#VoteLabour – A Personal View


James Walsh (@MancunianBirder) talks about a political journey coming home to the Labour Party

“Although my parents were big Labour Party supporters I didn’t have a huge interest in politics until 2003 – my first real experience of politics began with the “Stop The War” movement, and a leading light of that movement; Jeremy Corbyn – so it is very full circle and beautiful karma that I now get the chance to vote for a Labour Government with Jeremy Corbyn as the Prime Minister

Looking for a political home can be a very long journey, and I have, in previous years, briefly joined the Respect Party and the Green Party, whilst I can recall the Lib Dems getting my vote once in a local election in Salford in 2008

I have made a point of visiting different political party conferences, the Labour Party Conference in Manchester, the Green Party in Birmingham and I even had a look at a Conservative Conference – I was personally invited to a fringe event where I managed to heckle Owen Paterson for expecting people to volunteer to contribute to conservation rather than give conservationists proper pay and working conditions

In #GE2015 I was offered the chance to stand for Parliament with the Northern Party in Blackpool North, a very interesting post-graduation experience, where I was able to see how a General Election campaign works from a candidates’ point of view

In the 2010 General Election and the 2015 General Election I voted Labour, but not with huge enthusiasm, and then, bam! in the summer of 2015 I cottoned on to Corbynmania and I have, like so many, been encouraged to re-join the Labour Party

I have personally been very impressed with Labours’ plans for the environment, carers, entrepreneurs, mental health and student debt

My father’s Grandparents were Irish immigrants from County Mayo and my fathers’ family were Salford Dockers, therefore, I have strong connections to the original labour movement and I must say that I am proud of my political journey coming home to what I call the True Labour Party

I have started to consciously vote for hope & change, in the recent Unite The Union Election and the Greater Manchester Mayoral Election I voted for the candidate that I felt best represented a positive vote for hope & change

On Thursday 8th June 2017 I’m voting for a Labour Government, I’m voting for hope and change, I’m voting to respect previous generations and give hope to future generations”


#GE2017 The Manchester General Election


Picture: The results of the Greater Manchester Mayoral Election 2017

James Walsh (@MancunianBirder) with the view from up North! Manchester has played a huge role in General Election 2017 – what can we learn from the recent Greater Manchester Mayoral Election voting pattern in terms of seeing where Manchester is at politically ?

The city of Manchester has found itself completely in the national spotlight during General Election 2017 due to the events at the Manchester Arena on 22nd May 2017

Manchester has won plaudits from around the world in response to our handling of the situation, in particular, the solidarity of the citizens and the One Love Manchester concert

In terms of our celebrities, Liam Gallagher, in particular, has shown up for Manchester and the superstar of the One Love Manchester event recently said “Yes, I’m voting Labour” in a big interview

On 4th May 2017 the citizens of Greater Manchester selected a Labour Party Metro Mayor, the Labour Party candidate won the election with 63%

Now let’s be very clear about this, the Conservatives have long wanted to try and make progress in the North, and “DevoManc” and the “Northern Powerhouse” were both ideas that began on the back of a fag packet at Tory HQ, and despite the mainstream media talk of a “guaranteed safe Labour win” there is no doubt that the Tories were secretly hoping for a breakthrough that never came, instead, it backfired spectacularly, and the “Nasty Party” candidate was knocked out of the ball park!

The most interesting was the result in Trafford, south of Manchester, the most affluent borough of Greater Manchester – the “Nasty Party” candidate is the leader of Trafford Council, yet Labour won in this very politically sensitive area with a landslide

The Greater Manchester Mayoral Election was a rejection of the Conservatives attempts to make inroads oop North, and in some ways, a rejection of “DevoManc” and the “Northern Powerhouse”, especially when you factor in a very respectable vote for the Green Party

The size of the win for the Labour Party on 4th May in Greater Manchester promoted a large winners rally in the city centre and the signs are that the Labour Party has really increased in popularity in Greater Manchester during General Election 2017

The Peoples’ Election 2017 National Vote Labour Day


#VoteLabourDay #ThePeoplesElection #LabourGovernment

Thursday June 8th 2017 is The Peoples’ Election – National Vote Labour Day to elect Jeremy Corbyn as British Prime Minister

The Labour Manifesto is the real deal and we have an opportunity to elect a politician with a decent CV to the post of Prime Minister, a once in a lifetime opportunity to vote for a programme of hope

Let’s vote in our millions to sack Theresa May & the Conservatives ! There is no such thing as a Conservative safe seat ! The people have the power at the ballot box – rise up and Vote Labour if you have “Protest fatigue” and you are fed up of campaigning against climate change, austerity, fracking, war, dodgy trade deals and just want to get on with your life – a Labour Government is currently the best way to achieve this

Ignore the hype about Labour being “unelectable”, it is yet another Tory myth, if you are on the ballot then you are potentially electable and the Labour Party have 631 candidates, needing to win 326 seats for a stunning win to form a Labour Government

Our doctors and nurses have informed us that it is our public duty to vote Labour – public sector workers, business owners, pensioners, students, employed, self-employed and unemployed, disabled, journalists, police, nurses, doctors, firemen, musicians, entertainers, everyone in society let’s vote in our millions for future generations and VOTE for the LABOUR PARTY to employ Jeremy Corbyn as British Prime Minister

Labour Puts The Party In Politics


The Labour Party’s General Election 2017 campaign steps up today with six huge parties taking place simultaneously in different parts of the country – London, Birmingham, Glasgow, South Wales, North-west England and Brighton

The events are a great mix of DJs, musicians, speakers, senior Labour politicians, first-time voters and Jeremy Corbyn is speaking at one event and being live-streamed to the other events

This is a big push to ensure young people vote on Thursday – the excitement and buzz these events create should give the campaign the momentum needed to drive young people to the ballot boxes in droves

More than ever, we need to come together and show support and solidarity for everybody who wants a better world than the one we live in now

The event in North-West England is at Warrington’s Parr Hall, Palmyra Square South, Warrington, WA1 1BL from 6pm-9pm with bands, DJ’s, speakers and Salford Labour Party politician Rebecca Long-Bailey and actress Maxine Peake

Jeremy Corbyn – The Real Deal


#JCPeoplesPM #TheRealDeal #VoteLabour

Corbynmania has happened as a result of a big combination of factors, the overall failure of the ruling class, the dis-integration of the Neo-liberal consensus, the perhaps maturing views of “populism”, the failure of the War On Terror, the apparent meltdown of the Conservatives and the rejection of disaster capitalism and austerity

If Tony Blair was Teflon then Jeremy Corbyn is more like Graphene, the new wonder material, a UK product 200 times stronger than steel, that scientists theorized about for many years and is now on the world stage

Jeremy Corbyn gigs are huge, sometimes thousands upon thousands of people, and the mainstream media have not really reflected just how popular JC is with the many

The first time I personally experienced Corbynmania was during autumn 2015, on my birthday I got a ticket to see Jeremy speak at Manchester Cathedral, however, I could not even get in the venue with a valid ticket as the venue was completely full, so much so that a stage and sound-system had been prepared in the public area adjacent to URBIS – a second or third room or stage is not unusual at JC gigs, such are the size of crowds that want to hear this man speak

Rather cheekily this event was during the Conservative Party Conference and I, for sure, spotted quite a few Conservative Party members who had sneaked out of their own Conference to see what all this Corbynmania fuss was all about ! They were greeted with a sea of polite, enthused, astute and politically engaged people




My next personal experience of Corbynmania was during the summer of 2016 for the “People Powered Politics” event on Salfords’ Docklands, a special place for me personally due to my dockers’ heritage

The event was officially the launch of Jeremys’ second successful Labour leadership campaign, but all events such as these were being hosted to promote Jeremy Corbyn as a Prime Minister in waiting

Please take the time to read my article reviewing this event that I wrote at the time


Jeremy Corbyn is now very cool with young people, witness Grime4Corbyn, the front cover of New Musical Express and Kerrang, and recent on-stage speeches at festivals and concerts

The initials, JC gives Jeremy Corbyn a mythical, almost “Life of Brian” style quality, especially when you put into context the almost evangelical style of support of some JC supporters and the revival, some might say resurrection, of socialist movement politics that JC has really inspired in Britain

#GE2017 The Northern Spring Supports The Formation Of A Labour Government


Jeremy Corbyn, the Godfather of British Politics, wins hearts and minds all the time and is earning the trust of the electorate in style with Prime Ministerial, statesman-like performances

In #GE2015 Britain flirted with European-style multi-party politics, but #GE2017 really is a two horse race, a classic old-skool “jumpers for goalposts” General Election, Labour versus Tory, Hope versus Hate

A reinvigorated Peoples’ Party, the Labour Party with Jeremy Corbyn, the Peoples’ Choice For The Peoples’ Party can, given the chance, balance the moral compass of the British Isles and the world with supreme negotiating and conflict resolution skills

The Labour Party has worked hard to place itself as the party of the many, on business, John McDonnell, the Peoples’ Chancellor, and Salfords’ Rebecca Long-Bailey have shone on the campaign trail, Emily Thornberry and Barry Gardiner have become household names whilst Andrew Gwynne has tackled and won the intellectual battles

Recent National Elections amongst our European neighbours such as Ireland and France point to wins for the more progressive candidate

The French and Dutch elections rejected far right-wing politics and the brief phase of “populism” has proved to be not very popular

In General Election 2015 the Labour Party won 232 seats (30.4% of the vote), however, politics has changed dramatically in 2 years

Corbynmania has swept the nation, the Labour Party have 600,000 members plus Momentum, the Green Party have replaced UKIP in “The Big Five” British political parties and the Tories are in meltdown

In #GE2017 the Labour Party are standing 631 candidates and need to win 326 seats, gaining 97 seats, to form a Labour Government

#GE2017 is 20 years on from the New Labour landslide of 1997 and it is now time for a True Labour win as a majority Labour Government is the smoothest transition for Jeremy Corbyn, aka The Peoples’ Prime Minister, to become Britains’ Prime Minister

#JezWeCan Build The #NorthernGreenhouse


#JCPeoplesPM #VoteLabour #NorthernGreenhouse

On World Environment Day, Monday 5th June 2017, James Walsh (@MancunianBirder) describes how a Labour Government can put the “Northern Powerhouse” in the past and create a new North

The Labour Party’s Manifesto promises to transform Northern society with the pledge of One Million New Jobs nationwide and regional investment banks such as a Bank Of The North to encourage the entrepreneurs of the future

As a qualified ecologist my interest in politics comes from an ecological angle – I’m what you could probably term an “ecopreneur”, an entrepreneur who plans to start a business based around ecology and the environment

Ecopreneurs are growing in number as people become more environmentally knowledgeable and green business becomes more and more mainstream with industries such as Renewable Energy and EcoTourism

The “Northern Powerhouse” project has failed spectacularly, so much so that the phrase is barely mentioned in the current Conservative shambles of a “manifesto”

The Labour Party in the North have huge support and this should increase with their Manifesto pledge to ban fracking, a hugely controversial industry that the Tories are trying to brutally force on Northern communities

Labours’ promise of One Million New Jobs – a mainstream variation of the “One Million Climate Jobs” campaign – is like music to the ears of the ecopreneur and gives hope for the future

The Green Economy is the future and Jeremy Corbyn, titled King Of the North during recent peoples’ political events, is the man to begin to oversee the transfer to the Green Economy and unlock the talents of Northern ecopreneurs

Labour Party Win Greater Manchester & Liverpool Mayoral Elections


The Labour Party have won the Greater Manchester and Liverpool Mayoral Elections with more than half a million votes

Andy Burnham is elected Greater Manchester Metro Mayor with 63% and Steve Rotheram is elected Livepool Metro Mayor with 59%

The Green Party were a credible fourth place in Greater Manchester and Liverpool with a total of around 27,000 votes

In Liverpool, the Trade Union & Socialist Coalition (TUSC) were 6th and the Women’s Equality Party 7th

UKIP, whose vote collapsed in the local elections, were beaten into 6th place in Greater Manchester, and 5th place in Liverpool


Labour: 359, 352

Conservative: 128,752

Lib Dem: 34,334

Green: 13,424

ED: 11,115

UKIP: 10,583

Aslam: 5,815

Farmer: 3,360


Labour: 171,167

Conservative: 58,805

Liberal Democrat: 19,751

Green Party: 14,094

UKIP: 11,946

Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition: 7,881

Women’s Equality Party: 4,287

Get the Coppers off the Jury: 729

“What About The Environment?”


What About The Environment ?
Friday 28th April 2017
Venue: Friends Meeting House, Manchester

#NorthernGreenhouse #EvoManc

Thank you to the organisers – it is through the hard work of the environmental community in Greater Manchester that we were even having this event

“What About The Environment ?” is a great name for the event – the debate on the environment was the last of months of Mayoral hustings, even this illustrates that the environment is just an after-thought for most politicians, and perhaps an opportunity to hoover up a few more votes if you say the word “green” often enough

In this event it was difficult to work out what was politico “greenwash” speak and what are actually manageable solutions; there were several “elephants in the room”, there were general “greenwash” answers to some questions about big business, but the name Peel Holdings was never mentioned !

There were questions on the Carbon Budget, the “F” word – Fracking, divestment of the Greater Manchester Pension Fund from fossil fuels to more ethical, green energy, a Diesel Vehicle Ban, Allotments, How Do We Save The Greenbelt ?, Housing / Retro-fitting, How Do We Halt The Wildlife Decline in Greater Manchester ?, the River Irwell floods, How Can We Exploit The Green Economy, Where Is The Money Coming From ?, How Can We Save Nutsford Vale & Pomona, How Much More Pollution Can The River Irwell Take ?, How Can We Reduce The Amount Of Aeroplane Flights ? and What Can Be Done About Food Waste

All the candidates were in general agreement of the need to start again with the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, ban fracking, divest the Greater Manchester Pension Fund and make Manchester the Greenest City Ever !

Ratings out of 10 for each candidate, based on quality of answers, crowd reaction, substance, ecological knowledge, style and party politics


Environmental Priorities

1. Create 50,000 Green Jobs
2. Tackling Greater Manchester traffic congestion
3. Fracking ban
4. Better local rail NOT HS2
5. Begin divestment during National Divestment Week 2017

Will Patterson started the event firmly saying “Climate change is happening now” recognising the urgency of the need to act now on the environment

The business world is moving rapidly in a greener direction, and the plan to create 50,000 Green Jobs, balancing economy and ecology is an election winning policy, it could begin to solve environmental issues and social issues at the same time (such as unemployment and training/skills for young people)

Will Patterson also spoke of the need to localise the economy and encourage residents to take more local holidays at our great Northern tourism sites such as Blackpool & Southport

The biggest cheer of the event was for Will Patterson saying “We are going to build a Frack Free Greater Manchester”, the crowd knowing that this was being spoken with the conviction of a candidate whose party has relentlessly campaigned on the front-line against fracking, “No to fracking! Not here! Not anywhere! Sajid Javid (the Conservative politician who over-turned local democracy in Lancashire) is in the pockets of the frackers! We have to be clever in the fight against fracking and target Cuadrillas’ suppliers! We need to get tough on Ecocide!”

Will Patterson also spoke with conviction about the need to ban the moral obscenity that is Trident – although it is not on the list of Mayoral powers it would be great to see a Greater Manchester Mayor campaigning for this


Environmental Priorities

1. Illegal air quality
2. Clean Energy Public Transport
3. Cycling Revolution
4. City Of Trees
5. Ban fracking

Andy Burnhams’ best policy on the environment is the call for a “Greater Manchester Peoples’ Green Conference”, however, with a caveat of “within the first year of office”, this was heckled/questioned – why should we wait that long ? Climate change and the environment are exceedingly urgent issues and we haven’t got time to waste, especially as Greater Manchester has many talented citizens who can contribute in this situation

Andy Burnham spoke of the success of Pennington Flash Country Park, that we need to learn from cities such as Liverpool about enhancing the city and initiatives such as City of Trees and City Forest Park

Andy Burnham could have taken this as an opportunity to recognise Labours’ faults on the environment in Greater Manchester but did not take this opportunity


Environmental Priorities

1. Climate change
2. Air pollution
3. Protect the greenbelt / greenspace
4. Decarbonise the economy
5. A frack free Greater Manchester

A slip that confused the whole room at the start of the hustings, Jane said “We need to act before climate change becomes a problem”

From answers later in the event it is clear that Jane Brophy does have some ecological knowledge and seems to be genuinely passionate about the environment, but this statement certainly caused some head scratching!

Jane Brophys’ central theme is that we need to Remain in the EU for greater environmental protections to make Manchester the Greenest City In Europe and that we need to encourage business to become more environmentally responsible

It is disingenuous for Jane Brophy to say that she represents Frack Free Greater Manchester – the Liberal Democrats seemed to have no presence whatsoever at events such as the Barton Moss Solidarity Sundays and the fracking industry moved into Greater Manchester under the ConDem government ! Perhaps the organisers of Frack Free Greater Manchester can confirm whether the Liberal Democrats have ever been to a Frack Free Greater Manchester meeting ?


Environmental Priorities

1. Plan For Growth !!
2. How do we take the devolution powers
3. Behavioural changes
4. Green Bus Fund
5. Electric Cars

To see Mr Anstees’ “Plan For Growth” you only need to look at the borough of Trafford, where Mr Anstee is the “leader” of Trafford Council – Trafford is the ugly face of capitalism/“dirty old man” of Greater Manchester

Trafford is what happens when you give the Conservatives too much power, and Labour kowtow to big business in Greater Manchester

Trafford was once the leafy green preserve of Manchesters’ rich and famous, but heavy industry has, over the years, crept south-west along the Manchester Ship Canal from Salford Docks to Trafford where a predominantly Tory Council, often aided and abetted with Labour support, has given the green light to huge industry projects on places such as Carrington Moss and Davyhulme, the situation has got so messy that residents now have to monitor the air quality themselves, all under the “Northern Powerhouse” moronic mantra of “jobs and growth”

On Mr Anstees’ watch, the BREP BioMass Incinerator is heading to Trafford, IGas were given permission to do Coal Bed Methane mining just yards from the Trafford Centre, INEOS have licences to frack huge swathes of Trafford courtesy of the Conservative government and, Carrington Moss, a site that is full of rare wildlife, is being turned into an industrial “powerhouse” – all activists and concerned residents should take a look at the huge monstrosity that is Carrington Gas Terminal on the south side of the Manchester Ship Canal, a new generation of fossil fuel development is not compatible with the Conservatives claim to be the “Greenest Government Ever!”

For more information research the Breathe Clean Air Group, a group of volunteer residents, who have worked very hard to try to stop BREP and bring the subject of air quality to the attention of the general public and politicians, now a real election issue

Also on Mr Anstees’ watch, the urban wildlife oasis of Pomona is being trashed and the habitat of Little Ringed Plovers, Skylarks, Lapwings, Bee Orchids and Sand Martins is disappearing underneath concrete before our very eyes, just yards from Manchester city centre, despite huge public opposition

The Conservative Party and the Labour Party are “all in it together” for the “Northern Powerhouse” so how can Anstee or Burnham possibly have the freedom from party politics to create a Green Greater Manchester ? How can their colleague “Sir” Richard Leese be the leader of Manchester Council and sit on the board of Peel Holdings ? This type of vested interests and cronyism is why people are so sceptical of the awfully named “DevoManc”

Democracy scandal & sex scandal hit #GMMayor Election Campaign


After months of dull, low profile corporate hustings featuring just the three “mainstream” candidates from Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, the Greater Manchester Metro Mayoral Campaign has sprung into life with a democracy scandal AND a sex scandal all happening during the May Bank Holiday !!

With less than 48 hours until the polls open and the people of Greater Manchester vote for a Metro Mayor during Thursday 4th May 2017, the campaign now has two scandals that are sparking the interest of social media and giving the electorate more to think about when voting for the Metro Mayor


Most worryingly is the democracy scandal that happened on Salfords’ Docklands on Monday 1st May 2017

Citizens UK hosted what looked like an Election Stunt for Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, under the guise of a charity event, at The Lowry

The organisers received communications from Green Party officials and members, and the general public, prior to the event asking why the Green Party were not invited to a public Mayoral hustings event and asking the organisers to, perhaps, reconsider their position

However, the organisation who claim to have aspirations that are actually very similar to those of the Green Party, did not listen and went ahead with the event, providing Metro Mayoral candidates Andy Burnham, Jane Brophy and Sean Anstee with a huge platform, just 2 days before a very important election !!

Even more ironic is that the event used the Green Partys’ slogan “For The Common Good” and that the Green Party and their candidate Will Patterson, in actual fact, are probably the most likely to fulfil the apparent aspirations of Citizens UK

To add to this, a Green Party official – Linda Freeman, the Secretary of the Tameside Green Party, was forcibly ejected from The Lowry by security, apparently for the “crime” of wearing a Green Party T-shirt !!

The tech-savvy Green Party have made a film about the situation, and this scandal is likely to carry on, if the mainstream media dare to cover the situation

This scandal is at the very heart of the valid criticisms of the lack of democracy in the “DevoManc” project and the “Northern Powerhouse” project as a whole




UKIP are a “political party” who are currently falling apart with the Douglas Carswell situation and UKIP “leader” Paul Nuttall being trounced at the ballot box in Stoke the latest in a string of disasters, so the last thing they need is yet more negative news! However, the UKIP candidate for Greater Manchester Metro Mayor is currently in some political hot waters – if you like your political scandals a bit more fruity then read on