Category Archives: General

Half a century on; we still live with the concequences of the Beeching Reports.

True to my word about a year ago, I’ve written an article about Beeching! We’ve celebrated quite a number of milestones in the last 12 months, and another is looming; it is 50 years since Dr Beeching published his enquiry into Britain’s railways which lead to the systematic dismantling of the vast majority of the branch lines across this country. The Reshaping of British Railways and it’s sister report, the snappily titled The Development of the Major Railway Truck Routes published two years later set in motion the eradication of nearly 55% of all of Britain’s railways. The loss was felt across the nation and at a time when demand for rail travel is at a level that hasn’t been seen since the 1920s and our road network has reached saturation, we now suffer the consequences of those rather short-sighted actions. It has been widely accepted since the 1960s that the methods of obtaining the numbers used within the reports was underhand; choosing days to visit the stations when the number of passengers was going to be disproportionately low compared with peak times.

Britain's railway network is now less than half the size it was in the 1960s, yet demand for rail travel is higher than ever.

Britain’s railway network is now less than half the size it was in the 1960s, yet demand for rail travel is higher than ever.

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Gay marriage; will someone please tell me what all the fuss is about?!

My humble apologies, I realise it has been a year since I last posted anything, so it is time to make amends. The day when MPs are due to vote on Gay Marriage is coming up fast; next Monday in fact. This got me thinking, I really can’t personally see why it should be so controvertial, and I’ve had one of the most conventional upbringings I know! I attended the conservative party conference last October. It was the first time I had been and I was surprised by the spectrum of views held by the people there. I dutifully got my social action badge and my “I’m with DC” badge on Gay marriage. Maria Miller as newly appointed minister of the DCMS put it brilliantly; “The state should not stop two people from making the commitment to be married unless there’s a good reason. I don’t believe being gay is one of them”.

Maria Miller sent out a clear message last October

Maria Miller sent out a clear message last October

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Living wage, not minimum wage

The UK national minimum wage is keeping thousands of UK workers living in poverty and not letting them meet their most basic needs.

As of 1st October 2012 the national minimum wage rose by 1.9% to £6.19 which does not keep in line with the rise of inflation (2.5%, August 2012), so workers on the lowest pay are actually even worse off than they were last year. Someone who works 35 hours a week on the new minimum wage is still only earning £216.65 before tax. Read the rest of this entry

Coalition is likely to split before the next general election – According to senior Tory MP

The Liberal Democrats and Conservative coalition government has had many difficulties to overcome since the 2010 General Election. The cracks are starting to show and a number of people, both in and outside of Westminster, have predicted that it will break down before the 2015 General Election.

Graham Brady, senior Tory MP and Chairman of the Conservative Backbench 1922 Committee has become the latest person to doubt the life expectancy of the coalition. Read the rest of this entry

God Save the Queen but what is Patrotism?

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This weekend the country is celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in all manner of ways: the river pageant, street parties, at Epsom Saturday or at home in their own community with their family and friends but is all this patriotic? Kate Middleton’s wedding to Prince William last year began the monarchists’ celebrations and now Olympic fever is in the air for the first time since 1948. Is all this coincidental timing or are we being taught a lesson in patriotism? Click here to keep reading

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