Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Why Don't Nurses Strike?

Why don't nurses go on strike? Is it just because they are such nice people, so caring, vocational and dedicated? Are they far too responsible to risk the lives of patients - sorry I mean "service-users"? Well yes but that's not the only reason.
As predicted, the NHS trusts are cutting nurses' pay and making them feel unwanted and unappreciated. Their latest ploy is to do away with the half-hour overlap between one shift and another, the time traditionally allowed for the outgoing nurse to brief the incoming nurse about all the patients on the ward. New ones, risky ones, difficult ones, any problems at all, could be pointed out and help given in dealing with them. Not any more. Now the incoming nurse will have to rely entirely on notes written by the outgoing nurse or the doctors - on a computer of course.
By cutting half an hour off the shift time the NHS Trust will be able to reduce what each nurse earns. After working the same number of shifts they currently work in one year, they will find that they have fallen behind by nearly a month's work - which they will have to make up for the same pay. So the Trust saves money and patient care will suffer. I am told that we have a lady called Claire Culpin to thank for this particular ruse.
Not only that, but the nurses are now going to be forced to work for nine days in succession before having a day off. That is far too much, and what is more it is against the Bible. (I am going to put this in as it amuses me to find that certain readers have mistaken me for a religious fundamentalist and that is a myth I want to perpetuate. Of course anybody who knows what is in the Bible must be a religious fundamentalist, just as anybody who knows what is in the Iliad must worship the Greek gods). The fourth of the Ten Commandments says "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor the stranger that is within thy gates".
And that seems to me to be a jolly good idea.
Until recently it was enshrined in a lot of employment law and legislation, dating back to the Industrial Revolution. Everybody needs at least one day off per week. If you need a nurse 24/7, get a different one.
So why is it that nurses don't go on strike? They have had to spend three years getting a degree in order to have the job at all, and now their pay and conditions are being down-graded. But as their managers constantly tell them, they can be replaced at any time by nurses from elsewhere in the EU. The NHS trusts actively recruit in Spain and Portugal, as well as in Eastern Europe. Anybody qualified anywhere in the EU is entitled to come and swipe these jobs from British nurses. With rocketing unemployment in Greece and Ireland there is simply no reason why the NHS Trust should not use foreign labour to replace all its nurses, particularly any who are so grumpy and unreasonable as to join a union in the first place.
Of course only an "extremist" or a "racist" would see any drawbacks to being in the EU...


Sunday, 27 May 2012

Gratitude European style

We have bankrupted ourselves paying massive bail-outs to the EU to "save" the Eurozone. We have sent them countless billions over the past two years with the result that we have had to cut everything in this country to the bone, Public services, infrastructure, investment in the future, have all been disregarded, in order to pour money down the bottomless Euro-drain. The Eurocrats have awarded themselves even bigger budgets and more extravagant subsidies while talking about "austerity".
That is in addition to the figure some of you may have heard before, of £50 million per day that we give them as our membership fee for their little club.

Then they place us 25th in the Eurovision Song Contest. It's the biggest national humiliation since Gallipolli. Where is their gratitude? Where is their sense of obligation and decency? Aren't they grateful even for us sending them Catherine Ashton to run the world and sort out everybody's problems? Why didn't the Greeks and the Irish vote for us after taking so much of our money? Answer: because they don't give a damn.

Arnold George Dorsey is typical of the older generation in Britain now who cannot afford to retire. With the pensions crisis, the slump in investment returns, and the rocketing price of geriatric care homes, he is forced to go on working at the age of 76. Although struggling to afford the hair implants, botox and fake tan to carry on his job as a cabaret singer, Arnold is far too feisty to stay at home and expect work to come to him. Under the assumed name of Englebert Humperdinck (which only a few square and stuffy people would associate with a nineteenth-century German composer of operas) he is travelling as far as Azerbaijan in search of gainful employment. He bravely ignored the demonstrations of protesters who wanted to spoil the show by drawing attention to the human rights abuses of the Azerbaijani government.

Alas, Arnold finds that the competition is stiff and the selection is ruthless. This is not all about ageism. A group of six scantily-dressed Russian bimbos whose account of their own age as "over 70" was euphemistic in the extreme, scored way ahead of him in the contest.

Never mind - give him the credit for trying. He is an example to us all. He made use of his right to travel freely in the EU and proved that peripatetic job-seeking is not just for Polish plumbers.

Maybe next Eurovision we should send Cathy Ashton instead to represent us? With all the money she is spending on a PR makeover, by then she will be irresistible!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Catherine Bearder Libdem Bashes Christians

I wrote to Libdem MEP Catherine Bearder asking her whether she approved of the Law Society banning a Christian conference scheduled to be held there on May 23rd 2012.
After the usual two-week delay, Ms Bearder replied that she did not wish to challenge their decision.
She thought they had a "right" to do what they liked on their own premises.
Oh have they indeed? What about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 18. The right to freedom of religion, and Article 19, the right to freedom of expression, and Article 20, the right to peaceful assembly?

What would be the reaction if any public body in the UK banned a Muslim conference?
We would have riots and blood on the streets. All the liberal-leftie media would bend over backwards to make it clear that they were not anti-islamic. So why is it OK to ban Christians?

Four other MEPs, James Elles, Sharon Bowles, Keith Taylor and Peter Skinner have not bothered to reply. We can take it they are also anti-Christian and opposed to freedom of speech. This is not just a matter for concern to Christians, or to religious people. It is our fundamental human rights being eroded.


Deal or No Deal?

The Spectator magazine is one of several leading periodicals to reveal that Conservatives are talking about making a deal with UKIP.
It's not hard to see why. UKIP got 12-13% of the vote in the May local elections, more than the Libdems.
The EU is falling apart.
The Eurozone is hell - austerity, cuts, rocketing inflation, widespread unemployment, homeless people, power cut-offs, suicides, riots, demonstrations, breakdown of democracy... we told you so!
Libdem vote slumped in the 2012 election. In most places it sank to less than half its previous figures. No surprise there. The Libdems have been shown up as frauds making false promises and half of them are crooks too.
A treasury secretary who fiddled his expenses, an energy secretary who may soon be gaoled for perverting the course of justice, and a leader whose wife personally profits from his wind-power policies. Those are the coalition partners David Cameron chose.
I hope that lots of people saw Gryff Rhys Jones on Question Time last night - he was excellent. He took the energy wafflings of Caroline Lucas and tore them apart, pointing out that it would take 300 square miles of wind turbines to replace one nuclear power station. Even then they wouldn't work unless the wind was actually blowing! Which is exactly what UKIP has been telling everyone for the past ten years.
The wind power policy has cost tens of billions in subsidies - money that could have been spent on care for old people and improving our state schools. The Coalition only pursues it because of pressure from the Libdems and the EU. Oh and maybe because a few very very very rich landowners profit from it.

In my opinion the only deal between UKIP and the Conservatives should be based on a de facto EXIT from the EU.
No referendums, no cast-iron promises of a referendum, just OUT.

We have heard those cast-iron promises before.
Indeed our votes could then be used to prop up another coalition with the Libdem traitors.
Tell Cameron we talk the day AFTER leaving the EU, not a minute earlier!
12% of the vote is a big and powerful bargaining tool - let's make it count.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Plot Summary

When I was a teenager I once went to a friend's house and found she was out. Her father was there and was not sure when she would be back, so in the mean while he showed me round his garden and enthused at length about his lettuces and herbs. I thought it was the most boring subject in the world. It was a real strain on the politeness of a fifteen-year-old. Now I have become that person. I can outbore the best talking about seeds, seedlings, cuttings, soil types, bugs, slugs and different varieties of tomato.
It's supposed to be an obligation for local councils to provide allotments for anybody who wants them. They used to be desperately unfashionable and then what with the Green movement and TV gardening programmes everybody started wanting one. I had to wait six years to get an allotment near to where I live and I feel guilty because other people I know have waited seven years.
Allotments in Oxford have beguiling names such as the Elder Stubbs, Spragglesea Mead and Deans Ham, Kestrel Crescent or the Trap Grounds in Aristotle Way. Who or what was Elder Stubbs? Was she a horticulturally-minded lady who bestowed this field on the thrifty gardeners of Cowley, or does it just mean that there were elder-trees there until somebody cut them down close to the ground? Did people once set traps for rabbits at the Trap Grounds?
The allotments in Quarry have a high steel fence around them these days. This is not to protect them from people who might pinch other people's spuds or strawberries, rotten though that is. It's on grounds of Health and Safety. Yes, somebody decided that it was too dangerous to risk children getting into an allotment because they might stand on a rake, trip over a six-inch-high raised bed, cut themselves on the glass of cucumber-frames or get garotted by a length of string supporting a raspberry cane. All these severe hazards were weighed up and so the Council spent lord knows how much on a massive metal fence. As you unlock the gate and swing it open it clangs and clunks like a prison door.
Inside all is tranquil. The oblong plots, stretching East to West, are studded with rows of tiny cabbages, black and white flowered beans, yellow-flowered broccoli, the vertical shafts of leeks and onions, the fronds of carrot tops, pea-canes, dense gooseberry-bushes, burgeoning potatoes and lots and lots of brown, well-dug earth. All apart from one, which is now mine. This is thick with foot-high couch-grass, thistles, massive dandelions, burdock, buttercups, bedstraw, henbit, vetch and chickweed. "The chap who had it didn't really look after it," I'm told as I look at it for the first time. "It will take a bit of hard graft to get it in order again!"
Allotment people are friendly. They offer advice, they share tools and they swop seeds and plants. There is a little Italian man who tries to grow vines on his plot and make wine just like in Tuscany. There is a Latvian lady who grows brussels sprouts and a man who grows all his seedlings in green and blue recycling boxes. They don't mind you nosing around looking at what they are growing and how they are doing it. Many of them hang old CDs on string to scare away birds, and if you listen carefully you can hear the faint tinkling of a thing like a Tibetan prayer-wheel, turning in the breeze. Is this the neighbourhood wind turbine, valiantly generating 0.002% of our electricity? No, it's another anti-bird device. It doesn't scare foxes though - they come prowling around the allotment at night.
A few weeks of hard graft later I have unearthed and weeded out strawberry beds, raspberries, and just one stately globe artichoke, which I might have mistaken for a massive thistle. I have ruthlessly dug out the buttercups, so pretty but so selfish as they take everything from the soil and give nothing back. I have planted potatoes, onions, beetroots, and squashes. I have left the clump of rhubarb I inherited because although I don't much care for rhubarb, and in fact I hardly know anyone who likes rhubarb, I think it has architectural qualities as a plant. Why pay a fortune for acanthus or gunnera when you can grown rhubarb?
My plot is well afoot.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Greek Misery - We Told You So

It would have made Byron's blood boil. Greece, which fought so long and hard for its independence in the nineteenth century and through a series of modern wars, having its democracy snatched away by a bunch of dogmatic, bungling eurocrats.
What a pathetic charade, Greeks going to the polls last week to elect a puppet government, whose orders come from the EU commissioners. Whoever you vote for, whatever party you choose, austerity wins. Hardly worth writing a cross on a piece of paper is it? Since the miscellaneous group elected last week cannot form a government with any agreed policies, the whole sham will be repeated again. A bit like the Irish referendum, really: Vote again, until you come back with the answer that pleases Brussels.
Billions and billions of pounds have been sent from Britain for so-called "bail-outs" and all they do is prolong the misery. The Greek economy is not going to recover on this austerity diet, and it is never going to pay off its £430 billion debts. All that Mrs Merkel and the commissioners are doing is throw good money after bad. They don't give a damn about the misery of the people in Greece. Soaring unemployment, soaring bills, electricity being cut off for millions of families, savage cuts in salaries, pensions and benefits, high charges for using their own health service, rocketing inflation, hardly anything in the shops ... no wonder this has led to riots, suicides and a mass exodus.
Of course there is a socialist party that is telling them they can avoid austerity and magic money out of nowhere, (just like our Labour party here). How long before they face up to the fact that they can't escape the economic strait-jacket without escaping from the euro-zone and the EU altogether? How long before Greece regains its pride and re-asserts that it is an independent nation, that can and will govern itself?
Greece fiddled its accounts to get into the EU, so that it would be lined up for new-member grants and subsidies. They then became masters of fiddling the CAP system so that they got rich on non-existent olive groves and imaginary tomatoes. Of course they borrowed too much, and spent too much - they were drunk on the new prosperity and seduced by low interest rates when they went into the single currency. They thought they were millionaires. They had a huge public sector with generous salaries, lots of fringe benefits and comfortable pensions. If you got bored with your job, the ministry would offer you a few years off on full salary to do a degree instead. The honeymoon was over when they were expected to become net contributors to the EU budget. A host of new countries entered and each one of them had to be bribed and subsidized lavishly. Where would Greece find the money? Being averse to paying any taxes they could not balance the books. And that suited the banks rather well, since they like nothing better than to charge interest on a loan that is never paid off.
My theory is that tax-avoidance is deeply ingrained in countries that were for centuries under foreign domination. Knowing that the taxes were going to the overlords made them regard it as a virtue not to pay, and much of that attitude lingers on.
As soon as Greece defaults, the others will be tempted to follow - Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Spain all heavily laden with debt and depressed economies, all feeling the sting of Mrs Merkel's whip as she imposes her austerity regime. If two or three of them default on their debts, the whole euro currency will come crashing down.
WE TOLD YOU SO. UKIP has been saying from the start that the single currency experiment was flawed. The dreams of a big, happy European family are based on economic fallacies, political fantasies and a lot of plain lies.


Saturday, 12 May 2012

Twaddle Taught at Cambridge.

The dumbing-down of British education is not confined to schools, GCSEs and exam boards which nowadays see it as their duty to tell teachers what is going to be on the exam paper, as well as to let them mark their own pupils' "course work". English exams ask pupils to expound the inarticulate ums and ers of a dialogue from Big Brother and give particular attention to the gaps and silences. No wonder you have to pay pupils benefits these days to get them to put up with such a degree of boredom.
It goes all the way up. People pay a fortune to send their kids to private schools in order to cram them into Oxbridge and they imagine that what is taught there will be better. But when they get there, some of them are in for another dose of twaddle. An undergraduate tells me that the religious studies degree course at Cambridge University is teaching students that Ruth's love for Naomi (her mother-in-law) in the Bible was the same as a lesbian attachment.
The argument used to support this is that the same Hebrew word was used to describe their "love" and that of Adam and Eve. Strange then that Ruth was so willing shortly afterwards to marry a man called Boaz.
Just consider the following examples:-

Romeo loves Juliet.
I love my dog.
We love eating chocolate.
Don't you just love the Harry Potter books?

And answer these questions:-
i) I eat chocolate but do I eat my dog?
ii) I love the Harry Potter books but do I want to marry them?
iii) Romeo loves Juliet so should he be jealous if Juliet loves chocolate?
iv) Is Juliet being unfaithful if she loves the Harry Potter books?
v) Should I be allowed to marry a bar of chocolate?
vi) Should I be allowed to marry my mother-in-law?
vii) Should my mother-in-law be allowed to marry my dog?


Thursday, 10 May 2012

Secret Nazis in Our Midst?

One of the commonest tactics of the liberal/left press is to try to brand anybody who disagrees with them as a secret Nazi. It is a cheap and emotive ploy of course.
Paranoid attacks are usually accompanied by poor-quality photographs of Adolf Hitler and dubious labelling of his National Socialist Party as "right-wing".
I call a National Socialist a socialist because that is what they are. Stalin was very keen to make a pact with Hitler before the war, seeing him as a fellow-socialist.

The laws on hate-speech and what is now called Equality and Diversity privilege a tiny minority and effectively criminalize the opinions of the mainstream.

When the horrific shootings at Toulouse took place in March, the first reaction of most of the media was to start a witch-hunt for "Nazis". The victims were Jewish, and were specifically targeted because they were Jewish. The attacker chose to go on the rampage at a Jewish school so he could be sure of finding Jewish victims. That evening, a TV discussion group dominated by Jewish and left-wing observers, agreed that the danger was coming from "right-wing extremists". They pointed a finger at those in Europe who were resisting the march of Islamic fundamentalism and daring to expose what the Koran actually says. The French national party of Marine Le Pen came in for a beating.

Then, whoops! dear oh dear, it emerged that the attacker, Mohammed Merah, was a Jihadist. His motives were Islamic extremism and hatred of the West. He filmed himself carrying our the crimes so there was no doubt about his guilt. He had planned the whole episode while passing as a nice normal boy in the neighbourhood. Refusing to give himself up because he did not recognize the jurisdiction of French courts he preferred to jump out of a building and was immediately classified as a "martyr" by his fellow-jihadists all over the world. His father had the cheek to bring a complaint of racism against the police for their treatment of his son. He thought it was OK for Mohammed Merah to shoot Jews but racist for the French police to track him down.

So who are the Nazis? Those who hate Jews and non-muslims? Those who preach and carry out jihad? Or those scholars and intellectuals who simply try to educate the wider public about the dangers?
Surely to try to demonize the latter is counter-productive.

Some of the leading lights of the intellectual world have tried to give warnings but they are not yet being listened to. Richard Dawkins is one of the most respected scientists in the world and Sir Salman Rushdie is at the pinnacle of the humanities. He has won the Booker of Bookers Prize, for the best Booker prize-winning novel since the inception of the competition. He has also, of course, got a knighthood. Yet he has to spend his whole life in hiding because of death-threats issued over his book "The Satanic Verses".
Rushdie is not a racist, in fact he is Asian himself. He wrote The Satanic Verses out of intellectual conviction. It is terrible that he has to remain in hiding with police protection even now. We should be worrying about that sort of bigotry - not about confused cries of "Nazis in our midst!"

Should Richard Dawkins Be Prosecuted for Hate Speech?

The laws on "hate speech" are inconsistent. You are allowed to express some opinions but not others. Rabid gay extremists are allowed to rant and rave making denunciations and death threats , but that doesn't count as "hate speech".
And it seems that opinions are only right or wrong according to who expresses them. Richard Dawkins, for example, the leading Oxford Professor of genetics and life science, has never yet been prosecuted for expressing his opinions on the Koran. He expresses them in public and in his books. He goes on lecture tours and is given TV programmes to expound his ideas. He is regarded as a celebrity.
So it is curious that other people are hounded, vilified, misrepresented and treated as criminals for expressing their own views on the Koran even in private. Nobody has ever called Professor Dawkins by rude names just because he says what he honestly thinks. It seems to be one law for Professor Dawkins and another law for ordinary peasants.


RICHARD DAWKINS: Islam is 'one of the great evils in the world'
Wednesday, 09 February 2011 06:56 Acharya S Contributing Writers - Acharya S/D.M. Murdock

Richard Dawkins says it outright. One wonders why so few other atheists are speaking out in the same way. Note that he does not hasten to qualify his comment by saying, "Islamic extremism" or "radical Islam."

Dawkins: "I'm reasonably optimistic in America and Europe. I'm pessimistic about the Islamic world. I regard Islam as one of the great evils in the world, and I fear that we have a very difficult struggle there."

"Why is it more problematic than Christianity, for instance?"

RD: "There is a belief that every word of the Koran is literally true, and there's a kind of closemindedness which is, I think, less present in the former Christendom, perhaps because we've had long - I don't know quite why - but there's more of a historical tradition of questioning. There are people in the Islamic world who simply say, 'Islam is right, and we are going to impose our will.' There's an asymmetry. I think in a way we are being too nice. I think that it's possible to be naively overoptimistic, and if you reach out to people who have absolutely no intention of reaching back to you, then you may be disillusioned."

We've had long what? I think the word Professor Dawkins is groping for could be the Enlightenment. Of course he is a scientist so vocabulary for discussing issues in the humanities is not his strong point. But you get what he is driving at. Voltaire and d'Argens and all that.

Dawkins regularly uses his website to highlight the human rights abuses in the Islamic world, and does not shrink from terms such as "Islamo-fascism":-


He has called Islam "an unmitigated evil in the world" and has been attacked on jihadist websites with names like "IslamophobiaWatch" and "loonwatch" which repeats everything from IslamophobiaWatch:-

Dawkins has gone so far as to state publicly in a newspaper that Muslim schools should not be permitted in Britain:-
He says that what they teach is "pernicious."
So when are the political correctness police going to swoop? How long before Professor Dawkins gets a knock on the door in the middle of the night? Will he be taken to a gulag or just to a secure psychiatric unit for re-education?
We await further news from the leftie gutter press.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Will Cadbury's Rise from the Ashes?

Hurrah for the Cadbury's heiress!
Felicity Loudon, the great-granddaughter of George Cadbury who founded the chocolate factory at Bourneville is now actually selling her house in order to find capital to set up a new chocolate factory.
Felicity inherited only a minor holding in the family's much-loved chocolate factory. She was proud of its tradition of caring for all its workers at every level and creating a workplace that was beautiful and welcoming. The Cadbury's "factory in a garden" at Bourneville near Birmingham was a model of its kind. Pioneers of worker welfare and housing, they provided employment for hundreds of people for generations and proved that private business can exist to the benefit of all concerned - the owners, the production workers and the consumers. They even provided school prizes to encourage high standards of reading and writing in the 7-11 age group.
The business had moved its production to other factories by the time the giant Kraft international corporation put in a bid for it two years ago. Flush with money borrowed from the Royal Bank of Scotland, (provided by the tax-payer) they made an offer of £1.9 billion. Felicity did not want to sell and sensed that this was a hostile bid - but she did not have control. Holding less than 50% of the shares , she had to let the majority decide what to do. She warned the other shareholders that this takeover would endanger the jobs, but Kraft made specious promises that they would keep the business running as it always had done. The share-holders sold out. A year later Kraft went back on its word and closed down the factory, making all the employees redundant in the middle of the worst slump we have had for two generations.

Of course it was ridiculous that they could not be compelled legally to keep the promises made at the time of the takeover. Our laws are toothless.
Soon afterwards Kraft sought permission to build on the land, and admitted that they were shifting chocolate production to Poland, where wages are low. Do any of the British workers want to exercise their right to move to Poland as it is an EU country? Not really.
Now Felicity Loudon is going to set up a new chocolate factory here in Britain. Sadly she will not be able to use the familiar Cadbury's logo or brand name, as these were sold too. But her family has always made chocolate and they can be relied on to produce the very best. What a marvellous woman - there really has to be some hope for Britain so long as we have people like her. I wish her all success.