Saturday, 12 February 2011

Slowing Down

Unfortunately I'm going to have to slow down my rate of posting for the foreseeable future. I've been working since mid-November and after increasing my hours I am finding it very difficult to summon the time and motivation to keep abreast of everything that's going on and come up with something half-decent to write. Now I'm moving into a period where my political and trade union activity will be ramping up I can't justify spending most nights churning out my bits 'n' bobs.

But for those who think I've betrayed my class by joining Labour, or imagine I spend my time plotting the return of the elected mayoral system in Stoke-on-Trent, I'm sorry to say I ain't giving up completely. As the blog downshifts into a more sedate pace of life hopefully I can take my time and offer up smarter, better, and deeper posts. There is, for instance, still the
series on Gramsci to polish off - a series that has never lent itself well to knocking out something in 90 minutes. And there are plenty of debates about socialist strategy still to be had, theoretical issues to be addressed, historical developments to be commented on, and a constantly mutating popular culture to be critiqued.

I may not be able to respond to recently broken stories or whatever crap in the
Daily Mail has outraged the Twitterati that morning, but with a dash of luck and a bit of effort I'll be able to weave some Hegelian magic and manage the tricky passage from quantity to quality.

"Better fewer, but better", one of the Old Beards once said. Fewer? Yes. But better? We shall see.


luna17 said...

Where's your Stakhanovite work ethic? No sleep til the revolution!

More seriously, though, that seems perfectly reasonable. I look forward to continuing following AVPS, whatever the posting frequency.

P said...

This is why you should continue blogging, to report events like this:

David Ellis said...

Phil, what the world doesn't need right now is a reinvented, repackaged, sexed up piece of Stalinism. Gramsci was a Stalinist hack. He belongs in the dustbin of history.

Jim Jepps said...

Does that mean you've scheduled in the Carnival of Socialism? :)

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Do what you can when you can, no worries.

Mark Walmsley said...

Slowing down is necessary to prevent complete burnout, but one thing - please do what you can to publicize upcoming events, actions and public discussions.

Gary Elsby said...

I don't believe for a second that you plot for a return of the Elected Mayoral system.
I do know though, that you are being used to bring it in by the back door.

One well known Mayor supporting Stoke Councillor stepped outside of the Group, stuck two fingers up to them and sat with the Tories, happily voting their way.
The NEC didn't do a tap. Why?

You, as a anti Mayor doing that would be booted out.

They play the rule game that suits them best and suits you worst.
This is why Stoke Central has the benefit of being an 'all member's meetings' when their is no benefit whatsoever to anyone.
A 100% vote rejected the idea of an 'all memebrs meeting' simply because the other 649 (of 650) CLPs were not required to do similar.

Social cleansing is going on in Stoke Central but for what purpose?

Eddie Truman said...

"Gramsci was a Stalinist hack". I see the David Ellis bot is still crawling the comments of left blogs.

Alex Dawson said...

Well Phil, this must be further evidence, if ever it were needed, of you adapting yourself to a useless are just a social democrat....errr....selling out....errr....just a fig leaf for New Labour apparatchiks :D

Seriously mate, your posts will be missed. Working full-time hours and trying to be an effective political activist on the side really does rather limit the ability of anyone to regularly update a good quality blog on top.

That said, do please continue to put up your honest and sincere accounts of life inside the Labour Party tent. The many people who are outside the tent can continue to get a sober and realistic idea of the real mood within the party - a mood that I believe is starting to change for the better in spite of the rantings of your various hysterical detractors on both the left and the right.

Gary Elsby said...

It's the bit where you say:
'Change for the better'
that has everyone worried though Loz.
How does having core Officers appointed by a man who never sets foot in Stoke anything other than bent?
Which one is actually from Stoke?
You have dissolved all forms of democratic representation, implanted outsiders into positions of 'power' and are busily preparing for a return of elctive Dictatorship. All can be proven.
Why are you suggesting that the new members are the 'second coming'?
Just give me some sort of clue,nay hope, that you are about to forward anything resembling a Socialist agenda.
I'm still reeling (but not speechless) to your collusion with the Tory Party and 700 redundancies and closure program.
Where's the fight?
You seem to be rolling over.
Don't take this personal Loz, but I blame you.

Sister C said...

Wow I have heard it all "all member meetings are of no benefit to anyone".

Apart from the 200 more members that actually get a voice in their CLP now, something they haven't had for years.

Gary Elsby said...

Sister C, you don't know what you are talking about.

As Secretray of Stoke Central CLP, I put to the General Committee that we are now to have:
'all members meetings from now on'
and duly, all members were now entitled to attend. This message went back to all branches.
This was in December 2008.

Please ignore the NEC of the Labour Party that condemned us for 'Not having all members meetings'.

Please note that this move is not a requirement of the Labour Party (rule book 2010), but is a consideration.

Please also note, that a neighbouring CLP undertook 'all members meetings' a year before and was being monitored closely by fellow CLPs.
The CLP in question collapsed because no delegates from the branches were instructed to attend, and no views were conveyed back.
Please also note that Stoke Central undertook the revolutionary approach to 'join up' failing branches with a successful one.

The common view is that elements within the NEC did everything they could to undermine Stoke Central's independent authority by claiming the complete opposite of what we actually did.

Please further note,that the AGM of which was declared 'null and void' resulting in one person being denied a role in Labour selections, was an 'all members meeting'.

This was our 15th 'all member meeting'.

The NEC suspended Stoke Central for not having 'all member meetings' just at the same time 'parachutes' were seen hovvering over Stoke Central CLP.
Oh, what a coincidence and what a coincidence that all anti Elected Mayorists are out of the party.
And what a coincidence that all loyal Elected Mayorists were put into newly created positions requiring NO votes to get them there.


Gary Elsby said...

Further more Sister C.

If 200 memebrs now have a voice (rubbish), then how come the other 647 CLP around the Country operate the delegate system, unless they choose to go all member?
Doesn't stack up, doesnt it.

They put every hurdle in our way hoping that we would fall. We didn't, they pushed us over using foul play.
They want the Mayor back and nothing will stop them.

I tried to take them to court, but the court is having none.
I call them liars publicly, they daren't sue me (because THEY will be under oath).

Choler said...

That seems a shame, though a perfectly understandable one. A shame especially as there (to a brand new baby blooger like me) seems to be so much to write about at the moment!

Gary Elsby said...

Last night I went to a public meeting of which the witness statements, presented to the Labour NEC on 7/2/2011 against BS were read out.

1.'Members stopped going because of BS'.

2. 'Everyone wanted BS 'thrown out of the party'.

Collectively, the meeting laughed.

For the record, BS became Chair of Stoke Central when, unannounced,'a man' from the WM turned up to our GC meeting to tell us how to join up branches (we'd been doing this for over 12 Months Duh!).
Within five minutes of him opening his mouth, one of the quieter members tried to put a chair over his head. The meeting collapsed into a fracas with old ladies throwing accusations that he funded the South (Mayors cronies) and the BNP got a footing into the City via Central and all blame was heaped on him. Our sources informed us all the way. The whole meeting agreed with everyone else.The Chair of the meeting walked out and resigned.

BS became the new chair.

BS is the most popular member of the Stoke Labour Party I have ever seen, second only to Barrie Holmes (employee of Fisher and long serving Councillor).

Would you like me to make yet another prediction, or would you prefer I tell you what is about to happen?
BS had a QC present, in the eventuality that someone would lie.
Believe me, a very serious situation is about to unfold.
Accusations 1 and 2 are crystal clear in their intent and it was irrelevant if they were accepted as facts. We knew what the NEC wanted to do, the day Meredith was removed by the people of Stoke.
The only people who refused to comprehend the situation amounted to 3 people.

Much talk is made of 'all members'.
I wrote the motion (now policy) that "This Labour party will remove itself from the Conservative Party" (carried 100 Stoke Central/Carried 75% City Party).
The policy of Stoke Labour is not to join up with the Conservatives.

The Labour Group (Party)is joined up with the Conservative Party.
They are sacking 700 people and they are shutting our local services.
They shut the same services Meredith tried to shut, based on economic illiteracy. This time they blame Clegg.

Gary Elsby said...

Just heard another crime BS committed.
He (and Fisher) agreed that the AGM of Stoke Central should go ahead in accordance with the CLP constitution in February 2010.
Stoke CLP had been holding them in February since 1900!
The NEC demanded it be held in March.
This puzzled everyone as it had no bearing on anything and the only directive given by National HQ was that 'we should be advised that a GE could take place in May 2010 and it was best to forward, or delay any AGM's.

BS has been found 'guilty' of defying the NEC.
There is no rhyme or reason to this decision as it altered nothing. Core Officers were apponted 'unapposed'. Those retiring, were thanked and their positions voted on.

It took us quite some time to figure out why there was a concern over a February vs a March AGM as nothing whatsoever would have altered BS gaining a near 100% vote. I was unapposed for many years. If there was any opposition, where would it have come from? The answer was literally, nowhere. The view of the CLP was very clear, it stood by the membership at large and stood by the public view.

The conclusion is that ONE single person would have gained by attending.

If you were BS, what would you do, leave the party?
That is for people like me (and 100,000 others) and leaves reilly off the hook.

Gary Elsby said...

Apparently, It is the wrong question to pose as to: 'what would you do if you were BS'?

It follows that the question is not severe enough.

Stupid stupid NEC and blame none other than Reilly.

Lobby Ludd said...

Gary Elsby often comments here, and others seem to be au fait with what he is talking about. I am not - any chance that these differences of opinion can be properly explained?

Boffy said...


No one knows what Gary rabbits on about, not even Gary.

Gary Elsby said...

Lobby Ludd:
Allow me.
When a Political Party at the very top end keeps on losing the argument, what does it do?
It goes about destroying those voices of collective responsibility in any way it can.

You'll note that a few things happened in Stoke (without Boffy's help). The Elected Mayor was removed from Office by the people in a referendum.
No referendum is allowed in law or in any constitution.
A Labour Mayor booted out by Labour(?) voters in Stoke? Yes, exactly that.

The Labour Party in Stoke wants no collaboration with the Tories in a coalition, but they are in one anyay, against members wishes. Our Councillors do not listen.

The NEC of the Labour Party have done all they can to discredit all opponents concerned, but the membership did not listen to them. In fact, the voting went up.

The NEC then issue a pack of lies about all involved and when absolute proof of their lies is presented and innocence proved, it is disregarded.

Enter 19 Councillors without a vote between them. and One MP in what Britian's press (TV Radio Newspapers) regard as a 'rigged' election.

Witness evidence has one very popular member (former Leader/Chair etc..)as being very unliked with all memebrs wanting him booted out of the Party.

Pure crap and the only question I raise is, how do they sleep at night?

The highest echelons of our Party could not persuade or beat us into submission, so they lie to their hearts content.

The Labour Party in Stoke-on-Trent should not exist at all in the wider national LP. It is make believe and is constructed out of pure malice.
They want the Elected Mayor back and all opponents (who voiced an opinion) are now out of the Party.