TUESDAY 29th APRIL 2014
ONE P SUCH ESQ., SIMPLY WALLOWING IN BEING ONE P SUCH ESQ.: IT'S HIS BIRTHDAY!
Consequently, this day and the following few days are to be found at Birthday Boy 2014.
WEDNESDAY 23rd APRIL 2014 [daily snapshots]
ENGLISH, BRITISH OR GLOBAL: MAMMON, CAESAREAN, SPIRITUAL.
THE DEBATE HAS BUT ONE CONCLUSION: THE SOURCE OF ALL THAT IS—THE MIND BOGGLING DIVERISTY OF CREATION
This is a good day to contribute to David Cameron's declaration that this (UK, with or without the Scots) is a Christian country. It is fascinating to find so many people not only thinking he is wrong but being astounded he should make the declaration. Many of the contributors, to a very simple letter, i admire and respect but all wishing to reveal they have been educated beyond their ability to truly value that education. Unless they collectively conspired to bring an 'under the table' debate onto the table top for an open, 'in your face' discussion. Such a proposition seems overdue. Let us remind ourselves that this is an OPEN country in thought, word and deed but is also a rational country that faces up to the practicalities of its circumstances.
Once more the church comes charging in waffling twaddle. Get the forests out of your own and your church's eyes before presuming to complain about the tiny splinter in the eye of someone who has just suffered a barrage of criticism for standing up for your church, despite the fact it was someone else who caused the fault of which you complain. O Bishop of Oxford.
It was a socialist government purporting to support the "working people" that chose to squander our national income on paying interest to rich, fat cat bankers on loans essentially created by that socialst government's inability to understand basic economics.
Where does your report question the standing of the "poor' purchasers of cars in excess of basic need and large screen TVs, rather than on basic essentials? Where is the balance to make your claims justifiable? Where is your church? Four centuries ago it led the Christian world by accepting a female as Supreme Governor. It is still arguing as to whether there should be women bishops. There has never been a problem with women in any sector of the church other than damned fool stupidity of the men already there! Get on with ensuring a woman can become Archbishop of Canterbury, then it might be worth taking notice of your church!
The church claims we are God created creatures. In His Creation there is rationality. Why then is rationality not employed by His church? Why will His Church not accept that Creation, as we continue through time to discover it, learning that it is in a continual state of change through time? Why then is the church stuck fast in ancient history and refuses to make itself meaningful to the modern world?
Sort out your own home O Bishop of Oxford and make up for the appalling damage your church has caused through not dealing realistically with the very reason for your existence over the last four centuries, when it started showing a sense of reality!
As for the Conservatives barricading themselves in, what asininity. If they were properly meaning people they would immediately resign as unfit for purpose.
Full marks for the Oxford police's understanding of the situation and showing there is at least one police force in this country that understands what consent policing is all about. Were I Chief Constable, I would order the issuing of summonses against the Oxford Conservatives for wasting police time, as I understand it was they who called out the police because two people wanted to deliver a letter! Expressing that sort of idiocy so publicly they must clearly be regular church goers!
FRIDAY 25th APRIL 2014 [daily snapshots]
ASTONISHMENT AT THE IMPLEMENTATION OF BASIC REALITIES TAKES THE BISCUIT!
It is absolutely astounding that what is being required to raise a straight forward house mortgage is being regarded as new requirements. All that is being expected now are the everyday business details that were required forty years ago as a matter of course when I applied for my first mortage! No wonder banks and building societies have neaarly gone bankrupt! This is all elementary, basic, finacial commmon sense! One is expected to present all relevant facts to prove one's case, not hope someone doesn't ask awkward questions!
SATURDAY 19th APRIL 2014 [daily snapshots]
This was prompted on Facebook by rumbling under the table debate of a NUTs orientated plea to nonunion teachers. The principles lie at the heart of Western society, across the pond: the ability of the product producing sector of society to bear the cost of the unproductive overheads—or long-term investment in students. I recall, many years back, suddenly being thrust into a meeting of fellow senior and even more senior managers to discuss a wide-ranging project which involved aspects of my particular speciality.
Simply, it was sales/promotions anxious to mess up production scheduling to meet an undiscussed, not preplanned or thought through, sales strategy.
My response, simply, was "look around you, count how many of us are here. You don't need the facts, you can assess an average salary amongst us, mentally calculate that into an hourly cost rate. Then add on the cost of this building we are in: capital depreciation, lighting, heating, maintenance, support staff (secretaries or personal computer equipment). All this is borne by the factory hourly cost rate for each machine. Is this a cost-efficient way of running a factory contrary to pre-planned strategies, because that will be the effect of throwing schedules awry and forcing decision-making like this down to the factory floor, where those machines will be standing idle while we debate, because that is what will be happening if we start messing around with schedules that will immediately raise the need for on the spot decision-making?
The same principle applies nationally. In the UK we have had too many years of socialism which was supposed to stand up for those in need. How did socialism go about this? By running the country into debt and instead of paying those in need, chose to pay interest to rich, fat cat financiers for borrowing their money? They have money to lend because they made profits. The coalition government is trying to bring the country back to a situation where we earn more than we pay out, so that we can once again pay money to those in need and raise pay rates for those who are directly earning, so that their produce can bear the cost of the service sector, essential for our present and future welfare.
What do the British teachers contemplate doing? Going on strike to deliberately disadvantage the very productive workers that are trying to help the country pay its way with sufficient return as to be able to pay the arguably exorbitant overheads of our essential service sector: teachers, road sweepers, etc.
What are the tube unions wanting to do? Strike, in order to maintain workers for whom modern technology (and its convenience for THEIR CUSTOMERS WHO PAY THEIR WAGES) are no longer needed! That is the reality of socialism, not in the slightest interested in the collective whole but in the singularity of "me, me, me and sod the f******g rest of you." They even have the brass balls to say so publicly and openly, why else do they declare their first two days of strike to "commemorate a dead union official"!? Because they want to draw attention away from the fact that there is no valid argument for the strike in the first place!
The same principles apply to those CofE priests who chose to club together to denounce the government's realism over facts of life. Have they thought about their hourly cost rates to their congregations, as they stand in their pulpits pontificating about other people's failings? The hourly cost of their stipend; the deterioration of the building around them; the heating; the fact they took fifty years or so to decide if they might have women priests and then decide if women might be bishops, when four centuries earlier they had already agreed a woman as Supreme Governor? Where was their problem; where was their argument; what is the damage they have done to women down the centuries? Even today women are still not financially rewarded as equals to men? Where is their reality in meeting their belief in a God Created Universe? What does His Universe tell us about Him, that He created a state of continual change through time, so why do they deny those facts and enhance change, prepare us for change and lead with change? 'nough said!
This is why one wants to be careful about dying!
Knowing when one might die seems to me to be a basic concern and always has been. Doesn't everyone look at the available statistics regularly? Surely calculations of life expectancy are part of all decisions involving advance planning? I recall the widow of a senior police officer, I believe a commander no less, was totally thrown by his sudden demise because he had died intestate. For heaven's sake!
At a religious convention I recently attended, someone remarked that the next edition of their quarterly publication would concentrate on the subject of death. "Really?" I enquired, "that does happen then after all?" My cousin, a recently retired minister, chuckled and said, "Well, I haven't found any proof of it yet!"
A recent "Any Questions" broadcast asked for people's views on knowing when one might die on the basis of actuarial tables. Incredibly only one or two wanted to know. A forest of arms went up when asked, "would you NOT want to know?" Extraordinary. its merely a matter of interpreting probabilities from average statistics.
SATURDAY 19th APRIL 2014 [daily snapshots]
CAMERON'S CHRISTIANITY PROMOTION
The Church of England, in my view, is primarily responsible for Christianity losing its grip. It has wilfully spent the last half century, first arguing whether women could be priests: there was never a problem in the country, only in the CofE; then having decided they can have women priests the church decides they cannot be bishops. Codswallop. Stop talking about the fact, get them bishopped! Get on with the job of making it so. Then, we'll see where we all stand but we cannot support Protestant Christinaity when its main church doesn't agree with its own declared belief: that this is a God created world. What did he create? A world over time in a continual state of change. Why, then, has the church stood beligerently demanding that what it believed four centuries ago is relevant today? What happened four centuries ago was that a woman became its Suprime Gonvernor. A clear statement that from that point on there was never a problem with a woman holding ANY position in the clergy or church administration. Why has that reality taken so long to happen? That is where the problems of lack of equality lie throughout the country.
GOOD FRIDAY 18th APRIL 2014 [pre-noon snapshots]
BBC STILL MUDDLED OVER ITS OWN TECHNOLOGY
Whether it was the announcer's or the editor's fault around 09:30, the BBC news on channel 80 chose to try and be too clever for its own good and read out a garbled news agency message. A major break for the formal restart of news headlines enabled them at last to get the message right, which should have been the decision made at the time: that the message should wait until properly deciphered, before announcing a person saved from the ferry wreck had just hanged himself. I deal with this in my next section.
GRIEF ALL ROUND
All Christian services at this time of year are emotionally potent. The extinguishing of the lights one by one; the people leaving higlighting the awe of desertion for those choosing to stay longer. The only light, the candles in the small chapel beside the altar, now bereft of all cloaking; the blaze of candles beside the sanctuary, highlighting the darkness around and the total silence enhancing that extraordinary sense of aloneness that can only be experienced in a crowd of people. The bereftness of Christ enacted.
At a time when the world factually is experiencing that same distress in the reality of a large tragic few: the families of those missing on the unfound Malaysian aircraft; the families grieving the lost children aboard the Korean ferry; the trauma of both sides of opinion in the Ukraine situation, which hopefully will not turn into another tragedy; and the apparent suicide of a person who was actually saved from the Korean tragedy then ending his own saved life at his own hands: overwhelmed by the guilt of having survived.
Whether or not the deputy principal of that school was a Christian is not relevant. One has an insight into that desolation of mind of Judas Iscariot over two tousand years ago; much maligned through history but is his own death not the symbolism of contrasts with Chrsit's and not also representative of each of us: in both deaths representations, in different ways, expressing that desolation that accompanies all bereaved at the time of their bereavement?
So, I too, in my time,
left the small group sitting in silent thought and prayer in the chapel, the last to leave before the main door was locked for the night, leaving only the side door for those remaining, perhaps until midnight.
THURSDAY 17th APRIL 2014 [pm snapshots]
PEOPLE POWER BUT AS THE CO-OP HAS SHOWN MORAL VALUES ARE NOT NECESSARILY SOUND VALUES
The Pensioners' Convention representative is flannelling appallingly with an arrant load of twaddle on platitudes against making facts available, so people can rationally assess their liabilities, for which provision should be made in assessing their pension pots. Here was youth showing sense and responsibility, while the older woman was for entrenched persistence in saying "no" to moving forward. As the younger representative pointed out, there was a need to acquire facts before being in a position to advise, on the basis of statistics acquired from that research. Totally mindless was the older woman, besotted with empty clichés irrelevant to the argument. It was the younger woman, giving hope that the younger generation is a good bunch that wanted to have the facts to make informed decisions.
THE CO-OP: CLASSIC EXAMPLE OF BESOTTED AND BEFUDDLED MANAGEMENT
So totally incompetent its personal data is insecure, causing a competent manager to resign and another manager, who might have put things right, to likewise leave because they clearly do not want competence, much preferring to show what happens with an incompetent structure--they lose 2.5 billion pounds, how wonderful! What an achievement with which to broadcast how right their traditional way of doing things worked.
THE POLICE STILL IN A MESS
Perhaps we should have a national police force for incompetence seems already rife throughout, not just in the London Met., regardless of regional forces. Apparently the Green MP Caroline Lucas was fond not guilty of obstructing fracking... because the Chief Constable exceeded his authority in presuming to obstruct her! Knowing from the Plebgate affair that the second-rate policemen control the Police Federation (as is usual in any union structure) in what would appear to be an extraordinarily second-rate manner, squandering money pointlessly, it now appears Chief Constables are promoted beyond the level of their competence. It also appears that many policemen do not actually know the law but seem more concerned about money-grubbers grabbing more money than maintaining lawful conduct on BOTH sides of the argument! Extraordinary goings on indeed!
SUNDAY 13th APRIL 2014 [pre-noon snapshots]
WILFUL IRRESPONSIBILITY RAISES SERIOUS QUESTIONS ON OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM
The appalling mismanagement of the Deputy Speaker's case by the Crown Prosecution Service raises a fundamental question that must now be addressed specifically because of the government's determination to reduce the value of legal aid.
The serious determination of this coalition government to reduce costs due to Labour's determination to financially ruin the country is highly commendable but when a completely innocent man can have his life ruined by the inability of due process to responsibly present a winnable case against him then there must be NO question that the Crown must pick up ALL the costs involved.
The question then arises as to whether proper procedures are in danger of NOT being proceeded because of lack of money or due concern for financial risk. This is not a path for justice either. What other "ordinary person" could muster £130,000 of legal fees? That then raises the question that ALL people found innocent should have their costs reimbursed, yet we are trying to reduce costs of justice, claiming that our lawyers are either administratively appallingly inefficient or wilfully over-paid.
Justice is and must be blind and must not be bound in any way but does this mean that the guilty may truly use any means at their disposal, including wilfully escalating costs to the public purse, for therein lies damage to the wider innocents—the individuals constituting society who must fork out those costs from their own purses in taxes?
Passing lightly over arguments of technical legal complexities, surely the guilty know they are guilty? The legal costs arise from proving the case. Therefore, would knowing that if found guilty the charged will have to refund their costs to the state, either in a burdensome debt or longer prison sentence, encourage the guilty to admit their guilt? Thus reducing overall costs and perhaps their need to contribute at all, without feeling bullied into an unfair admission?
Clearly the circumstance exists that the CPS is incurring innocent people to bear the expenditure of costs that should never have arisen to them in the first place. The case of the Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons would seem to be a good example from which to start a judicial review, or a singular initiative of the House itself? Any such decision arising should be made retrospective for this particular case and allowance made to make pleas for other past proven innocents.
SATURDAY 12th APRIL 2014 [pre-noon snapshots]
CONFLICTING PRIORITIES: IMMIGRATION AND BENEFITS
Channel 5 started a new series of its excellent documentaries, last night's being "Gypsies On Benefit and Proud", the gypsies being from Romania seeming intent on one purpose, to fleece the British Tax Payer. Since the LibDems fully support the EU, the cause of our taxes being so depleted, it would have been more balanced if we had had interviews with representatives from all four political parties (Conservatives, Labour, LibDem and UKIP); the civil servants involved in making the payments; and the councils involved in making the necessary provisions for housing.
implications from this documentary are clear: we collectively have a worldwide responsibility for evening out the haves and have-nots, for which we need the flexibility of border control in order that such provision can be properly rationed out across the EU countries. Another EU contradiction, highlighting the EU's irrationalities.
CONFLICTING PRIORITIES: POLICE CORRUPTION AND JUSTICE MALPRACTICE
It would seem the CPS is anxious to counter the implied police corruption (or sheer rank incompetence, if that term is preferred) for failing to prosecute Jimmy Savile too many times, by now gathering witnesses against innocent people, those witnesses not believing a crime has been committed, just a social gaffe. In those witnesses opinions, it would appear the lunatics have been let out of the asylum and it is their psychiatrists who are held inside! Misjudgment seems rife throughout the CPS and this is very worrying.
Countering that, it now seems that Westminster itself is nothing but an extension of the London Zoological Society's Monkey House. How can people, purported to be competent to run the country, accept any form of behaviour that would insult that venerable institution in Regent's Park?
It appears the Palace of Westminster is being run on the lines of the class distinctions of the 1950s; or have they simply got themselves confused with the Westminster Palace at the other end of Whitehall, where Brian Rix ran a near bawdy house of hilarity, deliberately losing his trousers on stage with superb gusto and panache which is wholly missing at the other end of Whitehall. There the bawdy house is just plain bawdy and personnel are likely to have their trousers removed against their inclinations. No wonder they voted for us to be in the EU without asking us and no wonder the EU is the shambles it is.
It is unfortunate that Labour so denuded the country with crippling debt and selling off our gold reserves
that education has to seek parental contribution. In principle, it is a good social thing that parents contribute to "nice and helpful" but not critically essential school trips and outings but which initiatives can cause embarrassment for the children of the less fortunate members of society. Surely an indirect means of funding could be managed so that those who can contribute do and those who cannot are not humiliated by their lack of resources? Surely a "Trip Bazaar" could be organised on weekends so that a gross float is accumulated and then distributed according to curriculum relevance across the appropriate school groupings?
FRIDAY 11th APRIL 2014 [pre-noon snapshots]
Haven't been following but this morning's "by the way" glimpses seemed to indicate the supposed bulldog prosecutor was out of his depth and Pistorius seemed to be handling him firmly and comfortably.
The Spectator 
Bumbles on with the mess the Tories have got themselves into. "Yet again, the Conservative party has reminded us that it is quite capable of losing the next election. The events leading up to Maria Miller's resignation
are entirely consistent with a party that is so gauche, so accident-prone, so surprised by basic news events that it can make Ed Miliband seem positively presidential." "The sheer disorder exposed in the Tories over the last few days shows that the Tories are more than capable of committing political suicide."
The reason I bought the magazine was for the article on page 14 "Shakespeare's Country: he invented it. We just live in it." I feel obliged to mention the Pendley Manor Open Air Shakespeare Festival with which, in my younger days, I was a not an inconspicuous participant. Highly recommended for enthusiasts and especially the "not so sure its for me" brigade for whom the late Dorian Williams OBE, the BBC's former show jumping commentator, who founded the Festival in his 'back garden' was determined to encourage the unconverted to "giving Shakespeare a serious try". In those halcyon days we filled out with audiences of over 1,000 a night but the estate is now in commercially-orientated country, requiring our original stages for different purposes but ingenuity has brought in a different style of presentation, the standards are even higher and the demands on the participants even more demanding.
Back to my original purpose. Celebrating the publication of his book, How We invented Freedom and Why It Matters, Daniel Hannan's article celebrates Scottish/English mutuality, initially reminding us of the thronal inheritance and the fact it was we English who initially felt we had been swamped by the Scots, preventing James from being titled King of Great Britain. Would that have made a difference now? It was the king himself who observed it was a union of crowns not one country taking over another: a fusion of a people already bound together by language, idioms, ideals and a world view, all factors too little promoted by the Unionists, preferring to confront the nationalists on cash, oil and the EU membership, so giving them something to get their teeth into.
Looking at that last point, Chris Deeran (columnist for The Scottish Daily Mail) in his article "The British Clan" uses statistics, not florid language, to highlight the points the SNP would rather were not mentioned. Taking the latest Scottish Social Attitudes survey on the EU: 60% of Scots want either to leave or for the EU to be seriously restricted. Up 40% from ten years previously.
BBC's "Today's Politics" highlighting the Tories (though not so expressed) manifesto was for the next UK General Election NOT the forthcoming EU elections. There, in my view, we want UKIP in for an all anti-EU parties combined to rattle the EU sufficiently for Cameron to gain a realistic opportunity of a referendum with an EU very seriously brought to unquestionable heel. Then we might at last become realistic, actually getting somewhere. However, how does the proposed EU referendum leave us with the Scottish vote if it is "yes" for separation? It is the UK that is in. If Scotland wants out of the UK but in Europe, clearly Scotland could not vote on whether the rest of the UK should be in or out? Could Scotland negotiate being in at the same time as the rest of the UK is negotiating to get out? Will the Scottish referendum have to be re-run?
Let us look further. 21% of Scots want more spending on benefits: in England 52% believe benefits are too high and discourage the work ethic. Regarding Little Englanders 46% of Scots believe they would lose their identity if more people came from Eastern Europe: 49% in England say the same thing about Muslims and 44% believe Britain's cultural life is undermined by immigrants. For diverse reasons, all related to immediate past political UK changes and the present mood, UKIP is not expected to make much headway.
Regretfully, I do not have sufficient reading time to make The Spectator more than an occasional read.
New Statesman [20140411–17]
Another weekly bought for a different article than the one with which I am launching forth. John Bew, historian and contributing author to the magazine describes his interview with Jimmy Carter. Carter's latest book A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power caught my attention. I have not been pro-active earlier because i did not wish to trumpet too much the CofE's complete débâcle over women priests and then women bishops. To me, the Cof is an integral part of being English and I simply washed my hands of religion when the church decided to go haywire. Now sense is permeating throughout the structure, we English can once more look the world in the eye, especially against the asininities of the EU that still persists in claiming religion should be given special exemption from rationality regarding equality of men and woman in all matters related to life and living and social interactions.
Carter, who followed in his father's footsteps as a Baptist Sunday school teacher writes in his book that Jesus never denigrated women in the way that Christian societies have done since. "True Islam too has been perverted by arcane cultural practices in the Middle East and Africa, such as female genital mutilation which have no grounding in the Qu'ran. It is interesting that he and the New Statesman use the same phonetical transliteration as I do for their Holy Book, although New Statesman does not use the apostrophe that I do.
While I make do with copying-in the Catholic Herald when advertising this web page Carter specifically wrote to Pope Francis concerning the role of women in the Catholic Church. He advised his own split from the Southern Baptists Convention at the start of this century over its refusal to ordain female ministers
Carter was condemnatory of his own country where he acknowledged damaging levels of sexism are prevalent throughout society, including sexual aggression and abuse which are tacitly accepted. "Would a woman president make a difference? He was unsure. I ask, has Obama radically changed racial attitudes since his election?
The reason for acquiring the magazine was the article "Anxiety Nation". Having myself been sufficiently stressed as to be under weak medication for depression I understand the differences between social depresssion and clinical depression and I am disappointed that we do not seem to have developed much knowledge since my experience, although the article's implication puts the milder form back into the social context of being handled at root cause level, the most positive attitude being to open up and talk about it generally without inhibition. Another example of how much things have got to change in our modern society, if it is to regard itself as remotely "with the time" rather than still being strait-jacketed in past ancient prejudices. Writing that, it seems that modern society is all hang-ups and prejudices and not always trying to unhang itself and simply trying to be "its own age".
Although only a printer I was with a pharmaceutical company at my personal critical time, having rubbed shoulders with doctors and research scientists for nearly thirty years. This enabled me to ring my GP and tell him I thought I was on the edge of a nervous breakdown. "I'm not prescribing Valium over the phone [quite correct response] but if you get yourself to the surgery in the next half hour I'll warn reception and I'll see you as soon as I can."
I had hardly sat down when he told me to go. "What do you mean, 'that's enough', I've only just got here?!" "Peter, you have been sitting in that chair for seven minutes. I have been timing you and in that time you have done nothing but talk at me incessantly and i incoherently across a diverse range of subjects. You are multi-threaded over-stressed. Either go home back to bed or take a country walk but go via the chemist and collect some Valium. Then come and see me again in three weeks." That is what "UK NHS" really means!
Private Eye 
Back to the great debate on Europe. Private Eye has many challenging cartoons. My favourite this time is of Putin on the telephone saying..."You and whose army?" Expresses Crimea in a nutshell. Unfortunately on the serious subject Private Eye chose to be as irrelevant as usual, apart from informing us that Sir Frederick Barclay, one of the weirdo twins who own The Daily Telegraph is a UKIP supporter but its cartoons were up to scratch. Nice to know something still is!
THURSDAY 10th APRIL 2014 [the day's snapshots]
On Sunday 05.04.14 in The Guardian Robin Yassin-Kassab reviewed Arun Kundnani's book The Muslims are Coming!: Islamaphobia, Extremism and the Domestic War on Terror. The book starts on the lines that "Terrorism is not the product of radical politics but is a symptom of political impotence". Yassin-Kassab regards Arun Kundnani as one of Britain's best political writers, both compelling and sharply intelligent, neither hectoring nor drily academic. He regards the book as one that should be widely read, especially by liberals who regard their position as unassailable. Kundnani writes: "Neoconservatism invented the terror war but Obama liberalism normalised it".
What is without doubt, aided and abetted by the Church of England's abysmal failings over the implementation of women priests; then of women holding more senior clerical positions; and the asinine position of the EU, wilfully encouraging religion to take contrary views to public opinion, which clearly expects sexual equality, thereby creating an appalling muddle of moral values; we have lost the cohesive value expected from the openness of society that a multicultural approach was expected to promote.
In the same issue The Guardian juxtaposed two superb stories on renting domestic property. One presented a seemingly quite decent private, arguably amateur but informed landlord, stuck with a totally unreasonable tenant, despite proper professional precautions before taking him on. The other story was of a seemingly perfectly decent tenant who had been wilfully abused (with others) by a totally unfit landlord. In my view the latter case clearly stated the need for formal registration and management qualifications before anyone can become a landlord, to be administered by an independent agency. The first case countered this requirement. People should be able to handle a one-off tenancy themselves with minimal but professionally prudent advice, in a situation not burdened by overheads but making it easier for landlords to evict, ensuring all related costs are paid by the elected tenant in a reasonable time and manner.
The purpose of the article would appear to have been to illustrate the conflict of the need to provide better landlord regulation while at the same time allowing simplicity of tenancy in what would appear to be a market of high capacity demand. In this I perceive the Conservatives have once again failed in making proper social provision.
Not relatable to these two examples but which these examples highlight, is the problem of the receiver of social benefit who too frequently is thrown into the private landlord circumstance, where decent landlords have no protection or encouragement to accept economically risky tenants.
In Great Berkhamsted, Lidl have just announced their intention to provide 30 properties in a new store development for which planning permission is being sought. Is it sufficient (meeting local policy requirements) for only ten of these to be made available within the requirements for affordable housing? Why not all 30? Clearly the store can carry the extra cost or loss on making available less expensive properties looking ahead to furutre sales in an immediately available market?
THE WAY THE WORLD IS WAGGING
Headlines across today's paper on the racks in Waitrosse cover the EU messing around with car number plates for uniformity--sheer twaddle and another wilful waste of money. This means the EU is over staffed or we should be giving more money to the less fortunate as the EU wants to cut a figure in the world. Starting with our own people by reducing its costs would be a good charitable gesture.
Other papers seem to take my line that Cameron made a serious management booboo in supporting Miller,
instead of getting rid of her immediately and there is further debate about the UKIP effect. I was going to kill off some more news items I had to hand, on which to comment but noticed interesting articles in several magazines: Private Eye was majoring on the great Europe debate; the New Statesman on "Anxiety Nation, the anatomy of a modern epidemic; The Spectator was claiming "Will" as the creator of creating Britshness and how he could save it today (that is Will in William Shakespeare, not the Will of Will's windy whiffs, mentioned by Uncle Stanley in Talbot Rothwell's play Queen Elizabeth Slept Here; and Mac Format, a frequent acquisition, since I am bordering upon replacing my present Apple Mac Book Pro. Decisions, decisions, decisions!
Probably my last major computer purchase. This is the first time I have had only one computer since I bought my first one when they first became available. Later, (several machines later) Windows were messing around at a time when I needed a new one, so having to learn at least something new I decided to learn all that was new and bought my firdt Mac Book Pro.
Now my main programs are all their latest enhancements. I then had one program that insisted on staying Windows only so had to split my hard drive for two operating systems. Now I shall retain this for Windows history and my new one will be solid state. Hopefully, this latest purchase, when I make up my mind, will see me through the next ten years, regardless of upgrades on the various main programs I use. These have just reached that point where physicality is pushed to its limits with the new upgrades. Suddenly, the basic shopping bill, which is all I went into Waitrose for, has just doubled! More anon!
WEDNESDAY 9th APRIL 2014 [Pre-noon snapshots]
On All Fools' Day
The Daily Mail's front page story was of the Police Federation's disgraceful conduct in wilfully interfering in government by trying to counter cost-effective measures to protect the public purse on policing. In effect, this was a public statement of the archaic thinking that resides deep within the police force nationally. These are the sort of tricks the printing trades unions employed forty years ago to bolster their wage and working hours blackmail demands. This is what has been behind the Labour Party for far too long.
What the article failed to bring out was Andrew Mitchell's contribution to that particular débâcle. Although not relatable at that time, Mitchell's conduct was not unlike Miller's conduct, snotty and unacceptable. The issue was not that he did or did not swear but that he appears to have treated the police officers disdainfully and more importantly, that he was so damned stupid as to expect security gates, designed for a motor car, should have been opened unnecessarily wide to enable a push bike to pass through. It is basic common sense that you do not treat major security issues in that way. That was wilful irresponsibility on his part. As a minister of the crown you act in manners appropriate to the rank and lead by example. This was a clear breach of responsible leadership.
More Religious Perversity
Apparently a preacher, having been asked by gays for his views on homosexuality had been arrested and held for 19 hours, for which crass police stupidity we taxpayers had to pay him £19,000 compensation, yet another example of the sort of police inadequacy presumably supported by the Police Federation.
Is Anyone Remotely Competent in Government?
We now have Grant Shapps making a pig's ear of a straight forward interview with Andrew Neil on BBC's Daily Politics. Instead of answering simply, he tried to waffle out the day's news that he felt had been lost because of the Maria Miller distraction, who had finally got round to doing what she should have done a week ago, go. When a politician of his standing gets muddled as to relevant subject, matter in a straight forward interview then it does imply that the Conservatives are in a state of complete and utter administrative chaos. Fortunately, Andrew Neil had the stature to stop the twaddle and promptly put Shapps straight. Constituents in her constituency are now being questioned and they themselves seem totally oblivious of the disaster she has caused, standing behind her regardless of sense, let alone political reality.
MARIA MILLER RESIGNS [07:47, breaking news]
It is extraordinary how simplicity can be so easily mired in floundering twaddle. In government, the priority is the clarity of management; politics are secondary to the competent handling of the arisen situation. In management, Maria Miller has been keen to broadcast her inability to manage a continually flowing situation. She may have been competent on specifics in a static situation, or one that is slowly developing but she is not someone who should be at the helm in a crisis, or being required to handle several contrasting situations at the same time: in industry, the difference between handling factory production and running the accounts department. Different skills are required. I would have expected it to be the support staff around politicians who would have raised these issues in time, if not the PM directly. In a business environment, this is where the Personnel (human resources) staff come into play.
There is a moral issue: when you stand on a public platform, offering yourself for the rendering of service at the public's expense, awareness of the continually changing nature of the public view is as paramount as the make-up you use. On who failed who to what extent I cannot comment but it is possible that Cameron let the situation implode by paying too much attention to the empty headed bayers of "looking right rather than doing the job properly", irrelevant people concerned at sexual balances within the staffing rather than competence in the role. Competence in the role is the absolutism, backed by competence of appropriate support. That is where it all went wrong.
TUESDAY 8th APRIL 2014 [after noon snapshots]
ON POLICING AND WOMEN
In The Times March 11 Sean O'Neill interviewed Cressida Dick, Gold Commander on the day Jean Charles de Menzes was mistakenly shot dead. She had therefore experienced diverse and very serious investigation which she regarded as "right and proper" but also acknowledged that such scrutiny can feel "capricious, unfair, irrational and sometimes just plain wrong and this can sap morale".
President of the British Association of Women in Policing, the country's most senior female officer and a powerful advocate for increasing the influence of women, it was only when colleagues from other countries pointed it out did she realise she had an all-female leadership team in counter-terrorism. I believe her. That is how women should be pushed forward, simply because they are right for the role. She felt the biggest effect was on other policewomen.
A graduate of Balliol College Oxford in 1983 women could then not become dog handlers or motorcyclists and were banned from public order duties. While there are more women in senior roles far too many excellent prospects have left rather than face the probability of remaining single (as is Cressida Dick). Clearly, this is a too severe a price to pay and society MUST change its attitudes. An issue precisely not helped by the EU's ridiculous attitude of allowing religions to perpetuate their historical erroneousness, due to historical cultural values in persisting with male domination/seniority issues. This attitude it totally improper and direct contradiction to its belief in sexual equality.
This female addition could be why Muslim families are pleading with the police to stop would-be jihadists. Prominent female presence is absolutely essential in areas where the arrogance of men and their presumptions, steeped in historical racial/ethnic/cultural attitudes, accumulated from a previous country in another age, still dominate. Looking back on past policing mistakes might not be as productive as accepting where we are and spending money getting on with it, although Ms Cressida Dick did not express herself in that way.
My Independent Mind Looks at This and That, Prompted by The Independent on April Fools' Day
Catching the eye immediately is Emma Watson, looking lovely and promising and reminding me of how damned old I am. it is amazing how so much time has passed during which one has become aware of these actors growing up. No different than the average parent but I am a bachelor and so not so obviously aware of such things.
The text headline is accusation of banks' cronies making personal mints out of the Royal Mail sell off. Frankly, I can't see how the government could have behaved differently but it does re-awaken the challenge of how does modern society bolster individual courage for moral rectitude, without losing the essential je ne sais quoi that is crucial for risk investment and by "the seat of your pants" go-getting style of company management.
While on policing matters, an email today advises of new ways of making people realise what it is to be inebriated behind the wheel. I would like to see this made available in other social contexts so that those inclined to over drink anyway, regardless of any intention or not to drive, see what other people experience when they choose to behave irresponsibly.
God's Sake Get It Right or Shut Up!
Apparently it isn't 5 but 7 or may be 10. Varying with Bran Flakes, I'm usually 5 fruit in the morning as breakfast and 5 vegetables in the evening for dinner. Balance of fish for Omega is not so assiduously watched, let alone measured. I need to check this out. I was a bean pole for all my life until three years or so ago when, concerned I might have cancer, I was told to eat well. One might argue that "judiciously" was implied but it wasn't stated. I had to take a stone off over the three years it took them to agree I had cancer and what type. The result is that there is no panic for the moment and so there is more serious intent to enjoy and take care than might otherwise have been the case had I not known.
To be aware is all and to be cost-effective on one's use of remaining time is a pre-eminent aspiration. One does view things slightly differently and one suddenly realises one had a life to lead now that it is nearly over. Much still to do but hopefully much learned in the done process if, not quite as thoroughly as one might have done, one can tidy up before the exam and leave a reasonably neat and coherent explanation as to why one was here and took up the space one did. Tempted (and they have been able to state my lung cancer is not the result of smoking Havana cigars in my twenties) but due to inflammation caused by the auto-immune condition "Sjögren’s Syndrome", from which inflammation cancer developed, I am determined "quality, quality"and will resist the cigar. Purportedly slow growing, without any definition of "slow" but with society's greater openness on these matters, one is aware that in many ways (at the moment) I have cause to be grateful. Many are worse than I and I am living with cancer not, at the moment, dying from it. Still much to be grateful for despite the one bane that is difficult to counter: tiredness.
The West Lothian Question
Is masked by preoccupation with "The Scottish
Question" which is essentially hoped to be "no" but cannot be assumed won't be "yes" and the consequences that immediately follow on from that result are inevitably, immediately effective. No one has addressed what happens if the margin between the two extremes is only one or two percentage points. No one has considered what will happen at the 2015 Westminster General Election. What voting rights and power will the Scottish Nationalist Party have, assuming all the Scottish seats are
theirs as by implication they should be; unless the Tories and Labour and/or the LibDems go in with a firm statement they will not push the referendum result through without consulting teh whole country, giving the lost "no" vote a second chance, on the grounds that Scottish voters were deliberately eliminated from voting, through being not physically in Scotland but in England and that 16 year olds were entitled to vote exceptionally; or re-open the question in their manifestos for ALL the British people to vote on; or one or several of the nonSNP parties state they will prohibit Scottish MPs from voting on English (and Wales and Northern Ireland) only legislation as it will not be affecting them.
This is particularly significant were the Tories alone or with another party (or a Labour potential option in a manifesto not declared until the election) have the 2017 vote on the EU, when Scotland appears to want the EU without question and is assuming it will be a member. What if England etc says "no" to the EU? That must surely be factored in as part of the negotiations for Scotland's departure? Can such negotiations actually start until we have had that referendum?
What ever, the results will colour the chatter about Crimea, Russia, the Ukraine and the EU with them and us; and Spain with the Catalans and with Gibraltar. We seem to be heading for a potential period of major upset and endless confusion. Interesting.
MONDAY 7th APRIL 2014 [after noon snapshots]
The idea that people should be regularly interviewed and face a weekly review is elementary common sense. It is similar to expectations made on those paid for holding a job. Why, then, should unemployment beneficiaries not be expected to do the same? The question should be, why was such a regime not previously implemented? How else can the unemployed be kept up to standard for employment possibilities?
Does a Paedophile's art desecrate a church?
Aaronovitch asked this question in The Times of February 6. He was prompted by the Savile débâcle and was comparing with Eric Gill, whose work as sculptor adorns Broadcasting House's former main entrance. Gill is well known in printing and publishing for his superb typefaces [Gill Sans, Perpetua and Joanna being his most well known].
More of his sculpture can be seen in the Stations of the Cross in Westminster Cathedral, a fact which is perhaps more appropriate to his article but which Aaronovitch deliberately avoids mentioning... the extent of the Catholic Church's hiding away of priestly abuse of children, since the point of Aaronovitch's article is whether fallen artists' work should still be acknowledged and displayed, once their sins are known. Gill's sins being incest with two of his daughters and the family dog.
Here I am a little disappointed with Aaronovitch, although it may be the fault of Gill's biographer, Fiona McCarthy, from whom Aaronovitch gained his information. Was it the family dog or bitch he assaulted? After all, Gill did father two daughters and have sex with both of them and one of Wilde's biographers was pedantic enough to want to know which way round Wilde preferred things.
That Wilde was not mentioned in this article was also surprising, since the Hollywood Oscars are named after Wilde and he fathered two sons. Walt Whitman's description of Wilde as “a great, big splendid boy”, might be a clue. As Gill was the second child of thirteen children it is surprising that rabbits weren't mentioned as both men were Catholics, another reason it is odd Aaronovitch did not mention the sexual propensity of some Catholic priests. His article seemed to be questioning the right of such people's works being on display, yet he does not mention his argument would also apply to the Catholic Church itself.
It is simply worth observing how, in one century, a large section of the world suddenly changes the style of its wag, yet little acknowledgement is made of the scientists from whose knowledge we understand the reality of sexual proclivity, being in the genes and biochemistry of God's Creation, not wilful mendacity or sin. Why then the article? Principally, his conclusion is that it is the quality of the art as art that determines its relevance, if any, to the creator's personal proclivities.
SUNDAY 6th APRIL 2014 09:45
ON AFGHANISTAN [10:30]
This is one of the areas in which 'we', as a country with others, are following an alleged spiritual path: bringing together a diversity of individuals for a common purpose of the planetary whole. That, as I understand the spiritual concept, is where we will all end up. Here and now could be argued as a form of 'hell', through which we gain the experience to not mess up the next stage of our individual and collective spiritual development.
RELIGION GETTING MUDDLED AGAIN
Under the guise of 'genuine' social involvement Rome's new senior English cardinal has decided to trumpet his self-import ace by pontificating on the UK's social agenda. Let the church of Rome first explain its own determination not to pay compensation, let alone fall prostrate in apology for wilful child abuse, before pontificating upon how the less well off can afford more taxation, already over-burdened by debt wilfully imposed by a socialist government!
COCK UP ALL ROUND
David Cameron is now demonstrating his inability on basic personnel management (currently referred to as 'human resources') aided and abetted by journalist codswallop about sexual balance. While I have always been supportive of women, my support has always been based upon competence in the role. To determine that jobs should be filled by an appropriate complement of both men and women is twaddle. If that were remotely rational, the correct determination should be: female, male, lesbian, gay, transsexual (and arguably transsexual both ways). That is how you balance job opportunities on a sexual basis.
acquire government one must first be political. Having acquired government one must then manage on the basis of availability of appropriate talent to manage. Failure to manage then becomes the criteria that affects public opinion for future elections. In terms of management, Maria Miller has proved herself totally incompetent in managing her own expenses. How, then, could she be remotely considered as competent to manage a government department?
She has an assistant who is as incompetent as she is. It is irrelevant whether she did or did not threaten the press over Leveson. It was incompetent of her to allow the possible charge to be made out. It was incompetent of her to confuse totally incomparable issues. That Maria Miller is involved in Leveson is not relevant to the incompetent manner in which she runs her personal finances in claiming public money. That an elderly relative was confronted by the press correctly and properly,
following up a possible abuse of public finances is a completely separate issue but again shows up Maria Miller's inability to manage her personal affairs.
David Cameron then shows more concern for the self-interested
phobias of empty-headed yahboo public minorities then the sound principles of basic management. Put in place those most competent for the job and throw out those unfit for purpose, which is what Maria Miller and her team have been anxious to show, complete unfitness for purpose. It is basic management Cameron, get on with it. Even on the political issue her apology to the House was a disgrace. Humility, lady is the essential prop of all power: in order that great power may be ably wielded in public service of the people.