First world war
In 1918 this country and its allies achieved a resounding victory over Germany after four years of bitter fighting in many parts of the world.
In so doing, Britain and her Empire lost around 900,000 dead plus two million wounded, some 35 per cent of the total mobilised.
This year marks the centenary of the outbreak of the war, and plans are in hand to mark this occasion.
For several months there has been a concerted attempt by some politicians, academics and journalists to have any form of commemoration banned because, they argue, it would be a display of jingoism.
I believe such arguments are at best misguided; at worse they display a woeful ignorance of why we went to war in 1914.
Briefly, we sided with our ally France for these reasons: in order to prevent an aggressive and militaristic Germany from dominating Europe, to protect our trade routes and to honour our treaty agreement with Belgium.
Numerous documents show clearly that Kaiser Wilhelm 11 and his Generals had been intent on war since 1912 because they believed ‘we deserve our place in the sun’.
The Kaiser was a well-known racist who hated the Jews; he promised his troops that after the war they could settle in an ‘ethnically cleansed’ Flanders, a promise that has clear links to Hitler’s policies some 20 years later.
Those who argue we should never have entered the war ignore these and many other reasons.
They also forget that in 1914 no statesman or General knew that a war would be so prolonged or bloody.
Hindsight is a very convenient but poor argument.
There is no need for jingoism, triumphalism or tub-thumping.
We should commemorate our victory and honour the dead and the wounded who saved this country and Europe from German domination.
We should not be ashamed of commemorating the sober recognition of triumph.
A tragedy yes but it was morally right to fight back.
Finally, the war did not result, as some argue, in fascism, Nazism and communism.
All were alive and flourishing from around the middle of the 19th Century.
Colonel (retired) Barry Clayton
Project 30 investment
A short while ago it was reported Blackpool Council had borrowed £30m in order to repair and resurface some 40 miles of Blackpool streets and that work would be done over a period of four years.
They won an award for doing so.
A lot of work was done last year but everything appears to have come to a halt with no more work being done and some streets left and still in need repair.
Has the work now been completed?
If not perhaps we can be informed of how much work, ie miles,there is still required to be repaired in order to bring our road surfaces out of decline and danger.
If not how much work has been completed and at what cost so far?
If not, is work to resume later this year to complete and repair those roads that still require their attention?
If the work is finished is there still some monies left unused?
If there is, is this ring-fenced so that it cannot be used for any other purpose other than to make Blackpool’s roads safer?
I see very extensive and expensive road works and restructuring has taken place around the new Talbot Gateway and the new municipal offices.
I understand a similar but much smaller undertaking at St Johns Square cost £4.5m a couple of years ago.
Has or is monies, part of the £30m borrowed to make roads safer, been used or is being used in creating this new roadway and was it considered and put forward as part of the deal when the monies was borrowed.
I believe that the residents of Blackpool need a bit of transparency regarding this money and its use. After all it’s our monies that are paying for it and the interest.
LGBT coffee evening
May I, as Police Community Volunteer for Lancashire Police, say a huge thank-you to Adele, manager at ‘fresh cafe’ St Annes for her kind hospitality and support at our LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) coffee evening, on behalf of St Annes Neighbourhood Police.
A pleasant informal evening was enjoyed by all.
PC Tracey Carruthers was joined by Coun Cheryl Little at an informal event where friendship and support was on offer.
New members on board at what is proving to be an expanding friendship group!
Thank you to Ian Ashton of Lancashire Police for joining us and for St Annes Library for their kind invitation for an LGBT display today – February 11. We look forward to our next LGBT Coffee Morning at The Trawl Boat Inn in St Annes on Monday, April 7 from 10am to noon.