Platinum Jubilee: So What?

Anyone who reads this blog must already be aware that I am not a Royalist. I am the opposite of a royalist, not in favour of a monarchy, whoever represents that institution.

Now we are faced with a seemingly endless ‘celebration’ of Elizabeth II being queen for 70 years. Commercialism run riot. Souvenir coins, Queen face masks, special edition magazines, crockery, mugs, cakes, T-shirts, flags, even special packets of biscuits and sweets. The sycophantic newspapers and TV channels are getting set for a season of ‘Jubilee Tributes’ and broadcasts, and millions of ordinary people are staging Jubilee parties in streets, schools, parks, and other venues.

Elizabeth Windsor is one of the richest people in Europe. Her ‘personal wealth’ (that inherited wealth stolen by her ancestors over the centuries from other people and the colonies of the former Empire) is estimated to be around £350,000,000. As well as that, the taxpayers contribute millions to her upkeep, and that of some of her extended family. Many members of that family live in reasonably luxurious rent-free ‘Grace and Favour’ apartments or palaces, also at public expense.

2022 may be her 70th year as monarch, but it also happens to be the year when the cost of living in Britain has never been higher. The year when food prices, gas prices, petrol prices, and electricity prices have become unaffordable for many hard-working people on low wages. When there are more Food Banks in most British towns than actual banks, and many families will not be heating their homes properly this winter because they simply cannot afford to do so.

It is also the year when a discredited, lying, and corrupt Prime Minister refused to resign. When his lies were discovered, he changed the Ministerial Code of Parliament so he would no longer be subject to it. A dictator in all but name, using Royalist ballyhoo to cover up his own shameful political record.

The estimated cost of all this wonderful Platinum Jubliee celebration to the nation? £1,3000,000,000. That is ONE POINT THREE BILLION POUNDS.

I can think of far better ways to spend that, in a time of crisis.

You will find me celebrating when the monarchy is abolished, and not before.

Passports And Driving Licences: Follow The Money

Following the recent debacle over renewal of driving licences that I have written about extensively on this blog, Britain now faces a new ‘delay scandal’.

Tens of thousands of people are unable to travel abroad, and have had to forfeit holidays they had booked. This is because the Passport Office has ‘untold delays’ in issuing new and renewed passports.

The reasons given are the same as with the Driving Licences.

They ‘didn’t expect’ so many people to want to go on holiday once all the restrictions were lifted.
They ‘didn’t expect’ so many people to want to renew expired passports in 2022.
So many staff were working from home because of Covid-19, and they didn’t have ‘full access’ to the systems required.
Postal applications mounted up after Post Office delays saw them being delivered in bulk.

Strange how two huge government organisations like the DVLA and The Passport Office had all these issues during the pandemic, don’t you think?

Or maybe it is not so strange.

Yesterday, government ministers announced that the Passport Office is going to be privatised, to make it ‘more efficient’. Something similar is also being mentioned regarding the DVLA, to make the issuing of driving licences run more smoothly.

Let’s see how that works.

*Create a bureaucratic nightmare. Send home staff during the pandemic, making sure they have no access to the system that allows them to do their jobs.

*Once the scandal erupts, and public outrage is reported in the media, you can ‘justify’ selling off the organistations concerned.

Who would buy them? Well existing ‘logistics’ companies, owned by friends or relatives of government ministers of course. The contracts will be huge, lucrative, and long-lasting. That will insure the move is not overturned if a different government comes to power in 2024.

Will the passports and driving licences arrive faster when that happens? Probably not. There will of course be a ‘transition’ to the new owners, one that will likely see tens of thousands of applications get lost in the system forever. Existing staff will be disposed of, and new staff on lower salaries and insecure contracts will be employed, using the ‘call-centre model’.

You can be sure of something else too. Passports and Driving Licences will cost a great deal more than they do now.

If you ever want to know the answer to anything going on in this country, follow the money.

Boris’s Gang Goes Too Far

Ever since Boris Johnson and his cronies came to power in Britain in 2019, the record of their government has been appalling.

Corruption was rife during their handling of the pandemic, with friends and former colleagues being paid billions of pounds to supply a track and trace system that failed, PPE that was either unfit for purpose or never delivered, and ventilators paid for that were not even manufactured.

Countless frauds were tolerated on the furlough system and business loans, with billions lost, and now ‘written off’. The rich continued to profit as ordinary people followed the rules.

Next we had the ‘Partygate fiasco’, with government ministers and staff attending numerous parties during lockdown when that was against the law, and some visiting relatives hundreds of miles away, also flouting the law. This week, fines were issued by the Police to many politicians, including the Prime Minister and The Chancellor. Both paid the fines, but refused to resign. This despite the parliamentary ministerial code stating that anyone who lies to parliament and is convicted of a criminal offence must resign.

We have a government moving further to the Far Right in politics week on week, and because of a large electoral majority, they are giving the finger to ordinary people who criticise them. Huge increases in power bills, a high rate of inflation, and so much blatant undisguised corruption, the news media cannot keep pace with reporting it.

Then today, Boris and his gang went too far. They showed the world that Britain is not just governed by Far-Right snobs, but has now become an unapologetic Fascist country.

In future, all illegal immigrants, including asylum seekers and economic migrants hoping for a better life in Europe, will be transported over 6,000 miles by air to Rwanda, in Africa. Yes, you read that right, Rwanda. The country that only last year caused international alarm over its human rights and government corruption. Any illegal immigrants who arrive by sea from France, or by hiding in Trucks on ferries, will be taken directly to Rwanda to be ‘processed’. But even if their claims are found to be genuine, they will not be allowed back into Britain. Instead, they will be ‘resettled’ in Rwanda. Provided with basic accommodation, five years of training for a job, and support with living costs.

All at the cost of the British taxpayer.

Starting with ‘single men’, all illegal immigrants will be detained and flown immediately to Rwanda. Under a ‘partnership agreement’ with that dubious African government, Britain will make a payment up front of £120,000,000, then contribute to ‘infrastructure’, health care, and vocational training for the next five years.

None of those people will ever be allowed back into Britain. They will be expected to ‘make a new life’ in Rwanda.

Worth noting that this does not apply to anyone arriving here from Ukraine, in case you wondered. (I did)

So now we have a Home Secretary, Pritti Patel, herself a descendant of immigrants, standing on a platform in Kigalai (capital of Rwanda) explaining why she thinks this is a good thing for the immigrants, for Britain, and for Rwanda. You really couldn’t make this up. If it was a TV drama, nobody would believe it.

Welcome to Fascist Britain. (Actually you are not welcome, sorry)

Boris did the job that Nazi Germany couldn’t manage.

The Nightingale Hospitals and Covid-19

When the government spent untold millions converting and equipping various large indoor spaces to provide specialist intensive care for for Coronavirus patients, everyone thought is was well done indeed. Using the Armed Services, the buildings were turned into hospitals in record time, and it was promised that they would take all the pressure off of regular hospitals, allowing them to continue to treat non-Covid cases.

That didn’t happen of course.

As the pandemic continued, and the death rate increased, little mention was made of the once-lauded Nightingale Hospitals. Then time passed, and it was discovered that they were actually empty of patients.

When pressed, the government claimed they would be used as testing centres instead.

Then they were going to be used as vaccination hubs.

Some journalists investigated, and found them closed up, guarded by security officers. When asked about this, the government claimed that they were being used to store PPE. And they didn’t even look embarrassed when they said that.

The government was lying all along. The Health Minister was lying all along. As they dished out lucrative contracts to their friends to stock the Nightingale Hospitals, most thought it a necessary expense to provide the care needed. But nobody told us when all the equipment was later removed, after only a tiny number of patients had actually been treated. Where is all that expensive equipment now? And what about the public money spent on the whole fiasco?

I found an article today that brings the woeful story of these ’emergency hospitals’ up to date. It makes interesting reading.

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/nightingale-hospitals-covid-patient-numbers_uk_605a0dd6c5b6cebf58d220eb?utm_source=pocket-newtab-global-en-GB

The Right Thing

For all of my adult life, I have tried to ‘do the right thing’. To treat people as I would like to be treated, and care for my family as best as I can. To look out for them as they get older, and need more help. To encourage the younger ones in their studies, and be good friends with them as they grow.

At work, I tried to always do the job I had signed up for, and keep any absences or irregular working methods to a minimum. Although I was never religious, I sought to always respect the beliefs of others, and to try to understand their culture, if it was different to my own. And in marriages and relationships, I stood up for my partner, and did my best to contribute at all times, both financially, and emotionally.

Dealing with strangers, neighbours, even a bus driver or someone selling newspapers, I showed respect. and politeness. And I gave them the benefit of the doubt that they would be good people, unless they showed me otherwise. Even when it came to pets, I cared for my dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and rabbits as if they were really part of the family. I made sure they got the best food, fresh water, and regular trips to the vet. No animal I was ever responsible for ever wanted for anything.

When I became involved with politics and trades unions, it was in an effort to do the right thing. To fight for others; to battle for decent working conditions, and respectable salaries. And now that I am retired, I continue to show people respect, no matter how young or old they are. I like to think that people think of me as a decent person. Someone who does the right thing. That still matters to me a great deal.

But so many people never try to do the right thing. They treat women and men badly, disrespect their friends, lie, cheat, steal, and betray. We all know them, and see them all around us. When I was younger, it was the ‘bad boys’. They were the ones the popular girls always wanted to be seen with, no matter how shabbily they were treated by them. At work, it was the shirkers, the excuse-makers, the people who seemed to be getting away with doing less than half as much as everyone else, but still remaining popular.

In politics, it is the liars and most corrupt who seem to get the most respect. They are virtually fireproof it appears, and they continue with their lucrative careers and dodgy sidelines, oblivious to exposure from the press, or the complaints of those around them. They are those ‘bad boys’ from school, now grown up.

Many people mistreat and abuse animals. They buy dogs just so they can hit them, or make them fight for profit. They tie them up in all weathers, in filthy conditions, and fail to give them adequate food and water. Society is outraged, and they even make TV shows about this ongoing problem. But little happens to the perpetrators. They get tiny fines, that they usually fail to pay, and short bans from owning pets, which they ignore. They carry on regardless, getting more animals to abuse. And the cycle continues.

Others (male and female) mistreat their partners, even their children. They have affairs, leave babies unfed and unchanged, and rage against any criticism of their behaviour. Punishment for such actions is also puny, and dependent on terrified witnesses, or children too young and helpless to speak up for themselves. Some show violence to both partners and children too, occasionally with horrific consequences. But someone speaks up for them, with stories about their own past neglect, and how society isn’t supporting them adequately. We are blackmailed into feeling sorry for such people, and trying to overlook the severity of their actions. Even when they are jailed, light sentences rarely provide sufficient deterrent.

So after more than fifty years of doing that right thing, there are times when I wonder what it was all for. It seems that those who have never done so much as one thing right are the ones enjoying life much more. And is it any wonder that year on year, it just continues to get worse? No examples are being set by those who should be setting them. And when all around you you can see the worst people in society flourishing, then what is the incentive to do good?

But don’t worry. I will continue to do the right thing. I am too old to change now. But never think it is easy.