Archive for March, 2019

Blogpost 33: 4/2/19-28/3/19

March 26, 2019

I’ve not posted for a while, because I had to upgrade to Windows10 and it’s been a pain learning how to drive it and when I logged on again, not only has the format changed but some kid had hacked in and messed things up. my header message has been changed but it’s fair comment, so I’ve left it.

Letters to Daily Mirror

28/3/19
Does it really matter to us if Gas and Electricity companies hoard our cash, or if we use “smart” meters to keep a close watch on our usage.
Does it really matter to us if we have water meters and try to save water by flushing less, or washing less?
These things are controlled by privatised utilities, run by CEO’s, who are paid bonuses directly related to how much profit they can deliver to their shareholders.
They are effectively monopolies, or cartels, whose only concern is profit.
If we halve our usage, they’ll double prices.
We gain nothing, by rationing ourselves, except the inconvenience of having to wear warm, woolly jumpers inside our cold, smelly, dirty homes.

published version
– The utility firms are controlled by private companies run by CEOs who
are paid bonuses directly related to how much profit they can deliver to
their shareholders. They are effectively monopolies whose only concern
is profit. If we halve our usage by using a smart meter, they will just up
the prices.
We will gain nothing by rationing ourselves except the inconvenience of
having to wear woolly jumpers inside our cold homes.

letter in responseUse less, pay more
– I used to work for one of the so-called big six energy firms and reader
John Shale is correct about smart meters (Your Voice, March 28).
Do customers really think they’ll save money by haying one installed?
No, as John says, as soon as everyone uses less energy, the price will
rise.
They claim they’re fitted free, but think back to the rise in cost as part of
the green initiative. We have all paid this for years now, so your meter
won’t be fitted free. You have already paid.
Also, the meters are not fit for purpose — if you switch supplier, your
smart meter won’t work.
Name and address supplied

18/3/19
If we really want to reform Parliament, getting rid of the two party elections and lobbyists, then we should abandon constituencies based on Geography.
Instead of a union leader backing an MP, make him/her an MP. Make constituencies based on professional, trade, or other similar interest groups.
Constituencies are usually 60,000 to 70,000 voters. so we could set those as a minimum and maximum size for registration.
A group, which is too small could form a coalition with one of similar interests.
Advantages would be that Parliament would consist of MP’s with relevant experience for cabinet posts.
Voters could change constituency by simply registering and being accepted by the relevant group.
MP’s and their organisations could find themselves automatically deselected, if their support fell too far.
There’d be no need for national elections, as the organisations would pay for their own internal elections, as would Parliament, itself.
To my mind, this would give a truer democracy, where everyone’s vote would count (no safe seats), and it would give a more informed Government.

15/3/19
You report that in 1998, the Honours Committee got a tip-off about Saville’s paedophilia, yet the only concern seemed to be how it would reflect on the Government, if he was found out. Back then, we still had a few Police, so why wasn’t the matter referred to them?
This is the third story this week suggesting that Gov’t sanctions paedophilia, providing it’s kept quiet.
14/3/19
There was a lot of discussion on Twitter that May had planned to place her deal before the House of Commons, three times, in the belief that MP’s would panic and eventually pass it.
This still seems to be her plan, according to recent reports; however a recent Tweet suggested that, under a little known ruling, The Speaker could prevent a third reading, so, assuming he implements it, and accepting Barnier’s refusal to relent on the EU negotiated position, it looks as if we could leave with No-deal and have to restart negotiations, as a non-member.

+
It’s obvious from the way Tory politicians casually use terms, such as piccaninny, coloured etc., that these are terms which they use in their own circles of acquaintances.
As bad as that is, the way that Boris Johnson spoke of child abuse, suggests that he felt comfortable in dismissing any concern over the issue. This seems to be something that permeates Westminster, there having been past cases of this issue seeming to have been quietly ignored.
It was disturbing reading how Lord Steel said that “it did not seem I had a position in the matter at all”, when discussing Cyril Smith’s un-denied paedophilia. I can’t imagine anyone, outside Westminster, who could say that. I know of no-one, who would have given Cyril Smith the time of day, let alone Ministerial office and a knighthood.
It suggests that “Honourable Members” do not share the sentiments and morality of ordinary mortals.

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Would a 10.6% tariff on imported cars be a bad thing?
It would make cars built here more attractive.
It might also cause Nissan to re-think their plans, thus saving UK jobs.

10/3/19
Sandi Toskvig is reported to have said that we need more discussions around the trans community and that we’ll never understand where these people are coming from, unless we have these conversations.
Why insist that we “need” more discussions.
Homosexual acts were legalised back in 1962, after the Vassal case had caused us to have these discussions.
We were tacitly aware of transvestites back when Danny La Rue was a famed performer and April Ashley filled our Newspapers back in 1961.
Most of us have personal knowledge of people different in various ways and most of us have just accepted those differences.
Nowadays, the soap opera’s are filled with murders, violence and various stories of alleged social concern.
They are there for entertainment value, alone.
They don’t educate, or inform us, because most of us have experienced forms of abuse and of unwanted attention etc.in our own lives.
We’ve each had a dose of unrequited love and scathing rejection, as giver and taker.
How is it different between people of the same sex? Are we being told that gays suffer more?
It’s ridiculous to claim we need more discussion and made to empathise with them.
If we go down this road, how long before someone demands that we understand how someone can make a nail bomb for a gay bar, or why someone can don a suicide vest to kill and maim hundreds of strangers.
Whereas I might like to know how Jimmy Saville got away with his abuses, I really don’t want to understand his motivation.
I certainly don’t want people saying that I need to be made to empathise with this group, or that group.
Can’t we just go back to tolerance of those who are different, providing they don’t harm others?

7/3/19
Every so often, I read that some Tory Minister has invited us to applaud the supposed growth of the UK economy. Gas, Elec, water, council tax, TV licence, postage etc. charges are rising faster than our incomes (MP’s excluded), so why is this something to applaud? For most of us our personal economic situation is worsening.

6/3/19 (this is a rare apolitical letter, so that may be why Daily Mirror published it.)
The BBC is to be applauded for showing the England women’s football team’s games in the present International competition. Women’s football has come on a lot in the last decade and is worth watching. Unfortunately the host nation seems to have limited experience of televising football. Much of the game appeared to be televised from the cheapest seats, high up in the back of the Stands. Much of the time all we could see were coloured blobs moving around at random, chasing an often invisible ball. No chance to see any ball skills , or appreciate individual play.
Nice that we won the trophy but, otherwise very disappointing and rather depressing.

27/2/19
The item about a charity donating free saplings to schools is welcome News in terms of global warming but like the tree-lined avenues of our local councils, I suspect they’ll be decorative trees such as horse chestnut and willow.
Might I suggest that in Austerity Britain, with its foodbanks and homeless, we could emulate places such as Morocco, where almost all publicly accessible trees are covered in oranges.
Why shouldn’t our towns be decorated with fruiting almonds, peach and cherries, instead of merely the flowering versions. Apples, beech, medlars etc would more decorative than the plane trees planted throughout London. Another advantage is that the timber from fruit trees is more valuable.
I don’t understand why no organised groups are pushing for this.
Is it a fear that the Poor might get fruit and nuts for free.

7/2/19
A reader suggested that we should have a new National Anthem and I have no problem with that but I would be concerned about how it would come about. I’d hate some Committee selected and authorised dirge imposed on us. An anthem should arise from the people, as our present one did. I like that of the LFC, Wales and Germany. Not so struck by “swing low”. Perhaps an England only version of the Eurovision Song Contest would throw up a winner. Even if it fails, it would give us a tune for England games.

4/2/19
Some people have too much money. After reading about a homeless man dying on the street, I was confronted by the story that someone had paid £ 2,200 for a cigar butt, half-smoked by Churchill. That’s a sad reflection on our Society but the item about the letter to Paul McCartney’s solicitor, signed by the other Beatles is sickening. As a lad, I bought all the Beatle’s recording’s but I can’t see the value of such a letter. It is so wrong that someone could be so rich that they could pay a quarter of a million pounds for it. Some people just have too much money. I appreciate that we need rich people, who will risk their capital to create new jobs, research and thinngs we can admire, or enjoy but each pound note represents someone’s labour and hard graft. It’s wrong that some selfish idiot can waste the equivalent of someone else’s lifetime of drudgery on a few signatures.

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