Thursday, 20 December 2012

My Downing St e-petition: Cap all public sector pay at maximum of rate of an MP (£65k)

Please sign it using this link and publicise if you agree (http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/40534). Thank you.



Text of e-petition:

Cap all publicly-funded salaries at MPs' pay (£65,738), in order to pay key workers more, reduce cuts to key services and pay off the deficit


Responsible department: Her Majesty's Treasury

Many key public sector employees, at the lower pay scales, are underpaid. Many at higher pay scales are overpaid.

In order to increase the pay of people doing the most vital, socially-useful frontline jobs, on which we all rely (such as teachers, police officers, members of the armed forces, ambulance staff, general NHS workers, care assistants, environmental health officers, fire officers, social workers, etc) the following should occur:

- NO PERSON WHOSE PAY IS FUNDED BY THE PUBLIC PURSE (INCLUDING THE BBC) SHOULD BE PAID MORE THAN THE SALARY OF AN MP (£65,738).

- The savings should be used to pay key workers more, reduce cuts to key services and pay off the deficit.



Thursday, 6 December 2012

Assad's use of WMDs would also shame the West & the world

I sent this letter sent to The Times, which has not been published.

Also see this NBC report claiming that Syrian forces may be preparing chemical weapons for use.

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Sir,

Your report (£) about Assad's regime preparing to use chemical weapons and the comments of President Obama that were this to occur there would be "consequences" exposes a depressing truth not just about this brutal regime, but about the weakness of the Western and international response.

By saying that "the use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable", Obama reluctantly confirms to Assad (and all would-be dictators the world over) that the use of other forms of lethal force such as heavy artillery, war planes, tanks, ground troops and even the use of murderous gangs of regime militia, is acceptable. Of course the US and her allies condemn such violence, but they are resolutely failing to act to prevent it. Tacit acceptance has the same practical effect on the ground as wholehearted support: the violence continues.

People of good conscience, who believe in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees "the right to life, liberty and security of person", must urge their leaders to take action against dictators when they egregiously trample on these rights, whatever mechanism of violence is deployed. Chemical weapons are merely a more efficient and terrifying means of pursuing the course of action that Assad has embarked upon, emboldened as he is by the world's indifference.

Kind regards,

John Slinger
Chair, Pragmatic Radicalism