Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday, on the 11th and 12th November this year, are a time to remember the sacrifice of so many through conflict. The trauma of war lasts for generations and our marking of those sacrifices is always a reminder of how we should always strive for peace.
I always wear a red poppy, a flower that was chosen for its vibrant blood red and because it grew on the WWI battlefields. It was never, as some claim, used as a symbol to celebrate war and conflict.
We only have to turn on the radio or open a newspaper to see how much conflict there is around the world. We would never have thought that we would ever have another war in Europe though we will not be as surprised to see violence break out in the Middle East again.
We have our reminders as to why we need to maintain our national defences and invest in the military. Strong armed forces act as a deterrent to conflict and, in that sense, even though we are not at war our military personal are securing our peace and security every day.
One of the most noticeable groups of people in uniform, after the armed forces, are the staff at our busier railway stations. I was as surprised as many others were with the rail companies proposing to bring an end to the existing ticket offices. They claimed that it would not affect the quality of service but I always had my doubts.
I am as relieved as many others that these proposals have been cancelled after a huge amount of political pressure. We need our key railway stations to be manned for a whole variety of reasons and equally need to oppose the idea that every service ought to be bought on-line.
The Government, acting to protect our railways has also worked to improve our bus services. They are continuing the £2 maximum bus fares which has been so helpful to so many. Far more people use the bus than any other form of public transport and the Government are working to maintain the quality of service.
The Mayor of Greater Manchester has now established the ‘bee network’ branding for local buses, making use of the powers that the national Government has given. We need to see frequency and reliability of bus services improved so that more people feel confident in getting the bus for work, school and leisure.
Even though we always hear about electric vehicles, most of our transport is powered by fossil fuels. When we look back only a few decades, we can see that this form of energy has transformed our lives in so many wonderful ways – from powering refrigeration to keep food fresh to flights taking us to the most amazing holiday destinations.
This is why I am delighted and relieved that the Conservative Government is backing the North Sea oil and gas production and are dismissing Labour’s demands for us to be dependant on Russia or the Middle East.
This article was originally published in the Wigan Observer on 11th November 2023: https://www.wigantoday.net/news/politics/chris-green-mp-remembering-the…