Surely now would be a fitting moment to create a lasting memory to Nelson Mandela.
Naturally South Africa will want to honour their most famous son, and rightly so, but the rest of the world should join in by the inauguration of an award to celebrate the life of the great man.
The “Mandela Award” could be made to either an individual, group or country deemed to have made the greatest effort in promoting cultural and religious harmony.
Perhaps if people would strive to achieve the ideals of Mr Mandela rather than to continuously engage in conflicts and jihads against one another the world could become a better place.
In his eyes no man should hold himself to be better than another and everyone has a role to play in life.
He was a truly great man living his life by principles that we should all try to follow.
Perhaps only a few may achieve it but if we all tried then the world could be a much nicer place for everyone.
Our standards of living are falling
Last week it was revealed that the City’s highest-paid bankers’ rewards rose by a third.
In 2012 some 2,700 of them received more than one million euros each.
The European Union wants to cap what they get but George Osborne is making a legal challenge to prevent it.
It’s hard to convince this Government of a moral or ethical viewpoint.
After all, they would say, there’s a limit to the amount of bling or cocaine that you can use and still get through your front door.
The coalition and UKIP have no desire to intervene in markets, which are sacrosanct.
Witness their late conversion to curbing energy prices.
Meanwhile, the 350-plus foodbanks ration parcels and 30 per cent of users say that they visit because state support has stopped.
Unlike the bankers, a majority of people are experiencing reductions in their standards of living and job security.
There are fairer, more effecient and sustainable ways of organising society but none of them involve the craven submission to market forces.
We must engage with Europeans
The agreement to reverse Iran’s nuclear program was mediated by the European Union’s foreign policy chief Lady Ashton, and represents both a personal triumph and vindication for the EU on the international stage.
This contrasts with the derision and negativity of UKIP.
A recent CBI report concluded that remaining in the EU is overwhelmingly in Britain’s best interest.
If the current negotiations between the EU and the US, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership come to fruition the best estimate is that the UK economy would benefit by an extra £10bn per annum.
What a contrast to UKIP.
Their attendance record in the European Parliament is worse than that of their counterparts from the three major parties.
They have missed about a third of votes in the EP between 2009 and 2013.
UKIP claim to stand up for Britain against European bureaucracy but in a recent debate regarding the European Parliament meeting in both Brussels and Strasbourg, only four out of nine UKIP MEPs turned up to vote and those that did abstained!
Even worse, six UKIP MEPs claimed their daily spending allowance.
In other words, some UKIP MEPs signed in and could not even be bothered to abstain.
The EU must address its democratic deficit but in a world increasingly dominated by expanding free trade areas it is crass and simplistic to suggest that a country such as Britain has a credible future isolated on its own.
The EU is more than an infantile debate about immigration.
This country could benefit hugely from engaging positively with the EU.
Time to tackle bad landlords
Regarding the landlord who lost his appeal against his court sentence.
How can the landlord have any conscience and ask for his paltry nine-month jail term to be reduced when a little boy had died?
Too many houses that are at the lower end of the market, and the only ones that young first time buyers can afford, are being scooped up by people wanting to expand their portfolio of properties.
We are going to end up with a generation of people who will never have the opportunity to buy a house because they can’t get the houses that they can afford and get on the property ladder.
When you look around Kettering there are very few “For Sale” signs, only “To Let”.
Something has to be done to address this and stop unscrupulous people from renting houses that are poorly maintained and upgraded for the lowest possible amount.
Good Samaritans were so helpful
On Friday, November 29, I fell over at the crossing by Sainsbury’s in Kettering.
I would like to thank all the kind people who helped me and gathered up my shopping.
One young lady insisted she took me into Sainsbury’s to be checked out by their first-aider.
She stayed with me until she was sure I was OK.
Unfortunately I forgot to get her name, but she will know who she is.
Thank you all once again.
Some agreement with opponent
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those people in Kingswood and Hazel Leys who voted in the by-election on November 7 and who provided me with the great honour of representing them as their new ward councillor.
In doing so I find myself in the unusual position of agreeing with my UKIP opponent, Peter McGowan, when he criticises the findings of a recent Office for National Statistics report that suggests Corby is one of the least happiest places in the UK and lacks a community spirit that can be found in other towns.
Like Mr McGowan that was not my experience when canvassing the ward.
However, I must take issue with the claim made by him that the deprivation to be found in parts of Kingswood is to the “shame” of Corby Council.
On the contrary, the regeneration of Kingswood, which can be seen in Olympic Square and the soon to be redeveloped Canada Square, are the results of decisions taken by Corby’s Labour-led council in the face of constant opposition and negativity from our political opponents.
UKIP finished a poor second to Labour in the Kingswood by-election.
If they continue in this vein they will suffer the same fate as the Conservatives, who despite their recent re-branding as people who love Corby, finished an even poorer third!
Labour councillor for Kingswood and Hazel Leys
Breakdown for inner eco-warrior
My inner eco-warrior is having his annual breakdown again.
We have spent all year turning down the thermostat, turning off lights and wearing woolly jumpers to save on the horrendous energy bills.
Now, for the next month and beyond, every other house in the country will have Christmas lights burning for at least six hours a day wasting our electricity.
And at the same time increasing light pollution, wasting the hard won resources of coal, oil, and gas – not to mention those unwanted byproducts of emmissions.
How can any one of us justify taking £100 off that nice Mr Cameron and his chums to waste it on fairy lights?
Do we really still chop down trees to use as decorations and at the same time go on about the rainforests.
Thomas Edison sure has a lot to answer for since he strung up that row of lights at the laboratory Christmas bash back in 1860.
Christmas lights outside the home... bah, humbug.
Article made an interesting read
The article about benefits in the Northants Telegraph made very interesting reading and in particular the figures quoted regarding unemployment reducing.
It would be very interesting to know the figures of people being sanctioned for various reasons.
I suspect that the reduction in unemployment is very closely related to the numbers of people sanctioned.
That is why they have sanctions to reduce unemployment numbers.
There are many stories around concerning the poor reasons for sanctions.
Despite what Department for Work and Pensions says most believe, it is a method to make the Government look good.
I believe an analysis of this would be very interesting.
Well done for all the article and reporting the human consequences of DWP and Atos.
Thanks you for helping the Lions
Corby and District Lions Club would like to thank everyone who generously donated to their collection at Morrison’s on November 30 and December 1.
The total collected was £781.29 and this will be used to make local people’s Christmas more enjoyable.
Corby and District Lions Club