Saturday, 15 February 2020

JAGO - THE BIOGRAPHY - ARRIVING IN A BOOKSHOP NEAR YOU ON MARCH 5

I promised that I would share the contents of last week's Mailchimp newsletter about Jago in a blogpost this weekend - and here it is, with additional material and images: (And note the definitive date that I have picked up on Amazon for availability - Thursday, March 5, 2020)

FEBRUARY 2020 - UPDATES ON 'THE REMARKABLE LIFE OF JAGO STONE' - THE BIOGRAPHY
I am pleased to welcome Louise Campbell as the 67th subscriber to this newsletter. Louise is the Marketing and Publicity Manager for Unicorn PG, the publishers of 'The Remarkable Life of Jago Stone'. Louise and I spoke on the phone last Thursday, February 6, and I can update you with the news that March 1 is now the likely date for publication in the UK. I guess that might be moved to Monday March 2 - are books published on a Sunday these days? The world of publishing is revealing more of its workings as the months pass but I still have much to learn.

As Louise Campbell explained, Unicorn need to allow time to move the hard copies of the first print-run to book distributors and retailers. And the American and Australian wholesalers and retailers are likely to get their copies for sale a couple of months after the UK market - say early May - for the same reason. That seems to be how things are done.


All very exciting - and patience was ever a virtue of the first order.


The biography of Jago Stone, available online and in bookshops from March 5. You can pre-order.

I wanted to update my loyal subscribers as soon as I could - (although I did squeeze in the publication of the fourth and last part in my blogpost series on the Labour Party 2019 Manifesto yesterday!). And I also wanted to make this Mailchimp edition of the Newsletter a celebration of a definitive date for

Saturday, 8 February 2020

THE LABOUR MANIFESTO VISION - PART FOUR - A NEW INTERNATIONALISM

My first three blogposts in this series have provided a summary of the key features of the first 86 pages of the Labour Party Manifesto for the December 2019 General Election. The last 21 pages of this 107 page document were focused on Brexit (six pages, now redundant) and a new approach to relations with the rest of the world.

I should repeat at this point how impressed I am with the coherence and integrity of the vision that underpins this socialist manifesto. Remember, this Manifesto starts as it must with the threat of global extinction through climate warning. Rebecca Long Bailey is one of the authors of this vital first section. Jeremy Corbyn was and is absolutely committed to responding to that threat. We need leaders who 'get it'. The present occupant of No 10, by his own admission, has problems in this area.


Tory inaction will help wipe out our civilisation from the planet


I have relished creating this summary of the Manifesto in these four blogposts. We in the Labour Party should be proud to identify with such a set of policies and we need to find ways and means over the next five years to get the message out there to the peoples of this land:

'This is what we as socialists believe will change all our lives for the better - do you really think the Tories are going to do better than this?'  

Here are the links to the first three parts:

 https://robdonovan.blogspot.com/2020/01/resisting-tories-our-manifesto-for.html

https://robdonovan.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-labour-manifesto-vision-for-future.html

https://robdonovan.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-labour-manifesto-vision-part-three.html


I should also say I realise how misguided it was to produce a Manifesto that ran to 107 pages. I didn't have time to read it when the document appeared; I was too busy campaigning; I just read the media highlights. Why create a political document that very, very few of the electorate were ever going to

Saturday, 1 February 2020

A RIGHT ROYAL TO-DO: DID YOU KNOW THAT ....?

This blogpost has been inspired by my purchase and reading of Norman Baker's latest publication: 'What the Royal Family don't want you to know …. AND WHAT DO YOU DO?' (2019). I first came across the work of Norman Baker, former Minister of State and current Privy Councillor, when his work: 'The Strange Death of David Kelly' (2007) was referenced in 'An Inconvenient Death - How the Establishment covered up the David Kelly Affair' (2018) by Miles Goslett. Here is a link to the blogpost that I published after reading Miles Goslett's brilliantly researched and disturbing book:

 https://robdonovan.blogspot.com/2018/08/the-death-of-dr-david-kelly-summary-of.html

I should point out that in my concluding paragraph I suggest that the lack of reviews of Miles Goslett's book was in itself suspicious. In private email correspondence, Miles Goslett reassured me that there were other reviews that I had not seen.

And I am now looking forward to reading Norman Baker's book on the strange death of David Kelly; I've just ordered it. We need more whistle-blowers such as Norman Baker and Miles Goslett. Take a look again at the blog-spot title caption I wrote in January 2016: 'Unrobing the Emperors and other matters of concern. An author's blog revealing political deception in the UK ….'  Why do you think I wrote 'The Road to Corbyn' (2016), originally called 'Deception'?



Brilliantly researched and disturbing reading - as are the two books about the strange death of David Kelly I have referenced above.


A ROYAL QUIZ

Your starter for ten points …. How many monarchies are left in Europe, what are they - and name one big difference between ours and the others?

There are 10 monarchies left in Europe. They are in Britain, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, Liechtenstein and Monaco. All call themselves constitutional monarchies - but we only have an unwritten constitution. Our British

Monday, 27 January 2020

THE LABOUR MANIFESTO VISION - PART THREE - TACKLING POVERTY AND INEQUALITY

In this third post, I am focusing on the section of the Labour Manifesto that carries the title: 

TACKLE POVERTY AND INEQUALITY (pp. 59-85)

It is divided into six parts, outlined below. My task in this series of blogposts is to highlight the socialist vision in these pages of the Labour Manifesto so that the street cliché: "All politicians are the same - there's no difference between them" withers on the vine. The Labour vision and the policies that follow from that way of seeing the world are markedly different from the social, economic and political realities that have come to pass in this last decade shaped by Tory beliefs and policies.     


Is this fair? Labour politicians don't think so; Tory politicians deny the reality.


  •  WORK
'Work should provide a decent life for all, guaranteeing not just dignity and respect in the workplace, but also the income and leisure time to allow for a fulfilling life outside it.'

Under the Tories, pay has stagnated while insecurity and inequality have risen. In the UK, there are 14.3 million people in poverty; 9 million of these live in families where at least one adult works. 

We will rapidly introduce a Real Living Wage of £10 per hour for all workers aged 16 and over - and

Saturday, 25 January 2020

JAGO HAS REACHED THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

As soon as I got wind of the news that Jago's biography was waiting to be distributed through the University of Chicago Press in the United States of America, I published a Mailchimp Newsletter a week or so ago to my 66 subscribers so they would be first to know. So far 38 have opened and read the good news. Apologies to them for the repetition in this blogpost - but I have added some fresh material to make the reading through worthwhile for everyone. Within three months, these Jago blogposts typically have a viewing figure of around 120. My very first Jago American Connection posting on 12 December, 2016 now has 2444 recorded views. Forgive the geeky attraction to stats - it's difficult to resist this online vice.

Here's the latest update:

JANUARY 2020 - UPDATES ON 'THE REMARKABLE LIFE OF JAGO STONE' - THE BIOGRAPHY

Another couple of months have passed since I created a Mailchimp newsletter; the last one in November had news of final edits but no firm publication date. We still have no firm publication date on this side of the Pond - but the University of Chicago Press website does say very clearly:


Will Publish February 2020.



Jago in 1983 - location unknown - a still from a Harlech TV interview



I think it is highly likely that publication will happen here in February too. (In fact, I've just seen a date on the Unicorn Press website: 15 February 2020! - see the link below.) 

Jago would, I think, be tickled pink that he is now waiting in the portals of the University of Chicago in the United States of America for his life story to be

Sunday, 19 January 2020

THE LABOUR MANIFESTO VISION FOR THE FUTURE - PART TWO: REBUILDING OUR PUBLIC SERVICES

I heard Emily Thornberry, one of the Labour leadership contenders, complaining this week that the Labour Party Manifesto had been a mistake because it was really a fifteen-year programme for government action. The voters rejected it because it was overloaded. Not so. Those voters who abandoned Labour did so very largely because the Tories very successfully made this the Brexit election. Get Brexit Done became the meme that trumped the Labour vision for a better Britain.

As I said in Part One of this series, we would have been better off campaigning on a summary version of our manifesto - but we should be really proud of our achievement in assembling this comprehensive guide to what decent and fair government should mean at the end of the second decade of the 21st century. When we are asked 'What has socialism to offer the voter these days?', our manifesto provides a realistic answer that also excites the imagination.

The first 28 pages had been focused on A GREEN INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION - see this link by pressing here. The next 24 pages explain how Labour will REBUILD OUR PUBLIC SERVICES.


Our public services need to be reclaimed - due credit to Kishimoto and Petitjean (eds) 



This second section of the Manifesto begins with a classic statement of socialist belief and vision:

Universal public services, collectively provided through general taxation and free at the point of use for all, are how we guarantee the right to a good life.

How will this reconstruction be funded? Those earning more than £80,000 a year will pay a little

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

RESISTING THE TORIES - OUR MANIFESTO FOR THE FUTURE - PART ONE: THE CLIMATE EMERGENCY

I promised a re-presentation of the Labour Party manifesto that was published during the General Election in 2019, at the end of last year. The policies and concerns that fill that document are still fundamental to my hopes - and those of millions of others - for a better, kinder, fairer future. Within the parliamentary Labour Party, there are those who are insisting they have been right all along; there never was a chance that these socialist pipedreams would lead to election victory. The manifesto was 'overloaded';  it promised so much as to be unbelievable. I do not share this view. However, I do think we needed a scaled-down, mini-version to help get these vital ideas and policies across to people.

The manifesto was titled:

IT'S TIME FOR 
REAL CHANGE
______________

FOR THE MANY NOT THE FEW

Such messages will stand the test of time - and we need them all the more as the consequences of global warming become evident.


Bushfires across Australia in their summer of 2019/20 - climate catastrophe arrives



The Foreword carries Jeremy Corbyn's name but it could have been written by anyone who cares about the plight of this country and all the other nations where the quality of life for so many has been adversely affected by neoliberal economic policies that put the pursuit of profit before the welfare of the citizen.

"The last decade has seen a wealth grab by a privileged few, supported by the Conservatives, at the expense of the majority. The big polluters, financial speculators and corporate tax-dodgers have had a free ride for too long ….

" I am not prepared to continue to see more families without a proper home and more people queuing at food banks or sleeping rough on the streets.

I am not prepared to put up with communities blighted by lack of investment, endless cuts to

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

TAKING RESISTANCE INTO THE NEW YEAR - UNDERSTANDING OUR LABOUR PARTY'S DEFEAT

Messages of love and hope are big deals. Nearly all of us - excepting only those people whose balance of mind is disturbed - thrive on love and hope. That is why I am launching in 2020 this series of blogposts which are designed as reminders of the socialist vision that inspired the Labour Party Manifesto in the General Election, November/December 2019. In this first one, I am reflecting on the reasons for defeat. Hereafter, my focus will be on the Manifesto.

Hundreds of us took part in the canvassing of Camborne, Redruth and Hayle in support of the excellent Labour candidate, Paul Farmer, in the 2019 General Election. This was a marginal constituency; one we would take. We had no idea of the power of the meme we were fighting against - the Tory candidate who was returned didn't seem to bother to canvass. He didn't need to. 



Yes - we were defeated; our vision for a better way of life for the many was rejected. But that doesn't mean that the messages of hope and decency and fairness which shaped our Labour manifesto should be rolled up into a ball and thrown away as rubbish. On the contrary, those messages need constant circulation. They represent the beating heart of the Labour Party - the Party that belongs to its half-a-million members. The Party of Clement Attlee and Aneurin Bevan, the makers of the NHS and a welfare state. The Party of Harold Wilson who declined to follow the American lead and send British troops into war in Vietnam. The Party led by Jeremy Corbyn - the Clement Attlee of the 21st century - that came so close to power in 2017 that the Establishment worked every weapon in its armoury to