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Friday, 14 April 2017


THE NATIONAL TRUST - A Precious Gift to Britain
A personal perspective

I have been a Member of The National Trust for most of my life. I have visited Historic Houses such as - Clivedon, Waddesdon  Manor in Buckinghamshire, Chastleton, Buscot Park in Oxfordshire, Knole House in Kent, Lanhydrock in Cornwall, Mottisfont and The Vyne in Hampshire, Bodiam Castle in East Sussex - and literally dozens and more Historic House and Areas of Outstanding Beauty,

I regard The National Trust as a Precious Jewel, a wonderful Defender of our British Heritage, safeguarding the richness of our cherished past and preserving our precious History and protecting our environment and areas of outstanding beauty. What a tragedy if all this was lost !

Fortunately, The National Trust has a strong body of Volunteers who work tirelessly for The National Trust. I salute everyone of them, whether they work as Guides at Historic Houses, Gardeners who keep the Gardens so beautiful at all seasons, Conservationists who use their significant skills to preserve, renovate and protect items such as Historic Works of Art, Carpets, Curtains, Furniture to name just a few of their extensive activities.

Of course, all of this would not be possible without generous donations from many people, companies and Organisations.
I am proud of the many local Volunteers who work so hard at fundraising for The National Trust. They are The Salt of the Earth.
Long may they flourish !

The National Trust has  given me and my family endless enjoyment over the years. It has given pleasure to Millions of other visitors from Britain and the rest of The World.
We have loved the wonderful flowers at Springtime, The Parterres full of colourful flowers and shrubs. The Clivedon Long Walk was a blaze of majestic colour this year. Thousands of Snowdrops, Daffodils and Bluebells adorned acres of the landscapes at Historic Houses and Gardens.

What would life be like without a The National Trust ? I suggest that  we would lose so much of our history and past and present beauty.

The National Trust could not exist and flourish without its strong Organisational Structure and Management. We are fortunate to have dedicated leadership and management at Top Level who oversea that The National Trust maintains its Stewardship of Excellence and who Inspire Volunteers and local National Trust organisations. For example, The Wycombe National Trust Club raises some £7,000 plus each year and they hold regular Coffee Mornings attended by some 100 Members to increase funds for The National Trust and local Charities. I believe that The National Trust can provide more ideas to the local branches about fundraising.

So, it is no secret that I love The National Trust and what it stands for. I want to encourage everyone to take an interest in The future of The National Trust.

May The National Trust flourish for ever - Thank you The National Trust.


Raymond Williams MA MPhil MBA DIPM

Monday, 20 March 2017



In soccer matches, the Referee decides how many minutes are added on due to stoppages during the match 90 minutes.

In Rugby, the rule is that after the match 80 minutes, the ball must be kicked into touch before the match ends.

Recently, Wales played France in Paris for a 6 Nations match. Wales were winning at 80 minutes. The Referee played some 20 minutes extra time because the ball had not been kicked into touch to end the match. In the last minute, France scored a try and conversion and won the match.

This is an unfair situation. I believe that the rules must change.
Rugby should have the same rule as in Soccer.
The Referee should add on for extra time Minutes lost during the game for injury stoppages or a better solution would be to end the game once the 80minutes were up - the clock stopping during the match for injuries and other stoppages.

However, I thought that they did stop the clock for injuries during the match. So, it is a stupid rule to let the game go on until it is kicked into touch.

A new rule is needed for Rugby.

This would be much fairer than the farce in Paris. 20 minutes extra time is ridiculous.

Wake up Rugby......make the rule change soon.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017



SCOTLAND - The Second Referendum 

We need some Reality in the debate about the SNP's decision to seek a Second Referendum in 2019.
The UK decision to leave the EU will take two years to resolve.
Until this matter has been resolved, Scotland should not have permission from Westminster to hold a second Referendum.
Once the UK has left the EU, then Yes....Scotland can vote again on the subject of becoming an independent Nation.

What then If Scotland votes to leave the Union ?

Well, the terms of settlement might come as a big reality test for Scotland. I think that in financial terms, Scotland will be worse off.
UK subsidies for Healthcare, Education, Defence will leave a massive gap in The Scottish Budget ! The rest of the UK have for years been subsidising Scotland. EU demands for Millions of Euros contribution to the EU Budget will cause the SNP sleepless nights !

If Scotland should leave the UK by say 2022, they may well find that they are in an isolationist mode - not in the EU, not in the UK with a weak bargaining power in the Global Trading Market

There will be chaos in many quarters....

How can England allow free movement between the two countries?
Who will defend Scotland and at what cost ?
What will be Scotland's share of the Defence Budget ?
What will be the ownership and distribution of Oil revenues and Oil Industry infrastructure ?
What will be the currency of Scotland ?
Will The Queen remain The Queen of Scotland ?
How many MEPs will Scotland have ?
All the SNP's in the House of Commons will be made redundant.
In future, Scotland would have no say in British Politics.
Would the Union Jack minus the Cross of St Andrew remain as the British Flag ?
How much money would Scotland pay for the NATO budget ?
What will be the cost of Scottish Embassies throughout the World ?

Scotland may well find that The BREXIT exit deal and the Terms of Trade would be beneficial to Scotland so why jump the gun before everyone knows the outcome of the UK negotiations ? Only stupidly !

If the second Scottish Referendum results in a Yes vote to leave the UK in 2019, can the Scottish people have a Third Referendum if the results of Brexit turn out to be good for the UK which includes Scotland ?

I believe that the Scottish National Party want power first and foremost. They do not seem to care about....

Our common heritage.
That England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are one big family !
We are one United country.
We speak the same Language.
I am Welsh but first and foremost British.
Why break up our one country ?

Have the UK Governments treated Scotland badly ? Certainly not.

I think that it will be the sharing of the National Debt that will sober up the SNP and bring Reality to bear.

However, if Scotland does want to leave the UK, then they should leave. After all, that is the Spirit of Democracy.

May DEMOCRACY forever flourish in Britain.

Thursday, 23 February 2017



Political, Social and Cultural Affairs

In Britain and The World Today

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Ray Williams MA MPhil MBA DIPM

Wednesday, 22 February 2017



Most of the car hire companies at Malaga Airport such as Firefly, Gold Car, Record booked through Holiday Autos have found a new way of ripping you off.

In the past, you would have CDW - Collision Damage Waiver included in the price of the rental. Today, CDW is still included BUT here is the problem - you have an Excess Payment of 1,000 Euros built into the contract.
The Car Rental staff are now very well trained to emphasise that unless you take out their insurance for the duration of the rental, You are liable to pay for very scratch or damage to the car up to 1,000 Euros. They will have taken an imprint of your Credit Card, so you are at their mercy. They really try to frighten you and put you under pressure when you are tired after a long journey.

My wife and I have taken out our own Insurance policy in the UK for travel throughout Europe which will pay for any excess charges. The Annual cost if about £50. It costs slightly more for annual Worldwide coverage.
The rental company staff, recently Firefly, will warn you that you are still at risk because they do not think your insurance company will pay up in the event of damage or an accident. Once again, they put pressure on you to buy their excess waiver insurance.

So, what does their insurance cost ? A whopping 18 Euros Plus per day of rental. For a 15 day rental, that will cost you about 270 Euros plus. A massive profit for the car rental companies.

I think that this is outrageous. Can anyone do something about this ?

There is worse to come. We had to return the Firefly car to Malaga Airport at 5.30am. We were told to drop the keys and a copy of the rental agreement into a box, which we did. There was no damage to the car. I took photos of the car and the full tank of petrol.the time and Bay 75 Firefly. A wise precaution.
However, when we failed to take up their insurance, the sales assistant pointed out that if there was any damage to the car AFTER we had returned the car early morning.....we were liable to pay for any damage up to an excess of - you have guessed it - 1,000 Euros.
So, a Firefly employee could damage the car when moving it and we would have to pay. Once again, outrageous.

So, BEWARE if you book via Holiday Autos and Firefly, Gold Car, Record and others. Extra insurance costs could be as much as 400% more than the car rental .......if you fall for the sales pressure when you sign up for the rental.

My brother once hired from Record. As he went up the ramp to leave the car park, smoke came out of the engine. There was no oil ! Record argued that he had to pay because he had taken possession of the car. Beware, do we have to check for oil now ?

One final price of advice.... the lighting is poor in the car park at Malaga Airport when you collect your car early morning or late evening. Make sure that you check for damage. Does the petrol cap work ?  Are the locks damaged ? What about scratches on the roof ?
I suggest you take a torch with you. On out latest trip to Malaga Airport, we found a number of scratches that were not recorded.

Just in case you think excessive insurance is all you need to worry about, here is another cheeky policy.
Firefly and others now want you to bring the car back with a full tank of petrol. If you do not bring it back full you might find that you  have a surcharge of 50 Euros or maybe at least a charge of
25 Euros as a service charge for them having to fill the car up to full.

Maybe, taxis are the better option after all ! Or, the train.

Whatever you do next time ....BEWARE. They want your money !




I have to agree with new President Trump of the USA that the Media seem to be biased against him and often twist the news.....Fake News he calls it.

The other evening I watched his 77 minute speech to the Press at The White House. I thought it was a brilliant speech in which he listed some of the positive  actions he had taken since election to honour the promises he had made to the American people.
These included a list of proposed Billion Dollar investments by a number of CEOs of American Car Manufacturers in cities in the USA. Wonderful news for American workers.
In the TV News on CNN and SKY, these investments were not mentioned at all. They concentrated on other issues mainly doubts about Trump Policies like Immigration Controls.
President Trump announced the renewal of the Canadian USA pipeline project which will create thousands of jobs and increase demand for USA Steel. A great Project.
The Media gave this low coverage or preferred to concentrate on environmental issues instead.
The Trump Policies to deal with the 11 Million Illegal Immigrants are presented as an attack on the freedom of all Immigrants.
How dare Illegal Immigrants think that they can enter the USA as they wish without any vetting or permission.
Trump wants to get rid of the drug barons, criminals and felons. I agree entirely. We have the same problem in the UK.

Also during this week I heard Vice President Pence deliver a very reassuring speech at NATO. He gave a forceful reassurance that President Trump and he wanted to assure NATO that the USA fully support them.
The SKY news report included the following comments.....
Did Vice President Pence really talk on behalf of President Trump ?
Did they really mean what they say ? Incredible ! How many times do they want the USA have to repeat this. The Media called the speech a Charm Offensive, a suggestion that American words of support was just that...A Charm Offensive.

Everything The President says, the Media are looking for something critical to say about him. It issuch a pity ! Give the man and his Administration a chance.
The Media say the He had has declared War on the Media. No, he only wants them to be fair and factual in their reporting.

The Media claim that the White House is in chaos. What rubbish.

Remember this Media.....President Trump is doing what he promised the American Electorate he would do. He is keeping his promises. Unusual for Politicians on both sides of the Atlantic.

President Trump's  wish to liaise directly with President Putin is a good thing. If the two leaders can forge a good understanding and avoid confrontation this is a good thing. If they can speed up the defeat of ISiS and radical Islamist terrorists, this is a good thing.
However, on many occasions this effort to talk to Russia is often presented by some of the Media as a weakness and a danger to peace.

I think that Trump  will prove to be a great President. What stamina and dedication he has shown so far. He has reassured Israel. He has forged a good relationship with Canada, Japan and the UK. He has even pleased China with his One China Policy affirmation. He has reassured Europe. He has reassured the American People. He wants peace with Russia from a position of strength.
He is standing up to the leaches and hangers on. He will not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons. He will help destroy Isis all over the free world. He is committed to trade deals with the UK.
Yes, he must deal with unfair trading deals across the World.
Not a bad performance for a few weeks in the job.

What more do you want ? Please Media......give more balance in your reporting, particularly SKY, CNN and BBC.

Trump is a man who is used to making big decisions. He is not afraid to trust and act on his own judgement. He is a Doer not a career Politician.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017



So, the threats and demands from the EU have started.

Some EU officials claim that the UK would have to pay into the EU
Budget some 60 Billions Euros as a condition of leaving the EU.
University Professors think it might be lower, around 40 Billions Euros.
TV Commentators think the UK through negotiations would only need to pay 30 Billions of Euros.
Who do you believe ?

I think the the UK should leave the EU no later than 1 April 2019.
This is how I think the argument should go from a UK perspective.
The UK should honour its commitments up to the 1 April 2019.
After that date, the UK should pay into the EU Budget - Nothing !
The EU will demand payments for commitments to EU officials Pension schemes. No way !
The UK should demand its % share of all EU Assets -  Buildings, Cash in the Bank, Investments, Loans to Member states. That should result in Billions of Euros rebate for the UK. After all, the UK has paid a share of these Liquid Assets and Fixed sets.

The EU hierarchy will not like this. What is the legal position ?
If a business is closed down or shareholders withdraw their shareholding, the Law will pronounce that this is legal for the shareholders to receive their share of the net assets.

The eternal Auditors have not signed off the EU Accounts for some 15 years or more.
The UK should refuse to pay any Leaving fee unless they are presented with Recent Audited Accounts.

The UK should insist that the Principle of Transferability of Pension Funds should apply to all the UK MEPs.

I have confidence in the UK Negotiating Team. If agreement cannot be reached, what Court of Justice will judge ? The European Court of Justice ?  I hope not !

The EU might also claim that since the UK agreed to the various EU Treaties, the UK must honour its commitments and pay up !
The answer is that the UK has lived up to its commitments WHILST it remained a Member of the Club. After it has left the Club, it does not have any more financial commitments.

If you had paid £1,000 to join your local Golf Club, what would you say if they said - You will have to pay £5,000 Leaving Fee. I think that I know what you would say to them ...?***!!!! *** ?

Perhaps the UK Negotiators will be a little more Polite !