and the truth shall set you free!

From teddy-bears to dumplings, from Toys r’Us to Mattel, the list of stories which condemn Chinese manufacturing firms, along with their attitude towards responsible production methods, grows longer every day. Even the Fed’s Drug AGency got involved three years ago when they realised that the Certification for the Chinese factory which produced half of all Heparin in use in America referred to a factory in another Chinese City.

When the Chinese Government woke up to the fact that there were lots more people who had cash to buy things, they tried, belatedly, to impose an ethical system setting standards for, amongst other things, powdered milk for baby foods. They imposed strict limits for minimum protein content for that milk powder, without unfortunately imposing equally strict limits upon the need for the powder to be made from milk alone! So the Chinese, always quick to spot an even easier way of making a buck, found that if the milk supplied to the factories was mixed with Melamine, a plastic resin, the protein content rocketed, and they got paid more money. Unfortunately, they believed that Melamine was an inert substance, but equally unfortunately for the thousands of babies and very young children, they were wrong. 300,000 babies were hospitalized, six died and many suffered kidney problems.

Ai Weiwei, a Chinese ‘artist’, won a commission for one of his creations to be set in the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern, opposite St. Pauls Cathedral. As his idea was to lay 100 million porcelain sunflower seeds on the Hall floor, and then have visitors walk over them, presumably all exclaiming “how wonderful!” as they did so, he went to China and arranged for the manufacture of the aforementioned 100,000,000 porcelain beads, each of which had then to be ‘hand-painted’ to represent a sunflower seed. ‘Picky’ might be the term for an artist such as Ai Weiwei, who leaves no detail too small, because everything must be just right, because after all, this is ‘Art’, this is ‘Culture’, and no expense must be spared! It is a pity that the Turbine Hall had been declared ‘off-limits’ to visitors’ feet within days of the exhibit opening in October, as there were fears that ‘ceramic dust’ created by enthusiastic visitors’ feet was a possible health hazard. Without going into too much detail about ceramic engineering and manufacture, I can state that the ‘Ceramic dust’ explanation was, quite simply ‘Bollocks’!

It now seems as though our Chinese artist had too been a little haphazard with his choice of ‘sunflower seed’ manufacturer, as the paint used for the “hand-painted” seeds was just a little heavy, heavy that is in the proportion of Lead used in the ‘careful’ decoration of those 100 million seeds!

Each imitation seed was sculpted and painted by specialists working in small-scale workshops in the Chinese city of Jingdezhen, we are told. Yep, and Blair never lied about IRAQ either!

I bet Will Gompertz is equally worried about the health hazards to all those Chinese ‘workers’ who allegedly individually made and ‘hand-painted’ those 100 million ceramic seeds.

X-posted from A Tangled Web

So it is true; Ye haven’t Gone Away, y’know!

Some bloggers and sites have picked up the strange and grotesque news about the Sinn Fein/IRA about-to-be-canonised leader Gerry Adams and his none-job as an M.P. at Westminster, others have not, but i thought I’d bring it out for an airing on my bandwidth, and see what, and if, anyone has anything to say. To say, that is, in the bounds of decent conversation and debate of course.

I have my own thoughts and opinions on the very existence of this person, but leaving those aside for a moment, I would share with you an e-mail letter I wrote yesterday to my M.P. :-

Tuesday 25 January 2011

Dear Roberta Blackman-Woods,

I write with reference to the alleged resignation of Gerry Adams M.P.
from the House of Commons. Despite the fact that he has never taken his
seat to represent his constituents, he was elected to be the Member of
Parliament for West Belfast.

Now I may have missed the announcement of the Constitutional Changes
which allow Members to resign, but I was always of the belief that the
only way that an M.P. could in fact be relieved of his seat by his own
volition was for the Member to apply for, and be granted, the Crown
Stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds. This would ensure that the Member
was employed by the Crown, and was therefore disqualified of
Memebership of the Commons by this device.

The character and past history of this M.P. notwithstanding, and some
would aver that that past history gives some idea of the character of
the man, I was wondering if you could raise this point with the
relevant Parliamentary Authorities, so as to clarify the standing of
this M.P., and thus the Dail or Parliament of the Republic of Ireland
would also be advised as to this man’s standing and present employment.

Yours sincerely,

Mike Cunningham

Some gravy on your carrots?

The spokesman added: ‘South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust would like to reassure older people receiving care services that most domiciliary care workers are 100 per cent committed to providing a high standard of care as evidenced during the recent severe weather conditions.
‘There are stringent policies and procedures in place to protect vulnerable people and that domiciliary care providers are tightly regulated by the Regulation And Quality Improvement Authority.’

Well, I just bet that Ivy McCluskey’s relatives are really reassured by those words of comfort!

Aunty is talking; take heed, or else!

Good Morning, Kiddiewinkies.

Are we sitting comfortably? Then we shall begin!

We are going to be discussing numbers this morning, but you won’t need your pencils.

An approximation of the population numbers within the United Kingdom give a total of 62,000,000.

Subtract 2 million from that number; the 2 million being of the muslim persuasion, and therefore allegedly not partaking of booze.

Split up the remaining 60 million into component parts, these being the very young, children and young(er) adults, young adults, mature adults, the elderly and the old. Let us then assume that the numbers represented by Young Adults total some 15 million, again as an approximation. From that 15 million we should then subtract 14 million who either do not drink, or drink, shall we stipulate responsibly?

So we are left with 1 million who are presumed to drink heavily, get legless or binge on the booze. One million young adults, all of whom abuse their bodily systems to a point where they lose control of their faculties, get drunk on an extremely regular basis every week, and just do not seem even to care!

That number is shocking, but not unexpected, as we have all seen the pictures of the stupid and the silly, partially legless young men and women vomiting in the gutters of our towns and cities, or gracing (if that is the correct term) the Casualty and A&E departments of our hospitals.

But would anyone accept that a rise in the number of young people admitted to hospital from 230 in 2001, to 351 in 2010 is a disaster in the making?
Not too many, but the BBC Today programme did, joyously linking it with the proposed minimum price for booze in shops and supermarkets which was discussed earlier this month.

That is a figure to conjure with; a huge total of 121 idiots this year alone extra admitted to hospital suffering from symptoms of alcohol abuse. My word, the tsunami is almost upon us!

‘Only in England!’

We are advised, courtesy of the Beeb Website, that a park in Luton had been cordoned off, as policemen are wanting to speak to a man who is believed to be armed.

As a commentary, below the actual facts being given, are the words “It’s a popular area and dog walkers are complaining about the situation.”

In other words, forget about the poor bugger seated on the ground surrounded by Heckler & Koch machine pistol-toting policemen dressed of course in black, with personnel numbers obscured, forget about the possibility of either a suicide-bent terrorist, or even some poor lost soul who is confused and mentally-ill; as long as we get the dogs exercised, and be allowed to crap all over the grass (the dogs that is!). We have to get our priorities correct!

I would have thought that the most remarkable statement in the news piece is that there is a Park in Luton!

Big Brother Danny has spoken!

I have always been vaguely envious of James Delingpole. He writes for both the Telegraph and the Spectator, he is published in a wide strata of endeavour, and his prose, when he is commenting upon the vagaries of man, is nothing short of undiluted suphuric acid. But he even surpassed my standards of acidic comment this morning on the BBC Today programme.

He was part of a discussion where warm regard was being ladled over the words of the new BBC1 controller Danny Cohen, whose stated aim was to bring out ‘working class’ comedy, as the ‘middle classes had dominated BBC airwaves for too long. Now one might argue about Mr. Cohen’s thesis, in that the comedy previously broadcast had been ‘working’ or ‘middle’ or even ‘upper’; mainly because I always thought the aim of comedy was to be funny.

But Delingpole’s attack started much higher up the totem pole, as he commented that the words of Cohen reminded him of the need to do away with the licence fee altogether. ‘Here we had,’ he stated, ‘the Stalinist policies of the BBC writ large’. The Controller has spoken, and therefore all will be changed immediately. The Stalinist policies have spoken, and from this moment, no more ‘middle class tractors will be made, or middle class comedies produced. The word had come down from the North London eyries that all must change, and becasue he has spoken, all will and must change’!

Of course I paraphrase Mr. Delingpole’s comments, but the gist was truly wonderful, true and heaven to listen to. Oh, for a magic wand, to transpose someone of his character and belief into a commanding position in Government, who would casually state to the ‘Impartial BBC’, “Change your ways, or you yourselves shall indeed be changed!” Alas, that day is indeed a long, long way away!

Of such are wars won.

We are reminded today of the passing of one of the many unsung heroes of Britain, one of those who fought without ever spilling blood; but without whom it is said that the war would have lasted another two years at least. He was John Herivel, a mathematician, cypher and coding expert, Belfast-born and founder member of Bletchley Park’s Hut 6.
He was the one man who, because he put himself into the minds and ways of the enemy, realised that they were, for the most part, just ordinary people; and because they were so ordinary, could therefore be relied upon to act like ordinary people do. In other words, most of us are set in our habits, and because we are lazy, try to do the minimum neccessary to achieve the desired result.

Herivel’s team’s task was to decipher the Enigma ‘Red’ cipher by hand, before the formidable mechanical-electronic ‘bombes’ invented by the genius of Alan Turing made the cracking of any cipher a little easier. Herivel, as I said, tried to think like an German signals operator who was setting up his machine first thing in the morning, and imagined the tired man, possibly hung-over or sleep-deprived in his first movements. The manner in which the Enigma cypher machine made its initial settings known to the recipient was dependent upon a three-letter combination, and the operator had to move the rotor and key settings according to the initial choice. He reasoned that a lazy or tired man might move the combination as little as possible, to gain some time before he could complete the rest of the setting tasks, and he then realised that, if the three letter combination was little different to the settings from the previous day, the possibilities came down from 17,576 to a couple of dozen combinations.

The speed with which the Enigma ‘Red’ cypher was broken was proven during the invasion of France, when it was guessed that the German operators were under continual pressure, and prone to making, not mistakes but moves which could more easily be guessed, and so the ‘Herivel Tip’ was proven, and history was changed forever.

He married Elizabeth Maude Jones in 1947, who died in 2005, and is survived by two daughters. Herivel; now that is a name to be remembered, as with so many of his compatriots; a story of simple genius and devotion to one’s Country; not a politician, not a consultant, but an unarmed warrior and patriot.

X-posted from A Tangled Web

labour’s list!

Leader of the Opposition Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP

Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Shadow Deputy Prime Minister and Shadow Secretary of State for International Development
Rt Hon Harriet Harman MP

Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Rt Hon Ed Balls MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Rt Hon Douglas Alexander MP

Shadow Secretary of State for the Home Department and Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities Rt Hon Yvette Cooper MP

Chief Whip Rt Hon Rosie Winterton MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Election Coordinator Rt Hon Andy Burnham MP

Shadow Lord Chancellor, Secretary of State for Justice (with responsibility for political and constitutional reform) Rt Hon Sadiq Khan MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (with responsibility for the policy review) Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Rt Hon John Denham MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Health Rt Hon John Healey MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Rt Hon Caroline Flint MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Defence Rt Hon Jim Murphy MP

Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Angela Eagle MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Meg Hillier MP

Shadow Leader of the House of Commons Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Transport Maria Eagle MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Mary Creagh MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Rt Hon Shaun Woodward MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland Ann McKechin MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Wales Rt Hon Peter Hain MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Ivan Lewis MP

Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office and the Olympics Rt Hon Tessa Jowell MP

Shadow Attorney-General Rt Hon Baroness Scotland of Ashtal QC

Not the newly-amended list of the members of the Shadow Cabinet, almost mirror-like in its minted names; but actually:-

The latest list of the thieves and other scrubbers who should be up on charges relating to the Expenses Saga!

Tickets please; I thang gyew!

We are, in the next fifteen years, to host yet another abortion in the shape of the North-South High Speed Train, scheduled to run from London to Manchester and Leeds via Birmingham.

It will cost £27,000,000,000, that is 27 Billion pounds as an estimate, and when I tell you that a civil engineering project this size has never come in on budget, with the average overrun of 50-60%; this meaning that the true costs, the costs in reality to the British taxpayer, will be more in the region of 54 Billion pounds, or £54,000,000,000.

That, my friends, is £54 billion more that we do not have.

If the plans ever come to fruition, there will be 36 trains per day six days a week. Just think of the impact of a noise source of somewhere around 125 Db, that is equivalent to the take-off noise of a Boeing 747 running every two minutes past a garden near You!

And what do we get, for this huge cost?

Well, People will be able to travel from London to Manchester very quickly, and there is supposed to be lots of people wanting to travel fast.

Don’t know about you, but when they cannot even keep time with the trains they have at present, what are the chances that it will, if it is ever built, be another typically British farce!

Magic Moments

The scene….a living room in a home sited in Durham City

The players…….Grandson; Small boy, aged Two years and 11 months; seated on Grandad’s knee at computer.
grey-bearded Grandad

Mummy………..”Joshua, come to Mummy and put your coat on, Daddy and Mummy are going home.”

Grandson………”Want to stay with Grandad!”

Small boy’s hand wrapped around my finger.


Value, or Values?

When politicians, or those who use politics for their own ends, become enamoured of a policy, or actions and changes which are derived from such a policy, they would be best advised to remember a very old Kikuyu proverb. That proverb, put quite simply, was “If you discard a tradition, or way of life; you must replace it with Something of Value”.

In times gone by, as in todays frenetic world, the need for change, the urge to be seen to ‘be up to date’, to be ‘ahead of the curve’ has always been paramount. As with Groundnuts in Tanganyika, where a huge investment of British taxpayers money was frittered away on a scheme thought up and prosecuted by so-called civil servants who had never grown grass, never mind groundnuts; so with the worldwide adoration of A.G.W. Global Warming, and the effect of Man’s efforts upon this activity, has always been controversial, to say the least. Many scientists, most of whom were looking for grants to study the effects or possible effects of AGW, made an alliance with their devils, embraced the whole theory and took the money, because of simple cause and effect.

Theory + Cash = Scientific Studies Continued; Headlines printed; Fame and Glory await!

Some, or at least those more cautious, stood back while their confreres got all the research grants, all the computer ‘modelling’, and of course the ability to choose the points or places where the data came from, and; lo and behold; the theories were all proven! Well, proven to those who were conducting the ‘research’ as well as those who ‘benefited’ from the theory and research. People like Al Gore!

Also people like Premier Anna Bligh, more of who later; but firstly, a bit of recent history. In 1974, torrential downpours hit Northern and Eastern Australia, causing massive flooding of both township and prairie alike, huge areas becoming nothing more than inland lakes for weeks on end. The flood effects on Brisbane in particular were the spur which caused the Wivenhoe Dam to be built, with its primary facility being one of flood mitigation, with water supply and hydro power purely secondary. The dam, built under auspices of the Government of Premier Joh Bjelke Petersen, was designed to act as a hydraulic buffer, which would ‘soak up’ the future excess water if it came down from the upland water sources, and then when the ‘flooding’ danger was passed, the water could then be released in manageable quantities which would not breach the strengthened defences around Brisbane.

The dam was built to cope, and only cope, with flood mitigation times, and for no other main purpose. The hydro-electricity, the sports and recreational facilities, the water storage and retention; all were secondary to that one ambition, to allow the flood waters hitting the Brisbane river to be managed successfully!

Enter Anna Bligh, great-great-etc.-etc. granddaughter of Captain Bligh, who didn’t have much luck with controlling people either. Now Anna is a typical politician, always on the lookout for a cause or a policy which could be regarded as ‘progressive’ to champion; so to her, the cause of Global Warming, together with drought and water management, must have seemed like manna from above. The perfect cause; sounds ‘good and caring’ all the others are climbing on the band-wagon, so she, and of course Queensland, mustn’t get left behind! So she ditches the facts, which are that the dam is there to manage floodwaters, and decides that ‘Water’ is the ‘next big thing’. Save it, horde it, ration it; doing the things which come pretty naturally to all Socialist-minded politicians, which is telling other people what to do! The dam must be allowed to fill up, keep on rationing water, never mind the experts who have told her that she should listen to them instead of to the ‘global warming èlite’, make sure that no water is allowed to escape from Wivenhoe because ‘you never know when the next drought comes along’! Anna also reckons that her family life comes before the needs of her voters, which is why she flew to Sydney at the height of the dramatic days in Brisbane because of her husband’s birthday party!

Happy Birthday Anna’s husband!

X-posted from A Tangled Web

No Fascists Allowed, By Order!

Don’t know if anyone else has read about the BNP candidate being removed from a hustings meeting for the Saddleworth by-election?

Seems as though only certain candidates (the usual suspects) were invited to a hustings meeting, but the BNP bloke decided to sit in. Then the police moved in at the behest of the Labour candidate, and strongarmed the BNP man outside; where they then apologised and said ‘they were only doing their job’. (As an aside, someone must remind me where I have heard that phrase before)!

Now it is usually a sign of a left-wing mentality, but don’t they, as a group, dislike anyone even spouting any idea which speaks against their policies; any rhetoric which argues against the slimy ideals which permeate the Labour/Socialist/Communist theology is unwelcome, unwanted and usually unheard because they succeed in preventing any speech against their philosophy.

As I saw myself during the last General Election, the favoured candidates are seated, and the others are ignored, ‘because it wasn’t considered appropriate!’ So once again, the BNP are demonised, are reviled and are ejected. I wonder why?

Bad, or Worse?

After thirteen years of Nanny-State bullying from bloody Labour, what do you honestly believe the reaction to the ‘Nudge-Bloody Nudge’ brigade from the Con-Dims is going to be?

We are, at least some of us believe we are, old enough and sad enough to determine our own way to hell, if that is where we are bound. So why does the likes of Oliver Letwin, of all people, believe that his ideas of sweetly but firmly telling us to eat our ‘veggies’ are going to work any better than the last lot?

If I approach the checkout in Tesco, and see a Government advert telling me to eat wisely, or have to reach to gain access to a carton of double cream, my response shall be a considered, but elegantly phrased one; namely:-

Piss Off!

Strange, but possibly true!

Based upon the excellent Collyer Political Climate Model, I would like to produce, to the no-doubt deafening applause of the faithful, my own Mike Predictions of 2011.

Thirty-three Conservative MP’s are interviewed by undercover reporters from the Sun while conducting Constituency surgeries. Thirty-two are recorded agreeing with the male reporter that the Page Three model shown in the Sun that day has indeed got lovely big tits! The thirty-third stated that he was not turned on by women with big tits as he (the MP) was as bent as a fish-hook!
The balance of the Lib-dem MP’s and Ministers who had not been outed by the Telegraph’s reporters sign a joint letter in the Independent stating that the Tory side of the Coalition are a bunch of wankers. An immediate statement from Downing Street says that the Lib-Dem letter is grossly unfair to wankers!
Dave Milliband sends a round-robin to all Lib-Dem MP’s offering three Mars-Bars and a Kit-Kat if they will sling their hooks from the Coalition, and climb on board with Newish Labour (he explained that Alistair is still working on the Party name). Only two Lib-Dems defect, as the others could not read past a seven-year-old child’s level!
David Cameron is recorded on a microphone which he is unaware is ‘live’. that he is fed up of ‘nudging’ the stupid dumb uncaring electorate to give more to Charity as part of his ‘Big Society’, and will be instructing George Osborne to raise the standard rate of Income Tax to 45%, because, in his own words, “We have to get our message across better; and if they see they have to pay, then the job is done!” Osborne’s reply is not recorded, but an on-duty policeman stated that he heard a terrible scream coming from the front room of Osborne’s home at No. 11 Downing Street.
Nick Clegg is the target of a leadership coup within the Liberal-Democrats Westminster organisation, but escapes because the plotters could not agree on a Campaign Headquarters building.
Black six-inch tall Headlines are printed on all British newspapers as they record the only time that Gordon Brown visits the House of Commons so far this year. The headlines do not record what Gordon slipped or tripped over, upon his return to his constituency home, but the RSPCA does record the demise of fifteen cats and three dogs from homes immediately adjacent to the Brown’s property!
Millions of invertebrates fall all over Westminster, but it is definitely proved that this is not a result of Anthropomorphic Global Worming. One thousand two hundred and twenty-three men of Asian origin were detained at the same time under anti-terrorist legislation. Sixteen tons of ‘Amfo’ explosive was confiscated at the same time`. However, a senior Deputy Assistant Temporary Chief Constable was quick to state that this did not mean that all muslims were terrorists, but just a tiny minority.
Arrangements were being made for Nick Clegg to address the Tory Party conference, and for ‘Our Dave’ to speak to the Liberal-Democrats. These arrangements were actually going well until it was mentioned to Nick Clegg, who had to be immediately rushed to A&E at St. Thomas’ Hospital with all the symptoms of advanced pregnancy.
The new Trade Union legislation, brought in by the Coalition Government, which outlaws strike action without a majority vote from all Union members listed, was tested this month by strike ballots from Unite, NUT, ASLEF, RCMidwives, CDNA and the TGWU. All ballots had to be declared null and void due to the lack of qualified Ballot Scrutineers. The only qualifications required were that the Scrutineers had to be able to count, as well as read. The Unite ballot, brought under the auspices of the Union members allegedly working for British Airways, was also questioned because the B.A. Union Representative who called the Strike Ballot had been on sick leave for fifteen years, was living permanently in Los Angeles, and was only recognised by other staff members by voice recognition software!
Dave Milliband receives good and bad news from a series of polls he has placed in the field. The good news is that he gets better name recognition amongst those polled than his brother did. The bad news is that 90% of those questioned thought that he parted his hair on the other side.
A legal challenge to the detention of fifty-four Asylum-seeker children, all of whom were from the same ‘extended family’ and who were of mixed Irish-Somali backgrounds, failed on the grounds that if they were released, they would dissappear into O’Houlihan’s Barn.
The whole of the UN peacekeeping force in Haiti, deployed after the earthquake two years ago, were withdrawn earlier this month. Along with the UN troops, all the Aid agencies and NGO’s also ceased operations and went back to their own homes and countries. This despite almost no reconstruction work achieved in the two years, a huge cholera death toll, explosive violence and rioting from the inhabitants, and evidence of huge amounts of corruption at both local as well as Haitian Government level. The level of frustration felt by all the people who foolishly had spent almost two years trying to knock some sense into the thick skulls of the locals was concisely put by a French doctor, when he said, “Bugger this for a lark; we’re going home!”
X-posted from A Tangled Web

Suspicion, why torture me?

In amongst the many differing headlines and ‘think-pieces’ on the ongoing murder investigation of Joanna Yeates, there aren’t many repudiations of the concerted witch-hunt seen immediately after the arrest, questioning and subsequent release of ‘the blue-haired eccentric professor’.

Now neither I not any other thinking person in these isles knows for certain if Chris Jefferies was ever a realistic suspect, nor if his flat held other secrets regarding his private life which were scrutinised by detectives. What I do know for certain is that life will never again be the same for this mild-mannered ex-teacher. He has been subjected to the merciless spotlight of mass media hysteria, and I think that the only person to come out of this event with any credibility is Mr. Jefferies.

Cast your minds back to those days when Ipswich was flooded with media and press covering the murder of those prostitutes. An Ipswich resident, Tom Stephens, was arrested and questioned. His life will never, ever, be the same because of revelations about his private life which were aired in full and lurid detail by both tabloid and TV. His commercial ‘interludes’ with some of these whores was laid out for all the world to gloat over, and he has absolutely no redress whatsoever, because all reporting was considered to be relevant and besides, in the view of Joshua Rozenberg of the BBC “Juries are pretty robust, and they’re always told to forget anything they may have read in the press, and the trial these days is usually up to a year after somebody is arrested.”

Al I would ever say about Chris Jefferies’ life is that I do hope he hasn’t got a copy of ‘Mein Kampf’ on his bookshelf; hasn’t visited the BNP website regularly on his computer, or worst of all been reading the collected speeches of Margaret Thatcher, because he really would be condemned out of hand!

Nudge, nudge; wink, wink!

When we, the people of these Islands, decide to elect a Government, we also expect them to reflect our own thoughts and wishes. If the majority lean towards the Left, a Labour majority will and has taken power. If the reverse, a lean to the Right with a Conservative Government will emerge. In either choice, a definite pattern is expected, and of course usually happens. Labour is for more State control of everything, the Conservatives espoused greater freedom for the individual. Obviously, with such an intricate item as national politics, one cannot deliver a pithy short-form judgement in just a few words, but one has to try.

We now have a European-style animal in the bull-pit of Westminster, with a Coalition Government in power, and for some, including this writer, it is the same as a camel, which may be described as a horse designed by a committee. The sharp focus of Conservatism has been blunted, some would say damaged, by the woolly leftism of the Liberal Democrats, who now weild an authority out of all proportion to their backing within Parliament, or even within the wider world of the electorate. With all due respect to Lib-Dem supporters, their type of politics, of a belief that all who govern should be given the benefit of the doubt at all times, of a ‘bent’ towards consensus and accomodation. Their apparatchiks, such as Jenny Tonge, the big-mouthed and vociferous supporter of all things Palestinian for example, are left-leaning to the point where most Labour activists would flinch from even hearing, never mind supporting, those ideals.

But, one also must accept, the Coalition is in power; it has ridden out the storm over tuition fees, albeit with abstentions and loose-hipped Vince Cable well to the fore, giving a pretty good imitation of Pontius Pilate having a really bad day. But they already have their own stock of bad habits, these Con-Dems. They would like to tell us that we should, in their own version of the ‘Good Life’, all give more to Charity, but daren’t adopt the Labour model; which is to tell us what they are going to do with our money, and then do it! So they want to ‘nudge’ us to donate, whenever we use a cash or credit card, or at an ATM. They want the credit card companies and big banks to ‘nudge’ us, to remind us that there are poor starving children in Ethiopia, or in any other part of the African continent, so our consciences will boost the incomes of Charities.

Then they would like to accomodate the medical vultures who infest the transplant industry here in Britain, those who wish to switch to a system whereby they would not even wait to swoop upon an accident or emergency patient until the A&E Resident has even decided that there is no hope of recovery from trauma or illness. They will be moving to a system of ‘Implied consent ‘ because the question has no space for disagreement. The two ‘allowed replies’ on the driving licence application form will be either ‘Yes, I will sign up to be a donor’ or ‘I do not want to answer this question now’. So even if you vehemently disagree with the ‘consent question’, there is simply no way you can get your objection noted and recorded. If you are lying on some A&E slab, with either your brains or guts leaking all over, one of the afore-mentioned vultures will come around, state that as you simply had avoided answering the ‘donation question’, you could be deemed to have replied in the affirmative at a later date; and ‘can he have the eyes and heart now, as we have two prospective transplant patients in theatre right now’!

Don’t get me wrong, I am all in favour of transplants as such, but am even more strongly in favour of the ‘donation’ idea. A donation is a gift, from the owner to the recipient, and there should be no sign or evidence of any intermediary. No government or medical intervention should take the place of that word ‘Donor’, because what is freely given is a gift, what is taken by virtue of regulation or decree is a tax or an impost, and as such is wrong!

I have personally seen the medical vultures in operation, whilst in South Africa. I had transported the grieving parents of a child, gravely injured in an accident, to the hospital. There they were told, sympathetically enough, of their son’s condition and prognosis, which was fatal. But there was a second medic in the queue to speak with this couple, and all he was asking that the parents sign the various forms which he held on a clip-board. He was very persistent in his requests, but rather vague as to the ends built in to the forms. Being a very interested observer, and also being both hard-headed and willing to speak out, I took this young white-coated clown to one side, and asked, yes asked would be a good word, what he wished of my friends. Very reluctantly, he showed me the forms, which of course were a series of consents for tissue and organ removal from their dying son.
I made him, and his Administrator, very aware what would happen if the mortal remains of my friends’ son were not released for burial as complete as possible, as they were in no state to give cogent thought to having their son’s body plundered in the name of medical excellence and study.

To donate is good, if you are so inclined; anything else is theft!