Monday, April 30, 2007

We pay to dump on our own land?

As far as I can tell, the land used for waste disposal in the UK, is land owned by the local councils. If this is so can someone please explain how we can have costs for dumping our rubbish in land our councils actually own?

Who decided these landfill taxes were to be levied? Where do the monies raised go to? More to the point which idiot in government agreed to it?

As far as I am able to ascertain, these landfill taxes originate from the EU, they benefit no-one other than the EU and their enlargement plans, and the monies raised are secretly going towards providing future members of the EU the ability to meet financial targets set to enable them to join said EU. An amount currently set at about 8 billion pounds, which means a lot more of our money going to aid future EU members Turkey, Albania and Serbia!

Can anyone see the sense in any of this at all, or have I gone stark raving mad?

Bins to be emptied fortnightly
I think that recycling is irrelevant to the bin emptying issue.

Our sensible politicians of the past, you know the ones with common sense and a sense of decency, worked out that in order to prevent diseases, rats and vermin etc etc, the bins would be emptied once a week. Nice easy and a concise decision, a simple issue with a simple solution.

The recycling bins provided do not need to be emptied weekly or fortnightly or even monthly, as there is no smell, no risk of vermin or disease. But our household waste, the non recyclable stuff, still remains the same, week in week out, it contains raw and cooked food remains, which putrify and smell, attracting vermin, flies etc, this does need to be removed weekly.

Ultimately the only advantage of fortnighly collections, is a small reduction in cost incurred by our local authorities, but they would like us to believe its all done to aid recycling.

Time to start dumping my waste on the councils doorstep methinks, (word to the wise, ensure no letters are in the rubbish) no names no pack drill!

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Alcohol Concern...

Well it appears the do gooders are coming out of the woodwork yet again. Those would be purveyors of our sense and sensibilities have decreed that we are turning our kids into binge drinkers. Alcohol Concern the National Agency on Alcohol Misuse, have issued a press release which is available from their website.

I take my parenting skills seriously, my two eldest sons (23 and 17 yrs old)will tell anyone who listens, that I allowed them to drink in the home. I took it upon myself to do as many more other right minded parents have done, and teach my kids about alcohol. From about 13 years of age I allowed them the occasional can of lager, usually on a friday night, or if we had guests over the weekend then they would be allowed to join the gathering and have a maximum of two cans. They gained I believe a knowledge of beer, and its effects. I took care to point out the pitfalls, the danger of becoming alcoholics and drink dependant people.

I showed them people who drank, but drank too much and made themselves appear foolish and childish. I showed them others who would become loud and obnoxious, I showed them shy people who blossomed and gained confidence, serious men became funny, all in all it was a learning experience for them, and I hope that they learned from the experience. As neither son has been arrested nor cautioned for drinking offences nor any other offences I believe that my approach worked. Just as it has for other parent like ourselves, who rely on nothing but common sense to bring up our kids.

When questioned by guests as I often was, as to why I was allowing them to drink, I tried to explain that I thought it a good idea, as I wanted them to be aware of drink, of its dangers, I did not want them to hit 15,16 and 17 years of age and have to join their friends in the local park sharing bottles of cheap cider to get an introduction to booze. I did not want them to follow other kids who hit 18 and believed that they had to drink to prove they were men of the world etc etc.

Most of all I wanted them to be able to control their drinking and gain a healthy respect for drink.

Alcohol Concern can as far as I am concerned go and take a running jump, I will not be told how to bring up my children by anyone other than my other half. We decide as a couple what is best for our children. I will decide (with the wifes approval ;-) )what goes on in our house. Not the state nor any agencies of the state. If the powers that be drank less alcohol whilst in the Houses of Parliament maybe the laws and legislation they are passing would actually work, instead of being a booze induced knee jerk reaction.

After all if the government were so good at bringing up children, why do their care homes for children get such lousy press?

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Shock Horror.. Motorists find a loophole and use it!

This post on the BBC magazine web site, makes for interesting reading.

In the paragraphs titled Location Location, whilst it says "For years the myth persisted that cameras were put up as a way to generate money rather than to make the roads safer.

Earlier this year the Department for Transport (DfT) tried to put this to bed. They revealed the requirements that cameras have to meet before they are installed. Principally, there have to have been three serious injuries at a camera site in a three-year period. In London it's even tougher with four injuries over the same period.
But does not state that the rules were changed on April 1st this year! To make it far easier for local councils to put cameras just where the hell they want to!

Whilst it toes the government line that "Speed Kills", it does however also question the validity of the governments own statistics. Providing a conflicting view of the statistics and the method by which the government arrive at its figures. Dr Linda Mountain has blown holes in the governments argument, which even though her conclusions were included in the recent report, it was as ever buried at the back, hidden away.

A persona I have not encountered before "Captain Gatso" is quoted as saying "he registered his car at a different address, allowing him to ignore any penalties incurred."

Kevin Delaney, the former head of the Met's traffic police, believes this is evidence of a wider problem that speed cameras can only catch people that are basically law abiding.

"Any form of remote detection such as speed cameras relies on the information supplied by the public. If that isn't correct, then remote detection immediately falls flat. You need traffic police to catch the problem drivers."

Which the majority of people would want, we want more police officers on the road, at least they can take into account traffic, road conditions which is more than a gatso camera can! Remote detection does not work! It doesn't stop drunk drivers, uninsured cars, dangerous drivers or even road rage, we need real policemen for that!

So basically, people have found that by registering their cars at a friend or relatives address, they can delay receipt of any impending speeding prosecutions, until after the 28 days the police have to notify you, thereby escaping prosecution.

There are easier ways, have information about the legality of NiP's (Notice of Intention to Prosecute) and how as they do not follow or comply with the PACE ( Police and Criminal Evidence) Act, a loophole has been found which can negate or cancel any proceedings.

People are no longer willing to sit by and let the powers that be just take away their livelihoods anymore, and people are starting to use civil disobedience to escape penalties!

All in all not a bad piece of journalism, well done to Mr Simon Cox.

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Positive Discrimination

In this piece on BBC News, Police heads are discussing the Positive Discrimination of Ethnic minorities, in order to meet the set quota of Black and Asian officers recruited to the Police Force by 2009.

I personally feel that this is wrong, to do a job effectively, one hires the best candidate for the position, whether the person is black, white, yellow or green with purple polka dots. To get the best from our ( and I stress our) Police Force, we need to know that we have the best for the job.

We as members of the public are policed by our consent. That is we give our permission and agree to abide by rules that benefit us all, for the good of society as a whole. Parliament may make the laws, but we still have to give our consent, to be ruled by these new laws. We can refuse as has happened in the past over the Poll Tax. Civil disobedience is a right we have, and when we feel aggrieved we can exercise this right.

We expect sometimes too much from our officers, after all they are only human. What we as members of the public want, is not ethnic monitoring or quotas, we want effective officers on the beat. We do not want target led policing, we want the officers out on the front line catching the bad guys. We want a Police Force we can be proud of, not one that is used for political ends, as is happening much to often these days.

We as members of the public, care not if the officer who stops us is black or white, we only care about manners, civility and respect. We expect the Police officer to be there when we need them, not in a station filling out forms.

Keith Jarrett, President of the National Black Police Association, said he supported the use of affirmative action.

He told the BBC: "If we look at Hounslow in London, it's a borough that is predominantly from a minority ethnic background.

"Now whilst my white colleagues are immensely qualified to do the job, I would put forward that Hounslow would be better served as a borough by a person from an Asian background, who has got culture in common with the local inhabitants, and perhaps speaks the same language."

I make no excuses for my thoughts and comments, and my first thoughts on Mr K Jarretts' statement about speaking the same language is "that is crap", they should have no need to speak any language other than English, that is the mother tongue of this country, and should the Asians, Blacks and East Europeans choose to live here, then they should learn the language. They have a duty to accept our culture, we only have an obligation to respect theirs. We are bending over much to far, the UK's language is English and English must be used!

Positive discrimination panders to the minorities belief that they have in some way been mistreated in the past, be it through colonialism in the past, or just perceived thoughts of racism. The Police have to prove to people that they can do the job without being racist, and regain the trust of all of the members of the public!

If our Police Force, which was once , one of the most trusted in the world goes ahead with Positive discrimination, we are as a nation on a very slippery slope. Next you will have white youths claiming discrimination because they were stopped by an Asian Officer, that his English wasn't good enough to understand, that he doesn't understand their culture.

If a person applies to join the Police Force it does not matter what his colour as long as he has the required qualifications and can do the job. If the ethnic minorities do not have the qualifications (which I seriously doubt) then they should not be in the police. In my mind I have a sneaky suspicion that the basic Policeman's salary is not enough to entice the ethnic minorities to apply for a position.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Fishing one Country penalised and another given amnesty?

The BBC has a little piece today about the unfairness of the EU. Its all to do with fishing rights, not so much as how the quotas are worked out, but the actual unfairness of the commission in itself.

It appears that UK and Irish boats that over fished their permitted mackerel and herring allowances, were subjected to less allowances over the next few years in order to "payback" what they had overfished.

The French fishermen meanwhile who had been overfishing Bluefin Tuna, which is more of an endangered species, by upto 40% in one year and then 30% the following year, have had penalties waived and been given an amnesty. So their quotas remain the same, and they are permitted to fish with impunity.

It seems in this age of the EU every country is equal, however as in the old eastern block some are more equal than others, the French being more equal than the UK or Irish.

With fish stocks at an all time low, cod in danger of being fished out of existance, isnt it about time we regained and took control of our fishing grounds, to allow the stocks to recover.

Indeed does this sorry state of affairs not go to prove that the EU only want the UK in as a member so they can reduce us to their levels? If we take control of our waters and ban them from being fished, we could save cod from extinction.

I want us out of the EU as the more I learn the more I am sure we are being shafted by all!

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

School Rules just petty?

As far as I am aware, until children "Come of Age", currently on their 18th Birthday, their parents make decisions on their behalf. I do with my children, as do countless other parents. The reasons are quite simple, even at 15,16 and 17 years of age, some children do not always have the wherewithal to look after themselves or their own interests, therefore the parents have this responsibility. Especially if the child or minor is still in full time education.

Hurworth School, near Darlington County Durham has banned a pupil Miss Kayleigh Baker from "other voluntary activities" because her parents refused to sign a form for her to attend extra revision lessons. Part of these other voluntary activities, include playing for the netball team and attending the school prom.

The item has hit the BBC news website, please have a read see what you think.

My thoughts are, that as Miss Baker is already a high achiever, a prefect at the school, a member of the school team and until information to the contrary comes to light, I believe her parents are looking after her best interests. They and they alone know the stress that she is capable of managing, they and they alone have an idea of what she is capable of.

According to the Head Dean Judson, as her parents refused to sign allowing extra revision, she was banned form other voluntary activities. Which is a bit like taking the ball home because you can't get your own way. We have no way of knowing whether Miss Baker actually needs the extra classes, or even if the extra classes would not harm an otherwise high achieving student. What we appear to have is a school versus parent as to who knows best about a child needs.

School chief executive Eamonn Farrar said the extra study sessions were made compulsory five years ago.

He said: "If we were to give the children the choice of attending the extra study sessions, what do you think the response would be? They wouldn't attend.

I actually doubt that what Mr Farrar has said here is strictly true, most parents would jump at the chance to have their child given extra tuition just before exams, and would therefore force or otherwise cajole their child into attending.

But it must surely follow that any parent who would prefer their child to not attend these extra lessons, must have valid reasons for doing so. One can only assume that Miss Bakers parents made their decision on the basis that her high standards were not at risk by her non attendance, which basically means they think she doesn't need the extra lessons.

Only time will tell which side is right, but I would hazard a guess and go with the parents, who's belief and knowledge of their daughter, far outweighs the schools over zealous adherence to its authoritarian rules.

As everyone discovers in time, one size does not fit all! After all having one of the school governors resigning over the affair cannot be good for school moral, and what kind of message does it send to future pupils and their parents?

_______------------ UPDATE ----------________

It has been said in the media and the DofE, that the extra lessons are "out of school hours" and therefore cannot be made compulsory! So it is definately a case of the school trying to impose its will on students!

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Cart before the horse...

The BBC's Local Government Correspondent, Mr John Andrew,has recently written of his experiences of Belgium's Rubbish Solution, he visited Lokeren following in the footsteps of the environment minister Ben Bradshaw.

Having obviously read the piece, it does raise for me some points to ponder...

I can understand a countries reasons for recycling materials, I can understand protecting the environment, apart from Aluminium, there appears to be nothing to be gained by recycling, it cost more to get Aluminium out of the ground than it does to recycle. Therefore cans are a valuable resource, and it is worthwhile to recycle them.

Paper production uses sustainable forests to produce paper and card. The use of recycled paper uses more resources and leaves worse residue than if it was just binned. The bleaches and chemicals used during the cleaning process are more deadly and cause a serious pollution problem.

These are just two items from a list of recycling items accepted by councils.

UK Waste production is roughly 400 millions tons per annum. Only 7.5% of this is actually household waste, 30 million tons, now that's quite a large figure, but dwarfed by the outpouring of waste from the commercial and industrial sector. Do they as I suspect use the same landfill sites that our household waste goes into? How much do they have to pay for getting rid of their rubbish? The Constuction Industry alone produces 20% of the waste, a massive 80 million tons.

Before being landfilled could the waste not be compacted, reducing space, could it not be used as fuel? How about compacting and filling in old mining shafts that cover the whole of this small island?

I vaguely remember some town in Europe using their waste to fuel a power plant, is that viable here? Why is no-one in power telling us wether this is possible? Why is everything down to tax, tax, tax?

What Mr Andrew has not addressed in his short piece is where this actual legislation came from. As with most of the press and the BBC, they all seem to want to keep it quiet that 80% of all our legislation comes from Brussels, and is merely rubber stamped by UK Government!

In the article he mentions cost, and how the people pay on average £56.00 annually, now I might be a wee bit sceptical here, but does anyone seriously think that the UK's Local Councils and Government are going to be willing to set such a low rate, not a chance, as ever they will go for the big buck.

He then goes on to the biggest problem I have with all of this, chipping of bins, one fact is inescapable, they knew what was coming, long before it hit the news. Wheelie bins were issued to the homes of Blackpool in 2004, at which time they were already chipped!! Why?? Who said it would be a good idea to put the cart before the horse?

Why do the fuckwits in our employ seem to feel free to treat us like numpties?

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

A Simple view of the EU?

I was asked in the local pub, just why I was against the EU. What was it about the EU that I found so unpalatable and as we were in it anyway, wouldn't it be better to try and reform it from within.

The Idea of a Common Market, as first sold to the UK population in the 70's, does have an appeal, it is a good idea. The idea of opening barriers between European countries was a worthwhile aim. Unfortunately as so many good ideals, it was hijacked and changed beyond all recognition.

To put this as simply as I can, "power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely!"

Whilst the UK was ruled by the Parliament in Westminster, we have safeguards to stop some of the corruption. Our MP's are paid handsomely for their very meagre efforts to represent us, they have plenty of perks and privileges, that were never even considered by the earliest of our representatives. What with massive expenses claims, which can include mortgage payments, first class travel, taxi's here there and everywhere, Gold plated pensions which are index linked and untouchable. MP's have a rather good thing going on! This was a price we as a public, whilst not exactly overjoyed at paying, we permitted as it allowed us to tell our MP's in no uncertain terms, we gave it to you and we can take it away. You cock up and you will not be re-elected, your snout will be cast out from the trough! So remember be a good little porker or else its the bacon factory for you.

Originally our MP's were taken from the landed gentry, who had made their fortune, and through a sense of civic pride decided to put something back. There was also no doubt that self interest was also a part of their being willing to stand. But on the whole they were men who had made their fortunes, who had run businesses and organisations, men who had proved they had what it took to survive in the competitive world of trade. They had experience and knowledge of how things worked, of how to run things and get the best out of them. They were not professional politicians, they might belong to a party be it the Tories or Liberals and even labour, but they were their own men, they fought for their constituents, not the party machine.

The problem is that they seem in these more modern times to forget that they are supposed to be there in Parliament to protect us, to manage the State. Hence the term Statesman. We delegate to them some of our responsibilities, and for this as we have ready ascertained they are paid very handsomely! Yet we as constituents are merely seen as a means to an ends, con the public, get elected then toe the party line. They are all professional politicians, very very few of them have held down proper jobs, well jobs that the majority of their constituents would recognise as worthwhile jobs anyway. They go to University, then become researchers for a party, and gradually move up through the party ranks to become candidates, and they hope MP's.

But this Party system cheapens and changes the position of MP, it gives us lesser men, men like Ted Heath, who for whatever reason took us into the fledgling EEC. As well as men like Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, one raped and pillaged our pensions and the other took this once great country into an illegal war! Tony has presided on the biggest theft from the British people, that of our civil liberties! Liberties that have been fought for with the blood of past generations.

Just what has this to do with the EU I hear you cry, well its just that as bad as it all gets, as corrupt as NuLabour are or have become, we can at the next elections get rid, we can sack them, we can give another politician a chance to make things right, a chance for him or her to do it differently and to do it right! We have a chance at the local elections to send warning shots across the bows of the NuLabour machine, telling them change or your out!

This I cannot do with the EU, the Commission is totally unelected, chosen in secret, hidden behind closed doors. I never voted or had the opportunity to vote for Mr Barroso, nor any of his commissioners. Even the EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandleson, was not elected. He was sacked twice from Blairs Cabinet, once over a £373,000 loan which he didn't declare and lied about, and then he lied to parliament about a passport application, which kind of tells the electorate that he cannot be trusted. Yet he is given the job of Trade Commissioner by Tony Blair! He didn't have to fight for election, he was and still is a discredited ex MP, who was caught telling lies, great fucking big ones! Yet he is on the unelected commission and it really does beggar belief. If you actually research the EU, you will find that some of the present commissioners have had fraud allegations made against them! Not exactly a ringing endorsement for honesty or integrity is it!

We have a Parliament that is supposed to make all of our laws, yet due to our rights being given away to the EU, which I have had no say nor any input, 80% of our laws come from the EU Commission! If we are forced any further into the EU, we lose our ability to get out, seriously until we are fully integrated we can get out. Just by repealing the 1972 European Communities Act, we are out, its that simple. However should we integrate further, the EU can stop us leaving, or permit us to leave as long as we pay massive massive fines for doing so! Now which ever way you look at it, our forefathers sure as hell didn't fight so that we could be ruled by Europe!!

Coming from a strong working class background, I along with a majority of my class, have a distrust of the Europeans, we have long memories, the working classes fought the wars. We outnumbered the Upper and middle classes on any front line you care to mention, and basically we don't fucking trust any politicians and we trust European Politicians even less! I am not alone in my feelings regards the EU, and the simple fact that it is trying to shaft us for the wars we won! I can accept that this might be seen as null or mute point, with all the other euro bloggers out there, but I feel it is a valid point nonetheless. After years of being shafted by the great and supposed good, we need to get out of the EU, leave it to stew. After all in reality they need our money, much more than they care to admit!

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