Posted by: westlancashirerecord | March 17, 2019

Seriously Disrespectful Cable

LibDems are remain

The Liberal Democrat spring conference is taking place in York this weekend, and according to the Independent, outgoing leader Sir Vince Cable is due to stress commitment to the EU in his farewell speech, saying, “we are Remain”.

Comical Cable

It’s the same Cable who, on 19th September 2016 at Liberal Democrat Conference, during his two-year enforced absence from the Commons, declared “The public have voted and I do think it’s seriously disrespectful and politically utterly counterproductive to say, ‘sorry guys, you’ve got it wrong, we’re going to try again’, I don’t think we can do that”. Well, that’s a porkie…it’s the way I tell ’em!

He could have been Prime Minister…Oh my God!

Cable epitomizes the unpolished turd brigade who have no respect whatsoever for voters, except of course when he was elected himself. He gives older people a bad name! 

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | March 17, 2019

Enough Of All This French Cheese And Wine Snobbery

Time to declare economic war on France.

I’m feeling bolshie today about what’s going on with Theresa May and the “parliament of pygmies”, and as historian David Starkey writes “Since what is Remain or the campaign for a Second Referendum but an attempt to ‘dissolve the people and elect another’? And where will it end? In another very British revolution? Or something nastier?” 

Anyway, my leave vote might have been wasted, but my spending power won’t be. 

Walk into any decent sized grocery store in France and head over to the cheese section. What you’ll see is a myriad of cheese varieties that will make your head spin. Brie. Camembert. Reblochon, blah blah, etc!

Now try to find English Cheddar cheese.

If you’re in a smallish town or outside Paris, look closely because you either won’t find any or you’ll see one single type, maybe two, of yellow aged cheddar cheese. Cheddar isn’t a popular cheese in France relative to the over 450 different cheeses produced and consumed in France on a regular basis.

Probably because it’s British.

Some French people don’t even know what Cheddar cheese tastes like while others jokingly suggest Cheddar is “fade” or “sans goût” tasteless, compared to Emmental, Camembert, Brie and Raclette, the cheeses most consumed in France. Perhaps it’s not their fault. They think Cheddar cheese is not a real cheese, which really means, they believe it’s beneath French standards.

I’m not buying any more French cheese 

I’m going to help the UK post Brexit economy. I’ll be buying from these amazing British products Cornish Yang, Wensleydale, Red Leicester, Lancashire, Stinking Bishop, Shropshire Blue, Lincolnshire Poacher, Gloucester, Sage Derby, Swaledale, Beacon Fell Lancashire, Blue Stilton, and Caerphilly to name just a few.

Same with wine

No more French Merlot for me. I’ll have “New World” Merlots from Napa Valley, Washington State, Argentina, Yellow Tail Australia, Hawke’s Bay New Zealand, anywhere but France. That’ll teach Macron to demand guaranteed French access to our fishing waters after we’ve left the crumbling EU! Why not join me?

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | March 17, 2019

The Poor Bloody Infantry

The poor bloody infantry

Edward Leigh Conservative Gainsborough “May I ask the Minister for Women and Equalities whether some MPs are more equal than others? Back Benchers, the poor bloody infantry, have to traipse through the Lobby for every three-line Whip, but Cabinet Ministers can sit brazenly on the Front Bench and then slope off in their limousines after betraying the people and the Prime Minister”.

Penny Mordaunt The Secretary of State for International Development, Minister for Women and Equalities “All the Ministers on the Front Bench this morning are here and ready for their duties, in particular the Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, my hon. Friend Justin Tomlinson, who was ironing his shirt 20 minutes before this session started. We are in turbulent times, but we must trust our institutions and trust in democracy. I am also the Secretary of State for International Development, and I will take messy democracy over any other system in the world”.

John Bercow Speaker of the House of Commons, salary £142,826. “I am tad taken aback that Justin Tomlinson feels it necessary to disclose to his ministerial boss his personal habits in relation to such matters, but there we go”.

The “Poor bloody infantry” are paid £77,379 plus every kind of fiddled expenses they can lay their hands on. If Mr Leigh doesn’t like getting his fat arse off his green bench he can always bugger off! Then the poor bloody public might feel some satisfaction!

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | March 16, 2019

Jarrow Re-visited

Yesterday, fishermen rallied to support #MarchToLeave. Britons MUST fight to make obnoxious MPs who’d shatter our democracy. Honour #Brexit. May’s deal is a continued dire threat to our fishing & whole country. Make your voice heard!

“In a great historical nod we passed the Jarrow church

where the 1930s Jarrow marchers started to London to highlight the working folk of Britain’s cry for politicians to listen. MPs must LISTEN & not thwart #Brexit.

“Tereason” May plunging to sick depths of national humiliation. Escorted in, summoned like a broken nation beaten in war. You’re a sick disgrace with no bottom to the shameless sell out of our nation you collude in. How did such a proud stubborn nation end up led by such quislings?

As soon as the Conservative Party under the leadership of Edward Heath

won the June 1970 general election, negotiations were opened up for our country to join the EEC. However, one of the problems he faced was the awkward fact that by then, the EEC had incorporated the Fisheries Regulation into the “acquis communautaire”, the Community acquis or acquis communautaire, sometimes called the EU acquis and often shortened to acquis, is the accumulated legislation, legal acts, and court decisions which constitute the body of European Union law. It allows for UK fish discards on a grand scale! 

Heath tricked the House of Commons, including the Leader of the Opposition, Harold Wilson into believing that the United Kingdom had obtained a derogation which would protect fishing interests when, as events have proved, he had not done so. Norway did understand the implications of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and voted against joining, a position they have maintained to this day and with consequent benefit to their fishing industry and, indeed, to their whole economy.

British companies sold their quotas 

Spanish firms own 88 per cent of Welsh fishing rights and most of the quota from the Bristol Channel to the Scottish border.

 

Dutch and Icelandic firms control most of our East Coast fishing. European seas are split into sectors and governments hand out quotas specifying how much of each type of fish can be caught. Unlike in other countries the Environment Department allows any or all of its quotas to be sold to foreign trawler firms.

Fisheries minister George Eustice resigned

 

“England and Wales have mismanaged their fishing quota and Brexit will do nothing to put it right” says law lecturer Tom Appleby.

Message to May

In July 1992 Ruth Albuquerque, a member of EC Fisheries Commissioner’s Cabinet, gave a speech in Shetland. She warned of far reaching changes because of Spain’s accession to the EU. Her language was unequivocal. The arrival of Spanish vessels would result in the loss of “tens of thousands” of fishermen’s jobs.

No one, however, believed her because of all the assurances of British Ministers that all was well. Until this point, for all the failings of the CFP, our fishing industry had not suffered too much, but a calamity was looming as the fishing jobs to go were British jobs. As far as is known, this lady was the only person to tell the truth so openly. By contrast, UK ministers and civil servants misled, deceived and distorted the facts, so as to ensure that the integration process rolled relentlessly and peacefully onwards.

When did things ever change?

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | March 16, 2019

WLBC Building Control Team Plaudit

West Lancashire Borough Council’s Building Control team

has been recognised by a national body as providing a high quality service. The Building Control Team operates the system which seeks to safeguard the safety of people and buildings across the Borough. Local Authority Building Control (LABC)

the national umbrella organisation which represents Local Authority Building Control bodies, has been working on setting up a single quality management system for the entire network. The aim of this was to ensure all people working in professional practice in this field had shared standards and practices to provide clarity across the country.

West Lancashire Borough Council Building Control committed to supporting this initiative and staff formally embarked upon the process of achieving the LABC-recognised ISO 9001:2015 accreditation.

The team was externally audited by Alcumus ISOQAR

an organisation which ensures bodies meet standards required for internationally-recognised management system frameworks. They did this along with nine other authorities from the 90 authorities undertaking this phase of this accreditation. As a result of these audits the team demonstrated full compliance to the International Standard for Quality.

Every aspect of Building Control has been subject to audit from leadership of teams to individual commitment of team members. Controls to ensure smooth running of processes and tasks including training, competency, dealing with dangerous buildings and demolitions were also addressed.

As a result of these audits the team demonstrated full compliance to the International Standard for Quality and they were awarded United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) Accredited ISO 9001:2015 Certification.

Councillor Ian Moran

Leader of West Lancashire Borough Council, said “Congratulations to the team on this excellent achievement which is recognition of the high standard of service they provide and the important work that they do”.

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | March 15, 2019

The Infantilisation Of Parliament

How often did you watch the Brexit proceedings in the House of Commons

and think, they are like unruly children? Because of it, it wasn’t too long ago I indicated to a friend I had decided never ever to vote again, what was the point because my elected representative chose to defy the will of the constituency. 60 years of voting, barely a missed visit to a polling booth for any local or national election. Now a waste of time. No more!

Writer Mark Wallace

writes in ConservativeHome, “the home of conservatism”, about how “This Parliamentary farce reveals how much our political class has been infantilised”. Infantilisation was inevitable as the behaviour was encouraged by outrageous management by the chair, Mr Speaker.

Wallace wrote “I expected a Leave victory to come as a severe shock, and a fundamental psychological as well as political challenge, to many people in Westminster. The prospect of millions of voters bluntly intruding on an echo chamber, to overturn what some had assumed to be a permanent consensus so obviously correct that it was mad to even question it, was never going to be easy.

“So I never thought that accepting the outcome, adapting to it, implementing it and then moving beyond it would be simple or brief, particularly for the MPs who would have to actually put it into practice. It would produce grief, and rage, and at worst those emotions would be made flesh in abuse targeted at voters and attempts to obstruct Brexit. Even at best, we would still have to go through a discomforting period in which we discovered the degree to which the Parliamentary establishment had been infantilised by years of giving away Westminster’s powers.

“A Speaker who ignores the conventions of the House when it suits him, then refuses arbitrarily to table amendments he dislikes. Ministers who disobey three-line whips, but expect to retain office. A Secretary of State summing up in favour of a motion, then voting against it. A Prime Minister who promises the House and the nation something more than 50 times then proposes the opposite.

“A Commons that votes to trigger a timed and definite Article 50 process, then spends much of the period in question bemoaning the possibility of its own decision coming to pass. A House of Lords which disregards its constitutional limits to prioritise its own desires. Politicians who vote to hold a referendum, then pledge to honour its outcome, only to campaign ardently to run it all again, and who then won’t vote to do so when their own proposal comes before the Commons. The term “meaningful vote” being coined, then applied to votes which can be – and are – ignored and run repeatedly”.

“All the while, the citizens who combined to deliver the biggest vote for anything in our nation’s history are left wondering why it is so hard simply to keep a promise.

“They might, as some have suggested, take their votes elsewhere, potentially even to troubling and extreme opportunists, but the real tragedy is that many may simply give up voting. It breaks my heart to think of the people on whose doors I knocked, who told me there was no point voting – that politicians would never listen, and would never allow the electorate to get what they wanted rather than what MPs believed they needed. I argued that voting counted in our country, that if enough people voted then Westminster would have to listen. And yet now, years later, many MPs are still doing their level best to avoid doing so, and others who at least want to keep their promises are nonetheless failing to get the job done”.

Wallace declares “The Leave vote was the first true increase in responsibility for British Parliamentarians in at least 40 years. It has proved to be a bigger shock to their system than many people expected, and many of our politicians, and the structures around them, have struggled to adapt to it. I suspect that few people, beyond perhaps Dominic Cummings, had realised how far things had declined.

“None of this amounts to a case against democratic self-government. If anything, it shows the consequences of releasing a political class from many of the demands and challenges of proper responsibility and accountability. If you started a diet and a workout regime, but found out you weighed more and were more out of shape than you had thought, that wouldn’t be a reason to give up – it would be a reason to knuckle down and work harder. If our politics is struggling to adapt, we must find out why, and set it right”.

Once bitten forever disillusioned? That’s me.

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | March 15, 2019

Interserve Rescue Attempt Fails

We wrote about Interserve plc the other day.

Interserve has failed to secure investor backing for a rescue plan and is set to fall into administration, with lenders seizing control of the outsourcer.

Investors in Interserve,which holds crucial Government contracts for a range of services in prisons, schools and hospitals, voted against its proposal at a meeting on Friday. Interserve said “The board of directors of the company is convening an urgent board meeting to consider its options. In the absence of any viable alternative, it expects to implement an alternative deleveraging transaction, which is likely to involve the company making an application for administration and, if the order is granted, the immediate sale of the company’s business and assets (i.e. the entire group) to a newly-incorporated company, to be owned by the existing lenders”.

The firm added that the administration and sale to its lenders is expected to be completed on Friday evening and the business will continue to operate “as normal for customers and suppliers”. Shares will be suspended from trading on the London Stock Exchange immediately.

Interserve, which employs 45,000 in the UK, has lined up EY to carry out a pre-pack administration, after which the firm will fall into the hands of its creditors. Lenders such as RBS, HSBC and BNP Paribas, together with Emerald Asset Management and Davidson Kempner Capital are expected to seize control once the process is complete.

The pre-pack process will allow it to avoid a Carillion-style collapse, to the relief of Government. Under the rejected plan, aimed at slashing a near-£650 million debt mountain, the group had been proposing a debt-for-equity swap with its lenders that would have resulted in existing investors seeing their holding slashed to just 5%.

There is no comment yet on UK jobs. Interserve operates in West Lancashire. 

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | March 15, 2019

What To Do With Police Horse Droppings

Apart from putting it around your rhubarb, that is? 

It seems that Otis Saroke of Ormskirk is averse to horse manure. He’s written to the Champion about it.

He doesn’t like police horses being in Ormskirk

as shown in this pic courtesy of QLocal

they are impractical and dangerous, there is danger of them going wild!! Think bucking broncos!

Horse manure, he writes, is an issue for the elderly population who cannot manoeuvre quickly to avoid it. He finds it hypocritical that leaving dogs’ excrement is an offence while leaving horse manure isn’t.

He does admit that it’s hard to clean up from the top of a horse, and concludes the horses are unnecessary and need to go. Or, in this day and age when extending telescopic brushes are available

every police horse person could have one in their saddlebags, extend and brush manure into gutter! There you go, problem solved. After all, horse manure is a recyclable resource, one not to be sniffed at!

 

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | March 15, 2019

Ignore The Naysayers

Ignore the naysayers?

Yes, says Christopher Howarth who is a senior researcher working in the House of Commons.

Prior to this he worked for Open Europe, as a Conservative Foreign Affairs Adviser and senior researcher to a Shadow Europe Minister.

The Withdrawal Agreement has been defeated twice by historic margins, for all the reasons we are all too well aware of – not least the inability to escape the horrors of the backstop. In normal times a government defeated on a major policy would show some contrition, maybe even resign, but not this one. MPs are going to be invited to vote again and again until, well, they sign away their right to vote to the EU27. This is an idiotic policy that is bound to fail. If you ask the same question, you get the same answer.

Before the second defeat of the ‘deal’ and Tuesday’s vote on a motion to take ‘no deal’ off the table, I wrote that the Brexit result “is already a foregone conclusion”, asserting that it’s already a certainty that we will leave on 29th March without a deal or without the backstop. So far I have not heard any credible counter-arguments.

So, following this week’s events is this still true? Yes, and more so. So where are we now? • We are two weeks away from Brexit with very few sitting days left in the Commons and Lords. This makes the Remainers’ games very, very difficult. They have to push their deal or proposition through. Opponents hold the castle, guarding the pass. • The Commons has just voted decisively against a second referendum – the only remotely viable way to reverse the result of the first – by a resounding 334 to 85 votes. • The Commons

has voted to take ‘no deal’ off the table in a non-binding motion. This is obviously an affront to logic and the UK’s negotiating hand, but does not change the situation from the last time Parliament did this. • The Commons has rejected the constitutional monstrosity of the Benn amendment to take control of the Order Paper to allow indicative votes next week. • The Commons on Thursday passed a Government motion to ask for an unspecified extension for an unspecified purpose.

So will the Prime Minister

bring the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration back for another try? Quite probably; she has not shown any imagination ever since she first embarked on a secret two-year attempt to embed the UK in a permanent customs union. She did not blink at the reception Chequers received, she barely blinked when defeated by 230 votes. Honourable pro-Leave Cabinet Ministers resigning left, right and centre is all just water off a duck’s back. Yes, she will try another vote, Plan B is Plan A and C-Z ditto. She will lose.

There is a parliamentary rule in Erskine May that you should not ask the Commons to vote twice on the same subject. This was arguably broken on Tuesday, but it’s worth asking: can she now extract changes to her deal to present a new proposition? The answer is probably no.

No, because the Prime Minister does not want to change her deal. No, because when presented with the chance to vote on the Malthouse proposals for alternatives to the backstop, she refused (along with her Brexit Secretary). She has allowed her own Cabinet to sabotage her negotiating hand, because she is not proposing to negotiate. She does not support changing the backstop – so it won’t be changed.

There is a European Council meeting on 21st March, so might it be possible the EU27 throw the Prime Minister a new meaningless piece of paper for the Attorney General to opine on? Still possible, but it is already clear it will make no difference. MPs will be asked to vote on the same deal and will give the same answer. But that is not everything. There are some genuine fears exercising some MPs, pushed out by Number 10 and certain ambitious Cabinet Ministers, who want to vote for the deal and be Prime Minister.

Potential fears

1. If MPs vote down the ‘deal’, they will allow Remain MPs to force through an extension?
In fact the guaranteed way to an extension is to vote for the Withdrawal Agreement as the Government has itself argued (and the Commons has passed a motion to the effect) that it will require an extension to prepare legislation to implement the deal. Therefore, MPs voting for the deal will also have to vote for an extension, otherwise the deal will time out as the passing of the legislation is a condition of ratification.

But running with the argument, we have ruled out a second referendum, and won’t extend to implement the ‘deal’ when the deal is defeated. What is left? Will the Prime Minister tear up her deal and seek an extension for something else? The EU will not allow an extension for no purpose (as acknowledged in the Government’s motion passed on Thursday), and nor will the Conservative Party or Parliament. The last deal took two years to negotiate behind the backs of the Cabinet, there will not be any new negotiation, so will the Conservative manifesto be ripped up and the UK participate in Euro-elections? No. The Prime Minister is not that foolhardy. At worst, we might see a short extension to prepare for ‘no deal’, but that itself is unlikely and hardly a reason to back a disastrous deal.

2. If MPs vote for the ‘deal’ they may get a new Prime Minister? And tidy up afterwards?
A line touted by various Cabinet Ministers, this is a fundamentally dishonest argument. Not only would any promise by the Prime Minister to stand down be ignored, it would not solve anything. In the backstop even Genghis Khan as Prime Minister would come up against the fundamentals of international law. But we won’t have Genghis Khan, we will no doubt have a Prime Minister who voted for a deal that he/she now seeks to unravel against Foreign Office and Civil Service advice. An unlikely and self-serving tale.

3. Labour will vote for the ‘deal’?

This scenario comes from the same school of thought that believed Labour would vote for a second referendum. It misunderstands the nature of opposition and the Labour leadership. Labour have no interest in taking part ownership of an unpopular deal. They want government and leaving the Tory Party in sole ownership of the deal suits them just fine.

4. The ERG and DUP will fold? The most ludicrous and lazy of all journalist lines, spun by an increasingly desperate small group of centre-right commentators and think-thanks close to the Cabinet, is that the DUP are biddable, and the European Research Group will fold. This is rot. It should come as no surprise that the DUP are Unionists and the ERG MPs are largely life-long eurosceptics committed to the UK Parliament making UK laws. This is not going to change. Of course, there are trades in the normal course of politics, but no party or group can trade away policies that are existential to their identity. Sir Bill Cash will not agree to the EU legislating in the UK any more than the DUP will agree to separate treatment for Northern Ireland. And remember the Withdrawal Agreement cannot pass without the DUP or ERG.

So there we are. The ‘deal’ will be defeated again. It may be defeated several more times until the Prime Minister is dragged from her roulette table.

So, what of the other horror scenarios being used on MPs? They have no substance. There is no reason to vote for the deal you dislike because you fear the machinations of someone else – particularly when the machinations are ephemeral and vaporous. A miasma seeping out of Downing Street and its allied think-tanks. No MPs will not be fooled by this.

Why vote to give the Prime Minister a victory into a permanent backstop if you want someone else to negotiate the trade deal? Why believe the threats of a Conservative Government that it will act against its own and the country’s best interests to threaten its own MPs into submission? These are dark arts, practised by a particularly hapless novice wizard. Downing Street’s last weapon is fear – fear they may do something even worse to themselves than they were already planning! To paraphrase the lesser Roosevelt, the only thing we have to fear is fear itself – and MPs are not fearful of a weak unimaginative Government desperate to push through a failed deal.

Parliament does not want to re-join the EU, it does not want a referendum. It cannot ask for an extension to implement the deal if MPs don’t want the deal. And nobody could stomach another drawn-out negotiation going on for potentially years and the imminent prospect of European Elections, manifestos, campaigns and all that comes with them. Once you have eliminated all the alternatives, the conclusion is staring you in the face – the UK will leave on 29th March and take back control.

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | March 15, 2019

Aughton In Revolt, Again!

Aughton in revolt?

We hope so. “This revolt is against the proposed “Substation on Sandy Lane” and will hopefully encourage other Aughton residents to support us in our objection to what we see as a blot on our beautiful rural landscape.

“We cannot know how this huge development will affect our environment but can only imagine unknown levels of noise and light pollution impacting both wildlife and residents negatively.

“We held a meeting last night ( we do that sometimes) and it would seem that we are fighting against the construction of a POWER-PLANT and not a substation. The enormity of this industrial construction is mind-boggling. This will absolutely have a devastating impact on our neighborhood, our property, wildlife, environment and our physical and mental health.

“The documented risks associated with living near such a structure include (not only) a doubling of the risk of childhood leukemia but the potential for explosion at the site as was seen more than once last year along the same line. This cannot be allowed to go any further . We want to protect our home and environment . NO to Sandy Lane “Substation” !! …..NO to Network Rail !!

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