A big thank you to start with: the response to my request for someone to give up their house to a film company for a few days was answered by a few of you, and now filming will convene at a loyal Beestonians house. The director reckons it will be shown at a fair few film festivals, nationally and abroad, and Beeston will rightfully take its place in film-location legend.
More encouraging news pops into my inbox: Oxjam 2012 will once again be held in Beeston this year, after its overwhelming success last year. It’s not until October, so very few details so far, but I’ve been appointed Marketing Co-ordinator so will be making sure you don’t forget, by social media, blogging, and standing in Beeston Square with a loudhailer for six months.
The organisers are also looking for a Production Coordinator/ Artist Coordinator. We need people willing to dedicate their time for free to assist in the booking of artists/PA rigs, etc; then running round the venues on the day making sure everything works, acts gets on at the right time and lots of other jobs that require a strong sense of organisation/ability not to collapse in the street in floods of tears when the smoke machine for the prog rock band you’ve got booked to play a set breaks down. Let me know at mattgoold23@ hotmail.com if you’re interested, and I’ll pass your details on.
Soubry is once again appearing all over the media in her relentless campaign to be noticed by the Cabinet and invited in. Her latest scheme is a cracker of political cynicism: along with Erewash MP Jessica Lee she’s a key member of the newly formed ‘301 Group’. This is a group of Tory backbenchers, predominantly of the 2010 intake, who are desperate for re-election in 2015 -hence the name, the ‘301’ being the figure needed for a tory majority, not the swing needed to depose Soubry (though that is just 79 more). So desperate, in fact, they want to drop all ideology that sniffs of controversy, so Europe, the biggest threat to a schism in the blue party, gets slung on the back-burner and Europhobic MPS such as Bill Cash get told to shut up until 2015.
Pragmatism overriding ideology is far from a new idea in politics: former left-wing firebrands tore up Clause 4 after the 1992 election defeat to ensure ‘New’ Labour would take power in ’97. In the run-up to the last election, Cameron himself tried to detoxify the ‘Nasty PARTY’ brand by riding with huskies, professing a love for jangly indie music and patting any passing nurses on the head. He even promised to hug hoodies and even met- and talked! – to ‘a black man in Portsmouth’ to show what a lovely man he is.
So Soubry’s latest attempt to curry favour is to paint herself blander-than-thou, show her party to be united behind Dave and pretend the effects of the cuts and the demonisation of the poor isn’t happening. Then, come 2015, she’ll be voted in with an overwhelming majority,given a hugely important front bench role and then take off the sheep clothing that allowed all that and announce the NHS and all Northern cities are being sold to Bahrain, with the proceeds to go to buying huge diamonds all residents of the Home Counties. You read it here first.
Chances are, however, it’s all in vain. The long established and long entrenched 1922 Committee of right wing, Brussels-baiting Tory MPs hold great influence and know that Cameron is terrified to piss them off too much less they march over to Nigel Farage’s house. Soubry is already seen as an annoyingly ambitious upstart amongst Tory ranks, as this infamous article showed: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2008199/The-cruel-hounding-Mark-Pritchard-shows-Tories-failed-clean-politics.html where she was described by some anonymous colleague as:
“From the day Anna arrived in Parliament, her zealous enthusiasm for every dot and comma of Cameron’s Tory modernisation programme has been painfully obvious. A female MP told me rather harshly it doesn’t help that Anna ‘looks as if she is sucking on a lemon’.Anna seemed to blame Mark for effectively putting Tory MPs on the spot in a Commons vote on banning animals in circuses. Mark is passionate about animal welfare. But Cameron couldn’t stomach the thought of a backbencher having influence over Government policy, even one as minor as circus animals – though a ban has 92 per cent public support. The word went out from No 10: ‘Kill Mark.’ Perhaps it is sheer coincidence that Anna is Parliamentary Private Secretary to Simon Burns MP, Minister of State for Health, who is a close personal friend of Chief Whip Patrick McLoughlin and was also a long-serving whip prior to becoming a Minister’
It’s going to be a tough call for Anna to get that particular commentator on board. At least she didn’t plump for the original name for the group, the utterly cringe-worthy but rather brilliant ‘Sensible Tories’, anyone?
Soubry popped up again yesterday afternoon to throw her two-bits into the Benefit Cap debate, and her contribution is utterly astounding. Apparently, she’s asked all of us in her constituency what we think of the cap and being bleeding-heart liberals, we, errr, think it’s a compassionate gesture:
I can assure the right hon. Gentleman, following conversations with my constituents in Broxtowe, that hard-working people overwhelmingly take the view that the long-term unemployed should no longer be better off on benefit than in work. That is not only for the sake of the public purse; it is a result of the compassion that we feel—[ Laughter. ] Hon. Members should not laugh; they should know better. In the real world, some of the people I used to represent as a criminal barrister were third-generation unemployed. It is for the sake of them and their children that they should be back in work, and that is what these measures have at their heart.
She’s all heart! And scapegoating the least powerful, the poorest, the incapacitated while turning a blind eye to bonus culture and corporate tax-avoidance is not a cynical, nasty act but a loving, caring measure that will ensure anyone trapped on benefits to take up one of those millions of jobs presently available. Thanks, Anna, and hope your own unemployment in May 2015 is the lucrative pleasure-fest she imagines it to be.
(thanks to Alan for tip off)