Letter from Bassetlaw – May 1st 2106

Leafleting - 160423Happy May Day to everyone, whether you celebrate is as a traditional holiday to welcome the spring or as a celebration of workers & the fight for workers’ rights.

In the last few days the news has been dominated by a row between our own MP and the former Mayor of London.  To be honest, the spat yesterday between Ken Livingston & John Mann can be call a contest between the unedifying & the uneducated.

There was a working arrangement between the Jewish Agency & the Nazi bureaucracy to help German Jews escape to Palestine in the years between Hitler’s rise to power (in 1933 not 1932 as Livingstone kept repeating) and the start of World War II.

Livingstone tried to state that this was some form of support for Zionism by Hitler. It certainly wasn’t’, it was just that both, for a short period, shared a common aim (if for very different reason) of allowing Jews from Germany to migrate to Palestine

It certainly does not excuse what Livingstone said. His choice of language & phrasing was inflammatory and seem to have been calculated to be insulting to the Jewish community.  It also shows that John Mann needs to go away and study history (as he kept telling Livingstone to do). His (Mann) behaviour was just as silly as Livingstone.

If he had only verbally abused Livingstone the once when they meet accidentally outside the BBC offices in Westminster, he could be excused a rush of blood, petulant and childish yes but excusable, but to follow Livingstone around Westminster shouting and screaming at him was plain ridiculous and showed him to be vindictive and spiteful.

What is even more disturbing is how this non-story about two Labour hacks, both well past their “Best Before” date, is that it has displaced other, far more important news stories, including that the election expenses of 22 Tory MPs have been reported as being declared wrongly (and don’t forget they only have a majority of 12),   one is already under police investigation.  It also means that the Tories in power are not being held to account while many pages of our newspapers and time on the political programmes on TV are taken up debating this, not on the Tories destruction of the NHS, not of the plans to “acadamsie” all schools, not on Osbourne’s failing plans for our economy.


As ever, much of my time in the last couple of weeks has been spent campaigning for a Remain vote in the Referendum in June.

Talking to people across Bassetlaw, while those who want us to leave the EU are certainly the more vocal and more full of “righteous indignation” (although very light on substantial arguments), I am encouraged by the many people who tell me that they are for IN.

They may not be as vocal and as fired up on their own sense of importance but they know that the UK is better off In, working with our EU partners on the range of issues that face us all, working for reforms in the EU that many people across the EU want to make more accountable & relevant to them, than on the outside trying to get our voice heard, with little or no influence on decisions that will affect us here in the UK.

From what I hear, the vote in June may be close but I think we will win to keep the UK an influential member of the EU.  However, we need every supporter of In to get out there and make sure their vote counts.  Even if you are going to away on June 23rd, you can apply for a postal or proxy vote if you don’t already have one.

Please, this is one ballot election where every vote really does count, make sure yours does!


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