Monday 8th April 2013 - The lady who wasn’t for turning, has now turned in

It was a sad day for everyone in my household due to the fact that Maggie has passed away, she brought joy to our family, made us feel hope when we felt it had all been lost.  Even though she lapped away at our milk, we still respected her; she was a fantastic cat and will always have a place in our hearts.
 
It was also the day where the nation split due to the death of Margaret Thatcher; many people were dancing on the roof tops singing “ding dong the witch is dead,” swigging from milk cartons, whilst some silently mourned the passing of the Iron Lady.  Now I don’t hold a torch for any politician, Conservative, Labour, Lib Dems, etc, to me they all appear to be run by the same people.  But was she different? Who was she in allegiance with?
  
After winning the election in 1979 she became Britain’s first female Prime Minister.  People will always remember Maggie for being Thatcher the milk snatcher when she apparently abolished free milk in 1971, which still upsets people to this day.  But was she really the villain in this piece.  People have forgotten about Edward Heath the milk thief who abolished milk in 1968.
 
She will also be renowned for her swift decision to send in the naval fleet to defend the British ruled Falkland Islands from the Argentineans in 1982.  Not to mention her battle with the miners in 1984, which affected and changed a lot of lives?
 
Whether we feel it was for better or for worse, here is a strong woman who reformed our nation.  She was elected historically three times and has been the longest serving PM since Queen Victoria ruled.  Many Prime Ministers have come and gone and have long been forgotten but she was such a force to be reckoned with that generations of Brits for whatever reason are still affected by her.  When Thatcher was asked what she regarded as her greatest achievement, she is said to have replied “New Labour”.  Tony Blair and Gordon Brown just two of the principal architects of New Labour have been called the sons of Thatcher.  Does this denote that they all are singing from the same song sheet?
 
People blame Thatcher for the ruination of communities, but we are the community there are more of us than there are of ‘them’.  Certain policies are set to divide us so that they can conquer, but this happens only when we allow it to, if we could all learn something positive from this tough cookie it should be to stand up for what you believe in.
 
But what of the things where the people benefited such as the ‘right to buy’ for council tenants or should we brush that under the carpet, now I’m not for or against Maggie, but she has truly left a legacy whether it be a good or a bad one in the eyes of the people.  But remember this; before she was the PM, she was someone’s daughter, sister and mother.  
 
Unlike the invitations for Mrs Thatcher’s funeral, I couldn’t give any away for the burial of our cat Maggie to take place at the bottom of our garden. 
 

Tuesday 9th April 2013 - Fuelling the fire

This winter has been harsh in more ways than one, trying to heat our homes has become a frightening experience I’ve been round to friends homes who in the aid of cutting back on their heating bills are only putting their heating on for a couple of hours a day which as a woman when you are sat in such a cold environment can cause certain parts of your anatomy to appear that you’re smuggling peanuts.  Ahem
 
I don’t know about you but I’m sick and tired of feeling cold, this winter has felt like a really long one and our fuel bills have reflected this fact.  Over five million households are now in debt to their energy supplier due the rise of fuel costs owing a round about figure of £637m, which has increased by more than a million since last year.
 
Energy companies in the past have been quite ruthless to the point where if you had payment arrears the first thing they would do would be to sever your supply.  Now the rules have changed and they can no longer simply just cut you off, they will try and convince you to go down the more expensive route of pre-paid meter, they send out bullying letters and threaten extreme tactics such as breaking into our homes to read ’their’ meters. 
 
Centrica, which is the parent company of British Gas, has angered many by stating they made an 11 per cent increase in annual profits bringing the total to £600m which is only £37m shy of what households collectively owe.  How is this possible?
 
If you do need help with your energy bills have a look at this link. We are suffering through lots of cuts and many have received a pay freeze, yet The Chancellor of the Exchequer Mr George Osborne continues to increase goods and energy companies are allowed to rob us blind but so long as the government is reaping the tax rewards from these big money making businesses, then I guess they are all happy.
 
I’ve decided to just keep wetting myself now to keep warm.  It’s a lonely place for me.  Roll on the summer.

Wednesday 10th April 2013 - French homes on the cheap

My boss has just got back from his second home in the South of France, he came back wearing a supercilious look, with his superior eyes cast down at  his lowly workers, with his superb tan, whilst our ghost like figures were hunched over our desks trying to ward of the chill.
 
Most of us are barely managing to hold onto the homes we’ve got and for those who aren’t even on the property ladder, it is getting more and more difficult to find the money to own your property outright.  But I have good news…  
 
There has been a slump in the market on French properties allowing British people with cash to swoop in and corner it.  House prices have dropped by 50% in the past five years. Well unfortunately I can’t quite bring myself to shout yippee as I’m emptying out my penny jar to buy a loaf of bread.
 
I can imagine the French are none too pleased seeing as they will obviously make massive losses as they try and sell their holiday homes.  This has come about from the economic down turn and the new change in the French law on capital gain tax and residential taxes. 
 
So who gains in the second home market slump, well if you’ve got the money to buy, then I guess that person is you.  Many of us couldn’t even contemplate a second home as we try to stop the house of cards that we live in from collapsing all around us.  
 
Although dreams cost absolutely nothing; a house in some parts of France will now set you back as little as £11,000 - Vive la France.
 

Thursday 11th April 2013 - The age of things to come

I went to visit a friend who I haven’t seen in a long time, when I rang he doorbell a big burly guy who looked to be about in his thirty’s answered the door, I apologised for interrupting his evening, thinking I’d got the wrong house only to be shocked by when he turned and shouted “Mum, there’s someone at the door for you.  Her son (who was 14) looked like he’d swallowed the whole of the street and was as big as a mountain.  He was obviously a Genetically Modified (GM) child living off GM food.
 
It’s been said that we as a nation are turning into couch potatoes and having a poor diet isn’t slowing down our age process.  This is down to our western culture as well as our lack of exercise.  People are suffering with illnesses and diseases that those who have gone before us never experienced.  Those who eat well and exercise tend to be living longer, improved medical care and housing also plays a big part in this, but people’s lifestyles are causing them to visually age rapidly.  
 
It has been said that the unhealthy Brits are aging fifteen years faster than our older generation…  Now that can never bode well.  Due to our unhealthy lifestyle the appearance of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity is evident and more prevalent in today’s society.  Our bodies are a telling story on how we are living our lives.  People no longer need to leave there homes if they have the internet, everything can be done from the comfort of our sofas, the rubbish that is pumped into our foods is taking a slow effect on our lives without us realising until it‘s too late.
 
More and more people are getting cancer, the majority of us know somebody who has died from or suffered with a cancer of some sort, years ago this was unheard of, people lived of the land and ate well, there were also less distractions children actually played outside (this is not a myth.)
 
We have turned into a nation that thrives on being told what to do, we eat when and what we are told to.  We work longer hours therefore finding less time to cook or eat nutritiously.  Pre-packed food and heart disease is sadly now our future. 
 
There used to be a saying that went “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” now the only apple our kids know about is one with a screen and keyboard.  Definitely not part of their five a day…
 

Friday 12th April 2013 - Soldier on

Life is what we make it, yes we receive knock backs but it can only be down to us to keep getting back up on our feet or else we suffer defeat.  A good soldier will never lay down their arms without a fight, so keep on fighting…
 
I am just one persons opinion, think for yourselves and spread the love.
Citizen Jane  
 

Article by Citizen Jane / 12th April 2013

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The Life and Times of Citizen Jane