Monthly Archives: June 2013
I sometimes like to think that Queen Elizabeth II is an unusually good Monarch. She is a Queen that portrays herself to be benevolent, liberal and loving. At least, that is what I like to tell myself. Then, there is always poverty and all the world’s dying. That soon brings me back down from cloud cuckoo-land.
Buckingham Palace reports the Queen will receive a 5% increase in her Sovereign Grant. In 2012/13 she received £31m. In the current financial year, she received a whopping 16% increase raking in £36m and next year she is set for another increase of 5% taking her grant funding up to a massive £38m.
Meanwhile, millions of workers are facing cuts and job losses up and down the country as well as our poorest having their benefits stripped away from them with many incomes being either frozen or reduced in the name of the “deficit”. If I was the Queen, I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. Maybe not so benevolent, liberal and loving after-all.
As a young child, I was fortunate enough to go on holidays with my family. The main destination was always either France or Spain. My father used to take us on the old Stella Line Ferry from Calais to Dover and we would drive all the way down to the sunny south. As I got older, I visited other countries such as Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Turkey and Wales. Whenever I have gone abroad, I have always found the local people to be very accommodating and friendly. It has never been forgotten how some of the most wonderful people I have met, and how some of the most wonderful memories I have had, memories that I will never forget, have been due to time spent abroad on foreign soil.
You will always meet some of the most amazing characters when you are abroad. Most of them you will find are travelers just like yourself and there are the hosts who put on a darn good show. They have to, they need to convince you to spend some of that hard-earned cash you are holding onto! It’s important to walk away from a place happy. In fact, it is what boosts reputation, and when others hear of how good a particular place is, they tend to want to try it for themselves. It’s good for business!
When you hear of places like Portugal where expats are being mistreated and conned out of their money by the state police for merely gambling with biscuits, and when you hear of places like Indonesia where their state continues to carry out the death penalty, well, let’s just say that it doesn’t leave me with the alluring desire to want to go there any time soon. Not that I would ever take part in criminal activity, but it’s more to do with the fact, that, the harsher the laws are in a country, the more off-putting it can be for people wanting to visit. Draconian laws are unattractive. They leave a bad taste in the mouth. The idea of sun, sea, sand and the feeling of being free from society’s constraints is what people will spend their money on.
Who wants to travel to Syria anytime soon and spend lots of money seeing the sights there? Where soldiers are having their lungs cut out and eaten by rebels? Or who wants to go out to Brazil and get caught up on the receiving end of a police rubber bullet? These are not just lessons for locals to learn but even more so important for governments to learn. When many foreign students are paying high university tuition fees to come to Britain, and yet they find themselves feeling unwelcome and isolated by a government’s policy, what does this say about the future of our country and for our reputation? These students will one day return home only to tell locals how we hate foreigners and blame them for everything. It creates a global perception that is both negative and uninspiring. It’s not at all good for business.
We need to start opening our minds up and treating the foreign national coming in as we would like to be treated when we are traveling abroad. All nation states need to be working together to create the perfect luxury resorts that focus less on draconian laws and more on enhancing the customer experience when foreign nationals enter their lands. It’s not only good for business but it is good for the spirit and even better for achieving freedoms and liberties. We need to invest in offering good services and stay well away from all the negative stuff that will leave us impoverished.
I have been out in Greenwich with the prolific film maker Lewi London filming a Fathers’ Day special. We have managed to interview a few different people so that we can build a full length documentary on “Dad’s Matter”, but we wanted to give you an early taster for Fathers’ Day.
Please do watch, share, comment, and if you would like to be interviewed please do get in touch. Happy Fathers’ Day to all you daddies out there!
As someone who has had their fair share of protesting; I’ve protested tuition fee increases within the walls of the Millbank Tower, I’ve occupied University buildings, Students’ Union buildings and I have even set up petition campaigns and yet of all these, not one campaign has had a success story other than the consolation prize of gaining the respect of my peers for at-least trying. My failures were never the direct result of somewhat lacking in ability to manifest my voice but more so a failed result of not manifesting my voice by using the correct channels.
Civil disobedience in 21st century Britain is pretty much based on outdated methods that simply do not work. For example, in one day alone, and done in very much an old-fashioned way, over 30 million people took to the streets and protested the war in Iraq. Did it change anything or stop the sending of our troops there? No. With 36,000 petitions submitted to the government, having over 6.4 million signatures, all you are getting at the end of the tunnel is a debate and in most cases, not exactly what you wanted in the first place. Was 100,000 petition signatures enough for the proposed NHS reforms to be dropped? No. Anti-G8 protesters occupied a building to protest against the G8 and what did they get for it? A night in a police holding cell followed most likely by court the following morning.
What are these methods of protest achieving? We have to assess this empirically, and if we do so then it has to be said that marches, petition signing, occupation movements and most other methods of protest being used today do not work! They may be all good for building on the community spirit but as for achieving ends, they actually achieve very little. This only results in people becoming disillusioned with democracy as they feel their voices are not being heard. However, in many ways, democracy is very much alive and the only disillusion being brought about is due to the incorrect methods being used to channel voices. Most are simply taking the wrong directions based on prehistoric and out-of-date road mapping.
It is not so much about what you have to say but more so ‘how’ you say it and to whom you are saying it to. Signing a petition is no different to chanting outside Parliament into thin air; the world will hear it but the bicameral chambers will not. By correctly understanding the right channels to democracy you really can make your voice heard and most importantly you can make your voice count. Although, like the ‘good ole days’, our community leaders are no longer out-and-about standing on-top of milk crates; voicing their passions and challenging the status quo through the means of a dusty old megaphone, they are still there but they are now found possessed hiding inside around four to five interns working extremely hard behind a computer desk in an office.
Mostly every Member of Parliament (MP) will have their own constituency office and they will have a team on call ready to deal with and meet the needs of their constituents. We do not vote in elections to elect MPs who we then have to petition to be heard. Not at all. We elect them so they can represent us! I actually know of more people achieving tangible change through simply emailing or writing a letter to their local MP than many people gathering up Parliament Square to protest something. I have heard issues raised within parliament from local MPs that have not had one signature, let alone 100,000 signatures, and all because one constituent simply wrote to them. Democracy is not simply being accessed correctly, and if one constituent wrote to their local MP and could make change happen, image if 100,000 petition signatories wrote to their MPs? I do not think they would have the staff to match the incoming letters but regardless it is your direct channel to democracy and being heard.
It is time that people up and down the country realised this and it is time for you all to start making your MP work for you. It is down to you to hold your MP to account. Elections are never a long way away and the more accountable you can hold your MP, the more likely you will either end up losing a very poor representative that never listened anyway or possibly gaining a hard-working representative that actually listens to you.
You can find your MP and write to them today here : http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/
As we approach Fathers’ Day 2013, I have been in contact with South East London’s very own talented Lewi London and we have decided to put together a short video on what it means to be a father in 2013. We want to hear from you whether you have full contact with your children or you see them every so often to those who cannot see their children due to court ruling.
Please send us your home-made videos explaining what being a father means to you in 2013 and we will pick out the best ones to go in our video exclusive for this Fathers’ Day!
It is a 7 day project to capture, edit and publish.
Get sending! We want to hear from you.
Please send all videos to email@example.com
Imam Shaykh Shams Ad Duha comments at Ebrahim College on the death of Lee Rigby whilst condemning the Woolwich assailants as well as speaking out against extremists such as Anjem Choudhary and the EDL.
The EDL love to portray Islam in a negative light but if you can find one negative thing stated by this wise young Imam, I will join the EDL myself! Simply impossible. Please take 30 minutes to watch, listen and understand the true voice of the British Islāmic community from a speaker that deserves far more air time than the likes of Anjem Choudhary.
Sean Ash from the ResilientLiberal.com discusses deportation and the justice system. He challenges the BNP, EDL and UKIP on their thinking and says why checks and balances are essential to maintaining liberties in response to today’s front page article in The Times Newspaper on Deportation.
The UK is set to see the corrosion of yet more civil liberties as on the spot fines of up to £100 come into place for minor traffic offenses. The police will also be able to issue points to drivers without even stepping a foot inside the court room. Apparently, this is to save court time for police officers. Ha! And there was I thinking that justice was the bedrock of our oh so progressive society! I am sure this news will bring flashing money signs before many polices officer’s eyes. A new bonus for them surely as, like the Spanish police lurking just outside the borders of Andorra, our police force will be at opportunity to back pocket more money while also bringing down the number of reported offenses by simply not reporting them. It is possible, is it not?
Let’s face it, we are living in times where the trust is all one way. That is, our trust is no more than an ultimatum to either do as they say or face the consequences. Alternately, when it comes to the state trusting us, zero trust is offered in return. I would hate to see a OAP going a little slower and taking extra precaution to then being bullied off the road by a “policy enforcement officer” to then having a £100 on the spot fine taken from their purse or wallets just because they were not going fast enough. You cannot win; go too slow and they fine you; go too fast and they fine you. What on earth is the third (fast lane) for if not to overtake?
They are now picking on ‘middle lane hoggers’ just like they singled out and picked on chavs, hoodies and children from broken homes who now have to kip on a sofa when they stay with their non-residential parent (usually the father). Imagine if we issued the police with the ultimatum of either an on the spot fine or going on a course for not doing their job properly? How just and fair would that be? Imagine if we pulled over police officers for using technology while driving and giving them the ultimatum? Or whenever you have seen, and I am pretty sure you all have, a police officer abusing their sirens to cut traffic and speeding when it just is not necessary.
I have never made any insurance claims nor have I been involved in any road accidents. I am a responsible driver and I reject what they are doing! I for one will not be paying any fines and I advise others not to do the same. I will also not accept points on my license unless convicted in a court of law. You have rights whether they are acknowledged or not. Do not let them bully you off the road. Know your rights!
Bill of Rights 1689 – “All grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void.”