Saturday, 24 December 2011


Due to far too much Christmas Spirit and even more festivities and family visits approaching I rely this year on Lefty Lucy from the "Ask a Socialist" website for providing me with a Xmas message for the blog.

Merry Christmas one and all, see you in the new year which promises to be truly awful, and for my own plagiarised contribution to proceedings After Lucy's great piece on Xmas below I have left you with an only slightly updated version of that infamous Kinnock Speech to preview with trepidation the year ahead of us

Do you hear what I hear? It’s the socialist messages of Christmas 

On the surface, Christmas appears to be an overblown capitalist orgy. Starting as early as October, we’re told to spend, spend, spend. But I’m here to tell you about the Socialist messages that have been smuggled into the Yuletide season. Yes, Christmas is just a delicious, sugar-sprinkled part of the Communist conspiracy.

Christmas history: A primer

Due to the inevitable cross-pollination that comes with colonialism, most of the modern Christmas traditions have their roots in pagan customs. Like Saturnalia, the Roman winter festival which permitted slaves and servants to dine with their masters. It was topsy-turvy day, when you could flout power dynamics and class codes. The social contract was formally abandoned for one night to allow raucous merrymaking among the underclasses. It was sort of the precursor to office holiday parties where you’re allowed to get drunk on egg nog and make fun of your boss.

Caroling can be traced back to the Mummers rituals of old Europe. Somewhere around Solstice time, villagers would travel from house to house, performing songs, dances, and pantomimes in exchange for food or money. They occupied each dwelling in the neighborhood with their drum circles and chants, in a lighthearted, insistent demand for cake and wassail.

"Profiting King Wenceslas" would not make a very good song.

It seems that the classic aspects of the holiday season were born out of traditions of empowering the poor. Don’t tell Goldman Sachs! Then there’s all the messages of caring, sharing and peace on earth. Not exactly the stuff of imperialist profits.

Scrooge is a reformed Capitalist who promises to share the wealth with human and Muppet alike. 
But the greatest purveyor of leftist ideals, the most radical agitator of them all, is Jolly Old Saint Nicholas. If you listen to those Bing Crosby tunes, you’ll learn that Santa, like time, is apparently the great equalizer. He brings glad tidings and gifts to all. According to one song, “he doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, for he loves you just the same.” But I know his heart’s really with the 99%. He wears red from head to toe. He redistributes the wealth, chimney by chimney. He bears a striking resemblance to Karl Marx. And those North Pole elves are probably unionized in a worker collective.

Dreaming of a Red Christmas

Amidst the clanging consumerist bells of Christmas at the mall, there persists a reminder to care for the less fortunate and to extend goodwill to everyone, especially those who are most in need. So as the lefties that we are, let’s take the charitable spirit of the season a step further and think of how we can build a world where nobody needs to depend on individual charity, where not a creature is stirring in the shelters, bunkers, or prisons, because we’ve managed to put an end to war and poverty.

It’s a fantastical dream, but custom allows it this time of year. Let’s dream of a red Christmas. We can be like the holdouts of all the raided Occupy encampments, braving the winter cold because we want social justice and “we won’t go until we get some.”

A new year warning

If David Cameron continues as Prime Minister for another year then, I warn you

I warn you that you will have pain–when healing and relief depend upon payment.

I warn you that you will have ignorance–when talents are untended and wits are wasted, when learning is a privilege and not a right.

I warn you that you will have poverty–when pensions slip and benefits are whittled away by a government that won’t pay in an economy that can’t pay.

I warn you that you will be cold–when fuel charges are used as a tax system that the rich don’t notice and the poor can’t afford.

I warn you that you must not expect work–when many cannot spend, more will not be able to earn. When they don’t earn, they don’t spend. When they don’t spend, work dies.

I warn you not to go into Northampton's darkened streets alone after dark or into the streets in large crowds of protest in the light.

I warn you that you will be quiet–when the curfew of fear and the gibbet of unemployment make you obedient.

I warn you that you will have defence of a sort–with a risk and at a price that passes all understanding.

I warn you that you will be home-bound–when fares and transport bills kill leisure and lock you up

I warn you that you will borrow less–when credit, loans, mortgages and easy payments are refused to people on your melting income.

If Cameron and Clegg continue in this Con Dem Coalition then–

- I warn you not to be ordinary

- I warn you not to be young

- I warn you not to fall ill

- I warn you not to get old.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011


I have little doubt that 2012 will see a big move forward in the building of the long awaited extension to the Grovesnor Centre, and as a result local politicians will crow their success in rescuing the town centre, others will be quick to welcome a positive sign for future prosperity for our town. But what will actually be built? And who will have really paid the bill? And what will be the long term costs to local tax payers?

I was a member of Northampton Borough Council when it signed its "historic" deal with Legal and General and as leader of the Independent group I was shown the details within the contract, Because of a commercial confidentiality clause I was prohibited from revealing the details, however I can still express an opinion without having to divulge the figures.

I have already intimated in public that I believe that the price paid by Legal and General for the Bus station and surrounding land packages was far too cheap, yes this deal was done in the height of the recession, but the over eagerness of the politicians to do a deal at any cost in my mind gifted the land and property to L&G at a price they could not refuse.

Moreover the deal as we now have had revealed, left the cost of moving the Bus Station and the cost of it's replacement together with the cost of paying off the existing tenants at the bus station (Stagecoach) solely with the council, and ultimately you and me, local taxpayers. Why Stagecoach were ever given such a long and rewarding lease in the first place is a complete mystery to me, after all I remember when they sold there own bus station on the Bedford road for housing development and then turned up overnight to park their buses at the councils bus stations as squatters with no rights at all. But now we must pay them £5.5m to move out!

In addition we must also pay an estimated £8m to build an inferior bus interchange on the Fish Market site. The deal between the Council and L&G will also see a change to car parking operations in the area and New Cllrs would be well served in revisiting just what deals have now been struck and how much extra this will also cost the taxpayer in lost revenue in years to come.

If any new Labour Cllrs at the Town Hall want to make a name for themselves I suggest they submit the following questions to the Council:

What is our current surface and multi-storey Car Parking land holding in Northampton Town Centre?

How much of that is included in the sale of Land to Legal and General?

What is the current annual income from those car parks proposed to be transferred to L&G?

What annual income will the Council recieve from these car parks thereafter? and:

Who will make up any difference in revenue?

So overall in my view L&G seem to have done very well out of the council, a knock down price paid for the land, the taxpayer picking up all the costs of moving the bus station, a potential new income from car parking, not to mention the new rents from any new stores attracted into the new build (hopefully not from the existing high street) But I still fear a further twist, what's the betting that what is finally delivered is but shadow of what was originally proposed? A scaled down version of all of those iconic plans so far revealed?

It is my view that the both the last Liberal Democrat and the current Conservative administrations at the Town Hall have both been so blinded by the desire to deliver something, that they will in fact accept anything. It is also my belief that we the taxpayer will in the end pay the most for their weak negotiating skills.

I suggest to both groups that if they want to prove me wrong then we can always examine the deal line by line in an open scrutiny committee so the public can judge for themselves whether we are getting value for money from this whole fiasco.

I have long held the view that in any multi million pound negotiations that if both parties say that they are so much in agreement then in reality only one party is actually doing the thinking and as a consequence only one party will come out on top.

On that score I guess I should congratulate Legal and General on their adeptness and savour-faire and commiserate with the public for having to pick up the bill.



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Thank you for visiting "tonyclarkegreenparty" The views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They are made by me personally in my own capacity as free citizen and not as representative of any outside body or council that I may serve on or be employed by. However if anyone is offended by any of these comments or feels that they should be corrected then please contact me in the first instance at and I will do my best to consider your comments and correct any errors.


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