A Creeping Form Of Tax ..
London authorities are accused of generating income via controlled parking zones, bus lanes, congestion charges, parking tickets and so on, in lieu of traditional business rates and council taxes, which are politically more unacceptable.. It is a creeping form of tax which is undemocratic, bears no relation to ability to pay and is one of the small things that is really undermining the quality of life in London.. Parking tickets and fines are intended to improve traffic flow, not to raise revenue or penalise people carrying out their legal business.
The Fewest Soldiers Since The 1700s ..
Almost 18,000 British soldiers are unfit for the frontline, figures reveal.
Many troops have been medically downgraded after suffering wounds and mental health issues such as PTSD from fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.. But thousands more have chronic knee and back problems, or conditions including obesity and diabetes linked to stodgy cookhouse food such as fry-ups, chips and puds.. MoD figures show 7,890 soldiers are classed as ‘medically non-deployable’, meaning they cannot go to war.. And 9,971 are ‘medically limited’ and unlikely to be sent on operations.. Freedom of Information statistics also show the RAF and Royal Navy have 10,000 personnel between them who are not fit for combat duties.
Britain now has just 60,000 soldiers fit enough to serve on frontline operations – the fewest since the 1700s.
( Sean Rayment, 12.11.2017 )
Tories Treat Children As ‘Guinea Pigs’ ..
A Cabinet minister who thinks allowing some pupils to fail is fine has been condemned for treating children as ‘guinea pigs’.. Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss has admitted she believes experiments that go wrong at free schools are a price worth paying.. Former Education Minister Ms Truss said, “With freedom there does come risk. There are free schools that haven’t done as well, or there have been cases where pilots haven’t worked. I believe in trying those things and seeing what impact they can have, rather than being risk averse and not trying them.”
Dr Mary Bousted, joint chief of the National Education Union, said, “Liz Truss’s statement amounts to an admission the Government has put its pursuit of ideology above the interests of children’s education. This approach is both reckless and wasteful, and has resulted in real harm being done to communities where schools have had to close.”
( Nicola Bartlett, 28.10.2017 )
High Stake Gambling In UK ..
Gamblers in the UK can stake more on machines than anywhere else in the world, outside Las Vegas.. A new study says Britain is the only country to allow £100 punts on fixed-odds betting terminals.
It adds that one in three problem gamblers earn £10,400 a year or less.
The report by think-tank ResPublica says Belgium allows the second-highest stakes – £21 – but most European countries limit them to under £1.
( Keir Mudie, 22.10.2017 )
The Tories Secretly Blow £3million ..
The Tories have secretly blown £3million of taxpayers’ cash in a failed bid to privatise the NHS staffing agency.. Ministers spent the money on consultants in a desperate bid to sell the respected NHS Professionals Organisation which supplies doctors and nurses to hospitals.. But they were forced into a u-turn by angry MPs, medical chiefs and health unions.
( Andrew Gregory, 14.10.2017 )
Five Billionaires Own 80% Of UK Media ..
Rupert Murdoch, Fred Barclay, David Barclay, Jonathan Harmsworth, Richard Desmond.. The five billionaires who own 80% of the UK media.
Their influence on elections is huge, yet they and their companies are registered abroad.. They pay no UK tax, and that’s how they want it to stay.
Which is why they back the Conservative Party.
Failure Of ‘Big Society’ And ‘Shared Society’ ..
When over 100,000 children live in precarious housing such as other people’s living rooms, B&Bs or temporary shelters, where entire families kip on the floor, we have to admit that David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ and now Theresa May’s ‘Shared Society’ is more than a failure, it’s a social catastrophe.
We’ve Become A Consumer Society ..
There are never any golden ages, but at one time Britain did have a great empire and we were the first industrial nation.. That transformed everything, our identities, social life, work, everything.
We’ve become a consumer society, in an all-pervasive way.. We’ve lost control of our national destiny through the power of international capitalism.. You’ve only got to look at the banking crisis to see democracies are powerless, and it’s getting worse.
( Michael Wood, September 2012 )
Afternoon Tea ..
The concept of afternoon tea is attributed to Anna Maria, the Duchess of Bedford who in 1841 began to regularly partake of tea and a light snack during the late afternoon to sustain her during the long hours between breakfast and evening dinner.. It became a social occasion, with friends joining her at Woburn Abbey and also at her London residence.. The practise became widely copied and evolved into elaborate society affairs with crust-free sandwiches and slithers of cake and scones presented on delicate china.. Guests would receive formal invitations and were expected to conform to contemporary etiquette concerning everything from what to wear, to how to pour the tea.
( Best of British Magazine, January 2016 )
A Dangerous Amount Of Bull ..
The more we learn about Boris Johnson the more we discover the Foreign Secretary talks a dangerous amount of bull.. His backing of the Spanish bloodsport, in which animals are cut and wounded then slaughtered for fun, is totally obnoxious.. Johnson paid as little attention to detail to what really happens in bullfighting rings as he did before opening his big mouth and potentially doubling by five years the jail sentence of a British woman in Iran.. The Foreign Secretary never knows what he’s talking about.. Killing animals for kicks is uncivilised and Johnson appears ignorant of the opposition in much of Spain.. If Johnson really thinks opposing bullfighting is political correctness gone mad, let him argue his case for animal cruelty in public.
( Daily mirror, 11.11.2017 )
The Increase In The Number Of Motor Vehicles ..
In 1890, the average distance travelled by a UK citizen in a year was 13 miles.
A century later, many people would expect to cover the same distance every day.. The car had much to do with this.
By 1950, there were 2.26 million cars on British roads.. Some 20 years later, the number had increased five-fold, to 11.51 million.. By 2000, there were 26.5 million cars on our roads.. This equates to an increase in private motor vehicles of 1,200% within 50 years – in the same period road capacity rose by just 33%.
( Martin Handler, January 2016 )
Is Atheism A Religion ? ..
Atheism, of course, is a ‘religion’.. Once you form a group and give yourself a label, and then promote your beliefs and condemn all others, whether it be a creator or an idol or a massive stroke of luck, then that becomes a ‘religion’.
Something is a religion if it has a position on a creator and/or the afterlife.. Atheism certainly does.. If they don’t have a position on the existence of a creator or the afterlife, they’re not religions.
You can believe in evolution without taking a position on a creator or the afterlife.. But evolution can take on a religious dimension if it is proposed as a reason to either reject or accept belief in a creator or the afterlife.
There is an Atheist ‘Church’ in London, and writer Alain De Botton unveiled a Manifesto for Atheists, listing ten virtues, or as the press dubbed them, ‘commandments’.
Moral Leadership ..
The eyes of the world are turning to Great Britain.. We now have the moral leadership of the world, and before many years are over we shall have people coming here as to a modern Mecca, learning from us in the twentieth century as they learned from us in the seventeenth.
( Aneurin Bevan, Labour Minister of Health, July 4, 1948 )