Enid Blyton’s ‘The Famous Five’ rewritten – now is it BREXIT’S ‘The Complicit Five’?

Well, well, well, Julian, Dick, Anne and Georgina (George) with their dog Timmy have transformed into Michael, Chris, Andrea, and Penny with their lapdog Liam.

You see, the original stories took place in the children’s holidays from their respective boarding schools when they get caught up in an exciting adventure, often involving criminals or lost treasure.

While now the derivative stories take place in the adult’s continuance from their respective universities when they get trapped-up in a debilitating nightmare, often involving villains or lost opportunity.

The Complicit Five- that is of course Gove, Grayling, Leadsom and Mordaunt with Fox – have proved themselves unworthy of the high office that they all hold. After all, these men and women are all members of the UK Cabinet serving under PM Theresa May who indeed appointed them to their esteemed posts. However, they are at fundamental odds with the Prime Minister’s BREXIT planned deal for the UK to leave the EU, so they make an utter dog’s dinner of the Country’s Cabinet government by remaining in their predominately undeserved high profile highly paid jobs while publicly slagging off its EU draft Withdrawal agreement.

The reason that they don’t accept what is now on the table is pretty simply though – it is a crock of shit and everyone knows that who isn’t either a civil servant or Theresa May. The moot point is why are these five, who were big players campaigning in the Leave side of the Referendum that convinced the electorate to choose BREXIT are still being driven about in their posh ministerial cars instead of resigning and forcing May to abandon her illusional attempt to leave the EU, do you think? It is certainly not to do their duty to their Country is it, so one must assume that it is simply one of self-preservation, eh?

In July, these five were ambushed just like the rest of the Cabinet by May and her captor civil servants at Chequers, when her new secret, divisive, crazy, plan was sprung on them like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a top hat. Apparently, the Cabinet in their state of shock were coercing into agreeing it by threats of immediate sacking and walking home if showing descent.

The upstaged BREXIT secretary David Davis who had been leading the negotiations with the EU [but constantly having the rug pulled from under his feet by May] and indeed only the day before had been in the process of writing the official plan, promptly resigned not long afterwards as ‘the “common rule book” policy hands control of large swathes of our economy to the EU and is certainly not returning control of our laws in any real sense.’

That was following by the resignation of Foreign secretary Boris Johnson who had spearheaded the Leave campaign plus another minister, party officials, and ministerial aids, and who could not accept a watered-down Brexit [Guto Bebb (Defence), Ben Bradley (Party vice-chairman), Maria Caulfield (Party vice-chairwoman), Scott Mann (Treasury PPS), Robert Courts (Foreign Office PPS), Andrea Jenkyns (Housing PPS) Chris Green (Transport PPS)]

So why did the Five hang-on in there then, instead of resigning, handing back their chauffeured cars, lackies & privileges, and so kill-off the plan and force May to back-down at that initial stage? Doubtless their excuse is that they stayed to fight within the Cabinet to get the plan changed? Well if that was so, they have fully displayed their unimpressive abilities and failed miserably, haven’t they? Yep, because not only did May’s outrageous plan remain totally unchanged but she and the plan’s architect Olly Robbins continued to give-in to the EU bullies in Brussels making even further concessions that has resulted in an appalling deal with a truly scary withdrawal agreement, which is just the PROCESS of leaving, with a NI backstop that threatens the future integrity of the United Kingdom and is one that makes a mockery of the very concept of democracy in this Country, doesn’t it?

[Britain’s fate has been delegated to Robbins, a mere senior civil servant, May’s direct report and her personally appointed ‘European Advisor’ (he is a committed European, determined not to upset the EU, who was indeed chair of the Oxford university ‘Reform Club’ to promote a federal EU, no less)]

Just as it was done at Chequers, there was underhand trickery and slight-of-hand to blindside the Cabinet, together with the BREXIT department, and of course parliament itself, who were all kept completely in the dark about what in reality was being given away in the Brussels negotiations that resulted in the final draft of the withdrawal agreement being released last Wednesday – the only ones in the know were the small group of puppeteers operating May and she herself.

The list of resignations from government about May’s BREXIT deal inevitably lengthened significantly in the past week with those who cannot support her latest agreement that does not deliver a good and fair Brexit, with Cabinet members Dominic Raab (BREXIT secretary) and Esther McVey (Work & Pensions), and ministers Suella Braverman (Brexit), Shailesh Vara, (Northern Ireland), Jo Johnson (Transport), Steve Baker (Under-Secretary BREXIT), and others Ranil Jayawardena (PPS Justice), Nikki da Costa (Downing Street director of legislative affairs), Anne-Marie Trevelyan (PPS Defence), Rehman Chisti (Party vice-chairman and prime ministerial trade envoy to Pakistan)

[In 2 years May has lost more ministers than any PM since the 1980s

Yet nevertheless, the Five hung-on in there, but announced that they as a team would jointly face-down May and demand last minute changes to the draft agreement because ‘the UK must not be trapped in a customs union’ – this required from May as the price for them not resigning, eh? Well, the Five’s rebellion has simply fizzled-out despite the fact that there is no majority in Parliament for the proposed deal.

The EU responded saying that what was on the table could NOT be changed – apparently set in stone, you see? Who has EVER heard of a DRAFT agreement that couldn’t be changed, eh? Well, May has also claimed it cannot be now amended and moreover she has said that it is ‘her deal or nothing’ – meaning that she countenances dropping BREXIT altogether and that is in blatant breach of the instructions of the electorate AND of her election manifesto mandate itself to leave the EU. Her other weapon of fear she is threatening her Tory MPs with is that if they reject her proposal that will let-in a Labour government.

Does May really think that making such threats instead of trying to prove her half-baked dishonest deal has any merit, is fooling anyone into thinking that she has concluded a decent or acceptable outcome for BREXIT, eh?

By their capitulation, that has included staying and clinging-on like grime death to their day jobs (obtained by false pretences), the Five supposed BREXITEERS have shown-up themselves as having zero integrity or principles when they are seen to continue to support a legal agreement in direct conflict with their publicly announced views on Britain leaving the EU. They are a spineless set of charlatans who have cowardly shirked confrontation and have ended-up without credibility and reputations in the gutter.

Oh yes, May may have satisfied the governing elite and the big business interests but that looks increasingly likely to be at the cost of Tory power, as the abject failure of the May Government to take-on the EU in the BREXIT negotiations in any meaningful manner and abandoning our sovereignty in the process, will NEVER be forgot by the electorate, will it? Moreover, she has not only ditched her commitment to the Country [remember “BREXIT means BREXIT” and “No Deal is better than a bad Deal”, do you?], but she definitely has ‘lost the plot’ by reneging on her commitment to the DUP to keep NI solely within UK rules and without any divergence between mainland and them and not to sacrificed NI to the EU.

You see the DUP are power players who the Government are critically ‘dependent-on’ to hold a majority in the Commons via a formal Confidence & Supply arrangement (covering the Queens speech, the Budget & finance bills, and on all motions of confidence). The DUP have already shown their teeth by failing to vote WITH the Government on finance bill amendments last week (they abstained) – the DUP voting AGAINST the Government won’t bring it down now there is a fixed-term parliament but it would mean that the Conservatives will not be able to run a working majority so cannot be sure of getting legislation through and that’s unsustainable. May’s continuing pursuit of a Brexit strategy that doesn’t satisfies the DUP’s red line on the union [a red line NOT to be obliterated], is an indication that she’s got a screw loose, surely?

In 2 years, NO progress whatsoever has been made in securing a trade deal OF ANY KIND with the EU despite May agreeing to give them £40billion of our taxpayers’ money, not demanding a share of joint EU assets, and giving-in at every stage. What hope then do we have of securing a ‘FREE’ TRADE DEAL in the next 2 years within a transition stage when we are controlled by the EU but have no representation at all, do you thing?

Brandon Lewis, Tory chairman has assured the Chairs of its constituencies Associations that there is a legal commitment for the EU to do so – he is a lying git of a lawyer, as the withdrawal agreement only commits to do that with the EUs “best endeavours” [worthless in a court of law when it doesn’t happen].

There is a suspicion in many quarters that the deal on he table has been made so abysmal and unacceptable by the EU that the establishment invested interests here will be able to secure a 2nd Referendum when all us Leavers will agree that Britain might as well stay IN the bloody EU – there is more than a grain of truth in that, isn’t there? Then of course is the other plan to extend Article 50 to delay the UKs departure from the EU and have no doubt will you that the intention will be not to reset the timer but to stop the clock completely, eh?

The only way out of this quagmire that May has diligently created is to ditch her forthwith and the Tory MPs need to do that and quickly too. If they wait until her BREXIT plans are trashed by parliament, they will face a dissolution of parliament with a consequential General Election – and the people will vent their anger about the May government incompetence as a consequence, don’t you think?

The elite think that they are secure and can ride roughshod over those below them because Brits unlike the French and others in Europe, are not prone to rebellion. History shows though that they are once again mistaken because when pushed too far, the disadvantaged and the commoners act  and that is exactly why this Country has secured a democracy that May has put under threat.

Moreover, the rule has always been that a government cannot do something that binds the hands of the subsequent or a future government and that is ‘precisely’ what the current BREXIT proposals enact – a situation whereby Britain cannot in perpetuity leave the control and constraints of the EU and that is why our MPs have to do their duty to protect this Country – or suffer the consequences.

 

[‘Theresa May’ is a bad pathetic PM who has betrayed the British voters and intends that without a fight our proud nation is with tail between the legs to shamefully slink out of the EU in name only, by generating a monstrosity of an agreement that is only the start of our humiliation as the future relationship issue which was supposed to have been completed by now hasn’t even been addressed yet]

The Prime Minister used to be the most powerful person in the UK Parliament–is it now the Speaker?

pmqs2

A chaotic, mayhem, bedlam and more, of pandemonium has been going–on in Parliament about the suitability of the current Speaker of its House of Commons no less, one John Bercow.

Now you see, there has been the credible exposure of Bercow himself as an ‘accused’ long-term serial bully in an oppressive environment where a sizeable but minor proportion of MPs consistently behave badly, expect utter deferential, and appear to be minded that they are gods ‘above the law’ [as we already know from the 2009 scandal over their expenses], and that includes deeds in their dealings with parliamentary staff, when they think they can behave with impunity as overlords by ill-treating its employed individuals – particularly those are “the clerks” [expected to be “thick-skinned” officials having a “stiff upper lip” where there is an inequality in their roles, so easy prey for MPs], who play a vital behind the scenes role, but can get shouting at by out-of-control disgruntled MPs without being protected at all [would that be acceptable in any normal place of work, do you think?].

MPs unbelievably simply turn a blind eye to the dishonourable behaviour by others, so the existing system where MPs can be judge and jury about their own conduct means no punishment is dished-out, and that injustice just gets perpetuated.

Reportedly, there has been a culture of bullying and harassment in Parliament for decades and is one that persists until this day, so it seems therefore highly ‘unlikely’ that Speaker Bercow, as himself a suspect and the person basically running the place as well as setting standards, will take effective steps to finally put a stop to it, doesn’t it? Well, that is certainly what many MPs, staff working in the Westminster bubble, and those in the know outside think anyway, isn’t it?

One clerk, highly regarded by senior officials, was promotion to run a committee but was bullied by the chairman to such an extent that colleagues chaperoned her to events so she was never left alone with him and in the end she had to step-away for her own health.

Now, it has to be said that the previous Commons Speaker, Michael Martin, was also a short-tempered git who let-off steam and used his position to bully and intimidate others, so the issue with the current one isn’t ‘just’ a new problem is it? No, and it appears that the bullying issue at our parliament includes not only senior ministers but goes up the chain to those people at the very top of management. That issue itself has been also accompanied by a level of (mainly unreported) sexual harassment, with the younger women in particular at risk, to boot?

Examples unrecovered included a 20 year-old who reported being sexually assaulted and forcibly kissed by an MP in his office but nothing was done. Others reported being pushed against walls, forcibly kissed, groped and slapped by MPs – only to be advised to ‘dress differently’!

Another woman reported “My career at the House of Commons didn’t end when I was sexually harassed. My career ended when I complained”. She left when all she had wanted was to do her job without being humiliated.

A writer accused a first secretary of state of inappropriate behaviour in hinting he could advance her career in exchange for an affair – he denied it but resigned not necessarily for that and more likely because he was caught-out lying about pornography being found on his parliamentary computer, eh?

Other Commons workers aren’t safe either – a journalist claimed a former defence secretary lunged at her and attempted to kiss her on the lips.

Now, just why the staff put-up with bullying, mistreatment, and sexual assault is easy to guess, isn’t it? Yep, parliamentary staff members are ‘not only’ easily replaced but they have the cards stacked against them if they deign to pursue complaints against any MP, don’t they?

Oh yes, we all may think that bad practices by bosses in the workplace have long since been banished because offenders get severe warnings or instant dismissal, but apparently we would be wrong when it comes to the House of Commons, where the overwhelming evidence is that they are still tolerated.

A victim clerk there who protests just gets further bullying and if formally reporting any abuse, is sent on a course on dealing with “difficult” people, or simply gets punished [moved], or forced to leave (tarred with the bush as being sensitive or a troublemaker), while the abuser remains at large with impunity [or at worst told to write a private (not public) letter of apology to the victim] – how the hell can that be an acceptable outcome, eh? The serial abusers are men of course and predictably almost all but a few of the victims are women.

A recent matter implicates the House of Lords as well in the manner sexual harassment is dealt with in parliament. Peer Lord Lester was accused of groping a woman and offering her a peerage in return for sleeping with him [he said the claims were untrue – he would say that, wouldn’t he?] but he was indeed found to have failed to act on his personal honour by sexually harassing the complainant and offering her corrupt inducements to sleep with him – he should have faced immediate suspension from the House of Lords, but instead his fellow peers voted for the case simply to be looked at again [didn’t want to damage his reputation and sod the poor woman’s reputation, eh?.

Following an expose by BBC’s Newsnight programme last March, former High Court Judge and QC, Dame Laura Cox, has on behalf of the House of Commons commission has conducted an independent inquiry into this whole situation of alleged bullying, harassment and sexual harassment in parliament and has delivered explosive conclusions that fully exposed the truth of the allegations that have been rife of that place’s macho and toxic culture with unchecked bullying enacted on gendered grounds

[she concluded in part “….there is an expectation of loyalty to the institution they serve. But that sense of loyalty has been tested to breaking point by a culture, cascading from the top down, of deference, subservience, acquiescence and silence, in which bullying, harassment and sexual harassment have been able to thrive and have long been tolerated and concealed.”]

She has determined that basically the existing procedures for protecting staff are a crock of shxx and should be flushed down the toilet forthwith and that from the top down dramatic change to the practice and culture within the Commons should be forced on the House.

Very significantly she has recommended that so-called ‘historic’ complaints of bullying, harassment and sexual harassment which previously had been blocked should also be open to investigation – now allowing the likes of Bercow, who has previously escaped censure, to be properly questioned. Also she required the appointment of independent authorities with due powers to impose sanctions on MPs in cases of misconduct, as currently MPs alone are the sole arbiters and unaccountable powerful judge and jury over their own conduct, indeed?

Some dozens of current and ex-parliamentary staff who have reported bullying and harassment at Westminster have waived their right to anonymity and together with a number of MPs and journalists have sign an unprecedented open letter calling for urgent change through the immediate implementation of Dame Cox’s proposals.

Turning to Bercow then, for example his former private secretary [very senior role] was forced to leave it after less than a year having suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, reportedly because of his bullying behaviour which included shouting at her a lot [he repeatedly denies all obviously]. Oh yes, she was punished of course and not him, which that meant her being moved by the House authorities to a specially modified role that avoided Bercow completely. Another Bercow’s former private secretary reported that he was sworn at and mimicked by this Speaker. Furthermore, Bercow is reputed to have shown temper tantrums to clerks and they definitely don’t want to work for him nor aspire to be his private secretary.

Bercow is all powerful in the Commons chair because he and he alone decides which party and who is allowed a voice, so MPs of all persuasions and at all levels are wary of crossing him, aren’t they?

A formal complaint against Bercow, accusing him of intimidation and bullying of [the Leader of the House (so a senior minister)] when he branded her actions “f****** outrageous”, and calling her a stupid woman and a liar [allegations not denied and he admitted using the word “stupid”].

The senior official, who served as Black Rod in Parliament until last year, says Bercow created a climate of intimidation and fear among MPs and officials and could be intimidating, unreasonable, and disproportionate. On one occasion the “red mist” descended on the Speaker and he banged the table and yelled and was highly personally insulting calling Black Rod an anti-Semite.

Instead of standing aside, Bercow even has had the gall to retain the chair when the Chamber has had debates about bullying problems – well until last month at least when he recused himself the Independent Complaints and Grievance Process was debated [not many MPs turned up – not the place to be seen when Mr Speaker is spying-in, eh?].

 

[Commons Speaker, John Bercow, should not ‘consider’ standing down as some have suggested, he bloody-well SHOULD stand down as many have demanded, or better still be ‘SACKED’ – that would certainly send a message, wouldn’t it?].

BREXIT army defeat and Britain’s failed evacuation from Europe

        

“Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.” ― Winston S. Churchill 4 June 1940

 

“Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Commissioners and all the odious apparatus of European rule, we shall not rally or deliver. We shall go on to the bottom. We shall harmonise in Strasbourg, we shall surrender on the fisheries and seaway trade, we shall submit with growing cowardice and growing weakness in the air lanes, we shall endanger our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall surrender on the ports, we shall surrender on the airport grounds, we shall surrender in the agriculture fields and in the city streets, we shall surrender in the hills; we shall never fight.” ― Theresa M. May 14 November 2018?

 

[The ‘Out of the Jaws of Death’ evacuation of Dunkirk 78 years ago is the best-known example of British heroic success. The ‘Into the Jaws of Servitude’ capitulation to the EU this year will go down as the most shameful act of British cowardice in history]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Funding the UK State Pension is a historically nightmare – but now the ghosts of the dead are coming to haunt and destroy us?

60 and NO pension! NO STATE PENSIONS LEFT

Halloween may be nearly here again but the real frightening ghouls and spooks that Britain faces these days really arise from the past and the iconic universal State Pension that was introduced back in 1946 by the national insurance act, doesn’t it?

Yep, the problem is that these days the cost of funding the present ‘old-age pension’ coupled with the rest of the benefits system is crippling the Country to such an extent that things just can’t go-on like it much longer, can they?

Now, that is NOT to say the state pension [SP] is far too generous – far from it, the UK’s SP languishes at the bottom of the table amongst the world’s 35 developed economies, but it is just that it is inadequately funded not least because the population is skewing towards the non-working elderly who are living increasingly longer. [Turkey, Portugal and the Netherlands rank top for their far superior pension schemes, with Britain having a less than generous pension – however that is offset somewhat by many here having an additional top-up private pension, so that system definitely warrants further government encouragement]

[Back some 70 years ago male life expectancy was about just 63 years and this has progressively increased to around 80 years today, as childhood survival increased and adult improvement in lifestyles, working conditions, and health care has been delivered – women do better with a gap of 2 extra years life expectancy].

The underlying consequence of this all is that basically the national insurance paid by current workers and employers of each generation is actually in reality paying the SP for those of the previous generation who have already retired – that’s not sustainable, surely? You see, last year pensioners were supported by a massive 60% share of the £217bn welfare spend with over £90bn [over 40%] of that going on their pensions.

Of course, when the pension was first introduced nobody had made any prior contributions by way of national insurance so the costs were covered by general taxation and the non-retired payers into the new fund, but then thereafter national insurance contributions were just playing catch-up. That hasn’t been helped from a financial point of view by all the enhancements since then that have included the likes of pension equality and reduction of years paying-in or inclusion of those who haven’t paid-in at all [the running balance on the fund is less than a quarter of the actual annual expenditure].

Despite the fact that the government has tried to offset the problem of increased pensions cost due to the greater longevity of pensioners, by gradually extending the state pension age [now equalised this year at age65 for women and for both men and women moves to age66 in 2020/26 then to age67 by 2028, and provisionally age68 between 2044 & 2046], that’s nowhere near enough to solve the increasing financial crisis for the national insurance fund, is it?

No, other dramatic things will have to happen in the next 14 years before the ring-fenced fund for Pensions [and some benefits] is finally exhausted and hits the big zero. It’s grimly simplistic really, either substantially more money has to got to go in, OR significantly less money has to go out, and you don’t have to be an accountant to work that one out, do you?

National Insurance payments go towards the NHS (well under £25bn last year) and mainly the ring-fenced state benefits and services of State Pension, unemployment benefits, sickness and disability allowances, and bereavement benefits

Therein comes the bleeding problem of course – how the heck do you do whichever in a way that is acceptable to the workers, the employers, the current pensioners, the future pensioners, and indeed the whole Country, eh?

Oh yes, the government of the day could do a short-term fix by stuffing in other taxpayers money but at say a £100bn a year that would indeed have to be very very short-term, wouldn’t it?

Boosting the fund’s income certainly would present a big problem for any government hoping to survive, as substantially increasing national insurance contributions [say from 12% to 17%] would be widely resisted and unpopular, not least because it wouldn’t be primarily for the benefit of those paying- in long-term, would it? Perhaps all workers even those of pension age even should in future continue to pay contributions?

The harsh and most clinical way of reducing expenditure would be of course to means-test the state pension as many other benefits are, but that could cause uproar as those who have paid-in all their working life would feel utterly cheated – though possibly means testing could apply to just those who have paid-in least? However, the Achilles heel of that solution is the disincentive it would create for people to save or make other provision for their old age, wouldn’t it?

There can be no doubt that a significant reduction in the pension award paid would drive many old people into poverty and require other welfare funding – but if the cupboard is bare what else can be done, eh?

People need to be weaned-off the comforting expectation that the state pension alone will meet their needs in old age and instead plan to substantially supplement that possibly reduced income by other means including savings.

 

[It is an utter disgrace that successive government with their head in the sand approach have allowed this known situation to feaster until it has become almost terminal. It has to tacked now and that needs to be on a cross-party basis to avoid political turmoil or further inaction]

 

Talk of transgender, transsexual and gender self-identification – what a load of cobblers?

A major debate is raging in England just now over ‘proposed reforms’ to the gender recognition act (GRA) of 2004, while most of us have no idea what the hell that is all about nor what is going on now, do we? Well, what we ought to know though is that the blood-sucking lawyers are loving it all, as they are expecting to make a killing whenever there is legal controversy, don’t they?

Nothing against lawyers in general of course, but they just feel the need to hitch themselves to any passing wagon to make as many fast bucks as possible while the gravy train lasts, eh?

Just to set the scene, it has to be said that it is an accepted medical fact that male and female gender is set at the time of conception, so 9 months before a baby’s birth. At birth the gender is determined normally without ambiguity purely by the genitalia and that sex is recorded on the birth certificate as Male or Female.

However, in adulthood certain people find that they are not as the norm attracted to those of the opposite sex but instead to others of the same sex as themselves, so they self-determine as male homosexual or female lesbian. Well, for many centuries that was outlawed in this Country and sexual participation between same-sex couples was deemed to be unlawful and punishable.

It was only fifty years ago that homosexuality was decriminalised here and even then, for decades thereafter homophobia was rife in the UK and there are still pockets of that around particular amongst immigrant communities, aren’t there?

The unconscious bias in British psyche that has that has adversely coloured attitudes to homosexually and lesbianism has most definitely abated, though it does appear nevertheless to some of us that they seem to get undue prominence these days in the world of drama entertainment for some reason?

While most of the population might well be aware of the lesbian and gay scenario and these days are likely not only to have come in contact with many individuals, but will have had family experience, or know them well, or have friends of that sexuality, it is less likely that they have personally come across transgender people, as there are just say ten thousand or so of them in England?

Now those people are ones who have developed a ‘gender identity’ that differs from their assigned sex, which in practice means that they feel to be in the wrong type of sexual body to express their desired gender. Sometimes they deeply desire medical assistance to transition from their physical sex to the other, in which case they are known as transsexual.

The situation is further complicated by other individuals who don’t feel themselves to be of either male or female sex so are of a ‘third’ gender often termed ‘non-binary’.

Now apart from the fact that hordes of us don’t give a hoot about what any of these people do in their private life, it does become a problem in society when people want to change the ‘recorded’ gender on their birth certificate and ‘legally’ operate as a member of the opposite sex. You see gender affects a great number of things in the way an individual operates within the community, doesn’t it?

Yep, it can affect the safeguarding of children, women and vulnerable adults, the types of jobs people are employed-in like roles normally reserved to women, access to women-only spaces like women’s centres, Girl Guides, ladies’ swimming facilities, rights to women-only services, the age a state pension becomes payable, access to female-only services protected by exemptions to the equality act, participation in competitive sport, parental status, religious constraints needs, and much more.

Furthermore we cannot allow a situation developing whereby for example women-only shortlists, schemes that boost women’s representation, or woman specific awards, that have come about to redress historic male dominance in certain arenas, can now be hijacked by the transgender in what might be seen as a less competitive environment

‘Biological sex’ must remain a protected distinguishing attribute in law, and continue to be treated as a separate category from ‘gender identity’, which cannot be allowed to assume the equivalent status as the lobby is seeking, can it?

So, why has all this become topical all of a sudden?

Well, for a start the GRA was kicked-off over a decade ago when an male by birth transsexual activist argued that the government failed in law to fully recognise her as a woman in breach of Human Rights, and the European Court upheld the complaint, so Parliament changed the law but that regarding cases of fully achieved and post-operative transsexuals.

However, there has been a long-running campaign to change that new law because it is claimed that trans people are forced to endure a lengthy, highly medicalised, bureaucratic and ‘demeaning’ process to acquire gender recognition [to obtain a gender recognition certificate that changed their birth certificate’s biological sex).

Reforms are being demanded that include that non-binary people are included in future law, that even that each and everyone should be allowed to legally choose their own gender i.e. allowing anyone to self-identify their sex themselves without any diagnostic confirmation of having gender identity issues, meaning for example that even ‘self-identify’ trans people should be legally entitled to use single-sex spaces [where currently they rightly get turned away?]. As the idiom goes, what a crock of shxx these ideas are, surely?

While some level of law reform to protect affected individuals against victimisation or exclusion, is certainly appropriate, such proposals for expansion of the definition of transgender in this way to include those who are NOT transsexual, or whether or not individuals intend to make permanent physical changes, is a step too far, surely?

Now while most of us would accept that being trans is not an illness and certainly wouldn’t want to unnecessarily discriminate against those in that category, we certainly don’t expect their needs or desires to rule the roost over the rest of us heterosexuals or create risks or conflict, do we?

The existing equality legislation ensures all trans people are protected regarding employment and also against discrimination, except where appropriate specific sex-based exceptions exist so can be invoked.

What we cannot allow are changes that say allow male sexual predators, or paedophiles and the like, to self-identify themselves as women to gain easier access to their prey and we know well that such people as persistent sex offenders are skilled manipulators prepared to go to any length in their constant search for any kind of devious way to gain trust and obtain contact opportunities with potential targets.

Regardless of gender ‘identity’, we must maintain sex-segregation to defend women, girls and their female-only services, whenever that is appropriate and reasonable, particularly wherever women need protection from male-bodied persons, like say at abused women refuges, rape crisis centres, and of course prisons.

Despite the fact that provision already exists in prisons to exclude certain women whether trans or not, based on their record, from the female estate if they are deemed a danger to other inmates, the authorities have already been mesmerised by the aggressive transgender lobby and pre-any legislation changes, have allowed a multi-sex offender and multi-rapist, a male self-identified transgender women, into a woman’s prison to commit further sexual attacks on females [convicted two weeks ago and jailed for life] – there is a lesson there to be learnt, surely? Yes, and it is that any male with a retained penis cannot be allowed in any future law amendment simply to transgender to obtain a female certificate that gains them access to female only spaces or jobs or situations. [note that in fact almost half of trans women prisoners are sex offenders and a quarter have convictions for sexual offences relating to children – so none of them should EVER be banged-up in a woman’s prison]

There are rightly genuine concerns over those convicted of male violence against women, subsequently self-identifying as women, and those sexual predators should most certainly be excluded from acquiring a new gender without being post-operative transsexuals .

There is a massive problem lurking under the surface however and that is the one concerning minors with gender identity issues, as these certainly are not included in current legislation and are unlikely to be included in any changes.

It is particularly worrying to those of us who have come across it that children as young as six years-of-age are somehow being encouraged to desire to be of the opposite sex and while it is not clear how this is happening [as there is an explosive over 4,000% increase in girls wanting to be boys and over 1,200% increase in boys wanting to transgender, there has to be a BIG question WHY], nevertheless it is certainly being indulged rather than being tackled. We need to be clear that this is a totally different phenomena from what has always happened with girls being tomboys and boys dressing-up in their sister’s dresses when they are experimenting with their gender, which is perfectly normal and healthy, isn’t it?

 

[Much of the concern about proposed change in the gender law has to be about those born male, and that is because it has to be taken into account that the overwhelming majority of sex offenders are indeed male so risk assessment becomes a crucial factor in the decision]

‘Philip Hammond’ a BREXIT terrorist and now International Law expert– the new Dynamo who can walk on water as well?

 

 

Well, well, well, we’ve now heard the latest outrage from mega-loudspeaker broadcaster of ‘project fear’ announcements, Essex boy Philip Hammond, the supposed Chancellor of the Exchequer so charged with protecting the financial interests of the Country in accordance with the electorate’s mandate, but when has spent his 2 years in the job doing exactly the opposite, hasn’t he?

Why as an ardent Remainer he was given that crucial job which essentially required someone to accept and progress BREXIT to the best possible outcome, which required him to turn-around a Treasury one hundred percent committed to staying in the EU no matter what and whatever their employer’s electorate voted for in the Referendum, is anybody’s guess – but then again his job was the gift of promotion from a Remainer, herself shiny-new PM Theresa May, eh?

Predictably, his Treasury has simply continued under his direction then to determinedly undermine the UK’s BREXIT negotiations with its dire forecasts, manipulated by putting negative assumptions into their financial models – ‘rubbish-in’ means ‘rubbish-out’, you see?

It is a fact that research published this year by economists at one of the world’s top business schools [the CBR of the University of Cambridge, top ranked by Bloomberg, the Financial Times, BusinessInsider, US News & World Report, and Forbes Magazine] identified that Treasury’s economic modelling reports on the impact of Brexit, issued during and AFTER the Brexit referendum, were fatally flawed – they say that the BREXIT decision will only have a small negative impact on economic growth over the coming years, and is likely to have a minor impact on living standards, and NOT the large negative impacts being predicted.

Now, the latest scaremongering intervention by Hammond is to warn-off the Cabinet from accepting a NO Deal outcome to EU negotiations and saving a £45bn so-called BREXIT divorce bill for maintenance, as he has determined that Britain is legally required to pay the bulk [£36bn] of it ANYWAY.

This of course is just a ‘rework’ of his crass utterances last December when he pontificated that the EU’s spurious financial settlement bill would have to be paid in full irrespective of a trade deal being struck or not [as if it was a High Court judgement, eh?]. He was immediately within the hour slapped down by May for that original assertion when he claimed that ‘not paying’ was “inconceivable” [May had unilaterally made the massive financial commitment to the EU without the authority of Cabinet or Parliament – her commitment to the Country is “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”].

Just exactly what qualifies Europe-loving Hammond to counsel Cabinet on the legality of the issue is anyone’s guess as he seems to have no training or qualifications in European or International law or Treaty obligations, does he? No, he only has an Oxbridge degree in Philosophy, Politics, & Economics and on reaching Parliament twenty odd years ago he has worked his ticket in assigned roles for work & pensions, treasury, transport, defence, foreign office – so perhaps a jack of all trades and master of none, eh?

So, Hammond’s ability is not equivalent in any which way say to the Attorney General’s, who is the chief legal adviser to the Crown, and oversees the legal department department and the CPS, and SFO, as well of course as acting as principal legal adviser on questions of EU and international law, and the legal aspects of all major international and domestic litigation involving the government.

Hammond once again strives to pull the rug from under the feet of BREXIT, cause further divisive turmoil in the Cabinet and even more disconcertingly, give succour to the EU enemy in Brussels. May hasn’t done anything about it though, has she? No, because she can no longer keep him under any measure of control as he has become untouchable – May a strong and stable Prime Minister, do you think?

Just recall that BREXIT was the clear-cut decision of the Country’s Referendum and that was followed by a General Election won with a Tory manifesto commitment to implement leaving the Single market and the Customs union, won’t you?

 

[Britain’s politicians hold senior government appointments as amateurs without any real qualifications and that undoubtably gives the likes of Philip Hammond to the sad delusional false belief that they can do just anything however miraculous – even walk on water?]

RUSSIA is a ‘disgusting’ country under Putin – AMERICA is a ‘disgusting’ country under Trump

Putin                   Trump  

There is an idiom truism saying that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but nevertheless that certainly doesn’t apply when it comes to the ‘elected’ leaders of certain countries does it, eh? No, and that applies in modern times to both Russia and unfortunately, now the United States of America as well, doesn’t it?

While it might have taken Vladimir Putin, a former head of the Russian intelligence service, nearly a full 20 years of without question running his country, either as either President or Prime Minister [thwarting its constitution in the process], to revert his nation’s recovering country into a disgusting and despicable one, it has taken Donald Trump only 2 years to achieve a somewhat similar disgusting fate for his, hasn’t it?

[President Putin has the evil look about him and President Trump can equally match him, can’t he?]

Some would say that a county’s people shouldn’t he judged on the actions of their leader, but that criteria cannot be applied when the leader has been elected rather than having seized power, surely? [Oh yes, Putin is deemed to have ‘stolen’ all his victories, but certainly the US punters got exactly what they had voted for, didn’t they?].

Well, of course President Putin has done the most so far to drag his already corrupt country into the gutter as he had had more time to do so, hasn’t he? Yep, and its descent into the abys was inevitable the moment Boris Yeltsin selected Putin to be his chosen successor.

Here are just some of the evil things that Vladimir Putin has perpetrated in the name of his country:

  • with short shrift all Putin’s potential enemies were eliminated, others’ assets were purloined, the press was neutralised with suspect journalists done-away-with, and indeed that has been since the fate the political opposition in Russia, to boot?
  • used the power of draconian anti-democratic laws, arrests and assassinations to lose the democratic reforms of predecessor Boris Yeltsin
  • Putin befriends the elite criminals, in mutually profitable relationships mixes with criminals, and exercises power by using criminal gangsters
  • disgustingly, state agents exploit their own criminal opportunities in an increasingly controlled way and Putin has allowed organised crime to prosper, it goes with the grain of his system, you see?
  • Putin has orchestrated riots to destabilise neighbouring states and ongoingly has conducted mass state sponsored cyber-attacks around the globe
  • he ordered the invasion and continuing occupation of parts of neighbouring Georgia in 2008
  • back-in 2006, British naturalised Russian defector and Putin critic Alexander Litvinenko was murdered in London with State radioactive polonium 210, and the perpetrator given a parliamentary seat by Putin as his get-out-of-jail-card
  • in 2014 he oversaw the most corrupt games in Olympic antiquity with the worst doping scandal in history
  • Putin ordered his troops to invade Ukraine and illegally annex Crimea in 2014, so stole a massive swath of Ukrainian territory, and continues to destabilise Eastern Ukraine, where fighting rages on, all with some 10,000 dead
  • the disgusting downing over eastern Ukraine of a civilian Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 with the loss of 298 innocent civilian lives, using a Russian missile occurred in 2014.
  • the Russian military was dispatched to Syria in 2015, shored up the regime of Bashar Assad and committed countless atrocities, still conducting devastating airstrikes, even bombing a United Nations aid convoy and targeting hospitals [ some ¼ million civilians murdered & 5M refugees, 6M displaced, 14M requiring humanitarian assistance (the whole nation?)]
  • without much doubt Putin ordered a cyber and propaganda attack to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election to undermine public faith in the American democratic process, while false stories were posted on Facebook reaching 140 million Americans, and his hackers stole thousands of emails from Democratic leaders and leaked them. (Similar attacks have since occurred in Germany, France and the Netherlands)
  • he is selling weapons to the Taliban in Afghanistan and banned oil to North Korea, while providing sanctuary to a rogue’s gallery of cyber criminals, dispatches fighter aircraft that harass U.S. military jets in Syria and NATO aircraft over the Baltic, and sends submarines to prowl threatening close to crucial Atlantic undersea cables carrying 97% of global communications
  • just this summer Putin sent his GRU military team of assassins to eliminate, using an illegal military grade nerve agent poison, British citizen and Russian ex-double agent spy Sergei Skripal together with his daughter Julia in Salisbury – they were saved but another innocent woman became an unintended victim and died horribly
  • his vile actions have resulted in the Western response of massive sanctions that are crippling the poor of his country – but with his own stolen untold riches why should he give a damn, eh?

 

Don’t be in any doubt will you, but Trump has taken a leaf out of Putin’s book when taking over the levers of power in America.

Trump has aggressively set about to:

  • neutralise and discredit the press, disclaiming every exposure as fake news, destroying as best he can journalists’ established reputations, and side-lining any political opponents and even being at war with members of his own party.
  • by-pass the checks and balances inherent in the American constitutional, ignoring the need to consult Congress about laws and issuing Presidential decrees in its place, abusing his power and ignoring the law, and of course terminating those who get in his way [like the Secretary of State, FBI director, FBI deputy director, the first, then second national security advisor, Chief strategist, Chief economic adviser, US ambassador], though not by Putin’s means – but doubtless he would if he thought he could get away with it, eh?
  • Trump appoints criminals to high office [first national security advisor (guilty)], employs criminals to hide his dirty exploits [personal attorney & fixer (guilty)], run things [former campaign manager (guilty), campaign foreign policy adviser (guilty), campaign aide (guilty), aides’ Dutch lawyer (guilty)], or support him [member of the House of Representatives (indicted), a second member of the House of Representatives (arrested)]. Then there are 12 Russian intelligence officers indicted for information warfare against the U.S [now back in Russia]
  • his charitable (?) foundation [directors — himself, sons Eric and Donald Jr. and daughter Ivanka] is being sued by the NY attorney general for violation over a decade of state and federal charities law
  • encourage violence [2016 campaign rallies] and he has even been accused in federal court of incitement to riot (didn’t stick of course). Trump public utterings include “I’d like to punch him in the face” [in front of a crowd of supporters, after a protester was removed]; “Maybe he should have been roughed up” [regarding a protester who indeed was ejected by a jostling, kicking and punching Trump mob]; “Part of the problem is no one wants to hurt each other anymore” [complaining that protesters are ejected easily as they realize that there are no consequences to protesting anymore[; “I don’t know if I’ll do the fighting myself or if other people will” [on giving way to a protestor]; “The audience hit back. That’s what we need a little bit more of” [about a protestor he accused of violent behaviour]; “If you do (hurt him), I’ll defend you in court, don’t worry about it” [about a protestor he wanted out]; “I’ll beat the crap out of you” [about someone had rushed toward the stage in an aggressive manner]; “Knock the crap out of him, would you? I promise you, I will pay your legal fees” [how to deal with a tomato throwing protestor]
  • failed to condemn the alt-right racist white supremacist riots in Charlottesville

 

One can always predict the inevitable degeneration of a country with a system sliding towards shabby oblivion, when its regime enables itself to take control of the judiciary, can’t one? Well Trump showed his colours on that front with his latest despicable act played-out last week, when he had forced through the lifetime appointment of a Supreme Court judge whose suitability and candidature had been seriously called into question. Trump now has firmly under his limitless control a most influential judge in the highest court in the land – a man who now owes him BIG TIME and Trump is exactly the kind of man to make sure the man does his bidding, isn’t he?

Trump not only has sworn-in his new selection but has had the audacity to ‘apologise on behalf of the entire Nation to him and his family for their terrible pain and suffering in his selection validation’ and furthermore Trump claimed that those accusing the man were liars and that he has been “proved innocent under scrutiny” – A MASSIVE UNTRUTH on both counts that is worthy of the Adolf Hitler propaganda technique of THE BIG LIE [use of a lie so “colossal” that no one would believe that someone ‘could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously’]. The credible respected woman who blew the whistle on this all, passed a lie detector test but the learned judge didn’t take one, eh?

Now, this judge was accused of drunken sexual assault by three women in his youth, so just the kind of man that Trump, a self-admitted sexual abuser of women, would want as a top line judge, eh?

This appointment has become a major divisive political issue with seemingly even Republican women in acceptance of allowing men’s sexual disrespect of their ‘gender’, eh?

Not only that, but this follows-on in the footsteps of Trump’s full-throated endorsement last year of an alleged serial sexual predator [that included a 14-year-old girl victim] in a Senate race (he lost), which sent a clear message to women everywhere that he doesn’t believe that credible allegations of molesting women are ‘disqualifying’.

Apart from the above, Trump can’t yet match Putin’s most extreme destructive exploits, but what other things has he been up to since January 20, 2017?

  • issues noxious tweets that undermines the power and grandeur of the presidency
  • immediately signed an executive order halting all refugee arrivals, banned travel to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries [Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen], and refugees from Syria barred indefinitely [order successfully challenged in court (partial)]
  • acted in isolation in granting a undeserved pardon to a former Arizona sheriff for a criminal contempt conviction in a racial-profiling case
  • announced the end of the DACA program that gave protection to some ¾ million young undocumented immigrants [stalled by legal actions but now requires Congress intervention to survive]
  • has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, with relocation of the US Embassy there – provoking worldwide condemnation as that country is in breach of international law in the sequestration and occupancy of others’ land
  • withdrawn the US from the Paris climate accord, showing that the USA doesn’t give a fig about the future of the planet and the human race if business can make a quick buck
  • installing conservative judges who will preside for decades
  • empowered al-Qaida in Syria, by forging a de facto alliance with Russia and Iran to defeat the Islamic State, Trump is driving Sunni Arabs into the waiting arms of al-Qaida – which is preparing to replace the Islamic State and is much more dangerous
  • fired the FBI director for investigating Russia links, leading directly to the ongoing Special counsel probe, now hanging over the Trump presidency like the Sword of Damocles
  • attacked and undermined the FBI and the intelligence community when those in the FBI, the Justice Department and the CIA are good, decent and honourable patriots deserving of respect
  • risked nuclear war in making dire threats against rogue state North Korea but then negotiated directly with its despot leader (and lost)
  • stands suspect of being complicit in Russian interference in the presidential campaign, and of subsequent appeasing Putin, saying that he believes Putin and not his own intelligence operations
  • his administration has ‘slow-walked’ implementation of tough, new sanctions against Russia passed overwhelmingly by Congress last summer.
  • . shamed the US worldwide in issuing an executive order enacting FORCED separation of immigrant children from their families at the border and jailing the adults, then face with protests he changed it to detain them ALL instead
  • Trump has lately started an ‘unwinnable’ but potentially devastating trade war with China, Canada, Mexico and EU

 

THERE YOU GO – HARDLY A WORTHY RECORD FOR AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT, that makes America great, do you think?

 

[While authoritarian, oppressive, punitive and expansionist ‘Vladimir Putin’ doesn’t need to give a damn about public support or polls or image in other countries, ‘Donald Trump’ most certainly does and his administration is haemorrhaging support, with his approval dropping to 35 percent, and internationally his confidence rating is rock bottom (7% Spain, 9% France, 10% Germany)]

In Britain we have created a society addicted to or dependant on Alcohol, Drugs, Gambling, Food – and worse of all ‘BENEFITS’?

 THE BENEFITS NET

Addiction and dependency [often linked to mental health] is rife in Britain these days and that applies not just to the general population but even to revered professions like (stressed?) doctors, who should know better eh?

It is estimated that there are about ½ million dependent drinkers in England and ALCOHOL the fifth biggest risk factor across all age groups [while alcohol is actually now 60% more affordable than it was in 1980, eh?].

As well, around 3 million people in England & Wales are estimated to be on DRUGS, a third of them on Class A drugs, but for the others its mostly cannabis

Furthermore, in the UK, some ½ million people have a serious GAMBLING habit while another 1½ million are at risk of developing an addiction to gambling [The outrageous racket of betting terminals allowing customers to spend up to £100 every 20 seconds doesn’t help, does it?].

Some 26% of men and 27% of women in England have been classified as suffering from OBESITY [the sixth highest adult obesity level in the World, but over ten percentage points lower than USA at No1], and at a time also when obesity was a factor in about 650 thousand hospital admissions

Now, that basic information on those four sets of dependences don’t make good reading, do they? No, but even they pale into insignificance when compared to BENEFITS addiction in Britain, don’t they?

In reality the only people who should be actually reliant on benefits, other than in the short-term, are those disabled through no fault of their own, plus those entitled to and have an earned the right to a State Pension – all the rest of society should be standing on their own two feet, with families being self-sufficient and living within their means, which ought to be possible in an advanced Country with adequate employment opportunities, surely? [UK job vacancies have risen to nearly ¾ of a million this summer].

Notwithstanding that, and despite benefit cutbacks in recent years, more than half of Britons are still net dependent on the State, which means that their households receive more in benefits than they pay in taxes – that has got to be ridiculous, surely? Yep, and it is a situation in which the Labour government under PM Tony Blair has a lot to answer for, it would seem? [Particularly as it was not the poorest but the middle quintile households that moved from being ‘givers’ to ‘takers’ in that period of government, eh?].

Oh yes, the facts about the liberal benefits in Britain are more than quite disturbing, aren’t they?

Well, the out-of-control Welfare State has bewitched British family life, and a few years ago research showed that well over 20million families or 65% were in receipt of some kind of benefits, and half of them relied on benefits to make up more than half of their income. Unsustainable, or what?

Too many households include a generation that has ‘never’ worked, and in some few it is two generations (perhaps under 20 thousand though), but benefits to the unemployed are problematic because they continue to be a major drain on the public purse, not least when you take account of the fact that when the dole was introduced starting back in 1911 and enhanced after the War, it was most definitely intended as a short-term fix and NOT a permeant way of life for the workshy – recipients are supposed to be forced into accepting employment, but they can still get away with NOT doing just that.

The basic problem with the UK welfare state is that government paid benefits that superseded the inadequate private charity of the 1800s, has become a legal entitlement for any Tom, Dick, and Harry who arrives on these shores legally or otherwise. [For example, refugees can claim when applicable, benefits such as Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit, Universal Credit, as well as a refugee integration loan].

UK benefits have expanded like Topsy since the 40s and now stands at £115BILLION; nowadays state pensions are overwhelmingly the largest governmental welfare expense, followed by disability, unemployment benefit, housing benefit, payments to people on low income, funding of tax credits, and personal social services – benefits remain a magnet for poor countries’ immigrants as they are almost double as much say as the Czech Republic?

Indeed, there are some ‘very large’ families that are raking it in, and are heavily dependent on benefits, but they often are exposed in newspapers [probably just a few hundred of them] – you see, the problem with the current welfare state is that there is no room for official discretion, hence those ‘milking’ the system, or even the ‘undeserving’, or the ‘unworthy’, don’t get rooted-out [only a ‘portion’ of the criminal classes and fraudsters who illegal claim benefits do get sorted-out (and there are blinking thousands of them at it, at a cost of £1½ billion?)]. Some half a dozen housing benefit claimants are EVEN pulling in £100,000 a year, but surely that ought to be zero?

If anybody needs any indication of how bad and serious the benefits addiction is now in Britain, they only need to consider the chaotic agitation expressed in the media over the universal credit flagship welfare reform – outrage is expressed almost daily that the State is failing to provide people with the money on time that they RELY ON to survive, but never any thought is given as to just WHY all these individuals have got themselves into such a position and just WHY we as a society have allowed that to develop, eh?

Now, the concept behind universal credit was certainly desirable and credible, as it was, with reasonably generous reform, to reduce British people’s dependence on welfare payments while providing ‘encouragement’ of low-earners into employment, but you see the liberal do-gooders apparently intent on destroying our society’s need for personal responsibility, seem intent on the majority relying on the taxes paid by others to keep them afloat – its only the disabled that society should be really charitable towards, surely?

[That said, the Government have made an unbelievable pig’s ear of introducing this pretty essential reform to replace the means-tested benefits paid to working-age households of jobseeker’s allowance, income support, housing benefit, employment and support allowance, working-tax credit and child-tax credit].

What has happened because of the welfare state is that masses of people are on zero hours contracts (a million workers and a third of them want to work more hours than granted) , or on such low pay, that their families cannot survive financially, requiring the State [meaning the rest of us] to subsidise them in their lifestyles which simply allows their devious and dodgy employers to lodge massive profits which are then often spirited abroad without paying tax, aren’t they?

 

[Don’t forget everybody that the larger the welfare state, the greater the need to be financed by equally large tax revenues, will you].

 

England organ donation ‘DEEMED CONSENT’ is likely to FAIL in practice and thousands more will needlessly die – our Government needs to fix it NOW?

odrhumanorgan

Those of us who actually care about saving the lives of those blighted people in our midst who are desperately waiting for an organ transplant had our spirits lifted a year ago at the Tory Conference when our Prime Minister Theresa May backed the change in the Law to introduce organ donation in England by deemed consent (known also as ‘opt-out law’) – she admitted that 500 people had died in 2016 while waiting for a heart, lungs, kidney or liver transplants.

Now, some 24 enlightened European countries already have some form of presumed consent system including Spain, Belgium, Austria, France, and Wales, [with that yielding high donor rates in the first three].

The previous attempt here for presumed consent ten years ago by a Private Members bill, failed as it was without government support, but this time round the new bill has that essential backing and it should go through ‘eventually’ {barring another General Election, eh?].

The only upset is that it won’t clear the Commons procedures until the end of this month (October) with its Report & 3rd Reading stages and even then, it has to go through the similar long procedure in the Lords before return to MPs.

Realistically, we are looking at Spring 2020 before any new law is enacted – in all that time during its three years gestation more thousands of men, women, and children will have unnecessarily died because no organ was available or the right donor was not found

However, it is an initiative that will doubtlessly fail unless the government act NOW to solve the existing inherent problems with organ availability, don’t you think?

Make no mistake about it, this law change will not only better ‘reflect’ the views of the general public and give ‘hope’ to those currently waiting for a transplant they so desperately need, but it could be the breakthrough that ‘saves’ countless innocent lives, while ‘knowing’ that a loved-one’s organ will be living-on in another person giving them life, can offer some future ‘comfort’ in their loss for the parents, spouses, partners and families of a child or adult lost before their time.

The point is that there are 6,000 or more people in England on the transplant waiting list awaiting an organ transplant, while that figure is rising at a faster rate than the numbers of people who either receive a transplant or die waiting – although since April this year only some 2000 people in the UK received donated organs, but while the vast majority of the public backs organ donation, only 35% have actually recorded their wishes on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

The major problem that organ donation has faced is not solely related to getting names on the register, is it? No, the first problem is that the current law does NOT allow the person’s wishes regarding the transplant of their organs to be heeded, so a person’s specific enrolment on the Register or carrying of a Donor Card doesn’t constitute a legal binding document, so there is no legal standing or impact for of a person making that decision, is there?

You see, being a registered donor is not treated like a person’s Will, which of course can and will be enforced, so what happens in reality is that distressed next-of-kin in a time of immediate personal turmoil when their loved one is dying or just dead, are allowed to ‘overrule’ a person’s commitment to allow transplants and so they reverse the decision of their deceased relative, hence when emotions having taken-over, they refuse permission for organs to be taken. If people were actually ‘thinking straight’ at the time they would agree to donate organs, if that was the declared wish of the deceased, surely?

The removal of a healthy organ for transplant is time critical, so there is no second chance opportunity for measured reflection the next day, is there?

That means that LESS THAN HALF of the organs that ‘ought’ to be available for transfer in accordance with a person wishes, ‘actually’ become available – simply because consent is unreasonably withheld through misplaced emotion.

This basic problem is NOT going to go away with the new law, is it? No, so it HAS to be solved by the Government in the new law, considering that the evidence so far in Wales, which already has such a law as of December 2015, is that the hoped-for spike in organ availability just didn’t happen as the consent-veto issue prevailed. The simplest way of dealing with the problem is to include a clause in the new Bill to remove the right of relatives to overturn the decision of somebody who has either put their name on the Register or carries a Donor Card and allow a veto only when deemed consent is involved.

Some people of the ‘do-gooder’ liberal brigade are of course railing against the opt-out law, like for example an over-educated village idiot columnist of the Sunday Telegraph, who in one of his diatribes some months ago, denigrated it on the basis that organ donation should always be a ‘gift’ – ignoring the indisputable fact that the deceased isn’t in any position to make such a gift (and when the relatives can and do scotch it anyway), while the only person who ’can’ actually make such an organ gift is a living person [and each year in the UK more than 1000 of these generous brave healthy people do so – most commonly a kidney (as we have two), but sometimes liver (‘part’) as it can regenerate itself within 6 months in both the donor and the recipient.

In the UK it is a punishable legal requirement for ALL individuals to register to vote as well as for every householder to also to annually respond to a household enquiry form that checks the right people are registered to vote. Surely it should therefore be quite simple for the law to be changed so that ALL competent adult individuals register their decision on organ transplant (Opt-In, Opt-Out, Deemed-Consent), and that to be legally enforceable to prevent it being overridden by well-meaning but misguided relatives, wouldn’t you think?

It is worth remembering that while relatives may be over-sensitive about invasion of the body, no one has any say if a Coroner decides on the need for an autopsy because that is the law – and you can’t get more invasive than that, can you? Also, it is the law that the dead person must be buried or cremated – either way, their reusable organs will simply rot away or be incinerated – what a waste when these organs can save someone’s life and where is human compassion here?

 

[The first answer to organ donation has to be that the deceased person’s wishes should be respected and not overridden by their next of kin – that is what the law need to be NOW, and as the population become more accustomed to transplants, they will gain widespread acceptance as a common-sense ‘normal’ event]

 

 

A natural disaster has CERTAINLY struck-down Sulawesi – BUT the Indonesian government have a case to answer?

You will have seen over the past few days the newspapers’ advertisements by the likes of ‘Save the Children’, Oxfam, Red Cross and others, highlighting last Friday’s devastating Sulawesi Tsunami, with their heart rendering pleas for public donations to help the enormous number of victims. As normally happens we can indeed expect the British people to generously dig deep into their pockets to help foreign people in need and fund international humanitarian relief operations on this Indonesian island.

That massive incoming aid will though simply been seen cynically by many in the Indonesian elite as a god-sent opportunity to feather their nests, so just how much of that much needed relief will be creamed-off by the corrupt is anybody’s guess.

The utter devastation we have seen on our TV screens resulted from a massive earthquake under the north of the island that also triggered the 250mph apocalyptic tsunami in the narrow deep Palu bay which has levelled Donggala and Palu city as well as many other places – the resulting death toll is rising rapidly and is certainly going to be in the thousands while most infrastructure is simply wiped-out across a wide area.

From the outside, this tragedy looked to have been an ‘unavoidable’ calamity where the malign forces of nature had conspired to enact unimaginable death and destruction on a vulnerable population. But take a look below the surface and that simplistic explanation may prove inadequate, perhaps?

First, it is important to recall that Indonesia is one of world’s most earthquake and tsunami-prone countries, and that they can even provoke the volcanoes that dominate the local geography into erupting [Sinabung dormant since the 1600s erupting in 2010 is a possible example] – a combination that massively increases risk to life and limb

[Volcanoes in Indonesia are part of the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’ and the country itself has 127 active volcanoes with about 5 million people living within their danger zones – notable eruptions: Tambora 1815 (the most violent eruption in recorded history), Krakatoa 1883 (so violent it had global effects); within Java island Merapi (last eruption 5 months ago – the most active), Semeru (last eruption 3 years ago – been in almost continuous eruption since since 1967) and Kelud (last eruption 4 years ago – more than 30 eruptions in a thousand years),]

After a 2004 tsunami killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries, more than half of them in the Indonesian province of Aceh, a concerted international effort was launched to improve tsunami warning capabilities, particularly in the Indian Ocean and for Indonesia.

There’s a large and well-documented ‘fault system’ that’s been very rapidly slipping for years that runs through Palu, which is very straight and very long [about 200km]. There were events there in the early 1900s and an event like this in 1937. Moreover, in 2013 it was identified that the Palu fault, specifically had the potential for causing a ‘very destructive’ earthquake and tsunami. The current occurrence in exactly that circumstance cannot have been entirely unexpected then, surely?

A sizeable earthquake off Sumatra island just two years ago causing panic in the coastal city capital of Padang revealed that the tsunami early warning system involving sea buoys costing hundreds of thousands of dollars hadn’t even been serviced for six years, so NOT ONE of them were actually working.

Everyone knows that because of Indonesia’s location, that tsunamis will come again and again, and that they will come in other cities around its many coasts. That is compounded by the absolutely shoddy failure of the Indonesian authorities to require buildings to be built to withstand even minor earthquakes or moreover enforce use of even proper strength concrete in construction or have proper structures for accommodation and business – that is why we see pictures of EVERYTHING FLATTENED in Palu, isn’t it

All that being so then, all of us would assume Indonesia to be indeed a country where the population would know all about the impending risks that they lived under, and would have been adequately informed in how best to save themselves when the danger emerged, wouldn’t you? Moreover, one would be shocked if the Jakarta government hadn’t fully assessed those major risks and taken all possible necessary actions to protect their distant widespread communities from them, wouldn’t you?

However, when this tsunami hit Palu without warning last week, there were some there who instead of running for the hills, watched it or filmed it, or even lost their lives trying to save prized possessions instead – does that sound like them being properly informed of the risks, eh?

The big question being asked now, is did the Indonesian authorities learn anything at all from all those past incidents and warnings? Well, it certainly appears that the answer is NO, doesn’t it?

That is why it comes as a dreadful insight for us outsiders to find that the two basic requirements of the Indonesian government were failed miserably with such dreadful consequences as has resulted in such a catastrophe which is down to neglect of a disgustingly negligent, if not criminal, extent?

A well-designed cutting-edge tsunami sensor network for Indonesia that should provide critical information and an early warning system has been stalled in the testing phase for years due to local disputes, wrangling and delays in getting just £55,000 to complete the project – meaning that the system hasn’t moved beyond a prototype developed with aid funding from Germany (£47M), U.S. (£2.5M) and Malaysia.

While there was certainly the fiasco of failed tsunami warning technology, the real failure was one of education and ignorance, as this was a localised tsunami resulting from an earthquake close to the coast. The tsunami waves will have hit Palu only 30 minutes after the quake so the people on the beach and in the city should have had and heeded the early warning of the earthquake to move instantly to seek high ground immediately – clearly, they didn’t, so not knowing what to do is in reality what killed so many people, isn’t it?

To understand properly just how the hell this situation can have come about, you need to know that the fundamental problem with Indonesia is that corruption is so endemic that like a virulent cancer, it skews and destroys its whole economy.

Indonesia is most unlike its neighbour Singapore (an ex-British colony, but now extremely independent) which acted without compromise to defeat and eradicate similar corruption, hence turned a poor state with no natural resources into one of leading economies in the world in less than 40 years under its long-serving Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

[In the 1950s in Singapore Lee Kuan Yew’s party ‘People’s Action’ won power in an election, and became the symbol of the fight against corruption, with the slogan “You want to fight corruption? Then, be ready to send to jail your friends and relatives”].

Indonesia after three decades of totalitarianism, is now well established as a democratic republic, whereby the elected President is both head of state and head of a government that exercises executive power.

However, it is a poverty-stricken country blighted with excessive bureaucracy and re-tape, which coupled with low wages and high unemployment, has simply leached previous solely centralized corruption downstream to the lowest elements, and it is openly tolerated so there is nothing that enforces any concept of business code of ethics. Very low salaries of the government bureaucrats, means that they invariably demand bribes from any company that needs government approvals for any purpose

Those amongst us who have had experience of wider Indonesia and Sulawesi itself [not just Bali) together with its wonderful ordinary people, have seen at first hand the poverty living cheek-by-jowl with affluence. The evidence of low-level corruption faces you when you even have your passport checked on entry and are invited to give the official 10 dollars, or when bringing-in goods that are duty free $100 bribe to avoid being them being held in customs for weeks before release.

In any business transaction a bribe has to be paid by somebody to somebody, either to an official or intermediary, while all government department supervised local work, including aid-funded work, is pre-allocated to a specific company who must be invited to provide the bid price as the department senior official is receiving a substantial fee from them

Is it any wonder then that in an environment where foreign firms regularly suffer prolonged wait times, and have to pay bribes, that the international efforts to activate a fully working tsunami warning system floundered, was overspent and hit the buffers of bureaucracy and budget shortfall, do you think?

 

[Nothing is going to get any better in Indonesia unless corruption is fully eradicated and it seems highly unlikely that its leaders have any commitment to such a course of action as that would destabilise the system by which they themselves gained their immense riches are power, wouldn’t it?]

Will any Indonesia saviour step-up to the pate to replicate what Lee Kuan Yew did for Singapore?

  • establishment of a strong independent service for the fight against corruption backed by harsh laws, denying major bribe-taking officials’ in the higher echelons of power and their families’ immunity, rights to check bank accounts, property, belonging to officials, their children, wives, relatives and friends, including checks on them living beyond their means, the abolition of permits and licensing in less important areas of public life, the court given the right to confiscate automatically any income derived from corrupt actions
  • presumption of guilt against any government agent not living within their means or having under their disposal property which they could not have acquired on their income, as an evidence for a bribe – shifting the burden of proving one’s innocence to the governmental official who has to convince the court that a fee (bribe) has not been received.
  • increase the salaries of civil servants as they should be paid the highest wages because they deserve it, representing a decent and honest government. High salary attracts the best and acts as a guarantee of integrity when the low pay and short skills of underpaid officials is the foundation of corruption. Salaries of ministers, judges and senior civil servants automatically tied to the amount of income taxes paid by the private sector
  • the formation of an independent, objective media, covering all found cases of corruption to shame those caught-out in excessive costs & bribes, whence the authorities exposing them immediately becomes the “hero” of the front page

Here is one of the examples Singapore authorities urged justice on its high-ranking officials. Wee Toon Boon was the Minister of the of Environment in 1975, when he made a trip to Indonesia with his family. The trip was paid by the contractor who was building houses and whose interests he represented to public servants. He also received a house worth 500 thousand Singapore dollars, and two loans in the name of his father, totalling 300,000 Singapore dollars which were issued under the guarantee of this exact contractor. Given this all, Wee Toon was charged, convicted and sentenced to four years and six months in prison.