Friday, January 12, 2018

Once upon a time I was a local politician

From 1990 to 1998 I was an elected councillor of the London Borough of Ealing, one of seventy such. The first four years I was in the ruling Conservative group. From 1994 I was in the opposition to Labour in control. Served variously as vice chairman of social services, chairman of environment and opposition spokesman on social services.
   In 1995 Major's government introduced the national lottery to the shame of the Conservatives IMO.  This is the Ealing gazette of 24 November 1995It was the only time I spoke out against the opinions of our local MP, a man who I admired. He only once defied a three line whip and that was to appose the then PM, Margaret Thatcher, on Sunday Trading. Over that I resigned as a ship steward of the shop workers union. They compromised. harry Greenway and I did not.
   But here I spoke against my MP's views and that of my party's government. The man who is now my MP, Stephen Pound, sent me a cutting from the Guardian to help my case.
   'After the French Revolution, the state lottery was abolished. 'It is all the more dangerous.'a leading opponent argued, 'since it devours the substance of the poor. It was born of despotism, and used with perfidity to drown out the cry of misery, deluding the poor with false hope. The lottery, an odious financial trick, invades the product of the poor man's toil and brings despair upon innumerable families.' - The Guardian of 11.11.95.
   Steve also told me that the placing lottery terminals in post offices where people received their benefits was like when he was a sailor. He said the sailors came of the ship with their pay packets and the whores lined the quayside ready to relive them of their money.
   Well now it is even worse. The government whores (lottery) advertises on TV and it has opened the floodgates for all the assorted trollops of the gambling industry to follow suit. Oh that someone would free me from that tiresome Ray Winstone and his estuary English. I would be happy were he to be submerged in said estuary. Is that a hate crime? No. Perhaps a Baptist  could oblige with dunking not drowning.
    'Gambling challenges the view of life which the Christian Church exists to uphold and extend. Its glorification of mere chance is a denial of the Divine order of nature. To risk money haphazard is to disregard the insistence of the Church in every age of living faith that possessions are a trust, and that men must account to God for their use. The persistent appeal to covetousness is fundamentally opposed to the unselfishness which was taught by Jesus Christ and by the New Testament as a whole. The attempt (which is inseparable from gambling) to make a profit out of the inevitable loss and possible suffering of others is the antithesis of that love of ones neighbour on which our Lord insisted. '... Archbishop William Temple (1881-1944)
   More more quotes,

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