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Posts Tagged ‘UK’

Cuts & Runs.

September 21, 2009 Leave a comment

There is a kind of obscene haste at the moment with politicians from all three major parties in what seems to be a new game of boasting about future cuts in public spending. The public sector has become a whipping post a target for plans for pay freezes, pension reductions and unemployment. Let us recall this recession began with the selfish, greedy bonus seekers in the banking sector who appear to be able to continue their bad habits regardless that their jobs were saved by taxpayers money. The fact we are £805 billions in debt is the sole responsibility of the UK banks. The banks must be made to pay back every penny they have gobbled up and no one should be given a penny in bonuses.

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Apple’s New iPod Nano.

September 15, 2009 Leave a comment

No this is not an advert.
iPod Nano
Apple recently launched a brand new and advanced iPod Nano, it is available in nine colours, it has a video camera, very useful and a radio, a 2.2″ colour display and is available in 8gb and 16gb depending on how much cash you wish to part with. A handy little gadget, there is no doubt about that BUT and this is a big BUT why did one of the most advanced computer design teams in the world decide to fit an FM RADIO? Now, we here in the UK are about to dump FM radio and go digital of course digital radio (DAB) is available now and has been for some time. Did not the little men at Apple’s research laboratories figure that one out. It means in effect UK customers will be buying out of date technology!

This is not the first time Apple have got things wrong. The original iPhone marketeed as a mobile ‘phone could not forward text messages; could not deal with multiple text messaging; had no MMS facility. Thus other mobile ‘phone manufacturers could still offer a better product.

Someone at Apple needs to wake up!

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David Miliband: How to help Afghans defeat the insurgency: FT.com

July 31, 2009 Leave a comment

The debate on Afghanistan continues, David Miliband has written a useful article stating the case for continuing British involvement. The simplistic, immature and naive arguments given by supporters of the “stop the war coalition” fail to get to grips with the essential facts, their argument is emotional and irrational. We have an important commitment in Afghanistan we cannot withdraw, cut and run, this would be a grave betrayal not only of Afghans who fear the Taliban but those in the armed services who have given their lives and those who have lost limbs and those who have mental distress. We must ensure the coming elections on August 30th are held in Afghanistan including Helmond province.

Dated: July 26 2009

How to help Afghans defeat the insurgency

By David Miliband

“In recent weeks the debate about Afghanistan has centred on the UK military’s tactics and resources. The bravery and commitment of our forces has been remarkable, and the toll of death and injury from recent operations heavy. But the result is 80,000 to 100,000 Afghans secure from Taliban threats and violence, and able to vote in the Afghan elections on August 20.

We committed to this mission for one reason: to deny al-Qaeda a base from which to attack the world. People support this and understand that in the 1990s the Taliban authority in Afghanistan provided a convenient incubator for al-Qaeda. But people now want to know whether and how we can succeed. We can. This is how…”

via FT.com / Comment / Opinion – How to help Afghans defeat the insurgency.

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H1N1 Pandemic flu service to go live

July 23, 2009 Leave a comment

I know there is serious concern about this rather nasty H1N1 flu virus, but there does appear to be an element of panic. People should be advised to use commonsense and remember that so far the death toll for road accidents in the UK is far higher. NHS Direct provides advice etc.

BBC NEWS: ” The National Flu Service is expected to go live later, giving thousands of swine flu sufferers access to drugs without needing to consult a GP. The phone and website service, which will only cover England, is the first of its kind in the world. It has been designed to relieve pressure on the NHS and will use a checklist to diagnose cases. The National Flu Service is expected to go live later, giving thousands of swine flu sufferers access to drugs without needing to consult a GP. The phone and website service, which will only cover England, is the first of its kind in the world. It has been designed to relieve pressure on the NHS and will use a checklist to diagnose cases.

NATIONAL FLU PANDEMIC SERVICE

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Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Recent logo of Labour Party
Image via Wikipedia

I was rather disgusted yesterday in regard to the morons who booed Gordon Brown at Bayeux Cathedral as he took part in the proceedings in the memory of those who gave their lives in the D-Day landings in WWII. This display of hooligan behaviour took place on foreign soil in view of other overseas leaders. Those who took part in this hooligan activity were doing something unBritish – Gordon Brown is along with Prince Charles representing the country during the remembrance services. Therefore booing him is boing all UK citizens. Gordon Brown should be respected as UK prime minister. If the hooligans booed on British soil fair enough but this should not be done in the circumstances concerning the remembrance of D-Day events and I don’t care who did it – it was wrong.

Now, as we await the announcement of European election results, delayed rather stupidly by the EU authorities, I fear as most observers do that for the Labour party the results may well be catastrophic and once again the chief Tory squealer, Cameron, will be demanding a general election etc. The failure of those in the Cabinet to challenge Gordon Brown and instead accept continued appointments has been disappointing. They have delayed the inevitable.

I don’t doubt Gordon Brown’s sincerity, he is an intelligent and knowledgeable man who has been doggedly determined to hang on and some of the media pressure has been insulting. But he cannot communicate and worst of all he has no agenda, he seems to have no vision.

The Labour party really does need a fresh new leader and it needs to have a clear agenda; it also needs to meet promises made in the manifesto. Failure at the next general election whoever leads the Labour party looks certain but a least a new leader might make the gap between Labour and Tories in the next Parliament less than what it might be under Gordon Brown’s leadership.

David Cameron is a desperate man he knows in time the economy may well recover and this time next year the general election may be fought with economic prosperity returning. So of course he wants a general election now hopefully that will be delayed as long as possible even with a new Labour leader.

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Danny Blanchflower Ends 3 Year Stint from the Monetary Policy Committee.

UK - London - The City: Bank of England and Fi...
Image by wallyg via Flickr

Danny Blanchflower was one of the few members of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) who wisely would call for interest cuts at a time when the MPC favoured increasing interest rates at a time when the economy was already showing signs of failure:

BBC RADIO 4 TODAY PROGRAMME: “British academic Danny Blanchflower has reached the end of his 3 year stint sitting on the panel setting interest rates at the Monetary Policy Committee. He discusses the possible impact of quantitative easing and interest rates cuts on the UK economy.”

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Gordon Brown and David Cameron in scramble to clean up Parliament – Times Online

Gordon Brown and David Cameron in scramble to clean up Parliament – Times Online .

It is difficult to know if this current excitement will lead to meaningful change. How far is each political leader really concerned to adopt a reform agenda which otherwise might just be spin to attract votes in the forthcoming elections. Is there really a genuine mood for change. The party which has been consistent in promoting change are the Lib. Dems. We can only wait and see:

Philip Webster and Francis Elliott in THE TIMES: “An intense race to shake up the political system has begun as Gordon Brown and David Cameron compete to look more radical than each other in the wake of the expenses scandal.

Mr Brown opened the door to electoral reform and letting voters kick out MPs while Mr Cameron tried to grab the reformer’s mantle by promising to shift power from ministers to voters, councils and the Commons.

The Conservative leader tabled proposals to slash the number of MPs, fix parliamentary terms at four years, allow more free votes for Members, give town halls more leeway and create means by which voters can get policies debated in the Commons.

However, he rejected the Health Secretary Alan Johnson’s proposal in The Times to hold a referendum on electoral reform. Mr Cameron said that this would lead to governments formed in back rooms. “Proportional representation takes power away from the man and woman in the street and hands it to the political elites,” he said…”