Saturday, 31 July 2010

Words Of Wisdom - Again?

From a website in America:
"Let’s look at the reality of the situation: more than one culture cannot occupy the same space without causing inevitable conflict."
 "People who want to look benevolent and generous to others look for pity targets."
 "But if your country is a corrupt kleptocracy, ridden with disease and warfare, where most people are making poor life decisions, heck yeah you want to get here. Only there’s a problem: if people in that country had any clue, the country wouldn’t have gotten into that state. So we’re importing clueless and damaged people."
"And even worse, in the meantime our culture loses focus; we no longer have culture..."
Dogmatic, confrontational? Yes, but also so bloody true!

You Have Been Warned

What happens in America usually comes over to the UK and Europe - remember? Contrast what is being introduced in Europe and in Britain with what is being introduced in America and just remember the first sentence of this post!
Homeland Security - we have it! Those disagreeing with Government - we have it, just look at right-wing blogs and the comments! Recruiting school children and young adults into mandatory civil service - we have it!

Be afraid people - be very, very afraid!

European Investigation Order (2)

On Monday 19th July I posted about the possible introduction of the European Investigation Order (EIO) and - surprise, surprise - our new 'unelected' Coalition Government have 'rolled over' and accepted yet another intrusion into the way this country is supposed to be governed by our own elected representatives. Peter Hitchens, writing in the Mail, has a vituperative article on that decision and which highlights the lack of real opposition by Eurosceptic MPs of all parties.

What is really offensive is the fact that, yet again, a government is ceding a 'right' that only the people have the power to cede. So what happened to the 'Cameron Promise' that no more power would be ceded to the EU and that a referendum would be held? Like any other promise of his, that one proves worthless - what is it with this man who believes people's memories do not go back more than 24 hours?

And the sad aspect of this? No-one seems to give a damn!  Very few members of the public even know what this latest 'roll-over' might mean to them and even more depressing, very few MPs were against it and those that were did not appear willing to create a 'scene' about it!

As a nation it seems we are, truly, to deserve all that is about to befall us!

Those Of A 'Gay' Disposition

Back in the days when I were but a lad, prior to the 'bastardisation' of the English language, being 'gay' meant one was happy and carefree. Unfortunately then along came the 'Equality' and 'Diversity', 'We can't upset anyone' brigade who conned the public into believing that calling someone a homosexual, or lesbian, was degrading and offensive.

It now appears that Clare Balding (she of the horse world) has been offended by an article in the Sunday Times, written by AA Gill. The response from the Sunday Times editor, John Witherow, seems perfectly reasonable:
"In my view some members of the gay community need to stop regarding themselves as having a special victim status and behave like any other sensible group that is accepted by society. Not having a privileged status means, of course, one must accept occasionally being the butt of jokes. A person's sexuality should not give them a protected status."
If one accepts that hetrosexual practice is the norm in this country then why are those whose practice some might then say is abnormal feel a need to alter the meaning of a word to describe their sexual preferences? Because of being ashamed or an inferiority complex?

Just asking...............................

Pre-Election 'Junkets' By MPs

The Mail reports that "MPs squandered hundreds of thousands of pounds on junkets to exotic locations during the dying months of the last government, the Daily Mail can reveal. They travelled to dozens of far-flung locations including Abu Dhabi, New York and Sao Paulo on ‘fact-finding’ missions for Commons committees. Ludicrously, many of the most frequent fliers were on committees whose remit is purely national.

Now £1.7million may be just a 'drop in the ocean'* when compared to our country's current national debt, but did it not cross the one brain cell they share that it might not have been the best time to 'splash out' public money?

And still our elected representatives wonder why they are held in such contempt by their employers?

* Afterthought: Pity the aircraft did not drop the bloody MPs in the ocean!

Self-Help First

Simon  Heffer, writing in the Daily Telegraph, complains about the row over funding Trident and compares it to the amount of overseas aid we give to 'developing countries' - and complains rightly so in my humble opinion.

One only has to look at this map and questions arise. For example, why the hell we are supporting countries like India and China, God alone knows - two countries whose economy is doing rather well actually.

Whilst I have every sympathy for the starving in Africa and elsewhere, I would ask one simple question. If a family is faced with helping a relation who has fallen on hard times and donating to someone who already has a few bob - who do they help first? A no-brainer of a question really as they will obviously help their relation. (and please don't anyone mention that crap about helping both!)

It seems to me that the figure proposed - 7% of GDP - should be spent helping our own people and providing for their needs first.

A personal view - and if that upsets anyone, tough!

The UK National Administation Centre aka The House Of Commons

From the Copy of Economic and Fiscal Strategy Report and Financial Statement and Budget Report – June 2010 as laid before the House of Commons by the Chancellor of the Exchequer when opening the Budget - which can be viewed here.

On page 59 we read: "2.159 From 31 January 2011, VAT will be applied at the standard rate to certain postal services provided by the Universal Service Provider (Royal Mail), restricting the exemption to those services which Royal Mail is obliged to provide."

Why is VAT to be applied at the standard rate to certain postal services provided by Royal Mail - services which presently are not subject to that tax? To learn the true reason one has to look at the Royal Mail website, from which I quote: "As part of the budget on Wednesday 24th March 2010, the Government announced plans to introduce VAT on some of Royal Mail’s products and services from Monday 31st January 2011. The Government confirmed this in the Budget on 22nd June 2010. This follows a legal challenge to the VAT exempt status of our services and a ruling by the European Court of Justice on the services that can remain VAT exempt." (my emphasis)

Once again this apology for a government has been 'economical with the actualite' when announcing the imposition of VAT in a new area. And our politicians still believe they 'govern' us?

Salmond's Contradiction

The Purple Scorpion posts on Alex Salmond's decision not to formally give evidence to a committee hearing of a foreign legislature, even if it was held in the UK. TPS quotes Salmond as saying "It's a point of principle that you're not responsible to the committee of another parliament,"

As I commented on TPS - who ends his post with the words "Bang on" - setting to one side 'the committee' aspect, too bloody true when considering the subservience of our Parliament to Brussels!

Friday, 30 July 2010

Prophesy From America?

Gerald Celente comments that there is no democracy in America, something which is all too true in this country. You can listen to a radio interview here and a great deal of what he says is applicable in this country too.

".....there is no show business like show business and politics as they say is show business for ugly people ...and when you look at it and break it down , all it is , is theater and second rate theater at that and the people that are running this show are the same people that you could not stand in school - the 'suckers-up', 'teacher-pets'. 'brown-nosers',...."
Interesting, to say the least.........

6 Laws That Were Great On Paper (And Insane Everywhere Else)

So posts an American blogger - and most of which can be applied to this country and the EU!

As a 'taster' - on indoor 'smoke-free' legislation:
"They forgot to take two tiny little things into account: Winter is cold and wet, and people with genitals typically like to not "freeze them off.........Never underestimate the love affair between beer and cigarettes, or the motivational power of cold balls. Oh, also don't drink and drive. That's somewhere in there too."
Hilarious and well worth a read!

Quango Cull - Or Just Rearranging The Deckchairs?

The Coalition has promised a cull of quangos, reported on here by the Mail on 23rd May - that is month, not Theresas and God forbid that we had 23 of her!

Having just come across this list from the Taxpayers Alliance, coupled with this from the same organisation, one has to ask when will the promised cull begin? John O'Connell, also of the TPA, also has an interesting blogpost here.

When considering the existence of these quangos, together with the majority of our MPs, one has to observe their necessity is on a par with that of a condom in a Convent!

The Ultimate Invasion Of One's Privacy

From Big Brother Watch comes this post by Lydia Ellis dealing with cases of CCTV in public toilets and changing rooms in pubs and schools - even The Inner Temple! I am uncertain whether any blogger has covered this story - my having been 'off-air' all this week - but if they have, please bear with me whilst I add my own views.

What type of society have we become when we would no more even contemplate 'spying' on our 'other half' whilst they use the loo at home, yet accept it when it is a public loo? What type of society have we become whereby we are prepared to pay for bureaucrats to come up with a policy such as this? What type of society have we become whereby anyone could even think of an idea such as this? What type of society have we become whereby we have elected politicians who allow this to happen? What type of society have we become that we are prepared to use public toilets where we are informed that they are cleaned by both male and female attendants?

We have, indeed, become an extremely crap piss-poor 'sick'society!

Prat Politician Of A Prat Party!

So all you voters who believed the Eurosceptic claptrap proffered by the Conservative Party at the European elections last year - and the general election this year - you've been had!!

Take a look at this video featuring David Lidington MP, Minister for Europe and marvel at his unreserved belief in this country remaining a member of the European Union!

This man, along with the Leader of his party, is no more a Eurosceptic than I am the Pope!

Another 'Warner Broadside'

Gerald Warner is one writer for whom I have a great deal of time, especially as it is a fine point as to whose hatred of Cameron is the greater - his or mine.

One point in Warner's latest offering with which I would take exception is this:
" is dispiriting to see the likes of Vince Cable and Chris Huhne swanning in and out of Number 10; but, by and large, these are irritants rather than serious threats."
Gerald, Gerald - as for Vince Cable, one can only presume that prior to making his 'Mr. Bean' jibe at Gordon Brown, he had just looked in a mirror and to put Chris Huhne in charge of the environment is akin to putting an arsonist in charge of state funded conflagrations!

Those two individuals are most definitely not irritants - they are bloody walking disasters!

Just Who Is Telling Porkies?

The Mail has a story headlined "Labour did NOT promise the Lib Dems voting reform without a referendum. So who lied to who?" dealing with the shenanigans which occurred between the three main political parties immediately after the general election in May this year.

Do we, the people, not deserve to know the full facts and who said what to whom? Is it right that party leaders and their senior henchmen decide which of them is to administer all the directives and regulations issued by the not our government 'mob' in Brussels?

As an aside, the remarks by Tom Harris really do beggar belief. "He said: ‘What Gus O’Donnell seemed to be saying is that we can’t have a minority government because that would be bad for the markets. I don’t think the Civil Service or the markets should decide the sort of government we have. The British public made that decision and there was no overall majority. If the markets don’t like that, then tough, they don’t have a vote." (my emphasis). One question then, Mr. Harris - What difference does a vote make when MPs can ratify the Lisbon Treaty without asking those who do have a vote?

Politicians & Contractual Promises

Ever since the Expenses Scandal broke - if not before - politicians have been held in increasing contempt by the public. Yet another example of why this is so comes with the decision to hold a referendum on whether we should retain the 'first-past-the-post' system or opt for the 'alternative vote' system.

At the 2010 general election the Conservative manifesto stated: "We support the first-past-the-post system for Westminster elections because it gives voters the chance to kick out a government they are fed up with."; the Labour manifesto stated: "To ensure that every MP is supported by the majority of their constituents voting at each election, we will hold a referendum on introducing the Alternative Vote for elections to the House of Commons." and the LibDem manifesto stated: "Change politics and abolish safe seats by introducing a fair, more proportional voting system for MPs. Our preferred Single Transferable vote system gives people choice between candidates as well as parties." To summarise therefore, Conservatives:  FPTP; Labour: AV and LibDem: STV.

Due to the fact the general election resulted in a hung parliament which in turn gave birth to 'The Coalition', what has transpired is a 'dogs breakfast', in which all three parties can be accused of hypocrisy where any change to the voting system is concerned as we now have the Conservatives totally against AV but agreeing to the referendum, Labour who now state they will vote against AV and the Liberal Democrats stating that they will vote for AV - a system which Nick Clegg described as "a miserable little compromise". As I posted in May, if the system for electing our political representatives has to be changed then surely the people should be presented with all the options available.

Regular readers will know that I have long complained about our present political system, terming it 'Democratised Dictatorship'. Yet again we see political parties deciding what 'freedoms' and 'choices' they will allow the people to enjoy - and of course the one referendum the people do want, that on EU membership, is not one that any of the political parties will agree to grant! Couple that last point with this story in the Mail which reports that 45 Conservative MPs have signed a motion against dropping FPTP and, more importantly, that "Another nine MPs wanted to sign the motion, but were persuaded at the last moment not to do so by Tory whips." and it is obvious why I use the term I do!

Friday 30th July 2010

Apologies for lack of posts - schedule for this week went totally awry, to put it mildly.

A few hours required to play 'catch-up' on what has been happening.............

Monday, 26 July 2010

Monday 26th July 2010

As I am away from today for three days with no internet connection, posting will resume on Thursday.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Reagan The Prophet?

On October 27th 1964 Ronald Reagan, at the beginning of his political career gave a speech entitled "A Time Of Choosing". He had, by then, left his Democrat roots and become a Republican and during the 1964 Presidential election said this:
"Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves."
Change the spelling of 'capitol' and 'the American revolution', substituting 'capital' and 'the United Kingdom' and of whom - and what - was Reagan speaking? 

EU know as well as I do!

We The People

Where oh where is our present day equivalent of this politician?
"Man is not free unless government is limited"

1 minute 38 seconds of a good, sensible and easily created simple political ideology

Huhne, Journalists & Their Common Problem

As regular readers will know, one of my many complaints is that we suffer from such a low level of journalism in this country, in that statements from politicians and pressure groups are faithfully reported, but without criticism or further investigation as to their validity by the journalists concerned.

A prime example exists today with the 'reporting' of Chris Huhne's latest controversial plan to increase the number of wind turbines. It had been my intention to post on this, however Richard North, EU Referendum, does it so much better here.

Oh - and the common problem afflicting both Huhne and journalists? They appear to have one brain cell between them - which obviously is not up to the job!

Quote Worthy Of Mention

Burning Our Money posts on what he terms "The Heroes of BOM", during which he highlights the story of Mark Wheeldon  on which I in turn posted earlier today.

Commenting on the fact Mark Wheeldon lives in Stoke, BOM writeas:

"Stoke FFS - the place the Luftwaffe never bombed becase it looked like they'd already done so...."

Well, I can think of a few other places besides Stoke.......!

The Continuing 'Govt vs Local People' Argument

It would appear that a slight disagreement has arisen in Arizona (US) about who 'rules the roost', with a court hearing pending to decide the issue.

This would appear to illustrate a case where, once again, central government decides what is best for the people of an area whilst not actually living in that area and having first-hand experience of the problems their policy dictates. 

Now why does this attitude remind me of our political 'big three'?

Plagiarising one comment - perhaps the Clegg party should be renamed The Liberal Democraps?

A Lesson For Those Unemployed

See what a little initiative can do?

This young chap tried something different and was duly rewarded. His new employer said: "There are not many unemployed people who would have done that and I thought that anyone who wanted a job that much deserved a chance......".

Presumably the police and local authority had not yet got out of bed otherwise there would no doubt have been charges levied that he was a distraction to motorists and could be the cause of an accident or that he had not filled in the requisite form(s) to use local authority maintained land - there is bound to be one law, in the 3000+ passed in the last few years that could have been used!

H/T: A 'tweet' from AmbushPredator for the story.

NHS 'Axe' Falls On The Wrong Necks

The Sunday Telegraph reports that the NHS has drawn up plans for 'sweeping cuts to services, resulting in restrictions on the most basic treatment for the sick and elderly.'
"The Sunday Telegraph found the details of hundreds of cuts buried in obscure appendices to lengthy policy and strategy documents published by trusts. In most cases, local communities appear to be unaware of the plans."
Perhaps the first place the axe should fall is on the necks of unnecessary administration staff, including those who seem to spend their time producing lengthy policy and strategy documents.

One of the biggest headaches that the NHS faces is that of care for the elderly, with one in five of the population being over 65 come 2026 - so reports Joan Bakewell in a comment piece in the same newspaper. She adds: "When it comes to the problems of old age, people are not stupid: they are fully capable of thinking ahead about how to pay for their care. Sadly, governments can rarely say the same." and with that last sentence, therein lies the problem. One is reminded of the words uttered by Ronald Reagan: "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem." in that the NHS becomes a 'political football' kicked from one political ideology to another and back again  by, it seems, people who have no idea what they are doing or trying to achieve.

Some further words of Reagan's bear repetition: "It is my intention to curb the size and influence of the Federal establishment and to demand recognition of the distinction between the powers granted to the Federal Government and those reserved to the States or to the people." If Cameron really did intend to devolve power, he would actually implement the principle Reagan proposed and not introduce 'top-down' - and thereby centrally controlled - ideas like The Big Society.

Rearranging The Deckchairs/Evidence?

An interesting post from, brought to my attention by a website in America, on the death of Dr. David Kelly can be read here, one that should 'stir up' the controversy even more than has been the case.
"He also claimed that it was not a coincidence that Special Branch officers were the ones who first appeared on the scene – they moved Dr Kelly’s body to another location, changed the original
position of his corpse and took away incriminating evidence.

‘He added that the scene where Dr Kelly’s body was found was carefully arranged and completely “washed out”, including the destruction of all
fingerprints. When I asked who was behind his death, he [Mr Everett]
answered indirectly, saying the “competing firm”, which I took to mean
These allegations may well be considered a little 'muddying of the waters' by a former defector whose reasons for so doing may be questioned, however it is but what a lot of people believe did happen.

Whether the truth will ever surface is the question though.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Two Contradictory Stories

Two stories, both by 'Daily Telegraph Reporter, in today's Daily Telegraph (sorry, no links found) were slightly amusing.

The first read:
"Sitting on the sofa could prove fatal": People who spend too much of their time on the sofa could die young, even if they are active, according to scientists. People who sit for more than six hours a day are up to a third more likely to suffer an early death, says a study from the American Cancer Society. The findings refer to all causes of death, not just cancer."
 So, who says all we do is 'sit' and does 'all causes of death' include 'horizontal jogging', an activity in which some of us do indulge, on sofas - those of us who are 'active', of course!

The second story read:
"Holidays hold the key to a longer life": The first paragraph reading: The positive impact of a holiday lasts until well after the break is over and can even contribute to a longer life, a study has suggested."
Question then, scientists: what happens if we were to take our holidays and spend them on sofas being 'active', especially if a positive impact lasts well after 'the break'?

Vote Face - Or Politicians To Talk 'Plain English'?

On 23rd of this month Andrew Porter, Political Editor of the Daily Telegraph, had this story 'on-line'.

Yet today, in the print edition (no link yet, it would seem) the same journalist has the story that that report has been repudiated by a spokesman for No 10.  In an article headlined "No more Monster's Balls, says Cameron", Porter reports that Crispin Blunt has been 'humilatingly rebuked' by David Cameron. Porter reports that "The Prime Minister's spokesman said: "I understand the Ministry of Justice guidelines to prison governors doesn't quite give 'carte blanche'  to such parties, but we just want to make it clear to the public there will be no such parties"

And there was me thinking that 'No More Monster's Balls, says Cameron' referred to the fact that The Colalition would cease trying to 'con' the public!

BOGOF* (Bury One, Get One Free)

The Daily Telegraph (print edition) reports that a council-run graveyard is selling Muslim burial plots more than £500 cheaper than those for non-Muslims, to the anger of local residents.

One priest, who did not wish to be named, spoke out after members of his congreation raised concerns over the 'discriminatory price' of burial plots in the Greenlawns Memorial Park cemetry in Warlingham, Surrey. Managed by Croydon council, it offers Muslims a plot for £2,383 but charges non-Muslims £2,927. A spokesman for Croydon council is reported to have said that the reason for the difference was that Muslims allow only one person to be buried in a grave, while people of other religions can use it for 'more than one person'.

Maybe, just maybe, Jo Moore was a 'woman before her time' with her 'its a good day to bury bad news' email!

* For my American readers - if they don't already know - the definition of 'BOGOF'

I Shouldn't Worry Young Man

The Daily Telegraph (print edition) reports that Kyle Taylor, 18 and one of Britain's youngest councillors, has been suspended by Alan Jones, the head teacher at Maryhill High Media Arts College, for having been absent from too many lessons and that he could not therefore return to his A level studies in September.

Kyle Taylor had been studying 'business'' and 'history' - two subjects that are totally irrelevant for a career in politics!

Water, Water Everywhere And Not a Drop To Drink (Well Not Quite)

Once again the headline to a story in the print edition of the Daily Telegraph is entirely different to that of the same story on-line.

To this story the print edition reads "The water bandits who are draining a village dry" - one that prompted the first thought that the water companies had been 'found out', that the increasing charges had been discovered to be based on a scam that we all know exists.

Unfortunately, nothing of the sort - so, yet again, it proves that British journalism has no integrity!

David Davis (Haltemprice & Howden)

David Davis would appear to have broached the subject 'that dare not speak its name' with his alleged comment about 'The Brokeback Coalition'.

Even in the present 'live and let live' society there are those amongst us that still believe homosexuality is an unnatural liaison between consenting adults - a view, politically, that can also be levied against The Coalition. Ergo, those who believe homosexuality is an abomination to society can now be joined by those who believe The Coalition is, likewise, an abomination to our society.

There are those will will say that Davis still carries - and feels - the wounds of his defeat by Cameron for the Conservative Party leadership battle. Be that as it may, it is however true that Cameron is no 'Conservative' within the meaning of the word usually associated with the party he leads - and so may have gained his position under false pretences (but hey, isn't that how politics normally works?).

In his article, Patrick Hennessey writes:
"Expect this point to be trotted out by Harriet Harman ad nauseam over the summer, and by whoever becomes the permanent Labour leader from September onwards."
Death need not be caused by one mortal blow, it can be due to a number of small wounds which over time cause a festering wound that eventually ends a life, even a political life. David Davis may well have fired the first arrow, but it will be the continious rein of arrows, which will surely follow, that will eventually 'kill' not only Cameron but The Coalition!

Venables (And Not the Football One!)

Can anyone please explain what the Probation Service were actually trying to achieve with Jon Venables?

He was allowed to live within a few hundred yards of a school (print edition of the Daily Telegraph)  the Parole Board having decided that he was unlikely to re-offend; he was arrested on suspicion of affray and cautioned by a probation officer in September 2008; he was arrested in December of the same year when police officers found him with cocaine and he is given access to the internet, unsupervised - and yet nothing happens to punish him? Just WTF is going on here?

Martin Evans, writing in the print edition of the Daily Telegraph, reports that his solicitor, giving a statement on Venable's behalf, said that he felt 'ill-prepared' to cope with civilian live upon his release - yet he was also provided with 'training' in counter-surveillance to avoid his identity becoming known. Now we find that the taxpayer will be 'billed' for a further £250,000 to provide Venables with a new identity once he has served this additional sentence - and he could be released after 12 months!

One has to ask just how much more damage to our society do the 'liberal' wing p- misguided as they so obviously are - wish to inflict on the rest of us?  It is cases like this that makes me believe that even the death penalty would be an option too kind! Ok, ok, I know, everyone deserves a 'second chance', but how many 'second chances' does someone deserve? Just how much of taxpayer's money does the probation service want to spend in attempting to rehabilitate those who are beyond redemption?

I will now 'retire' and await the vilification that will, undoubtedly, follow................

Thursday, 22 July 2010

A Note To Our American Cousins

Writing in The American Spectator, Angelo M. Codevilla has an article entitled "America's Ruling Class -- And the Perils of Revolution".
"While Europeans are accustomed to being ruled by presumed betters whom they distrust, the American people's realization of being ruled like Europeans shocked this country into well nigh revolutionary attitudes."
Angelo dear chap, please note that we, in the UK, are no longer 'accustomed to being ruled by presumed betters' as we no longer consider 'them' as 'betters' and whilst Americans may have been shocked into well nigh revolutionary attitudes, please have patience as we will, no doubt, shortly be able to provide you with a blue-print of how a revolution should be done!

Missing Laptops, Blackberrys & iPhones

The Daily Telegraph reports on IT equipment that has gone 'missing'. Incredible as it may seem the MoD has managed to 'lose' 340 laptops worth over £600,000 - and then on top of that are losses by other government departments.

A Google search for "second hand laptops, blackberrys, iphones" produced 'about' 499,000 search results in 0.36 seconds!

Not that I am implying anything, of course!

First Words Of Truth By Cameron

The Press Association has a report here on the launch by iDave of his idea of a National Citizens Service scheme.
"........There isn't much I can insist on but there are one or two things I can........."
Having bent over backwards conceding policy areas to the LibDems in order to make sure he got into No 10, at last the man admits that there ain't much he can insist on!

As with so much iDave says this is another example of 'foot in mouth' and could well be a 'quote' that comes back to haunt him!

The Illogicality Of Coalition Thinking

The Daily Telegraph yesterday reported that hospital car parking charges would stay in place. From the report we read:
"A spokesman for the Department of Health said: "We can't be in favour of decentralisation, and greater autonomy for NHS and then tell them how to run their car parking."
So, in the process of decentralisation (and thereby devolution of power), the people are unable to change a policy with which they strongly disagree, imposed on them by those they had no opportunity to elect.

Whale Attacks Boat*

The Daily Telegraph yesterday had a report and pictures of a 'whale-attack' on a boat off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa.

Obviously the whale thought "Mothes-f$@+#3s" at the intrusion of its space and then decided he 'Werner' going to let matters rest there!

*With due acknowledgement to Mark Wadsworth and Cow Attacks

Thursday 22nd July 2010

If there is a name for the illness of confusing the days of the week, then I have it*!

Yesterday I posted that I would be out all day today, in the belief that yesterday was Thursday and that therefore today was Friday when I will in fact be out all day.

Confused? Not half as much as I am - and have been for a few days now!

* Blogging sickness?

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

OK I Lied, But........

Just stumbled across the following*, which I could not resist re-posting as it is so true.

From Samuel Adams. On October 14, 1771 he either said or wrote:
"The truth is, all might be free if they valued freedom and defended it as they ought."

* H/T: Your Freedom and Ours.

Lack Of Posting

Apologies for lack of posting today, this due to the subject matter of the preceding post. As a result there will be no further posts today.

Tomorrow I am out all day so posts will not appear until evening.

Once again, my apologies.

Abuse Of The Elderly

The Daily Telegraph, on 17th of this month in the print edition, had an article (no link) headlined "Inquiry into home care of the elderly" which dealt with the fact that Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Equality & Human Rights Commission, will begin an inquiry, in the Autumn, into fears of malnutrition due to the preparation of insufficient or poor quality meals, coupled with the subject of concerns that some elderly are being subjected to 'inappropriate restraints' either physical or through the use of drugs.

The DT report, by Christopher Hope, continues: "Official figures show that there are currently 340,000 elderly people being cared for in their homes by council staff. There are concerns that, to save money, councils will cut back on care at home services, which they are not required by the government to provide. A source at the commission said: "There is a considerable body of evidence of breaches of human rights, such as the right to live free from inhuman and degrading treatment as well as the right to private and family life." The report continues: "A spokesman would not comment on specific plans, but said that "a human rights approach to the provision of care can bring about significant improvements in people's lives, and how we ensure that local authorities provide proper care for old people is of particular, and growing, concern to the commission. The commission has recently written to the Treasury and met finance directors of government departments reminding them of their duty to protect vulnerable people when making spending decisions and we will continue to monitor how these decisions are made to ensure that people are not treated unfairly."

An interesting report and it is unfortunate that the Daily Telegraph did not make this available on-line, nor publicise it further by widening the area about which the report deals - but then again we are only highlighting how journalism today only repeats the contents of what are put in front of them by way of press releases etc. Of course the word 'care' can also be applied to areas such as finance, respect, dignity, protection in law, choice and abuse. In fact the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 contains specific provisions where vulnerable people are concerned and perhaps the EHRC need to widen the remit of their investigation.

One of the designations of vulnerable people contained in the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 are those living in Sheltered Housing. These are units, managed by Housing Associations, designed to allow older people to lead an independent life, whilst having the benefit of a Warden, the security of an alarm system and benefits such as a communal lounge, laundry and garden. All housing associations are 'governed' by the Tenant Services Authority (TSA) which replaced the Housing Corporation. Look at any housing association website and you will probably find a section that states the particular housing association has the welfare of tenants at heart, is committed to listening to residents - or similar phrases. But are they?

Any landlord, be they state or private, is supposed to comply with the provisions of the Housing Act 1988 and the Tenant & Landlord Act 1985. These two Acts lay down specific provisions and procedures that must be followed when setting rents and service charges. It is also a requirement that residents are 'consulted' when changes are proposed that affect the life of the residents. If only that happened!

Having concluded a meeting with a Housing Association (which shall remain nameless) they conceded that errors had been made in attempting to impose a rent increase without following statutory procedures; that they had attempted to impose a service charge increase, the consultation process of which had not been concluded coupled with the fact that due to the previous RSL failing to follow certain statutory procedures on what repairs they had done the charges could not be on-passed and were limited to £100 per tenant; that tenants had the right to designate anyone they chose to speak on their behalf in matters where the tenant had no knowledge - something they had previously not accepted; that 'Supporting People' payments cannot be included in rent statements and that where there is a change of landlord any new landlord cannot include arrears incurred with the old landlord and classify them as rent arrears and that such arrears must be treated as a simple monetary debt - in other words previous rent arrears cannot be used as a basis on which to apply to a court for an eviction notice.

Now it must be made plain that the Housing Association in question is not being accused of deliberately misleading tenants as there are other factors to be taken into consideration (details of which need not be explained here) but the point remains that tenants were being put in a position, through receiving regular rent statements showing them to be in 'arrears', which caused undue stress and anxiety. Under provisions of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, Articles 2, 3, & 8, of the Human Rights Act and Section 5 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 it could be held an abuse of a vulnerable group had occurred on a number of levels.

The majority of tenants in sheltered housing are in their 70s, 80 and even 90s. They do not have the knowledge to know whether information presented to them is correct; they do not have the knowledge nor capacity to complain; because of their upbringing it is not in their nature to complain. All they wish is to be left in peace to live out their days free from worry - as a result Housing Associations have a duty to ensure that they conduct their affairs not only legally but with due regard to the rights of people for whom they are responsible.

It can be argued that through no fault of their own Housing Associations are so constrained by equality, diversity and other requirements laid down by central government they do not have the time to concentrate on their main reason for being in existence - namely the 'care' of the elderly.

Just another thought the EHRC may wish to take on board.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Climate Change Scepticism A Criminal Offence?

Courtesy of The Talking Clock comes access to this website which claims that people who are sceptical of climate change could soon be facing criminal charges in the European Court of Justice. Ok, ok, so the claim was made by Nick Griffin who has a bit of a reputation of being a rabble rouser. You can hear an interview with Nick Griffin on Radio RWB (Radio Red, White & Blue) here.

The meeting to which Griffin refers is the 'address' given to the EU Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety at their request, by Professor Antonino Abrami, Acting President of the International Academy of Environmental Scientists and a transcript of Abrami's address can be read here. The purpose of this meeting is to propose the introduction of an International and European Environmental Criminal Court.

The startling effect of which is that Nick Griffin is alleging, during a private conversation with Abrami after the meeting, that International Academy of Environmental Scientists are of the opinion that denial of climate change would constitute an illegal act and anyone accused of that could be brought before such an Environmental Criminal Court. 

WTF! Will these people stop at nothing to 'shut down' dissenting voicies? Also, I don't know about anyone else, but I don't recall reading or hearing anything about this in our media.

Political Resolve

If anything illustrates the fact that politicians say one thing and promptly do the opposite, it must be today's announcement by George Osborne setting up the Office for Tax Simplification (OTS) with a view to simplifying the tax system.

Government after government arrives with the stated aim of a cull of quangos or advisory bodies, cuts a few in a blaze of headlines and just creates yet more new ones. Besides the Office for Tax Simplification we now also have, for example, the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR), yet one has to ask is not what both new bodies will be doing exactly what we elect politicians to do? If the politicians and their 'staff' do not have the knowledge to do what is required, then one must then ask why were the politicians elected and why are their staff employed?

Oversimplification in my questions is appreciated, but just thought I would ask...................

Interesting Statistic

From Ed West, discussing what he calls the Multicultural Inquisition:
"According to Davies [Jon Gower Davies, formerly the Head of Religious Studies at Newcastle University] there are now 35 Acts of Parliament, 52 Statutory Instruments, 13 Codes of Practice, 3 Codes of Guidance and 16 European Commission Directives which deal with “discrimination”, hatred and various thought crimes."
And who created all the problems we have with 'discrimination' etc? Yep, all those who drafted and passed the Acts of Parliament, Statutory Instruments, Codes of Practice, Codes of Guidance and Directives detailed above.

Monday, 19 July 2010

No Fan Of Cameron

Is Gerald Warner with his latest offering, discussing iDave's 'Big Society.
"He has now launched it in Liverpool, with a generous infusion of the prolific Daveguff to which we have become accustomed: “It’s my hope – and my mission – that when people look back at this five, 10-year period from 2010, they’ll say: ‘In Britain they didn’t just pay down the deficit, they didn’t just balance the books, they didn’t just get the economy moving again, they did something really exciting in their society.’ ”
Sorry, Dave, that is not what people will be saying when they look back at your time in government: they will be saying something very similar, though more venomous, to what they are currently saying when they look back on the Blair/Brown years; but, after all, as the Heir to Blair, presumably you would wish to share his legacy, so you will not have a problem with that."
Delicious, just delicious! Do go read the whole piece.

The Problem With Our Police

"Something has gone seriously wrong with the way we carry out policing in this country", so says the Daily Telegraph, commenting on a report by the Audit Commission and published today by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).

Commenting, the Daily Telegraph writes: "It is not "inevitable", as Sir Hugh Orde, the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said recently that budget cuts will mean fewer officers on the streets. A better use of back-office staff, many of whom release the police for other duties, could save hundreds of millions without affecting the frontline.".

Exactly - and the government could start by disbanding Orde and bloody ACPO!

Just saying..................

Yup, Same Over Here!

In his new book, In Search of Self-Governance, Scott Rasmussen observes that the American people are “united in the belief that our political system is broken, that politicians are corrupt and that neither major political party has the answers.” He adds that “the gap between Americans who want to govern themselves and the politicians who want to rule over them may be as big today as the gap between the colonies and England during the 18th century.” 

Data released yesterday finds that 68% of voters believe the Political Class doesn't care what most Americans think. Earlier polling shows that 59% are embarrassed by the behaviour of the Political Class. As methinks similar percentages would be found in the UK, as the post heading says: Yup, same over here!

Politicos Control More Of Our Income Than We Do

David Cameron wishes to discuss his 'Big Society, while Burning Our Money wishes to talk about 'Big Government' - the latter a far more interesting topic - which he calculates now spends 52% of our income and which he points out has the politicos controlling more of our income than we do ourselves.

Bearing in mind The Coalition is a 'middle-of-the-road' government - wishing to be all things to all men - and coupling that to my previous post "Middle Of The Road Policy Leads To Socialism", the views of Burning Our Money are well worth reading.

Middle Of The Road Policy Leads To Socialism

The heading to this post was the title of a talk given on 18th April 1950 by Ludwig von Mises at the University Club of New York.

Not a long talk and it is well worth reading the transcript which begins here. One commenter remarked: 60 years ago and he could have been talking about the present day. He continued:
"The only real recourse "We The People" have is at the polls. Instead of re-electing the same sops over and over again...instead of getting our information in 7-second soundbites through the biased filters of the mass media...instead of thinking about "me first and right now" and considering affairs in a much broader and longer-term context...instead of complaining to ourselves and letting it all just happen...we have an opportunity every 2 and 4 years to implement a government that works, lest we get the government we deserve. And this can only happen through educating the ignorant among us. If every libertarian in this country took the time to explain to one family member (neighbor, co-worker, etc), calmly, rationally and with inarguable terms, why the free-market is in their best interests, the law of geometric progression would quickly turn the slide towards socialism in this country from inexorable to inconceivable. Ignorance and sloth are the enemies of liberty."

The Tories Are F A B - No Sign Of Brains Though

I am indebted to a tweet from Guido Fawkes for the title to this post - and the accompanying link to this.

Is This A Police State?

A question posed by Captain Ranty here in which he links to a post by Old Holborn. OH makes the point that the police appear totally ineffective in protection of the individual, yet conversely, this article shows the police are extremely effective in keeping track of what they themselves term as 'domestic extremists'. Next, consider this video of Roger Hayes speaking at the British Constitution Group National Conference in which he argues that we do indeed live in a police state.

Where two perfectly peaceful peace protesters who have not broken any law, and who are an 85 year-old father and his 50 year-old daughter are considered political extremists then yes, we are living in a police state.

Roger Hayes argues that if our leaders - our political elite - were not themselves corrupt then the corruption that exists amongst public servants (judges, police, bureaucratic bodies) would not exist. Do watch the video of Roger Hayes and make up your own mind.

Conflict Of Interest?

Having read An Englishman's Castle this morning, followed by this article in the Daily Telegraph, the thought struck me whether it is proper that an MP with 'extra-parliamentary activities' - from which considerable sums of money in return for little time, can be earned - should be placed in a position whereby he/she can benefit from possible increased 'extra-parliamentary earnings' by the influence they are able to exert through their parliamentary duties.

Another MP to whom the same question could be put is Caroline Spelman, the Environment Secretary, when considering this story." "Although she resigned as a company director last year, the firm remains in the hands of her husband....."

There are bound to be others to whom this question of 'Conflict of Interest' can be put and if 'others' are not yet in the majority - it would indeed be odd if they bloody well soon weren't!

Just another thought...............

European Investigation Order

Much has been written about the above and questions asked in Parliament.

Now we find, according to Statewatch that:
".....many of the changes proposed to the current legal framework would constitute a reduction in human rights protection and even (due to the abolition of the traditional ‘territoriality’ exception, explained below) an attack on the national sovereignty of Member States." (my emphasis)
Should the Coalition agree to 'opt-in' - they seem unsure which way to jump, see first link - that would be our referendum then?

Just a thought................

Your Freedom

The HMG Your Freedom website is a beacon for disingenuousness and contradiction - so it thus becomes yet another example of politic-speak.

The Home Page exhorts the public:
"We want to restore Britain’s traditions of freedom and fairness, and free our society of unnecessary laws and regulations – both for individuals and businesses.........It’s time to have your say. After all – it’s your freedom."
Excellent innovation one would say, but then clicking on 'About the dialogue' at the foot of the home page one reads:
"Please understand that we won't able to respond to ideas that relate to laws and regulations that are outside the remit of central government – including those that fall under the jurisdiction of Europe, devolved administrations or local authorities."
Setting aside the areas that are subject to EU Directives and Regulations can hardly leave them much to repeal. Add in areas that are purely the responsibility of devolved administrations and local authorities can, presumably, only result in our MPs having to wile away the hours attending the Westminster 'watering-holes'.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Lost For Words (For A Post Title)

The editorial in today's Sunday Telegraph is on the subject of immigration and begins:
"For the bulk of the 13 years that Labour was in power, the question of immigration was the proverbial elephant in the room: its size and impact were visible to all, but ministers felt deeply uncomfortable discussing it."
Substitute the words 'EU membership' for the word 'immigration' and what has changed? Nothing! Anyway, I digressed so back to the editorial.

Points of contention:

That the trebling of the net immigration figures since 1997 was due to the 'laissez-faire' policy of the last government; that voters were concerned about the strain immigration put on health, education and social housing and that their concern had nothing to do with xenophobia; that Damian Green believes his policies will send a message round the world that Britain is no longer a soft touch on immigration......Oh, FFS!

Would someone take the cretin who wrote this editorial outside, stand him/her up against a brick wall and then ensure they are unable ever again to write such crap?

The editiorial also refers to this story on the rules for immigration officials working for the UK Border Agency (UKBA) and chapter 43 in their manual which advises them that, in the event of a suspect fleeing, the pursuit should be left to the accompanying police. It continues that even if asked for help in chasing a suspect, immigration officers are not obliged to go to their aid, but instead should conduct a "dynamic risk assessment" of the situation before deciding what action to take. 

Jesus H! (apologies for the profanity but Christ on a crutch, it is enough to make a saint swear) perhaps the person who wrote this should be forced to join the writer of the editorial!

Parties Without Purpose

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Patrick Hennessy queries whether Labour is now a party without a purpose, commenting that "formed in the early years of the 20th century, it promoted socialism, public ownership, intervention in the economy, the welfare state and the redistribution of wealth. When it looked as though it had run out of steam decades later, Tony Blair re-invented it as New Labour. Now the candidates tell us New Labour didn't really work – but seem unable to say what they would put in its place."

The Conservative Party, traditionally, is held as a party that believes in 'centre-right' philosophies of 'conservativism and unionism' and 'free market' economy. Formed from Whig beginnings,  the name Conservative Party was adopted, by Sir Robert Peel, around 1834 (Wikipedia).

The Liberal Democrat Party, formed from a merger of the Liberal Party and the Social Democrat Party in 1988 believe in constitutional reform, electoral reform, civil liberties and rights, and higher taxes for public services (Wikipedia). The original 'Liberal' beliefs included social reform, personal liberty, reducing the powers of the Crown and the Church of England (many of them were Nonconformists) and an extension of the franchise (right to vote) (Wikipedia).

It can be argued that there are only two types of government on which any society can be based: that of socialism which believes in the state being the dominant partner and thus having the right to dictate to a people how those people should live their lives; and the opposing view that the people are the dominant partner; that people are the only ones to determine how they should live their lives and that governments should enact what the people desire. Changes in society have dictated changes in those three party's beliefs and political creeds resulting in them all attempting to occupy what is called the 'centre ground' - in other words attempting to appeal to all sections of the electorate.

In that respect it can then be argued that none of the three main parties: Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrats no longer have a purpose, when compared to their founding beliefs. They, now, all believe in subservience to a foreign government (the EU), an unproven 'science' (climate change, or global warming - take your pick); central control of funding for services; globalisation and neo-political union and in so doing expend a great deal of energy in 'shutting-down' any alternative views.

So the question must be posed: if these parties have lost sight of their founding beliefs, what is the purpose in their continued existence when presenting an image of 'much of a sameness'? Now and then a politician may present a new idea for a political party, one that does offer an alternative - witness Carswell and Hannan with Direct Democracy. Unfortunately, in the latter example, there would appear to be a marked reluctance on the part of those two individuals to do anything other than talk, Presumably this is due to the fact that to actually form a new political party would deprive them of their seats in their respective parliaments, the income and perks that being a representative of a political party brings them.

One can but live in the hope that, one day, a politician will emerge with the ability, eloquence, organisational skills and, above all, a crusading belief in order to return our country to that of being a self-determining, self-governing, free nation.

Not too much to ask, is it?

Observations On Conservative Principles

Two articles on the Telegraph website caught my eye, making me ponder just in what do the Conservative Party believe.

In the first, Melissa Kite reports on the 'orders' of David Cameron to ensure that more of his backbench MPs attend debates. Citing those that were sparsely attended the article makes mention that for PMQs, it is packed - nothing to do with MPs wanting to appear on television? Of course not!

Actually, what caught my eye was this excerpt:

"Ken Clarke, the Justice Secretary, has also warned that Britain would drift towards an "elective dictatorship" unless it returned greater powers to Parliament by reviving debate on the floor of the House."
What on earth does KC mean: 'would drift towards an elective dictatorship unless it returned greater powers to Parliament'? Because Parliament has (a) ceded powers to the European Union and (b) has retained far too many powers of those left, means we are already in an 'elective dictatorship' on both counts! Is this man truly a bigger ass than I originally took him for?

John Bercow, our diminutive Speaker, also tries to negate the comment made by MPs who say it is a waste of their time sitting in the Chamber, waiting to be called, when they could be in their offices 'getting on with their work' (no doubt with a quick trip for liquid refreshment!). Perhaps if Parliament only dealt with 'national' matters (defense, foreign policy, immigration) and devolved everything else the MPs would have more time for discussion as the debating periods could be lengthened - and in so doing allow them to become more informed on matters on which they intend to legislate!

In the second article, again by Melissa Kite, she reports on an attempt by David Cameron to block the election of a eurosceptic to the chair of the European Scrutiny Committee. For one who supposedly believes in devolution of power (or rather whats left of it, having conceded one hell of a lot has already gone) one again Cameron tries to interfere in what is supposed to be a democratic process - unless of course he was attempting to 'cash-in' on what he believes is his increasing popularity?

Parliament truly is a club of self-serving, self preserving, elitists!