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
Z950 - Purely Personal
  [1014] Christmas Season Piccies - (2006-12-30)
  [1051] Too busy to blog it - but it's great (mostly) - (2007-01-24)
  [2195] A two day gap - first time in five years? - (2009-05-24)
  [2547] The great thing about snow .... - (2009-12-23)
  [2698] Ruth Davis, 1916 - 2010 - (2010-03-28)
  [2886] Congratulations, Kimberly - (2010-07-25)
  [2982] Travel, Transport and Tourism - A vision for Melksham, 2026 - (2010-10-03)
  [3034] Birth Notice - Aeryn Cassandra Ellis - (2010-11-07)
  [3037] Looking back and forward personally - 6 years each way - (2010-11-08)
  [3055] Zyliana Kyrei Cox - (2010-11-16)
  [3108] My First Christmas - (2010-12-26)
  [3224] Melksham Campus - a win / win opportunity, but a severely lacking decision process - (2011-03-31)
  [3240] Melksham Town Council - vacancy in the Spa Ward - (2011-04-10)
  [3283] The juggler - (2011-05-08)
  [3298] Quiet Monday in - (2011-05-23)
  [3413] If its Sunday, must it be Weymouth? - (2011-08-30)
  [3450] A threat in the post? Poor marketing practise from Smiletrain? - (2011-09-19)
  [3511] Melksham has a heart - have your picture taken and support the defibrillator appeal - (2011-11-06)
  [3556] Aeryn at 1 - (2011-12-19)
  [3566] Initial thoughts - response to GW Rail Franchise Consultation for Wiltshire - (2011-12-31)
  [3602] Emerging proposals for land to the east of Spa Road, Melksham - (2012-02-03)
  [3711] Kiss - (2012-04-28)
  [3905] How should we choose our Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner? - (2012-10-27)
  [4111] Zigzag bus - forward for the future, or decaying service? - (2013-06-09)
  [4157] Wedding Photos - Kim Ellis to Kyle Londors, 22nd August 2013 - (2013-08-23)
  [4165] Improving travel advise information in Wiltshire - (2013-09-06)
  [4187] Not treading water, but not risking the ship for a 0.5th of tar either - (2013-10-06)
  [4201] Looking to the future at Melksham Station - (2013-10-26)
  [4221] Celebration of the fruits of LSTF, and of the people who have helped and are helping - (2013-12-15)
  [4235] Sharing my personal best of 2013 - (2013-12-31)
  [4281] A different vision for the future - (2014-07-09)
  [4286] Reaction in Radstock to new First bus prices - (2014-07-12)
  [4308] What can you and I learn from online quizzes? - (2014-09-27)
  [4476] Upcoming election - Chippenham Constituency - the major candidates compared - (2015-04-29)
  [4485] Misusing statistics? - the seedy side of election campaigning - (2015-05-04)
  [4489] Election results - what if we had a party list system? - (2015-05-08)
  [4600] A big change in August - (2015-12-25)
  [4625] Where does Wiltshire bus subsidy money come from? - (2016-01-19)
  [4657] Rumours of bus changes by First in Wiltshire - what we know and suspect - (2016-03-01)
  [4658] The end of competition on a bus route - the effects from then end of the 234 - (2016-03-02)
  [4669] Buses - how did we get into the situation we are in? - (2016-04-02)
  [4698] Lisa writes - on the referendum vote today - (2016-06-23)
  [4714] The technical article feed continues - personal updates more proactive on Facebook now! - (2016-10-30)
  [4728] Visiting Los Alamitos Bay Yacht Club - (2016-11-23)
  [4734] Thoughts on the new Blackmore Ward of Melksham Without Parish - (2017-02-22)
  [4735] Revisiting - should I stand for Melksham Without Parish Council in May? - (2017-02-24)
  [4737] Why you should vote for Lisa in Melksham Central - (2017-05-01)
  [4739] A year of changes for Lisa and Graham Ellis, and Well House - (2017-05-27)
  [4756] Learning how to be a more effective community partner - (2017-07-15)
  [4759] Sale of effects and furniture - 12th and 13th August 2017 - (2017-07-25)
  [4761] Looking forward to the autumn. - (2017-08-19)
  [4767] Some thoughts on 2017, and looking forward to 2018 - (2017-12-31)

Z300 - Politics and Religion
  [216] Cheap purchase - votes paid for with selfish promises - (2005-02-15)
  [257] Politics gets nasty. Must be an election coming up. - (2005-03-25)
  [280] Spotted - the local MP - (2005-04-15)
  [289] MP for Devizes, Wiltshire - (2005-04-23)
  [301] General Election day, UK - (2005-05-05)
  [313] Making bona fide international marriages more difficult - (2005-05-16)
  [326] UK Tax payment totals and where the money is spent - (2005-05-27)
  [335] Sad priorities - (2005-06-03)
  [377] A Strengthened City - (2005-07-14)
  [384] Managing conflict and disappointment - (2005-07-20)
  [415] Campaign Drift and efficiency. - (2005-08-15)
  [469] Yesterday was Kiss and Ride - (2005-10-19)
  [505] Would you steal ... petrol? ... a training course? - (2005-11-26)
  [539] rich and famous - (2005-12-23)
  [602] MP face to face - (2006-02-12)
  [607] On being British - (2006-02-14)
  [671] Both ends of the animal - (2006-04-05)
  [674] Wiltshire to get an extra MP - (2006-04-07)
  [682] Iran has enriched uranium ... - (2006-04-12)
  [696] Is than an uphill or downhill task? - (2006-04-23)
  [750] Almost everyone loses - (2006-06-07)
  [780] Separation and Integration - (2006-06-27)
  [875] Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones - (2006-09-22)
  [967] Realistic on line shoot'em up - (2006-12-05)
  [1003] Room at the Inn, Guy at the station - (2006-12-21)
  [1060] What a relief from the tax office. - (2007-02-01)
  [1109] False imprisonment - a contrast from the news - (2007-03-15)
  [1135] Government pressure on me to shut up after I make the papers - (2007-04-05)
  [1175] Local elections - choosing who to vote for - (2007-05-03)
  [1247] An afternoon at a public enquiry - (2007-06-27)
  [1260] An inspirational business talk from one of our prospective MPs - (2007-07-06)
  [1350] FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) Western Region - (2007-09-13)
  [1386] New software product for warmblooded programmers - (2007-10-10)
  [1428] Travel Across Wiltshire - the game - (2007-11-11)
  [1526] Carers at work - court case changes - (2008-02-01)
  [1573] Budget tax increases hit vehicle market - (2008-03-14)
  [1579] Rome, and the faith of Rome - (2008-03-17)
  [1729] Back from the future - (2008-07-30)
  [1769] July child ponders on August children - (2008-08-23)
  [1872] Barack Obama wins US Predidency - (2008-11-05)
  [1881] Wiltshire Council says - part 1 - (2008-11-13)
  [1882] Wiltshire Council says - part 2 - (2008-11-14)
  [1987] One Cheer for Local Democracy - Asda in Melksham - (2009-01-11)
  [2012] The Wiltshire Police - (2009-01-29)
  [2028] Things people say on the phone - (2009-02-06)
  [2075] Supporting Parkinsons and Trains - (2009-03-11)
  [2178] Melksham Candidates for Wiltshire Unitary Election - (2009-05-12)
  [2206] Spot the odd one out - (2009-05-29)
  [2257] Ramblings on church and state linkage in Melksham - (2009-06-25)
  [2270] Wiltshire - a chance to improve life for everybody - (2009-07-05)
  [2279] Understanding the new local government structure in Wiltshire - (2009-07-11)
  [2288] Wiltshire Community Area Partnerships - (2009-07-15)
  [2353] All change - Wiltshire Parliamentary - (2009-08-13)
  [2640] How is your tax pound spent? - (2010-02-18)
  [2689] Can my dog eat potatoes? Doggie Dietary Research, and political sleaze! - (2010-03-23)
  [2712] A more informed decision than ever before - (2010-04-08)
  [2740] Melksham Hustings at George Ward School - (2010-04-26)
  [2752] Voting day - UK General Election - (2010-05-06)
  [2757] Bodicea, Lincoln, and our new MP - (2010-05-09)
  [2792] Should Government compete with private industry? - (2010-06-03)
  [2824] A pint of Black Rat, and a lazy barman - (2010-06-25)
  [2856] Two sides of the coin - (2010-07-06)
  [2864] Changing with weather and seasons - (2010-07-10)
  [2870] Old prices - what would the equivalent price have been in 1966? - (2010-07-14)
  [2948] Melksham shamefully makes the national headlines - (2010-09-07)
  [2971] Should the public sector compete with businesses? and other deep questions - (2010-09-26)
  [3051] Positively reforming the system - could it be done? - (2010-11-14)
  [3264] Alternative Vote (AV) - explaining and an example - (2011-04-25)
  [3313] What does our MP do on a Bank Holiday? - (2011-05-30)
  [3323] Is Melksham town centre dying? - (2011-06-11)
  [3325] The Olympic Torch, and Melksham House - (2011-06-14)
  [3438] Melksham to become a part of Trowbridge? - (2011-09-13)
  [3592] Are we one man, one vote? No, and we never have been. - (2012-01-26)
  [3676] Rising prices, changing habits and society - (2012-03-31)
  [3806] 2011 Census results - initial figures for Wiltshire. - (2012-07-17)
  [3845] Good cause giving - getting the charity beggars off the street - (2012-08-21)
  [3921] On rememberance, on war, and on preventing the war cycle - (2012-11-11)
  [4079] Melksham Area - Unitary Council results, May 2013 - (2013-05-04)
  [4223] Democracy - alive and well with the beauty pagent starting up again - (2013-12-16)
  [4343] Politics and the railway the connects Wiltshire - (2014-12-06)
  [4354] Wiltshire Police - assuming someone is guilty just on the say-so of a member of the public? - (2014-12-16)
  [4548] Melksham - two small townships, or one big one? - (2015-10-22)
  [4597] Not standing as your local councillor - (2015-12-18)
  [4614] PC Plod - alive and scaremongering in Wiltshire? - (2016-01-04)
  [4720] Celebrating our diversity rather than discriminating for it - (2016-11-02)
  [4725] Writing Python 2 such that Python 3 is easy - (2016-11-06)
  [4729] The oldest part of Los Angeles - (2016-11-23)


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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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