Sunday, 8 May 2011

Great news from Brighton - now for the difficult part

Had a meeting of the Steering Committee of Coalition of Resistance on Friday, where there was an item on the agenda about the local elections. News of Green victories were just coming in and I was able to report that we seemed to be doing well. The view around the table was that the Tories had done well and must now be challenged much more on the cuts. I disagreed and said that the pressure needed to be maintained on the Lib Dems. I also pointed out that Labour had not done well in the South of England and there was a real danger of the resurfacing of the Blairite doctrine and the search for the Middle England 'safe' vote.

All of this will be debated at the COR National Council meeting next Saturday in London.

I then popped down to Brighton for the post election count celebration where I met Phelim Mac Cafferty, whom I had campaigned for several times in Brunswick ward, and his parents who had come over from Northern Ireland for the preceding week to also campaign. I also congratulated Christopher Hawtree who took the seemingly unwinnable Central Hove ward off the tories. Phelim and his running mate, Ollie, killed off the last Lib Dem representation in the city. The atmosphere was great and it was in inspiring victory.

However, I did speak to one or two of the councillors about the absolute need to continue to fight the cuts, which are impacting heavily on front line services. They have various ideas about how this should be done but whatever the outcome of the negotiations on which party leads the council, there must be no retreat on the opposition to these ideologically driven cuts. The spotlight will now be on the Greens in Brighton as never before and having witnessed closely the car crash which was the Irish Greens in government, they must be aware that every decision taken will have an impact on the party's reputation nationally and our relationship with the anti-cuts movement. As a Green and a committee member of Coalition of Resistance,I will be watching the unfolding situation closely. I hope that they will  choose wisely.

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