Category Archives: Politics

Just say No2ID

So finally the No2ID pledges are being called in.  No idea what this means?

“Hello, you have received this message because you signed my pledge, “I will refuse to register for an ID card and will donate £10 to a legal defence fund but only if 10,000 other people will also make this same pledge” back in 2005. In fact 11360 other people also did.”

My £10 is now in the defense fund to fight this stupidity, and as I pledged, I will refuse to register, carry or in any way be part of this nightmare in my own country.

Never signed up but want to donate anyway?  Full details are here.

Bank Charges VI

So this could be my last post on this topic for a while. It looks like consumers have been royally stitched up by the banks and the OFT. Yesterday the news came out that the OFT and the major banking groups have agreed to a test case. This has had the effect that the FSA is now telling banks they don’t need to deal with complaints, the Ombudsman can also not deal with complaints and all current court action is likely to be stayed until the test case is heard.

None of the consumer groups involved in the bank charges revolt were informed about this despite the decision allegedly being made ‘in consultation’ with them. This test case might take anywhere from a year to two years to be heard.

I am not the only person who has been fobbed off on the phone for the last 6-8 weeks regarding settlement letters, and the banks have clearly been telling staff to put us off so this announcement could be made. However I now wonder whether the verbal offer I received on the phone counts, as current offers made still have to be resolved.

This does little to increase my faith in the banks, FSA or OFT quite frankly. It’s coincided nicely with the Parliamentry summer break, the banks get a year or more to mobilise their vast litigious assets, and the consumer will get shafted in courts.

I’m quite jealous of the people who managed to get their settlements in before this, my only consolation being that if I had started court proceedings when I said I would, it would now still be ‘stalled’ in court, and depending which way the test case goes, my complaint is lodged with my bank already, which if it goes in the consumers favour, would have meant that any court claim would have been wasted effort.

Still pretty sick about the whole thing, although unlike some people on the forums I haven’t actually been spending the money I thought I was going to get already (tut tut). My plans for getting a laptop this year though are now absolutely on hold!

A disturbing open letter on the future of Physics

At least at GCSE

I remember my final GCSE physics exam.  It was the easiest exam I ever sat.  Our (we thought at the time slightly sadistic) teacher had trained us for 2 years on O-level papers (we were the second year to have GCSE’s inflicted upon us).  Needless to say we were more than adequately prepared for the GCSE.  I still remember smiling broadly when I opened the exam paper and saw all the relevant equations written down on the inside of the paper.  I think it took about 20 minutes.  I’m convinced to this day I got 100% (back in those days you didn’t get your marks back, just a grade).  It seems these days even the equations are optional, and from that open letter, the questions are bugger all to do with physics.  Shocking read.

Finally some politics I can be happy about!

“MPs have voted by huge margins to ban smoking from all pubs and private members’ clubs in England.

Ministers offered a free vote amid fears of a Labour backbench rebellion against government plans to exempt clubs and pubs not serving food.

MPs decided by a margin of 328 to ban smoking from all pubs. They then voted by 200 to extend this to clubs.”

Ahhh. A breath of fresh air sweeps through the nations social hubs. My father will be delighted, and so am I. I have images of people who will be less than pleased, but in a slightly sadistic way this makes me even more delighted.

I have noticed in recent years that I have gone from 99% of my friends smoking to about 5% of my friends smoking. Yes some of the friends have changed, but its certianly dropped further off the agenda…

Or maybe everyones moved onto briars and Romeo Y Julieta‘s these days ;)

ID Cards

I think my opposition to ID cards is fairly well known. I’ve signed the No2ID pledge which states:

“I will refuse to register for an ID card and will donate £10 to a legal defence fund but only if 10,000 other people will also make this same pledge”.

So the ID cards bill was back in the Commons today after a good kicking in the Lords, who were mainly concerned with the ‘creeping compulsion’, i.e. if you want a passport then you get an ID card too. This will come into being in 2008 (so remind me to ‘lose’ my passport in late 2007 for a 10 year renewal). Anyway Tony was hiding out in the sun after his plane couldn’t get him back to the vote, and it was amusing to see him sweat a little in front of the press.

It didn’t matter though as the Commons passed the damn legislation again, and even with a handful of Labour rebels, it wasn’t exactly tight. Please, Upper House.. give it another kicking back to the Commons so we can end this compulsory ID card scheme once and for all.

I’ll tell you another thing as well, if the Tories pledge next election to scrap the legislation altogether, I’ll vote for them on that basis alone. Now that’s saying something about how much I dislike this plan…