The challenges of youth – The Icelandic way/solutions

The BBC has some innovative youth solutions on its web site – see link above

I have not been one to watch the demise of local youth facilities without saying that we are headed in very much the wrong direction and that there are and will continue be negative consequences for the wider community and the young people left wandering on our streets.

The closure of Maghull’s innovative Youth Coffee Bar set up by local youngsters for local youngsters comes to mind. On the positive side though volunteers are working to set up a new youth facility which will soon operate from within Lydiate Village Centre.

But this a is not another rant about the the failed political processes in Maghull/Lydiate that have led to the demise of publicly funded youth facilities, its a call to say hey look at what the Icelandic nation is doing and could we not do something similar?

The alternative i.e. to continue to let our young people wander the streets getting into trouble and keeping our over-stretched police force busy is hardly offering them a happy, healthy and positive future now is it?

Hate Crime – Rosie Cooper MP – An Update

On 27th October this year I ran the posting below on this blog site:-

Today I received this letter in the post

Some things transcend party political boundaries and probably far more should. No one should have to put up with hate crime, end of.

Click on the letter to enlarge it

MP’s – Their staff should be Civil Servants and recent revelations have confirmed my view

Not so long ago and for differing reasons than I am addressing now I suggested that MP’s should be supported by people who are seconded from the Civil Service. My concern then was about the cost of MP’s to the public purse and the always worrying issue of their staff getting involved in doing what could easily be seen as party political work whilst the public purse (you and me) are paying for it.

But the most recent revelations about sexual harassment in Parliament has in my view confirmed that my previous suggestion would also be right because it could help address this latest embarrassing Whitehall disgrace at the heart of power in the UK.

In effect MP’s are very small individual employers at present, with maybe each one hiring a handful of full and part time employees using public money to do it. The fact that some of these employees have seemingly not had any basic employment protections and have at times been effectively stopped from making complaints about sexual harassment associated with doing their jobs is an utter disgrace.

It’s time to take the employment of support staff of MP’s away from from the MP’s and into the hands of the Civil Service. Such a move would lead to the activities they are asked to take part in being carefully monitored for the cost to the public purse and any doubt about them being used to support party political activities. But it would also have the effect of giving them full and clear employment protections, trade unions they can join and a complaints process to use with confidence when they are being treated in unacceptable ways.

But let’s face it this is unlikely to happen and some ineffective papering over the cracks is the most likely outcome as our failing democratic structures slip further down into the gutter as far as UK citizens are concerned.

Prescot murder – Carl Cashman speaks out

Carl Cashman

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link above

Carl is a friend of mine and a more dedicated community campaigner you would do well to find. He steps into matters that other politicians shy away from. Every community needs a councillor like Carl.

Hate Crime – Rosie Cooper MP

The BBC has the story on its web site – see link above

I know Rosie Cooper because she has previously held public office as a Liberal Democrat Councillor in Liverpool (and as a Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate) before holding her present position in public life as Labour MP for West Lancashire. Can’t say I’ve spoken to her for some years now but it was quite a shock to see on TV last night that she has allegedly become a victim of hate crime.

Rosie and I may not share a common political agenda these days but for her to find herself being threatened like this is utterly appalling.

I’m guessing that the full story behind this will come out in court. My thoughts are with her.

Merseyrail – Yes staff are right to stop people who are too intoxicated getting on trains

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link above

We have probably all been on trains or buses when there’s someone nearby who has had a little to much of the falling down water. Most of the time they are harmless but some are far from that.

I applaud Merseyrail for trying to identify those who are simply not fit to travel because they are a danger to themselves and everyone else on the train. The fact that in this story a drunk got violent, sadly injuring Merseyrail staff, kind of makes my point i.e. he was obviously unfit to travel. Clearly he needs tracking down and charging with assault, maybe that will sober him up!

As an aside I once got a train back from Liverpool to Maghull late in an evening and had a happy drunk sat not so far away from me. He entertained us all by trying to eat chips when he could not easily work out where his mouth was nor could be stay awake between the chips that did find his mouth.