Robots cannot replace human carers

 

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Dear Sir

It was with sadness that I read that robots could be caring for the country’s elderly within 30 years.

Honda, which leads the world in humanoid robotics, has just launched its most advanced creation which is the first robot able to make decisions for itself on how to carry out increasingly complex tasks.

There is doubtless a place for robots, particularly where it mean humans don’t have to risk their lives e.g. dealing with bombs, but the vision of them providing companionship for the lonely elderly sends a shiver down my spine.

What a sad indictment on society that the future envisaged for today’s middle-aged is not one filled with friends and relatives or even carers but a robot. It may be smart – and there is always the nagging worry that one day they will outsmart us all – but nothing can replace a human touch, smile and most importantly love.

Yours faithfully

Amjad Bashir, MEP, UKIP Communities spokesman

 

The dangers of radicalisation

• European Parliament, Strasbourg, 22 October 2014

• Amjad Bashir MEP (Yorkshire & Lincolnshire), Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) group.

• Debate: European IS fighters

Child Poverty in Yorkshire must be tackled

Yorkshire MEP Amjad Bashir has demanded that more is done to reduce the high level of child poverty in the county.

A damning new report has stated that it affects almost one-in-four children and warns that those from poorer homes in Yorkshire do less well in school and have worse job prospects than those elsewhere.

“This report makes gloomy reading and has ramifications for the whole community. We are all made the poorer in every way from child poverty and it saddens me deeply,” said Mr Bashir, UKIP Communities spokesman.

“It cannot be right that in this day and age we have child poverty in this country and it must be tackled head on.  A good start would be to adopt UKIP policy and raise to £13,500 the amount people can earn before paying income tax.

“It is suggested in this Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission’s report that ‘bad parents’  be given classes to make sure their children get the best start in life. Bad parents are at fault but just how on earth is it proposed to get them to attend?

“This is not a problem that will be solved overnight but making sure households have sufficient income to live on would help the problem and that means availability of jobs.

“We all know that uncontrolled immigration, particularly from Eastern Europe, has meant greater competition in the jobs market and we must regain control of our borders and introduce a skills point-based entry system. Yorkshire is said to have the second highest unemployment rate in the UK.

“The report warns that almost one in three children in Yorkshire who are eligible for free school meals ‘do not progress to a positive destination’ after leaving school.  Our children are our future and they deserve and should get the best possible education.

“It is appalling that almost half of 11-year-olds from deprived backgrounds in Yorkshire do not get to the standard of reading, writing and maths expected of the age group and it is vital that situation is remedied. Bad parenting should not mean no hope for their children and schools must be funded to take up that slack,” said Mr Bashir.

ends

 

Disability comments show tories prefer finance to fairness

Comments that disabled workers are not worth the minimum wage are further signs that the Conservatives look at people only in terms of their ‘cash value’, says UKIP’s Communities spokesman.

The accusation comes after a secret recording of the Minister for Welfare reform speaking at a meeting of party members at their annual conference was leaked to the media.

In the recording Lord Freud responds to a question about employing people with disabilities, by saying:  “Now, there is a small… there is a group, and I know exactly who you mean, where actually as you say they’re not worth the full wage and actually I’m going to go and think about that particular issue, whether there is something we can do nationally, and without distorting the whole thing, which actually if someone wants to work for £2 an hour, and it’s working can we actually…”

On hearing the comments, UKIP’s Communities Spokesman Amjad Bashir MEP said: “Doesn’t this just show that the Tories judge people on how much cash they think they are worth, and couldn’t care less about providing for society’s most vulnerable?

“Once again we see the Conservatives revealing that they treat the minimum wage as if it should be the maximum wage.

“Lord Freud will no doubt try and say he was trying to help disabled people into work, but I wonder how many disabled people he employed when he was earning his staggering fortune in banking?

“Disabled workers deserve the same living standards and pay as everyone else, a loaf of bread or a can of beans isn’t cheaper for a disabled person, and the minimum wage should be exactly that – the minimum.”

Since the release of the secret recording, Dan Scorer, head of policy at Mencap, said: “I think he needs to very seriously consider his position after making these comments.”

ENDS

 

Tory ‘emergency brake’ plan just smoke and mirrors

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Several newspapers today including the Times are reporting that the Conservatives are planning to bring in tough new measures on freedom of movement from other EU member states.

Yorkshire UKIP MEP Amjad Bashir said,  “The Prime Minister knows quite well that the EU will not restrict free movement of European migrants.

“In this latest PR trick he is hoping to pull the wool over the eyes of voters who increasingly support UKIP and our call for total control of our borders.

“David Cameron has thrown a number of options into the air in a desperate bid to save his own skin but like so many spinning plates they will all come crashing to the ground in pieces.

“The real ‘emergency brake’ he seeks is to halt the haemorrhaging support for his party. He is telling his backbenchers what they want to hear to stop them crossing the floor to UKIP.”

 

Community fears over Care act implementation

Fears over government guidance on the Care Act 2014 have been voiced by UKIP communities spokesman Amjad Bashir in the wake of an academic report.

It is claimed that the draft advice, which is expected to form council policy and practice, contradicts the aim of the Act, which is to put people in control of their own support.

The two academics from Brunel University, who have studied this guidance in depth, conclude that the guidance simply encourages councils to perpetuate the current approach involving a ‘system of eligibility that leads to practices that are resource-led, not person-centred or needs-led’.

“The whole point of this Act is for there to be a person-centred approach but alarmingly the authors of the report, Colin Slasberg and Peter Beresford, claim that the guidance seems to go against this,” said Mr Bashir, MEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire.

“They say, in the journal Disability and Society, that it refuses to define a ‘standard of wellbeing’ that should be aspired to by a care service and also rejects the established concept of ‘independent living’.

“I am also concerned the guidance reinforces the fact that final decisions about a person’s care continue to remain with the council.”

The article concludes that the effect of the guidance ‘ is to create a smokescreen for the continuation of a system that has served short-term political objectives well, but has been anathema to the person-centred system that government claims to want.’

“This is surely wrong and at odds with the ethos of the Act. Social care is obviously an extremely difficult issue and demands for it are increasing rapidly with an ageing population. That is why reforms have been sought and it is worrying if councils are instead encouraged to maintain the status quo,” said Mr Bashir.

“It is a vital issue which strikes at the heart of community life and the opportunities offered by this Act, hailed as the most significant reform of care and support in more than 60 years, must not be wasted,” he added.

ends

Article published by Taylor & Francis.

Read the full article online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09687599.2014.954785

 

Meeting the new Pakistan Ambassador to the EU

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My fellow UKIP MEPs and I recently met with the new Pakistan Ambassador to the EU, H.E. Naghmana A. Hashmi.

You can find out more about this here on my colleague Roger Helmer’s blog: http://rogerhelmermep.wordpress.com/2014/10/14/reaching-out-to-the-commonwealth/

Important event for your diary

Amjad Bashir MEP will be speaking at the 2014 UKIP North West Conference on November 8th amjadbash

Hear from Party Leader Nigel Farage MEP,
Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall MEP,
Amjad Bashir MEP
Louise Bours MEP
Steven Woolfe MEP
Jonathan Arnott MEP
David Coburn MEP
Nathan Gill MEP
Bill Etheridge MEP
Diane James MEP
David McNarry MLA
Plus guest speakers including:
Eddie Bone (Campaign for an English Parliament)
Jacques Borel (Vat Club campaign to lower VAT)
Venue: The Floral Hall
The Promenade
Southport
Saturday 8th November
Tickets only £15.00 each – including  entry into the raffle
Leaders Lunch
Enjoy a superb buffet lunch in the company of Nigel Farage MEP in the Maritime Suite at the Four Star
Ramada Hotel next door to the Floral Hall.
For only £15.00 each – including entry into the Leaders raffle
Book your tickets for this great day on: 0151 375 9660 without delay

Polls open in Clacton and Heywood and Middleton

The Polls have now opened for by-elections taking place in Clacton and Heywood and Middleton.

Here are some pictures taken when I went to Heywood and Middleton, Greater Manchester, to support our candidate John Bickley. I wish him and Douglas Carswell the best of luck today. campaign

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Tackling the opioids industry that funds Afghan insurgents

• European Parliament, Brussels, 06 October 2014

• Amjad Bashir MEP (Yorkshire & Lincolnshire), Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) group.

• Hearing of Commissioner designate: Federica Mogherini
– Portfolio: High Representative of the Union for Foreign Policy and Security Policy
– Responsible committee: AFET (Foreign Affairs)

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