I am often amazed at how at what at the time must seem to the participants to be routine everyday matters suddenly become headline news with enormous consequences. This week we have seen just such an event. Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand made a telephone call and I am sure they could never have guessed at the consequences. It was in my opinion a most inappropriate phone call and I fail to understand why these two very highly paid entertainers did not realise the potential for harm. The consequences have been that two people have lost their jobs at the BBC and Jonathan Ross has been suspended without pay for three months costing him reportedly one and half million pounds. The whole affair has done nothing to change my opinion that the way the BBC operates and is funded needs a significant overhaul.
Sue and I have been out this afternoon preparing for the Christmas Wrapping Service organised by the Bury Society for Blind and Partially Sighted People. It does not seem like a year since we were involved last Christmas but time marches on and this year the service is due to start in the Millgate Centre on December 8th.
This week has seen the Prime Minister use the ‘R’ word for the first time R that is for Recession. The Prime Minister claims that the Government is not to blame because this is a worldwide problem. It may well be but when the world ecomomies were powering ahead in the ten years the Prime Minister was Chancellor I never remember him saying then that the growing UK economy was all the result of worldwide growth, no, it was all due to his “prudent” stewardship of the economy. Sadly for the British public I fear that many people are going to find out that the Labour Government has not been prudent at all as they have put nothing by in the good times. Now when everyone accepts that the present economic crisis has been caused in large part by too much borrowing what do Labour propose? More borrowing!
Sue and I have just returned from a four day fact finding visit to Northern Ireland. We went with a small group and were based in Belfast but we did go out of Belfast on a couple of occasions firstly down to Lisburn and secondly down to South Armagh.
In Belfast we visited Crumlin Jail which following the ending of ‘The Troubles’ now stands empty and there are plans for it to be redeveloped as part of the regeneration of North Belfast. We also met with victims from North Belfast who gave us details of how things in that part of Belfast are far from normal. We also had a private meeting with the High Sheriff of Belfast and a meeting with two of the Commissioners from the newly formed Commission for Victims and Survivors. I will endeavour to expand this post with one or two photos and links when time allows.
I have had a busy day which started with attending the Harvest Sunday service this morning. Then after checking CeeCee was alright and taking him for a short walk it was then off to the Sunday Lunch organised by North Manor Ward Conservatives. From there it was off to enjoy Harvest Lunch at Greenmount Golf Club organised by St Anne’s. The roast pork and apple sauce followed by trifle was excellent. Then I attended a special Evensong service at St. Anne’s featuring the music of Ralph Vaughan-Williams as it is 50 years this year since his death in 1958.
I was back in time to take CeeCee for a walk and deliver a few leaflets locally before it started to go dark.
Yesterday Sue and I attended the 65th Anniversary Dinner of the Bury Branch of Soroptomist International. We went to support the President of Bury Rotary Club Mr Martin Hardman who proposed the toast to Soroptomist International. Before the speeches we were entertained by the Affetside Choir. All in all a very enjoyable evening.
Today apart from doing some campaign preparation I went down to Gigg Lane to watch Bury play Exeter. Unfortunately despite having the best of the play the Shakers went down to their first league defeat of the season.
Yesterday I paid a visit along with my colleague from Bury South Councillor Michelle Wiseman to Radcliffe Citizens Advice Bureau. The office at Radcliffe has seen a 20% increase in enquiries over the past year and is operating at full capacity. I am grateful to Dave Bevitt the District Manager for meeting with us and explaining in detail the valuable work that the Citizens Advice Bureau does.
The object of Advice Week is to draw attention to the many agencies in the UK that are available to give advice if people are struggling on their own with problems. Independent advice and guidance on a wide range of subjects can be accessed here
David Sumberg MEP, Cllr Michelle Wiseman, David Nuttall, Alistair Burt MP
Sue and I attended a Dinner organised by Bury Conservatives last night held at the Longfield Suite in Prestwich. It was organised to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the formation of the Bury North and Bury South Constituencies back in 1983. The guest speakers were the two MP’s who represented the two Constituencies between 1983 and 1997 Alistair Burt MP and David Sumberg MEP.