Hillsborough cover-up proves need to protect Social Media from politicians.

May 3, 2016

letter sent to Daily Mirror (28/4/16)

Thank you for Brian Reade’s piece on Hillsborough.
It sums up the attitude of the establishment towards football supporters and other members of the “lower social orders”.
It is still prevalent, as witness Cameron’s confusion over his “favourite” football team.
It’s good that the curtain has been ripped aside exposing those responsible to Public view.
However, Brian Reade also makes an important point about mobile phones and Social Media.
It’s a point to remember when attacks are made on the alleged evils of Social Media, E.g. troll’s, revenge porn and child porn.
Attacks which often precede demands for greater regulation of such media by Government.
Social media doesn’t create these people, it exposes them to view and, as Brian Reade said it would have exposed the callous treatment at Hillsborough and those lies spread by the officials responsible.
Social Media provides us with a much greater say in how we are governed than one insignificant vote every five years.

published in Daily Mirror:
#Brian Reade’s Hillsborough comment (Mirror, April 28) summed up the
attitude of the establishment towards football supporters.
|t’s good that the curtain has been ripped aside, exposing those
responsible to public view. Brian also makes an important point about
mobile phones and social media.
Social media doesn’t create bad people, itjust exposes them. And as
Brian said it would have exposed the callous treatment at Hillsborough
and the lies spread by officials.
Social media gives us a much greater say in how we are governed than
a vote at the polls every five years.

Why are Police so quick to close Motorways. Use technology to keep traffic flowing.

May 3, 2016

The closure of a motorway, because of the action’s of one man, demands a better response than criticising the taxi passenger’s who scrambled up the motorway embankments to catch their scheduled flights.
Of course, the supposed, potential suicide deserves our concern but there has to be a better way of dealing with Motorway stoppages than just stopping the flow of traffic
Each life is precious but what about those of the people in the traffic.
Their concerns are shrugged off with a “Sorry for the inconvenience”.
As if the inconvenience is always trivial, like standing in the shopping queue, whilst some female fumbles in the various sections of her purse for the right change.

There were quite a few people inconvenienced enough to scramble up that embankment. There possibly other’s, resigned to missing their flights, because they were incapable of clambering. One assumes the flights were important. A missed flight could have been a once in a lifetime holiday, even a honeymoon. It could have been imortant business meeting, where failure to be on time meant a missed contract and closure of a factory.
There’s the inconvenience of stress inducing a stroke, or heart attack. The inconvenience of trying to find somewhere to relieve a bladder, or colon, without undue embarassment.
There were lots of people in that traffic jam there are lots of ways people could have been seriously inconvenienced, making it a certainty that some were harmed in some measure.
There may well have been unregistered after effects, as people tried to make up for lost time:
A driver may make a reckless manoeuvre, causing a fatality.
A passenger in haste to catch a train, may be careless crossing a road.

Consider:
Firemen are portrayed saving jumper’s from burning buildings, using specialised blanket’s.
Helicopter’s in warzones are shown with vehicles slung underneath.
Car’s in scrapyards are lifted off the ground, using electro-magnets.
Laser camera’s can create accurate 3-D images of a crash site for later assessment.
High resolution digital camera’s can pick out the minutest details of an accident scene.
Air ambulances can access the most awkward sites.

It should be possible, based on past experience of incidents, to sit down and devise a means of minimising the delays to traffic.
We are allegedly in the midst of austerity measures (HS2?), meaning that cuts to motorway services have been demanded but this is false economy.
Ignore the cost in increased ill-health induced by stress. Just the damage to the balance of payments by all those vehicles idling their engines should be enough to warrant putting more thought into preventing traffic hold-ups.

what’s so exciting about finding that there may be Earth-like planets 40 lt-yrs away?

May 3, 2016

So they’ve found three Earth-like planets 40 light-years away.
So what?
It’s highly unlikely that there will be sentient life, with whom we could communicate.
If there were sentient life, it’d be a very stilted conversation, with question and answer being 80 years apart.
At present, we do not have force fields, ship shields, warp drives, anti-matter conversion, Stargates or inter-stellar space ships.
Our present technology is still at a stage of a year-long, no-return trip to Mars, which is a mere 40 light-minutes away.
Our present Science requires an infinite amount of energy to achieve warp 1 and we could never have an infinite amount of energy.
Warp 0.1 would require quantities of energy that we are unlikely to achieve.
Journey time, at that speed, would be 400 years one-way, 800 years for a return flight. Factor in that you would need a constant acceleration to get up to that speed and then a deceleration from the halfway point and you immediately double that time to 1600 years.
We don’t have stasis pods, so it’s either an unproven cryogenics job, controlled by computer’s, or a seeding vessel, with an Eden project style habitat.
Such a Space colony would need to have a sizeable population (bumping-up energy requirements needed) to be viable and avoid excessive inpbreeding.
O.K., so we build this vessel, pick up some reaction mass from the asteroid belt and we set off into deep Space in a tin can held together by welds and rivets. Our atmosphere will slowly leak into Space but we can carry container’s of compressed air to compensate. We can dodge asteroids, using radar and computer’s. Human’s don’t have good enough reaction times at these speeds.
We don’t force field shields, so there’s a problem from dust particles (micro-meteoroids), which, at high relative speeds, are going to sand-blast the front end of the ship, eroding the plates and creating air-leaks.
Even, if these didn’t exist, there are still atoms of gas. In deepest Space the density may be an atom per cubic mile but at our speed that could be a severe drag, especially if we hit a cloud of gas/dust.
Sorry! But unless, somebody comes up with some new Physics, Earth-like planets are far less exciting than shooting star’s.

I miss having a coal fire.

May 3, 2016

I miss having an open fire.
I miss being able to make toast, on it.
I miss  it’s perfectly natural flickering lighting.
I miss being able to toss rubbish on and see it disappear.
I miss the fact that burning rubbish warmed me and reduced my fuel bills.
I miss the use of ashes to accelerate composting
I miss the use of clinker to deter slugs.
I miss the use of soot as a fertiliser
I don’t miss smog but modern technology could give me back my coal fire without this consequence.
I don’t care about Global warming, because if we wanted to we could reduce it, or increase it by setting up sunscreens in Space, or even by increasing daytime cloud cover and reducing night-time cloud cover
The problem isn’t insurmountable but if it’s as serious as we keep getting told then we’d spend the necessary brass, instead of this persistent whining about the size of our carbon footprint.

@OwenJones84 @jeremycorbyn I think @yanisvaroufakis is wrong about EU.

April 16, 2016

I watched this video clip of Yanis talking to Owen Jones and was initially impressed until I came to think about his premises.

I then wrote this as response on Facebook..

I do like Yanis Varoufakis. and I think he is a very intelligent man with a lot of political insight but I think he’s wrong to believe we can control the EU and to propose that disintegration of the EU will foster right wing parties.

I think he has started from the (Spanish Civil War) position of equating fascism with Nationalism and Socialism with Internationalism and it’s not relevant in this situation.

Money and Bureaucracy are above these two opposing political realities.

Bureaucracy and Money see the left and right issues as an irrelevancy in the first case and a useful tool in the second.
A bureaucracy is about rules, it doesn’t care about who makes the rules, or why., It only cares about enforcing them.

Money doesn’t care about who does what to whom, or who effects it.

Money cares only about how it can make a profit from the conflicts.
We must have Brexit.

We must see the EU fail.

Better a few bloody noses than enslavements of Continents.

 

 

@afneil Time to lay the lie that Tax affairs are “a Private Matter” for criminals, terrorists and VIP’s

April 5, 2016

I wrote this as an email to the Daily Mirror but I’m posting it on my Blog, so it’s on record.

published version at foot of page

At a time when World leader’s are busy passing laws such as Theresa May’s Snoopers’ Charter, how can anyone claim that tax affairs are “a private matter”.
You (Daily Mirror) quote Labour MP Jess Phillips as repeating this mantra as only applying to ordinary people.
She’s wrong,
The tax affairs of ordinary people are known to HMRC and whoever hands over their PAYE deductions.
Only the rich and powerful can afford those, who manage tax avoidance, and it is they who spout this lie as an unassailable right.
Tax affairs are not a “Private Matter”, especially when it has been shown that the same arrangements are used by criminals and, I would suspect, the terrorist organisations, whom the Snoopers’ Charter is alleged to be trying to uncover.
It’s time that World Leader’s tidied up these rogue States, who seem to be concentrated in the Caribbean.
It was interesting, as one Anon tweeted, that no USA citizens were named, especially as the company had the logo of USaid at the bottom of the leaked document and this area is within the US sphere of influence.
I don’t expect anyone will end up in prison as a consequence of this exposure (although I suppose Chilcott can be imposed on to manage another inquiry, which will never report back).
All we can do is to continue denounce the lie that tax affairs are “a Private Matter”
Published as:
We pay the price for tax avoiders
At a time when world leaders are passing laws such as Theresa May’s
Snooper’s Charter, how can anyone claim that tax affairs are “a private
matter”, as Cameron did when questioned about his father’s alleged tax
avoidance?
The tax affairs of ordinary people are known to HMRC and only the rich
and powerful can afford to use these tax-avoidance schemes.
|t’s time world leaders tidied up these tax havens, which seem to be
concentrated in the Caribbean.
I don’t expect anyone will end up in prison as a consequence of this –
exposure. All we can do is continue to denounce the lie that tax affairs
are “a private matter”.

My MP’s response to letter about BBC future @38degreesMCR

April 3, 2016

Letter from my MP about attack on BBC.

As you know, I did write to the Department for Culture, Media & Sport recently about the outcome of the Government’s consultation on BBC Charter Review and I now enclose, for your information, a copy of the reply that I have received. –

The BBC is one of our most treasured institutions and the cornerstone of our creative industries. I therefore believe that its investment and scope must be maintained so that the BBC remains a great universal broadcaster that continues to inform, educate and entertain.

As you are aware, the Government’s consultation shows that a massive majority of the public agree that the BBC is serving viewers and listeners well and do not want to see a reduction in its scope or remit. The majority of respondents also believe that the BBC’s content is of a high quality and is

distinctive from other broadcasters, which is a view shared by the House of Commons’ Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.

However, I am concerned that the Government wants to cut down the size of the BBC and I believe this ideological approach not only undermines the independence of the BBC, but ignores the results of the consultation. The Government has already confirmed the BBC will take on the cost of free TV

licences for over-75s. Other proposals being considered include narrowing the BBC’s remit to stop it from making some of its most popular shows. I believe the Government’s actions are an assault on the principle of public service broadcasting.

As you may know, the Clementi Review into Governance and Regulation of the BBC has  recommended replacing the BBC Trust with a unitary Board with a majority of non-executive directors, half of whom would be appointed by the Government. However, recent reports suggest that the Government plans to directly appoint most members of the new body.

I believe the BBC does need reform and I accept changes are needed to how it is governed. However, both the Clementi report and the public consultation make clear that the independence of the BBC must be at the heart of its future. I therefore believe that the new unitary board must be underpinned by independent appointment processes, including for its Chair. It is clear that the

independence of the BBC is at real risk under the current Government. I am also concerned that the Government wants to exert more political influence by shortening the Charter period. This must be fought all the way.

The Government says it will take the consultation responses into account and bring fon/vard proposals for BBC Charter Review in a White Paper this spring.

However, I am concerned by reports that this could be delayed. I believe it would be unacceptable to create more uncertainty over the future of the BBC. I am therefore pleased that my Shadow Frontbench colleagues are pressing the Government to get on with publishing its White Paper and have committed to oppose any attempts by the Government to dismantle or downgrade the

BBC.

Thank you once again for contacting me and for sharing your views. It is clear that the public oven/vhelmingly support the BBC and I can assure you that I will continue to do all I can to defend the independence of the BBC and to save our outstanding national broadcaster.

Accompanying letter from Vaizey.

Dear Yvonne,

Thank you for your correspondence on behalf of a number of your constituents about the

future of the BBC. I am replying as the Minister responsible for this policy area. I am sorry

that the Department has no record of ever having received your original letter of 6 January.

I believe that the BBC is a great national institution, which makes a valuable contribution

to many people’s lives as the nation’s broadcaster. It is a maker of high quality content,

reaching 97 per cent of the population on a weekly basis and many millions more

overseas through the provision of its international services.

The BBC Charter Review is the process through which the Government can consider all

aspects of the BBC. For example, decisions about BBC funding, including the funding

model and the level of the licence fee, pending considerations of scale and scope, will be

taken through the open and consultative process of Charter Review. This gives the

opportunity to review the BBC’s service and the overarching public purposes it is required

to deliver. It is right, given the wide-reaching changes to media over the last ten years,

that we should ask some forthright questions about how the BBC operates and how it is

funded. Over the next year we will take the views of the industry and the public on what

the BBC should and should not do.

The Government’s BBC Charter Review Public Consultation closed on 8 October. The

consultation set out 19 different questions. Over 190,000 people responded to the

consultation which is the second largest response to any Government consultation.

The Government takes the responses extremely seriously and, as you are aware,

published a summary of the consultation responses on the 1 March. The results from the

consultation, along with other evidence commissioned by the Department, will be used to

inform the Government’s policies for the BBC which will be published in a White Paper.

Your constituents may be interested to know that the BBC Trust also ran a series of

public engagement seminars across the country in the autumn.

Further details, including how to view the seminars online, are available here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bloqs/bbctrust/entries/6670fe8e-7d3b-465d-8cb9-a24aa4c1d22b

l hope that this is helpful.

Ed Vaizey MP

Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy

Department for Culture, Media & Sport

 

 

@TheGreenParty @NicolaSturgeon transport needs to move overhill in mountainous regions

March 13, 2016

Before building HS2 and a tunnel road through the Pennines, why not consider the following system for freight.

Most of the congestion on motorway’s and railways is caused by freight, which may only be shifting between depots.

If we take a cable car system, such as this one in Singapore, we could make it sturdier and track it overland up the Pennines, where it would not affect built up area’s.

p1

It could be multiple tracks, with switchover points and having termini, outside of the major conurbations.

These Termini could be in container parks, where container’s can be transferred to local road and rail.

p2

The technology for handling container’s is already here, as is the technology for Dirigibles.

p3

By combining dirigibles with cable tracks, the transport cost’s would be comparatively low, as the energy needed to move these effectively weightless container’s would be minimal.

The actual energy needed could be mainly supplied by alternative energy sources, constructed concurrently with the cable car towers, or even incorporated into them.

The obvious energy source would be a wind turbine

p4

But there are alternative versions, which might be better suited.

See http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/energy/a4428/4324331/

turbines

capitalists need customers. where do customers get the money when no jobs?

March 1, 2016

The BBC’s Big Question programm was discussing poverty versus wealth and it was obvious that the  participants were presenting opinions based on different basic pre-conceptions.
These were varied and complex but could be simplified as there being those who wanted to take money off the rich and give it to the poorest, so everyone had a safe guarded minimum wage.
Others were basically arguing that if you took too much off the rich, they’d take their money elsewhere and the poor would not get the trickle-down benefit.
The problem is that they are both correct, upto a point.

One of the contentious words used is “equality”, without reference to what should be equal.
Equality of opportunity could mean access to the same standard of education, which, in turn, is often confused with intelligence, motivation, physical ability, or even social standing.
In practice, as it appears to me, most people seem to believe that equality comes, when they are given a leg-up, to the top of the pile.

There will be no end to this debate because we need people to lead not just in politics but in Science, business, entertainment etc. Some will lead purely through altruism, e.g. nurses, but many need an incentive and incentivisation is measured in money.

You can’t have equality of Wealth, without Social stagnation.
You can’t have progress without inequality of wealth.

Social problems arise because “money makes money”. I.e. it creates Capitalism and Capitalism creates Power and “Power corrupts” and “absolute power corrupts absolutely”

These are cliche’s and they are cliche’s because they have been recognised as truth, since age’s past.

So! The problem is not inequality but the distribution of Wealth and its abuse.

History books tell us of “good kings” and “bad kings”, of contented peasantry and of revolutions.

I would claim that most people just want a quiet untroubled life, without some mad despot messing their lives up, because they are bored and have the same Sociopathic tendencies as a testerone charged youth.

To achieve this, Society needs to provide the basic needs for a comfortable life, for those without a yen for more. It needs a suitable extra treat for those who are prepared to strive for it. Finally, it needs a means for clipping the wings of any individual, or group (King or Goverment, Magnate or Conglomerate), who are acquiring more wealth or power than they can safely be allowed to handle.

Whatever mechanisms are used, to achieve these ends, will need to be reviewed on a generational basis.

For the present generation;
I would say guarantee all registered voters their basic needs. I.e. Shelter and a bed, clean water to drink, good health, a minimum healthy diet, a basic education (the 3 R’s) and access to free entertainment.   This would be the basic entitlement of everyone, regardless of any wealth.

There would be no need of charity, except for those desiring cosmetic surgery, or medication beyond what would be twice the equivalent cost of the food entitlement of an average adult (or some similar objective level agreed by common consensus).
With this in place, the majority will be content and those, who aren’t, should be.

Those seeking more can do so according to their skill, or luck.   Payment in kind, or cash, would only be taxable on a scale making it worth collecting.

Incentivisation is the next area of concern and this can be split into State licence, Public Service and Capitalism. I think the last two need considering together.
By State Licence, I mean patents, royalties and copyrights. Originally intended to reward innovation,which has benefitted Society, the system has been abused in various ways. Most research today needs access to facilities beyond those of many individuals. A consequence is that the actual innovator is an employee and instead of the reward going to him/her, it’s seized by the employer, who uses it to gouge the public. Worse there are stories of Manufacturer’s denying the benefit of a patent, by refusing to make and sell it, until the innovator has died, or given up the payments necessary to protect it.
With royalties, artistes have grown more aware of abuses by large companies but here the issue isn’t the artistes missing out. It’s a problem, as with Copyright, of royalties being extended beyond the life time of the individual and being traded to those who have doing nothing to benefit Society, at all. Similar issues relate to trademarks and cyber-squatting.
I, personally, think that rewards of this type, would be better met with a one-off payment along the lines of Nobel prize winner’s £1,000,000. Compare the value to Society of “Heigh-ho!, Heigh-ho…” with the deciphering of the structure of DNA.
The scandal truly lies with drug companies being allowed to rape the public with the connivance of the State. Yes! They do need capital to finance research but would they really stop research, if they could only have a three year monopoly.
It’s a big issue but the main point is the level of reward has become disproportionate and a more measured reward would reduce the over-generous share dividends and CEO bonuses causing Societal divisiveness.

This leads into Public Service and Capitalism.
Supporters of unbounded Capitalism will already have stopped reading this, much earlier, with a snorted “where’s the money to come from?”.
The money comes from the same sources as before, with the same motivation as before.
However; I propose that all businesses above a certain size and in operation for more than 5 years, surrender 50% of share dividends to Government (those operating in various jurisdictions leave it to the politicians to decide on how they share the 50%), instead of paying tax.
This could have the benefits of stomping on tax avoidance, reducing lobbyist corruption, helping constrain State expenditure, forcing business to be more ethical and, possibly, more.
By paying for Public services, Capitalist’s would be protected from their own avarice by maintaining a reservoir of consumer’s to buy their products.
At present, the political theory that all state functions should be privatised and increasingly deeper austerity measures imposed, carries the danger that Capitalists will find themselves with over-priced goods and penniless consumer’s.
Perhaps Economics degree courses should include a few lessons on predator-prey population graphs to help them understand this point.

predator prey relationship

predator prey relationship

 

why so many cancer charities?

February 25, 2016

Every day we hear another story about Cancer.

We are constantly being told that eating, drinking, smoking, breathing, or just being alive all cause Cancer.
It has become a huge industry, with seemingly new cancer charities opening daily and it is becoming a nuisance.

There are three main ways you can die apart from accidents and murder: your heart can be stopped, a blood vessel bursts, or you get a cancer.
The first two are usually quick and people don’t see you suffering much.
Cancer is nasty because it is slow, hurting you and those around you.
It is the form of death which concerns / worries / scares most people, when they think of dying.

It is more concerning when you get older, because you will have met death many times amongst those you have known and a third of them will have died of Cancer.
I make a point of making it a single issue, although it comes in many guises and from many alleged causes.
As an older, educated person, I have read around a lot of cases and explanations and research aspects and I’ve formed my own summation of what it is.
Firstly; I’ve noted that it is related to cell division, which, in turn, is related to ageing.
Next; I notice that amoeba alive Today are almost certainly identical to the very first amoeba, so it’s not just about division (mitosis). The main difference is that when our cells divide the DNA is not faithfully duplicated. For some reason a section of the DNA, known as telomere’s, shortens at each division, causing cells to “age”. By this I mean that the cell walls thicken and become less able to take in nutrients and excrete wastes.
This ageing means that the cell walls are less flexible and, for instance, skin wrinkles, muscles lose strength, eye’s and sphincter’s weaken and blood vessels become more likely to burst.
It also means cells becoming starved of nutrients causing male balding, hair turning gray etc.
With the endocrine glands, it means that they are less able to push out the various hormones, which allow our organs to function in concert.

So getting back to cancer, what causes it?
Start by thinking about what it is.   A cancer starts with a damaged cell reproducing but unable to carry out its proper function. Take a skin cell. Its job is to fit itself into place in the skin an act as a barrier to invader’s. If it’s damaged it sits where it is and divides its clones, which continue to divide forming a cluster of like cells.
Note that not all damaged cells do this. Usually, they are identified as damaged, by other cells, and triggered to self destruct; bursting in a process called apoptosis. It is rare that this cell death doesn’t work. There is some evidence that is genetically determined and this might be a key point of attack on all cancer’s.
Where the cells have escaped apoptosis and formed a lump, they may not be a problem. The body treats the cancer tissue the same as any other supplying it with blood vessels to feed it nutrients and remove its wastes. The lump(tumour) may just grow bigger and bigger until a surgeon cuts it out. It may squeeze its own bloody supply and die, or wither until blood flows again. On a personal note, I was told my maternal grandfather had such a tumour on his back, which was no problem until a workmate, congratulating him on his retirement, slapped him on his back.
That story might just be just a bit of gallows humour but it points up the real danger of cancer. Cancer can spread (metastasis). Any cell which breaks away from the lump can drift off in the blood stream, or through the lymphatic system , and lodge up elsewhere. depending on the nature of the cancer cell (a corrupted skin cell, or a corrupted liver cell etc.), it may form numerous tumours around the body, making it difficult for any surgeon to find and destroy them, without others being created. Then, again, it only needs one tumour in the right place to cause fatal damage. With lung cancer, a lump grows in the lung and prevents air getting in. If it’s just one lung, then that one can be removed but if it’s blocking both lobes then it effectively suffocates you, very slowly. (TB, asbestosis etc. are similar but slower). If the cancer lodges in the bladder then, without surgery, the bladder can burst etc. Invariably it’s not the death that frightens, it’s the pain and manner of death, which is why many opt for euthanasia.
So! What causes cancer?   Anything that damages cells.
Radio-activity can be thought of as like tiny bullets passing through the body. Mostly the damage is of no consequence like blasting mosquito’s with a shotgun. You may kill a few, you’ll miss most but you could singe the wing of one. i.e. damage it, so it flies in circles.
Ultra-violet can’t penetrate the skin but can affect the outer layers in the same way as radio-activity.
Anything which can kill cells can cause a cancer, e.g. exposure to chemicals, or even constant rubbing, or persistant infections.
If the genetic pre-disposition is there, then it’s mainly a question of how many shotgun blasts you suffer.
The longer you live, the more likely you are to get enough shotgun blasts and that’s compounded by ageing cells being more prone to damage.

One last cause, which I read about is damage during normal mitosis, where the chromosomes are replicating. There has been a suggestion that radio waves, of the appropriate frequency, can upset the process and that this could be the case with mobile phones held close to the body e.g. the ear. (it’s not the incoming radio waves but the weak “echoes” created by the phone). This could be a problem for those under 21, whose bodies are still growing, particularly the very young, where there is a greater degree of cell division.

So moral, is get the cancer charities to join up and focus on the commonalities, rather than the differences. The fact that cancer rates are universal but the actual cancer’s vary from country to country, suggest that focussing efforts on a particular type of cancer may not reduce suffering.

People can reduce their own risk of a particular type of cancer by reducing exposure to any one particular cause but they should treat the situation like crossing the road. You take care, when crossing but start campaigning for more “traffic calming”, every time you have a near miss.


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