By Kathy Martin…
Written May 2015
This week, on 7th May, Britain will go to the polls to elect its next five year parliament. If the opinion polls are to be believed, the “big two” parties, Conservative and Labour, will each only get approximately 30 “something” percent of the vote.
Mathematically it would make sense for the “big two” to form a coalition government, which would mean that something like 70 or 80% of the electorate would be satisfied that “their” party formed part of the government!
However, even on my planet (and with a glass of strong, foreign, lager at my side), I don’t believe that the logical solution will happen!
The Conservatives are claiming that, after five years of a Conservative led coalition government, Britain’s economy is strong, unemployment is falling and more jobs are being “created”.
Yes, that may be so, certainly at face value, but, in the small print, is the fact that Britain has a “debt pile” (the amount the government borrows to pay all of its bills) amounting to 89.4% of the national income!
In the European Union, only (Greek) Cyprus and Spain are financially worse off! I am not a financial genius, but something doesn’t seem to add up!
Our daughter and son-in-law, Sasha and Jon, who live near Cardiff, Wales have said that their major problem in deciding who to vote for is not about which party or politician that they like the most. Rather they will eventually vote for the party or politician that they dislike the least!
Recently, in the UK news is a report that a certain Lord Janner has been granted immunity from prosecution for child sex crimes that he allegedly committed between 1969 and 1988. The reason that the 22 victims who allege that he committed these offences won’t get “closure” is that the Director of Public Prosecutions has decided that as Lord Janner suffers from a form of dementia this means that he wouldn’t understand the charges!
As Lord Janner is now 86 years old this may well be a valid legal reason today. However, this is not the first time that Lord Janner has escaped prosecution for committing these crimes. His likely involvement was first brought to the attention of the police in 1991, but the Crown Prosecution Service didn’t pursue the case. He was investigated again in 2002 and 2006. However, no charges were able to get beyond the Prosecution Service.
Goodness, how the Establishment looks after itself!
However there is one question that intrigues me. Lord Janner is, simply because he is a lord, a Peer of the Realm. Should he actually suffer from dementia, does this condition bar him from sitting in the House of Lords, Britain’s “Upper” House of Parliament?
Or, (presumably) in a slobbering, glassy eyed condition, is he still able to debate and pontificate on legislation and Matters of State?
Just a thought!
Recently there has been a great deal of breast-beating, wailing and gnashing of teeth in Britain, Europe and even on both sides of the border on this island. “More must be done to help the refugees fleeing from North Africa to Europe” the people cry!
- Yes, admirable sentiments
- Yes, undoubtedly the “people traffickers” are offering seats, well, standing spaces on boats of questionable seaworthiness!
- Yes, there have been disasters at sea and thousands of refugees have drowned
- Yes, on purely humanitarian grounds something “more” should be done!
However, in a harsh, real, practical and economic world how, and indeed why?
Please don’t misunderstand me, I, personally have a great deal of sympathy with the refugees. In fact, having been refugees, admittedly under more civilized circumstances, from Rhodesia when I was thirty, both my wife and I can empathise with them!
We arrived in the UK with one suitcase each and the equivalent (due to currency controls in Rhodesia) of £1,000. Our other personal effects were limited to what would fit into 4 x 1.5 cubic metre containers.
Sorry, I digressed, but, as we were both born in the UK, we were “entitled” to live and work and, (if necessary), claim benefits there! I don’t know the nationalities of any of the refugees from North Africa, and therefore I could be wrong, but as the European countries as “colonial” powers left Africa over half a century ago, I doubt if many have the “right” to reside in a European country.
However, leaving aside the “right to reside” (and therefore the political onus on a country to rescue its nationals), the countries in Europe, especially the Mediterranean Euro zone, appear to be in a financial pickle.
Therefore, the influx of large refugee populations would place an enormous strain on the already strained financial, medical, housing and social services of any country!
The costs of supporting a non-productive (as it will be, certainly in the short term) refugee population will have to be borne by the existing local population.
I believe, as I have long believed, that a “United Europe” with a single national parliament and a single currency is a wonderful concept. Although its current infrastructure is flawed, it has only been in place for approximately half a century, not a long time in geological ages!
I would hate to see the European Union to implode because of an influx of refugees before it was able to reform and mature into a viable and powerful organisation.
Having mentioned the European Union, I was reminded of a news article a few days ago that was (again) about the “Armenian genocide” by the Ottoman Turks a century ago. This time it was about remarks made to the Austrian newspaper “Der Standard” by the Commissioner for EU enlargement, Johannes Hahn.
During an interview he is reported to have said (because modern, non-Ottoman Turkey has denied “genocide”) that Turkey has shown an anti-European and anti Western stance that will make it’s (Turkey) future entry into the EU very “difficult”!
Last week I asked, as neither Armenia nor Turkey a members of the EU, what concern is this matter for the current European Union. This week I ask, because, whether it was genocide or not, as the event happened a hundred years ago and there can be no survivors who are still alive, WHO CARES?
I will tell you who cares, politicians in Europe hoping for the support of Armenians residing in their countries!
Also, and this is probably just as relevant, Armenia is a Christian country while Turkey is an Islamic one.
This politically manufactured incident is simply one further reason why Muslim Turkey will NEVER be allowed membership of the Christian club of the European Union!
Next blog will continue with Alistair’s rambles
These rambles were written by Alistair initially for the “The KibKom Times” then “The KibKom Forum”