Sunday, December 17, 2006

Christmas Cards

I'm pleased to see that many more of our friends seem to have sent us Christmas cards this year. It's not that we've suddenly become more popular, merely that fewer of our friends seem to be tolerating the politically corrent "Season's Greetings" care so popular in recent years. Its encouraging to see, that in at least some pockets of our country, we are not yet afraid to stand up for what is right and true against the politically correct atheists who seek to destroy our country and its values.

Local School Leaving Ages

At present primary schools in North West West Sussex such as those in Rogate and Rake finish when children are ten years old whilst nearby ones such as Liss primary school finish at eleven. This restricts parent's choice, discouraging Hampshire parents from using excllent Sussex primary schools whilst making it difficult for West Sussex parents to put their children forward for equally excellent Hampshire secondary schools. I can't see good reason not to standardise school leaving ages at 11. Doing so would make our small local primary schools more attactive whilst increasing secondary school choice.

New Trains, New Lies ?

Many of you will frequently have to travel to London from Petersfield, Liss, Liphook or even Haselmere. South West Trains (SWT), having clearly learnt a great deal from Labour's spin machine, is trying to make us believe that it is enhancing the line by making more seats available. Sadly, this is not exactly the case.

As of January 2007, SWT are taking most of the high quality White Siemens trains off our line and replacing them with blue trains. These blue trains are do technically have more seats on them but the seats are tiny (five aside rather than four aside) with hideously little legroom. These blue trains were designed for suburbia and they are now being imposed on our live, previously treated (quite correctly) as a long distance route.

This is yet another example of Labour's failure to invest enough in transport, especially in the overcrowded South East, making our quality of life appreciable worse. We need to campaign for real investment which will lead to more capacity on the line (double decker trains like the French have are my favourite) and not allow SWR and the neglectful Department for Transport to get away with arguing that switching us to uncomfortable overcrowded trains is a service improvement.

Spending Other People's Money

When we earn money ourselves or raise it for charity we are very careful how its spent because we remember the hard work which went into acquiring it. One of the great challenges with public spending is that those spending it are not connected to those providing it so they tend to treat it rather more casually than they would do their own.

This isn't to say that all public spending is bad. There are some local projects which are better funded through taxes than through voluntary donations but we need to remember that public spending, because of its detachment from the struggle to acquire the money, is likley to be less economical and efficient than doing things ourselves through private and voluntary effort.