We can be the comeback kids of British politics…

’The Liberal Democrats can be ‘back in power’ in five years, leader Tim Farron said yesterday, as he positioned the party for another coalition with the Tories at their conference in Bournemouth.

Seriously… have they learnt nothing from their five year relationship after getting into bed with the Tories?

Perhaps Tim is still ‘living the dream’ of being elected leader and has not really begun to face the reality of the situation he now oversees.

But then the ex leader is also seemingly sharing the same dream… or perhaps he was flying high on the back of his standing ovation to the Lib Dem conference when he told delegates that “We can be the comeback kids of British politics.”

On the one hand Farron espouses that the Libs have all the answers, that they can reach those others cannot – the centre ground, and that a cosy coalition deal with the Tories in 2020 would be great… and on the other hand he attacks the Tories on big issues?

Farron has been notably critical of the coalition, giving the leadership a score of two out of 10 for its handling of the politics. He had hoped to carve out distinctive ground for the party by being pro-immigration and civil liberties, but he seems to have reversed his thinking now he, as leader, saying  the party should not be embarrassed about seeking power and refusing to distance himself from the party under Nick Clegg, saying ” there is nothing grubby about wanting to win”. Well sorry Tim, but there really is if it means reneging on your promises, turning your back on your values and principles and selling your soul to the devil.

Tim’s narrative is not just farcical at the very best, it’s delivered in an air of complete and utter arrogance.

The electorate are a canny bunch and can be very unforgiving. I spoke to large numbers of voters on the doorstep who felt hugely let down by the Libs in the 5 years of coalition. And … for what Clegg did (or actually didn’t do) to the thousands and thousands of young people that were ‘conned’ into voting for him… just unforgivable.

And Farron must know this…surely? Wasn’t it evident enough in the disastrous results and the fall to just 8 MPs and a drop in the polls since then to just 6%?

Nearly non existent in Birmingham, with a smattering of councillors and no MPs. The Sunday Politics show has to now resort to having an ex MP on just so that they can have some cross party balance…

I think Farron and his party need to pull themselves back to the ‘real world’ and accept that their are currently of little significance, they are again a small acorn that may grow into an oak tree, but its going to be a long long process, and may only be one suitable for bonsai competitions…

Maybe a visit here would help – oh … looks like they’ve missed that pony too!

Source: Tim Farron: Lib Dems would go back into coalition with Tories | Politics | The Guardian

Never had a man less reason to be humble about his talent

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Hall Green’s best loved comic, Tony Hancock would have been 90 today and it is only fitting to say happy birthday Tony from all of us in Hall Green who love your work . 

Hancock left us all too early but we are lucky to have records, films, BBC programmes and YouTube clips to enjoy his supreme talent.

Many have their favourite Hancock sketch from the classic Blood Donor to the Radio Ham. My favourite has always been The Missing Page. A clever, haunting evocation of the power of the written word. Hancock and his sidekick Sid James try to solve the mystery of a whodunit without the last page of the book. Their  travels and attempts to solve the mystery is a comic masterpiece.

One of thhancocke funniest scenes in set in a library. My recent campaign to save Hall Green library reminds me of the need for that continued place – the community library and the part it plays in our communities. Where we are free to roam the shelves and to enjoy the discovery of a novel, a biography or a recipe book.

I am so proud that we in Hall Green saved our community library although we know that our continued vigilance will be necessary with the challenging budget constraints we will be facing over the coming years.

Check out the video below of The Missing Page. It may be over 50 years old but it is still a great 30 minutes and when we talk about classic English humour then this portrays that so brilliantly.

Whether you are in Hall Green , East Cheam or wherever… raise a small toast to this long lost but not forgotten son of Hall Green.

Happy 90th Tony from all your fans!

Hands off Hall Green Library

Birmingham City Council are currently undertaking service reviews across a broad range of services that they currently provide. As a result, the Green Paper – Developing Successful and Inclusive Communities has been published and is open for consultation. This paper looks in particular at the future delivery model of library services and has ramifications for all community library services across Birmingham.

I believe that our library in Hall Green is at the very heart of our community, but this is under threat as councils are being put under indeterminable pressures as a result of the depth and frontloading of cuts being made to local authority budgets by the Tory-led Government.

Here in Hall Green, there is a very real risk to our Library, and the effect of such a closure would be felt across the whole Ward. There would be potential job losses. Any closing and reduction of access to libraries will remove or reduce Internet access for the many residents who do not have it at home, place more strain on already stretched school library services and impact on adult education. This just isn’t right.

I have set up the 4hglibrary campaign and hope that both residents from Hall Green Ward and others who believe in the very real benefits that libraries provide to join with me in this campaign. Please visit the website for more details of the campaign and information about how you can support it.

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Those who know me will know that I am an active trade unionist and therefore I do not underestimate the huge task ahead of us. While we can campaign for libraries and advocate their place in society we must be aware that as they are part of a larger organisation, that being the local authority, this fight will need to be one that is sustained. Whilst we have a Tory led government in power, the public spending cuts will become yet deeper over the coming years and libraries among other services will face continued attacks and ultimate destruction.