The UK General Election takes place on 7th May 2015 and choosing who to vote for is a pain. I’m a voter who has dabbled with Labour and Lib Dem and find myself occasionally agreeing with Tories. I can’t abide UKIP and think that a Green or Independent vote is usually a throw away vote. But now I find myself wondering who I should vote for in the next election in the UK.
That’s when I found the website Vote For Policies. It has a simple message and that it to see which political party policies you agree with. I was just about the read all the policy statements when I came across the survey on the site. All you do is choose the policy areas that interest you, eg Health, Economy and Education, and choose from six policies in each of these areas. At the end you are given a summary of which party’s policies most interest you. In my case – Green 50%, Tory 25% and Labour 25%. That just about sums me up.
Take the survey yourself and find out where your sympathies lie – Vote For Policies Survey.
In the end I think I’ll vote for Al Murray’s FUKP Party
I have published an open letter to Mr Mustafa Guner on Facebook in the hope that he will read it and respond. It is interesting to see Mr Guner is no longer available for me to look at on Facebook and so I have no way of asking him the questions I ask in the letter copied from Facebook and republished below.
“Dear Mr Guner,
I find it almost incredible that you have allowed yourself to be used by the bank as the named owner of my villa on the allegedly fraudulent Kocan they produced with the help of the Tapu.
I would like to give you the benefit of the doubt, but since Mr Kader uses my villa as his weekend retreat and clearly you do not live there, I can only conclude that you have known from the outset your ownership of my villa was purely cosmetic.
Does it not bother you at all, that a British pensioner invested their savings gleaned from a lifetime of hard work into this property? Do you ever give even a thought to misery you have allegedly colluded in? How would you feel if someone did this to you?
I am a firm believer in Karma and at the right time, we all pay for our bad deeds.
I would ask you to do the right thing, I will not hold my breath.
Pauline Read ” [Source: Facebook]
You never know, miracles may happen.
Where have I been, well folks, I have been on a much needed break for a couple of weeks but as usual there was much awaiting my attention on my return.
It seems Akfinans have been a very busy little bank in my absence having filed an application for a stay of execution on the court judgement given by Judge Usar on the 4th December and have resumed legal proceedings to evict the rest of the K5 property owners.
The very fact that they have lodged an Appeal against this judgement will achieve the delay of actioning the Judge’s decision and indeed, we must all be very aware of the fact that the three High Court Judges could overturn it and the bank could be the final winners. However, waiting would not achieve the degree of intimation these sort of actions will.
Why, you may ask yourself, is the lower courts accepting these cases when there is a High Court Appeal outstanding, clearly they think the cash cows have more money to be relieved of.
Doesn’t entering the court system remind you of the lyrics of Hotel California?
“Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
“Relax, ” said the night man,
“We are programmed to receive.
You can check-out any time you like,
But you can never leave! “
When I started this case with the other members of the K5, I was told by our advocate that the fee we paid up front was it, that no matter how long the case took, no more fees. Well guess what? Now I am being asked for more money, a lot more money with more needed in the future too.
Of course, part of the reason the bank are filing their allegedly time wasting cases is that they know it is costing us more and more and we cannot afford it. It must be nice to have so much money available to them, I just hope it is their own personal money and not the depositors money being used. Not of course that I am for one second suggesting they would do something so ‘naughty’.
Remind me, didn’t the Judge conclude that the mortgages given by the bank were fraudulent, and isn’t that ‘naughty?’
I am also very concerned with the practice of Advocates keeping the costs awarded to the winning side even when they have been paid for their professional services. If it was on a no win, no fee basis, I could understand it and telling me it was as agreed does not cut it with me. I personally never agreed to such an arrangement. I clearly remember almost ending up in jail when the bank were chasing the costs of a K5 hearing, so no, I would never agree to a heads we lose, tails we lose arrangement.
So the legal profession continue to make money and we continue to get nowhere fast.
A final observation. Mustafa Guner has closed the doors on his Facebook page, guess I found the right one. Clearly no conscience and no regrets from him.
Never give in never give up.
Having been told that because of the collapse of Cyprus Airways flying from the south would be much more expensive than from the north I decided to test this theory. I took an arbitrary date, Saturday 28th February – 7th March 2015, and looked for the cheapest flight into London. I assumed that traveling south would cost extra but the cost would be shared between two passengers.
From the South
Ryanair: Paphos – London Stansted – price £65 (estimated £165 with luggage and extra cost of travel to Paphos)
The times were reasonable but the drive/taxi to and from Paphos was not and then you have to add another £40+ for a suitcase to be placed in the hold.
From the North
Pegasus: Ercan – Stansted – price £183
Pegasus was the cheapest but mysteriously the £166 quoted turned to £183 when you booked it and hidden fees were added. The same did not apply to Turkish Airlines and the £198 quoted includes food and drink but the departure time is 04:30. The flight time is about 2hrs longer plus you have to change planes with the danger of missing your connection.
NCFP Choice – Ryanair or Pegasus
Ryanair is cheaper but with a longer travel time than Pegasus overall when you include driving to Paphos Airport. South or North very little to choose between them.
Yesterday, the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) had its operations extended until 31st July 2015. This is one of the longest running UN missions still in operation. The resolution was unanimously adopted but Council members called on both sides to implement confidence-building measures and move towards the establishment of “mutually-acceptable steps,” including military confidence-building measures and the opening of crossing points that, they added, could potentially “contribute to a conducive environment for a settlement.”
Reminds me of King Canute trying to hold back the tide. In his case he was trying to show that even a king could not prevent the sea taking its natural course. Certainly UNFICYP doesn’t seem to believe what it has to say is important. On its website¹ the news section only goes up to 2013, with only five news releases that year and none for 2014. Looks like an organisation in the process of closing down and letting things take their natural course.
The south was placed 25th out of 36 countries around Europe in the 2014 Euro Health Consumer Index (EHCI), no change from the previous year. The report found
“The deterioration in terms of access and information to patients, the waiting and the extent and scope of services, based on descriptions from the measurements of 2013 seems to have slowed down and even stopped.”
According to Dr Arne Bjornberg, president of the Health Consumer Powerhouse (HCP), which produces the report annually:
“Cyprus is one of the four European countries that received a zero score in the EHCI table because of the abortion ban, which is bad both for human rights and for women’s health.”
Caesarian Delivery Overuse
50% of all babies are delivered through Caesarians, putting the south top of the list from all 36 countries, or in fact the whole world, according to the report.
“The highest rates of Caesareans in the world are found in Cyprus, Greece and Latin America. HCP suspects that Caesarean sections may camouflage a lack of good information and support before delivery as well as lack of access to pain control.”
“Also, unlike the other countries that have been affected by the crisis, there was no decline in the excessive use of antibiotics, which seriously contributes to the high incidence of persistent infections.”
Only 22% of people in the south were aware that antibiotics were no use in treating colds and flu – putting them second from the bottom, just above Portugal. Finland topped that list with over 70% being aware of the role of antibiotics.
Doctors Patients Ratio
Both Greece and the south scored high in the ratio of doctors to patients but low in the number of people who go to a doctor.
“The very low numbers of visits per doctor in Cyprus or Greece (which has by far the highest number of doctors per capita at 600 per 100,000) could possibly be due to the under-reporting of visits for tax evasion reasons.”
In another related section most respondents in the south said they expected that they would pay the doctor ‘under the table’.
Source: Cyprus Mail
Halkin Sesi newspaper (26/1/15) reported on the findings of a survey of 600 Turkish Cypriot voters showing that their views have changed considerably since 2004 when there was the possibility of a successful Annan Plan referendum. Some of the results are :
- 41.2% said a UN-led solution to the Cyprus problem was “not at all likely” – and 18.9% “not likely”;
- 29.3% said they “don’t want such a solution” but 52.7% said they do;
- Over 90% thought a settlement to the Cyprus problem without prior approval by Turkey was “not likely”;
- 63.1% think the original guarantee provisions from 1960 should be kept intact;
- 57.5% said a “strong force” should remain on the island post-solution and 23.1% think a “small force” should remain;
- Only 10.3 per cent believe Famagusta should be returned to Greek Cypriots under UN administration, 29.4% think Greek Cypriots should be allowed to return under Turkish Cypriot management, and 51% think the decision should be part of a comprehensive settlement;
- Only 42.7% said they would vote for an Annan-plan style settlement;
- 48.9% said they consider themselves “Turkish Cypriots” and 18.5% said “Cypriots”;
- 28.4% considered the whole of Cyprus as their homeland, while 44% said they feel this way for the north only, whereas 25.5% considered both Turkey and the north as their homeland;
- 43.9% considered Greek Cypriots as their “historical enemy”, 20.6% as “neighbours”, and 30.6% as “Cypriots who speak differently”;
- 60.1% favoured a gas resources sharing arrangement while only 9% approved of Greek Cypriots’ actions on the issue.
This survey shows the hardening of Turkish Cypriot attitudes and confirms that the failed 2004 referendum was probably the last opportunity for a settlement.
Source: Cyprus Mail
If you, like me, woke to discover that Facebook is down then you’re not alone. The whole world has discovered the same, well at least the billion plus people who are currently members. Facebook for many has become as important as utilities such as gas, water and electricity and failures, for some, stress them out as much as failures of those utilities would.
Many Facebook members are using Twitter again after a long time and even the failing Google +. I imagine that by the time I’ve finished writing this Facebook will be back but with many of its members considering alternatives for the future. The reason being that over the last few weeks Facebook has failed several times. Many are blaming the current failure on the storms in the US but a company without backup servers really shouldn’t be trusted. If you want to check if it is still down then click the link to find out – FaceBook Down Detector
In the end it turned out to be the fault of Facebook’s own engineers.
“Earlier this evening many people had trouble accessing Facebook and Instagram. This was not the result of a third-party attack but instead occurred after we introduced a change that affected our configuration systems. We moved quickly to fix the problem, and both services are back to 100% for everyone.” [BBC News]
UK Football news is not something we usually publish in NCFP but the FA Cup 5th Round Draw is remarkable in its absence of some major Premier League teams and the potential for record breaking results. Yesterday’s draw resulted in the following matches to be played during the 14-15th February 2015 weekend:
Crystal Palace v Liverpool or Bolton Wanderers
Arsenal v Middlesbrough
Aston Villa v Leicester City
West Bromwich Albion v West Ham United
Bradford City v Sunderland or Fulham
Blackburn Rovers v Rochdale or Stoke City
Derby County v Reading
Preston North End or Sheffield United v Cambridge United or Manchester United
The bookies are saying that the final will be a match between Manchester United and Arsenal (4-1) with a Preston North End v Cambridge United final being so unlikely that bookies aren’t even giving odds on this eventuality. Anyone care to guess the finalists? That’s if you’re remotely interested of course. My own guess/fantasy is one involving West Ham. Have a look at the bookies odds for the rest of the possibilities at Odds Checker.
Fancy testing your running endurance? This 80km race based in North Cyprus certainly does that and is therefore not for beginners or those who find a normal marathon too testing. There is an entry fee and once all costs have been met the surplus will be donated to the Alagadi Turtle Conservation Project.
THE START: Saturday May 23, 2015: Lionheart 80km – 5am at Kantara Castle; Braveheart 30 km – 1pm at Alevkayasi/Herbarium (Checkpoint 5); Mountain Goat run 10km – 4pm at Buffavento Castle (CP7)
THE FINISH: Final arrival time for all runners: 8.30pm at Ambelia holiday village in Bellapais.
CUT-OFF TIMES FOR 80km:
Final finish time: 8:30pm (15h30 time limit)
Checkpoint 6 (Five Fingers): Must leave by 5.00pm
Checkpoint 7 (Buffavento Castle – 70km): Must leave checkpoint by 7.00 pm
RACE STATS: Lionheart 80km: Lowest point: 140m; Highest point: 900m (top of Buffavento Castle); Positive altitude change: 2800 metres Braveheart 27km: Lowest point: 250m (Ambelia) Highest point: 900m Mountain Goat Run 10km: Lowest point: 250m (Ambelia) Highest point: 900m
THE COURSE: The first 30km is relatively easy going on mainly jeep track in the cooler part of the day but from then on, just as it is starting to get hot, the route goes up and up and down and up over some really challenging single track and sometimes no track, hard underfoot rocky terrain — including a steep ascent to the top of Buffavento Castle at CP7 on weary legs. Be prepared for your second half split to be MUCH slower than your first half. The Braveheart 30km is a challenging run over the toughest trail sections of the route from Checkpoint 5 to the end, but, like the Lionheart runners, Braveheart runners will have to climb all the way to the top of Buffavento Castle and down again before continuing to the end at Bellapais. Mountain Goat runners will start with a run to the top of Buffavento Castle from CP7, back down again and then on to Bellapais.
How to enter – 80km Lionheart Race
Fill in the entry form. Hit the register button.
To pay, click the Paypal button and follow the prompts. If you prefer to pay some other way please let us know by email to [email protected]
The fee gets you a goodie bag, plenty of replenishments (food and drinks) at the checkpoints, transport from Bellapais to the start of your race, drop bag transport, tog bags deposited at the finish line, medics on standby in case of emergency, a sweeper vehicle for those who decide to drop out of the race and stylish finishers’ awards… and the magic of the mountains. T-shirts will be provided should we secure a sponsor.
The fee does NOT cover airport pickups, accommodation and incidental expenses. Please provide your own electrolytes!
We will provide refuelling points every 10-12km where we will offer runners water, POWERADE, Coke, bananas, nuts, oranges, biscuits and crisps. However, runners are required to cater to their own needs between the checkpoints. BE WARNED: it could be hot and much of the route, especially towards the end, is very steep and rugged — a 10km stretch could take two hours or more. Be prepared!
We are a NON-PROFIT group — any spare change once all costs have been met will be donated to the Alagadi Turtle Conservation Project, one of the coolest ventures on the island.