Thursday, 5 December 2013
That is the message on the latest Conservative leaflet currently being distributed throughout the Stalybridge South ward. The leaflet is a very well produced A3 sized full glossy. To view the content click on either image to enlarge.
The Conservatives are rightly concerned about the phenomenal growth of Ukip as it is highly likely that Ukip will mop up disillusioned Conservative voters just as the BNP once did with disillusioned Labour voters.
The real dilemma for many people who oppose the E.U. will become more evident as the 2015 general election nears. It is almost a foregone conclusion that Ukip, barring a catastrophic scandal, will easily emerge from the 2014 European elections as the winning party. With that winning momentum they will be very confident about making impressive gains in the 2015 general election, and this is where the dilemma appears as the Conservatives are likely to offer and be the only party capable of delivering an in/out referendum on Britain's E.U. membership. There is a real chance that enough Conservative voters will switch to Ukip leading to a Labour government in 2015 and our once in a generation opportunity to vote ourselves out of the E.U. will then be gone, possibly for ever.
Given that choice, how would you vote? Ukip because that's what your heart tells you or Conservative because that's what your head tells you?
Tuesday, 3 December 2013
Sunday, 1 December 2013
Firstly I asked myself, who was this letter by, I initially thought it must either be a wind-up or possibly from the group who proposed to convert the former Pineapple pub into a mosque, but then as I read on I wasn't too sure.
Assuming the letter is genuine and from a Stalybridge local unconnected with the mosque proposal, the individual responsible deserves pity. If they really believe that going to a mosque is on par with going to church or a temple they really want to probe a little deeper.
As for loving "how multicultural the UK is", now that probably is genuine. Stalybridge is still overwhelmingly populated by indigenous Britons and if this person thinks multiculturalism means exchanging pleasantries with an immigrant shopkeeper or going for chicken tikka massala on a Saturday night, they would be bitterly disappointed when they discovered the true reality of multiculturalism.
It is a curious fact that many of the loudest proponents of multiculturalism such as say Billy Bragg who can be found living in hideously white Dorset or Lilly Allen in the far from multicultural Cotswolds have one thing in common and that is they believe multiculturalism is wonderful, but just not not for them. I suppose their principled stand could be compared to that of a supporter of nuclear energy who waxes lyrical about this wonderful source of clean and reliable energy, as long as the plants which produces nuclear energy are as far away from them as them as conceivably possible.
What I would suggest to "name and address supplied" in relation to their letter regarding the mosque and their vision of a multicultural utopia is why not up-sticks and move to Glodwick, Longsight, Rusholme, Moss Side (which has some lovely period properties) or even Cheetham Hill and live the dream, but here's a word of advice from someone who knows; the reality is often greatly different than the utopian dream.
Saturday, 30 November 2013
Please excuse the worlds worst Metrolink photograph but it was taken on a mobile phone from a moving car. The photo was taken this evening in Droylsden and it was good to see that the Metrolink trams heading into and out of Ashton were very busy, many heading into Ashton from the Manchester direction were that full it was a case of standing room only.
I have always backed the Metrolink scheme as I believe there must be an alternative to buses and private motor cars. With no alternative we would eventually face total gridlock. I did however fear that the line through Droylsden to Ashton might have been a mistake as early reports suggested little interest from the travelling public, but happily it now appears that the public have finally realised that the Metrolink is a viable alternative after all.
Let's hope for further Metrolink expansion in the future, especially to places even void of decent rail facilities such as Haughton Green. I reckon that a Metrolink line to Denton and Haughton Green travelling from Manchester along the A57 corridor would be a big success.
Friday, 29 November 2013
Anyone who is into hill or trail walking will undoubtedly be familiar with the name Brasher. Brasher is a British company, now owned by the Pentland Group.
Brasher boots are/were highly rated amongst many seasoned walkers due to their comfort and robust build and therefore it is with sadness that I have to report that my eleven month old Brasher Supalite II GTX are now life expired due to manufacturing defects.
Brasher boots were until relatively recently manufactured in the U.K. but as with many things the factories were closed, workers were dispensed with and new manufacturing facilities were opened in the Far East.
This arrangement may be financially advantageous for the company directors and shareholders, but profit should not be the be all and end all of everything.
According to my phone's GPS tracking device these boots have covered about 1200 miles in the eleven months since I first acquired them. They have been up hills, through woodland, across snowy fields and along tarmac roads. None of these challenges should bring about the demise of a relatively expensive walking boot in such a short period of time.
I am not the only one who has discovered that some Brasher boots fail with relatively little use. Some of the comments on this review site and this forum confirms that my case is far from unique and it is a pity because the design is second to none. They are supremely comfortable straight from the box and they are totally waterproof, but none of that matters if the soles fall off in less than a year, and not only that, the tread wears out really quickly too.
My other walking boots which were similarly priced and which have had more use and which are also virtually indestructible are called Meindl and surprise, they're made in Germany.
Given my experience with Far East manufactured Brasher or European manufactured Meindl, next time someone asks me which walking boots I would recommend guess what my answer would be?
The short term financial benefits of outsourcing manufacturing to sweatshop economy countries may well prove to be a false economy for some companies in the long run me-thinks!
Thursday, 28 November 2013
"Operation Grimaldi" took place over a three day period last week, being the last instalment of the campaign which has been going on for most of the year. Last week's action was mainly in the South City centre area and around Oxford Road / Wilmslow Road . Yes, the student area where most cyclists are. Much safer going after young middle-class unarmed youngsters than the gun toting members of the community.
Joseph Grimaldi was a famous clown in the Regency Period and the operation to which his name was given has some clownish elements. Apparently cyclists can avoid paying their fines if they attend "Cyclist awareness events" . Whatever they are. ("Well it's got two wheels, a chain and no engine. It's either a broken commode or a cycle".) Interestingly cyclists using mobile phones were ticketed as well. Is it illegal to use a mobile on a bike? One driver had their car seized for " driving antisocially (section 59 police reform act warning)." Whatever THAT means.
We have no objection to genuine road safety campaigns, but there is something odd about a campaign which from the outset has a get out from paying fines.
Wednesday, 27 November 2013
Friday, 22 November 2013
While stuck in traffic this afternoon along with thousands of other motorists following a serious accident on the M60 motorway close to Bredbury I was flicking the radio channels when I came across Phil Trow of BBC Radio Manchester interviewing the Wigan Labour MP Lisa Nandy about the scandal regarding Paul Flowers, the former chairman of the Cooperative Bank.
Not only was Mr Flowers head of the Cooperative Bank but he was also a senior Labour Party adviser. When Nandy was challenged about Flowers and his Labour Party links her answers were far from convincing. In typical Labour fashion she attempted to deflect blame as well as dropping suggestions that the Labour Party had no idea he was a bad egg, however they were aware of him having a conviction for committing an act of gross indecency in a public place with another man.
It is surprising to consider that this was not deemed serious enough to prevent him standing as a Labour candidate nor does it seem to have featured when the decision was made to appoint him chairman of a major UK bank. But there again, the Labour Party does have serious form when it comes to this kind of thing. This list which is far from exhaustive has some shocking information about many of the deviants who can be found lurking behind the red rosette. Next time a Labour canvasser knocks on your door you never know what lies behind that cheesy smile and the cleverly crafted veneer of respectability.
You can listen to what Lisa Nandy MP had to say by clicking here and fast forwarding to 02.02.30. After you have listened I think you will agree that it is small wonder that people now have little faith in politicians.
Thursday, 21 November 2013
The pathway which runs through the woods from Stockport Road up to Gibraltar Lane and beyond has suffered as a result of recent heavy rain and the countryside services crew are filling in the muddy parts and shoring up the edges close to the river bank.
Tree felling is also under way. If you are in the woods and spot a tree marked with orange paint that particular tree is doomed because, as I was informed by a very helpful worker the tree is either diseased and a potential danger or it is blocking out light which is preventing other trees from thriving and therefore it faces the chop.
And what about that green tractor? Brilliant! I have always loved tractors despite never driving one. I think driving that tractor up and down Denton Woods all day would just about be my idea of the perfect job. Have you noticed how the tread pattern on tractor tyres has never changed over the years? That design of tread seems to have been around ever since I can remember.
If you ever venture into Denton Woods keep your eyes open for foxes, badgers, buzzards and shrews plus kingfishers perched by the riverbank.
Wednesday, 20 November 2013
It is difficult to argue against much of what is written in this four sided leaflet (click on each image to enlarge). It is undeniable that the Workfare scheme has been been a boon for certain employers and the illustration on side three which depicts the Workfare people going into the grinder ready to be consumed by a cheap labour Capitalist pretty sums many peoples thoughts on what Workfare is all about.
The employment and wealth divide divisions now emerging in this country can only be described as shocking.
I know a bright and energetic young man who recently finished two years of studying at Stockport College and now upon entering the job market he cannot find any meaningful employment. For all his endeavor he has found nothing but exploitative low paid call centre and door to door canvassing type work. This young man is one of millions in the same no hope position and from the way I see it Workfare adds to the problem rather than remedying it.
In my day to day life I get to all manner of different places varying in nature from immigrant ghettos to the genteel districts of Cheshire and everywhere else in between. My observations are mirrored by reports such as this and this and there is absolutely no denying that the gulf between the haves and have-nots is now wider than at any time in living memory.
If you take trip up to Hale Barnes this evening I guarantee you will find no evidence of recession, credit crunch, economic downturn or any of the other words used to describe the current state of the financial hardship being experienced by many in the north of the UK.
If you do go to Hale or Alderley Edge take a look at the people. Then think of how they compare to the average person you see around Ashton or Hyde. Forget the Barbour jackets and Hunters boots of the Cheshire Set compared to Asda Smart Price attire of the less fortunate. Looking at material things such as those will easily give the game away but what is more shocking is the physical appearance of the privileged compared to the less fortunate. The seemingly never ending years of financial uncertainty and hardship are taking a physical toll on the less fortunate and it is their weary and worried looking faces compared to the rosy happy faces of the privileged which is to me the starkest reminder of all.
The tragedy is, the poor and downtrodden once had a champion in the form of the Labour Party. One of my greatest gripes with the Labour Party is their total and utter betrayal of those who relied on them the most - the indigenous working class. To the eternal shame of the criminals, spivs and traitors who now masquerade in the colours of the Labour Party the poverty gap reached its greatest point since the war during their disastrous years in office (1997 -2010). The damage these bestial creatures inflicted upon this country and in particular the very people who relied on them most - the poor, we will probably never recover from. As the Bollinger is flowing in the boardrooms of blue chip corporations as they celebrate record profits just remember that it is due to Labour's wilful policy of bloating the workforce through immigration to such vast levels that opportunistic employers can now nail down millions of people in low paid zero hours contract jobs simply because they can, and they can because Labour gifted them an endless supply of cheap exploitable labour which has created a dog eat dog labour market where desperate people are falling over each other to take what ever meagre offerings are thrown in their direction.