Looking back at Stoke

February 27, 2017 at 9:04 am (elections, labour party, posted by JD, reformism, UKIP)

A final report (for now) from Our Person in Stoke, Phil Burton-Cartledge (from his blog All That Is Solid):

On Labour’s Victorious Campaign in Stoke

While Copeland was important, the outcome didn’t dangle the possibility of an existential crisis. That exactly what was in play at the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election. For UKIP and their empty cipher of a leader, a viable future was at stake. Both Nuttall and Nigel Farage had made much of UKIP’s need to become the party of the working class, and Stoke was seen as a test bed for this strategy. For Labour, a loss would have signalled a disastrous disengagement between the party and a core component of its electoral coalition. As the campaign wore on and Nuttall’s person was swamped by a tsunami of lies, Labour’s inability to win under those circumstances would have been nothing less than catastrophic.

It didn’t happen. After an awful year of grievous retreats, the line was held. And about bloody time. It’s the kippers who are now in disarray, and Labour lives to fight another day. The majority fell by a wee amount, and the Tories and UKIP put on small numbers of votes. But on the reduced turn out as per all by-elections, the proportions were roughly the same as the 2015 outing. Apart from the stakes and the media hype, including some truly stupid commentary bigging up UKIP’s prospects, was this a pretty dull by-election with very little to say about the state of national politics? Not in the slightest.

As we saw in Copeland, the Corbyn factor combined with the insecurity factor to the detriment of our chances. Did the same happen in Stoke Central? Yes, but with mixed results. During my moments on the doors, the Labour leader only came up the once. It was an old bloke just getting into his motor, and he was voting UKIP. This wasn’t because he hated immigrants or thought Labour was a pile of crap, it was a protest: he didn’t think Jeremy was any good. And nothing, not the NHS, not Nuttall’s lies were going to dissuade him. Having asked around quite a few comrades who worked intensively on the campaign, they found similar sentiments among too many older, white working class voters. These Jez sceptics were either voting for the kippers or abstaining. And yet this was balanced out by the very enthusiastic response he got in other quarters. In Penkhull and bits of Hartshill where there are more middle class and professional residents, and down in Shelton with its large student and Asian populations, Jeremy was a real motivator. When out with Gareth Snell around Shelton, one comrade tells me of how cars would suddenly stop to speak with him and have obligatory selfies taken. 2,500 new electors registered for the by-election, mostly in the student areas, and I would wager that an increased turn out here made up for the decline in the traditional support.

The additional Jeremy factor was evident in the campaign itself. UKIP have talked up its own support on the ground and the people working for it. The party even turned out regular paid-for coach loads from London to bus people in (I wonder if they will appear on their electoral returns?) But truly, the Labour effort was colossal and they were utterly swamped. Yes, plenty of old hands were about doing their bit. However, new members turned out in large numbers as well. For dozens, probably hundreds, The Potteries was their first taste of campaigning. Any analysis skipping the positive consequences of the 2015-16 Corbyn surge is one indifferent to the truth.

The actual campaign was impressive. Huge numbers ensured the entire constituency was covered multiple times. The party could have perhaps dispensed with a direct mail as there were folks enough to deliver them by hand. The strategy was spot on, too. The NHS, Brexit, and more, better jobs for Stoke were heavily featured. Gareth’s Plan for the Potteries with his first few months mapped out was exactly the sort of thing our campaign needed to see. Labour did put out one tabloid, The Potter’s Wheel, which craftily billed itself as the no spin guide to the by-election, and it spent its time doing over UKIP and Nuttall. It’s not often a party leaflet makes me laugh, but as negative campaigning goes its pun-tastic tones were the best way of doing it. The only criticism I would have, and this was evident in Copeland too, was the initial stand-offish approach taken toward the national media. Prioritising local radio, papers and telly is fine, but making it look as though candidates are hiding from reporters is not a good look. Remember, folks everywhere are more likely to follow national news and papers than the local equivalents.

What did annoy me was the constant barrage of claims on the right and the left that Stoke Central CLP had selected a “poor candidate”. Never mind the fact Gareth has a campaigning record that would be the envy of hyperactive Trots, never mind Labour Party people. Forget that his tenure as leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council saw a no cuts budget (unless you want to get precious about perks for senior management), and increased funding for domestic and sexual violence services and preparing the council to uprate its lowest pay scales to the proper national living wage. Not one member of our national media did their job and properly investigated his record. Instead they lazily alighted upon tweets written a life time ago, including some apparently abusive criticisms of Jeremy that, in context, were crafted as warnings of being taken out of context. Irony. This occasioned a media carpet bombing of Gareth and should act as a warning for aspirant candidates to take the time and carefully clean up their social media now. And so Fleet Street dubbed our comrade rubbish on the basis of a string of 140 character missives. What a pathetic state of affairs. Ask anyone who knows anything about the Labour Party in North Staffordshire and they will tell you about his energy, his formidable organisational ability, his capacious memory for the minutiae of rules and procedure – a plus should he find himself facing an opponent across the dispatch box – and the fact he is Labour to the marrow. Gareth is among the best of us, as the rest of the Labour Party will see in due course.

The take homes from this then are the differential impacts Jeremy can have, and future by-election and local elections’ strategy need to bear this in mind. A campaign should have a small number of, easy-to-remember messages with the promise to do something about insecurity at their heart, and should avoid going into siege mode with the media. Yes, they will trash the party, it’s what they do. But resisting engagement is not a good look. There are other observations to be made about the UKIP, Tory and LibDem campaigns that have wider significance beyond Stoke, but they will have to wait.

28 Comments

  1. Mick said,

    I really enjoyed this piece. It reminds me of the BNP or SWP grabbing figleaves when they’ve been the pathetic losers. The Left in denial as fewer people love them is just the punishment these divisive people deserve.

    Labour’s vote in Stoke was only half that of 1997, so it’s hardly been a small drop. Same with everywhere. Labour’s victory was only Pyrrhic as it came despite what they are, a bunch of divided whackjobs who would rather look down on the public they never understood properly, even when New Labour dished up their best victories. Lately, they would prefer to cockblock Brexit rather than respect the wishes of the plebiscite even now.

    So even when Labour win, they lose. And that’s not to mention losing their other little kingdom which they held for 80 years. It’s rare for an opposing ruling party to take a place which is the other side’s heartland. But fear not, Corbyn has the rescue plan, for Labour to deliver the most radical Marxist redistribution of wealth and resources yet dreamt of. Stealing and people herding, in other words.

    Yeah, good luck with that known failure. But all shades of Labour are discredited, so they’re bound to lose, even during Austerity. No wonder all the Left see fit to do are call for wildcat strikes and have tantrums in the street about the US President. They’re only killing themselves faster, and all for my amusement.

    • Mick said,

      Oh yes, I almost forgot in my pleasure that Snell and the other Labourites openly rubbished Brexit and plunged the district into multi-million Pound debt. Yeah, despite boasting being good at figures.

      And remember that, on the council, around half a dozen council members recently resigned in protest at the council’s own ineptitude.

      Oooooh, Labour!

      • Jim Denham said,

        Are you a Kipper, or a non-aligned racist and bigot, Mick?

      • Mick said,

        Aah, in the I Spy book for socialists, I might be described as a racistxenophobicmysoginistbigotedlittleenglanderukiptorynazi.

        The German left could adopt that as a word. Palpable insult but I derive some kind of pleasure visiting Labourland. My council’s Labour, so I may as well get with the crowd.

  2. Political Tourist said,

    Think Mick is in the same lodge as the Glasga Bigot.

    • Mick said,

      I’ve been called everything by leftists. Funny, when they’re supposed to be so big on people’s feelings, especially when my views are supposed to make me one of the underprivileged.

    • Glasgow Working Class said,

      Goodness me PT, It is Glesga. And how is the fascist Palestinian cause progressing? Not that many Jews killed lately are you disappointed?

      • Mick said,

        Well never mind. Dipping our toes in the maelstrom, we have pretty thick hides when facing down the left and their crackpot allies.

        The touchy-feelies are like that when the masks slip.

  3. Rilke said,

    Mick is a typical neurotic under-achiever gobbling up the politics of resentment. The rise of resentment and punishment politics (‘…at last some one or group is being made to pay for my inadequacy.’ etc), is taken by such as he, as if it conferrred some social victory directly upon him. It does not of course, and he is dimly aware of this. This only increases his lurid sense of imaginary persecution and his hatred of ‘intellectuals’, ‘leftists’ Muslims etc etc. But below the level of his simulated resentment (which he will never act upon due to his weak nerves) he is aware that this is all based on the fact that he is a pathetic failure in his own eyes. In a very obvious way, one can see that he is typical of the alt-right petulant cry baby. He is stuck in the oral phase and driven by hatred, not of the Oedipal kind, but of his maternal origins – a peevish and vindictive mummy’s boy. His semi-educated language and laughable conceptual abilities reflect this.
    I will not charge my usual fee for this session. But I do advise that he seek psychoanalytic help as a necessary prerequisite to his political awakening.
    Good day.

    • Mick said,

      The moment leftists project their own paranoias and possible psychoses onto others, the more we see how much the Leftosphere is in fact the funny farm. Cheap shots indeed.

      After all, look at them. They now recognise 56 genders in their overstrained brains, yet they still fail to tell apart legal and illegal aliens. Or that they hate child abuse yet still kill babies in the womb or slander them as racist in studies.

      And they say I’m nuts!!

  4. Jim Denham said,

    Daniel Finkelstein in the Times – surprisingly spot-on:

    Let’s be fair to Labour. Preparing briefing notes on what to say if you lose a by-election is a thankless task. I’ve done it quite a few times, and struggled even to convince myself.

    Twenty years ago this week, when I was working for the party, the Tories lost a seat we held, Wirral South, with a 17 per cent swing to Labour. We were only a few weeks from a general election, but the advice we gave ministers who appeared on television was to say that this was only a protest vote. We had always regained the seats we lost at by-elections. Wirral South would come home in May and so would the country.

    This wasn’t remotely plausible. It sounded completely unconvincing at the time. And the country didn’t come home at the general election. Nor did Wirral South. Indeed it is still held by Labour, five general elections later. But what were we supposed to advise ministers to say? What was there to say?

    When I was in the SDP we gave our spokesman some lines to use on the television results programme following the Bootle by-election. When the SDP finished behind the Monster Raving Loony Party, he looked at his briefing and opted to tell the presenter: “I was sort of hoping you had forgotten I was here.”

    In another SDP catastrophe, my friend as party campaign manager rang headquarters with the result and started giving the winner’s percentage with several decimal places. You don’t need all those, said HQ. Yes I do, replied my friend. If I don’t include the decimal places, we scored zero. Some results simply can’t be spun.

    Yet even allowing for this, Labour’s attempt to explain their debacle in Copeland last week has been abysmal. Their briefing paper leaked to my Times colleague Sam Coates, as most things do in the end, and it was an astonishingly weak effort.

    The aim was to convince people that winning Copeland “was always going to be an uphill task”, which is absurd, and that the real problem was “unique circumstances”. My favourite part was the bit that blamed defeat on the Conservatives. “The Tories threw everything at Copeland,” the brief complained. They then said the same thing about Stoke (the Tories “threw everything at it”). It is not necessary to write a statistics column to work out that this doesn’t quite compute.

    Unsurprisingly, given this thin stuff, party spokesmen have been freelancing, trying just about any old line since last Thursday. Blaming the weather has been a particular favourite.

    What’s strange about this is that there was a ready-made position that could have been taken. And the fact that Labour hasn’t taken it suggests that even Jeremy Corbyn has lost faith in his own thesis.

    Here is the argument for a left-wing leadership: New Labour may have won three elections but its appeal had faded and cannot be renewed. This is not just because core Labour voters had begun to lose faith in it. It is also because it depended for success on a strong economy. This allows spending increases and redistribution without higher taxes on the well-off. After the banking crisis this was no longer possible.

    So a more radical position was needed after both the Blairite and then Brownite versions of New Labour ran out of steam. The party can’t repeat what Ed Miliband did, nor return to the politics of Tony Blair.

    All over the world, this argument contends, centrists are being overthrown by radicals. The idea that you can only win elections by bunching in the middle has been disproven. Voters are fed-up with the mainstream offerings. They want an outsider, someone who isn’t just another cookie-cutter pol, but an anti-politician. Labour needs to try something new, a bold radical departure. It can win on the left.

    Instead of a traditional party centred on parliament, Labour should be a grassroots campaign, built through social media and attracting radical parties and pressure groups which can bring energy to the cause. The economy is going to hit a rough patch, the Tories will get tired and a vigorous extra-parliamentary campaign can run them ragged.

    I’ve never been persuaded by this theory of how to win or remotely attracted to the sort of politics it leads to. But then I wouldn’t be. What astonishes me is the lack of faith Corbyn himself shows in what is the only argument for his leadership.

    If he had any faith in it, the briefing notes on Copeland would be easy. Instead of weakly trying to explain away defeat, which you can never do, Corbyn could have embraced it.

    Of course we didn’t win Copeland, he would say. The old party hierarchy is determined to stop me winning. They are still presenting a traditional Labour Party to voters, and we know the electorate won’t buy it. I am trying to give voters something different, he would protest. I want to offer a changed and radical Labour, but I am meeting resistance.

    Labour chose a traditional candidate in Copeland, he could add, rather than the one he was hoping they would choose, and ran a traditional campaign. Of course we lost. And we will go on losing until the party establishment lets me, Jeremy Corbyn, bring the same excitement to our politics that I brought to my leadership campaign.

    If even Corbyn thinks this is nonsense then how can he continue? He can’t possibly think the party is going to unite behind him and that there is any future for him in trying to be a conventional leader.

    His only hope must be as a subversive challenger, relentlessly organising to take over the party and talking about his efforts to do so. He should come out with huge, earth-shaking radical left-wing policies and not care that Yvette Cooper and I both think that they are bonkers. He should skip prime minister’s questions in order to attend protest rallies. He should organise to deselect critics and win selection contests for his people.

    If he doesn’t do that, then what’s the point? Isn’t that why his supporters chose him? If he’s going to go down, for goodness sake go down fighting. I mean, this? This is pathetic.

    Jeremy Corbyn can’t expect anyone else to believe in him if he doesn’t believe in himself.

    • Mick said,

      I think I can put things with brevity: that Labour lacks focus and context, that they don’t register the difference between being solid yet out of step, and being plain wayward. They lose too much, which is evidence above all.

      New Labour did rely on a strong economy and they failed that central test. After the initial ‘prudence’ – helped by beginning with the Tories’ own spending plans and adapting piecemeal – they ended up having no money in the national kitty just in time for the big crash. remember there was already a recession around 2006.

      But that wasn’t all. Gross ineptitude at what they should have been doing – like managing the NHS – while at the same time ruining the social fabric with political correctness led to the very dissent and factional politics which the Left chew our balls off for these days. I daresay we even have Brexit because New Labour were reckless in allowing the EU to meddle and peddle bad deals all the more.

      And that was New Labour, supposedly better than the Old Labour which bankrupted Britain and stood helpless as union barons wrecked labour relations. And supposedly better than the PC pensioners and their snowflake Millennials running Labour now, who can’t go longer than five minutes without preaching about how everyone’s racist and that Karl Marx still must be given a chance, despite what communism did to his reputation.

      They can’t seem to see that propaganda isn’t enough. And that being in touch with a politicised membership isn’t the same as being in touch with real people, no matter how much the dogma may overlap.

  5. Rilke said,

    I am curious Mick, as to your defintion of ‘life’ or ‘a baby’ given that you openly accuse people of ‘killing babies in the womb’. There is a longstanding philosophical distinction between human life and human being; to ‘be’ human is not simply a matter of ‘life’ as such. There is also the medical distinction between cellular ‘life’ and concious life or again, ‘being’ alive. I assume you do not regard cutting your nails as murder, or masturbation as mass killing. As you will be aware, menstruation and male onanism were considered sinful and more or less criminal by certain religious powers in Europe up until the Renaissance due to the failure to recognise the distinctions indicated above. These are complex debates, but it seems you already have the clearest of answers and so are able consequently, to make accusations that would have a sound basis in jurisprudence. Then again you may just ‘be’ a simple-minded ranter.

    • Mick said,

      Unborn lives matter. So I can keep this brief.

      The argument here really isn’t about what point living organisms become conscious life. This is because leftists treat abortion like birth control because they see no difference. This comment is pure evidence of that.

      It actually is simple. The left are the ones who make things complex because they like to talk about how late to leave the trimesters, or that they make no distinction between body parts and distinct, developing human beings when it suits them. They know that killing babies is wrong, so they reduce things to overly-complex, pseudo-legalistic language.

      Indeed, there are films of living, reactive foetuses removed from the womb, clearly definable as babies, yet still fully abortable without guilt for leftists.

      The same ones who insult other people and lecture them about morality. That’s why it’s simple, as the emperors have no clothes again.

    • Glasgow Working Class said,

      I doubt Mick is simple minded but he may be a ranter and that is not criminal as most lefties have made ranting a lifestyle.
      My personal view on abortion is it should be a last resort if the woman is in danger.
      I knew a young woman who was a nurse and she was on call to help terminate pregnancy moreso in the case of serious injuries sustained by the woman. Her graphic description of babies in galvanised buckets was disturbing.

      • Mick said,

        I agree that abortion can come into it where it can save a life instead of just purely snuffing one out.

        Female leftists seem to take the mentality of the old slave owners, which is ironic given their white guilt complexes. They rule what’s a life and what isn’t, on the grounds of it being their body, their choice. Even slavemasters didn’t murder their inconvenient charges as an essential choice.

  6. Rilke said,

    If unborn lives matter as such without any necessary distinction, then the moment the sperm enters the ovum there is ‘life’. Both sperm and ovum are ‘life’. To dispose of either is a crime or a sin, wether via masturbation or menstruation, this casting away of ‘life’ is sinful or a crime. This is the logical and sincere position of true believers in the ‘unborn’ life proposition and has been held by theologians and true religious and spiritual believers who are not hypocrites. You two are either utterly illogical (dim-witted) or not sincere in your beliefs. If you believe sincerely in ‘unborn life’ and that to kill such unborn life is a crime, you should campaigne for the return of the previous punishments for masturbation and also for seclusion and confinement for menstruating women (understood in your terms as the ‘curse’ as it disposes of crucible of ‘unborn life’. Neither of you have stated with any clarity what this ‘unborn life’ is or at what point it becomes or simply ‘is’ life. I did not simply configure a binary between ‘consciousness’ and ‘life’, but posed the question of human ‘Being’. This is a question of ontology.
    I expect no sensible reply from either of you, but am attempting to show you how shallow your assertions are. Your opinions can be as worthless as mine or any other, but when you demand ‘punishment’ and make judgements on ‘killing babies’ then you must frame the minimum requirements of logic prior to proposing what is and is not, legal in terms of that which is ‘killed’. Mick cannot even come close to this and therefore can only blather lynch-mob accusations about ‘leftists’. Ever since Plato, very determined and fine minds have been struggling with the question of ‘life’, consciousness and Being, yet finally, Mick can wrap it all up simply by ‘keeping it brief’. Heh heh heh! Very amusing. I am sorry Mick, you are a seriously neurotic case. I hope for your sake, it does not move from deep neurosis to psychosis. Take my advice, go back to school or college, listen to some Bach or Beethoven, calm down and saty away from alcohol.

    • Glasgow Working Class said,

      The question of life is not the issue it is the taking of life. A child in the womb is life. Clearly you have never cuddled up to your wife or partner and felt the kick.

      • Mick said,

        Absolutely.

        Feminists declaring a life is valid purely on the basis of if they want it, well, just defeats all they’ve said about absolute right of human equality.

    • Mick said,

      Well, you’re the left. Given how so many of you see shrinks and school counsellors on an epidemic level, it would take one loony to perceive another I suppose.

      If you’re talking about masturbation, you also have to question whether birth control is a crime, or wet dreams. Now we know that as leftists preach that all those are normal and essential, they only remain consistent in their own fly-swatter beliefs. Again, they have no room to preach.

      Leftists believe in using tools to pop the heads and break the bodies of living tiny babies. These are people with heartbeats and experiences of pain and pleasure. Even the grounding of cognitive skills to come. Of course when you take a human life, there must be some comeback for it.

      But they’re too self-centred for that.

  7. Rilke said,

    Glasgow,
    Perhaps you may want to actually read once more what you have written: ‘…the question of life is not the issue, it is the taking of life…’ Do you not comprehend how moronic that statement is? It contradicts itself. You have to know what it is that is being ‘taken’, yet you say that this and is not the ‘issue’ at one and the same time. Please try and frame your assertions with some sense.
    As for you Mick, you are now crawling towards deliberate ambiguity and emotional drivel. You use the word ‘babies’ now, not ‘life’ as you did previously. I take this to imply that you are incapable of defining your own assertions logically or even coherently. Your phrase about ‘wet dreams’ and ‘birth control’ support my claim rather than undermine it. These would also be classed as sins or crimes under both of your definitions of ‘life’ and in fact actually were at one time. You either believe in the foundational notion of sacred life or you do not. You two only want to believe insincerely or in that part that suits your emotional confusions. I am interested in the logic and sense of the proposition of the sanctity of basic life and whether it is valid or has merit. From your words, all you two seem interested in are the gory details of abortions and ‘popping skulls’ and the like. It is also a strange thing to observe a person preaching the dignity of ‘life’ then ranting on about ‘loonies’ in a derogatory way. Very odd!
    I hope you do not mind me asking, it is a sincere question. Are either of you regularly taking medication? If so, I can assist you.

    • Mick said,

      Oh, plenty of your own meds to spare, have you? And you’re the one preaching about people disagreeing with you being nuts. You do it every time.

      OK, one last time: A spermatazoa is life and a baby is alive, a being. Where there’s a brain and a heart, there’s life and not mere existence. Your talk of it being a sin to waste even a sperm fails to take account of another premise, of whether birth control or wet dreams are malicious or benign. If you don’t jack off, you have a wet dream, which just can’t be helped. Totally different to some feminist with a pussy hat and blooded face, barging in to an already overtaxed health service, wanting to snuff out the latest obstruction in a fit of dogmatic pique.

      And of course leftists don’t like mention of how a baby actually dies. The issue’s not so clean when you look past the slogans.

    • Glasgow Working Class said,

      What gory details? I mentioned the use of a galvanised bucket which is fact.

  8. Rilke said,

    You fail to attend to the crucial question of what point the ‘life’ becomes a ‘baby’. Is it the point of coupling of the ovum and sperm? Is it a number of developed stages thereafter? The question then, is not that you above all others, somehow mysteriously know what ‘life’ is and what ‘Being’ is, but rather the point at which we recognise and accept the moment of becoming a being, or ‘baby’ in your words. This implies that your previous position as to the sanctity of ‘life’ as such, has been dropped in favour of recognising that it is a question of what point or stage the, fertilised ovum and foetus becomes a ‘baby’. That is a different debate.
    The question of ‘wet dreams’ is one of intentionality and has no merit. Intentions only matter in matters of levels of guilt not in matters of the definition of what constutites a sin or crime in the first instance, again, a different question. Property is defined clearly in law, philosophy and science (although it is not completely settled), the question of guilt in relation to the intent to steal property for example, is a different matter. The former is a first principle or foundational; constituting the basis for the law and the categories of thinking in general, the latter is relational to the former and rests upon it.
    I would advise you to stay away from the over-heated rhetoric that you seem so keen on when it comes to writing of abortions and dead babies. You appear fascinated by the distressing imagery and much taken with the gory and upsetting details. You seem to want to shout about and revel in the distressing and graphic nature of the medical act itself.This is unhealthy and is a neurotic symptom, making you unstable in your words and judgments.
    I can refer you if you wish.

    • Mick said,

      As I understand it, if it’s too late for the morning after pill then it’s pretty much too late to abort. The baby’s cooking by then. You can’t hurt a sperm but you can hurt a baby.

      If leftists find it so hard to pin down the boundary between birth control and abortion, then they necessarily must abstain from all killing. Instead, they use it as an excuse to do anything. My say is that once the Rubicon’s crossed, then that’s a baby.

      And it’s interesting that mentioning the product of an abortion is deliberately mistaken as wallowing in it. That’s how lefties say anything they disagree with is rhetoric. (Or ‘populism’.) Especially when, not long back, it was the LEFT who were rigidly pro-life across the board. They were the ones who once truly went overboard with constant grisly details of abortions. How times change.

      The central point of it being wrong to kill babies is where the ground lies. Talking about wet dreams in relation to law are all red herrings at the end of the day.

  9. Rilke said,

    The doctor is unavailable. Please call again later.

    • Mick said,

      Well, for someone as loopy as you think I am, we’ve carried the debate miles back from the left’s position of aborting anyone near to birth. We’ve now gone right back to eve dismissing that it’s technically immoral to use birth control, a device which is also a leftist sacred cow.

      • Mick said,

        What’s the matter, left? Cats got your tongue?

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