UK austerity – The lights went out.

Local councils in the UK are having to adapt to the most brutal cuts in government funding. Policing, household rubbish disposal, education and all sorts of other things come out of a budget that relies on a council tax, which most people pay, mine for instance is £750 a year. There is also a proportion comes from central government but because of austerity measures, it has and is being dramatically reduced. Between 2010 and 2015, it was cut by %37.

Considering the government gave £12.24 billion in foreign aid last year, the general consensus is that because of the ‘austerity measures’ it should stop. I believe it should stop but for totally different reasons. A common response to foreign aid is, ‘let’s look after our own people first’ and it might be a valid point if governments and corporations around the world weren’t fleecing the poorer countries left right and centre. Moreover, the people that should benefit from the aid are incredibly poor, suffering extreme poverty and often neglected by their own governments.

Asset stripping, cheap labour and corrupt governments ensures that the people in these places barely see any benefit from their nations valuable resources but huge companies (in particular) are getting lucrative rewards.

UK foreign aid is undoubtedly a part of the process.  There are so many scams involved, it wouldn’t surprise me if only a tiny percentage gets through to those that are needy and the people the aid is designed for. The Charity Commission in the the UK is supposed to make sure that organisations are proper bonafide charities but if the case of Hand in Hand for Syria is anything to go by, the system fails at the first hurdle. Political groups cannot claim charitable status and HHS, from it’s inception, have been very active politically to the extent they have produced videos that can only be described as propaganda. They appear to have strong links with the White Helmets, a group that has been exposed numerous times of being strongly affiliated to Al Nusra.

It would be natural to presume that charities recognised by the Charities Commission would be in a better position to receive government funding. There are thousands of charities and NGO’s involved in distributing vital help for war zones, environmental disaster regions and extreme weather catastrophes.Clearly, the budget for Foreign Aid should either be scrapped or reorganised so as to give the British public the confidence that the money is actually doing a lot of good, rather than lining the pocket of corrupt authorities.

Returning to local council financial matters, when I visited my brother, who lives close to where I work quite recently, I realised the street lights weren’t on and it was pitch black. It appears the council have decided to turn street lights off at various times in different locations. Not everyone works from 9 till 5 and even more so in the current climate of something in the region of 20% of workers being required to do unsociable hours. It must have taken me 20 minutes to find the correct key and then I struggled to put it in the lock. The darkness also makes good hiding places for anyone up to no good (be careful Scott!!!!). Elected Councillors need to be reminded that they are there for our benefit, not to rule over us. If I knew how to use twitter, perhaps I could create a #lightsoninlincoln hashtag or whatever.

Looking at the larger financial picture, it seems that we still have enough money to be involved in a military attack that killed around 80-100 Syrian soldiers but we can’t afford to keep street lights lit. These brave Syrian men were defending their country from ISIS/Al Qaeda and affiliated terrorists when the UK participated in the hour long attack at Deir Ezzor, Syria. Since 7/7 occurred, the National Security spending has become astronomical, yet the Syrian Arab Army are fighting the very same type of terrorists (allegedly) who committed the London train attacks and the British government are killing them? Something is very wrong here and I dont need street lights to see it..

We are reminded that there is a terrorist around every corner, so why are we bombing the people doing the dirty work of trying to kill them? All the billions of pounds being spent on anti terror security and the RAF are then used to give the terrorists air cover while they attack Syrian soldiers. Something is not quite right.

By the way, there is without doubt a far greater chance of being killed putting a shelf up over the weekend than being killed in a terrorist attack and that is a statistical fact. If you are unfortunate enough to live close to an RAF base, I’m not so sure about that.



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