Wednesday, 29 January 2014

This is not democracy!

I recently sent an e mail to various MPs and I produce copies below which will show what sort of democracy we live in, in the UK

 Sent: 14 December 2013 12:21
Liberal Democrat

Subject: British democracy is dead?

We, the British Citizens abroad circulate messages amongst each other about our problems – the WFP tops the list at the moment amongst the elderly – then Passport renewal costs – exchange rates– health care costs in Europe – The proposed Referendum - Investments in Britain – Bank accounts in the UK – Taxes on Government pensions - One’s family in the UK…… 
The Elderly Briton is most affected – That is because pensioners are the largest group of Britons most permanently settled abroad AND also most dependent on Britain for their income and welfare.  In Europe the Elderly Briton comprises about 33 % of all Britons and are an even higher percentage of all those permanently resident in other States of the EU. 

The Winter Fuel Payment is causing outrage amongst many pensioners living in Europe. Having successfully fought to get their payments installed, Iain Duncan Smith is using to say the least spourious figures to deny pensioners their winter Fuel Payment, and at its extreme to say a dishonest system of denying pensioners what should be paid as of right. The majority of pensiooners are OBLIGED to pay their tax within the UK, with no right of choice to have their taxation transferred to their country of residence. Ask yourself, would the Treasury be happy to give up on this tax with the same relish that they deny the Winter Fuel Payment?

It is necessary to do more than just talk to ourselves. But what can we do? It is difficult to be able to talk to Government – We are British Citizens - WHY CAN’T WE?
The politicians are, in theory, our servants, not our masters.  But only they have the power to change things, we do not!  If the politicians are not elected by us then they have absolute power. The WFP affair illustrates that. 

Representation is the answer.  Yes – it is necessary to spend less on politics as Cameron says, probably the number of MPs should be cut, but surely  the 450,000 retired Britons in Europe deserve to be listened to!   To have a voice! The politicians need to feel pride in us, and then want to help us.  But we need to feel pride in them – (don’t laugh!)

What would Representation do?   Let us say we had an MP,  just for us, at Westminster, who could stand up in Parliament and tell the gathered House of Commons of the difficulties we face; Our MP could write to, and discuss with the civil servants, the way forward. And more! could tell them of what we are doing for the reputation of Britain in Europe. Britons serve on local committees - of elected bodies, of charities - run clubs for schools, as teachers, Many pensioners teach English in voluntary classes, raise money for charities,  perform in concerts, lead walks, and I am sure many other activities.  There are Britons running businesses - selling British goods.  It would seem that few politicians in Westminster thoroughly understand and grasp the significance of these facts!

Tales of the Brit Abroad, if taken back to Parliament and retold not just in the Chamber but in the restaurants and bars of the House, in speaking with other MPs, would do so much to improve our standing.  We desperately need to engender in the British politician, and indeed in the British Public, respect for what we do, and who we are.  This is what Axelle Lemaire, the député in Paris for the French citizens in Britain does, and she does it well.
When Bills are presented, our MP. would speak for matters which concern us - like the WFP -like health support -like passport controls and costs - like the exchange rate! Our MP could speak of our interest in the development of Europe, or our problems with the laws of the country in which we are resident, so that a dialogue could occur between the British Government and the local Government and the EU Commission on our behalf.
   Our MP could speak out for our concerns about matters in the British economy - Why on earth can't we open a new bank account in England, or transfer between banks to take advantage of lowered charges?  Why is it difficult to invest as a new client in British investment houses - building societies etc.  These matters are contrary to the spirit of the EU regulations, and yet the UK permits them.
I am an EU citizen but also, and above all, a UK citizen, but the UK ignores me.  If I write to an MP in the UK, you know that I will get an automatic response telling me that unless I am a constituent, under Parliamentary rules, my letter cannot be dealt with. This is not democracy!


On 23 December 2013 14:53, DOBSON, Sarah <> wrote:
Mr xxxxxxx

Thank you for your email to Anne Marie which has been passed to me as her Caseworker.  Would you like to book an appointment to see me in the new year?

Best wishes



From: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx 
Sent: 29 January 2014 15:17
To: DOBSON, Sarah; Brian Cave; Richards Graham
Subject: Re: FW: British democracy is dead?

I was disappointed not to have heard from you, but I feel that this is typical of the political heirachy in the UK when it deals with UK citizens who live elsewhere in Europe. I have attached two documents that you may or may not have seen with respect to voting rights of British Citizens.


From: DOBSON, Sarah
Sent : 29 January 2014 16:25
To: xxxxxxxx

If you can demonstrate a connection with Anne Marie’s constituency, with regard to your voting rights, she will be happy to put forward your views to the minister.  Otherwise, you are correct to refer to the Parliamentary rules in your original email.



From: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: 29 January 2014 16:06
To: DOBSON, Sarah; Brian Cave; Richards Graham
Subject: Re: FW: British democracy is dead?

I have lived in France since 1985. Can you advise me, who is my political representative? I am A British citizen. I was a Police Officer and was part of the security team for Margaret Thatcher. My last three years of service was in Parliament protecting MPs. I would simply like to know, which MP protects me now that I am retired?

On 29 January 2014 17:26, DOBSON, Sarah <> wrote:

I am advised that a British citizen  living overseas is able to be registered for up to 15 years after leaving the UK in the constituency in which they were formerly registered to vote. They can only vote in UK Parliamentary elections and European Parliamentary elections. 

However, as you have been living in the France since 1985 you have exceeded the 15 years. 

Please see the attached briefing note for more information.

Best wishes


From this correspondence  Sarah DOBSON, on behalf of  
  was the only one to reply.
I received  NO reply at all from any of the other politicians .

Liberal Democrat


I together with thousands of other pensioners who have moved elsewhere in Europe are treated with disdain by British politicians. Many of us still pay our taxes to the UK government, would they remain so calm if we refused to pay our taxes?

Of course not!

Statement from  Sir Roger Gale MP (Cons. Thanet North)Give Ex-Pats the right to vote Ex-Pat UK citizens should be given the right to vote in perpetuity.  That is the view expressed this morning by Sir Roger Gale, MP (North Thanet) following a statement by the European Commission in support of the proposal.  In a rare moment of harmony with Brussels the euro-sceptic MP has said:
 “It is not often that I agree with the Commission and of course the manner in which we determine our electoral system is and must remain a matter for the UK and not the EU but in this instance they have got it right.
 In the interests of democracy all UK citizens, wherever they may reside, should have the right to vote in both UK parliamentary elections and in a future EU referendum if , as I hope, there is to be one. In most developed democracies citizens have the right to vote in perpetuity. In the UK that right, for those overseas, is limited to 15 years and the registration system is far too complex.  That is the case that we put to the Commission when Harry Shindler and I met with Commissioner Reding last year and I am pleased that Harry`s particularly powerful case seems to have found favour. At 93 Harry (who received the MBE for services to the United Kingdom in the New Years` Honours list)  may not have too many votes left in him and we need to get on with this.
Personally, I would like to see ex-pats enabled to vote at the next general election but given Liberal Democrat resistance to a change that seems unlikely.  I know that the Cabinet Office is working on a simplification of the registration system and I hope that we shall have a manifesto commitment for 2015 so that at the very least we can legislate to give ex-pats the absolute right to vote in an in/out EU Referendum by 2017.  That is the least that we can do for people who in many cases have paid UK taxes throughout their lives, may have fought for our Country and have children and grandchildren still living in Britain”

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

An Obituary 

I don't know where this comes from but it is so true

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

- Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
- Why the early bird gets the worm;
- Life isn't always fair;
- And maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and
Criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, launched a lawsuit and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death,
-by his parents, Truth and Trust,
-by his wife, Discretion,
-by his daughter, Responsibility,
-and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 5 stepbrothers;
- I Know My Rights
- I Want It Now
- Someone Else Is To Blame
- I'm A Victim
- Pay me for Doing Nothing

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. 

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Speak English or lose benefits: Cameron to stop payouts to immigrants who use taxpayer-funded translators



 Prime Minister intends to stop printing paperwork in foreign languages. 

Announcement of plans delayed after row between Coalition partners

The Prime Minister intends to stop printing welfare paperwork in foreign languages reads the headline, but what is the news in that. The language of the UK is English, and paperwork should be printed in ENGLISH.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, it has been shown that the Department for Work and Pensions used interpreters 271,695 times in the space of one year to assist foreign benefits claimants. Town halls such as Tower Hamlets in East London publish guides on how to claim benefits in foreign  languages, yet at the same time cut back on local services.

The vast majority of voters will think this idea is plain common sense. It is unreasonable to expect taxpayers to spend on printing a myriad of forms, in the various languages of the world.

The planned announcement however, has been delayed, according to reports because Clegg is not happy with it. What is it with this man that he is against all sensible proposals. Proposals that the vast majority of the population are in favour of. Apparently he is nervous of being portrayed as being too harsh on immigrants, and yet he is not nervous of annoying the majority of the UK population. It doesn’t make sense.

Labour’s Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons’ home affairs committee, also expressed reservations saying: ‘In principle, it is a good idea, but it could cost the taxpayer more because if people are refused benefit and have a genuine claim, they will sue the Government.’

Sue them for what? Using our own national language? But when you see some of the bizarre decisions that our Courts have been handing down you take a step back and think “Yes, I suppose it’s possible”

No wonder many UK citizens are saying the country has gone to the dogs!!!!!