Friday, May 30, 2008

Labour's Legacy to the Police

According to a report from the think-tank Civitas, The Institute for the Study of Civil Society,

Police officers are being forced to target people for misdemeanours so they can meet government targets,

The report also says
Political interference meant incidents that might previously have been regarded as innocuous were now treated as crimes. Police performance is measured in "sanction detections", which means officers have detected or cleared a case by charging someone, issuing a penalty notice or giving a caution.
It continues on with the following
"In order to meet targets police are now classifying incidents as crimes that would previously have been dealt with informally, classified differently or ignored."

One officer said he warned his own teenage son to take extra care at the end of the month when police were looking to fill their detection quota.

Another said: "We are bringing more and more people to justice but they are the wrong people."

Complaints against the police have risen and much of the increase comes from law-abiding people who no longer feel the police are on their side, the report said.

It called for an end to targets and proposed a local tax to pay for policing, with commanders selected through local government or direct elections.

David Davis, the shadow home secretary, said: "This is an indictment of Labour's ­target-driven culture."

This is Labour's Legacy from the past 11 years of interfering in the Police Service. Targets, Targets and yet more Targets but little in the way of results. None of this report will shock or be news to most people but the public is now beginning to lose faith in the Police, this must not be allowed to continue.

This is the problem with Labour they keep going for the targets and style rather the substance and actions. They have now been caught out too many times and the public have become wise to their inadequacies.

'Police putting targets ahead of serving public' - Telegraph: "Civitas"

Caution Terry Ahead

I notice big bro' has not said too much on the subject of Chelski recently. He may not then approve of the following warning.

BBC SPORT | Football | Europe | Man Utd earn dramatic Euro glory

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Jonah Brown hits New Low

I don't often post on Polls but this one makes for some interesting reading if you are not a Labour supporter (and there are now fewer of them than ever).

In just one short year our "Jonah" has taken a Labour party to it's lowest level of support since polling began. A superb achievement that merits some sort of reward, can I perhaps suggest early retirement and disappearing back to Fife to reflect on his legacy to us.

Perhaps the most interesting bits of the Poll are as follows:

  • 75% of people survey were dissatisfied with Gordon Brown as prime Minister
  • 60% of those polled thought that even replacing "Jonah" wouldn't help Labour. 32% thought it might. Jonah has contaminated Labour to the voters.
  • With a forced choice over Conservatives and Cameron and Labour under Brown the Tories lead by 54% to 29%.
  • The Lib Dems are stuck in nowhere land with 18%. They really should be challenging Labour by now.
  • Brown’s personal popularity on a par with Major’s low.
  • Labour’s lowest score under Foot was only 23.5
In a further article in the Telegraph, Anthony King, professor of government at the University of Essex, makes the point that there is now no way back for Gordon Brown. He says
Most of the electorate has now fallen so far out of love with Gordon Brown and New Labour that a divorce between the two seems all but certain to be finalised at the next general election.The findings of YouGov's latest survey for The Daily Telegraph suggest the break-up could be an angry no-holds-barred affair. The chances of a reconciliation look slim.
All in all a very satisfying poll for the Tories. As Nick Palmer Labour MP so elequently put it on Political Betting:
Need I say more.

Labour: Gordon Brown support slumps to its lowest since polling began - Telegraph

Jonah Brown and North Sea oil.

Edmund Conway Economics Editor of the Daily Telegraph has a good analysis of how our "Jonah" Brown has landed North Sea Oil in "Choppy Water".

In it he says the following

The Prime Minister cannot be blamed for the fact that Britain's oil production peaked at precisely the wrong time, nor can he really do anything meaningful to the oil price - despite his pledges yesterday. However, the rising price has underlined just how fast the North Sea is declining, and raised questions over
whether Mr Brown's policies have served to accelerate its demise.
He follows this up later on with an analysis of the changing tax regime that our "Jonah" implemented. Initially what looked like a good idea has, as usual, been fiddled with and changed so that now it is just another tax on us. Edmund says

However, the Government is culpable for its management of the tax regime. Some years ago Mr Brown switched the system to a more modern scheme, charging oil companies a supplement to corporation tax for their North Sea profits, but allowing them to offset the investment they poured in.It was a sensible change, designed to encourage companies to spend more on finding new fields. However, in 2005, the Treasury suddenly and unexpectedly raised this supplementary tax rate.
As I pointed out yesterday it is these sort of changes in the fiscal and tax regimes that cause major problems to Oil and Gas companies that are making large investment decisions based upon the current conditions and likely changes. All businesses are reluctant to invest in a region if they fear its tax policies will change suddenly and without warning. Edmund continues
Crucially, the tax cut announced yesterday affects only older oil fields, which are covered by a separate tax regime, and does not reverse this new windfall tax.
This is hardly surprising. Over the past decades the North Sea has become one of the Government's biggest corporate tax cows, generating more than £230bn in revenue since 1968. The Treasury is expecting to make around £10bn this year from oil revenues, though experts at Grant Thornton think this could rise as high as £16bn due to higher oil prices.
However, this windfall has come at a price. If, as thought, it is responsible for depressing production in recent years, it has helped make the UK a net oil importer two years earlier than expected
Note that last sentence "It has helped make the UK a net oil importer two years earlier than expected". This is a telling statement and shows how much our "Jonah's" short sighted changes have cost the UK and its taxpayers. Edmund then says
Not only does this have serious implications for energy policy, it has pushed the current account deficit sharply higher and contributed to a weaker pound. It has meant that whereas a few years ago Britain was well positioned to benefit from a high oil price, the implications today are far more damaging for the economy.

This just goes to show that despite our "Jonah" trying to sell himself as a wonderful Leader and former Chancellor he is nothing of the sort. He has dug the UK into a deep hole and now has nothing to extract us from it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Brown to meet oil industry chiefs

Just so typical of our beloved Leader to stage this Publicity stunt of meeting the Oil Company leaders so that he can palm the blame onto them for all the problems with the price of oil when yesterday we had the fuel protests in London which caused major disruption to London.

He tries this sort of stunt every time to divert the news away from the fact that it is his handling of the economy that causes many of the problems. Whilst acknowledging the large increase in the cost of oil on the global market we also have to look at some of the reasons the costs are so high in this country and why reinvestment in the Oil and Gas sector in the UK has been so low.

Now just over two years ago our Gordon increased corporation tax on the Oil and gas sector so that the effective rate of corporation tax on this industry beacme 50%. This was just weeks after berating oil-producing nations around the world for their failure to invest in oil and gas and urging them to do more. It is this sort of blinkered approach that has caused the reduction in investment just at a time when it is needed most. Oil companies will not invest in countries that do not have a faor and stable tax regime. Similarly the idea of a windfall tax on the Oil and gas companies in the face of increase profits is again likely to only cause a longer term problem.

Gordon Brown has an article in the Guardian today where he expounds on how he sees the problem being global and having nothing to do with him. It is full of the usual Tractor Production statistics but is basically Gordon saying "not my fault" rather than tackling the problem which has been around for many years. Long Term problems need Long Term solutions not just short term actions. The problem is that Gordon and Labour have not tackled the UK's long term problems with Energy Supply but pandered to the renewables lobby as, it is, or rather was a vote winner.

This is the problem with Labour they keep going for the targets and style rather the substance and actions. They have now been caught out too many times and the public have become wise to their inadequacies.

P.S I see Guido and the Spectator Coffeshop Blog have cottoned onto this.

BBC NEWS UK Brown to meet oil industry chiefs

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Typical Labour Spin - Raising "Toffs"

This is a typical example of the new lows this Labour government can get down to.

The spin here is that kids can be educated like "toffs" at Eton and Marlborough because the MOD is wasteful and pays such "High" allowances to its employees. The charge is that the allowance that is paid to parents is too high and for just a few more thousand they can get their children educated at schools such as Eton and Marlborough.

The maximum allowance is 7,700 pounds per term , which of course sounds rather high but when factored against the average cost of Boarding Schools which is running at over 20,000 pounds per year, suddenly becomes a little bit more understandable. The maximum available to MOD personnel is a lower figure of 5111 pounds per term and is also subject to a minimum 10% parental contribution from parents. Also remember that many of the people receiving this allowance may be "other ranks" it is not restricted to Officers only.

Also as I have just found out the maximum allowance of £7628 is payable only to special needs children. The normal maximum being the £5111 mentioned earlier.

Let's not forget that the people who could receive this allowance could be anyone in the forces who are posted to slightly out of the way places where the type or standard of education available is not suitable for UK children.

I and my brother were among those who were in this situation back in the early seventies when my father was posted to a couple of out of the way overseas locations where there were no longer any suitable local schools. Luckily we were at or just about to go to a State School that had boarding places so my father was relatively little out of pocket for providing our education.

There are currently only about 35 state schools that provide boarding, many of these boardings schools are over-subscribed and may still be selective so the choice is limited particularly when the cost of boarding at these schools tends to be considerably lower than the Eton's and Marlborough's.

The real story here is not the amount of the allowance but that Blunkett and his cohorts in the Labour Cabinet have been told to squeeze the coffers as the money has run out. Spinning this as an attack on Toff's is just part of Labour's typical nasty spin. Maybe the Government will be using the money saved to finance MP's allowances instead, because they are worth much more than the education of service brats.

David Blunkett Calls For Review Of School Grants Paid To Government Employees |Sky News|Politics

Monday, May 26, 2008

Ten Kinloss pilots left RAF over Nimrod safety fears

According to the Independent

At least 10 pilots and crew have quit their posts at RAF Kinloss in the past decade because of safety concerns over the ageing Nimrod fleet
This is a based upon reports from David Morgan a newspaper Editor in Forres and apparently an Aviation Expert.

Not a statistic the MOD or RAF has advertised.

Despite this the same avation writer contends, in the Scotsman, that the Nimrod is not "un air-worthy" but rather that the aircraft should just have been grounded.

Now I'm not sure exactly what the difference between being un-airworthy and requiring to be grounded is. Both should mean the aircraft does not see service again until all the faults have been rectified. The un-airworthy verdict applies to the fact that the Nimrod had for all it's flying years a fault that was waiting to be exposed, the grounding means that that fault has now been exposed alongside others that mean the aircraft should not now be in service.

David Morgan when asked what should be done with the aircraft said
There's no doubt that the aircraft are in desperate need of retirement becausethe systems are so complex and difficult to maintain that there is really no
option but to release them.

The Press and Journal also reports here that not all the faults identified in the Nimrod have been fixed. It has the following

Moray MP Mr Robertson asked Mr Browne how many of the 30 recommendations in a Nimrod fuel system safety review of October 2007 had been complied with.

He replied: “Twenty-one have been accepted and are being implemented, three are being considered for implementation and a further six are on hold as they relate to air-to-air refuelling.”

Mr Robertson said yesterday: “Who are we to believe when the coroner says Nimrod are not airworthy and the defence secretary says they are, but admits that vital safety changes, recommended by his own safety review, have not been made?”

He added: “Des Browne needs to give a very good reason to why the Nimrod fleet should not be grounded until all these requirements have been fulfilled.

“If he cannot satisfy me that the safety recommendations have been fulfilled, I do not see how the Nimrod fleet can continue to operate.”

More blogs by me on this subject here.

Ten Kinloss pilots 'left RAF over Nimrod safety fears' - Home News, UK - The Independent

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Everybody Hurts - Take comfort in your friends

James (Jim) Curran 1935-2008
The following song was always a favourite of mine because not long after it was released, over 15 years ago, I was going through a rough time with many things going on in my life. The song just captured what was happening to me. It also showed to me who my friends were at that time, in particular, my wife Chris and her family who helped me so much to get through the bad times.

Now the shoe is on the other foot. Just about 3 weeks ago Chris, her family and I lost one of our greatest friends. Chris's dad Jim died at the age of 73 after fighting Leukaemia with his typical "guts, drive and determination" for the past eighteen months. Jim was a friend to everyone but particularly to his family who he cared for and nurtured at all times. Perhaps some of how highly he was regarded can best taken from the fact that his funeral was conducted by four priests ( a fifth was already at another funeral) including one of nearly 90 years of age and was attended by over 300 people over half of whom had to sit outside the small church in Aviemore.

Now I am hurting from Jim's sad death but I know Chris and her whole family are hurting much more. I hope I can be as much of friend and comfort to them in the coming months as they were for me back then.

"Everybody Hurts - R.E.M."

When the day is long and the night, the night is yours alone,
When you're sure you've had enough of this life, well hang on.
Don't let yourself go, everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes.

Sometimes everything is wrong. Now it's time to sing along.
When your day is night alone, (hold on, hold on)
If you feel like letting go, (hold on)
When you think you've had too much of this life, well hang on.

Everybody hurts. Take comfort in your friends.
Everybody hurts. Don't throw your hand. Oh, no. Don't throw your hand.
If you feel like you're alone, no, no, no, you are not alone

If you're on your own in this life, the days and nights are long,
When you think you've had too much of this life to hang on.

Well, everybody hurts sometimes,
Everybody cries. And everybody hurts sometimes.
And everybody hurts sometimes. So, hold on, hold on.
Hold on, hold on. Hold on, hold on. Hold on, hold on. (repeat & fade)
(Everybody hurts. You are not alone.)