Saturday, 30 December 2017

Brexit again?

The question of Brexit has yet another high profile critic. Perhaps I might be allowed to ask a question? These people who are elected representatives of the British people, what are they to represent? Yes, the will of the people. Hmmmm, pretty easy to deduct that I would say. Unfortunately, the reality seems to be that everyone of these elected representatives just follows their own ideas and desires! Now I have just listened to Lord Adonis, interesting chap but completely wrong. First of all he suddenly feels that we are going the wrong way. Well, maybe but is it not his job to see to it that the will of the people is carried out to the best of his ability? No, we now have just another sniper who is mumbling all sorts of untruths about the whole process. Secondly he was part of the government as an adviser. 
Possibly his advice was not accepted because it simply wasn't good enough? So, another MP who is throwing his toys out of the pram? Oh Westminster is deluged by all theses toys on the streets and the discarded prams holding up the traffic. 
Let’s be fair Brexit was never going to be easy, the EU would never just turn belly up. That is why it is important that ALL politicians work together to ensure the best deal for the UK. The old adage about a divided nation never winning battles is true. Divided you fall, united you stand! Frankly the whole thing has just become a farce. Not a single person seems to know what to do. I am now of the opinion that it would be best if we just draw a line under the whole thing and get out. No deal, stop everything, start negotiations with the rest of the world. Let the Germans be the big bosses they always wanted to be with the French supplying the Can-Can dancers and sour wine. Now that’s what I call an idea!

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Paid jobs for the boys....Hmmmm

I do receive the posts of 'Unlocking Democracy', a pressure group. Sometimes they say what I can agree with and sometimes I do not. That's what democracy is all about. But as I have been saying in the past on another blog about politicians taking on outside jobs to pay for things like second even third homes, duck-ponds and more it was galling to read about the erstwhile Chancellor, puppy-eyed George Osborne having seven paid positions? One is apparently paying him £600,000 plus per annum for one day a week's work! Makes one wonder when in politics they already started to lay the foundations for their future. Is it not strange then that they are working for precisely these companies and organisations they benefitted from laws and rules they made during their Westminster Palace tenure? Just wondering. And he is not the only one of course, David Cameron also acquired a lucrative position. Perhaps it is high time to investigate these practices. Be aware though that it is not illegal but is it 'kosher'? Another thing, we might begin to wonder whether 'News' such as that is actually fake? There are loads of these 'reports' mostly of a personal nature. Little personal digs at people. Well, it might be true, it might be partially true or it might be false. Interesting how we deal with the IT revolution. 

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Making your mind up....

One of the things about making decisions is the ability to enforce them. In the matter of the Brexit question - for those who do not know what that is ‘the decision through a referendum made by the British people to leave the European Union’ - it seems that the decision was made but no-one really knew how to implement it or enforce it. Nor what the implications would be. To any sane observer a decision to leave means, open the door, exit, and close the door. No questions about how to open the door, how long to be spent crossing the threshold and no questions whether to close the door softly or give it a good shove. But of course politics is just that. Endless arguments over the ‘fine’ details. As a result the UK is in an almighty morass. To be fair so is the EU. If we took a good look at the judiciary I would say the UK is quite capable of law-giving and enforcement. For that we do not need the European Court. Also do not forget there was a time before the EU. Personally for me there is no problem.
The UK should say thank you for past endeavours but unfortunately we have outgrown you. You have become a money-guzzling non-entity without standing in the wider world. Thank you but good-bye.

Immediately upon smacking the door closed we must open negotiations with those countries, European or worldwide, whom we trade with now. Cars from Germany? Welcome! Wine from France? Welcome. And so on and on. That’s it in a nutshell. Let’s stop prevaricating, come to our senses and save our money.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Amazing? Yes!

What amazes me is the inability of politicians to think about financial affairs. There is a simple truth. You cannot spend more than you ‘earn’. In government parlance that means you cannot spend more than you get in tax income. If you do, there is only one way to alleviate the shortage, you borrow. In the case of the UK the government(s) have borrowed close to £2trillion. By all accounts the debt stands at some 85% of GDP! All talk of reducing the deficit is just total idiotic and simply means just one thing, we keep on increasing the debt. The deficit talk just underpins the inability to reduce our spending. It also means any government, past, present, future has build up a society that vastly lives beyond its means. Who is to blame? We all are! Simply too many of us are walking along with closed eyes and cotton-wool in our ears. It is worrying to hear on the various news channels the continuing clamour for ever more money. NHS, Social Security. It must be obvious to all except it isn’t, that there will come a time when the whole edifice will just crumble and collapse.
That time will come when the GDP will equal our debt. When it becomes impossible to service the debt without cutting all services to the bone. No matter which government will be in power it will fall.
The following excerpt from 2015 shows the continual rise we see today.
The United Kingdom National Debt is the total quantity of money borrowed by the Government of the UK at any time through the issue of securities.
As of Q1 (the first quarter of) 2015, UK government debt amounted to £1.56 trillion, or 81.58% of total GDP, at which time the annual cost of servicing (paying the interest) the public debt amounted to around £43 billion (which is roughly 3% of GDP or 8% of UK government tax income). Due to the Government's significant budget deficit, the national debt is increasing by approximately £73.5 billion per annum, or around £1.4 billion each week.
So even if we reduce the deficit to zero our debt stays the same, we continue to pay the interest charges which today are close to £50billion annually!!! These facts are continually hidden by politicians who blurb happily about deficits which on the whole do not make a jot of difference to the debt! David Cameron in his days actually said ‘We are making payments to reduce the debt’ when in fact he was just trying to reduce the deficit (the difference between the budget set and the actual expenditure). Obviously an abject failure. Today we are facing the prospect of a UK Labour government who evidently have no idea of the debt we are facing and in fact want to increase it dramatically. This might mean we will have to face up to a 1930’s style economic collapse.

In Wales we have still to face the UK economic problems but worringly the Welsh government also wants borrowing powers. It nevers rains but it pours! No talk of balancing the budgets, no talk of how to divide the available money most advantageously. No, just borrowing like there is no tomorrow. It will all end when nations can no longer finance the debt interest without cutting even more of the services they installed. The one thing we all need to remember is this – THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH (unless you're a politician).

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Sabre rattling or a game of who has the biggest d*ck?


Looking at the various news broadcasts makes you think we are in a theatre much like the Apollo in London town watching a few comedians. Except these comedians are leaders of countries. Hearing interesting exclamations about mutual destruction, small nuclear warheads on rockets and possibly more. You might even think it sounds like a game of ping-pong. ‘I’ll fire a rocket at you just because I don’t like you’. ‘Oh yeah? I’ll flatten you with fire’. It could be laughable but it involves the most powerful nation on earth. We should be sure they have the capabilities to completely destroy a whole nation. But what is the reality? An impoverished smallish nation possibly backed with military hardware from China seems to have got it into its head it should take on the US. Much like Andorra having a go at Spain or France or even both! To me it just smells of another player pulling the strings. Publicly saying nice calming words and promising to be a middle man (peace broker) but inwardly laughing. Yes, it’s not about who will fire the first nuke, it’s about world supremacy. The US appears to be slowly losing its position, but China is now roaming the world looking for bases. Already in Africa, it won’t be long before they will be everywhere. So, wake up Britain, let’s all learn Mandarin and quick! Cheers.

Ed - I prefer to deal with the Chinese rather than Americans. Buying from AliBaba ensures you have a product that works. Cheers.

Education or standard chasing?


As I live in Wales (UK) I am rather interested in education. But I am worried the way the devolved government and its subsidiaries deal with it all. Being a governor also means I am a bit more in touch with the way inspections are carried out, the pressure being put on the whole system all in the name of increasing standards. Whilst I applaud the need for academic education, that is to say need for scientists of all kinds, I do not subscribe to the idea that everyone has to follow that path. First of all what you see in university studies is a numbers game. Pack ‘m in and fill it to the rafters. As a result we get an enormous number of students with ‘mickey mouse degrees’. A fact borne out by industry bosses. An accompanying problem is the degree person having expectations of earning capacity way beyond their knowledge and capability. All resulting in very unhappy bosses and indeed very unhappy students as they find their employability being virtually nil.
This country is bedevilled by politicians of all kinds asking for increasing standards forgetting that not all are willing or capable of fulfilling this. Being students and pupils coming from many different backgrounds the aspirations, capabilities are also incredibly varied. The educational system today does not cope with these differences at all well. Besides it is easy to plug science education but it should be remembered that there will still be a need for people with vocational abilities. Not everything can be sorted out by robots, not now and not in the foreseeable future. But that is a different problem and needs thorough investigation as how to approach the coming cyborg revolution. In particular the social aspect. What to do with 8 billion humans on the planet of which only a tiny fraction will be employed. Well, educationalists, get on with it and solve that one as well. If you can get your backsides off the chairs.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Who has the power.....?


One of the questions nagging at the back of my mind is – is there no end ever to the stupidity of governments? Stupidity being a big word but let’s call it a lack of sensibility then. Suddenly without much warning we are told all petrol and diesel cars are banned from 2040. It is an interesting thought which will without any doubt generate billions of words, written and spoken. One might wonder why this bombshell now? Ah, now we are talking politics. Does it make anyone wonder what is this supposed to take the steam off? Just guess, it is not too hard! In any case as usual, these ideas are badly thought out, badly presented without any idea as to how it could be implemented or even work! Think of all the lorries, can anyone see how these are to be converted besides the cost of it? How will the National Grid be able to cope? Every house with a car will need a charging pole outside. In places like where I live (The Rhondda in Wales) with no other parking than outside next to the narrow roads will provide an interesting talking point about who will pay for all of that.
Besides these little problems the biggest one is how will we generate this extra power? Already some estimates say we will need thousands more wind turbines with Wales obviously a prime target. I have mentioned in previous posts the need for all new houses (and old if we can) to have roofs fitted with the latest solar panel technology with as aim to have ALL houses done as soon as feasible. The basic truth is that policies, ideas such as now being promoted by the government are possible but only accompanied by sound thinking and being aware how it would have to be implemented. Moreover how all the side-issues would have to fit in seemlessly. A big plan, as they say in Wales ‘Siลตr i fod’! Let’s hope they will do it right for once as surely we need cleaner air but even more control and reverse the planet heating up!

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Biased? The BBC? Never...or....


Something strange happening in UK society – the BBC being accused of being biased. NOOOOH, please not another accusation! Not Auntie BBC? Yet it is funny but I have been getting hot under the collar for a while. It is the fact that the BBC seems to have become aggressive in its reporting. Ms Maitliss in particular. But there are others. When you look at the news we can see Mr Corbyn being portrayed as Saint Corbyn, smiling, waving the microphone. So, yes thanks BBC you’re doing a grand job.
There is however a nasty side to all this – I am an avid history addict and it is rather disconcerting to note that all these things have happened before. The propaganda, the appearances of a political leader at large rallies, selected public adulation, exposure by the media. When, you ask? In the early thirties, in Germany. Now, we know how all that ended. I am not bothered about proper politics, leaders have to have media exposure, and yes a strong opposition is paramount. But here we see a very weak opposition which is portrayed as the saviour of mankind! Gullible and wet behind the ears students lapping up the political promises without even thinking how all that could be done.
The Labour party machine has linked with the vague feeling we all have that ‘things’ are not right and are ruthlessly exploiting it.
The ruling party’s failures are highlighted to enormous extent by media sensation-seeking interviewers. So, what now? Well, I think the BBC needs a make-over and fast as the wrinkles are getting ever deeper. Bring Mr Corbyn to heel, after all he is the leader of an opposition party and not a second-coming. And tell Mr McDonnell to return to his rich upbringing and study economics properly. Moreover start showing our youthful, lustful students and all those from 12 to 21 that Marxism, socialist leftish thinking is not the answer to our ills.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Austerity, go,go,gone...


Ah, election over, austerity over. Problem is, what exactly IS austerity? We hear a lot about balancing the books and yes, that seems to make sense. Sense at least for ordinary people like myself. I certainly try not to spend more than I bring into the home budget! Is that making sense?
Austerity meant mostly cutting public spending by the government in the name of ‘balancing the books’. Admirable in one way but very problematic in other ways.
But governments are on a different level. For a start they control the issue of money. That is to say the amount of money that is in circulation. They can and do print more. Called quantitative easing. We noted this action when billions were spent to bail-out the failing banks. So national economics is not quite the same as home economics. So, was the Labour party wrong in calling for billions to be spent on so-called public projects such as nationalising the railways, and possible other industries, water, power etc. Dropping university fees and reorganising the benefits culture (expanding it probably). Surely very popular as the general public voted in more Labour MPs. Well, Labour has always been the champions of short-term thinking. The problem is that the underlying economic problems do not just go away with throwing more money at them. What options do governments really have? Taxation is one of them. Increasing taxes will bring in more money obviously but it will also decrease the amount people can spend. This might also lower prices in the shops as competition for orders increases. There again more business taxation will increase prices.
Governments can increase the amount of money in circulation by increasing the number of public projects. Not just nationalisation of public services but spending on infrastructure, roads, transport links, public services (NHS). But it will increase inflation as well. There are no easy solutions, it is a tightrope. All these things are linked, you tinker with one and another either dives or rises.
Presently most governments ‘borrow’ money through issuing bonds (so-called gilts) which is not in itself a bad thing but it can get out of hand as well. There is the fact of having to pay interest. Presently in the UK that stands at some £50billion annually.
It is funny but our quest for better wages means that more spending follows, increasing tax income for the government but also increases prices as there will be more public competition for the available goods.
What a mess we are in, all at the behest of consumption, production and spending. Kids should be taught economics at an early age as the so-called ‘Youth revolution’ in the latest general election showed without doubt a total misunderstanding of the reality behind the political slogans. It was a self-centred result of the type of quantitative easing mentioned above. No university fees, millions more homes, and grants for almost everything. Utopia with a price tag around its neck. Cheers, I’ll have my beer now before Heineken goes bust.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Trust me they say - Oh? Why?


I always enjoy election campaigns and listening to all the interesting promises candidates, especially the party leaders, make. The first thing that is important to remember is they are promises, not actual intentions to incorporate into policy. The second thing is the finance details or rather lack of it, are widely inaccurate or simply based on approximations about present standards.
Meaning they have no idea of how these promises will possibly be worked out. I suspect we will hear that after the election these promises were well liked ideas and hopefully would be carried out but that at the present time and in the uncertainty of the political world, they are not affordable. In other words, no change.
Although Mr Corbyn is gaining ground, possibly because of his appearances in strong Labour areas only and filmed by pro-Labour BBC newscasters his ideas are basically and completely unaffordable. Even if he had the intention of actually carrying them out! I just cannot believe these people who continually mention – we need more money. The problem besieging the western world is this, we have built up a society that needs ever increasing amounts of cash to function in the way we have come to expect. Free this, free that without thinking as where the cash is to come from. Well, the cash comes from taxation in all its guises, VAT, Income, NI, plus a host of others. This tax amount can be roughly calculated. So, if we spend more than that income we need to borrow to cover the deficit. As the total debt of the UK now stands at about £1.7trillion you’ll see we have a problem. This debt must be serviced and cost the nation well over £50billion annually. Wasted money. Money owed as a share of the economy hit 84.5 per cent, yes you heard it here. It works out at about £2,600 for every person in the UK (that includes babies, sick persons, everybody!). Now if we think that is normal, vote Labour or any other shallow thinking party like the Greens. If you think we should do something about it, leave and emigrate to New Zealand or put your name down to be the first to colonize Mars. Because until the Conservatives get a proper grip this situation will continue.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Cobblers and more cobblers


I am an avid watcher of political programs, especially now with a General Election looming.From time to time I can assure you these programs are worthwhile watching as they are comparable if not better than Live at the Apollo (a comedy program worthy of the name). You will see well dressed, well-fed people in tuxedos or evening dresses spouting all sorts of rubbish. Reality just being circumcised and mudslinging the norm. Now I don’t mind the mudslinging I can do a bit of that myself. But when I hear Jeremy Corbyn’s ideas of how to put things ‘right’, his inability to add up, I begin to wonder of how much of his ideas will actually be carried out if he was elected as PM? I am sorry but can the UK actually afford him? We already have a £1.7 trillion debt hanging around our necks and by all accounts this could reach £2.5 trillion by 2025. Don’t make a mistake, Theresa May also has to borrow at least till 2020 if elected as PM. This country needs to wake up fast, we need to take hold of our debt culture. Perhaps our elected wonders have taken the line of ‘After me the flood’. In other words, who cares about debt, it will be sorted but not just yet, and not during my time in office. Precisely the Labour ideas of economics! As they proved during their tenure some years ago. Who has forgotten Liam Byrne’s cryptic note – 'No money left in the kitty'. Sooner or later the bill will be presented – who will pay it? Well, take a guess it is not too hard to figure it out.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Debt? What debt...just keep on borrowing!


How interesting it is to see the Labour party’s attempt to win over voters. It is quite evident they have taken the way of big, very big promises. We are talking billions! Well, I suppose, talk a big lie often enough and people will believe you. Funnily though this time they have taken some effort to make the figures fit. But how in all good sense can you seriously think that to borrow so much money and spend, spend, spend, is a prudent way to govern? It is just cloud-cuckoo land. People just do not seem to grasp you cannot keep going on like that. In fact this is the big problem of the western world. We are all living on borrowed money. It is like the big party before the Titanic sinks.
Reality is reality, truth is still truth, it will not go away. The youngsters today are fed up with austerity. In reality there is no austerity but simply a desire to fit the expenditure to income. I had always been of the opinion that politicians are there to govern the nation for the benefit of all, not to put us in a straitjacket of ever increasing debt. To this effect Labour is smelling they are onto something. Yes, we are fattening the pockets of the moneylenders to the tune of £50 billion annually. But Labour instead of wanting to deal with that in a proper manner just want to borrow more.
Are there solutions? In the short term – no. The world economy is based on debt. Despite Labour’s talk of the poor getting poorer and the rich richer which is actually true the solutions proposed do not in fact come even close to solving the debt crisis. In fact it will make it much worse. Looking at the news I cannot see our youth coming up with good answers either. Again, they are only interested in quick-fix, short-term solutions. There might be some hope on the horizon and that is that the tottering EU might finally topple. It is by far the worst organisation ever to govern, a money pit without bottom. Ruled by an oligarchy of enormous proportions, a power-block based on, yes you guessed correctly, debt! So, who will win? It does not matter really, situations like these always have the same outcome. Just like 1929. So, watch out for 2029!

Saturday, 13 May 2017

NHS held to ransom...


The latest news is full of reports of a massive ransomware attack on the NHS computer systems (and many others as well). Now this is not a new phenomenon, actually this type of cyber attack has been with us a while. It seems the process itself is quite simple. Due to inadequate safety/security, old software, no backup systems or even plain carelessness it is too easy to scan a whole range of IP addresses, looking for open gates to walk through (gates=ports). The choice is over 64,000 ports, take your pick.
So, too easy to install a bit of software that encrypts the hard drives and stops access. Hey, I am doing that myself as well! I encrypt my own hard drives! To decrypt you will need a 256bit password. Now why do businesses and the NHS which is in charge of some highly sensitive data (medical records) not think more about how they set up systems? Ditch Windows altogether and use Linux? Have proper back-up systems, possibly using NAS (Network Attached Storage). Even a simpleton like myself uses a NAS! Cheap, a few terabytes attached to a router. Cost no more (at least for a single user) then £50 or so. Using backups then is very simple and takes no more than an hour of your time. Linux backup programs such as Deja-Dup are easy to administer and set-up. But OK I realise the NHS stuff is somewhat bigger but the principles are exactly the same!
Security is not being taken seriously enough and now we can see where that will end. In tears mostly. But more worrying is the fact that our medical records will be for sale at some time in the near future. I hope mine will be interesting to the Russians? Yes, I am taking some high blood-pressure remedy, what of it? Can you do it cheaper and better, let me know.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

High heels, looking good?


I read a very interesting book by Scott Mariani. Writing high-octane action novels . But what interests me is some of the plots and chat accompanying. In this paperback story ‘The Babylon Idol’ (his latest) whilst settling down after a fearsome encounter in Olympia, Greece the main character Ben Hope comments on the shoes of his companion he just saved from a grisly death. His interesting dialogue centres on the history of female footwear. In fact he thinks it is a sign of female oppression. Quoting from the footbinding of the Chinese women to the 6 inch stilettos today. The lady with him says ‘So you think it is a male conspiracy?’ His answer to that ‘Do you know of any female footwear designers?’
It is a good point thinking about it. Why do women wear these type of shoes, shoes which are not incredibly healthy for the feet and legs. Most women would say, we do it to look pretty. Yes, but for whom? Well, not for donkeys I suppose. It has to be MEN! So, it IS a conspiracy. And I have to be fair, I like to look at female legs in high heels. Funny how likes and dislikes rule our daily lives. It is a point I have made in the past, why do women wear these revealing clothes? When I asked one, she said I just love this dress, I wear it to feel good. Not to obtain the interest of any passing man then? Interesting, perhaps now that men are becoming more feminine, thanks to all these hormones they put in cattle and chickens men should start wearing high heels as well. Come to think of it quite a few do already. Ah, it’s a funny world.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Local Election 2017 musings


Well, the local council (RhonddaCynonTaf – RCT) elections are over. In my neck of the woods although it is not how I wanted it, Labour still has one seat and unfortunately the Independent seat has gone to Plaid Cymru. The one thing that is observable is the elected councillors are brand-new! Eudine has now been put to grass and Independent Paul will have to try again. Perhaps the Community Council beckons as an experienced councillor (ret). They sure need people like Paul.
Congratulations to Alexandra in Tonyrefail West. Another young person. Good, at least she has some acumen. It is overall pretty much the same picture, Labour still holds sway over the 'Daddy voted Labour and so do I' mentality so prevalent in the South Wales valleys. On the whole in my opinion Labour has not performed as a large party should. This is quite noticeable in the UK sense. However, what is disconcerting is the UKIP (United Kingdom Independence Party) collapse. Hopefully this will not be repeated in the national general election. It has to be said, the infighting and indecisiveness plus the inability to form a proper and sound policy base has doomed their local election attempts to gain power. It was never going to be this time. Let’s see what will happen in June.

Edited: Well, now we know! As I write this late June Mrs May is in some trouble!
UKIP completely gone from the political scene in Westminster, Labour more MPs, Conservatives still the largest party. Plaid one more MP than before (I have taken the unusual step of becoming a member! Why? Because with all the uncertainty over Brexit I think it might be time to sound the independence trumpet a bit more forcefully. Although Plaid will need some sound reasoning and make the sums fit! H.
 

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Look like a joke but it is not funny...(RL)


One of my favourite journos (journalists to you) is Rod Liddle. Usually writing hilarious accounts on the funny antics of our ‘betters’, who do not afterwards seem so much better at all! In fact, they may well turn out having a nasty, unpleasant side to their sickly-sweet smiles showing dazzling white teeth. Politicians are a favourite subject, now why would that be you think? Simply because they set themselves up as persons who are super intelligent, know-alls and squeaky clean moral human beings. Yes, you read that here. But then hold the printing press please, we read another story, In fact on this particular occasion all of us watching the telly heard and saw it for ourselves. The Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott’s incomprehensible, laughable, completely stupid replies to a simple question. In fact a question she as Shadow Home Secretary should know the answer to moreover should even give an account on how she would ‘improve’ the present situation. Did we get that, No? Oh dear. According to Rod, she is quite a character. Against private schools but sends her own child(ren) to them. Hypocritical? Surely not, or … This is the person who would be in charge of how this country would be led and governed. I say this because Mr Corbyn is quite happy to swan around doing nothing. It is not surprising to note that they are part of the unpleasant socialistic experiment called the Labour party. I have no idea how the once excellent Labour party, the one set up to champion the cause of the low-paid workers ended up like a Palladium Comedy show. The workers who lived in dirty, stinking hovels called houses. The workers who were sent down mines by rich aristocrats to make them even richer. What happened to that party. Well, Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott and let’s not forget that eminently mathematical genius John McDonnell happened. Frankly, we let the educated graduates with Mickey Mouse degrees run the show. And now see where that has got to. It is just another example of having tinkered with our education system that has resulted in thousands of worthless university graduates who know zilch but are conversant with how to cook a sausage and have a degree in how to pour milk in a jug. Brilliant stuff, we will do well in the space age.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

A personal view on a bad situation....


I have often asked myself this question – if all payments were stopped for being a local councillor, how many would come forward to stand? Please, don’t answer that, I already know the answer. It is a terrible shame that we have become a money orientated society. With those who have the power enriching themselves beyond avarice! Just thinking of bankers makes me retch uncontrollably. I read in a Dutch newspaper column that cities like Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam are now vying to prise away those London based investment bankers. Remember these are the guys and guyettes who bet billions on commodity and share prices, so-called futures. I say they are welcome to them and their million pound bonuses. Let’s get back to a bit more sensible outlook and standards. Then let’s talk about local councillors. I live in Wales, basically the poorer part of the UK. Councillors ‘earn’ some £15,000 including expenses but Committee officials can claim and almost all do, another £8,000 for Special Responsibilities. Well, that is a well paid, very incredibly well paid weekly meeting in the Council chambers. This weekly meeting probably highly necessary to discuss how to ‘fleece’ more money out of the mugs called ‘general population’. These are the ‘wise’  who set salaries for council employees, only the higher employees, of up to £170,000 per annum. Under the standard outcry of ' we have to pay to get the best'. If this is the 'best' I wonder what the 'worst' would be. This in the second poorest backward council in Wales! It just seems there is no ending to this greed. Those in power are just like leeches sucking the population dry. It is really high time this stops.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Holland peaceful? Yeah, think again....


As I am still able to speak and understand the Dutch language I noticed quite a few interesting things during my Easter-time visit to family. Reading the ‘Telegraaf’ newspaper quickly disbanded any notice that everything was peace and tranquility insofar the European Union was concerned. Questions about money, the power of Brussels, the inability to form a government in Holland, due to the PVV - Geert Wilders’ party being the second largest in the last election but not wanted to be part of the government (stupid, what does democracy mean again?). Just as an aside the Dutch Labour party was seventh! Frankly there are loads of problems, demonstrations amongst other happenings. The Dutch press highlighted the recent Turkish referendum in which ‘Nedturks’ (Turks working and living in Holland) voted overwhelmingly to allow the Turkish president to acquire more powers. You might ask if these ‘Nedturks’ feel so strongly why did they leave in the first place? An argument that concerns every single immigrant to a different country from their birth. As a British subject born in a different country I had to make that choice as well. If you are in the UK, you speak English (or as well as Welsh if in Wales), you abide by its rules, policies and regulations. So, I abandoned my clogs (still wear ‘m in the garden, very useful), I started to dream in English and learned some interesting but socially inept words. I came to like the food although I still am searching for ‘maatjes’ (salted raw herrings), pickled ‘leverworst’ (liver sausage) and proper ‘patat met mayonaise’ (chips with mayo).
Although I have to say I am not sure the preponderance of ‘patat’ made from extruded potato porridge is such a good idea. The facts are still the same, when moving to another country you are leaving behind your old life. It is a simple as that. This is not about religion or faith. In western countries you can have any faith or religion you want, there is plenty of choice. But get this understanding through that others have different views. As you will expect that they will understand yours. One more interesting observation made in Holland – they apparently have a new political party – the National Herring Party. (De Nationale Haring Partij), now why didn’t I think of this before? We could have the Welsh National Laverbread Party, in Scotland the National Whiskey Drinkers Party or even the Admirers of Redheads Party (Yep, Nicola looks good enough to eat!). Not sure what we could do in England – perhaps the National Porkpie Party? I’ll get my coat...

Thursday, 6 April 2017

On the Labour record...


Despite the lamentable record of the RCT Labour party as has been reported many times it just seems that people just do not care. How much more money will be wasted? Even the national Labour party in Wales simply has lost touch with its base. The Communities First project, it had many weaknesses but at least it changed quite a number of lives for the better, is to be cut completely by early 2018. A very deprived area like Gilfach Goch (of the How Green was my Valley fame) will be one of the biggest losers. And what will the local council (RCT) do? Make a lot of people, poor people by any accounts, lose their job and also lose the facilities to teach people about employment, lose a sports facility and lose a few small businesses as well. Certainly not a political record to cherish I’d say? When the local male Labour prospective candidate (there are two candidates) came round to make me a Labour voter – citing how he was his own man and not tied to Labour party rules blah-di-blah blah I should have asked him about the deplorable financial situation in RCT, and why Labour had lost the will to fight for the common man. But there is no point, these people are only interested in what they can get out of it, there is little if any real interest in the well-being of the local citizens. I say that because you only have to look at the surroundings, the local fabric, the lack of proper good services. The local population should look at the level of RCT officers salaries, the salaries and expenses of the Labour Cabinet (!) to see where the money goes. Labour in this area has been in power for some half a century bar a minor hiccup when nationalists won but made an even bigger mess, so one would have thought things to improve considerably. Well, I think I’d better leave it at that for now. All eligible voters should take a hard look at the record and above all to burn these despicable boards sprouting on the fronts of houses making sure we know that there is an election. But it impedes my enjoyment of looking at the world with dreamy eyes hoping that for once people be courageous enough to change! So, despite your views, vote, it is important. Get up and leave the house for once!

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Don't despair, there is a porkpie for all....


Coming from a continental background and having experienced the different mental attitudes prevalent, I sometimes despair at the shallowness of British society. Especially the Welsh attitude to life. It seems rooted in the dirt and disease ridden Victorian era which allowed an extreme difference between rich and poor. I was watching a programme about gardens (Monty Don) where he visited many European and North African gardens. But it also allowed some glimpses of normal society. The train stations, the neatness, the modernity of it all. Compared to the grime stations in the UK, the aged rolling stock, the high prices, we are still far removed from being a modern, 21st century nation. Something within me thinks, why don’t we break everything down and start again?
Looking around my own locality here in the lower reaches of the Rhondda Valleys, the hills once green now festooned with ugly and useless power generators turning when not broken down in the daily wind, its terraced crumbling houses on streets carpeted by dogs*it and cast-off chewing gum remains. By endless double yellow lines forbidding parking and completely ignored. The valley towns with a plethora of fish and chip shops, insurance brokers and hairdressers, you might begin to think - What the he**! It might be there are two different strains of humans and we have not yet figured that out . Well, I think I might have been wrong to vote for Brexit, it might turn this nation inward rather than install a type of Renaissance. Yes, we voted Brexit, out and the reasons were easy to follow. Immigration and not just immigration but the failure to integrate. This can be fairly and squarely be laid down at the foot of the politicians. And it is just there that the root of the poor standards, the whole outward look of this nation can be found. The abominable leadership, the graft, the incompetence, where are the leaders who will lead this nation? Who will instigate the badly needed renewal? Don’t look here in Wales, we are still in the latter stages of the Victorian era, the leaders here only look out for themselves. Even the Labour party having been in power since the Emperor Hadrian built his wall to keep the Scots out has abysmally failed to keep to their promises of standing up for we know not what. So, let’s hope that in one way Brexit might invigorate this nation, to make people sit up and take more care for themselves instead of sitting down bemoaning their fate, guzzling ale and eat fat laden porkpies watching the BBC ‘impartial’ news items. Let’s to it friends, do something if only clear your rubbish from outside the houses. Cheers and here’s to a brighter future. Now, where is that porkpie I bought yesterday.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Am I an idiot? Might be...


I think I have mentioned something about borrowing before. Borrowing by local authorities in particular. One of the poorest local authorities in Wales, RhonddaCynonTaf (RCT) is in debt to the tune of some £250million! There are indications the real figure is actually £500million plus! At any rate this is a scandal! This Labour run council is not fit to be in power and it is more than time to send these incompetent charlatans to the bin. I understand that debt is a huge problem all over the UK, personal debt as well as government debt. How can probably sane people think that this is a good way to provide services? For a start this idea of get it now and pay later involves something called interest. Even on £250million that would be something of the order of £10million plus annually. Money wasted. Just compare that with the income of personal council tax in an area where too many are on benefits (not all their own fault) and a goodly chunk has gone down the Swanee river. 
But it is eminently understandable when looking at how these Labour run councils operate. They are run by what can only be called a close-knit semi-professional club. Close-knit because nepotism is frequently observable, semi-professional because there is a preponderance of failed professionals who have not made it in the real world. Just like a type of Mafia. There are no longer the butcher, the baker or the candle-stick maker seen in the hallowed halls of power. As a result politics has just become a game played by opposing sides but without a ball. If one says ‘Yes’, the other says automatically ‘No’. The only thing they all agree on is the level of salaries, stipend whatever they call it. It seems to be true that when a political party is in power for longer than 10 years the quality halves. Meaning that in RCT there is no quality at all. It is just lost in a quagmire of debt and incompetence. Well, a good question – what next? People tend to be afraid of change, they’d say better the idiot you know than the idiot you don’t know. The problem I have is to ask – Who is the real idiot’? Me paying for it all or them using it on a nice lifestyle? Don’t answer please!

Friday, 24 March 2017

Universal thinking...


Having a liking for science programs like The Universe and in particular those from the PBS station on Freeview (PBS America that is) I watched a programme called ‘Hunting the Edge of Space’. It showed some incredible shots of galaxies too numerous to count. But the question posed was – does the universe slow down eventually? Answer - apparently not, it is speeding up. It set me thinking about the usual analogies, explosions and how they expand. If we can assume for now it is universal, an exact sphere like a round ball, it seems a bit strange to assume that the original explosion can actually increase in force after the original conflagration. So how did they come to that conclusion? Apparently through measurement of very distant supernovae within far away galaxies. I thought, how then has this an impact upon our situation? Would it not depend where within the ball of space the original Big Bang was created, and we are situated? If the universe is still expanding as they say, we are going with it. Pending also where we are located within that sphere would it not mean that in one direction, the direction in which we are travelling the universe does not seem to expand and to the other way we travel seemingly twice as fast? We are receding from the opposite edge whilst the edge is expanding outward. Even more, it seems odd to think we are exactly in the centre of the Big Bang and therefore everywhere we look the universe would expand pretty uniformly. Food for some interesting thoughts! Perhaps it is dark matter holding us back but allowing the original BB to keep going. That then would seem the expansion to go faster, We are slowing but not the universe? Wow, get me a sleeping pill!

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

What about Bob? Sorry, zero hour contracts?


Social care, in particular care for the elderly is a subject high on the agenda. But it seems not so in the hallowed halls of local government. In particular my local area, RhonddaCynonTaf the two-bit South Wales valleys area that put their servants dealing with social care on zero-hour contracts! You might think, good, work when there is work and have a rest at the other times. But it is not so simple as the social impact can be severe. Banks and Building societies do for the most part not grant mortgages to persons on zero-hour contracts. So, people on zero-hour contracts tend to be in rented accommodation and on benefits as well. In the town I live more and more are on benefits as they just cannot get on the housing ladder, are in rented accommodation and on housing benefit. Perhaps the government has not worked out yet that allowing zero-hour contracts put a strain on the benefits budget? I suppose there is more to it – the future of work seems to be a bleak one. More and more electronics, robots all will play a larger role in the future. It will be interesting to speculate on the impact it will have on the workplace. The question is will this mean a dumbing-down of human intellect or will it mean an increase in deductive capacity? Thinking of the population explosion, apparently we might have 8 billion humans on this mudball by the middle of the century, I think there will be not enough to go around. Water, food, education, work opportunity all will be in very short supply. I have to say sorry to my grandchildren for having left them with almost insurmountable problems. Just hoping that before too long sane ideas will begin to percolate through the brains of our elected wonders rather than the day to day rubbish we have to suffer at present.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Tonyrefail going to jail!


Always I have my ears (and eyes) open to happenings around, especially the rumours that abound. One of these rumours is about a jail. The rumours say that the Welsh Government had written to all Welsh local authorities to find out possible locations etc. The only Authority replied was Rhondda Cynon Taf. Interesting? Of course it is because now my brain begins to tick over. I am sure that the Home Office and as a representative, the Welsh government would want easy access to the motorway system. Here comes the M4! Not too far from the conurbation (Cardiff/Newport/Swansea). So that means Central Eastern South Wales. Next would be land ready for building. Guess what? Tonyrefail has a few sites already in that category. The best being the Coedely Mine (cleared) site. Why? It is not particularly near to housing. So, could it be Tonyrefail being the prime candidate? It could well be. I am sure the tight-lipped Council is playing a carefully laid -out plan and would in all likelihood deny everything. The usual way in politics. But I think the local Labour councillor might know much more but as per the usual Labour-speak is ‘Standing up for….’ Let’s hope it does not become ‘Standing up….! I won’t hold my breath as Labour cannot be trusted, not even with the family silver.

What's the hype about?


Bearing in mind that I believe all decisions made by politicians, especially those in government, are thought out well beforehand. All pro’s and con’s are endlessly discussed and possible ramifications calculated to the last penny. This is why I am looking at the latest storm, the one called ‘White Van Man Scam’. Obviously, when looking at previous promises, now broken, it defies belief any party could just make such a blunder. But is it a blunder? Firstly it is not making the government particularly richer. A few millions and for the most part it does not seem to be much of a loss for the white van chaps either. But looking at the system, it does seem overly complicated, seven grades and a few different percentages. Employees pay nothing on the first £155 earned (weekly) that is up to £672 a month, anything over that and up to £827 a week will be charged at 12%. Anything over £827 is charged at 2%. These are the figures for category A. But self-employed people are paying differently. It depends on the profit they make in a year. I note two classes – Class 2 and Class 4. Class 2 if profits are £5,965 per annum and over up to £ 8,060 or Class 4 when over that. Profits are worked out (supposedly) by deducting all expenses from income. So, it pays to have a good accountant I’d say!
Class 2 pays £2.80 a week and Class 4 - 9% on profits between £8,060 and £43,000, 2% on profits over £43,000. So the 9% will become 10% which means on Class 4 if profits are £8,060 the difference between £725.40 and £806.00 will be the total of £80.60! Yes, people you have heard it here £80 per annum. £1.53 per week. I am sorry but please media people can you lessen the hype? Can we all calm down?
I am not sure what Class 2 will be after April but I think it will be slightly over £3.00. Well, one message to self-employed people is this – Please get real! If you make decisions based on this, such as you will no longer vote for the Conservatives ( personally I don’t either but let that rest) then perhaps find paid employment and vote Labour. So, it's no blunder but an attempt to straighten out the system. But for me being a bit dumb - I would have waited until after Brexit. In that respect the government has indeed made a blunder.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Eerily quiet!


With only two months and a few days to go, it is eerily quiet on the local election front here in South Wales. You would have thought that with the ruling Labour party’s record, its deplorable management especially on education and social care for the elderly the opposition Plaid Cymru party and yes UKIP as well, would be jumping up and down shouting for all to hear! Obviously this silence is just what the Labour party wants and needs. The Rhondda County Borough on its own has a quite sizable debt hanging around its neck so I suspect a hefty increase in council tax. This Labour run borough is one of the poorest if not the poorest, local government areas in the UK. It is an terrible example of how very poor people can be wrung dry by fat politicians. Even the last penny is not safe.
The legacy of just closing mines and related industries at the stroke of the pen but without making sufficient plans for what to do with the thousands of unemployed is still hanging around the whole area. The refuse tips are mostly gone bar one or two and open-cast mining still continues around Merthyr Tydfil but basically mining in Wales has finished. The housing crisis in the area is also a legacy from Victorian times. Personally I live in a stone-built house from the 1860’s, a dwelling that housed an abattoir. In those days quickly built with local quarried stone it now beginning to show its age. And so are thousands of other local houses built on the steep valley sides. Draughty, and damp fuelling the chest and lung infections that are a hallmark of the Rhondda today! Education in the Victorian built schools are the worst in the UK thanks to the disastrous policies of numbskulls to facilitate ‘equality’ and political correctness. Two of the most misunderstood words in the Oxford dictionary! But in Labour speak they portray their socialist ideals. All in all it is not strange that ordinary people are feeling left-out, forgotten and just treated as a never-ending resource to pay for the excessive spending of elected dim-wits. If we want to tackle the scourge of drugs in our society, we could not do better but to start afresh and having a very hard look at our local society and environment. Get rid of the bureaucracy that has grown beyond all reasonable proportions. We do not need 600+ MP’s, we do not need governments in Wales, Scotland. And we do not need 75 councillors in a small area like the Rhondda. Even half would be too many. Anyway, I thought as my morning newspapers were late, I take to the keyboard and have a nice rant. Ah, it is good to be alive, even living in an abattoir!

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

What's important? I just wonder...


A really good question to ask is – What is REALLY important in this life? In our society today? Is it to bring African nations up to standard? Water, better infrastructure? Is it to manage money more equitably? More even-handed? Perhaps curtail the banks and greedy businesses and insist on proper management? Take better care of employees? There are many more questions but they all point to - bad management of resources. The greedy still play havoc with the needs of the poor. As a result the poorer parts of our society pay a far greater deal than the rich, proportionally. The politicians are too afraid to have a good look at the unbridled greed expansion in fear of a drop in tax. Frankly, it has proved counter-productive looking at the multitude of schemes to avoid tax. Obviously we need businesses but we need businesses with a social aptitude. Businesses who care about the environment. Because let’s be fair, it has been known for years that cars, yes petrol and diesel, are damaging to the health of human beings but only now is there a dialogue starting. Why? Because cars, the tax on them, buying, selling and fuel have been dis-proportionally important to the UK Revenue. No recent government has dared to do the right thing in fear of losing the revenue. As a result and also because of the relative cheap North Sea oil there has been an explosive expansion of car ownership and a corresponding deterioration in the environment and health. Many relatively recent policies have been detrimental – the green tax on power bills has seen a tremendous expansion of ugly windmills. Even though they are only reliable to produce power at about 20% of the time. The cost of their production, maintenance and ground rents means their costs will take some 30 t0 40 years to break even! Yes, they do produce power but would it not have been better to look at less invasive methods? Solar power for one – has there not been any development to make all new house roofs energy productive? There are mats with solar cells, even whole roofs can be made from them. Simple ideas and possibly not much more expensive than the windmills, these will be a blot on the landscape for a very long time. Yes, it is all about proper and sound management. Management of resources, methods of distribution, perhaps even expand again the rail network. Reduce car ownership (oh dear, now we are becoming personal!) because electric cars are not going to be the answer. Electricity has to be produced but in the quantity needed if everyone drove an electric vehicle would still need quite a number of power-stations. Just so, remember this, there is NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH! But it sure could be made a bit tastier!

Thursday, 2 March 2017

The Bubble will eventually burst

Finally, Theresa May is going to tell Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland what is important and what is not. About time too. My personal opinion is that Ms Sturgeon is in olden terms, no more than a traitor. To try to divide and rule. It is the old way of seeking personal power. The next thing we might hear is a SNP demand for her to be made the Queen of Scotland. Yes, we are in interesting times. But surely it is high time to tell Ms Sturgeon to shut it. Looking back on this devolution experiment, I'd say it is an abject failure. Yes, in Wales also. There is a never ending demand for more and more powers. Despite the fact both devolved governments haven't a clue what to do with the powers they have already received. Both their NHS organisations are in a heck of a mess. In fact, the whole NHS is in a mess. One might wonder where they get all these top administrators from. An out-and-downer living in a cardboard box under a bridge could do better. From my point of view this country has sunk into a morass of failure thanks to complete mis-management and a shameful chase after more and more money. Money or finance that seemed to have come from a never ending treasure chest. Except the treasure chest now owes £1.5 trillion. Some management eh? And now who pays? The top 5% of this country has systematically fleeced the 95% and enriched themselves. Even worse, the 95% now will have to foot the interest bill of some £50billion annually. Did I say we live in interesting times? Yes, but the question remains - when will the bubble burst?

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Bother about Lords and borrowing


Like most people things bother us. In particular things like the House of Lords and the financial problems of this our once great country.
Let’s take the House of Lords – bloated, undemocratic and basically no more than a restroom for aged luvvies. That came from a number of newspaper reports today. It is funny but I have long believed that the House of Lords is outdated. It just has continued a system of patronage. Aristocrats used to sit in strength, most of which were no more than idiots who wanted to preserve their lives of luxury but today we do exactly the same at some £300 per day for old political has-beens, dodderers who don’t even know what the House is talking about. Pretending to listen with closed eyes, happily dreaming about when they went to war. Time to close the charade and have an elected Senate.

The other thing that should bother all of us are the daily news items about this country’s borrowing. It is hidden in double-speak of ‘reducing the deficit’ but in reality the debt hanging over us is steadily climbing. It stands at about £1.5 trillion pounds! Talk about the deficit is just political talk in the hope we think our debt is just a few billion. No sir, it is gynormous! In fact if you divide £1.5 trillion by 66million (the number of citizens of the UK) you will find that each and everyone of us owes the moneylenders some £22,730.00! Yes, that I call responsible government. Most of this we were saddled with under the previous Labour government. To service such a debt will take some or close to, £50billion of our taxes annually! Money wasted. In the past North Sea oil revenues paid off some of the debt but most of that the then Labour government simply wasted on bloating the ‘welfare state’. It is sad though that too many organisations and quangos just keep on in the same old way, holding out their hand for more and more money. Just carry on my friends until we owe enough to have to pay interest equal to our GDP in which case we can all go home and cry and welcome back the 1930’s!

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Beginner's Guide


When I was still a youngster my parents gave me a Bible, illustrated (in Dutch of course). A largish volume, hard cased in brown leather and gold embossed. Apparently it belonged to my great-grandmother. That would have been published at around 1890 or close to it. Not that I cared at that age (I was about 9/10 years of age). But I do remember still today vividly the story of the Flood, pictures of a large wooden ship with flocks of crows flying above it. The sky engraving was brilliant, wild and stormy! Then the story of David swaying his sling and Goliath falling down. Another engraving was of Samson pushing against two great columns and collapsing the Philistine temple. Brilliant, you don’t see engravings like that again unless you will be lucky on one of the antique book markets.
But more importantly, you can think of a book like that as a beginners guide! The mind will dwell on the beauty of the engravings but also the meaning – why was this done in that way, what does it all mean? Is it possible to turn water into wine? How do you feed 5,000 people with a few loaves and 5 fish? Well, if miracles are possible then these are just a few. However, I tend to think about alternative possible explanations. Perhaps there weren’t 5,000 people at all. The problem with the Bible is there have been many writers, many additions and above all the writings were done at a much later time. There is a tendency with human beings to want to describe occasions of importance to fit the writers’ viewpoint and faith but not necessarily entirely accurate in detail.
I fell away for a long time as many youths do. But still even then the seed germinated. I tend to be pragmatic, that is to say practical and focused on reaching a goal, being matter-of-fact and not let emotions distract me (much). So, I look at issues with a second look, not just dismissing what I read, hear or see but questioning it. This does make me less of a team person. As a matter of fact I am not a team player at all. Even so, God calls everyone, all of the time. But as Jesus said, those that have ears, let them hear! I heard. It still does not mean I believe every thing I hear, see or experience. I have great misgivings about parts of the Bible. It doesn’t matter because God is still God and even if they found the bones of Jesus (not likely I think) it would not dent my faith one little bit. The Universe is gynormous, God is even bigger. We are part of the greatest happening in this universe, the act of creation! We might be alone or we might be part of a great throng of life and action! Our problem is as always, we are short-sighted. It does not help that we have not found ways of overcoming the tremendous distances. Even our small solar system (by comparison) takes a multiplicity of years to get to the outer reaches. To reach the stars would take multi lifetimes! But for now we think we are alone and this makes it all the more important to sort our problems. The Christian faith is about love, compassion and justice but this world does not seem to accept this readily. Greed and mistrust is rife, corruption a daily norm. Yet, there is hope, there are signs that more and more see a way forward. The political upheavals of the past year show without any doubt that people have had enough of the short-term thinking, the get-rich-quick attitudes. It is why I think the Christian Church should play a much wider role than it is today. Especially when the present political malaise has reduced the influence and effectiveness of Her Majesty’s Opposition! This is not to advocate the Church to become a political party but it should not be silenced on the important issues of the day.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Anti this-and-that

A very good friend asked me , I know you are a bit anti-this and that, anti-Labour but why? Good question, I had to think a bit. The problem is that as a socialist party standing up (their words, not mine) for the people has been an abject failure. I am not now saying Conservatives are better but at least they promote business ideals that in the end provide work. Rather than put their faith in issuing benefits. When I was a kid in Amsterdam my father was a stalwart of the socialist party. Collecting membership fees and on top a committee member of the union where he was employed. But when he had an accident and needed operations both union and party had disappeared in the foggy night. So, who were they standing up? I leave it for you to decide. Perhaps my antagonistic views of socialism were bred in those days. Sure, there are good Labour people around with good and sound views, local MP and AM are upstanding citizens but in my view they represent a faulty view of humanity and moreso bad ideas of how to right the wrongs. I am no admirer of the good Jeremy Corbyn but some of his ideals are based on a world view that encompasses equality, peace and justice. These are ideals that I as a practising Christian follow or rather try to follow, as well. However, the difference between his ideals and mine are about how to achieve them. In the meantime we shall have to see how the local elections will play out. The political spectrum is changing but will it be far enough this time? We'll see.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Scams galore, Nigeria still a hotbed!

The following very interesting email was received by a friend of mine. Yes, interesting but idiotic! It is rather tragic that some people around still fall foul of this type of scam. I just hope the reverend doctor will not be eaten by a crocodile or mauled by one of his cousins, the chimpanzees.


STATUTORY ANOMALIES ON YOU RECEIVING YOUR APPROVED

FUND AS AND
INHERITANCE.
FROM: DELIVERY AGENT
Dr William Mike
Hello!!!
Firstly, I wish to introduce myself as a sympathizer of your situation. I
am the Comptroller of Fund Movement Terminal and Director of national
warehouse where abandoned fund/valuables consignments are dumped.
This is to inform you that fresh arrangement was made by me to conclude the shipment of your consignment of funds to your country. I choose to do it and make sure it has left the shores of Nigeria already before contacting you. I found out that this consignment has been lying here because of lack of contact and none payment of delivery cost This is why I decided to use my connections as the Delivery/Shipment officer in charge of the National Security warehouse. (This is where all the abandoned consignments in Nigeria are kept at the orders of the Government of Nigeria for seizure or destruction.
Therefore, this letter is highly confidential and top secret. For this reason,you must not inform anybody about this letter or my contact with
you. You must keep my relationship with you to be topped secret and highly confidential because as I have arranged your consignment to the Diplomatic
Security Company in Nigeria where the delivery will come from to your house, so no one must know so that the fund will not raise an eye brow.
CONDITIONS OF THIS DELIVERY
1. You must keep my relationship with you highly secret/confidential.
2. You must not expose all the above information to anybody.
3. You must be willing to act fast on any information, directives and
advice from me and the Diplomatic Security Company in Nigeria.
Note: I know the content of the Box because I could see the amount you are being owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria as an inheritance. This is why I decided to get involved. You must also know that this arrangement do not concern all the people that you have had contact with in Nigeria before today as this consignment/Payment has been surrendered to the Government, Hence my involvement.
As soon as I receive your response, I will give you more details on the way of such arrangements and I will also give you the full contact information of the Diplomatic Security Company in Nigeria as soon as you have contacted me.
Therefore, further details will be furnished to you as soon as I receive your reply.
Yours Sincerely
Dr William Mike
Director Of National Warehouse

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Computering, nice work only if your'e drunk


I have been messing about with mysql database design for a while. Meaning, installing and deleting many times! Presently it is working fine but to have got that far many changes had to be made to a number of system files. I use Linux only, Windows is a long forgotten operating system. I just wonder why not many more people change over. Changes therefore are a lot easier and safer too! MYSQL though is a ‘eck of a lot more difficult than Access as it is worked with a program called phpmyadmin. That in itself is pretty non-userfriendly. But I now have a basic login system ready for further development into a blog! Cheers.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Bad planning?


In these enlightened times of building houses everywhere in an already congested country and that includes Wales, one may well ask who educated the town-planning or indeed any planning, officials? Take my own backyard of the small town of Tonyrefail. Situated in a small river valley once the hive of coal-mining. The mines are all gone now, not even a waste heap is visible. So far, so good but there are questions about proper government that need asking. If mines that used to employ thousands are closing and closing pretty quickly what about the plans for industrial renewal? This is one question that nags me – there were no plans at all. As a result thousands were unemployed, generating sickness and lawlessness. The South Wales valleys are still suffering from that disastrous policy today. Despite wonderful promises about ‘Standing Up..for’ the Labour government of Wales has singularly missed the boat. They might point out that in valley towns such as Tonyrefail there has been and is, development. It is true that hundreds of houses are built and more in the pipeline but yet again, no provision for services to accompany such development. Services like nearby shops, doctor’s surgeries, dentists to name the most important, transport like good bus routes. Again they might point out that not enough students are coming forward to become nurses, dentists and doctors. That is probably true but this situation has been developing for quite a number of years. Demographics has shown without any doubt the aging population with the need for services like hospitals and sheltered accommodation. Nothing much was done except to promise more money which resulted in hefty salary increases for top managers and an increase in administration staff. Due to bad planning a virtually brand new local hospital (Royal Glamorgan) has been denuded of consultants resulting in patients having to travel 20 or so miles to the next hospitals, Cardiff or Merthyr Tydfil. It is about time that politicians have a hard look at all of this, stop the flowery language, stop the sound bites and wield the scythe with abandon. Weeding out the bad and for once, install the good! After all, is this not what I pay my taxes for?

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Brexit? Not Brexit! Yes, no, maybe.


It is a strange thing to see and hear Ms Sturgeon bleating on about Brexit. How she will take Scotland out of the UK. I suppose politics is a bit like that, ask for the impossible and get the right to join the feeding through. Except, she is making a fool of herself, trying to look strong and ‘with-it’. It turns out then it is no more than grandstanding. She says ‘I’m not bluffing’, a sure sign she is! Let’s tell her to go back to her croft on the Outer Hebrides and just shut it.
The whole Brexit thing is most likely hanging out of everyone’s throat by now. In Wales we have MPs who blatantly ignore the electorate, Owen Smith for one. There will be council elections in May. It will be rather interesting to see what will happen. Labour could well get a drumming!

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Knighthood, anyone?


The world is probably coming to an end. David Beckham, nice guy though he is, thinks he deserves a knighthood. Yes, so do I! And 66 other million Brits just for living in this madhouse. Then we have a self-important Speaker of the Commons who thinks he can lay down the law to a president of the United States. He might be the only Brit NOT getting a knighthood!

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Woof, Woof or is it Calm down, woman?


It is rather sad to see the elected wonders moving every which way. Those opposed to Brexit say almost anything, grasp onto almost anything to thwart the process. It seems to me that they all forget one thing, the nation voted to LEAVE the EU. Watching Daily Politics on BBC2 we had a Scottish MP, Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh pontificating about the old bit of Scotland must stay in the EU single market. Forgetting of course Scotland is part of the UK and therefore bound by the ultimate decisions made in Westminster by the central government. A point she obviously is not aware of. What intrigued me was her forceful attack on something that had occurred in the Chamber. Apparently when speaking in the way she does, another MP (Churchill related Mr Soames) made some woof woof sounds. When I stopped laughing after he had made a statement that sounded like an apology she was asked by Jo Coburn about a similar thing actually done by her previous clan chief Alex Salmon to tell Anna Soubrey ‘Calm down, woman’, she seemed to lose her memory. Bearing in mind that once she was a member of the Conservatives and Labour! Yep, that’s politics. At least that is the politics of Britain. Shallow, and mostly forgettable.
The other matter under great discussion is Donald Trump, remembering he IS the US president now, signing an executive order barring a few Islamic country residents from freely entering the US. Question, what has that got to do with the UK? Why are the luvvies, celebs, A listers to Z listers, SNP wallahs and a host of other instantly forgettable dim-wits so uptight? Suppose it’s just about ‘ Hey, look at me, am I not important’? No, dim-wits you are not. Get back to your caves and when you wake up please keep wondering who switched the sun on. Let the Donald do what he said he would do even before he was elected. They elected him anyway, so hard luck. Perhaps some good will come out of it. Like the demise of the career politician. Like a return to proper representation of the electorate, democratic and accountable! Cheers!

Monday, 30 January 2017

Education run by Trotskyists?


There are going to be lots of elections in Europe during 2017. The one that interests me though at this time is the Council elections in Wales. In particular RhonddaCynonTaf (RCT). For the uninitiated it has been run by Labour since the dinosaurs died out. Except some of the dinosaurs survived and are now councillors! One, a sprightly septuagenarian recently delivered a leaflet so full of b*ll that even myself had to down a few snifters to concentrate the brainwaves. The lady in question would led you believe that all the good works planned were all of her doing. Now this is not strange almost all Labour politicians do this. But what worried me most was her assertions about education. Despite a multitude of problems in particular dismantling sixth forms in RCT and creating Year 3-18 super schools, her vision is pretty circumspect. There are many who think her arrogant, her actions in the local education field should be looked upon with a frown. She never talks or refers to the low standing of education in RCT or even in her own backyard of Wales. I am of continental origin and I can tell you that education there is on a different level! It is not all the fault of Labour, parents also have to share part of the blame. In too many schools there is a lack of parental involvement. But then who guides our society? Yep, it’s Labour in Wales. The party of equality. That is - everyone the same, everyone earning the minimum wage and everyone cowed under the socialist cosh. Trotsky would be proud to call them friends! So, let’s ensure a Council not run for once by Trotskyists but by normal, down-to-earth people who know their locality. Get rid of career politicians like her, they are far past their sell-by date!

Owen Smith - Early case of dementia?


We should be very disappointed at the recollection powers of Pontypridd MP Owen Smith. He showed an admirable deficiency in remembering how his part of the Welsh nation voted in the Brexit campaign.

On Andrew Neil’s Daily Politics (BBC2) he quite easily pronounced that his area voted to Remain. Rubbish. You only have to go to ‘walesonline’ and look for the election results. These show without any doubt that the RCT area (incl Pontypridd) voted LEAVE. 62,590 to 53,973.
Now he would probably argue that all who did NOT vote would be Remainers. Tosh. As a politician he should have known better. Just as well then he did not win the stand-off with Jeremy Corbyn. We don’t need prospective PM’s who cannot remember how the nation voted.
My question to him would be – if you are a MP of our area (possibly debatable now) and that area voted overwhelmingly No, would you when further voting is required such as Article 50, vote against? In my view you are NOT representing your constituency! By the way your mate from the Rhondda, the glorious Christoforo Bryant is in the same predicament. Gents, time to figure out what you were elected for!
It shows up the collapsing Labour party, infighting, and a general attitude of ‘Who cares...’ It’s like a lot of us have said before – Get rid of the sharp-suited career politicians and get in some hard-working down-to-earth people. Do us a favour Owen and Chris, just go back to your old very uninteresting lives and stop pretending you care for us.

Know your times tables!


All children in England will need to know their 12 times tables by the time they leave primary school under plans announced by the education secretary. The Conservatives want England to be in the top five in the world for English and maths by 2020. It is currently 23rd the various newspapers report. Well it depends how you look at that, 23 out of 27 in Europe does not sound so brilliant to me. They will tell us it is 23rd in the world. Which world? The English speaking world? That makes it even worse.
This is what presumably bright politicians can come up with! In other countries this has been done since time began. This island, this Britain has simply dumbed down to what can only be called third world standards and what's more we seem to be proud of it. We worked hard, very hard to make our children all the same and no bright politician ever understood by doing that you revert to the lowest common denominator. Now the education system in England has yet another scheme to contend with. When will politicians leave education alone? It must be quite clear by now, they haven't the foggiest. I am not even mentioning Wales. By the way I have never really quite understood why education is devolved. Why Wales and Scotland also, have a different set-up altogether. Compounding the problems in Wales in particular. It is crazy for a politician to state, we are proud to announce that we want our children to know their times tables by 2020! Ye gods, what sort of country do we live in? Zombieland? Couchpotatoland? Make your choice, I think I know where we will end up.

Hello everyone, iedereen, pob-un!


Hello readers – this is a new blog which is the result of the demise of Tonyrefail.org. The blog is not a board (bulletin board) like Tonyrefail.org was. www.tonyrefail-town.net will be entirely devoted to local politics, some of which will be reports, some will be my own views.
There will be the opportunity to comment and to comment on comments! There also will be moderation, anonymous comments will not be accepted.
The blog although using a dedicated domain name is based on Blogger. It is a simple but an effective way to quickly organise a blog. At the moment it is not encrypted (SSL) so the url to access is in the http format, not https. I will be installing a certificate in due course which will change the url to https only. Just have fun and comment. Remember that Big Brother is always watching! So use proper language, refrain from racist remarks and since the use of swear-words denote a repressed upbringing please refrain from using them.