Thoughts from an active pensioner who is now somewhat past his Biblical "Use-by date"

"Why just be difficult, when with a little more effort you can be bloody impossible?"

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Our Schools and Employment

We have a strange and illogical situation, as might be expected after a decade of Labour government and a politically correct curriculum in schools.
If we believe those (mainly lefties) in the management of Education, we must believe that our schools are setting higher standards than ever, with more and more children passing ever harder "A" levels.
On the other hand, we might prefer to believe others of the same political tendency who are bemoaning the fact that the government wants to cut down on the number of "skilled" immigrants being allowed into this country each year, as this will harm British business because of the lack of skilled workers in this country.
Seemingly they have all missed the point; If schools are as good as they insist, and have been for ten years or so, why don't we have these skills? Those in charge of education should, if they were doing their job properly, have been keeping in touch with business, finding out what skills will be needed over the next decade, and pushing education in that direction.

Michael Gove, the Education Minister, has been accused by his critics of "ignoring expert advice" in his White Paper, but those so-called experts are the very people who have got us into this mess, resulting in the country not having the necessary skills for the future. If I was in his position, I would be doing exactly the same, these "experts" have shown themselves to be incompetent and they should be told where to go, and exactly what to do when they got there!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

"Asian" Gangs

The Daily Mail today, in common with most newspapers, reports on an "Asian" gang which groomed and abused young white females over a number of years.

Why do they insist on referring to them as "Asian", a totally meaningless word in this context covering a wide variety of nationalities and races from Russia and Turkey in the west to Japan and China in the east. The Asians (or their parents) to which the media refer invariably come from a very small part of the Indian sub-continent, which in itself is quite a small part of Asia (have a look at a map, I've coloured it red!).

Now, when I was working, I had a number of Asian born colleagues whom I feel would have every right to be offended by this constant use of the word "Asian". There was Sonny from Hong Kong, Clem from Ceylon (as it was when he was born there) and Olly from Burma (ditto) to name but three of a number of Asians with whom I worked over the years. Yet they are now being lumped together in the media by the use of this generic term "Asian". They are not likely to complain, being grateful that this country gave their parents shelter at a time of need, but it is now time that someone did so on their behalf.

Now the ludicrous thing is that we all know what the newspapers mean.
It is well worth reading this article in today's Daly Mail
"Asian gangs, schoolgirls and a sinister taboo: As nine men are jailed for grooming up to 100 for sex, the disturbing trend few dare talk about".
As one of the victims of another similar gang is reported to have said
‘The truth is, most men running the gangs in the north of England are Asians of Pakistani ­origin. But very few of the authorities will say this.’.
Not only won't the Authorities say or admit this, neither will most of the media and certainly not the BBC, whom as far as I can remember didn't even go as far as mentioning that those jailed were Asian.
So, on behalf of those Asians of different ethnic descent, I would ask various authorities and the media, particularly the BBC, to stop this pretence that it is Asians in general who are responsible for these crimes and to start telling the real truth. They are invariably Asians whom ethnically originate from the northern part of the Indian sub-continent, currently known as Pakistan. They are also invariably claim to be Muslims and there seems to be an odds-on chance that they will be named Mohammed.

And at the risk of offending those who see racism everywhere, I would like to use a good old fashioned English phrase "It's time we started to call a spade a spade"

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Bernard Madoff being used as a financial consultant by the EU!

I am convinced that Madoff has been released from jail in America in order to become a financial consultant to the EU Finance Ministers in Brussels.

What is taking place has all the tell-tale signs of a giant Ponzi scheme. One country is borrowing money from another country to lend it to a third knowing that there's not a cat's chance in hell of it ever being paid back. The third country will then pay it to a fourth country to whom it owes money who will lend it back to the first so that it can make it available to yet another country so that they, in turn, can re-cycle the money around a few more countries. The net result will be that no one will know how much is owed by anyone, but one thing that we can be sure of is that during these transactions quite a few Eurocrats will become quite wealthy as the money gets attached to sticky fingers during its travels.

Yes only Madoff could organise this as I doubt if the Ministers have enough brains between them to organise such a scheme.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Spelling and Grammar back on the syllabus!

The Daily Telegraph reports today that "Pupils will be penalised in exams for poor spelling, punctuation and grammar under a sweeping overhaul of the education system."

There only seems one problem with this proposal, where are the teachers who are going to implement this change? The whole ethos of education for the past 30 years or so has been that as long as children can express themselves, spelling and grammar are irrelevant. I remember the days, before taking my 11-plus, when we had a spelling test each morning. Our teacher would dictate about twenty words which would be collected and marked during the morning break; anyone getting less than ten correct was in trouble. I have a feeling most of today's teachers couldn't pass the test themselves.

And judging by the frequent misplaced apostrophes, would their punctuation and grammar be any better? Just how many of today's teachers would recognise a split infinitive? I have my doubts if many could identify a noun and a verb!

I hope the government presses ahead with their proposals, but as with mathematics, I suspect that English language teachers are in short supply. I'm waiting for the howls from the teachers' unions along with lots of high sounding reasons why this will be bad for the children, but in reality designed to conceal their own shortcomings.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Nadine Dorries on Sarah Palin

In her blog yesterday, Nadine Dorries outlined why she could support Sarah Palin as a presidential candidate.

I fully agree with all she says. Unlike most politicians in America, Palin manages to "connect" with the average American, and in particular with their desire for small government, lower taxes and an environment in which business can grow. They also want a strong government which is prepared to stand up for the country and ensure that it has adequate defence, something that Obama has not done in his constant wish to appease.

Our own politicians should look at what Nadine has written, an realise that the aspirations that she lists are also those of most British people except for the ever increasing number of work-shy, scroungers and unwanted asylum seekers.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Quantitative Easing

I couldn't resist reposting this video that I saw on Steve Baker's site

I think it is brilliant!

I hope that both George Osborne and Mervyn King have seen it.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

BBC Supports BST!

Hasn't anyone told the BBC that summer time has ended? Or was it the Police who needed to be told? See This news report, dated today:

Two die in Buckinghamshire as crash car

catches fire

Two women died after the car they were in hit a tree in Buckinghamshire and burst into flames.

The Renault Clio, which had six people inside, crashed on the A413 Amersham Road in Denham, Buckinghamshire, at about 0240 BST, police said.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Remembrance Sunday

The Battle of Britain was fought, an won, seventy years ago in the Autumn of 1940, and this seems appropriate for the occasion.

It is dedicated to all those killed fighting for this country over the centuries, but particularly on this Remembrance Sunday, the seventieth anniversary of the Battle of Britain, to those young RAF pilots who fought, and died, for their Country.

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few"

"Bonkers" Energy Policies

For a few years now, those who have some knowledge of the subject, and aren't blinded by 'green' prejudices, have been saying that we are likely to have an electricity shortage some time in the next few years; personally, from what I hear from insiders, I believe that we have been lucky to get away without major power cuts during the past couple of winters. (and remember, even if you have gas or oil central heating, you still need electricity to control the boiler)

Fortunately, someone in a more authoritative position than myself has now spoken out. As reported in the Daily Telegraph, Rupert Soames, chief executive of Aggreko, has said that 'Scotland is in “serious danger” of suffering power shortages over the next decade thanks to Alex Salmond’s “bonkers” green energy policies'.
He also accused politicians of “holding hands and singing Kumbaya to the great green God” but warned the reality is it will be many decades before renewable energy can plug the gap left by traditional sources of power. 

Whilst he was speaking to a Scottish audience about Scottish policies, I believe that the situation is far worst in England and I am just hoping that we do not have a hard winter.

Meanwhile I'm still looking for a cheap 5-10kW diesel powered generator!

Student Riots (Continued)

I'm pleased to note that according to today's Daily Telegraph, lecturers at Goldsmiths College who backed the "magnificent student rioters" are to be brought before the college's governing body to explain their actions.
And, as a correspondent on their letter page wrote, "The academics at Goldsmiths, by their actions, have demonstrated the need for higher student fees, in order to employ better-educated lecturers." Rather nicely put, I thought!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Councillor arrested over tweet - Why not MPs as well?

The Daily Telegraph reports today (page 18) that a Tory Councillor has been arrested over claims that he had suggested on Twitter that a female journalist, Yasmin Alibaha-Brown should be stoned to death.
He has also been suspended from the Tory Party.

Surely the two Labour MPs who are alleged to have urged and congratulated the "student" demonstrators should suffer a similar fate? Along with the "University" staff who took similar public positions.
All should be suspended with immediate effect - they are all public employees and the public has every right to expect better of people in these positions.

Or is alleged racism a more serious matter than advocating and/or approving of criminal damage and attempted murder?

Labour Supports Student Riots

According to today's Daily Mail, two Labour MPs encouraged the student rioters using twitter, telling them to:
"get stuck in",
"just shows what can be done when people get angry. We must build on this",
"Well done our students"

If these were local councillors, there would be a full inquiry by the independent ethics committee (or whatever it calls itself) and they would probably be suspended. As MPs, no one will do anything and they are apparently allowed to encourage criminal behaviour. (Surely this is in itself a criminal offence?)

A number of so-called "University" staff also added their support and approved of what took place.

We have a fundamental right of peaceful demonstration in this country, and very few would want otherwise, but this was not peaceful demonstration, and action should be taken against any persons who can be shown to have actively encouraged what took place.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Student Riots in London - Police to Blame

Listening to the BBC news and media comment, it seems that the Police are to blame for what happened. Apparently the  Met failed to have enough officers on hand to police the student demonstration. Well, I suppose it makes a change from being accused of having too many police as at the G20 summit and thus provoking the riot.

Lets make it clear, the riots were the sole responsibility of those "students" who rioted, together with the National Union of Students who organised the demonstration, no-one else, and certainly not the police.

As usual, the organisers try to duck the blame by claiming that it was a breakaway group, and by implication, nothing to do with them (it wasn't me gov!). They organised the demonstration, they encouraged thousands of students to come to London and protest, and if they hadn't done this, there would have been no "break-away" group.

The Metropolitan Police have nothing to be ashamed of. They set out to police what they had every reason would be an orderly but possibly rowdy demonstration with what they believed would be adequate levels of police; a sufficient presence but not so many as to be accused of "over-kill".  If they had had large numbers of riot police held ready nearby, "just in case", and all had been peaceful, they no doubt would have been accused of wasting public money.Whatever had happened, they were in a "no-win" situation. I just hope they manage to identify the "student" who threw the fire extinguisher off the roof of the building; there seems every reason why he should be charged with attempted murder.

If I were Cameron, I have another fiver put on to all students annual fees in order to pay for the damage and the cost of the police. Why should the taxpayers be expected to, not only pay their University costs, but also the bill for the problems they cause?

Wednesday, 10 November 2010


I'm pleased to note that a tiny bit of common sense has been shown by the Foreign Office. It is reported today that "it would have to accept information gained from waterboarding if it could stop an imminent terrorist attack". However, guidance to information officers makes it clear that the decision would have to be made by ministers.
Regardless, of this proviso, it seems quite clear that such information, if it becomes available will be used. Being a cynic, I find it impossible to believe that any sane minister would be prepared to say to our security services "No don't use that information" and risk the possibility of a terrorist attack, particularly in the light of questions now being asked about the role of the security services in the London bombings. Imagine the consequences if, following an attack, a security officer leaked the news that "Yes, we knew it was about to happen, but couldn't use the information as it came from an unacceptable source"!

Monday, 8 November 2010

"Leader of the Opposition has illegitimate son"

I'm sure that is what the headlines would have said in my younger days, and although this would now not be said in public, the fact remains correct.

Somewhat more interesting is the photograph, in the Daily Mail, of a copy of the birth certificate of what he claims to be his first child.

Although the father's name is not given, and the mother is Justine THORNTON, the child's name is given as Daniel Ralph Thornton MILIBAND.

I understood that some years ago, registrars were instructed that a single mother was not to be allowed to claim any surname for the child except her own unless the father was present at the registration and gave his consent. This followed a number of cases where single mothers had given the name of some celebrity, presumably for the publicity, or a convenient local male, possibly in the hope of coercing him into marriage or paying maintenance.

Surely this rule should have been applied, after all, even if Miliband had given his written consent (he couldn't find the time to go along to the registrar), the registrar would then have entered him as the father.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Who makes our U.K. Laws?

In my youth, I was taught about Parliamentary Supremacy and that only Parliament could make laws. I know that since that time we have signed up to the EU, and that they are now making laws, but even these do not become effective until a British version has been voted on and passed by Parliament.

As far as I know this has not changed and is still the situation.

However, reading the news lately, it would appear that our judges are now making their own laws, with or without the consent of Parliament.

This week we have the news that a special tribunal has ruled that Abu Hamza cannot be striped of his British passport because it would make him stateless. So the elected government can't do what they want (and which no doubt would have the support of a large majority of the electorate) because some non-elected Judges say so.

Now there are lots of stateless people in the world, why should the hate preacher be any different? The fact that the Egyptian Government (presumably his country of birth) have refused to issue him with a passport wouldn't make him stateless, it would merely make it impossible for him to travel. Because our government refuses to issue passports to football hooligans, this doesn't make them stateless.

This follows hot on the heals of some other judges ruling that the government control orders are illegal, and that unwanted non-British citizens who for various reasons can't be deported, can neither be kept under lock and key in prison, or even kept under some form of restraint outside, regardless of the possible danger tht they might present.

Why? The government has made it very clear that these people are free to leave the country any time they like without restraint, so as far as I can see, this is nothing like being detained without trial where they would have no such option.

The judges are right to take action if the government breaks the law, but the government is not doing this. The previous parliament passed the law but the judges are in now saying "You can't make a law to do that because we disagree". It is surely irrelevant that this law may go against a previous law, as it was always the case that the most recent legislation took precedence. Thus, if Control Orders go against the individual's Human Rights, there is thus no problem. If the latest law did not take precedence, you could have, at some future date, a judge ruling that the government cannot amend the Human Rights Legislation because to do so might infringe some individual's human rights. This is effectively what judges have done in their latest rulings, and if the government doesn't take action soon to restrict Judges to what most people would accept as their proper role, it will be regretted by governments for years to come.

Additonally, it is surely time Parliament and the public had more say in the appointment of judges, rather than leaving it to the secretive Judicial Appointments Committee. In the United States they have Confirmation Hearings which are held by the US Senate to gather information on whether to approve or reject candidates for high federal office, including those appointed to posts equivalent to our government ministers. When are we going to start doing the same?

Thursday, 4 November 2010

University Education

Reading today's papers, it seems that University graduates are to be indirectly taxed according to their subsequent earnings. It would appear that this is going to be achieved by charging the graduates with a rate of interest on their graduate loan which increases with earnings. Now I'm a firm believer that University students should contribute towards their education costs, and I also believe that the cost should be sufficiently high to discourage those "students" who want to go to university because "it is the thing to do". And yes, we also need to make some provision for poorer students, but charging a higher rate of interest on a loan makes no difference if you don't need a loan in the first place!

I think that we also need to be careful not to loose our best people abroad. The son of some acquaintances of mine is currently at a US University. I don't know how true it is, but they claim that a degree from one of the "Ivy League" universities is now worth far more in the world market than an Oxbridge degree. A friend has a daughter at the Sorbonne studying languages (OK, she speaks fluent French having lived there as a young child), and they tell me her costs are less than they would be in England. Both are undoubtedly very clever, and would do well anywhere, but they are the sort of people that this country needs, but is likely to loose, if we have an inept university policy.

What I would like to see is for any extra money raised from students to go directly to the University from which they graduated. This would mean that the better the University, the more of its students might expect to get highly paid jobs which in turn would provide higher funding enabling them to further improve their standards. This is effectively what happens in the US, and although it is not compulsory, most wealthy businessmen will invariably give quite large endowments to their Alma mater during their lifetime.
Of course this would mean the survival of the fittest, but isn't that what the world is all about?

15 years for trying to kill an MP

Islamic extremist Roshonara Choudhry was sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in jail for attempting to kill her MP Stephen Timms, apparently as a result of watching videos on the internet.
Now I think this is an appropriate sentence, but it does beg the question of why a number of murders recently have received a minimum of a mere five years or so.

The judge only got one thing wrong! Those who shouted slogans in court about the Judge should have been held for Contempt of Court.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Another would-be Dictator

The Director of Public Health at NHS East Lancashire, wants all children who have not had the MMR jab to be banned from schools.
Having failed to convince the public that their children should have this jab (a fifth of the children in the area haven't had it), he adopts the typical attitude of dictators "I know that I am right, and you will have no choice but to do as I say",
I can think of lots of reasons why some children should be banned from schools, but this is not one of them.
And if someone succeeds here, what other reason might be used to ban children from school by  another would be dictator who is convinced that he is right? The fact that a child, or his parents, are man-made climate change sceptics, and by being so could infect the other children?

As an aside, I wonder why NHS East Lancashire has a Director of Public Health? I always thought Public Health was the responsibility of the appropriate Local Authority. Another non-job waiting to be abolished?

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Christian Values and Adoption

Most newspapers (but apparently not the BBC) today cover the case of the Christian couple who are no longer allowed by Derby Council to be foster parents as the are opposed to homosexuality.

Ben Summerskill, of Stonewall says: "Too often in fostering cases it's forgotten that it is the interests of the child, and not the prejudices of the parent, that matter".


That is what most people believe, and I would suggest that very few would believe that it is in the interests of any child to allow them to be adopted by a homosexual couple, male or female.

From press reports, there is no suggestion that the couple are actively anti-homosexuals. They have merely said that, if asked, they would acquaint the child with their views.

Let's hope that the High Court has more sense than Derby Council who are prepared to make an issue out of something that may never happen. And perhaps the electors of Derby might remember at the next election what this case is likely to cost the council-tax payers together with the fact that the Council has managed to loose the services of a very caring couple at a time when foster parents are very difficult to find.