Tuesday, 15 May 2007

What's Wrong With The Welsh Assembly?

A spokesman for the Welsh Labour leader Rhodri Morgan has said that Wales will become a “laughing stock” if no deal is reached to form the next Welsh Assembly government.

Now, I not sure what exactly the Welsh Assembly does, if anything, so it would appear that they are a bit of a laughing stock already, and it seems that the only thing of use to have happened in their snazzy new building is the filming of the latest episode of Doctor Who.

But maybe I haven’t been paying much attention, and the Welsh Assembly really does do things for the benefit of Wales, the only thing that I can think of is free prescriptions. And although that is good because with a few lies to the doctor drug addicts can get a free hit, it’s not exactly solved all of Wales’ problems.

I thought that the Welsh assembly would be more in touch with the people of Wales than the old boys in Westminster, however it seems that they are even more out of whack with what the people of Wales want. Which in my case is for them all to quit.

I doubt however that they will value my, or anyone else’s opinion on the matter, so as we’re stuck with them I won’t complain about the fact that they are there, instead I think I’ll talk about what they should be doing.

First of all they need to pull their fingers out of their arses. They’re getting paid to run the country so that’s what they should be doing. At the moment they are just wasting tax payers money.

For those of you who have read this far and don’t have a clue what I’m banging on about, well done, thou art indeed a dedicated reader. A couple of weeks ago there was an election in Wales to decide who would be in power. There were a total of 60 seats up for grabs in parliament, and people all over Wales voted for who they wanted in those seats. The results of that election divided the seats in such a way that meant no one party had a majority.

And so because of the very nature of politicians they are all sitting around arguing about who should lead and which parties should join together to make a majority. And this is because the politicians, again because of their very nature, care more about being in power than they do about the people in their country.

I’m not saying that they should abolish the Assembly or keep it, I just think that if it is going to stay then the people running it should stop squabbling and actually do something.

That is my opinion.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Plans To Strip Mugabe Of His Honorary Degree

Twenty three years ago Robert Mugabe was presented with an honorary degree from Edinburgh University for “services to education in Africa”. However, plans are currently in action to strip Mugabe of this privilege.

Robert Mugabe KCB came to power in Zimbabwe in 1980, first as Prime Minister and later as executive President. Now his country is in turmoil. There is a state of hyperinflation, inflation rates have soared from 32% in 1998 to 2200% in March 2007. Only one in five are in full time employment. The average life expectancy is 35 years and most people live in constant fear of Mugabe’s brutal and oppressive regime. A little hypocritical one might think for a country who’s motto is “Unity, Freedom, Work”.

President Mugabe holds several honorary degrees and diplomas from other universities around to world and was also made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath by Queen Elizabeth II.

I agree with the decision to take away Mugabe’s honorary degree, indeed I think we should strip him of all honours and privileges that have been awarded to him. Not to do so, I think would be an insult to all of the remarkable men and women that these awards were created to acknowledge.

I find it hard to understand why someone doesn’t do something about it? Why don’t the USA, self appointed savours of the world go and stop him? They didn’t think twice about going into Iraq to get rid of Saddam Hussein.

Yes, Saddam was a monster but at least his country experience some sort of stability under him. Now it is experiencing a devastating phase of civil unrest. Zimbabwe, on the other hand is in pieces, it already has devastating civil unrest, and from the position that it is in now things can only get better.

This fact only reinforces the theories that the Americans only went into Iraq for the oil, either that or some kind of personal dispute between Iraq and the Bush family. It also reinforces the fact that none of the western world governments actually care about Africa. Yes, they do meet from time to time to talk about the subject of third world debt and poverty, but at the end of it all nothing really happens.

Again and again this point is shown. One good example is the Rwandan Genocide. The UN sent in a peacekeeping force, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda. However, the UN Security Council did not authorize them to intervene or use force to prevent or stop the killing.

When will the powerful intervene and attempt to help the weak? When will Mugabe finally be removed to allow the people of Zimbabwe to get back on their feet? The fact is we will probably never see an end to this sort of thing, it has always existed and it always will, however while we can not prevent the problems we should do what we can to stop them.

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Virginia Tech Shootings

The world was stunned yesterday following a shooting at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia. It is the worst campus shooting in American history, with the number of deaths recorded at 33 (including the shooter, who took his own life).

At the present time all that is know about the gunman is that he is a 23 year old male, his name is Cho Seung-hui and that he originates from South Korea. There has also be little information about the circumstances that lead to this horrific incident, as there appears to be no motive.

It is a shocking event, as all shootings are, however what will be done, if anything, to stop this sort of thing happening in the future? I ask because this episode is just the latest in a long series of seemingly motiveless mass murders in the US.

It appears that gun laws in America really need to change. I know that there are some restrictions in place, that background checks are carried out and that the gun owners are registered and linked to their gun. However that doesn’t stop someone who is suicidal, as many of these mass murders are. It’s does nothing to prevent someone from killing people if they know that they won’t be alive to face the consequences.

Although the people who carry out these ghastly acts of violence are in a very small minority and most of the arms bearing American population are responsible and only use their personal weapons for sport or self defence, the deaths of innocent civilians cannot be ignored.

And while 33 people may not seem like many amongst the billions that live on this planet, they are still enough to warrant tougher restrictions on firearms ownership in the United States.

There are always the people who fight change in America by waving the constitution in peoples faces. The problem with the rights granted by the constitution, is the date in which they were granted.

The “right to keep and bear arms” was part of the Second Amendment which was ratified in 1791. At that time the most advanced weapon on the planet was the musket. A muzzle-loaded smoothbore long gun. Even a highly skilled unit of musketeers could only fire three shots per minute, now we have guns that can do that in less that a second.

So it makes sense that the rules should be updated, because the men who made the rules in the first place could never have imaged the weapons and technology that we have today.

And it is important to remember also that the victims of these school shootings are children and teenagers. They are not soldiers, they are young people. I am no fan of George Bush, but I think that what he said shortly after the attack sums up my thoughts exactly “schools should be places of safety and sanctuary and learning”.

I don’t know what drives these people to carry out mass slaughter, but whatever the reason, I doubt it justifies the lives that are taken.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Save Us From The Outsauce

151 workers in Abercarn, Caerphilly, as well as 28 in Newtown, Powys in Wales, where Reggae Reggae Sauce in made, will lose their jobs soon because the factories they work in want to move production to Poland. This means that a total of 179 people will be out of work when they close, and this is not including the 310 people who are also in the process of losing their jobs because of Burberry moving production from their factory in Treorchy to somewhere in China.

This has gotten me rather angry because I am from Wales and I don’t like the fact that businesses seem to be putting profit ahead of ethics. Now I know that they are businesses and that they have to make money, of course I mean Burberry’s shareholders probably wouldn’t be to happy if they announced that they were going to be a non-profit organisation from now on. I have no argument with the management for wanting to make money, it is how they are going about making money that I, and a lot of other people, have taken a dislike to, and when you look at the evidence it ‘s not hard to see why.

Burberry stated that the reason for moving production to China was because the factory in Treorchy was no longer “commercially viable”, even though they announced a 22% increase in profits earlier this year, and when you are selling polo shirts a £70 a pop, it is hard to believe that they can’t afford to keep production in Britain. It appears that the decision to move was one of greed and not corporate survival as Burberry would have us believe.

It would seem though that people have finally have enough of all this outsourcing with many celebrities, MP’s and members of the public voicing complaints about the closure of the Burberry factory, and now with closure on the cards for the two factories mentioned at the beginning of this article the businessman behind Reggae Reggae Sauce says that he will pull his business out if the jobs are outsourced to Poland.

And I say good for him, it’s nice to see that someone in the world of business has though about the plight of the workers who are made redundant by companies that wish to make more money.

I would also like to say to the people who run companies that outsource, or are thinking about outsourcing, if you want to make more money, try working harder, or even better try being happy with the millions and millions of pounds that you make and not attempting to make more at the expenses of hundreds of peoples lives.

Sorry if I am coming across all anti-corporate, but I believe that workers deserve more respect than they are getting from their employers. But I doubt there is anyway to stop it, people will continue to buy things no matter where they are made.

I mean you can find the words “Made In Taiwan” on so many products these days that it can actually be used for comic effect.

Monday, 26 March 2007

The Smoking Ban: Will It Work?

A smoking ban is coming into effect in all enclosed public spaces in Wales on 2nd April and England will follow suit in July, but I wonder will it make a difference.

The ban only applies to enclosed public spaces, which mean lighting up in pubs, clubs, cafés and restaurants will be outlawed, but you will still be able to smoke outside and in the privacy of your own home. Now I understand why the government want to ban smoking because of the effects of second hand smoke on non-smokers, but, do they really have a right to tell people how they should be running their businesses.

Surely making decision of whether a pub or café is smoking or non-smoking should be solely up to the person that runs that business, and if they choose to allow smoking on their premises then they should be allowed to do so. Non-smokers are not forced to go into a smoke filled pub, they choose to under their own free will, and if they don’t want to be in a pub filled with smoke then they should go somewhere else.

It seems that whenever the government takes actions to protect us these days they are incapable of doing so unless they infringe on some of our civil liberties, like their excessive use of CCTV cameras, the billions of pounds they are spending on ID cards that you have to take with you everywhere otherwise you‘ll be sent to Guantanamo Bay, and they want to stick tracking devices in our cars so that they can keep tabs on how responsible each one of us is for polluting the earth, and then of course taxing us on the greenhouse gas emissions that our cars produce. Wouldn’t that money be better spent on improving the NHS?

I can understand the smoking ban, the government wants to improve public health, and maybe by doing so they can lift some of the strain on the NHS in the form of cutting down on smoking related illnesses, but what about obesity? That causes just as many if not more health problems than smoking, however I don’t see the government banning McDonalds, or fining us when we’re caught with a bag of chips.

Maybe the government is beyond fixing, maybe the problems run too deep making it impossible for anyone to repair them in the space of the four years that they are at number 10 before for they get voted out because they haven’t fixed any of the problems.

Such is the price of democracy.

Sunday, 25 March 2007

No. 1

Hello, my name is Anthony Fox and this is my first post on my new blog The Anthofox Press. On this blog I will be discussing a wide variety of topics that interest me, and you (hopefully), topics such as new music and movies, TV, rumours, the state of the world and so on. Anyway I don't actually have anything to say right now so I'm going to stop typing.