Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Lee Noble
Lee's interests
View all
Lee's posts

Post has attachment

Post has attachment
Every time I try to get something down about why I’m voting to remain in the EU, I reach such a state of anxiety about just where to begin that I can’t type anything. It’s not that there’s a shortage of reasons why #Brexit would be a bad idea, there are just so many reasons why it’s a bad idea I don’t know which one to start with.

This isn’t just about me, it’s the future of my daughter that’s being threatened and nothing angers me more. European countries fought on and off for 1000 years, culminating in World War II, after which it was decided never again would so many lives be wasted. The eventual establishment of the European Union has resulted in the longest period of peace Europe has enjoyed. If Britain exits the EU, this will hasten the breakup of the entire union. “Good” say a lot of short-sighted people. There aren’t a whole lot of people who actually fought in WWII left nowadays. The oldest generation still with us was raised on tales of derring-do and stories of Britain’s superiority in defeating the Bosch and the Frogs. It’s fostered mistrust of our closest neighbours and mutated into outright racism. But there’s nothing stopping Europe going to war again. The closest thing we have is the Union that exists between us.

Europe is under pressure from refugees fleeing a murderous occupation in Syria, among other countries. Terrorist attacks from those murderous regimes and from the ranks of those enamoured with them WILL continue. Being in or out will have no bearing on those inevitable atrocities. Pulling up the drawbridge, and discriminating against those refugees has only the potential to serve those regimes as they’ll use our behaviour to poison the minds of yet more vulnerable people. I grew up in London in the 80s and the threat of terror related violence was ever-present (and that actually did come from overseas), but it never stopped anybody from getting on with life. Well, if you’re a fan of retro terrorism, one of the joys of Brexit is that it will nullify the Northern Ireland Assembly power-sharing agreement because it was drawn up under EU law. That took nearly a decade to resolve, majorly in secret, first time around.

The seeds of the war in Syria stem from a drought which lasted years. That drought is no doubt the result of man made climate change. Climate change is going to force people movement on a pretty much daily basis from now until forever. Syria is only the most noticeable effect SO FAR. Europe needs to work together to find ways to tackle climate change. It already does this through environmental protection laws which the UK adopts as part of it’s EU commitment. Many on the vote leave side actually cite these laws as a reason to escape the EU. They actually want to flick over the planet and destroy all our children’s futures in order to make the last little bit of money available from fossil fuels, decrying the “bureaucracy” that’s preventing them from doing that. Resources are going to become scarce in some regions. Tensions over access to water and land will result in wars between countries in a divided Europe. Destabilisation of the Union is EXACTLY what Daesh want. It’s also in alignment with what Vladimir Putin wants. Anything that weakens Europe, strengthens them both.

Reading the names of the people campaigning to leave the EU is like reading a list of the world’s biggest arseholes. Nigel Farage, Katy Hopkins, Michael Gove, Toby Young, Iain Duncan Smith, Chris Grayling and Rupert Murdoch. If you didn’t know what the argument was about, and you waded in on a fight and found yourself on side with these scumbags, you’d surely consider that you might just be on the wrong side of history. Murdoch’s motives have been clearly stated. He gets influence over the UK government and is able to steer policy by using threats powered by his media empire. In Europe he can exert no such influence because he doesn’t have the media coverage to force his warped views on the public. But it’s the politicians there, making great hay of the fact we’ll be able to build an NHS hospital every week if we leave, that are by far the most duplicitous. Setting aside the fact (and it is a fact) that the £350m per week saving they keep talking up, is a flat-out lie, they’ve all expressed views in the past which clearly indicate that in their hands the NHS is very much not safe. Privatisation would be accelerated under a tory government run by that lot.

Which brings me to TTIP (Trans-Atlantic Trade Investment Partnership), the secretly negotiated contract between the EU and the US. It’s being negotiated in secret because when people hear about the contents they tend to get a bit resistant. TTIP would enshrine in law protection for corporations from government legislation. For example, the recent change to force blank cigarette packaging could be challenged by tobacco firms as they will argue it would affect their profits. The decision would be made in a secret court and the corporations would win. This isn’t fantasy, it’s already happened in Australia. TTIP will “lower trade barriers” for US corporations, who will no longer have to conform to stricter EU regulations on pollution and workers rights. It will instigate a race to the bottom for environmental standards. If we leave the EU we’ll be out of the current TTIP negotiations, but you can rest assured that a Tory government has no interest in being excluded. They’ll come to an identical arrangement with the US outside of TTIP. The only reason they exempted the NHS from TTIP was because of public pressure. Within the EU any one nation could veto TTIP, and there are several countries who are feeling the pressure to do so. It seems (touch wood) likely TTIP will get tanked by somebody so staying in the EU is our best opportunity to avoid being bound by it.

A free Tory government could also reduce workers rights. Maternity pay - gone. Sick pay - gone. They can’t do this under harmonised EU law.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly no Cameron fan. This whole government is a travesty. They routinely lie, and bullshit. They literally say one thing whilst doing the opposite AND THEY GET AWAY WITH IT because it’s what Murdoch wants. If it’s not in the press agenda it doesn’t get coverage. When the Conservatives inexplicably won the 2015 General Election we seriously considered our options to move abroad, such was the dread of 5 more years of Tory rule without a LibDem brake. I still get regular emails form the New Zealand Immigration board inviting me to attend job events. However, for reasons that I’m not going to get into (because it’s nobody’s business) that’s not a possibility. We could only emigrate to a country with which the UK has a free movement arrangement, so by leaving the EU we’ll be stuck here. It will limit opportunities for us and our daughter. I’m seriously considering moving to Scotland in order to get the flick out of permanent Tory rule, as it seems inevitable they’ll declare independence following a Brexit vote. As it is we’re moving to Wales soon so I’m hopeful this would also accelerate Welsh plans for full devolution and independence from England.

Immigrants can’t be both taking your jobs and scrounging off the state. Pick one.
Immigrants factually contribute more to the economy than they take.
Oh, boomers, immigrants aren’t taking your damned jobs. You don’t have one, you’re retired. Don’t flick over your grandkids futures.

* I should have done a G+ variation of that image.

[thinking as I write, as usual] I can't help thinking that all the debate about Google, Amazon et al paying more tax is a bit of a distraction. Sure, in an ideal world every person and organisation would pay a "fair" amount of tax, but money ultimately moves about in circles (a spiral?). Those companies, energy firms and rail operators are all ultimately beholden to their shareholders. If those businesses are forced to pay a fair burden of tax then those shareholders will lose out, they'll be angry and they'll either force the company to make operational changes (people lose jobs) or they'll have no choice but to charge more for their goods and services. The shareholders won't lose out.
As end users it's pretty easy to say Google should pay more as most of us don't pay them anything (directly) but they sell their services to businesses. Those businesses (including small vulnerable ones) will either pass the costs on to their customers or fold (i.e. exactly the same two options the shareholders would force). In the end, it's the customers, us, that will end up paying the bill, the same ones that pay VAT. Any avenue you could possibly pursue to take money from corporations will take money straight out of the pockets of the consumer. You may as well put VAT up or raise income tax. It wouldn't "look" fair, but the result would be the same. Charging corporations more in tax only drapes the mechanism in a velvet curtain.
So, where should the money come from? The shareholders. I propose a tax on the sale of shares which is inversely proportional (and logarithmic) to the time that the shares were held.
If you're a high frequency trader, holding shares for mere seconds then it's an 90% tax on profits. A day, 80%, a few weeks, 60% and so on all the way down to decades, where as a long term investor, say 15 years you'd pay zero rate of tax on profit. Those people who are genuinely making a long term investment or strongly believe in the viability of a business will be rewarded for their loyalty. Those in it for a quick buck will make less money. Actual knowledge about a market would pay off rather than prices (and jobs) being held to ransom by trading algorithms and morons essentially gambling. Case in point, when the chancellor (such as he is) announced the sugar tax, the markets reacted by dumping shares of Tate & Lyle. If there's any justice in the world, every one of those traders would be sacked and sued for fraud since they were clearly unknowledgeable about the market they were trading in, unaware as they were, that T&L dumped their sugar business a long time ago (the shares quickly recovered when that tidbit of information was spread about). There'd be an even higher rate of tax for short selling as those people are clearly all vultures.

Post has attachment
Just sold my first ever design printed item. A whole £2.52 owed to me which I'll get just as soon as I get over the minimum payment threshold. So if you're looking for a Christmas pressie for the toddler in your life head to +Red Bubble or +Skreened or search for Fo Shiggle Ma Piggle. Day-Z also available. #tshirt #inthenightgarden

Idle thought on Corbyn and the Labour Party. Critics are quick to point to the appeal of the Conservative Party to the large constituent known broadly as "the elderly". By fixing their incomes with the triple lock and screwing over the young to pay for it they ensure loyalty. Well maybe Labour need to choose a different battleground. Which is the larger constituent; Business owners and bankers or employees of those businesses? Which has a bigger share if the GE vote; big business owners or small business owners? Osborne's always spouting the virtues of the small business but does precisely nothing to help them vs big businesses. Split that constituency up and bribe the largest half with lower taxes, while hammering the others with tighter tax enforcement and fairer deals for their employees.
I'm sure there are many other examples of constituent groups that can be broken apart and reshaped.

Post has attachment
Lazy day in the Dulux creative department.

That feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you have a flash of recall following a night out drinking a bit too much, I've been getting that all day today, and I wasn't even drinking last night. I was watching the General Election (#ge2015) results come in, in disbelief.

The flashes I've been getting, accompanied by an internalised "Oh, God! No." were recollections of the decisions and proposed legislation made by the last government. Things they came close to imposing, things that didn't q u i t e get through - last time.

The Conservative Party now have five whole years in which to get through their legislative programme. It's a fair bet it won't bear much resemblance to their manifesto, but what we'll get and what we'll have lost scares me.

TTIP - they'll assist that going through
The NHS will be further privatised, and TTIP will ensure it can never be restored.
Green energy - gone.
Fracking - that'll be back on the agenda
Trident - Total waste of money
Universal Credit - IDSs stillborn brainchild
Digital Economy Act - take 2 or is it 3 now?
Compulsory internet filtering (to protect the children)
24/7/365 population monitoring by security services to remain unscrutinised
Rail de-privatisation - impossible
Willful ignorance of scientific evidence
Further education cuts
Austerity to continue despite being debunked by the IMF years ago

The list goes on.

Now, I'm no dyed-in-the-wool Labour supporter. I only voted for them for the first time yesterday, but my decision was based upon evidence I've seen with my own eyes. This government is filled with rich spivs, creaming off money for themselves and their friends. The campaign they fought was a catalogue of lies and deceit. +David Cameron  Osborne, and of course Grant "Michael Green" Shapps repeated bald-faced lies about the administration that preceded them, and made empty uncosted promises in an flagrant attempt to bribe the electorate. The meaning of "the letter" Dave was flapping about turns out to have been twisted. The addition of the simple word "left" making it seem as though Labour were laughing as they ran away from the previous administration. But this all went unchallenged. Labour are at least partly responsible for that error. The broadcasters failed in their duty to inform by not correcting facts, and simply regurgitating the front pages of the right wing press without comment.
On the contrary, Ed Milliband came across as passionate, honest and even compassionate throughout the campaign. He spoke sense on many issues but the relentless "geek" portrayal in the papers seems to have been impossible for people to see past.

The next 5 years are going to be hell for a lot of people. The Lib-Dems, despite their backtracking on key parts of they 2010 manifesto, did at least achieve some moderation as the minor partner in the coalition. I think they've been unfairly punished and Nick Clegg's words that he would put the brakes any Tory or Labour government going too far to the right or to the left, fell on deaf ears. And now we're stuck with the smug, self-serving, nasty party, and apparently millions of ignorant and ill-informed people are ecstatic about it.

It's a shame we all have to suffer for their stupidity.

Post has attachment
Your cut-out-and-keep empty podium for tonight's debate. #imadethis

So, in one of its hopefully dying breaths, this twitching corpse of a government has passed a law enabling dirty energy companies to burrow anywhere they like in the hopes of eeking out the last of the carbon from beneath our feet.
Changing the law is grossly unfair to those committed to limiting the damage we are doing to the planet.
Solar and wind farm projects still suffer shortsighted nimbyism when it comes to planning applications. Renewable energy projects are disrupted by people who consider that the views from their houses are more important than preventing environmental disaster.
Complaints of noise form wind farms I see as easily dismissible in many cases. It would be a simple matter to use scientific instruments to determine at what distance a windmill produces noise considered to be a disturbance.
This distance, once calculated, could be used to dismiss any planning process centred on noise, when originating from a complainant whose house is located beyond that distance. "Views being spoiled" is subjective and of far less importance. Indeed this seems similar to the change regarding fracking, as any objections will be dismissed as the operation is "for the economic good of the nation". 
No proposed windmill development should be opposable for this reason alone.
Changing national planning laws to accommodate these amendments would be something I could support. We should literally be putting up windmills and solar panels wherever possible. Technological solutions regarding excess power storage and fluctuation can and will be solved. Such a bill would put renewable energy on a par with this trespass law change as just passed.
If we are to ease the process for carbon energy firms then we must do likewise for clean energy.

Post has attachment
Just a bunch of tracks I'm playing to death at present. I have no idea how they might be categorised or 'tagged' to use the current vernacular.
Wait while more posts are being loaded