Sunday, 10 July 2016

Covering Notes

This, taken a year ago, is the cover photograph on the Twitter account of the Leader of Durham County Council, Councillor Simon Henig. It shows a crowd of marchers crossing Elvet Bridge at the Durham Miners' Gala.
This, taken yesterday, ought to be the cover photograph on the Twitter account of whoever is the Leader of Durham County Council this time next year. It shows a crowd of marchers crossing Elvet Bridge at the Durham Miners' Gala. Who those marchers were is why that Leader is not going to be Simon Henig.
Those white T-shirts, and there were even more of them out of shot, were worn by the Teaching Assistants whom Durham County Council intends to sack, and then to reappoint on a 25 per cent pay cut.

They were by far the single largest contingent at this year's Big Meeting, and I marched with them, as did the Patron of my electoral campaign, Councillor Alex Watson, another refugee from Blairism in general and from its vicious local application in particular.

The only other County Councillor that I saw all day, during the 15 hours from eight in the morning until 11 at night, was Lanchester's own Richie Young, another Independent, who was required to be absent from the vote on the Teaching Assistants due to the fact that a member of his family is one. Please note that that explains the absences among Independents and Lib Dems.

(Richie checked to make sure that I would still be standing for Parliament if the next General Election were not held until 2020. I gave him that assurance.)

The whole balcony party applauded as we marched past. As did the whole of the very large crowd underneath, from the Far Left newspaper vendors to the Police. The Chief Constable, in full regalia, signed our petition, and the Shadow Education Secretary, Angela Rayner, was photographed with our T-shirted marchers; I shall put up that picture as soon as I have it.

In his speech, Jeremy Corbyn expressly endorsed our campaign, echoing several previous speakers in doing so. A leading national political journalist promised me that he would write up the story, and a leading employment rights QC told me that "It would be an honour" for him to act in this case.

No wonder that the Labour County Councillors have run away and hidden. But we have not run away, nor have we hidden. We have absolutely no intention of doing either of those things.

1 comment:

  1. You are banned for life from the Labour Party but you can get campaigners against a Labour council, with no political background of their own, in to see the Labour Leader. The photos of them, him and you all together are then gleefully put up on here, Twitter and Facebook. This isn't even a party within a party, this is a separate party and you are at the very heart of it, campaigning against Labour by standing for the council next year and Parliament in 2020. Presumably pictures of you with Jeremy Corbyn will be on your anti-Labour leaflets. This has got to stop.