Visit the historic Lancashire Textile Project with over 500 photos and 190 taped interviews|2|0
Go to Page
  First Page  Previous Page    46  47  48  [49]  50  51   Next Page  Last Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted -  11/01/2009  :  06:04
New Year, new topic. If you want to see the old one do a forum search for same title but 2008.


Stanley Challenger Graham




Barlick View
stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk
Replies
Author
Go to Page
  First Page  Previous Page    46  47  48  [49]  50  51   Next Page  Last Page
 
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 19/05/2009 : 09:33
Neither Frank, it is myself and my correspondents on these matters. OG isn't the only place I discuss these matters.

Jack and I have just got back from our early morning walk. Half an hour out in the sun and the fresh air, wonderful for clearing the head and getting the systems going. It won’t surprise you to know that I was thinking. Just before I went out I was listening to Andrew Cameron in full flow on the Today programme. His general theme was that we need a vote of no-confidence in the government and a general election as soon as possible. I think he is wrong, his proposal is disingenuous and the concept is dangerous.

Before you think ‘Oh Dear! Here’s lefty Stanley defending Labour’, think again. He is wrong because the worst time to have an election which decides the shape of government for the next four to five years is when politics is in a state verging on chaos. He seems to have made the calculation that in such an election Labour would be out, he would be in as leader of the majority party and therefore Prime Minister. This is by no means a certainty and the odds are that if an election was held tomorrow based on present voting intentions it is far more likely that we would have a divided house where nobody had a clear majority and we would have five years of infighting and dissension.

His proposal is disingenuous because under the cover of a desire for reform of the House and a cleaning of the stables his primary aim is political, it is to gain power by any means whatsoever. Cameron is a man in a hurry and it would be as well to ask the question, ‘What’s the rush?’ Could it be that there is a nagging doubt at the back of his mind as to what the consequences of a full examination of all expenses will be? Does anyone really believe that the proportion of bad guys in Labour is bigger than that in the Conservative Party? Remember that the only source of information on expenses at the moment is the Telegraph who might be suspected of having a right wing agenda. They weren’t even-handed about the choice of MPs to target, they went for Labour first. Could it be that Cameron has realised that as the complete picture emerges the Conservatives standing with the public could deteriorate? The official publication of expenses by Parliament is scheduled for July. This gives Cameron two months to get his way, I believe that he is in a hurry and this is why.

It is dangerous because at the exact time when we need party politics to be pushed to the back of the agenda and some cross party unity in making decisions of how the internal mechanisms of the House can be improved he is making it a political objective. Apart from the obvious dangers of a skewed Parliament what does this say about honesty and statesmanship? It’s no use mouthing platitudes about the damage to the electorate in a time of financial stress but at the same time ignoring the best interests of the voters by pressing for a potentially flawed general election.

The systems of Parliament are broken because the House has allowed them to get into that condition. The primary blame for this rests with those who have embraced the modern system of sofa/quasi-presidential government with a consequent diminution of the role of the House. This is the first thing that needs fixing and it cannot be done by the men and women who have fostered this disastrous deterioration in the power of Parliament. We don’t need an election, we need a cross party body of the good guys led by an able Speaker and a neutral Leader of the House with a brief to think the unthinkable and force radical change on how we run our government. Remember Blair appointing Frank Field to do just that? When he responded in the terms of his brief he was deep-sixed. Perhaps someone like Frank Fields or similar is what we need. I hope that the good guys see through the Cameron smoke screen and reject naked electioneering in favour of good statesmanship. Watch this space.

SCG/19 May 2009   


Stanley Challenger Graham




Barlick View
stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page

frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 19/05/2009 : 12:25
Just I thought you may have aquired an agent and you are going to stand !!! Why not stand ??  you are a respected member of your community, and I would register for a postal vote ( everyone seems to be able to do it )



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 20/05/2009 : 06:17
I am not a joiner Frank and no I haven't got an agent. However I believe that a forum like this does have influence, it can sow seeds in people's minds even if they don't agree with you. You won't be surprised to hear I have been thinking and I shall write the companion piece to Inglorious Revolution today. Remember what I said, 'You ain't seen nothing yet'. This situation is still developing and we haven't seen anywhere near the full fall-out yet. Everyone is concentrating on the fall of Speaker Martin and the internal affairs of Parliament. This is only the tip of a very big iceberg. One comparison with bergs might be apposite here. When they get top heavy they roll over and the base becomes the top for a while......


Stanley Challenger Graham




Barlick View
stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 20/05/2009 : 06:22
PS. The report on RC institutions in Ireland is published today.


Stanley Challenger Graham




Barlick View
stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 20/05/2009 : 07:59
I think you are correct with the Iceberg comparision, it's all going to come out in the wash. Mr Martin to get £77000 a year pension !!!
I do think prosecution of MPs will be difficult because of the lax way the system and the fees office worked. Then again HMRC will fine you in an instant if you don't follow the rules to the letter.
This will cascade down to Local Council level in the not to distant future. In Aberdeen we have  5 Directors Jobs advertised at £107,000 a year. Who was doing the job before,?? to my mind either the deputy fills  the vacant post, or you poach one from another counci !!!! I don't believe people from Industry get parachuted into these jobs.



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 21/05/2009 : 05:52
I agree Frank, the desire for information and change in institutions shouldn't stop at Parliament.

Did you hear the chairman of the CBI congratulating Godron on pumping money into the banks and describing 50p tax on the etntrepreneurial classes as 'economic vandalism'? Wrong on both counts I think and if there was any vandalism it was in the money markets as they careered out of control towards disaster.

Had to reach for the sick bag when I saw Hazel Blears with her fixed frin ignoring the accusation of improper conduct and clinging to the contrary message that Godron supports her and says she is doing a good job. Like some other culprits, she just doesn't get it...


Stanley Challenger Graham




Barlick View
stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 21/05/2009 : 07:01
I've been sat here drinking my coffee and puzzling over the things which I do not understand.

I have a problem. I’m sure that everyone has realised by now that a standard defence put forward by MPs caught out manipulating the Capital Gains Tax by designating the home sold as their main residence is that they consulted the Fees Office and the evasion ploy was passed by them.

I assume that HMRC was consulted and agreed to the manipulation of the system. Surely the Fees Office can’t act unilaterally and adjust tax law to suit itself? We need to know if this was the case before anyone rushes to judgement otherwise injustice is being generated at the heart of our government process.

I have a secondary problem generated by the above. How can the HMRC accept a cheque from Hazel Blears if there was no debt? Have they indeed accepted the payment and if so, what was the mechanism used to allow this to happen?

In my experience, capital gains in general can be complicated but in respect of selling a main residence it is quite simple. The CGT is not required. This raises the question of whether this neat little avoidance ploy is open to ordinary mortals. If so, what is the position of the remaining residence (if only two are involved)? Does this then become the main residence and if so does it still retain it’s former immunity from CGT? I doubt if HMRC would wear this and if so it means that even if an MP has used this ploy they are still liable to the tax but it will be transferred to their remaining property. If this is the case the MP hasn’t avoided CGT but postponed the payment until the other residence is sold.

How is the voter to come to a decision about the position of an MP if these matters are unclear? The fact that I am bemused points to the basic flaw in this system of avoiding clear remuneration rules which has grown over the years to avoid the headlines of a rise in the pay of our legislators. It is arcane and devious and I begin to wonder how it is possible for an MP to avoid these murky ploys without in effect accepting a fall in remuneration. I am sure that these members exist and that’s the list we need, a roll call of the good members. It would then be easy to decide who to vote for.

    


Stanley Challenger Graham




Barlick View
stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page

tripps
Senior Member


1404 Posts
Posted - 21/05/2009 : 08:40
Well spotted Stanley. In HMRC terms she has done nothing wrong, and as you say no CGT is payable. this dodge has been done for years by those fortunate enough to be able to afford more than one property. There is no mechanism in the Revenue to pay a bill that has not been levied, and is not due. I have read on another site that an accountant has said that the funds submitted will be credited to Blears' personal tax account and deducted from her next tax bill. So much for waving a cheque about and thinking that makes it ok.
I have mentioned before that it was also OK for MP's to nominate one home as primary for CGT., and another as primary for Parliamentary purposes. Perk of the job I suppose.
Blears has escaped further sanctions (for the present), as she is not the on;ly cabinet minister to be in a similar position. G Hoon is the egregious example.
This generation of politicians have had the misfortune to be exposed to the internet, mass data storage and retrieval, on a small disc, and instant satellite news gathering. I doubt any previous  generation would have done any better in the same conditions.


Go to Top of Page
HerbSG
Senior Member


1185 Posts
Posted - 21/05/2009 : 11:16
Politicians...the right honourable brian mulroney (lower case deliberate) was involved in the air bus scandal in the early 90's, the government faled to prove their case (kickbacks) mulroney settled with  the government and got $2.1 million.  In 1993 he took $300,000 from a German businessman (Schrieber) as a lobbyist, Schreiber was the bagman for Airbus.  When this series of cash payments paid out in hotel rooms became public Mulroney in 2000 decided he should claim this as income on his tax return.  His lawyers made a deal with the taxman to pay tax on half the amount.  Now as a result of another multi million $ enquiry we find that mulroney did not pay the GST (VAT) of 7% on the money.  Through all of this we keep on paying taxes and electing thieves.


HERB


Go to Top of Page
HerbSG
Senior Member


1185 Posts
Posted - 21/05/2009 : 11:20
A sad day in Ontario.  An 8 year old girl went missing 6 weeks ago.

Wednesday the police announced the arrest of a man and woman and are now looking for the body.

Video footage had shown the girl being walked away from school by a mystery woman, the woman now arrested lived 2 houses away from the victim.


HERB


Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 22/05/2009 : 06:27
Quote of the day on Thursday. "I've done nothing criminal, that's the most awful thing, and do you know what it's about? Jealousy," Steen said. "I've got a very, very large house. Some people say it looks like Balmoral." Sir Anthony Steen, Tory MP after it was revealed that he had, amonst other things, claimed for forestry work. He also said thathe "had room for a lot of trees"

My crap detector is still whining over the matter of the Blear 'voluntary contribution' to HMRC. I have nothing concrete to report yet but be certain I have not let it drop. I trust my instincts.

Another report is imminent in Ireland on the Dublin Diocese of the Catholic Church. My heart went out to the victims excluded from the meeting the other day and I understand their anger when they realised that nobody would be named or prosecuted. This may be legal but it is neither justice or retribution.


Stanley Challenger Graham




Barlick View
stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 23/05/2009 : 07:07
I was thinking about the number of members of parliament who will be desperately trying to mend fences in their constituencies this weekend. Can you imagine some of the scenes and the variety of statements from supreme arrogance through convoluted blame-shifting to abject humiliation. The clearest statement I have heard is from the security consultant who was the middle-man for the information and can now speak because the p[olice have decided not to prosecute. He said that the level of data protection inside the House's systems was no better than wet tissue paper. The ripples start to spread from expenses and administration to security systems. Good! This is what we need, transparency, even if it means tearing the fabric of the institution to pieces.


Stanley Challenger Graham




Barlick View
stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 27/05/2009 : 07:14
Have you noticed that as the reports of moat-cleaning and duck houses subsides the expenses problem is being quietly shifted to the back-burner? We have the elections next week and hopefully this will re-ignite the debate on the state of government. Now is the time to keep pushing for improvement, otherwise the system will absorb the shock and quietly sink back into the old ways with the minimum of adjustments. This will simply postpone the revisions in public life and business that are needed.


Stanley Challenger Graham




Barlick View
stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 27/05/2009 : 12:34
Bit of trouble in North Korea, eh? I wonder when the Chinese will crack and do something? They are holding off because they don't want to destabilise the situation but there comes a time when, on balance, you have to take control to prevent something much worse.


Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 27/05/2009 : 16:33
I think the concensus is that the drum-beating we hear coming out of NK is more to do with internal problems and perhaps succession, than a threat to the area. Of course this doesn't make it any better, expecially for China whose main interest is to have a socialist buffer state rather than a capitalist economy on its border. One thing is certain, whatever the Chinese do will be done by stealth.


Stanley Challenger Graham




Barlick View
stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Topic is 84 Pages Long:
Go to Page
  First Page  Previous Page    46  47  48  [49]  50  51   Next Page  Last Page
 


Set us as your default homepage Bookmark us Privacy   Copyright 2004-2011 www.oneguyfrombarlick.co.uk All Rights Reserved. Design by: Frost SkyPortal.net Go To Top Of Page

Page load time - 0.641