On the same night as the American election results came in a “Vote yes” party happened in Manchester with top DJs. The event was marking the starting gun being fired for the city’s referrendum on the proposed transport improvements package and congestion charging plan. Chris Paul has been covering shennanigans extensively including Lib Dem MP for Withington John Leech’s prevaricating on the issue. Now comes this comes from Tom Miller which includes links galore to CP as well as to a compelling CiF argument in favour of the charge from Labour PPC Lucy Powell. As Lucy says: Let’s not kid ourselves that there’s some false choice here of picking out the bits we like and rejecting others. Referendums don’t allow for a “pick ‘n’ mix” answer – it’s yes or no. I’ve also blogged at Comment is Free in favour and totally agree. The sending out of ballot papers is set to coincide with a Manchester Evening News debate next week. Residents then have until 11 December to send them back. If you are enfranchised for this vote make sure you do the right thing and vote yes with a smile.

Finally let’s make sure that Withington is only on loan to Leech. Lucy will make an excellent MP by hopefuly taking the seat back next time round. The real losers in the constituency are the Tories. To think that it was a seat of theirs continuously held until 1987 withstanding big Labour wins nationally in 1966 and even 1945. The Conservatives there are now, as all over Manchester non-existent. Not a good omen for a party who want to govern the whole country when their prescence in one of our foremost cities is zilch.