Curly's Corner Shop, the blog!

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On South Shields people

with 13 comments

We could really develop an unwanted reputation

I’ve been off-line since Monday evening with a very poorly modem, now that that my ISP has replaced it I can start catching up with whatever is going on in the cyberspace and the real world too. I’ve spent much of the last couple of days delivering the Conservative message to parts of the South Shields constituency on behalf of Karen Allen, and I understand that already it has garnered a flurry of emails offering help, encouragement, support, and even man hours! Which is great, because I am sure there are sufficient people in this town who have had quite enough of the natural socialist domination around here to last a lifetime, just because your dad or your granddad voted Labour does not necessarily mean that you must too.

There is no shame in voting against a party which surely brought us the worst Prime Minister in British history and gave us a debt too large to even imagine, a debt that will still be crippling our grandchildren as they try to build their own futures. There is no shame in making your own decisions about how you would like your future and your children’s future to develop, no shame in wanting to stand firm and solid as a family taking on your responsibilities, no shame in wanting a government that might be there to help from time to time but which knows when it’s right to stay out of your family’s business. So to take a different path and move away from what your grandfather traditionally did (simply because his father told him to) is not shameful at all, in fact it is a very redeeming quality of which you should be proud.

I’d like South Shields people to be proud, and I’d like them to proudly support and help one of their own, Karen Allen, to deliver a massive message to Gordon Brown’s party of failure, a message that says thirteen years was long enough, you failed to build on any successes of the Major years (and the foundations left by the last Conservative government were good for growth), and it is now time to vacate Whitehall and make way for a new administration. I’d be proud if lots of South Shields people took that attitude and voted Conservative, particularly for a local Conservative who was born and bred here. Our current MP was parachuted into the seat as a big favour by Tony Blair, his predecessor was in dire need of a safe seat having lost Nelson and Colne, and you’d have to go a long way back before you bumped into a local Labour man representing the town.

So, I wouldn’t like Ambush Predator to be sitting there feeling smug as he pronounces about Labour’s traditional supporters:

But in South Shields, it seems you really can fool all of the people all of the time. Oh, they won’t turn up to listen to you, or ask you questions. But they’ll vote for you, simply because they always have done.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

MIliband in his video shown in The Guardian makes the same lame point that we should carry on supporting the values of Labour as our father’s and grandfather’s did, it’s a video worth watching, and the comments that follow are all worth a good read too, the video features Rob Jewitt from South Shields who lectures at Sunderland University and writes Remedial Thoughts. Cannot help wondering why Ms. Allen didn’t lay into Miliband with a lead lined handbag after his inane suggestion that WalMart’s relocation of Asda from one end of the town centre to the other was one of the huge saviours of South Shields, nor his pathetic attempt to dress up the building of a few new schools to replace the failing buildings (and educational prowess) of yesteryear as the schools population continued to decline. Worse still were his comments regarding further education, which the cynics amongst us will say has been engineered to keep young people out of the unemployment statistics and even invited them to contribute their own money to do so, laugh later as they leave with £20000 worth of debt, no chance of getting on the housing ladder, and even less economic or job security as the economies of India and China surge ahead, or the fact that both Mandelson and Darling have promised deeper and heavier cuts than anything that Margaret Thatcher’s government managed! We won’t even go into the realms of real democracy and justice, or mention the Chargossians, extraordinary rendition, Binyam Mohamed, anti-terror laws, keeping secrets from judges, or any other insignificant acts of a Foreign Secretary, we don’t have time now. Our MP even has the ability to spout numbers, make the same gestures and hand movements as Blair – just what this town needs!

As I said, it doesn’t have to be this way.

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Written by curly

April 14, 2010 at 7:45 pm

13 Responses

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  1. “and the foundations left by the last Conservative government were good for growth”

    I suppose the only way from zero is up.


    April 14, 2010 at 8:20 pm

  2. Err, now, no call for that Brian, Blair and Brown took over the reigns with a very healthy economy as you well know. Brown has shown us, of course, with his debt induced recession that it is possible to go way below zero with both growth and inflation!


    April 14, 2010 at 9:04 pm

  3. Curly, I have exactly the same feeling today as I did in 1997. I am waiting for this discredited government to be swept away. I cannot imagine another 5 years of this shower…

    The Fat Councillor

    April 14, 2010 at 9:12 pm

  4. How condescending can you get Curly? Your assertion that because my father and grandfather voted Labour then I should vote Tory is about as logical as my brother’s comment to me once that that’s what happens when you give people indoor netties – they start voting Tory!!!
    Mind you it’s nice to see that Karen is getting some support at last – she cut such a forlorn figure all by herself in King St last Saturday . A contrast to the 15 or so supporters and family David Miliband had with him
    Incidently her comment on John Harris’s video that David only stayed for 15 minutes was arrant nonsense It was at least an hour (plus time getting coffee from Cafe Nero)


    April 14, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    • What is logical about continuing to vote for a party without considering why you do it? What is the logic in deciding that my father and grandfather must have been right, without questioning the evidence? What is logical about rejecting the values or visions of an opponent simply because your father and grandfather decided it wasn’t for them?
      By being logical and reasoning with the evidence and looking at the advantages or disadvantages of a particular decision, what process of thought leads you to the conclusion that this might be seen as condescension?


      April 15, 2010 at 12:29 am

      • I agree with your call for being ‘logical and reasoning’ but it’s a great shame you don’t apply it to your own voting intentions.
        You really couldn’t put a cigarette paper between Labour and the Conservatives; both will toss thousands more onto the dole after the election.
        I suggest you check out the parties relative positions at the Political Compass.

        “Between the big three, there’s no ideological argument about whether the prevailing economic orthodoxy is best for Britain,”


        April 15, 2010 at 9:51 am

  5. How about those of us who don’t vote Labour OR Tory?


    April 15, 2010 at 7:22 am

    • Hello Michael, how on earth did you end up in the spam queue?


      April 15, 2010 at 5:56 pm

  6. No Curly the condescension arises when you make the assumption that the “folks of Shields” are voting Labour just because their forefathers did. How patronising can you get?
    Could it be that they have long memories about the Tories – about the destruction of the pits, the shipyards, the steel works;about 15% interest rates and mass house repossessions; about 3 million unemployed, selling off Council houses, the Poll Tax, people working for £2.50 per hour….Icould go on.
    Could it be that they they look at The Bullingdon Boys and say “No fear…not that lot again”


    April 15, 2010 at 11:34 am

  7. I make no assumption, I point to a post from The Ambush Predator who made that point, I don’t state that all South Shields folk, vote according to a family tradition, even though I know quite a few who do. I only question whether or not this is the best way to reach an important decision before going to the polling booth.

    As for the long memories, well yes you need a very long memory, but to be fair I’ve already pointed you to the fact that the current Labour government has been responsible for a greater reduction in our industrial base than the last period of Conservative administration, so our memory doesn’t need to be that historical.

    Those who bought their council homes under the right to buy legislation would profess to be extremely happy with the outcome and many thought that the original context of a poll tax in which all registered electors made a contribution to council services was the right way to go (it was radically changed following the left wing protests and riots of course, and now is unrecognisable compared to it’s original form), and as for the minimum wage, it seems having listened to the participants in the Guardian’s video with David Miliband in South Shields that they think that the influx of foreign workers is driving the cost base so low that we will all be on the minimum wage sooner or later!

    Unemployment during this current recession could have been higher, I’ll admit, but with over a million young people taken out of the equation because of the drive towards contribution based higher education, £30 per week EMAs, and raising the school leaving age to 18, it is difficult to compare like for like. However, it does look as though unemployment in the adult population will be larger at the end of Brown’s term in office than it was at the beginning of Blair’s.

    Also, research last year showed that of the 1.8m new jobs created in the private sector 85% went to foreign labour and nearly 30% of public sector jobs were filled by non British workers. Further news on Gordon Brown’s “British jobs for British workers” is available here

    I could go on and on also, but it might appear to be condescending to remind you of how poorly Gordon Brown and his government have performed in just a few short years.

    At this election we should be deciding on the record of the current government and the aspirations and policies of the opposition parties, and not the distorted record that you portray from thirty years ago.


    April 15, 2010 at 1:28 pm

  8. Curly the reason that the poll tax was abandoned was because it was unfair.It wasn’t just left wingers who marched and demonstrated it was a very broad based campaign. That day in London where over a million turned out sa several busloads of people from South Shields , myself included. Most of them I’d never seen before or since. There were vicars, little old ladies, people from the countryside, al kinds of people not just the usual protesters.
    I was there because my husband was unemployed and I was expected to pay my tax and his tax out of one low wage.


    April 15, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    • I acknowledge that, and the fact that the government of the day, followed by Major’s govt., listened and made changes, to the extent that the original principle were radically altered. You now receive one bill per household largely based upon property value, a system that Blair’s government were happy to continue, it is not perfect by any means but it’s unlikely to change much, if at all during the next five years.


      April 16, 2010 at 9:29 am

  9. What have you got to say to Delilahcat, Curly? Seems like a good argument to me.Yet more proof of a rightwing denial of the ordinary man in the street. Could be a fruitful exercise to calculate what we would be paying if the poll tax was still in ‘vogue’. Having a household very close to my heart approaching five adults, I shudder to think what their poll tax bill could be.Then again I am going back in history!!! As the kids would say LOL.


    April 16, 2010 at 12:18 am

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