The Labour party and the Netroots – my thoughts


by Sunny
11th January, 2011 at 11:00 am    

One common criticism from many lefties who attended Saturday’s Netroots was that it was too Labour centric. I want to respond to that criticism.

I recognise many lefties are still angry over Labour’s past mistakes, and over Ed Miliband’s continual decision to try and straddle the middle-ground rather than articulate the outrage many feel at the Tory cuts (my view on that here).

I asked some people how they felt it was too Labour-centric, and one reply was that ‘because people [most pointedly Labour MP Tom Watson, in the audience] said lefties should join Labour’. This is ludicrous – I’m not going to stop people from expressing their view on how they think people should fight the Coalition. At no point did any of the organisers (the bloggers or TUC reps) stand up and encourage anyone to join any party. Tom Watson had his view, and others said Labour will ever be for the left. We disagree with each other shocker! Let people disagree.

Lisa Ansell was a panelist on one of the sessions, clumsily titled ‘How can women get engaged online?‘. She writes about her thoughts from the session and says:

Apparently we had allowed the session to become bogged down in discussion that was entirely irrelevant to the original question. A room full of women, saying the problem is that they are ignored is not answering the question of what women need to do to solve this problem. When discussion of the current political consensus, and its marginalising effect on the debate about women and the cuts occurred- we were needlessly attacking Labour.

This fundamentally misunderstands the point I was making. I was reacting to a point by Laurie Penny on how Labour needs to listen and come to them because they are the real voices on the ground (I paraphrase). My response to this was straightforward: Labour won’t come to you unless you force them to come to you.

That is how power relations work. Saul Alinsky 101. One of my major gripes with the event was that some spent far too much time saying what they didn’t like about Labour, or the current political climate, or misogyny online, or whatever – without following it up with suggestions on what could be done to change that.

You want Labour to listen? Get organised. Mobilise people. Get things done. Force them to take you seriously. Every activist thinks they represent the grassroots, but they don’t really do that (I don’t claim to represent anyone btw) unless they can mobilise serious numbers of people.

You know who does that? Citizens UK. They mobilise thousands of people on the ground, towards real political goals, and that forces politicians to listen. You want Labour to do the same? Don’t complain they’re not listening, force them to come to you. That was what I said. And I don’t appreciate people twisting my words around for their own agendas.

The point of Netroots
I have always said the Left needs to develop an infrastructure outside of the Labour party. That was the whole point of Netroots: to encourage and develop those networks and movements, to give people the opportunity to hear from expert organisers and campaigns, to give people the opportunity to get skilled up, to meet each other and share ideas.

Sure, it didn’t go perfectly. We’ll learn from this event and hopefully improve for next time, not just in terms of content, in representation (gender, race, disability), better networking and more. I’m still in absorbing feedback mode. But I was always clear about my thoughts on Netroots. I articulated them on the day and in advance:

First, we cannot ignore parliament. Demonstrations and strikes alone won’t halt the government’s agenda. There has to also be a concerted effort to influence Westminster on its own terms

I can’t really be any more glaringly clear than that. But that is my opinion. I did not at any point tell people what they could or couldn’t organise. You want to bypass Labour and mobilise people for your campaign directly? I will support you. There is absolutely no requirement whatsoever it has to include the Labour party. But go and mobilise, don’t just complain no one is listening.

As Sunder said, there won’t be one leader, one method or one motivation behind challenging the government’s austerity agenda. Some people will campaign within Labour and some outside. All is fine with me; I’d like to see a thousand flowers bloom. But I resent being called a ‘sellout’ by people just because my methods differ from theirs.

Owen Jones wrote a really insightful blog-post recently, which should be required reading for every leftie, titled: ‘Why lefties like me should drop the cry of betrayal‘. The fundamental premise here is that the only people who shout betrayal are the ones who have no power.

The ones who have power don’t get betrayed. It really is that simple. Lefties are brilliant at shouting betrayal, but we need to spend more time asking why we keep getting betrayed by the establishment. My aim with Netroots was for us to discuss ways to change that. It’s a pity some missed the point completely.


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Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : The Labour party and the Netroots – my thoughts http://bit.ly/fXHo7I


  2. SOCIALIST UNITY » SUNNY HUNDAL ON NETROOTS AND THE LABOUR PARTY

    [...] worth reading I think [...]


  3. Rooftop Jaxx

    RT @sunny_hundal
    Blogged: : The Labour party and the Netroots – my thoughts http://bit.ly/fXHo7I < truly awful final sentence


  4. earwicga

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogpost: The Labour party and the Netroots – my thoughts http://bit.ly/fXHo7I


  5. Hannah M

    RT @sunny_hundal: The Labour party and the Netroots – my thoughts http://bit.ly/fXHo7I


  6. irene rukerebuka

    “@sunny_hundal: Blogged: : The Labour party and the Netroots – my thoughts http://bit.ly/fXHo7I” Good debate on comment section here…


  7. DisabledPeople

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : The Labour party and the Netroots – my thoughts http://bit.ly/fXHo7I


  8. Tentacle Sixteen

    #ukuncut #netrootsuk RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : The Labour party and the Netroots – my thoughts http://bit.ly/fXHo7I


  9. Broken OfBritain

    Pickled Politics » The Labour party and the Netroots http://fb.me/SWqDCCoh


  10. If not you, then who? « Some Random Bint

    [...] the success of group discussion. The organiser, Sunny Hundal, expresses his view on the discussion here. The post is a response to discussion by some participants, which have been thoughtfully collated [...]


  11. sunny hundal

    @vitoria_e_certa I'm not evading anything – I've written tons defending myself. See here: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/11383


  12. sunny hundal

    @re_asylum @LissyNumber I've written about my thoughts on fighting cuts / Labour here: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/11383


  13. manishta sunnia

    I wonder if those labourites @NetrootsUK has seen this http://bbc.in/gdZmd4 @PolDyn… and http://bit.ly/fj0WhI #netrootsuk #nocuts #labour


  14. Stephen Lintott

    RT @manishtasunnia: I wonder if those labourites @NetrootsUK has seen this http://bbc.in/gdZmd4 @PolDyn… and http://bit.ly/fj0WhI #net …


  15. Greener London

    RT @manishtasunnia: I wonder if those labourites @NetrootsUK has seen this http://bbc.in/gdZmd4 @PolDyn… and http://bit.ly/fj0WhI #net …


  16. Lisa Ansell

    @Jessica_Asato http://t.co/bD8iXcv Link to where Sunny explains conversation. Thread goes on a bit. Sorry.




  1. earwicga — on 11th January, 2011 at 11:10 am  

    ‘Labour won’t come to you unless you force them to come to you.’

    I’m reminded of the work done during the Labour leadership campaign on Ed Miliband regarding same-sex marriage. When I spoke to him, he didn’t see why there would be a demand for it, as civil partnerships had been established. He later gave his support to same-sex marriage, and yesterday ‘called for progress on gay marriage by the end of this year.’

    This didn’t take vast numbers of people, it took a consistent approach, and enough people to keep mentioning same-sex marriage to get the message across. One which it seems hadn’t occured to Ed Miliband before (perhaps because he uses Stonewall as an advisory group).

  2. Rumbold — on 11th January, 2011 at 11:21 am  

    Sunny:

    One of my major gripes with the event was that some spent far too much time saying what they didn’t like about Labour, or the current political climate, or misogyny online, or whatever – without following it up with suggestions on what could be done to change that.

    Good piece. Not that I am a leftie, but you are never going to make something happen if you just talk about it. This is one of the dangers of the internet- people blog about things, which is good, but do nothing beyond that and expect thigns to change because they have spoken (I am guilty of that at times too).

  3. earwicga — on 11th January, 2011 at 11:27 am  

    I should of also said, good post!

    People are scared and angry right now, it is vitally important to make sure the right people are the focus of that anger – those who are making the cuts.

  4. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 11:30 am  

    Sunny, noone fundamentally misunderstood the point you were making. At all.

    We have repeatedly tried to engage with you, after your behaviour in our session. A group of women from the session approached you afterwards, and you again refused to listen. I

    I debated with you on twitter for about 10 hours- and have collated the tweets and am perfectly willing to put them here. You have been emailed, and we have blogged about it.

    Not only did we not ‘fundamentally misunderstand’ the point you were making- but we have repeatedly tried to talk to you and engage with you to discuss it.

    http://lisaansell.posterous.com/

    THis is the blog where many of the women in that session have posted. I note that when publicising responses to netroots(constructive responses which attempt to ensure that this necessary resource is better used next year) you have not retweeted ours.

    If you wish to discuss it with us, you know that we are available.

    You described women discussing a political consensus which marginalises and excludes them as needlessly attacking labour. A discussion about the hostile comments women face when submitting pieces of writing as ‘cif bashing’- told us we were ‘doing it wrong’- because the session we took part in did not answer the frankly insulting question on which it was based.

    At one point, after I had outlined the extensive campaigning I have been doing, the social enterprise I am setting up, and the writing I have been doing(while caring for a 4 year old alone, and living in a situation where these cuts may leave me homeless) as ‘just shouting’. After yyou had been engaged constructively in a room full of erudite and articulate people.

    And have continually used familiar misogynist tropes to belittle, to dismiss, and to avoid discussing your attitude to us in that session- and the marginalisation of ‘womens issues’ at netroots as a whole.

    We have repeatedly tried to engage you in constructive debate- and quite honestly- your attitude really does demonstrate why women are so marginalised in the so called ‘political blogosphere’(a blogosphere read by less than 1% of the population).

    I believe passionately that we need to engage mainstream politics, and bring it back to being accountable. Am struggling with how we are supposed to do this, when self appointed ‘leaders’ of the left- shutting down that discussion with dismissal that we are not being constructive. Labour are not going to start representing people affected by the cuts, if we all pretend that they already are. There is no impetus for them to do so.

    How you are affected by these cuts is affected by gender, by geography, by race, by sexuality, by disability- not by political allegiance. We attended netroots to network, to link with other organisations, to obtain expertise on using digital means of protest and opposition. This is NOT an opportunity for the so called ‘left’ to redefine themselves- this is a very real fight which affects real people, who you do not represent.

    The fact that out of this, may come a redefinition of the ‘left’ is great- but I suggest you actually engage with the very justified criticism made of your behaviour in that event, and the overall attitude to ‘womens’ issues at netroots.

    Ultimately we may stop trying to engage with you, if you really cannot see the problem- because a space where we are only allowed to discuss opposition on your terms, really isn’t that helpful to us or to the cause of opposing this toxic cuts agenda.

    Perhaps if you stopped looking at who potential leaders might be- and started listening to the voices of people who may actually have slightly more knowledge and experienec than you- you may get clearer answers. The women in that room were professionals, trade unionists, mothers, and people directly affected by the cuts. Showing you clearly where they stood0 and you dismissed them all.

    I got a huge amount out of netroots- mainly because of the people who attended- and to be honest will be very sad if this resource is something that is closed to women. But quite honestly, given your complete refusal to engage with the issues raised by your behaviour- I am beginning to think that may not be possible.

  5. Donnacha DeLong — on 11th January, 2011 at 11:34 am  

    You’re being disingenuous. Tom Watson giving his opinion from the floor is one thing, Stella Creasy MP on the platform lecturing us about working together is entirely another.

    It might surprise you, but one of the things that happens when you have a movement that involves a lot of students is that you have a lot of people who know what’s going on. So, most people in the audience knew that Polly, Sunder, Brendan, Nigel and Will all come from a critical Labour-supporting point of view (both the Fabian Society and the TUC are strictly part of the broader official Labour Movement).

    Apart from them, the other general speakers included Clifford – great presentation, but limited to his particular area – and two people talking about the US.

    No-one from a student occupation, no workplace-level trade union reps, no-one from a community-level campaign – in other words, not one person on the main list of speakers could legitimately be called UK grassroots.

    Obviously, people will then have different experiences of the different workshops and fringes they went to. The one I spoke at about Left blogging was awful – a whole load of people who couldn’t get their head around the fact that the Labour Party is not the same thing as the Left. And I did have Sue Macmillan calling on people to join the Labour Party and a heap of Labourites trying to explain away how Labour betrayed the trade unions.

    I’ve sent you a number of links to different ways to organise conferences/events on Twitter, variations on the idea of open, collaborative spaces that I’ve been involved in using both in a professional and activist context.

    Take note of the criticisms, Sunny, what you want and think is not the most important thing. If you really want to be involved in creating an effective grassroots coalition against the cuts, then you need to step right back and let it happen. If people decide to join the Labour Party, then that’s fine – but a hell of a lot of us won’t and don’t like being preached at.

  6. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 11:36 am  

    Ultimately Sunny- that session was filmed. Your tweets are a matter of public record- and the emails between us will be in writing. The only part of this discussion not publicly available will be the discussion that a group fo women from the session tried to have with you after it.

  7. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 11:41 am  

    Just for the record. I did not attend netroots to be told to join the labour party. I am quite capable of making decisions about my political orientation. I attended, and took part to get contacts and resources which I coudl take back with me, and use in the real world- where political engagement does not mean posting on a blog read by less than 1 percent of the population.

    It seems my instinct was right and I have fundamentally misjudged the point of netroots. If I had know it was a conference so self appointed leaders of the so called left- can tell me what how I should be opposing- regardless of my own understanding- then it would seem rather pointless.

    And I think you will find that my session went well, The reason it went well- is that unlike many of the sessions we were genuinely interested in the views of those attending- not in pushing an agenda that suited us.

  8. Rantersparadise — on 11th January, 2011 at 11:41 am  

    This issue is so exhausting. I’ve given up arguing with lefties about this and just do my own thing of making change. I recollect talking with this old friend on Facebook about the left, the future and how are we going to make progress. It was a really interesting conversation but we disagreed about tactics, I remember him saying that ‘One thing we must never do is become like the right and use their tactics to win.’

    Hmm.

    There was so much pontification in this statement, that it really summed up how the left do things. I can see his point-ish, but my issue is that for him it was more about putting the statement across, then actually doing anything.

    The left are more obsessed about sounding like they are full of integrity, then actually taking the time out to see things-people as they really are. It’s like, as long as they’ve convinced themselves they are virtous, then it doesn’t matter that millions have been thrown down the drain for a failed policy that was supposed to help the people of Cambodia for example.

    It’s not results based at all. It’s the taking part.

    And what really winds me up is that it’s all great to have all these sanctimonious opinions when you live in a nice area in north London or elsewhere.

    Furthermore, they never engage with the people they are preaching to help. I know because I was there, when I was in my teens but I made a conscious effort-which took time-to actually work with these deprived groups when I was at university. Not abroad but in North Manchester.

    And when they do work with these groups, they fail-on purpose-to get to the root of the issue within that person or the community. It’s like all poor people are nice and all rich people are mean.

    Baffling. (and depressing!)

  9. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 11:43 am  

    THis would sum it up’

    ”Take note of the criticisms, Sunny, what you want and think is not the most important thing.”

    I would say not only is it not the most important thing- it is entirely irrelevant Sunny. Your views are not what counts. The views of those affected, and of te british people. If you want a real ‘movement’ you are going to have to understand that. Because people will not be defined in the way you choose for as long as you decide that this is your political allegiance.

  10. Nishma — on 11th January, 2011 at 11:44 am  

    Sunny it wasn’t Tom Watson that led to my conclusion that Netroots was too Labourcentric, but that there was no plurality of voices.

    As the left, we need to engage with those political but not always in Labour (or even party-affiliated). Granted there were plenty of Greens about, but trying to force a movement of vastly differing opinions to accept partisan politics dissuades away from the subject at hand – that we need to fight these cuts together, as a society, rather than forever mulling over what is the best approach.

  11. SomeRandomBint — on 11th January, 2011 at 11:53 am  

    To be honest, if you’re trying to facilitate for women to discuss the problems they face in engaging with politics online, but then turn round to them and say “No no no! You’re doing it all wrong!” then what is the point in providing the means for that discussion in the first place?

  12. Rantersparadise — on 11th January, 2011 at 11:55 am  

    Party political people are literally and I think physically incapable of not trying to convicne you to join their cult, I mean party.

    It’s like a religion.

    I joined a party-lib dems-for the first time 2 years ago and well, now I know why I always stayed away from joining a political party. Funnily enough, I joined the lib for practical reasons and because it had the reputation of appreciating a non flock mentality. Lol.

    Good points by Lisa and Donnacha. I also agree with Sunny that you can scream, cry and shout all you like on the outside but nothing is going to change or happen unless you get organised and lobby Westminster.

    If you look at the lobby website, it’s interesting but not that surprising to see who is out lobbying Westminster all the time. They were also the same groups who seem to avoid cuts, always seem to get funding from somewhere and are allowed to behave as they wish. Yes, the big corps where all there of course!

    Lisa, there was actually only 1 or 2 female groups that were lobbying, that I could see. Maybe that’s why we can’t get things done? I didnt even see Fawcett.

    I find from my experience, which is why I just stay at home, that many of the female groups are always about ‘them’ and ‘us’.

    Men are also single parents as well as caters, people like that should be invited into our dialogue to make our cause stronger.

    I’ll have a look at your site thanks.

  13. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 11:56 am  

    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell if you want to ignore them, fine, but others won’t. And if you want to accuse anyone who supports Labour as part of the problem about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell

    sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell I’m happy to highlight that once the video is sorted out. But she specifically attacked Labour. And frankly I’m happy to do that about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
    • Reply

    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell I said attacking Labour was pointless cos they will continue to be shit unless you force them to listen by organising outside it about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
    • Reply

    @lisaansell …annoyed when ppl kept on bringing up how crap Labour was. If its crap – then mobilise outside FFS.That was my reply to Laurie about 15 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell

    • Retweet
    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell no, session was about how women could make themselves heard more, politically, online. Turned into ppl just cussing CIF / Labour about 17 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
    • Reply

  14. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 11:58 am  

    Oh- and Sunny- might I suggest-when you blog to correct a person’s misunderstanding- you notify that person, instead of posting it on a site they may not read and leaving the comments thread open.

  15. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 12:02 pm  

    Rantersparadise. Really? I have worked for groups lobbying about domstic violence, about womens representation in the media, in fact about a myriad of issues. THen there are the women who head govt departments, the professionals involved in these cuts.

    Perhaps if you looked outside westminster and broadened your understanding of what politics is- and where decision making is made- you would see that.

    Women are notably absent from Westminster and from influence in Westminster. That is not because tehy dont exist, or are not trying to engage politicians.

  16. earwicga — on 11th January, 2011 at 12:06 pm  

    Lisa – it’s nice to debate with you in more than 140 characters, or perhaps not as we may be ruder to each other!

    As I said earlier to you, I wasn’t at Netroots, but I don’t recognise this character assassination being directed at Sunny that has been all over the internet since the conference.

    What I have yet to see, apart from a final paragraph on every report that says it was a good day with good people, is if any actual results came out of the ‘women’ session.

    I also don’t think that any of the cuts are solely women’s issues – they will affect women much more, but not exclusively, but women do not live in a vacuum. Cuts to women will affect everybody, and I don’t agree that only the people specifically and individually affected can talk about them.

  17. Neil Scott — on 11th January, 2011 at 12:09 pm  

    I think the Labour Party members are being disingenuous. They are acting like the SWP do when a fledgling movement stirs – grab members – sell papers and control the organisation (perhaps without the papers bit ?. ) What Sunny has yet to understand is that the Labour Party are not the labour movement nor the Activist movement – or leaders of such – regardless of the platitudes he has expressed here.
    Sunny’s comments that the LP should listen to the people does not seem to equate to the student reaction to the leadership of the NUS. He spent a few days in December vilifying those voices calling for Porter and the NUS leadership to stand down as ‘Trots’ etc. The language of Stalinism it has to be said.
    SSP Campsie made a reply to his want to label all protestors outside the Labour centrist “core” as “bad protestors” here: http://eastdunbartonshiressp.blogspot.com/2010/12/sunny-hundal-has-been-branding-all.html

  18. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 12:11 pm  

    What I have yet to see, apart from a final paragraph on every report that says it was a good day with good people, is if any actual results came out of the ‘women’ session.

    NO factual results could come from a session that asked how to engage women in politics online- when a) we are. b) the problem is not our engagement but our marginalisation by others.

    You cannot expect a room full of politically engaged women, who are saying they are marginalised in political discussion- to come up with the answers about why.

    What we did get out of it- was a very good discussion- and exploration of the issues at hand- and then when Sunny came in and told us we were needlessly attacking Labour and Cif, and went on to tell us on Sunday we were ‘doing it wrong’- we were quite stunned.

    We thought the session was excellent and got a great deal out of it. It has enabled us to organise and make links we didntn have- links which have relevence outside the bubble of 4 tiny political blogs.
    The question of why women are not listened to, is not a question that women can answer. However, Sunny’s tweets and response said a great deal.

  19. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 12:19 pm  

    Sunny understood perfectly well until May that the Labour party were not the party of the left. NOw Sunny has decided for the rest of us, that an unreconstructed Labour party is our best hope. Apparently we are not allowed to state that Labour are actively supporting the cuts taht affect our lives- and that we cannot view an unreconstructeed labour party as opposing the cuts.

    Unfortunately the fact that we are not to ‘needlessly attack’ labour by pointing this out- means it is very unlikely that we will get the reconstructed labour party the left needs.

    Where this leaves us I dont know.

  20. Hannah Nicklin — on 11th January, 2011 at 12:24 pm  

    Ok, Sunny, this all looks like it has tipped slightly out of control. I think as a lefty it’s pretty hard to be told you’re marginalising people, but part of being progressive, I think, is continually checking your privilege, whenever you can. However, when this is being done is an angry way (I don’t blame the anger, I feel it often myself, but to be truly constructive, you have to harness it) it’s easily felt as a personal attack, and that’s the point at which everyone stops listening. This smattering of post-netroots blog posts feels just like that.

    It looks to me like the problem was not you personally, but the format of the conference. Trad forms privilege trad voices, simple as that. It was not you specifically who marginalised, but a form that says ‘all voices are equal, but some voices are more equal than others’. When you are working with people from the de-centralised atmosphere of the web this grates doubly.

    So in the spirit of not just shouting, and of constructivism, I would say talking about (and engaging with those offering alternative ideas: http://studenttheory.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/lessons-from-netrootsuk/ potential failings of the form might be useful thing to do. Perhaps meet Lisa for a coffee? Or blog about the things you learnt? Someone needs to change the tone of the discussion. Right or wrong, the current conversation isn’t working.

  21. SomeRandomBint — on 11th January, 2011 at 12:25 pm  

    I assumed (naively, perhaps, I only heard about it via Lisa on twitter) that part of the reason for NetrootsUK was to mobilise opposition to the cuts, on the basis that none of the major parties were offering satisfactory support to those most affected by them. If it were just as simple as joining the Labour party, why would there be any need to establish a grassroots coalition to oppose?

  22. Neil Scott — on 11th January, 2011 at 12:31 pm  

    I think the experience of the women and also students at the hands of the Labour nae sayers and “slow cutters” will only lead to a bigger disenfranchised electorate.

    Hands up – I am not a Labour supporter – I became disenfranchised shortly after 1997 and the continuation of Thatcherite policies that even the Tories thought would never be followed through.

    We have a Parliamentary democracy that in Westminster is centred around 3 main parties. Perhaps a road to Damascus realisation by the Labour Party – or a new loose coalition of Netrooters / students/ feminists/ activists / unions can shake up elections in the future?

  23. Hannah Nicklin — on 11th January, 2011 at 12:36 pm  

    Lisa, I may as well comment here as it seems like you will see it! I respect your point of view, and agree, mostly, as well as totally understanding your frustration and anger, but it feels (from an outside POV) as if this is getting totally out of hand. Don’t let people ignore your points because all they see is the anger. You are (forgive me) coming across as extremely and unnecessarily personal, when it sounds (to me) like the *form* of the conference was the problem – a more open form reduces marginalisation and means conversations turn towards what people want/need to talk about -not what they’ve been told to. Old forms replicate old prejudices. Certainly one person chose the form, but simply attacking them will not change their mind, because it will feel like you versus him, not a greater, more abstract and pervasive problem.

    The left is not a unified movement, therein lies its strength as well as its weaknesses. Either work together in admitting your differences, or go your separate ways. Little good seems to be coming out of the debate.

  24. earwicga — on 11th January, 2011 at 12:37 pm  

    Hear hear Hannah!

    Lisa – ‘Where this leaves us I dont know.’ – how about discussing what we can do here and now to oppose the cuts. What we as women can do, and what is already being done. We have a space to do this here.

  25. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 12:41 pm  

    I am angry Hannah. Am really angry. I wasnt. The session was great, the conversation with Sunny started with me saying the event was great. Saying that I was grateful for the opportunity. But is fairly difficult to remain calm, when after 3 days- with over 12 people saying the same to Sunny- he just sticks his fingers in his ears shouting lalalala.

    It is about addressing privilege and when Sunny reads back through those tweets, I am sure he is going to cringe at some of the statements he made.

    But we desperately need resources like netroots. It was a massive venture, which we cant provide for ourselves. It is unfortunately useless if it is just an opportunity for Sunny to decide what we all need to do.

    I am so tired of this argument. I never thought the organisers of a conference would be so unwilling to listen to the people who need it. We have tried talking to Sunny, we have tried debating with him- he didnt even bother to mention to me that he had wriitten a blog post responding to me.

    THe stuff he came out with was gobsmacking in its complete oblvion to what was being said to him.

    To be honest-head bang wall. You are right. Am coming off as aggressive- but you have to put that in the context of days of this.

    But yes, Hannah- you are right in many many ways.

  26. Neil Scott — on 11th January, 2011 at 12:42 pm  

    I disagree, Hannah. I understand Lisa’s frustrations here. I think Sunny SHOULD be reminded of his comments elsewhere.

    I agree with Sunny on some things – but I think Sunny’s Damascus moment to join the Labour Party has become (again) what everyone should do. I think men need to learn to curb this want to tell people – usually women – what they should do and what is the “route to socialism” etc. It is the old, male language of the Labour movement applied to new circumstances – and I speak as a man who has been party to and part of this for many years.

  27. earwicga — on 11th January, 2011 at 12:44 pm  

    In fact we have a space anywhere and everywhere. We need to use it.

  28. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 12:48 pm  

    Although I would disagree with the statement that I am ‘attacking’ sunny. If you go through and read the debate(most of which will be laid over the video I understand) you wil find that noone was attacking sunny. IT went on for ten hours Hannah. 10 hours. We have tried to talk to Sunny, email him, twitter- and quite honestly have given up now. Netroots clearly not for us.

  29. Greenleftie — on 11th January, 2011 at 12:50 pm  

    I am a Labour party member, but friends & affiliations with many other progressive groups, & I am deeply worried that we are already falling into that white middle class, male New Lab/SWP, topside dictate of ‘we know best.’ (Not very often you can club together New Labour & the Socialist Workers Party!)

    I have seen it happen so many times before in such things as Stop the War Coalition, Socialist Alliance, Anti Nazi League, Social Forums; & the Labour Party it’s self, to name but a few. If what the white middle class, male New Lab/SWP, topside dictate had been saying, was ‘for the best,’ we would be living in a progressive paradise, not in this environmentally, economically & politically crippled world we live in today.

    It cannot happen to Netroots.

    Netroots should be a tool to be used by all Progressives. It should be used to formulate ideas, demonstrate against injustices & to combat, the Orwellian ‘truth speak,’ that comes out of the mouth of Fox’s & its ilk.

    Ed Miliband’s concept of a blank canvas, should be welcomed by all Progressives, because if we are going to form a ‘Rainbow’ Alliance, of Social Progressives (I don’t use the term left, as the old economic concept, of a state controlled market, V’s a free/mixed market one, does not answer, some of underlying problems of today’s world – Environmentalism, persecution, excreta.), we need to start from scratch.

    The old political & economic systems of C20th are dead or dying, no quick fix resuscitation or band aid will do – it’s fucked!

    We need to look to the future, & netroots will allow the grass roots ‘proletariat,’ to do just this, it will allow them to be informed & to get involved, & bring political & economic thinking, kicking & screaming into the C21st & beyond. It will be good for Social Progressive’s & democracy on a whole.

    However, it cannot be just for the major political blocks to use for their own ends, or it will end up on the scrap heap like all the other good ideas, while the right laughs at us & continue to spew their vitriolic propaganda, so they can cling on to their power & wealth; whilst we yet again sit on our arses & bemoan the fact that the things we love are being destroyed.

  30. Hannah Nicklin — on 11th January, 2011 at 12:52 pm  

    @Neil Scott I haven’t seen Sunny say this, though, Neil, I’ve seen him express the viewpoint that political change needs to address Westminister as well as the grass roots, and I broadly agree, I don’t, however, think he’s suggested this is anything but his own point of view. Though he has argued for it, which you tend to do when someone challenges a viewpoint you hold.

    I’ve said that I understand and respect Lisa’s frustrations, but I think the problem is that in this discussion they’re all getting balled in together and thrown at one person – gender marginalisation (my spell check says I’m spelling that wrong, but I can’t be arsed to check the proper spelling) is a massive problem, as was the Westminster vs grass roots, and Labour vs left problems. Of course they melt into one another and all need addressing, but to put them all on the one person isn’t constructive.

    That’s why I think gentler references to the above issues in a discussion of the *form* of debate would be more productive.

    I hope that makes sense, thanks for engaging.

  31. Hannah Nicklin — on 11th January, 2011 at 12:57 pm  

    @Lisa I have followed much of the blogs and Twitter conversations, and found them incredibly disappointing on both sides. I can’t help but think online is not the place for this anymore, it’s ended up going in circles. Meet, drink coffee, or slug it out ;) either way we need to turn this into something useful, even if it’s just the agreement to differ, but at least acknowledge that difference.

  32. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 1:01 pm  

    Where would you suggest Hannah? We have done everything we can. We have tried to engage Sunny.

    And now this has turned into a completely different issue.

    IN organising the event, Sunny set himself up as some kind of leader- yet has completely refused to engage with anyone bar insisting that we are being listened to and he is engaging.

    You do not find this half as dissapointing as I do, I can assure you.

    I can guarantee you that Sunny HUndal needs netroots a lot less than the women in that room who he dismissed.

    I am so tired of this, so tired.

  33. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 1:04 pm  

    It is not people questioning Sunny that are ‘splitting the left’-it is the assumption by a group of people runningg minority interest websites, deciding that their job is to decide how an issue which actually isnt about them, should be approached.

    IF netroots wants to be a part of that, and it would be a fantastic tool- it has to be what it said it is. Grassroots movements do not come because the owner of a websiet had a damascene conversion to Labour and insists that the rest of us do too.

    THis is much more important than Sunny HUndal- and the cracking event that was thrown threatens to be completely undermined, because Sunny cannot let go of the fact that this is not about him and his views.

  34. MaidMarian — on 11th January, 2011 at 1:06 pm  

    [Sticking head very slowly above the parapet]

    Lisa Ansell (9) – ‘Unfortunately the fact that we are not to ‘needlessly attack’ labour by pointing this out- means it is very unlikely that we will get the reconstructed labour party the left needs.’

    Reading your comments on here, you seem to have rather forgotten about the voters. Sunny can say or not say what he wants to. This reconstructed (presumably ‘old’) Labouir Party (is there any reason you don’t capitalise by the way) might be what you want, but I’m struggling to see a groundswell of left opinion that will actually reify this into power.

    This, to my mind, is the mentality that allowed Nick Clegg to get away with it. Too many, particularly on the internet just wanted to believe – the want outweighed the very stark reality. Out of interest Ms Ansell, did you Agree With Nick?

    Until those on the left find some way to work with the right without ending up with these People’s front of Judea arguments I really can’t see progress being made. Tony Blair was excellent at working in this reality to bring about reasonably left ideas, but I expect that is a line of argument that would see me denounced as a heretic in these parts.

    I would also agree with Rumbold that too many wrongly see, ‘getting pent up on the internet,’ and, ‘persuading people,’ as the same thing.

  35. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 1:13 pm  

    Reading your comments on here, you seem to have rather forgotten about the voters. Sunny can say or not say what he wants to. This reconstructed (presumably ‘old’) Labouir Party (is there any reason you don’t capitalise by the way) might be what you want, but I’m struggling to see a groundswell of left opinion that will actually reify this into power.

    Sorry- didnt you see the election we just had? I think voters spoke, and given that Labour are not opposing the cuts that will make us homeless and remove our ability to survive- we have every right to say that they may not be where we are looking.

    And your assumption about what ‘unreconstructed means’is not only false, but really insulting.

    I dont know where I got the impression that people might want to know that the party who brought us two wars which have caused rifts across the entire planet, financial deregulation which has put us in this position, and cuts which will quite literally destroy our lives0 I am unsure which bit you dont feel needs addressing.

    As far as I was aware, Ed Miliband was all about the learning lessons, asking questions, policy reviews- reconstructing. I, as a voter- am well entitled to ask that Labour oppose these cuts and quite frankly think that Labour activists need to get their heads round the fact that opposing cuts, and getting Labour back into power- are not necessarily the same aim.

    After all- people are saying very clearly that that is the case. Being in opposition, because there is another government- does not automatically mean that Labour are opposing these policies- and so far-they actually arent.

    The worry for many of us- is that Labour are likely to secure an election victory on the basis of people wanting rid of the coalition- even though their policies so far- have the same effect.

  36. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 1:15 pm  

    As for ‘peoples front of Judea’= can I ask who people claiming ESA are to look to? Or those who oppose the Browne Review Labour commissioned look to? Or the peopel affected by the housing benefits(not just the additional 10%) should look to.

    Oh yeah. If we make a reasonable assessment of Labours policies, and their history- we are behaving like the ‘peoples front of Judea’?

  37. MaidMarian — on 11th January, 2011 at 1:24 pm  

    Lisa Ansell – Do you feel better for getting all that off your chest?

  38. Greenleftie — on 11th January, 2011 at 1:29 pm  

    Guys can we just clam down a bit!

  39. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 1:31 pm  

    Maidmarian- so you cant asnwer the question I assume? This is why your default setting appears to be patronising other people.

    Yes, anyone who questions Labour are trots, anarchists or the people’s front of Judea. The election result was a mistake and the british people trust labour implicitly. Of course. And peopel shoud grow up and offer unquestioning loyalty to a party who dont represent them. Your post was mindblowing MaidMarian. Well done.

    I am sure the next netroots will be great. Labour party and Sunny telling each other what needs to be done- while the rest of the country get on with trying to survive what this coalition are doing.

  40. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 1:32 pm  

    Is alright Greenleftie. Am disgusted. Am withdrawing.

  41. MaidMarian — on 11th January, 2011 at 1:45 pm  

    OK Lisa, I realise that this might come as a nasty shock to you, but people out there do not specifically go out to vote in such a way as to visit misery on you. You clearly have strong political views and an internet connection – we must hear you roar. But you do not get to go out there and tell everyone what criteria they must use to assess candidates. What you are more or less saying is that anyone who has the nerve to disagree with you and your agenda is somehow less than you, and cold-hearted to boot.

    You clearly have a pretty big chip on your shoulder when it comes to the Labour Party. I make no value judgment here and you are quite free to think what you want. But Ms Askell, I did see the election we just had and I am simply at a loss as to where you are seeing this mighty leftward shift. Quite frankly, your argument is not with Sunny – it is with the voters. You have every right to say your piece, but you do not have any right to expect people to agree with you. Government does not exist to pander to your personal whims or legislate for your prejudices – however noble they may be.

    You complain, ‘anyone who questions Labour are trots, anarchists or the people’s front of Judea. The election result was a mistake and the british people trust labour implicitly.’ I’m not the one saying that Ms Askell – you are putting it into my mouth, it is not the same thing. Plainly the Brown led Labour Party was rejected but not in favour of Socialism but in favour of a hard-right Coalition.

    You ask who to vote for. SWP, Green (perhaps), Nats, there are any number of leftist parties and the voters are free to choose any of them. Presumably you voted for one of these people?

    Venting your frustrations as keyboard warrior is wonderful, and I’m sure lots of people reading your comment would nod their head. But you are treating reality with contempt, and projecting your loathing onto a Party for following a path not yours is to invite disappointment and an inflated sense of betrayal. You say, ‘Labour activists need to get their heads round the fact that opposing cuts, and getting Labour back into power- are not necessarily the same aim.’ Perhaps because the Labour Party is not obligated to follow your prescription.

    But what is most unsettling here is not your world view. It is the personalised vitriol. You hate the people for holding world views divergent from yours – it is the person as much as it is the belief. It is this personalisation that leaves you with this curiously self indulgent vision of a politics where everything’s great, provided the voters are good enough to agree. It’s like something from the Tea Party school of activism. My point is that you and the others in your entirely noble position need to work with unpalatable reality – the only alternative as this thread amply shows is impotent rage.

    I wish you well with your work.

  42. Greenleftie — on 11th January, 2011 at 2:06 pm  

    MaidMarian – You said ‘Plainly the Brown led Labour Party was rejected but not in favour of Socialism but in favour of a hard-right Coalition.’

    They didn’t it was a hung parliament. It is not what the electorate voted for.

    What the Lib Dem voters got, who didn’t want a Tory Government, but wanted a change from New Labour, (a lot of them disaffected Labour supporters I might add)is the Lib Dems selling out, to form a neo-liberal coalition.

    What the Grass roots left/Progressive want call them what you like), is a chance to be heard & not patronized by anyone, whether it is male female, black/white, upper class/middle/class or working class.

    We are sick to death with being told, that it is ‘for the good of the country, its ‘for the good of the party, or the movement,’ Because if it was we wouldn’t be in shit creak as we are now,as people would of listened to what was going on around them, and in reality in general.

  43. MaidMarian — on 11th January, 2011 at 2:16 pm  

    Greenleftie – I said, ‘in favour of,’ a coalition, not that that Coalition was elected – I chose my terms carefully.

    I suspect you will disagree, but there was no Lib Dem sellout. The Orange Book, the loony right Lib Dem Councils, the rightward drift in rhetoric from the Laws/Clegg/Cable leadership. Every sign was there. As I said, I think that a lot of people WANTED to believe in the Lib Dems, but there was no deceit or sell out.

    The only people who have voted on the Coalition Agreement are the Lib Dem members involved in the Triple Lock.

    You don’t like the, ‘for the good of the Party,’ line? Quite fair enough. But to suggest that the zeitgeist at the last election was to the left is plainly wrong to my mind.

    As for patronising – I don’t much like being patronised by those who believe anyone not of the hard-left is somehow less. But it is not a drum I feel I have to beat to make a point – I have more respect than that.

  44. aaron peters — on 11th January, 2011 at 2:17 pm  

    Are you being serious Sunny? Liam Byrne is the man in charge of writing Labour policy for its seemingly self-chosen longue duree in opposition.

    The man is the Blairite par excellence – he owned his own venture capital fund, he worked for the Rothschilds! Do you really believe he will be helping write a manifesto for the next election that has any real radical reform…?

    He supports the increase in VAT, he supports the level of cuts to public services, he is a market ideologue and he also a typical Parliamentary Labour Party member that sneers at the unions and grass roots activists like Lisa.

    This man is writing Labour policy going forward.

    It will not reform banking, patriarchy, adequately address green issues or scrap tuition fees.

    Furthermore the vast majority of CLP (constituency organisers) for the Labour party are unrepresentative Blairites – likewise the councillors (especially in the south), likewise policy advisors, likewise thinktankers and most of the Labour supporting commentariat.

    The Labour party will not move left because most of the positions that matter from top to bottom are filled by Blairite minions – who broadly deride the larger Labour movement and trades unions movement.

    How many MPs really represent people like Lisa or Laurie or me in the Labour party- people who aren’t party appartchiks and really care about social justice while retaining a critique of liberal market dogma and patriarchy…..5, 6?

    I have been to several local anti-cuts meetings and the vitriol directed towards the ENTIRE political (as well as obviously corporate and financial) class is unreal. Yes the Tories are hated, but so are the Lib Dems and so are Labour.

    This will not lead to apathy, this will one hopes, lead to the forging of a genuine, participatory, consensual politics of the left with its own movement and and in time it’s own parliamentary representatives – be they a powerful socialist/feminist/green faction within the Labour party, a strengthened Green party, both …. or perhaps something utterly different.

  45. earwicga — on 11th January, 2011 at 2:24 pm  

    MaidMarian, I agree with quite a few of your points (shock!), including your dislike for personalised vitriol. Because of this, I would like to note that your comments to Lisa Ansell are personalised – all the ‘Ms”s and ‘hear me roar’ – because Lisa is female. Why do you feel the need to do that?

  46. Neil Scott — on 11th January, 2011 at 2:24 pm  

    @MaidMarian

    I actually take from what Lisa says she believes the opposite of what you are saying, ie, her hating 2other people for hilding world views divergent from” hers.

    From what i see she is complaining of the fact that at the Netroots workshop she was part of, her and other women had discussed for 10 hours the topic they were concerned with, and then at the end, Sunny dismissed what had been discussed as if the parameters he had set in his mind had not been met – ie. the movements subservience to the Labour Party (and by way of his dismissal, the meeting’s assumed subservience to his superior male view).

    As for the election – a majority of people DID vote what they assumed was left. The Brown administration had been undermined (I would definately NOT say destroyed as it was a hung Parliament) and the Lib Dems had undergone a coup from the right of their party, but this leadership were still pretending they were left. The Lib Dem Damascus moment where they realised “oh, actually we are saying the same thing – Liberalism and “The Big Society” are one and the same!” was not made public until after they struck their deal. so the electorate did not vote in “favour of a hard-right Coalition.” Far from it – most of those who changed from Labour Party to Lib Dem had done so in the mistaken belief that it was a vote for a party of the left that might shake the New Labour hegemony up a bit.

    I do, however think that Lisa should reconsider not going back to Netroots. Often these groups that are called “grassroots” organisations take a turn that the originators did not foresee. I feel Lisa’s passion, knowledge and want for change – and the commitment of all of the others who agree with her, can ensure Netroots does not become some sort of clip on Labour Party badge.

    Red Wedge was supported broadly amongst the left because during the eighties the Labour Party had not fully slipped into the inevitability of the Kinnochian and Blairite sellout it became. Since that sellout, a huge proportion of the “left” are very suspicious of Labour led “grassroots” conferences and organisations. that needs to be addressed by the Labour Party in that they have to start seeing themselves as a part of something – not the movement personified.

  47. SomeRandomBint — on 11th January, 2011 at 2:26 pm  

    Sorry, Maid Marian, I’m struggling to reconcile your post above with what Lisa has been saying (not least of all because you’ve managed to call her by the wrong name throughout.)

    From what I’ve seen, this situation has arisen because she feels that, following a session on a subject that was largely redundant given the participants, the organiser took issue with the fact that the debate strayed from what he felt it should have been – or rather he (ie Sunny) felt that the issues discussed either weren’t important, or weren’t useful, because there were no solutions offered to the problems people felt affected women engaging with politics online.

    I’m not a political blogger, I’m just Old Jo Public here. The reality is that, for those who are on the receiving end of these cuts, there is not really time to sit around working out strategies as to how the left should respond. And this is the issue with political blogging, and why I find it so frustrating – I don’t see it DOING anything. Playing the long game is all very well in terms of getting the Labour party re-elected. But it does nothing to solve the problems faced by marginalised voters on the streets.

    In the aftermath of the last election, the political landscape has changed beyond recognition. There is no left party any more, to my mind. Labour aren’t opposing the cuts, so why on earth would those working at the business end of social deprivation consider joining the party in the vague hope that something will be done to change things? This time, whilst the party themselves are examining their next move, should be spent on consolidating the views of those who have a tangible idea of exactly what these cuts mean, and working out what OUR next move is. It’s become clear to me that there isn’t a main party which represents my views – so what other option do I have? But what’s the point in trying to engage in debate, and make contacts with others who feel similar disenfranchised by the current political landscape? It appears, if this episode is anything to go by, that even that is marred by attempts to shout down those who disagree with the ideas which Sunny appears to hold.

    I find it ironic that the result of a session which was supposed to discuss how women can heard in online political discussion, is several women feeling that they have not been listened to. What the hell was the point in trying to understand the issue, if there was only going to be one right answer to the question?

    If you’re going to arrange a conference encompassing such a wide spectrum of views, then you have to learn not to take criticism as a personal slight. It really does seem to me, as an outsider, that regardless of the “right” way to go about this, writing this blog, to discredit the opinions expressed by delegates, is what has really undermined any progress that was made by the event as a whole.

    Maybe I’ve got the whole ethos behind Netroots wrong though. Perhaps someone could clarify?

  48. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 2:36 pm  

    Somerandombint. You are not misunderstanding her post.

    Basically- opposing the cuts is to be left to ‘progressives’ and Labour.

    They set parameters that ignore womens experiences, and the fact that women WILL be the ones dealing with the cuts(precisely because they are absent from discussion amongst political media, westminster and the tiny world of little read political blogs)- they set parameters that are by their definition exclusive to anyone outside what they deem acceptable. And we are expected to sit back and be quiet while Sunny and Labour decide what is realistic and what is good for us.

    Sunny- ours was one of the best sessions at netroots. Do you knnow why? We were there to listen.

  49. SomeRandomBint — on 11th January, 2011 at 2:42 pm  

    I know why the people who will be worst affected by these cuts aren’t being heard. Because they are too busy living their lives to have time to engage in this kind of debate. They are working to make up their income, or caring for families. They don’t feel able to engage in debates like this, because they don’t have the words. They don’t care about long games, or political policy, or the “best way to do things”. They care about food on the table, paying the rent, and making ends meet.

    I’m probably over simplifying things here, but I feel the actual point behind what *I* believe to be important is being lost. Polemic and posturing on blogs is great and all that, and makes people look really clever, but if it’s not helping the marginalised then why bother? Cuts will mean more poverty – how do we stop that? It’s THAT simple. I don’t care about political careers, swings to the left or to the right – there’s millions of people out there who are going to be in serious trouble by virtue of the fact that they aren’t right wing, and therefore their votes don’t count as far as the current administration are concerned.

  50. MaidMarian — on 11th January, 2011 at 2:44 pm  

    Well, that kicked up a hornet’s nest! I will reply to the points and leave the last word to others.

    Earwicga – Nothing to do with her being female, not sure where you get that idea! She addressed me directly, I did the same – no more no less. Perhaps you are overreading. Very easy on a talkboard and something I have been guilty of.

    Neil Scott – I simply read the post(s) and responded. It may well be that there are other ways of taking the argument. I can not agree though about the Lib Dems. People voted for a Clegg-led Orange Book Party. There was no deceit, the OB was not secret, if the voters can’t see what is in front of them, more fool them. And Charles Kennedy wrote the introduction to the OB, so the move to the right is hardly new. The voters were, of course free to vote hard left if they felt so inclined.

    I wished Ms Ansell [pace] well and I was sincere in that.

    Somerandombint – As mentioned earlier, I responded to posts – no more no less.

    I agree it is too easy to get wrapped up in internet hot air.

    As to opposing cuts – I presume we will have to agree to disagree. I most certainly am not advocating Labour Party membership to those who do not agree with its policy or direction. If people feel that it is in their interests to campaign against Labour from the left or the right they should do so. What I did object to was the way I had words put into my mouth and the undertone that somehow I was less for my political beliefs, and the personalised shots.

  51. SomeRandomBint — on 11th January, 2011 at 2:51 pm  

    @Maid Marian

    Fair enough, you are entitled to feel injured if that’s how you took the sentiments expressed, and I wouldn’t berate you for that.

    I do question this statement though:
    I suspect you will disagree, but there was no Lib Dem sellout.

    Really? Do you think that the average Lib Dem voter, basing their decision on the leadership debates and PPBs promising an end to broken promises and opposition to tuition fees, feels that the party didn’t sell out?

  52. earwicga — on 11th January, 2011 at 2:53 pm  

    MaidMarian – something we are all guilty of at times. Indulge me please, I still wish to know why you chose to address a commenter who identifies as Lisa Ansell, as Ms. Ansell, and chose to use the phrase ‘hear me roar’. It interests me, and relates to the session being (sort of) debated here – why more women don’t engage online. (I know women do, but overwhelmingly political debate is dominated by men)

  53. Kismet Hardy — on 11th January, 2011 at 3:14 pm  

    Earwig, you did get in a huff when a lady was referred to by her first name a while ago, and now you’re in a huff that her surname is being used. Who’s a huffy little girlie? Let’s talk about shoes, and other assorted ‘hilarious’ chauvinistic japes x

  54. Sunny — on 11th January, 2011 at 3:18 pm  

    There are several different overlapping issues here that need to be addressed:

    1) The Labour party

    People are welcome to have their own thoughts about what the Labour party represents, about whether it will shift to the left or not.

    I joined the Labour party to try and make the case from the left, I may be successful in that or not, who knows. I outlined my reasons here when I joined.

    My point above, and everywhere else is that if you want to campaign outside of Labour and without it – I fully support that. I do think its important to engage with Westminster, but I can’t force anyone.

    So I find the argument over whether people dislike or like Labour as ultimately circular.

    2) Representation at Netroots
    The main high-profile voice at both the opening and closing plenary were women (Polly Toynbee, Stella Creasey). Most of the major sessions were organised by women and we gave them a fair bit of leeway in selecting their own panelists. More in some cases than others (Nishma and Becky’s panels were their own without any input from me). Yes, representation of women wasn’t as equal as I would have liked to see, and we will work on that for next year. This is what I’ve said above too.

    More consideration should actually have been paid to the disability rights campaigners. We had accessibility, but they had problems getting around (partly because we had lots of people in a small-ish space).

    Minority women were totally absent from the session and I accepted that in a conversation later with Chitra, Femi and others. This needs to be looked into for next year.

    3) Format
    I accept that some formats are more alienating than others. Next time we will hopefully experiment with more formats for the sessions and discussions…. probably not for the training workshops. The plenaries should also have been shorter.

    I wouldn’t like to turn the whole event into one big Open Source or Unconference (will see how the 6billion ways event works). But its definitely worth experimenting with.

    4) The session itself.
    As I said above, Lisa keeps misrepresenting the point I was making on the day. I do hope there is a video of the session so people can see what I said – it related directly to a point that Laurie made. I even praised the work Lisa did in the one comment I made, and said only that if we wanted Labour to listen (which is what Laurie wanted) then we had to force them to listen by mobilising.

    Several other women came up to me after and said they found the session unproductive. I will ask them before I mention their names: so I’m not speaking from the last 15-20 min I was there. The session organiser herself (Jess Asato) said she found it the hardest session she had organised.

    I’m not trying to dismiss that debate at all. I’m merely said at one point that it wasn’t perceived by others as productive, and Lisa has taken it as a personal attack and now I keep getting attacked for having a big ego and whatever else.

    I debated with you on twitter for about 10 hours- and have collated the tweets and am perfectly willing to put them here.

    Er no Lisa – you kept accusing me of stuff on Twitter for about two hours, and then spent another few hours slagging me off to other people about how I had a huge ego, how I wasn’t listening to anything, how I was trying to marginalise everyone, how I was trying to split the left, how I didn’t care for women etc etc.

    I don’t call that engaging.

    I’m happy for my tweets to be published here: they are a matter of public record. Same goes for my comments at the session.

    —-

    Donnacha
    You’re being disingenuous. Tom Watson giving his opinion from the floor is one thing, Stella Creasy MP on the platform lecturing us about working together is entirely another.

    Oh no, Stella said something you didn’t agree with? Shocking. Truly shocking.

    Wasn’t it only a few weeks ago you were telling me that praising those girls who tried to protect the police van at the student demo was “divisive” because the girls were doing the wrong thing?

    Suddenly now you want to stop anyone connected to Labour being given a platform… whereas you were happy talking for an extended period from the floor about why everyone should join the NUS.

  55. Refresh — on 11th January, 2011 at 3:26 pm  

    Lisa Ansell,

    Do not be disheartened. You are doing exactly the right thing addressing your concerns here.

    I would like to say more, but am preoccupied until this evening – and in the meantime would ask you not to withdraw. Stick to your points – persistence will be everything, it usually is especially in the early days of any new venture.

  56. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 3:46 pm  

    Sunny- noone is misrepresenting yoou. The question was about what women can do to be politically engaged. The answer was they are. The follow on was that they arent listened to. You prove that admirably.

  57. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 3:47 pm  

    And Sunny- I will post all the tweets on ere in a bit. They are also being overlaid over the video – with particularly relevant missives from you demonstrating discussion had in session admirably.

  58. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 3:59 pm  

    Er no Lisa – you kept accusing me of stuff on Twitter for about two hours, and then spent another few hours slagging me off to other people about how I had a huge ego, how I wasn’t listening to anything, how I was trying to marginalise everyone, how I was trying to split the left, how I didn’t care for women etc etc.

    I don’t call that engaging.

    Oh sunny- you really didnt want to post that-given the conversatoin that is about to go online. It woudl have been comical had it not been for the fact you were serious.

    Thanks.

  59. Neil Scott — on 11th January, 2011 at 4:11 pm  

    @marian

    erm… yes – the electorate were fooled by the LibDems. Even my own right wing LibDem MP has used the term often, “we are left of labour!” though she has not uttered this since the election of course.

    I think this whole discussion is interesting- and perhaps the most interesting aspects of it were that before the end of the meeting, Lisa felt it had been worthwhile; that Lisa says they had come to listen;some women thought, according to Sunny, it was the hardest session they had attended and lastly that Sunny does not feel he, in any way, negated what the women had got from the session by trying to re-direct it.

    I have been an observer and invited contributer to online lefty womens discussions through the platform Second Life. The dynamic is completely different from say, union meetings with the men at the front having the casting vote and leading the conversations. I have seen in these online discussions between sometimes up to 30 women at a time, a consensus forming in a way i have never seen in male dominated conversations.

    The left has a terrible sexist legacy- and I salute Lisa and those who are challenging the way decisions are made and how activists are brought together.

    On another point… can someone point me to where i can find out who organises Netroots Uk, who appoints the representatives and to what other organisations they belong to?

    I would also like to see this conference moving out of London- perhaps a summer conference in Glasgow or Edinburgh?

  60. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 4:48 pm  

    And yes-Jessica Assato found it hard going. She is a Labour councillor, who had defined the aims of the session. I can imagine it was very difficult for her to hear women say they dont view Labour as their solution- and they dont feel the problem is that they are not engaged.

    I am sorry for that- cos she is a lovely person.

  61. Waterloo Sunset — on 11th January, 2011 at 6:07 pm  

    Approximately what proportion of platform speakers were Labour Party members and/or supporters?

  62. Sunny — on 11th January, 2011 at 6:25 pm  

    Sunny- noone is misrepresenting yoou. The question was about what women can do to be politically engaged. The answer was they are.

    What that has to with this discussion I have no idea. I’ve never said women aren’t engaged online.

    Also, you keep saying that I didn’t listen to women afterwards or don’t care what they say… except that Chitra herself (who I was talking to afterwards, which you refer to) said this to you:

    @earwicga @lisaansell Think unfair to be too harsh – sat was first and we can improve for next year. He’s willing to make changes.

    http://twitter.com/#!/chitranagarajan/status/24782512689520640

    So even though I repeatedly say we didn’t get everything right, and that next year will be different, all you’re doing is accusing me of marginalising all women.

    That’s engaging is it in your books?

  63. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 7:25 pm  

    A bit of help. Here are all the tweets.

    • Lol anyone wants example of why women aren’t online politically, read my feed for last god knows how long. about 10 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®
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    @sunny_hundal I explained it repeatedly earlier on Sunny. about 10 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    http://m.friendfeed-media.com/e11e5a11af19988a6c173298428cb4677c8a7bc3http://m.friendfeed-media.com/e11e5a11af19988a6c173298428cb4677c8a7bc3 about 10 hours ago via web
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    @sunny_hundal given nature of problem. about 10 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal and the marginalisation of women at netroots yesterday was a symptom of that. about 10 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal not listening to women. about 10 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal see- nearly agreeing. Wahay. I need to go to bed. Will email or phone or blog tomorrow. about 10 hours ago via web
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    @sunny_hundal and you woudl understand why women being relegated to 5th floor, and asked what THEY shoudl do to be heard- was wrong Q. about 10 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal well they are the cuts that are doing this-and if you were listening to what was said in there you woudl understand why. about 10 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal I made the very clear caveat that opposition had come from backbenches, and activists not from leadership. Always do. about 10 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal it isnt a broad front. Woman says- I have no representation. You say- you do. Not a broad front at all. about 10 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal when they are not- not listening. Labour arent opposing the cuts. Pressuringthem might work- pretending they are. Wont. about 10 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @BreakingNews tion to cuts- but arent actually opposing them- what are implications? But telling people affected that labour are solution> about 10 hours ago via web in reply to BreakingNews
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    @sunny_hundal thats the only campaign worth fighting at the moment. Cos the coalition will fall on its own. If Labour get victory as opposit about 10 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal if it isnt clear. I give up. Completely. I consider myself defeated. about 10 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal sunny- read back conversation. Ignore my tweets- look at tweets from others in session. about 10 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal but right now- Labur are as much a part of problem as coalition. about 10 hours ago via web
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    @sunny_hundal and when labour can oppose a single cut that afffects my life, or my friends lives- I will accept that Labour represent us. about 10 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @Louise243 go talk to some women about why men dont listen. about 10 hours ago via web in reply to Louise243
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    • Louise243

    @lisaansell Yeah, because relegating women to fringe discussion on floor 5 is how to go about engaging women politically! #waytogoorganisers about 10 hours ago via web in reply to lisaansell Retweeted by you
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    @sunny_hundal we might have had more time if we hadnt had to defend the relevance of our discussion and actually we got a lot out of it. about 11 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal I am not taking anything personally. I dont see how I have anything to answer here- it is you who is being criticised. about 11 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @Sysparatem how can you misread labour arent opposing the cuts that affect me. I know tey arent. Am waiting for them to. about 11 hours ago via web in reply to Sysparatem
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    @sunny_hundal Sunny-they are not opposing any of the cuts talked about in that session. NOt one. about 11 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @Louise243 just didnt fit what event envisaged. about 11 hours ago via web in reply to Louise243
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    @Louise243 was just ridiculous. Room on floor 5. What can women do to be more polically engaged or something. Had wicked discussion tho. about 11 hours ago via web in reply to Louise243
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    @sunny_hundal will blog it tomorrow. about 11 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal if a man says he is listening he is, no matter what any silly woman says. about 11 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal Sunny- @chitranagarajan has told you repeatedly- not just me. And several others. It is on film anyway. about 11 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    • chitranagarajan

    @Louise243 @lisaansell @sunny_hundal You do know women comment is not just Lisa right? Many of us said the same things *to you* repeatedly about 11 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone in reply to Louise243 Retweeted by you
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    @sunny_hundal I never said you voted Labour- I said the event was heavily pro-labour, and treated labour ass (cont) http://tl.gd/81oabk about 11 hours ago via TwitLonger Beta
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    @sunny_hundal but everytime we trued to discuss party consensus we were shut up by someone banging on about Labour. about 11 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal there are plenty on here who were present. about 11 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal if you cant hear a room full of women saying the same thing, cant read my tweets- am not misrepresenting you. about 11 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    • FeministInti

    LOL – isn’t that just so, silly us eh MT @lisaansell If a man *says* he listens to women it is true, no matter what any silly women say! ;) about 11 hours ago via web Retweeted by you
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    • Louise243

    @lisaansell @sunny_hundal Oh, “hysterical” “emotional” etc., wind me up, widely used to patronise, denigrate and invalidate female opinions! about 11 hours ago via web in reply to lisaansell Retweeted by you and 2 others
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    @sunny_hundal I attacked the lack of difference between Labour and coalition policies, and said that Labour were (cont) http://tl.gd/81o78n about 11 hours ago via TwitLonger Beta

    @chitranagarajan looks like will have to. On upside- was really good discussion! Where is your token?Ha about 11 hours ago via web
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    • chitranagarajan

    @gwenhwyfaer @lisaansell perhaps should organise another gathering, away from parties and unions, where people just talk with each other? about 11 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone in reply to gwenhwyfaer Retweeted by you and 2 others
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    @mxfwrites wittering on about babies, and houses, and benefits and social policy-when could be talking about serious business of politics. about 11 hours ago via web in reply to mxfwrites
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    mxfwrites oh Lisa, when will you learn? If a man *says* he listens to women it is true, no matter what any silly women say! ;) about 11 hours ago via web
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    @sunny_hundal which is quite important- as a basis for discussion. So not helpful to be shouted down as atatcking labour. about 11 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal noone was attacking labour. People were discussing political consensus, and how it had marginalised them. about 11 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal which, rather ironically, answered question which underpinned original aim for session. Rather well. Thanks. about 11 hours ago via web
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    @sunny_hundal you dismissed discussion- on film. And then did so again, repeatedly on twitter. about 11 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal meant we couldnt discuss the problem- and if you cant discuss problem you cant find a solution. We discussed it anyway. about 11 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal there were. BUt in general was Labour dominated as if Labour were part of the opposition to the cuts- we werent to criticise about 11 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal question is why cant you hear a room full of women saying same thing? And then why cant you hear what I am saying. about 11 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal when we were told we were being hysterical and anti labour- and our discussion about comments on cif was irrelevant. about 11 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal the womens event went well, because we defined it ourselves, we discussed it and listened to each other. It stopped going well about 11 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal that is wrong question. Question is how can women use TUC and media resources to oppose cuts (cont) http://tl.gd/81o15t about 11 hours ago via TwitLonger Beta
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    • RedAndBlackSky

    @gwenhwyfaer @lisaansell While still claiming credit for a movement that has quickly evolved without them. about 11 hours ago via web in reply to gwenhwyfaer Retweeted by you
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    @lisaansell Isn’t that pretty much the definition of any leader of any movement or party etc… The ego takes control. about 11 hours ago via web in reply to lisaansell Retweeted by you
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    @sophwarnes I do blog. http://www.deeplyflawedbuttrying.wordpress.com http://www.lisansell.posterous.com about 11 hours ago via web in reply to sophwarnes
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    @sophwarnes the discussion is about how to get the political blogs to recognise women- and sunny is doing a fine job of showing why. about 11 hours ago via web in reply to sophwarnes
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    @sophwarnes to deal with a problem that largely doesnt affect Sunny, but does affect women- appears to be irrelevant. Cos his ego says so. about 11 hours ago via web in reply to sophwarnes
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    @sophwarnes no, is because Sunny doesnt actually understand what is happening right now, and the marginalisation of women at the conference about 11 hours ago via web in reply to sophwarnes
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    • gwenhwyfaer

    @lisaansell I’m wondering if Netroots was a way for those egos to get back into a game that had pretty much sorted itself without them about 11 hours ago via TTYtter (gwenhwyfaer) in reply to lisaansell Retweeted by you and 1 other
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    Netroots was a great idea-shame about the egos running it. about 11 hours ago via web
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    @sunnyhundal and yet we are having a debate about how to make political blogs hear them. YOu want to be irrelevant to women-fine. about 11 hours ago via web
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    @sunnyhundal I have just gone back and looked at the tweets- do you know how many women have told you they were marginalised their? about 11 hours ago via web
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    @sunny_hundal maybe if you lost the ego, and started listening to women instead of dismissing them…. about 11 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal women were marginalised in that conference- I have clearly shown why- and women have told you repeatedly that they felt that. about 11 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    • donnachadelong

    @sunny_hundal @lisaansell Quite a number of contributors called on people to join Labour – more than encouraged people to take to streets about 11 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal Retweeted by you
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    @sunny_hundal At netroots you couldnt discuss the political consensus that is causing the problem,without being (cont) http://tl.gd/81nl8j about 11 hours ago via TwitLonger Beta
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    @sunny_hundal if you cant discuss the political consensus that is causing the problem, and women are marginalised to an upstairs room- and about 12 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    Next few years are going to be a long haul. about 12 hours ago via web
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    If words like ‘left’ and ‘right’ get in the way of seeing what is actually happening, we might have to actually lose them. about 12 hours ago via web
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    • gwenhwyfaer

    The ease with which the left can be manipulated into devouring itself alive when it’s most needed is breathtaking. about 12 hours ago via TTYtter (gwenhwyfaer) Retweeted by you and 6 others
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    Who are ‘the left’ for again? I misunderstood the first time. about 12 hours ago via web
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    @sunny_hundal but thank you for clarifying that netroots will not be a resource women might as well avoid. about 12 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal possible is dismissed? Ludicrous. You’ll figure it out eventually. about 12 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal stand up against these cuts alongside a labour recruitment event, and where the reality of them, and the reason they are about 12 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal influence of existing activists, resources of TUC and volume of various media people there. However, the idea that people can about 12 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal reason was so excited about netroots- was the idea of linking what is happening with people of UK with the resources and about 12 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal dont know how to understand it- fair enough. Think done here though- my argument proved entirely. about 12 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal demonstrating to you with a great deal of patience, clearly evidencing as I go, is not shouting. Or being hysterical. If you about 12 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal sorry? Just shout? Setting up a social enterprise fairly time consuming. Letters each week to MPs, not just shouting, and about 12 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    , direct action, demand to be heard. If you are member of a party- lobby them.

    Only women absent were our Lib Dem ministers. You know the ones who deal with equality… about 14 hours ago via web

    @lisaansell I think Westminster needs fundamental change, yes. I hope that women will be at forefront as gov has declared war on them. about 14 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone in reply to lisaansell Retweeted by you and 1 other
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    They wont listen, cos they dont have to. Well that day is just about done. about 14 hours ago via web
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    The only way to make our political parties listen is to act outside them, and demand that they do. Is v simple. about 14 hours ago via web
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    @richdavidson many of those ‘undeserving’ have never owed more money. about 14 hours ago via web in reply to richdavidson
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    @richdavidson not for long. Is a myth that these cuts will hit marginalised poor- net of undeserving has NEVER been cast this wide- and so about 14 hours ago via web in reply to richdavidson
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    @richdavidson people are. You have to look at the demographics of the cuts, to understand why those people arent being heard. about 14 hours ago via web in reply to richdavidson
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    @richdavidson representation. Policies are teh same. Is not criticism of Labour, is criticism of political consensus. about 14 hours ago via web in reply to richdavidson
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    @richdavidson democratic body. If criticism of a party, when so much is wrong with its stance is dangerous then am fucked and left with no about 14 hours ago via web in reply to richdavidson
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    @richdavidson really? What would you suggest I do? Not question a party whose policies will do this as well? A political party is a> about 14 hours ago via web in reply to richdavidson
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    Is that his name? Newsnight guy> about 14 hours ago via web
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    I swear to god. about 14 hours ago via web
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    • debsalini

    @NinaGleams @sunny_hundal @lisaansell It’s up to us to make it: we must stand, and win, and change the working practices to suit us. about 14 hours ago via web in reply to NinaGleams Retweeted by you and 1 other
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    • Wandahope

    @NinaGleams @sunny_hundal @lisaansell or older disable women mothers about 14 hours ago via web in reply to NinaGleams Retweeted by you and 1 other
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    @sunnyhundal just look at facts- ignore politics and assess. Then look at Westminster politics and tell me what you see. about 14 hours ago via web
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    @sunnyhundal completely ignore party politics. Situation becomes much clearer and so will what am saying. about 14 hours ago via web
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    @sunnyhundal Task for the day. Go look at what is happening WITHOUT looking at Westminster. Look at the social policy, look at the economics about 14 hours ago via web
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    • NinaGleams

    @sunny_hundal @lisaansell it’s hardly a question of whether we want Westminster. Westminster doesn’t want women & particularly mothers. about 15 hours ago via web Retweeted by you and 1 other
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    @sunny_hundal told the problem is I am not trying to make them listen is fucking soul destroying. about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal holes in your shoes, trying to tell men who will never be affected by these policies that they are not listening, and being about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal to discuss, cos media that influence them, cant be arsed looking outside Westminster. Standing with wet socks cos you have about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal Westminster is currently playing a game of marbles with my life. Is very relevant to me. They just dont care. And dont need about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunnyhundal but if I can use my situation to highlight how Westminster relates to social policy, and that to people- then I do. about 15 hours ago via web
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    @sunnyhundal is a culture- and we are losing patience- dont want to keep banging on Westminsters door- hasnt worked for decades apparently. about 15 hours ago via web
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    @sunnyhundal women in that room yesterday told they were doing it wrong-yet it is their lives that are actually being affected. Not just you about 15 hours ago via web
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    @sunny_hundal marginalised person. I share that, to make people listen. Cos I am not unusual. about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal I dont want to bang on and on about how shit things are- is humiliating. I dont want people seeing me as poor, or as some about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal of Westminster and old and new media- is going to be catastrophic. Politics not a hobby, its life. Society. about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal except consequences for me are real. Westminster politics does not exist in a vacuum- effect of refusal to listen on part of about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal I spend most of my waking hours doing something to try and make people listen. Is knackering when they cant hear you. about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal then you miss the point. THe point was not that Labour are crap- the point was there is political consensus. One of reasons about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal moment. So question is not for me, but for you- and Labourlist, and the rest- and everyone in House of Commons and in media. about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal question no longer for us- have been trying for too long- Westminster only relevant if it represents. Clearly unable to at about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal yesterday-women added as an afterthought. Which reflected the event and Westminster if honest. about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal what other ways can I find? I blog, I write, am setting up business, I protest, I shout- and in every single blog about > about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal seems the progressive movement- didnt read the stuff women have been saying for centuries. Irrelevant. about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal and when people who should be listening, just dismiss what is said as us ‘doing it wrong’. about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal account,. Cant do that, if we are in a room on our own(again) discussing why Westminster and friends wont listen to us. about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal selves, instead of us- that wont change. We have no representation in Westminster until parties are forced to take us into about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal unless people interested in Westminster start looking outside- and seeing WHY we cant influence Westminster- and questioning about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunnyhundal cos for you lot to hear that discussion, you need to change the terms with which you understand the world. about 15 hours ago via web
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    @sunnyhundal across country, is that equality is goi ng to be rolled back- marriage or poverty- with no relevant discussion. about 15 hours ago via web
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    @sunnyhundal they are speaking about what men are interested in, and accept limitations of taht. Unfortunately effect of that on women about 15 hours ago via web
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    @sunnyhundal to put it bluntly- Westminster and associated media incl blogging is dickswinging, with occasional females admitted. IF they about 15 hours ago via web
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    • kaygeeuk

    @lisaansell *bangs head* have to go sleep, hard to articulate good discussions we all had when being told ‘u doing it wrong’ by men! about 15 hours ago via web in reply to lisaansell Retweeted by you
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    @sunny_hundal and unless those concerned with Westminster start looking away from Westminster a great deal of harm will be done. about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal not discussed. Westminster doesnt contain key to understanding any of this. about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal coalition is not the problem. Westminster is. Our economic policy being based on a fundamental inequality to be exploited and about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal these cuts cannot be understood by looking at Westminster. Only by looking at what is absent from Westminster. about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal


    @sunny_hundal by looking outside Westminster-you can identify what the probs are within. And there are deep fucking problems right now. about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal this happening because debate of womens issues is seen as seperate, and notably absent from Westminster. about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal and that is what will mean this cuts go ahead unchallenged. But we cant wait for you lot to redefine politcs any more- cos about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal but while poltics defined as westminster- and westminster seen as more important-= then women wont be heard. about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal what you define as political scene. These cuts have changed the political scene, and debates which need to define it. about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal cant answer the question of why noone is listening. That isnt a question for them. about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal only place that session would have worked, was with everyone else. A room full of women who have been trying to be heard about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal that tweet sunny, is at the core of what you dont get. about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    I look like shit today. I think have aged at least 20 years somehow. Face has started to sag and someone has given me black eyes. about 15 hours ago via web
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    • matgb

    @sunny_hundal Yeah, you can. Crosspost more local issue/non bubble stuff, & more female contributors; you forget LC is big ;-) @lisaansell about 15 hours ago via Dabr in reply to sunny_hundal Retweeted by you
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    @sunny_hundal political bubble not debating any of the questions which underpin the cuts-because of focus on Westminster as ‘politics’. about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal of why these cuts will go ahead. about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal issues- womens issues not seperate from Westminster-but seperate. And the absence of discussion a symptom of that and at core about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal cos we have been trying to be heard for quite a while. We just cant be heard in forums that are not concerned with womens about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal the one session guaranteed to mainly be attended mainly by women is not place to ask that question. about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal all am saying is that the questions you are asking are not questions for women. They are wider questions. And asking them in about 15 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    And not just women when they are talking about what interests men. about 15 hours ago via web
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    If anyone has the answer to how to get society to listen to women- answers on a postcard please. about 15 hours ago via web
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    @sunnyhundal I am heard, cos am a gobshite who never shuts up. It gets tiring after a while. about 15 hours ago via web
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    @sunnyhundal and the discussion about Cif was v important in the question of why are women not heard. It aint cos they are not speaking. about 15 hours ago via web
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    @sunnyhundal http://campl.us/rQv via someone whose username I cant remember- but her name is Carolyn. about 15 hours ago via web
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    @sunny_hundal but a room full of women on the 5th floor, is not going to tell everyone else how to hear them. THey are there. Shouting. about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal that rather depends on the people who cant hear them, making an effort to-and I hear them, so I dont know why netroots dont. about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sophwarnes far outside westminster- in departments, day to day- in life. THis is why women are hardest hit. about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sophwarnes
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    @sophwarnes pulled away is politics. What happens in westminster one strand of politics. The male dominated strand. Decision making often about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sophwarnes
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    @sophwarnes depends on your definition of political. A mummy quitting her job because of discrimination, and then having state support about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sophwarnes
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    @cherylbaker that;’s what the trade union guy was saying. Newcastle also better for Scotland, who are more affected than London. By long way about 16 hours ago via web
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    • cherylbaker

    @Gertiepink @sunny_hundal @lisaansell Ahh Manc gets lots of stuff, nothing good comes to Newcastle plus worst hit areas of country here about 16 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone in reply to Gertiepink Retweeted by you
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    @sunny_hundal they arent involved with politics. Just taht the definition of politics in relation to what is happening is very narrow. about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal there? Just because a blog isnt named as political, or an online community doesnt concern self with Westminster- doesnt mean about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal @matgb how many hits do the central 4 political blogs get, compared to population who read blogs? HOw many womens blogs are about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal many women who are truly affected were there- but felt like they were talking about an ‘other’ that need protecting.’the poor’ about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal they were. Just not to you. about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @matgb @sunnyhundal the real politics in my blogs are not westminster politics. Westminster only part of it. about 16 hours ago via web in reply to matgb
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    @sunny_hundal shared aims- not shared ideology. about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal challenge for progressive left is going to be remembering this might not be their fight- and they need to be led- not lead. about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal and there were some awesome people in those niches and corners. about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal exactly-niches and corners. about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal def. about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal we will see a movement emerge. People are angry, and want to act- everyday people. People who are not on left. about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal its because this is still being defined in traditional left/right terms. THis not about left/right any more. And that is WHY about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal that may have been stated aims- but that is not how conference was stuctured. Some bits really good though. about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal


    @sunny_hundal session was awesome. Some amazing voices in that room. Not stood at the front. about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal and labour discussion came after constant attempts to confuse issue of labour’s needs, and needs of people fighting cuts. about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal but women are politically engaged online, and the fact they arent heard- more to do with the people ‘listening’. about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal no it didnt- watch footage- was important discussion. about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal this is going to be a long long fight- this was v good contribution. Now we move forward? No? about 16 hours ago via web
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    @sunny_hundal am not accusing you of owt. Am giving you feedback you asked for. about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell but that is exactly what I want to see happen? not sure what you’re accusing me of? about 17 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    @sunny_hundal Polly Toynbee lovely- but doesnt have first clue. about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal perhaps if event was led more by people, than prominent figures? about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell but the whole point of yesterday *was* to say to ppl to go out on grassroots. who said anything about media bubble leading? about 16 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    @sunny_hundal coming, and why I still made it after not sleeping and throwing up all night. And was worth it. Met great people. about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal I know- and I love the idea of taking online activism and using it to stimulate outside action- which is why was excited about about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal and not just activists. That said- thought event was great, achieved a lot- and I got a lot out of it. about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal grassroots movement, needs to come from grassroots- not media/politics bubble. about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal mainly because all parties are in agreement about it. about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal I am not voice of anyone- but this is real for people- politics not seperate anymore. Politics now personal again. about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal at core of this- belies a deep misunderstanding of what is happening. I was congratulated for keeping it real- and actually about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal and idea that only session specifically for women, should be about how to get women to engage with politics- when they are now about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    LukeBozier

    @lisaansell @sunny_hundal No way – it would be nothing but a cranky shouting match if that were the case. Enough of that already! about 17 hours ago via web in reply to lisaansell
    • Reply (Labour blogger- doesn’t want discussion outside Labours role in opposition so it shouldn’t be allowed?)-added in by me- don’t stick on film- but WANKER.
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell think some people will conflate the two – but I made it clear it was about fighting the cuts about 17 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    @sunny_hundal think there was confusioon sometimes about whether it was a fight against cuts, or a fight to get LAbour back in. Different. about 17 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    • •
    • @sunnyhundal We felt that on panels-there may have been female members- but usually far less experienced or (cont) http://tl.gd/81k57i about 17 hours ago via TwitLonger Beta

    • sunny_hundal

    @chitranagarajan but that wasn’t about gender representation on panels, that was about the content you were objecting to?@lisaansell @jester about 17 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to chitranagarajan
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    • chitranagarajan

    @sunny_hundal @lisaansell Sure I remember me and @jester talking with you about gender representation) for quite a while – not remember? about 18 hours ago via TweetDeck in reply to sunny_hundal
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    • sunny_hundal

    @cherylbaker @lisaansell whoa! calm down, I haven’t even organised another one yet! Might work better in Manchester first :P about 18 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to cherylbaker
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    • SonniesEdge

    @chitranagarajan @lisaansell @sunny_hundal Ha! I’m in the Midlands. But we all know Euston is The North for most Londoners… about 17 hours ago via web in reply to chitranagarajan
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    • cherylbaker

    @sunny_hundal @lisaansell Newcastle is easier for train links from north & south in all honesty (nothing to do with me living here -honest) about 18 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone in reply to sunny_hundal
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    • chitranagarajan

    @SonniesEdge @lisaansell @sunny_hundal Watch it, some of us are from near ‘nearly Scotland’ – country exists beyond SE… about 18 hours ago via TweetDeck
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    • SonniesEdge

    @lisaansell @sunny_hundal It’s on in Newcastle?! I really hope you mean Newcastle-under-Lyme, as upon-Tyne is nearly Scotland! about 18 hours ago via web in reply to lisaansell

    • chitranagarajan

    @lisaansell There’s one in Newcastle? When? Would be lovely to be surrounded by other northerners rather than just you. ;-) about 18 hours ago via TweetDeck in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell it was labout and london centric, but most lefties will be in a london conference. where was gender reprsentation lacking…? about 18 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell


    @sunny_hundal was like being at a club. All the best action was going on in the foyer and in the corners. about 17 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal

    @sunny_hundal lol apparently.Am blogging about this weekend poss tomorrow- didnt sleep much this weekend. Met some great people though. about 17 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell there will be one in newcastle?! :P about 18 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • @sunny_hundal felt was quite male, labour, london centric. Will definitely attend again- am hoping you do the Newcastle one as well. about 19 hours ago via web
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    @sunny_hundal thought cross section of people from doc filmmakers, to union members, activists journalists was great. about 19 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    @sunny_hundal really liked the variety of people attending- met some great people who can help us organise up north-made veryuseful contacts

  64. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 7:31 pm  

    @lisaansell I’m to bed i’m well off any discussion level right now. speak soon yeah. and this typing is taking too long…g’night about 11 hours ago via web in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell …enough panels on specific issues, but thats because most panels were geared at training and local activism than issues. about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell can you please explain this ‘marginalisation of women’ point? We had broad gender diversity on most panels. we didn’t have about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell well, when you say relegated to 5th floor – it was the biggest room for the sessions. Downstairs rooms were small about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • Louise243

    @sunny_hundal I wasn’t saying you, personally, used word “hysterical”, @lisaansell was telling you about it, referring to it, so I replied. about 11 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell ..of supporting welfare cuts. about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell I understand the ‘why’ behind why we oppose the cuts – and I’ve not disagreed with that at all. Dunno why you’re accusing me of about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • chitranagarajan

    @sunny_hundal @lisaansell Laurie attacked the relevance of the question, not the discussion, if I remember correctly about 11 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone in reply to sunny_hundal
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell would agree with you. I’m with you on all benefit cuts – I oppose them completely. So I disagree with Labour on that about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell I’m not saying you have representation. Labour certainly does NOT represent many on the left. Though someone like John Mcdonnell about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell … people should be allowed to have different positions within that broad front. about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell …then that’s up to you, but I won’t join in that. My position is articulated by Sunder K here: – http://bit.ly/f7AQWa about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell if you want to ignore them, fine, but others won’t. And if you want to accuse anyone who supports Labour as part of the problem about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • FeministInti

    @lisaansell seems like @sunny_hundal is making it personal by talking about taking it personally as is @Sysparatem talking about tone about 11 hours ago via web in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell look – if you want to campaign to push labour to oppose more cuts, I’d join that campaign. about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • PaulMAppleby

    judging by the tweets between @lisaansell @sunny_hundal seems like #netroots was great success. about 11 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell its not clear what I’m being criticised for. Being too moderate? fine. Other than that, its not very clear about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell I wasn’t the one attacking the relevance of the discussion – Laurie Penny did that! about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    Me too RT @TheSliverParty I agree with @lisaansell . #followanyday cc: @sunny_hundal about 11 hours ago via web
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    • Rani_kuk

    Er yeh of course it is..RT @Louise243: @lisaansell Yeah, because relegating women to fringe discussion on floor (cont) http://tl.gd/81oei4 about 11 hours ago via ÜberTwitter
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    • Louise243

    @lisaansell Yeah, because relegating women to fringe discussion on floor 5 is how to go about engaging women politically! #waytogoorganisers about 11 hours ago via web in reply to lisaansell Retweeted by you
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell they are opposing cuts! they don’t hae the same economic plan as the Tories. You may think thats not enough,but its not the same about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • Louise243

    @sunny_hundal Didn’t necessarily think you, personally, did say “hysterical” ? @lisaansell didn’t attribute the comment. Generally speaking. about 11 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell …discussion about where to go from here. about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell also, I think you’re taking criticism of that session personally. I think your points were spot on, but there was little… about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell And you think I dismissed women in that session – I don’t. I just didn’t think it came out as envisioned by moderator about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • chitranagarajan

    @sunny_hundal @lisaansell Okay, DM me your email and I’ll have a go. Difficult to have proper nuanced exchange of opinion in 140 charac. about 11 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone in reply to sunny_hundal
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell ok so you don’t see Labour as part of the coalition against cuts. I do. that’s the main difference about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @chitranagarajan @lisaansell though if someone can send me an email outlining exactly what I shd do differently next time that wd be great about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to chitranagarajan
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    • sunny_hundal

    @chitranagarajan @Louise243 @lisaansell think you’re arguing diff things. about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to chitranagarajan
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    • bethanybhorne

    Reminds me of a few people (men): MT @lisaansell If a man *says* he listens to women, it is true. No matter what any silly women say. about 11 hours ago via web
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    • Louise243

    @sophwarnes @lisaansell Tbh, I read about women’s presentation/workshop thing, and the idea of gender segregation annoyed me! about 11 hours ago via web in reply to sophwarnes
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    • chitranagarajan

    @lisaansell right – loved it. ;-) think was too ambitious. How to ID and discuss problem then talk about solution in 90 mins? about 11 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone in reply to lisaansell
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    • emma_in_edin

    @Louise243 @lisaansell @sunny_hundal yup and things like “erratic” or “unpredictable” as if men never possess such traits. about 11 hours ago via web in reply to Louise243
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    • sunny_hundal

    @chitranagarajan but I’m not clear what @lisaansell’s point is here re: women. I’m quite genuinely struggling. she thinks the womens event about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to chitranagarajan
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    • Louise243

    @chitranagarajan @gwenhwyfaer @lisaansell Thought was supposed to be non-party-political gathering? If Labour peeps want one, shd organise? about 11 hours ago via web in reply to chitranagarajan
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    • chitranagarajan

    @Louise243 @lisaansell @sunny_hundal You do know women comment is not just Lisa right? Many of us said the same things *to you* repeatedly about 11 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone in reply to Louise243 Retweeted by you
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    • Louise243

    @lisaansell @sunny_hundal I wasn’t aware Labour = anti-cuts = Labour I certainly would have had problem with that assumption. about 11 hours ago via web in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell I don’t see how or why I’m being attacked as being too pro-Labour – I’ve never once voted for them in a national election! about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell also – I understand ppl alienated by party politics. Which is why we had sessions so ppl could organise outside of Pol parties about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @louise243 @lisaansell I didn’t use any of those words – you are welcome to watch the video after. Lisa is misrepresenting me. about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to Louise243
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    • FeministInti

    LOL – isn’t that just so, silly us eh MT @lisaansell If a man *says* he listens to women it is true, no matter what any silly women say! ;) about 11 hours ago via web Retweeted by you
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    • Louise243

    @lisaansell @sunny_hundal Oh, “hysterical” “emotional” etc., wind me up, widely used to patronise, denigrate and invalidate female opinions! about 11 hours ago via web in reply to lisaansell Retweeted by you and 2 others
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell .but the point of Netroots was to encourage ppl to organise outside of Labour, rather than saying the party should do everything about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell I’m happy to highlight that once the video is sorted out. But she specifically attacked Labour. And frankly I’m happy to do that about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell err no – Laurie Penny was specifically saying Labour were shit in that discussion. That’s what I responded to about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @louise243 no I didn’t use the word hysterical @lisaansell about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to Louise243
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    • chitranagarajan

    @lisaansell you allright there Lisa? about 11 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone in reply to lisaansell
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    • chitranagarajan

    @gwenhwyfaer @lisaansell perhaps should organise another gathering, away from parties and unions, where people just talk with each other? about 11 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone in reply to gwenhwyfaer Retweeted by you and 2 others
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell I said attacking Labour was pointless cos they will continue to be shit unless you force them to listen by organising outside it about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • Louise243

    @lisaansell Being “hysterical”? Wow! “hysteria” = medical condition particular to women caused by disturbances of uterus cc @sunny_hundal about 11 hours ago via web in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell …organise and mobilise outside of Labour, and eventually it will have to listen if they want your votes.That’s all I said then about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell 3) I didn’t say “women weren’t doing it right”. I made one point in women’s session: that was, if Labour disappoints you then about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell 2) there were plenty of anti-labour comments made there, which received applause. So that space is *not* marginalised about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell to address your points in the tweet: 1) blogs do try and represent women… or at least LC does – I can’t control what others do about 11 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • Rani_kuk

    @sunny_hundal @lisaansell I’ve been totally enthralled in ur debate. Just one ? Sunny, were there any female organisers in netroots? about 11 hours ago via ÜberTwitter in reply to sunny_hundal
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell earlier you were saying how the womens event went very well, and now you’re saying women were marginalised by being put in room about 12 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell …then you’re not the first. But you’re accusing me of having a big ego about it all without explaining why.Find that offensive about 12 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell …its impossible to have this convo here because I’m not sure what you’re accusing me of. If it’s of being not radical enough.. about 12 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • elmyra

    @lisaansell Hope you feel better soon. about 12 hours ago via web in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell ..to me not listening to women generally? You saying women weren’t represented or their issues not highlighted or s’thing else? about 12 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell Lisa – we agree Wmin isn’t representative, but disagree on whether Labour is helpful to cause or not.But how does that translate about 12 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • donnachadelong

    @sunny_hundal @lisaansell Quite a number of contributors called on people to join Labour – more than encouraged people to take to streets about 12 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal Retweeted by you
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    • EmmaLangman

    @sunny_hundal @lisaansell I think your conversation reveals limits of Twitter. Maybe try Skype? U may be agreeing on more than you think :-) about 12 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® in reply to sunny_hundal
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    • elmyra

    @lisaansell I was the person who made the end comment in that session about supporting each other. about 12 hours ago via web in reply to lisaansell
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    • elmyra

    @gwenhwyfaer @lisaansell Seconded. about 12 hours ago via web in reply to gwenhwyfaer
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell and women were not ‘marginalised’ – they were represented throughout all sessions. about 12 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell but I agreed with your point that westmin is unrepresentative. I have no idea what you’re arguing any more about 12 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell ..attention from MPs or Westmin not preferable to actually forcing them to them. How does that translate to me dismissing women? about 12 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell and when did I ever say netroots is a resource women should avoid? you’re trying to twist my words. I said that demanding… about 12 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal
    • bensixesq

    @sunny_hundal @sonniesedge @lisaansell @NinaGleams – How does one “get power”? about 12 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    • sunny_hundal

    @NinaGleams @lisaansell @sonniesedge that was the point of Netroots, to discuss how to organise and lobby better, and bypass parties about 12 hours ago via HootSuite
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    • sunny_hundal

    @sonniesedge @lisaansell @NinaGleams only way to make Westmin listen is to get organised and get power. They wont listen if you just shout about 12 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to SonniesEdge
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    • elmyra

    @lisaansell I’m sure we’ll get to talk properly next time. :-) about 13 hours ago via web in reply to lisaansell
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    • elmyra

    @ Reply
    • SonniesEdge

    @sunny_hundal @lisaansell But how? How do we convince them to be decent humans, to see that their shit affects our lives? about 15 hours ago via TweetDeck in reply to sunny_hundal
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    • debsalini

    @NinaGleams @sunny_hundal @lisaansell It’s up to us to make it: we must stand, and win, and change the working practices to suit us. about 15 hours ago via web in reply to NinaGleams Retweeted by you and 1 other
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    • SonniesEdge

    @lisaansell @sunny_hundal It’s a problem for all minority groups. I got told by parl that I can be excluded from rape centres. No recourse. about 15 hours ago via TweetDeck in reply to lisaansell
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    • Wandahope

    @NinaGleams @sunny_hundal @lisaansell or older disable women mothers about 15 hours ago via web in reply to NinaGleams Retweeted by you and 1 other
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    • kaygeeuk

    @lisaansell Get more sleep, we’ll keep taking the fight to them. We are right. they will listen. about 15 hours ago via web in reply to lisaansell
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    • LadyMcScamp

    @lisaansell Don’t feel humiliated, you’re awesome & there’s probably more of us that know what you’re talking about than don’t. about 15 hours ago via web in reply to lisaansell
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    • twodoctors

    @sunny_hundal @lisaansell Yes/no is often terribly unfair. (also, yes, obvs) about 15 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone in reply to sunny_hundal
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    • NinaGleams

    @sunny_hundal @lisaansell it’s hardly a question of whether we want Westminster. Westminster doesn’t want women & particularly mothers. about 15 hours ago via web Retweeted by you and 1 other
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell Lisa let me put it this way. Do you want Westminster or not? Do you think Westminster affects you or not? Yes / no please… about 15 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell …annoyed when ppl kept on bringing up how crap Labour was. If its crap – then mobilise outside FFS.That was my reply to Laurie about 15 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell but the whole point of the event was to ask ppl to mobilise for change *outside* of caring what Labour did. this is why I got.. about 15 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @sonniesedge @lisaansell …then find ways to put pressure on westminster about 15 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to SonniesEdge
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    • sunny_hundal

    @sonniesedge @lisaansell i’m not saying westminster is where change will occur. I’m saying ppl need to mobilise outside of Westminster and.. about 15 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to SonniesEdge
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell sure, but unless you change policy at westminster, how exactly would you change how money is allocated? about 15 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • kaygeeuk

    @lisaansell Fuck it, you’ve sucked me in. Am going to write angry ‘this is why I left activism x,y and z times’ blog. Need clone. about 15 hours ago via web in reply to lisaansell
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    • SonniesEdge

    @sunny_hundal @lisaansell is utterly right. Westminister is not where change in this country will occur. *How* it will occur, I don’t know. about 15 hours ago via TweetDeck
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    • kaygeeuk

    @lisaansell *bangs head* have to go sleep, hard to articulate good discussions we all had when being told ‘u doing it wrong’ by men! about 15 hours ago via web in reply to lisaansell Retweeted by you
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    • cherylbaker

    @lisaansell @taobhcle sounds better than the bs we are used to hearing lol about 16 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @matgb @lisaansell but LC isn’t a general cultural blog. It *is* focused very much on national political scene. about 16 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to matgb
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    • mrsblogs

    @lisaansell when a man gets up to speak ppl listen. when a woman speaks if ppl like what they see they listen. Finally ppl might listen! about 16 hours ago via web
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell …which is easier in a focused session. Trying to have it in front of everyone would have led nowhere about 16 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell yes but that session was supposed to specifically ask women abt their concerns and try develop a plan to move forward about 16 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • liannedemello

    @lisaansell Great, though your tweets suggest frustration? At time did feel like definition of ‘unengaged’ = not having party membership =/ about 16 hours ago via TweetDeck in reply to lisaansell
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    • kaygeeuk

    @sunny_hundal @lisaansell Women don’t need to be ‘heard more’ to tick a box that says you’ve included us. Lisa is right about ‘the bubble’ about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    • matgb

    @sunny_hundal Yeah, you can. Crosspost more local issue/non bubble stuff, & more female contributors; you forget LC is big ;-) @lisaansell about 16 hours ago via Dabr in reply to sunny_hundal Retweeted by you
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    • sunshinesdaily

    @lisaansell Seemingly by taking our clothes off. Regardless of the subject. about 16 hours ago via web in reply to lisaansell
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    • LissyNumber

    @lisaansell we need to stop viewing women as separate creatures to men and just accept that we’re all people, and that’s what matters. about 16 hours ago via web in reply to lisaansell
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    • RubixPin

    @lisaansell Hire a PR company that is the only way! about 16 hours ago via web in reply to lisaansell
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    • miss_s_b

    @stealthmunchkin @matgb @lisaansell aren’t you normal, then? ;) about 16 hours ago via TweetDeck in reply to stealthmunchkin
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    • sunny_hundal

    @matgb @lisaansell yo, I read women bloggers! but I can’t force others to also read them? about 16 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to matgb
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    • stealthmunchkin

    @miss_s_b @matgb @lisaansell …important than ID cards starting, because that was only in Manchester. about 16 hours ago via web in reply to miss_s_b
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    • stealthmunchkin

    @miss_s_b @matgb @lisaansell Not just ‘normal’ people – it was why I quit LC. When Sunny thought Cameron’s bike getting nicked more… about 16 hours ago via web in reply to miss_s_b
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    @sunny_hundal @lisaansell > treated as a seperate group to be targetted and were treated in the same way as men in stuff like that instead. about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    • miss_s_b

    @stealthmunchkin @matgb @lisaansell and that’s one of the things that puts normal people off about 16 hours ago via TweetDeck in reply to stealthmunchkin
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    • cherylbaker

    @lisaansell yeah I was being entirely serious about transport links. Easy links from all major cities, even Scots ones. about 16 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone in reply to lisaansell
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    • stealthmunchkin

    @matgb @lisaansell But the ‘big political bloggers’ see it as unimportant compared to whether Cameron’s fallen out with Boris or something. about 16 hours ago via web in reply to matgb
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell the conf was structured around cuts – that was intention. women’s debate didn’t, but needed better focus I think 4 next time about 16 hours ago via web in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell i agree they’re politically engaged, but how can they be heard more? that was point of discussion. dont think it got to that… about 16 hours ago via web in reply to lisaansell
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    • cherylbaker

    @Gertiepink @sunny_hundal @lisaansell Ahh Manc gets lots of stuff, nothing good comes to Newcastle plus worst hit areas of country here about 16 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone in reply to Gertiepink Retweeted by you
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    • matgb

    @lisaansell Exactly. I know too many local issues writers who get ignored/marginalised or classed as “General/Other” instead of Politics about 16 hours ago via Dabr in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell …planned about 16 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell well, other women there didnt seem to agree… i’m not saying all of iot was, or blaming you. just saying it didnt come out as about 16 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • Gertiepink

    @sunny_hundal @cherylbaker @lisaansell Manchester please please please beg ect… about 16 hours ago via web in reply to sunny_hundal
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    • matgb

    @sunny_hundal definitely agree with @lisaansell, I continue to read more female bloggers, always have, bubble types (U?) don’t look enough about 16 hours ago via Dabr in reply to lisaansell
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    • SonniesEdge

    THIS >>> RT @lisaansell: @sunny_hundal This is still being defined in traditional left/right terms. This not about left/right any more. about 16 hours ago via TweetDeck in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lukebozier @lisaansell …successful in their area. We had space for ‘ordinary’ ppl to also present too: lunchtime plenaries, open-mic about 16 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to LukeBozier
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lukebozier @lisaansell it could be led more by ppl, but needed to have more focus. and sometimes, big names are big names because they are about 16 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to LukeBozier
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell yes but polly toynbee was about the only big name though. Agree she misjudged the whole thing though about 16 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell but the whole point of yesterday *was* to say to ppl to go out on grassroots. who said anything about media bubble leading? about 16 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell no, session was about how women could make themselves heard more, politically, online. Turned into ppl just cussing CIF / Labour about 17 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell but that is exactly what I want to see happen? not sure what you’re accusing me of? about 17 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • LukeBozier

    @lisaansell @sunny_hundal No way – it would be nothing but a cranky shouting match if that were the case. Enough of that already! about 17 hours ago via web in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell think some people will conflate the two – but I made it clear it was about fighting the cuts about 17 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • donnachadelong

    @lisaansell Professionally staffed creche always available at Anarchist Bookfair #justsayin about 17 hours ago via Twitter for Android in reply to lisaansell
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    • chitranagarajan

    @sunny_hundal @lisaansell @jester we were talking about both – content and representation needs to include women as well as men about 17 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone in reply to sunny_hundal
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    • sunny_hundal

    @chitranagarajan but that wasn’t about gender representation on panels, that was about the content you were objecting to?@lisaansell @jester about 17 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to chitranagarajan
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    • SonniesEdge

    @chitranagarajan @lisaansell @sunny_hundal Ha! I’m in the Midlands. But we all know Euston is The North for most Londoners… about 17 hours ago via web in reply to chitranagarajan
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    • cherylbaker

    @sunny_hundal @lisaansell Newcastle is easier for train links from north & south in all honesty (nothing to do with me living here -honest) about 18 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone in reply to sunny_hundal
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    • chitranagarajan

    @SonniesEdge @lisaansell @sunny_hundal Watch it, some of us are from near ‘nearly Scotland’ – country exists beyond SE… about 18 hours ago via TweetDeck
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    • SonniesEdge

    @lisaansell @sunny_hundal It’s on in Newcastle?! I really hope you mean Newcastle-under-Lyme, as upon-Tyne is nearly Scotland! about 18 hours ago via web in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @cherylbaker @lisaansell whoa! calm down, I haven’t even organised another one yet! Might work better in Manchester first :P about 18 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to cherylbaker
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    • chitranagarajan

    @sunny_hundal @lisaansell Sure I remember me and @jester talking with you about gender representation) for quite a while – not remember? about 18 hours ago via TweetDeck in reply to sunny_hundal
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    • chitranagarajan

    @lisaansell There’s one in Newcastle? When? Would be lovely to be surrounded by other northerners rather than just you. ;-) about 18 hours ago via TweetDeck in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell it was labout and london centric, but most lefties will be in a london conference. where was gender reprsentation lacking…? about 18 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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    • sunny_hundal

    @lisaansell there will be one in newcastle?! :P about 18 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to lisaansell
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  65. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 7:31 pm  

    THere you go Sunny.

  66. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 7:33 pm  

    THe last list included people who were at the session trying to engage Sunny. And people trying to get him to see. The first was mainly my side. We are in process of collating so they can be seen as conversatioon over discussion- especially the ones which illustrate the problems women identified in being heard.

  67. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 7:43 pm  

    THis particular extract is quite illuminating. I have used an app to show thread- so you can read it more easily.

    sunny_hundal @sonniesedge @lisaansell …then find ways to put pressure on westminster

    Posted about 1 days ago from HootSuite
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal told the problem is I am not trying to make them listen is fucking soul destroying.

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal holes in your shoes, trying to tell men who will never be affected by these policies that they are not listening, and being

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal to discuss, cos media that influence them, cant be arsed looking outside Westminster. Standing with wet socks cos you have

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal Westminster is currently playing a game of marbles with my life. Is very relevant to me. They just dont care. And dont need

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    sunny_hundal

    sunny_hundal @lisaansell Lisa let me put it this way. Do you want Westminster or not? Do you think Westminster affects you or not? Yes / no please…

    Replied about 1 days ago from HootSuite
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal marginalised person. I share that, to make people listen. Cos I am not unusual.

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal I dont want to bang on and on about how shit things are- is humiliating. I dont want people seeing me as poor, or as some

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal of Westminster and old and new media- is going to be catastrophic. Politics not a hobby, its life. Society.

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal except consequences for me are real. Westminster politics does not exist in a vacuum- effect of refusal to listen on part of

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal I spend most of my waking hours doing something to try and make people listen. Is knackering when they cant hear you.

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal then you miss the point. THe point was not that Labour are crap- the point was there is political consensus. One of reasons

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    sunny_hundal

    sunny_hundal @lisaansell …annoyed when ppl kept on bringing up how crap Labour was. If its crap – then mobilise outside FFS.That was my reply to Laurie

    Replied about 1 days ago from HootSuite
    sunny_hundal

    sunny_hundal @lisaansell but the whole point of the event was to ask ppl to mobilise for change *outside* of caring what Labour did. this is why I got..

    Replied about 1 days ago from HootSuite
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal seems the progressive movement- didnt read the stuff women have been saying for centuries. Irrelevant.

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal and when people who should be listening, just dismiss what is said as us ‘doing it wrong’.

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal account,. Cant do that, if we are in a room on our own(again) discussing why Westminster and friends wont listen to us.

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal selves, instead of us- that wont change. We have no representation in Westminster until parties are forced to take us into

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal unless people interested in Westminster start looking outside- and seeing WHY we cant influence Westminster- and questioning

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    sunny_hundal

    sunny_hundal @lisaansell sure, but unless you change policy at westminster, how exactly would you change how money is allocated?

    Replied about 1 days ago from HootSuite
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal and unless those concerned with Westminster start looking away from Westminster a great deal of harm will be done.

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal not discussed. Westminster doesnt contain key to understanding any of this.

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal coalition is not the problem. Westminster is. Our economic policy being based on a fundamental inequality to be exploited and

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal these cuts cannot be understood by looking at Westminster. Only by looking at what is absent from Westminster.

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal by looking outside Westminster-you can identify what the probs are within. And there are deep fucking problems right now.

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal this happening because debate of womens issues is seen as seperate, and notably absent from Westminster.

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal and that is what will mean this cuts go ahead unchallenged. But we cant wait for you lot to redefine politcs any more- cos

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal but while poltics defined as westminster- and westminster seen as more important-= then women wont be heard.

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal what you define as political scene. These cuts have changed the political scene, and debates which need to define it.

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    sunny_hundal

    sunny_hundal @matgb @lisaansell but LC isn’t a general cultural blog. It *is* focused very much on national political scene.

    Posted about 1 days ago from HootSuite
    sunny_hundal

    sunny_hundal @sonniesedge @lisaansell i’m not saying westminster is where change will occur. I’m saying ppl need to mobilise outside of Westminster and..

    Posted about 1 days ago from HootSuite
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal cant answer the question of why noone is listening. That isnt a question for them.

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal only place that session would have worked, was with everyone else. A room full of women who have been trying to be heard

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal that tweet sunny, is at the core of what you dont get.

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    sunny_hundal

    sunny_hundal @lisaansell …which is easier in a focused session. Trying to have it in front of everyone would have led nowhere

    Posted about 1 days ago from HootSuite
    sunny_hundal

    sunny_hundal @lisaansell yes but that session was supposed to specifically ask women abt their concerns and try develop a plan to move forward

    Posted about 1 days ago from HootSuite
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal political bubble not debating any of the questions which underpin the cuts-because of focus on Westminster as ‘politics’.

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal of why these cuts will go ahead.

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal issues- womens issues not seperate from Westminster-but seperate. And the absence of discussion a symptom of that and at core

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    lisaansell

    lisaansell @sunny_hundal cos we have been trying to be heard for quite a while. We just cant be heard in forums that are not concerned with womens

    Replied about 1 days ago from web
    sunny_hundal

    sunny_hundal @matgb @lisaansell yo, I read women bloggers! but I can’t force others to also read them?

    Posted about 1 days ago from HootSuite
    sunny_hundal

    sunny_hundal @lisaansell the conf was structured around cuts – that was intention. women’s

  68. Rumbold — on 11th January, 2011 at 7:52 pm  

    A lot of twits on this thread.

  69. Rantersparadise — on 11th January, 2011 at 8:59 pm  

    @ Lisa

    Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    It’s about being realistic. I think the grassroots and the people in power should work together-not as foreigners.

    So I’m not one side at all, especially as inherently my behaviour leads to protesting-was a socialist at Uni.

    But I realised I was not getting anywhere and this depressed me,severly.

    It’s not about me but society, so I had to really reign in deep beliefs to get into party politics.

    All I see at the moment is really bright people going round in circles and not organising to fight the right.

    Because,why are we in this position…again? Did we not leatn from Thatcher?

    Are we sooo insane as human beings that we need to do this over and over again?

    I was standing in line somewhere and there was this young girl with her kid slagging off the Labour party and saying she would vote Tory. I know of this girl. She doesn’t work and is on benefits.

    Who invented our welfare system? But I bet now she is ‘up in arms that her benefits are being taken’….

    That is poeple for you. But because I get depressed by poverty, I won’t sit and be cynical but do something to get the word out there.

    We need all different methods to make change.

  70. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 9:25 pm  

    No you miss the point. Labour are not opposing cuts that affect me, and are not going to. The reason they are not going to, is that they are tied to this course of action- and by taking so much from the welfare budget they are not taking from unemployed people. They are taking from my friends, and me. Welfare state not just about unemployment. About making sure that caring for others, and motherhood didnt leave you destitute. About recognising unpaid labour of women. Labour should be quite knowledgeable about this- as is really inherent in their history.

    Yet Labour are not opposing this. And to ask someone who is literally at the kicking end of these cuts, to believe that just pretending that Labour are opposing cuts and refusing to be critical- not really appropriate. I am a member of the Labour party, and I do engage with my party. I lobby them, I write to them, and I attend meetings.

    Labour are currently pretending to people like me, that they are the opposition. They wont even admit that they are refusing to oppose, and are scoring election points of feelings about coalition. I have friends on ESA who believe that Labour are going to save them- unaware that ESA policies are a continuation of Labours policy-and Labour pretty much promised to do same. Same with friends who cana only work because of housing benefit- all shocked to read Labours manifesto bit about HB. Which I showed them.

    I do engage with Labour- by lobbying them. I want a healthy labour party- not to usher back in a Labour party who would fuck me over as quickly as the tories, with only difference being enjoyment they get out of it.

    And regarding Sunnys comments at the session. As someone who feels that a cross party consensus which fucks over single parents, disabled people, people to sick to work, and the unemployed- ie the working class who were already fucked over by the Tories and then Labour again- leaving us with NO representation- I fail to see how questioning that cross party consensus is something I should avoid.

    In fact- it would seem to me, that the only way to get parties who represent me, are to question them-as the democratic bodies they are.

    I think given the current situation- the idea that Labour are somehow the same thing as opposing cuts- at a conference for people who are opposingn cuts- is insulting and could only really be uttered by someone who isnt affected in this way.

    For someone who isnt affected in this way to insist that I am not to criticise Labour outside what HE thinks is appropriate is downright disgusting.

    I am a member of the Labour Party- and I want them to be a healthy representative Labour Party- so I do my democratic duty and I campaign actively- and spend a great deal of time doing so.

    But apparently unless that campaigning approved of by blogs with a readership of less than 10’000 hits a week-= is only way that is likely to succeed for a population of 60million people- slightly arrogant.

    I get depressed by poverty. Unfortunately the kind of poverty that I get depressed about is a thing of the past under these cuts. I dont quite want to think about what poverty is going to be like in a year or so.

  71. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 9:30 pm  

    Idea that I am just cross cos he is ‘more moderate’ another example of sunny defining parameters of debate,and excluding experiences of those affected. TO be more moderate, I would have to support and not criticise a party who will fuck me over. And did.

  72. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 9:32 pm  

    Although describing tackling ‘needless’ criticism of Labour as evidence that he is ‘more moderate’- really does allow Sunny to paint himself in a certain way.

    And me as ‘extreme’.

  73. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 9:38 pm  

    Not to mention fact taht many of people affected by these cuts, would NEVER have voted Labour-and wont protest and act, if they feel that it is about supporting Labour.

    These cuts do not affect you because you are on the left, or identify with what Sunny thinks is progressive. They hit you for many reasons, but your political affiliation is not one of them.

  74. Lisa Ansell — on 11th January, 2011 at 11:30 pm  

    And the final fucking insult.

    Apparently I am a radical. Not someone opposing the cuts because they affect me. Not someone who has good reason not to see Labour as part of the opposition. What do I have to do not to be considered a radical?

  75. Refresh — on 12th January, 2011 at 12:55 am  

    Lisa

    The most disturbing thing I have noted has got to be where one activist calls another a ‘radical’ as an insult and its taken as one.

    I fear politics may have died whilst I wasn’t looking.

    The rest of what you have cited is par for the course of any ‘lefty’ radical venture. It was always so, and I believe the thing to do is stick it out and make sure the proposed system operates to meet your requirements.

    I agree with your comments regarding the Labour Party or affiliation with any party.

    The danger is Netroots (note I knew nothing about it until 3 days ago) ends up being not very different to what Blair achieved to get into office in 1997. Which was a civil coalition of opposition.

    The downside of that was of course all opposition was silenced and Blair could and did what he pleased with any one of his ex-coalition partners. You might recall the media would keep telling us he was never more popular than when he was attacking the left. And it has now left us with a husk of the movement.

    And you could argue that Obama didn’t invent a new form of campaigning, but picked it up from what was going on over here and applied it to the web.

    So yes dangers lurk, but that is not to say you should not participate; and most of all fight to the bitter end any centralising tendancies.

  76. Refresh — on 12th January, 2011 at 1:10 am  

    As far as Westminster is concerned too much emphasis is being placed on it and too soon.

    Parliament needs to see the hordes before they will consider anything. And that means campaigns that reach even crooks and grannies who have not been accessed before. The party political system is already pretty much decimated in the constituencies, and the old party loyalties have been killed off. So in the streets and on the estates the job is to empower people previously ‘untouched’ by politics to understand the issues so they can take on the politicos.

    I don’t know if Netroots addressed the mainstream media, but one hugely important campaign has got to be challenging the Murdoch hegemony – with him further emboldened the hordes at the gates of parliament will mean absolutely nothing.

  77. Kismet Hardy — on 12th January, 2011 at 12:04 pm  

    fucking hell Lisa. And I thought Wikileaks was hard to read.

  78. Kismet Hardy — on 12th January, 2011 at 12:09 pm  

    kismethardy @cheryl_cole Will you go out with me? about 15 hours ago via web
    • Delete

    kismethardy @cheryl_cole Please will you go out with me? about 14 hours ago via web
    • Delete

    kismethardy @cheryl_cole Please please will you go out with me? about 13 hours ago via web
    • Delete

    kismethardy @cheryl_cole Why won’t you go out with me? about 12 hours ago via web

    kismethardy @brigitte the midget Will you go out with me? about 10 hours ago via web
    • Delete
    • Delete

  79. Lisa Ansell — on 12th January, 2011 at 12:13 pm  

    http://lisaansell.posterous.com/the-new-left-and-progressive-movement-exploit

    Kismet- this is easier to read. An article about the wannabe journalists who have decided to exploit the cuts for their careers, and rejuvination of ‘their’ movement- by silencing women, and those with disabilities affected.

  80. Kismet Hardy — on 12th January, 2011 at 12:16 pm  

    This obviously means a lot to you. Sorry to yank yer chain. I’ll read it now

  81. Lisa Ansell — on 12th January, 2011 at 12:17 pm  

    Refresh- I know what you mean. I also know the source of the word radical shoudl not be an insult- but in te context of this article it is- http://www.newleftproject.org/index.php/site/article_comments/netroots_the_lowdown/

    And Sunnys insistence that he is merely being moderat, and the silencing and marginalisation of those he exploits- is the same thing.

    Radical shouldnt be an insult- but actually it is being used by these people to marginalise EVERYONE affected by the cuts.

    Sunny doesnt like the trots or those acting against the cuts- and he doesnt like thw women speaking up about their experience of the cuts. He insists that the debate is defined by parameters which entirely exclude their experience- and co-opts their hardship for his own gain.

    While declaring himself to be a leader in a progressive movement- which shares resources on understanding that his view is seen as mainstream. Vile.

  82. anon — on 12th January, 2011 at 12:31 pm  

    Posting anonymously because I don’t want to incur any wrath, but SERIOUSLY, Lisa, you have good points, but your vendetta against Sunny is RIDICULOUS, he has a different opinion to you, and I’m slightly more with you, but your constant overly-verbose attacks on him (HOW many comments do you need to post?) are serving NO PURPOSE except to make people completely ignore you. You have good points, but seem to think Sunny is saying things which he IS DEFINITELY NOT. Your own points are valid, as is the discussion about how far Labour or grassroots alone can affect the cuts. Your constant and bordering on the SURREAL urge to pick a fight with Sunny is not. Direct your anger more usefully, please. You were re-tweeting the GreenLeftie post today – but most of it was in criticism of your attitude! Sunny is not the effigy for the Left that you are trying to make, stop taking matches to him.

  83. anon — on 12th January, 2011 at 12:32 pm  

    p.s. sorry about the capitals, it’s emphasis, not shouting!

  84. Lisa Ansell — on 12th January, 2011 at 1:06 pm  

    anon — Direct my anger more usefully? Hmmm…

  85. earwicga — on 12th January, 2011 at 1:22 pm  

    anon – I thought the GreenLeftie post was good.

    Perhaps you could concentrate on this bit Lisa:

    The movement needs people like Sunny & Lisa; both bring a passion to their beliefs, & both genuinely fear for the future.

    But the neo-liberal elite will win, if just spend our time bickering amongst ourselves, procrastinate on what we need to, & then bemoan the fact that the things we love are being destroyed.

    Therefore, ‘for the good of the country, for the good of the party, &/or the movement,’ we need to learn to work together.

  86. Lisa Ansell — on 12th January, 2011 at 1:58 pm  

    earwigca- I would- but unfortunately that means accepting that the New left project and the other organisations who have decided they are teh new ‘progressive’ movement- speak for me- and not mentioning that their ‘moderate’ solution doesn’t actually help the people affected by the cuts.

    Of course if I challenge this- I am bickering. Movement is v young- and if it is defined in this way- it isnt likely to get very old.

  87. Refresh — on 12th January, 2011 at 3:42 pm  

    Lisa,

    I read the piece by Jennifer (your link) and I would not feel insulted. It started well and rapidly became incoherent. Clearly written in such a hurry on an iPhone.

  88. anon — on 12th January, 2011 at 7:32 pm  

    Lisa, who says any one is forcing any movement to speak for you? Either make them say what you want, or ignore them and go and speak up through another vehicle. I draw your attention to this section from the GreenLeftie post linked above:

    “what really saddens me was the vitriol in some of the replies. Not only is this upsetting, but also puts people off from getting involved, or even disheartens them from getting involved even more.”

  89. IcarusAscending — on 12th January, 2011 at 7:53 pm  

    While you bicker, students are storming a speech at LSE by Jeremy Hunt.

  90. KJB — on 12th January, 2011 at 11:19 pm  

    Man, this thread is reminding me why I’ve started moving away from feminism.

    Sunny is not a perfect figurehead of ‘the Left’ and he never claims to be… he simply tries to build bridges and that in itself seems to be reason to attack him.

  91. Lisa Ansell — on 13th January, 2011 at 12:22 am  

    When Sunny declares the anti cuts movement the core of a progressive movement and the support of Labour as the ‘moderate’ view- he marginalises those of us who don’t. Whhen his second or third damascene conversion to a political party- is imposed on a movement against cuts that dont actually affect him(apart from lining his pockets) and when he consistently refuses to acknowledge the effect to quite literally in three dasy- people wit disabilities who are affected, people who are losing their homes, single parents and I cam’t quite remember who else.

    And as for the jbes about feminism…yeah standard. Ruffles a few feathers when a so called progressive is asked not to marginalise people…

  92. Refresh — on 13th January, 2011 at 12:30 am  

    Lisa,

    ‘ It started well and rapidly became incoherent. Clearly written in such a hurry on an iPhone.’

    That referred to Jennifer’s piece, just in case my comment was ambiguous.

    I also read your

    http://lisaansell.posterous.com/the-new-left-and-progressive-movement-exploit

    which articulates the argument very well. And I suspect it will play a critical part in the next few months on whether the protests are subsumed and subsequently controlled or whether the protests will inform the activity of other organisations.

    I prefer the latter.

  93. earwicga — on 13th January, 2011 at 10:15 am  

    Lisa –

    When Sunny declares the anti cuts movement the core of a progressive movement and the support of Labour as the ‘moderate’ view- he marginalises those of us who don’t.

    Really? I don’t belong to the Labour party, unlike you. I don’t feel marginalised by ONE conference in London. Just what are you doing Lisa to fight cuts to welfare, apart from stirring up ten tons of shit on Twitter because you had a row with Sunny last Saturday?

    You had a point originally, one made by Laurie Penny before Netroots.

    After watching you operate over the last few days I have no sympathy for you anymore. I see you as offensive, and detracting from what should be an assault on the tory government, and as such you are damaging me and my family among many many others.

    Kindly take your massive ego, unfounded abuse and hurt feelings and stick them up your arse.

  94. Hannah Nicklin — on 13th January, 2011 at 11:10 am  

    @KJB I’m a feminist, proud to be so, just as there are an infinite variations on ‘left’ so are there on feminism. Don’t make the mistake of making one person represent a whole movement :)

    @Lisa let me get this straight, only people directly affected by the cuts are able to mobilise earnestly against them? I get that those who are need a strong voice, but I prefer a world in which the privileged can also fight for the less so. Even if they may occasionally do so clumsily.

    @earwicga lulz

    Anyway, I wrote you all a blog post: http://www.hannahnicklin.com/2011/01/mashup/

  95. Refresh — on 13th January, 2011 at 11:19 am  

    I propose that we establish an Anti-Cuts League!

    And Netroots is simply a tool and online forum for sharing experiences and mechanics. That should take care of it.

  96. earwicga — on 13th January, 2011 at 11:23 am  

    Thanks Hannah, that was interesting. While you are here, do you know if there is any political theatre left? It’s one of the best ways of sharing with people what is going on I think.

  97. Hannah Nicklin — on 13th January, 2011 at 11:51 am  

    @earwicga fuckin’ loads of it my friend! It’s largely not happening in the theatres, though there are some excellent exceptions too, Enron, Ugly, Contingency Plan all brilliant and challenging plays, and I very often write about the new politically effective forms coming out of contemporary performance, start here: http://www.hannahnicklin.com/2010/03/the-player-as-political/

    And follow @hidingseeking @agencyofconey @_dspk @Redladdertheatr @andytfield @beescope and @emmabob3 @blasttheory on Twitter

  98. Hannah Nicklin — on 13th January, 2011 at 11:52 am  

    @refresh I point the honorable commenter to http://coalitionofresistance.org.uk

  99. earwicga — on 13th January, 2011 at 12:08 pm  

    Thanks Hannah – There was tons of it around when I lived in London. Not seen anything near me though – will look harder!

  100. Refresh — on 13th January, 2011 at 1:11 pm  

    Hannah, thank you.

    BTW I’ve worked out what LOL is, but what is lulz – I’ve seen it 3 or 4 times now.

  101. Lisa Ansell — on 13th January, 2011 at 6:43 pm  

    @hannahnicklin I did not say that ONLY those affected could fight the cuts. I said that the fight against the cuts is bigger and more important than a movement to reinvigorate the left. Especially as the vast majority of people fighting may not actually identify themselves that way. Netroots was supposed to be an umbrella where lots groups came together with shared aims- not a place to be told that the only moderate solution was a party committed to cutting in the same way. And the pressure placed on people there(not just me-btw) to deny their own experience and pretend Labour were a solution was appalling.

    I am saying that Sunny sat in a session where women discussed how they were marginalised- and then demonstrated what they had discussed.

    And that while the so called New ‘progressive’ movement can assist people in fighting the cuts and contribute to that fight like anyone else- they do not have the right to coopt resistance to the cuts and declare the fight theirs- and even worse co-opt it for LAbour votes- when quite a lot of people have actually read the Labour manifesto.

    As for the person who has been disgusted by my ego-I’ll live without your support- but I still wont be marginalised in a fight that affects me by the people who came up with netroots.

    I would also be very interested if Sunny could share how much of netroots agends was shaped by the new social media strategy labour have devised. THere now appears to be more evidence that this is exactly what it was.

    As for disgust at my ego- I watched Sunny talk last night on twitter to 4 people who are seriously affected by the cuts- and after they patiently explained that Labour would be continuing the cuts that affected him- and that they felt marginalised HE got frustrated by their unwillingness to listen to him.

    THis has been repeated ad infinitum.

    THis isnt going anywhere-http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3421076/ansell_speech_50.mp4

    That is the rough cut of the talk I made. Apologies I looked like shit and had been up all night ill. The rest of the video, including Sunny’s interjection and derailing of the session will be out within a day or so.

  102. earwicga — on 13th January, 2011 at 7:26 pm  

    Lisa – it is amusing that you can’t be bothered to type my name – I am guessing I don’t have enough ‘influence’ for you to bother with things like that. I also watched Sunny talking to people who were attacking him on Twitter. I found it very sad that because of your vile ego driven false attacks, people felt entitled to attack Sunny in such a rancid way. I was particularly disgusted by the tweet that all but accused Sunny of being responsible for a planned suicide. As I said to you on Twitter, perhaps you weren’t actually listening as you don’t seem to have those skills, I am in the same boat as you. I am disgusted that this is the way you choose to defend lone parents. You are not defending me, you are making it harder, which is why I object to you and what you are doing. And I am in no way the only person who feels that way.

    Is Sunny responsible for Labour policy Lisa? You seem to be rather confused about this.

    I thought your speech was good, I have no comment on your appearance as that isn’t of interest to anyone (apart from you apparently). You set out problems, but no solutions. You basically said, here I am/we are – come and find us. That is not going to work.

    You had a row, get over it.

  103. Hannah Nicklin — on 13th January, 2011 at 7:34 pm  

    @refresh ‘lulz’ kind of more of a noun than lol, which I’d call a verb. But that’s treating it a bit more seriously than it should be. Internet troll speak for laughter, usually at someone’s expense.

  104. Lisa Ansell — on 13th January, 2011 at 7:40 pm  

    I am not confused at all Hannah. Sunny and the netroots event were very careful to make sure that people who expressed any criticism of Labour were challenged. The massive coverage this received in the mainstream press was clear that thsi was an event where the groups against the cuts would be coming together- and then Sunny, the fabians, the new left project- were all very clear in defining this as a reinvigoration of the left. And one where support of Labour was the moderate stance.

    And I dont think you quite understand. This is not about a row with Sunny. Never has been about a row with Sunny.

  105. Lisa Ansell — on 13th January, 2011 at 7:42 pm  

    And the only reason this appears to be a row with Sunny- is that he is very deliberately ignoreing the views of those who are affected by cuts- many of whom(not just me) have been very patient in trying to get him to understand the consequences of what he is doing. TO address his privilege.

  106. Lisa Ansell — on 13th January, 2011 at 7:43 pm  

    And I would be VERY interested to know how much of a part of Labour’s new social media strategy Netroots was. Very interested indeed, because the people attended weren’t actually told= and perhaps if we had of been, we wouldnt have trekked to London to exploited in that way.

  107. earwicga — on 13th January, 2011 at 7:44 pm  

    Yes it was Lisa, and along the way you have been abusing others as well.

    I am very happy if you have decided to change your approach now.

    And lol at the ‘massive coverage’. You might want to look at the About page of New Left Project as you seem a little confused about them too.

  108. Lisa Ansell — on 13th January, 2011 at 7:49 pm  

    Sorry Earicga- did you not see the spread in the New Statesman- the coverage in the Grauniad? The articles since in the mainstream media? And I am not confused about what the New Left project are. I can see precisely what they are- or what they believe they are.

  109. Lisa Ansell — on 13th January, 2011 at 7:52 pm  

    As for ‘debating’ with you Earwicga= not sure how a debate punctuated by regular tweets with you telling me what a spiteful woman I am for picking on Sunny, interspersed with occasional reasonable comments, could be defined? I have been fairly clear. Fairly consistent- and was incredibly patient with Sunny. More so than he actually deserved.

    And yes, I DO want to know how much of netroots was Labour social media strategy- because it would now appear that there is a very distinct policy with our main blogs, to take Labour spin pieces- and it would appear that Netroots was fairly important to that strategy.

    And given that treating Labour as the moderate solution- marginalises just about everyone affected by the policies Labour would be continuing- this is quite an important question as well.

  110. earwicga — on 13th January, 2011 at 7:58 pm  

    If you say so Lisa. And as you already belong to the Labour party, why the beef with Labour types asking others to? Just say no.

  111. Waterloo Sunset — on 13th January, 2011 at 11:22 pm  

    Well, if an anti-cuts organisation had a large number of speakers telling me to join the SWP, I’d assume it was a SWP front group.

    Same applies with the Labour Party. It does sound like Netroots is more of a “Labour Against the Cuts” organisation, as opposed to a broadbased coalition. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s better to be upfront about it. It would have avoided a lot of the current disputes.

  112. KJB — on 13th January, 2011 at 11:25 pm  

    Hannah – I’m not hating on feminists, but I’ve really come to recognise the womanist critique of feminism as a movement that forces ethnic minority women to ‘choose’ between ethnic minority men and white women/assumes we should always be on their side. From what I can see here, a bunch of white feminists are ganging up on a non-white man, and as a non-white semi-feminist, this fucks me off no end.

    I am NOT on Lisa Ansell’s side – she’s been commenting as if she represents all lefty/feminist women here. She keeps playing the victim, claiming to have been ‘marginalised’ merely because Sunny acknowledged that he does not possess the power to make Labour address all her concerns?

    I am saying that Sunny sat in a session where women discussed how they were marginalised- and then demonstrated what they had discussed.

    How exactly? You haven’t demonstrated this at all in this thread. All you’ve done is repeatedly hurl accusations at Sunny which anyone with basic reading comprehension can see are unfounded.

    Why do you keep simultaneously complaining about how this movement was Labour-centric, accusing it of failing to live up to your own personal expectations and then huffing about how you’re a member of Labour and you don’t need to be treated this way, etc.? I’m genuinely bewildered as to what your issue is. I read your blog post, which was at least fairly to-the-point, but it didn’t address the things you keep directing at Sunny here.

  113. Lisa Ansell — on 14th January, 2011 at 12:47 am  

    BY sitting in a room full of women telling him they weren’t engaged, because westminster and core political blogs were too insular- and that maybe question wasn;t that they weren’t engaged- but that their ‘issues’ ie how their lives are affected by cuts- are largely not interesting to the core political scene.

    He told us we had done the session wrong, let it get bogged down in Cif bashing and criticism of the labour party. When actually what had happened was that most of them had made the very fair comment, that they didnt see Labour as part of the solution at present. Including me. Sunny couldn’t actually see anything wrong with this.

    Not when they explained it after. Not when we tried on twitter. Fingers in ears lalala

    There is a big difference between a conference where women affected by the cuts can openly discuss their political engagement, including why they feel they are marginalised. Without the organiser basically sticking his finger in his ears and ignoring them using the very same tactics they discussed earlier in session.

    Repeatedly over the last few days- people who are actually affected by the cuts have explained to him. People without the ability to work once their state support is cut- people who are losing their homes. Sunny tweets that HE is frustrated that they ‘cant hear him’.

    He has seen repeated blog posts from women saying the same thing. Nothing.

    And now he, and other so called ‘left; organisations have framed the opposition to the cuts as agreed by netroots- that opposition through labour is somehow the moderate response. And we are now extremists for pointing out that actually, for us- it isn’t. Apparnetly the ‘trots’ who do whatever at protests- radicals- in fact- it would appear that all of a sudden this movemnt based on the cuts doesn;t really give a fuck about the people who are excluded.

    Sunny sat in that room and dismissed the views of people who are actually affected- because apparently it isnt constructive(for who?). Even though the ‘views’ are the reality for those women.
    And me.

    And he did so using the tiredest most unoriginal ways- which if he had been present at the session before he derailed it- he would have known.

    Some of us had travelled a long way to be there- thinking we were going for something constructive to help US organise. Turns out was a conference to see what we could do for the new left, and labour.

    Also turns out that Alex Smith new Labour spin guy was involved in organising- funny that.

  114. earwicga — on 14th January, 2011 at 1:02 am  

    Ah, so you saw the session as an opportunity to moan about how shit life is Lisa. Thing is, I already know how shit life is as a single parent depending on welfare. I wasn’t able to go to Netroots – I couldn’t afford the train fare – so I was hoping for really useful feedback from this session regarding getting women’s voices heard. There has been no useful feedback because you and obviously others, decided to waste the session talking about yourselves solely. Thanks. I won’t bother to ask any questions of you, because you haven’t addressed any of my points so far on this post. The only voice Lisa hears is Lisa’s voice, and she expects everybody to take her as seriously as she does. Well, we don’t. And don’t tell any more lies about me Lisa.

  115. Lisa Ansell — on 14th January, 2011 at 1:17 am  

    I am not telling lies you daft sod.

  116. Lisa Ansell — on 14th January, 2011 at 1:19 am  

    I know there are a lot of tweets up there- but they are about it. You cant tell lies when there is a record. The video should also be pretty clear. Do you want usernames? @hangbitch @somerandombint @taobhcle @gwenythaer(sorry cant remember spelling) it goes on, and on. You want the names and te blog posts of those in the room? Those who werent a labour councillor, or there because of their website?

  117. Lisa Ansell — on 14th January, 2011 at 1:19 am  

    For someone who doesn’t like spite- you seem to be get spiteful about every two or three tweets. Just saying.

  118. Lisa Ansell — on 14th January, 2011 at 1:21 am  

    ”Ah, so you saw the session as an opportunity to moan about how shit life is Lisa”’

    Yes. That is why I went to London. To say how shit life is. Cos I wanted to. And I deliberately chose to be hit by some of the biggest cuts. Just so I could travel to London to tell a bunch of media types about the cuts and make them feel sorry for me. I did it all deliberately. THose people who tweeted sunny, deliberately injured themselves and developed disabilities just so they could tell Sunny. So they could receive state support, and tell Sunny about it. We all appointed ourselves.

  119. Lisa Ansell — on 14th January, 2011 at 1:24 am  

    And you know the reason we dont want Sunny saying that the the cuts are a new progressive movement, with his idea of what moderate is? NOt because Labour will do same- but to get attention. Cos actually, why would the reasons that Labour wont help us be even relevant? THats what we are doing. Trying to get attention. Shameless.

  120. earwicga — on 14th January, 2011 at 1:39 am  

    Oh, you are getting attention Lisa.

    So, why, as a single parent on an income that will see you losing your home, did you choose to pay a significant amount on a train ticket to London? Nothing significant has come of the session you spoke at for those who weren’t there. Nothing significant came out of the session for those who there either.

    I am not telling lies you daft sod.

    Yes you are Lisa, yes you are.

    @ KJB – I bet you can spot the entitlement from a mile away.

  121. Lisa Ansell — on 14th January, 2011 at 1:46 am  

    The TUC paid my ticket. That’s why I could go. I was already planning on going, to meet several trade union activist. And some groups who were going to help me organise some stuff. I realise the week before, that I couldnt afford . I wont say why.

    They emailed and asked if I would speak to a session on why women arent engaged politically online. We explained. Then people like you demonstrated quite well. During that time, we were a bit confused. We had a good session(not the New Left reporter, Labour Councillor or Sunny)- we got a lot out of it. Then we found out what that meant.

    Is this where I am obliged to go through my weekly income, and give you my outgoings- to prove my credentials as an ‘authentic’?

    Shameless.

    You are aware of why people are angry don;t you? You do know it isn’t an affectation to impress someone?

  122. earwicga — on 14th January, 2011 at 1:56 am  

    Lisa, I don’t really have anything more to say to you. You don’t speak for me, as a woman or as a single parent.

    Do keep up the shouting though – I’m quite enjoying the car crash that is the Lisa Ansell twitter stream.

  123. Lisa Ansell — on 14th January, 2011 at 2:01 am  

    I don’t speak for you, or anyone else. I ask that a movement that people with a very varied political outlook will need to fight, are allowed not to have their voice co-opted by one narrow so called progressive, ‘left wing ideology. Mainly because quite a few people I know, would NEVER get involved with a movement to fight cuts under the lefts umbrella. And especially not Labour’s umbrella.

    NOt because I am not left wing. But because everybody else isn’t. And quite frankly, I am not entirely sure how you think we are going to fight these cuts- if teh peopel who were mentioned in that thread, the women in that room, and the usernames I mentioned above- AND me- and those who dont inhabit a minute twitter/blogosphere- but are actually largely not defining themselves politically. And I do not understand how a movement against cuts- which affect EVERYONE especially women- not just single parents, not just me- is going to evolve- if anyone talking about how the cuts are hitting and likely to hit- is ‘feeling sorry for themselves’.

    I don’t speak for you. I demand the right to speak for myself- and not have something that affects me defined by someone in this way.

    And quite frankly- the idea that you are in a positio to talk to anyone about the way they come across, is laughable. BUt I don’t have to do anything about that- people can read. Joy of engaging online.

  124. Lisa Ansell — on 14th January, 2011 at 2:11 am  

    Oh by the way. We first tried tackling Sunny- not to be argumentative- but to give feedback. To improve event for next year.

    Then shocked by his attitude. I continued because it became apparent that this was not about feedback for the next one, but about the way Sunny actually perceives this. By the time a dozen or so people had tried- I realised it was possibly a bit more serious than that.

    By the time I realised Labours new spin doctor had been involved in organising- things became very clear.

    The attitudes have witness and spite and vitriol, not only evidences every point made in the session after me(by those awful women feeling sorry for themselves-sorry for ruining your feedback notes-next time we will engage in a way that is effective enough to suit)- but really highlight how important this actually is,

  125. Nina — on 14th January, 2011 at 3:19 am  

    Lisa, I understand the points you’re making though I’m not sure Sunny does. You need to leave this argument now. I am saying this to you because I understand your political position, your criticism of the question set for the debate at Netroots (and I would like to know who set that question) and your frustration at the implication that a mainstream political party with no helpful policies should be the alternative. I think you should return to this argument in 24 hours (after reading this) and analyse what you have written and reaffirm your questions at that point. I think you have been wound up by some unsavoury, unforgiving behaviour from other parties.

    Sunny, you keep bringing up sectarianism, well it’s becoming entrenched in your comments section so if you don’t want to see it taking root I suggest you take control of what’s taking place on your website. This argument can continue but it’s going to do all of you harm. Failing to respond personally here is not going to allow you to evade that particularly if I’m noticing this to the extent that I’m posting a comment like this on Pickled Politics.

    Earwicga, you are belittling Lisa in the comments section in order to make her look less rational than she is.

    So after that analysis, which I have been trying to correct for an hour this is what I have to say. This is not a good fight, it is not inclusive, the twitter conversation reposted above (which I read while you were writing the tweets, not in there format here) is riddled with misunderstanding and the site was an extremely bad forum for a debate of that nature because it stymied the ability of both you Lisa and you Sunny to actually discuss what had happened in a productive way. That has led to an argument that has inflated on both sides. Moreover Lisa is not a writer by her own admission and there has been and was no concession made to that when she was trying to describe her response to Netroots and ask Sunny to understand why she felt his behaviour was inappropriate (which is quite a frustrating thing to try to do). The impression you get from the Internet is all about a person’s own understanding of what they’re typing and how it comes across. The impetus is on both sets of people to attempt to bridge those kind of gaps in communication particularly when it’s obvious that they exist and especially when you’re using twitter to debate.

    Don’t make me go all STALIN on your arses. I’m going to post this even though I feel reluctant to and I’m going to do it because it’s 3am and I’ve been writing it for bloody ages so you better damn well pay attention because my daughter’s going to wake up at 8am so I’m getting no damn sleep and it’s your fault.

  126. Nina is right — on 14th January, 2011 at 3:20 am  

    Step away from the comments form.

  127. Ravi Naik — on 14th January, 2011 at 11:20 am  

    A room full of women, saying the problem is that they are ignored is not answering the question of what women need to do to solve this problem.

    My response to this was straightforward: Labour won’t come to you unless you force them to come to you.

    I have been trying to follow this thread, and it is a bit disheartening to see two individuals who obviously share the same goals and commitment to the cause of the less fortunate, to be constantly accusing the other of missing the point.

    I think Sunny – specially if he wants to get into politics and be successful at it – needs to improve his skills in connecting with people, specially with women. Policy, strategy, tactics are all fine and I cannot fault what Sunny says, but one needs to know how to deal and empathise with subjective matters like fear, insecurity, and yes, the sense of feeling ignored – without the other party feeling that they are wrong to feel that way.

  128. Shamit — on 14th January, 2011 at 3:43 pm  

    I think Sunny and the rest of Netroots organisers deserve a lot of credit for bringing together all strands of opinions within the Labour Party.

    In fact all major organisers were in some way or the other related to the Labour party including Lisa and Sunny.

    Hence, I find the accusation for a Labour led opposition bizzare to say the least.

    However, it is true that lone parents are being shafted – and they are being put in a Catch 22 situation especially with the Central Government abrogating responsibility.

    On one hand, the universal credit system is going to work against the lone parent – at the same time local authorities being able to cut Sure Start centres is going to simply compound the problem.

    Add to that the problem of being forced out of your home as housing benefits cuts bite and drive the most vulnerable out of the cities – thus leading to extra journey time to and from work. Recent jobs figures have shown part time work and working in double shifts in two different places have become the norm for many families – now you if you are lone parent and with child care to worry about – life is becoming much harder under this coalition government.

    However claiming the labour and coalition policies are the same is simply not true. A quick example while Future Jobs Fund is going under the coalition – the Labour party would have put some kind of direct tax on bonuses to keep it funded. Another quick example, sure start funding was ring fenced under the previous administration and would continue today.

    But trying to paint a demonic picture of the tories is simply going to preach to the choir and won’t simply work.

    Instead people should focus on local campaigns and try to get support from a broad loosely held national network. Not everyone has to believe in everything and no one expects everyone to support everything – and the Labour party can provide political momentum both locally and nationally in such campaigns.

    I thought Netroots was organised to facilitate local campaigners and provide tech help to advice to pointers on organising these campaigns. To share notes and forge new partnerships – And for the most part it did happen.

    And any broad political network should and must avoid the rhetoric hyperbole – demonising tories or speeches about class warfare or “overblown rhetoric” about strikes without any pragmatism from very highly paid union bosses do not wash well with voters.

    Why is Sunny being attacked for acknowledging he can’t change Labour policies – would people have preferred if he made some false promises. Don’t know but I think people should appreciate that honesty.

  129. Lisa Ansell — on 14th January, 2011 at 5:00 pm  

    Shamit, I am not trying to paint a ‘demonic’ picture.

    My point at the conference was that the westminster bubble needed to look outside Westminster to understand the cuts.

    Re: the policies you talk about. Surestart- Surestart may be important to you- but both Labour and Conservatives are committed to cutting from local authorities-which means childrens services.

    Surestart has been a very convenient voter friendly badge of commitment to children for quite a while- under Labour as well. We watched as our department was slashed to cope with the Icelandic bank crash, and then subject to massive cuts- while Ed Balls rattled on about Surestart. It has been very useful for avoiding debate about child protection.

    THis was happening pre-election while departments were already being cut. Same goes for debates about the migration of social care functions to health- the fracturing of service delivery.

    THere are many complex debates about Surestart and the relation to childrens services, as well as this assumption that Surestart is somehow a panacea to all ills.

    These complex debates would not only give political commenters some insight into what is actually happening and how the cuts will be imposed- but would actually provide the key to understanding why and how, the debate has come to centre on Surestart.

    You cant discuss those things without referring to the Labour party’s role in Childrens Services in the past 13 years.

    Re: The future jobs fund. Again there are very complex issues around the complexity and difficulty delivering FJF- which if the people involved in delivering this policy(ie mainly women) were being heard, and political commenters looked outside Westminster- may be discussed. Instead we have to use it as an icon of what Labour did well- and debate stops there.

    Recent jobs figures show many things, including the electoral benefits of increasing female unemployment as a way of tackling this recession. Both parties are committed to the same type of cuts- and apart from the minor policies you mention- these issues are at the core of how these cuts will be implemented. And how to stop them.

    We can’t even have that debate unless a) the voices of those who are involved are not marginalised. b) discussion isnt shut down every time it contravenes whatever political affiliation Sunny has that week. c) the people involved in delivery of services, people who use services-are not obliged to being part of a ‘left’ movement they don’t identify with. THis is much bigger than that. And real.

    Yes- the event was supposed to be about people accessing the resources of the organisations contributing, to fight for themselves- not on the understanding that they were allied to ‘the left’- and certainly not on the understanding that organisers would be hyper sensitive to criticism of Labour-and we woudl be treated as hysterical, bitter radicals, who were trying to be difficult.

    These cuts do not just hit the marginalised ‘poor’. The way these cuts are being implemented is very complex, and very clever- and there are a ggreat many issues not being discussed. Has it not occurred to any of the political commenters that a press briefing about Surestart might be no substitute for trying to engage the people who are actually involved in it. Regardless of their political affiliation.

    Part of the reason they are not being discussed is because the debate is being dominated by political soundbites, and people who can recite off the top of their head the names of voter friendly policies- but have little understanding of why these areas are being cut(or not).

    Also these issues cannot be understood by themselves. It is the cumulation of policies- and the misconception that people fall into a group and that’s it. Single parents use Surestart. Pensioners want day centres. THat is utterly ludicrous. People are complex and have complex lives.

    Examination of why it is easier to hit the groups that have been hit may provide very real answers to how to fight these cuts- but if all we can do is talk about Westminster- and not ‘attack’ Labour- then that is not happening is it?

    My point at the conference was that the media bubble have to look outside- because the people with the udnerstanding of what is actually happening are not in Westminster at the moment.

    Unfortunately that was not what the organisers were looking for- and the women speaking in that room were selfish and denying everyone a neat little feedback sheet with a list of answers.

    Then there are the effects of tying up the anti-cuts movement with Labour- the cuts affect people because of many things- political affiliation not one of them.
    The idea that any ‘movement’ is likely to have widespread appeal if it is tied up with Labour and ‘the left’(as defined by themselves apparently) is ludicrous.

    The organisations and people who describe themselves as ‘the left’(and I include myself) have a part to play- but this is not a movement about reviving an ideology which is not relevant to vast swathes of the population. Will UKIP voters be welcome to fight for their jobs? What about tory voters? I have a friend who is currently campaigning to save the mental health team he manages- he is a lifelong tory voter.

    NOt everyone defines themselves solely by the way they vote- In fact our political system has disengaged a lot of people over the past 30 years. People are disengaged from politics- and not necessarily uninformed.

    I am not going to argue about the FSF- when Labour are committed to cutting 20% from the welfare budget, to save losses in govt departments. When welfare budget is not just about worklessness, but about women who are doing so caleld womens ‘work’- ie caring, and parenting- will still be the ones affected under Labour policies.

    It is much more complicated than a ticklist of boxes and a binary distinction between parties.

    Unfortunately while this so called ‘progressive’ movement Netroots articulated, is about westminster focused discussion, which can’t criticise Labour- there is absolutely no way of discussing what to do, and how to do it.

    Writing for so called progressive blogs, and marching, is not the activism.

    THe people affected have power they can use, and many wanted to talk about those things- but unfortunately we were left with the facile ‘how do you engage women politically online’. Ignoring that nearly all those women were politically active, just not in the way that Sunny felt was acceptable.

    THose women he marginalised in that room had somethig to say, and many whhen listened to, had strategies for opposing the cuts to their services that couldn’t have been thought up by ANYONE without their knowledge.

    THis is not about political ideology, or ‘the left’, or even party politics.

    And Sunny is completely unable to even acknowledge what happened in that room, the views of the people he has continually dismissed- and quite honestly if he is dominating and organising the space where we can organise- and dismisses any discussion outside his very limited understanding of what is happening- then this ‘movement’ isn’t going to get very far.

    Netroots could have been very useful- but unfortunately everyone acting against the cuts, those affected, and those who can shed insight were marginalised if their experience did not fall into what organisers felt was constructive. NOt exactly useful- and you have to wonder what the purpose is of a strategy so divise and that excludes so many people.

    I know Sunny spent lots of time in the past few days mocking the idea of inclusivity- but without it this ‘movement’ is not going to last long.

    I am not going to get into endless debates about Labour. I have read their manifesto- and worked in departments being cut while they were in government. The cumulative effect of their policies for mot people affected by the cuts is the same as the coalition- and I am quite sure had they won the election- Sunny would now be affiliated to whiever party were most lilely to win the next one. Unfortunately- the issue of fighting the cuts is not that simple for the rest of us.

  130. Lisa Ansell — on 14th January, 2011 at 5:15 pm  

    Edit- making biggest cuts from welfare, to achieve 20% savings in other departments.

  131. Shamit — on 14th January, 2011 at 6:11 pm  

    Very well made points about public policy and lack of nuanced debate.

    However, I do disagree with you on the difference between Labour and Coalition Policies. You argue there is barely any. I disagree.

    In case of local government, the coalition has taken some steps to further the devolution of powers to local councils and communities.

    Those are to be welcomed however at the same time it has started a post code lottery for those who depend on local public services be it education, health, transport, security, planning etc etc.

    While the Labour Government, especially in the first decade, was keen to empower local government and communities in defining the delivery of public services – it set out a national minimum standard of quality and ensured additional resources targeting deprived communities to ensure they could catch up to the minimum standards. Funds were ring fenced in various areas, sometimes one could argue too much, for particular areas of spending to meet the overall policy objectives.

    Yet those living in deprived communities have far more chances of dying younger than their more affluent counterparts to and have less opportunities in life. And this is despite government attention and efforts and national requirements.

    But the coalition has decided to remove the cohesive national framework which at least attempted to create a basic minimum standard in public service delivery and improve upon that. It was working – local government over the past 7 years have made massive progress in almost all areas.

    Now the central government is abrogating responsibility and saying the elected government of the country has no responsibility towards setting and ensuring standards are being met. Everything potentially could be decided by a tyranny of majority in local communities.

    That is a fundamental difference – and Labour’s approach to cuts would have been very different because this cardinal principle would not have been broken.

    But this could be an opportunity – In May there are local government elections and local councils now have even more powers to decide how to spend their money. So may be the cuts opponents should focus on local campaigns irrespective of political colour and back candidates that support their agenda.

  132. Shamit — on 14th January, 2011 at 6:17 pm  

    Two additional thoughts:

    Will a national anti-cut organisation take place? Yes but it would be made up of signed up party members or close affiliates of the Labour party.

    Would it resonate with the wider electorate? – Only if the Government screws up NHS to the extent that it becomes constant headlines and cuts start to affect the apathetic personally.

    But more importantly – “Its the Economy” – if that grows and has less than expected unemployment and public services are okay – then there would not be a massive coalition against cuts everyone is hoping for.

    People would just carry on. And talking about it in Guardian or left leaning and clearly left websites, newspapers and magazines would be preaching to the choir.

    If that happens Cameron would most likely then head back to No. 10. Being Child of Thatcher is still better than being the son of Brown – Michael Foot led Mrs. Thatcher by some 20 points and Neil Kinnock was consistently leading Major.

    And good luck on avoiding the political soundbites in an era when Assange is the hero of many in the Left.

  133. Lisa Ansell — on 14th January, 2011 at 6:54 pm  

    Am really sorry- but in terms of the effect of policies- the problem in our public services(and reason they are so vulnerable) is a cumulative effect carried through from the last Conservative government, through Labour.

    I do absolutely accept that a) Labors intentions are better b) Labour MPs as a whole don’t enjoy cutting c) that in terms of effect the way the coalition have structured their agenda is mindblowing. But all in all- party politics isn’t the problem for many people. THe absence of real debate and representation within politics is the problem.

    And it is unfair and counter productive to marginalise people because tehy are not pro labour. And I say that as a Labour party member, who really hopes that the Labour party can sort their shit out in the next few year. (And when it comes down to it-will probably vote Labour- and believes they will get an election win next time).

    My worry is that if we focus this so called ‘movement’ on Labour- and they come back in the back of opposition to the cuts, we will have missed a very important opportunity. I also think for those of us, who do not see this as party political- it doesn’t address any of the key problems.

    I also believe that if Labour do this- that they may cause much deeper problems. People are very disengaged from politics- not for want of truying, but because Westminster and those who are interested in it- cannot see outside that bubble.

    I went to say this at Netroots- and assumed it would trigger discussion. THat that discussion would be useful- and by sharing knowledge and perspectives we could find common aims. (Not necessarily shared beliefs). Unfortunately that wasn;t good enough- and the reaction afterwards has entirely proved my point.

    LibCon, Pickled Politics, LAbourlist- not exactly widely read. Twittersphere-not exactly representative of who is affected by cuts. This assumption that people who have knowledge and power, should be marginalised because what they say is irrelevant if it does not concern Westminster or political blogs is very worrying. Very very worrying.
    BTW Grrr Assange. Yay Wikileaks.

    (Am really sorry about typos- my keyboard is a nightmare at the mo)

  134. Lisa Ansell — on 14th January, 2011 at 7:00 pm  

    Basically, I dont want to waste the precious opportunities I get to be in a room talking to like minded people- bickering about Labour. I respect that people are Labour supporters, I respect people’s political beliefs. I only object when I am expected to accept those beliefs as the only moderate response- and when anything outside it is dismissed.

    Especially when what is being dismissed could actually inform this movement in a way that a ‘lefty’ website cant.

    You can see on this thread and on Jennifer Mahonys piece, and you will also see on the video the effect of this. Shutting down debate at an event that people had travelled miles to attend is a ridiculous way to behave. Defining this fight as a struggle for the ‘left’- is also ludicrous. And the idea that the only gender issue relevant to this particular programme, given its manifestion- is that women arent engaged in political blogging?

    I know am coming off as a harridan.

  135. Lisa Ansell — on 14th January, 2011 at 7:02 pm  

    ”But more importantly – “Its the Economy” – if that grows and has less than expected unemployment and public services are okay – then there would not be a massive coalition against cuts everyone is hoping for.”

    That quote hits it on the head. Bang on. The way these cuts are achieving that effect, is by targetting women. Pushing women back into the home, and pushing them out of the workplace. THe entire policy agenda is geared to this. Because women at home, dont appear on unemployment figures. You still have a working household. Just not one with two people working.

  136. Lisa Ansell — on 14th January, 2011 at 7:32 pm  

    Shamit- my email is lisaansell7@gmail.com/ There are things I really would like to discuss re: cuts(not necessarily about this particular thread).

    It is important that there is nuacnced debate about the way the cuts are happening, because it is in that we will find a way of opposing them. Some of what you say is absolutely right- and I would like to add a few things that I think would broaden the picture.

  137. Shamit — on 14th January, 2011 at 10:16 pm  

    Lisa – I too would like to continue with the discussion and I would drop you an email over the weekend or early next week.

    And I would try to respond to your thoughts on here as well.

  138. Lisa Ansell — on 14th January, 2011 at 11:07 pm  

    Look forward to it.

  139. Lisa Ansell — on 14th January, 2011 at 11:57 pm  

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jan/14/labour-oldham-progressives-champion

    As for debate. Done. Have been ad. As were rest of us. New Labour. New Spin. Dont oppose cuts. Pretend you are. THen co-opt resistance to them. Don’t think so. Hope you get a nice cushy job Sunny.

  140. Naadir Jeewa — on 15th January, 2011 at 12:37 am  

    The length of the comments here almost crashed my browser.

  141. Arif — on 15th January, 2011 at 2:02 pm  

    Sunny, I think I understand what you are saying:

    1. That you want an infrastructure for left-wing activism, supporting people to campaign more effectively both within and outside westminster.

    2. That the powerful rarely make concessions unless they are forced to, so campaigns need to take that into account if being effective in changing policies is one of its goals.

    3. That some people may think that the Labour Party is therefore an effective vehicle for the campaign, but you personally don’t think it is the only one even if it is the one you have currently chosen.

    4. That if people feel marginalised, then they should follow up the articulation of their sense of marginalisation with their own ideas of how to resist that marginalisation.

    Have I interpreted that correctly?

    Lisa Ansell, you have also made a range of points, but the ones which seem most pertinent to me in this context are:

    1. An anti-cuts campaign should not start from the premise of the Left, let alone the Labour Party, as to do so would marginalise many people from that campaign who do not self-identify with the left.

    2. That an understanding of how marginalisation occurs, and making this explicit is useful in itself for developing a shared understanding of problems faced by activists and enabling us to avoid replicating oppressive behaviour ourselves. (I think you may object to the way I have expanded this point, if so please say as I do not mean to distort your points).

    3. That the Labour Party may have interests and agendas which are not only wider than the anti-cuts campaign, but are also in opposition to what you want to achieve.

    4. That muting opposition to Labour’s policies in order to use the Labour Party as a more effective vehicle for opposition to the Coalition’s policies would therefore be counter to a meaningful anti-cuts campaign.

    5. That labelling such a perspective as “unconstructive”, “radical” or as somehow ignorant of how power actually works or reducing it to a complaint that no-one is listening misunderstands the analysis.

    6. Consistent misunderstanding of such an analysis has started to make you suspicious of Sunny’s good faith in trying to support an anti-cuts initiative which has both principled and practical reasons for being both independent and critical of the Labour Party.

    Lisa Ansell, If my understanding of your perspective is broadly correct (and please point out where I have misunderstood you), I agree with you, but I would ask you not to be too cynical about Sunny’s motives and ability to change his mind!

    Sunny, Whether or not Lisa Ansell agrees with my understanding of her arguments, how do you react to those points? Can you agree with them? Are they not all sensible positions, even if you do not agree with them because of your own experiences?

    Oh, and Nina #125, I’m glad you made the point you did, I am hoping this conversation can still become productive.

  142. Lisa Ansell — on 16th January, 2011 at 5:19 pm  

    Arif- your understanding is indeed broadly correct. THank you to the last few posters- for taking the time to read the posts. I can’t see that this particular conversation will become productive- but at least many of us know exactly where we stand.- and will continue to fight the cuts because they need to be fought.

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