Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Then & Now plus X Factor

Then and Now plus X Factor

On one of the History Channel I have been watching a programme about the unsung heroes of the second World War people like the Train Drivers who were ferrying cargo, petrol, troops, bombs etc to keep the war effort a lot of time when bombs were dropping and when German planes were strafing them, there were the Land Army Girls and Young Women who were put on the land to feed the country, the Bevin boys, young men conscripted not into the Army but down the Coal mines and they were no released from their duty till several years after the War had finish with no back pay or demob suit. The one thing they had in common, they were British and they got on with the Job without any histrionics. After watching this exhilarating and tear jerking programme I felt a deep sense of pride in the people and in being British.
Then I switched by mistake to that X Factor programme which started its life being a stage for new singing talent, you had a panel of Judges who would listen to you sing and make a judgement on your ability. This seems to me not to be the criteria anymore now you have to sing and then you asked a string of questions about your private life, the more you can trowel on the emotional blackmail, plus tell the most outlandish story so you can get the women judges in tears the more likely you will get through to the next round. WHAT has that got to do with your ability to SING????
If that doesn’t work you humiliate yourself by falling on your knees and beg, yes beg while doing this it helps to cry and whine about how bad life is for you. Now if you do win you run out in hysterics to join your supporters who in turn go hysterical. WHAT an absolute disgrace, yet pages of this nonsense goes into the press, one wonders what the young people from GB i1940’s and 1950’s thought of this. One thing is for sure they would not recognise the behaviour of the people of this British Isles, that is until they meet our Boys and Girls who serve in the Armed Forces giving their all for this country the last remnants of the saying “Proud to be British”

Martin Clarke Sittingbourne Kent

Monday, September 22, 2008

Not Everything is bad in England

Not everything is bad in England in spite of what NU Labour has done to ruin the UK, the past few weeks have been very good weather wise, just right to explore Kent. This time of year there is always a Horticultural/Farming show plus the end of all the Village Fetes. Two weeks ago I made my annual visit to the Goose Fair in Challock Nr Ashford, this fair is based on when the Geese were driven to Market. This is a real Country Fair with lots of shows and demonstrations by Amateur clubs, plus you have a lot of local stalls selling their wares an excellent typical English scene, The following week I was of to a Cider and Apple festival at the Brogdale Trust near Faversham A registered charity, responsible for the maintenance of the National Fruit Collection. This was a great Day Tractor and Trailer ride round the fruit plantations, various local crafts on display, hog roast, cooking demo, live folk music and of course lots of Apples and Cider a great day out. Sadly I missed this year Hop Festival at Faversham the last time I went there was a plethora of Morris Dancers, the streets of Faversham do make for a unique festival. Weddings are also a must for this time of the year something our NU Labour Government has tried their best to discourage but they continue to flourish. Valerie and I (married 38 years) were to friends of ours Graham and Jenny Sargent invited us to their daughter’s Karen’s wedding. The pair have a lovely converted Barn and in the grounds they had a large and I mean large Marquee erected for the Wedding breakfast and subsequent party, it was a traditional White wedding the evening was followed by a three piece band, no drunks, no plastic glasses, no family fights and no disco a great day to remember.
So as you can see there is lot to be thankful for being English and being a Man of Kent mind you it would be better if could get rid of Gordon and his cronies.

Martin Clarke Sittingbourne

Sunday, September 21, 2008

JK Rowling is she against marriage?

JK Rowling gives £1 million to NU Labour

In a statement, JK Rowling, who wrote the first of her best-selling books about boy wizard Harry Potter while claiming to be an impoverished single mother, ( obviously one with a lot of time on her hands) indicated that her gift was motivated by Labour's record on child poverty and Tory leader David Cameron's offer of tax breaks to married couples.

I have never read a Harry Potter book and I have only seen pieces of a film when my grandchildren are watching it on DVD. Why? at 58 I have grown out of Clildrens' Books especially ones that copy old fairy tales and rearrange them, mind you the money this women has made is phenomenal pity I can not write like her. Mind you I am glad I did not buy one of her books now I realise she was supporting the Labour party and why has she done this because she believes this Government s record on child poverty is good! Where has she been for the last 10 years the gap between rich and poor in GB is greater now then ever has been, or does she think this does not effect children. She then goes on to say David Cameron's offer on Tax breaks for married couples is wrong, it has now been established that children brought up with parents who are married do better then any other relationship but the she was a single mother and seems to me she resents Married families she certainly must have a strange set of ideals if she thinks being a single parent should be the norm.

She would better of giving the money to a children's charity but the that would not get her a safe Labour seat to become an MP

Tuesday, September 16, 2008



It never ceases to amaze me how Government, Politicians and so called experts can be so out of touch with the people they supposed to represent, in this particular case I refer to increasing the age a Young person has to stay at school or should I say full time education. Young people and children in to day’s British society are very difficult to deal with for many reasons, a big majority detest School and some even hate it so how they going to benefit from staying on till their 17 years old? This troublesome group of teenagers can cause havoc in a school by their disruptive behaviour a lot get tarred with they trouble makers, yobs, prison fodder yet in reality they are a group of young people who find no interest in the school system, they find it boring and the teachers patronising.
My idea is when a youngster reaches the end of the secondary 4th year i.e. 15 to 16 years old they should be allowed to leave School if they have a full time job with a contract no matter what the employment, if they do not have this they will not be able to leave until 17. This will encourage youngsters to behave in school with the knowledge that they will need a good reference to find a job, they will come the influence of mature adults who will become their role models rather then listening to a group of other youngsters who normally spout a load of rubbish based on something a celebrity said. I left school and went to work on A Hinge and Son Farmers as an Agricultural Apprentice at 15 years 3 months of age; it was the best introduction to the real world there could be. I was expected to work hard, be reliable, good timekeeper, honest and have loyalty to the firm, yes all these things could taught in school but that was just theory this was practical hands on. When you came in bragging about some idiotic teenage escapade you performed at the weekend there would always be one old timer who tells you belt up and stop talking rubbish but at the same another one would pull you to one side and give you advice. This was real education some thing a school could never give.
Today we are obsessed with getting our youngsters to University and if they do not go society treats them as failures and inferior yet I know many people of my age and younger who has become very successful business man employing hundreds of people some with University degrees. Some started as apprentices some just as labourers and should success be just counted in financial terms what about all those people who become involved in community based projects, Scouts, Cubs, Football teams etc in my own sports of Judo and Sombo there has been many a top Black Belt and Coaches who have mundane work yet in my eyes they are still a success.
The reason Government etc have increased the age to 17 is not for the benefit of the Young People it is for their benefit it brings down unemployment and give the smockscreen that they care about the education of young people.

Martin Clarke

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

My Knee & Hip v the NHS

Some of you are most probably aware that I have to have a Hip and Knee replacement, my knee it must be getting on for 7 years that I have been waiting and for my hip 3 years. Our sacred cow called the NHS has done its best to prevent the operation happening WHY? money it seems that Big People (I am 23st 7lbs) need special beds in recovery and you need constant vigilance for 24 hours after the operation. So how do they prevent you having operation:
1) They tell you that as a big man you could die on the operating theatre because your lungs will not push your chest up
2) Big people suffer easily from Blood clots which could kill you
3) Cannot get a knee replacement your size
4) Knee will only last a year then will have to be replaced
So you think hang on I can put up with the pain a bit longer because there is no way I want die but eventually, the pain and the fact you can no longer walk any distance without a stick and hanging on to railings, you decide to take the risk. Then they tell you if you lose 8 stone they will operate, this will take me to a weight I was at 15 years and how do I lose this weight? I eat moderately I do not drink alcohol during the week and only limited amount at weekends plus I still train 5 days a week admittedly always in a seated position. Eventually you get a surgeon who will operate only to be told 24 hours before the operation it has been cancelled this has happened twice in 3 years, so back to another appointment with yet another surgeon. The last one I saw was three weeks ago he agreed to operate but the told me he was leaving the area the following day can you believe it. So my next appointment is in October if that is a waste of time I will be going private to a hospital in Belgium at a cost of £8500 I will have to break into my savings and go with out a few things but it will be worth it but I will be thinking all the time WHY HAVE I PUT MONEY INTO THE NHS SINCE THE AGE OF 15?

This last year has been the worse for me as I have become a cripple and for the first time in my life I can understand what permanently disabled people must be going through. People look at you as if you are some sort of freak because you walk with a stick, some in my case enjoy my disability comments like “I bet you wish you had not done Judo now” or “I thought sport was good for you ha, ha”. The frustration at not being able do things is most probably the worst thing NO the worst is when someone offers to help you across the road, talking to you as if you are some half wit.
Hopefully my disability will not be permanent and in a years time I hope to be back walking country lanes again.

Martin Clarke Sittingbourne

Saturday, September 06, 2008

CIA & MI5 Rig Referendum

Daniel Hannan is the Conservative MEP for South East England and he is one of the Good Guys an MEP who has not gone native unlike most MEP's who get elected to represent us but then get used to the money, the expenses and the high life. Once they have experienced this cushy little number they suddenly become Deaf, Dumb and Mute.
I have attached his blog site well worth a read especially the piece about the CIA and MI5 being involved in the referendum which put us into the EU


Friday, September 05, 2008


Open Europe

Open Europe Bulletin: 4 September 2008
New Open Europe briefing warns EU trials in absentia could mean miscarriages of justice
Georgia crisis would have been better handled under Lisbon Treaty, say EU politicians
A plan to circumvent the Irish "no" vote begins to emerge
News in brief
Open Europe in the news

1. New Open Europe briefing warns EU trials in absentia could mean miscarriages of justice

Open Europe has published a new briefing note which warns that EU plans to impose recognition of foreign trials in absentia could lead to miscarriages of justice.
The European Parliament this week adopted a proposal that would allow citizens to be extradited automatically to another EU country after having been convicted by a foreign court in their absence.
Judgements in absentia would be recognised by several countries that do not currently allow this practice in their own judicial system, including Britain. The proposals, which were put forward by seven countries, including the UK, were described as "by their very nature a violation of the fundamental procedural rights of the accused" by the European Criminal Bar Association.
The proposal will now be presented to the Council of Ministers within the next three months, after which the document will start the process of becoming national law.
Please click here to read Open Europe's new briefing:

2. Georgia crisis would have been better handled under Lisbon Treaty, say EU politicians

Europe's leaders have failed to agree on sanctions against Russia in response to its invasion of Georgia. However, they did threaten to "postpone" planned talks on cooperation with Moscow. Unarmed EU civilian observers are also to be sent to Georgia to ensure the Russian army is abiding by its ceasefire agreement. Vladimir Putin praised the "good sense" of the EU for not imposing sanctions. (Les Echos, 3 September)Although EU leaders were deeply divided on the approach to take to Russia, there were numerous statements claiming that the crisis proved the need to bring into force the Lisbon Treaty. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said that "If the Lisbon Treaty, which is in the process of being ratified, had already been in force, the EU would have had the institutions it needs to cope with an international crisis", including an EU Foreign Minister and "a real European diplomatic service". (Le Figaro, 18 August) EU Commission Vice President Margot Wallstrom said, "I was encouraged and impressed by the determined action taken by the French Presidency but can not help thinking that with a new treaty it would have been easier to have a better coordinated response, faster and with greater authority." (Wallstrom blog, 3 September)A European Commission official told the EUobserver website that, "Some people are saying that Georgia - which has changed the atmosphere in Europe - could be used as a pretext for the Irish to hold a second referendum". (EUobserver, 3 September)European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering called on all member states to ratify the Lisbon Treaty "as quickly as possible", saying that the Georgian crisis proved why it is important for the EU to be united (EUobserver, 2 September)

3. A plan to circumvent the Irish "no" vote begins to emerge

All eyes continue to be on Ireland, where the government has proposed the idea of a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, despite the resounding 'No' vote delivered on 12 June.
After strongly denying any prospect of a second Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty back in July, the Irish Europe Minister Dick Roche has now publicly announced that a second vote would be "appropriate". (Newstalk Radio, 22 July, and Irish Independent, 25 August)
Prime Minister Brian Cowen also admitted that a second referendum will be considered. However, it was suggested that people might only be allowed a second vote on parts of the Treaty, with much of the text just being pushed through the Irish Parliament.
A report in the Irish Independent stated that: "It is possible for the Dail to pass some parts of the treaty without a public vote, and it is understood that Mr Cowen sees this course of action as an option." (2 September)
Meanwhile, according to the Irish Times, Irish officials met with their Danish counterparts last month to get advice on how Ireland could opt out of crucial aspects of the Lisbon Treaty - like the opt outs the Danes adopted following the "no" to the Maastricht Treaty in a referendum.
In 1992, the Danish government responded by coming up with a proposal to "opt out" of four key areas of the Maastricht Treaty - the euro, defence, justice, and common EU citizenship. The proposals were then approved in a second Danish referendum in 1993. (Irish Times, 28 August)
Several pro-Treaty commentators have questioned in the media why a referendum was held in Ireland in the first place. They argue that only some of the elements in the Treaty are constitutional changes and therefore legally require a referendum.
So it seems likely that in October Ireland will be offered the option of "opt outs" from the most sensitive, constitutional elements - for example, the provisions on an EU defence, Home Affairs, and the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
The Irish government will then try to push the rest of the Treaty through the Dail without a referendum, and will allow a second referendum only on the question of whether Ireland should opt out of the most controversial elements.
In this way, even if the second Irish referendum on the opt-outs returns a 'No' vote, the Treaty will still come into effect for all other member states.
Legally such a process could be achieved in one of two ways. The contents of the Lisbon Treaty could be inserted into the forthcoming Croatian Accession Treaty (expected at the end of 2009). The text would be the same as the Lisbon Treaty, but would also make provisions for Ireland's opt outs. This would be legal, but would require the other 26 member states to re-ratify the new Treaty. This would be unpopular in Britain, as the Government would not want to push an unpopular Treaty through the Commons just before a general election.
The alternative is to bend the law. The current problem for supporters of the Treaty is that giving Ireland legally-binding opt outs from Lisbon should require a change to the treaties, which in turn would have to be ratified by all other member states. However, the law could be fudged, as it was after the Danish "no" in 1992. Britain's former "ambassador" to the EU, Sir Stephen Wall, recalls in his recent memoirs that EU leaders simply invented a whole new type of legal arrangement to get round the "problem":
"Member states rallied round the plan that had been in gestation for some weeks, of providing an interpretation of the treaty which would, as the Council's legal adviser, the clever and inventive Frenchman Jean Claude Piris, advised the heads, clarify the treaty provisions for Denmark."
"It was an intergovernmental act with binding legal consequences. However that did not mean, either in national law, community law, or constitutional law that it needed to be ratified."
While neither of these options are ideal from the point of view of the pro-Lisbon camp, they are probably the only realistic ways to "get round" the no vote. There seems little prospect that a second referendum on the same treaty would be won. A new poll for the Irish Sunday Independent found that people would vote no by 44 to 42 percent if a second referendum were held. The poll also showed a sharp drop in Brian Cowen's popularity, down 34 points since he was elected in May.
The main pro-Lisbon opposition parties in Ireland have also reacted angrily to suggestions of a second referendum. A spokeswoman for Fine Gael said that talk of a second referendum only served to highlight the "arrogance and lack of respect" the government has for voters. A spokesman for the Labour Party said comments about a second referendum were "not helpful" and that there can be no question of simply putting the same proposition to the people again. (Irish Independent, 28 August)
Meanwhile, the European Commission has been rolling the pitch for a return to the Treaty. The Commission's office in Dublin last week issued a briefing to journalists blaming the "British media" for the Irish no vote, and complaining that it could not control "anti-establishment" bloggers. In a separate report this week the European Parliament called for EU regulation of blogs (see the Open Europe blog for more details).

4. News in brief

EU military mission in Chad dependent on Russian support. Russia has agreed to send four helicopters and up to 200 military personnel to take part in the EU mission to Chad despite recent tensions with Europe over its role in the Georgian crisis. EU officials this week decided to accept Russia's offer, as the mission has long struggled to muster enough helicopters. Daniel Keohane of the EU Institute for Security Studies in Paris said: "Despite spending 200 billion euros annually, it still took fully six months to find only 16 helicopters and 10 transport planes for the Chad mission." (Irish Times 4 September)
Brown's fuel poverty plan thwarted by EU rules. Gordon Brown's plan to raise £500 million to fund fuel vouchers for vulnerable families, which was the centrepiece of the Prime Minister's relaunch, has had to be abandoned as a result of EU rules. (Guardian EUreferendum Times 4 September)
EU to regulate bloggers? The European Parliament's Culture Committee has adopted a report recommending the regulation of blogs, including making it impossible to blog anonymously. (Report OE blog Expressen 4 September)
EU renewables targets to push half a million people into fuel poverty. The new wind farms required in the UK in order to meet EU renewable energy targets could add £6 billion a year to consumers' energy bills, adding 25% more to the current cost of domestic electricity. According to the Government's former chief scientist Sir David King, the drive to increase the UK's wind power to meet EU targets for renewable energy could push half a million more people into fuel poverty. (Telegraph EUreferendum 28 August, PA 4 September)
Did EU win the Olympics? The EU-funded organisation the Young European Federalists have said in an open letter to athletes from the 27 EU member states that if they became Team EU they would have a higher medal tally than the US, China or Russia. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said that, "The European Union therefore takes the leading position. It's a victory for sport and for the fundamental and common values of the people of the union." (Sun EUobserver Dan Hannan's blog Telegraph 26 August)
EU emissions rules stop production of classic Vespa. EU emissions restrictions have effectively ended the production of the classic Vespa PX. The new rules require automatic gears and make the production of a two-stroke engine larger than 50cc economically unfeasible. Andy Gillard, editor of Scootering magazine said that it was the end of an era, whilst Piaggio UK general manager said that the PX "will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the best". (Telegraph 26 August)
EU price controls increase phone bills. Vodaphone has announced that it will increase the price of domestic phone calls to make back revenue it has lost because of EU price controls on overseas calls. (Times 19 August )

5. Open Europe round-up of EU news

Every morning Open Europe produces a round-up of news from all around Europe, looking at the French, Spanish, Belgian, German and Scandinavian press as well as UK coverage of EU issues. If you would like to receive the press summary by email, please sign up on the front page of our website - http://openeu.bluestatedigital.com/page/m/661f27c961e28569/wKQSlR/VEsHAg==/
Open Europe also runs a blog on all EU-related issues which is updated regularly, and where you can post your comments. To read our blog, click here: http://openeu.bluestatedigital.com/page/m/661f27c961e28569/OnknIB/VEsHDQ==/

6. Open Europe in the news

UK Government welcomes EU plans to allow citizens to be tried in their absence in other member statesDaily Mail BBC 3 September, 4 September
Various papers picked up on Open Europe's new briefing paper on EU plans which would impose recognition of foreign trials in absentia. Open Europe's Pieter Cleppe was quoted on the BBC website and in the Mail, as saying, "This proposal could open the door to serious miscarriages of justice and ministers should not be supporting it."
United in PowerlessnessNational Interest Open Europe blog 18 August
US magazine the National Interest quoted Open Europe dismissing the notion that the Lisbon Treaty would make Europe a more serious player internationally, saying: "Open Europe points out that EU members collectively spend but 1.6 percent of their GDP on the military and have been steadily cutting expenditures since the 1990s: 'Why will the short war in Georgia change this long trend when the other wars--which EU members are actually fighting in--have not?'"
EU sends development aid to RussiaTelegraph blog 18 August
On his Telegraph blog, Alex Singleton questioned why the EU gives aid to Russia, citing an Open Europe report calling for control over development aid to be returned to member states.
UK Government too passive about EU proposalsNews of the World 17 August
Open Europe was quoted in News of the World, in a piece looking at a House of Lords report on the EU Commission's Annual Policy Strategy. The report criticised the UK Government for taking a too passive an approach to proposals coming from the Commission.
170,000 people work for the EU, as revealed by Open Europe researchHeritage Foundation Het Nieuwsblad Overheidsmanagement.nl SP National Interest 11 August, 14 August, 18 August
Open Europe's research, which found that the number of people working for EU institutions has reached 170,000 people, far more than it claims, continued to receive coverage, reported in several European newspapers in particular.
71 per cent of Irish voters against a second referendum, according to Open Europe pollLe Monde Le Figaro L'Express Elsevier 25 August, 26 August
Open Europe's poll, which found that 71 per cent of Irish voters were against a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, continued to receive coverage