Friday, 20 December 2013

I hope Jackie Doyle-Price reads the Thurrock Gazette!

Below is the full text of my letter to the Thurrock Gazette about Jackie Doyle-Price entitled “Is Jackie Doyle-Price fit to be Thurrock’s MP?”

In recent months it has become increasingly apparent to me that Thurrock MP, Jackie Doyle-Price, is unfit to represent the electorate of her constituency.

Not only has Ms Doyle-Price shown a callous disregard for the damage her party’s policies are doing to the poor, sick and disabled of the country (as evidenced by her recent vote against the investigation into the rise in the use of food banks) but she also shirks her responsibility in representing the views of some of her constituents, myself being one of them. 

Ms Doyle-Price has refused to acknowledge receipt of my e-mails, has refused to provide any substantive answers to the points I raised and has been rude and dismissive stating that “I have no need for a pen friend”.  She has also shown herself to be offensive by sending an Easy Read leaflet on the role of an MP when it is clear from my correspondence to her that I am not suffering from any learning difficulty.  In fact, in a response to my request that she attend a debate on Mental Health in Parliament (when she was still responding, that is), she sent me the Hansard documentation of the debate which contained every word spoken in the debate but did not provide me with the information of why she did not attend.

Ms Doyle-Price does not represent the people of Thurrock in the way that they deserve to be represented and, in fact, only represents a dismal 21.7% of the entire electorate of Thurrock.  She should represent the views of her constituents, without fear or favour, even if she disagrees with them and she should engage with her constituents in whatever way they wish to contact her, providing substantive answers or other adequate and appropriate responses.

It is the duty of every citizen to engage in the democratic process by contacting their MP on issues that concern them and to hold their MP to account for their voting record and actions in office.

It is the duty of every MP to represent the views of the people they represent and to allow themselves to be held to account by those same people.  Jackie Doyle-Price fails to adhere to her duty in almost every respect.

Myles Cook, Argent Street, Grays.

I included a postscript that invited the Gazette to contact me if they wished to view the correspondence between JD-P and myself but have decided that I would not post it here as it has my contact number in it and it is not part of the main letter.

If it gets printed in next week’s edition and I get any responses, I’ll post the responses here.

More letters to Jackie Doyle-Price

Below are the full texts of my latest letters to Jackie Doyle-Price.

Dear Ms Doyle-Price,

I noticed on the Hansard coverage of the food bank debate that you voted against investigating the rise in the use of food banks and the increase in food poverty – could you explain to me why you voted the way that you did?

I also noticed that you also voted to retain the Bedroom Tax as shown on 

Can you explain how voting to retain the Bedroom Tax and voting against investigating the rise in the use of food banks and the increase in food poverty are good for the country and its citizens? 

I am by no means a stupid man but I cannot see the logic in your voting record on these issues unless you hope to grind down the poor and disadvantaged and then cover up the evidence of your party’s systematic persecution of those groups.


Myles Cook

Dear Ms Doyle-Price,

I have recently been sent PDF file of the ‘Citizenship & Democracy’ booklet being distributed to schools to help promote children approaching voting age to engage with the democratic process.

I have noticed, however, that the entire booklet is designed as Conservative propaganda and, as such, breaches The Education Act 1996 which obligates schools to offer “a balanced presentation of opposing views”.  The only views I could see within the booklet are Conservative views that show your party in a favourable light with no opposing views.

By distributing this Conservative Party propaganda, the Government is breaking the law as are any schools that use it to educate their students and I ask you, as my representative in Parliament, to demand that the booklet be recalled and pulped.


Myles Cook

If I get any replies (some hope!), I'll post them here.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Some random thoughts on Time

Sometimes I get ideas in my head that just won’t leave me alone.  I’m a naturally thoughtful person even if some of the thoughts and ideas I come up with are weird and occasionally a subject will just make its way into my conscious mind and stay there until I have considered it.  The most recent subject is Time so, in order to get rid of the subject for a while, I am writing down my thoughts, completely unedited, as they come into my mind.

Time is a strange concept because, through the lens of our perceptions, Time actually seems to move at different speeds for different people.  For example, a person who is occupied with a physical or mental task will find that time goes quickly if they are enjoying it but a person who is carrying out a similar task that they do not enjoy finds that time drags.  This example is self evident but we could look at time in a different way.

Imagine that Time is not a constant, universal speed – one second is one second for everyone – but is, in fact, an ever-changing, fluid variable.  There would still be a single universally accepted Time but this is not a universal constant value in terms of speed; it would be a value derived from the various ‘Personal Time’ values and evened out to an acceptable ‘Consensus Time’.

Accepting this hypothesis, it is perfectly possible for an individual’s ‘Personal Time’ to be faster or slower than another’s and could provide a reasoning for the idea of a young person who seems to possess an ‘old soul’.  It is not that they are advanced for their age; it could be that their mind is operating at a faster rate of ‘Personal Time’ than others of their physical age.  The idea of a variable ‘Personal Time’ could also explain so-called child geniuses as their mind, existing at a faster ‘Personal Time’, seems to be processing the information they acquire at a higher than usual rate but is, in fact, actually processing at the same speed as anyone else if all other considerations are taken into account.  For example, a seven-year-old child will have processed ‘x’ amount of information in those seven years but a child with a physical body of four years of age may have processed the same amount of information as the seven-year-old because their mind is actually operating at a faster rate of ‘Personal Time’ and is seven years old whilst their body is only four years old.

The idea that our bodies age at similar rates would seem to negate the possibility of ‘Personal Time’ at first glance but if we look in nature we can find evidence of different time rates.  For instance, it is well known that insects have very short life spans and this has been explained as the smaller the animal, the faster the heart rate and the shorter the life span.  Larger animals seem to have slower heart rates and, therefore, longer life spans.  The idea of ‘dog years’ or ‘cat years’ has been around for a long time but no one, as far as I know, has proposed the idea that this is because animals live within different ‘Species Times’ which differ from each other and humankind’s ‘Consensus Time’.

Within each ‘Species Time’, which is essentially a ‘Consensus Time’ for that particular species, there are also individual rates of ‘Personal Time’ for each specific animal within that species and this could account for some individual animals exceeding their species’ maximum life expectancy.  Essentially these longer lived specimens are actually aging at a slower rate than is normal for their species.

It is possible, if this hypothesis is correct, that when a person enters into a relationship with another person the two individual ‘Personal Time’ rates will synchronise during the course of the relationship to a greater or lesser degree.  The fact that some couples die within days of each other can seem to imply that this is indeed the case.

If Time really is as fluid as this hypothesis suggests, it may be that certain dementias and Alzheimer’s could be partly caused by a degradation of a person’s ‘Personal Time’ in relation to ‘Consensus Time’ and the ‘Personal Time’ rates of those around them.  It is a well-known fact that Alzheimer’s can cause a person’s mind to reset to an earlier time in their life and, taking the ‘Personal Time’ hypothesis as correct, it could be that the time to which the individual’s mind is reset each day is the last period of undamaged ‘Personal Time’ the person has.

I know that most of what I have written may seem weird or just plain crazy but I would also like to think that it may make the reader think about the concept of Time in a different way for at least for a short while.

This blog entry may not be of much scientific or philosophical value but it has given me a chance to exorcise the ideas that have been running round in my head and I can get on with other things now.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Tories start ‘Operation Mind Rape’ on UK’s schoolchildren

In their booklet “Citizenship & Democracy” being distributed to schools across the UK to encourage children coming up to voting age to engage in the democratic process and vote.  The problem is that, within two pages, the Conservatives have started the propaganda offensive on the minds of the readers by pushing Tory bullshit down the throats of impressionable children that they are “Thatcher’s children”.

‘Operation Mind Rape’ starts on page 2 of the booklet with the following quote from MP Paul Uppal in answer to the question “Who is your political inspiration?”:

Regardless of our political affiliation, almost all teenagers of the 80's are Margaret Thatcher's children.  By applying Conservative principles and values, she was able to achieve a real, lasting legacy for this country.

Now I don’t have a problem with a Conservative MP having Margaret Thatcher as a political inspiration as everyone has to have an inspiration to get into any kind of activity but what I find objectionable is that he is already pushing the idea that the younger generation owes Thatcher, and therefore the Conservatives, a debt of gratitude for the “real, lasting legacy” she supposedly left them.  Exactly what the legacy she left was is anyone’s guess but all I have ever seen under the Conservatives’ tender mercy are cuts, mass unemployment and good times for the rich.

I’d also like to point out Mr Uppal’s factual error when he states that Thatcher applied “Conservative principles and values”.  Actually, Thatcher’s principles and values were Liberal Conservative.

The bias in favour of the Conservatives continues with the following question: “What is the most important thing the Conservative Party has accomplished whilst in government?”.  This is blatant propaganda.  A more apt question, if the real intent of the booklet is to get young people involved with voting and politics, would be – “what is the most important thing that politics has accomplished? – which is politically neutral even if the response given is not.

Mr Uppal’s response to the question, as posed in the booklet, is:

I am proud of many of the Party's achievements, but one that I am particularly proud of is the introduction of Free Schools, which allows local people to set up schools with their own vision and ethos.

Perhaps we should be given proof of the relative value of Free Schools before you call that an achievement, Mr Uppal.  And perhaps we should take a long look at the Conservatives’ other achievements – increased levels of personal debt, homelessness and poverty of all kinds, welfare cuts-related suicides and early deaths, reducing living standards and money being flushed down the toilet by Government departments on stupid and unnecessary reforms.  I just thought I’d mention the other Conservative achievements for the sake of balance.

Page 3 has a picture of the rosettes of the three main political parties which could be considered a subliminal form of indoctrination with the Conservative rosette being the largest, the Liberal Democrat rosette being the second largest and Labour’s rosette being significantly smaller than either of the others.  The subliminal message being that the Conservatives have a larger following and are, therefore, better than the other parties.  The Liberal Democrats only have the second largest rosette because they are currently in the current coalition Government.

There is also a lovely picture of a triumphant David Cameron together with the caption – “When the polling stations close (at 10 o’clock in the evening) the ballot papers are counted and the winning candidate announced.  This could be construed as an attempt to show Cameron and the Conservatives as winners – another attempt to mold impressionable young minds.

Page 4 continues the ‘Operation Mind Rape’ assault on young minds by repeating the inappropriate question from page 2 – “What is the most important thing the Conservative Party has accomplished whilst in government?  This time the response comes from Helen Grant MP who gives the following answer:
Dealing with the legacy of immense financial mess from the previous government is our most important task.

Of course, you may notice that this does not actually answer the question as it is a statement of what the Conservatives are supposed to be doing but not what they have actually achieved.  This is obviously just an attempt to discredit Labour in the eyes of the young voters without pointing out that part of the problem was the global financial crisis brought about by casino banking that almost crashed the entire global economy.  I would not say that Labour did not make a lot of mistakes but to continually blame them for the economic crisis a full three and a half years into their own administration is a bit hard to take.  And let us not forget that the UK would have been in a better position if we had not lost most of our manufacturing industry during the Thatcher years to focus on the financial sector.  Taking this final point into account, the Conservatives are as much to blame for the economic crisis the UK is facing now.

Pages 4 and 5 constitute a party political leaflet ‘selling’ the Conservatives with nothing in the rest of the booklet to ‘sell’ the other political parties and if that is not blatant propaganda and even low-level brainwashing, I don’t know what is.

The following extract from the section, Responsibility, is quite interesting:

The Conservative Party believes that if you trust people and give them more power and responsibility over their lives, you get a stronger society.

That’s why we are shifting power from Westminster to the people. We are ending the era of top-down government by giving new powers to local councils, communities, neighbourhoods and individuals.

Some might actually say that this shifting of power downwards is the Government abandoning their duties to the public so they can shift the blame to others when the policies they implement at the national level negatively affect services now in the province of local authorities and other organisations.

The following extract takes a lot of swallowing too:

We think that everyone should take responsibility for their actions - including those in Government. That is why we are delivering trasparancy by publishing how central and local government spend their money and putting more information online.

Let us ignore the typographical error in the second line and view the entire comment through the lens of current events.  Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, has constantly shirked off any attempt to take responsibility for the chaos being caused by his welfare reforms but has never been reprimanded for not taking responsibility.  The current Government  has also recently been accused of covering up and suppressing reports that would reflect badly on them so the question is – if the Conservatives believe in taking responsibility for their actions and delivering transparency, how do they justify the events that show that they believe in neither of those things?

Under the title, Fairness, the following extracts show the depths of the Conservative Party’s hypocricy:

The Conservative Party is the party of fairness.

We are also tackling the unfairness that has been able to develop at the top of society by making sure that rich people pay the tax they owe…

Looking at the first extract, it is difficult to show fairness in the Conservative mind when, as mentioned before, there are increased levels of personal debt, homelessness and poverty of all kinds caused by this Government’s policies, welfare cuts-related suicides and early deaths, reducing living standards whilst at the same time the rich have been given tax breaks and are still able to avoid massive tax bills as well.  And it is the final part of my last sentence that refutes the second of the extracts.

On page 5 the following quote is highlighted: “No group, no minority, will be left behind on the road to a better future”.  It is difficult to swallow this statement when the disabled, a minority within the population, are being subjugated and where only some young people can afford to get the education they want because of the increase in tuition fees.  Many young people find themselves unemployed with no hope of getting a job because many vacancies are now being filled by a new slave class, the poor victims of ‘Workfare’.

Page 5 also brings us more Conservative propaganda and hypocrisy from the mouth of Esther McVey.  In answer to the question “What political topic/area are you most
passionate about and why?”:

Disabled people.  I also work with inner city kids helping them believe in themselves and achieve their potential in life. I believe everyone can achieve given the right support and advice. Life is about where you're going, not where you came from. It's about how much you put in and not how much you take out.

Now if Ms McVey really cared about disabled people, would she really have gone along with the shutting of Remploy sites that gave disabled people employment?  Would she not have made an impassioned plea to lighten up on the welfare reforms that are heavily detrimental to the disabled?  Should she not have done something about the Work Capability Assessment that has been shown to be not fit-for-purpose?

And if Ms McVey really wants to help kids achieve their potential, should she not have put up objections to the increase in tuition fees that now disadvantages the people she says she cares about?

In answer to the inappropriate question “What is the most important thing the Conservative Party has accomplished whilst in government?”:

Getting to grips with the country's debt. Having had no money, and having lived hand to mouth, I know how vulnerable that leaves you as an individual. I recognise only too well the vulnerable state the country has been left in by Labour. Most of all, we need to ensure those who got us in this mess aren't allowed to ever again.

Where do I start on this one?  To start with, Ms McVey’s answer is, like Ms Grant’s answer, not really an answer, it is a statement of what they are trying to do.  The Conservatives are not, however, achieving anything with the UK’s debt as this administration has borrowed even more money over their term of office than Labour did during their entire 13 years in power.  I cannot believe that our debt is smaller if we are borrowing more money.

If she really knows how vulnerable having no money leaves you then why is she doing nothing to help those who are in such a situation now?  Should she not be up in arms with disgust at how her colleagues are crushing the life out of the poor and disadvantaged?

And finally, Ms McVey piles on the blame for the economic situation onto Labour yet again.  She fails to mention the global financial crisis and, by failing to mention it, she is trying to mold young minds into voting Conservative.

Page 6 brings us more Conservative propaganda and hypocrisy from the youngest member of the Government, Chloe Smith MP.

In answer to the question “What political topic/area are you most passionate about and why?”:

Jobs for young people, for which I’ve recently started Every generation needs to make its own way, and I want to help connect young people with local businesses for great opportunities.

Well good for you, Ms Smith but 1) this booklet is not meant to be free publicity for your website which I have no doubt you are making money from in some way and 2) have you noticed that youth unemployment is extremely high at the moment?  A generation can only make its own way if there are opportunities for free education, a bit like that received by most of the Members of Parliament, and jobs to go to which are not there because of the slave trade called ‘Workfare’.

And in answer to the inappropriate question that keeps cropping up “What is the most important thing the Conservative Party has accomplished whilst in government?”:

Keeping the country’s debt under control. The younger generation doesn’t deserve yet more spending, borrowing and debt that they will have to pay off if others don’t have the courage to make tough decisions.

Again, this is not an answer but a statement of what the Conservatives are supposed to be doing with the fact that they are failing omitted.  Ms Smith does not seem to be reading the newspapers does she?  If she did, she would know that the UK is borrowing more now than ever.

Page 6 also gives us the brilliant quote – “Listening to the views of voters is a key part of any successful election campaign”.  I only mention it because I would like someone to tell my Conservative MP, Jackie Doyle-Price, so that the woman actually starts to answer my e-mails.
The Education Act 1996 obligates schools to offer “a balanced presentation of opposing views” (see below) and, by distributing this Conservative Party propaganda, the Government is breaking the law as are any schools that use it to educate their students. 

Let us be perfectly clear about this, the Conservatives are illegally trying to brainwash the next generation of voters into becoming Tory voters with propaganda distributed as educational material and using the education system in a way that defiles the whole school system.  Well that is my opinion.

You can read the full booklet and make up your own mind on whether it is appropriate by going to  

I will leave you with this comment from Pauli, a reader of the Political Scrapbook article.  It is a response to a previous reader’s comment and Pauli kindly quotes the part to which his comment refers.

Propaganda in this is used to mean information that somebody does not like

“That is not the case.

“If you think the problem is purely that there are some who disagree and they are wrong in their assessment of this as propaganda, then you clearly do not understand what education is.

“Presenting a highly biased account of Thatcher in glowing terms as undisputed fact is propaganda. Party political leaflets have no place in the classroom.

“Tories have absolutely no rights even using words like “citizen” and “democracy” when they are doing all they can to deprive us of both. Not forgetting of course that we are officially not citizens but subjects of Her Majesty and therefore of HM’s Govt.”

I could not agree more!