Pigeon Poo

Here in Morley, we have the Town Council wanting to cull Pigeons because their droppings are contributing to causing damage to Morley Town Hall; over in Yeadon they have been shooting Geese; over in Wigan Ruddy Ducks have been be wiped out after Council bosses “reluctantly” agreed to a controversial cull. Sea Gulls are another bird that is persecuted by officialdom. Of course if a species is successful, culling will have only a temporary effect. Feral Pigeons can lay over 10 eggs per year if they have an adequate food supply. So culling is not the answer, removal of the food supply or habitat is the answer. In the case of Morley Town Hall, netting and porcupine wire to prevent birds from roosting in certain areas is what is needed. Many thousands of pounds worth of damage to Morley Town Hall has been blamed on Pigeons, perhaps a tighter maintenance regime was needed?

 

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Directly elected Mayors

A plan under the control of the ex-Bradford Councillor, Eric Pickles, will see twelve of Englands largest cities adopt directly elected mayors, subject to referendums and councillor scrutiny. In this area that includes Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield. Having just watched a news item about Northern Ireland, Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness is in with a good chance of becoming their President. If a man who was involved so closely with the IRA and the deaths of many hundreds of innocent people can be even considered is appalling. I am very much in favour of spreading democracy, but it seems that people seem to give as much thought as to who to vote for as they do for X factor and Strictly Come Dancing. So before we have a referendum on whether we want to elect a City Mayor, can we have some likely candidates named? I understand that the Chuckle Brothers want to open a “free school” in Rotherham, so perhaps they will be too busy?

Robin Hood tax

News stories about a Financial Transaction tax have been few and far between. Among the first proponents of a financial transaction tax was John Maynard Keynes, who first proposed his version in 1936. He proposed that a small transaction tax should be levied on share dealings, where he argued that excessive speculation by financial traders increased volatility.

A Robin Hood tax has been supported by some 350 economists in a letter written to the G20, including Joseph Stiglitz and Jeffery Sachs. Politicians supporting the tax include Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy and Katsuya Okada, Japan’s foreign minister. On December 7, 2009 Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives stated her support for a “G20 global financial tax.” But it seems that because a financial tax would hurt city traders it will never happen; on the other hand – Quantitative Easing (QE) is popular with most Governments. Why it is suitable for the UK at this present time escapes me. Economist Martin Feldstein says that QE2 led to higher inflation in the second half of 2010. I thought inflation was one of the things that is making the average person poorer? UK CPI inflation rate in August was 4.5%.

But of course QE is said to pump money into the banking sector that has had it so hard in recent years. In 2009 Alistair Darling brought in a 50% tax on any bonus worth more than £25,000. Those bankers and city traders must be really close to David Cameron and the Conservative Party, more than half of its donors are ‘from the City’. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism firms and individuals ‘from the City’ donated £11.4m in 2010 to the Conservative Party. The Financial Transaction tax has been dubbed a Robin Hood tax, of which I think David Cameron is quite the opposite.

David Camerons words mean nothing

It is well over a year since David Cameron claimed that his government would be the “greenest ever”. Back in 2010 Tesco, B&Q and Marks & Spencer were among the big brands that held talks with the government about delivering the green deal, along with energy companies. Sadly, a year on from David Cameron’s pledge to be the greenest government ever, his coalition increasingly feels like the last Tony Blair Labour government all over again. David Camerons Conservatives made lots of promises and spun the media, but the Liberal Democrats are the scapegoats. The 2010 Conservative manifesto included “Reform of Air Passenger Duty” and David Cameron said that he was in favour of “frequent flyer” taxes, but even when Government needs to raise more funds, it was just spin. In August 2010 david Cameron said that he wanted to end “deep discounting on alcohol”. The negative impacts of cheap alcohol on children’s health are substantial. But again the Conservatives have done nothing. I like the sound of “the Big Society”, but that is just another Tory smoke screen.

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