But they need upgrading

Man with cooking ingredients, wearing an apron, with his finger in the air
Man with cooking ingredients, wearing an apron, with his finger in the air
Photo 204720047 © Viorelpoparcea Dreamstime.com

I live opposite a cafe, which before the pandemic was quite busy. Some customers arrived by car; those that consisted of heterosexual couples, the driver was always the man, which in these days of apparent sexual equality, I found strange.

Was it his car? Did he buy it? Did the female object or agree to please him? Can she drive? Three years ago, women in Saudi Arabia were finally allowed to drive. Until then they had to be driven.

In the UK, the Equality Act was passed in 2010 which made discrimination because of gender illegal…


Prove it!

Brown wooden puzzle game board
Brown wooden puzzle game board
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

The United Kingdom (UK) has a problem with the concept of an identity card. They have visions of being stopped in the street and asked to “show their papers.” So being asked for proof of identity when voting is causing some consternation with civil liberty groups.

The legislation being brought in is to try and combat electoral fraud. However, the evidence would suggest that electoral fraud is not a big problem in the UK. In 2018, police investigated 266 allegations which led to one conviction and two police cautions. In the last general election in 2017 there was…


Corruption in official life (slang)

Two business men shaking hands, one is bribing the other.
Two business men shaking hands, one is bribing the other.
Photo 32658925 © Hin255 | Dreamstime.com

Are politicians expected to be honest, trustworthy and put the needs of the country before their own? The clue is in the term, public servant.

In November 2020, the National Audit Office (NAO) revealed that the UK government had awarded £10.5 billion of pandemic related contracts without a competitive tendering process and the friends of the Tory party were 10 times more likely to win them. The companies involved were jewelers, pest controllers and candy companies. Obviously vital to dealing with a pandemic. …


Great article. Words of sanity in a world of madness. Woke culture purports to support freedom of speech but in reality only supports freedom of 'acceptable' speech.


While Ireland burns

Picture of a car burning in the street
Picture of a car burning in the street
Photo by Flavio Gasperini on Unsplash

Northern Ireland is burning, literally from petrol bombs, figuratively from anger and the sense of injustice. A quote from Boris Johnson in 2020 “there will be no border down the Irish Sea-over my dead body.” relating to the Brexit agreement. Brexit happened and the border between the UK and Ireland was drawn down the Irish Sea. Northern Ireland, for trade purposes, has remained, technically, in the EU. Trade between the UK and Northern Ireland became chaotic due to the massive increase in paperwork (see previous article) supermarket shelves became empty of basic supplies. The effects of covid-19…


Paramilitary Policing or Public Protection?

Concept diagram of rules and regulations
Concept diagram of rules and regulations
Photo 125080456 © Alexandersikov / Dreamstime.com

The UK government is currently formulating a new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill. This sets out to strengthen the powers of the police in protecting themselves and the prevention, investigation and prosecution of crime. It got its second reading on 15th March against the backdrop of the tragic murder of Sarah Everard, a 33 year old marketing executive who had gone missing after leaving a friend’s home to walk home. …


Same God, different politics

A man holding green and orange flares
A man holding green and orange flares
Photo by Lukas Eggers on Unsplash

Is now the time to take the potential unification of Ireland seriously. Northern Ireland, now, is economically closer to the Republic of Ireland than it is to the United Kingdom. This is because of the Northern Ireland protocol, which was established due to the UK leaving the European Union(EU). As part of the agreement, Northern Ireland has remained part of the European Union’s single market for goods, but must apply the EU’s customs and rules at Northern Ireland’s ports. A Northern Ireland Executive was reformed after a three year hiatus, in part to deal with Brexit…


Or another erosion of liberty?

Entrance turnstiles to a football ground
Entrance turnstiles to a football ground
Photo by Nathan Rogers on Unsplash. Text by the author Gary Neal

15 million UK citizens have been vaccinated against covid-19. According to the New York Times, 216.1 million doses have been administered worldwide. Are you one of them? Prove it!

This may be a familiar demand in the months to come; cinemas, shops, your favourite restaurant. The question of vaccination passports in the UK is being discussed at street level and in Parliament.

Matt Hancock, the Health secretary has ruled them out, although Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, has not ruled out making them conditions of future employment, which employers are entitled to make. Tony Blair…


Whose turn with the laptop?

Three children sharing a laptop
Three children sharing a laptop
Photo 195342992 © Dan Rențea | Dreamstime.com

Schools in the United Kingdom(UK) are closed until at least March 8th. Effectively, most pupils have not attended school for the best part of the year. Parents are being asked to, effectively in a lot of cases, become teacher substitutes. Home schooling is the current buzzword with online teaching being championed as the main provider. (That brings back memories of the early days of the Open University, when a lot of lessons were delivered via television). …


It needs intensive care

National Health Service staff protesting
National Health Service staff protesting
Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona

The National Health Service (NHS) is the closest thing that the English have to a religion. So thought Nigel Lawson in 2018, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The NHS was set up in 1948 by the then Labour government. Then, as now, the general principle of “free at the point of use” still holds true today. Only today, the fabric is starting to look worn and holes are appearing. Covid-19 has brutally and cruelly exposed the parlous state of the NHS.

There are more than 30,000 patients in England’s hospitals with Covid-19, 62% more than…

Gary Neal

Retired taxi driver, creative writer, experimental poet, computer enthusiast, web design and learning to program

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