Monday, 22 June 2009

John Bercow - New Speaker of The House of Commons

John Bercow, Conservative MP for Buckingham, is the new speaker of the House of Commons. He was elected to government in 1997 and served in the Shadow Cabinet under Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard. Bercow has increased his majority to over 18,000 at the General Election in 2005.
He has risen quickly through the junior ranks and was brought into the Shadow Cabinet in 2001. During this time Bercow stated that he lacked ruthlessness which would stop him from rising higher.

John Bercow’s website states
“You elected me and sent me to the House of Commons to speak and vote for the people of Buckingham. You might not agree with some of my views and that is OK. That is what representative democracy is all about.
Some politicians these days try to have bland views on everything so that they please everybody. However I have always taken the view that there is no point in being an MP if you don’t have opinions and you say nothing. I can’t fight the corner if I have no opinions and don’t know what to say.
However, it is my duty and pleasure to serve all of my constituents in Buckingham irrespective of your political views."

Bercow has long had an interest in Burma and the issue of democracy and genocide in the country. He runs the Advanced Speaking and Campaigning course, which has trained over 600 Conservatives, including several current MPs. Children and young people with speech, language and communication needs is another of his special interests.
The Speaker is the chief officer and highest authority of the House of Commons and also represents the Commons to the monarch, the Lords and other authorities and chairs the House of Commons Commission. Speakers must be politically impartial and on election the new Speaker must resign from their political party and remain separate from political issues even in retirement. The Speaker still deals with their constituents' problems as a normal MP.
I am not sure that someone can turn immediately from being affiliated to a political party to being completely impartial. Perhaps this is what my own MP, Kevin Barron is aiming for when he says that he will not talk politics with me (problem with Mr Barron is that he does not appear to be dealing with his constituents’ problems either).

Bercow says that immediately, he must and will cast aside all of his political views. "I said it and I meant it". He will be completely impartial and will do his best "faithfully and honestly to serve the House".

So as, with much of what is happening in political life at the moment, we will have to “wait and see”, whilst hoping that the new speaker will carry out his role of ensuring MPs follow the rules of the House during debates.
If we have a speaker who genuinely sticks to the rules as agreed, then we have a chance of democracy coming back to our government.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Anything but teaching, Gordon - PLEASE !

Oh dear - poor Gordon Brown.

He has been "hurt" by the crises that have plagued him the past months as Prime Minister, and could "walk away tomorrow" and perhaps become a teacher.

Walk away Gordon ... PLEASE walk away....but for heavens sake don't inflict yourself and your hurt on our children any more ! Doesn't this country need plumbers, or electricians or something that does not involve PEOPLE that Gordon could work at ?

Thursday, 18 June 2009

MP's Allowances Published Online

Documents and receipts relating to MPs' allowances are published today on the parliament website.

From today the public will be able to view printed documents and receipts relating to MPs’ claims dating back to 2004/05 and up to 2007/08.
The expenses claims of every MP for the past four years have been published, but, ironically with some key details not shown. The Commons authorities have published the details after the long-running Freedom of Information battle.
Addresses and correspondence that claims relate to have been removed for privacy and security reasons.
This means it is not possible to see if MPs "flipped" second homes which is a main part of the Daily Telegraph's revelations from its leaked version of the data. This news comes on the same day that Kitty Ussher, a Treasury minister, has been forced to resign after avoiding paying up to £17,000 in tax on the sale of her constituency home. Another case of "acting within the rules", in other words getting as much as you can by keeping as much as you can secret.
Nick Robinson of the BBC has said that if the database was all the public could see and the full uncensored claims had not been leaked then MPs like Miss Ussher would still be in their jobs.

Is this a step in the right direction towards full openness and transparency... or another attempt to pacify the public and keep them quiet ?

Seems to me it's like saying "Here, take my bank card, but there is no chance you are having the pin number " !

For our very own Rt Hon Kevin Barron MP ....

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Direct question to Kevin Baron, MP, from

In an earlier blog I have commented that the Rt Hon Kevin Barron MP has refused to answer my questions about politics as "it will go on the blog". Some of us have discussed the possibilities of which blog this could be and want to ensure that Kevin gets to know all the questions that his constituents want answering and also give an opportunity for him to reply direct (in the absence of his own website)

This blogger has asked a direct question to Mr Barron and I have posted the blog below. Keep going to the site in the off chance that Kevin may reply some time in the none too distant future.

Mr Barron ... I also would welcome a reply on this blog , if it happens to be the one that you read.

Hi Kevin

I know you read this blog – the letter you wrote telling me about it is one of my most prized possesions.
I also know that you said you weren’t going to write to me anymore because I have published your comments on this blog. What I didn’t know is that you have also told other constituents that you ostensibly represent that you won’t write to them either, whilst mentioning ‘the blog.’ The constituent in question assumes you might mean this one, although ‘the blog’ could mean anything. Just to make it quite clear, this is my blog, and I am the only one who writes posts on it. I have sent you an invite to become a writer here because you still don’t seem to have a website on any of the three domains you seem to control, but as yet you haven’t taken it up, so I remain the only writer at the moment. You are, of course, still welcome to take up my offer to contribute – it’d be great for the people of the Rother Valley to hear more often from their representative.

Anyway, as you seem to be gradually reducing the number of constituents you will communicate with, rarely send out leaflets and have still not managed to get a website of your own going I thought I’d ask a question here, prompted by a comment on my last post.
So, the question your constituents want answering – and it’s a big one because most of your constituents are Labour voters – or at least they were last time around – is what your views are on the Labour leadership? We’ve seen and heard nothing of your views.
Are you one of the rumoured 50 or so that were prepared to call for Gordon to go? Are you upset that, at a time when the Prime Minister is seemingly recruiting anyone who will answer their phone to be in cabinet (Sir Alan Sugar who he has had to make a Lord, Glennis Kinnock, who can’t actually be a minister because she is an MEP) that you still haven’t got the cabinet post you reportedly wanted in 1997? Do you think Gordon Brown should stand down as Prime Minister – and is your view on this based on what is best for your party, your own future employment as an MP, or the good of the country – or a combination thereof?
We, your constituents, would really rather like to know, and putting information on the internet is so much more effective than sticking it in the window of your office in Dinnington. The Rother Valley is quite big, you know.
We’d be grateful, therefore, if you could answer here, or on a website of your own.
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog, and this post in particular.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Maltby Festival 2009

Maltby Festival 2009 - Sunday 5th July - Saturday 11th July

Sunday 5th July - Gala Day,Maltby Main football field, Muglet lane, Maltby

10 am - 4pm

Stalls, rides, disco, childrens entertainment, dancing and a medieval re-enactment, White Post Farm, circus workshop, competitions: kids fancy dress, gurning (funny faces), knobbly knees, glamorous granny and scruffy pet.
Each competition winner will be announced on the day. All competitions will take place between 11-2pm Lots of prizes to be won.

Monday 6th July - Zion Youth Group, Coronation Park, Maltby 6.30-8.30pm

Wild West night, including a Bucking Bronco and disco by DB Entertainment

Tuesday 7th July - Art Exhibition, Wesley Centre, Blyth Road, Maltby 2-9pm

Presented by Dave Brennan - local artists including students from MCS displaying their work. Refreshments available. Bar from 6pm. Free admission. Supported by Maltby Community Development Trust

Wednesday 8th July - "Camp Fire" in Coronation Park, Maltby

Sing song and food 6.30-7.30pm run by Hesley Woods, Woodpecker Fellowship Team.

Thursday 9th July -Teddy Bears picnic in Coronation Park - 4 - 6pm

Bring the family and a teddy and don't forget the picnic. Come and have some fun.

Friday 10th July - Safe@last presents weekend@last Concert

Saturday 11th July - Community Sports Day, Coronation Park, Muglet Lane, Maltby 10am-4pm

Fun for all the family- to include Youth services, Sports Development and local Police Services, races, football, climbing wall and award ceremony.

(Later Safe@Last presents weekend@last concert)

Sponsored by: Maltby Town Council, Hargreaves, Paper Island

If you are a group, charity, association, school or business who live or work in Maltby and want to get involved please contact us.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

The Apprentice Politician

Sir Alan Sugar, “businessman and TV personality” has been offered the position of Enterprise Champion a position in the UK government responsible for advising the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and promoting entrepeneurship.

I say “offered” the position , as in an interview with him this morning, Sir Alan appears a little confused as to why the government has given him this title and exactly what the title infers. He says that the role is totally non political and that he is intending to do what he does best, which is encourage and promote business and training and this title gives him the opportunity to spread this work further afield.

All good stuff, except … the role of Enterprise Champion carries with it a Labour peerage. The future Lord Alan Sugar, can’t say what would happen if the Government became Conservative led, as he does not know enough about David Cameron to back the party. Yet he has been a personal friend of Gordon Brown, he says, for at least 10 years.
Am I confused ? Not really. It seems blatantly obvious from what Alan Sugar has said this morning, and the manner in which he has said it, is that this another case of “jobs for the boys”. Which government would not want a man onboard who has estimated fortune of £830m ? (Of course, he is not actually joining the government)

I have to say that going on Alan Sugar’s “performance” this morning – ruffled appearance with open necked shirt, stuttering over his words and attempting to look surprised at his new position – any decent interviewing panel would say “You’re Fired” before the interview began.
A man working very closely with the Prime Minister who does not wish to talk politics ? Rt Hon Kevin Baron MP – having you been spreading your philosophy around ?

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

No need to forget

Dear Friend.

Thanks for the photo. Really can't say that I have seen her before - but you know my memory for names and faces and it's not for me to remember her anyway. That's your job.

I understand the throwing out photos and stuff - I have done a bit of that kind of thing myself..... and more ! But have now come to the conclusion that it's not necessary. Obviously when things are raw you tend to go crazy and want rid of everything connected to that person and situation. You don't need that person's face smiling out at you from a photo on the mantelpiece when you enter the room. You don't need that kind of reminder at all.

This person's features are etched into your very being, the touch of them and the thought of the touch of them is difficult enough. Keeping those thoughts to the back of your mind is what you need, at first. But then, as we are constantly told by family, friends and trained professionals, time does alter our thinking.We don't ever forget of course. To even try to is not helpful. But eventually we think about things in a different way and become to have a different perspective. We have bad times, when we think we can't live without this person who for so long has been in our thoughts every minute of every hour. But we can.

After time -and for each individual, this is different. We can, if we allow ourselves to, remember the reasons why we loved that person in the first place (probably still do) and yes, there were lots and lots of good times. Do we have to forget those or try to make the bad things more significant than the good? No. No matter the reason for the separation, no matter what they did or we did or who said what, can we be happy (and even proud ) that we shared that person's life for a time ?
I believe so. I hope so and I hope that you can feel so, soon.

In the beginning and for a long time after, I thought that one day with "my" person was worth dying for. A silly sentimental thought, perhaps, but one that I remember now. I think you may have thought this too, so remember it. Remember, but not too much. Want a well worn cliche? No, you don't but here's one anyway - today is the first day of the rest of your life. That is not a reason to despair, no matter what. It is a reason for joy and the opportunity for further learning. Have a good day.....

Your friend,

Mindfulness - the New Capitalist Spirituality ?

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