Tuesday, 23 October 2012


When a Labour Leader in opposition is booed at a TUC rally (Saturday 20th Oct 2012) for addressing an anti cuts audience with a weak and limp "we will cut less, and we will cut slower" message then you know that the body politic, that is now Labour PLC has completely lost it's way.

You also know that the divide between the people and the party has been widened and deepened, and far more disturbing you start to realise that our democracy has been weakened to the point that those who are governed feel that not only those who are governing them but also those who seek to replace them are both not listening.

You then realise that the British public are starting to wake up to the sobering fact that no one in the mainstream of our political system is offering them an alternative, not just to the cuts, but to how Britain is to be governed and to who will come forward with the courage to take on the vested interests of the entrenched establishment and speak up for the people.

So I thought I would write my own speech for Ed, the one he should have given to the TUC, it is formed around new and old ideas, each formed around the discussions taking place in and around the country mostly outside of Labour Party meetings and including a public meeting held recently in Northampton at the inaugural Ron Todd Lecture,  which I had the privilege to chair.

It was not totally a Labour free zone,  Jon Cruddas MP who stood as a candidate for the Labour Party deputy leadership joined me at the top table, and as the author of the party's policy review, I hope that he picked up one or two ideas. His local Labour Party members didn't get the opportunity to guide him however as only one of them turned up to listen! I guess the rest were probably banned from attending the meeting on the grounds that they may sit next to someone radical!

But for what it is worth these are the sort of things we were discussing and this is what I think Ed should have said to those at Saturdays TUC rally, albeit very truncated;

"Colleagues, Brothers and Sister's

I bring fraternal greetings to all gathered from the Parliamentary Labour Party and the wider workers movement at large.

I join you in expressing a collective opinion as one voice to the current Coalition Government in the strongest and clearest terms that they have cut and slashed our public services far too deeply, far too quickly and in doing so have bought Local Government and Britain to its knees, they have deflated the UK economy, increased public borrowing and put Britain's economic recovery in deep perilous jeopardy.

I say to those listening at home in the country that the Tory Party in government have cynically  used the current economic crisis as an excuse and as a smokescreen to achieve it's long term political ambitions of destroying the Welfare State and shrinking Local Government and the state to the point that the rich can continue to get richer at the direct expense of those who have least and those whose need is most.

I say to the Prime Minister, that he has personally presided over the most blatant and cruel attack on the weakest in our society and in doing so divided Britain for the first time in 40 years on class lines rich against poor, haves against have nots, North against South, and I say to his mini me, deputy Nick Clegg that no prize, not even that of deputy Prime Minister is worth the price paid by him and his party for their collusion and complicity in this brutal assault on the poor in our country.

I today call on them both in the name of common decency to leave office, to put an end to this corrosive coalition government, and to put to the country the choice as to how they want Britain governed in the future and how they want their taxes spent and their money used.

And I announce from this platform that after a vote of the PLP and NEC executive endorsed by a majority of CLP chairs across the country that the first thing a Labour government will do back in office is to table a government emergency bill to immediately scrap the Trident nuclear weapon programme releasing over time over £100 bn back into the UK economy to assist in our economic recovery and in the delivery of our vital services.

For Britain to spend such vast sums on a nuclear weapon system eight times as destructive as the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 shows a lack of sanity, and a lack of common sense in a post cold war era.
Such a weapon would be illegal to use and no country on earth, not even the nation responsible for its launch could be able to escape the total devastation that would follow the use of such a destructive device and such a wicked strike.

I therefore also pledge here today that the the scrapping of Tridents replacement at an unnecessary cost of a further £25bn in 2028 is now official Labour Party Policy. I pledge that the 7000 jobs lost by scrapping trident will be replaced with 52,000 new jobs within the construction industry using the annual £4bn set aside for Trident capital spending to build new homes for Britain's young.

I say to this audience that if we are really all in this together then why does the British government stand by and watch blue chip companies like Starbucks, and Ebay, and Amazon and Boots and Barclay's Bank and Vodaphone and KPMG make billions of pounds of profit off of the backs of British workers and from the pockets of British earners without paying their fair share of British taxes?.
So let me be clear, a Labour government will also legislate as a priority to ensure profits earned in Britain are taxed in Britain. If they want our trade, then the tax man gets paid!

I also announce here today an immediate investigation into the introduction by a Labour Government of a new Land Tax to further help fund the Britain's economic revival. Only 5% of Britain's 60 million acres are used up by our population for domestic dwellings, 90% of our population crammed into just 3 million acres of land, another 5% of our land is used by British businesses, and 20%, is unusable for either purpose, as rivers or mountains. Leaving a massive 70% of our land which has then been left in the ownership of just 0.28% of our population.
So why is then the home-owners and business owners are paying £33bn and £20bn respectively in Land tax each year to the exchequer whilst the 0.28% who occupy the majority of our land are paying nothing and receiving an annual rebate of £3.5-5bn a year for simply not working the land they own, or in agricultural policy paybacks! This aid for aristocrats must stop, and Britain's richest landowners should PAY land tax, not be the recipients of government hand outs!
You poor take courage, you rich take care, this earth was made a common treasury for everyone to share!
I offer you this vision, these policies to the British public as a fairer way of reducing Britain's deficit, as a more equitable way of ensuring that wealth in our country is equitably distributed, and a sure way to ensure that tax revenue is put to the use of the many not the few.


That's my vision for a fairer Britain. that's our answer to those who say there is no alternative. let us offer to the people of Britain a real choice, let us show them how Britain can be fairer and more just, let us work for the future of our young people rather than against their interests.

At present we are not all in this together, but together we can build an alternative way forward"

For those interested in Jason Cowleys excellent piece in Septembers New Statesman, you can find it here: http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/politics/2012/09/aid-aristocrats For those wanting the facts without the narrative I copy them below:


  1. Oh dear - here are a few reasons why Ed Miliband wouldn't follow your advice Tony:

    (i) the first paragraph of your blog is possibly the longest sentence I have ever read. A Leader of the Opposition needs to be able to write.

    (ii) there is no public support for the scrapping of trident and your arguement over this is tired, out of date and unfortunately stereotypically of the old, unsuccessful left.

    (iii) any speech that has capitals spelling out whole words has a sense of shouting about it and is not worthy of a Leader of the Opposition.

    Apart from that - 5/10.

  2. Militant actions by Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) were the high points at the TUC march which otherwise was depressing …..Union leaders have repeatedly threatened campaigns of direct action or civil disobedience aimed at austerity which have never materialised.

    Which is why hundreds of people decided to ignore their speeches in Hyde Park and join DPAC in blockading Park Lane.

  3. Anon, it's a poor show when all you can criticize me on is the length of my sentences and the use of capital letters to indicate verbal expression. As to trident the majority in poll after poll continue to support its scrapping, Even the Mail got a 68% majority for it to be discontinued.

    I will gladly trade poll for poll with you over Trident, and I look forward to you bringing forward the evidence you quote of there being no public support.

    Your response? 1 out of 10 and I am being generous

  4. Last General Election - those supporting Trident (Labour and Tories) got 67%. Those opposing Trident (Lib Dems) got 23%.

    Please don't see my criticisms as limited. There are plenty more to come - mainly why of why would an Independent candidate who at the last General Election polled just 5% of the vote and then losing his Borough Council seat after just one term think he is in a position to re-write a speech made the Leader of the Labour Party.

    Latest poll just in .....

    What would you prefer your local County Councillor to be doing:

    (i) pretending to be Leader of the Labour Party 0%

    (ii) working for his electorate 100%

  5. Anon, Do you really think that with less than 500,000 members between them, that out of a population of 63 million people that the top down enforced policy positions of the three main parties is relevant!

    And when you do ask the actual members of those parties what there view is as they did in a ComRes/Independent poll 61 per cent of those planning to vote Labour supported scrapping Trident, 63 per cent of those planning to vote Liberal Democrat, and most interestingly perhaps, 48 per cent of potential Conservative supporters, coming in 1 per cent higher than those wanting to keep Trident.

    Polls over the last 5 years have seen continuous majoritities of the UK population in favour of scrapping trident from a low of 52% to a high of 73% averaging over that period majorities in the high 60's who want it scrapped.

    Not surprisingly, scrapping Trident can be seen as a vote winner, not a vote loser.

    As to your other dismissive critiques, I prefer to be one of only a small handful of Independents in 2010 who kept his deposit at the general election, and the only Independent from Northampton ever to win Borough and County Elections and to do so in Labours supposedly safest seat.

    You got one thing right though, I am working for my electorate 100% of the time, but unlike being a Labour Cllr, I am still allowed to hold an opinion and share it online (without being anonymous) and without the risk of expulsion

  6. A challenge to anyone who supports Trident, or any independendent British nuclear weapon. Tell us the circumstances under which you see it being used. Who, and under what circumstances do you see Britain using a nuclear deterrent independently of the USA (or anyone else) and against whom? What will it deter someone else from doing who will not be deterred by others or other weapons?

    If you cannot answer the question, then why do you want the weapon? Perhaps to show the conviction of your response tell us who you are at the same time, or are you a coward?

    Before you ask, there's plenty of other things to disagree with Tony about, but not this.

  7. How exciting - we now have two elder statesmen of the town coming together in a sort of Clarke/Church coalition. Good job there is not any serious issues on the agenda at the moment like who is going to manage our Police Force for the next four years or so to discuss. It can only be a matter of time before Mr Dickie is asked, sorry, joins in with this debate.

    Congratulations though Richard on happening to stumble across this blog and especially this entry. I'll certainly not take any lectures from you though on being honest and up front about who I am and what I am.

    Say what you want about Trident, the two main political parties support keeping it and if people felt that strongly about it then they would vote for someone else. I dont disagree that many members of Labour and even some Tories would like to see it scrapped. I guess its just not a big enough issue to people to cast their vote on. It is annoying isnt in when things like the NHS, education, business rates etc get in the way (please dont come back with the silly 'get rid of Trident and you will get XXX,XXXX new hospitals)

    Point taken Tony and credit to you - you kept your deposit and you served one term before losing it back to Labour. I'll cc 'Who's Who 2012' into this message.

  8. So Trident's not a big enough issue for people to cast their vote on but the election of Political Puppet Police Commisioners is?

    What strange priorities you hold!

    I guess the turn out later this month will be the proof of that one, also anon, how can you chide Richard Church or John Dickie whilst continuing to hide away in the shadows? How do we even know that you are the same anon?

    If you have so much to say then say it from behind the mask, or maybe even start a blog. You could call it "The Labour Apologist"

  9. Yes to first point you make unless you are suggesting a referedum on Trident?

    Not my priorities - those of UK plc.

    Not sure I am chiding anyone. Just dont think the Church can push for people to be open about themselves with his track record. Shadows? Hiding? Its the appeal of a blog - you can make your point without others accusing you of saying things because of who you are.

    Not that keen on starting my own blog. As you'll know it does tend to encourage the same old people saying the same old things. The writer ends up feeling good about themselves but no one else is really listening.

    Reminds me of the old story about how the internet has brought our lives many great advantages. The downside is that it has made all the village idiots realise they are not alone.

    Love it that anyone that disagrees with you on a "Labour Apologist"

  10. I find myself agreeing with both Tony Clarke and Richard Church.

    We should NOT be using money for something that will not be used; we can all think of many things that we need….

    Just how many towns could benefit from a fountain in its Market Square….. I think Richard as just log off

  11. "The speech ED should have (give) to the TUC"?????

    Pathetic. Please have someone who actually knows what's wrong with this line to explain it before correction.

  12. Anon,

    That's an easy one, Should, Could and Would are all auxiliary verbs used to add functional or grammatical meaning to the clause in which they appear. In this case to express tense. "give" is pretence rather than the post or pastence gave or given. But as a local I prefer local dialect as in "I give it a go".

    What I find pathetic are posters who have to resort to anal grammar criticism, which implies by it's nature that there is even such a thing as a legitimate, totalitarian standard for English, it is in itself an antithetical concept.

    Therefore it is correct as long as I say it is correct, m'duck!

  13. Using your 'local' dialect then you might just as well have said, "The speech Ed 'should of' give to the TUC.
    That might adequately demonstrate your command of the mother tongue.

    "There are none so blind as those who will not see." As anon 1 quite rightly makes reference to, one would think there was nothing of importance happening very shortly (like an election for PCC). What gibberish you do go on with!

  14. tony.
    just making a point.

    your blog thursday 23 oct/2012. the speech, ed should have given to the tuc.

    i bring to your attention a comment of monday 25/oct/2012. anonymous, [it can only be a matter of time before Mr dickie is (asked),sorry, joins the debate.

    now my comment of the 18 oct on your other blog, states,(i will not get in to any further comments with him [john dickie] as he came in to this, without you or i asking him to do so, i know he is your friend not mine.

    i have no connection, with person of the first comment.but if two strangers think the same,what are others thinking.

    is the double act over.

    tony i donot mean any disrespect to you but if john replys, on your behalf, i leave you to work that one out.

  15. God, all these anon's, I can't keep up, I always welcome John's input, he always has something valuable to contribute (unlike some) and he does so as himself without the fear of others knowing who he is. After all why hold an opinion if you are too frightened to own it? I am sure JD will comment if he wants to, as I do on his blog, and when he does I expect it will be to comment on the subject of the blog and not my grammar or who I may or may not have on my friends list!




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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 tony.clarke@email.com and I will do my best to consider your comments and correct any errors.


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