23 today, a Very Happy Birthday to Marcus Rashford. Who needs the Labour Party? It would not be advocating free school meals in the holidays if it had not been for Rashford. Nor would it be providing them if it were in government. If Tony Blair had remained Prime Minister only a little longer, then even free school meals in termtime would have been abolished.
Labour is now led by a man who has devoted his professional life to covering up the murders in custody of young black men who had been arrested precisely for their youth and their colour. In recent days, we have seen the return of the fanciful delusion that anti-racism was one of Labour's "core values". But in reality, anti-racist activists have only ever regarded the Labour Party as the best of a very bad lot, and they have frankly described Jeremy Corbyn as the only anti-racist Leader that it had ever had, so that he would have been "the United Kingdom's first anti-racist Prime Minister". Even then, it was under Corbyn that Jackie Walker and Marc Wadsworth were expelled.
I was older than 23 when the Labour Party refused to hold a selection meeting for a District Council seat because I would have won it. Although if age were indeed the real reason, then I seem to have been only one school year short, since, while the parliamentary staffer who was imposed without any formal process had been in the year ahead of me at school, we had been born in the same calendar year. It must have been something else, then, mustn't it?
That staffer failed to win the seat, and he took a distinguished sitting Councillor down with him. Like me, he has still never been elected to anything above Parish level. Unlike me, he has never again tried to be. I am a declared and active Independent candidate for the parliamentary seat of North West Durham at the next General Election, as I was at the last one. Please give generously.