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?"

Saturday, 28 February 2015

HS2 - Something Different?

I was intrigued to read about the proposed Hyperloop passenger transport system and that a prototype is to be built in California next year. It is being backed by Elon Musk, the PayPal billionaire and is being crowd funded. Available details are sparse, but a description is given in today's Daily Telegraph.

The basic idea is for the trains to run in tube from which the air has been partially evacuated, at speeds of up to 800mph, although the short prototype track will only allow them to reach about 200mph.

Whether it is feasible or not, only time will tell, but if it is, it seems that the Americans will have an entirely new type of ground transport whilst we are still arguing over HS2. We were the inventors of the steam railway and led its development all over the world, but it seems that now we have lost all appetite for new innovations and are happy to build our new high speed line using technology which is already considered out-of-date in Japan and China.

I wish the Americans good luck with this project, it is nice to see that innovation there does not depend on government funding and that people are willing to put up money to give it a try. Clearly the pioneering spirit is still alive.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

UKIP - Media Hypocrisy

The latest Facebook posting by one of the UKIP branches has produced more synthetic rage from politicians and the media.

Ukip's Newport branch was blasted for an 'abhorrent' Facebook post likening the EU to the Nazis with this Swastika graphic

Apparently the main cause of offence is the Swastika which, we are told by the politically correct, must never be used as it is a symbol of evil. We are told that its use will do nothing to promote "community cohesion". To me the EU is a dictatorial organisation which makes a pretence of being a democracy when in fact it is run by non-elected officials and where the so-called parliament has virtually no powers. 

In view of the mess that the EU has led us into with its meddling in the Ukraine, perhaps we should be glad that, as yet, it's not the Russian flag instead of the EU emblem.

The outrage here follows an attempt earlier this week to link Nigel Farage to racism by publishing  a photograph of him (taken some time ago) with one of the alleged racists involved in the incident on the French Metro. Unlike the major parties, where everyone who meets the leaders is checked in advance, the UKIP leader meets all kinds of people whilst out canvassing.

Meanwhile, the media says nothing about the election agent for Peterborough Labour Party, Andrew Palmer, being a convicted paedophile. Or about some Labour and Conservative Winchester Councillors resigning over a High Court judgement which found the council guilty of acting unlawfully over a redevelopment contract. Or even about a Leicester Labour councillor who has been convicted of intending to pervert the course of justice. Details are on the Bloggers4UKIP web site

Whilst the UKIP posting might be considered by some to be in poor taste, that is all that is wrong with it; no laws have been broken but nevertheless it has been well publicised by main media outlets. The hypocrisy is that the very same media outlets prefer to ignore those cases where the law has most definitely been broken by both Labour and Conservative party members.   

Monday, 9 February 2015

Hospital Fines

The Telegraph reports that
Hospitals will be fined £10,000 if they are found to have lied over negligence claims, under new Government plans to tackle a “cover-up culture” in the NHS

Apart from the fact that Hospitals are buildings and that it is human beings within those hospitals who cover-up the problems, what on earth is the point of fining the Hospital Trusts?

Every fine they have to pay reduces the amount of money that they have available to treat patients or improve the conditions within the hospital. In no way does it have any impact on those who were complicit in the cover-up. The top executives invariably carry on exactly as normal, and occasionally, should enough pressure be applied, they usually manage to leave "by mutual agreement" with a large pay off, only to be re-employed in a similar position elsewhere.

The only real sanction would be to fine or sack the individuals involved. In the latter case, they should be banned from employment within the NHS. The government proposals don't address the problem and the government is effectively proposing to fine patients for the misdemeanours of their employees.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Sex Abuse

The top item on the BBC's web site at the moment is
"Glitter guilty of child sex abuse"

You have to look amongst the small news items to find "Twenty men charged with sex crime". If you bother to follow the link, you find a mere 12 lines about these arrests by the Northumbria police and absolutely no indication as to the names or ethnic origin of those involved.
If you want to know more, you either have to go to Breitbart or the local Newcastle newspaper, the Chronicle.

Breitbart also reveals that 25 men from Calderdale have been charged with the sexual exploitation of a girl, more details are in the Halifax Courier.

Only Breitbart makes any reference to the ethnic origin of those charge, but you can perhaps draw your own conclusions from their names as in both cases there are several named "Mohammed" amongst those arrested.

At the time of writing, the news feeds from both the Telegraph and the Mail make no reference to either of the cases although, like the BBC, they both seem to go overboard to cover the conviction of Garry Glitter.

Why should one have to rely on an American owned web site to bring us such news? 45 men have been charged with offences, and the UK media feel it is more important to give blanket coverage to the conviction of a 70 year old man for crimes committed 40 years ago.

However one must congratulate the two police forces involved for taking action, unlike the South Yorkshire police in Rotherham who did nothing for many years.