Archive

Archive for May, 2020

China: The war we must win without ever fighting

May 31, 2020 1 comment

img_6169

If speculators could bet on future world events like they play stocks and shares, there is little doubt there would be more focus on the dick swinging and pumping rhetoric against China that has been underway since before the Covid-19 Pandemic began.

That the origins of Coronavirus has given the likes of Donald Trump an excuse to point the finger at the Chinese and use it as a call to action for all the usual suspects is clear.

Trump’s callouts to the US domestic marketplace over trade restrictions were, after all, never going to reach quite as far – given the reality that the worldwide consumer culture pays humble deference to the Country where most cheap goods are made.

Regrettably, that deference isn’t really to China. It is to the god which is money.

Governments have become beholden to the Chinese State, whilst China continues to spread its tentacles across the world using Western capitalism and economic thinking against the very people who invented and became dependent upon it.

China is playing the game so well, they are surreptitiously reinventing the rules.

Activity in the South China Sea region strongly suggests that should hostilities between the West and China break into the open, this will be the theatre where a military campaign would be fought, lost or won.

Yet this would only ever be a proxy war.

Our cultural mindset revolving around money should shout loudly to anyone with ears to hear that we are already engaged in an economic war with China. One that can only be turned around if we completely change the way that we think.

Sadly for Trump, the aim of this battle is not as simple as freezing China out so that US  dominance of all markets can be resumed.

Meanwhile, ongoing negotiations have provided the opportunity for us to observe the true nature of the EU.

We would do well to remember that we had genuine, democratic reasons for Brexit.

Now that we are extricating ourselves from the EU monolith, we really do not want to knowingly throw ourselves straight into the lap of the US or be subjugated via the back door by China – both of whom want to exert monetary and therefore political influence over us – simply wrapped up in alternative forms.

Six months ago, it was near impossible to see where the opportunity would come from to address the disease of corporate greed. Its symptom is the golden age of internet consumerism, underpinned by farming of the masses for interest that can be earned from lending money created from nothing whilst shackling us all to a life burdened by debt.

Coronavirus, or rather the Government response to it – implementing a Lockdown that is going to inflict pain on many millions more than it will ever help – does have a positive flip-side.

The opportunity will come to use the significant financial depression is creating to our advantage by rewriting the rules, the role of money and how money drives so much of what as a society we do.

When our politicians can see beyond a life that can only be written in terms of cost, saving or spending, then morality, ethics and doing what is right can be the priority in public policy once more.

We will then be able to close the trap door that China has set us and reject all other unwanted influences that have, are and continue to wreak havoc in our day to day lives whilst they square up for a war where we will have a lot more than the lives of military personnel to lose.

The NHS Test & Trace Service: The only certainty is the loss of freedom

May 29, 2020 1 comment

img_6115

The much heralded NHS Track and Trace Service apparently came into service on Thursday. But what help to you and I can it really be?

Throughout the Lockdown, the Government and the Police have sought to encourage friends, families and neighbours to dob each other in. The creation of the Track and Trace Service takes that further and fully establishes the UKs new social police service.

We have so far lost 9 weeks of our freedom to the Government’s Coronavirus response. Why should we deliberately undertake an act now that will take away more freedom from us and the people we know, when it is only that loss of freedom that is sure?

The only time that tracking and tracing might have proven to be the bombproof strategy for fighting Coronavirus as the Government would like us to think it will be, was when the first handful of cases were identified present in the UK, right back at the start and before the Lockdown began.

With the Virus now circulating and thought to have become intimate with 1 in 4 of us or more – even if we haven’t shown any symptoms – trying to use either an app or a manual track and trace service cannot and will not serve the legitimate purpose that it is being sold as in any way.

Statements coming from the Government this week include threats to close down entire ‘estates’ and making participation mandatory if we do not volunteer information to support the service. It does not help us trust our leading politicians. Nor does it reenforce our weakening faith in what they are doing in any way.

Should we really be expected to volunteer the details of who we have met and what we were doing when there is no conclusive evidence to say that even if we have been carrying Covid-19 and come into close proximity with another person, we could be the only possible source of infection for them or anyone else who might have crossed our path?  

Will be actually be breaking privacy laws if we communicate any of this information about anyone other than ourselves or those we are responsible for in some way?

The options for abuse in itself are staggering from this two-edged sword approach.

There will be those who would malevolently rise to the occasion of getting someone they don’t like or perhaps a work colleague they are jealous of ‘quarantined’ for a fortnight or maybe even two.

But there are many more on the flip side who will not knowingly wish to take responsibility for condemning other human beings and the many others around them to the prisons of their own homes. And why should they just so a Government that is messing up a national emergency so catastrophically can go live on air at the Daily Briefing each day and announce that they are ‘getting the job done’? 

For whatever reason and whatever the way of thinking it is that underpins the Government strategy on fighting Covid-19, the most consistent part of the whole process has been the wheeling out of Matt Hancock whenever the announcement for some dubious new process or action is made. 

The obvious response and what you are probably thinking is he’s the Health Secretary and as its a health emergency it simply makes sense. But can we really be so sure?

The lack of comedy makes a Hancock’s Half Hour revival unlikely. But one has to wonder if Matt Hancock is being lined up as The Fall Guy when the Government finally accepts the wheels have fallen off the Boris Johnson show.

The War on Social Media: Is Trump the biggest Social Justice Warrior of them all?

Image-1

Fake news is a phrase that we have come to associate with Donald Trump in the same way that we do a machine that Hoovers with Dyson. I’ll bet you can hear him saying it right now.

With the news that Trump is about to take the Social Media Companies to task – now that Twitter has created a button to flag fake news, the threat that the President of the United States could pull the rug from under the new media age is something that should concern us all.

Fake news remains a major problem on streams such as Facebook and Twitter. But fake news is now a constituent part of what Mainstream Media and Governments actively create when they publish or broadcast subjective opinion or personal views, then frame it as being objective or factual content.

We have seen this process in action just this week, with Emily Maitlis editorialising what should have been a journalistic intro to the BBC’s Newsnight Programme on Tuesday evening, giving what was an opinion on the Cummings saga whilst dressing it up as clear fact.

Emily is thankfully a relative minnow in comparison to the World’s heavyweight opinionator Donald Trump. What they share between them is the misuse of a public platform to project the correctness of their own views – or who they represent, clearly opposing alternative points of view, not to mention playing hard and loose with any countering truths.

A wholly objective Trump might have a point about easy ‘reporting’ on Twitter being a retrograde step. Teaching and promoting the art of critical thinking in Schools, Colleges and Universities would be a much more appropriate and reasoned action for any Government to take.

Regrettably, the subjective and Donald first at any cost Trump that we know simply hates the prospect of it being easy and straightforward for any normal person to call him out.

Trump heads towards a late Autumn Election in which he intends to secure a second term. Shutting down Companies like Twitter and Facebook now would simply be with the intent of furthering his own political cause. It is a step that is unlikely to pay the dividends that he intends or would like.

Social Media has been very kind to Trump for as many wrong reasons as there have been right. Trump would do well to remember that now.

Whilst 2020 began with his re-election looking like it was in the bag, his handling of the Coronavirus Pandemic and the rise of Joe Biden make it look anything but certain that he will win.

The difference between now and 2016 is the rules have changed. Social Media has matured. More and more of us know and understand what it is all about.

Yes there are many echo chambers that exist and confirmation bias does have an unkind habit of doing its absolute worst.

But for all the trolling and negativity of this parallel universe that the Internet and Social Media provides us, the positives and the opportunities they offer far outweigh the negatives. That’s as long as our freedom of use is maintained universally, as it was intended and our communication is not censored, coerced or controlled.

Trump is possibly the worst offender when it comes to being the archetypal angry control freak attempting to influence and dictate what others are in his view always supposed to think. The parallels with Social Justice Warriors who visit destruction on the livelihoods and reputations of whoever gets in the way of their agendas are quite startling and we have to wonder if Donald Trump is the biggest SJW of them all? 

image thanks to newyorker.com 

Cummings Statement: The elephants in the room and missed questions about the validity of the Lockdown

May 25, 2020 2 comments

After a delay that brought new meaning to the term ‘a pregnant pause’, Dominic Cummings rolled into view over half an hour late to deliver a Statement that had basically put the UK on pause.

In a diatribe that raised possibly more questions than it could ever answer, such as the 30 mile drive with his family to check out that he was fit to drive, we witnessed a very different side to the Prime Ministers head honcho.

For once, he looked submissive to the system he is most often pictured showing complete contempt for and gave an explanation that would have been more at home in a headmasters study after a trailer load of dog turds were found floating in the school swimming pool than being given at a press conference of this magnitude on the No10 lawn.

Cummings looks scared. But the departure from his usual demeanour is likely to say more about the vulnerability of his Master, than the suggestion of a statement made with genuine humility on his own part.

Was this whole episode today more about saving Boris, simply because the PM cannot be without his Chief Spad?

In terms of opportunities missed, the chain-gang of media names that rocked up to ask their questions in order immediately afterwards seemed to leave one very important subject untouched: Has the Lockdown really ever been valid when your actions – as one of the key instigators of its implementation and design – clearly demonstrate that it is not?

It is difficult to see that Cummings will be going very far from No10 anytime soon.

The mainstream media are missing the point that the Government’s Policy of Lockdown and Social Distancing that they are attempting to bolster by putting Cummings on the rack is itself fundamentally flawed.

By failing to question its legitimacy when they have the perfect opportunity to do so like this – they are themselves getting the whole thing and what their role should be completely wrong.

No single cause deserves a bespoke package of help. We are in this together and ALL need the right support from Government to survive – just the same

img_6078

The flow of pleas from companies like Landover, arts organisations like theatres and many others including charities for ‘bespoke’ financial help from the Government, on the basis that they are a more deserving cause than any other is getting louder all the time.

We should not doubt for one minute that the managers, owners, employees, volunteers and supporters of any organisation staring over the cliff edge that the Government has created all feel that their purpose is most deserving of help as a priority. That’s what we all would do.

We notice big names because they usually have a big voice. But their status doesn’t make them different to anyone else or more deserving in any way.

As Coronavirus and the Government’s response to it has impacted all of us equally and not in the way that something might be industry specific – like a permanent volcanic ash cloud grounding all aircraft would hurt only the airlines and travel industry – there really is no excuse for bailouts or bespoke packages of support using public money and resources when everyone is having to deal with different impacts of a problem that have been caused by exactly the same thing.

There is no doubt that the Lockdown was a mistake from the start. The Lockdown was a disproportionate response to a problem that the Government still doesn’t understand. It could not justify implementing it or the accompanying Social Distancing measures on that one basis alone.

Universal problems require universal solutions.

So where that one error became the catalystic cause of an avoidable crisis was the failure of the Government to simply put a stop to everyone and every business or organisation having to continue to pay all the bills that could and should have been put on hold right at the start.

It really would then have been as simple as only having to pay everyone who had lost income a subsistence allowance or basic income, or top it up.

It would have cost the Country much less and jobs and businesses would have been mothballed rather than lost, with none of them set up to fail in the very turbulent months and possibly years that now regrettably lie ahead.

Treating anyone or any entity as if they are different now as we go forward – no matter how convincing or well-deserving their argument might be – will not help anyone in the long term – even the specific organisations involved.

Just like the so-called help the Government has given such the ‘Job Retention Scheme’,targeted or bespoke help might look like it is benefitting those targeted temporarily, but it is only delaying the inevitable.

The solution to this universal problem can only work if it is a universal solution.

We must be collectively treated as one.

Social Distancing and the ‘requirement’ for PPE will finish off many businesses that the Lockdown didn’t

img_6047

The only indicators of what is happening to business and our economy as a direct result of the Lockdown is the collapse of high street business names making it into the media and press.

They demonstrate just how vulnerable business has become to unexpected change in an age where for most enterprises cashflow is king and those big enough literally borrow money that sits in their bank accounts between payments from customers and the time its used to pay their bills.

Small businesses don’t have the luxury of such choices. Many get into enough trouble spending VAT and Corporation Tax (or the equivalent) using bank statements as their guide to what they can spend rather than management accounts.

No matter the method or morality of how businesses manage their finances, the Lockdown has created financial chaos for the majority that have had to stop or drastically reduce operations.

The cases where the Chancellors giveaway or Loan Guarantees would actually help businesses are few, because there is an assumption that trade levels will return to the level that they were before the Lockdown immediately when it is lifted. They won’t.

Some business owners already have no way forward. The debt created was never part of their strategy and is simply too big to service when trading will have dropped and trading figures before the Lockdown only just covered wages and bills.

Others will keep going, knowing that the debt may be repaid, but it will be a black hole they didn’t need preventing investment, pay rises and all sorts of positives that would have trickled down positively for customers, employees and suppliers.

It doesn’t stop there. Even business owners desperate to keep going – because their business is their whole livelihood – may negotiate the challenges the Chancellor created to find that their attempts to keep going are derailed by Social Distancing and PPE.

Take for instance the Dental industry. I am aware of a Practice forced to take one of the Government’s underwritten Loans in excess of £50K – a massive dent for any business to absorb, IF things had been the same when the Lockdown ends and the private business that they have developed over many years was set to immediately return.

The sting in the tail are changes to regulatory requirements likely to demand expenditure on additional PPE and the requirement to the lengthen of time allocated for basic procedures that may make private dentistry unaffordable for most.

What many don’t appreciate is Dentistry is already one of the most regulated workspaces already with standing requirements for PPE and procedural safety for commercial business that make them second to none.

Businesses will not survive in the long term if they are required to undertake procedures and provide equipment for which there is no evidential need, made mandatory by some bureaucrat who doesn’t understand the implications of what they are doing for the business and for customers and patients who will no longer be able to afford what they do.

This scenario is playing out over and over again. Not just in Dentistry, or in public transport that I have mentioned before.

Services we all need are being wrecked for no reason, contributing to an horrific mess where the basic requirements of life – like going on a bus or having a tooth fixed – will no longer be something we can afford.

We didn’t need the Lockdown. We didn’t need Social Distancing. We don’t need either to continue damaging life.

We need this fear-driven farce to stop before life as we knew it before the crisis is completely obliterated by the cure.

Don’t make Cummings your sinner. We are all playing a part in keeping this ridiculous fear-based farce on track

Everyone loves a guilty bastard. That special victim upon whom we can all project outwardly our anger, frustrations and yes – the blame. Especially now.

The media and the Government may not be saying it or acknowledging it in any way, but public feeling isn’t quite as supportive of what the establishment is continuing to do than they might like to think.

Reality dawned for some as soon as our Prime Minister launched the Lockdown and our Chancellor leapt out of the blocks and began a process of handouts that immediately sowed division, set up millions of people to fail and condemned us all to the coming catastrophe of a massive economic crash that was avoidable if it had been handled differently right from the very start.

The temptation for many, now that the truth of what the Government has done and what it is still doing has come into view, is to look for those characters leading us who demonstrate any behaviour that contradicts Government policy, whilst illustrating exactly the things that we wish to be allowed to do.

Yes, Dominic Cummings is right up to his bloody neck in the mess that the Johnson Government has created.

But the reason we are here, why things aren’t changing now even though we know they are wrong, and why things cannot begin to improve anytime soon, is because we are all in some way and at some level responsible for what is going on.

The imbecilic wannabes and self-serving glory seekers in Government who have driven the UK bus off the cliff with us all in it are in these roles because we collectively put them there – Not necessarily by voting for them, but because we accept and therefore allow our broken political system to exist.

The Lockdown has worked because through our actions – even if not our thoughts – we have supported what they have done.

Social distancing can only continue to work because we still accept that these restrictions on our liberty have legitimacy in some way.

They don’t. Because there is no evidence, proof or history to tell us that these measures work, or that they will benefit us more in some way than the alternative, which is for us to just get on with life and deal with illnesses and life events that jump up and hit us as and when they do so as we all did so well before.

The massive difference between the two options is that by continuing to acquiesce in Government Policy as we are doing so, as a Nation, for every day that the Lockdown or Social Distancing of any kind goes on, we are collectively condemning ourselves to experience the future that has been unwittingly designed and put into play by a system that we simply accept as being the pre-defined pathway we must follow in the very same way as we are accepting these measures now.

There is no requirement for us to do this. But until we accept that we have a choice between the system that exists and alternatives that haven’t yet come into view – then act upon it, or events precipitate change in Government from beyond the current system as they might well do so, we are in fact allowing this Government to continue in power and give them assumed legitimacy to carry on doing whatever they do.

Until we take back control from Dom and all those like him that populate Government, we really don’t have any excuse or reason to call him out.

Because we are in this together and are guilty bastards too.

Don’t waste money challenging the Lockdown in Court. Fund a people’s movement for change instead

May 22, 2020 1 comment

It sounds like I’m about to critiscise Simon Dolan for his High Court Action against The Lockdown and the Crowdfunding Campaign he has been championing to find it.

I’m not.

But I can’t support it either.

Not because I don’t agree with the principle of what he is doing.

I do.

I won’t actively support it because the objective itself is a waste of his time and that of his legal team.

The money would be better spent funding a new people’s movement for change. One we will need very soon, when the reality of what the unnecessary Lockdown has done hits home and the UK wakes up to the need for real leadership to get us out of the mess that Boris and his Government created, putting right all that they have done wrong.

One of the most difficult and challenging things that I ever had to do as a Borough Councillor was to explain to consitituents who had valid, justified and correct arguments against the actions of politicians and Government that they would be able to say their piece, but the system would ensure that they wouldn’t be heard if it went against the direction of political travel that day.

It is no different now and the money that Mr Dolan has attracted from many people from across our great country who realise the Lockdown and attack on our liberty was not necessary and has done far more damage than it was ever worth, fills me with hope that we can change the way things work for the better – as long as we play the right game.

The flow of this broken establishment system goes only one way. You can only win by fixing the whole broken thing (which means changing all of it) or by taking action that compliments it and goes exactly the same way.

The Court Action does neither. No matter what exchanges take place, what is reported in the media or how the Government might appear to be criticised in some way, the justification for this argument will not stop the Government from doing what it is doing and will not get a result.

What we all need, more than futile gestures – no matter how well intended they might be – is for people who have something to say and have the ability to get public attention to say it, to make the argument for the need for change and give it real voice.

When the wheels fall off for the Johnson Government as you can be sure they are going to very soon, we do not need a situation where we only have Keir Starmer or whoever is leading the Liberal Democrat’s as the choice.

We will need options that will work for us all. Those options will not come from any of the existing parties, even if words like reform are involved.

Putting right the damage that this Government has done and making the very best use of the opportunities for bottom to top change that will come to improve the lives of everyone in this Nation post COVID-19 requires that we have new blood, new faces and above all new thinking at the top.

Working against the tide of this establishment isn’t easy as the fear they have installed within so many of Coronavirus has shown.

Money, passion and the support of real people like that given to Mr Dolan will be the catalyst for change that this Country will need and the money being spent challenging the Lockdown in Court would be better spent funding a people’s movement for change.

 

Please stop the warnings. You are abusing your position and just making things worse

844b5ac9-8629-401d-a78a-7092bfb653e4

Sometimes the most inappropriate of messages give the message most appropriately.

As each day passes and this ridiculous Lockdown continues, it becomes clearer that there are at least three different demographic groups with key behaviours linked to the Lockdown and the response to Coronavirus.

The first are people who either see and understand the disproportionate damage that the Lockdown has caused and is causing and includes the growing number who just want to get on with life and deal with illnesses if and when it might come.

Then there are those who are happy to sit at home indefinitely as long as they get paid, along with those who feel they have come this far and made sacrifices to get here and now want to see the Lockdown through to the point where no-one will ever be at risk from this one virus – no matter the cost.

The third group is considerably different to the other two. It contains those who are actively living in fear of Coronavirus, whether it is because of the Government programming that drove the implementation of the Lockdown, or because they have become emotionally compromised and tied into the narrative because they have either been personally or professionally exposed to the Virus. Fighting it has taken over their thinking in a very subjective and detrimental way.

That the dynamic between the groups is shifting is certain.

More people are out and about. More people want to be out and about. More people want to be back at work and want their children to be back at school.

Practicality will override selfishness. Group 2 will switch steadily to Group 1.

But those driven by fear in Group 3 are a different matter. Thinking rationally or considering ‘the bigger picture’ is not what their modus operandi is about.

Regrettably, many of the voices – perhaps all of them – who are driving the continuing fear-based reaction to Coronavirus that the Government championed at the start, are in positions of public responsibility. They have a very powerful voice that will be heard as soon as the media pick them up.

Today the NHS Confederation decided to step into that gap, insisting that the Government must get the new Contact Tracing App into use as quickly as possible. The inference being that Coronavirus cannot be controlled without it.

Sadly, any benefit that could have been derived from an app of this kind or the physical contact tracing exercise like the one the Government has now engaged thousands of paid people to administer was lost when they failed to implement it at the start.

Coronavirus is alive and present throughout the UK community. So there are no absolutes in terms of being able to monitor where and how the Virus was transmitted and between whom – just as there haven’t been for the fight against COVID-19 from the start.

It means that this is just another hollow exercise and no better than a diversion that is driven by fear to create more fear from it and keep people from resuming life and gain back to work.

People in positions of power with a public voice should know better.

The science doesn’t stack up. The Government response has been a joke. Every further attempt to scare people is making the developing economic crisis even worse.

If these people were in control of their thinking and not emotionally compromised, they would only be giving the public information that would help.

It’s time for them to do all of us a favour and shut up unless they have something helpful to say.

For goodness sake, let us make our own choices about where we go from here.

 

picture thanks to source unknown

Categories: Covid

We need a good dictator

CycleThe disturbing thing about the mess we are now in is that many people – and in that number I include many politicians – don’t know that we are already in it.

Rishi Sunak’s prediction that we are heading into a very severe recession overlooks the reality that he caused it and that the financial measures he used to do so are fuelling the perception that nothing has changed economically.

Then there is PM Boris Johnson, who unleashed the Lockdown, using messages to plant the seed of Coronavirus fear in the minds of many that continues to grow and flourish like the most immovable of weeds.

Now that the questions are being asked and Politicians know that the spotlight is beginning to shine on their mistakes, we find that we are returning to what we experienced all the way throughout the Brexit impasse.

It was made clear that we have the wrong politicians in power. That the system only allows the faces and the words they use to change. The motives and the morality underpinning this broken and desperately self-serving culture remain arduously the same.

Democracy isn’t working in this Country. It will not do so for as long as the political system and the people who gain access to Government Seats and power remain the same.

It is a vicious cycle. We will not get the right people in politics whilst the wrong people hold all the levers of power. We will have the wrong people in power until we get the right people into politics.

We need single-minded, selfless determination at the top of Government, not just to get us through the crisis and problems that are now crossing the horizon, but to drive through the changes in public services that are long overdue.

To address the massive issues of inequality that exist from the top to the bottom of society, we require determination and a unique form of bloody mindedness, resilience and ruthlessness to see it through.

Leadership of this kind will not be possible under the system of Government and the democratic processes that we have whilst it remains under the control of the existing political parties who have a monopoly on who our controlling MPs will continue to be.

During the coming crisis, we need to turn away from this broken form of politics and embrace the political thinking and tools that are needed to facilitate the changes that we need to be made.

This can only be achieved with one person, one mind and one vision in charge of the Nation.

We need someone who understands the lives and thinking of people of all backgrounds, and how businesses and organisations work.

We need someone who can think through the consequences of government action before decisions are even made, and see problems on the horizon long before they come into public view.

We need someone who is confident in us as a Nation, respecting each and every one of us as the adults that we are.

Above all, we need someone who is detached from the siren call of the media, who thinks and sees everything, everyone and what they say generously, but critically, using facts and an understanding of human nature to determine what steps and policies are in the best interests of everyone for the Country to pursue.

In the times ahead we need balance and consideration in leadership above all else as we look to a better post COVID-19 World and the opportunities for something better for all that it will give us.

We have never needed a good dictator to take charge of our destiny like we do right now.

Now is the time to find that good dictator.

PLEASE! EVERYONE! Go back to work before there is no work to go back to!

It is deeply troubling to see the Government is now backing down on reopening Schools on June 1st.

The fear of Coronavirus that the Government created has come back to bite with aplomb.

Having loaded the gun that the Unions and naysayers are now using over ‘public safety’ it comes as little surprise that Boris et al are on the run, given that continuing the farce of the Lockdown and Social Distancing is the only way they can keep the lie going and cover up all that they have done.

Watching Breakfast TV this morning, you may have seen the surreal piece covering the apparent excitement of many at the prospect of soon being able to go on holiday to Greece, whilst in the next segment you will have heard that Rolls Royce are about to shed 9000 jobs.

Stand back, pause for a moment and look at just this alone. You will understand that there is something very wrong.

Many people have simply not woken up to what is happening to this Country and how the situation is being made worse by every day that passes and we are still Locked down and Social Distancing measures remain in place.

The money that the Government is burning to keep jobs and businesses theoretically open that in practice no longer exist cannot continue until the time that the last person feels comfortable with the idea of going back to work.

Equally, we cannot and must not accept that public services of any kind should be closed or run on a restricted basis indefinitely just because a Union Official has decided that they know better than anyone else how to assess the risk.

Regrettably, the Government is responsible for all of this. They are in a trap of their own making that the Unions have now so effectively sprung.

If Boris was the Prime Minister and man of destiny he believes himself to be, his next move would be to put his foot down, stop all the payments that are making it cost effective to stay at home, and then stand up and tell everyone to go back to work.

Fear that was created as a substitute for leadership by a Government that is inept in every way has led people to believe that the only thing that matters now is focussing on that fear itself.

It may not appear to be the case yet, but the old normal that we knew before March is now collapsing around us.

The people we have in charge of the Country are more interested in covering their tracks and avoiding difficult battles than they are about trying to turn any of this around.

The Government is now an absentee landlord during a time of National Crisis. Without real leadership, the problems that they have created are now going to get continually worse.

We cannot get rid of this Government with the way the British political system works. If they called an election, the chances are that we would simply have them replaced by politicians who are even worse.

The only way that we are going to begin what will now be a long and arduous process of turing this all around will be for us all to be the change that we all need by beginning that change for everyone ourselves.

Whoever you are and whatever you do, stop listening to the scare stories and the negativity that is all this Government’s fault.

PLEASE! EVERYONE! Go back to work before there is no work to go back to!

Categories: Covid

Don’t blame your Advisors – YOU were the ones appointed to lead and all of this was YOUR CHOICE

The facade is beginning to break.

Unemployment is now shooting up and Benefits Claims have shot up by over 850,000.

People are getting very restless with Schools being closed and the continuation of the Lockdown and Social Distancing.

Now the first stages of the political blame game have begun.

There is no doubt that the Medical, Scientific and Epidemiological advice and how it was given is how the whole of the Johnson Government has been led right from the start.

Whilst the first major argument is about missed opportunities and the speed at which the Government acted, it is very telling that today, Boris is quiet and its his key Ministers are out telling the media that they were only following the advice they were given with the inference that none of this is their fault.

The problem for the Government is the advisors and experts were doing what they do.

They were looking at a developing national emergency through the eyes of their profession and the specialisms that they work with every day and nothing else.

Looking at the broad picture and making the right decisions for everyone is what Ministers and MPs are supposed to do. 

To go out and now blame these professionals for making decisions that were only theirs to make, Government Ministers have and are giving the lie to the whole pretence that they are the appropriate people to be in such significant roles.

It is as if they are saying that the Electorate put them in office because they have a special talent that we do not, so they could then make day to day choices about who makes decisions and actually leads – whilst they get all the glory and look all powerful in their cosy Government Jobs when everything goes right and they can quickly offload the blame onto the scapegoat of the day when it does not.

Sadly and very regrettably, this will just be the start of the excuses, pointing fingers and name calling. You can tell by the way that the Chancellor is now forewarning a great recession that the Lockdown has created that the Government is going to collectively attempt to wash its hands of the disaster that it has made.

It’s the public’s job to decide where the buck stops with the decisions of state.

It is clear that the people we elected to be our Government are simply not up to the job.

All of this that is happening was THEIR CHOICE. Advisors are there to advise – thats what advisors do.

The error was in the Political judgement that allowed that advice to set the agenda that led to a Lockdown that we never needed, the creation of a social police state and the economic chaos that is now being unleashed at an unprecedented rate.

For goodness sake why don’t you all grow a pair, own up to your mistakes and do something about it before this whole script you have created to cover your tracks has caused damage that it may well be impossible for the UK to ever row back from.

If you can’t or won’t take it on the chin as any real pillars of society would do so, step aside and let someone else take over from outside this Parliament who actually will.

 

Categories: Covid

Pay rises ARE NOT a lasting solution for Key Workers and the low-paid who ALL deserve more

img_5939One of the few positives of Coronavirus has been widespread recognition that many of the workers who make much of life as simple as having to pay a bill don’t get nearly enough income so that they can live the lives they have outside of work in the same way as most would choose.

The emphasis has been on Key Workers and specifically the nurses, healthcare workers and medical support staff who work for the NHS. But refuse handlers, van and lorry drivers, shop assistants, shelf stackers, gig economy workers, takeaway staff and many more besides all do jobs that streamline and bring significant value to our lives.

Because we have been conditioned to believe that money is the only thing that really adds value to anything, there is a clear link between public acknowledgement of what these workers do and the growing clamour to provide a financial reward.

Yet the problem that is difficult for many to see is that by raising the salaries and hourly rates of the lowest paid or those we accept are not paid enough, we simply set off a chain reaction of price rises and financial benefits that stretches right back up to the top. It makes the money we have worth less and quickly takes the real-world value of the new higher wage back to where it was before.

The supply of money isn’t the best way to reward the people that we need to value more.

It is the money system itself that is the problem. The way that it is managed by Government that is broke.

As long as this continues, life will always be something that the low paid simply cannot afford.

Free markets and liberalisation of finance, big business and the banking system are a great idea if everyone working within them operates compassionately and considerately with the emphasis fully on service with profits playing only a happy and coincidental part.

That’s not the way that it works.

With Banks printing money at will, agents buying, selling and transferring goods before they reach us without adding value to the process many times, and a city that speculates on company and asset prices like the impact on users doesn’t matter, the real people who just want to earn enough to provide for themselves and have a life observe the rich who play with money getting so rich they cannot spend all they have, whilst the basics in life are all the low paid can hope for and little more.

The looming financial crisis created by the Lockdown will provide us with the opportunity to put all of this right. That’s as long as we have the right people with the right vision and the motivation to do whats right and see it through in charge.

The basic prices of goods, services and accommodation that are essential for the lowest paid worker to support themselves without help and live a life that is worth living now have to be controlled.

Only Government should have the power to adjust prices, print money or have the ability to manipulate markets.

The management of money and how it can be used against us should no longer be left unhindered in private, profit-hungry hands.

This is the way that every worker no matter what they do and where they do it can do their job and feel that they go home with adequate reward.

Let’s end the idea that more money can solve any problem and just change the way that life works so that it is something that everyone can afford.

Whatever happens next Boris, please treat us like the adults we are and not the idiots you consider us to be

What is clear from the so-called ‘easing’ of the Lockdown and the amount of people who have been out and about in the past few days is that the Coronavirus Pandemic is going to go either one of two ways:

  1. The medical problem is now over and life will continue to resume in every way, or
  2. Cases of Coronavirus are going to explode again within the next 2 – 3 weeks and the Government position for decision making is going to go straight back to where it was across the UK in mid to late March.

If we had better leaders in charge of us, we would have experienced this whole emergency differently from the start.

A mature Government led by real leaders would have treated people like the adults that we are, given us the information about Coronavirus that is known and then let us make our own decisions about what we do or do not wish to do, and what risks we are happy to take.

It would have been a lot lest costly for them to have done this for sure.

The Lockdown would not have been necessary if Boris had trusted us as he should have.

Businesses would not have closed. Workers would not have been furloughed. The UK would not be borrowing Hundreds of £Billions that we simply have no way to pay back.

We would not now be sat on the edge of a fiscal cliff edge that is going to create all sorts of pain for people in this Country. A return us to mass unemployment will just be a start.

What politicians behaving like Boris have done across the World collectively, may even lead us into war.

If the Virus is now contained and past its peak, it is essential for the emotional wellbeing of everyone that Social Distancing is moved from being led by coercive government rules and policed by people we used to know and like, to being voluntary for people, for businesses and for everyone to enforce, so that the fear that was manufactured within us but without our consent is contained and not allowed to fester on and damage any of us or our friendships any more.

But if the number of COVID-19 cases shoots up in the coming weeks as it is likely that we can expect, we need Boris to become the PM that he should have been in March and let life continue and move forward in every respect.

Where the Virus is concerned, his job and that of his Government should be all about supporting the NHS to treat patients effectively by giving them everything they need – but nothing else.

We must be allowed to keep going with life as the new normal will be so that we can all either manage and deal with the difficulties that the Johnson Government has created because it didn’t trust us, or get out and do our bit to ensure that the UK economy can be repaired,  developed and improved so future generations have a life that they feel able to live.

Good government doesn’t intrude into the areas of life where where there is no constructive purpose to anything that it can do.

Good government gets on with providing the services and solutions in the areas of life where people cannot do it on their own

We trusted you with the Country in the General Election Boris. Now be good enough to repay the compliment and trust us to manage our own choices and our own lives – whatever happens next.

 

 

 

The Social Distancing experience: Being herded like animals, treated as suspects and valued less than human

Its difficult to know whether to laugh or cry when going out to visit any of the shops that are open or even stop at the garage to fill the car.

Wherever we go, the plastic screens, barriers, floor lines and arrows that have now been upgraded to prefabricated and machine produced versions make it look like living in Lockdown and having Social Distancing imposed upon us by our peers is just the way that things have always been.

Shop assistants who used to smile and pass the time of day now growl and point the way. Security guards at supermarkets look and sound more menacing than the 7 foot burly body builder types that policed nightclub doorways in the Nineties ever were.

What should be worrying us all is the air of permanence with the way that this all now feels.

Social Distancing in this form is here to stay for a very long time.

Yet nobody seems to be concerned or asking questions about what the long term costs of this social policing and the rise of a police state will actually be.

Fear was weaponised by the Government to implement the Lockdown. It was used to facilitate Social Distancing measures that are impacting upon normal behaviour each and every day.

Once fear has been unleashed by causes that can be controlled, there is no way to contain the results and consequences of its growth.

It is easy to appreciate that many people now live in fear of Coronavirus.

This fear is and always was unnecessary. It is manufactured and a direct result of what the Government has done.

Fear affects everyone differently. Many will not realise that it affects their outward behaviour and the way they interact with others in what might be very profound ways.

Fear made real on the faces, in the words and actions of anyone who is afraid looks very different from the outside looking in. Outward appearances are rarely what the individual understands they are projecting outwards or is being seen by others on public display.

The anger, abruptness, lack of polite language or rudeness that we are witnessing on the part of the workers who serve or steward us is unlikely to be intentional at all.

Regrettably it is not how it is experienced.

The Social Distancing ‘guidelines’, equipment, infrastructure and the way those with responsibility for policing it at any level behave towards us is influencing the way that we all think.

We are being programmed to think that it is normal to be herded around and treated like an animal and to be viewed with suspicion as if we are guilty without the ability to ever be innocent again.

This is a dangerous combination for us all as a society. Because people are being actively and aggressively conditioned to think that it is ok and quite normal to treat others this way.

The Lockdown was a crazy idea that has caused more harm than good, made worse by politicians who lack vision and are terrified of seeing themselves as being out of control.

But where the impact of the recession, job losses and business closures the Government has caused through their actions will be possible to address with the right attitude and thinking on the part of good leaders over time, the damage that has been and is being done to us all at an emotional level with the irresponsible and unnecessary use of fear as a tool of choice for the Government is a completely different thing.

 

 

COVID-19 has made No Deal a necessity for the UK as the EU clings on to the wreckage of its past

Whilst most people now feel like Brexit was something that happened to them in another lifetime, reality is different and UK negotiators have continued talking with the EU over a ‘trade’ agreement that would come into force on December 31st.

What we learned this week, beyond the 24hr Coronavirus show, is the EU still believes that post-Brexit UK will continue to accept laws and the supremacy of the EU Courts above our own.

Amid the head shaking and hand wringing, it is clear their approach to ‘negotiations’ is to see everything the UK has – or will have – as only ever being a concession from them.

For them, this is not a negotiation about a new relationship where the stepping off point is what’s ours is ours and what’s theirs is theirs. They don’t realise you don’t build an agreement by making set-in-stone conclusions about what will or won’t appear automatically in-between.

There is no point questioning whether the EU missed the point of the 2016 Referendum. They clearly did.

Now, with the world holding its breath awaiting the impact of the financial depression that has been triggered with an inextinguishable gunpowder fuse, their inability to see beyond the EU project is quickly becoming much more trouble than it is worth.

Either the Euro in part or the EU as a whole is likely to collapse as EU Member States realise that their immediate priorities lie beyond political agendas and that for very practical and human reasons, they must have flexibility to make decisions over public and fiscal policy within their own borders. Their futures are best served being alone.

For many EU Member States, the truth is they are tied too closely into the EU through the rigidity of a common currency. It appears impossible for them to go out on their own.

With the German economy being the Euro’s dead man’s switch, it now looks all but inevitable that their response and measures being taken in response to the Coronavirus emergency make it likely the EU will break up or there will be a return to national currencies that will lead to the same thing.

Either way, the building blocks that gave the lie to what has always been about creating a sovereign European-wide Government are in the process of being read the last rites.

With the financial problems and legacy that the Johnson Government has already bequeathed us over only 8 weeks, the last thing the UK needs is to be tied to an EU that is about to create an even bigger financial black hole as it rolls over and begins to die.

The so-called ‘No Deal’ scenario has previously been presented by those whose first loyalty was to the EU as if it were a choice and that it would be stupidity to complete the process of Leaving the EU if there was no trade agreement in place.

But the reality of the post-COVID-19 World is that we MUST put the UK, our businesses and our people first.

Anything other than a simple trade agreement between the UK and the EU will expose us to more problems than we can deal with anytime soon. It will be far more trouble than it is worth.

The Government would be very generous to our EU Member friends if it simply offered a free trade agreement on a take it or leave it basis with no strings attached.

So if the EU collapses the talks before June, they will be doing us a favour that we should thank them for and wish them well for however long it lasts.

 

 

 

 

For the love of God Boris, end the Lockdown now and sort out the mess you have created

Things look messier every day.

This week has seen the Unions rearing their ugly heads as they look to capitalise on the fear of Coronavirus that the Government created as a long list of destructive consequences of the Lockdown marches into public view.

We know our children are losing out.

We know that the Chancellors massive cash giveaway is delaying the inevitable and putting redundancies on ice.

We know that Billionaires have cashed in on the Job Retention Scheme to pay furloughed staff that they could afford to pay.

We know that Governments around the World including ours are pointing the finger of blame for the Coronavirus Pandemic at China whilst falling over themselves to embrace them in financially beneficial ways.

That’s all we can see right now.

You couldn’t write this stuff. As a parody offered to TV, this script would get you laughed out of the office before you could finish your pitch.

Yet this is how our Government thinks the UK should be run.

At the beginning of the emergenc, the only thing that people were actively encouraged to think about was staying at home to stay safe. The Government manipulation worked so well it became inevitable that people would have to be burnt by the fag ends of the Government’s inept policies before they would realise that anything was wrong with what was being done.

Those burns have started to hurt. There are finally questions being asked about what is next to come.

What the very clever people who advise Boris Johnson didn’t understand is you can control the things that cause fear, but you have no control over what fear then does when it reaches the mind.

The fear of Coronavirus that the Government deliberately created in the minds of so many people to ensure compliance with the Lockdown is already out of control and taking on a life of its own.

If the Government doesn’t do all that is necessary to turn the situation around whilst it remains able to do so, the assumed role of leadership against resuming schooling for our children that the Unions and members of the medical profession have taken will merely be a taste of what is yet to come.

The challenge the Government faces is that the Unions are firing shots, but Boris loaded the gun.

As long as the Johnson Government continues to pursue an agenda of control of COVID-19 instead of returning life to its new normal and managing cases of the Virus as, when and where they are suffered as they always should have done, the momentum from fear of Coronavirus can be picked up and run with by whoever decides to try.

Coming clean and telling us all that the Government went the wrong way and that we all now need to live with the risk is the only way that Boris will stop these dogs from barking for a good while to come.

Ending the Lockdown completely and in full right now will not stop the financial crisis that it started. But it will prevent other reckless, self-serving and publicity seeking people who are abusing their position from making the whole situation for everyone else even worse.

It is only by ending the Lockdown and letting us all return to our ‘normal’ lives that Government can begin to address and begin clearing up the massive mess that has it has made.

The best way to start is for Boris to be honest and stop blagging us into a deeper and deeper crisis – as should have been the case right at the start.

Categories: Covid Tags: , ,

Teachers are not teaching our children during the Lockdown as they could and they should

If anything demonstrates just how out of touch and anachronistic the Unions are today, it will be the argument being staged on the front pages where Union Barons want to stop teachers going back to work amid the spurious argument that their Members won’t be safe from Coronavirus if they do.

The Daily Mail carries the headline ‘Let our Teachers be heroes’ which sounds great.

But as the whole Lockdown is being perpetuated on the back of myths the Government and its Behavioural Insights Unit created, it really would be good for everyone if Teachers focused on being the nations educators again.

They could begin by doing everything right now to help children of all ages learn as they can and should.

Parents shouldn’t have to wait for the Schools to return or for a discussion about when it will happen for this headline to be used.

To do so suggests the only thing that makes any employee a hero is if they leave their home and become exposed to the perceived increased risk of catching Coronavirus in a job that pays them and which they applied for at some point by choice.

Oddly, many of the people who would like to be heroes right now don’t have the opportunity that teachers have done since the start of the Lockdown and still do.

Technology like FaceTime and Zoom will allow and facilitate contact between teachers and children to be taught on a level not far short of a universal basis.

Oddly, Private schools are already filling this gap and in many cases offering a complete alternative timetable as they do. But State education is not.

Instead, parents of children in ‘free education’ who should today be in schools across the UK have had to manage the fallout of bored and disengaged children who want to do nothing because the people who need to motivate their academic studies are not available to them even in a basic coaching form.

Their teachers have instead relied on pages of dreary worksheets made available through clever portals that they tell us are a workable replacement for the work and the learning they would receive if they were physically in school.

Yes, some of our kids are motivated to utilise whats on offer to them however weak it might be. Like many other parents, I have one child who is and one who is not.

This damaging replacement for schooling that the Government and media have systematically overlooked doesn’t allow for the significant number of disengaged kids nor those that sit somewhere in-between.

The counter argument is likely be that as there are children (or parents) that don’t have access to the internet or to smartphones, schools cannot give to one or any number if they cannot be certain that they can give to all.

This is a sad, regrettable reality where rights and inclusion have been twisted by activists who have nothing to lose like our children do and have assumed the responsibly to police the workplace and every perceived misdemeanour that is involved.

The outcome is it is always the lowest common denominator in standards or achievements that inevitably comes out on top.

Parents who are desperately doing all they can to keep their jobs whilst working from home are not responsible for changing what any healthy child’s perception of their home vs. the school environment should be.

Home is home. School is school.

The only way to find a happy median in the shitty circumstances this Government created is for teachers to make the best of the situation and get actively involved.

Keir Starmer will not be the man for all seasons that we now so desperately need.

May 14, 2020 2 comments

When Jeremy Corbyn was Labour Leader, Boris looked World class.

That, for Boris, is the only relevant comparison that we have, becuase he and Keir Starmer are two different sides of the same damaged political coin.

With Boris star waning quickly indeed, a new Labour Leader who looks prepared, clinical and unlikely to lose his calm whilst jousting with the Prime Minister at the Despatch Box seems a reassuring sight indeed.

But it isn’t the case.

Sadly we have become used to judging politicians by differences between them that are surface deep. We are not used to looking further at what they represent and what difference they would really make in power.

At a time of National Crisis, set to go from bad to exponentially worse, we really should be clear how different the political leadership of the UK needs to be.

Boris’ moment was Brexit. He did good job of appearing to save something the Establishment had concluded we had already lost.

That Boris found himself Prime Minister owes more to the absence of anyone remotely Churchillian in stature in Parliament, than it does to the effervescent Clown show that was funny at a time when we had to accept there was no choice due to the way our political system is sewn up. Put bluntly, Boris was the best of a very bad choice.

Starmer appears a different beast for sure. He has the mind and experience of a Barrister and the track record of a high flyer from being outside of the Westminster too. His early performances at PMQ’s give the impression that lined up against the UK’s No1 Baffoon, this is a man on a mission who will get things done.

Sounds great. But that’s where the differences stop.

As far as the Establishment and the broken political system that propelled both Boris and the Leader of the Opposition into their roles goes, both are there to pursue their own ends and ideologies.

So as far as the impact of the changes they have the capability to make on our behalf, they are very much cut from the very same perpetually disappointing cloth.

A background in Law running part of the Establishment itself is no qualification for the good statesmanship that we need in a PM right now.

Like everything else, Law has become all about the money, the contacts, gongs and personal gain, rather public service and the assurance of a morally correct framework in criminal and civil law for this Country – as it should be.

Starmers qualification and experience offers hollow promise. The background he has, as all barristers and solicitors who have been elevated to parliament on the suggestion they make good MPs is fundamentally flawed.

They are adept at using the Law and policy to achieve their political aims. But they are not equipped nor have the understanding to ensure that the rules and framework they are using to govern is either morally or ethically right or fit for purpose is any way.

As the UK descends into chaos best visualised by what it would have looked like if the crew and passengers had clapped as the Titanic went down, we don’t have the time or lives to waste on going around the same old political leadership merry-go-round as we have done before.

Keir Starmer is not the man for all seasons that we need as PM.

It’s time to look beyond the usual suspects for the political change that will be required long before 2024 when the people realise that the time is now. 

 

Unions must be stopped from using fear to make this crisis even worse. The problem is they are capitalising on what the Government did first

May 13, 2020 3 comments

In the weeks that now feel like a lifetime since we officially left the EU, an even greater and potentially far more damaging divide has now been crow-barred throughout society than the Leave vs. Remain one that it replaced.

Today the UK is split between Corona-converts who see no value in anything other than having the whole Country led by fear of a very specific and low probability death, and those who want to be trusted by Government to be the adults that they are, to get back to work and to have a life worth living, knowing that they will deal with just another illness amongst many others, if that time should unfortunately come – as it often does.

This divide is the responsibility of Government mismanagement at its worst. Politicians and their expert advisors have rubbed the lamp of the mass manipulation genie to secure their wish of public compliance with the Lockdown. But what they have actually done is opened Pandora’s Box in its place.

Fear is much easier to install in a mind than it will ever be to remove. Like any bad case of confirmation bias or OCD will confirm, repetition and adding detail to the original message will often make it even worse.

What we didn’t need at a time when the Government has dug the Country into a hole that it doesn’t have the vision to get anyone out of is for the Unions to step in and exploit the emotional damage to the National psyche that the manufactured fear of COVID-19 has already done. Then for what are utterly self-serving reasons seek to make the impact of this completely unnecessary Lockdown even worse.

Threats to keep schools closed and now to shut down railways using the spurious suggestion that it isn’t sufficiently safe for their members safety to work, demonstrates that Unions exist today purely on the belief that employment rights are more of a priority than the reason for a service or a business to exist.

Be under no doubt, working conditions today are far better than the members of trade union movements that were genuinely needed a century ago could have hoped for in their wildest dreams.

This action or merely talking it up is malevolence in its greatest form. It demonstrates why the time has come for public policy covering industrial relations and unions in the workplace needs to be reformed with any right to strike being banned. Union barons should no longer be able to exploit opportunities to hurt commuters, parents and children under the dubious claim that they are standing up for something worthwhile when what they are doing is furthering their own cause.

Had the Johnson Government played the Coronavirus emergency the right way from the start, there would never have been the need to face down a difficulty like this that the Country wouldn’t have needed at any time and least of all now.

But because Boris and his Buffoons set the fear-ball rolling in the first place by creating such messages as ‘stay home, save lives’, then underscored it by putting social distancing measures in place that have highly questionable value when in use, it really should come as no surprise to him that the Unions that are the mainstay of his Labour Party opposition would jump at the chance to pick up that ball when it did come loose at the back of the scrum.

%d bloggers like this: