May i take out a little time to thank every one who turned up last night for our meeting.

It was a hard day yesterday working till six and then off to one more meeting,but this one was a little different i met with activist from accross the city and key green party members from Manchester, we were lucky also to meet members of the National executive who offered some clear and concise views to the future of the party.We had some tough decisions to make last night but i was pleased that in less than three hours we had formulated an active committee,formed links with Manchester while gaining  a representative from our own group to sit on their committee.Working together i believe we have an active base to put serious pressure on all the political groups within Salford and a chance to offer something a little different within the political make up.I must thank our new chair Mr Reg Howard on how smooth the meeting went and Mr David Henry in is role as secretary for his work in putting so many people together so quickly.Any one who wishes to join with us this year will be welcome,i hope those who still see the stereotype image of the green party take out some time to visit our national web site and look closely at the range of policies that are on offer,Our campaigns officer will be working with activist from irlam and Eccles over the coming months over the serious issues in both wards with the peat mining and the incinerator, these will be two of our key focus points.We of course last night spoke in depth of the cuts within Salford and the serious threats to services and jobs within our communities, we of course will be offering full and detailed responses when we have the full breakdown.I will update you from my prospective and will of course be offering any press releases when and where the executive decide they need to offer a view.Our chair felt we needed to offer a mini policy breakdown within any of our communications to that end we will have set up a policy group and task them to offer a document that takes out the jargon but offers people concise policy statements with relevance to this city. I again thank all the people who came last night and i look forward to working with every one over the coming months.Politics is a game that needs many players from many different backgrounds, there should be no barriers and every one should be allowed to speak, last night i felt something that offered hope and a future only time will tell.

What next for the Liberal Democrats in Salford

Down from Ten To five in the council, dropping in the National polls, propping up a Tory Government and half the Mps don’t know what to do could see what was happening within council but i never believed they would give up their principles, i believe during the elections they could stand under the banner of the coalition hows that for a shock when you vote what are you voting for. For the past two months i have been working with the Green Party, i never thought i could enjoy working with such a hard working bunch of people, in Bolton i met up with some old school socialist who had joined the party and in Manchester i found a set up that offered such a varied and exciting level of policies that differed from the stuff  that seems to be pumped out each day by the main stream, Over the coming months i feel we can be a force that could change the political scene within Salford. After leaving the Liberals i wanted to look around and make the right choice, i received one offer that i would have loved to have taken but perhaps i need to start from scratch and work to put together with other activist something different.who knows how long it will take but one thing we have is time, and with the Green party we now have the man power and the expertise to win.

From the Star It’s latest battle with the Council read the full story on the Stars web site


Star date: 28th July 2010  


“…you haven’t published any positive stuff on MediaCityUK” John Merry

Yesterday, Salford City Council’s Cabinet rejected Salford Star’s appeal against the Council’s decision to stop the city’s community committees from funding the community magazine. One of the reasons given was that Salford Star hadn’t done any positive stories on MediaCityUK.

Meanwhile, evidence that the Council brought to the `trial’ purporting to show that the Salford Star was `not balanced’ in its coverage, we believe, was totally discredited. But the goalposts kept shifting…

Very long but edited highlights here…

We all understood the Star would not get any funding. In reality the Star is run by on of the best investigative Journalist i have ever met. Should they get funding who knows i for one would love to see Steve get help to run his Magazine but also keep his independence, The people of the city need to know what goes on and the more serious issues relative to the council. The Sal ford advertiser fails in every department it’s efforts are miserable.The star is a free voice and that will never be stoped what ever format the magzine carries on in i know it will succeed.

 One reader who welcomes every issue

Is this your worst Nightmare a Liberal Democrat in Charge of the Country, oh by the way the war with iraq was illegal, they are turning out to be a laughing stock.

Nick Clegg’s ‘illegal’ Iraq war gaffe prompts legal warning

Coalition in confusion as deputy prime minister pronounces invasion ‘illegal’ at dispatch box

Nick Clegg was tonight forced to clarify his position on the Iraq war after he stood up at the dispatch box of the House of Commons and pronounced the invasion illegal.

The deputy prime minister insisted he was speaking in a personal capacity, as a leading international lawyer warned that the statement by a government minister in such a formal setting could increase the chances of charges against Britain in international courts.

Philippe Sands, professor of law at University College London, said: “A public statement by a government minister in parliament as to the legal situation would be a statement that an international court would be interested in, in forming a view as to whether or not the war was lawful.”

The warning came after a faltering performance by Clegg in the Commons when he stood in for David Cameron at prime minister’s questions. The deputy prime minister made an initial mistake when he announced that the government would close the Yarl’s Wood centre as it ends the detention of children awaiting deportation. The Home Office was forced to issue a statement saying that the family unit at Yarl’s Wood would close but that the rest of the centre would remain open.

Shortly before that slip-up, Clegg threw the government’s position concerning the legality of the Iraq war into confusion when, at the end of heated exchanges with Jack Straw, foreign secretary at the time of the war, Clegg said: “We may have to wait for his memoirs, but perhaps one day he will account for his role in the most disastrous decision of all: the illegal invasion of Iraq.”

Clegg’s remarks could be legally significant because he was standing at the government dispatch box in the Commons.

Downing Street played down the significance of the remarks by issuing a statement saying that he was expressing his “long-held view” about the Iraq conflict. In an attempt to avoid speculation about splits with Cameron, who voted in favour of the war, Downing Street added that the government would await the findings of the Chilcot inquiry before reaching a view on the war.

“The coalition government has not expressed a view on the legality or otherwise of the Iraq conflict,” the No 10 spokesman said. “But that does not mean that individual members of the government should not express their individual views. These are long-held views of the deputy prime minister.

“The Iraq inquiry is currently examining many issues surrounding the UK’s involvement in Iraq, including the legal basis of the war. The government looks forward to receiving the inquiry’s conclusions.”

But this appeared to be contradicted by the Chilcot inquiry, which issued a statement saying it was examining the legal issues in the run-up to the war but would not make a judgment about the legality of the war. A spokesman said: “The inquiry is not a court of law, and no one is on trial.”

The government also faced a challenge in explaining an apparently new constitutional convention that the second most senior member of the cabinet is now free to stand at the dispatch box and express opinions of his own that do not reflect government policy.

Asked whether Clegg had been speaking as the leader of the Liberal Democrats and not as deputy prime minister, a Downing Street spokeswoman said: “Yes.”

Asked how MPs could establish in future whether Clegg is speaking as deputy prime minister or as leader of the Liberal Democrats, the spokeswoman said: “The deputy prime minister is entitled to express his own view at the dispatch box.”

The Lib Dems were keen to play down the significance of Clegg’s remarks. But it is understood that the Lib Dem leader feels freer to speak out against the alleged illegality of the Iraq war after the recent publication of previously classified documents by the Chilcot inquiry.

Sir Gus O’Donnell, the cabinet secretary, wrote to Sir John Chilcot on 25 June to allow the inquiry to publish more documents relating to the legal advice. The most significant of these documents was a note on 30 January 2003 by the then attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, to Tony Blair.

In the note Goldsmith wrote: “I remain of the view that the correct legal interpretation of [UN security council] resolution 1441 is that it does not authorise the use of military force without a further determination by the security council.”

Goldsmith famously changed his mind on the legality of the war in March 2003 after Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, the former chief of the defence staff, demanded a clear undertaking that military action would be lawful. Boyce feared that British forces could face legal action unless the invasion had legal cover.

On 7 March 2003, after visiting Washington, Goldsmith told Blair that a new UN resolution may not be necessary, although invading Iraq without one could lead to Britain being indicted before an international court. Ten days later Goldsmith ruled that an invasion would be lawful.

Sands said: “Lord Goldsmith never gave a written advice that the war was lawful. Nick Clegg is only repeating what Lord Goldsmith told Tony Blair on 30 January 2003: that without a further UN security resolution the war would be illegal and Jack Straw knows that.”