Across the UK, we celebrate and give thanks for our British Armed Forces. These brave men and women represent the best of British, and we salute them for their indomitable spirit, skill and courage. Of course they are horribly betrayed by this awful government which pays them so little and offers them such poor protection when they go into hell like Helmand. But when we consider the sacrifice they make we really should salute them all!
Meanwhile, here in the sunny uplands of peace process Northern Ireland, we have the gullible media spinning that handing over of arms by the vile UDA and UVF. These mafia gangs win media and political plaudits for “putting their weapons beyond use” – whatever that means. I will ask the same questions I did when the IRA pulled this same stunt. How many weapons were decommissioned; what was the modality of decommissioning; where did it happen ; Can we see physical evidence? Or, do we take it on TRUST? Of course the other slightly awkward fact is that the UDA is still killing. Still, in Northern Ireland terms this is what peace means – the buying off of terrorists and the debasement of democracy.
If you think that the troughers at Westminster are bad, consider what the pigs at the Stormont Assembly here in Northern Ireland are up to!
MLAs were last night accused of attempting to cover up their expenses claims after the Assembly announced that only details of claims from April 2009 onwards will be published. Party leaders and representatives of all 108 Stormont Assembly members met with Speaker William Hay for about two-and-a-half hours on Thursday evening to agree 10 new financial rules.
So, they want to HIDE all that has been going on over the past decade or so? And I can tell you why. There has been sustained and grotesque troughing on a scale that would enrage the public if they got the details. It’s been a financial frenzy at the devolved Assembly with snouts trust deeply into the taxpayer provided trough. That’s why they have determined to hide it from. Ulster Unionist, Sinn Fein, Alliance, Democratic Unionist, SDLP – they are ALL at it and they are colluding with the (DUP) Speaker to keep the details private.
How DARE they. We pay their salaries and their expenses and we want to see EVERYTHING.We must demand they reveal all details – not just for the past few months when they knew the game was up. Why do you think they were all SO keen to get back to ” business as usual” – why did they chuckle SO much? Let us all – unionist and nationalist – unite to insist they let us see what they have been up to. They WORK for us and we want to see what they have been doing. Agreed?
“The terrible cost of Russia’s love affair with vodka was laid bare in a study published yesterday. It blamed alcohol addiction for more than half of all deaths among Russians in their prime years and said that the scale of the carnage was comparable to a war.
The report, which appeared in The Lancet, said that three quarters of deaths among men and half of deaths among women aged 15-54 were attributable to alcohol abuse. The mortality rate in Russia in this age group was five times higher for men and three times higher for women than in Western Europe. Professor David Zaridze, who led the international research team, calculated that alcohol had killed three million Russians since Mikhail Gorbachev tried and failed to restrict sales in 1987. He added: “This loss is similar to that of a war.” The study analysed the deaths of almost 49,000 people between 1990 and 2001 in Tomsk, Barnaul and Biysk, three industrial cities in Siberia with typical mortality rates. It concluded that alcohol was the cause of 52 per cent of mortalities; 13 times greater than the worldwide average.”
Have to say I find vodka a truly awful drink and haven’t had it in decades! But then again, I suppose if I lived under the Putin jackboot, it might be a source of some comfort. Hard to take Russia as a serious world power when it must have an adult population that at any given time is probably inebriated!
UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown really has the Jonah touch! Get this!
“The Prime Minister’s plan to embarrass the Shadow Cabinet by forcing MPs to publish details of their second jobs looks set to backfire after it emerged that senior Labour MPs and former ministers are more reluctant to part with their outside earnings!”
Oh no – surely the socialists are not rapacious second jobbers as well as serial troughers?
The Tories immediately saw the new rules introduced by Gordon Brown as an attempt to frame them as a party of millionaires with numerous business interests. But many members of the Shadow Cabinet are giving up their outside work ahead of the next election and believe that the failure of senior figures in the Labour Party to follow suit has exposed their lack of faith at their party’s prospects.
“They thought they were being very clever on this, but former ministers are clearly taking the view that they will lose the election and shouldn’t give up their outside interests,” said a senior Tory. “What they’ve done is demonstrated a lack of belief in their own destiny as a party.”
The truth is that I see nothing wrong in MP’s having second jobs outside that of politics. It anchors them in reality. However there should be some adjustment in financial terms. Is it possible to me a Minister and also do a second job? Probably not. However a class of professional politicians is a really bad idea and yet that is more and more what we have. It’s one reason why the public is disconnected from the Westminster village. I think David Cameron is being reasonably sensible in this regard but poor old Jonah Brown just keeps getting it wrong! However the reality is too many of his fellow Labour MP’s see the writing on the wall as the public sacks them next June and thus second job parachuyes are vital.
I was reading about the arrest of a Hungarian man wanted for the brutal rape of a FOUR year old girl in a small Hungarian town. He was found working at a fun-fair in Milton Keynes. This raises the question as to why Britain is such a magnet for on the run criminals.
In the year to April, Britain received more than 3,500 requests from foreign countries for the return of their criminals. More than 150 were suspected or convicted murderers. The astonishing total was up by 25% on the previous 12 months. The vast majority of the ‘wanted’ suspects hailed from European Union countries. As Detective Chief Inspector Murray Duffin, of the Scotland Yard Extradition and Intelligence Unit, has warned: ‘Britain is becoming a magnet for increasing numbers of criminals from the former Eastern bloc countries which are now members of the EU.’
Notably, the number of fugitives being sought by Poland has soared 14-fold since 2004, when the country joined the EU and its citizens were allowed to live in Britain. The Warsaw police now send a charter plane to Britain every month to pick up their countrymen wanted for killings, rape, robbery, burglary, drugs and theft. Last year, officers from the extradition unit returned 275 Poles accused of crimes back home.
Even the police chief of Albania – which is not an EU member – has warned that Britain has become the favourite sanctuary for fugitives. He recently claimed that the UK is harbouring 80 Albanian killers and 20 other serious offenders. Many have got British citizenship after deceiving our authorities and claiming asylum by pretending to be from war-torn Kosovo.
Here’s a tip. When even ALBANIA recognises that Britain is fugitive central, things are very very wrong. It all boild down to the determination of this wicked government to strip away all forms of border protection and accept into this nation every form of low life so long as they are foreign.
There is some debate in the UK as to whether the State sector could be trimmed a little in the years ahead. Thus far it remains impervious to the recession and is still recruiting. This story might give you a reason why…
Council workers are taking nearly twice as many sick days as private sector employees, according to a study. The ‘sick note’ culture in the public sector is costing taxpayers £4billion a year.
On average local authority employees take 13.5 sick days each year, compared with 7.9 days in the private sector. The study of council ‘sickies’ was conducted by the Benenden Healthcare Society, which provides healthcare to council workers, and the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives. Ut found that sickness absence could easily be cut by 20 per cent, saving £800million a year of public money if councils did more to tackle rampant absenteeism.
Now, why does such “rampant absenteeism” occur in the state sector but not in the private sector? Simple. In the wealth-creating sector persistent absenteesism is tackled head-on and if there is no good cause, such lead-swinging individuals are invited to take a hike. But in the State sector where disciplinary procedures are so lax and so very few ever get fired, employees feel they are entitled to take huge chunks of sickies. The kicker is that WE – the taxpayer – fund their laziness.The state sector does not need trimmed. It needs savaged.
Yesterday evening was a first for me at least, a phone call from my eldest brother where we totally agreed with each other on just one item; the preponderance of cloying, slightly sickening adulation afforded a showbiz freak, whose life and now death has been awarded more column inches than the attack on Pearl Harbour!
Listening, as I was almost forced to do by the mass allegiance of the broadcast media to the life, times and now death of Mr. Jackson, I reluctantly came to the conclusion that the entire nation is being force-fed with ‘Celebrity Culture’. Take this morning’s papers as an object lesson, they’re all at it, from the once august Times to the toilet-paper dregs printed within the Sun; and I just don’t believe the amount of garbage which is going to be printed and broadcast within the next few days.
Are we shortly to witness the elevation of this self-publicising negro freak to the Sainthood? Are we to witness the first of the miracles necessary to bring his memory out of the gutter where it surely belonged into the Pantheon of immortal artists? I have already heard one clown placing Jackson’s voice, dancing ability and pop-music skills on a level to the genius category afforded a Mozart!
Let’s be blunt, he was a pop artist whose young voice catapulted him into the big-time and he probably suffered irreparable damage in his youth from an overbearing father who saw the big money coming down the highway! Never having listened on purpose to any of his compositions, as I wish to protect my ears from what is termed ‘diarrhoea noise’, I am not qualified to comment upon his musical merit, if any such merit exists; although many others enjoyed his songs, but when one chooses a hero, I believe that that hero should be a whole person. I do not believe that this particular alleged ‘King of Pop’ is worthy of such worship, with his flawed and deeply damaged life, with his weird ‘fantasy’ world at ‘NeverLand’, and his truly unhealthy predilection for young boys, paid off with millions of dollars in one case, and cleared of more allegations by a cynical manipulation of twelve truly gullible Los Angeles jurors!
Goodbye; possibly, but knowing the Media as we do, it will be a long time before all the garbage finally gets swept away, and we can return to business as usual!
I was sat in a pub just outside Keswick on Thursday night when I heard the news that Michael Jackson had passed on (I don’t like the term ‘died’). I suppose it will rank with Kennedy, Lennon and Princess Diana as one of those defining losses of global fame. After Elvis and the Beatles, Jackson had more worldwide appeal than any other music artist in history and it is a shame that he has gone. However, I can’t disagree with the comments of one of my work colleagues when she said, ‘His face died years ago. His body has now joined it. So thank God we still have his music to cherish.’ Why anyone blessed with the good looks of a young Jacko would want to mutilate his face with cosmetic surgery to the extent that he is no longer recognisable is beyond me.
Whatever negativity his personal life and bodily changes wreaked, I am going to remember him as the musical icon he undoubtedly was. A young boy of 11 years capable of turning out a song as electric as ‘I Want You Back’ certainly had something over and above the vast majority of us.
It looks like ATW is the first of the major blogs to focus on the recently published results of the 2008 Life and Times Survey. The survey has been running in various incarnations since the early 1990s and, despite the harrumphs of dismissal from Irish separatism, it plays an important part in gauging wider public opinion on issues relating to the Province outside the tribal straightjacket imposed by its electoral processes.
One question, above all others, draws my interest. What constitutional preferences win the largest share of support from the general population? This year, as in every other year and every other survey and opinion poll conducted since the foundation of Northern Ireland, the result brings no surprise. Northern Ireland’s correct and rightful position as part of the United Kingdom wins a clear and substantial majority over any other preference. The combined total support for remaining in the UK in the ’08 survey is 70%, with a mere 18% opting to end the Union by joining with the Irish Republic. ‘Ah, but why does one poll matter?‘ will be the first riposte from indignant nationalists. They’re right. One poll doesn’t matter a jot. But when poll after poll, year after year, gives the same verdict, the results become too consistent to ignore. The Union in this poll wins overwhelming majority of Protestants and a significant minority of Catholics – exactly as every other poll and survey has demonstrated over generations.
‘Yes, but parties supporting a united Ireland win 40%+ of the vote,’ comes the second snort of derision. Indeed so, but as academic Arthur Aughey has argued on several occasions, the party political systems of Northern Ireland are designed for the electorate to gain maximum tribal advantage within the context of the existing polity. They do not link directly to how the population would vote in a border poll. In any case, using electoral statistics as gospel when elections across the Province seemingly depend on a declining share of the public actually voting, whilst simultaneously dismissing the results of surveys remarkably consistent over a long period of time, simply will not do. As I said in my last post, in the final analysis Irish nationalism resorts to crude demographics to chart its supposed victory course. When that shibboth falls under the weight of population uncertainties and the heterogeneity of Catholic constitutional preferences, what else have they got left? Absolutely nothing!
The prestigious chair for this year’s Royal National Eisteddfod of Wales cost £3,450 with another £750 given as prize money for the winning poet at the festival, being held at Bala in August. But today one critic said the money should not come out of police funds, and if Mr Brunstrom – due to retire next month – wanted to make a gesture to the Welsh language he could have done so out of his own pocket.
It is an absolute outrage that the POLICE are funding poetry and you know it!
You do not defeat terrorism by rewarding terrorists, regardless of how many bleeding heart liberals argue otherwise. Want to know where that flawed approach leads to? Read UNIONISM DECAYED 1997-2007 - It's my first book and it explains what happens when you seeek to appease terrorists and call it peace. It's available right now for ATW readers so make sure you get your copy by emailing the editor! This is the book that dissents from the herd mentality that doing wrong can lead to being right. It doesn't and this book spells out WHY.
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