Labour opens up biggest lead over Tories since general election

From The Guardian: Labour has opened up its biggest poll lead over the Conservatives since shortly after last June’s general election, as the government’s chaotic handling of Brexit appears to have triggered a dramatic fall in support for Theresa May and the Tories.

The latest Opinium poll for the Observer puts Labour on 40%, the same score as last month, but four points ahead of the Tories who have dropped by six points since early June to 36%.

May’s leadership ratings have also nosedived, while those of Jeremy Corbyn have remained stable. May’s net approval rating – when the number of people who disapprove of the way she is leading the country is subtracted from the number who approve – has tumbled from -8% in June to -24% over a turbulent political period of just five weeks.

She is now well behind Corbyn who is on -12%, little changed from -13% last month.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

About the Progressive Alliance

From The Progressive Alliance: The Progressive Alliance is an historic campaign that began at a time when many progressive people had just about given up hope that British politics could change.

Together, we decided that something had to be done. We decided that if we wanted to change things, progressive people would have to start working together – not against each other. And then, on the announcement of a snap election by Theresa May, we launched the biggest tactical voting campaign in British political history.

Volunteers up and down the country began sowing the seeds of a new politics – leafleting, canvassing and even holding Bernie Sanders-inspired ‘Barnstorms’.

We held a huge launch party attended by nearly 1,000 people, with inspiring talks, comedy and performances by progressive leaders, poets, campaigners, comedians and musicians from the UK and progressive movements around the world.

Meanwhile, we managed to secure 41 local alliances between progressive parties. Courageous local heroes volunteered to put aside the old, tribal party politics, in favour of a new way of doing things – standing together, united, in order to defeat the Tories.

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Indie crowdfunder: “The Great NHS Heist” film

The Great NHS Heist Trailer

Coming Soon Our documentary film is close to completion. We need your help to spread the word about the film and more crowdfunding to deliver the best film possible. you#NHS70

Posted by The Great NHS Heist on Friday, June 29, 2018

“I’m Dr Bob Gill, a family doctor and NHS campaigner based in South East London.

“Over the last few years I have become aware of creeping privatisation in our National Health Service. There has been a concerted effort by consecutive governments to convert our NHS to a profit driven private health insurance system.

“In 2014 I co-produced a film, ‘Sell Off – The Abolition of your NHS’ which explained the dismantling of our health service. It has been shown at screenings around the country and been well received by audiences, judging by the feedback at over 50 such events I have attended in the last 18 months for Question and Answer sessions.

“I’ve had many requests to make another film. Our new project “THE GREAT NHS HEIST” will make clear what is going on and how the final betrayal will play out unless we act to stop the heist of our NHS.

“We will explore the measures being taken to drive us to an American-style health system and what is in store for us in a for-profit system.

“Our film can be made, with your support. We won’t have money for stock footage or fancy music but if we can raise enough to get to all our interviewees and cover our equipment costs then we will be able to tell this important story. All the people involved are putting in their time and expertise voluntarily.”

[Donate to crowdfunder now…]

Home Office returns cannabis oil for boy’s epilepsy treatment

From The Observer: The Home Office has backed down over its refusal to release medicinal cannabis oil that it had confiscated from the family of a severely epileptic boy.

Sajid Javid said he had used an exceptional power as home secretary to issue a licence for Billy Caldwell to be treated with the oil as a matter of urgency.

Billy’s mother, Charlotte Caldwell from County Tyrone, said her family had “achieved the impossible” in getting the oil back, and criticised the “dreadful, horrific, cruel experience” her son had suffered.

Billy’s cannabis oil was confiscated at Heathrow on Monday. It contains a psychoactive substance called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that is illegal in the UK but available elsewhere, and had kept his epilepsy at bay.

After it was taken from him, Billy suffered two seizures that other medicines could not control and he was taken to Chelsea and Westminster hospital by ambulance on Friday.

Following Billy’s admission, the Home Office came under intense pressure to allow him to be prescribed the medicine that had successfully controlled his seizures for 300 days.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

Activate deactivated: Conservatives’ Momentum imitation folds after 8 months

From The London Economic: Activate, the Conservatives’ imitation of Momentum, has folded after just eight months.

The political movement was set up to engage young people in centre-right politics but has struggled to make any headway since it was launched in August last year.

Many have argued that the group was doomed from the start having been set the impossible mission of becoming the vehicle for a conservative mass movement that never existed.

A visit to the Activate website returns a ‘404’ error – while the group’s Twitter account now shows only a single tweet under a revised name of “The artist formerly known as Activate”.

[Read full article on The London Economic…]

Ministers U-turn on housing benefit axe for 18-21-year-olds

From BBC News: Ministers have reversed a 2014 move stopping people under the age of 21 automatically getting housing benefit.

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey said the change would “reassure all young people that housing support is in place if they need it”.

It was estimated that 10,000 young people would have been hit by the move.

Ms McVey said that in return for the benefit “young people in return will have a Youth Obligation – an intensive package of labour market support for 18-21 year-olds looking to get into work”.

[Read full article on BBC News website…]

Creating powerful messages

From Civil Society How To: Before beginning a campaign, Frank Sharry (Executive Director of America’s Voice) recommends considering three points.

  1. What is your message? What is the story? What are you asking for?

Before beginning any project, it’s important to imagine how it would be communicated in the media.

What’s the headline? Sharry reminds us that politicians don’t make decisions based on policy papers, but on the stories being told about the issues in the media.

  1. What does it mean to put communications at the center?

At the start of any campaign it’s important to ask WHO says WHAT to WHOM and HOW?

WHO: It’s essential that you are prepared to speak about your issue. Everyone involved should be able to describe the campaign. It’s also useful to look for unusual allies.

HOW: Consider the multiple means of communicating any message including film and video, blogs and online media, research publications, meetings and presentations.

WHOM: Be specific about who you want to connect with.

  1. Think about what you want to say first. Use a “message house.” This prepares you.

[View full article on Civil Society How To…]

Toby Young resigns from the Office for Students after backlash

From The Guardian: Toby Young has stepped down from the Office for Students less than 24 hours after the universities minister robustly countered criticism of his appointment.

In a statement posted on the Spectator website on Tuesday morning, Young, a champion of free schools, said: “My appointment has become a distraction from its vital work of broadening access to higher education and defending academic freedom.”

The Office for Students (OfS) chair, Sir Michael Barber, welcomed the news, which came after a backlash against the appointment, with questions about Young’s suitability for the role. Barber said Young had “reached the right conclusion”.

Barber added: “Many of his previous tweets and articles were offensive, and not in line with the values of the Office for Students. Mr Young was right to offer an unreserved apology for these comments and he was correct to say that his continuation in the role would have distracted from our important work.”

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

May drops manifesto promise to allow foxhunting vote

From The Guardian: Theresa May has confirmed that she has ditched plans that would have allowed the end of the ban on foxhunting, in the latest attempt to repair the Conservatives’ reputation on animal rights.

The decision to include a vote on the repeal of the foxhunting ban has been blamed by some Tory MPs as contributing to the party’s disastrous result. During the election campaign, Labour officials said the foxhunting pledge had helped them enormously on the doorstep.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

YouGov poll: Half say The Sun newspaper is bad for British society, just 5% think its influence is positive

From Stop Funding Hate: 50% of the British public believes that The Sun newspaper has a negative influence on our society, according to a new YouGov poll commissioned by Stop Funding Hate. Just one in twenty people (5%) see the newspaper’s influence as positive.

The Yougov poll also reveals a striking, nationwide consensus: Across every British region, age group, and demographic polled, more people see The Sun’s influence as negative rather than positive. In the north of England, 53% expressed this view. Among young people aged 18-24, the figure was 57%. Figures for London reflected the national average.

The public’s faith in the Daily Mail is also low: As with the Sun, in every age group, demographic and region, more people see the Mail’s influence as negative rather than positive. Overall, more than one in three people (38%) believe that the paper has a negative influence. Only one in ten (10%) see the newspaper’s influence as positive. The poll shows a greater variance across different groups (for example 28% of people over 65 see the Daily Mail’s influence as negative, with 18% seeing it as positive). Meanwhile almost half of people aged 18-24 (48%) believe that the Daily Mail has a negative influence on society.

Research by the European Broadcasting Union has previously found that the UK press is the least trusted in Europe.

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#ToryBritain Christmas tidings: Meme by @Rachael_Swindon

Rachael@Rachael_Swindon Todays just saying, Christmas Day special. @theresa_may #ToriesOut

Posted by Walking the Breadline on Monday, December 25, 2017


Eight lessons from Barcelona en Comú on how to Take Back Control

From OpenDemocracy: “We’re living in extraordinary times that demand brave and creative solutions. If we’re able to imagine a different city, we’ll have the power to transform it.” – Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona.

On 24 May 2015, the citizen platform Barcelona en Comú was elected as the minority government of the city of Barcelona. Along with a number of other cities across Spain, this election was the result of a wave of progressive municipal politics across the country, offering an alternative to neoliberalism and corruption.

With Ada Colau – a housing rights activist – catapulted into the position of Mayor, and with a wave of citizens with no previous experience of formal politics finding themselves in charge of their city, BComú is an experiment in progressive change that we can’t afford to ignore.

[Read full article on OpenDemocracy…]

“On planet reality the Tories are the radical economic extremists, not Jeremy Corbyn”

From Another Angry Voice: “Every single time you hear someone from the political right trying to make out that Jeremy Corbyn is some kind of hard-left economic extremist (as if the Tories are economic moderates in comparison), you’ve got to remember that they’re trying to convince you that black is white.

“In reality Labour’s core economic policies under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership (public ownership of the rail industry, water companies, mail service, health service, police services & national grid + a National Investment Bank) are quite normal centre-left policies that are commonplace across the developed world.

“Not only are these policies commonplace across the developed world, they’re all incredibly popular with the public. Renationalisation of our core infrastructure and services has overwhelming public support.

“There is a constant right-wing political narrative that Jeremy Corbyn is a terrifying hard-left economic extremist which rarely ever gets challenged by the mainstream media. But the really crazy thing is that while mainstream media hacks continually allow right-wingers to smear Jeremy Corbyn and Labour as economic extremists when they’re not, they’re simultaneously letting the Tories get away with implementing one crackpot economic policy from the hard-right fringe after another.”

[Read full article on Another Angry Voice…]

Daily Mail shares plummet 25% after announcing £112m losses

From Evolve Politics: Shares in the company that owns both the Daily Mail and MailOnline have plummeted by 25% after they announced a huge £112m loss.

The publications’ parent company DMGT made a profit of £202m in 2016, but said that ‘challenging conditions in some of our sectors’ had led to the huge losses incurred in 2017.

And, in a stark warning for the paper’s long term future, the company added that they expected 2018 to be just as tough.

#DailyFail #DailyHateMail: Shares in the company that owns both the #DailyMail and MailOnline have plummeted by 25%…

Posted by Stop The Tories Channel on Saturday, December 2, 2017

[Read full article on Evolve Politics…]

Government announces £1.5 billion U-turn on Universal Credit

From Metro: The Government has bowed to pressure on the controversial Universal Credit roll-out. During his 2017 Budget announcement, Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced that a £1.5 billion package will be allocated to deal with the issues and delays caused by the controversial roll-out of the one size fits all benefit.

[Read article on Metro website…]

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