Moderation! – Bugger that for a lark I’m too angry about what’s happening to the UK

Do you feel angry about the state of the UK at present because I do. We seem to be being run by pygmies when we need giants. Just look at the House of Commons; it’s not at all an inspiring place full of MP’s we can have confidence in.

Our NHS, Police, social care and economy are on the slide big time yet we are one of the richest counties in the world.

The human race is systematically trying to destroy the very planet we depend on via pollution, global warming and poor environmental husbandry generally. This is frankly well beyond the fringe issue which it generally is treated as, except when when an environmental/human disaster takes place of course.

I’ve had enough of it myself and here’s my radical list of things that need to be done starting yesterday:-

* No more privatisation of public services – only genuine, not for profit, Co-Ops and mutuals being possible alternatives to publicly run services.

* Get rid of of UK’s nuclear deterrent and spend the money on decent public services.

* Back the Right to Die; stop making excuses on this human rights issue.

* Campaign hard for Proportional Representation so everyone’s vote matters.

* Reject Brexit and everything it stands for to save jobs and our economy.

* Make sure the UK has the best/highest green/environmental credentials/policies.

* Campaign against killer air pollution before it kills us all.

* Fund the NHS and social care properly via general taxation.

* Promote a citizens universal wage/income.

* Wage a real war on poverty and the excesses of the super rich. Our economy needs to be seriously re-balanced before our society breaks down completely.

Oh I could go on but I do feel better for getting that off my chest….

Maghull – Strange Graffiti/Street Art

Seen on a BT junction box in Green Lane Maghull (and on another on a similar box in Liverpool Road North) but what on earth is it all about? A Google search brought a fellow blogger up and an explanation:-

thiswayupzine.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/strange-liverpool-graffiti.html

Seems BT could be making a charge here to me for advertising on their junction boxes so our telephone bills could come down:-)))

Farron, religion and Liberalism

That a thoroughly decent man has been forced from public office is a given and I say that as an atheist.

Yes I was very uncomfortable watching Tim contort himself into knots when asked about his religious views and yes the media were out to do him harm over his religion. Just think about it, how many other leading politicians have strong religious views and how many of them have been hounded out of office for holding them? Blair got some stick because he was Roman Catholic but I struggle to think of many others in recent times.

Did Tim bring trouble upon himself? Well yes to some extent because of this contorted answers that had us all scratching our heads. And you know despite his odd answers he actually did a lot to back minority rights and the LGBT community have acknowledged that apart from what I will call their more militant fringe.

Can you be a Liberal hold religious views? Well you must be able to as there seem to be many people out there who do. Anyway one of the significant strands of liberalism comes from ‘Chapel Liberals’ and Methodism. I am sure my dear old Mum was a Chapel Liberal and I personally know many Lib Dem’s who hold strong religious views and I count them as my friends.

The crunch issue as I see it is this. As a Liberal your guiding light is the rights of others and your being willing to stand up for those rights even when you personally do not subscribe to them. That’s what Tim Farron tried to do, that’s why he stood up for LGBT rights even though his religion was seemingly telling him otherwise. His problem was being unable to publicly reconcile his liberalism and religion when the contradictions were put to him by the media. And once he had shown weakness the first time he was asked about the matter it was always going to be where the media homed in.

Were the media involved in bullying and intimidation? Yes of course they were, indeed they were acting as though they were from the 1950’s and steeped in intolerance with more than a hint of the Spanish Inquisition thrown in for good (or is that bad) measure. It’s as though Farron were being treated as a criminal for holding religious and political views, it’s a sad reflection on our reactionary media and the intolerant times we live in.

Yes of course opposition politicians also exploited Tim’s inability to answer straight forward questions on the potential conflict between his religion and his liberalism. I picked up what I viewed to be political trolling comments on this very matter.

Brexit has split us very deeply because it has brought back into focus views that people used to be ashamed of talking about – racism, intolerance, homophobia, etc. Farron in my view became a victim of that new intolerant culture and it shames our society greatly.

One last thing, the schism on the left of British politics is not actually so much about policy but about libertarian versus authoritarian approaches. In general terms socialism is more authoritarian and liberalism is obviously libertarian. Tell you what is good for you as opposed to giving you the facts to make your own mind up you could say. Quite obviously our society is by its nature these days far more authoritarian and less libertarian. I hope it goes without saying that Conservatism is also authoritarian.

Authoritarian societies don’t tolerate differences from the norm and the norm is usually set by the ruling classes. Farron is, like many Liberals before him and those who will follow him, too libertarian to be tolerated by a media and a political establishment that see most things very black and white, right and wrong.

Don’t look upon Farron as someone you liked or disliked in party political terms, look upon him as someone our society showed the door to because he was not conforming to the norms as interpreted by the media and the establishmnet. Then look at other minorities and think about them too, who will be next?

Oh yes and Farron stood in 2017 General Election on a policy of tolerance!

Billinge – Who’d of thought it on a Parish Council?

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/councillors-accused-racism-bribery-making-13169144

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/councillors-guilty-misconduct-after-racism-13176655

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

I’ve been a parish councillor since 1985 and whilst meeting some rather eccentric parish councillors in my time I have always found the vast majority of my fellow parish councillors to be decent folk.

Because of the nature of parish councils being small local affairs I have come across some councillors who think that the world ends at their parish boundary, or who don’t seem to understand what a parish council can and can’t do or who don’t seem to get how they should interact with the public who attend their meetings.

It’s perfectly legal for anyone to attend a parish council meeting and film it but I have heard of some parish councils who don’t like this and try to stop it. They don’t realise or don’t care that they are acting outside the law.

It’s also the case that sometimes a member of the public can turn up to a meeting and during the public participation part of it can be aggressive and difficult. Such rare events need a strong meeting chairman to handle things without a shouting match having to be the consequence.

I suppose what I am saying is that to be a parish councillor you need to be able to get along with folks especially those whom you disagree with.

Maghull/Lydiate – My letter to the Champion newspaper in respect of the Turnbridge Road site

The letter below is in response to the article on page 9 of the Aintree & Maghull Champion newspaper on 24th May where Labour councillors complain about a developer when their party on Sefton Council voted for the site to be developed via the Sefton Local Plan!

*****

That the developer of the Turnbridge Road site in Lydiate (which will be accessed from Maghull) is not engaging with locals is indeed an outrage. I wrote a detailed objection regarding this development to Sefton Council as part of the planning process. I also opposed the Sefton Local Plan which designated this site for development.

But just hang on a minute the councillors protesting about this in the Maghull Champion article belong to a political party – Labour – which voted for that site (amongst many others across the Borough) to be developed! Do I hear the sound of stable doors being slammed shut after the horse was allowed to trot out?

Yours sincerely

Cllr. Tony Robertson
Lydiate Parish Councillor

Guide Dogs/Hearing Dogs and Taxis

I have a partially sighted friend who uses a guide dog, although he is presently awaiting a new dog as his previous one sadly died not so long ago. Phil Marshall is his name and he lives in Maghull.

I raise this subject because Phil raised it with me whilst we were having a pint in the Derby Arms in Aughton. Phil had been contacted by Guide Dogs for the Blind recently asking him to lobby his local councillors about the problem of a small minority of taxi drivers who refuse to have a guide dogs in their vehicle.

Yes I know, it sounds almost beyond belief that a taxi driver could refuse a blind, partially sighted or deaf person a ride because they have a guide/hearing dog with them but I am told that it does happen.

www.guidedogs.org.uk/supportus/campaigns/access-all-areas/faq#.WTLg_Ma1vv8

The link above is to the Guide Dogs for the Blind web site which addresses this very issue. Locally Sefton Borough Council is the licensing authority for taxis.

I hope by sharing this issue I can help to try to put a stop to taxi refusals for blind/deaf people travelling with their dogs.