Monday, 15 February 2016

EU referendum: Daves deal

What if we did leave the EU?

Later this week we should find out if the referendum will be held later this year with the predicted date 23rd June, rewind back to May and the promise of a referendum by David Cameron if he won the general election, not only that he promised he would renegotiate the UK’s terms. On Thursday he will sit down with the European council and discuss the terms that he feels need addressing, hoping to really hold the EU to account and improve what needs to be improving, however what are the terms and are they just cosmetic?
The main points that David Cameron is taking to the table are:

·         Economic Governance ­- Securing an explicit recognition that the euro is not the only currency of the European Union, to ensure countries outside the eurozone are not materially disadvantaged. The UK wants safeguards that steps to further financial union cannot be imposed on non-eurozone members and the UK will not have to contribute to eurozone bailouts

·         Competitiveness - Setting a target for the reduction of the "burden" of excessive regulation and extending the single market

·         Immigration - Restricting access to in-work and out-of-work benefits to EU migrants. Specifically, ministers want to stop those coming to the UK from claiming certain benefits until they have been resident for four years. Ministers have reportedly been warned by the UK's top civil servant this could be discriminatory and any limits may be reduced to less than a year. An option of an "emergency brake" to stop the payments for four years is being discussed as a compromise deal

·         Sovereignty - Allowing Britain to opt out from the EU's founding ambition to forge an "ever closer union" of the peoples of Europe so it will not be drawn into further political integration. Giving greater powers to national parliaments to block EU legislation.

The issue with all of these is that they don’t make a large impact on our own parliament and the decisions they can make, the issue of immigration that is often branded by most right-wing activists is play on basic fears of society and they are already heavily restricted in what they can get, only 2.5 per cent of immigrants claim benefits which is 69,000 people and that is the same proportion of UK residents who have moved into Europe. Competitiveness is needed and the single market of Europe is vital to our economic sustainability, however the proposals don’t dig deep enough into the regulation that is ingrained into the EU as it stands, it is a weak argument that is a nice sound bite when speaks publically or when it is reported.
Both economic governance and sovereignty seem to push towards the UK being very segregated from the EU, of course there needs to be some changes however the ones that Cameron proposes seem to head towards a divided EU, when more than ever the nations need to work together, whether it is to tackle climate change or the current refugee crisis, a divided EU with 28 nations serving their own purposes puts many lives at risk.

Pressure from trade unions demanding changes to the EU’s social policy, maximum 48-hour working week, agency workers, maternity leave and non-discrimination rules have been largely left with less emphasis on this from David Cameron. Instead the Tories will try are repeal the human rights act and replace it with a British bill of rights act, which is worrying because a lot of protection that the British public have are written into that law, whereas the new bill could be written to suit those who are already in power and using the fears of the public to force it through.

The changes that he proposes to the EU are largely cosmetic and will probably be able to negotiate with them, the only sticky issue is the restriction of benefits placed on immigrants as Jean-Claude Juncker’s spokesperson said they could be “highly problematic” as they affected the “fundamental freedoms of our internal market” and amounted to “direct discrimination between EU citizens” (BBC, 2016). However, he did also say that they are willing to negotiate with the Prime Minister in securing a fair deal for the UK so that the EU can move forward.
David Cameron has scheduled a cabinet meeting on Friday if a deal is secured with the EU which means the gag would be lifted, and that will allow MPs to talk about referendum, there is a strong likelihood that this will happen which would mean that the referendum will take place this year and the date that has been cited is the 23rd June, preparations would have already begun on both sides of the argument particularly the anti-EU side has been vocal for a number of years now, usually playing on fear and emotion whilst using ‘facts’ that have either been made up or taken out of context.

The campaigners will be preparing their next moves, everyone will be planning on how to sway those voters that are undecided and the streets will be a political battleground as well as every news outlet, social media and conversation between friends. This a monumental decision that everyone should vote for because this about all of our futures, those who find disillusionment from our current party politics should not think of this as party politics but something the entire country faces regardless of party affiliation.


References



BBC. (2016, February 1). BBC Q&A: What Britain wants from Europe. Retrieved from BBC News: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-32695399


Sunday, 14 February 2016

Christchurch constituency problems

Proposed site for new school.

Christchurch councilors, whom are conservatives and the ever so delightful Christopher Chope MP are failing the constituency. They seem to fail to recognise on a regular basis what is needed within the area, and only allow proposals that'll likely cause more long term damage, because they are failing to recognise the issues that need sorting now.
Firstly, schools within Christchurch are seriously oversubscribed and Chope is in opposition to the possibility of building a new school because it would be on a greenbelt, however he is happy to allow the Roeshot Hill development to go ahead even though it will cause a massive strain on the local infrastructure. The new school that was scheduled to open in September will have 210 much needed places, with the possibility of expansion to 420 places, our wonderful MP is seemingly wired to think that it building on a greenbelt is against the areas 'core strategy'. I'm not sure what our serial abstainer's core strategy is, perhaps it is to preserve the status quo. Nonetheless the school is due to go ahead despite the opposition from residents who are very much stuck in their ways hence why Chope was even elected, and Chope himself who hates anything progressive.
 
The basic infrastructure is atrocious because the roads are too narrow and the traffic flow is staggered, and during busy periods Christchurch High Street to Bridge Street tends to get clogged up, like previously mentioned the Roeshot Hill development (800 new homes) is only going to add to the issue with minimal done to combat this. Not only this but GP surgeries are also oversubscribed with patients but massive cuts to the NHS budgets from central government have affected the council’s ability to add more to the area, this in turn is putting strain on the emergency services and A&E. There is also this ideal that retail is going to create a better economy for the area except it'll will be full of big business who want to cut their costs and tax bill, if they even pay their full tax bill to the council. Technical and skilled jobs are at a premium except this shouldn't be the case because we should be striving for these kind of jobs so that it brings a younger more vibrant population, which is needed for any area that is experiencing growth otherwise it'll just put people off moving here and the 800 new homes would be a massive waste of money.

Locally Christchurch is a nice area and is growing at a steady rate except current residents and MP are insistent, that this is unacceptable and that the area should be preserved when simply put it should not. As a resident of the area I urge Chope and Co to fix what needs to be fixed, don't put pressure on already pressured services because a business paid well enough, put the people first except we do have to remember that this a Tory run council and they have no concern for anyone who doesn't have the money.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

The world is not all doom and gloom: innocence still burns brightly

When someone gets sick it is all too often that the response is something negative, as if that person has gotten sick on purpose especially when it comes to employers. They tend to envisage that when someone is sick that it is more of a plight on the business and forget the human factor involved, particularly if it is an ailment that is mostly invisible to those who surround that person.
The only time when an affliction becomes serious is when it involves the likes of cancer, of course rightly so due to the fact that it is a condition that affects everyone around them emotionally, likewise the person who has cancer. I will go into detail another time about the relationship between employer and employee in certain sectors, especially when it comes to sickness within the workplace because the world is not all doom and gloom. This is the point where we head over to the USA for our story in particular to the state of Florida, where in Tallahassee a teacher has lung cancer now I know this is not news as cancer affects many people daily, however this story as a delightful sub-story to it because as we know their health service is almost entirely private, a session of chemotherapy can cost up to $700 which is roughly £480.
That is a lot of money even for someone who is in a well-paid profession (although not as good as it once was), chemotherapy on top of all the other bills that still have to be paid because even though someone could be terminal, that doesn’t mean businesses who take your money will truly care about the human factor involved, people are just numbers and statistics (it is how the sleep soundly at night). Nonetheless there is a nice sub-story to it because this teacher is a popular one and the parents raise money so she can get chemotherapy, except what makes this story complete is a small boy who emptied is piggy bank and donated $105.15. This small boy donated all the money he had saved up for himself and gave it to his teacher, the innocence is fantastic because he doesn’t understand why unfortunately money is important, he saw a human who needed help and gave everything he had to help.
This world has been diluted with money so much that the human factor has been forgotten in everything, we all strive for a better life and we have been brought up to associate a better life with having more money. Celebrity culture that has been thrown in our faces and marketing that define this generation, has sold us that having money will make us happier, this innocence defies this and everyone should contribute in promoting the human factor.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

The Republicans and the half-bred dunce

Sigh...they make a perfect team...

Words cannot describe or the right words have yet to be introduced into the English language, yet it is astounding what comes out of the mouths of those who are in positions of power and influence. A certain politician’s spokesperson, Katrina Pierson once tweeted (2012) questioning the lack of pure breeds in politics, now before we get to the crux of this absurdity because she could have come out and said by now that this was a mistake…uuhh not so much.

She wears a necklace made of bullets and often spoils us with wonderfully bizarre opinions that often land her in hot water, she genuinely said when asked if she wanted to comments she said “no, not at all. look, these tweets – I’m an activist, and I am a half-breed, I’m always getting a half-breed”. This was just a part of what she said however can we truly establish here that she is genuinely saying this comments? By her standards, her boss is a half-breed because his mother was born in Scotland and he himself has surely got to sigh with the latest remarks, this was an interview with CNN which she tried desperately to defend herself except she made herself sound more ridiculous.

She has managed to make this sound more like Harry Potter than real life politics, her employer could have similarities with Voldemort although he had a more difficult childhood so his turnout was more understandable, plus he was still more likeable than the man who brought us such quotes as; “you know, it really doesn’t matter what the media writes as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass” and “the wall will go up and Mexico will start behaving”, yes because a history of walls (physical and metaphorical) has been a great attributer to ‘good behaviour’. I am unsure what she was trying to get from her attempted defence as she sounded more confused by what she meant, got in a bit of mix and sounded more like a conspiracy theorist rambling on.

Whilst the republican presidential candidate race has taken a magical turn, there is still a scenario that means DT could become president of the most powerful country in the world. Whilst we all sigh in despair in the UK let us all be glad that our resident political muttonheads are slightly more refined, and be reminded of a one good quote from the half-bred dunce:

“One of the key problems today is that politics is such a disgrace. Good people don’t go into government”
Couldn’t agree more…

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

A long overdue change?

We may no longer see the sight of our top athletes pretending
to know the lyrics.

God Save the Queen is one of the most recognisable national anthems around the world, alas it is also one of the most mind numbing and there are many that would have you believing that it isn’t. Nonetheless it is our national anthem and it has to be sung at sporting events involving the UK and England separately (even though the likes of wales and Scotland have their own), or is this not going to be case anymore?

As it has been reported that MPs are debating whether the national anthem will change for sporting events involving England, however when it is involving the UK as a whole God Save the Queen will remain as the national anthem. The result doesn’t really matter to me but it would be nice to have something different because, let us be perfectly honest, it is a bit drab and doesn’t exactly inspire mostly because the tune itself is a little bit monotone, very boring with no spark. Again no sleep would be lost over the result, however the issue raised is the way it has been reported in several outlets, which has raised a few eyebrows and generally been strange to see, not only what some media places have headlined but what people have commented on the subject matter. Trust me, reading them is hilarious however the reason they have not been linked because they don’t deserve publicity, because they are ridiculous on a scale that is only ever seen, when people get irate over absolutely nothing.

The Daily Express, “MPs back plans to scrap God Save the Queen and bring in new English national anthem” – I take two issues and the first being the word ‘scrap’ because this implies that it is being removed permanently, when it is only at sporting events however it also implies that this is a negative move, probably thinks the government will commit treason over the royal family next although there was no mention of Diana, can only imagine that the writer had a fleeting moment of madness. Britain’s First have also weighed in but for the life of me cannot find the link that was initially found, however they did say something that essentially equated to how the government are being anti-British, not really important they are a bit thick anyway. The Daily Mail were actually slightly supportive probably much to their distaste, The Independent reported it as it should be reported, the information was given and you decide whether it is wrong or not, no particular ‘side’. The comments were extreme (I know the sites don’t help the case) because somehow people were blaming immigrants, I am not sure how they made the leap.

Personally it is probably the right thing to do because currently it isn’t inspiring, the song is drab and dull and has been around since 1715 in the wake of the Jacobite rebellion, so a possible representation of highlands cleansing that was attempted. Perhaps the time for change has come, where we should embrace it and accentuate the positive aspects of our English heritage, where change, diversity and multiculturalism is a prominent postive.

Monday, 11 January 2016

A right kerfuffle, no real change


The focus of this post is Jeremy Corbyn and his cabinet reshuffle where we saw Hilary Benn keep his role, after much deliberation that he would be ‘let go’ after his passionate speech in the commons during the Syria debate. It was widely reported by many media outlets and the ‘knives’ were apparently out in force, for those who opposed against Corbyn and his clique, but in reality it was much subtler and very munch underwhelming but what did we actually learn from this?

It has very much become a right reshuffle kerfuffle because of the outcome and the way it was reported, Like I already said Hilary Benn kept his role, Maria Eagle was moved from shadow defence secretary because of her pro-trident views into Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, replaced by the anti-trident voice of Emily Thornberry. Pat McFadden losing is job to Pat Glass, Corbyn can give himself a ‘pat’ on the back for that one (sorry, couldn’t resist), McFadden lost out for being ‘disloyal’ and so did Michael Dugher who was shadow culture secretary. Since the reshuffle that have be a spat of resignations and not just by Blairites, but by those who feel the direction of the labour party is the wrong one; Kevan Jones resigned, Stephen Doughty resigned live on the BBC (shouldn’t have done this but it’s happened can’t whine about it too much), Catherine McKinnell also resigned the day this was written, so there was much fallout from what should be known as a reshuffle kerfuffle.

Surely though what we have really learnt is that Jeremy Corbyn isn’t actually much different from other politicians, there have been only two changes he has done that have really stood out to make the public think that he is actually progressive, one of them was to create the cabinet position Shadow Secretary for Mental Health and appoint women to around half of his cabinet. He has now appointed MPs in positions where their views are the same has him leading to a seemingly more unified frontbench, having said that with the series of resignations it would seem that he has lost support of the moderates, let alone the loud opposition from the Blairites. He isn’t as progressive as most would have us think because a prime example is Justin Trudeau the Canadian PM, he has appointed people who are experts in their field in each cabinet position, a former family physician being in the department of health, a former farmer being minister of agriculture and agri-food, a successful business man who studied economics at LSE as minister of finance and so on, not only that his cabinet is 15 women and 15 men.
What have we learned? Jeremy Corbyn is a nice guy who is now the labour leader, which you could argue that a lot of his views on modern politics are progressive if you are living in the 1980s. I will continue to support him because I do agree with fair few of his policies, except his ideas of political reform and change seem to be limited to cosmetic change.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Unnaturalgeek: the memoirs of Dr Neo Periwinkle Cortex

I never meant any harm...

Why do they not understand what I have been through, those people use Crash to get to me except he is too blind and been manipulated by that whack hippy witch doctor Aku Aku. They don’t understand me or the what I have been through in the past, they assume that I want world domination because that is what I enjoy, but this is simply not true due to the only thing in this world I long for is acceptance, will I never experience this?

The world has been cruel to me plus my family where circus clowns, where they claimed I was the freak?! All I wanted to do was to read and learn about science, about the wonder of this world to do good but all I gained was ridicule, torment, and this N on my head nonetheless I have pursued my passion to the point where I may have accidentally incapacitated my entire family, it was an accident I swear however no-one believed me the they brushed me aside calling me a freak, all on my own at the age of 3 to fend for myself with this N that stands for nerd as a reminder that I have no home to return to.

At 6 I went to high school and met my best friend Nitrus Brio, he like me was incredibly intelligent but also tormented, we got along brilliantly where it was finally a relief to find someone who shares the same passions as me and understands me perfectly. We accidentally destroyed the school and most of the surrounding town, this was an accident however we did not get any support and we had find other ways to make friends, but at our academy that we attended Brio created the Evolvo-Ray so finally a chance for us if we weren’t able to make friends amongst our own species, we can create friends using animals!
I was meant to change their views of me and become a hero, but more ridicule as befallen upon me during this war in Vietnam even though my ideas were nearly workable, what am I to do? The scientific community mocked me for my ideas but I will prove them wrong, they have made an enemy of the wrong man and now they will all tremble before me! Don’t they understand that acceptance and friendship is all I wanted? Crash, please don’t do help these people because I created you to be friends except you didn’t want that, so you had to go! I never threw you away, you have to understand this…