The UK just shrunk in stature

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After many months, years and decades of political wrangling and debate over whether the UK should be in or out of the EU – we finally got a decision.

The United Kingdom voted via referendum to leave the EU.  No one really knows how the result of Friday 24th will pan out, but I can’t say for certain that it will be negative – like those who voted to leave can’t say for certain that everything will be ok.

But I do believe the consequences will be far reaching and I do not think we understand them fully.  In 20 or 30 years from now we will look back and be able to trace events which have occurred, events we do not yet know of, back to the result today.

Some of those events will be positive but I’m sure some will also be negative. And

Who would have guessed that the awful events of September the 11th, would have lead to a 10 year war in Iraq and Afghanistan. We understand about Afghanistan- but the problems were on the Afghan/Pakistan border – Iraq had nothing to do with it and has tainted our international politics ever since. When David Cameron tried to help Syria out during its civil war the only thing that was shot down was his plan.

And then, who would have guessed that a street vendor setting fire to himself in Tunisia in 2010 would have lead to an Arab Spring, which eventually lead to tens of thousands of desperate migrants streaming into Europe – which would then be used as means of scaring UK voters via an outrageous poster during the EU campaign.

Who would have guessed that the Labour parties decision to elect Ed Milliband instead of his brother would have lead to an old anti-EU left winger being at the helm of the Labour Party when the UK was asked to make a crucial to stay or leave the EU.   Had Labour chosen David, maybe the referendum wouldn’t have happened at all!

Like most disasters there is no one single incident that proves fatal.  It’s a series of events some linked, some not that come together  at a crucial point just does disaster strikes.  As it was, the vote ended up being about a lack of political buyin from our voters, a fear of immigration and a boot in the face of our politicians.

And so here we are.  The Prime Minister resigns; the stock markets plummet; business is unsure about whether to invest; some considering a move.

What will happen next?  My guess is that it won’t be as bad as people suggest and it won’t be as wonderful as those brexiters would have us believe.  Given the amount of pro-EU support in parliament – I wonder if the anger felt by those of us who voted to remain – will soon be felt by those who voted to leave.  Outcome. Yet again, no one is happy and everyone feels cheated.

Well done, politics, you did it again.

 

 

 

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Saturday Breakfast New £5 Custard Pie Championships 04 June 2016

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Saturday Breakfast on 106.9 SFM with Jason McCrossan.

On the show today- the News Quiz between 7am & 8am – can you guess why Jason is playing a Christmas song…so early in the year?

We have our new feature – What Makes Kyra Cross? Followed by Tranquil Time – which is a poem by Kenneth Graham – Duck’s Ditty.

After 8am – Dickie and Feather return in Treasure Hunt – Jason sends Feather out with our scottish pilot Jock McSporran – all you have to do is guess where Feather is to win a host of …our congratulations.

Jason chats to about the new £5 which is due to be released later in summer. Jason speaks to Jonathan Calloway from the International Bank Note Society.

After 9am – it’s Pick Of The Number One pops – all the songs they play were number one on this day – the years this week are 1962, 1972, 1982 & 1992.

And then in final section of the show, Jason, Jan and Kyra speak to Mike Fitzgerald about the annual World Custard Pie Championships.

Corbyn Sacks Labour’s main Remain speaker

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The one person who came out strongly for Labour’s EU Remain campaign – and Corbyn sacks him? Everything about Corbyn stinks. He demands loyalty – yet never showed any himself.

Jeremy claims a majority mandate – yet can’t persuade Labour people to vote for him. He blames the media for not getting his message across – yet when you read them they are muddled and confused! He claims to be a conviction MP yet can’t even provide a convincing narrative to defend himself when challenged to account for his actions by members of the public. #labour is not working under Jeremy Corbyn.

When you see Jeremy being interviewed, rather than being friendly and a man if the people – he comes across as sticky and irritable.  Even a Corbyn friend feature by Vice news showed how Corbyn cannot stand when things go wrong – but won’t take responsibility when it does. He blames anyone but himself.

His days are numbered and if Labour don’t dump this disaster – the voters will, come the next election. Can we get our Labour Party back?

Why I’m Voting to Stay in the EU

imageI’m voting to remain today because I am unconvinced at how cutting ties with our largest economic neighbour with whom we trade and travel freely can be good for us. In fact, many experts say it will be bad. We will survive if we leave the EU – of course we will. But things will be a little bit tougher and a bit more expensive (medium to long term). We’ve just come out of a recession – why would we want to risk another? If we want to still trade with the EU – from outside – we will need to accept the terms that they will dictate (what we have now, but with export tariffs). Why would the EU give a leaving member state better conditions than those still inside? Survival is not the question. We will survive in or out. But why make things harder and more expensive for ourselves?

I cannot understand those who claim the EU is undemocratic and fail to mention our 820 unelected Peers (some who grabbed the title when their father died). These unelected Peers earn £300 per day, can block, modify or change government laws /earn even more money from agenda driven businesses who pay Peers to lobby on their behalf and try and amend our laws to their advantage! They are totally unaccountable to us yet wield great power. Where is the outrage over this? The EU isn’t perfect by any means – but to pass legislation or statutory instruments – impact assessments are done, public consultations are launched and national parliaments can formally express their reservations if they feel it would be better dealt with at national level. The U.K. has commissioners and vetoes – we are part of the process.

We live in a country where many people feel disenfranchised to vote. Many feel this way because they are a Labour voter in a predominantly Conservative area or a Conservative voter in labour/liberal area. Our government was elected on around a 27% share of the vote! If you only liked someone 27% of the time – would you employ them? If you only believed someone 27% of the time, would you follow them? If you only liked something 27% – would you buy it? If you are Green or UKIP and now Lib Dem – you know your vote is more likely to be just a protest. Our elections are won and lost on about 100,000 of our 65m population. How is that democracy? Our politicians are frightened to change a system where many have jobs and copper pensions for life. There are some brilliant MPs (as we saw in Jo Cox) but the system lets us down. That is not the fault of the EU! Our attention is being diverted from the real issues around our democracy …& we are falling for it. The EU isn’t perfect, of course not. But to pass laws and treaties – needs our full agreement. In this country it’s less than 30% and then the unelected Peers can have a go.

Immigrants are blamed for pressure on our NHS and housing – but the pressure comes from the fact we have a large elderly population who live longer and need more intensive care. It is our immigrants who provide a large amount of that care. They deliver our babies, help us when we are ill and look after our elderly – literally cradle to grave. There is a government shortfall of between £8-16 billion in our NHS – which is why it’s at breaking point in so many places. Yet, who do we blame? David Cameron or some faceless, nameless immigrant?

We are told immigration is to blame for our housing shortages. When was the last time your local council built new council homes? When was the last time over the past 30/40 years – our government embarked on a major house building programme?

A major housing programme has just started…30 years too late. It’s not the immigrants who’ve let us down (they pay taxes & help pay our current pension pot & NHS services for our elderly) – it’s successive governments and councils that have let us down. Thatchers right to buy in the 80s was great for my parents generation – but devastating for those who followed. Millions of homes are now in the hands of a few – who rent them out, make large profits and push up the price of the remaining available housing. Remember we need immigration to pay for our NHS, to pay for our pensions and to build things, but we also need our councils to build the houses and build the schools. Even without immigration we’d be struggling right now because a lack of building coupled with the buy-to-let sector. We are angry at the wrong people.

Finally, when we are told we are taking back our democracy – but for who are we taking it back? Our government is run by an elite group of people who went to elite schools & universities (whose annual fee is probably more than the average income).

Using the old school networks they employ each other, look out for each other and protect each other. They have good salaries and own multiple properties; with some earning more in a year – than we could hope to in our lifetime. Our banks are run by the same elite group of people. Our media also. Why after the banking crash that caused so much chaos was no one ever prosecuted nor the laws changed so that if it happens again – someone would be held accountable? Why has George Osbourne failed to properly regulated our financial institutions? Because those that run the banks are old school friends with those who run our government – with many seeking to work in both fields.

Our NHS is struggling, our roads are not maintained we are not building enough schools because a lack of cash? Try telling that to Philip Green who took £400m (that he doesn’t need) out of BHS. Try telling that to those in banking who have seen a return to their bumper million bonuses or the footballers we’ve never heard of, until a court case, who earn £80,000 per week. There is lots of money flowing around – it’s just very few people get to drink from the cup.

Whether we like it or not there is a ‘them’ and ‘us’. When Rebecca Wade & Andy Coulson were first arrested under phone hacking charges at the News of the World – we know they received text messages of support from Tony Blair and David Cameron. Andy was even employed by Cam. They were friends. So, be under no illusion who we are taking our country back for – it is not us – it is them.

However we vote, we will survive. But do not be fooled into thinking leaving the EU will be so much better for us or as some claim a total disaster. Don’t be fooled into thinking it is about taking back our democracy either. It’s about diverting our attention from the real issues with our democracy. I will vote remain and yeah it may be the ‘boring’ choice – but it seems to be the safer and economic choice.

Hilda Murrell – Murdered By The British State?

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In 1984 Hilda Murrell, a 78-year-old distinguished rose-grower turned anti-nuclear campaigner, was found brutally murdered outside her home town of Shrewsbury, England. The case became one of the biggest, most bizarre and baffling British murders of the 20th century involving political conspiracies surrounding the nuclear industry and the Falklands War.

After a cold case review, in 2005 Andrew George, who was a 16-year-old petty thief from a foster home, was convicted. In 2011, Hilda’s nephew, former British Navy Commander Robert Green, does not believe Mr George committed the murder – but who did? Robert spoke to Jason on Monday Matters.

Saturday Breakfast Euro 2016 & Energy prices 11 June 2016

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On Saturday Breakfast for the 11th June.

Jason is joined by Jan on Travel and Colin on the sports desk. To start with Jason starts the show off with the easiest football quiz in the world EVER!! Pit your wit against Jan! In the news quiz – can you guess this weeks clip from the news?

In Tranquil Time – for Euro 2016 Jason reads out a poem from the internet – with predictable results.

The Queens Birthday honours list has been announced – there is a report around 08:10; followed by Treasure Hunt – Jan will disappear with our helicopter pilot Jock McSporran – can you guess where she is?

Also after 8am sports reporter Calum Leslie is in France and will speak to some of the fans as they arrive in Paris. A report suggests that there is a gap between the average big 6 energy tariffs and the cheapest available deal – Jason chats to Pete Moorey from Which?.

After 9am: Pick Of The Number One Pops and we cross to Horseguards Parade for the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations.

Monday Matters Orlando Shooting 13 June 2016

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Jason has more reaction to those terrible events over in America as President Obama says the Orlando gunman, who shot dead 49 people at a gay nightclub, was a home-grown terrorist. Omar Mateen’s father has condemned his son – saying he’s “sad” but also “mad” about the attack.

We will hopefully cross live to Orlando and get the latest news and reaction.
After 9pm tonight we talk about another murder – but on British soil and one that happened over 30 years ago. Hilda Murrell was 78 and an anti-nuclear campaigner – when she was abducated from her home – stabbed and left to die in the Shropshire country side. Her nepher, former naval commander Robert Green – insists that she was killed by the state and or nuclear interested parties.

There is the latest music news and we may even hear from Nigel Farage who was in ‪#‎sittingbourne‬ ‪#‎kent‬ today.

The featured artist is Paul McCartney who turns 74 on Saturday – after 8pm we have 4 non-stop songs from the man with Wings.

Europes Ultimate Summer Drives

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Ivan Tsvetkov/Shutterstock – The Atlantic Road in Norway

With 31 million Brits set to drive their way into summer, psychologist Dr. David Holmes has developed a formula to identify the 25 Ultimate Summer Drives (USD) in Europe.

Dr. Holmes looked at elements of the driving experience that are important to the planning of a summer route, including the number of bends and hills, volume of traffic, type of scenery and even the weather; and combined these with the findings from TomTom’s study of 14,000 drivers from across Europe.

Taking insights from this study, and his expertise in human behaviour, Dr. Holmes developed the Ultimate Summer Drive (USD) formula to help drivers experience the best drive possible this summer.

The Ultimate Summer Drive (USD) =

((P+T) x (R+SC)) x100/21.3333
——————-
SS+AT+W

T = Type of Road
SS = Slope and Skew
AT = Amount of Traffic
P = Stopping Points
R = Remoteness of Road
SC = Surrounding Scenery
W = Weather

The USD formula outputs a ‘Perfect Drive’ percentage score that can be used to identify the best routes to drive on.

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Iceland’s Ring Road – pictured are the slopes of Iceland’s highest mountain, Hvannadalshnukur – part of the Oraefajokull glacier

On cracking the code, Tom Brown, Vice-President, TomTom UK said: “There are so many incredible journeys with jaw-dropping views all over the world to explore, which a summer road trip can help you discover.

“TomTom’s Ultimate Summer Drive formula, and key features within our devices, including Lifetime Maps and up-to-the-minute accurate traffic information, make driving on Europe’s most incredible routes easier, and more enjoyable than ever. Summer driving should be relaxed and exciting – driving to be enjoyed and relished. We know that driving is a passion for many people in the UK – and we’re sure that the 25 best summer driving routes that we’ve identified will be debated by car enthusiasts across the country!”

Developed using variables identified in the research, the USD formula will make planning a summer road trip easier than ever:

·  Incredible (Instagram ready) views: 70% of drivers identified great scenery as key to a holiday drive but this scenery has to be social media friendly with 15% of drivers admitting that photo ready views are a deciding factor in the success of a road trip.

· A great road: For one in four drivers, the road itself is key to a drive’s success with two-lane roads combined with gentle bends, positive camber change and good forward vision identified as the ultimate road combination.

· (Near) empty roads: One in five people cited a remote road that lets you veer slightly off the main path to discover somewhere new (yet with the occasional, reassuring passing car) as being what makes a drive epic, and key to the USD formula.

· Regular stop off points: Well-spaced, regular pull-off points every 30 miles or so with basic facilities and unexpected views helps drivers stay relaxed and energised.

· Great weather: Warmth and a light breeze provide the perfect summer driving conditions.

Unveiling the Ultimate Summer Drive

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The Dark Hedges, Antrim

The Atlantic Ocean Road in Norway came out top across Europe when mapped against the formula, with its blend of spectacular views, quality roads and perfect light conditions throughout the summer making it the Ultimate Driving Experience in Europe.

The rest of the top five Ultimate Summer Drive roads in Europe is made up of:
2. Estoril Ocean Drive, Portugal
3. Lake Como, Italy
4. The Peloponnesus, Greece
5. The North Coast 500, Scottish Highlands

Commenting on the formula and the top five roads, Dr. Holmes said: “Holiday driving can combine the thrill of the new and novel with a sense of adventure, unlocking a sense of excitement and freedom. Planning a route using my formula before you embark on your summer adventure will help you make the most of your drive and enhance your overall holiday experience.”

Lake Como: Italy
Lake Como: Italy

 

Another day – another brutal murder

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Jo’s husband tweet this picture – how he wants his wife to be remembered

Words cannot express the pain and anger that many British people feel at the killing of a UK MP, in broad daylight, on 16 June 2016, on the streets of the small Yorkshire village of Birstall; death snatching the life of one of our most promising Member of Parliament – Jo Cox.

So far all we know is that her attacker was in his 50s, described as a loner who may have mental health issues – but on the latter point we still do not know.

It says a lot about our view of parliament and our politicians that few people outside of her constituency or parliament would have been aware of just how promising and respected Jo was.  She was only in parliament for 18 months – yet managed to punch through not only on political issues but also across the political divide.   Unlike some politicians who would argue over the direction of a worm – just because they couldn’t bear to agree, Jo was different and would work with anyone of whatever persuasion if they shared her views on the various humanitarian causes she championed.

But let’s be clear – Jo wasn’t just an MP – she was a daughter, a wife and mother of two children whom she loved more than anything.  In an emotional yet considered response, after his wife was pronounced dead – Jo’s husband Brendan said: “Today is the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. More difficult, more painful, less joyful, less full of love. I and Jo’s friends and family are going to work every moment of our lives to love and nurture our kids and to fight against the hate that killed Jo”.

We still do not know the cause – however, speaking at the scene of her death the leader of the labour party Jeremy Corbyn alluded to a possible answer when he said “She was taken from us in an act of hatred, in a vile act that has killed her.  It’s an attack on democracy, what happened yesterday. It’s the well of hatred that killed her “.  One assumes that the Prime Minister has been given constant updates by those holding the killer and may have passed on some information to Mr Corbyn.

If you want to know who Jo was and the type of platform that she was forging her way on – just listen to her maiden speech in the House of Commons in 2015.

 

I was on facebook when the news of Jo’s shooting started to break – responding to someone who had written a post on the EU referendum and how they only way to regain our country and stop immigration was to vote to leave.  My critical response to this including lamenting the idea that it is the EU that makes us undemocratic – when we have nearly 900 unelected Peers in the House of Lords with the power to change, delay and black legislation and whom cost the taxpayer about £21 million per year and that we should sort out the deckchairs on our own beach before looking over the water and blaming a messy beach abroad for our troubles.

I also touched on how the focus on immigration and EU bureaucrats let our own MPs and parliament off the hook – and was pretty scathing about our MPs.  Then as news started to roll in that not only had Jo been shot, but had succumbed to her injuries, I decided I could not hit the reply button.  It just didn’t feel right to be having a go at politicians when one had just been murdered on a British street in a small British village.  Maybe me and the British public have been too harsh on our MPs – the majority of whom, are not that different to us and who come within the communities we ourselves live.

I saved a copy of what I have written and I’m now not sure if I will ever respond to Mr Angry about Immigration – because, actually, I don’t want to get caught up in the tit for tat nasty – blown out of all proportion debate that we have had so far.  I will write something – but maybe I will be that bit more respectful to those who govern us – and maybe we all should.  I note that because the killer is white, with links to the far right – no mention of the words “terrorist’ or ‘terrorism’ has been made- yet, it is hard not to imagine if the killers skin colour had of been different – the headlines and news bulletins would be flooded with words trying to link this to some muslim extremist group either here or abroad – like what happened when the soldier Lee Rigby was murdered by a man who had mental health issues – who happened to be muslim.  Maybe we in the media need to also learn to just watch our language and how we present the news to the public.

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Dailymail headline screaming “yet another lorry load of migrants”

If all the public hear from the news that they consume and by certain political groups that we are “awash” with immigrants and that we are ‘full’ ‘cannot cope’ our shores are ‘flooded’ and our politicians are inept and unable to control the ‘flow of immigration’ – then maybe, just maybe, it lights the torch paper in people making them angry which then leads to some, who do not have the full control of their mental state, to see themselves as champions for Britain.  Whist taking the life of a wife and leaving to children without a mother.

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Dailymail clarification – tucked within the pages of the DailyHate

 

Saturday Breakfast 28 May 2016

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Jason on 106.9 SFM 100% Local Radio for Sittingourne

On 106.9 SFM – Jason and the full Saturday breakfast show team return for more light hearted news, music and fun on the bank holiday weekend.

In the first hour – The News Quiz – Jason plays a clip from the news but can you guess the news story behind the audio headline & a bonus point if you can identify the person actually speaking.

In Tranquil Time – the poem is from Oliver Hereford – A tragedy in Rhyme.

After 8 – Feather is back up in the SFM helicopter hiding somewhere in the garden of England – she’ll give you the clues all you have to do is work out the location.

In the final hour it is Pick Of The Number One Pops and Paul from the Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway talks about the bank holiday services running.