I have always advocated that the death penalty should be restored for convicted killers. I am pleased to see therefore that a campaign is being launched to have the matter debated and voted on in Parliament. This is an issue where millions of people have their views ignored and it is an issue where I believe successive Governments have failed to mirror public opinion.
Modern technology together with the final sentence being determined by a jury would I believe overcome the objections of those who worry about the risk of miscarriages of justice.
At a time when all our thoughts and prayers are with the many families affected by the tragedy in Norway the domestic news agenda will again be dominated by the economy. At a time when the Eurozone is in crisis, the banks are still struggling to overcome their problems, Japan is suffering the after effects of the Tsunami, the USA is facing huge debt problems it is perhaps not surprising that growth in the UK economy is not racing ahead.
A couple of weeks ago I was studying the results of an opinion poll on the publics understanding of our Countries economic position and in particular the size of the national debt. Incredibly 7 out of 10 people thought that we were going to repay £350 billion of the national debt during this Parliament rather than increase it by this amount which apparently is what is forecast to happen. Only 1 in 10 correctly said the debt would increase. The reason for this is that every day our national debt continues to increase because we are still not living within our means. All the various savings the Government are making are only having the effect of slowing the rate of planned increases in public spending which were theoretically due to take place. I say theoretically because there is little doubt that even had Labour stayed in Government the international pressure to control the budget deficit would have forced them to cut back on the planned rate of increases in pulbic spending.
Last Saturday I visited the Adventure Day organised by the Rotary Club of Ramsbottom held at the playing fields on Longsight Road. All manner of sports and activities were exhibiting their particular delights – potholing, mountaineering, cycling, sailing to name but a few.
There were also representatives of young Rotary – Rotaract – who were promoting the work they do in raising money for charity and they had one of the Shelterboxes on their stand which are sent out to help those suffering from the aftermath of natural disaster around the World.
Last Saturday I was delighted to be able to join the Mayor of Bury at the opening of the Seedfield Football Festival held at the Seedfield Centre playing fields on Parkinson Street in Bury. Over 40 junior football teams were taking part in a footballing festival of fun!
The Club at Seedfield have recently been awarded a grant from the Football Foundation towards work on maintaining and improving their facilities. Hopefully these improved facilities will encourage even more young people to get involved with the sporting activities at the Club.
The whole Country has been shocked by the revelations that journalists have been hacking the telephones not just of celebrities and politicians but of murdered children, the victims of the 7/7 bombings and families of servicemen killed in action.
This scandal is not just about the journalists on one newspaper or even the press in general it is also about the police and about how politics works.
There is no doubt we need to get to the bottom of the specific allegations which have been made that is why I am pleased the Prime Minister has said that there will be a full public enquiry with a judge in charge so that there is no question about the impartiality of the inquiry. Everything that has happened must be investigated and no stone left un-turned. The witnesses will be questioned by a judge on oath.
We also need to consider wider issues about the future of the press. A second independent inquiry will therefore look at the culture the practices and the ethics of the British press. In particular it will look at how our newspapers are regulated and make recommendations for the future.
When the inquiries are completed it is essential that we finish up with a police force that is beyond reproach, a political system people feel is on their side and a press which is free and holds those in power to account but is also clean and trustworthy.
OK it might not be Glastonbury but for Tottington it is fast becoming a summer favourite for thousands of people who this year were able to enjoy an afternoon’s entertainment in the sunshine. Whitehead Gardens was packed for most of the afternoon and I know that so many of the small charities and organisations represented at the various stalls were delighted with the attendance and all were able to raise funds for their respective organisations. This really is the Big Society in action. No public subsidy, no private companies making any profit [ not that there is anything wrong with either of those things in the right circumstances!] just a group of individuals getting together to do good. I particularly want to thank the local authority for allowing the road to be closed and for the police and fire services for their continued support.
David with members of the Myeloma Support Group
Although I spent most of last Sunday helping out at Music in the Park in Tottington I did find time in the afternoon to go down to Burrs Country Park where the Bury and North Manchester Myeloma Support Group were Walking A Mile to raise funds for Myeloma UK. Myeloma is cancer of the plasma cells which has devastating consequences on a person’s health.