Labour as a Brexit Party – a policy reached from the wrong assumptions?

So … exactly when did the Labour Party become a political party that supported Brexit? We had two successive National Conferences that strongly supported first, the view that the UK should remain in the EU (2015) and secondly, post referendum, that “[Conference] recognises that many of those who voted to leave the EU were expressing dissatisfaction with EU or national policy and were voting for change, but believes that unless the final settlement proves to be acceptable then the option of retaining EU membership should be retained,” the motion says. “The final settlement should therefore be subject to approval, through Parliament and potentially through a general election or a referendum.

But Labour’s National Executive Committee subsequently stated that the motion was passed due to an error in compositing and was not party policy. “Conference policy on Brexit has been misinterpreted in some reports as committing Labour to a second referendum on UK membership for the EU, so for the avoidance of doubt we want to make clear that it is not our policy”.

“We have called for the government to be transparent and inclusive in their process and to respect rights at work and other protections that the EU provided. Those issues will be our focus in holding the Tory government to account.”

Continue reading “Labour as a Brexit Party – a policy reached from the wrong assumptions?”

The Latest Initiative

Several of us went to Tony Knight’s very poignant funeral last Friday. A little booklet of his poems was available. His poetry is very varied but I especially liked this one – I can imagine Tony really enjoying writing this about the perfidy of the political class!

The Latest Initiative

The Minister was revealed in a strobing arc of flashes,

He processed the throng to the admiring click of shutters

And raised his hands before the expectant mikes.


The Minister was very firm but remained charming,

An unforced performance worthy of higher office.

We felt the warmth of his smile, that personal magic.


The Minister bared movingly his social concern

Whilst lamenting the paucity of funds he could deploy.

The fault, he said, belonged to the previous government.


The Minister read from the Great Charter in his hands.

The phrases rang from the cracked school walls,

Affirming our rights, subject to cash limits.


The Minister outlined the process of making bids.

Market forces would renew our inner cities,

Plus training in budgets and accounts, a little vision.


The Minister departed, a security man preceding.

His limousine passed the forlorn bus shelter

In a whirl of blown litter, vanishing from sight.

March Meetings

Beverley Branch 7pm Tuesday 7th March at Armstrongs Social Club, Grovehill Rd, Beverley HU17 0ED

Holderness Branch 7pm Tuesday 14th at The Old Vicarage, Ivy Lane, Hedon HU12 8BL

Beverley and Holderness CLP 7pm Thursday 16th March – Armstrongs Social Club, Grovehill Rd, Beverley HU17 0ED

East Riding Labour Party 10.30am Saturday  18th March at The Lairgate Hotel, Beverley

All members are welcome to all Labour Party meetings. Don’t be shy – come along!

Burns Night Celebration 2017

Burns Night in Beverley is always a highlight of Beverley and Holderness Labour Party’s year.

This year, 125 members and supporters crowded into the Beverley Memorial Hall on Saturday evening, January 28th. They heard a rousing speech from Mayor of Goole Terry Smith who at only 19 proposed the Toast to the Lassies. Local Councillor Ann Willis toasted the Laddies and dancing to traditional ceilidh music set the scene. Bagpipes announced the arrival of the haggis following which everyone tucked into a fantastic supper of Haggis, bashed neeps and chappit tatties all washed down with Scotland’s national drink, and we’re not talking IRN BRU.

But the highlight was undoubtedly the Toast to the Immortal Memory of Robert Burns. The toast came at the culmination of a fantastic speech delivered by ASLEF President Tosh McDonald who recalled the esteem in which Burns was held by the union’s founders over 100 years ago. Tosh brought the house down with his recollection of his response to the devastation wrought by Margaret Thatcher on our society in the 1980’s. ‘I hated her so much,’ he told the audience, ‘that I’d set my alarm clock for an hour earlier than necessary every morning just so that I could have another hour each day hating her.’

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To allay public anxiety of the dangers of onshore ‘fracking’ the govt insists that regulation by the bodies involved – the Environment Agency (EA), the Health and Safety Executive, (HSE), Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) and Public Health England (PHE) is of a ‘Gold Standard’ quality.

To this end, ‘drop-in’ meetings have been organised in areas where development licences (PEDLs) for ‘fracking’  have already been issued. The purpose of these meetings is to inform members of the public what the various agency roles will be in the regulation of onshore fracking in the UK.

The primary responsibility for regulating High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (HVHF) – the unconventional method used for drilling for shale gas, lies with the EA and HSE.

As a concerned member of Frack Free East Yorkshire, I went along to this ‘drop-in’ to try, by questioning their representatives, to uncover a few details about their respective regulatory roles.