Snow Gritting & Bin Collections – Hucknall

Happy New Year! Although it may not be for some as I pick up this morning’s edition of the Hucknall & Bulwell Dispatch (2nd Jan) to be met by the headline ‘WHAT A FARCE – snow gritting (Notts County Council)

It also didn’t take me long to discover the story contains the usual bleating from the Sutton North ward (nothing to do with Hucknall or Bulwell) Liberal Democrat, Ashfield District Councillor Jason Zadrozny.

Maybe next week Jason can enlighten us all on how much his beloved coalition government have reduced local authority’s budgets through funding cuts. Or maybe he can tell us about how Labour ran local authorities have been targeted by the sharp end of the coalition axe which is totally disproportionate compared to Tory / Liberal led authorities around the country.

The poorest areas of England have endured council cuts under the coalition worth 16 times as much per household as the richest areas. To put that into perspective Hart district council in Hampshire, the least deprived local authority, is losing £28 per household, while in Liverpool District B, the most deprived area, the figure is £807.

If that isn’t an example of class war then I don’t know what is.

Ashfield is ranked 63rd as the most deprived district out of a total of 326 local authorities. I know that Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg have not spared Ashfield in their crazed pursuit of austerity to pay for a crisis corrupt bankers caused, not the good people of Hucknall.

You may be wondering what the above has to do with snow gritting (Notts County Council), bin collection, council tax and so forth.

It’s simple, the more the Tory led coalition financially strangle the life out of local authorities like Ashfield the more likelihood this will have a detrimental impact on services such as the ones I have stated.

People in Hucknall & the wider Ashfield District have a choice to make in May 2015 – Vote Tory, Liberal or UKIP for more austerity and more cuts to services or vote Labour and join me in fighting against austerity and more cuts to services.

It does not have to be this way.

Keir Morrison

Snow Gritting & Bin Collections – Hucknall

Ed Miliband visits Hucknall for ‘Peoples Question Time’

Yesterday the leader of the opposition Ed Miliband visited Hucknall to hold the first ‘Peoples Question Time’ – The Hammer understands, these events will be rolled out across the country to achieve Labours pledge of holding 4 million conversations with the electorate between now and the general election in May.

The audience was made up of Hucknall community leaders, the police and ‘undecided voters’ as well as some Labour Party cheer leaders. There were also local and national press on hand to cover every aspect of the event.

Leonie Mathers Sherwood Labour Parliamentary candidate led out Ed Miliband before the audience and introduced Ed whilst stating that Labour ‘want to do politics in a different way’, a line which would be repeated throughout the event by Ed Miliband.

Appearing in a calm, reassuring manner Ed Miliband expressed that ‘there were no planted questions’ and that whilst he welcomed tough questions, people also may not like his answer or necessarily agree with his views.

Following this Ed outlined the disastrous position the country is in and where we are in terms of the campaigning timescales and the general election. He also touched on important issues such as the NHS, Zero Hour Contracts, Education, Immigration and the EU.

To give you an overview and a flavour of the sort of questions that were asked of the Labour leader included:-

  • NHS
  • Housing
  • Public Services
  • Nationalisation of Rail / Utilities
  • Austerity
  • Taxation
  • Employment & Working Conditions (Pay)

In summary it was clear from the audience that the people of Hucknall are crying out for a left wing alternative to Neo Liberalism and more austerity. The questions asked were very good questions ranging from ‘why doesn’t Labour support nationalisation?’ to ‘when is Labour going to return back to a Socialist party and its core roots?’, which was asked by a man on behalf of his son, who explained he would be voting Green unless Labour ditched Neo Liberalism.

Ed Milibands’ performance overall was good but would his presentation have been good enough to convince the ‘undecided’ voters? Is the Labour Party too concerned about occupying the centre ground and implementing spending cuts for Hucknall people to be inspired to put the X in the box for Labour?

What the Hammer does know is that the alternative of a Tory majority or the very real possibility of a Tory / UKIP coalition would be catastrophic for the people of Hucknall and the working class as a whole.

Ed Miliband visits Hucknall for ‘Peoples Question Time’

The Immigration Debate and Hucknall

It’s time for Hucknall to unite as a community and stop blaming immigrants for government failures.

Over the past few months I’ve listened to a number of different people in the community give their views on immigration – an issue that is felt strongly by Hucknall residents.

This issue has now been brought into the national spotlight and has had an impact on how the political landscape currently lies in the UK.

Whilst recognising that people remain concerned and anxious about immigration, for whatever reason, I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some of my thoughts.

According to a quick Wikipedia search the population of Hucknall was 29,704 (14,572) (49%) male, 15,132 (51% female). Total households 12,427 (Census 2001, Nottinghamshire County Council). White (94%) Asian (3%) Afro-Caribbean (1%)

Granted, these figures were taken from a census in 2001 so we could envisage these figures being slightly higher, but Hucknall, traditionally, has always been a white working class, ex coal mining town with a low percentage of people living here coming from an ethnic minority background.

So this dispels the myth that The Sun and Daily Mail peddle on a daily basis that ‘we’re being swamped by immigrants’

On the other side of the argument is that ‘immigrants don’t go to work and all they do is sponge off benefits’ OR ‘immigrants are coming over here and taking our jobs’ -these statements contradict each other and is yet another classic example of the right wing establishment press distorting the real issues around immigration.

Dennis Skinner MP for Bolsover gave a superb contribution in Westminster the other week stating he had a ‘United Nations heart transplant’ from a Nigerian consultant, a Latvian registrar and an Indian surgeon.  If it weren’t for migrant workers, I’m pretty sure our world class health system – the NHS – would collapse.

Let’s put this debate into context, whenever there’s a recession or struggle people always have a scapegoat.  History tells us that before Muslims and Eastern Europeans we blamed the Jews, then the Africans, then the Irish, it was simply demonising one minority after another for no particular reason what so ever.

People are angry because pay is so low, job security is none existent, they cannot afford a mortgage, they can’t afford to keep the house warm, they can’t afford to go on holidays and the number of apprenticeships and job opportunities for our young people are few and far between.

These problems aren’t caused by immigrants, these problems have been caused by successive governments of all colours, failing to address employment, the housing crisis, education and so on.

If you want somebody to blame it’s the corrupt bankers and capitalists at the top of the establishment that gambled OUR money to crash the economy in 2008 – and we bailed them out with more of OUR money and now we’re paying for it for the third time over in the form of austerity cuts.

This government and other political parties are scapegoating and demonising immigrants as a smokescreen to their economic and political failures not to mention the dangerous fascist ideology that underpins their whole mantra.

I ask of Hucknall people to take the above into consideration before believing the right wing media hype and demonization of immigrants.

As a town we can unite as a strong community where we can all learn, work and socialise together, especially this time of the year where we will have superb community events such as the Christmas carnival held in the town centre.

I’d just like to finish by wishing you and your families a Happy New Year 2015.

The Immigration Debate and Hucknall

An Introduction……

Welcome to the first blog post of the Hucknall Hammer!

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce the Hucknall Hammer, explain why I have created this blog and what I want to achieve in doing so.

For too long Hucknall has only ever had one news source of any substance.  In recent times this news source has become very one sided (politically), narrow minded, lazy and out of touch with local Hucknall peoples needs, views, traditions, values & principles.

The aim of this blog is to address this issue and to give myself a platform to air my views and opinions of all things Hucknall (mainly local politics) and beyond.

As you may be aware there’s important general and local elections on the horizon coming up in May.  This will determine who will govern our country and would like to hope this blog can assist you in determining which party deserves your vote.

In no means does this blog represent the views of Ashfield District Council or my employers this is simply my views and opinions only.

This is the Hucknall Hammer and I will be thrashing out opinions and nailing issues so please come back, comment, suggest and get in touch!

An Introduction……