I haven't seen anything on the news as yet, but I have it on good authority from the Conservation Foundation that David Bellamy passed away today at the age of 86.
A mainstay of television for anyone of a certain age, the botanist and environmental campaigner was an avuncular figure of boundless energy and enthusiasm whose broadcasting and activism helped to shape young minds. I would imagine that many of the most fervent climate change campaigners now were set on this path as a result of Bellamy featuring large on their TV sets back in the 1970s and '80s, which makes his subsequent stance on climate change (he dismissed it as 'poppycock') all the more saddening. Nonetheless, he was an influential personality, a giant in his field and a true English eccentric. I remember a visit he made to my school, opening up our new garden space back in the '80s. RIP.
Vote Labour to put an end to the willful destruction of our NHS that resulted in four-year-old Jack Williment-Barr being forced to lie on the floor of his local hospital whilst awaiting treatment.
We are the third richest country in the world, and this is how we treat the sick and vulnerable. Do more than Boris Johnson; look at this photograph and consider the words of the UN report "Considering the significant resources available in the country and sustained and widespread cuts to social support, which have resulted in significantly worse outcomes, the policies pursued since 2010 amount to regressive measures in clear violation of the country's human rights obligations"
The Tories have had nine years to recover from a global economic crash they continue to erroneously blame Labour for. When they've had that long and still done nothing, how can anyone believe them when they say they will right these wrongs now? How can anyone believe them when they refuse to even look at photographic evidence of such wrongs and dismiss the UN's findings as inaccurate. How can anyone believe the intentions of a party who, when confronted with this photo, resorted to spreading lies and smears to cover their own hides?
To make the change we need, to stop our children and the sick and the vulnerable from suffering, vote Labour on Thursday.
One person on Twitter however refuses to acknowledge that this is today's big story and that person is Laura Kuenssberg, the alleged political editor from the equally alleged impartial public service broadcaster, the BBC. Kuenssberg's refusal stems from the fact that this story is damaging for the Conservative government. So what does she do instead? She proceeds to spread outright lies and smears about activists bussed, at Labour's expense, to Leeds Hospital to confront the Health Secretary Matt Hancock. More, she claimed that one of Hancock's advisors was physically attacked by one such advisor. Why did she do this? Because the Tories told her too. Because it would damage the Labour party. Robert Peston also swallowed the lie and quickly, dutifully spread it around Twitter. But none of this was actually true. Subsequent video footage shows no hundred of activists (and how can you know for certain that they had been transported by Labour anyway?) and no punch. Once again, Laura Kuenssberg has swallowed whatever her 'senior Tory source' has told her to report. How many more times must we complain about this blatant propaganda masquerading as political journalism? I'm afraid we must do so once more at least. Please make a complaint to the BBC, let them know that this kind of behaviour from their staff cannot be tolerated. We pay a licence fee for impartial news, not to simply repeat the fantasies of the Conservative government. We need a promise that this mysterious 'senior Tory source' will no longer be listened toby their news team. More, we need that source to be identified. We also need Kuenssberg to apologise and resign. If she refuses to, then she should be sacked. What Kuenssberg, and Peston, have done here is similar to the despicable stance The S*n took when reporting about the Hillsborough tragedy. The establishment have fed them a line that suits their own interest and rather than investigate it like real journalists would, they have simply reported it as fact. The S*n now sells less than 2,000 copies on Merseyside per day as a result of such slanderous smears. Is boycotting the BBC the way forward?
Because this is proper political journalism right here...and it's from the North West of course.
Granada Reports own Hannah Miller met with Boris Johnson in Cheadle this weekend to ask him what the Conservatives plan to do about children's services being at breaking point. As you can see, Johnson began his usual waffling response, pulling out impressive sounding sums of money which are nowhere near the sums his government has cut in the last nine years, talking about the economy, before finally pulling out the inevitable, it's all the fault of the last Labour government line.
But Miller, who has proved herself a tenacious and highly skilled political correspondent on Granada Reports in recent moths, refused to let him off the hook. Like any good journalist, she challenged him, held him to account and kept him on topic, and she did it all in a polite, yet firm manner.
This is the type of journalism we need right now. We need to put an end to these fawning enablers who are blatantly impartial, middle-class, right wing snobs, who consider themselves above reproach as they hide behind corrupt BBC editorial guidelines drafted up by former staffers of David Cameron, and who love the sense of privilege they get because they're in the same atmosphere as politicians, all in return for giving them an easy ride at the next round of interviews.
Johnson flails under such scrutiny. All he can do is bluster, smirk, lie, make excuses and dominate her personal space. And ultimately, he cannot promise anything. Like all the pledges he has made in this election campaign, this funding cannot make up for what has been slashed already from such integral public services. Vulnerable children will still be in dire straits, needing help and resources that simply are not there because of Tory cuts.
Do you really want this man to still be the PM at the end of the week?
If not, then vote Labour.
Vote Labour to say enough of this uncaring, selfish government.