Posted by: Pete | May 2, 2013

Ignore the Politicians, Vote for Democracy

The right to vote is precious and was hard won by many brave individuals. But it is being undermined by politicians.

The credibility of democracy rests upon the idea that a person, or party, sets out a manifesto and the public vote for, or against it. But the system requires honour. What value has democracy if promises made in the manifesto are broken or a string of polices that weren’t included are implemented?

Over the years, politicians have come to realise that the public will just ‘grin and bear it’ if, once elected, they ignore the mandate given to them. Can anyone say the NHS is safe in Tory hands? What value can be placed on anything Clegg promises after he broke a solemn pledge on Tuition Fees? Were the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya democratically agreed by the electorate?

Of course, politicians want you to vote because by doing so you legitimise the system. They will tell you about the value of democracy and quote the voting turnout figures as evidence of public consent. They would rather you voted for the another party than not vote at all. The media will also encourage the notion of tactical voting but your own common sense, if not your conscience, should be guiding you only to vote for those you in whom you believe and trust.

If you genuinely have such faith in an individual or party, they deserve your vote. But look at their track record of honesty before deciding. This isn’t like supporting your favourite football team, loyalty to a political party irrespective of their ethical behaviour makes you as culpable as they are when they tell lies to the electorate, ignore manifest promises or exercise double standards as with the expenses and tax avoidance scandals.

Voting for any of the current major parties perpetuates the dishonesty that has been allowed to dominate the current system. If you value democracy, perhaps now us the time to vote for it by withholding your vote from those who will abuse it. Ignore the politicians and vote for democracy.

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Posted by: Pete | March 26, 2013

Search & Rescue service needs our courage!

They’re already destroying the Coastguard, now they want to hand over our vital search and rescue service to a US company and pay billions for this ideological nonsense.

The move will devastate the local economy in Helston and cripple tourism at the intended new site in Newquay.

We’ve seen how previous privatisations have resulted in a dysfunctional rail network and basic local utilities being supplied by foreign companies miles away. We’ve seen prisoners escaping from privatised security and we’ve seen a raft of daft, nonsense from the vast majority of privatisation. Who has benefitted? Not taxpayers or service users, not employees, only the shareholders in these businesses.

The coalition is madder than Thatcher and more determined to push through their unproven ideology. They must be stopped and the nation must pull together and find some of the courage displayed by these brave service men and women who routinely put their lives on the block for us. We’ve already let down the Coastguards, let’s stop the rot!

Posted by: Pete | March 5, 2013

Downing Street Bedrooms a ‘Benefit in Kind’

10 Downing Street

Bedrooms at number 10 that are not occupied for at least 200 days per year should be  taxed as a benefit in kind, according to a controversial think tank.

“There is no reason why the Prime Minister and his or her family, should be subsidized by the taxpayer to live in luxury with more bedrooms than they can possibly utilise; they have another home when Number 10 isn’t required for State business.” Says the report.

Under the proposals, MPs living in London will only be allowed basic single bedroom accommodation at the taxpayers expense. Additional rooms will be treated as a benefit in kind and taxed at the current market rate for the appropriate area in London.

MPs, including the PM, will have the option to rent out spare bedrooms with the additional income going to HMRC if they wish to avoid the tax.

The think tank concludes; “In times of austerity, it is only right that the PM and other politicians should lead by example.”

 

Posted by: Pete | January 27, 2013

Do you trust the Reviews on Amazon?

Click the following link to see the full post and vote on the suggestions or give your view.

Click here —>  Do you trust the Reviews on Amazon?.

Thanks for dropping by!

Pete

 

Posted by: Pete | December 24, 2012

Free Kindle Books this Christmas from AB.c

Free Kindle Books this Christmas from AB.c.

Posted by: Pete | December 3, 2012

Tax Avoidance – what a surprise!

Let’s face it, nobody pays more tax than they have to; not the Prime Minister, the Chancellor or any of their business cronies. So why act surprised when corporations don’t either?

It’s up to Government to have robust tax laws that ensure everyone pays their due.

It’s up to corporations to maximise the return to shareholders and that includes legally minimising the tax bill. That’s their job and they would be failing if they didn’t do it.

If the laws aren’t tough enough, blame the Government not the dodgers. Of course, this is just a symptom of greedy capitalism and I would far rather we had a better system, but until we do; let’s not be surprised when it works as designed!

Posted by: Pete | August 17, 2012

Blackberry Cottage now Open!

The months of preparation are finally over and today was our first ‘changeover day’ as one set of guests departed, and another arrived.

Blackberry Cottage already has a good number of bookings, which is very reassuring!

We were also delighted to be awarded 5 Stars by English Country Cottages in recognition of the attention to detail we always hoped to achieve. Now that we’re up and running, I’ve created a website (of course!) which is primarily for the benefit of guests staying in the cottage.

The site includes information about the cottage and grounds, but also lots of details and links to websites on things to do in the vicinity. There’s even a twitter feed to provide regular updates on current events in the area.

You can find the site at the name of our tiny hamlet here in Cornwall; Trefursdon.com.

I hope you’ll drop by or perhaps visit the real thing very soon!

Posted by: Pete | March 31, 2012

Book or no Book? Free copy on Kindle this weekend.

Book is on Kindle free of charge this weekend.

As the ‘Douglas Adams’ style humour may not be to everyone’s taste, there’s a web-link on the final page and those who would like to read more about Book and his entourage of metaphysical beings can subscribe to be notified of the next release in the series.

Here is a brief description and, as mentioned above, you can download Book free this weekend.

A SIMPLE TALE OF SUBATOMIC PARTICLE METAPHYSICS

In the summer of 2008, a long awaited scientific experiment was started at the CERN particle accelerator near Geneva. The experiment involved the high-speed collision of subatomic particles and the objective was to prove the existence of the Higgs boson, more commonly known as ‘The God Particle’.

To the great disappointment of the worldwide scientific community and the relief of many people who were concerned that this experiment might trigger a reaction that would destroy our planet, a technical hitch caused the experiment to be abandoned at the crucial moment.

Book is the first episode in a humorous journey that began in the chaos of that failed experiment.

God Particles; both elusive and mysterious, contain properties we are only on the brink of understanding. So their ability to evolve into intelligent beings and dramatically affect our life on this planet should come as no surprise. That’s not quite how the humans in this story see it!

Links

Book on Amazon.co.uk (Free Kindle Version)

Book on Amazon.com (Free Kindle Version)

Posted by: Pete | March 14, 2012

FSA Guilty of Bad Practice

You might expect the organisation that polices the financial services sector to be a standard bearer of best practice in its own corporate governance.

Unfortunately, this is far from being the case. The FSA refuses to acknowledge complaints about its own operation and the only escalation is to a complaints commissioner who fails to investigate beyond asking the FSA if they feel they’ve behaved badly. In the unlikely event that they did admit bad practice, the commissioner has no power to instigate a remedy.

This bad practice came to light recently when the FSA decided to open a consultation on Life Settlement companies. Certain companies were strongly suspected of operating so called Ponzi schemes.

Before the announced consultation period concluded, the FSA issued a statement denouncing all Life Settlement companies, an action that directly resulted in the suspension of dealings in one of the largest schemes. As a retiree, I had no knowledge of any concerns relating to this class of investment and I believe the fund in which my retirement money was placed is operated both ethically and professionally. There has been absolutely no evidence to the contrary.

Bearing in mind that the principal objective of the FSA is to protect investors, their action resulted in access being denied to huge amounts of privately held funds. Their premature release of a statement during an ongoing consultation was, to say the least, unprofessional and the wording ill considered. The release gave a clear impression that the professional standards of every Life Settlement company are questionable and it made no attempt to explain that the market, in common with most, contained both poorly run and well run companies.

When I attempted to complain to the FSA about their unprofessional behaviour, I was informed they did not accept complaints of this nature and suggested my only escalation was to the complaints commissioner. He informed me that he was powerless to intervene and in any case did not have the mandate to properly investigate complaints against the FSA, a mandate you might think would be somewhat necessary for a complaints commissioner!

The net result of this incompetence is that I, and I suspect countless others, remain locked out of life savings because of action taken by an authority set up to protect me from precisely this kind of bad practice.

Posted by: Pete | March 1, 2012

Guernsey hits Number 2 spot in USA!

With over 11,000 downloads in February, 6000 of which were in a single day, the novel ‘Guernsey’ reached the rank of Number 2 in both the Historical and Literary Fiction categories overnight. It also reached Number 30 out of all books in the USA on Kindle, there are over 1 million of those.

The number of downloads soared as Guernsey was placed in a free promotion with Kindle.

So why, you might ask, do we offer free promotions?

The reason is simple, books that achieve these high ranks go on to sell higher numbers when the promotions finish. They’re still competing with large numbers of other books, including some real classics, so customers view a high rank as a positive indicator. This was also my way of launching the title as it was only released a few weeks ago, another reason why the results are so pleasing.

Has the vast increase in Guernsey sales impacted sales of Rachel’s Shoe and the The Causeway?

It seems not, both books continue to sell well. As they’ve been out a little while and achieve hundreds of sales every month, there are no plans to include them in the free promotion. My next title ‘Book’ however, will definitely join the free promotions as soon as it’s released. That shouldn’t be too long now, perhaps just a few weeks away!

http://www.amazon.com/Guernsey-Rachels-Story-ebook/dp/B0074B5X32

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