THE VILLAGE SOAPBOX
Ron maounts his soapbox to air his views on a variety of subjects
How ridiculous that insurance companies can no longer set premiums for car insurance according to the perceived risk!
How ridiculous that our parliament cannot rule on whether or not prisoners can have a vote!
How ridiculous that our parliament cannot rule on the right of sex offenders to appeal against being on the sex offenders list!
How ridiculous that a fire officer should order his firemen not to enter a potentially dangerous situation for fear of prosecution under the Health and Safety at Work Act
(I'm sure that with a little more thought I could find numerous other examples)
Good luck to William and Kate, they seem like a nice couple, and I do hope that their marriage lasts longer than is usual for his family. His uncle, aunt and great aunt did not set good examples and his two timing adulterous father is no role model. It's good to have a holiday on the day, it will give people a chance to get away and avoid all the pomp and hype, let's hope the weather is fine so that we can enjoy the outdoors, if the weather keeps us indoors we will have to find something to do apart from watching TV because that will be full of it all day long. No doubt there will be the cheering crowds, but I am not sure why they will be there or why they will be cheering, if they really want to see it, they will see far more on the TV including, no doubt, the actual ceremony.
Do they regard the royal family as some kind of deity - William as a lionheart of exalted lineage?
Who are the Windsors? The Queen has done reasonably well and struggled to keep the show on the road, despite the behaviour of the rest of the family, but I well remember her behaviour at the time of Dianna's tragic death, that demonstrated that she was not really in touch with her people. Her mother was a profligate drinker and gambler. Charles inherited his grandmother's profligacy, he appears to believe that he should live in a style of some grandeur, with a small army of servants and personal attendants. He behaved despicably in his marriage and should never have married Diana. He is not the sharpest knife in the box, despite the best education money could buy, he could not achieve good 'A' levels. According to reports he struggled to learn navigation whilst in the navy, yet because he is surrounded by sycophants he probably thinks he is the source of all wisdom. His former private secretary, Edward Adeane, is reported as saying that "Charles was extraordinarily easy to lead by the nose." It is frightening to think that he is our future head of state. Camilla was equally at fault in her behaviour during Charles' marriage to Dianna, there is no excuse for the way in which they carried on. Charles' brother Andrew has not been much better, his current role as Overseas Trade Ambassador, seems to be a job created to enable him to go globe trotting at the taxpayers' expense. His choice of friends, an arms dealer, a paedophile and Gudaffi's son, demonstrate a lack of judgement to say the least.
The very existence of the royal family with the queen as head of state creates a pyramidical structure of grace and favour, privilege and class that has bedevilled our nation for years. No one who believes in a meritocracy, or in the pursuit of a more equal society, can defend the system. William and Kate, Charles and the rest of them should renounce any claims. Charles owns over 53,000 hectares, he could go and live there with Camilla and find a nice farm for William and Kate, they would probably be a lot happier.
The Golden Years?
I seem to remember writing at some time that I thought that those of my generation have been fortunate to have lived through a period of significant improvement in living standards and that it may be that there will never be such a rate of improvement again. It might even be that there will be difficulty in maintaining the standard that has been achieved. I pointed out that we have benefitted from an era of cheap oil that is coming to an end whilst, at the same time, world population is increasing rapidly and other nations are improving their living standards so that the competition for limited resources is increasing.
At the time that I wrote that, I had no idea that the bankers would do so much to help reduce our chances. Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England recently told MPs "It is not like an ordinary recession where you lose output and get it back quickly". When asked if the country would ever recover from the worst squeeze on living standards since the 1920s he said "You may not get it back for years, if ever, and that is a big long-run loss of living standards for all people in this country...... The cost of this crisis is only now being felt. I'm surprised that the degree of anger hasn't been greater". We can assure Mr King we are angry.
It has suited the government to emphasise that they have inherited this large debt from the previous government but they fail to emphasise that the bankers are the real cause. At the beginning of 2008 our borrowing was 35% of GDP, following the collapse of the banks during that year and the need for the government to bail them out, the borrowing requirement rocketed to its current level of 81.3%. But still the bankers are paying themselves beyond all reason, Mr Diamond of Barclays has paid himself, in total, £10million this year, saying, at the same time, that he had shown moderation in view of the national situation. The boss of RBS, a bank owned by the taxpayers, paid himself £7million, despite the fact that last year RBS lost £1billion. Despite Bob Diamond's high opinion of himself I understand that anyone investing £100 in Barclays 5 years ago would now find that their investment is worth £56, whereas anyone investing £100 in the FTSE would now have £126. He has hardly done well by his shareholders. The bankers invested in property and made themselves billions whilst forcing the prices up until it all went wrong and we, not the bankers, were compelled to pick up the bill. Now that they can no longer make money out of property speculation they are turning to other markets, commodities seems to be the thing, food especially and we are seeing the world prices of many basic foodstuffs rising steadily and once again they are making a lot of money for themselves.
The extent to which bankers are rewarding themselves has to be brought back into the real world and something has to be done to restrict this parasitic drain on society, the government must tackle this problem, but, unfortunately I doubt that our politicians have the will to do what is necessary.
Senior citizens are sometimes blamed for what are seen as things that are wrong with the world. Perhaps we should point out, however that was not senior citizens who took:
The melody out of music.
The pride out of appearance.
The courtesy out of driving.
The romance out of love.
The commitment out of marriage.
The togetherness out of family.
The learning out of education.
The service out of patriotism.
The civility out of behaviour.
The refinement out of language.
The dedication out of employment.
The prudence out of spending.
The ambition out of achievement.