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The only offer that matters

In our modern world we are constantly being bombarded with anything from cheap car insurance discounted holidays two for one offers ,and of course how can we forget a certain furniture shop Who’s sale never seems to end . We are told we must have the latest tv  and now we are even told that we must have a gas barbecue !!! whats all that about ? I am a fan of mindfulness which is basically a practice of living in the present moment recognizing that we all have a past (which we are unable to do anything about ) and that the future will look after its self . There is a quote that says “nothing was decided in the past and nothing will be decided in the future “, and when you think about it it’s perfectly true all the decisions ever made were taken in the present moment because that’s all we ever have ,yes we can plan for tonight, tomorrow, next week or even next year but there is no guarantee that we will even make it to the next hour. when we lose sight of this our minds go into overdrive and a little everyday thought can if we are not careful lead us down a spiralling path of negativity  for example a simple thought while looking in a travel agents window wishing you could afford the holiday advertised may send you down the path of if only I had more money which leads to you thinking if only I could earn more ,which leads to well you don’t because your not clever enough because you didn’t work hard enough at school even your house is small your stupid you will never be able to afford holidays like this, the mind traps us in to this worrying state . one of my favourite quotes comes from the Dali lama —-man sacrifices his health in order to make money . Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health and then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present .the result being that he does not live in the present or the future he lives as if he is never going to die ,then dies having never really lived. in times of stress and worry I think about this and say to myself ok what’s the worst that can happen here., Or will this problem I am seeing in  front of me really matter this time next year ? and in reality it probably wont matter this time next week . Life can be wonderful and exiting  offering endless new experiences  from travel ,music , books, nature , family and friends, wonderful food and so much more ,and what about the information super highway that is the internet ,all there for us to enjoy. of course life can and will often throw up difficult and challenging times for us all how we see the world and our place in it will determined who we deal with the difficult times. having over recent years turned towards our saviour Jesus Christ  that’s for another blog !!! I find comfort in the difficult times  in my life knowing that in the end everything will be ok because whatever I may do Jesus. Christ made me and all of us the only offer that matters ,all we have to do is reach out and take it .




Enough is enough 

The dreadful and shocking fire in London is a tragedy that is hard to comprehend,and no one wants to score points on the back of such human suffering,but it is becoming apparent that the false economy of the government’s 7 year attack on local government under the guise of austerity has only served to attack the most needy in our society . How we spend our money as a country boils down to a political choice do we want to protect our NHS our schools police and Fire service ,and treat our senior citizens and disabled with dignity or do we as the Tories believe starve the life blood out of public services ,in the pursuit of profit ? Being a labour councillor you can guess which one I prefer. Remember David Cameron and George Osborne having the cheek to stand  there and say that during austerity we are all in it together!!! No what the last election has shown is that the labour party manifesto hit home to thousands of manly young people who have had enough of the old way and want a brighter future .the job that we in the labour party now have to do is harness this feeling and continue to develop policies that work for the many and not the privileged few. Austerity doesn’t work it’s a total mith you need to look a the whole picture, for example cutting support to adult social care could result in s person becoming isolated leading loneliness ,mental health problems.then they access the NHS for help which will cost money the same money which would of been better spent providing community support . Many other examples Gould be given its time to stop pretending there will be jam tomorrow but not today people have had enough change is coming and it’s up to us to deliver like we have done many times in the past 

A lonely place 

Having an illness of  any type is hard and can often limit your enjoyment of life . However if you walk round with a broken arm for example ,you will get plenty of sympathy and be asked what happened to you ? This gives you a chance to explain and maybe even enjoy a joke or two. With anxiety  all that changes .people you see everyday family friends work colleagues just see the same old you ,often the happy confident one the one who is quick to crack a joke makes you smile,puts others before them self’s . This is the face you portray to the world.In side it can be a different place a lonely scary place one were you are the only inhabitant and the rest of the world is fine .It’s a dark place were the trees block your path and stop the light from streaming in .it’s a place of despair of mindless thoughts and worry for the future .You want to stay in bed and retreat to a dream world of claim and peace you want your days activities to pass quickly so you can slip back home in the hope that tomorrow will be better. Days and days of the poison parrot sitting on your shoulder ,constantly telling you that you are worthless a failure no good to anybody ,your future is bleak over and over again for days on end . The real physical pain all over your body adding to the worry of an anxious mind ,feeling of foreboding something s going to happen but what you don’t know .excepting the anxiety as part of you ables you you to cope through the bad days makes it bearable …and oh the good days make it all worth while 

Have your say 

On Thursday local elections are taking place for cumbria county council ,the country as a whole maybe focusing on the general election in June .but I would argue that this election is just as important as it effects how everyday service are provided.From adult social care ,the fire and rescue service, schools highways etc are all provided by the county council.I have served on the council since 2009 and the cuts inflicted on us by central government since 2010 have been mind-boggling .This has had a dramatic effect on how we can deliver services .This government like all Tories hate the public sector and are hellbent on rolling back the state in the pursuit of profit before people .they have found an easy scapegoat in local government .as we are left to implement cuts and order to satisfy the perverse ideology of a bunch of out of touch Tories . Who are fully aware that the public will blame the council in effect they have outsourced austerity to local councils . Since 2013 cumbria have had a labour led council in coalition with the lib dems .this has enabled us to prioritize  our dwindling rescouces to defend services to our communities that are most in need .it’s sickening to hear the opposition trying to blame the last labour government while aguing at full council no less that the paper diary is being fazed out !!! Out of touch you bet ..Only a strong labour led council after May the 4th will continue to fight for services that affect our everyday lives 

When things go wrong canvasing

One of the things I really like about elections are the sessions when we go out door knocking . Being a people person (nosey sod) !! I love to chat on the doorstep to people who living in a small town you often see them about ,but don’t know were they live so when they open the door it’s a chance to find out more about them .I’ve been shown round houses looked at photos of weddings long ago ,listened to people’s medical history heard all about how well their kids / grand kids are doing and been told all about holidays they have taken .All good stuff especially when they say they are going to vote for you .However occasionally things do go belly up so to speak anything from dogs getting out of the gate that you’ve just opened to interrupting an afternoon love in . There is one particular incident which I still think about 10 years later .It concerns a former cllr who shall remain nameless as he is still walking this earth ,basically it was a cold early spring evening ,we had been out s few hours and the rain was starting to gently fall .we have done well tonight son the cllr says just a few more down here all Tories but we will give them a knock as we were walking down the lane towards the few houses he reiterated not for the first time that although he hated Tories he would rather someone voted for them than not vote at all . So the first house we come to the owner starts off oh your our councillor are you ? well tell me why the dust cart never comes down this lane my comrade starts of with have you ever reported this ,yes says the fella nothing happens ,well you should of rung me I would of sorted it for you, what’s the point your all the same only come round when your after votes . We then get into a 15 minute banter about politics, and then the householder utters the dreaded words well my friend I am not voting for anyone  !!!! my world for a brief moment stood still then I heard WELL YOU CAN FUCK OFF …….. lets move on son er no lets go home .

Yet another campaign

Reflecting on the fact that it’s 20 years since new labour and Tony Blair swept to power , got me thinking about how and why I joined labour .well basically I was convinced that labour were going to win in 1992 and the total shock and upset I felt afterwards made me decide to ether shut up or put up …so I joined up and 20 odd years later here I am fighting yet another election for the county council coming only a 2 months after the disappointment of the Copeland bi election .well the labour party family may be down but we are not out we’re are my leaflets