Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

UK Political weblog

Archive for the month “October, 2008”

Indian Moon

Today India has launched a rocket carrying a probe to land on the moon. The cost of this endevour must be enormous, while millions of Indian citizens live in abject poverty. No further comment from me needed.

Socialism To The Rescue

Now that the alarm and panic of the last couple of weeks is abating somewhat perhaps we can stand back and see just a little more clearly.

Many will agree with me that capitalism has within it the seeds of it’s own destruction and this has been demonstrated to a degree recently. Admittedly it was not the time for global leaders to look for a better and more sustainable system, urgent action had to be and was, taken to affix a sticking plaster to the wound in the economic system that was hemorrhaging peoples savings and financial security. This sticking plaster was and is, nothing less than Socialism and it is stemming the flow. A few years ago when the rail network, then in private hands, was falling apart it was nationalised and has been improving ever since.

If Socialism can be so effective in times of emergency why not move towards that ideal generally? The answer of course is obvious; it would stand in the way of amassing personal fortunes for the few at the expense of the many.

Who’s To Blame

The system under which we live, Capitalism, may not be at all desirable for many of us but it is the system at present and so there is no alternative but to deal with the problems as they arise. The Government has, I believe, acted responsibly and decisively over the past few weeks in dealing with this financial crisis and was faced with little room for manouver.

The bankers and dealers and short term profit makers have rightly come in for huge critisism and public condemnation. However, we should not apportion all the blame to them. People taking out mortgages bigger than they could realistically pay are to blame, people who self certified over inflated salary’s to get a mortgage are to blame, people who took out multiple credit cards and ran up debts they couldn’t in the end pay, are to blame, people using the expected future equity in their homes to buy another home to rent out, are to blame. Spending bonus’s on luxury items and exotic holidays instead of putting it by for the rainy day that just had to come sometime, are to blame.

In short, you, me and most of us, are to blame and we should remember that, not just now but in the future when this crisis is finally over.

Tax Payers Support The Royals Again

I make no apology for copying in full, the following statement from the ‘Republic’ web site. The more we know how this private family company rips us off the sooner we will get rid of them and replace them with Democracy. Now there’s a novel idea.

The bargain rent on a five bedroom Kensington Palace apartment, soon to be paid by Prince Michael of Kent, is a scandal, according to Republic.

The apartment, which also includes 5 reception rooms and 7 ‘utility’ rooms will be rented by the Kents for the price of a three bedroom flat in West London, after more than two decades of free use.

Spokesperson Graham Smith today called for a further parliamentary investigation:

“A quick search of rental properties shows the commercial rate for the palace apartment should be at least twice the price the Kents will be charged.”

“The Queen reportedly gave this apartment to the Kents as a wedding present, despite it not being hers to give.”

“For years virtually nothing was paid for this apartment, then the Queen began to pay for it at a knock down price from funds the taxpayers gave her. Now the Kents continue to benefit from the very best of family connections.”

“The palace belongs to the country. The House of Commons asked for the Kents to be evicted and for the apartments to be put on a more commercial footing. This should now happen.”

Dead Dolphins (Part 2)

Back in June freethinkeruk reported that large numbers of dolphins were  beaching themselves just inside the river at Falmouth Cornwall. Twenty six dolphins died and up to two hundred were saved by the RNLI and other volunteers and an estimated 80 other dolphins were traumatised.

Freethinkeruk and his partner were sailing the coast and witnessed many navy ships with helicopters in the area engaging in some war games.

Dozens if not hundreds of other yachts and boats were in the area and navy warnings to keep clear were regularly given out via marine radio.

Virgin Media

Virgin Media

Despite all this, the navy denied exercising in the area. A week or so later they admitted that their ships were indeed in the area but denied using sonar or anything which could have an effect on the extraordinary beaching of dolphins.

As now reported in The Cornish Guardian 1st October, some four months later, the MOD under pressure from the Freedom of Information Act, reveal that 20 Royal Navy ships plus submarines, plus foreign navies, plus sonar ‘dipper’ devices from helicopters were used along with firing 4.5″ shells.

It appears that the freedom of information act worked on this occasion but I can’t help but wonder if there hadn’t been so many witnesses would the MOD have admitted being there and even so they haven’t admitted being responsible for the slaughter of these lovely creatures.

Why Boris Should Worry Us

There are undoubtedly some question marks hanging over the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Ian Blair, but it has always been that a man is innocent until proven guilty. Admittedly trial by the media seems to be getting the upper hand but that’s another story or blog.

The Commissioner of the Met. is appointed by whoever is the Home Secretary of the day for an agreed term and can only be removed by the Home Secretary in exceptional circumstances. Yet here we have the newly elected Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, effectively removing Commissioner Blair. Johnson, as revealed in The Guardian today, wants a temporary commissioner appointed as when (he assumes) a Tory government is elected in a couple of years, they will appoint one of their own kind. This should worry us all.

The Commissioner of the Met. is not only responsible for London but also for co-ordinating all British Police Forces and for counter terrorism measures nationwide. Each police officer will of course have their personal political viewpoint but in their jobs must be apolitical. When police officers in high positions are appointed by virtue of their political allegiance then yet another step has been taken towards total state control and another block has been removed from the foundations of our weak democracy. I and others have written about this gradual slide on many occassions. I do not believe, although some may disagree, that there is some great conspiracy going on but perhaps even worse, by default we are allowing ourselves to drift into a position where there is no going back, where state control is complete and dissent is all but impossible.

A Man With A Plan

David Cameron gave his speech to the party faithful yesterday and although it was a pretty downbeat message it also sent a shiver down my spine. Aligning himself with Margaret Thatcher he sees himself in her shoes (tight fit?) over social change as she was over economic change.

Rembering as I do, the horrors and destruction that Thatcher wrought among our nation, it strikes almost terror in my heart even thinking what she, in the guise of Cameron, could do to the social fabric of our society. He said that he was ‘a man with a plan, but what plan? Precious little detail emerged apart from the obvious Tory tax cuts for corporations and inheritance tax along with a two year freeze, in some instances, on council taxes, which can only lead to more cuts in services. Stung by Gordon Brown as a ‘novice’ it was indeed as a novice he appeared.

Although I am disillusioned somewhat by Gordon Brown and New Labour, yesterdays speech served to make me realise what the alternative would be and in that light G.B. & N.L. don’t seem so bad.

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