Friday, 21 March 2008

Paul Murphy to quit?!?

Firstly, I want to apologise for inactivity in blogging, I have not been too well recently, and actually fainted the other day. But feeling better today.

According to the BBC, Paul Murphy is preparing to quit over the controvertial embryo bill. This would be the 3rd Welsh Sectertary for Wales within 4 months, if Paul Murphey was to resign, and would probably end any hope of him returning to cabinet. Of course it is unknown if he will resign yet, or if Gordon Brown will allow his MPs a free vote on this issue, I would imagine that he would, as it could be a disaster if he didn't.

The thing which I find very uncomfortable, is that a Cardinal seems to be able to dictate to MPs how to vote on issues. Britain is meant to be a secular society, and I feel that cardinals shouldn't be allowed to tell MPs to oppose or support something, having an opinion, and telling MPs (other then his local MP, of course) how to vote in a certain way because that is the opinion you have, is not the same thing and is not healthy for a secular democracy.

Furthmore these hybird embryos could help find treatments for many gentic diseases, and therefore, improve the quality of life with many people suffering from such diseases. It could be seen as being immoral and unethcial to vote against it, aswell as for it, which could well be a reason why all parties should give their MPs a free vote.

As I mentioned earlier, I think it could well be a disaster for Prime Minister Gordon Brown, if he doesn't give a free vote, as he would risk loosing ministers, which would be embarassing for the government, and could also make Labour look in a bad light if a number of ministers were to resign because they disgaree with the bill for religious reasons, as the saying goes "we don't do God."

Thursday, 6 March 2008

AMs Pay increase

Assembly members pay increase of 8.3%, while ignoring the Plaid Cymru spin (doubt they would reject it, plus it's very close to local elections.....), I think it is a too much, at a time were other public sector workers are getting relatively small pay increases, if any, the AMs look set to have one well above the rate of inflation. This is a very bad idea as, understandbly, it makes people more resentful.

Of course, if can be argued that the increased responsibilites means they should get a pay rise, however not one that steep, and other public sector workers, usually the ones at the bottom of the ladder, might have increased responibilies with no pay raise, or a very pathetic one.

Politicans speak about building up trust in politics, however that cannot be rebuild aslong as politicans are seen as being on a gravy train, awarding thesmelves huge pay increases, while telling the rest of the public sector that they cannot have a massive increase because of inflation. It seems hyprocritical and just makes all politicans look like they are in it for themselves, while the vast majority of them, from all parties, are doing it out of a spirt of public service.

It is also damaging to the devolution process in itself, at the time when the Assembly is seeking law making powers, it should not look as if they are all in it for themselves. The Welsh public will not accept a law making parliament for Wales, if they see AMs as having snouts in the trough. The Welsh public need to see the Assembly as something uncorrupted, by the scandals that have rocked the other insitutions in the United Kingdom, as were the Assembly Members actually are their to serve the people of Wales, instead of being seen are serving themselves. Those opposed to a law making parliament, could also use this as a example of another pay raise that the politicans in the Assembly would award themselves if they got even more powers, as part of their attack against devolution.

If the Assembly wants to have a good reputation, if the Assembly want to be trusted and seen as being pure, if it is to become a law making Parliament, then these kind of headlines won't help.

Monday, 3 March 2008

Free Parking

The One-Wales government wants to make all NHS parking in Wales Free by April 1st, for staff, paitents and visitors to hospital, after calls from the BMA and paitent groups for it to be made free and end the "tax on sickness."

Now, where as this might look like a good idea on paper, it, in my opinion, will be a very unpragmatic solution to the problem of hospital car parking fees. The problem with this that they will not be able to tell who is using the hospital car parking because they have business at the hospital, and people using the hospital car park for other purposes, such as to go shopping, for example.

This would lead to hospital car parking spaces being filled up by selfish people, forcing paitents and staff to find elsewhere to park, and since most streets have double yellow lines, it could be a bit of a trek to find somewhere else they can park without the risk of getting a ticket, or be clamepd.

A more pragmatic and sensible solution to this would have been to give free parking to staff and paitents, the paitents could with their appointment cards, get another card which they can display in their windscreen that would entitle them to free parking for the day of their appointment.

Then there is a problem of where the cash will come from, will the Assembly government give the hospitals cost to not only cover the lost income from parking fees, but also enough to expand their parking facilities, (if possible, although I cannot imagine Bronglais hopsital in Aberystwyth being able to find anywhere to expand the parking facilites) due to increase in demand on the parking spaces.

Where as free prescriptions, was a good idea, free hospital parking for all is not, and will lead to more trouble in the long term for paitents.