Category Archives: Global Magna Carta

The Global Magna Carta is a People’s Manifesto to uphold a Democratic process that empowers and supports the rights and beliefs of the citizens of all Nations, by adopting the following Core Beliefs as the foundation of all current political manifestos and actions, irrespective of political belief. Each party that adopts these Core Beliefs acknowledges, supports and promotes respect for this Planet and all its Inhabitants, no matter what Species, Race, Religion, Creed or Gender.

Our NHS: Death by 1000 Cuts!

Since 21st July, with the announcement that student nurses will now be charged fees for their education, my anger has simply escalated. I have said for a long time that Parliament is no longer fit for purpose and I just wonder how many nails it will take to bury it? New Premier ‘More of the same’ May is following in the steps of her predecessors, despite what she says and our country can only fall to ever lower levels of Social inequality.

On the last day of government, before the MP’s took off with their buckets and spades (more popularly known as ‘Take out the Trash Day’), her government smugly dumped 300 documents and 30 written statements (usually between 2 and 10 a day), in the form of bad news which they hope will be forgotten about by the time they return in September.

This political connivance is one of many insults to an electorate who are not stupid. Delaying the bad news, with a view to sneaking it in later, when we have all forgotten about it, is yet another betrayal of the trust people place in those they elect to power and lacks any professionalism whatsoever. That it is done so regularly is doubly insulting, as demonstrated in recent talks with Brussels where ‘Mos’ May is negotiating delaying allowing immigrants into our country for 7 years.

Above all else, it is the fees announcement that incenses me. At a time when our country has just broken loose (supposedly) from one authoritarian state, we are now finding our own is just as uncaring. The previous Chancellor declared that scrapping nursing bursaries would pay for 10,000 new training places. What a valueless statement, (with figures probably coming out of thin air), as the introduction of training fees will decimate the number of people attracted to entering this vital profession.

It is suggested that, like university students, their nursing counterparts will be saddled with at least £51,600 of debt. The truly insidious aspect of this is that, like all political connivance, a precedent has been created, with the introduction of these fees, that will see them regularly rise as government needs to replace falling tax revenues. I say this at a time when university fees have just been increased to £9,250 a year from next year, a figure that is projected to further increase to £11,697 by 2025.

Let’s be under no illusion here, this vogue for charging ‘fees’ is taxation by any other name and a most odious form of taxation at that. No matter which educational channel has inflicted them, these debts hang around the necks of our young people into their 40’s and 50’s, reducing their chances of achieving sufficient financial support to buy their own homes, something the government seems equally non-plussed about.

What adds insult to injury is that the income from these fees will not be re-invested back into the NHS, as far as I am aware. The costs of recruiting nurses from overseas, currently £20.19 million for 3,365, is set to increase to a staggering £178.5 million for 29,755 by 2020. Surely this not only demotivates our own people but helps fuel the political call to render our NHS as only fit for privatisation.

Nursing and any care work is a vocation, a word not used by politicians or the media these days. It is a perfect description of the dedication these special people feel towards our community and their scant concern for massive financial reward, something that is a complete anathema to Neoliberalism.

In my total of 14 days in hospital last year, what was abundantly clear to me was the glaring gap between the dedication and incomes of the full time staff to that of the agency staff. That may offend some but it was my experience and saw one such person walk away from a patient who had fallen out of bed one night, which then led to a serious enquiry the following day.

The whole concept of agency staff is beyond me. If my experiences are anything to go by we should be paying the full time staff the extra cost of agency people as a reward for their commitment and dedication. Adequate reward for the support they provide to Society would be a sign of that Society and its government’s respect for this dedication and its true worth.

We should be investing in all of our young, with comprehensive education and training that will motivate them to become positive contributors to our future Society. After all . . . they are our future Society and the mind-set we shape now will be the mind-set that shapes that Society, its values and how it behaves. At present many of them train and then go abroad to try and escape the fee burden, something neither they nor Society should be proud of.

One cut at a time this Tory government is causing the death of our NHS to meet the demands of its corporate lords and masters for its privatisation. Is it any wonder ‘Mos’ May did not seek an election after her appointment by the party? She would not have got back into No 10 and she knows it.

As a tax paying electorate we are being robbed at every level, from the financial to the democratic and it has to stop if we are to receive value for taxes paid, preserve our dignity and quality of life and give our children any sort of future.

Again I cry . . . We need new leaders, with caring values and a new vision . . . NOW!

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

Trident . . . Hmmm

submarines photo

In memory of Alan

So, Trident is to go ahead at a cost of £31 billion (until we are told different) by an overwhelming Commons verdict of 472 in favour and 117 against. I have to admit to mixed reactions, caused by personal experience of having stayed at our nuclear submarine base at Faslane in Scotland on several occasions.

My cousin, who was my best man and my best mate worked in maintaining the power plant on the nuclear submarines and after 15 years of hard work it eventually killed him when he was exposed to a nuclear leak. He left behind a wonderful wife and two kids and I still miss him 30 years on.

He was content with the life he led because naval families are a close community on this and every other base, supporting each other in a way that didn’t seem to happen in civvie street, in his opinion and he had tried both.

Of course the work was dangerous but he took pride in knowing that British nuclear submarines were the best in the world on any and every NATO exercise. Silence is the critical thing with submarine warfare and we ran rings around the opposition.

There were embarrassments, like in the age before nuclear and when the navy still issued its daily tot of rum to sailors.

A diesel driven sub had just returned to its base in Devonport after exercises and had to be refuelled. The unlucky sailor who drew the short straw to stay and oversee the refuelling was compensated by the remainder of the crew donating their tot to him.

The trick to refuelling a diesel sub was to make sure the weight of fuel being pumped in at the rear was compensated for by releasing sea water from the ballast tanks at the front.

On this occasion the sailor was not up to the job and the rear half of the sub sank and had to be transferred to dry dock for a complete overhaul. The press received a government D notice not to publish the story.

The second story he told me was of two nuclear subs returning from NATO exercises and one commander challenged the other to a race around the Isle of Wight. The upshot was that one submarine took a shortcut and beached. A cub reporter from the local press got down to the scene and captured a picture of this monster, beached by a ‘No Waiting’ sign with a dog cocking his leg against it. That got a D notice as well!

Happy memories of a time in my life that I really enjoyed, now tempered by yesterday’s vote that again signifies how barbaric we remain as a species. Human ingenuity has created a monstrous weapon that hangs over us like the sword of Damocles. It’s terrifying power available to the call of human fallibility.

I look around an ever more unstable world and particularly the candidates now running for the White House, one of whom is lacking in any forms of diplomacy and the other who is openly labelled as a ‘warmonger’, with a hideous track record that lacks any integrity whatsoever.

As I see it we have a choice. On the one hand we should not allow these people anywhere near the ‘red button’ and on the other hand there is a certain reassurance in knowing we have the best deterrent force on the planet.

We left the EU to become masters of our own destiny and as long as there is leadership who pose any threat whatsoever to world peace and God knows the US is pushing Russia and China to the limit these days, I want to know that my country will not have to lay belly up and exposed without the ability to effectively defend itself.

It is not a satisfactory situation by any stretch of the imagination but until we have a new breed of global leadership, who are not in the pockets of financiers and corporations and who accept and admit to the mess we are in, from environmental disaster to religious manipulation and constant warfare, we must be able to stand our ground and Trident fits this bill.

Whilst global banking sprint from one form of financial abuse to another, wrecking the lives of millions in the process and without any form of remorse or change of direction, the same cannot be said of our submarine programme.

Apart from the amusing stories above and the tragic experience of my cousin, which illustrate mistakes and human error, our Trident force act with utmost integrity and without the slightest hint of abuse or threat to world peace.

With what is now unfolding in Turkey we should feel confident we live in a Society where the silent professionals have not distressed the innocent and certainly have not cost the taxpayer anywhere remotely near what the toxic banking system has and still is costing us.

We do not live in a perfect world but to act responsibly with this devastating capability is something Britain can hold its head up high to and pray we find new leadership who also reflects that level of integrity and will work to its eventual abolition.

Until the next time.

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes