Saturday, 27 September 2014

We're at war

My backs aching rather a lot so I'll keep this entry short.
A few weeks back I talked about the threat not just to the Middle East but to us from the so-called Islamic State who are responsible for beheadings, crucifixions, mass murder in addition to depriving people of their most basic freedoms.
I think the term that best describes their actions is barbaric with some of those directly involved as quite probably psychotic leaping to actions with any obvious rational reasoning being applied and even ignoring information provided by many Muslim groups and even drawing the ire of other so-called extremist groups and their leaders.
The old English expression to be "beyond The Pale" comes to my mind when even those most detested groups condemn their actions.
As I suggested the United States followed by the United Kingdom would reluctantly feel obliged to go to war with them simply to try to to ensure these people don't get a foothold in establishing a single barbarous state that recognized no established national boundaries.
Well, late Friday the UK Parliament agreed overwhelming to back actions against Islamic State in Iraq while not ruling out further involvement in Syria which as you may be aware they have taken portions and atrocities already have been committed although it maybe that any action there may be more with a nod and wink of the Syrian government where the interests of both coincide.
It's good that many countries in the Arabian Peninsular have decided to assist too although it's also the case some well off people there have supplied funds to the Islamic State and perhaps this is something they can put a stop to as it seems to be very well supplied financially with the money going on their weapons budget and that needs to stop.
Some are asking how long action this may last but with some reluctance I have to conclude we're talking years and not just a few years to remove them from our world.
We need them and their actions gone for everyone's sake

Saturday, 20 September 2014

United Kingdom redux PtII (Scotland starts a debate and some)

After the last few entries here's something a bit different.
As everyone in the UK and a good many other elsewhere may of noticed, the outcome of a long passionate debate over Independence or staying a part of the United Kingdom was finally put to the test by a referendum on Thursday in which 55% of Scottish voters rejected independence.
There are a number of things that I could say about this topic of one is as in our personal lives we are not fully independent so much as interdependent on each other for meeting our needs. 
It's fair to say the United kingdom is one of the closest  if not the closest ally the United States has in Europe in a two way relationship that has benefited us all since WW2 based on shared values and aided by a common language.
For historic reasons going to our former Empire, we have and maintain relations between Ourselves and the many countries of the Commonwealth we established.
While there is much controversy over the European Union, it's undeniable we do co-operate with them in many ways when it comes to know-how, trade links and so on.
In other words while we are a separate sovereign nation with our own policies and politics, we depend upon and gain  from our interdependence  with others in a increasingly global and interconnected World.
Was this a good time to be splitting up?
That was one question Scottish people were wrestling with.
Another was just how Independent would an Independent Scotland be? Although the Scottish National Party had asserted it didn't wish to join the Euro, a currency used by many but not all European Union countries, many observes noted as it would not be legally the successor to the UK, it was likely that the current terms of joining the EU would apply which included working toward adopting the currency whose interest rates and so on are set internationally. Also the so-called opt outs from policies the UK had obtained would not apply.
An Independent Scotland may well of been independent of Westminster but not of the EU and that monetary policy would be set outside of Scotland whereas as of now it's set in London by the Bank of England.
My personal views could be summarized by saying I wasn't persuaded the case for Independence and it's viability was made compared to being given more powers within the UK so the Scottish People could make the changes they felt mattered to them.
But that takes us to the unresolved problem of balancing a system that has a one Scottish Parliament and an assembly each for Wales and Northern Ireland who also return members to the UK Parliament in Westminster with England that has no such body and controversially allows Non English Members to vote on purely English laws at Westminster.
It is that which is regarded in differing degrees desirable to fix alongside the granting of extra powers to Scotland and the understandable clamour for similar powers for Wales and Northern Ireland.
I can see a Federal structure of sorts being adopting simply because increasingly since 1997 the UK constitutionally has changed beyond recognition and we need a system that allows each part of the UK certain areas that it alone sets while keeping others provided for across each.
English Cities are already asking for similar powers to raise taxes and make own spending decisions but to me the offer to people in England has to be comparable with even if not absolutely identical to that offered to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
That could be achieved either by giving such powers to assemblies or I feel better to County and unitary City authorities directly what already exist, cover the whole of England (giving powers to say Birmingham but not Cannock in neighbouring Staffordshire wouldn't be acceptable imho) and are acceptable by locals as their 'patch' that they identify with and wouldn't prove too expensive to set up.
Whatever happens the evolution of the UK's Constitution continues.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Pet life

Sorry for the delay folks, it's just that I've been a bit busy this week and suffering from a bad neck with associated head pains

Marmalade's being continuing in his attempts to becoming a de facto pet  spending several hours a day indoors after copious amounts of food are place on his saucer.
Indeed on Friday he lay on top of me across my lower torso for an hour while I was resting!
In other news, during the road closures here along the stretch into town,  it was found upon removing the surfaces a great big hole from subsidence had been getting bigger so they've got to fill it in resulting in one way working on a brief stretch.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Ginger spice

There are things you might choose to do and those that just seem to happen without any real thinking about on your part.
When the old cat, the last of a kept litter of three died earlier in the year, the assumption was that as far as having a pet goes, that habit, going back to the earliest days of childhood was over.
True, in the last year we had one cat call on in from time to time looking for food but apart from a brief stroking of the fur, wasn't much into petting and indeed could growl.
Recently though a Ginger and White tomcat has arrived, disappeared in mysterious circumstances for a week and then returned who's wormed his way into being a pet of sorts.
Ginger, has some comical habits like standing on two paws and either banging or scraping his paws against either the back door or front window whenever he wants food or amazingly wants to come in for a half hour or so.
He's so funny!