Animals – 1

The 2013 annual Stray Dogs Survey commissioned by the Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, reveals a shocking 111,986 stray and abandoned dogs were picked up by Local Authorities across the UK over the last 12 months, equating to a staggering 307 stray dogs being found every day.  That obviously does not include those not caught.  When you add cats, horses and other animals, the number is worryingly high.

With regards to cats and dogs in various rescue centres because either they are just not wanted or because people can no longer afford them, the number is even higher, though it appears there is no national database for UK figures, but most centres are overflowing, with few ‘adopted’ by new owners.

I think it is time to take some radical action:

All cats and dogs

  • should be neutered at a fee of £5.00 per animal;
  • should be registered for an annual fee of £10.00 per animal with a ‘chip’ inserted;
  • should have a ‘pet passport’ which is checked annually for a subsidised fee of £25.00 per animal;
  • should be no longer bred.

Such action will reduce the numbers considerably; would hopefully mean that those in shelters will be adopted; the horrible cases of cross-breeding for ‘fashion’ are stopped; the animals will be in a better state and thus cruelty will be reduced. Also, an education programme in schools and by other means needs to be set up by the animal charities to promote responsible ownership with inter-active activities.

I would also encourage animal charities to work together to seek better legislation that enables RSPCA to take more effective action.  There are two many occasions where action is not taken because of the following reasons:

  • legislation does not allow it
  • some situations are not considered cruel, when they are eg horses standing in their own faeces in a museum
  • not enough staff or funding
  • the public do not take proactive actions
  • it is often difficult to get through to charities in a simple manner

All the animal charities and the local authority inspectors would need extra funding from the Government on an initial basis to get the scheme on a sound footing.

Some charities need to merge to be more effective.

Punishment – 1

Over the years I have watched as people convicted of a crime who have been sentenced to prison for varying numbers of years, which often has no bearing to the crime committed and usually with little or no rehabilitation of prisoners or proper care of the victims.  One example of a crime which seems to value life very little is when a drunk driver kills another person and only gets a few years imprisonment.  On the other extreme, someone who burgles a house can get up to 6 years in prison.

To me, all crime should have a starting point of whether it is a crime against a’ life’ or against ‘property’.  ‘Life’ crimes should involve properly controlled imprisonment (with exceptions) and ‘property’ crimes should involve very strict community work (with exceptions).  The worse the crime, the longer the sentence.  There should also be a ‘restorative justice’ part to all crimes, where possible, to partly help in bringing closure to the victims and/or their families and the seriousness of the offence to the perpetrators.

Here is a suggested table of sentencing:

Category of Crime What is Included Sentencing
Prison Community Finance
Human Murder 1 Intentional Killing 25-75 years per person* £50,000 per person***
Murder 2 Defensive Killing  up to 10 years
Murder 3 Accidental Killing  Nil
Violence 1 Intentional Violence inc psychological abuse or driving under influence of drugs or drink or child abuse 10-15 years per person* £25,000 per person***
Violence 2 Defensive Violence  ?
Violence 3 Accidental Violence  Nil
Violence 4 Accidental Violence – malpractice leading to disability 5-10 years See separate table for rates
Violence 5 Accidental Violence – eg car accidents leading to disability  5-10
Slavery 1 Criminal Kidnapping  10 years
Slavery 2 State Kidnapping  10 years
Theft 1 Any Buildings inc cons 15-10 years** Compensation based on value of property******
Theft 2 Any Finances inc cons 10-15 years** As above
Theft 3 Any Items inc cons 5-10 years** As above
Legal 1 Not covered by Insurance
Legal 2 Not following Health and Safety inc state of vehicles  2-3 years
Legal 3 Not covered by Warranty  2-3 years
Legal 4 Does not have appropriate Legal Documents eg TV Licence; Driving Licence  2-3 years and licence taken away for that period
Legal 4 Copyright Infringements  1 year
Offences Against the State 1  Depends whether lives are put at risk  ?  ?
Illegal Selling & Buying 1 Drugs inc Alcohol and Cigarettes  10 years
Illegal Selling & Buying 2 Sex  10-15 years*
Illegal Selling & Buying Goods – by individuals, gangs or the State  5 years
Libel 1 Person  2 years
Libel 2 Business or Group  1 year
Libel 3 State or States  1 year
Animal Murder 1 Intentional Killing 5-10 years**** £1,000 per animal
Murder 2 Defensive Killing
Murder 3 Accidental Killing
Violence 1 Intentional Violence 5 years****
Violence 2 Defensive Violence  Depends
Violence 3 Accidental Violence  Nil  ?
Theft 1 Any Animal 5-10 years*****
 Other types of Crime

 

*length of sentence depends on severity of crime; circumstances: if more than one person is involved, then the sentences apply for each person the crime has been committed against and run non-concurrently

**depends on value of those things stolen – the higher the value, the longer the sentence

***a fixed fee is payable, taken from the assets of the criminal

****the person who stole will need to either return that which was stolen in one piece or pay the value

****length of sentence depends on severity of crime; circumstances: if more than one animal is involved, then the sentences apply for each animal the crime has been committed against and run non-concurrently

***** depends on value of those things stolen – the higher the value, the longer the sentence

The key is trying to get consistency in sentencing and valuing life and property and also helping criminals come to a point of remorse and restoration.  Some people need to be kept in secure units to protect the public.

We also need to look at prison design:

– prisons need to be smaller so that they can be better managed

– prisoners need to earn their keep through training, education and work placements

– prisoners need to be housed near family so as to reduce family breakdown

– prison security needs to be re-thought so as to reduce access to illegal substances

– each cell should only house one person

– we need to think through how we can make sure prisoners are ‘punished’ but also ‘rehabilitated’ and given dignity whilst taking away their ‘freedom’.

Business – 2

Every now and then there is a big row about someone’s income or bonus.

I think that we need a change of culture about money.

The fact that someone has ‘earned’ a lot of money says that the ‘customer’ has been overcharged along the way or as ‘buyer’ the business has underpaid a supplier. These questions need to be asked as they affect the cost of living for the vast majority of people, and in some cases as to whether they survive or not.

Take for example footballers. Part of the reason they get large sums is that their career as a footballer is short, due to either injuries or age, but yet they still don’t need that sort of money, as they can get another job after their time is up in that sector. These high salaries mean that the clubs have to charge large amounts of money for the fans to attend matches.

Another example is with the supermarkets and suppliers. Because they buy in ‘bulk’, suppliers are often at their mercy over prices paid. In some cases this causes them to go bankrupt eventually and the supermarkets then have to go overseas. And this happens in all sectors.

Then there is the issue as to why someone needs so much money. And from that is the ‘ethics’ of what one does with all that money. Is it all about self, or is it about using it to serve and help others less fortunate than you? If it is about self, it shows how deep one’s insecurity as they are ‘worshipping’ money and never will have enough as one’s desires get greater, the more one has. Then there is the curious situation where senior staff are paid bonuses, even when a business makes a huge loss!

Maybe, we need legislation to change all this, and not just in the area of taxation like getting rid of tax heavens. Being a generous person that I am, maybe a limit of £1 million a year should trigger a situation whereby any income from whatever source above that amount should be re-distributed to charities, or setting up of businesses to create jobs which are creative, enjoyable and well-paid (especially overseas). Maybe, bonuses should only be paid if the company makes an actual profit after taxes. What about reducing prices! I am sure others have other ideas – do let me know about them.

Creation and Evolution – 1

There is often a lot of talk as to whether Creation should be taught in schools as a lot people consider it just a ‘belief’ and not ‘scientific’. The problem is that the alternative ‘evolution’ is just a theory and is not based on ‘facts’ that stand up to scrutiny. But, it is not as simple as that.

With regard to evolution, each species can be shown, scientifically, to have evolved over time, sometimes due to cross-breeding. Take some Asian peoples for example. As many of them have lived on basically a vegetarian diet, with very little or no meat, their average height is a lot less than that of say people from western Europe. Yet, since the last century, many have started eating meat and thus their average height has risen by a few inches.

It could be said that we evolve from one species, because we have a number of similar DNA’s, but that is like saying that I am the same as a piece of metal. We were all uniquely made as an original ‘species’. Now as to whether God made Creation in six days or over a longer period is not the point, even though as God, He could have made it all in a split second. The important issue is our concept of who is God. Do we believe He exists and if so, can He create each amazing plant, animal, bird and human with all its finely-balanced and complex composition, all of which is beyond our complete comprehension?

One final point to make about the issue of Science and Belief is that a good number of scientists have a religious faith and most of them see no difficulties in combining the two. So let’s get over the issue and be able to discuss all the issues openly and in a spirit of love. This applies to Christians and Atheists, and all those in-between!