Category Archives: News

Slave Labour or enthusing a generation

The Government has today announced a new breed of its benefit reorganisation strategy and guess what its stupid. The idea is to require 18-24 year olds who claim jobseekers to WORK 30 hours a week or be denied their benefit.

How  the Government thinks having young people doing work for companies for free is going to stimulate the jobs market I don’t know. If you’re running a business say Tesco, Sainsbury’s, or any other retail based business, are you going to hire a someone to work for you when it requires you to pay NI and these strange things called wages. No if you can get away with, and lets face it most businesses can, you’re going to have an endless rotation of young people doing the jobs you used to have to employ people to do.

The old workfare scheme where young people were asked to take work placements without the risk of losing their benefit was deemed legal, but only due to the fact you were not forced to partake in work experience. However it can not be seen as reasonable or even economically sound to require someone to work for what would be the equivalent of around £1.76/hr.

The benefit system is there to protect people, who are trying their best to be active in society, from destitution and ruin. I agree that you shouldn’t receive anything for nothing. Which is why when you claim JSA you have to keep a diary, you are held to account and you have to be active in seeking employment, that’s fair. I agree that if you turn down employment within a reasonable distance of your current home you should be penalised.

But punishing someone because those who have come before have so screwed over the countries economy that they have no prospect of work is no reason to institute a program which does nothing to help people gain employment and everything to maximise corporate profits and executive payouts.

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The slow decline in public heroes

With the passing of Neil Armstrong, not Neil Young NBC, I pause and despair for the state of our cultural economy. This was the first man to land on ground not of this earth, and yet too many young people know more about  Snookie than the achievements of this amazing man and his very few peers.

9 men ever landed on the moon, many millions behave embarrassingly and do little more for notoriety. As a society we must challenge what our young people are idolising. Our lives are reliant on men like Armstrong, engineers who have resurfaced this globe to our bidding. Scientists who have given us the power to communicate across the globe, with computers more powerful than the Eagle lunar module.

So here are a few names of those whom we should ensure that our young people know, and never forget the gifts they have bestowed upon us.

Neil Armstrong – First Man on The Moon.

Buzz Aldrin – Second Man on The Moon.

Alexander Fleming – Discoverer of Penicillin.

Nikolas Tesla – Electrical engineer and creator of AC current systems.

Archimedes – Arguably a founding father of Experimental Engineering.

Alan Turing – Developed Binary (the code your computer is using to reproduce my words).

Leonardo da Vinci – All Round Visionary

Sir Tim Berners Lee – Creator of the Internet

I’m keen to hear your submissions.

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The Distraction of Sex in a Security Story.

This past week the British press has had itself in a tis about a couple of pictures showing a pair of young people engaging in some naked cue sport, whilst intoxicated in a Vegas hotel.

Now whats the fuss about a 27 yr old having a bit of fun with some attractive ladies (of age) on holiday in the city of sin? Besides titilation there would be no story.

The story in this case should be Security. Why was the third inline to the throne, able to get into such a seemingly compromised position. Harry has always been a bit of a runaway Prince, and the papers have had a few opportunities to report the Prince giving his security the slip.

So why is it that the press get so distracted by the sight of a bum, that they ignore the very real implications of a lack of security, around HRH?

We as a country and especially the press have become so distracted by salaciousness and sordidness that we forget that when scandal hits its not moral outrage its because someone somewhere has not done their job properly. Thats the story. So can we please get over the sight of a pale bum and summer tan line and get on with the fact that there are some very real issues in our country.

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Is a Christian Britain a Good Thing?

This Friday PM Cameron decided, to induce a collective head to desk salute from the atheists of Britain.

By calling for the strengthening of christian values in Britain the day after Christopher Hitchens death he ensured the unified despair in Britain of those who believe in a secular government and path to a humanist moral code.

By declaring Britain a christian country he has aligned himself with one of the fastest shrinking demographics in Britain.

Amazingly he also had the ruddy-faced cheek to level a call to arms at the Arch Bishop of Canterbury Sir Rowan Atkinson. who has spoken many times of christian values, but against the governments regressive cuts program and lack of ethical progress.

It seems that with the teachings of christianity as delivered by Jesus, that the government is the ones who need reminding of christian values. I wonder if in preparation for the 400 year celebrations of the King James bible they have supposedly read, that the Tory members of the cabinet who claim so adamantly their christian values, whilst playing puppet to the city, the tale of the money lenders whom christ evicted from the church. The destruction and privatisation of the NHS against the countless stories of Jesus as a free healer for those in need.

Why when Jesus was a man of the people is it the party of business that often so closely and so misguidedly sides with a religion, which does not speak for them.

Why is it so often the party which fights for business, that also tries to declare values from a religion, of which the main prophet, has fought against much of what they believe.

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Leveson, Who Said What About Whom

This week the lawyers and journalists of the News of The World got one of their first chances to speak on record at the Leveson Inquiry in to media culture and ethics here in the UK.

I apologise if I’m leaving some details out but I have to assume some working knowledge of the series of events which lead to the inquiry as it was big enough to be reported in America! And we know how localised their news coverage is.

Anyway it seems that the lawyers and editors weren’t very happy about being reported as having deleted messages off of Milly Dowler’s mobile phone. Which to be fair to them they didn’t. The Met police testified to this earlier this week at the inquiry.

Now I agree a large amount of the hysteria that was created around this scandal was generated by the idea that false hope was given to the Dowler family when a once before full answer phone became not so full anymore.

However, this is now an inquiry into a paper and/or papers which had a culture of deviant behaviour. A newsroom drowning in its own self-righteous morality. This morality was best vocalised by former NoW reporter Paul McMullan who claimed he was “proud to have started a riot” even if the people who became victim of the vigilantism that he inspired, where completely innocent, and victims instead of peoples stupidity in confusing Paediatrician with pedophile!

The way in which the Sun and other have leaped on the Guardian for their slight over eggy of the facts is so transparent in its pettiness it shows them for who they really are.

The Gutter Press.

The Political Broadcast

In the US and in Britain the political broadcast has progressed from speeches transmitted over radio, through directives from behind a desk, to today where the leaders of political parties and nomination hopefuls, give scripted pieces to the camera whilst walking through scenes of idyllic beauty and prosperity.

Case in point is the recent broadcast from Rick Perry who in a broadcast whilst walking through a serene backdrop of green grass and autumnal leaves. Looking like he’s taking a stroll down the 9th fairway at Augusta, chatting to his golfing buddies between discussion of yardage and club selection.

The reality however is far worse. Perry’s broadcast is filled with ignorance and hate primarily against the idea of homosexuals being able and qualified to fight on the United States behalf. But also ignorance of the values with which the founding fathers established the Union which he desires to lead.

When, with amendments to the constitution, we consider there are clear protections laid down for the rights of people it is amazing that countless movements have been needed to ensure the rights and freedoms of Americans born in a country which calls itself the home of the free.

The interference that peoples faith plays in their plans for governance on the right of American politics is quite stunning. Jefferson stated that their should be a “wall of separation between church and state.” Jefferson also declared that he would “see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights.”

Now when he says to return “to man all his natural rights” I’m sure the religious right in the States, and here in the UK, will claim that those are the rights laid down by God in the Bible. However I ask if these are natural rights why does the Christian right in particular forget the lesson of Jesus, lessons of tolerance and forgiveness. Also that man has existed prior to Christianity with more rights and privileges than those which were stripped from him by the creation of the bible at the council of Nicea, in order to coerce the failing roman state under Constantine.

Now I realise many Christians do not engage in such thoughts as their religion’s ideas of freedom, justice and right and wrong are the ultimate. But if we follow the bible not only do we enlist that courts are persecutory against all of god’s children(christians) and so should not be permitted, but also that executive governance outside of the church is not of Christian values. And so like devout Muslims they seek to destroy, Christians should not be pontificating about the rights of homosexuals whilst lining up their approach shot for the president of a constitutionally secular state.

 

PhotoFilm!

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/33110280″>Student Protest: November 9 2011</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user3535542″>Laurence Hardy</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

1st Amendment, right or priviledge?

Americans are very proud of their 1st amendment. I would be too. However there seems an unavoidable gulf in its application. The patriot act which gives and exception to its use in almost any circumstance and the lack of respect by corporate news for factual NEWS reporting.

I fully admit I favour a socialised capitalist state, where private companies are allowed to operate with the minimum of laws ensuring a fair and ethical trading environment. So yes i back the Occupy movement.

However I also passionately believe in the necessity of a free press. A press which as long as they are not obstructing the police, are free to move, free to question and free to report on the actions of all members of society.

When like in the clearing of Zuccotti Park, the police [NYPD] blatantly obstruct the operations and free movement of the press, whilst carrying out such a controversial clearing on behalf of business, the very fabric of the ideals of democracy are called into question.

Four Journalists were reported as being detained on 15th November:

  • Julie Walker[NPR], Arrested in the early hours despite wearing NYPD issued Press ID.
  • Matthew Lysiak[NYDN], Arrested near Trinity Wall Street Church at 12:15[Eastern]
  • Karen Matthews and Seth Wenig[AP] Also at Trinity Wall Street Church, Near Duarte Sq.

The reports of photographers having lenses smashed with batons and press exclusion is truly frightening. More so are videos of journalists declaring who they are and showing press credentials, yet still being arrested.

It all makes one wonder how the USA and NY in particular can claim to be a free liberal societal democracy, rather than a business ruled police state.

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