Archive for March, 2020

Blogpost 42:16/03/20 – 7/02/20

March 16, 2020

 

Letters to the Daily Mirror

 

8/2/2020 10:28

I think The Daily Mirror is correct in saying that we do not want to be a US colony.

We have a love-hate relationship with the USA, much the same as with Europe.

We enjoy and admire much of their cultures and people but we value our independence.

I think most Brits would agree that Our politicians may be morons but they are Our morons.

 

8/2/2020 13:03

It’s reported that The Premier League seek a “10cm” solution to offside problems with VAR

10 cm, or 10mm, it would still have to be a judgement call by the Ref, as to whether, or not it amounted to a significant encroachment and unfair advantag

 

10/2/2020 13:35

Another storm and reports of flooding, mostly the same places, with some victims reporting that they had the sandbags available from last time.

We’ll almost certainly be reminded that it’s proof of global warming, coupled with demands for taxes / bans on fossil fuels.

Meantime, affected households are faced with clean-up misery, costs of replacements and possible refusal of house insurance.

Politicians have accepted the reality of global warming but there seems to be no effort to protect us from it.

Water was privatised on the promise that the new companies would replace the inadequate Victorian sewers but they don’t seem to have been  made to do so, to any extent.

With rising sea levels, a growing population and more land being tarmacked, Politicians need to be making them construct storm drains and finding other more practical solutions to the expected consequences of climate change

PRINTED VERSION

– Storm Ciara saw reports of flooding in mostly the same places as last November.

Some victims even had to make do with the sandbags from last time.

Politicians have accepted global warming but make no effort to protectus from it.

They need to build more storm drains and find other, more practical, solutions to the expected consequences of climate change.

 

12/2/2020 14:23

BBC Chairman, Sir David Clement, complains that we risk losing a national asset if we scrap the TV licence, ignoring the reason why this issue has come up for debate.

The BBC built a reputation for honesty during the War years but seems to have lost this. According to comments on Social Media, people across the political spectrum see bias in its News and its Political comment.

Sir David claims that The BBC provides programming, which commercial channels don’t, but it long ago began to ignore this aspect of its value, deciding that it would place itself in competition with those commercial channels, producing similar viewing fare.

As part of this competition it has developed a star system, causing its own wages bill to soar.

Are there really so few journalists qualifying each year, incapable of reading an autocue. They pay five figure salaries to prevent other channels poaching these stars but how many Susanna Reids does ITV need.

Similarly with other presenters; Gary Lineker was shambolic when he first took over Match of The Day, before learning to relax, but I’m sure that there are many personable ex-Footballers, who could quickly learn to do his job for half the pay.

Forget about stars, reduce presenter pay and then cut the pay of the management, who use the system to ratchet up their own pay levels.

And forget about all those expensive pseudo commercials/trailers, telling us how great their programs are.

 

12/2/2020 14:25

A recent item on Social Media gave me cause for concern.

If we move entirely to electric cars, how would we cope in a major traffic jam, particularly if it occurred somewhere like Snake Pass over The Pennines, during Winter.

We have had years when Blizzards have blocked this road and people have had to sit in their cars, with the engine running, to keep warm. Admittedly, electric cars won’t cause deaths from breathing Carbon Monoxide, as happened at that time, but how long would the batteries last? How long would drivers and passengers last, without heating. Even if they could walk to safety, how would they retrieve their cars, with miles of similarly inert vehicles blocking access to recovery services?

Hybrid cars would be OK but that’s not what we’re threatened with.

 

14/2/2020 13:44

Complaints about discrimination at Luvvy award ceremonies are getting tedious.

May I suggest that presenters are given three wheels of fortune. One selecting coloured/white, One selecting male/female and One selecting gay/straight. Three spins and then all those audience members who fit the category stand up and to be named. The one getting the biggest round of applause wins. It’d probably be more popular than some anonymous panel picking the winner.

 

Wed 26/02/2020 11:25

Instead of ending the house of Lords, let’s just apply Tory principles.

Put them on piece work.

I.e. they only get paid when speechifying. Let’s say triple minimum wage at £30/hr.

If the House is open 80 hrs/wk, that’s a wage bill of £2400/wk and as Parliament does about 30 weeks per year, that’s a cost of a mere £72,000 pa.

Of course their up-market club-room facilities and subsidised canteen would still operate, so the old dears would still be better off than most plebian OAP’s, whose Libraries are being closed and no longer offer a warm sanctuary.

 

Wed 26/02/2020 11:31

Although I’ve always regarded the NFU as a Trades Union for wealthy landowners, I’m glad they’ve warned Johnson against lowering food  standards for US imports.

We aren’t leaving the EU’s control, so Trump can override our food safety regulations.

Before we joined the EU, most products, sold in the UK, bore the BSI Kite mark and many were governed by other regulations such as IEE and COSHH, all of which, with few exceptions, were adopted by the EU.

They need to be re-instated and brought up-to-date.

We also need to re-instate the organisations, which watched over and implemented them.

Most having been disbanded, or diminished under successive governments.

 

PUBLISHED VERSION

– Although I’ve always regarded the National Farmers’ Union a union forlandowners, I’m glad they have warned Johnson against lowering food standards for US imports. We can’t leave the EU just so Trump canoverride our food safety regulations. Our own laws need to be -implemented quickly and the organisations that regulate them be reinstated.

 

Wed 26/02/2020 12:31

As a child playing with sand castles, I found that water had a way of finding the weakest link in the walls of my moat.

The best way of guiding the water was by digging channels and I suggest that this is a better solution in terms of flood defences.

Where storm drains aren’t possible, then deepening, or dredging, the present riverbeds and building lagoons (normally drained and used as play areas in dry weather) would, at least, alleviate flood damage.

A total ban on building on flood plains, unless on stilted platforms, would be an intelligent start.

 

Fri 28/02/2020 14:40

Why should the NHS struggle to cope with the coronavirus?

When I had the Asian flu, I was merely kept warm in bed, at home.

That’s presumably how they would handle the coronavirus if it did threaten to overwhelm what’s left of NHS resources.

I assume in the present case, family members would be confined to their homes, so care would be home-based.

All it would need, in a serious out-break, is some sort of volunteer based supervision and supply provision, until a vaccine is secured.

That this is a global problem, emphasises the need for a re-think of how medical research is conducted and rewarded. The price of drugs such as insulin, shouldn’t be getting set by greedy Corporates exploiting the Patent System and  the sick, as Trump seems to wish on us.

 

PUBLISHED VERSION

– When I had the Asian flu, I was told to stay in bed at home. That’s presumably how they would handle the coronavirus if it did threaten to overwhelm the NHS.

If a serious outbreak were to happen, all it would need is some sort of volunteer-based supervision and supply provision until a vaccine is developed.

As this is a global problem, there should be co-operation on medical research, and the price of drugs must not be set by greedy pharmaceutical companies.

 

Tue 03/03/2020 10:59

As a kid, I became a stamp collector and bought the big shiny triangular stamps, from countries such as Monaco.

When I joined the school stamp club, I quickly learned that such stamps and such countries were to be despised, as not serious nations like GB, who didn’t even need to put its name on its stamps.

Times have changed and we are now a money-grubbing nation, putting out not just special commemorative issues but seasonal issues; all to raise extra revenue.

Now, since the Royal Mint was privatised, we’ve had almost weekly special issue coins being flogged through TV adverts.

As I was composing this the postwoman delivered a flyer for a new VE day 30p coin (set of seven spelling out “Victory”).

It all feels a little uncomfortable, especially when it’s being done by people who made the colour of our passports a supposed major concern.

 

Tue 03/03/2020 11:28

The article, about Dutch flood defences, raises a concern about global warming. Such flood defences aren’t about protection from heavy rain but about protecting land, below sea-level.

Like the Thames barrier, they have been designed to cope with present conditions, not the threatened 2 metre rise in sea-levels.

Fukushima’s lesson is that their expensive defence had been risk-costed, underestimating the height of a potential tsunami.

We, I’m afraid, have a Government with a similar penny-pinching philosophy on important issues, with a spendthrift philosophy on vanity projects.

(I predict the London end of HS2 will become a home to fishes).

 

Thu 12/03/2020 12:34

For those of us, who survive this Corvid-19, it could prove beneficial in changing our way of living, for the better.

The most vulnerable are the oldest and youngest.

The oldest have already been made to self-isolate, by closing down libraries and cutting care-home access.

It just needs better broadband coverage with teleconferencing software.

A sort of OAP facebook, where the lonely can gather in a virtual care-home, with staff, who can help oversee their wants and channel them free TV etc.

For the youngest, there’s talk of closing schools and maybe catching up later.

There are, already, on-line schools with lesson plans and timetables and staff, who are familiar with such provision.

With sufficient broadband coverage, these schemes could be rolled out nationally, to cope with some aspects of Educational provision. Obviously, there’d be need for some school attendance, for socialising skills, sports etc. but these could be scheduled for more clement conditions, with the exam season being moved to Spring.

Many workers will find their jobs can be performed, without the murderous commute, that saps people’s souls and wastes their time and energy.

Those, who still have to commute, will find their journeys less crowded, whilst Greta Thornberg will smile at the resultant lower carbon footprint and The Economy will benefit from reduced fuel imports.

 

Thu 12/03/2020 13:18

I appreciate that knowledge of WWII is not crucial to most people’s lives but it is depressing to read reports that school children believe such nonsense as the war being won by The USA against The French. I’d like to get back to the days when TV quizzes assumed a knowledge of historical events, basic geography etc. Not the weird name given to the child of some Z-lister. I want to go back to the days of laughing at the educational standards of the USA, where even a President thinks Africa is a nation.

Perhaps we could make up for the failings of the National Curriculum by re-making the likes of “The World at War” but with Ant and Dec, doing the voiceover, instead of Sir Laurence Olivier, and putting it out on Saturday Evening.

 

Fri 13/03/2020 09:18

When Boris Johnson spoke of Covid-19 causing herd immunity, maybe he was thinking of herd-thinning,

i.e. culling the weak and infirm.

Else why delay taking action until the virus had got a good hold on the population and would be as unstoppable as an Australian bush-fire?

 

Sat 14/03/2020 10:26

Here’s a nasty thought.

Because of Covid-19, elections have been postponed hut we’re told covid-19 could mutate and become perennial.

Throw in police having powers to arrest suspected carriers (we saw you sneeze), we could see Trump becoming President for life.

Worse, what about Boris, if Parliament is shut down?

 

Sun 15/03/2020 10:32

Decreeing a ban on mass gatherings will have limited benefit, when it comes to implementation.

In the case of football, postponing matches until after April 3rd will be of little benefit.

Footballers and other athletes need exercise and training schedules, meaning they have to meet up to share facilities. Continuing the season behind closed doors is a reasonable alternative to postponement.

If we’re isolated in our homes, we’ll still need entertainment and football could provide it with full length matches being recorded and shown on dedicated TV channels. Imagine the effect on match fitness, if footballers have to stand down for a month.

The panic buying of toilet paper etc. is also down to this ban on mass gatherings but we’d still need to shop, mainly at supermarkets.

I know politicians aren’t famed for depth of thought but even they must have considered the consequences, in terms of their own stock-piling. Just the supply of milk is a concern. OK there’s plenty of alternatives in terms of personal use but the cows can’t just switch off their supply.

Are they going to slaughter the dairy herds?

We need plans for supplying households through a fleet of suitably sanitised delivery vehicles.

Volunteer supply of pensioners could be problematic, if this isn’t regularised. One Typhoid Mary could destroy a whole neighbourhood’s grannies cum babysitters.

I’ve not read one detail about any depth of planning.

If it’s Johnson’s aim to emulate a wartime Churchill, he’ll have to do more than take up smoking cigars and flicking the vee-sign at us.

 

Mon 16/03/2020 02:05

A previous lord Mayor of  London, Sir Thomas Bloodworth, was roused from his bed by news of the initial stages of the Great Fire of London, which burned 80% of the houses.

He responded with the words “a woman might piss it out” before returning to his bed.

Boris simply  follows tradition with his tactic of giving covid-19 a chance to build its strength until it can inflame the lungs of 80% of the Nation. The difference is that Sir Thomas suffered only a few deaths, Boris anticipates 400,000., mostly boomers, who allegedly voted him into office.

 

Mon 16/03/2020 11:28

If we are to be quarantined for 4 months, we’ll need entertaining.

For that reason I say Premiership matches should be held behind closed doors to be televised and broadcast to all of us.

Stadia are large enough that a skeleton crowd of season ticket holders could be allowed to attend.

Similarly with Strictly, The Voice etc.

If we are fed a diet of oft-seen old films, sitcoms (with canned laughter?) and talking heads, there’ll quickly be domestic violence, in consequence.

Blogpost 41: 7/02/20 – 7/12/19

March 16, 2020

 

 

Letters to the Daily Mirror

10/12/2019 22:05

I too, would like to see the TV licence fee scrapped.

It is just another tax but one which affects the low paid far more than the better off.

At £154.50 it’s a burden for someone on a tight budget but a triviality for those, who can afford to spend Summers in the Cayman Islands.

It was originally brought in to keep the BBC independent of political control but this obviously no longer applies, with political appointees able to control its expenditure.

This being the case, it seems a lot of time and effort could be saved if it was financed directly from general taxation and answerable through the Civil Service, rather than the current ruling political party.

 

11/12/2019 13:24

1)

I understand the rush to get petrol and diesel cars off the roads: Apart from the “Green” issues, there’s the cost of imports as a drain on the Economy. However there are concerns about a reliance on batteries, particularly in terms of the use of the ever rarer Rare Earths, such as Lithium. Those of us, who’ve bought rechargeable batteries for digital devices have found that not only do they lose the ability to store energy but the voltage output drops quickly below the level needed for their operation. Now there’s a report that rechargeable car batteries do not hold as much power in cold climates.

When you run out of petrol, you can always try trudging off to a petrol station but what do you do if your electric car sighs and gives up in the fast lane?

2)

A lot of the readers’ letters, supporting Jeremy Corbyn, were telling us to disregard the ditching of Brexit promises. Many Labour Leave voters will do that to end Tory cruelty but, whilst many of Jewish descent are ignoring the Anti-Semitism smears, it seems, according to many papers, that some of our Jewish neighbours can ignore what they see around them and vote to re-instate a right-wing and racist Tory party. This support being on the basis of Johnson joining Trump in support of the right wing Government of Israel.

3)

When I was young, I was encouraged to build up a Building Society account to put down a deposit on a house. At the time, you could only get a mortgage equivalent to 2.5x your annual salary. After the equal rights act, we were suddenly deemed to be households with two incomes and we could get mortgages of 2.5 times the joint income. This has now become 8x any household’s income, with very little in way of a deposit needed. It’s small wonder that house prices have risen beyond the reach of many and builders prefer to construct executive housing.

4)

Joseph McCann pretty well demonstrates that imprisonment reduces crime and protects the Public If he had been kept in prison, eleven lives would not have been so badly damaged.

The rehabilitation argument doesn’t stand up well to scrutiny, either, when my local paper has recently reported cases of released prisoners immediately re-offending, one for his 200th offence of shoplifting.

 

14/12/2019 10:34

As a baby boomer, I find it hard to believe the pundits telling me that it is my generation and  older, who’ve voted for this Government.

It is we who’ll suffer and die waiting in A&E.

I’d have thought it was we, who best remembered tales of how it was before The Welfare State was created by our parents and it was we, who bemoaned the deliberate deterioration of its structure by Thatcher’s heirs and by those now being described as Labour grandees.

Corbyn was elected by ordinary Labour voters, who, like myself, wanted someone who would save our Welfare State and restore the fairer Society that our parents had been promised during the War, when Churchill told them “we’re all in it together”.

It is my generation, who’ve watched our country being gradually delivered into an increasingly stronger embrace of federal Europe and saw it as indifferent to a parochial desire for self-rule I.e. rule by politicians, answerable to us and who put our interests above their own.

The choice came down to saving the Welfare State, or escaping the E.U.

I can’t believe that so many trusted  Boris Johnson to deliver either.

I can’t believe that the Labour grandees, who were kicked out in favour of Cameron, now claim the right to try and re-impose one of their own on the Labour Party.

 

14/12/2019 12:00

Fiona Phillips must live near different High Streets to those near me

On my forays into Town, for Xmas shopping, I do not “mix with strangers full of Xmas cheer”; I struggle through throngs of zombies, shambling past shop windows, hoping one will shout out “here’s what to get Uncle John, Aunt Mary etc.”. This throng is interspersed with grim-faced commuters, grasping the one item they came into Town for and now struggling to get back out. It’s time to forget about saving the High Street, where items are increasingly “no longer in stock but we can order one for you”. You know that they’re merely going to go on-line and charge you extra for doing so. The stock that they do have is, in differing stores, all off the same container ship.

What Fiona needs is a local (I mean within walking distance) Poste Restante, where parcels, ordered on-line, can be delivered and rescued, on production of the delivery note, left in her post-box).

 

19/12/2019 09:58

Lisa Nandy has shown herself a very able Labour politician and she could make a capable leader, if she can restrain those MP’s, who have supported Tory policies in the past. However she has an uphill job winning back the heartlands, which provided financial support and local intelligence through the many Labour clubs.

Labour club we used to have, before they were all closed during the Blair years, as no longer wanted, or relevant to the Parliamentary Labour Party, who had turned to Big Business for donations and instruction. There isn’t a single Labour club left in this part of Wigan, where a local MP, or Councillor could meet and converse with their heartland supporters, on an informal basis.

 

30/12/2019 11:28

The House of Lords seems in need of reform, rather than abolition.

This could be achieved without much disruption by capping the number of sitting members and waiting for them to die off, or be disgraced.

Replacements should then come from the ranks of MP’s who have lost office.

However, rather than being in the gift of the PM’s recommendation to the Queen, it should be based on those who’ve applied, with the principle of those who’ve waited longest, getting the job. This would ensure a continued turnover (as older members die) and a drag on reforming Governments, trying to seize too much control.

 

17/1/2020 13:41

If Johnson wants to put money into the NHS where it will be more effective, then purpose built triage units on hospital car parks would free up corridor nurses and queueing ambulances.

 

17/1/2020 13:48

the Home Office claim, that longer drive times for fire engines is down to traffic, is deceitful.

I’m sure the Fire Brigade Union would be happy to remind them of how many fire stations were closed, because drive times from other stations would be sufficient to cover the homes losing immediate cover

 

21/1/2020 10:17

If HS2 could cost £106Bn (+), what will be the estimated cost of a ticket and how many are expected to be able to afford the fare?

Why has there never been any mention of this aspect?

Will HS2 just be a novelty for the rich, as Concord was?

 

PUBLISHED VERSION

– If HS2 could cost £106bn what will be the estimated cost of a ticket and how many are expected to be able to afford the fare?

Will HS2 just be a novelty for the rich as Concorde once was?

 

21/1/2020 11:10

The report, on stone age man using skulls as drinking cups, suggests cannibalistic, or mystic powers as reasons for the practice. Wouldn’t a simpler reason be that the only other source of drinking vessels relies on kilns to turn clay into fragile pots, whilst skull cups will bounce when dropped.

 

24/1/2020 10:21

On Thursday night’s ”BBC Question Time”, we heard an audience and panellists moaning about the numerous deaths of young men, from knife crime.

Presumably the discussion followed on from the report that gangs were hiding knives in gardens and parks to avoid arrest for carrying an offensive weapon.

So it was a surprise to read in the following day’s paper that a 20” bladed machete was not considered an offensive weapon and that attacking someone with it, including blows to the head,  was not attempted murder.

Small wonder that the public has no faith in those who run our country (so badly).

 

24/1/2020 10:28

The view, amongst those, I’m reading on Twitter, is that Victoria Derbyshire’s show was axed by the BBC, because it was discussing issues that the present Government would rather weren’t discussed. The BBC is fearlessly independent, were told, and no doubt the new D.G. will want to keep it that way.

It’s a pity so many people are prepared to believe otherwise.

 

27/1/2020 16:44

The report that smart motor ways are under review, after a huge rise in near-miss collisions, was only to be expected.

Many motorists have claimed to have been confused, genuinely, or otherwise, over when the new lanes are in use.

The hard shoulder serves a genuine need, for motorists experiencing tyre blowouts etc.,

and this plan was always a short-sighted quick fix to a congestion problem .

That problem will remain, making it unlikely that the review will call for the concept to be abandoned.

But if politicians were brave enough to take that decision, they could always save face by converting the scheme to a rapid transit system for the emergency services.

 

28/1/2020 16:04

Gary Lineker suggests TV Licence payment should be voluntary.

Let’s go further and try a sort of post pay per view.

I.e. a system where we rate a program, we’ve watched, with marks out of 10.

A monthly tot up of marks would give an immediate feedback of what viewers really wanted and encourage value for money.

I’d probably ignore BBC News and Question Time: Favouring some BBC2 progs and downrating Match of the Day and other progs where presenters were paid 5 figure sums for a few hours natter each week.

 

30/1/2020 12:38

With Alexa and her mates listening in on our conversations and all the other electronic invasions of our privacy (anti-terrorism legislation allowing many officials to intercept our e-mails, GCHQ recording phone conversations – shared with USA, Google etc. required by the USA  to keep records of our web searches and even private companies compiling our meta-data) does it really matter to us whether it’s China or the USA, in control of 5G data streams?

 

3/2/2020 09:16

The situation with Sudesh Amman was unavoidable in a civilised country during peace time.

We must expect further civilian deaths, whilst we deny that we are on a war footing with IS supporters and that the rules of War should be applied to them.

Blogpost 40: 7/12/19– 7/10/19

March 16, 2020

 

Letters to the Daily Mirror

Thu 10/10/2019 12:32

As I live well away from London, Extinction Rebellion Protests  have little effect on me, apart from media reports, which I tend to skip.

I was disturbed to read that protestors are being paid for this disservice.

Who has that kind of money to throw away on disrupting other people’s lives.

Protestors aren’t bothering MP’s, who could do something about their claims. (they’re more concerned about the stress of trying to prevent Brexit).

They’re not even getting that much publicity.

If someone has the cash for this, why not pay for musical flash mobs to put out their message, outside the BBC, Buckingham Palace and other venues.

Instead of creating negative feelings towards their cause by irritating ordinary working people who have to take detours, they could create positive ones amongst onlookers who would welcome having their day uplifted by the unexpected entertainment.

It says something about the joyless nature of such people that they prefer to express themselves by paying for disharmony.

or, for EUphiles (slow start)

 

Fri 11/10/2019 11:38

It seems every day there’s another new voice clamouring to further complicate and regiment our lives and always “in a good cause”.

Although I’ve no wish to encourage snacking on public transport, why put a ban on it. The logic should demand that the ban be extended to all public places, including cafes. Why should sitting in a shop window be deemed less “wrong” than sitting on a bus?

I want to throw in my own bit of prodnosery by calling for a ban on wearing dark clothing and I can justify it on two counts. First, one of the curses of Winter night driving is straining to catch sight of pedestrians (and some cyclists), who will emerge from the shadows straight in front of traffic, assuming that they are just as visible to drivers, as their brightly lit vehicles are to them.

Second, with the ice caps melting, less sunlight is being reflected allowing the planet to get warmer. Wearing lighter clothing will raise the average albedo of the planet and reduce global warming, which is of great concern to many of us.

PUBLISHED VERSION

– It seems that every day there’s another new voice clamouring to further regiment our lives.

Although I’ve no wish to encourage snacking on public transport, whyban it?

Logic demands that such a ban should extend to all public places, whichwould be ridiculous.

 

Fri 11/10/2019 11:38

It seems every day there’s another new voice clamouring to further complicate and regiment our lives and always “in a good cause”.

Although I’ve no wish to encourage snacking on public transport, why put a ban on it. The logic should demand that the ban be extended to all public places, including cafes. Why should sitting in a shop window be deemed less “wrong” than sitting on a bus?

I want to throw in my own bit of prodnosery by calling for a ban on wearing dark clothing and I can justify it on two counts. First, one of the curses of Winter night driving is straining to catch sight of pedestrians (and some cyclists), who will emerge from the shadows straight in front of traffic, assuming that they are just as visible to drivers, as their brightly lit vehicles are to them.

Second, with the ice caps melting, less sunlight is being reflected allowing the planet to get warmer. Wearing lighter clothing will raise the average albedo of the planet and reduce global warming, which is of great concern to many of us.

 

Fri 01/11/2019 11:02

While it is good that the loophole, about using mobile phones whilst driving,  has been closed, it begs the question of how this loophole came into existence.

All it needed was a law saying that it’s illegal to use a phone whilst driving, yet the actual legislation will likely be full of “whereas” and “whereof”  and “ as stated in subsection (a),  paragraph (iv), clause (b)…”. written by highly paid legal experts. It will then have been chewed over by 650 highly paid MP’s. It beggars belief that none of these people spotted the loophole, yet it was so quickly exploited when tested in court.

Perhaps we should scrap our legal experts and Parliamentary scrutiny and use more loosely worded legislation with judges ruling on the perceived intent of the legislation, rather than the precise phrasing of it.

 

Sun 03/11/2019 11:45

There was a plea in the Sunday Mirror for people to turn out and vote but it’s unlikely to be heeded.

Voter turnout was already low, before MP’s tried to wriggle out of accepting the result of the EU Referendum.

MP’s have made it clear that they don’t really want to hear what we think.

If they did they could easily increase voter turnout by telling the Electoral Commission to follow the example of “Brewster’s Millions” and allow people to vote for

“None Of The Above”

 

Sun 03/11/2019 11:47

A recent edition of France 24 announced Bercow’s standing down as Speaker and offered to explain why he was always shouting “Order, Order!”.

It’s bad enough watching our Parliament in action, without the French laughing at us. Whoever replaces Bercow needs a more effective control than this ineffectual pleading.

I’m a strong fan of the technique used in the film “Cromwell”, whereby an armed constabulary could be called on to eject any Honourable members, who won’t give Order.

 

Wed 06/11/2019 10:44

I may be mistaken in thinking that you could at, one time, be charged with actions likely to offend Public Decency but couldn’t such a charge be brought against those posting distasteful images on Social Media.

Images of beheadings, or morgue images of the bodies of those named in News stories.

It doesn’t need great sensitivity to decide which images meet the criterion, so it could be decided by a member of the CPS and quickly presented to a magistrate.

If, for example, it appeared on Twitter, then Twitter would be required to name the publisher of the image, or be guilty of the offence, themselves.

Each re-tweet would count as an offence and carry the same fine.

This would discourage others from offending and incentivise Twitter to police such matters, more efficiently.

 

Wed 06/11/2019 10:59

You published a quote by Stormzy, where he used “could of”, meaning “could’ve”.

It would be helpful to those who’ve been poorly educated, as well as those wishing to learn our language, if Newspapers could put a correction in brackets. After all, why insist that Journalists be required to reach a good standard in the language, if they’re going to perpetuate it’s misuse?

If Stormzy used it deliberately, for street cred, then it shouldn’t bother him and he could always claim that such was the case.

 

Fri 08/11/2019 16:17

Ever since Osborne made it possible for people to dip into their private pension funds, we’ve read of numerous cases of such people being scammed, defrauded, or otherwise robbed of their retirement funds and ending up having to rely on the State Pension, which is one of the lowest in the EU.

The State Pension was meant to protect those unable, for whatever reason, to provide for their old age. It was intended to do this without reliance on the likes of pension credit, Winter fuel allowance and other such sticking plaster remedies.

Throughout my working life, I was under the impression that an extra tax, called NI, was to fund this, only to find as I came closer to retirement that this was no longer deemed to be so: that all such money went into one big chest at the Treasury, from which Ministers drew what they wanted. My NI contributions being recorded on paper with a nominal (derisory) interest rate being added.

So most of my Pension went on the likes of the Millennium Dome and Trident.

The News that Labour will introduce a Treasury of The North raises the question of could we get rid of the “big chest” and have all such supposedly stand-alone taxes, go directly to the relevant fund holders.

 

Sun 10/11/2019 10:46

Nigel Nelson is correct in saying that the first duty of politicians is to make life better for the people they serve; although I doubt the word “serve” exists in most MP’s vocabulary, nowadays.

The story of the councillor getting a chief exec. to procure an extra recycling bin for a voter seems to be an exception.

In‌stead of BBC Question time discussing Brexit in Brighton and announcing it will be discussing Brexit in Bolton the week after, perhaps a program where the local paper provides a list of local concerns for a panel of the Council’s CEO, Council Leader and opposition leader, local MP and a famous son/daughter would be more interesting.

I’m sure the same sort of issues will crop up in each location and could provide common solutions to local grievances.

Bins were always a big issue, when I went canvassing.

 

Mon 11/11/2019 12:41

It’d be easier to understand why the Queen shed a tear on Remembrance Day, if one  took account of the age of her generation during the War.

People in their twenties looking forward to life, surrounded by friends and colleagues, forming relationships.

Most of her generation will have lost very close friends and relatives and may well have personally seen them blown apart.

Even as a Baby Boomer, the faces of the adults around me, when names were mentioned, had an impact. Then there were, at times, tears of schoolmates, whose Dad’s hadn’t come home.

Even on the dullest and dreariest of official Remembrance day parades, there are bound to be a few, who will actually remember and find it hard not to shed a tear.

 

Sat 16/11/2019 13:43

I know Labour’s free Broadband isn’t off the drawing board yet but I’d hope the people made to pay for its upkeep and maintenance are the banks and other businesses, who’re insisting that they’ll only engage with us on-line.

Let them worry about the security and loss of business, caused by their penny-pinching economies.

 

Sat 16/11/2019 13:46

Great as your plant a tree campaign is, I noticed that the first one planted, in your campaign,  was a mountain ash, which, thanks to the birds, are common around here.

I usually uproot one from my garden, every year.

Thanks to train drivers on the coal fields, once prevalent around here, we also have plenty of wild apple trees.

The need is not for more trees, where people live but for re-foresting the Downs and Grouse Moors, denuded in the Iron Age.

Perhaps you could get together with the Woodland Trust and hire planes to fly over such sparsely populated areas and scatter acorns, cherry stones, beech nuts etc.

 

Sat 16/11/2019 13:47

Your story about Great Anglia Rail fining a woman, who, because of overcrowding, had one foot in a first-class compartment, has to be one of the best arguments for de-privatising the railways.

 

Sat 16/11/2019 13:48

It’s nice that people in authority are waking up to the fact that London could be flooded but it’d be nicer if they began to plan for it.

As a child, I built a sandcastle and then tried building a sea wall to protect it, as the tide came in. It’s pretty obvious to me that barricading London won’t work.

Dreams of a Venice of The North won’t work, in respect of London’s Artesian water supply and especially its sewage dispersal.

Government has to move to higher ground in the Pennines and leave London for the tourists.

 

Sat 16/11/2019 13:49

It’s nice that people in authority are waking up to the fact that London could be flooded but it’d be nicer if they began to plan for it.

As a child, I built a sandcastle and then tried building a sea wall to protect it, as the tide came in. It’s pretty obvious to me that barricading London won’t work.

Dreams of a Venice of The North won’t work, in respect of London’s Artesian water supply and especially its sewage dispersal.

Government has to move to higher ground in the Pennines and leave London for the tourists.

 

Sat 16/11/2019 14:42

As a Boomer, I’m continually made aware by advertising the need to make plans for my death and this I’ve tried to do.

However, there’s one nagging concern, which is continuous debit.

This has been a concern for all of us; as we are told it is not possible (?) for the Banks to stop them and we have to contact those dipping into our accounts.

Obviously this has been exploited by scammers but what about the utilities etc.

For instance, I pay my TV licence this way. When I die, I can’t stop it. How difficult will it be for my executor to stop it? There may be such a payment that I’ve forgotten and which my executor is unlikely to be aware of.

Is there any legal protection against pillaging of people’s accounts?

Then there’s those credit accounts, which have money resting in them e.g. gas and elec, or store accounts.

There needs to be a way that ” register of death” requires businesses to take note and act appropriately, but I’ve never heard/read of such.

 

Thu 21/11/2019 10:38

I, personally, can’t believe that anyone, mad enough to attack us with nuclear weapons, would be worried about our counter-attacking.

Any sane politician would know that no bunker would be safe enough to survive an inevitable Nuclear Winter and that other Nations would take an offensive stance against them, if they, somehow, managed to survive

Jo Swinson obviously believes otherwise and has firmly stated, more than once, that she is ready to press that Big Red Button.

Now, I read that LibDems have said they want to abandon Operation Relentless.

What’s the point of banging that Big Red Button, if it’s out of commission?

This woman’s reasoning powers are not up to the standard for someone who bleats that she is a credible Prime Minister.

 

Tue 26/11/2019 11:01

The campaign to boycott Amazon and support High Street shops is perverse. We are being asked to pay higher prices and transport costs, so more money can be transferred Councils and Government, through various forms of taxation.

We would be rewarding the incompetence of our legislators in Parliament.

They created the tax laws which have brought about this imbalance favouring Amazon.

Who gave them the power to do this? Who voted Tory? It’s not just their rich donors, looking for favours.

It must include millions of ordinary voters, who bemoan its passing, as a place to visit and waste a few hours.

Blogpost 39: 7/10/19– 7/08/19

March 16, 2020

 

Letters to the Daily Mirror

19/09/2019 I like watching Bear Gryll’s island survival style programs, in which the common theme is find a shelter, light a fire, find water and then forage.

Of course, they always take place on tropical isles, where you’re unlikely to face one our freezing Winter nights.

Surely in a civilised Society, we’d expect our Government to ensure that those made homeless were assured of a shelter, a fire, water and a bit of forage, whether, or not they deserved them.

 

Fri 27/09/2019 14:03

I have no problem with Naga Munchetty stating that President Trump is a racist. It seems, to me, a statement of fact but then there are many pronouncements, by those in the public eye, which they treat as facts, yet are merely displays of bias.

Twitter is awash with accusations of bias by announcers and their program editors.

We can do little about celebrities,  politicians and Newspapers but it would be nice if TV presenters and announcers could try to avoid expressing opinions as facts, even when, as in Trump’s case, they are obviously true.

 

Tue 01/10/2019 12:38

There seems to be a culture emerged from the “greed is good” period of rampant Thatcherism. It isn’t just about making money but about actively doing it at the expense of others. It’s not just about the undeserved bonuses of the directors running Carillion, or Thomas Cook, or even the likes of Jamie Oliver. It’s about the way employees and small dependent businesses are squeezed like grapes to maximise profits, before walking away and leaving others to repair the lives, wrecked by their selfish indifference.

 

Tue 01/10/2019 12:40

The surprising thing about Graham Norton’s comments on ITV pay, is that TV advertising is so lucrative. Admittedly, ITV probably doesn’t spend so much on quality programming but their adverts aren’t as intrusive as on Sky (I’m sure over 50% of their air-time is adverts and trailers). Of course,  we indirectly pay for that advertising, which leaves the question of how much are we being over-charged on branded goods.

 

Thu 03/10/2019 18:50

So the Waspi women have lost their court case and I’m sure MP’s feel vindicated in their pension theft but the monetary savings made can’t be balanced by the Social deprivation they’ve created.

Apart from making those, who’ve carried out the more arduous and low paid jobs, work during their less active years, thereby also shortening life expectancy, MP’s have deprived younger working women of their granny bonus. I.e. the ability to call on grans and adopted grans to help advise on and mind their children.

It’s not just the child-minding fees (which Female MP’s can easily afford; it’s the availability of someone with a vested interest in the children, who can step in and allow young Mums to enjoy a bit of a social life.

Feminist MP’s may rejoice at gaining the right for working class women to have an equal right to be self-supporting, for as long as men, but have they made most women’s lives better, or worse?

 PUBLISHED VERSION

– So, the Waspis (Women Against State Pension Inequality) have lost

and while I’m sure MPs feel vindicated, savings aren’t balanced by the –

deprivation they’ve created. Apart from making those who’ve carried out

low-paid jobs work longer, they have deprived younger working women

of the ability to call on grans to help look after children.

 

Thu 03/10/2019 18:52

The reason that a few thousand voters were able to make Boris Johnson PM was because as leader of the largest party  in the House of Commons, he could guarantee, under Parliamentary Democracy, to win the vote of most MP’s.

If a vote of no confidence was given, then they don’t have to go to the expense of a General Election.

The Leader of the House could call for nominations of a new Premier to be voted on, in the same way the Speaker is chosen.

I don’t suppose this will happen but it would be fun watching those who were hoping to keep their heads down, possibly offering up their necks.