Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

UK Political weblog

Archive for the month “August, 2009”

Lockerbie Bomber

As could easily be expected there is an outcry over the release of the convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi. The media naturally trying to make conspiracy connections between his release and lucrative oil contracts in Libya and seemingly unable to accept that the Scottish Justice Minister was simply following the legal process in Scotland which includes mercy in exceptional circumstances.

The cry, largely from the USA, that he should have been kept in prison to die is a cry for vengance and not for justice. He is going to die in the next few weeks or months and whether he was guilty or not and there does at least seem to be grounds for doubt, is not the point. In releasing him Scotland has shown that it’s values are greater than those of terrorists and of those who advocate revenge.

It is of no surprise that the strongest condemnations have arisen in the US and in particular from the US administration. This after all is a nation that still executes people, many of whom are mentally ill or who were under age at the time of their offence. A nation who kidnaps people and secretly transports them to imprisonment, without trial, in foreign lands and which authorises torture.

We have nothing to learn from the US, the so called ‘Christian’ country but they have much to learn from this courageous, difficult and merciful decision by Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill.

Planning Officer Charlie Again!

Prince Charles has been trying to impose his architectural preferences again as a report in The Guardian today shows. He tried to get an architect sacked and one of his own choices put in to replace him. This is by no means the first time this has become known (see) and one wonders how many times he has used his influence.

Let’s keep it simple. Charlie may be right or Charlie may be wrong in his views. Charlie is unelected and unqualified. Charlie only has power and enormous influence because he was born into a particular family.

If we truly value and want a genuine democracy then that power, that influence must be removed and the only way to do that is to remove that family from it’s position.

Student Costs £250,000

Princess Eugenie, duaghter of the Duke of York, is off to University and is going to cost us tax payers another £250,000 per year in extra police protection. See

The cost of the Royal Protection Squad is never included in any figures relating to the royals but runs into millions of Pounds per year. This squad of armed police officers is provided by the Metropolitan Police and is to be increased in number by 150 additional officers to cope with holidays and gap years for this over indulged family.

Here We Go Again!

The housing market is on the move again of that there is little doubt and of course along with it the cost of buying a home is rising albeit slowly at the present time. The highest level of unemployment in my region stands at 6% which of course is not much fun for those without work but it does mean that 94% have jobs. Car production is rising once more and bankers bonus payouts are still obscene.

All this does not mean that the recession is over but points to it at least bottoming out. The massive bill to stave off the worst of the global economy crash will still have to be paid over the next couple of decades and will have some negative impact on most of us. Most of us being the ones who played no part in the disgraceful financial gambling of the past ten to twenty years although most of us were a part of the rampant consumerism that gripped the developed world.

A few minor inconveniences have been put in place to curb some of the excesses of the financial traders but by and large as the recovery gets under way it will be business as usual and so setting us up for a repeat performance in another decade or so down the line. Bankers will be making fortunes out of the future labour of ordinary people not even born yet, houses will be purchased as investments and not as homes to live in, industry will again expand and add to the climatic pollution that is already out of control.

This global catastrophe presented the World and I suggest, the UK in particular, with a golden opportunity for change. That chance has already been squandered and we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past and the next time may not contain within it opportunity for change.

Fatherland

Whilst ‘enjoying’ a wet holiday I wandered into a secondhand bookshop and picked up a novel entitled ‘Fatherland’ by Robert Harris and published in 1992. Apparently it was a best seller and I’m not at all surprised as it was fast moving and totally gripping.

DSCS0002I’m not going to give a review but it’s based on the idea of Germany having won the last war and paints a vivid picture of life in a State where surveillance and control is all but total. As the story unfolded, the realisation crept up on me of how easy it would be for this very condition to be imposed now, in our own country.

I recommend getting hold of a copy, not only for a good read but also to be aware of the dangers facing us. The price of freedom is not just vigilance but being prepared to take action before it’s too late.

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