Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Welcome to my Blog

Hi everyone and welcome to my "Have Your Say" blog.
I am very interested in current affairs, politics, democracy, and how we could create a better and fairer society than the one we seem to have now. I live near Runnymede, where the famous Magna Carta was signed in 1215, and many of my friends say I have an overdeveloped sense of democracy. That is probably quite true, but I feel strongly that many of our elected representatives have forgotten that democracy means "Government by the People, for the People. They seem to have their own agendas, and some of them appear to be far more concerned about lining their own pockets than listening to what the people who elected them are saying, and the question is: "What are we going to do about it ?"

If you agree with me - or even if you don't - I would like to know what YOU think, so please tell me - and everyone else - how you think we could create a better and fairer society. I look forward to hearing from you.


  1. What do you think should be done about pensioner poverty?

  2. I think the Government should make pensions tax-free as long as you are only paying the basic rate of income tax (20%). If your pension is large enough to attract the higher rate of tax (40%) then you should pay tax on this. This would virtually abolish pensioner poverty immediately, and make tax credits, council tax rebates and other benefits, which cost millions of pounds to administer, unnecessary, and probably save the Government money as well.

  3. The Sunday Times reports that elderly Britons are struggling with inflation of almost 5 per cent, substantially higher than the official government measures of the cost of living, according to a report by investment group Alliance Trust. This, combined with shrinking pension pots and the fact that the retail price index inflation rate (currently around 0 per cent) is used to set the annual change in the basic state pension, means the elderly will be feeling the pinch more than most. The study found that over-75s had to contend with inflation at 4.9 per cent in February, while under-30s faced a rate of just 2.8 per cent.

    What should the Government do about this ?

    Gordon's phoney concern for the 2m unemployed and the pensioners struggling to survive on the worst pensions in Europe (now worth 30% less after he has allowed the pound to fall by 30%) is blown sky-high by his approving a 2.33% rise for MPs from yesterday. This increases their basic salaries by £1,500 to £64,766, which they virtually treble by pocketing an average of £144,176 expenses on top of these salaries (total cost to the taxpayer of £93m a year. What utter hypocrisy ! Your comments are welcome.

  5. Gordon Has been (to me)the worst Chancellor and Premer that we have had for years.
    George Sankey

  6. I beg all members of the S.C.Party to please vote for Grahame inthe Europe elections. He works so hard for us 'old uns'. It is aboiut time we showed him our thanks

  7. Thank you, George. All you have to do to get me on the shortlist of candidates is to use you mobile to send the following text message: GRALEO01 (no spaces please) to: 86837. If you are successful you will get a text message back saying: "Thank you for voting for GRALEO01".

    More information is at: click on "View candidates" and select "south east" to find my manifesto, email me at or telephone me anytime on 01932 874303.

    Whilst we are busy congratulating Gordon Brown on "saving the world", let us not forget his words a few days ago at the first sermon by a serving Prime Minister who decided to lecture a congregation of 2000 people on a new world order based on morality. He argued that through all faith, traditions and heritages runs "a single powerful moral sense demanding responsibility from all and fairness to all." What incredible hypocrisy - or is he getting past it and cannot remember what he has been doing over the last 12 years during which the gap between rich and poor has got wider, and wider, and wider. Now the gap extends from the two million unemployed and 2.5 million pensioners officially classed as being "in poverty" to Sir Fred Goodwin with his £700,000 a year pension (at the age of 50) for bankrupting his bank and half the UK with it ! What's fair about that ?
    Perhaps Gordon is also suffering from short-term memory loss as well as long-term. Had he forgotten that he had arranged that a few days later, on 1st April (of all days !), the petrol and diesel tax (already higher than in any other European country) would go up by another 2p per litre, that water bills will go up by 4.1% (although the water companies are making excessive profits and not bothering to stop leaks), that BT's line rental goes up by 8.7%, that prescription charges go up to £7.20 per item IN ENGLAND ONLY because the more democratic devolved government in Wales has already made them completely free, and the devolved Scottish Government will shortly follow them, the TV licence goes up to £142.50, all dental charges go up again, and the Royal Mail puts 1st class stamps up to 39p and 2nd class to 30p. All this is allowed while we are in the biggest recession of all time. If this is fairness, we can well do without it !

  9. Get real everyone.
    A significant minority of MPs and perhaps a rather larger percentage of the cabinet and opposition "cabinets" have their snouts in the trough and are completely self-serving.
    Will we ever get this to change?
    Sorry no.
    So let's just stop aligning ourselves to lost causes, stop taking notice of the media, get unstressed and adopt Voluntary simplicity, see

  10. Sir,
    I think that Gordon Brown looks on the poor, and pensioners as monkeys, ( he pays us peanuts).He treats us with contempt.
    The decisions he has made; He stopped the tax relief on pension payments; giving the exchequer 5£billion a year ever since and causing the collapse of the pension funds.
    One year he gave us OAP,s 75p rise on our pension, whilst he lets Philip green the owner of the Arcadia group( a multimillionaire) get away with paying little ;if any tax, (he is classed ‘non-domicile’) yet he lives in this country.
    He also sent 2 OAP’s to prison for not paying part of their council tax, a very small sum.
    His claims for expenses are disgusting and his pension is also.
    I have got a dossier as long as your arm on his bad decisions.
    G W Sankey,29 Aust Cres, Chepstow, Mon, NP16 5NJ.
    Senior Citizens Party


    Congratulations to Judge Esme Chombo who had the courage to reject Madonna's attempt to "steal" another child from Malawi just to satisfy her insatiable desire for publicity and to always get her own way simply because of her obscene wealth. The judge stated in her ruling that adoption could not be permitted to anyone who was not resident in Malawi. It is clear, however, that the peopleof Malawi - family orientated and with traditional values - had concerns about this newly-divorced woman who until a couple of weeks ago was going out with a 22-year-old model called Jesus. The fact that before her recent divorce from Guy Ritchie she was worth an estimated £300 million did not impress them. Madonna, who was not even in court for the verdict, according to one source screamed: "Whaaaaat" when told that the judge had defied her, and immediately instructed her lawyer to appeal.

    Contrast this genuine concern for the rights of the child in a developing country with the social workers in Somerset who insist on two young brothers aged six and nine being adopted by a gay couple, despite the desperate protests of their mother, grandparents and extended family. The grandparents, an aunt and an uncle have all offered to give the boys a loving home, but they say social workers have turned them down without any explanation, and apparently "blackmailed" the mother - before she knew the sex of the couple involved - by telling her that she must agree to the adoption quickly or the boys might have to be split up and go to different homes. What has this country come to when the rights of children to be brought up by a man and a woman in a loving and stable relationship (supposedly enshrined in the Children's Act), are trampled into the dust in order to pander to the ego-centric desires of gays and lesbians to have children.


    So Ofcom had belately decided to fine the BBC £150,000 for the disgraceful and obscene behaviour of Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand. "Good, serve them right," people will say, but hang on a moment, we licence-payers fund the BBC, so we are effectively having to pay the fine for Ross and Russell's behaviour, which we all utterly deplore. What has our Justice Minister, Jack Straw, got to say about that ? Why have the offenders not been prosecuted - at the very least for "Conduct liable to cause a breach of the peace" - or preferably some more serious offence which would ensure a prison sentence ! Why has the Chairman of the BBC Trust, Sir Michael Lyons. not had the courage to sack Ross ? I thought he was sort the BBC out and clean it up. Interviewed on the Andrew Marr Show shortly after his appointment he said that less money and many demands from different audiences and technologies meant fewer programmes would be made. "The only way this budget is going to be balanced is by doing less," he told Andrew Marr. But this would mean resources could be concentrated so there would be no reduction in quality, he said. So instead of sacking him, which he richly deserved, he gives Jonathan "foul-mouthed" Ross an £18 million contract with our money. Surely he should consider his position and resign. The buck tops at the top. There is no way that the taypayer should either directly or indirectly pay for Ross's disgraceful behaviour. At least Russell Brand had the honesty to resign immediately, and if Jonathan had any concept of honesty and integrity he would pay the fine himself. . . . But of course he hasn't and he won't !

  13. To my Mp, David Davies Monmouth
    The real World.
    With all the reports in the press about the claims that MP’s are making I am afraid that I have lost all respect that I once had for them.
    In answer to your last letter- I have every reason to complain about my income.
    The 2.3% rise gives you £759 a month, my rise of 5%gives me slightly less than£40
    a month.?.Yes David I would have been delighted to have had that rise.

    I wish you would do something for us pensioners. Your answer “so do I”. so what are you doing?
    In my 87years I have opened my eyes and consider that you Mp’s have got the best job in the country. All you need to do is ‘obey the Whips and don’t ask awkward questions. ( I have recently asked you a question but I am still awaiting )
    I don’t think Mp’s are worth as much as Dr,s Head teachers or senior Nurses, and also they can’t do another job. The extra jobs that some Mp’s are doing(?) are disgusting.
    I Have read that contributing to the site “They Work For You “ is worth £10K Is that so?
    Regards, George. Senior Citizens Party.

  14. The fact that Margaret Haywood has been deprived of her livelihood because she has, clearly in the public interest, disclosed the appalling way in which the NHS treats elderly people in hospital is utterly disgraceful. The BBC who made the film should fund Margaret's appeal right up to the House of Lords or even the European Court of Justice if necessary to ensure that she gets her right to work as a fully qualified nurse back. This would be a much better use of our licence-payers' money than paying foul-mouthed Jonathan Ross £18,000,000, who should have been dismissed for gross misconduct after his appalling behaviour.

    I thought that our Labour Government introduced a law to protect whistleblowers from being victimised for revealing the unacceptable contact of their employers and this should include civil servants or MPs like Damian Green, whose job it is to disclose the incompetence, failures, hypocrisy and wasting of taxxpayers' money that every citizen has a right to know about. After all we voted for them !!! What ever happened to what I believe was called "The Whistle-Blower's Charter" ?

    Grahame Leon-Smith


    01 Abolish tax relief on pension contributions and instead make all pension income tax free for people paying only the basic rate of tax. This would provide a major incentive for savers and also save the Government money.
    02 Abolish the cap for the rich on National Insurance conributions. Everyone should pay the same percentage of his salary for National Insurance. This would apparently save the Government £8 billion a year ?
    03 Abolish salaries for for all quangos but provide the secretariat and staff them with retired people with appropriate experience who would be paid expenses only. NB There are 1,162 quangos which cost the taxpayer £64 billion, most of which could be saved.
    04 Abolish the £10,000 a year Communications Allowance for MPs and insist that they use email for all correspondence except to constituents who have no computer. (Savings £6.5 million plus saving the rain forests and combating climate change.)
    05 Abolish child benefit for people paying the higher rate of income tax and reduce the length of the benefit to five years ie until the youngest child goes tno school when the mother can be expected to work. It is ridiculous to subsidise the rich to have children.
    06 Introduce a new rate of 50% income tax for people earning over £100,000 per year.and allow bonuses to be paid only in shares. Public sector employees should not receive bonuses (most of them don't anyway !)
    07 Abolish incapacity benefit for those fit enough to work and actively promote genuine home-working for disabled and people with limited mobility.
    08 Introduce VAT on every thing other than food, energy and water which are the basic essentials for living,.and abolish it on energy and water.
    09 Increase the state pension to compensate for the 30% rise in food, energy and water prices.
    10 Increase the personal tax allowance for pensioners to £11,000, the internationally agreed poverty leve of 40% of average salary. Aggregate this for husbands and wives and allow an extra 50% for widows or widowers living on their own. This would massively reduce pensioner poverty and also provide an incentive for saving.


    Congratulations to Douglas Carsdell, Conservative MP for Harwich and Clacton for having the courage to table a motion calling on the Speaker to stand down, and to Nick Clegg, Party Leader of the LibDems, the only Party Leader who made it clear that he no longer had any confidence in the Speaker. We need more MPs like this, MPs who are prepared to speak out on behalf of the great British public, who are utterly disgusted with the way in which so many MPs have been lining their own pockets at the taxpayer’s expense.
    The Senior Citizens Party has called for the resignation or sacking of the Speaker many times. He has charged the taxpayer £4,000 for taxi fares for his wife to go shopping, £200,000 in legal fees trying to prevent the disclosure of MPs expenses, and done everything possible to conceal MPs’ abuses of the system and to keep them above the law of the land, which makes it clear that anyone who fiddles their expenses can be sacked, prosecuted and even jailed – anyone except an MP that is !

    What do you think about the Speaker's demise, and what reforms would you like to see to create genuine democracy, ie Goverment by the people for the people ?

  17. Hear, hear re Michael Martin.
    It is really a shame that a man with an admirable career has recently become incompetent and corrupt.
    Having been
    - brought up in a poor working class background in Glasgow
    - an Electrical Union shop steward
    - trade union organiser
    - Labour councillor
    - Labour MP
    - and then Speaker
    It just shows the depth of immorality not only in the Labour party but in Parliament as a whole where those MPs who have not acted fraudulently have turned a blind eye to those who have exploited "the rules and system" to line their own pockets.
    As a boy brought up in the coal mining valleys of Wales and "made good" through education and a state grant aided University education I was for a long time a strong Labour supporter and their support of self improvement for the working classes.
    I am now deeply disappointed with the Labour party who under Tony Blair's leadership as PM, Gordon Brown's chancellor ship and latter PM have over the years steered the UK into an unsustainable future with a policy of gross and prolific state debt, consumer debt ... etc, Enough of my comments above.

    What changes do we need?
    - A fair for all written constitution
    - A ban on the current adversarial Parliamentary house system of scoring points against parties that are not an MPs own. Such disparagement is not only negative but is considered to be unacceptable conduct by many leading UK businesses.
    - The "gentlemen's club" consisting of the mainly two party system shut down.

    Politics is not a game of Tennis.

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