Posted by: madkentdragon | April 14, 2015

The Old Bat’s Manifesto

I am showing no political bias here, just some common sense/insanity garnered over my last LXVII years combined with irritation over the negative campaigning and empty promises that I have heard over the decades.

Finance

All government departments to submit to an independent audit at close of government prior to the re/election of the new government. This will stop any silly notes being left and will establish the exact state of the country’s purse.

Housing

  • A new house to be built for any house sold off – no excuses
  • Any house sold cannot be resold for at least 30 years, to prevent profiteering.
  • If a house is no longer needed after it has been sold, it should be taken on by the council under the Private Sector Leasing Scheme until the proscribed 30 years have expired. No profiteering and a useful outcome.
  • All private housing built must also include contributions towards facilities for schools and doctors’ offices
  • When housing is built, roads, utilities and traffic must be assessed to see if it needs to be updated by 2 independent companies.

Employment

  • All companies that employ over 250 employees must pay the Living Wage for all employees whether full or part time workers.
  • All companies with over 250 employees must not operate a zero hour’s contract policy. Any employee on such a contract must have their hours examined and a contract issued for the average number of hours worked over the last 3 months. Sickness must be considered as average hours worked.
  • Any company with between 50 and 250 employees must present a good case for not applying the Living Wage and also the zero hour’s contract policy.

NHS

  • All PFI interest payments to be reduced and tied to the Bank of England Interest Rate, this will reduce payments significantly and the funds released can be used to help employ more medical staff.
  • All GPs should be required to work at least one Saturday and one evening a month, this will reduce the need to hire staff in at highly expensive rates and allow patients to see doctors who know their problems.
  • All GP Surgeries should operate a “Walk-in-and-wait” clinic every morning, with appointments made for afternoon and evenings. This will enable more patients to see a GP when they really need to and not to have to wait for an appointment. This system does work, my GP uses it.
  • All hospital office roles to be examined and audited to see if they are really needed.
  • All carparks to be taken back in house, the money raised to be used to ensure all wards are properly staffed.

Welfare

  • All welfare claims to be assessed within 7 days, if this has not been done through no fault of the applicant then an interim payment of £50 should be paid to cover emergencies. This fine is non-returnable and is not to be deducted from any future payments; neither can it be reclaimed if the application fails. Waiting to hear about a claim restricts people’s ability to move on. For each week the claim is not decided, the fine payable to the claimant will be doubled.

Police

  • All PCCs to be abolished and a voluntary committee of retired police officers to be established for oversight of all necessary duties. The money saved to be used to pay for more police officers.
  • 50% of all fines paid to go into a fund to pay for further police officers.

Armed Forces

  • An examination of the state of our Armed Forces to take place, this to include all circumstances for deployment and to establish a properly equipped and fully funded force of the appropriate size, considering all the global instability.
  • A nuclear capability must be maintained, but this must be with the correct information available to us and with the appropriate equipment.

 

Well, I’ve probably missed some things out and upset some people, but – we can’t all agree all the time!

So the debates are going ahead whether the Prime Minister takes part or not, fine – but I won’t be watching.

Why?

Well, I sat and watched all the debates last year and quite honestly, they were all a waste of time and effort.

How many of the statements of intent have come true?

I’ll give you an example “I agree with Nick” – but what did Nick do?

He backed down on all just to become a part of the government.

I will state here that I was brought up as a Liberal and when they became the Liberal Democrats, I was over the moon; it looked like we had strong party leaders who could influence government. Do I vote Lib-Dem now? That’s between me and the ballot box – if I told you what I voted and you followed suit and it was a disaster, I’m not taking the blame.

To be honest, I hate politics! I care what happens to this country and I’m not sure politicians do – OK, there are some good ones who represent their electorate and don’t always dance to the party tune, but to many it’s just a career with a wonderful expense account.

The tribal, playground bullying as demonstrated by both sides at Prime Minister’s Question Time is a prime example of why I and many like me hate politics.

Many MPs have never worked in “the real world” and cannot see past the frosted glass windows of the ivory tower – I think all politicians should have to do at least three year’s work outside of the political circle. See my blog, “My Wish List for 2015” https://madkentdragon.wordpress.com/2015/01/02/my-wish-list-for-2015/

Whoever takes power, whether a straight forward election or another coalition, please, please STOP CUTTING SO DEEP!

We need our Police Force, stop cutting it – why are you doing this – or do you want companies like Serco to take over —

“Welcome to Serco, if it is an emergency and you need the police, press 1.

If it is an emergency and you need an ambulance, press 2. …..”

Do we really want this? Robert Peel must be turning in his grave!

By the way, you wouldn’t have to cut so deep if the Living Wage was enforced instead of the National Minimum Wage, but then fat cats and shareholders may have to tighten the belt on their Burberry or Alexander Wang attire!

Do you realise that we are all subsidizing these Fat Cats? Well we are!

The National Minimum Wage is £6.50 an hour, and all those earning it have to claim Tax Credits to get by – but at least they are working.

Compare that with the National Living Wage of £7.85 – OK some of those earning this may claim tax credits – but they will be claiming less as they are earning £1.35 more per hour, so we will be subsidising those wage earners less.

But what we are really doing isn’t subsidising the workforce, we are subsidising the company paying the lesser wage, because many of these large multinational companies are still making profits and paying bonuses and shareholders – and how many of these people are tax evaders, the story goes on, doesn’t it??

Back to our emergency services – the difference between the two wages quoted is as shown above, £1.35 per hour which is £47.25 for a 35 hour week – multiply that by the number of employees in this country who are being paid this paltry wage – I Googled this and got various numbers of between 1 – 5 million; so let’s say 1.5 million – this comes to a whopping £70,875,000 per week! Now that’s an enormous number of emergency workers’ wages!

When that figure is multiplied by the number of weeks in a year – £3,685,500,000 – that’s how much we subsidise big business instead of employing emergency services – time to put this right isn’t it?

Posted by: madkentdragon | January 2, 2015

My Wish List for 2015

My wishes for 2015;  OK these are a bit of wishful thinking on my part – but how many of you would agree with me?

I’m doing them as a list as they cover my wishes about everything that I can think of – some fanciful, but most straight forward. Here goes!

  1. To qualify as a candidate for consideration as an MP the person must have worked in the “Real World” as a factory hand/health care worker/ junior office clerk/shop worker
  2. Any MP who wishes to be attached to the MOD must have served for at least 3 years in the armed forces – and not behind a desk.
  3. All interest payments on Private Funding Initiative for hospitals to be tied to the base rate of the Bank of England.
  4. Any MP wanting to be attached to education must have worked for at least one year as a class room assistant
  5. All bonus payments to be abolished, in their place should be an enhanced monthly salary for those who deserve it.
  6. GP surgeries to be open at weekends and in the evenings, as should dentists and other medical practitioners
  7. All citizens who have committed fraud should face justice and that includes MPs and their ilk.
  8. Police numbers to be increased, but only if they are frontline staff. The paperwork should be reduced by removing all unnecessary forms.
  9. Late night ambulance staff to be issued with stab vests
  10. All employees should receive the basic living wage as a base line. If a company needs help, then let the government help them.
  11. ATOS to be abolished and replaced by a panel of GPs, all applicants to this panel should not have benefits withdrawn and must be treated as human beings.
  12. All benefit offices must be able to employ enough staff so that claims are dealt with properly and with no delay. A six week wait for working tax credits is not acceptable.
  13. No football ground should charge supporters more than an average day’s pay for the working man.
  14. All Premiership teams must employ 75% home players, to ensure that the Home Countries have enough well trained talented players to represent their country.
  15. The evil of Jihadism to be wiped from the face of the earth
  16. A cure for all as yet incurable illnesses

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

If I’ve upset anyone with my list, why don’t you do your own – now I’ll get my head back out of the clouds and get on with the real 2015.

Posted by: madkentdragon | December 7, 2014

The Truth in the Archbishop’s Words

Listening to the comments from the Archbishop of Canterbury, I find myself agreeing with him – not only is he following the Biblical instructions of feeding the hungry, but he has highlighted one big problem in this country.

Many years ago, there was National Assistance to buy the basics for those who could not claim sick benefit or unemployment benefit, for the rest of us there was our wages and you struggled by on what you earned plus family allowance – but not for the first child – plus free school meals.

Therefore, to many the introduction of family income supplement was wonderful, it wasn’t very much – but to those who had too much week left at the end of their money it meant surviving without borrowing.

The welfare state has improved since then – we all know there are some who will take advantage of the system – they were about in the 1950s & ’60s as well – but it’s not as bad as some of the papers and half the government would have you believe.

I have seen all sides of the situation, I won’t go into it now, but let’s just say that sometimes I’ve wondered where the next penny would be coming from and at other times I’ve filled a supermarket trolley so high that I couldn’t see over the top of it.

So when Justin Welby chirped up, I found myself listening and fully agreeing with him. The welfare system when it works, is good, but what happens when it doesn’t?

For the average low-paid worker who relies on all the working tax credits – if they are still called that – they celebrate if they have a pound left at the end of the pay circle, but that’s with little Johnny and Sally going to school and enjoying their free school meal.

Mum’s happy to give them beans on toast for tea as they will have had that nutritious (we hope) meal at lunchtime, but what happens when they break up from school? Remember as all infant schools now have to supply free school meals to the students up to and including year two, this could affect more families; where mum quite happily supplied beans on toast, soup, sandwiches etc. for tea – she now has to supply a second meal as well – with no extra money!

So what does she or dad do? First thing she does is look for economy burgers, sausages etc. – why – because they are cheap. Secondly, her main meal now comprises toast or a plain jacket potato and, although the kids are filling up on the cheap junk food which does not contain the correct amount of nutrients and they are becoming obese.

Finally, in desperation, the family go to a food bank and everyone gets fed properly for a while until the cycle starts again.

How can we stop this – well there are several ways, large companies who are making huge profits (yes there are some out there) should be impelled to pay a living wage – less strain on the government and sigh of relief from the families. The expense of Christmas will still be there – but they can at least feed everybody properly.

Smaller companies who cannot pay the living wage could be made exempt from this – we don’t want them going out of business, so their employees would still claim working tax credits and free school meals – but could they not receive vouchers during school holidays to supplement their money? These could only be used for food – a bit like the old luncheon vouchers that some companies used to give to staff. I spent mine in Sainsburys – it bought enough to provide lunch sandwiches for at least two of us!

For as Mr Micawber stated “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”

And that is what successive governments have failed to realise, school holidays, even staying at home are too expensive for some – well done Archbishop – now let’s get it sorted.

 

Posted by: madkentdragon | September 18, 2014

Why Are Ambulances Queueing at A&E?

This morning on the news I heard about the sad death of a lady waiting in an ambulance queue outside a hospital in Wales and it got me thinking.

Several questions came to mind, and I’ve listed them here with my opinions – you may not agree with my conclusions – but at least I may have got you thinking about the problem.

When I was younger most hospitals had an Accident and Emergency Department, specialised maternity units and geriatric hospitals probably didn’t, but nearly every general hospital had one. They patched you up and then either discharged you, admitted you or sent you on to a bigger hospital with more facilities.

Whichever route you as a patient took, you were patched up; in other words for 90% of all cases you were treated so that your life was no longer in danger, some obviously were too ill or injured and would die no matter what. But – you were treated in a local hospital, and felt safe.

Now the first task is to find a hospital with A&E facilities, and then wait to be allowed in or sit in a chair for hours because the staff will be trying to cope with patients from an area that is many times bigger than the department was designed for.

The staff are overworked and because they are trying to deal with every emergency you can imagine, they can make mistakes – not their fault because they don’t always have the time to deal properly with each case before rushing on to the next.

The excuse the government have come up with for these centralised A&E departments is that they will be centres of excellence – but is that really the reason?

Many hospitals are in debt, see my post on the private finance initiative – http://wp.me/pI5wB-bf – this means that many hospitals have had to cut back on their main reason for existing, caring for sick people because the interest payments are so high that if the lenders were payday lenders they may have been investigated!

This PFI has been in existence in the last few governments, so all parties are to blame for not putting a stop to it – meanwhile the fat cats get richer and the rest of us suffer!

To hide this debacle, some bright spark seems to have come up with closing a large number of A&E departments and calling the ones that remain open “centres of excellence”, thus saving money.

How can a centre of excellence be called that when it can’t cope with the numbers coming through its doors?

It’s not a centre of excellence it is a centralised mistake that needs to be put right now!

It’s time to reopen all A&E departments, employ enough staff to cope and to cut the extortionate interests rates paid from our NHS funds to the private financiers who are lining their pockets at the cost of our health.

Posted by: madkentdragon | August 25, 2014

Who Is Bankrolling Islamic State?

I asked this question on Twitter the other day and got one answer; coincidentally, that evening, whilst watching “The Papers” on BBC News channel, another country came up!

These are the answers I’ve received:

  • Qatar
  • Syria
  • Banks and financial institutes in the captured city of Mosul
  • Ransoms from kidnappings

Qatar, what do we really know about this country – apart from the fact that it somehow won the bid to stage the word cup in 2022. It is an extremely wealthy country with Sharia based laws. It makes me wonder what will happen during the World Cup – will people be safe?

Would it be worth its while to fund this terrorist organisation? I suppose that by employing militants, it would appear to be above suspicion (not me guv!) and it could gain land and more oil wells, making it a bigger rival to Saudi Arabia.

Syria – the discussion I watched claimed that Assad had let them occupy an area containing an oil field and that the oil is sold back to Syria raising funds for its activities. In return Syria gets left alone, the fact that ISIS as it was originally named was spawned among the blood and chaos of this war torn state does add some credence to this. But will IS really leave Assad’s Syria alone?

Mosul was a wealthy town in Iraq and there’s no doubt that much money has been raised from that.

Finally, kidnapping, despite most countries state that they will not pay ransoms most do – with the exception of the US and UK; ransoms are in the millions of pounds/euros/dollars and would certainly go some way to fund them.

Why am I asking this question, compare the IEDs etc. of the Taliban in Afghanistan to the fully fitted organisation that IS has evolved into – so WHERE IS THE MONEY COMING FROM?

If the source could be removed, then surely the scales would be more balanced?

Posted by: madkentdragon | July 20, 2014

Why? My Questions on the World Today

I’m starting this “rant” with a disclaimer – I am not pro-war or unnecessary violence, I worked for an ex-service organisation for over 20 years and have seen the results of conflicts on the individuals.

Having said this I’m now going to ask “Why?”

In Ukraine at this terrible crash scene, why haven’t the UN, NATO or Europe gone in and secured the scene?

Why have these rebels been left to trample over the scene and cause untold harm to the site and disrespect to the bodies that were living talking beings only a few hours earlier?

These people are rebels – an occupying force, and should be made to move away from the site – not left to rule it!

Why didn’t Russia send an air disaster investigating team in – apparently they have the best teams in the world?

The world was able to get teams into war torn Syria to find the chemical warfare sites and factories, so why not secure an international disaster scene?

Are they all too scared of Putin who seems to be morphing into Stalin? Why hasn’t Merkel done more – she seems to be “ruling” the EU? Is she still under the thrall of Russia – she was born in East Germany when it was part of the USSR?

Why haven’t the world shouted more? Why are they all so scared of Putin and his thugs?

Why was there not a “No Fly Zone” set up over the area of conflict?

Why can’t the UN/NATO/Europe set up a buffer zone between the two sides?

Finally on this one – why is Putin allowed to tell the Russians so many lies on this via the TV or radio?

                                                                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Then we have the Israel/Palestine conflict again!

Israel has a right to protect herself from the constant bombardment by Hamas rockets and missiles, but why have they been so heavy handed?

Why did Hamas refuse the ceasefire offered by Egypt – Israel had agreed to it?

We don’t hear of many casualties in Israel because they have protection by their “Iron Dome”, but the rockets from Hamas are unceasing – why?

Hamas base their rocket launchers and weapons amongst their citizens – why?

Do they have so little regard for their own people, because any country under attack will try to blast the site of a rocket launcher – but civilians end up being killed because they live next door to the site – why?

Is it time for the UN to intervene?

I could go on about Nigeria not sorting out Boko Haram and the missing school girls – but I’ve said enough for now.

BUT, WHY CAN’T THE WORLD LIVE IN PEACE?

Posted by: madkentdragon | June 15, 2014

No Mr Blair, We Are Not Sending Troops To Iraq

I have kept out of the “wars”/”uprisings” etc. in Syria because there are too many factions to judge who is right or wrong, but the destruction and the number of refugees is horrific and that’s without mentioning the civilian deaths.

But these new uprising in Iraq is another matter and I know I’m only a pensioner with her own views, but I can’t keep my mouth shut this time.

So Mr Blair, you say that the illegal (not approved by the UN) invasion into the country and the removal of Saddam Hussein has not caused this – I didn’t like the man and know that he was a corrupt dictator and bully – however you didn’t leave the country any safer when you all decided we’d done enough out there and we had secured the oil.

If we had done enough to justify all the deaths, injuries and ruined lives, why then did the army you trained up to defend Iraq turn and run at the first sign of this ISIS rebellion?

Were all the deaths for nothing, were all the injuries forgotten – you may have done so, but we haven’t – my own sons has PTSD because of the Iraq invasion!

You interfered into a country whose citizens have a completely different mindset to ours – think medieval England, think of the Protestant versus Roman Catholic burnings and uprisings or Spain versus Elizabethan England – that’s the mindset that is entrenched in the Middle East.

Yes, they can use You Tube, but a medieval person would be able to use a modern tool if someone showed him how. That doesn’t make them modern, just helps them recruit disaffected young men who are at a loose end and play violent video games.

If you want someone to go and fight them, go yourself – and take all the politicians who agreed with your weapons of mass destruction scam from last time – don’t waste the young people of this country on a country that neither wants us there or appreciates what we tried to do last time.

You tried to divert attention by saying we had to look out for those coming back from these countries who may try to be terrorists, fair enough we need to protect ourselves, but don’t use that as an excuse to send our troops there – or are they the “hidden weapons of mass destruction”?

No matter what reason you give, the only people in the west who would profit are arms dealers and manufacturers –  or you getting more work as the PEACE AMBASSADOR to the Middle East!

Keep our troops out!

Posted by: madkentdragon | May 23, 2014

I Made A Guess And Voted In The EU Election!

Well, I voted – didn’t have a council election in the borough so it was only the Euro elections – but I am still completely confused!

I searched the net to find out what actually happens in the EU parliament and to find out how many laws passed there actually affect the UK. After all was there ever a “straight banana” law – well no there wasn’t and I found even that confusing.

Some had websites telling me what they had done, some had websites that were obviously started with good intentions but fizzled out after a while and some – obviously the ones who had not been elected but were just full of their promises – which I took with a pinch of salt.

Now who do I vote for? Would it be UKIP – who want independence from the EU – so why are they there? Or one of the other lack-lustre parties? I won’t tell you who I voted for, let’s just say I voted for the party that I thought could do the least damage!

Sad although this is, I really had no other choice because I had very little literature on the candidates – how do I know if Joe Bloggs from Party A will not be one of those who would take advantage of the “sign in and disappear” ploy – or if Freda Smith from Party B will not fall asleep in the middle of the assembly – after all we’ve all seen those pictures!

Why didn’t the individual candidates introduce themselves – of course being from the South East, I knew one – a certain Mr Farage – but who were the others?

How can I vote for party representatives that I don’t know and have previously never heard of – now you know why I voted for the ones I thought could do the least harm!

I’m wondering if that’s why the vote was so low – if the candidates don’t make themselves known, even if it was in a joint party leaflet, it gives you the impression that they don’t care and only want to be elected for the salary!

I’m hoping that I voted the right way – but I don’t know – and yes I do want a referendum on whether we stay in or not!

I could go on about an organisation that can’t balance its own books and costs us a lot of money – but my final thought is this:

If you don’t get the correct information, how can you make an informed decision on the candidates?

Posted by: madkentdragon | May 7, 2014

Nigeria, Oil and Social Media

So finally some action is being taken for the captured Nigerian school girls, it’s only taken three weeks! Why?

Firstly lets look at the captors, the group called Boko Haram are against anything western and are ruled by medieval radical individuals who are frightened of social advance as demonstrated by the west.

It’s not only Christians and school girls that are under threat but also modern thinking muslims – which means that most British muslims could also be targeted. Women are regarded as chattels and definitely should not be educated, they are there for their men, nothing more and nothing less.

They recruit child soldiers and disaffected young men who are unemployed and therefore poor and hungry, once recruited they are systematically radicalised in return for food and a “meaning” in life. Using children as young as twelve is child abuse and ruins the rest of their lives.

I’m not very impressed by the Nigerian President who seems to have tried to sweep the whole problem under the carpet, but 200 school girls have left that carpet looking very lumpy; but he’s got an election to win and a front of economic success to perpetuate to the outside world.

Plus there’s the question of several million dollar’s worth of missing oil money that he’s got to duck! I hope some one confronts him over that as well as forcing his hand over these girls.

Mrs Jonathan wasn’t much help, she was sent in to mollify the missing children’s mothers and ended up getting their spokeswoman arrested and accusing them of inventing the whole thing.

To me this shows that the Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, has no moral fibre and certainly doesn’t care about the citizens of his country.

The girls crime was to want to learn – a basic human right – and as I’ve said time and time again, Education Sets You Free!

If a man is educated in this medieval based country, he may get a better job; but if a woman gets educated, she will also teach her children. Most women have at least four children who survive the first four years of life and a mother will start to open their minds to what is out there in the big wide world, so two hundred girls deprived of that education and thrust back a few hundred years means eight hundred children that won’t be educated – does that make sense?

Also most of the citizens own mobile phones with often better wi-fi than is available in rural areas here. So they then read lots of news, and to them, amazing new facts finally finding social media!

Now consider this, some of these girl’s mothers can also read and write and use social media, so while the rest of the world shook their heads in sorrow and forgot about it, they took to Facebook and Twitter and campaigned until the rest of the world sat up and decided to take action. Education alerted the world to this horrendous crime – and the world listened and joined in.

Apparently British advisors and special services have been trying to get permission to help find these girls for at least two weeks, but the president demurred until the US, a major importer of Nigerian oil, also offered to help. Now, three weeks after the deed, it’s not the missing girls who have motivated this president – but the fact that they may not be able to sell 40% of their oil to the US – that has motivated the rescue bid!

Finally I know that another eight girls have been stolen, but this begs the question of how many others were abducted before the educated women of Nigeria shone the light of social media on this?

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