Resources from the web site of Well House Consultants on the subject of Politics and Religion. We provide
I often feel out of step with all of the major political
parties in the UK - they seem to be lead by infighing within
their own ranks, or short-termism to get as must popularity as
they can from their soundbites, even where that's not in the
longer term interest of anyone - even those who's popular
support they seek.
There's a need for some independent
political thought - from people who will offer praise where
it's due, but who will also question things that have come
to be accepted wisdom. You're unlikely to agree with all my
thoughts and views - but share them, and you may see another
viewpoint. And if you happen to be in a postion of power,
look at them and consider the views and balance them against
your views, and perhaps against the views of the party machine
you're attached to.
And why have I added religion? In a
way the subjects go together, and I have a few resources on
matters religious that should be indexed, but not under a
subject of their own!
|Articles and tips on this subject||updated|
|4735||Revisiting - should I stand for Melksham Without Parish Council in May?|
I have stated in the past that I wouldn't stand for town (Melksham), parish (Melksham Without) or County (Wiltshire) election as a councillor, and given my reasons if anyone cared to look at them. However, times and logic changes, reasons become more or less important, and over the past few weeks I've ...
|4734||Thoughts on the new Blackmore Ward of Melksham Without Parish|
Things they are a'changin with regards to local representation of residents of The Spa, Sandridge, and Woodrow at Melksham Without Parish Council. Until now, they've been included in the same election ward as Beanacre, Bowerhill and Berryfield, and the ward has also included a significant proportion ...
|4729||The oldest part of Los Angeles|
From a walk around the oldest part of Los Angeles yesterday - 22nd November 2016. The oldest building in the city is the Adobe House (where the pictures of the Cacti and the dining rom are taken from) - and that's 3 years younger than our home in Melksham.
In the 19th Century, this part of the city ...
|4725||Writing Python 2 such that Python 3 is easy|
If you're writing code in Python 2 (2.7.x) ... and want an easy port to Python 3
a) Use the format method in all your prints - example ([here]
b) Use // if you're dividing and want an integer result
c) Wrap standard functions that you need to return a list in list( through )
d) used sorted in preference ...
|4720||Celebrating our diversity rather than discriminating for it|
I'm teaching a fantastic bunch of people this week - with origins from all over the world. Born in Lancashire, brought up in London and having lived half my life in Wiltshire, I'm almost certainly the most 'local' of this group. I celebrate their multiple cultures, genders and ages. I admire their ...
|4625||Where does Wiltshire bus subsidy money come from?|
I have been asked where the bus subsidy money of around 5 million pounds per annum comes from, and how it fits in with other council expenditure. Not sure if the web page at http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/council/howthecouncilworks/budgetsandspending.htm id the latest, as these chart are for the last ...
|4614||PC Plod - alive and scaremongering in Wiltshire?|
I have been forwared a message from a Sarah Young (Police, PC - Cyber crime prevention officer, Wiltshire Police)
"PLEASE READ THIS IF YOU STAY IN HOTELS AND ARE GIVEN A CARD FOR ACCESS TO YOUR ROOM" she shouts
She carries on "This is a really useful information for anyone who goes on holiday where ...
|4597||Not standing as your local councillor|
Not a new thought / question - "Why not stand for local council" - but it has come up again, several times, in recent weeks. And it's something I have considered, and rejected.
a) I'm not emotionally strong enough, and would be too emotional and would get too involved
b) I don't know what I consider ...
|4548||Melksham - two small townships, or one big one?|
How big is Melksham?
• There at around 6,500 homes in Melksham Town
• Each has an average electortate of 1.8, so that's 11,700 people
• Add in around 3,300 childrne and you have a population of 15,000
• And let's take a guess at how many non-voters ... round it to around 16,000
|4489||Election results - what if we had a party list system?|
I make no comment on the system - but having seen the final general election result come in, and with the percentages of the vote to each party, I w9ndered how many MPs each part would have if we had a party list system.
PartyActualParty List Conservative331241 Labour232199 Scottish Nationalist5630 ...
|4485||Misusing statistics? - the seedy side of election campaigning|
Background - Jonathon Seed - Conservative Wiltshire Councillor for Seend, and resident of Bromham (in the Devizes constituency) writes in response to a post of mine """Your "clarification" misses the recent "issues" with your Liberal MPs expenses and of course the FACT that he was a shabby 609th in the ...
|4476||Upcoming election - Chippenham Constituency - the major candidates compared|
We have five candidates for MP in the Chippenham / Melksham / Bradford-on-Avon / Corsham constituency.
Standing for re-election is Duncan Hames, who has been our MP for the past five years and was very well known to us as a local councillor, as a member of the South West Regional Development Agency, ...
|4354||Wiltshire Police - assuming someone is guilty just on the say-so of a member of the public?|
I read the following on Facebook yesterday ... posted by a PCSO with the Wiltshire force.
"If you think that a bogus caller may be at your door ... you must report it to the police immediately by calling 999. ... The more details you remember, and the earlier that you tell the police, the quicker we ...
|4343||Politics and the railway the connects Wiltshire|
The train service from Westbury to Swindon, via Trowbridge, Melksham and Chippenham links Wiltshire's major urban communities with one another, and with places beyond. Early results from analysing the survey from mid October 2014 show well over 100 source and destination stations, and also show a majority ...
|4286||Reaction in Radstock to new First bus prices|
There is concern in Radstock at the new First bus fares, just as there is concern in Melksham. There's a Melksham community transport group meeting on 30th July, and as a member of the First Bath Customer panel (and so perhaps more informed than most on these matter), I went to Radstock yesterday evening ...
|4275||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 ...
|4223||Democracy - alive and well with the beauty pagent starting up again|
I suppose I should be happy that democracy is at work and the new candidates for the 2015 general election for the Chippenham constituency are starting to learn their way into the area. And I know they have to start somewhere... but I worry just a little at the appeal for popularism rather than meaningful ...
|4079||Melksham Area - Unitary Council results, May 2013|
The Melksham area board of Wiltshire Council comprises six seats. Here are the results from Thursday's elections from North to South across the area, and some analysis thereof
Melksham Without North
Chivers, Terry (Elected) Independent 634 (40.88%)
Griffiths, Mark The Conservative Party Candidate 411 (26.50%)
|3921||On rememberance, on war, and on preventing the war cycle|
The 11th day of the 11th month ... and Remembrance Sunday. I was honoured to represent the Chamber of Commerce in laying a wreath at the war memorial in Melksham. And it was heartening to see so many people there - a packed church and a filled Canon Square. There are now no remaining soldiers alive who ...
|3845||Good cause giving - getting the charity beggars off the street|
I applaud the philanthropic - the carrying out of activities for the common and wider good rather than selfishly, be they in an investment of time, money or influence. We're (as a family) very lucky in what we have, and I would like to think that some of the things we do and spend on aren't purely selfish ...
|3905||How should we choose our Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner?|
There seems to be a great deal of official effort put into raising awareness and interest in the Police and Crime Commissioner Elections which will be held in Wiltshire on 15 November 2012, and yet I've not been terribly sure who the candidates are, what the job entails, and what each of the candidates ...
|3806||2011 Census results - initial figures for Wiltshire.|
The first results from the 2011 census have been released ... showing various population statistics over wide geographic areas. [download site].
The population of England rose from 49,138,831 in the 2010 census to 53,012,500 in 2011 - that's a rise of 7.9% (permanent residents of all ages). The population ...
|3676||Rising prices, changing habits and society|
Q What cost me 28p in 2004, but will have gone up to 60p by the end of April ?
A The cost of sending a first class letter within the UK.
Q What cost me around 78p in 2004, but is now priced at 145p?
A A litre of petrol
Q What was usually free in 2004, but now incurs a monthly charge and / or ...
|3592||Are we one man, one vote? No, and we never have been. |
"One man, one vote" they say. Hmmm - it's not really like that when it comes to elections, and it never really has been. After a lunchtime discussion yesterday, I started exploring various sites to learn what was going on while I waited for various long backups / downloads / upgrades to run. And ...
|3438||Melksham to become a part of Trowbridge?|
Initial proposals for change have been made by the boundary commission for Parliamentary Constituencies in the South West - published in full [here].
As part of their pre-amble, they write:
"The South West region has been allocated 53 constituencies â€“ a reduction of two from the current arrangement. ...
|3325||The Olympic Torch, and Melksham House|
The Olympic Torch is being carried by 8000 people ... and without any particular one of them, it wouldn't reach its destination. If you look amongst the 8000, I'm sure you'll find some people who wouldn't get on with all 7999 of the others, but it's a team effort.
Yesterday afternoon, Wiltshire Council ...
|3323||Is Melksham town centre dying?|
I walked into Melksham this morning ... to visit five shops / services.
The first had closed down during the week I was away, from their already reduced hours. A sign on the door saying that it had closed thought lack of support from Melksham people, but that their Calne place is thriving.
In the second, ...
|3313||What does our MP do on a Bank Holiday?|
When Duncan Hames was standing for election, I was very impressed. And of course that meant that I had very high expectations of him once he was elected to represent up - perhaps unfairly high expectations. However, I'm delighted to report that he's livingup to what I hoped for, and more.
Today - Bank ...
|3264||Alternative Vote (AV) - explaining and an example|
There's been a spritied discussion going on about the AV system in the press, and on places like twitter feeds. And as the discussions move from spiritied to passionate, some of the things said become personal attacks, some of the claims made become unsustainable, and some of the speakers forget that ...
|3051||Positively reforming the system - could it be done?|
One of the frustrating things to us, as employers, is the "benefit / poverty trap". That's where someone who's currently supported by the state wishes to work, but is prevented from doing so "because it will cost me - I will loose more in benefit than I gain in salary". And that has been said - on ...
|2870||Old prices - what would the equivalent price have been in 1966?|
What did a cup of tea in a café cost 10 years ago? 20 years ago?
What was the rail fare from London to Manchester in 1966, 1976, 1986, 1996 and 2006?
Such questions prove to be very hard to research and find answers for on the Internet. I suspect that's partly because the Internet wasn't around ...
|2971||Should the public sector compete with businesses? and other deep questions|
If you find yourself thinking about something you saw six months ago, then it must have had an effect on you. And it's more than six months since I saw a sign in Cambridge advertising "free computer lessons".
Why does it keep coming back to me - this yellow sign, tied to some railing to promote some ...
|2948||Melksham shamefully makes the national headlines|
I see that Melksham's in the news tonight - and sadly after an assault. But this was no drunken brawl in a pub - this was an assault by a police officer, inside the police station, on a lady in her late 50s. She's shown on the Guardian web site with a spectacular black eye and fears she will need an ...
|2856||Two sides of the coin|
If you want to know a whole story - look at both sides of a coin. And if you want to know more than what you're being told, listen to what other people are being told.
The A350 / Westbury Bypass enquiry is water under the bridge now - so this is purely academic interest - but I was told (and frankly ...
|2864||Changing with weather and seasons|
In relation to attractions in Melksham. Here's an admission. I've been down to the Conigre Mead Nature Reserve in Melksham a number of times, and quite frankly found it difficult to understand what all the fuss is about. As a wild area, I hadn't expected "post card pretty", but never the less I searched ...
|2824||A pint of Black Rat, and a lazy barman|
The first young lady asked for a pint of Black Rat (the local Melksham cider), and the barman asked her for proof of age. But the second young lady, who asked the for a pint of coke, was served without question.
Typical lazy barman? No - typical efficient barman!
With joined up thinking, so much ...
|2792||Should Government compete with private industry?|
A sign that said "Free Computer Training" in Cambridge a couple of months ago set me thinking. And an email yesterday from someone telling me that [his] visitors to Melksham are being accommodated by W******* Town Council so won't be staying in the town got me thinking made me carry on that thought.
|2757||Bodicea, Lincoln, and our new MP|
They say that Boadicea rallied her troops with a speech from her horse. Other "they"s say that she couldn't possibly have projected her voice from the top of her horse, out on the Tilbury Marshes, to more than a handful of followers.
So we can forgive Abraham Lincoln, without a megaphone, SHOUTING ...
|2752||Voting day - UK General Election|
There are so many undecided voters out there that the outcome of today's general election seems to be anyone's guess - the pundits and pollsters seem to be varied, but with a common theme that no one party's going to get a landslide.
For the first time in this election campaign and the long lead up ...
|2740||Melksham Hustings at George Ward School|
For the first time in my life, I attended election hustings last night in Melksham - at George Ward School, where six of the eight candidates for MP in the Chippenham Constituency gave a three minute intro to themselves and their policies, then answered for a minute each on pre-selected questions from ...
|2712||A more informed decision than ever before|
They're off! Gordon Brown fired the starting gun the other day - and I was most impressed that by the time that I came out of Well House Manor that evening, there were Orange posters up across the road.
I feel more involved - much more involved - in this general election. For I know, (and rather more ...
|2689||Can my dog eat potatoes? Doggie Dietary Research, and political sleaze!|
If they're cooked, and in not too big a quantity, yes (s)he can.
We were sitting in front of the TV last night, watching a stream of high ranking politicians offering themselves for sale in a sting operations set up by a TV channel, and Gypsy came over and nuzzled us. We had just finished fish and ...
|2640||How is your tax pound spent?|
Where does the UK Government Spend your Money? What proportion goes on Defence, on Pensions, or Foreign Aid, on Economic Development, and on Health? Is the same amount spent for each person in the South West as in London and in Scotland?
If you can answer these questions I'll be very impressed ... ...
|2288||Wiltshire Community Area Partnerships|
A few days ago, I wrote about all the new structures at Wiltshire Council; I was having trouble working out what they all did, and I don't think I am the only one having trouble understanding it. (See that article). I got stuck at "Community Partnerships" or "Community Area Partnerships" which seemed ...
|1350||FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) Western Region|
Until this Spring, the local branch and region of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) ran a series of well attended events for their members - we attended networking events and informative sessions of various sorts, meeting a wide variety of people; a real benefit to our business.
But in the last ...
|2353||All change - Wiltshire Parliamentary|
At the weekend, I read that James Gray, the MP for Chippenham, had remarried. And, yesterday, that Michael Ancram, MP for Devizes (which includes Melksham) has taken the decision to stand down at the next general election. Goodness - how times change; four years ago, when I first got more actively involved ...
|2279||Understanding the new local government structure in Wiltshire|
Government is bound to be complex, but I have this uneasy feeling that two layers of local government that I didn't understand have been replaced by one layer (and a sub-layer) that are almost as complex ... and which I think Joe Public still may not understand.
You can download this diagram (full ...
|2270||Wiltshire - a chance to improve life for everybody|
Lisa and I were discussing the way that democracy has been effected by the Internet ... on one hand, more access to data, and on the other hand more professional control by the 'powers that be' - unelected / appointed officers who see this extra data access as (frankly) a bit of a nuisance. Some take ...
|2257||Ramblings on church and state linkage in Melksham|
With an interest in how the country, the county and the town is run, there are naturally times that I get invited to meetings and 'ceremonials', and so it was last Sunday, when I was invited to the Civic Service at the Church, to confirm the new Mayor into office (or rather to reconfirm Richard Wiltshire ...
|2178||Melksham Candidates for Wiltshire Unitary Election|
[update] - Results added at bottom of this entry.
I'm looking ahead with interest to the forthcoming Unitary elections for Wiltshire Council, where the new council will be about twice the size of the old one (in terms of elected members), but with the elimination of the districts there will be fewer ...
|2206||Spot the odd one out|
Many of the lampposts here in Northern Ireland are decorated with signs extolling you to vote as your first preference for "X" or "Y" in the European Parliament elections, which happen next week - a far cry from the subdued interest which we have seen for the South West seats in England.
In many ...
|2075||Supporting Parkinsons and Trains|
Duncan Hames, our "Lib-Dem" candidate for the new Chippenham / Melksham / Bradford-on-Avon seat at the next election, is a keen supporter of our campaign to provide an appropriate train service across Wiltshire ... he's pictured here at the station the other week.
And he's braver than me - he's running ...
|2028||Things people say on the phone|
I phoned up the local county council to report this depression in the road Well House Manor, and the young lady I spoke to told me she would send someone round in the next couple of weeks to "look into it". I am just imagining this group of engineers standing around, all looking down the hole..
|2012||The Wiltshire Police|
How much do the police cost? Where / on what is that money spend? Who pays?
What do they cost?
Questions I had never asked myself until last night when I went along to the Wiltshire Police Authority's "Budget Consultation" with the county's Chambers of Commerce. Clearly a fascinating subject as some ...
|539||rich and famous|
will never be rich, yet I am rich already.
I will never be famous, but already I have fame.
Written on 22nd December, 35000 feet over Greenland. No internet connectivity so I'm left to my own wisdom and a couple of those bound bits of paper things called books.
One can always think of things to do ...
|1987||One Cheer for Local Democracy - Asda in Melksham|
On Thursday evening, Lisa and I attended the Planning Committee Meeting of West Wiltshire District Council. Sounds boring, doesn't it? Well - it wasn't; a big decision to be made with regard to a new Asda supermarket to share a site on the edge of the town with Countrywide Farmers.
There were two ...
|1135||Government pressure on me to shut up after I make the papers|
Well ... the Government's response to my petition for an appropriate train service made the front page of the Western Daily Press yesterday (article) under the headline "Blair Snubs Rail Misery". And we also got coverage in the Bath Chronicle, the Wiltshire Times and the Wiltshire Gazette and Herald. ...
|1109||False imprisonment - a contrast from the news|
Two items of news struck me yesterday as I fought my way home through horrendous traffic from Cambridge.
I was delighted to learn that the five British diplomats who had been kidnapped in Ethiopia had been released, and were fit and well - there remains, though, a concern for the 8 local people kidnapped ...
|1003||Room at the Inn, Guy at the station|
I'm posting this on Wednesday but dating it for Thursday as I don't expect I'll have much of a chance to be on line on the actual day. The last working two days before Christmas see me in Stirling, Scotland and the drive looks like it will be foggy and icy.
For a trip to Scotland, I'm in the habit of ...
|1882||Wiltshire Council says - part 2|
"We have the following options available for lunch ... Baguettes ... India ... Chinese ... Baked Potatoes ... Greasy Spoon ... McDonald's ... Fish and Chips"
That's not untypical of what we stay during first morning of a course, allowing our delegates to make a selection ... and almost inevitably, ...
|1881||Wiltshire Council says - part 1|
Last night, Lisa and I attended the annual budget 'consultation' evening arranged by the Wessex Federation of Chambers of Commerce with Wiltshire (County) Council. It was our second year at the event ... last year we had come away very depressed indeed, but this year was rather better - partly because ...
|1872||Barack Obama wins US Predidency|
Congratulations to Barack Obama, who has won a decisive victory in the Presidential Election in the USA. And a few words too for John McCain, who was very gracious in his speech of concession - almost the John McCain as I had seen him as the honourable maverick years ago, a John McCain that seemed to ...
|1769||July child ponders on August children|
It's the "result season" when each year we hear about the successes of our 18 year olds at A levels, and 16 year olds at GCSEs, with an inevitable (it seems) rise in pass rates and a cry of "they're getting too easy". I'm not going to jump into that particular controversy, but I will congratulate anyone ...
|1729||Back from the future|
It's good to take a strategic look ahead from time to time - not a look at the immediate tactics of the next step or two along the way, but a look far into the future, and see where we will be in many years time. A good friend of mine (a Doctor) who is something of a Timelord has downloaded the following ...
|415||Campaign Drift and efficiency.|
My heart strings were pulled when I read the appeal for 700 pounds in the local paper for a special wheelchair for a local teenager, as the NHS standard one provided was so inappropriate as to be unusual. A slight worry that there was something very wrong here was washed into insignificance by a feeling ...
|1579||Rome, and the faith of Rome|
I have a number of sharp memories of Rome - a brief family visit there in July of 2004 (I think that was the year). Take a family group of somewhere between half a dozen and a dozen, all strong characters but with very different backgrounds and very different habits when holidaying / touring. Mix in ...
|1573||Budget tax increases hit vehicle market|
Seen in Melksham at lunchtime today:
The Chancellor put heavy tax increases onto larger road vehicles this week in his budget - I wonder if he expected to have quite such a swift and far-reaching effect as this! ...
|1526||Carers at work - court case changes|
It was a slow news day yesterday with no obvious top story, so the "top story" that I happened across in Nottingham perhaps didn't even make it onto other people's radar.
It concerns a lady who had to rush off from work from time to time because she's a carer. She felt that her employers weren't giving ...
|1428||Travel Across Wiltshire - the game|
What better way to learn about efficient public transport than to play a game to get you around from one place to another? And what better way to generate a new Tk canvas example, and a new PHP page too, than to prepare such a game on our web site.
The board looks like this:
If you select this link ...
|1386||New software product for warmblooded programmers|
Have you come across the latest software product known as "Girlfriend"?
Girlfriend is a piece of software that was designed to meet requirements of both the leisure and utility market, providing mobile facilities, facilities for home entertainment, and also undertaking a management role under which ...
|1260||An inspirational business talk from one of our prospective MPs|
I've met Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones before; he's "the Black Farmer" with his Devonshire farm, and his famous brand of sauages. Oh - and he's our prospective Conservative MP too. From that meeting before - concerned with local public transport - I got a picture of an assured gentleman with an aristocratic ...
|1247||An afternoon at a public enquiry|
[Part of my report into that strange day - 26th June 2007 - index]
Enquiry in Public into the Regional Spatial Strategy
You'll probably look at that title and say "Eh?" and "WHAT?". The Regional Spatial Strategy has been prepared by the South West Regional Authority as a plan for where the part of ...
|1175||Local elections - choosing who to vote for|
It's election morning - we're voting for Parish Councillors (for Melksham Without Parish Council) where we can choose up to 10 of 11, and for West Wilts District Council where we can vote for 3 out of 10.
For perhaps the first time, I feel that I really know a number of the candidates - that I can make ...
|1060||What a relief from the tax office.|
A great weight is lifted off my shoulders this morning, in a letter from the tax office. For - goodness - a year now, they've been looking into my personal return for the 2003/04 tax year. I understand they choose some returns at random and others because they look odd, and fair enough. I guess mine ...
|967||Realistic on line shoot'em up|
I understand that there's a new online shoot'em application available. You can raise and lower your gun, aim, file, pull the trigger and kill wildlife during a walk in the woods, all without leaving your living room.
It all seems very realistic and that's not a surprise because it IS real. With the ...
My involvement with the campaign to retain Melksham's train service at present or improved levels was always going to be a tough one. The threat to the service came to our attention late in the day, and the Government's political decision (for that's what it is) to slash trains in areas they don't hold ...
|780||Separation and Integration|
With the smoking ban in enclosed public places here in Ireland now being old news, things have settled down to the new way, and you'll find two communities at pubs like the one that's attached to the Plaza Hotel in Tallaght where I'm staying this week. A deep break as you walk toward the pub from the ...
|750||Almost everyone loses|
Contestant based shows on the TV always seem exciting and yet depressing as individual of teams compete against one another to get through to the next round, or to reach a prize or possible prize. For every jubilant winner, there's numerous others who have quietly slipped out of the back door ...
|607||On being British|
My Grandmother never passed a driving test, yet she drove a car. My Mum drove a car and although she passed her test on an automatic, she was qualified to drive with gears too. I didn't have to take a theory test, but still I'm fully qualified to drive. My daughter had to pass theory and practical ...
|216||Cheap purchase - votes paid for with selfish promises|
It struck me as I listened to a major political party making six pledges prior to the election that's bound to come soon ... every one of their pledges started with the word "YOUR". It was "YOUR health", "YOUR school", "YOUR job" ... and it struck me that they're appealing to the selfish worst in everyone. ...
An independent view.
Sharing some thoughts.