Monday, 31 December 2012

I read an interesting line ...

... concerning politics !

"Politicians are all process without products !"

... it implies that politicians add very little to society in terms of value !

Friday, 28 December 2012

The 3 C's, ...

... complain, challenge and Carwyn.

I should, as a taxpayer, complain about the monumental folly of  North Wales seabass,or more to the point, complain to the administrative party who were firmly in charge.

I should, as a taxpayer, challenge the current administration to publish the business plan and advice that has been used in the formulation of its plans to nationalise Cardiff Airport.

... and Carwyn might like to answer the complaint and challenge, he is, after all is said and done, the First Minister of our Welsh Assembly Government, who else should answer ....

.... or might I just lie back like the majority and let events fly over my head ?

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Should the past be a burden to bear ...

... or should tomorrow be our only concern ?

Thursday last Wales Online letters to the Editor, a heartfelt submission...
The price of identity

SIR – Your report on the demise of the Welsh Language in the 2011 Census is alarming (“Language is in crisis, says Cymdeithas, as proportion of Welsh speakers falls to 19%”, Dec 12).
I was born and brought up in a Welsh speaking mining valley, couldn’t understand or speak a word of English before the London evacuees of 1940s arrived; and pretty soon we had converted them to Welsh Speakers.

Following the discovery of anthracite coal, migrants had arrived not only from many Welsh counties but from England, too, but the language sustained its position. Primary school was Welsh speaking – but as the “scholarship” paper was mostly English we had to learn it, and then all lessons (apart from Welsh!) were in English, but the language outside was Welsh.

Our forefathers built grammar schools to ensure their sons didn’t follow them down the pits, but when “children” qualified for universities, most couldn’t find professional posts in the country and had to migrate to the open arms of England. Most never to return to Wales, their parents’ homes sold – very often to migrating English.

The age of the chapels’ domination is also history; before television, the car, and Sunday opening, it was colleges, religion, entertainment, where poorly educated older people gained knowledge and language from the pulpit, Sunday School, choir singing and all in the one language Welsh.

Apart from The Western Mail, Wales on Sunday, local papers and Y Cymro, the English media really ignores Wales. The constant drip-dripping of their editions is Anglo influential as is television: Coronation Street, Emmerdale, drown out Pobol y Cwm. Similarly the English radio programmes Radio Cymru, their prolific influences controlling to a large degree an Anglicisation of news and events leaving Wales to a great measure in a poverty of Welsh/Celtic aspiration retaining it in talk and thinking and behaviour and we’re too idle to realise how our thinking to a large extent is accustomed to an Anglian perspective.

Until we awake to change and revival, this power will continue to influence our non Welsh thinking.

Destroy one’s culture and language and you destroy a nation’s pride. Too often, sadly, one doesn’t realise the value of something until it’s lost. One’s language is part of one’s culture. Lose that and how do you know who you are! You don’t destroy a nation’s pride!

The price of identity is eternal vigilance. The same must apply to one’s literature. To honour this one must understand this: Silences are the allies of enemies, detrimental to democracy.

The past can be a heavy burden to be sure, but it is heaviest of all when hindsight told you what had to be done and you did nothing.

ADRIEN JONES of Llandeilo,  Carmarthenshire
The writer pens with a certain passion, a passion that holds dear his need to protect the Welsh language, he also assigns language to culture, an integral part indeed, and finally tells the readers of Wales Online that the culture that is Wales is dependent on the Welsh language for its very survival.

I'm certain he is not correct, Wales is as multi-faceted as the UK as a whole, as diverse as the USA, we have a multitude of nationalities settled in Wales, even youth culture is an illusion with so many subcultures.

Culture has been displaced by society, and the question Adrien of Llandeilo should ask is "can his passion ever be embraced by the majority of society that have rejected the language"?

There is a company in North Wales, The Snowdonia Cheese Company, that fills a niche in the cheese habits of the UK, this is the future of Wales, doing business with the world in a language shared by the world ... there is only English writing on this particular wall ....

Sunday, 16 December 2012

If it's and but's were candy and nuts ...

... we'd all have a merry christmas !

In Wales, it seems that a handful of people, a few hundred at most, will dictate that for every 100 people 19 will receive positive discrimination, a positive discrimination that will disadvantage the other 81 people, these few hundred people will dictate a particular evolution for society in Wales, the majority who look for employment in the public sector will be required to comply with a simple diktat, comply or accept 2nd class citizenship or move to England ..............
... and this diktat is :
... become fluent in the Welsh language, in the face of linguistic evolution that is marginalising the language year on year.
It doesn't matter to the "old elites" of Wales that an overwhelming majority live their lives without the Welsh language.

It doesn't matter to the "old elites" of Wales that an overwhelming majority are indifferent  to the Welsh language.

It doesn't matter to the "old elites" of Wales that an overwhelming majority prefer Hollywood to the Welsh language television.

It doesn't matter to the "old elites" of Wales that an overwhelming majority do business without the Welsh language on the international stage.
... I prefer a free society, it doesn't have to be pretty, I prefer it to be multicultural mess reflecting the reality of society in the 21st century.

So it might be time to say "No More" to the re-inventors of a Wales that died a century or more ago, did it ever exist I wonder ?

So it might be time to send a message that we favour "more freedom and less government"...
to experience the hideous vision of Wales read the Welsh language group's 'manifesto' call after census

... there is little freedom and much more government accompanying the proposals, a charter for a dictatorship of "old elites", for an example of reality try the link to NY, this is probably the way Welsh will go, time to create a mausoleum for the scholars of the future, then there is Manchester.....

Saturday, 10 November 2012

... are our children disadvantaged by Welsh ?

A letter in today's Western Mail raises issues that need to be addressed ....
Foreign languages suffer from Welsh
 SIR – I was dismayed by the letter from Mererid Morgan of the WJEC (“Languages are a skill our jobseekers need”, Nov 7). I am astonished that this year only 25% of Welsh GCSE pupils entered a modern foreign language. In 2004 Estyn made a study of GCSE uptake in Welsh schools: the study found that GCSE entry by 15-year-olds had fallen from 45% in 1997 to 34% in 2003. Estyn also found that uptake was lower in Welsh Medium and  bilingual schools; 35% in EM schools and 30% in WM schools. In 2007 the Welsh Department of Education made a further study of Modern Foreign Language uptake; by this time only 28% of 15-year-olds entered a modern foreign language at GCSE and only 21 of those passed at A*-C. England at the same time entered 46% with 31% gaining A*-C. In England 40% of pupils took GCSE in a modern foreign language this year but the recent introduction of the “English Baccalaureate” has resulted in an increase in year 10 pupils taking languages. At advanced level Wales lags behind England in the main languages with 32% of English students gaining A*-A and Wales having 23% of students with an A*-A pass. Mererid Morgan is mistaken in thinking that bilingual Wales has an advantage in foreign language teaching, on the contrary, we have replaced foreign language study with compulsory Welsh lessons in all schools.In every survey of parents a majority say that they are against compulsory Welsh lessons and now even Simon Thomas AM for Plaid Cymru is questioning the utility of compulsory Welsh. Leighton Andrews needs to ask whether Wales is well served when we produce a workforce unable to communicate with the world outside Wales.  J.Jones, Ynys Mon.
WM link

So, could our children be disadvantaged by the teaching of Welsh !

Sunday, 4 November 2012

... take note, the word of the future is "union", so said ...

... the president of the European council,

... who has intervened in the Scottish independence debate, claiming that nothing will be gained from breaking up the UK. Herman Van Rompuy, who would chair meetings to discuss if an independent Scotland could join the EU, said the move for separatism was a thing of the past.
Van Rompuy, who will still be president of the council in 2014, when the independence referendum is due to take place, was asked his views on Scottish independence during a recent Q&A session broadcast on YouTube. "Nobody has anything to gain from separatism in the world of today which, whether one likes it or not, is globalised," he said. "We have so many important challenges to take and we will only succeed if we can pool forces, join action, take common directions. The global financial crisis is hitting us hard. Climate change is threatening the planet. How can separatism help? The word of the future is union."
A source close to the president said Van Rompuy would not be campaigning against Scottish independence. "The president would never involve himself in a national dispute. However, Scotland will need to reapply for EU membership and he could chair the meetings where that is discussed," he said. Van Rompuy's term will finish at the end of 2014.
"I can imagine some nations would make that a difficult meeting – Spain, Cyprus and Belgium. His own view is that separatism is as described on that video. He voted, for example, in favour of devolution in Belgium, but not independence for Flanders."
The comments will be a blow to Scotland's first minister, Alex Salmond, and emerge after the UK government reiterated that an independent Scotland would have to apply to the EU to become a new member state.
Salmond has claimed that Scotland would not have to leave the EU and even erroneously claimed to have had EU legal advice on the issue. However, it has since emerged that no such advice had been sought and a former Whitehall mandarin has been asked to conduct an independent inquiry into whether Salmond misled Holyrood and so breached the ministerial code.
The deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, entered the fray last week to declare that Salmond's statements on Scotland getting automatic membership of the EU "has no basis in fact".
Clegg said Scottish nationalists "don't want to face what might happen to Scotland's influence on fishing quotas or agricultural policy or the regulation of the banks. They don't want reality to bite. So they've gone into denial, preferring political assertion to legal advice."
Former foreign secretary David Miliband has dismissed SNP claims that an independent Scotland would automatically join the EU as "fantasy island". On a visit to Scotland, Miliband said leaving the UK would leave an independent Scotland "in limbo in Europe".
He claimed there would have to be "detailed and forensic negotiations" between all the current member states before Scotland could be admitted, adding that the addition of a new nation would affect the relative wealth of all other EU countries.
He also said it would have an impact on the voting weight for each country in terms of the relative influence of their MEPs – factors that would have to be reflected by an adjustment of EU rules.
"The final part is that you have to get agreement of all 27 countries, soon to be 28, of all ministers, and then it has to be ratified by each country," said Miliband. "France has said that any enlargement of the EU will require a referendum in France." (Source The Observer 4 Nov 2011.)
To the SNP (Scottish Nationalist Party and its by-blow Plaid Cymru), Herman Achille Van Rompuy has given a profound judgement on the separatist agenda (Salmond and chums), Europe doesn't want separatism in its march towards a united Europe ...

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The further up the flagpole you climb ...

... the more of your ass is exposed, words of General later President Eisenhower, so my guess he knew all about leadership, its ups and its downs.

So for the errant Plaid AM, consideration might be given to a valuable Eisenhower quotation ...
A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both

Back down to earth and there is ...

Gerry Hassan (15 October 2012) wrote an open letter to Alex Salmond the Scots pretender to its political throne, the title ...
'Independence is about cultural and societal transformation'
... might generate a soupçon of interest from the political pundits scattered around the various halls of government, but to the little people the closure of Hall's of Broxburn meat factory in West Lothian has real interest, particularly the fact that the Scottish SNP led administration were unable to influence the decision making process of the Dutch owners Vion.  Impotent in the face of international business interests.

Unable to demonstrate real time leadership in 2012, what chance these very same politicians will be able transform Scotland's culture and society ...
.. absolutely zero !
Scottish independence is political in the narrowest sense, it has no benefit for the little people whose life will continue as before, in a 21st century serfdom with much the same masters !


Sunday, 14 October 2012

Plaids Edwards on Tory Jones ...

... is the denial of political and economic reality !

Edwards is on record as saying the Silk Commission may be "wasting their time".

The Plaid reasoning is at wide odds with reality, the original intentions of the commission were always intended to make it accountable to the electorate, a democracy in an almost Wales Aristocracy.  Established by Cheryl Gillan, its brief was in two well defined parts :
Part I: financial accountability
To review the case for the devolution of fiscal powers to the National Assembly for Wales and to recommend a package of powers that would improve the financial accountability of the Assembly, which are consistent with the United Kingdom’s fiscal objectives and are likely to have a wide degree of support.
Part II: powers of the National Assembly for Wales
To review the powers of the National Assembly for Wales in the light of experience and to recommend modifications to the present constitutional arrangements that would enable the United Kingdom Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales to better serve the people of Wales.
If the two parts are explored for the real Westminster intentions we can conclude that it is to strengthen the relationship between Cardiff and Westminster ...
Part I:
... financial accountability of the Assembly, which are consistent with the United Kingdom’s fiscal objectives
Part II:
... United Kingdom Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales to better serve the people of Wales.
The first part subordinates the Assembly to the UK's fiscal objectives and part two establishes Parliament as the superior body in the service of the electorate.

So why the pointless babbling and chattering of the "Separatist Agenda of Wales" ?

Edwards said at the recent Conservative conference :

I think what we have to stress is we are talking about modifications. We are not talking about a wholesale rewriting of the Government of Wales Act.  What we are talking about, if you like, is tweaks to the devolution settlement to see if there are ways in which it can be made to work better.
The message is clear, Government (Westminster) has learned a lesson and intends to bind Wales to the Union not give succor to the nationalists ...

... and if you consider the messages coming from all the UK political parties, there is little difference, this leads me to believe the bluster of Carwyn Jones towards the activities of Westminster is just ...

... an illusion of dissent, in fact we are working very well together ...

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Simon Thomas, Plaid Cymru, its ...

... education spokesman wrote in today's Western Mail :

Time for delivery 
SIR – The Party of Wales wants to ensure better outcomes when it comes to literacy and numeracy (“Minister demands 15% rise in GSCE grades”, Oct 11 ). 
However, it is clear from the draft Welsh Government budget that there is to be no increase in the resources dedicated to literacy and numeracy.
In addition, the much vaunted regional consortia, which were supposed to support poorly performing schools in Bands 4 and 5, are not yet fully operational. How will the Welsh Government deliver on their plans for literacy and numeracy on a standstill budget and with no progress on the ground?
This is yet another ambitious target with no resources or plan of how to get there. The Welsh Government has been wringing its hands about poor attainment by Welsh pupils for too long; it’s time for delivery and measurable improvements. 

It's unfortunate for the people of Wales that Plaid Cymru 9 (it seems to be dropping "Plaid Cymru" and is rebadging itself as the "Party of Wales" when it corresponds with the wider world) has no solution to the problem.

Whereas Gareth Williams (studying History and Politics at Oxford University) has this to say about the Welsh Baccalaureate, a qualification supported by Plaid Cymru.

It could be that politics in Wales should speak to students before meddling further in the education of Wales.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Welsh language might just ...

... be at the point where it creates divisions, not for lack of cultural support, but because E·ON the electric utility service provider based in Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany doesn't believe it can deliver competitive priced energy to the peoples of Wales, it has made public the fears that many people have, the fear that nation building by Cardiff Bay politics will be that "bridge too far", it will cost the little people far too much to the point where goodwill is lost at the checkout.

New Welsh language legislation obliges [under the law] private sector firms providing energy, telecommunications and transport to provide a bilingual service.

The E·ON warning is to be found in a leaked letter from E.ON.  The letter was part of its role in the recently-ended consultation on the exact standards the companies will have to meet to comply with the legislation, the firm says it is likely that the higher costs of providing the new Welsh language services will be mirrored in price rises for all customers in Wales.

E·ON ...
"We understand and support the overall aim of the consultation to increase the opportunity for Welsh people to use their language in their own country. 
"We are also fully aware and accepting of the fact that we would have to change how we operate in Wales in order to promote the Welsh language. 
"Our concern lies in both the cost and complexity of the proposals set out in the consultation. 
"We believe that the lack of flexibility in the proposed standards means that the cost of compliance will be high."
It continued ...
"In addition, we are concerned that the standards could make the acquisition of new customers in Wales less financially attractive to energy suppliers and therefore reduce customer choice.

I believe this means E·ON is threatening to withdraw from the market delineated by the reach of the legislation, would other energy suppliers follow E·ON and withdraw from our marketplace ?

E·ON expands ...
"These increased costs could be reduced if energy suppliers were able to match the activities provided in Welsh to demand from their customers. 
"We feel an incremental approach to providing Welsh language services would be more efficient and offer greater incentive to develop Welsh language provision further."

This is a reflection on the fact that demand for Welsh language services is very low except in very specific geographical areas of Wales, is there a business opportunity for a Welsh language service that could be used [shared] by all the private sector firms affected by  the legislation ...

... or could it be this new legislation is not so concerned with providing a good service to Welsh speakers but an attempt to restructure society in Wales, might the Welsh Language Commissioner take a leaf from the exploits of Cnut the Great who demonstrated the futility of standing in the path of waves [social progression]. 

Monday, 8 October 2012

It's OK being a Janitor ...

... said the doctor, lawyer, politician, the economic patricians of this world, anywhere in the world for there is little difference, the reality is the janitor, the janitors wife, the janitors children, they all share the janitors lot in life.  The janitor is of course the metaphor for anyone who might be regarded as one of the little people, described as proletariat by some British politicians.

But far worse than the label is this concept by our new aristocracy that the little people of Britain, or anywhere in this world, need to "know their place in the social order", and although a little more subtle in the USA, in the land of the free this same social order exists today.

So the search for justice is to no avail for our janitor, his wife, his children, they will never become stakeholders in today's society, the new aristocratic families of politics will assure that societies order is maintained, by David Cameron, by Edd Miliband, by President Obama, by Mitt Romney ...

In Birmingham this week Iain Duncan Smith, Work and Pensions Secretary who has never been a janitor, says...

"We will have to take more money out of welfare
We will have to squeeze the Janitor !

For the janitors of Britain it is time to brush down the cloth cap, and practice the doff in deference to the new aristocracy......

Iain Duncan Smith is of course FoS, and decorated with the FoS award for services to Janitors, wherever they might live and work, and of course their families ...

I would prefer the Janitor to become a stakeholder in this brave new world ....

Sunday, 7 October 2012

When Scotland's former Auditor General Robert

... Black asks the question " ... is providing the current range of free public services sustainable", the Scottish National Party administration in Scotland said ...
The Scottish government said it remained committed to the council tax freeze, free prescriptions, free bus travel and its public service reforms.
... neatly sidestepping the question with a predictable sound-bite, but ignoring issues surrounding the big ticket items on societies agenda, items such as ...
Free personal nursing care.
When those schemes were set up in Scotland there was no hint given that the costs of those would be rising as quickly as they are now.

... projections relating to the seemingly minor concessionary travel scheme show costs could reach half a billion pounds by 2020s.
The Auditor asks the question ...
"... were the Members of the Scottish Parliament aware of that when they launched the policy?"
... and provides a frightening answer ...
"I suspect the frank answer is not. So to that extent I think I am on safe ground by saying the affordability of some this has to be questioned, we do need to revisit it. Every pound that goes on bus passes for well off older people is a pound that is not available for other things."

... he continues ...
"MSPs have become too cut off from the way services are delivered in local communities. He argued they should spend less time on passing unnecessary laws, to free up more time for budget scrutiny."
Robert Black believes that ...

"... political and media focus on the independence issue is leaving little space or opportunity to address the great challenges which we are facing. 
There is clear leadership on the independence debate, but on many of the other big issues, it can feel as if the politics of Scotland hasn't fully come to terms with the challenges we are now facing. 
No one party or leader is prepared to take the risk of being the first mover in re-thinking policies, whether it be penal reform (or) reshaping the health service.Consider the growth in police numbers from 6,900 in 1949 to more than 17,000 now, despite the use of technology for policing, and without any politician asking why the higher numbers are necessary. 
He said scrutiny of public services is "episodic and patchy" and mostly conducted at Holyrood, remote from the localities where the services are delivered".

Why would I write about devolved Scotland ?

Its because the conditions that exist in Scottish politics are mirrored in the politics of devolved Wales, I would say every word used by Robert Black is equally applicable to the machinations in Cardiff Bay.

It is time our politicians took time out and considered what it is to be like the little people who rely on the services delivered by government ...

... and to ask the little people very specifically whether propositions are acceptable  and to act in accordance with the wishes of the people.  

Monday, 1 October 2012

Go Directly to Jail. Do Not ...

... Pass Go. Do Not Collect £200 ($200 on the USA monopoly game).

Unlike the Banker in the game of Monopoly, our real world UK Bankers are never given the "Go To Jail" card, they are allowed to operated cartels (Libor scandal), payment-protection insurance, interest-rates swaps, just three banking obscenities where the little people were screwed ....

... and the new UK financial policeman says :
repent or go to jail
... this is extreme bullshit, the word should have been :
I'll see each and every scumbag in jail !
... he did mouth a few words of truth :
"... truth is that if our supermarkets in this country, if John Lewis, operated in a way that banks do, they wouldn't have any customers," he said. 
Martin Wheatley, head of the new Financial Conduct Authority, has the right pedigree to clean up the dogs mess called the City of London, but how many politicians will stand with him, how many will cave into pressure from bankers and others who need to be able to cheat the little people of the UK and those other countries that rely on our financial institutions, and  will he have sufficient staff to police the labyrinth of our financial and dealing services.

... myself, I believe the financial services are too close to politics, an unnatural relationship ... remember an earlier post ...
"the dominant economic interests in capitalist society can normally count on the active good will and support of those in whose hands state power lies."
... and that from a politician !

Sunday, 30 September 2012

... for the peoples of the world the most important aspect ...

... of the 1215 Great Charter (Magna Carta) should be embedded in our psyche, it's the 29th clause which guarantees Justice, albeit at the time it only applied to "Freemen" ...
NO Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised (to dispossess or to deprive) of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any other wise destroyed; nor will We not pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the land. We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right.[1]
... unfortunately in the 21st century Justice is sold, it is denied, it is deferred, all to the highest bidder.

A case in question
Sophie Lancaster, her mothers "Black Rose", not ethnicity but a cultural choice, she was Gothic as was her boyfriend Rob Maltby.
"... both were kicked and beaten so badly that ambulance staff could not tell which was the man and which the woman when they arrived on the scene."

How does the 1215 Great Charter apply to Sophie and Rob ?

Has Justice been sold or denied or deferred  ?

How does "... a gang of binge-drinking teenage yobs ... , without the slightest provocation, inflict such ghastly violence on a pair of kindly innocents" relate to the principles of Justice outlined in our great Charter.
We sold justice to the drinks and distribution industries by dropping the age that people are able to purchase alcoholic drinks.
We denied life to Sophie by creating a society that is intolerant to "difference".
We deferred morality, politicians chose to set aside qualities that accompany's tolerance .

... a sidestep in social observations ...

How can our Prime Minister become craven in his subservience to Anthony Bamford, a man who actively lobbies for cuts to business taxes and for restrictions to workers' rights, what human being would wish to take away from people rights fought hard for.

Would Bamford wind the clock back to a time when serfdom was the norm, when only a few were accorded the benefits of the 1215 Great Charter, is it might be time to wrench away from the "Great Bore Bamford" the rights he is claiming for a superior existence in this our world ?

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Hillary Clinton is right and wrong ...

... when she said "... make the rich pay more tax".  Although such a strident call will appeal to the radical political left.

It comes across better when she expanded her thoughts with "... there are rich people everywhere and yet they do not contribute to the growth of their own countries".  This type of rhetoric will stir the blood of societies poor.

She further elaborated during a glittering New York conference by saying "... one of the issues that I have been preaching about around the world is collecting taxes in an equitable manner, especially from the elites in every country".  People are becoming a little more comfortable with the notion.

With three sentences she appealed to probably 70% (my guess based on anecdotal evidence) of the population, but the most important offering is the third when she used the term "equitable manner", it is an expression that seems to be underpinned with fairness.

This is not socialism, that political concept is dead and buried, it is "Stakeholder Politics" where everyone contributes to everything, not equally .... but not disproportionately, where rewards are proportional in a country where people are able to do more than just survive, and a country where everyone has the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

Is she telling the electorate they are "stakeholders", interesting times for the peoples of the USA, interesting times for the Republican Party, can they ever win where the vast majority realize they will never have a stake in the USA when the Republican  Party is in the White House.

We have issues in the UK, a senior tax lawyer might tell you to "leave before we set the dogs on you", referring to a well-spoken band of undercover protesters known as "The Intruders" as "trespassing scum", all because you might not approve of people such as ...

... the former HMRC boss Dave Hartnett,   The Intruders presented Mr Hartnett with a spoof "Golden Handshake" gong, the group were ejected by a dinner guest who called them "trespassing scum". A video of their exploits went viral yesterday on YouTube. Under Mr Hartnett's watch, HMRC was accused of agreeing "sweetheart deals" with major corporations such as Goldman Sachs and Vodafone. A Public Accounts Committee report criticised Mr Hartnett for being "too cosy" with big business. He was accused of signing off on a deal that saved Goldman Sachs £20m in tax payments and another which cut Vodafone's tax bill from £8bn to £1.25bn.

What chance the little people of the UK when our taxman was Dave Hartnett, we need a Hillary in Downing Street, but more than Hillary we need UK businesses to pay their unavoidable taxes, is that wishful thinking ?

Monday, 24 September 2012

When politicians urge teachers ...

... to take a Masters degree (MEP *) on appointment, all is probably lost for another generation.

This latest initiative is to tackle what the Welsh government sees as poor standards in basic skills in schools (Wales was ranked lowest of the UK countries in the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa)), basic skills being ...

  • reading,
  • writing,
  • arithmetic,

... my feeling is there is something very wrong, should teachers be appointed to a post when they are unable to deliver these most essential life skills, should teachers who are subsequently assessed as not capable continue in post ?

It seems that newly-qualified teachers will take modules on subjects such as behaviour management and leadership but should not need to attend lectures, and the timescale, 1,000 new teachers may start the course this year (2012).

Looking at the proposals from outside the box, could it be we are to appoint, or have recently appointed, 1000 people as teachers, who are in fact not fitted for the role.

The person who sits behind the education desk is non-other than Leighton Andrews, is he fit for purpose I wonder.

*  The Masters in Education programme (MEP) will focus on skills for tackling literacy, numeracy and behaviour.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

With a mouth like ...

... this :

... the expression "...... keeps me humble," just doesn't ring true.

Although when he said ....
 "The problem with Alex Salmond is that he wants to destroy Scotland with his ridiculous ................ everybody knows he's a disaster.,"

... he was of course referring to the Salmond windmills,  not the Salmond and the Edinburgh sideshow this weekend.

..... you cannot help warming to him, well that's an exaggeration......

Saturday, 22 September 2012

... the "deterrent effect of the shadow of the gallows"...

... should be reconsidered, bringing back the death penalty for those who kill police officers should be considered, thus spoke Conservative peer Lord Tebbit.

Would ordinary people be comfortable participating in such an extraordinary, normally prohibited act, by sitting as a juror where the outcome for a guilty verdict will be judicial murder. For most people most of the time, killing another person is beyond contemplation — and yet capital punishment asks people to do just that.

... but it's not the juror its the law, and it's not the judge, the law requires etc..............

Professor Johnson of the University of Hawaii thinks otherwise ...

... consideration:
After two men were hanged on Aug. 3, Minister of Justice Makoto Taki claimed that he has a duty to authorize executions. "As minister of justice", he explained, "I must carry out my role to respect courts and court decisions."
The two people executed had been found guilty at trials:
03 Aug 2012
Junya Hattori, 40, was executed in Tokyo. Kyozo Matsumura, 31 in Osaka.  They were the first killings under the administration of new Justice Minister Mokoto Taki, the fifth during Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda`s time in office.
Hattori was convicted of attacking and raping a 19-year-old student who was cycling home from college in January 2002. He set her on fire while she was still conscious, killing her. Hattori was on parole after being sentenced for a violent robbery.
Matsumura killed his 57-year-old aunt and his 72-year-old grand uncle in separate attacks in January 2007 and stole their money.  

The issue is "duty", the Minister of Justice calls on the concept of duty much as a pedestrian calls for an umbrella in the rain, as a protection from his or her conscience, duty for the Minister of Justice allowed him to direct the murder of two men without referring to any form of ethics or morality.
Professor Johnson references French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre who regarded duty-based views as "bad faith," which he defined as "pretending that something is necessary when in fact it is voluntary."
People who say they "have no choice" are often engaged in bad faith, and most acts of bad faith are mundane. Every day we say "I had to do it" — laugh at the boss' bad joke, or nod at a teacher's unpersuasive explanation — and what we imply is that we have placed higher priority on the expectations of a role than on our own freedom to choose how to act.
... it was at the point of reading Professor Johnson where he writes of "... nod at a teacher's unpersuasive explanation" that I understood the very persuasive arguments that  Jean-Paul Sartre had made.

If I am not prepared to commit the crime of murder, then I should not be prepared to participate in a trial where a guilty verdict would make me complicit in the judicial murder of another person, no-matter how heinous the crime.

Is this the argument that commits humanity to abolish all forms of judicial murder ..........

So Lord Tebbit, I'm afraid your call to arms in support of Capital Punishment is unsupportable .........

......... if I am obliged not to laugh at the bad jokes at work, I am also obliged to confront people such as yourself who would incite me to murder .........

Friday, 21 September 2012

This is why Obama ...

... must win:

Searching for a better life than the impoverished one he had in his native Mexico, Martin Cervantes moved to Chicago and took a job at a car-wash on the West Side.
But after a year and a half there, and fed up with work conditions, he quit and took a job in a factory.
Cervantes said he was never paid an hourly rate at the car-wash and was compensated only through tips. He said he worked long, gruelling hours — sometimes without a break — but never received overtime pay. Once, in order to pay rent and buy groceries, he had to sell his TV set.
"This is supposed to be the country of opportunities, but I can assure you the American dream is hard to fulfil," Cervantes, 29, said through a translator. "We want society to open their eyes — this job is poorly paid and hard work."
Cervantes gathered with other car-wash workers Thursday at the Jane Addams Hull House Museum for the release of a report detailing a bevy of negative labour conditions and abuses in the city's car-wash industry. The report was issued by the Labour Education Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Titled "Clean Cars, Dirty Work," the report, funded partially by United Steelworkers, found that a majority of Chicago car-wash employees, who are mostly men and Latino, earn less than the state's hourly minimum wage of $8.25 and work more than 40 hours every week.
The study also states that most do not receive safety equipment, such as gloves and goggles, while on the job, even though they use harsh chemicals when cleaning.
Meanwhile, Arise Chicago, an interfaith workers rights group, has launched a campaign to improve work conditions for the "carwasheros," a Spanglish term for car-wash workers.
Along with hearing the complaints of local car-wash employees, the organization was inspired by car-wash workers in New York and Los Angeles who have either unionised or boycotted work to fight for better health and safety rights.
"We won't stand for that kind of treatment, and we're willing to help (employers) change their ways," said Adam Kader of Arise Chicago.
Though he had not read the study, Eric Wulf, chief executive officer of the Chicago-based International Carwash Association, said his national organization's 12,000 members treat their employees fairly. But not all carwashes are part of his association, and he said variations of work conditions exist in nearly every industry, including his own.
"It's like restaurants," Wulf said. "There are lots of wonderful restaurants, and then there are some you might not go to, some that might not follow every rule."
Disgusted with his work conditions after 14 years, Angel Nava, 56, left his job at a carwash on the Near Northwest Side in 2011. There, his employer kept the tips, overtime was never paid and health insurance didn't exist, he said.
Nava, who still works in the industry, said he hopes the government and other agencies take control of the situation, though he doesn't know what to expect.
"But we are here and we are fighting to improve our working conditions," Nava said. "This is not only me talking; this is carwash workers in all of Chicago."
...  No man or woman should be reduced to serfdom to survive.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

High double standards, a prerogative in Wales where ...

....  do as I say, not as I do, is the preferred way of  Carwyn and chums ...

In June, Health Minister Lesley Griffiths said she would be instructing all seven local health boards (LHBs) in Wales to publish their own corporate risk registers on their websites to :
... assess the likelihood of each risk ..., assess the impact ..., and have counter-measures in place should a risk become reality...
Carwyn Jones [the first minister] personally turned down a BBC Wales request under the Freedom of Information Act to see the government's corporate risk register.
... he said its disclosure would cause "substantial harm".
The registers are a list of all risks an organisation faces, here it is our Cardiff Bay administration.   
The risks assessed include financial, security and IT,  though not restricted to the three important considerations.
The chair of the assembly's public accounts committee, said...
"It smacks of double standards".
 ... the administration said ...
"Publishing risk registers may also appear to legitimise possible but unlikely risks"
"This could prejudice and distort informed public debate about important issues which in turn could have an impact on the conduct of public affairs"
Now myself, I have a need to see the truth, to see the difficult decisions governance deals with each day, I don't have a problem with political warts, I particularly have a need to judge the decision makers by their real actions not the spin.

It's a black day for democracy when political tyranny becomes the norm.

How long before the next election ? 

Is UKIP standing in Caerphilly at the next election ?

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Why do we insult those ...

... people and institutions alien to our various cultures?

The BBC has coverage here.  to the most recent example.

In France the editors of Charlie Hebdo are preparing to cause controversy again with a issue released tomorrow. The cover shows a Muslim man in a wheelchair pushed by an Orthodox Jew with foil cap and under the title "Untouchables 2", an imaginary sequel to a recent French film.
... a user Reviews by OttoVonB of the film "Untouchable" includes the following ...
The film's simplicity is delightfully misleading: the script is a masterpiece of comedy writing, and however good the rest of the cast is, the central duo is magical. Sy's comic timing will have you in stitches, but it is his honesty and vulnerability that make you fall in love with the character. Cluzet isn't your typical sad-sack, instead, much of the finest pleasures in the film consist in watching him use his keen mind to mess with the world around him (a sub-plot about an abstract painting really takes the biscuit, you'll know it when you see it).

This is one of the most unique, beautiful and honest friendships ever committed to film. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry... a delightful celebration of everything in life that makes it worthwhile.
The two characters parodied by Charlie Hebdo are ...
... Sy, a failed robber, going through the motions and playing the stereotypical jobless émigré. Cluzet is a romantic and melancholy mind trapped in a useless body.
French foreign ministry's website quotes Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault as saying "freedom of expression is one of [France's] fundamental principles", as are secularism and respect for religious convictions.
The statement is not at all honest, the Prime Minister of France cites "freedom of expression", yet the arm of the law in France has what is known as "unapproved rallies", I guess the fundamental principles depend upon who you are and what you wish to protest against.

I must go back to the original question, "why insult those we don't know?"
What is the point, except in this case to provoke a particular section of French society!

An Armada, the Amish beard and rise of ...

... a chrome future, at least for now.

As Cruisers, aircraft carriers and minesweepers from 25 nations converge on the Strait of Hormuz you know there's trouble ahead, Israel and Iran are moving towards a war which could have monumental consequences.  The Armada that is telling the world that Israel will be the catalyst that gives the remainder of the "free world" the right to remove the Iranian nuclear programme forthwith.

Why am I so confident that the Armada will be needed, simple ...
"... just last week Mr Netanyahu signalled that time for a negotiated settlement was running out when he said: 
"The world tells Israel "Wait, there’s still time." 
And I say, "Wait for what?"  "Wait until when?"
... Israel has to act whilst it can, and "whilst it can" is rapidly running out of time.

Is it a religious hate crime or, as the defence contends, the equivalent of a family feud ...

Amish beard cutters face possible prison terms as jury weighs clash of the clippers
... personally I think it's a simple assault, to construct anything more sinister is an assault on the logic of men and women, whether "Amish" or "English".

And then to the rise of Chrome ...
A year ago, almost three-quarters of visitors to this blog used Internet Explorer, almost a quarter used Firefox, whilst the remaining percentages were a variety of lessor known browsers.

This week 62% of visitors used Chrome, 19% used Internet Explorer, 11% used Firefox, the remaining percentage a variety.

Technology evolves rapidly, the evolution of Chrome must be seen as phenominal.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

A tale of two statements ...

... from across a political divide:

First we have ...
... vision of a standard national exam system will ensure that qualifications are only awarded to students with appropriate levels of literacy and numeracy. This change can deliver fairness and transparency, which is what our education system desperately needs.

... then there is ...
... should be a test of the ability of pupils rather than of their teachers, assessing independence of thought and response rather than be a regurgitation of prepared answers, and that it should develop scholarship and curiosity.
The first from the separatist agenda of Plaid Cymru the second in support of the Conservatives at Westminster ....

No difference, would there be a difference if Plaid took Wales to independence, I don't thinks, it would be "same crap just a different day" .............

Monday, 17 September 2012

FoS politics, Bovine TB, Badgers, and ..

... farmers.

The facts according to the farming community ...
............................. anything you want ...............................

The facts according to the government ...
............................. anything you want ...............................
You get the idea, the facts are exactly how you need them to support your position.

The latest in this sorry tale from the Guardian ... Full-scale badger cull set to get government go-ahead
The facts according to Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, the document in full, relating to Transmission of Bovine TB ...
M. bovis can be transmitted by the inhalation of aerosols. by ingestion. or through breaks in the skin. The importance of these routes varies between species. Bovine tuberculosis is usually maintained in cattle populations, but a few other species can become reservoir hosts. Most species are considered to be spillover hosts. Populations of spillover hosts do not maintain M. bovis indefinitely in the absence of maintenance hosts, but may transmit the infection between their members (or to other species) for a time.  Some spillover hosts can become maintenance hosts if their population density is high.
There are two imperatives ...
reservoir hosts and spillover hosts

Cattle are the reservoir and in Britain the Badger is the spillover.

The only logical answer to the problem of Bovine TB is to remove the reservoir, that's the cattle.

... so when our MP's cry foul, when the call for a Badger Cull is shouted down, remember Iowa, the veterinary college that speaks the truth .... politicians are so FoS, so dishonest to discount evidence.

... a magnificent mediocre piece of Plaid rhetoric by ...

... Wood and Company, I sense the hand of moderators, I sense the hand of Price shackled by the Plaid faithful afraid who fear her triumphant victory earlier this year ....

 ... during June this year Wood announced:
Wales will be independent within a generation and part of a British "neighbourhood of nations".
... this weekend Plaid-speak is of:
  • A new mutual[s] bringing together the best of the skills of the public and private sectors to push forward a Welsh New Deal in order to kick-start the economy.
  • Establish a home grown series of new finance institutions to fill the void left by the London-based banks’ reluctance to lend to fledging businesses.
  • Seek to create tax breaks for pension funds investing in Wales.
 Maybe Plaid-speak should be replaced by Politico-speak, because the words lack the virtue that honesty brings to a conversation.

The mutual is not the creature of politics, it is the manifestation of the working man and woman deciding to take the future into their own hands, occasionally the mutual might be the creation of a philanthropist, John Spedan Lewis created the John Lewis Partnership, so how does the Wood-Price partnership propose to create this brave new mutual world from the markets of the world.

Much like the mutual vision, the Politico-speak of the Wood-Price partnership is a shallow pond of political thought floating on the assumption that the electorate are in a permanent state of sleep.  Why do I believe this, well, creating new financial institutions requires capital, the only way a politician has to create such a beast is to either fund it with our taxes or to guarantee its borrowings with our taxes.  This is close to deception.

Tax breaks from the creatures of the left, this has to be an oxymoron, its not tax breaks that the electorate are looking for, its tax equality, we need all tax breaks to be removed, we need taxes to be paid by everyone and every organisation ...

No stakeholder politics from Plaid, I wonder what Carwyn Jones is planning for the peoples of Wales?

... but going back to Woods predictions of independence within a generation,there's nothing from Brecon to encourage the Plaid Party faithful or worry Plaid's political adversaries, Plaid is regressing to its activist past .................

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

I think that a comment by Marianne Hancock ...

... deserves to be more than a comment:

I've experienced disablism for most of my life and feel obliged to challenge it whenever possible.I would also challenge any form of bigotry.

As a native of Wales I have also experienced ignorant anti-Welsh racism in recent years. This has inclined me to support nationalism especially since Leanne Wood became leader of Plaid Cymru. She is in favour of socialism, women's rights, anti-racist policies and impliedly disability rights as well.

Jac o' the North attended a rally I was at, and I can confidently state that he is a total idiot.  On a blog put up by Alwyn ap Huw, Jac o' the North referred to Pussy Riot as "slapper's", expressed delight that they were in jail and said he would like to live in an independent Welsh state based on Putin's Russia.

I was not surprised then that on his own blog he said something like 'I'm always glad to see little cripples getting out in the fresh air but how can we call them athletes? My impression of an athlete is someone who is physically perfect.' I groaned mentally and read no more. I hope it didn't get worse.

I don't want to defend him but you must remember that Jac o' the North is a moron.He's honestly oblivious to the offence he's causing. I'd like to think that he doesn't speak for anyone but himself.

I don't believe he is representative of Welsh nationalists but if he was, I'd have to revise my views. I'm happy for the UK to split up if the successor states provide liberty, justice and respect for all. But would it be worth preserving our separate cultures, languages and identities at the cost of living in a fascist state? Of course not.

Please don't judge the rest of us by him. I'd like to say 'Don't let this idiot upset you. He's not worth it'. But then, like all idiots, he's dangerous.

Marianne Hancock, Abergavenny

Thank you Marianne, you remind everyone that humanity crosses political and cultural boundaries and is not something to bring out of a closet every once in a while.

Since reading Marianne's comment I have read the pamphlet Disablism by Paul Miller, Sophia Parker downloadable from the Demos website, I commend it to every one that stumbles upon my thoughts.

Justice is a difficult road to travel.

Catalan separatists and Scots ...

... and the other disparate groups in European Union, a message ...

... there is no open door.

The recent march and rally in Barcelona used the slogan ...
"Catalonia: a new European state". 

But a European Union spokesman in Brussels pointed out that, were Catalonia to secede from Spain, it would have to leave the EU and could rejoin only if it met the economic criteria and if other member states voted unanimously in favour of its membership. (The Guardian, 10 Sep 2011).
... yet another lie by the separatist agenda debunked.

So the message to Alex Salmond is "... the list of your lies grows ever longer."  No honesty for the Scots people.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

If Piketty and Miliband are to be believed ...

... then all is lost, our suffrage an illusion.

Piketty wrote ...

"… inheritance will eventually matter a lot pretty much everywhere - as it did in ancient societies. Past wealth will tend to dominate new wealth, and successors will tend to dominate labour earners." (1)

... whilst Miliband writes ..
"the dominant economic interests in capitalist society can normally count on the active good will and support of those in whose hands state power lies."  (2)
Therefore all our politicians, no-matter what the colour of the politics, are not going to change the lot of the working man and woman.

(2)  Miliband, R. (1969) The State in Capitalist Society. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, page 145).

... the importance of the common ...

 ... good, the common weal, in Wales, Germany, Hong Kong and the USA.

In Wales we have Jac who considers the common weal to be a narrow view of the xenophobic, the intense and irrational dislike or fear of people from England ...

In Germany there are the considerations of the Euro, is the financial rescue fund considered crucial to the future of the euro to get the green light.  A poll published on Friday on Spiegel Online showed that 54% of Germans were in favour of the court blocking the legislation, reflecting the degree to which public opposition to bailouts is increasing.  Is the common weal the good of Germany, or has the definition extended to people of one country extending their largess to other nations ?  Do the German people see themselves as kin with the peoples of Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, France .......

In Hong Kong it's very serious, will Beijing allow universal suffrage, even though it doesn't exist as a democratic process in China itself, universal suffrage has little value in a single party state.  The effect of extending democracy to Hong Kong which has a semi-autonomous status in China, is to open the doors to a "China Spring", in effect the demise of Communist China.  When  thousands of demonstrators protest against the plan for mandatory patriotism lessons, you know there is trouble ahead ! 

Whilst in the USA the battle between Republican and Democrats will be resolved when the peoples who vote decide who are the stakeholders, is it all the peoples of the states, or just a small group who hold the wealth, an important consideration when considering the Common Good, and lets not forget the prayers !

Back to Britain and there is a kind of hush, our politicians are driven by opinion polls rather than the Common Good, it's quite pathetic.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Scotland, Salmond and a strategy ...

... that will send the Scots into a brave new world, and not a shot fired.

The Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) are the traditional minnow in a large pond, unable to compete in the philosophical battles found in the larger Westminster arena, the only future is to create an illusion in the seemingly larger political pond an independent Scotland would bring.

Reflecting on the strategy towards independence, Salmond and chums have played a blinder .......

The strategy ...

Too few Scots want independence, less than 40%, so ...
Increase the voting population, the young are easily influenced, voting age reduced to 16 for the referendum.

Ignite an underlying conflict ...
Scottish sporting celebrations that will be dominated by the old enemy, the Commonwealth games will precede the referendum, good timing.

Salmond's coup de grâce, the finishing blow ...
An option that cannot be given without UK wide approval ...
... devo-max, fiscal federalism, the UK wide electorate will not underwrite a constitutional change that gives preferential treatment to one part of the Union.
Westminster says "No", the votes go to Salmond, game over ...
Salmond wins, 
       the party begins !

Say hello to our new flag ...

... minus the Scots Saltire ...

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Wiki Jimmy Wales versus Westminster ...

... in the battle for the moral high ground.

The Guardian article by , home affairs editor can be read here so you can make up your own mind.

Myself, the civil-servants and their very dim politicians behind the proposals are full of the proverbial, the information that can be gained that is so powerful has little to do with solving crimes, it is to do with profiling ...
... what value to the unelected civil servants and other string pullers being able to profile political puppets of the future ?

... the United Kingdom's (government) "snooper's charter" is a blackmailers dream, in 20 years the British public could be reduced to servitude because few politicians will be cast in the mould of Joan of Arc, where will be the activist when secrets are published.
Jimmy "the High Plains Drifter" Wales wins the argument for me, but I'm afraid with politics so full of career politicians, who care for their personal future before the future of the electorate, the future is a future that will travel back in time to serfdom.

For the philosophers of the world ...

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, remember the mayonnaise jar & the 2 Beers.
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. 

They agreed that it was. The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full.

They agreed it was. The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. 

He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded a unanimous 'yes. ‘The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. 

The students laughed. 'Now,' said the professor as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things, your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favourite passion, if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. 

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car. 

The sand is everything else, the small stuff. ‘If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. 

The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. There will always be time for the small stuff. Take care of the golf balls first the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand. 

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, 'I'm glad you asked. 'The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

... a lesson for Jones from North Carolina ...

... on how jobs are attracted !

The Jones boy could be our erstwhile First Minister Carwyn Jones, or  newly appointed Secretary of State for Wales David Jones, of the two David has the ear of Prime Minister Cameron so he could probably do more, yet some of the levers are in the hands of Carwyn and Co, so there's to do from each camp.

Back to basics ...
  • In North Carolina, the city of Charlotte has become the new home to German engineering giant Siemens AG.
  • The factory manufactures gigantic gas turbines needed to power new electric plants under construction around the globe.
  • A few years ago, the factory and its 825 jobs might have gone to India, China or another low-wage country. 

This time, American workers won out, why ....
Siemens executives talk about public investments, the state-funded rail spur that runs through their facility,the city’s international airport, which recently added a fourth runway using $132 million in federal funds.
They talk about the Export-Import Bank, an independent federal agency that in January approved a $638 million loan to finance the sale of turbines to Saudi Arabia, helping Siemens beat bids from companies in Germany, South Korea and Japan.
And they talk about the quality of the workforce in Charlotte, where local leaders are retooling the public education system to churn out the engineers and skilled technicians needed to operate one of the most efficient gas-turbine plants in the world.
So could our politicians do the same, of course they could, unfortunately in Wales our politicians lack a certain vision, politicians have become accountants rather than visionaries, and that's all the political parties ............

A very small question at the back of my mind, why did the German economy lose out in this particular game of 5 card stud ..........

Monday, 3 September 2012

... a fistful of horrors, 400 ...

... in fact.

The richest 400 people in the USA have a wealth that equal the wealth of the bottom 140 million people combined.

To put it into perspective, each of the 400 has the combined wealth of 350,000 citizens.

If each of the 400 wealthy few could corral these 350,000 people they would each need a city the size of New Orleans.

For a more considered opinion you might try the decline of the great American middle class by Robert Reich.

Remember the 140,000,000 are not the underbelly of a nation, they represent almost half the citizens of this powerful country.

Now my question is ...
... are not these 140,000,000 people stakeholders in the USA ?

... and when you say YES, you might like to consider ...
... the 400 have a combined wealth of $7.5 trillion, whilst the 140,000,000 share an equal amount !

Is this Justice or might it be very similar to the society of Moses in ancient Egypt

... and is it so very different here in the United Kingdom .............. I doubt it !

Friday, 31 August 2012

Our NHS in Wales ...

... is like looking through a distorted mirror, take obesity ...

... to qualify for Metabolic and Obesity Surgery in England the criteria is :
... people must have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 with related health problems, such as diabetes or sleep apnoea, or 40 without.

In Wales to qualify for the same procedures the criteria is :
... people must have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 50 with related health problems. This means patients can only be operated on once they are in poor health
... yet the peoples of Wales pay the same taxes as their cousins to the east of Offa's Dyke.

It would be best if the British taxpayers were treated equally .......... on both sides of the dyke !

I digress ...

... something amiss !

Thursday, 30 August 2012

... this week the FoS award belongs to Jac ...

... o' the North, who else would write of our Paralympic athletes in moronic terms bordering on the obscene.

You may not agree with me, try him for yourself here, ...

... for the record :

The charity Scope commissioned the pollsters ComRes to survey disabled people and their parents and carers last winter: 
46 per cent of respondents thought that attitudes towards them had worsened in the previous year; 
13 per cent thought they’d improved; 
76 per cent had direct experience of other people refusing to make adjustments to allow for their circumstances; 
73 per cent said that the assumption had been made that they didn’t work.
64 per cent had some experience of hostility or aggression.
The 2012 Paralympics can change the way people think about disability, somehow I think there might be a severe hill to climb when considering the bigots of Wales.

Returning to the FoS award, this is the man who looks towards an Independent Wales ........
...... much like the Third Reich I expect.


... two views, two ...

... quite different perspectives !

The UK government through its Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said the rich of the UK pay sufficient into the tax pool, check out the figures ...

... almost 90% of tax take is paid by the top 50% of the income groups.

This particular coin has a very different other side, the wealth of the top 50% ...

... dwarfs the wealth of the bottom 50%.

You might say that the wealth has been earned therefore such comparisons should not be made, as George Osborne said ...
... beware of "driving away" the UK's "wealth creators"
I have this feeling that our politicians are not being particularly honest with the electorate.

Is it the politics of envy to ask the top 50% of taxpayers to contribute a little more to pay for the poverty that underpins their wealth, Is it true that if taxes increased for the wealthiest 50% they would depart our small island leaving an unfilled vacuum ...

Or could it be true that the top 50% of taxpayers exist because of the production of the little people at the bottom of the pile, could it be true that an economic vacuum cannot exist except in the empty minds of politicians.

It's not necessary to invoke the politics of envy to right an obvious wrong, it is important to maintain a culture where aspiration is a motivating factor ...

... but it's equally important that we do not have a social underclass as a foundation of society.

Economic Justice is as important as Criminal Justice.