Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

In a sickening twist to the election campaign, Labour has targetted 250,000 women to receive postcards warning that a Tory government would kill them by delaying treatment for breast cancer. Many of the targetted individuals have personal experience of the disease.

There is some question as to what data was used to select these people for the personalised mailshot, but even if it was from statistical analysis rather than access to medical records such an advertising campaign goes well beyond the usual war of words between the two parties.

Targetting these people is bad enough, but surely it would have been far mare palatable to promote the proveable improvements in care brought in by the current government rather than the speculative decline under a future one.

Labour have unveiled their new election poster depicting David Cameron sat on the front of a red Audi Quattro. Depicting the oposition as a cult hero probably isn’t the message they were trying to get across, but give most people the choice and Gene Hunt (non-pc, detective from hit series Ashes to Ashes) would probably gain more votes than any of the party leaders.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Mr Cameron would take Britain back to the “meaner and more brutal” Britain of the 1980s. I suppose this is supposed to be worse than the namby-pamby Labour years when criminals are let off with a slapped wrist and a fine that they’ll never bother to pay.

Had to come back and edit this one…

Labour unveiled their poster at 10:40am

By 2:45pm the Conservatives had retaliated with their own take…

In case you can’t read the small print “Idea kindly donated by the Labour Party”

No suprise that police made dozens of arrests at the English Defence League demonstration  in Bolton yesteday, what does suprise me however, is that the police have admitted that the majority of arrests were from the anti-fascist demonstrators.

Ever since the Oldham Riots, I’ve suspected that the Anti-Fascist League (AFL), Unite Against Fascism (UAF) and similar groups are more dangerous (physically) than the people they are protesting about. My understanding of the situation in Oldham was that protesters turned up to confront a BNP rally that was rumoured to be taking place but when the BNP failed to arrive they got on with the rioting anyway!!

As with the BNP, the English Defence League’s (EDL) motives are open to interpretation. They say that they are not bothered about race, are non-political and non-violent but are concerned about the rise in radical Islam throughout this country. How you wish to take that is up to you.

What is clear though is that these high profile anti-fascist groups are thoroughly and violently against the freedom of speech (unless of course it agrees with their views). This is a right that the anti crowd would have you believe that they are defending.  They have an equal right to demonstrate against the views of the EDL, but the way these evendts descend into violence is a worrying trend.

If Nick Griffin’s accusations are true about the political financing of these groups then I would call on those parties to hold an urgent review of what is essentially the funding of terrorism.

It seems moves are afoot to try and con pensioners into shelling out for the controversial National Identity Card.

Meg Hillier, the Home Office minister in charge of scheme, said “a number of local authorities” had been in touch to ask whether they had to continue to issue bus passes, if the card proves age why do we need to have bus passes for 60-plus year-olds?

My question is, if the local authorities only see a need to prove age, why not accept other forms of ID? Passports and driving licenses have been around far longer and have a better take-up than the despised identity card.

Should we really start hammering cash strapped pensioners with a £90 charge for their mobility as a way for the government to push its pet white elephant?

Catholic Care a religious adoption society has won a High Court battle to allow it to continue refusing to place children with gay couples.

Jonathan Finney, head of external affairs at gay rights charity Stonewall, said: “It’s unthinkable that anyone engaged in delivering any kind of public or publicly funded service should be given licence to pick and choose service users on the basis of individual prejudice.”

What Johnathan fails to see, is that the prospective parents (gay or otherwise) are NOT the “service users” here (and what a horrendous term that is to use in this context), the important person is the child awaiting adoption. It is the child that has the right to be placed with good parents, any rights  the parents themselves have are secondary.

The problem with pressure groups like Stonewall is that even if gay couples were considered for adoptive parents, the group would still cry foul if an arbitrary quota of gay couples weren’t allowed to adopt!

Whilst each case should be judged on it’s own merits and I’m sure some gay couples will tick all the boxes for material and physical care of a child they face a huge stumbling block when it comes to the child’s mental care.

It’s actually not the fault of the prospective gay parents themselves, the problem comes from peer pressure. Puberty is a hard enough time in a child’s life to start with, trying to fit in and make your place in the world, add the uncertainty that comes from being adopted and it becomes even harder.

Added into the mix, a child at that age is suddenly confused by all the chemical changes in their body caused by their developing sexual maturity which makes homophobia rife in that age group. It doesn’t matter how politically correct our children are brought up, you’re dealing with primal forces which define their actions during that period.

It’s going to take a very strong child to deal with all that plus the unfortunate stigma of having gay parents. Without the benefit of hindsight, how can we judge which chilren will be able to cope and which won’t?

If we can’t be sure, is it right to add another element of risk or should adoption agencies stick with a more natural family make-up?

With Jon Venables, one of Jamie Bulger’s killers, back behind bars there are calls on the government to reveal the details of why he has been recelled.

You may believe that Jamie’s killers didn’t serve a long enough sentence (or should never have been released) but our justice system has determined that they have served the penalty for their crimes so they have the right to go out and live within society. In this case (and several others) this has meant a great deal of expence thanks to the mob-mentality stirred up by the tabloids.

At the moment Venebles has recalled for breaking his licence (there are still strict conditions on his freedom) in Jack Straw’s words “extremely serious allegations” have been made against him, but until it is determined whether these are true or not – probably through a trial, it seems right for his anonymity to remain protected if only to protect the financial investment already made in providing it.

If he is found guilty of further crimes it will no doubt be seen as proof that these types of offenders can’t be rehabilitated, but we have to bear in mind that to our knowledge Robert Thompson is still following the straight and narrow and Mary Bell, who was convicted of a similarly shocking crime at the age of 11 has remained free since 1980 with no allegations of reoffending.

Personally, I belive that the anonymity given to these people should be limited to a ban on reporting, a new name and a new location in this country. It should then be down to the convicted criminal to keep their heads down and not draw attention to themselves (if as rumoured Maxine Carr was given plastic surgery and moved to another country that would be  going too far in my opinion)

In documents released under the Freedom of Information Act, the Daily Express has revealed that Labour’s policy of mass imigration was expected to raise strong opposition, but that the government decided to ignore the racist views of the voters.

Whether the views of the voters are racist or (as I believe to be the case) not, this government seems to forget that it was elected to represent the voters, not to dictate to them, another sign that Labour has been in power too long and should be kicked out at the earliest opportunity.

I strongly believe that there is a streak of xenophobia that runs through British society (I suspect that it is the same in all cultures) but there is also a huge streak of fair play that overcomes it.

We express reservations when a new wave of migrants comes here, but given a short time in which they prove that they are willing to work and contribute to society, for most people, those reservations evaporate. This has pretty much held true throughout the centuries until recently when political correctness has raised it’s ugly head.

The PC brigade try to bypass the natural acceptance process by making the newcomers more equal by laying down laws to make sure that impose quotas for everyone but the majority. In the short term these policies might actually work, but the policy itself is racist and far more dangerously,  in the long term, breeds resentment in the population who now consider themselves to be the ones being treated unfairly.  It also leads those that get the PC benefits into a culture of separation, they don’t want to consider themselves British because then they wouldn’t get the favourable treatment.

We’ve no axe to grind against the majority of legal immigrants and on the whole they are treated with respect, but surely we have the right to expect an equal respect from those entering the country and a right to say, this is our country, these are our rules.

Snow Joke

on February 20, 2010 in Politics 8 Comments »

Greater Manchester PoliceI was shocked to hear this week that Greater Manchester Police has thrown all common sense out of the window and decided to class incidents of snowball throwing as “serious violent crime” even though none of the incidents led to injury.

As if their crime statistics weren’t bad enough to start with there seems to be a culture of over-egging the pudding, it doesn’t help that none of these miniature sub-zero terrorists has been traced, bumping up the unsolved-crime rate.

Granted, with the amount of bureaucracy policing involves these days writing a report on serious crime is probably a good way to stay inside during the cold spell we’ve been having, contributing to the 6 million hours a year lost to form filling.

There has been some criticism of whoever called the police when the kids started throwing snowballs, but to be fair, it’s got to the point where you daren’t challenge them.
Gone are the days that you could shout at the kids and they’d disappear off and keep their heads down for a bit, now you’ll get a torrent of abuse and a police officer at your doorstep (within 5 minutes) arresting you for hurting their feelings!!!

To stop the generational descent into barbarianism we need to take action quickly. The police need to be relieved of the red-tape that is hampering their efforts and have their common sense reinstated. Parents also need to be made responsible for their children’s behaviour so that police can go back to using the time honoured tradition of the “clip round the ear”

This “clip” in this day and age wouldn’t be physical chastisement, but it is wrong to either drag children through the courts for minor offences or let them off because it is a waste of resources to pursue it.

In this case the “clip” should be an order to make good any damage done (preferably with the child involved in the repair not just by the parent digging into their pocket) or it could be a small community punishment that once completed wipes the slate clean. Either way, the parent should be the one responsible for seeing that the task is carried out and could face further proceedings if not complied with.


on February 7, 2010 in Politics 2 Comments »

Parliament seems surprised that the expenses scandal is still an issue, after all they’ve told us they’ll behave better in the future!!!!

The fact that the rules (and they haven’t yet been changed) are so lax that only four MPs are currently going to be charged over the scandal seems to be unimportant to those still standing by the trough.

It makes sense to me that MPs need a second home close to parliament in order to do their job and that to allow MPs from all walks of life, they should be able to claim expenses for it (not choose the most profitable one to claim on).

The point is, however, that home doesn’t have to be a mansion in Kensington, it doesn’t have to be furnished with antiques and it doesn’t need a 72″ plasma TV to keep them up to date with the news.

Instead of second home expenses, we need to pay a fixed allowance based on running a reasonably affordable home in the area, then the MP can choose whether they want to spend their own cash to improve on that or if they really want to, live more frugally and pocket the savings.

I don’t see why MPs can’t employ their relatives (I’m sure most wives/husbands work to help their partners anyway) but wage levels need to be set centrally and audited to check that the jobs that are paid for are being carried out.

Until we see hard and fast rules in place to stop abuse of the expenses system though, this topic is going to rumble on and on and on and…

Years ago when I wasted some time at university I took out one of those student loan things (well beer doesn’t come cheap you know) and basically, I don’t need to pay anything back until I’m earning above the average wage.

Last year that came to £2161 a month (just under £26k a year). Now, with the recession and everything, I assumed that there wouldn’t be much difference, in fact with all the fat cat bankers and money launderers going out of business maybe the threshold would come down.

Anyway, deferment time is rapidly approaching, so I went online to check where I stood (I’ve never earned above the average wage so far, but sometimes I get a month, with overtime, which would put me above the monthly limit so I try to make sure I don’t get one of those in the three wage slips they assess me on)

To my suprise, despite times being hard the average wage has gone up to £27k, around £100 a month more than it was last year (a 4% rise).

With a lot of perople at the lower end of the scale feeling the pinch and being told there’s no money in the pot for wage rises, I wonder who it is that is raking it in…