Ranulf de Blondeville, 6th Earl of Chester, was a top jolly when it came to original Norman knights, who had a particularly cruel penchant for killing Welsh people, probably for repeatedly calling him a short-arse, and his place in history was secured by being at Runnymede for the signing of the Magna Carta
Fast forward 800 years and shuffle forward Phillip Blond, Westminsters’ very own Ranoff de Blondeville riding off on his shiny charger from the banks of the River Mersey to the banks of the River Clyde – Merseysides’ Phillip Blond has been drafted in by the “baronial establishment” to unveil a “modern day Magna Carta” at the #DevoSummit in Glasgow tomorrow, Monday 9th February (!) with minimal fanfare and barely a jot of coverage in the mainstream media
So what is #DevoSummit? A cobbled together on the back of a Westminster fag packet devolution response to the Scottish Independence Referendum vote, which they know wasn’t a “No” but a “Not Yet”
The last paragraph of Respublicas’ promotion of #DevoSummit is very telling, “The Summit builds on several recent reports recommending more devolution to cities and other places, and several ‘Devolution Deals’, including that for Greater Manchester which will be set out in detail, asking where next and how other places can benefit”, so as far as these people are concerned, it’s a done deal, before any real people have actually been consulted, or even inspected, or contributed to their plans!
Local Community Reporter Brian McDonald from Moss Side said “People are saying that they’ve had more interaction with their local cornershop owner about devolution than they have with the self-styled and, more importantly, the self-appointed architects of “devolution”, indeed some are calling it the #MagnaFarta”
The running schedule for #DevoSummit looks like a who’s who of the C-list political eliterati including Sir Richard Leese, Sir Howard Bernstein, Scottish Labours’ Top Unicycle Clown “Creepy” Jim Murphy, Danny Alexander (ConDem financial axeman) and Professor Anton Muscatelli, University of Glasgow principle.
The modus operandi of Westminster “devolution” appears to be similar to fracking, deals done away from public scrutiny enforced upon the population, and lo and behold! Westbourne communications are on the promotions team for the Core Cities #DevoSummit – Westbourne are the very same outfit whose job it was to convince Lancastrians that fracking was brilliant and it was perfectly acceptable to have a toxic industry amongst our communities that is being banned hand over fist all over the world, including all of our surrounding neighbours, ironically including Scotland, the “host” nation of #DevoSummit!
It will be at this summit that the plans will be unveiled to saddle the people of Greater Manchester with a Mayor that Mancs voted against having in 2012
So just who is the mysterious Phillip Blond? Why has he been given a key-note speech? How can anyone possibly pack-in the release of the “new Magna Carta” and a devolution plan for 2.5 million Greater Mancunians in 45 minutes without gasping for air like a clownfish in a dodgy fish tank??
Phillip Blond is the completely un-elected new spokesperson for Greater Mancunians that no-one has actually heard of – the “head honcho” of Respublica, the architect of the “Big Society” and the fall guy for “DevoManc”
Remember, Respublica is the think tank that dreamed up the failed and laughed at “Big Society” concept, where we were all supposed to work for free and have to rely on food banks and the generosity of our fellow citizens to survive, until it completely inverted and became a vast array of peoples’ grassroots movements fighting the cruelty and injustice of corporate brutality and austerity
The scuttlebutt is that Mr Blond was allegedly flogging his office furniture and not paying his staff at Respublica a short while ago and now, apparently, has the credentials to formulate and present the freedom of the people of Greater Manchester? And suggest where next? like some plague of neo-liberal locusts!
Conservative and Labour politicians back-slapping in Manchester Town Hall in November, signing up to DevoManc and it’s programme of yet more cuts, then a few weeks later, the same Labour politicians hosting an “anti cuts” rally, in an event that was less popular than a Gary Glitter comeback gig, was uber cringeworthy – the lack of real support for this Labour Party rally re-enforced the view that these politicians have no social license, no political license and no authority to be imposing their form of devolution upon us.
Ranuff, the olde Earl of Chester, is often described as one of the last relics of the great feudal aristocracy of the Norman Conquest, is it possible that Phillip Blond and cohorts are the last relics of the neo-liberal self-harming system?
Surely if these devolution plans were so good we would all be seeing off Ranoff de Blond on his steed, waving our flags in front of the Town Hall and wishing him a safe journey to complete our freedom in Glasgow? Rather than Mr Blond sneaking up to a near independent Scotland on the 9:30 to Glasgow Central… watch this space for reportage of the peoples’ response
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