Forest of Dean & Wye Valley

When ‘X’ Marks the Spot

In Dinosaur on April 30, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Election time is here again! It’s time once more to face the hustings. As politicians of all shades and colours pound the trail to win our votes, the campaign to decide who’s going to be in the hot seat over the next few years is well under way.

I must confess that over the past forty years I have voted Labour on each and every occasion. But once, as a much younger dinosaur, I did cast my vote for a Plaid Cymru candidate. Well, I was living in a Welsh constituency at the time. But for many of us dinosaurs, voting labour is a habit that’s very hard to break.

There have been times when the choice hasn’t been easy – and I’ve even felt a certain sympathy with the old anarchist slogan, ‘whoever you vote for, the Government always gets in’. But we gained the vote after a long, hard struggle against those who believed that the likes of the working class or women (along with those certified lunatics or criminals) were far too irresponsible to have a say in deciding who should be elected. The vote was a hard won privilege, and should be used, not abused.

telling it how it isn’t

As I write this, the election bumf has been slow coming through the letter box, but no doubt it will increase in volume as the local campaign gets going. But one early piece of electoral propaganda to come my way was a copy of ‘Focus’, the Liberal Democrat’s occasional news sheet.

Whenever it’s time for us to vote, the Lib-Dems come up with somewhat spurious figures to show that only they can possibly win the election against the sitting incumbent. They’re at it again. On the basis of a couple of selective Council by-election results, they’ve set out to ‘prove’ that they’re on their way to victory.

FLYING LOW WITH BRITISH AIRWAYS

Faced with new demands and new pressures, it’s not surprising that cabin crew working for British Airways had reached the end of their tether. But they received no sympathy from the airline’s Chief Executive, Willy Walsh.

When they voted overwhelmingly for strike action, all they got from him was a stream of vituperation and insults aimed at their union, Unite – who he accused of “trying to break the company”. Why, Willie, would Unite try to break a company that provided employment for its members? Come on, let’s try to be logical about this.

It seems to me that Mr Walsh wanted confrontation. Perhaps he should try a sideways move to BA’s cut price counterpart, Ryanair. But no, I forgot Ryanair already has a blustering, anti-union boss.

I try not to fly myself, unless I have to – but remind me to add British Airways to the short list of airlines to be avoided.

TACKLING CLOSING TIME

With pubs going down like ninepins it’s not surprising that many of those who like to go out for a quiet drink with their mates are feeling unhappy when their local close its doors for the last time. After all, it’s a social thing, isn’t it?

In some areas customers have taken matters into their own hands – and taken over the pub and run it as a king of local’s co-op. One such pioneer of the trend was the Old Crown, Hesketh Newmarket in rural Cumbria.

Now the trend has spread to gritty urban Salford (just down the road from neighbouring Manchester). Here locals were given three weeks’ notice that the Star Inn was to close. They weren’t at all happy, so they clubbed together and raised enough money to take it over. It’s now back in business as a community-owned co-op.

All I can say is CHEERS! I hope that the local ale slips down a treat!

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