FOOTBALL LEGENDS NIGHT
A big thank you to the organisers (John Cross, Derek Spence, Terry Alcock and others) for the Legends Night Dinner at Blackpool Football Club to honour Stanley Matthews’ centenary.
Everything from M.C .Tony Jo to Jean Gough (Stan’s daughter) giving a lovely speech, plus comedian Johnny Casson, a filling hot pot and a film about Stan’s life was excellent.
The atmosphere throughout was very warm and 50 ex-Blackpool players joined their fans reminiscing about their job of playing for Blackpool, and being proud of it.
I felt very humble and proud to be in their company.
Also all the proceeds will go to a worthy cause, the Stanley Matthews Coaching Federation, and the running of the Ex-Players Association which does an awful lot to help others less fortunate.
ORDINARY OPINIONS COUNT
Ben Wallace, Tory MP for Preston North and Wyre, must have had a pretty heavy postbag recently, and credit where it’s due, he always replies to constituents promptly, and in some detail.
But what he says reveals the gulf between members of this Government, and ordinary people.
In Mr Wallace’s view of the world there are two types of people, those like him who are well connected and well informed, and the rest of us.
Everyone who disagrees with fracking is simply wrong, and at risk of being lumped together with every tree hugging, knit your own yoghurt, environmental fundamentalist going.
The truth is there are very large numbers of people who are less than convinced of the financial benefits of fracking, who can see that it’s obvious there will be severe local impact on the environment, even if gas doesn’t flow out of our taps and all our houses fall down in earthquakes, and who are genuinely concerned about propping up the fossil fuel industry at a time when the impact of global warming is becoming both more obvious and more severe.
Similarly, not everyone who is worried about the current proposed trade agreement between Europe and America (TTIP) is an anti-globalisation or anti trade fanatic.
On the face of it, the agreement could help our exporters to the US, but at the same time it will help them export to us, by removing both tariffs and discrepancies in safety and other standards.
Further, many experts are particularly concerned about one of the provisions, which could in theory allow foreign companies to sue our country and us the taxpayers for loss of profits, and, for instance, potentially make it very difficult for the NHS to end a future contract with a private American health provider.
Several European countries want to get rid of this provision, but our Government is happy for it to go ahead.
Mr Wallace tells us that as he was engaged in the negotiations until last year, he knows that it’s all OK, Parliament shouldn’t consider these provisions separately, and we should wait until the deal is done before voting on it.
Mr Wallace is no doubt a clever man with lots of facts at his fingertips, but this unconcern for ordinary people’s opinions and worries is typical of his Government.
North Preston and Wyre Labour Party
ARENA HELPED SKATER
I would just like to say that I am most grateful to Dan and Vicky of Fylde Coast Ice Arena for the free ice time they gave me so that I could train for the longer distance of 1,500m ahead of the Winter World Masters Games (Gazette, February 17).
This is a distance not skated by masters in this country, not even in the British Championships.
They allowed me on even with figure skaters practising their jumps in the centre while I skated on the outside of them round the track markers I had put down on the ice.
The distance of 1,500m is 13.5 laps so I trained doing five times 15 laps with a rest in-between.
I’d also like to thank Tom Iveson of the Solihull club who prepared my skate blades so expertly before I left for Canada.
ASSISTED DYING DEBATE
The prospect of assisted dying is still highly criticised and presently there is some debate that is going on.
But why can’t our discriminative attitude towards this be lifted so that we can give relief medication to the terminally ill who are endlessly suffering?
We call ourselves a civilised country, but we treat animals better.
We should follow the example of other progressive countries like Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands etc, and just recently our brothers in Canada.
After all, we are all against prolonged suffering.
C. Victor de-Nagy