various blogs 4

December 1, 2016

28/11/16

Dan Jarvis is right to call on Labour MP’s to stop treating complaints on immigration as racism.
Such complaints are better understood by comparison with train journeys.
Of course some journeys will have empty seats but there will be some, where people will be packed like sardines, some sitting on the floor and some risking their health.
Those on the train will object to any more coming aboard.
Telling them that they are being racist won’t help and may even encourage them to accept the label out of anger.
The solution is to spend some money on more carriages.
In the same way, the best solution to racism in this country is to stop sacking public sector workers and create more jobs.
Build more houses, powerstations, reservoirs etc.
Create more public transport links.
Let Labour voters feel that they have some elbow room and won’t have to count their pennies.
In other words reverse all the policies of successive Governments since Maggie and re-nationalise.

published version (30/11/16)

#Dan Jarvis is right to call on Labour MPs to stop treating voters’
complaints about immigration as racism.
Telling people they are being racist when they have legitimate concerns
may even encourage some Labour voters to desert the party.
Labour voters need to feel they have some elbow room and a chance of
earning a fair wage.

28/11/16

When viewing the House of Lords, one sees many ex-MP’s, well over the age of 70.
Many make a useful contribution to their debates and it seems politics is one of those professions, where being old is not a problem.
In the wider world, most people find the life of work increasingly difficult upon reaching 60 and, indeed, once you’re past 50, you’ll notice employer’s taking a stronger interest in your abilities.
Look around most workplaces and you’ll see few people, especially men, over the age of 55.
I’ve no doubt that those public sector workers, reported as being made redundant, will mainly be in their 50’s.
True, we’re living longer but we’re still suffering the ravages of time and any talk of raising the pensionable age to 70 is a callous sentence of death for most of the population.
Who will employ these old wrecks? They can’t all work for B&Q.
Politician’s need to reconsider this intent, or are they also considering disenfranchising the old.

25/11/16
Paul Routledge’s piece about a snowflake generation was depressing, although his advice to them was sound, it is an extrinsic solution when an intrinsic solution is needed.
It needs a change in culture, which can be best implemented in schools,
The question is how it came about and what we can do about it.
It maybe that they’ve been over-protected with excessive H&S restrictions, too much separation from the realities of life with oven-ready chickens and restrictions against children having pocket money jobs.
Maybe they’ve been cowed by the lack of police protection from bullies and gangs, or from fear of being accused of committing hate crimes.
For me, their biggest handicap, pointed out by Paul Routledge, looks to be their inability to stand up in front of crowds and speak garbage, with confidence.
This ability seems to be key to achieving the best paying jobs of politics, sales, P.R., acting and all front room jobs involving the Public.
This is probably the one skill we need to copy from those who have attended Public Schools.
The US “Show and Tell” lessons, “mock elections and Debating Societies could possibly be more greatly emphasised in State Schools.

19/11/16

The Queen is said to prefer Windsor to Buck House and only uses Buckingham Palace for State functions.
Why not make a compulsory purchase?
Chequers could be fitted out for State functions, instead of being a second (rarely used) pad for the Chancellor.
Most of Buck House could be converted to accommodation for MP’s.
A new Parliamentary chamber could be built in the spacious Palace grounds and Westminster Palace could be sold off, saving the £3-4 Billion its refit will cost.

17/11/16

Capping whip lash claims for car accidents, shows up the farce of car insurance, which was originally enforced, by Law, to protect those hurt in car accidents.
The Road Traffic Act Insurance standard is no longer offered by Insurance Companies. In many cases their Third party, Fire and Theft has been totally supplanted by Comprehensive cover.
For many of us the “Service” offered by insurance companies is a legal imposition, which doesn’t make financial sense.
If Government wasn’t run for those, who own the Insurance companies (and will soon own our NHS), it’d make more sense to increase road tax and let the State carry the burden of those hurt in Road Traffic Accidents.
Those with expensive cars would still buy Comprehensive car insurance policies, without the threat of being arrested.

17/11/16

Jack Blanchard reports that the Chancellor is considering cutting air passenger duty in order to help those families, who are “just about managing” (JAM’s).
They truly have a different mind-set to the lower orders.
For them, “just about managing” probably means only having one foreign holiday a year, having a car that needs an MOT certificate, travelling by Second Class Rail etc.
For most, it’s having some money at the end of the week, having some Xmas presents for the kids, perhaps being able to afford a Newspaper.
It’s Mr Micawber’s definition of happiness.

9/11/16

I have a lot of sympathy with Prince Harry and his personal life.
It’s one thing to print pictures of his antics in a US hotel room, quite another to leer over the young woman, whom he is now romancing.
He’s a young man, who’s seen active service in a war zone and projected a far better image of this country than any present politician or celeb.
It’s fair enough to allow interest in his public life, although he’s not in direct line to the throne, but his private life seems unremarkable and doesn’t deserve the attention that it is getting from the Media.
Indeed, it is The Media, which controls this.
There are millions of trolls on Social Media but they are like piranha. They only nip into attack mode as part of a feeding frenzy.
We saw it, in the Media, with Brexit, where racists saw mainstream politicians sniping at immigrants and became emboldened to try to physically attack them in public.
IPSO is an irrelevance in such cases and it is up to Media Editor’s to take a responsible role.
In the case of Meghan Markle, it’s natural to report on her being seen with him, in public, but maybe the social media stories didn’t need encouragement by referencing them
As an example the papparazi telephoto shots of his sister-in-law sunbathing were not socially responsible and shouldn’t have been published. The black bars on the published photo’s made them worse in this respect.
Perhaps the Daily Mirror could take the lead, declare a self-censoring set of standards and promote them.
Try to make them the norm thoughout The Media, such that ordinary users of Social Media take them up and the Trolls feel isolated.

8/11/16

I hope, when Clinton makes her first speech to the nation,she has enough sense to incorporate a message of hope to those who voted against her, rather than for Trump.
It was quite clear on our screens that many black Americans were saying that despite successive Democrat Presidencies, they were still feeling oppressed.
Blue collar workers felt that they were being deprived of jobs and rhe ability to earn a decent living.
The Occupy movement reflects the feeling of many Americans that she only cares about those with money and that nothing has been done for those, whose houses were left empty, whilst they slept in trucks, after the sub-prime mortgages scandal.
There’s a lot of discontent in America and they have access to guns.

@DailyMirror publishes first puff piece in Blair’s campaign against populism

November 25, 2016

Tony Blair has begun his campaign to destroy #brexit,  with a puff piece in the Daily Mirror.

He begins by saying:

“When I say ‘let’s just keep our options open’, it’s condemned as treason”.

Straight in, with two lies in one sentence.

He uses his favourite impression  of “I’m just a nice, reasonable guy”

First lie is that he merely wants us to keep our options open, when he’s pushing  “The remain” option, as the one he’s wants to sell us.

M r. reasonable guy lays the ground for his second lie,  that this reasonable view has seen him condemned as treasonous.

No-one has condemned as treasonous for  wanting to keep our options open.

He’s been condemned as treasonous for the illegal Iraq war.

He’s also been condemned as anti-democratic in announcing that he’ll use his money and influence to try and overthrow the referendum vote.

This could be regarded as treason, depending on how he goes about it.

You have to look closely at everything he says.

That two-lie sentence wasn’t an off-the-cuff line.

It will have been carefully crafted, with the aid of his wordsmith, Alistair Campbell.

He’s announced that Labour has lurched to the Left and Tory’s to the Right, thus leaving the middle ground for him to step into and speak up for all those floating voters., who’ll buy what he’s selling.

It’s untrue that the Centre ground is vacant.

Corbyn and McDonnell may be old Left but they are heavily constrained by MP’s, who were raised to eminence under Blairite policies and who still occupy the centrist seat

(It wasn’t Socialists, who voted to bomb Syria).

For me , as a supporter of Corbyn, the mis-named centrist position isn’t a midway position, so much as a right of centre position and Tony Blair is a Tory in disguise.

Look at who he’s teamed up with.

Richard Branson isn’t a cavalier/hippy entertainments guy.

He’s the banker who’s buying up much of our NHS and is pushing to buy up more.

That’s why he’s linked up with Blair, who made his millions bringing “peace” to the Middle East and brokering deals for Haliburton and other US companies, eager to “help” in that region.

Listen to Blair but learn to recognise phrases that he repeats word for word, because they’re the one’s, which are selling the biggest lies

why keep crumbling buildings and outmoded traditions, when we plebs have to accept modernisation

November 20, 2016

If Republicans really believe our constitutional Monarchy needs updating, then lets clean house with Parliament first.
The pomp and circumstance of present Parliamentary traditions are a ridiculous relic of a period when the Rich turfed the peasantry off their land, so why keep it?
All State functions are being sold off in the name of efficiency, yet we still have MP’s voting by walking through lobbies.
We have the speaker elected and carried to his chair in a manner redolent of public school “high jinks”.
When there, he then spends most of his time calling for these same honourable members to come to “order, order, order”.
Black rod and the Queen’s speech are an unnecessary nonsense and would go, if we abandoned the Monarchy, anyway.

Either we keep these crumbling Palaces, institutions and farcical traditions, or we modernise, like any other rational nation.
If it’s felt that these places are important for tourism, we could keep just the facades that the tourists only ever see, as many our other cities have had to do.

Bombing is civilised but capital punishment isn’t?

November 20, 2016

The murder of Jo Cox raises an old issue, for me, which I still puzzle over.
When I was young MP’s voted to abolish Capital Punishment, despite Public objections.
I think polls at the time were 90% for retaining it.
The reasons given, for abolition, were that it was barbaric, uncivilised and had led to the death of innocent people.
The puzzle is that modern technology has established, beyond a nano-crumb of doubt, who the murderer’s of Drummer Lee Rigby were.
The general public has witnessed the details of Osama bin Laden’s  assassination, the “drone”-ing of other Al Quaeda leader’s, the shooting of terrorists around the EU and a massive majority of our MP’s voting to bomb foreigner’s in their own land.
Voter’s would have to be schizoid to see how those deaths can be justified by our politicians, while the execution, after an expensive trial, of two such blatantly nasty individuals is to be considered uncivilised.
Can someone explain to me how maintaining such people in conditions, which some of our pensioner’s might envy, is civilised?

I can understand why our political elite don’t like referenda, because this is another issue which they’d have to claim was “only advisory”

@lfc some thoughts on tactics

November 20, 2016

How do you score goals against a good goalie?
You present him with the unexpected.
The first in this category is the “screamer” that comes from distance and curves into a far corner of the net.
I only mention this first because it’s the one that the media dwells on.
Most of “Match of the Day”‘s “goal of the Month” are such screamer’s.
This is not the most successful way of beating the goalie, because for everyone that’s on target, nine are wideshots and many are capable of being anticipated. e.g. many come from particular players shooting from the right hand corner of the goal area (goalie view), aiming at the top right of the net (attacker’s view).
The most successful is the penalty shot, because the goalie has a 1 in 5 chance of choosing the correct dive. That’s in theory. A really strong shot will beat the goalie every time, unless he makes the right guess and moves early.
If the shot is placed and the goalie waits to move, then the player improves his chances by aiming top middle. The assumption is that the goalie has to be seen to make a dive and can’t just stand there (like a dummy?).
This has to assume that the player relies on speed and doesn’t change his target. Second best target will be top left and then bottom right (gravity), if the goalie is a right hander.
Whatever, the situation and History demands, a blast to the goalies left is often most successful.
Next is open-play situations, where a close range deflection by defender, or attacker, is, by simple Geometry, going to enter the net. So crosses at waist height
(too low for a header, too high for a foot and too far from goal line for goalie to attack) is often a cause of a “fumbled goal”. Stats are low, because these goals are not “intentional” but account for many of those goals scored.
The last group are goals where goalie is turned one way and then the other. A corner to the far post, headed back across goal, out of goalie’s reach, is wide open to an alert attacker. A goal hound, who knows where he can pick up an easy chance.
A good goalie can beat a team’s “striker” by knowing his favoured moves. you’ll notice a lot of goals can come from (in an attacking team), not just from mid-fielder’s but from defender’s.
Main thing for attacker’s to do is look at the ball, when they kick it. Main thing for defender’s is to be so close to attacker, that they fail to do so. If the player looks up to see who to pass to, then a close attacker can nick the ball.
When a defender is chasing an attacker, he should run in a straight line for goal (greyhounds do this), keeping close but not tackling, unless he takes his eye off the ball.

For corners, position your attackers so they funnel the ball into the goal.
defending a corner have a man beyond far post and another on centre edge of goal area to return it to him, should it be headed out.

@BBCNews still suggesting #brexit is causing problems

November 17, 2016

BBC breakfast had a piece, this morning, on how #brexit will affect business.

It’s based around a sugar refining business, which confesses that it will benefit from the reduction on import taxes (EU tariff charges) for the sugar.

One of the managers agreed that there will be other aspects that will need to be considered.

He said things like the paper wrapping is imported from EU countries.

We’re left to assume that this is a worry, for us, when it isn’t.

It’s a worry for the EU, because Other countries can supply paper more cheaply, once EU import taxes are removed.
They mentioned Health and Safety legislation and Worker Protection legislation.

Again we’re left to assume that this is a problem for us, when it isn’t.

Apart from the fact that all such legislation has been enacted into UK Law, most of it came from UK law.
The CE standards mark has merely replaced the British Standards kite mark and, apart from some weakening of electrical insulation standards, it was a direct steal from the British Standards legislation. Again, worker’s rights etc. in the EU are just a watered down copy of what we already had. (remember we went in under our last Socialist PM., Harold Wilson, so we would hardly have agreed to any weakening.)

This is black propaganda, using the omission of facts and leaving the younger generation to infer that we will be worse off after brexit

Note: Harold Wilson beat George Brown to the leadership, because Main Stream Media said Brwn was more Left Wing.

various posts 3

November 7, 2016

These were letters to Daily Express

4/11/16

A snap G.E is a dishonest way of resolving Brexit.

The vote would be on the NHS and Benefits; the Tories would lose and Brexit would be achieved in name only.
4/11/16

The BBC is to plan another Science program to, allegedly, encourage more youngster’s to go into Science.
If we really want youngster’s to become Scientists and engineer’s wouldn’t it be more attractive, if we passed laws enabling them to have full patent rights over their achievements?
At present, any breakthroughs are deemed the intellectual property of their employers.
A good example being that portrayed in the TV series “The Big Bang Theory”.
The argument that the company has paid for them to do this work is a falsehood, as the company has not lost anything if the advance is simply discarded by the employee.
A parallel could be drawn with the Music Industry, where many artistes were once very badly exploited.
Nobody would think it right that the TV programs, that started the careers of many of Today’s top artistes, were to claim all royalties from their songs.
Why bother to struggle through years of exams to achieve a degree in a Science, only to be saddled with a student debt and to be told that all you’ll ever get for any major advances you make will belong to your employers, who, once they think you’re past your best, will let you go, so they can buy a newer, shinier geek.

various posts 2

November 7, 2016

Letters to daily Mirror : none printed

19/10/16

What was the point of having a referendum, if Parliament is now going to drop the pretence that we have a real democracy?
The EU referendum was the only time in most people’s lives that they had any say in how the country is run.
Now we are told that 660 (or maybe 600) MP’s are to be allowed to overrule that wish.
The notion of the Sovereignty of Parliament has changed from the people’s representatives overruling the Monarch to one where the people get a choice of two candidates for ersatz monarch, via the choice of their supporting courtiers.
Small wonder so few turn out to vote.
20/10/16

I’m no great fan of Sir Cliff Richard but I find it perverse that he can be named and shamed without evidence of wrong-doing, yet other rich celebrities have been able to take out super injunctions, which criminalise anyone, who publicly comments on their marital infidelities.
It is made more absurd, when, under EU law, people, guilty of marital infidelity, or worse, can prevent Google from displaying old news stories, or, as in one recent case, a current News story, published in Scotland, wasn’t allowed to be viewed by people in England.
Perhaps one of our numerous Select Committee’s could cast their eyes over these incongruities
31/10/16
Your piece about Hen Harriers being shot by gamekeepers, wanting to protect the grouse moors, points up that we are still a nation divided.
Not between the shooters and the conservationists but between those few, who see the grouse moors as their personal property, and the millions, who have never even seen them, nor are likely to.
Originally, those large area’s of our country were common land but are now privately owned by the rich and powerful.
It is more annoying with this little spat coming at a time, when people near here, in the North-West, are being told that some of the local Green Belt will have to be turned over to housing to accomodate the large numbers of young homeless and the anticipated influx of refugee’s.
We do need thousand of new homes.
We also the relevant infrastructure of roads, utilities, schools, hospitals etc. and NHS.
But paradoxically these are being slashed.
Now any little bits of open spaces, still left, will disappear, whilst vast swathes of land are kept aside for the pleasure and concerns of the minority, who rule over us.
It shows up the contempt of Government and The Rich, who care more for Hen Harriers and Grouse, than for us.
4/11/16

A snap G.E is a dishonest way of resolving Brexit.
The vote would be on the NHS and Benefits; the Tories would lose and Brexit would be achieved in name only.
6/11/16

According to My Supermarket website:
Snackrite cheese and onion crisps sell at 75p for 6 x 25g pack
Walkers cheese and onion crisps sell at £1.45 for 6 x 25g pack (nearly double)
Walkers claim, that the proposed 10% increase is about the cheaper £ raising the cost of raw materials, is a falsehood.
It’s about maintaining their already fat profit margin going back to Pepsico shareholder’s in the USA.
7/11/16

You report that Military Intelligence chiefs ask why the Government has no plans for a tank to rival Putin’s Armata, for at least 20 years.
It seems strange to me that our Military Intelligence chiefs aren’t up to the standards of the Russians.
The stand-out example of this was the development of Concordski.
Our Military Intelligence chiefs should already have the full specs on Armata and the Government should already have contracts on line for their construction,assuming our Military Intelligence chiefs actually think we’re likely to come up against the Armata.
Else why do we have Military Intelligence chiefs?
7/11/16

If Dr. Dirk Notz, of The Max Planck Institute for meteorology, is seriously concerned about Carbon Dioxide emissions from cars, then he should stop churning out spurious stats such as “every 2400 miles …creates 1 tonne”.
It seems climatologists prefer playing Cassandra to offering solutions.
Maybe it’s to do with drumming up more research funding from clueless politicians.
Carbon dioxiide from cars depends on engine size and speed, obviously.
More specifically, a car stuck in a traffic jam will produce 100x more for the mileage, quoted.
Instead of just attacking cars, which are essential to modern life, he should attack traffic schemes, which impede a smooth flow of traffic and increase stress for working people forced to commute over routes, inadequately covered by public transport.
It won’t get him any funding and it’ll irritate politicians but it would actually be a more socially responsible approach.
Government should play their part by encouraging more telecommuting.
E.g. why do MP’s have to go in to Parliament to debate?
Businesses could stagger working hours, so there is no rush hour.
Councils could stop blocking rat-runs and create more traffic overspills, instead of funneling them into bottlenecks.
More real solutions, not just plans for electric cars, which could well be a greater liability if stuck in a traffic jam and are, as yet, still polluting the Planet by relying on electricity produced by burning fossil fuels.

various posts

October 9, 2016

Letters to daily Mirror : one printed

28/9/16
At a time when Labour has been pledged to a minimum wage of £10 per hour (£20,800 per year), it is unfathomable why there are people on vastly superior salaries seeking to grub even more.
It’s not just in football with Sam Allardyce trying to grab another £400k on top of his £3 million a year.
It’s banker’s with their obscene bonuses, CEO’s raiding pension funds, Politicians claiming unwarranted expenses.
The whole of the supertax strata is seemingly corrupt at a level, which I was brought up to believe as only existing among lesser nations.
I don’t know whether to feel sad, ashamed, or just bloody angry at those claiming to be our superiors and deserving of our respect and deference

Printed version

#At a time when Labour has pledged a minimum wage of £10 per hour,
it is unfathomable why there are people on vastly superior salaries
seeking to take even more.
It is not just in football with Sam Allardyce trying to grab another
£400,000 on top of his £3million a year, it’s investment bankers with
their obscene bonuses, chief executives being rewarded for failure and
our politicians claiming unwarranted expenses in Parliament.
I don’t know whether to feel sad, ashamed, or just downright angry.

2/10/16
Your editorial, in the Sunday Mirror, says that Mr Corbyn should accept that replacing Britain’s Trident nuclear system is official Labour policy.
I’m sure he has done, which is why it wasn’t tabled to be discussed at conference.
However the suggestion that he should do so with a smile on his face, shows a complete lack of awareness of why he is so popular with new members.
Voter’s see him as straightforward and a welcome change from the dissembling of most senior politicians of all parties.
The moment he swaps principle’s for false bonhomie is the moment he becomes just another untrusted politician.

2/10/16
If you steal something and are caught, you are punished and lose all rights to what you have stolen.
In the case of rape, where a child results, I can not see any valid reason why that same principle should not apply.
Of course Russell Melford should be denied all parental rights to access to the young girl born as a result of his crime.
But, just as a criminal  should also be made to compensate his victim, a rapist should be made to pay maintenance, when practicable, for the rearing of any subsequent children.
You can’t reject a Society’s rules and then expect to benefit from them.

5/10/16
In your article about George Osborne’s family firm not paying any tax, I was puzzled by the statement that the highest paid director had “earned” £639,000, despite the Company having made a £377,000 loss.
Obviously if the highest paid director had only “earned” £262,000, the Company would have not made any loss.
How can our politicians preside over a tax regime which allows a business’s profit margin be so blatantly eroded before the taxman even gets a look-in?
It seems obvious to me that that £639,000 was not “earned” and the solution to this sanctioned criminality, must be some form of cap on salaries and dividends, in relation to turnover.
Once Company tax has been assessed and paid, director’s can then dish out the remaining profit as bonuses and dividends, as they wish.
There is no way that zero-hour workers, should be subsidising these leeches, via a corrupt tax regime.

better to go to Deimos than Mars.

September 30, 2016

It occurs to me that all discussion, of colonising Mars, has ignored the Moons of Mars.
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moons_of_Mars
The two moons both have extremely low gravity and it would be much easier to land on them.
It would make sense to use them as way-stations, allowing interplanetary craft to repair and replenish themselves before a final descent.
They would serve the same purpose as our own Space station would do for return flights.
The added benefits include the possibility of mining into the moons, giving greater protection from meteorite impacts and solar storms (Mars has no magnetic shield).
Extra fuel and resources could easily be placed on either moon, using unmanned vehicles, to enable extra supplies, for emergencies, to be built up.
At some remote point in the future, we may wish to move onto Titan, or, preferably out of the Solar System and unless we get FLT drives, it makes more sense to proceed at sub-light speeds (more like crawling pace) on a very large craft such as Deimos, complete with a living population inhabiting it.
I think the future of Mars lies in providing agricultural supplies for the moon bases, rather than creating a race of Martians .

SF suggestions have been to use populations from Peru or Tibet, who are used to low Oxygen levels and/or terra-forming Mars, using mass and ice from the asteroid belt.
But why bother with such a great effort, merely to move next-door, when any catastrophe could easily affect both home planets?
Whichever way the future takes us, I think craft going directly to Mars, rather than its moons, are, unnecessarily, increasing the risks of a landing disaster.