Tuesday, 25 November 2008
National Insurance cost to the individual…. Link
How Gordon/Darling 'aint all that…. Link
Fun times all round!
N.B. I know that was lazy. But was a email sent to a colleague who wanted to know a little more about the Budget.... [read: Said that Labor + Budget was actually a good thing and made me (YES MADE ME!) go on a crusade to convert him to the cynical right]
Thursday, 23 October 2008
I honestly dont understand this...
How has this country suddenly gone to pot?
I simply cannot believe that Violent crime and the levels of unemployment we are suddenly seeing are totally on account of the recent crisis.
This was going on before. We have been lied to by the government in terms of unemployment levels and crime levels and who knows what else and this is a good time to let the truth come out with the people blameing everything subconsciously on the economy.
Thursday, 16 October 2008
And the worst part is that there seems to be very interesting suspicion that it may be to cover up dodgy dealings within government, money laundering and increased wages for policicians.
Now I understand that we need to take thise high and dramatic accusations against our government... But honestly. IF you dont want people thinking something is crazilly wrong don't use anti-terror laws on relitivly (at least with regards to the crisis as a whole) minor problems which could be solves in a whole range of other ways.
This fills me with worry.
Wednesday, 17 September 2008
Firstly, the party aproves tax cuts for the manifesto.
Secondly, as Paul Waugh points out, the mood of the LD's as well as Clegg seems to be based around de-throneing Labour. Coupling this with their base expansionist ideals a coalition seems benificial.
So. There you have it... Im sure there is more, but I am at work and probably shouldnt even be blogging at all.
Thursday, 28 August 2008
Things at the moment are difficult.
That is to say, I, having a degree but no real experience and skills that are easily bullet-pointed for the use of a CV, am taking all available time with the scruff of the neck and forcing it within that time-sink of a task that is called 'Job Hunting'.
So now, along side this is my thankless, 11+ hour a day job at Alton Towers and you have a recipe for despair.
In other words. PLEASE SOMEONE GIVE ME A JOB!
...Then I can start blogging again and the world will be righted.
After all has said and done though, everyone else has been submitting their goodness with much abandon. So please find below some links to enjoyable articles.
The Devil's Kitchen makes use of an interesting post about class divide and how it effects the expectations of children to take a jab at old grizzled fanny herself, Polly Toynbee. Much more interesting and coherent than I just made it sound!
Monday, 18 August 2008
Here is a 'light' frisking' of an article by Yvette Cooper by Ian Dale. Cooper's comments basically seem to be an attack on David Cameron and his policies especially with relation to the economy. It is all standard fare, Ian Dales frisk is pretty much what you would expect, what is more interesting is the initial article. And though I am sure that Ian saw this he never mentioned it.
The prime minister and chancellor have said we must do more to help families and businesses, building on the financial stability measures and £4bn tax cuts this year, and we will.
But who is asking questions about the Conservatives? Their leader hopes to distract us with frisbees and photo ops. But a serious look at his policies reveals an approach that would be deeply damaging for our economy. Over the next few months, we in the Labour party must expose the risks and contradictions at the heart of Cameronomics.
We will do this, their policies are this. Is it me or is the language betraying a party who already see themselves loosing the next election and already as a government in waiting?
If so, then who is running the UK? ...The SNP for the largest governed part is my answer. Ahem.
Tuesday, 22 July 2008
"Shadow Health Minister, Stephen O'Brien, has attacked Labour for failing to tackle binge drinking, saying:
"It's been low on their priority list, and now we're seeing the consequences, with excessive drinking and associated violent crime still not under control." "
Though in general the whole "government should refect the people and not alter behaviours, however disastrous they are. It seems as though to me this point has gone too far, they already meddle so much so as to result in the binge drinking we have in this county.
I don't really want to go into the details right now, but drinking can but only be seen as a societal response to the despondent nannying culture that controls the thinking from Westminster. If we, as individuals within the UK, are taxed to the hilt, lack any form of real privacy and are loosing rights left right and centre in a world which is made dramatically more gloomy by our own actions (that is the actions of our own elected parliament), then what is there to do but drink?
This is a very sketchy, and underdeveloped point. But honestly. Ask yourself. What does our government do other than dampen your prospects of a brighter future?
"He promised that a Conservative Government would clamp down on binge drinking and alcohol abuse by:
- Taking action to prevent the sale of cut-price alcohol
- And clamping down on shops who sell alcohol to under-age drinkers."
These actions wont solve anything. And I suspect that Stephen O'Brien knows it. But its political expediency to do at least as much as the opposition are doing on a topic. However much that does little or nothing to help. I mean, how many times a year do you hear a politician saying that will 'clamp down on shops who sell alcohol to under-age drinkers'. And who honestly thinks it is those drinkers who are the problem!?
Wednesday, 16 July 2008
...I say, "You did something that everyone hates, and over time people have gotten used to it and begin not to care too much."
The fact that this is connected with the Prime Minister's response to a smoking ban question is inconsequential. This is authoritarian thinking, and is wrong wrong wrong!
What sort of state do you have when government takes action, not for the benefit of the economy, or defence, or indeed anything directly in connection with the remit of government. But in terms of the lives and the society.
Parliament is not meant to change society. Society drives parliament. And to do anything otherwise is to go against all ideas of democracy and the tradition of this country; which everyone (except David Davis it seems) has forgotten.
That being said, maybe this is simply opportunism. Maybe there is no discernable tradition within this country any more on any real sense. That is, multi-cultralism (note not immergration), has succeeded too well. That is not one incomming culture has overcome what was indigenous (even though that is a historically inaccurate comment) within this country, but the ultimate mass of difference has created a societal flux.
Maybe our society is nothing more than a name - The United Kingdom - and a mess. And it is for our labour government to take advantage of this. Fun times!
Monday, 23 June 2008
Based around the recent events of David Davis surrendering his position of MP causing a by-election in his constituency. All because the bill to extend pre-charge detention to the ridiculous and horrendous length of 42 days, here is a punk band who have written a (bad-ish) song on the matter.
Not the best ever, I grant you. But I'm very chuffed that someone has actually done this.
Wednesday, 11 June 2008
The 'West Lothian Question' is a great example within English (note not British) politics elephant in the room where the Scottish politicians generally don't care and the English don't know what to do; there is simply no 'right' answer without dramatic institutional and constitutional change.
It is the situation, as we have now, of a scots parliament to which English (or indeed Welsh or Northern Irish) MPs cannot vote in along side a British parliament which Scots (et. al.) can vote in on every topic including only English only legislation.
Ian Dale has word of a leaked conservative proposal to the problem by cross-hatching layers of discussion and decision making within Westminster between English only involvement and Total Involvement. In other words, an appalling mess.
"If this is true, it is simply appalling. The phrases 'half baked' and 'dog's breakfast' come to mind. This is not a long term solution to something which even Scottish politicians recognise is a problem and it's not even a half way house. It reeks of a measure designed to placate rather than solve. And as usual with these things it won't even do that."
One of these days I must have a look through my old politic degree essays, as I have one on this topic. That being said the situation is simple. The solution is simple. The politics involved are disastrously complicated, obfuscated and complex.
And this is the industry (ha!) I am looking to join. Fun times.
Tuesday, 10 June 2008
I'm not going to look into this in detail... But here is a Libertarian Party blog which comments on the prospect of us losing our monarch with the Lisbon Treaty.
Interesting, if only it is a hypothetical result of that most disagreeable advancement of Europe.
I read the Devil's Kitchen a lot. And as some of you reading this may realise, his understanding of Climate Change is that, a) it is probably not happening, and b) if indeed it is happening it is certainly not man made, or indeed effected by man.
"Indeed and, in Master Hundal's World of the Ad Hominem, the environment is far more important than the high food prices that are causing riots and deaths around the globe: full ahead with biofuels, Jeeves old chap, and bugger the poor and the starving, what what!"
Ok, not the best. But it is a method into my own understanding of the issue.
I think the political sphere is blind to the realities of the world, and indeed there is an argument which says that it has to be, as the arguments for and against Man-made climate change are far from resolved. That being said, the climate matters, our environment matters and we matter.
Thus what are we to do in a situation where there could possibly be a world destroying force of our own unleashing, but to resolve it would be to the detriment of society and kill hundreds of people. Climate change in this sense, if understood as a possibility, can also be understood as a risky hunch. A risky hunch which at the moment is interestingly high on the political arena's list of priorities.
The climate matters, is what I said above. And that is the case, but it is also the case that we (the people of the world) matter, and that our direct environment matters. Climate change is doing the horrendous thing, not of warming the world through greenhouse gasses, but of redirecting the attention of policy makers away from the things which are important to the lives of the individuals they profess to serve.
Climate change is a logo. And one which has been expertly crafted by [insert personal theory of world/state/local ills of choice] into a catchall problem and immediate solution all in one. The equation goes, "Climate change = human activity + carbon dioxide emissions", thus the solution is to drop the emissions. This does nothing to help us understand our world, or to solve the problems it faces.
Simply put my understanding of climate change is that it should be de-politicised again. And we should concentrate on preserving our environment in the immediacy, supporting anti-littering (though understanding and respect instead of fines and the nannying state) for example. And we should be able to take a reflective look at the society with which we live in and cure its ailments instead of this constant need to find something external with which to fix.
All that is found within climate change is a monster. A monster which may or may not be fictional, but the possibility of it being real is too great to allow for any dissent or complicating of the matter through real hard evidence. The monster must be defended against at all costs. And those costs are grubby streets, a dilapidated countryside, social disintegration, the failure of multi-culturalism, the stability of our economy; the list could go on and on but thats just in Britain!
Monday, 9 June 2008
At one point he says, in relation to the War in Iraq (fantasy apparently, hence the capitalisation) that he disagrees with the majority of the American people. Make of that what you will. However, bare in mind that this is put out as an attack on McCain and that it is released by Ron Paul's camp.
I didn't read the whole of this speech by David Cameron... Not even half of it. But still, I am going to make a slight comment on this quote...
"Now I know there are some who think politics should stay out of issues like relationships, and stick to apparently more gritty topics like schools, the NHS and budget deficits. I just think that's incredibly superficial and short-sighted. Our efforts to get schools right are undermined if families are going wrong. We can ease the burden on the NHS if we act on the evidence that people in strong and happy relationships are healthier. And helping people maintain strong relationships is not some fluffy alternative to reducing budget deficits - it is the way to reduce budget deficits, by reducing the demands on the state caused by family breakdown."
Honestly, this seems a little idea. Either that, or a chicken-or-the-egg scenario. Ideal in that he is saying that if families work then the NHS or Schools will work, and that failures can be blamed on the parents... Or the Children who later look at the parents (I assume). IF not this then its a chicken/egg situation of the schools wont work because of the parents who are earlier failed by failing schools.
Looking at the budget and family breakdown. I can only say that the best thing for government to do is to reduce itself. Every aspect of Government interaction with those on lower incomes is draining of the spirit and the goodness of the British people. What's the point in talking about relationship advice and development if the self-respect given to working for your living is lost in the midst of the reality that you are being stupid to earn your crust through anything other than the doll (Screw the lie that is jobseeker's allowance).
This was only meant to be a flippant comment, and I will leave it as such before I go into a rant. But in reality I can't see anything within the words of Cameron above even if the essence seems positive. There does need to be more emphasis on grownup positive relationships, be that between a man and a man, a woman and a woman, a son and his father or mother and the state. Respect is what has been lost and it is government's responsibility to institutionalise again a system which holds that value among others to develop society... Maybe if I read the speech in its entirety I would see more of this.. But honesty, if I need to get through so much waffle to get to the crux then... I don't know. It is something hidden that should be shouted to the rooftops.
Thursday, 5 June 2008
Within the constituency of Harlow it seems David Cameron has jumped off the fence on the Lisbon treaty/constitution and has said, directly to a question, that the conservatives would give the country what it wants in the form of a referendum.
I hope it is true.
Watch the vid, its actually quite good.
Tuesday, 3 June 2008
From ePolitix's news feed, which I am finding remarkably clear and to the point and an ample resource for posts on this blog. I found a report on the comments made by the Justice minister David Hanson [uhmm-bop, anyone? ok, cheap shot. Sorry]
"Tough community sentences can be more effective in reducing crime than a short spell in prison..."
The concept goes that because all of our prisons are full to bursting like some deranged criminalised 'Where's Wally?' Or indeed, 'Where's the prison guard?' The government is panicking and beginning (or continuing) to try and convince everyone that actually, contrary to history's use of prisons for things such a fraud etc. Prison usage should only be for the most serious and violent crimes. In reality, all that needs to happen, is for the 'lesser' prisoners - even though they have committed a crime - do do a bit of unpaid(?) labour for a bit and be told how bad they are.
The natural flaw in the plan, if you can call it that, from my eyes is the environment. A classically supposed benefit for prisons is the fact that by being in prison for a stint you escape the environment to which resulted in your criminality. I can't see this happening with this initiative. And even though prisons themselves are a bit of a den of evil at the moment, at least they are a change and give the individual another look at life.
For the suggested idea to work, that is community service as opposed to prison sentences, the criminal should be forced to move to another area of the country. As long as the person is not perceived to be violent would it not be better to remove them from their friends, deny the chance to use the Internet or a mobile phone (at least for the short term) and have specific jobs set up in partnership with businesses (organised by the government) which begins a rehabilitation process.
All this would cost money.
The government has no money.
So instead what we have here is a failure of a plan. The worst of all situations. The prisons are failing as they are full. The release of prisoners into community service is simply going to do nothing to rehabilitate or indeed dissuade the majority of criminals from reaffending.
Community care, or indeed care in the community, is a golden tightrope. Both expensive and falls on its face so very easily. The problem is now, that it has become the normal solution to any appropriate problem and even though it has the chance to do some good institutionalisation tends towards being the cheaper and utilitarian best for the people involved.
I simply do not understand this government.
Why, oh why, close those things which actually benefit individuals and communities and society in general?! There are probably figures around, but I honestly don't really care about the cost (it wouldn't be anywhere near the cost of the Iraq war for instance) we should be building more post offices in communities which are lacking them.
In my research for some political experience I am glad to see that my local (Lancaster & Wyre) MP Ben Wallace strongly campaigns against the closure and has indeed managed to do the unthinkable - re-open post offices after closure.
But instead making this country 'better' in terms of the real experience of life of its peoples, we have this...
As many as 4,000 further post office branch closures could be set to take place, a committee of MPs has warned.
And not only this, but the government is actually going to lie to you.
Such a move would reduce the network to around 7,500 branches, compared with the 14,000 presently open, despite the government aiming to safeguard 11,500 branches from now until 2011.
What do you think will happen? Ask any MP and member of the labour party about your worries that the post office is going to close all the offices, and they will deny it - I mean, they have 'safeguarded' the branches. They will deny it right up until the point you loose the last focus of the community left in your village.
Monday, 2 June 2008
2) It takes 155 days of work to pay this off.
Taken from Guido via the Adam Smith Institute these points seemed shocking (in a bleary post-4am drinking + geek session on WoW... Don't judge!) Today is Tax Freedom Day(!), a day to instead of celebrating we should lament and feel a well of anger rise up for it is our government which squanders all of that money in useless and disastrous ways; imagine how many days would have been wiped off this total if, for example, we didn't go to war in Iraq?
And as Guido points out, in many ways we are much much worse off than the Surfs in feudal times who had to work no more than 40 days for their lord and master... And they say we are free.
Friday, 30 May 2008
The claim by David Cameron to tackle disadvantage through the revival of civil society looks to many on the left like ideological cover for a revived neoliberal agenda. But is it? The lesson of the last 30 years is that neither the state nor the market is able to alleviate poverty or deliver opportunity for all.
Though the arguments about the failure of the market economy needs expanding Philip makes some interesting points. Not only is the tory party on the verge, it seems, of making some interesting political movements in terms of policy but it also seems to be making the right ones; reducing the state, decentralization and the rethinking of welfare. The only problem may be that Labour is making things too easy...
The danger is that with New Labour imploding after the local elections and Crewe, the Tories avoid visionary thinking and coast to victory. But this is perilous: the electorate is fickle.
The problem with Philip is the ultimate direction he drives his conclusions. Though the thinking above in general seems correct he makes two very radical points, 1) a rejection of the free market, and 2) the rejection of liberalism. Points which seem both worrying and difficult to comment on now. They just seem too radical.
Thursday, 29 May 2008
Watch this vid and you will understand I think.
This chimes a chord with my experience of those that have been given a glimpse of the European project in my life. It is basic brainwashing of the most positive kind. Politics students in Lancaster University were given a chance to go and see the project face to face, discuss its pros and cons and come to their own conclusions of whether Europe is a good things or not. I didn't go, but a friend of mine did and in reality what he came across was a summer camp which touched on none of the real issues facing Europe and its constituent member states. Instead the discussion was on the large issue, the fun issues, the conceptual immaterial idealist prospects of what a perfect Europe would be like.
And this is the point. From what little I know (admittedly) those that seem to be whole heartedly won over by Europe are done so first on these idealist grounds of a peaceful perfectly formed federalist state - much in the same way the leftists are won over by their flawed drives towards equality. Just in the same way that the left held the minds of the youth in the second half of the 20th century it is the European project which will be the extravagance of our leaders of tomorrow. And though it will be a flawed understanding, and though it is something which many will grow out of in later life what this does mean is that Europe has in this sense become us. Is now an accepted reality of the British state's existence and not something which we join and continually renew our commitment to, but in the only sense that is real, it is now an institution within 'our' minds.
Yes indeed, this is a new and brand spanking (to coin an overused phrase) blog. I hope you like it.
As always, I have a plan. And the plan for this blog comes from a realization that I am 100% failing on the employability front. Not only have I not got any of the experience needed to get into any field of work I actually wish to commit my life to, but my last blog - Special/Blown it - even though it has a good body of work within it fails to be something that can be used to enhance a CV or show to a prospective employer.
For those who may be reading this from such a position, please take most of what is written there with a pinch of salt; it is largely uncensored rantings and I only include the comment here in the aim to show that I have some experience within the blogging world, even if that is marginal.
Anyway, to be clear. This blog has two aims.
- To create a body of work based upon comment and rantings which can be something I can be proud of and use in the promotion of me to any future job hunting activities.
- Continue to develop my grasp of the English language. To push myself and my ability to create entertaining, informative prose.
Wonderful. Now all thats sorted time to get some more tea.