The lunatics who run the asylum

This week has seen austerity measures imposed by the Coalition Government the like of which have not been seen for over sixty years. Cuts to the armed forces, half a million public sector jobs to go, cuts in the welfare state – This is all a direct result, we are told, of the disastrous spending splurge under the last Labour government. Chancellor George Osbourne has stated that ‘we are all in this together’, and has urged for us  to stick together to get the country back on track.

A rallying call to patriots?

 

This is all fairly standard rhetoric from a Conservative chancellor when the country is in the mire – I seem to remember similar words being uttered when Thatcher came to power and had to pick up the ruins of the economy after the ‘Winter of Discontent’ which brought down Callaghan’s Labour government in the seventies.

The difference then was that although many disagreed with the measures taken, I think most believed in the sincerity of the politicians at the helm.We had a real sense of community, and pride in our country’s standing in the world.  This time round, I am not so sure, and I will point out part of my reasoning behind this.

 

The Destruction of our national identity

 

When time permits, I take part in gatherings in London with a group of patriots from an organisation called March for England. MFE are a non-political organisation, who celebrate English culture and attend events such as Armed Forces Day, Remembrance parades, 7/7 memorials and St George’s Day.

They have also been present at joint events to protest against the erosion of our culture, such as the handing in of petitions against Sharia Law in the UK and at the annual Al Quds march.

During these events, we are often confronted by organisations such as The Socialist Workers Party, Unite against Fascism (A real contradiction in terms!) and Anjem Choudhary’s MAC (Muslims against the Crusades, a very nasty group of Islamic Extremists who are an offshoot of several banned groups and frequently abuse our troops at homecoming parades).

 

What has this got to do with destruction of our national identity?

 

You would think that these groups are just a collection of small minority interests, and hold no real sway in how this country is run, wouldn’t you? Unfortunately, this is not quite the case.

Unite against Fascism (The UAF) were supposedly formed to counter the racist threat of the BNP, and are now to be seen regularly opposing The English Defence League (EDL) up and down the country. If you read their mission statement, it all seems quite straightforward – After all, no sane person in our society today discriminates against another person because of the colour of their skin or their religion. Even their main target these days, the EDL, state on their site that they oppose Islamic Extremism, not Muslims in general.

 

Martin Smith

This is a video of one of the main organisers of the UAF, Martin Smith, at a Socialist Workers Party conference a couple of years ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLqd8vhaGkg&feature=player_embedded#!

 To describe either the Union Flag or the Cross of St George as ‘a sign of oppression’ is something I actually find quite insulting – I somehow think that the people of Europe didn’t quite share this view back in 1944 when the British Army were evicting the Nazi’s from their countries!

It is also interesting to see the list of speakers at the end of the video who were in attendance – Some quite big hitters there, including our local MP for Hayes & Harlington, John McDonnell. Last time I looked, wasn’t he a Labour MP, not a Socialist Workers Party member?

Still, there is one thing in the video that he disagrees with the odious Mr Smith about – Our very own MP has been on record as supporting the IRA mainland bombing campaign, whilst Smith says that no-one in their right mind supports terrorist atrocities.

Since this video was filmed, it is also worth pointing out that Martin Smith has been convicted of assaulting a Police Officer during the protest against the BNP appearance on BBC Question Time, and UAF leaders Rhetta Moran and Weyman Bennett are under Police Investigation for conspiracy to incite violent disorder – Hardly the behaviour of law abiding citizens who are trying to stamp out the scourge of racism!

Signatories to the UAF

 

So why do I think that this fringe organisation has any real influence in the destruction of our national identity?

Why do I think that this has any relevance to George Osbourne’s statement about us ‘all being in this together?’

Well, if you look down the list of Signatories to the UAF founding statement it includes following prominent members of our society who will be at the forefront of turning this country and our borough around……

David Cameron MP – Prime Minister

Ken Livingstone – Front runner in the London Mayoral Campaign

55 other MP’s across the old 3 political parties

Brendan Barber – General Secretary of the TUC

Prominent Union leaders – Dave Prentis,Mark Serwotka,Andy Gilchrist,Bob Crow – To name a few

8 MEP’s including Glenys Kinnock

With this in mind, how can we ‘all be in this together’ when so many people who are supposed to be turning things around are involved with an organisation that condemns our flag and encourages us to be ashamed of our heritage?

What is your view on this? Do you think that the ConDems are using our patriotism against us to justify cuts, when secretly they want to dismantle our national identity? Let us know YOUR views!

 

Education and the great lie

 

In the words of Mulder and Scully from TV’s X-Files, ‘The truth is out there’ – Just don’t expect it from politicians of the three main parties any time soon, especially where education is concerned.

 

In opposition, Deputy Prime Minister and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg was adamant that university top up fees were wrong, and that if he ever got in to power, they would be abolished. You can see in the picture below that he was supporting student groups who were against this tax on education.

Fast forward a year, and the improbable idea of a LibDem leader having any say in government policy has been replaced by their first spell in government since 1922 – An ideal chance to put in to practice all those things that he was so passionate about in opposition.

The Great U-Turn

Unfortunately, now he has his hands on the rudders of power, Nick Clegg has gone to the other extreme. Rather than abolishing student top up fees, the government that he is a major part of is increasing the amount that students will have to get themselves in to debt by in order to finish their education!

The Two Tier Education system

Well, maybe I am not giving the man enough credit. There is one place that a student doesn’t have to pay for their education in top up fees – Scotland. The Scottish parliament at Holyrood gets to make the decisions regarding education in their country, and they have decided (Quite rightly, in my opinion) that those who wish to advance their education and get a degree should not have to pay for it – After all, if you have a degree in engineering as an example, and you are earning a salary in excess of £60k per year, then the amount of revenue you will generate for your country both in tax take and contributing to industry will more than pay for your education in just a few short years.

Time to move for Scotland for the sake of my kids?

 

Well, no actually. If you are English and move to Scotland, you are not entitled to this particular benefit of devolution. The Scottish Parliament are not stupid, and have closed that particular loophole that would potentially drain their country’s finances.

 Maybe the MP for Sheffield, a certain Mr N Clegg, could learn from the eminently more community focused MP’s at Holyrood, and honour his pledge made before the election. It is time to level the playing field on education between England and Scotland.

What do you think? Should a student education be free to all who qualify by their school grades?

Top Police Officer wants us to ‘claim back our streets’

It has been a very interesting few weeks in Hillingdon on the crime front, and it would appear that many people have been asking the same question as I did on 5th October in my post, ‘Crime is under control? Pull the other one..’.

Chief Superintendent Julian Worker, the top police officer in Hillingdon, has called for residents to ‘reclaim the streets’ at  a local meeting attended by over 50 local residents, and the local press. Mr Worker has asked for the local community to effectively act as eyes and ears for the police, requesting  for witnesses to come forward where a crime has been committed and for everyone to be vigilant and report anti-social behaviour.

In the current economic climate, we all know that there will be cuts to local Police Forces, which my party is strongly against – With crime on the increase, how can any sane government make cuts to the service that protects local people? With this in mind, Mr Worker’s request seems eminently sensible, and in principle I agree with it. However, in practice, how can it work with the Politically Correct conditions that our local officers have to operate under?

I will give you a few examples as follows….

A customer of mine when I ran a phone shop in the Borough recounted a story about an issue in Hayes. He was a regular in my store, and I was concerned to see him with stitches to some nasty cuts up his arms. It turned out that he had intervened in a mugging of an old lady in Hayes Town – He had called the Police, but with no thought for his own safety had dived in to try and help her whilst waiting for them to arrive. In the ensuing melee, his arms were slashed by one of the muggers with a knife, whilst the other one ran off. He managed to subdue the mugger, and the Police arrived to take him away. You may think that this is a great example of public spiritedness and just what Mr Worker is asking for, but you would be wrong – Because they couldn’t find the knife used in the attack (even though the use of it was evident) and the old lady was so confused by the whole event, my customer was arrested and charged with racially aggravated assault based on the word of the mugger! He ended up with a fine and community service penalty, and now has a criminal record.

Indeed, I have even had my own encounter with this kind of thing myself. A couple of years ago, I was returning from a restaurant to my house with two friends. A battered old Mercedes was parked across my driveway, and we could see fists flying from the drivers seat. It turned out that the driver was assaulting his girlfriend, who we later found out was three months pregnant at the time. My two companions pulled the man out of the car, whilst I dived in to the house to call for assistance. The perpetrator wriggled free, ran to the middle of the road, and made a series of threats before running off with one of my friends in pursuit. The Police arrived, and brought back my friend and the attacker in separate squad cars. There followed an hour of questions outside my house where we were accused by the attacker of first being the people who beat his girlfirend up, then we were accused by him of trying to mug him and threaten him at knifepoint (We were searched by the officers, nothing was found), followed by an accusation that we had damaged his car because we were jealous that he had a Mercedes, and finally that we were trying to mug his girlfriend for her credit card! During this time, the scene was attended by a patrol van, three squad cars and an ambulance.

When I asked one of the officers at the end of the interrogation if he was going to charge the attacker with wasting police time, bearing in mind that he had made four groundless accusations and tied up all these resources,I got a smile and a shrug of the shoulders with a quick ‘You know the score’ as they let him go. He even shouted threats at us out of the window of the car as he drove off, to tell us that he knew where we lived and we would ‘get what was coming’ – Again, no action was taken by the Police.

I asked a friend of mine who was in the Police at the time why such a scenario should occur, and was informed that it was not worth the mound of paperwork that such an incident would  create if they had taken it further. He also pointed out that a number of these people are persistent re-offenders, and with the help of their solicitors know every trick in the book to twist and turn what appears to be a simple case in to something much more sinister, along the lines of ‘police persecution’ of the offender. I thought he was being paranoid, until I sat in on a chat between some work colleagues and a friend of theirs, who works at a local solicitors. She seemed quite proud of how they could stretch a case out and make life difficult for the Police, even in an open and shut case. It was like listening to some of the left wing politicians who blame crime on social deprivation, as if the perpetrator of the crime is in some way the victim and that the victims of crime in some way ask for it.

I personally wish Mr Worker well with his initiative, but in light of just these few tales above (Of which I have many more) I feel that he will be fighting an uphill struggle unless somehow he can change the wrong type of PC (Political Correctness) around to the advantage of the right kind of PC!

There is being a busy MP – Then there is being an expensive liability

On Page 2 of The Gazette last week, local Hayes Reporter Jack Griffith paid tribute to John McDonnell MP for submitting the most Early Day Motions in the House of Commons, and responding to the most, in the current parliament sitting – A grand total of 544, of which he was a primary sponsor on 20 and a sponsor on 113.

These figures look truly impressive – After all, in the wake of the expenses scandal, many of us look at MP’s as being overpaid and underworked windbags, even though in some cases the reality is far removed from the perception. Surely, Mr McDonnell is showing how hard he is working for the local community?

Actually, further investigation reveals a slightly different story. Early Day motions are a way of getting a subject that you care about brought in front of the house for debate – If you get enough respondents to an EDM, then the house has to debate what you have brought up in more depth.

So, what vitally important things has John McDonnell brought to the attention of the representatives of this country, and at what level of success?

EDM258A1 was brought about the state of the ticket office at Ealing Underground Station (Note, Ealing and NOT Hayes,Ruislip or Uxbridge) – This got 1 respondent (McDonnell himself)

EDM319 was about pay differences on board British merchant ships depending on race – This got 20 supporters.

EDM564 was about the first anniversary of the closure of a wind turbine plant on the Isle of Wight, and got a massive 16 supporters.

EDM633 referred to the arrest of Reza Shahabi in Iran, a local union leader – This got 33 supporters.

The catalogue continues, with motions about Underground staffing, The UK Film Council, the Parliament Peace Camp, a congratulation of a media mogul – All of which got minimal support.

So why does this matter so much?Well, I can give you three reasons as follows….

Firstly, not one of the EDM’s that John McDonnell has brought up directly affects the people of Hayes and Harlington, who he claims to represent. Where are the EDM’s about lack of housing, rising crime, increase in class numbers and cuts to the budgets for education,the NHS and  housing?

Secondly, each EDM costs approximately £800 to put up – So 544 EDM’s equals £435,200 of taxpayers money, £16,000 of which was directly triggered by him and he co-sponsored £90,400 worth of expenses.

Finally, there was one EDM that I feel sure all English patriots would have liked further discussion on – That was EDM1083 that was put forward to debate a bank holiday for England on St George’s Day. John McDonnell, supposedly a ‘local MP for local people’, voted against this one, although he does like to celebrate St Patrick’s Day every year – Nothing wrong with that, but why then deny the English their day? Especially when you are supposedly the ‘only local candidate to stand for MP in Hayes & Harlington’.

To their shame, both John Randall (MP – Uxbridge) and Nick Hurd (MP – Ruislip and Northwood) also failed to back this EDM.

But then, having a sense of pride and community is not what any of the old three political parties want.

If you have children,an illness, or are elderly – You need to see this

In the late 70’s, a gentleman by the name of Joel Barnett developed a system whereby additional funding was transferred from England to Scotland to upgrade their services, which at the time were not as good as those in England. That system, ‘The Barnett Formula’, is still in place today, even though the architect of it has stated that it is unfair and needs to be reformed.

I will not go in to a lecture on how it works and why it should be scrapped, but the following video explains everything, and why anyone living in Hillingdon needs to know about the Barnett Formula and how it affects them…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnYlOxklT-g

When you have finished watching this, go to the Hillingdon Council website and look at the ‘over £500 list of expenditure’, and ask yourself – ‘Would my community charge be spent this way if I was in Usk rather than Uxbridge, or Raith rather than Ruislip?’

Local Issues – What really bothers you?

Many people say that politicians don’t listen to real people, that they aren’t interested in what matters to the average man or woman in the street.

Well, this party is listening, and we want to hear from you about what really gets your goat, and how you would like to see things changed for the better in the borough.

Whether it is to do with council cuts, the planned expansion of class sizes in our local schools, law and order – If it matters to you, let us know about it!

Fill in your details on the contact pages on the site, and we will be in touch with your own passwords so you can comment on this site and let us know what is happening where you are.

By all of us coming together and sharing our experiences, maybe we can start to make Hillingdon the place we all want it to be.

Do they really serve you?

The way local government works is a mystery to many people, and since getting involved in politics earlier this year I have certainly had my eyes opened about the realities of the way things are run in Hillingdon.

Regular visitors to the site will know that the English Democrats are pushing for a referendum on elected council leaders (Or executive mayors as they are known) throughout England in areas where they do not already exist.

Below is a quick rundown on how the system works, and how our current model of ‘strong leader’ works in Hillingdon…

INTRODUCTION TO THE

DIRECTLY ELECTED MAYORAL SYSTEM

 

The possibility of having directly elected Executive Mayors was introduced in the Local Government Act 2000.

THE UK currently has 12 directly elected mayors – the London Borough of Tower Hamlets has recently voted for a mayoral system but has not yet elected one.

Several Mayors are independents and are not beholden to an Establishment Party. Ken Livingstone won in London as an independent after the Labour Party refused to endorse him. Stuart Drummond, Hartlepool United’s club mascot H’Angus the Monkey, won in 2002 on the back of a jokey campaign. He has been re-elected twice since and is doing an excellent job for his town. Former senior policeman Ray Mallon won in Middlesborough as an independent in 2002 and won re-election in the recent election by a landslide. Two district councils have mayors: Watford and Mansfield.

The authorities for local governance are:-

1.         Councillor Committees

This is the old Committee system and has been widely criticised as being too slow and too lacking in transparency.

2.         Elected Mayor

The mayor is directly elected by all the local authority’s voters and serves for four years. He or she would choose up to 10 councillor as cabinet members. The mayor cannot be removed from office by councillors.

3.         Council leader

By contrast to the directly elected Mayor the Council leader is secretly elected by the councillors of the local ruling party. The council continues to carry out business through committees, chaired by Councillors chosen by the local ruling party. Whichever party has the largest number of councillors will also have a majority representation in each committee. All decisions made at committee meetings must be adopted at the next statutory council meeting. The Council leader can be removed by the council during his/her term of office by a majority vote and so is beholden for his position to the largest party on the Council and so answers to them and not to the wider electorate.

 

A directly elected Mayor can take decisions with a Cabinet of a few councillors appointed by the elected Mayor

 

The Mayor would be elected for a four year term by all residents eligible to vote in local elections.

The local authorities “Executive” (or “Cabinet”) would be made up of between three and ten councillors, including the elected Mayor. 

Elections for Councillors would be held as they are now.

Councillors would have a role in the scrutiny of the Mayor’s decisions on major issues, including the council tax and major policy decisions.  Committees of councillors would continue on planning, licensing and regulatory functions.  Otherwise the Mayor would be free to decide how decisions were made, and the Mayor and his Cabinet would take most decisions on a day to day basis instead of committees of councillors.

Councillors who are not members of the executive would continue to have some important functions, including representing their local communities.  They could monitor and comment on the performance of the Mayor and Cabinet – the scrutiny role referred to above. 

 

  • The new Mayor would provide local political leadership
  • The Mayoral system provides a single, accountable leader directly responsible to the voters
  • Faster decision making
  • Power to get policies into place quickly
  • A fixed four year term ensures some continuity with direct accountability to voters

 

 So, we now have a choice on how our local area is run – Except that the powers that be at the Civic Centre really don’t want you to know this.

I would like to say a big thank you at this point to Peter Silverman, who runs the Hillingdon Watch website. Peter has made it clear to me that he is not a supporter of The English Democrats, and does not share our vision for a devolved England and English Parliament. However, he is very passionate about local government accountability, and we all owe him a debt for his sterling work on the site, and his uncovering of how the local elite have tried to cover over the opportunity for local people to have their say. Both a council run survey, and one that Peter bankrolled from his own pocket, have shown that the people of Hillingdon would like a referendum on an elected council leader – However, the ruling party in Hillingdon have tried to cover over the opportunity for everyone to have their say by excusing it as being ‘not of sufficient interest’ and by running their survey in an underhand and slipshod manner.

Proof of this is evident on the website on the following link….

http://www.hillingdon-watch.org.uk/html/leader_or_mayor.html 

I don’t know about you, but I am one of the breed that bristles when people try to tell me they know best without giving me a say on the matter.

If you want to send a message to our arrogant council leaders, who insist that they know best irrespective of us not having been given a say, then please print off and sign the petition for a referendum on an elected executive leader for Hillingdon. Whether you think this is a good idea or not, surely you deserve to be heard?

Crime is under control? Pull the other one…..

Hillingdon Council have long talked tough on defeating anti-social behaviour and crime in the area. Indeed, the most recent copy of Hillingdon People, the council propaganda sheet, spoke glowingly of how anti social behaviour and petty crime is on the wane in the locality.

With this in mind, let us look at the events of the last couple of weeks.

Firstly, on The Willow Tree Estate in Yeading, the resident’s association had a meeting where the local press were excluded, to get to grips with the problems inherent in their area, including drugs,gun crime and antisocial behaviour.

Last week saw the Gazette reporting on the ASBO issued to 16 year old Coucou Kasongo by Uxbridge Magistrates court – His defence wanted reporting restrictions imposed, but for once the judge saw sense in allowing locals to be alerted to his continuing criminal behaviour, and his strange penchant for wearing a bullet proof vest in order to ‘give him more confidence in certain situations’.

Then we had the Crimewatch report on the attempted rape of a young woman outside the Point West Building in April shown last week – The attacker, described as approximately 5ft 4in in height,in his late 20’s to early 30’s, and of slim build and Somalian appearance, has yet to be apprehended.

I went through a General Election campaign hearing local politicians saying how crime in the area was under control, and ‘due to their untiring efforts’ etc etc…..Sorry to trouble you gentlemen, but I have lived in this area for the last 40 years, and I have never known the level of criminality and vandalism to be so bad, and for so few Police to actually be out on the beat discouraging crime (Although there are plenty of PCSO’s floating about who cost money and deter precisely no-one!)

Don’t expect things to get better any time soon with this poor excuse for a government we have at the moment – Cutbacks will ensure that we have still fewer Officers on the frontline, and even weaker sentences handed out as a deterrent because we wouldn’t want to upset anyone’s human rights, would we Mr Cameron?

That is the same Mr Cameron, should I add, who campaigned for 2 years in opposition to scrap the European Human Rights Act (1998) and replace it with a ‘British’ bill of rights, only to scrap that particular promise in the first fortnight of his government, no doubt using Nick Clegg as his ‘get out of jail free’ card to blame this U-Turn on.

One of the first duties of any elected government, be it local or national, is to safeguard the rule of law in their jurisdiction. Looking at both levels, the ‘Party of Law and Order’ ie The Conservatives, have failed miserably – Maybe it is time for a new direction, and time to look at how we are governed at both levels.

If you are looking for change, The English Democrats are here listening.