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Monday, 4 June 2018

New Agenda on Sunday is out! Edition of 3rd June 2018

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


Good morning everyone.

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We have just returned from 10 days at the Miramar hotel in Jersey. What was to have been a 10 day break after the trauma of the last four years, rather than a holiday in the sun, turned into a bit of a nightmare with first me and then Sandra, being struck with some mystery bug, complete with sore throat, coughing, vomiting chest pains etc which put certainly me out of action for the duration.
However, the kindness shown by Alison, the hotel manager, and the rest of the staff was truly refreshing as they went to great lengths to make us as comfortable as possible under the circumstances, with Alison occasionally "bending the rules" to assist with our stay.
We are now back in the village, still with the symptoms which did not respond to some sea air on the trip back, and now leaves us with an appointment to see our GP.
Thanks again to Alison and all those at the Miramar for their help, assistance and understanding.


We shall probably not be publishing for a few weeks, but normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Have a nice week 

Thursday, 31 May 2018

A 10 day break?

A nice hotel, but we were too ill to enjoy it.



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We have just returned from 10 days at the Miramar hotel in Jersey. What was to have been a 10 day break after the trauma of the last four years, rather than a holiday in the sun, turned into a bit of a nightmare with first me and then Sandra, being struck with some mystery bug, complete with sore throat, coughing, vomiting chest pains etc which put certainly me out of action for the duration.
However, the kindness shown by Alison, the hotel manager, and the rest of the staff was truly refreshing as they went to great lengths to make us as comfortable as possible under the circumstances, with Alison occasionally "bending the rules" to assist with our stay.
We are now back in the village, still with the symptoms which did not respond to some sea air on the trip back, and now leaves us with an appointment to see our GP.
Thanks again to Alison and all those at the Miramar for their help, assistance and understanding.



Saturday, 19 May 2018

The "Big Day" has arrived!



All attention focuses on Windsor



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The big day has arrived and I am feeling much better than I felt a few weeks ago.
The media and television have succeeded in their primary task, as set by the establishment and government, of taking my mind off all the troubles and woes facing this country and even the rest of the world.
I and I assume millions of others, are no longer concerned with the real issues of the day as the euphoria fuelled by media hyperbole, sweeps the nation and all attention focuses on Windsor as the pomp and circumstance of the pageantry to fill the day draws closer.
We have forgotten the government and cabinet chaos and division over Brexit. Our minds have been diverted from the hardships and despair caused by government cuts to welfare payments. Today, we are not concerned with the destruction of our NHS brought about by cuts and privatisation. The plight of the homeless on our streets, particularly in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, is conveniently pushed to one side, or even swept under the carpet, as the "out of sight out of mind" rule is applied. The hundreds of people about to lose their jobs as more closures of retail chains and manufacturing plants are announced, are just a blip which will be pushed out of mind as we wave our little flags and cheer hysterically in front of our television sets or even at the passing procession if we are part of the extra 100,000 people expected to be in the Royal County of Berkshire watching the days events.

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We shall all join together and wish the couple much happiness and thank our wonderful media and television for ensuring that we all feel suitably uplifted.

You may detect of hint of cynical sarcasm in the foregoing post.

Have a nice day, wherever you may be.



Friday, 18 May 2018

An atmosphere of fear

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/gaza-palestine-israel-conflict-us-embassy-jerusalem-jared-kushner-donald-trump-a8355631.html

For how long are we to continue pretending that Palestinians are non-people?

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Robert Fisk, poses the question that many of us have been struggling with for many years. Many years of atrocities carried out by the IDF against the Palestinian people, many years of the occupation of Palestinian lands, many years of illegal settlements built on land where once Palestinians had villages and grew olives or tended sheep and many years of watching Israeli expansionism slowly strangle any prospects of creating a two state solution or reaching any form of peaceful settlement of this long running conflict.

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One of the major reasons for the acceptance of the status of Palestinians as, "non people", is the stance of successive American administrations since 1947, with unquestioning support for Israel. Within minutes of the declaration of the state of Israel on the 14th May 1948, the United States became the first country to recognise the new State, thereby ensuring that the mass expulsion of Palestinians from their homes and most fertile regions of the countryside went unchallenged as the Israeli expansionism spread to Jerusalem, Haifa and Ashkelon. The much heralded "Arab Army" coming to assist the Palestinians "to drive the Israeli's into the sea" was no more than mythical propaganda spread by Israel.
The United States attitude of unquestioned support and frequent use of the veto at the United Nations Security Council, has over the years, emboldened Israeli governments to be repressive and brutal in their occupation of Palestinian lands annexed by Israel with wars in 1948, 1967, 1970 and 1973, with numerous incursions adding to the expanding "borders". In particular, their almost constant war of attrition against the people of Gaza has been particularly brutal with the use of disproportionate violence, illegal weaponry and a land and sea blockade of the country for many years. The violence on the Gaza "border" fence over recent days is but the latest Israeli aggression, killing more that 70 civilians.

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The governments of the world stand by and do nothing in the face of these actions, which seems to condone the events as being somehow the inevitable results of Palestinian resistance. There is however another and probably more sinister reason why we allow the risk of Palestinians becoming "non people". Over many years and certainly over recent years and months, there has been a growing and expanding campaign by pressure groups and individuals, to demonise and censor anyone who dares to support Palestinians in their struggle against Israeli aggression, or to criticise the government of Israel and their actions in the occupied territories. The hysterical smear that is invariably used is that anyone who supports Palestine and criticises the Israeli government is rabidly anti semitic, which is of course arrant nonsense but which has led, with increasing regularity, to such pressure groups driving people out of their positions, expulsions and media vilification.
Why are we pretending that Palestinians are non-people? Apart from the support of the United States, apart from the rhetoric of Israeli governments and apart from the apparent indifference of governments, there is an atmosphere of fear amongst many people, that the stigma of being labelled "anti semitic" and the possible consequences of labelling, no matter how unjustified such labelling may be, is reason enough to be reticent in speaking out. Fortunately there many who will stand up to the bullying and abuse from those groups and individuals who follow the American lead and believe that Israel is right, no matter what. Fortunately again, these pro Israel groupings are losing the arguments and their drive to remove people who oppose them. We must ensure that our support for the Palestinian people continues and is spread to every person who will listen or we may always regret if we allow Palestinians to become "non people".



Wednesday, 16 May 2018

In Jerusalem,the United States opens an embassy, as civilians are killed in Gaza.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/15/palestinians-to-bury-58-people-killed-in-us-embassy-protests
Global protests grow after Israeli killing of Palestinian demonstrators
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No Trump and Netanyahu, You are wrong. Jerusalem is NOT "the capital of Israel".

The United Nations General Assembly does not recognize Israel's proclamation of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The wording of General Assembly Resolution 63/30 of 2009 states that "any actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever, and calls upon Israel to cease all such illegal and unilateral measures.


In recognising Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, the United States defies the United Nations and joins Israel in another illegal act and drives another nail into the coffin of the Peace Process.

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At the same time as Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner with Trump himself on video link opened the "United States Embassy" in Jerusalem, the IDF at the Gaza "border fence", shot and killed more than 50 unarmed Palestinians and wounded more than a thousand others, in what Mark Regev, Benjamin Netanyahu and the barbaric Israeli Defence Force, describe as an act of "self defence", using the now well worn but still untrue cliche of, "Israel is defending itself". The excessive use of "live fire", tear gas and snipers by the IDF against unarmed civilians is both barbarous and inhuman but is nevertheless a regular occurance in Gaza, the West Bank and the other occupied territories.
Yesterday witnessed just the latest atrocities carried out by the occupying forces in Palestine and should provoke anger and condemnation by civilised countries around the world. For how much longer can Europe and the rest of the world stand by and do nothing in the face of the United States and Israeli crimes against the people of Palestine?
Since 1948 the world has crossed over and "passed by on the other side" as generations of Palestinians have been subjected to occupation, persecution and slaughter on an unprecedented scale.
Governments should hold their heads in shame at their indifference to and acquiescence of Israeli and United States actions in the tragic land of Palestine.



Monday, 14 May 2018

New Agenda on Sunday is out! Edition of 13th May 2018

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



Good morning everyone


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Power cuts are a regular feature of life in our village and presumably, the surrounding villages in the valley. The season has started early this year however, with the first being on Wednesday evening. Flickering lights then power off for a few seconds, back on again briefly then off for another few seconds then back on and finally off leaving us in complete darkness groping around trying to find the candles. Eventually, with no television, radio or computer, we flicked off the lamp switches pressed the off buttons on the television "zappers" and went to bed.
At around 2:30 am, we were awakened by the sound of quite loud voices from downstairs. Now either this was the sound of a male and female burglar having a "domestic" or the "zappers" had failed to switch off the TV. Muttering unprintable sounds, I went downstairs to find the television on, at not quite full volume, airing one of the all night "news" discussions which seem to be so popular with the late night channels and invariably have a mixed panel of pundits all shouting at the same time. Muttering more unprintable noises, I turned off the TV and went back to bed. Now the point of this story, is to question why this village is so prone to power cuts, the vast majority of which occur during the evening and why is there no obvious cause. It is not as if 9 inches of heavy snow has brought down the power lines, or some other natural disaster has destroyed the generating station. I am beginning to think that some sinister force is creating this disruption just to annoy me.


Sheer bloody stupidity (again)
I received one of these "Wilkinson HYDRO 5" razors in our weekly shopping.
Again, I have resorted to using a Stanley knife to open the packaging to get at the razor. Why this, and other manufactures, use this type of packaging (plastic of course) is a mystery to all. It is not necessary, it is wasteful and moreover, it is dangerous when opened as the package material then has sharp edges.
There must be something that the consumer can do to force these package designers to be more "user friendly" when churning out these useless wrappings. We can't even use another manufacture as they are all using the dangerous plastic.

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The madman Trump, tears up the Iran Nuclear Agreement (hailed by many as the most effective non proliferation agreement implemented by the western powers) and only minutes later, the warmonger Netanyahu orders Israeli war planes to attack positions within Syria, killing Iranian personnel.
This is no coincidence in the ongoing conflict in Syria, the only change being that the United States has now given the Israeli government a free hand to attack Syria and ultimately Iran itself, without any fear of intervention form outside to control Israeli excesses.
This is a bad day for the wider Middle East peace process and a very dangerous time for the region and the world. History (if we have any) will record how the unbalanced President of the United States tore up an agreement just to gratify his own personal prejudices and ego, thus plunging the world into catastrophe.

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I an not and never have been a great fan of the "Eurovision Song Contest". Awful songs being churned out over hours of television time, culminating in what seems like more hours of "Now we have the voting of the (which ever) jury". As an ABBA fan, I think that far and away the worst song they ever recorded was "Waterloo", which actually won this annual nonsense full of second rate music and overblown performances. What is even more objectionable about this "programme", is that certainly over recent years, the voting of the juries has become even more "political". Certain countries will always vote for another politically aligned country, regardless of the singer or the song. Last night (Saturday) continued this dreadful tradition. There also seems to be some confusion at the BBC and the show organisers in respect of geography. For how long has Australia, Israel, Russia and even Cyprus, been in Europe?

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The Brexit Customs Union (or not), "Hard border" (or not), Single Market (or not) arguments rumble on unabated, as various cabinet ministers publicly voice their opposition to their own Prime Minister with comments to the effect that her proposals are "bonkers" or unworkable or undeliverable or some other equally critical side-swipes. Brexit was always going to be a difficult process, but this government with its competing factions are making a complete mess of the negotiations particularly as they have no position which they can all agree on. Added to this fiasco, we have the interventions of former politiciand from all parties adding their views on where everyone else is wrong and we should all do as they say. The latest of these is Miliband Major who threatens to "return to British politics" to save us all from ourselves. Do you remember him? He is the brother defeated by Miliband Minor in the Leadership election, who then in a fit of pique stormed off to the United States to take up a very lucrative post with the International Rescue Committee in New York. He now joins with Kinnock Snr, Blair, Clegg and other former guru's to tell us that only they have all the answers. Oh dera. What a mess.

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It has stopped raining and it is getting warmer. However there will be showers and a drop in temperature by mid week. Worry not! The Express (who else) says that it will be the hottest day of the year next Saturday, just in time for THE Wedding!


Have a nice week

Monday, 7 May 2018

New Agenda on Sunday is out! Edition of 6th May 2018


Good morning everyone

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Summer has arrived, hasn't it? With temperatures soaring to the mid twenties or even the thirties over this Bank Holiday weekend, we may be excused for throwing off our woolies and dragging the BBQ out from the back of the garage, wiping off the dust accumulated over the past months, and firing up the coals. Unfortunately, they are forecasting that it will become "less mild" over the coming week. Such is the way with Britains weather.

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An elderly woman waited for over three hours for an ambulance after falling in Weymouth town center this week. This is but one of a growing number of instances where cuts to the NHS have resulted in unacceptable delays in A&E departments, treatment appointments and in this case, delays in ambulance attendance. Notwithstanding that the majority of ambulance services are in fact operated by private companies, expenditure cuts invariably result in delays at the expense of patients.
It is a scandal and a disgrace and the blame lies squarely with this wretched government.



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There is a consensus of opinion in the ranks of the media, even those on the right of the political spectrum, (which of course is the majority of them), that the government of Theresa May is crumbling into a fragmented, bickering shambles of conflicting views on customs arrangements following Brexit and the never ending problem of the "hard" border between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Read the full text at:
http://new-agenda2012.blogspot.co.uk/2018/05/media-is-calling-for-snap-general.html


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It seems that supermarket giants Sainsbury and ASDA are to merge, forming the largest supermrket group in the country and becoming bigger than Tesco, who until now have been the market leader with the biggest share of sales in the UK. Will the new Sainsbury/ASDA company (or SASDA as it could be known) have lower prices on their shelves and a few more helpful staff around the store, (rather than the, admittedly few, indifferent "assistants" wandering around at the moment)? Somehow I think not as history has shown us that over time the prices continue to rise, choice becomes even more limited and service declines.


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A headline on the internet caught my attention this week which left me shaking my head in disbelief. The offending words, "The Queen shows how she is training Louis to be a Royal" epitomises the obssesion with royalty in the media and in many parts of society, which I personally find unhealthy.
The baby is only 22 days old for crying out loud. There are some moronic sycophants in the media.


Have a nice week