Sefton – Walking routes accessible via mobility scooters

Some time ago Sefton Council produced a packet of 24 walks throughout the Borough. 3 of them are suitable for those using mobility scooters. I thought it may be worthwhile publishing the details of these routes:-

Click on each one to enlarge for reading.

Barry White & Love Unlimited Orchestra – Love’s theme

If you’re of a certain age this could have been the theme tune to your youth if you were into soul music in 1973:-

www.youtube.com/watch?v=0If2j-egRm8

Barry White, sometimes referred to as the poor man’s Isaac Hayes, with his only well known instrumental track which still sounds great many years on from its launch into music legend.

Just take a minute to look at all those session musicians in the orchestra. They probably earned just a few Dollars for their performance whilst White would have been cashing it in so to speak.

A piece that Maghull Wind Orchestra could take on I wonder?

Assemblies for all: A new inclusive alternative to collective worship

I’m pleased to see Humanists UK take this common sense approach to challenge religious based collective worship which is supposed to be followed by schools – Yes I realise that many of them don’t/find a way around it.

mailchi.mp/humanism/help-us-fight-for-legal-recognition-of-humanist-marriage-1017955?e=1d6f9174ba

Humanists UK say – Schools wanting to deliver inclusive assemblies instead of collective religious worship can now access a groundbreaking new resource featuring hundreds of inclusive assemblies.
Assemblies for All is a brand-new project by Humanists UK providing schools and teachers access to more than 200 high-quality, inclusive assemblies which welcome all pupils regardless of their religious or non-religious background.

The assemblies have been developed by organisations such as Amnesty International, WaterAid, and the BBC, covering themes such as the environment, physical and mental health, arts and culture, and religious and secular holidays.

Teachers can now draw upon hundreds of assemblies that are not acts of collective worship and which do not seek to promote one particular religion or belief, offering truly inclusive and welcoming assemblies to their pupils.

I hope the resource offered above will be of interest to teachers and that they will want to follow it up.

Norman

Some years ago I heard Michael Palin being described as ‘the nicest man in England’ and he may well have been given an award to that effect. At the time I thought yes I can see that, you can’t think of Palin doing anything but good.

But in politics few people are thought of as being nice, yet one man stands out for me – Norman Lamb MP. Now don’t get me wrong, like many other Remainers, I have struggled with Norman’s struggles over whether he would back a Brexit Deal. His agonising over Johnson’s deal, which from an economic assessment perspective was worse even than May’s deal, befuddled many of us. Why on earth was Norman drawn to the deal in any way? Sadly, some folks frustration with this lovely man boiled over and things were said about him which clearly hurt.

We say we want MP’s who are independent thinkers and who don’t just slavishly follow the party line but when we then see such MP’s in action, particularly when they are drawn to supporting/not supporting a cause which means a lot to us, we get upset.

Former Lib Dem MP for Southport John Pugh

Locally, the former MP for Southport John Pugh could be said to have approached his time in politics with an independent mind and at times he caused frustration in Liberal ranks for that independence of mind. The problem with being a Liberal MP is that Lib Dem supporters expect those MP’s to have libertarian views about every subject, but of course we are all flawed so sometimes a Liberal MP will come up with a stance which makes other Liberals stand up and shout at them.

But back to Norman Lamb because other than his agonising over Brexit deals which virtually no other Liberal could get their head around he really is the kind of person anyone would want for their MP. His work to raise the profile of metal health issues whilst being an MP has been tremendous and it’s clearly such a big matter to him that he will be continuing to campaign for those less fortunate after he steps down from Parliament at the December General Election. Indeed, he’s already set up a mental health charitable trust primed with a significant amount of his own money to get it going.

I met Norman when he visited Liverpool in 2017 and he really is the kind of person who has time to talk with people. He’s pictured above with my daughter Jen. Here’s a link back to my previous posting about that visit to Liverpool:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/10/21/norman-lamb-the-mp-who-gives-voice-to-mental-health-issues/

MP’s like Norman are sadly few and far between with so many of them being sheep following the crowd and/or their party. What we need are more independently minded MP’s who despite driving us mad when they, in our view, go off the rails on a particular matter are actually sound, decent and will stick two fingers up to the political charlatans rather than fall in behind them.

Norman Lamb MP

By the way what is Palin’s flaw, he must have one?

PS. I’m presently Reading Palin’s 2018 book ‘Erebus – the story of a ship’, it is as you might expect a great read.

Great Altcar – Fracking Moratorium – What does it mean?

Many Lydiate folk attended one of the local Moss Alliance meetings held in September:-

That Government has brought in a moratorium on fracking is on one level welcome but does it mean that fracking has effectively gone away for good, bearing in mind mid Sefton Borough has a potential fracking site being developed yards away in Great Altcar?

Probably our first reaction is one of saying, hang on we are in an election period so with fracking being so unpopular this could well be just a political ruse to try to take it off the political agenda. My view is this is exactly how we should view the moratorium.

Letter to Lydiate Parish Council from The Moss Alliance

The letter copied above from The Moss Alliance, the independent community group who are fighting the planning application (which is before Lancs County Council) to frack in Great Altcar, sums up the situation far better than I could. The matter will be discussed at the next meeting of Lydiate Parish Council.

Click on the letter to enlarge it for reading.

Tactical Voting – Yep on board with it but beware……

The link below is to a Guardian newspaper article on tactical voting and it’s worth a read:-

www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/nov/03/best-for-britain-tactical-voting-only-way-stop-brexit

Because of our warped 1st Past the Post electoral system we are often placed in a situation where we have to vote for a candidate/party we don’t really support to stop a candidate/party whom we really dislike from being elected. Under a fair/proportional voting system this would not be necessary but we are where we are until we get fair votes.

There are probably two types of anti-Tory/anti-Brexit voters who are looking for advice as to how to vote so as to maximise the possibility of stopping a Tory/Brexit supporting candidate from winning in their constituency. Firstly, there’s the simple issue of trying to stop a Tory being elected and in England it will almost always be a case of voting for either the Lib Dem or Labour candidate who is more likely to beat the Tory. There will be, of course, a very small number of constituencies where the Green is more likely to beat the Tory than the Lib or Lab candidates.

For me the complication is where you want to stop a Brexiteer candidate winning in your constituency because of course there will be significant numbers of of Labour candidates who are Brexiteers.

OK, in this scenario, you know you want the Tory/Brexit Party candidate to be beaten so if there’s a Lib Dem candidate the answer is clear as the Lib Dems are openly opposed to Brexit. However, what if you are being told that the Labour candidate is best placed to beat the Tory? The answer is to try to look very carefully at the Labour candidate to see if they are/could be a Brexiteer too.

The problem here is that many Labour candidates and former Labour MP’s have kept very quiet about their Brexit views so getting to the bottom of what they think about Brexit can be hard going if not impossible. I’m guessing that central Labour advice to their candidates has been to keep quiet as there have been too many of them saying little or nothing even when asked directly! And just because your sitting Labour MP, who is trying to get re-elected at the upcoming GE, voted to Remain in the 2016 Referendum it does not necessarily mean they will stick to being a Remainer after the GE. Remember Labour Party policy is not to come down on either side of the Brexit debate before the GE and they actually want to negotiate another Brexit Deal with the EU for us to leave, if they get elected. So unless your Labour candidate is in effect breaking with Labour policy and is saying they will support Remain after the GE you could end up voting for a Labour candidate who will back Brexit!

Be warned a Labour vote could inadvertently be a vote for Brexit even if your intention is to vote Labour to stop Brexit.

And then looking at the telescope from the other end what do you do if you are faced with multiple Brexiteer candidates in your constituency and you want to stop Brexit? In this scenario the Labour, Tory, UKIP & Brexit Party candidates are all Brexiteers. The answer is of course is to vote for Lib Dem.

Oh for a fair electoral system where we could simply vote for the candidate/s we liked the most!