Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Tenants with poor property

I'm coming across stories of tenants in real hardship because of negligent landlords:

Houses with rooves leaking, others with water running down walls (which I've seen) others that are incredibly damp.

True it's been very wet for some time but this is no excuse for poor behaviour from landlords resulting very damp houses which can affect the health of those having to live there.

I'm planning a name and shame article which could go on Youtube with filmed examples.

Interested in going on the video?

So far I've got three properties in my sights with no permissions yet.

Speak up please.

Youtube really does have an impact particularly if the landlord is well know as is the case in one of my examples.

An alternative to watching tele

Do something truely refreshing - let go -  have a lovely unproductive time.





As a person that continually tries to fill every minute with activity, I  found it very pertinent!

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Mark Westall



I've been asked to publicise the fact that Mark is missing and everyone is concerned for this friendly guy.

You can read the report in the Evening Mail here.

And a further report in the Westmorland Gazette here

I'm told that he went up to his room in his mother's house in North Lonsdale Road South Ulverston at 9:30 in the evening. When his mother checked later the same evening he was gone and hasn't been seen reliably since. He is the habit of seeking solitude and could well be somewhere 'living' locally ; equally well he could be anywhere.

If you come across him in any way please contact the police so that his family can make contact.

Talent in Ulverston

Isn't wonderful that we have such talented people living in our town?

An outstanding example is the person behind the thinking and doing of the blog featured on the right menu -Thoughts and Songs

Thoughts and Songs, not only has an imaginative use of words but also lovely photos and video and even more, the sound of music created; all by the one person.

The whole package is truly special.

Sadly I have a streak in me that quickly looks at what is missing - it reflects my background - I constantly search and aim for an increasingly higher standard of things around me. I say 'sadly' because it can be painful to be like that; but this is the way I want to be, because on the flip side comes  the exhilaration of very intense enjoyment.

On the above blog, I make the comment:

"I find what is said here deeply disturbing."

and "the statements you make, cause my hair to stand on end – so to speak."

So what's the problem? It is my gut reaction to the following statements:

"It is another thing entirely to kill animals in cold blood, in the name of scientific research. We all know that difference, it is why the US justice system differentiates between murder in the first degree (premeditated) and in the second (not). It is why sociopaths are so scary.


A society that treats animals as resources to use when it suits them is a sociopathic society, an unethical, immoral society. "

Now comes the logic - Why do I have this gut feeling?

The first thing is to try and unpick what the words mean.

I believe very strongly that I need to treat all life around me with respect. I do not believe that humans have "God given rights" to look at themselves as a special case in the world of the living. In fact, standing back at looking at the span that the earth will be in existence we will be part of it for what will seem like a spit second. Beetles, I believe will be still thriving when all trace of animals that resemble humans have long gone.

However in my understanding of the words, respect does not preclude "Killing in cold blood" and hence the use of animals in scientific research when this is thought necessary to for instance develop drugs.

"Killing in cold blood" is an emotive way of saying "devoide of emotions and using reason alone" but reason can lead us to take decisions that are extremely painful to us emotionally and should not be shirked for this reason.

I believe that we have some very caring thoughtful people who have in the past ( and who still continue) gone into work each day to inflict pain and hardship on animals in order to develop drugs that will save peoples lives. People who have witnessed people and children stricken down with terrible diseases so that they have devoted their lives to prevent this happening.

Thus I feel that it is unthoughtful and cruel to label these people as "sociopaths" and part of an unethical immoral society.

On the other hand - and in practice this is a very complex question - there are many many cases where humans are not treating animals with respect - where there is no moral justification if we believe we all have equal rights. Inflicting pain for food and for research for trivial products as in food using battery growth of hens, pigs, fish and the superficial use of cosmetics.

I'm still trying to sort my thoughts out - but this is a start.

Some may say that I'm being nitpicky as what is said us "in the name of scientific research" but later on I understand the meaning to be all scientific research.

I believe one needs to be very careful with broad generalisations.

Sadly the above detracts from the main thrust of what is said. Something I firmly believe in. What I read on the animal aid web site is something I for the most part support.

You will find it even stranger when I admit that I share the doubts of a friend of mine who questions the validity of animal testing research.

So lets speak out firmly but with a respectful attitude to everyone concerned: both animals and humans.

My thinking continued: -

Gut reactions are something to be treasured. One often finds it difficult to unpick what rational basis they are based on.

They reflect our deepest emotions which have developed over our whole lives. We act by them all the time. They are based on the summation of the combination of doing and thinking, thinking and doing: an endless cycle.

The person writing the blog in question is no doubt very talented as I said at the beginning but the thoughts expressed in this recent blog are consistent with previous postings. For me, they reflect what is going on in the mind of someone who lacks focus.

Why have previous threads been abandoned ?

Surely to develop a healthy mind which is at peace with itself, one needs to take small steps at a time and gradually build up over a lifetime a life style that is as consistent as possible.

What I see here is a series of massive targets that are then abandoned because they are unattainable. Result, one lives a life of failure.

For me one sets targets that are 95% attainable all the time. Success then leads to increased confidence to tackle gradually more and more difficult goals.

What I witness is someone trying to climb Everest when Hoad would be more appropriate.

For instance, on the issue of treating animals, can't we settle for something like supporting the existing fight with TescoTesco and then move on to the Co-op to improve its standards.

For our own sanity we need to tackle problems where we can achieve a result rather than battle with windmills.

The Sun !

It really does exist!



A lovely cold but clear sunny day.

Time to get down to the allotment or out for a walk if at all possible.

.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Natterjacks was packed tonight

Lots of talented musicians played.

A good place to be.

Bringing up children

I was fascinated by this review of the differences in the way the French bring up their children to that in Britain and the States.

I'm all for helping children to learn how to deal with frustration and give their parents an easier life - aren't you?

Friday, 20 January 2012

Government Idiocy

How does it make any sense to make savings by closing down Furness Enterprise?


I read in the Westmorland Gazette that after 21 years of successful operation in helping thousands of people to find work in this area by assisting small businesses to set up in this area . . . .

At a time when we are all struggling to get to find jobs, the very organisation that we need to help small businesses stand up on their feet . . . . .

One that has worked so well in the past  . . . . .

The Furness Enterprise is to . . . .

Be helped to work even harder?

No it is to  . . . . . close.

No wonder Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock said: “This is bad news for the many local businesses Furness Enterprise supports, and is a terrible sign of the way the out-of-touch Conservative-led government is turning its back on areas like this.”

There's an e-petition to sign if you wish

Dave Whitehead, in the comments below, points us to an alternative view on the action being taken above.

It would be good to get people's views on the performance of Furness Enterprise. This is where a good councillor who is familiar with this organisation and we could trust could advise us. Alternatively some good investigative journalism by a local reporter. - I'm all for emplying one.

What do you think?

Thursday, 19 January 2012

What a fantastic story

in the Westmorland Gazette today

This is the story of someone who lived life to the full and one to emulate.

The way his parents and colleagues have handled their grief shows us how wonderful people can be when faced with calamity.

For me the story of this young man makes me feel very positive.

Thank you to all concerned

Something positive

Another two London pictures from Allan Wilson

The Wobbly Bridge and St Pauls

Inside The Monument

"Save the Internet"

This, for me, is well worth supporting:

What I like is that it enables you, as well as sending a concocted message, to leave a (polite and reasoned) message with a leading senator on his facebook page - something I have done.

*           *           *           *           *           *           *          

Today could be the day we save the free Internet.

The US Congress was poised to pass a law allowing officials to censor access to any website around the world. But after we delivered our 1.25 million strong petition to the White House, it came out against the bill and with public pressure at a boiling point even some bill backers are switching sides. Now, the Wikipedia - led blackout protest has rocketed the public campaign to the top of the news.

We are turning the tide. But the dark forces of censorship are trying to revive the bill right now. Let’s bury it for good today. Click to sign this emergency petition to save the Internet now and if you've signed already, to email, call, Facebook, and tweet Congressional and corporate targets. Then send this to everyone:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_internet_action_center_b/?vl

The bill would make the US one of the worst Internet censors in the world -- joining the ranks of countries like China and Iran. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) would allow the US government to block any of us from accessing sites like YouTube, Google, or Facebook.

We got the White House to switch sides and now our global campaign and the growing public pressure is forcing Congress to abandon the bill. Last weekend, Senator Cardin, who cosponsored the legislation, announced he will vote against it! Then six prominent Republicans penned a letter requesting that the bill be shelved. Now the lower house vote is reportedly on ice.

Just days ago we were told it was impossible to stop the corporate censorship cabal, but now this is at a tipping point and amazingly we could win! Let’s stop US censorship today. Sign this emergency petition to save the internet now and forward it to everyone:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_internet_action_center_b/?vl

This US legislation could infringe on all of our freedoms. But if we win, we will show that when people unite with one voice from all over the world we can stop the abuse of power anywhere. We have brought this bill back from the brink. Now, if we amplify our voices today, we can put an end to the most powerful Internet censorship threat that the world has ever seen.

With hope,

Dalia, Ian, Alice, Ricken, Diego, David, and the Avaaz Team

Sources:

White House statement:
https://secure.avaaz.org/whitehouse_internet_statement

Wikipedia joins web blackout in SOPA protest (BBC):
http://www.avaaz.org/bbc_sopa_wikipedia

American Censorship's fact sheet on SOPA:
http://americancensorship.org/infographic.html

Everything you need to know about Congress's online piracy bills in one post (Washington Post):
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/everything-you-need-to-know-about-congresss-online-piracy-bills-in-one-post/2011/12/16/gIQAz4ggyO_blog.html

SOPA and PIPA sponsors caving in to opposition (Talking Points Memo):
http://idealab.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/01/sopa-and-pipa-sponsors-caving-into-opposition.php

White House will not support SOPA, PIPA (Huffington Post):
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/14/white-house-sopa-pipa_n_1206347.html

Controversial online piracy bill ‘shelved’ until consensus is found (The Hill):
http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/204167-sopa-shelved-until-consensus-is-found

How can you support the Tories?

Who does he really care about?


When Cameron behaves so inconsistantly.

One rule for the rioters and another for the bankers.

Don't they both exhibit the same morality?

If we followed the same rules we would have the legal system being asked to line up the bankers receiving massive pay bonuses - which it could be argued, they steal- and sending them off to prison where they could learn a thing or two about the lives of the rioters.

It seems that capitalism as we know it has had it's day.

Expect trouble from thinking sane people; they have a bit of morality left, or are they just  as selfish as the Tories in this case.

Is the problem that our commercial world is driven by pychopaths who have no empathy for the plight of others. A recent radio interview on Saturday live would suggest this   - the item under "Also available"  with Jon Ronson - listen from the third minute in.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Visits to London

How many people visit London on a regular basis?

We enjoy a visit to keep in touch with 'the outside world' - it gives us a perspective on life in general.

We go for the day and always stay above ground, walking most of the time but also the upstairs of the bus.

We've just booked for the new Hockney exhibition and are going to meet Leonardo da Vinci (!).

View from The Monument
Here's a photo from Allan Wilson - Thanks - his photos are to be found in many places in town.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Allotments - David Parratt of the Town Council

True to form, I received a prompt and detail reply to the email I sent last weekend; it arrived last Tuesday.

Here it is:

You need to be aware of the facts and I have spoken to Les Ord about this.

The situation has improved considerably over the past few years. Last year
the waiting list was 60+. It is now down to 10 at present out of all the
allotments in Ulverston and there is no waiting list at Sandside. There is
one vacant plot here at present which is in the process of being let.

The marked reduction is partly due to a number of allotment holders
receiving a 'Notice to Quit', a number simply giving up for various reasons
and an increase in the availability of half plots. Where plots have been
taken over fairly recently, some in poor condition, little work if any will
have been carried out in the atrocious weather conditions experienced of
late. Therefore, the true picture may not necessarily be apparent without
the facts. The situation will continue to be monitored over the coming
months using regular and excellent feedback that we receive from the
allotment representatives both at meetings and outside them.

The method of administration does not need to change - it already has!

David Parratt
Town Clerk
Ulverston Town Council

A reply, I thanked him for, on Tuesday.

Broadband speeds in Ulverston

I use Google alerts which flags up every reference to the word "Ulverton" on the internet most of waht I get is on the Evening Mail site but occasionally something a bit quirky pops up.

Here we have a discussion of Broadband speeds on the TalkTalk discussion forum.

http://talktalkmembers.org/forums/showthread.php?t=74432

The chat is highly technical and beyond me but it implies that these guys have experienced a dramatic drop in broadband speed in connection with the Ulverston exchange.

Over to you if interested.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

The bumpy road ahead

The loss of many of the Euro countries' high credit rating yesterday signals tough times ahead for all of us.

I cannot believe that this will not also effect the UK with its high budget deficit before long. We too will lose our triple star rating and why not?

We will then learn to be self supporting which will be a good thing. The myth that "growth" is the answer to our problems will soon be exposed - the world's resources are finite and will not support unending growth.

Now is the time to face up to reality and be prepared for really hard times ahead.

We have been lulled into a lethargy in this country by relatively smooth running of our way of life since the last (UK involved) war (which I experienced).

True things are getting harder and we will have tougher times ahead.

John Gray provides us with great objective thinking.

Here is the link to the article that discusses his thinking on

The endless obsession with what might be


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16245250

"The noise of bibbling"

"Their work is done under the cover of silence and only an alert ear is able to recognise the noise of the nibbling of millions of jaws of termites in the night, which devour the building and prepare for its collapse."

Is this not what is happening in our society at the moment?

 We will all help ourselves by toughening up in preparation for dramatic change in the future by developing a strong emotionally secure base - within ourselves, our families, our friends and the communities around us.


Judging from my short time here during the last war it can in fact be a very enjoyable experience.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Despair of British Politics

Having watched Questiontime last night when they discussed the proposal to spend billions of pounds of our money on high speed rail development, I begin to despair of British politics as it exists at the moment.


ALL the political parties came out in favour, even Labour - it shows just how out of touch politicians are with the views of everyday people.

We're heading for a show down.
...
For the first time in my life I am thinking that I would be wise to avoid paying taxes to the government in any way possible. I can see far better ways to spend my money that actually benefit the community immediately around me.

Thank goodness we have young people with intelligence and energy who can lead our country in a sane direction: one that takes account of the realities of life of everyday people here.

Sadly the future is not ever going to be easy from now on but only ostriches think otherwise ( and that's a myth but creates a punchy image).

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

My regular chat with the Ulverston Police

This occurred again this morning. Here I attempt to recount what I found out.

It's great to be given the time by officers that have their work cut out to provide a good service here in Ulverston.

I voiced the following concerns:

1. The future of the Lantern Procession.

I had got the impression that several of our festivals are in danger of closing because of the cost of policing and therefore asked just how little police involvement could be acceptable in this case.

As I understand the situation - there need be no problem.

Unlike events like the Candlelit Walk that occur  off the public highway and therefore don't require any police involvement or cost, the above event does require policing: particularly where road closures are involved and where crossing the major thoroughfares like the A590 is required.

The solution to a low cost event is having well trained volunteer marshalls and a public that respects their directions, with an absolute minimum  of the costly police involvement.

To achieve this we need good leadership from the top and in my opinion if this event is to be well run we need both good organisation and good people relations at all levels. These are indeed rare qualities but given the co-operation and the enthusiasm to be found across the community then this can be achieved here in Ulverston.

One of the main problem may be its success. John Fox, the originator of the concept of the Lantern Procession expressed concerns that the event had become too big and well known. Too much publicity could in fact lead to it becoming unmanagable unless wholehearted community support is given.

The other problem is that there is a frustration amongst many of the energetic twenty to forty year olds that would like to help. Many find the present main organiser, Peter Winston, a difficult person to work with.

I seems that the minute a successful idea takes hold then certain people take hold of the reins and the rest of us put up with it because they work so hard. Ulverston is littered with personalities that want to take over little empires and with people who are only too happy to sit back and let them.

Watch out but I suspect we won't have a full blooded Flag Festival this year and the public would be right to ask "Where did all the thousands of pounds of money go?" - I'm told that the organisation behind this particular festival - The Better Town's Team - are now defunct with only a secretary - Peter Winston. Is this correct?

Monday, 9 January 2012

It is very tempting :

To think that we, humans are special.

But if you're an unbiased scientist who understands the universe a little, you will agree that we are just a small part of a massive amazing collection of other solar systems, galaxies and collections of matter.

The size is so great that it takes millions, no billions of years for light to travel across it.



It will therefore be a certainty in lay terms that there are other forms of life 'out there' . These 'beings' will also be equally certainly be more inteligent and more developed than us.

Not that I can see any practical value to this information.

This for me  is a helpful thought and gives me some perspective on my life and its relative unimportance - except to me.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Great idea

It's great to see the flexible thinking from some business people here in Ulverston.

A cafe for travellers at Ulverston Station

I'm full of admiration for the people at The Zone : I've been a regular user with young children and now it will be a great place to have a coffee when travelling.

Any chance of a dance to the music of a good jazz band (from the Adelphi at Liverpool) as we had in the same premises, was it thirty years ago? One of my memorable occasions.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Support Avaaz

At a time when democracy in this country is grinding along at a frustrating pace with no political party apparently in touch with the view of the people, I am gradually being won over to the ideas of Avaaz.

Though a little sceptical, I do think they are a movement for present times.

Please give serious consideration to this worldwide organisation.

They are currently conducting a poll about where to go in the future.

You may wish to participate.

One warning however.

Do not get sucked in to contributing their minimum stated contribution of £3 per week (which is far too much). This is outgageous and their information shows that this produces support from only about 10,000 people. What about the other ten million they say support them?

Better  to contribute a fraction of a pound say £ 0.5 per week - they only collect the money monthly anyway.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *

    Democracy is on the march across the world, and our community is at the heart of the struggle, but to win we're going to need to choose our course wisely. Click below to take the annual Avaaz all-member poll, and let's decide together where to focus our energies in 2012.

The poll takes a few minutes to complete, but the more of us take it, the wiser our course will be:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/january_poll_2012/?vl

And if you don't have time to take the poll right now, we can all see the results as they come in here:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/january_poll_2012_people_power/?bv11891

Last year we ran hundreds of campaigns and played a key role in dozens of victories, including:

• Putting a wrench in Media-Mogul Rupert Murdoch's march to world domination
• Breaking the Syria media blackout and supporting courageous democracy movements across the Middle East
• Taking on Italy's Silvio Berlusconi at every turn until his corrupt regime fell
• Blocking the Gay Death Penalty Bill in Uganda
• Stopping a mega highway that sliced right through indigenous protected lands in Bolivia
• Building a massive anti corruption movement in India that has repeatedly forced the government to back down
• Building a global movement for Palestinian independence
• Saving the Kyoto Protocol and UN climate process from polluting powers determined to wreck it
..and much, much more.

With the world undergoing profound change, and our community twice the size it was last January, imagine what this year's list could look like. The challenges may be coming thick and fast, but when we stick together, we can transform them into opportunities to build the world we all dream of. Here's to building dreams in 2012.

With hope,

Ricken, Alice, Benjamin, Diego, Emma, and the whole Avaaz team



Avaaz.org is a 10-million-person global campaign network that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people shape global decision-making. ("Avaaz" means "voice" or "song" in many languages.) Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; our team is spread across 13 countries on 4 continents and operates in 14 languages. Learn about some of Avaaz's biggest campaigns here, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.



To contact Avaaz,  write to us at www.avaaz.org/en/contact

Friday, 6 January 2012

Allotments

Having seen what is (not) happening at the allotments that I use I have been raising the issue with David Parratt who administers the allotments on behalf of the Ulverston Town Council - in particular the Councillors who have choosen to oversee them.

They are (taken from the Town Council web site):

  • Our Mayor: Cllr. Mrs. Pat Jones 
  • Cllr. Mrs. Helen Irving 
  • Cllr. Roy Gill 
  • Cllr. Norman Bishop-Rowe 
  • Cllr. Mrs. Brenda Marr 
  • Cllrs. Jim Prosser 
  • Cllr. Brian Wilkinson

This morning I sent the following email to David Parratt (who I approached several months ago about the same matter  and received what I considered to be an evasive reply) with a copy to Cllr. Norman Bishop-Rowe:


David,

I have waited until now so that you can enjoy an untroubled Christmas but now is the time to look for change.

I believe that it is helpful that you hear what others think.

Please note that I and my representative are thoroughly dissatisfied with the administration of our allotments.

In his words, you personally just pay lip service to your role of administrating them.

This is not necessarily your fault but the lack of time that you are given to do your job by the Town Council.

As there has been no action to let disused plots effectively in the last few months, my next course of action will be to prepare a video that I shall put on Youtube to illustrate the problem to a wider public.

When there are so many people seeking allotments these days, I'm sure you will sympathise in the view that the method of administration needs to change or at least be reviewed.

I would take account of your reply in presenting my information - I am all for giving credit where it is due wherever possible.

Geoff Dellow

I shall wait until later next week before taking further action.

If you feel strongly, as I do, and would like your views expressed on the proposed video, please contact me by email - gd at tygh.co.uk

Diane Abbott

Don't  you think that the reaction to her recent twitter comments about divide and rule are totally over the top?

Don't we need our politicians to be relaxed and free with their comments?


This is not about racism but about people jumping up and down about nothing and distracting us from far more important issues.

Personally I want our politicians to be relaxed as act as falible humans.

I find something like this from a politician refreshing; most of the time they make nonesense statements with their typical politician- speak that when analysed means nothing and only tries to promote  . . . the politician.

The people that should be in the dock are the jounalists and media that pump up this supercritical atmosphere followed by the thousands that get swept along with it. Aggravated by leaders like Milliband who over-respond.

Cameron sets a good example by playing down such frivolity.

has it right

"My hope for the new year is that everyone will become a little thicker-skinned. When so many casual remarks nowadays provoke public fury, relaxed discourse becomes all but impossible."

"Could we stop being so outraged when somebody says something stupid?

From Diane Abbott to Jeremy Clarkson, we need to calm down when stupid or offensive pronouncements become public"

What Cameron is not revealing

This is the latest from Avaaz, an organisation that in my view is well worth supporting.

Here it reveals the concerns of eminent MPs from both sides of The House.

Margaret Hodge is very critical.

It seems that the Tax office doesn't have the resources to deal with big businesses who employ top lawyers to extract every concession possible.

What appears to be happening is that the tax office do a deal in order to get some money immediately  rather than fight lengthy court battles.

Let's hope this action puts pressure on Cameron to do something.

*    *    *    *    *    *
Our tax chief had secret lunches with Vodafone and Goldman Sachs and then handed them billions in tax breaks – while keeping Parliament in the dark!

MPs are outraged, claiming we are owed over 25 billion pounds in back taxes from these and similar dodgy deals. But the tax agency has blocked an inquiry into the scandal and refuses to release any documents to shed light on why these tax breaks were ordered in the first place.

By acting together now we can ensure full transparency on the Goldman Sachs and Vodafone deals, and get them to pay the tax they owe. Let’s turn up the heat -- sign the tax justice petition to David Cameron -- we’ll deliver it with a splash next week:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/goldman_sachs_pay_your_tax/?vl

The cosy relationship between the public tax authority and major private companies is shocking: the tax agency boss had more than a hundred lunches with big business tax lawyers and advisers, leading to the companies being let off millions in taxes. The agency tried to obstruct a recent Parliamentary inquiry using flimsy confidentiality arguments, and threatened the whistleblower who helped expose the scandal.

The coalition is weak and on the defensive over the economy and several Conservative and Lib Dem MPs are fuming over these tax revelations. But the government has yet to demand full payment. Only public pressure can change Cameron's position and ensure that big businesses pay what they owe rather than manoeuvre and lobby to minimise their tax bills.

We should be able to trust our public tax body to be free of corporate capture and able to recover taxes owed without fear or favour. Join the call for tax justice -- click below to sign the petition:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/goldman_sachs_pay_your_tax/?vl

From Occupy to the G20, citizens across the world are coming together to push back corporate interests, fight against dodgy deals corrupting our governments and bring back transparency -- and the pressure is working. Let's come together now and win tax justice for us all.

With hope,

Alex, Antonia, Emma, RIcken, Mary, Rewan, Diego and the entire Avaaz team

More information:

MPs attack HMRC’s ‘cosy’ deals with big business (BBC)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16253205

MPs say taxman "too cosy" with companies (Reuters)
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/12/20/uk-britain-taxes-idUKTRE7BJ03S20111220

The end of all take and no give (New Statesman)
http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2011/12/tax-returns-public-firms

HMRC hid 'sweetheart' tax deals for big business, MPs say (The Guardian)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/dec/20/inland-revenue-sweetheart-tax-deals

Taxman targets small firms after sweetheart deals with big business (Daily Mail)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2081461/HMRC-plans-checks-3-000-fines-missing-paperwork.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

Goldman Sachs’s Tax Rate Drops to 1% (Bloomberg)
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a6bQVsZS2_18

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Challenging the System

Young people are successfully breaking the law ( and not being challenged) because it is clearly unjust.

To those of us with an objective view of what is happening in the western world, this seems to be the just thing to do. It will happen more and more as intelligent young people with time on their hands and nothing to loose take action against the moneyed classes.

"The squatters, linked to the Occupy movement, say they plan a mass occupation of houses."

Talking about a house that was on the market at half a million pounds, young people " occupied it in the autumn to highlight homelessness, as well as the way builders and banks were bailed out by the taxpayer.

There are up to 400,000 properties lying empty. . . "

I believe we will in the future be grateful to this kind of movement by young people as they attempt to restore sanity to our upside down society.

We should support the Occupy movement all we can - and I read of many from Ulverston who are doing just this in very practical ways.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Tories favour the rich over the poor

One catastrophic example is how the present government allows foreigners with lots of cash to invest to come to this country and buy expensive property.

This is particularly acute with rich Greeks seeking a place to invest their millions like rats deserting a sinking ship as has been reported in the national press.


The government with their lax tax laws allow them to buy up property in central London.

At first thought this sounds good because money is coming to Britain but this means that property prices are ramped up with a knock on effect. First, those trying to buy homes in London then to those trying to rent leading step by step to increased prices down the road here in Ulverston making it impossible for people to buy or even afford to rent.

The other effect of course is to exacerbate the problem for  Greece to balance its economy.

Cameron adopts a hypocritical position that the economic crisis is all the fault of the Eurozone countries whereas in fact the above policy increases the problem by syphoning off money from Greece which is desperate for investment.

The Conservatives will soon be weeping crocodile tears at the plight of the Greek people while at the same time aggravating the problem by encouraging money to come to this country to benefit our rich and in effect take it away from our poor.

We move step by step towards a society of haves and havenots. We too are moving towards a financial crisis as the poor rebel at their suffering with the prospects of riots again on our streets with our angry young people having little hope for their future.

Reflections . . .