Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Take Back The Power

This is the start of a campaign to ask all voters to vote for anyone who isn't from one of the big three parties. If you're fed up with constantly being lied to and let down; if you're fed up with politicians who never answer the question and spend all their time slagging off the opposition; if you're fed up with politicians telling you what you want, rather than listening to what you want; join the campaign at

Tuesday, 1 March 2011


If you publish an advertisement your are bound by the laws governing the content. It has to be clean decent honest & truthful. Yet why is this stricture lifted when it comes to political advertising? The mandates that all political parties put in their manifesto should come under the same laws. If you are advertising any product and service then if that is not carried through then the company is fined. It should be the same for political parties.

It is no good us taking the high moral ground over the pro democracy demonstrations in the north African countries when we are having our own democracy eroded by politicians who consistantly lie about what they are going to do when they get into Parliament and then renege on their promises.
They have persuded voters to elect them on a mandate and then have not delivered what they promised. In other words they lied. Any company would be prosecuted, why not the politicians? This is not an academic exercise but I feel that it erodes the very tenets of democracy in this country.
We demand democracy and honesty in other countries but not our own. What happened to safeguard the NHS advertisement then putting through a complete reform based on an economic and ideological which is a short step away from privatisation?
It is about time that politicians should be honest. The idea that its ok to lie to get into power is Stalinist in its concept. They wonder why no one votes and this is why, though of course the less people who vote the better for the politicians as they will most probably stay in power. Is it really that important and at what price must they lose their soul to gain the world?

The idea that all the country must pay for the greed of a few people or rather of an industry which deals in concepts rather than realities s purile. The actions of the present government are based on ideologies that can't work in a country based on market economics. The point of cutting services which in the long term will cause unrest while reducing the number of policemen on the beat is counter productive in that it costs more money to keep someone in prison that at Eton. So the prison population rises and therefore more prisons need to be built by private companies so we are seeing the birth of a new industry which was started as part of ideology. Why would a government stop the EMA which pays students £30 a week to study when the basic unemployment is £34? Over tens of thousends of students over several years the four pounds starts to add up.

All this to get our credit rating down. Who cares? With inflation rising, unemployment rising, the cost of basics rising we are trying to get our interest rates down so we can borrow more money to sustain an economy which is based on a falsehood. The lie being that everything will be ok. Every election I am told that if I vote for a political party things will get better and yet they get worse. This leads me to one of two conclusions, that either the people we have in government are inept or they just lie to get power.
Now that's a case to answer.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Duty of care?

The government have decided that to follow their policy is somehow good sense, even when the exiting head of the CBI points out that it is doomed to failure. To feign suprise about the economy when following an economic policy that puts potential consumers out of work while raising prices, petrol is now at a record high, and then talk about long term growth. How is this policy going to help the country recover from what is an international debacle concerning the banking system.
Where are the reforms that have been promised? The idea that banks can be self governing is wrong, in fact the the best way to get over the financial crises is by putting a levy of 1p in the £1 on the banks profits. Now to whom do we owe this money tht helped save the bank, why other banks of course. The sense of irony is so tragic that we shoud be laughing not crying. Strangely I agree that the banks should be getting their bonuses if it does attrct the best people, but then surely we want to attract the best in every profession, nursing, teaching, transport, and the police. Yet when they put in for a pay rise the answer always to seem be a problem about funds. Actually on a serious note if I was a shareholder in a bank and the bonuses were really high while the interest rates were low I would start making the executives feel very uncomfortable.
They could say that the bank rate is low but actually they still charge a high rate to borrowers according to their status so why the pitifully low rate for investors. Just look at the rates of the credit card companies, the highest they have been for a very long time. Making it harder for people to pay back and so delaying the mythical recovery of the economy.
We have a government that is so out of touch and the worst of it they as a class always have been. It is the 21st century which means that all information is now accessible, and yet they remain out of touch. People are taking to the streets in protest yet nothing has even been discussed. I would have more respect for them if they actually admit that they were wrong. They just don't care. They may to prfess that they are doing the best for everybody but its not true. They just don't care and the trouble is I don't think they ever will.
As a postscript it took a long time for me to vote for the LibDems. I never will again as they have betrayed me and my optimism for a pocket full of magic beans called vanity. I really don't know who to vote for and until I see some form of duty of care for the men and women of this country then I am adrift in a sea of despair.

Monday, 15 November 2010


The main problem with the government's eduation poliy is that it is based on cost, when it should be based on value. Not the value that is produced by statistics as in the league tables, which are a complete misnomer, much like the World Series, in that it assumes that everybody starts from the same point. No two shools will ever be the same so why should they be judged on a qualifiation based system, where qualifiations may not be appropriate.
I am talking about the value to the person, the community and the country. You annot judge a hilds eduation in money but in potential. How much faster would we have broken the 4 minute mile if the country had allowed working class manual workers to participate. People whose very existence is based on physical activity for 8 hours a day. Who an say that the child forbidden to go on to higher education not due to a lack of academic achievement but a lack of money might be the one to make a breakthrough in medicine, science or peace negotiations.
Are we now reduced to exporting potential students to abroad, giving the Australian, Canadian and Amerian Universities our best potential, not because of knowledge but beause of money. The very same potential graduates that will make officers for some God forsaken useless war. Loyalty and duty are not of a single path going in one direction. The idea that a ountry annot afford to educate it's young shows that the priorities are all wrong.
Why do the government insist on persuing this train, this juggernaut of quasi politial doctrine when it just omes down to a small minded provincial policy that was outdated in the 60's. It's why things changed then beause a prime minister saw the potential that eduation an give.
Now we have stastically operated systems that mean children still leave school being unable to read or write properly, where they feel rejeted by a society that they have yet to beome a part of or even understand. Why are the prisons filling up with young people, whose only life is dulled by a surfiet of drugs, alcohol and violence. As far back as the ancient Greeks they knew the power of eduation as an improving force.
We have given the young consumerism, technology and a disdain for the elderly, not the very things they do need; respect for themselves, for their society and for the people within that society. The young need to understand that education is all about individual responsibilities and understanding the consequences of actions. Something this government does seem to be able to do. They are destroying a complete system of education while blaming something else and not realising the consequences that this policy will have.
I just wonder if we are pulling out of the Middle East to save resouces for another conflict in the South Atlantic. Imagine it could be a hild from a working class family without GCSE's but just armed with common sense who might be able to solve the problem.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Policy problems

Is it me or did I wake up and found myself back in the 80's? The record so far in this coalition government has been rather despicable. Coalition in the same respect as the American/ UK coalition in Iraq. The poor liberal democrats who started as the only hope left to those members of the voting population with some kind of moral conscience have now become the very epitome of the modern day bourgeoise. Someone willing to sacrfice their principles to win. These days they call them yuppies, but I think that has more to do with the lack of education so preventing either an understanding or even the correct spelling.
It does seem that modern government policy probably did seem like a good idea at the time after an expensive meal at Simpsons perhaps written on the back of a napkin. The idea that somehow letting schools carry on without repair, so creating a mirror image of despair. Do they think that by letting schools slowly fall into rack and ruin will either improve the moral of the pupils or teachers? Do they think that the lack of repair will not equate to a lack of respect by society and then be reflected back in the increase in vandalism to schools, the increase in attacks on staff and a lack of respect towards society as a whole. Bearing in mind that for some children school maybe the only hope they have to escape a situation that is not o their making. How can they resect society if they are not even worth respect of a habitual place to study. This at the same time they are cutting back on the police. Strange that the amount of policemen in Birmingham city centre increased to enormous numbers while the conservative conferance was on. A helicopter patrolled overhead continuously. The air ambulence has to raise donations for every trip to save lives. Still I am sure that it mahis is the point of this government, they don't care. They may act and talk in flowing rhetoric but they don't care.
It seems as though their policies have very little capability of actually solving any fiscal problem but a great deal in causing a great deal of hardship. After all we all have to make sacrifices, so I would be really interested in what sacrifices the government front bench are making, perhaps not claiming their expenses or paying for the petrol in their governmental vehicles when they go to visit to promote their policies and have their picture taken. A good idea for them to cut back would be to not be paid if they have other jobs, such as a barrister or a lobbyist. Let their companies sponsor their members. I pay for my MP through my taxes, to represent my interests, not to subsidise another agenda.
Of course we could just privatise everything that is a problem or rather that maybe allow the population to have a decent life. What about education? After all they are running it down, allowing people to run schools who have no experience or training in an industry that s over regulated so that they can then sell it off to private enterprise and pay the commission that would pay for every child to have a decent education. I told you it was the 80's.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Justice for Ian Tomlinson

You may remember that Ian Tomlinson was killed as a result of action during the G20 summit protests. As far as I'm aware the CPS is still looking into this but it has now fallen off the press pages and as a consequence off the radar of most people. The Government recently released statistics on the rise in complaints against the police and it is time there was a serious debate about the role and management of the police in the UK.

Perhaps it would be useful to revisit Peel's 9 principles of policing:

Principle #1: The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.

Principle #2: The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon the public approval of police actions.

Principle #3: Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observation of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.

Principle #4: The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.

Principle #5: Police seek and preserve public favor not by catering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.

Principle #6: Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice, and warning is found to be insufficient.

Principle #7: Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence."

Principle #8: Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions, and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.

Principle #9: The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it

These still look pretty relevant to me.
An article from the Guardian that I would have missed had I not heard the reference to the Inquest findings on 5Live:

"Incident diary reveals ordeal of mother who killed herself and daughter

Fiona Pilkington, found dead in burning car with 18-year-old daughter, kept log of harassment by local youths

Fiona Pilkington and daughter

Francecca Hardwick, 18, and her mother Fiona Pilkington, whose bodies were found in a burning car in 2007. Photograph: Leicestershire police/PA

A vulnerable single mother who killed herself and her disabled daughter after years of harassment wrote about sitting in darkness in her house as youths yelled abuse outside, an inquest was told.

Extracts from a "harassment diary" Fiona Pilkington, 38, kept for her local council were read to the hearing at Loughborough town hall . She kept the diary for a short time about six months before her death in November 2007.

An extract from May 12 read: "They were shouting outside the window from 11.30pm until it went quiet at 2.30am." Pilkington had opened the living room curtains to see if she could scare away the gang, who regularly gathered outside her 1930s semi-detached house in Barwell, Leicestershire. This failed and she turned off the light. The entry ends: "Sat in the dark until 2.30am, stressed out."

The gang returned the next day, the diary records, attacking her hedge.

"It's chucking down with rain," she wrote at 4pm. "Fed up. Cheesed off. Why can't they just walk past without doing anything? Why can't they walk on the other side of the road?"

The last entry was written late at night on June 2, another Saturday. Youths had pelted the house with stones. "They then went [next door] to number 57, lit a fag and then tried to set fire to fences between the houses. Really cheesed off. Can't they just walk down the street without doing anything? It seems impossible."

Little more than six months later, after she had abandoned recording the incidents of abuse or, apparently, informing the council about them, Pilkington drove her blue Austin Maestro to a layby on the nearby A47 and set it alight. Inside, fire crews found her severely burned body and that of her 18-year-old daughter, Francecca.

An inquest has been told that the ever-changing gang of around 16 local youngsters seemed unable to leave the family in peace because they were perceived as different and vulnerable, and fair game.

As well as Francecca's disability, Pilkington's son Anthony, now 19, has serious dyslexia. She herself had borderline learning difficulties and had experienced depression, the inquest has been told.

Although Pilkington called the police 33 times, no one was ever charged over the harassment. In the diary she noted that on the night of May 12 she opted against calling the police again. "Know from experience that no one is usually available from Friday to Monday as it is busy elsewhere. This is a low priority."

Yesterday it also emerged that the council failed to pick up on the family's vulnerability, or share information with local police, even though both organisations knew the identities of the children behind the harassment, most of whom lived on the same street.

Tim Butterworth, a community safety officer for Hinckley and Bosworth borough council, sent Pilkington the diary after visiting her at her home in February 2007, and he read the extracts to the inquest. His only other recorded contact with her was a 10-minute phone call in April.

The coroner, Olivia Davison, noted that in a matter of weeks during that period, police recorded three separate incidents involving the family, including youths throwing stones at Anthony as he rode his bike, and that the council was informed.

"Did it not concern you to explore why this was occurring to this family?" Davison asked. Butterworth replied: "At this point no, because I had no concern for the family." He said he had not picked up on Pilkington's slight learning difficulties and knew nothing of her children's conditions.

Had he known the family's situation, Butterworth said, he would have treated the matter as a suspected hate crime and pursued it far more vigorously.

The hearing heard how the police and the council identified the same hardcore group of tormentors, but seemingly failed to share the information. Both organisations particularly picked out children from a household further down Pilkington's road, which was referred to at the hearing only as "Family A". Earlier this week it emerged that this family had persistently refused to cooperate with officials, remained known troublemakers and still lived on the street despite efforts to evict them.

The inquest has heard that members of the gang, some as young as 10, would pelt the house with stones, eggs and flour, and put fireworks through the letterbox. Once a key member of the group was heard to shout: "We can do anything we like and you can't do anything about it."

The inquest is expected to finish on Friday"

I simply cannot understand how something like this could possibly be allowed to go on for so long. Surely repeated reporting of this kind of activity should lead to a more proactive response from the police/council. I'm sure those 'kids' would have found it much less fun if the were constantly being picked up/detained/fined or, in the case of those who are considered below the age of criminal responsibility if their parents were constantly asked to come and pick them up from the station, or fined.

That this situation is allowed to occur is a shaming indictment of the society we live in. A lack of care, a lack of responsibility and an apparently total lack of support/protection for victims. Who will those 'kids' pick on next? How many of them will end getting into more/worse trouble and ultimately causing further harm and costing more money (either in cleaning up or prosecuting further crimes).