Was good to get the info about Jack Straw in Rose Hill. I went down but was refused entry by a few coppers, straining at a leash held by Malcolm Powers, Deputy Regional Director of the South East Labour Party. He said that if I wanted to attend a big bullshit conversation, then I had to contact him or his office, and it could be arranged. So I have, but not before mailing the Oxford Mail trying to expose this New Labour sham, and hopefully highlighting the link between the money spent on the war and lack of funds for social projects to some of the people who might just read it (if published) in Rose Hill / Barton / B-Leys etc
Next thing - I know this might not be everyone's cup of tea, but there was a photographer there on Friday from national press (who was also denied entry) because he'd heard that there might be an anti-war protest. So I suppose if a load of us can get legitimately invited to one of these events with a high profile cabinet minister (Blunket, Hoon?!?! - but only if they're really stupid) then we could screw their little event over and keep the pressure up.
Of course if they suspect we're they're to ask improper anti New Labour questions then you might be waiting a while for your invite. Anyhow, here's the people to contact...
- Letter to Oxford Mail...
SIR - I tried to attend the meeting hosted by Jack Straw and Andrew Smith
in Rose Hill last Friday, hoping to question them on the cabinet's
decision to launch an attack on Iraq, and the fact that the weapons of
mass destruction which Tony Blair 'knew' Iraq possessed have still not
Just inside the community centre gate, Malcolm Powers from the south-east
New Labour party informed me that the meeting was by invitation only, but
when I asked to see the invitation list or an invite, he said he was too
busy to talk and drove off in his car. I was then bundled off the
premises by two police officers, who on threatening to arrest me, were
unable to tell me under which law.
I was glad to read that Rose Hill residents gave Mr Straw a grilling, but
wish I could have asked him how much more money their Sure Start programme
could have received if Britain had not spent over ₤3 billion killing
10,000+ Iraqi civilians and boosting George Bush's re-election campaign
during the invasion of Iraq.
It's vitally important that programmes such as Sure Start are discussed at
a grass roots level, but for this meeting to be held under the banner of
New Labour's 'Big Conversation' PR stunt was misleading. For me, the
conversation was rather limited.
Oxford Stop the War Coalition
Abbey Road, Oxford
- And to Malcolm POwers...
Dear Mr Powers
In a follow-up to my e-mail letter to the Oxford Mail, please could you
inform me of when I will be able to attend one of New Labour's 'big
conservative' meetings, as you promised me in our brief discussion outside
the community centre in Rose Hill last Friday.
As I was prevented by yourself and the police from attending the meeting
with Jack Straw, I would expect that the meeting I am allowed to attend
would also be with a high ranking cabinet member. This is because the
cabinet decision to go to war in Iraq was one of collective
I look forward to your reply.