Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Makeover for homeless man

Below is a link to a film that has gone viral on YouTube recently, I think it speaks for itself, check it out. As a result lots of money was donated to a homeless charity called Degage Ministries in Grand Rapids, Michigan in the US.


Thursday, 14 November 2013

A civil partnership made in heaven?

This week saw the first anniversary of the Coalition government. So what are we to make of it all? Here are some of the highlights.


I vividly remember the day that Clegg and Cameron held that nauseous press conference in the garden at 10 Downing Street. There was a chap on the BBC London radio news in the morning of 12 May who referred to them as looking like an upmarket Ant and Dec. I could see what he meant inasmuch as there are times when you can barely tell which one is which. But then I was left wondering did he also mean that they talk drivel, aren't funny and are classed as light entertainment?

Rising star, David Laws, resigns after 17 days in the job, after allegations of financial misdemeanors. A year later he is suspended from the Commons, for seven days, for what are described as "serious breaches". This is from a man who is, in that age-old cliche, a self-made man. An ex-banker and a millionaire caught fiddling his expenses. It beggars belief, and he was being lined up to be the Chancellor's right-hand man!


George Osborne set out his budget. VAT increases from 17.5% to 20%. Child benefit and public sector pay are frozen. Housing benefit cuts are announced that will affect thousands. Personal tax allowances went up.

The Coalition passes 100 days in power. Samantha Cameron has a baby daughter.

The Liberal Democrats have their annual conference, which Nick Clegg comes through relatively unscathed. Telling the party faithful the Lib-Dems are doing "great things" in government and that the party should "hold its nerve" whatever criticism comes their way. As if to back him up MPs vote to scrap ID cards (which no government was going to fund) heralding it as fulfilling one of their coalition pledges.

This month sees George Osborne explain in detail his Comprehensive Spending Review. In June cuts to the welfare bill were said to be £11 billion. In early September he announced a further £4 billion, by the time of his Comprehensive Spending Review the total cuts to the welfare budget amounted to a total of £18 billion.


Student protests against tuition fees dominate the news. In the majority of cases fees are set to triple. The headquarters of the conservative party were beseiged and some gathered on the roof. An effigy of Nick Clegg was burnt.

Sure enough, in the commons MPs voted to raise the tuition fee cap.

After months of speculation about Andy Coulson's ability to be Director of Communications for David Cameron, he finally resigns. He had repeatedly denied knowledge of phone hacking in spite of being editor of the News of the World at the time it was going on. I don't think this tells us anything about the government, but to me it indicates an appalling lack of judgement on the part of the Prime Minister.

AprilThe Cabinet announces what it terms a pause, in their overhaul of the NHS. This, they say, is to consult further over the proposals for a shake-up. This is after Andrew Lansley became the first Health Minister to get a vote of no confidence from the Royal College of Nursing Conference. The whole thing strikes me as a fiasco.

The Liberal Democrats have a disastrous time in the local English elections and the national elections in Scotland and Wales, and what rankles them further is that the Tory vote holds up well. And to cap a bad night for Nick Clegg the referendum for AV was a resounding no.

So all things considered, what do I make of the Coalition's first year?
The way I see it the Tories spent a long time in opposition, so they had a long time to consider what they would do when they got back in power. The Lib-Dems are clearly the junior partner in this coalition and I think that shows. So the Tories have been able to pick on their long-standing bogey men; the poor, the unemployed, the disabled, these are the people who have borne the brunt of their economic policies. Sure, they inherited an economy mired in trouble, but they have chosen the direction to take the country in, all the while assuring us that their old friend, the free market will get us out of trouble.