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The Spirit of 45

From Richard Peters

Monday, 8 April 2013

Ken Loach's film The Sprit of 45 is showing at the Hebden Bridge Picture House on Wednesday and Thursday this coming week.

We have to continue opposing the policies of the government, but at the same time we have to look at what the spirit of co-operation and consensus means 70 years later. How should it change our approach to housing, welfare, health, education etc? What is our vision?

If there are people interested in extending this discussion forum to become a local Assembly in support of the national People’s Assembly, please email me.

From Allen Keep

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

May I suggest Richard that an ideal combination would be to see Ken Loach's film on Wednesday and come to the Halifax public meeting to organise opposition to the bedroom tax the evening after (7.30 Maurice Jagger centre)?

Details on the What's on page - be good to see you and as many others as possible there Richard.

From Rod Dixon

Thursday, 11 April 2013

May I suggest that a group meet and leave their party badges at the door so that people can have a fresh and open discussion without egos and with plenty of generosity.

From Jenny Slaughter

Friday, 12 April 2013

Inspired by the film (and coincidentally encouraged by memories of Thatcherism!) Left Unity groups are springing up fast all over the country.

We need to get a Hebden group going. I'll join. So who's good at organising? Meeting where/when?

From Richard Peters

Friday, 12 April 2013

In 1945 there was a housing shortage and there were two immediate responses, people just occupied empty properties – squatting and some properties were requisitioned. Later the state led a massive building programme and controlled tenancies were introduced to regulate a speculative private rented sector.

So, now there is another housing shortage (especially round here) and there seems to be no response at all. If we agree that everyone should have a right to housing, we need to campaign at different levels.

Let’s start by publicly asking the council to requisition the empty housing in Hebden Bridge – I can think of four properties that have been empty for ten years or more. At the same time, we need legislation for the owners to be fined (increasing every year it's empty) for wasting a valuable resource. At minimum, we need to denounce the owners of empty properties in our own back yard - we don’t need legislation to do that.

I would like to ask the Labour Party to include bringing back rent controls abolished by the Thatcher government in their manifesto. Not only would it control rent levels (and decrease the cost of Housing Benefit), it would prevent speculative housing bubbles. At the same time they could commit to repealing the stupid criminal trespass law that outlawed squatting empty properties.

These are not ridiculous or extreme proposals. They acknowledge housing as a collective, community resource that shouldn’t be wasted, well within the spirit of 45.

From Margaret Robson

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Having gone to the Halifax public meeting on the bedroom tax, hot on the heels of the Ken Loach film, I can think of no better way to get in touch with the spirit of 45 than to join that campaign - Calderdale Protest against the Bedroom Tax, supported by Calderdale Save our Services.

Some 1500 occupants of social housing in Calderdale will already have, or will soon receive a letter indicating their liability for the bedroom tax. They have only 30 days to lodge an appeal and it was underlined at the meeting how important it is, as a first step, that a flood of appeals are lodged and there is support to make that happen - and down the track, support against evictions.

So this campaign is very concrete; its urgent; and its about collective action to assert and defend people's right to appropriate and affordable housing - the spirit of 45 no less.

From Allen Keep

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Spot on Margaret - and thanks for your support for the bedroom tax campaign.

The public meeting was really well attended and a great success and my feeling is that many people are not just prepared to speak out about the bedroom tax (and the more the merrier) but also get involved and active in the campaign - a true example of "we are all in it together".

I hope people will join us in Leeds next Saturday to attend the protest there against the bedroom tax 12am at Leeds City Art Gallery.

In Calderdale, we plan to lobby the next full council meeting on 24th April Town Hall Halifax from 5pm.

In the meantime, I urge everyone to do whatever they can to help oppose this wicked tax.