Decisions, decisions

Although I rarely talk about it in public, politics is very important to me. I don’t talk about it because a: my opinion is only important to me – I don’t feel the need to share it (blog posts excepted, as previously stated this blog is to get stuff out of my head, if it gets read that’s just icing on an already satisfying cake) and b: I don’t have the mental bandwidth for discussions and arguments that are extremely unlikely to result in anyone, me included, changing their minds.

But, the subect IS really important to me because it affects literally every part of life. I also feel a sense of duty because I am aware of how lucky I am to have been born in this place, at this time, which leads me to careful consideration of who should be the people in power.

I am currently a member of the Labour Party – although I am debating (with myself) whether or not to continue to be a member. This entitles me to a vote for the next Party Leader and below are details of the main candidates, fact and figures to help make a voting decision. I thought I’d put it out here, just in case anyone else is interested.

The parts in italics are my opinion ONLY and should be taken with the pinch of salt all opinions should be seasoned with.

Sir Keir Starmer

Born to a working class household, went to grammar school, then Oxford and became a barrister. Got a rep for focusing on human rights law. Worked on getting rid of the death penalty in the Caribbean and Africa. Part of the legal team in the so-called McLibel case. Brought the prosecution against two men accused of murdering 18-year-old Stephen Lawrence. Has the backing of Baroness Doreen Lawrence – the mother of Stephen. Accepted a knighthood for services to law but prefers not to be called “sir”. Staunch remainer, wants second referendum. Mainly supported Corbyn and has kept the unions on side. Voting history mainly good, always votes for gay rights and equality. Mainly votes against military intervention abroad. Votes for a stronger welfare system, more support for disabled people and more company taxes. Supports the right to die for terminally ill people. Votes for immigrants and asylum seekers rights. Almost never rebels against party voting instructions. Voted against greater regulation of fracking. As is typical of Labour has no respect for people’s online privacy. Voted against investigations into the Iraq war. Out of 6 votes voted 3 for and 3 against reducing tax avoidance. Abstains on votes to reform House of Lords. Voted to refresh Trident nuclear deterrent system.

Jess Phillips

Plain talking brummie comes from a political Labour family. Grammar school. Heavily into feminism and woman’s rights. Has written two books about it. Before politics – managing domestic abuse refuges in the West Midlands. Was a Labour party member for most of her life but left in 2005 in protest at the Iraq War. Re-joined in 2010 and was selected for Yardley in 2013. Critical of Corbyn for the gender make-up of his shadow cabinet, and for his handling of allegations in the party of both anti-Semitism and sexual harassment but always a front stabber, never a back stabber, athough continuous criticisms start to look like point scoring and attention seeking after a while. Each year in parliament she reads out the list of names of women killed by their partner or ex-partner to highlight domestic abuse. Staunch remainer, despite representing a leave constituency. Voting history mainly good, has pretty much never rebelled against party voting. Votes for reform of House of Lords,  Votes for gay rights and equality, mainly votes against military intervention abroad, Votes for increasing welfare, votes for disabled people rights and money, Supports the right to die for terminally ill people, votes against reducing tax, votes to fight tax avoidance, votes to strengthen NHS, Votes for immigrants and asylum seekers rights, generally votes to protect the environment. Votes for better public transport. Voted against greater regulation of fracking. Voted against investigations into the Iraq war. Abstains on voting to respect people’s privacy online. Voted to refresh Trident nuclear deterrent system.

Rebecca Long Bailey

Born in Manchester, father was a docker. Worked in a pawn shop and call centres, a furniture factory and the postal service. Selected to be Labour’s 2015 election candidate for Salford. One of the 36 Labour MPs to nominate Jeremy Corbyn for the party’s leadership in 2015. Said of her bid for leadership – Labour needed a “socialist leader who can work with our movement, rebuild our communities and fight for the policies we believe in”. In a recent interview with ITV, she gave Corbyn “10 out of 10” when asked to rate his leadership. If elected leader, she said there would be no return to a “Tory lite” agenda, which she said had held the party back for many years. Brexit: said Labour should have focused on getting a “good deal” to leave rather than arguing for another referendum. On the vast majority of issues votes with the party. Votes for gay rights and equality. Voted against the right for terminally ill people to end their life, voted against keeping a nuclear deterrent, mainly votes against military intervention abroad, Voted for remaining in the EU, Votes for immigrants and asylum seekers rights, Votes for a stronger welfare system, more money for disabled people, votes against reducing tax, votes to strengthen the NHS, Votes for reform of House of Lords, Votes for immigrants and asylum seekers rights, generally votes to protect the environment. Votes for better public transport. Almost never rebels against party voting instructions. Out of 6 votes voted 3 for and 3 against reducing tax avoidance. As is typical of Labour has no respect for people’s online privacy. Voted against greater regulation of fracking What would she say to Donald Trump in 30 seconds? “I’m a good Catholic so I won’t say in public what I probably would say to him, but the most important point I’d make is about the climate emergency and how he needs to change his position.” OMFSM. She might have just been joking about the god stuff as being seen as religious probably wouldn’t hurt her politically (other than with extremist atheists).

Lisa Nandy

Born in Manchester, grandfather was the Liberal MP for North Dorset in the 1940s – described her father as “one of the few remaining” Marxists in the country. Went to comprehensive school. Her partner works in Public Relations. After leaving university, was a researcher for Labour MP before joining the homelessness charity Centrepoint. Then worked for the Children’s Society – a national charity focused on helping vulnerable young people. From 2006 to 2010, she was a councillor. Wigan’s first female, and first Asian MP. Resigned from the shadow cabinet after the EU referendum in protest at Corbyn’s leadership explaining Corbyn was “unable to form a broad, inclusive shadow cabinet that draws on the best of our movement’s left and right traditions”. On Brexit, she supported the Remain in 2016 but was staunchly opposed to another referendum or revoking the Brexit process afterwards. Happy to support Theresa May’s deal and Johnson’s deal proving assurances on the protection of workers’ rights. Votes for gay rights and equality. voted against keeping a nuclear deterrent. Votes for immigrants and asylum seekers rights, Votes for a stronger welfare system, more money for disabled people, votes to strengthen the NHS, Votes for reform of House of Lords, Votes for immigrants and asylum seekers rights Almost never rebels against party voting instructions. Voted a mixture of for and against use of UK military forces in combat operations overseas. Up and down on Brexit, since the referendum has voted for and against pro-EU motions. Voted a mixture of for and against higher taxes on banks, for and against various Tory tax motions, voted against measures to reduce tax avoidance, As is typical of Labour has no respect for people’s online privacy. Voted a mixture of for and against greater regulation of fracking.

Emily Thornberry

MP for Islington South and Finsbury since 2005. Born in Guildford in 1960. Parents divorced when she was seven, and the family relied on free school meals and food parcels. Spoken of her upset when the family had to put down its cats as they could not afford to feed them. While studying for her A-levels, she worked as a cleaner and barmaid, before gaining a place to study law at the University of Kent. Although she uses her maiden name, Ms Thornberry is entitled to be called Lady Nugee, after her husband, Christopher, was knighted. 1985 worked as a barrister specialising in human rights law. Known for her anti-nuclear position. Staunch remainer who backs another referendum. Never really criticises Corbyn but says he was let down by his advisors. Told Sky News she would give Mr Corbyn just “two out of 10” for his handling of anti-Semitism and “nought out of 10” for losing the election but she gave him full marks for “principle, bringing people into the party, firing up the party”. Votes for gay rights and equality. voted against keeping a nuclear deterrent, mainly votes against military intervention abroad, Voted for remaining in the EU, Votes for immigrants and asylum seekers rights, Votes for a stronger welfare system, more money for disabled people, mostly votes against reducing tax, votes to strengthen the NHS, Votes for reform of House of Lords, Votes for immigrants and asylum seekers rights, generally votes to protect the environment. Votes for better public transport. Almost never rebels against party voting instructions. Generally voted against investigations into the Iraq war. Voted a mixture of for and against higher taxes on banks. Voted a mixture of for and against a stricter asylum system. Consistently voted for introducing ID cards. As is typical of Labour has no respect for people’s online privacy. Generally voted against greater regulation of fracking. Since 1993 she has lived in Barnsbury, where Tony Blair also lived until the 1997 general election. Her property portfolio is believed to be worth £4.6 million and she sent her son and daughter to the selective Dame Alice Owen’s state school 14 miles from her home and outside her constituency.

I’m pretty sure my favourites are fairly obvious from the above, but I don’t care – my blog, my bias.

This is with thanks to You Know Who You Are for the research notes and a signpost to this info site: They Work For You.

Labour - Political Parties: What They Stand For - Politics ...

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