Monthly Archives: August 2017

The will of the people

My Writing Life

This blog starts with an unashamed political rant. I don’t so them often but this week it really got to me, so here goes…

I am sick of hearing ‘we can’t betray the will of the people’ as the reason/excuse for continuing down the path of Brexit to the cliff edge of March 2019.

This reasoning about Brexit is hypocritical because of what is happening here in Lancashire. Let me explain.  In 2015 our duly and democratically elected County Councillors in Preston rejected the application for planning from the company Cuadrilla to start drilling for fracking at Preston New Road, near Blackpool and in two other places in Lancashire. This seemed at the time to be a clear expression of the will of the people of Lancashire, lawfully debated, voted on and agreed by the County Council.

However, in May 2017 a government order overturned this democratic decision and gave permission for fracking to go ahead in direct betrayal of the clearly expressed will of the people. This would seem to suggest that the government pleads the ‘will of the people’ as a reason for doing things when it suits them and ignores that same will when it doesn’t.

So fracking has started at Preston New Road and the demonstrators are out against it. (I’m going down soon for the day!)

This blatant flouting of the democratic process makes a complete nonsense of the government’s often repeated excuse for not reconsidering Brexit and all its ghastly implications.

However now at last the Labour Party have made up their minds where they stand and I am very much encouraged as one of the 48% by their grown up proposal for an extended transition period, instead of the endless throwing the toys out of the pram we are being subjected to at present.

My guess is that the next few weeks in politics is going to be very exciting and full of surprises!

Reading week

I have been reading lots of poetry lately, always inspiring. I’ll put more details in the September blog. I have just started on Glynn Maxwell’s On Poetry: so far lots of really interesting ideas.  In terms of fiction I am now stuck into Do not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien (2016). I recommend it as a good, but not an easy, read as it pulls no punches in the description of the reality of Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Also I have recently finished The Essex Serpent (Sarah Perry 2016). It is good once you get into it and in places really funny, another good read.

Hare in the Headlights

14th October see the launch of a new anthology, Write to be Counted, and one of my poems, If Only is going to be in it. I’ll be reading at the launch in Penrith. There will be more details in the September blog.

Poem of the month for September is from my pamphlet, and entitled Days.

Also a new venture ‘voice coaching’; I am now offering poets, and writers generally, the opportunity to improve their public reading skills and do their work justice at readings and open mics. Please contact me if you are interested.

My next poetry workshop for Learning Plus will be on Saturday 11th November from 10 am to 3 pm in Ambleside. The theme is Memoirs and the cost is £5 for the day as it is subsidised by Community Development Funding. If you are interested in attending please contact me.

That’s it for now.