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Offline DoctorBeaver

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I need a rant!
« on: 17/02/2008 09:04:51 »
Before I start I had better emphasise that the views I express below are my own and in no way represent the views of The Naked Scientists.

This goddam government we've got in the UK has to go so we get back the right to choose for ourselves rather than being told how to think & what to do, and having people looking over our shoulder to make sure we think and act in ways this government approves of. There is now more surveillance in Britain than there was in East Germany under communist rule.

"New Labour" is a synonym for "control freaks". Legislation has been, and still is being, brought in that interferes in places that no government should have any right to go in a so-called free democracy.

The government now has the right to impose martial law and put troops on the street without consulting parliament.

Statistics have become more important than people. We are no more than numbers on a balance sheet.

Our National Health Service, once the envy of the world, is now a joke - worse than a joke, as lives are at stake. Certain life-saving medications will only be prescribed for you if you live in a certain area. If you don't live in the right place, you die. It's as simple as that.

"Health authorities have spent over-budget so economies have to be made", trumpet Herr Obergruppenfuhrer's PR cronies. Yeah, that's true - because too much money is being spent on admin staff keeping statistics up to date when it should be spent on front-line medical services. And try getting a NHS dentist these days. They're as rare as a pair of mating dodos!

Our police officers are on the point of revolt because the government has dumped on them from a great height over pay. Gun crime is spiralling out of control in our inner cities. Young kids, some even pre-teen, are being gunned down on our streets. The average police officer spends 2/3 of his/her time on paperwork. I may be wrong, but there could be a connection.

Discipline in schools is a thing of the past. Teachers can be sacked for even just raising their voices (there was an instance of this a few months ago).

A while ago I was driving through town around 11pm and there were a group of about 6 young kids (probably none older than about 10) running along the high street, shouting at people, kicking shop doors and generally behaving in a loutish manner. These days, no-one dare tell them to stop as even kids that young carry knives now. We've got CCTV everywhere, which is supposed to help fight crime; but what use is CCTV against kids wearing hoodies? A policeman or 2 in the high street would have deterred them, but you won't see that these days.

There was a report on the news last week of 3 teenagers being sentenced to 44 years imprisonment between them for kicking to death a man who went out of his house to tell them to stop vandalising his wife's car.

I kid you not - it has got the stage where Sandra & I are seriously thinking about moving abroad; and if ever there was a stay-at-home, it's Sandra. It shows how bad it is when someone like her is considering emigrating.

OK. Rant over  [:(!]


 

another_someone

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« Reply #1 on: 17/02/2008 14:09:22 »
Some valid points, and some misconceptions.

I don't actually feel crime is worse than it was.  Certainly, gun crime has been spiralling out of control, and has been since the government banned the legal ownership of guns (no, I don't believe people have guns at home works as a deterrent; but rather that if people have the opportunity to do something legally and responsibly, then there is less likelihood of it being the province of the illegal and the irresponsible - but we have a government that does not trust its people, so everything is banned, and everything is then done illegally).

I do think the level of fear of crime has risen (as has the level of fear of the law and the institutions of government); but I think that is more perception than reality (in the case of crime - in the case of the government, there is no doubt that there has been an avalanche of laws, by a government that believes in quantity rather than quality).

Again, it is unfair to really blame this government, since it is part of a long term trend that has effected all shades of government, both in this country and overseas.  Some countries may be leading the way in the trend, and others following, but none are actually bucking the trend.  The only exceptions to this trend, to some extent, have been some of the former Eastern Block countries which have had to dismantle some of their old legal framework in order to allow accession to the EU, but no doubt now will continue the trend that is common within the EU.

That statistics are more important than people is inevitable (not only for government, but for all large institutions - elephants may notice ant hills, but they will take very little notice of individual ants - so the individual members of the public will always be too small to be noticed by large institutions).  This is not a problem so long as the government confines its activities to areas where statistics are enough (i.e. so long as it deals in broad brush policy, and not try and micromanage in areas where it cannot possibly have sufficient relevant information).
 

Offline neilep

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« Reply #2 on: 17/02/2008 19:31:18 »
Crime may be seen to be escalating out of control and I think this ties in with the fact that it's able to be reported so quickly in so many mediums.....on so many channels and with increasing frequency.

Newspapers are yesterdays news and are trounced by other media....you can get the news on your phone nowadays !

Kids today do know how far they can get get away with and it is true......all you need do is look at a youth the wrong way and they're ringing 'childline'

My brother is a head of year in a school and is frustrated at the limits imposed upon him...though he and staff are subjected to grief.
ASBO'S are a badge of honour !


I do think that in a lot of cases, we live in a society that is presumed to  be more volatile than before.......sometimes I think yes....sometimes I think no.

Those three teenagers sentenced to 44 years will be out long before then !

Fortunately where I live, there are many PCs and those voluntary ones too roaming....though, the voluntary ones have virtually no power at all.


I'm in two minds about the level of cctv........there is always the Mosquito !! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mosquito and in addition verbal warnings via loudseakers !!

 

Offline JimBob

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« Reply #3 on: 17/02/2008 20:12:32 »
We here in America are becoming increasingly like the UK. It is literally unconstitutional what people are doing - we all have a right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" but just let the government feel we are going overboard, they step in and screw with our lives. Every message I post to Naked Scientist goes to the National Security Council, the CIA and the FBI. Ever time I call Canada or the UK, it is recorded. I can even get a court summons and fined (70% of the fine going to the company that put the equipment in for nothing) for running a red light if a traffic camera snaps my picture doing this.

All I see on the horizon is a lot more of the same. Albert Camus is one of my heroes ever since I read his essay "On Censorship." (I think that was the title.) It led me to read more of his work and although he was a very left-leaning existential nihilist, he was extremely critical of controlling the public by laws and legislating morality.

Eth, Let me know where you go and I'll move in next to you, PROVIDED you promise not to build a dam and flood me out.
 
 

Offline neilep

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« Reply #4 on: 17/02/2008 21:46:26 »


Eth, Let me know where you go and I'll move in next to you, PROVIDED you promise not to build a dam and flood me out.
 


Once the two of you are settled within your love-nest , please let me know so that I can avoid the country. ;D
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #5 on: 17/02/2008 22:57:49 »

Eth, Let me know where you go and I'll move in next to you, PROVIDED you promise not to build a dam and flood me out.


Probably Spain. We've already started looking at properties in Oviedo (not far from Santander in northern Spain) & Sandra has been checking out Spanish language courses.
 

Offline Karen W.

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« Reply #6 on: 17/02/2008 23:04:53 »


Eth, Let me know where you go and I'll move in next to you, PROVIDED you promise not to build a dam and flood me out.
 


Once the two of you are settled within your love-nest , please let me know so that I can avoid the country. ;D

OHH Sheepy, mean... mean Sheepy! LOL.. Watch out for him Doc... ..You know how sneaky those old AWooly critters can be!!! LOL Next thing he'll be all cozily moved in next door eating your petunias!!! LOL
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #7 on: 17/02/2008 23:09:11 »

I don't actually feel crime is worse than it was. 

I didn't say that crime is worse than it was, just that gun crime is worse. I don't think anyone can argue with that.

Quote
Again, it is unfair to really blame this government, since it is part of a long term trend that has effected all shades of government, both in this country and overseas.

It is the type of laws and restrictions introduced by this government that I object to, not the quantity of them.

Quote
That statistics are more important than people is inevitable (not only for government, but for all large institutions - elephants may notice ant hills, but they will take very little notice of individual ants - so the individual members of the public will always be too small to be noticed by large institutions).  This is not a problem so long as the government confines its activities to areas where statistics are enough (i.e. so long as it deals in broad brush policy, and not try and micromanage in areas where it cannot possibly have sufficient relevant information).

I agree that there is a place for statistics in a broad sense. But what I object to, among others, are the "league table" type of statistics where getting your hospital, crime closure rate or school higher in the rankings becomes the most important thing. Ask Chris how the number of patients treated figures are fiddled to make it look as though more people are getting care.
 

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« Reply #8 on: 18/02/2008 02:07:59 »
But school league tables were brought in (albeit only in a small way) by the Major government, if I recollect, against the opposition of the Labour party - who ofcourse then embraced it when they came into power.  As I said, it was a trend that encompassed the whole body politic, and was not the prerogative of any one party (albeit, the timing meant that most of the expansion of the idea happening during Labours tenure of office).
« Last Edit: 18/02/2008 11:33:19 by another_someone »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #9 on: 18/02/2008 07:51:05 »
Indeed they were (1992 to be precise). However, you will note that I didn't say that I'm against performance indicators; merely that they have become more important than people.
 

Offline RD

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« Reply #10 on: 24/10/2008 13:53:06 »
Eth, Let me know where you go and I'll move in next to you, PROVIDED you promise not to build a dam and flood me out.

Probably Spain. We've already started looking at properties in Oviedo (not far from Santander in northern Spain) & Sandra has been checking out Spanish language courses.

Not too close to the coast Dr B...

Quote
In Spain, your casa is suddenly the state's casa
By Ciaran Giles The Associated Press
Published: April 17, 2008

VALENCIA, Spain: It's been the dream of millions - a home by the sea in sunny Spain. People from all over Europe have invested hard-earned savings in coastal villas and apartments.

Now a government drive to clean up Spain's concrete-filled coastline after decades of abuse may wash away many of those dreams like castles of sand.

Enforcing a much-neglected 1988 law, the Socialist government is getting tough about what constitutes coastal public domain - the strip of land stretching back from the water's edge - and telling thousands of house and apartment owners their properties do not really belong to them.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/04/17/business/casa.php
« Last Edit: 24/10/2008 14:10:43 by RD »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #11 on: 24/10/2008 15:05:09 »
RD - I'm aware of that. Don't worry, we won't be anywhere near the coast; too many British & criminals.
 

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« Reply #12 on: 24/10/2008 17:30:16 »
I have to say I agree with all you said Doc and echo your rant.

The 'perceived' increase in crime which statistics show to be ungrounded has been blown to bits today. It seems that much reported crime was note included in the figures.

So take the quotation marks off the "perceived" and put them on the "ungrounded".

It always made my blood boil to hear the likes of Ken Livingstone telling us that crime was on the down. HOW COULD THIS BE??? Because the next day it would be reported that our prisons have never been so full & judges' were being urged not to give custodial sentences!!!

If crime was on the way down, why are the prisons full?????????

The two statements contradict eachother.

Please, nobody tell me 'we have the power to change things at the ballot box'.

The only choice we have is between one set of lying, cheating, thieving, poncing, nosey, lazy, dimwitted, selfish, good-for-nothings and another.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #13 on: 24/10/2008 20:19:04 »

The only choice we have is between one set of lying, cheating, thieving, poncing, nosey, lazy, dimwitted, selfish, good-for-nothings and another.


Don't talk about The Greens and The Raving Loonies like that!
 

Offline Make it Lady

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« Reply #14 on: 26/10/2008 01:58:43 »
Don't blame this government. The rot started to set in in the 1980's when Mrs Thatcher declared "There is no such thing as society" and ever since then people have developed their blow you jack I'm alright attitude. Don't blame new lLabour this has been a gradual decline.
Bermuda is lovely by the way.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #15 on: 26/10/2008 11:06:31 »
Just a thought; "New labour" - no longer new, and never was Labour.
 

Offline rosalind dna

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« Reply #16 on: 26/10/2008 11:18:27 »
Just a thought; "New labour" - no longer new, and never was Labour.


BC I agree with you and I always thought of "New Labour" not as Labout as you said, but as "New Tories" Think of Blair's main policies so similar to Thatcher and he did see for his first week
in 10 Downing Street. (For US, the Prime Minister's home)

It made me furious when he became leader and from then on.
Labour that's only an adjective NOW
 

Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #17 on: 26/10/2008 14:42:45 »
To be fair they did enact 2 left wing policies. They introduced a minimum wage and the abolished the VAT on sanitary protection.
As far as I remember, that's about it. All their other policies have been right wing.
 

Offline LeeE

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« Reply #18 on: 26/10/2008 16:51:40 »
The primary role of central government has never been to serve the general populace but to protect the ruling elite, just as the central role of the police forces is not to protect people but to protect property.  Central government protects the ruling elite, who are vastly out numbered by the general populace, by unifying that general populace behind various national threats and diverting it from the fact that a ruling elite needs an underclass to exploit, to maintain their position.  In short, it really doesn't matter to the ruling elite that the general populace is going around killing each other because it so rarely affects them personally.  Rather, it's seen as beneficial, as long as it can be added to the list of diversionary 'national' threats and doesn't reach the point where national authority is largely ignored by the national populace.  However, the current situation is very close to this limit and is shown by the high level of disregard for national standards of behaviour.  The reason that there are so many problems in our societies is that many of the people in those societies can see through the unfairness and exploitation inherent in them and resent the fact - people can't respect something that has been shown to be not worthy of respect and that lack of respect is evident in their behaviour.

It is clear that the trend for central government control over it's populace is increasing dramatically, as shown by schemes such as the National ID database, which will do nothing to prevent crime (and terrorism is just another crime for which the judicial system already had remedies, but which has been dusted off and re-presented as a new national threat, in lieu of better alternatives) but instead really just gives central government greater control over the populace it pretends to serve.  But this itself is a reaction to falling respect for government in the first place and the government's reaction is to say 'We, your servents, will compel you to obey us'.  I should also mention at this point that the potential outcome from global climate change could result in hundreds of millions, if not billions, dieing from starvation.  In the western world at least, there are very few people who could feed themselves if the shops and supermarkets shut or were unable to supply sufficient food.  At the same time, our food production methods have become highly tuned systems, which are more efficient and therefore profitable, but which are less likely to survive changing environmental conditions.  In such food-shortage situations central government will be very hard pressed to retain control over a populace who will be more concerned with keeping themselves alive than following laws that they perceive as bringing no benefit to them.

I'm afraid that I now have 50-50 views on the police.  While there are clearly many members of the police forces who wish to serve the populace, a great many more seem to just regard themselves as hunters and don't really care who they get, as long as they get someone, and will go to extreme lengths to cover up when they're caught out.
 

Offline Ray hinton

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« Reply #19 on: 28/10/2008 00:14:27 »
Last one out turn off the lights !

I got a spare room in malta doc !
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #20 on: 28/10/2008 18:37:06 »
Spain here I come
 

Offline Make it Lady

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« Reply #21 on: 28/10/2008 22:15:38 »
I work in education. I remember that schools were left to get so neglected that I worked in a science lab with only 5 working gas taps. My friend did a teaching practice in a classroom that leaked like a bucket and temporary classrooms were not turned into permanent ones. When Blair got in he sorted all that out. My sons school had a falling down temporary classroom that was replaced immediately and they are getting a brand new school in September because the cramped conditions have been put up with for years.
Don't tell me the Conservatives will do better. Labour is still sorting out the mess they left last time.
When I was a struggling NQT, I'd put on the news to hear some public school, twit of an MP saying that we must sort out these lazy, bad teachers. Most of the teachers I taught with at the time retired early due to nervous breakdowns. Moral was rock bottom. No wonder I didn't stick around.   
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #22 on: 28/10/2008 22:51:33 »
Quote
I worked in a science lab with only 5 working gas taps.

Yes, I remember those days when British Gas was a monopoly  ;D

My daughter attended 3 schools between 1981 and 1989. All 3 were in tip-top order and had great facilities. I visited my old school in 1989 (I know it was that year as it was just after my ex-wife & I separated) and it too was in very good condition. The only 1 of my daughter's schools I have seen recently, plus my old school, are now in fairly bad disrepair. My school no longer has a school field - it is covered with broken down Terrapin huts.
« Last Edit: 28/10/2008 22:56:13 by DoctorBeaver »
 

Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #23 on: 29/10/2008 19:51:37 »
My old school was closed down and burned down (not in that order) but I know that many schools have closed because the baby boomers are no longer at school. The number of schools isn't the issue- it's the quality of education that counts. In some cases that remains excellent; sadly there are some schools that are struggling. However- there always were- it's just that we now have league tables to proove it.
 

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« Reply #23 on: 29/10/2008 19:51:37 »

 

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