Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

UK Political weblog

Archive for the month “June, 2008”

Personal Income Up 7%

While the rest of us are urged to keep wage rises at 2% and homes are being repossessed, one lucky citizen has had an increase of 7% bringing his personal income to a mere £16million. Yes, Prince Charles on the board of Britain’s most successful family business is doing very nicely. Putting to one side the £1.2million spent of rail and air fares (paid for by the tax payers) he has reduced his carbon footprint in the past year by feeding his sheep organic feed stuff which reduces their Co2 & methane output. Oh! That’s good then!

Sir Michael Peat, the Prince’s top aide, said he hoped that the figures showed “a good picture”.

He said: “I don’t want to sound complacent but I really do believe that the contribution their royal Highness’s make to national life continues to develop and broaden and strengthen.

Their Royal Highness’s continue to develop, broaden and strengthen their grip on the throats and pockets of the British people more like.

A Right Royal Spend-up

There is a family business in our country which has been a financial success for hundreds of years. It’s profits rise year on year and it never suffers when there is a down-turn in the economy. Being a private company it is not quoted on the Stock Exchange and yet every citizen contributes to it’s income on an annual basis amounting to over £40million. This company is wasteful of resources and yet has managed to come to an arrangement with successive Governments whereby it only pays a little tax on its enormous profit if it feels like it, on a voluntary basis.

It’s main board members pay no income or other tax on what amounts to a rollover Lottery win every few months and they publish accounts devoid of full detail and disclosures that would make a bookkeeper weep never mind a chartered accountant. This company owns vast estates, properties and businesses all over the UK and abroad and on most of them it pays no Council Tax. It is rumoured that the Chairwoman has £1million of fur coats and a private art collection worth £20million leading one to believe that security costs alone must be enormous. Amazingly this is not the case as security is paid for by the unwilling ‘investors’ in this private business, even the poorest makes a contribution.

Seem like a good thing to get into? You bet, the only trouble is you have to be born into it or marry someone in it. Once in though you will have enormous power and influence, be unaccountable to anyone, no one can vote you out and you will live in luxury ’til the end of your days when you can pass it on to your children.

Wot! No Royal Yacht?The Company of course is The House of Windsor; Chairwoman, The Queen, M.D., Prince Phillip plus mutiple board members.

Media Manipulation

Few words are needed here so just watch the video and pass it on and be cautious, very cautious, when you view any interview in the future.

“Without a Representative Press a representative Government is impossible”

Tesco’s Torture!

At Tesco’s AGM today a motion was lost requiring the company to ensure that chickens produced on its behalf were either free range or at least conformed to the requirements of the RSPCA. Tesco is the only major supermarket not to at least conform to this minimum standard. It’s argument is that it would require major restructuring and put up the price of chickens. So sod the poor birds who live out their short lives in appalling conditions.

The motion put to the meeting was instigated by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall a TV chef with a deep concern for animal welfare and assisted by other chefs including Jamie Oliver and by large numbers of the public who contributed to the cost of getting the motion put on the agenda (Over £70,000). He was hoping to persuede the institutional investors to support him but they, unsurprisingly, put profits over tortured animals.

So far around 150,000 people have signed up to agreeing not to knowingly buy or eat  battery chickens. So I guess it’s up to us to bring about change and it’s quite easy really; don’t shop in Tesco until they change. You can also sign up to the Campaign by clicking below.

Sign up or more information

Witness Anonymity

The Government is now about to rush through legislation allowing for witnesses in court cases to remain anonymous in response to last weeks Law Lords Ruling. Law made in haste is rarely good law.

Whilst I can see the desirability of this proposed new law as a way of increasing the likelyhood of conviction it also raises great concern. As a result the defence will be denied the posibility of invesigating the background and reliability of witnesses or of their possible motive in giving evidence.

It has always been a right of the accused to face his accusers. It has also been a long accepted norm that:-

“It is better that a guilty person goes free rather than an innocent person be convicted.”

It is fast becoming the case that when long held rights and freedoms get in the way of expediancy then they pass a law removing them. The Old BaileyThe call for a written constitution becomes ever stronger as the scales of justice become even more unbalanced.

Queen Strips Mugabe

Well that’s it then! The Queen strips tyrant Mugabe of his honory Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath so he’s bound to stand down and allow free and fair elections, right? Wrong! At least the powers that be were slightly quicker off the mark this time, they only managed to strip Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu of his Knighthood the day before he was executed.

It just adds to the realisation of what nonsense these awards are. See earlier post.

Planning Bill

The Government’s Planning Bill moves into it’s final stages this week along with more losses of democracy. If passed (almost certain) then when major ‘developments’ are proposed consultation will take place, organised by the developer and run by the developer! Objections in writing will be accepted and at a public meeting questions can be asked but no cross questioning allowed. After that the Infrastructure Planning Commission – an independent body will take the decision. Freethinkeruk note: ‘independant my ar..!

So if they want to build a nuclear power station in Chipping Sodbury or anywhere else or yet another runway at Heathrow we will be able to write a letter, ask a question and then they go ahead and do it. Another nail in the coffin of democracy and accountability.

Bill Gates

I downloaded and have just watched the Fiona Bruce interview Fiona (didn’t she fit those trousers well?) with Bill Gates of Microsoft. If you want to see it by the way, be quick it’s only available for a few days more.

Undoubtedly he is a genious no matter what some may think of his business methods. It seems to be fashionable to critisise and to denegrate anyone who gets to the top of the pole in any field of endevour and they don’t get any higher up than Bill Gates. Microsoft and Windows have brought computing into the hands of countless millions of people all over the Globe, making comunication and information exchange possible on a scale that was unimaginable just a few years ago. He and his team pushed the boundaries of technological innovation, production, marketing and mass availability to new heights.

Alan Sugar couldn’t have put it better when he said “Bill Gates changed the World, it’s done, live with it.” Yes all you Mac users out there, it’s probably a better system but it was Microsoft Windows that changed the World for ever and I believe to, for the better. B.G. is now embarking on using his skills and his own money through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on changing the health of some of the world’s poorest people. Netscape, Lotus and others may still harbour anger but they had their chance and blew it. I for one wish B.G. success of an even greater kind.

Bill Gates

More surveilance

Yesterday my son who is a heating engineer was on his way home when he was directed by police into a lay-by where there was a Ministry of Transport check. He was doing nothing wrong just simply driving along.

While one official is walking around the van another one asks my son “do mind telling me where you have come from?” Being, happily, a chip off the old block, son replies “I do mind.” “Well, where are you going to?” says the official. “I’m not telling you that either says son.” Why won’t you tell me” says official? “Without appearing rude it’s none of your business, I’m driving in my own country, in my own van and going about my lawful business and unless you can show me proof of your legal powers to demand that information I’m not telling you.” The guy gives up at this point and son continues on his lawful journey.

The questions arise. Who instigated such checks, for what purpose are these checks being made, who holds the information accrued and with whom do they share it and why? In addition the setting up of such checks, including police time and so on must be at huge cost without any published benefit that I can source.

Israeli Preparations

Israel yesterday carried out exercises over the Mediterranean in preparation for an attack on Iran and so the insanity continues. At least the United States in the 80’s were upfront with their insanity by calling their ‘defence’ programme M.A.D. (Mutually Assured Destruction)

I am not anti Israel or anti Jew (before someone jumps in with accusations) and I believe in a two State solution to the Israeli/Palestinian mess. Israel though, is in breach of numerous U.N. resolutions as well as the nuclear non proliferation pact and nothing, I repeat, nothing, is done about it except for massive financial investment by the U.S. They are also supplied by the West with military hardware and technology.

No one knows for certain whether Iran is developing nuclear weapons or not and let’s face it, we were assured that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction which turned out to be nonsense. Even if they are, can we really blame them? Just take a bird’s eye view of Iran on a map; they are almost completely surrounded by either countries occupied by US lead western powers, or countries whose governments are pro western. Even that part of the Persian Gulf forming a part of Iran’s border is stuffed with patrolling western warships. The first duty of ANY government is to protect it’s people, so can we, if we’re honest, blame or even be surprised if Iran seeks to match the threats that are so often directed against it.

The original signatories to the nuclear non proliferation pact, US, UK, France, Russia & China, are all in breach of that agreement by not decreasing and eventually eliminating nuclear weapons. Nothing is said or done about this either and why not? Because all five are permanent members of the UN Security Council with each one, separately or together having a veto.

The madness continues and we cannot be lucky all of the time, we must choose another way.

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.”

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