Sunday, 14 December 2014

14th December 2014 Politics Podcast with Malcolm and Liam

Here is our latest politics podcast (a day early this week!) It is hosted by North West Durham Labour activist Malcolm Clarke and the Labour Party Candidate for the Hexham Constituency for the May 2015 General Election, Liam Carr.

This week we discuss the BBC Question Time battle between panellists that include Nigel Farage and Russell Brand. We also cover the ongoing row concerning Firefighters Pensions and the refusal of the minister to meet the firefighters around the negotiating table to discuss this further and we look at increases in spending limits for political parties during the long and short election campaign and Jim Murphy becoming Leader of Labour in Scotland. Please press play to listen to the podcast or subscribe via our talkshoe page by clicking this link.

Our political podcast is available on iTunes where you can subscribe FREE by visiting their iTunes store. Click here to subscribe to our Politics Podcast on iTunes. There is no better way of ensuring you do not miss a show as any new shows as they will automatically be downloaded to your computer each time you open the iTunes application.

Thanks to everyone who takes the time to listen in and we hope you enjoy it.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

7th December 2014 Politics Podcast with Malcolm and Liam

Here is our latest politics podcast (a day early this week!) It is hosted by North West Durham Labour activist Malcolm Clarke and the Labour Party Candidate for the Hexham Constituency for the May 2015 General Election, Liam Carr.

This week we discuss the Autumn Statement from the Chancellor. We discuss the unsuprising announcement that former SNP Leader and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond will stand (subject to the formality of local selection) for the Gordon constituency as SNP candidate and we also cover the Clinton Card's Christmas card controversy. Local updates and a bit of Farage also covered. Please press play to listen to the podcast or subscribe via our talkshoe page by clicking this link.

Our political podcast is available on iTunes where you can subscribe FREE by visiting their iTunes store. Click here to subscribe to our Politics Podcast on iTunes. There is no better way of ensuring you do not miss a show as any new shows as they will automatically be downloaded to your computer each time you open the iTunes application.

Thanks to everyone who takes the time to listen in and we hope you enjoy it.

Liam Carr - Winter Song by Alan Hull of Lindisfarne

After recording our politics podcast (to follow) we recorded Liam performing a version of "Winter Song", written by Alan Hull of Lindisfarne.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

The Political Autumn Statement

To disrespect the abilities of an opponent is a sure route to failure. I never have a problem saying that the Chancellor, George Osborne, has political abilities. You may have noticed his effortless disdain for vicious rebukes in the chamber, pulling a face and refusing to bite in the face of criticism. He knows what he is doing and like many Tories, he exudes incredible levels of self-belief and self-confidence fuelled by a life of ease via the best education and inherited wealth. Make no mistake, Messrs May, Gove and Afriyie will do well to deny George Osborne the top job should Cameron decide that enough is enough, or suffer a poor result next May. But that's another story.

Osborne attempted to pull off a ruse as he delivered his Autumn Statement. Labour's Alistair Darling, MP for Edinburgh South West, was quick to ask the Chancellor: "Did I hear the Chancellor correctly when he was claiming credit for having halved the deficit over the course of this Parliament, because his view used to be that that would not be a terribly good thing?" Osborne did not show even a flicker of acknowledgment the irony of Darling's point. With this excellent question, Mr Darling smashed open the ruse of the Autumn Statement, which was that Osborne proclaimed victory for his figures despite completely missing his own predictions and only managing to match the Labour pledges, but with far more austerity and pain than Labour promised. Osborne snatched failure from the jaws of failure.

Labour's problem is that we did not fight hard enough earlier in the parliament to defend our actions during the financial crisis. Indeed it was then Prime Minister Gordon Brown's actions to bail out the banks that left us vulnerable to the regularly heard (even now) criticism of the "mess we (Con-Dem) inherited". Government's find it far easier to blame the previous administration than to discuss in detail the progress, or lack thereof, of their own policies. The oppositions biggest friend in this regard is time, the more time that passes, the more difficult it is for the incumbent government to deny responsibility for things that are happening on their own watch. Only now do the Tories (and the Lib Dems) find themselves judged on the successes or failures of their own plans.

And what is happening? It hurt, it hasn't worked and what have they done? They have merely promised more of the same, only worse next time around. We had the skin to cut last time from well-funded public services. The bones will go this time. You simply cannot allow the Tories to destroy our public services, privatise our NHS and vilify our welfare claimants for the mistakes handed down to us from the greed of the rich. Labour certainly has to up their game, as Andy Burnham said this week. This is important, as the Tories have already told us what we can expect next parliament if they are mandated to continue their ideological surge towards smaller government.

In 2010 Labour's plan for the economy was to halve the deficit in one parliament. This was declared too conservative (small c) and the Tories promised a quicker fix to completely eradicate the deficit in one parliament. It was on this basis, full deficit removal, that the Conservatives were the biggest party once the votes were counted. The public had to endure the austerity once the coalition agreement was put into force. Earlier in this parliament Labour "it is hurting and it is not working", which has turned out to be very accurate. The Tories failed to meet their own targets and attempted to proclaim this as a victory. This is disingenuous. They must be judged on the performance of their own policy and on this scrutiny they fail.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

30th November 2014 Politics Podcast with Malcolm & Liam

Here is our latest politics podcast (a day early this week!) It is hosted by North West Durham Labour activist Malcolm Clarke and the Labour Party Candidate for the Hexham Constituency for the May 2015 General Election, Liam Carr.

This week we discuss the Conservative Party negative media stories surrounding Andrew Mitchell and David Mellor. Please press play to listen to the podcast or subscribe via our talkshoe page by clicking this link.

Our political podcast is available on iTunes where you can subscribe FREE by visiting their iTunes store. Click here to subscribe to our Politics Podcast on iTunes. There is no better way of ensuring you do not miss a show as any new shows as they will automatically be downloaded to your computer each time you open the iTunes application.

Thanks to everyone who takes the time to listen in and we hope you enjoy it.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

23rd November 2014 Politics Podcast with Malcolm & Liam

Here is our latest politics podcast (a day early this week!) It is hosted by North West Durham Labour activist Malcolm Clarke and the Labour Party Candidate for the Hexham Constituency for the May 2015 General Election, Liam Carr.

This week we discuss a number of issues including the House of Commons vote which took place on Friday, where Liam received hundreds of emails from voters interested in the vote and expressing their opinion. We also cover the Rochester and Strood by-election results and discuss what this means for Politics and the unfortunate tweet from Emily Thornberry which caused Labour some distress on polling day. Liam covers Further Education versus Schools and we update listeners on our upcoming local activities this coming week.

Please press play to listen to the podcast or subscribe via our talkshoe page by clicking this link.

Our political podcast is available on iTunes where you can subscribe FREE by visiting their iTunes store. Click here to subscribe to our Politics Podcast on iTunes. There is no better way of ensuring you do not miss a show as any new shows as they will automatically be downloaded to your computer each time you open the iTunes application.

Thanks to everyone who takes the time to listen in and we hope you enjoy it.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Budget Consultation for £225 Million Cuts for 2015/2016

Last year, Durham County Council carried out extensive consultation on how it should address the challenge of reducing its annual budget by approximately £225 million. It is very disappointing their budgets are being reduced this way and unpopular decisions such as the closure of Newtown House in Stanhope, Glenholme Leisure Centre in Crook and continued uncertainty about library services around the county means it is very important you tell the council what it is you feel is the most important services to retain.

Durham County Council is now asking you to comment on its approach to let them know if anything significant has changed in your neighbourhood that might impact on what they learnt from the 4,000 people who took part in the consultation last year.

Please use the link below to find out more and to take part in the consultation which can be done in one of three ways:

  • Complete the online questionnaire
  • Request a paper copy of the questionnaire to complete

Read the following article for more information; http://www.durham.gov.uk/article/5044/Budget-consultation-2015---2016

The consultation closing date is Friday 12th December 2014.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

16th November Politics Podcast with Malcolm and Liam

Here is our latest politics podcast (a day early this week!) It is hosted by North West Durham Labour activist Malcolm Clarke and the Labour Party Candidate for the Hexham Constituency for the May 2015 General Election, Liam Carr.

In this episode we discuss TTIP and Prime Minister David Cameron's pledge of support for the agreement, we discuss GP's, Ed Miliband's "fightback" speech, local politics and much more in what is one of our stronger episodes.

Please press play to listen to the podcast or subscribe via our talkshoe page by clicking this link.

Our political podcast is available on iTunes where you can subscribe FREE by visiting their iTunes store. Click here to subscribe to our Politics Podcast on iTunes. There is no better way of ensuring you do not miss a show as any new shows as they will automatically be downloaded to your computer each time you open the iTunes application.

Thanks to everyone who takes the time to listen in and we hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Durham At War Website

I am Manager of Leadgate Football Club and we play in the Consett & District Sunday League Division 3. All Sunday morning matches kicked off 15 minutes early at 10.15am this past week to ensure the game was stopped for a 2 minutes silence.

The teams lined up in the usual way of standing on the periphery of the centre circle and it struck me that 100 years ago, lads as young and younger than the opposing team were the ones not able to play Football and many of whom were killed fighting for our countries freedom. We must never forget their bravery sacrifice.

The website 'Durham At War' was launched in September and here is their promotional video. It is worth a visit and you can find their website at http://www.durhamatwar.org.uk.

Durham At War is a new interactive website mapping the impact of the First World War on people across the North East.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Christmas Bin Collections

Bins will be emptied as normal up to and including Wednesday 24 December.

Over Christmas and New Year, the following changes will apply: (click the image below to enlarge)

Normal collections will start resume from Tuesday, 6th January 2015.

Large item (bulky) waste collections

There will be no bulky collections between Monday 22 December 2014 and Friday 2 January 2015.