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Monday, 31 March 2014

Climate change is everyone's problem.


 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/30/un-climate-change-report_n_5060317.html?utm_hp_ref=climate-change

UN Scientific Panel Releases Report Sounding Alarm On Climate Change Dangers





Fumes emit from factories of Keihin Industrial Area on December 1, 2009 in Kawasaki, Japan. The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark will take place between December 6-18 with representatives from over 160 countries discussing the objective to prevent global warming and climate changes.
Industrial pollution



Until such times as you people are prepared to take on the major polluters of the world, the United States (who signed up for but never ratified the Kyoto agreement), China, Eastern European countries spewing chemicals into the atmosphere with complete impunity from any form of criticism or sanction, and all the other polluters and destroyers of the environment, please do not lecture me about climate change and how it is all my fault.
In passing, I would also suggest that you turn off the Downing Street room lights, particularly during the hours of daylight, and also turn off the office, factory, hotel and business complex's when the lights are not in use. (Have a look at London or any other city on this planet, from the air at night). Do not blame me for your ineptitude and failure to address the real issues.

£10 per month to use NHS ! "Labour" Peer co-authors a report for "Reform"



 
 http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/mar/31/nhs-users-pay-membership-charge


NHS users should pay £10 a month, says former health minister



Former Health Minister Lord Warner



Imposing a monthly levy for everyone to use the NHS. A proposal from a former Labour Minister, who now sits in the house of Lords. This dinosaur from the House of dinosaurs should feel ashamed of his Guardian article, but clearly will feel no remorse as he reaches for his pen to complete another House of Lords.expenses claim .
Warner, a appointee of Blair, (now there's a surprise) now works with the right wing think tank "Reform" and has co-authored a report that says "dramatic action is needed".
It makes no mention, at least none reported, of what effect that would have on the sick or disabled, pensioners, unemployed or other members of our society who would in all probability, be unable to afford yet another extortion of money from already stretched budgets, with the inevitability of annual increases to the £10 fee.
If payment of the fee is to be means tested, then the cost for the administration of the system would no doubt, far outweigh any contribution it may make to NHS funds.
All in all, no more than another harebrained scheme, probably found at the bottom of a tumbler of single malt and emanating from people who should be tending their rose gardens.

Another lost opportunity.

 http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/03/30/tuition-fees-labour_n_5059468.html?utm_hp_ref=uk



Tuition Fees Could be Slashed Under Ed Miliband's Labour




Ed Miliband at the East Manchester Academy


 
Again, given an opportunity, the Labour party generally and Miliband in particular, choose the wrong option.
Historically, Labour, (or at least the Labour party which I once belonged to) have been opposed to the concept of tuition fees and paying for education as it creates the iniquity of only "the rich" being able to afford university places and perpetuates a society where money is infinitely more important than ability.


The Bullingdon Club


 
The "New Labour" of Blair and Brown, to their eternal shame, introduced the idea of tuition fees, and the Tory dominated ConDem coalition with the enthusiastic support of Clegg and his band of duplicitous rouges, pushed through legislation to hike the fees, (notwithstanding their pre election vows to oppose any increase) and to introduce "student loans" to consign students to a lifetime of debt , in effect turning the government into nothing more than money lending sharks, practicing usury on a national scale.
Now the news that  " Labour could pledge to cut the £9,000 maximum fee to £6,000, or possibly further to £4,000", thus providing more proof, if more were actually required, that today's Labour, under the leadership of Miliband is nothing more than a marginal variation of the Conservative party offering only a tinkering with existing legislation, in the vain hope that they create an impression of being "radical" and that their brand of Tory policy is better and preferable to the Tory version of Tory policy. An ideologically bankrupt party indulging in political lunacy which explains why public support for the Labour party is diminishing in every recent opinion poll.
Miliband could have grasped the initiative by announcing that tuition fees would be scrapped together with the student loan scheme. He chose not to. He chose to announce another wishy washy "policy", littered with let out clauses and other qualifications.
Labour have probably just lost another couple of percentage points in the opinion polls.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

The only people who seem surprised by the fall in Labour "support", are Labour !

 
 http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/mar/29/labour-support-falls-lowest-2010-observer-opinium-opinion-poll?guni=Keyword:news-grid%20main-1%20Main%20trailblock:Editable%20trailblock%20-%20news:Position3:anchor%20image



Labour opinion poll support falls to lowest level since 2010 election





The alternative Tories?



 
For as long as Labour continue with the delusion that they can somehow be better at being Tory than the Torries are, they will never be more than a second choice in the morass of the political "center ground", as they seek to convince people that their policies for managing the capitalist system are better than the policies of the party who have been filling that role for most of the last 150 years.
In fact,  the vast majority of the Parliamentary Labour Party and its policy guru's would be more at home politically and intellectually, sitting somewhere between the Tory left and the Liberal Democrat right. 
When people are given no real alternatives, they will invariably choose the "the devil you know" when asked the question.The result is, (as a New York taxi driver once remarked in a different context), that the United Kingdom parliamentary elections usually mean that we "elect the evil of two lessers".
Thus it comes as no surprise, or at least it should be no surprise, that the "Labour lead" is only at two points. The lead will dwindle even further over the months remaining between now and the next election, (only some 13 months away), as Ed Miliband and his "advisers" become even more desperate to attract those few "floaters" who may make all the difference by offering what are essentially, Tory party policies with marginal adjustments at the peripheries which ultimately lead to the same destination.
There has been a marginal realignment of the right of British politics with the emergence of UKIP as an (almost) credible option. What is desperately needed is a realignment of the Left, offering a real and credible alternative to the discredited Labour party. .

"Independent", trying to attract the readers attention.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/missing-malaysian-flight-mh370-promises-and-prayers--but-wait-goes-on-for-passengers-relatives-9223743.html



Search teams 'tantalisingly close' to finding the wreckage




Search area's

As the perplexing hunt for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 enters its fourth week, search teams believe they may be tantalisingly close to finding the wreckage. But for the relatives of the 239 passengers and crew, the failure to retrieve a single piece of debris to date is excruciating.



"Tantalisingly close to finding the wreckage". Now what on earth does that mean? "Wreckage" is either there, or it isn't.
Kathy Marks, "Independent" reporter and author of this piece of journalistic nonsense, joins what seems to be a growing trend amongst "journalists" of the "Independent" by writing stories using "sensational" prose and headlines, presumably to attract the readers attention, and to demonstrate how clever they are with their use of the English language. The reality of course is the complete opposite.
How long will it be before the Independent headlines with "GOTCHA !" or even "It wos the Indie what wun it !"
Amol Rajan, Lisa Markwell and the rest of the editorial team should really pay more attention and get a grip of what is being published.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Threats or Diplomacy? It depends on who you listen to.

 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/28/exclusive-russia-ukraine_n_5052313.html?ir=UK&ref=topbar


Russia Threatened Countries Ahead Of UN Vote On Ukraine, Diplomats Say

 

 

Blackmail or diplomacy?

 

 

When Russia "persuades" other nations to vote (or not) in a particular way, such actions are described as threats and blackmail. When the United States (and the United Kingdom), use the same tactics, it is described as lobbying and diplomacy.
The arrogance and hypocrisy of the USA, the UK and the vast majority of the western media, is truly breathtaking.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Miliband calling for price controls when he should be addressing the real problem.

 http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/mar/27/ed-miliband-energy-price-controls-freeze-big-six


Ed Miliband to propose fresh energy price controls 

 

Miliband will tell the Federation of Small Businesses that he wants to create an open market economy where small businesses can grow and make bigger profits.




Ed Miliband.


 
The "policy" to control energy prices is popular amongst a large proportion of the public, (aka. voters). The only question is which, of the variants from each of the major parties solutions to achieve the same objective, will the voters select as their preferred option?
Each segment of the Coalition, Miliband's version of Labour, and soon no doubt to be joined by Farange and his UKIP, compete with each other to offer what they hope will be the most popular solution to solve the problem and "deal with the broken energy market" and finally end the energy companies cartel in the supply and distribution of energy in this country. Albeit, that strangely enough none of them officially at least, will admit to the existence of such a cartel. It is pure coincidence it seems that all the companies act in unison when announcing price increases all of which happen (at least) twice every year and are set at a rate within a few percentage points of each other. The hot air and rhetoric about "transparency", too many tariffs", "switch suppliers" etc is just that. Rhetoric to create a smokescreen of confusion and divert attention. The main political parties are hardly likely to be too radical in their treatment of the energy companies, no matter what they may say in public. The criticism is purely for public consumption and in at least one instance, the party is hardly going to
jeopardise a source of significant income for party funds.
The public perception of energy companies is, quite rightly, at an all time low  and no amount of fiddling with the peripheries is going to change that perception or solve the problem. In this situation, Miliband demonstrates yet again, that he and the party he leads, are concerned purely with maintaining the economic status quo in this country by managing the "capitalist" system in a way only marginally different to that of the Tory party.  I have often argued that Miliband and the Labour party are seeking to persuade us all that they are better at being Tory than the Tories are and that they are best placed to manage the economy and those businesses within it and to maintain the social structure of the country. The reality of course is that he and the leaders of the other parties, together with their party "establishments" are interested only in maintaining the status qou of their parliamentary positions together with the privileges and perks which accompany it.
On the question of energy and the companies supplying it, Miliband and the Labour party are wrong as they have been wrong for decades on their whole approach to the privatised industries and what Labour policy should be in response to them (and also other policy matters but that is for another debate). Labour have for many years under the "leadership" of Blair, Brown and now Miliband, offered no resistance to the policy of privatisation and have endorsed, even created privatisation of sectors of the economy. There are some industries which are far too important to society to be left to the vagaries of private enterprise. The supply and distribution of energy is one such industry. Privatisation has failed and penalised the consumer, the tax payer and the public in all of the industries privatised to date. For complete failure, we need look no further than British Rail. For exploitation of the consumers, Water, Power, Telecoms and BP to mention just a few. For "ripping off" the taxpayers we need only to remember privatising the banks (with no resulting public control) and perhaps the greatest and latest rip off the privatisation at a give away price of Royal Mail, the most recent theft of public assets.  
Miliband should not be proposing fresh controls on energy prices and seeking ways   " to mend the broken energy market ". He and his party should be advocating and preparing to return the energy market into public ownership. The "fat cat" bosses of the energy companies will squeak and sequel in protest. They will threaten all sorts of dire consequences and will be joined by the Tory party in howls of dissent. However, the discomfort and resentment of a few energy company bosses and some predominately Tory politicians, should be of little concern when righting the indefensible exploitation of their many consumers.










Thursday, 27 March 2014

Another Tory Bigot attacks foodbanks

 http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/03/26/food-banks-crawley-liam-marshall-ascough_n_5034541.html?utm_hp_ref=uk


Extra Food Banks Aren't Needed Because Restaurants Are Busy, Says Tory Councillor 




People aren't going hungry: Cllr Liam Marshall-Ascough




Sometimes, it is hard to believe that that there are "people" in this country who still accept the myth that foodbanks are a consequence of "scroungers" preferring to live on charity rather than the result of government policies and delays in payment of essential  benefits.
Last week it was Tebbit wading into the demonisation and general slurs in respect of Foodbanks and the people who use the charities.The Tebbit of "On your bike" fame. Tebbit, the lackey of Thatcher. Tebbit, the former airline pilot, who came to fame within the Tory party with his odious attacks on working people, immigrants, unemployed and the gay community a perfect lapdog in fact for the  grocers daughter from Grantham.
Today, Crawley Councillor Liam Marshall-Ascough crawls out of the woodwork to add his ill considered comments to those insults and abuse already in the public domain from Edwina Currie, Liam walker, Rupert Charles Ponsonby, Baron Freud, Iain Duncan-Smith and numerous other Tory party members.
When making a bid for the leadership of Crawley Borough Council. Marshal-Ascough, promised to reconsider plans to build a new cemetery on public playing fields, claimed that single women get themselves pregnant to be housed by the council, notwithstanding the fact that he had not one shred of evidence to support such an outrageous allegation, and stated that he  was "sick of hard-working taxpayers footing the bill for benefit claimants". Comments rating amongst the more colourful remarks of his leadership bid. Clearly the bigotry of this nasty little individual has not diminished.
For the past two years, I have been writing about  the ever increasing numbers of people forced into using the Trussell trust and other foodbank charities. Since 2012, the number of people relying on foodbanks has grown from almost 200,00 in 2012,  to 700,000 now, and is predicted to rise to over 1 million in 2014.
(See http://new-agenda2012.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/trussell-trust-predicts-up-to-one.html of 22nd December 2013).
It has become the main tool in Tory party propaganda to demonise people who are reliant on foodbanks to feed their families and to decry those charities who provide such facilities. The intervention by Liam Marshall-Ascough, is just the latest preposterous comment about  a growing scandal for which the Tories are solely responsible, a problem which they do not understand and confirmation that the Tory party and its supporters are totally out of touch with the world of reality.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Miliband has more in common with the Tory party than the labour movement.

  
 http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/03/26/ed-miliband-welfare-rebellion_n_5033370.html?utm_hp_ref=uk

 

Ed Miliband Faces Labour Rebellion For Backing Welfare Cap



Ed Miliband:. More at home in the Conservative party?




The Labour leader Ed Miliband has ordered his MPs to back the cap on overall welfare spending. This instruction to elected MP's, or at least the reasoning behind the order, demonstrates how far the Labour Party and its leadership has drifted away from the traditional base and principles of the Labour movement.
Were this directive, enthusiastically endorsed by Balls and supported by the entire front bench of the Parliamentary Labor party, based on any sound economic benefit, then there may, just may, be some grounds for supporting such a policy. However, there is no such economic reasoning and the Labour MP's at least the majority of them, will troupe into the "Aye" lobby in support of the ConDem coalition and their Tory masters, to pass a bill designed purely as another tool for the DWP and in particular Iain Duncan-Smith, to batter the unemployed, sick and disabled, single parent families housing benefit claimants and all the other people who are reliant on the welfare system, which has already been cut to the bone to satisfy Tory dogma. Thank God that there are some Labour members, estimated at this time to be between 20 and 40, who will defy this instruction and will retain an element of principle, demonstrating that even though the leadership of a once great party are seeking to become the "New Tory party" and completely abandon the ordinary people of the country, there are some who still believe in traditional values and social justice.