Wednesday, December 19, 2012

2012 blogging

I have just passed the 12 month anniversary of my first blog and, since we are approaching the year-end thought I would look back over the past year.  Don't worry, there will be no slow-motion clips, a la BBC Sports Personality of the Year!

First though a thank you to the more than 12,000 people who took the time to look through this.  Even if you didn't agree with what you read I appreciate your participation in the dialogue!


Scotland and the independence vote was a much-written about topic for me and for those that comment on my musings/rants.  As Hogmanay looms, the people of Scotland know that they will have a vote and it will be a yes or no type of vote and in late 2014 but that's about it.  They have stories and counter-stories about whether they will remain in the EU or not and thus use the Euro or £ Sterling.  They have still heard little to nothing about how Scotland's economy and public spending will manage without the UK subsidy (making the EU membership question that much more important).  Hopefully, 2013 will bring some reasoned arguments to the debate.  I am encouraged by Alistair Darling leading the anti-independence side of the discussion.  I get the sense that he will also pick-up sympathy votes for having had to live and work with Gordon Brown for so long!

The topic that brought the most comments was the Government's plans for so called 'gay marriage'.  Many of the comments accused me of being homophobic.  I don't believe I am but I do recognize that that is the way that debate gets stifled.  Mention immigration and you are suddenly a racist BNP supporter, for example.  The Government conducted a sham public consultation exercise, where their view was already made-up and they will now push ahead with legislation and it will include certain safeguards including not allowing such 'marriages' to be conducted in Anglican churches  This is a meaningless sop to try and buy-off disgruntled and bemused Tory MPs and voters.  The government know that that part of the legislation will be challenged by homosexuals under Human Rights legislation.  Commenting on pro-homosexual  legislation that was passed in California, back in the 1970's, the comedian Bob Hope, said that he would soon have to leave that state, before they made homosexuality, compulsory.  I often wonder if that is the goal of the so called charity  Stonewall and the whole host of media that champion 'gay rights' to the detriment of the non-homosexuals in society?   The question I repeatedly posed - what does this legislation give homosexuals that they do not already have under the Civil Union act - remains unanswered.

Europe and the Euro were popular.  Time to confess that my predictions of  Greek exit from the Euro have been premature though I do believe that the whole project is still very precariously balanced and in jeopardy.  The big question though, is will David Cameron recognize the need for getting off of the fence and offering the electorate a clear In/Out vote on continued membership of the EU?  If he doesn't and Labour beats him to the punch then those people who have defected to UKIP can be counted on staying away from the Tories in 2015.

Then there is the UK political scene and particularly the pussy-footing way that the Tories deal with their supposedly junior coalition partner.  From dithering on Europe to pandering on 'gay marriage' to sparing the knife on public spending cuts, the Tories have bowed and scraped to the Lib Dems , time after time.   Taxes still remain high - Income, VAT, National Insurance and the phoney Green Taxes - and so does Public Spending - welfare payments still make low paid work uneconomic to take-up and many middle class receive tax credits and other stipends back from the State,  that they have just paid over in taxes!  And then there is the poor management of news!  The March Budget became focused on pasties and grannies just at a time when we needed the hard questions to be addressed.  It seems that can-kicking is not only done by the Left!

If you ignore rank hypocrisy and pure political opportunism (just for the sake of politicking) then Labour has had not too bad a year.  They were aided by the ineptitude of the Tories (see budget above) but Ed Miliband has come into his own this year.  He still grates when he talks and then there is what he says but, he has done better than I expected.  Fortunately, the other Ed, Balls that is, has had a bad year.  One senses that his heart isn't in it anymore.

I don't want to get on to Leveson as that comes back to Tory stupidity - we have a problem with the press, let's appoint a judge and commission a report for some time in the future!  Why would we expect anything less than a restrictive response from a British judge?  At the end of the day, judges, like politicians, think they know better than us, what is best for us!  Think not?  Think of how many times you have heard of a ruling and thought - No way, that's just crazy (Abu Qatada ring any bells??)

So to close out - I wish you and yours a blessed Christmas and hope that 2013 brings health and happiness to you. 

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