Our roving reporter visited the Opinion Time Group led by Bernard Barker on Friday 29th July.
The group has been going for two years and meets in Bernard's house in Orton Brimbles. Currently there are 10 members in the group, but being July some were on holiday.
Bernard said "To start with we had some quite difficult discussions, but now the group has got to know each other and are able to discuss contentious issues without causing offence to each other. He added we enjoy exercising our minds on contemporary issues. "
On the Friday I visited there were seven members present and a potential new member Rosie.
One member, Pat Jacques, had agreed at the previous meeting to research a subject and chose to talk about the Chilcott report into the Iraq War and Paddy Ashdown's new book about his experience in the Balkans in aftermath of the 1980's conflict. After Pat's introduction, a wide ranging discussion took place about the importance of having good knowledge about the existing state of the Government, Army and Police in the country to be invaded to help develop a plan for transition into a successful post conflict country. Security, order and re-establishing the economy were identified as particularly important aspects.
After a well-earned tea break, Sheila Martin introduced another topic, the question of Jeremy Corbyn's, the current Labour leader's, position in that he was elected with a clear mandate by Labour Party members but does not have the support of his parliamentary colleagues. Sheila talked about the difference between the concept of parliamentary democracy and the wider membership of a party. This discussion inevitably brought in the question of the recent Brexit referendum result and how with the election of Theresa May a Government can change its policy direction without a general election taking place.
After a brief discussion about BHS and Sir Phillip Green, in which the whole group was in agreement, the meeting ended on a positive note when Sheila reminded all that we had won the test match and that Chris Froome had won the Tour De France.
Roving Reporter (BK)