March 2008

Hello government

Goodbye peace and quiet

Holding on Holding on

Way back in November 2007 the article entitled, 'What shall we do?', sub-title, 'Goodbye Belgium' was posted. In it the predicament of Belgium was explained in so far as, at the posting date, Belgium had been without a government for 170 days and the saga looked due to run and run. And it did. Good job the article was not finished with the well worn phrase, "Don't hold your breath", for full article see HERE.

EU helps China to cripple Dalai Lama's charity

Archived Stop Press article

Dalai LamaDalai Lama
Christopher Booker highlights something appalling that is happening in your name. He says it all here.

Tibet is in the news. Chinese troops in Lhasa are violently suppressing demonstrations that commemorate the rising 49 years ago which forced the Dalai Lama into exile.

Meanwhile, on the country's northern edge, six months of snow and record low temperatures have created a catastrophe in the Chinese province of Chingai. According to China's official news agency, 500,000 animals have died and three million face starvation. When a similar if much smaller crisis 10 years ago hit Ladakh, in northern Kashmir, thousands of lives were saved by the expert intervention of a British charity, ApTibet, working with the Dalai Lama's Tibetan Relief Committee.

Cheaper is better - for some.


Finnish seamen, backed by the UK’s International Transport Workers’ Federation, have fought the Finnish shipping company, Viking, for more than four years over the company’s attempt to reflag its loss-making Rosella passenger ferry under an Estonian banner in order to employ a cheaper and largely Estonian crew. Now Viking Line has made a confidential settlement with unions. So there will be no 'test case' over issues such as the right to strike.

Golden good-bye?

Easing the pain of loss

Big tent Big tent

It is not only mathematicians who look for patterns in events to find solutions to problems, we can all do it. Those of you who can bear to think back on the Northern Rock saga (it hurts) will recall that our Chancellor Alistair Dalek, the safe pair of eyebrows, had a cunning plan. He was to sell bonds to raise money to sort it out. But just in case of the unlikely event of this not working out, Ron Sandler was to head up the nationalised rump of this once glorious company. And look what happened. Well old clever-stick Alistair is at it again.

Free Tibet

Archived Stop Press article

Tibetan flagTibetan flag

China has brutally ruled Tibet since 1951. This week's protests around the world and in Tibet marked the March 10th anniversary of the failed 1959 uprising against China. Several hundred Tibetan exiles tried to march from Dharamsala where the Dalai Lama has his government in exile. 500 Buddhist monks courageously took part in marches towards Lhasa from their Tibetan monasteries. They were prevented from entering by 2,000 armed police. Look at the International Free Tibet Campaign for video and photos. More information here. Monks from the Sera monastery are now on hunger strike to demand the release of imprisoned protesters.

Team Tibet aims to have its alternative Olympic torch relay, the Tibetan Freedom Torch Relay pass through 50 cities and end inside Tibet on August 8, the day of the Beijing Olympics' opening ceremony. Police prevented the Tibetan athletes from entering the Ancient Olympia stadium, and the ceremony took place outside the gates of the site's museum.

Watch the London leg of the Tibetan Freedom Torch Relay on April 8th.

Blackmail EU style


The European Union is blackmailing Croatia in return for allowing it to begin accession talks. Not only has the Common Fisheries policy raped the seas of the Mediterranean, the North Sea including British Coastal waters, West African fishing grounds and so it goes.... It is now destroying the rest of the Adriatic.

One strike and you're out

BA pilotsBA pilots

British Airways has temporarily warded off a strike by The British Airline Pilots' Association (BALPA) by using EU legislation. BALPA backed off from announcing a strike date after BA warned the union that Article 43 of the Treaty guaranteeing freedom of establishment meant that the company could set up a subsidiary elsewhere hiring other pilots.

Forced marriage is not a crime!

Cultural relativism.

with forcewith force

Forced marriage should be an abhorrent crime but in New Britain it is a 'cultural problem' and treated 'sensitively' so that no-one is offended and no electoral votes are lost. It is claimed by New Labour that to make it a specific crime would only drive it underground ! This is a weird type of logic. As it seems pretty much underground at the moment.

The Metropolitan police have called for forced marriage to be made a criminal offence, suggesting a link between the practice and “honour” killings and arguing that it would make prosecutions easier. However, the government rejected this.

A British way of life?

Blackburn bellesBlackburn belles

'Nuancing' by Dr Rowan Williams may have caused himself and the Church of England both grief and damage, however, we must give him a huge vote of thanks for 'bursting the bubble' and giving the media courage to speak about fundamentalist religions without being called racist. The problem now is how to use the Archbishop's views to initiate change for the whole British population by curbing the power of religious fundamentalists.