Monthly Archives: January 2017

The North East of England to be ‘blighted’ again?

It is often said, especially by those who live here (and it would appear with some justification) that closure of the coal mining pits caused severe hardship as a result of greatly increased unemployment and bitter divisions within communities, even within families. This was especially the case in Seaham and the immediate surrounding area.

Seaham had three collieries: Vane Tempest, Dawdon and ‘The Knack’; while just a few miles away there were other collieries located at Easington, Murton and Horden. After nearly three decades Seaham has recovered, Murton is still recovering, Horden has become a suburb of Peterlee, while Easington still exhibits a ‘dead/run-down’ appearance.

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British politics at its finest – or lowest?

It is assumed by all and sundry. especially other so-called democracies, that the weekly session known as Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) demonstrates the British political system ‘at its best’; in that ordinary  Members of Parliament, ie those not ‘holding an office’ of some description, have the opportunity to ask the Leader of the Government of the day any question they wish. This ability to so do is believed to be an example of democracy in action.

How little those that envy the British system actually know.

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In the words of Humpty Dumpty……

Has it been noticed that on assuming office national leaders invariably state their people matter and that they are but servants of the people; they state the need for change, in some instances having happily served under policies mandated by their predecessor, but then maintain those policies were wrong.

Cast your minds back, starting with

Tony Blair, who said:

…….And it will be a government that seeks to restore trust in politics in this country. That cleans it up, that decentralizes it, that gives people hope once again that politics is and always should be about the service of the public……

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A missive to members of the EEUSC (2)

Returning to a previous article in respect of the recent report by the Exiting the European Union Select Committee and the fact that, bar one MP who courteously dealt with the query raised, the replies received have all contained the mantra that they are unable to help me unless I am a constituent of theirs. I find myself unable to let matters rest, consequently have forwarded yet another email to those MPs attempting to hide behind their self-imposed rule. The MPs in question are: Peter Grant, Patrick McFadden, Hilary Benn, Andrea Jenkyns, Maria Caufield, Alistair Burt, Jeremy Lefroy, Michael Gove and Emma Reynolds.

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The Lady has spoken – ‘may’ she be right

So the long-heralded speech by our Prime Minister on Brexit has taken place – and we must make of it what we will.

For those advocating a move ‘sideways’ to EFTA/EEA there is disappointment – and for those wanting out of the Single Market and the Customs Union there can only be mixed feelings as she said that she does not want this nation to have an associate membership of the European Union, but it would appear she is willing to accept, if necessary, some form of associate membership of the Customs Union. A tad odd, no?

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Quis custodiet ipsos custodes, for the umpteenth time; but when will someone listen?

Referring to the preceding article in which I posed a question to each member of the Exiting the European Union Select Committee, one member, to whom  I will extend my courtesy for having personally responded, has stated: I argued strenuously against this absurd suggestion of a transitional agreement which was slightly watered down as a result.  But because there is a majority of ‘remainers in recovery’ on the Committee the most the minority can hope to do is render its reports as anodyne as possible.

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A missive to members of the EEUSC

The following has been forwarded, by email, to every member of the Exiting the European Union Select Committee – not that I am that hopeful of receiving a response.

I read with interest the report, just published, from the Exiting the European Union Select Committee; of which each addressee is a member. This report has been made public and as such consequently is also addressed to every member of the electorate; regardless of whether any member of the electorate is a constituent of any member of this committee. As a result it is hoped that any member of the electorate choosing to write to this committee, as I am now doing, will receive a detailed reply addressing the points raised therein.

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Naturalisation

When a foreign national seeks citizenship/naturalisaton of their host nation, who should make that decision – those of the community in which the applicant lives; or, as in the United Kingdom, a bureaucratic, box-ticking government department?

Recently, in Switzerland, a case concerning a woman who had lived in Switzerland since she was eight, speaks fluent Swiss German, has three children with Swiss passports, has no criminal record, doesn’t claim welfare and is politically active was rejected. On the face of it, one would have thought she would be a ‘shoo-in’ for a Swiss passport. How wrong you are..

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Re-announcing a re-announcement

We have today been advised that our government is to tunnel under Stonehenge to convert the present single carriageway of the A303 into dual carriageway.

Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport, is quoted, stating:

This government is taking the big decisions for Britain’s future, underlined by our record £15 billion funding for road schemes. This major investment in the south-west will transform the A303 and benefit those locally by cutting congestion and improving journey times. It will also boost the economy, linking people with jobs and businesses with customers – driving forward our agenda to build a country that works for everyone and not just the privileged few.

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Home Truths (4)

#4 – a question to politicians and journalists

Whatever we wish to achieve in the future, it must begin by knowing where we are in the present- not where we wish we were, or where we wish others to think we are, but where we are in fact.

Where Brexit is concerned the sooner politicians and political commentators realise the truth contained in the above, the sooner we will be spared what can only be termed their asinine outpourings on this subject.

The conflation, by both politicians and political commentators,  twixt membership of the European Union and access to the Single Market is not only boring, but also frustrating; and does only increase, among those of us who have an understanding of ‘matters EU’, our contempt  of them.

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