Wednesday 30 January 2019

The Stumbling Block to Brexit

Your correspondent Peter Hill is gung ho about the success of Brexit - deal or no deal.  The snag is that our Disunited Kingdom is now split down the middle.  Our remain Prime Minister converted to leave has done her level best to sort out the wishes of the 52% but, after two years of talks, things are at a pretty pass.  She has failed miserably and MPs are taking over to see what they can do.

In addition, two of our kingdoms voted leave and the other two voted remain.  From last week's excellent Radio 4 programme called 'Brexit and Ireland: What's at Stake?', about 30% of N Irish voters vote DUP that is propping up London's government and there are about equal numbers of English nationalists in N Ireland wanting to remain with England, as there are republicans wanting nothing done to distance themselves from the Republic of Ireland.  Ireland and the border barely got a look in three years ago in the referendum campaign.  We now learn that this matter is a major stumbling block to Brexit.  A week or two ago, dissident republicans exploded a car bomb in Derry/Londonderry.  It seems that they are getting very on edge about English nationalists in their own community and in England voting for Brexit that may destabilise the twenty year old Peace Agreement that brought sensible compromise, a cessation of violence and Paisley and McGuinness being called the Chuckle Brothers they got on so well in government.

Will Brexit now bring about the 'Troubles, Part 2' in N Ireland?  Are we all a good deal wiser about a break up that may have deadly consequences for N Ireland, in particular?  I, certainly, am better informed.

Not Facebook but face to face on Mon 4 Feb 2019

Rough Sleepers and very rough justice  RAISE THE ISSUE ONLINE!

I know that Ernest and Clare are organising an official HGJG meeting for Feb.  This is an additional one for those who are as concerned as I am about injustice, idiocy and ignorance right on our doorstep.

Please come to my home, 28 Hunnington Cres  Halesowen B63 3DJ (3 storey town house with red car) at 7.30 pm on Monday 4 Feb - a week today.  The idea is for us to ask questions on Dudley Council's online forum two days later.  My ideas are below.  Let's discuss all our concerns and, perhaps, get some positive, practical and sensible action from our elected councillors.
"Online forums
If you are unable to join us at a community forum meeting you can still take part through our online forums which take place on the council's Dudley Borough Facebook page and @DudleyMBC Twitter feed, from 6-7pm ahead of each round of community forum meetings. Questions and issues raised via Facebook and Twitter are forwarded onto the relevant council service to be dealt with."
For me, Ernest, you are one showing real leadership over what is going so wrong in our borough.  Rough sleepers are the iceberg because they are so visible on our streets.  I think they are symptomatic of inadequate housing provision, of overcrowding and desperate poverty that, regrettably means that voluntary food banks are essential to stop some from starving.  This, in an extremely wealthy nation - in the top five - out of over 190 nations in the UN.  THIS IS A SCANDAL.
Our nation is so obscenely rich, we are now seeing the spending of the grossly immoral £1.38 BILLION to replace only some buses and to destroy any hope of commuter and regional trains from returning, one day, to our own railway "of national and strategic significance" to relieve chronic road and railway congestion in the Black Country and Brum.
QUESTIONS FOR DUDLEY COUNCIL'S 6 FEB ONLINE FORUM - from the comfort of your living room
How about saving the facade of Dudley Hippodrome and building apartments, behind, for first time buyers, and tenants? Or, supported housing for rough sleepers?
What about a new Dudley Central Mosque to replace the shabby, shameful one when the flash, glitzy and glamorous and gloriously expensive trams come swishing by?
Ever thought of putting commuter and regional trains on your wasted railway at new town centre, Castle Gate?  A station there to get passengers to Walsall and beyond and, to Brum by TRAIN!
Is it really just and moral to spend over £343 m to build a most impressive looking electric tram through rundown Dudley town centre when buses are already doing the job just as well and there are many low income Dudley residents who might appreciate free bus use, as disabled and elderly people like me have had for over ten years? Or, the money used for the NHS? Or, free NHS car parks?
In addition, over £2.5 m for each new tram at ten times the price of a new double decker bus.
One disgraceful looking Dudley Central Mosque, a casino, an unusual looking JW Kingdom Hall, a martial arts centre and one wasted Hippodrome are all on Castle Hill dual carriageway. That line of interesting looking buildings is relieved by a smart and most presentable Station Hotel. Yet, the reinstatement of the station, opposite the hotel to relieve congestion and poisonous air and to slow human climate change is not even wanted by our leaders. They only want a piddling little shuttle tram stop to shuttle passengers on our former, half finished, mainline railway to our neighbour's mainline railway at Dudley Port that is in Sandwell!
Tim Weller   Independent candidate for W Mids Metro Mayor 2020 to instil some urgency into how changes in transport policy can reduce the impact of human climate change and postpone Attenborough's "collapse of civilisations" and "extinction of much of the natural world" warning.