I must confess that I have not been prolific of late with a number of things keeping me busy!
Hopefully it will have been noted that I have now started another blog site under the nom de guerre of the Transport Womble… check it out!
I have also seemingly been shuttling between London and Birmingham constantly of late as well as keeping exercised with a number of things that have required some serious attention. Last week saw two consecutive nights out at Labour Party dinners – the first organised by Liam Byrne in London. I had the pleasure of Richard Angell and Gisela Stuart on my table as well as meeting Ruth Smeeth and Steve Race for the first time. An excellent night with a really good feel to it and an excellent speech from Alan Johnson – someone that we need back in the front line as soon as possible.
The following night was the annual John Spellar dinner at the Hawthorns (the home of West Bromwich Albion for those who didn’t know). This is always a lively affair and this years was no different. Ed Balls was on top form with his clinical assessment of failed Tory economics continuing to do more harm than good to the country, our economy and the vast majority (well, the 99% i suppose) of the population.
This week sees the Budget and the Health Bill and the frightening thing is quite how significant these will be for our lives. Sometimes you don’t want to think of the possibly devastating consequences of political ideology and just idiocy and stubbornness. I was nearly 1 in 1979 when Thatcher came to power, i have a fairly clear recollection of my childhood in South West London and the anger at her economic policies, the way our primary school was crumbling and discontent of the teachers, the visceral hatred mostly brought by fear of the damage the Tories did in the 1980s to the many (whilst helping the few). And I feel that now, that fear of real harm being done to the country where we can least afford to inflict that harm and where it is desperately counter-productive to do so.
I imagine that now we approach the local elections and mayoral referendums (and election in London) we will see a clearer picture of where the country stands and i should imagine that it will be a psephologist’s field day to go through all the results, patterns and trends…! But the nagging fear remains of starting to see much more anger, fear, destitution and unnecessary suffering and stress.