'opinions'. . . . . . . . (The serious stuff) !

Everyday issues that are most important to all of us.

We are non-political and do not have any bias in direction.

Tell us what you think. It is your 'opinions' that matter.

Our world in their hands - really?

Honest, but Weak & Clueless?

Anyone who totally fails to see the risks of taking significant and crucial actions and decisions - including seriously misjudging the outcome of her own 'called' general election, failing to rally her own party in the Brexit fiasco and refusing us a second referendum on the grounds that we had no idea of the huge implications of leaving Europe and how badly we'd been deceived the first time. Worse than all this is the stupidity of dangerously hanging onto the coat tails of the 'expansionist' USA, led by the erratic and unstable Donald Trump. We should be closer to Europe not separated - we are not an all powerful empire any more. We should also be promoting ties to China, who is the emerging superpower.


Trade with the US will not be so important if the impulsive Trump one day turns his tariff wars against Europe and against the UK - everything is possible with this man. Meanwhile all the country's essential services are at crisis point and lives and families are at risk daily.

Ambition Self-server?

The verbal cock-ups uttered by this man as Foreign Secretary were innumerable. What was Teresa May thinking, giving this inept self-server the most important international job in our government? He was not fit for purpose. In these days of world tensions and unrest, surely we needed a true diplomat - capable of dealing at the highest levels with world leaders without causing friction and irritation. He insults Muslim women and entire countries - China, Russia, France, Italy and Congo to name but a few and then back-stabs his own leader and his own family. Shouldn't Mrs May have shown some grit and dumped him. Is he just another self-empowering narcissist or does he actually have something to benefit the country? 


No-one seems to have anything in their bags to contribute to the reduction of the considerable austerity and poverty problems the country continues to face other than argument and rhetoric, including Jeremy Corbyn who may not have joined the 21st century yet!

Risk Taking Sociopath?

A sociopath can be defined as a person who has a serious Antisocial Personality Disorder. This disorder is characterised by a total disregard for the feelings of others, a lack of remorse or shame, manipulative behaviour, narcissism, egocentricity and the willingness to use and repeatedly lie to other people in order to achieve his or her goals. Sociopaths consider other people merely tools to be used and abused. Many of us know one - they are often successful and appear charismatic. This one separates little children from their mums & dads, promotes racism and sexism and puts the world at risk of war by unrelentingly alienating China, Russia and others, destroying treaties, waging trade wars, making cold wars, to say nothing of pulling out of the world climate change agreement.


Our government needs to distance the UK from this very dangerous man. Trade and profit are irrelevant if you're turned into a crisp by a long range nuke. Remember the Little Big Horn!

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NHS 'in debt' news story

Source: BBC News 31-05-18.


Is it right that the NHS should be though of as 'in debt'? We all rely on the NHS for our wellbeing and frequently our very lives. Isn't it about time funds for foreign wars, bad political investments and decisions, as well as propping up 'doomed' businesses and banks ceased in favour of our health? Shouldn't the government's sense of priority be refocused? Tell us what you think. £20 if we publish your response.

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Which famous person or celebrity do you think could successfully do these jobs?!

- Health Minister

- Education Minister

- Home Office Minister (Immigration,

- Security, Law & Order)

- Foreign Minister

- Transport Minister

- Defence Minister

- Minister for Housing, Communities and Local Government

- Prime Minister


£20 EACH FOR THE MOST SENSIBLE and THE FUNNIEST  and WHY YOU PICKED THEM.

(Nothing offensive please)

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thoughts, opinions & rants - bumper edition!

Here are many provocative thoughts about issues affecting each of us. Do you have a passionate view?

THE NHS:

How should the NHS be funded? Clearly the current ad hoc monies ‘given’ by our government doesn’t work – the NHS should be above the status of financial recipients deemed important or not (depending on the day) by successive governments. The NHS is the life or death and the quality of life for our parents, our children, the young and the old and ourselves. Each of our lives and our longevity will likely depend on the NHS at some point and except for food, there can be nothing more important. Yet politicians consider it’s funding to be on a par with foreign wars, ‘Victorian-esqe’ expansion adventures, faster trains, propping up failing banks, more air traffic and (too large) businesses run into the ground by greedy ‘fat controllers’, or avoiding their tax obligations - to say nothing of the self-serving unethical financial supporters of political parties. Closely allied to the NHS  is (of course) Social Care – yes we’d like some! The latest figures (BBC News 9th Aug '18) show that 3,500 people waited more than a year for 'non urgent' (bones, hips, etc) operations, whilst the number  waiting more than 18 weeks is now over 1/2 a million. What is the point in anything else if we have to live in pain unnecessarily or die early? How do you think the NHS should be funded and run?


SOCIAL & CHILDREN'S SERVICES:

Do the employees (they call themselves 'workers') within this dark and mysterious department found within all County Councils have the training, the skill sets and the abilities to apply common sense where families are concerned. Do you think they can tell when a child is actually at risk - not always just of death and violence but of mental abuse, which is so often the foundation of irreparable harm done to children by a wayward parent? Do these people have too much power but not enough mental agility and common sense? Conversely, is too much power wielded in the wrong situations? Are actions or lack of actions based on too much box ticking, or is the depletion of funds to blame for insufficient investigation? These people are, after all, way too short of time to apply themselves sufficiently, in many cases.


A BBC report last October stated that "Ninety children are being taken into care every day in England and Wales and it's claimed social workers are fire-fighting the most serious cases late into the night. Staff fear children slip through the net as they try to keep up with rising pressures. Latest government figures show 32,810 children were taken into care in 2017. Ministers said extra money was being targeted towards improving services. The total number of children in care is a record 72,670 - up 3% on 2016. Council bosses, who are responsible for child protection services, say it's the biggest rise in seven years. The Local Government Association, which is taking part in a conference on care services in Bournemouth, says it comes as children's services face a £2bn a year funding gap by 2020."


  • Have you had a good or bad experience of Social Services / Children's services that you would share? (we wouldn't publish names or personal details.)

EDUCATION:

Our children’s education system and curriculum are ever changed by ‘the current minister’ so that head teachers and staff are constantly having to adapt to fit the dictates of politicians who will not allow teachers and the people at the sharp end to decide what is best. Ofsted is there to boost the confidence of schools that do well and ‘mark down’ those which do not. That should be all that is necessary. SATS, testing and re-testing of children takes the focus off their natural willingness to learn and instead introduces stress and time-wasting merely to satisfy ‘the minister’ and his minions. There is a firm belief that education should be based on the old idea of the 3 Rs (reading ‘riting and ‘rithmetic!) as it was known, with other subjects coming in behind. That system has always worked and if nothing else, provides all children with the basics needed throughout life. Education has not kept up with the times and frantic additions to the curriculum to deal with the outside world in which we now live seem to be injected by panic rather than proper planning and taking stock. This is not school’s fault.


Shouldn’t the National Curriculum ensure the following, above all else and aren't these the basic skills the foundation without which college, university,  good jobs and careers are on the line?


Reading in English: We are told that children do not read enough and that it is a constant battle for parents to remove their children from the 'screen' and focus on books. Well perhaps there needs to be a compromise. Even reading with Kindle or (if your local library has one) a facility to read books on line / on screen is better than nothing. The proviso being that there is no possibility of damaging eyes looking at screens for more time. Would that help in your household?  


Writing in English: With emphasis on Spelling, grammar and punctuation. Yes this is taught and called SPAG, but how much emphasis is placed on it and how much class time and homework is allocated to it? High School is very different to Junior School and it is hard to see that sufficient time is given to reading skills and SPAG. Is enough focus given to good English skills and width of grammar?


Arithmetic: Times tables 'parrot fashion', mental arithmetic (add, subtract, multiply and divide), logic (use what you know to solve problems you may not be familiar with) – and only when those fundamentals are fully instilled, should Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, be added.


  • Perhaps reading, writing and basic arithmetic should be regular homework activities with questions and prizes given in class for the best results, renditions and improvement on a weekly basis. The funding of such prizes is open to discussion but without these skills, surely the rest is pointless.

Google: How to use and benefit from Google to find anything you need to know – which types of websites to look at and which to ignore. Check out the more reliable information sites such as Wikipedia. Learn how to spot what is likely to be nonsense or unreliable. Ignore health advice except from NHS and bona fide trustworthy and reliable 'health' sites. Why we should, in the main, ignore retail and services providers directly - and why!


Social Media, (or as some like to call it ‘antisocial media’). Do you think that access to these platforms is too easy and that access to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and all the others should be regulated and not made available to children under 16? Until then aren't they too immature to be able to analyse how to use them and how to avoid the nasty side – which is dangerous and often bullying, abusive and open to illegal activities by the bad people in society?. Every child managed without it until very recently. From the other side, social media can be a very good thing - allowing easy communication and information sharing between families and friends and joining in with fun stuff, following people we like or admire. If you're a parent, or an adult member of a family, do you have a view on this?


YouTube: This is a hugely influential platform for our children and we would do well to recognise that. Children follow what are loosely know as 'Famous YouTubers', but they need to accept and realise that almost no children will become ultra successful 'YouTubers' any more than music stars, famous actors, or Premier League footballers and that even then, such a status will be very short lived. Since Google bought YouTube it seems to allow pretty much anything to be broadcast or shown. It seems that much content is infested in large parts by moronic American (and sometimes UK) children and teenagers engaged in pranks that many of us would consider grounds to have them sectioned – let alone those cretins who come up with more and more ways to destroy top of the range iPhones and other expensive items so children think they are ‘awesome’ Yuk. It also doesn't help our children with spelling and we need to realize(!) that.


Of course YouTube has a huge positive side promoting music, fun and lots of useful facts and information as well as solutions to problems of ‘how do I do this, or fix that?' and, like Google, genuine health, education and work related content too!’


However, YouTube has many strands of bad language, nudity, violence, nuisance and reference to weapons,  sex and drugs. Google makes noises about ‘change’ and policing itself but is perhaps too powerful to care. Try entering ‘DRILL MUSIC’ or ‘DEATH’ or ‘SEX’ or ‘LITTLE T ROAD RAGE’ into YouTube and see what comes up. By the way if you think parental controls stop your children viewing anything they want to – think again – they are way ahead of us! By the way, interestingly, I wrote to Mark Menzies MP about the latter and eventually received a disinterested and officious standard letter back telling me the government is going all it can, but that I should complain to YouTube – as if YouTube is going to take action on my say so (assuming you can find a way to get in touch with them). Only if you look at this stuff for yourself can you see the extent of the problems and the lack of action by our government. If you do check any of this stuff out for yourself, be prepared to be shocked. This is nasty stuff and beyond the 'watershed'.


Police: Our police force has been pillaged and miniaturised to the core and is, in the main, ineffective. It cannot prevent or solve anything more than the most serious of crimes and for the same reasons, it cannot investigate anything in any space of time that would make it useful or able to gain a result. Our children need to understand that. It has been stated that police recruits now receive only two weeks training before being dumped on our streets and expected to make a difference - whilst learning on the job. It is not their fault, governments of all flavours continue to fail in this area too.


Online Safety: A hugely important topic. There is a thought that says when parents buy a laptop or tablet or phone, the default state of that device is that there is a unique PIN already set up, which makes the device 'child friendly' from the moment the box is opened - the reverse of what happens now. Parents would have to log in online, with ID, to be given the PIN. but the PIN is not accessible to anyone but the parent. Parents can then set permissions before the child can use the device. A very simple list of criteria should be ticked by the parent as to what content could be accessed and what could not. The PIN is set in the hardware memory (ROM), not in various apps themselves. Not perfect and specifics would need to be thought about and agreed by a range of actual parents - not 'experts' and 'techies', but much better than what we have now. What do you think?


Emergency: Are children taught what to do in an emergency? Suppose someone tried to take hold of them, do they know what to do? 'Drop to the floor, scream "Help me, I don't know this person" repeatedly, kick punch, scratch, bite, flay around.' If being followed or if they feel 'threatened', they should run into a shop or an office or somewhere close where there are people and shout "Help me, I'm scared, I think someone is following me." People will always help a child. If lost in a supermarket, they should find someone who works there, or go to a till, or a security guard and tell them they are lost. Can they describe their parent or guardian? Do they know their parent's or carer's mobile number?


Money: From Year 5 or 6 – what things cost, what parents have to pay for, why there isn’t always money available for things children want, how easy it is to save up and how positive it is when you've saved enough for what you wanted. Obtaining a young person’s bank account with a Visa Debit card from age-11. Being responsible and understanding that when you’ve spent it - it’s gone! Plus earn some money – do jobs for your adults, do your homework without fuss, help with the housework, bake a cake (with help?), feed the pets, etc.


INFRASTRUCTURE:


Trains: Late, rescheduled, cancelled, hugely over-priced, often over-populated.


Our railway system is amongst the worst yet most expensive in the world. It is unreliable, dysfunctional, fragmented and far too costly for the majority of commuters, whilst prices rise constantly. The most recent fiascos with strikes, unhappy staff, unacceptable timetable reshuffles and franchisees who aren’t fit for purpose surely says that the whole thing needs huge changes. Should the railways remain as they are, or what changes should be made? Should we have more Tramways like Manchester?


Should Chris Grayling be given a mandatory task to explain truthfully, transparently and simply (that'll be a challenge!) why our rail infrastructure is one of the worst in Europe and the wider world and why the entire system can't be removed from the useless profit-led private sector, placed in the hands of government-employed senior management, recruited from commercial backgrounds and paid for reducing fares whilst increasing performance - both at very significant rates? Perhaps the ever responsibility dodging Mr Grayling should be barred from any form of transport other than trains and bicyles !


OUR CHANGING WORLD:

We are now starting to suffer from the effects of global warming that continual governments have wittered on about for decades, but have done nothing except make plans to change within 10 or 20 years. Then we have our ‘best friend’ Trump jumping out of the only solid international plan to reduce the continual growth of the problem, just to please the uncaring short-sighted business leaders he relies on to retain power and be re-elected. This mindless 'people-user' doesn’t care that his own grandchildren may well all fry or freeze or drown or starve because of his self-serving stupidity and the ‘good ol’ boys’ of middle America.


OUR FRIENDS:

Should we continue to be so close to the US? Shouldn’t we be more forward thinking and be much closer to our neighbours in Europe, plus China and the East. China will soon be the world’s largest economy and they need trading partners like us more than we need the US of A. We are now subject to the vagaries and mood swings and mind changing of the most untrustworthy and unreliable US President and so called world leader in history.  The way he's going the USA is going to have no friends! China, Russia, Europe - he bad mouths everybody - worse, he's two-faced and hides behind Twitter to slag people off. 


HOUSING:

The government must buy appropriate land and employ professional, commercial people to design genuinely affordable, non-profit starter homes and provide mortgages from the banks we mainly own. There should be no need for chunky deposits because like all mortgages, if you repeatedly or cumulatively default, you get evicted anyway. If you are interested, have a look at this website:



REFUNDS:

Have you noticed that when you buy something on your card the money is gone instantly, but when you're waiting for a refund it often takes 3-5 days? Why is that, with the 'faster payments' system? Someone's taking the mick, as usual.


AND FINALLY:

You should know that we are, as we said in the beginning, 'non-political' - in other words we think that most politicians of all flavours are near the bottom of the moral human food chain, so we can claim genuine neutrality! The point of 'Opinions' is to bring contentious and provocative, but hopefully fair propositions to the fore - if you agree, or strongly disagree let us know, your views are what count!


. . . . We think that Dara O'Brien, Ian Hislop, or Jo Brand could do a far better job than most of the politicians out there!  (Ed).

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HOW can any government justify this ?

Austerity in the UK

 "The UK government has inflicted 'great misery' on its people with punitive, mean-spirited, and often callous austerity policies driven by a political desire to undertake social re-engineering rather than economic necessity, the United Nations poverty envoy has found."

Read the article

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REMEMBER - it must be legal decent, honest and true!

 A child asked his father, "How were people born?" So his father said, "Adam and Eve made babies, then their babies became adults and they made babies, and so on." The child then went to his mother, asked her the same question and she told him, "We were monkeys then we evolved to become like we are now." The child ran back to his father and said, "You lied to me!" His father replied, "No, your mum was talking about her side of the family."

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