Friday, 29 January 2010
All the articles express astonishment at this situation, but none tries to understand why this is happening. Why are all these sections of society drinking too much ? People used to go down to the pub for a drink and a social chat with other regulars from the neighbourhood. Now, it would seem, people go out anywhere to get stoned.
So why do people want to get stoned with drink ? Finding the right single word is not easy, but it has to do with "unhappiness", "insecurity" and "hopelessness". People can see little that will make them happy in the near future.
What do people in fact want ? One sure answer is the security of a job. They want a job which will make them ambitious, which drives them when they become part of a larger project. In this way they will become proud of whatever they are doing.
People want to be occupied, not to be obliged to live off handouts from the state or elsewhere. They do not want jobs which are below their capability. They do not want to do just anything just to earn a few bob or pocket money.
So what is so wrong with Britain at present ? I will hazard just a few guesses but you may well have identified others which are more important !!!
1) Everyone gets good marks in the school leaving exams. In fact everyone is considered equally as capable as everyone else. Is this right ?
2) Apprenticeships are no longer valued as much as in former times. Is this a good thing ?
3) Too many unsuitable students are pushed into universities, and afterwards there are too many "drop outs" after the first year when they do not make the grade. Is this right ?
4) There is no national service now but this used to be a good way of forming the right attitudes of youngsters.
5) From statistics it appears that the State now employs more people than private industry but does the State create and run new companies and develope new industries ?
There are many other things which could be added to the above list of points but what is the underlying message ? The message is that people want to work and to achieve their personal objectives at whatever level they are. They would prefer to work rather than to be supported with social handouts. They want to be active members of society.
Introducing new stealth taxes, increasing taxes in general to fund the redistribution of wealth does not galvanise potential businessmen. Going into business is about undertaking risks, but taxing profits or exceptional earnings kills initiative. That is why the best brains now prefer to live and work elsewhere than in Britain.
The foregoing points tend to explain partly why Britons are driven to drink, but you the reader will certainly have other examples which could complete the picture.
Thursday, 28 January 2010
This important occasion in parliamentary life really is becoming more like a Punch & Judy show. Sometimes you see Gordon, sometimes you see Harriet, his lady-in waiting and if both are too busy on more important matters, there is always another Jack in the box ready to cover any absence !!!
This is "As You Like It" as the Bard would have said, where Gordon plays the role of the unwilling schoolboy winding his weary way to the Commons. This could be true if Gordon did not play truant so often !!!
Alas, this serious Parliamentary occasion should not be glibly treated as a sideshow. This occasion has been created to give the Opposition the chance to question the Prime Minister on current events which would not normally be debated in Parliament. Gordon Brown should normally be available and present each week !!!
It seems to me that basically the problem of the Prime Minister's absence from the weekly "Prime Minister's Question Time" debate stems from the timing of this debate.
Would it not be better to reschedule the debate for the Monday morning at 11am instead of on Wednesday as at present ?
This would enable Gordon Brown to work on his files on Saturday and Sunday, and then leak his best ideas to the Cabinet and the Press on the Monday morning before "Prime Minister's Question Time " at 11am to midday. He could then grab some sandwiches and be off on his next trip.
The advantage is quite clear. It would leave him four and a half days each week to travel without interruption instead of twice two days as at present.
Additionally, since all MPs now have a first or second home near Parliament, none should have a problem of clocking-on before 11am on Monday mornings to assist in the debate.
Wednesday, 27 January 2010
This new drug, Dronedarone, which is widely available in Europe, could replace many current drugs on the market. It could avoid strokes and heart attacks which are costly for the Health Service.
Making this drug available for 100 000 heart patients would cost about 73 million pounds per year. If one deducts the cost of less efficient drugs prescribed at present and which would not be prescribed in the future, and of course, lower hospitalization costs for heart patients, it makes one wonder why the authorities in Britain, and the Government in particular, will not accept the cost of this new drug !!! This new drug could even result in cost efficiency !!!
Gordon Brown knows that Haiti has problems, but he should realize that Britain also has big, big problems !!!
Monday, 25 January 2010
To introduce new Football Rules for the 2010 World Cup at this late stage would be a mistake and unacceptable. Players need time to adapt to changes, and football officials also. One should not change the rules of any sports competition once it has started.
Sepp Blatter is prudent and hesitant. He should be admired. However, there is a very big distinction between the rules of playing football, which should not change, and the means used to ensure that footballers who cheat when the referee is unsighted, are caught and if necessary, punished.
Nothing in the FIFA regulations precludes the use of modern technology like televisual aids. These aids already exist. They can be seen daily on television to highlight incidents in all walks of life, not only in football, rugby, tennis, etc, etc,...
It is not only when something happens in front of the goal that it would be helpful to have a video, they would also be helpful when there are incidents behind the referee's back, or when the referee is completely unsighted.
It is a pity that Sepp Blatter thinks it is too late to implement this innovation for the 2010 World Cup !!! In spite of this, could he not surprise worldwide fans by announcing that videos will, for the first time, be used in the 2010 World Cup, but only for the Final ?
Thursday, 21 January 2010
Regularly football fans are obliged to watch matches where the spirit of the game is not observed. Obstruction, tackling from behind, barging without any intention of playing the ball, are a few examples but referees do not punish the culprits enough.
There are, however, two situations which in my opinion merit a fundamental but serious review by FIFA:
a) Body-checking by a player with the sole intention of stopping another player from touching the ball, when the player obviously has no intention at all of touching the ball himself. A revision of the rules that referees should apply appears to be very necessary.
b) Replacing players during the last few minutes of a game when they are not injured, just to "gain time" or just to "interrupt" the intensity of a game right at the end, is an abuse of the spirit of the game. Would it not be better and more in the spirit of the game if no replacements of players were to be permitted during the last ten minutes of a game ?
FIFA and Sepp Blatter, as well as UEFA and MIchel Platini, must lead the way to ensure that this beautiful game does not turn ugly and that its rules for referees are adequate.
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
This decision simply highlights that FIFA rules, however FIFA is not perfect by a long chalk !!! This blog has clearly underlined before that FIFA has much to learn from the Rugby Union Organisations about introducing modern television techniques to help referees when they are unsighted at key moments.
Ardent spectators, wherever they are, want to be convinced that the ultimate decision is just !!! In fact they want to be part of the decision, to be able to discuss it afterwards. This is what enthuses spectatores. They do not want unclear laws, unconvincing decisions, with no real appeal possible !!!
Sepp Blatter, the President of FIFA, has dithered a long time, but he has a choice to make !!! Will he introduce modern televisual techniques in time for the 2010 World Cup ? Or will he opt for the soft approach and plead that it is too late ?
If Sepp Blatter does not perform in time his Epitaph will be: "Alas, Frightened of Modern Technology" Football will seek a new President, with a great deal of urgency and no regrets !!!
Tuesday, 12 January 2010
La tentative, bien louable, a echoué. Les immigrants illégaux, toujours soutenus par les "passeurs", se sont ensuite petit à petit installés dans de nombreux endroits autour de Calais. Ils ont formé ce que l'on a appellé "La Jungle".
Monsieur Eric Besson, Ministre de l'Immigration en France, avait comme charge de fermer "Le Jungle". L'ayant fait, il s'est felicité encore trés recemment, que le probléme qu'on appelle "La Jungle", était résolu. Bravo !!!
Ce que Monsieur Besson ne veut pas admettre c'est qu'il y a maintenant des "Squats" connus qui remplacent "La Jungle" !!! La présence des passeurs est également connue. Il est tout à fait logique de conclure que le nombre des "Squats" va augmenter une fois que les passeurs se seront réorganisés.
Ce problème ne concerne pas uniquement La France, Calais et L'Angleterre. Monsieur Besson ne doit pas prétendre pouvoir régler ce problème tout seul. C'est le problème de L'Union Européenne.
Les frontières de notre Europe ne sont pas fermées d'une maniére étanche !!! Les étrangers qui viennent dans L'Union Européenne illégalement, devraient être refoulés à leur point d'entrée, mais ne le sont pas. D'oû la situation à Calais et sûrement ailleurs aussi.
L'Union Européenne ne semble pas vouloir s'occuper de ce problème. De ce fait Il est impératif que les Chefs d'Etats de L'Union se reunissent et s'expriment. Si on n'agit pas, le destin de l'Europe ne sera plus entre nos mains.
Monday, 11 January 2010
Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, was to oversee the outcome of this matter. Has there been a decision ? What was the result ?
Friday, 8 January 2010
Gordon Brown makes promises of millions or even billions of pounds of taxpayers money for undefined climate change projects and also other projects, yet manages to chastise David Cameron because he wants to restore Christian family values via tax incentives !!!
Prime Minister's Question Time in the house of Commons has become more like a series of stand-up jokes in the style favoured by Laurel and Hardy decades ago. Tax payers are not amused !!!
Now Lord Mandelson, the patient P M in waiting, has introduced (hidden in the small print) a tax on music in churches !!! What next ?
As Britain has now clearly entered the pre-election campagne, my advice to David Cameron is to counter all such proposals with words: "If we are elected we will reverse effect of the legislation proposed".
A General Election is a serious and historic event. It is not a stand-up fight. The electorate have a right to be properly and correctly informed of the intentions of the political parties involved.
Thursday, 7 January 2010
The mere attempt to question Gordon Brown's leadership qualities just weeks before a General Election, reflects the general unease in the Labour Party, which, to be honest, has already been evident for some time. What on earth has now, suddenly, pushed some M.P.s right over the brink ?
I would like to hazard some guesses !!!
- Were some MPs expecting to be in the New Year Honours list ?
- Were some MPs surprised to get a letter from Sir Thomas Legg just when they thought he might be stiffled ?
- Are MPs worried that the Labour Party election kitty is low ?
To want to provoke a "secret" ballot is nonsensical. The idea may be to encourage MPs to vote but everyone knows the details of such a vote will not be secret for very long !!!
Finally, as some by-elections are pending, the General Election may take place earlier than expected, which will shorten the agony of waiting for a certain number of worried MPs.
I fully agree with what the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, has said about the open-door welcome extended to all would-be immigrants to the United Kingdom.
Selective immigration is absolutely necessary to maintain the Christian character of the UK, its' traditions and heritages. In my humble opinion it is the blind application of the principles of so called "Human Rights" and of the equally blind acceptation of EU principles on immigration that are destroying the British character of the UK.
What I would like to see is all the political leaders, who take part in the debates for the coming elections, clearly explain what their intentions with respect to immigration are !!! This is no small matter and could be a big vote catcher.
If this problem irritates other EU member states then our political leaders should say they are prepared, or not prepared, to raise this problem at the EU level !!!
Wednesday, 6 January 2010
Suddenly, Labour Party M.P.'s are split and the general idea is to have a secret ballot on the leadership of Gordon Brown !!! That this is against Labour Party rules does not come into the question.
Why a sudden ballot ? Are Labour M.P.s worried about their futures ? Has Gordon Brown not done the job which they have always blindly voted for ?
Why a "secret" ballot ? Do none of the Labour M.P.s have the courage to say publicly to all the voters in their constituency what they think ?
The "Labour Party Crisis" is not just a Socialist Party crisis !!! It is a National Crisis. After 13 years of Labour rule, Britain is in a sorry mess !!! Socialist M.P.s know it. They have always voted for his policies in the past, even if now they want to desert him because they feel the chill wind of an up and coming election !!!
This whole sorry mess now smells even more strongly of self interest, just like the recent expenses scandal !!!
None of these M.P.s are thinking about the national interests of the U.K. or about their constituents. They only want to save their own skins !!! In fact it is, perhaps, their last throw of the dice.
The Queen, on the advice of her Privy Counsellors, may well have some direct questions for Gordon Brown to answer when they next meet. Does he still have the means to run the country ?
Tuesday, 5 January 2010
There is something very wrong somewhere when extremists are not stopped in their tracts when they preach hate and in this way abuse the human rights of law abiding, born and bred British subjects in Britain. Alas, the spirit of "Speakers Corner" in Hyde Park, which for Englishmen epitomises their right to "Freedom of Speech" must, in these modern times, be redefined.
If Britons, or anyone else, go to a foreign country, they are quite rightly expected to observe the laws and customs of that country. In some foreign countries, the abusive non-observation of laws and customs swiftly leads to an arrest. The question of whether the human rights of the offender are being abused, is not a major consideration.
The basic problem, in my humble opinion, is that too many foreigners are alowed into Britain and are accorded British citizenship without any pre-conditions. This renders it almost impossible to throw them out when their behaviour becomes unbearable. British citizenship should only be granted after a lengthy period of good behaviour.
It is time that the Human Rights of the abused, i.e. the born and bred residents of the U.K. are recognised and protected. It is time that politicians acted and passed laws instead of avoiding this problem. If what needs to be done infringes E.U. laws, the matter should be taken up at that level !!!
As a general rule, it seems to me that the real, flagrant abusers of Human Rights are not in the E.U. but on other continents !!! Britain, however, is much too soft with extremists and their Human Rights.
Gordon Brown was at the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change very recently and promised Millions if not Billions of British taxpayers' cash, to fight this noble cause !!! Promising cash like this is personal publicity bought on the cheap !!! It requires little personal effort and no planning.
Gordon Brown now seems to be backing President Obama with billions to fight International Terrorism, but British troops do not even have enough equipment to defend themselves let alone fight the war in Afghanistan. They need helicopters to fight and to protect themselves, not just to ferry visiting politicians around secure army camps !!!
Britain imports gas and electricity because it has not made any realistic plans or investments in Power Stations for more than ten years !!! Does Gordon Brown realise that Britain purchases electricity from France because France has made massive investments in Power Stations ? France even has a foothold in British electricity and water operations !!! To be naïve to this extent, with the vast army of specialists around him, is indefensible for a Prime Minister.
Twelve months ago Gordon Brown was being portrayed, feted even, as the saviour of the international banking system. Yet Britain is today completely bankrupt through its overspending !!!
How long will it take to get out of this mess ? When will this bad dream finally end ?