Newspapers – I love this definition of their ‘duty’ in a free society

A line delivered by Gene Kelly in the 1960 film, Inherit the Wind. Kelly (E.K. Hornbeck) says, “Mr. Brady, it is the duty of a newspaper to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”

Sadly, I suspect that many in the press these days see their job almost in reverse i.e. Comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted.

With thanks for Cllr. Jen Robertson for digging up the quote which actually goes back well beyond the version used in this film.

The origin of the quote is this from a late 19th/early 20th century American writer Finley Peter Dunne:

“As a journalist in the age of “muckraking journalism”, Dunne was aware of the power of institutions, including his own. Writing as Dooley [one of his characters Mr. Dooley expounded upon political and social issues of the day from his South Side Chicago Irish pub and he spoke with the thick verbiage and accent of an Irish immigrant from County Roscommon], Dunne once wrote the following passage mocking hypocrisy and self-importance in the newspapers themselves:

“Th newspaper does ivrything f’r us. It runs th’ polis foorce an’ th’ banks, commands th’ milishy, controls th’ ligislachure, baptizes th’ young, marries th’ foolish, comforts th’ afflicted, afflicts th’ comfortable, buries th’ dead an’ roasts thim aftherward”. “

A visit to the Prescot Festival of Music & the Arts

Maghull Town Councillor Jen Robertson was playing with Maghull Wind Orchestra in a ‘Last Night at the Proms’ type finale for this 9 day festival on Sunday 29th June so I went along to hear them at Prescot Parish Church. The festival is now in its 10th year and its web site is at:-

prescotfestival.co.uk/tag/2014-prescot-festival/

The steeple of Prescot Parish Church as the sun was going down. I just managed to keep the scaffolding out of the shot.

The steeple of Prescot Parish Church as the sun was going down. I just managed to keep the scaffolding out of the shot.

The Church is undergoing significant restoration following a deathwatch beetle attack on its wooden beams so there was scaffolding everywhere inside and out. However, it did not dim the event at all and the audience seemed to be having a great time waving their Union and English flags.

Here are a couple more photos I took whilst we were there:-

Prescot Parish Church, scaffolding and all, as Maghull Wind Orchestra do 'Last Night at the Proms'

Prescot Parish Church, scaffolding and all, as Maghull Wind Orchestra do ‘Last Night at the Proms’

The saxophone section looking very patriotic

The saxophone section looking very patriotic

These photos are amongst my Flickr shots at:-
www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Brunel’s SS Great Eastern – Jen Robertson’s post

blog.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/2014/06/new-display-on-brunels-ss-great-eastern/

Follow the link above to Jen’s posting – Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s SS Great Eastern was, in her day, the largest ship ever built. A truly ambitious project from one of the most famous names in engineering history…………….

Local Election results – Sefton splits its votes in a rather odd way

Local elections about local issues…………

SOUTHPORT & FORMBY PUNISHES LABOUR FOR ITS LIBRARY & ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES

We Lib Dems held all our seats that were up for election in the Southport part of Sefton but we lost 3 seats in the Sefton Central part of the Borough. All the losses were to Labour and I have been struck by how voters went out to support a Party who are openly going to trash our Green Belt and potentially charge for the emptying of Green Bins in the Borough. And of course Labour has also closed many of the Borough’s Libraries.

CROSBY, BOOTLE, MAGHULL, LYDIATE, MELLING & AINTREE EMBRACE LABOUR

As an environmental campaigner who has worked to defend the Green Belt against Labour’s attacks on it I must say that I am surprised that the electorate in places like Maghull, Aintree Village, Melling and Lydiate has now backed the party of Green Belt destruction. But, there was a single glimmer of hope for the Green Belt as the voters of Formby elected Maria Bennett who, like we Lib Dems, stood on a platform of stopping Green Belt building.

Questions:-

* Is the cause of Green Belt protection in Maghull, Lydiate, Aintree Village and Melling now dead following Labour winning all 3 Sefton wards in this area?
* Why did the electors of Southport & Formby vote for Green Belt campaigners but elsewhere they elected a Party (Labour) that wants to build on the Green Belt?
* Why did electors give Sefton Labour a green light (except in Southport and Formby) to bring in their threatened £46 Green Bin Tax?
* How has Labour got away with closing Libraries in Crosby, Aintree Village and Bootle whilst they were firmly rejected in Southport where they also closed libraries?
* Why did the electors of Maghull vote in Lib Dem Cllrs. Bruce Hubbard and Jen Robertson last July, because of their opposition to Labour’s Green Bin tax and their fighting for the Green Belt, but reject them both today for continuing to campaign on these issues?

These were local elections about local issues…………

Hughes: Knife law may increase crime

Liberal Democrat Justice minister Simon Hughes has warned that mandatory jail sentences for carrying a knife could make young people more likely to commit crime. Mr Hughes said the proposals could lead to younger teenagers ending up in jail after being pressurised by older youths to carry knives for them. The Economist notes that mandatory sentences are being repealed in the US as the rules further fill overcrowded prisons.

Simon Hughes MP on a recent visit to Maghull with Lib Dem Cllrs. Bruce Hubbard, Jen Robertson and Wyn Maher.

Simon Hughes MP on a recent visit to Maghull with Lib Dem Cllrs. Bruce Hubbard, Jen Robertson and Wyn Maher.

In Today’s Independent i, Page: 25 The Daily Telegraph, Page: 13 The Economist, Page: 31

Nice to see Simon bringing a little sense to this debate. Dealing with the consequences of crime and the causes of it are rarely simple. The present and often simplistic debate in parts of the national press over knife crime required a sober contribution.

With thanks to the LGiU for this story.