Sunday, August 26, 2007

Knife Crime photo opp

Desperate to prove they are doing something about the rising toll of deaths from guns and knives the government have resorted to the old idea of an "amnesty." This will enable a few aging war veterans who collected a "souvenir" and some farmers who forgot to renew their shotgun licenses to hand over guns that would never have been used for any kind of crime. Some of the younger "wannabe" gansters may also find that their weapons, usually replicas, are handed in by angry mothers.

This will be enough for the amnesty to achieve its real objective - photos of a smiling Minister in front of an impressive looking array of guns claiming that the government have "taken action".

But make no mistake the serious criminals will continue to roam the streets without any fear of being stopped and searched, (human rights) and knowing that even if by some chance they are found in poossession of a gun or knife the sentence will be minimal.

The toll of death will continue to rise.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Iraq alone was reason enough to remain seated. It has been an unmitigated disaster for all concerned and it is time for politicians who supported the war to stand up explain and apologise.

I was in the Welsh Assembly at the time, and not required to vote. But when asked I reluctantly supported an invasion believing what I was told, which was that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

If the evidence looked a bit weak, like many others I assumed that the Prime Minister knew something the rest of us didn’t.

He did. He knew that claims about WMD were at best an exaggeration and at worst plain fiction.

When it became clear that there were none we were told that it was all about removing an evil dictator which Hussein certainly was. However if removing evil dictators were the basis of our foreign and defence policies our troops would have already invaded virtually every country in sub Saharan Africa and quite a few elsewhere.

A bloodbath will now unfold regardless of whether we stay or go. Hundreds of young British soldiers have lost their lives as have hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians. The Iraqi “police” who we have trained appear to be little more than paramilitaries in uniform and have been involved in the kidnapping of British citizens.

Whether we stay or go the country is doomed, why should the lives of any more British soldiers be lost.

But let us not think that the war has led to the current bombing campaign by Islamic terrorists. Those responsible would be letting off bombs regardless because their real goal is not the removal of British troops from Iraq , but the imposition of an Islamic state or Caliphate across the Muslim World and Europe .

Organisation sharing this aim have been recruiting in British Universities since the early 90s.

Meanwhile decades of state sponsored support for multiculturalism have enabled many people think that they can retain their own language customs and culture and live in ghettos in certain British cities whilst making no effort whatsoever to interact with the indigenous population. This has been the crucible in which Islamic extremism has been formed.

Governments have been afraid to tackle the Islamists for fear of being called racist. This is been made easy by all manner of government policies which will pay for the translation of documents into any language, legal aid for those who don’t like British laws about matters such as the veil, and a benefits system which recognizes polygamy. Throughout every area of public lifer there is an unwillingness to challenge minorities whose behaviour falls below accepted standards for fear of being branded a bigot so whilst domestic violence units in police forces rightly clamp down on drunks who beat their wives, honour killings and female genital mutilation continue unchecked.

The time has come for British citizens of all colours and religions to say as one that anyone who wanting to live in Britain should be prepared to respect the culture and way of life. Those who don’t should be strongly encouraged to go elsewhere.

Monday, July 02, 2007

No standing ovation from me

It is not true that "all" Conservative MPs rose to give Blair a standing ovation. Many stood and did not clap. A few did not stand at all.

This man has presided over the collapse of private pension funds, allowed immigration to spiral out of control, is releasing criminals from prison because he can't find enough space for them and led us into a disasterous war in Iraq on a false pretext.

I did not stand and I certainly didn't clap.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The (Inter) National Health Service

A few years ago my Hungarian girlfriend, (now wife) woke up needing a doctor. “How much will it cost?” she asked. I laughed at the preposterousness of the question. “This is Britain I said it doesn’t cost anything” But she persisted in asking for cash “Of course they don’t charge you.” She said but “I’m not British” “I don’t pay any taxes here” “I haven’t got any health insurance” and so on. In vain I patiently explained that regardless of all this, there was not the slightest chance that she would be billed for using our NHS, indeed I doubt whether our GP surgery even has a till or a means of collecting money. So certain was she that no country would be so stupid as to allow anyone to walk in and use its health service, that I had to give her twenty pounds before she walked down for her appointment.

Herein lies a major problem afflicting the NHS, or rather the Inter- National Health Service. We will treat literally anyone in the world who happens to be passing, with not a thought for their right to receive very costly treatment, which has been paid for by British taxpayers.

The government funded “Visit Britain” website which is supposed to generate money for our nation, actually advertises to the world that “you are eligible for free emergency treatment in the Accident and Emergency departments of National Health Service hospitals.” ! It goes on to state that foreign visitors (with many exceptions) will be charged for after-care. But of course nobody ever pays. An official might make a half hearted attempt to chase up a large debt from someone living in the third world who has given a false name and address. He or she will fail.

Other countries do it differently. We Brits are expected to have our own health insurance when travelling outside of the EU. The travel section of the Foreign Office website makes it quite clear that even if not compulsory, for a number of countries it is “absolutely essential” as their own healthcare systems are so poor. Bizarrely we have reciprocal arrangements with some of those very countries!

We cannot expect doctors and nurses to refuse treatment to those in need just because they have no right to it. Nobody would want to see people dying in the streets though lack of medical treatment, not even when they have flagrantly abused the system - for example by arriving here 34 weeks pregnant from the other side of the world in order to have their baby in an NHS hospital, as many do.

A simple measure would put a halt to much of this abuse. We should insist that absolutely everyone arriving here from outside of the EU, should be in receipt of a verifiable health insurance document which could be checked by immigration officials.

At a stroke we would put an end to a great deal of freeloading on our public services.

The idea is so simple it needs to more than a sentence to sum it up. It would be fair and would do no more than to bring Britain into line with the rest of the world. It would save the NHS tens of millions of pounds each year which could instead be spent treating British patients.

The phrase “free at the point of use” is usually associated with the Beveridge report which led to the establishment of the NHS. Had they foreseen the era of cheap international travel those writing it would surely have wanted to add the words – “to all who are entitled.”

I never did find out what happened to the £20 I gave the future Mrs Davies. It certainly didn’t go to the GP.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Falklands Veterans Parade yesterday was a moving tribute to those who fought, and died for British people living on British Territory which had been invaded by a fascist dictatorship. Not only did the war liberate the Falklands but an unexpected bonus was that it led to the fall of the Junta and heralded democracy in Argentina. Yet as the BBC reported this morning more veterans of the conflict have lost their lives through committing suicide since the end of the war than in the conflict itself.

It isn’t surprising given the disgraceful way we treat our soldiers. Those returning from Iraq with physical injuries have been put into civilian hospitals and subjected to verbal abuse from so called “British” citizens. Those bearing the mental scars of war are reliant on charities like Combat Stress. Led by former submarine commander Toby Elliot it does a superb job but a reliance on voluntary donations means that it can’t help as many as Cmdr Elliot would like. Those who return unharmed are often housed in substandard accommodation for a few months before being sent off on the next six month tour. Those on frontline duties do not even receive the equivalent of the minimum wage.

A former member of the SAS told me last week that an injured mate of his had been treated at Selly Oak hospital alongside a wounded member of the Taliban who was claiming asylum. The wounded British soldier was eventually discharged with permanent disabilities, left the army, and struggled to find the money to have his home adapted. Meanwhile the ex-Taliban member will have been fed housed and nursed back to health by the British taxpayers and if his claim Asylum claim is accepted he will be entitled to claim for full social security benefits backdated to the day he arrived in the UK.

The brave young men and women who put their lives on the line for their country deserve far better from their political leaders.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Pots and kettles

No doubt the Prime Minister enjoyed delivering homilies to African leaders on the importance of holding fair elections, rooting out corruption in high places, and not declaring war on your neighbours. I wonder how many despots hid a wry smile as they thought of the political rows Blair left behind him - such as anger at widespread postal vote fraud, honours being handed out for cash and the ongoing disaster in Iraq.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Blair Legacy

As our Prime Minister tours Africa in a desperate bid to ensure that he is remembered for something other than anarchy in Iraq he may care to consider the following random headlines which I have spotted in the last two days:

Overweight prisoners will be receiving their own personal fitness instructors, (paid for by the taxpayer of course)

Prolific thieves will be let off scott-free if they say “sorry” and promise not to rob for “a month or two,”

The lights in an abandoned school are being kept on 24 hours a day because the local council are concerned that burglars might injure themselves if they break in at night,

Millions of pounds are being spent paying the salaries of civil servants who don’t have a job, although some have now found work in special unit which has been set up to think of jobs to give the to the others,

“Academics” have decreed that schools which teach the benefits of marriage are “anti-gay”.

In light of all this (and much else besides) it is not entirely obvious to me why my own political party wish to make such a big show of attacking grammar schools.