New Year Honours 2017

Many congratulations to all those who have been recognised in the New Year Honours list. People from all walks of life from sporting stars to celebrities from stage and screen to charity and community workers. All have achieved something and deserve recognition.

U.S. Forward Look

With all but the final inauguration ceremony now out of the way it is clear the big political story internationally at the start of 2017 will be the Presidency of Donald J Trump. Considered unthinkable a year ago it is about to become a reality.

Many people have said to me that he will lack democratic legitimacy because he was easily beaten in the popular vote by Hilary Clinton. I am not convinced. The fact of the matter is that is any election what matters is the actual election system in use. In the case of the American Presidential Election what matters is securing most votes in the electoral college not winning most votes overall. Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton knew the rules and campaigned accordingly. IF it was the case that the Presidency was decided on the total of the popular vote across the whole of the USA then no doubt they would both have campaigned differently.

It will be interesting to see how much of his election campaign rhetoric survives the transmission into the White House. It seems pretty certain it is going to mean a very different outlook then we have seen under President Obama.

Trip to Egremont

I made my second visit up to the Cumbrian coast yesterday, this time accompanied by Sue and CeeCee. The contrast in the weather between last week’s visit and yesterday could hardly have been more stark. Last week Storm Barbara meant ferocious wind and torrential rain left me pretty wet even with some serious waterproofs on. Yesterday, we were able to admire the full beauty of the Lakes as we made our way through the Southern Lakes then up the coast road to meet at Egremont Conservative Club. It is a beautiful part of the World but you can sense its remoteness.

GM Plan Consultation

Despite the original plan to close the consultation period on the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework before Christmas the powers that be in Manchester have extended the period to 16th January 2017.

Understandably, this is a major cause of concern for many local residents as I can tell from the number of emails I receive about it. As the consultation period has been extended it is very important for as many members of the public as possible to submit their views – for or against.

The Website for the consultation can be found here:



A no score draw might not usually be the cause for much celebration in football circles but Bury’s nil – nil draw away at Fleetwood Town on Boxing Day brought to an end a dismal losing run stretching back 12 matches. A club record of defeats that has seen The Shakers drop from the edge of the automatic promotion places to the edge of the relegation places. So, gaining a point at last away from home and keeping a clean sheet will have been a late Christmas present for Bury fans. Let us hope the result will give the team some confidence as they move into the second half of the season.


Boxing Day

I hope your Christmas Day all went to plan. After a very busy few days for me it is only today that I can start to relax a little with some time off. I have noticed emails have kept arriving – yes even on Christmas Day! I plan to keep on eye on them for anything that is genuinely urgent otherwise I will spend a few hours later than n the week replying to them and those in the queue. 

Happy Christmas

A very Happy Christmas to all readers and visitors to my humble website. Whether you believe in the fact that Christmas marks the arrival of Christ Jesus on earth or not I wish you all a very peaceful and restful Christmas.


St. Anne’s Church in Tottington was full as it always is for the Christmas Eve Service last night and although no longer one of the Church Wardens I read one of the lessons. Today after Church we are going to see Sue’s Mum and Dad.