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Independent Community & Health Concern Caring for the Community in Wyre Forest

An alternative viewpoint

Comments about what’s going on in political life …  … Please note that views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Health Concern or of it’s Councillors or members - but enjoy them - or ignore them (!) It’s your choice.

Local

Wyre Forest and West Midlands

Not, on the final day before the Election, that we would want anyone to call a website into question, but … other online agencies would seem / appear / by chance … happen to be acting as agents on behalf on some (undisclosed) political organisation. We, as you well appreciate, declare our allegiance openly .. “without fear nor favour”. There is apparently a website which claims to show school funding for Worcestershire schools and how it would change under different administrations, were they to be successful. schoolcuts.org.uk shows figures comparing (and contrasting) funding in 2015, and as proposed for 2020. Robin Walker (Con.) hails it as a “..front for the Labour Party” and that their figures have been accused of being “.. inaccurate and misleading”. Dan Boatright, campaigning for the Lib-Dem candidate, accuses the website as being “.. wholly inaccurate” and “..with a clear political bias”. Lots of figures, then; but something doesn’t add up ! Then there’s the photo (and we know that photos always tell the truth !) of 4 year-old little Jack, pictured lying on the floor of Leeds General A&E, complete with oxygen mask. Poor mite. Some say it was his mother who was busy at the time taking the photo. Some say it was her coat that he was lying on. Some say that he’d already been in a hospital bed and was being transferred between wards. Some say that his trolley, in use for a 2 hour period between beds, was ‘just out of shot’. Some say that the type of face mask he was wearing would never have been issued to so young a child (and from where might it have come ?). Some say that various versions and permutations of what could / might / did happen have been on and off the internet, put up then taken down, changed and altered, all day long. And did any of it enhance the treatment that little Jack should have been receiving ? Cheer up, Jack. Christmas soon. You might even be home in time for Santa, reindeer and all; and websites that tell the truth. ___________________ How many of you, I wonder, remember that TV advert. for a West Country cider, which had the musical ‘tag-line’ (in broad West Country accent) .. “Aaaarr, Coates cums zup frarm Zommerzet .. whar thee zidar apples grows !” They really don’t write them like that any more. Well, that particular ditty sprang to mind on reading a letter in one of our National Dailies and realising that, while Coates cider may have come up to the Midlands from Somerset, we seem to have exported our major cider manufacturer from Wyre Forest down to Bruton (Somerset). Yes; penned by non other than Esmond Bulmer (he of the Hereford cider makers) and former MP for Kidderminster (1974-83) and then Wyre Forest (1983-87) who makes a contribution to their letters thread on the efficacy of  Neville Chamberlain as Prime Minister (May 1937 -May 1940) and whether his policy of ‘Appeasement’ gave the nation time to re-arm and come ‘up-to-speed’ to repulse Hitler. He quotes his speaking with Lord Home, the PM’s PPS .. oh, please keep up with the acronyms (Prime Minister’s Parliamentary Private Secretary) .. and so proves his venerability (b. 1935). Interestingly, he propounds that the Peace-terms offered by Hitler through Rudlof Hess (the Deputy Fuhrer 1933-41) were so “generous” - the German withdrawal from all invaded Western countries (other than Alsace-Lorraine) - that Churchill forbade their being discussed in Parliament. I wonder what our mealy-mouthed, ‘woke’ snowflakes in Parliament would have made of such proposals ? Good job people were made of sterner-stuff in those days. ________________________ Why is it that nothing ever runs easily in an election campaign ? And, in the interests of “fairness” we’ll try to be equally “fair” to all parties in this election ! There’s the Green Party website that has fallen at the first hurdle and, in the interests of “fairness” not letting anyone find out anything about their candidate. Well,  that’s fair; although they may get things up-and-running eventually. There’s the Conservative Party candidate and, in the interest of “fairness” we won’t mention his name either, who is photographed campaigning for ‘fair’ rural fuel prices .. opposite the Callow’s garage in (rural, leafy) Chaddesley Corbett, and home to some of the lowest fuel prices in the ‘Rural East’ ward. Then there’s the Labour Party candidate who’s ‘parachuted arrival’ into Wyre Forest from his Redditch location was preceded by local stalwart Stephen Brown ‘bailing-out’ and resigning from his party post in protest at having an ‘outsider’ arriving so unexpectedly (but then, it’s nearly Christmas, and aren’t unexpected visitors to be expected at this time of year ?) And, of course, there’s the Lib-Dem candidate. Sorry, nothing to report, as yet; but don’t you worry gentle readers, ‘cause we’ll keep digging.

National

High shenanigans over the border !  And Alex Salmond is in-the-thick-of-it again. While acknowledging the rule of law that states that ‘ .. everyone is innocent until proven guilty’ .. which is the reasoning behind ‘First Minister’ Nicola Sturgeon saying that there is, as yet, “.. no legal basis for suspending him from the SNP”; it is so re-assuring that he will have the best possible defence, his crowd-funding of his legal team having now closed with twice the target figure subscribed .. “.. it’s good to have friends.” And a good defence there will need to be .. against two counts of attempted rape and nine counts of sexual assault, and an additional two indecent assault charges and one count of breach of the peace. Some 14 offences. Quite a tally for a 64 year-old who qualified with a 2.2 in Medieval History (but they did things differently in those days). He was, and is, a bright, funny, quick witted and confident figure. “Formidable,” was one newspaper critique, and that “..going 12 rounds with him could be ‘bruising’.” What has been corrosive about his tenure in power was his propounding that, underlying everything, Scotland’s problems were down to the union with England and the rest of the UK. In reality, Scotland’s social and economic issues are very similar to those in the rest of the country, and require similar solutions. They are about economics and social policy - not the border with England.

International

Throughout the rest of the world

And now for a political scandal .. and you won’t recognise anybody’s name ! US Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper has demanded the resignation of the Navy’s top civilian leader in an abrupt move aimed at ending an extraordinary dispute between President Trump and his own senior military leadership over the fate of a SEAL commando in a war crimes case. In a statement, Mr. Esper said he had lost trust in the Navy secretary, Richard V. Spencer, because his private statements about the case differed from what he advocated in public. Mr. Esper added that he was “deeply troubled by this conduct.” Mr. Spencer’s resignation letter said he regarded good order and discipline throughout the Navy’s ranks to be “deadly serious business.” “The lives of our sailors, Marines and civilian teammates quite literally depend on the professional execution of our many missions, and they also depend on the ongoing faith and support of the people we serve and the allies we serve alongside,” the letter said. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, called Mr. Spencer “a patriot” in a statement Sunday evening. “Secretary Spencer did the right thing and he should be proud of standing up to President Trump when he was wrong, something too many in this administration and the Republican Party are scared to do,” Mr. Schumer said. “Good order, discipline and morale among the armed services must transcend politics.” __________________________ Here’s an interesting view (of us) from across ‘the pond’ from veteran radio personality Garrison Keiller. “The beauty of Brexit for an American is that it gives us a glance at the debate in the House of Commons; an actual spirited debate, something unknown in our Congress, Conservative and Labor facing each other, two sword lengths apart, speaking in bursts of argument and rebuttal, no lengthy droning allowed, members free to jeer and laugh, the Honorable Speaker of the House John Bercow crying out, “Order!” which to an American sounds like he is referring to ordure or ordering hors d’oeuvres. Nancy Pelosi never shouts “Order” in our House because hardly anyone is present. They’re all in their offices, on the phone, raising money. As for the Senate, it is a hospice. And this is why journalists focus on White House twittering. If the Chief Twit tweets, “Boogers on you, dum-dum. Talk to the hand,” it will be front-page for at least half an hour, and we’ll learn that no president in history ever used the “boogers on you” insult. How interesting. This is the current state of our democracy.”

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