Seize the day, the country and then the government

C20140604-134217-49337777.jpgCarpe diem* as they say and this is certainly what the Labour Party and their financial backers, the trade unions, appear to be doing.

With a Conservative controlled government, sitting on a slim majority and seething with rebellious ‘Remainers’, both open and hidden, the unions have decided to kick off at one of the most sensitive times of the year.

More specifically, they’ve chosen some of their most militant elements, ASLF, along with the RMT, to lead the charge, in arguably the most politically sensitive part of the country.

With the government’s eye firmly off of the ball and clearly distracted by their internal turmoils and the secretive Brexit preparations – and probably Boris Johnson – the Labour Party and their urban guerrillas, their union members, have indeed seized the day.

Regrettably, at this point in time, Theresa May doesn’t seem to have the stomach for the sort of stand we saw Margaret Thatcher take in the 80’s. I’m not suggesting the sort of confrontation we saw in the miners’ strikes, that was Scargill’s doing, but her current stance seems untenable.

If May doesn’t focus on these internal issues and park the whole Brexit diversion until these are dealt with, Labour and its foot soldiers will undoubtedly feel emboldened. They will also see this as the perfect start to their campaign for a return in May 2020 to what was, at one time seemed an impossibility, a Jeremy Corbin led Labour Government.

*A Latin aphorism, usually translated “seize the day”, taken from book 1 of the Roman poet Horace’s work Odes (23 BC).

Just to complete my paranoid episode, I might even postulate the following scenario. The Remainers, no matter their political persuasion, are so incensed at the potential loss of the EU comfort blanket, they are prepared to line up behind those seeking to undermine Brexit at all costs and even against the government that has made a commitment to deliver it.

The theory behind this is as follows. If the UK did stay in the EU, its tentacles would continue to creep into every crack of our constitution and daily life, as the ambition to form an all encompassing European superstate became a reality.

As such, the colour of the particular party running individual member states would have little, or no impact on the big picture.  All the important decisions would be taken by Brussels and the faceless, unaccountable, supposedly elected ones, fortunate enough to be riding on that much bigger gravy train.

It’s possible that even a system of government, where socialism and workers rights are so well entrenched, but supposedly not out of control, is more palatable than the prospect of going it alone on the world stage.

As such, even some of the most right wing in the Conservative Party, are more wedded to the EU superstate than the UK as a sovereign state. So who knows how far my paranoia could take me with this conspiracy theory?

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This sounds wrong to me

Although the both the wider sailing and Paralympic sail communities have been up in arms about this since it was announced, I’m not sure many of us luck enough to be able bodied, were even aware.  Applying criteria for the inclusion of a sport in something like the Paralympics, seems unnecessarily bureaucratic, when you think about the benefits inclusion brings to its participants.

Those who know about these things, say that sailing is a tremendous leveller and once you are in the boat, no matter your disability, you can soon become the equal of, or even better than those with fewer issues.  Of course the Olympic committee should always be seeking to avoid the inclusion of sporting elites, where only the elite few compete.

Paralympics are very keen to avoid being seen as in need of special treatment and want to viewed as equals in sporting terms, wherever possible.  However, this should not be used as an excuse to rigidly apply the rules, when there are clear reasons to sometimes do something differently.

incidentally, how is football, seven aside or otherwise not seen as widely represented and therefore another sport to be dropped in 2020?  Likewise, isn’t the somewhat elitist and extremely expensive sport of showjumping, one that is more likely not to be commonly practiced in many countries?  Do at least 24 different countries compete at every Olympics?

Copied from online magazine Triton

Sailing dropped from Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

Posted on Feb 6, 2015 by Dorie Cox in News |

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced last week that it planned to drop sailing as a sanctioned sport in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

The games for handicapped athletes run Aug. 25-Sept. 6, 2020, and will feature 22 sports, though a maximum of 23 could be allowed. The other water sports included are canoe, rowing and swimming. Both one person multihull sailing and blind match racing sailing were excluded.

“To reach this decision, the IPC undertook the most extensive and rigorous review process ever of all the sports, which started in November 2013,” IPC President Sir Philip Craven said in a statement after the Jan. 31 decision. “All were assessed against the same criteria and our aim all along has been to ensure that the final Tokyo 2020 paralympic sports program is fresh and features the best para-sports possible.

“The board’s final decision was not an easy one and, after much debate, we decided not to include two sports – football 7-a-side and sailing – from the Tokyo 2020 program for the same reason: Both did not fulfil the IPC handbook’s minimum criteria for worldwide reach.”

The IPC Handbook states only team sports widely and regularly practiced in a minimum of 24 countries and three IPC regions will be considered for inclusion in the games. For individual sports, they must be practiced in a minimum of 32 countries in three IPC regions.

A final decision on the medal events program will not be made until 2017. More than 13,000 people have signed a petition to reinstate the sport. Read it here:

https://www.change.org/p/international-paralympic-committee-reinstatesailing-for-the-2020-paralympics

and visit https://www.facebook.com/ReinstateParalympicSailing2020?fref=ts

At London 2012, the games involved a record 4,237 athletes from 164 countries who took part in 503 medal events across 20 sports. A cumulated global audience of 3.8 billion watched the games, whilst 2.78 million tickets were sold, making the Paralympics the third-biggest sporting event in the world behind the Olympics and FIFA World Cup. Sailing has appeared in the past five paralympic games.

The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) reported the news and said it was “extremely disappointed.”

“At the London 2012 Paralympic Games, 23 nations from four continents were represented across the three paralympic events,” according to a statement from the ISAF. Every effort will be made to reinstate sailing to the Paralympic Games.”

Tom Hubbell, president of US Sailing, the national governing body for sailing, issued this statement: “Yesterday’s news about Paralympic sailing being dropped from the slate of sports at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games is highly disappointing. Our sport attracts a diverse group of disabled athletes across the world, as demonstrated by the three fleets of sailors from 14 countries competing in Miami last week at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami. US Sailing will join ISAF, IFDS and the national governing bodies of our fellow Paralympic sailing nations to lead an appeal of this decision in the fight for reinstatement of Paralympic sailing at the Tokyo 2020 Games.”

Javid Nicks 240m from New Homes Bonus to Fund Social Care

What a shameful way to plug the massive funding gap created by successive government policy failures. At the same time as local government is rapidly approaching its own funding crisis, with many paddling like crazy to avoid their canoes going over the edge of the waterfall, government turns on the misery tap further.
Not only don’t they tackle the problem with a national strategy – the only sustainable long term solution, they make local government the villain of the piece by forcing councils to take the Hobson’s choice of increasing their council tax.
Sort out the care crisis and you sort out the crisis currently being suffered by many hospitals with bed blocking and the knock on effect this is having in A&E. However, in a classic piece of silo thinking and buck passing, government has decided to make sure local government is the focus for public’s anger, with the triple whammy of reducing provision, continued inadequate funding and increasing levels of council tax.

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

The Sun

PLANS to allow Councils to bring forward tax increases of 6% to pay for social care have been announced by Sajid Javid.

The proposal will add more than £90 to the average bill for a Band D property.

The Communities Secretary said millions of extra money would be put into social care

It will allow councils to raise hundreds of millions of pounds – £208m in 2017/18 and £440m in 2018/19 – to spend on looking after frail and elderly people at home.

Theresa May says it will help relieve pressures on the system, but that better organisation also was needed to make sure money was being spent well.

Opposition politicians called on the Government to scrap a corporation tax cut

Mr Javid, the Communities Secretary also said that there will be a reform of the new homes bonus to reallocate an extra £240m to social care.

But councils say the…

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