Archive for August, 2017

@SadiqKhan what plausible excuse can remoaners use to force a second referendum?

August 1, 2017
Here’s a puzzle.
The majority of those voting in the referendum called for Brexit.
They were told that the economy would crash, yet they still voted to leave.
They were told they wouldn’t get a second vote, yet they still voted to leave.
They were told they’d lose their jobs, yet they still voted to leave.
So how can these be used as justifications for a second referendum?
Remainers say that Leavers were conned by Boris’s bus, but it’s not Leavers claiming they were so stupid that they believed what the Tories were telling them.
Only remainers are claiming that they believed them.
What other excuses for a second referendum have been put forward?
The Tories are making a mess of it?
Did we think any of our politicians were so skilled at negotiation that we’d leave the EU with a Europe wide party and a car boot full of going away presents?
When we actually get towards the end of this exercise and remainers are still calling for a second referendum, what excuse will they use to force one on us?
Will they claim a poll (a mini referendum aimed at a selection of people likely to have voted to remain) says we must?
Are they of the opinion that they can spend more money on a new Project Fear than was used last time?
That another £9 million Government leaflet, explaining the disadvantages of leaving, could be better designed?
The only case for a second referendum, would be if we end up inside the Single Market and the Customs Union but I can’t see it happening in that situation.
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blog posts 11 (28/7/2017)

August 1, 2017

letter to Daily Mirror 23/6/2017
One of the reasons that Headteachers’ salaries are so high is “ratchetting”.
I suspect this also applies to Council CEO’s, Heads of Hospital Trusts and any other public offices, where well meaning watchdogs oversee the salary reviews.
As a teacher governor, I was involved in the review of my headteacher’s salary, alongside parent and Council Governors.
An “independent” consultant, appointed by the Council, provided the Governing body with graphs and analyses of the salaries of other Headteachers of similar sized schools in the region, along with explanations of where our headteacher would fit on the appropriate matching salary scale.
A perfectly reasonable recommendation to bump our Headteacher up a few pay levels was agreed to.
Four or five years later, after those “Independent” Consultants had done the rounds of other schools and reviewed their Headteacher salaries, they were back.
Apart from myself and the other teacher Governor, we had a new Governing Body, presented with the same arguments and the headteacher’s salary was again ratchetted up a few levels.
It didn’t happen after that, because of a succession of Headteachers, who didn’t last long enough to warrant a review.
Before Maggie, Headteachers were senior colleagues, rather than Business Managers, and their pay was related to staff wages, i.e. they had an unofficial cap on their salaries.
We should have caps on all Public appointments, related to the real level of responsibility.
It’s about time all jobs were assessed on what actual demands are being made on the people involved and how easily each job holder could be replaced by someone of similar ability

letter to Daily Mirror 23/6/2017
So elite forces have smuggled booze whilst on operation.
Unless we’re talking about van loads, I imagine most would say give them official sanction.
In comparison to what they do for us and in comparison to what expenses claims are put in by some MP’s, it’s a triviality.

letter to Daily Mirror 24/6/2017
Juncker’s demand that the European Court of Justice oversee EU migrants rights, raises two related questions.
First: if a EU migrant commits an offence against a UK citizen, will the UK citizen have to go to Brussels for Justice?
Second: if a UK citizen commits a crime in Poland, will their victim have to attend court here.
This would be particularly bad in a case of rape, otr murder and certainly wouldn’t apply in any Sovereign Jurisdiction.
I suspect this is merely an attempt to claim dominion over the UK and take advantage of May’s weakness and to pour further scorn on UK voters.

letter to Daily Mirror 24/6/2017
Recent events have blown attempts to cover up how thin the thin blue line has become.
Chief Constables have been emboldened to admit that their resources are at breaking point.
Whilst this is worrying, it is more worrying to imagine this Government’s solution..
The lessons of what has happened to the NHS and Schools, suggest that we could see private Police Forces unleashed on us, with the new mayoralties handing contracts to G4S etc.,
A company, who’ve already proven their lack of competence in such areas.
We read daily of murders committed by “cops” in the USA.
Is that our future?

letter to Daily Mirror 26/6/2017
I assume the decision by RBS, to move its small business accounts to India, is to reduce running costs.
This is, presumably, to make RBS shares more attractive, when the Government sells our holdings to private investors.
How such a flag-waving party as the Tories can betray their own countrymen by allowing the export of their UK jobs is a puzzle.
It’s more puzzling, when you consider that their main claim to power is that they are financially responsible and best placed to look after the interests of the UK economy.
How can sending money abroad to pay for such services help our Economy?

letter to Daily Mirror 30/6/2017
The thought occurs to me that now the DUP has its £1.5 Bn, it no longer needs to support Theresa May.
The Tories and DUP have plastered the Media with protestations that this money is not a bribe but a just and equitable settlement in acknowledgement of Northern Ireland’s situation.
Any attempt to grab it back would merely underline Theresa May’s grubby hypocrisy.
I wonder how long it’ll be before the DUP can find an excuse to ditch this deal.

letter to Daily Mirror 20/6/2017
Donald Trump has backed out of The Paris Global Warming Treaty and said he wants to re-negotiate it.
Understandably the other signatories are upset but how can they tell the Media that this won’t happen, that they won’t re-negotiate?
If they don’t, or won’t, renegotiate, then why did they bother, in the first place?
Either the Planet is in great danger, or this has all been a sham.
So, time to stop posturing and talk to him.
Even, the smallest concession by Trump keeps things moving forward, until Trump is replaced

letter to Daily Mirror 15/7/2017
You report that Kirstie Alsop has criticised those who don’t keep their washing machines in the bathroom but it doesn’t say how shs gets around the Law against using electrical devices in that room. No house that I’ve visited has any sockets in the bathroom and even the light switch is eithe external or is on a string pull, to avoid electrocution.

letter to Daily Mirror 15/7/2017
As a student, many decades back, I was stopped by a police patrol car who had mistakenly believed my bottle of ciderade was alcoholic.
They informed me that it was illegal to drink alcohol on the Queen’s Highway.
Whether , or not, they were fibbing, wouldn’t such a law go a long way to resolving Newquay’s problems.
The only problem then would be properly policing licensed premises
It might need more cells and more police but as the Gov’t says, it’s a question of their priorities.

letter to Daily Mirror 16/7/2017
Like it, or not; Fair, or unfair; we all judge each other on looks. It’s not just young women being paid ridiculous sums for being the face of some beauty product, or TV show. It’s ordinary people applying for employment etc.
In this respect an acid attack is far more damaging to a person than any other form of violence.
Knife and bullet wounds can even be socially enhancing and are usually out of sight.
Our faces are the first thing that others look at and react to. That reaction may only be fleeting but must register on the victim’s soul.
For me, such an attack could possibly be considered a worse crime than murder, in terms of the harm done to the victim, because if you’re dead, you’re beyond further harm.
Restricting access to acids is a sensible option, as with guns, but it is not a full solution.
The threat of retribution by the rest of Society is not a full solution, either, but makes the choice of acid as a weapon less likely.
Sentences for acid attacks must be at least twice as censorious as other attacks and, if present Law is ambivalent, then a new Law should be formulated and implemented swiftly.
This issue should be not pushed onto a political back-burner, until someone “important” suffers.

letter to Daily Mirror 18/7/2017
Everyone in the country has a National Insurance number, or should have, if living here legally.
Why is it not possible to build a voter database around this key field, giving name address, age, constituency and whether a vote has been cast.
It should be quite easy to validate every voter in the country, without divulging any information other than eligibility to vote.
Any attempt to vote illegaly would be instantly recorded and identified.

letter to Daily Mirror 18/7/2017
The recent publicity exercise about HS2 has repeatedly quoted a price of £56 Bn, an incredibly large sum for something, which only politicians and those financially reliant on the enterprise, support.
Meantime there have been reports that the part completed, so far, has cost over £8 Bn., leading to opponents of the scheme offering guesstimates of 100, 140 and in the case of one MP £200 Bn.
Whatever the truth, it seems likely hat someone is lying about the figures and others are vastly overstating any benefits that it will bring. Benefits from the NHS, given such sums, would be more immediate and more appreciated by voters.
For me a trip involving HS2 would be reduced from 4 hours to 3 hours (I don’t live next door to either of the mainline stations) and that assumes none of the frequent delays flagged up on Twitter by National Rail.

letter to Daily Mirror 18/7/2017
So Porn sites are to demand proof of age before obtaining access.
No doubt that the intentions are honourable but will they work with Tech savvy kids, alreay used to driving smart phones from a very tender age?
The USA tried this with on-line gambling, by demanding credit card details.
Of course anyone under-age, using on-line gambling would already have access to a credit card.
So not so effective.
They tried blocking based on ISP address but it’s so easy to present as someone from outside the jurisdiction of the blocking Law.
I’ll be interested to see what Digital Minister Matt Hancock comes up with and how quickly knowledge of how to circumvent it spreads.

letter to Daily Mirror 19/7/2017
Who were IS fighters selling their slaves too?

letter to Daily Mirror 19/7/2017
You report that shares in Carillon jumped on being awarded a Government contract.
This made me wonder if the MP’s register of interests held details of share holdings and, more particularly, when the were bought.
If it doesn’t, shouldn’t it.
It’s not as if Geoffrey Archer was an atypical Tory.

letter to Daily Mirror 19/7/2017
Do the BBC really need to compete with commercial channels in terms of wages for presenters?
I recall Granada taking on Bob Greaves (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Greaves), who claims he just walked in off the street and asked for a job.
Not a pretty young man, or woman, but an ordinary local reporter, with a bald head, glasses and experience.
Even Philip Schofield, we are told, was just a lad who pestered the BBC for a job in front of camera.
I’m sure there are thousands, who would and could do such jobs at much lower salaries.
What if commercial firms do poach them?
They can only steal so many before they are glutted.
It’s not as if Gary Lineker was that competent in his first year on “Match of the Day”

letter to Daily Mirror 20/7/2017
The media has focussed on the gender inequality of the BBC salaries, almost ignoring their size.
The only argument advanced for such ridiculously high salaries is that it is caused by market forces; implying that the women presenters just aren’t as marketable as the men.
Should we, then, accept “market forces” as a clinching argument?
As a teacher, I was on a salary structure based on responsibility.
It was the same pay regardless of subject taught, teacher gender, or age group taught.
I know a News presenter does more than just read an autocue for a few hours each day; but what do they do that’s valued ten times greater than a top of scale teacher, fireman, nurse, or policeman?
I know Susanna Reid was poached from BBC, by ITV, but she was readily replaced without a dip in viewing figures.
It seems that everyone who has left, from any TV channel, has been readily replaced, without affecting viewing figures.
I’d like to see a justification for such salaries, by comparison with those professions mentioned above.

letter to Daily Mirror 22/7/2017
I understand why Government allows businesses to register as limited liability companies (i.e. to encourage investment in launching new businesses) but it seems that it is a severe disadvantage, in regards to the General Public.
In cases like the collapse of BHS, the tragedy of Grenfell Towers, or the numerous rogue traders constantly exposed by programs such as “the Sheriffs are coming”, the guilty escape justice and their victims are left desolate.
It may be that a venture fails because of pure bad luck, which is excusable, but it can occur because of incompetence, negligence, or, too often, a deliberate intent to defraud creditors and debtors.
Why should this be allowed to persist with officialdom shaking their shoulders and claiming that they have no legal powers to redress the situation?
It must be possible, for each business, to identify the main beneficiaries and make that person (those people) culpable for any criminality, or negligence.
Identifying them after the event is pointless, so it should be a part of the registration process, with an annual review.
This would provide an incentive for CEO’s etc. to pay closer attention to all aspects of their responsibilities.
In all cases, the main beneficiary may not be directly responsible but they have appointed and directed the people, who are: This is reflected in their pay/profits and should be reflected in their level of blame.

letter to Daily Mirror 24/7/2017
It was reported that ISIS sold captured Yazidi women as sex slaves.
Presumably others were also enslaved and sold.
Now that ISIS has been cleared out of Mosul, they will presumably be pursued into other regions.
I hope our World leaders will be just as diligent in pursuing those who have bought these slaves, and prosecuting them.

letter to Daily Mirror 28/7/2017
Congratulations to ITV for showing the Euro17 games.
Women’s football has become a lot more watchable in the last decade and the England team has done exceptionally well.
All the more shame that the Media hasn’t celebrated their latest success in winning the group stage:In a better fashion than their male counterparts often do.
I’m not interested in how much Sky, or BT money a Premier League team has offered to buy someone else’s best players.
I just want to watch skillful football by a local, or national team, without paying through the nose for it.
Once again, Congratulations to ITV for showing the Euro17 games.