Thursday, 29 January 2009

Ulster - Consultative Group on the Past - a question

Today I asked the 'Consultative Group on the Past' ( ) if the compensation scheme (Euro15,000 per victim), that is so controversial, applies to the families of all those innocent people in England murdered by the IRA in indiscriminate bombings.
The victims families in Aldershot and other British and Irish towns should all be included in any fair resolution. As too the families of all the soldiers murdered.
We will find out next week when the Eames-Bradley Report (named after the joint chairmen) is officially published outlining 31 recommendations to the Government, of which the compensation scheme is one.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Suspicious object found in Liverpool

Police cordoned off Liverpool City Centre this morning when a suspicious object was discovered in a residents car.

It turned out to be a tax disc

Monday, 26 January 2009

Figures show 40% increase in under 18's alcohol/drug abuse

Nearly 24,000 children were treated for drug and alcohol abuse last year, a rise of more than 40 per cent in two years. However, experts suggested that part of the increase was because access to services was improving.
The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA) said 23,905 under-18s in England were helped with drug and alcohol problems in 2007-08, compared with 17,001 two years before.
Four out of five of all young people receiving specialist help or counselling were treated for problems with cannabis or alcohol, the agency added.
The report was published as other figures showed that more than one in three British adults drinks more than the recommended daily alcohol limit at least one day a week. Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that one in five adults consumed more than double that limit on the day of drinking most.
Read this article from TimesOnline in full

A blonde calls her boyfriend and says, 'Please come over here and help me. I have a killer jigsaw puzzle, and I can't figure out how to get started.'

Her boyfriend asks, 'What is it supposed to be when it's finished?'

The blonde says, 'According to the picture on the box, it's a hen.'

Her boyfriend decides to go over and help with the puzzle.

She lets him in and shows him where she has the puzzle spread all over the table.

He studies the pieces for a moment, then looks at the box, then turns to her and says,

'First of all, no matter what we do, we're not going to be able to assemble these pieces into anything resembling a hen.'

He takes her hand and says, 'Second , I want you to relax. Let's have a nice cup of tea, and then ..' he said with a deep sigh, 'Let's put all the Corn Flakes back in the box.'

Sunday, 25 January 2009

My mate Daniel Hannan on EU fishing!!

Now the EU wants to regulate recreational fishing.

I've just been on the Fisheries Committee, listening to one of the most asinine proposals I've ever heard. And, after ten years in the European Parliament, that's saying something.
In essence, the EU wants to extend the Common Fisheries Policy to recreational anglers. Sporting fishermen, who go out in small boats or fish from piers, will be required to purchase licences and to log every fish. At present, while they keep the odd fish for personal consumption, most sea anglers return their catches to the water. In some cases, they tag them first, contributing to conservation programmes. If the European Commission gets its way, they will be forced to land every tiddler they catch, and to count their quota against the national one.
Why? Where is the need for this expensive and cumbersome scheme? Will it rescue the EU's fish stocks? Hardly. The CFP has already wiped out most of what ought to have been a great renewable resource. Recreational sea anglers account for perhaps one per cent of the total catch that remains.
No, this is regulation for its own sake: the product of an attitude that sees "unregulated" as synonymous with "illegal".
British and Irish MEPs put up a heroic defence on the committee, demolishing every point in the Commission's case. But the Commission continued to insist, mulishly, that the measure was necessary for conservation. Conservation? Coming from the organisation that has presided over the ecological calamity of the destruction of North Sea fish stocks, that really is hard to take. The CFP put most the skippers in my constituency out of business years ago. Some of them turned to tourism, making a new living by taking anglers out in their boats. Now, the CFP threatens to ruin them a second time, bringing to amateur fishermen the same destruction that it brought to professionals.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Bin Taxes are dead

Labour Ministers must repeal bin tax laws as Gordon Brown is humiliated.
No councils want to take part in Gordon Brown’s plans to hit families with new taxes.

In a major victory for the Conservative Party campaign against new bin taxes, Labour Ministers were today humiliated into admitting that no councils have bid to become a pilot to introduce the new taxes. Today was the deadline for councils to bid to become the first to introduce them. The Government had planned to introduce the taxes in five councils, before rolling out the taxes nationwide without any vote in Parliament.

Environment Minister Jane Kennedy has today admitted: "No local authorities have expressed an interest in piloting a scheme at this time" (Press Association, 21.01.09). Conservatives are demanding that the specific bin tax legislation, which received Royal Assent in November, is repealed to kill off the taxes completely. The Party has consistently campaigned against the new taxes since Labour first floated the plans. Liberal Democrats supported Labour’s bin tax plans.
Caroline Spelman, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government, said: "Bin taxes are now dead in the water. This is a major snub for Gordon Brown and his Labour Ministers. The bin tax laws should now be repealed and taken off the statute book. These unpopular new taxes would harm the environment by fuelling fly-tipping and backyard burning, and hike tax bills for struggling families."
Cll Clifford said " This is a step in the right direction, any legislation that criminalises our customers, as this had the potential to do cannot be right"

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Kingsmead closure

Due to essential works linked to the town centre development the contractor has placed a request to Hampshire Highways for a full road closure of Kingsmead. This has been approved and will take place from the 31st January 2009 for a maximum period of 2 weeks. The responsibility for advising local businesses and residents falls to the contractor but we are assured that access will be allowed to all properties.
The closure will be from the entrance to Princesmead car park to Victoria Road, the contactors will be working 7 days a week and late into the night to ensure the works are carried out as quickly as possible.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Have your say on the airfield

The Council is currently preparing the Rushmoor Plan (Local Development Framework) – a series of planning policy documents that together will guide future development in the Borough up to 2026. As they are developed, these documents will reflect and help to implement many of the Council's and other partners’ plans and strategies.

We now have firm timetables for the preparation of two key documents:

1. The Core Strategy which will set out the vision and broad planning framework for the Borough up to 2026.

2. The Farnborough Airport Area Action Plan which will contain more detailed policies and proposals for the future of the airport and surrounding sites.

A consultation on the future of Farnborough Airport and surrounding sites started on Monday, 12th January, and will run until Friday 20 February. Letters have been sent to residents and other interested parties informing them of this consultation. The documents are also available at the Council offices and Farnborough and Aldershot libraries, as well as on the Council’s website at .

Further details are also available on the website at

Click this link to on-line Council survey

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Sailor Charlotte

Charlottes Ship

My youngest daughter Charlotte is off round the world cruising for a year. She applied for a job on the big ships and has got it, and fly's to America to meet her ship, which will tour south America then cross the Atlantic to explore Europe, Russia and the Mediterranean. I hope she remembers her father likes to travel .... well done Charlie.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Dope test for benefits

This was written by an oil rig worker in the North Sea. I have had many people comment favorably on it.

I work, they pay me. I pay my taxes and the government distributes my taxes as it sees fit. In order to earn that pay cheque, I work on a rig for a drilling contractor. I am required to pass a random urine test, with which I have no problem. What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who don't have to pass a urine test.
Shouldn't one have to pass a urine test to get a welfare cheque because I have to pass one to earn it for them? Please understand that I have no problem with helping people get back on their feet. I do on the other hand have a problem with helping someone sit on their ass drinking beer and smoking dope.
Could you imagine how much money the government would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a welfare cheque? Something has to change in the UK, and soon!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Business in Dusseldorf

It was a pleasure being in Germany this week on business. I even had time to look at some of the local sites.

The famous tower

The other Dusseldorf towers

Some of the building have been designed and built by alcoholics

It was interesting how they have mixed old with new!

I loved this police station

All good business trips conclude with a great meal - thank you Pen Warehouse.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Sri Lanka the land that inspired Serendipity

A picture paints a 1000 words - and Sri Lanka is a beautiful jewel in the Indian Ocean its name is a direct translation from the Sanskrit meaning Sacred Island. It is a beautiful Island full of sacred buildings and inhabited by a beautiful people in looks and nature. It was a wonderful privilege to tread its paths, meet is people and be touched by it magic.

Here are a few of the 360 pictures I took:

view from my shower

local jungle transport

My minders

Tooth Temple in Kandy

The Golden Temple

Buddist Temple of the Tooth in Kandy

Taxi Rank

Punter eye view of local taxi driver in the three wheelers

Spot the driving offences

Hindu Temple in Colombo