Posts Tagged ‘Sheffield’

Stronger In or Vote Leave: The view from the school mums

11/03/2016, 05:27:20 PM

In the first of a new series, Lucy Ashton gauges the views of people outside of the political bubble, on the EU referendum. This week, its school mums.

The young children in this Sheffield gymnastics class are blissfully unconcerned with politics as they flip over bars and cartwheel along crash mats.

But their mums are starting to give the referendum some thought, although they feel there’s not enough information out there yet.

“I am moving towards voting for us to stay in Europe because it’s a fear of the unknown,” says Dawn, as she watches her daughter handstand in the sports hall.

Perched on a wooden bench, she adds: “I will vote but it does worry me that the general public get to decide something which is much bigger than us – this is why we elected a Government, to make these decisions.”

Her view on the referendum will resonate with those who campaigned for devolution in the UK.

“My concern is that the politicians are very focused on London and the impact that remaining with or leaving Europe will have on the City,” she adds, glancing at her tumbling daughter.

“The politicians all talk about it from the point of view of the City, they don’t look at how it would impact on me as a teacher in Sheffield, or a coal miner in Wales or a small businessman in Scunthorpe.

“They seem so far removed from us and Westminster is a world away from what is reality for a huge amount of the population.”

Dawn is adamant she will mark her X though. “I teach my girls about Emmeline Pankhurst so I will definitely vote.”

Her friend and fellow mum Sharon takes a different view.

“I want us to come out of Europe as I don’t believe people in Brussels should be deciding what we are doing in Britain,” she says, sitting crossed leg on the sports hall floor.

“I will definitely vote but I don’t think there has been enough information about the referendum.”

With divided views such as this, the politicians will have to jump through a few hoops of their own between now and June.

Lucy Ashton is a journalist and former Political Editor

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Jim Dowd. Not so relished in South Yorkshire.

21/01/2014, 05:11:34 PM

Pity poor Jim Dowd. A Londoner to his boots and scourge of cheap knock-offs of quality brands. He led the way in the debate on intellectual property in the chamber yesterday, castigating “parasitic” copies of established products.

Tears were welling-up among fellow MPs and onlookers as he laid out the foul calumny that he himself had suffered, just the previous weekend,

“I was in the Hare and Billet pub in Blackheath (in London). And I was having lunch, and I asked if they had any Worcestershire Sauce – everybody knows the famous manufacturers of Worcestershire Sauce.

Now, I’m a simple soul from south-east London, and I thought there was only one Worcestershire Sauce. And the very nice chap who was serving us went away and said ‘certainly’, and he came back with a bottle, and it was shaped like the bottle which I always remembered containing, I think it’s Lea and Perrins, Worcestershire Sauce and their marvellous concoction: same shape, same size, the label was amazingly enough orange with black lettering.

But it was something from Sheffield, from somewhere called Henderson’s – whoever they were.

Now, I’m sure Mr Henderson and his company is a perfectly estimable organisation and I’m sure they pursue an entirely legitimate business, but I couldn’t help feeling at the time that this, of all the colours they could choose for their label, of all the shapes they could have for their bottle, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as Sheffield sauce until then, but I thought this is an ideal example of just how easy these things are to do (to copy).”

Damn straight Jim. Who the hell is Mr.Henderson anyway?

What’s that? Henderson’s is a brand that has been established for over 100 years? Really? A great British export, shipped all round the world, you say? 750,000 bottles sold each year?

Paul Blomfield, MP for Sheffield Central, rode to the rescue earlier today to set Jim straight, writing him an open letter on Facebook.

But it was already too late.

(more…)

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Why Sheffield hated having the Lib Dems for the weekend

14/03/2011, 11:30:16 AM

by Kevin Meagher

Last May, I stood on the periphery of a throng of hyped-up students, Lib Dem activists (you can always spot them) and passers-by outside Sheffield City Hall waiting for Nick Clegg to disembark from his general election battlebus.

I had come to witness the true scale of Cleggmania as the Lib Dem leader arrived back in the city he represents to make his final speech at an open air rally. After an encomium – for the benefit of the television cameras – about “the new politics”, the crowd melted away and the rest, well, is history.

Fast forward ten months.

The hope and pluralism that the public felt Clegg personified have given way to anger and resentment towards him. “I agree with Nick” was a sentiment the apolitical, urban middle classes took to their hearts. His fall from public affection has been dramatic and real. No one seems to agree with Nick any more. He is the corporeal representation of that most loathed characteristic of the modern politician: career over principle.

Meanwhile, the Lib Dems rejoice at opinion polls that put them in double digits; with neighbouring Barnsley the scene of their sixth place in the Parliamentary by-election just a week and a half ago.

The contrast in Lib Dem fortunes from those heady days last spring is hard to overestimate. At the weekend, I again stood outside the City Hall, the venue for their spring conference. The free and easy atmosphere of last May was gone; with the square encased behind a six-foot steel fence (supplied, it turns out, by a Sheffield company). (more…)

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Friday News Review

11/03/2011, 06:35:37 AM

Coalition could field candidates at the next election

The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are to change the law to allow them to put up joint candidates using a single emblem on the ballot paper, Labour claimed on the eve of the Lib Dem conference in Sheffield. The Cabinet Office minister Mark Harper pushed legal changes through the Commons this week that will allow two parties to field a candidate under a single emblem for mayoral elections. He said he intended to introduce a similar system for the next general election, probably by using a bill introducing individual voter registration. Harper said: “It is the government’s intention to fix it ahead of the general election so that those candidates who stand for more than one political party will be happy.” Chris Bryant, the shadow constititutional affairs minister, said: “Perhaps the Conservative and Liberal Democrats should merge their logos. They could have a bird in a tree. I would suggest a dodo.” Coalition sources maintained the changes to the law were not a contingency plan designed to pave the way for a joint Tory-Lib Dem ticket. Instead they said the change was designed to help the Labour and Co-operative party put up a single candidate. But any sign of plans for a longer-term deal will be viewed with intense suspicion by Lib Dem members. A strategy motion from the executive for the party’s conference in Sheffield says it must do more to assert its independence. – the Guardian

Tory and Lib Dem MPs will be able to stand as joint Coalition candidates at the next election under controversial plans privately put in motion this week. Ministers are to change the law to allow candidates standing for two parties at the same time to put a joint emblem on the ballot paper. That paves the way for an electoral pact between the Coalition partners at the next election – a controversial move that would anger the grassroots supporters of both parties. The door has been opened to Tory and Lib Dems agreeing local peace pacts with one candidate representing them both – perhaps under a logo combining the yellow Liberal Democrat bird with the Tory oak tree. It opens the door to Tory and Lib Dems agreeing local peace pacts with one candidate representing them both – perhaps under a logo combining the yellow Liberal Democrat bird with the Tory oak tree. At the moment, a candidate standing for more than one party cannot put either party’s logo on the ballot paper – an anomaly that discriminates against a coalition pact. But earlier this week the Government quietly pushed through a change in the law which allows those who stand for mayor or in local council elections to use a Coalition logo. Candidates for mayoral or local council elections can use a Coalition logo. Constitutional Affairs Minister Mark Harper wants the same rules for the general election. Now Constitutional Affairs Minister Mark Harper has revealed that he will introduce primary legislation in the Commons to push through the same rules for the general election – in time for the next nationwide poll in 2015. – Daily Mail (more…)

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Cllr Jack Scott endorses David Miliband

30/06/2010, 10:19:07 AM

We now face the very distressing reality: not a consensual coalition, but a typically right-wing, out-of-touch Tory government. The totally superfluous “emergency budget” provides a taste of the bitterness to expect in coming years.

This next stage will be very difficult for our communities. Our many newly elected councillors – of which I am one – can expect a baptism of fire: in the seven weeks since the General Election, Sheffield alone has lost over £120m investment, including the Forgemasters loan. (more…)

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