Strike by MITIE employees 10am Treliske hospital on Monday

Striking workers often get a bad press because of the perceived inconvenience to the broader public. Remember the strike by Junior doctors from Treliske? When I mixed with the crowd of onlookers  assembled at the Piazza in Truro, I overheard  comments such as “Disgrace!”  “irresponsible” “what about the patients?”.

While these were a minority of voices   it  signalled a persistent misunderstanding of the desperation that drives working people to risk their jobs and their future by walking out of their workplace. We are  told instead by the Mail, the Express, The Sun, the Telegraph that strikers are irresponsible laggards or the loony left. We are not told the truth;  we are not told that a million public sector workers are paid less than living wage, including those whose jobs are outsourced to the likes of Mitie. Continue reading “Strike by MITIE employees 10am Treliske hospital on Monday”

W(h)ither the Cornwall Progressive Alliance?

A blog post by the chair, David Levine

2016 saw the publication of ‘The Alternative: Towards a New Progressive Politics’ in which politicians from Labour, Liberal Democrats and Greens together with other political thinkers explored the idea that ‘cross-party cooperation amongst progressives could reinvigorate politics and inspire a credible alternative to the Conservatives.  Whilst there can always be arguments about the meanings of progressive, there was reasonable clarity that the term referred to those parties who profess more values in common than on which they disagree.  In Cornwall this encompasses The Greens, Liberal Democrats, Mebyon Kernow, The Women’s Equality Party and Labour. Continue reading “W(h)ither the Cornwall Progressive Alliance?”

Cornwall Citizens Assembly on Brexit

This is a project proposal which has been bubbling away for a while. I have now had three meetings with different council officials who are clearly interested in the idea but don’t know where to take it.

There is also interest on the part of some councillors while apparently others are resistant to the idea. The original proposal sought to address two questions:

  1. What are the threats and opportunities to Cornwall posed by our departure from the EU? This question is asked with particular reference to employment, housing and public services following our departure from the EU.
  2. How can local people and communities play a more active part in shaping the
    decisions that matter to them.

Continue reading “Cornwall Citizens Assembly on Brexit”

Comments and feedback on Local Constituency Pact

As promised in last weeks blog, here is a selection of feedback on the working draft of the Local Constituency Pact, a copy of which you can see here. This is a sample of comments which have been anonymised since much of the feedback was via email or direct messaging. There is also a section at the end on what people see as missing from the Constituency Pact.

Language and presentation

“It  needs to be even more succinct. No separate sections. All points to be enclosed within the bullet point, without the need for additional explanation. Ten short bullet points.And if it is about proportional representation it can’t be shy about it.” -JS

 “So vague and woolly….” – MR

“It seems well worded and thought out. I can’t think of anything to add or subtract and would personally have no problem signing it.”RB

Part one: MP’s code of conduct

Continue reading “Comments and feedback on Local Constituency Pact”

Penwith Pact – feedback from others


Here are the headlines: we have contacted 119 people and received 41 responses, the majority overwhelmingly positive. Much of this was through direct messaging. Click here to view the working draft.

Of the 41 received, five said they would not support this if it went to petition. Among the reasons given were: (i) they would not sign it because it did not include climate change (ii) that they did not support electoral reform (iii) that they did not like petitions.

Still another gave an objection which began “Only the Labour Party….” I will leave you to finish the sentence! Another felt that the language was too polarised, although we feel we have done our best to be balanced.

We are still trawling through replies, some of them very detailed. Once we have done so we will post up a sample of responses which include invaluable suggestions and observations.

Proposal for a Local Constituency Compact




So who does your MP represent? The answer is not as obvious as it  seems. If you are a Conservative voter you might claim that Sarah Newton or Derek Thomas does indeed represent you, your values and your aspirations. But dig a little deeper and you will find widespread dissatisfaction even among Conservative voters about whether their MP actually represents or listens to their concerns. And if we look at the larger picture, the overwhelming majority of people in Cornwall are not represented at all – not just those who voted for different parties but those who have ceased to vote at all, see no point and have no hope. Continue reading “Proposal for a Local Constituency Compact”

A note on the progressive alliance

An important blog by Neal Lawson, Chair of Compass

With all the talk of a possible general election it is worth reflecting on the possibilities for a Progressive Alliance. The Progressive Alliance (PA) reached maximum recognition at two points – first at the Richmond Park by-election this time two years ago – and then at the subsequent snap general election in June 2017. In the harsh electoral reality of an impending Tory landslide, Compass made an equally snap decision to run the PA in the form of local electoral deals plus tactical campaigning and voting to try and reduce this expected Tory landslide. Continue reading “A note on the progressive alliance”