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Everything posted by OldAfricaHand

  1. Judges rule on Brexit

    Cheese' I agree that that argument was part of the initial thought but I am unable to explain why, if this was the only reason, the French sought to exclude UK from the arrangements for so long? was it just that General De Gaulle was an arrogant, ungrategul Anglophobe or was there some deeper reason?
  2. Judges rule on Brexit

    It is certainly interesting and, to some extent, it goes against my instinctive feelings but that is really all they are "instinctive". being instinctive, they also focus more on non-financial aspects of European immigration - that is the impact on culture (albeit a bit of an abstract issue) but more importantly on things like education, health, crime, social cohesion - that is where I think it is largely un-researched - possibly because qualitative research is more difficult to do than quantitative research. I also think a lot of british people are not so much worried about immigrants who come to UK for longer-term but, rather, they are suspicious of those who seem able to come and go frequently having, by fair means or foul, established some form of UK base that permits them to be part of the system of social benefits. Undoubtedly, in thee past there were problems with immigrants assimilating into the British way-of-life and we can still see some of the legacy of that in the large sections of some towns and cities that have significant non-Anglo-Saxon or similar communities. These have, however, become established and, whilst there are occasional problems that hit the headlines, things appear OK - although it has to be said that they are hidden issues that hinge on religion, differing social practice and ethos that occasionally come to the fore. So all is not rosy all the time. I recognise that UK might not be "full" but the question I ask myself is "Do we really need UK to be any more full than it already is?" Again, instinctively, my answer is "No". It doesn't seem unreasonable to me that we maintain the balance of urban, peri-urban and rural Britain as it is/ I also believe that whilst being multi-cultural isn't a bad thing, British people have a reasonable expectation that people who come to the country from other countries will fully comply with the norms of British society. Of course, I would also like those idle and good-for-very-little Brits' who refuse to comply to be forced to do so too - ignorance is no excuse for them! This category does not include the old and infirm, the chronically sick, disabled or others who depend on society for support through no fault of their own. I will look at the other studies but, meanwhile, thanks for this one.
  3. Judges rule on Brexit

    RM Sky News are saying that the indications are that the downturn is not as harsh as some predict but the situation should be clearer after the chancellor's Autumn Statement today (although quite why he is making it in Birmingham I don't know ) I know that the exchange rates losses have badly affected me personally but that doesn't count as part of the UK economic environment!
  4. Judges rule on Brexit

    Soapyw I am interested in the links. My instinct is that they don't and I have not seen any facts that suggest otherwise - I am not being disingenuous on this.
  5. Judges rule on Brexit

    I would really be interested to see your evidence on immigration being a net-gain to UK. As for stopping immigration, many of the non-European immigrants come to UK for pre-determined periods - the EU immigrants actually have a right of residence which can be indeterminate. Also, you are being very naive if you believe that all EU immigrants who are working are totally honest and not also cheating the social security system. Part of the problem is that there is an indeterminate mass of people who can come and go as they please with no regulation. At the same time, there are many people who have strong ties to UK, who are closely regulated as to entry and exit and are not permitted to become a burden on the State. So it isn't a black-and-white situation except that, as it stands, UK has ceded control to an bunch of un-elected, very often mediocre, bureaucrats - most of whom do not aspire to the standards of UK public servants but rather to their own, often corrupt and lack-lustre civil service ethics - and you do not have to go far into the European land-mass from the land border along The English Channel to find them!
  6. The Secret Life of Prisons

    Zulu' It sounds a bit "northern" with a name like Scholes; so I guess it must be effective Personally, I've always liked the concept of the test for a witch or warlock - put in a weighted sack and throw in a pond; if it sinks and the occupant drowns, they're innocent and if it floats, they're guilty and burned at the stake. Mind you, that was overseen by The Church; so it must have been fair and surely might having nothing to do with the fact that if it was a female, she had failed to meet the needs of the clergy
  7. The Secret Life of Prisons

    No need to change religions, Z'. It would be sufficient to return to medieval Christian punishments - just as draconian
  8. The Secret Life of Prisons

    Having never been a bleeding-heart liberal myself, my solution is - lock-down for all inmates. They can have food delivered each day and as most of the prisons seem to have en-suite wc's and TVs - they can get on with their lives. Unless any illness is life-threatening, they can grin & bear it. Actually, let me stop talking nonsense - all third offenders should be put down as should any first offender convicted of violence at or above the level of ABH. Quick and simple - one immediate appeal and then fast-tracked for execution. Yes, I know there may be mistakes but you cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs. I can hear the nay-sayers now - "what about their human rights?" Indeed - and what about the human rights of their victims? Those convicted of crimes have forfeited them by their actions disregarding the norms and standards of society and the rights of their fellow men & women.. We live in turbulent times; so maybe extreme situations demand extreme reactions. As regards the question posed by Bikerider, "I wonder what the reason is that stops both the police and prison service being able to do their jobs without the interference and involvement of shiny arsed pen pushers?" I am beginning to wonder if it is the leadership of these services that is at fault. Perhaps in the old days of Chief Constables and Prison Governors who were often ex-Armed Forces, the force of their personalities stopped the "shiny-arsed pen-pushers" in their tracks. Today's crop of senior officers seem to be more attuned to their political masters and prison governors are more social work administrators that leaders. Another construction might well be that the "shiny-arsed pen-pushers" had also been to war; so they weren't quick like the smart-arsed pen-pushers of today but had learned their lessons in the school of hard-knocks. All a bit reactionary I suppose but I get sick and tired of hearing about how the system has to adjust to deal with the dross who seem to think society is theirs to plunder and use as they wish!
  9. Not Again!

    Perhaps this is just another indication (if any were needed) that things go out of control when a driver (of car, tram, train etc) is distracted by using a mobile. It's a very high cost in human life for someone to apparently be keeping in touch with someone! So very sad. Mind you, I wonder id people generally underestimate the danger from trams. The online manchester Evening News is always reporting delays and suspended tram services due to collisions with motor vehicles and, even with my infrequent trips home, I've seen many a near-miss between pedestrian and trams in Manchester city centre.
  10. Happy Birthday Whisper

    Happy Birthday, Whisper. May you have many, many more of them and lots of sunny, funny days in-between. Have a great day today Cheers
  11. Happy Birthday Whisper

    Sorry to hear that but I am sure that it won't stop you having another fruitful year! Take care
  12. Judges rule on Brexit

    So you are happy with that based on recent performance? I agree that everything cannot be put to the public but something as significant as leaving the EU is a matter for the public-at-large and their decision should be binding. I think it is called democracy
  13. Orgreave Inquiry

    In an address (in Rotherham) live now on Sky News, Owen Smith says he will demand a Hillsborough style inquiry into the events at Orgreave. No doubt another attempt by a politician to undermine the Police. Mind you, he might be wise to consider the potential outcome - there could well be evidence pointing to the Soviet funding of the miners' strike along with other interesting tit-bits of information! I have always been surprised that Bliar didn't try to do more to use this event as a stick to beat the Police - perhaps he had more "inside" information.,
  14. Orgreave Inquiry

    Zulu' Your story is yet another example of how reality gets "lost" in the political shenanigans that surround many "labour disputes". I am sure there were many similar instances like yours - as you were told, the strikers had to picket to get their strike-pay. In the period from the 50s up to the early 90s, the USSR sought to subvert UK unions with large monetary donations that were neither accounted for nor used except to support the lavish lifestyles of key leaders. If the inquiry doesn't go away, I hope you are right and the unions are thoroughly investigated but, being a cynic, I doubt that will happen (and we don't have many "cold-war" investigators left with the skills, experience & knowledge of just what went on that would enable them to get to the roots of the situation).
  15. Orgreave Inquiry

    Neither of them have denied the stories and there have been photographs of them together; he probably helped her up greasy pole over the years.
  16. Orgreave Inquiry

    I have told this story before but is very relevant to this topic because it demonstrates very clearly another side of the conduct of the Police during the Miner Strike. At the time of the strike I was in charge of the Specials unit at Paddington Green and was told to report one Saturday morning for a special assignment. I reported to the Duty Officer, an Inspector Charlie Fogg BEM. The canteen was set for operational feeding; so i wondered what my role was. A few minutes after i arrived a group of around 50 civilians (men & women) arrived in the canteen and Charlie greeted them like long-lost friends. Charlie had met the guys on the miners' picket-line - he used to take his serial running every morning and the miners jeered them. Charlie being Charlie, challenged the miners to run with his team and, remarkably, after a few days they started to do that. The upshot was, he trained the miners for the London Marathon and, again being Charlie, he got them all entered in the marathon despite it being "full". The day after this breakfast meeting was the day of the Marathon and my role became evident. The women among the group were the runners' wives / girlfriends and my job was to get them all located at the finish on Westminster Bridge. We did it and the visitors were all very happy and couldn't say enough good things about Charlie and his team. This doesn't seem to me like the actions of bully-boy policing but more like coppers doing what they (used to) do - get close to their public. Charlie was no soft-touch - he was an ex-Royal Marine, had high standards and in a difficult situation he was the sort of leader people would follow anywhere. I suspect that this story is just one of many examples of what coppers did that could come out of the miners' strike. As Zulu' has said, there were many vicious thugs on the picket lines bent on causing trouble and not giving-a-bugger about the miners' situation. The thing that really irks me about this is seeing talking-heads on Sky News going on about Orgreave being a rehearsal for Hillsborough - how stupid can that be, and how that they the "victims" must see the operational orders for the event and be told who funded the Police operation (on Scargill's side, money for transport etc was likely channelled by the KGB through the Soviet Miners' Union - a USSR government front organisation designed to "foster" fraternal relations with other workers). I just hope the Home Secretary sticks to her guns. But, no doubt, the odious Andy Burham will be doing his best to stir-up trouble.
  17. Orgreave Inquiry

    Not really a surprise - Abbott is one of Corbyn's closest (in every respect) friends and he is / was a Soviet Fellow-Traveller and the USSR was funding Scargill; so it's no real surprise that she has an emotional attachment to anything that will gain her brownie-points with her Dear Leader. Or maybe I'm just been cynical
  18. Judges rule on Brexit

    I understand your view but I am not sure that the exercise of "The Royal Prerogative", which seems to have been what the Government was considering, can be considered "illegal" as it is an instrument that, inter-alia, can be used to sever international agreements / treaties and The Treaty of Rome and the other EU agreements presumably are no different. In terms of self-interest, I know from very immediate impact that the electorate's decision would have pain - my UK pensions have now all reduced in local value by more than 17% but that is a price I and others have to pay.
  19. Judges rule on Brexit

    The legal challenge seems to have been funded by the south American wife of a major venture capitalist - so, clearly, self-interest wasn't at play ........ Not This woman has become the "darling" of the "remainers" - which begs the question whether being a "remainer" means that you can only have self-interest at heart rather than the greater good. Maybe I am being unfair but I still find it objectionable that the "remainers" cannot accept a majority democratic decision - mind you, it's very "European" to try to re-run events until they get the answer they wish. The fact is that the majority of the electorate voted to leave the EU and, frankly, that should be that - a clear instruction to the sitting government to take the necessary action to fulfill the wishes of the majority of the people. I hope the government wins its appeal but, if there is a Parliamentary vote - there is a clear understanding by MPs that if they go against the wishes of the electorate, they will be removed at the next election.
  20. Old Africa Hand

    Thanks for all the birthday wishes - another step nearer my "Three Score Years & Ten". Now i am a few days on from the event, I was reflecting on how fortunate i am - mortality-wise, my mother died of pneumonia aged 35 when I was 8 and my father of congestive heart failure when I was 17 and he was 51. They were both victims of chronic illness - my Mum from her time working in a munitions factory during WW2 and my Dad from the results of breaking his back when he was a youngster and, despite spending many year in hospital, having a seriously hunched-back. In the last few weeks something rather strange has happened and i am wondering if any Forum members might have any thoughts. My parents were apparently married in 1947 and I was born in '48. Going back into various records, I found the 1939 Census, taken to establish who was in the country as the war began. Unlike other census records (which remain closed for 100 years) this wartime one has been opened to the public, with the exception that the details will not be shown of anyone included in it who would now be under 100 years old. The conundrum for me is that it shows my mother, who would not be 100 quite yet but also it shows her maiden name (typed as all the other entries are) but this has been struck out and her married name inserted in manuscript - despite the fact that she was not married for another 8 years or so. I have a very strong belief that both my parents were patients as teenagers in a children's' hospital in Salford but the hospital patients records have been destroyed; so I cannot check. I am beginning to wonder if they got married as teenagers but told no-one - although I thought this was impossible as below 21, parental consent was required. There's a lot of detecting experience among Members and i just wonder - has anyone got any ideas of further lines of inquiry or have they come across similar amendments in census records? Have a great day & upcoming weekend (here we are all pretty happy - the last two nights we have had torrential rain - my wife's plants look a lot sparkier and the cattle are drinking their fill of water - and I'm very happy cos it's cool - around 19C). Cheers
  21. Old Africa Hand

    Thanks, Z' It was a good one - mind you, my boys thought that singing Happy Birthday at 5.30am was fun It was HOT (37C at lunchtime) and we would love some Manchester weather but it meant re-hydration was essential and almost any liquid would do (the beer here is almost non-alcoholic!). Hope your weekend's a good one. Cheers
  22. Old Africa Hand

    Thanks BR. Cynical - me? Where would we be without a measure of cynicism? I suspect we'd be up the odd creek or two Have fun
  23. An IPCC first??

    Should the investigation go ahead, I do hope that the IPCC Commissioner and his subordinates will be arrested in the full glare of publicity that normally seems to accompany their activities. I doubt that a helicopter would be appropriate to hover over the scene but, perhaps, a local news crew can be taken for a ride-along with the arrest team. I assume the IPCC people would be suspended and, for the sake of ensuring a diligent investigation, a period of maybe three to five years can elapse until the case is finalised.
  24. The FA........

    I wonder how it is possible for journalists to video people and then use the "evidence" to convict them in the court of public opinion when such evidence, unless properly obtained, eg with an appropriate approval / RIPA etc, would not be permitted in a court of law? We know that a proportion of journalists are scallywags; why should we assume that those who work for the Daily Telegraph are not amongst them and pursue their stories for personal reward, ie the approbation / adulation of their seniors and peers, a bung from their editor in the form of a "performance bonus" or something similar not connected with their "high ideals" of pursuing truth and justice! Or maybe I am just a cynic?
  25. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3817057/Lesbian-couple-murdered-toddler-Liam-Fee-spotted-sharing-kiss-let-day-release-time-just-five-months-20-year-sentences.html I know it is the DM so facts may be in doubt but, somehow, it doesn't seem right to me that a pair of murderers, only five months after being sentenced to a minimum of 23 / 24 years in prison, should be allowed out for personal meetings at which they can meet. The "severity" of their sentence is such that they should be spending a hell of a long time banged-up and not getting any privileges etc. Still, maybe it's their human right