On Friday 15 November, Michael Eavis warmly welcomed Kama McKenzie, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Wells constituency, to Worthy Farm, giving her his full support. The pair discussed a range of local issues, including affordable housing – a topic close to Eavis’s heart. To date, Eavis has built 68 affordable homes in Pilton, which he has reserved for local families under long-term tenancies and vows never to sell. Of Labour’s plans to build 1 million affordable homes over the next ten years, Eavis says: ‘It’s incredibly important that families can stay in their local area, feeling secure with homes for life.’ Eavis also celebrated the success of Glastonbury’s St Dunstan’s School, where McKenzie is a parent governor, acknowledging that a change in leadership had turned the school around. The two talked about the importance to the local area of sustaining the school’s improvement and shared concerns about the levels of funding for education under the current government, as well as their hopes for future generations under a Labour leadership.
Labour candidate for Bridgwater and West Somerset Oliver Thornton launched his campaign on Friday night to a packed Charter Hall in the Municipal HQ of Labour run Bridgwater and the next morning was in Minehead at the heart of Tory West Somerset with a host of supporters in Wellington Square and then on to the streets and estates of the town meeting voters and stressing the seriousness of his campaign to win the seat from Tory Lidell-Grainger. Labour is in a strong second place in the constituency and with the Liberal vote split between 2 rival parties are the obvious choice for anyone who can see beyond Brexit and remove the Conservatives to give us all a future. Oliver was joined on stage by Cllr Brian Smedley, leader of the Labour council, Cllr Glen Burrows who spoke about the ‘hope’ that a Labour Government would bring, Cllr Mick Lerry, who spoke about the need for affordable housing and well paid and meaningful employment and Andrew Jefferey, who spoke about young people and the Green New Deal.
Of course it may just be the early nights but the feeling that the people are closing in on the Tories the nearer we get to Christmas the more the red banners of hope fly stronger. Today, as Boris Johnson was chased unceremoniously out of the county where every single MP is Tory-for the time being – the battle lines were drawn and the candidates revealed.
Somerton & Frome Labour Party launched their general election campaign at the Cheese and Grain with Candidate Sean Dromgoole standing alongside Labour candidate for Wells, Kama McKenzie.
Sean Dromgoole started with an attack on the LibDem leadership saying “we have to remember that a lot of people used to vote LibDem when it was the party of Shirley Williams, Paddy Ashdown and Charles Kennedy. Those voters haven’t changed. What has changed is the party under Jo Swinson….she served under David Cameron… voted for austerity…. the bedroom tax…you name it Jo Swinson voted for it.”
Sean then directed his fire against the Tories saying “What Johnson has done is take a lesson from Donald Trump, he’s fired all the sensible ones, the Ken Clarkes, Dominic Grieves and Amber Rudds are all out on their ears. Now his party is in hock to the European Research Group the Mark Francoises, the Steve Bakers, Liam Foxes, Ian Duncan Smiths, Jacob Rees Moggs and yes – down at the bottom of the list, purely for alphabetical reasons, Mr David Warburton.” Continue reading “The Lights Are Going Out Across the County…..for the Tories”
When Boris Johnson turned up in Somerset today, most people assumed he was looking for one of our famous ditches to die in. As it happens, he was hoping to get some publicity out of a visit to a school and a bakery. Sadly, for the Tory propaganda machine he was met at every turn by protestors and forced to change his plans. Boris Johnson was heckled yet again as he visited a school this morning.
Hopes that after being booed by angry flood protestors up in Yorkshire yesterday the PM presumed that Tory Somerset would be safe territory for him, but clearly not so. Shouts of “Boris out” rang out around West Monkton Primary School in Taunton where he sat down with schoolchildren, discussing their favourite books and ,tempting fate, asked the children “Where’s Wally?”Continue reading “Boris Beats a Hasty Retreat as Somerset Sends Him Packing”
Oliver Thornton is the Labour Party candidate for Bridgwater and West Somerset. Oliver is 32,has a law degree and works in anti financial crime in London. His professional title is ‘anti-financial crime business architect’. Originally from Yorkshire he married Katy, whose family have a dairy farm here in the West Country and together they have a one year old son Frank. In this short film Oliver sets out his stall in his own words.
In a momentous day for National and Local politics, Bridgwater and West Somerset has shared in those cataclysmic events.. As Labour rise steadily in the opinion polls the announcement by Nigel Farage that he would stand down his ‘Brexit Party’ candidates in 317 seats held by the Tories and just fight Labour came as no surprise particularly to Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn who said “ Donald Trump got his wish” when Mr Farage announced his electoral strategy adding a “Trump alliance would lead to Thatcherism on steroids and threaten the future of the NHS”. The news comes hot on the tails of the Lib Dems’ dodgy one trick pitch for the Remainer vote.
Labour candidate for Bridgwater and West Somerset, Oliver Thornton, has been meeting voters on the vibrant carnival streets of Bridgwater. Getting a positive response everywhere as he talked to the people he had this statement for Somerset Labour.
“The general election is upon us and I am incredibly honoured to represent the Labour Party for Bridgwater & West Somerset.
Surviving 9 years of punishing Conservative cuts has taken a toll and voters are crying out for change. I believe this election will be won and lost on the question of trust. “
There’s a General Election on December 12th. You probably hadn’t noticed. But it’s probably the most crucial vote we’ve had to make in decades. And the choice is simple. It’s not about Brexit, it’s about leaving all that division behind us and transforming Britain by voting Labour or sticking in the morass and voting Tory, which will mean seeing Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal cost the UK economy £70 billion. And that’s of course fine for the super rich and the far right Brexiteers who now control the Tory party, but it’s far from alright for the 99% of the country who have been living with austerity since the Tories backed by the Lib Dems brought it in back in 2010. On December 12th it’s a clear choice between Labour rebuilding public services, facing up to climate change with the Green New Deal, taking on the dodgy landlords, going after the bad bosses, stopping the big polluters in their tracks and building a future for all our people, at the heart of that the NHS and saving it from the clutches of Donald Trump or more of the Conservatives. The choice Nationally is Labour or Tory and in Bridgwater and West Somerset that’s the choice as well.
The election is a battle for control nationally and here in Bridgwater and West Somerset Labour recognise that and have selected Oliver Thornton who epitomises not just the fight ahead but the future of Britain. 32 years old and from a farming background engaged on the frontline of the fight against financial crime in London and with a young family in their West Country farming community,who he wants to build a future for , his mission is simply to unite a divided country and build a fairer society. Naturally Oliver is a passionate environmentalist and a highly educated, talented and caring community minded individual who knows which side he’s on. And that’s Labour. Continue reading ““Which Side Are You On?”…. Now it’s Really Time to Know”
In the last General Election Labour got more votes in Somerton and Frome than ever before. We got the third largest increase in the whole of the South West. The reason was a strong local campaign team lead by Sean Dromgoole. That same highly effective team will be fighting the next general election. Sean Dromgoole grew up on a small farm between Wedmore and Wells. Since reading Philosophy at London University, Sean’s work has taken him all over the globe. Sean has worked extensively in the film and television industry and the European Commission. These days he runs a consumer research company which specialises in video games. Sean has tended to work in future-facing digital industries, those same industries in which our country leads the world. Sean has lived in London, Paris and New York but came back to Somerset 20 years ago with his wife to bring up his two children. He now lives on a small farm outside Langport.
Sean says“This is going to be unlike any campaign we have ever seen before. The Conservatives three years of failure as they slide further towards a narrow, isolationist, little Englander viewpoint is set to be viewed unkindly by historians. What is more surprising is the lurch to the right imposed on the Lib Dems by their current leadership. Last time they were given a sniff of power by their Conservative friends, it cost them dearly, but all the signs are of them doing the same again. They are making nice because of all those remain-voting Conservatives they are hoping to win over. From our point of view, as blue bleeds into yellow, they become harder and harder to tell apart.” Continue reading “Sean Dromgoole selected by Labour in Somerton and Frome”
Passionate youth and family services advocate Kama McKenzie has been selected by Wells CLP to stand as their Parliamentary candidate for the upcoming election. Compelled by the crisis in social care across Somerset and cuts to services that leave constituents out in the cold, Kama will be taking Labour’s proposed National Care Service to the ballot box. An experienced senior manager whose professional and voluntary work has spanned youth services and young carers, mental health and substance misuse, McKenzie has built her career on meeting the needs of her local communities. Founder of a voluntary organisation and a social enterprise, Kama lives at the sharp end of the austerity measures that have severed local services since 2010, under the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition and current governments:
Kama says “Every morning, I read referrals for children and young people who have no choice but to provide care to disabled or unwell family members, and who miss out on education, are isolated and are struggling with their own mental health as a result. ‘Somerset County Council has vowed to keep pressure on Westminster, but it’s not enough: we need a long-term solution – and Labour’s policy for a National Care Service is just that.’ Continue reading “Kama McKenzie Selected for Labour in Wells”