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Friday, 21 November 2014

The Rochester and Strood result is a consequence of disillusionment








Ukip gains second MP in Rochester by-election




Nigel Farage with Mark Reckless

The career politicians of all parties from the Westminster “old boys club”, still do not understand what is happening in British politics today. Already, less than 12 hours after the result was declared, our television screens have been filled with politicians from the two main parties each seeking to outbid the others in their almost dismissive attitudes towards UKIP and their election win in Rochester and Strood. Within hours of the result, leading political figures, television pundits and the media, were dismissing the result with comments such as “well everyone knew that they were going to win” or “It is only a protest vote which is usual for a by election” or perhaps the most smugly preposterous comment of all that,” they did not do as well as they expected as their majority was very much lower than they were predicting”.
It is this arrogant and patronising attitude of the Westminster politicians, echoed by television presenters and repeated in the wider media, that has brought us to where we are today. It is clear that the British public have become completely disillusioned with the existing political classes and the way in which government has become distanced from the people generally. This has been evidenced with continually falling numbers of people belonging to or supporting any of the political parties. It is further reflected by the numbers of people voting in elections falling on each polling day.
Whatever we may think about UKIP and its leader Nigel Farage, we cannot escape the fact that this party has struck some kind of chord with large sections of the British electorate, drawing support from all sides of the political spectrum. It is all too easy to dismiss any by-election result where a party other than Conservative, Labour or Liberal Democrat top the poll as a protest vote. This may have been the case some 20 or 30 years ago, but it it would be very naive to believe that the results in Clacton and in Rochester and Strood, was simply a protest against the status quo of Westminster politics.
With the next general election now less than six months away attention will inevitably be drawn towards the prospect of UKIP having a significant number of seats in the next Parliament. There will inevitably be months of negative campaigning by the main political parties in order to prevent or at least alleviate voters turning to UKIP as a viable political party.
Already the Conservatives are saying that they are the only party that offer a renegotiation of the European union terms, and a vote for UKIP means that the British people will have Ed Milliband in 10 Downing Street following the next general election. The “Vote UKIP get Milliband” catchphrase is already scripted into any standard response from the Conservative party spokespersons being paraded in front of any passing journalist or television camera.
Grant Schapps and William Hague repeated this catchphrase within minutes of each other and pleaded for the return of a Conservative government in order to continue with the policies which they argue, is delivering “the recovery” to the British economy. As for the Labour party, Douglas Alexander was again wheeled out to face the cameras and repeat the now discredited two-year old distortion that UKIP, intend to make the NHS subject to insurance cover for patients thus paving the way for privatising the service. In last night question Time and again today on the Sky News morning program, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, the “Independent” journalist, repeated this smear. Clearly, this is the shape of things to come. 




Yasmin Alibhai-Brown
Douglas Alexander





 









British politicians have failed to grasp the simple truth. It is the patronising arrogance of politicians generally, and their collective belief that nothing exists outside the bubble of Westminster. People have become completely disillusioned with the old status quo where Labour and Conservatives have rotated government between them, based on a series of promises and pledges which have been discarded and forgotten the day after polling day.
The people of Rochester and Strood, have delivered a verdict similar to that delivered in Clacton only a few weeks previously, that British politics is now a very different place from what it was only five years ago. The career politicians in Westminster would be best advised to forget cliché, sound bite and empty promises, remove their heads from the sand and respond to the change in voting attitudes and intentions amongst the people of this country. They should not assume that the rise in voting for UKIP, will be restricted to the south-east corner of United Kingdom. The votes cast in the last European elections indicate that support for this party is widespread across the country and indications are that this support will continue to grow.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Another G conference for promises, food and photo opportunities

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/g20-summit-enter-putin-accompanied-by-four-warships-to-the-sound-of-mockery-9862465.html


G20 summit: Enter Putin. Accompanied by four warships. To the sound of mockery



There will be around 7000 delegates at the 2014 G20 Conference


 
Another "G" some number or other gathering for a load of mostly nondescript, non entity politicians to meet together and shake hands, smile and try to give the assembled paparazzi the image of being very, very important.
In reality of course, the "G" some number or other will be exactly the same as all the others. An almost endless round of hot air "meetings" usually over snacks, many photo opportunities for the family album, countless promises of financial or economic aid for some country, (which historically has been words promising aid and resulting in only a fraction of the promised assistance), side meetings over sandwiches, not cheese and Branson pickle I would wager, and the most important feature of these "jollies", the evening banquets for long and long winded speeches for world media consumption.
Should the vast majority of the attendees leave at the end of the "conference" and disappear into some ghostly mist drifting around outside the gates, never to be seen by anyone again, nobody would even notice.

Friday, 14 November 2014

After 4 weeks, this is more than "teething problems". Dorset Waste Partnership (DWP). providing a "new improved service".?

http://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/11597808.Residents_revolt_over_rubbish_service/

 

Residents revolt over rubbish service






It is not only Portland that has a problem with the new waste disposal scheme operated by the Dorset Waste Partnership (DWP).
I posted this in the letters section of Dorset Echo, this morning.

The following is the transcript of an "online chat" which I had with DWP last week. The food waste was eventually collected and the bin was left lying on its side with lid open, in the middle of a public drive way.




There will probably be another "online chat" this week as the food waste bin was again not emptied. A new "Report a missed bin collection" reference number has been issued and a complaint has been sent to DWP. They will respond "within 10 days".
If DWP or anyone else thinks that we should have rotting food waste lying around the house, or stored in our garage until they are prepared to collect it, they can think again.



John Yates: Further to yesterdays telephone conversation,(6th November) the food waste bin remains uncollected. Today is Friday, time 14:30 hrs.. Are your collectors aware of the assisted collection point for this address?
***** * (Dorset Direct) Please may I take your address and postcode?
John Yates: * ********* ******* Litton Cheney DT2***
John Yates: reference number is: DWP1****
***** * (Dorset Direct)Okay, the crew have 3 working days to collect this. The crew should be made aware of this however I will attach a note to the case to ask them to check and ensure your on the assisted collections. Can I ask where your agreed collection point is?
John Yates Next to garage. Do they collect on Saturdays? The bin will be at the collection point all weekend. I have already had a telephone conversation with DWP (yesterday afternoon) about this. It should have been taken away on Thursday morning.

***** *(Dorset Direct) Okay crews don't usually work on the weekends, it should be collected either Today, Monday or Tuesday, if it isn't collected by then you can chase this and we can raise it with the depot.
***** *(Dorset Direct) Is there anything else I can help with today?
John Yates We have been on the assisted collection list for more than 12 months and this was confirmed when this new "scheme" was introduced. I shall await developments. Bi Bi








Tuesday, 11 November 2014

The usage of Foodbanks continues to grow




Foodbank use for south west children 'quadruples since 2011'




Food bank parcels
The Trussell Trust runs a charity which runs 28 Foodbanks across the South West

 
Lying deep amongst the news stories the last 12 months, is the ongoing story which refuses to go away. Largely ignored by the press and television media, possibly by accident but more likely to be on the directions of some mysterious government department, the continuing scandal of the increasing number of people reliant on food bank charities is the subject which the Department of Work and Pensions and various other government departments and of course the ConDem Coalition government, would really like to go away and by adopting a policy of “if we ignore the situation for long enough the problem will cease to exist, in any case the usual charities can provide a short-term solution to the short-term problem”, they can pretend that the scandal of people in the United Kingdom, having to rely on charity to feed their families is no more than a passing phenomena, blown out of all proportion by “activists” and left wing politician seeking to make capital.
The reality of course, is completely different. As I have mentioned in previous blogs on the subject, the number of people reliant on food banks has continued to increase over the last 10 years and is significantly increasing over the past 24 months as cuts and delays are made to welfare payments and “caps” are imposed on benefit payments. This is a 21st Century scandal for which the politicians must take the full responsibility and we, as a nation should feel shame for allowing this to happen. According to latest figures from the Trussel Trust, the number of people in the United Kingdom who now rely on charity to put food on the table for the families stands in excess of 900,000.By any measure this figure is a conservative estimate as more than one charity provides this valuable service.
As we put our small food contribution into the shopping trolley, provided for the purpose of collecting food for the local food bank, at our local Asda, it is noticeable how over recent months, the contents of the food trolley seem to be lower than was the case previously. This of course may be due in part, to the fact that people who normally make contributions to the food bank collection points, are themselves feeling the pinch of continued wage restraint unending cuts, and the seemingly endless government drive for austerity. I recently heard a television presenter interviewing a member of the stop food waste campaigns, ask a question regarding the supermarket phenomenon of buy one get one free which invariably leads to more waste food going into the bin. The response surprised me a little, but on reflection seems an eminently sensible suggestion. The campaigner responded that he was in fact in favour of the “buy one get one free” offers in supermarkets, as the “free” one could be placed into the trolley for collection by the food bank. In this way some deserving family gains the benefit of the contribution, and the waste of the extra item is eliminated.
One of the hallmarks of any civilised society, is the way it treated children. From the continuing rise in child poverty, to the recent revelations and enquiries into child sexual abuse, society has a responsibility to protect children and to ensure that the well-being of children is of the utmost importance. It is disturbing mental note, that a recent report on BBC television, has revealed that the number of children being fed through food banks in south-west England, has quadrupled over the space of the last three years. Statistics from the Trussel Trust, reveal that the average of 430 children per month has risen to more than 1600 in less than three years. This figure of course represents only those children living in Cornwall Devon and Gloucestershire, but it is not unreasonable to suppose that this increase in usage is repeated throughout the other regions of the country. As in many other situations, the effects and impact of circumstances where children are involved is somehow magnified in the minds of responsible adults, to the extent that many people feel that more measures are required to alleviate the problem. Also with the involvement of children I would suggest that the feelings of shame and indignation amongst ordinary people, are intensified with the resultant hostility towards those in government and in government departments who can be deemed to be responsible.
Interviewed on the BBC South programme “Inside out”, a young single mother Lynne Tonkins, visibly distressed at the situation, wondered how she would face the next few weeks before during and after the Christmas holidays. 


Lynne Tonkins, a single mother from Cornwall, said going to a foodbank was a last resort.
"I felt as any mum would feel, ashamed that they can't support their children in the ways necessary and we're talking about the basic need of food alone and I found that very difficult," she said.


 
It is a problem which will be facing hundreds if not thousands of families around the country. Between now and December 31, no more than six weeks away, perhaps we should all consider what we can do practically, to help in some small way to lessen the problem. Perhaps we can find a few extra tins or packets, toilet rolls, nappies, biscuits or any other commodity which can contribute in some way to giving some family, particularly where those families have young children, the Christmas holiday period which may be less bleak than last year's Christmas. Remember the buy one get one free example, of which there will certainly be many filling the shells of supermarkets around the country. Where there is a suitable collection point for the food bank, please give as generously as you feel able. Should your supermarket not operate such a food bank collection facility, as is the case when we last visited our local Tesco store, albeit that was some months ago, perhaps you should ask the customer services in the supermarket (a) why are they not allowing such a collection, and (b) will they now consider providing a trolley for the local food bank to make regular collections.



A local Foodbank.


 
This is a problem which will not go away, regardless of how long the press and television media will ignore it. Nor for that matter will those voices in government who suggest that people use food banks as a result of their own actions and choices and consequently are not deserving of any additional help or assistance. It is for us as a nation to impress upon our elected representatives that we will not tolerate their continuing arrogance, patronising and divisive austerity measures in pursuit of a political dogma which belongs in the 19th century or even the first part of the 20th century.

November 11th 1918

Remembrance Day Poppy


 
                             

                                   They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
                                   Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
                                   They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
                                   They fell with their faces to the foe.

                                   They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
                                   Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
                                   At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
                                   We will remember them.

                                   They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
                                   They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
                                   They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
                                   They sleep beyond England's foam






 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, 8 November 2014

"Creative accounting" from Osborne and Cameron attempting to mask defeat.








 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/eu-surcharge-osborne-accused-of-accounting-trick-to-claim-cut-in-eu-bill-9847485.html


EU surcharge: Osborne accused of accounting trick to claim cut in EU bill

























The really incredible thing which never ceases to amaze me, is that these lying, cheating hypocritical career politicians, expect and believe that the rest of us will accept their weasel words as the truth.
They claim a "victory" when all they should feel is shame.



Friday, 7 November 2014

The expectation of success in defiance of the evidence

 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/lib-dems-want-to-have-their-own-ministries-in-any-new-coalition-9845455.html

 

Lib Dems want to have their own ministries in any new Coalition



Nick Clegg with Danny Alexander




The Liberal Democrats seem to be very optimistic about actually having enough Westminster parliamentary seats to influence any discussions connected with coalitions after the next general election. Clearly a case of Danny Alexander and the other nonentities of the current LibDem part of this wretched coalition, preparing their positions for another sell out in a squalid bid to retain their ministerial cars, seats at the cabinet table (no matter who's cabinet it may be) and the other perks they have enjoyed over the last 5 years.