Wednesday, 29 April 2009

50% and all that again

Although now it's 60% which is the effect of the £1 for £2 reduction in personal allowance for those over £100000 per annum. Pensioners who are lucky enough to get about one fifth of this income have suffered the same 60% as their extra personal allowance is clawed back. This has being going on for years but the media hasn't said much about it.

50% and all that

Following the media frenzy about soaking the rich & punitive taxation that has been flooding the media since the budget one might be forgiven a certain cynicism. Although only some 1% of the population make more than £150000 per annum that 1% includes just about anyone who is anyone in the media circus.

Goodwin again

I'm not going to join the clamour for Sir Fred to be stripped of his knighthood. When we allow convicted felons to retain peerages; award instant peerages for political expediency etc., why single out one individual? If you scrutinise the Honours Lists you find that those truly deserving of some recognition - those who have devoted their lives to the (low or unpaid) service of others, or who have done some act of bravery or suchlike - wind up with the lowest award. Meanwhile Peerages & Knighthoods & such go to those who have already had richly rewarding lives - financial & otherwise. The whole system should be massively reformed.

Sunday, 26 April 2009


Not being a product of modern education I ought to do a better job of checking my typing for errors.

Tories don't cange

Like leopards Tories don't change their spots. Cameron is whipping up a campaign against some of the rewards paid to top 'executives' in the public sector. Whilst one might be tempted to agree with him we should remember that, at least since Queen Margaret of Finchley (aka Thatcher) came to the throne, the Tories have been implacable in their hatred of the public sector. The attack is also a useful diversion away from the focus on financial services rewards.

Ghurkas simply have earned the right to be here

This Government, and especially the increasingly awful Jaqui Smith, just cannot get anything right. The issue is not how to control the number of Ghurkas coming to live here. The vast majority don't want to, and given what New Labour (or more accurately fake Tory) has done to this country over the last 12yrs what 'foreigner' would want to come & live here unless they were a filthy rich tax avoider. The issue is one of principle, a word whose meaning is clearly beyond Ms Smith's comprehension. Ghurkas, all of them, have simply earned the right to come & live here if they wish.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Financiers in Fantasy Land

Those who live in the 'Financial World' still don't seem to have acquired any understanding of how the rest of us live. Pension contributions of up to £245000 p.a. qualify for the full 40% income tax relief - which itself is outrageous. In todays FT a 'Wealth Policy Director' states that: " --- public indignation over [bankers pensions] could lead to an attack on higher rate tax relief enjoyed by ordinary people". There aren't THAT many ORDINARY people who pay 40% tax and of those that do, even fewer could even dream of diverting anything like £245000 p.a. into a pension pot. This is another perk for the filthy rich so admired by that staunch Labour figure Peter Mandelson.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

School discipline

A hot topic, in this week of Teaching Unnion meetings is disruptive pupils & worse parents.I have some exposure to primary education. In the region of my experience there are typically 10% of pupils on any school roll who have serious behaviour problems. Of those about three quarters are responding well to modern methods of behaviour improvement with the support & involvement of their parent(s). The staff work incredibly hard on this process and are always elated when a child settles down.

The difficulty is that, from the Director of Children's Services down through the system, there is NO effective way of dealing with the remaining 25% of disruptive kids & their equally disruptive parents except to throw more effort at them. Given that little kids crave attention above almost everything else this escalating 'attention' given to the disruptive does not encourage the 'good'. The 'system' refuses to accept that there will always be a tiny minority who will reject all currently available supportive measures. In at least one instance, which I doubt is unique, a parent's behaviour,( a mother), included threatening a teacher & gatecrashing a class,& was so bad that the Governors sought legal advice as to the powers they had to ban this parent from school premises. The answer was not many until an actual assault had taken place.

The amount of disruption that this very small minority of out of control kids and their even worse parents can cause is huge but we should not exaggerate the numbers in this category. Instead we should realise that there
comes a time when one has to take severe rather than supportive measures with this group and have some separate system outside mainstream education for dealing with them. To many of us this admission of defeat is unpalatable but we must remember the bigger obligation to provide the best chance possible in life to those kids & their families who want to take their opportunities.

One justice for the rich - not much for the rest

So RBS is going to shed some 9000 jobs. Fred Goodwin won't care. I don't remember it exactly but in one episode of Sherlock Holmes the line was 'The law is with us always but justice is rather rare'. How true. If there was any justice Sir Fred would be stripped of everything he possess & left to live on job seekers allowance but the law lets him keep his wealth. Then we hear of companies reducing their contribution to employee pension funds. Never hear of reductions to their Executive Pension Scheme funds do we.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

No fair play under Labour either

G20 has come & gone. Liberal Democrats made strenuous efforts to get some
involvement. We understand that the time pressures, especially on President
Obama, were considerable. If it couldn't be done it couldn't be done. What is
not right is the huge & successful effort the Government made to stop us when
they should have made a big effort to support us, (and the Conservatives -
Cameron eventually got half an hour), and show off, however briefly, the
breadth of British Democracy

No Democracy under Labour

The Government has forced through Parliamentary Select Committees for the
English Regions & has so manipulated the rules for the make up of these
Committees that they will always have a Labour majority - even for those
regions where Labour is NOT the major party. Liberal Democrats & Conservatives
have therefore decided to refuse to nominate MPs for these Committees. So the
Government has decreed that they will meet just with their own MPs!