Jon Trickett

Hemsworth Labour

Blog

I will not be the only person who feels anger at the government decision to allow Hatfield colliery to close.  The pit has provided employment for near on 100 years. Whilst Britain will continue to burn coal for many years to come it will have been mined at the other side of the world!

In the last few days I have had a significant number of conversations with the Chair of the board of the colliery, Mr John Grogan. I have also spoken on a number of occasions with the MP who covers Hatfield, Ed Miliband.

Three key facts became clear:
1) the government caused the closure because they doubled the carbon tax which then led the power stations to buy huge stocks of coal before the tax was implemented with the consequence that the price of coal fell.
2) Nonetheless all the coal they could produce in the next year had customers who were prepared to buy it.
3) It was also clear that if the colliery had remained open, then the government would have continued to receive a large amount of tax paid by the miners and VAT paid by the company. Now the miners will have to receive benefits until they find other work.

The government decision is a disgrace and is yet another example of how they are destroying the Yorkshire economy.

 

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Closure of Hatfield

I will not be the only person who feels anger at the government decision to allow Hatfield colliery to close.  The pit has provided employment for near on 100 years....

The crisis last summer in Gaza was horrific and we must do all we can to prevent future conflicts.

Earlier this week I attended a lobby hosted by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC). The PSC is campaigning for peace and justice for the Palestinian people by calling for an end to the blockade on Gaza and a ban on arms imports in Israel. Bombs and bullets will not fix this problem; there must be a diplomatic, humanitarian solution.

I have received many letters and emails from my constituents raising the issue of Gaza and the terrible conflict last summer. This reflects the wider growing national support for Palestine, including hundreds of thousands of protesters that demonstrated across the UK last year. It is clear that politicians must act on this public support and put pressure on the Government to ensure that the fundamental human rights and lives of Palestinians are protected.

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Palestine

The crisis last summer in Gaza was horrific and we must do all we can to prevent future conflicts. Earlier this week I attended a lobby hosted by the Palestine...

Recently I wrote to Yorkshire Bank to ask them to reconsider the closure of their Featherstone branch. I have received a response which indicates that despite the issues raised and the public opposition they intend to close the branch anyway.

Below is a letter that I have written in reply to Yorkshire Bank's letter:

'I acknowledge receipt of your recent letter confirming the closure of Featherstone Branch.

...

I am very disappointed that you are not prepared to reconsider your decision and I also know that many residents are angry at your decision to go ahead. People have told me how they, as Yorkshire folk feel a strong connection with Yorkshire Bank. Some recall how they used to save money every week at school with your Bank and then, throughout their adult years, continued banking with you. Some customers even remember when the Bank was known as the Yorkshire Penny!

During the 1984-85 Miners’ Strike Yorkshire Bank stayed loyal to many of Featherstone’s residents offering mortgage holders a deferment. Whilst everyone recognises that times have moved on there is a sense of bitter disappointment that you could not choose, as some other high street banks facing similar challenges in other areas of my constituency have, to remain open albeit with reduced opening times. This would have at least ensured you retained a presence within Featherstone and also at some level acknowledged the loyalty and support you have had from many thousands of Featherstone residents over the years.

Yours sincerely
Jon Trickett'

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Yorkshire Bank Closure

Recently I wrote to Yorkshire Bank to ask them to reconsider the closure of their Featherstone branch. I have received a response which indicates that despite the issues raised and...

On Friday I visited a school at South Kirkby. The school is called Stockingate Mill Junior School.

 

I spoke to perhaps 60 or 70 children aged between seven and 11. The school is going to set up a school Parliament and the children will be able to stand for election as MPs, ministers and even the Prime Minister.

 

The best part of the visit was when the children asked me questions. I can honestly say that they were very tough questions indeed, and also showed great intelligence.

 

For example one of the children said would it be okay if you were an MP to start speaking in parliament by saying   “hey up” as we do here in Yorkshire. To my astonishment one of the other children said that it would not be right, because when speaking in parliament it would be best to use “formal language” rather than “informal language”.

 

This of course is correct and it was fascinating to see that young children understood the difference in styles of speaking which should be used in difference situations. Equally interesting was when I asked a second question as to whether this means that we should not speak with a Yorkshire accent in Parliament the pupils were equally clear that you can speak formal English but in a Yorkshire accent.

 

What a fascinating discussion, in a great school and to meet intelligent youngsters with all their lives in front of them.

 

I guess that it is OK for me to say “hey up” amongst friends and colleagues in casual conversation but not when addressing the House of Commons.

 

What do you think?

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When can a Yorkshire MP use a Yorkshire phrase like “hey up”? Pupils at Stockingate Mill School teach me a lesson

On Friday I visited a school at South Kirkby. The school is called Stockingate Mill Junior School.   I spoke to perhaps 60 or 70 children aged between seven and...

It is now over 30 years since the terrible events at Orgreave. I would like to thank the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign for inviting me to this important rally and I am very disappointed that I could not be there today due to voting in the House of Commons.

I would add my congratulations to the campaign for refusing to accept the idea that the truth will never be told. This would be totally unacceptable.

In fact the truth has never been properly told about the way in wh...ich the whole apparatus of the state including the abuse of the criminal justice system and as well as an assault on the supposed neutrality of the British police force was used to achieve the political ends of the Conservative party to crush the NUM.

Orgreave was the single most dramatic moment which clearly revealed the determination of the Thatcher government to achieve its goals whatever the price.

What followed was the collapse of the attempted prosecution of 95 miners on riot charges, following allegedly fabricated accounts and statements given by the police officers who were there that day.

Despite the passage of time, there still hasn’t been any justice.

Only the other week, the Independent Police Complaints Commission announced, after a lengthy investigation, that there would be no inquiry into the events that took place at Orgreave. That is simply not good enough. It simply perpetuates the injustices done at the time.

As we all know, we need a full inquiry into the events at Orgreave, nothing less will do.

I commit myself to working alongside yourselves to pursue the truth in this matter.

Jon Trickett's photo.

Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign

It is now over 30 years since the terrible events at Orgreave. I would like to thank the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign for inviting me to this important rally...

On Tuesday I spoke out in Parliament during a debate about the availability of medicines for those suffering from rare diseases. The Grandmother of Sam Brown lives in my area. Sam is a young boy who suffers from Morquio syndrome an incredibly rare disease which affects the way his skeleton grows. He has been taking the drug Vimizim, the only drug for his condition, which has been funded so far by the pharmaceutical manufacturer but the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) say it is expensive and its benefits have been overestimated.

During the debate I argued that NICE have stated that the drug is ‘likely to provide valuable clinical benefits for certain aspects of the condition’. Even if the drug does not completely stop the disease’s progression, how can NICE axe this wonderful boy’s medicine that has seen him grow stronger from its benefits?

To watch the debate, please click on the link below.

http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/f14c7cfb-271e-43cb-92b8-a10789739c1c

Rare Diseases Debate

On Tuesday I spoke out in Parliament during a debate about the availability of medicines for those suffering from rare diseases. The Grandmother of Sam Brown lives in my area....

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Yesterday I went to a meeting organised by the Motor Neurone Disease Association to highlight MND Awareness month.  While there I spoke to many people involved in spreading awareness of MND, and the problems that it causes, including TV Presenter Charlotte Hawkins who is a patron of the Association and whose father sadly died of MND.

Having received a number of letters and emails from my constituents, I appreciate the importance of ensuring that people suffering with MND gain access to high quality care and support. The work of organisations, such as the MND Association, is crucial in informing the Government and commissioners about the requirements for healthcare, social care and welfare amongst people with MND.

MND Awareness month had huge success last year with the Ice Bucket challenge which raised over £7 million in donations. If you want to find out more about MND, the problems that it causes or the campaigning of the MND Association you can visit http://www.mndassociation.org/.

 

Motor Neurone Disease Awareness Month

Yesterday I went to a meeting organised by the Motor Neurone Disease Association to highlight MND Awareness month.  While there I spoke to many people involved in spreading awareness of...

Today in Parliament charities, MP’s and carers came together to launch the start of Carers Week 2015 to pay tribute to the millions of remarkably hard working  unpaid carers in the UK who for too long have gone under the radar.

Carers Week 2015

Today in Parliament charities, MP’s and carers came together to launch the start of Carers Week 2015 to pay tribute to the millions of remarkably hard working  unpaid carers in... Read more

It has been brought to my attention that the only bank in Featherstone is due to close this August and leave the town with no banking facilities whatsoever.

Closure of Yorkshire Bank in Featherstone

It has been brought to my attention that the only bank in Featherstone is due to close this August and leave the town with no banking facilities whatsoever. Read more

This is a defining moment for the future, and arguably the survival, of the Labour Party. In the coming months there will be much debate about what went wrong and where next. 

In 2005 I produced evidence that Labour had lost 4 million voters since the election in 1997. A substantial part of these missing millions were traditional working class voters. This pattern has continued over the last 10 years.

In a minor tidal wave of what looks like pre planned statements, a group of commentators have argued that what lost the election was a failure to tap into the hopes of “aspirational” voters.

However, there is not a shred of evidence for their argument. The explanations for our defeat are deeper than this simplistic assessment.

The truth is that Labour recovered amongst middle class voters but has suffered a cataclysmic decline among working class voters.

It is possible to scrutinise now the initial voting analysis provided to me by the House of Commons Library.

If we compare the election results for our last election victory in 2005 with the result last Thursday and analyse by social class, a very interesting pattern emerges.

Here are the figures.

 

2005

2010

2015

AB

28

26

27

C1

32

28

30

C2

40

29

30

DE

48

40

37

It is possible here to see that the proportions of AB and C1 voters who voted Labour in the last three elections has held steady. Indeed Ed Miliband’s leadership led to a mild recovery of these voters between 2010 and 2015, (as it did among the C2 group.)

A full analysis of what happened last Thursday is not yet possible but at least one opinion poll has shown that ‘the election result implied by polling would give the Tories 12.5 m votes and Labour 12.2 million. However, in the event the Tories secured 11.3 million votes and Labour 9.3 million.’ There were almost 3 million Labour identifiers that we failed to mobilise.

Labour’s electoral base last Thursday was by far the most middle class we have secured in our history. A strategy based on a misunderstanding of what is happening in our country will not work. We cannot expect to win an election without reaching out to other layers of the population and equally mobilising those Labour identifiers who didn’t bother to vote.

In the coming leadership election, candidates need therefore first of all honestly to demonstrate that they can develop a three-fold strategy in England (Scotland is a very special case):

A)      Hold on to and indeed increase our middle class  vote

B)      Reach out to working class voters, and

C)      Mobilise Labour identifiers who did not vote Labour.

I will shortly publish further reflections on what we do next. However, the party should not elect a Leader who cannot concretely demonstrate that they can deliver B) above, since they are the largest group of the electorate whose support we have lost.

Those in the PLP with leadership aspirations cannot remain in denial or ignorance of these facts. They do so at their own peril, but more fundamentally fail to understand why the Labour Party exists. 

 

 

 

Labour’s Missing Millions (part 2)

This is a defining moment for the future, and arguably the survival, of the Labour Party. In the coming months there will be much debate about what went wrong and...

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