Monthly Archives: November 2018

Don’t Be Fooled By All The Scare Stories And False Views

Another Champion letter , from new Labour Cllr Ron Cooper  of Tanhouse, expresses surprise at seeing an OWL political party story in the Champion. Really, a politician claiming it to be well known that ex-Tory, Cllr Adrian Owens’ main objective is to undermine the good work that the Labour party is doing for the borough! OWL is an opposition party, which might not agree with what Labour is doing for the borough, in case you missed the obvious?

He adds “The Tories and OWL (Tory splinter group) [Howls of derision from OWLs] are putting out scare stories and false views about the new Local Plan…dismayed to hear the disdain in which the Tories hold the people of Skelmersdale…they made it clear they don’t want an invasion of “undesirables” from Liverpool”.

“Many residents of Aughton have come from working class background from Liverpool. We need affordable housing in the borough and planned developments, not a free-for-all and massive “executive homes” that only benefit the developers’ bank balances.

“The new Local Plan shows that our Labour-controlled council can be ambitious for our borough and is safeguarding the green belt”. Well, pardon me, but an admission of Labour reducing the Green belt by a “mere” 1.7% is an admission Labour didn’t safeguard that green belt! And, those fields are shovel-ready, even more profits for the big developers!

“This new plan takes advantage of economic growth in neighbouring regions and allows West Lancashire to be part of those new business opportunities” which doesn’t explain why so called Duty to Co-Operate is only with metropolitan, massively central government funded councils, and is a one way street!

Cllr Cooper wants us to read the plan documents and don’t be fooled by the scare stories. Shouldn’t the tenant farmers and farm workers of Bickerstaffe be scared then?

Labour Proposed New Local Plan Gets A Public Kicking

The Champion Letters  section is awash with bitter opposition to the Local Plan Review. Headlines include “…leaflet should have been labelled Fake News” from a Bickerstaffe Pensioner who declares it to be “A desperate and feeble attempt by the planners/Labour to try to sell their preferred options to us, in much the same way as selling Christmas to turkeys”. And “Well done Labour and planners-the only thing your brochure achieved was to convince us not to vote Labour”…seat to be contested in May 2019!

“Consultation is just a tick-box exercise” from Patrick Bell who quotes Shakespeare’s Hamlet “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” and who disputes, with some force, the stated need for houses for Sefton and others within the Liverpool City Region. He also wants to see the minutes of the Local Plan Working Group, the authors of the document under consideration.

 The “Misguided and unrealistic scheme should be rejected” from Michael Richmond of Aughton who attended a consultation meeting addressed by Cllr John Hodson, during which doubts began to appear, one of which relates to Cllr Hodson’s claim of “affordable” housing in Aughton would be available at £64,000 per unit”. Incredulity!

“Make your views known” from Concerned, Tarleton, is what it says on the tin! “Relief that 15,000 or so new houses previously presented by the Tarleton parish council/Lilford Estates reduced to a far smaller number in the draft 30-year plan”.

Setting The Record Straight

In our article on 22 October we reported that “Cllr Owens Showed Razor Sharp Reactions” by ensuring it was he who seconded Labour Cllr Yates’ motion to reduce the total number of WLBC Councillors at a full Council Meeting. It was a natural reaction from Cllr Owens because OWL had produced an election commitment to the policy .

We specifically asked “So who DID second the Motion? The official minutes will clear the matter. We wait for the claims and counter claims from the contestants!” which drew forth the written Labour claim that “The motion to review councillor numbers, which was seconded by Cllr Yates’s fellow Knowsley Ward councillor, Cllr Gareth Dowling is in response to this review…”

Not being satisfied with the matter, WLR has patiently awaited a view of it that cannot be disputed. In local authority dispute resolution members of the public have rights to ask for disclosure, for example using the Freedom of Information Act 2000. And we can now say without doubt that official notes record that Councillor Adrian Owens seconded the Motion at item 16c, Review of the Political Management Restructure, which was agreed.

All parties to this matter should be happy that an OWL policy in May 2018, copied by Labour in October 2018, is to be resolved for the ultimate benefit of council tax payers, which is as it should be.

Soundbyte Sam, AKA Muffin Man?

We had some ribald comments after we reported on the appointment of Cllr Sam Currie as the Tory Association Press Officer. In recent days he apparently described the “Actual Prime Minister of Spain” as a “muffin”. Having seen the disrespectful tweet ourselves, we wonder if this insult by Cllr Currie sets the tone for his forthcoming Tory press releases. He revels in his being nicknamed “Soundbyte Sam” or “Tory Enigma” by Labour.

So we ask, politely, is there a similar derogatory term for an estate agent, as in one who shows a complete lack of understanding of customer needs also being a “muffin”? We can imagine the Labour ranks of councillors singing “Here comes the muffin man ” as Cllr Currie enters the WLBC chamber in the future.

Time To Renew European Democracy?

A leading Brexiter attended the Annual Awards dinner of the Political Studies Association , which, unknown to many, is “The organisation which brings together academics specialising in politics at British universities”. Our Brexiter reported that Dominic Grieve MP was Parliamentarian of the Year, while the International Recognition Award for 2018 was handed (in absentia) to none other than EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier, who was particularly commended for his “cool, consistent and rational manner” adding “You couldn’t make it up”.

The objectives of the Association are “to promote the development of political studies and to encourage education and the advancement of learning in the art and science of government and in other branches of the political sciences”.

The PSA holds “Citizens’ Assemblies, as a “Time To Renew European Democracy. Conference Co-Founded By The Europe For Citizens Programme Of The European Union. Participants will explore the value of Citizens’ Assemblies and consider whether we are at a point where they should or can start becoming a permanent part of European democracies.

“The conference concludes an EACEA funded project – Citizens’ Assemblies for the Renewal of Europe – that has held Citizens’ Assemblies across the EU this year, and brings together leading experts from both academia and civil society”.

One UK Labour MP supporting these assemblies wrote “The referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union failed to enable the diversity of British opinion to be heard”.

No, it simply enabled a national collective democratic vote. We might suppose opinions like that will dominate the next Labour manifesto?

Watching A Country Make A Fool Of Itself

Imagining the remoaners having their anti-democratic second referendum because they didn’t get the right result first time made me think OK, let’s have an additional question this time “Are you in favour of independence for England?” which I found answered already!

The United Kingdom is not United. Devolution only highlighted further how England has been mistreated by the British authorities for decades. The UK being controlled by unelected bureaucrats in Brussel already undermined its status as a self governing democracy, however if the British authorities fail to implement the result of the EU Referendum, and both sides were very clear on what voting for leave actually meant, then its status as a Democracy is gone.

England needs to take back control from the incompetent and racist British Authorities who treat the people of England as 2nd class citizens in their own country. No country in the world has cultivated arrogance the way Britain has. But the sad truth is: The former global power can’t even find its way to the door without tripping over its feet.

A Commentary by Jan Fleischhauer. In his book “We Germans,” journalist Matthias Matussek writes about an evening spent at the German Embassy in London. The ambassador was hosting the writer Antonia S. Byatt  as his guest of honor and Matussek was on hand to make a toast to the author. In response, she surprised him by asking what he thought of the idea of a European constitution. Matussek answered by saying it’s probably not such a bad idea if the European community of nations agrees on a few foundational principles.

Lady Byatt then said “You know, we British don’t need a constitution. We are the oldest democracy in the world.” She paused briefly before continuing: “For young countries like you Germans, constitutions could very well be useful.” It would be almost impossible, writes Matussek, to overstate the haughtiness and contemptuousness that dripped from her voice. “Essentially, she was saying,” he writes, “you are barbarians, you have only recently put down your cudgels. You need the leash.”

Such are the British, and we love them for it. They are never short of an answer and constantly ready to put someone in their place. The problem, though, is that if you act like you are the center of the world, you should actually be the center, or something close to it. As things currently stand, though, the British soon won’t even be within shouting distance of the center of Europe.

The United Kingdom is currently demonstrating how a country can make a fool of itself before the eyes of the entire world. What was once the most powerful empire on earth is now a country that can’t even find its way to the door without tripping over its own feet. It has now been 28 months since the British voted to pull out of the European Union. Unfortunately, they haven’t taken a single step further since then.

Nothing But Sympathy. When Theresa May shows up in Brussels with yet another Brexit-related proposal, you can be sure that just one day later, it will no longer be worth the paper it is printed on. She either presents ideas that Brussels has long since rejected or her plans have already been chucked in the round file by her own party. Or Boris Johnson has torn her apart in his column in the Telegraph.

Until recently, I felt nothing but sympathy when I would see the British prime minister wander in front of the camera at EU summits, with her crooked smile and kooky offers. Lately, though, I have been catching myself thinking “Go with God. But go!”

No deal is better than a bad deal? If the British are convinced of that, then it must be true. A hard Brexit would also cost us a fair bit, there is no question. But it is nothing compared to what is awaiting the British.

There has been no shortage of articles about what the golden future will look like that London has promised British citizens. First, the trucks will back up all the way to Wales because the borders are back. Then the petrol stations will run out of petrol and there will be a scarcity of drugs in the hospitals. Meanwhile, once all the Polish plumbers have gone back home, there will nobody to call when the toilet clogs up.

They’ll be left in their water-damaged homes with no heating oil and no aspirin — and their Russian neighbours will be in extremely bad moods. After all, they have invested excessive amounts of money in the British real estate market and will be incensed when returns on those investments evaporate. We Germans know all too well how uncomfortable it can be to live with angry Russians. Drug shortages are nothing by comparison!

Connection to Reality. Almost everyone who has a say in Brexit belongs to the British establishment, meaning they went to an outrageously expensive private school and completed their studies at Cambridge or Oxford. In this regard, too, we have been enlightened. What in the name of God do they learn there? It certainly can’t be skills that would prepare them for the real world. Or would you trust a lawyer who regularly shows up to negotiations so completely unprepared that they have to be broken off again after just a few minutes?

You only have to listen in to any randomly chosen snippet of a Theresa May speech or interview and you will quickly realize that connection to reality is not a prerequisite for becoming prime minister. The disadvantage of being intelligent is that it hurts to watch someone act dumb. Simplemindedness protects against this pain, which is why in politics, it is often better to be dumb than intelligent.

We don’t want to be unfair. We have the British to thank for afternoon tea, Monty Python and the Beatles, which is more than many countries have managed to produce in their history. Plus, they have the queen, which, for someone like myself, who tends toward monarchism, is a reason to admire the UK. It is also worth noting that at a certain point in every country’s history, decay becomes unavoidable. Some do so slowly, others more rapidly.

The fact that the British are doing so rather quickly at the moment could have something to do with the fact that it is an island nation. I have never really understood how people could convince themselves that keeping entirely to themselves is advantageous. A look across the English Channel provides a telling example of what can go wrong.

But England can do much better to stop the decay, just try it.

Wally Shuffles His Tory Management Team

The local Tory party  management (for want of a better word), has been changed, probably to prepare for the upcoming May 2019 local elections. Out go Mr Pope and Mr Marsh, in come Mrs Doreen Stephenson (“Doreen is the current Deputy Chairman for Membership (2018)”), Mr Sam Currie (“Sam is now the Association Press Officer”), and Mr George Pratt (“Our current Deputy Chairman Political (2018)”). The ever faithful Edward McCarthy remains as the Association Social Media Co-ordinator.

Wally of course retains his Conservative Group Leadership on West Lancs Borough Council and is the Association Chairman (since March 2017, in better days!). People might wonder just how dynamic  the chosen Deputy Chairman for Membership could be.