A Disgraceful Political Swindle

UK MPs Accept Expensive Treats From Bookies ..
Bookies and sports organisations top the list of donors treating MPs to gifts and hospitality.. The revelation has fuelled claims that the gambling industry is trying to influence Parliament.. Ladbrokes Coral Group treated 15 MPs to trips to Ascot, Doncaster and Cheltenham races, football at Wembley and dinner at the Tory Party conference.
( Sunday Mirror, 03.09.2017 )

Poverty, Depression And Suicide ..
Margaret Thatcher was determined to break the miners and engineered their crippling defeat.. The Ridley plan detailed how they would fight, and defeat, a major strike in a nationalised industry.
In 1984, The National Union of Mine Workers went out on strike for a year over planned pit closures and their defeat marked the end of serious union might.
The coal industry was sold off and gradually shut down.
Communities had their hearts ripped out when the pits closed and many have still not recovered.. High unemployment still haunts many former pit villages along with poverty, depression and suicide.

Are The Ministry Of Defence Covering Up Rape ?..
A rape is reported by female soldiers once every fortnight in the Army.
Ministry of Defence figures show there were 130 sexual assault claims by women against male colleagues in the past five years, including 31 in 2016.
Out of 55 allegations of rape in the past two years, 32 soldiers were prosecuted but just three were found guilty.
A serving Army lawyer fears the number of rapes may be higher as victims do not press charges due to low conviction rates.. Women Against Rape said there was a “concerted cover-up” by the Ministry of Defence.
( Sunday Mirror, 24.09.2017 )

Bankers Plundered Our Country ..
Gordon Brown is not widely adored, but he is respected, admired and trusted.
When the world economy went into meltdown, our way of life was on its knees.
As the bankers plundered our country, capitalism itself seemed a spent force.
This country, and the developed world, were close to catastrophe.
That the banks stayed open and the cash machines kept working, and that salaries kept getting paid was down to Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling and Labour.
They brought a sinking ship into shore.
Everyone followed their example of part, nationalising the banks, even the Americans.. It was the only solution if we were going to survive.
Does anyone seriously think that the chinless Conservatives could have handled the collapse of our economy ?.. The Tory toffs continually opposed what Labour were doing but didn’t offer an alternative solution.
If left to them, the banks would have closed, the cash machines would be empty, millions of people would have lost their savings, their investments and their homes, and our country would have ground to a halt.
It was the greed of the bankers, needless to say mostly all Tories, who almost destroyed our economy, and our lives.

Lowest Number Of Public Sector Workers Since 1947 ..
Nearly a million public sector jobs have been axed since 2010, official figures show.
Seven years ago 6.4 million people worked in the public sector.. Under Tory PMs David Cameron and Theresa May that number has fallen to 5.44 million.
Among the losses are 164,000 posts in education, 44,000 in the police force and 41,000 in the Armed Forces.. The NHS workforce has grown by 4%, but 134,000 posts have gone in other health and social work, and 186,000 in public admin.
Office for National Statistics figures show public sector workers now make up just 16.9% of the labour force.. That’s the lowest proportion since 1947, the year before the NHS was founded.
( Nicola Small, 17.09.2017 )

Britain Changed Forever ..
The roots of the financial chaos can be traced directly back to October 27, 1986, when the biggest revolution in the financial markets took place.
Margaret Thatcher saw London being over-taken as the centre of world finance by New York and she decided that it’s problem was over-regulation.
The big bang saw an overhaul of the system with a ‘light touch’ approach to regulating banks and trading bonuses went through the roof as “greed is good” became the mantra and the markets became a casino.
Weak banking regulations led to the irresponsible lending that triggered the crisis.
On May 4, 1979, Margaret Thatcher strode into number 10 and Britain changed forever.. She will never be forgiven for crushing millions under her heels.
She set out to destroy entire industries in an appalling act of political and social vandalism.. Thatcher’s legacy is the drug abuse and crime in communities deliberately stripped of work and dignity.

East-West Economy Change ..
In 1411, Western Europe was a backward periphery far from the fabulous riches of East Asia, the world’s centre of economic and cultural gravity.
Now fast-forward 500 years to 1911:  Western Europe and its overseas colonies have humbled Asians and bestride the world like a Colossus.
Now go another 100 years or so: The West is staggering under a crushing burden of debt and is looking to the East to revive its flagging economy.
What has happened ?.. Is it because our leaders in business and in government have been greedy and selfish ?

A Disgraceful Political Swindle ..
On 10 July 1958 in Grosvenor Square, London, the first 625 parking meters in the the UK commenced operations.. Charges were 6d for an hour and 1s for two hours.. Overstaying by less than two hours incurred a 10s penalty, rising to £2 for a four hour transgression.. Parking there today costs a minimum of £4 per hour, with a penalty of up to £120 for outlasting the welcome.. The first person to appear in court for a parking meter offence was 19 year-old Elizabeth O’Dwyer on 25 October 1958.. She couldn’t drive and did not own a car.. She was the secretary to a local businessman who had parked his car at a meter.. Realising that he was likely to overstay, he asked Elizabeth to put some more money into the meter for him.. This was not permitted by the by-laws, which forbade replenishment.. You had to vacate the space for at least an hour before bringing your car back.. Elizabeth was spotted putting her pennies in the slot by a meter attendant – not then known as traffic wardens.. The Westminster Council meter attendant had no powers to directly issue a summons and called for the police.. Two constables arrived and Elizabeth was arrested and subsequently summoned to appear in court.. The presiding magistrate thought the whole issue a waste of time and discharged her, but not without ordering her to pay 2s court costs.. Traffic wardens first appeared in September 1960.. There were 40 of them and 344 tickets were issued on day one.. The then chairman of the RAC was the volatile Wilfred Andrews, who loudly decried the whole practise as, “A disgraceful political swindle”.. Residents’ parking zones first appeared in Kensington and Chelsea in 1966.. The 1984 Road Traffic Act determined that henceforth parking offences were to be treated as civil, rather than criminal, cases.
( An extract from an article by Martin Handley, January 2016 )

Truly Scandalous

Shameful Treatment Of Disabled Workers ..
For 70 years, since the end of World War Two, Britain has led the world in providing supported employment to disabled people, mainly through a company called Remploy.. But in July 2012, the Conservative Government announced that 27 Remploy factories will close by the end of the year, which will make around 1,700 disabled workers unemployed.

Fat-Cats Must Be Forced To Share The Cream ..
Everyone accepts those at the top will be paid more, but the gap is widening into an unacceptable chasm, all the more revolting as millions of workers are struggling to get by. We want an economy operating for the millions, not just the millionaires, and that means raising living standards at the bottom while curbing boardroom excesses. In any company every person on the payroll contributes to the success of that enterprise and their contributions cry out for a fairer link between earnings at the top and the bottom.. Fat-cats must be forced to share the cream rather than lapping most of it up themselves.
( Daily mirror, 26.08.2017 )

The Tories Are Trying To Con The North Again ..
The day Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announced the cost and new route for HS2 from London, the Institute of Fiscal Studies reported the growing inequality between North and South.. Southerners now have average incomes 25% higher than northerners.. Talk about Mind The Gap !.. But like Thomas the Tank Engine, Failing Grayling chuffed away with gusto.. He thought HS2 was “good news for everyone” and was “proud that it would be built and operated by the private sector, at a cost of £55billion and in over two decades”.. I recall a previous Tory Transport Secretary in 1996 said the same about HS1 – the High Speed Channel Tunnel Rail Link from London to the tunnel in Kent.. They promised this Eurostar service would go to Scotland.. They even bought the sleeper train for it.. Yet within 12 months, the private company said it was going bust and demanded £2billion more of taxpayers’ support because it failed to estimate passenger growth and future costs.. It was my job as Transport Secretary in 1997 to sort out the mess.. I told them they could go whistle for the money and instead took HS1 into public ownership.. I reorganised its governance and finances without its extra demand for public subsidy.. We got it delivered on time and on budget without extra taxpayer money.. It became so profitable that Cameron’s Government privatised it.. But the route never extended to the North and we had to flog the unused sleeper trains to Canada !
Now the Tories are trying to con the North again.
( John Prescott, 23.07.2017 )

Brexit Is A Withdrawal From The World ..
To half the country, and most outsiders, Brexit is a withdrawal from the world, a retreat back to some mythical golden age.. A shrivelling into our shell which has shrunk the pound and economic growth and diminished our clout as a global power.
Since the Tories took power, big city councils have seen their budgets slashed by 50%, meaning fewer libraries and sports centres, dirtier streets, worse care for the elderly and more unfixed potholes, while citizens pay more council tax.
Talking of pay, it’s currently shrinking quicker than a man’s todger after a December dip in the sea off Blackpool.. Unless you’re the one doing the shrinking.. In the mid-1970s the average British CEO earned 20 times what his average employee did.. Today the average FTSE chief executive earns 386 times more than a worker on the National Living Wage, pocketing an average of £5.3million a year.
( Brian Reade, 29.07.2017 )

The Worst Education Secretary On Record ..
Just wondering if Michael Gove, lover of free schools, as well as the worst Education Secretary on record (just ask a teacher), has read about the fortunes of pupils attending Route 39 Academy, a free school based in Devon ?.. It’s just been placed in special measures after failing to enter ANY year 11 pupils for their GCSEs.
Truly scandalous.
( Fiona Phillips, 29.07.2017 )

Rape And Sexual Grooming In Care Homes ..
The most perverted individuals prey on the most vulnerable as yet another horrific story of abuse has confirmed.. According to confidential police documents, concerns were raised over the suspected rape of an autistic man as well as ‘sexual grooming’ of residents at three homes run by Hillgreen Care, which apparently specialises in the ‘care’ of young adults.. The documents also highlight incidents of staff having sex while on duty.. The deputy manager of one home was a convicted sex offender.. The Care Quality Commission, which has powers to prosecute, kept the information to themselves and has failed to act.. I, for once, am lost for words.
( Fiona Phillips, 29.07.2017 )

A Scam To Make City Investors Richer ..
The reaction from Tory politicians whenever British Gas massively hikes its tariffs is priceless.. They take to the airwaves to urge hard-hit customers to embrace capitalism by playing the markets, switching provider and hitting the exploiters where it hurts.. Funny how that kind of advice was never in the brochures when Thatcher privatised gas in 1986 by urging us : “If you see Sid, tell him.”.
There was no warning that flogging off a publicly-owned utility was just a scam to make City investors richer.
( Brian Reade, 05.08.2017 )

Taxpayers’ Money Used To Subsidise The Profits Of Fat-Cats ..
When Ted Heath was Prime Minister in 1973 he coined the phrase, “The unacceptable and ugly face of capitalism.”.. He used it to describe the UK mining company Lonrho, for trading with apartheid Rhodesia, which became Zimbabwe.. Prime Minister Thatcher’s response was to privatise energy, railways, buses, steelmaking, telecommunications and shipbuilding.. She encouraged private companies to run care homes, education and health.. Now, after two decades of privatisation, we see our services in crisis, the state subsidising the profits of these private companies and higher prices.. British Gas is to increase bills by 12.5% as the wholesale price of gas falls and parent company Centrica earns half year profits of £639million.. Its chief executive Ian Conn pulls in more than £4million a year.. We subsidise their greed.. The Government gave £6billion of tax breaks to BP and Shell to boost declining North Sea production.. Theresa May is happy to let capitalism get uglier by the day.. She scrapped her election pledge to cap energy prices as soon as she won and axed rail electrification across the North.. The market has failed Britain.. Housebuilding is down to its lowest rate in almost 100 years.. It’s time the Government got back to meeting the public interest by building the homes, supplying the energy and running the trains.. Instead of subsidising the profits of fat-cats with a licence to print money – OUR money.
( John Prescott, 06.08.2017 )

Nearly Four Million Children Are Living In Poverty In The UK ..
Buttle UK, an anti-poverty charity, published a report which stated : “The plight of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children is deteriorating – more are living in poverty than at any time in the last 10 years – 3.9million children across the UK living below the breadline.”.. The CEO, Gerry McAndrew estimates around 400,000 children have no beds.. No beds !.. The Institute of Fiscal Studies expects one million more kids to be living in poverty by 2020.
Nine out of the 10 most impoverished regions in northern Europe are in the UK.
How can anyone be proud of a nation that fails so many ?
( Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, 20.08.2017 )

It’s no coincidence that there are over 70 Tory MPs who are private landlords and the Conservative Party, including Mrs May, voted AGAINST a proposed Bill by Labour to force private landlords to make their properties ‘Fit for human habitation’.
( R.S. Hutchison, January 2016 )

Another Scandal By One Of Our So-Called Leaders ..
UK Chancellor Philip Hammond took a personal stake in a food technology company just months before it won a share of a £560,000 Government grant and he became Chancellor.. Mr Hammond, when he was Foreign Secretary, took the 15% stake in Cambridgeshire-based Hydramach in October 2015, according to records at Companies House.. Months later – in April 2016 – Hydramach was one of eight companies which won the grant to develop low fat and low sugar soups, ready meals and sauces from Innovate UK, a tech start up quango run by the Department for Business.. The fact that Mr Hammond took a direct stake in a company when he was a Cabinet minister with the possibility of receiving advance knowledge of Government plans for start-up companies is scandalous.
( Reported in The Telegraph, January 11, 2017 )

Life Behind Bars

The New, Purpose-Built House Of Correction ..
Bodmin Jail was built by prisoners of war and remains notorious for the many tales of woe and dramatic executions both inside and beyond its imposing granite walls.. Despite the dreadful conditions, the purpose-built house of correction, completed in the Cornish town of Bodmin in 1779, was a state of the art prison and was designed on principles propagated by the great prison reformer John Howard.. In keeping with his views, it housed 100 inmates in individual, light and airy cells.. Males and females were segregated, different areas were established for felons, misdemeanants and debtors, and the building boasted a chapel, an infirmary and even hot water.. In subsequent decades it required rebuilding and expansion to cope with peaks in demand, such as the increased level of committals after the end of the Napoleonic Wars.. Work began on a new 220-cell jail in 1856 after the original building, struggling to meet the demands for confinement set out by new prison legislation, was inspected and declared unfit for purpose.
When the Debtor’s Act of 1869 abolished imprisonment for debt, the buildings housing the Debtor’s Prison and the under-populated Women’s Prison were given to the Admiralty and in 1887 an HM Naval Prison was established.
Before the doors of Bodmin’s civil and naval prisons were closed for the last time and the jail’s buildings were sold off in 1929, one of Britain’s finest treasures was temporarily housed within its walls.. The Domesday Book was among more than 19,000 items relocated from the Public Record Office to Bodmin Jail for safekeeping during the First World War.
Some areas of the former prison would eventually enjoy new leases of life after the closure of the prison, including the former Administration block which witnessed happier times as a club and casino in later decades.. In 2004 the building was bought for development and is now managed as a tourist attraction.
( Extract from an article by Claire Saul, October 2015 )

Life Behind Bars Inside Bodmin Jail ..
Early prisoners worked inside Bodmin Jail, men occupied with activities such as shoemaking or cutting and polishing stone and slate, while women would knit, weave and spin, all producing goods that would be sold for profit.. The early 19th century philosophy that unproductive labour would be more of a deterrent against reoffending, saw the arrival of two treadwheel and other hard-labour machines at Bodmin.. In later decades picking oakum was also introduced, requiring prisoners to spend hours unraveling the strands of old pieces of rope down to their individual fibres, which would then be sold to ship builders for use in the caulking of wooden craft.. A return to earlier prison labour philosophy came in 1898 when the Prisons Act decreed that work should have a constructive purpose.
Daily rations of bread were handed out to Bodmin’s early inmates, with those attending divine service on a Saturday being allocated an additional half pound of meat made into broth for their Sunday dinner.. The Gaol Act of 1823 aimed to improve prison diets with the addition of items such as cheese and suet although this initiative was ignored for most of the next decade, as it was in many prisons.
From the mid 1870s, food was allocated according to the length of sentence.
Those incarcerated for less than two weeks had a daily ration of bread and gruel while men and women committed to hard labour for over six months were given additional portions of meat, soup and potatoes.. More variety would not be added to the diet for almost another 40 years.
( Claire Saul, October 2015 )

Lowry, The Matchstick Man ..
Lowry was a highly trained artist, and well-informed about art and artists.
Born in 1887, he was a goose at school but by the age of 15 he was at art school, and by 18 he took evening classes. He studied in the Manchester Academy of Fine Art and at Salford Royal Technical College right through until 1925. Lowry worked hard at Life Drawing classes well in to the 1920s. “Long years of drawing the figure is the only thing that matters’ he said. While studying at night he was influenced by many painters but he wanted to develop his own style and work in his own settings – paintings places like Station Road in Pendlebury where he was brought up after leaving the plusher Manchester suburbs.
He saw the beauty in the mills and chimneys.
From 1910 he worked as a rent collector for the Pall Mall Property Company (he stayed there until he was 65 in 1952) walking all over Manchester and always observing (and often sketching) the everyday scenes that adorn his paintings.
Lowry’s first exhibition was in 1919 when he had two paintings at the Annual Manchester Academy of Fine Arts exhibition. In 1934 he was elected as a member of the Academy (he became a Royal Academician in 1962). After that he exhibited regularly despite poor critical acclaim and after two years sold his first artwork, a pastel called The Lodging House. When people think of Lowry they often have his Coming From the Mill in mind. He painted this in the early 1930s.
During the war he was a fire-watcher and official war artist. Afterwards he moved to Mottram in Cheshire and he began to paint land and seascapes. He painted some of these at Berwick on Tweed, others at Seaburn near Sunderland. By the 1960s Lowry’s time had come. He was an acknowledged and successful artist.
Lowry died of pneumonia in 1976. He’s buried in Manchester, next to his parents.
( An extract from an article by Steve Windsor, February 2016 )

Was Holodomor Genocide ?

Armenia, 1915 ..
 The Young Turks, part of the Dönmeh, a group of crypto-Jews that ‘converted’ to Islam, were responsible for the genocide of 1.5 million Christians.. The majority of those killed were Armenian, but the death toll also included Assyrians and Greeks.. These Christians were starved to death, grotesquely tortured and murdered.. Crucifixion was just one method of torture and death.

Russia, 1921-22 ..
The first of three Holodomors perpetrated by the Bolsheviks, the vast majority of whom were Jewish, including Trotsky and Lenin..  Angered by the resistance to collectivisation, Lenin ordered grain seizures to be increased.. While stealing the only food people had, the Jewish Cheka, an acronym for ‘Special Commission for Fighting Counter-Revolution’, as well as a Yiddish expression for ani­mal slaughter, also committed unspeakable atrocities.. Children were shot if they were found eating, some people were crucified or scalped, and others had their stomach cut open and part of their intestine pulled out and nailed to a tree or telegraph pole, around which the victim was forced to run until the entire intestine had come out.. The death toll for this first Holodomor, death by starvation, was up to five million ethnic Europeans, the majority of whom were Christians.. When asked to help with the famine, Trotsky responded, “You are starving ?.. This is not famine yet.. When your women start eating their children then you may come and say we are starving.”

Ukraine, 1932-33 ..
The second, most widely known Holodomor resulted in death by starvation of 7.5-10 million Ukrainians.. Again, mainly Christians.. The Jews at the helm of implementing Stalin’s first Five-Year-Plan were Lazar Kaganovich, Genrikh Yagoda and Nikolai Yezhov.. This Holodomor was also accompanied by similarly horrific atrocities, tortures and murders.. And, as Trotsky predicted, parents did eat their children.. Despite the unspeakable horrors and high death toll in this relatively short period of time, Ukraine’s Chief Rabbi, Yakov Dov Bleich, was quoted in the Baltimore Jewish Times on November 14, 2007 as saying, “We can’t equate the Holocaust of the Jews in Germany with the Holodomor in Ukraine.. Ukrainian Jewish leaders do not support recognising the Holodomor as genocide.”

Ukraine, 1946-47 ..
The third Holodomor resulted in, approximately, one million deaths by starvation.. Thus, 13.5-16 million ethnic Europeans, mainly Christians, died in these three genocides, combined.

Soviet Union, 1917-57 ..
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn stated that 66 million people, most of whom were Christian, were killed by the Bolsheviks and Stalin combined.. This figure includes the three Holodomors, above.. In ‘Two Hundred Years Together’, Solzhenitsyn’s last book, he writes, “Without Jews there would never have been Bolshevism.. For a Jew nothing is more insulting than the truth.. The bloodthirsty Jewish terrorists have murdered sixty-six million in Russia from 1918 to 1957.”

The following Trotsky quote from 1917 clearly shows that the driving motivation of the Jewish Bolsheviks had nothing to do with liberating the workers and peasants, but everything to do with imposing tyrannical rule upon the Russian people :
“We must turn Russia into a desert populated by white negroes upon whom we shall impose a tyranny such as the most terrible Eastern despots never dreamt of.. The only difference is that this will be a left-wing tyranny, not a right-wing tyranny.. It will be a red tyranny and not a white one.. We mean the word ‘red’ literally, because we shall shed such floods of blood as will make all the human losses suffered in the capitalist wars pale by comparison.. The biggest bankers across the ocean will work in the closest possible contact with us.. If we win the revolution, we shall establish the power of Zionism upon the wreckage of the revolution’s funeral, and we shall became a power before which the whole world will sink to its knees.. We shall show what real power is.. By means of terror and bloodbaths, we shall reduce the Russian intelligentsia to a state of complete stupefaction and idiocy and to an animal existence.. At the moment, our young men in their leather jackets, who are the sons of watchmakers from Odessa, Orsha, Gomel and Vinnitsa, know how to hate everything Russian.. What pleasure they take in physically destroying the Russian intelligentsia, officers, academics and writers.”

The above is from the ‘Memoirs’ of Aron Simanovich, quoted in ‘The Nature of Zionism’ by Vladimir Stepin, Moscow, 1993, and translated from Russian into English by Clive Lindhurst.

British-Jewish History ..
The Jewish people have been an integral part of British history ever since the day William the Conqueror invaded England in 1066, his conquest directly financed by Jews who had been expelled from Spain.
The 2,600 Jews who followed in the wake of the invasion grew to 16,000 by the year 1290, at which point Edward I expelled them, primarily due to their usurious practices.. Two hundred and fifty-seven years later, in 1647, Oliver Cromwell accepted Jewish money to further his Roundhead fight against the Cavaliers.
In return, Cromwell agreed to allow the expelled Jews back into England.
In 1689, William of Orange ascended to the throne as King William III, his invasion fully financed by Jewish money.. He continued to take yet more Jewish money to finance his costly wars with France, resulting in the Jews being given a charter to establish the Bank of England in 1694.. This led to the creation of the national debt, with the resulting interest being paid through the raising of taxes.
The next major step in the illustrious British-Jewish history was when, through deception, following the Battle of Waterloo of 1815, the Rothschilds gained control of the British economy and, ultimately, the Bank of England.. Which, of course, led to their owning or controlling all of the world’s central banks.

The Beginning Of Education

When Children Never Went To School ..
It is hard to imagine a Britain where children never went to school, but until the 1790s the opportunity of learning to read and write was rare for most of the country’s youth.. Learning was mainly the privilege of the aristocracy.. The army, the church, the law or taking over the family estate was the burden of the upper classes and they prepared their offspring accordingly.. Rich fathers hired tutors to ready their sons for running the country before packing them off to Oxford or Cambridge.
North of the border, the Scots were ahead of the times with five universities.
Wealthy wives oversaw the appointment of a governess capable of teaching their daughters how to look pretty, laugh in the right places and bully the servants.
Some elementary knowledge of reading and counting was an advantage but on no account must your daughters appear to be clever.
Wealthy men endowed colleges for the good of their souls, but benefactors apart, it was the Sunday school that introduced the mystery of reading to a wider audience.. Its purpose was to enable the flock simply to read the Bible.. Writing came a poor second and arithmetic was irrelevant.
In 1807, Mr Samuel Whitbread voiced the revolutionary idea that local parishes should be responsible for providing two years’ teaching for children between seven and 14 years of age.. Objections were vociferous.. It would be too expensive, children needed to work on the land and in factories, and anyway they would ‘get ideas above their station’.
Education, of course, was really meant for boys.. The Victorian writer and educator Elizabeth Missing Sewell, a supporter of girls schooling, still reflected the ethos of the time in that ‘boys are sent into the world to govern and direct, girls are to dwell in quiet homes to exercise a noiseless influence’.. Just to make her point clear, she added ‘a woman who is not feminine is a monster in creation’.
In the 19th century, British people were growing restless.. In farming communities new machinery threatened the already pathetic wages and saw agricultural workers turn to violence.. Families moved to the new industrial towns in search of work.. There, in the mills, appalling conditions finally alerted the humanitarians to the need for reform.. If people could read and write and add up, all kinds of new opportunities awaited them.. Many remained unconvinced.
In 1833, the Factory Act included the proposal that children between nine and 13 should have two hours education a day and those under seven should not be employed in the mills.. In that year Mr Roebuck expressed his hope in the Commons that with the ‘slow operation of time, patience and industry’, those in parliament would be won round to seeing that education was a good thing.
It took until 1870, when for the price of 2d a week, all children between five and 13 should go to school.. Poor children’s fees would be paid.
Even then the churches weren’t entirely happy that their sphere of influence was being taken over by the State.
Finally, in 1944, what was known as the Butler Education Act (after Richard ‘Rab’ Butler, the Education Secretary) came into force.. It swept away all previous legislation and guaranteed free non-denominational education for all five to 13-year-olds.. It was intended to promote the spiritual, mental and physical well-being.
( Extract from an article by Janet Toms, September 2015 )

Vivien Leigh ..
When the three year-old Vivian Mary Hartley recited Little Bo Peep to the delight of her mother’s amateur theatre group, it marked the start of a lifelong performing career that would embrace two Academy Awards and a distinguished, 30-year stage career.. As Vivien Leigh she would become one of Britain’s most iconic actresses, the raven-haired beauty who beat hundreds of actresses, including Hollywood heavyweights such as Paulette Goddard and Katherine Hepburn, to the role of Scarlett O’Hara in the 1939 cinematic blockbuster Gone With the Wind.
( Extract from an article by Claire Saul, September 2015 )

The World’s First High Definition Television Service ..
Today there are more than 200 digital channels to choose from.. So it’s hard to recall that there was once a time in Britain when you only had one TV channel to watch.. The grandly-titled BBC Television Service was the world’s first high definition television service.. It launched on the 2nd November 1936 from converted rooms in London’s Alexandra Palace.. From Ally Pally, a diet of quite slow programmes was broadcast to the metropolitan middle-class, and for a long time an exclusively London and south-east audience.. Because of the cost of new transmitters, not to mention television’s suspension during the Second World War, it wasn’t until 1952 that the BBC Television Service was available to around 81% of the population.
( Extract from an article by Andrew White, September 2015 )

Tamerlane, 1336 – 1405 ..
Tamerlane ( ‘Timur the Lame’ ) was born in modern day Uzbekistan, about 400 miles north of the city of Kabul. He had a slight paralysis down one side as a child, which meant his early career was in politics. Despite being illiterate, he was highly intelligent. He spoke at least three languages and invented a variant of chess. He rose quickly to become senior minister to the Mongol khan, then Tamerlane overthrew the khan and began a reign of warfare, slaughter and, yes, mountains of skulls. Tamerlane revered Genghis and claimed to be descended from his second son. He used the city of Samarkand as his base, which Genghis himself had conquered. From there, Tamerlane conquered Persia, Armenia, Georgia and part of Russia.

Plastic Fantastic ..
During the Second World War, many of Britain’s toy factories were requisitioned for munitions work, and although toy making ceased, this war work indirectly led to a new product which would revolutionise the industry – plastic.. Although plastic was known before the war, various techniques were developed and refined in the factories, where it was used for numerous things including aircraft fittings.
When toy making recommenced, plastic was the obvious choice of material to develop, especially for dolls.. Plastic was light, robust, cheap and easy to mould, and it quickly replaced the traditional composition (plaster mix) or porcelain that was the norm before the war.
( Extract from an article by Susan Brewer, November 2015 )

Greedy Ticket Touts ..
Going to a live music event is one of the great pleasures in life.
It was never cheap but ordinary fans could manage to see their great heroes as a treat.. Not any more.. At least not for most of them.
Ticket prices have gone through the roof, costing hundreds if not thousands of pounds.. It isn’t the artists who are getting that money though.
It is today’s breed of hyper-greedy touts.
They grab huge numbers of tickets off the internet within seconds of them going on sale, then re-sell them at a massive mark-up.. It has become such a big and lucrative business that it makes the ruthless people who run it £1billion a year.
The Government knows what is going on but is doing nothing effective to stop it.
( Sunday Mirror, 29.05.2016 )

The Sadistic Torture And Murder Of 87 Slaves In New Orleans ..
Madame Delphine LaLaurie was the last person anyone in 19th century New Orleans expected to be involved in torture and murder. But that changed in 1834, when a fire raged through her extravagant Spanish-style mansion on the corner of a city-centre street. In the kitchen, surprised firefighters found black slaves chained to the stove. The captives, who had started the fire deliberately, directed them to the bolted attic from which came blood-curdling screams. What they discovered made the seasoned rescuers vomit and faint. Human body parts littered the blood-stained floor and chained to the walls were slaves, most of whom appeared to have been grotesquely maimed and disfigured for fun. Many were dead but some still clung on to life. A police report later described their battered faces as more like ‘gargoyles than humans’. One man looked as if he had been the victim of a crude sex change operation. A woman had her arms amputated and skin peeled off in a circular pattern, making her look like a human caterpillar. And another woman’s limb joints had all been broken then reset at odd angles so that she resembled a human crab. Madame Delphine LaLaurie was charged with 12 murders, but eluded the police and, it is suspected, fled to Paris. A century later, 75 skeletons were found under the floorboards taking her murder count to 87.

The Blond Ambition Chickened Out ..
Boris Johnson waited years for the ball to come loose from the Tory scrum then was too cowardly to pick it up.. The burly loudmouth bottled the biggest game of his life after a tackle by Gove the geek.. In-Justice Secretary traitorous Michael Gove played dirty and kicked his chum hard in the ballots in the hope of winning this leadership match for himself.. But the truth is when push came to shove, the blond ambition chickened out, fearing defeat.. Winning in Europe then losing an election isn’t how he intended to emulate his hero Winston Churchill.. Let us bid good riddance after Johnson’s despicable lies and deceit.. Don’t feel a scintilla of sympathy for a bumbler who isn’t half as clever as he thinks.
( Kevin Maguire, 01.07.2016 )