IAAF Prize Money Sucks: Do Athletes Need Their Heads Testing?

Usain Bolt, Mo Farah and other top athletes are in the final stages preparing for the IAAF World Championship Athletics at the Olympic Stadium in London this August.

Next to the Summer Olympic Games the biennial IAAF World Championship is the biggest event for the athletes and fans.

Bolt and Farah have for the last decade made athletics appealing and fun to watch. But as athletes face anti doping tests this summers I wonder if their brains also needs checking too.

In 2007 the World Championship prize money for the finalists were as follows:

Place Individual.      Relay (per team)
1st     $60,000            $80,000
2nd   $30,000            $40,000
3rd    $20,000            $20,000
4th     $15,000            $16,000
5th.    $10,000            $12,000
6th     $6,000              $8,000
7th     $5,000              $6,000
8th     $4,000              $4,000

Since 2007 athletics has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity worldwide thanks to the achievements and ascendancy of stars including Bolt, Farah, Allyson Felix, David Rudisha, Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce, Valerie Adams, Christian Taylor, Sally Pearson, Jessica Ennis and Wayde van Niekirk. Athletics is one of those rare sports where super stars come from right across the globe.

The last 2 World Championships were held in 2013 (Moscow) & 2015 (Beijing) respectively and was seen on TV in over 200 nations. More than the Super Bowl.

With the upcoming World Championships in London I can guarantee that each session (rain or shine) will draw a sell-out crowd and an incredible atmosphere.

With that said the prize money for London 2017 will be as follows:

Place   Individual. Relay (per team)
1st.     $60,000       $80,000
2nd    $30,000       $40,000
3rd.    $20,000       $20,000
4th     $15,000       $16,000
5th.    $10,000       $12,000
6th     $6,000         $8,000
7th     $5,000.        $6,000
8th     $4,000         $4,000

No prize money increase since 2007.

  • How could such these athletes allow the governing body – IAAF – to get away with not increasing prize money for 10 years?
  • How could a former star athlete such as lord Sebastian Coe sit on the IAAF board throughout this period and not push for increased prized money? Coe has been IAAF president since 2015.

In the world of top class professional sports this freeze on any prize money increase is just crazy. It does not make business or sporting sense.

Next week’s Wimbledon tennis tournament in London will be seen in as many countries as that of the World Championship Athletics. Yet each loser (32 players) in the second round of Wimbledon will each earn $74,000.

In 2007 the Wimbledon single title winners each took home roughly $1.4 million. In 2017 the single title winners will each receive $2.8 million.

Since 2012, athletics has faced some bad publicity over a number of doping and corruption scandals, leading to the likes of Adidas ending their official sponsorship of the sport. But athletics is still an attractive enough sport to maximize lucrative sponsorship deals.

Contrary to popular myths other sports have also suffered bad press over doping & other scandals. Yet they continue to thrive with major financial deals/prize money for their top players. e.g. Major League Baseball, NFL and MMA.

[The winner of the PDC World Professional Darts championship  in 2017 won just over $450,000. Darts!]

I am not sure if the athletes have a trade union type body that speaks collectively on their behalf, but they certainly need stronger group representation when negotiating with the IAAF. This oversight by the athletes in the prize money for the Worlds is quite frankly unprofessional.

With a month still to go before the World Championship starts; should the athletes make a last ditch effort for improved prize money for the London event?

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Sebastian Coe – International Athletics Austerity Fund?

 

 

 

Posted in anti-doping, athletics, BBC, olympics, sport, sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Lives Hardly Matter: Jamaica’s Murder Surge

Even by its recent standards Jamaica’s current violent crime rate is scary.

Since the start of 2017 there has been over 660 murders in Jamaica. So far in June alone there has been roughly 84-90 murders (Update: 141 murders as at 27 June) . This murder spree in a nation with a population of just 2.7 million people.

Today it is common to come across reports in Jamaican media of;

  1. Multiple murders from one crime scene.
  2. Children being killed by adults or school mates.
  3. Families in one home being wiped out by guns and arson.
  4. Pensioners (as old as 97) being attacked in their own home and sometimes murdered.
  5. Mob killings in the name of jungle justice.
  6. Killing of those living rough with mental health issues.
  7. Jamaicans returning permanently from overseas violently targeted by criminals.

Just last Wednesday & Thursday there were 20 shootings 8 of which were fatal including 2 children. In one of those incidents that had multiple fatalities, the alleged shooter was a 14 year old boy.

(There’s been at least 45 multiple shootings in 2017.)

For a small country Jamaica’s murder rate has been for decades  a disgrace. In 2011 there were 1117 murders,

  • 2012 (1085 murders),
  • 2013 (1192),
  • 2014  (1005),
  • 2015 (1200) and
  • 2016 (1350).

Given the current murder rate for 2017, Jamaica could sadly be on course to get close to the horrendous figure in 2005 when there were 1674 murders.

One senior police official told parliament last week that there is a need to bring the current murder rate down to 30 a month. His comments may seem laughable but it is the reality of what Jamaicans are facing today.

The current Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett has suggested that the media should not popularise these murders as it gives Jamaica a bad image and could affect the tourist industry. But Bartlett is so wrong as the media would never have the space or time to report on even a tenth of the violent crimes (incl. sexual assaults & robberies) that occurs in Jamaica.

Indeed, I do find it strange that Jamaica’s murder carnage is not covered more widely by the international media. We know the international media would report such violent incidents in Jamaica if a member of the LGBT community or a tourist was attacked.

If Jamaica’s murder wave was covered in the international media then maybe local politicians, security services and wider society would be more proactive in tackling violent crime effectively.

The causes of the high violent crime rate are many. Causes include short tempers, gang warfares, money, illegal drugs trade, materialism, relationships, envy,  grudges and the profilerations of (& easy access to) illegal firearms.

We can not ignore the political violence of previous decades has also had an impact on certain violent crime activities today.

https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/06KINGSTON758_a.html

https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/07KINGSTON1470_a.html

In the past 10 years it is frightening to see how many personal friends and acquaintances of mine that have been murdered. It affects your mindset deeply makes you wonder – why?

Jamaica’s security services & governments were caught napping for decades as thousands of guns were illegal imported from Haiti via Jamaica’s southern coast.

But for me Jamaica has simply lost the respect and value for human life. People get into violent skirmishes over the slightest issue.

Children or elderly being murdered is so common that any public outrage last for 48 hours before the news cycle moves on to next such report.

I wish there is a quick solution to stem the crime surge. Jamaica officially is not at war but the data paints a tragic picture.

The current Jamaica Labour Party government and the opposition People’s National Party should both swallow their political pride and ego and agree to take a bi-partisan approach to crime reduction and community safety for even 1 term.

It is embarrassing to see National Security Ministers and the official opposition trying to score political points over which government had a better record reducing the number of murders. Even though both had over 1000 murders annually under their watch.

The current Jamaican government is planning to bring in measures under a new Anti-Crime Bill which include curfews aka as special crime zones.

Jamaica needs sustained help from the international community. The security forces alone cannot stem this crime surge. Society needs a reset on how one’s life should be treasured and respected.

It is critical for Jamaica to seek serious international assistance to bring in the technology and expertise personnel to reduce crime, without affecting the human rights of law abiding citizens..

  • More than ever Jamaica needs sophisticated and integrated CCTV systems which includes Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) supported by command centres. This system is needed across the island to assist in the solving and prevention of violent crime. The techno and expertise is there across the globe.
  • Jamaica needs help on modern good practice initiatives for the effective rehabilitation of offenders. E.g Why Scandinavian Prisons Are Superior
  • There is a need for international assistance to help forensic experts to speed up their investigations as too many violent crimes go unsolved or just not investigated.
  • Education and Community Development has to play a more vital role at empowering the youths into career paths away from crime.

On a whole it is the Jamaican society that has to help each other to cut out this carnage in the medium to long term.

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11 year old Taysha Hughes – one of the latest victims of gun crime

 

Posted in Current affairs, jamaica, jamaican | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

UK General Elections: Winners and Losers

The UK electorate produced another fascinating election result to match those elections of 2015 and 2010. I did expect a hung parliament but never imagined the Labour Party to win in places like Kensington and Canterbury. (Thomas Beckett must be turning.) Theresa May won the most seats but no majority. All her fault.

But here are some of my winners and losers.

Winners

  1. Jeremy Corbyn – Jezza stepped up and ran a smart, aspirational and energetic campaign. Getting 40% of the vote is an incredible achievement. Made Labour relevant again.
  2. Young voters – Thanks mainly to Corbyn and his social media connections 72% of young people got out there and voted. The future is bright for young people getting involved.
  3. Social media – Proof again that today no modern successful political campaign can do without effective social media messaging.
  4. Ruth Davidson– Continues to make the Tory Party a significant player in Scotland. Davidson’s success in Scotland may have saved Theresa May’s Premiership. Davidson is a worthy successor to May.
  5. Social Care – Credit to Corbyn for making social care a key issue from the moment he became Labour leader and during the election campaign.
  6. Female MPs – Record number of 207 female MPs (32%) will be in the House of Commons.
  7. Police – Tories no longer has the votes to make further cuts to police funding.
  8. Amber Rudd – Despite just scraping through her seat with a majority of 346, Rudd was the Tories’ most effective performer during the debates. She may demand a safer Tory seat for next time.
  9. House Select Committees – With a minority government Select Committees will have more influence on how the Tories govern.
  10. Backbench MPs – Tory minority government means every single MPs vote matters.

Losers

  1. 170 Labour MPs – If these MPs from the last parliament had just given Corbyn even 5% support Labour would be in power today. Major own goal by the likes of John Woodcock, Stephen Kinnock, Yvette Cooper, Owen Smith etc.
  2. Theresa May – Self centered May is too much like former PM Gordon Brown and it showed during her disastrous campaign.
  3. Nicola Sturgeon – She overplayed the Scottish independence card and it just got tedious. Backfired big time.
  4. Boris Johnson – Must regret not challenging for the Tory leadership in 2016.
  5. Nick Clegg – Politically was a dead man walking since the tuition fees u-turn in 2012 when he was Deputy PM.
  6. Alex Salmond – One of the heavyweights of British politics over the past 20 years. The biggest shock of the night for me.
  7. Media – For 2 years the media threw everything at Corbyn. Especially Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre. They patronised his leadership credentials at every turn. You knew the Tory media were getting desperate when they played the IRA card against Corbyn in the final week of campaign…
  8. DUP -…yet the  irony of May being propped by the Democratic Unionists Party (DUP) is not lost on some. Given the DUP’s past links to terrorist and paramilitary groups. The DUP are a 19th century version of the Tea Party. Given the DUP anti gay marriage stance….How does May explain this kumbaya with the DUP to LGBT Tories such as Ruth Davidson and Justine Greening?
  9. Labour Party Grandees – Now will the likes of Tony Blair, Jack Straw, Alan Johnson, Charles Clarke, Jacqui Smith keep their anti Corbyn rants to themselves for the rest of  2017?
  10. UKIP – Will former leader Nigel Farage return again?
  11. Diane Abbott – Despite Abbott’s 30 plus years of media experience – amidst everything – she was just a disappointment in interviews.
  12. Michael Fallon – The mother of car crash interviews
  13. Grammar Schools – May’s desire for more grammar schools look a non-starter.
  14. Queen Elizabeth– The contents of next Queen speech may mean very little.

 

Britain's outgoing Prime Minister, David Cameron, incoming prime minister Theresa May and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, laugh during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, in central London

Complete May Madness

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in BBC, Boris Johnson, BREXIT, britain, British Labour Party, british politics, Current affairs, david cameron, england, great britain, jeremy corbyn, journalism, labour party, NEWS, politics, theresa May, UK NEWS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

UK National Security – Enough is Enough of Theresa May?

Tough seeing these never ending terrorist attacks across the U.K. lately.

What more can the UK’s  government and security services do to prevent further attacks?

The British government and its security services must now realise that there is no such thing as a low level so-called UK jihadist. They are all a major threat.

Once again Prime Minister Theresa May has come out with fighting words. Yet it was May as Home Secretary and now PM that has failed the national security test.

May’s time as Home Secretary (2011-2016) led to a major reduction in neighborhood policing which up to then was a key strand of effective local intelligence gathering.

The authorities understand that most of these extremists are homegrown and developed amongst minority communities. Thus there has to be push to recruit more front line intelligence officers from ethnic minority communities.

The government and media pundits keep lecturing the Muslim community to speak out more on extremist suspects.

Yet has the government tried hard enough to recruit intelligence officers from minority groups?

In 2014/15 MI5 had 8% (322) of its workforce (4000+) who are non white.  You can bet a large percentage of those minority staff at MI5 work in administrative and office support roles. There were no senior management staff at MI5 from the ethnic minority community.

MI5 needs a workforce of at least 20% – 30% from ethnic communities to target extremists suspects and their support base on the ground. There is more than enough established ethnic minority civil servants across central govt (32,000) that could be seconded to MI5.

Labour and Tory UK governments over the last decade have tried to deliver an effective counter terrorism strategy on the cheap in the name of efficiency savings and austerity.

Extra human resources is necessary to push frontline ethnic minority intel staff to be embedded in certain locations where these Islamic extremists thrive. Towns like Luton and East London areas such as Leytonstone, Leyton, and in particular Walthamstow are prime examples.

Notorious Islamic extremists such as Anjem Choudary, Trevor Brooks and members of groups such as Al-Muhajiroun used local pockets in Walthamstow and Leyton to develop their extremists agenda. Thus attracting other extremists from across the U.K. to spend time in East London.

Some of their support base hide behind “respectable” businesses as a front to their real purpose in these towns.

These extremists in East London get a real buzz out of their hate preaching in the streets. If you are a non white male they will approach you, exchange pleasantries (“hello my brother”) and talk frankly of their desire for sharia law to be introduced in places like Walthamstow.

I have had my own tensions with some of these self extremists  when I lived in Walthamstow. These exchanges would get acrimonious especially if I was walking with a Muslim female friend or acquaintance. One such friend from West London was so terrified at the intimidation and collective staring (by women) that she never visited Walthamstow again.

There is a belief that there are over 3000 extremists across the U.K. backed up by a support base of another 20000.

How many more times will the UK public hear that the next extremist attacker “was known” to authorities but not regarded as a genuine threat?

Therefore a more diverse team of intelligence staff needs to be embedded into certain communities working amongst Islamic bookshops, independent mobile phone stores/internet cafes, mini cab offices, bookmakers, local library and especially Halal-based fast food take aways.

Since 2011 most of the British media has given Theresa May a free pass on her performance on national security. May continues to push for more internet regulations. Yet GCHQ, and MI5 has more than enough powers and technology in place to perform their roles effectively.

(GCHQ also needs a more diverse workforce. As at 2014/2015 just 3-4% (166) of GCHQ staff (5564) were non white.)

The Daily Mail and other like minded leaning media houses are doing their best to ignore the current Tory government’s national security failings to ensure May wins tomorrow’s election.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has every right to attack Theresa May’s record on national security. But Corbyn’s choice of Diane Abbott as Home Affairs spokeswoman was a dreadful decision; given the number of former Home Office ministers on the Labour backbenches.

Today the likes of Anjem Choudary, Trevor Brooks and others are serving time in prison. Soon or later they will be released and the next government must ensure that these men will no longer find a support base anywhere across the UK to restart their sick extremist agenda.

IMG_2018

Walthamstow Town Centre & next to the local library

Posted in Diversity, great britain, jeremy corbyn, labour party, london, London Bombings, politics, Terrorism, theresa May, UK NEWS, uk politics, united kingdom | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Mighty Diamonds – Royalties Dread

Last week I heard an interview that featured Donald “Tabby” Shaw and Lloyd “Judge” Ferguson who both are members of reggae group the Mighty Diamonds. The other member, Fitzroy “Bunny” Simpson, was absent due to illness.

Now the Mighty Diamonds has been singing since 1969. By the late 1970s they recorded numerous international hits such as “The Right Time”, “Africa”, “I Need a Roof” and “Shame and Pride”. Songs that consistently still sell well even with today’s younger generation.

The Mighty Diamonds wrote all their songs. So I was surprised  to hear Tabby and Judge state that they earned no royalties from the sale of those hits.

IMG_2009

Over the years we have heard stories of reggae singers/songwriters being ripped off, short changed or tricked into signing away their publishing rights without realising the consequences.

From the 1960s – 1980s many Jamaican artistes never knew their songs were being sold in volumes overseas.

  • In 1987 I  saw music by my own cousin – Junie Ranks – being sold at Tower Records then Europe’s largest record store. Junie had no idea that her songs were released.
  • The late Alton Ellis used to tell us stories of the rough times experienced when he first moved to London from Jamaica despite his songs doing well in the UK reggae charts.
  • Singer Marcia Griffiths once said that all she received from some of her earlier hits at Studio One was “lunch money”.

Fans purchased these records and must have enriched someone, some organisation, some family, but not always the singer/songwriters.

Today many of these iconic Jamaican artistes are living under harsh conditions. Some face major health issues which is costly. We only need to see the health and financial pressures that plagued the late Frankie Paul in his final days. It was well known that Paul suffered from financial trickery by unscrupulous record company officials.

Recently the Mighty Diamonds performed on stage in Jamaica. But while Tabby and Judge were mobile on stage Bunny stood still because of his own health issues and you felt for him.

Despite being in their 60s the Mighty Diamonds continue to tour overseas to make a living. Yet the proceeds from the hits they composed should have provided them with a comfortable pension package. We know good money from reggae sales was made by record companies during the 1970s.

IMG_2007

During the 1970s the Mighty Diamonds’ records were sold in the UK on the Frontline label. Frontline was setup by Virgin’s Richard Branson.

In his best selling book “Screw It, Let’s Do It” Branson wrote:

“(1977-1978) I went to Jamaica as a holiday but I also intended to look for bands and sign them up, so I took a suitcase filled with money…. Fortunately I had cash in my case that enabled me to sign up almost twenty bands and some toasters. We sold a lots of records with them; a perfect example of my motto- have fun and the money will come….

Further on in the book Branson summed up that exciting period of his life:

...I had signed up bands in Jamaica and ended up with an airline and (Necker) island.

The late Clement “Coxsone” Dodd – founder of Studio One label – was notorious for not paying his artistes their due royalties. Today a number those former singers from that period are philosophical about their experiences with Dodd. Despite Dodd’s actions some are grateful for the exposure he gave them. That sounds all well and good but someone is earning today what should simply be theirs.

  • Should the reggae fan be smarter at how and why they buy records – especially music from the 1960s/70s? 
  • Should record companies be forced to inform the consumer who earns from any sales?

As consumers we have become smarter in buying food products thanks to better labeling e.g. Freetrade. Maybe each CD/download etc should provide a percentage breakdown on where the proceeds of record sales ends up. Especially for albums.

Would the Mighty Diamonds fan purchase “The Right Time” if they knew that the songwriters would earn zero from the sale?

If I knew back then that so few Jamaican artistes earned so little royalties from their endeavours then maybe my record collection would have been a lot smaller.

Posted in jamaica, jamaican, music, reggae, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

World Press Freedom Index – Jamaica ranked 8

World Press Freedom Index for 2017 was recently published and out of the roughly 180 countries analysed Jamaica was ranked 8. (In 2016 Jamaica was ranked 10.) Number 1 was Norway followed by Sweden. The British and US media came in at 38 and 41 respectively.

The World Press Freedom Index report is published by Reporters without Borders – Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF).

The annual index analysis focuses on media freedom, diversity of opinions allowed, independence of media, transparency, the legal environment, and abuses or violence directed at journalists

The index is not there to comment on the quality of journalism; which in Jamaica for me is definitely top ten material. Especially in the coverage of sports, human stories, local politics, youth, local communities, entertainment and education.

Part of analysis by RSF is drawn from questionnaires completed by the local media professionals, lawyers and sociologists.

According to the latest findings by RSF ..

“Jamaica ranks among the countries that most respect freedom of information. The very occasional physical attacks on journalists must be offset against this, but no serious act of violence or threat to media freedom has been reported since February 2009, a month that saw two cases of abuse of authority by the Kingston police. The law decriminalizing defamation passed by the house of representatives in 2013 was a step in the right direction.”

Abuse against Journalists 

My attention in the index findings was drawn mainly to the issue of abuse of journalists. How broad is the definition of abuse by RSF? Does it cover sexual harassment?

In Jamaica it is common knowledge that sexual harassment affects many professionals during the course of their duties.

In 2016 the Jamaica Observer published article citing examples of the sexual harassment faced by some local female journalists.

The article entitled Caribbean women journalists and those testy moments with men provided examples of awkward situations that journalists have found themselves in….

  • “Basically, male interviewees sometimes want to ask you for your number or just touch you or hug you inappropriately,”
  • “I was also approached for a dinner “date” once by another (govt) minister. It was stunningly awkward. I was outraged but stunned when I mentioned the incident to my male editor and he recommended I go on this date to solicit information. It felt like a suggestion of prostitution for news,”
  • “I have been in a situation where an aide to a minister was seeking to date me and I politely said no and he proceeded to angrily curse me out and walk behind. I was trying to walk away from him and he was following behind me cursing and so on.”
  • We live in a region that does not take rape reports and stalking reports seriously. Imagine me going to the police station to tell the police his boss – the minister – sent me lewd messages … you get the picture…

Transparency, Media Freedom, Independence of Media 

The index’s categories on media freedom, transparency and media independence also caught my eye.

Like most developed and developing countries, Jamaica’s journalists is bound to face challenges and obstacles in carrying out their roles effectively and unconditionally.

  • Respected sports journalist Wayne Walker has spoken of his frustration in getting access to senior football administrators since his last probing interview of local president Horace Burrell in 2015.
  • Other sports journalists admit to giving soft interviews (or avoid harsh criticism) to leading sport administrators and sportstars for fear of being blackballed.
  • In 2016 the Press Association of Jamaica complained  at the lack of any press conferences by new Prime Minister Andrew Holness. (The Prime Minister had given a few one on one interviews.)
  • Holness’ predecessor Portia Simpson-Miller hardly conducted press conferences and didn’t give any one-on-one interviews throughout her latest term in office. (One of the disappointments when President Barack Obama visited Jamaica in 2015 was that no press conference was held.)
  • In 2016 the Miami Herald published an article regarding allegations made against Jamaican MP James Robertson. For days the media in the Jamaica refuse to touch the article and if they did never mentioned James Robertson by name. Was it fear why the media withheld the “prominent politician’s” name? If a similar overseas report featured a Jamaican dancehall artiste he/she would have been named immediately.
  • Digicel Communications – owned by Irish billionaire Denis O’Brien – is a major employer, sponsor and advertiser in Jamaica. Since 2016 O’Brien has been embroiled in a highly publicised lawsuit against the Irish State & 2 Irish politicians for comments made in the Parliament about his banking affairs. [very unusual for any democratic parliament to be sued in this way] Why was this story not covered by the media in Jamaica? Was media freedom compromised?
  • What is the perception when we see Danville Walker – Managing Director of Jamaica Observer – chairing a number of state bodies that covers areas such as customs, environment and trade? Can there be authentic media independence from the Jamaica Observer when covering these state bodies? Given Walker used his paper to defend these controversial appointments.

Indeed Jamaica may have scored well in the index despite the above minute observations. Canada’s media – ranked 22 – has had its level of state spying and intimidation. The US media has had their own challenges of intimidation by both the Obama and Trump administration.

Again, the index is about media freedom and not the quality of reporting.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in human rights, jamaica, jamaican, journalism, journalist, media, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Corbyn’s Escape to Victory?

Sometimes even when you have consistently underperformed at your job, an opportunity to finally shine presents itself that is too-good-to-be-true.

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has that chance thanks to Prime Minister Theresa May calling a general election for 8 June.

May’s arrogance to call this snap election – last general election was in 2015 – comes from a belief that Corbyn has zero chance of defeating her ruling Conservative Party.

But in recent general elections across the globe we have become accustomed to witnessing shock results.

Corbyn can win enough seats to lead a coalition but not win any overall majority. Corbyn has to seize this moment with common sense, realism and astute political maneuvering to be Prime Minister.

Corbyn has to swallow his political pride, his die hard political convictions and to appeal to middle Britain. Corbyn must convince the electorate he is a leader that can work effectively with others.

So what should Jeremy do to boost his cause for state power?

  1. Corbyn has to lead the campaign from the front and set the agenda and pace.
  2. Corbyn should bring in a campaign team that knows how to win. Labour’s campaign should not be run by just Corbyn loyalists.
  3. Corbyn needs to run a campaign on aspirations and not on fear.
  4. Have 5-7 key positive themes that matter to the electorate and stick to it. E.g. immigration, national security, BREXIT, health, jobs, economic growth, pensions.
  5. Apply elements of the Bernie Sanders/Donald Trump playbook for this brief campaign. e.g. Effective messaging to bypass the mostly anti- Corbyn media.
  6. Work on the deal with Scottish National Party (SNP) & Liberal Democrats to target certain vulnerable Tory seats.

Corbyn has to confront the 170+ Labour MPs that hate his guts and do some deal to ensure a Labour victory is the sole priority of this election and not personal vendettas. Corbyn should negotiate a ceasefire on the internal backstabbing as the chance of state power looms.

Some Labour MPs have openly said they won’t support Corbyn which is so childish.

May as PM has been a disappointment. Her Cabinet has been uninspiring with the likes of David Davis, Michael Fallon, Amber Rudd and Boris Johnson failing to impress in their high profile portfolios. Their shadow opposites in the Labour Party have been equally dismal.

A few days ago Corbyn ruled out any deal with the SNP. Corbyn must realise that he cannot win power without help from the SNP. He also has to rely on the Liberal Democrats winning seats from the Conservatives in the Home Counties and West Country.

[Hard to believe that Labour is polling poorly against the Conservatives in former strongholds such as Wales and Scotland.]

Corbyn’s must remember that –  in Northern Ireland – his hero the late Martin McGuiness (Sinn Fein/IRA) was prepared to share power with life long enemy Ian Paisley (DUP). So Jeremy should have publicly ruled nothing out.

In Scotland, Labour has a mountain to climb given the Scottish Conservatives have overtaken them under leadership of the impressive Ruth Davidson.

May has hinted that she will not take part in any live televised debates with other party leaders. This is the height of complacency by the cocksure Tory leader. Corbyn and the other politicial leaders should go ahead with the debates and exploit May’s disrespect to the electorate.

So it was disappointing to read that one of Corbyn’s spokesmen had stated that the Labour leader would only participate in the televised debates if May appears too. Really? This kind of narrow minded thinking is one of my concerns about Labour’s campaign team.

Corbyn’s team should learn lessons from Justin Trudeau’s surprise victory in Canada’s federal elections.

During Canada’s 2015 elections PM Stephen Harper participated in just 1of the 5 televised debates. Harper’s main opposition rival was Tom Mulcair from the New Democratic Party. Mulcair refused to participate in the debates that didn’t include Harper.

Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau (then 3rd in initial polling & seats) seized on their absence and excelled in the debates. This no doubt had an impact in Trudeau’s seismic victory at the elections. The Liberal Party gained a staggering 148 seats.

If Labour runs a smart campaign they can win enough seats to form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats and the SNP. If not, Labour may be in the recycle bin for generations.

Finally, to Labour Party campaign leaders – keep Ken Livingstone and his like far from the campaign and the media. I liked Ken when he was my MP in North West London.  But today he has become selfishly toxic which hasn’t helped his old chum Jeremy.

 

Posted in BBC, Boris Johnson, BREXIT, britain, British Labour Party, british politics, canada, Current affairs, donald trump, england, great britain, jeremy corbyn, justin trudeau, labour party, NEWS, politics, theresa May, UK NEWS, uk politics, united kingdom | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment