Archive for November, 2013

Another reason I’ll vote @NotaVote

November 30, 2013

A letter to the local paper prompted by another story in the Wigan Observer about the Labour council trying to attack another independent councillor for umpteenth time.

They always fail to prove charges but dig it up for some mud-slinging in May.

After reading about Councillor Brierley being censured again, I wonder what the purpose of a Councillor is.
Let’s face it, who would stand as an independent Councillor, unless he, or she, were an active person seeking to achieve an effective resolution of the problem’s faced by the people in their ward?
Why do their wards keeping voting such people back into office, rather than the usual type of candidate, offered by Labour, and despite repeated attempts by the established Council to condemn them.
Councillor Brierley’s constituents obviously don’t want someone who just toes the party line and who has to check with their hierarchy before sending a polite request in to Council officers to look into any grievances.
If that grievance is a consequence of a decision by the Labour cabinet, a Labour councillor isn’t likely to do more than fob off the constituent with some feigned sympathy and regret.
Independent councillor’s tend to be abrasive personalities rather than the “jolly decent” type of voting fodder, chosen by the established parties.
In Councillor Brierley’s case the problem appears to be that he’s stood up for a constituency member and ruffled a few feather’s.
Unless he has been abusive towards frontline staff, rather than an obstructive official, then he is merely doing his duty.
As far as the NHS is concerned, we appear to be seeing more problems, nationally, with officials trying to impose cover-ups on bad practice, as the NHS is edged ever closer to privatisation, We bseem to be daily confronted with stories of front-line staff being forced to cut corners and/or being replaced by cheaper, less dedicated people.
Whilst I have a lot of faith in those staff I have met, I am well aware of the cuts being made nationally and I would welcome more councillor’s like Councillor Brierley, who seems to be one of the few people who is prepared to fight for the individual.
My own voting will be for any independent Councillor, although nationally I may cast my vote for the “notavote” (http://notavote.co.uk/) candidate.

Advertisements

@BBCNews CPS report does not support Tory version of Plebgate

November 26, 2013

The orchestrated campaign  against the Police, who claim that they were abused by Mitchell, is given lie to by the actual CPS Press Release Tuesday 26th November 2013 | 12:05
Alison Saunders, Director of Public Prosecutions, said:
We have considered all of the evidence in this case, including previously unseen, unedited CCTV footage from Downing Street, not referred to by the media. Taking it all into account, including the accounts of the officer at the gate of Downing Street and that of Andrew Mitchell MP before, during and after the incident, we have found that there is insufficient evidence to show that the officer at the gate lied in his account.  The CPS has also found that there is insufficient evidence to show that Mr Mitchell was the victim of a conspiracy of misinformation….

I have, however, authorised one officer to be charged with one count of misconduct in public office.

One officer said that he witnessed the incident, when he hadn’t. This does not support Mitchell’s (very delayed) version of events.

The evidence shows that after the incident at the gate the officer immediately told other officers there what had happened; he then made a written note and telephoned a superior officer to inform him. About an hour and a half later, once back at base, he compiled an email about the incident which he sent to his managers and colleagues. The email is what has previously been described as the police ‘log’.

I note that the officer made his report, whilst it was still fresh in his mind, suggesting that he felt a concern. Mitchell refused to give his version until weeks later. Why?

Much of the press reporting to date has assumed that the CCTV recordings show that the gate officer lied about the words used during the incident. The CCTV footage that has been aired publicly was edited and did not show the full picture.

Who procured the original tape (not Mitchell) and why did it take so long to merely edit?

there are a small number of members of the public present immediately in front of the gate at the relevant time, but what cannot be seen is how many people were immediately off camera but in the vicinity, at least some of whom then quickly came into view. This is consistent with the officer’s account that several members of the public were present. No officer ever mentioned “crowds” being present – this was first mentioned in Channel 4 News/Dispatches programmes in December 2012 and February 2013 – which showed edited footage that was less than clear in a number of regards.
The wording used reflects my own scepticism of how this Ch.4 program was presented.

The fact that Mr Mitchell’s account has varied since the incident.

This reflects a common trait of someone trying to create a “new truth”.

The claims made in the Sunday Times about a whistle-blower were first made to the police by David Davis MP and Mr Mitchell.  They have declined to assist the police by naming them.

David Davis MP seems to have committed himself to aiding Mitchell but not justice.

Other action being taken by the police authority against other officers are disciplinary and may not require evidence, or even justification.

They may be based purely on rhe desire by senior officers to gain preferment from their politically appointed promotion panels.

As I will never be privy to the decision making process, I reserve the right to take my own jaundiced view of such a process, especially after reading ” the rest is silence” (http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Rest-Silence-James-Patrick-ebook/dp/B009NZ2VG4) and the associated blog.

 

 

 

 

Nick Clegg re-defines patriotism using the logic of a Quisling. @UKIP

November 19, 2013

War is abhorrent.
The best way to avoid it is to open your boarders to the invading hordes and allow them to walk in.
You can avoid them pillaging the country’s wealth by agreeing favourable trade deals and offering to fund the subsistence of their settlers.
This, of course, means that levies must be raised on the native population to fund their new neighbours. A small price to pay to avoid bloodshed.
To ensure a reduced social friction with the invaders, it is essential to accept their rule of Law, even if it means a neighbour may be dragged from his home in the middle of the night, by your own Gendarmerie, and sent off to a prison in the homeland of your new “partners”.
This is, it seems, the  patriotism of Nick Clegg.
At least, when Marshall Petain and  Quisling accepted such a patriotic form of existence, the invaders wore a smart uniform and carried guns to persuade those of their countrymen, who couldn’t accept such a beneficial arrangement.

@David_Cameron stop #NHS England Inc. urging us to bother our GP’s

November 19, 2013

I recently received a communication from NHS England Inc., containg a glossy and expensive brochure urging me to take the advice of their recent expensive, TV advertising campaign.
It urged me to visit my doctor if I found “blood in my poo”.
This is the latest in a lifetime of urgings to see my doctor and not ignore the warning signs of dire conditions, which could result in an agonising death. Conditions, which could mean that I may be the carrier of contagion, which would lead to the deaths of many.
Failure to see the doctor has been variously portrayed as stupid, unneighbourly, false heroics, or  any of various other adjectives applied to the common herd by our betters.
Strange lumps and bleeding are obvious concerns but often these warning signs are simply flu-like symptoms and are sometimes dismissed as trivialities by overworked medico’s, who have no valid treatment for flu and other viral diseases.Now a think-tank wants to take the NHS down the privatising route demonstrated by NHS dentistry..
Why only £10 to see your GP?
It’s a compulsory semi-annual £17:50 to have your dentist tell you to brush your teeth.
People tend only to want to visit their NHS Dentist when they are in agony from a sore tooth, which will cost £50 to be pulled out of your mouth, using a shiny versions of pliers.
In addition to this fee to see your dentist, the Think-tank (I envisage a sort of well-heeled and well-fed quango of lesser public school types) has suggested that prescription fees be raised, yet again.
Once more, this is against a background of daily announcements about putting everyone on Statins and various other panacea’s.
It is proposed that the elderly be means tested and the less poverty stricken be charged an annual fee £120 p.a..
Would this be a different quango to that means-testing pension credit, bus passes, liability to Council Tax, eligibility for free boilers, loft insulation, cavity wal insulation, dentistry, glasses, home care, house sequestration, mortgage payments. etc.?
Why not simply turn all these administrator’s into benefit scrounger’s and cap private pensions at subsistence level, except, of course, those that are well-earned at levels approaching that of MP’s and other deserving people.
It would only affect such as lower echelon civil servants, care worker’s, nurses, teacher’s, policemen, firemen, squaddies, etc. and would remove the basis for their complaints about having their pensions cut.

•Fred, they only call themselves “honourable members”‏ : letter to Express 12/7/13

November 12, 2013

Fred Forsyth often offers an interesting insight on various issues, especially those to do with foreign relations and similar.
However his latest utterances on MP’s and Political partties seem a little romanticised and reminiscent of a bygone age.
Firstly, MP’s, themselves, are quite capable of looking after theirselve’s.
I would contend that, if we demanded that they work for free, they’d end up with millionaire lifestyle’s.
I’d be happy to see them with a paypacket of £80k, if they didn’t write tax laws, with special concessions for MP’s.
If they didn’t accept consultancies, or Newspaper columns (at least until after two years living off their golden goodbyes).
If they were to be given severe prison sentences, when found to be acting in a rewarded lobbying capacity.
If they accepted basic Travelodge-style communal accomodation when in London.
If they accepted second-class train travel passes, instead of travel expenses.
If they didn’t employ relatives as researcher’s.
If they brought in legislation to cap the salaries of all those overpaid public servants, who are constantly used as comparisons of how poorly, they, themselves are paid.
Secondly, why the contention that we must have political parties?
Name any two MP’s who agree entirely on every issue.
Many MP’s have “crossed the floor” and for the vast public most of our senior politicians seem to be of the same class with the same views, irrespective of party.
They agree on most issues of the day, especially that of dipping into the public purse to fund their party conferences and their advertising.
If politicians must club together on specific issues, they should do what the rest of us do and pay subscriptions to promote them.
In fact I would ban donations to political parties and insist all donatons must be made to individual MP’s, with a cap on what can be paid to each and prison for any deceit.
If Unite want to buy Ed’s loyalty, fine.
If Goldmann Sachs want to buy Cameron’s loyalty, fine.
If their constituents are happy to have this happen, fine, they’ll be re-elected.
With Party politics, we will soon be expected to pay for their endless party political broadcasts and subversion of media pundits.
All the while, there’ll be the suspicion that one party is driving the agenda of Union bosses and the other is driving the agenda of The City of London.

 

women engineer’s‏ : letter to Express 14/7/13

November 12, 2013

Your Sunday edition’s financial section has a headline “UK hit by shortage of woman engineers”.
There is no explanation of the use of the word “hit”.
Is the implication that women engineer’s are in some way superior?
I’m all in favour of equal opportunity for women but this piece seems to be chiding us for not coercing, or shoe-horning more women into such area’s of work.
Having been a Physics teacher myself, I am well aware that there are girls with an interest in such matters and, at a risk of being dismissed as merely sexist, they are usually more diligent in their studies than boys.
Those girls, who turn to such subjects, tend to achieve above average results.
My impression was that this is not about “only the best feel confident enough to tackle the subject” (the usual claim ) but that those who are interested try harder.
My experience was that most girls found such subjects to be too impersonal; the very reason boys find them attractive.
It is a gender thing.
In fact, the usual run of boy students were attracted because they find the subject easy and didn’t have to work hard (although the few, who did, achieved highest).
Unless the UK is actually short of engineers, it has not been “hit” by the comparatively low proportion of women entering this field.
If we do need more engineers, then the answer, to encouraging more women into the field, is not to make Physics etc. more girlie but to make it more lucrative and better respected.
In those countries where women are more highly represented, you will find that engineers have a higher social status and are better remunerated.
In this country they are still seen as tradesmen, who must use the back door and who must be “managed” by someone with a decent Classics Education.
This will never change, as long as the Public Schools provide the people “trained to govern” and State Schools provide the clever chaps, who know how to fix Thingummibob’s.

EU referendum‏ : letter to Express 19/7/13

November 12, 2013

The report, that some MP’s are filibustering the bill to let us have a referendum on the EU, is depressing.
It’s bad enough that such a referendum would not be possible before 2017; by which time our country would be in such a sad state that we would be beyond caring.
It seems that these politicians only “believe” in Democracy and The Will of The People, every 5 years, when they come begging us to vote them back into a seat on the Parliamentary Gravy Train.
Could you, as a newspaper, make it clear, at the run-up to the next General Election, which MP’s genuinely care about our wishes, by printing the names of all MP’s, who have presented an opposition to a Referendum.
This could be followed up by a list of all candidates, who are in favour of a Democratic vote.
It might help focus the minds of those trying to delay the bill, if their names and pictures were featured now.

This country can’t cope with a heat wave‏ : letter to Express 19/7/13

November 12, 2013

Sadly, this splendid weather is being marred by the death’s of people, whose memories of such conditions, have failed to prepare them to enjoy and survive them.
We can cope with such conditions, when abroad, because we are on holiday and have no commitments. Unfortunately, at home, we do have commitments, at work, in travel and in hospital appointments.
Would you print a feature reminding employers that while they may be in air-conditioned offices, with fans on full blst, they may have employee’s and colleagues working in normally very hot conditions.
For instance canteen staff, may be preparing salads but there will be enough customers wanting cooked foods to ensure that canteen workers are often cooking themselves.
Employers in glassworks and hospitals will, probably, already be ensuring ample supplies of water (or orange juice) and salt tablet’s are available but it might not occur to Supermarket Managers, or Bank bosses.
It might also be a good idea if HR departments, especially in large stores, had a supply of refrigerated towels and ice packs available, for vulnerable customers suffering heat stroke.
As a last comment, if I suffer a headache, in hot Sunny conditions, I place my head under cold running water, until I feel the chill.
Sadly, obvious, but, woefully, often forgotten points in these rare conditions.

 

•better to try turning water into wine than to try running your car on it.‏ : letter to Express 2/8/13

November 12, 2013

Fred Forsyth is such a knowledgeable and knowing man, that it is depressing to see him waste six column inches on the notion that cars can be fuelled by water.

If he had an education, which involved basic Science, then the relevant teachers would be spinning in their graves.

His Chemistry teacher would be concerned that the statement that Hydrogen and Oxygen were both flammable gases would betray the fact that he had not, successfully, put across the concept of combustion.

More disappointed would be his Physics teacher.

One of the most basic laws is that Energy can be neither created, nor destroyed.

All we can do is exploit the conversion from one form into another, invariably releasing/wasting some, as less useful heat and sound.

In the car, we turn high grade chemical energy into lower grade kinetic energy, releasing/wasting most of it as low grade heat and sound energy.

There are only two known ways of creating high grade chemical energy from water.

Plants use Light (Plus Carbon Dioxide) in photosynthesis, to create sugars (and this is being researched).

The other is electrolysis (This would be a better way of exploiting wind turbines than the present dumping into the National Grid). This would necessitate an alternator, running off the car’s engine.

I’m sure Fred doesn’t believe in perpetual motion machines but that is what you would need here.

The alternator converts motion into electricity, creating Hydrogen, which is burned in the engine to provide the motion.

At each stage, most (70%) of the energy is released as heat and sound.

It’d be very hot, very noisy and, possibly, unable to pull the tanker of water needed for it to run for any length of time.

Shouldn’t we keep a profitable bank?‏ : letter to Express 2/8/13

November 12, 2013

The Chancellor is looking joyful at the thought of selling off Lloyd’s Bank at a profit and recovering the money that was needed to bail it out.

There will obviously be a quick reduction in the National debt, which will look good on his resumé, but shouldn’t he be taking a longer term view?

We had to borrow the money for this bail-out and for the day-to-day running of the Bank. We are still paying the interest on that borrowing and still trying to run an understaffed NHS to manage those payments.

I would hope that the Chancellor has enough prudence to consider whether the potential profits would be sufficient to pay off the interest and act in the best interest of the people of this country, rather than the short term interests of his political party.