Hands up then, is anyone going to do God?

Richard Robinson 

Christian Socialist Movement

Copyright Lincolnian Brian

After campaigning in Corby I am happy to report it is going well for Labour. Plenty of volunteers, lots of leaflet folding, good spirits, canvassing and of course rain.  I left with the impression that it is going to be gain for #onenation Labour.

On my journey home from Corby I mused about the next General Election on 7 May 2015 as Tory MP Chris Skidmore helpfully pointed out we are now on election count down with less than 940 days to go until then.  Yes, we can win Corby, but how do we really win the nation? My thoughts were interrupted by a Wayside Pulpit Message outside a rather bedraggled Methodist church I passed.  I stopped the car to read its simple message “he who smiles last longer”. This set me thinking.

Our Pulpit message is clear; One Nation Labour, which as Matthew d’Ancona recently alluded to means social cohesion, the shared obligations that bind us, and our collective mission.  In terms of our collective mission towards One nation a country for all, with everyone playing their part, the recent Labour Party conference gave certain policy nudges in this direction for example towards a cap on the fees charged by pension funds.  Add to this as Andrew Sparrow has written “the 2012 gathering in Manchester leaves us better informed about the party, its leader, its policies and its electability”.  Read more of this post

Corby Bi-Election: Nowhere is home to me.

Nora Connolly 

Image © knowhimonline

Corby, the Scottish enclave on the M1, is currently the centre of UK political activity after the announcement by Conservative MP, Louise Mensch to resign her seat with a majority of 1,951. A poll commissioned by Lord Ashcroft in August suggests that Labour are currently in a commanding position with 52% of the vote, the Conservatives on 37% and the Lib/Dems flat lining on 7%.

The actual result in 2010 is illuminating, particularly as the BNP collected 2,525 votes. Labour lost on a 69% turnout. Given that the November by-election may depend on the resilience of the BNP vote if it holds then it could be close.

The anticipated decline of the Lib Dem vote alters the framework; disgruntled Lib Dems are hardly about to vote Tory, so at least 7,834 votes are going begging. But there is a racial dynamic to this by-election due to demographic changes in Corby which have been stoked up by the tabloid press.

Corby, the main urban area in the constituency nestles in countryside reminiscent of the Cotswolds. A former centre for steel production which dominated the local landscape, in the 1930s many thousands of Scottish migrants came to the town to work in the steel industry and to set up home – a sleepy hamlet morphed into `Little Scotland`. Corby has profound cultural and emotional links to Scotland such as the local dialect, a testament to this heritage.

Among the Scottish migrants was an immigrant population from the Irish Republic, many laboured in the steel works and in the 1950s they dominated the construction industry building the council houses which now populate the town. Some of those Irish immigrants remained among a strongly identifiably working class Scottish/Irish Celtic community that was often stereotyped and belittled in the locale. Perpetrating myths linked to ethnicity and class, a subtle form of racism.  Read more of this post


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