A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Warwick II - what got decided

Although it was nearly a month ago, there hasn't been coverage in one place of all the policy decisions that came out of Labour's Warwick National Policy Forum.

I think that's a shame, as there were some very good decisions that could provide useful ammo for Labour campaigners and inspire people to go out and work for the Party.

I've tried to collate everything I could find about the outcomes and publish it all here in one place.

Sources I've lifted this from are FT, Guardian, Times, Tribune, letter from Pat McFadden MP to Times, LGA Labour Group briefing, Labour Party website, BBC Online and most significantly a very comprehensive report sent round by NEC member Ann Black:

Policies Agreed

Agriculture, Rural Affairs, Food and Animal Welfare
· Allowing tested GM crops to be used commercially.
· Labelling goods made of real animal fur.
· Continuing to work with all agencies to ensure that the hunting act is effectively enforced.
· Continuing to push for a global ban on whaling, and to research new ways to reduce animal testing.
· Involving those who live and work in rural areas on provision of services.

Campaigning
· Wholesale replacement of the phrase “hard-working families” with more inclusive language.
· Positive discrimination to increase the number of ethnic minority MPs and MEPs.

Constitutional Reform and Local Government
· Continuing debate on a UK constitution.
· Votes at 16 (subject to consultation by a new youth citizenship commission)
· Elected House of Lords.
· Consider ways of increasing voter registration and participation in local and national elections, weekend voting and the duty to vote.
· Further consultation on the Review of Voting Systems in the UK but opposition to proportional representation for electing local councils.
· "We have given local communities the choice of directly elected mayors for their towns, and where adopted, some elected mayors have proved effective and popular with residents. We have recently legislated to give all councils a choice between mayors and indirectly elected council leaders and will consult on making it easier for local people to decide to have a mayor. However, Labour recognises that indirectly elected council leaders can provide superb leadership and as such we will not seek to impose elected mayors. We will include in our consultation the process whereby a decision to have a directly elected mayor can be reversed by referendum or vote of the council."

Cultural policy
· Combating looting and illegal trade in art and antiquities through international co-operation.
· Confirming commitment to the BBC and ensuring adequate funding.

Education
· Extension of the city academies programme: wanting all local authorities to promote academies, but affirming that money for BSF (Building Schools for the Future) is not dependent on this.
· Replacing Key Stage tests at ages 11 and 14 with “stage not age” tests, if pilots are successful.
· Encouraging more people from disadvantaged backgrounds to enter higher education by increasing awareness of financial support.
· “Academic selection at 11 is socially divisive and can damage self-esteem, achievement and development …Local parents can vote to remove selection at local grammar schools and it is right that such decisions are made locally”.
· A universal offer to support and advise 18- to 25-year-olds with fewer than two A-levels who want to study or train.

Employment
· The government "should" pay the adult rate of minimum wage from age 21, instead of 22, if the low pay commission recommends it for a fourth time next year.
· Tips will be on top of, rather than included in, the minimum wage.
· Apprentice schemes will be opened up to older workers.
· More apprenticeships, particularly in the public sector.
· Parents of children aged up to 16 will get flexible working rights.
· The Government will ensure "adequate investment" in Remploy factories and give the firm the opportunity to compete for public sector contracts.
· Measures to allow mothers to share paid parental leave with fathers.
· An increase in the statutory minimum redundancy pay.
· Considering an inquiry into health and safety standards in the construction industry.
· Examination of whether the gangmasters' licensing authority should be extended from food and agriculture to the construction industry.
· Introducing tripartite sector forums (representing government, business and unions) to investigate means of improving skills and pay in the care, contract cleaning, betting and hospitality industries.
· Prevention of the false use of self-employed status for workers by employers.
· “We will work with the CBI, unions and others to gather evidence of the effectiveness of promoting best practice on equal pay audits.”

Environment & Energy
· Nuclear power is included with clean coal and renewables as part of the future energy mix, but with added guarantees of full public consultation on planning applications for nuclear stations and assurances that companies would have to meet all the costs, including decommissioning and waste disposal.
· Making micro-generation an integral part of energy production.
· Increasing re-use and recycling of products, and reducing excess packaging.
· Eradicating fuel poverty in vulnerable households by 2010 and all households by 2016.
· Moves to ensure that people in the UK have the right skills to make the most of the “green collar” employment opportunities created by the investment in nuclear energy and renewables over the coming years.

Foreign Policy/Defence/International Development
· Withdrawal from Iraq as soon as realistic but in Afghanistan “our presence as part of a multinational mission is strongly supported by local people and is essential to building long-term stability”.
· “Failing to renew Trident would be a gamble with the nation’s security that the Labour government must not take”.
· Allowing America to use British bases for its national missile defence (NMD) programme "will provide the UK and the US with warning of missile attacks on our countries and is therefore consistent with the Labour party’s commitment to protecting the safety of British citizens.”
· Adding “through peaceful means” to a sentence about preventing the emergence of failed states [possibly a drafting error as elsewhere the use of military intervention as a last resort was accepted].
· Recognition of Israel and commitment to peace as pre-conditions for Hamas to join peace talks.
· Condemnation of killings of trade unionists in Columbia - but a proposal to stop military aid to Colombia was defeated.
· Providing access to legal and safe abortion, as well as to contraception, to women in Africa and South Asia.
· Promoting fair trade products.
· Supporting and promoting the concept of a "Social Europe".
· Challenging the World Bank not to force developing countries to privatise their public services in order to qualify for development aid.

Health
· Support for the Darzi review.
· Exemptions from prescription charges could be “better used to tackle health inequalities”.
· Monitoring access to NHS dentists, and ensuring access for every child.
· Fines for primary care trusts who do not achieve 90% use of the Choose and Book system by 2010.
· Encouraging voluntary registration for organ donation, rather than an opt-out system.
· More use of in-house services for hospital cleaning.
· Recognising the importance of hospital cleaning teams, but stating that there is no evidence of better infection control with in-house provision.
· More recognition and support for carers.
· Starting a debate on how to fund long-term social care, with no preferred option at this stage.
· "We will oppose any attempts to create an EU single market for healthcare which could undermine the NHS".
· Health check-ups for everyone as part of a shift to a preventive NHS.
· Longer GP opening hours.

Home Affairs
· Preventing criminals from profiting from books about their crimes.
· Reviewing the availability of healthcare for failed asylum-seekers.
· Ensuring the highest standards of humanity and dignity when asylum-seekers have to be detained.
· Reclassifying cannabis as a Class B drug to send a strong message that it is harmful.
· Action to combat cannabis farms.
· Rejecting evidence obtained through torture in UK courts, and fighting to close Guantanamo Bay.
· Titan prisons will be built near large cities so that more prisoners are close to home.
· Recognition that that many prisoners have mental health issues, and some should be in more appropriate accommodation.
· Noted “the public’s steady support for our proposals” on ID cards and that “these plans are being implemented on a pilot basis, and their success and acceptability will determine how rapidly the full biometric database and accompanying ID cards will be rolled out”.
· Turning community service into a tough new community payback scheme with a stronger voice for the public in how this works in local areas

Housing
· Regulation of estate agents, so that consumers are protected in advance rather than having to seek redress after things have gone wrong.
· Investigating heat-retention material for older houses without cavity walls.
· "Government recognises the need for reform of the system of council housing finance which is why we have launched a review of the housing revenue account subsidy system. The review will address a wide range of issues including; subsidy, rents, management and maintenance, major repairs and borrowing. Labour recognises the need, particularly in a more difficult housing market, to have a mixed economy of housing providers and believes that local authorities and ALMOs, as well as housing associations, have a key role to play in the future of affordable housing provision. The review is considering how we can ensure councils have a sustainable, long-term system for financing their housing, in particular how we can work with local authorities to ensure stock is of a decent standard as well as providing the social and affordable homes, including council houses, we need in the future."
· Councils will be allowed to apply for social housing grants formerly reserved for housing associations to enable them to be future providers of social housing. This will create a "level playing field" between local authorities with ALMOs and those who continue to directly manage their stock.

Public Services
· An assertion of "the central role of the public sector in delivering public services". UNISON described this as "It makes clear that direct provision should be the preferred option - and that privatisation is not the way ahead".
· Endorsement of the use of the private and voluntary sectors to deliver public services, including "welfare-to-work" and the NHS.
· Requirement for private sector companies contracting with the public sector to provide more information on the proportion of women they employ.
· "£160 billion is spent by the public sector on private sector contracts. The equality duty will require public bodies to give due regard to the need to tackle discrimination and promote equality through their purchasing functions. We will use our purchasing power to help private sector contractors to contribute to the delivery of our public policy objectives of greater equality.”
· Maintaining a publicly owned and integrated Post Office.

Taxation, poverty and redistribution
· “Despite progress in reducing poverty under this government, the current wealth gap between rich and poor is still too large. There is growing evidence that social strains and ill-health are greater in more unequal societies, independent of overall wealth … reducing inequality will contribute to the development of a fairer society. We are committed to narrowing inequalities in society, tackling the gap between rich and poor and eradicating child poverty. A progressive tax and benefit system has an important part to play ...”
· Ministers agreed to try to boost take-up of tax credits, even though this would cost money.

Transport
· Supporting the sustainable growth of aviation and the development of green aviation technologies.
· Simplifying rail fares and making them more transparent.
· A promise to "look at" non-profit making companies acting as train operators.
· A big electrification programme for the railways.

Policies Referred to Annual Conference
Only two policies received over 25% but fewer than 50% of the votes at the NPF and will hence be referred to Conference for a final decision. In both cases the author was Sir Jeremy Beecham, Labour Group Leader on the Local Government Association:
· More councillors on police authorities
· Commissioning an independent review of the civil legal aid system

Policies rejected
The following policies were proposed at the NPF but rejected or never pushed to a vote:
· Higher taxes for earners of over £150,000 per annum.
· Higher total government spending.
· Linking out-of-work benefits to earnings.
· Paying the minimum wage at age 18.
· Allowing minimum wage inspectors to enforce other rights such as paid holidays at the same time.
· Cheaper phone calls for prisoners to their families.
· Allowing only parents with children under 11 in the catchment area to vote in the ballot on abolishing the 11+.
· Immediate inclusion of Hamas in Middle East peace talks.
· Withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan.
· A windfall tax on energy companies.
· Higher rates of National Insurance.
· Legalisation of limited second picketing.
· Simpler balloting for industrial action.
· Universal free school meals.
· Reopening of public sector pay deals.
· Rejection of using private companies in the public sector.

36 Comments:

Anonymous tim f said...

The policies rejected column inevitably includes a number of policies I'd support. Particularly disappointed that universal free school meals didn't make the cut. But I can't for the life of me work out on what grounds "Allowing minimum wage inspectors to enforce other rights such as paid holidays at the same time" wasn't supported - anyone care to shed any light?

4:26 pm, August 19, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would be great if you could link to the sources you've used that are online, Luke (is Ann Black's report online?) - I'm pretty sure that some of your report is simply not true.

Not blaming you for this, as you have to use the evidence you have access to, but just warning that not all of your sources are necessarily reliable.

4:30 pm, August 19, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A pre-nup for a marriage which is never going to get consummated.

Lukey's boys and girls might get to the registry offices but there will be 30m voters objecting to the union.

5:18 pm, August 19, 2008

 
Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

All of the rejected policies are pretty decent social democratic policies, very sad to see these are not included. My view of course is subject to change if what anon has said is true.

5:25 pm, August 19, 2008

 
Blogger Bloggers4Labour said...

Immediate inclusion of Hamas in Middle East peace talks.

Very social-democratic!

5:40 pm, August 19, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Ann Black's report isn't online yet - was sent by email - if it had been online I would not have thought it was useful to quote so extensively from it.

She says in her email that she compiled it from the bundle of papers NPF members actually got.

One reason for putting this post up was to give people a forum to correct any of the reporting in the press that is incorrect, and highlight other decisions I have not been aware of.

Would be great if any NPF members out there could comment if there are errors, and I will try to correct the post as I get fresh info.

Like Tim I'm disappointed about the school meals issue which GMB was pushing.

I think the thing with the minimum wage inspectors is that there are too few inspectors to do the core job properly let alone extra tasks.

6:21 pm, August 19, 2008

 
Anonymous tim f said...

Not overburdening inspectors with extra work seems a fair reason I suppose - but would be even better just to employ more of them.

Don't want to be completely negative though as there is some good stuff in there which sounds both progressive and popular & I'd like to know more about - particularly eradicating fuel poverty by 2016, ensuring access to NHS dentists for every child, more in-house NHS cleaning, and shared paid parental leave. Although incredibly vaguely phrased, more recognition and support for carers could also be really important as carers have not ever been properly recognised by any government in Britain.

Although less populist, I also like the sound of providing access to safe and legal abortion in Africa and South Asia. It's also a surprise to see reviewing the availability of healthcare for "failed" asylum seekers there. I won't hold out much hope, but that is one of a batch of policies which are causing untold misery and suffering and it would be great to see it reversed.

6:42 pm, August 19, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A couple to be taken with a pinch of salt:

- Wholesale replacement of the phrase “hard-working families” with more inclusive language.

That would probably be a lot of amendments across all the documents, with decisions reached individually through negotiation with a wide range of ministers - I'm not aware of that having happened. If it did, of course, it wouldn't have any direct impact on future Labour campaigning, just on the precise content of the policy documents.

- An assertion of "the central role of the public sector in delivering public services". UNISON described this as "It makes clear that direct provision should be the preferred option - and that privatisation is not the way ahead".

Unison's characterisation of this is rather odd - the public sector does have the central role in delivering public services and will do for the foreseeable future. Stating this fact is to make no judgement one way or the other about "preferred options", and nor is it to rule out the use of the private and voluntary sectors in any area of public service delivery. This is the kind of area where I'd expect ministers to be very careful about the language they used, and I'd be surprised if Unison are right in their interpretation.

One other point: looking down the list, lots of these have been government policy for a while. It's good that Warwick endorsed them, but it would be misleading to suggest that they're the result of Warwick.

7:12 pm, August 19, 2008

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

Don't know what happened to the post I did earlier....

I do think that Hamas will need to be part of any solution and so they need to be included in any negotiated settlement. Good thing that attitude was taken in Northern Ireland!

Some of the ideas are good - but the problem is that none of them are really all that inspiring, whereas a couple of the ones rejected would at least have stood a chance of bringing some voters back. The problem is that I don't see anyone flocking back to labour because of anything here. Voters are simply bored and fed up and there's no headline grabber here.

9:06 pm, August 19, 2008

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

Oh, and I agree with one of the rejections too - a return to secondary picketing can't be justified.

9:08 pm, August 19, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The government "should" pay the adult rate of minimum wage from age 21, instead of 22, if the low pay commission recommends it for a fourth time next year."

Of right, the government will be picking p the tab will it, not the employer? Well, at least that won't increase unemployment, but funding it might be somewhat tricky at the moment and as for administering it...

10:53 pm, August 19, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

A lot of those policies I don't agree with at all. I agree that we should be leaving Iraq as we have outstayed our welcome.

Afghanistan, I'm not convinced we can make a difference there anymore. No point staying unless we can break the enemy, something that is looking very doubtful.

I support the ban on whaling but I would like to see the government take a stronger stance against those countries that still do it.

Fox hunting, I agree with the ban in principle but I'm not convinced that it is either a priority or workable. My fox terriers kill at least a fox every week, it's what they are breed for and enjoy doing.....I'm afraid I have little control over their natural behavior and neither does the law. How can I stop my dogs taking a fox, rabbit or even a badger. Unless you live on a farm then you really don't understand why we have certain dogs. My dogs are bred for rats and rabbits but they often vanish down other holes as well and come out with a fox or badger. Not nice but a fact of life around here. The law doesn't know or is it interested unless it is an in your face hunt.

GM crops, most Brits don't want them and this is evident in farmers markets and seed sales across the country. So why is Labour forcing them down our throats.

Wholesale replacement of the phrase “hard-working families” with more inclusive language. Utter crap and rebranding working brits is utter pc tosh.

Continuing debate on a UK constitution, Labour ended this by not allowing a referendum.

Electoral Reform - so far your comments look like an attempt to boost votes for the Labour party. Do you really think 16 years olds will vote Labour.....look at the Polls luke....they are all blue.

Agree completely with most of your comments on employment.

Don't agree with your nuclear comments as you are poorly educated in this area.

Agree with the rest.

11:07 pm, August 19, 2008

 
Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

B4L, sorry did Hamas not win an election?

8:46 am, August 20, 2008

 
Anonymous observer said...

Error! “Despite progress in reducing poverty under this government, the current wealth gap between rich and poor is still too large." Poverty increased under this government, as did the wealth gap.

I would be happy to see wholesale replacement of the odious hetrosexist phrase “hard-working families” with more inclusive language.

I don't agree with the ... Exemptions from prescription charges could be “better used to tackle health inequalities”. If the exemptions I currently benefit from are withdrawn I will never be able to survive without a massive rise in state benefit You might as well kill us off. Why not be honest and bring in euthanasia for us chronically sick and disabled people?

9:12 am, August 20, 2008

 
Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Well Mike, I'm not sure I agree with your stance on secondary picketing, after all unions would not exist if solidarity action was not allowed

The leadership of trade unions have changed somewhat since the 1970s and am yet to be convinced by Tory and New Labour arguments to the contrary.

Labour laws should be reviewed; especially any action the union takes on a member who crosses a picket line.

Mrs Thatcher was right on was the election of TU reps and secret ballots. There is nothing wrong in democratising union infrastructure.

10:39 am, August 20, 2008

 
Anonymous stephen said...

Noted “the public’s steady support for our proposals” on ID cards and that “these plans are being implemented on a pilot basis, and their success and acceptability will determine how rapidly the full biometric database and accompanying ID cards will be rolled out”

What 'steady support'? Support has been steadily declining and is now less than 50%, and just importantly, the number of people who are prepared to actively resist registration has increased significantly. And when polls ask about the National Identity Register support falls even lower.

The duty to vote

I smell a new way of criminalising law abiding people. And you think this shit is going to win you an election?

11:04 am, August 20, 2008

 
Anonymous tim f said...

Funnily enough, compulsory voting is one thing I hear about time after time again from LP members where I live which seems to bear no relation to how left or right their politics are.

Of course, it is such an unknown (who knows if it would trigger a sizeable protest vote or not & is it possible to poll for that kind of thing) that it might only be undertaken by a government that thought it was going to either win an election dramatically or lose it.

11:09 am, August 20, 2008

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

The problem I have with compulsory voting is that in present circumstances, there is no-one i actually want to vote for.

I can't stand the term 'hard-working families' because it suggests that anyone who doesn't 1) work full time, and 2) doesn't live in a 'family with children' is somehow a non-person. Not a good way of making people think that a government is bothered about them!

I do part-time/contract work and live with my civil partner. I don't relate to that sort of jargon. Look at the demographics, plenty of others like me who don't live in a nuclear family

12:01 pm, August 20, 2008

 
Anonymous stephen said...

Funnily enough, compulsory voting is one thing I hear about time after time again from LP members where I live which seems to bear no relation to how left or right their politics are

I think it's another one of those authoritarian/liberal axis thingies rather than a left/right divide. To be honest, I just don't see the point of it. It appears to be saying that the public's disenhancement with party politics is down to apathy and that if people were forced to vote then things would get better. This is arrogant poisonous nonsense. But I am not sure how many would protest. It's not *that* big a deal in itself but it is just part of the creeping authoritarianism that a substantial (still a minority?) number of people are kicking against.

But lest I be accused of being wholly negative, there are certainly some very good things in the list of policies that Luke posted but there is also a lot of good stuff in the rejected policies! Why in God's name should the minimum wage not apply to all those aged 18 or over?

12:30 pm, August 20, 2008

 
Anonymous stephen said...

The problem I have with compulsory voting is that in present circumstances, there is no-one i actually want to vote for

Well that's one problem and one that I share. When I turned up at the Polling Station in 2005, I was confronted by a list of 4 candidates, none of whom I wanted to vote for. I should have checked beforehand whether there was a Green candidate standing. As it was I placed the ballot form uncrossed into the box. Dunno whether that would be illegal in the brave new world of compulsory voting - probably not, I guess turning up would get me off the fine..

12:38 pm, August 20, 2008

 
Anonymous tim f said...

It couldn't be illegal as for it to be so would violate the secrecy of the ballot. Presumably a "none of the above" option would also be present.

1:25 pm, August 20, 2008

 
Anonymous stephen said...

It couldn't be illegal as for it to be so would violate the secrecy of the ballot

The serial number of your ballot paper is recorded against the copy of the electoral register when you present yourself to vote, so it perfectly possible to work out who has voted for whom, or spoiled their ballot paper. But if compulsory voting were introduced, I am sure it would not extend as far as compelling you to put a mark on the ballot paper!

Presumably a "none of the above" option would also be present

If the number of votes cast for 'none of the above' were reported as prominently as the votes cast for the candidates, then that might almost make it worth accepting compulsory voting. Any MP elected with fewer votes that 'none of the above' would be utterly humiliated. For that reason, it'll never happen.

1:39 pm, August 20, 2008

 
Blogger Duncan Hall said...

Thanks for posting this Luke - it's useful.

7:52 pm, August 20, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what rubbish from 'rich' about the hunting ban. Hunters breed their hounds for stamina and have to teach them to chase down and kill foxes as it is not a natural instinct.

Do you want hare coursing re-legalised too?

The Hunting Act is quite enforceable no matter what the thugs of the CA say

7:57 pm, August 20, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

"what rubbish from 'rich' about the hunting ban. Hunters breed their hounds for stamina and have to teach them to chase down and kill foxes as it is not a natural instinct.

Do you want hare coursing re-legalised too?

The Hunting Act is quite enforceable no matter what the thugs of the CA say"

Rubbish, these dogs are have been bred for centuries to do that job. They are working dogs and it is in them from birth. I have a border collie which has had herding instincts inherited from its mother and father....very little training needed. The fox terriers keep the rats down but I didn't need to train them to do that either. They kills foxes and badgers, they often disappear down holes while on walks and come back with wounds on their lower jaws associated with badger bites. I can't stop them doing it this is part of their breeding and the only way to stop it is breed it out of them. Don't work these dogs and keep them in a domestic situation is asking for trouble.I loath digging my dogs out when they get stuck and I don't encourage them to go down them....but they just do it...

I was born on a farm in Melton Mowbray and had to learn the truth about working the land. I'm actually against hunting with dogs as a sport as I don't think its appropriate for this century but I think a killing pests with dogs is more humane than poison or a gun.

I don't support the CA but I do think the legislation is out of balance with other more cruel practices, such as battery farming of hens and pigs.

The legislation was poorly thought out and the result has been more hunts and more people interested in hunting. Fox and deer hunts still take place around here and the police do very little about it. I have stopped the hunts crossing my land but so far there hasn't been one prosecution despite the very obvious presence.

10:31 pm, August 20, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The stuff about hospital cleaners must be wrong - the two bullet points contradict each other.

8:32 am, August 21, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

It's not wrong - the NPF was dealing with such a volume of paper at such high speed (1 minute speeches on each amendment, amenmdments circulated at start of meeting) that they passed text that contradicted other text.

This has happened at annual conference as well - conference passing, in the same series of votes, NEC statements that contradict contemporary resolutions on the same subject.

10:11 am, August 21, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does it really say "more use" of hospital cleaning teams, though? Really? Isn't that just union spin on something like "hospitals should consider in-house options when negotiating cleaning contracts", which is obviously already the case, but which can be presented as a victory?

10:29 am, August 21, 2008

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

On this one I agree with Rich - I wonder why so few people who claim to be anti-hunting are vegetarian? Dogs chase foxes - always have done. And really, is the fox population tiny and depleted as a result?

10:32 am, August 21, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

To be honest Mike I'm not convinced that this legislation will stay even if Labour win the next general election. There is a lot of talk about coming to a compromise as the legislation hasn't worked at all.

I think most people dislike the traditional fox hunt, I know I do. But there are far more cruel practices that we should be dealing with. Most slaughter houses are pretty dreadful places and cause an enormous amount of stress to the creatures involved. So as a nation we are happy to put animals through a lifetime of misery before reaching our plates but are against the hunting of a fox with dogs, just doesn't make sense to me.

People should remember that foxes although very cute, do carry a very nasty tapeworm which can infect humans and pets. They also take chickens, ducks, game and even lambs and in the wrong place a fox is a pest. One rogue fox can cause a lot of damage.

Our terriers are not pets and you wouldn't dream of having them in the house. They incredibly dominant and will almost certainly attack over food. Which is why you hear of so many children being bitten by terriers. These dogs have been bred for centuries to kill pests and they enjoy doing it.

Where it becomes wrong is when people use these dogs to kill for sport. It sends a poor message to children if they see adults getting enjoyment from killing a wild animal. A pest or not the kill must be done humanely and with dignity.

9:47 pm, August 21, 2008

 
Blogger Miller 2.0 said...

Needs more big shiny totems.

Free school meals is a must.

11:42 pm, August 21, 2008

 
Anonymous Myfanwy Trellis (Mrs) said...

Maintaining a publicly owned and integrated Post Office.

Just the one? I hope they choose the post office in my village, in north Wales.

10:54 am, August 23, 2008

 
Anonymous Peter Kenyon said...

Dear Luke

Many thanks for bringing these sources together.

I'm working on linking back every amendement to those originally submitted. So far no London Region NPF representative has provided any account of the proceedings.

FYI Ann Black's report is on line at the Save the Labour Party website

http://www.savethelabourparty.org

and has been since it was sent to everyone by email.

Peter Kenyon

12:38 pm, August 23, 2008

 
Anonymous Peter Kenyon said...

Dear Luke

Many thanks for bringing these sources together.

I'm working on linking back every amendement to those originally submitted. So far no London Region NPF representative has provided any account of the proceedings.

FYI Ann Black's report is on line at the Save the Labour Party website

http://www.savethelabourparty.org

and has been since it was sent to everyone by email.

Peter Kenyon

12:38 pm, August 23, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the government does introduce compulsory voting I'm going to create a new political party to contest the subsequent election, it's going to be called None of the Above. Anyone willing to bet against my party being the party of government after the election with 600+ seats?

1:11 pm, August 24, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

Compulsory voting is a ridiculous idea and very dangerous for Labour. In the current climate labour is likely to get a very bloody nose from forcing a vote.

There is no recent evidence that non voters will vote Labour at all. In fact the latest YouGov Poll suggested of those that wouldn't vote only 16% would have chosen Labour. There 84% would vote for someone else....

Labour are taking a battering in the polls and it will only get worse in 2009. A recession is coming and don't believe the so called experts, this recession is going to make the 1990s look like a boom time. Our costs as a business are soaring but while we are still busy the money we are paid for our work is still at 2007 prices.

We are planning on increasing prics by as much as 35% in some areas and other companies I talk to in our local chamber are planning to do the same. Inflation will soar next year and combined with rising energy costs, slower spending, a property slump and rising unemployment = Big Recession.

Don't expect it to be over quickly either. I'm planning for at least 5years of it...so my advise is start saving now.

10:16 pm, August 25, 2008

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

 
Free Hit Counters
OfficeDepot Discount