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The Minimum Wage Paradox

January 31, 2022 Leave a comment

The most obvious and apparently most simple way to deal with the Cost-of-Living Crisis is just to put the National Living Wage Rate up, as the Tories have planned for the 2022/23 Tax Year that begins in April.

Most low wage earners will jump at the opportunity to earn 50p an hour more, which works out as £20 extra for a 40-Hour Week and £1000 over the course of the year.

The problem that we now face in this respect alone is that prices of everyday items and energy on their own are likely to swallow up that amount from the pockets of many before the changes have even come into effect.

Whilst a Minimum Wage requirement seems like a very logical rule to have, the rather depressing and counterintuitive flip side of the National Living Wage is that it gives big employers a get out of jail free card when it comes to setting a realistic wage level for frontline roles within their business.

Greedy owners, shareholders and managers – often themselves being paid many times more than their frontline staff – are very happy to use the Minimum Wage benchmark because the Government has set the standard. And it works very well for them because there is an assumed belief that Government control is as far as it goes.

Companies are quite literally using the reference point of the National Living Wage as an excuse not to pay more, when in many cases there is no doubt that they could.

The dilemma is that without the Minimum Wage – as was the case until 1999 – businesses will always pay the lowest paid workers the absolute minimum that they can. They would surely return to this way of employing staff in minimum wage levels were to be scrapped.

Just because employers can get away with anchoring wages around the level of the National Living Wage, it doesn’t follow that they actually should.

Many larger businesses could afford to pay staff more right now by reducing their profits. But as so many of these companies are now shareholder-led, there is an expectation that the bottom line and the dividend payouts will always be prioritised above employees instead.

When the basic wage pays for everything anyone needs without them needing benefits or taking on debt, workers will be happy and jobs that people now avoid will be enthusiastically filled

January 31, 2022 Leave a comment

The Cost-of-Living Crisis that our Politicians and Mainstream Media are now being forced to recognise is a life experience for many that is nothing new.

In fact, it is only because of the current circumstances that the Politicians and the Media have unwittingly encouraged that the situation is now beginning to become acute. The price to survive is starting to touch so many different areas of life, that the establishment can no longer avoid the truth that they find so unpalatable. The consequences of years of self-interest and inaction can no longer be kept out of sight.

Last Friday morning, Interviewers on BBC Breakfast News talked to paid carers and homecare companies struggling to find and provide staff to deliver a service that we may not want to accept that many of us at some point may need daily or perhaps more when we reach later life.

Social Care a political hot potato that is the subject of debate in its own right. But as an industry predominantly led by private profit-making companies, it offers perhaps one of the very best examples of how wage levels for staff in frontline hands-on roles are disproportionately low when considering the purpose that they fulfil.

Indeed, many of those who carry out this work require benefits or what are effective subsidies from the public purse in order that they can both work and survive.

Like many of the roles fulfilled by the people who are now beginning to struggle with the Cost-of-Living Crisis first hand, employed healthcare workers are being paid the Government set ‘National Living Wage’ or Minimum Wage, which from April will be £9.50 an hour, or £380.00 for a 40-Hour working week.

£19,760.00 per year simply isn’t enough for anyone to survive fully independently without support, benefits or going into debt on today’s terms.

There is a very important question that needs to be asked of our politicians: ‘Would you want to do, and would you enjoy doing a difficult and physically demanding job for a whole 40-Hour Week and then go to the shops and realise that food is a luxury that you cannot afford?’

The answer would of course be an unmitigated NO.

Whilst the rather obvious answer we would receive from our current Politicians would be sure to be accompanied by comments about all the benefits that are available to low wage earners to support them, there is another very important question the people ruling this Country should answer all of us too: ‘Why does the situation exist where Taxpayers are topping up millions of wages with benefits so that big and otherwise dysfunctional businesses can profit at levels which in most cases are absolutely obscene, given what they pay their frontline staff?’

Paradoxically, the work and effort that it takes those who are able to achieve wage levels that cover the cost of everything that they need is not something that a great many people really cherish or enjoy.

In fact, the quality of life that simple jobs with fixed hours without excessive travel would offer, would be something that many would choose to take – IF that kind of occupational lifestyle could achieve self-sufficiency with the security that everyone deserves as a minimum to achieve.

Despite what anyone with an interest in maintaining the perverse status and rules that allow all of this to exist will tell you, it is not impossible to change things and create a capitalist-based system where everyone can thrive and enjoy their lives fairly – rather than everything being funneled at the few and being maintained at the cost, expense and pain of everyone else who exists.

It is just a shame that we have a political class that is fixated with its own existence rather than seeing the real ills that society faces as something that can actually be fixed.

Sadly, for us all, in their obsession to maintain their positions, our Politicians have bolted shut the democratic doors.

Right now, there is no way we can get real leaders into Parliament who have the ability, wherewithal and commitment to do everything necessary to make life affordable and fair for all.

We should not risk British lives or resources to fight a war that is not ours in Ukraine today

January 27, 2022 2 comments

The Romans said, ‘If you want peace, prepare for war’. And whilst generations of politicians have ignored this idiom at their peril, its true meaning and the counter consequences of this sage advice are still continually ignored by those who rule us.

Despite the media obsession over Boris Johnson’s Lockdown Parties this week, there is plenty of news coming from around the world and from across the UK itself that should be reaching us all in a much clearer and defined form.

Turbulence within the US Stock & Bond Markets aside, the biggest story that should be getting a lot more airtime, thought and discussion is the massing of Russian Military Forces at the border and the potential invasion of Ukraine – which sources suggest could be about to take place at any time.

The most recent revelations from No.10 have told us much about the way our haphazard Government works. And with this in mind, we should all perhaps be significantly more concerned that behind the saga of the Prime Ministers coming fall and the celebratory ending of Covid ‘Plan B’, the UK has already been sending military equipment to support Ukraine. Further still, that this apparent generosity may be about to be increased with the deployment of UK Military Personnel and Resources to other Countries that Border Russia – if not actually Ukraine itself.

Whilst the rights and wrongs of the debate surrounding whether there is anything legitimate about what the Russians have already done in Crimea and what they may be about to do in Ukraine may already be clear, our Politicians must face reality.  

For years now, Russia and the Chinese Communist Party have been building on their plans to remove or destroy the power hegemony that has been the post-war preserve of the West

Meanwhile, the weak minded and incompetent politicians that we have running the Country have obsessively functioned on the basis that all problems and their solutions revolve around the use or removal of money.

In terms of horizon scanning and watching for the problems that are coming that may affect us right across the World, their self-interested addiction to secure immediate headlines and curry public opinion to get ahead of the polling curve has in effect, left the UK – in many ways – strategically vulnerable and dangerously exposed.

Over the past two years, the way that the Johnson Government has chosen to deal with every problem that Covid and their response to it has created has been simply to throw money around.

Through the execution of a philosophy that looks remarkably like ‘gifts and gongs buy everyone’, the quasi-corrupt approach that has been adopted has only been countered by cuts or reductions in areas of public interest that are away from the media gaze.

Out of sight, out of mind is all well and good if there are no consequences involved. But this and previous Governments from all political sides have been systematically shedding Military personnel and reducing our conventional Military capabilities purely on the basis of what a ‘standing’ Army, Navy and Air Force financially cost.

In the odd moment when some of our better journalists have shed light on this process, we have been deliberately led to believe that the world has changed so much that future wars will only be cyber related. That boots-on-the-ground fighting is already a lost cause.

This delusion is of course one that having non-leaders who are obsessed with headlines, polls and keeping their seats has vacuously created. It does not at any point allow for the certain reality that crippling our infrastructure is only ever likely to be a first step in what could be a war that follows and that real deterrents against future oppression require the presence of realistic amounts of conventional as well as cutting-edge equipment, as well as the presence of trained and ready-to-go women and men who are ready to fight and certainly not pandered to appease the woke.

Yes, the UK could almost certainly rearm and push thousands of young people into military training if we had no choice but to engage in a new conventional war at any time.

But fighting wars is dependent upon a much bigger logistical, financial and political picture before we even begin to consider the realities of our relationships will be affected and what the fallout will be for us with other Countries around the World.

The truth is that because of our hapless politicians we have been caught napping. This is no time to be squaring up to Russia or to China, and especially so when the UK has been taken so very far away from self-sufficiency by their stupidity that the level of politics at play makes it simply too dangerous to risk getting voluntarily involved.

The chances are growing that there will be another war that will involve Russia and China. The reality is that with the questions over Ukraine and Taiwan, it could kick off very soon.

Good politicians would be reading the room as it is – both in terms of what our would-be foes are doing, and as far as our overall military capability is involved.

The picture for the UK militarily today is bleak. It is likely to take years of development and manufacturing to build up our Armed Forces to the capability of both defending the UK whilst also giving us adequate capability to engage meaningfully in conflicts abroad.

With self-serving and fear-driven attitudes and political obstructiveness as endemic throughout public life as they are, the biggest threat to us saving ourselves anytime soon is that we aren’t ready to fight any prolonged conventional conflict.

Until such time as we are, we should be bringing our resources and personnel home, rather than giving the impression to the World that we can and will do anything meaningful to help others – when the reality is that any military engagement now is something that we can currently ill-afford.

By all means Boris, send equipment and weapons to help our Ukrainian Friends – IF we can afford it financially. But don’t go thinking that will have no consequences or possible fallout.

Throwing dead cats around and talking up foreign wars might offer you a fleeting lifeline of protection against the headlines when your political career and legacy is failing.

But like everything else you and this political class have already managed to fuck up, you could be about to open up a door to a very different kind of reality that holds with it a future that none of us are going to like or enjoy anything about.

Boris led the creation of legitimised madness made manifest by lockdown rules. Hindsight and ‘that’s not what I meant’ are no Get Out Of Jail Free Card when everyone else has done the time

January 26, 2022 1 comment

If stories are to believed, our Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie are currently bewildered and have no idea what all the fuss about their Downing Street parties are all about.

Meanwhile the headlines on todays papers tell us that in the face of (just one) possible world crisis, we have lost all sense of proportion. As if it is only now, after two years of Covid and everything before, that it was possible for the Media to realise this is now our truth.

Whichever way you look at the situation the Prime Minister is in, the only conclusion it is possible to reach is that he is unsuited to do the job.

Yes, it would be quite possible to make the argument that his behaviour and actions were the result of his interpretation of the rules that he imposed. After all, interpretation of the rules, regulations and laws is the rather questionable way that each and every part of government and the public sector currently works.

The problem with that for Johnson, is that he is responsible for them. It means that he either didn’t understand them, had not thought through what they would mean for others in practice, or that he simply didn’t care what they would mean for anyone else because its one rule for us and a completely different one for him.

If his overriding or umbrella excuse is that he wasn’t told as he suggested was the case in his interview with Sky News’ Beth Rigby last week, the inference is that he actually doesn’t know or understand any of the rules, policies and laws that have been bludgeoned into being over the past two years whilst he has been PM.

Stupidity is excusable for everyone in situations they don’t have a grip on, or don’t have the experience to understand. But for a PM, MP or anyone for that matter who has actively sought election to a public office and the responsibility to others that goes with it, there is no excuse for not being up to the job.

Policy mistakes made with the right intentions and with full consideration of all the facts are one thing. But blunders made repeatedly and behaviour that demonstrates lack of ability, suitability, motivation and the presence of the integrity essential to carry out the role are another entirely.

Whether intended or not, we have had to live with the Covid Measures that have been imposed upon us by this Conservative Government at varying degrees for the best part of two years.

Many normal people have ‘interpreted’ the rules themselves just so that they could function daily or basically to remain sane.

Yet when ‘caught’ by overzealous public servants who might otherwise have exercised a little more humility in the circumstances – but didn’t because of how seriously we were all led to believe these measures were needed by the media and those at the top, these innocent people were sanctioned with what we all know to have been excessive fines and penalties. All because the public have diligently trusted the competency of the politicians that rule us and not least of all Boris in No.10.

There simply is no excuse for what Boris and those around him have done – or for the many other errors in judgment that those who should have been looking out for us instead of themselves have made. Regrettably, many of these have as yet to become publicly obvious and linked to their ineptitude as the cause.

And herein lies the bigger problem that we face whether Johnson goes today or whenever that might be.

There isn’t any politician in the Cabinet or in Parliament today – not on any side of the Political divide – who will be any different.

Not one of them can honestly say that they will exercise every decision they make either in public or behind closed doors, always  exercising the caveat that the best interests of the wider British Public MUST ALWAYS COME FIRST.

Categories: Uncategorized

Removing Plan B is one thing. Doing away with Border Checks is another

January 26, 2022 Leave a comment

Polarised thinking and its accompanying actions being the measure that they are, for lack of thought, understanding, and generally being open to the idea that none of us either know or are aware of everything, often shows itself rather obtusely in the knee jerk reactions that our current crop of politicians use.

It’s not a good look. And with Boris Johnson still apparently unaware that he is in the middle of the fight for his political life over draconian lockdown measures he imposed that he was not prepared to adhere to himself, it is more than alarming that as we say goodbye to Plan B Restrictions on Thursday, the Transport Secretary is removing all Border Covid Testing as well.

Whilst the Government’s Covid Response, the Covid Measures that it imposed and the behaviour of all of our MPs throughout the Pandemic has been fear-driven and without objectivity, the existence of the Covid Virus has never been in question (even if its origins are).

We should never doubt the trouble that variants of Covid can and will continue to cause until fear has been replaced with practical reality and acceptance, and the illness Covid can cause is treated rationally and proportionally – as it always should have been. For a start, we are not helping ourselves by allowing the treatments, suppressants and interventions that we are being coercively given to be called vaccines when their use is neither stopping the spread of infection or eradicating Covid in any form.

There is a euphoria at work today, being fuelled by our ever-irresponsible mainstream media. One that in its fervour for a return to ‘freedom’ is denying the continued risk from variants coming into our communities from outside of the UK, where it is very easy to believe that the position we are in today with Covid and the variants that we know are in the UK are the same everywhere else.

Things are not the same with Covid everywhere else. And the headlong rush that politicians are now in to get ahead of the tide in public opinion that is turning against them just to save their seats in a future election, is putting the stability that has been hard won through the unnecessary repression of the British People at serious risk.

There was nothing rational about the way the Government responded to Covid, as Boris’ behaviour behind ‘closed doors’ suggests they quickly found out. But neither is there anything rational about trying to pretend that the Pandemic and the consequences from the way that it has been handled are over, and that we can just switch all of it off and skip blithely along the other way.

The damage done by the immoral use of behavioural science to control the general population of our Country by politicians who were themselves driven by fear is very deep indeed.

The mental anguish for individuals and the harm that permeates out from it will continue for a very long time. Indeed, without the arrival of events that touch lives in a way that puts all of the Covid nonsense in practical perspective, we now find ourselves at the whim of potential mass hysteria, each and every time a new variant is found in the UK and then defined.

The uncomfortable truth for many, is that even though our leadership panicked and imposed ‘Plan B’ before Christmas, we were very lucky this time.

We should not therefore, be taking for granted the situation as it currently is. We should be taking every step possible to provide a practical level of security and protection against the external introduction of new variants.

Checking the Covid Status of people entering or returning across our borders from outside the UK is therefore a very small price to pay.

It is very likely that we will live to regret the Tories jump from one polar approach to dealing with Covid to the other extreme – only with the aim of saving their own political necks.

Freedom is hard won and must be protected. The day-to-day freedoms everyone who lives in the UK may be reliant on restricting freedoms that may currently be open but only used by choice and by some of us, so that life can really be returned to ‘normal’ in the majority of other ways.

Levelling Up: Throwing money and shiny gifts at a societal problem won’t change the way people think about each other

January 25, 2022 Leave a comment

‘Levelling Up,’ much like the Cameron Tory ‘Localism’ before, has become one of the Johnsonian Tory watchwords at which the Government funnel every problem outside of London, with a particular emphasis on their forward electioneering across the unexpected 2019 wins across the areas misappropriately named ‘The Red Wall’.

But what is ‘Levelling Up?’ – Do the Tories themselves even know?

On the face of it, the answer to this question is a clear and hearty yes. Yet the confused crossover with ‘Build Back Better’ – which may well be a cynically deliberate move, along with actions such as Culture Minister Nadine Dorries suggesting recruitment at the BBC needed to include more people from working backgrounds instead of using ‘tokenism’ as a recruitment tool when the two things are exactly the same thing, instead tell us that the Conservative Party is clutching at straws when it comes to the question of what real ‘levelling up’ across society is really about.

New infrastructure that improves any community’s way of life, rather than white elephants or the pet projects of out-of-touch politicians that nobody outside of the sphere of government ever accepted as being needed, will always be a good thing.

But the barriers to personal development and the issues of social mobility that come together to tell us that equality in its truest sense does not exist across British society today, cannot be addressed by the quality or existence of a road, railway track or building.

The problems certainly won’t be cured by rejecting left-wing labels for positive discrimination that favor and promote so-called diversity, then replacing it with another set that are only more acceptable because they badge the problem in ways which are more palatable for those on the right wing.

The problems that we have across society; the problems that are stopping people from different backgrounds, races, locations, demographics, sexes, genders or whatever way you want to identify them from ‘getting on’ and achieving a good standard of living as a minimum is simply about the way differences between us are perceived by those with power and influence.

It is a process that exists right from the very start in the way that teachers behave with us as very young children and extends right through every area of life or every activity that prepares us up to how Universities recruit and then how recruitment decisions are made by hiring managers throughout our entire careers.

The ‘discriminatory’ decisions and choices we are talking about here are not the ones that can be catered for or eliminated by rules that are published and made available for reference in any kind of handbook.

These are the innate prejudicial decisions made by those individuals at a level below active consciousness.

They are decisions and choices informed by the prejudices that exist because of personal experience and conditioning. Ways of looking and perceiving the world around us that many people are simply unaware of because they do not self-analyse, reflect or enjoy their reality at the level of self-awareness. And self-awareness is a force for our collective good that in many cases can only be achieved through life experience, rather than it being a skill for life that can be taught.

No, there’s nothing wrong with not being self-aware. But in an age where everything available to us is teaching us that life is ridiculously easy and getting easier all the time, it should come as no surprise that we have a culture where teachers, academics, public servants and even managers across industry mark down, work against or rule out candidates for jobs, opportunities and progression based simply on a feeling or resistance about someone that they do not consciously understand. It is a travesty that they are actively aided to do so by the procedures and rules that years of rights and diversity promotion have created that actively allow bad decisions to be covered up by simply following procedures under umbrella terms such as ‘due diligence’ or ‘good practice’, therefore hiding these inherent wrongs in plain sight.

It is clear that the people who lead us – and by that, I mean the politicians on all sides of today’s political divide – either don’t understand or don’t want to understand the real depth of the problem that faces the UK as far as the realities of anything synonymous with ‘levelling up’ under any political model or leadership is concerned.

This is a reality that should be troubling for us all. It suggests that as a Country and as the Communities that are together part of that Country – right down to our neighborhoods and streets, we are moving further away from a place where people are being actively encouraged to understand and help each other.

It tells us that the measures being taken to address a problem that these people do not themselves understand are quite perversely making the situation worse. And the solutions being touted are at best no more than sticking plasters being applied to what are the ones of many problems that are only effects of a problem that will keep multiplying outwards until such time as we address the actual root cause.

The politicians that we have today are simply not equipped with the ability, understanding or motivation to deal with the problems that we face in a different, meaningful and beneficial way.

Like many of the issues facing society – many of which are interlinked to the issues surrounding real equality in all things, the complexity of the issues and the determination and resolve that it would take just to begin the process of turning this decline in our personal, cultural and community wellbeing around, is just too big for these people to tackle or to risk dealing with – if indeed they do in any way understand.

The seemingly endless march of greed and the reverence for wealth, luxury and money now feel like we are on an unstoppable date with destiny where it will not be politicians, but events that are out of their control which will ultimately turn the tide.

Community and simple living are the key to returning us to a place where we have the values and the willingness to learn about, understand and accommodate the differences that are inherent in all others – no matter how they might otherwise look or be perceived.

This is the real ‘levelling up’.

British Politics is now a land of false prophets where the greatest risk to both our near and long-term future is the willingness to accept everything less than the truth

January 24, 2022 2 comments

We are told that the truth hurts. So, does that mean we will not accept the truth until it has hurt us?

OK, so a question like that as a start to a Blog certainly raises the question where is this going? But in the context of everything that is happening in British Politics today, the answer may put to rest much of the frustration, concern, anger and many other emotions that we experience when trying to make sense of what Politicians are doing, saying and why it feels like it defies any kind of logic that things are now this way. That is IF we think it through.

What many of us either don’t realise or are reluctant to accept, is that the truth is subjective to us all. It is based upon an interpretation of events, based on the journey through them and the outcomes of our own past experiences. It doesn’t automatically allow for the many eventualities relating to those events that could at another time, with different people and if a different place exist.

Our truth is therefore our perspective. So, when we appreciate that our perspective is everything, it is very easy to see why so many of us find it very hard to see alternative perspectives of the same subject or event as offering a version of it that whilst completely different, may be nonetheless just as credible as our own.

We are the sum of our experiences. So, if our truth and perspective tell us that what we see or experience is reality – no matter how peripheral or shallow at first glance it may be, it simply wont matter what the story is that lies behind it may genuinely be, or indeed how different it may be to our perception and just how deep it might go.

Too many people today literally believe anything and everything that makes the most sense to them. They often do so without contemplating their own feelings, emotions or reasoning with whatever is influencing them and is hidden in the detail and what hides in plain sight underneath.

Self-awareness, like critical thinking comes as a premium. Not because so many of us are incapable of being self-aware or thinking critically. But because conditioning and a lack of robust and impartial learning is leaving upcoming generations of younger people disadvantaged. They are literally missing out on key skills for life whilst being equipped with a heady arrogance and view of the world around them that screams the question ‘what the hell is thinking useful for anyway?’

This rueful situation is increasingly problematic and dangerous for us all. It leaves us dangerously exposed to a culture where anyone who is clever enough or who has found themselves in a position of influence is able to polarise opinion, attitudes and the forward thinking of anyone whose life experience or value set leads them to identify with anything as small as just a trigger word. They absorb the truth of others as their own without hesitation whilst throwing the questions like Who? What? Why? and How? into a black hole or abyss, leaving truth to be considered the first thing that subjectively makes sense.

The common trap that accompanies this way of being is to think and believe that anyone who contradicts this perspective or doesn’t add anything to it in a way that makes explicit sense, cannot in any way be right. That they are an enemy of the narrative and that this source of the contradictory narrative must therefore be destroyed.

It might in some ways be of comfort to suggest here that this story I am telling here refers solely to the woke. Unfortunately, the objective reality or wider truth is that it isn’t.

As a society we are now in the grips of an unspoken dilemma with tragic consequences starting to unfold, where we are elevating non-thinkers and a band of absolute charlatans to positions of authority and influence. A vicious circle of negativity is escalating and the presence of these non-thinkers who are riding the waves of their accidental or conjured popularity are simply making what are already difficult and troubling times, exponentially worse for us all.

The problems that we now face are not new by any means. They have been incubating over years and decades. It is events such as the Covid Pandemic that have supercharged both their growth and the detrimental stewardship of the false prophets who already lead us, whilst motivating many of those who would offer themselves as the ‘better’ alternative when it is time for our current anti-leaders to be replaced.

As I write, I am aware that to the reader, an obvious question would be to ask ‘why is your truth, your experience, your understanding better than mine’? I would simply reply that I am not suggesting that it is. I am merely suggesting that we should all look very closely at the people who already lead us or who would like to do so and ask ourselves the question ‘who are the people they actually represent when they speak and use their voice?’

Today I would like nothing more than to see Members of Parliament and the Three Parties they typically represent have a lucid moment. To see and understand the damage their approach is doing as well as what they have already done. Then immediately provide us with representative politics that is fully conscious of and considerate of the whole picture, bringing the realities of cause and effect into the middle of decision making. Putting the law of consequences at the forefront of all of their decision-making work.

Regrettably, life as we know it today simply doesn’t work that way. There is no incentive or reason for anyone who has been getting away with things like our political class and the establishment have been to change direction when they believe that they can continue and just adjust their approach to make it appear different, whilst continuing indefinitely in just the same way.

It really is the case that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Likewise, we should be under no illusion that the populist voices that speak with apparent vigor on social media and the various channels that appear to sit outside the broken system, do sound and seem to speak differently, but they are driven and guided by motivation and outlook which is just as self-servingly insular. They should be considered to be no better than the currently accepted ‘choice’.

Our societal model is broken. Those either at the top or knocking on the door have no investment in facilitating the changes and ways of thinking that will be necessary to fix the problems this Country has and then do what is necessary to make it work.

Honesty and truth can only come from recognisng, understanding and accepting the very basic fundamentals of life. It is a viewpoint that can only be remembered by casting aside all of the non-essentials that we have foolishly come to worship and by returning to a way of living that prioritises what’s really important.

We must find our way to a place where civic model is used only as a glue to bring together that which cannot be addressed by the building blocks and values borne of community and locality; the place where the British society of the future will now almost certainly come into view.

The questions, the answers, the choices, the solutions and the decisions themselves must come from and be fully representative of the people so that we know those who speak for us and represent us are doing so for us collectively and for the right reasons. Not because there is an unseen agenda which may not be dishonest but is nonetheless ignorant of what the majority of us would otherwise want, simply because their thinking has been clouded by the veil of personal choice.

Beware the false prophets that profit from a time where thinking has little value. But rest assured that the events they have helped to create will soon equip us with a very different and beneficial choice.

Categories: Uncategorized

Poverty and hunger will not be addressed in the UK until politics is the means to solve our problems rather being accepted as the end

January 24, 2022 Leave a comment

Balancing news input has become an unwitting challenge for a great many, simply because of how polarised and partisan the mainstream media has become. Whether it be to champion the right, the left or to further the destructive and forceful narrative of wokeness, there is very little that really encapsulates all or does a good job of sitting in between.

The environment that a world of echo chambers creates wouldn’t be quite as problematic in terms of societal problem solving and the legacy that it bequeaths if it were not for the seemingly population-wide absence today of critical thinking skills. The troubling truth is that we are navigating a phase of our history where real life problems are elevated or suffer scorn within the public view, depending on where the story was broken and the following assumption that the readership will be voting one way or another depending on who’s who.

Over the weekend, I read the article written by Jack Monroe in The Observer / The Guardian ‘Were pricing the poor out of food’ (which I cannot link at the time of writing as it appears to have disappeared). Beyond the timeline and list of things that Jack has arguably achieved by drawing attention to the realities of what it costs to eat when you are either temporarily or long-term poor, it was striking just how obvious that for the past decade, a failure to gain real traction in the fight against food poverty in the UK is in no small part because it is a subject championed only by the left.

That this Conservative Government has been out of touch with the uncomfortable realities that people right across the UK face is a given. Not because the Tories are consciously cruel. But because in the minds of the people who write their policies – who are unlikely to have had a free school meal, hand-me-down clothes or even experienced the joys of playing outside in a housing estate street – they genuinely believe that poverty and unemployment are one and the same thing – and the wannabe yes-men that follow them do not have the integrity to question what they are told.

This reality is borne out in the news even now. Public figures such as Chancellor Rishi Sunak champion the number of new jobs created and the number of people back at work, whilst forgetting to mention that the non-jobs that have been created pay the absolute minimum. That the ‘work’ is in all likelihood part-time or similar. Worst of all, that in many cases securing a ‘job’ just creates a minefield for those who were beguiled into signing up as self-employed only to find that overtly reasonable pay also includes all of their expenses and that the real hourly rate is a lot less than anyone can or should be expected to afford.

It’s a brutal reality that the people leading this Country are in a shocking state of denial about the circumstances and experiences of the poor. Their lack of appreciation is bolstered by the self-righteousness they fool themselves with as their head hits the pillow each night, hiding behind measures such as the minimum or living wage; all the time believing that this is as far as the legislative powers of the legislators need to extend in order to make life affordable for all.

At this point, it might be easy to read this Blog as a left-leaning. Labour and all of the left-wing pretenders such as the Liberal Democrats talk a good story about poverty and hunger and the unfolding cost of living crisis too. But their words – and actions – when their time in power has allowed, also shower them with something a lot less shiny than glory and that leaves behind a very redolent cloud.

The solutions the left offer, based on money and levelling down, don’t actually solve or even begin to address many of the wider issues that their own impractical and ideological approach to policy making have created. And this issue today has never been more relevant as we collectively stare into an abyss of what could genuinely become a financial Armageddon where throwing money at all of these problems will not be something that even a new Labour-led government elected in the coming months or years could now afford to do.

The problems which leave people unable to afford the food to feed their children – even if they starve themselves are massively complex in nature.

The cold, hard reality is that giving people more benefits or throwing money at charities such as the Trussell Trust – which really shouldn’t have to exist in 21st Century UK, is no better than coming up with creative schemes and misleading headlines that suggest everything is alright if you are ‘officially’ classified as having a job.

Wilful blindness on the part of our entire political class has contributed to a situation where politics is no longer the means to solve societal problems. Politics is now the end in itself.

The evidence that any good politician needs as the basis to start building the list of questions, the arguments and the recognition of how many areas of public policy are actually involved just to begin the process of dealing with these problems is there for all to see.

Hiding ominously in plain sight is the truth that no one with a public voice speaks and no one with the public gaze upon them will dare open their eyes to see.

We need politicians to be dealing with the questions that arise when people earning the basic wage that they have championed can only afford to live if the public purse continues to subsidise them.

How did this happen?

Why is it continuing?

Who is responsible?

How much do people need to earn to be able to support themselves without help?

When production is now arguably more efficient than it has ever been, why is any food on a supermarket shelf a luxury that one person earning a full-time wage cannot afford?

The truth is that the politicians we have would not like any of the answers to just these few questions and many, many more. That’s why they don’t listen. Its why they don’t look. Its whey they look for quick fixes and highly disingenuous soundbites that are there only to mislead and to hoodwink the very people that they should be helping into thinking that it is a problem of their own making.

Yet the reality is that the people who should and could be dealing with these problems are not.

These are problems that we have elected people to deal with. People who have taken our votes and our trust that they fulfil their responsibilities to us and always put them before their own.

They are there to find and deliver the solutions to the difficulties in life that we cannot do so ourselves – such as making sure that we all have the basics that we need available.

Instead, we have the wrong politicians. Politicians who are in politics for politics sake. And because they are completely unsuited to what they do, we have a situation where the fat and bloated are getting richer and richer, whilst everyone else has less and less whilst even having their status devalued as those in power play games with what it means to be poor.

The future is bright for digital finance, but today’s Crypto Currencies are as worthless as the FIAT money system they intend to replace. Money must find its place and function without misplaced belief:

January 19, 2022 1 comment

Whilst my interests, writing and commentary in the public sphere appear overtly political, I recognised long ago that every part of life feeds into the cauldron of politics. It’s what the more academic amongst us would colloquially call political economy.

Within a highly febrile environment that increasingly makes less and less logical sense, it makes sense to keep an eye on financial and economic commentary online amongst the channels where real news is still available. It is here that the utterly bizarre nature and the cold-hard reality underpinning trends which are affecting the UK and the whole world, seem to have completely escaped public consciousness and any form of collective rational concern.

We are experiencing a period of history where there are so many elephants in the room, it seems incredible that society hasn’t already been completely flattened by the now trampling herd.

That isn’t to say that a travesty of great magnitude isn’t on its way.

Amongst the dangers that 50 years of FIAT Money, its impact upon financial dealing, the markets, normal life and the Bitcoin-driven rise in cryptocurrencies that were supposedly created to counter it is where much of the coming chaos is likely to begin.

Money isn’t real. Money isn’t a thing. But the belief that we have been conditioned to have in it and the obsession we have with material wealth and the way our lives and status can now be measured by it all to facilitate profiteering and greed certainly perpetrates the myth that it really is.

Money is valueless. It began as a unit or practical means of exchange and up until 1971 when money was de-linked with the value of gold, it at least had a form of tangible value attached to it. Even if that tangible value was based on collective mutual trust to the existence of a precious metal in remote form that we all knew as The Gold Standard.

Creating a situation where that assumed trust in there being real value underpinning the transactional notes and coins in circulation was manipulated to allow people believe that every penny that they have in their pocket or bank accounts has a measurable value. However, in practice it has now been over half a century since it was any such thing.

A FIAT or ‘created’ Money system was always going to be open to abuse, once those ‘on the inside’ had figured out how to get any rules and regulations. Over five decades they have consistently influenced legislator change so that they could effectively create more money and malevolently creative systems to generate more of it whenever they liked. The Great Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2008 was just a taste of what is to come and was only perceived as not being worse than it was because Governments created money for the banks and therefore massive public debts for us that there has been a mysterious mainstream lack of will to talk about.

As this perverse system has increased a cultural belief that money is a real thing, with the perception that it is inherently more important than the product, service, employment or output that generated it, a process of addictive gambling has increasingly taken place. Finance houses, markets and central governments too have effectively created more and more money without that money itself having any practical (or logical) link to gold, products, services, employment or anything else. It has created a growing disparity between what people who have bought into the idea believe to be real and what actually exists. In terms of value, people literally don’t know or understand what is real anymore.

It is a system where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer simply because the rich get more and more of the money as it increases in circulation, whilst the money that the poor have loses value against the goods, services and property that have explosively inflated prices that continually remain easily affordable to the rich.

Whilst it doesn’t fit the narrative of the establishment, big business or the financial sector for everyone to understand that money is created as they see fit and that debt is effectively just a means to enslave the unknowing poor, those responsible have used the publics unwitting trust of historically revered occupations to engage in what beyond the safety of the rules they have created for themselves would be recognisable as criminal acts

No one openly talks about any of this, and the mainstream media leave the subject well and truly alone. The truth of what they have and what they are doing sits conveniently hidden in plain sight and anyone who questions it likely to be cast aside and awarded a tin foil hat as they are unceremoniously thrown back into the masses of the great unknowing.

Yet there are increasing numbers of very intelligent, often highly educated but nonetheless ethical people who are becoming aware of the mechanics of how the travesty of what we call money actually now works.

Indeed, it was one such person who saw the value in creating a finite or limited amount of a currency that sits outside of the influence of arguably corrupt central governments, big business and the financial sector. It was this whole sorry story that brought Crypto or Digital currencies into being primarily as Bitcoin and now in different guises that are growing in number daily.

On the face of it, the blockchain technology that underpins crypto effectively means that even the smallest fraction or percentage of one crypto coin or equivalent unit has or can have a unique identification. It appears to give tangibility or reality to cryptocurrencies that money in the FIAT system doesn’t currently have.

Such coding means that if all money were to be in circulation in that same digital form and no other, every coin or part of it could be traced, located and tracked at any moment in time. It is for this reason that our increasingly technocratic and tyrannical governments and the greedy big businesses that influence them are desperate to digitise central currencies and push all of the privately generated versions as we know them aside.

The flaw in the thinking, whether it be a private, untied crypto or a digital central currency run by the government instead, is that blockchain technology gives genuine value to this ‘money’ right down to the most microscopic level.

The reality is that blockchain, like money is neither real nor a thing. No matter how clever, these blockchain derived digital currencies are no more than a reference tool, a label, a system of measurement and like money intrinsically before it, it is no more than a unit of exchange

Tragically the value of both money and crypto today is still based on the same giant myth or a massively overvalued shared belief.

At some point – perhaps within the 12 months from the time of writing, a financial collapse will take place affecting everything that FIAT money has touched or relates to. Money, nor any other form of currency based on nothing other than thin air will continue to exist and the correction that follows as everything in life returns to its unmanipulated value will be a process most painful for those who have made their life revolve around money and material wealth, when they could and should have exercised more considerate concerns.

It sounds very doomsdayish I know. But many of those who lurk daily within the finance and economic bubbles and play or rather bet on the markets know that those with power and influence have now created far too much money – relative to all the goods and output that genuinely exists. Indeed, the patterns and behaviours associated with everything to do with money, how it is made and how it is managed are following little in terms of any kind of logic. They more savvy amongst them know that the figures and data that is available foretells a cataclysmic change.

In terms of corrections, the pendulum is about to swing wildly the other way from where it has been held for a very long time.

The real value of goods, property and output will be realised as it becomes set against the wild speculation and explosive inflation that printing money has allowed.

We are likely to find that money or new forms of digital currency will go right back to their basic function. One that allows what is in effect multiple-transaction bartering of all the things that are necessary for life such as labour, basic food and the things that we genuinely need to live, so that money becomes purely functionary again, rather than being revered as some perverse value store.

It will serve no legitimate purpose for only one form of currency to exist. All forms of currency will become very localised with perhaps umbrella versions that do link to government to allow the payment of taxes and facilitate travel and the movement of goods between different areas.

The reason this doesn’t make sense today is because it is in the interest of those with influence for it not to do so. Yet tomorrow might be the beginning of a new day for us all when it most certainly will.

It is events now that will decide.

Lack of change in London will force laws and public policy to be made from the bottom-up, rather than from the top-down

January 14, 2022 Leave a comment

Between the self-congratulation of the conspiracists and the very distinct sound of die-hard Johnsonist bullshit hitting media and the airwaves this week, we should perhaps spare just a little thought for the apparent no-man’s land in between. The unreported wasteland where the fallout of covid policies and crisis mismanagement across the UK and the World are only just beginning to hit.

Being right – or being proven be right seldom results in anyone being happy. And whilst there are a great many people running around thrusting the front-page news that Boris has been properly skewered by a party of lies into the faces of those who have celebrated the Pandemic, the truth beyond all of this is that ‘I told you so’s’ are not going to change the Government. They are certainly not going to change anything that has already happened or will inevitably now happen as a result of dishonesty in No.10.

There is a serious debate to be had about the circumstances in which a lie or mistruth is acceptable on the part of any Country’s leaders and the times when self-interest of the speaker almost certainly rules that it is not. The line between what is right for that leader and what is right for everyone is multilayered and egotistically thin-skinned after all.

Whilst there are a growing number of anti-Lockdowners who would like to see all of those responsible for all the suffering that MPs and public servants caused with covid measures punished in some way, it seems that almost everyone is continuing to willfully overlook the real truths of the economic and social tragedy that is now beginning to unfold. A crisis likely to be of such great proportions that even Boris having a lucid moment resulting in open humility and a change in the way that current Government Policy is being made could make a difference to at least some in the alleviation of the pain that is coming for all.

NOBODY has grasped the magnitude of the cost-of-living crisis that is on its way, despite the reality that it is beginning to meet everyone as they go about their daily lives, buying coffees and sandwiches that are costing 5-10% more than a week ago wherever they are sold. We will not have to wait until April and the impact of the massive energy price hikes to know that trouble is on its way.

NOBODY is recognising the reality that unless we are insulated by the massive salaries, savings and incomes that have come to the few by exploiting us, we are noticing the changes in what it is costing us just to survive. Yet like an antithesis of the arguably immoral covid narrative that has repeatedly hurt us all, we are led to believe that this is just a problem we are experiencing alone, simply because the media has so far failed to make the right call.

NOBODY is looking beyond the safety of their own bubble and experiential thinking to see that the impact of each and every decision that the Government has made has already had very different and potentially far-reaching consequences. That no matter how just or correct our own personal or group-related views might be or what we see as the solutions to the problems as we believe them to be, this is isolationist thinking at a majority level that will only continue to hurt us all.

Neither Parliament, the Political Parties that make it up, or the many would-be political movements and groups that wish to be there are even touching the fuse that will trigger the critical mass essential to take public opinion away from the obsessive perception that what is good for me will be good for all, and replace it with what’s good for all will always be good for me.

The current way of thinking, working and doing – that makes it seem acceptable to lead the UK by telling all of us lies, has been welded in place by the existence of a political system that prevents access to independent, outside-the-box and genuine leadership thinking, working and doing at the very top.

With it being increasingly clear that there is no will within any part of the political system to embrace change so that all public policy is driven and influenced in a wholly people-centric or community-centric way, it may soon prove to be the case that this very denial of where real power lies will lead to that power being used and asserted by people and our communities in a very different way.

Whilst lip service has regularly been paid to the ‘concept’ of localism by politicians from all sides, public policy has continually been driven in the opposite way.

Even the arrival of metropolitan and regional mayors, police and crime commissioners and a push to merge local authorities is nothing more than political centralisation. It is part of a process that has served to take power further away from local people and community influence, by using the lack of knowledge and understanding that the majority of us have of how government really works cynically against us. It uses the promise of decentralised decision making to cover up the fact that it is taking away the much more local forms of decision making that have traditionally existed, but have already had their real power and influence sucked out and repatriated to the Westminster blob to such an extent that very few of us even know that they even exist.

The circumstances that have been created by years of political mismanagement based on self-interest, and the exponential speed-up of the whole process created by the measures implemented to tackle the covid pandemic that never needed to be used, are contributing to a coming collapse and will inevitably change the way that just about everything works.

A crisis is coming that will force everyone to reevaluate what is important in life. People will again value everything local and community driven like none of us alive today will have experienced at any time or in any way before.

Top-down politics and public policy making from London by people who do not understand or appreciate that we are all human beings with real lives simply isn’t working for us anymore.

Without massive and wholesale change across Government and the Public Sector, this model, paradigm or whatever you want to label this perverse system is likely to become redundant for the masses in what we see as its current form.

Local people will soon realise that both the Central and devolved governments and the planners who create policy have only been able to do all the things they have done with what many don’t value as being their own blind consent.

People will take that power back in order to be able to function and survive in a new, post-covid world. A world where globalisation in the sense of physical travel and the transit and production of material goods is at an end.

We will remember – and be revitalised – by the acceptance of what we will see as a new level of personal and community responsibility for governing our own lives – and creating happiness. All in ways that past generations and our ancestors used to do so, before greed and selfishness made doing only that which we need to – rather than doing whatever we like because we can – a lost cause.

Categories: Restoring Democracy
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