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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Monday, March 19, 2007

While the Guardian, normally considered to be a somewhat left-leaning newspaper, leading tomorrow morning with a GM modified mosquito, which could help cut back on the 2.2 million deaths from malria per year, for the most part in Africa.. there is a side column that has some bad news for Gordon Brown. A poll would seem to indicate that the Tories enjoy a ten point lead in public support, in the main due to Gordons Europhile stance. This is an issue close to the heart of the British man on the street.
Most do not want closer ties with the ever-growing European Union, and fewer want to exchange the Pound Sterling for the Euro.. with it being generally understood that by taking on the common currency, Britain would be tying it's cart to the lowest common denominator within the Union.. allowing out GNP to be tied with that of the Ukraine, Poland, et al. There is even strong feelings about the numbers of individuals from these new states who hold an European Passport, entry into this country, and taking jobs from British workers.
Now this in itself is a falacy, for those who come here are for the kost part migrant workers, doing the jobs the British spurn, because the average wage is less than that offered by National Benefits.
But what is of great concern, is the movement of British industry, to these new countries, where labour laws are slacker, and wages on the whole, a fraction of what would be demanded here.
This is a problem of our own making, with the Trade Unionists seemingly blind to the fact that jobs will be lost, unless some agreement is reached wherein we become competitive.
Yet another problem which is seemingly being ignored, is that while we send out technology into these developing countries, they are learning the techniques themselves, and will soon, within a decade or so, be producing home made products which will rival our own, at a much cheaper price tag.
The more we out-service, the less we will have to send abroad in the future, for those in these countries which have for decades lived in abject poverty, are finally making a wage, and learning skills which will out pace our own..

Another point to be made, is the practice of terrorists in the Gaza of kidnapping journalists.. A BBC reporter, Allan Johnson, had been reporting in the Middle East for some years, and had presented a picture somewhat favourable to the plight of those in the area. It makes no sense whatsoever to take men and women such as these prisoners, and while in the past, most have been released, eventually, unharmed,, it has been more than a week since Alan Johnson was abducted by armed terrorists outside his hotel, and to date, no group has claimed responsibility, nor has there been any demands made for this mans release. There is some concern for his safety, and while it will not deter journalists going to Gaza or the West Bank, it does put the 'cause' of these kidnappers under scrutiny.. and rarely under close examination, has there been any real reason for these abductions, other than to strike fear into Westerners in general... a tactic which simply will not work.
As long as the military is there. so will the media.. and that is a plus for the Palistinian cause, allowing them a sympathetic eye.
But if yet another member of the journalistic fraternity turns up dead, that 'eye' could well become jaundiced, and questions could be asked of those who control groups the like of Hammas, as to why they cannot control their own.
It is enough that Ehmud Olmad, the Jewish Prime Minister, is refusing to deal with Hammas until they call an end to their terrorist activities. The last thing Palistinians interested in forming their own State would want, is a turn against them in world opinion.. a sense that they are not truely in charge, and do not deserve, nor do they have the influence among their own, to control a nation of their own.

It has been four years now since combined American and British forces invaded Iraq and deposed Saddam, and still there is no peace in sight. Sunni's continue to kill Shi'ites at willand vice versa, and ethnic divisions remain unresolved. The guerilla warfare escalates, fed by neighbouring Arab countries the likes of Iran, Sudan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia,,
And there seems to be no reasonable end in sight for the American and British troops still occupying the most volotile areas.
It has been said before in this missive, that we should consider a complete withdrawal of our forces, and while that would end our involvement in this violence, it would hardly stop it.
Indications are that 75% of Iraqi's have little or no confidence in their elected government, and fear that should the Allied presence withdraw, the area would quickly deteriorate into a civil war of mammoth proportions, with each of the religious factions fighting for control, not by negotiation, but by indiscriminate killing. And there is also the issue of Kurdistan, and it's fervent desire to ceceed and form a nation of it's own.. George has said that it will be a matter of months before security can be enforced.
In truth, that scenario will never take place, and it is time to reconsider our position in this conflict.
It is perhaps time to call in the United Nations, to take over peacekeeping duties, and in effect, put in plave a permanent polive force in that country, to ensure there is at least a modicum of ballance.
Now whether or not the United Nations would consider this to be a similar scenario to that of say Kosovo, is moot. Whether or not the UN would want to become involved in a Middle Estern crisis is a major decision, and would put the UN itself in a position of fighting a war which can have no winner..
We may well be stuck there, and with Britain withdrawing troops from Basra, and redeploying them in Afghanistan to actually patrol the border with Pakistan in an attempt to halt the passage of arms and men to swell the forces of the Taliban, it means the US will need to increase it's presence on the ground.
Now George has less than 18 months left in power. Tony has about three.
How the successors to these leaders will deal with this legacy is undetermined, and that is a concern for the West, with it's dependance on Middle Eastern oil..
How Gordon, and whomever takes over from George, will direct their countries forces, is of imperative importance, and we, those who have no voice other than in vehicles such as this, and the media itself, are hanging, blowing in the wind, left to wait and watch, while the future of our civilisation hangs in the ballance.
A matter of some concern, for all involved.

Now, a purely internal matter here. Gordon's new budget Gordon Brown is expected to raise taxes substantially on larger-engined cars in Wednesday's Budget.
Some reports suggest that road tax on the least fuel-efficient cars will double to about £400 a year.
At the same time, business groups have urged Gordon not to introduce more company taxes.
Businesses are paying almost £12bn more in tax in 2008/9 than they were when Labour came to power, the Engineering Employers' Federation said.
Surging taxes have hit manufacturer profitability hard and turned many companies away from the UK, a trend that had to be expected with the expansion of the EU..

The problem Gordon faces is, to run the country's infrastructure with any sense of efficiency.. the NHS, The Social Services System, the Pensions Plans.. he needs more money.
Now this does not take into account the enormous amount of money we're spending fighting foreign wars, yet another drain on the Exchequer.
Gordon must raise taxes, and this is going to hit the British man on the street who holds a budget hard, for we will see an increase in our base rate, if only to try and curb the continuous rise in housing costs.
One cannot envy Gordon his job at this point, for what he's about to do will make him thoroughly unpopular with Labour, with homeowners, and with the middle earners who will bear the brunt of these tax increases.
It does not bode well, for his chances of winning the next election, for this country has a long memory, and most of us keep our receipts.

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