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Monday, 23 January 2017

New Agenda on Sunday. is out! Edition of 22 January 2017



Good morning everyone


In case you may have missed the story, Donald Trump is the new President of the United States and hundreds of thousands of people (predominately women according to reports) have marched in protest, in towns and cities around the world. The inauguration ceremony was watched by either 250,000 people who braved the intermittent rain in Washington or "by the largest audience ever to watch an inauguration, PERIOD". 

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The Whitehouse Press Secretary Sean Spicer seems to be an excitable little chap who promises more "gems" over the rest of his time in front of the assembled media. Meanwhile, the rest of us look forward to the next four years with mild anticipation, or do I mean trepidation?




Image result for Ashburton, Bovey Tracey, Dartmouth and Paignton hospital to be shut


Our NHS is in crisis with chronic overcrowding in many hospitals and reports of A&E facilities in many areas of the verge of collapse. It may therefore come as something of a surprise to learn that yet another CCG is recommending more hospital closures in their areas. This time the South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group is proposing that Ashburton, Bovey Tracey, Dartmouth and Paignton hospital be shut and the sites sold off "for development". As in all the other cases, the South Devon and Torbay CCG justification for the closure's is encased in the usual clichés of "improving services" and controlling costs. The CCG states,
"In making these recommendations, the Governing Body is being advised that the proposals will deliver the changes needed to improve services and to support more people effectively in a way that is both sustainable and affordable."
Remember that "closing hospitals improves services and reduces costs", the next time that you or someone you know has an 80 mile (or more) round trip to see a consultant or visit a patient, or even worse, has urgent need of A & E facilities.
While on the subject of the NHS, Dorset Healthcare (DHUFT) last year spent £12 million on private agency personnel because there were not enough full time NHS nurses and other staff to cover hospital requirements. If only a fraction of the CGC's around the country spent the same amount on temporary staff, a staggering £2,508 million would be paid to private agency companies.
Perhaps it would "improve services and reduced costs" if we recruited full time and paid our NHS nurses and other staff a proper salary in the first place.

A convicted murderer has gone on the run for a third time after breaking his licence conditions. The police have warned people " not to approach him, as he could present a risk to the public, but immediately contact Dorset Police on 999." The question of course is that if this man is a risk to the public, why is he wandering about the streets out on licence? The judiciary and the powers that be have a very strange view on custodial sentencing.

Meanwhile, back in Jersey, further investigation is to be undertaken at the Grouville field where the world’s biggest Celtic coin hoard was discovered in 2012. 70,000 coins, a range of gold necklaces and ancient pouches have been recovered from the find and more treasures are anticipated from further work at the site.

Image result for Jersey coin hoard left by Celtic tribe in flight from Caesar army.

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JERSEY’S business leaders are due to meet the Chief Minister next week as concerns grow that firms could be hit with import and export tariffs post-Brexit. In a statement, the Chamber said: ‘The Jersey Chamber of Commerce is closely monitoring Brexit developments following on from Theresa May’s speech on Wednesday regarding the UK government’s plans to negotiate new trade deals and tariffs, proposals which could have a considerable impact on Island businesses."
Jersey business leaders are worried about Brexit! Aren't we all.

The weather remains predictably unpredictable. This week we have had fog, frost, rain sunshine, the coldest day (and night) of the winter so far and on other days, temperatures in double figures. The Express however continues to predict heavy snow coming!
The most accurate way to obtain a weather situation report is to look out of your window.


Have a nice week.



John

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Another step on the road to a Two Tier health service.


Another CCG is recommending more hospital closures in their areas. 



Image result for Ashburton, Bovey Tracey, Dartmouth and Paignton hospital to be shut

Our NHS is in crisis with chronic overcrowding in many hospitals and reports of A&E facilities in many areas of the verge of collapse. It may therefore come as something of a surprise to learn that yet another CCG is recommending more hospital closures in their areas. This time the South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group is proposing that Ashburton, Bovey Tracey, Dartmouth and Paignton hospital be shut and the sites sold off "for development". This is not however a unique situation in our NHS where hospitals, beds, Doctors surgeries and other health facilities around the country are being systematically closed and sold off by a government hell bent on dismantling the NHS in preparation for the private companies, not least of all Richard Branson's "Virgin Care", hovering like vultures ready to swoop in and pick over the carcass.



Virgin Care wins £700 million contract to provide health care services
As in all the other cases, the South Devon and Torbay CCG justification for the closure's is encased in the usual clichés of "improving services" and controlling costs. A statement from the CCG states,

"In making these recommendations, the Governing Body is being advised that the proposals will deliver the changes needed to improve services and to support more people effectively in a way that is both sustainable and affordable."

Empty rhetoric which seeks to conceal the real motives and which nobody now believes.

Since 1948, the Conservative party and conservative governments during that period, have been covertly hostile to the NHS and have employed numerous tactics to undermine and discredit both the institution and those working within it. The current stratagem is to deprive the NHS of adequate funding, close hospitals and facilities, create a crisis within the hospitals and in the care system generally then argue that the health service and care provisions should be sold off to private companies in order to save money and improve services. It is a crisis that the conservatives have themselves created.
The natural result of this process is the creation of a two tier Health Service where those who are able to pay the premium prices will receive care in the private sector while the others will be reliant on a very basic provision or even charities for their health needs.
It is this prospect which we must resist and challenge all over the country. The NHS is too valuable a service to be left to the vagaries of private companies and the political dogma of Conservative Central Office.





Wednesday, 18 January 2017

After 6 months of dithering, the 12 point "plan" is revealed.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/17/theresa-may-britain-prime-minister-speech


Prime minister gives tough speech outlining government’s 12 priorities for Brexit negotiations 



Image result for Prime minister gives tough speech outlining government’s 12 priorities for Brexit negotiations



Which ever way you may have voted in last year's referendum on continued membership of the European Union, one thing is today, in January of 2017, abundantly clear. The United Kingdom is in complete and utter chaos regarding our exit, or even non exit of the EU. There is no doubt that 17,410,742, (51.89%) of those voting, opted for Brexit, while 16,141,241 (48.11%) voted Remain.
There is also no doubt that Cameron was completely unprepared for a Leave result, and quickly scurried off, standing down as first as Prime Minister and then as the MP for Witney, to do other things outside Parliament. The departure of Cameron left others to clean up the mess that the lack of planning and foresight had created, but unfortunately for the Country, the new Prime Minister and her party had even less notion of "the next move" than Cameron had. The problem we are facing today is deep and complex.
Firstly, the division between the Brexit vote and those voting to remain, varies not only between geographic locations but also within historic political affiliations.
For example, Scotland as a whole, voted to Remain taking 62% of the votes cast and resulting in the whole country opting to remain as a member of the European Union. Strangely, this was a major issue in the Scottish independence referendum, where the government argued that voting to remain part of the UK, was the only way for Scotland to stay within the European Union.
Wales on the other hand, voted to Leave the EU taking 52.5% of the vote, compared to Northern Ireland where the Remain camp took 55.8% of the vote, with just 44.2% voting for Brexit and in England, 53.4% opted to leave. All in all a vote which has split not only the country, but also created division within families.
After some 6 months of dithering and confused thought, Theresa May now breaks cover with her plan for "Brexit", announced not in the chamber of the House of Commons where she would be, faced with questions from members, but in the relative "safety" of a Lancaster House press conference convened specifically for the purpose of unveiling her 12 point plan. She may as well have continued with the dithering and confused thought as the plan as presented has more to do with appeasing her own backbench MP's, than with ensuring that the British people obtain the best possible agreement, which may be salvaged from the predicament created by the Cameron government.
In effect, the Theresa May plan abandons huge elements of European employment legislation which safeguards workers rights. Health and safety at work, Agency worker protection, Anti discrimination legislation, limits on working hours provisions, all these and others are at risk under the Prime Minister's proposals. She also, probably for the first time, concedes that the United Kingdom will rule out membership of the single market and by implication rules out any "relationship" with the single market, consigning this country to the prospect of huge tariffs against our goods and services which could result in a "trade war" with the continent.
Interestingly enough, she still refuses to concede that Parliament should debate the issue of triggering Article 50 even before negotiations commence, (still seeking to bypass Parliament and disregarding what the Supreme Court may actually rule) relying instead on some vague "promise" that the House will be able to debate and vote on the "final terms" of the deal which is of course completely meaningless.
The question arises of course, that as each layer of lies, distortions and misrepresentations are peeled away from the arguments and scare scaremongering tactics employed by the Leave camp during the referendum campaign, would the result be any different today?
There are already many indications that a significant number of people feel cheated by the lies and distortions, which suggests that opinion may well have shifted in favour of "Remain". The result may still be very close, but might certainly be very different.
There is still much water to pass under the bridge before the United Kingdom's relationship with Europe is eventually finalised, but it is abundantly clear that Theresa May and her necessity to satisfy her own MP's is contributing to the problem and not resolving it. There is clearly a distinct possibility that she could be the Prime Minister who presided over the fragmentation of the United Kingdom, in pursuit of Conservative party interests rather than national interest.





Monday, 9 January 2017

New Agenda on Sunday. is out! Edition of 08 January 2017




Good morning everyone





Jan Leeming is sick of actors mumbling their way through shows

Jan Leeming, (remember her with the exploding studio lights?), has revealed that she resorts to the use of subtitles when watching some recent television drama. Me too. The latest, Sherlock (and the Halcyon) episodes had my wife reaching for the "Zapper" quite early in the broadcast, to turn of the subtitles. 

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Rillington Place

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Jamaica Inn


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The Halcyon


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Sherlock


This seems to be the latest "style" for productions of television drama on all channels over recent years. The more incoherent and mumbling the dialogue, then the more atmospheric and dramatic each scene becomes according to the director. Never mind the viewers who immediately have to switch on the "subtitles" option in an attempt to follow the story. Good drama ruined by intentionally poor quality sound. Perhaps the production people are under the impression that these "arty gimmicks" will bring awards for artistic content from other luvies in the industry.



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It seems that everyone from the Archbishop of Canterbury and Theresa May, through various "names" in the entertainment industry (including the Beckham's), through journalists, scientists and economists have been sending out their "New Years Messages" to the world. This year in a departure from the norm, I have joined this illustrious band and produced, "The New Year 2017 has arrived". http://new-agenda2012.blogspot.co.uk/2017/01/the-new-year-2017-has-arruved.html. (copy and paste link)


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Sophy Ridge

I note that Sophy Ridge now has her own new television programme slot "Sophy Ridge on Sunday" which is the latest "political comment" offering from Sky Television News. This weeks guest was none other than Prime Minister Theresa May. Unfortunately, washing what remains of my hair took up more time than usual resulting in my missing the entire programme !
The smug, patronising and self opinionated Ridge (who's entire career since graduating with an English Literature degree, has consisted entirely of employment at the News of the World followed by her current position at Sky which says everything), and the bumbling, inconsistent and confused PM were given recorded coverage in subsequent news slots from which and from other sources, I was able to gather the following snippet.
And it is the job of government to encourage and nurture these relationships and institutions where it can, and to correct the injustice and unfairness that divides us wherever it is found.”
What the hell does that mean?
Theresa May spewing out double talk and rhetorical nonsense.
She has completely lost the plot and should do the decent thing.
Retire to the country and grow some roses.



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Ridge and May. It sounds like a bottom of the bill Music Hall act.


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Following what has now become a tradition in the United Kingdom the Express is (again) predicting that we are about to freeze in the first “real blast of winter” with Arctic gales and more than 4 inches of widespread snow set to hit within days. In the meantime, it is still raining on and off, the fog is widespread our heaters are still in strategic locations around the house, the outside temperature is remains in double figures (except at night).
Perhaps the Express should replace their now out of date seaweed.

Have a nice week.


John




Wednesday, 4 January 2017

The New Year 2017 has arruved

A New Year's Message.

As everyone, or as it seems almost everyone, is sending out a New Year message to the whole world, I thought that I might commit to print a few thoughts which will only be seen by visitors to this page, "friends" and "followers" on Facebook and Twitter and on "New Agenda on Sunday" and perhaps a few others if readers choose to "share" this content with their followers and friends.



Image result for the media

Over the past 12 to 18 months, I have become increasingly worried by the constant assault waged by the media, and I use the phrase media to include television and radio together with the printed press and periodicals, against the ordinary people of this country.There seems to be an orchestrated and widening attempt, to turn the "little grey cells" of people, into some form of gelatinous ball, wrapped in a layer of sponge which will readily absorb everything pushed towards it from the pages of the Mail or Sun, and from the television studio's of the BBC and Sky News. Not that the Mail and Sun are alone in the coordinated promulgation of disinformation, lies and propaganda. The media is overwhelmed with its self appointed role as guardian of the country's conscience, and sole prophet for the guidance and well being of the nation.
The enthusiasm and spin with which the media promote government statements is both brazen and sinister implying a belief that people will accept what is being fed to them on face value, as if the government would never lie and the media will always tell the truth.



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Take for example, the annual above inflation rise in rail fare, which occurs at least once every year. The increase is justified on the grounds that for every pound income from fare increases, 97p is invested in "improvements" to the rail network. No mention is made of the £billions of taxpayers money given to the  rail companies every year in the form of subsidies earmarked for "improvements" to infrastructure and rolling stock. Nor is any mention made of the every increasing dividends paid to share holders, or to the increases in salaries and bonuses for senior management and executives.  




Image result for grayling rail fare increases
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling defending the increase

Chris Grayling appears on television defending the fare increase with the pathetic comment that "wages are rising" while at the same time the railway companies announce further cuts to services and reductions in staff levels. The media of course, revel in this "double talk" expecting everyone, particularly those reliant on train services, to believe that government and the train operators are in fact working in the best interests of the traveling public and the taxpayers, rather than creaming off vast sums of money for the benefit of privatised companies and their shareholders.
The case for taking the railways back into public ownership is compelling and the time for taking back control of this vital national service is now overdue.


Image result for Fabian Warning less than 150 seats

Another example of media pushing disinformation, lies and propaganda, is the now almost constant assault against the leadership of the Labour party. An assault which has been raging for almost two years and is motivated by the desire to restore a Labour party more in line with the "status quo" of the past few decades, notwithstanding the fact that the current Labour party leader, enjoys the support and backing of more than 60% of the party membership and which, incidentally is the largest political party in the whole of Europe, if not the world. The continuing reliance on the anonymous source, the smear and innuendo of misrepresentation, the mischievous endeavors to drive wedges between groups and individuals, evidences the malicious intent of the media and the government to persuade people that white is black and that only the media know the truth.


Image result for Fabian Warning less than 150 seats


2017 will be a year of momentous change to the world as we know it. Great challenges lie ahead both domestically and internationally and we must ensure that we respond to such challenges in ways which are in the best interests of people, rather than in accordance with an agenda set by the media for their own mercenary purposes and a government, intent on the advancement of the few at the expense of the many.
















Monday, 2 January 2017

New Agenda on Sunday. is out! Edition of 01 January 2017



https://paper.li/f-1346065353


Good morning everyone and a very Happy New Year to you all.







2017 has finally arrived and may it be a better year for us all.

New Agenda on Sunday is a little thinner than usual, but hopefully you will find something of interest or amusement amongst the pages.



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The "New Years Honours List" contained the usual list of names reflecting cronyism or rewards for contributions to political parties and even for duties performed during the previous 12 months. It has always been a great mystery to me, why people should receive "honours" for performing duties for which they are receiving a salary in any case. 

Image result for Prof Phil Scraton
Image result for refused new year's honours 2017












Image result for Lynn Faulds Wood


At least some individuals like Ken Loach, Prof Phil Scraton and Lynn Faulds Wood and a few others refused their awards citing the hypocrisy of the system. In my view the "honours system" has become debased and hypocritical and should be scrapped entirely.




Image result for trump and may

Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States later this month. Perhaps he will show a little more consistency than he has shown thus far, but already our government and our "illustrious" leader Theresa May are frantically scurrying around seeking to get into Trump's good books.
Polishing up her Margaret Thatcher impersonation, Theresa May criticises President Obama and John Kerry as she curry’s favour with Trump. The full story can be read at http://new-agenda2012.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/mays-comments-designed-to-curry-favour.html (Copy and paste link.)

Meanwhile, back in Jersey, well Guernsey actually but is is not that far away, the Guernsey Dairy dumped more than 6,000 litres of fresh milk down the drain over Christmas after the local dairy overestimated consumer demand for the holiday season. A dairy spokesman said as the milk had been processed into cartons and had a limited shelf life, it could not be used to make other products such as cheese or be stored.
Waste of any description, but particularly food, has always been something which makes me very angry. There are Food banks all over
mainland UK and even in the Channel Islands and I do not believe that it would have been impossible to find the means of distributing the excess milk. Perhaps it was cheaper and less trouble to pour it down the drain.


Image result for Guernsey Dairy dumped more than 6,000 litres of fresh milk down the drain


Work has begun to stabilise the cliff face underneath the Cheval Roc nursing home at Bonne Nuit Bay following a massive landslide earlier this year. Bonne Nuit Bay. One of Jersey's great treasures of natural beauty. Tonnes of soil and rock slipped away just metres in front of the home during a storm on the evening of 9 March.



Image result for Work has begun to stabilise the cliff face underneath the Cheval Roc


Weather cold, wet, mild, sunny and windy. Nothing changes apart from the number of the year.

(With apologies for the lack of satire, or wit or even sarcasm. It has been a heavy Christmas period.)

Have a nice week.