Hinduism Perspective of Life after Death
Hinduism perspective of life after death holds that death comprises of series of change via which individuals pass. Hinduism believes in reincarnation and rebirth of souls. Souls are imperishable and immortal. This is because a soul forms part of Jiva, who is a limited being that is not subject to impurities of delusion, attachment and Karma laws.
According to Hinduism, death is not a big calamity. It is not the end to all but rather, a natural process in existence of Jiva or being as an independent or separate entity. Death is a period of rest when the soul reassembles and recuperates its resources while adjusting its course before returning to earth again where it continues the journey.
Hinduism perspective of life after death is that, unless liberation of a soul occurs, life or after life is not permanent. Both are part of a big illusion. To Hindus, death is just temporary cessation of the physical activity. It is a necessary way of recycling energy and resources as well as an opportunity for jiva, the part that incarnates to reenergize while reviewing its policies and programs as well as planning for the following phase in life.
Each experience in earthly life is an opportunity for jiva to learn as well as overcome blemishes and inconsistencies to make it whole. It is not possible for individuals to have preferences, likes, dislikes, attachment, and prejudices and expect to be liberated. Hinduism considers even a preference for being pure as an impediment in life at some point. As such, the soul has to be born and reborn to overcome the delusion state and to achieve equanimity state and then realize its completeness.
Upon death, the soul of an individual along with aspects of residual consciousness leave the earthly body via an opening on the head after which it goes to a different world from where it returns after spending time there. Everything that happens when the soul leaves the earthly body and before reincarnation remains a great mystery of which one can get idea of after studying scriptures.
There is a description of the paths that the soul travels upon death in the Bhagavad-Gita. One of the paths is the sun which is also called the path of gods or bright path. The other path is path of the moon which is also called path of the ancestors or the dark path. Souls that travel along the path of sun never return while those that travel along the path of the moon return.
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Hinduism Beliefs about God
Hinduism beliefs about God holds that there is existence of one true god called Brahman. However, Brahman exists in different forms. According to the teachings of Hinduism, there is the existence of a single true god who is the supreme spirit. His many forms pervade the entire universe. A sacred syllable Aum or Om symbolizes him.
According to Hindus, Brahman is always present in all human beings as an eternal spirit or the soul known as the atman. Brahman has everything, destruction, creation, female and male, evil and good, stillness and movement. Brahman has three major aspects that are expressed in trimurti. These are:
Hinduism teaches that liberation is the best solution to a problem and not death. Salvation can only be attained through discipline, self-surrender, austerities and devotion as well as the grace of God and guru. Hinduism embraces diverse beliefs about God. This is a fact that initially can be confusing to people who are accustomed to confessions, carefully-worded beliefs and creeds.
A person can believe different things concerning God as well as the universe and path that lead to liberation yet still remain a Hindu. This explains the origin of the saying that is common among the Hindus that, “Truth is one; sages call it by different names”. There are also beliefs about God and the universe that are common to almost all types of Hinduism that are easy to identify.
The basic beliefs of Hinduism are considered as the boundaries outside which there are non-Hinduism religion and heresy. The fundamental beliefs in Hinduism include the Vedas authority and the Brahmans authority. Vedas refers to the oldest sacred text among the Indians. Brahmans are the priests.
Another fundamental belief in Hindu is the existence of a soul that is enduring and one that transmigrates from a single body to a different one at death through reincarnation. Hindus also believe in the laws of Karma. Karma is the law that determines the destiny of an individual both in the current life and in the next life.
It is important to note that specific beliefs about gods or God are not usually considered as an essential in Hinduism. This makes Hinduism different from monotheistic religions such as Islam and Christianity. Most Hindus follow one of the major gods devotedly. These are Vishnu, Shiva or Shakti.
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Christianity View on Good and Evil
Christianity view on good and evil is that all goodness comes from the inherent character of God and evil is declining or refusing to submit to the authority of God, to love and to serve Him. The question of evil and good has been wrestled on for many years without a universally acceptable or satisfactory conclusion being reached.
The problem is that the existence of evil is sticker and it causes a heated debate among the Christian scholars, philosophers and theologians. However, Christian beliefs offer a definition that acts as a source that determines what is evil and what is good. The beliefs also provide a description for human nature while providing tools for Christians to use in combating evil using good.
When it comes to defining what is good, there are several verses of the Bible that affirm the belief of Christians that God is always good and that His love is forever enduring. According to Christianity, there is existence of a benevolent God who made all things and the universe. The plan of God at creation is based on His divine goodness. Thus, Christianity view of good is that all that is good comes from God and everything that God does is good since he cannot go against His own inherent nature.
In Christianity, evil has been divided into the categories of human action or moral evil that causes suffering and pain for the others. This includes war, genocide, cruelty, abuse and exploitation. There is also the natural evil that includes diseases, natural disasters, and birth defects among others.
According to most Christians, moral evil originates from rebellion against the will of God. This causes injustice, pride vanity, aggression, greed, violence and dishonesty among others. The belief in the original sin of Adam and Eve provides a widespread explanation of how death and suffering came into the universe via their disobedience of the will of God.
Christian tradition has a belief that human beings are born in a sinfulness state, already contaminated and with far-reaching and long-lasting consequences of original sin committed by Adam and Eve. This sin separated man from God and a savior had to come to bridge the gap between God and man whole providing a path to salvation.
There are theologians and scholars who have attempted to justify or explain existence of suffering and evil in the light of the goodness of God. Explanation of good and evil in Christianity often include the discussion on the significance of human choice and free will as well as corrective discipline meted by God and repentance.
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Christianity Beliefs about God
Christianity beliefs about God hold that God is an eternal being that preserves the world that it created. According to Christians, God is both immanent and transcendent. Immanent means that God is involved in the universe while transcendent implies that God is entirely removed from and independent of material universe.
The teachings of Christianity holds that God’s involvement and immanence as well as the love that he has for humanity does not include the believe of his having similar substance as the universe that he created. However, Christianity teachings accept the incarnation of God as a man.
Early views of Christianity were expressed in Pauline Epistles and early creeds. These proclaimed that God was one and Jesus’ divinity almost similar breath as it is stated in 1st Corinthians 8:5-6. Christianity holds that, despite the existence of several gods whether they are on earth or in heaven, Christians believe that they have only one God whom they call their father from whom they get all things and they live for him.
Jesus Christ who was incarnated as man is considered to be the son of God and all things come through him and Christians live through him and he is their Lord. Judaea-Christian sect of Ebionites at first protested against the apotheosis of Jesus Christ. However, it was accepted by the Gentile Christians. This started the difference between the beliefs of Gentile Christian about God from the traditional Jewish beliefs and teachings about God.
Since the beginning of Christianity, theology that concerns nature and attributes of God has always been a topic for discussion. This can be seen in the 2nd century writings of Irenaeus. These writings note that the greatness of God does not lack anything and it contains everything. John of Damascus in 8th century listed the eighteen attributes that have been accepted widely.
Theologians have listed attributes of God as time goes by some of which are based on the Bible’s statements including the Lord’s Prayer that states that the Christians’ father is at Heaven. There are also attributes that are based on the theological reasoning of theologians.
Although the Kingdom of God has always been a prominent phrase in Synoptic Gospels and an almost unanimous agreement because it represents an important element in Jesus’ teachings, its exact interpretation has not had scholarly agreement. Despite the fact that the New Testament does not provide a formal trinity doctrine, it speak about God the Father, the Holy Spirit and the Son in a way that compels the Trinitarian understanding and Christianity belief about God.
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Zero Hours Contract
Zero hour contract which is also known as zero contract hours is a casual working contract that does not guarantee workers any work and only pays for the work carried out. With this type of contract, the worker is expected to avail themselves for work if and when they are called upon by the employer.
This type of employment contract is used in the UK and contains provisions that create an ‘on-call’ arrangement between the employee and employer. Employers in this case assert they don’t have any obligation to provide work for employees while the employees agree to be available when and as required. Consequently, this means there is no particular times of work or hours specified. The employee should be on call and they will receive compensation for the hours they work only.
Zero hours contract can be beneficial especially for students and retirees interested in getting occasional earnings and are entirely flexible about when they can work. However, this is not applicable to people in the general working environment/population and this includes those with the responsibilities of supporting families as well as those with mortgages as they run the risk of unpredictable earnings and working hours.
This type of contract is often used by management as a tool to either reprimand or reward employees. Across the globe, part-time workers and itinerant day laborers are employed under zero hour contract terms. This is applicable in many countries though the term ‘zero hour contract’ is British English for employees on call with no set minimum hours and no definite schedule and who work on contracts and still, manage to meet the requirements of Employment Rights Act 1996 a statute of the UK.
Under the National Minimum Wage Act of 1998 in the UK, workers operating under contract on stand-by call time must be paid national minimum wages for the hours they work. Prior to the 1998 Working Time Regulations and the 1999 National Minimum Wage Regulations, flexibility provided by zero hour contracts is often known as ‘clock-off’ workers during the quiet periods while retaining them onsite in order to return them to paid work as and when the need arises.
The National Minimum Wage Regulations now require employers to pay national minimum wages for the workers needed at the workplace though there is no work to be carried out. Zero hours contract has received numerous criticisms for subjecting workers to exploitation as they can be denied work at any given time and for any reason.
For instance, refusal to work when called upon can result to prolonged periods of no work. Also, due to the uncertainty of these contracts, it becomes difficult for workers with children to arrange for childcare.
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Welfare capitalism is a private employer based social welfare provisions system that gained momentum in the US first from 1880s through to the 1920s. Business leaders promoted welfare capitalism at a time that was marked by widespread economic insecurity, labor unrest and reform activism.
It owed its basis on the idea Americans shouldn’t look to labor unions or the government but rather the workplace benefits that are provided by employers in the private sector for protection against market economy fluctuations. This type of capitalism includes social welfare policies that are comprehensive. It is also the practice of companies/businesses to provide welfare services to employees.
In modern age, welfare capitalism is mostly associated with models of capitalism that are found in Northern and Continental Europe like the Social Market model, Rhine capitalism and Nordic model. There are other instances when welfare capitalism exists within mixed economies but welfare can and does exist independent of policies that are common to mixed economies like extensive regulation and state interventionism.
During the 17th century, some companies (mostly manufacturers) started offering new benefits to employees. This started in Britain during the early 19th century and in other European countries like Germany and France. The companies sponsored established social clubs, sports team and provided cultural and educational activities for workers. There are some that even offered housing as part of the package as well.
Among the first attempts of offering philanthropic welfare to workers was at the New Lanark mills in Scotland by Robert Owen, the social reformer. He became part owner and manager of the mills in 1810 and was encouraged but his success in management of the cotton mills in Manchester and hoped to conduct New Lanark on high principals and not focus so much on commercial profit.
The broad condition of workers was unsatisfactory as most of them were steeped in drunkenness and theft. There were other vices which were also common. Sanitation and education was mostly neglected while families lived crammed in one room. The country people who were respectable also refused to be part of the demoralizing and long hours of the mills.
Majority of the employers operated through the track system where they made payments to workers in part or by tokens which were of no use outside the ‘truck shop’. Owen opened his own store where people were able to buy quality goods and soon the principles he upheld spread through other cooperative stored throughout Britain. By 1910s and the 1920s, welfare capitalism was an organized movement with diversifying base for social, business, political and scientific support.
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Universal credit is a welfare benefit program started in the UK in 2013 to replace the 6 means tested benefits and credit cards. The national launch was set for October 2013 for new claimants (excluding those with complex cases like families with children) though a pilot in 4 local authorities preceded this.
The transition was set to be gradual and to be completed by 2017. While this was the case, only one of the original pilots went ahead as scheduled due to persistent delays in implementation and IT failures. The other three pilots took off later that summer and were met by numerous criticisms.
Ian Duncan Smith, the secretary of Work and Pensions is the one that proposed the Universal Credit in 2010 at the Conservative Party annual conference. The aim was to ensure that it is implemented in the span of 4 years and two parliaments with the intention of merging the already existing 6 means tested tax credits and benefits into one monthly payment and to reduce costs as well. The six benefits include the following:
- Income based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income related Support
- Employment Allowance
- Income support
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit and Housing Benefit.
Unlike existing benefits like Income Support that have a 100 percent withdrawal rate, the Universal Credit will be tapered away gradually as is the case with existing Housing Benefit and tax credits so that in theory, people are able to still take part time jobs and at the same time, be allowed to retain some of the money they receive.
Universal credit payment would also be paid in a different manner from the current benefits. Some of these include the following:
- The money will be paid directly into the account you choose
- If one gets assistance with rent, the same will be included in their monthly payment so they can pay the landlord
- In cases where both partners are eligible for Universal Credit, they will get one payment set for the household.
There are 4 conditionality’s for claimants depending on circumstances ranging from whether they are required to search for full time employment to their inability to find work at all (this includes people in the unconditional group such as carers and the severely disabled)
Universal Credit payment will be done once every month directly into a building society’s or bank account. Any assistance with rent will also be included in the payment so that claimants can pay their landlords directly.
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The holocaust was the state sponsored bureaucratic, systematic persecution and murder of 6 million Jews including 1.5 million Jewish children by the Nazi regime and its collaborators in Europe. It occurred in 1933 to 1945. There are millions other people who were also caught up in the web of destruction woven by the Nazi’s.
In 1933, when Hitler became chancellor, the German government started passing laws that eliminated the rights of Jews as citizens. Eventually, in the German occupied Europe, the Jews were forced through laws to live in certain regions of the city known as ghettos. From there, many Jews were deported by the Nazis to death and labor camps.
Apart from the Jews the Nazis also targeted other minority groups such as political dissidents, those with genetic diseases, the Poles, male homosexuals, the disabled, Jehovah’s Witness and the gypsies or Roma. The anti-Semitic Nazi leader, Adolf Hitler believed the Jews were an inferior race and an alien threat to the racial purity of the Germans and the community.
After years of the Nazis ruling during which Jews were persecuted persistently, Hitler made ‘final solution’ which came to be known as the Holocaust. This was carried out under the disguise of World War 1 with mass killing centers constructed in concentration camps of occupied Poland.
Hitler’s worldview had two twin goals which included spatial expansion and racial purity. From 1933 onward, these goals would combine to form the driving force behind his domestic and foreign policy. The Nazis at first preserved their harshest persecution for political opponents like the social democrats and the communists.
They opened the first official concentration camp in 1933 March at Dachau (near Munich). Majority of the prisoners who were sent to the camp first were communists. Like other concentration camps that followed shortly afterwards and which served as the killing grounds, Dachau was under the command of Heinrich Himmler who was the head of the elite Nazi guard, the SS (Schutzstaffel) then later it was under the German police.
By 1933 July, the concentration camps held more than 27,000 people in protective custody. Huge symbolic acts and Nazi rallies like the public burning of Communists, books by Jews, foreigners and liberals aided in driving the desired message of the Nazis.
Because of Jews persecution, they numbered roughly 525,000 or 1% of the overall German population in 1933. In the next 6 years that followed, the Nazis undertook what was known as ‘Aryanization’ of Germany, liquidating businesses that were owned by the Jews, dismissing non-Aryans from the civil service and stripping Jewish doctors and lawyers of their clients. Under Nuremberg laws, anyone who had 3 or 4 Jewish grandparents was considered a Jew while those with 2 were considered Mischlinge (half-breeds).
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Marketing mix refers to a business tool used by marketers in marketing. It is crucial when determining a brands or products offer and is often associated with the 4 P’s which include:
Marketing mix also refers to set of tactics or actions that a company might use in order to promote its produce or brand in the market. Nowadays though, there are additional Ps such as People, Packaging, Positioning and even at times Politics which are vital elements to the mix.
Description of the 4 Ps
- Price-This refers to value of the product and depends on segment targeted, production costs, and ability of the market to pay as well as supply and demand. It also involves a host of other indirect and direct factors. There are several pricing strategies types and each has an overall business plan. Pricing is used as a demarcation for differentiating and enhancing a products image.
- Product-This is the item that is being sold and it must deliver minimum performance level. If this is not achieved, other elements of marketing mix will not be of any significant use.
- Place-This is the point of sale and whatever the industry, it is important to catch the consumer’s eye and make it possible for them to purchase the product. Retailers always pay a premium in order to get the right location. As a matter of fact, the mantra of any successful business is ‘ location, location, location’
- Promotion-This refers to activities that are undertaken in order to make the service or product known to users and trade. This includes word of mouth, advertising, incentives, awards, commissions and press reports to trade. It might also include direct marketing, consumer schemes, prizes and contests.
‘Marketing mix’ was popularized in 1964 after Neil H. Borden published his article ‘The Concept of Marketing Mix’. He begun use of the term in the late 1940’s after James Culliton described the marketing manager as a ‘mixer of ingredients.
The ingredients in his marketing mix included packaging, servicing, product planning, branding, pricing, personal selling, physical handling, fact finding, distribution channels, advertising and promotions. The ingredients were categorized into the 4 Ps mentioned earlier by Jerome McCarthy.
The framework of the marketing mix was especially useful in the early days of marketing concept when a large section of the economy was represented by physical products. Today, marketing has become integrated into organizations and there is a variety of markets and products factors that have seen authors attempt to extend the usefulness of the fifth P such as people, process and packaging etc. despite the limitations, use of the framework is still strong and most of the marketing textbooks are organized around it.
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Christian Perspective of Life after Death
Christian beliefs on life after death vary slightly from one denomination to another and individual Christians. While this is the case, a vast majority of Christians believe heaven is the place where believers go upon dying so they can enjoy the presence of God. Christians believe that in heaven, they are freed from sin and all other kinds of manifestations such as pain and suffering.
The Bible also teaches heaven is an actual place for instance in John 14:1-6. Life in heaven will have continuity like life in the present world. For instance, people will have bodies just like they do now yet, it will be different than it is in the present life because what people get will be ‘new’ bodies (1 Cor. 15:35-49).
A large percentage of Christians also believe the Bible teaches about the existence of a place known as hell where punishment and judgment will take place for instance 2 Peter 2:4. In the New Testament, there are several passages that provide the description of hell as a place where there is fire (Mark 9:43, James 3:6).
Some Christians have interpreted the imagery of fire as a figurative way of communicating severe punishment. There is also the minority that views the description literally but believes the punishment people will experience will be temporary like that of objects that are destroyed by flames eventually.
Roman Catholics hold believes that are slightly different as they believe in purgatory. To them, purgatory is a temporary place of punishment for Christians who died with un-confessed sins. The Catholic Church Catechism states ‘All who die in God’s grace and friendship , but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their external salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven’.
The questions most Christians ask include whether there is life after death and what type of form it takes. There are conflicting answers to these questions such as:
- Some christians believe that eventually, they land in Hell, Heaven, Sheol, Purgatory or some other state, condition or place
- They believe they cease to exist in any form or simply disappear
- The souls are separated from the body and they go to hell or heavy while the bodies remain on earth where they decay
- Some Christians believe they sleep for a long duration upon death before they wake up for the final judgment
- They are incarnated into new bodies where they live another lifetime on earth as an animal or human
While Christians hold different views about life after death, the Bible remains ambiguous about matters that are related to the same.
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Capital budget refers to the process through which firms decide on the long term investments to make. Projects of capital budgeting are supposed to generate cash flows for several years. The decision on whether to reject or accept capital budgeting project is dependent on analysis of cash flow that is generated by the project as well as its cost.
Capital budgeting makes it possible to determine which long term organization investments are worth funding through the capitalization structure like replacement machinery, new machinery, research development projects, new products and new plants.
In simple terms capital budgeting is the process of resources allocation for major investment and capital expenditures. The primary goal of this type of budgeting is to increase value of the firm to its shareholders. There are several techniques used in capital budgeting and some of these include:
- Net present value
- Payback period
- Accounting rate of return
- Profitability index
- Equivalent annuity
- Real options valuation
- Modified internal rate of return
- Internal rate of concern
The techniques mentioned above use incremental cash flows from each potential investment or project. There are times when techniques that are based in accounting rules and accounting earnings get used though economists might consider this as improper for instance ‘return in investment’ and accounting rate of return’. Hybrid and simplified methods can be used as well like discounted payback period and payback period.
There are several factors that determine capital budgeting such as the risk of the business, taxation policy, capital return, working capital, trend of earning, political unrest, geographical condition, lending policies of financing institutions, funds availability, structure of capital, exchange rate of currency, market forecast and immediate urgency of the project.
Capital budgeting projects can be classified as:
- Independent project-Which refers to a project whose cash flows cannot be affected by the reject/accept decision of other projects. As such, all independent projects that are able to meet capital budgeting criterion should be accepted
- Mutually exclusive projects-Which include a set of projects from which at the very least, one can get accepted. For instance, a set of projects that are designed to accomplish similar tasks. When choosing this type of project, there should be one that satisfied the criterion for Capital Budgeting and it is the only project that can get accepted.
Capital budgeting projects and investments must be funded with excess cash that is raised through debt capital, retained earnings or equity capital. Dent capital refers to borrowed cash which can be in the form of bonds or loans that are issued to creditors.
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Brand royalty is a term that explains a consumer’s act of choosing/buying a product produced by the same manufacturer repeatedly rather than one from a competitor. The concept is based on perception simply because the consumer believes they are buying the superior product.
It is important to note brand royalty is related to products not a company. For instance, while one might be loyal to their Honda Accord, they might believe a Harley is the best motorcycle. Therefore, brand royalty consists of the consumers’ commitment that they will repurchase or continue use of the same brand. This is demonstrated by their repeated choice of a service or products or other behaviors like word of mouth advocacy.
There is more to brand royalty than simple repurchasing. Customers might purchase a brand as a result of situational constraints, out of convenience or lack of viable alternatives. Therefore, true royalty exists when customers have relative high attitude towards the brand which is exhibited through repurchase behavior.
This kind of royalty is a great asset to the firm because customers are often willing to pay high prices, they can bring new customers to the company and it costs less to serve them. From a marketer’s point of view, brand royalty in regard to consumer usage is the key aspect.
More importantly though, the rate of usage is also important and this is where the Pareto 80-20 Rule applies. A second dimension is whether the consumer is com mitted to the brand and Phillip Kotler defines 4 behavior patterns which include the following:
- Switchers-These are consumers with no loyalty (they are most likely ‘deal prone’ constantly keeping an eye for ‘vanity prone’ or bargains)
- Shifting loyal- These are consumers who shift from one brand to the next one
- Hard –core loyal-These consumers always buy the same brand every time
- Split loyal-This consumer is likely to have two or three favorite brands
It is suggested that brand loyalty included a certain degree of pre-dispositional commitment towards a brand. Loyalty is therefore viewed as a multidimensional construct. There are several distinct psychological processes that influence loyalty and also entail multivariate measurements. The customers perceived brand trust, repeat purchase behavior, commitment, customer satisfaction and value are the key factors that influence brand loyalty factors.
The most influential writer on brand royalty, Fred Reichheld claimed the enhancement of brand royalty has dramatic effects on profitability. The greatest benefit associated with brand loyalty is said to be customers’ low sensitivity to price. Recent research has proven that long term customers who are loyal to a brand are less likely to be sensitive to price increases.
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Black Wednesday in economics and politics refers to the September 16th 1992 incident when the British Conservative government was forced to withdraw the pound sterling from the ERM (European Exchange Rate Mechanism) after it failed to keep above the agreed lower limit in ERM.
It happened after the Hungarian banker, George Soros made more than 1 billion GBP profit through short selling the sterling. Quickly, he became known as ‘the man who broke the bank of England’. The United Kingdom treasury in 1997 estimated that the Black Wednesday cost was at £ 3.4 billion while other sources estimated figures that were as high as £ 27 billion.
Documents released in 2005 under Freedom of Information Act revealed the actual cost might have been £3.3 billion only. Trading losses in September and August were estimated at £ 800 million. Note that the main loss to taxpayers arose as a result of devaluation that could have made profits for them.
The papers also show that had the government maintained $ 24 billion available in foreign currency reserves and if the pound had fallen by that same amount, the United Kingdom would have made a profit of £ 2.4 billion on sterling’s devaluation.
The ERM was set up in 1979 but the UK declined to join it which was a controversial decision. This is because Geoffrey Howe, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was steadfastly pro-European. Nigel Lawson, his successor and a believer of fixed exchange rate admired West Germany’s low inflationary record and attributed it to the management of Bundesbank and the strength of Deutsche Mark.
As such, though the United Kingdom had not joined ERM, from the start of 1987 to March 1988, Treasury followed a semi official policy of ‘shadowing’ the Deutsche Mark. George Soros had been building huge position in pounds sterling for months that lead up to Black Wednesday.
He recognized the unfavorable position the UK joined the ERM. For him, the rate at which the UK was brought into the ERM was quite high, their inflation was much high (triple that of the German rate) and the British interest rates were also hurting their asset prices.
The government made attempts at propping the sinking pound in order to ensure it is not withdrawn from the monetary system the country had joined 2 years earlier. On 16th September, the government announced it would raise the base interest from a high 10 to 12 % in a bid to tempt speculators to buy pounds. They made another promise later in the day to raise it to 15$ but dealers kept selling the pound because they were convinced the government wouldn’t stick to its promise.
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Horse Meat Scandal
The 2013 horse meat scandal was a scandal in Europe that foods advertised as containing beef had been found to contain improperly declared or undeclared horse meat. The issue was brought to the fore on January 15th 2013 when it was reported horse DNA had been discovered in some of the frozen hamburgers sold in several British and Irish supermarkets.
While horse meat does not pose any health danger and it is consumed in many counties, it is considered a major taboo in most countries and this includes Ireland and the United Kingdom. The analysis stated twenty three out of twenty seven samples of beef burgers also apparently contained pork DNA yet it is a taboo to Jewish and Muslim communities.
While the scandal was not a direct food safety concern, it revealed a breakdown in traceability of food supply chain and proved that harmful ingredients could be included as well. For instance, sports horses’ might have found their way into the food supply chain and yet the drug phenylbutazone which is used by veterinaries is banned in food animals.
Since then, the scandal spread to thirteen other European countries and this forced the European authorities to decide on finding an EU solution to the predicament. As a result of this, the EU initiated meat testing of about four thousand horse meat sample to see whether any was contaminated with the veterinary drug.
Further seizures were made in December 2013. Investigations that were carried out by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) is what resulted to Ireland been the first state in the EU t report horse meat presence in beef and it was also the first to make the results public. On December 10th 2012, the first equine DNA test that was positive was reported. Additionally, tests were done on 18th and 21st December.
The samples were sent by FSAI to Eurofins lab in Germany. Professor Alan Reilly who worked with FSAI testified that the presence of equine DNA had been noted but not the amount to the Oireachtas on 5th February 2013. The Eurofins Laboratory and IdentiGen Laboratory were also asked to determine the level/amount of horsemeat in the samples provided.
Of the twenty seven burger products that were tested, thirty seven percent tested positive for horse DNA while another eighty five percent tested positive for pig DNA. Also, of thirty one been products tested, twenty one tested positive for pig DNA but they were negative for horse DNA. Nineteen salami products also got tested but they were negative for foreign DNA.
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The Wars of the Three Kingdoms
The Wars of the Three Kingdoms, was a combination of conflicts, which took place in Scotland, England and Ireland from 1639 to 1651. This was after the three Kingdoms had been put under the leadership of a single monarch. One of these conflicts was the English Civil War, which saw English Parliament execute King Charles I for alleged treason in 1649. The Wars of the Three Kingdoms also include other uprisings that occurred through 1650s up to the time for English Restoration, when Charles II took the mantle of leadership after eleven years of no monarch.
It is important to note that The Wars of the Three Kingdoms stemmed from religious differences and tensions across the three Kingdoms as Protestants and Catholics fought for supremacy. The bone of contention in most cases was whether the monarch was to dictate the religion of individual citizens. While the monarch wanted to exert authority by presiding over the religion of the land, most people wished to make personal choices on matters of faith. They felt that the monarch was denying them the right of worship.
On the other hand, Parliament sought autonomy over the monarch by establishing laws that empowered it. Of great concern was if the King was allowed to raise taxes without seeking Parliament’s approval. This sent jitters among members of the House of Lords who failed the monarch was overstepping its mandate. The issue of taxation was closely related to the control over the military. For example, Parliament opined that the monarch was to seek the House’s consent before increasing the size of the troops. According to pro-parliament system, this was to eliminate cases of monarchs misusing power for self-gratification.
Besides religion and taming the powers of the monarch, The Wars of the Three Kingdoms was based on the sovereignty of individual kingdoms. For instance, Ireland and Scotland were pleased with the domination of England in various matters. They were not satisfied by the fact that they appeared to be underdogs. Importantly, the success of the English Parliament to oust and execute the King under Oliver Cromwell, played a major role in breeding a constitutional Great Britain, with powers over Scotland and Ireland. With its political power centered in London, it was evident that England had triumphed over the others in The Wars of the Three Kingdoms.
After The Wars of the Three Kingdoms, Ormond arrived at Cork on September 30, 1648. He came along with his army, and he was funded by the French government. In December of the same year, Scotland moved to support King Charles II and Sir Charles Coote. The merger forced the governor to escape to join royalists, who came under siege until 1649. It is important to note that initially, Irish had an informal army, which was raised by the society. As a result, majority did not have skills and competence to engage in sophisticated battles. Veteran soldiers were in limited numbers, with deficiency work force following Spanish and French idea to take Irish men to reinforce their troops during the Confederation period. Between 1644 and 1649, France received about 7000 Irish men while Spain got about 4000.
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