Saturday, 28 March 2020

to Bishop Martin Gorick - does discipleship involve challenging, querying Dudley's decisions?

"The church playing its part in the regeneration of Britain’s heartland in the West Midlands"  Bishop Martin

Would it be possible, please to have a little time with Bishop Martin to discuss the recent past that has brought about these ideas of mine, below?  I was the old man in the yellow cycling jacket that approached you at the close of yesterday's lovely service.

My wife and I attend Hasbury Christian Fellowship in Halesowen.  When Bishop David Walker was in residence, I attended a weekly Bible study over the years that some took turns to host.  It included Bishop's House that David's wife, Sue hosted.

1.   Regeneration of Dudley town centre by encouraging Dudley Muslim Association to go, once again, for a purpose built Dudley Central Mosque.  To replace the shabby, disgraceful looking, down at heel Victorian primary school building they have to use.
2.   Regeneration of Dudley town centre with the reinstated 120 Kms principal mainline railway on the full 56 Kms for the commuter, regional, intercity trains between Worcester, the Black Country and Derby; instead of the 10.7 Kms tram line that is due to go through Dudley bus station and down Flood Street.  Still time for a rethink.
3.   Regeneration of Dudley town centre with highly well insulated, energy efficient, small to medium size housing for the badly housed, for those on benefit or low incomes and, first time buyers and renters.  At Flood Street instead of having the relocated Dudley Leisure Centre from Wellington Road to Flood St.  All of a 1 Km walk away, Google maps told me! 
4.   Responding to the climate emergency by asking for cycle-walkways down both sides of the Dudley Southern Bypass.
5.   The major 22 Kms Black Country Cycle-Walk Mudway for fossil fuel free transport from Brierley Hill DY5 Enterprise Zone to NW Wolverhampton.
6.   Major Jewish/Israeli concern over holocaust denial and antisemitism but much less concern over very poor relationships with Palestinians/Arabs/Muslims.  Would one help the other?
7.   Bishop Martin's opinion on why the railway line between Stratford and Honeybourne was never reopened.  Or, is it more useful as a cycle-walkway, NCR5 and as a main road? 
Any chance, please?  I would like to hear what he thinks.  To get feedback and to see if there is any support for these ideas.  A one off chat about Dudley politics and priorities!  The Bible in one hand and the daily news feed in the other, following Archbishop William Temple.

With best wishes and every blessing to you both

Lockdown to Unlock Nostalgia

Armchair hill walking in lieu of the real thing.


The violence of certainty

Religious violence is more shocking and unacceptable than the just as widespread secular violence because religion is supposed to  make their adherents better, not worse!

The only acceptable certainty is the certainty of agnosticism.

The book of Revelation is about how evil destroys itself but, not yet.  Lot of violence of certainty in the Bible.

Friday, 20 March 2020

Pipe dream or nightmare coming down the tube?

“Since the lockdown: Venice's canals have become crystal clear. Italy coasts have dolphins coming nearer and nearer. Japan now has deer roaming free in the streets, and Thailand: the same with monkeys. China has record breaking pollution cuts. The Earth has already began showing signs of amazing things that are happening from the absence of human pollution. What if- and hear me out..- what if the entire human population used this as an opportunity to restart society on a greener, more environment conscious foot. What we're seeing in the span of a couple of days is amazing."

Exactly. We need to end this mad tearing around the planet at great cost to finite fossil fuels and a terrible escalation of greenhouse gases as the most unfortunate consequence.  
We live in a materialistic rat race where we think we must have ever faster, finer and flashier ways to transport ourselves around the place. HS2 and W Midlands Metro both come to mind. Both duplicate existing trains and buses that are too mundane and ordinary for us so sophisticated earth dwellers. I think we are biting off more than ailing life support systems can chew. We need to be content with less, be happy with what we have and start exploring the local scene instead of the international world. The prospect of a premature demise from a pestilent virus is cutting the scientists and Greta's greenhouse gases.​  Not so much a pipe dream but a nightmare coming down the tube.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

The railway industry's flash Harry airliner for the few, paid for by the many!

Dear Sim

Thanks for a great read.  Have you seen my very unusual railway photos, here?
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So super fast it goes flying past stations that will still need intercity trains to stop at them.  Am I right?
So expensive, just think how £106 billion could be used to rebuild our very Victorian railway network (Sir David Higgins, Ch Exec of Network Fail on the 'Today' programme 8 January 2013.)
So necessary because your colleagues, Sim over many decades have obliterated so much of the network that Beeching rightly closed in the 60s.  All your predecessors, Sim did the real hatchet job.  Not Richard Beeching, who rightly closed loss making railways as we all went out and bought cars.
So foolish of the railway industry to think that once the railways were closed, they were ripe for running homes, shops, offices and roads down them.  Bizarre railways - and the unions were no better.
So intelligent of the railway experts to turn railway lines and bus routes into "bus on rails" trams on tracks on roads.  When all that was needed was fareless electric buses on roads and commuter, regional and intercity TRAINS on our two mainline railways in the Black Country and Brum!
So Railfuture had the right idea but, only back in 2003, here:
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Best wishes

Tim

Sunday, 15 March 2020

"We are sorry to announce Britain's worst train" - front page, ST, 8 March 2020

"We are sorry to announce Britain's worst train" - front page, ST, 8 March 2020

​Forget the worst train service.  In the Black Country, on the western side of Birmingham, we have the worst railway service in the middle 56 Kms of the Worcester, Black Country, Derby railway.  Not a single train has turned up in 50 years.  Yet, the railway line is called by Network Rail, "of national strategic significance"​.  Not one train, even though train travel took off in the mid 1990s and, as road and railway congestion has worsened in our densely populated, over two million, West Midlands region.

Even the latest Ordnance Survey map indicates that this principal, mainline railway is in use.  It is not.  Since the 1980s, a Metro tram extension has been promised on only 6 Kms in the middle of the unused 56 Kms that runs alongside or near to the traffic choked M5 and M6.  Main works start next year on the tram to break up the mainline but, still not a single useful commuter or regional train on the remaining 50 Kms to connect with the short, isolated tram line.  The "bus on rails" trams will prevent the return of intercity trains that will always be needed, even with 'the too fast to stop', HS2 on the eastern side of Brum.

Therefore, the one million population of the congested Black Country wins the prize, easily for having "the cold, hard truth of Britain's worst service" (ST 8 March).

Explanatory map, here courtesy of the national railway lobbying group, 'Railfuture'.  The tram line is planned from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill; both towns are marked on the map:

Saturday, 14 March 2020

Coercion not constraint is at the heart of Christianity

I do think that Christianity is worthless if its adherents are quite unable to follow the most basic and simplistic and obvious teaching of their founder contained in Matthew 5,6 and 7 NOT to kill foreigners in far off lands.  Nor, to go in for empire building or using coercion to get their way in far off lands.

Christianity is also worthless if its disciples will happily get involved with the iniquitous arms trade but not the sex trade.  The arms trade, the armed forces or war, when the government decides upon it, are all quite acceptable.

Monday, 9 March 2020

Rowdy scenes; largest town without a railway station; pros/cons of WBHE

Dear Gentlemen - a proposal or a suggestion follows for a one hour discussion.  Please read on.

I was in the public gallery for some of the time at the last full council meeting.  However, I left before the climate emergency motion.  I did not approve of the rowdy scenes and would never have interrupted proceedings if I had been there.  Because it lays you open to the charge of hypocrisy, I am not entirely happy with the declaration of a climate emergency when hundreds of millions of pounds of greenhouse gases are emitted in constructing tram lines to duplicate and replace buses and trains.  Buses and trains should have top priority and not trams, if we are going to be serious about reducing our fossil fuel use.  And that is what declaring a climate emergency should really be about.  I want you to quickly start acting on our FoE's 'Climate Action Plan'.  The declaration must be stitched up beforehand between Chris Barnett and Simon Phipps, in my opinion, so that at full council it is quickly passed with the minimum of fuss.

My wish to lessen or minimise greenhouse gas emissions, explains my strong opposition to our principal mainline railway that was so successful for 100 years in bringing passengers to and from London and the south east, being relegated to a piddling little shuttle tram line to take Dudley passengers to the mainline railway in Sandwell at Dudley Port - on our mainline railway!

Many call it a shuttle tram line to connect Dudley to the national railway network.  Many do not realise Dudley town is already on the national railway network, minus the trains.  I don't think they know that Dudley is the largest town, by population (79,300), without a railway station.

Trams mean no direct service to London or Scotland from Dudley town without going via Brum.  For 100 years, Dudley was a busy railway station at the foot of Castle Hill, served by the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway Company line.  Plenty of passengers must have come directly from London to Dudley via Oxford by train.  It could be so again but NOT with the tramline!  All the 56 Kms of double tracks are still there but unused between Stourbridge and Burton on Trent, on the 120 Kms Worcester, Black Country, Derby principal mainline.

Once the conversion from mainline railway "of national strategic significance" to tram line, no-one will want to come from London with a change from fast train to slow tram at either Stourbridge or Brierley Hill to get to Dudley.  It spoils a good railway!

NOW MY SUGGESTION for a one hour discussion:
Would you four members of Dudley Council be prepared to meet with someone from TfWM and/or Midland Metro Alliance, to really examine the pros and cons of the WBHE and get some facts and figures; and with me presenting the other side of the case?  Out of the seven councils, not one has ever had a debate and vote, in 39 years, to approve Midland Metro tram extensions.  Edinburgh City Council certainly has before their tram schemes went ahead.

Cars went on as soon as M6 Toll was opened in Dec 2003 The TRAINS are still waiting, because of Metro mania! The rusty down track.  The up track was stolen!

Best wishes

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

DUDLEY AND SANDWELL TRAMS MAKE THE 120 KMS PRINCIPAL MAINLINE RAILWAY WORTHLESS!

DUDLEY AND SANDWELL TRAMS  MAKE THE 120 KMS PRINCIPAL MAINLINE RAILWAY WORTHLESS!

120 KMS WORCESTER, BLACK COUNTRY, DERBY RAILWAY "of national strategic significance" will lose its national importance.  Slow, frequent stopping trams will block the mainline for faster regional trains and, intercity trains will be impossible.  This is NOT what the train travellers over the first one hundred years enjoyed. This is no way to respond to the climate emergency that must be tackled.  And very foolish to waste the 50 Kms for many more years, perhaps even decades. In addition, Dudley is the largest town in the UK, by population, without a railway station.​
​It will be the world's first train-tram-train mainline railway and no wonder!  Fast trains, eventually from Worcester to Brierley Hill; change for slow, frequent stopping trams to Wednesbury for the 17 tram stops in 10.7 Kms; change at Wednesbury for quick trains to Walsall, Lichfield and Derby.  This makes for a nightmare journey, forcing through passengers to continue to go via congested Brum's 'Grand Central and Diesel Perfumed Station Tagged Along As An Afterthought In The Basement Of The John Lewis Store', station!!

It really does spoil, for ever, the UK's only supposedly 'safeguarded', mainline railway "of national strategic significance", that is essential to bypass Brum's railway stations and to give something to Brum's neighbours in the equally large population of the Black Country.

MISSION STATEMENT
Burton to Bristol via Brierley Hill; Derby to Devon via Dudley - by TRAIN not "bus on rails" trams as they are wanting; nor with new extended cycle-walkway, as volunteers are working on!  Trams good; trains best; very slow 120 Kms train-tram-train railway is barely better than nothing (really, a nightmare journey)!

The climate crisis means reducing expenditure to reduce greenhouse gases.  It's all about treading more lightly on the planet - saving/conserving resources and connecting with nature first and foremost.  NOT travel connectivity!!

Tim Weller

Saturday, 29 February 2020

'Birmingham Greenways' map is brilliant for fossil fuel free travellers

Dear Paul and Mayor and Deborah

Roy Watson's and Heron Maps' excellent 'Birmingham Greenways' map (£5.99) gives "150 miles of traffic free walking and cycling paths around Birmingham, the Black Country and Solihull".

Some have been upgraded to an all weather surface and drainage, with good blue signs.  However, all need to be brought up to that high standard, please.  I cycled from Halesowen to see Ian Ward at Shard End last Wednesday evening for his surgery.  And he saw me - v decent of him!  I cycled using as many of Roy's/your traffic free cycle routes as possible.  However, some miles were adventure cycling that needed a mountain bike that I was on.  Especially parts of the Rive Cole Cycle-Walkway were very rough.  Made worse by very many absent blue signs, especially on the confusing Ackers Trust land.

Roy's quite superb 2015 map needs to be the basis of the WMCA improvement work and their/your own maps.  However, Roy's map also needs to be updated by Heron Maps, if only to delete the ITA to be replaced by WMCA, of course.  And, it must be extended westwards to include the 22 Kms major Black Country Cycle-Walk Mudway between DY5 Enterprise Zone at Brierley Hill and NW Wolverhampton.

Will you please ensure that you buy your own copy and ensure that the professionals use it to upgrade every mile of the 150 miles of cycle-walkways.  Including the major 22 Kms Black Country Cycle-Walk Mudway.

Buy it from:- maporders@heronmaps.com

Thanks and best wishes

Sunday, 2 February 2020

Criticisms answered

Hi David
from:
"To mark the start of the tramway, the Mayor and Cllr Harley joined workers building a £4.33m wall at Castle Hill, which is the first physical structure of the project.  This is £4 m out of £449.5 m, plus inevitable cost overruns for the tram extension.  There is still time to point out that the tram blocks, it spoils the integrity of the full line from being used through the Black Country WITHOUT CHANGES between other modes.  The Black Country is a similar population to Brum but is very much overlooked; it is in the shadow and very much the poor relation of Brum.  Especially, rundown Dudley High Town where the tram is planned to go.  It's thriving Low Town is Castle Gate and that is exactly where the only feasible site for the Dudley Castle Gate railway station is and where the £4 m wall is being built.  A railway station is far more sensible than a tram stop for a piddling little shuttle tram line of 6 Kms that still leaves 50 Kms wasted!
"The wall is currently being built with money from a grant agreement funded from the WMCA with completion expected this summer.  The wall is part of the preparatory works.  Main works start next year, it now seems but, that may well change as it has done so many times.
"When it opens to passengers in 2023, the Metro extension from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill will offer people vastly improved transport links with up to 17 stops including Dudley Town Centre."  17 stops means the "bus on rails" (UK Tram Ltd) tram stops even more frequently than the bus that goes directly on the road, without tracks having to be laid first!  Keep the bus between Wednesbury and Merry Hill and use the mainline railway over all 120 Kms for commuter, regional and intercity trains.
Your email: "partly your fault about RailFuture as you were  unable to persuade them abut the 56 Kms Stourbridge Jct to Burton on Trent on the ready built, but only half used, 120 Kms Worcester to Derby principal mainline railway:
You need to learn how to persuade people, not hectoring them and calling them idiots.  I hope I have never called individuals 'idiots'; only their strange behaviour as idiocy or idiotic.  I have been an idiot when cycling or mountain walking at times but, never causing even more road and railway congestion and yet more greenhouse gases, as they have done and are still doing with destroying and wasting railway lines.  In fact, the full time professional transport experts wanting "bus on rails" trams instead of trains on mainline railways are the very ones who call me "an idiot" and behind my back, I've been told!
You have not answered my question about why so many european countries use Trams ? Are they all stupid too?  No.  However, there is no doubt that with hindsight, we now know that the money gone into highly expensive tram construction could have been used for reopening railway lines (like Snow Hill to Wolverhampton Low Level) and for electric buses with free fares for all and not just old crocks like me.  Tram line construction last decade was three times more expensive per Km than building the green field M6 Toll that opened in the previous decade (Dec 2003).  London and other places had electric buses with lead acid batteries in the early 1900s, according to 'A Most Deliberate Swindle' by Mick Hamer, pub 2017.
Trams are a half way house between trains and buses. They are expensive, but provide a clean and efficient way of moving people. Have you been on the WM Tram ?"  I love to use trams, David.  My wife and I have used them in Europe and we like them.  I use the Midland Metro, even on the latest extension to the library, and have never had to pay for the last twelve years because of my advanced years.  I don't love the very hard plastic seats that look so soft, comfortable and inviting as though you can gently sink into them.  You get a rude awakening!  I can even cycle alongside the Metro One line and have often done so since 1999 and, well before the tram works started in 1995 or '96.
BACK TO BLACK:
Manchester and many European places have successful "bus on rails" tram networks that are all brilliant.  But this does not deny my point that the many billions of pounds and euros that have been spent could have gone to give everyone free fare, electric bus rides without the disruption and expense of rail tracks, first.  And that would have been much more effective in relieving road congestion and air pollution; as well as pumping out fewer global warming greenhouse gases.  Do you agree, David?

I know the trams are coming to Dudley but TfWM/WMCA are still promising the trains too.  We now, David have to encourage them to put the commuter and regional trains back on the full length to finish the 120 Kms.  It can still be intercity trains as we had for 100 years.  Certainly, regional and commuter trains with two changes for the tram to make progress along the full length of the line.  Will you help me, please?

Thanks for writing.  Please keep in contact and keep telling me where I am going wrong.  It is really good of you to show an interest.  You are almost the only one!!  But Andy Street is on board for trains to return, everywhere, except where he is told they must be trams, as in the Black Country!  We have to support him, as I am doing; publicly, too at his meetings.  But not over HS2.

All the best.  See my photos, below.

Tim 
--
MY TWO FAVOURITE PHOTOS of all time - the oversight was described by one person as 'bizarre'; another called it 'bonkers'.
Wasted 56 Kms Stourbridge Jct to Burton on Trent on the ready built, but only half used, 120 Kms Worcester to Derby principal mainline railway:

MISSION STATEMENT
Burton to Bristol via Brierley Hill; Derby to Devon via Dudley - by TRAIN not "bus on rails" trams as they are wanting, plus new extended cycle-walkway!

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Nine years of failing, actually incompetent, national government but, you remain on their side!

24 December 2019

Many thanks, Ray for responding.  It shows your integrity and you are a good man.

Very true.  I thought you were all wanting to increase capacity on the railway network to reduce overcrowding, poor railway performance, eg West Midlands Trains and to do something about "one of the worst railway congestion bottlenecks in the UK" at Grand Central Shopping Centre and Diesel Perfumed Station (Peter Plisner, BBC Midlands Today reporter).  Growth on our railway network is still being seen as the UK population continues to rise and road congestion worsens.

Perhaps, your hopeless government, after more than nine years in power might like to put trains and stations back on over 20 railway lines that the Campaign for Better Transport is wanting.  And, to respond at long last, to the science over our own human induced, looming, climate catastrophe.  You are a lot younger than me, Ray.  You should be a lot more bothered!  Over nine years of negligence over social care and NHS deterioration and immoral priorities over transport expenditure in London and the southeast, Ray.  Nearly 3,000 food banks, I believe.  More food banks than McDonald's restaurants, I read in 'The Big Issue'.  Your colleagues foolish, incompetent and immoral top priority was Brexit - since your party won the 2015 General Election.  This is scandalous.  Ray, please change your political party. 

In addition, for the Camp Hill railway reopening to be a success, does our own principal, mainline railway need to have its trains and stations back, first?  

Have a wonderful Christmas and 2020, my good friend.

Tim

Monday, 23 December 2019

Killing is the oldest hatred

The killing of others must be the most obvious indication of hatred.  Unfortunately, the Jewish people are not exempt.  Nor is any other faith group or non-faith group.

What we do know is that the most well known, Jew, Jesus Christ taught that we must love one another, even our enemies, do good to those who hate us, to pray for our persecutors and bless those who curse us.

Killing/violence is the oldest hatred, I think.  Not antisemitism.  The most ardent fighter of antisemitism must turn to non-violence or, at least, to violence as the very last resort, as Jeremy Corbyn MP has taught all his life.

Sunday, 22 December 2019

Boycott Israel and you are anti-Semitic, including boycotting West Bank settlements in Judea and Samaria

Anti-Semitism = being pro Palestinian human rights and supporting their own state alongside Israel.
If you support BDS movement you are definitely anti-Semitic.
Anti-Semitic, too if you oppose Israeli settlements in the West Bank because Israelis believe the land belongs to them.
EXTRACTS:
Amnesty’s report attacked companies such as Airbnb and TripAdvisor, saying they were driving tourism to “illegal Israeli settlements and contributing to their existence and expansion” by listing rooms and activities "on occupied Palestinian land, including East Jerusalem".
Amnesty accused Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia and TripAdvisor of “misleading their customers by failing to consistently indicate when listings are located in Israeli settlements”.
Israel’s minister of Internal Security and Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan is considering banning Amnesty International following the human rights campaign group’s report.
He has instructed his ministry to "examine the possibility of preventing the entry and stay of Amnesty International in Israel" in the wake of the report.
Mr Erdan said: "The hypocritical Amnesty organisation speaks in the name of human rights, and in effect promotes boycotts against Israeli citizens as part of the antisemitic boycott and delegitimization campaign."
The minister said he had spoken to the finance minister about halting tax benefits for the organisation, which said tourism companies Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia and TripAdvisor “continue to operate in the settlements, and profit from this illegal situation”.
Israel’s Tourism Minister Yariv Levin also said: "No force in the world will change the simple historical truth - the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people. We will fight this despicable antisemitic decision.
"No one can boycott Israel or parts of it."   The Jewish Chronicle, 30 Jan 2019

Friday, 20 December 2019

Justin Welby said, "anti-Semitism is a very unique thing."

Archbishop Justin Welby said, "anti-Semitism is a very unique thing" because (my unique interpretation) it shows you are not fit for high office because you are a friend of "tax collectors and sinners" (Luke 7 v 34) and the hated Samaritans = friend of Irish republicans, of Palestinians and Gazans, to put it in modern dress.  Which very unpopular politician could I be thinking of?

The man was too much pro the poor, the oppressed and the underdog for the British electorate on the 12 December 2019.  Far too sceptical of British military interventions and too enthusiastic for UN settlements, peace keeping missions and for the upholding of international law.

He always maintained that he was anti anti-Semitism but the mud stuck.  He was never believed.
He was anti killing of Gazans and Palestinians but that certainly did not help him when it was Israelis doing the killing.  A very unwise move, indeed.
He was anti killing of people to stop them killing because he was once Chair of Stop the War Coalition.
He was anti militarisation of diplomacy - Afghanistan and Iraq where the West couldn't wait for the UN weapons inspectors to finish their work.  Too desperate for war to let the inspectors to finally and irrevocably declare that Saddam Hussein did not have a single WMD.  The most successful Labour leader in our history, along with an American President, knew better than the gullible weapons inspectors.  But it was the inspectors and Corbyn who turned out to be right, after all.

It reflects badly on my nation that the only Labour leader who won three successive General Elections in a row left parts of the Middle East in turmoil.  Still to this day.  And, Muslims taking revenge on our streets - to this day.
It reflects badly on my nation that this latest Labour leader, who never really wanted the job but found it was thrust upon him, lost two successive General Elections because he was not sufficiently militaristic and war like and, tough like Blair.  Yet, he was shown to have been in the right over our foreign wars.  But, he was branded a Stalinist, a terrorist sympathiser and an anti-Semite because, as an MP, he voted against every foreign war our nation engaged in.
This man stood up for the UN, the rule of law and the International Court of Justice at the Hague.
He wanted war as a last resort, would not retaliate if our nation was attacked with WMD.  Therefore, he was dismissed as unpatriotic, weak, an evil appeaser, a pathetic pacifist and, a friend of the worst kind of people - our enemies.

Being pro Israel and anti antisemitic is very important for the West.  After all, Israel is our flagship state in the Arab/Muslim Middle East.  Robustly on the side of Team America, perhaps even more than ourselves.  Jews are amongst the very top people in our society.  Therefore, to be critical of Israel, in anyway, is to be disloyal to one's own Western culture and nation.  A security risk.  Disloyal.  Certainly, antisemitic.

They say you can be critical of Israel without being anti-Semitic but I have tried.  Ian Austin the former Labour and then Independent MP said I am anti-Semitic for expressing dismay that our UK Jewish community is more up in arms about antisemitism than their compatriots killing and injuring Gazans in rather large numbers.  It is a clever way to intimidate into silence people's legitimate horrors of, too often, Israel's behaviour towards their neighbours.  Neighbours to whom they should be Good Samaritans - and vice versa, of course.

Clearly, because our top ranking Jewish friends look just like us good white Brits, their sufferings, their Holocaust and that genocide must be put on a pedestal far above any other suffering, or persecution, or racism or genocide.  Israel and all the Jewish community are very special, after all.  They deserve special treatment, as the people of the Bible and with their sufferings in the Shoah (that we Western 'Christians' was responsible for).  Antisemitism deserves tougher treatment than with Islamophobia against the Muslims.  Only prejudice/hatred against the Jewish community must be placed in a unique and top category of racism.

Hence, for the Archbishop, antisemitism "is a unique category of racism ... not the same as other types of racism."  "It's the taproot of all other forms of racism."  "Anti-Semitism is the longest existing and (has given the) worst results of any kind of racism that we have experienced in Europe in the last thousand years. ... So it has a category all of its own."   'The Big Issue - Christmas Special', December 2019.



Blair attacks Corbyn for turning Labour into 'glorified protest movement' and says it is 'marooned on fantasy island'

from
But the report for Mr Blair’s organisation says the EU was not the “main explanation” and instead criticises the current leader “and the politics he represents”.
Only 24% of voters polled in the report believed Mr Corbyn is patriotic, with focus group participants criticising his perceived associations with the IRA and terror groups.
The fatal London Bridge terror attack during the campaign had “real cut-through”, the report says, with perceptions being that Mr Corbyn’s stance was weak.
His policies were individually popular, polling suggested, but voters felt they lacked credibility when taken together, with 22% thinking the ideas were both good in principle and that Labour could be trusted to spend the money wisely.
A Labour source defended Mr Corbyn and blamed Mr Blair for having overseen the start of Labour’s decline.
“In 2017 we saw the biggest swing to Labour since 1945 and more people voted for Labour under Jeremy, both in this election and in 2017, than Ed Miliband in 2015, Gordon Brown in 2010 or Tony Blair in 2005,” the source said.  (my emphasis)
“As with Scotland, the decline in Labour support in the North discussed in this report started under Tony Blair. While the party undergoes a period of reflection, perhaps Tony Blair should reflect on his own role.”
SELF: The UK electorate is completely out of sympathy with wishy washy, namby pamby liberals like me with our support for Corbyn, Stop the War Coalition, CND, the Prison Reform Trust, republicanism instead of the monarchy, the underdog, the crushed and marginalised (Gaza, West Bank, Palestine); and, the Campaign Against the Arms Trade.

Thursday, 19 December 2019

6 CHANGES ON MAINLINE RAILWAY when none should be needed!

Dear Anthea McIntyre, Rupert Lowe, Andrew England Kerr, Martin Daubney, Ellie Chowns, Phil Bennion and Neena Gill CBE,

Since the 1990s, when I was told by Roy Burgess of the existence of the half used, half empty, principal mainline railway through the historic capital of the Black Country, every political party has never wanted our own railway line finished with TRAINS!

In fact, since the 1980s, your party has always wanted Metro trams on the 6.7 Kms out of the unused 56 Kms to make it impossible for the commuter, regional and intercity TRAINS to return on the full 120 Kms between Worcester, the Black Country and Derby.

HERE, BELOW IS THE ABSURDITY YOU STILL ALL SUPPORT!  Is this the most challenging and slowest train journey in the world?

Going by train, from Worcester to Derby, on one, EXISTING, mainline railway, the politicians and transport experts want:
Change at Stourbridge Jct for the Very Light Rail Stourbridge Shuttle to Brierley Hill (one option).
Change at Brierley Hill for Light Rail Metro tram to Wednesbury.
Change at Wednesbury for the bus to Walsall.  Eventually, a tram, a train or a tram train may be available.
Change at Walsall to hire a bike for the current cycle-walkway being extended, by volunteers, to Lichfield City Railway station.
Change at Lichfield for the train.  Passenger trains are forbidden, so you have to go SE, the wrong direction, to Tamworth!
Change at Tamworth to go in the right direction, NW to Burton on Trent and Derby.

END OF JOURNEY with six changes when none is needed with my plan!

This is so typical of backward, behind the times, we are the greatest, Great Brexit Britain.

PHOTOS:



Have a wonderful Christmas of reflection and then sensible action  - PLEASE!

Tim    (Weller)

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Who or what was the handmaiden of Brexit?

"The Labour Party, by its own self-indulgence, was the effective handmaiden of Brexit... Our combination of misguided ideology and utter incompetence allowed it to happen" Tony Blair  

The Tony Blair Institute for Global Change is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to making globalisation work for the many, not the few.

SELF:
Localisation is vital to slow climate breakdown.  Not more globalisation that worsens the climate catastrophe.

Tony Blair's Labour took us into two disastrous wars on foreign soil that has left far too many parts of the Middle East in turmoil.  He did nothing to stop the arms trade while PM, so we Brits are fueling the war in Yemen and have done so from the outset.  Immoral Labour under Tony.  Upright Labour under JC.  3 election wins for Tony.  0 wins for Jeremy!

I thought the effective handmaiden of Brexit was the refusal of Jo Swinson and the LibDems to countenance Corbyn as a temporary PM, as one way to stop Brexit. This meant that they were unable to have a formal Remain coalition to defeat Johnson last week.  The Brexit Party was able to compromise and so stood down in every one of the seats where the Tories won in 2017.  And Brexit won by 80 seats.

I think it was the LibDems that was the first party to agree to Johnson's call for a General Election.  That put pressure on Labour to also agree, unfortunately.

Nicola Sturgeon was prepared to compromise with Corbyn in case of a hung Parliament .  But not Jo Swinson. Where does Jo stand on retaliation with WMD?

Brexit is making a rod for our own back.  Difficult, fractious relationships are generated from lots of talks to get new agreements when the EU arrangement was working fine and was not a problem.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

To 36 Dudley Conservative councillors

Dear friends

Well done on your great victory in England and, to a lesser extent, in Wales.

You can now win another major victory by stopping the destruction of the UK's very last, easily reinstated, half finished, principal mainline railway from Worcester, through our Black Country and on to Derby.  This is because there is still time to save the forgotten, unused, wasted 56 Kms between Stourbridge Jct and Burton on Trent.  This week I read:

"Preliminary works on an extension from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill, serving Dudley, are due to begin next year, whilst final activities are set to take place next year on the Wolverhampton city centre extension serving both the bus and railway station." 


Please get to it - Patrick and Co and win the praise and glory for stopping the two tram schemes, first and then getting, asap the commuter, regional and intercity trains back on the full 120 Kms (74 miles), with Railfuture's nine stations with ours rebuilt at Dudley Castle Gate.  See:


With best wishes

Tim

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

To 36 Dudley Labour councillors

Dear friends

Do NOT be in a hurry to be shot of hero Corbyn

I think the red wall of Midlands and North Labour strongholds voted Tory because of their strong Brexit, pro military/patriot, anti immigrant, anti foreigner, pro Brits first, sentiments.  And, concerns over Britain being 'Full'.

We Brits have always won every war, from the Boer War onwards.  'The Guardian' in February 2014 proved, in a four page spread, how in every single year since at least 1914, the Brits have been engaged in warfare on other people's land.  1968 was the only year that a member of our armed forces has not been killed somewhere around the globe since 1914.  The number of Brits slaughtered in warfare since 1945 has now reached over 16,000, I believe.  Corbyn must have known that and, I hope, was disturbed.

For me, Corbyn fearlessly, over decades, took the moral high ground with his UN first, pro justice with peace in the Falklands, N Ireland and in Palestine/Israel.  He took the moral high ground with his 'war as a last resort, diplomacy first, upholding international law at the International Court of Justice at the Hague', principles.  A man of conscience and compassion, too.

It seems, Corbyn has been the traditional, stereotypical Englishman standing up for the underdog in his pro Palestinian stance.  Hence, he incurs the ire of the State of Israel, a member of Team America, as BBC's Jeremy Bowen put in last week.  Israel is our great friend and ally in protecting the West's strategic interests in the Middle East.  Perhaps, Corbyn is seen as disloyal to the West's supremacy in the Middle East.  Israel's displeasure with Corbyn has been shown with their relentless campaign of labeling him as antisemitic soon after he became Labour leader and ever since.  The media, too has locked onto it with glee, too.  Any irony, humour over traditional views of Jewish businessmen and women has been slapped down as examples of antisemitism.

Both Corbyn and SNP First Minister Sturgeon fearlessly stated that if the UK was attacked with nuclear weapons, neither would retaliate with firing off Trident missiles.  Both are rightly, nuclear/WMD pacifists.  NOT conventional weapons pacifists, however.  But their renunciation of the use of WMD is unacceptable to America, Israel and the UK establishment.  Certainly, unacceptable to most English and Welsh voters and the unionist voters in N Ireland.

Labour must inspire and lead towards humanity and all life on earth FIRST urgent policies.  That means postponing extinction for all life on earth.

Labour must stop the conversion of the 120 Kms (74 miles) Black Country principal mainline railway being turned into:
  • VLR tram line with the proposed extension of the Stourbridge Shuttle onto a mainline railway!!
  • LR Metro tram line to destroy the integrity/unity of the 120 Kms.
  • VLR and innovation centre on the only feasible site of Dudley Castle Gate railway station
  • new extended 16 Kms cycle-walkway from Walsall to Lichfield on this forgotten, still unfinished mainline railway
Use the £2 BILLION to 2026 to bring in fareless buses for ALL at all times; and, electric buses.  Fareless buses are found in about 100 towns and cities around the world - 30 in the USA and about 20 in France, according to national FoE.

Happy Christmas

Tim Weller