Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

UK Political weblog

Archive for the tag “UK”

The European Migration Crisis

It’s not often I agree with David Cameron, in fact this is probably the only time I have but he is right not to take immigrants from the masses pouring into Eastern Europe and mainly into Germany. He is correct when he says this will only encourage even more to attempt entry into the European Union, much better to take them from the overcrowded refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. I part company with him on the pathetic number he suggests we take in.

There many videos shown, from differing sources and differing locations of ‘refugees’ climbing into overfull trains in Croatia, Hungary, running at speed over border crossings including thousands chancing their lives and luck at Calais climbing under and into lorries heading for the UK.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-34307014

These are not desperate families fleeing for their lives but fit, almost exclusively, young men, in their twenties or early thirties that any reasonable person would conclude to be economic migrants. I am not for one moment suggesting that there are no genuine refugees, far from it, there is a terrible situation in the Middle East and North Africa and we must do all that we can to assist and no one in real need must ever be turned away.

The crisis is indeed a huge problem and it is for huge problems that we have politicians, smaller ones we can sort out ourselves, joint multi national decisions are needed here. Most problems can be reduced by discerning what the real problem is and it is obvious that many people are, for understandable reasons, jumping on this particular bandwagon of gaining entry to Europe on the backs of genuine asylum seekers and they should be weeded out in rapid time and sent back to wherever they came from, thus reducing the problem perhaps to manageable proportions.  It can’t be that hard to organise teams of interpreters and interviewers to quickly come to a decision in most cases, appeals could be allowed but heard within 24 hours after which transport arranged and return within another 24 hours. Their return would also act as a deterrent to others tempted to make the journey.

After this it is for Europe, the UK in particular along with the USA who is sitting on the sidelines doing nothing, to come up with humanitarian solutions to the mess they themselves created. In addition they might start to listen a bit more often to Russia who warned of this very catastrophe some years ago instead of trying blame everything on to them to take our minds off what is really happening.

Another Mistake in the Making?

Attacking Iraq (twice) was a mistake, attacking Libya was a mistake and gave rise to IS, ISIL, Daesh, whatever you want to call the power hungry, heinous, murdering hordes that are rampaging in the Middle East and giving rise to deluded religious fanatics in Europe and elsewhere.

The US and UK are engaged in air strikes against ISIL in Syria and Iraq in the US case and currently only in Iraq by the UK. The UK government is about to consider expanding strikes into Syria also. Another mistake? I think so. Attack by air can never defeat these thugs and more importantly thousands of innocent people will be killed in the process giving rise to even more hatred of the West and so becoming a recruiting sergeant for more terrorists. There is an argument that troops on the ground is the only way to defeat them but as we have seen in Iraq and Afghanistan, you can defeat a nation and impose a new government under the guise of a flawed democracy but you cannot impose peace. Thousands of bombs have been dropped in the last year and yet ISIL is unmoved and the lack of western triumphalist videos and news reports rather make the case for me.

So if air strikes can’t ‘win’ and using western troops on the ground is politically unacceptable to the electorate, as is the case at present, what should the West do? This is always the question asked but never the question “Should we do anything?” We first have to accept the fact that the West is Capitalist and Capitalism cares nothing about the suffering of people and only has an interest in money. Having accepted that point we can move on and see that the death and destruction wreaked upon the Middle East was not to free a people from Saddam Hussein or the Taliban but to ensure reliable cheap oil supplies from Iraq and the hope of building an oil and gas pipeline across Afghanistan. The result as we can see has been utter chaos; we may be getting cheap oil by way of repayment of Iraqi debt (incurred by the war) but the pipeline is still too risky a project and ISIL has been born and is a bigger threat to Capitalist hopes than before.

As I said and history has shown, peace in the region cannot be forced by western arms so just suppose we pulled right out and indeed did nothing. Middle Eastern nations are awash with wealth and stocked to the skies with armaments, supplied by us of course. Leave them all to get on with it and maybe, just maybe, the two wings of Islam might cease their squabbling and co-operate against the common threat of ISIL and with the excuse of Western infidels removed it would focus their minds. We may have to cut down a little on oil imports which is no bad thing but the Arab need and greed for cash would ensure it kept flowing. In addition by removing ourselves as a perceived threat to the region and also to Islam we would vastly lower or remove the risk of terrorist attacks in our own cities. We would of course, be morally bound not to supply arms to any other nation and perhaps there is the rub. Arms sales equals deaths equals Capitalist profits.

Mass Hysteria or Control?

Let’s put aside for a moment the actual and terrible events in France last week and take a look at what has happened since.

Thousands of people gather in demonstrations on the Saturday following and on on Sunday (11/01/15) over a million citizens march through Paris and World leaders fly in to France from all points of the compass in, as they say, a show of solidarity with France and in support of free speech and expression, including Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel where 17 Journalists were killed last summer 2014 by the Israeli Defence Force, plus four more languishing in Israeli jails.  Journalists who reported the atrocities carried out by Israel in Palestine. This Paris march is not a spontaneous demonstration of anger, of collective grief or any other emotion, it was organised by the French government and they who created this mass hysteria. Why would they do this?

They do it for the same reason that the UK in London projected the french Tricolour onto buildings and the UK Prime Minister expresses the ‘need’ for more controls, more surveillance of the Internet and to close borders that are at present open for business and inter nation interaction. Governments generally seek more and more control over their citizens and seize upon any and every opportunity to increase their grip.  The deaths of the 17 people in France is a tragedy of course but is a golden opportunity for governmental control freaks. Here in the UK we are the most watched people on Earth with CCTV cameras on nearly every corner, our emails and telephone calls are recorded, through various requirements our very existence is monitored from birth to death. Demonstrations are again controlled, filmed and participants ‘kettled’ to ensure maximum discomfort in the hope of putting people off taking part in the future. New laws are proposed to make strikes all but impossible and so forcing workers into virtual slavery.

They need the population to be afraid because the people will turn to government in hope of protection and will accept even more curtailment of their rights and their freedom. Without diminishing the horror of the terrorist killings, if looked at calmly and rationally it was no more than a couple of nasty traffic accidents and the chance of similar happening to any particular individual are miniscule almost to a vanishing point. Most people though do not react rationally but with emotion which is so easily manipulated by the powerful.

It is not the terrorists we need to fear but our own governments.

UK Housing Prices & Inheritance

The Governor of The Bank of England has again warned of the risk to our faltering small recovery and of the need to build more houses or the increasing likely hood of raising interest rates to dampen down house price inflation. Also in the news is the widening gap between the rich and the relatively poor.

Political attention is likely to focus on the house price boom because for politicians this is the easy option but this is allied to increasing inequality of not just wealth but also inequality of opportunity. The main cause of inequality is inheritance and if this were tackled the housing inflation problem would largely solve itself. Many of the last generation bought homes at more or less sensible prices and have seen their value increase many times over the general inflation rates, an increase that is not earned. When they perhaps down size or die they can pass on to their children large sums which their offspring can use to buy their own homes; homes that without this unearned windfall they could not otherwise contemplate. This of course helps to both maintain and fan the fires of house inflation.

In addition to passing on their inflated homes, the wealthy also can afford to give their children the best start in life with all the advantages that money can bring and bequeath their accumulated funds that enable the offspring to acquire even more and so the cycle continues. Apart from a few exceptional individuals the poor will remain poor and indeed, become even more deprived as wealth becomes more concentrated in the hands of a small minority. The result of this imbalance is that the nation as a whole will lose out on ideas, businesses and social benefits due to the suppression of the less well off who cannot make or even recognise the best use of their talents or from lack of capital to advance their ideas.

What we need, but is at present anyway, unlikely to be done, is a strong inheritance tax which some may say is even punitive. If someone builds up huge wealth there is no reason that he/she should not enjoy a rich lifestyle for as long as they live but equally there is no reason why their children should continue to enjoy that lifestyle simply by being born into that family. Money raised from this taxation could then be used to improve the conditions of the many and provide start up funding for brilliant new ideas and enterprises.

There would be many arguments against a firm inheritance tax and it’s implementation would be difficult but not impossible. How it could be done is what we pay politicians for.

 

 

Knife Crime in UK

Knife Crime! Government and not just this one, are frequently banging on about knife crime, the latest being anyone caught for a second time carrying a knife will be imprisoned for six months, where of course they can learn to use them more effectively.

I have been to a France a few times and there they have shops that specialise in selling knives. The following is from global knife statistics: “France has seen no equivalent of the wave of fatal stabbings in Britain, and newspaper reports on the so-called “culture du poignard” (knife culture) reigning in London and other big cities are read with universal horror.”

It follows then that knives are not the problem so there must be some other underlying cause; would it not therefore be better to research this rather than banging up more people in crime academies?

Britain at Risk

Details from the 2011 Census have just come out making for interesting reading.The population of England & Wales is now 56 million of which 7 million+ were born outside the UK making White British just 80% of the population and indeed London now has only 45% White British.

Now those figures are, to me, concerning enough but let us add to that the British born children of those originating from outside the UK plus the countless numbers (hence no stats) of illegal immigrants and those who did not fill in the forms at all. The rapid dilution of the indigenous British puts at severe risk our very culture and accepted way of life.

I am no isolationist but I believe we are a unique and special group of Nations and islands and so also believe the time has come to say enough.

European Islamic Community

I think it’s fair to say that we as a nation and indeed a large part of Europe have become all but paralysed by political correctness. Although our eyes see and our ears hear what is happening all around us most of us unconsciously self censor this information. Those that do recognise what is transforming our country and speak out run a great risk of being accused of racisism. The blight of pc is all pervading, preventing truth from seeping out beneath it’s repressive fog.

I believe in the equality of all human beings and appreciate and enjoy the rich diversity of the various traditions and I am certainly no apologist for the BNP  or any other racist group. I also enjoy and appreciate the traditions of my own country, England and of neighbouring Wales, Scotland and Ireland, linking to make the UK. The historic connection with the near countries of western Europe are also a cultural link that I appreciate.

Blowing away for a moment the mist of political correctness then we will see that all that I love of my country and it’s heritage are fast being lost and indeed will probably be lost forever. Huge and rapid immigration of muslims mainly from the Indian sub continent but also from Africa are swamping the British identity. Western white Europeans are breeding at a rate approximating to 1.8 children per couple, in other words they are not replacing themselves and so the indigenous population is falling. Not so with the immigrant families who replicate at a rate of between 4 and 8 children per couple, in other words, they more than double themselves and even quadruple themselves.

Again rub the pc dust from our eyes and do a little mathematics and we’ll find that in about 50 years time muslims will be the majority population of not only the UK but also of Europe. The Islamic European Community is far from unlikely it is almost a certainty.  What a legacy to leave to perhaps not our children but certainly to our  grandchildren.

The best that we can do now is to close our borders to all further immigration and slow up the inevitable. We can only do this if we force our way though the mist and murk of political correctness.

Wouldn’t It Be Nice

Barack Obama has been inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States of America, quite an historical moment for a mixed race politician to be elected by the people to this high office. Immense coverage by the media was given all over the world and rightly so as the US has huge military and economic influence and power that has some effect on all of us. The hand over of power from Bush to Obama was dignified and yet somewhat low key and as such was an example of democracy at it’s best.

Obama’s speech was, as could be expected, moving in parts and looked back to America’s past struggles on the road to democracy and equality as well as looking forward to dealing with the massive problems besetting the US and the International Community. (if indeed there is such a thing)

Wouldn’t it be nice though if ‘God’ could have been kept out of? References to a supernatural power guiding and supporting any nation or President makes me squirm.

Wouldn’t it be nice also, if we in the UK had the democratic ability to elect a Head of State of our choosing? Not for us (yet) true freedom and democracy but a head of state appointed from one family purely on the basis of birth.

Knife Crime in UK

Freethinkeruk has just returned from a long weekend in Brittany France. Whilst browsing around the shops for a while, as you do, I came across a sport shop where, amazingly, almost an entire window display was taken over by knives. There were pen knives, lock knives, hunting knives, scuba diving knives, all obviously extremely well made and at reasonable prices.

Here in the UK there are laws banning the sale of certain knives and calls for a total ban are even being made along with, even weirder calls for all knives to be manufactured without a point; so hard luck if you’re a fisherman or a chef or many other legitimate users of a knife. Despite all this and various campaigns death and injuries caused by the use of a knife have increased but not as much as could be believed from the tabloid press. There is however not a dramatic increase in France where, as I said, knives can still be legally purchased over the counter.

When freethinkeruk was a young teenager (many, many years ago) nearly every boy had a knife which was most likely to be of the ‘flick knife’ design. Possession gave a mild feeling of bravado, an enjoyment in the quality, skill and design of it’s manufacture as well as being useful for carving bits of wood. It was never (or hardly ever) considered for attack or even defence when threatened and when past the age of around 16 was discarded or sold on to a younger lad.  What has changed is not knife possession but the willingness to use one in the UK. So what has changed in the last half centuary? It is true that there is far more more graphic and explicit violence on television and in films, video games almost invariably involve killing someone or something and war and our military is often glorified in the news items. I’m sure that in combination all these influences must lead to a somewhat deadening of our morals and sensibilities but not turn us into killers. During this period of time though, there has been a huge widening of the divide between those who have a lot and those who by comparison, have little. State control and surveillance has never been greater and opportunities for social mobility have been decreasing to the point where it is all but impossible for those in inner city estates and similar situations to achieve their potential. The frustration and indeed inner rage resulting from this oppression will inevitably vent off in vandalism, graffiti or violence.

More restrictions will do nothing, what is required is social change on a huge scale which this government will not give and neither will any potential replacement. The only hope is for enough of us to think for ourselves to demand change. It is possible and hopefully this blog will in it’s very, very, small way will help along with other voices in the wilderness.

UK’s Housing & Land

The Housing shortage & Land.

The problem is that houses are seen as investments to make a profit in the future rather than homes to live in. The cost of the land on which they are built is a major factor particularly in the exceptionally high demand and therefore high priced areas of the country in, for example, the South East of England. The selling off of Council Housing in the Thatcher era contributed greatly to the present crisis. Radical measures are needed.

Suppose that ALL land became the property of the State i.e. held in trust for all of the people, then land for building on could be released at NO charge and the occupier of the building would pay an annual lease for the land based only on the amount of land and not the building on it. This would be fair to all. Following the death of the principle occupants the building then becomes the property of the State with the local authority acting as agent and becomes available for renting. This would achieve three main objectives; houses would revert to being homes rather than investments, the cost of building a new home would plummet and eventually all homes would be rented rather than bought leading to greater availability, affordability and fairness. Additionally, considerable income would be generated through the lease payments for the needs of the population. Moving to a new area or to a larger or indeed to a smaller house would, if anything, become easier. This change could be achieved in little more than a generation. As all land and property would be held in trust for the people by the State but administered locally the system would be democratically accountable.

The same principle would be applied to current landowners and businesses. On the death of the current occupiers of land or the collapse of a business, buildings would become the property of the State and a rent paid by the new tenants. Farmers for example could still pass the business on to their children thus ensuring continuity but the land would be held in common.

Of course none of this is likely to happen due to electoral resistance by the current home owners who will cling to the notion that property values will rise above inflation for ever. This cannot be as like capitalism, of which housing and land ownership is a part, depend on ever increasing production and consumerism. It is better for our future generations to seek a new way now.

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