Eric Ollerenshaw column

Eric Ollerenshaw.
Eric Ollerenshaw.

I thought I would take a moment in this week’s column to reflect about the last week.

‘A week is a long time in politics’ - famous words but for me true ones as last week it certainly seemed like that, with the dreadful murder of aid worker David Haines in Iraq and the tension of the Scottish Referendum.

It also felt as if all the usual securities we take for granted were somehow coming apart and the other standard line about ‘things are not what they used to be’ rang so true.

Yet again Iraq comes back to haunt us and as we pray for Alan Henning and John Cantlie together with their family and friends, and as Governments across the globe try and come up with the means to strike down this terror, I cannot help thinking yet again ‘it’s a small world’ and how we cannot easily turn our backs on events in ‘a faraway country of which we know little’.

My apologies that as an ex-history teacher of a certain age, the old sayings always seem to feel more appropriate.

But when we came to the possible break-up of the United Kingdom last week there didn’t seem to be many of the old sayings to go on or to quote.

What I can say is that speaking for myself I am glad we are still part of the same union, but clearly what has been demonstrated is that if this United Kingdom is to go on for another 300 years, then it has to adapt and change if we are to hold together as one in this fragile world.

That means for me not just England’s relationship with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland but also internally how do we maintain a balance between London’s never ending expansion as a global city and the rest of England including us in North Lancashire of course.

And even within our part of England how do we balance our needs against the local dominance of Greater Manchester and Merseyside?

I make no apologies about this more serious column this week, particularly as it allows me to say that there are at least two positive lessons from all this - politics does matter and yes your vote does count.

As always, please contact me if I can be of any help.