Come on Nigel, pull your finger out.

Great Britain is broken down into 650 parliamentary areas, also known as “seats.” Each one of those 650 seats has an MP, elected representatives who are employed to represent their local areas in the House of Commons.

Here in the Ribble Valley, our MP is Nigel Evans, and I have to say, he was a very good MP for the area, whilst in opposition to the Labour Party’s governments between 1997 and 2010. But since the Tories limped to power in the 2010 coalition government, I’m shocked by just how much Nigel Evans has given up on his work as an MP. I can only assume that his appointment as Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons in 2010, and the fact that the Tories were then, finally in government, which led to his decision to do the bare minimum of work for the constituents of the Ribble Valley.

Nigel-Evans

Nigel’s record for voicing local concerns in recent years is dismal. There have been major issues happening here, from excessive house-building, significant job losses at major employers, crisis after crisis at the local hospital. Which one has he championed the most? Re-opening Whalley Library (which was forced to close due to Tory cuts.) Of course, the familiar answer to that issue is “Labour wrecked the economy.” Well, they didn’t. There was a global economic crash in 2008, and George Osborne, the former Treasurer recently admitted that it wasn’t Labour’s fault. It was just another Tory lie. What did your mother always say, “don’t tell lies or you’ll grow up to be a Conservative.”

We live in one of the best areas in Great Britain, but in recent times, this is an area which is facing major issues that affect ordinary people’s lives. However, Nigel Evans is becoming increasingly well known, if not “famous” for ignoring his constituent’s enquiries. He spends his time campaigning for a hard-Brexit, and his dream of having an “independence day bank holiday” to celebrate the very divisive decision to leave the EU. Most bizarrely, he spends much of his time defending the American President’s unsavoury views around homophobia, racism and misogyny. Most incredibly of all, Nigel Evans has invited Donald Trump to come and visit the Ribble Valley! I know he’s out of touch… but flipping heck. I often think that Nigel Evans is trying to turn himself into a ridiculous, pound-shop Alan Partridge. And he does nothing to discourage me from thinking it.

NIGEL EVANS MP RIBBLE VALLEY

Nigel can be seen or heard most days on some TV channel or other, trying to make his name as a political pundit, all the while earning extra money on top of his handsome salary. Good luck to him if that’s his ambition. I wish him well. North Norfolk Digital would probably love to have him on their station.

But, wait a sec. Who is actually doing the MP work whilst all this self-centred silliness is going on? Because it certainly isn’t Nigel Evans.

I am really disappointed that Nigel Evans has given up on his interest in the Ribble Valley, because no matter how important his own career is to him, the Ribble Valley needs, and deserves an MP who is looking out for the people in this constituency. At the very least, pretending to be interested would be a start.

NIGEL EVANS DOES A TRUMP

Clitheroe Interchange is facing closure (cuts again) but a quick look on Nigel’s website shows no mention of this.  Why not? Why isn’t he campaigning to keep this excellent facility open? Why isn’t he campaigning for the staff’s jobs? Why isn’t he trying his level best to make a case for keeping Clitheroe police station open? Why isn’t he campaigning for all those who are losing their jobs at Calderstones, and at BAE? Why isn’t he campaigning to slow down the excessive house-building until better infrastructure to support these new homes and families is secured? Why isn’t he demanding that the house-builders down tools and go and fill in the thousands of pot-holes caused by their heavy wagons?

In fact, what is he doing?

NIGEL EVANS MP FOR RIBBLE VALLEY

Because whatever it is, he is not serving his constituents. The argument Nigel Evans’ apologists put forward is that “these are local issues for RVBC and LCC.” Well, my response to that is simple. If all of these issues were happening under a Labour administration, you could bet your lunch that Nigel Evans would have the loudest voice, he would be deafening in protest. And rightly so.

But because he knows that most of the issues affecting our area are caused by the Tories idiotic fiscal policy, he has nothing to say. It’s embarrassing.

The Ribble Valley is a Conservative safe-seat, I get that. But if I went into work tomorrow, and didn’t do my job, my boss would very quickly call me in for a chat. Are the local Conservatives not concerned about Nigel’s complete and utter disregard for his constituency? Are they not annoyed by the sheer arrogance of the man simply ignoring his constituents? Are they not in the slightest bit embarrassed?

It’s time for Nigel to buck his ideas up, or step aside and let somebody else in the Conservative party have a chance, somebody who cares about the area, the people, and its issues.

Then again, maybe the people of the Ribble Valley could do better than the self-serving Conservatives, after all, how much has your life improved under these disasterous plutocrats over the past seven years? Think about it. How much better is life in your community, from schools, to health, to public services, to welfare, policing and social care, not to mention pot-holes you could have a bath in?

“But there’s no money.” (Except the 56 billion for HS2, 20 billion for Hinkley Point, 205 billion for Trident, 1.5 billion for the dodgy deal with the DUP when Theresa May screwed up the first Tory majority in 23 years.)

The Tories are useless at everything they do, there’s no getting away from the fact. But sadly, here in the Ribble Valley, people just keep voting them back in like it’s the night of the living dead.

NIGEL EVANS MP RIBBLE

There are several other political parties out there, and I’d bet my dinner that any one of their candidates would love the chance to stand up in Parliament and fight for the people here. And you can guarantee that they would appreciate the vote, not just take it for granted. If this was a voluntary position, then maybe it wouldn’t be so insulting. But Nigel Evans is taking away £75,000 basic pay for his dismal work.

Blatantly stealing an old Conservative election slogan… “We can’t go on like this.”

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Excerpt from “The Final Cut” DCI Miller #5

Miller 5 “The Final Cut”
#Kindle release date 27/11/2017

Somebody has started viciously attacking DWP staff in Manchester. It looks as though the brutal, “life-changing” assaults are connected to the sadistic, systematic “sanctions” and “work-assessments” which are ruthlessly taking away benefits from the most vulnerable people in society, leaving them with nothing.

The public are appalled by the crimes, although many believe that this kind of retaliation was inevitable.

DCI Andy Miller and his team are going to have to dig deep and come up with something extra special in order to put a stop to this madness, as the sheer scale of the DWP’s vindictive treatment of the poorest comes into the spotlight, and becomes the nation’s biggest talking point.

THE FINAL CUT, the 5th DCI Miller adventure. Release date Monday 27th November 2017

You can pre-order your copy here;

UK http://amzn.to/2xukFAY

US http://amzn.to/2xuj9i8

AU http://amzn.to/2kAzEYR

Miller 1 is “One Man Crusade”
Miller 2 is “Neighbours From Hell”
Miller 3 is “Road To Nowhere”
Miller 4 is “Gone Too Far”

final cut poster 3

EXCERPT FROM THE FINAL CUT:

Part of the trick that had been pulled in turning the nation against the poor was the demonization of council house tenants. Most of the UK’s council housing stock was built in the years following the second world war. Hundreds of thousands of smart new council homes were built, the mantra at the time was “homes for heroes” as the government looked for new ways to create jobs, create affordable, good quality housing, and of course, provide nice new homes for the British people, as the old Victorian slums were cleared.

Council homes were, and still are, extremely good earners. They have all paid for themselves dozens of times over, and they provide excellent, self-sustaining income to their local councils. There is not a Town Hall in the land that would say that the local council estate wasn’t a nice little earner. The vast majority of people who live in council housing are nice, decent, hard-working folk who go out to work and keep themselves to themselves, watch Strictly or X-Factor on Saturday night, and try and get away for a fortnight every summer, just like everybody else in the UK.

But as part of the war on the poor, the same TV shows that have incensed tax-payers about “their tax” going towards ciggies and tattoos, and boob jobs for the lazy bastards, also set their sights on council tenants, tarnishing them with the same brush. In historical terms, this is a very new thing, a brand new phenomenon, where the UK media has tried to shame council tenants about the fact that they live in a council property. It began in London, where TV crews would show workless families living in rented council accommodation, pointing out to their viewers that young professional families were paying two thousand pounds a month in rent, for a place that wasn’t as big or as nice. And it wasn’t fair.

In a relatively short time, between 1979 and today, the housing system has changed. At the end of the seventies, 42% of the population lived in a council house. Today, that figure is only 8%. Of those 8%, there are undeniable instances of “out-of-control” people who blight their local communities. But in the main, the media have succeeded in convincing the other 92% of people in Britain that council house tenants are up to no good. Using rare examples of individuals who trash their homes, create anti-social problems, and who live chaotic, troubled lives, the establishment has managed to tar all council tenants with the same brush. It was utterly ridiculous, in exactly the same way that suggesting all 1980’s TV personalities were child molesters, would be.

But, if you repeat a lie enough times, it becomes the truth. And as the UK struggles to find enough housing to contain its growing, ageing population, the fact is that millions more council homes will have to be built. Whether the UK’s media will demonise all of the future tenants as they do today’s tenants remains to be seen. But no other policy highlights and illuminates the government’s complete and utter contempt for the poor than the “bedroom tax.”

This policy was, in theory, a way of making better use of council housing stock. The stock was in short supply, as a result of the 1980’s policy of selling the council houses off at discounted prices to tenants, in the biggest pre-election voter bribe that the world has ever seen. It won Thatcher another term in office, but it also wiped out the nation’s council housing stock practically overnight as tenants bought their council property for a fraction of the market cost.

No more council houses were built, at least not in any serious numbers. The resulting demand on council housing waiting lists became overwhelming, and a new industry was born. Buy to let properties, where private landlords bought up streets and streets of run-down properties in the worst areas of town, in many cases from as little as £500 per house. The “Victorian slum clearance” had gone full circle. There were many that were sold for as little as £1, because of the amount of work that was needed to make the property fit for human inhabitation. These new landlords were delighted with the deal. They could offer sub-standard houses to the local councils to rehome people into, for astronomically inflated rates, and without the usual rules and regulations that went with a secure council tenancy. It was yet another win for the rich, and another blow for the poorest in society. The Tory idea to sell off the council houses in order to gain working-class votes was the gift that kept on giving, and the fact that a third of the nation’s MPs are private landlords today, and that 309 Conservative MPs voted against the “fit for human habitation bill” lays testament to this fact.

In 2010, the nation was facing a council-house shortage, and consequently, the bedroom tax idea was born. The idea was simple enough. If you are on benefits, and you have bedrooms that you don’t use, you would now have to pay an extra subsidy on each room. This meant that a sixty-two year old woman living by herself in a three-bed house was now facing an extra forty pounds a week cost. The idea was that she would surrender the big house and move into a little one-bedroom property. The basic theory made sense. But there was a problem. There were no one-bedroom little properties. There were just hundreds of thousands of poor people in big houses, being charged a ridiculous subsidy on spare rooms. There was no alternative accommodation for them to move to, they just had to stay put, and pay the extra subsidy, whilst the government ignored the gargantuan flaw in their plan. Rather than show some humanity, hold their hands up and admit that they’d got it wrong, they simply lied and lied about what a great success it had been.

This policy was just another example of how disgracefully the government have treated the poor since 2010. The roll out of the Universal Credit was said to be the “box-set” of benefits, a new simpler, easier to navigate system for the most-needy in British society. The small print however, is that from the date of registering for Universal Credit, which would cover unemployment, or disability, or income support, an applicant will automatically wait six weeks until their first payment. Not only is that impossible to sustain human life, but it is also negative in trying to find rented accommodation as no landlord is prepared to wait six weeks until the first payment. As though this was all part of a sick joke, the government set up a phone number for Universal Credit applicants in need of an emergency payment, which costs 55 pence per minute to call. It all seemed like a very sinister, dark, satire sketch show based around rich people being deliberately cruel to poor people.

Sadly, this was no sketch show. This was the reality of life for millions of poor people, whose crime in the eyes of the state, was to be born with nothing.

Now, after seven years of this sustained, unforgiving and wholly unchristian attack against them, it had become clear that somebody out there had snapped. Somebody, somewhere had had enough, and was kicking back. Whoever that person was, it seemed that he was so desperate to highlight the injustice of the war on the poor, that he was prepared to seriously maim the people who were at the coal-face of delivering the hatred. This was a deplorable way of trying to attract support for a campaign, and even to those who had the greatest sympathy for the appalling way that the British poor were being treated, there was an insurmountable sense of disgust and anger about the attacks, and a steely determination that the perpetrator of these sadistic, cold-blooded crimes was not going to achieve anything by this, come-what-may.

FINAL CUT kindle

THE FINAL CUT, the 5th DCI Miller adventure. Release date Monday 27th November 2017

You can pre-order your copy here;

UK http://amzn.to/2xukFAY

US http://amzn.to/2xuj9i8

AU http://amzn.to/2kAzEYR

Gone Too Far : DCI Miller 4

DCI Miller is faced with a head-ache and a half in the latest Manchester based adventure GONE TOO FAR.

Kathy Hopkirk, the nation’s most detested “celebrity” has disappeared.

Famed for her outrageous remarks and nasty observations about ordinary people in the street and stars from the showbiz world, Kathy has always taken great delight in grabbing the headlines and causing as much controversy as possible. But now she is in the news for a different reason. She is missing.

While visiting Manchester for work, she was staying at The Midland. The iconic, world famous hotel was the last place Kathy was seen, CCTV recorded her leaving on foot. Her destination was unknown. Three days later, her disappearance was reported to police by her manager. The sensational news was met with great interest by the British public, though very little surprise or sympathy. Kathy Hopkirk had been pushing it for years. It looks like this time, she may just have gone too far.

DCI Miller and his team are overwhelmed by the amount of vitriol and hatred which surrounds the missing woman. Where do they possibly start with this one? Kathy has had thousands of death threats on Twitter alone.

DCI Miller is back with another roller-coaster case.

Gone Too Far is the fourth DCI Miller story from popular British indie author Steven Suttie.

“Another fantastic read by Steven Suttie, crime drama at its best!!”
“Absolutely brilliant, couldn’t put it down. Read it in a day!”
“I absolutely loved this book, couldn’t put it down, then of course sad that I’d finished it.”

Miller 1 is “One Man Crusade”

Miller 2 is “Neighbours From Hell”

Miller 3 is “Road To Nowhere”

Miller 4 is “Gone Too Far”

WARNING, Contains bad language, including the worst one a few times. Please do not purchase if offended by swearing.

SKY NEWS GONE TOO FAR PROMOposter 1poster 2Gone Too Far Promo Poster Jennie HillsSKY NEWS GONE TOO FAR PROMO 2

On Amazon’s “customers also bought” function, Steven Suttie’s books are ranked alongside titles by Kerry Wilkinson, Ben Cheetham, Martina Cole, Karen Woods, Paul Finch, Heather Burnside, Rachel Abbott, Kimberley Chambers, Anna Smith, David Menon, Ed James, Robin Roughley. Lisa Hartley, D.S. Butler, Helen Durrant, RC Bridgestock, Col Bury, Lisa Hall, Pam Howes, Iain Cameron, Jessie Keane, Val McDermid, Adam Croft, P.F Ford, Matt Brolly, Mel Sherratt, Angela Clarke, Leigh Russell, Derek Fee, Janice Frost, Paul Gitsham, Steven Dunne, Katherine Pathak, Oliver Tidy, T.M.E Walsh, Peter Grainger, Dave Sivers, Tony Black, Mike Craven, Peter Grainger, Angie Smith, Stephen Puleston, Michael Murray, Angela Marsons, Mark Edwards, LJ Ross, Kathryn Croft, Graham Masterton, Caroline Mitchell, Nick Alexander, CL Taylor, Louise Voss, Jenny Blackhurst, Marnie Riches, Michael Wood, Luca Veste, Damien Boyd, Paula Hawkins, Lynwood Barclay, Ann Cleeves, M.A. Comley, Mark Sennen, Tara Lyons, Louise Voss, Squid McFinnigan, Rob Sinclair, Jane Isaac, Nicky Black, Faith Mortimer, Dreda Say Mitchell, Michael Kerr, Stephen Edger, John Nicholl, Ruth Dugdall, Robert Bryndza, B.A. Paris, Katerina Diamond, Maggie James, Lisa Hall, Georgie Logan, Tammy Robinson and Linda Tweedie

Road To Nowhere : DCI Miller 3

Off-Duty Police Sergeant Jason Knight from Bolton police station has disappeared whilst cycling in the Lancashire countryside. His wife raised the alarm. Jason is not the kind of man who would go missing. Something is very clearly wrong. The disappearance quickly becomes a full-scale alert, and counter-terror police are on standby, monitoring the situation extremely closely.

DCI Andrew Miller is drafted in urgently to try and figure out what the hell is going on, and why Knight might suddenly disappear. It’s a race against time to find the popular, well respected Sergeant.

Meanwhile, the local press are calling for Miller’s resignation following the infamous “Neighbours From Hell” trial, and newspaper revelations that suggest Miller could be responsible for an apparent miscarriage of justice.

If Andy Miller thought that he already had enough on his plate – he’s about to discover that there’s plenty of room for more, in this fast-paced, gritty thriller set in Manchester and The Trough of Bowland, in the heart of Lancashire.

DCI MILLER 3 – Road To Nowhere

Road to nowhere is the third DCI Miller story from popular British indie author Steven Suttie.

Miller 1 is “One Man Crusade”

Miller 2 is “Neighbours From Hell”

Miller 3 is “Road To Nowhere”

WARNING, Contains bad language at times. Please do not purchase if offended by swearing.

sky news ADVERTFB 3 ROAD TO NOWHERE NEIGHBOURS FROM HELL STEVEN SUTTIE ONE MAN CRUSADE CLITHEROE PRIME MINISTER AMAZON BESTSELLER KINDLE POSTERNOV 16 4 ROAD TO NOWHERE NEIGHBOURS FROM HELL STEVEN SUTTIE ONE MAN CRUSADE CLITHEROE PRIME MINISTER AMAZON BESTSELLER KINDLE POSTER 2NOV 16 12 NO TEXT TAG ROAD TO NOWHERE NEIGHBOURS FROM HELL STEVEN SUTTIE ONE MAN CRUSADE CLITHEROE PRIME MINISTER AMAZON BESTSELLER KINDLE POSTER 2NOV 16 13 ROAD TO NOWHERE NEIGHBOURS FROM HELL STEVEN SUTTIE ONE MAN CRUSADE CLITHEROE PRIME MINISTER AMAZON BESTSELLER KINDLE POSTER 2ROAD TO NOWHERE STEVEN SUTTIE PAUL CRESSWELL REVIEW COFFEE AND KINDLE BLOG SPOT

On Amazon’s “customers also bought” function, Steven Suttie’s books are ranked alongside titles by Kerry Wilkinson, Ben Cheetham, Martina Cole, Karen Woods, Paul Finch, Heather Burnside, Rachel Abbott, Kimberley Chambers, Anna Smith, David Menon, Ed James, Robin Roughley. Lisa Hartley, D.S. Butler, Helen Durrant, RC Bridgestock, Col Bury, Lisa Hall, Pam Howes, Iain Cameron, Jessie Keane, Val McDermid, Adam Croft, P.F Ford, Matt Brolly, Mel Sherratt, Angela Clarke, Leigh Russell, Derek Fee, Janice Frost, Paul Gitsham, Steven Dunne, Katherine Pathak, Oliver Tidy, T.M.E Walsh, Peter Grainger, Dave Sivers, Tony Black, Mike Craven, Peter Grainger, Angie Smith, Stephen Puleston, Michael Murray, Angela Marsons, Mark Edwards, LJ Ross, Kathryn Croft, Graham Masterton, Caroline Mitchell, Nick Alexander, CL Taylor, Louise Voss, Jenny Blackhurst, Marnie Riches, Michael Wood, Luca Veste, Damien Boyd, Paula Hawkins, Lynwood Barclay, Ann Cleeves, M.A. Comley, Mark Sennen, Tara Lyons, Louise Voss, Squid McFinnigan, Rob Sinclair, Jane Isaac, Nicky Black, Faith Mortimer, Dreda Say Mitchell, Michael Kerr, Stephen Edger, John Nicholl, Ruth Dugdall, Robert Bryndza, B.A. Paris, Katerina Diamond, Maggie James, Lisa Hall, Georgie Logan, Tammy Robinson and Linda Tweedie

David (Brass) Versus Goliath

This first appeared in NORTHERN LIFE magazine

April 2015 ISSUE

magazine articleBACK DAVID BRASS BACK BRASS RIBBLE VALLEY ELECTION INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE 2015 BLACK AND WHITE SUIT BANANA NEWS CLITHEROE BRASSY FOR MP no more nigel

 We don’t normally do politics here at Northern Life as you know. But this story is right up our street!

We are living in very strange times. Our politicians are ignored and laughed at, and our comedians are taken seriously and applauded. Surely it is supposed to be the other way around? Britain’s politicians have never been so out-of-favour and unpopular. The endless scandals of the last few decades have seriously eroded the public’s trust, and, let’s be honest, any interest in them. People just can’t be bothered taking any notice anymore – the most common complaints are that “they’re only in it for themselves,” and that “they’re on another planet.” This might explain why only 30 per cent of folk bother to go out and vote nowadays.

Well, one man has had enough. In the Ribble Valley, a local businessman has decided that he is so fed up with the local MP – he is going to stand against him in the upcoming general election. But, what place does an ordinary, hard working family man have amongst the privileged, spoilt MP’s from down in Westminster? I popped along to meet David Brass, owner of the most colourful shop in Clitheroe town centre, to find out the full story of his campaign to swap his career in his successful town centre business to become the next Ribble Valley MP.

BRASS CLITHEROE CASTLE BACK DAVID BRASS BACK BRASS RIBBLE VALLEY ELECTION INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE 2015 BLACK AND WHITE SUIT BANANA NEWS CLITHEROE BRASSY FOR MP

How long have you lived and worked in the Ribble Valley for?

I’m proud to say that I’m born and bred in this lovely part of Lancashire. I was born at Bramley Mead maternity hospital in Whalley and have lived in Clitheroe all my life. My first work was as a paperboy for Bob Ainsworth, a local independent councillor and newsagent. I started work in this very shop after leaving school at 15, when it was called Dawson’s fish mongers.

You’ve been heavily involved in a lot of community events during that time, such as personally funding a half price ticket initiative in support of Clitheroe FC when they were facing a financial crisis. Please tell us a few more examples of your support for the town through the years.

My wife Mary and I have done all sorts of things down the years. We were enthusiastic members of Rotaract in the town and were significantly involved with the community bonfire and torchlight processions. I also had my head shaved raising several hundreds of pounds. We’ve done loads of quizzes, treasure hunts, raffles and sweepstakes and all manner of fundraising things for local groups and events. My wife and daughter Su have raised hundreds for the poppy appeal by making crocheted poppies.

What is the key message that you are saying to the Ribble Valley people on your election campaign, and what can people expect from you if you were elected as Ribble Valley MP on May 7th?

Hundreds of our customers have expressed their dismay at the negative images associated with our area due to the M.P’s involvement in his recent court case, and they are amazed by his re-selection. In the event of my being elected, I won’t be making promises that I can’t deliver. I will simply do my best.

You are a normal working class family man from the north. There are not too many people like that representing the public in Westminster nowadays. Why do you think that is?

I think it is certainly difficult for individuals to reach Westminster as opposed to career politicians within a party structure. But there are still a fair number of what you could call ordinary folk with their own wealth of life experiences doing a good job in Parliament.

You run one of the best known shops in Clitheroe, and deal with thousands of local people and tourists face to face all day, every day, seven days a week – so it is fair to say that you are in touch with ordinary people – which many people argue is the problem with our politicians nowadays. What are the main things that you hear people saying that they are unhappy about?

Certainly one of the main gripes that people have is the feeling that as individuals, we are becoming less important. Politicians, banks, utility companies all seem to do as they please, with little regard for the consumer. People are annoyed about lots of things, such as waiting times to see their doctor, unsolicited phone calls and the state of the roads and pavements. These are the topics that come up every day when I’m talking to folk.

You will of course be facing several other people in this contest, but the most high profile candidate will be the previous Conservative MP for the Ribble Valley constituency, Nigel Evans who has been the MP for over twenty years. Your campaign slogan is “Back Brass – No More Nigel.” Do you think that people have had enough of Mr Evans now?

It’s been pretty obvious that the majority of people were appalled at the behaviour and other elements of Nigel’s character that were widely reported from the trial. But on top of this, there is a strong feeling that his record as an MP is no great shakes and lots of people that I’m in conversation with on a daily basis think that it’s time for a change now.

It must be a very exciting time for you, knowing that there is a very real possibility that you will swap your job selling newspapers and magazines, to walking the floors of Westminster Palace in just a few months time. Are you not nervous about this?

I’ve not really given it too much thought at this stage! If it happens then I’ll deal with it to the best of my ability. In the meantime, my wife and I will continue doing what we always do, which is running the family business and enjoying family life.

How do you think that the general election will go over all?

Hopefully the Conservatives will win an overall majority, or at least form the majority of the government in a coalition. UKIP will make a few gains and the Liberal Democrats will have a few losses. I think the Scottish Nationalists will have a bigger influence on English matters than they should have! Hopefully, there will be at least one Independent MP elected to the house.

UKIP seem to be swallowing up the dissatisfied voters around Britain who are sick to death of mainstream political parties and the scandals that MP’s are being caught up in, as well as capitalising on the fears people have around immigration. How do you think that UKIP will fare in the Ribble Valley?

If there was nobody standing as an alternative for Conservative voters, then I don’t think many people would vote at all. UKIP doesn’t have a lot to offer in this area. Some folk will vote UKIP, as it’s too much of a stretch to contemplate voting for Labour with their abysmal record on the economy.

If you were elected, would you buy a breakfast for £39 and then claim it on your MP expenses like the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Ian Duncan Smith did? 

I’d expect breakfast for a week at that price! But no, I wouldn’t expect the tax payer to pay for my food. But it must be said that expenses should be claimed for where they are justified. It’s only fair.

What about some new socks?

I suppose if you had worn out your socks by pussy-footing and tip-toeing around the issues of the day, then maybe. But even then, you’d have to be pretty tight to put in a claim for a new pair of socks!

Joking aside, it’s very easy to see why politics is such a turn off for people with the stories we are constantly reading. Do you think that it is possible for somebody like yourself from the real world to stay “down to earth” if you became part of the Westminster bubble?

You’d like to think so. Some MP’s come across as being down-to-earth types and some appear to be in love with themselves. I’d just carry on being myself.

Who is your favourite politician of all time?

Margaret Thatcher. She was the best peace-time leader we’ve had, and she gave Great Britain a presence at the top table of international politics. She achieved this by being strong and purposeful.

And who has been your least favourite?

Chris Patten. In the Ribble Valley by-election campaign of 1991, when Nigel Evans lost, all the great and good of politics were in the area, trying to win votes. You could stand and talk with the MP’s of all the main parties. I tried to talk to Chris Patten and he just turned his back on me. That is a serious lack of manners in my book, so he is my least favourite politician for that reason.

You have a very distinctive suit that you are wearing for the election. What’s the story behind this?

Oh, yes, my “Humbug” suit. I’m wearing this to reflect the nature of politics. It seems to me that if you are in politics, you are able to get away with outrageous behaviour both inside and outside of Parliament, such as the cash for access, sexual misdeeds, expenses scandals, and the list goes on and on. The suit is of course also a nod to Martin Bell’s successful Independent MP campaign in Tatton and his trademark white suit!

What would you like to say to our readers across the north of England who might be one of the 70% of people who don’t bother going to vote?

People have died for the right to vote, both in this country and overseas. I think that it should be a public duty to vote, certainly in General Elections, so as to give a better mandate. It is particularly heartening to me that dozens of people who never vote have said that they will vote this time, and they will vote for me because I am someone who they know and who is approachable, rather than a remote politician.

Good luck with your campaign David and thanks for taking the time from your busy schedule to tell us all about it. This is a real David and Goliath fight, and I’m sure that all of the Northern Life readers will be watching the results very closely on the morning of May the 8th.

DAVID BRASS FLYER EXTERIOR BACK DAVID BRASS BACK BRASS RIBBLE VALLEY ELECTION INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE 2015 BLACK AND WHITE SUIT BANANA NEWS CLITHEROE BRASSY FOR MP NO MORE NIGEL EVANS

DAVID BRASS FLYER INTERIORBACK DAVID BRASS BACK BRASS RIBBLE VALLEY ELECTION INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE 2015 BLACK AND WHITE SUIT BANANA NEWS CLITHEROE BRASSY FOR MP NO MORE NIGEL EVANS

FULL POSTERBACK DAVID BRASS BACK BRASS RIBBLE VALLEY ELECTION INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE 2015 BLACK AND WHITE SUIT BANANA NEWS CLITHEROE BRASSY FOR MP

DAVID BRASS BLACK BACKBACK DAVID BRASS BACK BRASS RIBBLE VALLEY ELECTION INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE 2015 BLACK AND WHITE SUIT BANANA NEWS CLITHEROE BRASSY FOR MP

CROSS BACK DAVID BRASS BACK BRASS RIBBLE VALLEY ELECTION INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE 2015 BLACK AND WHITE SUIT BANANA NEWS CLITHEROE BRASSY FOR MP

BBC Introducing Lancashire – Sean McGinty

sean mcginty in northern life magazine steven suttie

This first appeared in NORTHERN LIFE magazine

DECEMBER 2014 ISSUE

I have long been a lover of local radio. In fact, from being a very small boy in the 1980’s I’ve taken a massive interest in it. But as computer-run stations and nationally syndicated services have slowly and surely eroded the magic that local radio once created, I am becoming more and more bored by the same old thing, just like many hundreds of thousands of radio listeners who are deserting local radio and re-tuning to Radio 2 instead.

But then, just as I’m about to give up completely – I discover a radio show that completely recharges my enthusiasm and gets me fully, properly excited again. I’m talking about BBC Introducing, a national network of 40 local radio programmes that champion local music in their area. In particular, I’m talking about BBC Radio Lancashire’s “Introducing” show on Saturday evenings, which is on air between 8pm and 10pm. radio lancs

If you want to be completely bowled over by an eclectic showcase of the amazing musical talent that there is here in Lancashire – I can guarantee that you will be surprised by just how much emerging talent there is in the Red Rose county, and then, I suspect that you will feel ever so proud of the whole concept.

It’s always a great feeling to stumble across a genuinely inspirational, amusing and enjoyable radio show that isn’t all about the DJ, but about what the DJ can do for others. I went down to the BBC Lancashire studios to meet the programme’s creator and presenter Sean McGinty, a man so full of energy, enthusiasm and passion for his work that it is easy to see how it all translates so well into such a bloody good radio show.

As he ate a sandwich, eaves-dropped on a band recording a session next door, while trying to discover who blocked the radio-car in with a silver peugeot, I had a good old natter with Sean about his work.

BBC radio lancashire studios in Blackburn town centre

You can tell from listening to the BBC Lancashire Introducing show that you clearly love it. What has been your highlight of doing this show so far? It’s not really on air that I get the real highlight. That comes when I listen through the one hundred and fifty songs I receive a week and hear something that’s just amazing. For example, we play a lot of music from Aquilo. When I first heard their song I was like “wow!” It just hits you and it’s amazing. And now, eighteen months later, they are doing really well, one of their songs is going to be in a film, and being a BBC Introducing presenter, you get a great “wow-factor” when you hear someone with some real talent and a great song.

Another group who are doing great things are Bondax from Lancaster, who are regularly played on BBC Radio 1. They started out on your show. Yes, through us, Radio 1 have picked up on them. Don’t get me wrong, these guys work hard on their own, and they’ve got good people representing them and they’ve done very well without the BBC involvement. Having said that, it’s always good to say “We’ve been on BBC Introducing and we’ve done a Maida Vale session.” They’ve done all that stuff, and they were at Bestival this year, and now they’re travelling the world. It’s a great result for us, but it’s down to the artist. They do all the work, they put all the time in. Just because I play a track by Aquilo, or Bondax, or Rae Morris and say I love it, that isn’t necessarily the route to how they become successful.

The show is now ten years old in Lancashire. Is it getting harder to find exciting new bands and artists to showcase, or does it get easier? I think as technology and social media has developed we are seeing more music sent to us now. We can get any where between one hundred and two hundred tracks sent in each week via the BBC Introducing Uploader on the website, as well as links to songs on Soundcloud and Youtube as well as CD’s in the post. So it is a lot of music that’s coming in to us, and almost all of it is from Lancashire.

What advice do you have for local bands who have the talent, and want to get played, but can’t necessarily afford the studio time to get a professional sounding demo together? Well, Rae Morris is a great example of that. Rae is now signed to Atlantic Records, her new single is being played on Radio 1 and her album is out in January. There’s some really good stuff happening with her right now, but the music that she sent me at first just wasn’t recorded well enough to play on the radio. It was an absolutely beautiful song, and I loved it, but I couldn’t play it. But there are other things we can do, and we invited Rae in and let her do a live session. So assuming they can do that, there’s always different options.

The Extra Third Photography

You came to radio quite late in life after a career in banking and telecoms. What made you give up secure employment and a good salary for a career in a notoriously difficult to enter industry, that probably pays a lot less? I’ve just always loved radio, and I love the job I’m doing and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is a very different earning potential as you pointed out, but as I’m approaching my fiftieth birthday, I’m really enjoying this, and all the other projects that I’m involved with and that really matters to me.

You must have to spend a lot of time listening to the music that is sent in by hopeful bands, plus you do other slots on the BBC Radio Lancashire schedule. You are also embarking on the difficult task of launching Blackpool’s Radio Victoria as a full time community radio station. How do you get the time to fit all this in? I don’t do anything that’s remotely sociable anymore! That’s it really. I’m very much into social enterprise and not for profit businesses. I was working with the hospital trust in Blackpool and suggested that they go after a community radio license, and they said go for it. So now we have the license, and just need to find about twenty five grand for the mast and various bits and pieces. I really think community radio could be fantastic for the Fylde. So yes, I’m kept very busy but I love it, and you’re a long time dead aren’t you?

Your Introducing slot is on air at 8pm on Saturdays, but it’s available all week long on the iPlayer. Are you finding that this new “on demand” technology is helping you to build a bigger audience? I don’t really look at the numbers. We used to be on Thursday evenings and we had the most radio listeners in the county on that slot, beating Radio 1, Radio 2 and everybody else. When the senior BBC management decided that all of the Introducing shows across the national network were being moved to Saturdays, we lost a lot of listeners. Mainly because most of our listeners were out playing, or listening to bands on that night. It’s possibly the worst night to have a new music show on the radio to be honest. I do get e-mails during the week from people who are listening to the I-player, but I have no idea how many there are.

introducing logo on cassette

What advice would you have for anybody who would like to follow in your footsteps and get a job in radio?Well, don’t wait until you are 38 before you even think about doing it. Do it in your 20’s! What I did was I went to the University of Central Lancashire and started a broadcast journalism course, and then I camped on the doorstep here at BBC Radio Lancashire until they let me in. When they did let me in, I just worked really hard and really long and made sure that what I did was good and eventually I got some regular paid work here.

Your wife must be very supportive of you? Yes, we both changed careers at the same time. I went into this and she went into teaching. She was very supportive of me in the early years, and now I’m supportive of her in what she does. It’s a partnership.

What ambitions are left for the BBC Lancashire Introducing show? Loads! I mean we’ve started doing BBC Introducing Live gigs at the Ferret in Preston which is a fine local venue, and a great place to play. It’s a great night for people who want to support local music and it’s free. That’s on the second Saturday of every month, and I want to build on that and get more gigs in more towns. And of course to continue showcasing the very best of Lancashire’s new music on the BBC Introducing show.

BBC Introducing programmes are on air on your local BBC station on Saturday evenings from 8 until 10pm, and available anytime on BBC Radio I-player.

More about what Sean is doing.

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