Far away from the Westminster bubble, and challenges to his leadership, tens of thousands people attending the 132nd Durham Miners Gala last Saturday gave Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn a rapturous reception, boosting both his confidence and his campaign to remain leader of the party against an expected challenge from Wallasey MP Angela Eagle.
Friday 25 March was a bleak day for journalism, the rule of law and the public’s right to know, when an Istanbul court ruled that the entire trial of Can Dündar and Erdem Gül should be held behind closed doors. Earlier scores of their supporters turned up to the court to show their solidarity with the two journalists who face charges of espionage, aiding a terrorist organisation, disclosing classified documents and reporting the supply of weapons to rebels in Syria by the Turkish security services. They could face life imprisonment if found guilty. The case resumes on 1 April.
How come Sam Woods, a former hewer (miner) from Wigan and a complete outsider managed to win the Tory seat of Walthamstow at a by-election in 1897, for the small group of working class MPs known as Lib-Labs who represented working class and labour interests, but were politically Liberals? I found the answer in an article written by John Shepherd, a principal Lecturer at Cambridge College of Arts and Technology in the 1987 edition of the Essex Journal.