Monthly Archives: November 2014

Labour’s Problem Families Avoiding the Issues

This week the Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt told the Independent Newspaper that the Labour Party must get over its fear of the ‘F’ word and start promoting family values. He said the party needs to ‘shed its leftist qualms’ about appearing to patronise when talking about family values.

In the past the Labour Party have left it to the Conservatives to pontificate about the values of the British family and is seen as very much a right wing view. In this parliament the coalition government have introduced to ‘Troubled Families Program’ that was introduced to tackle dysfunctional families. The Labour Party vowed that, if elected next May, they would keep the programme going.

Before Labour get on their high horse and start preaching about family values, perhaps the ought to take a look back over the few years and ask whether it is the families or the state that are troubled. There is always a reason why communities decline and develop problems with anti-social behavior and addiction and, more often than not, its cause by lack of employment and opportunity.

It has become one of Labours favorite occupations to try to emulate the conservatives on certain issues and look tuff on welfare and now family values. There is no need however but instead they are falling into the trappings of avoiding the real issues. Until they create real job, opportunities and access to education and training the issues of so-called ‘Problem Families’ will remain. Lets hope it falls to the next Labour governments to tackle this problem more effectively.

Pushing Boundaries of Space?

imagesI have always had a huge amount of respect for Richard Branson, he comes across as a genuinely nice guy and has done tremendously well in life to build up his business from selling records to the £billion brand that he know owns. Nobody can doubt his spirit and flare.

He was visibly moved yesterday when he paid his respects to the members of his team who were lost in the accident the other day. The pilot of the test flight was killed and the co-pilot remains critically in after there craft exploded shortly after take-off.

Immediately after paying an emotional tribute to his team, Branson vowed he would persevere with Virgin Galactic his project to push the boundaries of existence and make space travel and tourism a reality. I have no doubt with his spirit he will set out the archive his goal, whatever that maybe.

There is a part of me cant help from thinking about the vast sums of money that are being spent on this, sums of money far bigger than I will ever get my head around. For every billion he spends on Virgin Galactic and pushing the barriers of space, I do wonder how much food, shelter, vaccines and medicines that could buy to the save the life’s of some of the most desperate people on earth?

We live in difficult times. Hundreds of thousands of people have been dispossessed through war in the middle eat, in Syria and Iraq and many go without food, shelter, and medicines. I’ll never forget the Ewan McGregor made at the start of the Commonwealth Games on behalf of UNICEF and the children of war torn countries.

I don’t expect ever to be in a position of having an income large enough to contemplate my own priorities for philanthropic giving. I would like to think however that my priorities might lay with the sick and dying here on earth, rather than pushing the boundaries of space that won’t benefit the whole of mankind but rather a few of the super rich who will get their thrills.   But there again, who am I to say?