Ron discusses Gun law,Growth and headlights
As a nation we are proud that our laws place controls over the ownership and use of guns and that our police are normally unarmed. We look across the Atlantic and are horrified at the number of deaths caused by firearms and, perhaps are a little smug that we have got it right.
Sometimes, however, I do wonder. Should our police go unarmed? There have been occasions when the police that have been first on the scene have stood by impotently when, had they been armed, innocent lives might have been saved. Further we have seen an upsurge in the number of armed young men, often in gangs, who have no fear of your average 'Bobby'.
The right to carry arms is incorporated in the constitution of the USA, this has been defended because, among other reasons, it gives the citizens more ability to resist should there be a corrupt administration that attempts to force its will on the population. Of course such a situation could not arise in this country. Could it? It does seem very unlikely at present but one has to admit that it is not beyond the realms of possibility at some time in the future.
In recent times we have seen the manner in which the establishment and the police have dealt with legitimate peaceful protests over government policy and this has given me some cause for concern. Containing innocent protesters within a police cordon and denying them access to food and water, or toilets, and keeping them from catching their trains home is sure to create anger and is totally unacceptable. There should have been little surprise that some young people who, protesting that they were being priced out of higher education, acted spontaneously and angrily when the epitome of class, wealth and privilege chose to drive through their midst in a very large ostentatious Rolls Royce.
This type of severe treatment by police seems like a deliberate policy to deter protests and silence protesters. It is a step towards an administration imposing its will on the population and suppressing the voice of the people. It is interesting to contrast the manner in which our government views protests against the government in other countries with that of protests here.
Of course I am aware of all the downsides associated with changing our gun laws but sometimes I do wonder.
Growth it seems is the key, we must have growth. The economy must grow to solve our problems, so we are told. It seems as though it is not sufficient to have growth but we need to have the growth at a faster rate than the growth in population, in other words we need to have positive growth/per person. How long can it go on? There must be some limit. The Earth is finite as are its natural resources but economic growth inevitably results in an increase in the use of resources. Unfortunately, as we are all aware, the world population is growing rapidly, exponentially in fact, and all people are seeking an improvement in their living standards so that the use of resources is increasing even faster than the rate at which the global population is growing. We don't know how long it can go on but it is very obvious that it can't go on indefinitely.
Nationally we see economic growth as essential if we are going to pay off our debts and maintain our living standards. The UK population is not growing at the same rate as for the global situation, nevertheless, in the last fifty years it has grown by roughly 20%. For many years now we have been told by economists and politicians that we need immigrants in order for the economy to grow but if the population grows it is clearly necessary to match that growth with growth in the economy for living standards just to remain constant. Currently it is doubtful if our growth in the economy is sufficient to compensate for the increase in population. This government is making some attempt to restrict immigration, but it is probably too little too late, even if we succeeded in stopping all further immigration, and if we could stop the population growth, we might be able to catch up so that we had enough housing for our young people, enough seats on the trains, enough doctors, enough good schools etc. Just imagine what benefits it might bring if we could maintain our GDP with a falling population. Somehow or other we must find a way to establish a steady state with no economic growth, and if and when we do we must stop our population growing because if we do not we will suffer a decline in living standards, perhaps that decline has already started. Even in such an unlikely situation as a steady state with zero growth, we will continue to use the Earth's limited resources .
Niqab and Burkha (and a related matter)
I have banged this drum before, and I was pleased to see that the French have now enacted their ban so that it is illegal to have the face covered. Similar laws apply in Turkey and Tunisia, both nominally Muslim nations and possibly there are other countries where a ban is imposed. There are many good reasons for the ban but, in this country, despite these reasons and despite the possibility that many Muslim women are effectively imprisoned in their clothing against their will by their men folk, there seems to be a view that it would be a denial of their religious freedom to introduce a ban.
On another matter, I think that it is true to say that the majority of people in the UK eat some meat but most like to think that the animals are slaughtered in the most humane way possible. There are some religions, however, where, for reasons that are beyond my understanding, it is deemed necessary to slaughter their animals in manners that we would consider less humane. It has been claimed that there are more animals slaughtered by these inhumane methods than is strictly necessary to meet the demand and much of this meat is sold on the open market. We may well be eating meat ourselves that has been killed in this way. One MEP has asked that meat so killed should be identified so that the customer is aware, but this request has been hailed as anti-semitic, anti-Islam etc.
In my view our government is too intent upon a policy of liberal appeasement in the face of fanatical faith fascism.
Another one of my old favourites. Recently I was driving towards Swaffham via Oxborough on a dull murky morning when it was very necessary for cars to have lights on. I was amazed to see, once again, almost half of those cars that had lights on had only their side lights. What is wrong with their powers of observation? Can they not see that the car can be seen before it is possible to see that the side lights are on? I find it easier to forgive someone with no lights on.
A few months ago I expressed a view that Dyson vacuum cleaners with a cyclonic dust separator were not likely to achieve such a high degree of filtration as the paper bag type cleaners. I also commented on the rather messy business of emptying. Since then I have seen advertised later models with multiple cyclones of smaller diameter. I would anticipate that this type would have a much improved filtration performance, although perhaps still not as good as the paper filters. Presumably problems of emptying remain, possibly even more difficult.