Tag Archives: Conservative Party

Detritus

Friday 14th February 2020, 6.45pm (day 3,095)

Flood waste, 14/2/20

The flood came, and it went away again, and what it left behind are these piles of debris that were not carried there by the water directly, but removed from properties and left by the sides of roads and streets, just as in 2015. It’ll happen again, at some point, because the government does not care about the chronic water management problems of this place and the known reasons behind them.

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Ciara comes

Sunday 9th February 2020, 10.20am (day 3,090)

Storm Ciara, 9/2/20

I know this is a lousy picture. I’m sorry. It’s a lousy picture to have been in a position to take, too. All previous eulogies to the good weather of 2020 were decisively blown away overnight and this morning by Storm Ciara, a vicious little wannabe hurricane that blasted in, savagely dumped its load on Hebden Bridge and left the town, for the fourth time in the last eight years, under a layer of water [*]. I could have gone outside and taken pictures of the flooding but if you’ll forgive me, the prospect was too depressing. If I abrogate my duty as some kind of social commentator by doing so, my apologies — the vultures in their TV vans will doubtless be supplying the world with pictures of it all soon enough; while evading the real issues and reasons behind flooding, which are (around here anyway) to do with inequalities of power and status. And yet people vote Conservative, over and over again.

[*] The three previous occasions in the lifetime of this blog were 22/6/129/7/12 — and 26/12/15.

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Building site problem

Monday 3rd September 2018, 9.30am (day 2,566)

Homeless, Abingdon St., 3/9/18

I’m tired of the endless destruction and re-capitalisation being wreaked on Manchester city centre. The yellow hoardings on the right surround what is to become a boutique hotel, called “Brooklyn” — or actually “BKLYN”, clearly this was exactly the configuration of letters which wasn’t already a hashtag — scheduled to open some time in 2019 it seems.

However, an objective assessment of the local building stock leads me to conclude that Manchester is already well-supplied with hotels, boutique or otherwise. What it seems to lack are beds for a growing population of rough sleepers, that anyone who walks through the city centre on a regular morning basis will agree has increased substantially in the last year or so.

Welcome to your neo-liberal marketised future.

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Under the arches, St. Peter’s Square

Wednesday 25th July 2018, 7.30am (day 2,526)

Under the arches, 25/7/18

For the second time in a fortnight, the photo of the day that I find most pleasing visually happens to include a guy sleeping on the pavement. As the numbers of pictures accumulate on this blog, each being a snapshot (literally) of a moment in a day, statistically it comes to reflect the patterns of my life, where I am the most, the times of day I do things, the things I see around me. And there are more men and women sleeping on the streets of Manchester around me than ever before. It’s a fact.

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On Cross Street

Wednesday 18th July 2018, 9.20am (day 2,519)

Homeless on Cross Street, 18/7/18

This is easily the most interesting photo I took today both in terms of its appearance and any semblance of social commentary. On the other hand it opens me up, not for the first time on this blog, to the accusation of voyeurism. But I suppose all photographs, at least, of people, have an element of this: the question is whether the spied-upon assents to or is even aware of the spying. In this case he is not. Yet in a small way does something come from it? I claim this blog is not political, but that’s not always the case. I get angry that a society with pretensions to high civilisation can’t at least find beds each night for a certain number of its people. This man shouldn’t need to spend the night on a pavement in the centre of Manchester. Maybe by showing it I keep it, even in a very tiny way, as an issue for public debate. But perhaps that’s all just rationalisation after the fact.

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Anonymous critique of British politics

Monday 10th July 2017, 8.05am (day 2,146)

Poiitical statement, 10/7/17

Sums it up for me, in at least two different ways.

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Outside the Conservative Party Conference, Manchester

Tuesday 4th October 2011, 12.55pm (day 40)

Words, 4/10/11

The Conservative Party Conference continues to provide a rich seam. I’m almost sorry I’m not going in tomorrow. Some fundamentalists wield biblical slogans, others manifestos and soundbites. But they’re all basically the same: they lay blame for the world’s problems on anything and everything other than themselves.

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Conservative Party roadblock, Manchester

Monday 3rd October 2011, 7.50am (day 39)

35,000 people marched in Manchester yesterday against the policies of the government. PM David Cameron said, bluntly, in the Manchester Evening News today: ‘You are all wrong’. This presumably means, he thinks he is right.

OK, let us look at just one salient story for a moment. On 14th March 2007, the incumbent Labour-led government voted on whether or not to spend at least (that’s ‘at least’ – it will inevitably rise) £20billion on upgrading the UK’s Trident nuclear missile system: something that has never been used, and probably never will be. At this point the government’s majority was 62. 85 Labour MPs voted against the plan. Therefore, had the Opposition done what it does as a matter of course with most other votes, and opposed it, it would not have gone through, and that £20bn would not now be on the public spending bill.

However, virtually every Tory MP voted for the proposal. This £20bn of public spending (no mention of public-private partnerships here) has been specifically said by Mr Cameron to be ‘ring fenced’ and not open to being cut.

All this is fact, a matter of public record. Therefore, the only conclusion to draw is that the Conservative party, and the Liberal Democrats who are the pimps in this particular transaction, are actually not all that interested in cutting government spending per se. Rather, it shows that they are far keener to redirect money which could go on education, welfare, health and other things that citizens might actually directly benefit from, and spend it on bombs.

And I bet the citizens of Manchester are paying to police the party conference, too: despite facing local government public spending cuts as big as any in the country. Paying for the privilege of having a chunk of their city centre turned into a fortress. Inclusive government?  Democracy? Yeah, we’ve heard of it. Christ, I’m pissed off.

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