Archive

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

A War Monkey Called Sue! (Further adventures on the Internet.)

January 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Yesterday I read Charles Moore’s review of Stephen Spielberg’s latest film, War Horse. Having seen and thoroughly enjoyed the play, which I saw inLondon, 18 months ago, I read the review with some interest. Without going into details,Moore was less than enthusiastic, criticising Spielberg for the gratuitous sentimentality. What was perhaps more interesting, was the comment section, some of which dealt with aspects of the Great War and the vast tragedy attached to it. Read more…

I Am Fed Up!

November 15, 2011 Leave a comment

I have had just about enough of theses endless cries of ‘racism’ that are being bandied around at every opportunity, not just in Britain, but around the world. While some are legitimate and provide cause for concern, others are trivial in the extreme. What they all share in common, however, is that they are white on black attacks, whether verbal or physical and that they are being pursued with unmitigated vigour by the law and the press. The reason I am so angry is that many cases are as I said, trivial in the extreme while at the same time similar examples of black on white attacks are ignored. Read more…

Becoming a criminal

December 30, 2010 6 comments

I was struck by the last sentence in this article.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/bbc/8219280/Online-viewers-prosecuted-for-not-paying-TV-licence.html

“Watching TV without a valid licence is a criminal offence punishable by a fine of up to £1,000.”

Given the invasive nature of TV licence inspectors and the ruthlessness with which they pursue their objectives, I imagine that quite a few, otherwise harmless citizens, find themselves with criminal records. In the event, albeit unlikely, that I were to be successfully prosecuted for not owning a television licence and thus categorized as a criminal, I think that I would be more, rather than less, inclined to commit further crimes. There is an old saying, ‘one may as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb’ and I think this is a perfect example of how the pettiness of self-serving law-makers  has the unintended but predictable result of creating more law-breakers. Having a criminal record creates all sorts of difficulties in a person’s life including inhibiting one’s ability to travel,  denying one job opportunities, prohibiting one from becoming a company director and so forth. I do not want a criminal record, but were I to have one, it would no longer serve as a deterrent. Tax evasion, amongst a host of other crimes, would suddenly become a real consideration. By branding me a criminal, you turn me into one. That is of course if one assumes I have no moral inhibitions.

Categories: General, Politics Tags: , ,

BEE, HIV, ARV

December 17, 2010 Leave a comment

The South African Government has recently awarded a R4.28 bn (about £400m) contract to a number of pharmaceutical companies for the supply of HIV ARVs. My interest in this lies purely with the mechanics involved in  the fulfilment of the tender process. A local company, Adcock Ingram has expressed surprise and disappointment that it was allocated a very small portion of the contract, only 4%. The company manufactures its products locally. Its chairman has written to the government minister involved, asking for details of how the decisions were made. Adcock has been around for 120 years and is well established and respected. According to the rules of the tender, bidders were awarded points in three categories. Up to 90 points were for price, eight for local manufacturing, and two for BEE (Black Economic Empowerment). When the Treasury named the winners, it provided the total number of points awarded to each successful bidder for each product, but did not give a breakdown by category or explain how points were determined. I think most people would applaud the low level given to BEE, 2%, and would respect efforts by the government to reduce spending by giving such weighting towards price . However,  I think I would have preferred to see more points awarded for the local manufacturing element. After all it would mean that South African money stays in South Africa and presumably taxes paid by local companies would offset some or all of any price differential. Adcock had hoped to win a the contract to supply  Efavirenz which it manufactures under licence from Merck. It failed. Read more…

Categories: Politics Tags: ,