Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The Budget: Take with one hand and give with the other?

According to the BBC:

George Osborne has cancelled next month's 4p rise in fuel duty in what he has billed his "Budget for growth".
A further 1p will be cut from pump prices at 6pm - all paid for by a £2bn tax on oil companies.
Now I could be wrong, but my guess is that the oil companies will need to find the money for this from somewhere.  And what's the most likely source of this revenue?  My guess would be petrol price increases.

So the government are reducing fuel duty by creating more tax for oil companies to pay - which is likely to push up the petrol price.  Anyone else see the problem with this? (or am I somehow reading it wrong?)

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Now Hunt Saboteurs are protected by Law - what next?

Ok, I know that it's in the daily fail, but this story seems slightly bonkers to me.  Surely if his "deeply held" beliefs "that people should live their lives with mindful respect for animals and we all have a moral obligation to live in a way which is kind to each other, our environment and our fellow creatures" are that important, then so are any other strongly held beliefs.

So what about cases like this, this and this. As far as I know, it's still illegal to be a BNP member and a police officer - what about the "deeply held" beliefs of BNP members?

(And I do feel that I should mention here, I am not in the BNP, nor do I approve of their stance, but people can believe whatever the hell they want to believe.  Free speech is more than just a soundbite - it's something that's sadly absent in the UK.  And think about it: a police officer who was a BNP member would have to be extra careful not to engage in anything that might look even slightly racist while on duty, else the defense in court would have a field day with him - so if anything, he'd be less racist than the average police officer.  I think the best way to deal with groups like the BNP is to let them have their say, then debate it with them...)