The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower

New Milton Discussion Group

Last Meeting at the Community Centre
- Tuesday 13 October

Twelve people attended in two groupos of six in line with the Rule of Six. This is what my group came up with:

Question 1. Should a Government be able to take emergency powers without prior sanction by Parliament?

Our main conclusion was that the government should only rarely take emergency powers without Parliament approval and even then on a strictly limited basis, e.g. where time was limited. To do so otherwise was thought to be dangerous.

Wherever possible MPs should be consulted and legislation scrutinised. We discussed examples of consultation including the war room in World War II, COBRA and SAGE.

To do this any other way would smack of backroom deals and sofa cabinets and could be undemocratic. Unpopular/unproven policies could be introduced.

Question 2. How do we resolve the position of refugees and asylum seekers?

We did not think we could resolve the problem but came up with a few suggestions:

- As the impact of war and repression was a worldwide problem, we thought that the UN should be involved in resolving problems including the management of displaced people. It would be good to think that all countries would be willing to play their part.
- If we had a worldwide plan it might take the constant flow of economic migrants.
- If at all possible we should try to remove the reasons for people leaving their countries
- We needed to target the traffickers and stop people being able to pay to come over
- We needed to revisit the process of the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers, e.g. to identify qualified English-speaking people who would be an asset to the country

We discussed why migrants wanted to come to the UK, the low level of repatriation and the appeal system (and the little help we get from the French!)

Question 3. “The wealth of any nation depends on the health and education of its young.” Are we doing enough?

We spent longer on this thoughtful question than the others. We agreed that we weren’t doing enough.


We felt that there had been too much change and the strategy for secondary and higher education had not wholly worked.

We thought that more emphasis should be placed on technical education and apprenticeships as an alternative to universities.

We thought that the education and training of nurses and those involved in social care needed to be revisited.


On the positive side, a lot of physical exercise/sport was played and there were a number of role models and a lot of encouragement from parents.

There has also been a great deal of promotion of healthy eating. /p>

Unfortunately there appears to be a national obsession for partying/having a good time, which can lead to unhealthy drinking and drug-taking.

Wealth Creation

I thought that the question did not go far enough.

He thought that there was also a need for skilled managers, entrepreneurs and investors/business angels/mentors to create wealth.

We discussed where aptitude came from and was thought to be partly through family history.

Question 4. Should we bring back identity cards to help with Track and Trace?

Our discussion was short and sweet. We agreed with an answer submitted beforehand:

“We should all have ID cards to help with all areas of our lives not only “Track and Trace”. It should be a basic requirement to prove who we are at any time.”

We noted that ID cards are compulsory in many other countries and as with other cards etc there was the danger of cards being stolen and forged.

We thought that the track and trace system would be improved simply if everyone complied with the rules but unfortunately flouting the rules had become a National Sport.


The other group covered a fifth question but we finished with a general chat about President Trump and his brush with Covid 19 and good places to eat out!

It was interesting to meet in a small group of six with participantsable to make their contributions more easily than when we meet as one big group.

Colin Bower
15 October 2020

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