Heavenly Electioneering

A crowd of socialist millennials are travelling to London on a train to attend a political rally to support their messiah JC. They sing a song that hails their future leader in the up and coming general election, Ohh ahh JC. WHOO JC we going to make you a leader on the morrow and create a heaven on earth for the many, not the few.

A coachload of millennial Conservative is travelling to London to support Boris. On the way they discuss who will be the next conservative cabinet in government.

The millennial Liberals travel in a 12 seater minibus discussing Europe, its advantages and how we can become one country with Europe and no borders.

The greens take to their bicycles and huff and puff their way to London to support their leader.

In a quirk of fate, the greens on their bikes arrive at a level crossing just as the train, the coach and minibus collide on that level crossing. A colossal explosion kills all the millennials. As they rise to the gates of St Peter pushing, shoving and arguing St Peter looks upon them.

St Peter asks who will speak first? The Socialist millennials shout out that they should be first as they are caring socialists who always help their fellow persons. The Tory millennials are toffs and rob from the poor to pay the rich and kick the poor and minorities into the dust. They are mean, nasty people and the Greens keep taking our policies. What about us ask the Liberals? Both the Tory and Socialist millennials agree the Liberals don’t know what they represent; they should choose either left or right. But the Liberals stick together if only to show there is unity in strength.

St Peter listens before announcing that ‘we have an offer for you. You all have the choice of sampling four heavenly quarters, all paradises designed to make the afterlife easy and rewarding after your trials and tribulations on earth.

“You can have a taster of all four before deciding where you want to be for all eternity. Once you make that decision, you cannot change your mind.”

So they all jump in the lift and go down to the first Heavenly Quarter.

When the lift doors open, a charming lady named Lucy greets them and takes them on a tour. The Socialist Millenials see coal mines, steel making plants, and shipbuilding yards. All the retails outlets are co-operatives as are the banks all owned by the workers. The Trade Unions ensure fair pay and the level of taxation at 60% provides a well funded Health Service and excellent education. Everyone has a house with a huge TV, powerful internet and Lucy has abolished greed.

After completing the tour, they all get back in the lift and ascend to the second heavenly quarter.

Stopheles, a relation to Lucy greets them for the tour.  The Liberal Millenials are in thrall as all the member states of the European Union have given all democratic and judicial rights to a centralised parliament located in Brussels; it comes with a single foreign and defence policy. People are wandering about in a dignified environment from one member state to another without hindrance, and it is a model of a real progressive society.  

Back in the lift, they go to the third heavenly quarter, where Nick hails their arrival. There is gentle harmonious music, lots of fluffy clouds; houses and jobs. The education focusses on self-help. leadership and confidence to enable their progress. The residents have created businesses and make loads of money in a low tax economy with no NHS, no welfare provision. To settle in the UK, applicants must satisfy a point-based system. There is no interference from the European Union, and the UK has trade deals with every country in the world. It enthrals the Tory Millennials.

The lift stops at the fourth Heavenly quarter, and a charming chap named Lived meets the Millenials. All you can see for miles is green grass, mountains topped with snow and sunshine. The people have abolished Nuclear power, and wind, solar and tidal energy provides all the energy needed. All the cars are electric, and bicycles are everywhere.  Farmers grow crops and vegetable farms and have forsaken cows and sheep — the greens like what they see.

They all return to the pearly gates, and St Peter asks the three millennial groups for their decisions.

The Socialist opt for the first quarter

The Liberals opt for the second quarter

The Conservatives opt for the third quarter

The Greens opt for the fourth quarter

St Peter directs the Millenials to four lifts with the message. Please remember, now you have voted you cannot change your decision and ask for a rerun.

They all clamour into the lifts and head to their chosen destination.

When the doors open all has changed.  

They stare aghast at a grey landscape where people wander around with their heads in their hands screaming. The world has ended, and taskmasters have taken over. Their job is to herd the newly arrived dead into cattle trucks to visit the great pit of lost humanity — the only stop.

What has happened, why has everything changed. It wasn’t like this yesterday.

Simultaneously, their hosts announce to their audience. Yesterday we were campaigning. Today you voted, and this is the reality

Where is Labour Going?

Before I begin, just a little about my origins. I was born into a working-class family in County Durham North. All my male relatives, past and present had worked either down the mines or worked for a company that had a connection to the mines. At the age of fifteen, my father began an engineering apprenticeship. His job was to visit the many coalfields to maintain the machinery that dug out the coal.

Labour in the 60s and 70s

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, I socialised with people who were members of Militant and other left-wing organisations. Their mission was to infiltrate the labour party and turn it into a real socialist party and dump the MPs who sat on the right of the Labour party. What they never explained was why they did not form their own Socialist Party and name it thus with their distinctive socialist manifesto.

Gradually my days of promoting my radical communist manifesto ended, and I drifted. As a historian by degree, I am well acquainted with the theories of Marx and Engels, the Communist Manifesto. I am well acquainted with the doctrines of Fascism, National Socialism, totalitarianism, liberalism and Conservatism.

However, to those on the left, anything right of radical socialism is viewed as fascist. However, my very working class Grandmother viewed Labour MPs as communists. I will quickly add that she did not like my communist principles. So, we have – Fascist and Communist – two easy words to use to smear people whose politics you don’t like.

What could Labour cost us?

During the last General Election Labour made many promises (Student debt being one). IN short more money for the NHS, Police, public transport, welfare. Be in no doubt Labour will offer much as a General election approaches.

We all know that Labour plans to nationalise the utilities, the railways (can’t say that worries me too much), the post office. Other possibilities for nationalisation could be the telecoms industry and the construction industry. It won’t surprise me if Arthur Scargill makes a bid to reopen the coal mines.

Margaret Thatcher

On her election in 1979, Thatcher decided that the taxpayer was no longer going to prop up inefficient state-run industries. The Tories based that decision on the fact that many of the State-Owned sectors collectively needed millions of pounds in investments to upgrade their infrastructure. Thatcher was adamant that the taxpayers were not going to be responsible for their upgrades. Therefore, a policy of denationalisation followed – selling the industries off to investors and the public who would be responsible for financing the enhancements to the infrastructure with private money, saving the UK taxpayer millions.

Nationalisation

What will happen if JC and his chancellor do nationalise the industries as mentioned above?

Of course, the Labour government could seize the companies to save the taxpayer and exchequer millions of pounds. However, such a seizure will no doubt create a wealth of legal cases from investors costing the government millions in legal fees defending their position (with taxpayers money). Before handing over control to a Labour Government they will want compensation, the market value of the companies which could run into billions.

What could the scenario be if a labour government nationalised the Utilities to cut gas, electricity and water bills for everyone? The point of nationalisation would be to lower prices. The Labour Government honour their manifesto pledges sell the energy for less than they paid for it. The only people to benefit will be non-taxpayers as the rest of us will pay through taxation and our bank accounts.

Should the utility companies see their profits wiped out, the government will have no option but to use taxpayers cash to upgrade the infrastructures, that ensure the efficient and timely delivery of the energy we use? Failure to improve and modernise means that year-on-year the companies will consume more taxpayers cash to keep supplying power as they fall further behind risking blackouts and poor delivery of gas and water.

Taxation

A government can only tax people so far. JC and McDonnell have made it clear that they will tax the rich to pay for their fair share. My bet is many high earners will migrate overseas to avoid paying vast sums in taxation. If so, Labour could be forced into lowering its sights to the middle classes with tax rises and at some point increase taxation on the lowest paid in UK society to fund the government’s manifesto.

Taxation under the Wilson/Callaghan government for the rich peaked at 80% on earnings and 98% on investment income. The Labour chancellor, Dennis Healey said they would squeeze the rich until their pips squeaked. The year before he threatened Property speculators with high taxes. Even the working classes like me back in the 70s lost more than a third of our wages in taxation. It is worth reading a BBC interview with Denis Healy, the Labour Chancellor back in the 1970s and the problems with High Taxation. Denis Healey: Labour’s survivor of an economic disaster

And finally, (take a deep breath), JC has supported terrorist groups from Hamas to the IRA and has a dislike for our armed forces past and present. Some of his MPs have alleged he will not take national security seriously and indeed could place the safety of the UK at risk. He could disarm us and sell us out.

Daily Life | The battle of the basics

Across the road from each other, two corner shops are selling the same essential items. Wilbur and Pascal own the shops respectively. Both have traded for the same length of time without the need for competition. Pascal retires and passes the business over to his nephew, Marcel, who is determined to attract Wilbur’s customers and increase his profits.

On week one Wilbur opens his shop as does Marcel who places in his windows the prices of basic groceries.

Dozen Fresh Farm Eggs = £2.00

Baked Beans 60p

200g pack of Bacon = £2.50

100 Yorkshire Tea bags = £4.00

1 Litre of Fresh Milk = £1.00

Quality Bread = £1.50

Wilbur smiles, makes a phone call and continues as he does every day. Meanwhile Marcel is more than pleased when a white van pulls up and buys all the basic groceries as advertised.

Three days later after Marcel receives his deliveries, Marcel notices Wilbur has placed flash sale signs in his shop window, matching his price. Marcel dashes inside and advertises the groceries at the following prices:

Dozen Fresh Farm Eggs = £1.80

Baked Beans 55p

200g pack of Bacon = £2.20

100 Yorkshire Tea bags = £3.50

1 Litre of Fresh Milk = 95 p

Quality Bread = £1.35

Once again, the white van pulls up to buy all the advertised groceries. Oddly enough, later in the day, Marcel notices his usually loyal customers are buying their goods in Wilbur’s shop.

Three days later after taking stock of the new deliveries, Marcel notices Wilbur has matched his prices and responds by lowering his prices to the following:

Dozen Eggs = £1.50

Baked Beans 45 p

200g pack of Bacon = £2.00

100 Tea bags = £2.00

1 Litre of Milk = 90 p

Bread = £1.30

And so, the days roll by as do the deliveries after which a white van man arrives to buy Marcel’s basic groceries. After that, he sits back as very few customers enter his shop. The competition continues until Marcel offers the following prices.

Dozen Eggs = 80 p

Baked Beans 35 p

200g pack of Bacon = £1.00

100 Tea bags = £1.50

1 Litre of Milk = 60 p

Bread = £1.00

. . . and Wilbur continues selling the goods at the usual price to more and more customers.

Then one day Marcel does not open the shop doors. The word is, he has, gone bust. At lunchtime Marcel walks into Wilbur’s shop and looks around and asks Wilbur:

“Why is it I am bust, but you continue to take my custom when you sold the same goods at the usual price?”

Wilbur responds with a knowing smile. “For many years your uncle and I had an understanding and respected our customer base selling quality without competing.”

“But you were also lowering your prices?”

The white van man is my son, and he bought ALL your bargain stock for me. That meant until the next delivery you had no basic groceries to sell. As your customers were unable to obtain the basics from you, they came into my shop and in turn, bought other items. When you restocked the basics, I placed signs in my windows matching your previous prices. You reacted by dropping your prices even further. My son would turn up early to buy your stock.

. . . Eventually, because you were selling groceries at prices below cost, you had no money to buy the quality goods and basics expected by your customers, while I maintained quality and service at your expense.”

Daily Life | I’m in debt

I’m in debt and unemployed

Radio Presenter:  Good morning, my name is Rosie Hakes and this is today’s version of Me and you. Debt is today’s discussion. Debt has increased rapidly over the years and many people continue to spend money which they don’t have. One such person is on the line now. His name is Dave from Lincolnshire. Hello Dave . .

Dave: Hello

RP: Dave I believe from our preliminary discussion you are in debt. Because of your current medical problem which you say has become worse over the last six months, you cannot work – is that right?

Dave: Yes it is. I haven’t worked now since I left University – that was over 20 years ago.

RP: Have you been ill all that time?

Dave: I developed my illness at university and I suffer from stress in a work situation. To compensate I write short stories but don’t have a novel in me.

RP: Interesting! So Dave, how much debt are you in?

Dave: Almost £12.000 on credit cards and overdrafts

RP: and what is your income whilst on benefits?

Dave: Around 10,500 a year which doesn’t include over £7000 in housing benefits.

RP: so, you and your family lie on just under £900 per month

Dave: yes

RP: how much are you repaying every month to the Credit Card company

Dave: Its a fixed amount of just over £100

RP Surely Dave you can’t be making much headway into repaying the debt.

Dave: That’s right. IN fact, the amount never decreases

RP: How did you get into debt?

Dave: I applied but was economical with the truth. I told them I was a homemaker and that my wife worked.

RP: What does your wife do?

Dave: She’s a carer for our youngest son who has Down syndrome.

RP: why did you apply for the credit?

Dave: every summer our children would tell us where their friends were going on holiday. I thought then they too must have a holiday. So, I borrowed the money to take them on holiday. I bet that will have a few of your listeners spitting at the radio?

RP: I take it your wife doesn’t know?

Dave: No she doesn’t. In fact, I have a confession to make. I applied for a bank account and credit card in her name. I have run up around £4000 worth of debt in my wife’s name

RP: Your wife doesn’t know . . . So Dave what are you going to do?

Dave: I was wondering why the Credit Card companies let me get into this mess

RP: But Dave, you lied on your application form

Dave: I’ll just carry on paying the money and hope interest rates don’t change else I’ll be in trouble and won’t be able to repay the money

 

Politics | Where has our Liberalism gone?

Quite a few of us like to think of ourselves as Liberals. However, in that context do we have the right understanding of liberal?  Some people would suggest, that identifying yourself as a liberal is a cover to hide your true political allegiance. Usually, they think that you’re someway between the left and right and you have no idea where you are going. But you are more than likely a very nice reasonable person who won’t harm anyone.

Teenagers and young adults like the concept of Liberty. The thought and idea that you are free to come, go, and do as you wish is part of their desired lifestyle. In fact, I too thought like that many years ago. The thought of been unshackled from the state and authority allows us to be free to do what we please. We can pursue a chosen lifestyle based on personal liberty. That could mean any of the following:

  • drinking excessively
  • taking drugs and engaging in activities society finds unacceptable
  • becoming an international jewel thief
  • becoming a hippy and living off the land
  • joining a commune
  • sit and watch TV all day rising only to sign on for welfare
  • becoming a communist and refuse to work or participate in any social activities until the revolution becomes a reality

If we were a genuinely liberal country that means you are free to pursue your hedonistic lifestyle of sex, drugs, drink and Rock and Roll to your ends be it. However, when you are in your pit and find there is no help to cure you of your lifestyle where do you go when you don’t have the finance to fund your rehab? If you wish to pursue a lifestyle based on liberal ideals, then you should expect a Liberal society to treat you as such. Therefore, no one interferes with your lifestyle and no one is responsible when your lifestyle failures catch up with you.

Therefore, liberalism affirms the superior value of individual freedom. Why should liberal society pick up the tab for your drinking and drug taking sheer stupidity – whoops sorry, your liberal preserve?

Liberalism identifies with anti-social behaviour, where crime is committed against people, economic institutions and the state. While the vast majority live life with virtue and consideration, there remains the assertion that there is a very liberal section abusing what a socially responsible progressive society has to offer. Therefore, Liberalism falls short of the standards it seeks to pursue in an organised liberal state.

Since the sixties we have seen the introduction of more and more laws, which prohibit our freedom. We are liberal in mind but not liberal in our governance. The British concept of freedom of speech has given way to the mindless bestowing of political correctness by the liberal left. Careful what you say so as not to offend.  Hence, our ideals of Liberalism are under constant abuse.

There are those in society who choose to live here escaping regimes and religious intolerance. Once here they abuse our liberal freedoms to attack our liberal freedoms. Therefore, the newcomer uses our tolerant society against us, and slowly but surely they attempt to erode our liberties. Due to their actions, we replace out liberal privileges with harsher and stricter laws that erode our freedoms.

Tony Blair and Gordon Brown did much to erode our values. Every time an incident occurred, there was a knee-jerk reaction to bring into law another statute. Did they never consider using existing legislation to combat the problem?  Government contains too many lawyers who for some reason need more law as a means to justify their existence.

Such are the times with constant threats that stifles our liberalism. Our Liberal Democrats are anything but liberal. I’d be surprised if any member of the Lib Dems understood the concept of liberalism. Neo-liberals don’t believe in big government. Small government is allowing people to manage their own lives free from big interfering government. Neo-liberalism seeks to dismantle the institutions of the state

As I said, we are liberal in thought just not enough to allow Liberalism in Government. Liberalism by its very existence would be seen to give too much of our selves away. The British with all their history could be declining Liberal policy to protect ourselves from the prospect of even more critical European Union government. In the EU, we have ego driven politicians seeking to impose their many values on broader European society.

Liberalism might need something smaller to work. Its theories and aspirations might not have much to offer at an individual level. Therefore, Liberalism might need to find a new direction.

We’re all liberals; it’s just a case of mind and matter. You won’t matter as long as I don’t mind. Go live your life only don’t disturb mine.

Politics | Writer201 | How about Anarchism

Many people are dissatisfied with the outcome of General Elections and have no regard for the political party who wins. I’m sure many have a vision of an alternative lifestyle and the dream where we are all happy, satisfied and no one has any power over another. Let me suggest that we consider some anarchism.

As a social movement, it has many associations from communists to capitalists. It is not a political theory given to a specific political ideal.  It can be applied in various forms across the political spectrum. Anarchists were active in

  • labour movements
  • civil rights
  • women’s liberation
  • both anti-capitalism and pro-capitalism (with varying definitions of capitalism)
  • both anti-globalisation and pro-globalisation (with differing interpretations of globalisation), and
  • finally yet importantly tax resistance.

Anarchism is a political theory, which has never had the opportunity to prove itself to the point where people say WOW anarchism works let’s go for it. Therefore, if you are adventurous what do you have to lose. Are you up for a real change in politics, the way you conduct your life amongst other’s as you strive for a new order.

You can do the following:

  • abolish ‘elf and safety
  • get rid of the nanny state
  • can make the rules unless of course, you choose individualistic anarchism
  • define law and order
  • the way commerce operates
  • define new regulations around the exchange and production of goods.
  • decide education policy
  • set levels of taxation suitable to your pocket.

Collectively in your little Anarchist state with like-minded people, you can deliver the way of life you always wanted.

Consider your politics and beliefs, and how they can be incorporated into your style of Anarchism. It just needs someone to grasp the nettle and vote to rid the country of democratic Government.

Why choose Anarchism over the democratic government? There’s an easy answer to that one. Anarchists argue that the primary cause of people’s misery throughout history is a lousy government. They don’t rule for the majority. Do governments ever represent people as a whole while suppressing the wishes of the majority to retain control.

If a government is the cause of our problems would it not make sense to rid ourselves of such an institution and look after our own needs? In case you think that chaos will become the order of the day, bear in mind that the definition of Anarchism is opposition to the government, not order or society.  As Pierre Prudhon wrote: “Liberty is the Mother, not the Daughter of Order” Why do Anarchists demand the abolition of the state? In their minds, they can offer something better. They have no desire to pursue violent disorder.

What does Anarchism mean?

Anarchy does not mean an absence of social organisation. Anarchy indicates the lack of state control and coercion. Let us consider the Anarcho-syndicalism theory. Humans to survive must work. The workplace is the primary governing unit of society. Everyone must work bar those who are disabled and unable to do so. Therefore, the anarchist organisation must decide how to manage welfare requirements. That includes Socal Care for the elderly, Medical needs and social justice. If you are capable of working but refuse to work what happens? That depends on the democratic rules of the organisation.  By not working you could be faced with the prospect of no shelter and no food. It may sound less than humane. The point is – your skills benefit the syndicate or commune. You are helping it to achieve its aims and objectives. The above may hold appeal to those who are continually calling time on welfare scroungers.

So, are starting to think like an anarchist? Remember that by abolishing government you have something better to offer people. That does not include rebellion but order.  The workers organise the workplace and democratically choose the best way to distribute the fruits of their labour. Therefore, you achieve a participatory government. You can also decide issues of Justice using the same essential organisation within the community.

So where are you now? Are you rushing to spread the word about a new order? We may dream and think of beautiful ways to see something better for ourselves. So many times I have heard the old clichéd political arguments by people trying to find an answer. “Until we find a political system to be truly representative then we need to stick with what we have.”

What is the truth? Do you have the desire to change old values for new and seek a radical overhaul of society? The disruption would be too much, and there are always those who will misinterpret Anarchism. No rulers, no rules, therefore chaos. The Sex Pistols sang about “Anarchy in the UK” way back in 1977. As punk philosophy was to change the world and the way we live the song was about violence as a means to achieve Anarchism.

Writer 201 | How did we ever manage without them?

How did we ever cope without them? They are everywhere; you cannot miss them. What am I talking about . . .  Yes,   it is the mobile phone. Whoooopeee.

They come with features galore which leads me to suggest some mobiles are smarter than the people who own them. Before you start saying hey now slow down bonny lad that’s quite an insult.

Well is it? Not necessarily. But we’ll get there soon enough

I meet a friend at a local pub. I buy the drinks and return to the table to find she is in conversation with her daughter because they have not spoken for a few days. I mean you’ve had all morning to call her, why wait until we get to the pub.

I had another friend who has since migrated to Australia, and he did the same. We’d get to the pub, buy our pints and then he dashes outside as he had to make a quick call. Thirty minutes later while I am tapping an empty glass, he returns.

If you are going to meet up with friends for a social drink, make your phone calls before you meet up. Leave your mobile at home. There is nothing more irritating than someone engaged in a mobile call when they should be talking to you!

What about these types who use public transport and play games on the phones? You can hear the ping, doing, bang bang bang, Duh. If you have a set of earphones, then use them.  Keep the irritating sounds to yourself. Worse still are those who conduct a conversation which all other passengers can hear. Oh for goodness sake shut it up. We don’t need to know who is shagging who and who was done up like a kipper. Have consideration for others.

The mobile user who forgets where they are as 110% of their attention is on their mobile. Their mobile suddenly rings and they come to a halt on the pavement meaning someone inevitably walks into them. Worse still are those in shopping aisles who stop mid-aisle and cause a shopping trolley jam. When you ask to get by they look at you, shrug their shoulders and carry on talking. MORONS.

There is nothing more dangerous than someone using a mobile while driving. It must go to top the list for moronic acts. I had one such incident whereby the MORON in the Range Rover bumped into me. I could see him using a mobile phone. When he got to me, the mobile was gone. Driving while holding your mobile is stupid because you could end up injuring or killing someone and you could end up in hospital, or worse still, in the morgue

Have you been to a concert where people insist on getting out their mobiles to take photos or record their favourite song? Hoi moron I’m right behind you, and you are blocking my view. Do me a favour, put your mobile away so I can see the artist in question and enjoy the concert.

If you have tickets to see a West End play why to spoil it by not turning off your phone. What is so important that you cannot switch your mobile off for two hours? Should it go off, not only have you spoilt the enjoyment of those around you but the actor might have something to say. One such story emerged in the press about a woman whose mobile shrilled prompting the actor to stop mid flow. She killed the call allowing the actor to resume. Her phone went off again prompting an angry response from the actor.

She explained later that she had a relative who was close to dying and was waiting to hear the news. Hey lady, if that was the case why were you not at the bedside of your relative instead of disturbing the peace at Top West End London play?

One day while walking into Town I saw two young ladies trying to push their car off a busy roundabout. I checked the traffic ready to rush over and help when the driver suddenly dived into the car and then scrambled out holding her mobile in a conversation. There she stood in the middle of the roundabout holding a conversation as vehicles began to queue. That was when I noticed a very angry looking police officer running towards them. I didn’t hang around to watch. But please. Show some common sense.

Okay, so that’s my list of stupid, inconsiderate, rude, and downright nonsensical things that people do with the fantastic piece of technology that is the smartphone. I work on the maxim never do anything or expose people to anything that you would find irritating.

Seminar over!

Writer201 | One day I walked out of the office and . . .

I walked out of the office one day and never went back. A few days later I went to the doctors and got myself signed off.  For some time I had been showing signs of stress.

What happened to cause my absence?

My boss and his sidekick told me in November 2004 that they were making me redundant come April 2005. After that, they sat on my back watching me work. They called in a Junior HR from Head Office. They fed her an angle which suited their purposes; worse was the fact she would not discuss what my manager was saying about me.

I ended up ill, with stress as it happens. No longer could I take the way management was treating me at work. I needed to get away. My doctor duly signed sick notes to hand into HR. After a few weeks, HR was calling me at home. Sod that I thought. I can do without the crap. So, I decided not to return their calls to explain my absence. While the Doctors gave me sick notes, there was nothing they could do.

The fact is – the thought of facing my boss to discuss the situation was not going to happen. His nickname was the schoolboy bully. He didn’t want me there, and he was determined to get rid of me by any means possible.

For the first time in weeks, I slept knowing I did not have to rise and shine and drive to work. However, stress can and does play havoc with your body. I sometimes wonder if I have an inbuilt worry metre. When work goes well, I start to worry about life. When life becomes difficult, it seems like it will never get better. Am I a depressive or am I subconsciously preparing myself if work and life turn sour?

I am pessimistic by nature and do not allow events to get me down. But sometimes, people and events drive that pessimism into the ground.

I have worked and enjoyed the same career for almost twenty years, and occasionally I wish I was doing something else because people rub me up the wrong way. That is a result of working with arseholes who not only make life difficult, never listen to you and think your role in the department is not worth the time and effort. But what of those people who travel to work every day like automatons and hate their job, which I bet is a lot higher than many would care to guess, >80% perhaps?

People on a daily basis are verbally abused and bullied on the job and sup it up because people will think it is normal. It isn’t normal; you’re working with a psycho boss on a power trip, and nobody has the guts to tackle the abnormality of the situation.

Do you want a pay rise, well consider this: ask for one and close the door behind you when your boss laughs you out of his office. Every month, or week you receive your payslip, and if you look carefully, you will see the government has taken around 25% of your money in direct taxation. Do your sums, and you’ll discover that the government grabs in total around another 35% in indirect tax totalling some 60% of your money for which you worked.

Once Governments have your cash, they waste millions propping up inefficient government-funded bodies because too many people who live off taxpayers money believe in entitlement or the right to government cash. The government then tells lies to splash the cash on corrupt regimes and countries that can afford space programs instead of educating their massive populations.

How do you consider your work colleagues?

If your feelings of paranoia are getting the better of you, don’t sweat it, you are probably correct. More than likely they are backstabbing you and gossiping like grumpy old men because they have nothing better to do or think about. Work colleagues are not friends; they are competitors who would stab you in the back if they thought they could get something in return. At work, you talk about bullshit with the odd beer thrown in after work so your manager can brag about what a close-knit team you all are.

Let us face reality; from 6:30 am to 7 pm you are:

  • Commuting to work: you either drive, train it, tube it, or if you are lucky enough you can walk to work.
  • At work, putting up with others who have no idea who you really are and what you could really do
  • Commuting home, if you train it, you have the opportunity to nod off for a few stations.

As soon as you walk through the security gates the monotonous drone begins. Sullen faces who want to be elsewhere. They only turn up because next months mortgage payment is due. Good morning, good morning and good morning, so it goes on. As the office fills so does the  the monotonous drone. You switch on your PC/Laptop, key in your username and password and the day begins with countless inane emails. Coffee time, tea time, snack time, any opportunity to escape the screen and your colleagues who sit there discussing anything but work.

Have you ever considered the fact that your day is from 9am to 5:30 pm with either an hour for lunch or 30 minutes. Over the course of an eight-hour workday, the average employee works for just less than three hours.

Based on an official survey 2016 survey of 1,989 UK office workers, office workers do the following:

  • reading the news
  • browsing social media
  • eating food
  • socialising about non-work topics
  • taking smoke breaks
  • searching for new jobs

A study of UK office workers suggests the three-hour workday might be more sensible. Research is suggesting that those long days you work hardly gets the best from you or your colleagues. After twenty minutes your concentration wavers and you think lets take a walk. BY the ned of the day you are clock watching and you have all but packed up. You slink off to the toilet and sit there to pass time with your smartphone to read the news. Your peace is only disturbed by another who makes rude noises that smell.

You have little time to yourself or with your family and friends. You are a slave to the demands of the company and the economic system and corporate psychos whose aim it is to destroy your ambitions.

Why?

Because they can and want to see you squirm because it is considered fun!! Quite frankly, the psyco would be better off behind bars!!

Those qualifications for which you spent years studying are meaningless. No one has ever asked you about your degree or your academic achievements. They are meaningless.

Then one day out of the blue you are called into the office where you sit opposite a fresh-faced manager, a mere youngster who tells you your time is up. They have worked out your redundancy and that the money will be in your account the next day. There are no thanks, no great shakes and they buy you a few drinks down the pub. Your experience counts for nothing as the company replaces you with a recent graduate who knows everything but in reality doesn’t know his elbow from his arsehole.

The economy bumps and grinds to a standstill. You discover that your family home is worth less than you paid for it. Worse still, you need to move, and you can’t get out of your mortgage by selling the house. Let’s face it your mortgaged to the hilt with ever increasing bills, inflation, a salary, which is not keeping up with inflation and everyone wants more. In 40 years will you ever really own your home, which when you retire will fund your care home fees, if you don’t die first!!

You have given up talking about your job to your wife, and while she goes on about hers, you’re not listening. You went to bed with a stranger and when you die you lie next to a stranger. You have neglected each other because of work, or the children took too much time. You forgot what love was, and every evening when you go to bed there are no cuddles, no spoken words and no passion. Your relationship lost its way because work, career and lack of family time got in the way.

Your pension fund, which every government told you to save for won’t buy a wet weekend away never mind fund thirty years of retirement. It is there for thieving governments to raid to support an ideological cause. When the thieving government minister retires to his country pile, he hears a news report about pensioners who are struggling. He suddenly realises their difficulties were caused by his decision many decades ago to raid the private pension funds, robbing the funds of absolutely billions which he spent on something useless. He doesn’t care; those same pensioners are still paying tax on their meagre incomes while his government plated pension as a former chancellor and Prime Minister is secure and he’s already a millionaire. To add more misery inflation has reduced the value of your pension and the government doesn’t give a toss. YOu’ve served your time, you did your bit for government and country. They used you, abused you and when they were finished it was goodbye – have a nice life.

Your retirement is anything but a luxury. You struggle on a daily basis to pay the bills.  You need to find activities which cost nothing, like sleeping, playing solitaire and writing sombre articles warning people that it’s all a con. They have yet to see it.

In that last moment before you die you say ahh, I understand the meaning of life as the undertakers move in and place you into a wooden box.

Politics | Getting rid of Professional Politicians

Members of Parliament; those we elect into the great house have not fared well in recent years. The expenses scandal, which broke highlighted how, many use Westminster as a gravy train claiming expenses to maintain moats, fix roofs, buy their dog food and on we go.

The problem today is the system in Westminster incentivises people to get re-elected, instead of doing what needs what is right for the electorate. Follow this link to read what allowances British MPs have at their fingertips.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salaries_of_Members_of_the_United_Kingdom_Parliament

As a result, professional politicians, engage their role for gain rather than following a genuine desire to participate in public service. They like the power of the office, which they are reluctant to surrender.  When the election comes around they give the electorate the same old same old; promises and more promises to do what is right for the communities. Of course, when they are re-elected and step back inside the hallowed halls of Westminster they are bombarded from all sides by special interest groups who want the attention of your MP to promote debate, further, an ideal which benefits no-one (but there is money in it). Westminster becomes a symbiotic gathering of pressure groups, journalists searching for scandal and finally MPs who strut around the place lending an ear to those who don’t care while ignoring the needs of the people who placed them there.

So, is the time right to get rid of the professional politician?  That may be easier said than done. In getting rid of the present bunch, we only replace them with trainee professional politicians. In other words, we change the faces but not the lust for power and the temptation of corruption. The fact is if we want real change the entire system from top to bottom must change. After that it no longer befits any MP to consider pursuing a long time career in politics. Get rid of incentives, lobby groups and any other organisation, which thinks it is right that parliament supports minority interests.

The most natural step and the one in my judgment most likely to have an impact are to impose term limits.  I appreciate the benefits of continuity, and that there is a certain amount of expertise that’s helpful in the legislative process.

If public service is of interest, the salary and benefits should not be your first consideration when standing.

The point of anyone standing is for the good of the people who elected the MP. I would suggest that to stand there should be a few stipulations.

  • The selected Prospective Parliamentary candidate should be from the area they represent
  • They have previously been active in community programs and be aware of the problems or concerns of the community
  • They should have no less than ten years working experience
  • They can stand for no more than two terms
  • While in office they are responsible for decisions regarding the budget, in other words, they cannot spend or borrow money to fund ideological causes but can support community causes
  • That at least twice a year the electorate will be able to vote on referendums to democratically decide on issues, which affect the population
  • Any MP committing fraud or found to be a party to fraud can be subject to trial by jury
  • To meet transparency and to keep check on expenses that the local constituency funds the salary of the MP

 

Enacting term limits on MPs will not only require a policy change but will change the face of British politics. Some of the knock-on effects will be the diminishing and severely disrupted relationships between Lobby Groups and MPs. Lobby Groups will need to work harder to create and seek new relationships with ever changing faces. It also means that Lobby Groups will be less able to influence MPs who can only stand for two terms.

Some might argue that imposing term limits; we lose the continuity of the professional politician’s experience. However, is that not the point of the non-partisan civil service? The expertise of permanent Civil Servants who have served at the highest levels with a variety of ministers and prime ministers over many years should be providing unbiased advice and support.