Thursday, March 29, 2007

Budget Hits Local Families

Budget hits local families.

Gordon Henderson has delivered his verdict on Gordon Brown’s Budget which sets out the Government’s plans for taxes and public spending:
· Independent experts have calculated that 3.5 million families will be worse off as a result of the Budget. The headline-grabbing move to cut the basic rate by 2 pence is offset by the abolition of the 10p income tax rate and an increase in National Insurance contributions for many.
· A single person without children earning £16,000, like an NHS maternity care assistant or a police community support officer, will pay more in tax, and not gain from tax credits.
· The Government is considering introducing a raft of new town hall taxes, including bin taxes to collect household rubbish, higher council tax bands, regular council tax revaluations and pressuring pensioners to sign away their homes in return for deferring their council tax bills – a ‘death tax’ in all but name.
· The Budget has hit small businesses. Gordon Brown is raising the tax rate and increasing complex allowances for small firms.
· The NHS was mentioned just once in Gordon Brown’s speech and there was nothing proposed to tackle the £1.3 billion financial crisis in the NHS, with nurses being sacked and operations delayed.
· The Budget fails to increase stamp duty thresholds in line with house price inflation, increasing stamp duty by stealth. The average first time buyer is paying over £1,500 in stamp duty, and more and more homes are being pushed into the punishing 3 per cent band (£7,500 tax on a £250,000 home).


Gordon Henderson said:
“Gordon Brown’s last Budget is a tax con not a tax cut. He gave with one hand and took back with another. Three and a half million families will be worse off.

“In his stealthiest taxes yet, he has paid for his 2p cut in income tax by abolishing the 10p rate, hitting low income earners like junior nurses, and putting National Insurance up for professionals like doctors. There is nothing to tackle the crisis in the NHS.

“Worse, Gordon Brown’s town hall tax report has dropped a tax bombshell on working families and pensioners across Swale – calling for regular council tax revaluation, higher bands, a new bin tax and a new death tax on the elderly. Higher taxes are on the way - engineered by Labour Ministers in Whitehall - without any improvements in local services.”

Notes to Editors

The Budget was announced and published on 21 March.


Independent experts the IFS have calculated that 3.5 million families will be worse off as a result of the Budget.

From April 2008, the 10 pence income tax starting rate will be removed for earned income and National Insurance Contributions will increase as the upper limit for paying the 11 per cent rate will rise by £75 per week to £745 or £38,740 per year.

From April 2009, National Insurance Contributions will increase again as the upper limit for paying the 11 per cent rate will rise to the same level as the top rate income tax threshold. The overall impact of income tax/NIC changes will cost working families over £300 million a year.


Gordon Brown has raised overall taxes on businesses by £1 billion.

Small businesses will be hit the hardest, with a higher rate of corporation tax and more complex reliefs and allowances. As Nick Goulding, Chairman of the Forum of Private Business remarked: “the Chancellor has used smoke and mirrors to disguise the fact that there is nothing in this Budget to support small businesses.”


Gordon Brown’s report on town hall finances, was also published at the same time as the Budget.

· New home improvement tax: On top of new council tax bands, the report recommends not just a council tax revaluation, but regular revaluations (p.240). The council tax revaluation will mean Gordon Brown’s inspectors, the Valuation Office Agency, will inspect, photograph and catalogue every home, and every sign of a nice neighbourhood. Council tax bills will rise purely for living in a quiet road, being near to a bus stop, or having a parking space. People who rent will be taxed just as much as those who own their home. Inspectors have the right to enter people’s homes, on pain of £500 fines. Unlike at present, council tax will effectively become a home improvement tax.

· New death taxes: Pensioners face the prospect of being pressured to sign away their homes’ equity to local government tax collectors (p.259). Town halls will encourage pensioners to ‘defer’ their local tax bills, and instead pay - with interest - when they their property is sold or on death of the surviving resident spouse. Such a policy though will pressure many pensioners on fixed incomes to sign away their equity if they are struggling with their tax bills. A typical pensioner in England will face a net debt of £64,000 after 20 years.

· New bin taxes: Town halls will charge new bin taxes to collect household rubbish (p.280). Microchips will be installed on compulsory wheelie bin and new municipal bin inspectors will police every bin. The taxes will damage the environment and public health by causing a surge in fly-tipping and backyard burning. Based on Ireland, the charges will be £451 per year to collect 2 bin bags a week.


The NHS is in severe financial crisis. Across the country, the NHS is forecasting deficits this year amounting to over £1.3 billion – an even worse position than last year, and the worst in its history (Department of Health, NHS financial performance quarter 3, 20 February 2007).

Almost 20,000 jobs are set to be lost from the NHS this year (Patricia Hewitt, Letter to Andrew Lansley, 25 January 2007). In the last three months of 2006, the NHS was shedding jobs at a rate of over 100 a day (Office of National Statistics, Quarter 4 public sector employment, 14 March 2007).


Farmers Betrayed

Local farmers betrayed.

LOCAL Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman, Gordon Henderson, has used the visit of a senior shadow minister to attack local Member of Parliament, Derek Wyatt, accusing him of betraying local farmers and compromising public food safety.

Gordon’s attack follows news that Mr Wyatt has been pressing the Government to bring in legislation that would make farmers liable for all the costs involved with any slaughter that arises from future outbreaks of animal diseases, such as the foot and mouth crisis that affected Sheppey farmers in 2001 and the more recent case of bird flu which hit the Bernard Matthews factory in Norfolk.

Gordon said;
‘The call by our local MP for farmers to bear the full cost of slaughtering animals caught up in future outbreaks of animal diseases, is not only a betrayal of local farmers, but could seriously compromise public food safety.

‘If implemented, such a policy could push small livestock farmers over the brink into bankruptcy. Faced with financial ruin many farmers would quit the industry, which could have serious long term implications for food supply in this country,

‘More worryingly, some farmers might be tempted to simply not report any outbreak that hits them, which could well affect food safety and public health.

‘It simply cannot be right that farmers who are caught up in an epidemic, such as the foot and mouth disaster, often through no fault of their own, should be forced to pay the full cost of slaughtering their herds at the behest of the Government.’

‘There is an argument for sharing the costs, and I know that the Government is in discussions with the livestock industry to work out a suitable scheme. However, as our Shadow Agriculture Minister, Jim Paice, pointed out during his visit this week, the other side of the coin is that the Government has to tighten up border controls to stamp out the importation of diseased food, which is often the cause of outbreaks.

‘In addition the Government must give farmers a greater role in the policy making process. With this in mind, it might have been better if our MP had discussed this matter with the NFU and local farmers, before pressing the Government to penalise farmers in such a draconian way.’
Photo from right to left – Jim Paice MP, John Lewis, Gordon Henderson.
Below is a copy of the leading question asked by Derek Wyatt
Derek Wyatt (Sittingbourne & Sheppey, Labour) Hansard source
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the answer of 28 February 2007, Official Report, columns 1320-1W on Bernard Matthews, if he will bring forward amendments to the Animal Health Act 1981 to provide that the food producer is ultimately liable for the costs of any slaughter in the national interest.
Ben Bradshaw (Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) Hansard source
The arrangements for animal health and welfare are currently under review.
The Government launched a consultation on 'Responsibility and cost sharing for animal health and welfare: principles' on 11 December 2006, seeking the views of the livestock industry, including businesses upstream and downstream, and consumer organisations.
A UK Responsibility and Cost Sharing Consultative Forum, made up of high-level UK industry representatives, was established in December 2006 to develop structures and mechanisms through which responsibilities and costs could be shared on animal health and welfare. In addition, DEFRA is working with other interested parties and consumers.
The intention is to introduce a Bill to allow the Government to extend coherent cost sharing principles across all animal health and welfare policies. This will provide the responsibility sharing needed to establish a new relationship with the livestock industry and to provide charging powers, such as individual charging or by establishing a levy mechanism for a group of individuals or an entire sector

For more information contact Gordon Henderson on 07866 719923

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

School Selection is wrong

Once again the Schools selection process has come under criticism as some one who used to be a Tory, no that is not quite right I am still a Tory but not a member of the New Conservatives led by David Cameron, I believe in freedom of choice. Yet in some cases choice for one group of people can mean restrictions for others and I sorry to say education is that case. I went to secondary school in the 1960’s at the time when all these so called Educationalist starting experimenting with our School and children and in most cases these experiments have failed as can be seem by standards of today’s youth. One thing in my day was the only selection was Grammar School, Technical School and Secondary Modern I went to Westlands leaving at 15 years of with a very good basic education suitable for me to cope with adult life. Yet I had no choice in those days if you lived West side of Park Road (this used to be the middle part of the town) you went to Westlands and if you lived East side you went to St John’s (SCC) and every school was expected to produce well educated rounded pupils by the time they left and in most cases they did. At Westlands there were no GCSE or CSE etc when you left you either got manual work, served an apprenticeship or went to colleges to get a GCE, also all secondary school were single sexed.
I may be looking at these events with rose tinted glasses but I honestly can not remember having any of the problems schools have today, It may not be possible to return to those halcyon days, if that what they were but the latest batch of educationalist have travelled all over the World and have said the countries with the highest standards in education and youth behaviour were those who had single sexed schools, made children sit in rows facing the teacher had codes of discipline such as no talking in class, no running in the corridors, no swearing etc strangely enough this reminds me of when I was at school! Why is it that modernisers look on the past with disdain and obliterate everything that is not new? You have to know and learn from the past to know where your future is.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Col Patrick Mercer an honest MP

Can some one please tell me what Colonel Patrick Mercer has done wrong if you do not who he is, he is the Conservative Front Bench MP who was asked to resign for saying that in the Army, people are called Black Bastards, Ginger Bastards, Fat Bastards and so on, he never said he said any of those things. I thought it was rather refreshing that a politician actually told you the truth how it is and not how they want it to be. Patrick Mercer served his country for 20 years prepared to put his life on the line for us, as all service personnel do. How can National politicians judge the environment of the armed services when at best their training is done in the bars of Westminster, there battleground is the debating chamber of Parliament and the only weapon they use is when they are knifing a fellow politician in the back. Our only hope is that at the next election a new batch of MP’s are elected and realise they are elected by the people and do not try to treat the people as serfs like some feudal Baron.
Judge for yourself “Col Patrick Mercer: the full transcript script”

Martin Clarke 118 East Street Sittingbourne

Col Patrick Mercer: the full transcript
Last updated at 00:14am on 9th March 2007
Read a transcript of what Col Patrick Mercer said.
"I came across a lot of ethnic minority soldiers who were idle and useless, but who used racism as cover for their misdemeanours.
"I remember one guy from St Anne's (Nottingham) who was constantly absent and who had a lot of girlfriends. When he came back one day I asked him why, and he would say, 'I was racially abused.' And we'd say: 'No you weren't, you were off with your girlfriends again.'
"I had the good fortune to command a battalion that was racially very mixed. Towards the end, I had five company sergeant majors who were all black. They were without exception UK-born, Nottingham-born men who were English - as English as you and me.
"They prospered inside my regiment, but if you'd said to them, 'Have you ever been called a nigger,' they would have said, 'Yes.' But equally, a chap with red hair, for example, would also get a hard time - a far harder time than a black man, in fact.
"But that's the way it is in the Army. If someone is slow on the assault course, you'd get people shouting: 'Come on you fat bastard, come on you ginger bastard, come on you black bastard.'

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Does Childhood still exist?

For years some mothers have been complaining about paedophiles yet their 12, 13 year old daughters dress and behave like 20 year old and the brag about how their little Charlene is so mature for her age, fathers are the same with their sons encouraging them to drink alcohol at an early age and treat women as some form of sexual object (as long as it was not their daughter) can you then wonder why the UK has the highest illegitimacy number and under age mothers. When I complained I was always told I am old fashioned, children are more mature then they were when I was a teenager and young should be encouraged to experiment with sex and to have many sexual partners. Well it seems other people think like me a recent article appeared on MSM lifestyle entitled “Does Childhood still exist” I quote just a small piece

Parents have a major role to play in achieving this goal, the APA says. It has produced a series of tips to help parents lessen the effects of sexualisation on their kids. They include:

Teach girls to value themselves for who they are, rather than how they look, and teach boys to value girls as friends, sisters, and girlfriends, rather than as sexual objects.
Complain to manufacturers, advertisers, etc when products sexualise girls.
Watch TV with your children, read their magazines, surf their websites, and then ask questions like, "why is there so much pressure on girls to look a certain way?" Asking the right questions and talking to children about the sexualised images they're bombarded with is a vital way of offsetting any damage such images may cause, says Gill Mullinar, co-ordinator of the Sex Education Forum.
If you are interested in child welfare read this article.

Martin Clarke Sittingbourne

Vineyard and drugs

You may be interested in the following letter sent by mysel
Delivered by hand Saturday February 24th 2007.

Saturday, 24 February 2007

Manager Vineyard
Part of Barracuda Group

Dear Sir

With reference to our telephone conversation today at 11.20am can I confirm with the statements you made over the telephone

1) My daughter Donna and her husband Scott Lawrie were told to leave your premises on Friday February 23rd after being accused of visiting the Ladies toilets on several occasions to use drugs and dealing drugs under the table they were alleged to be sitting at.
2) The accusation was made by an assistant manager who you named as Lee (you refused his surname).
3) This accusation was made, according to your manager after 3 people informed your manager of the incident.
4) Again according to your telephone conversation your Stewards witnessed this and were present when you asked Donna to leave.

Can I bring to your attention the following facts?

1) This was the first time my daughter has been in the Vineyard
2) She was with her husband and not in a group
3) The pair were not seated at a table they were on stools
4) She visited the toilet once
5) They had spent the early part of the evening having a meal then vacated to another pub and returned to the Vineyard later by themselves.
6) When confronted with the accusation my daughter volunteered to be searched as did her husband and she also pointed out that on leaving the toilets she had no coat or handbag.
7) The member of staff who accused her gave his name as Dominic Oxley not Lee no surname as given by yourself?
8) If my daughter had committed a criminal act, which you allege, why was the Police not called?
9) I believe you have CCTV in the Bar if this is the case you will have video evidence of the incident?
10) Is this the policy of yourself and your company not to inform the Police of criminal activities?
11) The Police have been informed of this incident for further reference.

Myself and my family have been actively involved the Community for over 50 years teaching various forms of Martial Arts, I have been a Borough Councillor, Vice Chairman of the local Conservative Association and a Licensee in access of 10 years so our reputation and good standing in the community is of paramount importance.
I commend any establishment for clamping down on illegal drug use but it must be legally and not on a vigilante basis. Hearsay, which is designed to be malicious and is unsubstantiated must be ignored at all time, I believe you have made a slanderous allegation against my daughter.

I await your written reply before my daughter and myself consider any further options.

Further letter

Samantha Potts
Swale Borough Council
Licensing Office

Thursday, 08 March 2007

Dear Samantha Potts

Attached you will find a letter of complaint I have made to the Barracuda Group with reference to the Vineyard, briefly it makes a false and malicious accusation against my daughter, although the accusation maybe a private matter it does throw up some other matters relevant to the licensing of the premises:

1) As you can see it has been 12 days since my written complaint, to date I have no reply either by letter, e-mail or telephone. The company has shown a cavalier attitude to customer’s complaints, the recent publicity in National newspapers with reference to a hooded top proves that this is the only way to get them to respond to complaint. I believe that the public have a right to complain and be listened to.
2) If my daughter had committed a criminal act, which they allege, why was the Police not called? As a licensee myself I believe it is part of my license to report criminality to the Police.
3) The manager and his staff seem very young and inexperienced, this is obvious by the way they handled my daughters situation and the subsequent follow up. An experienced mature licensee would have approached the whole incident in a more diplomatic way and would not have relied on unsubstantiated accusations, which could have provoked a violent incident. The main manager when he returned my initial call even gave the wrong name to the person who ejected my daughter, so something like checking details of the incident was no considered necessary by the manager.
4) Could the whole incident been a ploy to cover the real activities of drug dealers?

I would like this letter brought before the revue panel on Friday, can I suggest that before any extension is issued they check the Vineyards policy on drugs, they also question the companies staffing policies with regard to age and experience, finally they should have some laid down complaints procedure.

Having used the premises on only one occasion I did find the experience quite enjoyable and believe that the Town needs venues like this but it must have the correct management structure other wise it could just become another place for excessive drinking and late night violence. I am not sure it has that management yet.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Litter Oinks

Yesterday I was walking from my house to my Martial Arts Club, as I crossed the road at South Avenue a women in her late 20’s early 30’s crossed with me when she got halfway across the road she discarded her plastic bottle in the middle of the road, she was the typical chav, dumpy, smoking and wearing a white shell suit. My first reaction was to confront her but I thought no why waste your time trying to educate a moron and get into a argument, this annoyed me all morning when I was walking home at 3pm the male equivalent but slightly younger was crossing towards me he disposed of his bottle in the middle of the road then threw empty fag packet to the floor proceeded to open a new pack whose wrappers he threw into a hedge, all with in a few feet of a waste bin. This time I could not keep quite as he drew near to me I said, “ever thought of using a bin?” he retorted “mind your own business” my reply “ It is my business I am a Council Tax payer and I have to pay for someone to clean your mess up” by the time he was 5 yards away I got the verbal abuse as far as he was concerned he had done nothing wrong, I was pleased he was out of grabbing distance as I am not the most tolerant of people when my parentage is questioned.
Why do I mention this simply these oinks are most probably parents or soon will be can you imagine what heir offspring will be like al I can say GOD help this country because no one else wants to.

Martin Clarke Sittingbourne

Monday, March 05, 2007

Drug Users are complicit

An article appeared in the Daily Telegraph "Our failed drugs policy has to change By Philip Johnston"

My reply was as follows

This article tells us nothing new, it tries to justify drug taking in some form of degree. For years the drug user a have treated as victims and the dealer as the villain, until we realise that the dealer is the users best friend and the user is not a victim but complicit and should be responsible for their action we will achieve nothing, simplistic yes! But nothing else has worked.

30 years ago there was zero tolerance on grugs and we never had the problem what we have today surely we can learn from that. Interestingly enough th SUN had a two page article on the damage the drug trade has on Columbia and how drug users are contributing to not just Mafia style gangs but Terrorist organisations