Barlow's Beef: What will 2016 bring us?


Happy New Year.

I'd like to believe we shall have one but there has rarely been a more turbulent time in which to predict.

The EU whilst decisive in meddling in the minutiae of our daily lives failed to produce any united policy to deal with the escalating refugee crisis. Border fences were erected faster than drawbridges with no clear strategy for assessment or resettlement of the mighty tide of migrants heading west.

Mr Cameron, on the other hand does have a policy for dealing with international terrorism which involves firing missiles and hoping they wipe out terrorists and not innocent families. It's precisely the same strategy used in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Tell me: do you feel we face more or less terrorism since Mr Blair initiated his bomb-them-to-hell strategy in 2003?

Another inexplicable policy wreaking havoc on local communities is our government's determination to build huge quantities of houses on greenbelt land. Their disingenuous excuse of providing 'affordable housing' simply evaporates on scrutiny. So what's the real plan?

Locally Cheshire East have proved their 'Brownfield First ' policy is no more than a cheap slogan intended to placate irate communities. That open fields will be excavated while ugly brown field sites remain untouched serves only to illustrate our council's contempt for the residents they purport to serve.

The CEC Leadership election has potential for much skulduggery but does it really matter as long as we continue to vote like lemmings regardless of the consequence?

So... will we see any organised protest at the total lack of democracy in Cheshire East? Are local communities prepared to muster more than polite indignation or will they simply accept and complain?

Last year Saltersley Common Preservation Society was sufficiently concerned about peat extraction at Lindow Moss they commissioned a consultant to carry out a comprehensive survey and report on the consequences.

His conclusions state: "Peat extraction is simply devastating. What should be a raised mire with dragonflies, water voles, lizards and birds like nightjars, stonechats, etc is basically just destroyed."

How much do we actually care about our diminishing countryside? Are we prepared to make more than polite background noise?

Will we move outside our comfort-zone and fight for what we hold dear? You may recall the doctrine forced upon society by politicians in the 60's replacing communities with soulless high-rise concrete pillars. Residents who protested were branded Luddites.

We all know how that ended.

But you cannot rebuild fields, streams and meadows. You cannot recreate Lindow Moss once it's gone. Politicians must be reminded they are in office to represent OUR views not force THEIRS upon us.

Despite a tide of public protest you will recall council insistence that late night licensing would transform our town centres into European style café culture.

How well did that theory work out?

There is an unhealthy contempt for public opinion in our town halls that needs to be addressed before our communities are destroyed to appease current political dogma much of which will be irreversible. It is time we made ourselves heard.

"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win." – Mahatma Gandhi

Are you ready?

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of

Vic Barlow


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Bob Bracegirdle
Tuesday 5th January 2016 at 5:17 pm
Just keep fighting. We won't win at the moment but the generations after us might. Destroying Lindow Moss is just vandalism.