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Sunday, 30 November 2014

Hong Kong

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The recent political unrest in Hong Kong could just fizzle out or result in one of 2 outcomes: firstly the Chinese could clamp down hard on Hong Kong along the lines of Tienanmen Square or secondly it could result in yet more liberalism. China is still dangerous and I fear the former:  don't rattle their cage too much.

Next week, my brother and his wife visit HK to see their daughter, husband and their child. I hope they steer clear of the troubles.

After all.since 1997 HK has been a special region of China with its repressive regime and one party rule.   Interestingly, the one party system seems to have done China plenty of good economically.

Black Friday - pure commercialism

Individually, practically every US citizen I have known has been kind, warm hearted and generous. I like them - they are genuinely a kind people.

But, why do we have to copy them all the time? We now seem to have adopted "Black Friday" which was unheard of until this year. Soon we'll be celebrating Thanksgiving holiday, just to copy them. Let us enjoy our uniqueness and not forever try to copy those in the USA.

Black Friday is pure commercialism and belongs in the gutter. It is "in your face" big time in the UK. Whilst having a good moan, why does Christmas start in October?

NHS - more money?

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Apparently the chancellor has found another £2bn for the National Health Service. To me, this seems like cynical electioneering.  Although I fully support the NHS - health care should NOT depend on the money one has - there is no doubt in my mind that billions could be saved each year if they learnt more from the private sector.

In particular, communication within the NHS and to its customers could be vastly improved. From just my own experiences and those close to me, I can see ways to save literally thousands. The more people I talk with, the more waste I hear about.

Career politicians

There seem to be far fewer UK politicians who are there for genuine altruistic reasons. Maybe it was never so and ALL politicians are/were there for their own gain?

I think not. In the past there seemed to be far more politicians in positions of power because they genuinely thought they could help build a fairer and better world. These days the House of Commons seems filled with toffs who went to public schools, work in share dealing or the big banks, make a career (on the side) of politics because they may be able to modify policies to their personal gain. Sadly, I think this applies to politicians of all parties. It is dangerous to generalise I know. I hope that those to whom we grant power to create and modify our laws do so with care,humility and for good reasons. It would be a very sad day if we totally lost faith in our Parliament.

Last night we went out with close friends to a concert at the West Road Music School in Cambridge given by the CCSO (City of Cambridge Symphony Orchestra) and it was excellent.

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Their next concert is Feb 14th 2015.

Saturday, 29 November 2014


Yesterday, as the weather was mild and sunny, we decided to visit the grounds of Ickworth House, a National Trust property near Bury-St-Edmunds. It was very autumnal there with most trees now without leaves. Come the spring it will look quite different.

Middle East politics

The politics of the Middle East is hard to fathom. Over the years there have been plenty of injustices and many continue even now. I do NOT have the answers but wish that the people of the region could live in peace and mutual respect - many are different e.g. Arabs and Jews, yet surely more is gained by acceptance of each's right to exist than forever trying to annihilate the other?

It saddens me to see a region so troubled.

I wonder what will happen when the world learns to live without oil? Our heavy dependency on a peaceful Middle East will end. I suspect the West will just leave them to their own devices.

See . In Egypt I have no idea about the rights or wrongs of recent events, but I am pleased the judge dismissed charges of murder against Egypt's past president.  All should learn that forgiveness is the most powerful force in the world. It has always been so since the dawn of humanity.