Friday, 31 August 2012

BELGIUM FOR DUMMIES

Belgium, otherwise known as the favourite country of UKIP leader Nigel Farage and the home of the EU. Watch this brilliant video to discover all you need to know about this strange place.



THIS IS NOT JUST A TAX, IT IS AN ORWELLIAN TAX

When a person is suspected of tax evasion in this country, and officers from HM Revenue & Customs begin to investigate, one of the things that person has to do is provide a full inventory of everything they own. Nothing can be missed starting with the value of their home, their car, money invested and saved, carpets, pictures, ornaments, jewellery even down to a packet of pins.

These people have immense powers bestowed upon them by the Government, far more than the police are given. If that same person was also a suspected murderer, before the police can raid his/her home to look for evidence they have to get a search warrant and have good reason for it. Not so for those in charge of collecting revenue.

Officers from HM Revenue & Customs can turn up on the doorstep of anyone and barge in without having to bother with silly little things such as arrest warrants or the rights of those whose privacy they have just invaded. All their victims can do is stand and quake as these revenue officers tear their house apart and confiscate anything they want for their investigations. Bank records, book keeping items, computers, anything they want they take.

Anyone arrested by the police, even though the EU is doing its best to get shot of it, under Habeas Corpus the accused is considered innocent until a court of law proves their guilt. To be able to do this the police have to do a pretty good job and find substantial evidence to back up the reasons why they consider a person guilty of a crime – without that evidence no court would convict. Not so for HM Revenue & Customs.

These bods, on the flimsiest of evidence, can decide a person’s guilt, turn up at that persons home or place of business unannounced, without, as mentioned, any search warrants or formal paperwork, then proceed to turn that persons home inside out and their lives upside down. The burden of guilt lies with those who the revenue men and women have already decided are guilty, if that poor soul can’t prove their own innocence then the might of the state will crush them. It is better to be a mass murderer than a businessman as mass murderers have more rights than those HM Revenue & Customs suspects of diddling the Government out of money it has not worked for, or earned, but takes anyway.

This brings me to the proposal, no doubt dreamed up by our Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, while most probably imbibing a few too many glasses of Shiraz. Cleggie thinks a wealth tax will be the panacea to the nations monetary woes. Obviously such a tax, in the strange mind of Calamity Clegg, seems like a brilliant idea to solve all the UK’s debt problems. All he needs to do now is grow a nice set of bushy eyebrows, just like Denis Healy, and he can tell Dave to start taxing the rich until the pips squeak.

If dopy Dave listens to silly little Cleggie and allows him to get his way with his plan to impose this intrusive wealth tax, the only way it can work is to enforce every person living in the UK to provide the Government with a full inventory of all their savings and investments as well as everything they own. This would include the value of people’s homes and everything in them. How would you feel about completing, under penalty of a fine or imprisonment for non-compliance, a form which gives the value of your home, car, jewellery, pictures, ornaments and every item you own, then handing it to some Government bureaucrat to decide if you are one of those Nick Clegg has decided is a wealthy person and then forced to pay additional tax?

Clegg and his lunatic ideas scare the life out of me. In the manner of the M&S adverts, this is not just a tax, it is an Orwellian tax. What Clegg is asking for is the Government to know the value of every single home and possession of every single person in the country – and this is from the man who opposed ID cards for being too intrusive.

If Clegg really wants to help this country out of the fiscal mess that this, and the last Government have placed us in, then he should open his EU blinkered eyes and make a start there. Leaving the EU would save this nation £53million a day, as well as all the other EU imposed regulatory burdens placed on the nation’s wealth creators. All a Clegg inspired Orwell tax will do is ensure those with real wealth flee the country leaving the not very wealthy to pick up the bill – nice one Clegg.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

MARY, MARY QUITE CONTRARY HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW

Thanks to the EU all in the garden is not rosy.


One of my better half’s favourite places to visit is the Hollybush Garden Centre near Cannock, which is just north of Walsall where we live. She like nothing better than rummaging around the pansies, petunias and all the other petal products they have on sale there. The only problem is, the moment she steps out into the garden with her latest horticultural acquisitions, the resident mob of slugs and snails start licking their lips as breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper are all served up in one go. You can almost hear their slithering screams of delight as they shout: ‘grub up chaps’.

Twenty quid’s worth of plants have been devoured over night, much to Mrs B’s despair. We have blackbirds and frogs in the garden who are supposed to eat these pests, but it’s a losing battle and the gastropods are winning the war of the flowers in our little Walsall plot.

This is not just a problem for Mrs B, but also one for British gardeners from every part of the nation, especially with the long wet summer we have experienced. To tackle this gardeners use all sorts of methods and substances in an attempt to stop their plants being wrecked by this army of slimy desperados. Slug pellets are placed in strategic places, although not everyone likes this method as there are fears of poisoning pets, birds and other creatures that visit our gardens, hence the use of none toxic substances such as a glass of stale beer for the pests to fall into, salt and other substances.

Now this diverts me to a tale often told by Mike Nattrass MEP, which in a way is linked to the main point of this blog posting. A few years ago he was contacted by a chap in the West Midlands who had designed and wanted to manufacture a very simple insect trap. He was planning to employ local people and export these all around the world, especially to third world countries where their basic simplicity would be of great benefit.

Before he went into production he received a visit from some bureaucrats whose job it was to ensure the EU’s REACH Directive was not breached. REACH covers the use and regulation of chemicals, knowing this our inventive chap told the bumblecrats there was no problem as the only substance used in the trap was ordinary household ground pepper which people have been consuming for centuries with no problem.

‘Ah’, said the bumblecrats once given this information, ‘you are going to have the pepper tested at a cost of many thousands of pounds’. ‘Why’, came the reply, ‘it is ordinary pepper, it is not a dangerous chemical substance’. ‘Got you there’ was the response, ‘once it goes into an insect trap it becomes a pesticide and under the rules of REACH all pesticides have to be tested’. Rather than deal with this Orwellian situation our inventor packed his bags and took his jobs and production to a non-EU low regulation country whose workers reap the benefits and that country gain his exports and taxes.

So, getting back to the topic in hand, it seems one harmless substance that stops the slithering soldiers from getting at many gardeners precious plants is ground coffee granules. They just spread them around their prize parsnips and other plants to keep the slugs and snails at bay, and apparently this seems to work quite well. Their pets are safe and the local feathered inhabitants can come and go in perfect safety, added to which, if they fancy a snail or two on their way they will not be poisoned by the after effects of slug pellets.

However, thanks to the long dark shadow cast by the EU, all in the garden is not rosy. It seems that any gardener using this simple, none dangerous, tried and tested method of stopping the local gastropods from making a meal of their flora and fauna are breaking the law as laid down by the EU and taking part in criminal activity. Yes, they can actually be prosecuted for spreading ground coffee granules in their own gardens and be given a criminal record.

The EU, in its usual clodhopping way, takes little notice of common sense and its thick minions have decided that any substance used in gardens to protect plants against invasive creatures is an insecticide and as such must be tested. This is irrespective of what the substance is and anyone caught using none tested substances is a criminal.

All the other methods come under the EU’s stupid blanket ban too. Garlic steeped in water and chilli paste on plants is a no, no. Vinegar, soap and even cigarette butts in water, as used by some gardeners, are also liable to making sure our green fingered members of society finish up in court alongside our light fingered members.

Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow. With slugs and snails and EU wails – not at all is the answer.

Friday, 24 August 2012

TAX TO THE MILE

Derek Bennett, wincing at the cost of fuel when he fills his car in Walsall.

The weekend looms with its usual array of jobs and routines, one of which is going to my local petrol station in Walsall and wincing as the pounds and pennies whiz round at the pump faster than the fuel indicator as I fill the car with another tank of diesel ready for my motoring week ahead.

Like most these days, I tend not to know exactly how much fuel, other than in value, I have put in my car as it has been a long time since we were able to buy our fuel in Gallons which was a unit of measure I understood, unlike the meaningless litres that our Governments have inflicted upon us in servile duty to their European Union’s masters rulings on enforced metrication.

The cost of fuel and how it is sold has been a bit of an issue this week. The brilliant organisation standing up for the hard pressed taxpayers of the UK, the Taxpayers Alliance (TPA), have been busy exposing the amount of duty drivers pay and have launched a major new campaign on Fuel Duty. They report: “The UK has the highest fuel taxes in the European Union. 60 per cent of what customers pay at the pumps goes straight to the taxman.

“When drivers pay £30 at the till, around £18 of that is paid straight to the Exchequer, with only the remaining £12 covering the cost of the fuel - including just £1 to the retailer. The Government is currently set to add to that burden by increasing the tax early next year.

“Motorists deserve at least a freeze in Fuel Duty for the rest of this Parliament, but we need your help to stop the planned hikes. It only takes a minute to add your voice to calls for lower Fuel Duty.”

They have also asked people to take part in their protest HERE. They want people to let their feelings be known that, despite an idiotic Labour Party aligned think tank openly stating motorists should be charged even more for fuel duty, they are not happy being treated as cash cows and screwed by the Government every time they fill up their cars – which is the modern day version of highway robbery.

Added to this information and campaign from the TPA, the British Weights & Measures Association (BWMA) have sent out their latest edition of ‘Yardstick’ which is their extensive and informative newsletter. In this edition they report on a rather dubious article in the Auto Express that piously announced British drivers have called “for a switch to miles per litre” rather than miles per gallon. The Yardstick printed the dodgy article in full in which it states that a “Poll by the AA and Auto Express reveals many motorists want to switch from mpg to mpl to make it easier to work out fuel costs.”

The article states: “Of the 21,450 drivers surveyed, more than 7000 voted to ditch the traditional mpg figure, which the AA agrees is “outmoded, confusing and irrelevant”, particularly for young drivers.

The article implies that this third of motorists make up the majority and, of course, having the AA to back it up gives it authority (thank God I’m with the RAC!). What is not made clear, as the BWMA point out in the Yardstick, is the fact that the survey really revealed the majority of drivers questioned, 51%, actually thought that fuel economy should be measured in miles per gallon, compared to the 33% who supported miles per litre. What the article did was make the losers look like the winners, it’s a wonder they didn’t go the whole hog by calling for a change to kilometres per litre.

Sadly, they way the cost of fuel duty and taxes are going, the only calculations we will be doing, every time we go through the eye watering and painfully expensive business of filling our cars, is working how much tax to the mile.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

DOM MINTOFF, DID WHAT POLITICIANS WERE SUPPOSED TO DO

As is my morbid way, each morning when I change trains at Birmingham New Street station, I purchase my copy of the Daily telegraph and once on the train the first page I go to is the obituaries. Maybe it is to check I’m not there – not that I would be important enough to be mentioned on those pages.

Along with many others, after doing our best to warn the people of Malta to vote ‘No’ to joining the EU in the run up to their referendum on membership in 2003 by writing a constant stream of letters to the Times of Malta, I made some contacts in that small Mediterranean Island who were campaigning to keep Malta a free and independent nation. Sadly, the people, as always, were duped into thinking that sacrificing their sovereignty and democracy for the illusory benefits of a few crumbs from the EU’s table would somehow be advantageous to their small country.

One of the people campaigning for Malta to remain free from the EU's clutches at the time was the once rebellious Malta Labour Party Prime Minister, Dom Mintoff. By then he was getting on in years but still contributed a great deal to the ‘No’ campaign there. Sadly I learned of his death when I read the Telegraph obituaries page this morning while on the 8.13 am train from Birmingham New Street. He was 96 years of age when he died, which for most people is a good long innings.

Although I have had the privilege to meet one past Labour Prime Minister of Malta, Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici, who is a quiet reserved and very polite man, I heard a lot about Dom Mintoff during the referendum campaign but never had the honour of meeting him. Although I say honour, there was a time when as a young man I would not have considered such an opportunity an honour as, like many, I feared he had turned his back on us in the UK and favored Soviet Communism.

This was in the early seventies when he became difficult regarding Britain using Malta as a base for its troops and Valletta as a safe harbour for the Royal Navy. It seems Dom Mintoff was not the easiest person to get along with and was often brusque and abrasive, he was often embroiled in controversy. However, what he did do was to stand up for his small country and his people to defend their best interests, their freedom, sovereignty and democracy. This may not have always won him friends, but many of today’s politicians in Malta, here in the UK and across the EU as a whole should take note of, by standing up for his small nation Dom Mintoff did what politicians are supposed to do and not surrender – it is a shame there are so few like him today, his passing is a sad occasion and the loss of a real democrat.

Friday, 17 August 2012

THE REAL GUILTY MEN AND WOMEN

There is, or was, a system of law in this land that had been honed and improved over the centuries, much of it based on Magna Carta and the 1689 Bill of Rights – it is known as Habeas Corpus.

The way the system worked was that all men and women are born free and as such are entitled to go about their daily lives without interference from the state. To ensure the quality of life and that one persons freedom does not impinge on another’s, laws were made to restrict certain activities that would cause harm or distress to others.

On this basis some laws are obvious, it is wrong to take the life of another or to steal from them. Over the years those who make the laws have generally done so with a great deal of consideration as to why those laws are required.

The way the system operated was that if a law was broken it was reported to the police or a magistrate, who in turn would investigate and seek out the person or persons who they suspected had committed the criminal act. Once caught the suspect was neither assumed to be either guilty or innocent and as such had rights in law (not Human Rights but Common Law rights).

The police officers were allowed to hold and interview the suspect for up to 48 hours and the suspect had the right to remain silent and also request a legal representative. If the police deemed they had enough evidence against the suspect then that person would be charged, if not charged by the end of the 48 hours then the suspect had the legal right to be released from custody. All this is simple and logical.

The next stage for the person who had been charged was to be presented to a court, the charges read out and the suspect asked if they pleaded guilty or not guilty to the charges made against them. If the person pleaded guilty then the courts would sentence them accordingly, but for those pleading not guilty, and dependent on the seriousness of the crime, they could then face a Magistrates Court or a High Court, everyone was entitled to be tried by jury if they so requested.

The defendant in a trial also had other rights, if found innocent by a court they were protected by Double Jeopardy from being charged and tried again for the same crime. If that person had been found guilty of a past crime, or crimes, the court was not allowed to mention it and the jury not allowed to know – this prevented the defendant from being pre-judged.

This then is a basic and simplified explanation of the legal system of which there are three parts. The police have a duty to investigate crimes and catch and charge the person suspected of the crime. They are not there to judge a person’s guilt but gather evidence as to why they suspect the defendant of the crime and present that evidence to the court.

In turn the court, which remains balanced and unbiased, have a duty to dissect the evidence and decide the guilt, or otherwise, of the defendant. Upon a verdict of guilt the court would then pass sentence based on that prescribed by law.

Those who made the laws have no powers over the way the police investigate crimes other than to ensure the police have workable laws to operate under, nor can they interfere with the courts or the judiciary. If the laws they or their predecessors made were deemed bad or unworkable laws it was their duty to either amend or repeal those laws – these are the three separate parts of the legal process which worked well until the EU turned up.

If those making laws make a hash of it and begin to produce bad or confusing laws, then sadly the whole system begins to fall into disrepute and loses the trust and respect of the law from the people.

The police then have to enforce unworkable laws which make them look bad, the courts have to try people for offences that seem either trivial or grossly unfair which then turns the judiciary into a laughing stock and those who make the laws are treated with utter contempt whilst the law of the land loses the respect of the people. Sadly, as the EU now makes 75% of our laws, few of which make sense and all of which override British law, our whole legal system is becoming a mockery.

Ever since Tony Blair and his Home Secretary, Jack Straw, signed the Treaty of Nice the whole British legal system has gone into a sad state of decline. People can now be arrested and presumed guilty for some alleged crimes, Double Jeopardy has been scrapped and the police and the courts can constantly hound a person they believe is guilty by constantly returning them to court until they get the result they want. And, worst of all, no British person is protected from arrest from other foreign courts based in the European Union thanks, once again, the unjust Treaty of Nice.

A court anywhere in the EU can demand the arrest of anyone in the UK by using the European Arrest Warrant (EAW). Unlike the days when those elected to Parliament saw it as their duty to protect the interests of those who elect them, no person on British soil has any protection against the EAW even though the evidence provided may be flimsy or purely circumstantial. Once an EAW has been issued then the British police operating bad EU law have to arrest that person. When they face the courts they have no protection there either as it is the duty of the court to honour the EAW even though the court knows the charges are a travesty obliging the courts to carry out bad EU law too. The police and courts are made to look useless and foolish because those whose duty it is to make good laws in our once sovereign Parliament have abandoned their responsibility by giving away the powers loaned to them by the people to a foreign power who have no democratic mandate from the electorate. They have been abandoned as the courts and police have too.

After this lengthy preamble we now come to the curious case of Julian Assange, who is currently holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy. As everyone knows he became a target of hate from various national authorities for exposing secrets, the bile against him, especially in the USA, is pretty savage. There is a great deal of speculation that the Americans want to get hold of him and lock him up in one of their brutal ‘correctional institutions’ and throw away the key.

The factors in this case are the accusations made against him in Sweden by two ladies who claim that the sexual encounters they had with him became molestation. The BBC has given a timeline on the case which is better read from bottom to top.

When you add into the mix the EAW and the fact that Julian Assange never really had any protection from the British courts, which just went through the process of giving a false impression they could stop the EAW against him, the fact that Sweden have allowed extraordinary rendition and sent people off to face the US Intelligence Agencies without the courtesy of any legal niceties, and ask the question how sound are the allegations of sexual molestation against him and why the Government of Ecuador wants to give him asylum, it all gets a bit murky.

What an odd story this is, when I first wrote my silly Euro Soap story in 1997/98 I included in the plot a part about one of the characters claiming asylum at an American embassy to escape the EU, and in a strange way a bit more of the fiction I wrote has come true.

Why is the British Government so keen to get Julian Assange and even, by the looks of it, considered wrecking protocols on diplomatic rights? If the Government and our Members of Parliament, who should be the law makers of this land, took a look out of their gilded windows they would see a number of British protesters outside the Ecuadorian embassy not supporting the law of the land by complaining that Julian Assange should be handed over to the British authorities, but instead in support of Mr Assange and the Ecuadorians against their own legislature and laws.

This then is where EU membership has reduced us too. Parliament, our courts and our police have lost the respect of the people – all because arrogant people do not listen to them and have abandoned them. Through no fault of the police and the courts they have none the less been diminished in the eyes of the people to lackeys of an unjust state. The real guilty men, and women, are those in Parliament and Government who over the years have abandoned their duties, responsibilities and their country.

NODDY LAND MAKES MORE SENSE THAN THE EU

Nigel Farage, the UKIP leader is on form again in this video, this time he is being interviewed about the great euro crisis by Fox News in which he refers to the EU being like 'Noddy Land', of which there is no comparrison as Noddy Land makes far more sense than the EU!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

IT'S CRIMINAL

‘Ello, ‘ello, ‘ello, wot’s going on ‘ere then with the Tory Limp Dem coalition? What exactly you may ask? Why does David Cameron and Nick Clegg keep organising plebiscites that the electorate don’t want, haven’t asked for and have little understanding what they are about while at the same time ignoring the growing national clamour for a referendum on EU membership, which they do want.

So far the cockup alition have given us a vote on changing the first past the post voting system to an alternative vote (AV) system, which no one really wanted and didn’t have a clue as to why they were being asked – so of course they vote ‘No’, which put Nick Clegg in a sulk, and now in November this year we are to have a vote on elected Police Commissioners – which again no one wants.

In fact the reason for elected Police Commissioners is so obscure no one, other than Dave and Nick, seem to know why the Government wants to spend £millions of taxpayers rapidly evaporating money on. What exactly is the point?

Even the Home Secretary, Theresa May, has predicted the election for Police Commissioners will be an unmitigated disaster and has predicted a turnout as low as 5%. It doesn’t require a brain of Britain to work that one out, just look at what lies ahead.

First there is the timing of the vote, which is to be held in what will no doubt be a cold, wet, dark and miserable November. Even though growing numbers vote by post there is still a large number of voters who will settle in front of the telly in a nice warm and cosy house and then look at their polling cards and wonder. The thought that will plod through their brains is why should I stop watching the soap, football or whatever else turns them on, leave my nice warm home and trudge through the wind and rain to vote for someone I don’t know, to take up a position I don’t understand what they will do or even a clue as to why I am being asked to vote for it. The telly and the lure of the gas fire will receive the most votes on the night.

So, we will have a situation where possibly only around 5% of the electorate will vote for an unknown individual, to take a post they know nothing about, who will do a job that no one actually knows what it is and yet still receive an annual income of £100,000. Added to this, based on the possibility that there is a 5% turnout, which means the person elected will be elevated to this post on the vote of between two to three percent of the total electorate – that’s not what anyone would call a mandate from the electorate.

So what is the real reason for the Dave and Nick double act to inflict this upon us? That one is a real question, it is certainly not to win any popularity competition as holding pointless plebiscites is not the way to win friends and influence people, my only conclusion is that once again there has to be an EU connection somewhere, but I cannot find a link so that is only supposition on my part so far unless someone can find it. Other than obeying our masters in the EU I can’t think of any reason why our politicians would want to create such a position.

The EU certainly has plans for cross border policing, as this speech made by Franco Frattini on the 26th March 2007 showed. We have the European Arrest Warrant which has wrecked the lives of many innocent British subjects and created a strange situation with Julian Assange. We have Europol operating in all EU countries and the militarised EU Gendarmerie working in some too, but thankfully not here in the UK yet.

Come November and the start of the bleak winter, these elections will take place and be an utter disaster while the vote on our future EU membership which the majority want will be sidelined and ignored – it is criminal!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

ONE OUT ALL OUT

Bertram Edward Bennett, a page boy at the very first Odeon Cinema.

My dear old dad, Bertram Edward Bennett (Bertie), who was born on the 16th May 1915, had no choice when it came to starting his first job at the age of fourteen in 1929. His dad just told him he had a job and took him to Wrights Ropes in Birmingham where he began work.

He didn’t stay there too long and moved on to other jobs in different factories, eventually becoming fed up working in dirty, noisy factories. Looking for something a bit more glamorous he saw an advert for the job of ‘page boy’ at the about to be opened Odeon Cinema at Perry Barr, which was Oscar Deutsch’s very first Odeon Cinema in what was to become a chain of Odeon’s across the land, and Bertie was its first page boy. He also worked in a few other, now long since gone, cinemas during that period of his life.

At one of the cinemas he worked one of his duties was to light the gas lamps along the one side of the cinema, while a work colleague lit the other side at the same time. One morning after oversleeping he rushed to the cinema, arriving late, to find the gas had already been turned on and his colleague had dutifully lit his side on time, but ignored the fact Bertie was not around to light his allotted lamps – so by the time my dear old dad went along with the taper every lamp lit with a minor explosion.

With that job done he then dashed off to the room where he got changed. This was used by the males first and then a bit later in the morning by the ladies who arrived some time after the chaps. Under normal circumstances having a communal changing room was not usually a problem, of course until the morning Bertie arrived late for work. He had just taken off his trousers ready to put on his uniform when the door burst open and a gaggle of startled ladies stood gawping at all nature had provided Bertie with. A great scream went up and the cinema manager came rushing in to witness the full expose, to which he gave my dad the sack stating: “You have a week’s notice and make it snappy”.

Now imagine that situation today, Bertie would have all sorts of human rights to protect him, in today’s situation he may even have a right to expose himself as things have become so mad. What’s more, to be given a week’s notice without all sorts of red tape, rigmarole, written warnings and all the other bureaucracy that comes with the vast array of minutia in employment law is just not allowed at all. Companies cannot sack incompetent staff without going through all sorts of legal technicalities.

My dad got the sack from quite a few jobs in his younger days. After the lure of working unsociable hours wore off he took to working in the building industry and trained to become a bricklayer, he took great pride in his work but that did not stop one boss from sacking him. The reason being was after the site foreman took my dad on, the owner of the building company, who remembered my dad only as an apprentice, told the foreman: “Sack him” as he still considered my dad to be just a trainee bricklayer. Bertie was off the site in minutes with little more than a shrug and a sorry from the foreman. He had no rights, the boss was the boss and his word was law and my dad went off to find another site to start again.

Now we don’t particularly want to see those harsh and often unfair working times inflicted on employees in companies these days, but one way or another the balance has shifted so far in favour of the employed against the employers, it has become almost impossible to get rid of staff that are generally useless - and now to really foul things up the EU is dreaming up ways to make matters even worse.

Added to all the burdens of getting rid of staff that are no longer required, the EU is proposing employers have to enquire just how happy their staff are with the prospect of being made redundant or sacked. As reported in the Daily Express, the European Parliament ¬employment and social ¬affairs committee have produced a document which states it wants employers to monitor the “psycho-social health” of all staff facing redundancy.

Here in the West Midlands, especially when you wander around the back streets of the Black Country and of my own town of Walsall, you will find all sorts of metal bashing and other labour intensive small businesses, all run by no nonsense down to earth practical people. Can you imagine how these firms would cope if this load of tosh turns up on their oil stained doormats one day with all sorts of threat if they don’t comply. They will respond by saying a word beginning with ‘B’ that is part of the male anatomy, the sort of thing my dad got the sack for inadvertently exposing, and if they have to lay off staff due to dire times because businesses and manufacturing in this country is wrecked, thanks to a combination of EU nit picking bureaucracy and yet another useless and incompetent Government, they will just throw the towel in and go bust – there will be no rights or happiness testing of staff then.

The problems facing these unemployed workers will be that even though they may be good at their jobs, they will probably remain on the dole as who in their right minds would want to take on extra staff if it then becomes impossible to get rid of workers if they prove to be not good enough or if times turn bad. Thanks to the EU it will be a case of we can’t sack staff or make them redundant to ensure the business survives, so we will all have to go down together as the company goes bust. It will be a case of one out, all out – it’s just a shame it won’t be out of the EU.

Friday, 10 August 2012

READY & WAITING

Memorial to the Royal Air Force at the National Memorial Arboretum.

Holiday duties for today (Friday 10th August 2012), as my Walsall working holiday continues, the first duty was a pleasant trip to the fine Staffordshire city of Lichfield which this morning was basking in glorious sunshine. That was a pleasant duty but on returning home it was back to digging up roses that my better half decided needed planting elsewhere, and laying a few bricks around a drain to try to stop it overflowing every time the bath is emptied.

Yesterday also saw a pleasant duty, we took my father in law, Fred English, for a return visit to the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, which was also bathed in glorious sunshine. It is a moving place to visit and wander around. There are so many names inscribed on the walls of the main memorial, all of those killed in service since the end of World War Two.

The last time we visited the Arboretum it coincided with the day hundreds of great hairy motor bikers turn up to raise funds for the National Arboretum, so this time it was much quieter. We revisited the plaque to all those who served on the aircraft carrier HMS Formidable for Fred to shed a tear or two for his late brother Harry, who served on her in the Pacific during the war. Fred was in the Pacific too at the same time, he served on HMS Euryalus and the brothers managed to meet up every time their two ships returned to Sydney, which coincided from time to time.

At the end of the War Fred came home but Harry had met an Aussie girl and remained in Sydney for the rest of his days. There is a whole branch of the English family living down under, which is not the best surname to have in Australia if you don’t want to be called a ‘Pommie B!’

Fred nearly wore his medals, but decided against it, but while there we saw others in uniform, both men and women, proudly wearing their medals next to their hearts. Seeing that took me back to the odd interview I had on Radio WM on Tuesday morning with Adrian Goldberg regarding my objection to the Olympics currently dominating everything. The medals won by my father in law and these service men and women, in my eyes, are worth far more and should mean more to our countrymen than the medals won by a few athletes for nothing other than being able to run a bit faster than someone else.

Even though some of the callers after my interview had some tough things to say making me the pariah for the day, in reality I took it in light heart as it stirred things up and helped to create a debate. Adrian, who I have always liked, must keep an eye on this blog and my opinion of him rose even more when he noticed my remarks about being a ‘pariah’, he called me and was concerned that I had been upset, which I had not and I had to tell him not to worry as I was not upset at all. This shows what a decent chap he is.

It currently looks like I am in favour with Radio WM at the moment as today I was also called by a chap named Brett and asked to speak on the Paul Franks programme at around 5.30 pm, I was asked to go on air to speak about Tony Blair’s fears that the people will vote in a referendum to leave the EU as they feel the EU has too much power. Now coming from a past Prime Minister that began giving powers away almost the moment he walked through the portals of Number 10 Downing Street, wbegan by surrendering more powers by signing the Amsterdam Treaty and then the Treaty of Nice placing eevery British subject at the mercy of the EU Arrest Warrant, So, for Blair now to wail about the possibility of peoplevoting to leave the EU because it now has too much power seems somewhat hypercritical.

If the people of the UK are worried about how much power the EU has then that is a situation that Tony Blair helped to create, with just about every other PM since Heath signed us up the the Common Market and lied that it was just a trade deal. I for one have my voting fingers ready and waiting to grab that stubby little pencil in the polling booth and willing to place my cross against the get out of EU ASAP box. All we want now is the referendum.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

THE PARIAH FOR TODAY IS....

Derek Bennett on holiday, catching up on jobs.

Most people associate the word ‘holiday’ with ‘relaxation’, or if you are Dave, our PM, ‘chillax’. However, the linking words with holiday in the Bennett household here in Walsall is: ‘Hard labour’.

My holidays, which are not these days spent on the shores of some sun drenched tropical paradise due to having a very elderly pooch who is now past 17 years of age which makes it difficult to leave her with family, are usually spent catching up on all the neglected jobs at home. This week is a holiday week and as usual there is plenty of things lined up for me to do.

So, with a hard days labour in front of me the one bit of relaxation I was hoping to get was, at least, a bit of a lie in on the morning of Tuesday 7th August,. That was soon scuppered when the phone rang just after 7.30 am. This is where things go a bit strange, as far as I can recollect the way local radio stations work is the listeners rung their local radio shows to talk about the issues that concern them, not the radio station calling the listeners.

It came as a surprise for Mrs B when she answered the phone to hear Adrian Goldberg, who presents the BBC Radio West Midlands Morning Show, asking to speak to me. The reason soon became became obvious as they were looking for a victim prepared to speak about why they are not enamoured with the sporting fest called the olympics which is dominating just about everything at the moment - I was asked if I would go on air and give my reasons why I was not enamoured with all this orgy of running, jumping and other sporting pastimes.

Had I not been half asleep and a bit more savvy, I would most probably said no, go find another mug. But being a fool and not waning to let Adrian down, who had taken the time and trouble to track me down after reading my comments about the Olympics on this blog, I sad yes, it would do it.

The reason, it seems this had become an issue, was due to some bloke who goes under the name Morrissey who sings a few tunes who had written why he opposed the Olympics. Adrian suggested I look him up to see what he said, which I did before getting the now expected call to go on air just after 9 am.

From what I read this chap Morrissey is slightly left of Lenin and his politics are substantially different from my own. His reason for objecting to the Olympics were for very different reasons than those of mine. He used the Olympics to attack our Monarchy, which as a Royalist I could not agree with, in fact as far as I could see his rant against the Olympics was no way connected to my reasons why I am so fed up with them.

Despite this I did my stuff on air and pointed out that the whole of BBC One programming being nothing else but Olympics was really over the top, also that many news bulletins has twelve the thirteen minutes of Olympics before they then, almost as an afterthought, actually report the really serious news that is going on in the world. As I have pointed out before, there is murder, mayhem and abject misery going on in Syria, yet some odd bod managing go go a bit faster than some other odd bod, as far as the BBC is concerned, far more important than the atrocities and suffering taking place in Syria and other parts of the world - my priorities are somewhat different.

After I did my bit people began calling into the radio station venting their anger that the sporting agnostic who had just been giving his reasons why he does not see the Olympics as important or why they should dominate the TV listings on the BBC. By the sound of some of them you would have thought that during the five to ten minutes I had been on air I had shot the Pope, strangled the Queen and eaten Bambi in a venison pie. It seems the great God sport is a vengeful God and plague and pestilence is wreaked on those who dare speak against it. So, today was my day to be the pariah for 24 hours.

Do I really have the wrong priorities being worried about the suffering taking place in the world, the devastation being wreaked on this, and other nations in the European Union due to the folly of EU membership, the hardships in Greece, Spain, Portugal and other eurozone countries all for the sake of the EU’s vanity currency? Maybe I turn my brain off, crash out in front of the telly with pack of beers and a pile of junk food and say I am being involved in a great sporting adventure.

Friday, 3 August 2012

THE EURO PLAGUE

What has happened to Friday’s? There was a time when you had to wait a whole week to go from one Friday to another, now, in the blink of an eye, one Friday almost seems to follow another and here we are again.

At the end of what has been an eventful week both for me personally, and for the EU as its shambolic currency continues to fall to bits, here we are again at another Friday, soon I will be heading off for my Friday night beer with my better half, sister in law and brother in the Lyndon House Hotel in Walsall, and the start of another weekend will be upon us.

Over this last week, which as stated has flown by, I have been forced to make a rare visit to my doctor due to some creature taking a bite at my left hand while I was asleep last Friday night. On Saturday morning it looked like yet another insect bite with a bit of a blister, by Monday morning it was getting painful and not looking so good and by Wednesday afternoon I was in Walsall waving my hand in front of the Doc with what looked like a dose of the bubonic plague on the back of my, by now, very swollen left hand. A powerful dose of penicillin tablets was prescribed and I have been popping pills since, although my hand is still swollen and the bubonic plague still present.

However, the grisly situation on my metacarpus is nothing to the ailments now inevitably ailing the EU’s sickly currency, which just a few years ago was going to be a strong powerful currency that would challenge the mighty US dollar. These days the only challenge to the dollar from the EU’s euro is that it may catch something nasty from it.

Earlier this week, while all the running and jumping was going on in London and Boris, the Mayor of London, decided to hang around making a rather large dollop of himself whilst dangling, from what seemed to me for no apparent reason, an overhead cable, Mario Draghi, the big boss to the European Central Bank (ECB), was informing the world that he was going to do “whatever it takes” to save the euro and curb the extremely worrying borrowing costs in Spain.

Here we are, as stated in the blink of an eye, a few days later and into another Friday and Mario Draghi looks set to join Boris dangling from a wire and going nowhere. His promise of doing anything to save the EU's euro, which in reality only Tom Cruise in yet another Mission Impossible could do, has morphed into a vague promise of ‘strong measures in the coming weeks’ – wow – the euro is saved – hallelujah, I think not!

As they say, what goes up always comes down, which sadly included Boris from his high wire act, and the share prices that went up when the ECB boss made his rash statement a week ago, have now come down when, as is always the case with the EU, this was all bluff and bluster with no substance.

After watching this farcical performance from the ECB and its boss, not many people can have much comfort in the knowledge the ECB could, if discussions between the ECB, the EU Commission and member states agreeing to the ECB being given total control over all the banks within the European Union with the draconian powers to order the closure of lenders. Although this power has not yet been granted, it still goes to show what a scary place the EU has become. It always had ambitions to become a nation in its own right but has turned out to be a horrific nightmare instead.

At the moment the weekend looms, the EU has not yet taken all our dosh, and tomorrow, Saturday, our Walsall UKIP branch is holding a Summer Party in, you may well guess, the Lyndon House Hotel where we hope to raise a few quid for the branch to give us the funds to fight the forthcoming European and Parliamentary elections and start the process of rescuing Britain from the mess the EU has become with a good result from UKIP.

Mario Draghi and his EU chums can do all they like to attempt to save the fiscal plague ridden EU, my left hand will get better, the euro will not.