Welcome to Spelthorne Labour Party
The dismantling of the Attlee legacy
Fifty years ago this month, death claimed Clem Attlee the greatest prime minister (1945-51) that our country has ever known.
My generation, young survivors of World War Two, now in our nineties, were all probably members of a society to outrival all others, from antiquity to the present shameful apology of a government. In essence, it stretched from 1931 to 1979.
His government banished the poverty of the hungry thirties by an economy which flourished by dignifying the workers. Good profits yielded good revenue for social investment.
Full employment, strong trade unions, security through to retirement saw prosperity never before enjoyed by all, marked a Britain envied and admired the world over. Tory governments did not dare destroy it.
Clem’s family, residents in Surrey since doomsday, were comfortably off, but raised generation after generation, to be ‘ever mindful of the needs of others’. Patriotic socialists.
Not for them Eaton, which they rightly saw as an arrogant instrument of the elite, a preserver of heedless power.
Instead young Clem Attlee attended Haileybury, brilliantly academically linked, however, two annexes in the most deprived parts of the East End. He won an Oxford scholarship.
In the First World War Attlee served at Gallipoli in 1915 and wounded, returned to action in
France and Flanders, rising to the rank of major, his command being of the working class South Lancashire (Liverpool and Manchester) Regiment. No officer in his regiment ate until the troops had.
He led an attack which left him stretchered away, invalided out, and with pain for the rest of his life.
He became an East End MP, then in 1931, deputy leader of a Labour Party seemingly on the brink of extinction, with only 46 seats.Then as leader, he improved that to 154 in 1935, and then to a landslide in 1945. What a political genius.
A visionary with feet firmly on the ground, he and his colleagues saw to good quality housing, rents and mortgages linked to pay. Homelessness was eliminated.
A new National Health Service, modelled throughout the world was established. Every Tory MP voted against it.
Convinced our empires were of the past, he transformed ours into a commonwealth of nations. This was largely bloodless, with no precedent in history.
Schools were abundantly resourced, with every child’s potential fostered. My generation went to university free of fees, with grants.
All of this ‘demi paradise’ flourished, based upon fair and just taxation. The Tories dared not touch it from 1951 onwards.
Then in 1979, came Thatcherism, whose creed is greed, which set about dismantling his legacy. The wreckers are succeeding.
Thus we now see an under invested NHS, foodbanks proliferate, schools are straightjacketed in curriculums, robbed of funds.
A wonderful legacy is squandered before our eyes.
Harold an elderly resident, then a war veteran, young student – no fees, generous grant – recalls meeting Clem who was guest of the students union, in 1946.
‘Honours were heaped on him, Companion of Honour, Order of Merit, an Earldom, etc., but he address our concerns with effective thought and action.’
‘His agenda included the bringing of a fair and prosperous society from shattered chaos.
We students of French, German, Spanish, etc. were on four year honours courses. Clem had persuades universities to require the fourth year to be study in the appropriate country, ‘but only £50 could be taken abroad, and jobs were forbidden’ ‘The P.M. listened attentively and acted supportively’ ‘so within a month, Clem laid down the foundations, mutually financially shared, of student exchanges – which paid off with enormous success in many aspects, for us as individuals, but also for our country in friendly bonds formed throughout Europe.’
‘Just a tiny example of his legacy’
‘Stop R.I.P ing for a while, Clem it’s under attack!
Let’s put into action the policies he abided by,
‘A great man, steeped in core Christianity, amused by the frenzied abuse hurled at him. and emulate, again his achievements.’
Spelthorne at it again with another property purchase
The above headline appeared in an article in the Villager, initially it seemed to be some kind of criticism. But reading on, it turned out to be a Tory councillor boasting about a new acquisition of a 43,110 sq. ft office building situated in Stockley Park Uxbridge, to add to Spelthorne Council’s property portfolio. Last years purchases were also mentioned, the BP campus in Sunbury on Thames — the Sunbury BP campus was the largest privately owned office park in the UK, and cost the council £360m. Also Elmbrook House, in Sunbury was purchased this year. No details of cost was given!
All councils are able to get fixed rate deals with the Public Works Loan Board (PWL). These loans are at 2.5% interest over 50 years. The excuse given for these extravagant purchases, was to support services affected by Government funding cuts, by future profits from these investments.
The article goes on to say that Spelthorne Borough council is a leading investor in commercial property.
It’s true that other councils are taking advantage of PWL loans, but are they making better use of them? Neighbouring Hounslow for example is planning to build 3000 affordable homes by 2019, many of which are already completed. This council owned development consists of flats to rent, and some for shared ownership. The units to rent are composed of a mixture of 1,2,3, and 4 beds. Nine of the units are adapted for wheelchair use.
By contrast Spelthorne Council has no housing stock. There are currently 74 Spelthorne families living in temporary hostel accommodation, both inside and outside the borough.
Last year the council paid out £484.000 on temporary accommodation. As hostel accommodation is charged by the day, it’s twice as expensive as a monthly rented premises.
Perhaps our council could learn something from Labour run Hounslow, and invest in housing stock which is desperately needed in Spelthorne.
This idea of supporting vital services by funding from commercial property
speculation, doesn't seem to be working. Bus services are being cut, our fire service is to be halved to just one fire station, and Ashford’s multi storey car park is in a state of near collapse!
Thames Water’s fine is a tap on a leaky wrist
As the Labour cavalry charge over the hill, to Britain’s rescue Jeremy Corbyn’s reformers will sort out the privatisation of public services once and for all.
Last May, Thames Water, amid fears of drought, missed its water leakage target by 47 million litres a day. That is the daily volume of 18 Olympic swimming pools. OFWAT fined the miscreants £8.5 million.
The tap on a leaky wrist which is the maximum allowed. Before that — look away if eating — Thames Water pumped 1.4 billion litres of raw sewage into the river. The offence was hit with a record fine of £20.3 million.
Who owns this necessity of life? As the name implies, you would think,
we Brits/ Londoners.
Wrong the Tories have sold it to a mysterious foreign consortia of sovereign wealth funds involving Abu Dhabi, China, Australia, Canada, and Kuwait.
Are these the sort of trade deals we can expect when leaving the EU?
We “customers” might be disgruntled, but the shareholders will not. One billion pounds in dividends in the decade buys their complicity.
But surely Thames Water have sacked their £700.000 per year boss? Wrong again. No fine for him, instead, a bonus of £54.000.
Roll on a Labour government.
Excerpts from Labour’s fully costed manifesto
If you want free university education, vote Labour.
University tuition is free in many northern European countries,
and under a Labour government it will be free here too.
If you want to keep your home in old age, vote Labour.
In their first term, Labour will lay the foundations of a National Care Service for England.
If you want to see our utilities owned by the British Nation, instead of foreign investors, Vote Labour.
Across the world, countries are taking public utilities back into public ownership. Labour will learn from these experiences and bring key utilities back into public ownership to deliver lower prices, more accountability and a more sustainable economy. We will:
· Bring private rail companies back into public ownership as their franchises expire.
· Regain control of energy supply networks through the alteration of operator license conditions, and transition to a publicly owned, de-centralised energy system.
· Replace our dysfunctional water system with a network of regional publicly-owned water companies.
Reverse the privatization of Royal Mail at the earliest opportunity.
Public ownership will benefit consumers, ensuring that their interests are put first and that there is democratic accountability for the service.
If you want a good Brexit deal, Vote Labour.
labour accepts the referendum result and a Labour government will put the national interest first. We will prioritize jobs and living standards, build a close new relationship with the EU, protect workers’ rights and environmental standards, provide certainty to EU nationals and give a meaningful role to Parliament throughout negotiations.
Brexit under Labour would result in a fair deal for the many, and good relations with our EU neighbors.
Brexit under the Conservatives would result in hardship for many, dodgy trade deals with dubious nations and isolation from our former EU partners.
Spelthorne Labour Party would prefer to become part of Greater London.
Although Spelthorne Labour Party would support the idea being put out, of breaking up of Surrey into unitary authorities — after all nothing could be worse than what we already have!
In a recent survey carried out among Spelthorne’s Labour Party members, the findings came out totally in favour of Spelthorne becoming part of Greater London and a motion was passed to that effect.
This policy must be thoroughly explored after the elections.
Some of the advantages of being part of
· We would automatically become part of zone 6, this would make rail fares cheaper for commuters going into London.
· All over 60s would get a freedom pass which would give them free rail travel into London.
· More money spent on primary and secondary school education.
· Being part of London instead of Surrey’s back yard would give us more self pride and status.
· The cheaper fares would also encourage multinational companies to relocate here, bringing extra wealth and prosperity to our Thames side borough with its nearness to Heathrow Airport good links to the M1, M3, M4, M25, with the added bonus of a London address.
· Lower council tax, e.g. Spelthorne band D £1,748.56, Hillingdon band D
As a point of interest neighbouring Hillingdon has frozen council tax for all residence for the ninth successive year. Also free burglar alarms, swimming and allotments for the over- 65s.
Pre 1965 Spelthorne was considered as part of Greater London. GLC (Greater London Council), low deposit, fixed rate, low interest mortgages were given out by the then Labour government to help young people buy their first homes, these mortgages were also available to people living in Spelthorne.
Metropolitan Police living here got London weighting.
We also have our Greater London London TW post code.