Tuesday, July 31, 2007

SCHOOL leaving age 18 you must be joking

Dear Editor
The latest idiotic idea to come from our new labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown is that we should keep children at school till their 18 years of age. One wonders if he and his government have a clue what it is to be normal or maybe because he has had children very late in life he does not know what it like to have a 15/16 year old who does not want be at school, well he should go and ask a Teacher who will have to put up with young Men and Women who would rather be working. For that what 16/18 year old are, they are not children, at 16 they can smoke, they can get married, they can legally have children (under this government rather then deal with that problem they will bring the age down to 12 so at a stroke you will have no under agemothers), drive a motor bike, at 18 you can vote and die for your country.
Now a far better idea would be to let youngsters leave at 15 years as long as they have an apprenticeship or equivalent, which will include a day release where their education can continue but in a more adult environment. I have dealt with young people most of my adult life as a Judo/Sombo Wrestling Coach and at 14/15 the youngsters move up to our Senior section where they come involved with adults, this especially beneficial for young boys. Being involved with adults made them feel more mature and they acted accordingly, obviously not every adult pastime is encouraged my Judo pupils were never allowed to drink till they were 18 they were discouraged from smoking and taught respect for other people. I know you will say that is easy in my line of work because you have pupils who want to be there and that is true but that is exactly what the old apprenticeship scheme did it put young people mainly boys working with older people, people they would be with for as little as 40 hours a week, these people would become their mentors and friends without either of them realising it. I started work at 15 years and 3 months as an Agricultural Apprentice, after being out with my mates for the weekend I came back to work on the Monday my head full of rubbish planted by other adolescents of may age group, these ideas I would start bragging about in front of older work colleagues who would soon put me straight by giving me a verbal tirade, a kick up the backside or in extreme cases a cow pat hitting me along side the ear but there would always be someone who would tell me why I had spoken rubbish. Today teenagers only mix with their own age group and sadly believe all the hype that they talk and see “the blind leading the blind”.
If at 16 years of age a youngsters doesn’t opt to got back to education, doesn’t have a job he or she would go in the Forces for a year not as front line service personnel but as back up staff doing the mundane jobs.
Jobs being the answer but yet for a 16 year old to get even a basic job is becoming more difficult as foreign labour is pushing them out of the Labour market, I have been told that most farmers and companies who want low cost labour now refuse to take on British workers, it is easy to condemn youngsters for not working but if fellow countryman do not give them the chance what are they supposed to do.

Flooding Action NOT Words

Gordon calls for flooding action, not words.

Gordon Henderson has demanded that the Government learns lessons from this summer’s floods and bans all housing developments in areas at risk from flooding, such as Sittingbourne & Sheppey, until the safety of those developments can be guaranteed.

Gordon said:
‘We have been immensely lucky in our area. We have witnessed flooding across huge swathes of north, west and south England, but we have been spared the traumas faced by so many families. However, the truth is that what has happened elsewhere could so easily have happened here.

‘It is time to call a halt on the huge housing developments planned for our area until the Government can guarantee that such developments are safe from the threat of flooding.’

Government Ministers in Whitehall are planning an inquiry into the floods; and Gordon is calling for a number of areas of concern to be taken into account:

· Who’s in charge ?: There should be clearer lines of responsibility for preventing flooding and tackling flooding emergencies. Since 2000, there have been at least 25 reports on flooding: and yet no single Government Minister, Department or Agency in charge.

· Building on flood plains: The Government’s building plans and regional targets will mean even more high-density development on floodplains, such as in Rushenden and Iwade, many of which may be uninsurable or have exorbitant premiums. Such development should not take place unless the safety of both assets and homes can be guaranteed.

· Urban drainage and gully cleaning: “Cinderella” issues such as urban drainage must no longer be neglected. Pressures on town hall budgets in recent years have squeezed highways budgets, leading to cuts in gully cleaning and more localised flooding.

· Emergency funding review: There must be a complete review of the “Bellwin scheme”, a central fund which gives local authorities financial assistance in the aftermath of large-scale emergencies.

· Climate change matters: The Government should make an annual statement on climate change adaptation, which would include evaluation of flood defences.

Gordon went on to say:

‘Across the country, the emergency services and local authorities have done an immense amount of work in recent weeks to tackle the problems of flooding – from major floods to small-scale incidents. But with a changing climate, we need to learn the lessons.

‘There should be clearer lines of responsibility for preventing flooding; we should end the neglect of urban drainage, sewers and gullies; and we must review Whitehall’s plans for reckless building on flood plains - that threaten to become the sink estates of tomorrow.’

Notes to Editors


The Government has announced an inquiry into why this year’s flooding was so extensive, whether its impact could have been predicted and prevented, and whether the immediate response was effective and co-ordinated. Conservatives are calling for the inquiry to consider a number of issues:

· General co-ordination: As early as 2001, the Environment Agency acknowledged: “the confusion of responsibility for managing the wide variety of flood problems” (EA, Lessons Learned, 2001). However, 25 reports later, responsibility for preventing and managing flooding is still divided among Whitehall departments DEFRA and DCLG, and the Environment Agency, drainage boards, water companies and local authorities.

· Condition of flood defences: The National Audit Office has warned that less than half of the country’s high-risk flood defences were at “target condition”. The Environment Agency has a target of 63 per cent (NAO, Building and maintaining river and coastal flood defences in England, June 2007).

· How cost overruns at the Rural Payments Agency led to cuts in vital flood defence work: After having to set aside almost £400 million to pay for RPA failures and to provide for possible EU fines, DEFRA slashed £200 million from its agencies, including £15 million from flood defence work at the Environment Agency. The Government subsequently promised an extra £200 million a year for flood defences from 2011. However, there are concerns that the money is for capital funding only, with the Environment Agency’s planning budget being slashed.

· Pressures on town hall finances mean less gully emptying: Financial pressures on councils have squeezed highways budgets, which in turn have led to cuts in gully clearing. The industry has warned, “with a continuing shortfall of funds, the backlog of work can only worsen. There is increasing concern about the deterioration of our roads and the consequences for safety... [There is] some considerable concern over problems with localised flooding resulting from reduced frequency of gully emptying. This was mentioned by numerous authorities” (Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance Survey, March 2007, pp.4, 17).

· More building on floodplains: According to the Environment Agency, 50 per cent of the housing built in Britain since the Second World War is on flood plains. Some 15 per cent of all current development is in the flood zone - as is 30 per cent of the building planned for 2016-2021. The Government’s new Housing Green Paper, published on 23 July, has signalled that even more building will inevitably be on flood plains. The Association of British Insurers has said that insurance companies would continue providing insurance “as long as it is in an area where the Government continues to invest in flood defence systems” (ABI Press Release, 11 November 2005). However, less than half of the UK’s flood defences are in target condition. This means that new developments may be uninsurable or have exorbitant premiums.

· Is the Bellwin scheme adequate?: The Bellwin scheme was introduced in 1983 to provide financial help to local authorities in the aftermath of large-scale emergencies. At present, Bellwin covers only revenue spending, not capital payments. It also only covers 85 per cent of costs, although this has been temporarily changed to 100 per cent. Even in 2001, the Government warned that “the main live issue [with Bellwin] is local authority expenditure on flood protection and responses to flooding” (DETR, Impacts of climate change: implications for DETR, 2001). There should be a complete review of the Bellwin scheme, including the capital costs of flooding, rather than short-term fixes.


Friday, July 27, 2007

Who are these fools who support Gordon Brown?

The polls tell us that this Labour Government under the new Prime Minister Gordon Brown is 9 points ahead that would mean a complete landslide victory for the Labour Party, purely because people think we have a new government!
Gordon Brown was Tony Blair’s second in command since 1997 and as such supported everything he done so lets have a look at Labours legacy:
1) Increased Taxation
2) Increased Teenage Pregnancy
3) Increased usage of illegal drugs
4) Increase in crime especially teenage crime
5) Increase in illegal immigration
6) Increase in deadly hospital diseases
7) Increase in power to the EU
8) Increase in unemployment for native Britain’s, work taken by 2 million EU workers who accept lower wages
9) Patients having to go to European Court to get the NHS to supply life saving drugs
10) High percentage of youngsters out of control
11) More money and help given to foreign disaster areas then our flood disaster
12) A massive recruitment problem for the Armed Forces
I could go on and on, so who are these people who want to vote for this treacherous, inefficient, corrupt government? I am no great lover of David Cammeron but I would rather vote for him then Gordon Brown and his henchman mid you I would rather vote for my neighbour’s dog then vote labour

Is Gordon Brown a traitor to GB or a EU Patriot

Scandal of new EU “Constitution”.

GORDON Henderson has added his voice to criticism of the EU draft treaty that was recently negotiated by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, accusing the Government of “scandalously undemocratic behaviour”.

The treaty, which was signed by Tony Blair just before he stepped down as Prime Minister, but was heavily influenced by his successor, Gordon Brown, is almost a carbon copy of the European “Constitution” that was so decisively rejected by Dutch and French voters less than two years ago, and on which both Mr Blair and Mr Brown promised the British People would be able to vote in a referendum.

The problem is that currently few members of parliament can make a proper judgement on the “treaty” because the only copy circulated in the House of Commons is in French!

The ludicrous situation has been highlighted by North Thanet`s MP, Roger Gale, who this week challenged the Leader of the House, Harriett Harman, to make the EU Draft Constitutional Treaty available in English to Members of the House to study during the parliamentary recess period.

Gordon said:
‘Hooray for Roger Gale! At least we have one Kent MP who believes in British democracy. It is quite scandalous that the Government has failed to provide members of the parliament with a copy of the treaty in English.

‘How on earth can they make a proper judgement about the treaty when it is French! The conclusion has to be that the Government does not want MP’s to read the treaty in English, because they will be able to prove conclusively that the treaty is simply the European Constitution under a different name!

‘Whatever one’s views on Europe, this is simply an undemocratic manoeuvre by the Government to stifle debate and avoid having a referendum that Gordon Brown knows he would lose. That is quite shameful!

‘This whole episode once again tarnishes the whole image of the European Union and simply reinforces my own view that we would be better off out of the EU.’

Derek Wyatt betrays local pensioners

Gordon Henderson once again highlights how this government and it's MP's care very little form its own people.

Let us be quite clear; our local MP’s decision to vote against the pensions “lifeboat fund” was not only a betrayal of the ASW pensioners, but was a kick in the teeth also for many other local people who have lost their occupational pension through no fault of their own, despite repeated Government assurances that those pensions were safe.

And that latter statement is the whole crux of this issue; this was an issue of public confidence in Government information. These pensioners have been misled, deceived and now betrayed. No wonder those workers are bitter!

Our MP tells us that “the lifeboat scheme cannot work” and that any rescue plan would “hit the general taxpayer”. In addition, he persists in the deceit that this was a Tory initiative. I am sorry, that is all so much hogwash!

Firstly, this was a cross party initiative promoted by Conservatives, Lib Dems and Labour MPs, including Frank Field MP. Secondly, the “lifeboat scheme” is almost identical to the help given to Mirror Group pensioners when Robert Maxwell stole their pensions. The idea was that the Treasury would loan funds to help pensioners NOW and those funds would then be paid back over time. The money loaned to the Maxwell victims is still being paid back today, at no cost to general taxpayers!

It is true that the Government has now (at long last) agreed to pay 90% of the pensions, the problem is that nobody knows when the pensioners will actually start seeing any money. The Government’s record to date has been abysmal, with millions of pounds being spent on administration, with only a relatively few payments being made to pensioners.

The scandal is that many of the pensioners who are seeking justice will be dead before any money is paid out. If the “lifeboat fund” had been agreed then those pensioners could have started receiving money almost immediately.

I hope our MP is proud of himself!

Yours sincerely

Monday, July 23, 2007

Happy Days From The Past

Just for a minute, forget everything stressful and readthis...............Close your eyes and go back in time...Before the Internet...Before semi-automatics, joyriders and crack....Before SEGA or Super Nintendo...Way back........I'm talking about Hide and Seek in the park.The corner shop.Hopscotch.Butterscotch.Skipping.Handstands.Football with an old can.Fingerbob.Beano, Dandy, Buster, Twinkle and Dennis the Menace.Roly Poly.Hula Hoops, jumping the stream, building dams.The smell of the sun and fresh cut grass.Bazooka Joe bubble gum.An ice cream cone on a warm summer night from the van that plays a tune.Chocolate or vanilla or strawberry or maybe Neapolitan or perhapsscrewball.Wait......Watching Saturday morning cartoons, short commercials or the flicks.Children's Film Foundation, The Double Deckers, Red Hand Gang, TomorrowPeople, Tiswas or Swapshop?, and 'Why Don't You'? - or staying up forDoctor Who.When around the corner seemed far away and going into town seemed likegoing somewhere.Earwigs, wasps, stinging nettles and bee stings.Sticky fingers.Playing Marbles. Ball bearings. Big 'uns and Little 'uns.Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians, and Zorro.Climbing trees.Making igloos out of snow banks.Walking to school, no matter what the weather.Running till you were out of breath, laughing so hard that your stomachhurt.Jumping on the bed. Pillow fights.Spinning around on roundabouts, getting dizzy and falling down was causefor giggles.Being tired from playing....remember that?The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team.Water balloons were the ultimate weapon.Football cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle.Choppers and Grifters.Eating raw jelly. Orange squash ice pops. Vimto and Jubbly lolliesRemember when...There were two types of trainers - girls and boys, and Dunlop GreenFlash The only time you wore them at School was for P.E.And they were called gym shoes or if you are older - plimsolesYou knew everyone in your street - and so did your parents.It wasn't odd to have two or three 'best' friends.You didn't sleep a wink on Christmas Eve.When nobody owned a pure-bred dog.When 25p was decent pocket moneyCurly Whirlys. Space Dust. Toffo's.Top Trumps.When you'd reach into a muddy gutter for a penny.When nearly everyone's mum was at home when the kids got there.When any parent could discipline any kid, or feed him or use him tocarry groceries and nobody, not even the kid, thought a thing of it.When being sent to the head's office was nothing compared to the fatethat awaited a misbehaving pupil at home.Basically, we were in fear for our lives but it wasn't because ofdrive-by shootings, drugs, gangs etc.Parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat and some of us arestill afraid of them.Didn't that feel good?Just to go back and say, Yeah, I remember that!Remember when....Decisions were made by going "Ip, Dip, Dog Sh*t""Race issue" meant arguing about who ran the fastest.Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in MonopolyThe worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was germs.And the worst thing in your day was having to sit next to one.It was unbelievable that 'British Bulldog 123' wasn't an Olympic event.Having a weapon in school, meant being caught with a catapult.Nobody was prettier than Mum.Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better.Taking drugs meant orange-flavoured chewable aspirin.Ice cream was considered a basic food group.Getting a foot of snow was a dream come true.Older siblings were the worst tormentors, but also the fiercestprotectors.If you can remember most or all of these, then you have LIVED.Pass this on to anyone who may need a break from their grown life...I DOUBLE-DARE YOU

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Global Warming A Reply

Dear Editor

In last weeks EKG Mr Ben Murphy lambasted Miss Helmsley- Flint because she suggested Climate Changes have happened since the World was formed and you also suggested that anyone who does not believe that man is not totally responsible for Global Warming must be mad or a member of the Flat Earth Society. Now I am not a scientist and can not make any scientific judgement on Global Warning but I can read and have enough imagination not to be conned by indoctrination techniques. I started reading articles on Global Warning first of all the only information you could get was that of those who believed that Global warning is a man made problem what made me have doubts was the hypocrisy of those who preached man’s forthcoming doom and then it was all the politicians/pop stars who jumped on the bandwagon and lastly the clincher was that it was an excuse for governments to raise taxes. The main theme is that greenhouse carbon dioxide is to blame and we should cut back and the worst offenders are:
Aeroplane flights which have been taxed has this stopped people flying NO all it has done is given more taxes to the government, if Global Warming is going to destroy our planet in a few years time why have not all flights with the exception of humanitarian ones been banned? We must all cut back on electricity and use energy saving bulbs, yet our towns and motorways are lit up like Christmas trees at night, supermarkets open 24 hours what about the electricity there. Save the Planet Pop concerts which use an inordinate amount of electricity, ten of thousands of people to travel most coming by vehicles which produced carbon monoxide, how many plastic cups and bags are used at these events, World governments flying all over the world with their entourage to attend meeting on Global Warming, how much carbon is produced shipping food from all over the World to the UK, for instance why do we need apples from South Africa or Strawberries form Spain I could go on. I am not suggesting that all these things should be altered but its hypocritical for us to be lectured at for being so Naughty.
Mr Murphy goes on to say that our only chance is the European Union this most probably one of the most corrupt organisation their has ever been, it cannot balance its own books, it promised to get rid of corruption in its organisation something it has not done, any thing the EU says or does cannot be trusted it is like the old Soviet Union using propaganda and subterfuge to justify its existence. As for 95% of scientists agreeing that World warming is man made where he did get this information form was it just plucked out of the air was every scientist in the World asked? Mr Murphy condemned the Channel 4 documentary inferring it was a one off but there has been several articles suggesting the same as Channel 4 the latest is an article entitled “The Great Man Made Global Warming Fraud” by John Prendergast is article is supported by 43 bibliographies I suggest every one read it. Can I quote from his article

“All three major UK political parties accept man made global warming as dogma, fostered by such as Lord Rees, Al Gore, Sir David King, Sir Crispin Tickell, Sir Nicholas Stern, Nancy Pelosi, Dr Pachauri, I)avid Milliband, and Heidi Cullen. Other greens such as Monbiot and Porrit also are homo flagelists. The US Academy of Sciences is in this camp as is the Union of Concern Scientists (another Trade Union). Their focus is the UN body called the Inter governmental Panel for Climate Change (actually heavily funded by the UK Would it be cynical to say their anti capitalist target seems to be the humbling of Big Oil and pursuit of funds or are they just Mencken’s Hobgoblins?”

Do I believe Global Warming is man made I do not know but one thing is for sure I will not be bullied into believing anything whether it be by Government dictate or by order of the European Dictatorship

I do believe in recycling it makes good sense not to use up the Worlds resources, I do believe in cutting back on pollution for health reason, I do believe in making cars more efficient it will save me money and keep the limited oil stocks longer.
Oh and by the way Editor your own letter in Gazette Gossip with reference to the unusual weather conditions being a modern day phenomena can I suggest you look at your article on “Dusting of the files where in 1957 there was a freak Hailstorm and Sittingbourne High street was flooded” also do you remember the heat wave of 1976?
Martin Clarke www.sittingbourne .org


GORDON Henderson is urging Swale Borough Council and Kent County Council to object to the current proposal being put forward as part of the Medway Estuary and Swale Shoreline Management Plan which is recommending that almost the whole length of Sheppey’s southern shoreline and much of Sittingbourne’s northern coastline be categorised, in the long term, as “Managed realignment” areas.

There are four categories of shoreline protection:-

1) Hold the line, which maintains the existing defence line.
2) Advance the line, which builds new defences seaward of the existing defence line.
3) Managed realignment, which allows the shoreline to change with management to control or limit movement.
4) No active intervention, which means that nothing is done to stop land erosion.

Gordon Henderson said:

‘I am not happy with the current proposal. I know it could be worse and our shoreline could have been classified as “no active intervention”, but the proposals contained within the current consultation document are simply unacceptable.

‘The proposed “managed realignment” will see the loss of large tracts of land both on Sheppey and along the coastline from Murston to Faversham. Currently that land is not being farmed, however, it is strategically important to the country’s long term ability to be self sufficient in food.

‘I am deeply sceptical about the motives behind this policy, particularly relating to the stretch of coast from Shell Ness to Kingsferry Bridge, because from a cost point of view the current proposal to build sea defences further inland, thereby losing acres of land nearer The Swale, simply does not add up. I suspect that this has more to do with meeting European Union targets for bird habitat than it does managing our land effectively!

‘Surely it would be more sensible, and more cost effective, to simply raise the existing sea defences, rather than abandon them and build new defences further in land.

‘I believe that the Government, via the Environment Agency, has a secret agenda and I call upon both Swale Borough Council and Kent County Council to object to these plans until the public receives a fuller, and more honest explanation for the proposal to allow huge tracts of Swale to disappear under water.’


GORDON Henderson has written to new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, and challenged him to make good his promise to make the Government more accountable to its citizens.

In a speech this week Mr Brown told Parliament that the thrust of his proposed changes to the constitution were all about “devolving more power directly to the people”.

Gordon Henderson said:

‘I am willing to take the words of our new Prime Minister at face value, so I have written to him and asked him to demonstrate his sincerity by turning those words into action.

‘I say to Mr Brown that if he is really serious about returning power to the people, rather than simply saying the words as a cosmetic exercise designed to gain some temporary political advantage, he should take the following steps.

‘Firstly he should hold an immediate referendum on the recent European Union amending treaty, which is a European Constitution in everything but name, to let the British people decide if it should be ratified.

‘Secondly, he should allow the English a referendum on whether they would like their own parliament, or, whether they would like to limit to MP's with English constituencies a vote on matters relating only to England. I really cannot see that such a referendum should be a problem for Mr Brown, because he was a member of the Labour Government that allowed the Scots and the Welsh a referendum about how they should be governed!

‘Lastly, Mr Brown should call a General Election so that the British people can decide who they want as their Prime Minister. That is real democracy at work!

‘If Mr Brown refuses these requests, then his fine words about democracy and making Parliament accountable to the People is just so much hogwash.’