Category Archives: Domestic (UK)

Good Morning Britain; Aztec Camera

Written in 1990 very appropriate today;

But remember

Love is international
And if you stand or if you fall
Just let them know you gave your all
Worry about it later

Full lyrics below :

Jock’s got a vote in parochial
Ten long years and he’s still got her
Paying tax and and doing stir
Worry about it later

And the wind blows hot and the wind blows cold
But it blows us good so we’ve been told
Music’s food ’til the art-biz folds
Let them all eat culture

The past is steeped in shame
But tomorrow’s fair game
For a life that’s fit for living
Good morning Britain

Twenty years and a loaded gun
Funerals, fear and the war ain’t won
Paddy’s just a figure of fun
It lightens up the danger

Corporal sneers at a Catholic boy
And he eyes his gun like a rich man’s toy
He’s killing more than Celtic joy
Death is not a stranger

And Taffy’s time’s gonna come one day
It’s a loud sweet voice and it won’t give way
A house is not a holiday
Your sons are leaving home, Neil

In the hills and the valleys and far away
You can hear the song of democracy
The echo of eternity
With a rak-a-rak-a feel

The past is steeped in shame
But tomorrow’s fair game
For a life that’s fit for living
Good morning Britain

From the Tyne to where to the Thames does flow
My English brothers and sisters know
It’s not a case of where you go
It’s race and creed and color

From the police cell to the deep dark grave
On the underground’s just a stop away
Don’t be too black, don’t be too gay
Just get a little duller

But in this green and pleasant land
Where I make my home, I make my stand
Make it cool just to be a man
A uniform’s a traitor

Love is international
And if you stand or if you fall
Just let them know you gave your all
Worry about it later

The past is steeped in shame
But tomorrow’s fair game
For a life that’s fit for living
Good morning Britain

The past is steeped in shame
But tomorrow’s fair game
For a life that’s fit for living
Good morning Britain

Read more: Aztec Camera – Good Morning Britain Lyrics | MetroLyrics

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The Great EU Debate: Boris Johnson vs Boris Johnson

Debate inside the Tory party about Britain’s future in Europe, what about the debate inside Boris Johnson?

Pride's Purge

Boris Johnson debate

Here it is – the great EU referendum debate featuring two of the finest debaters on opposite sides of the EU argument:

Boris Johnson vs Boris Johnson

Question Number 1.
How necessary or important is it that this referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU takes place? Over to you first, Mr Boris Johnson …

Boris Johnson debate 1

 Nov 2012

What do you have to say to that, Mr Johnson?

Boris Johnson debate 2

April 2015

Strong words from Boris for his opponent Boris Johnson. Now for question Number 2.
What would happen if Britain left the EU. Mr Johnson?

Boris Johnson debate 3

March 2016

And what do you think Mr Johnson?

Boris Johnson debate 4

May 2013

So a huge disagreement between Boris and his opponent Boris. Question Number 3.
Some people claim it would be too difficult in practical terms for Britain to leave the EU. Mr Johnson, do you agree?

Boris Johnson debate 6

Feb 2016

Mr Johnson? Do you agree with Mr Johnson?

Boris Johnson debate 5

March 2016

Question Number 4…

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Student Nurses

At a time when National Health Service staff and resources are stretched almost to breaking point our wonderful government have come up with a brilliant plan to reduce the number of nurses in training, thus saving costs on the training budget, and also on future staffing budgets.

Basically George Osborne in his Autumn spending review proposed that the current system of bursaries for student nurses be replaced with a system of loans.

Civil servants are weighing up the potential unpopularity of the move, and the risk of it worsening the existing shortage of NHS nurses, against it potentially freeing up about £800m a year for the government.

It is one of a series of cuts to non-frontline areas of NHS activity and funding that Treasury officials are examining as part of a division of the Department of Health’s ringfenced £116bn annual budget into protected and non-protected areas.

Public health has already suffered a £200m cut and there are also likely to be fewer or less rigorous inspections of hospitals and GP surgeries as part of savings forced on the Care Quality Commission, the NHS care watchdog.
The axing of public funding for future generations of nurses would be controversial. The boss of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) warned that ending financial support could hit recruitment by putting off people from poorer backgrounds and those considering a change in career.

“Anything that makes people worse off and puts people off from becoming nurses, and reduces the link between student nurses and the NHS, would be a big loss to our society and put us in a precarious position,” said Janet Davies, the RCN’s general secretary and chief executive. She described the plan as “not helpful”.

The proposal could deter the sizeable number of student nurses already owing significant amounts from a previous degree, Davies warned. “The average age of students on nursing degree courses is 29. They’re not all 18-year-olds,” she said.

However I have a better idea. Given that as part of their training nurses do spend quite a lot of their time actually working in hospitals, I suggest that the apprenticeship model of training be adopted. Craft apprentices are paid a salary during their training and their college fees are met by their employers. Why? because their employers see them as valuable members of the workforce who contribute, not just when they are fully trained, but during their training as well. Student (apprentice)Nurses should be employed by the NHS from day one of their training.

It’s The Spin that Wins

A very good analysis of exactly how George Osborne and David Cameron spin their claims of “increased” health spending. From someone on the sharp end of the cuts.

juniordoctorblog.com

The strike is back on and Jeremy is straight out in front with claims of committing ‘extra funds’ to the NHS. Unsurprisingly this is rubbish.

juniordoctorblog explains how the funding spin is constructed and how they are getting away with it.


NHS Funding: Who’s telling the truth?

The funding situation of the NHS can be a tricky thing to get your head around, so it’s no wonder the British media struggle to report it accurately. As such, we often hear statements from the Government and leading health economists that seem diametrically opposite to each other, leaving media reporters, and by extension the general public, confused and unsure of what to believe.

For example, George Osborne in his latest Spending Review can announce a “half trillion pound settlement, the biggest commitment to the NHS since it’s creation”[1]. Meanwhile, the chief economist of the King’s Fund, states the NHS is facing the…

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Are MPs delegates or representatives?

I ask the question because Jeremy Corbyn appears to be raising it again. An article in the Guardian has the following;

Corbyn urged MPs to let him know of their views by the start of next week, as well as to canvass the views of members in their constituencies. (my emphasis)

This returns us to a debate that I thought was over and settled.

Back in the seventies and eighties many Bennites 1 and members of Militant Tendency 2 (I see Momentum as their spiritual heirs) believed that an MP was not the representative of all their constituents, including those who had not voted for him or her, but the delegate of their Constituency Labour Party’s General Committee (GC) and bound to speak and vote as it had directed.

It would appear from his instruction to Labour MPs to consult their party members rather than their constituents that Jeremy Corbyn thinks that Labour MPs are delegates rather than representatives. This in my opinion does not bode well for the future of the Labour Party.

It is a fact that in all political parties the members tend to be more extreme in their views than their supporters (UKIP may be the exception that proves the rule). Allowing the GC to control the MP means that we are heading down the same (or at least similar) blind alley as the Republican party in the United States. Where, in order to appeal to the base and get on to the electoral ticket you have to be seen to be so extreme that you make yourself unelectable by the general public.

1Disciples of Tony rather than his son Hillary.
2An entryist Trotskyite group.

Old Labour Old Problems?

Having elected Jeremy Corbyn as it’s leader the Labour Party now has to work out what to do with the result. There does seem to be a lot of enthusiasm for his policies among the party members, the Unions (though whether the enthusiasm extends to Union members is more debatable) and especially the £3.00 clicktivists.
Roughly half a million people were entitled to vote either by being members of the Labour party, by paying £3.00 to become a registered supporter, or as in my case, registering as a member of an affiliated organisation. Apparently only about 60,000 people took my route of registering as a member of an affiliated organisation. Registering as an affiliate cost nothing but about five minutes of your time. My Trade Union, Unite, has 1.4 million members alone, hence my skepticism as to whether the members of Unite share Len McCluskey’s enthusiasm for Jeremy Corbyn.
Leaving that aside, what concerns me more, is that in order to win power and enact those policies we will have to convince at least some of the 11 million people who voted Tory in May to switch their vote next time round. I don’t think that many of them decided to keep David Cameron in No.10 because Ed Milliband wasn’t left wing enough.
In addition there is also the minor problem of wresting forty odd seats in Scotland from the Nationalists. A more left leaning party might help there, at least slightly. However, as I read it the problem for Labour in Scotland wasn’t so much the politics of the politicians as their general uselessness. (The term “Numpty” was invented to describe a certain type of time served Scottish Labour politician.) The SNP will take a lot of shifting. Next May’s Scottish Assembly elections will be one of his first tests.
As for his policies, anti-austerity is a popular battle cry from John O’Groats to Athens. whether it is as popular as some people think is yet to be seen. One of the reasons that Labour lost in May was that a lot of voters didn’t see an alternative to austerity as possible and didn’t trust Labour with their taxes. Making the case against cuts will be difficult, especially as Corbyn’s preferred method of deficit reduction appears to involve higher taxes. There is an argument that the United Kingdom is under taxed, but that has to be weighed against the fact that tax rises are not popular.
How many of Jeremy Corbyn’s policies, from scrapping Trident (something that is not necessarily a bad idea) through limited sanctions against Israel to nationalisation of the energy companies will actually make it into the 2020 manifesto remains to be seen. The public however may take a bit of persuading to vote for some of them.
The impression that I have is that the key to a Labour victory (as far as the Corbynistas are concerned) is voter re-education and getting people who don’t vote and up to now couldn’t be bothered to vote, to get off their sofa in May 2020 and vote Labour. In the meantime Cameron and the Tories will be gerrymandering the constituency boundaries and making it more difficult to register to vote.
We are stuck with an old white male leader, who I do not think knows how to compromise and who has alienated a large section of his M.P.’s already. We had the chance to elect a woman, Yvette Cooper, who would genuinely have brought a fresh perspective to leading the party, but we blew it. We decided we preferred the feelgood politics of protest to the politics of power. After all you can keep your principles unsullied if you never have to put them into practice.

Voting Reform Revisited.

I haven’t said much about Voting Reform since we lost the referendum back in 2011. The results of our recent general election tell me at least that it is time to revisit it.
We need to get from this:

To something like this:

(This ballot paper is from New Zealand)

A Pre-Election Sunday Salmagundi

As (I hope) all of my multitudes of followers in the United Kingdom will know we have a General Election on Thursday (7th May). My further flung readers may not. So in recognition of this fact my irregular Sunday round up of news and opinion will be mainly about the who, what and why of Thursday’s stramash.
Working out exactly what this election is about has been difficult.

Huge issues that will confront the next government, whatever form it takes, have been missing from the campaign. Britain’s role in the world has barely been discussed and in so much as it has been debated it has been narrowed to an argument about whether you need four submarines or just the three to maintain a credible nuclear deterrent. The environment has hardly got a word in edgeways. The economy has been talked about a lot, but usually in superficialities. I hear everyone assert that we need a high-skills, high-wage, high-productivity economy; I hear precious little about where all these wonderful jobs are going to come from. How is Britain going to earn a successful living in the future? That most fundamental of questions remains unanswered. We are in a fog of uncertainty about what sort of country we will be living in. We cannot even be sure that this country will exist in five years’ time. Labour is locked in a desperate struggle for survival north of the Tweed against the rampant Scottish nationalists and has not the breath to spare to describe how it would remake the United Kingdom. The so-called Conservative and Unionist party has responded by colluding with the nationalists in stoking the grievances that are pulling the UK apart.

 
English Conservatism needs a makeover reckons Will Hutton, otherwise,:

Detached from Scotland, the England over which it aims to preside, never-endingly, will be a poisonous, inward-looking and mean-spirited place. It will be welcome only to the super-rich and their insider networks, denying the mass of English citizens the structures and institutions through which they can live the good lives to which they aspire.

 
The Britain I love – an outward-looking country that is tolerant, good-humoured, fair-minded and generous, and which, with some reforms, could become one of the most dynamic places to live in Europe – will have been expunged.

Beware the siren call of nationalism – both Scottish and English. says Nick Cohen.

On 16 February 1886, Lord Randolph Churchill confided a plan to destroy his Liberal opponents to the Conservative lawyer Gerald FitzGibbon. It was a risk, he implied. But if William Gladstone’s Liberal administration proposed home rule for Ireland, “the Orange card would be the one to play. Please God it may turn out to be the ace of trumps and not the two”.

 
David Cameron thinks he is a firefighter. Jack Monroe, who knows a bit about the Fire Service, begs to differ.

Let’s vote for hope over fear.

In the end, it boils down to this: do we want the UK to be a hopeful country or one scared of what lies beyond? I land on this stark question because arguments about everything else have reached stalemate. But a lot of us seem unable to make that one final decision, who to vote for, because we don’t want to be let down one more time. We’ve had enough, they’re all as bad as each other, a plague on all their beautifully maintained houses. It’s a chorus of negativism that’s so easy to join. I urge you not to join it.

 
But some things never change.

As per the above we do have a new princess to distract us.

I thought I already had a Tory MP

I found this pre-election flyer from my local (Lib-Dem) MP Tom Brake stuffed through my letter box today. In it he asks me one question.
ToryMP
“Would you be happy with a Tory MP?”

The answer is obviously no.

However I decided to check Mr Brake’s voting record on They Work For You, and as far as I can see we might as well have had a Tory MP for the past five years.
I’m sorry Tom but I’m through with holding my nose and voting Liberal Democrat to keep the Tories out. My vote is going to the only party that has even quarter of an idea about how to get the United Kingdom back on the right tracks and that is the Labour Party. Though as Billy Bragg said recently on Facebook;

It’s a mark of how constipated our political discourse has become when the ideas put forward by the bishops of the Church of England are more attractive than current Labour Party policy

 

The Greens, chaotic as they are, give a lesson to the main parties

A more nuanced, and better written, take on the electability of The Greens from Will Hutton in today’s Observer.

The Greens, chaotic as they are, give a lesson to the main parties

 
Link to the full article here