Sunday, 30 May 2010

PRAYERS ANSWERED

This is good news!

Prayers answered.

Same-sex couple to be freed!

As prayers and vigils were expressed by many people this is good news indeed. Though the Malawi law does not accommodate same-sex couples to be recognised or accepted as such, the harsh penalty of 14 years hard labour was overturned on humanitarian grounds by the Malawian President.

Monjeza and Chimbalanga were arrested two days after they made a public commitment to marriage in a symbolic ceremony at the hotel where Chimbalanga worked as a janitor in late December. They were the first same-sex couple in Malawi to seek marriage.

Passing sentence on them on 20 May, the magistrate Nyakwawa Usiwa Usiwa said: "I will give you a ... sentence so that the public [will] be protected from people like you, so that we are not tempted to emulate this horrendous example."

The pair were then separated. Sent to prisons more than 40 miles apart, they had little hope of maintaining contact.

But after talking with Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General, Malawi's president, Bingu wa Mutharika, announced the pair would be freed.

"These boys committed a crime against our culture, our religion and our laws," he said after the meeting, at the southern African country's State House. "However, as the head of state, I hereby pardon them and therefore ask for their immediate release with no conditions.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/29/malawi-frees-jailed-gay-couple

 

This is good news!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Are You Ready?

The opening of Parliament went well. Most of what was proposed I actually agree with. My concern is that the ordinary folks will not really have a choice in educational, health, work and career choices. They will have to take what’s been creamed off by the have’s.
I like choices and options to pay for and participate in civil society. However, and it is a big however, the fact is that allowing Academy Schools, Faith Schools (and Religious groups for that matter) to have charity status is un-libertarian. They should be made to compete in the real world of market economy and global capitalism, of private donations and voluntary labour. There should be no subsidies for business, industry or commerce; nor for private schools – includes Academies – or private health care. If they are to be private then they must fend for themselves with the capital acquired by their sponsors' – not government or local or council authority, as they should be providing at least a modicum of minimum services to their constituents.
So we will have a two-tier system, as was before the great welfare reforms, with private insurance/assurance companies and health groups collecting weekly or monthly payments from the average working family, because, believe me, the average working family will not be able to afford Academy schooling for their children, outsourced health care and access to the means to share in the wealth and consumerism of the ‘privateers’ of the nation.

FRANK FIELD history of the welfare state.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

A Coalition Government?

And I thought it was a coalition government!

Seems like Nick has signed up to be a true blue Tory. Shame. I thought he was better than that.

So we really really do have a Conservative government in power. Can the Lib Dems stop pretending now. They cannot match their manifesto pledges by sharing the power [who is actually ‘sharing’ the power] with the Tories. The Dave and Nick Show will be an interesting series - wonder if it'll run it's scheduled five year course?

For those of you who are on benefit or low pay or hope your children will get to a good decent school - the way the Dave and Nick [what happened to your pledge about Academy schools?] Show see it, if you can't afford a good one, or if a wonderful, super, splendid, fantastic, jolly good Academy school is not for you then gosh - TOUGH old bean.

A chat between ‘The Boys”:

Dave: "I went to Eton don't cha know..."

Nick: "Oh really wow, I went to Cambridge...

Dave and Nick in unison [no not UNISON the union]: "Us boys really ought to stick together. Damn right old bean. Underclass - what underclass? Don't know anyone from the Underclass - is that a school in the East End or, both shudder, up North somewhere?"

I could be wrong about the boys. But I don't think so. Come back Maggie all is forgiven, at least we knew you were a Tory and you did not try to pretend you cared about the normal working, state schooled, NHS reliant, people! UNDERCLASS? What underclass?

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

LEARN YOUR HISTORY

back to top

I subscribe to ‘History and Policy Organisation at:

http://www.historyandpolicy.org/papers/policy-paper-100.html

Time and time again Politian's’ fail to learn from history and pretend that the current political and parliamentary crisis is a contemporary phenomena. A new age rising of the modern global market. Actually this is bunkum, and as ‘cuts’ ‘cuts’ ‘cuts’ is the mantra of the political masses, I decided to look at an issue of Social Policy, something I am well versed in, from the ‘History and Policy’ website:

“In the field of social policy, politicians are especially prone to generalising about the past, making assumptions about the reasons for change and legitimising their own proposals with rhetorical appeals to 'history'. Margaret Thatcher pioneered this with her campaign in the early 1980s for Britain to revive its so-called 'Victorian values'. Abigail Will's H&P paper showed how New Labour also subscribed to the myth of a law-abiding 'golden age' of respect and deference in the past, adopting the most severe policy stance on juvenile justice for 150 years. H&P has held policymakers to account for their use of historical examples and attempted to foster a better understanding of the past. For example, at our major event on pensions reform in 2006 we successfully confronted the then Pensions Minister with his department's bad history of the Beveridge reforms.

Pensions reform remains one of the most challenging areas of domestic policy, with twentieth-century governments missing opportunities to achieve lasting solutions approximately once every decade. As a result governments cling to policies that past and present experience show to be failures - means testing and pensions linked to employment contributions - to the detriment of pensioners living in poverty today. The British pensions system has become a multi-layered and highly complicated web as successive governments have bolted on new features rather than tackling inherent problems. Hugh Pemberton showed that, from the outset, the state pension introduced in 1946 was not properly funded, in fact operating as a pay-as-you-go scheme with current contributions funding current pensions. Then from the 1950s the value of this pension began to decline relative to pay, creating demands for an earnings link to be introduced, while occupational pension schemes mushroomed, creating a vast and powerful interest group in the private sector. Pat Thane's paper explains how women in particular have lost out as a result of this cumulative policy failure: their public pensions have been inadequate since they were first introduced in 1908, and were always recognised as being so. This was why the first pensions were non-contributory and why later reforms proposed to remove gender inequalities but, due to the low rate at which state pensions were paid, this was not achieved. Understanding the history of British pensions reveals that the famous Beveridge Report of 1942, romanticised above all by Labour, was never fully implemented by the Attlee government or its successors. Its core proposal, for a universal basic state pension which would provide enough to live on, has yet to be achieved today.

Policies to support single mothers and their young children have also seen the perceived financial needs of the modern state prioritised over effective social policy. Tanya Evans shows how the 'New Poor Law' of 1834 left an unpleasant legacy of workhouses and the stigmatisation of illegitimate births, which was not properly addressed until the Finer Report of 1974 proposed a one-parent family benefit. Though this was to be means-tested and, where possible, recouped from the absent parent, it was rejected by the Labour government of the time as being too expensive. Instead, late-twentieth century governments have implemented yet another series of measures which have failed to deliver long-term solutions for single mothers, focusing unsuccessfully on forcing fathers to pay, though history has consistently shown that many absent fathers are simply unwilling or unable to do so. The high cost of enforcement and repeated attempts at effective reform of the Child Support Agency (CSA) have now far outweighed the cost of introducing a scheme such as Finer's, which would at least have been money spent improving the incomes of single-parent households and the life chances of children.

Meanwhile Thomas Nutt shows that in some parts of the country the pre-1834 'Old Poor Law' seems to have operated more effectively than the present-day CSA, with parishes in early-nineteenth century West Yorkshire recouping 97 per cent of the cost of supporting unmarried mothers, while the CSA had arrears of almost £3.8 billion by September 2009. Looking at the Old Poor Law's success in this field as a model for present-day reformers suggests that a successful child support system requires not only institutional determination to enforce paternal responsibility but also responsiveness to absent parents' ability to pay and flexibility in the system to allow for individual circumstances, and this is more likely to be achieved if administration is devolved to the local level. "

Like I said, learn your history, and stop reinventing the wheel, if the political elite did this more often our country might not be in such a mess and we would not be ridding around on a political roundabout.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Now What?

OK so now the General Election is over and the Liberal Democrats are co-opting onto the Conservative Party, what happens next? Will voting reform come about, as the LibDems were elected for, or will power be the ruling priority in the Dave & Nick show? Whatch this space.