Archive for April, 2015

No coalitions, please. Just drop policies that won’t be accepted. That’s democracy

April 25, 2015


Sent to the Daily Express 19/4/15

There’s no need for any coalition’s.
The leader of the majority party forms the next Government and moves into Number 10.
If he/she wants to admit opposition MP’s into the Cabinet room, that can be on an ad-hoc, or honorary basis.
The big issue facing that leader is which policies will obtain support from the majority of MP’s.

If there is a contentious policy in his/her manifesto, then he/she can simply offer a vote of intent.

If it’s voted down, then he/she can either shelve the policy, or face losing a major vote.

How that works with a fixed term Parliament has not been made clear. They don’t have to call a new G.E.
Either way the leader has attempted to honour their manifesto promise and other leader’s will have to consider their own manifesto stance’s.
That’s not a sign of a weak Government but of a strong democratic choice.
Those policies, which he/she can be sure of cross-party support, will be put in the Queen’s speech and should be, not only successful, but popular with the majority of the electorate.
A Government is not strong, when it can impose unpopular policies but when its policies have popular support.
No revolution was, ever, against a popular Government.

The boat people aren’t just our problem. They are Africa’s problem, also

April 25, 2015

Sent to the Daily Express 23/4/15

The Mediterranean boat people are coming from sub-Saharan Africa. i.e. Somalia and Eritrea.

By-passing Egypt and ignoring Saudi-Arabia, they are motivated to negotiate the likes of the Qattara Depression to reach the fartherest part of Libya and then risk a dangerous Sea voyage.

Modern telecommunications means that many must be aware, by now, of events in the Mediterranean.

Such strong motivation means that trying to stem the flow seems as futile as the attempt to prevent Jews reaching Palestine in 1946.

Parceling the migrants out to various European countries may be possible but not necessarily desirable for the countries they are leaving, or the countries they are sent to.

Creating a safe zone in Libya can only be a stop-gap solution, as the Libyan’s may react to such an imposition in the same way as Palestinian’s reacted to a safe zone (Israel) for Europe’s Jewry.

Long term, the solution is to make their own homelands safe.

It can’t be done without the support of The West but the rest of The World needs to play its part, particularly Africa.

Political direction must come from neighbouring African countries, such as Kenya, which is already suffering from the effects of armed incursions.

African countries can’t just shut their borders and expect the West to sort it.

All these paedophile’s from Thatcher era only now being dug out. How many still being protected?

April 25, 2015

Sent to the Daily Express 22/4/15


Ann Widdecombe makes a valid point about Janner being unable to defend himself but also references Leon Brittan as being unable to defend himself, by virtue of being deceased.
Strangely, there hasn’t been much printed on Leon Brittan, whereas there are others, who are also unable to defend themselves, who have been freely discussed in The Media.
Cyril Smith is unable to defend himself, by virtue of being dead, but his guilt is accepted, by all. Most of the Media seem perfectly happy to speak of him as a proven paedophile.
Jimmy Saville, has been the subject of extensive media exposure and has even triggered a whole series of investigations of cover-ups and other offender’s.
Is there a difference in the scale of alleged offences, or is it simply a matter of political connections.
If, Janner is unable to stand trial, why not simply place the allegedly, irrefutable evidence in The Media?
Let’s see if other’s come forward with further evidence, as has been done with various non-political figures.


Published version 24/4/15:


If Janner is so ill make the case against him public

ANN Widdecombe makes a valid point about Greville Janner being unable to defend himself (“Janner should have faced court earlier”, April 22). “

But there are others, who are also unable to defend themselves, who have been freely discussed in the media.

Cyril Smith is unable to defend himself, by virtue of being dead but his guilt is accepted by all and most of the media seem happy to speak of him as a paedophile.

Jimmy Savile has been the subject of extensive media exposure and has even triggered a whole series of investigations.

If Janner is unable to stand trial due to advanced dementia which makes him unaware of what is going on, why not simply publish the allegedly irrefutable evidence?

Let’s see if others come forward to present further evidence for or against him.

why can’t the political class make intelligent decisions on the #NHS ?

April 16, 2015
If I catch a cold, or flu, then it’s a case of stay indoors with plenty of hankies etc.
If I, subsequently, secure a bacterial infection, with swollen glands and discoloured mucus, then I need antibiotics.
I understand that abuse of antibiotics has led to a situation, where antibiotics could one day prove ineffective.
I understand that we need to delay this situation, by limiting their use to situations where these infections could lead to serious complications, rather than mere suffering.
This is achieved by requiring the need for a doctor’s prescription.
On the face of it, this is not a big deal, especially if you can “go private” and buy a prescription, without too much bother, or delay, or even proof of need.
The problem occurs only with the NHS, where GP’s are under so much pressure that patients could be dead, or recovered (albeit with possible long term physical damage), before an appointment can be procured.
There needs to be an alternative to the present system.
Before GP appointment were imposed on us, sufferer’s sat in the Surgery waiting room sharing their problems and building up a degree of herd immunity.
This situation was transferred to walk-in centres, where a form of triage meant that fewer qualified doctor’s were needed and patient’s merely required patience.
The present problem seems to have arisen with haphazard and casual closure of walk-in centres and the attempt to replace these with call centres.
As personnel, sitting on a switchboard, can not write prescriptions, or organise scans etc., those plebians requiring such treatment, are turning up at A&E’S, which were not designed to cope with such cases.
It would seem logical to re-instate Walk-in centres, or remove micro-management of GP’s, but that would require politicians to admit to being inept.
A stop-gap could be to trust Pharmacists to prescribe antibiotics, arrange blood tests and organise scans, prior to a G.P. appointment.
The big issue being raised, as the cause of the failure of Government austerity measures is the entirely unexpected(!) issue of an ageing population.
Referred to by the derogatory term of bed-blocker, it can’t be too difficult to start building convalescent homes, freeing up the emergency beds.
Alternatively, as many of these elderly patients could be treated at home, why not organise a system to attend on them at home, instead of requiring on emergency services to ferry them into A&E.
Instead of politicians being “Leaders of the Nation”, we could do with a few problem solver’s managing the house-keeping.

Who’d a thought to attack a vault on the Weekend?

April 16, 2015
Sent to the Daily Express (11/4/15)
The recent diamond vault attack makes one wonder about the Security firms in charge of these matters.
Every film, ever made, where there is an attack on security vaults, has had the criminals led by a genius, who figures out that the best time to attack is on a long Bank Holiday weekend, when they’ll be able to use their jack-hammers, thermic lances and explosives, without fear of being overheard, or interrupted.
Obviously I’m not alone in seeing this pattern, as I seem to recall quite a few real-life cases, where the criminal master-minds may have also been watching these films.
I can’t figure out why the people making a good living keeping safety-boxes, money, bullion and gem vaults secure, haven’t figured that it might be that bank-holiday week-ends could be a good time to just pop a head around the door.
In fact, I imagine that most ordinary people would look in on their most prized possessions on a daily basis, especially if they knew that other’s knew of and covetted them.

Inheritance tax isn’t a problem for those taken into a Council care home.

April 16, 2015
Sent to Daily Express (12/4/15)
The Conservative offer of raising the inheritance tax threshold to £1,000,000 sounds OK and would appear to offer voters hope of being able to secure a safety net for their children.
The present generation living with student debts, mortgage’s and the yet-to-be-announced thrills of future austerity measures and related redundancies, deserves a glimmer of hope.
Yet, here,”Oop North”, most houses aren’t that highly priced.
In fact most houses just manage to bring themselves in range of an earlier Government decision.
I refer to the £75,000 care home threat, exemplified in a recent story, whereby a lady was turned out of her family home, after it was seized by the Local Council.
Her mother had been taken into a care home and under this Government’s legislation, the Council was required to defray the costs, by this seizure.
For many of us, the threat of being carried off to a Council care home, possibly against our wishes (as in one reported story), means the potential to have our spouses turfed out of their homes, becoming a burden onto their children, possibly at a time, when said children would be hoping to raise a family of their own.
George Osborne is either inept, or intends deceit.
Either way this promise is no enticement for voters but more of a slap in the face, for those in the middle income range.

#Devomanc, EU referendum, democracy

April 16, 2015

Sent to Daily Express (15/4/15)

I assume Stephen Pollard agrees with the Daily Express’s stand on an EU referendum.
I further assume that he abhors Miliband’s opposition to a democratic say on the matter.
In fact, the whole General Election is allegedly about Demcratic choices, so how can he laud the Tory Manifesto, which embodies another anti-democratic diktat, which is of great moment in this corner of The World.?
I refer to DevoManc
Osborne’s decision to impose an unelected Mayor on the people of this region, as threatened in The Manifesto, is highly resented by some and a cause of concern to most.
Admittedly this is a mainly Labour region, as witnessed by his co-conspirators being Labour backed councillor’s, but this authoritarian approach must mean that the leader’s of the Tory party are just as bad as Miliband and are happy to surrender any support that they might have had in the North-West.

300 Afghan interpreter’s wouldn’t make a difference to the immigration numbers.

April 16, 2015
A letter to the Daily Express (15/4/15)
I have to agree with Ann Widdecombe on how Government treats those, who protect us and serve our interests.
The treatment of the Gurkha’s was shabby and the British Public made its views known.
The treatment of our own squaddies, particularly those needing medical aid has never been very good.
Again popular support has been expressed in terms of Poppy sales and the more recent “Help for Heroes”, to supply the cash that Government has denied them.
The powers-that-be seem to have no compassion for “other ranks” and our subordinate allies, although they thrive on the Pomp and Circumstance of Commemoration Services and Medal Ceremonies.
In the case of the 300 (not many!) interpreters; surely, if Government had any conscience, a special Act of Parliament would have been nodded through. A clause requiring sponsorship from those who had relied on them, would have been enough to limit it to the deserving cases.
This didn’t happen but, then, anything associated with the MOD does seem to hark back to the class attitudes of the Victorian era.
The indifference shown to the fate of those who served is reflected in other area’s of Government, which legislates in a manner that can only be applied to those, who wish to be good citizens.
It’s home owner’s and worker’s, whom the Law prosecutes and whom the taxman prey’s on.
The reliance on fines as the main instrument for implementing Law seems to have become just another tax on that same group, as the non-conforming simply walk off laughing, knowing that they won’t be made to pay.
When we’ve posted our votes, shortly, we’ll be quickly forgotten, until the next General election, just as soldiers are forgotten, until the next enemy attacks.
If the electorate were able to vote for Noneoftheabove, would anything be different?

@UKLabour @Conservatives @UKIP @NHAParty Why is the Graduate tax accepted as reasonable?

April 16, 2015

When I did my degree, I received a means-tested grant to cover my living expenses.

Post-War, it was seen as an investment in the Nation’s assets.

Of course, it only applied to 10% of the population, so it was less of an expense.

Since Blair, getting a degree hasn’t been about investing in the future, it’s been about getting people off the unemployment register, under the pretext of allowing people to develop their potential.

The tuition fee system is a sham in the sense that you only have to pay back your fee’s, when you earn above a certain salary. I.e. if you did a valueless degree (if nobody wants to pay for it, then it has no extrinsic value), then those fees were effectively a substitute for the benefits, you would have been paid.

On the face of it, even though it is a sham, it seems fair and quite clever in a political sense.
However; consider it from the point of someone, who gone through the system and achieved an education, which is valued by employer’s and has presumably made you a national asset.

If you achieve a salary, which warrants repayment, should you have to do so?

Shouldn’t that money be considered as having been a worthwhile investment by the Nation in its own future.

Consider further:……… Non-graduates, on the same salary, pay a lower rate of tax.

On the face it, a reasonable situation but, again, I question that assumption.

How did these non-grads achieve this salary level?

Set aside the likes of many politicians, who benefitted from nepotism, or favouritism. People on the public stage, celebrities, upper league footballer’s etc. ?

Who else?

Anybody making a greater contribution to Society, who deserves, or needs to have a tax advantage over the Graduates?

Why not just raise Income tax over the whole of that salary band and share the load. as we, the Nation, share the benefit?

@notacampaign @noneabove #noneoftheabove is a valid and effective voter choice

April 10, 2015

Sent to Daily Express (8/4/15)

Ann Widdecombe asks what would happen if “None of the Above” won an election.
This shows the lack of imagination of those who believe that the two party system is the only valid form of Government.
At one extreme, we could have a situation, after a General Election, of no M.P’s being returned to Westminster.
Would this be a problem?
No new laws, or rubber stamping of those from the EU.
Government would continue via the Executive implementing policy, as they do in the present hiatus between Parliaments.
In reality there would only be a few vacant seats and that is certainly no problem.
The vacancies wouldn’t occur, where voters felt that they had effective MP’s.
It would only occur in seats, where the majority of voter’s felt that they had no need for an MP, or that “none of the above” wanted to represent their views but simply wanted a high paying sinecure, as voting fodder for someone, who thought of theirself as a “leader”.
I and, I suspect, many others, would have no problem continuing without an M.P.
If people, such as Ann, felt that, for some reason, this was intolerable, then there could be a re-election, with those parties who had already offered a candidate, being barred.
We might have a situation where Noneoftheabove won again but isn’t that a dempcratic choice.
Perhaps, we’d have an “independent” elected, unopposed, by 1% of the electorate, but that was entirely acceptable in the Police Crime Commissioner elections and it’s certainly more democratic than the 0%, who will be voting for the first Mayor of Greater Manchester.