An estimated 200 people turned out on Monday 30 January in Witney’s market square to protest against Donald Trump’s order preventing travellers from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. The protest was organised at short notice by Patty Dohle, who later posted “What can I say? I’m blown away by the passion and solidarity I saw tonight! ”
The 2015 Annual Brian Hodgson Memorial Walk took place on Sunday 21st June, starting from the top of Tower Hill, Witney, visiting Minster Lovell Hall (pictured below) and finishing at The Lamb in Crawley for a very welcome sandwich lunch.
For new members – Brian Hodgson was a much loved and respected Chair of the CLP who died some years ago. He was also very active in many left wing causes nationally, and a chair of the Ramblers Association.
Polly Toynbee and David Walker at the Chippy Literary Festival.
Many of you will remember that Polly Toynbee visited the constituency last year and spent the day with Duncan Enright hearing about local issues. Some of the material she gathered then features in her book “Cameron’s Coup”. Together with co-author David Walker talked about this at the Chippy Literary Festival on the 26th April, as well as having a photoshoot with Duncan – see gallery below.
The book can be purchased online from the Book Depository: http://bit.ly/1Gf23HI.
Members of Witney CLP braved the wet and windy weather to attend a rally in support of the NHS which took place on Church Green, Witney. There were also representatives from Unison, NHA (National Health Action) and KONP (Keep Our NHS Public).
There were speeches from three of the parliamentary candidates for Witney: Clive Peedell (NHA), Chris Tompson (Independent), and of course Duncan Enright, who made the point that the NHS came into being through an act of political will. and that only an act of political will would save it.
Neil Kinnock gave a rousing talk to members and supporters of Witney Constituency Labour Party in a packed village hall at Leafield on Thursday 12 March — and started by refusing to be called Lord Kinnock. “It sounds like the name of a local pub”, he complained.
“Neil” tackled the Conservative claims against Labour head-on. Labour did not “trash” the economy, he insisted. Gordon Brown really had “saved the world” when the banking crisis broke in 2008.
“The ATMs would have closed down within hours,” he said, “small and medium businesses would have gone to the wall immediately and bigger business would have followed before long” if Brown and Alastair Darling had not intervened promptly.
Their injection of funds to save the banks prevented total meltdown, kept Britain’s AAA rating, and persuaded other countries to follow our lead. That is why the deficit rose so sharply but recovery had actually begun by 2010, only to be reversed by George Osborne’s cuts.
On inequality, Neil described what we have now as “living in Downton Abbey land”: The last time 1% of top earners took 14% of incomes was in 1914.
He described Ed Miliband as a calm, serious thinker, not someone who seeks headlines. Some of Ed’s key ideas are now accepted wisdom: such as the need to control energy companies, opposition to “predatory capitalism”, and the wisdom of not going to war in Syria.
Leafield Village Hall rang with laughter and applause as Neil combined wit and serious concern in a lively hour-long-speech, after his audience had enjoyed home-cooked food prepared and served by local Labour officials.
Neil gave his personal endorsement to Duncan Enright as the Labour parliamentary candidate for Witney, urging everyone to get out and vote.
“Remember that people fought for our right to vote,” he concluded,” “and the percentage of the vote for each party will set the tone for the next five years.”