The Queen’s Speech- draft social care bill announced

May 9, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The Queen addressed both Houses of Parliament this morning when she delivered the annual Queen’s Speech to open parliament. In one of the most lavish occasions in Parliament’s calendar, the Queen outlined the government’s legislation for the year ahead.

The speech revealed nineteen bills including a Children and Families Bill, a Crime and Courts Bill and the Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill that safeguards suppliers against powerful supermarket chains.

The Queens Speech 2012

However many are disappointed to hear that a full bill on social care was not outlined. Instead a draft bill was announced during the Queen’s Speech much to the disapproval of people who are carers or supporters of elderly charities such as Age UK, who have campaigned for reform in social care’s law and funding.

The sheer volume of support for campaigns such as Age UK’s Care in Crisis– a campaign that has seen thousands sign petitions, write to parliament and even campaign at Westminster- displays how in demand change to the current care system is making today’s announcement deeply disappointing.

However, Age UK has released a statement which looks positively at the draft bill. As the leading charity for older people in the UK they plan to work with the government to make legislation possible next year and urge campaigners to continue backing social care reforms for as long as needs be.

David Cameron visits President Obama in America

March 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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This week we’ve seen Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit to America documented in the media. Accompanied by his wife, Samantha Cameron, the British prime minister flew to The White House where he spent time with Present Obama and the First Lady.

White-House-State 2012

The highly published tour included a White House state dinner, a trip on the iconic Air Force One and even front row seats at an all-star Basketball game (we are assured that serious business was discussed in between).

The leaders’ wives also spent time together meeting school children at a sporting event and a group of British school girls whom the First Lady invited to the White House after visiting their school during a visit to London in 2009.

Obama Cameron Basket Ball game

To political enthusiasts the tour may simply be a photo opportunities and I’ve read several articles which have slammed the visit as nothing more than a disaster. However others have praised the tour suggesting that it highlights the strong relationship between both nations.

Whatever your opinion the Cameron’s trip to America seems to have become a talking point- glossy magazines are even talking about it, which is incredibly positive as more people are clearly taking an interest in politics and politicians.

Discrimination in Football Summit with David Cameron

February 23, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I’ve always believed that sport has a brilliant way of bringing people together. Whether it’s watching or playing there seems to be a great sense of community.  I often think that this is why we encourage children to become actively involved in sport.

However it would appear that sports are becoming plagued by discrimination. Football in particular has seen a surge in racially motivated rows. Liverpool FC’s Luis Suarez was recently ordered an eight match band following a racist attack on Patrice Evra and former England captain, John Terry, will face trial in the summer after allegedly racially assaulting Anton Ferdinand.

Summit- David Cameron, David Bernstein & John Barnes

Summit- David Cameron, David Bernstein & John Barnes

I personally feel a sense of disappointment in the recent up rise of racism in football and I know that is this echoed by others too. I can’t help but question whether some professional sportsmen accept their responsibility in sustaining positivity and equality in sport.

Prime Minister David Cameron has himself admitted that racism is unfortunately creeping back into the world of football and with his admission he hosted ‘Discrimination in Football Summit’ at 10 Downing Street yesterday to tackle to problem head on.

The summit was attended by ex-footballers and representatives from the FA including Stoke-On-Trent based Noel Blake, who is currently Head Coach/Manager of England’s Under 19’s squad. Each is actively involved in football but more importantly is passionate about eradicating discrimination in sport. Working with the government they hope to make a positive step forward in achieving such.

Summit- Gordon Taylor, Nic Coward & Greg Clarke...

Summit- Gordon Taylor, Nic Coward & Greg Clarke...

Yesterday the government also pledged £3 million into the Football Association’s National Coaching Centre – St George’s Park here in Staffordshire. This will provide more opportunities for talented coaches and managers of the future. It is hoped that more black people and those from ethnic minorities will become involved; making the coaching centre an incentive which is incredibly encouraging for young people.

I’m happy to see that action is taking place. However I believe that its essentials for the summit’s message to transcend throughout the entire football community- clubs, manager, coaches, players and fans. As a strict no-tolerance attitude is the only answer for modern day football in England.

FIFA enforce Poppy band on England shirts

November 9, 2011 at 11:52 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I was rather shocked to hear today that the football association, FIFA, have enforced a Poppy ban on England football shirts, which will be worn in an international game between England and Spain this weekend.

Although FIFA have agreed to hold a minutes silence to commemorate Armistice Day, they have refused to allow a Poppy to be embroidered onto the England team’s strips. Stating that allowing such would be ‘jeopardising the neutrality of football’.

An outcry from British FIFA representatives and the general public for FIFA to reconsider their decision has been unsuccessful, and this morning David Cameron has spoken about the incident calling FIFA’s decision ‘absurd’.

england football

Poppy ban

Although I am not an enormous football fan I have to agree that the decision seems somewhat unreasonable. For many in Britain the Poppy is a symbol of remembrance and respect for those who have sacrificed for our freedom, a far cry from the political symbol which they are suggesting.

With the ban now enforced I can only hope that the England team seek other resources to show their support and respective for the Poppy Appeal.

Rosemary Powell in ‘The Royal British Legion 90 Years of Heroes’

November 7, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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A strong supporter of The Royal British Legion I believe that the Poppy Appeal is as important now as it was back in 1921. So forth for each sale which Bath-Knight receives during Monday 7th November to Friday 11th November 2011 a donation from Bath-Knight will be made to The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

poppy appeal banner

90 Years of Heroes, the book complied by Matt Croucher GC has been described as a ‘fitting tribute’ by Prime Minister David Cameron and I couldn’t agree more.

I was delighted when the book arrived this weekend, filled with beautiful imagery of war heroes past and present the book celebrates 90 heroes who have played important roles within the Armed Forces and The Royal British Legion.

Rosemary Powell 1

Rosemary- First Poppy Appeal

With so many incredible tales I plan on sharing a story from the book every day this week, as a tribute to Remembrance Day right here on my blog.

The story which immediately struck a chord with me was the tale of Rosemary Powell aged 96, the oldest and most loyal poppy seller in the Legion’s history.

Rosemary’s story began back in 1921 at the very first Poppy Appeal. With close connections to the First World War, her own father was a serviceman and fought in Indian Army during the war. Rosemary and her mother were happy to volunteer as poppy sellers in what would become a true tradition for many, many years.

Aged 6 it was on Twickenham Bridge, London that Rosemary started to sell poppies, a symbol of remembrance for all those who had fallen. With astounding support Rosemary recalls how supplies quickly ran out, forcing her mother to buy crepe paper to create more.

Rosemary Powell 02

More recently outside 10 Downing St

Since that day Rosemary has continued to sell poppies and represent the Legion. Her connection with the Forces have also reminded strong as her own husband served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War, bringing Rosemary ever closer to the Legion and its purpose.

Rosemary’s story provides an astonishing link with The Poppy Appeal and its history. As she has seen the appeal and its success grow in front of her own eyes.

Personally the story of Rosemary Powell offers tremendous inspiration whilst also triggering many questions which we often forget about. What impact has The Royal British Legion had on Poppy sellers’ lives? And what significance does the Poppy have to them? Furthermore Rosemary is proof that anyone can be a true and valued hero with enough dedication, effort, love and support for a great cause.

Purchase 90 Years of Heroes from the official Poppy Store here.

International Day of Older People 1st October 2011

October 3, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Saturday 1st October marked International Day of Older People, an annual event held across the world to celebrate older people and their contributions to make society a better place.

banner IDOP

The event was created in the early 1990’s by the United Nations, who thought that it was a great opportunity to recognise the elderly and raise awareness of aging. Now more than ever aging is an issue which people are interested to learn more about and International Day of Older People offer the perfect chance to do so.

This morning I read lots about International Day of Older People 2011 including statistics which help put the wonderful achievements of elderly people into perspective. One report stated that ‘people aged 60 and over represent almost 11 per cent of the total world population’ and this number is expected to rise. Startlingly in developing countries many elderly people work for their entire lives and unimaginably live on ‘less than one dollar (60 pence) a day’.

International day of older people

Age UK and HelpAge International are campaigning to introduce pension schemes into developing countries, where grandparents work to provide for entire families. The charity schemes hopes to help elderly people find more financial assistance of which they are entitled.  

Here in the UK Prime Minister David Cameron made a commitment over the weekend to ‘encourage older people to play a greater role in society’. I think that in lots of cases this is already taking place. As when I sat down to think about elderly people I instantly thought about grandparents who play a huge role in family life, older people who volunteer their time to great causes and elderly individuals who have a brilliantly positive attitude towards life.

A survey released on Saturday to mark International Day of Older People in the UK also noted that due to an increasing rise in aging by ‘2035, an estimated 100,000 people will be 100 years old or more’- a huge increase from the 12640 centenarians today.

International Day of Older People

I find these statistics both wonderful and somewhat baffling. Hearing that we are living longer is great news- a longer lifetime will enable us to achieve and contribute much more. However the strain which an aging population will put on society is something I which am sure will be interesting to watch unfold.

On the whole I think that International Day of Older People 2011 should celebrate the huge improvements in healthcare, medical advances and the way in which we life. As these improvement are continuing to enhance and prolong life expectancy worldwide, which is most defiantly worth celebrating.

My thoughts- The rioting across England.

August 9, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The rioting across London, which has now spread to other areas of England, is devastating to view.  News reports showing burning buildings of businesses and homes, shops being looted and innocent lives left in turmoil by people who seem to have little respect for society is truly tragic.

With strong police presence in all affected areas it is hard not to ask the questions what is going on and why hasn’t this callous violence been stopped?

I am glad PM David Cameron has returned from his summer holiday to assess the trouble. People need to feel safe again I hope that he can quickly achieve this.

Aaron Biber

I’m struck by the news footage and feel ashamed that such behaviour has happened in the UK. One photo I saw on The Telegraph says it all. 89 year old Aaron Biber looks at the remains of his barbershop in Tottenham. It is a heart breaking scene. Terrifyingly those responsible for these outrageous riots are mostly youngsters who are holding their own communities hostage with mindless and disgraceful behaviour.

Aaron Biber2

I think that we need to be strong now. We cannot accept these dreadful acts of criminality, which are bringing hysteria to the streets of England. We need to ask ourselves how in our modern, caring society can people behave in such an appalling manner, and why do these people believe that violence, theft and intimidation is acceptable.

For up to date news on rioting – click here.

The Royal Wedding guest list

April 26, 2011 at 11:00 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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royal wedding guest list

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