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Tuesday, 13 March 2018

The 1400 year history of Islam, clearly explained.

About forty-five minutes, but fascinating and worth spending the time to watch it.


Thursday, 22 February 2018

Why my wife and I resigned from UKIP at the EGM

My dissatisfaction started in 2015 when I overheard Nigel complaining to someone that the NEC refused to accept any proposals which Nigel, the Party Leader, put forward. I was very disappointed when he resigned in January 2016 and wondered what the NEC were playing at.

The more recent history of leader after leader resigning, some within weeks of being appointed, showed there was something seriously wrong with our NEC.

Then Henry came along. Ex Army, ex police, an United Nations ambassador, sorting out things in the Balkans. Now, perhaps we have someone who can get behind. But he turned out too strong for the NEC so they had to get rid of him too.

They complained after his wife had left him and he went with a younger woman. A while ago on Facebook this woman had said she was surprised that Harry was bringing in a half black girl into the Royal Family. I was too, but I don’t think my black or Muslim friends would think of me as a racist.

They then said he lied about having a bachelor’s degree on his CV. Did he lie? This is not a simple question to answer and on reflection, how many of my readers know that 6 NVQ’s (which Henry has) is the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree? I never did. Wikipedia explains that it is. So he kept it simple. Is that a crime?

My wife and I went up to Birmingham to attend the UKIP EGM and whilst there, we were disgusted to listen to each NEC speaker slate Henry Bolton. And as an ex army man myself, I was proud that Henry kept to the facts and didn’t insult any of the speakers who insulted him.

That is the man which UKIP needs to push the party forward.

Many were upset at the proposal for changes (which were to be negotiated with the NEC) and many UKIP members, who had no idea of how professional negotiating works, thought these lines were cast in stone. One can accept their lack of knowledge, especially when the only example that they may have was our Prime Minister negotiating with the EU! In her case, everything the EU puts forward is accepted!

When you enter into negotiations, you include items which you know the opposition would never accept. You give in reluctantly, and say, we’ll drop these if you accept those.

The next day, Sunday, my wife and I voided our membership cards and we sent them to head office with a strongly worded letter.

I feel awfully sad as I have been in UKIP right from the beginning. In fact I used to attend the “Anti-Federalist League” meetings which morphed into UKIP.

Around the beginning of the century, I was UKIP Head Office Manager when the party was half way up Regent Street in London’s West End. Until the NEC started being awkward I was a £1,000 a year Patron member. Now we are both resigning UKIP as we feel the NEC has totally killed the party and I will be very surprised if the party will be here at the next General Election.

It is interesting that since Gerard Batten has started attacking Moslems, rather than the politicians who let them in, many former UKIP members who left to join the far right (according to Wikipedia) ForBritain party are returning to UKIP.

Many others are flocking in as well. I don’t know how true this is, but it is not going to do UKIP any favours. And, Gerard Batten should never have called a listener who phoned into his programme on LBC “uninformed and unintelligent”.

I have stopped using Twitter but kept it alive for Ampers Rants as I know my blog has a lot of readers on Twitter.

The only winner in this sad saga is my wife as I now have time to attend to all those chores which have built up over the last two decades (or so)!


Friday, 26 January 2018

The lowdown on what Jacob Rees Mogg is really about. Do you really want this man as our PM?

There is a great Brexit opportunity and some really obvious benefits that
we can get that improve the condition of the people. This is currently at
risk. The negotiations that are about to begin sound as if they aim to keep
us in a similar system to the Single Market and the Customs Union. ‘Close
alignment’ means de facto the Single Market, it would make the UK a rule
taker like Norway, divested of even the limited influence we current have.

90% of global trade growth is expected to come from outside the EU but we
would be tying ourselves to a system that seeks to protect the current,
declining status quo rather than engaging with the challenge of the next

Conformity with EU rules will also prevent us from making meaningful trade
deals with other nations where we could secure reduction of the non-tariff
barriers and regulatory distortions which are often worse than the tariffs.
They impose such high regulatory burdens on importers that no-one bothers
and they are not there for either safety or scientific reasons but for
protectionist ones. No sensible nation would negotiate with the UK for a
marginal gain when we would merely be a vassal of the EU.

The Customs Union is worse. It protects industries that we often do not
have and helps continental producers on the back of UK consumers. The
EU-funded CBI, that lover of vested interests, wants it to favour
inefficient encumbrance against poor consumers. Whether it is ‘a’ or ‘the’
Customs Union it is a protectionist racket that damages the interests of
the wider economy.

This would deny us some of the early Brexit advantages which relate so much
to trade, to the ability to trade freely. Economic arguments for one way
free trade, let alone for trade deals, are well known. For example, 21% of
people’s income is spent on average on food, clothing and footwear. These
are the highest tariffed areas in the Customs Union. 11.8% on clothing,
11.4% on footwear. Food is so heavily tariffed and obstructed that it is
almost impossible to import.

This hits most on the poorest in society, the poorest who spend an even
higher proportion of their income, even above the 21%, on food, clothing
and footwear. The first gain that we can have is by removing all the
tariffs on those goods which the UK does not produce thus giving a real
terms income boost, most of all to the poorest in our society. To that
group of people who Theresa May spoke about during her famous speech on the
doorstep of Downing Street when she had just kissed hands and become Prime
Minister. Just the people that Mrs. May wanted to help. I think Mrs May’s
words were inspirational and should underpin what the Government does.

The United Kingdom, though, should be more ambitious than this and take the
benefits of the best regulatory models and then challenge for global
technological leadership.

Despite our relatively small geographic size we are still the second
biggest exporter of services and one of the largest foreign investors, the
United States being first in both cases. We are also an open and welcoming
nation not least to foreign investment. We have both a large stock and
regular inflows of foreign investment coming into this country, by some
measures second only again to the United States and even bigger than China
(excluding Hong Kong and Macau).

Such a nation should take responsibility for its own future and become a
role model for the rest of the world. Already two of our universities are
the best in the world. We have a high tech sector and are the site of the
world’s premier financial centre. We must build on this comparative
advantage in the knowledge economy. Surely we must become an innovative
hub, a centre and driver of the world’s technological advance.

To do this we must ensure that our regulatory system promotes competition
on its merits and thus enterprise. We should succeed or fail based on the
quality of our ideas and our capacity for hard work, not on the ability to
lobby the Government to get regulations or laws to obstruct competitors.
Our system cannot be tied to regulations that stifle innovation.

At the moment the UK, in the European context, is the best of a bad bunch.
Europe lags far behind other comparable regions in the Global
Entrepreneurship Monitor’s ranking of the rate of business start-ups. All
we manage is to be the best in a sclerotic Europe. Compared to the dynamism
of the United States and Asia the UK has a long way to go to translate its
brainpower, its little grey cells, into entrepreneurial companies.

To build this capacity is to make our nation ready for the next hundred
years. In the future there will be a premium on creativity and judgement,
in industries that rely on intelligence as opposed to pure manufacturing.
The jobs that people, as opposed to Artificial Intelligence, will do will
be in precisely the space where Britain has the greatest advantage.

This does not mean a nation of computer scientists. Innovation and
creativity can be applied to the leading edges of any industry and it is
these leading edges that Britain is in a position to capture. In a truly
competitive, enterprise environment no one can know precisely what those
industries are. Our success will depend on our ability to capture the most
valuable parts of increasingly complex supply chains.

An example of this is the iPhone. iPhones are manufactured in China but the
value is added by the research and marketing being done in the US which
reaps the bigger advantage. Consequently, China sees only 6% of the value

As I said, we do not know precisely where these areas will be but it will
always be important. Interestingly, New Zealand, which produces only 3% of
the world’s milk, controls 30% of the value of the global dairy market. It
is not just high tech areas that will be dependent upon this knowledge
economy. It is even in traditional areas such as agriculture.

Taiwan has developed a system of growing vegetables in a water solution
rather than soil using a patent formula of antagonist micro-organisms which
boost production with low nitrate levels. It wants to develop this in York
and should be encouraged to do so.

Unfortunately, in the United Kingdom there are barriers which may prevent
us getting to this bright future. First, the UK-EU relationship may
continue to tie the UK to the kind of regulatory framework which has made
Europe so inefficient. This would be bad for the economic environment in
the UK but it would also be bad for the ability of the country to deal with
other, faster growing nations.

A classic example of this is data. If the UK were tied to the European
approach to data protection and data flow – a very restrictive one – it
will limit the ability of our country to embrace the fourth industrial
revolution: big data and all that this offers. Without data flow none of
those applications are possible.

It is all very well for UK Ministers to extol the virtues of artificial
intelligence and high tech as they are doing now almost, as we speak,
amongst the panjandrums in Davos. But no one will take them seriously if
they do not have the ability to set their own regulations in this area. The
European regulatory system is simply not conducive to the development of
entrepreneurial companies. Those companies will continue to come from the
United States and Asia. For the UK to be active in this area it needs
regulatory autonomy. As Michael Gove has put it: the EU is analogue in a
digital age.

Second, the UK must be in a position to encourage pro-competitive behaviour
across the globe. Highly developed agreements like the Trans-Pacific
Partnership (TPP) represent the blueprint for trade discussions in new
areas involving services that rely on the cross border supply of data.

It is noteworthy that the EU was unable to agree to cover new services like
these in CETA whereas the TPP members were. In order to do this the UK must
be able to determine its own regulatory system and negotiate freely with

Third, contracting trade deals is difficult and requires great flexibility.
Any restrictions, such as the EU having an effective veto on UK changes of
regulation or the UK instantly losing access if there were any deviation
without some pre-agreed mechanism to manage divergence, will take the UK
out of the negotiating game.

Other countries would not think it was worth their while to discuss trade
deals with us. We would merely appear to be a mini-me version of the
European Union and thus be of no interest to other countries.

There are disturbing signs that the EU’s position on a host of internal
market distortions will mean that it is unable to play in this new world.
These are data flow, prescriptive regulations like REACH chemicals
regulation, the precautionary principle in agriculture, local content rules
in broadcasting which are mainly there to protect unwatchable French films.

In addition to being unable to discuss new services involving data flow in
CETA it could not discuss them in the Trade in Services Agreement in the
WTO either. A plurilateral agreement that like-minded countries agreed in
order to improve trade in services around the world.

This prompted the Americans to question why the EU were in the discussions
in the first place. Why were it there if it were not willing to do
anything? For the United Kingdom, dependent as she is on our service
exports and the creation and realisation of ideas, it would be foolish
indeed to put our future into such constrained hands.

If the UK can achieve the independence necessary it can become a
rule-setter in the world. It can export with its trading partners ideas
about how best to create a governance structure that will spur innovation
and enterprise. Its future can be true to its history.

As I said, encapsulated in this College, it is vital to ensure that
competition, not cronyism, determines the future prospects of our citizens.
Competition allows aspirational societies to be formed where people truly
believe that they succeed or fail on their own merits and not some crony

Britain’s success as a nation can be attributed to the application of this
competitive principle. It has been translated through free trade and free
markets and has allowed people to come together to meet each other’s needs
in voluntary exchange.

We have reached the portals of tremendous possibility. If the UK is to
execute an independent trade policy then it can play a role in ensuring
that there is an injection of wealth into the global economy. This will
improve the lot of all mankind and we, the British people, will be
propelled forward on this rising tide.

To paraphrase Pitt the Younger we will have saved ourselves by our exertion
and we will have saved the world by our example. If, on the other hand,
this possibility is taken off the table then Brexit becomes only a damage
limitation exercise. The British people did not vote for that. They did not
vote for the management of decline. They voted for hope and opportunity and
politicians must now deliver it.

If we do not, if we are timid and cowering and terrified of the future,
then our children and theirs will judge us in the balance and find us
wanting. ‘Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin’ – as the writing on the wall said at
the feast of Balthazar. We have our future and our destiny in our hands.

To embrace the world boldly with this new policy is not a foolish leap into
the unknown. Sometimes the bold move is the safest one. As Sir Walter
Raleigh said: “fain would I climb, yet fear I to fall.”

For too long our negotiators seemed to have been cowed by the EU. Their
approach seems to be that we must accept what the EU will allow us to do
and build from there. This is no way to negotiate and it is no way for this
country to behave. We must negotiate from the international trading
framework in which both the EU and the UK sit as equal partners, whose
provisions govern our behaviour. We must also not confuse the EU’s opening
bid with its bottom line, it is not Holy writ. If we came out with our
negotiating objectives nobody in Europe would assume these were set in stone.

If the EU and UK, who start out with exact regulatory alignment, cannot
agree some mechanism to recognise each others’ regulations and one that
manages divergence without the UK being prevented from exercising its
independence, then who can? Both sides’ negotiators must not fail here and
I am confident that as long as we are strong and negotiate properly they
will not.

I have talked about who we can be as a nation. We must also understand our
particular role in the world at this critical time. The world’s economic
architecture is stuck and the UK is expected by the rest of the world to
advocate policies that will release its energy.

There has been no concluded WTO round for twenty-three years, while
indicators show that actual industrial output and global trade are stalled.
If the UK is unfettered by the deadweight of the EU then it will play a
role in jumpstarting the global economic system. This will unblock many
initiatives that have been gummed up for too long.

We must never forget that wealth can be created or destroyed, but it is
much harder to create than destroy. We are coming to a fork in the road. We
can take the familiar path that leads to a gradual erosion of our wealth,
our success and ultimately our values, by staying close to the EU and
aligning our regulations to theirs.

We could simply manage decline. Or we could take another road that may look
to us now like an unfamiliar one. In which case our best days lie before
us. From the Agricultural Revolution to the repeal of the Corn Laws to the
birthplace of the Industrial Revolution to being co-architect of the
post-war system the UK has led the way.

Britain has been called on to be a shaper not only of our destiny but that
of the whole world. If we get it right by opening up our markets, seeing
the benefits of free trade and regulations that encourage enterprise others
will follow. The EU has too many pen pushers to dare, the US is too big to
care. Only a medium sized, flexible economy can lead the way and the next
great economic revolution should be made in Britain for the benefit of the

This speech by Jacob Rees-Mogg MP
at Churcher’s College, Petersfield,
25th January 2018

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Forget whether you hate, dislike, like or love President Trump...

JUMPSTARTING AMERICA’S WORKERS AND ECONOMIC ENGINE: President Trump has put the American economy into high-gear, creating jobs and increasing wealth.
  • Under President Trump’s leadership, Congress passed historic tax cuts and relief for hardworking Americans not seen since President Reagan.
    • The Tax Cuts Act provides $5.5 trillion in tax cuts, of which $3.2 trillion, or nearly 60 percent, goes to families.
    • A typical family of four earning $75,000 will save more than $2,000 in income tax cuts.
    • The Tax Cuts Act nearly doubles the standard deduction.
    • The vast majority of American families will be able to file their taxes on a single page.
    • The Tax Cuts Act will repeal Obamacare’s burdensome individual mandate.
  • The U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate increased at or above 3 percent for two quarters in a row for the first time in three years.
    • Third quarter GDP growth rate was 3.2 percent.
    • Second quarter GDP growth rate was 3.1 percent.
  • During President Trump’s first year, nearly 1.7 million new jobs have been created and the unemployment rate has fallen to 4.1 percent, the lowest rate in nearly 17 years.
    • The manufacturing industry has created 159,000 jobs.
    • The mining and logging industry has created 57,000 jobs.
    • Thirteen states have reached record low unemployment rates.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average index has hit record highs more than 60 times under President Trump, including closing higher than 24,000 points for the first time in its history.
    • Since President Trump’s election, more than $5 trillion in wealth has been added to the U.S. economy.
  • Economic confidence has rebounded to record highs under President Trump as his pro-growth policies have and continue to put American workers and businesses first.
    • The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index rose in November to a 17-year high of 129.5.
    • The National Association of Manufacturers’ Outlook Index had the highest annual average in its history.
  • President Trump signed an Executive Order on expanding apprenticeships, recognizing the need for more quality alternatives to four-year college degrees.
    • The Executive Order sets in motion a new process that will make it easier for businesses to create and scale apprenticeship programs, providing many more Americans access to an affordable education that leads to a good-paying job.
  • President Trump signed a Memorandum directing the Secretary of Education to prioritize STEM education with a particular focus on computer science.
    • Leading private sector technology companies and organizations pledged over $300 million to amplify the President’s computer science initiative.
  • The Trump Administration has prioritized the economic empowerment of women as a key element of our commitment to economic growth and gender equality.
    • This year, the Small Business Administration has lent approximately $500 million more than last year in capital to women-owned businesses.
ENDING JOB KILLING REGULATIONS: President Trump is rolling back wasteful and costly regulations that have stood in the way of hardworking Americans.
  • In order to control regulatory costs, President Trump signed an Executive Order mandating that two regulations must be eliminated for every one created.
    • President Trump’s Administration surpassed the 2:1 ratio, eliminating 22 regulations for every new regulation.
    • In FY 2017, President Trump’s Administration saved over $8.1 billion in lifetime regulatory costs.
  • President Trump has signed 15 Congressional Review Act resolutions into law, more than any other president, ending burdensome Obama-era rules and regulations.
  • By announcing our intention to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, President Trump protected America from a bad deal that would have harmed America’s economy and workers
    • According to a study by NERA Economic Consulting, implementing the Obama Administration’s plan under the Paris Climate Agreement could have cost the United States economy nearly $3 trillion and 6.5 million industrial sector jobs by 2040.
  • President Trump signed an Executive Order with the goal of dramatically reducing the time for permit approvals for infrastructure projects from up to 10 years to an average of 2 years.
  • President Trump eliminated the Obama Administration’s “Stream Protection Rule,” which unfairly targeted the coal industry with estimated costs of $81 million a year.
PROMOTING FAIR AND RECIPROCAL TRADE: President Trump is putting America first in trade so American workers aren’t put at a disadvantage.
  • One of President Trump’s first actions was to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, advancing his agenda to protect American workers.
  • The Trump Administration has begun renegotiations of trade agreements that have contributed to the U.S. trade deficit and harmed American workers.
    • Renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement are underway to modernize the deal so all countries benefit from it.
  • President Trump has worked to bring foreign investment back to the United States so more goods are made in America by American workers.
    • South Korean companies announced 64 projects that will invest more than $17 billion in the United States over four years and will purchase $58 billion in goods and services.
    • Foxconn announced it was investing $10 billion in Wisconsin to build a factory that will employ thousands of workers directly and up to 22,000 workers indirectly.
    • Toyota and Mazda announced a $1.6 billion investment in a new manufacturing plant in the United States that will create an estimated 4,000 jobs.
    • At the White House, Broadcom Limited announced they were moving their headquarters back to the United States, bringing $20 billion in annual revenue.
  • President Trump has worked to promote the sale of more American products abroad.
    • On his first overseas trip, President Trump and King Salman of Saudi Arabia oversaw the signing of a historic $400 billion in deals between U.S. and Saudi companies.
  • The Trump Administration has made enforcement of U.S. trade laws a top priority and has already made significant progress.
    • To defend U.S. national security interests, President Trump blocked a foreign company from acquiring a U.S. business for only the fourth time in history.
    • Since President Trump was sworn into office, the Department of Commerce has initiated 79 antidumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVD) investigations.
    • The U.S. Trade Representative self-initiated a Section 301 investigation into whether Chinese policies, acts, and practices related to technology transfer, licensing, and intellectual property are unreasonable or discriminatory. This is the first use of Section 301 since 2001.
  • President Trump delivered on his promise to roll back the Obama Administration’s bad deal on Cuba, which benefitted the Cuban regime at the expense of the Cuban people.
ADVANCING AMERICAN ENERGY DOMINANCE: President Trump is reversing years of policies that locked-up American energy and restricted our ability to sell to other countries.
  • The Department of the Interior is planning to auction off leases for nearly 77 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas drilling starting in March, the largest offering ever.
    • President Trump signed an Executive Order to expand offshore oil and gas drilling and to reissue a leasing program to develop offshore resources.
  • President Trump has acted aggressively to increase exports of our energy resources to the global market.
    • New guidance will allow financing for coal and other fossil energy projects, which will increase access to affordable, reliable, and clean energy around the world.
    • The Administration streamlined Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal permitting, including the Lake Charles LNG terminal.
    • Under the Trump Administration, our allies have received, and will continue to receive, American LNG exports, which will prevent dependence on single suppliers.
  • President Trump has unleashed oil and gas development by expanding access to resources and the infrastructure needed to get them to market.
    • The Trump Administration has approved the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, which will create an estimated 42,000 jobs and $2 billion in economic benefits.
    • The Administration has expedited new pipeline approval and production, including the New Burgos Pipeline, which will export U.S. gasoline to Mexico.
    • The Department of the Interior is boosting responsible oil and gas development on Federal lands.
  • President Trump directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to rescind the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP).
    • According to NERA Economic Consulting, the CPP would have increased electricity rates by as much as 14 percent, costing American households up to $79 billion.
  • The EPA is reconsidering an onerous Obama-era rule on methane emissions that would cost American energy developers an estimated $530 million annually.
PROTECTING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND THE HOMELAND: President Trump is enforcing our immigration laws, protecting American communities and American jobs.
  • President Trump has laid out his principles for reforming our immigration system to serve hard-working Americans instead of harming them. In particular, President Trump has called on Congress to fund a wall along the Southern border, close legal loopholes that enable illegal immigration, end Chain Migration, and eliminate the Visa Lottery program.
  • President Trump pulled the United States out of negotiations for a “Global Compact on Migration,” a plan for global governance of immigration and refugee policy that would have had far-reaching implications for U.S. sovereignty.
  • Under President Trump’s leadership, the Department of Homeland Security took action to wind down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in an orderly fashion, following the assessment of the Department of Justice (DOJ) that DACA lacks legal authorization.
    • This action gives Congress the opportunity to consider appropriate legislative solutions, as required by our Constitution.
  • President Trump’s Administration rescinded the unlawful Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program.
  • In keeping with President Trump’s campaign promise, the Department of Homeland Security launched the office of Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE).
  • From President Trump’s inauguration through the end of FY 2017, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made 110,568 arrests of illegal aliens, a 40 percent increase compared to the same time period the prior year.
    • Over the same time period, removals that resulted from arrests increased by 37 percent.
    • Of the illegal aliens arrested by ICE, over 92 percent had criminal convictions or pending criminal charges, were ICE fugitives, or were illegal reentrants.
  • The number of counties participating in the 287(g) program, which gives state and local law enforcement entities delegated authority by ICE to enforce immigration in their jurisdiction, has doubled.
  • In FY 2017, 36 percent more criminal gang members were removed by ICE compared to FY 2016.
  • President Trump’s Administration is cracking down on sanctuary cities by improving the administration of Federal grants to increase information sharing on illegal aliens.
PROTECTING AMERICA’S COMMUNITIES: President Trump is protecting American communities and restoring law and order so that every American can feel safe in their community.
  • The Department of Justice announced more than $98 million in grant funding to hire 802 additional full-time law enforcement officers.
    • President Trump signed an Executive Order to restore state and local law enforcement’s access to surplus Defense Department equipment through the 1033 program, including safety equipment.
  • The DOJ has worked with Central American partners to arrest and charge about 4,000 MS-13 members so far this year.
    • This includes the alleged leader of MS-13’s “East Coast Program.”
  • The Department of Homeland Security arrested 796 MS-13 gang members and associates in FY 2017, an 83 percent increase from the previous year.
  • In February, President Trump signed three Executive Orders aimed at cracking down on international criminal organizations.
  • In June, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the creation of the new National Public Safety Partnership, a cooperative initiative with cities to reduce violent crimes.
MAKING GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABLE: President Trump is following through on his promise to drain the Washington swamp and make the Government accountable.
  • President Trump fulfilled his promise to the American people by placing Neil Gorsuch on the United States Supreme Court.
    • As of December 14, President Trump has nominated 73 Federal judges.
    • Twenty-two judges have been confirmed, including a record-setting 12 circuit judges.
  • President Trump implemented higher ethical standards to make sure his Administration works for the American people.
    • President Trump signed an Executive Order on lobbying that included a five-year ban on lobbying and a lifetime ban on lobbying for foreign countries.
    • President Trump has donated his salary, following through on his promise to the American people.
  • To ensure the Government serves the needs of all Americans, President Trump has called for a comprehensive plan to reorganize the executive branch and has begun to implement this plan.
  • President Trump has commenced a comprehensive overhaul of digitally delivered Government services.
  • President Trump has called for “conducting a full audit of the Pentagon.” The Department of Defense (DOD) responded to the President’s call to action and has begun its first full financial statement audit.
    • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has called for business reform in the DOD to instill budget discipline and effective resource management.
COMBATTING OPIOIDS: President Trump and his Administration are fighting back against drug addiction and opioid abuse.
  • President Trump directed the declaration of a Nationwide Public Health Emergency to address the opioid crisis.
  • The President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) recently found that evidence suggests drug overdoses involving opioids are underreported by as much as 24 percent.
  • In April, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) laid out a comprehensive five-point strategy to combat the opioid abuse crisis.
  • The DOJ announced it was scheduling fentanyl substances as a drug class under the Controlled Substances Act.
    • Anyone who possesses, imports, distributes, or manufactures any illicit fentanyl-related substance will be subject to criminal prosecution similar to other controlled substances.
    • The DOJ announced its first-ever indictments against two Chinese nationals and their North American-based associates for distributing large quantities of fentanyl and other opiate substances.
  • In an opioid fraud crackdown, the DOJ charged more than 400 people, including doctors and medical facilities, for prescribing unnecessary opioids, fueling the drug crisis.
  • In 2017, the Administration provided nearly $500 million to States to prevent and treat opioid abuse. The President’s FY 2018 Budget requests another $500 million.
  • On National Drug Take Back Day, the Drug Enforcement Administration collected a record-breaking 912,305 pounds – 456 tons – of potentially dangerous expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs at more than 5,300 collection sites.
PROTECTING LIFE: President Trump recognizes the precious gift of life and protects the sanctity of life at all stages.
  • During his first week in office, President Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy that protects $9 billion in foreign aid from being used to fund the abortion industry.
    • President Trump de-funded a U.N. agency for colluding with China’s brutal program of forced abortion and sterilization.
  • President Trump worked with the Congress to sign a bill overturning an Obama midnight regulation that prohibited States from defunding abortion service providers.
  • The Trump Administration published guidance promising to enforce the Obamacare requirement that taxpayer dollars should not support abortion coverage in exchange plans.
SERVING OUR COUNTRY’S VETERANS: President Trump is making sure the government fulfills its commitment to our country’s veterans.
  • The President signed the Veterans Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act to allow senior officials in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to fire failing employees and establish safeguards to protect whistleblowers.
    • Under President Trump, the VA has fired 1,298 employees, suspended 425, and demoted 73, as part of President Trump’s efforts to restore accountability.
  • President Trump signed the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act after it passed the Senate unanimously in August.
    • The legislation streamlines the lengthy process that veterans undergo when appealing disability benefits claims with the VA.
  • The President signed the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act, an important step in providing our nation’s heroes the support they have earned.
    • This funds the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which provides educational benefits to veterans, service members, and their family members, including tuition, fees, books, housing, and additional costs.
  • President Trump signed the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017 to authorize $2.1 billion in additional funds for the Veterans Choice Program (VCP).
  • Fulfilling President Trump’s promise, the Administration created a new White House VA Hotline staffed by veterans and family members.
  • The VA increased transparency and accountability by launching an online “Access and Quality Tool,” providing veterans with a way to access wait time and quality of care data.
  • President Trump and VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin announced three initiatives to expand access to healthcare for veterans using telehealth technology:
    • “Anywhere to Anywhere VA Health Care” allows VA providers to use telehealth technology to serve veterans no matter where the provider or veteran is located.
    • VA Video Connect allows veterans and providers to connect by video across the country.
    • The Veteran Appointment Request (VAR) application allows veterans to schedule appointments at VA facilities on digital devices.
PROMOTING PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH: President Trump is rebuilding our military, defeating terrorist organizations, and confronting rogue nations to protect America and our allies.
  • Immediately upon taking office, the President directed the rebuilding of the United States military, a new national defense strategy, a comprehensive nuclear posture review, and fielding state-of-the-art ballistic missile defenses.
  • President Trump has worked with the Congress to increase defense spending, fully reverse the defense sequester, expand our military capacity, and modernize its capabilities.
  • The President has empowered the Secretary of Defense and our military commanders to make decisions, seize the initiative, and win – without micromanagement from Washington.
  • The President directed the revival of the National Space Council to develop and implement a new national space policy and strategy.
  • President Trump directed the elevation of the U.S. Cyber Command into a major warfighting command, to advance U.S. efforts in cyberspace.
  • President Trump reasserted American sovereignty over our borders by announcing our withdrawal from the U.N. Global Compact on Migration.
  • President Trump restricted travel from certain countries that do not have sufficient security or share enough information.
  • Under President Trump’s leadership, ISIS has lost nearly all of its territory and its most important cities and towns in Iraq and Syria, including Mosul and ISIS’s declared capital in Raqqa.
  • President Trump has taken strong action to end North Korea’s aggressive actions and its continued development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
    • With U.S. leadership, the United Nations Security Council unanimously sanctioned North Korea for its continued rogue actions.
    • The Trump Administration sanctioned Chinese financial institutions aiding the North Korean regime.
    • President Trump signed an Executive Order sanctioning North Korean trade and financing, signaling to the world that they have to make a choice: deal with the United States or the rogue regime in North Korea.
  • President Trump announced a new Afghanistan strategy that strengthens our support for Afghan security forces, delegates authority to military leaders, and demonstrates our resolve to defeat terrorism.
  • In reaction to the new U.S. South Asia strategy, NATO allies and partners increased troop contributions to NATO’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.
  • President Trump approved a new Iran strategy focused on neutralizing Iran’s regional destabilizing influence, sanctioning Iran’s ballistic missile program, and decertifying Iran’s compliance with the multilateral nuclear deal.
  • President Trump ordered missile strikes against a Syrian airbase after the Assad regime used it to launch chemical weapons attacks against civilians.
  • President Trump prevented further chemical weapons attacks by announcing detection of their preparation and warning Syria that they would be struck again if the attacks were carried out.
  • President Trump imposed new sanctions on the Maduro dictatorship in Venezuela, targeting the regime itself, and not just individuals, for the first time.
    • The new financial sanctions prohibit dealings in new Venezuelan debt and its corrupt oil company. The regime will no longer be able finance its debt using U.S. banks.
RESTORING CONFIDENCE IN AND RESPECT FOR AMERICA: President Trump has used an America First foreign policy to restore respect for the United States throughout the world and to advance our interests.
  • President Trump has worked to release American citizens held abroad, often using his personal relationships with world leaders.
    • Three student athletes from the University of California, Los Angeles, were released from China after President Trump’s personal intervention.
    • An American, a Canadian, and their three children were released from Taliban custody after United States Government and Pakistani forces secured their release.
    • The Trump Administration secured Otto Warmbier’s release from North Korea.
    • Sandy Phan-Gill was released from Chinese detention after President Trump and his Administration intervened.
    • Aya Hijazi was released from an Egyptian prison and welcomed to the White House by President Trump.
  • President Trump followed through on his campaign promise and recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.
  • President Trump conducted a historic 12 day tour through Asia including visits to five countries and attending three regional summits to promote America’s interests.
    • South Korea and Japan both pledged to build closer defense relations with the United States, and the President underscored the U.S. commitment to providing advanced military equipment.
    • President Trump boosted cooperation between the Quad countries (the United States, Japan, India, and Australia) on the sidelines of ASEAN in Manila.
    • President Trump reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to promote prosperity and security in the region, including by modernizing America’s development finance institutions and increasing their coordination with Japanese counterparts.
  • President Trump travelled to the Middle East and Europe to solidify relations with our allies in both regions and push for greater commitments and cooperation.
    • President Trump visited Mecca, Jerusalem, and Rome, three of the world’s holiest places.
    • While in Saudi Arabia, President Trump pushed for a coalition of nations to confront Iran and attended the opening of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology.
    • At the May 2017 NATO Leaders’ meeting, President Trump persuaded our allies to agree to develop national plans to boost defense spending to 2 percent of GDP by 2024, and for NATO to formally join the defeat-ISIS coalition.
  • President Trump visited Poland and a meeting of the G-20, where he pushed for closer cooperation and American First policies.
    • With G-20 partners and the World Bank, the United States championed the establishment of the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (WeFi), which could leverage in excess of $1 billion in financing to support women entrepreneurs.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

A few notes on looking after your kitchen knives.

I am slowly replacing my kitchen knives with Zelite knives, mind you, my 12" French cooks knife will remain. I have had this over 15 years and although only sharpened once, is as sharp as the day I bought it, and I use it, amongst other things, to cut an avocada pear in half, right through the stone in the centre!

A lady, I've deleted her name, asked the following question on the Amazon Zelite page for one of their knives:
"Can anyone recommend a knife sharpener for this?"
Zelites answer was very comprehensive and I thought my readers would like to read it. There are so many different ideas for knife honing and sharpening, I thought my readers would like to see the expert's answer to the above question:

Firstly, Honing and Sharpening perform different functions. You should hone your knife regular – maybe every 6-8hrs worth of use and this will ensure it keeps its sharp edge.

Honing only removes the microscopic burr that it put on your edge after general use – it does not remove metal, only removes the burr and realigns the edge.

For honing steels, you will want one with a 10” or longer rod and with a hardness greater than the knife which is 56 Rockwell. Ceramic Honing rods are popular as here you don’t need to worry about hardness. I don’t have a specific one to recommend as the choice is so vast on Amazon.

Sharpening depends upon your skill level with using a whetstone. If you are confident using a whetstone, then we recommend the King 1000/6000 whetstone – this is very popular. A lot of our customers prefer to send their knives to a local sharpener if they are not as confident using a whetstone.

I actually found it difficult to use the whetstone at first, so I recommend practicing on an old knife if you choose this route. I found the technique in the below link to be the best and easiest to use for consistent results:

Amazon is a great place to make these purchases as they have a great selection to choose from. Some customers choose the rotary water sharpeners like the Yaxell Knife Sharpener Gousharp Pro - here sharpening is simpler but you are then restricted to a fixed angle on your knife, which will be what ever the fixed wheel sharpening system you chose. We suggest the whetstones as you can make the blade angle to suit your specific needs. An example of a whetstone here.

General good tips are to cut on blade friendly materials such as wood, bamboo or plastic. Surfaces such as stone, glass or ceramic would quicken the dulling process.
The Chefsteps link above will help to understand about knife sharpening and honing.


Friday, 8 December 2017

This is great for retirees, procrastinators, and bosses who want more efficiency.

I use a system called 52:17

Basically all this means is, after working 52 minutes, you take a break of 17 minutes.

No, it won't work for everybody, and it won't work for people with little imagination.

If you are called out to meetings all day or your work is answering the telephones, forget it.

But if your desk work doesn't involve this, it will work. Others can use it. Car mechanics for instance working in a garage. Retirees who can't seem to get organised can use it - such as me!

I am retired and in my late seventies, and to keep healthy I walk a mile every day. But not in one go now. Work has been building up, I am building up a large recipe base using "Now you're cooking" and am busy entering in all my typed recipes. I have four bookcases, 16 shelves of books that need cataloging, a few hundred CDs these are just three of the many jobs building up.

So now, as I am retired, I do two 52 minutes of these sessions with 17 minutes rest time, starting at 9am and finishing around 11:20am Then I take a long lunch break, maybe reading or other leisurely persuits, and at 2pm I do two more 52/17 stints, finishing at around 4:40pm. On two of these four 17 minutes rest periods I go for a half mile walk so I no longer need to go our for the mile walk every morning.

I am amazed at what gets done. I am doing more, in a third of the time than I have done since I retired eight years ago.

This link will take you to a Google page with lots of different articles on the system. One is detrimental, but do read that as well as it shows how having a lack of imagination by being self centred can make you unable to see the  bigger picture.


Wednesday, 6 December 2017

The history of fascism

I must admit, I didn't know a lot of this, absolutely fascinating. It's not very long but it had me spellbound. We've had it all wrong for years.


Friday, 24 November 2017

A terrific Cookery program

It is called, and you can search for Now You're Cooking on the internet This is a shareware program and it is worth every penny if you decide to buy and use it.

Although a Windows Program, if you install the latest, and the latest version of Linux Crossover, it will run on Linux with a few idiosyncrasies.

I really missed this when, nine or ten years ago, I moved over to Linux. Now I am busy exporting all my recipes - I have well over 100 and those are just my favourites.

The following is taken from the blurb on the program's website.

Convenient & Friendly Interface

runs in Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP
context-sensitive Help throughout
quick-fill data entry
"Did you know?" tips
auto-updated droplists
user-defined external editor and browser
toolbars for speed use
safe and easy upgrade to new NYC versions
Windows Help (contents, search)
zip/unzip/email cookbooks for backup or exchange
easy cut, copy-paste options
web links for support and recipe downloads
cooking glossary with user tips
easy Backup of entire user folder (with compression)
movable user folder
selective Restore of backed up files to user folder
change screen font size
numerous user preference settings
NYC User Manual on Help menu

Recipe Management

organized, customizable recipe interface
recipe fullview and editview choices
up to 500 user-defined categories per cookbook
duplicate recipe checking across cookbooks
unlimited number of cookbooks
resize recipes by a multiplier or by #servings
automatic or manual recipe categorization
automatic best units for resized ingredients
tag and untag recipes for later operations
defrag or reindex cookbooks and image archives
toggle US-SI, fractions-decimal conversions
cookbook annotation
edit, delete, email, print, export recipes from search results
customizable find-replace text across cookbooks
attach images to recipes in cookbooks
proper case recipe names across cookbooks
customizable edit window layout
customizable multi-rater, multi-criteria recipe rating
spell checker (dictionaries in 14 languages)
graphical analysis of recipe ratings

Finding Recipes

multi-criteria recipe search across cookbooks
edit, delete, email, print, or export from search results
find recipes that use ingredients on hand
manual or automatic recipe categorization
search within a limited range (category, recipes with images, etc)
user-defined keywords for auto-categorization
click 2 (or more) categories to find recipes assigned to both
user-defined default categories for new cookbooks
find and delete empty categories
merge and delete categories across cookbooks

Importing and Exporting Recipes

email recipes and cookbooks
158,000+ free, importable recipes on website
robust import of MM, MC, generic formats
0.5 million free, importable recipes overall
multi-file imports; each file can have mixed formats
easily create a recipe website with images
Quick Web Recipes for easy download/import
customize Export-to-Web web pages
easy Screen Import for recipes in any format
export recipes in various formats to your text editor
save un-imported recipes to a separate file
export search results to other cookbooks
publish NYC cookbooks to MS Word
move selected recipes to other cookbooks

Meal Planning

meal plan using multiple cookbooks
handles breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks
multi-criteria search from meal plan
add recipes or individual items to meal plan
quick view recipes from meal plan
scale meal plan entries by a multiplier
maintain multiple menus
automatic shopping list from menus
pop-up calendar for date selections
tag and untag recipes from the menu planner
unlimited meal plan period
easily swap menu days
randomized auto-menu creation

Automatic Shopping List

sums like items from meal plan recipes
add miscellaneous items or delete items on hand
sums like items with different units (converts)
append to or replace previous list
user-definable unit conversions
maintain multiple shopping lists simultaneously
auto-expansion of unit conversion combinations
shopping list sorted by store aisle
multiple shopping lists
merge shopping lists
Cost Management
shopping list cost comparison for up to 20 stores
complete coupon manager
user-defined prices/aisles for up to 20 stores
coupons sorted by item, brand, or expiration date
auto-add new ingredients to prices and aisles list
flag coupon list items with match in shopping list
flags low price and store for shopping list items
import/export price lists to/from text files

Nutrition Analysis

uses USDA nutrition database SR28
8789 food items in USDA database
raw, cooked, prepared, or commercial foods
add, delete, replace user-defined nutrition items
nutrition analysis (recipes, meals, menus)
includes proximates, vitamins, minerals
over 40 nutrition elements analysed, including trans fats
%calories as carbohydrates:protein:fat
analyze any recipe from any source
customizable DietPoints calculations
%Daily Values calculated using your calories/day
add a recipe’s nutrition analysis as a nutrition item
searchable nutrition database
auto-link recipe ingredients using ingredient droplist

Fitness Tracking

calculate body fat %, BMI, waist ratios, and more
track body measurements for multiple users over time
calculate calories/day to gain, lose, maintain weight
calculate basal metabolic rate

Printed Outputs

With your choice of fonts, font sizes, orientation, margins, and printer, you can print:
any or all recipes in various formats
shopping list
recipe names by category
shopping list by store aisle
meal plan
shopping list cost comparison at up to 20 stores
recipes in meal plan
list of unit conversions
recipe categories
list of coupons
recipe category assignments
list of prices and aisles
cookbook recipes by category
nutrition analyses
recipes on index card sheets (various sizes)
print-to-text file option
mini-print preview for recipes
fitness data
nutrition link status for recipe ingredients

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Automate your smartphone

First of all, a possible disclaimer.
I use Android, and although Tasker and Locale could well be available on the iPhone, Macrodroid, by the nature of its name, might not.

There could easily be other apps which handle automation on the smartphone, both in
Android and iPhone stores and, if you know of them, please mention them in the comments section below.
The easiest of the three apps is Locale, and the most difficult is Tasker. And like many things in the electronics umbrella, the more an item can do equates directly to being a little more complex to use.

These apps automate your smartphone. For example, a few I have set up include:
At night, after 11pm, everything turns off except wifi as I have a lot of routines which back up during the night. At 7am the phone reverts to normal.

When I leave home, based on my WiFi SSID, sound is turned up on the ringer so I can hear it when I am in traffic. It reduces when I arrive home again.

When I flip face down, everything is quiet and the phone ringer changes from my loud "De La Rey" ringtone to a single quiet beep.

There are other routines such as low battery and an auto SMS – I go for a long walk each morning and if I meet a friend and go for coffee, when I log into the SSID at the coffee house, an SMS is automatically sent to my wife stating I am having coffee with a friend and will be delayed.
Both under Locale and Tasker, there are many routines on offer in the Android Store. These range from free to around 95p each.

The good news is that Locale and Tasker routines are not only interchangeable, but will also work with Macrodroid which is the one I decided to use after practising with Locale. I think it is only marginally more difficult than Locale and I can use all the Locale and Tasker routines I have purchased. Tasker for me, at 78, was a little too difficult to master, which was a shame as I had purchased it.


Saturday, 11 November 2017

An alternative way to treat foreign criminals

Twitter has given me an idea.

The idea of prison is twofold. One is to punish and one is to help the prisoner back into sociaty having paid for his or her sins.

If an immigrant’s conviction carries a custodial sentence, it is going to cost the tax payer more than £32,450 a year whilst in prison.

We should add up police costs to catch him, police time until end of trial, and all costs of the trial. We should then send him back to his country, inform his country’s government of the crime and conviction, and give the person concerned an invoice for the cost of police and court time.

We should charge an interest rate of 5% over bank rate compounded monthly.

He may then return to Britain once he has paid the invoice and all accrued interest.

1. We get rid of him, at least for many years.

2. If he ever returns, we would have got our costs back, and he’ll not want to go through all that again.

3. Our prisons will be less crowded.
However, murder, and perhaps rape, of a British person should be exempt from this leniency.

Terrorism must be an exception here, they must go to prison for a minimum of forty years, for any terrorist crime, and there should be prisons for terrorists only.

Have I left anything out? Use the comments below.


Friday, 10 November 2017

Some advice for Mrs May

But before, a tiny bit of history.

The first time, back in the seventies, when de Gaulle said “Non!” to Britain’s wish to join the ‘Common Market he also had – as is the French want – an awful lot of other things to say on the matter! But the most outstanding thing he said, which acknowledged that he learned a lot about the English during his exile here during the war, was:

England in effect is insular, she is maritime, she is linked through her interactions, her markets and her supply lines to the most diverse and
often the most distant countries; she pursues essentially industrial and commercial activities, and only slight agricultural ones. She has, in
all her doings, very marked and very original habits and traditions.”

In other words, we are a sea going trading nation and the EU is a closed shop and backwater group of nations without our ability to go out and get trade. They prefer to stay at home and want for the trade to come to them.

Remainers have adopted the continental trade theory of sitting on their bottoms and waiting for the trade to come to them. Whereas Leavers have confidence in the traditional British way of going out there to find business. It’s not for nothing that English ancestors came up with the old saying: ‘If you build a better mousetrap, the world will not beat a path to your door’.

Let’s take a look at the ongoing EU negotiations. It is evident that Theresa May has no confidence in England’s ability to go out and obtain business from the far corners of the globe. If she had, she would inform the EU negotiators that we have given enough. They still owe us for the costs incurred in saving them from world war two and this more than cancels out the smaller figures they are asking for.

She will then tell them she is not really that interested in a trade deal with the EU, rather she wants to trade with the wider world. The imbalance of trade within the EU with WTO tariffs will enable her to assist exporters to the EU to find business outside of the EU with no loss to their bottom line.

Germany will not allow the EU Negotiators to come away with WTO rules as it will cost their car industry 10% surcharges on the cost of cars. Germany sells 30 cars out of every hundred we buy each year. Then the French motor manufacturers are probably the next largest. Remind me, who are the two most important continental countries in the EU?

Immigration. She can afford to be tough here. She can say she will allow all “law abiding” employed continentals to stay on a country by country basis. If a continental country will allow British people to settle there, then we will allow that countries law abiding citizens to remain here. All others will have six months to leave unless breaking any laws when expulsion will be immediate.

The EU desperately needs our money and desperately needs to delay our leaving. And we desperately need a tough negotiator. We haven’t got one.

There is one in the wings but Theresa May would rather run Britain into the dust than employ Nigel Farage in her negotiation team. She hates Farage far more than she loves England. Even Henry Bolton, who has had extensive history of negotiating for the UN and the EU in parts of trouble torn Europe would do far better as head of our present negotiating team.


Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Why I’ll never use “Amazon Fresh” for my weekly grocery shop

Ocado is far faster to build up a week’s shopping, we handle this extremely quickly.

Where Ocado has the advantage is, when you type an item in the search box, the item comes up and the search box then empties for when you type in the next item. You then buy the item and the search box is free to type in the next item.

With Amazon, one types in the item as in Ocado, and then you buy your choice of product, but when you come to put in the next item, you have to delete the old item from the search box. Apart from this taking extra time, it is extremely annoying.

This is why I will never use Amazon for my weekly grocery shop.

I have been a Prime member of Amazon since the millennium bug was found to be non-existent (2000AD) and buy between two and five items a week from them. And will continue to do so but, alas, they won’t get my weekly grocery shop.


Tuesday, 7 November 2017

So you really want to open a shop?

I see a lot of shops opening, and within months, closing down. And, I know the reason why.

The shop owners had never heard of the old saying “Just because you’ve built a better mousetrap, the public won’t beat a path to your door”.

You have to market your business, you have to go out to find your customers in the early years. I use the word ‘years’ advisedly.

But I’ll start from the beginning.

First of all, what do you want to sell?

Once you decide, if it is not a general item (clothing, food, etc) find an area where there are others selling similar products. The public already know that’s the area to go for those types of goods.

If you rely on passing trade, examine the area and look for footfall. For example, people have favourites for which side of the street they walk up and down on. Go to the area, have a coffee in a seat near the window and watch.

Once you have decided on your area and the best sides for footfall, look for an empty shop.

OK, you have signed a lease, decorated your shop, got in your stock and are ready to open.

Have 20,000 to 40,000 leaflets delivered, all offering a 20% discount. Be generous, you want crowds, and the more stock you turn over the more you’ll be welcomed by your wholesaler. These should all be delivered in the week before opening day.

Make Friday your opening day and the day before, hold a private champagne party the during the evening.

Invite the three local councillors, your MP and the local press editor to the party. You want good music blaring out with loads of champagne flowing, get a pile of empty champagne boxes in the window and put the bar by the window with the glasses piled on the bar. You’re objective is to interest the passers by so they come in the next day. Have a big notice in the Window, We are open from tomorrow at 9am.

This is as far as I am going with this article, but remember, you must market your shop every day for at least two years, special deals, lots of leaflets, advertising in the local newspapers – you want them on your side – Each type of shop is different, you must pick what works for you. But know this, it matters not what your product is, the bit about marketing your shop every day for the first two years does.

Changing jobs?

These are simple common sense instructions and will depend on what you do for a living. For this illustration I will talk about people in administration: office managers, PA and secretaries, clerks.

First of all, if you don’t want to be one in a hundred plus competing for a job, forget the newspapers and job agencies.

On your weekend and days off, look for companies around your home, note their name and address and anything they may have on an outside plaque. Then look for the next one, repeat.

Then get on your local public transport, go for one stop, and do the same, get the next bus or train and repeat.

Your objective is to try and build up a list of a hundred plus places to write to.

Research on the Internet, open up a database and build up information about the company. The more you collect, the more you will impress if you get an interview. Do it now, you don’t want to scramble about if you’re offered an interview.

Write, sending your CV to the HR manager. The date you send your letter is important. Presuming you are using second class stamps, read the following paragraph carefully.

People often hand in their resignations on the last working day of the month. It takes the system a couple of days before the HR manager decides what to do. Post your letter one working day before the end of the month (treat Saturday as a working day). Your letter will arrive at roughly the same time as the HR manager decides to take action.

Employment bureaux charge a lot of money and the HR manager may just decide to wheel you in for a quick interview before going to a bureau. You will be one amongst errr… one. Not bad odds and you might get the job.

Remember, a job may only become vacant for one out of a hundred letters.

I have done this, twice in my life – in the early days before I built up my own businesses.


Here are a few ideas I'd like UKIP to adopt.

1 Branch activities

A) preamble
In 1970, I thought my wife and I needed to get out more. I was working hard and my social life was suffering. So by solely leafleting at Tube Stations on the way to my business, and some evenings after work, I built up a club of 800 hundred members. The fee to join was £10/10/- (£10.50) a year. Projecting the average annual salary to the present day from the national average of £850 a year to now is £27,000, that would make the joining fee £333.48. We put out a roneoed newsletter with an average of 100 events every month (3 a day) but the members put on the events not us.

Events such as coffee mornings at home or in coffee bars, wine and cheese evenings at home or pub visits. Theatre and cinema visits. Trips on the Thames, visits to museums and art galleries, and even weekends away.

B) How UKIP branches could benefit
Bearing in mind that little happens between elections, and that the Internet can cut costs to a minimum, branches could do this on a smaller scale. Initially the committee would need to start the ball rolling before asking the others to do something. The whole objective here would be to create interests during the long periods where nothing happens. Those that are more prolific and imaginative at putting on events could be earmarked for future councillors.

2. Membership fees

A) Preamble
I know for a fact that many members have been reticent about giving their email addresses which proves costly for branches. We need to encourage them to send them in.

B) Why not a structured membership rate?
At present we have the following rates:
£30 p.a. membership rate
£1,000 p.a. Patron
(I've left out YI rates for simplicity)

Why can’t we consider the following?
£30 membership with all correspondence by email.
£40 membership with all correspondence by post.
The above email rate should include the magazine by PDF.
Then, I propose the following
£100 Senior membership (Email only)
£1,000 Patron (Email only)
(people who can afford this would be on email)

3. Ryver and Trello

These are two very useful programs for Branches.

Ryver is totally free for use by as many people as is wanted; only addons are paid for and their first paying addon is a group task manager which Trello does for free.

Ryver allows a branch to keep everything private and together when communicating with members and members communicating with other members. You can have open forums, as many as is required, and you can have private meeting rooms, useful for committee and sub-committees. And you can converse with any member or committee in open forum, in private meeting rooms, or in a private message. (I could set up one just for branch chairmen so they can test it and ask me questions before they implement it in their branches. No charge.)

Trello This is free for normal usage and works with cards and columns. On a more simple example, you could have a column for ‘todo’, a second one for ‘job assigned to’ and a third for ‘job completed’. But you can have many cards and many columns.

4. Members Think Tank

There are many people such as myself who could have a lot to contribute. Why not take advantage of what we have to offer.

Use a separate Ryver installation for a think tank
One open forum for general discussion, a private room where you have a subject for the think tank to work on. As an example, you may decide to have a discussion on membership fees. You go into the open forum and ask for volunteers for the Membership Discussion private team room. And put your views there and let members discuss. You can have as many private discussion rooms as you wish, members only see the ones they’ve been invited to but see all Open Forums.

Ex UKIP Head Office Manager circa 2001
With Sked’s Anti-Federalist League before UKIP

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Know thine enemy!

Up to 1993 I was too busy working and making money to take any interest in politics. Let those interested in politics take the interest I mused as my adopted country started “disintegrating”.

A friend took me to a meeting early that year to an organisation called the Anti-Federalist League, run as a fiefdom by a London School of Economics professor, Alan Sked.

I started to learn of the terrible impositions laid down on the British people by the European Union, and of the treachery of our politicians who took us in without a referendum – although Labour did offer us one to come out, saying ‘do you want to leave a free trade block’? Of course the majority were hoodwinked into saying ‘we’ll stay in’.

Later on that year, I think it was around September, a few (five) members left to start their own party called the United Kingdom Independence Party. As far as I can remember, two were Tories, two were Labour and I believe there was a Liberal. There was Alan Sked, Nigel Farage, Gerard Batten, and I can’t remember the others except one was called Colin.

Anyway, I digress. In early 1994 I joined UKIP and started taking an interest in politics. Since Margaret Thatcher was ousted by some piddling little adulterer, the Conservative Party went into a steep decline. Later Blair came along and, as a businessman, I couldn’t believe how the great British public were taken in by his false charm.

During my years with UKIP – I am still a member – I have been on several committees and one year was their head office manager. However, through disagreements and exasperation I have resigned five times and rejoined six times.

The point I am trying to make is, politics isn’t perfect, one gets easily depressed, but without taking a keen interest in the world around you (politically) Britain will continue to be ruled by idiots or monkeys.

If you vote for a party because your father voted for it, and his father before him, you are the cause of our political decline.

If you can’t be bothered to vote, you are the cause of our political decline.

If you vote for one of the big two parties to stop the other getting in, rather than a smaller party of choice, you are the cause of our political decline.

If you think we must remain in the EU because we aren’t able to hold our own in the world, you are the cause of our political decline.

If you think Labour are for the working man, you are the cause of our political decline.

If you think the Conservatives are for all businesses including smaller companies, you are the cause of our political decline.

Come to think of it, if you think the Conservative Party are run by conservatives, you are also the cause of our political decline.

Start taking an interest in politics. Read one political book a month (or even one political magazine). That won’t take up too much of your time. Don’t just read your party’s material, read all parties literature. ‘know thine enemy’!

Perhaps record Question Time one lunchtime and watch it when you get home – see how childishly our MPs behave. Then pour a strong Scotch!

Join your political party and go along to their meetings – not every month – just now and again. You’ll probably need another strong Scotch!

If you follow my advice, I can assure you of one thing. You might become a little depressed. But on the plus side, you may decide to do something and Britain will gain.

Do nothing and the idiots or monkeys will remain in charge.


PS If you know anyone who this applies to, send them a link – you may stir them.