Friday, April 28, 2023

eFocus Whickham no.182

 The latest edition of eFocus for the Whickham area (no. 182) was published recently. Issues covered include:

  • Local Lib Dem candidates;
  • Big changes to voting at polling stations;
  • Gateshead awards;
  • Reporting potholes;
  • Chicken run;
  • Calling all cat owners;
  • Naming the lamb.

My first postal vote


I have never before had a postal vote. I enjoy the visit to the polling station on election day. Alas, this year I have opted to have a postal vote. I blame the new rules on photo ID. I can't be bothered with digging out my passport. It hasn't been used since 2017 (travel came to an end because I was caring for Richard and then we had the pandemic). My passport is buried under a pile of papers somewhere in my house.

So I applied for a postal vote and joined the 51% of voters in my ward who are already voting by post. I voted for that Wallace bloke. Ballot paper was completed and posted today.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Low Fell eFocus no. 121

 Low Fell Lib Dems recently published their latest eFocus. Edition 121 includes:

  • Vote for Ron Beadle;
  • Update on Dryden Centre;
  • Potholes in Gateshead;
  • Vote in the Gateshead awards;
  • New planters for Low Fell.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

And the winner is....


I recently ran a competition to name one of my lambs. Members of the public were invited to submit proposed names for this little lady (actually, not so little now) via local residents' Facebook sites. We boiled all the suggestions down to a shortlist of 3 which we announced at the Whickham Library Easter fair on 1st April. Click on the video to find out the 3 names and which one was chosen.

Wednesday, April 05, 2023

The NATO u-turn, one year on

Yesterday's welcome accession of Finland to NATO membership reminded me of an incident last year, on the eve of the Putin invasion of Ukraine. While most of us in the West supported NATO's warnings to Russia that an aggressive attack was not acceptable, some within the political establishment were not so warm towards Ukraine. 11 Labour MPs signed a letter by the leftwing group "Stop the War" which questioned NATO's legitimacy and accused the alliance of "eastward expansion". One of those MPs was Ian Mearns, who represents my home town of Gateshead.

Ian's political standpoint on NATO lasted as long as the phone call he received from Labour Whip Alan Campbell. The rebel alliance were told that they would lose the whip of they did not back down. The eleven signatures rapidly disappeared from the letter. Quite a screeching u-turn.

Nearly 14 months on from the start of the invasion and I am wondering if Ian still thinks it was a good idea to appease Putin, or, as a Labour source said at the time, "You can be a mouthpiece for the Kremlin or a Labour MP. But not both."