Friday, June 19, 2015

The NRA is mad

"Guns don't kill people . People do".

That is the mantra of the US National Rifle Association (NRA).

It is a lie.

Death by guns needs two factors: Guns and idiots.

Availability of guns contributes to death by guns.

The US has lots of guns, and lots of gun deaths.

Two events were carried out by toddlers aged two and three.

A 2-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his mother after he reached into her purse at a northern Idaho Wal-Mart and her concealed gun fired.

3-year-old toddler shoots himself dead with mum's handgun

It was the availability of these guns which enabled these two deaths. The NRA will respond that the guns were not adequately protected. But the NRA also argues that every one should be armed and ready to "defend themselves" by firing their guns at terrorists (without hitting bystanders), so they have got to be available instantly.

NRA says these deaths would not happen if everyone was armed. A soldier shot dead three colleagues and injured 16 others at the US Army's Fort Hood base in Texas before killing himself, Not enough guns there then?

The NRA is mad.Insane.

Guns kill people by being available. 

End of.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Attorney General should override Director of Public Prosecutions over Janner

I wrote to the Attorney General about the Janner case on 19th April as he is the chief Law Officer, responsible for prosecutions. No answer yet. This is a chase-up.

17 June 2015

Attorney General’s Office
Victoria Street

cc Caroline Lucas MP
John Penrose MP

Dear Attorney General

Reference: CPS decision on Lord Janner of Blackstone

I wrote to you on 19th April but have not had an acknowledgement or reply. It may be that my original letter miscarried so I enclose a copy.

Since I wrote, it has emerged that in June 2014 Janner was re-appointed to Parliament's joint committee on consolidation bills. There are only two explanations for this state of affairs. Either he is able to function on this committee, in which case he is not demented, or he is being given privileges and resources that should go to an able Parliamentarian, in which case there is a serious mismanagement of Parliamentary affairs. Which is the correct explanation?

You should know that there is a very widespread feeling among common people that Janner's case is evidence that there is one law for the rich and influential and another for the common people. You know that this perception leads to a dangerous sentiment that undermines respect for Parliament and Law.

Alison Saunders has clearly made an error of judgement in deciding against a Trial of the Facts in Janner's case. As you have supervisory powers over prosecutions, please take action to correct this situation.

I look forward to a timely response to all the points made in this letter and my previous letter.

Respectfully yours

Dr Richard Lawson

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Taming the UK media

In addition to constitutional and Parliamentary reform to eliminate the corruption, great and small, that infests our Parliament, we also need to reform the way the media is set up in our backwards country.

Yesterday I stumbled across the Media Reform Coalition, a group of 20 heavyweight NGOs. 

They have a worked out, reasonable Manifesto. Here is the summary:

Five main headings:
  1. Controls on media ownership
  2. Independent,  trusted and effective regulation of the press
  3. Well funded, independent public service media (ie the BBC)
  4. Protection for communication rights (against Govt and private snooping)
  5. Action on lobbying and transparency 
The manifesto develops these points, so I do not need to.

So there we have it. All we have to do is turn Parliament upside down and shake all the money out of its pockets, and tame the corporate media. Then we will be in a position to bring about changes that will allow our children and grandchildren to live decent lives.


Monday, June 01, 2015

Crisis, Danger and Opportunity in a crumbling Palace of Westminster

You may have noticed that Parliament opened last week. Fairy tale carriages. Loads of gold plate. Theatrical flourishes.

Woman in million pound hat reads speech promising that the poor will have their fecking noses rubbed more firmly in the dirt as Dodgy Dave and his cronies as they continue to promulgate the lie that somehow spending on the NHS, education and the police caused sub-prime mortgages to implode in the USA and banks to crash around the world.

All of these charades overlying the festering boil that is the obscene cover-up of child sexual abuse by MPs, civil servants, "Lords" and others who constitute our Establishment of the  "great and the good".

Meanwhile Caroline Lucas has written book Honourable Friends - Parliament and the fight for change which details the absurdities and downright undemocratic damnedness of House of Commons procedures.

And the whole process is shot through with the everyday corruption of lobbying, directorships and political donations.

So Westminster is crying out for radical reform, a total clear out of the gowns and the clowns of this humiliating, outdated charade and mountebankery, everything from Black Penis Rod to the idiotic First Past the Post voting system.

"It'll never happen", I hear you cry. Oh no?

Well, factor this in:
It's not just the ancient procedures that are past their sell-by.
It's not just the Big Men who are bent, Big Ben is bent too.
It's not just the voting system, the plumbing and electrics are out of date too.
It's not just that some Lords have dementia, the very walls are cracked too.
It's not just that the place is infested with corporate lobbyists, it's got mice too.

The whole 170-year old Palace of Westminster, the physical structure is falling down.
It needs to close for 5 years and have £3bn of work carried out.

Which is great.

It means that Parliament has to relocate to another place or another city, preferably in a location that is not vulnerable to flooding, like Oxford or Birmingham. Parliament  needs a new building, with modern offices, a semicircular chamber and electronic voting. A nice modern block of flats for the MPs and elected members of the Second Chamber. Matched with a totally renewed British Constitution.

And the Palace of Westminster? That can become a museum, a place for theatre, where tourists can watch the State Opening of Parliament twice a day, or watch drunk and demented Lords a-leaping at Christmas, Easter and other Holy Days, together with whatever else will draw the paying crowds. If the people want circuses, let them have a circus.  But let democracy have our daily bread in another place.