Sunday, March 28, 2010

UK Politics And A Blank Billboard!


The above is reported to be one of a series of posters commissioned by the Conservative leadership as part of their election campaign.

If it is to be an example of the standard of electioneering over the next few weeks then God help us all.

It's about time we banished the distraction of 'personality politics' and they started talking about policy. After all, a 'personality' will not get us out of our present difficulties but a clear vision by a united government will.

Sadly, though, with the present state of politics in the UK the billboards would remain blank!

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

'Terrorism' 'Liberty' And The 'Fear of Fear!'

Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights, comprised of peers and MPs from all parties, has reached a conclusion that many of us formed a long time ago - the government’s response to the threat of terrorism in the UK far exceeds the probability of an incident.

The committee has questioned whether ministers could legitimately argue, nine years after the 9/11 attacks, whether a “public emergency threatening the life of the nation” remained.

The government insists the threat from terrorism remains “real and serious

A Home Office spokeswoman stated:

“The threat to the UK from terrorism remains real and serious and we are committed to doing all we can to protect our nation's security while protecting individual liberties using the proper safeguards.”

And therein resides the lie...

Individual liberties have been eroded massively since the turn of this century. A knee-jerk reaction, Anti-Terrorism Bill, was rushed through the commons after the attacks of 9/11 and 7/7. It was not properly drafted, or debated, and has introduced all sorts of restrictions on the ‘individual liberties’ we have been permitted to enjoy in recent years.

Local and district councils have used the bill as a ‘snoopers charter’, monitoring the recycling habits of residents within their boundaries, while tourists and photographers have been left open mouthed with shock, when stopped and searched by police officers for the potential terrorist crime of photographing public buildings. Refusal to comply with intrusive questions has often led to unjustified arrest. Nearly every time, the police officers themselves, do not understand the rights of individuals under the act.

Identity cards are still being discussed as a mandatory requirement for all of us residing in the UK and ministers use every opportunity to hype up the terrorist threat, to ensure we comply with their wishes to introduce even more controls over our everyday lives.

I have not bothered to go into the number of surveillance cameras operating in the UK since 7/7 or the diversity of their use, which cannot even be slightly justified by any terrorist threat.

I do not question whether the UK is a target from an act of terror in the foreseeable future. We have always been threatened by terror of one sort or another. The seventies were a far more dangerous period than that we are in now and it became a common occurrence to be within range of an IRA bomb going off in London. We were not, however, stopped in the streets for no reason, or surveilled by faceless camera operators while going about our daily lives.

I find it surprising that none of the mainstream political parties have mentioned the present erosion of our civil liberties as being something worthy of discussion in the forthcoming general election debates - or is it really that surprising?

Hitler’s Reich Marshall, Hermann Goering summed the politics up thus:

“…it is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.”

It seems nothing has changed!!

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Jamie Bulger, John Venables And 'Human Rights'

What sort of society have we become that we care more about preserving the anonymity of a convicted child killer than we do about the terrible act he committed against his victim?

I am referring, of course, to an incident in 1993 when a two-year-old boy, Jamie Bulger, was taken from a northern shopping centre by two ten-year-old boys who tortured and beat him to death on a railway line.

Jamie’s abductors, John Venables and Robert Thompson, were subsequently caught, processed by the courts and given custodial sentences. It was argued that, legally at least, because they were minors, they could not be held responsible for their actions, even though it is inconceivable that anyone who could commit such a terrible act could possibly have carried it out without knowing that what they were doing was against every accepted standard of humanity.

They have since been released back into society, on license, given new identities and promised anonymity to protect them from revenge attacks.

One of them, John Venables, now 27, has been taken back into custody, following what are described as offences being committed which are in breach of his licence conditions. He is expected to face serious charges under his new identity.

Predictably, the media and the family of Jamie Bulger want to know the full facts which would involve releasing details of his new life. The Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, is resisting the pressure and refusing to comply. There is talk that to do so would infringe Venables’ human rights and put his life in danger.

When he was released from his original custodial sentence and given his new life, he was given a second chance. It now seems that he has betrayed that trust and should, therefore, forfeit the benefits and generosity our society has shown towards him.

Lawyers say he is innocent until proven guilty and of course they are right but they forget that Jamie Bulger was never given the chance to prove anything in his short life!

His ‘human rights’ were extinguished in 1993!

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Friday, March 05, 2010

Gordon Brown, Iraq And The Ominous 'World Order'

PM Gordon Brown’s appearance, today, in front of the Iraq Inquiry into the war was, as expected, forceful and confident. He told the panel the war had been “right

He said he had been convinced by his own intelligence briefings that Iraq “had to be dealt with” as it had become a threat.

He thought Iraq was in breach of UN resolutions and had become one of the “rogue states” that should not be allowed to flout international law.

However, what I found to be the most ominous statement by the PM was that he feared the “new world order we were trying to create would be put at risk”.

What world order would that be and who is the “we”?

I am unaware of us agreeing to be part of any “world order” and would like to know: who are the other member states? Who is deciding the 'agenda' within this “world order?

We have already discovered what happens when a financial “world order” goes into meltdown and will be paying the price for a long time.

To me, the phrase plants the seed of questioning over whether there might be a bigger game being played in which none of us are aware we are even taking part.

Communism always pushed for “world order” and the Muslim extremists seek the same thing.

I am not sure we should be part of a ‘one vision’ approach that sees “world order” as being justification for invading countries that do not share the same stated values as ourselves.

That would be no better than communism, or Islamism, by the back door!

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

ITV Thinks Its Audience Are Goldfish!

What is going on?

ITV has been showing the live football match between England and some foreign team for two and a half hours tonight and after just a half hour break for its News At Ten, it is now playing out the highlights of the same match.

Do they think we are all suffering from memory loss? Do they think we have started to turn orange and spend hours swimming around the bath? Do they think we have all turned into bloody goldfish and can't remember what happened just 40 minutes ago?

Is it really surprising they are finding it a challenge to attract any advertisers when they are treating all their viewers like complete idiots?

With a summer of World Cup on the horizon I am thinking of selling my TV! But goldfish buy TVs?

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Michael Foot - A Lost Era!

It was with a great deal of sadness that I heard the news of the death of Michael Foot, a left-wing Labour party leader from an era when politicians had integrity and conviction and not the false facade of media training courses and spin.

Mr Foot always reminded me of a crazy mad scientist with his casual manner of dress and his long silverish hair. He was as far removed from today's politicians as you could possibly be.

Whatever you thought of his political views - and to some he was almost seen as the devil - you could never ignore his speeches or his forceful arguments. He was simply a brilliant orator.

Sadly, his tenure as leader of his party came at a time of warring ideology and personalities and he led it into its worst election defeat ever. However, he made an impression on me that, unlike that of today's politicians, is hard to forget.

He was an honest man with idealistic views.

You would be hard pressed to name many of those in twenty years time. Oh for the good old days!

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