Standing up to racism

Dave Sharratt administrator of the Northern Devon for Europe and Northern Devon Compass Steering Group member reports on the recent Stand Up To Racism demonstratiojn in Barnstaple

Many groups were represented at the demonstration and march in Barnstaple to stop racism , support refugees and denounce Britain First who are, regrettably, making their presence known here in North Devon. It was a privilege to take part in our expression of our immense concern over the far right Britain First trying to make electoral traction here.

There were a great range of speakers from groups across the political spectrum and a local vicar who gave a very powerful and moving Christian message on compassion for refugees.

The United Kingdom has a very long and proud tradition of hosting and resettling refugees . There has been great support from the people of Northern Devon. Several of our Northern Devon for Europe and Compass group worked closely with asylum claimants at the Dilkusa Grand hotel in Ifracombe earlier in the year through advice and guidance on Home Office paperwork and helping them to develop their English language skills. Their work was much appreciated by those who had made a perilous journey to the UK fleeing conflict and persecution from brutal regimes. I met several asylum claimants myself and enjoyed welcoming them to Ilfracombe.

We certainly need to be mindful that we have a duty to maintain our vigilance and do our utmost to stop organisations from the far right having any influence here’

Compass in South Molton

On Saturday 27th August a well attended event was held in South Molton to raise funds to sponsor a refugee family here. South Molton Community Welcome held a dog show and fete in South Molton Pannier Market. Compass ND ran a stall there to continue raising the profile of Proportional Representation because if the UK had PR it is very unlikely we would have such a xenophobic approach to immigration.

John Patrinos ran the stall at the South Molton Pannier Market, with help from Compass ND members Richard Toller selling bric a brac, plants and Mary Tait selling tickets for the guess the weight competitions (Devon multi-tasking in action).

The aim of the event was to raise £9,000 and build links with the local community and other action groups. There was a big and mixed crowd and this was reflected in interactions with the Compass Stall, with visits from Ian Roome the Lib Dem PPC, David Worden local Lib Dem Councillor, a very enthusiastic XR member from XR's own stall which was promoting the idea of citizen's assemblies alongside PR, Peter Jones who is an independent (ex-Conservative) Councillor, plus the Reform Party PPC...

My main take-away from passers-by was yes to the idea of PR but how to get the two lead parties to implement it.

North Devon Show

Compass ND will be running a stall at the North Devon Show on August 2nd (Trade Block 1, stand D14). Apart from promoting our own agenda and spreading bonhomie, we will be distributing some excellent literature from GetPRdone.

The show is held as usual in Umberleigh, which is fairly central for TWD and ND constituencies; please mention our stall to any family, friends and neighbours planning on going to the show, and come yourself if you can!

Our swimming spots are in danger…

Compass Northern Devon campaigns for a fair and just society that we believe can only be achieved through constitutional and electoral reform based on fair voting through Proportional Representation.

But a fair society cannot be achieved unless we have a sustainable, clean and safe environment which is why we are calling on people to support this event. The scandal of dirty and unsafe water in our rivers and seas undermines our health and economy as well as our precious environment.

We look forward to seeing you on January 28, 10am at Castle Green.

Preparing for a General Election

What can we do locally to ensure the next election produces a fairer government?

Westleigh Village Hall, Tuesday 10 January 2023, 7pm to 9pm.

Read a report from this meeting

Since April this year, over 250 people have completed voter intentions surveys at one of our street stalls across Torridge and North Devon. At this event we will share the results and discuss their implications, together with national polling and other data. We want to make sure that, when the next General Election comes, the progressive political parties are in the best position to get rid of our local Tory MPs who have presided over the chaos and injustices of the last few years.

Whatever you think of Geoffrey Cox and Selaine Saxby as individuals, the Tory Governments they have supported – and have been a part of – have taken forward policies which have been disastrous for our country and our democracy. To cite just a few:

  • Failing to meet Net Zero targets, banning onshore wind farms but approving new fossil fuel projects

  • Establishing a dysfunctional housing policy which has shrunk the market for private rented accommodation while allowing overdevelopment of towns and villagesLying to us that Brexit would provide cash for the NHS and allow us to control immigration – 6.5 million currently on waiting list for surgeryIncreasing the national debt to give away to rich people – and almost collapsing our economy

  • Wasting hundreds of millions of pounds across government during the pandemic

  • Making the UK the worst country for excess Coronavirus deaths

Now the Government is proposing draconian restrictions on the right to protest. We must get them out next time – it may be the last chance to save our democracy!

Compass ND is campaigning for a fairer political system and encouraging local parties to work together so all votes count, and people know how to make their voices heard.

This event is designed to provide a forum for people from the opposition political parties and none to come together and develop a shared understanding of what needs to be done in our constituencies to unseat the Tories.

  • Who is best placed to win North Devon and Torridge and West Devon?

  • Is it possible/desirable to identify a unity candidate?

  • What are the prizes/costs for each of the parties? What compromises would have to be made?

  • Could parties collaborate over a) voter registration and participation, b) vote swapping, c) messaging?

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