Wednesday 19 June 2013

RIP Bracknell Town Centre

Oh Bracknell, Harrods has finally closed and all the charity shops have closed and those made up shop fronts have gone. No tea today in your tea rooms. Its back to Costa for you all.

I will miss you but lets face it, the soul had gone and its been decades in the planning, Marks and Sparks here we come.

Let hope this will breath some much needed life into this old new town.

Friday 22 June 2012

Who do you work for Dr Lee MP?

Guest Blog from Alistair

Dr Lee had a letter published outlining his views on the Doctors Strike ironically in the Wokingham Times, a paper most of his constituents don't read, representing as he does 'Bracknell'. Luckily for us he has reproduced it on his own website

Residents of Bracknell are entitled to wonder why Dr Lee MP has an issue with a GP being unavailable for a day of strike action, but he is apparently comfortable with both his own patients and his Bracknell constituents both receiving a part time service from the man they both effectively pay for separately?

If Dr Lee MP ever does go on strike - would we notice?

Friday 4 May 2012

Apathy wins the day

While the parties go on TV and explain why the national picture has affected the local vote (always very unfair on local candidates as it doesn’t reflect their work). Perhaps they should pay attention to the biggest vote of all in this years elections, Apathy!

People believe that nothing will change no matter who they vote for, and to a certain extent they are right, after all there is limited funding at a local level due to the government debt.

Personally I blame the leaders at the top of the parties, all parties seem to have to many people who make it to the top and yet don’t reflect the general population. Members of the big parties keep on voting for the same type of politician. It’s now time to stop voting for the Blair clones.

Thursday 8 March 2012

You just don’t get it, do you!

Liberal Democrats get asked one particular question more often I suspect then members of other parties do. It’s why are you a Liberal Democrat and not a .....(replace with any other party).

Why don’t you just join the Tory party?  Since the coalition I get asked the question (more than is used to). Well many people of course can’t understand (especially those who are members of other parties) why anyone would be a member of the Lib Dems.  Labour members think we have sold out (to the nasty party), although they always believed we were somehow Labour lite anyway. Far from it.

Unions also seem surprised at the Lib Dems position in government, but don’t they realise that we have never been very big with the unions. Nor have they been that involved with the party.

So why don’t you join the Labour party?

You must be joking, did you not see how illiberal they were in government. I also don’t want to join a party that has such a high influence of the unions in their funding which does make a difference to a party. I think David Miliband would understand this very well. Liberal Democrats do not believe in using benefits to keep people poor (Nor does Labour of course but this is what has been happening) We believe that they way out of poverty is to help out the working man, if possible we would have then pay very very little tax indeed. We do believe in socialism but in a practical and helpful way. 

There is too much exaggeration on what the coalition is doing, benefits are being changed not removed, The NHS will still be free at the point of use, and to many people have been going to university and now the fees system is more progressive. The governments money is not some magic money from nowhere, It’s our money, If the students don’t pay (once they are earning a decent wage) then working people will be paying for the future education of those that earn more, that’s not fair either, is it?

So why don’t you join the Tories?

Oh come on, we never were just sitting there waiting to have a coalition with (what some see as) the evil Tories. Turns out their not all evil toff after all, they just believe that the free market and letting people earn their potential with less government interference  can produce more tax revenues as less poverty (I get it, didn’t Labour sign up to this when they won their first election under Blair?) Of course I do understand this stance and agree with smaller government and less red tape. But Lib Dems also know that not enough people that earn their potential will give back fairly to society. It’s not all about the money you know, we do want to live is a less greedy and fairer society.

I do believe we are holding the right of the Tory party back. But in a way this isn’t just helping out the left wing voter (yeah not getting much thanks there then) but we are also the helping the Tory party (again no thanks required). If they were in power on their own then you may have seem some splits by now. They are lucky that they have us to not only take the flack but to hold of those right wing conservatives back from splitting their play apart. So yes Tories you can thank us when you win an outright majority in the next election, although be careful what you wish for. Just as Labour can thank us for giving them some more time to sort out what they stand for.

Why don’t you join the Greens.?

Lovely though your green policies are (and yes it is the most important issue facing mankind, I’m afraid your to left win for me. While your hearts in the right place. The leftist idealism just isn’t practical unless every country in the world does the same thing, which of course they won’t.

Why don’t you join UKIP after all your not pro European, you’re in the wrong party?

No, No I’m not, Lib Dems are ok with people who do not following everything the party has in its manifesto like a lemming (we are not that tribal). Anyway UKIP its not just about Europe you know, I know you think it is but you guys are not as Liberal as you keep telling me you are. I do after all believe in free movement of people because I’m a Liberal, If UKIP was then you would believe this to. No your way to Conservative for me, to right wing.

It’s simple really, I’m a social liberal, there is really no other party for me, Just because being in government has made us less popular maybe even unpopular doesn’t trouble me. I think we have to do what we believe in as much as we can. Not easy when you’re in a coalition with your natural enemies. Liberal Democrats are much more practical party then other party members may realise. We are ok with compromise because we are used to doing this in a party which is made up of Liberals and SDP members.

All this hate for us as it is for the other parties is a little unfair, as we are trying to do what we believe in just as you are for the good of all. We all just have different ideas on how this is done, perhaps some policies do seem nasty, but you have to look at the bigger picture and not just look at the headlines. Lib Dems cannot carry out what we really want to do because we are the party that comes third, We don’t have the power to make this a Liberal Democrat government. If we did then despite what you believe now, you would see that we would actually be a very fair and practical government. Shame we will probably never know. Oh well we soldier on.

Friday 13 January 2012

My predictions for 2012

My predictions for 2012 are;


1.    Hungry will default. Europe can afford this but expect more turmoil.


2.    The Euro will survive against all odds. They will do whatever they can in the end to save the currency against all sense.


3.    Iran will have its nuclear installations bombed by the United States, If they don't then Israel will.


4.    Again No Lib Dem MP's will walk the floor and join Labour


5.    Again, Bracknell Town centre will still not have the new town centre it so needs.


6.    No new guitar bands will have a number one record. A reflection on the lack of promotion of guitar bands and investment by record companies in general instead favouring individual artists and TV program winners.


7.    Ed Milliand will still be leader. Yes I know a big risk with that prediction.


8.    2012 Olympics will be a massive success and transport problems won't be all that bad.


9.    England will go out in the Quarter finals of the Euros with only 10 men left in the match.


10. Barack Obama will win the US election and Sarkozy will only just win the French presidential elections.


Right now sit back and watch 6 out of 10 of these come true.

Thursday 12 January 2012

How did I do in last year’s predictions I made for 2011


A bit late I know but what can I say, I'm a busy man.


Anyway how did I do in last year's predictions I made for 2011.


1. Piersmorgan will win his twitter war with Lord Sugar and gain more followers on twitter. Because of his new job hosting the US talk show on CNN, replacing Larry King. Well this never seems to end, however Piersmorgan does have more followers now than Lord Sugar. So I believe I got this one right.


2.Labour will have more council seats than the Tories after the local elections this year. Gaining from Lib Dems and the Tories. Well the coalition did do badly in the local elections as expected. Well wrong here, Labour did gain 900 seats but the Tories did very well with most of the gains coming from the Lib Dems.


3.The No's will win the vote on AV - The yes campaign really needs to step up its game. Indeed and the Yes campaign never did, hence a beating of 3 to 1. Oh well there is always a next time or maybe not. Right here unfortunately.


4.North Korea will do something crazy, again resulting in loss of life. Well a certain leader of North Korea did die, but I'm not sure I can claim this as North Korea doing something crazy. Surprisingly there was no attacks on the South Korea Navy or bombardments of South Korea islands.


5. A premiership football club will go into administration. Nope, Portsmouth was in administration in 2010 so I guess this has already happened.


6. Ed Miliband will still be Labour leader throughout the year and will lead in the polls all year. Well mostly right, Ed is still there but in some polls he has been less popular than Nick Clegg and the Tories actually went ahead of Labour in the December polls due to David Camerons action in Europe.


7. No matter what happens to the AV vote. The coalition will stick together. Yep, Got a bit nasty but it's all forgotten, for now anyway.


8. No Lib Dem MP's will walk the floor and join Labour. Of course this is the case same again for 2012 I think.


9. There will not be a double dip recession in the UK. Not yet anyway, so correct for 2011. The economy is just hanging on in there.


10. Again, Bracknell Town centre will still not have the new town centre it so needs. Correct again, no real surprise here, same again for 2012.


6/10 not bad.


2012 predictions will of course follow.


Tuesday 10 January 2012

London be careful what you dictate to Scotland

Westminster needs to be careful with its statement to change the legal status of a referendum. It is important and right that Scotland has the legal issues resolved in time for a referendum. But this should not be used to rush a vote through on Westminster terms.

This could fall into the SNP's hands and could be seen as London dictating to Scotland if the rules are decided at Westminster and not at Holyrood.

This move could cause a backlash and mean that Scotland breaks away from the union on a temporary upsurge in strong feelings over London pressure spurred on by the SNP.

This is very dangerous for the union and also for devolved democracy.

The SNP in the Scottish parliament has already overcome the odds in getting elected in a parliament designed to not give a majority to a single party. The Westminster parties should not underestimate the SNP or the First Minister, Alex Salmond.

We also shouldn't fear the 3 options vote as this will split the vote and will mean that the SNP is campaign for two options. A very hard position to hold.

So be careful because people are naturally rebellious when they are dictated to by those with power.

Tuesday 3 January 2012

Three Conservative councillors suspended from Bracknell Forest Council

Three Conservative councillors have now been suspended from Bracknell Forest Council's Conservative group because they voted against the housing plans in November. Eight Conservative councillors in total voted against these plans, however the other 5 has not been suspended because the houses would be in the words they represent.


These councillors are Chas Baily, Hanworth, Michael Sargeant,Bullbrook and Shelagh Pile, Harmans Water,This was because even though there are 40 Tories on a council of 42 members the conservative leadership still felt it necessary impose a three-line whip.


At least these councillors voted for what they believed their electorate wanted. Yet another example of why it's so important to have some opposition members from other parties on this council.

Friday 16 December 2011

Thousands of houses planned are due to lack of opposition

The council appear to be making moves to build thousands of house. It's another example who a lack of an opposition has led to too much power to the current Conservative group. You only have yourselves to blame because if the people of Bracknell, Crowthorne and Sandhurst continue to vote for the same councillors from the same party then this is the result. The council can push though whatever plans they want.


If you wish to  halt or even reduce the number of houses being planned in our area then perhaps you should join the Northern Arc Action Group and sign their petition.

Friday 9 December 2011

Comment on Clarksons comment

The Bracknell Standard recently asked me about the Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson comments on the BBC One show where he said "Public sector workers who took part in the strikes should be shot adding "execute them in front of their families".


My reply printed in the paper was as follows;


Yes Clarkson should not of said it. But aren't there more important things to complain about. People say things like this all the time but they don't actually mean it. No one is going to shot anyone. 21,000 complaints, please people get a grip.


Don't moan that political correctness has gone mad and then phone up and complain when someone does something that is not quite PC.


What are your feelings on this subject?

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Bracknell MP doesn't know which train line Bracknell is on

Our Bracknell MP has written in the Bracknell Standard to inform them that he welcomes plans to increase the number of carriages on train services in and out of London Paddington from Reading. Adding that "This is great news for rail passengers in the Bracknell constituency." Actually it's not great news for Bracknell at all.

Thing is the Bracknell line is from Reading to Waterloo not Paddington. It won't make any difference because users in Reading don't use this line for speed (Paddington line is much faster) but because they need to go to Waterloo. The line from Maidenhead where the Bracknell MP lives will have longer carriages however.

The biggest problems in Bracknell are frequency of trains to London (every half an hour) when more are required at both ends of rush hour. And the speed of them because it take an hour to get to London as there are no fast trains offered.

If Phillip Lee used the line from Bracknell rather than Maidenhead (where the Bracknell MP lives and which will have longer carriages) and read the detail of the train proposals perhaps he would realise how little effect this will have on our town as it won't provide an economic benefit to Bracknell directly only act to further demonstrate how Bracknell is missing out.

Read the article here


Wednesday 23 November 2011

Do newspapers have blood on their hands?

Yesterday two of the families who had their phones hacked stated that the phone hacking stories had led to a suicide in their respective families.

There is of course no way of proving this 100 percent. But it does seem very plauseable.

The Leveson inquiry has heard from the parents of a schoolgirl murdered by a classmate in 1991 who claim press coverage of her death had contributed to their teenage son's suicide.
Margaret Watson said articles were ill-informed and inaccurate.

Former Blackburn footballer Garry Flitcroft claimed that he was persecuted by the press after he obtained an injunction preventing the Sunday People revealing details of an affair.
He said his children were teased and his father, who suffered from depression, stopped attending his games because of chanting from fans.
Flitcroft added that he believed that had contributed to his father's suicide several years later.

So I'm not sure if there is a direct link. But there is a link. Somewhere along the line the papers could have blood on their hands.