Corbyn – What drives his cult-like following or what makes a Corbynista?

Well yes of course I’m no supporter of Corbyn as I’m a Radical Liberal but none the less the almost cult-like following Corbyn has is something I’d really like to at least understand.

That some people think he is the saviour of the left is undoubtedly the case and that he is idolised by some is also a given, but let me throw a few things out there for debate.

Firstly, in the last local elections as I was out and about campaigning and indeed cycling through West Lancashire and Sefton one thing really struck me; it was the Labour poster boards on properties of the well to do houses in fashionably expensive places like Aughton and Ainsdale. And I’m talking about communities where you all but had to have a Conservative Party membership card to buy a house in recent times. Yes I know there are many ordinary semi’s in these leafy communities but it was the Lab’ posters on the larger more expensive properties that struck me.

Labour has always had members/supporters whom the left have called ‘Champagne Socialists’ but they were almost always Social Democrats and most of them would not have put Labour posters up on their properties for fear of upsetting neighbourly relations in predominately Conservative voting areas. Now with a Labour leadership and membership well to the left (whilst the mast majority of Labour MP’s are still Social Democrats) some of the wealthy Corbynistas are bedecking their high-end houses to flaunt their support for him.

Now here’s a link to how Labour and indeed Corbyn did is those recent local elections

www.markpack.org.uk/154799/labour-opposition-leaders-local-elections-record/

The obvious interpretation, to me anyway, is that despite a section of the left being utterly devoted to him Jez is actually not making the big impression on voters that you may expect, especially with us having a completely incompetent and fractured Tory Government at present. Of course this lack of a Corbyn bounce must surely be linked in some way to his bizarre support for the Conservative’s Brexit.

Unless you are a unthinking disciple of Brexit we all know it will lead to a more poorly funded NHS, a weaker economy, job losses and the poor being made poorer. Not end results that you would expect socialist leaders to sign up to, yet by backing Brexit that is indeed what the present Labour Leadership is doing despite it also saying not a job will be lost via Brexit. What an utterly bizarre position for any party adopt, but for a supposedly progressive party! Words fail many commentators…………..

And here’s another link, which is more about the man himself and a book written about his surprising rise to become Labour’s leader.

www.markpack.org.uk/137508/comrade-corbyn-rosa-prince/

The other thing (you could say contradiction) about Corbyn is the support he allegedly has amongst young people; the very people who probably have the most to lose (other than the poor) because of his support for Brexit. I’m guessing here that they like his reinvention of 1970’s left wing policies such as a much larger welfare state with many state provided ‘free’ things paid for by taxpayers. But don’t those same young people want to travel outside the UK into EU countries to live and work there as they please? Don’t they want a stable economy that is able to support an enlarged welfare state? You can’t back Brexit and have a flourishing economy that puts money in the Treasury’s coffers to make a ‘most things for free society’ actually work in any rational way.

Maybe re-nationalisation of the railways is a big hit with the young and indeed the wealthy? I personally have some sympathy with this policy although to hear some of the proponents of it looking back at British Rail through very rose tinted spectacles is a little bizarre as BR had as many bad things about it as it had good. That the organisation of our railways needs a big overhaul to get things right is a given but just recreating BR is probably far too simplistic an answer.

So Corbynistas what drives you? Does it feel like a cult more than a political party? If you are old enough did you feel the same way about Michael Foot? What indeed is the Jez ‘X’ factor or is it something that can only be seen from the inside of New(er) Labour?

Aughton – Gorse Hill Nature Reserve

www.facebook.com/events/227208221377516/?notif_t=event_calendar_create&notif_id=1526975458190728

An event there on 3rd June is advertised on the Reserve’s Facebook Page – see link above

I have walked some of the public footpaths through this nature reserve in the past and a pleasant area it is too.

There will be a free guided walk on 3rd June to parts of the Reserve not normally open to the public from 1 pm to 2.30 pm under the the theme ‘Contrasting Woodlands’. Access to the reserve is via Holly Lane.

The reserve is run by the Northwest Ecological Trust and their web site can be accessed via this link:-

nwecotrust.org.uk/

Clieves Hill – Beautiful views and huge potholes

Clieves Hill in Aughton provides wonderful views over West Lancashire and Sefton to the coast, views like this:-

But beware if you try to park your car in the viewing lay-by as there are some monster sized potholes in it:-

Note:- Lay-by potholes reported to Lancashire County Council 21 04 18

Click on the photos to enlarge them

The lead photo is also amongst my Flickr shots at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

The curse of scrambler bikes

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/catalogue-tragedy-shows-war-scrambler-14244568

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

I’m sure I saw one in Aughton’s Winifred Lane last Sunday and the Police helicopter was buzzing around above at the same time.

Maghull – Returning to the condition of Millbank Lane

I have posted previously about the state of the road surface in Millbank Lane. My last relevant posting is available via the link below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/11/23/maghull-lydiate-last-nights-rain-storms/

Without rehearsing too much the history of this lane and how land owners have some significant responsibility for the maintenance of the road surface the situation seems to be like this. Because the lane is a public right of way Sefton Council does have some responsibility for the surface to be in reasonable condition for pedestrians. The responsibility for the lane being suitable for vehicles is definitely with the land owners of this unadopted road.

What has now happened is that Sefton Council has taken some action to try to repair the worst of the potholes where they affect pedestrian access. I understand that at the same time the relevant land owners have been reminded that it is their responsibility to provide a surface suitable for vehicles.

Sadly the stones that Sefton have put into the ruts seem to have been churned out by vehicles or at least that’s what I’m guessing has happened. The photo’s below were taken on 28th January:-

And the next photo is interesting! You can hardly read it as it’s buried in a hawthorn hedge just inside the Maghull/Sefton Borough boundary as you cross over Sudell Brook into the Town from Aughton/West Lancs. It says ‘Lancashire County Council – Private Road – Public Footpath Only’

The sign must therefore predate local government reorganisation in 1974 as it is in Sefton not Lancashire. The things you find when out and about.

Aughton – St. Mary’s RC Church – If not for the noticeboard onto Prescot Rd you may not realise that it’s a church

I posted a while back about what I understood to be the old St. Mary’s RC Primary School in Melling on the site of what subsequently became ‘The Chesterfield’ banqueting suite on Prescot Road and where a new house is presently being built. Here’s a link to that previous posting:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/11/24/melling-remember-the-chesterfield/

When I realised the connection with the RC church just up the road into Aughton (the school was in Melling) I wondered about this church that hardly looks like am ecclesiastical building. Without the crosses on the apexes of the main building and porch, some small religious statues amongst the trees and the notice board outside you could easily pass it by not realising it was a church at all and I wondered why this was the case.

An internet search seemed to provide the answer i.e. ‘Chapel and attached presbytery of the low-key type that prevailed between the passing of the Second Relief Act of 1791 and the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829.’ The interesting link below, from which this text is taken, gives more details:-

taking-stock.org.uk/Home/Dioceses/Archdiocese-of-Liverpool/Aughton-St-Mary

Despite being an atheist church/ecclesiastical buildings have always fascinated me as they often represent the very best in architecture at the time of their construction. St Mary’s turns this view somewhat on its head though as it is quite deliberately understated.

As with my other local history blogs about subjects in Sefton and West Lancs, any additions, corrections and comments are much appreciated.