Showing posts from July, 2018

Seen on the doorstep in Cleator Moor

A notice by a front door, seen while out doing a resident's opinion survey: "No Trespassers Violators will be shot Survivors will be shot again." We got the message that the householder was not exactly looking for company ...

Quote of the day 31st July 2018

“ We are facing nothing less than a crisis in our democracy, based on the systematic manipulation of data to support the relentless targeting of citizens, without their consent, by campaigns of disinformation and messages of hate .” ( Damian Collins MP , Conservative chairman of the House of Commons' all-party Culture, Media and Sport select committee. He was speaking about the committee's interim report on " Disinformation and Fake News ," which calls for updated rules for elections and referenda which take better account of the way social media campaigns now operate and better education about how reliable and truthful online information is - or all too often isn't.)


Tim Montgomerie wrote a good piece on "Unherd" a few weeks ago about the tendency in many parts of the political spectrum to wish not just to defeat but to crush and delegitimise those who disagree with you, a tendency he calls "Hegemonia." You can see it in those who have been trying to deselect their political opponents whether pro or anti-Brexit. A Labour party with no place for the likes of Frank Field would be much poorer, but a majority of his local party apparently cannot see that. You can see it in those for whom opponents are to be smeared . You can see it in those on the leave side for whom any attempt by Theresa May or anyone else to find a compromise which leaves the EU on terms which do not totally ignore the concerns of the 48% who voted differently is "betrayal" or "treason" or a "sell-out" You can also see it in those on the Remain side for whom the referendum result is not legitimate and must be overturned a

Biggrigg Road closure

Please note that due to drainage works at Pallaflat, Bigrigg, the road will be completely closed from 8am to 5pm for five days starting today (30th July).

Quote of the day 30th July 2018

"One of the scariest aspects of our times is how easy it is for glib loudmouths to turn us against each other, weakening the whole framework of society, on which we all depend." (Thomas Sowell, American Economist)

Labour accused of training candidates to smear opponents.

A report in the Sunday Times today says that the Labour party has been accused of giving its parliamentary candidates lessons in smearing their political opponents . Around 60 prospective parliamentary candidates attended an awayday in Nottinghamshire last weekend and were given a seminar on media training, which several sources claim involved a discussion on how to sabotage their rivals. One attendee, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “ We were told that it was all right to make up stories about our Tory opponents even if they were on the edge of legality. We were basically told we could say what we liked about them as long as it was on the right side of the law. “I was quite surprised, to say the least, and this certainly isn’t the way the party has previously operated or encouraged us to behave .” Another source said: “ The suggestion was that you could use the media and social media to smear your opponents and that even if you had to later retract your claims t

Sunday music spot: "Lord let me know mine end" (Greene)


Sunday reflection - is it better to avoid "vampires" or avoid being one?

Reflecting that I have heard several times in recent months, most recently on the radio this week, that people can be divided into those you feel energised after talking to and those who leave you feeling as though you have had the energy sucked out of you after a conversation with them. One speaker on the radio described the latter type of person as "vampires" and suggested that you should try to avoid spending time with such people. That's one approach. But actually I can recall different instances in which conversations with the same person have left me energised and perked up or depressed depending on what was going on in their life and how they felt about it, and how they were dealing with it. Is it possible that when we deal with our problems with humour and a positive attitude, then that is likely to be passed on to the people we are dealing with, and all of us can become a negative influence if we let ourselves get overwhelmed by our problems? Perhaps ra

Quote of the day 29th July 2018


Saturday music spot: Overture to Thomas Arne's opera "Alfred"

Thomas Arne's masterpiece "Alfred," which was first performed in 1740, contains one movement which is still very well known indeed while the rest of the opera is hardly ever performed and very little known today. This overture is one of the pieces in the opera which deserves to be heard more often. (The part of the opera which is most often still heard today is the finale, which is "Rule Britannia.")

Quote of the day 28th July 2018

In his book A History of Warfare (1968), Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein : records that  "Sir Winston Churchill once told me of a reply made by the Duke of Wellington, in his last years, when a friend asked him:  'If you had your life over again, is there any way in which you could have done better?'  The old Duke replied: 'Yes, I should have given more praise.'"

Reminder: an opportunity to raise issues with MP/Councillors tomorrow

The next "Saturday Chataway" opportunity for residents of Copeland to meet your MP and elected representatives is tomorrow morning (Saturday 28th July 2018) at Seascale. Trudy Harrison MP and elected representatives will be at Seascale Library, Gosforth Road, Seascale (CA20 1PN) between 10am and 12 noon. Councillors of all parties and levels have been invited. This will be followed by a community litter pick in the afternoon from 12.30pm

Planned arrangements for repair of Meadow Road

As I posted a few days ago, Meadow Road which runs through Whitehaven's Mirehouse estate is in a dire condition and Cumbria County Council's local committee has allocated £120,000 in this year's budget for a full repair job, which starts on Monday (30th July) and is expected to last four weeks. Here is a summary of what is being done and the arrangements being made during the repair works on Meadow road, The existing surface is a concrete road with bituminous surface treatment. That current bituminous treatment is now severely worn from the Kinniside Avenue Junction to Uldale Road Junction. Road markings are also worn and faded. Repair works are to be carried out for approximately one kilometer North-West and North from the Wasdale road junction under an official road closure (anticipated duration of 4 weeks). On-street parking will be severely restricted during working hours, but will be available to residents overnight and at weekends. Existing bituminous trea

Secretary of State praises MP's School sponsor campaign

The MP for Copeland has been praised for her ‘passionate campaign’ to secure a new school sponsor for Whitehaven Academy. Damian Hinds, the Secretary of State for Education, commended Trudy Harrison MP for her consistent battle to remove controversial academy trust sponsors, Bright Tribe from Whitehaven Academy after years of neglect and mismanagement. Cumbria Education Trust was last week confirmed by the Secretary of State as the new sponsor of Whitehaven Academy following a resolution that was passed by CET’s Board of Trustees. Mrs Harrison expressed her concern at the Department of Education in a Select Committee meeting which saw members grill the Secretary of State on the conditions at the school, which included pupils working in stifling classrooms due to windows being jammed shut in the middle of a heatwave. Damian Hinds, said: “I know Trudy is passionate about education, ensuring that young people across her constituency get the best start in life.  “She has been a s

Quote of the day 27th July 2018


"Saturday Chataway" this coming Saturday (28th July) in Seascale

The next "Saturday Chataway" opportunity for residents of Copeland to meet your MP and elected representatives is this Saturday (28th July 2018) at Seascale. MP Trudy Harrison and elected representatives will be at Seascale Library, Gosforth Road, Seascale (CA20 1PN) between 10am and 12 noon. Councillors of all parties and levels have been invited. This will be followed by a community litter pick in the afternoon from 12.30pm

Mary Ellis RIP

Mary Ellis, who flew over a thousand aircraft of 67 different types during World War II while serving as a pilot for the Air Transport Auxiliary, has died at the age of 101. As Mary Wilkins she blazed a trail for female aviators as one of the first women to fly Spitfires, heavy bombers and jet aircraft. She delivered planes from factories to airfields from 1941 to the end of the Second World War. The use of women pilots to deliver aircraft ran into a certain amount of prejudice at the time. At one RAF base, the ground crew refused to believe she was the pilot of the Wellington bomber she had just landed. " They actually went inside the aeroplane and searched it ," she recalled. The job of flying a wide range of aircraft was not without dangers and nearly one in 10 of the ATA's 168 female members were killed during the war, including aviation pioneer Amy Johnson. Mary herself survived being shot at by friendly fire near Bournemouth and a crash-landing when the unde

Labour MP for Peterborough to stand trial

The Labour MP for Peterborough, Fiona Onasanya, who took the seat from the Conservatives last year by just 607 votes, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court charged with perverting the course of justice on July 12th and will now stand trial with her brother Festus. The case is scheduled  for the Old Bailey on 13th August. They are accused of conspiring to evade speeding points - a similar charge to the one which ended the political career of former Lib/Dem cabinet minister Chris Huhne. Huhne and his ex-wife Vicky Pryce were both sentenced to eight months in prison for perverting the course of justice after it emerged that Pryce had taken the speeding points after Huhne tripped a speed camera while driving too fast. They each served two months before being released on licence. Pryce's friend Constance Briscoe was subsequently sentenced to sixteen months in prison and sacked as a judge for making false statements to police in relation to the Huhne and Pryce case and submittin

Time to update the Treason act of 1531.

I agree with Policy Exchange who argue, in a new report , that the Treason Act of 1531 is out of date and should be replaced by a new law worded to fit the situation where treason no longer means backing the wrong side in an attempt to change the ruling dynasty. The existing law was written in the age when, as John Harington wrote in his immortal joke, When that joke was made, "Treason" usually meant attempting to replace the current monarch with another - and of course, if such an attempt succeeded, accusing the new King or Queen and his or her supporters of treason was not conducive to your life expectancy. The last serious attempt to change the dynasty through rebellion in this country for which the old  definition of treason could reasonably be (and was) applied was defeated 272 years ago at the battle of Culloden. From the American war of Independence onwards - and that too is well over two centuries ago - the old idea of what treason is has looked increasi

Quote of the day 26th July 2018


This is how freedom dies

There was an article in The Times earlier this week by Clare Foges - who used to be a number ten speechwriter during DC's time - which really quite worries me. The title of the article was "Our timid leaders can learn from strongmen" and the subtitle was "Trump, Putin, Erdogan and Duterte are unpalatable demagogues in many ways but at least they get things done. " As I tweeted at the time, " They get things done " like putting children in cages, starting trade wars, cyber attacks on British companies and public services, poisoning innocent people on British soil, bombing Syrian hospitals, shooting down an airliner, and arresting thousands of people on highly dubious grounds. The article rightly says that " Mussolini making the trains run on time does not excuse fascism " and I think we should consider very carefully before holding any strongman up as a role model. What happened in Germany and many other countries in the mid 20th c

Maternity at West Cumberland Hospital

I attended a meeting this afternoon of the co-production working group which is developing a plan on how to implement "Option One" for maternity in North. West, and East Cumbria. As most readers of this blog will probably be aware, "Option one" is not identical to the status quo but does maintain consultant-led maternity units at both West Cumberland Hospital (WCH) in Whitehaven and the Cumberland Infirmary at Carlisle (CIC). There was a lot of positive progress which I have written about in more detail on my Health service blog here .

Midweek music spot: "Man is for the Woman made" by Purcell - Christine Honein

No offence intended to any gay people reading this, Purcell's 17th century ditty is no longer politically correct and no endorsement of any obsolete world view is intended by posting it. This is an amusing piece of music and is offered for musical entertainment value only.

Quote of the day 25th July 2018

"Complacently, I had always assumed that what happened to my parents couldn’t happen to me or my children. There were too many liberal, progressive people who wouldn’t allow it.     I no longer believe this with the same confidence. (I found it really painful to write those words. I deleted the last sentence twice. But I left it in because, sadly, it’s true.)"  (Lord Danny Finkelstein , whose mother was a holocaust survivor, writing in The Times about the return of anti-Semitism. If you are a subscriber to The Times or have registered to received a couple of free articles per week you can read the whole article here )

Brexit white paper published

Today the government published a White Paper setting out how they will legislate for the Withdrawal Agreement with the EU, ensuring a smooth and orderly Brexit.  The government is committed to ensuring that there is proper Parliamentary scrutiny of our withdrawal from the EU so we have published this White Paper now in order to provide Parliamentarians and others detail on the agreements already reached with the EU. This will give Parliamentarians the time to consider these agreements ahead of the Bill’s introduction to Parliament. The Bill legislating the Withdrawal Agreement will only be introduced once negotiations have concluded and Parliament has approved the final deal with the EU.


This is one set of roadworks which I welcome. The surface of Meadow Road in Mirehouse has been in dire condition for months and I have been arguing at Local Committee and the Highways Working group that it should be given a high priority for repairs. This was agreed when the budget for 18/19 was set - in fact Meadow road was placed at the top of the list for major road repairs in Copeland - and the work has now been scheduled to begin on Monday 30th July for approximately four weeks. There will, I'm afraid, be some disruption and a diversion will be in place but it is worth it to have this important bus route through Mirehouse finally brought back the condition that we should expect in one of the wealthiest countries in the world and no longer left in a state which would disgrace a third-world country. The area to be repaired is Meadow Road, Mirehouse, Whitehaven from its junction with Skiddaw Road extending in a north westerly then northerly direction for a distance of app

Quote of the day 24th July 2018


No deal by accident?

Jeremy Hunt, the new Foreign Secretary, has said that there is a danger of Britain leaving the EU without a deal "by accident." I think he is right and that would be unfortunate. Very few people either in Britain or in Europe actually want a "No Deal" Brexit although there is a very outspoken minority who do. However, some of the things which have been suggested during negotiations - customers barriers within the UK, for instance, e.g. beween Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom, which would be complete anathema to most MPs of any party and which no British PM could accept - would be so unacceptable as to be worse than leaving with no deal. If the EU cannot appreciate this then we are indeed heading for a "No Deal" Brexit. It is also possible that the hardline Remain faction in Parliament might accidentally trigger a "No Deal" exit by rejecting the deal Mrs May comes back with - assuming she does actually manage to get a

Hottest day of the year ...

The Met office has confirmed that today has been the hottest day of 2018 so far. It's not been as warm in Cumbria as in some parts of the country but it certainly has not been cold. I notice that the "Global warming is a myth" crowd have not been as noisy as usual over the past few months (though of course one very warm year is hardly conclusive evidence on its own).

Quote of the day 23rd July 2018

"As Conservatives, we should know better than anyone what a parliamentary party in revolt over Europe leads to.  Labour is now leading in the polls and Jeremy Corbyn is so emboldened that he’s summoned his front bench to start planning his first 100 days in power. He has taken advice from former prime ministers and civil service chiefs about which laws to bring forward first.  If that doesn’t give some of the louder or more tribal voices pause, I don’t know what will. This is a man with a self-confessed Marxist as Shadow Chancellor and outriders who are now wearing ‘I am literally a communist’ T-shirts. A Corbyn government would be catastrophic for our country.  We have a duty to serve the public in the national interest, to deliver the Brexit referendum result in a way that mitigates risks and maximises opportunities, and keeps the fabric of our own United Kingdom together.  That means compromise, whichever side of the debate we were on two years ago. And, for all the sir

Two accounts of the Yaxley-Lennon appeal

Two interesting reports, one from "The Secret Barrister" and one from "Barrister Blogger" have been published of the appeal hearing by Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon (who uses the name "Tommy Robinson") against his sentences of three months and ten months for contempt of court. You can read the "Secret Barrister" account in the Independent here , and the "Barrister Blogger" account by Matthew Scott here . Judgement on the appeal has not yet been given but is expected by the end of the month.

Sunday Music spot: J.S. Bach's motet "Jesu my Joy" BWV 227


Quote of the day 22nd July 2018

"Until we solve our antisemitism problem, we don't deserve to win." (Labour MP Wes Streeting , title of article on the LabourList website which you can read here ,)

Saturday Music Spot: The Hebrides Overture (Fingal's Cave) by Mendelssohn


Health Secretary announces new boost to use of Technology in the NHS

Matt Hancock, the new Health and Social Care Secretary announced yesterday that the government is putting half a billion pounds of taxpayers' money into new technological transformations which will improve patient care, reduce workload on staff and make every pound go further. Key facts: In his first speech as the new Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock set out his three early priorities technology, the health and care workforce and prevention  to support the long term plan for the NHS, and  to transform health and social care.  He also announced a £487 million funding package to help make our health and social care system the most advanced in the world. £412 million will be spent on improving patient care, allowing more patients to be cared for at home, and ensuring every pound goes further.  The remaining £75 million will be made available to hospital trusts to put in place state-of-the-art electronic systems.  Why this matters:  Our long term plan for

Good news on Borrowing

New figures show that public sector borrowing has fallen to its lowest level since 2007 – demonstrating that the Conservative government's balanced approach is working. ONS figures published yesterday show that public sector net borrowing in the latest full financial year was £6.3 billion less than in the previous financial year and £5.8 billion less than the Office for Budget Responsibiity predicted. This is the lowest net borrowing since the financial year ending March 2007.  Our balanced approach means getting debt falling, keeping taxes low, and supporting our vital public services – and we are at a turning point, with debt due to begin its first sustained fall in a generation.  Labour’s policies would see hundreds of billions added to the debt, and just like the last time they were in power, working families would pay the price through fewer jobs, higher taxes and worse public services.

Quote of the day 21st July 2018


Squadron Leader Geoffrey Wellum RIP

Squadron Leader Geoffrey Wellum DFC, who had been the youngest Battle of Britain Spitfire pilot and was one of the last of "the few" died on Wednesday evening. The courage and sacrifice of those like him who defended our country and the world from Nazism, arguably the most evil and dangerous threat in history, during the darkest hours of World War two, must never be forgotten. Rest in Peace.

Another week, another set of resignations from Labour

Racism in all forms is wrong, whether it is directed against Jews, Muslims, those of any particular skin colour, or anyone else. It is my perception that both anti-Semitism and prejudice against Muslims are on the rise in Britain, and all political parties need to avoid complacency in guarding against both, but I don't think any party has as serious a problem with any form of racism as Labour has with anti-Semitism. There have been more powerful articles in the press this week from people who have resigned from the Labour party over anti-Semitism. Jane Merrick writes in The Times about her decision to leave Labour. Those who are subscribers or have registered for two free articles a week can read her article here . And Martin Bright has a similar article in the Jewish Chronicle here . Brendan O'Neill writes in Spiked that he believes " Labour's problem with Jews is getting worse ." I repeat that no party can afford to be complacent about this. We mus

Friday music spot: Edvard Grieg's Holberg Suite: Praeludium

The version of this to which I posted a link a few weeks ago has been taken down/blocked so here is another version (played by the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Sir Simon Rattle) which as far as I am aware is OK.


I understand there has been a remarkably childish row at Manchester University as a result of which a copy of Rudyard Kipling's poem "If" which was voted Britain's favourite poem a few years ago was painted over and replaced by a piece by Maya Angelou (with whom and with whose poetry I have no problem.) Surely it should not be beyond the wit of humankind (note careful avoidance of gender-specific language) to celebrate and enjoy new poets from a range of backgrounds without judging those of the past by the standards of today and finding excuses to reject them? I certainly do not agree with everything Kipling ever said or wrote, but he did come up with some things I do agree with. Today's "quote of the day" that paying "Dane-Geld" or blackmail money never gets rid of the people you pay it to is a good example. So here is "If," not as any endorsement of Kipling's views in general but because it is a good poem.

Quote of the day 20th July 2018


Ridiculous fact of the week

The existence of the building now known as the BT Tower, which is six hundred feet high (the main structure is 581 feet high but the aerial rigging above that takes the total height to 627 feet) visible from most of London, and had been open to the public, was once covered by the Official Secrets Act. The tallest building in the country when completed in 1965 as the Post Office Tower, it is still one of the dozen tallest buildings in the capital. T he tower did not appear on Ordnance Survey maps until after its existence was officially recorded in Hansard after it was mentioned in the House of Commons in 1993 by Kate Hoey MP. More about the BT Tower here .


"Pairing" is an arrangement whereby two MPs on opposite sides of a question agree through their respective party "whips" office that neither will vote, effectively cancelling each other out, to enable them to carry out other work such as a constituency function or representing the country overseas. Most such arrangements have been honoured but there have been rows going back to when I was at school (and probably well beyond) about occasions when it was alleged that someone broke the deal. The latest such instance is that during one of the recent Brexit votes, Party Chairman Brandon Lewis was told by the Whips office to vote when he should have been "paired" with Lib/Dem MP Jo Swinson who is on maternity leave. The Chief Whip, Julian Smith, says that this was an honest mistake and both he and Brandon Lewis have apologised to Ms Swinson. It is important that MPs are seen to be acting with honour and I would always argue that when such arrangements have

Quote of the Day 19th July 2018

"… the Labour party is perceived by most Jews, thousands of party members and millions of members of the public as an antisemitic, and therefore racist, party ." " I am a secular, immigrant Jew. I have never been active in the Jewish community; my two marriages were to non-Jews. I have visited Israel a number of times and have been a vocal critic of successive Israeli governments on many counts. But I am a Jew. My grandmother and my uncle were murdered by Hitler and many cousins and other relatives were slaughtered in the gas chambers." "I joined the Labour party to fight racism. In the 1960s the Labour party was the natural home for Jews. To find myself 50 years later, in 2018, confronting antisemitism in my own party is completely and utterly awful." "Antisemitism has become a real problem in the Labour party. In the last year my colleagues and I have been subjected to a growing number of antisemitic attacks." "On Tuesday, Labou

Midweek music spot: "I am the Monarch of the Sea" & First Lord's song

From "HMS Pinafore" by Gilbert and Sullivan

Barrow & Furness MP resigns from Labour party

John Woodcock, the MP for Barrow and Furness, has today resigned from the Labour party. Details of his resignation letter can be found on the North West Evening Mail site here .

Anna Firth writes on the Chequers Agreement

Cllr Anna Firth is Cabinet member for Legal and Democratic Services, and Brexit spokesperson, on Sevenoaks District Council. She is a former Parliamentary Candidate for Erith and Thamesmead, and was Co-Chair of Vote Leave’s Women for Britain. Here is an extract from an article she has written on the Conservative Home site about why she can support the Chequers agreement and does not agree with those who are using the language of betrayal to describe it. "I am a committed a Brexiteer. Having campaigned throughout the country for Brexit during the referendum, I was delighted when the result declared that we would be leaving the EU. I have not changed my view. However, like many, I have followed the ensuing EU negotiations with disgust and disappointment. Disgust at the way the Commission have exploited the Northern Ireland border issue and refused point blank to settle the rights of EU citizens living here and of UK citizens living abroad to avoid unnecessary stress and upse

Quotes of the day 18th July 2018

" I am ashamed to be a member of the Labour party " Ian Austin, Labour MP for Dudley, endorsing the following statement by Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard: " Be clear what has happened. Labour has now formally adopted a position that allows its members to be antisemitic. And it has added in, purely for spin, a post hoc "consultation" that no Jewish rep body can now go near. This is a shameful day for Labour. " Both were referencing a Jewish Chronicle article which you can read here .

Good news on Jobs

New jobs figures show that in the past year, the number of people in work has reached record highs, unemployment is at its lowest since 1975, and wages are rising faster than prices.  We want to help people into work by reforming welfare and delivering our modern Industrial Strategy to help create more, better paying jobs across the whole country. There are now a record number of people in work and unemployment has fallen to a 40-year low – meaning more people have the security of a job and are able to provide for their families. The Conservatives will continue to take the balanced approach our economy needs, creating jobs and opportunities to help people get on in life and build a better future for themselves and their families.  Key statistics  · Employment: 32.40 million (up 388,000 over the last year and by 3.35 million since 2010).  · Employment rate: 75.7% (up 0.7 points over the past year and 5.4 points since 2010).  · Unemployment: 1.41 million (down 84,000 over the

Quote of the day 17th July 2018


New sponsor and "Substantial capital programme" for Whitehaven Academy

I am delighted to learn that the Cumbria Education Trust (CET) has been confirmed as the new sponsor of Whitehaven Academy . In a statement, CET said it has been confirmed as the school’s new sponsor by the education secretary Damian Hinds, after its board of trustees passed a resolution to bid to take over at the school. Lord Agnew, the academies minister, has also confirmed the Department for Education will fund a “ substantial capital programme ”. The department would not say how much it intends to spend, but the CET says it will see the “ majority of the existing school buildings demolished and rebuilt ”. “This agreement will provide a fresh start for everyone associated with Whitehaven Academy and will help ensure students get the education they deserve as part of a strong multi-academy trust,” said Agnew. “ "The academy will be transformed to provide a modern learning environment, and I am confident that the Cumbria Education Trust has the expertise to improve standa

Quote of the day 16th July 2018


Sunday music spot: "Salvator Mundi" by Tallis


Quote of the day 15th July 2018


Channel 4 Factcheck evicerates Labour's policy on the NHS.

During last year's General Election the Labour party boasted that they had a "fully costed" plan which included a 2% annual rise in real terms in the NHS budget. Experts have been saying for some time that none of the parties were proposing to increase NHS spending by enough to cope with the extra demand as people are living longer and new medical techniques give us more opportunities to save lives or improve people's quality of life - at a price. For example, the British Medical Journal recently published an article arguing that to meet rising demand NHS funding needs to rise by between 3.3 per cent and 5 per cent a year in real terms over the next 15 years. So the government has produced a new long term plan for the NHS which includes increasing the budget by 3.4% a year in real terms, which would mean £20 billion a year in five year's time. That's an awful lot of money and from anyone else Labour's initial response - to ask where the money is c

Saturday music spot: Vivaldi's Concerto for Two Violins in A Minor RV522


The Incredibles 2

This is mainly a political blog and I don't often do film reviews on it, but I will make an exception for "The Incredibles 2" which I went to see last night with members of my family. Sequels to really great films are rarely in the  same league but we've had a few lately which were - "Jamanji - Welcome to the Jungle" was in my humble opinion even better than the original Jumanji film and "The Incredibles 2" is as funny and touching as the original. Other than saying that it had my family and many of the rest of the audience killing ourselves with laughter I'm not going to say too much about the film. It starts almost exactly at the point where the first "The Incredibles" film ended 14 years ago and it isn't so much a superhero film as a story which examines, in a very funny way, issues of family life which affect almost all families, from the viewpoint of a family of superheroes. It's a genuine family film by which I def