Filed under: autism, disability, Justice, Politics, Scotland | Tags: Million Mask March, MP's expenses, MP's pay, MPs, Parliament, Westminster, Yes Scotland
Today I am angry, anger brought on by two pieces of news. The first was that there will be 4, 847 children homeless in Scotland this Christmas; Shelter says there will be more than 80, 000 across the UK. The second piece of information to fuel the fire was that a Conservative Member of the Westminster Parliament, despite being a millionaire, had claimed £5, 822 in heating expenses for his second home and he was only one of many.
This comes on top of the news last month that MPs are about to get an eleven percent pay rise while clinging onto a raft of allowances.
While many of us can’t afford to heat our homes, at a time when benefits are being cut.
I have, in the past, vented my upset at the rise of food banks in the UK as a direct result of Conservative policies. The government crows that unemployment has fallen, what it fails to address is that most of the new jobs are part time, underemployment is rising, People cannot get enough hours to pay all their expenses. Their crowing also conceals that many of these jobs come with “Zero Hours” contracts where a worker is not guaranteed work, but his pay is based on the hours he or she works, thus condemning them to weeks without pay or with very little. Zero Hours contracts are being used to make it appear that the Conservatives have done something to reduce unemployment, it is an illusion that conceals the falling living standards of ordinary people and the increasing poverty of the most vulnerable.
There are those who will say that in a democratic system we must accept, sometimes, a government for which we did not vote. However in Scotland we have imposed upon us from England a government to which the majority of Scots are vehemently opposed. It is obvious that Alastair Darling and the Better Together campaign have a vested interest in opposing independence, they might have to work for a living. As long as we remain bound to England we will have to endure Conservative governments. As far as I can see we have a choice between two revolutions either we vote for independence or we change the UK system of government.
Some would say it is selfish to look after our interests and cast adrift the English working class, but the honourable alternative is to clear the Houses of Parliament and start again. I am not advocating violence, heaven forbid, but were People’s courts to hang every Westminster MP, at the least we could elect a new lot whose primary interest was not feathering their nests at the expense of ordinary people. Indeed should we not choose independence we should at least get rid of every greedy MP as an alternative. Tomorrow is the Million Mask March celebrating Guy Fawkes; perhaps now is the time to bring to and end this corrupt and exploitative system. On the other hand, if you live in Scotland, you could just VOTE YES!
Filed under: Gardening | Tags: Amateur Gardening, Gardener's Question Time, Gardener's World, gardening, horticulture, House of Lords, Parliament, Peter Seabrook, RHS, Royal Horticultural Society
I saw the physiotherapist today and I should be able to get back to doing some light gardening very soon. In the meantime I continue to look at gardening magazines and contemplate the work I have to do. In Amateur Gardening this week I read that Peter Seabrook is celebrating his Seventy-Fifth birthday. He was a professional gardener before I was even born and – apart from while he was on National Service – has been ever since. He presented Gardeners’ World amongst other programs on radio and Television, he has the Victoria Medal of Honour from the Royal Horticultural Society and every week I get to read his column in Amateur Gardening.
The one thing that puzzles me is that he is reported as having been awarded the MBE in 2005 for services to horticulture. Why am I puzzled? He richly deserves the acknowledgement he has been given but I have to ask why only an MBE? Pop singers like Mick Jagger get knighthoods so do actors and civil-servants, businessmen like Alan Sugar get knighthoods or even ennobled to the House of Lords. I have to ask, why is horticulture valued so low compared to other activities? It is true that there are very few horticulturists who earn millions but while they may earn less for themselves can anyone say that their contribution to Britain is any the less! The contribution of people like Peter Seabrook can be seen in gardens the length and breadth of these islands in the knowledge and inspiration they give to millions of ordinary men and women who make this country a more beautiful place to live. Personally I feel to only have honoured Peter Seabrook with an MBE is very shortsighted, surely we need people like him in the House of Lords. Horticulture is central to who we are as a nation and the millions of Britons who practice it should have a voice in parliament to fight against garden grabbing, disappearing allotments and for the many other economic and environmental concerns we share. We have enough self-serving millionaires in both Houses what we need is people who truly represent us – even if his politics are a little conservative – it’s time to give us Lord Seabrook! So There!