Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Labour's Policy Review

As readers will doubtless be aware, Labour has instigated a two year root and branch review of party democracy and policy. This hasn't gone down well with everyone as there's a general unease that Labour have little to say while the Tories and LibDems launch the most vicious attack on working class people since the 1980s. Nevertheless the policy review offers an opportunity for the party as a whole to reflect on 13 years of government and, more importantly for the left, allows us to agitate for the kind of party and politics we need. The 'fresh ideas' website (okay, not the best of names) is available here.

As part of the policy process around 50 members of North Staffordshire CLPs met at the
Unity building in Hanley a week last Saturday to kick it off locally. In an interesting departure from the labour movement practices I'm most familiar with, there was a top table but it didn't dominate the afternoon's discussion.

After a brief introduction by West Midlands MEP Michael Cashman, Stoke South MP Rob Flello provided us a bit of context. He said the current political situation was marked mainly by anger toward the "too fast, too deep" cuts. It also seemed as if the Tories were becoming emboldened by each cuts announcement, driving them to make ever more outrageous and damaging proposals. But because of the callous and devastating nature of the attacks "our people" face the Labour party does not have the luxury of time. They cannot afford to have the party out of power for a generation, therefore we need to learn the lessons of 13 years of government now to prepare us for victory at the next election.

To this end every member of the shadow cabinet is heading up a section of the policy review. The party as a whole needs to hear members ideas on how to grow the economy and strengthen society, and how more power can be devolved into the hands of the people themselves. This extended dialogue with and between members has to examine previous mistakes. In Rob's opinion, Labour were wrong to tilt the economy in finance's direction. It was also wrong to appear overly technocratic and push through policies that struck out people's basic senses of self security. Labour must recognise people were working harder than ever but had little extra to show for it. And the party was too blasé about people's alienation from the policy making process and politics generally. That said, there were successes too - but these are now in the Coalition's firing line. If the Tories are successful in carrying through their programme, the next Labour government will inherit a weaker society, a low growth economy, and a divided country.

After Rob's talk, we split into breakout sessions. We were all issued with copies of the review booklet, which formed the basis of the subsequent discussion (it is hoped members will fill it out with their policy preferences, suggestions, ideas etc.). Our table spent the next hour or so discussing the economy, communities and party structure.

On the economy, the overall theme was on the need to provide an alternative to Tory economic strategy (in as far as it exists - it appears little more than cutting and hoping for the best). Nation-wide issues got a good airing - opposition to privatisation, media support for cuts, the lessons of the 1930s, strategies for 're-balancing' the economy, and the promotion of advanced manufacturing and "new industries". Locally, we looked at how Tory-run Newcastle-under-Lyme borough council had frittered away funding surpluses and reserves on council tax freezes, the lessons of pottery firms who who didn't outsource their manufacturing but had stuck it out in Stoke-on-Trent with some degree of success, and the level of local business rates.

On communities there was a consensus around giving greater powers to local authorities, a need for them to access the sorts of expertise available to government, time to build up their own stores of knowledge (over 25 years of continuous attacks on local government have seen a stripping out of specialist knowledge and an increasing dependency on costly consultancies), and strike a better relationship between local and parliamentary representatives.

In the last section on party structures, we visited the much-mooted
Movement for Change (the David Miiband/Jon Cruddas brainchild aiming to rebuild Labour as a community-based organisation), the need to stop treating the unions as a piggybank, ways of promoting trade unionism, creating and atmosphere and implementing a strategy for recruiting more union activists to the party,and generally taking them more seriously as a source of policy generation. They should not be locked under the stairs like an embarrassing relative.

The tables then fed back into general contributions from the floor. Issues that came up were the role of trade unions, the hidden costs of the cuts, the assault on the NHS, the leadership's track record of distrusting local government, abolishing Trident, the need for a strong party identity, efforts to improve communication within the party, and a 'new narrative' with radicalism and idealism at its heart.

Returning to the top table, Rob Flello reiterated some of his earlier points and spoke of areas where Labour had delivered locally - the first new hospital since the 19th century, Surestart centres, more police, and a regeneration process finally beginning to bear fruit. He also added that, in response to some criticisms made of the LibDems, Nick Clegg was being used as the handy human shield for Tory policies. Labour should not fall for the strategy concocted by Number 10 and concentrate its critical fire on the main enemy.

Tristram Hunt (who has subsequently been appointed a parliamentary private secretary with special responsibility for the policy review) said our starting point has to be the loss last May. He said Labour has to take the South East so it can deliver in its heartlands. But that doesn't mean we should eschew creativity or radical ideas. While we got things wrong Labour needs to be forward thinking and realise the battlefield of 2015 - assuming the Coalition lasts - will be different from the one we're fighting on now. The policy review is our chance to be creative and forge a new vision for Labour.

Wrapping up, Michael Cashman added that even though Labour lost in 2010, the party as a whole didn't feel defeated. Far from it, if anything the defeat and the Coalition government had invigorated the membership.

Of course, there will be comrades reading this who believe the policy review won't change a thing. And after 16 years of New Labour authoritarianism, who can blame them for thinking this way? But cynicism is no substitute for analysis, and I think there are two reasons for cautious optimism.

Firstly, if members take it up in large numbers the upwelling of ideas from below cannot be ignored - especially as Ed Miliband's position in the party isn't entirely secure. The leadership have therefore created an opening through which they can be pressured. It would be completely daft for the left not to take this up. And second, the exercise should not purely be seen in terms of getting better policies in the next manifesto. To mangle Bernstein, the process is everything, the end nothing. The review is an opportunity for party members to talk and debate among themselves. It gives us an opportunity to examine not just the lessons of the New Labour era but critically reflect on the history of Labourism as a whole. In the parlance of Leninist politics, Labour has committed itself to becoming a 'cadre school' for members and activists. And with a growing mass membership of a clear social democratic colouration, socialists need to be fully part of the process.


Gary Elsby said...

Sceptical? surely not.
On the top table we have an uber, ultra Blairite who made loyal Blairites blush with embarrassment. I saw him in action publicy humiliating anyone who dared to question Blair.Also we have the 'talk outer' so hated by a the occassional Newcastle MP.Not forgetting the Elected Mayor champion himself.
Sceptical of change? Yes.
For the record, almost everything you mention was recorded and written down and acted upon by Stoke Central. Us and our enemies collaborated in a uniques show of common goal to end the disaster that was becoming Labour. Weeks went by as we detailed our views to the nth degree, followed by a 3 day long submission to the policy review team. Trident went (courtesy of Stoke Central) and privatisation came down and more hospitals went up.
Rubbished almost to a finer detail by Cashman and his cronies.)Odd isn't it that it was this lot that came up to Stoke to boot us all out).

I've lost count the amount of talk-ins Labour members have had.
The proof is in the written final word and not in the feel good love-ins that made you feel worthy and proud to take part.

Phil said...

I thought the argument of my piece would be beyond you. And so it has proved.

Gary Elsby said...

It is certainly not beyond me to believe that Labour members in general opposition have an upward belief in change, when all around them is chaos.
What rotters these Tories and Liberals are as they heap devastation upon England and how short-sighted they all are to look to Stoke's fine model of Governance betwixt the Tories and Labour.
Come on Phil, I se no fight by the current set up and I see 700 local jobs going because of £11m lost (not wasted, but lost) by the Labour/Tory coalition.
You appear not to question bog standard economic and accountancy practices that has caused mass devastation to this area. Why?

The balance on the top table was nil and the viewer is left with a feeling of local MPs 'flailing around' looking for a way out.

Don't blame anyone other than who presented your meeting.They are the guilty party at every step.

Scrapper Duncan said...

A disappointing debate so far. Not offering much are you?

Robert said...

It's easy to be cynical but the problem with that is it leads to apathy and despair. It's a long hard slog to win the arguments and convert a critical mass of the party machine to move leftward on at least some issues. But simply giving up means the Blairite fixers will dominate forever. Is that what we want?

In the absence of PR\(not the AV con) in England there is no alternative to the Labour Party. That's reality.

Alex Dawson said...

Gary, I thought you would be too busy putting on your best suit to collude with one of the most historically anti-trade union right-wing journalists of our time to paint Stoke as a shithole on national television.

Oh I see you've already managed it.

Back to embittered online rants it is.

modernity said...

Solid Labourite stuff, Phil,

But surely there is a connection to one of your previous points, the need for the LP to stop treating the working classe like a pantomime horse, brought on at appropriate times, patted on the head then sent else where, once the LP has power.

The electorate might be disappointed, even apathetic but they have the true mark of the current Labour Party and it lack of radicalism, its lack of social democracy, and above all the lack of connection with its past voters.

Gary Elsby said...

Despair should not be downgraded to giving up. Despair is the perfect antidote to many years of watching 100,000 people walk away and observing the Country hating you each and every day with increasing fervour. The fight-back proved useless, as they refuse to lose and will stitich up every process to defeat you. Despair is good.
I've noted that the blog refers to business rates. I pay business rates and I declare an interest from the outset. Unfortunately, I was not offered the chance to attend this meeting (because I refuse to accept corruption)but I suspect the neothandrel chantwould have been to raise the rate.
The current situation in Stoke is that up to a 50% reduction is available for smaller enterprises and this is further reduced by Cameron and Clegg who acknowledge a recession.Any attempt by Labour to hike rates to fill Pervez/Irvings black hole of funds will get no response from anyone.
If allowed to attend, (a Director is a novelty)I would have asked the obvious question that all business people ask, 'Why do most businesses in Stoke pay no rates at all'?(my friend produced a profit of 4,500% more than me and paid nothing.)Most business in Stoke will make losses in 2010/11/(12?)but will pay 100% what is owed.
The system is screwed, and not the income.
If rates fall into the hands of the locals, they will put them up, regardless of a recession or not.
Wheras Blair/Brown/Cameron and Clegg, dropped them.
This Council made a profit by prosecuting businesses who 'refused to pay'. This was a lie and that profit was based on a lie because businesses owed nothing. They've now dropped it because people like me, exposed them.
So how does a Council calculate how much a business pays in rates?

Hch said...

I'll rejoin the Labour Party when it becomes a genuinley democratic broad church and adopts Clase 4 again. Some chance. Why on earth are you guys wasting your time? Idealists? Careerists? Reformers?Right wingers? Either way, it's far more cosy being in the LP than being on the outside fighting against it's savage cuts agenda. How do you guys sleep at night knowing your party is implementing Con-Dem cuts? No doubt you can rationalise it in your minds but most don't need to because they beleive working people must pay for the deficit created by the financial sector but just a little more slowly than Osbourne is doing. Right?

A. Socialist said...

"reform of the welfare state, model such as scandinavian countries based on contracts between the state and the individual rather than a benefit entitlement"

This is popular idea on that site. I wonder what the majority of Labour members feeling's are on Ed Milibands decision to back welfare reforms that will cause disabled people to commit suicide? When i try to get people on welfare to join Labour they verbally abuse me. Are these people not working class too? I thought the point of the left being in Labour was to try and make things better? It's impossible to recruit members whilst people are praising Ed Milliband.

Anonymous said...

"...the need to stop treating the unions as a piggybank, ways of promoting trade unionism, creating and atmosphere and implementing a strategy for recruiting more union activists to the party,and generally taking them more seriously as a source of policy generation. They should not be locked under the stairs like an embarrassing relative."

Talk about patronising...
but seriously, good luck with the above. Most union activists I know who aren't caught up in the mechanism gave up on your party across the breadth of the last eight years or so; and as members lose their jobs or see declining terms/conditions, you'll all have to pull one massive rabbit out of the hat to distract them from the fact that it'll be Labour-controlled council administrations that remove them from their employment.

There is clearly 'a new narrative' of radicalism being formed out there already, however, whether the actors shaping it want anything to do with your party and condescending bullshit like the above, is another matter.

Gary Elsby said...

Phil should ask the obvious question that is not so obvious to the untrained eye suffering years of despair.
Why did Cashman turn up?
Who invited him?
Flello or Hunt?
My guess, Flello.
Because Stoke Central is within Months of being declared null and void and to be wiped from the political map.
This will leave a North and South electoral division (or East/West).
One seat for a woman and one for a man.
Flello shits himself in the parachute's presence (newly promoted ina timely fashion oh, so predictable).

In comes the boot boy himself to back up his loyal unltra mate from the South (to talk about how YOU, the party, can change things).

We were telling them for years that we in Stoke are very much working class and what you were doing was very much anti working class.Today, they talk of change and how it will all become much better and democratic. Yesterday we told them how democratic we were and how undemocratic they were.
We also told them to look at the viewing/membership figures for clues.
They carried on regardless and hounded us out.
Hunt's seat is going(100%) and Flello is out to 'be remembered' in any two way fight.

Flello is Rieley's man(photocopy boy)and Hunt is Mandelson's man (photocopy boy).

This is why Cashman(NEC) came to Stoke.
Please ignore a few locals who disagree with proof of an invite.

Alex Dawson said...

OK, to all the people on here who seem to take great pleasure in rubbishing and denouncing what I consider to be a fairly straightforward report of a Labour party meeting:

What IS your political alternative?

Please spare me the bullshit about standing anti-cuts candidates or moving towards a new workers party or building an umbrella alliance of resistance...We've had this for over a decade.

Fact of the matter is that most people are already pissed off with the cuts and most people have already sided back with Labour again - the polls are now showing Labour with a nine point lead and Miliband hasn't even really announced any policies. That's how pissed off people are.

I loathe the fact that Labour has adopted the "too fast too deep, but there still need to be cuts" line.

But it is still qualitatively better than Blair, who has said he believes Cameron and Clegg are doing the right thing.

The point is we are where we are and people want Labour back in because they don't like the look of this medicine being served up by the Bullingdon boys. And, as it stands currently, the space is there for us to start to influence the internal Labour process and slowly turn it back to the left to create more favourable political conditions for socialist ideas generally in the country.

As for "anonymous" who claims all these hundreds of union activists are, only now, turning against Labour - I would be interested to know exactly where that is and what evidence there is for this.

Because the several hundred elected workplace reps I know flirted with turning against Labour ten years ago but were let down by the rrrrrrrrrevloutionaries who couldn't form any sort of coherent alternative, and now most are resigned to getting a Labour government as soon as possible to limit the damage the Tory scum are reaping.

Bottom line is you can moan and throw digital stones from your internet moral high grounds if you like. But until you all get your heads together to actually build a coherent and well supported alternative then we will do what we can in the meantime to use the existing structures.

Gary Elsby said...

You write as though Cameron and Clegg are wrong and that an election is any day now.
The facts are:
All political parties concede the need to pay back in full(Timescale irrelevant).
The sniping from the Liberal sidelines (of where your hope lies) is only a public outburst by a few 'knowns' to grease the elbow of Clegg in any dealings going on in the backroom.
There will be no election soon, this side of the five year deadline, saving a complete nuclear melt-down by the Tories and Liberals.
Where is your hope, Trident? Universities? halving pensions?
There is no hope.
Cameron and Clegg will remove the UK debt, they will retain triple'A' rating and they will do so within 2 years max. egardless of the dole queue and regardless of TU shouting the odds.

Then they will have aclear 3 year run of spending as the Tories see fit.
Jobs and more jobs, prosperity galore as the free markets go wild in the new world order of sound fiscal stimulus.
Reading the Tory plan is a piece of piss. Get real, Labour are out for a generation.
Losing power was the biggest bollock of Labour's 100 year history, it was unnecessary and was based purely on ignorance of the grass roots members whom live everyday in the real world.
Our jobs/businesses were going in the marketplace and they concentrated on the very public structures that the Tories are dismantling.
Thos eactivist that remained put up a very good fight, but were defeated in the end by the 'yes' men and women.
Al photocopy boys and girls.
Meredith being a 20 year careerist photocopy boy from Birmingham with an office next door to Reilly.
Enjoy the scrap between Flello and Hunt and let's see who fires the first shot by denouncing AV.

Oh, so pathetic.

modernity said...

"What IS your political alternative?"

False dichotomy.

Instead of addressing the issue of why the Labour leadership are shite and how any supposed radicalism in the Labour Party is supposed to change that, instead of that, another argument is dealt with, one that no one is arguing here.

Mostly we are just genuinely annoyed at the weakness within Labour, the sheer shortsightedness, the inability to land a single political punch on the Tories, and in doing so lead to increased political apathy.

The reason we're are in this shit, is because of new Labour, and because the current LP leadership haven't really disowned it.

Until that happens Labour will be a hollow shell of what it once was.

And all the false dichotomies won't change that one bit.

Alex Dawson said...

"There is no hope."

"All political parties concede the need to pay back in full."

Thanks Gary, that tells me everything I need to know about your politics, along with the fact you gleefully stood cheerleading Blair's disastrous quasi-religious warmongering in Iraq and now happily appear as a stooge to Andrew Neil when he wants to make Stoke look like a shithole on national television.

Why you spend your precious time trolling on an explicitly socialist blog is beyond me when you clearly aren't a socialist and instead like to moan about business rates and an inflated public sector being the reason behind the collapse of credit-card tax-haven capitalism.

You would seem to me to be a useful asset for the Tory party. Why not make an approach? I bet they would be glad of your grassroots insights and welcome you with your pro-business anti-public sector views. Why not ask your anti trade-union pal Andrew Neil to be a referee on your CV?

Gary Elsby said...

Two out of three of our Stoke-on-Trent MPs are parachutes.

I'm told that all of the activist opposers to the above are now out of the party and that this party is preparing to sweep back in the Elected Mayoral system.
Numpties will deny this.
Ignorant numpties will follow like sheep and agree.

Best not to look to Stoke for any political Leadership as a way forward.

The collecting of voter ID goes on, and preparations are in full swing in sandwell to use this information for the final coup.

Stoke Labour- No thanks.

Gary Elsby said...

Excuse me Loz, for not living up to your expectations but you asked a simple question of 'What is the political alternative'.

I took that as asking how to fund 700 local jobs going down the swanee and how to halt all cuts everywhere that is being blamed on Labour.

I pointed out that this City (and others) pummels me for money that is very hard to come by in a recession. My guess is that the common view is to up business rates. This is very anti social and I can prove it is the sledgehammer to the nut approach, most often used by dumb and dumber.

I gave the antidote and that was to gather in MORE money by charging MORE people a business rate.

I don't expect you to understand my logic and I don't expect you to understand that a FEW people being charged a bit more is the wrong way.

The fact that I pointed out that Blair/Brown/Cameron/Clegg and everyone else gives a rate relief (thank you) seems to pass you by, as I use my very high intelligent logic to substitute higher VAT (you pay) with charging EVERY business a business rate.

The very fact that I would gather in more finances than anyone else (who hasn't volunteered any idea) seems also to pass you by.

Now please be a good Socialist and explain why most businesses in Stoke-on-Trent (and the UK) pay no business rate at all.

I believe in fairness, I believe that all who make money via business should contribute a proportion of their profit to the running of this City.

What do you believe in?

PS. I offer a bottle of Champagne to anyone who can prove that filming was not in Stoke-on-Trent in the street of former business of mine, in the street my Mother-in-Law lived and grew up, the street I got married in and the street my children were baptised.

I'm more bright than you think I am.

Alex Dawson said...

Fair enough Gary.

Losing a £500 deposit and spending however much else on an overblown and verbose election communication in order to pursue a personal vendetta against a bureacracy you were once part of that has now rejected you is not what I would consider a particularly bright way forward but I guess you know much more than me.

Just out of interest on your moment of telly stardom, was it you who suggested to Andrew Neil that he interview you in a boarded up street earmarked for demolition? I think we should know if you were seduced into it by the lure of a bit of petty revenge on the telly by the nasty journalists or if you actively sought to portray the city as a deserted hellhole to the whole nation.

Robert said...

This does show that Newer labour has to look to the middle class to win again, and I think New labour always planned this anyway.

So as an ex member I'll sit at home and pray that the next winners of a general election are?, well I really do not give a shit

Boffy said...

The latest polls provided at Left Foot Forward, show that Labour has now surpassed the combined Liberal-Tory Vote - Labour 45%, Liberal-Tories 44%.

Moreover, as it shows this is merely a continuation of a fairly solid trend since last May. There is no reason that Labour should not seek to win the support of the Middle Classes. Electoral victory is almost certainly impossible without doing so, and it was always the position of the mass Workers Parties such as the SPD, to do so. The point is to win them on the basis of a political programme that advances the interests of both workers and the Middle Class as against Capital.

The problem for parties of the Left, particularly since WWII has been that they have been unable to do this, because having committed themselves not to an attack on Capital, but some form of redistributive policy - combined with the need to continually expand the tax base due a buregoning Capitalist State - the only place they could get more tax from was the Middle Class.

That is the basic reason that the votes for Social Democratic Parties were in a long secular decline from 1945 onwards. If a radical Socialist Party is to succeeed even in electoral terms then it has to move away from the concentration on promoting the Capitalist State, and the need then to tax the working-class and Middle Class ever more severely, and begin to attack the cause of inequality at its root. As Marx said in Production. That can only be done by building up Worker Owned property, as a direct assault on Capital.

Hinoki said...

I'm sure it has not escaped your notice that the Coalition is implementing a radically ideological, Friedmanite agenda, shrinking the state under the guide of the recession, in contrast to 13 years of managerial, largely non-ideoligical rule by Labour.

I see a lot of detail in the post and comments, but no big picture. I see a continuation of managerialism instead of ideas.

"What IS your political alternative?" Is not a false dichotomy - it's a question that needs to be answered. NewLab jettisoned ideology because it had surrendered to Thatcherism before it began and it appears true for the time-being: the Marxist alternative to capitalism will not work.

But what about equality of opportunity? What about banning private schools and private health? Not to drag people down to the bottom but give them the best? What about secularising the state, getting rid of religious schools too? Making higher education free for all?

Only by levelling the playing field can we make a start on a more equal society. The irony is that it seems so pie in the sky yet it would make the UK more competitive, not less.

A real secular, socialist vision would start here - with a more educated, equal society. This should be the new direction of the left - equality of opportunity. Once we get that, then we can move on.

Gary Elsby said...

Loz, I don't think you know what's going on. Of that, I'm now convinced. The only people that put up any defence against the WM domination of this City are all now gone.You Sir, are our only hope that we have left.
You have been informed that they plan to return the Mayor and now you know that yet another former Leader of the Labour Party is about to leave the Labour Party. his leadership rubbished by the boot boys for their own ends.
All pure lies. All D4S champions now removed. I count that as 3 Leaders, 2 deputy leaders, one chief whip and many loyal Labour members combining over 500 years of experience.

For the record Loz, it was a lonely place being the only Stoke Labour member to sit on the PP for the last 4 years.
My interview into ascendency included a one hour talk on the Swedish Labour Party, the EU project, the state of the $/£/eu and the value between each, the National LP structure,Racism and the rise of the right,local Government and my 25 years+ Labour membership.

Tris was asked: "How much is a bottle of milk".

Before you attempt to rubbish me a bit more Loz, an interviewer on that panel telephoned me 5 minutes after Tris left the room, an NEC member also contacted me soon after, a well known WM board member called me just after and a number of other 'candidates' phoned me to inform me of a "stitch up". Let's not forget the TU Leader who also called me to tell me of a deal.

Loz, get real. You're either going to read Jack and Jill books of Socialism or you'll accept that a type of Socialism you wish to see is being deliberately frustrated by cheats who couldn't win a fair fight in an open contest. You are being used to further their cause, while you believe you're ending Cameron's Premiership.

Alex Dawson said...

Gary, just to restate the question again:

Did you suggest holding your interview with Andrew Neil for broadcast on national television in a street earmarked for demolition? Or did you allow the production team to lure you into it?

I ask this because I genuinely think it's important that anyone who claims to want to do good things for Stoke should not be assisting the media portray the city as a failed and deserted place and this is why I am raising the question.

I keep an open mind on the Labour Party. I'm certainly not a supporter of bureaucrats and expulsions and parachuting and that is why I have always had sympathy for anyone who finds themselves at the sharp end of it such as yourself.

But I'm also not a fan of festering rancour, ranting conspiracy theories, bitterness and general online bragging as it achieves nothing either.

Gary Elsby said...

I don't put out conspiracy theories, as they can easily be disproved. I don't think you actually understand why they are plotting the return of the Mayoral system. They can't do it just yet, but they are busily preparing themselves. The system by-passes every avenue of political machinery from branch level, through CLP and City Party, and also cuts out the Labour group.
The WM can then do what they like and you can't do a tap about it.

I'll repeat what I have posted before, that I had no say in where filming took place, other than find the locations they were looking for. The residents you saw in the film were mostly, former residents of the boarded up houses (a huge bone of contention in Stoke). They ripped of the "Labour Council" and wanted to go back. Those people live in those conditions and no amount of Socialising a different middle-class scenario for them will change that. If that upsets your nervous system.
We already have one public official who bizzarely commits himself the the 'gold hoard' and wedgwood empire as though anyone gives a ****!
Get real, get inside the heads of those who can't feed their children properly or await the baliff.
Move to Stoke and give up the privileged lifestyle.