Friday, 3 April 2015

Bird House II for Putin Debate

After a returned form from the DVLA due to a missing entry, I finally got my 60th birthday present from Hay yesterday. Terribly naff, but I love it!

Spotted this in Bath yesterday - not a patch on my rustic birdy house. Far too twee, precise and Scandinavian - it just doesn't have that artisan touch.

Was reading an article in the Times yesterday about Putin getting bolshie about the Baltic states and using the argument of the number of ethnic Russians living there (about 25%).

There's one flaw with his argument - the reason there are so many Russians living in the likes of Latvia and Lithuania is perhaps that they don't actually want to return to live under a corrupt Russian dictatorship, otherwise they'd have moved back there years ago. There is an increasing number of rich Russians currently moving to the Baltics, precisely to escape Putin's money grabbing allies. Perhaps the Balts should take a poll of the ethnic Russians on the sly to see how many would like to live under Putin.

Watched The Debate on TV last night (boredom alert!).

Can't see why some parties have an issue about profit where the NHS in concerned, Surely the patient comes first and, so long as it doesn't cost more, I can see no problem with outsourcing. Councils (including Labour ones) have been doing it for decades with bin collections and suchlike. Not allowing the profit motive into public service is a purely ideological stance. Let's see evidence, not ideology. If someone can show it's bad on the basis of evidence, then I'd be the first to decry it, but if it's being used to either save money or overcome unmanageable waiting lists, then I have no issue. Not one of the parties suggested that those who can pay for free NHS services do so (like free prescriptions for all over 60s when you can't even afford to retire at 60 - unless you're a public servant), and totally free delivery of services being limited only to those not capable of paying.

Farage, although I'm not a supporter, has a point that mass immigration depresses wages for the uskilled. Oversupply of labour produces lower wages - a simple fact of economics. If you employ more people on lower wages, that's actually quite left wing, but if it's with the sole intent to increase profit with no increase in the number of workers, then that's right wing. An additional fact of economics is that pensions are unsustainable on the basis of the native UK population's reproduction rate. Pensions are a pyramid scheme that require a growing population of working age. Catch 22. What's the solution? I'd say making people responsible for their own pensions and limiting immigration, along with limiting publicly funded pensions only to those with historically low wages over their lifetimes. A bit of self-responsibility wouldn't go amiss.

Free university education - I'm all for it. But not when you lower standards to such a degree and invent Micky Mouse degrees so that 50% of the young get to go there. Limit it to rigorous degrees and the cleverest 10% (or even 20%), and then I'd support free university education. The current situation is an example of the profit motive going drastically wrong - university education has been sold off to the private sector, lock stock and barrel.

I'm wary of any nationalist parties - a common mantra is; "If the population of Scotland votes to stay in Europe, why should we accept at exit from Europe based on the rest of the UK?" But you could make exactly the same argument for Lancashire or Yorkshire. Pedagogues, the lot of them.Sure, UKIP is nationalist, but UK nationalist and not regionally nationalist.

Defence? I have only a few words; 1) the prime duty of a government is the protection of its citizens; 2) what is the biggest threat to the western Europe? Putin!

Zero hours contracts? I was on a zero hours contract when between jobs working as a courier, driver for the NHS Logistics Service and driving cars for garages. I was damned glad of the chance to make some money and would be the last person to want zero hours contracts eliminated.

Milliband - too left. Cameron - too right. SNP - irrelevant for me. Plaid wossit - irrelevant for me. Green - got some good points, but far too idealistic and not grounded in realpolitik (I may be wrong, but did she sound Australian?). UKIP - again some good points, but a suspect following.

I think I'm going to vote Lib-Dem - not because of Clegg (who may lose his seat anyway), but on the basis of our local Lib-Dem MP, Steve Webb, who does a fantastic job in representing his constituency, actually listens to his electorate and acts accordingly. I've never known an MP who communicates so much and so well. They also have the best chance of being a rein on the wilder excesses of Labour or Tory.


A Heron's View said...

I find it very interesting reading your perspective on UK politics, especially because I no longer live there and am no longer involved.
Politics and politicians always rise in me the short phrase of "If only..." on reflection of course the true picture of what needs to be done and what can be done are governed as always by what is possible plus the willingness to see out the job of actually fulfilling election promises.
Which is why I dislike politicians per se

Chairman Bill said...

Unfortunately, what needs to be done is generally at variance with the electorate's wishes, which are centred on little more than a plethora of well paid jobs with low tax.