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Stop the War calls for optimism on the left

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Stop the War: Addressing issues of misrepresentation in the Middle East

LAST Saturday evening (Mar 11) saw some 60 local residents gather at the Morlan Centre in Aberystwyth to hear three distinguished speakers address the issue of ‘ Media, Misrepresentation and the Middle East ‘ , an event organised and co-hosted by the Aberystwyth Stop The War Coalition and the Ceredigion Labour Party.

Chaired by the latter’s officer for political education, Meic Birtwistle, the event is the first in a series held to celebrate the constituency party’s centennial.

First up was Mike Cushman of Free Speech on Israel who critically interrogated key terms of the political vocabulary the media uses when talking about Israel, and claimed that their official meaning is more or less the exact opposite of what they purport to be describing.

The ‘ disputed territory ‘ of the West Bank, for example, is actually subject to the longest military occupation in modern history (June of this year will mark the fiftieth anniversary), and its status as an illegally occupied zone has long been recognised in international law.

Also of Free Speech on Israel, Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi gave an engaging and forensic analysis of the national media’s relentless hostility towards Jeremy Corbyn since his election as leader of the Labour Party in 2015.

This ranged over a number of forms, such as the amplification of party conflict and the use of epithets stressing that Corbyn was an ‘ uncredentialled ‘ leader, but special emphasis was placed on the national media’s attempt to associate his leadership with an alleged growth in anti-Semitic attitudes within the party.

Last to speak was Chris Nineham, a veteran of the British radical left and currently national vice-chair of Stop The War.

The thrust of his talk was that the media’s capacity for liberal consensus-making, particularly in matters of war, has broken down, and that the election of Jeremy Corbyn in the face of across-the-board media hostility to his anti-war politics is solid evidence of this. Therefore there is, he continued, a genuine struggle underway.

What are the chances of success? Pessimism has been in vogue for a number of years now on the British left, and Stuart Hall in particular never tired of stressing the danger of underestimating the strength and resourcefulness of the war-making establishment.

Against this, Chris refreshingly called for optimism: it is the political centre which is now in crisis, and went on to say that the Left have a good chance of success if it is prepared to do the work of movement-building.

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Community

New Children’s Book based on local fisherman

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CHILDREN’S AUTHOR Natalie L Davies has written a story based on local man, Mickey Beechey, of Llangrannog.

The book is available on Amazon.

Natalie said: “I’ve written a series of children’s books with the central character, the lovely ‘Mickey the Fisherman’. The first book is called ‘Pollution’, and is a bright colourful and fun book with a valuable message.”

The book is available to buy on Amazon in both paperback and kindle, and can be found at: mybook.to/mickeythefisherman.

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Council supports the Learning Disabilities ‘My Charter’

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CABINET members and senior officers in Ceredigion have signed ‘My Charter’. In doing so, Ceredigion County Council have become the first council to sign up to the charter. My Charter was written by people who have learning disabilities in West Wales.

The charter says that people who have learning disabilities want to have more chances in life, more choice and to be listened to. It also says that people who have learning disabilities want to be treated as adults, to be given dignity and respect and that their information is kept private.

Councillor Alun Williams is the Cabinet member responsible for Adult Services. He said: “People with learning disabilities have the same aspirations, hopes and feelings as everyone else. They deserve the same services and to be treated equally in a way that’s appropriate to their needs. I’m delighted that Ceredigion has become the first council to sign the charter, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this can positively influence the way our population of people with learning disabilities are treated in the future.”

The charter was developed by people who have learning disabilities from across Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire.

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Community

Ceredigion Leisure Centres Summer holiday programme

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A BUSY TIMETABLE of inclusive summer holiday activities for children has been organised across all Ceredigion County Council-run leisure centres in the county.

From football to bouncy castle sessions, from cycling skills to archery, there’s a wide variety of activities to choose from over the course of the summer.

There will also be day camps and multi-skills activity days available at some of the leisure centres, for children to attend for the whole day. There’s even a day trip to the beach with Teifi Leisure Centre!

A range of learning to swim programmes are available at Lampeter Swimming Pool and Plascrug Leisure Centre across the summer holidays. A week of swimming lessons will be delivered solely through the medium of Welsh in Plascrug Leisure Centre starting on 5 August.

Councillor Catrin Miles is the council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for Leisure Services. She said: “Ceredigion Actif is once again providing a busy timetable of fun activities during the summer. It’s a healthy and worthwhile way for children to spend their time during the summer.”

Booking for sessions is essential and staff at leisure centres reserve the right to cancel any session if attendance is too low.

For further information on the summer holiday activities planned, visit the Ceredigion Actif website.

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