education system.

Gove condemned the BSF programme for not producing results quickly enough, however, he seems completely ignorant to the process and significance of BSF. The ambition of BSF was bolder than anything seen since the Victorian school building programme; the rebuild of every secondary school in the country. It was recognised that such a major investment could not be wasted on schools for today, with no thought for tomorrow. The programme involved not just bureaucrats but teachers, students and the whole local community. They took on the challenge of designing a school not just fit for current needs but one that would last for generations to come. This was not a project to be undertaken in a few months but one that took dedicated, hard-working teams, several years to complete. The process was far from inefficient; it was effective in delivering the schools for our future, however, time-consuming that process maybe.

Callous cuts have defined this coalition government so far. Politicians, detached from reality, make decisions they cannot imagine the consequences of. They don’t consider the dashed hopes of students excited about the prospects of an investment in their future. They don’t have to walk through rain to get from building to building for lessons. They aren’t part of the generations condemned to an education sat in cold portable classrooms. Scrapping Building Schools for the Future is not cutting waste, its wasting young people’s lives.

If rebuilding Wyre Forest’s schools was Mark Garnier’s number one priority, he has a funny way of showing it.

Links: Wyre Forest Labour 

            Mark Garnier MP

Twitter: @wyreforestlabour

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Right To Work – Birmingham 3/10/10

What a great turn out for the ‘Right to Work’ protest in Birmingham today.

Thousands took to the streets in the pouring rain to protest against the forthcoming coalition cuts, due to be announced at the end of October.

Cuts that will hit the worst off in society the hardest. Not the well off, but ordinary workers, those in the public sector, the low paid, students, pensioners and those claiming benefits.

A strong message of unity and solidarity must be sent to the government. Cutting hard and fast at this point in time is not the way forward.

Short term thinking and savings for long term pain.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

The Last Rites

450_last_rites1235404948So, we’ve had enough of the ‘C’ word recently, ranging from the evil Tory cuts to Labour’s nameless   ‘****’. This week at the TUC conference in Liverpool, our great leader finally removed his head from his backside and confirmed what we all knew already – that yes, a Labour government would also have to make cuts.

Insert the usual, worn out platitudes here as you see fit………

What Brown would therefore have us believe is that the choice is between immediate, savage cuts from the Tories, damaging any chance of sustained economic recovery; or kinder, fluffy Labour cuts.

Of course, one would naturally think that this was a key decision for the voters of this country with an impending general election around the corner.

The main problem with this is very simple. So, so simple.

People don’t care what Labour says anymore. Voters across this land, quite frankly, couldn’t give a flying fuck about this government anymore, or more importantly, the distinction between Labour or Tory.

They just want this inept administration to quietly take their belongings and leave…..

Sooner, rather than later….

Anyone who knows me, should be fully aware of where I stand politically – somewhere, 0ver there on the left. However, even I realise that we are going to be stuck with at least ten years of Tory government following the next general election. Even the most optimistic Labour supporter, in their heart of hearts knows this to be true; even if they won’t admit it in public  – and let’s be honest here, those of my comrades who still think Labour can win, are frankly deluded, however well intentioned.

Don’t get me wrong; a Tory administration is a depressing thought. Especially a Tory party with the potential to lurch back to the right once back in power – an inevitable outcome with the likes of Hannan and Dorries.

In a blog post written at the time of the Crewe and Nantwich by-election last year, I made the point that the best thing for Labour would potentially be to spend a period in opposition. This would provide a chance to re-group and move forward. Of course. this is now far more definite, and Labour must act carefully, yet decisively – a move back towards the centre left, Blairite wing of the party could spell disaster, and lead to  an even greater spell in the wilderness.

The party has lost contact with the very people who’s votes they depend on the most. Those very people who, during these troubled times are hurting and suffering the most. These are the people who no longer trust this tired out, u-turn prone government – these are the people who will prove to be Browns downfall.

Not by voting Tory, not by voting for the Lib Dems, UKIP, Greens, or God forbid, BNP. No, Browns apocalypse will happen very calmly and simply. Killed by apathy. The Labour vote will stagnate. They will simply stay at home. Unable to rely on support from Clegg and the Lib Dems, Brown will be consigned to history as one of the worst Prime Ministers this country has ever had the misfortune to have. It remains to be seen whether he will survive the upcoming party conference later this month – I would suggest so. As was shown earlier this year, Labour MP’s just don’t have the stomach, or the guts required to wield the knife; although, as far as the outcome of the general election is concerned, this will make little difference.

It’s simply time to go……..