Monday, 27 September 2010

Labour go ahead in the polls

I have just come across a you gov official poll which suggests that the polls and teh current mood and feeling out there is.

CON 39%, LAB 40%, LD 12%;

I couldnt not blog about this excellent bit of news. i do get excited over the smallest things but hey ho. We as labour havent had much to shout about up till now, so i intend to enjoy this as much as i can. Given the new leader bounce that was expected from political commentators, this is earlier than expected i would say. Without Ed Miliband giving his speech to conference yet maybe this will only grow ?

also dont forget that the cuts havent even started to hit yet. GIve it till october or march and i would be hoping for labour, if we have a good time of putting our point across could be 5 points up in the polls. We can all live in hope. I just find this very significant personally and we as labour should make the most of this and build upon it.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

so its Ed M !

So after months of campaigning and hustings, debates and arguements. It is the younger brother of teh Milibands, Ed Miliband who is to become the labour party's new leader.

I would like to start by congratulating Ed on this. The vote was very close with Ed winning by 1 .3 %, it looks and how the papers are reporting it the unions swung the vote. If it wasnt for the union support David Miliband would have won, as he acumalated more votes in the members and MP votes.

Now that is all out of the way i think we can now hopefully look forward to uniting as a one big labour movement.

ALready David and others Ed balls have stated we must unite behind Ed. This is clearly standard talk, they are probably hurting and David especailly, reeling inside.

I fully expected David Miliband to win, like others he seemed the most crediable person to lead us on.

I am not disapointed it was his brother Ed wwho won, i will come to like him, i just guess i'm stunned a bit. At first i did feel a bit uneasy it looked as though the unions, of who are not all labour people helped him win it. I think that was a lot of peoples early reactions to this.

As for Ed's acceptance speech. It sounded like a speech constructed by someone who had not planned to win. But there he was and t o a keen young labour supporter it came across well, he said all the things he needed to say.

It wasnt particularly rousing or inspiring like other labour people have done, but i guess agian this is where i will have to get used to him a bit. I think a lot of journalists were right in what they said he will have to grow into the role, as any new leader does. I just hope now we can all move on and look forward rather than back. I think a united labour party can win elections, a divided and hurt labour party cannot.

I will stand behind Ed if he brings Ed balls onside in a major way, the guy is brilliant, He got my number one vote for this labour election and i hope he has a huge part to play in getting this party back to governemnt.

Now for this weeks annual conference in Manchester. I wanted to attend this but it turns out i and a friend were too late. maybe next year ay ?

but a few big named speechs i am looking forward to hearing. no doubt my man Ed balls will be one of the best.

Here is to a new labour, not new labour, but a new labour going forward, putting behind the poisonous fuds of Gordon brown and Tony blair from the past.

Lets unite and take on the con dems.

Monday, 20 September 2010

tories block disability rights march

I follow various people and sources on twitter and recently found out about a march going on in Birmingham to protest at the Conservative party annual conference on the 3rd of October. This is to protest against the proposed reduction of DLA and other such benifits disabled people, such as myself will feel in the coming years as welfare cuts take affect.

This is a protest i wanted to attend to voice my anger to the tories for treating disabled people in this way and stand up for our rights. THis email below is a email i recieved from the campaign and it looks as though the tories are preventing one of the most crucial human rights, the right to protest.

take a read of this.


We have amended our original leaflets which are attached to advise people to meet at Chamberlain Square since following a lengthy meeting with the police last week we are still not in any position to arrange anything beyond that. Originally the police had agreed that we could rally at and march past the conference centre.

We are now being refused permission to march past the Tory Conference by the Tory controlled Birmingham City council and West Midlands police. Last week we were told that the march would have to start from outside the city centre and would take some obscure route through a suburb of the city. It would have been impossible for disabled people to get to this.

There was a suggestion from one of the council’s employees there that we could travel via an inaccessible rail station, obviously also ignoring the fact that anyone who needs assistance to travel by train has to book at least 24 hours in advance and only one wheelchair per train is allowed even if the train is accessible .

We then managed to get agreement that the route would be based in the centre and that we would be assembling at Chamberlain Square. Other than this after 2 hours we were no further forward.

We have a legal, democratic right to protest against these cuts which we know have already resulted in the deaths of a number of disabled people and which if not stopped will lead to further deaths. We want to be able to exercise our rights and disabled people from all over the UK are planning to attend this march.

If we are prevented from protesting outside the conference this will deny us of our rights under the UNCRPD article 29 - Participation in political and public life “ States parties shall guarantee to persons with disabilities political rights and the opportunity to enjoy them on an equal basis with others…” and article 5 - Equality and non-discrimination “states parties recognize that all persons are equal before and under the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection and equal benefit of the law.”

We are asking individual disabled people and especially our DPOs to email to insist that we are allowed to rally and march past the Tory Party Conference on October 3rd.

Leader of Birmingham City Council - Mike Whitby

Copy to cabinet member for Equalities and HR – Alan Rudge –

West Midlands police- for attention of Inspector Matt Ward

or directly onto internet form at

Please copy any emails to any press and Disability Now to increase their interest in this event

Local press in Birmingham.

Birmingham Mail news editor – Andy Richards

Editor Disability Now –

Able magazine –

You may also want to ask our Lords and Ladies to support us and if so


Baroness Jane Campbell –

Baroness Rosalie Wilkins –

Baroness Grey-Thompson –

Lords Morris and Rix have no email contact details but can be written to at

House of Lords. London, SW1A 0PW

The road past the conference centre and into Centenary Square will not be totally sealed off and there will be footpath access anyhow for the general public.

Monday, 13 September 2010

exposing the DWP and their techniques

following reading this article

i feel that this is a profoundly unfair and unreliable method of testing people for fradulant claiments.

In the article it mentions that the lie detectors taht have b een broguht in from America to test benifit claiments is over 60 % inaccurate. meaning that alot of people will be found to be commiting fraud wrongly. I know cuts have to be made and benifit cheats need to be dealt with but to use unreliable methods and tests is just unfair. Surely there must be better and more reliable ways of means testing if someone is entitled to claim for benifits?

Monday, 6 September 2010

A personal responce from Ed Balls MP

Hi there a week or so ago i recieved a email from one of Ed balls's team about my question on blind and visually impaired issues well today i have just been sent a personal email from the man himself. I'd like to thank him personally as not often you get a top MP taking time out to answer your question personally. I had already voted for Ed in the labour leadership contest, but this just reaffirms my belief that Ed is a man of the people and understanding to all parts of society.

thanks Ed

here is the email he sent me

Dear Mark,

Thank you very much for getting in touch with my campaign, you asked about benefits for the blind and visually impaired, and if there was still a place for specialist schools and colleges, we are sorry that it has taken some time to get back to you.

As SoS, I took a particular interest in issues facing young disabled people and people with SEN. I introduced policies to try and remove barriers that young people face so they could achieve and enjoy life to the full. I believe that young people with visual impairment still face many hurdles in our schools and colleges and in my last few months of office, I was very pleased to secure a late amendment to the Equality Bill which placed a new duty on schools to provide additional aids and services to disabled students in order to assist their learning without the need for an SEN statement. I hope this will eventually be extended to post 16 provision but the Coalition Government has yet to decide whether to do so. The current duty would include young people with visual impairment in schools. On your second point, I believe that young disabled people have a right to access high quality further education and specialist colleges are vital part of the network of provision that currently exists for young disabled people, I support young people going on to further education in both mainstream and specialist colleges and will as part of my campaigning, uphold the right of young people to access the education provision that is most appropriate to their needs.

I hope that this answers your question.

Best wishes,

Ed Balls

How much do newspapers really influence us ?

After reading over the weekend that David Milliband, one of the potential labour leaders has now gained the backing of the Times to add to his collection of the Observer and the Daily Mirror.

i would like to ask you does having the backing of a paper really matter that much. Ultimatly the voters decide- the Labour members in this situation. Would people vote for a particular party or polititian based on the support o a newspaper.

What similarities are there to a Union reccomending its members vote for a particular candidate. Should a newspaper even be allowed to endorse a candidate. Is it unfair to the other contenders.

During the last election one of Britains biggest newspapers the Sun chose to back the conservatives, although didnt actually win out right as much as they would dispute this i feel this did have a big influence and the story of them backing the tories was big at the time.

SO does it matter if a paper backs someone and if so, how much influence do the media and the papers in particular have over its readers these days ?

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Ed balls on specialist education

Hi all and welcome to another blog entry from myself. i emailed Ed balls personally a month or so ago about specialist education. A subject that is dear to my heart as they helped me out a hell of a lot when i lost my sight and needed support. This is the email i recieved just now from Ed's team and why i think he would be such a great advocator of specialist education.

Hi Mark and thanks very much for contacting Ed Balls. I am really sorry for this awfully slow reply, but the truth is we've been inundated with communications of all kinds and we've simply found it impossible to keep on top of them all. As a result we've got a big backlog, so there's nothing personal in us replying so slowly to you!

As you probably know, Ed was extremely interested in issues to do with disabled children and young people when he was Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, and he took a keen issue in SEN. I understand that his view is that there is a place for special schools within the education system, within a broader policy to support inclusion. He has met too many young disabled children and young people, and parents, to think there is a single ideological answer to how best to meet their educational needs, and is a strong supporter of there being enough diversity in the system so that children and parents who want to choose a special school, are able to do so.

I hope this answers your question Mark.

Thanks again for contacting Ed and sorry again we've been so slow replying.

All the best,

Caroline Abrahams