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RED ED & THE POWER BARONS

Unedited version column of Scottish Sun on Sunday 29th September 2013

RED ED?

Apparently there is a new left-wing leader in charge of the Labour Party who can speak without notes. Imagine that! Branded ‘Red Ed’, I actually thought this week’s Labour Party Conference might be worth a watch.

When I got over the blinding backdrop of a St George flag drowning out the rest of the Union Jack, I can’t say I was whooping like his audience, there was no passion, his teeth seemed whiter and he worked the crowd, in a relaxed patronising manner preaching to the converted.

‘Red Ed’ actually reminded me of a poor man’s version of Tony Blair. But what was it he said to get the Power Baron’s backs up?

If we win the election in 2015- the next Labour Government will freeze gas and electricity until the start of 2017’.

The Industry’s immediate response was to plead poverty and threaten a doomsday scenario, where companies will no longer bother to invest in our country and we would face power cuts.

Furthermore if they were not given the free rein to charge what they wanted they might ditch customers like you and me or go out of business.

I don’t believe a word these compulsive liars utter, why would they slash the throat of the goose that laid their golden eggs?

These modern day pirates were handed the industry on a plate by the Tories when they carved up and privatised the Central Electricity Generating Board in 2001.

Yet this week they moaned that they don’t make money from selling gas and electric to domestic households. So why do they do it then?

It doesn’t look like they’re doing too bad, six of the biggest energy companies have seen their profits rise by 74% in the last 4 years.

Inflation rose by 13% in the same period whilst domestic prices rose by 29%.

A price freeze on energy companies is a welcome move but looking at the size of the profits, why does Ed not just demand free electricity and gas for the poor and elderly?

Had he done so, he might have deserved the tag of Red Ed,  but who is the yuppie trying to kid?

The profits these companies make are obscene, exploiting the ‘basic human need for warmth’, they hold millions to ransom and now threaten to turn our power off.

Just imagine the reaction if power workers threatened to do the same.

The competitive market hasn’t worked, cartels have fixed prices, driving up profits at our expense.

What is the point of so much choice if it means that everyone just charges a packet?

Whilst ‘Red Ed’ is attacked for ‘supposedly’ trying to rein back profits, Tory Chancellor Osborne is gearing up for his own battle.

This clever guy is ready to spend millions in European courts to stop Europe putting a cap on bankers pay and bonuses.

He wants to convince us that his crusade will save us money in the long run!

Imagine the thought of your earnings being capped at £2 million and not being allowed to earn £6 million or more- must be so hard to get by.

Bankers already bailed out to the tune of £1.6 trillion see it as their human right to earn more.

With a little help from Osborne I’m sure he can expect to be rewarded handsomely in the after-life.

As for the Labour Party Conference, well it was nice to see that Scottish Labour Leader Johann Lamont actually exists.

THE PERSECUTION OF PAKISTAN’S CHRISTIANS

Last Sunday two suicide bombers killed over 83 Christian worshippers, injuring hundreds as they left a church service in Peshawar, Pakistan.

Some 66 years after a birth of the nation, Pakistan’s Christians have become one of the most vulnerable religious communities in the world, where discrimination is engrained in law.

Since 1990, 65 Christians have been killed for blasphemy and 165 wait for verdicts.

Two brave Government Ministers who stood up to the bigots were assassinated and one mother of five, Asia Bibi languishes on death row accused of blasphemy, sentenced to death by hanging in 2010.

Even when attacks such as Peshawar happen, some of those expressing sympathy wrap it up in conspiracy theories blaming outsiders, India and the CIA.

Politicians thrive on playing the sectarian card and acting more Islamic than the next, in reality they are corrupt and their only strength is in playing at divide and rule. The death of innocents does not scar them as it tears away at the nation’s soul.

The bigots have thrived because discrimination is the norm and the majority do not see it as their problem. There is a stark parallel in the treatment of Pakistan’s Christians with how Afro Americans were treated in the bad days of the deep South.

Subject to the constant threat of murder, arson and false charges of blasphemy, lynch mobs act with impunity as the Police often stand by and watch.

Of course it would appear that the plight of Christians in Pakistan attracts little attention in the West compared to the horrific attack on the Kenyan shopping Mall.

The historical irony is that Pakistan’s Christians fought alongside Muslims to create a nation where minorities would never suffer again as they did in India.

The founding father of the nation of Pakistan, Mohammed Ali Jinnah stated in 1947-

“You are free; you are free to go to your temples; free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in the State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or cast or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the state”.

Sadly his successors have failed miserably to turn his promise into a reality and until they do Pakistan will never be at peace with itself.