Paul Nuttall is the current leader of UKip. He is an MEP and is standing for MP in Stoke Central a seat left vacant when Tristram Hunt Labour quit for lucrative pastures new.
So if he wins that election he may be an MEP, Party Leader and MP. In theory he could hold all three positions in a money or power grab.
Yes he does not like the EU but is happy to rake the money in.
Like former UKip Party leader Nigel Farage Nuttall is quick to complain about the EU gravy train extolling the virtues of the UK leaving the EU but he is just another hypocrite.
As a UKip man leaving the EU may have had little to do with excessive and costly European bureaucracy and all to do with immigration and right wing policies.
Nuttall is a practising Catholic. He was born in Bootle Liverpool in 1976.
His semi Liverpudlian northern accent may appeal to some working and middle class voters or have the reverse effect.
In March 2015 Nuttall stated that "Twelve per cent of Catholics have already indicated that they are going to vote, or have already voted, UKIP. On moral issues, we, more than any other political party, are more in line with Catholic thought. Whether it's on gender-choice, abortion or same-sex marriage, we are absolutely 100 per cent behind the Catholic Church."
He is anti-abortion and is a member of the United Kingdom's largest pro-life organisation founded in January 1967.
He is in favour of the death penalty reportedly for serial and child killers.
He claims to support the NHS but check out footage at the end of the report for his true view.
His LGBT views are a mixed bag. "Upon becoming UKIP leader, Nuttall faced criticism from Daily Politics presenter Jo Coburn over a lack of diversity in his appointments of all-white men to prominent positions within UKIP. Nuttall accused Coburn of "splitting hairs" as "I've literally appointed three people. If you want diversity, Peter Whittle, my deputy, is an open homosexual."
In 2014 he made the following controversial Tweet. "Tuesday is Emmeline Pankhurst Day, and whilst I am not going to throw myself in front of a horse to make my point about British democracy on this occasion, this is a vitally important constitutional matter and perhaps we should throw Sturgeon in front of a hunt horse as part of the commemorations."
He is trying to portray himself as a genial bloke, man of the people, but he is not.
UKip has its roots in the Tory Party. Check out their existing MPs, those who crossed the floor of the House of Commons from the Tory benches. They have gained ground on one or two issues the EU and immigration.
Sadly they have had some success winning over former Labour voters. They have used similar tactics to Trump in the USA. They claim to be outside of the establishment but are bank rolled by millionaire Aaron Banks and a few other fat cats.
David Cameron once referred to UKip as a party of fruit cakes, closet racists and loons.
Is Nuttall an honest man and worth your vote?
Currently UKip and Nuttall are using BRexit for political opportunism.
Theresa May and the Tory Party are ultimately responsible for deep divisions across the country caused by the EU referendum. Yet they are sitting pretty.
In 2015 demonising Laour Party leader Ed Miliband worked wonders and allowed the Tory Party to win the election.
Be very careful how you vote but make sure you use your vote.
UKip and Tory supporters will vote; make sure you do too.
Pres. Trump has said he will not rule out a return to waterboarding and Saturday UKip leader Paul Nuttall has followed suit.
Nuttall is standing as UKip candidate for Stoke Central the BRexit capital of the UK.
At time of writing UKip has few elected MPs at Westminster and those that are crossed the floor quitting the Tory Party and joining the alternative Tory Party UKip some time back.
So why are intelligent people concerned about a posisble return to water boarding?
Watch the following footage but bear in mind that waterboarding took place in a controlled environment. The real thing will be much more brutal.
Here is an idea - No boss or person in power should authorise anything they have not personally experienced.
People can die when undergoing water boarding. Yet in the past it has been used on suspects in Guantanamo Bay; suspects who ultimately were never allowed a trial.
If Trump, Nuttall and other right wing extremists believe the end justifies the means they need to consider what helped breed a new generation of terrorists.
The Dily Mirror reports "Mr Nuttall, who put himself forward to contest the upcoming Stoke-on-Trent by-election, said he would be “OK” with use of the torture method, which simulates the experience of drowning, if it ensured lives were saved."
What a stupid man Nuttal must be.
"If it ensured lives were saved?" How does that one work Paul?
It is 2017 but in some ways civilisation is going backwards. When will we be bringing back ducking stools, the public stocks and more? I think most of us can think of at least two candidates for the stocks.
Surrey Conservative County Council are to hold a referendum on its plans to increase Council Tax by 15%.
The council is citing much needed funding for social care as the cause of this whopping tax hike.
There may be an element of passing the buck onto the local electorate but current law in the UK means any Council Tax increase in excess of the amount set by the Secretary State each year must pass a referendum.
This is a Tory policy and the allowed percentage is always low.
It means local people will face tough choices.
A 15% Council Tax hike is huge.
After a Tory government commitment to keep council tax rises low such a rise is massive.
But each year council tax rises have remained low services have suffered and been cut.
Add to this government mismanagement which has hit poorer areas more than traditional Tory supporting regions and there is little wonder so many councils are cash strapped.
The previous rates system, which linked what you paid to the value and standard of your house, was viewed by many as unfair but in particular by the Tory Party.
In 1989 the divisive and costly Poll Tax replaced the Rates.
Protests against the unpopular Poll Tax led to a watered down version called the community charge which then morphed into our current council tax system.
Each tax rebrand cost us all a great deal.
New computer systems, staff training packages, necessary paperwork and more were utilised, binned and binned again.
Thatcher and her ministers sold the poll tax to voters as a fair method of funding local public services.
It was not and neither is the council tax.
A re-look at Council Tax banding is long overdue but make no mistake when or if it is updated the poorest people in our society will be hit the worst.
The system is loaded in favour of the very wealthy; those people who can afford to pay more but never do.
Will Surrey get the go ahead for a 15% Council Tax increase? Will other councils follow suit? Will a 15% increase be enough or will they need another huge increase next year?
More importantly can cash strapped citizens afford to pay such increases?
Op-ed: There was a time when people on buses with children in prams had to faff around, put the pram down and accommodate children on knees and or seats.
Wheelchair users and public transport did not really mix.
It was an unwritten rule when seats on buses were all occupied that children stood as after all they were getting a free ride or paying a reduced fare.
But times change.
These days pensioners get a free ride on buses in England but I doubt younger people would expect them to stand because of that but you never know.
But what about wheelchair users?
Wednesday a man with disabilities, Doug Paulley, has won a Supreme Court case after a dispute over wheelchair access on a bus. A woman with a pram refused to move meaning the bus driver then refused the man entry to the bus.
Locally wheelchair users get preference over prams and rightly so in my opinion.
However in our 21st Century divided country "rules" vary around the UK.
This led to wheelchair user Doug Paulley taking legal action after he was refused entry to a FirstGroup bus in Leeds in 2012 when a mother with a pushchair refused to move for him.
Common decency is a mixed bag.
Some people play a virtual game of musical chairs on buses to help accommodate prams and wheelchairs. Others move accordingly but grumble as they do so. And some like the woman in this case just refuse to budge.
Changes which mean there is now access and space for prams and wheelchairs have been a mixed bag though on the whole a positive.
Previously bus conductors would help passengers with prams when necessary but the role of conductor was scrapped many years ago.
Putting a pram down can be an inconvenience but a wheelchair user usually has few options.
The Supreme court ruling is that the company in this case should consider further steps to persuade non-wheelchair users to move but it falls short of making it a legal duty.
Hopefully this case will lead to bus companies looking at who they prioritise. Simply passing the responsibility on to the bus driver should not be an option.
And they must surely conclude that a wheelchair user is a priority?
According to the Guardian "Disability rights campaigners have hailed a ruling by the supreme court that bus drivers must try to persuade other passengers to make room for wheelchair users. Drivers may stop the bus “with a view to pressurising or shaming recalcitrant non-wheelchair users to move” if they believe a refusal is unreasonable, the judgment declared."
So BRexit remains big news though in truth little has happened in real terms since a majority in the UK voted for the United Kingdom to quit the European Union.
The value of the Pound has dived, rallied and dived again each time unelected Prime Minister Theresa May opens her mouth when it comes to BRexit.
Tuesday she came a little cleaner on her BRexit plans and this time the markets liked her words and responded accordingly.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn warned Tuesday against turning the UK into a bargain basement country which grabs any deals that come our way no matter what the cost.
But there is likely to be increased costs to some people in the UK either in the short or even long term.
One price hike already announced should be easily put in its place.
Tuesday APPLE has announced a 25% price hike on its apps!
The increases will apply to sales in the UK, India and Turkey.
Simply explained UK app costs will numerically match those of the US. So if it costs $0.99 in the USA it will now cost users 99p in UK.
But of the many things that will increase in price should this APPLE price hike even get a mention?
Now that you know you are about to be ripped off by APPLE simply avoid the company like the plague.
BBC News reports Tuesday:
"Price tiers on the App Store are set internationally on the basis of several factors, including currency exchange rates, business practices, taxes, and the cost of doing business," it said.
So re-think your APPLE product use NOW.
Look for viable alternaives and switch.
Many people in the UK are hooked on their smart phones and APPLE products but boycotting products with over-inflated price structures is easy when it comes to the Internet.
Have APPLE cornered the market?
Maybe for now.
BRexit may cause food and or energy price increases but shopping wisely and with the blinkers off you still might get some good deals.
Be inventive and diversify rather than buying the same old same old no matter what the cost.
It is amazing what a little personal or widespread boycott can do to prices.
Let battle commence.
APPLE has been chancing its arm since BRexit vote day one. Check out:
There is a crisis in the NHS.
Unelected Tory PM Theresa May prefers to dismiss claims by the Red Cross that the NHS is facing a humanitarian crisis. Tory Health Minister Jeremy Hunt has gone to ground.
So Mrs May tell patients left on trolleys in hospital corridors as our National Health Service fails to meet demands that there is no crisis.
Just how did we get to this point?
The following was written in 2012 and was titled "dismantling NHS services."
"The UK NHS is under threat. Do not believe me? Well read on.
Hospitals across the UK are cutting staff numbers. By and large this is being achieved through an amalgamation of the services provided. Those hospitals which have not yet achieved Foundation Trust status have to streamline in order to do so. Yet Foundation Trusts are not always the best way forward. There have been some appalling stories of late regarding the failures of certain Foundation Trust Hospitals.
As hospital wards amalgamate beds are lost.
Some hospital trusts have made a commitment to cutting the number of hospital beds they provide during the next five years. [Now it is January 2017 the chickens are coming home to roost]
So where will all the patients go?
More often than not UK hospital wards are bursting at the seams. They operate a traffic light system for bed availability, Red Alert being dire. However recently the dreaded Black Alert has been more common place.
This means that the bed situation is beyond critical.
In other words patients are queued up on trolleys waiting for beds.
This tends to herald an earlier discharge than planned for some patients, and yes you have guessed it, an earlier re-admittance.
[If you are discharged simply because another patient needs your bed is that acceptable?]
Hospitals though are in a no win situation.
The cuts are demanded by the coalition government's budget changes and NHS reform plans.
Money is going to General Practitioners for them to buy in services and it is expected that some patients will therefore bypass the NHS.
Private hospitals with Tory supporters at the helm are no longer fiction.
This will be the way forward once NHS reform is fully operational.
The NHS will of course still pick up the slack. The patients who are not easily cured or treated. This will have the knock on effect of making the NHS appear a poor alternative and undermine their services further.
Those of you sceptical that the Tory Lib Dem coalition government are dismantling the NHS need to open your eyes.
By the time you realise what is happening it will be too late.
Once beds are lost they will be unlikely to be reopened. After all once skilled staff have been axed who will take charge of re-opened wards?
David Cameron came to office on a dodgy mandate. He promised the NHS was safe in his hands. That is one of a long line of promises which he has broken. Perhaps it was lies rather than broken promises?
Add to that the fact that in truth he did not have a majority to govern the UK and his arrogance beggars belief.
Dismantling institutions such as the NHS should be down to a public referendum not the whim of a minority government."
The above was written in June 2012. In December of that year this blogger walked out of her NHS clerical job of 13 years as she could not stand it any longer. She had around 15 months until retirement but for the sake of her health quit.
Other members of staff became physically and mentally ill working under duress in a constantly changing working environment; one where if you work there long enough you will see each change come around again.
Money and resources wasted making the NHS better or making it fail?
It now looks like the big plan was failure and the Tory government is about to succeed on that score.
Never let the Liberal Democrats try to score political points on the current NHS crisis. They helped make it when they opted to partner the Tories in government for five years.
May 3, 2017, will be the 10th anniversary of the disappearance of Madeline McCann. Other children and adults have gone missing before and since but Maddy's story touched the nation.
Keeping the story in the news is vital. Her parents Kate and Gerry work hard to do this.
During a family holiday to the Algarve, Portugal, Madeline vanished apparently snatched from the family's holiday accommodation.
Recriminations followed but they are pointless.
They do nothing to bring the little girl home, if that option is still possible.
Maddy was three-years-old when she went missing from the family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, meaning she would entering her teen years in May 2017 and look very different.
She does however have a tell-tale mark in one of her eyes that is unusual and could make identification a little easier.
In the time since she vanished Maddy's parents have faced some accusations, Portuguese police have been verbally attacked for failing to investigate properly, and more, but there have been no sightings of Maddy. There have been some possible sightings but they were false flags.
The McCanns said on British TV in 2014 that their hope is that Madeline was taken by a person wanting to bring up a young child as their own. This would mean she may have been cared for during the passing years. For them, of course, other alternatives are just too painful to contemplate.
Hopes of finding Maddy were raised following the release of women and girls held captive for years in the USA and elsewhere. In Cleveland, Ohio, one man had kept three girls hostage for years, but had abused them constantly.
Maddy's mother Kate continues to return twice yearly to the resort where Maddy disappeared. It is a type of pilgrimage and she walks the streets still looking for answers.
Marking each anniversary could offer new leads but who can tell.
For Kate and husband Gerry McCann what happened to their daughter now controls their lives.
Christmas 2016 the find Madeline campaign posted the following message;
The Welsh are famous for their beautiful singing voices. Wales has been the birthplace of many great singers. Some have been members of choirs.
Of course there has only ever been, or will only ever be, one Dame Shirley Bassey.
Shirley Bassey was born in Tiger Bay, Cardiff, Wales on January 8, 1937. This means that Our Shirl celebrates her 80th birthday in 2017.
Sunday it is Happy Birthday Our Shirl!
Amazing when you look at recent images and performances. She is as glamorous as ever and still has the same great singing voice.
Dame Shirley, as she has been since 1999, found fame in the late 1950s and has become something of a legend.
Shirley was the seventh and last child of Henry and Eliza Bassey. As a mixed race child, growing up in the UK, in the 1940s and 1950s, life would have been hard. Shirley spent her early years in a working class district of Cardiff. After singing in the choir whilst at school she took a packing job at a local factory, leaving school at the age of fifteen.
Shirley's nights and weekends were spent singing in local pubs and clubs. By 1953 she had secured her first proper musical work. After various appearances in two different shows her music career was halted. Shirley was pregnant aged just 16.
Within a couple of years though her talent was spotted again and this time her music career really took off.
Various hit records were to follow and there was a time when Shirley was rarely away from British television screens. Variety shows, such as Sunday Night at the London Palladium, were very popular and Shirley was often the top of the bill act.
As a child I would watch my Dad as he was entertained by Shirley's performances. Dad loved her. Our Shirl he would call her. She was a very good looking woman, with a powerful voice and her own individual style; she was often dressed in long glitzy gowns when she performed and threw her arms around dramatically as she sang.
She was and is a real Diva.
Shirley appeared on shows such as Morecambe and Wise in the UK and was not afraid to be seen in a funny light. In one performance on the Morecambe and Wise show Shirley wore a dazzling gown but ended up wearing hob nail boots. How did she keep a straight face?
Current fashions, in TV entertainment, mean that there are seldom opportunities for artists such as Dame Shirley to perform on TV. However we see and hear her now and then. She has been classed as semi-retired since the late 80s but still performs and has a large fan base.
Shirley was also the voice behind so many great Bond film soundtracks such as:-
These days Shirley lives in Monte Carlo a far cry from her early days in Tiger Bay, Wales but she has earned her life of luxury.
Op-ed: Thursday there are reports that a scientific study in Canada suggests living near heavy traffic increases the risk of dementia.
The study tracked 6.6 million people and reportedly estimates one in 10 cases of Alzheimer’s among those living by busy roads could be linked to air and noise pollution.
I know. Tell us something we don't know.
The fact is that most people are well aware that noise and air pollution is bad news. Both which can cause a range of health issues are rarely addressed. Planners have a lot to answer for.
However if you jump in your car for each and every journey you must take some of the blame.
This latest research indicates that pollution particles could increase the risk of dementia.
The research stops short of laying the blame directly with heavy road traffic but it must surely be a cause for concern.
Living close to a major road with heavy traffic has obvious downsides.
In most cases it means you are living in an inner city with a wide range of other associated problems all of which could have a negative impact on your health.
Western health officials were committed enough to damn smoking but fail to step up to the mark when it comes to traffic.
In the UK in 2017 the majority of families have at least one car. Step out in any city on any day of the week or weekend and you will experience heavy traffic. Until the current love affair with the car ends air and noise pollution will continue to increase.
Would improved cycle lanes and public transport help redress the balance?
The Canadian study has been welcomed by health officials in the UK though many have been cautious.
Hong Chen, the scientist who led the work at Public Health Ontario, said:
But the jury is still out on dementia.
Op-ed: In the spring of 2016 driverless lorries which had been undergoing viability tests in the UK were reportedly almost at the go-live trial stage.
In 2014 the Daily Mail reported "Automated 'road trains' of lorries controlled by just one driver are coming to Britain next year."
Testing continued but they were not trialled on UK roads; plans to do so in 2016 looked set to bring the reality of driverless vehicles another step closer.
March 16, UK Chancellor George Osborne included an announcement relating to driverless lorries in his spring budget statement. Osborne decided investing in the driverless lorry technology could help to cut road congestion and speed up deliveries; an added bonus for some is they use less fuel and cut the workforce.
"The Times reported trials would take place on the M6 in Cumbria later in 2016, with vehicles in convoy headed by a driver in the leading lorry. The tests would take place on a quiet stretch of the motorway, it said."
But June 23 a majority of voters opted for the country to quit the European Union and everything was up for grabs.
First blood was Cameron who quit as PM, resigning as an MP later. George Osborne was sacked by new Tory leader Theresa May.
As always for anything with potential negatives or hazards the North of England had already been selected to be a testing ground for driverless lorries.
Edmund King, the president of the AA was quick to cast doubts on the viability of driverless lorries operating efficiently and effectively on the British motorway system.
He drew attention to the differences between British roads and those in Germany where the technology is up and running and he remains sceptical about its use in the UK.
The driverless lorries would allegedly operate in a convoy with one person in the lead vehicle. The other vehicles would have technology fitted that is designed to prevent them blocking roads or crashing into other vehicles.
But as we all know technology is a wonderful thing when it works and works correctly.
If you have sat looking into a blank screen when your computer hits a glitch you will know what I mean.
So will driverless lorries actually make British roads safer? Or more to the point are driverless lorries any nearer reality in 2017?
Like it or lump it the day of automatons replacing staff is almost here.
Unmanned tills in supermarkets, banks closing to be replaced by hole in the wall cash machines; technology working in some warehouses and machines pretty much manufacturing cars is already reality in Britain.
How fast that reality extends and develops further is in part down to governments; because in the UK the current British government wants employees to work into greater old age but doing just what we wonder?
Some countries are already looking into a universal income for citizens.
Driverless lorry trials on UK roads ultimately stalled and by November 2016 there were reports that manufacturers were pulling out and that none of the big European truckmakers had signed up. Was that due to the BRexit vote?
So what happened to driverless lorries and the budget money earmarked for that project?
Note: The company behind the driverless lorries destined for the UK was Daimler. Daimler AG a German multinational automotive corporation. Daimler AG is headquartered in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.
A basic income may help cut red tape and administration costs but there are negatives-https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/03/finland-trials-basic-income-for-unemployed
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