Monday, July 30, 2018
Are you ready for Brexit? Got your food stockpiled? A few tins of baked beans stashed away under the settee for the day Britain regains it's sovereignty and rediscovers hunger? I find it remarkable that the government can casually talk about preparing for hard Brexit by stockpiling food and drugs. No doubt this is part of the explanation for the significant rise in support in today's Sky poll for a referendum on the withdrawal agreement and the comfortable lead for those believing we should now remain.
While some may be excited at the thought of reliving the Dunkirk spirit, the idea that negotiating a deal with the EU will be the "easiest" thing ever to do is dead in the water. The British people in 2016 were sold a best-of-both-worlds, have-your-cake-and-eat-it future which no government was ever in a position realistically to give. The UK cannot choose to have the benefits of EU membership while dumping the responsibilities. We can't keep the bits we like while refusing to abide by the bits we don't. If you are in the club enjoying the benefits, you have to abide by the rules.
So the only choice for the UK is between the poverty of hard Brexit and the shared sovereignty and security of EU membership. There is very little middle ground.
Meanwhile, as someone who grows most of my own food, my stockpiles will keep me going for years! I hope the Brexiteer extremists are equally as prepared. I doubt it though given that their world of having cake and eating it is now shown to be a fantasy.
Congratulations to Kevin and Vicky McClurey on their wedding on Friday last week. Kevin is the newly elected Councillor for Dunston Hill and Whickham East. He took the seat from Labour in May. The reception, which I attended on Friday evening, was held at the Vermont Hotel in Newcastle. In keeping with the local council spirit of the occasion, the building is the former HQ of Northumberland County Council.
On Saturday we had an action day in Pelaw and Heworth ward. Alas, we also had our first serious bit of rain in two months. That rather curtailed activities. I arrived, took three bundles of Focuses to deliver and returned home. I will head back there on a day when the weather is better, some time this week.
On Friday afternoon, I took a bit of time away from politics and self-sufficiency to visit the Baltic Art Gallery on the Gateshead Quays. It was my first opportunity to attend any of the exhibitions. An interesting time with some exhibits of interest to me, others of no interest at all and others I'm still thinking about.
I was in London last weekend and it was my first opportunity to use LNER. We were 40 minutes late into Kings Cross so my first impressions weren't good. I was hoping for an improvement on the return journey. It wasn't to be. The train was 10 minutes late leaving Kings Cross as the driver was late. It was not a good omen. By the time we got into Newcastle, I had been travelling for 7 hours on a journey that was supposed to take only 3 and a half. I'm not impressed.
Friday, July 27, 2018
Thursday, July 26, 2018
Lighting Up Sunniside, a group I helped set up to raise the funds for a Christmas tree in the village, held its first community fayre recently in the Whinnies Community Garden. Alas, I had a group meeting in the morning but I was able to make it to the fayre for the opening at 1pm. The event raised a third of the money we need to pay for the tree. Other events will be held soon.
Following our recent visit to Whickham School with our goats, we got a call from Hill Top School in Gateshead asking if we would take them there as well. So on Monday last week, we made a journey across the borough with 2 goats in the back of the land rover. The event was a success.
Since then, I've had a further request to take the goats to a community centre later this year!
Saturday, July 07, 2018
Having spent a morning recently printing Focuses, I went to a BBC presentation and reception at the Sage, Gateshead, about the Great North Exhibition. There seemed to be a large number of dachshunds among the guests. The video explains why.
I have been attacked by Labour for having a life outside politics in the past. I make no apologies for that! I enjoy what other people enjoy. So when the opportunity for Kylie Minogue concert tickets comes along, I grabbed the opportunity, even if it meant missing the last day of party conference. The concert is in Newcastle on 18th September.