Monday, May 10, 2010
Three-quarters of Britons want to emigrate with Australia the most popular destination
Badly misgoverned Britain is indeed a sad contrast with more conservative Australia. 13 years of Labour Party government have left Britain a wreck
Three in four Britons have considered moving abroad this year, research reveals. Three in ten said the poor state of the economy was their reason for wanting to emigrate, a survey found.
A quarter of those polled blamed the lack of job prospects while an eighth said a change in the pace of life was the main attraction.
The survey of 1,029 Britons, carried out for exchange brokers Currency UK, found Australia was the most popular destination, with a third of those polled saying they had considered moving down under.
Adrian Jacob, of Currency UK, said: 'Many Brits are concerned by the prospect of a hung Parliament and that the next four years will be dominated by huge tax rises, cuts in public service and inflation. 'People are concerned about the UK's economic strength and this is leading to Brits looking to get out.'
Now pin the tail on the donkey falls victim to British health and safety fears
The traditional children's party game pin the tail on the donkey is under threat because parents consider it a health and safety risk. The claim comes from retailers and parenting experts who say mothers and fathers are increasingly reluctant to put pins into the hands of youngsters.
The notion that today's children have to be wrapped in cotton wool and cannot be trusted with a pin will surprise the millions who played the game as children.
Tesco claims that sales of pin the tail on the donkey games have been outpaced by the pinata, an import from Mexico. Two years ago pin the tail on the donkey games were outselling the pinatas at a ratio of six to four. But sales of the Mexican party product have jumped 70 per cent in the past year and they now outsell the traditional favourite.
The supermarket's childrens' party buyer, Vicki Rolston, said: 'Some parents don't want to make pin the tail on the donkey games because of safety concerns.'
Nicola Lammond, of the parents' website netmums.co.uk, confirmed this, saying: 'Pin the tail on the donkey is a safety issue for some mums. If they have the game at all they prefer to make or buy versions with blue tac rather than pins.'
But some parents will wonder why the traditional game is considered more dangerous than the pinata. In the Mexican game, players have to batter brightly-coloured objects such as bulls and unicorns with a hammer until they burst open and sweets or toys fall out.
Britiain's epidemic of false rape claims continues
A young mother who falsely claimed she had been gang raped has been jailed for six months. Kay Hoofe - a mother of three, including a nine-week-old baby - lied about being attacked after police were contacted by her mother.
The court heard that Hoofe claimed she had been raped so the father of her two youngest children would get back together with her. The lies led to one of her alleged attackers being threatened by members of the community. He voluntarily went to police to give his side of the story.
A court heard that the false claims caused him problems with a contact application over his child - although they were resolved when Hoofe's lies were exposed.
The gang rape never took place and Hoofe, 24, of Briar Grove, Leigh, had consensual sex with the man quizzed about the 'attack'.
Rob Altham, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court that in August, police received a call claiming Hoofe had been raped by five men. Officers visited her and she said that the previous night she had been in a Leigh pub with a friend, who left. She went to another pub to buy cigarettes.
Mr Altham said she claimed she was forced down a side street by five men who began to attack her. He said she had claimed that two of the men raped her in the street. Afterwards they called a taxi and went back with her to her home. While there, she was raped again before the men left, she claimed.
She repeated her allegations to officers and gave four names. The court heard that people in the community accused one man of raping her. He went to police to give his version of events. He was interviewed under caution but not arrested.
Officers studied CCTV footage and found nothing to support Hoofe's story, and witnesses did not support her allegation. She was interviewed under caution and initially maintained her story but later admitted she had been lying. She pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice.
The court heard that Hoofe had consensual sex with the man but claimed she had been raped so the father of her two youngest children would get back together with her.
Richard Dawson, defending, said she never intended the false allegation be brought to police attention. Her mother overheard her arguing with her partner about the rape claim and without Hoofe's knowledge rang police. 'Hoofe did not know how to extricate herself from the situation and made this ludicrous suggestion,'he said.
Detective Sergeant Nigel Rigby, of Wigan CID, said: 'This web of lies could have had dire consequences for Hoofe's alleged attackers. The stigma of being accused of an awful sex attack is not easy to shake off. 'For somebody to make up a story and falsely claim they have been raped completely undermines genuine victims.'
Tax chat could land you a £5,000 fine: British Big Brother law threatens innocent advice
Anybody who advises a friend to take out an Isa or gives them a similar tax-saving tip risks a £5,000 fine, experts warned yesterday.
They attacked proposed 'Big Brother' powers for HM Revenue and Customs which could ensnare those simply trying to help a friend, relative or colleague to cut their tax bill.
Innocent victims could include a person who mentions to a friend in the pub that an Isa is a way of saving £10,200 a year tax-free.
Even a vicar who encourages the congregation to donate money using the Gift Aid envelopes, rather than putting cash straight into the Sunday collection, may fall into the trap.
Charities could also be hit by the draconian new 'tax avoidance' law, experts claim. It will make it an offence to hold any conversation - even in private, with friends - if it offers clues on how to pay less tax.
Professor Anne Redston, a tax and legal expert from King's College, London, described the proposed legislation as 'dangerous, disproportionate and an erosion of fundamental freedoms'. She warned: 'It effectively criminalises the provision of ordinary advice on taxation by the man in the street.'
The Chartered Institute of Taxation called for the draft Bill containing the powers to be 'torn up'. Tax policy director John Whiting said the rules are 'patently absurd' and must be rewritten - or risk turning people who are trying to help into criminals.
The proposed rules are contained in the Tax Agents: Deliberate Wrongdoing draft Bill, which is trying to crack down on any 'tax agent' whose advice leads to a 'loss of tax' for HMRC. It is the definition of a 'tax agent' which is fuelling much of the controversy as it includes anybody who gives tax advice 'free of charge' and 'otherwise than in the course of business'.
This means it is not just tax professionals, such as accountants and financial advisers, but anybody who suggests ways of cutting a tax bill, even though they are completely legal.
Tax evaders such as multi-millionaires who do not pay a penny in income tax are targeted, but so is anybody who tries to make use of legal tax-saving tips.
The consequences for offering well-meaning advice such as pointing out that saving into a pension attracts tax relief could be extremely expensive, with fines of up to £5,000.
Victims could also be forced to pay a fine worth 100 per cent of the 'lost revenue' that HMRC would have got if the advice had not been followed.
Mike Warburton, of accountants Grant Thornton, said: 'This is really draconian stuff. It is Big Brother. 'It means everybody will have to tread carefully before they talk to anybody on any financial matter.'
Experts accuse HMRC of trying to grab as much tax as possible to help fill the black hole in the nation's finances.
An HMRC spokesman said: 'The draft legislation is not intended to target anyone giving fair and honest tax advice. "Deliberate wrongdoing" means the same as "fraud" or "dishonesty". 'Providing advice to clients about how they might best order their affairs, including tax planning and tax avoidance, cannot trigger the legislation in the absence of such fraud.'
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.