Friday, 30 June 2017

Does Brexit Still Mean Brexit?

EU Ambassadors have started to review whether the UK will reverse its Brexit decision in light of the election result, with the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, suggesting the UK might realise at some point that 'it made a mistake'.
I still hold a little hope that the Government will wise up to what we are throwing away and realise that it will be far too detrimental to the country and our finances and call the whole thing off but that is not the signs that i am seeing.
At least the Hard Brexit option which the Conservatives were bizarrely proudly trumpeting before they suffered humiliation at the voting booth has died down but they are still saying we will be leaving the single market and the customs union come what may although the figures of what this act of economic suicide will cost the country.
We still have 18 months of negotiations to go, not sure why they triggered Article 50 in March only to waste 3 months of the 24 and start start negotiating in June but the whole Brexit thing has been a shambles from the start.
We can hope it won't happen, but i fear that it probably will and we will regret it immediately and within the decade be crawling back asking to rejoin the club because our finances will quickly show what an monumental act of stupidity the 52% has foisted upon us.

Not Ready For Mars Missions

After far too long, Space is sexy again with a regular supply of Space related stories with Japan announcing today that they plan to build a space station in the Moons orbit by 2030.
The announcement comes as China and India are planning ambitious space programmes with both looking to land probes on Mars while the USA are planning to send astronauts to Mars by 2033.
While all eyes seemed to be swiveled towards Mars, overlooking the Moon seems a fundamental error.
We have a ready made practice site 4 days travel away where we can perfect building bases and living on an alien planet before looking further afield.
Mars is 240 million miles and a 6 month each way trip away but we haven't been back to the Moon since 1972 which i find a major disappointment especially as we seem to be making the jump straight to colonising Mars.
There is no Space race this time so there is no need to nations to compete with each other to send an astronaut to plant a flag in the Martian soil, we can all join up and do it together by first colonising the Moon.
Rather a case of running before we can walk and by making a second home on the moon, and building a space station in orbit around it, this could be one of the first of many stop-offs because that is what we will need as we venture further out into the Solar System, stop off points.
A trip to Mars is six months out and for all out technology, the human body is unable to handle the lack of gravity as we see from those returning from the International Space Station who are greeted by Gravity and a hospital worth of medical services.
All which makes the talk about manned Mars Missions far fetched until science develops a way to travel faster then we can currently to shorten the trip, develop some form of artificial gravity aboard the rockets or we create a string of fully equipped regular stopping off points and that's where we should be looking.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Sausage 'Puff Dog' Roll

US grocery chain Trader Joe’s have announced a 'genius new invention' which they have called 'puff dogs' and are sausages inside puff pastry.
Probably not such genius to anyone who has walked past a Gregg's over the last few decades and seen a window full of them but Trader Joe’s say their puff dogs are a twist on the classic on the hot dog and instead of bread rolls, they have used sausage wrapped in flaky puff pastry.
Of course it is nothing like the good old British sausage roll which is flaky puff pastry wrapped around a sausage so it isn't as if Trader Joe has nicked our idea, given it another name and called it a genius new invention.
They have even included a users guide on how to eat the sausage roll puff dog which they advise can be eaten on their own but they recommend dipping them in your favourite condiments.
As a vegetarian i swerve the whole eating sausage roll thing but from what i can gather, the proper way to eat them is to bite off the top and then flap your arms around as it burns your vocal chords so lets see if Americans pick up on this time honoured tradition also.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Smells Like Space To Me

As astronaut Tim Peake continues his tour around schools and colleges, he has answered a question that has never occurred to me but obviously did to the 8 year old that asked it, what does Space smell like?
The UK astronaut likened it to metallic burning type aroma like hot metal, welding fumes and barbecue but nailed it down as like 'burning sausages on a charcoal grill'.
There you go then, next time you get accused of burning the sausages at the summer barbecue, say you are recreating the smell of the Cosmos and call them Space Sausages.

Spending £1.5 Billion

Since 2008, the economic crash and resulting austerity measures has been a great cover for the Government to do what it wants and with an ideological right wing Conservative Government in power since 2010, they really have made hay while the austerity sun shined.
Every cut has been ushered in with the mantra that it is all about cutting the deficit and making sure that 'we live within our means' but that has all fallen apart as the Government shuffle £1.5 billion towards the DUP in order to guarantee their backing and the those crucial 10 seats in Parliament which gives them a wafer thin majority.
While the Labour Party plans before the election were ridiculed as unaffordable and would mean taxes having to go up to fund them, i wonder what Labour was proposing and the Conservatives dismissed which would have cost less than the £1.5 billion bribe to buy the DUP.

Nationalising the Royal Mail would have cost £0.8bn, but would mean tax rises to pay for it so said the Tories.
Nursery Access for all children came with a bill of £0.3 billion but was weaved away as unaffordable by Theresa May.
Those 10,000 extra police officers came with a price tag of £0.3 billion but the Conservatives said too expensive.
Restoring bursaries for nursing students would cost £0.6 billion but the coffers were bare so said the Treasury.
Increase State Pension for lowest earners, £0.3bn but waved away as not an option in thes times of austerity.

Any one of these policies, or a combination of some the smaller ones, could have been paid for rather than make a shabby deal with the DUP but i'm sure it won't stop the Conservatives repeating the same old line about reducing the deficit, living within our means or reducing the deficit, delete as applicable.
Seems there is always money available for wars and propping up a crumbling Government.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Who Is The Lunatic Nazi?

North Korea have followed up their assertion that Donald Trump is a lunatic by likening him to Adolf Hitler.
The comparison is of course absurd, people liked Adolf Hitler when he first came to power and nobody liked Donald Trump when he took over so that falls at the first hurdle but let's persevere with the North Korean Thread.
Both blames a specific group of immigrants for all their problems, Trumps has his Muslims and Mexicans to Hitlers Jews, they both replaced the top tier of Government to install friendly faces and appealed to the common lowest denominator in society.
Throw in that he used to keep a copy of Hitler's speeches by his bed and the North Korean link between one of history's most notorious monsters and Adolf Hitler is almost complete. 
No Brits wanted to see Adolf or Trump land here also but the last piece in the jigsaw is the genital deformation, Hitler only had one testicle and Trump has a tiny penis and there you have it, conclusive proof that Trump is the new Hitler and the North Korean leader has the lunatic American President's number.

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.

Let's Call The Whole Thing Off

The plan was Donald Trump gets turfed out of office well before he is due to visit the UK and the invite stupidly handed down from Theresa May gets null and void and America gets a grown up in charge and the streets of the UK avoid being flooded by protesters against the orange face racist.
Now after the election and Theresa May desperately clinging onto power with the aid of the religious nutjobs of the DUP, the last thing she wants is a reminder of that hand holding session at the White House but it seems that Trump may pull out anyway in the wake of his tweet over recent terror attack and his withdrawal from tjhe Paris Climate Agreement.   
It is reported that the man who admitted he paid no income tax and admitted to sexually assaulting women called Prime Minister Theresa May to say he did not want to visit until he had support from the British public which is as good as saying he won't ever be popping over.
It is unknown what Theresa May replied but a Downing Street spokesman said: 'We aren't going to comment on speculation about the contents of private phone conversations' although there is a very good chance that she may be booted out of office before him as even her own party are manoeuvring to oust her after he awful election showing.
It could be that she is such a disaster that Trump doesn't want to be seen with her which would suit everyone all round as we don't want him here, he doesn't want to come here, she doesn't want to be seen with him and he doesn't want to be seen with her so let's call the whole thing off and we can keep our placards dry for the demonstrations against next round of Tory austerity cuts and Trump can go visit about the only country where he will he will be welcome, Russia.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Who Are The DUP?

With the Conservatives scrambling around looking to make deals to stay in power, the spotlight has fallen on the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) but what do we know about this party set to rule over us and drawn from the protestant side of Northern Ireland’s political spectrum?
What we do know is that they are a deeply religious group far to the right of the Conservatives and the bright, hot light of attention is throwing up some undesirable quotes from the party which should give the Tories pause for thought for exactly who they are now cuddling up to.
The party is the creation of Reverend Ian Paisley who was heavily involved in a campaign against Catholicism and homosexuality and fiercely opposed gay rights, routinely preached against homosexuality and the party picketed gay rights events even after it was decriminalized in Northern Ireland in 1982.
Northern Ireland is the only remaining part of the UK where same-sex marriage is not legal after the DUP used a controversial veto mechanism to block any change to legislation. 
The party has been the largest in Northern Ireland since 2007 and one of the ten seats belongs to Paisley's son, Ian Jr, who shared his view that he was 'repulsed by gay and lesbianism.'
Another seat is Peter Robinson who said that he 'wouldn't trust Muslims' and backed a pastor who labelled Islam 'satanic' while the education minister said he believed that the earth is 4000 years old and wanted creationism tought with equal weighting as evolution in schools.
Other quotes include homosexuality being labelled as worse than the sexual abuse of children and they hold a policy against abortion and campaign strongly against any extension of abortion rights to the country in line with their deeply rooted religious beliefs.
Hard to believe that it could be that the Conservative may not be the nastiest party in the coalition except on Sundays when the DUP refuse to work, it being the Sabbath and all that.

June Not The End Of May

In wonderful understatement, Theresa May admits the election did not go to plan and boy, did it ever.
The thinking, i presume, was that she would call the election early while Labour was in disarray and her majority of 12 would grow to anything between 80-120 and she would spend the next five years doing as she pleased.
Turned out Labour got their act together and she was an inept as it was possible to be and she not only lost her majority but is now in such a weak position that she is only able to make the numbers work by doing a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party in a coalition, and the DUP will demand a high price for their seats, and even then she will have to run as a minority Government at the whim of any rebellious minister who disagrees with her when she tries to pass any new laws. 
All in all, the can't fail gamble blew up in her face but as much as Labour are celebrating, we still face the prospect of another five years of Conservative rule, although one which will be much easier to defeat in the Commons.
My theory that the reason she went for the election three years early was because she knows what is coming with the Brexit negotiations coming to a head in 2019 and the inevitable tanking of the economy and upheaval which would not play particularly well in the election in 2020.
Can't blame her for being opportunistic, she saw a chance and went for it, but that it failed so miserably means the next five years of her Government, if it doesn't implode before, is going to be a tough slog and even tougher when the Brexit deal is sorted.
The silver lining is the rise of Labour and the demise of UKIP, a stain that hopefully has been washed away, but the Government can't paint this as anything other that a massive exercise in Government self-harm and Theresa May is in a far, far weaker position for the next 5 years than she would have been for the next 3 years if she had settled for what she had.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Still Undecided? What About One Of These?

The British can't take anything seriously, even the matter of electing a Government so on the ballot paper alongside the serious parties are tucked away some lesser parties who will be battling for your X.
The Monster Raving Loony Party, motto 'vote for insanity, you know it makes sense' is standing in Maidenhead and has policies which include introducing a 99p coin and pledges to cut letters from the alphabet.
Next up is Lord Buckethead, who is tempting voters with a policy of free sweets for children and bulldozing Birmingham to make way for an intergalactic spaceport.
Mr Fish Finger main pledges include free fishing rods for students, free fish for NHS workers, unrestricted fish migration and with a nod towards Brexit, has pledged to remove all foreign fish from our fish fingers if he wins on June 8.
Aidan Powlesland says he will dedicate £100 million to the construction of an interstellar colony ship but the Al-Zebabist Nation of Ooog main declaration is that they will join the UK to Africa.
The policy of the Citizens for Undead Rights and Equality, include increasing the statutory retirement age to beyond death, finding a cure for Zombie bites and granting the undead the same rights as the living while the Death, Dungeons and Taxes Party manifesto advocates reducing the school leaving age to nine and the annexation of France.
Under UK election law, any candidate running in a constituency election must pay a £500 deposit, which they receive back if they gather over 5% of the vote share so i think whoever gets the £500's from failed candidates will be quids in on Friday morning. 

Avoiding The Difficult Conversations Over Terrorism

It is widely reported that 6% of mosques in the UK are Saudi funded and preach the brutal ideology of Wahabbism which under pain of flogging, prohibits performing or listening to music, dancing, television programs (unless religious), smoking, gambling, chess, playing cards, drawing human or animal figures, acting in a play, writing fiction, sending of flowers, the travelling or working outside the home by a woman without their husband's permission, forbids the driving of motor vehicles by
women, fraternisation with non-Muslims is discouraged.
Wahhabism was identified by the European Parliament as the main source of global terrorism and literature in the Saudi funded mosques have revealed alarming literature distributed by agencies linked to the Saudi Government which states that homosexuals should be burnt, stoned or thrown from mountains or tall buildings and those who changed their religion or committed adultery should
experience the same fate.
An investigation into the foreign funded mosques which support jihadi groups has now been shelved due to the contents being 'very sensitive'.
A decision around the future of the report will be taken 'after the election by the next government' a Home Office spokesman said.
Theresa May may have said enough is enough and there has been 'far too much tolerance of extremism' although that appears to be unless it proves politically sensitive to our largest arms buyer.
All her tough words crumble away if she puts economic benefit by burying a report that points to a main causes of terrorism in the UK above avoid upsetting extreme hardliners who are actively funding violent extremism in the UK.
She said she would be having some 'difficult conversations' after the third terror attack in as many months, but it seems the conversations won't be with the Saudis.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

The Younger Generation's Time To Shine

The claim that you never see a poor bookkeeper is mainly true because when they offer their odds, they study everything to come up with the final figures so they don't take a hiding and have to pay out too much.
The good or bad news, depending on your view, is that all the bookies are confident that the Conservatives will win the electoral day, despite almost all the latest betting coming in for Labour.
Theresa May is a steady odds on 1-4 to win but the odds on Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister have halved to 6-1 after the Labour manifesto was well received by the electorate, and lots of young voters registering with the express intention of backing him.
The reason why bookies haven’t cut Corbyn’s odds to reflect the number of bets they are getting on him is that they don’t think the younger generation will turn out to vote. 
So, as we come to the dog days of the 2017 UK Election, the future of the country could come down to the younger generation.
It’s down to you, for the past six weeks i have listened and heard how the students and under 25's have baulked at the right wing, ideological standing of the present Government, the vicious austerity cuts, the tax cuts for the rich and the growing inequality, the increased tution fees, the removal of EMA and Student Disability Allowances, the cold hearted stopping of benefits from the very people they were designed to help. The nauseous foreign policy and cutbacks in services that make us unsafer, the explosion of food banks and the heartbreaking sight of homeless on our streets all in the 5th largest economy in the World.
All the signs are that the polls have tightened so all now depends on turnout and this Thursday, it really is you who can shape the country that you will be living in and whether you want to live in one that sees nurses wages cut so they are forced into foodbanks and every shop front comes with a homeless person while anyone earning over £100k has a reduction in tax or one where we use our great wealth to improve things for everyone.
It really is down to you now to turn your words into actions and change the alarming direction that we are heading and ten minutes of your time on Thursday is all it will take to make your next 60 years much more comfortable.

Heart Or Head

When Theresa May announced the snap election six weeks ago she was 21 points ahead in the polls and my fear was that the whole thing would be a procession to another five years of vicious and ideological Conservative austerity cuts.
What nobody expected was for Jeremy Corbyn to play a blinder and May to have a stinker which sees the polls having the the Labour Party close to within touching distance of the sitting Prime Minister. 
All polls have seen the 21 point lead shrivel to anything to 0 and 9 but as my heart says Jeremy Corbyn, my brain says Theresa May will remain in situ and we will wake up on Friday morning with a slightly stronger Conservative Party lording over us. 
Google Trends, which has so often been right in its predictions, has no such concerns as it is predicting a big win for Labour.
This election has so many variables to make it almost impossible to call, including Brexit, the three terror attacks, the collapse of UKIP, tactical voting and the attacks on the pensions of the typical grey Tory vote and the turn out of the younger vote which seemed to disappear for the Brexit vote.
Another factor is the weather with the weather forecast for it to be rainy and windy on Thursday which is yet another consideration.  
As much as i hope i am wrong, i do feel Google has this one upside down and Labour is starting from too far back to overhaul the Conservatives but then i said Brexit and Trump would never happen so what do i know.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Playing Politics With Terrorism

Yet another minute silence for the victims of a terror attack is planned, this time the seven dead from last nights attack in London which saw three men ram pedestrians on London Bridge before launching stabbing rampage through bars and restaurants until short dead by armed police.
Theresa May’s 'enough is enough' speech this morning struck a more resolute tone than the one after the Manchester atrocity but what she said was as vauge as it was potentially frightening.
Indeed, the terror attacks do need to be stopped but the double of a knee-jerk reaction coupled with the final days of a general election campaign is not the atmosphere to be making such huge decisions on national security.
The blame was put squarely on 'far too much tolerance of Islamic extremism' and the Internet which would require 'difficult conversations' as she put it.
The worry part of her speech are the lines the Prime Minister said where she would 'increase prison terms for terrorism offences, even relatively minor ones' and 'action was needed in the UK as well as overseas'.
A form of Internet regulation seems to be the direction of travel which is a concern but it is the prison terms for terrorism that should get us worried. Terrorism, without a clear distinction of the term, covers a wide area and we all remember the elderly man heckling the then Foreign Secretary Jack Straw over the Iraq War being held under the Terrorism Act not that long ago.
That Theresa May seemed fit to include the rider, 'even minor offences', in her speech should get is pondering just what she classes as terrorism.
Would demonstrators fall under the distinction, or anyone protesting against another ill-fated and badly thought out war which beings me to the last point of exactly what she means by action in the UK and overseas.
That the Islamic Extremism can be traced back directly to the Bush and Blair era and their atrocious actions after 9/11 seems to be overlooked, the idea that British foreign policy is reverberating on British soil is not even considered so if by action overseas she means to get us even more entrenched in Syria or another country in the Middle East then someone should be making the point loud
and long to her that it is exactly that which has got us to where we are today. 
This is not the right time to be making rash decisions which could be seen as playing politics and an opportunity to prop up a Government which has seen it's support collapse over the last few weeks.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Celebrity Endorsements UK Election 2017

If you wanted advice on whether the 4-3-3 formation is better than 3-5-2 then Joey Barton is probably the man to ask but he wouldn't be the first choice to turn to if you needed assurance on what the tax rate should be for higher earners or if large-scale nationalisation of the rail system would benefit the economy but nevertheless he feels it is his duty to wade into the election campaign and tell us that Labour is the way to vote.
It is not just the batting midfielder wagging a finger at us, there is a host of celebrity endorsements for all sides joining the debate who are assuming that voters give a toss what they think about fiscal policy.
As the Conservative Party star has waned, so has their famous supporters with only a handful coming out this time around to demand that we follow their lead in the shape of Jim Davidson, Katie Hopkins and Alan Sugar.
The Labour Party though has a growing list of celebrities sprinkling stardust over events with names breaking cover to support the Socialist including Lily Allen, Danny Baker, Joey Barton, Russell Brand, Steve Coogan, Alan Davies, Brian May, Ade Edmondson, Daniel Radcliffe, Ben Elton, Charlotte Church, Eddie Izzard, Ronnie O'Sullivan and Vanessa Redgrave.
The Liberal Democrats have not been been blessed with well known names this time around with only John Cleese and Richard Dawkins cheering for them while the poor old Greens only have fashion designer Vivienne Westwood in their corner.
If you are still undecided on who to cast your vote to, we still have a week to go which is plenty of time to discover which way this years winner of Britain's Got Talent is going to vote before we make up our minds.

UK Press Nailing Their Colours To The Mast

All things considered, Theresa May has had a stinker of an election campaign, her personal ratings have fallen through the floor and her party have blown an unassailable lead in the polls in what they assumed would be a gentle jog through to another five years in the seat of power.
What they were not expecting was for Jeremy Corbyn to have become strong in his television appearances or for Theresa May to be quite so bad.
What hasn't changed is the endorsement of the Press and all newspapers with the exception of the Independent and the i, have pinned their colours to the mast so which rag is cheering for Corbyn are mad for May and lauding the Lib Dems.
Firmly in the red corner and imploring their readers to check the box for Corbyn are The Guardian, The New Statesman, The Daily Mirror, Morning Star, Socialist Worker, The New Worker and Weekly Worker.
On the blue side of the fence urging their readers to vote for the Conservatives to carry on carrying on we find The Financial Times, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Sun, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express and The Spectator.
Tim Farron's Liberal Democrat Party have the solitary backing of The Economist showing just how far their star have fallen.
So there you have it, the newspapers have spoken and no surprises as each of them have fallen along their own ideological lines and each will accentuate the positives and play down the negatives in an attempt to sway opinion to get their chosen candidate elected which means for the next week, with the exception of the i and independent, the press will not be a reliable source for forming a well rounded decision on the best person to run the country through to 2022.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Trump Mulling Over Trashing The Earth

Donald Trump is expected to abandon the Paris accord, in line with his comments during the presidential campaign that  global warming is a conspiracy by the Chinese.
It is quite mind numbing that despite overwhelming scientific evidence that the world’s climate is changing, there are people who still refuse to accept it and even more bewildering that one of them happens to be the president of the United States, the second-leading emitter of greenhouse gases, after China.
Even fossil fuel companies such as Exxon Mobil, BP and Shell who would suffer most under an agreement to reduce carbon emissions say the United States should abide by the deal, pointing out that a withdrawal would leave the US in the company of Syria and Nicaragua as the world's only non-participants in the Paris accord.
With his reputation already tarnished around the World, and by associations America's, if Trump does announce a withdrawal then it would deepen a steadily growing rift with US allies in Europe and elsewhere.
European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker stressed a withdrawal would take years, saying: 'The Americans can't just leave the climate protection agreement. Mr Trump believes that because he doesn't know the details'.
With the Russia probe growing ever closer to his door, Donald Trump is not expected to be President for the full term but he could do so much damage before he is dragged out the White House.
He gave his daughter the credit for urging him to bomb Syria, and as she is a supposed environmentalist, let's see if she has as much sway with her father on the most important issue that we face.