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APOLOGIES
I have been over zealous with political comment lately so have now accepted the offer to assemble and write for two blogs on the WatchingUK website. The "Good News" blog is for items where we have benefited from the Brexit referendum vote and the "Bad News" blog is where others have tried to damage our chances of leaving the EU.

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Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Mmusi Maimane comes a'knocking on the ANC's door.

There is a new man, Mmusi Maimane who, as the leader of South Africa's DA (Democratic Alliance) is knocking on the door of the ANC's control of South African Politics.

South Africa threw out the evil apartheid regime and the ANC, a terrorist organisation, then took over government. Mandela, a former terrorist, kept the ANC on a reasonably level footing but since he has died, corruption has been widespread within government. The DA started to make inroads, not only in the Western Cape, which it controls and runs reasonably well, but within other provinces of South Africa. There is a lot of government interference which hinders their growth.

Mmusi recently took over the leadership from Helen Zille, a very able woman - although she annoyed me by actively helping the Liberal Democrats in our last election. Ryan Coetzee, the guy she sent over, turned out to be a dismal failure, thank goodness.

Here we see him ably handling the BBC's Zeinab Badawi who is so for the disgraced ANC that it is embarrassing. It is 24 minutes long.

Ampers.


Sunday, 12 July 2015

What, exactly is The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

TTIP negotiations are held behind closed doors. There is a question to be asked here: "Why all the secrecy?"

But don't take my word for it, go and research on the Internet. I have included a video and some comments from different organisations to get you started.

Ampers



Friends of the Earth say

Pro-TTIP lobbyists say the trade deal will result in EU-wide growth, jobs and prosperity.

In reality it will:
  • Lower EU and UK food, environmental and health standards
  • Allow foreign companies to sue governments in private international courts
  • Undermine international efforts to combat climate change
  • Not live up to the promised economic benefits. 

Global Justice say:

Our public services, environment and democracy are under threat from the biggest corporate power grab in a decade.

Behind closed doors, the EU is drawing up a dangerous new trade deal called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). For the first time on a grand scale, corporations would be able to sue governments if they make public policy decisions which could harm their future profits. Regulation which currently protects people, public services and the environment could be removed.


The BBC are for it, they say:

What is the TTIP?

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, now generally known as TTIP, is primarily a deal to cut tariffs and regulatory barriers to trade between the US and EU countries, making it easier for companies on both sides of the Atlantic to access each other's markets. Industries it would affect include pharmaceuticals, cars, energy, finance, chemicals, clothing and food and drink.


Patients for the NHS say

EU/US Free Trade Agreement (or TTIP as this one is called)

Free trade agreements (FTAs) might seem a million miles from the NHS. However, FTAs are not just about the trading of goods. They also cover services and corporate rights. The Coalition Government is keen to negotiate a FTA between the EU and the USA in which health services will be treated as things to be bought, sold and profited from. This will have disastrous consequences for the NHS. In this section of the website we attempt to explain why.


The European Commission is rather more bland, they say:

What is the TTIP?

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, is a trade and investment agreement, which the European Union (EU) is negotiating with the United States - our biggest export market.

Customs duties, red tape and restrictions on investment on each side of the Atlantic can make it difficult to buy and sell goods and services on the other. Getting rid of these barriers to trade between the EU and the US would boost our economy, create jobs and widen choice and lower prices for consumers.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

An explanation of the Greek Bailout.

It is a slow day in a little Greek Village. The rain is beating down and the streets are deserted.

Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit.

On this particular day a rich German tourist is driving through the village, stops at the local hotel and lays a 100 euro note on the desk, telling the hotel owner he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one to spend the night.

The owner gives him some keys and, as soon as the visitor has walked upstairs, the hotelier grabs the 100 euro note and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher.

The butcher takes the 100 euro note and runs down the street to repay his debt to the pig farmer.

The pig farmer takes the 100 euro note and heads off to pay his bill at the supplier of feed and fuel.

The guy at the Farmers' Co-op takes the 100 euro note and runs to pay his drinks bill at the taverna.

The publican slips the money along to the local prostitute drinking at the bar, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer him "services" on credit.

The hooker then rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill to the hotel owner with the 100 euro note.

The hotel proprietor then places the 100 euro note back on the counter so the rich traveller will not suspect anything.

At that moment the traveller comes down the stairs, picks up the 100 euro note, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, pockets the money, and leaves town.

No one produced anything.

No one earned anything.

However, the whole village is now out of debt and looking to the future with a lot more optimism.

And that is how the bailout package works!

Ampers

Sunday, 5 July 2015

How good is your school? Would this be a better idea?

Government assessments are not always showing the best results of a school. One of the best reasons for sending a child to a private school is that, apart from teaching the three Rs, they prepare the child for the outside world.

Wouldn't a parent be able to judge a school if the results of each comprehensive, grammar and private school had, by law, to show the following results:

1. The percentage of pupils who went on to get university places.
2. The percentage of pupils who enrolled on a proper apprentice scheme.
3. The percentage of pupils who got other work, showing average salary after a year of leaving.
4. The percentage of pupils who ended up on the dole.

If I were a parent, this would give me a better idea of how successful the school was.

But, for this to work successfully, parents would need to be allowed to send their children to the school of their choice, no matter where they lived.

Can you suggest any additions or alterations to the four points above?