Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Our Democracy and Freedom

It was marvellous to see the Liner Rotterdam of the Holland America Line in port last evening. And even more exciting was its departure and the many hundreds of people who came down to Pier Head to see her depart.

It is an awesome sight, to hear the great blasts of the horns and then the lower but equally powerful blasts from other ships in port, in reply. The air is charged with excitement and expectation and here, for the first time since 1966, we see the Transatlantic Crossing restored.

It is one thing to watch a liner leave port on a cruise, it is quite another, to watch a liner depart because she is destined for 'The New World'.

We are living in very fearful times and my heart goes out to India and the families in Lahore. I equally take the view that we must, through the United Nations, take an extremely firm line with North Korea.

We cannot allow terrorism to obtain the upper hand. Whether they be living in mountain ranges and wearing irregular dress or at the opposite end large armies marching that horrid goose step - the democracies must stand firm and stand up to these benighted people.

It is therefore a relief to see that on this occasion at least, The US President has, with the backing of both Russia and China, been able to warn North Korea. In diplomatic circles that is a tremendous accomplishment and serves to remind us of the very dangerous game being acted out now on the world stage.

Let us also not overlook the outrageous trial in Burma of the lawfully elected opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

I am proud of my military background, but I am even more proud of the fact that we dislike intensely any form of government that is not civilian. In our democracies we too have powerful generals, air marshals and admirals; but unlike some states, the final decision still lies with a man or woman, lawfully elected, to say yes or no to the plans they put forward. It keeps the military firmly in context and recognises the civil power.

Kenneth T Webb
Editor and Publisher
Liverpool CityLife

27 May 2009

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

May 26 2009
I'm glad the weekend is over for these bank holidays can sometimes be too long. For many businesses of course they mean a great deal of wealth being generated; for others though, they can drain the resources, with the firm's cashflow being drained and less days left in the month to make up potential shortfalls.

It is one of the problems we British people have with the long Christmas and New Year breaks, that cause whole businesses to effectively shut down production for up to 15 days in some cases (especially the printing industry).

There is work to be done and a purpose to fulfil, nonetheless, and we as a people must set about ordering our affairs and preparing for an exciting future.

The recession is causing tremendous hardship to millions of people. Like myself, many have lost their businesses, livelihoods, private wealth - everything. But that is not a reason to give in, even though I freely admit that the worse time of the day is the awakening each morning.

Families are under terrible strain. But with good leadership and a common bond we can hold together; and this is already starting when we see how the people are calling our elected representatives to account.

No one wants a witch hunt, and at times I am very fearful of that. But out of this disgraceful mismnanagement of parliamentary affairs will come a renewed Parliament that will set about repointing the bricks and mortar. One of our greatest parliamentarians, Sir Winston Churchill, was also a master bricklayer. He would have made it clear to us all that we need to rebuild our broken down wall; repoint the bricks and make safe again the precincts and corridors of power.

There is a move in the nation - and here I mean the United Kingdom - to do just that. Our Constitution is the envy of many regimes; and our parliament has long been the mother of parliaments.

It is for us all now to exercise our democratic right and duty, and use our vote. Let us not waste our vote; whether it be at local, national or European level. Make it count. Most families in this country will find that if they go back three generations, they will find that their own loved ones will have sacrificed their lives for our freedoms.

We are easily reminded of the import of such sacrifices when we look at the return of our own men and women in coffins draped with the Union Flag on a regular basis. Let us not do them an injustice by acting frivolously.

Let us also guard all communities within these islands.

Let no community or section of the community be singled out. Let there be no toleration by any of us of that ominous phrase reported this week of 'voluntary repatriation'.

Let us all work hard together for a better country for our children and grandchildren - and be proud that we are that people that has stood up for freedom and called our politicians to account. But let us do it with dignity and candour.

Surely, Thursday evening Question Time has come of age and rendered the most amazing service to people within the UK but, I suspect, far beyond our shores too. For as the British so often do and without intention, we tend to set precedents that the world then follows on.

Kenneth T Webb
Editor and Publisher
Liverpool CityLife