Thoughts from an active pensioner who is now somewhat past his Biblical "Use-by date"

"Why just be difficult, when with a little more effort you can be bloody impossible?"

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Thrown in from the Telegraph

I haven't posted much lately because I've been very much "under the weather", but I couldn't resist this sub-heading from the Daily Telegraph.

 It shows what happens when you rely on a spell-checker!

Saturday, 9 May 2015

The General Election

As far as I'm concerned, the General election produced mixed emotions. The Tories won with an acceptable majority, keeping out Labour and its extra taxes on the rich which would be required to fund their promises. I've nothing particular for or against the rich, but if they are to spend their money rather than keep it in a bank vault, it must result in additional employment and jobs either directly as staff or indirectly on purchases. But apart from the so-called mansion tax, the other proposed Labour taxes would end up falling on the ordinary worker. A tax on banks would mean that the banks would seek to make more profit elsewhere, which could mean even lower interest rates (hitting pensioners in particular) or even the end of free banking, as has been mooted from time to time. A landlord tax would do much the same; landlords would either find some way of increasing the rent for any new tenant, or sell-up and pull out of the market. Either way, it is unlikely to be the landlord who would lose out. A tax on non-doms looks attractive, but Labour overlooks the fact that they could equally live in another country, Ireland having made it clear that they would be very welcome. But the big thing, as far as I'm concerned is that both Ed Balls and Vince Cable are out and that the LibDems won't be part of a coalition.

The big disappointment is that UKIP didn't get more seats. The fact that Nigel Farage didn't win in Thanet, I would suggest is due to the effort that the Tories put into the election with almost every Minister visiting the constituency, plus the activities of various left wing organisations who were not standing for election and thus could effectively run riot with false claims about UKIP.

However to my mind, the biggest scandal is our electoral system, which allows a party, which overall collected more votes in the coutry than both the SNP and the LibDems combined, to get only have one MP, whilst Queen Nicola claims the right to tell us all what to do.

It one thing comes out of this election, it should be some electoral reform which ensures the parliamentary representation more closely matches the actual votes cast. One assumes that Cameron will push through the Boundary Commission's report, which the LibDems failed to support in the last parliament, so ending the anomaly of a vote in many cities being worth two in the country. But more than that. Now that Scotland has its own Parliament, and Wales has its own Assembly, there is surely no longer a case for having a disproportionately large number of MPs from these regions. We should be aiming for the situation in a modern democracy like Australia or New Zealand where all constituencies by law must have an electorate within 5% of any other. New Zealand is proposing to do even better and get the figure within 3%.
Other reform must be to ensure that Scottish/Welsh MPs do not have any say on English matters where such matters have been devolved to Scotland/Wales. It is iniquitous that Scotish MPs can come to Westminster and support tuition fess at universities and charges for NHS prescriptions, whilst their fellow members in The Scottish Parliament vote to make them both free in Scotland.

To a cynic like me, Cameron's biggest problem with having an overall majority is that he will have to keep his promises. No longer will he be able to blame the LibDems for preventing him doing something that he had promised!

As for the SNP, I'm sure they will make a lot of noise and hope to be able to tell Cameron what to do. He could simply point out that Labour have more MPs than the SNP which illustrates the relative importance of the SNP in the Union as a whole. As Queen Nicola won't be at Westminster, I would hope that Cameron would have no problem dealing with Alex Salmond who expect to the the leader of the SNP in the Commons.

We could have an interesting time ahead.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Thank Goodness for the Royal Baby!

The birth of the, as yet unnamed, Princess of Cambridge at least brought relief from the incessant drone of politicians and political journalists on the TV news programmes. Not that the reports on the baby actually provided any real news, but it was a change to see cheering crowds rather than the usual rabble of demonstrators which seems to be the norm these days. The BBC, of course, managed to produce an anti-monarchist for interview who ranted on about the cost of the monarchy (but didn't feel it appropriate to mention the far higher costs of Presidents like Obama, along with the costs of all the ex-presidents) and who also seemed to believe that the birth had been timed as a political event to interfere with the general election. If interfering with the general election means getting politicians off the screen for a while, please carry on interfering!

Elsewhere in the political news, Guido shows us this picture of a Labour Party Public meeting in Birmingham.
I wonder what Harriet thinks about it!
To most English this is totally unacceptable in a public place, and it simply shows how subservient Labour is becoming to the diktats of Islam. If I'd been going to the meeting with my wife and we were asked to sit apart, we'd have simply walked out. I do hope all the non-Islamic voters in Birmingham see this picture.

Now to the "Greens".  Breitbart tells us that Green Party leader Natalie Bennett has said her party would consider allowing polygamous marriages and civil partnerships in the UK. This of course was the fear of many of those who opposed Gay Marriage; that one thing would lead to another and that it would lead to marriage being redefined in other ways, including allowing more than two people to enter into a union.

Which brings us back to Cameron and the Tories. Traditionally, political parties in power have only introduced legislation that they had proposed in their manifestos unless there was some overriding imperative that was not anticipated at the time of the previous election. Gay Marriage can hardly said to fall within that category; there was no reason for it not being included in the Party Manifesto for this election and brought forward by the Tories should they be in power. For that reason, if no other, I am not prepared to vote Conservative and have informed my sitting MP accordingly. Who knows what Cameron might do if he thought polygamy might increase his share of the Islamic vote.

Every day as I read the news, or watch it on TV, I become more than ever convinced that UKIP is the only party that genuinely represents the ordinary voter of British ancestry.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Politics, Politics and more Politics!

I've been on holiday for a few weeks and as my lap-top decided to die, I haven't been able to write anything. But has there actually been anything worth writing about? Has anyone actually come up with anything new? The main parties all want to spend more money without visibly increasing taxes, whilst at the same time reducing the deficit. The Tories claim that the money will come about as a result of growth, which is questionable, whilst Labour propose mansion taxes, bank taxes and landlord taxes, the last two of which will simply be extra indirect taxes on those renting or using banks. The LibDems are delightfully vague, trying to be all things to all people, whilst the SNP are hoping to tax the English.
UKIP at least suggests that the money for their proposals will come from the saving in not paying huge sums to the EU from which we get little return and also by reducing foreign aid which at least appears to be feasible, but there is no clue what withdrawal from the EU would cost us in other areas. Nevertheless, I'm optimistic that there would be a net financial gain from leaving.

Meanwhile, the parties are being forced to indirectly respond to UKIP. Would any have suggested possible restrictions on the NHS treatment of visitors and immigrants to this country had Farrage not brutally raised the cost of HIV treatment for immigrants in the TV debate?

An interesting snippet today: Guido reveals that since the beginning of the year, 291 LibDem, Labour or Tory councillors/candidates have hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons, yet received nowhere near the same level of outrage dished out over Ukippers misdemeanours. Research by ‘Nope No Hope’ reveals 21 paedos, 2 rapists, 1 terrorist, 13 racists, 6 sexists or homophobes, 1 drug fiend, 8 expenses cheats, 4 benefit fraudsters, and 28 thieves!
To that we must add the news from Bloggers4UKIP that the Labour parliamentary candidate for Banff & Buchan has been suspended after being charged with drink driving, driving without a licence and driving without an MOT and the the Lib Dem candidate for South West Surrey, has been accused of election fraud in relation to his nomination papers to stand for Waverley Borough Council.

Looking at the real news, the only item of any importance seems to be the devastating earthquake in Nepal, the home of the Gurkhas, one of the worlds finest fighting forces. This is where we should be spending our foreign aid, giving help to these victims of a totally unpredictable event. This is aid that can be fully justified, unlike the bulk of our foreign aid which merely props up incompetent corrupt governments.

Tomorrow, providing that it's raining and I have an excuse for not mowing the lawn, I hope to try to see if I can get the lap-top working using the recovery disc,  the course of action recommended by the supplier. Time will tell whether this works; If it doesn't I'll be looking at tablets - Friends have suggested the I consider the Samsung Galaxy range as offering better value and greater compatibility than the iPad.

Friday, 3 April 2015

The Leaders' Debate - Farage on Health

In last night's debate, Nigel Farage, the UKIP leader was the only one of those present to question whether non-British citizens should be treated by the NHS. All the others present, and seemingly much of the audience, seemed to feel that it was quite all right to treat all and sundry who happened to manage to make their way to a GP or NHS hospital.
Possibly Farage made a mistake in highlighting the cost of HIV treatment which seems to be, for some, a rather emotive issue, but even so, it is a very expensive issue which needs to be addressed.

However, I simply can't understand why people are apparently upset by Farage's desire to restrict the use of the NHS to our own citizens; they complain about inability to get GP appointments, they complain about waiting times in A&E, they complain about the time to get an operation, they complain about the shortage of doctors and nurses, yet, it would seem, they are happy about foreigners being treated here at our expense.

Farage highlighted HIV because it is one of the most expensive illnesses to treat, some £25,000 pa per person. And as they are probably unfit to work, benefits come on top of that!  There are millions of cases of HIV in Africa, any of those individuals who can manage to get to Britain gets treatment and manages to stay here because it is "against his human rights to send him somewhere where he can't get the necessary medical care".

Is this what we want? At at time when people who have paid taxes all their life are being declined certain drugs for cancer, at a time when we can't afford proper care for our elderly who are being treated worse than animals in some so-called care homes. Do we really want to provide drugs at £25K pa for life to any HIV sufferer who manages to get into this country? If the individual survives for 40 years, that's a million pounds for drugs alone, it doesn't count the cost of the doctors, hospitals, tests and any other treatment needed as in indirect result of the disease.

That's just the HIV sufferers, but what about our maternity services? This country seems the destination of choice for pregnant females; it's also another way of staying here. The child becomes a British citizen, so you can't deport its mother! When our grandson was born in the local hospital, there was only one other mother on the ward who's native tongue was English. My daughter was pushed out of the hospital the following day as she had a home to go to and her bed was needed.

But it's not only the third world we are treating. A friend working at a hospital near Heathrow tells me that they often get US citizens, particularly ones with heart problems such as the need for by-pass surgery. Apparently they don't have the necessary health insurance at home and the airfare is a cheaper option!

Farage is right; we should not spend taxpayers' money on treating non-citizens except in an emergency. All legal incomers should be required to have suitable insurance, proof of which should be provided for Border Control. Illegals, should be detained as a minimum until they have been checked for contagious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, and if infected should be deported.

Our own citizens must come first, there is a limit on both money and facilities, and our own citizens should get the treatment and care that they need, whether is is cancer treatment, hip replacements or just simple GPs appointments.

An afterthought!
Perhaps the cost of all the non-citizens being treated here should be charged to the Foreign Aid budget, after all, that is what it is!

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Part Time and "Zero Hours" Work

Our politicians, as usual, don't seem to know what they are taking about when it comes to part time or so-called zero-hours work.
Labour, in particular, seems to believe that everybody who wants to work should be in full time employment and that anything else is bad.
But why? These working arrangements suit many people. Both of my married daughters are working part time as they prefer it that way; in fact they had considerable difficulty finding suitable part time work as their employers would have preferred them to work full time. I've "retired" friends who work part time or zero hours, not so much for the money but in order to do something useful where their knowledge is appreciated.
I've worked a zero hour contact, although it wasn't called that at the time. It was as a stand-by paper boy; if one of the regulars didn't turn up, one of the others came banging at the door with the message that I was wanted. As far as I can see there is nothing wrong with this concept as long as the contract does not tie you to a single employer, something that this government has already stopped. I'm aware of several ladies who "help out" in local shops; that is they are occasionally called in when needed. It suits both them and the shopkeepers.
I know one could not earn a living wage on this basis and clearly any government should aim to ensure that full time work is available for those who want it. But even so, my reaction is that the Labour party is currently making a mountain out of a molehill; companies will find it harder to find people for such work as employment prospects improve.

But when politicians talk of work being available for all those who want to work what exactly do they mean?  I read in the Mail today about the man who has fathered forty children by 20 women, all living at the expense of the taxpayers,  obviously he doesn't come into the category of those who want to work. No doubt the Mail is seeking out such individuals, because only a few days previously they reported on another man, aged just 29, who had managed to father something like 15 children by various women who, together with their "families", are all living on benefits. Then we have the grossly obese woman who could hardly move from her armchair and who requires two carers to get her in and out of bed and presumably feed her, all paid for by the taxpayer as she is "disabled". These may be extreme examples, they may be few and far between, but nevertheless, few of our politicians are willing to address the issue of what to do about those who don't wish to work even when work is available.

No doubt in the course of the election campaign other "new" problems will be brought to the fore, mainly, I suspect, to try to hide the fact that our politicians of all parties have no real idea what to do about so many of the existing problems.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Political Party Manifestos

Any time now our political parties will be publishing their manifestos, but are they worth the paper that they are written on? I'm just going to consider the Conservative party's manifesto, as logically with my education and lifestyle I should be a core Tory supporter.

Whilst I never read the actual Conservative manifesto before the last general election and relied upon reports in the media, I am far more concerned about what the manifesto doesn’t contain.

I don’t recall the Tories mentioning anything about Gay Marriage in the 2010 manifesto. Whilst I can appreciate that a manifesto can't cover every possible contingency and that events might make it necessary for any government to introduce unanticipated legislation, this was not so in the case of gay marriage. There was no reason for the hasty action with minimal consultation and it could have waited until the forthcoming election and been included in the party manifesto. But, in my view, the party took the cowardly approach, didn’t consult with the majority population, and pushed it through hoping that most of the electorate would have forgotten by the time of the election.

Nor did the manifesto mention entering foreign wars for the sake of regime change. Again the government rushed into action without any real thought. If it hadn't been for the rare event of Parliament acting to prevent the government going to war against Assad in Syria, we would now be fighting alongside the evil ISIS who happily decapitate any non-believer without a moment's thought. However you look at the situation, Assad is by far the lesser of the two evils.
Then, of course there is Libya. Our aerial intervention was designed to prevent civilian deaths resulting from the fighting between rebels and the forces of Gaddafi. Here, again we opted to support the rebels and the media rejoiced at Gaddafi's death, but has this improved things? Seemingly not, as we now have two "governments" in Libya busy fighting each other and civilian deaths, either due to fighting or starvation are never ending. And Cameron claimed this was a great success - I wonder what would have had to have happened for him to feel that we had failed?

Then what did the manifesto say about our military? Did it propose cutting them to the bare bones and relying on a part time army of reservists? Did it mention scrapping the Harrier. Did it mention aircraft carriers with no aircraft? I'm sure it didn't as I don't remember any coverage of the subject in the media at the time.

And then there is Scotland. Were the English offered any say in the decision to give extra powers to Scotland whilst leaving England at Scotland's mercy in the event of a coalition?

That's what the manifesto didn't say, now let's look at what it did say.
The most important promise for a majority of the electorate was to reduce immigration and Cameron even said he wanted it reduced to tens of thousands. This has been totally ignored with the current political line being that immigration is good for the country. Tell that to those trying to buy houses, get their children into English speaking schools or waiting for treatment on the NHS. I'm sure they will all believe that immigration is good for us!

What will I be looking for in the manifesto?
One priority is to ensure that Christians in this country are able to practice their faith without interference. Seemingly, you can be of any other faith, or even no faith, and can claim that you are being discriminated against if you are not allowed to practice it and wear its symbols in public. Yet Christians are being sacked because they wear a cross or are asked to carry out work which is contrary to their beliefs, such as assisting with abortions or registering gay marriages. This article in Breitbart is worth reading.

Another is the issue of unbiased and independent policing. The failure of the police forces in both Rotherham and Oxford to do anything about gangs of Muslims grooming young white females for fear of being called racist is symptomatic of the political correctness of our police. The "Police and Crime Commissioners" have done little, if anything, to change the situation as many are political hacks who failed elsewhere. One, who has now resigned, was actually a councillor in Rotherham whilst all the abuse was taking place! Even now the police seem more interested in historic crimes committed by so-called celebrities rather than dealing with present day abuse. Today's reports of the “closing down” of police investigations into a child sex abuse allegations in Cyril Smith’s time is clearly a scandal, and needs urgent government action, although, unlike gay marriage, I doubt if it will be seen as a Cameron priority.

I await the manifestos with interest, but I doubt if any of those from the major parties will dissuade me from supporting UKIP.