Dollary Energy Fund Focus on Renewal Sto-Rox Neighborhood Corporation Girls Scouts of Western PA Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank Hosasnna. McKEES ROCKS – Focus On Renewal provides a food pantry for McKees Rocks residents. Community members who are in need are welcome. A Focus on Food Banks & Partner Agencies. Report for the Kate B. $50 application fee and a $25 renewal fee to cover annual inspections. Evening and.
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For me the defining characteristic of a progressive politics is a mass politics: neither the vanguard party sorting out others nor the charismatic leader for the rest of us to be in thrall to.
All well and good, but in the moment of the Coronavirus crisis, when we arguably need such a politics more than ever, with a hapless government making life threatening errors on an almost daily basis, this is not so easy.
You get the idea. The demand is increasing all the time too, not only for the food banks but for all manner of needs sparked by this deadly disease. Help is being organised through a brilliant Lewes Coronavirus Volunteers group and all manner of spin-off initiatives, from home-made scrubs to home-delivery Friday night suppers. On one Saturday in mid-May, after a couple of slightly less-ambitious efforts, it flowered in all its magnificent beauty.
And the result? Good organisation is the product of thought-out politics The ingenious organisation of this huge effort was informed by a politics consisting of three interlocking elements. First, a mass, public and collective effort so all felt we were part of a common cause. Second, the visual symbolism of a town coming together. Five bonfire societies, each in their distinctive striped jumpers, four vicars in dog-collars.
As the day progressed this sight was really something else to behold. Third, force of circumstance demanded a very different way to organise such a marathon effort by so many people. Outside each supermarket was a shift of just 4 people. One pair collected the donations from 2m back. The other two, one on the entry queue, the other on the exit queue, stood equipped with a 4-item shopping list on a placard. The attention to detail was no accident; our organising was purposefully professional.
Too often the Left satisfies itself with a wilful amateurism, in place of the very highest professional standards we should as a matter of principle aspire to. Feeding on Thinking What does all this add up to? The fact that they were, and did, was perhaps the most powerful message of the day.
When I caught sight of the President of South Street Bonfire Society in Naploeonic era three-cornered hat, striped woollen jumpier festooned in bonfire badges holding her shopping list placard aloft as she explained carefully to the queuing shoppers what we were up to, and why, well I freely admit tears welled up. The best comment of the day? Those many helpers who said how much they were enjoying themselves. The Left too often defines activism as a test of commitment, the more onerous, and usually boring, the better to endure.
Our action, in contrast, shaped by the necessities of social distancing, required just an hour to make a big difference. We need to think of politics as a journey: donating, or collecting for a food bank, for some is a first step.
The same happened in when Jeremy Corbyn stood and won. When one of the rugby players introduced himself to me as a Labour member, not only were my sporting stereotypes shattered but the potential for Labour as a community party confirmed, absolutely. Surely we can assume those who make the step to join feel a sense of identity with Labour.
But Labour does not develop and encourage that identification in the same way these sports clubs, bonfire societies, and the church do. We can also assume these members have an above-average interest in politics. But Labour does little to develop that, either. Instead, Labour should provide a space for open-minded, well-informed and participative political discussion.
Sounds like your average Labour branch or CLP meeting? Of course not. We assume, too often, that people already have those skills, which inevitably privileges those who acquired them elsewhere, in the student movement or trade unions in particular. Our activist class needs to be recruited more broadly. Finally we might assume that those who join Labour are likely to believe in the importance of collective political activity; but outside of election time, local parties rarely provide this, and if they do is it of the onerous duty variety.
Instead, Labour should be doing things members might actually, again, enjoy. It means Labour will continue to fail to benefit from these membership surges, and right now, as the post-lockdown recession looms, that would be nothing short of a tragedy. The party credibility issue here is, therefore, particularly acute, but this is a wider issue for the party.
The loss of the iconic seat of Bolsover last December after decades of a declining Labour vote in such seats should be more than enough to convince. Likewise, I have things in common with our Liberal Democrat councillors: I like to think of myself as socially liberal, and certainly a democrat.
The same I would have thought would be true of most Labour members. So what makes me or us Labour? To cling on to this is pure romanticism. It is about our purpose as a Labour Party. What makes us unique as a party is the centrality of class to our politics. But neither does it disappear as a key shaper of any society. Food poverty is one of the most obvious and cruel indicators of this.
And in the process rediscover, and reinvent, what Labour means now, rather than back then. View all posts by Mark Perryman.How do you envisage the UN work in Africa in the future? Many countries strongly believe in strengthening multilateralism. Subscribe The gala will begin at 6 p. It is about our purpose as a Labour Party. Going forward, it may not be possible focus on renewal food bank keep up with that rate.