FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2017

  THE EMPTY TOWN HALL PRESS SEATS. It is very sad that the Oldham Chronicle has ceased publication after 150 years. It is the latest local paper to fall victim to the surge in on-line advertising and falling readership. For years local newspaper owners have cut the journalists to save costs and then been surprised [read more…]


  An agonised call for the elected mayors of Merseyside to stop their power battles and get on with promoting the city region was made at a Downtown event in the city this week. Many of the movers and shakers in the area were kind enough to give their time to look at the city’s [read more…]


  GOLDEN GAMES. Next week business and council chiefs from across the North will meet to demand a fair transport deal for our region. The summit, backed by Downtown in Business, comes in the wake of a watering down of government pledges on connectivity for the Northern Powerhouse (NP) and the simultaneous approval of Crossrail [read more…]


  On the tenth anniversary of the start of the economic crash, I thought it would be good to get an assessment of past and current consequences from people able to make unbiased assessments of the damage inflicted by the bankers’ and regulators’ irresponsibility in the early years of this century for which we mere [read more…]


  IMPEACH AT YOUR PERIL. After the latest act in the extraordinary pantomime that is the Trump presidency, some are concluding that The Donald’s impeachment is just around the corner. I think they are wrong and if by any chance there were right, moves to remove the President, America could face widespread social unrest. “It’s [read more…]


  RAIL BETRAYAL. Since Parliament has gone into recess, hardly a day has passed without a significant policy announcement by ministers. They’ve ranged from banning petrol driven cars by 2040, to transport announcements that have the potential to drain the Northern Powerhouse (NP) of any meaning. With MPs, away from Westminster and unable to call [read more…]


  SOUND CHANCELLOR We would not be able to repeat the 2008 rescue of the banks because our debt and deficit is too high. That was the stark, and under reported, comment from Chancellor Phil Hammond in a recent TV interview. It didn’t get much attention because Hammond went on to call for an end [read more…]


        The gig economy is nothing new. Before the Dock Labour Scheme of 1967, there was widespread use of casual labour in ports like Liverpool. Dockers depended on a tap on the shoulder to get work. The rise of the unions in the sixties and seventies forced back irresponsible bosses but the [read more…]


  LISTEN TO THE GREY BEARDS. The minority Labour governments of the late 1970s were plagued with disputes with the unions over public sector pay. This Tory minority administration is facing the same problem. It seems that those who want to spend money the nation hasn’t got can sense the weakness and put pressure on [read more…]


  Where does the billion pound bribe for the Democratic Unionist Party leave the drive for devolution in the North? It is not just a question of where the government will put its money. It is also a question of political purpose. There are plenty of reasons to fear that the May government will take [read more…]