Local Politics

Recently I wrote a letter to Steve Brine, Winchester’s MP, concerning a recent proposal by our government to not allow prisoners a vote in local and national elections thus denying them a basic human right to choose who represents them in the world of politics, I asked  him;

  • What he voted and why regarding prisoner voting.

I wasn’t happy with was the reply regarding how he voted against allowing prisoners to vote in local and national elections. I was presented with a letter with a single paragraph pertaining to prisoner voting.

As you may have seen on the numerous news outlets and politics websites, I have voted against giving prisoners the right to vote. I believe that if you break the law you cannot make the law, and the current system is both just and popular. However, that does not mean that rehabilitation of the prisoners while inside is something that should be neglected, and I believe there is much work to be done there.

By him stating in his own words that if people break the law, they cannot make the law, he, by his own admission, should not be in any sort of power to do so. I say this because, from what I gather, it is the law of the EU to allow prisoners to vote for their leaders and as a member of the EU, he is breaking that law!

In voting the way he did, he is helping our government break the law and allowing the UK to lose hundreds of millions of pounds of tax payers money in compensation to the prisoners who are not allowed to vote!

Now, obviously this is not acceptable and something should be done about this, but what? I have written another letter to Steve Brine, the local Winchester MP asking him to justify his reasons for voting the way he did, knowing full well that if this does come to pass, it could cost the country approximately 140 million pounds in tax payers hard earned money, when this could be better spent on the NHS and schools etc.

The reply I got was as follows.

The governments position on this is clear. It wants to do the absolute minimum necessary to avoid paying compensation to prisoners. It therefore has to rely on legal advice as to what the minimum is, but will only do the minimum.

The government does not have a problem with backbenchers debating this – it is for them now to set their issues for debate.

In deciding how to proceed, we have been guided by three principles:

  1. that we should implement the Hirst judgement in a way that meets our legal obligations, but goes no further;
  2. that the most serious offenders should not be given the right to vote; and
  3. that we should seek to prevent the taxpayer having to face future claims for compensation.

I realise that we will continue to disagree on the principle here, but I hope this sets out clearly our position.

Aside from him calling me a bigot it seems that the government wants to abide by the EU law giving prisoners the right to vote, but wants to do absolute minimum to not get in trouble. Frankly I think that this is still unacceptable. There is no reason why prisoners should not be allowed their right to vote, they are part of society as much as the next person and obviously the government dictated how the prison system is run!

Although, the government doesn’t want to get in trouble and make us, the tax payer, pay for their defiance, it still doesn’t excuse the fact that they are only willing to do the bare minimum for the people who are in prison.

I wonder if Steve Brine actually took the time to ask any of his constituents, like he should have done, because if I am not mistaken, he is, after all, representing the good people of Winchester and the surrounding area. I know I wasn’t asked, nor had I heard anything about the locals being asked.

Does this then mean that Steve Brine is abusing his powers to only vote for things that he sees fit to? What about the people that he represents? Was it even brought up at his “surgeries”? As I understand it, you need an appointment to see him between the hours, and I must stress, working hours, of 2 – 4pm on a Friday afternoon. Meaning it’s unlikely that anyone who works would be able to turn up! Not to mention that it’s on a one to one basis and not a group of people as you would expect, so very few people would be able to see him at all.

I dare you to reply to this Steve.

It seems I wasn’t alone!

According to a report by the BBC I was not the only one to have problems with getting my money back and my account closed with a subsidiary of Carphone Warehouse, AOL.

According to the report over 62000 people have experienced the same problem if not worse than I did. Carphone Warehouse are blaming an issue they are having with a new billing system they introduced after purchasing Talk Talk back in June 2009.

I consider myself pretty lucky to have finally got away from AOL with the £20 cheque they sent me. Nearly £2.6 Million is expected to be paid out to people who have canceled their service and yet still find themselves being charged! Unfortunately some of those customers have had their credit rating screwed up because of the mess that Carphone Warehouse have got themselves in!

Apparently Ofcom launched an investigation in July 2010 but have concluded that the firms would need to pay the compensation by December 2010 or face fines. It seems that they are not sticking to this as I have only just received my compensation last week but I doubt anything will be done about this!

AOL – Finally Gone?

As you know, I left AOL some time ago because I was having connection and speed issues with their service. Ever since, I have been getting letters from them claiming that I owe them money for the services that they are providing me.

Each and every time I get one of these letters I phone them up and they tell me that there is no active service on my line and that I shouldn’t be getting the letters.

Finally, last month when I spoke to them and got them to “cancel my account”, it seems to have worked. My account is really closed. Well at least I hope so. It’s got to the point where I am getting tired of having to phone them up and complaining to them for at least 20 minutes some times up to 1 and a half hours before anything “gets done”.

It’s cost me money and time. Luckily, the money I am getting back, but the hours of my time, have been lost talking to idiots on the telephone from a different country that can barely speak English!

Is my account truly closed? Time will only tell!

The money I got back from all the calls I made!

I hope that I never get another letter from them. It’s really starting to tick me off. If I do, then I will be calling Consumer Direct and making an official complaint with them regarding this matter, AOL have had their chance now.

Call of Duty: Black Ops AI Bug

Once again I am pissed off because of Call of Duty: Black Bug Ops. Before today I have not bothered to play through single player because of the amount of bugs that the game has. Today I thought “fuck it, I’m going to have a go!”

I loaded up the game, sat through the annoying torture cut scenes only to get to an area of the game right at the beginning where I am unable to go any further.

You would think that it was a simple little bug that the AI can’t handle and restarting the area where this happens would be the solution, but no! It keeps happening over and over again!

Eventually after around 40 minutes of trying to get the AI not to get stuck, I eventually found a way. I have to run way ahead of the AI and make sure I killed everyone very quickly and then I finally managed to get past it and on to the next level.

These bugs should not be in the game. Its a simple AI problem. From what I remember, with most AI systems, you have to program a path way for them to follow, or “areas” where they are allowed to be. Surely this wshould not beyond the capabilities of the developers?