Author Archives: Wayne Chadburn

Quiz time to support the 2.6 challenge and a worthy cause

The COVID-19 pandemic has massively hit the finances of many charities across the country Many events, which would have raised millions of pounds for many worth causes have had to be cancelled.

On Sunday 26th April, the biggest one-day fundraising event in the World – the London Marathon – should have taken place. It is estimated that the UK charity sector will lose £4bn as a result of the pandemic.  The idea behind the 2.6 Challenge is to use the numbers 2.6 or 26 to create activities to raise awareness of and much needed funds for local charities.

Each week of the lockdown (5 weeks in now) I’ve done a Boredom Quiz for the staff, students and their families of the school I work at in Sheffield. This week’s quiz has the same format as the others but is much expanded on this one occasion from 10 question rounds to 26 question rounds.

Download the quiz here: Boredom Quiz 2.6 Challenge For St Wildrids Centre

The quiz is totally free to use and answers are provided, but I would ask that you consider supporting, through the 2.6 challenge, a worthy charity – the St Wilfrid’s in Sheffield – a charity my own school supports.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 2 Comments

Keep calm and do a quiz

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I’m a secondary school mathematics teacher and have been working from home for the last three weeks.  During this time we are trying to keep our students active both physically and mentally and give them positive distractions at what is a challenging time for us all.

One of the ways I’ve done this (apart from setting amazing mathematics work, of course) is by creating some quizzes for the students, their families and our staff to have a go at.  Some of the families have been using them as the basis of a family quiz night.

As an ‘extra’ for the Easter holidays I’ve created an ‘Initials and Letters Quiz’.  I’m sure you’ve seen them before – clues like 7 D in a W, the answer being 7 Days in a Week.  Some are as easy as that – some not so!  Anyway there are 100 of them.  I’m happy to send answers after Easter.  There are no prizes – just the warm glow of getting those little grey cells exercised!

You can download the quiz here: Numbers and Initials Quiz

Posted in Op-eds | 11 Comments

Re-joining the Party, Post-Brexit

I’m sure many of you have done political quizzes online to justify your political allegiances. Every so often, I do one just to check where I stand. I know my beliefs haven’t really changed over the years, but parties do modify and fine-tune their positions. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve done it, even during the Brexit years, each time the Lib Dems came top.

I’ll let you into a secret – over the years some would consider me a political flip-flopper (I’m using a slightly more polite expression than some may) in the parties I have been active in. I joined the Labour party when I was 16 in the early ’80s. As a member of a tribally Labour family in a coal mining area of South Yorkshire, what else could I do? I was an active member of the party for about 25 years. I joined a regional party six years ago because of my belief in subsidiarity (something I am still passionate about) and under this banner stood for election for the first time and became their first elected councillor. I then ultimately gave in to what the runes were telling me and were a member of the Liberal Democrats until nearly three years ago.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 73 Comments

The challenge in Yorkshire

 

Nationally it might be argued that the General Election was a moderate success for the Liberal Democrats and, maybe, even baby steps towards a revival.  A net increase of 4 seats on 2015 with a marginal decrease in the national share, which could arguably be put down to significant tactical voting, could provide some evidence of this.  However I would argue this masks disastrous performances regionally which should be of massive concern to the national party going forward.

I’d like to focus on my own region, Yorkshire.  Yorkshire contains 51 seats.  Going into the 2017 election you would have thought that the Lib Dems couldn’t do worse than their performance in 2015 where we had been reduced to just 2 Yorkshire MPs (Nick Clegg in Sheffield Hallam and Greg Mulholland in Leeds North West) and a massively reduced share of the regional vote.  In 2010, the Lib Dems won 3 seats in Yorkshire with near misses in Sheffield Central (less than 200 votes away) and Hull North (less than 650 votes away).  They polled 23% of the vote in Yorkshire and retained every deposit easily.

Fast forward to what many consider the nadir of Liberal Democratic performance in 2015.  It still resulted in 2 MPs and saved deposits in almost half of the seats in Yorkshire and a 7.3% share of the vote.  Surely this was as bad as it could get for the Liberal Democrats in Yorkshire?  Unfortunately not.  On 8th June the Lib Dems lost both seats they held as well as 41 of their 51 deposits. They polled in excess of 10% of the vote in only 4 of the 51 seats in Yorkshire.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 43 Comments

Is there room in this party for a pro-Brexit liberal?

Since the result to the EU referendum result was declared on 24th June last year, one thing that has been crystal clear is that of the three main Britain wide political parties the Lib Dems are the party of the 48% whose driving ambition at the moment it seems is to fight to remain in the EU. If a man or woman on the street were approached by a pollster and asked which of the main nationwide parties has the most defined position on Brexit it would be the Lib Dems and that it is very much the most pro-EU national party.

Maybe because of this (or because of the contemptible joke the Labour party has become) the Liberal Democrat fortunes appear, at long last, to be on the up. For this I am very happy. This country needs a strong and vocal opposition and one that is capable of opposing the Tories across the length and breadth of Britain. Labour clearly either can’t or won’t do this, so the Lib Dems appear the only sane voice of reason opposing the increasingly extreme Tory government across England, Scotland and Wales.

Posted in Op-eds | 122 Comments

Opinion: A once in a generation chance for democracy

Yorkshire I wrote an opinion piece for LibDem Voice on 26th August arguing for devolution for the regions.  My piece elicited a mixed response.  The events of the last few days, in my opinion, have made this viewpoint more mainstream and catapulted this issue up the political agenda.  We have a once in a lifetime chance to change the way we are governed in this country for the better and repair the damage done by scandal, expenses and the notion that we are governed by a small number of people from the same socio-economic background.  We have an opportunity to re-invent a truly democratic model of governance at a national and local level.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 23 Comments

Opinion: The argument for devolution

Yorkshire DalesThe British economy and hence the politics of Britain are London-centric. Of this there is no doubt.  Gross Value Added figures, which show the value of goods and services produced by the different regions of the UK highlight this perfectly. The Gross Value Added figure for London is in excess of £37,000 per head of the population. The only other region which gets above £20,000 is the South East.

The gap between London, the South East and the other regions of the UK in terms of economic power and hence influence, is widening by the day. Government after government have used the trickle-down economic argument for saying a strong London means a strong UK. Time after time, this argument fails.  A radical change is needed if this process is to be arrested – or even slowed. The UK needs ALL its regions to be buoyant, efficient and net contributors to its economy.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 29 Comments

Opinion: Why I joined the Liberal Democrat Phoenix, not the Liberal Democrat Titanic

PhoenixNo-one can deny that this has been a horrible week electorally for the Liberal Democrats.  It might also be argued that to join the Liberal Democrats at this time is akin to landing on the Titanic prior to it hitting the iceberg.  At least that is what has been said to me but to no avail. A few weeks ago I resigned my membership of the Labour party and joined the Liberal Democrats. Whilst the events of the last few days have saddened me and caused me considerable angst, not for …

Posted in Op-eds | 35 Comments
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    noncomformistradical, you are correct and compassionate here. Poorer and low paid struggle to pay, for television, too!...
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  • Lorenzo Cherin
    noncomformistradical I do not think the tone you take there, is pleasant, in this response to my humour and eating humble pie! I admit I said few, but s...
  • cim
    There's a difference between the right to cause "offence" and the right to cause "harm". If I say (to be clear, I wouldn't) "Lib Dems are traitors and the party...
  • Tom Harney
    The world has changed over the years. I joined the party in 1959. The first meeting I attended was probably 1960. There were a few people arguing that the Iris...