Friday, 23 June 2017

Looking Again At Labours Privatisation Plans

If you think that the twists and turns of British politics has turned its last twist then you could be in for a surprise as Theresa May still has to get her ‘Queen’s Speech’ programme for government through the Commons and if she fails to do that then the leader of the next-largest party would get a chance to become Prime Minister, in this case Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour Party.
As we may yet have a Labour Party ruling over us it is worth looking at their manifesto just in case and the stand out pledge for me is to nationalise large swathes of what the Conservatives sold off.
For me, privatisation has been one of the great pups sold to the public because to be frank, it just doesn't work.
Nobody can argue that since they went private the rail, utility, mail or water industries have been more efficient, generated investment, lowered costs or saved jobs.
What actually happened is large scale redundancies, prices sky-rocketed and the previous British companies are largely in the hands of a small group of international investors who pay themselves billions in dividend payouts and as we found out recently, tax free.
The promised benefits of market competition have never materialised as the energy companies colluded to rise prices ensuring consumers are shafted whichever way they turn.
Under Labours plan, they would transfer ownership and responsibility for our utilities to publicly-owned bodies bringing utilities back into public hands and putting the massive profits directly into Government coffers and bringing down household bills.
Privatisation has been the exact opposite of what the Conservatives under Margaret Thatcher and David Cameron promised us and the Conservatives are eyeing up the NHS, the jewel in the state run crown, and if anybody believes that having a company running our Health Service for a profit will improve standards or keep it free to use, then they should cast an eye across the Atlantic to
America and ask themselves why would would we want to replace the NHS with a system of Health care where the ability to pay for treatment is the first question asked.
The privatisation experiment has failed as it is blatantly obvious that it increase costs and lowers the quality of services because it is impossible for the private sector to deliver the same service for less and still make a profit and making a profit is the bottom line for businesses.

Why Bad News Sells

Why does the News only show negative things is a question i have been asked a few times and my usual response is to shrug and waffle something about bad news sells.
Until know i had no real basis but science has come to the rescue and The London School of Economics and Political Science has done the research and found that newspaper and magazine sales increase by approximately 30% when the cover is negative rather than positive.
Of course editors know this, the 'if it bleeds, it leads' mantra is commonplace but as the boffins at LSEPS explain, there is a reason why we are drawn to the negative. 
The conclusion they have reached is that it all comes down to what us humans decide to pay attention to and it is evolutionary advantageous to heed negative information as the potential costs of negative information far outweigh the potential benefits of positive information therefore the brain is predisposed towards focusing on negative information.
News content is predominantly negative because humans tend to be more attentive to negative information and as long as that continues the lead stories on newspaper front pages and the lead stories on broadcast media will always be a negative one to grab the readers or viewers attention.
Thanks science, you came good yet again.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Win-Win

Prince Harry says that nobody in the royal household wants to be the next king or queen, but will carry on out of public duty.
Lucy says feel free to bugger off then Harry and take the rest of your family with you. 
In an interview about the his life and the future of the monarchy, the Queens grandson of the Queen said there is no one in the Royal Family who would like to inherit the throne.
As well as public duty, the £36.1m per year the Government hands over to the Royals is a great sweetener but if the Royals want to step aside, i'm sure Britain would manage perfectly well without them, we could even take it in turns to live in one of the Palaces and drive around in a carriage waving at people every couple of days.
They don't want to do it, we don't much care about them doing it so send in a removal van, pack the lot of them off to somewhere out the way and we have an extra £36 million each year to put into our national piggy bank. Everyone's a winner!

Studying Uranus

NASA have announced a mission to study the atmosphere of Uranus and rather predictably the sniggering has begun and headlines about probing Uranus are abound.
As a serious and grown up blog, there won't be any of that here so let us put to one side the schoolkid humour and take a good, long look at Uranus and how important it is to study the gas that emanates from Uranus.
NASA have outlined four possible missions to see what is coming out from Uranus and the rings around Uranus including one which includes dropping a probe into the Planets atmosphere to measure gas and heavy elements.
Scientists wants to probe deeper into Uranus than ever before, previously only taking pictures of the giant as they passed by and revealing it to be both larger and more noxious than expected.
As anyone can see Uranus come into view on any given night, it is about time we reached out to it and fully experienced Uranus and expanded what we know about the unnatural size of Uranus,  the Earth, and all of its people, could fit inside Uranus 63 times over.
As Uranus is very gassy, scientists are not expecting to find life there, nothing could live in the toxic fumes that come from Uranus and it is not a place humans could go to, nobody wants to explore Uranus, so we won't be sending men to have look closer at it.
So let's have a long, hard look at, probe and take some close-up pictures of Uranus and explore one of the mysteries of our universe, and stick a large flag in Uranus.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Non-Islamic Terror

The right wing mouthpieces who usually spit their venom following a terror attack seemed to have gone quiet since the last terror attack was by one of their own.
They were very quick to rant and rave about Islamic terror, some spewing forth while bodies were still being removed, but Nigel Farage, Katie Hopkins and the orange racist in America usually so quick to log into his twitter account, have all decided to give this one a miss which is a shame as they are the ones who have done so much to drive the Islamophobia that resulted in a dozen of them being driven into outside a North London mosque.
It is reported that attacks on mosques or Muslim centres take place less than once every fortnight in the UK and there has been a five-fold rise in reporting of Islamophobic crimes following the Manchester attack and a two-fold rise after the London Bridge atrocity.
The obvious question to ask is are we Brits doing enough to root out extremism in our communities as we ask of the Muslim community after every terror attack and if we hear someone spouting extreme right wing views, should we be reporting them as potential terrorists or is that only done if they are brown skinned and wear a beard?

Phew, What A Scorcher

Climate change deniers will say that it's all fake news made up by China to gain industrial advantages but it has been, apparently, quite warm out in Britain this week.
Monday was Britain’s hottest day of the year, and temperatures reached the dizzy heights of 33C today and more of the same is expected for tomorrow by Wednesday with nighttime temperatures only dropping back to the average for the June daytime.
Brits are not known for their ability to cope in this kind of weather and i make no secret that i hate it but while some are telling us they are having a brilliant time, we know the real truth.
They are sweaty, grumpy through lack of sleep and those shoulders are a little too red to be comfortable but although they won't admit it, we all know they are struggling also.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Not A Good Time For Theresa May

It's hard to feel any sympathy for someone as cold hearted as Theresa May so let's not even try but enjoy the fact that she has had a torrid time of things recently. 
In the space of a few short months she has lost her Commons majority and is now battling for political survival and had to deal with two terrorist attacks and within days of a disappointing election result, the Prime Minister has been accused of a lack of humanity in her response to the Grenfell Tower inferno when she refused to meet residents.
To launch an election campaign while on course for a landslide win and end up with less seats then you began with is a poor show, then the two terror attacks which saw her record on reducing police numbers ruthlessly attacked.
This was quickly followed by her visit to the Grenfell Tower where she only met emergency services and not victims or those made homeless and even die hard Tory and May defender Michael Portillo turned on her citing a 'lack of humanity'.
She still has to tie up a deal with the DUP, start Brexit negotiations and get her much delayed Queen's Speech though Parliament.
As she has done so much to blight the lives of her citizens with her vicious austerity cuts, this is a good time to revel in Theresa May having the boot of Karma giving her backside a good kicking.

Blame For Grenfell Tower Fire

After the shock of the horrendous Grenfell Tower fire comes the anger and quite rightly, fingers are being primed to be pointed at someone but who exactly the buck stops with is still being debated.
The culprit appears to be the cladding on the outside of the building which was not fire resistant and actually eased the fire around the building.
The building firm who installed the cladding, the Kensington and Chelsea council who are in charge of the area and signed off on the job, the Government who cut local authority expenditure, the Fire Services who advised residents stay in their properties or the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) who managed the building.
The investigation will settle any claims of who to blame but someone somewhere messed up horrifically and should be held responsible for what's looking to be a devastating three figure death toll.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Reasons To Be Cheerful

All in all things have been pretty grim recently and after watching the news for a few days you would be excused for thinking everything is going to hell in a handcart but you can either refuse to watch the news anymore and ignore all the war, death and stupid people doing stupid things or take a step back and spend a few moments pondering just the good things we have.
There isn't anything we can do about Donald Trump, Brexit, ISIS, Theresa May or Syria and the media only reports the bad things, the great things in life we have to search out for ourselves, things that make you smile or lift your heart even if only temporarily, things which in my list would be:

Picnics in the park, colourful flowers, baby animals, proper orange juice, football, swearing parrots, Guns N Roses music, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Christmas, slippers, the Moon, David Boreanz, Paris, Marx Brothers, Cheese, Devon, meteor showers, Hotel California song, Kevin Bacon, Stephen King novels, the ending of the 1812 Overture, thunder storms, smartphones, random acts of kindness, Latte, singing in the shower, Christmas Trees, Dr Who, Dave TV Channel, It's a Wonderful Life film, Birthdays, chocolate, summer rain, Arsenal, puppies and kittens, Sweden, fresh crisp bed sheets, snow, my husband, Pirates of the Caribbean films, Morgan Freeman voice overs, fluffy clouds, 1970s photographs, Monty Python, winning on a scratch card, A Christmas Carol, laughing babies, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Michael J Fox, 11/22/36 book, raspberry ripple ice cream, your song on the radio, holidays from work, cream soda and a real fire on cold winter evenings.

When you think about it there are many more things lift us up then bring us down but yes the World can be a harsh, cold and vile place and it does seem to be run by people who really couldn't give a monkeys about the rest of us but as someone almost sang once, when you're feeling sad, simply remember your favorite things and then you won't feel so bad.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Quoting The DUP

In case you been stuck in a cave since Thursday, the abridged version of the last four days is that Theresa May's gamble didn't pay off and she ended up with a hung parliament and has drafted the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) with their 10 seats into Government to make up the 326 seats needed to make a Government.
It is fair to say that the religious DUP have some controversial views including not believing in climate change, evolution, not supporting abortion, same-sex marriage or even gay adoption.
But don't let me tell you, let's get it straight from the horses mouth with some recent quotes from the party the Conservatives are cuddling up to: 

On Creationism: 'My view on the earth is that it's a young earth. My view is it was created in 4000 BC'. 2007
On Evolution: 'Certainly not, and there are plenty of other people in this society who don't believe it either'. 2007
On blood donations: 'Someone who has sex with somebody in Africa should be excluded from giving blood'. 2012
On their female leader, Arlene Foster: 'Her most important job is wife, mother and daughter'. 2016
On same-sex marriage: 'I think these sorts of relationships are immoral, offensive and obnoxious' 2005
On LGBT people: 'I am pretty repulsed by gay and lesbianism. I think it is wrong'. 2005
On gays: 'It wasn’t my wife who determined that homosexuality was an abomination, it was the Almighty' 2008.
On gays (again): 'I cannot think of anything more sickening than a child being abused. It is comparable to the act of homosexuality'. 2008
On women: 'I stand by my faith and the word of God that man was created in the image of God and that woman was created from the rib of Adam to be his helpmate and companion'. 2008
On gay adoption: 'We are moving mountains to facilitate immorality and to bring the rights of lesbians above all others in this country'. 2008
On gay adoption: 'The facts show that certainly you don't bring a child up in a homosexual relationship, that a child is far more likely to be abused or neglected in a non-stable marriage'. 2015
On Abortion: 'I would not want abortion to be as freely available here in Northern Ireland as it is in England'. 2016
On Climate Change: 'I don’t care about Co2 emissions to be quite truthful. I still think climate change is a man made con'. 2005

Hmmm, I guess if you are being picky you could point a few things there which may make them unfit to rule over us as part of Government.