Thursday, February 18, 2010

Health and Safety Corner

This gem from the political betting site.  Today has seen a new poll, which is heavily commented on which includes the following comment by antifrank   "Off topic, I’ve just been told by a train steward that he had to put my cup of tea into a paper bag: “health & safety, sorry sir”. I had three yards to walk with it.".

I attach no blame to the train steward who presumably faces some form of disciplinary action if he doesn't comply but....................

What happened to common sense and personal responsibility?   

Sunday, February 14, 2010

UK economy cries out for credible rescue plan

The following letter has appeared in the Times today which undermines Labour's plans to tackle the growing debt - which will have to be paid back. The signatories include leading economists,. a Labour Peer and former members of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee.

"It is now clear that the UK economy entered the recession with a large structural budget deficit. As a result the UK's budget deficit is now the largest in our peacetime history and among the largest in the developed world.

In these cirucmstances a credible medium-term fiscal consolidation plan would make a sustainable recovery more likely.

In the absence of a credible plan, there is a risk that a loss of confidence in the UK's economic policy framework will contribute to higher long-term interest rates and/or currency instability, which could undermine the recovery. In order to minimise this risk and support a sustainable recover the next government should set out a detailed plan to reduce the structural budget deficit more quickly than set out in the 2009 pre budget report............

The letter can be read in full here

The real cost of Labour's failure will be shown in the huge interest payments which this country is already paying and will continue to have to pay. The problems facing the UK economy are severe, this is not talking down the UK economy, but being honest about the real extent of the problems we are facing. The average family is already paying £1400 more per year in tax, thanks to Gordon Brown's stealth taxes. Once again Labour have taken the country to the brink of disaster, now leading UK economists agree - there will be difficult times ahead.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Choose the most worthy eco-project. Entry two - Bumblebee Conservation Trust

Choose the most worthy eco-project. Entry two - Bumblebee Conservation Trust

For some great environmental projects clink on the link above. The Bumble Bee Conservation Trust and the Woodland Trust both have projects on this site. I support both organisations who do invaluable work. The winning project will receive the equivalent of £30,000.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Stop and Search powers ruled illegal

The Judgement yesterday in the European Court of Human Rights held that the random stop and search powers introduced by sections 44-47 of the Terrorism Act 2000 breached UK Citizens human rights now throws the Labour Governments anti terror laws into disarray. There were three key planks to the ruling, firstly the fact that since 2001 the whole of the metropolitan area of London was a "designated area" for the purpose of random searches, this power has to be renewed every 28 days. Secondly a high number of UK citizens had been searched by police, the power requires no element of suspicion, so you could in theory be searched just because the police did not like what you were wearing, or for any other arbitrary reason. Between 2001 and 2004 over 205,000 searches were carried out, with just over 1% leading to any kind of charge. This meant for the remaining 99% innocent people were stopped for no reason. The third being that there was no requirement that the person stopped was under suspicion. It is the last that is the most serious, as there was therefore no requirement that there be any justification for conducting the search. This has led to climate change protestors being searched under anti terror laws.

Lord Carlile the independent Law Lord in charge of reviewing the Government's anti terror legislation said on Radio 4 "As and independent reviewer of terrorism legislation I have reported repeatedly that it should be used much less. I have said year on year that its use could be reduced by 50% without damaging national security, and I remain of that view." What is of concern is that Ministers have ignored Lord Carlile's year on year reports.

We have fought two world wars for hard won freedoms, one of which is to be able to go about our ordinary day to day business without being detained, whether it is temporary or for a longer period, where there is no suspicion that we are doing anything unlawful. What the police need are effective stop and search powers where there is a suspicion that someone is engaging in terrorism.