General Election 2017: How Green is Thy Manifesto?

Yesterday, Caroline Lucas, the co-leader of the Green Party, carried a green question mark around London to draw attention to the absence of any discussion of the environment during the general election campaign. Across the pond, Donald Trump is about to withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement.

So, what do the manifestos say about climate change and green energy?[1]

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Philip Dunne triumphs on a bad night for the Lib Dems

I am not going to pretend this has been a good night for the Liberal Democrats, not nationally or locally. But first let me congratulate Philip Dunne for winning a third term of office with an increased majority.

Philip Dunne          Conservative Party           54%       26,093

David Kelly            UK Independence Party   15%       7,164

Charlotte Barnes     Liberal Democrats            13%       6,469

Simon Slater           Labour Party                    12%       5,902

Janet Phillips          Green Party                      5%         2,435

As I type this at 4 in the morning, the Lib Dems seem to be getting the blame for everything that went wrong in the coalition and no credit for things that have gone right. Good, hardworking Lib Dem MPs are losing their seats.

It’s a cruel cull – but that’s politics.

It hasn’t been good here in Ludlow. Charlotte threw everything into a gutsy campaign but she was swimming against the national tide that drowned so many prominent Lib Dems. I take my hat off to her for her energy, enthusiasm and endless ability to burst out laughing on the doorstep.

I can’t disguise that it grates to come third behind UKIP. I am a liberal through and through, and to come third behind an anti-liberal party hurts.

It’s a cruel result – but that’s politics.

There is a lot of reflecting to do after this morning’s results. I would have liked to have seen rainbow coalition – a structure that would have changed politics for ever. But at this hour of the morning, I think seeing my bed might be more achievable.

Why you should vote tomorrow – if you don’t engage democracy is dead

Like most people, the first time I marked my cross on a ballot paper I was not long out of school.

I’ve never forgotten the hustings in Northampton Market Square in 1974. The Labour candidate stood the soap box to the left, handing out hymn sheets for the Red Flag. The Tory didn’t even turn up.

Ahead of me the young Lib Dem candidate poured out a passionate argument for going into the European Community because it would end wars in Europe.

I wanted to vote for that. I believe that war is sometimes necessary. Winning war is heroic but it is never a success. Our failure is in preventing war. I was passionately against nuclear weapons. I still am.

This was my first vote. In complete buggeration, my father had not included me when he returned the family polling card to the town hall. Continue reading “Why you should vote tomorrow – if you don’t engage democracy is dead”

Ludlow North polling station has moved to Mascall for many voters

If you live in Ludlow North your polling station may have moved from the Library to Ludlow Mascall Centre. Details are on your polling card.

In previous elections, voting took place in the library. But when Shropshire Council moved staff from Stone House into the library, no thought was given to what would happen on polling days.

In recent months, we have discussed several options for polling stations in the town centre but most proved suitable or unavailable. The final decision was to move the polling station for Whitcliffe and Corve wards to the Ludlow (Bishop) Mascall Centre. This will not be as convenient as the Library for town centre residents but it does have a good sized car park. The 722 and 701 buses also stop directly outside on the way back into town.

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I agree with Philip Dunne that election posters shouldn’t be defaced – but neither should he deface our town’s heritage

The Conservative candidate for Ludlow is creating a bit of a stink in the media today. He says that his election posters around South Shropshire are being defaced and that’s anti-democratic. I agree.

But Philip Dunne can’t take a moral high ground on this matter. His banners in Ludlow have wrecked a thousand tourist photos.

Anyone cares about the area they might represent would put them where they don’t damage the landscape. That is not what Dunne does. He has wrecked one of the finest views in Ludlow of the Horseshoe Weir by hanging two huge posters above it. He has damaged this great view in pursuit of his own political interests.


Continue reading “I agree with Philip Dunne that election posters shouldn’t be defaced – but neither should he deface our town’s heritage”