Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

UK Political weblog

Archive for the month “April, 2009”

The Caring Prince

We all know how caring is Prince Charles or at least so we are regularly told by his PR Team. He cares about the environment and about sustainable living and he is passionate about alternative  health care isn’t he? He even set up The Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health Care.

The ‘charity’   submitted it’s report to the Charity Commission recently and this shows that investments were made to among others :-

  • £112,000 in Artemis UK Special Situations, which includes investments in BP, Shell, GlaxoSmithKline and BAE systems
  • £92,000 in Investec Global Energy, 26% of which is invested in ‘Oil and Gas Exploration’
  • £65,000 in Jupiter Emerging European Opportunities Fund, whose top ten holdings include LUKOIL (Russia’s largest oil company) and Gazprom (the world’s largest gas company)

Need I say more? I don’t think so.

P.O. & E.U.

I recently wrote to my (Lib/Dem) MP to clarify their position on support for selling off part of the Post Office and Royal Mail.

We can agree that the Post Office needs a cash injection to maintain and improve what is actually a brilliant service but according to my MP it is likely to against EU law for the Government to supply this finance which leaves selling off a part of it the only viable option.

If this is indeed the case (I have written to my MEP for confirmation) there is something seriously wrong with a law that denies supporting an efficient national service while at the same time allowing huge sums to be given to bail out private banks.

More Thatcher than Thatcher

The latest unworkable idea to emerge from this government is announced by  James Purnell on behalf of the Department of Health and Department for Work and Pensions. Simply put it is that if an alcoholic does not accept ‘treatment’ then his or her benefits will be withheld.

Let’s take this a step or two further. Drug addicts who refuse treatment also to have their benefits slashed, well that’s already underway. Overweight people could also have benefit problems if it affects their ability to accept certain employment prospects. Smokers could be refused treatment as could people with sports injuries because let’s face it they don’t have to participate.

Alcoholics, drug addicts and smokers etc can only be helped if they want to be helped and no amount of benefit threats will bring about this desire and in fact will mitigate against that state of mind. If the targets of this ridiculous idea do indeed end up without a means of financial support what will they do? The answer is obvious, either they will starve to death on the streets or they will turn to crime in order to survive.

Politicians generally have a knack of answering the wrong questions. The real question is of course WHY so many of our citizens turn to drugs and alcohol in the first place and then solve that, which of course is a lot less easy than bashing the victims.

Prostitution Bill

Jackie Smith the Home Secretary is to introduce a Bill making it an offence to have sex with a prostitute ‘who is controlled by a pimp’. It will not be a defence for the punter to say he didn’t know.

Politicians don’t live in the real world and even the police say this proposal will be all but impossible to handle. Prostitution has been around since human kind first stood upright and probably even before then. It doesn’t matter what laws are passed it cannot be stopped and the illegality of it only serves to make life more dangerous for the women.

If the politicians truly have the women’s interest at heart, as they say they do, then for goodness sake simply legalise the profession and licence brothels. The women are then protected, the pimps are out of work, the exchequer benefits from taxation and sexual health for those involved can be safer.

Yes there would be an outcry at such an idea from the usual suspects such as the churches but once implemented the real benefits would soon become apparent and it would all die down. Politicians should lead and not follow, otherwise what is the point of them?

More Control

We are now one day into yet another law that gathers our personal information and yet another step down the road to a police state.

Our ISP’s must now keep a record for at least a year of all our email usage and telephone calls made via the Internet. Land-line calls are already recorded by the way. This is an all EU law and was pushed through largely by the efforts of the UK government deviously under the guise of ‘civil law’ requiring a simple majority vote rather than a ‘policing law’ that would require unanimity of all EU states. Sweden, to it’s credit, has refused to implement this law and Germany is mounting a challenge to it.

More information can be found at The Open Rights Group.

Afghanistan…..Why was it again?

The Twin Towers and the Pentagon were attacked by suicide bombers piloting civil aircraft stolen in the USA. The pilots had flying lessons in the US but it was believed that the planning took place in Afghanistan so under the guise of NATO’s ethic of  ‘if you attack one of us we will attack you’ Afghanistan was invaded. The stated aim being to drive the Taliban out of the country and therefore make us all safer.

The result to date is that over 150 of our troops have been killed, hundreds maimed and disabled, thousands of Afghanis killed as well as US military. The financial costs too have been an incredible drain on our economy. The Taliban are far from defeated and control most of the country and when pressed, easily move to Pakistan for respite and re-grouping. Billions of dollars and Pounds have poured into the bottomless pit of corruption that is rife in that country and laws are proposed to legalise marital rape and the subjugation of women.

Even under this new and apparently benign US President the answer is more of the same. More money, more troops, more support for corruption. It should be of no surprise that we can expect more Taliban, more deaths, more alienation of the Muslim world and therefore more surveillance and restrictions on our hard won freedoms in the West in the name of anti terrorism and security.

As that old protest song said. “When will they everLearn?”

New Unitary Authorities

‘All Fools Day’ 1st April and seven Unitary Authorities in England take over control on this day.

The people living in these counties were never given the opportunity to vote on this measure even though well over half of their elected representatives are done away with. A whole level of democracy removed in a single swipe by this centralising government. It was suggested that this move would save money but in my county even the change over costs have more than doubled and what consideration was given to the thousands who will lose their jobs or the enormous cost of unemployment benefits. It was said that there would be no ‘compulsory’ redundancies but large numbers of the old District Council workers were temporary or agency staff whose losses do not show up on the statistics.

The newly appointed CEO’s of these counties will be paid more than the Prime Minister and Councillors will tend to be remote figures covering huge areas rather than your local representative, known and accessible.

Who are the fools on this day? Frankly, we are, we did not protest enough, we did not take to the streets or march on Downing Street. We gave away a huge chunk of our power like lambs.

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