December 8, 2013 · Uncategorized · Comments Off on Riding On

Been a while since I last mentioned anything about bikes (or posted at all!). That was at the end of August when I’d just got the new bike. Since then I’ve done about 1500 km over various rides including the A62 to Manchester and the A64 to York. I’m still on a provisional licence so motorways are still out, but the dualled bits of the A64 between the A1(M) junction and York itself are probably pretty similar. A couple of weeks after I got the bike I also rode over to Squires bikers’ cafe on a sunny Bank Holiday Monday. Visiting my mum and introducing her to both the bike and the one piece suit was fun:

Bike and suit

Most of my riding is around Leeds, and I have to say that the inner loop road is a serious pain at times. The inner ring road has motorway regulations despite having a 40 mph speed limit so I’m not allowed on there. The inner loop is designed for clockwise travel, which is fine if you want to go that way round but not ideal if you want to go the other way. There are bits where you can go anticlockwise, but I’m sure they were designed by whoever did the store layouts at Ikea where it’s mandatory to go past a surfeit of tealights and couples having slow motion arguments about soft furnishings regardless of where you actually want to go.

Bike training is now on hold until Spring when there’s more daylight and I’ve got a bit more money to pay for lessons. At £160/day it’s not cheap, but at least I’m now on 600cc bikes.

Apart from getting used to the thing on the road, there’s also the biking culture to get into. I got involved with Leeds MAG because I used their website to find out about bike parking spots and I thought it made sense to get to know them and meet people who know far more about bikes then I ever will. Since I joined in July I’ve been to a few socials, both organized by MAG and by some of the other local bike clubs. (There’s a big difference between MCC clubs and MC ones. The MC clubs are the outlaw ones like the Hells Angels, Outlaws and Blue Angels. MCCs are bike clubs that are open to more or less anyone, but like most clubs they do have procedures and entry requirements).

I’m at a very early stage so I’m just getting to know people and find out what’s what. I can tell already just how important the bike scene can be to people’s lives. It’s very similar to the combat sports/martial arts scene (which I’ve been somewhat neglecting) but hopefully with less of the physical violence. A contraption that can go at high speeds with only a tiny point of contact on the ground is inherently dangerous so it’s not surprising that most bikers (me included) know people who have been killed or injured in accidents.

The next MAG event is a charity toy run. The idea is pretty simple: meet up at a central location, ride as a group, and then disburse toys at a local charity. This will be my first group ride so it will be interesting to see how it goes. I’m sure I’ll be fine but it’s just the thing of doing something for the first time. Finding toys has been tricky as most stuff I’ve found for girls features lots of pink plastic and words like “princess”. I know I’d probably be knee-capped if I gave most of the people I know presents like that, so it’ll probably be something like Lego or a jigsaw. There’s quite a few toy shops near me so it should be pretty easy to get something appropriate.

Next couple of MAG events after that are the fortnightly meeting (with cake! But you’ve got to bake it first. I’m thinking some sort of banana loaf, and a coffee and walnut cake) and then a couple of days later a band at a pub in town probably followed by a curry. Sounds like a good way to end the year before xmas.

October 3, 2013 · Uncategorized · Comments Off on For National Poetry Day

There was a young lady called Gorringe
Who swallowed too much Haliborange
She had only one wish
To not smell of fish
But she turned a strange shade of orange

August 27, 2013 · Uncategorized · Comments Off on Brmm Part III

A couple of weeks ago I did half a day’s post-CBT bike training on a small 125cc bike. At the end they recommended seeing if I could trade in the scooter and get a geared bike of my own. I had some spare cash that I was planning on spending on an old banger of a bike after I’d passed my test so I thought I’d investigate. I went back to the dealer I got the scooter from and got a pretty good trade-in on another Chinese bike. 2 weeks after the training, last weekend, I swapped this:

On The Scooter

for this:

New Bike

Same power as the scooter but physically a lot bigger. Definitely a lot more my style as well:

On the bike

So what’s it like to ride? Getting it home was a bit of a baptism of fire because I’d arranged to have a lift back. However that didn’t happen and I had to ride back instead. Through central Leeds on a Saturday afternoon during match day. Fun. The day after I did a few circuits round some quiet streets to get a bit of practice. Gear changing was a bit fiddly and I stalled a couple of times, as well as making the engine scream when I accidentally changed down gear instead of up. On the Monday I practiced a few hill starts and on the Tuesday was my first longish ride (c. 11 miles each way) from Horsforth over to the MAG meeting at a pub in Morley, including the 70 mph Stanningley bypass. After a few more practice rides I rode over to CCL Computers on Saturday (dying hard disk to replace; that was fun). I’ve definitely still got a lot of room for improvement, especially knowing when and how to change down gears, but I’m certainly getting there. There’s an art to sorting out the gears with your left hand and foot while simultaneously dealing with the brakes and throttle with the right, which it feels like I’m getting the hang of. Even though it’s the same power and engine capacity as the scooter, having gears gives more control. It also feels good to be getting the hang of slow clutch control and knowing that you won’t stall when you pull out at lights or a junction. I’m afraid to say I’ve also bought a one piece leather bike suit that I’ve even worn in public, but no one batted an eyelid when I walked round the supermarket with it on.

For Bank Holiday Monday I was going to pop over to Seacroft Tesco to see how busy it was after the Leeds Festival, but ended up continuing over to Squires Cafe Bar via the scenic route of missing a turning and turning right instead of left. A bikers’ cafe on a sunny bank holiday was as busy as it sounds, with almost every possible type of bike there, including a couple of trikes, but only about 4 cars. I also wasn’t the only person there with L plates. I know there’s a bike subculture with things like the motorcycle clubs (MCC style rather than the outlaw MC groups like the Hells Angels or the Outlaws) and which I can see myself getting involved in. I joined the Motorcycle Action Group about a month ago because I wanted to get to know other people into bikes and I can imagine joining one of the local MCCs once I’ve got to know people a bit better.

Next steps will probably be booking another half day’s training to iron out a few things on my 125 cc bike, and then preparing for module 1 on a 600 cc+ one. The test classes changed in January, so now there’s no automatic moving up to a bigger bike class after 2 years like there used to be, and if you want to ride a 600 cc+ bike, you have to take your test on one.

July 20, 2013 · Uncategorized · Comments Off on Taking a HAIR Cut

Like most people who have been online for a while I get a fair amount of spam. I’ve been using nukesoft.co.uk since 2000 and houlden.org (I think) since 2010. Not as long as some but quite a while nonetheless. Most of the spam is the usual fake pills (would there be such a demand if the US had UK-style prescription charges rather than having to pay the full commercial rate for medicines?), virus-infected attachments, phishing attempts, dodgy pr0n sites, and so on. Then we have the pump and dump/boiler room stuff. What happens with these is that some ne’er do wells pick some stock worth less than US$1 (penny stocks) a share that hasn’t seen a lot of action, buy a load of shares at a very low price, and then send out loads of emails telling people to buy it with the prospect of massive gains on a certain date. A tiny number of people do buy these shares, causing the price to rise sharply, then the scammers sell their shares, making a large profit and causing the price to plummet. The marks who were taken in are then stuck with loads of worthless shares they can’t get rid of.

Normally a pump & dump campaign lasts for a couple of weeks before going quiet. However I noticed one campaign kept coming back over several months. This was for a company called Biostem US Corp, symbol HAIR. The idea of the company was to use stem cell research as a means of treating hair loss, presumably explaining their stock symbol. I’m not qualified to say if it sounds a plausible anti-baldness technique, but that’s neither here nor there. Because HAIR spam keeps coming and going I decided to look into it and found out its roots, so to speak. The earliest share price I could find was 3rd Feb 2010 when they went for $341 a share. There’s a few gaps in the share data but by the end of 2011 it was only $30. In 2012 they started to do things so the share price started to rise. There were also a couple of spikes, one on 5th Jan 2012 when it went up to $333 and immediately dropped to $100 on the 9th, and from 26th April when it rose from $67 to $470, and then fell to $111 on 10th May, which are characteristic of pump & dumps.

After another spike in June 2012 the price stayed flat for a while and then collapsed down to $3.05 in November. Very interesting in Feb 2013 when some scammers were arrested and charged with fraud for inflating the price. One of those scammers was the company’s CEO. Ouch. At about the same time the share price also had a slight rise, from $0.51 to a peak of $1.01 and then down to $0.10. That’s a pump & dump. There were a few more these over summer, but there won’t be any more. On 16th July the share price closed at $0.21. Then on the 17th Biostem announced that they were suspending all operations, firing all staff, and closing everything down. On the 19th their share price was $0.045, and from that there’s no going back. Various spams reckon it will hit as much as $1.40. Sure they will. In their final financial statements they mention:

  • $148 in cash, $4 thousand in total assets
  • $760 thousand in current liabilities
  • $4 thousand in quarterly revenue
  • $579 thousand in quarterly net loss

They were also late with mandatory SEC filings. Ouch again.

Presumably people wouldn’t send out spam like this if they didn’t work, but why would people be so greedy or gullible to buy shares without bothering to carry out basic research?

Some links about HAIR/Biostem:

July 7, 2013 · Politics Etc... · Comments Off on Immigration and the NHS @ 65

The NHS makes it to 65, despite endless reorganisations and increasing amounts of private sector involvement. (Got to tread carefully with what I say because I have some experience of the National Programme for IT, but this is in a personal capacity only). Meanwhile, something that’s been in the news recently is the idea of charging foreigners an annual fee for GP services. There are all sorts of reasons why this is a bad idea. First of all, introducing charges means introducing a charging mechanism. Sounds obvious, and of course it is, but it hasn’t been thought through properly. If some people are going to be charged and others are not, you need to find a way of proving that some people don’t have to pay. What form will this take? I don’t know, but whatever it is, it will be expensive. This also raises the risk of fraud. Since the Life in the UK Test was introduced, people have cheated in the test, got someone else to sit it for them, or produced fake certificates. Basically, if something has a cash value, people want it and don’t want to pay for it. How much would it cost to introduce a charging system and make sure it remains secure? It certainly won’t be cheap. Remember that this will have to check the eligibility of the entire population, whether or not they come from abroad.

Another bad thing about this is the impact on public health. Asylum seekers get free healthcare during their application process. Most of them end up in the UK because they pay a broker to send them somewhere, often with no particular destination in mind as long as it’s not where they came from. If they’ve spent days in the back of a lorry they probably won’t be in the best of health just because of the journey, and they may come from countries where things like yellow fever, cholera and dysentery are rife. Because of this they need healthcare: not just for their benefit but also to make sure they don’t introduce diseases into a population that doesn’t have immunity to them. These charges won’t affect asylum seekers (I certainly hope they don’t, anyway), but I have serious concerns that someone who isn’t an asylum seeker might have similar health problems but won’t or can’t pay the fee and end up infecting people. They will still get emergency care and certain public health cover, but it seems an unnecessary complication to differentiate between what’s covered and what is not. The current list of notifiable diseases is at http://www.hpa.org.uk/Topics/InfectiousDiseases/InfectionsAZ/NotificationsOfInfectiousDiseases/ListOfNotifiableDiseases/. The initial symptoms of most of them are very similar to flu. What happens if they’re thought to have something notifiable that turns out to be treatable with bed rest and lots of fluids, or if they haven’t paid to register with a GP, feel off colour, and then turn out to be a 21st century Typhoid Mary when they’ve infected loads of people?

The real issue with all this is immigration policies that have got completely out of hand. When the official Home Office Twitter account publishes a tweet like this there’s something seriously wrong:

There is sometimes an assumption that these policies will only apply to foreigners. Wrong. To avoid letting people slip through the net the only way to check is to ask everyone. To get a job you have to prove that you’re legally entitled to work. In the latest immigration bill there are plans to introduce a check for people wanting to rent accommodation. Why? If someone can afford to pay a deposit, produce references and provide a month’s rent in advance, what benefit will it bring if they also have to prove to a letting agency that they did not come from another country illegally? They are already liable to being deported if they have. I do think it’s about time more people stood up to the “send them back where they came from” crowd rather than coming up with more and more hysterical ideas. “You are wrong because…” can be a courageous thing for politicians to say (in the Yes Minister sense), but sometimes it needs to be said.

July 1, 2013 · Uncategorized · Comments Off on Brrrmm Part II

Last week I did my motorbike CBT renewal. Good to have it out of the way. Before I did it I was a bit nervous of some of the slow speed manoeuvres, specifically the figure 8 and U-turn, so I practised them on the scooter on the flattish bit of road just by where I live. On the day itself I started off on a Honda CG 125:Honda CG 125

Surprisingly I didn’t get on too badly compared to my first CBT 2 years ago. I didn’t quite have the hang of the clutch but I managed to get through the morning’s training OK, including those manoeuvres. Then came the afternoon, with 2 one-hour sessions of on-road training. Unfortunately the first hour didn’t quite go as smoothly: I had a tendency to let the clutch go a bit too quickly and kept stalling. It also got a bit confusing trying to make head or tail of bus lanes and partly hidden turn-offs on Dewsbury Rd in Hunslet. We agreed that it would be better if I spent the 2nd hour on my own scooter so I could get signed off and then decide what to do about further training. Apart from a couple of bits, which I blame on being tired at the end of a very long day, that went a lot better.

Afterwards I had a chat with the chief instructor about what to do next. What I want to do is a week or so of intense training which ends with me taking the full A class bike test on a 600+ cc bike. However, as he suggested, I need to spend a day or so getting the hang of a less powerful bike so I don’t end up in a hedge when I first get on it. Around Hunslet where the bike school is can be pretty busy so I might also see about doing the training at a school in a quieter part of town. Looking around there’s even a bike school based at an airstrip near York, so that might be worth considering. First step though is passing the bike theory test which is booked for a week on Friday.

Something else I noticed is that the combat boots I wore for the CBT were a bit too chunky to feel what I was doing. They weren’t steel toe-capped but I still had to work hard to feel when I was changing gears. Of course I needed some proper motorbike boots, so I ended up getting these understated things:

Motorbike Boots

I also decided to get a leather jacket that matches my leather trousers, so all this is getting pretty serious. I must get a photo of me in the full kit.

After all that it was quite entertaining travelling back home. There’s a lot of roadworks in South Leeds at the moment while Northern Gas Networks installs a new pipe under one of the busiest non-motorway roads in town, which means all kinds of strange diversions. At one junction I had to pull out into two lanes of traffic. Unfortunately there was a broken down car with a police car next to it (presumably shielding it from oncoming traffic) roughly where the red box is:

Blocked junction

As Google Streetview shows, visibility there isn’t brilliant at the best of times so I had to be extra careful. Plus it was rush hour. Meanwhile White Van Man is beeping away behind me because I’ve been sat there for more than 10 seconds. Unfortunately for him, the second time he beeped, the traffic cop noticed and walked over to have A Word. By then the traffic had cleared so I pulled out, trying not to fall off the scooter for laughing. Result!

June 10, 2013 · Uncategorized · Comments Off on Brrrmmm

So last year I bought a scooter:
On The Scooter

After having to rely on public transport for so long it was good to finally have an alternative. One thing that stands out on the photo is the big L plates. UK motorbike rules are complex and designed to make sure young riders don’t ride powerful bikes immediately. It used to be that anyone over 17 could ride up to a certain power on a provisional licence with no training. Then they brought in a rule that you must complete a CBT course and hold a DL196 certificate before you’re allowed on the roads on your own. It lasts for 2 years and restricts you to a 125 cc bike or scooter with a maximum power of 11 kW. No passengers or motorway riding allowed. However I don’t think a small bike would really be powerful enough for either. There are exceptions but they don’t really concern us here. Interestingly, if you take your CBT on an automatic scooter, you can still ride a geared bike. I phoned DVLA and asked them to confirm this.

Anyway, my certificate expires in July but I want to renew it slightly earlier so I’ve got a bit of time to try and get a full A class licence that will allow me to ride anything before my insurance is up for renewal at the end of August. The bike training place suggested I do my CBT on a geared bike so they can see how I get on and then decide how much training I need to take the full test. This is in 2 parts: off-road manoeuvres and then on-road technique including a certain amount of independent riding where you get told where to go and then decide how to get there. The motorbike theory test isn’t very different from the car one, apart from a few extra questions on things like bike handling and pillion passengers. It also includes the hazard perception element, where you have to work out which fuzzy mass of pixels on a low resolution video might cause some sort of danger.

I’ve already done quite a bit of independent riding, including a few long ride outs to places like Sheffield, York, Manchester and the Yorkshire Dales. The tricky bit is when you end up somewhere unfamiliar and get stuck in the one way system. When I rode over to Mcr I was going to ride down Oldham Road and Oldham Street and round to a bike parking spot on Fountain St, near Pizza Hut. Unfortunately Oldham St was closed because of an unsafe building so I got stuck on Great Ancoats Street and somehow ended up going past Victoria Baths, up Oxford Road past the university and up Sackville St. After that I had to get across a partly-gridlocked bus lane to get to the bike parking. All good fun. Even if I’d been riding in on motorways I’d just have come in from a different direction and probably still got lost. It’s difficult (although not impossible) to have a Satnav on a bike, but road works and road closures make it very easy for them to get out of kilter and it is impossible to have a roadmap on the seat next to you,  unless you’re a London cabbie revising the knowledge and have a map on a clipboard on the handlebars.

So, 2 weeks until I renew my CBT and then hopefully get my full licence within the next 2 months. Wish me luck…

May 28, 2013 · Uncategorized · Comments Off on Testing 2

Trying to get Twitter image cards to work

Test Card

May 28, 2013 · Uncategorized · Comments Off on Ribbit!

The news is pretty depressing at the moment, so here’s a nice photo of a frog in my mum’s pond.

frog

May 17, 2013 · Politics Etc... · Comments Off on On Builders and Anti-immigration Bile

So there’s another copy & paste meme doing the rounds on Facebook. This one:

Just been talking to a guy who works at the DHSS call centre. He was saying that he had a 52 year old self employed builder who has never claimed before but has had no work, rang up asking for some help and all he could offer him was the payment of his national health stamp.The next phone call he received was from a Somali immigrant who couldn’t speak English and required a translator with 7 children and another on the way complaining that her £40,000 a year benefits was not enough to live on !
He also stated that they had been receiving phone calls from Bulgaria and Romania with reference to benefits available in preparation for the window that will be opening soon here in the UK.
I am not a racist and support my own charity in Africa but something is seriously wrong with our system, there are many of us out there who have invested in our nation and asked for nothing in return and when you hear things like this it’s like your own government is slapping you in the face.If you agree with me please share…

Like most of these, this is a load of claptrap and I think it’s worth going into some detail about why. Taking this a sentence at a time:

“Just been talking to a guy who works at the DHSS call centre.”

DHSS? That was abolished in 1988. Notice that it’s “a guy”. No names, no locations. I’m going to suggest that this “guy” doesn’t actually exist. If he does, he’s been working for a government department that ceased to exist 25 years ago. Nice work if you can get it.

“He was saying that he had a 52 year old self employed builder who has never claimed before but has had no work, rang up asking for some help and all he could offer him was the payment of his national health stamp.”

First of all, under the Data Protection Act, call centre staff are not allowed to discuss individual cases. Maybe our non-existent “guy” didn’t give a name because he’d be sacked? If our 52 year old builder had no work, he would have been referred to Job Centre Plus for an assessment or advised to check online to see what he might be entitled to. National Health stamps were abolished in 1948, and stamp-based National Insurance contributions went out in 1975. I know some people sometimes use the old terms, but our 52 year old would have been 14 when they ceased.

I draw attention to the language used because this is a meme that someone has come up with to wind people up. Using obsolete terms like “DHSS” and “national health stamp” gives it a bit of a homely feel, like someone’s grown up with the system. It’s back to false dilemmas again unfortunately. I know whoever came up with this wants to put across the idea that someone who’s paid into the system all their life doesn’t get anything back because asylum seekers are taking it all for themselves. This is not true though. The asylum support budget is separate from the DWP social security budget and the amount of support asylum seekers can get is pretty tiny. Asylum seekers are a handy scapegoat, but the real reason it’s difficult to get anything out is government policies designed to hector and patronise people who have the audacity to try to claim. Basically, it’s the old workhouse test.

How much would an unemployed self-employed builder actually get? We need to make a few assumptions:

  • He was born on 1st Jan 1961
  • He is up to date with NI contributions
  • He lives alone with no children
  • He is fully able-bodied and receives no disability benefits
  • He has less than £16,000 in savings
  • He has no other income and has not claimed any other benefits
  • His rent is £500/month from a private landlord and has no underoccupied bedrooms
  • He lives in Leeds

Plugging these details into the DWP benefits advisor, we get:

  • Contribution-based JSA of £71.70 a week. After 6 months, it switches to income-based JSA. The overall amount is the same, but any income other than JSA is deducted.

The Leeds City Council benefits calculator adds:

  • Housing benefit of £115.38/week (but a lot of private landlords have “No DSS” rules)
  • The meme originated before council tax benefit was abolished, so that would have been paid in full. These days it’s been replaced by an inferior council tax support system, where (in Leeds) you have to pay 19% of the full amount

If someone has assets of more than £16,000, they are not entitled to anything. The idea being that if you have money saved for a rainy day, you are expected to use it when the rain comes.

“The next phone call he received was from a Somali immigrant who couldn’t speak English and required a translator with 7 children and another on the way complaining that her £40,000 a year benefits was not enough to live on !”

I bet that was a fun call. “Hello. I don’t speak English” “But you just did.” I’m not sure what this is about. If the Somali immigrant hadn’t had some sort of grant of residency, their contact would have been with the UK Borders Agency or its predecessors (the Immigration & Nationality Directorate or the National Asylum Support Service depending on when this meme was drawn up). They certainly wouldn’t have contacted the DHSS, or even the DWP.

What does a Somali immigrant get then? Taking these assumptions:

  • She is single with 7 kids, all under 18
  • She has no assets or access to accommodation
  • She has applied for political asylum but it has not been granted yet

The family will get their support from the UK Border Agency, and they will get:

  • Accommodation with water and fuel bills paid. They will not get to choose where in the UK it will be. The costs will be paid direct to the landlord and utility companies. As the claim for asylum progresses, they will probably be expected to move several times
  • £43.94/week cash, which has to cover the whole family (as far as I can tell, but this is not very clear)
  • £3/week on top for any children under 3
  • A payment of £300 when one child is born. This is only paid once regardless of how many children they give birth to
  • The local authority has an obligation to ensure any children are educated, so they will be given a school place, and reasons of public health mean they will have access to medical care

Note that asylum seekers are banned from working, so this is all they get. That accounts for about £2,500 so I’m not sure where the remaining £37,500 came from.

In a property only occupied by asylum seekers, the property owner has to pay council tax.

Supposing the family has been granted asylum. What then? If they have been granted temporary leave to enter/remain in the UK and recognised as a refugee they can claim social security on the same basis as the 52 year old builder. Temporary leave to remain normally lasts for 5 years when it is reviewed and you can apply for indefinite leave to remain.There is also discretionary leave to remain, which lasts for up to 3 years and has much stricter rules about whether you can apply for indefinite leave. You are not recognised as a refugee if this happens.

I put in some sample values on the DWP benefits advisor (She was born on 1st Jan 1980, her kids were each born on 1st Jan 2012-2006 and she pays £100/week for council accommodation) and got:

  • £376.04/week child tax credit
  • £100/week housing benefit
  • £100.70/week child benefit

That’s a total of £576.74/week or £29,990.48 a year. £5,200 of that will be paid direct to the council as housing benefit, so that’s £24,790.48 cash a year they get. Still not £40,000/year. Anyone with leave to remain or British citizenship would be entitled to this, even our builder if he had the same circumstances.

“He also stated that they had been receiving phone calls from Bulgaria and Romania with reference to benefits available in preparation for the window that will be opening soon here in the UK.”

What happens when the “window” opens is that from 1st Jan 2014 people from Bulgaria and Romania will be entitled to apply for jobs in the UK in the same way as other EEA nationals. Would it be wrong to point out here that it means people from the UK can now work in Romania and Bulgaria if they wanted to? People from the EU can claim JSA for up to 6 months on the same basis as UK residents (including being required to sign on, being patronized by Iain Duncan Smith and all the rest) but they cannot claim contributory benefits like child benefit unless they’ve made enough contributions and pass a residency test, and they can only claim in-work benefits like tax credits if they’ve got a job. There is no entitlement to council housing, not even for UK citizens.

“I am not a racist and support my own charity in Africa but something is seriously wrong with our system”

Sounds like someone doesn’t understand what “racist” means. It isn’t just about calling people from Africa silly names. Whipping up hysteria against people from abroad based on incorrect information counts as well. I also daresay that the “system” that is seriously wrong is the education system of the person who originated this meme. Finding out a few facts shows that the social security system isn’t quite as bad as these memes make it appear. Good for you if you support a charity in Africa, but which one is it? There are lots of them, not all humanitarian ones. It is possible to support an African charity while having a prejudice towards people from other countries, so one doesn’t disprove the other. And how does this fit with the Somali immigrant with 7 kids anyway?

“There are many of us out there who have invested in our nation and asked for nothing in return and when you hear things like this it’s like your own government is slapping you in the face”

You say you’ve invested in “our nation”. OK, what have you invested? Be specific. You feel like your government is slapping you in the face because you’ve heard a load of untruths from someone who probably doesn’t exist? You’re weird.

“If you agree with me please share…”

Is there something you can do if you can show that the meme is a load of old pony? Maybe share this blog post, or just disprove things with facts.

So, to summarize, we have someone from a non-existent organization trying to put out a load of anti-immigration hysteria based on things that are either inaccurate or untrue. It would save a lot of time if people just got to the point and said “I don’t like people from country X”. Copying & pasting memes that you vaguely agree with is easy, but it never hurts to challenge them and see how accurate they are. As with my earlier post about a family of former asylum seekers being given the rent on a £2m house while a stock photo of a pensioner struggles on a state pension, it’s a classic divide and conquer technique. Our builder can claim benefits at the same time as people from Bulgaria apply for the kind of jobs that he might not want to do. It isn’t either/or.