UK Politicians – Sack the lot!

I wonder…let’s say I decided to put in a claim for tax relief on something to which I’m not entitled. Or, how about something that doesn’t exist? Better still, what about if I submitted an expenses claim to my employer for say £10 that was for something which doesn’t exist or for something I actually paid £5 for? What would happen if I claimed hundreds or thousands of pounds in benefits to which I was not entitled? Let us supposed I was subsequently caught for any of the above? What would happen? Could I expect to be let off? Would the police be called in to investigate me for fraud? I doubt I’d walk away from something like that, and quite rightly so. Yet, those people we elected to run this country have done essentially the very same thing in principle, and have the nerve to say sorry and walk away. Or, in at least one case, stated that if it weren’t for the pesky Freedom of Information Act, us peasants wouldn’t have our sticky mits on the incriminating evidence of their very wrongdoing! Arrogant bastards! They ALL deserve to be dragged through the mud. Every last one of them. If they weren’t complicit, they at least knew the system was rigged and had an ethical duty to put a stop to it from the inside. NO excuses are good enough. That is what we pay them for. That is why we elect them!

Imagine all those scenarios above, where I was in reciept of money each month or even just once when I really shouldn’t have been. Firstly, I’d have to be exceptionally wealthy NOT to notice such large sums being deposited into my bank or to NOT notice and question them! I think I would probably notice if I was still claiming money for a mortgage which no longer exists. I wonder how many of you wouldn’t take note of the date upon which your mortgage is paid off? Probably none, I’m willing to bet! Yet, our beloved politicians have done exactly that. “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t notice the few hundred quid entering my bank account each month. Silly me! So sorry. Let’s just forget about it eh?”.

Every single politician who made a claim for expenses they were NOT entitled to, should be made to pay it back, apologise to their electorate (and the rest of us) and be sacked immediately. In any other sector, they would be held accountable for committing gross misconduct at the very least and possibly even fraud.

To clarify that point, let me quote the definition of the word “fraud” from Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.
“Deception deliberately practiced with a view to gaining an unlawful or unfair advantage”

I wonder how closely that definition fits?

It was reported today that poor old Gordon Brown admitted to having a tough time of it recently. So sad, isn’t it? The poor fellow is getting up to go to work every day and finding it all a bit stressful. I wonder why? Could it be that he and his cabinet are NOT up to the job of running this country? The cracks are certainly getting much wider. Are the conservatives any better? Nope. Few of the UK’s politicians deserve to have jobs at all right now. At least some of them had the decency to bugger off to find gainful employment elsewhere! I wonder how long they’d get away with claiming expenses like that in their new private sector roles? Five minutes at most, and they’d be out on their arse. Says it all really!

Jim

How to claim £16,000 for a mortgage that’s paid off? Become a Labour MP!

Yep, you read the title correctly. Our beloved Labour MP’s are falling over each other in the queue to outdo themselves on what absurdities they have claimed expenses for. I think the prize really must go to Mr Elliot Morley. Apparently (according to a BBC story posted here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8049096.stm) Mr Morley had to pay back a whacking £16,000 for a mortgage that was already paid off and which presumably no longer existed!!!

To be fair, Mr Morley did realise his genuine mistake and paid back the money. So, that’s allright then, yes? Well, er, no actually. What amazed me most about this latest in a long, long line of the comedy of errors that is our current UK government is that the mortgage payments were £800 per month. Do you see where I’m going here?? The eagled eyed readers amongst you, which obviously wouldn’t include Mr Morley, will already have done your sums. Yes, £16,000 divided by £800 equals 20. So, our Mr Morley MP appears to be so hopeless with his household income that he didn’t notice the £800 per month coming into the old current account, for TWENTY months?!?! I’ll say that again, for those who missed it the first time….he claimed 20 payments over 20 months, which is almost 2 years, of £800 per month and didn’t realise it was for something which didn’t exist?!?!?

Obviously, I’m not quite as well off as Mr Morley MP because I think I’d probably notice an extra £800 per month. Not to mention the odd fact of having no mortgage with which to pay the money towards tends to be a bit of a giveaway!
The really scary things about this story and all the many others is that not only are these morons getting away with it by apologising (which makes it all better, of course), but that they, as a collective set of idiots, are supposedly running our great country. They cannot seem to manage their own finances, so you’d think that the UK should, by rights, be in some kind of dire straights financially………..OH!

What a crazy world we live in eh?! Oooo, I wonder if you can guess which party I won’t be voting for at the next, long overdue, General Election??

Jim

The Rich Get Poorer – How Sad!

Browsing the BBC news website this morning led me to two interesting and contrasting stories, which I really must comment on.

The first is about a 19yr old woman called Suada Hamidi who has to live on £50 per week. Out of that, she has bills to pay and travelling costs in order to sign on as unemployed. By the time she’s finished, she has less than £5 to spend on food and living expenses for seven days. She has done a video diary for the BBC about her plight and search for work. The thing that amazed me most is that she manages to smile through the obvious pain and fear she must be feeling. I have so much respect for her courage in the face of such hardship. At her age, she should be earning a reasonable wage and going out enjoying herself while she’s still young and free. The government has absolutely no clue at all. How can they say they are helping people like Suada? If she takes a full time job on the minimum wage, she’ll actually be worse off financially because she would then become liable for payment of the full amount for her bills as she’d lose the financial “help” she recieves via state benefits. Her story and video diary can be found here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8015182.stm

Which brings me on to the next story I read and the one which made me feel sad. Apparently, many of our richest pop stars are struggling with their finances because of the current downturn in the UK economy. As many of them rely on investments to fund their so modest lifestyles, they are finding themselves losing money, hand over fist. For example, Sir Elton John has seen his tiny bank balance drop from £235 million to £175 million (yes, that’s pounds sterling!) in the last year. Well, how will he manage? Where is the next Porsche coming from? How will he feed himself on £175 million pounds? I feel so sorry for Sir Elton. Really. If it carries on, he’ll be so poor, he’ll have to sell a mansion or two. My heart bleeds for Sir Paul McCartney too. He’s really suffering. According to the story, he’s seen his measly £500 million drop to a terrifyingly low £440 million. What on earth is he to do? It’s dreadful to think that he’ll have to seriously reconsider purchasing that yacht he’s been eyeing up or the tenth holiday in Bali this year may have to be downgraded to Monte Carlo. What a crying shame. This story can be read here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8015303.stm

I’m not sure whether the BBC story about those poor music stars was meant to garner sympathy or was dripping with sarcasm. You decide. The point is that it makes me sick to think of the people out there in desperate need of help, with nowhere to turn and the contrasting wealthy elite are crying into their Amani suits about the loss of a few million quid off their immense fortunes. Who cares? Yes, some of these people do have incredible talent and deserve to be earning lots of money for their artistic contribution. However, it still saddens me to think of the people at the opposite end of the spectrum, who are promised help by our government, to no avail. Empty promises of help getting back into work and retraining and financial support for their plight. It clearly doesn’t work. So, although the rich are currently getting poorer, I would contend that many of them have no idea what the word “poor” really means, government ministers with their second homes least of all!

Jim.

Christianity – Why I won’t be a part of it…Pt I

I’ve already posted a couple of times about Christian fundies and how much I dislike them, so this post just adds fuel to the already huge fire.

This post has been prompted by a report on the BBC website about two seperate groups of monks in Jerusalem who ended up having a mass brawl outside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The BBC page linked below contains the whole story, along with footage of the event. It doesn’t really matter to me why they did it or what sparked it off. There is no reason good enough. As supposed devout Christians, they follow the Bible. Really, do they?? I think they need more lessons in how to read, not to mention the meaning of humility! I always thought Jesus is supposed to the be the role model for Christians? Isn’t that what’s shouted from every pulpit? So, what on earth were these monks thinking whilst punching and kicking each other? It beggars belief.

It was sickening to watch and just reinforced my disgust with the way people behave who are supposed to be leading the life as exemplified by that famous, mild mannered pacifist; Jesus. It’s a crazy world! I know they are of different sects, but please. These guys are not only monks, but also supposedly Christian!! Yet again, we have violence in the name of God.

If I wasn’t put off by lots and lots of other things about Christianity, this would certainly make me think twice about associating myself with the religion. No matter what reasoning you use, there is absolutely no excuse for people – who should really know better – doing something like this. When was the last time you saw Buddhist monks kicking seven bells out of each other?

How very, very sad.

The BBC news item is here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7718587.stm

Jim.

Big Brother!

Here’s a very good example of why the UK is fast becoming a scary place to live!

Poole council spied on a family for two weeks using The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA). This Act is designed to govern the use of covert surveillance of people who are suspected of committing crimes, particularly terrorism.

So, what were this family doing so suspiciously that it would warrant invoking this Act? They applied to have their 3yr old daughter attend a local school. The council wanted to ensure they were legitimately living within the catchment area according to their application! I kid you not!

Is this a justifiable reason to spy on a family for two weeks? Is this a legitimate use of taxpayer’s money? I think not. It is an invasion of privacy and the council should be held accountable for misuse of their power.

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/dorset/7341179.stm

For more information on privacy issues, visit:

Liberty – http://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) – http://www.eff.org/

Jim

72yr old man can’t buy alcohol from Morrisons! WTF?

This has to be one of the craziest stories I’ve come across.

The BBC have posted a story about how a 72yr old man with white hair was not allowed to buy alcohol from a Morrisons store. Why? Because he refused to confirm that he is over 21 when asked by staff.

Apparently, the checkout person asked him to confirm he’s over 21. He told her he wouldn’t dignify the question with an answer and quite rightly so. I mean it was bloody stupid to even ask! The manager also refused to serve him and returned the bottles of wine to the shelves.

Well, good for Morrisons. They have stood by their petty bureaucracy and ridiculously politically correct red tape. Not only have they alienated a customer (no doubt along with his family and friends), but they’ve also probably pissed off quite a few pensioners and had the misfortune of negative publicity over the story on the BBC’s website. Well done Morrisons. Good call!!

You’d think they would have spent a bit of time and effort saying they were sorry and how silly it all was with perhaps a nice gift to the aggrieved customer, yes? No. Instead, their idea of a good PR campaign to lessen the damage done through their staff’s ludicrous behaviour is to get their spokesperson to defend the decision! Again, good call! What a great choice there Morrisons!

Instead of eating humble pie and actually thinking about what they’d done, they just made it all worse. What is wrong with large organisations? Why do they insist on treating individual customers like shit?

I can perfectly understand why Morrisons have taken a harder line on serving people with alcohol because they have been fined for breaching the rules in the past. Yet, how many pensioners do you know who could be mistaken for someone under 21?

How sad and pathetic. Morrisons should be ashamed.

The story can be found here

Jim

UK Judge calls for DNA database!

A senior UK judge thinks it would be a good idea for all UK citizens and visitors to be included in a huge database of DNA to make it fair and pc. Bullshit. If that isn’t big brother, what is?! This guy is an idiot.

The UK Government hasn’t got a good track record for managing large projects well. Just look at the state of the country! It would be an invasion of privacy, infringement of civil liberties and just one more method of spying on the population. We already have more CCTV cameras than any other country. Where does it end?

Lord Justice Sedley says he understands that to take these steps would be “authoritarian”, but it still needs to be done. Really? Why? The next one will be…anyone who publishes something on their blog that criticises the government or authorities should be jailed. Even better, lets publicly flog them or bring back the stocks.

When do “authoritarian measures” in the public interest or to be politically correct become illegal and immoral? How far is too far? How much freedom do you, as an individual, want to lose? Why should the majority of us law abiding people have to be subjected to this for the sake of the minority who commit the crimes? At what point do we as individuals lose the right to prevent these infringements? It’s at the point when we allow the government to erode our freedom so much by the back door that we have no freedom left. It’s almost that way now. They keep chipping away at it bit by bit. We don’t notice. Just one or two CCTV cameras in the worst areas of a city. Ok, the people are used to them now and they don’t notice them. Add a few more…and so on. I doubt I could walk on any street in any UK city without being filmed or watched any more. That’s scary. Yet, we allowed it to happen! Maybe it is good for crime prevention, but we must maintain democracy. We are becoming a totalitarian nanny state.

We are going to end up in a police state with travel and speech controlled and curtailed at the behest of the people we put in power for their own ends. So much for democracy eh? Who said the NWO is nonsense?

The other thing used to justify the proposal was that “ethnic minorities” were under-represented on the existing DNA database. So? The point being? It’s fairly simple really when you think about it…more ethnic minority members are arrested and have DNA samples taken than anyone else in society. Now, what does that say? Either, an organisational and cultural swing toward racism by the police or the ethnic communities are committing more crime. I don’t know which it is, but adding “everyone” to the database hardly makes it bloody fair! Why not spend the time and vast amount of money tackling the root problems instead of hiding the result of these problems!

The really scary thing is the point that many people miss…there are always people in our society who will commit crime. The only way to completely prevent this is to have complete control over individuals in society. Think about the implications. The only way to have complete control is to remove freedom and choice.

It’s a ridiculous suggestion and this guy needs to be dragged into the real world with the real people!

Jim