George Osbourne has the older and wiser members of his own family thinking he is talking rubbish over Brexit

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http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/george-osborne%E2%80%99s-family-say-they-totally-disagree-with-him-on-eu-referendum/ar-BBsftIv?li=BBoPWjQ&ocid=mailsignout

So his own family think George Osbourne is talking nonsense.

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David Cameron – avoiding inheritance tax

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Somebody on Quora naively asked if David Cameron’s family avoided inheritance tax – Anthony J Sargeant commented:

Of course the Cameron family would have had, and will still have, an elaborate accountacy strategy to avoid inheritance tax. The estate of David Cameron’s father for example was valued at £2.74 million pounds on his death. That may sound a lot to ordinary “hardworking families” (to use one of ‘Dave’s’ favourite expressions) but it is peanuts to the likes of the Cameron family. It is the cost of one rather modest central London town house. never mind country homes, off-shore investments and all the rest.Clearly much of the wealth has been sequestered away in family trusts and other vehicles to avoid inheritance tax. Such strategies to avoid tax are legal but only really available to the super-rich like Dave and his equally or perhaps even richer wife Samantha. Ordinary “hard working families” have little choice but to pay inheritance tax if the estate is valued at more than £325,000 at present though the proposal to allow modest family homes to be excluded from the calculation of liability would increase this threshold somewhat.

April sunshine in England

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Anthony J Sargeant reflects on the state of the nation

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In, “Home Thoughts from Abroad” Robert Browning wrote,
“Oh to be in England now that Spring is there”
When you see the English Countryside in Spring as I can see it from my Shropshire home you can understand the yearning – but I am incredibly privileged and perhaps lucky to be able to live, albeit in a modest house, where I do in retirement. Very many people in our country are not so lucky and exist on minimal or zero hours contracts (all of whom count as being “employed” by this Tory government), and queue at food-banks, and watch as social services, libraries, museums and the NHS are inexorably eviscerated by the policies generated by a cabinet packed with millionaires presided over by David Cameron – who likes to pretend “We are all in it together” and “The NHS is safe with us”.

But above is the view from my bedroom window on a sunny Spring day

Obama, the United States self-interest, the EU and the UK

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Obama’s ill-judged intervention in the UK referendum will surely backfire. His comments were made reflecting the interests of the USA and a wilful misrepresentation or misunderstanding of the undemocratic EU political project. At one point he made a comment saying that the USA wanted a EU led by a strong UK – this demonstrates no understanding of the reality. We will have no control of the future of the EU which will be dominated by the Eurozone countries unless we leave and the EU is forced to abandon the current undemocratic unelected, backroom dealings of nation states many of which are corrupt, feckless, misogynistic, homophobic, and fascist leaning (in no particular order we are in an undemocratic club which includes Greece, Portugal, Hungary, Poland, Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Portugal, Slovenia, Latvia, Croatia, Lithuania, Estonia etc – each one of which has an equal vote to the UK when it comes to treaty agreements). It is clearly arrant nonsense to think that the UK will play any serious ‘strong’ role in the future development of the EU. This comment alone demonstrates the self interest of the USA and the lack of caring or understanding about anything other than their own perceived self interest. Everybody should remember that the USA is the country which, thinking it was in their national interest, led the disastrous invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan killing many hundreds of thousands of innocent people in the process and which led to the chaos that now prevails in those areas. Going further back to those with any memory we could point to Vietnam as another US ‘well-judged’ intervention in other countries affairs – supposedly because it was in the national interest of the USA so to do.

Shropshire in April – photograph by Anthony J Sargeant

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After the snow first thing on the 16th April 2016 the skies soon cleared over Shropshire (UK) to yield a glorious spring day. This photograph was taken from the Shropshire home of Anthony Sargeant looking across Corvedale towards The Brown Clee Hill. One can understand Robert Browning’s yearning in his poem ‘Home thoughts from abroad’ on days like this “Oh to be in England now that April’s there”

April snow in Shropshire

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Anthony J Sargeant woke up this morning, 16th April 2016, to look out of the bedroom window of his Shropshire (UK) home to see snow covering the backgarden. A far cry from the image conjured up by Robert Brownings ‘Home thoughts from abroad’ – “Oh to be in England now that April’s there”