Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

@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.

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.

@TheGreenParty time to stop persecuting us for Global Warming and help us survive it

May 10, 2017

It’s now an established political truth that the World is getting hotter and it is caused by the burning of fossil fuels.
This is also persistently proclaimed, by climatologists, as a Scientifically proven truth.
So far, the consequences have all been political I.e. conferences, debates and treaties.
Industry has complied by switching from burning fossil fuels to building wind turbines and solar panels. All very laudable but to what purpose?
The population of the planet is increasing geometrically and so is the amount of Carbon dioxide that we are producing, just by breathing.
Assuming we can keep feeding everyone and there are no natural disasters, global warming will continue regardless.
Is it not time that the politicians and climatologists turned their efforts to gaining some benefit from all the money spent on these conferences and accords?
Instead of writing further learned treatises showing incontrovertible proof that Polar bears will become extinct, the ice caps will melt, sea levels rise and many major cities drowned.
Instead of this, perhaps the experts could turn their attention to coping with their doom-saying.
Perhaps, moving new building to higher ground, instead of constructing expensive stop-gaps like the Thames barrier. The alternative may lie in learning to live in our own sewage like Venice.
Perhaps investigating how agriculture should adapt to new crops and fisheries to new food species.
Perhaps we should stop crying over the polar bear. We won’t save it by signing bits of paper.
If we must conserve the polar bear, it’ll have to be in zoo’s and cryonic chambers.
Climatologists have made the sale: Instead of badgering us into feeling guilty they should begin to earn their research grants and show us ways to adapt to what they can’t truly prevent

VARIOUS BLOGS 8 (3/5/17)

May 3, 2017

letters to Daily Mirror. only one printed.
7/2/17
I find it hard to believe that Tiverton Town Council lost two full years of Council Documents.
The first thing that should be taught on computer security course is the grandfather, father storage system for files.
Even a basic Windows domestic PC platform will recommend a monthly backup of your files.
Computer memory is extremely cheap and fast nowadays; it should be a routine to save working files and archive others.
To lose two years worth can only be construed as mismanagement, or an administrative convenience.

10/2/17
What is the point of asking anyone on BBC’s Question Time, how they’d feel, if an elderly relative had had to wait 8 hours on a trolley in A&E?
This is root cause of the disaffection between voters and politicians.
We know that their elderly relatives would be snug and secure in a hospital bed, whilst most of ours were waiting for an ambulance.
The same applies with many of the public services, which the majority rely on, such as education, social care, pensions, public transport and so on.
Small wonder that panellists rarely answer questions directly, when they can not speak from a common experience

10/2/17
Why has the BBC started asking “when” we should be charged to see a GP?
The question should be what is the point of a GP, if you are going to charge to see them?
It’s the GP who does the initial diagnosis and then re-directs to a specialist, as needed.
It’s the GP, who judges, whether you should be allowed prescription medication.
It shouldn’t an overworked random intern in A&E.
In a civilised Society it shouldn’t be a return of Blackadder’s “wise woman”, or ancient folk remedies for the masses and a privatised NHS for our “betters”

22/2/17 (printed)
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.

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.

Printed version:

#|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.

24/2/17
Remind me why our Gas and Electricity were privatised.
To turn us into a shareholder nation? But if working people had enough spare cash to keep shares, Wonga and Visa would be out of business.
They were going to build new power stations etc., which is why some are still running decades after they were supposed to be closed down. It’s why the Government has agreed to pay an extortionate price for the French and Chinese to build a new nuclear power station.
Prices would come down through greater efficiency.
It’s all a nonsense, really. Instead of one overpaid CEO (like British Gas boss, Iain Conn), we have a dozen, each with a duplication of Accounts, Computer, Admin, PR, Sales and Advertising departments.
We have a whole industry badgering us to Switch suppliers, wasting a few more hours of our lives. Who pays for them?
I remember the bad old days, when the Nationalised Industries weren’t pre-occupied with maximising shareholder profits but with keeping the Nation supplied and minimising customer
complaints, delivered through badgered MP’s and Ministers. I even remember complaining about having to wait in for the gasman to bother to show up. Still some things never change.

25/2/17
Why are some Labour MP’s joining the Tory chorus of attacking Jeremy Corbyn?
It can’t just be the loss of Copeland, where the Labour vote has been dropping by thousands ever since the initial success of Blair’s Gov’t in ousting the “Sleaze” ridden Tory Gov’t.
Blair was encouraged to quit in favour of Brown, because of his unpopularity.
Brown lost the following election mainly because of his beggaring the Nation to bail out the banker’s but partly because of his “bigot” attack on a Labour supporter.
I think the latter carried more impact for the ordinary voter.
Miliband lost the next election and gave fuel to UKIP by further deriding Labour supporters and denying them the right to a referendum on the EU and by not challenging the Tory claim that Labour were not responsible with money.
Two elections lost but Corbyn has yet to lose an election.
Nevertheless, he has been subjected to so much abuse by MP’s of his own party, that Labour voters at the far Left and far Centrist have been given cause to withhold their vote.
Whether, or not, Corbyn is replaced, Labour looks set to lose the next election, unless the whole of the Parliamentary Labour Party starts singing from the same song sheet and a tune that all sections of the Labour vote can endorse.
Judging by recent comments, still being made by some MP’s, this will never happen.
No doubt there will be plenty of suggestions as to who can replace Jeremy Corbyn but they will all be tainted by either Blairite or Corbynista attacks and will lose votes from one of those sections of voters.
I fear we are about to lose our NHS and enter a period of far Right control, which will take us back to the 1930’s

26/2/17
Reading the article on the Sunday Mirror Poll, it says nearly two-thirds of Labour voters are satisfied with Corbyn staying as leader.
We need to grow on that and find out why the remaining voters aren’t happy.
It also says that over 5 in 6 think Labour has the right policies.
Presumably the remainder have some concern over particular issues.
We obviously need to consider what these may be, bearing in mind that you can’t please all the people all the time.
Perhaps further polls are needed but ones which seek to find what aspects of Tory policy concern their voters.
I can’t believe that all of their voters are happy with their policies on the NHS, prisons, police, HS2, trains and schools.

1/3/17
I was told that in order to sell their cars in the EU, Nissan had to agree to incorporate poorer but more expensive French components such as the nylon reeled electronic window winder (5 million imported parts per day).
If Nissan remains in the UK and has surcharges imposed by the Single Market, then Nissan would presumably be able to manufacture their own, better quality, components here.
They would be producing a superior product, more cheaply.
It would be worth the Government’s while to try to keep Nissan here, if they cared about the Economy and UK jobs.

3/3/17
Although I can’t endorse The Lords interference in the brexit process, their amendment has pointed up the lack of support for Theresa May’s intent to use the future of EU residents as a negotiation tactic.
This total lack of support must surely have lost her any hoped for leverage in her negotiations.
Her EU opponents will be confident that she can’t play this “chip”
Consequently she might as well go for the humane option of assuring all law-abiding EU citizens resident here that they will be allowed to stay, if a reciprocal arrangement is agreed
I would think that those, who do consider themselves as British, would formalise that status and apply for citizenship to avoid future problems.

5/3/17
I understand the logic of the Law against “stealing by finding” but I have strong sympathy for the woman prosecuted for pocketing a stray £20 note.
I have known a case where someone found a £20 note being blown along a beach.
Someone, who found one folded up on the floor of a packed New Year’s Eve pub.
Whom do you tell?
To whom would you pass it?
Legally, you take it to the police, you get a chitty and in 6 month’s time, if no-one has reported it lost, you are invited to claim it.
Would you be able to take it into a cop shop and explain what you were doing?
Would you be able to tell anyone that you had done this?
What if it was a 10p coin?
If you lost a £20 note would you report it to the Police, hoping to recover it?
There’s legality and morality and there’s a fear of ridicule.

13/3/17
I like the idea of futsal mentioned in the piece on Daniel Sturridge.
It made me wonder if its use of a smaller ball explained the dominance of South Americans.
The smaller size of the ball must mean a greater concentration on the ball, rather than the opponent.

13/3/17
Paul Maguire’s assessment, of Scotland’s income, suggests that an independent Scotland would need to go asking for financial support.
However, the example offered by brexit is that a political partition is like a divorce and it’s therefore likely that Sturgeon would probably be coming to Westminster seeking a financial settlement with alimony

13/3/17
Seeing all those Tory grandee’s, who’d held Cabinet posts during the Tory Sleaze years, sitting in the House of Lords, for the Brexit debate, made it clear that the second Chamber needed an overhaul.
My problem is that the House of Commons isn’t really that much better, with its own drones and money grabbing opportunists.
Do we need a second chamber, if it’s only going to be a copy of the first?
Either it will rubber stamp every bill, or worse, block every bill, regardless of its content.
If we do have a second talking shop, then it has to be elected and it has to be devoid of party political alliance.
Nobody, who has ever subscribed to, or donated to a political party should be eligible to hold office.
This would probably exclude most of the older generation and create a Junior house, more representative of the Nation, from which politicians, who’d proved their worth, might be promoted to the House of Commons.

23/3/17
When will terrorists realise that their actions achieve nothing positive.
Hitler was reported to have acknowledged that the terror bombing of places like Bath and Coventry did nothing towards winning the war.
The IRA bomb campaign did not achieve a United Ireland.
Daesh murders will not bring about a Caliphate.
Ordinary citizens can not affect any such changes.
Their deaths and maimings, whilst being condemned by national leaders, will not affect the actions of Governments, any more than accidents such as floods or train crashes.
The terrorists will not achieve fame, or admiration, or gratitude, from anyone, least of all those whom they believe they represent.
Individually, they will be unmourned and forgotten by any but their own families.
So, why try?

24/3/17
This is allegedly the most heavily observe country in The World, with innumerable CCTV camera’s spying on us.
The number of Police monitoring them is limited by the persistent repeated cuts to funding of all public services.
On the other hand, we have many isolated, often elderly, citizens with time on their hands.
It would seem that this army of potential watchers could be useful in some way.
For instance: in the case of low priority terrorist suspects, watchers could be assigned to simply take screen shots of visitors/contacts, with time stamps.
A police officer could take a daily dip into the relevant files (perhaps with several watchers having contributed).
Instead of having to observe suspects on a 24 hour basis, one officer could scan a hundred sites and then call up recorded video of particularly interesting clips.

29/3/17
I was concerned by your graphic showing “little or low clinical value medicines”
Those mentioned on the TV News were the low cost, possibly cosmetic and others, which most wouldn’t bother their GP over.
Top of the list for savings is a medication for an underactive thyroid.
This is a significant medication.
I remember watching my Mum shambling down the street, pop-eyed, swollen-necked and looking twice her age.
After diagnosis and treatment, she swiftly returned to a younger active working woman.
This medication can’t be cheap for the individual if it costs £31 million, for the whole NHS.
It certainly can’t be described as unnecessary
Such a policy is worthy of the USA’s “couldn’t care less” attitude to the health of their poor and shows the direction that the Tories and privatised Health Care is headed

9/4/17
John Prescot usually presents a sound point of view on most issues but his comparison of the Iraq war with the Falklands shows a disconnect with how most voters viewed both.
The Falklands War was about an invasion of British Territory and an attack on Brits.
The Falklands might be separated from us by a couple of thousand miles of ocean but that’s an irrelevance. To most of us, it could just as easily been the Outer Hebrides, which it resembles.
Maggie’s success, in protecting “us”, gave her an otherwise undeserved success in the following General Election.
Iraq was seen as a murderous intervention in another nation’s affairs, at the bidding of the US President. The suspicion that it was about oil wealth didn’t help.
In the context of Gibraltar, Howard’s main fault, apart from being Gung-Ho, was in thinking that Spain might do any more than wave a red flag at us.

11/4/17
George Osborne, editor of the Evening Standard, formerly Chancellor of the Exchequer, presumably okayed the sale of some more Lloyds’ shares at £40 million less than we paid for them.
We’re told that some were bought by Black Rock, who coincidentally hired him for his expert advice and contacts.

Now it’s reported that the “entirely independent” head of the NHS is to ask the Treasury if he can borrow £10 Billion from Hedge Funds, presumably at a generous rate of interest.
If the Treasury agrees, will it be the hedge fund that Mrs May’s Hubby works for?

I’d be surprised, if not, but it’s no surprise that voters have contempt for politicians, who create the relevant laws and promulgate practices, which enable them to legitimately raid the National coffers, whilst protesting that their dealings are perfectly legal and above board.

Mr. Cameron’s involvement in tax havens, his father-in-law’s wind farm subsidy, The Lords attendance fees, MP’s OTT expense claims, Jeremy Hunt’s £12million windfall, all the other perfectly legitimate tax-payer funded activities, such as privatising rail, education and NHS contracts can all be explained away and protests brushed off, as lacking merit.

But the stench of corruption lingers outside Westminster, where they are so accustomed to the smell that they no longer notice it.

Reports on A&E queues, on people dying because of ambulance delays, on shabby, privatised care homes, on homeless people escaping reality by using Spice, on schools asking parents for funds, on tent cities forming and all the other reports on the by-products of this corruption are becoming very noticeable to voters

19/4/17
Why do sites like Ticketmaster have to be so scammy?
I had to book two ticket to Queen for my wife and daughter @ £69 each but by the time I had jumped through all the hoops and accepted all the add-ons, the final price was about £87 each.
They know that customers of such events will accept the add-ons, so why not be up front and just charge a flat £90.
They know it will be paid and instead of irritating fans, they could hand out free souvenirs to earn bouquets, instead of brickbats.

The final £50 voucher for Hotels.com is just snide.

25/4/17
I was pleased with the verdict in the candy-striped house case; more so with the the decision by the judge that the Council had misused their powers under the Town and country planning Act 1990.

My understanding was that this sort of legislation was originally brought in to stop the creation of slums and shanty towns, ensuring that all housing was safe and fit to live in.

Legislation then let it creep to protecting “Our great houses”
It has, since, been extended to the protection of the character of “charming villages” and “industrial heritage” sites and now to any ordinary house with neighbours, who have friends on the Council.

A cottage in Kennford, Devon was apparently the wrong shade of pink, another in Inverclyde was the wrong shade of cream. In both cases, Councils used their muscle to intimidate the owners.

I’ve no doubt there have been numerous other similar cases of bullying.

The candy stripe house was an extreme example of not “fitting in” but its owner was just awkward enough to fight the bureaucracy, which no longer works to serve the public but sees itself as having manorial rights.

Unfortunately, the move towards mayoralties will probably negate this ruling as each local fiefdom begins to create its own Laws to suit the whim of whomsoever has been ceded power.

30/4/17
John Prescott is right on many issues but is wrong on GE1997
Labour didn’t win that election, so much as the Tories were thrown out of office by a disgusted electorate.
Yes, Labour did a lot of good but it also did a lot that was disliked by the voters (mainly via Blunkett) and this showed in the vote share in successive GE’s.
It wasn’t just Iraq that allowed the Tories back in. It was a generation who’d forgotten what happened under the Tories.
Those people need to be made to look at what they’ve done this time in terms of food banks, homelessness, prisons, police, fire services, post office, banks, NHS and other aspects of Austerity.

#brexit @leave.eu I filched this from the fuller-money newsletter. Shows what the money men think of the EU

May 3, 2017
On a baking hot day in July 2015 Greece’s radical-Left Syriza government won a spectacular mandate to defy the austerity regime of the EU-IMF Troika.

Against all expectations, 61pc of the Greek people voted in a referendum to reject the Carthaginian terms of their latest bail-out deal, a scorched-earth ‘Memorandum’ described by a young French economy minister named Emmanuel Macron as a “modern day version of the Versailles Treaty”.

It seemed as if the long-running showdown between Athens and the EU authorities had reached an explosive juncture. Markets were braced for the ejection of Greece from the euro in short order. Monetary union was on the verge of break-up.

Yet the rebel victory instantly and inexplicably metamorphosed into surrender, and with it died the final hopes of the European Left. Premier Alexis Tsipras stunned his own people and the world by announcing that there would be no rupture with the Troika after all, and furthermore that he would join hands with the conservative cadres of Greece’s ancien regime.

The extraordinary developments are recounted by Yanis Varoufakis in his deeply unsettling account, ‘Adults In The Room, My Battle With Europe’s Deep Establishment’, published in extracts in the Telegraph. What the former finance minister reveals is that leaders of the Syriza government were seriously worried about dark forces in the shadows. They were frightened.

Vested interests with huge sums at stake – within Greece, and implicitly across the eurozone – were prepared to defend the existing financial order by any means necessary. The prime minister feared a military coup.

His warnings to Mr Varoufakis in soul-searching talks that night certainly raise eyebrows, all vividly narrated in a subchapter entitled ‘the overthrowing of a people’.

The final days of the referendum were surreal. Unbeknownst to the Greek people, Alexis Tsipras had called the snap-vote expecting to lose. Most of the Syriza leaders did not campaign. What they wanted was an “emergency exit”, calculating that a respectable defeat would give them a way out after boxing themselves into a corner.

But humiliated and long-suffering Greeks instead seized on the chance to express their defiance, rising to a “gigantic celebration of freedom from fear” in the final intoxicating rally at Syntagma Square.

And:

As the scale of the victory became clear on election day Mr Varoufakis penned a triumphant piece. “In 1967, foreign powers, in cahoots with local stooges, used tanks to overthrow Greek democracy. In 2015 foreign powers tried to do the same by using the banks. But they came up against an insanely brave people who refused to submit to fear.”

He then went to join the victory party at the prime minister’s Maximos Mansion, only to discover that the betrayal of the vote was already under way. “As I walked in, Maximos felt as cold as a morgue, as joyful as a cemetery. The ministers and functionaries I encountered looked numb, uncomfortable in my presence, as if they had just suffered a major electoral defeat,” he said.

Only he and his wife Danae were wearing jeans, once de rigueur in Syriza circles. “Sitting there, I began noticing things about the people around me that had previously escaped me. The men resembled accountants. The women were dressed as if for a state gala,” he said. They were like the pigs on two legs, drinking with men, glimpsed through the window in George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

Mr Varoufakis told the prime minister that it was his duty to honour the referendum, that he should seize on the thundering expression of popular will to escalate Greece’s war of resistance, and to present the ECB and Berlin with a stark choice. It was wasted breath. The decision to accept what he calls “unconditional surrender” had already been taken, and a new finance minister willing to go along with this volte face had already been picked.

David Fuller’s view

The EU has been a costly mistake since the launch of the single currency in 1999, without a Federal State to deal with the inevitable inequities between individual states (formerly independent countries) which would arise.  EU bureaucrats knew that they did not have the votes for a Federal Union.  Nevertheless, they undermined democracies in the region and also their economic prosperity by launching the Euro in an environment which several centuries of previous history showed was bound to fail.

Subsequently, unofficially centralised governance within the EU resembles a left-wing mafia rather than a healthy democracy.  That is what Prime Minister Theresa May faces, despite her best efforts to sincerely promote an agreement in the mutual interests of both a departing UK and also the EU. Fortunately, she now realises this, as do a sufficient proportion of the UK electorate to give her a significant majority.  That may not influence the EU but it will help the UK to first deal with turbulence following a hasty exit from the EU before fulfilling its potential in the global economy.

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.

various blogs 7 (5/3/17)

March 7, 2017

5/3/17
I understand the logic of the Law against “stealing by finding” but I have strong sympathy for the woman prosecuted for pocketing a stray £20 note.
I have known a case where someone found a £20 note being blown along a beach.
Someone, who found one folded up on the floor of a packed New Year’s Eve pub.
Whom do you tell?
To whom would you pass it?
Legally, you take it to the police, you get a chitty and in 6 month’s time, if no-one has reported it lost, you are invited to claim it.
Would you be able to take it into a cop shop and explain what you were doing?
Would you be able to tell anyone that you had done this?
What if it was a 10p coin?
If you lost a £20 note would you report it to the Police, hoping to recover it?
There’s legality and morality and there’s a fear of ridicule.

3/3/17
Although I can’t endorse The Lords interference in the brexit process, their amendment has pointed up the lack of support for Theresa May’s intent to use the future of EU residents as a negotiation tactic.
This total lack of support must surely have lost her any hoped for leverage in her negotiations.
Her EU opponents will be confident that she can’t play this “chip”
Consequently she might as well go for the humane option of assuring all law-abiding EU citizens resident here that they will be allowed to stay, if a reciprocal arrangement is agreed
I would think that those, who do consider themselves as British, would formalise that status and apply for citizenship to avoid future problems.
1/3/17
I was told that in order to sell their cars in the EU, Nissan had to agree to incorporate poorer but more expensive French components such as the nylon reeled electronic window winder (5 million imported parts per day).
If Nissan remains in the UK and has surcharges imposed by the Single Market, then Nissan would presumably be able to manufacture their own, better quality, components here.
They would be producing a superior product, more cheaply.
It would be worth the Government’s while to try to keep Nissan here, if they cared about the Economy and UK jobs.
26/2/17
Reading the article on the Sunday Mirror Poll, it says nearly two-thirds of Labour voters are satisfied with Corbyn staying as leader.
We need to grow on that and find out why the remaining voters aren’t happy.
It also says that over 5 in 6 think Labour has the right policies.
Presumably the remainder have some concern over particular issues.
We obviously need to consider what these may be, bearing in mind that you can’t please all the people all the time.
Perhaps further polls are needed but ones which seek to find what aspects of Tory policy concern their voters.
I can’t believe that all of their voters are happy with their policies on the NHS, prisons, police, HS2, trains and schools.

25/2/17
Why are some Labour MP’s joining the Tory chorus of attacking Jeremy Corbyn?
It can’t just be the loss of Copeland, where the Labour vote has been dropping by thousands ever since the initial success of Blair’s Gov’t in ousting the “Sleaze” ridden Tory Gov’t.
Blair was encouraged to quit in favour of Brown, because of his unpopularity.
Brown lost the following election mainly because of his beggaring the Nation to bail out the banker’s but partly because of his “bigot” attack on a Labour supporter.
I think the latter carried more impact for the ordinary voter.
Miliband lost the next election and gave fuel to UKIP by further deriding Labour supporters and denying them the right to a referendum on the EU and by not challenging the Tory claim that Labour were not responsible with money.
Two elections lost but Corbyn has yet to lose an election.
Nevertheless, he has been subjected to so much abuse by MP’s of his own party, that Labour voters at the far Left and far Centrist have been given cause to withhold their vote.
Whether, or not, Corbyn is replaced, Labour looks set to lose the next election, unless the whole of the Parliamentary Labour Party starts singing from the same song sheet and a tune that all sections of the Labour vote can endorse.
Judging by recent comments, still being made by some MP’s, this will never happen.
No doubt there will be plenty of suggestions as to who can replace Jeremy Corbyn but they will all be tainted by either Blairite or Corbynista attacks and will lose votes from one of those sections of voters.
I fear we are about to lose our NHS and enter a period of far Right control, which will take us back to the 1930’s

24/2/17
Remind me why our Gas and Electricity were privatised.
To turn us into a shareholder nation? But if working people had enough spare cash to keep shares, Wonga and Visa would be out of business.
They were going to build new power stations etc., which is why some are still running decades after they were supposed to be closed down. It’s why the Government has agreed to pay an extortionate price for the French and Chinese to build a new nuclear power station.
Prices would come down through greater efficiency.
It’s all a nonsense, really. Instead of one overpaid CEO (like British Gas boss, Iain Conn), we have a dozen, each with a duplication of Accounts, Computer, Admin, PR, Sales and Advertising departments.
We have a whole industry badgering us to Switch suppliers, wasting a few more hours of our lives. Who pays for them?
I remember the bad old days, when the Nationalised Industries weren’t pre-occupied with maximising shareholder profits but with keeping the Nation supplied and minimising customer complaints, delivered through badgered MP’s and Ministers. I even remember complaining about having to wait in for the gasman to bother to show up. Still some things never change.

10/2/17
Why has the BBC started asking “when” we should be charged to see a GP?
The question should be what is the point of a GP, if you are going to charge to see them?
It’s the GP who does the initial diagnosis and then re-directs to a specialist, as needed.
It’s the GP, who judges, whether you should be allowed prescription medication.
It shouldn’t an overworked random intern in A&E.
In a civilised Society it shouldn’t be a return of Blackadder’s “wise woman”, or ancient folk remedies for the masses and a privatised NHS for our “betters”

10/2/17
What is the point of asking anyone on BBC’s Question Time, how they’d feel, if an elderly relative had had to wait 8 hours on a trolley in A&E?
This is root cause of the disaffection between voters and politicians.
We know that their elderly relatives would be snug and secure in a hospital bed, whilst most of ours were waiting for an ambulance.

The same applies with many of the public services, which the majority rely on, such as education, social care, pensions, public transport and so on.
Small wonder that panellists rarely answer questions directly, when they can not speak from a common experience

7/2/17
I find it hard to believe that Tiverton Town Council lost two full years of Council Documents.
The first thing that should be taught on computer security course is the grandfather, father storage system for files.
Even a basic Windows domestic PC platform will recommend a monthly backup of your files.
Computer memory is extremely cheap and fast nowadays; it should be a routine to save working files and archive others.
To lose two years worth can only be construed as mismanagement, or an administrative convenience.
5/2/17
I have to agree with Saira Khan’s support of MP’s taking their babies into The Commons.
After all who’d notice, if one began screaming its head off during PMQ’s.
5/2/17
When HS2 was first announced, the price tag was given as £40 Bn, quickly revised to £50 Bn.
Although some pundits suggested that it might be £80 Bn, when finally underway, it has been consistently priced at £50-60 Bn.
Then this morning, I’m sure the figure of £90 Bn slipped off Andrew Marr’s tongue.
These slipping figures seem so slight, one thinks of only another £10 Bn increase at a time.
Then one asks how much has NHS funding been cut by the Tories and feels despair.
One also has to ask if HS2 will be necessary, once the Northern Powerhouse is underway and businesses realise that there are great ports at either end of these linked cities, with greater room for airport expansion and new cheaper housing.
Who is pushing for HS2 and why?
5/2/17
Your piece in the Sunday Mirror questioning the Honour’s System and the lack of a knighthood for David Beckham, does form an indictment of decisions being made by those claiming to represent us.
A more honourable system would be if such honours were decided by populist vote.
Of course, this is unlikely to happen when the likes of Lord Prescott, who having been on the wrong side of two referenda, has expressed a distaste for them.
He says, in the same issue of the Sunday Mirror, that he prefers the sovereignty of Parliament, over populist sovereignty.
He was happy to become an MP by populist vote but like many other MP’s (past and present) of both parties, he now expresses contempt for the ability of the People to make rational choices.
How can we respect such people, who are repeatedly telling us that decisions on Honours and Government policy can not be entrusted to us and, moreover, should in many cases, be kept secret from us, until an irrevocable decision has been made and published?
2/2/17
Candidates in local bye-elections are supporting constituency view on #brexit, although, for some, it’s contrary to their own views.
On the other hand, we are repeatedly told by MP’s that they are entitled to vote in Parliament, according to their own consciences, regardless of voter, leader, or constituency wishes.
what are we actually being asked to vote for, if candidates can be so blatantly hypocritical in their campaigning?

27/1/17
Gina Miller’s court case was, allegedly, merely to establish the Sovereignty of Parliament.
It was successful, so what does it matter if MP’s are only being asked for permission to sign Article50
signing Article50 doesn’t commit us to any pre-conditions, it merely initiates the avowed intent of all parties to obey the plebiscite’s wish to leave the EU?
I’m sure every step of the negotiations will be reported and chewed over, every step of the way.
Every agreed point will be objected to in Parliament, with the time limit reached before our Sovereign Parliament has reached any concensus about what the 27 EU leaders have been prepared to concede.

27/1/17
Just before Blair issued his demand, for more homework, OFSTED had announced that Homework was of little benefit except in certain instances such as in Maths.
Blunkett then demanded minimum amounts for all pupils, regardless of relevance.
It then became a duty of teacher’s to set, mark and (especially) record such work.
Some pupils are incapable of such an effort and were ordered to be punished for their failure to comply, creating resentful and disruptive pupils.
Compulsory homework has been the cause of most of the social problems in schools.

Why doesn’t Big Business get together and build a new Capital City and leave London to the hired help.

February 26, 2017

What if the cost of business rates etc. in London were hurting profits, wouldn’t it pay a Consortium to create a new Business Capital.
Pick some place with lots of brown land property, central to the largest connurbations, with adequate transport links close-by.
I’m thinking somewhere at the base of the Pennines but somewhere like Huddersfield might be an alternative, used as a Northern Capital, leaving London for politicians and tourists.
This new Capital (or second Capital) would serve as the business capital.
It would be laid out with an ergonomic view to function and futurosity.
My personal choice would be based on the human body

{ i.e. A large area for inward goods and warehousing would be the mouth and stomach. The Admin and Head Offices would be next with Entertainment and Service businesses following. Finally would come the lowly manufacturing, waste management and export facilities. The body of the population would be housed on either side of this alimentary canal.One side would be cheap housing and the other would be executive housing (just like A US railway town). The whole thing would have buffer regions for future expansion/contraction and re-routing, as new or different modes of transport arose and to allow for major disruptions. There would be large underground tunnels (blood vessels) to incorporate the utilities and reduce the digging up of roads.}

Whatever the chosen layout, its main importance would be to ditch London and its associated problems of patchwork structure, potential flooding, high pollution, commuter snarl-ups, high living costs etc.

Consider; Business and the population don’t need to be in London for access to Parliament.
All Government produces is Newspaper copy and verbiage, which can all be obtained digitally.
In fact the only reason that Business has its HQ’s in London, is because Business has its HQ’s in London. Any other place would serve as well. At least that’s the reason used by banks to continually threaten to move, unless Government gives them more money.
Covent Garden, National Theatre, The Oval etc. can all be re-located in purpose built venues in the new Entertainment zone.
There is nothing London can offer, which can’t be improved on and replaced in a new capital