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    Well, in their "wisdom" our Government is talking about a minimum price per unit for alcohol. The CB bottom line is they are purely papering over the cracks in their policies towards alcohol abuse by the youth drinkers. Again, going to the bottom line, this will penalise on price terms the 90% of the drinking population, you know, the ones who work all week, pay their taxes and want to sip a glass of scotch at home at the weekend. Hang on a minute, aren't these the same people who VOTE at elections? Now is the time, Mr. Gordon Brown, to be careful. Your personal ambition to turn us all into presbyterians (by stealth) are coming out now, you cannot win at the ballot box if you continue. CB advises you to carry on as this will give us a credible Prime Minister at the next election and the new guy can stomp all over your "alcohol retail price control" policy.


    The Post Office is on strike again (22/10/2009)! This is a business that is having to face up to many changes due to technology competition (emails etc.) The costs of doing what they do MUST be cut and properly managed BUT there are areas where this cannot be done. Small village post offices cannot be run at a profit BUT they are an essential part of the local community so must be kept in place. Clearly the profitable offices must pay for the rural offices and this means that the non rural offices have to be run on minimum costs to maximise the return to pay for the rural offices. City offices have rent and rates etc. which are high level overheads that CAN be avoided. Why not site these offices where everybody goes, like the supermarkets? If the Post Office did national deals with the major supermarkets to site offices in their premises it is a win win situation and CB believes a very cost effective answer. This may halt the ongoing closure of many city offices and would leave the management free to deal with the modernisation issues which have precipitated the strike, OR is this against current Government policy (to slim the Post Office down ready for disposal by sale to a private buyer)? Is the rumour that CB has heard true, that the CEO of the Post Office is on a 7 figure bonus based on how many offices he can close? 

   The Government has just sacked their chief drugs advisor, Professor David Nutt for speaking his mind and, also the truth. If ministers need advisors because they have no or only limited personal knowledge on a given subject then they should listen to what those advisors  say! It is a total waste of the taxpayers money to have an advisor and then fail to heed their opinion, ESPECIALLY on a subject such as this where science and medicine plays a large part. It is only right that such an advisor has the right of free speech as this stops any fudging of the issue by the politicians concerned.  The tax payers money pays the advisors wages or fees so THE TAX PAYER has a right to hear what that advice is, with no dependency on Government policy! To sack an advisor for speaking the truth will lead to only the "yes men" taking the job of advisor and that means we get only what the Government wants to hear from that advisor! There are plenty of yes men around, the "dentist" that endorses the toothpaste that removes plaque (if it did, why is there so much cleaning done by your dentist every 6 months), the "doctor" that endorses anti ageing creams etc., all obviously just taking the money. Official advice given to the Government needs to be given by advisors just like David Nutt, people not afraid to tell it straight regardless of what the Government wants to hear! This fiasco merely UNDERLINES all that CB says on his newest page, The War Against Drugs.


    Barack Obama has just collected the Nobel Peace Prize. Many said "He shouldn't get that while he is still involved in a war". Do they not realise that any incoming President inherits his predecessors baggage? This is not Obama's war! He has used good intelligence in stiffening up the effort with more troops whilst giving the Afghanis a clear message by declaring the date of the start of the withdrawal. He has made it clear they are on time faults to put their politics in order and get their own military ready. Mr. Obama has consistently replaced blind stupidity and belligerence with intelligence and a will to talk to fix the wrongs with other countries. The Republicans cannot understand this approach, maybe because they are all as dim as they have been demonstrating recently.


    For once CB has been beaten to the punch, the Conservative leader has just made a speech on political reform. He is right to attack the Prime Minister on this subject. Gordon Brown is a political dinosaur. His "alternative" or preferred voting system is a sham. Nothing will change with this as the political constituencies would be left intact, thus true democracy would still be denied to the public of the UK. Mr. Brown, if you knew anything about car mechanics, you would know that it is useless tuning the carburettor after the engine has blown up! From Mr. Camerons point of view, he should remember that good words prior to election MUST be enacted after election. Nothing short of the scrapping of the old constituencies which promote safe seats and a 2 party system will do. Once they are out of the way, full proportional representation MUST be introduced to give the UK a true democracy for the first time ever. It is noted that nobody from either the Labour Party OR the Conservatives really wants this change as it is not in their real interests so it will be interesting to see quite what transpires after our next election. Whoever is in power, please note that we are watching to see if promises are kept. For the record CB is NOT a liberal supporter, CB's interest is in the true democratisation of the UK! If you are unsure why the UK is NOT a true democracy, read the page on The Vote.


    It has just been announced that Ali Desai, the highest profile police officer from an ethnic minority background, has been found guilty of perverting the course of justice. He apparently used his position to  attack a man over a personal issue. CB wonders if this man has always been an abuser of his power? Is the internal affairs department of the police sitting back thinking "well it took a long time but we got him"? Read the page on The Police and the page on Policemen and see what you think!


The Royal Bank of Scotland has just posted a £3.6 Billion loss for 2009 (BBC News 25/02/2010). They are also intending to pay a "bonus" of £1.3 Billion to their staff. For the benefit of the cretins currently running our banks we should make some things plain. A business makes a product or provides a service which is then taken to market to sell for money to make a profit. Banks are just the same except money IS the product. As has been said elsewhere on this site, if the car workers made 100,000 cars last year and then said "well, we made them so we get 30,000 cars for our bonus" would the management stand for that or would there be police involvement for theft? The banks have to realise that they need to be especially careful as they are supposed to be the guardians of our money, not the misappropriators of it.  CB thinks it is time that legislation specifically dealing with bankers pay and bonuses be enacted as the lines between right and wrong, whilst still clear in the minds of the public, have become so blurred for the bankers that they fail to see they are just stealing money. RBS, if you lost 3.6 Billion last year and the taxpayer has provided 86% of your capital base, how can it be other than theft of the taxpayers money to pay a bonus? WAKE UP!


This week a pharmacist has refused to provide prescription contraceptive pills to a customer because "it is against her (the pharmacist's) religious beliefs. Someone should remind that pharmacist that the UK is tolerant of all religious beliefs but that tolerance is NOT a licence to impose those beliefs on others. The pharmacist's employers should find a place on the dole queue for their employee and replace her with one who understands the job is not subject to "belief", it is within the realm of logic and reality!


    This week we also have a Catholic organisation legally challenging the discrimination laws so as to  not have to consider same sex couples as child foster parents. Firstly, given their reputation over the years, children should be kept as far away as possible from Catholics, we all have knowledge of how children have been treated by nuns and priests. Secondly, nobody has made the most valid point of all, yet! That is to realise that children old enough to walk and talk but not yet of school age are in their most formative years. At this age they learn everything from elders with complete trust as they have not yet been fully exposed to the real world. That means CB feels that the strongest consideration should be given to the question of what values will they be taught. Those who, in their adult life, choose to have same sex partners are free to do so but surely children should not be over exposed to this until they are at an age to understand what it is all about and their formative years are definitely too soon. CB says good luck to gay people but gives his assurance that the day it becomes compulsory to be gay, CB will learn the true definition of suicide!


    CB has just watched a programme, "Trust in Politics" broadcast at 19.00 on BBC2 TV. It was about restoring the trust and faith of the voters of Britain in their institution and their MP's. Within this programme a poll of over 100,000 people wanted, amongst other desires, the following:
1.    Proportional Representation

2.    A written constitution
3.    Laws relating only to England to be voted for by ONLY English MP's, they felt that, with                        devolution,  this was particularly relevant.
4.    The right to recall  errant or non performing MP's.

    Those who follow  this web site will know that all of this is at the heart of CB's thinking.  Perhaps the next Government  might realise that, over the last 400 years, the political awareness of the voters has  increased considerably!  THAT is why 17 million voters didn't bother to vote last time, the fact of mass abstention is what the politicians should be taking careful note of. The voters clear message is quite obviously "If you want us back, make the changes, give us our rightful power to decide, treat us with respect, then we may start to find some respect for you"!


    Barak Obama has gotten his healthcare bill through. Well done. Whilst this may be only the first step, it is farther than any have gone before. The Republicans are hoping to use this as a political football but there are so many chances of an "own goal" here, they just don't see it. There are certainly 30 million voters who would never be persuaded to vote Republican after what they have done to try to stop this bill just to gain a political point. They do not see that some things go beyond politics, like the welfare of the poorest people in their society. If any of their criticisms are real, then they can be addressed and fixed with the legislation in place, it will be made to work. With no legislation, nothing can be fixed. The Republicans should walk away, chalk this one up to a very fine and determined President and look for the next football, this one may break them.


    And yet another on the drugs advisory council has resigned. How many more will it take? The DOPES in the Government who have no personal experience of dope need advisors! When the advisors tell the DOPES where they are going wrong, the DOPES fail to listen! Maybe the Government should save our money by sacking all the drugs advisors as all they need to know can be found on CB's page on The War on Drugs!


    Talking about money, Mr. Osborne, our wannabe Chancellor, has pleased the business community with his promises relating to not putting up the cost of National Insurance. He says he will pay for this by saving £6.5 Billion of wasteful Government spending! CB would, at this point, ask the police why they are not investigating this "theft" of our money by the Government? Someone signs the cheques for this waste and they should be investigated! This is a lot of money, where is it going?

    30.05.2010 is a very sad day. David Laws has resigned over an expenses scandal.  CB understands that this resignation had to happen but is appalled at the loss to our Country of such a talent, particularly in the field  of economics. This has happened before to others who have "served their sentence" on the back benches only to return at a later date. It is to be hoped that  the Parliamentary standards committee does their job quickly, gives their verdict and then, maybe, the door could be ajar for a David Laws return for the sake of the Country.


    09.06.2010    Last week after the rampage in Cumbria the police said "at no time were there any officers near enough to the assailant to have been able to stop the event". This week we are told that 3 (possibly off duty) officers were, at one time, "within feet" of the assailant. How many times must the police make a public statement only to have to claw it back later before they learn? I refer you to my pages on The Police and Policemen (use the back button on your browser to return here).


    11.06.2010    Mr Obama, since you took office all you have done has shown the world that you may be one of the truly great presidents, UNTIL NOW! Your approach has been intelligence, not beligerence. You have instilled hope for the future in every country you have visited. You have given health care to ALL Americans. Why change now? The BP oil spill has had you jumping up and down like a spoilt kid. Every time you speak about the spill BP loses another $10 Bn of its stock market value, not quite the approach designed to help the cause. Go back to reason and logic and back to being calm and authoritative. The technology of dealing with such a disaster is being developed as they go along, there is no switch or magic button. Talk to all concerned, not rant at them, you will get farther, faster with the approach we know you for, it is constructive. Use the one thing that politicians find the hardest tool to use, HONESTY! Tell your people that you are not an oil field engineer, but reassure them that you are working constructiveley WITH BP and that you are giving them all the help they need. Work WITH them and not against them and you will be back on track!


    20.06.2010    On Friday last there was a big celebration of the 70th anniversary of the General De Gaulle speech to the French People broadcast by the BBC. A big show with an RAF fly past, a visit by Sarkozy and the lot. It is right to remember but how soon we forget. Amidst all the pomp and ceremony we forgot that, in the war years when De Gaulle came to Britain he expected a state welcome but he didn't get it. He was, after all, a beaten general. He never forgave Britain for this and was the main stumbling block for the rest of his life when Britain moved towards Europe. People love a show, in fact most things done by people all over the world is done for show. How much did the day cost? Might that money have been better spent on our troops in Afghanistan? In days where we are constantly being told how poor the country is and looking at all the financial cuts that have to be made, can such extravagances be justified? CB thinks not!


23.06.2010    Yesterday we were given "The Black Budget", which we all knew was to be tough. We will not really feel how tough till next year when Government departments have to implement the 25% reductions in spending. At local government level there will be all those people who have pet projects that will complain about reduced funding but, as we have all seen before, most of those projects will continue because of the momentum behind them which is provided by those complainants. Much is being made of the VAT rise. How soon we forget. When the last Chancellor cut VAT to 15% we saw many businesses try to make a big thing of it BUT the reality of how much difference it made was not enough to make us all run out and upgrade our TV's. The 2.5% increase is the same. A TV costing £600 will go up to about £615 and, if you want a new TV, you will pay it. This is BEFORE those businesses that are most aggressive in the marketplace come up with a "pre budget prices" offer, and we know they will. Remember that VAT is a selective tax, you only pay it if you can afford to spend, unlike income tax which you pay come hell or high water. Also, the retail sector should have a short term benefit in that, those who wait for the January Sales should buy this year instead to avoid the VAT increase, thus giving the shops a bumper christmas. All in all, CB thinks that the promised pain will be less than feared and CB also feels that, given the measures taken in this budget, it may well be a much shorter spell of austerity than we have been told.


01.08.2010    CB has been resting recently but is now back. It seems the government is trying to modernise the Police force. They should have read the page on The Police first. Some of the recommendations they are doing have been on that page for 4 years now! They should also remember when Margaret Thatcher tried this, she was beaten down by the weight of the senior officers all trying to protect their little empires. Seems the well being and wealth of the senior officers is more important than public safety and justice! Why not go for a real change as CB has described and create a police force for the 21st century?


01.08.2010    Ian Huntley is going to sue the government over their lax care of him. As distasteful as that may be, the government, who are going to "vigorously defend" this action, must recognise that if they are going to imprison criminals, whilst the cons are inside, their welfare is down to the gaolers and ultimately their bosses, the government. Just another reason why a better solution needs to be thought through for dealing with criminals. Prison is the university of crime!


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