Saturday, April 21, 2012
PUBLIC MEETING OF THE HANNAH MITCHELL FOUNDATION
TOPIC : HOW TO OVERCOME THE NORTH-SOUTH DIVIDE
TIME : 1.30 pm
DATE : MAY DAY, Monday 7th May
VENUE : Council Chamber of the North East Derbyshire District Council,
CHAIR : KEN CURRAN : Chair of the Sheffield Co-operative Party
ROSIE SMITH : Youth Officer, North East Derbyshire Constituency Labour Party
GEOFFREY MITCHELL : Editor of "The Hard Way Up", the autobiography of Hannah Mitchell
BARRY WINTER : Independent Labour Publications, Chair of the Hannah Mitchell Foundation
PAUL SALVESON : Author of "Socialism With A Northern Accent",
Secretary of the Hannah Mitchell Foundation
Entrance to the District Council Offices will be via the rear of the building.
On the Hannah Mitchell Foundation see - http://www.hannahmitchell.org.uk/
The two items below this give details of the full May Day Programme in Chesterfield.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
9 am to 3.30 pm - Stalls and Entertainment in Winding Wheel.
10.30 am - March Assembles at Town Hall.
11 am - March Off.
11.30 am - Rally and Speeches in Rykneld Square.
Speakers : Mark Serwotka (PCS Gen. Sec)
Cheryl Pigeon (Midlands UCATT)
Tony Perkins MP (Chesterfield)
Kostas Katarahais (Gen. Sec. Greek Health Workers)
1 pm - Nottingham Clarion Choir in Winding Wheel.
1.30 pm -
HANNAH MITCHELL FOUNDATION
TOPIC : HOW TO OVERCOME THE NORTH-SOUTH DIVIDE
CHAIR : KEN CURRAN
PAUL SALVESON : Author of "Socialism With A Northern Accent", Secretary of the Hannah Mitchell Foundation.
ROSIE SMITH : Youth Officer, NE Derbyshire CLP.
BARRY WINTER : Independent Labour Publications, Chair of the Hannah Mitchell Foundation.
VENUE : COUNCIL CHAMBER, NORTH EAST DERBYSHIRE DISTRICT COUNCIL, SALTERGATE, CHESTERFIELD
1.45 pm - Brampton Community Band in Winding Wheel.
2.30 pm -Boomerang Generation and Kworye at Winding Wheel.
Refreshments available in the Winding Wheel provided by the Derbyshire Unemployed Workers' Centres, as well as an Exhibition of Anti-War Art by Chris Holden.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
One of the greatest myths that was regurgitated in the aftermath of the budget was the claim the tax take on the rich rises the less they are taxed.
It was said this occurred when Nigel Lawson was chancellor in the 1980s. What actually happened in the 1980s was that as the rich took a greater and greater share of national income the share of income tax they paid went up.
The richest 1% now pay more than a quarter of all direct income tax. This is not because of the 40%, 45% or 50% top tax rate, but because they now take home such huge salaries and bonuses (and incomes in other forms).
Today the best-off 1% take home a greater share than they have done at any time since directly after the First World War.
Allowing the richest 1% to take home more and more income and pay less tax does not create wealth and jobs. Employment levels have been highest in Britain in the years when the richest 1% had their lowest shares of national income, from 1945 to 1979.
The richest 1% didn’t pay a great absolute amount of income tax then because they were not taking such a high and unfair share of all the monies paid out in wages and salaries nationally.
Hat Tip : Jon Williams.
Monday, April 2, 2012
I perceive a growing decline in the unity of people in Britain today. This is reflected in the growing interest in the self determination of Scotland and Wales. Writing in a letter in the Guardian recently, Professor Paul Salverson of Huddersfield University argued for a reshaping of the United Kingdom based on regional governments (see his book on the issue here). He believes in an amalgamation of the Yorkshire Region, the North West, the North East and Cumbria. In effect a new region stretching form Berwick-upon-Tweed down to the Trent in the East Midlands; and in the west from Carlisle to the south of Merseyside.
This is a bold idea. It has become increasingly apparent in recent times that the Westminster governmental system does not command the respect of the electorate. In a democracy, reciprocal respect between the government and the governed is the prerequisite needed to build the confidence people require, if they are to feel that they are part of the national family.
Our governmental system is an an anachronism, stuck in the past and out of touch with almost everything around it. None of the political parties have a vision for the future. They offer no future for our young people and almost every part of our public services are in crisis! The services for the elderly in Britain are a national disgrace. The House of Commons is full of self seeking individuals; many lack an honest bone in their bodies. This is not just my opinion. On 5th March, Peter Kellner a national pollster revealed that nearly two-thirds of voters say that politicians lie "all the time" and less than a quarter think that parliament does a good job debating issues of concern to them. Kellner concluded that the figures show that Britain's democratic system is in danger.
It would be unwise to ignore the straws in the wind, yet this is what parliament continues to do. Before these people aspire to lead the nation, they should examine their real motives for wishing to represent them. I have been in the Labour Party for over sixty years and increasingly feel I have been deceived by not one, but by many who have sat in our parliament.
I am not alone in my concern. I feel that I am expressing the concerns of many. I, therefore, feel that if parliament can not reform itself, we must press for reforms which will ensure that we have structures which properly reflect the real needs and concerns of the people. I broadly support the call for a Northern Parliament. For over sixty years the North-South divide has grown and today is a chasm that is wider than ever. If the Westminster Government is not addressing the proper concerns of the North, then perhaps it is time for us to take matters into our own hands, away from a structure dominated by self-seeking individuals who have no real feeling of kinship or empathy with the people they purport to represent.