Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Twitter




Tuesday, 30 September 2014

UKIP Converts explain their anger


I hope you can understand why having been promised a brighter future it appears that nothing has changed:-
“Osborne’s four myths mean he hits the poor and helps the rich”
 But beneath the hyperbole and soundbites, a divisive philosophy underpins the chancellor’s economic narrative. The wealthy and rich need to be better off through tax cuts as an incentive to work and save, while the poor and disadvantaged need to be made worse off and suffer welfare cuts as an incentive to work. This will only increase the current high level of inequality in the UK ,
As usual, the chancellor repeated the mantra that: “We are all in it together”. We are not. And the policies of this Conservative government as laid out by the chancellor will lead to further divisions and rising inequality.

David Cameron interview: those who work hard will be rewarded

David Cameron set out some of his priorities for 2012 on a train journey back to London from the North West.

So in 2014 having trusted his promises this is what has really happened
skandia1
This is what represents a lifetime paying full contributions and illustrates how this penal tax system really works.( 16 –65)
1) you will be stuck with a “K” prefixed tax code,(One that nobody wants)
This means that although my income is only £27000 I am taxed at 30% to claw back my age allowance,which I would have thought would be a fair reward for a lifetime's contribution.
Theses are the facts that make the UKIP ideas more palatable.
Yours sincerely,
B and M Miller

Monday, 9 September 2013

Syria- A Failure of the UN

Campaign Against Arms Trade 'die-in'
   Once again footage of  helpless civilians being subjected to chemical attacks has humbled viewers
and commentators alike. The disgust is not just at the perpetrators of this evil but in humanity itself.
Our failure is collective in not demanding that our international organisations act as the immune system of our communities rather than provide palliative care for terminal cases. The real blame lies with the self serving states that continue to undermine the authority of the UN and continue to underfund it into a state of hapless futility. After 100,000 civilians have already died the use of chemical weapons has it seems stirred up the need for intervention.
  There is much talk of 'Syria' not being 'Iraq' but what's frightening is the remarkable similarities.
We have a nation state that is divided along sectarian lines that is likely to fragment even further
if the oppressive dictator is removed. David Cameron has been left to look impotent on the
international stage not because he bowed to the will of parliament but because he chose the
wrong motion to champion. You cannot 'bomb for peace' in the very same month as you are
holding one of the world's biggest arms fairs at the Excel arena in london. What
started off as Cameron's ill judgement of the  'war weariness' of the very MP's who he
had asked to back him on the vote for action ended up as Britain's public humiliation
on the world stage. First Kerry unceremoniously snubbed Britain and then Cameron
had to fend off 'little island' jibes from the Russian political hierarchy. What we can
rightfully be proud of is that around 500 or so protesters  risked life and limb by throwing
themselves under articulated lorries and trucks to disrupt the ongoing arms fair (DSEI)
at the Excel centre. It also restores one's pride in humanity that the moral conscience of a
few are acting as the immune system that the government must heed if it is to avoid future
conflicts and carry the moral authority which would merit a seat on the security council.
  In the latest developments it seems that the Russians have put forth a possible solution by
asking the Syrian government to put their stockpile of chemical weapons under international supervision. This may have outmanoeuvred the Americans who are awaiting congressional support for strike action.
  What we can conclude is that if the UN is not empowered to apprehend those who have broken
international law whether it be Tony Blair or the president of Sudan, however fanciful
that may sound in the present, future conflicts are bound to thrive, leading to a greater need for arms, and more arms fairs. Leaders and corporations will allow wars to start and continue  if they feel that
the international legal framework and the bodies that support them are too weak to bring them to
justice. Reza Sobati

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Monday, 5 August 2013

The Scandal Of The Current Banking System Articulated

After three years in office Cameron has done absolutely nothing to clean up the banking system
and not a single banker has been put behind bars. The tired excuse that politicians and bankers
cannot be held to account because 'no laws were broken' is as big a lie as the fact that we need
this financial thievery as it is too great a part of our economy. Existing laws of fraud and even
jeopardising national security have been violated there is just a failure of the political class to
act. Also the more reliant we become on a false economy of nominal money on computer
screens the more the real economy suffers. The current state of affairs is a gross betrayal of
the Nation state and UK citizens who are striving to make a living without destroying society.

Cameron faces backlash on Internet Porn

Cameron's Pr fodder on internet porn reveals a disturbing lack of understanding on how the internet
actually works. At internet security conferences most of the experts agree that the current set up
where police actually monitor existing sites have proven to be the greatest success in breaking up pedophile rings. Whilst we now know that privacy on the internet is a myth, There is a suspicion
that the government may use false security arguments to impose a de facto tax on the internet for
UK citizens. It's attempts so far through various quangos have failed largely due to the backlash
in the internet community. The video response below articulates some of the anger at the stupidity of
Cameron's position




Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Protest Against G8 and the Scandal of Hunger

All across Europe there are mass protest movements against austerity and it's consequences which are imposed on nation states by the IMF. The 'Drop the Debt' or 'Jubilee campaign' highlighted that in
fact this has been the main cause of hunger in Africa in the last century. Namely a concerted effort on the part of creditor nations to keep Africa in a state of debt to get their natural resources at dirt cheap
prices. The world bank and international banking system have been complicit in this by extending massive loans to successive corrupt leaders. After a few years in office they were allowed to flee
abroad with billions of dollars in Swiss bank accounts while being allowed to put this stolen money as debt on their country's balance sheet. This has resulted in many countries being in a state of 'debt slavery' whereby they are spending more per annum on illegally accrued debt interest repayment than education, health and welfare combined. This crooked system is now beginning to resonate in Europe as the IMF is essentially following the same formula. By voicing your concern at the G8 summit in Belfast on the 15th June or in Hyde Park on the 8th June you can shine a light on the corruption of politicians and the banking system.



Saturday, 1 June 2013

Cameron's Britain- This is what democracy looks like

In 2012 Crudass who is worth £850 million with a house in Monaco 'selling access' to David Cameron
and George Osborne for £100,000 in Sunday Times Sting.




In 2013 it's not just still going on it seems to be the modus operandi...

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Open letter Captures The Sense Of Anger And Betrayal Among Voters



     Having just spent a week in London with my grown-up daughter who is highly qualified and professional and in her late twenties,  I can  come to no other conclusion but that for my children's generation, the U.K.  nowadays is nothing more than depressing. As a parent, some aspects appear to me to be nothing short of an outrage.
     Over more than two decades ago, we saw the fall of the Berlin Wall which signalled the demise of socialism  and less than a decade after that, capitalism was shaken to its very roots as a result of greed and malpractice owing to the loophole of a fundamental lack of regulation of the global financial system.  Gordon Brown thus made the working population shoulder this ailing sector by means of a national debt the likes of which  has not been seen since war-time Britain.     
    Basically, we experienced within a short space of time the failure of both socialism and capitalism.  The continuity of the latter was assured by beleaguering a whole generation with few prospects on all important fronts such as property ownership and job security which for my parents the war-generation and for my generation i.e. the post-war generation were the norm. 
      'An Englishman's home is his castle' - well, all that is sadly now very passe!  The vast majority of this generation have no prospect of getting onto the property ladder whatsoever thanks to the iniquitous practise of the banking sector which has  used monies advanced by income earners and none other to underwrite their own securities and interests and pay out inflated bonuses to bosses.  Just where are the politicians because this has nothing to do with democracy - 'demo' - I understand as representing the people?  In my mind, the people going out to work to prop up this sham have every right across the entire political spectrum to bring down a Government over the issue.  How do they get away with it? 
     Just how many young people can put down the required deposit to begin owning their own property without major big-time financial assistance from their elders?  Better still,  just what percentage of parents can afford to help them to the required level today? Justifiably and without further ado, banks should be subject to massive state intervention  in order to oblige them to aid and advance their sole benefactors or creditors i.e. the people.  Just who do the politicians think that they are fooling?  Both my parents and I became property owners and  today, we are coerced into thinking that progress is being made with Government performance and this whole austerity programme with the lamentable set of statistics given recently.  
     The situation in London compels this generation to rent at inflated prices with very little security in terms of tenure  at the mercy of an unscrupulous capitalist doctrine with many other hangers-on the likes of which my generation thankfully have not experienced.  Furthermore, this extends well beyond the London boundaries:  I, who during the seventies and eighties climbed the property ladder on the south coast and was able to establish a good family dwelling for my wife and children, could nowadays no longer get started.   Shame on the system which now only allows a small privileged minority to do the same! THIS SHOULD BE A MAJOR ELECTION ISSUE.  Not only are my children's generation forced to give up the right to own their own property, they are faced with an ever mounting tide of a lack of job security and performance appraisal pressure and I am talking about professional people with degrees from top Universities.  The ever increasing amount of bureaucracy created in the state  sector in education, health-care and policing renders their efficacy severely weakened while investment in business has dried up owing to a lack of funding on the part of financial institutions. On all these  fronts, entire volumes of fundamental 'critique' could be written.  It is high time politicians were appraised on their performance.  It is indeed very debatable whether Japan is not demonstrating a better alternative in terms of economic recovery which is far more beneficent towards its people.  
     Any student of Keynes knows that this austerity programme is not working.  Just how can we pay back a debt long term by reducing income and spending power in terms of both the private and state  purse?  Comparing entire national economic policy underpinned by the  skills of a whole generation with a private household budget is indeed a facile argument.  The entrepreneurial esprit has been not just stifled but made almost extinct.  
      A  change is well overdue and I am not talking party politics but a fundamentalist  review of what democracy is supposed to mean.  The current scenario opens up deep cracks in this respect and I as a retired parent but still a parent, am acutely aware that politicians are failing my children's generation.  A whole new political agenda  in terms of what Governments are obliged to deliver is urgently required.  They have been left unchallenged for far too long and the only super-governmental body other than the   ballot box to which we, the people can turn in terms of crisis (and for this generation of young people, it is indeed just that) is the Constitutional Monarchy! Her Majesty would do well in her constitutional role as protectorate of the salient features of our democracy if She were to insist that such issues be placed at the top of the agenda of the three major political parties.  Indeed the time has come that pragmatic solutions were sought. Enough is enough! 
       As it is, the system is failing our young and I on their behalf, feel utterly deceived, disillusioned and let down.  
      Recent headlines serve well to illustrate the injustice being meted out to the British populous:   Michael Gove's recent proposal that we should lengthen the school day and that teachers should be prepared to forfeit more of their holidays. Well I know  that I am right in saying that within Europe, British teachers remain amongst the most dedicated with the smallest amount of holidays.  Ask parents around the world who send their children to English International schools and they will tell you that English-trained teachers are more willing to give freely of their own free time than teaching staff in their own country.  Furthermore  why should we ape a system in far-flung parts of the world which have nothing to do with the social background and context of modern day Britain? Do they have a history of democracy like ours?  More relative to the educational debate however is just why after endless controversial headlines in the media concerning this present Secretary of State for Education do we have such an incompetent, farcical, self-infatuated, pouting figure who looks more like an ageing, slimmed-down Billy Bunter directing pupils' education in the State sector and the teaching services in the 21st century?    May The Lord give me strength!  
        Then, there is the matter of Mr. Iain Duncan Smith's attempt to take the moral high ground by urging better-off pensioners to relinquish their free bus passes and winter fuel allowance i.e. from people who in the majority of cases have paid into the public purse throughout their entire working  lives.  He aims no doubt to swell Government funds by a few measly coppers!  No Mr. Iain Duncan Smith why don't you request the banking sector to return some of the ever mounting debt which they owe the public funds or even turn to some of the royal hangers-on who seem even today justified in asking for more?
       As for the statement made by David Cameron's adviser Jesse Norman that the likes of Eton prepares you so much more for public service than other educational institutions, I have never read such smug nonsense in my entire life.  Just to remind him, Mrs. Thatcher, whose service to the public at large resulted in her moving the whole political infrastructure to right of centre in consequence of the mayhem created by militant trade unions  was the product of a STATE GRAMMAR SCHOOL.   Ostensibly, she created New Labour headed by Tony Blair.  Her  educational background afforded her an innate understanding of what the wider public in terms of their aspirations hoped to achieve and her legacy is still appreciated by many both left and right of centre.  How can these elitist institutions like Eton which are populated by none other than the offspring of those who can afford to pay large sums of money possibly know what the wider public is all about in order to realise their endeavours?  That is surely what real public service is all about in government.  From early childhood, they are  protected from such exposure and such an institution can only pay what amounts to lip service to this end.  Just what percentage of the pupils from Eton have parents who are local shopkeepers or have small businesses i.e. those who today cannot advance and progress one jot because of Government policy?   The likes of Eton  are there to serve  and protect their own which reflects exactly what is happening in Britain today.  The fact that ex-Eton scholars populate the Cabinet explains all too well why income earners are burdened with  shoring up the City's major financial institutions without any recourse or advantage from their hard earned investment.  Those with large funds behind them are  reassured without further ado  and can carry on as normal and are not  affected and what is worse,  in some instances, they are better off!  
       If the intentions of voters who identify themselves today with middle-ground politics and vote for David Cameron put such shiny-suited, mealy-mouthed ex-public school tricksters into power, then I think the electorate should re-assess what they hope to achieve when they put their cross on the ballot paper.  Under Harold Wilson and Ted. Heath some of us, being products of State Education were privileged in the sixties to be awarded first-class scholarships to the best of higher education and we can see crystal clear just what is going on.   
       I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that this young working generation would undoubtedly be better-off in the new world.  Especially if they are well qualified.  They may have to pay for private health insurance but being young, in most cases this would be easily affordable as would be setting themselves up in their own home and taking care of the next  generation i.e. our grandchildren.   As it is, they have been made scapegoats in the U.K. for propping up a system which demonstrates increasing levels  of corruption and which represents  in some respects a flagrant breach of what democracy is intended to deliver to the people. 
       The media in The U.K. seem to lack a real sense of what I can only refer to as 'Zeitgeist' and the sooner some of these Public School brethren are shown the door, the better it will be for the majority of those who are daily footing the bill for the country's continued stability.   
David S.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Thatcher Dead But Thatcherism Very Much Alive

The most interesting aspect surrounding the debate after the death of the former PM has been  the reason behind how polarising a figure she was. I suspect that much of that is because of the increasing erosion of political identity among the British electorate that have had to endure an evolving but diluted version of Thatcherism for the past 30 years. Under Thatcher people could still define themselves by their politics in a way that is no longer possible. Under Thatcher you were either a socialist with a capital 'S' or subscribed to the 'nasty' party which was very much winning the ideological battle on a global level given the collapse of the Soviet Union. In the context of the Cold War, politics was very black and white. If you had any romanticised notions of the merits of Marxist ideology,
you could just visit East Berlin and enter a deprived parallel universe where the people's desperate
and poverty stricken lives begged for the very clothes you walked around in. Those days are gone
and so too with it have the justifications for the most intolerable aspects of Thatcherism. In economic terms Thatcherism was the implementation of the teachings of Milton Friedman and the Monetarist school of thought. Britain was the first major industrialised country in which this experiment was conducted and its legacy much like that of Thatcherism is the failed catastrophe of unrestrained capital markets that have led to the current economic mess. Thatcher's standout error was to assume that heavy industry could be replaced with a service economy without any long term consequences.
Deregulation was a mere consequence of trying to make the financial sector more attractive.
With greater dependency came greater deregulation and the opportunity for a kleptocratic elite of financial institutions to privatise profit and socialise loss. Market manipulation suited Thatcher's short term approach as it allowed her to manipulate highs and lows in the economy to suit the British electoral cycle. This manipulation got hijacked by big financial situations to such an extent that they could buy out British and American politics to a large extent with the vast profits that they were accumulating.
 In Thatcher's time 'The hallowed ground of the centre' in British politics due to Labour's intransigence
was only occupied by joke parties such as the SDP. Changing times and the evolution of Blair blurred everything. Socialists took the bait as well as everyone else in a way that no socialist will feel comfortable voting Labour again probably in the same way that no conservative or liberal will feel comfortable voting Tory or LibDem again after the current lot are voted out. Why? Because people now see politicians for what they have become; a glorified civil service to meet the needs of the corporations, banks and any other lobby that will indulge them in their self advancement at the
cost of society.


Sunday, 7 April 2013

Working People (Skivers) Are Bearing The Brunt For Cameron's Financial Sodom And Gomorrah

As the MP's are considering whether to ban the 'HBOS 3' who managed to lose the bank over £50 billion through bad lending (not even casino banking) the punishment for those who had nothing
to do with causing the financial mess is stigma, shame and in some cases suicide. Somehow  MP's
do not see it fit to bring criminal charges against these bank bosses as part of what can only be described as a feudal pact. George Osborne's muddying of the waters by somehow linking the Philpott tragedy with the welfare bill is a prime example of instant headline politics with no respect for the tragedy or the facts of the case involved. Perhaps Cameron would like to hear from one of
our reader's Steve. Steve is not in the cabinet but he makes a damn good case about how people
in his predicament are being maliciously and grotesquely misrepresented by the coalition.
The only punishment for these 3 HBOS financial gangsters is they may not get a job in the financial sector again

Good afternoon sir,
I am a skiver.
Although, in fairness, I don't actually feel too much like a skiver.
I'm married with 2 sons (17 and 22, thank you for asking, one at uni and one at college), I'm 51 with a disability. I work (2 jobs) for 33 hours a week and care for my 80 year old father who has cancer and is housebound. He lives an hour away and I'm the nearest to him.
I only earn £13,500 p.a and don't qualify for any disability benefits as I am not disabled enough (?)
However, I am a skiver - I DO receive Child Benefit, Working Tax Benefit and Child Tax Credit.
According to your mouthpiece, the press, I am lazy, addicted to drink or drugs, not really poor(!?), cheat the system, have an easy life(ha ha lucky old me) AND I've also caused the deficit!
I wish I had something more than a 20 year old car to show for it, maybe a 2nd home or a duckpond!
As a lifelong supporter of your party I've defended the cuts and the rhetoric from this coalition as something we have to live with due to the last governments mismanagement.
However, after listening to the rubbish coming from Mr Hague and the ill informed comments from my local MP, Mr Ruffley, I've decided to say farewell.
This will mean nothing to you, it's just one vote from a skiver, but I just felt that I needed to let you know.
I don't expect a reply,
Time to go and cheat the system again, oh no I'm can't I busy at work. Maybe another day.
Yours
Steve

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Cameron still allowing banks to run havoc with the economy

There is a fundamental malaise with the UK economy. It is dangerously overdependent on a financial sector whose influence essentially has our current crop of politicians in their pockets. The reason why there isn't widespread panic at our current state of affairs is that the figure for our national debt is at a number so large that most people cannot comprehend it. Even Cameron is having trouble coming to grips with it. He had promised to bring the national debt down and had the cheek to go on a conservative party political broadcast claiming to have done so. One can only guess that he holds
the intelligence of the UK electorate in such low regard that he had hoped we would confuse the deficit
(amount borrowed within the year) with the national debt. He was forced embarrassingly to apologise
for this error. It's an open secret in policy circles that economic policy under Osborne has been nothing
short of catastrophic. So what you may dare to ask is  Cameron betting on for the recovery?
Printing more money and his master plan is to allow the financial sector unfettered to carry on with it's
casino like tactics to balance the books. In short he is operating the U.K's economy the same way
Fred Goodwin ran RBS which together with the other major UK banks perpetrated the biggest
financial fraud recorded on the British people. the Long term solution is to start providing goods
that the expanding markets of the Far East require very much like Germany. Unfortunately the short election cycle and the fact that the BBC is complicit with the government by under reporting the extent
of the crisis means that the outlook is bleak. Our first task is to ensure, given financial services account for such a large part of our GDP, that Bankers are operating with the interests of their corporation rather than their personal fortunes. Panorama did an 'expose light' on Barclays showing that regardless of
performance their CEO was raking in £120 million in 6 years! This bonus basically is what dictated the fact that they wouldn't accept government bailout and they even went begging to Gaddafi to rescue them. They are still under investigation for having potentially bribed the Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mansur for rescuing them using his country's sovereign funds under his own name.
  Hence for recovery we must pressure the government to address this corrosive banking culture. It would be a good start to read and consider signing the petition below organised by the pressure group Avaaz.




Bankers are lobbying hard to keep their big bonuses at our expense. But the EU is trying to crack down. If we push George Osborne to stand by a sensible plan to cap bankers bonuses -- the very greedy payouts which crashed our economies -- we could finally beat the banker lobby! Sign the petition: 


Sign the petition! 
The banks crashed our economies, causing a wave of unemployment, evictions and cuts, but bankers are still raking in massive pay cheques. We have a chance to end this madness in 24 hours, but the British government stands in our way. 

Bankers run outrageous risks, driven by the lure of big bonuses. EU plans to stop bankers getting bonuses higher than their salaries are now being ambushed by George Osborne. Public pressure now can push our finance ministers to take a stand against the bankers’ greed that caused the crash in the first place! 

We have 24 hours -- the bankers’ lobby is massive, but our politicians know they can’t get re-elected if they favour friends in high finance while our jobs and services disappear. Sign the petition to George Osborne and other EU finance ministers now-- which we’ll deliver to Osborne's door and via the media on the day of the talks -- and share it with all your friends across the UK! 

http://www.avaaz.org/en/uk_bankers_champagne_on_our_tab_a/?bWrujcb&v=22076 

Banks like Barclays keep paying out bonuses worth billions. Many politicians talk a good game about reining in the banks, but then fold as soon as bankers pressure them. The European Parliament has agreed proposals that would prevent banks paying bonuses that are more than their fixed salary, unless shareholders holding two thirds of the bank's shares attend a meeting and agree to override that. Tuesday will see a needle negotiation between the Parliament and EU government representatives. It’s behind closed doors, but right now the UK is trying to get other governments to side with it to block the bonus ban. 

Banks caused the financial crisis and have been caught out in scandals over interest-rate fixing, product mis-selling, and evicting people from their homes. It’s time to get the public policies we need to ensure these outrages can’t happen again. Banks threaten to move abroad if rules are tightened, but this is a bluff, as no global bank can afford to leave the EU. And UK banks say they are changing their culture -- changing their pay and incentive schemes is a necessary part of that. Other, more respected, professions trust their people to work hard without the lure of tripling or quadrupling their salary -- bankers can, too. 

We have just 24 hours to get George Osborne to back off the banking lobby and agree to bring sanity to bonuses. We'll deliver on the day of the meeting, when enough people have signed. Click below to add your voice: 

http://www.avaaz.org/en/uk_bankers_champagne_on_our_tab_a/?bWrujcb&v=22076 

We’ve done it before - getting the EU to agree to put criminal bankers behind bars. Let’s now go further to tame bankers’ animal spirits. 

Monday, 4 February 2013

Gay Marriage. Civil Rights, Semantics or the Politics of Distraction?

Open Letter By Revd. Andrew Smith

Dear Mr Cameron
I am writing to you to urge you to vote against any forthcoming legislation which seeks to redefine marriage. As an ordained minister in the Church of England, I am coming at this from two points of view. As a Christian I firmly believe that marriage is a lifelong commitment between one man and one woman, and would argue that any move to re-define it undermines this. As a minister in the Church of England, I am aware that although there appears to be the desire to build in safeguards that I will not be  ‘forced’ to undertake a same sex marriage service, I am extremely doubtful that this safeguard will stand up to the scrutiny of the British or European courts. I have already raised this with my constituency MP, Mr Norman Baker. My main arguments against this proposal are:
Mandate or otherwise for redefining marriage
I acknowledge that you have recently championed the cause of same-sex marriage (although noting that on the 3 May 2010, just three days before the last general election, I understand that you said publically on TV that you were “not planning” to change the definition of marriage). I believe that Nick Clegg and George Osborne have at various times spoken in favour of it,  and that all three major parties in the House of Commons are now seeking to redefine marriage in such a way as to allow same sex marriage to take place. Notwithstanding this, none of the above gives the coalition government the right to proceed with a substantial piece of legislation that will fundamentally alter a significant pillar of our society, namely that marriage is understood as the union of one man and one woman for life, without first testing this with the electorate, via the ballot box. Pronouncements from politicians, however senior, do not of themselves set policy. Within the British democratic system, major legislation initiatives are set out in the party manifesto before an election in order that the electorate know for what basket of policies they are voting. I would contend ‘redefining marriage’ would fit into such a classification. Although clearly not an identical situation, a good case in point for this is the British relationship with and within the European Union. I understand that you are seeking to get a re-negotiated position in the EU which you can then (quite correctly in my view) put before the electorate at the next general election, with the view to testing this by way of a subsequent referendum. There is no reason why legislation allowing same-sex marriage should be rushed through this parliament. If the major parties are so sure that this would be the will of the people, then they should clearly articulate the policy in their next election manifestos in order that the electorate can make an informed decision, and adjust their voting behaviour accordingly. As you are well aware, underpinning the fundamentals of British Law is the Judeo-Christian heritage and tradition, from which the major planks of the law are derived. Neither Jewish nor Christian scripture or doctrine, understood in an orthodox manner, would support any attempt to redefine marriage.
The campaign against discrimination
I am a firm believer in the freedom of expression and, “a fair, free and open society…… in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity” as the Lib-Dem party (your coalition partners) constitution so eloquently puts it. However I do not see how re-defining marriage accomplishes this. Equality under the law for either hetero- or homosexual couples is provided for within the remit of a civil partnership and does not require a re-defining of marriage to achieve this. I am sure that you must appreciate that one must make sure that one persons ‘freedom’ does not then become another’s ‘infringement’. My concern is that, in order to appease a tiny minority of the population who will avail themselves of a same-sex marriage, if offered, a significant number of others may be adversely affected. I attend to the matter of the “quadruple lock” below, but would say that I would not be prepared to undertake a same-sex marriage (which is my ‘freedom’) in order to satisfy the perceived freedom for another. This is a matter of conscience above all. If one were to extend this argument further then Muslims (a significant religious minority) in this country would have a case for including sharia law into British law, or to take an absurd and ludicrous example, those in prison could argue that their imprisonment infringed their personal freedoms.
The ‘protection’ of the quadruple lock
Unfortunately I do not believe that the proposed ‘quadruple lock’ will provide any protection to me as a minister in the Church of England. As you know very well, an incoming government of any political hue could repeal this protection if ‘encouraged’ so to do by the attentions of a minority but vociferous pressure group. The ‘security’ of the quadruple lock has not been tested in the British courts nor indeed can we guess what the result might be should an appeal be made to the European Courts. I believe that this protection is vacuous and that should the proposed legislation to ‘redefine marriage’ be passed, in the fullness of time ministers within the Church of England will be forced into a position where they will have to face the choice of undertaking same-sex marriages or the consequences of prosecution under the law.
I have been a lifelong supporter of the Conservative party, via the ballot box, and by membership of the Federation of Conservative Students when at University. This proposed legislation is challenging me to change my party allegiance to one that supports religious freedoms and the traditional role of marriage. Although the three main parties do not offer me thisopportunity, it would appear that the United Kingdom Independence Party will do so, and so I am minded to give UKIP my vote at the next electoral opportunity.
Yours sincerely.
Revd. Andrew L. Smith

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Assange Makes UK Look Like a Banana Republic

 A veritable Scarlett Pimpernel of our day, the Wikileaks
chief has managed to outwit and outmanoeuvre the British
authorities. All the time he has managed to have more journalistic scoops in the digital age than most journalists
achieve in a lifetime. Surely, that, coupled with his
legendary ego, has rallied the old media (the landed gentry of this medium) to turn against him. Having consulted a junior
lawyer while all the big wigs were on holiday, Hague thought it was wise that Britain should consider storming the Ecuadorian Embassy. It was sobering to hear a former attorney general expose it as a legal gaffe of the highest order and completely in contravention of international law. So Britain was once again left looking like the bad guys with egg on their face. Worse still that we are left to look as if we are carrying out America's bidding against one of our most cherished ideals, The Freedom of Speech. This is not a constitutional amendment or afterthought but a God given right. In America ,The Land of the Hyperbole, politicians have asked for him to be strung up. They are looking for his aextradition via Sweden on what suspiciously reeks of trumped up charges even though he is only wanted for questioning. He has not refused to be interviewed by Swedish police if his security can be guaranteed. The sort of courtesy the home secretary has extended to the likes of Abu Qatada.
The private alleged to be behind the leak is behind bars as he has violated his military oath. The journalist is now standing on a balcony of a Latin American country's embassy espousing the virtues and sanctity of Free Speech. The scene is Kafkaesque, a grand spectacle which Assange has every intention to relish. This small embassy's balcony has been catapulted to the dock of universal justice and the jury overwhelming find him innocent of exposing war crimes. If Britain as a country cannot show itself to champion Free Speech above any other, then it's once prized position in the world will be irreversibly damaged. As Cameron continues to reshuffle everything that is good and decent with the perversity of injustice and inequity no doubt David Laws will find himself in the cabinet later
today. Some Laws that break laws for personal gain it seems are worth protecting!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Olympic Memo to PM: Multiculturism does Work and hands off our NHS

 Who would have thought that it would take Danny Boyle's opening ceremony of the London Olympic games to press home and cement a few facts about British identity and sense of
purpose which has been so up for anguished debate in modern times. As an antidote to the regimented affair in Beijing one of the most impressive aspects was that we'd given fairly free license to an artist to portray a very individualistic take on Britain's past, future and sense of identity
in a post imperial era. As we were enjoying the spectacle who would have thought that issues
surrounding the environment, The NHS, and multiculturalism would linger long after the
ceremony had closed. The British public were immediately won over by the celebration of the
NHS and those who make it work on a daily basis. All of a sudden the Tory assault on the NHS
which Cameron had promised not to embark on pre-election seems politically untenable -now,
more than ever. Despite the musical feel of the ceremony the underlying message to Cameron
with regards to the NHS was deeply political. All the more so because it resonated with the public
at large and any cuts would almost be deemed as an attack on our national identity.
   Furthermore the celebration of the Jamaican influx and Jessica Ennis's prodigious display has
made Cameron's now infamous 'Multiculturism hasn't worked' speech very cringe worthy. The heroic
and paternal figure of Sir Steven Redgrave has brought into sharp focus the often blurred line between patriotism and jingoism.
  The rows of empty seats due to corporate sponsors when demand for tickets from the general public has been so high has also provided an enduring metaphor for this Government in putting the interests of irresponsible corporations and banks above the will of the electorate. Once the elation of the Olympics are over these seemingly intractable problems will be brought to the fore. Cameron's serial misjudgements will force his government to come under pressure especially as the deepening recession is increasingly becoming associated with Tory miscalculations and mismanagement rather than the legacy of the previous Labour government.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Financial Lawlessness Will Lead to Bankruptcy

Dear friends,


As our politicians sleep, bankers are stealing billions without fear of punishment. These are crimes anyone else would go to jail for. Let's wake up G20 leaders and call on them to stop the banking culture of crime with new regulations to clean up this toxic industry and end impunity. Click below to sign.

Sign the petition
Banks are getting away with theft and fraud -- crimes the rest of us would go to jail for. A fresh Barclay's bank scandal has just been exposed with mountains of evidence of wrongdoing -- but not one person has been arrested and Barclay's Bank has been fined just a fraction of its £6 billion profits! An outcry now can toughen up banking laws and bring the banking menace to an end.

G20 leaders have announced that they want to pass real regulation that stops banking crimes, but they have yet to act. Still, the US has made key moves to close loopholes and there is an inquiry right now in the UK. We can ride this momentum and push all G20 leaders to pass tough bank crime laws now.

We have a chance to clean up this rotten industry -- and our jobs and future depend on it. The leaders of the 20 most powerful economies have already said they want tougher banking rules. Let's make those words mean something. Sign the petition below, and when we reach 1 million, we’ll deliver it to G20 leaders with a huge media storm:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/bankers_behind_bars/?bWrujcb&v=15719

Once again, we're seeing bankers commit crimes sheltered from punishment, even though they destroy people's lives by forcing them out of homes and jobs. Four years of scandal after scandal has shown that the industry is perpetuating a toxic culture that puts greed and self-interest before what's good for the people.

Barclays was recently fined $450m, which is nothing compared to the money their questionable activities made them. When drug dealers are arrested, police seize their illegal money and all the possessions bought with it, why do bankers instead get big payouts and massive pensions?

Right now the punishments don't fit the crime and so law breaking is incentivised, but this could end if our politicians act boldly. Years ago they said the banks were too big to fail and poured trillions of our money to bailout the banks. Now they need to stop the criminal culture by making sure that this money is regulated, and that anyone who acts illegally faces the full extent of the law.

The US already introduced tougher measures in 2010 and a parliamentary inquiry is underway in the UK. The banks are feeling the heat, and now if we can use this momentum to hold all G20 leaders to account, we can win and finally clean criminals out of our banks. Sign the petition below:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/bankers_behind_bars/?bWrujcb&v=15719

The reckless, illegal and irresponsible behaviour of banks has caused an economic crisis around the world, leaving hundreds of millions of people affected. Today we can take the first step towards a true recovery by ending the criminal culture which has caused this disaster.

With hope,

Iain, Alex, Antonia, Giulia, Luis, Ricken and the entire Avaaz team

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Open Letter on removing benefits for under 25's and selective shaming of tax avoiders

Congratulations on attacking yet another minority whose benefit you can remove to make the rabid right-wing of your party happy.  I'm reminded of the famous Monty Python sketch in which prospective Upper Class Twits of the Year attempt to shoot rabbits tied to the ground and STILL manage to miss!
You say you will save £2 billion a year.  I doubt it.
However if you stopped aiming your moral outrage at comedians who have been nasty to you in the past and focus on the corporations and ultra-rich individuals who have reduced their tax footprint under your captainship of the RSS Great Britain you might recognise these figures:

1% - Income tax rate reportedly available to members of the legal K2 tax scheme used by Jimmy Carr. source Telegraph
98 – Number of FTSE 100 companies operating out of tax havens. Source:  Action Aid
£25bn – Estimated annual cost of tax avoidance, according to 2008 research. £13billion of this is lost to individuals and £12billion to the 700 largest corporations. Source: Tax Research UK and the TUC
10% - Average rate of tax paid by top earners, according to a confidential HMRC study seen by George Osborne. Source: The Telegraph
If you read THIS, Tax Evasion is costing the UK a staggering £69.9 BILLION a year source: New Statesman

I think you can see where I'm going with this.
The economic collapse wasn't due to welfare scroungers. It was wholly and completely caused by bankers and the politicians who failed to regulate them. In the aftermath, the gap between rich and poor has grown wider and the percentage of wealth held by the super-rich 1% in the US, for example, has INCREASED from 25% to 40% in just the past 25 years. They now take home a full QUARTER of all wages in the US. In 1976 it was just 9%.
In the UK, according to this year’s annual Sunday Times Rich List, the wealth of the super-rich in Britain has grown by 4.7 percent, to reach a new high of more than £414 billion.
If you taxed that £414 Billion at just 20% instead of the 10% they're paying at the moment, you'd raise about £83 billion, oddly enough the cost of your austerity package.
Given I've worked all this out in about 30 minutes, why and what are you paying George Osborne FOR?
yours sincerely, John Mangan

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Why can't an engineer as qualified as Keith Parkin find a job in Cameron's Britain


Reader Keith Parkin who has been asked by The Telegraph to keep a serialised video diary explains
the frustrations with unemployment in Britain today

Friday, 8 June 2012

The Leveson Inquiry - How much worse can it get?

Having seen the co-chair of the conservative party exposed for fiddling expenses one could
forgive the British electorate for thinking that corruption is the sine qua non of involvement
in Tory politics. The word 'Tory' here is used in the broad sense of the word to include New Labour.
There are two very disturbing aspects to Baroness Warsi's case. First she is the anthropomorphic
personification of the odd turban at the Tory party conferences of the '80's which gave a veneer
of inclusivity but was anything but such. Secondly despite being universally reviled by the Muslim community as being wholly unrepresentative of Muslims in this country she is the most senior Muslim
in government. Through an appointment that was a bow to tokenism without any meritocratic justification she was meant to be the acceptable face of Islam. One that has let down an already maligned community and one which the Tory whips would now rather veil and send off to a madrassah.
As it turns out she is part of the Cameron kleptocracy that pays lip service to faith values but wholly
goes against them. In the faith narrative this is as wholly disturbing for Christians as for Muslims.
Cameron applies the same diluted and non-committal attitude to the Christian faith morphing into a flag of convenience rather than a practising faith. In the context of the moral bankruptcy which has characterised his dealings with the banks and the widespread hardships they have caused this is the recipe for further social unrest. As the Leveson enquiry unfolds the deep seated almost semi-masonic layers of corruption are unravelling.
'Love thy neighbour' it seems was reserved for the elite of the Chipping Norton Set. A wholly crooked pact with the devil to obtain power and serve the elite. Even 'Deep Throat' the nebulous source of the Watergate scandal would have problems swallowing some of the revelations that are coming out of the Leveson Inquiry. Were it not a time of national economic crisis Cameron could not survive this series of humiliations. However the two are not unrelated. His corruption allows him to pursue a policy which is driving small and medium size businesses to the wall. How? By leaving them out of the scam that is the bank bailouts. Government is using taxpayer money to bailout banks who in turn are using the money to buy government bonds instead of lending to businesses and foster growth. You see the business of banking has actually done quite well out of the banking collapse as have their Mignons, The Cameroons. It is just the ordinary workers and business people that are being driven deeper into recession.
   Were Cameron to take a lesson from his own reading of St. Paul's letter to the Romans at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in front of the Commonwealth.

' Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.'

 Then perhaps he could drop the rabble rousing 'multiculturalism has failed' shtick and refrain from
lecturing Merkel's Christian democratic party whose work ethic has allowed them to create one of the
most vibrant economies in history. Their manufacturing base means that 1 in 4 cars in China are now Audi's. Merkel's Germany is not beholden to Europe: it runs it. We on the other hand are taking a false pleasure in watching from the sidelines with Cameron  blowing hot air against the German sails. For we are as dependant on the future of Europe given that more than 50% of our exports go there. We are part of the problem, we're just not part of the conversation that will solve it. The schadenfreude over not being in the Euro is also misjudged. The argument goes that we unlike our European partners have not lost our sovereignty. The truth is we have, just not to Frau Merkel and her cohorts but to Goldman Sachs ET AL. by being overly reliant on the financial sector and allowing them to run a racket of a government which stifles the growth we need for diversification.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Cash For Access- Corruption is tearing society apart

Once again we see the sad spectacle of a Tory
treasurer beholden to the money of fund managers. No wonder there has been no prosecutions of any note amongst the banking community. No wonder the moral slant of this government is so heavily biased to special interest groups. It's a fix. Ordinary people are beginning to smell the stench and are turning away from political parties to civil disobedience. It would not be an exaggeration to say that corruption in this country has reached the levels of a second world country. Another sad watermark in the inexorable decline of collective responsibilty that has been fostered by the conservative party and New Labour previously. What Tony Blair championed, David Cameron has emboldened. Namely a political class that wants to get all it can and jump ship before the vessel starts going down. Gone are the promises of checks on  lobbying by a party that has embarassingly ditched the mantra of 'we are all in this together'. Notions of a 'Big Society' will also be best remembered by its more fitting acronym. As riots and strike action begin to take over it is our failure to clean up our politics that will be their catalyst. We've had debt before and we can probably do austerity better than most countries but it is lack of fair play that irks the population into a confrontation between the 99% and the 1%. That 1% includes the political class that has become so out of touch with the public at large that it is  not aware it has become unrepresentative of the interests of any of it.
   What can we do? Say no more to the mockery of a party policing itself. Cameron's latest appointment
of Lord Gold to investigate the Cruddas affair has already been flagged as flawed due to the peer's
special interest links. So we hold them to account using freedom of information requests. Follow the money trail of donations and favours granted and use the magnifying glass of transparency to burn through their varying cloaks of respectability. Oh and sign this e-petition!
http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/28681