Beverley Puppet Festival

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Menwith July 4 2010

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Mark Thomas was on good form yesterday.  He spoke after we had communally read out our Declaration of Independence FROM America. He finished by pointing out that Greenham Common base is gone and it now has a visitors’ centre, and, one day, we’ll be back at Menwith and we’ll be able to walk the fields again.

Mark’s always passionate but I think he was quite moved to be there. You might normally never see the place and if you do you’d admire the sight of the golfballs – spread like some god’s forgotten game of marbles. But what they stand for is precisely these wars we’ve been fighting against for what seems like donkeys years! The ever-present British standoff-ishness only barely disguised the fact that we’re brothers and sisters because of these values.

No problem underlining that theme was Seize the Day! They performed Boys on the Balcony,  written for the Vestas workers. Even a shower of rain didn’t put them off! They did us a fine spirited set. Mind you they were probably still high from Glastonbury. (figuratively speaking!)

Here’s another one they performed: I will never rest.

Roy Bailey played a set, my favourite his one on Palestine.  And the Clarion Choir gave us a set with many part harmony.

The demo was at super-snoop spybase Menwith Hill outside Harrogate.

“RAF” Menwith Hill is really run by the NSA. All electronic traffic  north of the equator, your phone calls, texts, transmitted photos, etc , etc, is intercepted there. It’s the biggest spybase in the world.

About 30 radomes (the golfballs hiding satellite dishes) collect the info from the satellites they are tasked to. It plays a direct part in American war operations.

Hull Against the Cuts!

“It’s your lot who are voting with her now!”

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The 3rd July Rally was a response by labour, and Labour, to the promised cuts by the Con-Dem government.  The banners were out in full. The main reason given was a NUT call to defend jobs after a number of teaching assistants were made redundant at Sidney Smith school. Many speeches were made against the cuts policy. General unions Unison, PCS, GMB, and the teachers’ unions  NUT, NASUWT and  and NATFHE were represented. Union reps spoke as did Labour MPs Diana Johnson and Karl Turner. I made a number of contacts and hope the Green Party will be represented next time, not least as we have fought the cuts all the way through – even when Labour was looking to introduce them!

Afterwards, Karl Turner suggested Green leader Caroline Lucas join Labour since she was voting with them all the time! “No mate, you’ve got it wrong,” I said, “It’s your lot who are voting with her now!”

It’s at least helpful to see Labour try to lurch to the left, at least until they elect Miliband, D.  But they have a LONG way to go before they can win back people’s trust.