Archive for the ‘published’ Category

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

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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

 

blog posts 10 (20/6/2017)

June 20, 2017

Letters to Daily Mirror with any printed versions

19/6/17
You report that no action can be taken against anyone, who might be destroying evidence, relating to the Grenfell Tower fire, until a court of inquiry has been set up.
I find this hard to believe.
It would be reasonable to believe that anyone destroying anything, which might be required as evidence, was deliberately trying to pervert the course of justice and guilty of a criminal action.
Regardless of this presumption of guilt, it should be possible for Police to be issued with warrants to seize potential evidence, whether, or not, an inquiry is called.

16/6/17
Do we really have to wait for an inquiry into the London Tower Block Fire?
There can’t be anyone, who has followed events, who doesn’t “know” that the cladding (banned in the USA and Germany after a similar disaster in Melbourne) was responsible for so many deaths.
We will be told that it is important to wait for an official verdict to avoid panic.
Yet, those in similar tower blocks will still be panicking.
How long will they have to wait, while another inquiry is set up and a report printed ?
Meanwhile; officials, politicians and contractors will take their time concocting a plausible, low cost solution to what they may see as merely an administrative problem.

14/6/17
Obviously the Media will focus on the immediate aspects of the terrible fire block disaster.
We’ll be told of the sequence of events, those who’ve lost their lives, the members of the emergency services and the Public, who have come to the aid of survivors.
But perhaps the Media could go further than just reporting such tragedies and task politicians on the long term effects for those who survived.
Locals have already made offers of accommodation but for how long?
We know there is a shortage of housing but it is clear that we need spare capacity for those who lose their homes in such events. Not just temporary housing but permanent homes, where families can close the door and try to quickly gather up the reins of their lives again.

 

12/6/17
How can we have tariff-free access to the European Market(Corbyn), whilst not being forced to stay in the Single Market (McDonnell).
These are the same thing, as far as I can tell.
What distinction are they seeing?
Labour needs to remember that the majority voted to leave EU control.
Popular support for Labour could evaporate overnight, if Jeremy Corbyn is made to look less straightforward than his present, very popular image.

Printed version
#How can we have tariff-free access to the European market, Mr
Corbyn, without freedom of movement?
Labour needs to remember that the majority voted to leave EU control.
Support for Labour could evaporate overnight if Jeremy Corbyn is made
to look less straightforward than his present, popular image.
12/6/17
I strongly doubt that Boris Johnson is correct in believing that the Public don’t want another GE.
I’m sure there are many, beside myself, who want this reverse Robin Hood party evicted, as soon as possible, and replaced by a People’s party.
Even if Theresa May’s Tory Government doesn’t immediately collapse, it will face large scale public demands as parents take their children back to school in the Autumn and see what this party for the privileged thinks of them.

9/6/17
he pundits are already squabbling over the meaning of the GE vote.
Whilst there is no doubt that Theresa May wanted it to be about Brexit, it’s quite wrong for the likes of Gina Miller to claim that the results prove that was the only issue voted on.
Brexit was important but the most vociferous people on Social Media were those with cause to oppose the Tory austerity issues i.e. the destruction of the NHS, the decimation of our police forces, food banks, tuition fees, disability allowances, the bedroom tax, the dementia tax etc.
These are still desperate issues for large portions of the country and Parliament needs to be confronted on all of them,continuously.
Only one aspect puzzles me; who’s voting Conservative and why?

Various blogs 9 (3/6/2017)

June 3, 2017

9/5

The fatcat boss of British Gas is a blowhard.
The National Grid controls the distribution of Gas.

All his company, British Gas, does is sign up customers to give them their money.
It’s like Ticketmaster; it just handles the Admin, adding handling fees.
Anyone could set up a similar business

E.g. Nottingham council’s https://robinhoodenergy.co.uk, which is non-profit.
If Labour wants to control fuel prices, it could confer preferred status on them.

I.e. transfer all Government purchases to Nottingham’s Company with direct access to a relevant Minister.
After leaving the EU, Labour could even subsidise that company.

10/5

So the Tory MP’s won’t be prosecuted and the Tories will get away with breaking electoral rules!

Not because they were innocent of doing so but because it couldn’t be proven that they intended to make fraudulent expenses claims.
That just leaves incompetence by their electoral team and/or ignorance of Electoral Law.
You’d think, though, that the people who run the country and who made the Electoral Law, would be aware that its intention is to prevent politicians buying elections, as they tried to do.
Whatever the truth, they were in charge of the country for 2 years and could become the next Government.
Inspiring thought.

20/5

The Tories have just escaped prosecution for electoral fraud, by claiming that they hadn’t realised that their use of battle-buses was against electoral rules. Now I read that they have a new understanding of them, claiming, according to your report, that they can’t release key NHS figures, which are now due.

Presumably they are so bad, they could affect how people vote.
I wonder if they have correctly interpreted electoral rules this time, though.

Has anyone checked?

20/5

The Mayor of London is quite right to berate First Group over the driver falling asleep on a tram.

This is especially so after the November crash of a tram run by this private company.

Maybe taking the trams into public ownership won’t solve the problem but this case could justify a prodder to ensure the driver stays awake, or help in the event of an accident, or other difficulty.

The prodders would serve a similar function to Guards on trains.

20/5

Fiona Phillips asked whatever happened to The Postman Always Rings Twice.
Of course the answer is he was privatised.
Watch a postman at work Today. No more jauntily strolling along, whistling a merry tune. They don’t have the time; they’re scurrying from house to house at a pace described by 1940’s Time and Motion Management as a “brisk pace”.
A similar effect of privatisation is apparent with refuse collection. Previously bins were collected from and returned to a homeowners premises (by Law).
Now the bin is collected from and returned to a place within 5 yards of the refuse collector’s route.
It’s Time and Motion.
It’s about profits and costs, not about efficiency, or service.

Published version

#|n her column, Fiona Phillips asked whatever happened to The Postman Always Rings Twice when it comes to the delivery of our online orders (May 20)? Of course the answer is, he was privatised.

Watch postmen at work today — no morejauntily strolling along, whistling a merry tune. They don’t have the time, they’re scurrying from house to house in a rush.

Similarly, with refuse and recycling collections, once upon a time bins were collected from and returned to the house — now they are left out on the street. It’s all about costs and profit — not about efficiency or providing a service.

24/5

One of the biggest concerns, seen on Twitter, in the aftermath of the Manchester bomb, was by people needing News of Loved ones.

The G.M.Police did eventually put out a phone number on twitter but in these cases even a few minutes, of uncertainty, is an eternity.
There must be procedures for co-ordinating the rescue services, it wouldn’t take too much effort to set up a prepared website, to which The Media and Public can turn.

Any advice phone numbers could be added, as they are set up., and there could be a page where parents could post a named picture of their child etc.

This could be consulted by police and medical staff, who need to be able to quickly identify the injured.

A related call-out , on Twitter, was for blood group “O” donors and another for food packs.

The Army has, presumably, field medical supplies, including artificial blood and ration packs, yet there was no mention of such items being deployed.

What does Cobra do?

26/5

As a civilised country, our Government bombs terrorists, who are hiding behind innocent foreigners in foreign countries and it feels totally justified in its actions.
The same politicians express shock and horror at anyone voicing the barbaric notion of executing those same terrorists here at home.
Indeed, the killers of Drummer Rigby will be accommodated, fed and watered, at public expense, for the rest of their days.
This is a deep-boned, racist hypocrisy.

We are at war with ISIS and whilst most of the fighting is taking place in the Middle East, they have their agents embedded in our homeland.
During WWII, when we were fighting in the same deserts, German agents and fifth columnists, caught here, were tried and executed, before they could do us harm.
With ISIS agents, we wait.
We wait and watch.
We watch them preaching sedition, passing out propaganda, stirring up hatred against others. Others, who may have fled here to escape their persecution.
We wring our hands and wait for them to kill.
We wait until they kill, because we are civilised and must obey the rule of Law.
Time to challenge this racism and change Our Laws, so that we apply the same moral code here and abroad.

27/5

The thing that worries me about the latest opinion poll figures is not that so many voters appear to still support the Tories but that, if these figures were turned into seats, Lib Dems would again hold the balance of power.
The even more worrying aspect would be if Labour were to form a coalition with them.

The best outcome would be if Labour continued to gain ground and Jeremy Corbyn became P.M., in time to save the NHS.
The least, worst outcom, for me, would be a Tory minority Government forced to think about every word they utter and every piece of legislation that they try to push through the House.
It would be the exact nightmare that Theresa May has tried to avoid by calling this GE.

27/5

After the court victory of the candy stripe house, it’s disappointing to read of the Hycinth Buckets giving Holly Willoughby grief, just for flying the Union Jack on her own house

2/6

The East Lancs Road (A580) connects the two newly created mayoralties of Liverpool and Manchester.
Midway, the old mining sites, near Haydock Racecourse, are being redeveloped as transport depots and such.
Eventually this road and others will have to be widened but, in the meantime, why not create a new adminstration centre in the area, providing hospital, police, fire and emergency Service facilities for both cities and capable of coping with the populations of the two cities and of Wigan, Leigh, Warrington and Bolton. The distances involved are comparable to those covered by the Greater London Rail Network.

Such a scheme could be implemented now, in time for the anticipated population increase of the next century.

2/6

When May suffers her night of the long Knives, who will fill her kitten shoes?

All of the Tory Cabinet are damaged goods and only a potential suicide would want to pick up the whip and try to unite them.

List them and see if you can pick out a capable leader.

Labour may be divided and pull in different directions but they have a leader, who will go where the Party wants to go.

Big campaign on mobile phones won’t last. There’s more cuts on the way.

March 7, 2017

Letter ( a bit ranty) to the Daily Mirror, editted.

27/1/2017
Raising the fines for motorists using a mobile phone won’t work.
Many consider it essential to their employment and that being caught is an acceptable risk.
The only way to change their behaviour is to increase the frequency of being caught.
This means more cops (LOL), some new technology, or access to phone records.
The last would have to be coupled with CCTV along Motorways etc.
The real problem is that it would be another intrusion into privacy and would probably be handled by someone like G4S.
Personally I can’t see it being stopped, especially as pressure on prisons is likely to make killing someone, whilst driving and phoning, is likely to incur a smaller fine.

#The only way to change the behaviour of mobile users is to increase the possibility of being caught. This means more police, new technology and access to mobile phone records.
Personally, I can’t see it being stopped.

It is immoral that we are helpless to prevent the party in power from deceitfully & deliberately reversing a manifesto pledge e.g. #NHS

March 7, 2017

This was a letter to the Daily Mirror , published but with a hard edit

22/2/17
With what’s happening to our NHS, it’s unbelievable, for me, that we are helpless to prevent it.
There was no mention of this destruction in any pre-election speeches.
In fact we were assured that the NHS was “safe” in Tory hands.
In normal circumstances, one can understand the need for Governments to have the stability of a five year term of office but the Sovereignty of Parliament becomes a farce, when the wishes of the Population are ignored as an irrelevance, even in times of War.
There needs to be a means for the population to demand a General Election, or, at least, a referendum on issues, which directly affect the whole population

#|t’s unbelievable what’s happening to our NHS and it has left me feeling helpless. There was no mention of plans to shut hospitals in any pre-election speeches. In fact, we were assured that the NHS was safe
in Tory hands. There must be a means for people to demand a referendum on huge issues.

some TV producers need to tune down the “atmosphere” and let us hear the dialogue

March 7, 2017

A letter to the Daily Mirror with minimal editting
22/2/17
Sound recordist Simon Clark is reported as putting the blame for poor sound quality on flat screen TV’s.
I don’t believe this is the case.
As someone with poor hearing, I use radio headphones to listen to TV.
More often the problem is “atmosphere”.
Trying to distinguish what is being said in noisy offices, restaurants, dance halls is too realistic.
It doesn’t happen in old Hollywood films, where the “atmosphere” is set as the stars walk into a noisy room, then once the dialogue starts, the “atmosphere” is tuned out.
The same complaint applies to football matches, where the commentators might as well give up and go for a pie.

WON’T LISTEN TO EXCUSE
#Sound recordist Simon Clark is reported as putting the blame for poor sound quality on flat screen TVs (Mirror, February 22). I don’t believe this.
As someone with poor hearing I use radio headphones to listen to the TV and more often the problem is “atmosphere”.
Trying to distinguish what is being said in noisy offices, restaurants, dance halls is too realistic.
It doesn’t happen in old Hollywood films, where the “atmosphere” is set as the stars walk into a noisy room, then once the dialogue starts it is tuned out. The same complaint applies to football matches, where the commentators might as well go for a pie.

various posts

October 9, 2016

Letters to daily Mirror : one printed

28/9/16
At a time when Labour has been pledged to a minimum wage of £10 per hour (£20,800 per year), it is unfathomable why there are people on vastly superior salaries seeking to grub even more.
It’s not just in football with Sam Allardyce trying to grab another £400k on top of his £3 million a year.
It’s banker’s with their obscene bonuses, CEO’s raiding pension funds, Politicians claiming unwarranted expenses.
The whole of the supertax strata is seemingly corrupt at a level, which I was brought up to believe as only existing among lesser nations.
I don’t know whether to feel sad, ashamed, or just bloody angry at those claiming to be our superiors and deserving of our respect and deference

Printed version

#At a time when Labour has pledged a minimum wage of £10 per hour,
it is unfathomable why there are people on vastly superior salaries
seeking to take even more.
It is not just in football with Sam Allardyce trying to grab another
£400,000 on top of his £3million a year, it’s investment bankers with
their obscene bonuses, chief executives being rewarded for failure and
our politicians claiming unwarranted expenses in Parliament.
I don’t know whether to feel sad, ashamed, or just downright angry.

2/10/16
Your editorial, in the Sunday Mirror, says that Mr Corbyn should accept that replacing Britain’s Trident nuclear system is official Labour policy.
I’m sure he has done, which is why it wasn’t tabled to be discussed at conference.
However the suggestion that he should do so with a smile on his face, shows a complete lack of awareness of why he is so popular with new members.
Voter’s see him as straightforward and a welcome change from the dissembling of most senior politicians of all parties.
The moment he swaps principle’s for false bonhomie is the moment he becomes just another untrusted politician.

2/10/16
If you steal something and are caught, you are punished and lose all rights to what you have stolen.
In the case of rape, where a child results, I can not see any valid reason why that same principle should not apply.
Of course Russell Melford should be denied all parental rights to access to the young girl born as a result of his crime.
But, just as a criminal  should also be made to compensate his victim, a rapist should be made to pay maintenance, when practicable, for the rearing of any subsequent children.
You can’t reject a Society’s rules and then expect to benefit from them.

5/10/16
In your article about George Osborne’s family firm not paying any tax, I was puzzled by the statement that the highest paid director had “earned” £639,000, despite the Company having made a £377,000 loss.
Obviously if the highest paid director had only “earned” £262,000, the Company would have not made any loss.
How can our politicians preside over a tax regime which allows a business’s profit margin be so blatantly eroded before the taxman even gets a look-in?
It seems obvious to me that that £639,000 was not “earned” and the solution to this sanctioned criminality, must be some form of cap on salaries and dividends, in relation to turnover.
Once Company tax has been assessed and paid, director’s can then dish out the remaining profit as bonuses and dividends, as they wish.
There is no way that zero-hour workers, should be subsidising these leeches, via a corrupt tax regime.

medals need a more tangible measure of gratitude attached.

September 1, 2016

Sent to Daily Mirror 29/8/16
I understand the Prince’s intent with the Purple Heart recommendation but its value is minimal.
I’ve heard it joked that G.I.’s could get one if they cut themselves shaving.
It would be a mockery to award one to those, who’ve lost limbs etc.
If we are to grant recognition. it needs to be more than just a badge/medal.
I would suggest that a pension and some kind of special pass, or concession, would be a better. more tangible and daily reminder of our gratitude.

As published (near enough the same)
I understand the Princes intent with the Purple Heart recommendation, but its value is minimal.
I’ve heard it joked that G.I.’s could get one if they cut themselves shaving.
It would be a mockery to award one to those who have lost limbs and suffered other injuries.
If we are to grant recognition, it needs to be more than just a badge.
I’d suggest that a pension and some kind of special pass or concession would be a better reminder of our gratitude

Other letters to Daily Mirror;  not published

21/7/16
Your editorial takes issue with Michael Caine for advocating National Service, with a comment about the young needing jobs not being trained to march and shoot.
However, the article referenced makes it clear that Michael Caine doesn’t advocate using them to be sent off to fight but rather that he feels it turned him and his generation into men.
I’ve seen how former pupils can be transformed into proud, self-confident adults, by a few years of Army life.
The point is that National Service doesn’t have to be about being trained to kill but rather being trained skills that transfer to being useful citizens.
At present, we have young men, testosterone surging, being tied to school desks, instead of being given an opportunity to release their energy in a productive way.
The recent water fight that ended in violence, the young muslims going off to join ISIS, the wanton vandalism and gang warfare could all be reduced by removing boys in years 10 and 11 from school and setting them challenges that let them test theirselves against common standards of self-discipline and fortitude found in Army training.
Maybe the Generals don’t want this role but their jobs isn’t to play soldiers, it’s to serve us in whatever capacity we demand of them and what better than a generation of fit confident young men with skills that can be used to help others and find future careers.
In times of Emergency, we call on the Army to deal with floods, train crashes, epidemics etc. What better, if people on the scene already have the training to cope.
5/8/16
Whilst I agree with Frances O’Grady about growing the economy by public spending on social housing, I can’t see how spending on HS2 will help.
Paying builder’s a bounty (or a tax break?) for new terraced houses will feed straight back into the domestic economy through British companies, supplier’s and employee’s.
The same can not be said of HS2.
HS2 is to be built by multi-nationals, using heavy machinery.
Some local employment will occur but it seems apparent that most of our tax money will filter abroad, possibly the USA, where only Uncle Sam and Wall Street will benefit.
All HS2 was ever intended to be was a vanity project, whether for Osborne, or for the EU, as some have claimed.
Who really needs to get from Central London to Central Manchester in 1 hour instead of 2?
If passengers need to travel from suburb to suburb, the trip would be cut from 4hours to 3hours.
Is that really the best way of using £1,000-£2,000 per head of population?
13/8/16
No doubt the Parliamentary Labour Party will be celebrating their victory in preventing genuine Labour party supporter’s from being able to vote for Jeremy Corbyn but it would have better validated
their position, if they hadn’t and Labour had then lost the next G.E.
As it stands if Jeremy Corbyn may be supplanted and Labour still lose the next G.E,.,
it will mean the extinction of Labour in Northerb England, as the popular vote flee’s the PLP , and the SNP consolidates its role in Scotland.
25/8/16
Politicians are citing Radical Islamic preacher Anjem Choudary as an example of the need for Social Media to censor its users.
In a perfect World this would seem to be a very simple solution but this is not a perfect World and this is asking some anonymous figure to be judge and jury on a public freedom.
Politicians shouldn’t be handing such a huge power into the hands of the rich and powerful.
If the likes of Choudhary are to be gagged, then it should be on the basis of criteria, which can be placed before a judge to obtain a court order.
It is alarming that highly rewarded politicians are asking for such a reckless attack on civil rights.
30/8/16
Jeremy Paxman was correct in his description of old age.
Everyone knows it. Dad’s Army was based around it.
When you get older, you learn to place each step and, as Billy Connoly said, you never miss a chance to go to the toilet, when you’re out.
The phrase “what did I come in here for?” is a standing joke for us old’uns.
Like too many, nowadays, Andrew Silk is overly sensitive about imagined slights.
31/8/16
Both the arrogant Jeremy Vine and the ranting motorist are in the right and both know their rights.
Further confrontations of these two groups is bound to happen, whilst they use the same roads.
The introduction of painted on cycle paths only adds to the problem.
I’d would love to buy a bicycle but as a motorist, I can see how dangerous it would be, especially during the rush hour, when people are focussed on getting there fast.
Motorists are constantly baulked by obstructions and many cyclists take extraordinary risks.
Local councils etc. need to look into how to separate not just these two groups but bikers, pedestrians, HGV’s and motability chairs.
Signs, fines and speed camera’s are no solution.

women’s pension theft

May 27, 2016
Letter to Daily Mirror 18/ 5/16 aqnd published version added beneath
Stephen Crabb’s description of a woman, born in the early 50’s, as “breezing through life not thinking” creates an image of a young, noodle-head girl skipping merrily down a country lane.
The reality is one of a woman growing up as rationing was just coming to an end.
Starting her working life in the sure and certain knowledge that The Welfare State would use a share of her Taxes and N.I. contributions to ensure that she would always have a financial safety net.
The Tories changed her pension age in 2011.
Assuming she was born in 1955 and began paying taxes at 18, she would have had 38 years paying in with 4 years to go, before retirement.
That’s not “breezing through life not thinking”.
That’s running 23.7 of the 26.2 miles of a marathon, then being told you must run another 3.1 miles and, in this particular case having another 1.2 miles added on, at the last minute.
This is neither fair, nor reasonable.
It’s certainly not practicable.
For the majority of ordinary people to be expected to find sufficient “spare” cash from their weekly wage, in a 5 year period, to pay for another 6 years of lost pension, is sick and all MP’s should feel ashamed of their callousness.
Published:
PENSIONS RATIONED
# Stephen Crabb’s description of a woman born in the early 50s as
“breezing through life not thinking” creates an image of a young,
noodle-headed girl skipping merrily along.
The reality is one of a woman growing up as rationing was just coming
to an end. She would start her working life safe in the knowledge that
the welfare state would use a share of her taxes and NI contributions to
ensure she would always have a financial safety net.
The Government changed her pension age in 2011. This is neither fair,
nor reasonable, and all MPs should feel ashamed of their callousness.