A personal post from Graham Ellis
Lisa and Graham live in Melksham, Wiltshire, England

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Eurpoean Elections, and other elections ahead. Some thoughts on campaigns and policies

We're coming up to elections for the European Parliament, though looking up the streets you won't see (m)any election postsers. And looking a year ahead, there's a general election to happen with parties already tussling for position. Talk on the radio yesterday was of how civil servants in some departments are concerned at being pulled in different and political directions by their ministers, although some are ruefully reporting that this lot, with different parties, has been working together better than previous incumbents where all ministers were from the same party, but different wings.

I'm not an expert in many fields - but I can make comment on some of the public transport utterances being made.

I'm noting a support for popular but impractical cases, along with support for things that really could and should happen, and I ask whether it's the integrity, honesty, or lack of knowledge on the part of the candidates who support these way out projects that I should question, or if it's my own lack of farsighted vision and they could happen. I don't fell that sorting out the parking problem at station "x" really provides a good case for re-opening station "y" at the far side of a constituency, but it sure as heck attracts votes in the "x" and "y" areas! And "let's renationalise the railways" by parliamentarty candidates is a perfectly valid call for them to make - except that their previous government - one of the longest periods of government by a single party in recent times - didn't take the opportunity to do change the system in any major way.

I'm noting a keenness to find popular ground, even if it contravenes party or general ethos. A piece in the Telegraph about our Prime Minister suggesting that travel companies were profiteering by putting up prices during school holidays ... rewritten to replace "airlines" by "train operators", "school children" by "workers" and "holiday times" by "moning and evening peaks" reveal a spoof policy completely at variance with conservative policy, and left me wondering if a different set of principles for rail and air is an act of electoral convenience, or if there' some other explanation.

I'm noting a rush to support current, positive events - even if there's no history, or even a mixed or reversed history. Not entirely unexpected - it's called "joining the bandwagon" and we do (for our TransWilts service to succeed) need to have far more people using and promoting the service than we had during quieter times of the campaigning where the critical work was being done by a small group - including our current Liberal Democrat MP and our Conservative unitary council portfolio holder. Crossparty support is very welcome - however, I have far more time and respect for the person who's been on the train at 6 in the morning when we feared that we would get a substitute bus rather than a train back after a 10 day closure that I do for the person who three times made appointments to meet for a briefing and cancelled each time. And tops in respect are those who show their support by coming and using the service and meeting the users for themselves; then come those who arrive and depart by car without seeing the train; trailing at the back in the respect league are those who profess support in their electing pamphlets such as one that dropped through the door yesterday stating "Jxxxxx Cxxxxxxxx, photographed campaigning in Chippenham, has welcomed the new Trans-Wiltshire train service supported by Wiltshire Council, increasing services from Chippenham, Melksham, Trowbridge and Westbury and through to Dilton Marsh, Warminster and Salisbury". Now I read around a bit, and the welcome's helpful publicity, but news to me. What increase is he referring to at at Dilton Marsh, Warminster and Salisbury, by the way?

It's my personal opinion that we have good crossparty support for the TransWilts and as such it should be, and perhaps is, above the political battel ground. Almost like everyone says "yes, it's working and we want to help it work". For those who have put in so much hard work over the years and been much more than loyal supporters, it must be frustrating to see others jumping on the bandwagon (such as that blatant example in the last paragraph), and we should not forget their proven positive trackrecord when we come to vote later this month and in a year's time.

Yet I will add that everyone has to start somewhere, and there *are* names that are new around who are true supporters with political position who are recent and welcome additions to the team, and there are names that the reader probably won't have come across who's names are currently in the ring for the European elections who have in fact been staunch supporters and I hope remain so.

At an earlier point in "TransWilts", an approach to one of my MEPs elicited the response that local train services are nothing to do with the Eurpoean Parliament, but that the member would be interested if an international service was involved. I think that was a brush-off and I'm not sure how accurate the designation of responsibiity was. Another was highly supportive, but effective only to the extend of confirming regional support from a political party not representing me at any other level.

All parties are made of individuals, and individuals have individual views. For a newer party with a specific agenda (be that Europe or sustainability) policies outside the specific area, where they exist, tend to have erratic support even from candidates. I note Julia Reid second on the UKIP list for the South West, and recall spending quite some time going through UKIP transport policy with her in the early TransWilts days; I'm not sure if that policy has changed, but I'm certainly aware that a Wiltshire Council UKIP candidate (defeated twice in unitary council election, then byelection) is actively opposed to provision of governmental public transport support to the extent of attempting to wreck provision for those who don't want to (or can't) drive.

Am I coming to any conclusion? Not really; I'm welcoming the all-round support for TransWilts, and these days celebrating that democracy allows some (as it turns out, a tiny minority) to take a differing view. I'm saddened at the dumbing down to populist but impactical and inconsistent policies which, whilst they aren't quite promises, seem unlikely to be able to taken to fruition. And I'm also saddened by the cheek of some in providing their support only by waving a flag of convenience to help them get elected. I have a great respect for old friends and new who have worked with us so hard, and / or who are really putting their shoulders to the grindstone now, and say we should not forget that respect, help, knowledge, loyalty and effectiveness when we come to vote. That'n not only for old times' sake. It's also for a future in which we know we will still have that active support for our joint, cross-party goals.
(written 2014-05-08)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
Z300 - Politics and Religion
  [4737] Why you should vote for Lisa in Melksham Central - (2017-05-01)
  [4735] Revisiting - should I stand for Melksham Without Parish Council in May? - (2017-02-24)
  [4734] Thoughts on the new Blackmore Ward of Melksham Without Parish - (2017-02-22)
  [4729] The oldest part of Los Angeles - (2016-11-23)
  [4725] Writing Python 2 such that Python 3 is easy - (2016-11-06)
  [4720] Celebrating our diversity rather than discriminating for it - (2016-11-02)
  [4625] Where does Wiltshire bus subsidy money come from? - (2016-01-19)
  [4614] PC Plod - alive and scaremongering in Wiltshire? - (2016-01-04)
  [4597] Not standing as your local councillor - (2015-12-18)
  [4548] Melksham - two small townships, or one big one? - (2015-10-22)
  [4489] Election results - what if we had a party list system? - (2015-05-08)
  [4485] Misusing statistics? - the seedy side of election campaigning - (2015-05-04)
  [4476] Upcoming election - Chippenham Constituency - the major candidates compared - (2015-04-29)
  [4354] Wiltshire Police - assuming someone is guilty just on the say-so of a member of the public? - (2014-12-16)
  [4343] Politics and the railway the connects Wiltshire - (2014-12-06)
  [4286] Reaction in Radstock to new First bus prices - (2014-07-12)
  [4223] Democracy - alive and well with the beauty pagent starting up again - (2013-12-16)
  [4079] Melksham Area - Unitary Council results, May 2013 - (2013-05-04)
  [3921] On rememberance, on war, and on preventing the war cycle - (2012-11-11)
  [3905] How should we choose our Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner? - (2012-10-27)
  [3845] Good cause giving - getting the charity beggars off the street - (2012-08-21)
  [3806] 2011 Census results - initial figures for Wiltshire. - (2012-07-17)
  [3676] Rising prices, changing habits and society - (2012-03-31)
  [3592] Are we one man, one vote? No, and we never have been. - (2012-01-26)
  [3438] Melksham to become a part of Trowbridge? - (2011-09-13)
  [3325] The Olympic Torch, and Melksham House - (2011-06-14)
  [3323] Is Melksham town centre dying? - (2011-06-11)
  [3313] What does our MP do on a Bank Holiday? - (2011-05-30)
  [3264] Alternative Vote (AV) - explaining and an example - (2011-04-25)
  [3051] Positively reforming the system - could it be done? - (2010-11-14)
  [2971] Should the public sector compete with businesses? and other deep questions - (2010-09-26)
  [2948] Melksham shamefully makes the national headlines - (2010-09-07)
  [2870] Old prices - what would the equivalent price have been in 1966? - (2010-07-14)
  [2864] Changing with weather and seasons - (2010-07-10)
  [2856] Two sides of the coin - (2010-07-06)
  [2824] A pint of Black Rat, and a lazy barman - (2010-06-25)
  [2792] Should Government compete with private industry? - (2010-06-03)
  [2757] Bodicea, Lincoln, and our new MP - (2010-05-09)
  [2752] Voting day - UK General Election - (2010-05-06)
  [2740] Melksham Hustings at George Ward School - (2010-04-26)
  [2712] A more informed decision than ever before - (2010-04-08)
  [2689] Can my dog eat potatoes? Doggie Dietary Research, and political sleaze! - (2010-03-23)
  [2640] How is your tax pound spent? - (2010-02-18)
  [2353] All change - Wiltshire Parliamentary - (2009-08-13)
  [2288] Wiltshire Community Area Partnerships - (2009-07-15)
  [2279] Understanding the new local government structure in Wiltshire - (2009-07-11)
  [2270] Wiltshire - a chance to improve life for everybody - (2009-07-05)
  [2257] Ramblings on church and state linkage in Melksham - (2009-06-25)
  [2206] Spot the odd one out - (2009-05-29)
  [2178] Melksham Candidates for Wiltshire Unitary Election - (2009-05-12)
  [2075] Supporting Parkinsons and Trains - (2009-03-11)
  [2028] Things people say on the phone - (2009-02-06)
  [2012] The Wiltshire Police - (2009-01-29)
  [1987] One Cheer for Local Democracy - Asda in Melksham - (2009-01-11)
  [1882] Wiltshire Council says - part 2 - (2008-11-14)
  [1881] Wiltshire Council says - part 1 - (2008-11-13)
  [1872] Barack Obama wins US Predidency - (2008-11-05)
  [1769] July child ponders on August children - (2008-08-23)
  [1729] Back from the future - (2008-07-30)
  [1579] Rome, and the faith of Rome - (2008-03-17)
  [1573] Budget tax increases hit vehicle market - (2008-03-14)
  [1526] Carers at work - court case changes - (2008-02-01)
  [1428] Travel Across Wiltshire - the game - (2007-11-11)
  [1386] New software product for warmblooded programmers - (2007-10-10)
  [1350] FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) Western Region - (2007-09-13)
  [1260] An inspirational business talk from one of our prospective MPs - (2007-07-06)
  [1247] An afternoon at a public enquiry - (2007-06-27)
  [1175] Local elections - choosing who to vote for - (2007-05-03)
  [1135] Government pressure on me to shut up after I make the papers - (2007-04-05)
  [1109] False imprisonment - a contrast from the news - (2007-03-15)
  [1060] What a relief from the tax office. - (2007-02-01)
  [1003] Room at the Inn, Guy at the station - (2006-12-21)
  [967] Realistic on line shoot'em up - (2006-12-05)
  [875] Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones - (2006-09-22)
  [780] Separation and Integration - (2006-06-27)
  [750] Almost everyone loses - (2006-06-07)
  [696] Is than an uphill or downhill task? - (2006-04-23)
  [682] Iran has enriched uranium ... - (2006-04-12)
  [674] Wiltshire to get an extra MP - (2006-04-07)
  [671] Both ends of the animal - (2006-04-05)
  [607] On being British - (2006-02-14)
  [602] MP face to face - (2006-02-12)
  [539] rich and famous - (2005-12-23)
  [505] Would you steal ... petrol? ... a training course? - (2005-11-26)
  [469] Yesterday was Kiss and Ride - (2005-10-19)
  [415] Campaign Drift and efficiency. - (2005-08-15)
  [384] Managing conflict and disappointment - (2005-07-20)
  [377] A Strengthened City - (2005-07-14)
  [335] Sad priorities - (2005-06-03)
  [326] UK Tax payment totals and where the money is spent - (2005-05-27)
  [313] Making bona fide international marriages more difficult - (2005-05-16)
  [301] General Election day, UK - (2005-05-05)
  [289] MP for Devizes, Wiltshire - (2005-04-23)
  [280] Spotted - the local MP - (2005-04-15)
  [257] Politics gets nasty. Must be an election coming up. - (2005-03-25)
  [216] Cheap purchase - votes paid for with selfish promises - (2005-02-15)

Z950 - Purely Personal
  [4761] Looking forward to the autumn. - (2017-08-19)
  [4759] Sale of effects and furniture - 12th and 13th August 2017 - (2017-07-25)
  [4756] Learning how to be a more effective community partner - (2017-07-15)
  [4739] A year of changes for Lisa and Graham Ellis, and Well House - (2017-05-27)
  [4728] Visiting Los Alamitos Bay Yacht Club - (2016-11-23)
  [4714] The technical article feed continues - personal updates more proactive on Facebook now! - (2016-10-30)
  [4698] Lisa writes - on the referendum vote today - (2016-06-23)
  [4669] Buses - how did we get into the situation we are in? - (2016-04-02)
  [4658] The end of competition on a bus route - the effects from then end of the 234 - (2016-03-02)
  [4657] Rumours of bus changes by First in Wiltshire - what we know and suspect - (2016-03-01)
  [4600] A big change in August - (2015-12-25)
  [4308] What can you and I learn from online quizzes? - (2014-09-27)
  [4281] A different vision for the future - (2014-07-09)
  [4235] Sharing my personal best of 2013 - (2013-12-31)
  [4221] Celebration of the fruits of LSTF, and of the people who have helped and are helping - (2013-12-15)
  [4201] Looking to the future at Melksham Station - (2013-10-26)
  [4187] Not treading water, but not risking the ship for a 0.5th of tar either - (2013-10-06)
  [4165] Improving travel advise information in Wiltshire - (2013-09-06)
  [4157] Wedding Photos - Kim Ellis to Kyle Londors, 22nd August 2013 - (2013-08-23)
  [4111] Zigzag bus - forward for the future, or decaying service? - (2013-06-09)
  [3711] Kiss - (2012-04-28)
  [3602] Emerging proposals for land to the east of Spa Road, Melksham - (2012-02-03)
  [3566] Initial thoughts - response to GW Rail Franchise Consultation for Wiltshire - (2011-12-31)
  [3556] Aeryn at 1 - (2011-12-19)
  [3511] Melksham has a heart - have your picture taken and support the defibrillator appeal - (2011-11-06)
  [3450] A threat in the post? Poor marketing practise from Smiletrain? - (2011-09-19)
  [3413] If its Sunday, must it be Weymouth? - (2011-08-30)
  [3298] Quiet Monday in - (2011-05-23)
  [3283] The juggler - (2011-05-08)
  [3240] Melksham Town Council - vacancy in the Spa Ward - (2011-04-10)
  [3224] Melksham Campus - a win / win opportunity, but a severely lacking decision process - (2011-03-31)
  [3108] My First Christmas - (2010-12-26)
  [3055] Zyliana Kyrei Cox - (2010-11-16)
  [3037] Looking back and forward personally - 6 years each way - (2010-11-08)
  [3034] Birth Notice - Aeryn Cassandra Ellis - (2010-11-07)
  [2982] Travel, Transport and Tourism - A vision for Melksham, 2026 - (2010-10-03)
  [2886] Congratulations, Kimberly - (2010-07-25)
  [2698] Ruth Davis, 1916 - 2010 - (2010-03-28)
  [2547] The great thing about snow .... - (2009-12-23)
  [2195] A two day gap - first time in five years? - (2009-05-24)
  [1051] Too busy to blog it - but it's great (mostly) - (2007-01-24)
  [1014] Christmas Season Piccies - (2006-12-30)


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Swindon to Weymouth - by train, the traditional way - 2014
Some other Articles
Upcoming public courses from Well House Consultants
Future Swindon - Westbury train services. At current level into the future?
Sending a message to the server and changing text on a page when a button is pressed
Swindon to Weymouth - by train, the traditional way - 2014
Eurpoean Elections, and other elections ahead. Some thoughts on campaigns and policies
String formatting in Lua - string.format as a wrapper for sprintf
Dot or Colon separator between table name and member in Lua - what is the difference?
Lazy operators in Lua - what they mean, and examples
Line, block and nested comments - Lua compared to other languages
Embedding Lua to perform tailored code at an interval
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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