Archive for the ‘letters’ Category

Blogpost 18 : 27/1/18

January 28, 2018

Letters to Daily Mirror

Sent 11/1/18
You report that, after Storm Eleanor, the Cornish coast has been covered with old fishing nets, lego pieces and other forms of waste plastic. Has anyone collected it up, to dispose of it?
I suspect that in Austerity Britain, local Councils have no contingency budget and will be hoping that it all floats back out to sea.

Sent 11/1/18 and published
The claim that the present generation is paying for the previous generation’s pension is, at best, contentious.
On that basis, my Baby Boomer generation presumably paid the pensions of my parents’ generation.
Bearing in mind the reason we’re called Baby Boomers and bearing in mind that My parents generation had been depleted by WWII, there should have been plenty of spare cash in the pension pot, except that there was no such pot.
All N.I. contributions went into the Treasurery’s tax chest
None was invested, as it should have been.
It was spent on whatever whimsy appealed to the Government of the day.
It’s still down to political ideology and chosen priorities
As I see it, at present, the ability to nuke foreigners takes precedence over old and knackered workers, who no longer contribute to the Politicians’ trough.

Published version

OAPs not at fault over pension pot
THE claim that the present generation is paying for the previous generation’s pension is, at best, contentious. On that basis, my baby boomer generation presumably paid the pensions of my parents’
generation.
Bearing in mind the reason we’re called baby boomers and that my parents’ generation had been depleted by the Second World War, there should have been plenty of spare cash in the pension pot, except there wasn’t one.
National Insurance contributions went into the Treasury’s tax chest.
None was invested. It was spent on whatever whimsy appealed to the government at the time.
It’s still down to political ideology and chosen priorities.

Sent 19/1/18
If News from France is true, we won’t be seeing The Bayeux Tapestry, because Local custodians are strongly against any such move. However; it has served its purpose, of deflecting conversation away from May’s gift to the charming young Macron.
Is that £44Mn just for this year?
What happens when the UK leaves the EU? Will we continue paying France?

News of large scale migrant movements have dried up but I presume the migrants haven’t gone home.
We have right wingers talking of invading hordes, with various pundits decrying them as racists, but we are hearing nothing from Government.

Theoretically EU countries are supposed to force migrants to register, as they arrive at their borders and then ensure a reasonable distribution of them.
Have those at Calais been registered? Are they our allocation, or the French allocation? Why are we paying the French to keep them? Has the EU set aside funds to house, feed and water the migrants?
Most important what numbers are involved? A few 100,000, as fled Idi Amin?, or are there millions, as UKIP would have us believe?
Our politicians are saying nothing.
They want us to have an intelligent, adult conversation about how they want to privatise the NHS but they’re avoiding any intelligent, adult conversation of the migrants.
This issue is not going to go away, simply by paying Macron hush money.

Sent 19/1/18
Your story about Andrew Wakefield, driving around without a licence for 40 years should be considered as far more serious than it reads.
Without a licence, you can not pay road tax, or get insurance in your own name.
Other stories seem to suggest that law abiding drivers are suffering financial and physical harm from collisions with uninsured drivers.
It seems that this has become severe enough for some insurers to offer protection against this, which was the whole purpose of requiring car insurance, when the legislation was introduced.
Now that untaxed cars can be trapped by cameras, it might be better to place a fixed premium on car tax payments, which covers the requirements of the road traffic act.
If the Gov’t insists that this premium should be handled by private insurers, then The DVLA should be able to come to a direct agreement with Lloyds.
If drivers want Comprehensive cover then they could still make such arrangements, although most of us with second-hand cars know that such cover does not make financial sense.

Advertisements

Blog post 17. 2/1/18

January 3, 2018

letters to Daily Mirror

1/11/17
The Speaker is in charge of policing MP behaviour, in the House
Perhaps he should also have charge of monitoring moral behaviour of MP’s etc. , generally.
An experienced and independent police investigation team could be formed, to support him. It would rely on fixed period secondments of officers from regional forces.
Where cases can’t be taken to court, at least offenders would know that their names were on a register and they needed to mend their ways.
The Speaker would be in a position to warn Party leaders of a need to nudge serial offenders to the exit

3/11/17

No-one can doubt that a fireman “earns” his wages but it seems an insult to his job to claim that one TV presenter “earns” £50,000 per year more than another.
One may be “bank”ing more than the other, and is “laughing all the way to the bank” but it’s surely time to stop using these two words as synonyms

14/11/17
Vince Cable has said that the Public should have a vote on the final Brexit agreement.
Would that be another “advisory” vote; allowing disappointed politicians to claim the sovereignty of Parliament in order to overturn it?
Would it be another yes/no vote enabling them to claim that the Public hadn’t voted for some minor aspects of the agreement?

17/11/17
The LGANews tweeted this:
“It’s not complicated. The best way to solve housing crisis is to let councils build.
We will get right homes in the right places” –
@garyporterlga tells @SkyNews

He’s wrong.
It is complicated, because, it’s not just houses, it’s infra-structure, as well.
In Wigan, we have main roads which were originally B-roads, bordered by terraced houses, old mining scrub and farms.
New estates have been built behind these terraced houses and just plugged in to the existing mains water, sewage, electricity and gas. These can be upgraded but at a cost.
The up-grading means closing that B-road, which can’t be widened, without demolishing the houses bordering it.
This is further complicated by the fact the people living on the new estates have to use that same road to get to work, increasing the congestion on it and the need to keep it clear of roadworks
We need new purpose built towns to accomodate our growing population, especially if we’re to welcome large numbers of immigrants, whether refugees, unskilled illegals, or highly desired skilled workers.
You can’t just keep finding brownfield sites to squeeze in high rise flats, as one Tory MP suggested on the daily politics show
It’s not a Monopoly board, where you just plonk a few more houses down, or swap 4 house with a hotel

22/11/17
Whoever came up with the suggestion of placing images of road traffic accidents next to speed limit signs, must be on a 6 figure salary.
A lesser employee would be sacked for such lunacy.
The only drivers who would slow down would be ghouls wanting a better look, or wishing to traumatise their children.
Really, it’s bad enough having electronic message boards warning drivers
“In the time it takes you to read this message, your car has travelled 100m. Dont be an idiot, concentrate on the road”

26/11/17
I must admit to buying stuff from Amazon and will continue to do so, despite reading your report of employees being treated worse than slaves.
I’ll continue buying food, over-wrapped in plastic, despite TV showing pictures of seas covered in plastic waste.
I’ll continue needing Health care, despite the NHS being stretched to breaking point.
If I had a magic wand, I’d solve the World’s ills but I don’t have such powers.
I can write letters to Newspapers, sign on-line petitions and every 5 years I get to help choose which group of MP’s are given the power to try to fix these problems.
These MP’s, once elected tell me that they’ll vote for what they want, regardless of what they may have promised me.
I absolve myself of all the blame dumped on me, by the TV and Press.
These things are not my fault, or my responsibility; I just get to pay for them.

30/11/17
I was disgusted to read about the Coventry and Rugby hospitals denying free tea etc, to staff, especially while it is free to patients.
I suppose it’s only to be expected of the Trusts running them.
They’re gearing up to privatisation, when patients will become customers and nursing staff will become menials, wishing us to “have a nice day!”

30/11/17
I don’t think Michel Barnier and the EU were really concerned about the UK leaving them to face ISIS on their own.
I think it’s that UK armed forces would have been under the control of Parliament, instead of Juncker

14/12/17
You printed an Aviva report that many 55-60 yr.olds had insufficient funds for retirement, because they were too poorly paid to put money aside.
It seems obviously true, when one considers so many having to resort to food banks, to survive.
It’s why the State Pension was created and at a level that would allow an end of useful life worker to survive in a degree of ease.
Since then that pension has been eroded, year on year, by successive Governments; with sticking plaster gestures such as pension credit and Winter fuel allowance.
The new State Pension will be a magnificent £140/wk, for all those who’ve been fortunate enough to collect sufficient green stamps.
How far will £7,000 a year go?
There won’t be many working class OAP’s going off on cruises, which pensioner’s from the professional classes are so often portrayed as doing.
It’s worth bearing in mind that Care Home charges are 4x the State Pension and many Care Homes are pleading that that’s not enough, even with very low paid staff.
Present trends point to a return to the pre-war days of isolated, elderly people starving to death in the street, unless we force politicians out of their WestMinster bubble.

14/12/17
The Which report about people not switching fuel suppliers is a long-standing issue, even for those who do it.
It’s not as easy as we’re continually informed it is.
Assuming you have broadband and are relaxed with using the Internet, it’s still a chore.
Unless you keep a record of your metered usage, you can’t properly be sure that you’re comparing like with like.
It’s mainly the disadvantaged in Society, who are being ripped off by this Inertia selling.
If the utilities were re-nationalised, we wouldn’t have to go through this pantomime on a regular basis.
We’d have less meter reading appointments (no! I don’t want a “smart” meter).
There’d be no call for comparison websites, whose costs must add to price of our fuel.
We wouldn’t have to sit in costly phone queues, when we need to talk to a person.
We need to re-nationalise.

19/12/17
We are required by law to have car insurance to pay for injuries that might be done to other road users; so how can insurers be allowed to exclude drivers from cover, when they use their car for commuting.
Such an exclusion does not protect innocent Third Parties.
There should be a legal requirement for insurers to provide such protection to anyone buying any form of car insurance.
There shouldn’t be a risk of having your car seized and facing fines, when often the only reason to buy car insurance is because of this law.
To my mind, Insurers are the criminals here, selling a service under false pretences.
For most of us, a few years Car Insurance costs are often more than the recompense offered should a car be written off and I, for one, wouldn’t bother buying it, otherwise.

2/1/18
I suggest that if we have to re-cycle our own plastic waste, then a good use would be to make plastic fence panels.
They’d be more decorative than the concrete ones but just as robust.
They’d be more fire-resistant than wooden ones, which they could emulate, and less prone to weathering.
Any other suggestions? e.g. kerbstones.

@jeremycorbyn @HouseofCommons give the Speaker an independent police investigation team could be formed to support him with sex offenders.

November 4, 2017

Letter to Daily Mirror 1/11/17

The Speaker is in charge of policing MP behaviour, in the House
Perhaps he should also have charge of monitoring moral behaviour of MP’s etc. , generally.
An experienced and independent police investigation team could be formed, to support him. It would rely on fixed period secondments of officers from regional forces.
Where cases can’t be taken to court, at least offenders would know that their names were on a register and they needed to mend their ways.
The Speaker would be in a position to warn Party leaders of a need to nudge serial offenders to the exit

Printed version

T he Commons Speaker John  Bercow is in charge of policing MPs’ behaviour in the House, so perhaps he should also take charge of monitoring their moral behaviour generally.

An experienced and independent police investigation team could be formed to support him which could rely on fixed-period secondments of officers from regional forces.

Where cases can’t be taken to court, at least offenders would know that their names were on a register and they needed to mend their ways.

The Speaker would be in a position to warn party leaders of a need to nudge serial offenders to the exit.

Blog post 16. 29/10/17

November 4, 2017

Letter to Daily Mirror 11/10/17

Anyone who has watched shows such as “It was alright in the 70’s” will have seen that older men being overly familiar with young women was accepted as part of the texture of life, back then: Indeed, in your article on Sabrina, it was seen to be the basis of her career.

The History of Weinstein can be traced back to that era but mores have changed and no-one told him. The fact that he was never rebuked would have reinforced his behaviour.

That the decades of young women, who came under his eyes, never made a fuss is understandable but similar cases will continue until women are able to report such issues.

Whistle-blowing to official bodies won’t work, because they will require the victims to bear witness, without even the certainty of a conviction, or protection of what was under threat.

I would suggest that, what is needed, is a group of more powerful sympathetic women to set up a well publicised independent body.
Such a body could set up stings to obtain solid evidence to catch enough culprits, as to make them think twice before repeating their behaviour.

Better to deter them, than try to pick up the pieces, after the event.
—————-
Letter to Daily Mirror 14/10/17

If meteorite takes out your prize petunia’s.
If you find a dead dog outside your house.
If you are a young girl alone in an unknown part of town and can’t find your way home.
If you are old and infirm and can’t find your TV remote.
There are thousands of reasons why someone might want a little help but don’t know who to turn to.
Even with a telephone directory to hand, you could still be stuck.
It’s understandable why desperate people may dial 999.
Constant berating of the General Public by self-righteous officialdom may make good newspaper copy but it is unhelpful and unlikely to stop further calls from those in distress.
The whole idea of 999 was that it was an easy to remember number, which could be used by people who might be in an emotional state.
It’s a great idea and if we had politicians, who weren’t intent on saving pennies, whilst squandering £ Billions, we’d expand it.
How difficult, or expensive, would it be to have a second line of operators to take calls?
They’d direct first response to police, fire, ambulance or to volunteer services e.g. Citizens Advice, Samaritans, Local Government Association, crank caller prosecutions, or whatever.
Instead of Bureaucrats in uniform using “crank calls” as a cliche deflection of criticism, we’d have Government serving its function and a more content populace.
———–
Letter to Daily Mirror 14/10/17
I don’t often find cause for dispute with Brian Reade but popular ignorance of Hitler’s role in WWII is an indictment of Maggie’s National Curriculum, not the Nation’s intelligence.
Anyone, sufficiently intelligent to actively take part in the EU referendum and work out how to get to the polling station, or fill in a postal vote, is capable of forming a worthwhile opinion.
In this case, it seems the majority of intelligent opinion decided that the other 27 countries were not capable of acting in our best interests. An opinion seemingly borne out by their antagonistic negotiating of our withdrawal from the EU.
———————
Letter to Daily Mirror 17/10/17
I’m not surprised that the Post Office, which Vince Cable sold cheaply to his friends in the City, is doling out £500,000 to those shareholders, each day
The amount of advertising, which I’m forced to empty out of my letterbox and transfer to my recycling bin, is ridiculous.
I know it’s not all from the Post Office but if Politicians are so keen to appear to be Green, why don’t they make such advertising illegal?
It’s annoying; it’s wasteful and it’s a cost on Councils having to dispose of it.
————-

Letter to Daily Mirror 17/10/17
The intention of raising the age of exemption from paying National Insurance is being put across as a Tory gimmick to make younger voters think they are being wooed.
However, National Insurance was brought in to finance the NHS, pensions etc. and this measure looks more like the first stage in their previously announced intention of obliterating the last vestiges of our Welfare State.
———————

Letter to Daily Mirror 29/10/17
When I visited Marakesh, on holiday, I noticed that streets were bordered by orange trees.
I don’t know if they were free to harvest but it struck me that no-one in this desert country needed to die of thirst, or hunger.
It occurs to me, in these days of food banks, that it seems mean not to copy this civility.
In some ways it would be like H.F-W’s urban guerilla gardening but not so demanding of resources.
We have lots of open land near Wigan, with many, new, tree-lined roads.
Some of these trees bear edible cherries, presumably to feed the wild life, but why not plant more.
Add in walnuts, edible peaches, almonds, hazel nuts, medlars, apples etc.
Verges could bear strawberries, ramsons.
Wild patches could be planted with currants and raspberries. These are easily propagated fruits, for those inclined to help.
Some patches would, no doubt, revert to bramble and nettle, through neglect, but many would be adopted by volunteer groups and some plants, such as rhubarb, can easily outcompete the weeds.
The best thing is that the cost would be minimal and if done in quantity, it’d defeat the spoilers: A lesson learned through the wholesale planting of daffodils.
When Councils first laid out such roadside displays, they were raided by door to door peddlers. Nowadays this is no longer profitable.
I believe this could be true for wayside foods sources and could ease life for many.

#Brexit means cheap lamb for consumers, so large landowners are griping.

October 8, 2017

 

Sent to Daily Mirror 8/10/17
You report that if we go to WTO rules, we’d have to steal some of New Zealand’s quota for lamb imports to the EU.
My instant reaction is that this is a blatant lie.

Before we joined the Common Market, we imported New Zealand lamb and enjoyed it as our cheapest meat, other than fish.
Apart from the large landholders, who’d see anything wrong in the price of lamb and mutton falling to more reasonable levels?

The British public has no problem with frozen meat and, being outside the EU, we’d be able to increase New Zealand’s sale of lamb to us, so they’d actually welcome Brexit.

Caroline Lucas would also be pleased that animal welfare standards would be raised, as we would no longer be subjecting livestock to live transport across the Channel, to please the French demand for fresh killed meat.

British small-holding farmers were able to survive well enough, before we joined the Common Market, from the demand of gourmets for fresh killed meat.
It’s the large land-owning/farming companies, who’ll lose a lucrative share of the EU Market, who are raising this bogus claim.

Blog post 15. 5/10/17

October 8, 2017

Sent to Daily Mirror 28/9/17
I was pleased to read how Andrew Bridgen had been slammed by his constituents.
How about focussing on one MP each week?
There’s plenty of info on Theyworkforyou.com
The register of MP interests would be interesting, as would be comments from constituents

Sent to Daily Mirror 2/10/17
How joyful for Chancellor Philip Hammond that as he comes to the defence of Capitalism, Monarch Airlines goes bust, putting thousands out of work and even more stranded abroad.
http://www.newsweek.com/monarch-airlines-cease-trading-out-business-bust-675287?yptr=yahoo
This is on top of the shambles that is Ryanair and the avarice of those controlling company pension funds (BHS)
Maybe he was really expressing gratitude to the banks, which collapsed our economy, allowing his party to gain power and then plunder our taxpayer funded assets.
Our NHS is hanging on by a thread, as “Capitalists” gather around waiting for Jeremy Hunt to produce his scissors for the final cuts.
These “Capitalists” have no intention of funding new improvements as Hammond would claim.
They are asset strippers and cherry pickers, who will leave us with paupers’ hospitals, manned by volunteers, as happens in the USA.
Unfettered capitalism has proven an economic millstone for our nation.
We need a Government which directly controls delivery of key services, whilst ensuring that other industries are made to take steps to protect their employees and the taxpayer from their owners’ incompetence, fecklessness and, in some cases, undisguised greed.

Sent to Daily Mirror 2/10/17
Gove has called for a refundable charge on plastic bottles.
No doubt this is an appeal to Green voters but is it feasible?
At present, most go into the wheelie bin, some into litter bins and some chucked over hedges.
On the one hand there is the Dickensian charm of down and outs scavenging these discarded bottles; maybe, even raiding wheelie bins, like urban foxes, scattering unwanted items.
Perhaps householders, already resorting to foodbanks will stop off at wherever refunds are issued, even more life-enhancing.
Of course there’s the logistics of who will tender the refunds.
Will they have to be returned to the shops, where they were bought (I remember my local sweet shop putting a stamp on the labels of their glass pop bottles)?
Who will administer the scheme and collect these bottles from the shops where they’ve been amassed and stored in special set-aside areas?
Again, I recall how many off-licences used to have their back-yards raided by kids looking for an extra income from money due on empty beer bottles.
The present system just needs Councils to hire a few more rubbish collectors to tidy up after the slobs who carelessly discard everything, which they no longer have a use for

Sent to Daily Mirror 5/10/17

I totally endorse Brian Reade’s view that where Sportsmen have brought politics into Sport, it has been justifiable and that it is politicians impositions on Sport, which have been indefensible.
I suggest that prankster Simon Brodkin should immediately apply for a retrospective grant from the Arts Council.
Any one of his jolly wheezes would count as far more significant than most of the examples of Event Art that The Arts Council usually dole out taxpayer money for.

“25,000 homes for social rent by 2021” doesn’t seem worth mentioning, when the ONS says Britain’s population grew by half a million last year.
Instead of “Phish and chip” vans, far more data could be collected by giving an email address for phishing spam to be forwarded to.

In reply to ST Vaughan.
Referendums don’t cause the problems, they reflect an existing problem.
The call for Catalan independence reflects a long standing feeling of being treated as second class citizens by the ruling Spanish Government.
It’s not unlike the situations with Scotland, Wales and Northern England being dumped on by our London/ Home Counties focussed Government.

Printed version:

In reply to S.T. Vaughan, referendums don’t cause the problems; they simply reflect an existing problem (Madeuthink, October 5).

The call for Catalan independence voices a long-standing  feeling of being treated as second class citizens by the Spanish government.

It’s not unlike the situations with Scotland, Wales and Northern England being dumped on by our London / Home Counties-focused government.

 

The Jutexpo claim, that the 5p plastic bag tax has increased their sales, is undoubtedly true.
However, I’ve noticed a creeping increase in the number of people, ahead of me in shop queues, stumping up for this tax, rather than haul two or three “bags for life” out the recesses of their bags and pockets.
Many are finding it too inconvenient, to carry them, “just in case”.

Blog post 13

September 19, 2017

Sent to Daily Mirror 12/9/17

So we are to have robot cars and robot teachers.
Robots are going to take our jobs?
Good luck with that.
How can anyone, who’s ever been frustrated by a computer, had one hacked, had to pay to get rid of viruses, etc., believe that this will not end badly?
There are already stories of cars, with computer controlled electrical systems, being remotely controlled by hackers.
How many versions of Windows have had to be replaced because the number of patches, needed to mask software faults, has made successive versions unstable?
As for robot teachers, that’s even more ludicrous.
Twenty years ago teachers were being told that remote learning would mean the end of schools, as pupils would sit in their homes, beavering away at their computers.
That failed and robot teachers will fail for the same reasons; plus a few more.
This discussion was had back in the 80’s, with robots predicted to handle situations, which were too dangerous for humans.
That brought forth human controlled, bomb detonation robots, pigeon controlled sea-to-sea missiles, Cruise missiles (how many were on target in Trumps recent attack on an Iraqui airfield?) and search dogs with cameras, for checking unlit buildings.
Even our present drone technology needs a human operator.
I predict robots might fill a few niches but a highly trained, highly paid human will be required to get them to work at all.

published version

ROBOTIC  IT’S IDIOTIC

The idea of robot teachers taking over classrooms is simply ludicrous.

How can anyone who has ever been frustrated by a computer, had one hacked, had to pay to qet rid of viruses, etc., believe that this won’t end badly?

Robots might be used for some jobs but a highly trained human will be required to actually get them to work.

Sent to Daily Mirror 13/9/17 (all in one email)

You report a council spokesman as saying:”All Art is meant to be a talking point…”.
When did this come about?
In my youth, Art was about beauty and giving pleasure.
Although often used merely as an excuse for Galleries full of pictures of naked Ladies and statues of Greek Gods.
Nowadays, it seems to be about the gross, the obscene and the absurd.
Is anything, which we talk about, Art?
If so, Jeremy Hunt is one of the greatest artists of the millennium and the destruction of the NHS is artistic.
I know the ultra rich and elected officials need to have something on which to fritter away excess cash but why the pretence that it is Art?
If they need to display their “Loadsamoney!”, they should commission a Louvre or Kew Gardens, which others can enjoy.
That would satisfy both definitions and protect us from sights that would have non-artists in court.

Sent to Daily Mirror 16/9/17

Carrying a full 20 litre builder’s bucket is not easy and would be noticed, especially if negotiating a ticket barrier in Rush-hour. It would also have been transported to the station. Why haven’t there been requests for witnesses to such scenes. Many, who might help, will not know who to quickly contact.

Whilst MP’s agonise over on-line abuse to themselves, they might consider extending their deliberations to protecting ordinary people such as Laura Simpson, as reported in Today’s edition. Politicians shouldn’t use such trolling as an excuse to attack Social Media. These things will go on even if the Internet is put beyond the reach of the General Public. Social Media is just a vehicle and as with cars, it’s the driver, not the vehicle that should carry the blame. The only problem is the public anonymity of such people. There should be no problem requiring Twitter etc.to release the ID of offenders.

Network Rail is an “Arms-Length” public body. Why hasn’t the Minister at the other end of that arm required that State-owned, State-funded organisation to buy British, instead of pretending to be privatised?

I have to disagree with Stephen Hawking but (Mars apart) the chances of finding another habitable planet, reachable within 100 years, are pretty slim. Even with his sail driven ships, colonisation requires more than an Adam and Eve and a load of test-tubes. A viable colony would need hundreds of people and ships to carry them. Just getting one spaceplatform in orbit has been costly and difficult and that one has to be re-supplied from the ground.

Kyle Morgan has shown the way. If you’re homeless and it’s January, go for a dip in a Novotel swimming pool. You’ll get a warm crib, meals and the best medical care for free, for a month. It’d probably work for other victims of austerity, also.

Why would little Mix claim that “everyone” would be “buzzing off their tits” over pictures of scantily clad young women. I can’t name one straight man, apart from their dad’s, who’d complain. It’s the same problem with women, walking the red carpet, having their dresses criticised. It’s other women who do this: Not men.

Sent to Daily Mirror 17/9/17

The story of the 12-yr old girl threatened with prosecution by a member of the CEOP throws up the problem of creating such bureaucracies. They seem to be set up to employ jobsworths, who have minimal empathy but great diligence for following rules.
Prosecution of this girl may be within the letter of The Law but the message has now gone out that if you’re being groomed, don’t report it because the CEOP will get you.
That one crass statement has undone the whole point of creating this Quango and may have given groomers a powerful new weapon

blog posts 12 (23/8/2017)……………. mostly #Brexit

September 2, 2017

letter to Daily Mirror 1/8/17

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.

letter to Daily Mirror 4/8/17

Are low interest rates really so bad?
For those at the bottom of the economic ladder, it means credit is more manageable.
Most people have very little in the way of savings and the difference in interest rates means very little on the sort of sums a family may be able to put aside.
However; most people have debts, even if just their mortgage, and a rise in interest rates would have a disastrous effect on them, with many losing their homes.
The only people to benefit from high interest rates are the rich and lazy.

letter to Daily Mirror 4/8/17

So; over 3-4 years, 40,000,000 bottles of fake, expensive plonk have been sold to those with a “discerning” palate?
Nobody complained. Nobody noticed.
The scam was only discovered by French customs querying some paper work.
I always suspected I was not alone in being unable to do more than recognise whether or not a wine was drinkable.
Obviously most people pay for the label, or judge a wine by the price tag.

letter to Daily Mirror 4/8/17

A recent survey was asking about who should pay for hospital treatment of victims of car accidents.
Should it be the person causing the accident, the State, or some combination?
At present, it’s the driver’s responsibility, assuming he has obeyed The Law and taken out car insurance
I suppose the problem lies with the increasing number of uninsured drivers, leaving the State to pick up the bill, at a time when politicians are trying to privatise the NHS.
I can only infer that we will presently see a requirement for personal Health Insurance for treatment beyond emergency aid.
I.e. a back-door introduction of a two-tier Health Service, via some new Car insurance legislation.

letter to Daily Mirror 6/8/17

Who cares about “protected geographical indication” status?
People, whom I know, eat pork pies, pasties, spiced sausages etc. but they don’t care if they are made in Melton Mowbray, Cornwall, Cumberland and such.
Put another way many can’t afford to care.
That’s the key; it’s about manufacturer’s being able to charge more.
It’s about the French selling sparkling wine (Champagne) at exorbitant prices.
It’s about snob value.
So why should Daily Mirror readers be expected to get upset about losing PGI on products, which most will never buy.
Look on the bright side of Brexit: If you like wine, Australian, Californian and Chilean will all be cheaper.
New Zealand lamb (frozen) will slash the prices we have to pay for portions we used to feed to the dog (breast and neck). The rich can still get their fresh lamb cutlets and pay as much as they want to.
The Cadbury’s heir is upset about what Kraft has done to the chocolate that Cadbury used to make.
After Brexit he can set up a factory in Nigeria selling his chocolate, to his recipe, at a price, which is good for him and good for Nigerian producers, who because of EU tariffs can only profitably sell us the raw beans, at present.

letter to Daily Mirror 14/8/17

I understand Kevin Maguire’s call for a Republic but it’s just as much a fantasy as believing we can have a Democracy.
We would have to have a President as chief meeter and greeter but would we get someone elected on popularity?
Would the people, who run the country, allow us that choice?
No matter how it was presented to us, we’d end up with a careerist from the political arena.
Such a person would be far more forward than Prince Charles with his secretive letters to cabinet ministers.
We could end up with a quiet, retiring figure like the Queen but my money would be on someone like Trump buying his way in

Published version

I understand Kevin Maguires call for a republic but it’s just as much a fantasy as believing we can have true democracy.
” We would have tn have a president as head of state and would end up with a careerist from the
political arena. Such a person would be likely to be far more forward than Prince Charles
with his secret letters to Cabinet ministers.
We could end up with a retiring figure like the Queen, but wed be more likely to end up
with someone like Trump.

letter to Daily Mirror 23/8/17

When I went canvassing, the people, I spoke to, who said they were likely to vote BNP, instead of Labour ( I was “old Labour”), didn’t use derogatory racial slurs.
Those, who did, weren’t very approachable or interested in explaining their views.
Those, who were prepared to talk, were concerned about what could be grouped as cultural changes. I don’t mean eating curries, although that used to be an issue.
Mainly of my generation, their parents hadn’t wanted to be Germans, or Nazi’s, and they didn’t want to have to accept the new immigrants and their ways, either.
The line: “some of my best friends are…” is usually sniggered at but it expresses the same point.
Those who assimilate are readily accepted.
They would have applauded Saira Khan and her rebuke of @silverbengle.
If Labour wants to fight racism they need to accept such concerns instead of simply decrying them as racist and attacking the likes of Sarah Champion for trying to address such issues.
They also need to confront such people as @silverbengle

 

@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.

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.