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In a week in which the press and media have been occupied in reporting Tory PR disasters, it is perhaps not surprising that they failed to report an important revelation recorded in a letter to the Morning Star by James Chespy.

According to the letter, reporting on a recent extraordinary speech, Francis Maude said,

"The government wants to end state provision of any public service - even if it means they end up being run by private equity companies from tax havens."

You can read the full article here.


Lancashire Telegraph have started asking questions about the elusive Mike Calvert. He says that he is living at a relative's address in East Lancashire and also his holiday home in Silverdale, Cumbria. However, he won't disclose his address as "it's nothing to do with anyone" yet he is still claiming travelling expenses to County Hall from Trawden.......

I have said that the people of Colne are suffering from the lack of Calvert and Askew not being in Colne to deal with issues and they both need to reconsider their positions..... watch this space


Brierfield and Nelson North Councillor Mohammed Iqbal and Nelson South Councillor George Adam are calling-in a decision made today by Tory Deputy Leader of Lancashire County Council, Cllr Albert Atkinson to close 4 Household Waste Recycling Centres across Lancashire including Colne in Pendle.

Cllr Iqbal said "It is a dark day for the people of Lancashire when Cllr Atkinson ignores a call made by over 17,000 people to keep our recycling centres open.  He has ignored the arguments and pushed ahead with his and the Tory Party's project to let the people of Lancashire down.  The centre at Colne is very well used and is manned by a group of excellent employees who help elderly, disabled people to dispose of or recycle household waste"

Cllr Adam added "I would invite the Scrutiny Committee and Cllr Atkinson to come to Pendle and listen to evidence direct from members of the public who are directly affected by this decision.  It's a shame if the centre at Colne is allowed to close in March 2012 thanks to the Tory cuts.  Where are our Tory Councillors and MP on this issue- they are very quiet”

Note to Editor:

The Call-in notice has been signed by Cllrs Mohammed Iqbal, George Adam, Ciaran Wells, Clive Grunshaw, Miles Parkinson


Same old Tories! Let’s face it, despite the “nice” veneer that Cameron applied when he became their leader, you don’t have to scratch too far beneath the surface to reveal that the Tories are still the “nasty party”!

This article from Labour List would be a hilarious satire…. except for the fact that it’s true. What are the chances that members of Pendle’s Conservatives hold equally disgusting, archaic and prejudiced views?


I write in response to Coun. George Askew’s claims that Labour did Nothing (Leader Times 28th October). The first question is: what planet does he live on, never mind what ward he lives in? He says the UK was spending £170 billion more than it was receiving in tax, that it was a cheap shot to question the tax avoidance of non-doms who bankroll the Conservatives, and that it has been left up to George Osborne to sort out the financial mess left by Labour.

However, at best he appears to be misinformed and at worst blatantly ignorant of the facts. Labour spent less as a proportion of GDP than either of the governments of Thatcher or Major. When Labour came to power in 1997 national debt stood at 42% of GDP. By 2002 it was below 30%. Granted, it slowly increased to 36% between 2002 and 2008 (still lower than Thatcher or Major) as a result of the urgent need to rebuild our public services which had suffered from two decades of underinvestment. The increase, coupled with the windfall tax on utilities in 1997 to compensate for the cheap Tory sell off of public assets, allowed Labour to build new schools, reduce class sizes, build new hospitals, reduce waiting lists, reduce poverty levels amongst vulnerable groups such as children and pensioners and provide public servants with a living wage, along with many others as a result of the National Minimum Wage.

It wasn’t until the global banking sector crisis that the debt to GDP ratio hit 52% by the time Labour left office in 2010 - but this was still lower than those of Japan, the US, France and Germany.

So what response? George Osborne came to the dispatch box in 2010 and declared “Britain was on the verge of bankruptcy”. Despite his claims of economic woe he chose to cut corporation tax while imposing unprecedented cuts on welfare and other public spending, resulting in a return to Thatcherite levels of unemployment at 2.57 million and rising inflation which currently stands at 5.6%.

So in light of these inconvenient truths perhaps Mr Askew would like to revise his simplistic view, because if these are the results of the Tories doing something then I prefer Labour’s “nothing”.

Yours faithfully
Mark Porter


The coalition is preparing to bin Britain’s climate change targets. After all, ministers have corporate sponsors to take care of. --- Read More ---


You’ll be hard pressed to find a Labour supporter who admires the Tories. But in one crucial area I take my hat off to them – they are an election-winning machine. On polling day, their activists are out in force, ferrying people to polling stations and ensuring they get their vote out.

It doesn’t stop there though – because every week of the year local Tory associations do their Jam and Jerusalem style events, firing up the Blue-rinse brigade and seeing to it that come the day an election is called, the whole of the local membership is motivated and ready to go.

In winning elections they do also have some other crucial advantages. They have the massive financial support of ultra-rich backers (non-doms etc), they have the overt support of broad sections of national media and they have the confidence born of a misplaced arrogance that they are somehow the natural party of government. In short, they think they are born to rule. It’s possibly a delusional throw back to the aristocratic roots of their party, but there you have it.

The problem with this for us as Labour supporters is that we – conversely – have a slight deference.  After all, nineteen of the current Tory MPs were schooled at Eton and two thirds of them were privately educated – I’m pretty sure that there aren’t any MPs who went to Edge End in Nelson, like I did!

So their elitist education and rich backgrounds mean that the Tories see themselves in power as the natural order of things. Conversely, we don’t perceive ourselves as the natural inheritors of power – but then, nor should we!

My view is that it’s time we turned this to our advantage. The Tories will do anything for power – good grief, they even got the Lib Dems involved, so desperate was their clamour! Our road back to power should be one that is informed by something more enlightened.

We don’t want power for power’s sake – we want power because we share fundamental principles. The core principles of seeking a freer, fairer, more equal society, and an end to want and ignorance should be sufficient to motivate us to fight for victory.

Acting upon those principles will make a better society, give us better government and hopefully, finally put an end to Labour deference and Tory arrogance. In practice, the delivery of these principles sees us working positively for a National Health Service free at the point of need. Our principles mean that as a party we are uniquely committed to a world-class education system that is a right, not a privilege. And our principles see us committed to the extension of opportunity to all, rather than the imposition of the glass ceiling we’re seeing from this Tory-led government.

In Pendle, the application of these principles is even more urgent than in many other places. Whilst living here in such a beautiful part of the country and amongst so many fantastic people should never be underestimated, we can’t overlook some of the unique challenges we face. Our traditional industries have all but gone and we need to address how we redefine Pendle. My view is that this process is best served by a Labour government nationally, as well as a Labour MP and a Labour council for Pendle.

So come on – let’s beat the Tories at their own game and build our own election winning machine in Pendle!  By all means you can take your hat off to their election winning machine, but don’t doff the cap, eh?

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