SadButMadLad's Blog

Just another blog complaining about anything and everything

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Philip James Woolas

A couple of points not really mentioned in the many blogs about the subject.

Some commentators were saying that the only reason the case was brought before an election court was because the margin was so small – 103 votes. In fact I don’t think this would be the case. If the margin was greater but the winning candidate commited the same crime then the benefit of winning the case would be greater and the loser would get a bigger bloody nose. So more reason to take a case to court.

Another aspect that has made me think about the case and the law surrounding it is that the individual MP is the one who is punished, not the party. This being that the law originally comes from the Edwardian era of being a gentleman and only gentlemen of good standing would go through with the election process. But I suspect that MPs of that time were the same as the MPs of this time – corrupt but showing a thin veneer of respectibility. In modern times, the role of the party in organising and controlling MPs has become more prominent and more centralised. I think that as the party has quite a bit of say in the selection of candidates and in the help they give (centralised printing services for pamphlets for instance) then the party should also take some of the responsibility.

This is especially the case that the result of this case causes the production of future election pamphlets to go underground because election agents would not be prepared to do the research and check their sources to ensure that their facts were correct. Instead front organisations would be created and they would produce the scurrilous literature instead. So long as only the person can be punished by the election court then those who produce this underground election material would not get punished.

To ensure that this doesn’t happen, the election law has to be changed (just like all other laws are changed to cope with changes in society) to ensure that the party is punished too. That way even if independant non-attributable literature was published it would still be obvious which candidate it was backing and therefore it should be the responsibility of the party to ensure that all literature produced on their behalf was valid and correct.

The photo by the way is not a doctored, photoshopped image – its a “superimposition”.

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Written by sbml

November 6, 2010 at 22:00

Parking should be free

An open question to anyone about having to pay for parking on the road. Why do we have to a pay?

We already pay road tax for the upkeep of roads, even though only a small proportion of it is actually spent on the roads and other transport infrastructure. So why are drivers having to pay another “tax” on top for the privilege of parking on the road.

Paying for parking on private land (eg. NCP) or in public car parks is different. There the charges help to pay for the upkeep of the site and the wages of the parking attendants.

But paying to park on the road? It just does not make sense. The only reason it exists is so that a council can collect money. A tax in effect.

It can’t be to dissuade people from parking otherwise it would be a fine. It can’t be to ensure that drivers only park for as long as they need to and no longer. That would happen only if the person didn’t need to use their car anymore. The whole point about parking on the road is that the person has come to carry out a time limited task of some sort – shopping, visiting the dentist, going to the bank, etc.

Does paying provide any benefit? Does it mean more people can park? Nope, there are only so many parking places. Does it allow the council to use the money to improve the local environment (better roads, better lighting, better signs, etc.)? Nope, it only goes to pay for parking attendants to go around slapping parking fines on drivers.

So why do we have to pay? Because the state tell us we have to pay and invents laws to fine us when we don’t – that why. Can we get the state to change their mind? Nope, because democracy doesn’t work. We don’t vote for our elected officials on the basis of small issues such as this. We vote on tribal lines. So we are effectively stuck with this stupid situation until the revolution comes. Or until an elected official gets off their arse and realises that they should be doing stuff for their community, not for their own political ends.

Removing parking charges would be a huge benefit to local communities. It would increase the footfall in local markets/shops because people would not have to pay £1 minimum (for example) just to spend 5 mins popping into a shop. An increase in business’ profits would mean that more businesses would be attracted to the area, meaning more employment, meaning more stuff to buy and generally making the area more attractive. So parking on the road should be free and parking in public car parks should be free for an initial short period (15 mins) of time.

Going off at a tangent, but that’s one reason why supermarkets are so attractive – they have free parking. How many of you go to a supermarket to buy a few items rather than go to their local market to do the same? Think about why you do it. Do you do it because you can drive and park for free or because the prices are cheaper in the supermarket? Do you still do it when the market is closer?

In my local town, there are currently two supermarkets and a good local market. There are plans to open up two new supermarkets and obviously the traders in the local market are up in arms about it with petitions being filled in. The supermarkets counter by saying that customers can use their car parks for free and do some shopping in the supermarket and some shopping in the local market. A tacit acknowledgement that free parking is one of the main reasons why people use supermarkets. But how many customers will do some of their shopping in a supermarket and then pop to the butcher in the local market. None, because unless the butcher’s prices were very low compared to the supermarket there would be no reason to do so. So the supermarket wins and the local shopkeepers have to go out of business. Some would say this is just standard market driven competition. But is the competition fair? I don’t think so, and not just because of the supermarket’s immense buying power. The supermarkets can control what parking charges are for their shoppers and they make it free to encourage more shoppers to visit. Local shop keepers and markets don’t have the same control about the parking charges in their area so are at a disadvantage straight away.

So to reiterate, parking on the road should be free and parking in public car parks should be free for an initial short period (15 mins) of time.

Written by sbml

October 29, 2010 at 13:50

Funnies #1

Descriptions of Gordon Brown on Amazon’s page for his book – “Beyond the Crash: Overcoming the First Crisis of Globalisation”, or it’s alternative titles of “How to save the world in three easy steps” and “Global economics for dummies”.

Descriptions of Gordon Brown on Amazon

Written by sbml

October 29, 2010 at 10:50

Acorn Close, Barlby

A primary school in Barlby, near Selby, just south of York has taken leave of their senses and given into to a few obnoxious residents who complained about noise levels. Obviously everyone in the blogosphere and in the MSM are going WTF! Has the world gone mad? Have the rights of a few old people* living in Acorn Close, Barlby trumped the rights of dozens of young kids who need to exercise?

Yes is the answer. It’s all down to 13 years of political correctness where everything has to be fair and everyone has human rights. This means that the human rights of someone who buys a house near a school gets it into their head that they have a right to complain about the noise levels of kids playing. This is kids playing at lunch time. The middle of the day. When right minded people are usually at work.

But why did the council get in touch with the school and raise the noise issue with them? Are they politically correct left leaning councillors? Not quite.

Even though Labour have been in power nationally for 13 years, this is a Conservative council since 2003. But local councillors are just politicians like MPs. Those councillors who do have power, the ones on committees, like to keep their empires and enhance them. Being Tory or Labour doesn’t make the slightest bit of difference. They all care about themselves and not their electors.

The other factor in how the council reacted is the council officers. These are employees of the council and are not elected officials. These are the real poison in councils. These people are the ones on excessively high salaries (some CEOs of councils are paid more than the PM) who bow to no one, not even councillors. These are the ones with real power. These are the ones who are the left leaning politically correct busy bodies even if the whole council was comprised of Tory councillors. These are the ones who make life awkward and difficult for anyone with any common sense.

So the council, read council officials who have nothing better to do except create work for themselves to justify their existence, raised a meeting with the school and told them that they had received complaints about the noise. They did this because they had a duty to react after any complaint. This means they react without thought. So the council officials have pretty much told everyone that they don’t have any common sense and didn’t talk to the complainants to ensure that they really had a reason for making their complaint. No, what they did is go straight to the school because that way they can have a meeting because having meetings means that they can discuss the issue and pass the buck on to someone else. In this case the school.

So the school gets the story from the council that complaints have been made. And the council have probably talked up the issue because a silly little complaint would be worth having a meeting about would it? So the school hears the story as a major complaint has been received by the council, that the council have had to think about noise abatement orders (a way of making the issue bigger than it is and scaring the school further) and possibly call in consultants (more scaring about the thought of expensive consultants) to check the noise levels with their fancy machines.

The school’s board now have to react because they have been passed the buck by the council. And they are worried that they might incur extra costs if they don’t follow the council’s advice. This is advice from a person who probably has no legal background nor intelligence. The only thing they have was perceived authority based on FUD. The school’s board, who don’t have the background nor experience of how to handle such situations as they are only ordinary people wanting to do best for the kids, do what they can only do in such situations. Issue a ban as that is what they’ve seen loads of other organisations do in such situations. They can’t talk to the complainants, because the council wouldn’t tell them who they are because of data protection issues (amazing that organisations use this when they don’t want to do something, but freely ignore it when it’s our data they lose). They can’t negotiate with the householders who live on the other side of the fence. An acoustic fence mind you. They can’t find out what’s causing the irritation to the householders to work out if its a particular thing or just the noise in general. So what they do ban noise making activities. They stagger the kids playtime – this only lengthens the noise making period. They ban hard ball games – as if that making more noise than kids screaming.

This will not solve the problem as the complainant (there will be a key person, the other two are just hangers on) will probably not be satisfied till the school is shut down. They probably lived there for many years, years before the school was built in 2002. They probably didn’t want the school then. Rather than move, they demand that their human rights are taken into account and that they are more important than the human rights of dozens of kids. They were probably the single person who complained when they school put in a planning application for an extension in 2007. This ties in with reports in some newspapers that the noise level increased due to “funnelling” after the recent redesign of the school. And this redesign and extension must have been big to change the noise levels so much. You would think so. But in fact it’s a single class room. Not even two story. And conditions were imposed as part of the planning including the installation of an acoustic fence. All I can think of about the noise objection is that this was put in by a very pedantic NIMBY. How does a single class room extension make the slightest difference to noise levels outside? Does a single classroom extension suddenly increase the number of kids at the school to unimaginably high levels where the noise levels are unbearable.

Unlike a lot of journalists, I’ve did a quick bit of research. Only five minutes mind. I’m not paid to do this kind of work. Amazing what you can find out on Google and some thought.

Oh, and have a look at the attached picture and see how many houses are near the school. The green line is the acoustic fence. The red box is the single classroom extension.

Links:
North Yorkshire Planning Committee report on Barlby Primary school extension – 2007

GoogleMaps of Barlby Primary school

* I’m only assuming that it is old people because they stereotypically are the ones who are at home during the day and who can be arsey enough to make a complaint. I make this assumption from Streetview where I notice that the houses in the local estate are predominately bungalows and houses have very neat front gardens. The are other possibilities, but pensioners are my guess.

Update: More info on BBC news item here, and Guardian article here.

Written by sbml

September 18, 2010 at 00:04

The Marriage Scam

What is marriage? Is is a legal form of partnership between two people where their property rights are legally recognised and in which they can take advantage of their tax situation? Or is it a religious ceremony undertaken by two people to show their commitment to each other in front of their peers?

In modern times the two have been mixed up and this is starting to cause friction as human rights are being encouraged to be expressed. Marriage was introduced as a legal concept to allow and man and his wife to share their property with each other and their family. It was also introduced so that the state could decide who were allowed to marry and who weren’t. Originally this was the concensus of the society at the time. Since religion was a key part of society at that time, marriage was defined by relgious concepts and so only a man and woman could marry and they had to be of certain ages. Some places even stipulated that the couple had to have the same skin colour. Some places even try and stop a married couple from having children. Initially there were no problems because the law coincided with society’s views.

As society changed the laws didn’t. So we now get to the situation where marriage laws are tied in with the Christian marriage even though there are many different faiths and concepts accepted by society. Christian marriage doesn’t allow homosexual partnerships but society has changed to accept it.

To understand how to change it we need to understand the purpose of the State and religion. The State’s role is to administer society’s laws. The key points understood by any society is the right to life, the concept of property ownership, the need of a society to defend itself from others, and that no one should harm others. These are the basic tenets under which laws should be created. No more no less. To be able to adminster the state needs some money and it does this through taxes.

The purpose of religion is to allow groups of people to be controlled by authority figures. This is a variation of the caveman principle of tribal leader. This is because the human being is naturally part of a group in which there needs to be a leader. The other purpose of religion is to allow people to understand their world around them in simple terms and to accept such things as unfortunate events as “acts of god”. The human brain is not very good at coming to terms with random events and uses religion as a form of understanding it. Finally religion allows groups of people to define the way they live where they can be with like minded people. Be it with black caps, white towels, shaven heads, long beards, or what ever. Religion needs some money to create the temples and it collects them in the form of taxes and voluntary donations.

Marriage as a legal concept should not be any more than recognising that the couple in the marriage have made a contract to share their property. So any problems arising from breaking these contracts, such as inheritence and the sharing of tax, can be sorted out through a legal system. Generally a country needs a single legal system to ensure that everyone is fairly treated, but that doesn’t presuppose the existence of other legal systems which can be used if both sides of the argument freely care to use it.

Marriage as a religious concept is the understanding that (generally) a man and woman have made a commitment to each other for the rest of their lives. As part of this the relgious group allow the couple to have sex and to procreate to create more adherents to their religion.

Therefore if a couple are not part of a religious group that forbids a particular practise, then the state should not get involved in the marriage. It should allow any form of partnership and ensure that the property laws are upheld. It could mean that legal marriages between siblings are allowed as they show that they wish to make a contract in which their property (usually the home they live in) will be shared. It also means that homosexuals can legally marry to show that they wish to make a contract to share their property.

In both cases, if there are any children in the union (biological, adopted, guardianships, relatives, etc.) their rights are upheld by the state just like any other person. They are also allowed to take advantage of any property rights.

In order for this split in different marriages to take place the best course of action would be for the State to remove itself from the control of marriage. In effect marriage would be privatised and allowed to be administered by which ever group the couple belong to, be that religious or other.

Written by sbml

August 21, 2010 at 14:02

A Journey to nowhere

So Tony Blair is giving the proceeds of his book The A Journey to charidy. So wappy do. He can do that because he’s already had a £4m advance for the book. I think he’s finally realised that his book will not make any money and so instead of him earning another £50k, he’s decided to give it away. Pure publicity as everyone will think that he giving loads away when in actual fact he is giving nothing away. As if you thought that Tony Liar would change his spots when he left politics. He never left.

Written by sbml

August 16, 2010 at 20:31

Posted in Politics

Tagged with ,

Sofa government

The old New Labour government spent some £2.8m on an efficiency drive when they were in power. This was not across a number of departments. No. This was at the Department for Communities and Local Government. One single department.

In the twisted logic of the left, they decided that spending £2.8m was worthwhile in making efficiencies. Maybe it was if they saved £3m or more. However from reports it doesn’t seem like they mad good use of the money. One of the things they spent the £2.8m on was sofas. Bright red sofas. With high backs. Posh ones at that. Designer ones. Ones which have “I saw you coming” type prices. £4120 each. They bought 28 of them at an overall cost of £115K. They must have been very special sofas for the department to think that it would make the department “more practical” and save money.

This waste was announced by Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, who said: “As sure as day turns to night, Labour Governments waste your money.

“Struggling families and pensioners will be outraged that their hard-earned cash has been used to pay for luxury designer sofas to create a ‘peaceful oasis’ for council tax officials.

“This shows the total disregard the last Labour government had for the public purse.”

UPDATE:

More waste identified here – http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article7149080.ece

Written by sbml

June 12, 2010 at 21:55