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Thursday, 30 April 2015

Perhaps I shall vote after all.


 The faces of British politics 2015.



Take your pick






I have not voted for many years, since just before Blair, Mandellson, Campbell and Brown destroyed the Labour Party in fact. From being an active party member, CLP chair, Council Group Leader, PPC, and a number of other posts, I became party less, as no political group matched my views on society or any of the other issues which I considered to be essential. It was not a case of me deserting the Labour party, but more the Labour party deserting me as it lurched off to the right in pursuit of perceived popularity and electoral victory at any price, rather than political belief. I never subscribed to the argument that being in politics was about winning elections at any price rather than campaigning for a fair and democratic society where people were more important than corporations and collective well being was more important than greed and self interest.

There is however a political manifesto in this General Election Campaign, which proposes a society and a catalouge of policies which in many ways, reflects what I have campaigned for in the past and still argue for today.


*Fight for a publicly funded, publicly provided health service free at the point of use.
*End austerity and restore the public sector, creating over one million good jobs that pay at least a living wage.
*Build 500,000 social rented homes by 2020 and bring empty homes back into use to ensure everyone has access to an affordable place to live.
*Build 500,000 social rented homes by 2020 and bring empty homes back into use to ensure everyone has access to an affordable place to live.
*Scrap Trident, The "Independent" nuclear deterrent.
*Phase out fossil-fuel based energy generation and nuclear power.

Until now I have been spectacularly unimpressed by the negative, cliche ridden hostility of the general election campaign from the majority of political camps. However, it may well be that on 7th May, next Thursday in fact, I will go to the station and vote after all.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Keyness and Freidman spinning in their graves and laughing

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/apr/29/tories-promise-tax-lock-in-latest-move-to-combat-labour


Tories promise 'tax lock' in latest move to combat Labour



Prime Minister  has seriously lost the plot



This must be the most crassly ludicrous, ridiculous, patronising promise, pledge, or undertaking made by any politician (so far) of any party during this election campaign.
To even consider that the electorate will accept this nonsense demonstrates that this Prime Minister who is seeking another term in the office, has seriously lost the plot and had his powers of logic and reasoning damaged beyond repair by "sitting in one place for too long".
There is absolutely no reason to believe that a Chancellor of the Exchequer of any party would commit to a five year period of income tax freezes on all income bands, freezing duties on all goods and services, freezing VAT rates or any of the other fiscal tools when proposing annual their budgets. The economic situation in this country and even in the wider world, can vary on a day to day basis with thousands of interrelated factors dictating in many instances which measures are available or necessary to control an economy.
Economists of all persuasions from Milton Friedman to John Maynard Keynes, not to mention previous Chancellors and Prime Ministers, must be spinning in their graves and howling with laughter at the political naivety, stupidity and economic ignorance of this career politician from Oxford University and Bullingdon Club.
The people of this country have probably by now become used to their politicians promising the earth in exchange for their votes in the polling booth, but this latest promise is without doubt the most preposterous in the history of political campaigning. I have argued elsewhere that David Cameron is not fit to hold the office of Prime Minister in this country. This latest utterance confirms that either his mental condition excludes him from consideration for the position, or his contempt for the intelligence of people makes him an unacceptable choice. In either case, he demonstrates that he is unfit for office.




Tuesday, 28 April 2015

The "markets" do not like the possibility of intervention, no matter how modest.


 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/constructionandproperty/11565524/Housebuilders-hit-by-Ed-Milibands-rent-control-plans.html



Labour's housing plans wipe nearly £200m off value of UK home builders



Modest plans wipe £200 million off value of Britain's house builders.



How strange it is that a political party's plans to assist potential house buyers and to offer some rent controls as relief to those families renting their homes should cause such alarm and despondency among Britain's house building companies as almost £200 million is wiped off the value of their companies. It seems that the possibility of some controls in the housing sector, no matter how modest, can cause such alarm in "the markets" as they contemplate some reductions in their already inflated "margins".
What is not strange however, is the fact that a rabid right wing rag such as "The Telegraph" should place such great emphasis on the drop in share values in yet another attempt to dissuade people from voting for the party concerned.
Politics is foul.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Simon Calder of the Independent is way off the mark.

http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/a380-celebrates-first-decade-in-flight--but-how-long-will-it-last-10205583.html


Aviation history is littered with failures - not just the fatally flawed Comet 1, the hopelessly timed Bristol Brabazon and the terminally unviable Concorde.  

(Simon Calder. Travel Correspondent for the Independent)


Concord. Murdered by the United States aviation industry


 
The Concord was not a failure. It was a wonderful aircraft in concept, design and build and was far in advance of anything then on the market. The Concord was, in fact, murdered by the American government and the American aircraft manufacturing lobby led by Boeing. At that time the Boeing SST design and build programme was at least 6 years behind the Aerospatiale BAC joint venture to build a supersonic passenger aircraft. Similarly, the Rolls Royce/SNECMA engines were ahead of the Pratt and Whitney engines for the Boeing aircraft. For these reasons, and being unable to prevent flights to the USA completely, the American authorities would not grant licences for direct flights into New York or Las Angeles but instead granted a licence for flights to Washington. After some 2 years of delay however scheduled service from Paris and London to New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport began in November 1977.The delays in commencing scheduled services onto the more lucrative Trans Atlantic routes ensured that Aerospatiale BAC were unable to continue the programme for Concord marks 2 and 3.
Concord was not a failure, but it was a victim.

Fiddling at the margins

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/apr/27/labour-pledge-stamp-duty-house-purchases-first-time-buyers


Labour pledges to abolish stamp duty on house purchases for first-time buyers




Labour to cut stamp duty on homes under £300k for first time buyers





Help for "first time buyers" and curbs on rent increases.
Two measures seeking to attract votes but will do nothing to resolve the problem. For Miliband and all of the other politicians paying lip service to the housing crisis with half baked useless cliches, the message is a simple one.
Stop fiddling with the margins and address the fundamental issue. We desperately need more housing in all sectors, but especially in the rented sector be it private or social. The parties should commit to (and deliver) 300,000 new homes with at least 80% for rented accommodation built for local authorities or housing associations. The "right to buy" nonsense should be scrapped and the "cap" on rent levels across the board should be fixed at no more than the rate of inflation. Why have the politicians of all parties so little backbone when it comes to addressing the housing crisis? Perhaps they and their friends in the building industry, prefer a situation where a shortage of available housing for private purchase or available for rented accommodation, ensures a higher price level and thereby higher profits for builders, landlords and others.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Propaganda from the usual suspects to undermine the Syriza party-led coalition

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/25/greeks-view-of-debt-crisis-great-hardship#comment-51044145



Greeks’ view of the debt crisis: ‘What lies ahead is great, great hardship’



Syriza-led coalition government





"Three months on from Alexis Tsipras’s victory, hope is ebbing away and support for his party is haemorrhaging" screams the headline.
Just goes to show how in the war of propaganda, the Troika, Brussels, European bankers, Angela Merkel, the IMF and no doubt assisted by CIA "advisers", the anti Alexis Tsipras will descend to any depth to discredit the new Greek government, without any consideration of the truth.
Perhaps these organistions would prefer a "coup" in Greece and new elections in the hope that the outcome will produce a government more subservient to them than to the Greek people.

Trust us. We know what is best.Politicians asking for a "blank cheque".


http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/apr/25/election-2015-parties-under-pressure-to-reveal-detail-of-cuts#comment-51043634


Voters want straight answers on where the welfare axe will fall



Tories refuse to say exactly what they will cut


 
Why should the British people trust any politician asking for a "blank cheque"?
From the evidence of their actions over previous years, the lies, the deceit, the duplicity of their broken promises, the mutual support to force through divisive and punitive measures in the name of austerity, they have demonstrated contempt for the electorate.
Trust? They could not be trusted to run a coconut stall at the local village fete.

NHS cuts as £34 million spent on Agency nurses in the South West alone.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/nhs-hit-by-stealth-cuts-of-2bn-as-tariffs-received-for-medical-procedures-are-reduced-10204414.html



NHS hit by stealth cuts of £2bn


Warning bells sound as spending on agency nurses soars





In 2014, the South West area NHS Trusts of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset alone, spent £34 million on obtaining Agency nursing from private companies. There is every reason to believe that similar and even greater sums in a number of other NHS Trusts around the country.
WHY?

Friday, 24 April 2015

Who killed Jill Dando and why was she murdered?

 http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/jill-dando-secret-files-revealed-5437428#ICID=sharebar_twitter



Jill Dando secret files revealed: Murder defence team never saw key profiles



Jill Dando (9 November 1961 – 26 April 1999)do




Who killed Jill Dando and why was she murdered?
In the 1990's, Jill Dando prepared a file alleging that 'big name stars' and BBC staff were involved in abuse. The BBC have since denied any knowledge of the file.
In view of developments and revelations over recent years, perhaps the BBC should have another look for the file and the police should investigate another line of enquiry.

Supporters of Israel again using the "anti-Jewish bigotry" argument to stifle criticism.

 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/major-medical-journal-lancet-under-attack-for-extremist-hate-propaganda-over-its-coverage-of-the-israelipalestinian-conflict-10199892.html


The Lancet under attack for 'extremist hate propaganda' over its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict


Damage at the Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al-Balah
in the central Gaza Strip, shelled by the Israeli army on July 21, 2014,


 
An article in the Lancet, deemed to be critical of Israel’s conduct in Gaza, with some complaining it was “anti-Jewish bigotry”, demonstrates how Jews are protected by law from discrimination,anti semitism and abuse in the media or elsewhere. They occupy a place within society that is probably unique, in terms of laws and restrictions being applied for the protection of a minority, which is not afforded to any other group or religion. By continually playing "the Holocaust card" or numerous variations of it, Tel Aviv and those who unreservedly support the actions of the Israeli government, again demonstrate an expectation that individual people, organisations and governments outside Israel will support and accept the cliche of "Israel's right to defend itself".  Another example of Israel can do no wrong. It is clearly obvious that hostility towards Israel has grown significantly over past years particularly in response to their aggressions and barbaric occupation of Palestinian lands and specifically in Gaza.
To criticise and attack the Lancet, or any other publication or individual who comments on events as being anti-Semitic and bigoted, reinforces the very unhealthy and sinister "smear propaganda" which has been filling western media and political opinion since 1948.





Thursday, 23 April 2015

A "Demonstration" which will generate even more hostility.



https://youtu.be/b8sV1WTJbs4



Video: “Death to the Arabs” march forces its way through occupied Jerusalem



Demonstration was part of the “Tour of the Gates” through the of the Old City.




This video is as disgusting as it is disturbing. In many countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, Jews are protected by law from discrimination,anti semitism and abuse in the media or elsewhere. They occupy a place within society that is probably unique, in terms of laws and restrictions being applied for the protection of a minority, which is not afforded to any other group or religion.
However, this demonstration in occupied East Jerusalem, with the demonstrators chanting "Death to the Arabs" specifically targeted at Palestinians passes unnoticed be the western media and not mentioned by politicians who should be protesting to the Israeli government. Again, a case of "Israel can do no wrong" is the overriding factor in this countries relationship with Tel Aviv.
It is clearly obvious that hostility towards Israel has grown significantly over past years particularly in response to their aggressions and barbaric occupation of Palestinian lads. It is also clearly obvious that the behavior of the Jews in this video, protected by the Israeli Defence Force military, will promote even further hostility and resentment amongst many ordinary people in the west.
It is not acceptable to "play the holocaust card" and demand special preferential treatment and at the same time demonstrate spite,venom and hatred against non Jews.




Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Food banks and comments from people who should be ashamed.

 http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/apr/22/food-bank-users-uk-low-paid-workers-poverty


 More than a million people have used food banks in past year




figures showing a 19% rise year-on-year is just the ‘tip of the iceberg’



 
This story should provoke outrage and shame, that in the first quarter of the 21st Century people are forced to use charities to feed their families.From some of the posts in the comments section however, it is clearly obvious that the policies of this govevernment and the associated propaganda, have suceeded in promoting an atmosphere of demonisation of foodbank users and divisions within our society. The bile and venom of many posters against those, many of whom are working but still qualify for benifits, who rely on food charites, is appaling, spiteful and ill informed. The place of foodbanks in our society is sadly a necessity and will not go away anytime soon. In fact it is clearly obvious that the numbers of our people using these facilities will grow at an ever increasing rate for the foreseeable future.

The futility of one month of Saudi airstrikes.

 http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/21/saudi-arabia-airstrikes-yemen-military-campaign-end



Saudi Arabia declares end to Yemen air strikes after four weeks of bombing


People gather near the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi air strikes


 
Saudi Arabia ends its month long air camapign.The net result has acheived nothing except the deaths of countless numbers of civilians and even more hostility towards the regime in Riyadh and the ruling family, both in Yemen and amongst the vast majority of Saudi Arabian people.
The Saudi government and the royal family however have more than enough of the most up to date western supplied weaponary and aircraft to maintain control within their own borders and now have the addition of the American aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and the cruiser USS Normandy to bolster their defences against the perceived "threat" of Iran.



The Yanks are comming! USS Theodore Roosevelt



The paranoid mentality of the oppresive Saudi government, coupled with the ambitions of the United States in connection with Iran, are a very unstable and dangerous combination in the area. Hopefully sanity rather than neoconservative interventionist philosophy will prevail in Washington. The evidence suggests however, that in the question of foreign policy, the neoconservative have the greatest influence.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

The Al-Sisi junta and the latest show trial.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/ousted-egyptian-president-mohammed-morsi-jailed-for-20-years-over-the-death-of-protesters-10191546.html



Mohamed Morsi: Ousted Egyptian president jailed for 20 years 

 

 

Mohamed Morsi: Egypt's first freely elected leader



Bloody outrageous. The Show trials set up by the Al-Sisi dictatorship claims another victim. The democtatically elected Presisident of Egypt, overthrown in a Coup instigated by Al-Sisi and supported and encouraged by the United States has avoided the death penalty but faces 20 years in prison. The "Democracies" of the world particularly the United States, should hang their heads in shame at this insult to the principle of justice and their part in supporting the growing excesses of the Al-Sisi cabal. This is a bad day for democracy.

A conspiracy to protect the "establishment"? How far does this cover up actually spread?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/greville-janner-connection-between-dpp-and-lords-qc-son-raises-questions-over-decision-not-to-prosecute-him-over-sex-abuse-allegations-10190005.html 


Connection between DPP and Lord's QC son raises questions over decision not to prosecute him over sex abuse allegations


Greville Janner and son Daniel Janner



As each day passes, the decision not to prosecute Greville Janner in connection with his alledged involvement in over 22 child sex allegations during his time as Labour MP, becomes more extraordinary and bizzare. Greville Janner escapes any conseqences of his alleged child abuse activities dating back over many years, as he is suffering from dementia, a condition which has apparently deteriorated since police searched his home and he first became a suspect. However, right up until December 2013, he was fit enough to attend the House of Lords and claim the associated expenses.
It seems that investigation and prosecution was dropped some years past as "mistakes were made in decision making at the time by both police and CPS. Lord Janner should have been prosecuted". 
In 1991 Keith Vaz, came to his defence saying Janner was the “victim of a cowardly attack” when he was accused of abusing a boy during the trial of paedophile children’s home boss Frank Beck. Vaz proposed a new law to protect the ‘innocence’ of his ‘friend’ and ‘neighbour’ Greville Janner because  of the ‘lies’ that had been told about the now Lord Janner.
Keith Vaz proposed a new law "to protect" Janner.


It would not be the first time that people have avoided prosecution  and imprisonment only to have a miraculous cure some time later. Janner and the people who knew or were involved in his odius activities at the time, should face trial today. The links between establishment figures, not only in the case of Janner, but in other high profile allegations and prosecutions beggar beleif.
As time passes and more revelations become public, the question screams out as to how far this conspiracy to protect the "establishment" actually spreads and who is involved in the cover up as well as the abuse. The public now demand answers.




Sunday, 19 April 2015

Never mind about what's "bad for business". What about what's good for the people?


 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/generalelection/general-election-2015-tesco-chairman-john-allan-slams-tory-plan-for-eu-referendum-10187367.html


Tesco chairman John Allan slams Tory plan for an EU referendum

 

 


 

I am getting very fed up with "business leaders" or other pundits banging on about what may (or may not) be "Bad for businesses" in a referendum on our membership of the European Union and any subsequent decision about leaving, if that is what the outcome might produce.
The only question which should be considered is what is good for the British people, be that remaining as a member or leaving.
Politicians of all parties should get away from their obssesions with "business" and concentrate on the best interest people they were elected to represent.


Another lacklustre failure in the House of Lords?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/generalelection/general-election-2015-lib-dem-plan-for-danny-alexander-to-keep-cabinet-post-if-they-forge-another-coalition-with-tories-10187353.html


Danny Alexander could retain his Cabinet post in a second coalition government even if he loses his seat in the Scottish Highland



Lord Danny of Aviemore?





Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has demonstrated over the last 5 years, the performance of a man promoted far above the level of his abilities. He has also been less than impressive during interviews and his dealings with the media generally and until very recently been an obediant puppy for Osborne. According to the latest predictions, Danny Alexander will loose his seat on May 7th.



Image result for danny alexander
Master and man






Hopefully, only the Liberal Democrats can dream up a proposal to elevate this lacklustre failure to the House of Lords in order to retain his "abilities" in a futre coalition with the Conservatives. Perhaps the Liberal Democrats are delusional in their vision of having enough seats on May 8th, to form a coalition with anyone, but planning to make a Lord something or other for this man from Aviemore is at best fanciful. However, in a chamber full of non entities, another one snoring quietly on the red leather benches, would not even be noticed.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

The number of families dependent on foodbanks continues to grow,as the IMF and Germany praise Osborne.


 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/one-million-britons-using-food-banks-according-to-trussell-trust-10186142.html

 Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust

 




The figure of 1 million people relying on food banks is now almost reached. It has arrived rather sooner than many people predicted only months ago and is indicative of a scandal which indicates poverty in this country is increasing no matter what Osborne, the coaltion and the IMF may try to convince us about the economy is improving and that government economic policy is on the right track and that things are getting better. No matter what government statisiics, graphs, figures, "finacial organisations" or other experts may try to deceive us with, the reality is that more and more people are falling victim to the pernicious,vindictive and divisive policies of this wretched government and its idealogical campaign against ordinary people and their families.
At the coming election, the British people have the opportunity to resoundingly reject the policies of the last five years, and change the face of British politics. The problem however, is that the Labour party, which appears to offer the only alternative to Cameron, seems intent on persuing broadly similar policies to those of the coalition, with no intention of repealing any of the disaterous measures which have brought us to the position we are in today. The prospects for those now receiving food aid and in some cases even fuel aid, remain bleak. Who knows how many more peolple will join the 1 million over the next 6 months or more.
By this time next year, we could have as many as two million people reliant on food banks unless there is a fundamental shift in political positions.

Friday, 17 April 2015

The real enemy is the Conservative party.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/apr/16/miliband-sturgeon-final-tv-debate-anti-tory-coalition 


Miliband tells Sturgeon in final TV debate: I won't do a deal with you 

 

 







Miliband has been deflected from the real and only issue. The real enemy to working people in this country is not Sturgeon and the SNP. The enemy is Cameron, Osborne, Iain Duncan-Smith,Sourby and the hundred or so other Conservative MP's who have plagued working people in this country with punative and divisive policies aimed particularly at the sick and disabled, the unemplyed (and I include those on zero hour contracts) anyone claiming benifits, and certainly those 1 million people who are reliant on Foodbanks and other charities to feed their families.
It is the prime responsibilty and the duty of the Labour party (at least a Labour party that I would recgognise) to oppose with every means at their disposal the pernicious excesses of capitalism and the Conservative party which supports and promotes it.(A task which the Labour MP's and Miliband, have veen spectacularly poor at over the last 5 years). To defend and represent working people and their families and to improve conditions."To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service", is as true now as it was then.
To be deflected into a navel gazing exercise as to whether the SNP are a bunch of good guys or a band of rouges and bullies does nothing to put food into the mouths of the poor or to address the deficiencies of the NHS brought about by privatisation.Someone once said that "If Hitler invaded Hell, I would at least make a favourable reference to the Devil in the House". I see this as a comparable situation. No matter who offers support, the Tories must be smashed and their Queens speech completely rejected, We must stop them from forming a government and drive them from their positions of power, If the SNP, The Greens, Plaid Cwymry,UKIP or even the Monster Raving Looney party are prepared to join us in that objective, then so be it.

Miliband has lost sight of the real enemy.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/apr/16/miliband-sturgeon-final-tv-debate-anti-tory-coalition

Labour leader rejects SNP leader’s offer of an anti-Tory coalition, saying risk to the UK is too great



Image result for sturgeon miliband




Ed Miliband says that the risks in an Anti Tory coalition "are too great" !
This bacon sandwich munching cartoon chracter is clearly not on the same planet as the benifit claiming people on zero hour contracts, or the disabled who have had their beifits cut,or the people "sanctioned" by the DWP gestapo or the people forced out of their home by bedroom taxes or the thousand of people deserted by the Labour party over the last few decades and the 1 million people plus who are now reliant on foodbanks and other charites.
Ed you are wrong. It is the risks of the Tories that are "too great" to the British people that you should be considering. A coaltion, arrangement, understanding call it what you will against the Tories and opposing any Queens speech that they may propose is what is deparately needed.
We do not need, nor can we afford, your ego satisfying rambling or another round of you and the Labour MP's trooping through the lobbies in support of another £30 billion worth of cuts.
The enemy is the Tory party and its austerity programme, its punative and divisive welfare policies and the Tory and Liberal Democrat "ministers" so keen to hang on to their "perks" and tell everyone else to like it or lump it.




Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The Downing Street "prostitute" seeking another position.


 http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/apr/15/lib-dems-only-alternative-coalition-snp-or-ukip-nick-clegg#comment-50468320



Lib Dems are only alternative to 'coalition of grievance', says Nick Clegg 

Party leader says Liberal Democrats would offer conscience and stability in coalition after 7 May

 

 

. He has said his party is the only stable choice at the election.

 

 
The comments of a man desparate to retain the position and priviledges he has enjoyed over the last five years. The ministerial car, the inflated salary, the title of "Deputy" Prime minister, the expenses, the seat at the cabinet table and the perceived kudos would all be lost unless Clegg can weasle his way into another coalition with whoever would be prepared to take him.
He is one of those people who would be prepared to prostitute themselves and every principle they may once have held in exchange for their perception of power. The problem of course is that Clegg was able to persuade or bribe enough Liberal Democrat MP's to either support his ambitions after the last election  or at least acquiece  and hide behind the "we are in coalition for the sake of the country", nonsesnse.
Perhaps the electorate will have a recollection on May 7th of the many punative and divisive poliicies that the Conservative (coalition) government with "entusiastic" Liberal Democrat support in the lobbies, have imposed on the people of this country during their period in power. Perhaps the Liberal Democrat party canditates and Clegg in particular, will have a hammering at the polls and will suffer electoral annihilation. It is certainly what they deserve.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

A cynical appeal to the "Thatcher Spirit"

 http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/apr/14/tory-election-manifesto-right-to-buy-housing-association-properties#comment-50412507


David Cameron:

"The dream of the property owning democracy is alive, and that the Conservatives “are the party of working people, offering you security at every stage of your life”.





 
The "right to buy" policies of Thatcher some 30 years ago is one of the root causes of the present housing crisis in this country. The fundemental problem of the present crisis is not a matter of being able to buy, but more importantly it is a matter of having sufficient homes for purchase or rent available in the "market". However, zero hour contracts and an overall decline in wages and salaries ability to purchase is a major factor.
The sooner that political parties of all persuasions are prepared to ditch their hypocritical cynicism and tackle the problem rather than seek to gain electoral advantage with vague promises and soundbites, the better for those with little prospect of either buying or renting a home.The shortage of housing in this country has been an outrage for decades and governments of both sides since Thatcher, and now coalitions have done nothing to resolve the issue. For Cameron to now seek to gain a few votes with an appeal to the  "Thatcher spirit"  is an example of hypocritical desparation of a cynical  man not worthy to be the Prime Minister of this country. 

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Condor Liberation.A fine ship, but there are issues.

A nice ship, but a shame about the onboard organisation


Condor Liberation.



 Image result for Condor Liberation                      








Condor Libertion, the new (well almost new) addition to the Condor fleet, is a fine ship, bigger than Vitesse and Express operating out of Weymouth, which it replaces and with a larger vehile capacity.
The lounges provide panoramic views from comfortable seating and with even more comforts in the "Traveller plus" and "Club" lounges. There I am afriad, all praise finishes.
There may have been reasons for the chaos on the crossing of 10th April 2015. For example, the Liberation collided with the docking peir in Guernsey on her maiden voyage out of Poole on the 27th March and was taken out of service for over a week for repairs to the hull. Then, upon returning to service, she deloped and engine fault with a further fault on the forward engine control unit which apparently has to be replaced with a unit being sent from Germany. All this has led to complete chaos with the timetables from the mainland to the Channel Islands and the inter Island connections as well as sceduled departure and arrival times as the ship has been running on reduced power since returning to service.
On Friday 10th crossing, the departure time from Poole was brought forward by 45 minutes to depart at 07:45  going direct to Jersey with no call at Guernsey on that leg in order to meet tidal conditions. It seems that passengers for Guernsey would not arrive at their destinations until 16:30 that afternoon. As it transpired, the Liberation did not sail from Poole until 08:20, thereby adding at least another 30 minutes to travel time. I am glad that we were only going to Jersey.
As soon as we got on board, it was eveident that not only was it the middle Friday of the Easter holiday, but clearly more passengers were on the ship as a result of rearranged and amended traveling arrangements brought about by the amendments to timetables over the past weeks.
The ship was packed and people were wandering around trying to find seats, lounges, toilets or whatever with little or no evidence of Condor stewards or cabin staff assisting people and families with children.
Eventually, the ship sailed and almost immediately an announcement on the tannoy system informed passengers for Guernsey only that as a result of the timetable amendments, "Free coffee, tea and filled baps" would be available in the only self service restaurant on the ship serving hot food. This almost instantaneouly resulted in a queue almost the length of the ship waiting for the refreshments. The consequential result was that anyone wanting just a slice of toast with some marmalde would have to queue for almost 45 minutes! At the end of that time they would then discover that the slice of toast would cost them £1.99. Unbeleivable. To cap it all, a very appologetic and hesitant voice came over the Tannoy, this time announcing that they were aware that there were problems and the catering staff and restaurant attendants were working very hard to resolve the issues and reduce waiting times.
The extra efforts seemed to have little effect, as the queues remained extended through most of the ships length for some hours.
Eventually reaching Jersey, ironically at the same time that the ship would have arrived according to the original schedule, the chaos continued as passengers tried to reach the car decks at the same time as foot passengers were swarming in opposite directions to the port side of the ship to reach the gangways descending to the peir. All in all, a very unsatisfactory experience for our first trip on this new vessel.
Clearly, on a ship of this size, another source of hot food is essential, one source will never be enough. It is also essential that more cabin staff are required to be on duty at the time of embarkation to avoid having assengers wandering around aimlessly, looking for their seats. Presumably. as staff become more used to loading vehicles on board, there will be less of a delay in the loading process.The loading of vehicles should not take more than one and three quarter hours.
Naturally, we wish the ship well in crossings to the Channel Islands, but Condor must make every effort to resolve these issues sooner rather than later.
The ship is fine, but it would be sad to see letters of complaint outnumber reccomendations and praise.







What have they done to the Holiday Inn?

Holiday Inn Express. Poole.

Holiday Inn Express. Poole

As frequent travellers to Jersey in the Channel Islands,we have often used the Holiday Inn as a nightly stop over for the early morning ferry service. More so now as the Condor Ferry organisation has left Weymouth and now operates only from Poole.Having booked accommodation some months previously, we arrived on Thursday (9the April) afternoon to cathch the Condor Liberation the next morning. (Now there is another story). As a member of the IHG Club, the usual formalities had already been completed and all we needed to do was to sign the registration documentation.
The first suprise was that I was presented with another bill for an extra £5 for "car parking" overnight. In all my experience of Holiday Inn visits, I have never been charged to park the car! The £5 cost is neither here nor there as it is the principle which is important, particularly as the reason for this new charge is that "the landowner has increased the rent".
The next suprise was on entering our room. It appears that someone has put the beds through a washing machine on the wrong setting and the beds have shrunk! The same setting must have been used when washing the duvet as they too had shrunk and would be too small for anyone over 5feet 2 inches tall. (I am 6feet 5 inches).
The also seemed to be a lingering faint aroma of cigarette smoke which seemed strange. There is no criticism of the Hoiliday Inn staff who were attentive and pleasant as usual. The problem is with the hotel. I have no idea what they have done to it, but whatever it is, someone should have a rethink,



Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Remember Deir Yassin


The massacre at Deir Yassin.


  
The Palestinian village of Deir Yassin was attacked on the 9th April 1948 by Jewish terrorists (Israel did not exist until the declaration of 14th May 1948) of the Irgun and Lehi terrorist groups supported by a Palmach mortar unit of the Haganah, another Jewish terrorist organisation. Around 170 Palestinian civilians, including women and children, were killed, with the survivors being loaded on trucks and driven off for a “victory” parade.



 



 

These terrorist groups were subsequently absorbed into the Israeli Defence Forces and have continued their programmes of terrorism, aggression and ethnic cleansing against the people in the occupied lands of Palestine ever since and the world turns a blind eye.



Deir Yassin (closed to the public) in the green trees to the right of the water tower



“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Monday, 6 April 2015

Clegg sees the light or just wants everyone to forget his own shortcomings?

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/apr/06/nick-clegg-george-osborne-is-a-very-dangerous-man


Nick Clegg: George Osborne is a very dangerous man





Image result for nick clegg
Clegg sees the light?


 
It is not a case of Clegg seeing the light, because he always knew that this was the reality. He just wanted the ministerial car, the additional salary, the personal kudos, the seat at the cabinet table and all the other perks of a "coalition honey pot".
The real reason for this sudden revelation is that Clegg wants everyone to forget what a lying, duplicitous hypocrite he actually is, who prostituted himself and the party he leads in exchange for the "privileges" of office. Two words sum up Clegg and should be his epitaph.
Tuition fees.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

George Osborne unveils another housing "carrot", to attrtact voters.

http://news.sky.com/story/1458906/tories-pledge-1980s-style-housing-revolution


 
Conservatives promise to get half a million first-time buyers onto the property ladder every year. 


Image result for Tories Pledge 1980s-Style Housing 'Revolution'




Another political party, today it is the Conservatives turn, promising to get 500,000 "First time buyers" onto the housing ladder every year. Again the emphasis of out of touch politicians in centered on the "First time buyer" in the hope of attracting votes in exchange for vague promises.
No mention is made of those who for what ever reason are unable to even contemplate buying their own home or those who for whatever reason may choose not to buy, but to rent.





George Osborne "hard at work"




The political bankruptcy of the politicians who pay lip service to the provision of housing while cynically seeking to attract votes is staggering. As I said yesterday when commenting on Miliband's latest offering, "nowhere near enough" and should in any case include the provision of rented sector accommodation by Councils or Housing associations or private rental providers.