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Archive for March, 2020

If you want to dob somebody in to the Police for doing the things you want to yourself – please don’t. Have a silent party in your head and celebrate that you have enough self control instead

March 31, 2020 Leave a comment

img_5432With a week of the shutdown gone and the shelves starting to look like they get restocked regularly too, it is the monitoring of the shutdown and social distancing rules that are perhaps cause for our most immediate concern.

You may think that I am about to go off on a tangent moaning about the overreaction by the Police. But in the age of political correctness where all public servants are afraid of their own shadow in case they should become accused of doing the wrong thing, the Police are likely to be doing what they interpret as being right. Sadly, the days when common sense ruled and worldly Police Constables would be encouraged to see most value in striking the fear of god into a miscreant rather than detaining, fining or giving points to them are over. We have simply reached a regrettable place where neither they nor we can win.

No. My reason for writing about this today is the changes to our behaviour since the shutdown began and the sudden urge or temptation on the part of some to pick up the phone or message the Police and dob in a neighbour or someone you know for going out too much, going the the wrong places in their car, or in fact anything they are doing agains social distancing rules that we would now like to be doing ourselves.

Right now, most of us are showing a lot of good will and patience to accommodate and support the social distancing rules. But it takes a lot of self control to simply switch off the freedoms that we had only days ago and observe them quite literally in the real spirit of how they have so far been laid out.

Yes you can call people selfish for not observing social distancing rules religiously. You can lose your shit with them and suggest that they are a threat to yours or others lives. But the reality is that none of us actually know what may or may not be motivating anyone to break social distancing rules – if there is indeed any reason for them breaking them at all.

What if they are suffering with mental health issues and are desperate to get outside? – please bear in mind that just because to you someone may look or sound perfectly healthy, you simply don’t know what’s going on for them inside.

What of they are trying to get a break from a challenging home environment and maybe domestic abuse? – again, few of us see, hear about or understand the realities of what goes on for others behind closed doors. Abusive environments are not always physical in the way that they work and both MEN AND WOMEN may be desperate to get out and get a break just so that they feel they can survive.

What if there are other reasons for them going out or doing what they do, that could be easy to understand and would be acceptable if they were happening to you?

Of course some of the people flouting the social distancing rules are either unaware of them, couldn’t care less or are simply stupid. But making any of them the guilty bastards for a situation that none of us chose to be in in the first place is not something that will end up being a happy choice.

Calling one of the Police ‘Coronavirus Hotlines’ might be your motivation and personal choice. But in these circumstances, the Police will feel obliged to come down heavily on people just because they feel that the (media) spotlight is now on them and that they therefore have no choice.

The Police do have better things they could be doing like chasing real criminals if their efforts are not required by the Coronavirus Crisis elsewhere, rather than punishing people for things that they would have no good reason to know about if someone had not decided to make them wrong.

We all need the Police resources available to be focused where they are needed most. Some of that effort will be spent on people who are not only flouting the social distancing rules, but are breaking them to hurt or endanger others, or to exploit the shutdown because criminality is their conscious choice.

Let’s not take any of our Police Officers away from where their attention and focus really needs to be. Doing so could really cost lives.

When the shutdown is finally over and things return to whatever the norm will then be, the chances are that any one of us would feel guilty for outing anyone during the shutdown for anything that when it has finished will no longer be wrong.

Save yourself the mental anguish and give whoever your sinners are the benefit of the doubt. Because for whatever reason they are breaking the rules, the chances are that they don’t have the level of self control that you have yourself.

For that reason alone, they deserve your understanding and humanity. Just like you and I   would want to receive it from others if we broke the social distancing rules innocently or for some overpowering reason that made it feel to us that we had no choice.

 

 

The World cannot stay stopped until a vaccine is found. Difficult choices need to be made

March 31, 2020 3 comments

No, the novelty still hasn’t worn off. We are being good humoured about the shutdown and it feels almost remarkable how quickly we have all adapted to standing in staggered lines, following taped distance lines on the floor, and stepping into the road to make space for other walkers or waiting for someone else to pass.

But this is now. Only 8 days have passed.

If you make the mistake of watching non-stop news coverage, you are likely to be slowly turning mad. The coverage is disproportionately negative or just focused on the personal tragedies and the challenges that are being faced by all the emergency service personnel and above all the NHS Staff who are involved.

Nobody could or should try to take away what is happening for the real people and patients on the front line. But a big problem for us all is that the very nature of media and television today gives the immediate impression that all of this is what is actually happening right now in our front rooms.

Yes, the risk that any of us could go through the same is very real. But the reality of Coronavirus itself is that it will not affect everyone the same.

However, the response, or rather the shutdown has already effected us all, and it’s going to affect us all a whole lot more. It’s affecting many people in ways that may not already, but soon will be causing them – and perhaps you – a great deal of pain. The chain reaction of debt, homelessness and businesses closing down is likely to become like a never-ending downward cycle where the impact will be multiplied as it ripples out more and more and starts to impact on all of us, not just as individuals, but as a whole.

Like most meanings lurking in the subtext and hidden in plain sight of all current political speak, the elephant in the room behind all the daily Downing Street Briefings is this shutdown in its current form cannot end either until everyone has caught the Virus (this dreadful term ‘Herd Immunity’), or a Vaccination has been found, tested and rolled out so that everyone is know to be immune.

Testing on the scale that would make it practical for everything to return to normal isn’t available and is unlikely to be so anytime soon. In fact, the Government managed to conduct around only 7000 tests last Saturday – whereas across the UK we have a total population of 60,000,000 or more.

When and if large scale antibody testing is available, the problem remains that many of us will to have caught the Virus and we still don’t know if people can catch Covid-19 multiple times. So if everyone were just allowed to return to normal at that point, there could again be a significant peak and demand for the NHS, and we could end up having a repeat of the shutdown any number of times.

Whilst the Government has the power to maintain the Shutdown or indeed to make it worse, it is very questionable for it to do so in these circumstances, because in terms of all of the knock-on effects, impacts and consequences that are hitting people and affecting our lives in other ways.

The Shutdown – or a series of them – cannot go on or be maintained for the many months that are now being talked about as a bare minimum. To do so will break what is left of the economy, any ability the Government still had to reduce the National Debt will evaporate and the inadequacy of the financial help given even to people who think they are safe now will make life difficult for so many people that the solution to the Coronavirus problem will have turned out to be significantly worse for the majority of people than it will have been to facilitate the cure or rather treatment of the few.

That is of course is if the consent of the Public for the Government to rule in this way should remain the same as it is now. Odds are that it won’t.

We know that many people have probably already had Covid-19, or that they will suffer very mild symptoms if they do. At some point soon, the emphasis will have to shift from everyones lives being stopped to focus on preventing people catching the Virus, to allowing everyone to restart and get on with life, then only focusing on what happens when they contract Covid-19 when they do.

The current approach is solely focused on preventing the NHS from becoming overwhelmed without real consideration for how the shutdown to facilitate this is impacting on every other part of life. The shutdown is based on too many variables, unknowns and the fear that has taken on a disproportionate value in the reality and thinking of politicians and their advisers who are only equipped to think subjectively and not objectively about the wider picture and the problems that their actions are going to cause.

As soon as the great British Companies and collaborations that have come together to build ventilators and support the expansion of the NHS effort have done their stuff and there are field hospitals set up around the Country to support a realistic level of critical need, it is essential that the Country be allowed to return to work and our normal activities are allowed to resume.

The hard truth is that not everyone will be ill at the same time, even with no social distancing in place, and that whatever happens a still significant number of the people infected with Covid-19 will regrettably die. We all have to accept that just like cancer, accidents, many other lesser-known diseases, illnesses and medical conditions – and of course the seasonal or winter flu, this is just another route added to an inevitable list of reasons from which all bodies will at some point die.

Rather than turning the UK into a Police state, it would be much better for the Government – to treat EVERYONE like the adults, responsible parents and carers that the majority are and put in place the systems and procedures that will encourage people to present themselves either for care and treatment or self-isolation as many already are. If nobody is going to lose out in any way by doing the right thing, it will work effectively and efficiently as everything restarts and keeps running. Then before you know it, ‘Herd Immunity’ or whatever you name you want to call the place where we actually need to be will become a real thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nobody else will ever compensate the loss of a good or viable business in circumstances out of the owner’s control. A Government that champions itself as the party of business should know better

March 29, 2020 2 comments

img_5431Watching events as they are unfolding is painful, especially when you know they are avoidable and that our decision makers have alternative choices. It has prompted me to write passionately over recent days about how our politicians should be mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 shutdown.

The ‘help’ that the Government is giving people is not only piecemeal – leaving holes for many that it is supposed to be helping, but for EVERYONE and specifically the people who need help that the response to the shutdown doesn’t reach, what the Government is doing doesn’t go anywhere near far enough.

Everyone has something to say about all of this – especially those who have a platform on social media, in the press or on TV.

But the problem with the ‘profiled’ speakers who have been allowed to become too influential (Sadly there are too many to mention), and with it too fond of their own voices, is that the words they are giving us are usually little more than subjective opinion. What they pump out to every ear that will hear them is not based on experience or even getting out there and talking to real people, but how they look at the world and how they think things should be. It is based purely on the scope of the very narrow lens through which they see their own life.

Whatever our experiences of life up until we found ourselves at this point, we are all afraid. But we are afraid for different reasons.

My fear is not about catching Coronavirus and what it could do to me – as I’ve done the life-threatening illness thing before. It’s how the response to the Crisis is creating many more problems than it is going to solve, and that if we are together going to be able to make the best of the opportunities and positives that we have ahead of us once the critical stage of this Crisis is over, we do not have the right people leading us to make that either a practical or tangible option for us all.

The people I am most afraid for as I am writing this today, are the self-employed and the owners of small businesses who are likely to be sat somewhere right now on the verge of crying. Many are facing up to the stark reality that on one hand they have been stopped from trading for what in principle if nothing else is a good reason, but on the other they have had their ability to service bills, pay back debt and survive taken away from them without any bad decision on their part. This isn’t the result of something they have done, or could have planned for and there has been no opportunity for choice on their part.

What they are now experiencing is not happening in isolation. Many people will be affected by a chain of events that will start with them and cascade throughout our economy reaching every sector and every level of the supply chain.

People who work for them will lose their jobs. Suppliers and Service Providers will not have their bills paid. Customers will lose shops, their local tradesman and local services of all kinds that are not supplied by big business – because big business cannot offer the level of service and make the margins that their shareholders demand by offering customer experiences of this kind – whereas all these committed small business owners and self-employed people before Coronavirus did so willingly and by choice to build relationships with their customers and differentiate from the profit-led Corporate behemoths.

For those who have already lost or now stand to lose what was only weeks ago a good and viable business, no form of compensation will make up for the consequences of that loss, which will hit them very hard – especially when the responsibility for the loss sits squarely with our Government and the choices it has made.

From late 2010 I experienced what it was like to be in a very similar situation when the successful business I had set up and run for nearly 7 years had a key contract pulled from under me, simply because of changes to my customer’s marketplace. It was in no way related to the quality and value of the service I delivered.

Even though I had anticipated changes might come to the industry and I had negotiated clauses within our contract to make sure everyone would get paid and I would be left with enough to start again, I never anticipated that when it came down to it, a high profile customer like mine would refuse to pay a £six-figure final bill, simply because the legal system is such that it knew it could and would get away with it.

I was dropped completely, well and truly in the shit. Not because it was the conscious aim of the managers and lawyers responsible to get up and screw me, the people who worked for me and the people who supplied me that day. They did it, because the world we live in tells us we don’t have to think about the impact of what appears a sound business decision and has no downside or consequences for anyone else.

This is the kind of limited, self-serving and blinkered thinking that the Government is employing right now.

After months of fighting, I put my Company into Administration, not because I wanted to or felt it an easy way out. I did so because I simply didn’t have any other choice.

It’s because I’ve been in that situation that I can say openly that for many, that’s where the real problems begin.

Self-employment or owning and running a business is different for everyone and for different reasons we all find ourselves with the ability to contribute different things to what we do.

For some of those who are facing down the reality that the money the Chancellor has allocated won’t go far enough or won’t arrive soon enough, they will at least not have tied themselves into loans, leases or contractual arrangements of any kind to support their business.

The lucky ones -may have their day-to-day needs met fully.

But it’s more likely they will be met only in part by the money that the Chancellor has allocated to the self-employed.

All of the domestic bills like the rent, mortgage, phone and everything else still have to be paid.

But the people most likely to be able to manage on being given what is pretty much the average wage are the ones who are most likely walk away with a skill or trade still behind them that is always in demand by others. Put simply, if they’ve worked for themselves and had problems, it simply won’t be thought about.

However, as you scale up and away from the domestic bills that you may already be feeling left high and dry with when it comes to paying, for the self-employed who are directors, partners and company owners, there are further levels of commitment to meet and the reality they are facing is simply not the same.

Vehicles, Premises, Licenses, Fuel, Tools, Insurances, Loans, Vehicle Tax, Mortgages, Professional Fees, Bank Fees and plenty of other things need to be paid for – even if a business is standing still. So giving anyone what is the maximum of the average monthly wage who own and runs a business – if they qualify – is far from being a good start if the aim is to stop business falling over when you have told them to stop trading.

The people who own, run and set up small businesses without third party investor funding form the backbone of our business-based economy. They are the entrepreneurs and the people taking the real risks and there is a lot more to it than the tax status of being ‘self-employed’.

They are people who have really done something on their own who shouldn’t be treated like social pariahs or like they don’t exist when their business ‘fails’.

Beyond the financial hardship and turmoil that the Government is condemning them to face, there is a very harsh reality of how people in this Country judge what they inevitably assume to be failure, and in particular where the incorrectly but nonetheless interchangeable terms bankruptcy and administration are concerned.

Instead of looking further and more closely at the reality of why people may have found themselves dealing with the horrific process of managing their own bankruptcy or putting a company they own into administration, there is an immediate default assumption of wrongdoing on the part of those looking on, rather than even the merest hint of appreciation for the value of the experience and the lessons that will inevitably been learned.

Some businesses fold in ‘normal times’ because of stupidity or more likely because the person driving it is out of their depth and in a field they don’t understand. But for just as many if not many more, the reasons that have brought them to that place are simply out of their control.

These are people who would actually be an asset to any business because of their experience of dealing with these problems. Instead business all too often views them as being a risk and if there isn’t change in the way society looks upon the realities of business closure and what caused them, many brilliant people of exceptional understanding and talent will quickly join the ranks of the long-term unemployed.

It is not too late right now for the Chancellor and the Government to take a leap backwards, for them to review and restart the package of measures they are putting in place and this time get it all right from the start. I for one would certainly think it big of them if they do.

But as the days of this shutdown become weeks and the weeks then become months, good businesses and employers that were viable only days ago will be forced to close with companies going into administration and the owners declaring themselves bankrupt. Not voluntarily or because they didn’t know how to run their business. But because a Conservative Government didn’t understand the realities and consequences of the decisions it made in a crisis and wouldn’t consider the alternative choice.

Nobody in the supply chain of business, industry, services, property or anything else will lose out during a standstill, IF the flow of money throughout that chain is held up at every stage. Not just at the start.

Politics, political leanings and tribalism don’t count here. It’s simply about doing what is right.

The only way that EVERYONE who has lost their income as a result of the Shutdown can be treated fairly, whilst not being condemned to suffer or lose their livelihood too, is for the Government to stop ALL bill payments to ALL creditors, ALL interest payments and the accumulation of debt for EVERYONE – until such time as the Shutdown is over and EVERYONE has been able to return to work.

To not do so when it is a clear option shows an absurd level of inability on the part of Politicians to step out of their own shoes to taste and feel the reality of how the decisions they are making are going to manifest in our lives.

If businesses of the type, size and number that will be left to fail because the Government hasn’t taken steps to treat EVERYONE fairly, and above all THE SAME, the British economy is going to fall over a cliff in a way that will never allow business to operate in the same ways again.

What would be good to see right now is the politicians that we have elected doing the right thing and making the right choice. We are now in very different times, and if they do not do so, people will suffer the impacts of the choices that they have made for a long time to come.

When this Government falls or we have new Elections, the Electorate will not be forgiving.

The majority of the victims from the Coronavirus will not be the people who have died or have been personally touched by grief as a result of the illness it causes. Most will be created by the missed opportunities, poor decisions and the failure to act equitably on the part of politicians driving an avoidable tragedy for us all that would not have been necessary if the Government had thought differently and made an alternative choice.

To those reading this blog who may be staring down the barrel of the business closure gun, I sincerely hope that the Chancellor will have a lucid moment, grow a pair and reconsider his choice.

Please hang in there as long as you feel that you can do so, because we have to hope that this episode will be shorter than we all quietly suspect that it will be, and that the shortness of time will therefore make closure something you can avoid.

If it doesn’t, please be assured that there are many of us out here who care. Closing down your business will be tough for many reasons that days ago you would never have even dreamed of. But it will be easier for you to deal with and recover from if you are honest with yourself about what you can and should do, and take all the steps you can to see the process through in the right way.

I believe that the experience that we are all now commonly sharing is going to change the way that most of us view the World. The communities we live in, the businesses we work in, the people we interact with and how we interact with them are all going to change as a result.

I am hopeful that when we come out of the other side of this, we will all consider the impact of the way we think about other people and the way that we then treat them and we will all be open to an appreciation of the different circumstances people find themselves in, that they may not be responsible for and were never there by choice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, there are positives that are likely to come from this Crisis. The most significant will be a new ‘norm’

March 27, 2020 Leave a comment

Fear has gripped the Nation. Whether its fear of catching Coronavirus. Fear of not having enough toilet paper or fear of not having enough to eat. Fear of being fined or worse for going out in the way that days ago we took for granted. Fear and how it runs and rules our lives has suddenly become very obvious to us all.

The immediate question is will we all learn the lessons that the role of fear and it’s impact on our lives involves?

But what if fear isn’t the only thing we are now waking up to that has influenced and taken over our lives and has only become apparent to us since the Coronavirus Shutdown occurred?

Right now, the novelty of having our lives placed at a standstill has still to run its course. But for many, a realisation has started to unfold in front of us that is showing us very clearly how habit has been dictating life in so many ways and takes over pretty much from the minute that we were born.

Routines like going for coffee, where we shop and how we respond to the influences that prompt us to choose how we dress are all routine. They are the tip of a culture that we have bean brought up and conditioned to accept as normal, which is based upon material wealth and little more.

Money has become the lifeblood of everything.

What is more, the role of money, its importance to us and its suggested value has been successfully used to manipulate us. Banks and big finance have taken over the responsibility for its generation and flow, and cheap money facilitated by ignorant politicians has made us debt dependent. Those in control have swamped the world with money that didn’t come from any other source, making themselves ever richer, whilst what money we already have has gone down in value repeatedly making many of us feel like we are a lost cause.

But that was before Coronavirus arrived.

What this enforced space to think and see life differently is likely to reveal to many is that putting money and material wealth before anything else is never really going to have a happy ending.

I’ve been writing blog after blog about the reality of how badly the impact of the shutdown is going to affect people of all backgrounds simply because they have lost or are about to lose their income.

I have argued that the Government should simply stop the payment of bills, interest and accumulating debt of any kind for everyone. Because without the income to service bills and debt even partially, it is easy to see and understand the pain and misery that lack of money is going to cause – when it doesn’t need to be like this and there isn’t any need for it to be so.

The banks, the finance houses and big business only have the ability to make politicians think that bills must always be paid, because politicians think the way that normal people think.

Yet there is no golden rule or higher law that says money and interest must always be paid back on time, or that the application of interest for lending or debt should be payable at whatever the created rate might be.

Yet economists and the people who work in finance have managed to surround themselves with what seems to be a perpetual myth. A false or at best hollow idea that they have secret and esoteric knowledge about money, how it should be handled and that this understanding, alone and only in their hands will keep an economy strong.

Relaxation of restrictions under thinking such as neoliberalism has made the situation worse. And the open secret hiding in plain sight that we should all be aware of as we weigh up the situation that we are now in is that these banks and financiers literally create or print the money that they lend out to us at interest. They then manipulate everything so that money can be made at every angle without the need to add value, whilst the amount of money available inevitably means that we all have less, whilst they end up with significantly more.

Climate issues, poverty, the cost of living, going into debt simply to live. Before the Coronavirus arrived, it was the march of this form of greed-driven capitalism that pushed globalisation and cutting the corners that hurt us and future generations. It has been sold to us insidiously as the way for us to access the material possessions and things what we are continually told that must have or that we need at cheaper prices, whilst the value of our earnings have gone down and the goods we then believe we want quickly become too expensive to easily afford.

Its a vicious and destructive cycle that politicians have the power to and should have already stopped.

But we are now in the place where things could easily change.

People across this Country are now being forced – ironically by the incompetence of our political classes – to see the value in life, in things that are not material and therefore that we don’t have to have money to afford.

Our real wealth is in the way that we see the world. How we interact with others. How we help and support each other in a crisis. How we make allowance for the way that others think and see the world differently. How we take collective responsibility for the resources and the world that we share.

Money isn’t going to disappear anytime soon. But the way that we all see it, think about it and revere it is certainly going to change very soon.

We are now seeing that we can work and operate very differently. That we have been liberated and are not enslaved to the behaviours that ruled us before.

When the Coronavirus Crisis is over, we may not see the change as it happens around us, but we are going to want things to be run differently and the time will have come for big business to accept that it can no longer rule our lives, our environment or our politics and there is going to be a very different way of us living our lives, our travel and how we look at economics and business across the world in store.

This is a time when nature has intervened to call time on the selfishness of man, did away with the old and gave us the tools to create the new ‘norm’.

This. Is. Not. Enough.

March 26, 2020 3 comments

Everyone needs the Government to do more.

What the Government has done for us financially is not enough.

Paying people just enough so that they might be able to service their bills only helps the banks, the finance sector and whoever owns property and capital further up the chain.

This isn’t fair. It is making profit from misery. It is going to hurt many more than it will save.

It isn’t fair that so many people are riding the clutch on debt and just about managing in normal times.

There is no way that prioritising or showing preference to creditors during a national crisis is in any way fair on all of us now.

The madness has to stop.

The Government must ditch the complicated solutions and lack of consideration for the impacts and consequences that the decisions they are making will really have.

EVERYONE MUST BE TREATED THE SAME

It doesn’t matter if you are Self-Employed, Unemployed, a Shareholder, Zero-Hours Worker, Professional, Key-Worker or Business Owner.

EVERYONE MUST BE TREATED THE SAME

The only way to deal with this crisis equitably and in a way that will work for EVERYONE and put us in the best place possible for us ALL to pick up our lives and resume them as near as possible to how they were before, is to shut down the normal flow of money until normal business can be resumed.

STOP THE BILLS, THE INTEREST AND THE ACCUMULATION OF DEBT FOR EVERYONE

Don’t piss about with clever ideas that sound great when they are shared from a lectern during a TV briefing, but only end up helping some, and then in too many cases only part of the way.

EVERYONE WHO HAS LOST INCOME DUE TO THE SHUTDOWN SHOULD RECEIVE EXACTLY THE SAME 

£94 a week is enough for any one person to feed themselves and buy the necessary essentials IF THERE ARE NO OTHER BILLS TO PAY.

KEY-WORKERS, ANYONE else who is able to continue working or ANY BUSINESS that continues to trade will get the immediate bonus of having a payment holiday – which is a very fair and balanced way for the Country to say a big thank you for all that they do.

Anything else is simply setting us ALL up for a great fall.

Businesses are already closing and will not reopen.

Jobs that have been put on hold will never return.

The Crisis DOES NOT need to be made worse for any of us than it already is.

The Government can do this and it can do it quickly.

THIS IS THE HELP THAT EVERYONE NEEDS!

Coronavirus 3

Don’t get excited about the antibody test being available for everyone too soon – it doesn’t fit with the Government’s fag-packet plan

March 26, 2020 Leave a comment

It is inevitable – even whilst we are still going through the period of good will in response to the Government Shutdown – that rumours and stories about this or that which is going to make things ‘normal’ again is about to arrive and go off like a bomb.

Sadly, we are likely to go through this process many times, especially with media of variable quality and provenance coming at us each and every way.

The great hurdle-race of teases began yesterday with stories that a Coronavirus antibody test is being mass produced and would go on sale and be distributed by Amazon and Boots next week.

‘Game changer’ was a headline on papers and many Tweets alike, and it was very clear in the minds of isolation-weary people that less than 48 hours after the Prime Minister announced the shutdown, this could all be only days from its end.

Within what seemed like no time at all, the whole idea was shut down during the afternoon Downing Street press conference. It was made clear that the test wasn’t ready and wouldn’t be available to the general public in the first instance, even if it was.

The response to this brief period of untamed excitement and hysteria, from the Government and it’s advisers certainly raises questions about how long they really think this shutdown will be sustainable.

How exactly would the Government propose to manage a situation where let’s say half of the population has not had COVID-19 and is confined to their homes, and the other half has not?

Is the Coronavirus Crisis going to be over when everyone has lived through catching COVID-19 – whether they had symptoms or not? Will it be over when everyone is either immune via exposure or vaccinated with a vaccine yet to be discovered, tested and made. Or will the Crisis be over when the NHS can cope with the treating the critical proportion of everyone who has not been exposed – all at once?

What might be worth consideration is that the information concerning who has immunity and who hasn’t is going to be the most dangerous fuel that could be added to the fire that the Government choosing these measures and in particular this form of shutdown is destined to create.

Yes, we need health professionals tested and cleared as quickly as possible and as often as necessary so that they can either continue or return to their work.

But if everyone has access to this information at once and too quickly, there is a real danger that it will create a massive societal divide. A definable difference where the way this Crisis has been mismanaged could see those who can demonstrate they have immunity demanding a return to normality, whilst those who haven’t will experience nothing better than home imprisonment with the accompanying social blight.

How does the Government restore balance within the UK Community and its People then? A National Coronavirus Party like pox parties for kids? Throwing everyone into a room together and infecting them deliberately like the way they dealt with Smallpox here in the Eighteenth Century?

It would be ridiculous to think that life can resume for those who have had Coronavirus, whilst the shutdown continues for those who have not.

And herein lies the problem. Because the Government’s plan to manage this now has an indefinite timeline – if it is to succeed and get through to the stage where normal life can resume across the board – without civil unrest or even worse at first being involved.

The big problem with the approach the Government is taking – which sounds like an effective way to manage the spread and impact of the virus – is that at the same time it is creating an untold number of other problems.

None of the measures the Government is taking go far enough. They don’t consider or take care of the real impact of the physical shutdown for the wider population which by its nature demands that life should also be put on hold for them financially without cost thereafter, for the whole period of time that this specific plan the Government has enacted demands that people have no life outside and remain at home.

Sooner, rather than later, the inadequacies of the Government Strategy are going to be shown as it unravels. The pain for so many people that it will cause will be made all the worse because it was something that the Government chose not to avoid.

The reality is that no matter how much pain and personal tragedy we see paraded on the TV in front of us each and every day, the fallout from the poor decisions and inadequate action on the part of our Politicians right now is going to be far worse in the impact it will have through debt, the loss of income, the permanent closure of businesses and shops, bankruptcies, mental health issues and yes, the loss of lives through suicide and other forms of early death. The impact won’t only be visible just now in the days, weeks and months the shutdown might take. It will hide itself like every other injustice without a name, continuing to reap a terrible, unseen, but unnecessary harvest thereafter and for a very long time.

Whilst the academics, commentators and opinionati are busy dismissing the suggestion that such outcomes are possible because there’s no credible evidence in their view to suggest it could be right, the fact is that people in this Country are and have already been suffering for a very long time because we have had and still have the wrong politicians who have a completely shutdown, blinkered and self-serving idea of what is right.

 

 

Payments going contactless, loans and interest increased by Government Policy instead of being put on hold: look at the flow of money and where this is all going when there is and always was a better way than what we are being told

March 25, 2020 Leave a comment

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The Banks, big business and the finance sector must be thinking that all their Christmases have arrived at once.

We are living through what in time will surely be seen as perhaps the biggest overkill in history of political leadership.

But instead of the same thinking, the same approach and the same rules being applied the same, equitably and with consideration for everyone, the Government is in the process of setting up the majority of us to fail, whilst it is creating the perfect conditions for the few or the usual suspects so that they can clean up and win.

The inequitable nature of what the Government doing looks more like a strategy to divide and conquer than a plan to bring people together in the way that it now should.

Yes there are grants. Yes there are subsidies. Yes there are loans.

But none of these responses are addressing the size, virility or indeed the longevity of what is already the supersize elephant in the room.

The best way to tackle a loss of income and trade for people, businesses and the self-employed during an event of this magnitude is to put the bills and interest that they ALL have to pay on hold.

EVERYONE who has lost out should then be given the same to pay for the food and essentials that won’t be covered. That way nobody gets less and nobody ends up able to take more.

For a hint of the undercurrent of what is going on around the world and who is happiest with the way that politicians are creating both unnecessary and avoidable pain, look how the US Money Markets responded yesterday when they heard that a $2 Trillion fiscal stimulus was on its way.

Making money or profit is a non-essential activity and no business whether it is purely financial or not shouldn’t be able to continue rolling on with charging and levying fees on the people who cannot. It certainly shouldn’t have these activities endorsed by Government by the public policy it promotes.

To be clear, we are not talking about cash handling, cheque cashing or card services which are essential to keep everyone fed in their homes. Its this ridiculous idea that an economy cannot stop or be mothballed – which the Government has inequitably already done to employees and many businesses – just because it hasn’t been done before.

By listening to economists and the people of influence who have their own agendas in every way, the Government is showing us that it is happy to store up a world of long-term problems for anyone who doesn’t have a name, and that it will continue to so so for however long it refuses to take a balanced and considered approach to EVERYONE involved.

If these Politicians want to remain credible and be forgiven for the unavoidable things that have gone wrong during the Coronavirus Crisis, the only way they can do this is by stopping bill payments for anything that is not itself essential to life or living.

They must put a hold on each and every form of interest too.

Above all, they must give EVERYONE who has lost income the same amount for food – and yes, £94 a week would be enough for one person if they don’t have to pay any of the other non-essential bills that they normally would.

The Government has the power to do this now and this is what they should so.

Stop all the nonsense based on what it looks like for you, think it through for EVERYONE and for once get it right!

 

 

 

 

 

Boris has gone too far with the Lockdown and nowhere near enough to mitigate the true cost

March 24, 2020 1 comment

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So Boris has gone for the full lockdown and the draconian measures to ensure that we all behave ourselves, do what we are told to and basically stay at home.

What is the aim of this and what is the benchmark that will tell him his plan has worked?

Nobody actually knows. Not even the specialists and experts advising him. It’s guesswork at best and pretty much down to seeing how the wind blows.

The Government is simply making things up as they go along. That much was clear from Michael Gove telling viewers on GMB this morning that children from split homes have to stay where they now are, and then went on the BBC shorty afterwards that it’s ok for children under 18 to keep on moving between homes.

Through fear and nothing more, the people of this Country have had their freedoms and liberty removed by a Government made up of Politicians who have only ever been successful by being part of a system that promotes self interest as their only priority and cause.

These should never have been the people we had in charge of our Country during a Crisis.

Boris has done everything to make us believe that he would be the next Churchill. But he has shown himself as the new Nero instead.

Yes of course they all pay lip service to doing what’s best for all of us.

But the decisions they have been taking in recent days are not about real leadership and if Boris really thinks he’s a great leader, he’s already failed the biggest test of good leadership itself by falling into the trap of giving the most credibility to whoever has the loudest voice.

Nothing that can be said will take away or offset the personal tragedy unfolding for the those affected directly by Coronavirus and those who have or will die.

But the number of people who will survive the Coronavirus Crisis and deserve to live lives that are manageable for both the duration and once it is all over is by far significantly more.

The measures our inept politicians have taken are inequitable. They do not reach everyone who already needs or will need help. The steps they have taken continue to play up to the false concept that money is the real god, that bills must always be paid on time, interest is always payable and that those within the finance and banking sector or have the title ‘economist’ can never do any wrong.

By shutting down our society and our lives purely on the basis of preventing the NHS from becoming overloaded using delays and playing a game with time, Boris is condemning a significant number of people to ongoing state of fiscal servitude.

The Johnson Government is actively demonstrating that we do not live in a Country that is governed by those who believe everything should be equitable and fair.

People have and will die from Coronavirus – that much we know to be inevitable, no matter how regrettable or sad.

But the damage this fear-soaked and gutless decision to close down an entire population because our wannabe leaders simply feel out of control, and do not have the wherewithal to connect with and consider ALL of the people they were elected to represent is going to hurt many more.

The cure to this Crisis is going to kill and destroy the lives of many more victims than the cause ever will.

 

image thanks to unknown

The tolerance of the public is already wafer thin. Failure of politicians to recognise how their decisions will have unseen consequences may quickly push the good will of the People over a very steep edge

March 23, 2020 1 comment

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Social distancing markers taped out on the shop floor of Pets at Home, Gallagher Retail Park, Cheltenham. 23rd March 2020

Up until the last week, people looked upon the world around them without a thought, suggestion or the merest hint that things could ever change.

Yet in the space of a week, we have seen the shelves of supermarkets stripped so they resemble the pictures we used to see coming from Communist Russia in the 1980’s. Pubs and Restaurants have closed. Mcdonalds has voluntarily decided to shut down over 1000 of its sites. Stores like Pets at Home have marked out social distancing guidelines for customers on their shop floors, and we may only be hours away from any nonessential retail shops being closed and all of us being legally forced to stay within our homes.

This is already a level of change to our normal lives that is unprecedented in peacetime. Nothing like this has been seen as a result of wartime either for around 70 years at the very least.

If only the Government was doing all the right things and calling it all just right.

If they were, I would feel less inclined to write this and the content of all of the blogs I have published about Coronavirus and how the impact of the Crisis is being mishandled over the past week. That is had I not spent so much time as a frontline politician and business owner, and had instead had genuine confidence in what these politicians and the people advising them are doing, and what together their approach to tackling the Coronavirus Crisis – for them – is all about.

I don’t. And here’s part of my reasoning why:

Back in 2007 and in the months following my election to Tewkesbury Borough Council as a Councillor for my first term (2007-11), Gloucestershire experienced one of the worst flooding events in the middle of July, that the County has ever known.

To be fair to those who have suffered in floods historically and in other areas since, it may well be the case that the impact of floodwater damage has itself been experienced in some ways directly as being worse.

What defined the 2007 event as being so bad for Gloucestershire and the area around it, was that a key water treatment plant on the River Severn was flooded and the water supply for many thousands of people simply dried up overnight.

One Sunday afternoon, calls from worried parents about water for their young children quickly put me to work. I found myself delivering and coordinating drinking water supplies around my Ward to supply and support the people who had elected me for the following 18 days.

In the days that followed the return to normality, I came to learn that the lack of effort and sledgehammer-to-crack-a-nut approach taken in other areas had meant that others had experienced much worse. A local estate agent told me that people in our area didn’t realise just how good they had it. In other areas he had witnessed people fighting over the supplies that were being made available because people because nobody was taking a visible or tangible lead on the ground, and residents were not confident of further supply. They simply assumed that each supply was all they could get.

Unless you had lived through the experience, you wouldn’t have believed it had happened in this Country and certainly not as recently as 2007. And its just another tragedy in a long list of others that the real issues exposed by that Crisis have never since been addressed, just like the ones from Coronavirus are being created as quickly as they are being missed.

But what my own experience taught me about the behaviour of people who are being considered and supported in a crisis as opposed to those who are not and are left feeling like they are alone, is that the feeling of being in it together promotes a unity of purpose where privation and personal disadvantage are overlooked, often with a joke and a smile, whereas those who feel on the arse end of it and as if they are being treated differently or as if they have less value than others will quickly allow that feeling to come out in their interactions with others whenever they have even the slightest feeling that things aren’t going their way.

Yes, we can pour scorn on the people who do this, but this behaviour is often involuntary and is not something people who are dealing with extreme emotions will often exhibit by making any conscious choice.

My experience becomes the basis of my concerns over what we are now facing in the coming days and weeks. Not just because of the Coronavirus and how that is and will affect people, because the harsh reality is that it will effect people in whatever way it is going to effect them without anyone having any choice.

No, it is the decisions that Politicians and the people who advise them are taking and pushing upon us all that are worrying me the most. Because they are not applying an even hand in the way that they are focusing assistance to people who have lost or are likely to lose their income, their businesses or way of living, or have been affected in a very long list of other ways.

Then there is the shutdown itself which is responsible for all of this in so many ways, and is on the way to shutting down what was days ago a free society – simply because its the only way Politicians think they can tackle keeping just the NHS functioning and able to fulfil its role for the duration of the Crisis – for a period that they nor anyone else can guarantee how long it will actually be.

The point was brought home to me rather starkly this morning when I spoke to the manager of a coffee shop who smiled as she told me the Government was doing a great job because she’d be alright. The irony wasn’t lost on me that she was then able to regale a list of people she knew who have or had small businesses that were either about to go bang or would soon be in the process of accumulating debt that they would never be able or equipped to afford.

If the shutdown is only temporary and lasts for just a matter of days or a couple of weeks at most, then all well and good.

People will be pissed off. But the inconvenience will be soon forgotten and the financial impact will not have gone on for so long that the gap has become impossible to cover. Although it will likely be hard, the resourceful nature of the British People will mean they suck it and find a way to cover the shortage as many will have done so before once more.

However, civil order in this Country is actually wafer thin – as the 2007 water shortages illustrated only too well. And with the figures and timelines that the politicians and media are now discussing that could reach into many months or even two years before any sense of normality is restored, the reality is that many of the businesses that have closed this past week will not reopen. People who have not and will not be catered for by this Governments inequitable thinking will be thrown into an abyss of unpalatable and accumulating debt – all so that they can survive the fallout from an economic downturn which the Government had the choice to handle differently, but the people themselves had no option to avoid.

People simply aren’t going to wear being shut up, not allowed to function and to be condemned to what might become a permanent position of being in debt, just so fearful politicians who are scared of their own shadow can implement draconian rules to address one problem without any regard for the ones they are creating as they do.

This is very much a case of the solution being far more painful and many times more damaging to the lives and livelihoods of the many, than Coronavirus will be for the few who will regrettably experience what the media and Politicians will tell us is the cause of the problems now and to come.

The complacency of normal, everyday people about the world that surrounds them that I talked briefly about above, is the same as the one in the rearview mirror of our politicians, where consideration anything other than the focus of their attention is simply never involved.

The good will that today gives people the will cooperate with the measures currently being put in place will soon evaporate if the Politicians don’t wake up and nothing in their responses should change.

Whilst I sincerely hope that I am wrong about even the possibility of this, a breakdown of civil order that will eclipse that which took place across our cities over just one man dying from being shot by Police in London in the summer of 2011 will quickly come to exist.

It’s a good guess that if things continue on the current trajectory in terms of inadequate leadership, by May people who you would never expect to see there will take to the streets.

The people who are in charge of this Country have no imagination, concept of real life, or an appreciation of the painful truth and reality that there are always consequences for every decision they make.

When we reach the stage when all the reasoned options and choices for the politicians who lead us have been bypassed by going up blind alleys, have evaporated and are gone, they will have been found out, found wanting and found to be fake.

What then will happen next?

 

 

Please avoid the trap of blaming anyone for spreading Coronavirus – no matter how stupid their behaviour appears to be

March 23, 2020 Leave a comment

A lot of the things that we are reading and seeing online are understandable reactions and perfectly human where response to an unfolding crisis is concerned.

In fact, I said to a friend the other day that it feels very much like we are living through the opening scenes of one of those disaster movies that we have all seen where people are just going about their normal lives, doing normal things and expecting everything to remain completely normal as something somewhere that is going to escalate into a tragedy is unleashed at its start.

Coronavirus is still not real and will remain unreal for many until the time that the disease or illness itself has directly touched their lives. And at a time when people have so little confidence in politicians that we elected Boris in December on the basis that he was pretty much the best of a bad deal, and we have a media that overblown pretty much everything so that it can be used to scare us in some way, who could really blame them for picking and choosing their response when something genuine and very serious comes into play.

The establishment has been playing the part of the little boy who cried wolf for a very long time – just to get elected or to generate sensational headlines or create click bate in some way. Much of people’s behaviour that now runs contrary to establishment advice is therefore the fallout from this misuse of power and responsibility in some way.

Whether that be the case or not, the reality that anyone who has been touched by Coronavirus must face is that nobody they have been in contact with – whether they were there by design, because they had to be or for any other reason – should be identified as a source for blame or as the cause.

Nobody gets up on any morning and thinks to themselves ‘it is my intention to go out and hurt this or that person’. They are thinking about themselves and are unlikely to be thinking about any more.

Coronavirus itself is clearly transferable in many different ways. And so whilst it is an attractive option to blame the person or persons who we might consider most likely to have carried it into our lives, there are as many – if not more – methods that it could have been transferred and come our way.

Putting anyone on a guilt trip will help no-one and least of all ourselves. We all make decisions and do things that will have untold consequences for people that we might not even meet on each and every day.

Coronavirus and its spread as an illness is a difference, and just like we need to go about and be allowed to go about our normal daily business and do so in ways that consider the impact on everyone else so that we are not being selfish, in respect of who we may have caught or catch the disease from, we really do need to take a deep breath, face reality and get a grip.

 

The freedom of the media is driving the Public to be confined. There is nothing fair in the exchange

March 23, 2020 2 comments

The findings from the court of public opinion loom larger and larger in the views of our Politicians. It has reached the point where the messages the media carries and have now become our leaders driving reality. Media thinking and the influence it has upon them is the alternative to what should be having genuine public service at their heart.

Good leaders listen critically to everyone, discount the chaff and rubbish that comes with  any view or opinion and make use of all the facts.

But in an age when so much of the news is itself  little more than opinion – and subjective opinion at that, our politicians are driven by a lopsided way of thinking that isn’t based upon any kind of foundation or understanding of the World that public policy by its nature requires genuine representatives of the people to be there and ready to embrace.

The constant noise and demands of a media that has been allowed to big itself up as if it is a real entity in itself, rather than being the conduit and carrier of information that it actually is or should be, has taken over the place where conversation and interaction with normal people on the list of an MPs or Politicians priorities should really be.

The media are there and in everything. They give legitimacy to bullshit and fake news at the highest level. They have a monopoly on influence that now goes too far.

Their relationship with both the public and our politicians needs to be reviewed and taken right back to the start.

The non-stop presence of the media has pinned the Government and our MPs in. Politicians believe that the messages these self-proclaimed celebrities are now giving is the only game in town that there actually is.

So when we all see the pictures of stripped shelves and stories of personal tragedy paraded in pictures every half hour with the intention that our fears will keep the journalists popular and in pay, the Government and Members of it are seeing it too, processing it and responding to it in a very similar way.

The difference is that the responsibility and power that our Politicians have, but don’t actually see for what it really is, is to shutdown industry first and then society as a whole as we are now on the cusp of being confined to our homes.

Nobody would find the decisions that those in the key positions of power in Government are now having to make easy. But when you cannot move for the scrutiny that the idiocy of a media that thrives only on the negative angles and spins that it can sell, it is inevitable that it would be almost super-human to be able to look beyond it and take the decisions that might not look or sound right – but are nonetheless taken in the best interests of everyone.

The Government has taken the first steps on the pathway to implementing ideas and decisions that are going to hurt the people of this Country in many unfathomable ways and potentially for a long time after the Coronavirus has been and gone.

When the dust has settled and we are all living through the impact of the hit on our economy and so many of our businesses and jobs, the question will have to be asked about the role of spin, news and what the media do to justify the insidious nature of the fallout from their jobs.

 

Categories: Covid Tags: , ,

If ever there was a right time to tell the EU to bugger off, that time is now

March 22, 2020 Leave a comment

I make no secret of my concerns over how the Chancellor is currently setting in motion a chain of events that will start off by short changing some and end up short changing everyone.

I don’t agree that the policies he and Boris are chucking out each day go far enough and have little doubt they are going the wrong way. I certainly don’t agree that they are equitable, fully considered or that they will help us collectively as individuals, communities or as a Country in any meaningful or sensible way.

What I do acknowledge and support is that no mater whether the measures they are taking are in effect wrong for us or right, they are at least being taken by this Country’s current Leaders with at least the aim that some if not all of our population are the priority – which is at least along the right lines.

What We nor they needed right now is interference or posturing from the EU in any way.

Yes, the UK may technically still be operating under the rules and terms of Membership of The EU whilst the interim, negotiation or transition period continues and goes through.

But as we effectively left the EU on 31st January 2020 – before all of the Coronavirus issues really began, there is no reason why the Supranational Government of the European Continent should now have any right even to attempt to impose its will in this way – when that interference could prevent at least some of the people in our Country from receiving some form of financial help.

Our Government may be right or it might be wrong in the way that it has so far chosen to subsidise businesses, give them grants, underwrite loans or simply pay or take care of at least some of the bills.

But in a time of nationsl Crisis like the one that we are now in, it is essential that our Government has the agility and freedom to make its own decisions and the best ones that it can for the People it is there to represent, as the government of any independent country should always be able to do.

The reality is that the Brexit debate and the issues of Leave vs Remain have now been given a very different perspective about the benefits of localisation that our own policies provide, the disadvantages of quasi and full globalisation that the values underpinning the EUs open borders promote and why independence and sovereignty as a nation doesn’t stop us from having a healthy working relationship with our neighbours and the rest of the world, but does leave the decisions which should always be taken by us in our hands for us to decide.

If there was ever a right time to tell the EU to bugger off, that time is now.

 

 

The Government is forcing us to fear life as if it were the same thing as death

March 21, 2020 1 comment

img_5361Friday was a very dark day for this Country.

Journalists, activists and supporters cheered on Boris Johnson as he effectively closed down life for any other purpose than to facilitate work that cannot be carried out from home, or for making what has become a futile attempt in recent days for many of us as we attempt to service basic human needs.

Meanwhile, the Chancellor succeeded in convincing the party faithful that a half-hearted attempt at addressing the financial problems people now face would be beneficial to everyone. In fact it prioritises only the needs of some without coming anywhere close to answering the real questions for them or anyone else.

Many others were simply bypassed by the big words of this written-on-a-fag-packet strategy altogether, when what could and more importantly should have been a working plan to treat everyone the same and as an equitable cause was simply not considered at all.

What many of us are missing as we watch the endless streams of news and what has quickly become the media-driven 24hr Coronavirus Show, is that these Politicians are not in charge of what they are doing, nor are they successfully meeting their real obligations to the people who elected them and put them in office in any thought-through way.

Whilst they would like us to believe otherwise, the Politicians making the decisions today are human beings who like most people outside of Westminster are actually very afraid.

The problem with this form of leadership is that fear is no leader when what is called for to genuinely help others is the ability for them to be strong.

Our leaders are not leading. They are being led by fear themselves, and that fear is leading them to make decisions that have already or soon will become an overkill that really hurts a lot more people across this Country than it could ever really help.

The Government and the people advising them are more afraid of getting a few very specific things with healthcare wrong, when they should be a lot more afraid of not getting everything else about this Crisis right.

There are some cold and harsh realities that we all must face about the Coronavirus itself and what the reaction of the Politicians, the State and the so-called specialists working alongside them is going to do.

None of them are particularly nice.

Key in peoples minds will be the tragedy unfolding in a very personal way for the people who have and will continue to die. It’s horrible, but the media focusing on individual cases non-stop as they are doing is making the whole experience for everyone else unnecessarily much worse.

Next will be the toll that dealing non-stop with Coronavirus in our hospitals will be and what the exposure to that will mean for the longer term mental health of those who were already working on or have volunteered to join the front line. This is the job that they have trained and committed to doing and keeping this in the forefront of wider perspective is what will keep the wheels turning.

However, the one reality that we should all wake up to, be most concerned with and understand today is the one that nobody is talking about. The one that unlike Coronavirus does not have the capacity to go away. The one where the Government is prioritising the fight to prevent the most vulnerable in society from possibly dying prematurely at what is the disproportionate cost of denying everyone else the ability to have and maintain any kind of normal life.

Yes, we are hearing horror stories from Italy and from other places around the World about infection rates and the related number of deaths.

But we have no guarantee that the potential for any of that to happen here will be mitigated by shutting down the country just to facilitate what could be a delay.

What none of the medical people, specialists and experts can tell or rather guarantee any of us, is how long Coronoavirus will be here and how long social distancing will remain their only solution in what will surely be an ongoing and what will soon feel like a permanent process of temporary delay after temporary delay.

Indeed, on the basis of what they are telling us, the duration of this social lockdown will actually need to go on for as long as it will take to exhaust the spread of the virus throughout the entire population, or alternatively to create a vaccine, test it, produce it and then vaccinate everyone, or which ever will be possible to achieve first place without any further or unseen delay.

None of this advice being given is based upon real numerical facts. Even if it was, that advice would be or is subjective, is based only on the management of critical health care and does not take into consideration any of the wide-ranging impacts, consequences and knock-on effects for people, businesses and society as a whole that an unmitigated focus on being able to provide ventilators at the time that everyone might need them has already began to cause.

We already know that our leaders are thinking the time their policy of social distancing will take to keep the need on any day for these resources, managed by the pathway of time, is likely to run into many months. As such, it could easily become a period of years.

Meanwhile, the Country is set to fall apart on nothing more the basis that because Coronavirus is new and has a name, it is somehow more important and therefore must be treated differently than the significant number of deaths we have in this country each and every day or every winter when the figures for deaths from existing conditions such as seasonal flu alone are typically already much worse.

The reality that we all must face once we have been conditioned to it and matured is that this life ends for every one of us in some way, some day.

This whole crisis and the decisions that Politicians, Advisors and government officers are taking right now are already affecting and are about to take over our lives both today and for the future.

They will do so based only on the premise that we should listen to somebody with a title without question, whilst they are themselves motivated by fear of something even they don’t fully understand, and are taking little more than a guess about how only the things they are responsible for in isolation might turn out.

What is more, the number of people that this unproven and best process of guesswork might save from an early death is likely to turn out significantly smaller than all the hype being peddled by our irresponsible media would suggest.

The consequences of shutting down this Country, the economy and all of our lives simply as a strategy so the NHS can cope will inadvertently kill, destroy lives and create a level of hardship for a number of people that will go way beyond – if not actually totally eclipse the number that this fear-driven escapade on the part of people driven by their fragile egos will ever save.

Yet the deaths, the suicides, the life-long mental health issues, poverty, hardship, the destruction of relationships, safeguarding issues and many other forms of malaise and negative knock on effects for individuals and families that the choices the Johnson Government is going to create by shutting down businesses, our lives, our incomes and our ability to pay the debts that they have done nothing to keep at bay, will never get mentioned or championed by these same Politicians in any way.

Yes, Coronavirus kills. But death is an inevitable end to this life and other diseases, conditions and factors will always kill more.

The fear of our Politicians and the stupidy and self-serving nature of the media that leads them has turned a drama into a crisis, simply because they have been able to give the fear that they thrive on a name and through their words and actions have given it the power of being like a flip side celebrity cause.

The misery that their ineptitude, ignorance and incompetence will cause to many more than will ever die from Coronavirus is an uncomfortable subject that the establishment will wilfully fail to recognise when any individual brings a story of real life misery to their door that might uncover the horrid truth about how those in power operate whilst exposing their many flaws.

The real fear for us should not be Coronavirus.

Our real fear should be our politicians and the people advising them because they are out of their depth.

Through the actions of shutting down our lives and making us dependent upon everything they say and do, we are together and collectively being coerced into behaving and therefore believing that it has become normal to fear living in the same way that we are conditioned to fear death.

Leaders who are afraid of their own shadow will not easily relinquish the control which their fears have motivated them to take at a time when they were trusted because they believe they will continue to keep them safe.

In the weeks to come and as the inequity and self-serving nature of their thinking becomes more apparent and as it becomes clear how their inept plans are going to turn out for everyone, people are going to realise just how over the top the dysfunction of this wholly avoidable shutdown of our lives really is.

As things like the parts run out to keep the lorries and ambulances running that they are telling us will keep us all safe whilst everyone is shut down, and the flawed concept of social distancing remains the only political parable that exists, people are going to realise just how draconian and out of touch with the hard-hitting realities of the wider and wholly avoidable Crisis they are creating alongside Coronavirus that our current Government and the thinking of the MPs around them really is.

None of us really wants anyone else to suffer.

We certainly don’t want anyone to prematurely lose their life.

But the reality is that we are all being forced to sacrifice our lives and peace of mind for little more than a cause that has value because it has been a name and therefore a face.

The response of the Government and the specialists to Coronavirus is going to damage and destroy much more for us, our Country and our future indirectly than it is ever directly going to save.

We ALL need bills & interest put on hold and enough money to eat and be clean. Government bullshit about Subsidies, Loans and Grants helping us now or in the long term is simply f**ktarded

March 20, 2020 16 comments

It doesn’t matter if it’s electricity, gas, water, credit card, a loan, a lease, rent, a mortgage, phone, broadband, TV streaming, contract subscriptions of any other kind, or anything else. It is the ceaseless demands of the private, profit-making interests in this Country being allowed to continue sucking money from our pockets that is the real problem people are facing now and will continue to do so long after Coronavirus has been put in its place.

Subsidies, Loans and Grants from the Government make great headlines when politicians are obsessed with how things look. But these hollow actions are giving legitimacy to the continuance of profiteering and endless money making on the part of commercial interests and what we have come to know as ‘the few’. All at a time when there is no longer any excuse for the people we elected to provide opportunities for the usual suspects to carry on making money at our expense, whilst we cannot earn, and as if they are entitled to act, behave and continue doing so like gods.

By allowing the economy to unravel, pretending it can be propped up by giving people the means to pay bills that could otherwise be put on hold so that everyone is in the same position, whilst pushing many people and businesses into what will quickly become unserviceable debt, the Government is initiating a downward spiral for this Country and what should be a robust economy.

The outcomes of this political ineptitude will be far worse for real people and for businesses over the long term than the outcome from the temporary hit that the Government should be taking on our behalf right now.

The pathway that the Chancellor has taken so far indicates that the Johnson Government is either incompetent and doesn’t understand the reality that people like small business owners, Deliveroo riders, people on zero hours contracts and those simply laid off from jobs in cafes and bars face, or they are intentionally using a crisis to assist in shackling all of these people and many more into forms of debt and the emotional bondage that accompanies it, simply so the friends and supporters of the Government can look at the piles of cash that they already have and smile as they start making even more.

Whether deliberate or created by stupidity and ignorance on the part of politicians who should always know better, the situation that this Government is now facilitating for us all will quickly become little more than profiteering from the misery of the many, simply to line the pockets of the few.

No matter what anyone says – whether they are an MP, so-called ‘expert’ or specialist, journalist or anyone else who has fashioned themselves as part of the ‘celebrity cause’, the solutions that the Government are now offering up do not go far enough in just about every way.

The PM, the Chancellor he appointed, the Government and the Politicians around him have the power and therefore the means to do whatever is necessary to help all of us and keep the Country in the best position going forward as it is possible to do so. But that is not going to happen if politicians are misguided by the self-interests and biases of the people and influences around them, rather than the Public at large – which should always be any Governments one and only cause.

Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures on the part of the people that we have elected to lead us.

This means they must step up, read the situation for what it is in reality for everyone – rather than what they think it might be or what their advisers are telling them – and adopt a much bigger, realistic and worldly view.

Economic thinking is just another set of ideas that become real simply because it is the line that people choose to believe.

Current economic theory is one founded upon the idea that money must be kept flowing at all times, just as if it is a blood supply that cannot ever be stopped. It works and operates on the basis that money and the systems that support its generation and movement are the only important thing.

They are not.

What economists and the people who have been influenced into thinking this way are failing to consider, is there is something far more important than money. That is the people and the communities that we live in. Beyond the thinking and the ideas that the ‘money men’ and their supporters choose to accept, there is most definitely another and very clear way to approach this crisis which is an option.

As such our decision makers are currently making a choice. One that is all about profit or all about them.

It should be people first. Money only when its sensible to return to it thereafter.

To deal effectively with the Coronavirus Crisis and without long term fallout for the many, the economy as it stands can be and should be shut down and stopped from operating in its current form.

Interest accumulation should be halted, and a payment or repayment holiday imposed on everything – whether it is for domestic use or for business – so that EVERYONE is being treated fairly and just the same.

The Government should temporarily renationalise all essential utilities and services – that’s the ones that were sold off and should be in the hands of non-profit making management and ownership anyway – and simply take the steps necessary to underwrite supply to ensure that the essential services the public need are simply provided for the duration of the Crisis without the need for anyone to worry about how they continue to pay.

For the people who have been laid off, have had to stop trading, have had their hours zeroed out or have had their incomes stopped by the Coronavirus Crisis in any way, there should be a basic income provided to cover the costs of food and essential items so that everyone is able to function in their homes and remain clean and healthy in every other way.

To do so would ensure that the people who have been left completely vulnerable and at the mercy of circumstances that they had no part in creating, are able to standstill and most importantly survive at the very least, without anything changing. They will therefore placed in the best situation possible to pick up and return their own lives to normality alongside those of everyone when the Coronavirus Crisis is accepted as being over and what will then become life as usual is once again ready to begin.

For the businesses and the workers who are able to continue working throughout the Crisis, the payment holiday that they will then all inadvertently receive will itself be a bonus and for many of them thanks enough.

Yes, the Government could and should now be doing this.

MPs, Politicians, Government Officers and Advisors must start thinking outside of their very tunnelled and out-of-tune Westminster box.

Just to begin with, these are preventative steps the Government should now take:

  • Ditch the £Multi-Billion plan for Grants, Subsidies, and underwriting Loans
  • Stop Interest payments and accumulation of any kind
  • Stop Loan Repayments 
  • Stop Mortgage Repayments
  • Stop Rent Payments
  • Stop Leasing Payments
  • Stop Utility Bill Payments
  • Stop Phone Payments
  • Stop Broadband Payments
  • Stop TV Streaming Payments
  • Stop Insurance Payments without penalty for any function not in use whilst maintaining ongoing cover for capital value without charge
  • Stop any other form of contract subscription which is non-essential in any form

And a here are some proactive steps that the Government should also begin by taking:

  • Provide a Basic Income to cover the cost of food and essential items for everyone, their dependents, and the people they care for, who has lost their income as a result of the Crisis 
  • Provide a top-up for anyone, their dependents, and the people they care for who’s income has been reduced to a level below that which matches that above
  • Take all former public services that were privatised back into temporary Government control
  • Provide gas, electricity, and water to every household for the duration of the crisis without charge
  • Create legislation that outlaws profiteering or price gauging of any kind, with companies, their directors or the individuals fined heavily or jailed when charged
  • Create legislation that prevents any commercial or private interest seeking compensation or interest of any kind from anyone or any business who has not paid them for the duration of the crisis, in the future at any time.

Setting any of us up to fail in the long term as a result of implementing policies during a time of crisis that have not been through will not be in the best interests of anyone. Least of all the Politicians who are failing us by coming up with such stupidity or lack of foresight in the first place.

Fundamentally, the approach currently being taken is morally as well as practically wrong.

This National Crisis and the future of this Country of ours simply demands thinking from them that is new.

The supermarkets will be able to deliver more online if they simply tell people when they will deliver rather than letting customers decide

March 19, 2020 Leave a comment

As someone who set up a successful distribution business by winning a contract with a large newspaper company and setting it up overnight, I’m well aware of how to make a delivery operation flow right for staff and customers in a time sensitive environment.

Of course, as a commercial provider to a business customer, my key considerations were very different to that of a supermarket supplying a weekly shop to a retail customer. Or rather they would have been in normal times.

One of the greatest inefficiencies of the way that supermarkets have been working, has been to give customers the freedom to choose their delivery time and fit the delivery of their online order around that specific requirement.

This in effect means that even with deliveries grouped as much as possible across the number of vans that any store has, they will be zigzagging across a district or suburban area most of the time, adding time and running costs to the journey which limit or short-change the extent of what the driver and vehicle can do.

With the landscape changing and the idea that the customer is always right having been exchanged for one where we will get what the supermarkets can give us at the location and time it is available, the retailers we use for food and essential goods have options to cover more ground in less time and extend their online delivery services during the Coronavirus Crisis in ways that at other times they never could.

It all boils down to just one thing. Telling customers when they will get their delivery rather than giving them options to choose in the way that they currently do.

People are working from home and not going far.

If customers want food and the goods that supermarkets can provide them they will be grateful to have them delivered during the crisis and won’t worry about what time.

By being able to group deliveries into the closest distances between a set of addresses in blocks over a few days, efficiency is certain to increase. Even one more customer per van per shift would help more people than the system currently is.

If the supermarkets start delivering around the clock on a 24hr basis – prioritising more social hours for the elderly, the vulnerable and reaching key workers between their shifts – the existing delivery system could be able to double deliveries and perhaps even more.

Yes, there will be a shortage of staff that needs to be filled. But there will also be many people willing to step into help where possible to do so. I for one would be happy to do a few shifts from a local store or even drive an artic from a nearby distribution centre to the supermarket back door if I can find a doctor to sign off the medical for my Heavy Goods Class 1 renewal once more.

In difficult and challenging times, business as well as politicians have to consider whats fair and best for EVERYONE. Not just those who pay, complain or can influence more.

But we ALL have an investment in the government, the public sector and the businesses working to keep us alive getting this right.

They cannot do it alone and need our support to get there – even if that means opening the door to an online supermarket delivery person at what feels like a very peculiar time.

WE ALL NEED TO GET A GRIP PEOPLE: Because this is a Government that could react disastrously wrong to what is now going on

March 19, 2020 Leave a comment

img_5339

Hands up. I’m not worried if I have to eat less or perhaps miss a meal or two and go without. The upside is that I could do with and would be happy to lose a few pounds.

But for my elderly mother (73) and her husband (87) who are as good as housebound and rarely go out, what those of us who are out shopping on behalf of the people we care about are experiencing has passed the stage of being ridiculous and has now become negatively profound.

Many of us have responsibility for someone else, whether it is each other, children, parents, relatives or someone else that we care for normally day-to-day.

But even if we live alone and have not one other person to think about, the reality is that the Coronavirus does not and is not going to recognise any of the differences that we might usually use to build ourselves up, to blame others or to simply use as an excuse to differentiate ourselves against others or to make ourselves out to be special or entitled in some or other way.

We really are in this together.

As I walked around the local Tesco Store this morning, looking for the aisle where the tinned potatoes should be available, I was already thinking the shopping list on the envelope containing the money from my own set of oldies was itself some kind of surreal joke. And as I stood there, looking at the collection of baked beans that at one end don’t seem as popular as the loo roll at the other, it became clear to me that the guy who was stood there surveying the carnage in the same way as me, was having the same, if not very similar thoughts. As he walked away, he looked at me, smiled and said “Thank God we aren’t at war”.

The whole experience, following on from the pictures of stripped shelves and queues of people with trolleys from across the Country made me realise just how shameful our collective behaviour has really become and question yet again how it is that things have really got this far?

We are not at war.

There is no shortage of food or essential items available to retailers.

Yet the experience that normal people are now facing in shops and supermarkets tells us something very different.

And it’s not that there is a shortage and we are demonstrating any form of rational need.

It says that the panic buying, fuelled by the non-stop ‘Coronavirus Show’ in the media and online, will quickly play into the hands of a Government led by politicians who got themselves elected for all the wrong reasons and are as fearful of the unknowns that are accompanying this dreadful outbreak as anyone else is including you and I.

Talk of being on a war footing and using emergency legislation to effectively turn this Country into a dictatorship – albeit an apparently temporary one – should be cause for concern in itself for us all.

But our behaviour, whether that be our attempts to fill up on everything at every opportunity – because those rules were meant not for us but for others, or because we are saying damn the ‘advice’ we have been given in London and elsewhere – because coffee, beer and socialising as if everything is normal remains the priority and overriding cause, is increasing the risk exponentially that the politicians who are leading us today will not only create but then use those very draconian measures to restrict all of our lives indefinitely and disproportionately. Simply because their own fears have been amplified by what is on the part of too many of us a self-serving, selfish and completely unnecessary response.

Think back to when you have been upset or you have been angry. Think about how you have spoken and acted. What was your response?

Did you ever get it wrong?

The politicians that we have today are no different. And when they cannot, will not consider or are unable to understand the bigger picture, the added pressure on them from the avoidable breakdown of what should and still could be a fully functioning supply chain today, to how we will choose to behave as the negative spiral that panic buying has started escalates into anger, frustration and potentially much more in the days and weeks ahead, will in all likelihood at some point precipitate a knee-jerk response from the people we have put in power, with consequences for us all that will be far-reaching and considerably much worse.

If we don’t do our bit to help others and to help ourselves right now by following the advice that we are being given – no matter how ridiculous or how it can only really be there for others as we might see it – we will all have played a part in giving our inept leaders reason enough to act in the way that you can be assured that they will do, just as soon as it is clear that they do not have any more options to try to get things moving and to get people to cooperate.

All-too-late, it will become painfully clear that our elected leaders simply lack the real world experience and understanding to think outside of the Westminster box, whether the Country is in the middle of a National Crisis or not.

The Chancellor’s failed attempt to help the majority of workers and businesses affected financially by Coronavirus this week has already demonstrated the lack of ability within this Government to step up and take responsibility because they do not understand the reach and depth of the responsibilities that we have entrusted them with, or will not make decisions to help the people who elected them that many of their funders and supporters simply will not like.

Either way, these are politicians that we cannot trust to act equitably, fairly and in the best or better interests of us all in each and every way that either they should or that they can.

However, surviving this Crisis is not about them. It is about you. It is about me. It is about the people we care about and know we can trust. It is about the power of decision that each and everyone of us has to do the right thing now on our own and with the people who are around us, that when taken and done together will become worth a hell of a lot more.

Let’s use the example being set by neighbours, by pubs and by volunteers across our local communities as the real guide. People like the Salvation Army man I saw with a shopping list and trolley this morning who are out there doing everything they can to fill the gaps and keep each other going in practical ways that are human and about a real sense of selflessness and community.

Let’s be inspired by real people helping other real people in real ways.

Let’s join them doing something that we all have the capability to understand.

The shop shelves will refill for us all if we stop overloading the trolleys and only take what we need for ourselves and the people we care for in the immediate term. That’s pretty much what we can carry safely in our own hands.

 

image thanks to The Sun / Mercury Press

The words added to the picture ‘There’s enough for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed’ is paraphrased from the quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi ‘The World has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed’.

Seeking financial reparation from China for Coronavirus would be ridiculous. The pay-off should be the warning that today they are not a Government the UK can trust

March 18, 2020 Leave a comment

One of the most rotten aspects of culture today is the overriding need that some people have to be able to blame someone or something external to themselves for everything that they consider that they have suffered in some way.

It doesn’t stop there.

Being able to blame someone or something else for the misfortune that they have suffered means that they simply must be compensated – most often financially – in some way.

Money is nothing. It is simply an idea. And giving it value as an emotional currency that can be used to ‘pay someone off’ is helping nobody and least of all the person making the claim.

In recent days, Twitter chat has turned to the subject of seeking reparations from China over the Coronavirus outbreak which we understand to have originated in Wuhan.

Whilst the cost to the economy and the Public Purse in monetary value and the far reaching cost to us all and not least of all those who have lost and will lose loved ones in emotional terms will be significant to say the least, that cost is not something it would be sensible to try and calculate and then present to anyone or any country to whom we might be able to attribute blame.

The reality is that whilst scientists have long suggested that a viral pandemic would be most likely to originate on the Asian Continent in some form, it is in reality just as likely that a problem like Coronavirus could have or still could originate from somewhere in the West in similar or alternative forms. Viruses by their vary nature constantly mutate and it is as feasible that an agent that exists in the UK and is currently viewed as harmless could at any moment change and mutate into a more virulent and malevolent form. All this without any attribution to the science of Porton Down and research into germ warfare being at any time involved.

Whilst conspiracists are already trying to gain traction with the story that Covid-19 was deliberately engineered by one or another Government and simply realised upon the World in Wuhan in its current form, the reality is that the location where this all kicked off was on the part of the Chinese simply a very big dose of bad luck. As such, this is not something in itself that any of us should be seeking to attribute blame or indeed seek reparations from them for.

We have been expecting a Worldwide pandemic for sometime and in the eyes of many, it has long since been overdue. 2020 has simply and unfortunately proven to be the time.

What we could and should be taking note of however, is the approach that the Chinese Government took to notifying and informing the World when the outbreak first took off, and how they may even now be approaching the management and manipulation of information and its flow even now.

Control is everything to the Communist Regime and it is very clear that they are involved in and have access to everything, no matter whether it is government, business or personal in nature – wherever they are involved.

The delay in providing accurate information to the rest of the World may well have prevented many Governments from being able to act sooner to address the spread of Covid-19. The reality is that we will never be sure.

But we should take the whole experience as a reference point for what the Chinese actually does, as opposed to what in parallel it desires us all to be told.

Neither the Public or Business can service debt without income. The Chancellor’s Coronavirus ‘help’ is yo-yo politics that flashes in the face but simply doesn’t go that far

March 18, 2020 Leave a comment

img_5330The ineptitude of our politicians is stunning.

The problem that millions of people and businesses right across our country are facing is that their income has already stopped, soon will do, or at best is going to be severely reduced.

So what does the Chancellor do?

He sets them up with a loan.

And that’s for the specific people he has actually identified – certainly a long way from being them all.

We don’t know how long the Coronavirus Crisis will take to complete its course. We don’t know when ‘business as usual’ for any industry or occupation will be able to resume. We certainly don’t know if trading levels for any company will then have even the remotest possibility of returning overnight.

So when faced with losing either your wage or your business losing at least some, if not all of its trade, the last thing you need is a loan – even without interest – that is open ended in its value because you don’t know how long you will need it for; loans that will already be unaffordable to pretty much everyone because it’s not something that you have either made allowance in your monthly domestic outgoings or business income vs expenditure budgeting for.

img_5329For a Chancellor of the Exchequer – and a Conservative one at that – to not understand the implications of what would be no more than a cynical headline-grabbing plan in normal times would itself be very profound. For him to do it at a time of National Crisis, when people and business need genuine help to survive, whatever the duration, and then be able to return to their own normality at some point in the future whenever that might be is profoundly ridiculous at very best.

Whilst the Tory troops are lauding the whole effort and shouting plaudits suggesting that this is the best Chancellor we’ve ever seen, the reality is dawning on many people that the measures he has announced is little more than yo-yo politics, where what appears to be given to those in need at speed will just as quickly return to the hand of the giver on what is a deliberately transparent, yet firmly fixed string.

Regrettably, the approach that the Johnson government is employing in the handling of the Coronavirus crisis is akin to something that would fit right into the conspiracy theorists playbook.

Talk of confining the public to their homes for many months on end; the shutting down of public events, gatherings, and pubs and now a series of financial measures dressed in the rhetoric of being there to help and support us, whilst in its cold and hard reality does anything but.

At best, it all points to a disproportionate level of control being levied upon the public at large by an inept Government living in fear of its own responsibilities and driven by the interests of a very close cadre of financial and business interests that it feels unceasingly obliged to prioritise and serve.

God help us all in a few weeks if the Public become tired of what may well quickly prove be a misdirected overkill and people then take to the streets. Because all of this ineptitude on the part of a Government that thinks that with an 80 seat majority it can do no wrong, really will give currency to the words and actions of those who will prove themselves to be far more dangerous than fruitcakes and loons.

The Government has a level of power and the responsibility to use it at a time of National Crisis like this that it never has before.

We may not be at War. But the circumstances are potentially as severe nonetheless.

This means that the Government and in particular both the Chancellor and the Prime Minister have an incredible opportunity to step beyond the restrictions and shibboleths of so-called peacetime protocols and carry out the real functions of the Offices of State that they are there for.

But to do this they must lead and not be led.

No civil servant, no adviser, no specialist, no expert has the knowledge, training or experience to come up with the comprehensive solutions that will factor in everything that needs to be considered.

They certainly have no way to know if what they do suggest, advise or contribute will turn out being right.

That means listening to ALL of the advisors, specialists and representatives whilst keeping in mind that all of them will have their own bias and self interest in the solutions that they offer. But that even when the solution they offer might appear to work, it wont work for the many if it prioritises financial or other benefits to the few.

In the first instance, to be equitable and to be fair to EVERYONE and not just the usual suspects and same old few, our Leaders MUST instruct the Civil Service, Industry and the Financial Sector what the solution will be and not make it voluntary for them to support or options that they can choose on the basis of it being like advice.

Breaking completely new ground it might be, but if Boris wants to go down in history as the PM who saw this thing through the right way and got the job done, this talk of £300 Billion in the underwriting of loans and grants needs to be scrapped immediately and replaced with radical Standstill Legislation with key points like these addressed fully in clear and unhindered view:

What the Country needs:-

  • People and businesses don’t need debt relief or loans for the duration of the crisis. They need the payments to completely STOP.
  • We ALL need payments for non-essential services and items to STOP.
  • People who have been laid off need surety that their jobs will continue to exist.
  • Interest payments of any kind need to STOP.
  • People who are self-employed or working in the gig economy need the same basic income as everyone else affected too.
  • HMRC needs to go on holiday and open the VAT window for collections to at least 6 months from 3 or even more – WITHOUT levelling interest.
  • People who have been laid off or have had their wages reduced need the surety of a basic income just to pay for food.
  • We need the Government to step in takeover every service that was formally in public hands so that essential utilities and services can be provided to EVERYONE who cannot work, trade or keep going as normal for the duration of the crisis FOR FREE – Not paying the retail bill for every household and business, but by taking over and underwriting the whole supply chain so that there is no profit taking at any level remaining involved.

What we don’t need:-

  • A Government unable to look beyond the restrictions of what advisors advisors tell it is possible, what it has done, or what history tells us that it can do.
  • The same pockets being lined with profit now during this crisis as they are in normal times

Above all, the solution that will work now and for the future must be applied on a blanket basis.

By taking over and underwriting essential services and ensuring that EVERYONE has at least a basic income that will cover the cost of a weeks food, the Country and everyone not working within it will be in the best place during the crisis to financially survive and then thrive once this terrible chapter has ended and is over.

The benefit for those who continue working in roles like the emergency services and in our hospitals, the benefit in kind will be that they receive a payment holiday whilst they are working. That’s a sensible and fair bonus for doing their bit for community whilst we all do our bit for each other to ensure to survive.

 

images thanks to dreamstime.com

 

 

 

 

 

This Government’s retarded view of it’s responsibilities and how the economy works will inflict misery upon small business and generations to come whilst all the usual suspects get a bumper pay day

March 17, 2020 Leave a comment

The new chancellor had a massive opportunity to look the Coronavirus crisis in the eye and do the right thing in his announcement today.

He has failed.

Lending – or rather underwriting loans to the tune of £330 Billion sounds like a big thing. But all it will do is line the pockets of the same old lenders in the finance and banking sectors, whilst shackling businesses and the people who have been or will be laid off or lose their jobs as a result of the crisis to years of debt, simply to stay afloat because of a situation that is not anyones fault.

Nobody should be able, nor allowed to profit from the misery of this situation. We should all be in this together and the Government should be using the responsibility and power that was entrusted to it last December to think outside of the perimeters of what normality tells them they have option to do, and implement solutions that are equitable to EVERYONE and not just those who are able to legally print money whilst creating an even greater financial divide between the have’s and have not’s, where it is the same old usual suspects who will realise a very quick win.

Managing and taking this Country through the Corona Virus Crisis is not something that should simply be contracted out by the Government and placed with private profit making interests and into shareholder-driven hands.

To do so now is fundamentally irresponsible, a surrender of responsibility and a sell-out to the very same people who are using the debt burden placed upon people right across our society to create every greater levels of profit whilst inflicting misery and what is becoming the 21st Century version of enchained slavery where simply remaining financially solvent has replaced the ability to simply enjoy life for too many of us as our priority and cause.

This is little more than looking after your conservative friends Chancellor. Do the right thing and help us all by putting this insidious debt-driven economy on hold and use the legal power that your Government has to create the Standstill Legislation that would help all businesses and all the people being effected by this dreadful outbreak to survive whilst things are critical and then pick up where they left off when this crisis is over and life is no longer simply put on hold.

 

This non-stop ‘Coronavirus Show’ is helping nobody

March 17, 2020 1 comment

Let me make one think clear: Coronavirus is very serious indeed and there are very few of us who would genuinely wish the horrid illness that can come as a result of catching it on anyone.

However, the question must surely be asked: Is the non-stop news coverage – that’s coverage that isn’t really news, but negative chat and in most cases very subjective opinion indeed – really benefitting and guiding an understandably concerned and frightened public at large?

We are faced with a situation where it is becoming very clear that even the Government – that’s the politicians we elected to lead us only three months ago – really don’t know what the hell they are doing – and they are in the best position to be and to stay informed.

So that being the case, how can it possibly be that the incessant negativity and speculation coming from journalists and in most cases the self-appointed ‘experts’ they are dragging on to their shows is actually helping anyone, rather than making a very bad situation even worse by frightening the living crap out of us all?

Sadly, this is the time that the ridiculous culture of celebrity, experts and the danger that their influence and their platforms has on the public view really shows.

Let us be clear, the term ‘expert’ in the sense of giving advice and looking forward to managing future events is at its best a misnomer. The experience that they have comes from past events or previously researched data. It is historic, cannot be accurately applied to any new or future situation even if very similar, because there are ALWAYS variables, even if those variables are just the different people, different locations and different times and dates involved.

The reason the Government has no idea what it is doing, is because there has NEVER been a 2020 pandemic of the Covid-19 Coronavirus in this Country BEFORE.

It would be at best the same for journalists and media stations – if that was they had been elected by the public and were in the position to appoint the people who are most likely to be able to give appropriate advice and direction to address a national crisis and a very public cause.

But journalists haven’t been elected to represent us and the best advisors helping the Government have already got their own jobs.

Isn’t it time that the irresponsible chatter and fear-by-saturation stopped, the news programmes went back to informing us with pure, unadulterated news, and we all were allowed to get on with making the best of a bad situation without a permanent noise and irresponsible commentary from people who have lost sight of what of is in the public interest when it comes to keeping us all informed.

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