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The Right to Choose……

1 Apr

‘Regular readers will doubtless know my feelings on the right to self-determination when it comes to assisted suicide.  Well, yet again, another terminally ill man has to suffer the indignity and stress of fighting the British Courts on top of being in an unimaginable position……’

The case of Noel Conway, 67, from Shrewsbury, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease more than two years ago and fears being “entombed” in his own body as his ability to move declines, is the latest to reach the High Court.  He is not expected to survive beyond the next 12 months.

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Noel Conway

It is  completely understandable that people in Noel’s position fear the indignity, pain, inability to communicate and all of the unimaginable horrors that come towards the end of life as the disease progresses.  To have the added distress of having to fight a court battle, when all he is requesting a peaceful death when the disease becomes intolerable, seems cruel and totally unecessary.  We have the medicines required to bring about this ending painlessly when the time comes.

The legal arguments against assisted suicide always seem to come back to the same thing; that relatives will ‘push’ a terminally ill person to prematurely end their lives for some spurious reason, or that the person feels they will become a burden as the disease progresses.  It has been demonstrated in countries which allow assisted suicide that with the right checks and balances in place this is almost impossible.   I know of no instances where relatives or carers have been prosecuted in such situations.  In independent polls a large majority agree that it should be an option.

There are options available to some, but only if their condition and financial status allow.  Dignitas, Switzerland, are one organisation that can arrange a peaceful death for sufferers of incurable, degenerative diseases, however, the cost involved (approximately £10,000) is prohibitive for some.  For others, their condition makes travel impossible, denying access to the service.

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Established 1998

The unfortunate inability of our courts to legalise assisted suicide has led to despairing people taking things into their own hands which can cause more suffering or, in the worst case scenario, a prosecution.

Death is not something to be feared.  The idea that your place in Heaven will be lost is  nothing more than the remnants of outdated superstition.  When you are dead you are effectively in the same ‘place’ you were before you were born; and anyway, surely a loving ‘god’ will understand your need to end your pain.

It is time we removed the superstition and hysteria from the argument and listened to common sense, ended the anguish and suffering of those people who find themselves in the unfortunate position of having an intolerable illness and placed assisted suicide on the statute books.  It is a sick irony that we don’t allow animals to sufifer but our fellow brothers and sisters are allowed to suffer…….

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Immigration – Smoke, Mirrors and Outright Lies……

9 Sep

‘The debate about immigration is, like all things political, spun in such a way as to hide the reality and confuse the public’s perception……’

Migrants fall into specific groups, most of whom are perfectly entitled to be here. Anybody living within the European Union (EU) is free to live and work anywhere else within the EU, including ourselves. Those who come from outside the EU can live and work here provided they meet certain criteria or who are invited here; most notably healthcare workers without whom the NHS would simply collapse. Those who are married to a UK resident. An overseas parent with a child who is resident here also has certain legal rights allowing them to live here. This is supported by Human Rights law which considers the right to a family life fundamental and universal. However, this does not automatically allow the non UK national the right to work. There is also an international agreement on those seeking asylum, which was agreed up after the atrocities committed during World War II. It is estimated that 3m people were relocated during WWII……

The parents that put their children in a boat must fear the land more. What would you do. Wait for the bombs to drop on you or get your family to safety? No contest……

Do we not have an obligation as members of the Human race to offer the hand of friendship? These people had lives, jobs, businesses, families and security, just like you until America and the UK got involved in the warmongering after 9/11; but that’s a post for the near future. As for the ‘slam the door shut’ advocates; if every country did it we’d be end up with a net increase in population and asylum seekers represent a small number of the total figures that are always quoted……

Don’t believe the hype…… If we can afford Trident nuclear missiles……

21st Century Slavery……

2 Mar

‘Reach for the history books and they’ll tell you that slavery was abolished in the UK by the Slave Trade Act of 1807, driven by the unstoppable will-power of William Wilberforce. Well, almost……’

 William Wilberforce (1759-1833)

William Wilberforce (1759-1833)

The Slave Trade Act of 1807 simply outlawed the transportation of slaves. It wasn’t until 1833 that the Slavery Abolition Act was passed; making the owning, buying or selling of slaves illegal. It is not a coincidence that 26 years separated the two acts. Most of the Parliamentarians of the day had slaves and given life expectancy most had exploited the full potential from the slaves they owned. So, what’s changed…..?

 

First we need to define precisely what a ‘slave’ is. There’s the meaning we all take for granted, of people imprisoned against their will, transported to ‘the colonies’ and forced to work for a ‘master’; all enforced by extreme brutality and violence metred out to anybody who didn’t tow the line. It is now part of our shameful past but still happens all over the world to this day.

There are other definitions which have more congruity with our lives today. The Oxford English Dictionary contains several. Here are the ones that are pertinent to this article:

  1. A person who works hard without proper remuneration or appreciation.
  2. A person who is completely dependent upon, or controlled by something.
  3. A state of subjection.

Anybody who is a member of the plebeian proletariat, which is me and most of the people I know, falls into one, two or all three of the definitions given above. Here’s why.

greedy-bankersThe Joseph Rowntree Foundation estimates that a single person with no dependents requires an income of £16,300p/y, after deductions, to meet their basic needs. No holidays, cars or HDTVs included; just survival. Therefore, you are a slave to your employer, who holds you in subjection by the necessity to survive. Worse still, that employer probably doesn’t even come close to meeting those basic needs, leaving many people dependent upon the Government for Tax Credits; which is effectively another way of admitting that British employers pay too little for you to survive, further enslaving you to the State. To add insult to injury many of those employers manage to ‘avoid’ paying taxes to HMRC……

Having taken into account your own position the chances are that you fit the definition of a slave, only the ball and chain has been replaced by the threat of withholding essential income.

Ball and ChainThis form of modern slavery is a very clever device which causes apathy amongst huge groups in society who apostatise issues they hold dear for fear of disenfranchisement by the State upon which they depend for their survival……

It is my personal belief that this ideology is not accidental. Only the other day two more MPs fell prey to a press sting where they told us how they could influence policy and trade ‘under the radar’, and how this was excellent value at £8K per day; more than an unemployed person is paid yearly. If it was 1715 instead of 2015 I dare say we would have adopted the French model and separate MPs heads from their bodies, but it’s a carefully built house of cards and the distraction of survival along with the threat of ‘Jihady John’, ISIS/ISL/IS, global warming and the astutely constructed financial instability from which they protect us, keeps the vassal status quo.

 

The basic fact is that we are enslaved by a system from which we are unable to escape, with the exception of Ray Mears and maybe Bear Grylls. The nepotism, quid pro quo and control of the ruling elite keeps us firmly in our place; slaves who keep the cabal in positions of power and wealth through meaningless elections. You are most probably a modern slave……

Emancipation anybody…..?

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Karl McCartney: Filtering out the Truth……

16 Feb

‘It’ll be abundantly clear of any of Karl McCartney’s constituents that, to coin the phrase of one the 21st century’s greatest philosophers, “You’re either with us, or you’re against us.” – [G.W.Bush – circa 2002]……

Karl_McCartney_MPIt is the job of your MP to represent your views in the Houses of Parliament. That applies whether you voted for them or not; they are still your representative in the House. They should gauge opinion and express it when it comes to voting on legislation. Karl McCartney not only ignores the opinions of individual constituents but he actively ‘filters out’ a whole public lobby, specifically by discounting the opinions of people who follow political debate and proposed legislation through social media……

 

38 Degrees……

38 Degrees38 Degrees is a legitimate public interest website. It does not claim any political affiliation; it simply raises issues that are important to the people of this country and which are not prioritised in traditional media. However, 38 Degrees seems to be Karl’s antithesis. Perhaps they are a little too close to the truth? 38 Degrees ‘members’ are just subscribers to updates and information regarding laws that may be under review, as well as other vital stories that would pass them by without the likes of 38 Degrees.

There are many websites that perform similar functions and gauging public opinion through Social Media was actively pursued as a policy in the new ‘transparency’ era. You can raise an e-petition to get your voice heard in Parliament, so a modern MP should be able to gauge opinion through social media and they have flunkies to deal with the tech, so there are no excuses……

Your Automatic Reply:

KM_HC_PicThank you for contacting Karl McCartney, Member of Parliament for Lincoln. This is an automatic response acknowledging the receipt of your email.

If you are a constituent raising an issue (or acting on behalf of a constituent), we will reply by hard copy. If you have not already done so, please re-send your email with your full postal

Under Parliamentary protocol, MPs are only able to take up individual cases on behalf of their own constituents. If you are not a constituent living in Lincoln, you will need to contact your own MP. You can confirm the identity of your MP by following this link: http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/

Please note that we no longer respond to mass email campaigns initiated by organisations such as 38 Degrees. However, please be rest assured that your email will be read and noted.

The Crux of the Matter……

Karl McCartney MP has shown complete disregard and disrespect for the people he is paid a substantial amount of money to represent. He considers 38 Degrees to be “a left-wing propaganda website”, and its subscribers; “Inarticulate and incapable of thinking for themselves”. The opinion of hundreds of people who bothered to click a link to express their concern to Karl makes that opinion worthless purely due to its source. Karl’s techno boys have found a way to send an automated reply that states they actively ignore emails initiated by 38 Degrees (who are named).

So that’s Karl McCartney’s views on important campaigns to save our NHS and proceed carefully with Fracking, to name just two. In taking this attitude he is dismissing the opinion of nearly 4 million people, 25,000 in his constituency.

I expect my MP to have his finger on the pulse and represent the views of the people he represents, not his own self-centred, bigoted agenda. I’m sure Japan International Tobacco doesn’t have their emails filtered…….

‘Don’t forget that a letter requires a written response and answers to the questions asked. You can write to Karl McCartney MP at: The House of Commons, London. SW1A 0AA. I’m sure he’ll be happy to hear from you…….

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The Dripping Tap…….

A Review of 2014……

31 Dec

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‘Thank you to all of my readers during 2014…  Below is an automated summary generated by WordPress…  More to come in 2015…  Bringing you the truth behind the ‘commercial medias’ headlines…..’

 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog:

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,700 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

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Click here to see the complete report.

Extraordinary Rendition……

14 Dec

‘Rendition is more commonly known as extradition and concerns the repatriation/deportation of someone accused of a crime within an internationally agreed legal framework. Extraordinary Rendition is different……’

 

To make it perfectly clear; Extraordinary Rendition is illegal, not subject to judicial process and in violation of Article 3 of the United Nations Convention Against Torture. The United States used Extraordinary Rendition as far back as the 1960s but it is in the past 13 years that the extraordinary has become the ordinary. 1,245 flights have been used for Extraordinary Rendition since 9/11……

 

The scale of British involvement is not yet clear as all details contained in the first 480 pages of a 6,000 page report by the US Senate Intelligence Committee have been redacted (at the request of the UK Government). However, flights have landed on UK soil and given passage through UK airspace which makes our Government complicit in Extraordinary Rendition. Plausible deniability cannot be used as a defence because all air traffic is monitored by either civilian or military resources. An aircraft cannot land or be given passage without its call sign and registration number being logged, or to put it another way, a ‘black’ unmarked aircraft cannot slip in and out of an airport unrecorded; civilian or military. This makes the UK and other EU countries duplicitous in an illegal activity. The UKs Prime Ministers are the Commanders in Chief of our armed forces (including MI5 and MI6) making them ultimately responsible. They are briefed almost daily by the Security Services……

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The head of the Intelligence and Security Committee of the House of Commons is requesting the classified information redacted from the 480 page summary. The full report will not be available until January 2015 (presumably when the bulk order of thick black marker pens has arrived)……

 

In 2005 Condoleezza Rice said, “The United States has not transported anyone, and will not transport anyone, to a country when we believe he will be tortured. Where appropriate, the United States seeks assurances that transferred persons will not be tortured”.  That statement was not true……

 

Extraordinary Rendition and torture are illegal and the perpetrators should be indicted by the International Criminal Court, period……

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Eight Simple Ways for the Treasury to Save Money……

17 Jun

Introduction……

We are not broke, we do not need to tighten our belts and we are certainly not ‘all in this together’.  Immigration and welfare benefits are not the drain on the economy our politicians continually claim; they are just an easy target to divert attention and act as a smokescreen to the reality of our economic position.

Here are eight ways to emancipate billions of pounds back into the economy……

1 – IT Projects……

Government IT projects are notorious.  They frequently do not perform the function for which they were designed, go over budget and are delivered late, if at all.  Those that make it into public use are usually redundant within a couple of years due to their failure to be able to communicate with newer systems in other departments.

Here a just a few examples:

1980 – TAURUS was an electronic trading platform designed to make the buying and selling of stocks and shares easier.  Outcome: cancelled.  Cost: £75 million.

2002 to 2011 – Electronic Care Records; one of many NHS IT project failures.  Over nine years and despite numerous attempts to make it work, it was never launched.  Outcome: Discontinued.  Cost: £12 billion.

2008 to 2013 – Digital Media Initiative was the BBCs digital platform.  It was scrapped when it became clear that other media companies could provide services at a much lower cost to the customer.  Outcome: cancelled.  Cost: £98 million.

The Government continues with IT initiatives, the latest being the universal benefit system.  Again, it has over run and will doubtless be over budget, if it ever works at all……

2 – Public and Judicial Enquiries……

It is understandable that the relatives and victims of events like Hillsborough and Bloody Sunday want answers.  However, the Public or Judicial Enquiry has become a tool for politicians to kick issues into the long grass.  They are hugely expensive, often take years to complete and rarely deliver results.  The Hutton enquiry into the Iraq war was carefully limited in terms of what it was enquiring into.  As a result nobody faced prosecution and nobody  suffered any consequences in respect to the ‘sexed up’ document that was used as the justification for going to war.  The same is true of the enquiries into the shooting of John Charles de Menezes and Mark Duggan, or the newspaper sales man Ian Tomlinson who died after being assaulted by a Police Officer whilst walking home from work during a demonstration.  None of these cases has led to the prosecution of the Officers involved.

The Jimmy Savile case has as many as 30 enquiries currently taking place……

3 – Defense Spending……

The Department of Defense should change its name to the Department of Attack, as the last time it defended the UK was during WWII.  It is time we stopped acting under the influence of the US as the worlds’ police force and concentrated our resources on defending UK sovereign territory.  A look at a map will show that there are no threats to the UK from any of its neighbors, most of whom are our allies.  The non geographical and greatly exaggerated ‘al Qaeda’ does not warrant £57 billion per year on defense spending.  Government wastage has led to the building of redundant aircraft carriers and the replacement of the Trident nuclear deterrent, which is not wanted and unnecessary……

4 – Tax Avoidance……

It is estimated that the UK treasury is deprived of £95 billion per year due to tax avoidance.  At the same time, many of the employees of the companies involved receive benefits to support low paid jobs (more on this later).  It is interesting to note and a demonstration of Governments priorities that HMRC have a team of 300 people dedicated to tackling £95b of tax avoidance whilst the DWP has 3000 people dedicated to recovering £1b of benefit overpayments and fraudulent claims……

5 – The Monarchy……

The Queen’s household and assorted hangers on costs the UK tax payer £33.3m in 2013; a rise of £900,000 on the previous year.  Although I am a republican I feel our Queen does deserve credit where credit is due.  She is a tourist attraction, or rather her palaces are, so I don’t propose we wheel our the guillotine just yet.  However, the monarchy are independently wealthy and becomming richer by the day.  Assets such as the Duchy of Cornwall net Prince Charles tens of millions each year.  They also hold a huge private art collection thought to be priceless, all of which they aquired through a questionable hereditary lineage.  I propose that the public purse does contribute towards the Queen’s official duties but the numerous palaces, estates and country retreats should be handed to the National Trust and opened to the public thereby generating an income for their upkeep and relieving the tax payer of a large financial burden……

6 – MPs Expenses and Allowances……

Sure, MPs work a long way from home but then so do thousands of other people who pay for their own travel and expenses.  MPs are already well paid but on top of their salary claim £100m in expenses.  Some of this is for the everyday things you and I pay for out of our own pockets and some is for the second home allowance.  As already mentioned many people commute from as far away as Peterborough, Grantham and even further.  If an MPs commute is deemed reasonable they should pay for it themselves.  If a second home is needed it should be sold when the MP looses their seat to reimburse the tax payers.  Even with the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority overseeing claims, MPs are still receiving far too much money for expenses that the rest of the population are expected to pay for themselves……

7 – Diplomatic Travel……

The year is 2014, not 1914 and with technology there is little need for diplomatic travel when a simple conference call will suffice.  According to the Daily Mail a lot of ‘diplomatic’ travel is little more than an excuse for what they describe as ‘jollies’ and range from £2k to £10k depending on the destination and who is traveling.  This money does not form part of MPs expenses but comes from departmental budgets; the same budgets that have been squeezed by 25% in recent years.  It is rich to say the least to expect the UK public to ‘tighten their belts’ when MPs and Diplomats do not.  We are not ‘all in this together’……

8 – A Fair Pay Act……

It is time that laws are introduced setting out a workable minimum wage.  Not the £6.31 (21+), £5.03 (18 to 20), £3.27 (under 18) and £2.68 (apprentice); all of which are an insult when taking into account the increasing cost of living.  If you earn £6.31 per hour for 37.5 hours per week, you will barely be able to afford necessities.  This is the reason for the various Tax Credits which are paid to top up earnings to a reasonable amount.  But as mentioned earlier, many of the companies that pay minimum wages are also tax avoiders, thereby depriving the treasury twice.  Our whole economy would function better if wages were increased, Tax Credits abolished and tax avoidance curtailed……

None of this is rocket science and all perfectly achievable given the political will.  But instead of tackling the real issues of waste and poverty our representatives continually repeat the mantra of immigration and welfare reform; always being careful not to give factual details.  Immigrants pay in far more than they take out and welfare covers pensions, tax credits, child care allowances and a multitude of other benefits including universal benefits such as family allowance.  Unemployment benefits make up 1 or 2% of the welfare pie.  It is a tactic as old as democracy; divide and rule.  Whilst the arguments are focused on two vulnerable groups who have been demons, it gives the public someone to blame for the hardship they are suffering when in reality, with a little political will, this country could be £250 billion per year better off if only the pigs would pull their heads out from the trough and do the job for which they were elected……

NB: On the Radio 4 Today program (17th June) a recent survey revealed that the majority of residents believe most immigrants come to the UK to claim benefits.  It appears the political message is working……