Posted by: westlancashirerecord | June 21, 2018

20 Years Of West Lancashire Pensioners’ Forum Dignity

On Tuesday 19 June the West Lancashire Pensioners’ Forum (WLPF)  celebrated 20 years of dignified representation of, and campaigning for, older people in West Lancashire. They did so in the presence of some special guests, Councillor Joan Burrows, Older Persons Champion for Lancashire, LCC/WLBC Nikki Hennessy, and LCC/WLBC Terry Aldridge. In the past year they have supported us by approving our grant applications which have helped to keep our very popular group solvent and enabling the afternoon to be a gift to our members. as a ‘thank you’ for their constant support.

As Veronica Prescott, Secretary of the Forum said, “the Forum, which was originally founded by Mr Charlie Denton, met in St Anne’s Parochial Hall to enjoy an afternoon of entertainment, provided by two very funny ladies ‘Senior Moments’, delicious food from “Yummies”, followed by bingo, a raffle and a quiz.

“We also received a £600 Grant towards the event from The John Laing Foundation and were extremely grateful to have been awarded this funding. Full marks too to Father Godric of St. Anne’s who allows the group to meet there free of charge. It was a very successful afternoon and we are already planning another trip in September”.

Margaret Boulton is Chair of the Forum, supported by Veronica as Secretary, Reg Prescott as Treasurer, Thelma Culshaw vice Chair, Shirley Hughes vice Sec, and Jim Bevan our past Treasurer, all on our current Committee. The vice Treasurer is Stella Connor who provides a special link to the past, as she is the daughter of founder the late Charlie Denton. 

It’s worth remembering some events the WLPF was involved with, especially fighting against the disgraceful removal of the travel concession that led to a four-fold increase in Dial a Ride and the start of social isolation for many elderly and disabled residents.

WLPF also supported the joint campaign with Rosie Cooper MP for a cemetery and crematorium provision in West Lancashire, raising the 2,000+ name petition. As Rosie said “I welcome the hard work and effort of West Lancashire Pensioners Forum to raise awareness of this awful situation”

. This pic of the dignitaries is by Roger Blaxall who attended to report the event in his own inimitable QLocal style. We hope the WLPF continues for another 20 years.

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | June 21, 2018

The Pride In Being A Brexit Lunatic

A senior British diplomat working for the EU has been exposed as a rabid pro-EU Twitter troll who says he wants Britain to “fail hard”. Chris Kendall, his pic who admits Brexit has taken over his life, spends large amounts of his time trolling Leave voters online, despite working full time for the EU External Action Service, the EU’s equivalent of the Foreign Office. He wrote “I tweet in a strictly personal capacity, and my right to freedom of expression is guaranteed by the EU staff regulations. Sometimes I’m a little intemperate, but guess what? I’m human, and I feel strongly about this stuff”.

 The mandarin also co-hosts an anti-Brexit podcast and despite claiming to be operating in a personal capacity, spreads pro-EU propaganda throughout the working day under the Twitter handle @ottocrat. It is possible that the senior diplomat could fall foul of his employer, as it is unclear whether his constant barrage of abuse directed at Leave voters is part of his official duties.

In a professional capacity, he coordinates the monthly foreign policy meetings of European Commissioners, but privately tweeted “do not expect us to roll over and accept it” if Britain regained its independence. Chris Kendall told BrexitCentral that this tweet was “speaking as one of the 16.1 million who voted Remain in the referendum” but was not written as the position of the EU. He also said his employer had not instructed him to tweet support for the EU.

Kendall added:“The EU’s Staff Guidelines for Social Media and the EU Staff Regulations guarantee EU staff the right to freedom of expression, and I am taking advantage of that right to express myself in a purely personal capacity. I do not try to hide the fact that I work for the EU, I think this is important and useful context to know when reading my tweets or my blog, but I am always very clear that I’m expressing myself in a purely personal capacity, representing only myself.”

An EU spokesperson told BrexitCentral“Mr Kendall tweets in his personal capacity, which is also indicated in his twitter description. He tweets in his own time. He is not representing the views of the EU institutions, only his personal opinion.“Views of EU institutions are communicated through official channels, most notably by Brexit negotiator M Barnier and TF 50 [Taskforce on Article 50 negotiations]”.

Kendall, who has dual British-German nationality, claims Brexit is an “assault on democracy“, and has urged his followers to be “extremely wary” of everyone who doesn’t view Brexit as a “personal moral emergency”.

His troll account, which describes Brexiteers as “lunatics” is followed by the UK Foreign Office, where he used to work as a Senior Policy Advisor. He frequently uses Twitter mob tactics to rally his followers who then attack individuals who voted Leave.

Kendall has not made it clear to his followers that under Article 11 of the rights and obligations of officials, he is legally obliged to promote the interests of the EU. However one of his colleagues, Roy Dickinson, has been clear with his followers about his legal obligation. Kendall initially made his Twitter account private after being contacted by BrexitCentral, but it is now back online.

Reading these views of a rabid dual nationality remoaner made me doubly proud to be one of the 17.4 million brexiteers.  Lord Moat, Dominic Grieve, Heidi Allen, Kenneth Clarke, Phillip Lee, Antoinette Sandbach, Anna Soubry and Sarah Wollaston, you all tripled my pride, well done!

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | June 20, 2018

Rosie Cooper Voted Aye

Opposition West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper  voted Aye for the Lords amendment to give parliament a “meaningful vote”, the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Lords Amendment 19P amendment (b) today. The Government won by 16 votes. 

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | June 20, 2018

We Are Not Amused

In Parliament yesterday the future of the House of Lords was considered in Committee that debated the motion “Give the electorate a referendum on the abolition of the House of Lords. The House of Lords is a place of patronage where unelected and unaccountable individuals hold a disproportionate amount of influence and power which can be used to frustrate the elected representatives of the people”.

It was a farce, as we read that “The hon. Member for Glasgow East (David Linden) talked about hereditary peers. The daft thing is that, with the 92 who are left, it is a halfway house. I understand why people are concerned about the House of Lords and either want to change it or question its legitimacy. In 2016, we had a ridiculous situation when there was a by-election for one of the Members of the House of Lords. A Lib Dem peer, Lord Avebury, died, and seven hereditary peers from around the country were put up for election, but the electorate was only three. How daft is it to have an electorate that is half the size of the field of candidates? It makes a mockery of the process, so we clearly need to look at the situation”.

It is worth noting that the electorate of 3 mentioned above all voted, [stand up Viscount Thurso , expenses claimed £32,235], a 100% turnout! The elected Lord thereafter enjoys, like the whole sorry bunch of them, the perk that they pay no tax on their House of Lords earnings or allowances? “We have Lords such as, I hesitate to use the word “noble” Lord Hanningfield, who was caught in his routine of clocking in and clocking out, wandering into the Palace of Westminster for a couple of minutes, signing on and getting his £300 a day tax free”.

We are definitely not amused. To paraphrase James Otis circa 1761, “No representatives without taxation”. As one committee member said “The Minister will recall the point in my speech about Members of the House of Lords who perhaps do not still have all their faculties. The Government have spoken about provisions that have been put in place to allow people to retire; what provisions are in place to ensure that people in the House of Lords are actually still able to do their job?”. What a very good question!

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | June 20, 2018

NHS Re-Employed NHS Fraudster!

 Rosie Cooper MP asked in Parliament “Will the Secretary of State encourage NHS England to respond to my freedom of information request of 13 March this year regarding Greater Manchester Shared Services and the likely failure of the NHS to correctly enforce guidance on recruiting agency staff in the reappointment of Deborah Hancox after her criminal conviction and two-year prison sentence for defrauding the NHS? How can we employ these people?”

 Jeremy Hunt MP Secretary of State for Health and Social Care replied “The hon. Lady has highlighted what is potentially an extremely serious issue. Obviously the FOI is a matter for NHS England, but let me reassure her that the Minister for Health, my hon. Friend Stephen Barclay—the hospitals Minister—met the chief executive of the NHS Counter Fraud Authority this morning”.

Yes, but what happened at the meeting about the “extremely serious issue”?

I recently signed the petition “Give the electorate a referendum on the abolition of the House of Lords”: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/209433  which gives every indication of being an upper class doss house. And it seems we must let sleeping dogs sleep on!

I signed it because peerages are bought and paid for by political party donations, by cronyism, and the age old “being kicked upstairs”, and I received this reply, thatThe Government’s response to this petition has changed. This change took place on 19 June 2018.

“This is because the Petitions Committee (the group of MPs who oversee the petitions system) did not think that the Government’s first response was satisfactory, because it did not address directly the petition’s specific request for a referendum on the abolition of the House of Lords. The Committee wrote to the Government to ask for a new response which answered the petition more directly. The Government has produced a new response: As stated in our manifesto, comprehensive reform of the House of Lords is not a priority for this parliament. Therefore, the Government does not intend to hold a referendum on the abolition of the House of Lords.

“The Government is committed to ensuring that the House of Lords continues to fulfil its constitutional role as a revising and scrutinising chamber which respects the primacy of the House of Commons. We will also continue to work to ensure that the House of Lords remains relevant and effective by addressing issues such as its size.

“The Lord Speaker’s committee on the size of the House of Lords, chaired by Lord Burns, made recommendations in October 2017 on ways of reducing the size of the House without requiring legislation. In response, The Prime Minister has written to the Lord Speaker and agreed to continue with the restraint she has shown so far when making appointments to the House. It is incumbent on all sides of the House to consider what they can do to further promote the culture of retirement. In light of the Prime Minister’s letter, the Lord Speaker has reconvened the Committee to consider next steps.

“This has replaced the previous response which said: The Government is committed to ensuring that the House of Lords continues to fulfil its constitutional role as a revising and scrutinising chamber which respects the primacy of the House of Commons. As set out in the manifesto, the Government is committed to ensuring that the House of Lords continues to fulfil its constitutional role as a revising and scrutinising chamber which respects the primacy of the House of Commons. Whilst comprehensive reform is not a priority, the Government will also continue to work to ensure that the House of Lords remains relevant and effective by addressing issues such as its size.

“The Lord Speaker’s committee on the size of the House of Lords, chaired by Lord Burns, made recommendations in October 2017 on ways of reducing the size of the House without requiring legislation. In response, The Prime Minister has written to the Lord Speaker and agreed to continue with the restraint she has shown so far when making appointments to the House. It is incumbent on all sides of the House to consider what they can do to further promote the culture of retirement.  In light of the Prime Minister’s letter, the Lord Speaker has asked the Committee to reconvene to consider next steps”.

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | June 19, 2018

Watch Out For These Fake Texts About Your EE Bill

These fake text messages  purport to be from EE and claim that you haven’t paid a bill. The link in the message leads to a phishing website designed to steal your EE account login details, as well as personal & financial information.

Don’t be tricked into giving a fraudster access to your personal or financial details. Never automatically click on a link or attachment in an unexpected email or text.

For more information on how to stay secure online, visit http://www.cyberaware.gov.uk

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | June 19, 2018

Labour Claims Bill Shankly Was English

Oh dear, it seems there has been a cock-up in the Labour use of former Liverpool FC manager the late, great, Bill Shankly as “one of our country’s finest ever football managers”. Problem is, Bill Shankly was Scottish who played with great pride for his own country during and after the second world war . West Lancs Labour also invoked the left views of current Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp prior to the recent local elections , but didn’t claim HE was English…not yet anyway!

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | June 19, 2018

Report From The House Of Disgrace

The House of Lords folded yesterday on all but one of their amendments to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill that the House of Commons had rejected last week. So gone is the amendment to try and force the UK to stay in the Single Market, there is an end to attempts to make the Government seek membership of a customs union with the EU, and Exit Day remains set in stone on the face of the Bill.

But, as expected, peers did insist on defying the Government in one area, passing the so-called ‘meaningful vote’ amendment conceived by Dominic Grieve and promoted in the Lords by Viscount Hailsham (who had last come to public attention as the MP Douglas Hogg on account of his moat cleaning costs during the MPs’ expenses scandal). The terms of the amendment – which Hogg termed ‘Grieve 2’ – would require the Government to allow MPs to vote on how it should proceed in the absence of a Brexit deal as of 21st January next year.

The Leader of the House of Lords, Baroness Evans of Bowes Park, reiterated that “the Government cannot demonstrate the flexibility necessary for a successful negotiation if they are beholden so directly to the House of Commons”. But peers voted for the amendment all the same, by 354 votes to 235 (the fourth largest turnout in a single Lords division in recorded history).

The key moment in the debate came when Tory peer and Leave-backer Lord Robathan challenged Hailsham as to whether he had worked with the Opposition on his amendment and asked whether his true intention was “at all costs to destroy Brexit”. Hansard does not record the remark, but you can clearly hear one peer shout “you are an idiot” at Robathan while he is asking the question; and as for Lord Hailsham’s response, he spits out that he makes no apology for having negotiations with the Opposition Front Bench while admitting he doesn’t believe in Brexit and that it will be “a national calamity”.

The only meaningful vote was the national referendum . The “national calamity” is the continued existence of the House of Lords by its inclusion in the democratic process. 

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | June 19, 2018

Labour Councillor Resigns After 6 Weeks In Office

 …Knowsley Councillor Michelle Aldridge  has resigned and is shown as “Not currently an elected councillor” on the WLBC website. She was elected on 3 May with a 51% vote.

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