Two issues to consider – Refer(never)endums and a lack of civility

1. Politics and The EU 

So here’s the main problem with a second Brexit vote:

If the result (as recent polls suggest) would be around 52% remain and 48% exit – how can that be claimed as a mandate when most of us who remain have spent over 2 years claiming that 52% isn’t a mandate?

That would then lead to either a standoff or a third referendum (best of 3 anyone?) and then we really are down the rabbit hole. The only way you could justify holding a second referendum was if you knew you would get say 65% plus remain. Otherwise this awful limbo status will remain.

I have to disagree with what Rory Stewart said on Thursdays Question Time. He said the chequers plan was a Middle Way. It isn’t – what it is is a fudge that neither solves the problems of Brexit nor completely separates us from the EU. This is aside from the fact that Michel Barnier has already rejected it. 

I can’t remember who it was who said ‘A successful negotiation is one that neither side is happy with but both sides can live with’. Well the chequers agreement is not something either side of the Brexit Divide in this country could live with, and it is not one I would wager that in the long term either the UK or European governments  could either.

The problem is with where we are now I don’t know what the answer is and i’m betting that neither the Prime Minister, nor the EU do either – and this is far more worrying.

2. Online Abuse of Sports People

I adore cricket – cricket of any kind. In fact if I’m walking down the street and I see some kids with a bat and ball I’ll stop to watch them. 

But something I have noticed recently is how much the internet has altered cricket supporters. When I first started going to games in the late 90s – watching Lancashire, supporters behaved impeccably both at the ground and afterwards (with the exception of one particular Yorkshireman at the 1999 NatWest Trophy quarter final)   

But now it’s different – less so at the  grounds – I have no problem with singing and pint pot snakes or anything else that 20/20 has brought to our game.

I am talking about unwarranted online criticism. I am not one to shy away from criticising either a lack of effort or even a mistake by a player or coach, but now it appears that people are willing to call for captains and coaches to be sacked simplY because their team failing to win a tournament or in some cases a single match.

This behaviour threatens to turn cricket into football – and the abuse which some cricketers – players who in some cases have rushed back from injury early to help the team have been pilloried for not winning. I find this distasteful and all it will lead to should it continue is the estrangement between cricketers  and supporters. I recently pointed this out on a team Facebook forum and was told that someone had been called something by a players brother. 

But here’s the point – even if this is true why would the players brother call someone they didn’t know and had never even met? Maybe because the other person abused their playing sibling first?

It’s time to stop it, and for cricket supporters to behave more like we always have – polite and civil. Some self moderation is what’s required. I just wonder if I’m the modern world this is possible.

Until next time….

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Leaving the Arena

I have decided to leave both the Labour Party and my Trade Union. This is not a decision I have taken lightly but I fee is the right one.

In one months time I will be leaving Leicester and returning to Manchester. I am giving up my job and my life. The main reason for this is that it isn’t not a life. I feel alone even when I’m not, I’ve been off work for more than half of the past year and even though I am better than I was at the start of the year I am scared of myself here. I fear that if I keep trying in Leicester I will simply end up back where I was.

My reason for leaving the Labour Party is similar. I have not been happy in the party really for the last 2 years. I don’t feel as motivated or committed as I once did and I can’t be someone who will just pay a subscription and not contribute.

Its also time for me to have a completely new start and to do something myself and that’s why I’ve both made these decisions and also started writing this blog again.

I will be writing a weekly blog of how things are going with additional comments on politics and also sport and society in general.

Thanks for reading and I hope you can take something from what I add.

Cheers

Jonathan

 

Heart Unions

As a Union member at work, the Trade Union Bill launched by this government snd currently on its way through parliament is an affront to me, to my colleagues and to the people we serve in local government on a daily basis.

It is an ill thought out, reckless and vindictive piece of legislation designed to impart harm and suffering onto workers and more particularly low paid workers. Many of whom are women who work part time to support young families. Along with the cuts to in work benefits such as child tax credits this bill is part of a measure to stifle social mobility and life chance improvement amongst those families and communities that need it the most.

It will seriously harm their chances of effective workplace representation, stifle and muzzle campaigns designed to raise awareness of their struggles and hardships. It will prevent them taking action to defend their jobs and to defend their communities from the savage attacks. But most importantly just as Republican Presidential Candidates in America seek to de fund the organisation Planned Parenthood, it will by changing the way Trade Union Political Funds can be contributed to de fund this governments biggest threat. That is a properly funded, united disciplined Labour Party.

The campaign against this is being led by the TUC, using the slogan ‘HeartUnions’. Now whilst I wholeheartedly support the campaign, the slogan and campaign strategy behind it are in my opinion flawed. ‘HeartUnions’ as with most Trade Union led campaigns starts from the premise that everyone who is in a Trade Union already loves it. This is false. Most people join a Trade Union not because they love it, but because they need it.  It protects them, supports them and guides and advises them throughout the workplace and beyond.

The TUC should not be campaigning against this bill because it considers that Trade Unions are nice and warm and fuzzy. But rather because they are strong and powerful and necessary for the common social good. And this gets to the main point about Trade Unions in 21st century Britain. They do not understand it, they may have adapted to social media and mass on line activism, but these are the tools of a campaigning organisation not the reason for its existence and not the true power of its core. Strength and Unity and Solidarity are what makes Trade Unions worth listening to. If all they have to say is a wishy washy 2 word slogan that sounds like it was written by a teenage girl on a fan fiction website, then why should anyone listen to them at all?

My Introduction

If you are reading this then welcome.

My name is Jonathan Marsland. I am in my early thirties, live and work in Leicester and am an active political campaigner and activist.

The idea behind this blog is to allow me to comment on events and situations that arise both in my life and the wider world. It is also because I find myself becoming increasingly frustrated with many things going on in the world. I hope that you will read it and enjoy it. The topics I will mostly be commenting on are Politics, Sport, Culture and History.

My spelling and grammar will not always be 100% accurate so if this irritates you then I can only apologise

I also hope you will find it informative and that it makes you think about issues and society in a slightly different way.

I will try to blog most days but when this fails I will try at least 3 or 4 times per week.

There will be things due to my job, I will be unable to blog on relating to Leicester but when this is the case I will link to other outlets that can comment.

Many Thanks again for reading, and I hope you enjoy.

Jonathan Marsland