There is more to politics than Brexit – not that you’d really know it today!
PUBLISHED: 05:30 05 September 2019
Trying to find a topical subject for a political column this week has been a total nightmare – no sooner has one issue blown up than the next thing you know it is trumped by something else even more unlikely.
As I write this for the deadline I have, we may be heading for a General Election on October 14. Or that might be stopped by the Labour Party failing to support the move, or that might be trumped by Boris Johnson calling a vote of no confidence in his own government.
That could mean a delay to any election until after October 31 - or it could lead to the formation of a national government to suspend Brexit if politicians from all the opposition parties (and rebel Tories) can quickly agree on someone to lead it.
By the time this is published, any of that could have happened - and it could then change again by Friday morning.
So it would be good to switch the focus away from Westminster and all the head-banging going on there at some of the political issues that are still blowing around nearer home.
In Ipswich we've seen the demise of the unloved Cornhenge plinths that were such a talking point when the new-look Cornhill was unveiled last autumn.
I have to say I did rather like the idea of the plinths - telling the story of several aspects of Ipswich life over the centuries. And I quite liked their imposing appearance.
However their dull grey finish never worked. When I was told they were to be polished to get a marble-like effect I thought that would work - but then it became clear that was pipedream.
Given the cost and disruption it would cause to replace them - and the need for more open space on the Cornhill - it is clear that the right decision was made to get rid of them altogether.
That removal may have cost £10,000, but it's a small sum in the whole cost of the Cornhill and if they had worked they would have been a real centrepiece of the town.
Sometimes things like this don't quite work out - and that's the case with Cornhenge. But it would be a shame if nothing interesting was ever proposed because of the fear of failure.
Another piece of news that caught the eye in Ipswich was the borough's decision to retain the road changes it made to access Chantry Park for Ed Sheeran's concerts.
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That seems extremely sensible - and should make it much easier to attract other big acts who might want to play at the park.
Because the weekend quite clearly was a success. There were some people who were inconvenienced (but they really should have known what was happening well in advance).
And there were some people who were determined to look at the downside of the concerts whatever happened.
But overall, the main feeling was that these concerts were well-organised and ran very well.
No one is suggesting there should be dozens of gigs every year at Chantry Park, but a big show once a year or every other year should not cause too many problems for anyone.
And after proving that the town can take a concert like this on four successive nights over a bank holiday weekend, organisers really should be encouraged to look at Chantry Park again in the future.
Lastly, in the week that Greater Anglia formally showed off its new regional (branch line) trains that are now being introduced in the north of its region, it is looking as if progress is being made on our railways.
We still have to wait to see these trains on lines out of Ipswich - but they are making their mark on Norfolk and Cambridgeshire routes.
And I'm assured we should see the first new Intercity trains in operation during the autumn.
I remain frustrated by the lack of action from Network Rail and the Department for Transport on upgrading the infrastructure in this region - but it would be churlish not to mention the completion of work on upgrading the Felixstowe branch with a new bridge at Trimley to go with new level crossings, including that at Westerfield.
So there are other things happening on a local level that have a political dimension.
But in actual fact, politics these days means Brexit. There appear to have been another few twists flashed through on our news feed about that while I have been writing this column. I'm sure they'll impact our lives immeasurably over the next few years.
But I'm not sure our current politicians will ever get over the European divide between them.
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