For once the pollsters got it right and successfully predicted left-winger Jeremy Corbyn as the new leader of the Labour Party. I was delighted to see that a raft of shadow ministers tendered their resignation, some within minutes of the result being declared last Saturday. At least that has saved me calling them all hypocrites for trying to pretend they could successfully work with a man who had opinions so widely different from their own. So good for them. I’m not surprised at the election result. Corbyn has attracted the votes of the British angry brigade, the disillusioned, those who have tried to get on in life and failed, and the great British unwashed. Whether he will appeal to the majority of the electorate is a vastly different matter. He now has the totally impossible job of trying to get the slightly left of centre or centre Labour MPs to agree with anything he has to offer by way of “true Socialist” principles. However, there is one part of Corbyn’s policy which will gain him considerable popularity and something which the government must address urgently or face the consequences. And that is the total injustice which is so rife in the UK today. We’ve seen year after year the widening gulf between the haves and have nots. It is not acceptable for the rich to get ever richer, while the poor fail to get any better off. The Tories have five years to demonstrate to millions of voters whether they will keep favouring the rich more instead of legislating to create a fairer society. That, more than anything else, will negate Corbyn’s message. The new Labour leader is also advocating more money being spent on UK infrastructure. And I can agree with him on this one too, having seen the state of the railways and the UK road system incapable of coping with the demands being put upon them. But Corbyn’s raft of renationalisation plans; huge public spending; an end to benefit cuts; more support for Trade Union power; and an end to Britain’s independent nuclear deterrent will not only frighten off electors but send shock waves in the financial markets and result in inflation and tax going through the roof and the value of the pound through the floor.
One of my neighbours has a job delivering cars and drives from northern to southern England in the small hours. Last week he came across four separate road accidents along the M1, and all involved lorries, two of those incidents involving lorries crashing into the back of another. Probably these were as a result of drivers nodding off momentarily behind the wheel. Driving around and hearing reports of holdups on radio alerts, we often hear of accidents which involve lorries. It’s a frightening thought that when we’re out and about in our cars we are so vulnerable – in danger from a lorry out of control through a driver who is fighting to stay awake. It’s pretty obvious which is going to come off worse when a lorry crashes into a car. It would be interesting to hear the percentage of road accidents which involve lorries – and if the percentage is disproportionate, what can be done to make the roads safer?
Latest figures show that Facebook has more nearly one and half billion worldwide users, and Twitter reported it had 316 million. But it seems all this chit-chat is taking its toll, especially among teens and 20-somethings, with an estimated 90 percent of them regularly using social media. The British Psychological Society says all this chit-chat, morning, noon and night is leading to depression, anxiety and low self-esteem. It seems that instead of getting a proper night’s sleep, teenagers are keeping up with the twaddle on social media into the small hours, depriving them of sleep and making them unable to cope with the next day. One teenager who was interviewed said: “When I’m using different social media I’ll go from one to another and eventually I’ll have been on for about four hours. Then I’ll check the time. I should have been asleep, but I never will be because I’m checking Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.” Pathetic or what?
I’m sure of people any sportsmen or women using drugs to increase their chance of victory. Those who do, should suffer the ultimate sanction and be banned for life from competing. However, the tests that sportspeople undertake should be foolproof, so that there can be no possible doubt of guilt. Having said all that I have total sympathy with former British athlete Paula Radcliffe who found herself under the spotlight last week for what was said or not said in a parliamentary hearing on blood doping. During a Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee hearing, Hereford MP, Jesse Norman, suggested that London Marathon winners and medallists and “potentially British athletes” were under suspicion. I don’t begin to understand the highly complex tests which are done to check whether an athlete has broken the rules or not, but I really do deplore any MP using Parliamentary privilege to make statements to damage the reputation of anyone without any recourse. It’s time to stop this, as it’s totally unfair that an MP can make allegations against a person who has no recourse in law to correct the statement. Slander is slander wherever it is uttered – this bit of privilege should be confined to history.
Now we all know how much you loved or still love your employer!! But there’s one country in the world where you can display that love. Pictures have gone viral on the internet of a line of people kneeling and kowtowing in a public square in China, chanting ‘thank you for my job’ during the ceremony. Company bosses denied the staff were bowing to them but holding a ceremony to promote success for their company. But others felt that, as it’s incredibly difficult to find a job in the current economic climate, if such a show of gratitude was needed, then the young people should do it. It’s not the first time staff in China have been seen kowtowing to bosses. In 2012, an interior design company reportedly requested its staff to kowtow and chant slogans such as ‘thank you for letting me survive’ and ‘thank you for letting me eat’. Those who refused to go were fined 3,000 Yuan (£300). Let’s hope this doesn’t catch on in the West!
Has the human/ape missing link been discovered in a burial chamber in a cave system in South Africa? The finding has reignited the big debate about where the human race came from. The 15 partial skeletons may be up to three million years old and have some human and some ape characteristics. More and more species of creatures are being discovered, which suggests that over thousands of years evolution was creating several different human-like species, originating in parallel in different parts of Africa. Only one line eventually survived and dominated, to give rise to us – science showing a far different story about our creation than religions suggest.
Finally, I was saddened at the UK government decision to refuse permission for a giant wind farm about 10 miles out to sea off Dorset. The government is anxious to get the country using green energy rather than using fossil fuels, and have called on energy companies to come up with proposals. But the nimby (not in my back yard) brigade was out in force to block proposals for a farm off the coast – a farm which would have supplied power to all of Dorset and some of surrounding counties. Sad that nimbyism is alive and well and still influences common sense.