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Monday, 31 December 2012

Drug decisions should be based on medical benefit, not on cost

 http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/prescribe-cheaper-drugs-gps-told-8433635.html



Prescribe cheaper drugs, GP's told



Medical benefit or cost?



 The decision to prescribe any drug should be based on medical benefit, not on cost. The people at NICE, Open Health Care UK and Mastodon C, Government, Jeremy Hunt and all the others really should grasp that essential truism. There is justification for prescribing a less expensive alternative drug, but only where the doctor is absolutely convinced that the medical benefit to the patient is at least as beneficial as the more costly option.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Rewarding failure with a Knighthood.

 http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/12/28/hector-sants-knighthood_n_2375455.html?utm_hp_ref=uk


Hector Sants, Who Presided Over Collapse Of Northern Rock, Awarded Knighthood




Hector Sants
Hector Sants



 A clear demonstration of how corrupt and debased the "Honours system" has become. Not only do we reward failure with huge cash bonuses, but we also bestow Knighthoods and other awards for incompetence. The sooner this patronising and discredited lunacy is dismembered the better.

Musical Chairs is part of the charade.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/can-these-men-restore-trust-in-our-public-institutions-8433201.html


Hopes are high for lasting change as the Bank of England, the BBC and the Church of England welcome new heads in 2013



Mark Carney, Tony Hall and Justin Welby




 We should all, by now, have realised that this game of "musical chairs" amongst the upper strata of political/economic/religious personnel in this country is designed and implemented purely as a means to fool the rest of us into believing the old chestnut that "new brooms sweep clean".  In fact, when the music stops and all the available chairs have been grabbed, it very soon becomes abundantly clear that nothing has changed, the status quo remains and it becomes necessary for the music master to play the old record and start the whole process again. Unfortunately, there are far too many people in this land who actually believe that this charade is for the benefit of the country rather than for the ego's and self serving motives of the participants, and all part of the "control of the nation" programme. 

Families hit by freeze in child benefit

 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/ios-special-report-families-hit-by-freeze-in-child-benefit-8433331.html


Failure to match inflation will affect those on low and middle incomes




new child benefit rules unfair

 


Yet another report saying what many of us have been saying since this ill conceived and knee jerk "policy" of "welfare reforms" first saw the light of day. The Child Benefit system may well be in need of reform, but this arbitrary and unfair hash up of rushed, politically expedient sound bites is not the answer.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Status quo in 2013?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/dec/24/households-gloomy-2013-survey-economy

Consumers are braced for another year of austerity 


George Osborne
George Osborne




Osborne is wearing that conceited smug half smile that he is famous for, because he knows that his "austerity measures" will nor really affect him or his Downing Street chums. In his insulated position, the smirk is not surprising. Merry Christmas George. I would wager that his turkey did not come from the local foodbank either.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

New year and new format for New Agenda.

Welcome to the new look New Agenda !

 
 


As the new year approaches, it seemed appropriate that "New Agenda" should have a new look. The content remains unchanged, but the background has been refreshed and there have been a few small adjustments to the format.

2013, promises to be a momentous year of change, both on the domestic scene with the political divisions within the coalition and changes to the NHS and social fabric of our society, and internationally with the continuing uncertainty within Europe and the daily heightening tension in the Middle East. The elections scheduled for January in Israel could change the dynamic between the new Palestine and the Israeli's continued expansion of their settlement building programme. While in Europe the question of Greece and the growing number of European countries seeking economic assistance remains unresolved.

2013, will be a year of significant challenges for all in the resolution of the problems already evident, but history tells us that problems will arise and sometimes from the most unlikely sources.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

A contribution to Royal Mail funds.

 Royal Mail making extra money.


Royal Mail Large Letter Postage Template Size Guide


We were handed a standard non delivery card yesterday by our postman. It read, "Unfortunately we cant deliver your item because there is a fee to pay". It is worth noting at this point, that the Post Office had already been paid some postage by the sender and was now demanding a further £1.09 (including handling fee) to deliver what was probably a card which did not quite fit into their little plastic template full of tiny slots to arbitrarily  "measure" standard and non standard postings.  Very apologetically, our postman explained that he had been given no information as to what it was, or where it had been postmarked. Remembering that we had been caught by the same  little Post Office scam on two occasions last year, I rang the Royal Mail Dorchester Delivery Office and asked the question. I was informed, rather abruptly, that it looked like a card and was not postmarked! I informed the rather rude person on the other end of the line that we, and a couple of our friends,  had been caught by this scam last year and that I had no intention of contributing to their nice little earner again this year. "O K", he said, "I'll rip it up then" and the line went dead. How the Post Office has changed since I was working for them many years ago.

In 2013 foodbanks will feed more than 200,000 people in the UK.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20820648 

(The BBC's Jeremy Cooke reports.link to video)

Number of UK food banks double in 12 months


More and more food banks are opening every week



This is 2012 soon to become 2013 and foodbanks have doubled in number over the past 12 months. In 2013 foodbanks will feed more than 200,000 people across the country, double the number of 2012, and the expectation is that this number will grow. It is a situation about which we should all feel angry, uncomfortable and even ashamed that we have collectively allowed this situation to come about. Some people will no doubt have such emotions, but sadly there are many others who will not. Watch the video and remember that we have been told that "we are all in this together". as usual, there are those who are more "in it" than others. As we lift our glasses across the table full of Christmas dinner with heat rising from the turkey, roast potato's gravy and all the other goodies on our plates, we might consider that there are those who are unable even to qualify for assistance from the foodbanks. It is a sad but true fact that even the Trussell Trust, and all the similar organisations now springing up around Britain, do not have sufficient resources or volunteers to cope with the an ever increasing problem and therefore have to be selective when helping those in need. Many people will spend the next two weeks, as they have spent the past year or even years, on the streets of towns and cities in this country. A country which once boasted having "an empire upon which the sun never sets" and a collective wealth envied by nations around the world in the 19th Century is now, in the 21st Century, reduced to witnessing ordinary people, many of whom actually employed, queuing for food charity.  This video report is a damning indictment of the present state of British society, which has been brought about by the failure of government policies over previous decades, and now compounded by the ConDem coalition's "austerity measures" imposed by bankers and the IMF/Eurozone dictats. As I said previously, we should all feel angry, uncomfortable and even ashamed that we have collectively allowed this situation to come about. 

Friday, 21 December 2012

Merry Christmas from "New Agenda"

Thank you for taking the time to read these contributions to "New Agenda" over the past year. May you have a very merry Christmas and a prosperous 2013.

Today is the Winter Solstice.

 December 21st in the year 2012.


Winter Solstice at Stonehenge



 Today is the 356th day of 2012. It is also the day which coincides with the end of the 5,125-year "long count" cycle of the Mayan calendar. (ie. The end of the world. The day has arrived, but as someone once said, “Aye Caesar, but not gone”) However, enough of this gloom and back to the point. Today is the 356th day of 2012. December 21st 2012. The winter solstice. The day which heralds the return of sanity to the northern hemisphere. As from tomorrow, the hours of daylight begin to get longer. The days of lengthening darkness are gone (for another year) and we can look forward to the prospect of not having to turn on the lights at 4 O'clock in the afternoon. Another great source of happiness and joy, apart of course from the Christmas and New Year celebrations in a few days time, is the thought that in a few short months, the television and newspapers will be full of the advice “And don't forget to put your clocks and watches forward by 1 hour tonight”. Ah, what a wonderful thought. (Unfortunately, some curmudgeon will appear on the scene later in the year to instruct us all to put them back again, unless we can stop him in the interim period, but that is another story.) In the meantime, let us rejoice and be happy. Christmas is coming, A New Year beacons on January 1st and as from today the days get longer.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

A comedy of errors.


 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/was-tory-chief-whip-framed-police-officer-accused-of-posing-as-member-of-public-to-help-force-andrew-mitchells-resignation-8424603.html

 Was Tory Chief Whip framed?



Andrew Mitchell




If this is some sort of conspiracy to frame Mitchel,  it has to be the most inept piece of subterfuge ever devised and executed by incompetent morons who should have realised that exposure of the "plot" would take as much time as it takes to say "ello, ello, ello." Who is trying to deceive who in this infantile farce?

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

The "experts" are at it again.

 http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-12-18/celebrity-chef-recipes-less-healthy-study/4434688


Experts turn up heat on celebrity chef recipes


Jamie Oliver  and Nigella Lawson




But, the "experts" fail to mention (as always), what additives, E numbers and assorted other rubbish are crammed into the "ready-to-cook meal bought from a supermarket." The labeling to enable us to make "informed choices" is confusing and as much use as a chocolate teapot, while the excessive packaging on the supermarket product ensures that the item is expensive as well as irritating. Are these "experts" on a retainer from the supermarkets and the packaging manufactures?

Comet collapse: a "nice little earner" for OpCapita.





Unsecured creditors to Comet, primarily landlords, stand to lose more than £200m from the collapse of the electricals chain.




 Henry Jackson. OpCapita





Comet stores closing down




















An additional 6,600 people today join the statistics of those unemployed in this country following the closure of the final 49 of the original 236 Comet electrical stores. The collapse of Comet is one of the biggest failures in high street outlets since Woolworths closed in 2008. Comet was placed in administration by owners OpCapita earlier this year and  Deloitte, was appointed as administrator to Comet in early November. OpCapita purchased Comet  in 2011, just 9 months ago,  for a price of £2. and at the same time received a £50 million "dowry" as part of the deal. Following the collapse of Comet, the government will be faced with a bill of £50 million to cover redundancy payments for 6,800 staff and unpaid VAT.  OpCapita, as one of the top "secured creditors" of Comet, has recovered more money from the collapse than anyone else. A fire-sale in the past two months has recouped £62 million of which £50 million has gone straight into the pocket of OpCapita. Incidentally, OpCapita is a London-based private investment firm, founded by American financier Henry Jackson, which owns or has owned prior to their demise, Comet Group, Game Group, BUT and MFI to name but four. It seems that other creditors of Comet including HM Revenue and Customs, will receive nothing from the sale, while the total losses to  un secured creditors will reach some £200 million. OpCapita are indeed fortunate that they are able to recover at least £50 million and have the other debts including the redundancy payments, financed by the taxpayer. There will be many questions arising in respect of the circumstances surrounding this whole matter and so there should be.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Lead crystal repairs?


http://www.dawncrystal.co.uk/index.htm


Dawn Crystal, Stourbridge West Midlands





We recently sent a lead crystal candle stick to Dawn Crystal in Stourbridge in West Midlands for a repair. The item was returned to us yesterday (14th December 2012) and I have just sent the following e-mail to Dawn Crystal:

Thank you for returning the repaired candlestick.

I am very disappointed with a number of aspects of your service.

1. The glass was returned without any cleaning or polishing and was covered in greasy marks and prints.
2. The repair itself was/is visible and the glass had residues of adhesive around the repaired area.
3.The packing of the item seemed to have been done in a bit of a hurry as all the original foam appeared to have been stuffed into the box without care or attention as each piece of the foam had been specifically cut to fit around individual pieces of the glass by the manufacturer.
4.The box for the item was the original box with packaging, as supplied by the manufacturing studio and bearing their logo and trade mark. Naturally the original packaging has some bearing on the intrinsic value of the item, which was purchased in France some 10 years ago. The box has been returned from you in a damaged condition having been covered with brown sticky tape, directly onto the surface of the box. You will recall that I had doubled packed the box, prior to applying sticky tape when I sent the item to you for repair. Additionally, the box seems to have been exposed to some foreign substance and is now stained in a number of places.


All in all, we are very displeased with your standard of repair and service as we considered that the repair would be done professionally rather than a shabby sticking job which we probably could have done ourselves.    

Sincerely







Just goes to show. A website offering a specialised service cannot always be relied upon. It was a relatively simple repair.

The influence of the Gun Lobby.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/15/piers-morgan-newtown-kids-die-gun-control_n_2307357.html?utm_hp_ref=uk

 Piers Morgan: 'How Many More Kids Have To Die' Before New Gun Control Laws (VIDEO)
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hA4827iQWY



Piers Morgan Takes Down Gun Lobbyists

 Firstly, let us understand one thing. It is not guns that kill people. It is people who kill people. Having established that simple fact, there is undoubtedly a compelling argument for having the strictest gun control legislation, not only here in the UK, but every other country where gun crime is epidemic. Unfortunately, the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, (and confirmed by in rulings by the Supreme Court in 2008 and 2010), ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State says: "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" This amendment, adopted on December 15, 1791, in different times and for totally different reasons, has been used for the past 220 years, as justification for the retention of weapons such as assault rifles, LMG's and other clearly military firearms in "civilian" hands as well as the standard automatic and revolver type and guns. The weapons have clearly changed since 1791, and equally clearly,  the reasons for having personal possession of such weapons are no longer valid. Not that this logic would have any effect what so ever on the mind set of the "Gun lobby" who are so powerful in American politics and have been for so many years. I am not Piers Morgan's greatest fan, but in this snippet of the interview his reasoned (and passionate) arguments are logical and accurate. It is the "Gun lobby" who show how shallow their reasoning actually is. It seems clear to me that there is another agenda which determines the continuation of the status quo. The arms trade is big business for America and other nations, with sales running to trillions of £ or $ every year. In the United States, a significant sum of money is spent by ordinary Americans on the purchase of weapons both from domestic suppliers and imported from other countries. With this amount of money to be made, it is not surprising that vested interests will seek to ensure that the primary source of their wealth is protected. With so much money to "invest" in political parties and individual campaigns across the United States, it is unlikely that any Congress or State legislature will ever introduce any meaningful restrictions on gun ownership or usage. As far as the 2nd Amendment with all its ramifications is concerned, the "Gun lobby" will ensure that any prospect of a modification or repeal will be a long way in the future if at all.   

Thursday, 13 December 2012

The arrogance of a "captalist"

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/google-boss-im-very-proud-of-our-tax-avoidance-scheme-8411974.html


 Google boss: I'm very proud of our tax avoidance scheme 

Google's Chairman Eric Schmidt said £2.5 billion tax avoidance 'is called capitalism'

 

 

Google chairman Eric Schmidt



This arrogance is mind blowing. The practice of tax avoidance may not be illegal, but it certainly is repugnant, particularly when obnoxious morons such as Eric Schmidt brag about how clever they are by getting away with it. Conceited bastard.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Stealing money in a fit of pique

 http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=295553

 Israel to withhold NIS 1.6b. of PA tax revenue




 Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman



 “They can forget about seeing a single agora for the next four months,” Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman:  Tel Aviv Tuesday.

Liberman, terrorist, bigot, war criminal and now thief. Stealing money to punish Palestine for obtaining status at the United Nations, and retaliating against Palestine and Europe's criticism of  Israel for announcing planning for homes in E1 in Ma’aleh Adumin, and other new construction plans beyond the Green Line. The Jerusalem Post of course seems to endorse this theft and probably considers that Liberman's activities will contribute to finding a solution to the Israeli/Palestinian problem. the Jerusalem Post is as warped as he is. 

How many more are there?

 http://www.channelonline.tv/channelonline_jerseynews/DisplayArticle.asp?ID=502856



 A former Jersey Centenier has been found guilty of child sex abuse.



Child Abuser & Ex Cop Ralph Mauger


 Some Jersey victims at least, obtain a degree of closure. There are other perverts in addition to Mauger, in Jersey society who remain hidden and protected by the on going cover up of the historic child abuse scandal. It may take a while, but with the growing exposure and comment on numerous blogs, and other social media from sources both in Jersey and elsewhere, public pressure must eventually overcome the conspiracy of silence within the Jersey "establishment" and inaction from the States and investigative bodies.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

The strange case of the disappearing news programme. Part 2


"Inside Out", the South West Channel Islands version, was shown on CI BBC One last night at 19:30  
(Monday 10th December 2012) and contained a 15 minute report on the Savile/Haut de la Garenne connection, together with interviews with victims, Lenny Harper and Home Affairs Minister Ian Le Marquand.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlDsA8_1uJY&feature=g-high-u





This programme was screened last night.
It was "missing" earlier this morning leading me to speculate upon sinister activities at the BBC in cahoots with the "authorities" in Jersey. Perhaps I did, on this occasion, do them both an injustice,  for which I am truly sorry.

The content of this video, covers in the first section, more revelations on the Savile/Haut de la Garenne connection. The interview with Senator Ian Le Marquand is fascinating as he turns evasion and waffle into an art form. Unfortunately, the interviewer allows him off the hook.

We have not heard the last of the Jersey Historic Child Abuse investigation.

The strange case of the disappearing news programme.

"Inside Out", the South West Channel Islands version, was shown on CI BBC One last night at 19:30  
(Monday 10th December 2012) and contained a 15 minute report on the Savile/Haut de la Garenne connection, together with interviews with victims, Lenny Harper and Home Affairs Minister Ian Le Marquand.


Home Affairs Minister Ian Le Marquand.


 I have been trying to find the recording of the Channel Island's "Inside Out" which was shown on BBC Television last night at 19:30. It contains the full report of the lead item on the CI News and has an interview with Senator Ian Le Marquand. His waffling and evasion of the questions is indicative of how the whole issue of historic child abuse in Jersey has been dealt with by the authorities in their attempts to cover up facts, discredit witnesses, victims and investigators and protect the perpetrators of the abuse. I shall continue with trying to find a video of the programme as it also has interviews with victims and Lenny Harper. 

( BBC Channel Islands could not have been "nobbled" to remove it from the viewing list surely? Could they?)


The Channel Islands News item is available here, but only until 18:30 tonight.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01p89jj/BBC_Channel_Islands_News_10_12_2012/

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Food banks are not only a "Northern" phenomenon.

 http://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/10096865.Weymouth_and_Portland_families_turn_to_food_bank_facility_as_food_prices_rise/?ref=mr

AN INCREASING number of families in Weymouth and Portland are turning to a food bank because they cannot afford to eat.



CRUCIAL ROLE: The food bank at Weymouth Baptist Church – Pauline Thompson, Doris Flack, Lily Mockett and Anne Craster
CRUCIAL ROLE: The food bank at Weymouth Baptist Church


 The consequences of the ConDem coalition and Osborne's economic policy, and its effect on one small corner of the Britain in the year 2012. It will only get worse. These "Food Banks" are opening across the country at a rate of more than 20 very week. The time was that many people thought that only those "up North" were in such economic difficulty as to be in need of such a facility. Now, even the affluent South is feeling the effects. Sandbanks, in Dorset, is one of the richest places in Britain and yet, food banks are open in Bournemouth with more planned. The need for food banks in the United Kingdom, is a stunning indictment of a political system which has failed the people of this country and which will and is resulting in the polarisation of British society.





Volunteers prepare food parcels at a food bank warehouse

A link to find a food bank near you.

http://www.trusselltrust.org/foodbank-projects