Thursday, June 07, 2012

Change of Address....!

Thoughts Allowed has now moved to a self hosted domain

The new site for my ramblings can be found here

I hope you will continue to follow my posts by changing your feeds (although my Feedburner link remains the same)

I look forward to continuing our discussions.......


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Monday, May 14, 2012

'What You Call Austerity' - I Call A Poisoned Patient!

The Prime Minister said last week:
"What you call austerity, I might call efficiency"
He was appearing in a carefully stage managed re-launch of his badly bruised coalition with his trusty Lib Dem deputy, Nick Clegg, at his side.

For some reason, this 'show' was staged at a tractor factory in Essex. I wonder if such a strange choice of location was made because of a desperate attempt to gain street cred on the back of the much hyped TV show The Only Way Is Essex or because tractors are often used for transporting bullshit.

Either way it was nauseating to watch such a show, especially when, as if on cue, Cameron removed his suit jacket revealing his crisp white shirt before taking questions from his carefully selected audience of bored factory workers and tame journos. This sad attempt to portray an image of 'I'm just like you; I'm one of the lads' was about as convincing as The Archbishop of Canterbury opening a branch of Ann Summers.

However, I have strayed from the point.

What our PM might see as 'efficiency' has caused an ever rising number of families to face repossession proceedings on their homes, over two million workers to lose all hope of employment in the coming years, waiting times to increase (again) at hospitals and the buying power of a state pension to decrease to an all time low. Added to which, it is costing even more for companies that are struggling to stay afloat - and provide much needed employment - to deliver their goods to their customers whilst maintaining a reasonable return due mainly to the increasing cost of fuel and related taxes.

So, what I would say to the coalition is save your 'efficiencies' for another time and, instead, try something new to promote sustainable growth and employment. Medical practitioners have long ago got over the theory that an amputation is the only cure; arrogance is no substitute for common sense.

It is now time for our government to prescribe a more palatable medicine before patient UK is beyond recovery!

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Monday, May 07, 2012

A Bloody Nose For The Bully At The Polls!

There are few things in life that generate as much pleasure as watching a bully being given a bloody nose.

That's how it felt last Friday as the final results came in from across the UK, following the local elections on Thursday.

The 'Tory knows best party' which listens only to the views of their own members and the self interest of big business, took a well earned, and painful, drubbing.

Their partners in our present coalition government (lib dems) who, like most gang members who follow a bully, stand back and watch while the bully does his work, took more than their fair share of the punishment too.

Of course, there are the usual lame excuses of a 'poor turnout' and it's the 'middle of the parliamentary term' but even allowing for the conveniently forgotten fact there was also a poor turnout at the election two years ago that gave them the chance to govern, the latest result was like a rabbit punch to the body of arrogance that has been lecturing us on the 'error of our ways, for the last couple of years.

Let's not, however, get too carried away by forgetting that the ones who gained most on Thursday (labour) were themselves the bullies of yesteryear. Their own attempts to make us subservient to their attacks on personal freedom and democratic process, were similarly dealt with by facing them down at the polls and removing the bully's threatening posture.

While it seems many eligible voters in our country have fallen into apathy over the inadequacy of our political leaders, there are, thankfully, still many who will not accept the threatening taunts of the bully and not hesitate to deliver him a bloody nose at the polls.

Education may be perceived to be in decline but long live the lessons once learned in our school playgrounds!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Love Lies Bleeding....

Today, my soulmate died. Oh, I don't mean the physical form that held that title but the image I had bestowed upon her.

Our relationship has been a rocky road over several years of breakups, accusations and (what I now know to be) lies, but I had never given up on the belief we could make it through the bad times, increase the length of the good times and enjoy a blissful future - together!

I learned early on in our relationship she was victim to a miserable past and suffered from issues which would take time, help and understanding to overcome. But, I loved her unconditionally and thought that feeling was reciprocated. I was wrong!

Her insecurity, self doubt and yes...even self loathing (because she did not fit the modern manufactured view of what is beautiful) all played a part, but I knew the person I saw in real life was not the same person she was seeing in the mirror. She was always beautiful to me as I was acutely aware her self perceived 'ugliness' was nothing in physical form; it came from within.

Despite constant reassurance, she finally manufactured an excuse to run away and I am now left wondering why I feel so bad and emotionally numbed.

The details of her departure will remain private as I am still in shock by her final performance - she hid behind the 'ugly' persona of her previously suppressed demon - but they involve betrayal, lies and of course unjustified accusations and ingratitude.

I know that this time it is final. My love is still present but my forgiveness is in the past.

I wish my ex-soulmate the best of luck in whatever graveyard of the heart she now resides; I know that reincarnation is not an option for her this time.

Love Lies Bleeding!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Just 'Cause It's Legal It Doesn't Make It Right!

Chancellor George Osborne has today announced he is “shocked” by a fact most of us have been aware of for years – the richest people hang onto their wealth by organising their financial affairs to minimise the amount of tax they have to pay.

Apparently, according to a study by HM Revenue and Customs, the richest people pay an average of only 10% of their income in tax.

However, it is also a fact they are not breaking UK law, but using it to its maximum benefit.

Instead of paying money to the country, they are employing armies of accountants and financial advisers, whose role it is to find legal loopholes, and exploit them for maximum personal gain.

Osborne said:
"I was shocked to see that some of the very wealthiest people in the country have organised their tax affairs - and to be fair it's within the tax laws - so that they were regularly paying virtually no income tax. And I don't think that's right."
Of course, it has only recently become fashionable for politicians to question the morality of legal tax planning (avoidance) measures but it really does pose the question:

Why, has it taken almost two years in office - and even longer as shadow chancellor - for Osborne, to publicly 'wake up' to the fact just 'cause it's legal it doesn't make it right?

Could it be connected to the latest dire opinion polls?

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Monday, April 02, 2012

Forget April - Are We Just Fools?

Yesterday was April Fool's Day when traditionally the papers publish a fake story to tease the reader over something that isn't real.

Having scoured the online editions, I thought I had found the BBC's attempt when I read that our coalition government, who spend so much time spouting on about 'The Big Society' are planning to resuscitate a policy which was buried by the previous Labour government - following severe opposition – advocating the state monitoring of our internet usage and email activity.

Sadly, it was a genuine article!

Of course, it's all because of those nasty terrorist people who cost us so much money and provide the perfect excuse for nosy intelligence agents to expand their remit.

Much of the opposition to the previous government's attempt to invade our privacy came from a smooth talking Conservative calling himself David Cameron (he has since changed his name to Prime Minister)

In 2009 he said:

"Today we are in danger of living in a control state. Every month over 1,000 surveillance operations are carried out. The tentacles of the state can even rifle through your bins for juicy information."

Of course, his coalition partners, the Lib Dems, were at the same time just as vocal in their opposition to the proposal, but have since been seduced by the spoils of political prostitution.

It seems bizarre that politicians have recently been raising merry hell over a few celebs being phone-tapped by a group of tacky journos, but are not demonstrating too much outrage at a government that wants to sift through the electronic equivalent of a dirty laundry basket.

A spokesperson for the Home Office tried to justify the government's new stance by saying:

"It is vital that police and security services are able to obtain communications data in certain circumstances to investigate serious crime and terrorism and to protect the public."

If I was a terrorist, or a criminal, I would be insulted by the assumption I was too stupid to use avoidance tactics or encryption when communicating with others. But, we all know that in reality it is about nothing more than controlling us all through the use of fear.

Conservative David Davis, who previously ran against Cameron for the Tory Party leadership summed it up thus:

It is not focusing on terrorists or on criminals, it is absolutely everybody,"

and he continued

"Historically governments have been kept out of our private lives. Our freedom and privacy has been protected by using the courts by saying 'If you want to intercept, if you want to look at something, fine, if it is a terrorist or a criminal go and ask a magistrate and you'll get your approval'. You shouldn't go beyond that in a decent, civilised society but that is what is being proposed."

It seems Cameron's speech writers inadvertently missed a word out of his 'Big Society' speech. It should have read 'Big Brother Society'

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Fuelling A Panic?

If ever there was an example of our coalition government's lack of understanding of 'real' people, it's the latest debacle over a possible strike by tanker drivers who deliver the much needed fuel to our forecourts.

Following on from its attempts to promote negative public opinion on benefit claimants, students, pensioners, pasty eaters and anyone else who doesn't live in the 40 percent tax bracket, government 'spinners' thought they would turn us all against the members of Unite union who, apparently, threatened to strike over changed working terms and conditions. Please bear in mind, a strike had not been called; it had only been optioned.

I should point out, I have no knowledge or interest in the rights and conditions of the drivers, or the fact they earn a larger than average wad of money by seating themselves on top of a potential bomb whilst navigating the M25 and other possible roads to hell.

Time for the coalition's manipulators to bring on the clown....

Enter, stage right, government minister Francis Maude who, like a member of Dad's Army, told us not to panic about a possible shortage, but to go and fill up jerry cans with petrol and store them in our garages.

Personally, I don't have a garage and wouldn't know a jerry can from a tanning salon.

It seems, though, I am not the only one without a garage, as someone made the headlines today by setting themselves on fire whilst trying to transfer petrol, between cans, in her kitchen – all while the cooker was working! I should probably now be writing about the decline in the standard of science education but I am still in a state of disbelief.

Of course, when someone from the government says “don't panic” we 'real' people all DO panic. Predictably, we rush to sit in queues waiting to fill any available container we can find to fill.

Those in society above the level of 'real' people send their chauffeurs and nannies to sit in the queues on their behalf – well, this is the big society!!

After three days of extra panicking, queuing and an increase in petrol sales, it appears the tanker drivers' union is going to start negotiating, via arbitration service ACAS, on Monday and any 'strike' won't be 'struck' in the immediate future.

So... panic over?

Not quite, as the poor old oil speculators now have to worry about how they are going to manipulate their financial planning to minimise their exposure to tax, whilst our beloved coalition government will have to pay out enormous amounts of overtime to the civil servants who will burn the midnight oil counting all the additional tax revenue gained from the extra fuel sold during the 'panic'.

Prepare yourself to hear the chancellor pronounce good financial news next month.

Do you get the feeling we've all been taken for a ride?

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