Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pardon the Irishmen Who Fought in World War Two

This is shocking. I think not only a Pardon but an official apology is long overdue. During those six years Europe (inc Ireland), faced a common enemy that threatened common decency if nothing else and that must always be recognised

Popular Politicians (or maybe not) on YouTube

This is all very well, but two things need to be borne out here. The first is that it's not exclusive to either right or left. Secondly it does not denote popularity as the clip of the surgeon kicking out the journalists out of a hospital ward  shows (amazing how Cameron immediately changes tack in that clip. If  he felt that strongly why did he let the media follow him in the first place?). The key to success here is how they stand out and that is not necessarily healthy

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Marriage Tax Allowance and the Politics of Singleness

By Rachel Stalker

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a young man in possession of a large fortune must be in want of a Marriage Tax Allowance.

Or not…as the case may be.

It also appears to be a “truth universally acknowledged” that the bible, and by extension, the church, is in favour of marriage.

This is only partially true. People who are married should love, care and remain faithful to one another. People with children should treat their responsibilities as parents with the utmost seriousness.

But Jesus Himself never married and St. Paul was single when he wrote the Epistles. Both talk in glowing terms about the advantages of staying single. Responding to a query on the subject from the church in Corinth , St Paul replies:

“Now for the matters you wrote about: it is good for a man not to marry.”

Their reasoning is spiritual but can easily be applied to the secular realm. Single people have more time to devote to wholehearted service in their community and further afield. From Elizabeth I through Florence Nightingale to Ted Heath, our nation owes a great deal to the services of single people.

World War 1, in which hundreds of thousands of single men gave their lives fighting for our country, left  2 million “spare” single women in the UK – women who, even if they had wanted to buy into the “Cult of Domesticity” would never have the opportunity. Indeed, it was these women who helped forge a new future for women that didn’t involve domesticity – emancipation and workplace rights.

Those of us who are Christian and have found ourselves on the left of British politics are here because our heart is for the outcast, the lonely, those who fall outside the support structures offered by “traditional” family life; those who don’t have a “family” to share a “family Christmas” with; the elderly who don’t have family to care for them or visit them; the young widow or abandoned wife for whom marriage is only a fading memory.

But we are also here for the heroes – for those who, with courage, tenacity, and perhaps even silent lonely tears – use their available time and resources to serve others. They are the backbone of any “Big Society” worth the name. But will our tax system ever recognise them?

Rachel Stalker is CLP Women’s Officer in Hertford & Stortford, an active member of CSM and a Future Candidates’ Programme participant.

The Morbid Fascinations of Peter Bone

It is a morbid fascination and yet I thought until now it was patently obvious. Either Nick Clegg would be Prime Minister for a brief period, or William Hague in his capacity as First Secretary of State. A decision (between the Cabinet and (offically) HM The Queen) on which of them would be PM would be swiftly taken  (likely Hague) and therefore I don't see the problem!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

North Korea: What Next?

A definite turning point. Either Kim Jong Il's successor will be a reformer or will find himself overpowered by the Old Guard and the country will end up further isolated. Time will tell, but a definite turning point not only in North Korea's history, but South Korea as well.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cameron's Mistake Over EU

I can understand the patriotic feelings some have regarding Europe and how some are pleased about Cameron's veto, but from a Pro-British perspective, lets see what this will mean!

  • It means we are unable to get a good deal for Britain on the negotiating table
  • It means that the PM has not shown initiative and helped other countries in terms of safeguards for EU countries
  • As Ed Miliband states, it is a diplomatic disaster and cites Article 217 of the EU Constitution. He still wants EU benefits but cannot negotiate how they are used. That is not patriotic, that is a flag waving spasm. Lord Heseltine has stated that  "You cannot protect the interests of the City by floating off into the middle of the Atlantic"

Well done Prime Minister.In pandering to a gang of blind backbenchers and in playing the patriotic card you have succeeded in damaging Britain's interests

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Peers Urged To End "Hereditary Succession" Rules

The prospect of this happening did occur to me when the rules regarding the line of succession was changed, although there are some hereditary titles which cross gender.The Duke of Fife inherited his title from his Aunt for example, and Countess Mountbatten of Burma inherited hers from her father. But this does not go via the eldest and a Special Act had to be put through when such titles came into existence.
On a political level this does not change much. Most Peers eligible to sit in the Lords are Life Peers (meaning their title dies with them) and if the last 100 years are anything to go by the House of Lords will soon have none. However, 100 Lords members hereditary Peers and it is the principle that matters as much as the practice.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Ch 4's Black Mirror

So on Sunday night I tentatively watched Black Mirror. Incidentally those with a sensitive disposition should look away now
I say tentatively because, whilst I have a warped sense of humour, I do draw the line at bestiality and this episode was about a member of the Royal Family kidnapped and threatened with execution unless the PM (played by Rory Kinnear) had relations with a pig, live on television by 4PM that afternoon. In the end that is what happened, although it turned out that the Princess had been released half an hour earlier and the man responsible was an angry performance artist as opposed to a terrorist.
Now I am trying to work out the satire here and if anyone can help me, please tell me what it is. Thing is I think with humour there is a line to be drawn and this was crossed. It will be popular in some quarters because it is subversive, but whether it helps us to understand  the politics and the society we live in, and whether we are prepared to, or want to see that society change for the better, is another matter