Senator David Norris


On his website Norris lists his concerns as “Human Rights Issues, Foreign Policy, Immigration/Asylum, European Union, Luas/Metro”.[71]

He owns a Georgian house in North Great George’s Street in Dublin,[72] he is a member of the Irish Georgian Society and is an active campaigner for the preservation of Georgian buildings in the Republic of Ireland.[13] He has spent many of his own earnings on restoring his own home “room by room”.[73] He has campaigned for the transfer of the Abbey Theatre (National Theatre of Ireland) to the GPO in the centre of O’Connell Street.[74] Norris is also a well-known Joycean scholar, and plays a large part in Dublin’s annual Bloomsday celebrations.[13]

Norris is a Christian and regularly attends Church of Ireland services. He said the following of his religious beliefs:

“I am the kind of Christian who believes that the most important theological principle is the principle of positive doubt. Even Christ doubted, on the cross. And I think if people say they hear the voice of God all the time and say they know what to do, then impose that on you, politically, it is theological tyranny. Whereas if you have doubt, it stops you from abusing your religious belief. Religion can be so abused in the interests of power, especially on behalf of institutions and governments.”[14]

Norris believes himself to be an “outsider” of “accepted society” and claims this gives him a heightened awareness of other minority or “outsider” groups. He says he wishes society to become more accepting of diversity. He has campaigned on mental health and child abuse issues.[14][75]

Norris has spoken in favour of Ireland rejoining the Commonwealth of Nations, which it left when it became a republic in 1949. He dismissed the position of the British monarch as Head of the Commonwealth as “largely titular”.[76]

When questioned on drug legalisation he said:

“The blunt instrument of criminalisation is not working because of the vast profits it generates for organised crime … my view is that the welfare of the community, including the victims of drug abuse, may be better served by having access to quality controlled, legally prescribed drugs.”[77][78]

On 31 July 2014, he delivered a speech at the Senate of Ireland about the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict to denounce the violations of human rights by the State of Israel.[79][80] The video clip of the speech attracted more than 300,000 views on YouTube making Norris most successful Irish politician to appear on YouTube.[81][82] He said:

“[…] I am in favour of human rights, whether one is Israeli, gay, a woman or black. I am not changing my position. I am not anti-Israel or anti-Semitic, but I am pro-human rights for every human being.”[83]

Biogas buses from

“First Bus has taken significant steps towards reducing vehicle emissions, by investing in a biogas fleet. The buses are considered “carbon neutral,” because they are powered by
bio-methane which has been produced through the anaerobic digestion of food waste that would otherwise have gone to landfill (Freeman, 2020). The introduction of carbon neutral biogas buses will make a significant contribution to reducing Bristol’s transport emissions.

“Biogas buses also contribute less to harmful air pollution than their electric equivalents.
Their PM10 emissions are lower, as they are between 1.5 and 3 tonnes lighter, and
therefore wear tires less quickly. First Bus intends to have an entirely biogas fleet by 2030

to Cllr Peter Hughes, Sandwell MBC

Dear Peter

On Thu, 26 Aug 2021 at 09:28, Tim Weller <> wrote:

Thank you so much for this encouraging email.  Especially, if you talk with your Combined Authority colleagues – members and officers – for united action.

I want to underline the urgency of action over reducing expenditure on the wrong things and increasing it on what will reduce greenhouse gases in the medium to long term.  We are totally addicted, indeed locked into coal, gas and oil expenditure – and, even more exploration and investment that must stop.  This is why greenhouse gas emissions are inevitable, even with minimum expenditure.  Renewables and, being satisfied with less consumption, are our only salvation.

The second matter is to regenerate your borough with a massive external and internal insulation programme for every building, followed by PV solar panels on every east, west and south-facing roofs.

The third matter is to stop demolishing, wasting buildings and all other assets.  Instead, to restore/refurbish if at all possible and, to future-proof them, as above.

With best wishes for urgent action.

from Colin Port

It’s very,very telling that despite the Government’s failures, cock-ups, deceit, hypocrisy & incompetence in just about every policy area which has come to characterise its performance (eg: Brexit, the NI Protocol, fishing, the NHS, social care, Education, Housing -esp. post Grenfell-, the pandemic, HS2, Barnard Castle, Zaghari-Ratcliffe, corruption, nonsensical trade deals, sleaze, immigration, policing, the Afghanistan withdrawal, covid rule-breaking etc. etc) costing the tax payer billions & tens of 1000s of unecessary deaths, the ONLY event to spur back bench Tories to rebel against their leader is the introduction of covid passports & the reimposition of face masks which they fear will damage profits,

SLOGANS to inspire right action by the CA and its councils

Hi Bob – what do you think?

Spend on essentials, only – NOT luxuries

Spend on what will cut finite fossil fuels (fff) now

Replace fff not buses and trains with trams

Stop destroying railway lines and bus routes for trams and Sprint.

HS2, Metro and Sprint are NOT green jobs.  

Use that money (Metro and Sprint extensions) to roll out PV on every E, W, S, roof – URGENTLY

“Net zero carbon” means we don’t emit more CO2 than we soak up – but, this is misleading ‘cos the soak up is unachievable

SCRAP net zero and call for gross zero GHG (greenhouse gases emitted)

YET – has McDonald’s got the right idea?

I’ve just read (FROM :-

“Fast food giant McDonald’s has opened an entirely “net zero-carbon” restaurant in what it believes is a UK first.

The restaurant, in Market Drayton, Shropshire, is insulated with British sheep wool and powered by renewable energy from two wind turbines and 92 sq m of solar panels.

The building’s cladding is made from recycled IT equipment and white household goods and the wall signs are made from used coffee beans.

At the same time, each kerb stone has been created from 182 recycled plastic bottles and the drive-through lane has been constructed from recycled tyres.

McDonald’s said the restaurant will be used as a blueprint to take it closer to its target of achieving net zero emissions for all of its 1,400 restaurants and offices by 2030.”

What should have been standard practice for decades. Lower impact, reducing or postponing climate breakdown.

If someone has his/her flies undone, I’m the one prepared to say something!

Hi Jules

Many thanks for your email that I have read and re-read.

I am prepared to query wrongdoing, incompetence by or, negligence from, our lords and masters.  I’ve always been interested in uncovering things that are not quite right.  For a short time, I was Chair of the Birmingham Consumer Group, a consumer watchdog organisation.  I am not prepared to allow weird and wonderful priorities to go uncovered.  Hence,

 6 scandals on the 40th anniversary of the W Mid…that is one example of my plain speaking over things going wrong.  And what do you make of this: 

One horrible history of truly terrible transport ​ 


My writing to try and put things right, as I saw it, started in the 1980s with working to stop the 16 Kms KBH bypass motorway and ended, in the 1990s, with them not building it.  Next, the withdrawal of the 87 Kms (54 miles) WOM to complete the motorway box that was resurrected again, two or three years ago, by Midlands Connect and the Black Country Chamber of Commerce.

My writing, hardly a proper campaign over the decades has always been to be positive, practical and helpful.  To always show that there is a much better way, that there is a sensible alternative.  For example, in the 1980s, I was showing that rather than building yet more motorways, the alternative was to stop destroying or wasting railway lines in the West Midlands but to use them for passenger and freight TRAINS –  and NOT TRAMS!  My occasional interviews with officers at 16 Summer Lane and letters, with later on emails, must have helped to stop the trams coming to the Kings Norton, Kings Heath, Moseley mainline railway.  Now, they are doing trains and stations instead of trams and tram stops on that important intercity and freight line.

Certainly, I’m prepared to challenge the authorities but I don’t think I have ever had any email or letter or phone call to say that any person has been upset or, even that I have been mistaken, strangely enough, even though I have begged them to correct me!  Normally, I just get silence, apathy, acquiescence!  I’ve just remembered!  I was told off by Tory Cllr Ian Bevan after a local election count where I took the opportunity as an Independent candidate to lay into those proper politicians in the room.  Apparently, I was so fired up I laid into them with, “You’re not thick!  What the hell do you think you are doing, turning your very own principal mainline railway into a piddling little shuttle tram line to take Dudley people to another proper railway in your neighbour’s borough.”

My 35 years in local government, as a social worker in Sandwell and Brum, made me realise how very difficult it was to challange even my own line manager, let alone those higher up in the hierarchy.  Hence, no insider has the guts to challenge the conventional transport wisdom that trams must take over bus routes and train services, regardless of the quite horrendous financial cost and the way it contributes to the runaway greenhouse effect.  But I can do it as an outsider with nothing to lose.  The “ruling elite” is paralysed in a state of inertia with how things have always been done.  They miss the bleeding obvious and find it very difficult to change.

Andy Street has got thoroughly swallowed up in the monstrous bureaucracy that is the WMCA at 16 Summer Lane.  He’s a left-wing Tory who has listened to me but, he doesn’t have the courage to stop the idiocies I have written about in the two pieces I have sent you, above.

All the best.  And thanks for engaging and being honest with me.


Trams are destroying Brum’s bypass, principal, mainline railway through the Black Country

Dear Bob and friends/comrades
I support Stop the War and looked in on their excellent ‘party’ yesterday evening with the actor, Mark Rylance speaking and singing, with Kia Markham and, the best leader of the Labour Party since Keir Hardy who also spoke.
I want us all to minimise our small differences and to maximise our agreements and major concerns with a broad, radical, left agenda with the Socialist Party, SWP, Communist Party and the Green Party.  United we stand, divided we fall/fail and be sidelined.
The Shrewsbury N by-election next week is likely to stay Tory because Labour and LibDems cannot agree on one candidate to certainly defeat the Tory.  We must do better and try and unite on the essentials – minimising consumption to minimise and to postpone climate catastrophe by opposing obvious idiocies like destroying Brum’s bypass, principal, mainline railway through the Black Country.  AND, the £15 billion of deadly greenhouse gases, to 2040, to replace some buses and trains with extravagant, greedy, wealth flaunting, “bus on rails” trams.
Above all, we have to grab every opportunity to speak with our so well-intentioned but pretty clueless, business as usual whatever the cost, VIPs at 16 Summer Lane.  Only persuasion by the correctness of our arguments can possibly win the day.  But, it’s just the right thing to do, anyway.  Therefore, I think, we must grab with both hands the promised quarterly public forums that must start next month, as I am asking for.

LR on a mainline railway – now VLR and ULR, too!

Dear Steve and John – but others are welcome to comment, please.
Your article in ‘Light Rail News Round Up, 12 November 2021
It was good to read your article about having VLR on the Walsall to Lichfield branch line and on to Burton on Trent, via the National Arboretum.  This line is part of the Black Country Mainline between Stourbridge and Burton and the principal mainline from Derby to Devon via Dudley.  Do you agree?
Why are you not proposing VLR for the whole wasted route between Stourbridge Jct and Burton on Trent, Steve?
Why have you always supported LR Metro trams (part of WBHE of Metro), on two short sections, totalling only 6.7 Kms of this line?  Or, am I mistaken?
Should your company have been arguing for your VLR trams on the full 120 Kms between Worcester and Derby?
You wrote about a potential connection to HS2 at Lichfield.  Am I right in thinking that HS2 does not stop there, so there can be no connection?
Would you agree that upscaling is very expensive when you have to go back in later years to upscale and put right what should have been done correctly in the first place?  My example is the Borders Railway when our Victorian forebears got things right with double track between Edinburgh and Carlisle via Galashiels.  The rebuilt railway is mostly single track when double track is needed to complete it to Carlisle.  It opened in September 2015.  If Scotland can do it to the middle of nowhere, Tweedbank in the Southern Uplands, why not our 16 Summer Lane do it for the UK’s most important, ready-built but only half-used, NE to SW, principal mainline railway in the heart of England?
On a principal mainline railway for freight (now being thought about at 16 Summer Lane) and passengers between Derby and Devon via Dudley, should this not use all the infrastructure already in place for heavy rail provision?
Could you tell me, please what the greenhouse gas (GHG) implications are for the manufacture of railway tracks, even for VLR?
Is special coking coal (from the Cumbria mine?) needed, do you know?
With many thanks for your help.

Hi Tim,

Thank you for your email of the 13 November.  I shall respond on behalf of this company only.  PPM is a separate and unrelated entity.

I do not agree with your interpretation of the rail route which we have identified as a potential light rail corridor.
This route has great local potential but by-passes the main Cities of the region and is therefore not part of the strategic passenger network.
This currently applies to freight movements as well. Thus the route is not included in Network Rail’s plans this side of 2040.

However, what we would achieve (as does the WM Metro) is protecting and using a valuable corridor for rail.
We are therefore future-proofing for possible growth, green developments and regional economic betterment.
If patronage grows then so will the case for traditional heavy rail operations.

For far too long there has been a belief that it is all or nothing.  This has wasted valuable resources as infrastructure has rotted away.
Decision makers have been brow beaten into a do nothing position.

I agree with heavy rail reinstatement for everything eventually, but when we end up with nothing until budgets allow, what have we all missed? 

How many people suffer because of the postponing of reopenings whilst budgets are found?

Perhaps we should get some revenue in for 20 years as VLR and then convert as opposed to mothballing everything.

Your other queries:

  • We  currently support different options for different sections of this transport corridor.
  • Pre Metro Operations Ltd have no business relationship with WM Metro.
  • VLR is not appropriate for the whole route – Worcester to Derby.
  • The Borders Railway does not constitute a valid comparator – It is not an urban system.
  • Your references to 16 Summer Lane are not understood. There are numerous organisation located therein.
  • We have no information on the costs or processes associated with any type of rail or tram track.
  • We have no information on coking coal.


Steve Jasper
Operations Director
+44 (0) 7778 375304 30 November 2021


Why is Push Bikes not supporting me, even half-heartedly, over the UK’s major, 22 Kms Black Country Cycle Walk Mudway, so that we can actually use it for business, commuting and leisure use? timweller1@timweller1

Why has Adam Tranter not replied to a single email I have sent him over the disgraceful state of the UK’s major cycle-walkway between Brierley Hill’s DY5 Enterprise Zone and NW Wolverhampton?


The three most important points over regional Fare-Free Public Transport are:

  1. OAPs have had it for years, so it is never a problem giving it to my age group.  It is, therefore, unacceptable that all you bright young things in the young and middle-aged bracket are denied it.  As the workers of the world, you need it very much more than us old crocks!
  2. It is essential as a carrot, a reward for motorists leaving their cars at home and as the antidote to the stick of CAZ – Clean Air Zone – from next month.
  3. As compensation for Dudley borough residents who will, forever now, have a longer and slower journey on eleven different bus routes into Brum city centre because of the scandalously expensive, grossly extravagant, greenhouse gas spewing Metro tram taking over the Five Ways underpass and Broad Street.  Only some bus routes may be allowed back into Broad St and none can use the underpass.

The highest and most substantial concrete crash barriers I have ever seen to prevent trams colliding – PHOTO of the underpass, how it is now!​ Five Ways underpass.jpg