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Monday, 20 November 2017

New Agenda on Sunday. is out! Edition of 19th November 2017

https://paper.li/f-1346065353#/



Good morning everyone.


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Meanwhile, back in Jersey, a story caught my eye which actually caused me to chuckle. I suppose I should not laugh as it was a "crininal" act, but there was something about the events which grabbed my probably warped sense of humour. A member of staff at the Old Court House, a hotel and restaurant in St Aubin, saw a man sitting alone in the upstairs bar area and told him that if he wanted to stay in that area he had to eat. It transpired that the man was in fact homeless, but never the less ordered a Prawn cocktail, Rib eye steak with vegetables, wine, a bottle of Dom Perignon and a room. Producing a driving licence as identification, the man did not pay but later was seen by staff wandering off to his £150 per night room, clutching two further bottles of wine. The following morning it was discovered that there was no sign of him and his bed had not been slept in. He was later arrested and charged with "criminally and fraudulently obtaining food and lodgings". Sentancing him to repay the hotel for losses, he was also bound over to be of good behaviour for 12 months. Michael Andrew Phillips told officers that he "had very little recollection of the evening".

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My e-mail inbox and my front door letter box, and no doubt yours too, is being bombarded by interminable adverts, leafleats, circulars pamphlets and other unsolicited forms of literature, all advising me that "Black Firday 2017" has arrived. Black Friday, another American invention which occurs with monotonous regularity every 12 months inducing us to spend inordinate amounts of money (usually credit cards) on every item imaginable, the majority of which we neither want nor care about. The problem that I have with "Black Friday" is that it lasts for all of 240 hours or 10 days if you prefer and no sooer ends than it is immediately replaced with "Sonic Saturday" or "Manic Monday" or some other nonsensical label, heralding another 10 days of "shopping opportunities". This manufacturer/shop and store foolishness is no more than a cynical invention designed to induce people to spend money and to generate more profits for companies. This obscene feeding frenzy lasts right into Christmas Eve and then the "Sales" commence. Is there no end to this insanity?


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I find it very sad, if not tragic, how the world and is media can, quite rightly be incensed and outraged by the ethnic cleansing being inflicted upon the Rohingya people by the military and government of Myanmar and yet at the same time be completely insensible and silent on the ethnic cleansing being carried out in Jerusalem and the occupied territories of Palestine by the Israeli government.
There are indeed double standards being exercised by the international community for the last 70 years concerning the plight of the Palestinian people.

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Swing Low Sweet Chariot!
England 30pts Australia 6 pts. Perhaps the scoreline does flatter England a little, but on a very wet day with the ball like a piece of soap, the Twickenham crowd, the watching TV audience and even those like me who had to watch recorded highligts (because I refuse, point blank, to pour even more money into Rupert Murdoch's already bulging pockets by subscribing to Sky Sports), were treated to a thrilling game which on balance seems to be the right result.
Thr Australian people generally, refer to us as "Whinging Poms". Strange then that the whinging on this occasion came from the men in Gold shirts who were not happy with the referee or the TMO.

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Have you been watching "Howards End"? We missed the first episode but caught up with the "action" on BBC Player last night.We turned off about three quarters of the way through and shall not bother to watch the remaining episodes. Why do the producers/directors and other production people of modern day drama believe that it is absolutely essential to drown out the dialogue from the actors with loud, intrusive and over bearing ", music" practically throughout the entire programme. I have complained to the BBC on numerous occasions about this obsession on other programmes but have never received a response. Perhaps they are deaf as a result of the incessant and overpowering "music".

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Still no snow! The forecasters are still predicting the white stuff. White Christmas?

Have a nice week






Saturday, 18 November 2017

Empty rhetoric on easing council borrowing restrictions will not produce any Council houses.


Hammond set to announce badly needed boost to council housebuilding

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In next week's Budget, Chancellor Hammond will propose "lifting the strict borrowing caps imposed on local authorities", in order to boost council house building. Empty rhetoric from a bankrupt government, devoid of any intention of actually getting to grips with the nationwide housing crisis, but seeking some headlines with soundbite and spin. The Hammond "initiative" pre supposes that those councils actually allowed to "borrow money" will take up the privilege and moreover will allocate the "new money" to the provision of social house building.
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The historic evidence of easing restrictions on Council borrowing, tells us that such councils invariably resort to projects which are most likely to increase council balances in the short to medium term and are usually concerned with building offices and hotels rather that housing. Where any houses might be built, they are usually for "low cost, affordable homes", which are of low cost and affordable only to the first purchaser, and are quickly absorbed into the inflated "housing market". In any case, even these houses are of such miniscule numbers as to be totally insignificant to the overall numbers required.
As usual the government pays lip service to a problem, then proceeds to produce feckless phrases and words which they champion as the panacea to the crisis.The solution to the housing crisis, requires the building of homes on a scale not seen since the end of the Second World War.
A few throw away lines and empty suggestions from the Chancellor, who even as he utters them are known by everyone to be no more than a gesture and meaningless inanity, is not the solution to this 21st Century scandal.






Investigation into Damian Green grinds to a halt.



What has happened to the Damian Green investigation?


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Any other person, in any other job, would, by now, have been sacked for gross misconduct and misuse of company facilities. (The porn Green was allegedly viewing on a daily basis became illegal just a few days after the discovery).
Damian Green remains in position and the "investigation", being carried out by Sue Gray, one of the most powerful officials in Whitehall, seems to have ground to a standstill.
Could it be that as Damian Green is effectively the Deputy Prime Minister and one of the few remaining close allies of Prime Minister Theresa May, it is deemed to be more important to keep Green in his position at the cabinet table than to conclude the investigation?


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The stench of political expediency has often wafted around Downing Street and Parliament, but the clear demonstration that one set of rules applies to Green and other people in privileged positions within government, whilst the rest of us are subject to the full authority of management and due process, is yet another example of the shameful way in which the government of this country is implemented.
The wretched way in which Theresa May clings on to office, supported by discredited cabinet members is shameful and brings politics into sordid disrepute.



Friday, 17 November 2017

The housing crisis will not be solved with platitudes or blaming others.


Theresa May vows to personally take charge of the UK’s housing crisis


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Theresa May vows to personally solve the housing crisis in the United Kingdom. One of the first measures she announces is to remove housing association debt from the government's balance sheet, meaning it will no longer qualify as public borrowing and effectively remove Social Housing from the public sector and hand it to the private sector as a "give away" which, she tells us will " free up associations to build more homes". Complete nonsense. The reality is that it makes "the governments books look better" and gives the private sector another avenue of opportunity in their quest to make even more profits from the housing crisis and its victims.This is against a background of the fact that the number of council homes in Britain has fallen to a new record low, with fewer properties to rent from local authorities than at any point in almost 50 years.

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Sajid Javid, the communities secretary, wades in with his contribution calling on older people to stop blocking badly needed new developments and lambasting baby boomers who believe young people could afford a home if they cut back on nights out and avocados. The arrogance of Javid with his ignorant comments, matched by a Prime Minister with her condescending remarks, demonstrate the continuing tactics of a bankrupt government who offer nothing but platitudes and a not very well hidden objective of a divide and control policy, pitting young against the "baby boomers" in a feeble attempt to divert attention away from the real problem.
Shifting housing association debt from one account to another and blaming one generation, creating a scapegoat for the failure of housing policy, is not the answer. As someone recently said, “We know what you are doing, and you will not succeed,”

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The solution to the housing crisis, which has been neglected by successive governments for decades, requires the building of homes on a scale not seen since the end of the war. Building a minimum of 1 million homes over the course of a Parliament, 80% of which must be home specifically for rent, will go some way to relieving the acute problems faced by thousands of families in today's Britain.The people of this country have a right to decent living accommodation at affordable cost and can no longer tolerate a government offering nothing but platitudes and division.




Wednesday, 15 November 2017

The Telegraph crosses the line. Abusing the privilege of their position.



Daily Telegraph accused of 'blatant bullying' 

In any other forum, this atrocious front page and its subsequent "story", would be condemned as blatant bullying and intimidation.Those producing such material in print or in speech, would quite rightly, be hauled before disciplinary bodies of their respective organisations or bodies, and subjected to sanctions and other measures designed to punish and deter others.

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Not so with the Telegraph and the other rabid right "newspapers", who today fill their wretched pages with government propaganda to discredit and intimidate any MP's who now, or will during the future passage of the EU withdrawal bill, dare to vote against the governments ill considered and dangerous proposals. The Conservative whips will be working overtime in the coming weeks, in their quest to push through legislation which is both irresponsible and absurd. In this, the hysterical press led no doubt by the Telegraph will hound, insult, abuse and intimidate MP's who oppose the legislation and vote accordingly. The astounding thing about this outrageous attack on the Democratic processes of this country, is that the press slink off and hide behind the argument of "Freedom of the Press" as they throw their snide and disparaging comments over the parapets of press immunity. It is abhorrent that there seems to be no sanction or other measures that can be taken against those newspapers who regularly abuse the privilege of their position.


There is a line between support for a particular side in any argument and outrageous and abusive intimidation and bias. The Telegraph has crossed that line.


Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Double standards in the International Community

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/14/myanmar-military-exonerates-itself-in-report-on-atrocities-against-rohingya


Myanmar military exonerates itself in report on atrocities against Rohingya

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I find it very sad, if not tragic, how the world and its media can, quite rightly be incensed and outraged by the ethnic cleansing being inflicted upon the Rohingya people by the military and government of Myanmar and yet at the same time be completely insensible and silent on the ethnic cleansing being carried out in Jerusalem and the occupied territories of Palestine by the Israeli government.

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There are indeed double standards being exercised by the international community for the last 70 years concerning the plight of the Palestinian people.

Scrapping the barrel

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-russia-election-meddling-warning-cyber-warfare-latest-uk-a8053161.html


 "We know what you are doing. And you will not succeed".

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Prime Minister Theresa May, is really scraping the barrel in seeking to find any scrap of "news" with which to divert attention away from her own pathetic performance and difficulties in her government.
In the usual deed of those seeking to deflect attention away from their own deficiencies and failures, May trots out the insults and venom directed toward the old chestnut of "reds under the bed". When in doubt, blame the Russians for everything from fake news, Crimean aggression, and Syrian civil war to floods and famine in Bangladesh and vote rigging everywhere.
Create a Russian scare and the rest of us will not notice how she, her government and her woeful bunch of ego maniacal ministers are disintegrating every day. A pathetic tactic from a sad and wretched Prime Minister trying to cling to office.