Don’t privatise BBC2

August 29, 2015

Letter to Daily Express 28/8/15

When we talk of BBC, we usually think of BBC1

There, we’ve lost Newsnight to a Luvvies gabfest show.

Breakfast News has become a chat show plugging theatre productions, various artistes and charity sponsored cause célèbre.
Question Time seems to have become a platform for politicians to practise re-gurgitating their party lines.
Whilst Daily Politics seems to have edged closer and closer to a vehicle for pushing the Andrew Neil World view.
BBC can’t openly run advertising breaks, so seems to have opted for expensive and annoying promo’s of upcoming programs.
It has lost a lot of its justification for remaining independent.
Except for BBC2.
BBC2 has always produced shows, which cater for those, who aren’t entertained by:

Reality(?) shows, which seem to rely on humiliation.

Variety acts, which rely on hooping and hollering to mask the their low standard.

Soaps and other melodrama, with constant major tragedies and screeching women.
BBC2 has always shown quality programs on Science, History and all those area’s, which Libraries categorise as non-fiction.
Now I find that BBC2 has restored the News program with its “Victoria Derbyshire”.
I’ve only seen it with Naga Munchetty, but she is perfect in this role, delivering and presenting without any sign of bias, or hidden agenda.
If the BBC is privatised, it’d be nice if this channel could be kept, separately, as a Public Broadcast Service.

Tories seem to be throwing every argument they can think of to stop Corbyn

July 25, 2015

Letter to Daily Epress 24/7/15

Whether or not Jeremy Corbyn wins to leadership of the Labour party is not something that those supporting the Tory party have any say on. In fact they do not have any right to a say on it, having cast their vote elsewhere.

If Corbyn does win, it will be because a very large number of voter’s believe that the present Labour Party does not represent them.

Each attack on Corbyn’s belief’s, is an attack on those voter’s and will be seen as an attempt to stifle them and deny them a say in how the country is run.

At present David Cameron and his supporter’s are triumphalist in their ability to impose their belief’s on how the country should be run.

George Osborne is almost bursting with pride at the apparent stamp of approval for his handling of the Economy. So much so that he approaches the despatch box with an overwhelming and almost gleeful confidence, announcing even greater austerity with another huge hack at departmental budgets.

Corbyn’s support is coming from those, who have already been sacrificed in the name of austerity.

It will not be lessened by denigrating the views of those at the bottom of the heap, or by threatening to swell their ranks.

The most ridiculous aspect is that there are member’s of the Labour Shadow Cabinet, who are still denying that it is Labour voter’s who are supporting Corbyn.

Tony Blair’s speech is reminiscent of a compere berating the audience, for not clapping the acts

Only those brought up in Islam and converts are joining Isis.

July 25, 2015

Letter to Daily Epress 24/7/15

 

It is an abuse of the English language for Abdul Quddus to say there is no link between Islam and terrorism.

It would be perfectly fair to say there should’nt be any link between Islam and terrorism but that is not what we keep hearing.

He, and other apologists do not help the situation by denying the link.

It is not Christians, Hindu’s, Buddhist’s, Jain’s or atheists journeying to join Isis and kill anyone who does not accept their version of Islam.

We know they are killing mainly other Muslims but the clue is in the word “other”.

Imam’s, such as Abdul, need to look at what aspects of Islam are being perverted and used to persuade member’s of their community to join Isis.

They need to then ask themselves, if they are explaining their belief’s properly, or are they perhaps sending out conflicting messages, as Christianity once did: e.g. Love thy neighbour but kill witches!

which petitions are from plebs and which from Government?

July 25, 2015

Letter to Daily Epress 23/7/15

I’ve just received an e-mail from 38degrees.org.uk, saying:
“In a matter of days or even hours, our Environment Minister may allow banned toxic chemicals to be used on UK fields. It’s the profit hungry pesticide industry vs. our beautiful countryside.

Liz Truss, the Environment Minister, is about to decide whether to rubber stamp a request to ignore the European ban on bee-killing pesticides, and allow them on our fields this autumn. Even her own experts rejected the application, but they’ve now been gagged by the government. It’s all pretty dodgy. But it’s not too late.”

Of course it is important that bees are protected (for commercial reasons, if for nothing else) but what concerns me is that Government is alleged to be going against the EU on such an issue, which can not really be a cause that they’d wish to defend, when they roll over to have their bellies tickled on every other edict emanating from Brussels.

It’s also an issue, on which I’d expect 38degrees to achieve success.

So how has this story come out?
This disconnect makes me wonder if this is the beginning of a black propaganda campaign to persuade the “concerned” section of the electorate that they need to be protected by the EU.
I’m also wondering if we will see other straw-man issues, where the EU can ride to the rescue, distributing largesse.

will NHS charges come in before Labour elects a leader?

July 25, 2015

Letter to Daily Epress17/7/15

It has been published that The Government proposes to set up an inquiry into moving to a “pay NHS”.
I appreciate that they can’t just issue a statement that this will happen, after denying it in their manifesto; however it does seem an awful waste of money just to be able to provide a defence that their manifesto was untruthful about not charging for NHS use.
Nobody believes any political Manifesto, anymore, do they?

Plus even the simplest minded voter knows that inquiries aren’t to enquire but either to justify, or to bury policy.
As this inquiry would be of the first type, I bet that, if it goes ahead, it’ll publish a lot quicker than Chilcott.

MEP’s seem to have little real power, except as squabbling rubber stamps

July 25, 2015

I’m very much against the EU and even more against it’s willingness to sign us up to TTIP, so willingly sign any petition against the TTIP.

I signed two such, little realising that one was Labour and one was Tory inspired.

I was angered to find that Labour MEP’s had voted against an amendment and wrote to query the reason.

I have since received a response, which makes it clear that I was being played in a game of Party Politics.

I have put my re-response first:

Re-response:

Thank you for your response, it helped clarify the politics of what’s happening.
I was under the misapprehension that MEP’s were like MP’s, whereas your description makes them appear more as the House of Lords. The only query left is whether, or not, you can be guillotined, i.e. forced to pass legislation, with which you disagree.

———————–

Labour MEP Response

From: theresa.griffin@europarl.europa.eu
To:
Subject: Response to your email on TTIP
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2015 16:46:29 +0000

Good afternoon,

On behalf of the Labour MEPs for the North West of England, thank you for your email and please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to you.

The European Parliament has been working on a resolution on the ongoing negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) for the past number of months.

The European Parliament has no formal power while trade negotiations are ongoing, but it has the power to veto any trade deal once negotiations are concluded. In order to influence the TTIP negotiations at this stage, Labour MEPs have been pushing the European Parliament to adopt a text setting out clearly what we want to see in the final agreement and what we reject. This is one of the most significant means at our disposal to ensure that TTIP negotiators take the public’s concerns into account. The vote on this resolution took place on Wednesday 8 July.

The specific amendment you mentioned in your email regarding section 1 point b point vii was tabled by conservative MEPs to weaken a Labour amendment. We had managed to introduce a strong paragraph calling for a full exclusion of all public services from TTIP, however conservative MEPs were trying to remove a crucial element of this paragraph.

I was not prepared to accept this. Labour MEPs will not accept TTIP if it endangers in any way our public services, and we have made it clear that we will vote against the final deal if this is case. We therefore decided that we would vote against the European Parliament resolution if this conservative amendment was adopted.

Please remember that this vote is only to set the opinion of the European Parliament and it may be many more years before a TTIP agreement emerges. When this happens, MEPs will have to decide whether to ratify or to veto the deal. We will review the deal on its merits, and oppose any TTIP that endangers our public services, our standards or our democratic rights.

As Labour MEPs we are clear that our redlines are the protection of public services and a rejection of ISDS. We also need to ensure that TTIP increases workers’ rights and environmental standards.

Thank you again for your interest in this important issue.

Best wishes,

Theresa Griffin

 

Theresa Griffin
MEP for the North West of England
ASP 13 G 310
European Parliament
Rue Wiertz 60
B-1047 Brussels

Phone +32 228 45 271
Fax +32 228 49 271

LOW 7 T 67
European Parliament
1 av. du Président Robert Schuman
F-67000 Strasbourg

Phone +33 3881 75 271
Fax +33 3881 79 271

Email theresa.griffin@ep.europa.eu
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I re-call my “Good old Days”.

July 10, 2015

“The good old days” is a phrase often accompanied by a sneering tone.
They are always the good old days to the those, who live through them, as children and young adults, because for each generation, they refer to the golden days of youth.

That is often the only reason, they are deemed good.

In my good old days, I had holes in my shoes and trouser cheeks.

I had a perpetual cold, because my bed cover consisted of my dad’s army greatcoat and my bedroom floorboards didn’t even have a rug.
By Today’s standards my childhood was deplorable but as a child the World was a wonderful place of discovery.

For every Winter’s night that I cried myself to sleep with the pain of being cold, there was a Summer’s day of lying on the baking hot limestone slabs of the pavement, the pricking of tar bubbles on the cobbles, recently tarmac-ed over after the removal of the Nissen huts along the centre of our street.

Even our parents thought of them as the Good days.

They had survived the Second World War, when most of them had lost at least one relative, or dear friend to the hated enemy. (Huns, Nips, eye-ties)

Such a racist attitude was practically a legal requirement at the time.

Our parents had not only survived The War, they had lived through The Depression, which even my generation (Baby Boomer) can’t properly imagine.

It had been a time when parents were lucky if they could live and be employed in the same town; a time when records tell of women dying of starvation to ensure that their children didn’t.

My own father told me of walking from his home to Kirkby (5miles) to stand at the end of a queue of 200 men waiting in hope that a worker had been sick and failed to attend work.

Thousands of men gathered at the Docks hoping to be one of the hundred, or so, who would get a day’s work.

You left school at 13 and got a job, if you could, unless you got a scholarship.

My Dad got a scholarship but had to go find work instead, because his dad was killed by a dropped bolt, in the days when Industry wasn’t hog-tied by Health and Safety rules, such as supplying hard-hats for construction workers.

Post-War, I was lucky that my father was a skilled cabinet-maker, able to earn good wages in an age of piece-work.

Our neighbour’s were lucky, in that the Welfare State was born, just a short while after I was.

For the present generation, who’ve grown up well-nourished (most are several inches taller than my baby-boomer generation), with technology leaping forward, making life easier, the Internet making them more knowledgeable (less naive) these will be their Good Old Days, although the present political climate does not bode well for their future..

Post-War Britain was drab and dreary

July 10, 2015

Just watching The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958) on TV and recalled watching it at the Cinema, as a kid.
One of its main attractions was that it was in colour.
Post War there was very little colour and although Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was a 1937 film, it still created mile long queue’s to see it, with people staying in the queue to catch the following showing.
It’s difficult to express the dearth of colour but consider that Bonfire night was a major event, as was Xmas, Empire day and any National celebration such as the Coronation (a box-office smash Colour Film, at the cinema).
Weeks before Xmas were taken up using coloured paper (dull colours by modern standards) to make Xmas decorations.
Other celebrations called for bunting and the painting of kerbstones in red, white and blue.
The most popular sweets were the multi-coloured dolly mixture and liquorice all-sorts.
Cadbury’s chocolate came in a brown paper wrapper with a dull purple logo printed on it but that had chocolate in it, for those, who could afford it.
The big changes came with aniline dyes (mainly late 50’s) and polythene (60’s plastic daffodils with Persil) and colour TV. My first sight of one was 1969, passing an open door and seeing Star Trek. Note that the uniforms were plain vivid colours, with very little detailing to mask those colours).
Nowadays, of course, colour is everywhere;in fact were so sated that most films seem to be shot with only candlelight to help you guess who’s doing what.
Yes! I remember the Good Old Days; what a drab and dreary world it was.

Just a taste of what’s to come.

July 10, 2015

I recall My Mum telling me about a case pre-Welfare State (1930’s), where the Authorities offered support to the destitute.
The Support was means-tested but not a questionnaire about your income.
It consisted of welfare officers visiting your home and assessing your need.
My Mum summed it up in one example, where the officers turned to Mum’s friend and pointed at a mat, placed in front of the hearth. (to kneel on when clearing and laying a coal fire; hence a luxury item). “That would fetch a 1/- if you sold it”
To get help, you had to have less possessions than someone selling The Big Issue.
Generosity extended to the charitable gifts of itchy woollen vests for the children.
When the Welfare State has been sold off ; when Charities and self-help groups have been restored; then you’ll have the 1930’s back.

From there its only a generation more to get back to the Victorian age and 50% of Army recruits being rejected as too ill.

there was no problem with missed appointments until Gov’t introduced them pre-privatisation.

July 8, 2015
Sent to Daily Express but not published.
I would like to echo the call made by your reader, Valerie Price.
End the G.P. appointments system.
Does every patient need a 10 minute slot?
I frequently read of working people having to make appointments two weeks in advance. This is a ridiculous state of affairs, forcing people to hold off making an appointment, until it becomes life threatening and they need emergency treatment.
This is bad enough for those needing dental appointments but with so many serious and contagious disease starting off with flu-like systems, the situation threatens lives, with the possibility of epidemics being incubated.
Before Politician’s decided to bureaucratise the NHS, we had GP surgery waiting rooms packed out at those times, which fitted in with the working day.
The receptionist performed a sort of triage function, pushing anyone, with obviously serious issues to the head of the list and those, with a boil to lance, to the end of the list. She would also gauge when to close the surgery to further patients.
Those, who didn’t wish to wait in such conditions, could always pay to go private.
In those days, you made sure that you got to Surgery early. If you turned up with something trivial, you were made to know it and the doctor despatched you in a lot less than ten minutes. If it was serious, then an ambulance was ordered, taking you to the head of the A&E queue, possibly straight to a ward, where a bed would have been prepared.

Before anyone claims that the NHS is not fit for purpose, Government needs to decide that purpose. Should it be to make its services chargeable, or should it be to make the sick whole?


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