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No Rishi: You and Your Party created this unmanageable National Debt. It’s time for YOU to own it and live up to the responsibility you coveted before more lives and businesses are needlessly destroyed on a whim

If you believe that the Johnson Government has handled the COVID pandemic in the best way it was possible for anyone to do so, please Please PLEASE think again.

No, I’m not laying out a stall to argue the merits or the wrongs of Lockdowns, social distancing, vaccinations for everyone or zero-COVID as an impractically myopic cause. All of the questions that exist covering the unnecessary whys will continue to grow in number and the answers will most likely be provided as the consequences unravel around us all over time.

With talk and media attention now refocusing and pointing towards tax rises and the public policy changes that might begin to tackle the phenomenal National Debt created by the Johnson Government, it is becoming increasingly important for people to know and understand that even if lockdowns, social distancing and population-wide vaccination were the only way to tackle COVID, the people who have been unable to work and the businesses that closed or had significant loss in turnover, could have been supported in a much simpler, more intelligent and more considered approach. One that would have been equitable and fair to everyone, but above all would not have created either the level of National Debt or the otherwise unimaginable situation where workers furloughed on ‘free money’ understandably have no desire to return to doing the work the Johnson Government has been paying them not to do.

At a time of national crisis, we have a right to expect that the people we elect to make decisions and act on our behalf will do so in the best interests of everyone – not just themselves.

People who have attained and actively coveted the level of responsibly that not only Ministers but all MPs have, should either possess the experience or understanding to reach high level decisions, or know how to bring all of the right people and different interests together so that all of the pertinent information is made available to them and solutions can quickly and efficiently be put together that will be beneficial to all whilst working in the best interests of everyone.

What we got when the Johnson Government response to the COVID pandemic kicked off in March 2020, was a ‘pic n mix’ or ‘pin the tail on the donkey’ approach. We have a Prime Minister and Chancellor who were simply not up to the task and were driven not only by their own self-interest and fear, but also that of the civil servants and advisors surrounding them. The net result was that with both eyes on legacies and the result of the next election, our so-called leaders simply picked up and ran with the most obvious solutions that worked for them, rather than first working the consequences for everyone else through.

They then backed this travesty of absent leadership with a dangerous narrative that even now they refuse to step back from. One that has destroyed lives and livelihoods without any reason at every step along the way.

In response to the financial and economic issues created directly by the lockdowns they chose to impose; the Government should have imposed a parallel and universal shutdown of the monetary or economic system. One where people and businesses that suddenly found that they were unable to service bills and expenditure through no fault of their own, would have no obligation to make debt payments or meet service charges for anything non-essential that they were not using for as long as needed – with Government stepping in to underwrite the cost and provision of services that are essential for life.

The only need for direct financial subsidy for ANYONE either without or with a reduced income would then have been the weekly cost for an individual and their dependents to be fed and for their basic needs to be met. A figure substantially less than the free cash payments that have now been made and already add up to £60 Billion in Furlough payments alone.

Those key workers able to continue working on the frontline to provide products and services that are essential and are for the benefit of all would have had the de factobonus of a payment holiday on all of the big living costs such as rent, car payments or mortgages. This would have been a very fair and equitable way to reward those continuing to work throughout the pandemic without favour and give them a proportionate and timely thank you for all they have done.

The impact and consequences of the choices that the Johnson Government made, are already far-reaching indeed. It just doesn’t appear to be that way as lack of meaningful media coverage means the real-life disasters that are already unfolding don’t sell news and will not see the light of day.

The impact and scope of the problems that eighteen months of lockdowns have caused at individual, community and social levels, came about through a complete lack of consideration for the consequences of the financial measures that the Chancellor imposed upon UK businesses. Such measures and the decision-making processes that underpinned them could only have come about as either the result of a mixture of stupidity and complete ignorance or by deliberate, malignant design. Neither demonstrate an acceptable way for a democratic UK Government to perform and raise many questions about the quality and suitability of the politicians we have.

To say or believe that nobody else could have done a better job or have done anything differently simply isn’t true.

Many were aware, right from the beginning that the choices being made by Government were flawed, based entirely on the wrong motivation and ideas, and that there were alternative ways to handle all of the problems that Covid created, rather than the approach that Johnson and Sunak have taken, facilitated by a Parliament full of MPs who should have understood what was going on and intervened much earlier on.

The size and magnitude of the problem the Johnson Government has created is so big and so far reaching that the consequences have not even hit many of us yet.

Without us being aware, much is already changing economically behind the scenes and the inevitable ‘new normal’ is yet to come. It will not look like anything we have seen in living memory before.

Some are already suggesting that financial burden of the Johnson Government’s handling of COVID will be placed in the hands of future generations, many of whom have yet to be born.

But the debt that is still being ratcheted up is so big that when the impact and consequences of what these unwitting totalitarians have done have been fully manifested, it will become painfully apparent that the economic system as we know it is done.

The way of doing things economically, financially and with money as we have been – whether consciously or not – can no longer go on and will cease to exist.

The UK might have been better positioned to weather the coming storm and deal with the fallout from what will be the significant financial and economic crisis that the Johnson Government has wilfully engineered, had it not been the case that governments around the World have acted in very similar ways.

The behaviour of our supposedly skilled worldwide leadership has given credence to the very strange and dangerous philosophy inappropriately named the Great Reset by the World Economic Forum – a wholly quixotic and dangerously impractical set of proposals that will only become prescient if people continue to behave and respond like the whole thing is a done deal.

Trying to explain the unexplainable to so many frustrated, bewildered and disenfranchised people who are now looking for answers – as less and less of what the Johnson Government does appears to make sense, leaves many vulnerable to the influence of conspiracies. The idea that there is some great plan at work to enslave society and put us all under the yoke of some Orwellian regime only becomes the dystopian nightmare we fear if we make that idea real.  

In truth, many of the things that Ministers are publicly saying and doing are fuelling this myth. Yet the truth is far more mundane.

Politics in the UK has become the preserve of the ambitious and of those seeking glory who have no care nor consideration for anyone but themselves.

Politicians have become self-styled wordsmiths and the manipulators of truth. They have reached far into the dark art of behavioural science to terrify and control normal people, whilst telling us that they are our saviours and that they and only they are the ones to get things done.

Real people, in an increasing number – if not already a majority – are now in the position where they cannot afford the lives that they already have.

Burdening us all with an horrific level of National Debt that we simply do not possess the means to service without further sacrifices that we cannot afford demonstrates a level of detachment from real life and day-to-day reality on the part of the political classes that is at best breath-taking and at worst borderline criminal to say the least.

The UK was already heading for massive financial problems before the COVID pandemic arrived. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and Neoliberal Policy has been the cause of much of the financial inequality that already exists across society.

Such theories are treated like they are a saviour by Rishi Sunak and his Advisors. Yet the impact of a philosophy or set of ideas that suggest the markets will look after everything if they are allowed to function on their own with minimal regulation would be a wholly inappropriate and misguided approach to managing the affairs of a country in peacetime. It is certainly not the way to lead us through any kind of national crisis and certainly not for fighting any kind of war – as tackling the Covid pandemic has been likened to by those seeking to big up their leadership credentials and prowess.

The real reset, reboot, redrawing or revaluation of everything that has become necessary is not one that self-serving, self-absorbed politicians and ambitious would-be leaders who have no respect for others can control. Even if for a period of time it looks and feels like they can.

The financial system that we have and the ideas that underpin it are completely broken. The Johnson Government’s mishandling of the financial response to the COVID pandemic has speeded up its destruction. Their actions are now shedding light onto just how poor and damaging the consequences for everyone are from a system that champions and promotes financial interests and profit above all else.

Money has no intrinsic value. It is a unit of exchange, nothing more. It is certainly not a thing, nor the ‘god’ that its use as a reference point for the value of everything suggests that it has now become.

If money were real, governments would not be able to print it or produce it in the quantities that they have done over the last 18 months – seemingly without consequence. Yet we are seeing money appear out of thin air.

Everything will have to be revalued, but not just in financial terms. It must be for the benefit of everyone and certainly not the same old few.

There is an ethical or moral deficit present within the whole of government and the financial system that itself needs to be completely and comprehensively reset. We can no longer continue on a pathway where those in power at any level within politics or business make decisions and act not because they have questioned whether it is right or wrong to do so, but simply because they can, and it serves their purpose to do so.

Indeed it is ironic that the actions of many businesses to now push up prices post lockdown to ‘make up for what they have lost’ – not because they should, but because they can – could easily prove to become the inflationary catalyst that will bring the whole house of cards down.

The decisions that must be taken to achieve the change that will address the massive societal and systemic imbalances on our behalf will be the responsibility of the Government, the Ministers, the MPs or whoever leads and runs this Country when that time comes.

However, it would be better for us all if the decisions were taken now and before any more damage is done. That way, many of the additional problems that normal people are going to needlessly face can be prevented before they even begin.

This would certainly require Rishi Sunak to choose to own his decisions now, rather than offload them or project them onto a public suffering with crippling financial fatigue.

As this class of politicians is responsible for creating many of the problems that we face, it is only fair to expect them to step up and fulfil the requirements of the responsibility that comes with the jobs they wanted, before inaction and ineptitude causes more damage than our society can sustain.

Wake up call: Chesham & Amersham shows us that ALL these political parties can be beaten, whilst reminding us they are fundamentally the same

Perhaps the biggest problem that exists in and because of the media age, is the perceived need on the part of those who see themselves as having a platform, to keep talking at their followers, even when for the majority of time their text, comments and conversation have the residual value of hot, rancid air.

In an age where critical thinking is at a premium, simply because what should be a media age life skill isn’t taught in schools, the vacuous bullshit that is constantly presented as an authority view certainly plays with the minds of the vulnerable. There’s as much of it as there is grass and when it exists at every turn what is there not to believe?

This isn’t just about the ‘woke enlightenment’. The oft unconscious and hollow philosophy that opinion supersedes fact dwells omnipresent amongst the realms of the mainstream pundits. The very same commentators and pollsters who have this week been falling over themselves to outdo each other with their predictions for the fate of the Conservative Party, based purely on their ‘loss’ of the Chesham & Amersham parliamentary seat to the Liberal Democrats in talk of red and blue walls.

The suggestion that this By Election result can foretell what will happen next is both laughable and dangerous. Both the political class and the commentariat facilitating them is completely divorced from reality.

Normal people are far too busy trying to make the best of lives that this system of Government and the stupidity that drives it to focus on what the politicians really do. The establishment has turned living for many into nothing less than a life, death or penury-inducing obstacle course, where the temptation of escape by committing crime is thrown in just to pile the pressure on a population which is being set up to fail by its leaders. There simply isn’t the time, nor the motive to even attempt to appreciate just how little the establishment really understands about real life, what real inequality looks like and how an inept political class fuels it to exist.

The devil is quite literally in the detail and the amount of detail that ‘experts’ and ‘specialists’ are throw at us. They call it ‘science’, but science is itself only as up to date and reliable as accepted contemporary thought.

The pundit-induced complexity of the result in Chesham & Amersham, the voting swing and the shock of the result makes it all seem very real. Yet all this result proves is that even the safest of parliamentary seats can be lost, depending only upon what the people of that constituency feel and think on the day when the polls are open and electors consider how or if they will even vote.

People will always vote through the lens of their own experience, whether they are looking outward to the world or inward towards their own bubble when they do so. Whilst the political class may do everything in its power to manipulate what the people outside of the Westminster bubble see and understand, politicians have little or no control over anything the public thinks. It is more often than not little more than a happy coincidence that with the creation of so many different narratives, there will be a glimmer of truth somewhere amongst them that resonates with real life and the base fears that drive it in some way close enough way to give one set of politicians the edge over what any of the others say or do.

It would be easy to throw political and electoral history on to the table and present it as conclusive evidence that the thoughts of people can be controlled even when they don’t want to be controlled. Yet the truth is that ‘it’s not what you say, it’s what people hear’ and even the lowliest pleb or member of the lowest classes that the establishment look down upon has the capacity and ability as an elector to choose based on what they know about the world and how they see it.

Whilst they may be glad-handing themselves, knocking elbows and smashing down toy walls made of blue bricks to celebrate ‘their’ success, the Liberal Democrats are not offering anything different to the Conservatives or any of the other current selection of Political Parties that they want to replace. But the different wrapping and their way of speaking was different enough to look like an alternative when it came to last Thursday when it was time for the people who really matter in Chesham & Amersham to make their choice.

For lockdown sceptics and the increasing number amongst us all who are aware that the real fallout from the last 18 months is yet to hit us from what this whole political class have done, the Chesham & Amersham result should be taken as evidence that with the right approach, motivation and support, the next general election result is by no means in anyway certain. A genuine alternative to the political clowns that we have in charge now would gain the support of the wider electorate very quickly. And if it did so, after the next General Election, it would have the ability to turn all of this mess around.

Regrettably many people think that change is as simple as changing other people’s minds about what they think. Yet the Chesham & Amersham By Election result is a textbook example that shows this is all the current crop of out-of-touch politicians does.

People want to live and experience their own truth. Not one created only to benefit others. All an alternative party or group needs to do to be taken seriously is focus on shining the light of truth across enough areas of life to create the emotional feeling that is commonality and a shared purpose. One that makes sense of what’s happened but dares to inspire a belief that things can be better only by embracing change at a personal, community and national level. The workable and considerate alternative to what we have now and will continue to receive from all of these Political Parties based on the mantra that life is too complex for normal people to be trusted to understand,  that politicians are the only adults, what’s best for them is best for everyone, and that it is not only ok but now necessary for them to use fear as the way to remain in control.

A Humpty-Dumpty Heat Pump Policy is yet another act of an out of touch Government risking the success of alternative and workable environmental policies that we could actually afford

May 28, 2021 1 comment

In 2007 when I was first elected as a Borough Councillor, one of the first things that I did alongside my newly elected political colleagues, was to push our newly in control Conservative Group to overturn the Councils Standing Orders for its recently approved Recycling Policy. One that didn’t consider the practicalities of the service and worst of all, simply by-passed consideration of what would be the experience of residents as end users.

I recall the look of horror on the face of the Group Leader now. But as we had all campaigned and successfully won our seats with a pledge to introduce a Recycling Scheme that would encourage uptake by making it easy and practical to use, we made it clear that there was no going back from rejecting the Scheme that the last Administration had planned.

What was clear to me, right from when I first began running and designing services for public use – is when you are literally requiring people to change their behaviour the service or product must be easy and make sense for them to use. More importantly still, it MUST offer a perceived improvement and benefit to the user in relation or comparison to what they already have.

One of the biggest mistakes not only politicians, but also many new entrants to business make, is to assume that just because ‘you get it’ and the way your idea works makes perfect sense to you – usually because you already have ‘the background’, that everyone else will simply ‘get it’ AND embrace it too, the very moment that it leaves it’s place on paper and then materialises into real life.

The problem is that people don’t just ‘get it’. And in this case I am only talking about the circumstances where a service is perceived as being ‘free’ to the public or end user. As such it has no directed or calculable financial cost to the end users involved.

The Government’s rapidly evolving policy that will force everyone to begin using Heat Pumps is very different. It certainly makes little sense.

Despite the aggressively optimistic timescale for implementation – which will be either positive or negative, depending upon the ‘green’ views you might have – the shocking reality is that this is a public policy set to cost households a minimum of £10,000.00 – that is itself likely to become ridiculously scalable by the time any law comes into force – and that’s before considering the cost-of-living crisis that people face today being involved.

At a time when the real impact of this Government’s Covid policy of forcing loans and debt onto countless small businesses to ‘survive’ Lockdowns has yet to manifest, it really is quite extraordinary and straight into the realms of the ridiculous for the Government to adopt a wholly idealistic, impractical green policy that is already unaffordable to the majority of the people who it will be forced upon.

Governments will never succeed by forcing through quixotic policies that are neither practical nor affordable for normal people, or do not offer an experience or resultant improvement in quality of life.

The Heat Pump plan is at best a leap backwards from the systems that we already have.

Imposing Heat Pumps at exorbitant cost, with technology that won’t keep people anywhere near as warm, and with practical or physical requirements that might mean the sacrifice of entire rooms – right in the middle of a housing crisis – goes way beyond the sacrifice that any sensible, realistic and thought-through public policy can demand of us.

With technology improving at the rate it is, it is well within reason to expect a Government working for the genuine benefit of the people to design and implement other policies that will not have such regrettable impacts upon the life experiences of others. It is likely that we will very quickly arrive at a point where people will willingly embrace and champion a greener alternative to what we have in our houses today, simply because it works properly, it doesn’t impact or intrude upon life any further than the time it takes to fit and learn to use, and it is something that even the poorest homeowner can afford.

It’s not as if this Government doesn’t have the means or the compunction to use nudges and behavioural insights to get people to accept changes that can be made without financial or lifestyle cost right now. ‘Save the NHS’ is all the evidence needed to understand that there are already seasoned specialists on the establishment payroll who could be using their skills to do something good for everyone in the long term – which is after all what their pseudo-science is supposed to be for.

Sadly, we do not have politicians or leaders in Government today who have the life experience that public representatives should have that would allow them to understand that how life should be and how life actually is are two very different things. There is a massive gap in time and space to be journeyed through between them both that contains a plethora of incalculable factors, impacts and consequences.

Imposing green environmental policy in this way is at its best demonstrative of a puerile view of the world. One that focuses on everything that looks wrong and demands immediate and radical change to address it.

Simply no allowance is ever made for the processes necessary to gain the real understanding of how different people in this Country live, even though it would result in politicians becoming better and more appropriately informed.

We should be able to expect more of our Government. But we are currently stuck with a whole political culture – spearheaded by the Conservatives, which has adopted idealism of one kind or another as part of a self-centred and selfish approach to public representation.

Our politicians have no respect for the laws of cause and effect or the realities of consequence. The Government has already been racking up disproportionate and unmanageable debts under the guise of doing what’s necessary to get us through the Covid pandemic.

Yet before we have even reached the point where normal people become aware of what this mismanagement will cost in the long term, the Government plans to saddle us with unnecessary and avoidable personal debt on the basis of an impractical whim that could end up making every aspect of life green. But equally something that the majority of us can no longer afford.

Great British Railways: Yes Minister, you can change the wrapping, but that won’t remove the structural rot and make rail travel the public service it should be for us all

Before anything else, Railways are a public service, and it is important to recognise what a public service really is or should be.

Public services are the essential services that every member of society should be able to access so that they have the same essential opportunities that everyone should have in life. Public services are usually run by Government or the Public Sector for the benefit of everyone. Either alone or collectively public services are run on the basis that they will provide universal access for the public to the service or services they provide. The master that calls the tune of public services should always be the public itself. One of the key reasons public services are in public hands is the intrinsic truth that providing a universal service means that provision in some locations will be cost effective and in some locations it will not. Public services are run objectively, not subjectively in the way that profit-led services are. Public services are created, maintained and developed for the benefit of us all.

The drive to privatise public services in the 80s and 90s has proven to be one of the Conservatives most destructive steps on the pathway to making the basic building blocks of life unaffordable for the poor.

A series of privatisations like British Telecom and British Gas were sold to us as an opportunity for normal people to take ownership of the services that are provided for us all.

Yet the decision to sell off public services was based on a flawed economic theory expounding the principle that free markets left alone to regulate themselves would ultimately look after and support us all.

The privatisation of public or municipally owned bus companies and franchising of the Rail Network was fundamentally the same. Despite the heavy element of government subsidies being paid even now, the result has been the changing of service priorities from public service to private profit, and that has had implications for us all.

The neoliberal approach to policy and public ownership adopted under the Thatcher regime was the toxic part or downside of the 1980’s Conservative legacy. It created a ticking time bomb that is now in the process of going off with an explosion of implications that are there for us all to see.

Public services are always cut or reformed with an inevitable loss of quality when they fall into private hands, no matter the promises that are made when the process is underway to sell them off or award them to contractors to run. Government subsidies do not matter and in all likelihood make the situation worse as they’re just a way of transferring wealth directly into shareholder hands.

British Railways are at a crossroads where the COVID pandemic has precipitated a steep fall. With private rail operators literally handing contracts back, the situation has literally forced government hands.

The solution that Transport Minister Grant Shapps is now giving us, is the creation of the ‘new’ Great British Railways brand.

Yes, the packaging may take on the look and appearance of a restructure. But the action taken by this Government will do nothing to address the institutional problems embedded within the UK railways system and the way it is operated.

Politically speaking, this is not just a Conservative problem. Labour are historically up to their necks in it too.

Employment rights, an unworkable zero-risk approach to safety and the working time directives that left wing progressives have pursued at every turn created an institutional problem for all public services and the structures of government. The focus on staffing conditions rather than the services they offer has made staff too expensive to afford under ‘public management’ and made a significant list of problems that an organisation as big as the UK rail network faces significantly worse.

Throw into the mix the self-serving influence of union barons, that is no better than the greed and profiteering of greedy bankers at its absolute worst and you have a recipe a disaster, rather than there being any sensible kind of choice when the whole system falls into disarray.

No government or politician can fix the problems that the railways face without addressing all of the different areas of public policy which have influence on the situation leading to the railways demise.

Lack of understanding of how railways and all forms of public transport function and operate has become an endemic flaw within the foundations upon which public transport policy is now made.

For instance, HS2 was never needed in the form of a completely new and separate transport infrastructure. Not when the real questions facing the railways and its management only extend to infrastructure when station capacity and the turnaround of trains at terminus stations in Towns and Cities like London is involved.

Throwing money at the Railways or simply restructuring them will not address the problems that need to be solved.

There is nothing to be gained by either renationalising the railways or continuing to attempt to run this vital public service by placing it in other private hands. 

Until such time as our politicians are big enough and prepared to enact the reforms and development of public policy that will facilitate public ownership of public services to run in the best interests of everyone, Rail services should be placed into the hands of non-profit making trusts. Our Railways should be run as a business by ethical, commercially experienced managers and executives who are motivated to run public services in the most efficient and professional manner and without the expectation that has become endemic throughout the public sector that executives don’t have to worry about income and how they provide value to customers, because their wages will always be paid.

It sounds like a tall order. But this is not something that is impossible to do. It just takes imagination and politicians leading us who have the will to do it, rather than concentrating and focusing on only doing whatever avoids the problem and at the same time makes them look good.  

SPOILER: This Government and its policies will not be stopped democratically before the next General Election. WARNING: Work on a credible alternative must begin now or the UK will elect the same thing again

To Lockdown Sceptics, dissenters and everyone with misgivings about what this Government and the establishment is doing and has done:

It doesn’t matter how right you feel or how right you might be. The Government is not listening to you and will not listen to you.

To do so would be to allow a light to shine upon the misjudgement and ineptitude of an entire political class. To respond and act differently would be to openly admit to the World that they are neither fit for the office they have and are incapable of fulfilling the roles in which they serve.

You may have watched the film The Big Short and seen the portrayal of Mark Baum in the run up to the Global Financial Crisis. Baum couldn’t understand why nobody was listening or acting to prevent what he and his colleagues could see happening. They saw business carry on as usual as increasing numbers of people lost homes and the finance system was about to go over the edge. They faced the massively unsettling reality that everyone who could do something had their heads buried in the sand. People with the power to act either kept the narrative going to help cover up their own actions or to keep receiving the benefits from the position of power or influence they had.

The similarities between what happened leading up to the 2007/08 Global Financial Crisis in the United States and what is happening now in the UK as a result of the way this Government has handled COVID and built its response around Lockdowns is startling indeed.

Similar because there is an establishment narrative at work in the UK today that was set in motion the very moment that Boris Johnson closed down the Country telling us that it was to ‘protect the NHS’.

That narrative has continued ever since. It has led to bad decision after bad decision as the fallout and consequences of each bad decision has in turn had to be explained or countered in some way.

One lie leads to a thousand more. For the Government to admit the truth by dealing with events any differently to how they have been doing so or by changing direction to where things should really be, would be the same as admitting that Lockdowns, the use of behavioural manipulation, social distancing, the money they have spent and many other things they have done were wrong.

You can be reasonably certain that most MPs by now understand that the decisions they have made or have facilitated through their own inaction have bolted the accelerator of the train to the floor, whilst the Government’s inordinate spending has broken the brake lever clean off. The only question remaining is whether the wheels will still be attached as the UK flies off the end of the line and goes over the cliff with all of us still aboard.

Like some demented Mr Micawber having a moment, the Government and the members of the political class that underpins it are falling over themselves to keep this destructive narrative going in the forlorn hope that ‘something will turn up’. They are literally betting the house that events will somehow play out to the end in their favour, allowing them to leave a legacy in the history books telling future generations that they were always in control.

To say that what they are doing and what they have done is the height of irresponsibility wouldn’t even begin to cover it. But this Government and this insidious culture of politicians that are just like them will continue to ride roughshod over our future, right up to the moment that we give an alternative government and form of leadership the majority of our votes.

Yes, there really is nothing you can do to change what is happening right now. That’s not the way that the British Political System works.

Yes, you could create and engage in mass civil unrest. But its success would destroy the existing system, when it’s not the system itself that is the problem. The problem within the system is the quality and motivation of the politicians that we choose.

Yes, the destruction of the system may sound very appealing if you recognise the damage this Government has already caused. But the risk to us all is what could emerge from the inevitable mess and chaos that comes from bringing down Government in this way. The resulting form of Government is even less likely to be one that would work in our best interests. It is very unlikely to be one we have the opportunity to choose.

The power we have to change things is in this moment. The power to change everything that government does has to begin with us changing the things that we have control over today.

We may have only two years or 24 months to wait to the next General Election which could come in May 2023. If the wheels of the train fall off sooner, the wait could be even less. We must be ready if it does.

When the next General Election comes, we need a political alternative on the ballot paper in each and every Constituency that is not only credible but understood and supported by the majority of voters who will be looking for change that they can trust on that day.

That alternative will not come by waiting for someone else to do the work for you or by thinking it is enough just to get onto social media, pick up likes and followers and keep telling everyone how it is.

We all need to begin thinking, acting and behaving like we are already the next Government in waiting. We should be taking every opportunity to share our experiences with others, to exchange ideas and above all, listen to the stories and life experiences that others from all backgrounds are ready and willing to share.

The things that we have in common with each other far outweigh the small number of differences that appear to separate us.

By building a network and conversation that engages the public without the need to always be in the public eye, we can quickly become and be the alternative that the UK, our communities and the people that we care about need.

Bad government is not our destiny. It is our choice.

Change begins with a conversation. Have you thought about what you can do to create A New Party for All?

UK self-sufficiency and localisation of food supply chains from British Farms should now be the Government priority. Not vanity-led trade deals that undermine them

Globalisation as we knew it before the age of Lockdowns is over. We may not feel it, understand it or in most cases even see it. But the World has been changed by the chain reaction that was set in motion by the COVID Pandemic.

Daylight is now beginning to shine upon all the hidden, self-serving and myopic powers that influence our way of life. They are coming together in a concert of chaos with COVID conducting the orchestra – right at the fore.

It may sound dramatic. But the subjectivity and focus we have on everything beyond our own lives and the bubbles we unwittingly live in make it easy for us to ignore how things really are at the objective level. We are and have been living through significant National and World events that have consequences neither we, but even more importantly our politicians, can or now will avoid.

Loss of the realism that a genuine overview provides leaves us out of touch with the reality of what is happening. We take for granted that daily life will always go on as it has and that everything continues in the same way.

Yet the assumption that an encyclopaedic range of foods and products will always meet us when we walk through the supermarket doors or click online is a storybook waiting for a bad ending. And that ending is now almost certain to emerge.

Whilst the Government, media and the establishment they serve tell us that everything will return to the pre-COVID ‘normal’, concocted narratives cannot change nor head off the impact and consequences of the decisions they made, the money they created then spent, and the stories they have told to control people during a pandemic.  

The change is already underway. We can already see it in the questions over home working and many revaluating where they wish to live. Change will touch everything, and this will include even the most basic parts of life, including the clothes we wear and the food that we eat.

We simply don’t need all the things that we buy, eat or drink, and many of us already know and understand this. Whilst it may sound moralistic to say so, it is certainly no coincidence that as a population we are becoming so unhealthy when we are happy sleepwalking through life in the way that we do.

The good, wholesome, locally and ethically produced foods that we genuinely need to live and feed ourselves would not be expensive if we prioritised production using the most localised supply chains possible. It could mean the ingredients of the meals we eat have not travelled outside of our own County boundaries or been carried much further on their journey from farm to fork.

Some may snort at the mere suggestion of returning to a world where butchers, bakers and every kind of traditional village shop or business sell you the produce and goods that have come to them for preparation from local farms and producers.

But this is the way that the world we know will go if it is again to begin making any kind of sense, and we do not need the Government or ambitious Ministers attempting to open up trade flow to Countries that will undercut our own farmers and producers. Indeed, the Countries that Trade Ministers are now talking to should be actively and demonstratively encouraged to develop their own enhanced forms of productivity as we all work towards the level of national and localised self-sufficiency that the post-COVID World and the collapse of global Supply chains will soon demand.

In the simplest terms, the rise and threat of what has been called the ‘Indian variant’ of COVID demonstrates some of the starkest lessons of how this virus works. The ZERO COVID solution that this Government has tied itself to will at some point have to be flipped to become one that we learn to live with it and treat it the same as we do the Flu.

Whether we continue going forward under the premise that COVID control is the only priority or change and accept that there are other ways to live, we can no longer allow or encourage the mass movement of people or encourage unnecessary international supply chains just for the sake of making profit in any way.

Borders will literally have to become borders once again. No matter how much we might we deserve that foreign holiday, we are no longer living in a world where there will continue to be one rule for ‘wealthy’ countries and another for all those that the ignorant and greedy thumb their noses at and call poor.

Viruses and the impacts of ill-considered human behaviour do not recognise boundaries. They have consequences for us all.

For better or worse, COVID is a virus that is here to stay. Global eradication is not possible with the political mindset that the world currently has, and we will soon have no option but to learn and act upon the realities that the spread of a respiratory disease through an interconnected version of the World presents.

Meanwhile, the decision making and behaviours of politicians, banks ad big business as they have struggled to maintain control during the Covid Pandemic has led them to supercharge the growth of the many problems that greed and profiteering have created.

Going local, real localism and putting our communities at the forefront of everything we build our lives around will now become key to addressing the change that events will create and to become happy and content in ways that we have culturally long since forgot.

Farmers, producers and those who run and maintain very local services and cottage industry businesses are going to be key. Allowing any foreign country to undercut local production of any kind – no matter our historic ties – will quickly become one of the greatest acts of economic self-harm in the post-COVID world.

This is not about having a downer on Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the USA or any Country with which we might have once found it desirable to extend trade with. All Countries across the World are going to have to face up to the realities of the step away from globalisation to closed borders and what this really means for prioritising local production too.

Self-sufficiency for food and essential goods must become both a National and Government priority for the UK. Within this, we must look to promote and encourage everyone to shop and focus what they do and the lives they live locally in pretty much the complete opposite way that globalisation and the greed that underpins it has done.

Government must guide and support the development of truly local cooperatives. Legislators must embrace and utilise the freedom we have following our unshackling from the EU to legislate in ways that mean it is both practical and cost effective for every service that businesses require to produce and manufacture locally will not only exist but will thrive in such ways that lead to local products and services being made available to everyone at prices even the poorest in society can afford.

Local Enterprise Partnerships or alternative bodies like them should be used to join up the dots and encourage this growth locally.

Instead of encouraging agriculture and food production to become ever more focused on ‘cost effective’ production that means they increasingly only become viable with the economies of scale and size, our legislators must look at regulating and restricting all of the malign influences that take money out of the supply chain, thereby increasing end-user cost. They are currently adding no value, as part of an equation that increasingly leaves heathy food being a luxury that only the financially wealthy can afford.

Farm shops, farmers markets and the systems of local production that can and must feed into them must be the direction of travel. We must reject the reliance upon retail giants and a system where shareholders and financial speculators make ridiculous sums of money after the companies they ‘own’ can appear to move goods around the planet more cheaply than our own producers can make them. The practice where supermarket buyers crush any farmers ability to both supply them and remain profitable must come to its end.

British Farmers are some of the most innovative and entrepreneurial members of society that we have. There is little doubt that if we both embrace and support the role that they can and will willingly then take within a new and diversified platform for UK food growing and production, the true value to us all of the wider rural and agricultural sector and the community that underpins it will come into its own and be good for us all.

Bitcoin Crash: Currencies are nothing more than a medium of exchange and crashes are inevitable for as long as they are valued as anything else

Money and how it is used to calculate the value of wealth and even the worth of the people we interact with makes it one of the most destructive and dangerous components of contemporary life.

Without realising they are doing it many people look upon every facet of life and consider it in terms of its financial value, what it might cost, or what it would cost to have it themselves.

Very few od us follow the financial markets or observe the way that the economic system works – whether that be the ‘financial economy’ or the ‘real economy’ itself. But what may be one of the great mysteries of the world is the process that has led money and the possession of it to become the most important factor governing the way that we conduct our lives.

Just as many great ideas have the power to help and improve lives, the creation of money as a unit or medium of exchange passed its point of best use and was evolved or developed to become something that it should never have or was never intended to be.

Money was quite literally a practical way of making the exchange of goods or services work effectively when those engaged in that exchange didn’t necessarily want either the goods or the products or the services that the person they were exchanging with could immediately offer them in exchange for their own.

Money was literally a way of giving a universal value to anything that any person could provide so that they could exchange it for what they wanted from anyone else, and also became a way to transfer value or to exchange over great geographical distances.

Had the development of money stopped there or somewhere very similar, the World would now be and would behave very differently from the way that it does today. 

Money itself has never changed. But the way that money is perceived by people has.

Money is now treated as and believed by people to be a thing in its own right.

Yet nothing has changed. Money is still nothing other than the medium of a system to provide universal exchange for services and goods.

Yes, there will be plenty who read this blog who possess lots of money or the means to accumulate it who will read this and quickly conclude that what I’m saying is absolute rubbish.

Money is not real. But the belief that it is make the consequences and the impact of that belief real for all.

Decades of money creation and the use of economic theories and practises such as the FIAT system and the neoliberal push for ‘free markets’ that never look after the interests of others as they theoretically should, have led to the creation and development of the financial economy.

The financial economy is a theoretical system that has been made real by the belief placed in it. Because of the benefits that can be gained by those who ‘play’ it and propagate it, the financial economy has been prioritised and championed above the real economy. Whereas the real economy represents the real world of business and the exchange of labour and goods. The real economy is the basis upon which everything money or financially orientated should work.

Whilst an economist could easily draw up and describe the models of how the monetary, economic or financial system works so that it looks like and can be presented as being very real, money is literally being created out of thin air.

The anger with a self-serving system of this kind that is directly responsible for much of the inequality that exists around the World is palpable amongst all of those who understand and care about what is going on.

The anger against the system has led very intelligent people who are disenfranchised from the system, to search for, develop and launch what they present to us as alternative monetary systems that work fairly because the work in a different way,

Cryptocurrencies – of which bitcoin is probably the best known – are the result of this process.

The intrinsic problem that all cryptocurrencies currently have is that in the process of their creation, they have adopted the most fundamental flaw that all units of currency are currently built on: They are valued as something or a thing to be possessed that itself has value, when cryptocurrencies or currencies of any kind never have been and never will have genuine value of their own.

Yes, you can become financially rich by buying and then selling Bitcoin or any cryptocurrency that has been listed on an exchange. But the process that leads to gains or losses in cryptocurrency value are little more than luck. Buying and selling cryptocurrencies is not a science and any gains you make through a crypto transaction simply means it was just your time to experience a win. Much like spread betting or investing through hedge funds, investing in cryptocurrency is at best nothing more than making a bet. This is no way to run or influence a system that will affect everyone in the World.

The value of Bitcoin and all forms of currency is the belief that underpins them. Their value is directly related to the confidence that investors have to buy them. Nothing more. So, the moment that something shakes that belief, like Elon Musk floating a comment on social media about how Bitcoin mining isn’t very green – the value of this ‘currency’ begins a downward journey towards the floor. It is only then that you can really begin to recognise the true value of what currencies are worth in themselves. Currencies are worth nothing and no more.

Strange as it may sound, this blog is not an argument against the use of cryptocurrencies. There is no question that money and currency use and the legal and ethical value set that underpins their use must be improved as we head deeper into the 21st century and increasingly use the technology that we have available.

A problem for us all is that the entire monetary system is itself flawed but is being deliberately manipulated by people who understand the system well and continue to engage in dangerous practises without any consideration for the consequences and impact upon others. We need comprehensive change.

Because it is legal or the law allows those employed in financial services and in the banking sector to engage in the practices they have been for many years if not decades before, it does not necessarily make what they do morally or ethically right.

For anyone who has spent time studying law or the way that government works, they will soon realise and understand that the law has a habit of being very late to the party. On its route to get there it is often distracted by self interest or the interest of those with influence.

This manipulation of the deck is something that we can no longer afford if we are to all live in a world which is fair and driven to ensure that the poorest members of society can sustain themselves and that a basic self-sufficient life is something that everyone can easily and comfortably afford.

A New Party for All

May 16, 2021 2 comments

This is going to seem like one of the most counter intuitive things to talk about right now given the results of last weeks Local Elections and the By Election in Hartlepool.

But the UK is heading for a defining moment and we need a new approach to running government that can only be provided by a new political movement or party. One that will be A New Party for All.

No, it isn’t an easy thing to do.  New political parties are not easy to create.

The graveyard of politics is filled to overflowing with the efforts of individuals and groups who set off with the optimistic aim of establishing new political parties that would change everything without changing a single thing.

The common ground between them was that they were motivated by ideas or very focused versions of those ideas that we all have all experienced, seen and heard before.

Why don’t new parties work quickly – as good ideas should?

The biggest elephant in the political room is the idea held by many a new entrant to politics upon which they believe they can do something or the same things better, simply because they have been done very badly by others before.

The truth is that people or voters will only be inspired and encouraged to buy into ‘change’ by a movement or new way of doing things that not only provides an alternative to what they already have available to them. It must represent a credible way of doing things that has never knowingly or consciously been done before.

So why A New Party for All right now? Hasn’t it already just been done?

Unless you are already a Conservative politician who believes that your shit really does smell sweeter than anybody else’s, the electoral success of the Tory Party is surface deep, unexplainable and transitory at best.

Deep down, you know that something with British Politics is fundamentally wrong.

Under Boris Johnson, the Conservative Party has become successful by morphing itself into any mould or shape which is representative of current media and populist calls. Shapeshifting has become synonymous with the term ‘to lead’.

The Conservatives have quite literally stolen the ground from under the feet of Brexiteers and left-wing progressives by becoming caricatures of everything that is Brexit and everything that is socialism, whilst glossing over the uncomfortable truths and the bits they don’t like.

Meanwhile they have no grounding in true representation and have retained their power by developing a framework of policies which are hollow and have no substance contained within them.

People are voting Conservative because there is no alternative

Whilst it may be considered a cliche, the idea that we have more in common with each other than what we have that divides us is very true.

Building upon what we all have in common should form the basis of how we do politics in the UK, allowing us to move on from the tribal alliances and prejudices of the past that are still doing so much damage today.

The problem is that like many terms that have entered common parlance, this principle has been stolen and remoulded for selfish purposes by the woke and politically correct. It has become their way of saying self-righteously to others, ‘what I believe is right and what we have in common; what you believe is the difference and is what drives us apart’.

I’m sure you will agree that this is a very strange and dangerous way for anyone or anything to work – and particularly so in politics, where consideration of what is good and right for everyone should be the basis of any policy or cause.

Reality always bites when we believe the world should behave and think the same as we do

What we have seen in recent months in the lead up to the Local Elections, is the establishment of a range of new movements and political parties, all sold to us as being something different with the ability to work and make a difference, simply because they are a different choice, when in reality they are not.

For example, there’s the Reclaim Party, established by actor Laurence Fox, overtly created to deal with issues like the assault on freedom of speech. The arrival of Reclaim may have been well intentioned. but Laurence’s approach to politics is based on ideas, thoughts and philosophies that are his own. All he has really sought to do is receive the endorsement of others, rather than establishing a vehicle that might have reached out to engage and evolve the views of many others – rather than those of just one.

There is nothing universal in Laurence Fox’s approach or within his policies that can be applied to or interpreted as being inclusive and being there to represent and champion policy for the benefit of all. But Laurence is not alone. He has done nothing wrong and many others have failed by doing exactly the same.

Likewise, the rebranding of the Brexit party to become Reform UK has given witness to a serious failure to launch. Richard Tice focused on selling Reform as something completely different to The Brexit Party, when the reality is that this simply rebranded one-aim vehicle has already been successful at all that it set out to achieve.

It may not have been the Brexit party that existed when the anti-EU movement began. But it was through three decades and the various evolutions that were the Anti-Federalist League, UKIP and then the Brexit Party, that the anti-European Union movement delivered upon the very purpose for which it was established. It then instantaneously lost its value as a collective, as it had been assembled to fight for nothing more than a very specific, mutually aligned cause.

People want change. They are not stupid. They can see, understand or recognise at a visceral level when something old has been rewrapped and presented to them as change.

Making a choice today, so that we can experience something better tomorrow for all

Many people now feel and understand that there is a need for significant political change. But the technical understanding of how the British political system works only comes from objective experience or very careful observation.

This means that many of the people vocally looking for change today and believe that the ideas they have are unquestionably right or justified – such as the arguments against lockdowns – should make immediate sense to everybody else in the same way that it does to themselves.

Accompanying this genuine misunderstanding is the belief that change should be easy if not already be well in hand, given how justified they believe their cause to be.

The reality that nothing has or is seen to be changing leads to great frustration, or what looks very much to others like madness on the part of those making demands through social media and the platforms they have, upon a system that doesn’t behave in anything like the way that it should.

This is not the way that British politics works

For there to be an alternative to the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and other political parties that are currently represented in the Westminster Parliament or are trying to get there, it is up to the British people to create and be the alternative themselves.

Being the alternative at the next General Election is the only way that this self-serving, out-of-touch and unrepresentative political culture will be replaced with one that is truly representative of all people and genuine public need. One that is ready to get to work once the Election has been won.

We may be only two years or less away from the next General Election. Rumours are circulating that the Government decision to begin working towards the removal of the Fixed Term Parliament Act will now lead to a General Election in May 2023, whilst the Conservatives are ‘riding high’.

Anyone seeking or believing in the value or real change should take this possibility very seriously right now. As without the creation of an alternative that people can vote for, things will always seem to appear different, but will stay exactly the same as they already are.

The stepping off point. Where we are today

The problem we face, is many of the people who have public profiles and with it the platform to give us a real voice against the form of Government we have and the actions that these politicians are taking are also the least prepared for what we need to do next.

They are not open to the ideas and ways of thinking available that would form the basis of the alternative way of doing government that this Country now needs, and the process that will get us there, from the point at which we stand right now.

Rebranding or repackaging the kind of politics that we already have simply will not work. Neither will expecting the current crop of politicians to adopt a different way of working that runs contrary to everything they believe and risks them losing seats across the Country. All when they genuinely believe these ‘democratic’ seats are theirs and theirs alone to own.

Opening the door

Instead of standing on the soap box of social media and grandstanding with speeches about how only their own ideas are suitable to answer to the problems that all of us have, the new political class that we need leading us must focus on being the means that will not only allow but facilitate the germination of grassroots ideas and policies generated from our communities up.

They will fully consider the needs and desires of all to genuinely and reliably inform the changes in public policy that this Country needs and then create the policies that will lead and inspire us all to achieve and experience it first-hand.

Policies MUST reflect the different attitudes, approaches and perceptions of people of all backgrounds and all ages, yet be driven by an openly communicated and therefore shared understanding that how things should be can never be delivered without accepting, working with and always using the foundation of how things really are.

This is no mean feat. But it does represent a process and direction of travel and embraces a future that is based on always doing the right thing.

That itself will fuel the creation and evolution of a movement for change which has the power to grow exponentially and within this very tight time window – once it has successfully begun.

The part you can play: Are you ready to be the change?

The funny thing is that many will read this blog. They will relate to the content and even agree. But the general response will be ‘This is for someone else to do – not me’.

The thing is, it isn’t. Changing politics for the better and getting people elected who not only can but will take the decisions that will work for everyone and not just benefit the same old few isn’t something that we can outsource by default and place in other people’s hands. It is because we have been doing this for so long already that politicians and the political parties they represent today are the way that they are.

Please don’t fall into the perpetual trap of judging what we can do with our future by looking at how things are done now or rather how they have been done in the past.

The situation in the UK might look ok today at first glance. But there are countless problems being stored up for us all, from the consequences of the lack of foresight that led to lockdowns, how the support for those unable to work or run their businesses during lockdowns was not applied equitably and the gargantuan debt spiral the government has created, to the problems with the way money and the economy works, housing and how policy is driven by idealism rather than any practical relationship with the experience of others.

Your voice matters. It may not feel like your voice matters, but it always has

The impact and consequences of Covid, the way the World and International community has handled it and the need for a very practical approach to green issues and the environmental problem are going to make the future success of the UK dependent upon us focusing on localism and our communities to be the change in just about every day-to-day way.

We can no longer afford to have government run by glory seekers.

Government and the political system that is the means to provide it must be led and managed by people who know and are prepared to do what it takes to get everything done.

The political journey to government solutions at all levels must engage and involve everyone – if they so choose – in some way.

Let’s begin the conversation

This is not the first time that I have written and published about the need for change and the realities that surround the creation and development of a new political party. It is however the first time that I have done so with the concern that led to it feeling tangible in a way that it hasn’t before, simply because events both in the UK and across the World suggest that the rich mixture and chain of poor decision after poor decision made by our politicians will soon create a situation with a narrative that they can no longer use manipulation and dark arts like behavioural economics to control.

I am writing this as a former Conservative politician and local authority officer who has experienced the way that government and politics works from both sides of the fence.

I do not pretend to have all the policies or answers to the real problems that we face. But I do understand how politics and the nature of the people within it work. I have written a book called How to get Elected which is FREE to read as a blog or alternatively can be purchased for £1.99 as a Kindle download.

Anyone can start a new political party, and many have tried. Nobody has yet been motivated to genuinely try creating and establishing A New Party for All.

Who does this or who succeeds at establishing A New Party for All is not the important thing.

The important thing is that it happens and that it develops in the inclusive way that it should do so, right from the start.

It is vital that we have a credible alternative to the political parties that we have already got when the next General Election comes.

This post is available on my Blog, on its own Twitter Account @ANewPartyForAll and on its own Facebook Page @ANewPartyForAll.

If you are motivated to be the change and accept that this can only be successful if we work together and respect and value the input of all others, why not ask any questions that you might have. Feel free to comment too. But please understand that any input that reflects anger with others or intolerance of any kind will be viewed appropriately – i.e., it simply doesn’t count!

Best wishes to you all, whoever you are and whatever your former cause.

Using Planning Reform to make it even easier to build houses is the obvious solution for a political class that always takes the easy option without view of the consequences first

Politicians are no longer big enough to tackle or even attempt to address issues that they cannot be sure they can control. It is a fool’s game.

Government has been blighted by very normal, overly ambitious people styling themselves as public leaders, whose greatest skill is sniffing out and repelling any meaningful response to the issues and actions that carry the greatest risk to themselves.

The irony should not be lost on many, that if governments were to apply themselves fully and without compromise to addressing the issues of their time and without fear of any electoral risk to them by doing so, they would have done all they need to get re-elected with a decent majority at the end of their 5-year-term.

Regrettably – and to the continued cost of the British Public, this is not how our politicians roll.

Our politicians take the easy and politically lazy route to managing public policy. They deal with issues in isolation, giving little or no consideration to the impact upon other areas of public policy. They focus on the consequences of their actions only for themselves when they should be prioritising the consequences for us all.

The suggestion that using Planning Reform to make it easier to build houses will solve the housing crisis is nothing more than the siren call of greed. A call to action that will line the pockets of the same financiers, builders and political chums as always, whilst people whose lives are being increasingly destroyed by the exponential growth of personal and private debt also see countless other factors that give quality to their lives smashed unnecessarily upon these hidden rocks.

No human being can be in two places at once. Therefore, no human being needs two places in which to live.

Just as is the case in every other part of life, there is ‘enough for everyone’s need, but never enough for everyone’s greed’.

Money, created by a monetary and financial system that is only fair and equitable to those who have no need for any more of it, should not enable anyone to obtain more than they need to facilitate anything more than the requirements of day-to-day function or living. Certainly not when doing so comes at the cost of preventing others with less from having the same.

With a growing population, there will always be a relative need for the country to build new homes. But increasing home building exponentially, just so the whims of some can be met and the profiteering and greed of others can be fed is no solution to a problem that can be solved politically with better, more appropriate and fairer use of resources that already exist.

You never see house prices fall in the area where a new development is built. But you do see problems with flooding. You see the negative impact on infrastructure like roads, schools and GPs Surgeries.

Excessive building leads to a fall in the quality of life for countless numbers of people, many of them everyday, low-wage people who grew up locally. Real people who are being pushed out by deliberately engineered inflation meaning that the new houses the government and media tells us are being built to help them will continue to be the prized lifetime asset they will never be able to afford.

Whilst the term ‘Reset’ or ‘Great Reset’ has been adopted by both the World Economic Forum and by those who love to hate them, there is indeed no better term that can be used to describe what needs to happen to the UKs and the International Monetary and Financial systems so that life and the ability of everyone to live it becomes something that we all can financially afford.

The disproportionate value of homes, relative to what they are genuinely worth could quickly be addressed to a significant degree by a revaluation and rebalancing of the way money is used and manipulated and how the economy works.

But money itself has to be viewed as nothing more than the unit of exchange that it is, rather than the god-like ‘thing’ that greed and selfishness has allowed it to become.

There are already a range of devices that the Government could use to address second and multiple home ownership. This would immediately improve housing stock availability and remove the need for housebuilding to increase or to continue in the forms that are destroying local communities and the environments around them – when there already exists a much more appropriate choice.

Yet our politicians will not use taxation or bans on multiple home ownership, because it would mean wading through a political minefield that they consider too risky to their chances of re-election. They are therefore deemed to be actions that they must do everything to avoid.

By making public policy decisions in this way, our politicians are failing to do the right thing for the people they represent. Meanwhile they are continually creating more and more troublesome consequences for everyone, which they will then once again do everything to avoid.

This lack of leadership in government and the rejection of responsibility by this political class means that the basics of life for many are simply too expensive to afford.

Social Care Reform: Damn-the-consequences, easy options don’t exist like they did for Covid. It will take a very different kind of politician to accept and see the complex solutions through

The god-like status that government deliberately engineered for the NHS and its frontline workers to silence, then de-popularise one set of problems that Lockdowns created, served only to create many more. Just one of them is the further complication of issues surrounding Social Care Reform that will make even the wisest politician think twice before embracing it as a necessary cause.

Just yesterday, the front pages of newspapers carried headlines telling us that while politicians have blustered, lack of action to address the Social Care problem has already cost individuals and families some £14 Billion to support our elderly. Meanwhile it has long been accepted that with the exception of cases where people could afford to do otherwise, the public sector should make provision and cover the cost.

It is important to recognise the creation of the cult-like status of the NHS within this debate. Dua Lipa’s intervention at the Brits earlier this week aside, the way that healthcare professionals are paid and the service they provide is managed and funded is no small part of the problem that makes up the Social Care question.

Until those that lead us are prepared to face up to both the complexity and counter-popularity that a range of very significant issues wrapped up in the way that care for the elderly is paid for and managed, the only solution on the table will continue to be the fire-hosing of public cash at a black hole. This comes at a time when both the British and the World Economies are moving perilously close to crashing over the edge – despite Establishment statements suggesting that we are about to experience the most rapid period of growth since the end of World War 2.

The word-twisting that has become today’s cultural norm has enabled many left-wing and labour progressives to argue that the problems facing the NHS are merely about privatisation. But it has allowed them to deviate away from using the other side of their forked tongues to acknowledge the role of employment rights and incendiary threat of industrial action that has made the private-sector provision of so many of the staff that allow the NHS to function such an easy, popular, yet very expensive way to prevent our prized health service from otherwise closing its doors.

It is the protectionist culture that exists at the very heart of all parts of government and the public sector that has led to the creation of a complex and disparate system of diversified responsibilities for the key area of healthcare for old age. It sees hospitals burdened by bed-blocking, whilst local authority based social services glare at the seemingly ever-smaller size of their budgets and work on the basis that they simply have no choice.

This itself Is just the tip of a very large iceberg, looming large across the depths of public policy, whilst reaching out in many different directions like an octopus, giving self-focused and fearful politicians excuse after excuse and reason after reason to believe that if they want to remain an electoral force, all these issues can be talked about, but never actually touched.

The Social Care problem will not be solved until it is something that government can afford.

The government cannot afford the Social Care bill without there being top-to-bottom NHS and public sector reform.

There will not be top-to-bottom NHS and public sector reform until employment rights, union influence and policy governing the terms of private contract services and supplies for public services have been unpicked and appropriately revised.

Employment rights, union influence and policy governing the terms of private contract services and supplies for public services will not be unpicked and appropriately revised until politicians focus on carrying out their responsibilities instead of keeping their jobs – no matter the cost.

Politicians will focus on keeping their jobs without care for the cost for as long as they believe that dealing with complex problems like Social Care is something they can avoid.

We will not have politicians or leaders in government who see the issues otherwise until events force the issues or better still, we have proper political reform.

There simply is no quick fix. The nebulous Social Care problem has been created because successive governments and generations of politicians have continually sought to take the easy way out.

Politicians have been and continue to be motivated only by vote-winning policy making whilst they avoiding facing off the different forms of self-interest that are ever present in these issues that should always be addressed honestly and in the way that considers the wider consequences and what’s best for everyone – as public policy always should.

For as long as Sturgeon frames the agenda as Independence alone, London can only dictate the terms of Scotland’s return

I believe in the Union and the United Kingdom. But even I have found myself questioning just how long the Westminster Government can resist the call of the Scottish National Party for Indyref 2 or a second Independence Referendum.

Yes. The English media spoon feed us the stories that make us love to hate Nicola Sturgeon and everything about the Party she leads. And if you should ever find 40 minutes to watch Prime Ministers Questions on a Wednesday Lunchtime, you will quickly experience how the SNP’s Westminster Leader Ian Blackford uses PMQ’s as nothing more than a weekly opportunity to get his face on camera to perform.

However. Like it or not, Sturgeon and her Westminster proxy are no different to any of the other politicians that we currently have leading us from Westminster. They are out for themselves and will do whatever it takes – often shamelessly – to further their own interests and ideas. Meanwhile, they tell everyone that they respect democracy and that doing what’s best for the people is their one and only cause.

OK. There are perhaps a few exceptions. But if so, they are incredibly rare.

Truly representative politics has not existed in the UK for a very long time – if it ever genuinely has.

The twist to this story is that Sturgeon may indeed be one of the most shrewd and adroit politicians of the current age. The SNP Leader may not use her skills for the right reasons. But she does a very good job of making the politicians who lead us look today like the wet-behind-the-ears students that so many historical pictures of them already portray.

The SNP Leader’s ability to turn any political situation or event into an excuse to call for another referendum on Scottish independence is phenomenal, if not an art in its own right. But the painful reality is that things should and could have never been this way – especially so, had localism and handing back power to local communities really been at the core of Devolution’s hollow heart.

The realities underpinning continued membership of the EU have been crudely exposed by the agility of post-Brexit UK Government to secure COVID Vaccinations, whilst the EU has suffered an exquisite failure to launch. Meanwhile, the destruction caused by devolution was itself the bastard child of the European monolith, simply repackaged and sold by Blair and New Labour as part of their unbridled ambition to win favour in Brussels and surrender to the assault of further integration of the UK, regardless of the real cost.

Indeed, the irony of Labour losing political control of Scotland both in Edinburgh and Westminster would be truly delicious, would it not have been for the harsh, stone cold reality that one group of inept and self-serving politicians had weaponised another to leverage power away from their own seat of power using the very same motives as their own, whilst the cost to voters and their communities continued to grow exponentially higher all of the time.

Devolution in the hands of Labour or the Conservatives has and never was about localism, bringing back or decentralising power to the people and the communities in which they live.

Had it been so, the platform of Nationalist debate in Wales, Scotland and to a different degree Northern Ireland would not have existed as it does today in any way – simply because power and decision making it facilitates would be undertaken as close to the people these choices effect as possible. That’s the place where power has always legitimately belonged, giving the real lie to everything upon which the SNPs policy of pursuing independence is formed.

It is troubling to say that the damage to the Union may already be irreparably done. For as long as Nicola sturgeon continues to frame the agenda of political debate and public interest in Scotland around Independence, this direction of travel is only going to lead to and end up with one thing and nothing more.

Yes, there is much excitement over the government now telling sturgeon ‘NO’, emboldened as they have been by the rise of a deceptively blue wall. However, the chances are that this will never be enough. And whilst we continue to have a political class that prizes the centralisation of power using pyrrhic political devices such as the creation of Metro Mayors and Police and Crime Commissioners to suggest otherwise, the power, control and level of responsibility that could and should be devolved will never be handed back to the tiers of government that already existed before the devolution shenanigans began.

The excuse that all priorities focus on our exit from the pandemic will soon wear thin with the Scottish Electorate. The call of Indyref2 will become irresistible, and especially so once the painful consequences of such excessive and profligate public spending used to underpin the flawed lockdown policies of the Westminster Government begin to become evident. The SNP will simply sell this as a London-based ‘English’ problem and not one of their own.

The debate over another Scottish referendum and Scottish Independence has to all intents and purposes already been won – aided by the ineptitude of successive Westminster Governments who like the SNP want everything to run their own way and have no time for any cause other than their own.

The self-wounding that Blair inflicted upon the Union on behalf of the EU has been allowed to fester for so long that amputation may be the counterintuitive key to reestablishing and then developing a healthy democratic relationship between london and all regions of the UK in the longer term.

The only question that London can ask about its relationship with Scotland, whilst Sturgeon continues to frame the debate, is under what terms the exiled Scots will be allowed and encouraged to return, once the SNPs destructive dalliance with power and their misuse of responsibility has hurt the very people they lead enough for more caring minds to finally reject their dangerous brand of Nationalism and seek Scotland’s Union return.

The new Pub rules scapegoat the Licensed Trade in an abuse of existing powers resembling the actions of a police state

As we begin to stare Monday and the reopening of pubs and licensed premises in the face, the imbalance and general lack of fairness that the Government has applied to managing the Lockdowns is beginning to look even more sinister than it ever did before.

The way that pubs and the licensed trade have been singled out and placed right at the top of the scale of unfairness is quickly becoming a scandal. One that only fails to shock as it should because the whole Government narrative of control through fear is beginning to look completely perverse.

Not satisfied with the social distancing measures that accompanied the reopening of Pubs last summer that made many great locals feel sterile, uncomfortable and out-of-touch, the Government is now intent on ratcheting down the Pub rules even further.

They are piling on the risk of closure for countless pubs and community hubs that had already been at risk well before Covid arrived, due to the way that legislation had pushed hundreds and thousands of pub properties once owned by breweries into the hands of property speculators or ‘pubco’s’. ‘Money men’ obsessed with draining every penny of profit from bub businesses, causing countless bankruptcies and closures along the way.

However, what is about to be imposed in the coming days as part of these supposed Lockdown-loosening measures is enough to make anyone wonder if there is some kind of agenda at work, aimed at destroying what remains of the industry once and for all.

It began with the dubious requirement that has meant every pub business with outside space available and therefore able to open next week must hire marquees for what may become many months ahead. Yet there is no practical, real-world explanation telling anyone why the environment inside a temporary indoor space is safer than one that is in fact permanent.

Then it progressed to all payments having to be taken outside, when a substantial number of the pubs that can open next week don’t have payment systems that can be used or can actually function outside of the premises they are in. Let’s not forget that this news emerged yesterday, some 5 days before reopening, when there simply isn’t time to install new equipment – if it would be possible for it to work. And that’s before consideration is given to the additional cost.

Last there is what some will see as the final nail in the coffin. The requirement for customers to download and use the NHS Track & Trace app to log in at pubs at the time their visit began.

Of all the new measures, the requirement for customers to use the NHS App is the most questionable. Not least of all because the same requirement will not apply in many other settings such as supermarkets and DIY stores where anyone visiting in recent days will tell you that they have become far more crowded and create close-contact of a kind that you are unlikely to see even at 11pm at the local pub.

It is clear that pubs and licensed premises are being singled out. Pubs and restaurants are now being used in a blatant attempt to coerce everyone into signing up to and using an information gathering and monitoring system that in this basic form constitutes abuse. One that when accepted or imposed in other sectors and in other forms could easily become permanent and used for much worse.

So why is the licensed trade being hit so hard when other sectors selling direct to the public seem to be having it so much easier?

Each and every local authority that we pay our Council Tax to has a Licensing Department. District Level Authorities (Borough & Unitary too) double up as your Local Licensing Authority. They all have a team of Licensing Officers and Legal Advisors already providing a localised regulatory service that monitors and enforces Licensing Law not only for pubs and the licensed trade, but for taxis, gambling, sex shops and scrap metal dealers too.

So the apparatus and infrastructure already exists to police pubs and the licensed trade in a way that no other commercial, publicly facing business can be monitored and policed.

The Government knows this. It is deliberately abusing the power that it has available to control people wherever and however it can. We should be grateful that the Government doesn’t currently have access to the same functionality within the public sector to police other businesses and sectors – or on experience to date, you can be sure that it would be doing so.

Good leadership isn’t using the power available to you because you can. Good leadership is using restraint and doing the right thing for everyone when it appears to be the more challenging pathway to take – even when it appears there is a much easier way.

One of the greatest problems that this Country now faces is the diminishing levels of humanity and understanding that exist between people. Historically, we have learned and become adept at understanding others through the interactions that happen face-to-face within our communities.

Greed on the part of the few had already meant that many local pubs where locality and localism could reign were at risk. Now the Government wants to pursue policies that will finish them off so that it can bluff its way to the end of the Covid pandemic and to the next General Election, and somehow convince everyone else that this Conservative Government has been good for us and that it truly deserves to win.

Whilst many will refuse or will find themselves unable to believe it, we are in the position that we are today – 12 months on since the first Lockdown began, facing the things that we are, simply because stupidity in Government has been allowed to rule the day. It has been fuelled by the fear of those leading us and an obsession with saving their own necks – no matter the cost to everyone else.

The Government cannot see the damage that it is doing and how far reaching it will become. Yet we cannot get rid of them before the next general election.

By then, for pubs, the licensed trade and whatever follows next in their dangerous and disproportionate abuse of power – the damage will have already been done.

The Free School Meals and Child Food Poverty fiasco: Too much is being taken from too many – not because it’s right – but because those profiteering from misery are allowed by our Politicians to do so

January 15, 2021 Leave a comment

It was too easy for politicians to initially dismiss the absence of food of an appropriate quality in the lunch packs that have been distributed to parents during the Lockdown in lieu of free school meals.

Excuses such as ‘this is the best that the contractors can do on a budget of £30 per child in these circumstances’ are not the words of people who care for others and about the impact of the responsibilities they have.

Such arguments underline just how out of touch the political classes are, in one sense with the experiences of the life that so many people lead. In the other, how private contractors who have been commissioned to provide a service to the public are wilfully stripping the value out of everything that they provide, doing so because their master is profit rather than the welfare and benefit of the people for which their services and products have been employed.

The horrific truth is that the Free School Meals story is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to questions over how and why services to the public are provided as they are.

Child Food Poverty is an issue that uncomfortably sits in just a small part of the spectrum of issues stretching from poor service provision and our negative experience of the public sector at one end to the tragedies like Grenfell that exist at the other.

And it doesn’t end there.

The institutional malaise which enables this ‘let’s take whatever we can or add more because we can’ culture stretches out across the commercial sector too.

This rot is a feature that is now an intrinsic part of supply chains and the provision of all the services and products that we buy, particularly when we cannot see what hands have handled the products being used or that we buy before they reached us.

It is because greed has been allowed to inflate prices and reduce content of the products and services that we buy, that the real rise in the cost of living goes up exponentially. Meanwhile our politicians’ thumb through the statistics they rely on – rather than the genuine experience of life they should, and use them as the basis to deny what is really going on for the people they were elected and trusted to represent.

COVID-19 is no excuse. Lockdowns and Social Distancing are just another example of mismanagement and mishandling by people elected to represent the public who should simply know, behave and represent others much better than they do or have ever really intended to.

The people elected to govern us do not understand the realities of life.

The ruling Conservative Party today governs on the premise that unemployment is the same thing as poverty.

This goes a good way to explaining the very questionable financial strategy that has underpinned the Chancellors decision to use public money to keep people furloughed in jobs that Boris Johnson’s Lockdown has long since ensured no longer exist.

Sadly, and very regrettably, the work that Marcus Rashford and his supporters are doing and the outcome from the influence that they are having is but a very small drop within an ocean of problems that normal people are facing each and every day. Any fix or isolated change in legislation that comes as a result will be no better than a temporary fix because politicians do not understand and do not want to understand the consequences and impact of what they do.

People need food for themselves and their children. They need it now and for as long as they cannot put food on plates at each and every mealtime.

This situation simply shouldn’t exist. Footballers and Food Banks should never have to intervene to support not only those on benefits, but people who have jobs but find that food is a luxury that they simply cannot afford.

There is a tragic irony in Free School Meals contractors skimming every penny they think they can off the top of food parcels because they thought nobody will notice or care. It demonstrates the very same mentality that exists across all forms of business and public service which has grown exponentially with the switch to business being undertaken online.

Excess profiteering and outright greed is making life avoidably challenging even for the middle classes and self-sufficiency and financial independence is a basic human right that the poorest members of society simply cannot afford.

The people who sit at the fat, bloated end of the money system and the perverse pyramid structure that supports it do not need anywhere near the money or material wealth that they already possess in order to have very good standards of living and materially-rich lives.

The cash and property hoarding that they continue with at pace is causing mayhem for everyone else at the levels of that pyramid below them, making the money that does still exist at the bottom rapidly lose value whilst they can only continue to gain.

Until government stops what those either controlling money or manipulating it are doing by reintroducing appropriate financial regulation, morality and ethics into the money and financial system to stop profligate profiteering and plundering of everything that these greedy people touch, the basic or humane standard of living that most people would be happy and content with – that excludes the need for debt, borrowing or seeking the support from charities or others, will simply be a standard of living that is too expensive for increasing numbers of normal working people to afford.

Every person who works in a full-time job should be able to provide themselves and those they are responsible for with a home, power and warmth, communication, clothing, transport and entertainment, along with everything necessary that would allow anyone to function and contribute to positively to society in a fully independent and self-sufficient way.

Those who require support from the state because they are unemployed or unable to work should receive support equal to the same with the only caveat being that appropriate steps and conditions should be applied to ensure that nobody can enjoy that basic standard of living as a preferred or indefinite choice.

This outcome or solution is one that should be realistic. Yet it is not, simply because the way the value of goods, services and property are today being mismanaged deliberately for profit and prices have been pushed up and inflated to levels which far exceed their real value and to the point where basic and personal independence or financial sustainability is something that too many have no way to afford.

The political class – that’s all Political Parties that currently control Westminster – are themselves a significant part of the problem, simply because they function to pursue and represent their own ideas and ways of thinking. It is an approach that does not understand or accommodate the life experience of others and is set up to further interests only that align with their own.

Categories: Uncategorized

Did China give us COVID-19 knowing it was no worse than severe flu; confident of exactly what weak-minded Governments in the West would inevitably do?

January 6, 2021 Leave a comment

Much earlier in the Pandemic, I wrote about the stupidity of trying to pin the blame for Coronavirus on China. I said that chasing reparations of any kind would never do anyone any good, and that the best value that the West could take away from the experience would be to conclude that the Chinese Government could not be trusted and we should not do or encourage business with them of any kind.

I have never bought into the establishment narrative of what Covid is and how it should have or now should be addressed, but I wrote this giving a nod to the possibility that the Virus could be different and significantly more severe than the ‘normal’ respiratory infections that we see each and every year.

What became clear very quickly is there is very little technical and statistical difference between the genuine impact of this respiratory infection and any severe seasonal flu, other than the classification and virus type itself. It is the way that it has and continues to be interpreted, translated and communicated that is key.

Uncomfortable though the truth may be, the only difference between Covid and a flu outbreak that we would experience in any year is the way it has been handled. COVID -19 has been publicised and pursued with the fears of weak- minded politicians and civil servants being dressed up and sold to us in a wholly indoctrinating, if not brain-washing form.

We live with threats that are much worse and much likelier to kill or even affect us in some way. We actively and willingly embrace many of them each and every day. But those threats are presented to us logically, without emotion and in ways that make sense of the level of risk in terms of what it takes for us to live and experience a ‘normal’ functioning life, accepting that there is an accompanying level of risk to us in virtually everything that we do. We drive or ride in cars, travel on planes and undertake jobs that make us vulnerable because that’s the only way the we get things done.

Stand back and view the Government response and reaction to Coronavirus objectively and in the sense that it could have been framed differently as something we would simply have to live with rather than than simply allowing it to dictate life.

You can perhaps then see how a real understanding of how the western mindset works could be weaponised against us or our political leadership, if it was played out and utilised against us and our leaders in precisely the right way.

This is where the real story of what China has done and why it has done it could begin.

It is difficult not to admire and have a very begrudging respect for the ruthless nature and strategic approach employed by the Chinese.

We have only recently been made very well aware of how they have embedded people who are friendly to their cause right across industry, academia and government, and the lessons that our Australian friends and cousins are now exposing through Chinese material interests in their Country point to a growing threat to western culture, business and freedom itself. All of it being levelled at us from the starting point of being an enemy already present within as we sleepwalk with the believe that Chinese money has a different value and is created differently to our own.

The Chinese have historically valued knowledge and respect the power that it gives them. It is therefore no great stretch of the imagination to be able to see and understand that they have been carefully observing our culture and our behaviours for a very long time. The Chinese have become very well aware of our weaknesses.

Our cultural susceptibility to manipulation using mass propaganda has been exposed along with how inept, self-serving and out of touch our political and government leadership has become.

The Chinese have been aware of the opportunity to destroy the West from within using the fat, entitled hierarchical structures that rule the entitled, take-everything-for-granted mentality of the West for a very long time.

With confidence in the knowledge and understanding that the Chinese have, it is far from impossible that they would see the overreaction of Western political leadership to a viral epidemic as the best opportunity to overtake the West without going to the lengths of having to engage in military conflict.

Yes, it all sounds far fetched. But the interest the Chinese have in its relationship with the West is in control and gaining that control in whatever way necessary to get the job done.

With their own people it’s easy for the Chinese Communist Government to inflict the authoritarian view. But without literally invading and taking over countries by using physical force, with consequences for their own Country that could easily destroy them, by far most sensible route to destabilise the countries that stand against them is to use the weaknesses of those countries to attack them from within.

In truth, we may never know the answer to the question of how or indeed why the COVID-19 pandemic began. It is not in the interests of the Chinese to provide Western Governments with any form of help that might prove to shine any spotlight on the truth of what really happened.

What we should keep in mind however, is that no country inclined to use aggressive force against others for the purpose of gaining control is likely to weoponise anything that it couldn’t either control or understand to be harmless to the people it considers to be a beneficial use.

Wuhan in China is now back to operating as if the outbreak from within its boundaries simply didn’t exist.

Today we should be asking ourselves who has most to gain from the deference paid to neoliberalism and the global economy if weak minded Western leaders come out the other side of this Pandemic and behave like nothing has changed and everything remains the same?

The Covid Crimes Tribunal is a very dangerous idea. One that could lead to a new Great Terror for the UK before our transition to the post-Covid age

December 30, 2020 Leave a comment

There is no joy in watching people whose views and actions you otherwise respect getting so bogged down in the detail of everything that frustrates them about this Covid-19 age, that they have become obsessed with ideas of conspiracy theories. It is truly disconcerting to see great people reduced to eulogising the idea of a grand plan underpinning the pandemic itself, and the arrival of some new world order designed and set-in motion by a high-level intergovernmental networker based in Geneva.

This downward spiral or process that has hidden the legitimacy of the antilockdown platform has been underway for many months. Until now, the most concerning milestone was the backing and involvement of David Icke. But that concern has progressed to full red-flag danger now that there is talk of a Covid Crimes Tribunal being set up to prosecute those responsible for making the decisions affecting us all since the Coronavirus Pandemic began.

With so much media coverage being expended on the Brexit deal and the roll out of the COVID-19 Vaccine, you could be forgiven for simply overlooking everything else. It would be very easy to fall into the open elephant trap of believing that these are now the only stories in town.

Very regrettably, they are not. And whilst it seems extremely hard to believe that anything worse than the cycles of lockdowns and going through Tiers could be coming our way, the personal and real-life impact of an ongoing chain of poor, non-consequential decision making and choices made for the sake of political expediency on the part of people who should know a lot better, have been hurting – and yes, even killing people since the very early days of when this horrific chapter began.

It is certainly true that there is no excuse for what the Government and their advisors have done.

There was another way. A way that would have avoided the destruction of the UK Economy, the business closures, the job losses, the mental health issues, the domestic violence and the suicides to name but just a few of the consequences of the decisions taken and what these people have done.

Indeed, if the media were to give as much time and coverage to the real-life stories of destruction caused by the Lockdown and Social Distancing measures, then those still supporting Lockdowns would surely gain a real perspective of the cost of overreacting to a virus that has an impact arguably no worse than a very virulent strain of flu. This real news would surely snap the greater majority of people out of the idea that the Government has done the best that it could on our collective behalf all the way along.

For many of those who can see this reality already – that these are the consequences of an entire political class going completely the wrong way – it is becoming easier by the day to conclude that those responsible must be punished for what they have done.

Yet we all share the responsibility for having allowed our system of government and democracy to deteriorate so far that we have such inept and ill-equipped politicians running the Country. People who genuinely believe they are doing their job but don’t have the background, life experience nor wherewithal to deal with a national crisis as they should. A culture that has taken over the British Political system and the process of democracy so comprehensively that there is no easy way to replace them with people who would take responsibility for those they represent and lead as they should.

Talk of punishment – however measured that talk might appear to be – is likely to prove prescient and as such a very irresponsible act as a restriction on its severity in these unchartered circumstances cannot be assured.

When things really begin to go as bad as they surely will, as 2021 progresses and as the furlough scheme and the false floor economy comes to its end, increasing numbers of people will become angry and start to look for answers. They are unlikely to be ready to listen to reason once focus has been redirected upon blame and their passion over this grand injustice has been inflamed.

The best and arguably most painful form of punishment that can be applied to the people responsible for all of this is for them to lose their jobs and power. For them to be replaced by people who will undertake the responsibilities of the very same roles in the way that they should have, and for all of them to never again be allowed take over public office of any kind and be allowed to use it for their own benefit.

What we don’t need to do is encourage a journey from one extreme form of consequential group prejudice to the another, just as wokeism, the rights lobby and political correctness has already done and is still determined to do.

Violence is likely to be an inevitable progression from talk of tribunals in the circumstances that we can expect to come.

No matter how justified it may feel to enact it upon those who have avoidably created and engendered such levels of harm, the damage some great and avoidable reckoning visited upon the proponents of the Lockdown and the Economic Crash will do to British society will haunt us in ways that are completely unimaginable. It will do so beyond all of our lifetimes, and like the French Revolution and the Great Terror it precipitated would probably do so for Centuries to come.

The kind of thinking at work here is short term in political terms. It doesn’t respect the rules of the political game that exists and is at work across the UK. One that dictates that you can only change the rules when you are in power and you can only gain power by playing by the rules.

Those currently focusing on the blame game would do much better to expend their energies proactively and start to work towards the creation and development of an alternative political force.

After all, playing the long game in politics will ensure that all the bases in the short game are properly covered too.

Cleeve.Cloud – Update

October 5, 2020 Leave a comment

Hi Everyone,

Following a conversation with TBC this morning, it has become clear that there are a number of commercial interests working on bids to hold a Lease on Cleeve Hill Golf Couse and the Clubhouse building after the current Lease ends on 31st March 2021.

With this in mind, I do not believe that it would be right to pursue a community-driven bid at the present time.

As we face what might become a very severe economic downturn in the months and possibly years ahead, it would be unfair and potentially irresponsible to seek funding from you all and to use up volunteer time and donated or sponsored resources to put together a bid like this, if there are people already happy to dig into their own pockets to keep the facility open, – even if it turns out to be run and operated in a very similar form to now.

It is a great shame that there are clearly a number of interests already working on or closely supporting bids, whilst deliberately misleading others to believe that they are not committed to any existing plan.

I nonetheless hope a bid will come through that proves to be both credible to the Council and ‘doable’ as far as those pursuing it are concerned.

It would be a great loss for the wider community if the Course should close simply because certain groups have focused all their efforts on getting the outcome they want for themselves rather than being open to working with others to create a solution that would be inclusive and beneficial to all.

Best wishes,

Adam

War would have been less damaging to our Country than the Government’s response to Coronavirus because people would at least still want to live

September 18, 2020 Leave a comment

As a regular walker, I am now used to the process of getting to know the people I meet regularly. Smiles become hellos. Hellos become a moment sharing the time of day or a view. Sharing a view becomes a discussion on a life and experience that you would never otherwise have known about.

One such series of encounters led me to become familiar with one old guy in the Village where I live, and as he regaled me with stories of the nights that he and his brother would catch a train from Gloucester to attend dances in the Village pub, it wasn’t the romantic idea of steam and a train station lost under the Beaching Act that captured my imagination the most. It was his memory of the time in the years after the Second World War when he said ‘We were glad to be alive’.

This was a conversation that came before Coronavirus and it did of course stir my thoughts on the entitlement and ‘take everything for granted’ culture that has been so prevalent, where young people don’t want to become Police Officers because they don’t like working nights, and soldiers are more likely to be experts at protesting the technicalities of their human rights after capture on a battlefield rather than pick up a heavy gun and fight and avoid being caught.

Yet since the Government’s response to Coronavirus began, what started as concern has been replaced with the utter disbelief that in only six months of a Conservative Government handling a ‘peacetime’ national crisis, people have been deliberately manipulated and conditioned so effectively that they are now afraid to live.

What is clear is the Government’s response to Coronavirus has been more damaging psychologically to the minds and thinking of British People and our national psyche than our direct involvement in a war would be.

In the 1940’s Blitz, as bombs dropped, neighbours and friends died, and houses, pubs and schools were completely destroyed, people still wanted – and were prepared – to go about their daily business in as normal way as possible. They looked each and every day in the eye and wanted to rebuild and rejuvenate the world around them so they could grasp everything and every opportunity that was there to be enjoyed.

Death was a regular visitor. But death was never inevitable for as long as people respected and worked on the basis that we were in in together.

Yet today, as we supposedly fight disproportionately against a cold like virus that the Government itself fears more than it understands, we are being forced to believe that by being together at any time, our early death is inevitable, whilst death itself is not present amongst us in any way that is different to what would be the seasonal norm.

What the hell have our politicians done?

How did they do it?

Why did they do it?

What does it tell us about the World to come?

Whilst fear makes the world turn at some level for everyone, many do not possess the awareness either to accept or to understand this.

Fear is the power that drives everything in this world at the deepest, most intrinsic level. And if the fear button is incorrectly and deliberately pushed, fear can do untold harm to anyone and everyone, no matter how rational they might believe or understand themselves to be.

If you have access to Netflix, you may have taken the 90 minutes or so to watch ‘The Social Dilemma’ which is a very recent release. It is certainly worth a view as it puts in perspective the harm that can be done and the consequences for us all when people’s minds are played with in the pursuit of profit when the only thing intended (and considered) by the Social Media platform is a fee-paying result.

The cultural use of Facebook, Twitter and just about every social media platform you can think of is having an adverse effect of some kind on all of our upcoming generations. And this is what happens when there isn’t the use of fear involved.

Flip the coin of behavioural control to its other side and you will find the pseudo science of Behavioural Economics or ‘nudging’ in order to achieve specific outcomes with people.

It’s what unscrupulous politicians who are only worried about controlling people would see as the easy way to ‘get things done’.

Social Media is filling up with discussion groups focusing on what is little more than a drive to change people’s behaviour without those same people being conscious that they are being influenced and changing the way they behave in any way.

It’s been a growth industry in recent years with No10 even having its own Behavioural Insights Team.

It was these guys who were called on when the Coronavirus Pandemic kicked into full swing and the Johnson Government – forever committed to controlling the agenda – decided that it was time to use their mind manipulation unit to get the whole population, rather than the virus, under control.

What the impact of Social Media on young minds, Behavioural Economics (or Insights) and Boris’ Lockdown behavioural controls on us all have in common, is they have a defined and measurable purpose. But the consequences or side effects of the actions taken are also not being given a second thought.

It’s a bit like the stories that you may have heard about live theatre shows where a well-known performer conducts hypnosis on members of the audience to get them to do things like barking like a dog or pretending to be something that they are not, whilst all the time they are ‘under’ and not aware of what they have done. Just as the hypnotiser can programme the person being hypnotised to do something with a trigger word at a future time, they can also be sewing all sorts of damage to the individuals mental health which can impact heavily upon their life to come.

The objective of the Government’s mind games at the beginning of the Lockdown, was control of the population. The method of hypnosis that they used was fear. The intended result was a population that would do what it was told wherever the words Covid-19 or Coronavirus were involved. The unforeseen consequence and the damage done is that people are now too afraid to live.

Whilst Lockdown and Social Distancing Measures of any kind continue to exist, it will be all but impossible to snap anyone out of the mind-meld that the Government has created, as continuation of these measures in any form will give legitimacy to lie that a real population-wide threat from Coronavirus continues to exist.

We are literally in the situation that until a responsible Government or Political Leader stands up and says this was all a crock of shit and that Coronavirus is just another illness that has to be treated and addressed quietly and without fuss just like everything else, this Government-inflicted malaise will continue and it will continue at rabid pace.

As we don’t have such worthy politicians in Westminster today, we are in effect staring into a void where none of the damage done can be reversed.

The damage was avoidable and should have been avoided. But this is what happens when irresponsible politicians get their hands-on irresponsible toys.

Whilst the political classes complain of the risk to their idea of democracy from fake news, it is the very same susceptibility to misinformation that people have that makes everyone vulnerable to what politicians have themselves done, just so they could retain the control they believed they had.

Any form of manipulation conducted deliberately will have wider and unknown consequences. Its use is therefore wrong.

Profit or control. The aim simply doesn’t matter. The cost is simply too high for the lives of those People involved.

As we go forward and we leave the days of this kind of government behind, this misuse of power and the roll out of this 21st Century ‘dark art’ must be regulated and kept under strict control.

The Lockdown measures have taken beneficial ‘nudging’ like the fly stickers in the urinals of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to a nefarious extreme. The ability to manipulate minds in this way is simply too much responsibility for politicians and business people without scruples to have.

A 10-point plan to begin SAVING CLEEVE HILL GOLF COURSE

September 15, 2020 Leave a comment

Hello again. I wrote a blog a few days ago on Saving Cleeve Common Golf Course and covered the essential points that I wanted to share with you all, given my background as a former Tewkesbury Borough Councillor and Licensing Chair, and with the connection with Cleeve Common that both I and my family have, given that my Father Chris was Warden of the Common for the last 15 years of his life.

As a lot of you have taken the time to read what I have said, I felt it only fair that I follow up and provide an overview of my immediate thoughts on how I would approach saving Cleeve Common Golf Course and the Golf Club, and what I would suggest that you all need to think about to get started if that’s what you are resolved to do.

This overview is not comprehensive, and neither is it intended to be. In fact, I’ll bet that you will start to think of things yourself as you read through it. This is how you can all begin to put together a plan that will work!

Before I say anything else, what I am sure of from reading the comments and the views that I have by following the Facebook Group Save Cleeve Hill Golf Course, is there is both the will and passion necessary to do all that needs to be done, providing that everyone involved can approach this project with an open mind and remains committed to seeing it through – even when those lined up against you sound convincing when they say that it cannot be done.

The next thing is probably the most difficult thing for many to read, absorb and accept:

This is not just about saving the Golf Course and keeping Golf on Cleeve Common. This is about saving a community resource that must have the same meaning for everyone, whatever the Club represents to them. So, every perspective needs to be accommodated in your plans for the future as if it is your own personal No1 choice.

Representatives of different community Groups with an interest in the Common, The Golf Club or Cleeve Hill have been commenting and saying they are doing this or they are doing that – with the inference intended or otherwise, that others need to fall in line behind their efforts, because what they are already doing is somehow more important and more credible in some way.

The reality is that none of you will succeed if you attempt to develop a plan for the Course and the Club that focuses primarily on your own use and aims for these facilities.

YOU MUST give equal weight and value to those uses, priorities and opportunities that are not only your own.

Golf is no longer sustainable in its own right on Cleeve Common.

The suggestion has been made a number of times that the Clubhouse could be pulled down and replaced with temporary buildings as a simple golf club and that the Council would be happy with that.

Please, please, please think this through again.

I have seen nothing to suggest that there isn’t a longer-term plan for the Clubhouse and Car Park site in mind that will have a return for Tewkesbury Borough Council.

Without a formal repudiation of this possibility and guarantee that the site will be used as a car park and nothing else in perpetuity from Tewkesbury Borough Council (if the closure goes ahead), I would suggest that all bets would be on a sale or development plan for the site coming into public view as soon as the facilities are fully closed, the Course has been returned to ‘common’ and there is a perception that the matter has been forgotten.

Your job now, is to come up with a plan that means more to the Council and how it is perceived by Taxpayers than what they might believe to be simple economic sense.

Saving the Golf Course and the Clubhouse have to be seen as one and the same. As the future of both as a community resource lies in them being saved, preserved and taken forward together.

Neither the Golf Course nor the Clubhouse will survive on their own.

Whilst the Clubhouse is ‘old’ and in ‘desperate’ need of renewal and refurbishment, I have no reason to doubt that retaining the existing ‘iconic’ building and actually making it the centrepieces of this project is the best thing to do.

Reports for local authorities and government organisations are notorious for having the conclusions spoon-fed to consultants as part of their brief. So it would take a lot to convince me that the structure of the Clubhouse is so far gone that in the hands of someone who wants to save it and is prepared to use creativity to do that, it cannot therefore be saved.

Finally, it is also vital to understand and accept that this isn’t just a Cleeve Hill thing.

It’s a Bishops Cleeve thing.

It’s a Winchcombe thing

It’s a Woodmancote thing.

It’s a Cheltenham thing.

It’s a Tewkesbury thing.

It’s a Cotswold thing.

And if you start to think about it in those terms, you will begin to see the wide range of possibilities for co-working, partnerships and the stakeholder engagement opportunities that are involved that are there to be seized. The ideas turned into action that can and will make this project work.

It is vital that you recognise that you have the power to achieve the goal of saving the Golf Course and the Clubhouse. But every time you pass on or ‘surrender’ that decision or choice to Politicians, to Groups, to the Council, to the Media or to anyone else who isn’t amongst those who feel and believe the same, part of the momentum and with it part of the sum of the chances that together will lead to success will be lost.

If it is your decision to save Cleeve Hill Golf Course and Clubhouse, Do it.

Don’t let anyone else convince you that the future of the ‘Club’ is anyone else’s to ‘own’ or dictate.

And bear in mind, action speak louder than words.

So, to the steps:

1.) Set up ‘Silver Linings’ – The management group and operating company

To be successful, you need to create a management group that will become the board of the operating company. Let’s call it ‘Silver Linings Leisure’. (You get it?!)

Getting the membership of this board right is important. The decisions they make on behalf of everyone will influence whether this project succeeds or fails, and what particular events or actions happen that will push it either way.

You ideally need 6-12 people who are not only committed to saving the Golf Course and Clubhouse. They must also be committed enough and be able to offer the time and energy over at least the next 6-12 months to take this idea and lead the process to make it happen – against all the odds.

Of the board, all of the key user groups should be represented and have voting rights.

Members of the board who are representatives of other community groups MUST have the delegated responsibility to make representative decisions there and then at meetings of the board – as there will not be the time to go back and forth to consult.

Don’t include politicians or anyone else who is an activist looking to gain, grow or enhance their public profile locally. Also don’t include representatives of the staff – or at least don’t let them vote on decisions if you really feel that you must do so.

PLEASE BE AWARE: ALL of you will be volunteers.

You WILL NOT be paid for what you are doing unless you become employed by the operating company in the future.

As a volunteer it is important to remember that everyone else is volunteering too and that you cannot treat others like they are doing a job or like they are employed.

Volunteers take on voluntary roles because they will get something from helping that may not be apparent to anyone else involved. If you make demands on them as if they don’t have a choice, they will very quickly walk.

Expect nothing. Appreciate everything that everyone else does!

2.) Identify your key officers and their responsibilities, agree a basic constitution and become a legal entity

Whilst this really will be a community effort, it is still essential that people take on the key roles and become identifiable as the ‘people to go to’ for those outside of ‘Silver Linings’ so that this specific project will work.

My suggestion is the key roles go to people who have experience of running and developing businesses or organisations, of working with a range of different people and probably have project management skills in the broader sense (Whole business unit rather than just a piece of work or delivering a specific project). They will know who they are, and I would encourage them to make themselves known to the group quickly – IF they feel they can commit the energy and time.

As a start you will probably need:

  • chairman/spokesperson,
  • finance officer/treasurer
  • secretary/public point of contact
  • social media manager
  • media officer
  • project officer
  • purchasing officer
  • an acceptance that the requirements of this project may need responsibilities to flow between  

All of your new Officers must be happy having a public profile and be sure that there will be no conflict with their day jobs or any other roles that they have in the local community. (Conflict means anything that could influence them to change decisions or make decisions that they wouldn’t if they had not become involved. It’s the possibility that counts. Not whether they would or wouldn’t do it)

Write and agree your basic constitution:

You must become a legal entity to be taken seriously by the Council, the Board of Conservators and any other organisation (like funders and sponsors) with whom ‘Silver Linings’ wishes to become involved.

The constitution doesn’t need to be complicated. It just needs to cover the basic reasons for ‘Silver Linings’ being ‘constituted’ in the first place – and the key reason is widely known!

This document is also how where you divide up responsibilities and put together some basic protocols for governance and how decisions are made and where responsibility falls.

Register as a charity and/or limited company

Once you have your Officers and your Constitution, you can set up ‘Silver Linings’ as a legal entity.

 In the first instance, setting up as a charity and registering a limited company would probably be wise. This is after all a community venture with a commercial drive, or what some people recognise as a ‘social enterprise’.

There will very probably be an accountant, solicitor and/or barrister based locally who would be supportive of the project and be prepared to help get this part of the process tied up so that the members of the board are protected right from the start. Find the right one and they may even take on one of your key board roles!

Set up a bank account

Coronavirus and the Lockdown has slowed down the process of getting business bank accounts open. So as soon as the Constitution is agreed, you have the names of your Board (and account signatories) agreed and you have ‘Silver Linings’ legally set up, you should get the process underway.

Ideally there should be a number of different signatories on the account and any payment should only be able to be authorised by a minimum of two.

3.) Arrange meetings with the Key Stakeholders

Meet with Tewkesbury Borough Council.

You MUST engage with Tewkesbury Council as quickly as possible.

Ideally you should meet with the relevant Portfolio Holder (Who I understand to be Cllr. Rob Vines), The CEO (Mike Dawson), whoever the delegated officer dealing with the matter day to day will be, and the Ward Councillor(s) representing Cleeve Hill should really be at the first meeting too.

The local Councillors should be included so that they can fulfil their role as local elected representatives. This IS NOT the same thing as representing your case directly to the Council and I would advise strongly against entrusting them to communicate with either the Council or with Council Officers on your behalf, as there is simply too much to lose.

Your primary aim at the meeting should be to identify what Tewkesbury Borough Council would be seeking in the first instance from ‘Silver Linings’ to take on the Lease on 1st April 2021.

This will include things like:

  • Lease fees (rent)
  • Deposit
  • Guarantees
  • liabilities (who fixes what etc)
  • duration of the Lease etc.

What the Council will want now may be different to what they will accept once a full proposal has been put together which is credible and demonstrates how the project will benefit the community (and the Council) both economically AND in other ways.

It is essential that you DO NOT approach the Council expecting them to give you anything less than the terms of what you know the existing Lease to be in the first instance.

This is The Council’s opportunity to set out its stall. I would be inclined to take what they say they will or won’t do very seriously, as this is the stepping off point and the basis upon which the ‘Silver Linings’ project can be built.

Record the meeting if they will allow you to. Do not do so without permission.

Take notes either way and write the minutes whilst the meeting is fresh in your mind. Run them past whoever was there from the board to check that nothing was missed or nothing was misheard.

Meet with the Board of Conservators:

Gauge how they feel about things and see what they can do to support ‘Silver Linings’.

Is there a way that you could support what they are doing and build it into the ‘plan’?

Please be aware that Tewkesbury Borough Council is represented by a Borough Councillor on the Board of Conservators

4.) Publicise ALL progress and be transparent

Publish the minutes of all meetings ASAP.

Send copies to ALL other parties so that they have the opportunity to challenge any conclusions from your notes or ask for changes and/or reviews.

Make sure that EVERYONE with an interest gets a copy sent directly to their Inbox and a copy is made publicly available on the website.

If you have someone who is good at writing and has time, think about starting a blog diary of events and everything that is being done. This will be a fantastic way to engage the local community and gain support as you go along!

5.) Set up a Crowdfunder

Saving Cleeve Hill Golf Course is enough in itself to get a Go Fund Me page (or similar) going right now.

Money will be needed for basic things like a website and basic expenses to begin with and its not a good habit for anyone to simply cover the cost of anything they do directly out of their own pocket without it being recorded.

Information like this helps with the business plan and could potentially be used in future funding bids if you ever apply for ‘match funding’ where a funder effectively offers to match what you are putting in from other sources – which could include direct ‘donations’.

Be patient about pushing a more substantial funding campaign. You will only be able to start putting the more substantive capital and revenue costs together as you go down this list and know what it will take financially to get the new ‘Silver Linings’ Clubhouse open and supported financially for an appropriate period until it breaks even, can sustain itself and then even pay back loans or better still, reinvest in the development of the ‘business’!

.Once the full project has been costed, that will be the right time to consider whether issuing shares in the new operating company would work. You will need to answer questions like:

  • How much would they need to be?
  • Will we be able to offer any dividends?
  • If we don’t offer dividends, what will our ‘shareholders’ get in return

6.) Write your Business Plan

I’m not sure anyone who has ever launched a business likes writing their own business plans. It’s too easy to get carried away and think you already know everything that needs to be done, but it’s that same enthusiasm that can really catch you out.

Even if you didn’t need a credible business plan to show to Stakeholders, investors and anyone you might be seeking support from, it’s a really good idea to put the most comprehensive business plan that you can together and work out the costings down to a detailed level, making sure that you build in as much scope to cover unforeseen or unanticipated events and risks as possible.

Writing a plan can be tricky with a seasonal business like this one will be. The good news is you already know your handover date or rather the date that ‘Silver Linings’ will move in and takeover Cleeve Hill Golf Course and the Clubhouse if this project is a success!

You have a timeline and so you know when everything needs to be done.

The Council and The Board of Conservators will want to see a credible plan built around this timeline that demonstrates you have thought everything through and how the process of turning the business around will be worked through, when ‘milestones’ or key events in the timetable will be reached and basically, when everything that needs to be done will get done.

The key question:

The biggest part of the project will be refurbishing the Clubhouse.

I would suggest that the best way to do this will be to utilise all of the local tradesmen talent who already use the Club and aim to do something like DIY SOS where everyone mucks in over a period of a week or a fortnight to upgrade, install and refurbish the Clubhouse from top to bottom so that the new ‘Club’ and the services that it offers as a ‘Hub’ can all be offered immediately in a late April or May Bank Holiday ‘relaunch’.

Detail is important, so this isn’t just rewiring, repanelling, repainting.

  • Can internal walls be moved?
  • Can the bar be changed?
  • How can the toilets be better planned?
  • What facilities MUST we have?
  • What needs to be changed to meet current legislation and rules?

You will need to agree on what the ‘Clubhouse’ experience will be. How it is now is how it has been for a long time and it’s going to need to be decorated and designed in a way that it maximises the strengths that it has.

If I was looking at this project on my own, I’d probably be asking questions along the lines of would it be possible to decorate the whole thing like an alpine or Rocky Mountain chalet with a centrepiece wood burner with Cotswold stone and reclaimed wood panels or something like that. It would fit with the whole thing.

Detail is really important to and as part of the revamp, I’d be considering the machinery area, the car park and the walls around the site too. NOT only what you think other people will see.

Also, could a neighbouring field be rented in the summer months to provide car parking perhaps?

Where is the added value for people going to be that is not obvious to see?

So how will ‘Silver Linings’ pay?

The USP or unique selling point of the Clubhouse and the Golf Course is the location.

The questions that need to be answered and thought through include:

  • What services can be offered from the site that we can provide?
  • What services can be offered from the site that a partner commercial organisation could and would want to provide?
  • What local organisations would benefit from the facilities?
  • What can the site offer tourists to the area?
  • What services could you offer if you paired up with local stables, local hotels, local B&Bs, Local breweries, local distilleries, Local Schools, local community organisations and treated the Clubhouse as a local ‘Hub’?

What is important to bear in mind is that people easily forget that things they haven’t experienced themselves are there.

  • How will you get new people in?
  • How will you get them coming back again?
  • How will you ensure that the customer/user experience is always as good as you yourself would want it to be?

Having a facility like this lends itself to year-round, all-day activities and sales opportunities if everything is thought through and is used as it should.

You will need a management in team that has the vison to see this and the wherewithal to implement it too.

But as I said in my last blog, the biggest responsibility for keeping people coming through the doors will be down to you.

7.) Get commitments from ‘contractors’

You will need an architect and/or surveyor to check out everything that can, cannot and must be done to the clubhouse.

Once you have a style and format agreed, you can then look at dividing up the different tasks to the different contractors and tradespeople that I mentioned above.

By this stage, you will have fixed dates in mind and you will be able to tell everyone who is able to volunteer when you will require their time.

8.) Think about getting sponsorship

The list of local companies likely to want to support a ‘feel good’ local community project might not be as long right now as it would at other times, but the opportunities for relationships that are mutually beneficial may have never been so good – particularly if you can sell a company’s products for them!

People have mentioned Julian Dunkerton from Superdry. Well he owns a Dunkerton’s Cider too and whilst the Clubhouse might not be on the Lucky Onion’s hitlist, a commitment to sell his Cider for a short time might get you a discount on the purchase price and be all it takes to get some help and expertise to redevelop the bar and kitchen area to see how it can be made to work best. They may well be happy to promote ‘Silver Linings’ too!

Cotswold Distillery, Hook Norton Brewery, Goff’s, Donnington Brewery to name but a few may all have an interest in you promoting their products. There are bakers, butchers, ice cream makers and all sorts of other great local producers too. So, pick up the phone and ask what they would be prepared to do!

9.) Think about starting funding applications

Once you’ve covered the bases above, you’ll be starting to get a much clearer picture of what ‘Silver Linings’ is going to look like and what its going to cost going forward.

But there are other questions to be asked such as:

  • What investment will the Golf Course need to attract the players, membership and recognition that it needs?
  • What resources does the Clubhouse need to become more attractive to other users – for instance would a minibus and a service down to Cleeve and Winchcombe be the help that it needs?

For a social enterprise that is aiming high to help the community, there will be funding options that can be considered for the long term. But they may not be available in the time that you would like and that’s where the cycle of funding and going back to crowdfunding and then issuing share options begins.

10.) Handover in April 2021

Never lose sight of this date. This is what you are working to. If you can’t be ready to take over the running of Cleeve Hill Golf Course and the Clubhouse on this date – it cannot be done!

OK. So this was a little longer than I thought it would be, but its really only a guide and a guide to what needs to be done as a start at that.

If I can answer questions about any of the above, please post them as comments on this blog below. I will aim to help wherever I can.

Best wishes and good luck to you all!

Adam

The community can SAVE CLEEVE HILL GOLF COURSE. But don’t expect Tewkesbury Borough Council or any local politicians to do it on their own

September 9, 2020 2 comments

I was deeply saddened to read the news this week that Cleeve Hill Golf Club is set to close at the end of March 2021.

Reading the comments on the Facebook Page Save Cleeve Hill Golf Course that has been set up to try and save this well-known local community resource, I could feel the passion and frustration that is already tangible amongst a great many people, whilst from a very different perspective understand fully why the decision and circumstances that are publicly known today will come across as being so unfair.

Those of you who know me will be aware that Cleeve Common occupies a very special part of my family history. My father Chris was the Warden of the Common for some 15 years up until shortly before his death in early 2006 and I am a regular walking visitor myself, having only been for a circular walk with my new pup early this past Sunday morning.

I was also a Tewkesbury Borough Councillor for 8 years and Chair of the Licensing Committee for 4 of them. Whilst I don’t agree with the conclusions or views from the Council I have read publicly, I am well aware of how such decisions these days will have been reached and what factors are likely to have motivated them.

On the Council’s side of the ‘problem’, the current Leaseholder has given notice or taken the opportunity not to renew the Lease (Which regrettably makes a lot of sense). The Council has commissioned a report that says the Golf Club and Course isn’t commercially viable. The Council has concluded that the Clubhouse is beyond a sensible cost for renewal and repair.

But it’s what the Council isn’t saying publicly about their longer-term plans for the Clubhouse site which should really be the starting point for any public interest about the way the decision has been reached – especially in such challenging times for the hospitality and leisure industries.

With the prospect of such a well-known public facility about to be closed, everyone with an interest in Cleeve Hill and the Golf Club has the right to be sure that there isn’t some hidden agenda or longer-term plan at work that is being sold to us as something else as it is convenient and politically expedient to do so right now.

Tewkesbury Borough Council would do well to formally assure the Public immediately that there isn’t any plan for the value of the Clubhouse site to be realised in the future by allowing private development to take place in a process that will benefit the Council financially or in some other way.

To be fair to Tewkesbury Borough, ALL Councils are struggling financially for a range of reasons. Some are local and of their own making. But many are handed to them by the Westminster Government and are therefore not theirs to own.

Right across Local Government, Councillors and Officers have simply lost sight of the fact that they are there to manage public assets like these in our best interests and that Councils are not a business that they can or should even try to run like it is something that they personally own.

Meanwhile, on the Public side of ‘debate’, Cleeve Hill Golf Course is a community asset. Golf Courses are popular and financially viable all around the Cotswolds and the Gloucestershire area. The Course is a landmark and part of our local history and is arguably unique. The Golf course could be better utilised to give local people – and especially young people more constructive things to do.

But the numbers of fee-paying players who go through the Clubhouse and on to a Course like Cleeve Common, in this state and in this location is probably smaller that it may to appearances seem.

The Clubhouse itself is not used regularly in the way that it could be by significant numbers of local people as a pub or destination, and certainly not now during these times that the Government response to Coronavirus continues. Could you really look back to cold, dark misty winter nights on Cleeve Hill and say that this is somewhere that you would then definitely want to be?

Painful as it is to write, the reality is that Tewkesbury Borough Council has already indicated that it will not subsidise the Golf Course. We must all be big enough to recognise that there is a case to be argued that if the Council were going to subsidise anything, there are likely to be other public services that local Public money should be used to prioritise within the local community first.

Equally however, none of us would knowingly invest money in any project that would not command a realistic return. With the cost of modernising and refitting the Clubhouse likely to be the reason why the Council’s Consultants have concluded that it would be better to pull it down, you might begin to see that the Council would probably want to have any investment returned in full in what might be little more than a ten-year period.

Put it this way, if the work considered necessary to re-let the Clubhouse and Course commercially were £400,000.00 up front, the £769.23 per week repayment cost before interest, added to the existing c.£1000.00 per week rental fee would simply make the prospect of taking on the project commercially absurd, when you put it into the perspective of the impact of Coronavirus, The Lockdown and everything else.

Whilst what I have written above is intended merely as a quick guide of the likely mechanics of what is going on, it certainly doesn’t make the decision or any of the unseen influences upon it feel in any way right.

What it does do is suggest strongly that petitions and banging on the doors of Councillors and the Tewkesbury and Cheltenham MPs will ultimately prove not to be enough to yield any meaningful fruit – no matter how sympathetic they or any other local person of influence may be minded to be about saving the Clubhouse and the Course.

If you genuinely want to save Cleeve Hill Golf Course, the community made up of people with an interest in using it will need to come up with an alternative solution to the one that our local Councillors and the Officers that advise them have tabled.

It will have to be one that really works.

It is likely that the Golf Course and the Golf Clubhouse can and will only be saved by a community based, not-for-profit approach such as a social enterprise.

Any kind of commercial or ‘profit-making’ approach without a ridiculous amount of risk and accepted loss is extremely unlikely to be viable in any way.

Whether right or wrong, the starting point for any valid discussion with the Council would be the general understanding and acceptance on the part of everyone who wants to save Cleeve Hill Golf Course that the only thing that can be expected as a minimum will be the good will of the Council to keep the Golf Course open as a Public Community Asset. There must be recognition that any acceptable plan is unlikely to have any additional financial cost to the Council involved.

Crowdfunding is an option to cover remedial work and repairs – especially as the site and location is so popular. This project would have significant attraction if it was marketed just right.

But if there is a genuine will amongst the local community to not only save Cleeve Hill Golf Club and the Clubhouse, but to actually see it thrive, then everyone who wants to see it open and there to use will also have to be both a user and evangelist of the facilities that are on offer. Everyone must make sure that no matter whether they are golfers, a youth group or a local group of ramblers, the operating company that takes over runs and promotes the whole thing and manages this fabulous community asset as both a facility and experience that is accessible to all and is open and ready year-round for everyone to use.

There isn’t much time. To save this resource, a sensible and non-combative dialogue needs to begin with Tewkesbury Borough Council right now, so that the Council has the chance to make clear what they can and can’t do. The Community will then be better placed to consider, put together and then table a proposal and take the steps necessary that might then lead to a 2021 win-win for users, the Council and of course, most if not all of those who are currently facing the loss of their jobs.

The people who use and love the Golf Course and the Common may not have the skills and experience to tackle this issues and drive forward as individuals alone.

But working together, it is almost certain that all of the skills, experience and motivation necessary to save Cleeve Hill Golf Course already exists.

Embrace the Reset. Own the Reset. Make the Reset work for real people just like you. Don’t let the Reset be stolen and used against us all by the few

August 31, 2020 Leave a comment

You may have noticed that the word ‘Reset’ is increasingly being used in media posts, most often by people who are talking up the idea that Coronavirus was always a stage of a deliberate plan to completely restructure the way that we are governed. All as part of a process of creating a new world government to benefit the few.

The common response goes something along the lines of ‘No to the Reset’, very much in the sense that this is all a question of us (the ‘people’) vs. them (whoever ‘they’ are).

The problem for anyone adopting this approach, particularly from the anti-Lockdown/anti-Government camp, is that the coming Reset is now inevitable. Ignoring that fact will only lead to normal people being left behind.

There is plenty of information and even video clips are being circulated by conspiracy theorists and used to give credence to the argument that there is a grand plan at work that is set to enslave us all.

But the reality is that any words spoken by any business or government leaders that give credence to such interpretations will only become prescient if together we fail to grasp the opportunity that we now have to take back control of our destiny. The time is now coming when we can run this Country for the best interests of everyone – just like it always should have been.

No matter how compelling the Lockdown, Social Distancing, the requirement that we wear masks, the plans for rolling out a Vaccine or anything else might seem as evidence that there is a deliberate strategy at work, we are in fact seeing and experiencing a series of decisions taken in isolation by a political class which is completely and utterly out of its depth.

Hindsight gives the lie to what appears a perfect flow of planned events. But it is a chronology that a reasoned perspective can certainly see.

Every decision that has been made in response to Coronavirus by this Government has been taken by politicians who are driven by fear, doing all that they can in each and every moment to retain control in any way that they believe that they can.

The consequences beyond the attempted control of a virus that our Politicians neither understood nor had any way to control were never considered at any point. This was illustrated by the statement made by MP Steve Baker in July that showed how even more independently minded MPs outside of the immediate sphere of Government influence were taken in by the rhetoric. Even they lacked the foresight and understanding to see that where the Government was taking us would be completely wrong.

published on Twitter at 6.44 on 20/07/2020

The Lockdown was a universal response to a specific problem, followed up with targeted solutions for the obvious rather than the universal consequences that the Government had unwittingly imposed.

Instead of shutting down the flow of money when so much of the economy had been shut down, Rishi Sunak picked up the Public Cheque book and started fire-hosing cash at everything they could come up with as needing to be subsidised.

Because of the economic model that the Government and the people who advise them so stupidly follow, they believe that halting monetary flow would be problematic.

This ‘solution’ that was adopted, which as part of the whole Government ‘response’ to the Coronavirus Pandemic has hurt far more people to date than it will ever have helped, only benefited the money men temporarily. But it has actually set everyone up for an inevitable and massive economic fall.

The economic fall that will be with us in the months ahead, will become apparent to more and more of us as the days pass, the Furlough Money dries up and the redundancies pick up speed.

But that economic fall is the collapse of the monetary system as we have known it for a very long time. It will be the end of the FIAT Money System where the big banks and the financial houses have control over everything, where deregulation has allowed them to create money from nothing and then lend it at interest in a way that means only they and those they underwrite can ever win.

These private interests cannot control what happens next if we have people in power and in government who understand what has been happening. Leaders who are committed to changing the system to one that works for all as it should be. Most importantly, public representatives who cannot be bought.

The coming reset became our destiny the moment that the Lockdown began.

It was only the scale of that reset which has been dictated by decision after decision that the Johnson Government has made ever since that time.

If Johnson and this Political Class remain in power and oversee the UKs pathway through the turbulence that is yet to come, you can be assured that whether the next government is led by Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat or politicians representing any of the Political Parties that we already know, they will not only allow but will celebrate the creation or recreation of an economic system that will inevitably put the interests of the majority of people firmly last.

It is a situation that we should all be afraid of. Life is already unbearable for many across the UK and the World, and if this political culture remains the same, things will only get worse and worse.

Without change, the opportunities that the Coronavirus Pandemic and the Economic Crisis will give us to enact positive change will be stolen and reassigned to benefit the very same few.

The Reset is ours for the taking. The Reset is there for us to own. The Reset is the opportunity for massive societal and economic change that so many of us genuinely want for the better.

But the Reset will not be ours to decide if people who are angry and frustrated with this disaster of a Government and the political class it represents carry on believing that the experience they are having and the response to be made is one for them to decide and enact on their own.

It was a huge mistake by the Anti-Lockdown movement to adopt David Icke as a figurehead and allow him to speak at the London March this weekend. There is no worldwide fascist-derived conspiracy.

We have been, are, and without reasoned action NOW, will continue to be at the mercy of a few who already have much compared to others who just want a lot more and are obsessively on the make.

Nobody has a guidebook or a history lesson to tell them how the coming months are going to unfold. Obsessing about the decisions that Government has made will not change anything and it will certainly do nothing to help the removal of all those who have influenced or made such catastrophic decisions. Yet to go forward, we must facilitate the removal of all of those involved.

The question of why all this has happened doesn’t really matter. Its what we do to take control of what happens next that counts. That is where our efforts need to be focused now.

There. Is. NO. CONSPIRACY. (Don’t get high on David Icke’s supply…)

August 27, 2020 2 comments

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Reason seems not only to have left the Government and the process of making decisions for us all. It also appears to have evaporated from the thinking of more or less everyone who has lined themselves up against the Government under the guise of being Lockdown Sceptics, Anti-Lockdown, Anti-Mask, Anti-Social Distancing or indeed any of the growing number of Anti-Government activist movements that the Lockdown has brought into being.

In what seems to have been a very quick turn of events – and when I say quick, I am numbering this development in terms of just a few days – what looked like it might become a growing legitimate campaign lining up against the injustices visited upon us all, has entered and then accelerated on a downward spiral of obsessing over conspiracy theories as a way of explaining and justifying its cause.

Trying to explain or find a way to explain events that appear to defy logic – as is the case with just about everything that the Government has recently done – is perfectly natural for all of us.

However, there is nothing for anyone to be gained by attempting to use conspiracy theories to explain the actions of very stupid politicians who have power and responsibility that they have no idea how to control.

Too many of us look for the most complicated ways to explain things we are unhappy with. Yet it is the simplest explanation that will usually do.

Hanlon’s Razer says ‘Never Attribute to Malice That Which Can be Adequately Explained By Stupidity.

Whilst it seems impossible to believe that we could have a completely inept, incompetent Government ‘running’ the UK today – especially in the middle of a national crisis, this is the reality we have to face.

We give politicians far more credit than they deserve and fall into the trap of believing that anyone who has attained high or elected office must surely be as clever or as intelligent as they come.

People can have the ‘best’ education, come from the ‘best’ backgrounds, have the ‘best’ connections and have lives that make it look like they have been privileged in every single way. But they can still be completely and utterly stupid. Being in politics and elected to high office does not make them immune from the moments or entire lifetimes of stupidity that can afflict us all.

This is about basic human behaviour. The way that normal people behave. The only difference when we consider the case of the people who lead us is the way those of us who outside the Westminster bubble perceive these ‘politicians’ to be.

There is no grand plan at work. Coronavirus is not the weapon of a clandestine secret world government that sits above Boris Johnson and his Government, actively pulling their strings.

Yes, the Lockdown and the Johnson Government’s actions in response to it are going to bring about a massive ‘reset’.

But those actions have caused the coming reset. The outcomes they have and will create were not in any way planned in advance.

The Coronavirus Pandemic and the fallout from their response to it is not something that Johnson & Co were equipped to deal with. It is not something that they have precipitated knowingly by choice.

Sadly, by failing to recognise that politicians cannot and will not change their direction and their way of doing things because they are behaving stupidly, many of the people who are talking up conspiracies to explain this stupidity are themselves behaving stupidly too.

This is bad enough. But when time is so short, when an alternative to the current political choices may be needed in just the few months ahead, the failure to step back and see that there is a bigger picture at work could easily close the minds of the many to what presented differently could easily become a highly credible choice to what we already have.

Aligning the ‘anti-government’ movement with voices such as David Icke will quickly make the alternative choice to the Government and broken political system they represent an impossible one for the majority of people.

People already are or very soon will be desperate for someone or something credible to fill the void that will appear the moment that the Government’s time is done.

The chaos, bitterness, hatred and anger that David Icke and his ideas represent are certainly not credible. They are not the solution.

The majority of people know this at a visceral level, without ever needing to give the matter another thought. And they will be switched off the moment they become aware that he is involved.

If Icke’s ideas were sold purely as metaphor and nothing else, some might argue that there is validity within the themes. There might even be recognition of some partial truths.

But they are not.

Icke’s ideas are sold as being unadulterated fact and that creates a danger in everything that he and the people who promote his ideas and way of thinking do.

There is great irony in Icke’s proclamation of being the son of God. The Church of England is a living, breathing example of how something in the mainstream that works well when it allows people to have ‘faith’ is then rejected by the majority when it presents metaphorical ‘teachings’ as absolute fact.

The British Public need a lot more than conspiracy theories to get them out of the hole that this Government and generations of politicians just like them have actively dug for us.

This Government is not going to listen to reason, to life experience or anything else that we outside the bubble know and understand to be perfectly reasonable expectations to place on public representatives. Because their stupidity and self-serving nature leads them to believe that they have a choice.

It is because politicians have not been listening to us for so long, that we have a level of stupidity in government today that makes rational people believe that the decisions being taken could only be the creation of a malevolent force that is deliberately intent on doing us all harm.

We have to remove the political culture that this Government represents from every position of public representation and public power or responsibility, so that selfishness and stupidity in decision making can no longer do innocent British People any harm.

But to achieve this, we MUST employ a reasoned and fully considered approach that includes and motivates everyone. Not just those who think that changing any of this is as simple as a political choice.

Conspiracies are not going to wash with the majority. Deep down, people know that basic human nature is pretty much guaranteed to be the underlying cause of anything that ends up hurting anyone. The default setting of the human condition is to be selfish and self-serving. Others become victims of these default choices as a consequence and rarely as a deliberate choice.

Of the growing number of people now lining up against this rotten Government and all that it does, it would only take a handful to begin building the movement for change that would have all the right ingredients required for success and to make it work.

Show people a genuine alternative to this Government and System. Then they will join a movement for change

August 24, 2020 Leave a comment

I’ve written about the current trend for the anti-lockdown, anti-mask and anti-social distancing activist ‘networks’ to be looking at conspiracy theories to explain coronavirus and all of the policies that are hurting us as part of the Government’s reaction and handling of the pandemic.

What some anti-lockdown activists believe to be the deliberate creation of a worldwide reset as a step to creating a new world order, can and in time will be explained by political stupidity on a level so breath taking, it does feel very plausible to believe there are genuinely malevolent forces at work.

The trickle of growing support for a popular uprising against the Government is not demonstrating the interest nor commitment from their fellow Countrymen that activists believe should now exist.

But what these same activists don’t understand as they complain that numbers are being held back; calling people stupid and sheep for obeying the law, is that people generally follow their gut feeling on the political options they understand to be available unless they have been directly touched or hurt by public policy at a personal level.

The choice of what happens next for people right now appears to be between a growing tin foil hat brigade that just wants to stop everything the Government is doing without any plan for what comes next, and a Government that may be getting things wrong, but was nonetheless elected and put in its position only last December by electoral vote and democratic choice.

The sense of fair play that the British People still possess is not one that will be overcome by anger and sabre rattling by either a conscious or voluntary choice. This applies even when there is growing discontent, belief and people know that something is fundamentally wrong with the system and what the politicians we have elected have done and continue to do.

There is no doubt that we need an alternative to the Johnson Government and the political system that it represents.

But the future of this Country is much more likely to turn out well for everyone if the change we desperately need comes about by democratic choice.

The British Electorate want to be spoken to, respected as and above all treated as adults by all politicians and the government of the day.

People across this Country haven’t been respected by the political classes as they should be for a very long time and Brexit and Boris’ general election victories were both direct results of this fact. Yet political egos are still getting in the way.

What the Electorate will not knowingly and deliberately do is jump from one form of establishment stupidity to another.

People will not believe that you will be able to govern better or lead them just because you say you know what’s right when you also don’t have a track record of governing. It simply doesn’t have any appeal to the masses on the basis of being a logical choice.

The status quo and whatever the incumbent regime or way of doing things is, will always prevail when the choice is so simple – no matter whether the challengers are fundamentally right or wrong.

To a normal voter looking at the situation as it is now, they see on one side a group of established politicians offering £cash giveaways with the perceived security of things continuing how they always seem to have been. On the other, a group that is growing, but only offers the ability to stand up, protest and basically say no.

We’ve been here before with Brexit, through the electoral relationship with UKIP and the Brexit Party.

The public want things to change, but only if they can be sure they will stay the same.

Activism against this inept Government might well represent the true zeitgeist. But as with Brexit before, the players in this political game will not be changed until you can carry the crowd and get them interested in developing a different set of rules

People want to know and be able to visualise how their choice of who to support politically will affect them.

The new message has to reach people at a very personal and material level if they are to drop their support for this failed way of doing government and take a leap of faith and considerable risk on backing something has no track record, no credentials and above all is completely unknown.

Yes it helps to have momentum in the way that #ForgottenLtd, #ExcludedUK, #NoMasks and keep Britain Free (#KBF) have got. But it will all add up to nothing and will be of no benefit to anyone if that momentum is not harnessed and put into a form that connects with people in a way that will allow it collectively to do some good when the time comes.

The focus must move from obsessing over the hardship and pain that this ridiculous Government has caused, to creating the comprehensive solution that will not only challenge this Government to change direction, but provides an alternative that is ready to step in and take over when the Government and this political cult falls, then begin what will be the very arduous process of putting everything right.

Saying no to everything the Johnson Government is doing is justified. But saying no and shouting about it takes no preparation. It doesn’t equip anyone or anything to win what is a very important and high stakes game.

Show people a genuine alternative to this Government and the broken political system. That is the time they will join the movement for change and adopt wholesale change as their cause.

The Chinese Government’s ruthlessness is a strategic risk empowered by the cultural fear Johnson & Co created to help their own plans for control

August 24, 2020 Leave a comment

Whilst conspiracists and even Governments see the suggestion that China deliberately unleashed Coronavirus on the World as a legitimate hammer to hit them with, there remain simply too many variables and unknowns for a Government as controlling as the Communist Chinese to indulge. That isn’t to say they are neither prepared nor are not already using their ruthlessness to gain a strategic upper hand against the West as our Countries go to pieces because of Coronavirus Policy.

Whilst our Prime Minister likes to think of himself as the Churchill of the modern age, he is presiding over what history is likely to record as one of the most destructive British Governments ever known.

Johnson’s Conservatives have turned a crisis into calamity whilst convincing a significant part of the population that it is no longer safe to live.

If every country around the globe were doing nothing other than dealing with Coronavirus, or rather pandering to the fear of it – as Boris and his Government deliberately are, it would merely be the financial chaos that they have unleashed without good reason in response to the Lockdown they created that would be the biggest problem we face today by far.

However, blame for the genesis of coronavirus, the Huawei 5G question and the South China Sea uncertainties aside, little attention is being focused on China, whilst it is pretty much steaming ahead with everything – like COVID-19 was a meaningless blip it has simply cast aside.

It’s as if China was on the pre-Covid world ‘ship’ with everyone, yet they have carried on accelerating output and enhancing both their economic and industrial situation, whilst all of the western ‘wet’, incompetent and self-serving governments have self sabotaged their own Countries and jumped overboard.

Why does it matter?

It matters because the world is not a happy place. The complacency that has taken over our lives has made both the UK and the wider world an increasingly vulnerable place.

Whilst political correctness and the woke age sees the lives of people cancelled simply for daring to express themselves freely, we have collectively entered a very dangerous time when we literally only see threats from people who dare to offend fashionable thinking and use their voice.

Regrettably, many of the people waking to the threat to our way of living that our own government has caused in their response to the Coronavirus Pandemic are falling into a trap of believing that there is some great conspiracy at work to create a deliberate reset that will enslave us all. Yet the real threat to the Western world is the new world order that the Chinese is already working strategically to impose and fully intends to head.

China is the industrial and economic powerhouse that we should fear, because the Chinese Government see no moral restrictions in their way to achieving anything they want.

Instead our gutless and inept politicians have spent years sucking up to the Chinese Government simply because our own politicians values revolve around money and China appears to be the one Country always ready to help out when there’s a need for ready cash with the seemingly bottomless pockets to go with it.

Beyond the responsibility and the guilt that growing numbers now wish to be attributed to the actions of Boris and Co. there is perhaps an even greater injustice than their catastrophic mishandling of the Coronavirus Pandemic: in terms of national security they and have been and are strategically asleep at the wheel.

There is no reason to not trade with any country if they have goods or services to offer, they we cannot produce in the UK.

Yet the globalist approach that has been part of this neoliberalist age has pushed manufacturing and jobs headlong into the lair of the dragon. Corporate greed and government incompetence have elevated the chase for profits into a different league, playing right into the hands of a regime that uses deception to gain advantage as its default choice.

As the UK and many other countries around the world begin their descent into an economic abyss that there was never a need for us to fall into, let alone be propelled there by the choice and actions of our politicians, the Chinese government is amassing strength in all manner of ways, aided exponentially by this now unavoidable demise of our own.

The Chinese are positioning themselves to exploit this situation to their advantage. They will quickly be in a position to militarily threaten us in the physical world as well as in the parallel cyber universe where their tentacles have spread far beyond our current national capabilities and probably even into our own homes.

Because of what our politicians have done or failed to do, the 1930’s age of appeasement under the threat of Hitler in Europe may well soon resemble a comparatively idle threat when you put in perspective what’s really involved.

Motivating an entire nation that has been brainwashed to fear death from a virus at every step will feel all but impossible to any genuine leader in itself. But having to face overturning the material effect of decades of Neoliberalism and Globalisation too, in order to restore our collective way of thinking, our motivation and our manufacturing capabilities – just so that we can actually respond when WE are the ones being threatened by war (and if the Chinese do not win without a shot being fired first ) – will be beyond compare.

We can only hope that the trajectory we now appear to be on turns out to be false or positively different than it appears. Otherwise the chances are, instead of being a great leader who preserved our freedom at all costs, Boris Johnson will he seen as the prime minister so obsessed with controlling people’s freedoms to preserve his own role that he gave away everyone’s ability to be free by choice.

A Gloucester shopkeeper has banned ALL customers not wearing a mask, insisting he is right to do so: This is what the Johnson Government has achieved by using fear to legitimise bullshit and lies

August 21, 2020 Leave a comment

As that wonderful West Country lilt boomed out of Alexa and Heart Gloucestershire’s News bulletin this morning, I began to realise that I was listening to the real damage that Boris has done to this Country, made real through the words and deeds of a Gloucester Shopkeeper.

“Nobody’s exempt from spreading a virus” said it all. As the local radio journalist reported that this shop owner was turning away anyone not wearing a face mask, including those who the Government had declared exempt.

The realty that there are now retailers willing to break rights laws to keep the virus that they have actively been encouraged to fear so passionately out of their store, tells us that the whole set of myths created by the Government for nothing more than political expediency are now well and truly out of control.

The problem is now unlikely to be tamed by anyone or anything whilst even the slightest remnants of social distancing and any form of the Lockdown remain.

Fear can do this to people because of the way that fear works. It permeates everything at some level within the human experience, basically motivating us all.

Just any old person rocking up and telling you that your life is at risk from something you haven’t heard of will most often be met with the scorn that such statements require when life experience or simple common sense will tell us what the risk of anything really is. But when so many people’s experience has been that the Government and the mainstream media are to be trusted above all else and they then tell us partial truths -intentionally knowing what the result will be, this manifestation of involuntary and unconscious stupidity is bound to be the end result.

Many, in fact probably most people currently inhabit an ideological no man’s land in between those who are against mask wearing, social distancing and everything about the Lockdown, and then what appears to be a group of zealots who clearly believe in the truth of what the Government is doing even more so than the Government does itself.

People who bolt on their own interpretation of these crazy rules to those pushed upon us by the Government are not only likely to believe they are doing the right thing. They interpret that they will benefit from the publicity that the story generates, as the establishment narrative suggests to them that others will come out in support of what they have done.

The big problem for us – other than the stupidity of the Government and the establishment itself, is that we are culturally in a black hole with a fear-based gravitational pull. Political correctness, wokeness and the ability of online activists to ‘cancel’ people just because they have decided that someone else could be offended by their words or actions have reached critical levels.

We are at genuine risk of this ridiculous Government adopting even more restrictive social distancing measures to appease these people, even though the Government knows that the whole thing was created for no purpose that was of public benefit.

Every additional restriction is a degenerative step against the cohesiveness of our society and the Government is on a very slippery slope to making this situation uncontrollably worse for us all.

The abuse of public trust and disingenuousness of the engineered manipulation that has been used by people who were given their power to benefit us – not control us, would be criminal if it had been carried out by anyone or any organised body other than the Government. This reality doesn’t excuse it. It makes what they are doing and what they have done even worse.

Activists such as those following #KBF don’t understand why people keep putting on masks to go into shops and are doing what they are told. But just like people pay their taxes every month, most law-abiding people don’t see there being any voluntary choice, or they would exercise it. That is why what Boris and his cronies have done is in effect systemic abuse of the masses – arguably only for their own gain.

Without a change in direction on the part of this Government or a change in the Government itself – which is likely to come anyway very soon, people are going to be increasingly divided between those who believe all of the Government myths and will then choose how to interpret them, and those who refuse to be ‘on board’ with any of what the Government and anyone supporting the measures they have imposed chooses to do.

This is now becoming a question of whether to live in constant fear of living to protect lives that no longer have value because of a myth, or better to just get on and live one.

Let’s just say the question would be on very questionable ground if the threat was real – which it clearly is not.

The only way for this madness to be stopped is for all of the Government measures for responding to the Coronavirus to be dropped and for Boris and Co to return to what they should have been doing in the first place. That would be to focus the considerable public resources that we have put at their disposal to manage any genuine cases of the Coronavirus Illness if and where they exists, as they would any one of the significant number of illnesses, diseases and conditions that kill many British people every day that we never hear about unless our own lives have been directly touched by loss.

To preserve our culture and retain at least a realistic level of humanity within our relationships with people outside of our own homes, we must get this ridiculous mask rule and all of the social distancing and lockdown measures reversed as soon as we possibly can. But we need to get rid of this Government, this political class and the establishment too.

Whilst it is easy to believe otherwise, the two are not mutually exclusive. The problems we have will just get worse and get more ridiculous in other forms for as long as these stupid politicians retain power to do more wrong.

Power and decision making should be as local to people as possible. It’s because it isn’t that so much with Public Policy is wrong

August 20, 2020 Leave a comment

It’s been a long time since we have had government in the UK that has been competent enough to look proactively at changing things for the better, if that change would itself compromise the desire of politicians to endlessly keep increasing their control.

For decades, since the seismic changes that accompanied the end of Empire and the onset of the Cold War age following the end of the Second World War, the incompetency of generation after generation of Westminster politicians has seen power hoovered up and removed from the hands of local people. However, rather than holding on to it themselves centrally, politicians have passed more and more of their responsibility onwards to an outside power called the EU which has successfully indoctrinated the political classes across an entire continent into thinking that the creation of a supranational state is the ultimate tool of localism.

SPOILER ALERT: It is not.

I have been a Eurosceptic since I was a teenager, but gained no pleasure from seeing the debate unfold in public and the damage that was done from the moment that David Cameron committed the UK to a Referendum on Leaving the EU. It was unexpectedly won by those who identified with the localised side of the argument rather than the nebulous way of thinking that big (and centralised) is always best for everyone.

Remainers often cited the inability of Leavers to tell them what benefits there would be to Leaving the EU as clear evidence that there was no question to answer and that the UK should Remain a Member. Yet they overlooked that they couldn’t give a plausible argument that it was in our collective interest to stay.

The argument for Leaving the EU that was never heard and which should have underpinned everything, is power should be kept as local to voters as possible. Then decision making is kept real, in touch with the issues and our local communities are always kept at the centre of what politicians do.

When people can access decision makers easily and see that they themselves have the power to influence the decisions that are important to them, they are much more likely to be and to remain engaged. They will be much less likely to be disenfranchised from a political system that in its current form today is seeking to remove the power that remains in local hands and move it further away into the hands of highly political regional mayors.

The genuine change or reset that is coming in the near future (rather than the one that some are falling into the conspiracists trap of believing has been created by deliberate design) will create a massive opportunity to restructure, reform and relaunch government and the public sector comprehensively across the UK. It will be the chance to get every kind of pubic service working as they should for us all.

The real opportunity for improvement in the way that decisions on public policy are made in the future will be the voluntary return of power to the lowest tier of government that it is possible to do so, thereby ensuring that genuinely local decisions are locally made.

By local, this means a real shakeup of Town & Parish, District & Borough and County Councils with the disbanding of so-called Unitary Authorities and the list of powers these lower tiers of Government have redirected to the lowest level possible.

The responsibilities lower tier authorities have now should be topped up by the return of everything that has a very localised impact. Power must be returned to the local government structure and directed away from Westminster where it has been sat and used without appropriate care and consideration for too long.

It is no longer acceptable that laws effecting the lives of everyday people locally that were created by bureaucrats in London (or Brussels), who have a one-size fits all mentality are made and then only interpreted by officers and rubber stamped by councillors – who often believe they have no other choice – even though it is the will and needs of voters that they are there to respect.

The contrary argument is a good one. That there simply isn’t the funding available for these lower tiers of Government to exist and function now as they once did.

Yet the economic argument is now a hollow one as the technology that we have available dictates that very local authorities no longer have the need to retain the massive administrative or executive functions that they once did.

Whilst cost cutting means that pooling technical delivery services such as environmental health services or bin collections make sound economic sense, there is absolutely no reason that decision making has to be run or modelled in the same way.

That is before you cross the Rubicon and tackle the question of the what the financial impact of the local Government Pension Scheme on local Council Budgets involves and the savings and therefore money it would provide for services to be resumed that have been stopped today.

If we have a Westminster government that treats the whole of the Electorate as the adults that we are, it stands to reason that the same government must also treat the politicians within the localised tiers of government as adults too.

The additional powers that local Councils would have right down at neighbourhood and village level would immediately see people and more suitable candidates for elections becoming reengaged.

The real change that must come to make the difference at local level (at the very least) is the removal of political parties from the electoral process and action taken to prevent outside influence and money from holding sway.

It is not only possible and practical for independent candidates to run their own election campaigns, but would also be a highly democratic step to require that those seeking election to Councils of any kind are able to communicate and connect with the electorate during a campaign without the support of a national brand.

The current approach only ensures that we have too many people representing themselves and the interests of ‘their people’ instead of us all throughout government at every level.

We must take the coming opportunity to work to elect the right people to public representative offices of every kind and support this process by removing all of the tools that make it easy to place power in the wrong hands with the massive cost to us all that then involves.

Yes, Farage, Dolan and many other ‘names’ could play a part in what comes next. But their ideas, their passion and their anger only cover parts of what the comprehensive change we need is all about

August 19, 2020 1 comment

To date I have made a conscious decision not to get involved in the threads or ongoing arguments on social media. I didn’t do it as a Councillor. I didn’t do it over Brexit. I’m not doing it with my feelings about the Lockdown, Social Distancing or the growing list of things that this Government has screwed up either.

The problem is that in the greater part, the debate, movement for change or whatever you wish to label it is transitory at best within this media ravaged age.

As we face the considerable challenges that this rancid political class have created for us, we need a movement and political vehicle that connects with the masses on a visceral level. Not just something in vogue that leads only to a ‘protest vote’ that doesn’t really dictate anything than a direction for the existing political classes, rather than establishing the change that we now need.

By protest vote, I am of course talking about Brexit, the Brexit Party, UKIP and the Anti Federalist League that led to its creation before that. Not because Leaving the EU wasn’t just or the right thing to do (I have no doubt that it was). But because for many of those people who dared to say NO to the establishment on a June day in 2016, the whole process was a safe opportunity to tell our political classes that their behaviour simply wasn’t right.

No matter what you say or how you present the detail of what is happening around all of us right now, people will only see what the Government and these politicians are doing and what they have done through the lens of their own experiences.

Yes, they will vote for something different if it makes sense in relationship to their life experience to do so. But that vote will be as far as the commitment goes unless a direction or way of doing things becomes safe or something that is encouraged to shout in public about.

Agreeing with something is a lot different to being that thing and living it. That is why the votes that worked for Vote Leave in the Referendum and the Brexit and UKIP parties in EU Elections simply evaporated when it came to making choices about the everyday things that really matter to people when a General Election came around.

It all worked out well for Boris in December because he managed to distance himself from the deliberate choice of the Establishment to attempt to overturn the will of the people over three years of Parliamentary intransigence.

The 2019 General Election was a comparative rarity in contemporary British politics. People from all sides came together to show they were collectively miffed about something and supported an established political party whether they would normally support them or not. Boris and this political class will not have that opportunity again.

Whilst many are accusing others of being asleep to what the Johnson Government is doing and has done, very few are awake to the reality that the activism that is growing against the Establishment and the choices that have been made by the Johnson Government are in danger of becoming just like another Brexit-type situation all over again.

We simply have too much to lose if all this new surge in activism succeeds in doing is convincing this Political Class to change direction – and they in turn then continue to change that direction behind closed doors in the ways that they then decide work best for them.

This is what happened before and what will inevitably happen again if WE do not get it right this time.

Right now, Nigel Farage is doing an epic job of shining a light on the issue of illegal immigration via the Channel from France. He was a pivotal player in the Brexit campaign and should have been sent to The Lords at the very least for his efforts by either May or Johnson by now – especially as the current Conservative Regime has now elevated people like Claire Fox who was on the same ticket and arguably did much less of the same thing.

Meanwhile, Simon Dolan is a new player to the whole political game and has made a name for himself by launching a legal bid to overturn the Lockdown in Court which he crowdfunded. Yes, he has launched #KBF or Keep Britain Free which on the face of it is seeking to become the recognised movement for change. But the libertarian strapline underpinning the wheels of this vehicle shine a light on the reality that the Brexit movement and #KBF are running the same kind of machine. One that is promoting a certain set of ideas that answer the immediate questions coming to people’s minds, but don’t do anything to demonstrate any understanding of the significantly wider issues that have led to this situation, or what their leadership would do if it were to run candidates and find itself with power after a democratic election – IF that is how the Johnson Government falls when this whole sorry saga comes to an end.

Both Farage and Dolan share passion for the delivery of the change that they personally see to be right. But that in itself is far from being enough.

We have had decades of politicians running on their own agendas with no understanding of the depth or breadth of the problems that the whole of society faces and why those problems exist.

Make no mistake, this is a level of understanding that is necessary before any attempt can be made to look with a comprehensive and discerning approach to what will and will not work as we go forward, or places any political movement as being able to lead others who do.

Facing the task of rectifying this mess is not as simple as saying ‘we are going to have a libertarian constitution’ and then expecting it will immediately be so simply because you have the majority in Parliament.

Ironically, Boris Johnsons string-puller-in-chief Dominic Cummings was correct in his view of the need for wholesale reform in Westminster. The problem with his approach is the same as would be experienced by Farage, Dolan, the anticipated ‘Reform Party’ or #KBF: You will not fix a problem and stop it from recurring if you cannot see how the processes of government and the public sector from the very top to the bottom and back up again works. You must have an appropriate level of respect for that before you kick off the process of change.

We simply have too much to lose as a Country, as communities, as people, as individuals by failing to get right what comes after this Government.

The reason that so much doesn’t make sense to people as they see everything unfolding in the media, is that there is much bigger picture at work. Not a conspiracy. Not a new world order or anything else that all too easily explains the gap that most of us have in our view of a very complex situation.

If we all continue to face this whole situation by dealing only with that we can see and not making allowances for that which we cannot, we are destined to have stupid politicians like Johnson, Sunak, Williamson and the rest in charge of our destiny forever and a day. Because we will never get around to fixing the problems with a system that will continue to put people just like them in power – whether they are Conservatives, Labour or anything else they want to call themselves – just the same as the Brexit Party, Reform Party or Keep Britain Free would be if they were in Government now without having changed their approach significantly to what they do.

The real game in town is replacing this Government with the right people, not challenging everything they are getting wrong

August 19, 2020 2 comments

One of the biggest challenges that anyone faces who doesn’t understand how the wheels turn in politics and government is that even when things look totally dire in real time, no matter what heads may roll in the meantime, the critical point of resultant change or to the time that the difference can be made often follows much later, possibly weeks, months or even years ahead.

It’s one of the reasons that you might have heard the expression ‘politics is a long game’. Regrettably, those of us at the point of literally just having been hurt or having experienced pain from what Boris and his Government of stupid politicians has done seldom have the patience to be able to stand back and review the options, and understandably so.

If you look beyond the establishment narratives that are being pumped out by politicians and the mainstream media, you will see a whole movement of activists developing, that is responding directly to the injustices that the Johnson Government is visiting upon us. Albeit it is a rather discombobulated one.

The inability of this movement to coalesce around anything meaningful at this moment in time is regrettable. The stakes for us all could probably not be higher.

Yet the obsession that many of the independently minded activists, this anti-establishment movement has with being right and therefore making the people they see as stupid wrong, is simply keeping the focus away from the bigger issues that are at work here. Eyes are literally being targeted at completely the wrong place.

Twitter this morning is full of normally very sensible and intelligent people comparing notes on being blocked, stressing how they were ‘having a genuine conversation’ before they were, whilst branding those who might be following the orders of a completely dysfunctional regime as being ‘wrong’, even though the people they are doing-down are technically or legally only doing what’s right.

That moment of self-congratulation that can only ever become real and ‘perfectly’ right once it has been shared with the adoration of the echo chamber does feel very real for anyone whose main objective is to be right, rather than happy, all of the time.

Trolling – which is what an obsessive need to keep ‘debating’ people online with the explicit purpose of making them wrong actually is – is borne from the reality that the ‘hit’ that comes from being ‘proved right’ is temporary and fleeting just like the abuse or habitual use of any drug.

Meanwhile, the bigger picture, the main story and the opportunity to do something positive and good is passing these self-styled activists right on by – Potentially this time at the cost of us all.

Regrettably, even a significant percentage of politicians, officers, civil servants and executives across government and the public sector do not understand how the whole thing really works. That is a very big part of the reason that the Country is in the mess that it is with the process of things coming to a head only having been sped up since the Coronavirus Pandemic began.

The things that Boris and his Government have done and the damage that they have caused us all cannot and will not be addressed by each and every one of us outside the Westminster bubble staring each other down and having a scrap over whether your position on supporting the Government or being anti whatever it is that you are actually against is right, wrong or the ‘truth’.

Of all the overpopulation of elephants that are congregating in this room, there is a comparative mammoth sat quietly in the background that is so big, it could eat not only the other elephants, but this whole room of chaos in one bite.

The reality hiding in plain sight is that all the problems can and will only be dealt with and resolved by a different government led by very different people to the ones that we have. Leaders who are motivated like none of the stupid politicians that we have elected before.

Focusing on the Lockdown, Social Distancing, wearing Masks, Exam results or whatever has affected you or those important to you in some way directly or emotionally won’t now change a thing.

The political class that we have is so stupid and self-centred that it can and will only respond to anything that it sees to be either an electoral risk or has the potential to get them where they want to be.

Fear breeds fear. It is the fear of losing control that led these very stupid politicians to unleash so many programmes of fear upon us all with the aim of controlling the public – because they believed they could – when they should have been using the considerable public resources at their disposal to control only the spread of Coronavirus. Regrettably, they are fearful of everything and believed that they could not.

As I wrote in my blog yesterday, there is a window of opportunity for a movement for change to come together now and everything right.

The Johnson Government will reach its implosion point probably withing 5 or 6 months at most. When it does, we the British Public need to replace them with people who are genuine leaders who understand the bigger picture in a way that many of us do not and should not have to. Leaders who can and will work tirelessly for us all until everything and every injustice is put right.

The solution will not come from any of the political groups or political parties that are at Westminster now. They and their people are all cut from the same cloth – no matter what colour the cloth has been dyed by their mealy-mouthed and dubious words.

Yet they – or people who are even worse than them – will step in and fill the void that the end of the Johnson Government will create, if we do not collectively start to look to play the game by the rules instead of endlessly running on to the field like puffed-up game birds that just get blocked by those we should be working with because there is no credibility in the way they play.

The first step to this is to stop looking to be right and make others wrong and focus instead on doing what is right so that we can collectively overcome all that is wrong.

This has to begin with a conversation, and until people are ready to listen as well as speak, and then open up to the reality that even those who seem to be completely right might be getting at least some of this wrong, the process of doing what’s right and dealing with everything that’s wrong for everyone cannot even begin.

There’s nothing humane about algorithms being used to make life judgements and the A’ Level grade fiasco should be a lesson to us all

August 17, 2020 1 comment

Regrettably, at the time of a National Crisis, it seems that the only thing original about the Johnson Government is its ability to repeatedly fuck things up.

I would like to be able to say that they have a legitimate excuse for doing everything that they have done since the Coronavirus Pandemic came into view. But they don’t. And whilst many still believe it right to support the Government because that’s what you should do, the real story and all the different truths that have ridden shotgun with the creation of this chaos will come to light, either when the public files are opened or this stupid political clique is replaced by someone who knows what politicians are actually supposed to do.

Of all the mistakes Johnson and his cronies have made so far, the one that illustrates the abject disconnect from all forms of decision-making-responsibility that is endemic within this political culture was that of using an algorithm to produce grades for our 18 year old, end-of-school students who inevitably see their A ‘Level grades as a pivot point where the success or failure of their entire lives is mapped out.

Without the intervention of school closures that were neither necessary and certainly weren’t thought through, the GCSE and A ‘Level exams process in the UK was already arbitrary in the extreme, overlooking the reality that many students are not academically inclined and of those who appear to be, some will never be masters of exam technique. But to then fully dehumanise the process and use an algorithm when another political choice meant that exams in the summer of 2020 could not be done is an injustice of an extraordinary kind.

Algorithms are great for working with number and sifting data of a numerical or quantitative kind. But they are next to useless when qualitative data or the real idiosyncrasies and circumstances of life are concerned and the only shortcut that this route was ever going to provide was one to treating all A ‘Level Students as if the history or chronology of the events, what they did and how they did it was identically the same – not to mention anything that is already discussed above.

Yes, the Universities application and offer process is annually constrained by numbers. But Coronavirus and the ridiculous steps that the Government has already taken meant that this was never going to be a normal year, and simply factors such as foreign student numbers no longer being as certain as ‘normal’ would have meant there are vacancies that our commercially focused Universities need to fill to make the sums add up – no matter the usual grades requirements involved.

There is no algorithm that can fairly explain or make account for the peculiarities of any individuals circumstances. It is both lazy and distinctly harmful to surrender human decision making to a machine when that machine can only ever account for the level of detail or date that it was programmed with.

Parents are naturally beside themselves right now and many have good reason to be. Young people who were about to break free of the perceptual barriers and ties of their background have been binned just because our politicians are not up to the job and incapable of thinking in a different way. But the real travesty beyond that which I hope as I write public pressure will force Johnson to fix, is the reality that algorithms are already playing a massive part in the formal electronic or -online’ relationships that we have everything from our use of social media, to how our job applications are managed giving recruiters an irresponsibly easy time to check that boxes are ticked and nothing else.

Algorithms and the people who use them to cut corners of make business processes ‘more efficient’ to cut costs are not only playing a massive part in the dehumanisation of relationships that has accompanied the internet age. They are also condemning people whose circumstances a computer code will inevitably overlook whilst denying the benefits of added value to businesses that before the created quasi sectors of HR and Recruitment evolved were always a major consideration of the employing managers – and still would be if they realised what a con and all-round injustice these algorithms and employing the services of the people who use them involve.

This corner cutting is pernicious and whilst the improvement in technology to in turn improve the user and end user experience is always something that we should aspire to, it should not necessarily mean that the advances are used to cut costs and jobs if that is what it can do. The quality of the relationship with people, the product and the all-round experience will always be compromised if it is indeed not lost and money or cost-saving should never be the basic law governing business when everything that we do in any business is ultimately always and universally about people and thereby the human relationship.

Johnsons ‘Conservatives’ can use Thatcher memes as much as they like. There is a BIG difference between doing what is right for us all and doing what is right just for them

August 17, 2020 Leave a comment

The Conservative Party is in the shit. Everyone knows it. Even Tory MPs themselves. One even accused the Government of ‘wanking into the void’ this past weekend.

So, what do Conservatives do when they need to look good at a time when they are looking really bad? They roll out memes of past Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher talking about doing what’s ‘right’.

The first thing that should be cleared up before I get started is that the Conservative Party of Maggie Thatcher’s day was very different to the one that we have now. In comparison, the Conservative Party of the Cameron, May and Johnson epoch isn’t conservative at all.

As far as doing what’s right is concerned, even the great Lady herself failed to be right in the right way at least some of the time. But it is because she did have many of the principles of leadership right that the things she didn’t get ‘right’ turned out to be so wrong in the years that followed her premiership.

Decades of the wrong people being in politics for what they see as the right reasons have seen public policy across the UK going the wrong way for a very long time.

Sooner or later this political class were going to be found out. And whilst Brexit lifted the stone and shone a bright light on everything that is wrong with the system at Westminster, it was the Coronavirus Pandemic that has really exposed to the view of the world how poor our politicians really are.

People who are not real leaders of people emulate the titans of history that they and others look up to and are inspired by, in some bizarre attempt to reach out and convince the people that they are ‘just like them’.

Boris has been trying to spin this yarn throughout his public life. Now this so-called ‘Conservative’ non-government and those who support it are going through the sickening process of reprising our last great Prime Minister in the hope that it will transform the public opinion of what they do.

If this Government had been at least attempting to do what is genuinely right, the situation that the UK now faces could be a very different one indeed.

To be fair to all of the politicians who hold responsibility for creating the mess that we face, they probably did think they were doing what’s right. But the question of what’s right at the moment of any decisions can only depend upon what you genuinely believe that doing ‘what’s right’ is.

One of the great questions of human psychology is ‘Can anyone be fully altruistic?’. In the answer lies a significant clue to how we identify the people who should be leading this Country. It is only those who are committed to the principle that the answer is yes and are then prepared to take every step in public office to create solutions and the public frameworks, systems and processes to help people experience that this is right, that we will know the right decisions are genuinely going to always be made.

Generally speaking, there are three versions of doing what’s right. 1.) Doing what’s right for me. 2.) Doing what’s right for you. 3.) Doing what’s right for us all.

  1. Doing what’s right for us all: This is the real deal – or what it should be. Decisions are made with the consequences and the impacts on what the decision will touch – however many steps removed that impact might be. By far the most difficult because it requires the decision maker not only to be conscious of the implications of what they are doing whether they may seem disadvantageous for some, but also requires that they act upon it anyway. This is the real ‘bigger picture’ stuff that academia and speakers pay lip service but rarely does. At its extremes, this is Churchill destroying the French Fleet at Mers-el-Kebir or an MP employing an external applicant for a role a family member has applied for because they have the experience, track record and skills.
  2. Doing what’s right for you: This is the one where influence comes to bear. The one where lobbyists, well known organisations, media moguls, celebrities, corporate leaders and a range of bullies are able to exert undue pressure on weak minded politicians to get what they want because its good for them and/or whoever they represent or who follows them. It happens in the UK a lot more than it should (watch the documentary 3 part series on BBC iPlayer ‘The Rise of The Murdoch Dynsasty’ to see how this kind of thing can work}. Many don’t realise that doing what’s right ‘for you’, is actually the same as doing what’s right for me, because ultimately, such a choice is always made on the basis of what it will do for or how it will reflect on the decision maker.
  3. Doing what’s right for me: Sadly, this is the default setting of ‘doing what’s right’ for politicians and the leaders who populate the Establishment today. Its about how every situation will impact ‘me’ on a personal, financial, career or threat level. Actually, how the default position of human thinking works, the whole thing hinges on the natural propensity to be driven by fear in every respect at some level, usually without even being unaware that we are even doing it. For politicians this manifests itself most evidently today in their obsession in doing everything with an eye on the next election and nothing else. People who lack self-awareness to this degree should never be trusted with public office and we are now living and experiencing the consequences of politicians who simply have no idea or appreciation of life experience beyond their own.

Yes, the fact that I am writing a blog requires that I keep these descriptions succinct. But I’m sure you will get the idea.

Whilst many are obsessed with a perceived need for there always to be a plan or strategy in place before anything in the public sphere can be done, the reality of doing so usually means that there is an agenda at work which is based on the decision makers ‘need’ to do what’s right for you and/or for me. It’s all too often where everything begins to go wrong.

Some also fall into the trap of believing that compromise is always necessary in decision making. But this is at best a myth and an outright lie at worst.

If decisions are made on the basis of what is right for all by those we have elected to take them, they never have to compromise unless they want to (to do what’s right for me or you), and the perceived compromise only comes in the form of the acceptance of the change that is necessary when someone who has previously benefitted from decisions being made that were only right for them has to accept that any ‘loss’ the correct approach brings to them when taken for all is in fact no loss for them at all.

Regrettably, the Party now masquerading as a conservative Government simply isn’t capable of doing what is right for anyone other than themselves. This was obvious to those with eyes to see long before the Coronavirus Pandemic began and is now becoming evident to more and more normal people as every day of this travesty and catastrophic response of the Johnson Government goes by.

In the coming months it will become essential for us all to have the right people in place. People who have the level of awareness necessary to face the gravity of the situation that the stupid politicians we have today created as they made decision after decision that was only right for themselves.

Our new leaders must reliably and repeatedly take the right decisions at the moment they are required to do whatever is necessary – and right for us all – to get the turnaround, the reset and the realisation of a great new future emerging out this neglectful darkness done.

Nobody with any sense said these decisions would ever be easy – that’s why we elect people so that making big decisions that affect us all is not something that we all have to do. It is nonetheless essential that doing what’s right for us all is the default principle that guides our leaders in what to do.

These politicians wanted the job, the titles, the benefits and the glory that goes with it. But they never wanted or expected the responsibility and it has become plain for all of us to see

August 16, 2020 Leave a comment

Right now, we are collectively waking up to problems created by others that have already, or soon will affect everyone.

The difference with this process of mass awakening is that it will not be yet another where we believe that we are going through it alone.

This crisis, its impact and its immeasurable consequences will sooner or later be shared very publicly and by us all.

Some have said that the behaviour of our politicians echos that of the people. As if the way we behave somehow permeates its way up to the highest levels of society.

But as we pause to look at the loss of jobs, the closure of businesses, our children missing school and the grades that they should have had, the rise in food poverty, the growth of domestic abuse and an explosion of suicides not just amongst men but across society and including young people too, how could it be that the way these stupid politicians see the world is so very different to the view we have of our own?

Bizarrely, the suggested relationship may in many ways be true. Not because we can openly see any correlation between the choices that Boris and Co have made that we can either relate to or which we believe that in the same position we would do the same. But because of the similarity of the principles that are now culturally ingrained have and those Boris, Sunak and Government are still demonstrating through a prolonged period of national crisis that will get much worse and will not be ending anytime soon.

Have you noticed that very few of us choose to pursue a professional career or be in a job these days because we want to be the best at whatever that role delivers or what it requires – for instance becoming a lawyer because we want to see that the law is fair for all?

It doesn’t matter what the profession might be. The desire to be a top-quality vocational professional because you are good at what you do no longer exists.

Careers are now about the money. The image of ourselves that we perceive. The image of us that we believe others will perceive. The benefits, the lifestyle and just about everything else we think that it will provide and enable us to do.

The flipside of all this is the customer experience of this. Being on the receiving end is reflected in the focus of shops and service providers always being about creating the opportunity to charge us more. For example, lawyers happily destroy the possibility of amicable divorce settlements because the more hours they do, the more they can charge. Yet mediation – if promoted and pursued as it could and should be by the whole legal profession – would be a significantly less destructive way to conclude many legal confrontations for the clients who are involved before there is any genuine need for them to exist.

Likewise, if you are a pet owner, you may have noticed that many of the vet practices will now offer you more and more expensive ways to treat your pet when they are ill or manage their lives when they are not – all with little regard for the impact on your pets wellbeing or the impact on your wallet that might be involved. It is cynical financial exploitation of the emotional bond we have with are pets to say the least.

Sadly, our children have not escaped this cultural malaise either. Many of us beyond the age of 40 will have grown up knowing some of not all of those who taught us having been genuinely inspiring educators who believed passionately in what they did and made the learning experience a good one for many if not all. It is not the same today. And with conditions, pay and personal safety being the main focus for the hollowed-out ‘teachers’ who are wrapped in a deceptive blanket of overqualification, we are all experiencing the result of what happens when there is an excuse not to work but get paid in every way just the same.

Politics in the UK is supposedly about public representation. The concept of our democracy itself is about representative government at all levels. But this is not what today’s politicians do or are aiming to do. It is the same principles at work within this political class that Teachers, Lawyers, Veterinary Surgeons and so many have too that has brought the whole basis of Democracy in this Country into doubt.

Whether it’s perceived power, glory, or the money and book deals that are supposed to follow, the motivations that this political class had to get to Westminster are not about responsibility or doing what’s right for anyone but themselves.

Boris has spent his life wanting to be Prime Minister and had it mapped out that he would be the Churchill of this age. But it is clear that he also believed that he would get there by some kind of divine right, rather than because he had any kind of natural gift as a leader or because in a national crisis he would simply have the wherewithal, life experience and self-certainty to know what to do.

People, and above all our politicians – who should be setting an example to us all rather than simply being a mirror – have no concept of what it is to be someone who takes on a role because it is worth doing to benefit others. They only recognise jobs on the basis of what they can provide or give them.

This MUST change.

The coming reset is going to inflict hardship on all levels of society of the like we have never seen.

There is an opportunity for everyone to experience how everything and every part of society will work better for everyone and not least of all ourselves, if we focus on doing our jobs well, and the best that we can.

Our whole culture has for years been obsessed with material gain and what it means to be financially rich. This has resulted in a level of inequality that leaves people at one end of the scale unable to ever feel secure financially at one end, whilst those at the other simply accumulate more money than they or even their descendants could ever feasibly spend.

The opportunity is about to come calling where whoever is leading and in government will face the perfect set of circumstances that will provide them with the public will and support to put all of this right.

But to get there and to demonstrate by example how much better life will be when money and material wealth are no longer the default thought, we need new leaders running this Country who want to embrace the responsibility that the times we are living through require of them, rather than them being there because their only aim was to look great because they got that role or job.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking the only issue with this Government is the Lockdown and what it has done since

August 14, 2020 Leave a comment

The only thing that will make any sense of the challenges, difficulties and damage that the Johnson Government has caused us all in its response to Coronavirus and their creation of the Lockdown and Social Distancing will be the opportunities that the coming reset it has precipitated will offer us. We simply MUST be sure that we capitalise on these in the very best ways that we can.

Even as I read that opening paragraph back, it is very easy to think that the subject of the problems caused by Boris, Sunak and the Government in dealing with the Coronavirus Pandemic have taken place in isolation or a bubble. It feels like it was only from their response with the Lockdown and Social Distancing measures that the problems that we are now facing began.

Today, many people are looking at the situation – not usually before they have been directly affected by it in some way themselves – and are responding to what has happened as if it is the only game in town.

There is no consideration for the process of cause and effect. People are literally falling into the trap of believing that all our problems will be solved once the Lockdown and Social Distancing have been turned around.

Picture this: This reaction is rather like it would be if you had literally been shot by Boris with a gun and the only thing on your mind would be taking the man down. You wouldn’t be thinking about how he came to have the gun, why he felt compelled to use it or any of the process that led to him being there and acting on a decision that could end your life. All you would see is that you had been shot. However, nor would there be any consideration for the real and far reaching effect that his actions had on you. What about your life going forward and how you deal with it in the years to come? And no, this is not an equation that can be offset for anyone in simple financial terms.

A strange metaphor perhaps. But getting the point across that there is a much bigger game at play over all this to a majority of people is difficult when we seem to be hardwired culturally only to focus on effects of the apparent or most immediate cause.

Some would counter at this point with the suggestion that the effect of what Boris et al have caused is the job losses, the business closures, the loss of income, the loss of education, the wrecking of exam results, the domestic abuse, the suicides and much more. And in the most literal sense they would be right.

But what these very stupid politicians have done and now continue to do was and is itself a culmination of events or rather the effect of many things that have happened over what may be many years before. That combination or compilation of effects has itself then become the focus of the problem and in itself another cause.

The problems that we have today as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic are the outcome or effect of us having the wrong politicians in charge of the Country, presiding over a system that itself has been heading in the wrong direction for a very long time.

That is the real or genuine cause of possibly all the problems that we have right across society – not just what we are feeling or can see in front of us right now. But issues like wealth inequality, a lack of social mobility, prejudice of all kinds, the debt culture, general political disenfranchisement. These and many more are the effects of having a rotten political system that is filled with stupid politicians who are unfit to be public representatives of any kind.

The biggest risk to the future of this Country and to us all as individuals today will be going forward indefinitely and facing the coming reset with any of these people left in charge or still able to influence our direction in any way.

The anti-lockdown movement and all those who are awakening to the what the reality of Boris’, Sunak’s and this Establishment’s ‘new normal’ really is, see the pain and restrictions they face purely in terms of being the effect of what the Government has done by implementing the Lockdown and the Social Distancing measures it has taken since.

We’ve been here before in circumstances that look different but are basically the same. And sadly, our cultural disposition is that any change will do. Many of us will just accept that enough has been done if Boris and Sunak were to simply change their minds.

Yet the change that we now require for the fair and balanced future that we ALL so desperately need will not become our reality if we simply accept change as being enough in what is a very small and piecemeal form.

When the pressure reaches a level where these politicians see their ‘careers’ being at risk, they will then make the minimal changes that they believe necessary to keep their positions secure.

But it is their lack of ability, their lack of wherewithal and real-world experience, their lack of understanding of people who lead different lives, their lack of an overall unwillingness to govern for everyone and above all, their fundamental lack of the ability to lead that is at the heart of every problem that this Country has. And we collectively deserve a hell of a lot more.

People are already frustrated with being ignored by the people who are currently in control. Those vocalising their fight against masks and Social Distancing are allowing that frustration to reach a level where they look more ridiculous than the people who caused the mess that they are protesting against. This will serve only to damage the ‘freedom’ cause.

This political class will only be reached and influenced by what they consider to be a tangible threat to their chances at the next General Election.

Seeking to become a threat is itself not enough in any way. A threat will never go far enough.

A commitment to the end result and creating a movement that is fully equipped with a universal approach to public policy that addresses the causes of all societies problems is the only way to go forward and make the post-Coronavirus World work well and equitably for us all.

There must be a wholesale approach to addressing the situation as it is. There must be a willingness and commitment to the end result that is not distracted or derailed by anything or any event that appears to get in the way. Otherwise, these very wily operators will find a way to remain in place.

Boris, Sunak, the political culture behind them and the entire Establishment they represent must fall if it is we and not they who are in place to dictate the ‘new normal’ once the reset starts to form.

Forget planning a way out of the Government’s Coronavirus mess. Decisions have to be made in the moment and on the basis of doing what’s right

August 13, 2020 1 comment

Paying attention to the different schools of thought that exist on the Government handling of Coronavirus, the Lockdown and Social Distancing provides an invaluable insight into how people are really feeling about everything right now.

No matter what side or position people have taken, all are talking and hinting of increasing desperation as the search begins for some kind of plan that will get us out of this wholly avoidable mess.

Sadly, the common theme is a lack of confidence in there being any clear way to deal with the problems the Government has created – all of which are set to get considerably worse.

There is a way to deal with what happens next, along with everything that will continue for the UK and us all thereafter. But the solution and its application doesn’t offer the surety that desperate people believe that they need in the time of a massive crisis.

The perceived need for any kind of immediate relief leaves many vulnerable people at the whim of any charlatan with a platform who starts preaching that they have a plan of some kind.

Meanwhile, there are very significant injustices present within society. But the establishment and mainstream media narratives that things are good for everyone simply because we have had peace for a long time and our lives have been improved by the advancement in technology facilitate the rather convincing argument that we have never had things so good.

The flipside or dark side of this cultural two-edged sword is a level of complacency and taking what we have for granted that may never have been seen before.

This regrettably includes a complete absence or lack of regard for what good or genuine leadership from the political class should look like and what will happen without it – as it now is – when things go wrong.

Peace and the apparent stability of the neoliberal age tells us that plans can either be created or that they already exist in the form of systems and processes to cover everything. This is where the Government response to Coronavirus has gone so tragically wrong with no guide to managing this crisis for politicians existing on record or being fixed in place.

What we need as we go forward through this horrid situation and face the coming reset, is a method, an approach or a way of doing things that works without the false security provided by having or identifying some kind of plan.

Plans are simply the projected method of doing something. They are the anticipated route map of how to reach the end of a journey before we step off. Yet our cultural default position has for too long been to reframe plans as the aim itself and to develop them as if we begin every journey from a standing start.

We have lost the ability to collectively visualise what we want as a Country. We no longer understand or relate to what it feels like to be inspired or to have faith and therefore be motivated to accept hardships, to take steps or to have them taken on our behalf to get there.

The facilitation of such inspiration is what genuine leadership is all about. It has been absent from Westminster for a very long time.

Influence, bias, self interest and myopic thinking have led the political circus for decades and as one set of self-serving politicians has been replaced by yet another, the rot has become institutionalised to the point where even the cleverest and most empathetic amongst them have no idea how to use or harness the power and responsibility they have to help and guide the lives of others.

Decisions are made with no respect for the basic law that governs the reality and consequences of what happens when any decisions are made; that the power of any decision lies only in the present and we cannot now make the decisions for choices that will follow thereafter.

The myth of assumed respect for politicians, government and those with public responsibility that we gain through conditioning is suggestive that at government level, the simple laws of life that affect you and I as we make daily decisions are different when they are taken with official responsibility for others. That they affect us all and that as such they would never work in the same way as they do when they are taken just for you or I.

Yet they do. The ways decision making works is just the same for everyone. The politicians we have are not special in any single way.

So when we consider what we want to happen next, whether it be for the Lockdown and Social Distancing to come to an end, for businesses to immediately go back to work, Schools to return full-time without restriction in September, or decisions to be made on the basis that life for us all can be improved, these decisions must be based only upon the factors under the decision makers control at the very moment in time they are made.

It simply defies all the rules of logic to think or believe that a plan can be made that cannot be influenced by the passage of even the smallest amount of time and that events and the actions of others that take place within that tiny time frame do not have the power to impact events in some way.

When we can and do accept that this is what real leaders do when they lead, and that the gift of any good leader is their ability to weigh up all of the information that they have at their disposal at that very moment when each and every decision is made, always making the decision that is right – not for them – but for us all, that is when we will have people running this Country who are suitable, qualified and above all READY to be in control.

That is when we can all have confidence in the future of this Country and won’t need the security of any plan.

Boris & Co. tout a V-shaped recovery whilst ONS GDP figures show a recession with everything going pear-shaped for the UK at best. Do we really want the idiots who created this mess left in charge of getting us out?

August 12, 2020 Leave a comment
Courtesy of Office of National Statistics (ONS)

We knew the figures were coming today. But we probably didn’t bank on the situation having already gone so far.

The UK is now in a Recession of the likes that we have not before seen. In fact, with the 2008 Financial Crisis being the only recent benchmark or reference point that can be used to pinpoint and illustrate what happens at Economy level when things go financially wrong, we can see just how deep the depths of this politically created recession will be when we compare the them on the above graph.

This is just the start. Things are set to fall further. Life, financially for us all, is set to become very hard indeed.

Regrettably, it makes perfect sense that the politicians who not only created this situation, but continue to take step after step that is making things considerably worse, would think and say out loud that they are now looking to ensure that a V-shaped recovery is found.

With the unnecessary and avoidable damage that was done to this Country the very moment that the Lockdown began, the window of opportunity to minimalise that impact was lost when the Chancellor failed to shut down the flow of money in the same way that the Prime Minister had shut lives, businesses and jobs.

With every day that has past, every job that has been furloughed or lost and every business that has been shut down, the ability of any politician or leader to take the UK Economy back to anything near being the same as it was before Coronavirus has become less and less.

When we look forward and ask ourselves  how we get out of this mess, there is only one step that this Government could take right now, today, that would maximise the opportunity to return things to whatever normal will now look like with the minimum pain and in the minimum time:

End all Social Distancing and Lockdown measures immediately so that all businesses that are still operating or capable of operating can do whatever it is they do without any kind of unnecessary legislator restriction, and get everyone who still has a job straight back to work.

This Government does not have any idea or concept of the depth and voracity of the domino effect that it caused and the damage that it has done by shutting down the Country and then failing to mitigate the fallout of their Lockdown in the comprehensive and universal way that it could and should have been.

In reality, the only way that we can have the best chance of us all reaching a place where the way that the economy and finance will work fairly and for us all is if we replace the politicians that we have right now with those who are committed only to doing what is right.

Boris and all of this political class do not possess the vision to picture the consequences of decisions that they take. Nor do they having any comprehension of what life experience is for the majority in this Country in any way beyond what they relate to as being their own.

There is a massive reset coming. Not of a wilfully or conspiratorially created kind with names like ‘new world order’ as some now fear. But because of what stupid politicians in the UK and right around the World have done over a long period of time through a process that speeded up exponentially as soon as the Coronavirus Pandemic began.

The reset that is coming presents the opportunity to review everything that we know and understand about our economic system, revise it and then re-established a responsible form of capitalism that considers the demands of present need, but also gives due consideration  to the needs and obligations that we have to tomorrow too.

It is the potential silver lining from the very dark cloud and storm that this Recession will be. But getting it right will depend on us not being tied to the ideas and motivations of any politician or leader who has capital of any kind tied up in making the now futile attempt to return everything that we know to how it was before.

The lives that have been and will be destroyed and the pain that has and will be caused to too many of us to mention and in ways that are simply too long to list must have a value in the change and transformation that they will empower us to bring for the benefit of all – as long as we have the right people in charge.

This Government tyranny will be made worse by localising Test & Trace

August 11, 2020 Leave a comment

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So, 6,000 of the fake jobs created to support Boris’ white elephant Test & Trace Service are being cut and the other 12,000 are being re-tasked to make the whole thing ‘local’.

The man-made catastrophe that is the Johnson Government’s handling of the Coronavirus Pandemic made manifest through the Lockdown, the implementation of Social Distancing and every other follow-up action of these political clowns was already lurching from bad to worse with every new day. Now they want to get all their local authority chums in on the buffoonery too.

If you think that what the Westminster Government has done is already as bad as it can get. Think again.

We haven’t even reached September when the Schools are supposed to go back with the promise of all sorts of additional social distancing delights to go with it. Nor have we got to October when the great Furlough Money giveaway is currently scheduled and the fallout from the real economic smash will begin. Yet we are now facing the menace of local Councillors and apparatchiks getting in on the totalitarian action too.

Make no mistake. If you think you have to be in a role that suggests you are in charge of the Country to be intoxicated by the power (and glory you think) you have, be assured that the same mentality exists throughout local government and the public sector too.

We have been fortunate so far that there is so much relevant procedure already in place to deal with crisis situations.

Believe it or not, the problems that we are experiencing have so far been restricted because the stupid politicians we have only been able to fuck things up when decisions have been necessary to take care of issues where no relevant policy (or textbook example) for them already exists.

Passing the buck for the unnecessary and completely flawed service that Test & Trace is to local authorities and government organisations who are filled with people desperate for their own moment of fame, is set only tom amplify the impact and consequences of this political stupidity for us all.

Problems will be creatively found that simply do not exist, simply so that the people employed to do this work can justify what they are being paid to do.

Common sense in the public sector no longer exists. Not because the officials are not intelligent enough or capable of thinking in a rational or logical way. But because the protectionism that has been allowed to flourish dictates that the frameworks of legislation and regulations that were once used as mere guidelines are now rigidly adhered to. Ironically not to the letter. But to the level of detail that any individual delegated with those powers interprets those regulations to materially be.

Prepare yourself for local Lockdowns on a massive scale, with pub, business, shop and school closures simply because that’s what those invested with these new powers from above think that it will take to administer the powers created to address the spread of a virus that even the Government doesn’t understand.

Don’t buy in to any propaganda or other drivel that suggests that local administration of Lockdown and Social Distancing Policy will be any greater help or in any way more benevolent to us all.

The bottom line is that this is a very cynical move on the part of Boris & Co. to pass the buck on the very unpopular and equally unnecessary decisions that their stupidity and keeping the lie going requires them to take.

They will now just be able to distance themselves from it and use the opportunity to suggest that the hardship they have caused has increasingly been just a very localised mistake.

None of these people are politicians that we can trust. We need them all removed and replaced by people who care more about the people they represent than they do about themselves.

That is when we will begin to see some real justice for us all across the UK.

 

 

This unintentional tyranny is the worst kind of all

August 9, 2020 Leave a comment

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Many intelligent people really do think they know and understand what living under tyranny would look and feel like. They snort at those who have awoken and are desperate to make sense of the chaos this Government has unleashed by falling back on conspiracy theories that are the first thing that make sense of what is happening and provide a tangible vision of the world to come.

You do not need to be in chains to be enslaved. Yet generations of politicians have allowed money to become the god of everything. Millions of us are in debt and now condemned to financial slavery for the rest of our lives.

You do not need to be behind bars to be in prison. Yet these politicians have placed such restrictions upon life that freedom is no longer ours. Indeed it has become a cause for nostalgia as we look back to the world before Coronavirus and Boris Johnson. We foolishly dream of having again what once was.

History demonstrates the harshest of lessons, When we look back at chapters such as the rise of Nazi Germany in the 1930’s, it is easy for those very same intelligent people to question how a whole population could have been so oblivious to what was happening around them, when with hindsight everyone can clearly see that it was.

It’s rather like the victim of abuse who makes excuses for their attacker or looks inwards and tells themselves that it is they who have caused the problem or that it is them who read the situation wrong.

Even when subjected to things we disagree with at a deep level or even cause us considerable personal pain, it might not be until we experience the eureka moment where we are caused to stand back and look on from a distance that we begin to understand the bigger picture.

It is only away from being blinded by the detail that we recognise the reality of what is going on and can begin to admit to ourselves that it is wrong. Often by then the damage will already have been done.

If you have watched the BBC three-part documentary ‘Rise of the Nazis’, you will see how difficult it was for a regime to takeover and become functionally tyrannical, even when there was genuine intent on the part of its proponents to do so.

Yet when the genesis and evolution of a tyranny is created under what we are told was a very temporary measure to ensure the safety of the electorate, and the politicians driving it have no idea what they are doing and don’t possess the vision to see the consequences, the disconnect between what people will willingly accept at a time of national crisis because politicians are the ones we trust to understand and do what’s best, and what is really being done to us, is for many, way beyond any kind of rational thought.

We are being deceived by the way the establishment is framing their response to Covid-19 and the Coronavirus Pandemic as being business as usual in a time of crisis – that is in the sense that they are completely in control and know what to do.

They don’t.

What is more, the priorities that these politicians have are covering one lie with many others simply to save their reputations and therefore their political necks. Yet they are precipitating an incalculable number of as yet unseen problems for us whilst they believe they have the consequences for themselves fully under control.

They don’t.

So entrenched have politicians become in the storybook they have created, they will not put their hands up and stop this juggernaut from moving and picking up speed.

This Country has already entered a new age of tyranny with many of us completely unaware that we are there. There is nothing normal about what the Johnson Government has done or what with its Social Distancing measures it is increasingly requiring us to do.

There is no scientific, logical or moral basis that gives legitimacy to anything that they do.

Coronavirus is not the problem. It is the politicians that we have and the Pandemic is simply the excuse they are now deliberately using to legitimise what are unnecessary tools of social control.

They will not relinquish these measures voluntarily and the levers of the power they are misusing will have to be wrestled from their control.

We all desperately now need someone or something big enough with enough sense and responsibility to do so.

Politicians who have no understanding of the consequences of their decisions and recognise no danger in their actions will keep going to the point that they do so or the point of destruction – whichever comes first.

Regrettably for us, the politicians we have are already making the UK socially unrecognisable for us all, whilst breaking the Country financially and destroying the economy as they do.

#KBF & Simon Dolan RIGHTLY get the Lockdown case Appealed. But what difference would a win in Court really make?

August 5, 2020 2 comments

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Many people from the anti-Lockdown movement will be celebrating today at the news that Simon Dolan and Keep Britain Free have succeeded in winning an Appeal Hearing after the initial effort to get the Lockdown legally overturned failed.

With so much harm having already come to jobs, businesses and the economy, and with culture-changing social distancing measures restricting our routines and daily life at every turn, there is of course much to celebrate in the Case being heard. I am certainly not going to criticise a collective effort that in principle I agree with, especially when we are all very much together in the belief that people are unnecessarily being restricted and hurt by what Johnson and Co have done.

The question is however, what difference would a win in Court really make?

As I suggested in my first Blog about the Case that was then being assembled and the Crowdfunder that had been promoted to get financial support, simply fighting in Court over principles with an Establishment that doesn’t have any is not a process that will result in a genuine win.

Any victory in Court would have been pyric even if the Lockdown had been stopped when the Case was heard in Court before. Because the action itself would not remove either the Government or the existing pool of stupid politicians that we have. That is of course before you consider the irreparable harm that the Lockdown has now done to lives, jobs, businesses and incalculably more.

The problems that are stacking up for us all reach way beyond the loss of jobs, the closure of businesses, the requirement to wear masks, the closure of schools and all the hidden impacts like suicides and significant rises in abuse, depression and anxiety that hardly touches the mainstream news.

Whether we all understand and accept it or not as yet, the solution to these problems will not come from any political movement that operates in an echo chamber like the Brexit Party did in a single-issue form.

The politicians that we have and their whole political class  – and to be clear that’s pretty much all of them – have been wrecking lives, creating division, unfairness and trauma where there was never any need for it to exist long before Coronavirus or Covid-19 came into view.

Any of us attempting to tackle the political problem without a full appreciation of what has happened, is still happening and how politics and government genuinely works in this Country is destined to prop up the existing political party regimes or repeat the same mistakes dressed up differently all over again.

I admire the effort that Simon has made. There is little doubt that his principles are very much in the right place. But the belief that all this can be resolved and a constitution enshrining basic human rights based on Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness can be delivered simply by winning enough votes to influence the politicians that we have is likely to prove very misguided indeed.

As with the European Referendum result before this crisis and then the 2019 European Parliament Elections that followed, Simon may well be right in that a direction of travel can be established through influence alone.

The problem with having stupid politicians in charge however, is it unquestionably the devil in the detail that counts. Just as we have seen with Boris (out of general view during this Crisis) and of course more openly with Trident Tongued Theresa May before.

Sorting this mess out is not a job for normal people.

It is not a job for the normal politicians that we cannot seem to rid ourselves of either.

This is a lot more than simply being about background, experience, qualification, motivation and ideas to make the effort and belief really count.

This is going to need 650 people with a very different, potentially enlightened way of looking at the world, at everything happening, with vision to see and understand the consequences of public policy on everyone, if we are to have a government that delivers results that are genuinely good for and consider us all.

Being in Government at any level is in no way as simple as telling other people what to do. Yes, the systems and the procedures need to be changed, just as the culture of the public sector has to be transformed all the way through.

But to do this and to make it count, there is no option but to take as many people within the system with you as possible and only remove those who will obstruct the change necessary because their current roles give them enough clout.

There has to be a working appreciation of how government already works by anyone in a position of power who wants to change it permanently before that change can begin.

To all of us outside of Westminster who want that change to have begun yesterday, this means putting together a new movement that reaches way beyond the idealistic and attempting to convince and justify to others what should automatically be seen as right.

I wish Simon and KBF well with the Appeal and sincerely hope that they win the Case. It is clearly justified and right.

But as we go forward and more and more of us start to experience the fallout from what these stupid politicians have done and as our freedoms and rights to speak out are infringed ever more, I hope that those who have awoken to what this Government has done will also realise that fighting the Lockdown and the Social Distancing measures being used to cage and restrict us are just battles that are part of a much bigger war.

Winning this for us all is about a lot more than changing opinion, knowing you are right or simple good luck.

Please take a step back. Take a deep breath. Be patient and take the time necessary. Then do the job right.

 

Extending the Furlough Scheme will not save jobs that have already gone. Improving it might at least save some of the small businesses that otherwise won’t survive

August 5, 2020 Leave a comment

The Lockdown was a universal response to a focused issue that created universal problems that were addressed with focused solutions.Whilst many are unwittingly still in denial of what’s really going on around us, an economic tragedy is now beginning to unfold that is likely to touch all of us before its horrid effects are done.

More sensible MPs have only very recently recognised how catastrophically wrong the Government got their response to the Coronavirus Pandemic and Covid-19.

Some of us were well aware of what the consequences would be of opening the Pandora’s Box labelled ‘Lockdown’ and failing to mitigate its impacts universally before it was implemented. We were not alone for very long and groups like #ForgottenLtd followed once the inadequacy of Rishi Sunak’s Public Money giveaway began to hit the Directors of our powerhouse small businesses who had watched their incomes evaporated the moment that everything was stopped.

The Lockdown itself was completely unnecessary. At the start of the Pandemic in the UK as now, the Government could and should have been directly controlling any genuine upsurge in illness on our behalf with the public money and resources available rather than using public money and resources to attempt to control us all with the aim that we would do their job and manage the crisis for them. They chose the alternative that made it easy for them by making it a problem for everyone.

The Lockdown was a universal response to a focused issue that created universal problems that were addressed with focused solutions.

Once they chose to implement the Lockdown and stop the normal flow of work and business, the Government should have stopped the normal flow of money too. Loan repayments, mortgages, leases, interest and payments for or against anything that anyone or any business wouldn’t order or commit to having without any income should have been put on hold until the Lockdown was seen though.

What the Government did instead was attempt to override the universal laws of cause and effect and burn public money to create a false floor by underwriting jobs that vaporised within days once the wheels of industry and commerce were stopped from turning.

Now we have reached August and the requirement has come for businesses to begin contributing to furlough payments too, you can see what businesses are doing. It’s a case of ‘back to work’ or redundancy for all and not just the few that it would have been if the Government had handled this whole crisis as it should.

Furlough money to keep jobs open that no longer exist is in fact a basic income and it would be a very generous one bearing in mind that in terms of an investment for the future, these are payments that will never give anything back,

The time when there should have been a basic income – and a universal basic income too – would have been if the Government had Locked-down the Economy as it did with jobs and businesses too. Payments would have been necessary to EVERYONE who lost their income as a result of the Lockdown, but because they had no bills to pay, it wouldn’t have mattered whether they were a gig-economy worker, a company director or a PLC CEO because their needs would have been exactly the same and would have been universally low-cost too.

Sadly and very regrettably, the time has now long since passed when Boris and Rishi Sunak could have taken this Country along a very different path that would have addressed the Coronavirus question whilst insulating people and businesses against any economic worries too. They blew it.

What is in none of our interests now is for the charade to continue in any way or at any level.

We need to face up the reality of what the Johnson Government has actually done and take the steps and implement the actions that will see us ALL through the massive economic depression that is now dawning.

The people who have lost their jobs need financial help and other forms of support. But we will be helping nobody other than Boris and his Government if we continue to apply this help whilst pretending its purpose is to prop up jobs.

What we do need immediately is further provision targeted at those who have so far not bee helped but still have something to offer the economy post-Lockdown like the Directors of small Limited Companies and those left behind who are ‘Self-Employed’.

Above all however, we need to stop pretending that the Government and the MPs that we have are suitable candidates to get this Country out of the mess that they have created, and that we need new leadership in London to turn things around and take the UK in a very different way.

The reset that is coming is no longer a choice. But the options that will be available within it must be taken for the benefit of us all. That’s when we will have a fair society and people will treat everyone else equally and we will all have what we need and feel happy and content rather than life only appearing to be great for very few.

 

 

 

The Government is set to legitimise planning madness for no good reason other than their own

August 4, 2020 Leave a comment

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Boris and Co are desperate to look and sound good because they are failing and doing badly all round.

If their lack of economic understanding wasn’t illustrated well enough by the chaos and damage they have unleashed with a Lockdown that was completely unnecessary, they are now aiming to compound their stupidity by legitimising a planning free-for-all.

Like all the mistakes they have made in the mistaken belief that it is the continual flow of money that counts, the idea that building infrastructure and houses is the key to economic security for a Country is quite simply one for the birds.

The housing crisis myth has for many years been an excuse for Interests Rates to remain artificially low to keep borrowing super cheap whilst the value of property keeps on reaching for the sky. If the problem was a lack of housing for any local area, why is it the prices never decrease when new developments have been built and released?

The Keynesian Economic Theory that Boris and his chums are cosying up to was only ever that. A theory. An idea. A dream from the head of a very clever man who was able to elucidate what he thought. It is nothing more than a happy coincidence that at some points when it has been used as a guide, the plans it has led have appeared to work.

The travesty of unleashing yet another monster into the world of planning and development is a massive kick in the face of localism and even the remotest suggestion that the will of local people counts. Coming immediately after the Lockdown and social distancing before it, these hair-brained, damn-the-consequences approaches to dealing with a national crisis and the aftershocks that the Government itself created, are akin to pulling the pin on a grenade that will create irreparable damage once it has been tossed and gone off.

Besides the usual process of lining the pockets of those who don’t need anything whilst digging every last penny from the credit cards of those who do, this planning free-for-all will give unscrupulous developers the green light to change the British landscape and wreck our Countryside for good – not so everyone has a house they can afford, or everyone is able to work or run a business as the lie being sold to us tells us it will, but so the profits of developers and mortgage lenders can go stratospheric and eclipse everything that they have earned before.

The stupidity and lack of understanding on the part of Boris, his Government and all our politicians is simply astounding. Yet even now they still retain the capacity to surprise, simply because there is no way to remove these clowns and the people who keep getting elected in the queue who are of the very same kind.

This step is not one that will help the British People, British Businesses or the British Economy. It is a deliberate, avoidable curse that will destroy quality of life whilst hurting all the same people who have their lives repeatedly turned upside down by politicians who neither understand nor care, whilst all their chums line their pockets at the cost of others who have been condemned to the servitude of debt, and the establishment media perpetrates the myth that affordable housing is being built, jobs are being created and for everyone it is a win-win.

The majority won’t challenge the establishment until they themselves get burned

August 3, 2020 Leave a comment

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As the false floor economy that has been in place since the start of the Lockdown crumbles, those who have already been left high and dry financially, lost their businesses and in some cases still do not know when they will be able to return to work already know, the Government has got its approach to the Lockdown very wrong.

No. we are not just talking in terms of the so-called social distancing measures and the cancellation of personal freedoms and liberty that the Government are still imposing upon us now. But also in their approach to financial remedies such as furlough money and the Job Retention Scheme that really didn’t go all that far for a great many and simply haven’t touched the pockets of some.

Whether you are the Director of a small Limited Company unable to claim a subsidised wage like many normal employees, or you are just a normal person with your eyes open to the ridiculousness of the steps the Government is taking to restrict and impose the fruits of their own ridiculous fears upon our lives, the reason why there seems to be a difference between your experience and the many people who don’t seem to have ‘got it’ is that they simply haven’t been burned yet.

Regrettably, we live in times where very few of us take the time to think, look and emotionally connect even with people who are immediately around us. Whilst we see images on our screens and hear voices full of fear that effect our lives – sometimes permanently the moment that they are heard – we rarely look upon the difficulties that others are experiencing unless they resemble and more importantly feel like our own.

The increasing rate of redundancies, shop closures and stories like Charlie Mullins sacking any of his staff this week who refuse to return from furlough now that he would have to contribute financially himself tell us that the fallout and the explosion of our economy that the politicians created with the Lockdown is now beginning to pick up speed on its pathway into full public view.

When it has, possibly in just a few weeks’ time, that is the moment when the majority of people will have had their lives touched by the ineptitude of the few. That is the time when the people will really begin to know and accept just how badly this national crisis has been handled and realise just how incompetent the politicians we have elected and trusted with our destiny really are.

When the Johnson Government falls, we don’t want a rehash of the old. We want something very special and very new

August 3, 2020 Leave a comment

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It may not be covered in the mainstream media now or at any time immediately soon. But there is a very good chance that Boris Johnson’s time as Prime Minister of the UK will come to an end as a direct result of the way that he and this Conservative Government have handled the Coronavirus Pandemic or Covid-19 whilst effectively consigning British Jobs, British Businesses and the British Economy to the bin.

That time is likely to come within the next 6-12 months. When it does, we do not want the gap to be filled by any of the politicians who are cut from the same cloth as Johnson, or the results as we try to clime out of what might be years of traumatic difficulty will be pretty much the same.

No. A Government of national Unity will not cut it. The majority of the MPs that we have – no matter what Party or Political background – all came into politics for very similar reasons and are motivated by the same things. So we don’t want a Tory PM, a Labour Deputy PM and a Cabinet made up from them all.

For all the tragedy that Coronavirus and the Johnson Government’s response to it has created, there is a massive opportunity for us all now coming into view.

There is a reset coming and with it perhaps a once in many generations opportunity to put many if not all of the injustices that plague our society right in a very short time.

Money and the godlike value attributed to it can be put back into the appropriate box. Care for our planet and its climate can be given the attention and respect that it should. Policies and systems can be created that help those who need help, give everyone the real opportunities without prejudices that each of us should have. Above all, we can be led to appreciate and respect each other and embrace rather than fear the differences that exists between all of us, as a civilised society always should.

This wont happen and all of the opportunities to change and transform society and the way that we work will not be realised by politicians whose only interest will be returning everything to a place that benefits them and their kind as it was before.

It is essential that we have new leadership of this Country that is free of personal agendas of any kind, whether they are material or ideas. We simply need leadership that is committed to and motivated only by transforming and creating a society which values everyone at every level exactly the same, and makes provision for us all to have access to the same opportunities in life, no matter what we have or where we start.

People with the vision to lead in such a selfless way may be few and far between. But in a Country with a population of over 60 Million People, we should be able to find 650 or even fewer who could really be a representative government in more than just name.

Conspiracy theories will help the Government, not the anti-lockdown cause

August 3, 2020 2 comments

img_8150Providing you don’t buy into any of the propaganda, social media feeds offer a valuable gauge and indicator of what is generally going on and what the different camps are thinking about everything.

Scanning across the top of the echo chambers and ecosystems that political parties, activists, academics, commentators and the mainstream media inhabit can provide a very useful and interesting insight of how real people feel along with the contrary view of what the establishment wants us all to believe is going on.

Right now, there are a lot of people losing their shit within the anti-lockdown contingent, particularly those who are supporting #KBF or Keep Britain Free. (KBF was the brainchild of businessman Simon Dolan who crowd-funded the legal action against the Government over the Lockdown that was subsequently lost).

With each and every measure that the Johnson Government shoehorns into our lives feeling more restrictive and more out of touch than the last, the frustration of anti-lockdown supporters grows with their disbelief and frustration that neither the government nor mainstream media thinking is falling in line with what they see as being a very logical and right cause.

The problem for any new movement that doesn’t understand or respect the political terrain it faces is stupid politicians are pig headed in the extreme.

Whilst Boris & Co just keep on moving in a direction that is destroying this Country with everything they do, the open discussion and accusations of there being a conspiracy driving policy direction only serves to make the Government look measured and sensible. Meanwhile those lining up against them look increasingly like they should only ever be the subject of a damn good laugh.

Culturally, the majority of people in this country will not blink in their support for the Government until what Johnson & Co have done leaves them burned at a personal level. This is increasingly likely to happen in the coming weeks and months.

The monster that the Lockdown released hasn’t even come into full view yet. It is only when the reality of the chaos that the Government has unleashed hits everyone that the change that increasing numbers of us know has to happen with the way that politics operates in the UK will have the opportunity to work.

Bang your head against a brick wall enough times and you are certain to go dizzy. This is what is happening right now with a great many otherwise sensible people.

The futile effort that they are investing in ideas such as Covid and the Lockdown being part of a deliberate strategy are becoming counterproductive towards the creation and development of the new movement that would genuinely be able to sweep aside the usual suspects and dangerous activist groups when the Johnson Government falls and then step into the void and do something very good.

Nothing the Johnson Government is doing is either fair or right. But this is not the time to have a shouting competition about who is wrong and who is right. This is the moment for everyone awakening to the injustice that is at work to take a deep breathe and step back. Because pleading for what should be happening isn’t the way to change things so that what is happening is at it should be.

As it stands, the talk of conspiracy theories is making Johnson look credible when his actions would otherwise be speaking very clearly to us all

 

New Lords and the over 50s have something in common. They are the people most likely to cause Boris a problem as the wheels fall off

August 3, 2020 Leave a comment

50+An horrific reality of this Government, is they float their poor policy ideas via leaks, briefings and general chatter in the news, aiming to soften up the public and prepare the ground for when one of them has to stand in front of a camera and announce their plans for real.

Sadly used to the cack-handed way that Boris and Co work and attempt to manipulate everyone with their strategies, many of us are immediately aware of what is coming just as soon as the earliest rumours come into view.

So we can be reasonably sure that talk of increased shielding of over 50’s if the ‘local lockdowns’ continue to grow in number as they already are means that putting everyone over 50 – unless they have a Government-sanctioned reason to be out and about – is exactly where Government policy is about to go.

Everyone with their eyes open can see that the Government are making this all up as they go along.

Politicians are tearing up what was once normal in the UK to service the whims of their stupidity whilst they respond to their fears and the threat of loss of control. All the while Boris & Co are blissfully unaware of the damage they have already done and they continue to do.

Whilst we are blessed with younger generations who are confident that they know the ways of the world better than anyone who has gone and experienced life at their age before, it is those in their 50’s who have the knowledge and experience of life and the wherewithal to question and take apart Boris and this political culture. Literally ‘taking them out’ is the stupid politicians way to deal with anyone who can shine a light of truth on their dreadful game and be a threat to them continuing on to keep doing more.

It’s is very telling where Boris sees the real threats to all that he does from his actions. Beyond the fifty somethings who are about to be imprisoned under the guise of the manipulative lie that it is all about making them safe, we are now also seeing the elevation of the key people from the Leave contingent. High profile figures who beyond Nigel Farage possess a real ability to kick and undermine Boris strategy and plans, bringing focus to places where it will really hurt him as the incompetence of his Government is exposed and the truth comes out.

None of what this Government is doing to this Country now is about the safety and future of any of us.

The first lockdown was farcical and what they have done since, including the implementation of social distancing, has only been about shoring up Boris position and ensuring that he will survive the debacle that his Government has created, whilst the Conservatives secure the 2024 vote.

Control and subjugation of those most likely to become the focal point of a new movement that openly challenges Government and becomes an electoral threat is a standard practice for any inadequate politician who does not have confidence in their own policy making to win the day.

 

Categories: Coronavirus

The Banks will soon be begging for a bailout again. This time the Government MUST say NO

August 1, 2020 Leave a comment

img_8054Just like a bad penny turning up, the reports of doom and gloom from the Banking sector began rolling yesterday when NatWest Group reported a £2.1 Billion loss as a result from the Covid Pandemic.

In the coming days and weeks, it is almost certain that other High Street names will report similar losses and provision being made for bad debt, and possibly even more.

Thousands of privately owned businesses were thrown to the fire and wiped out on the basis of little more than a fearful whim by a Government led by politicians who are completely out of their depth.

It is essential for the future of this Country that with many otherwise great businesses gone and others now struggling, the Government does not step in and protect the financial sector from the knock-on effects of those very same losses.

A Bailout for the Banks because of Coronavirus would after all equate to being exactly the same as  the Banks and Finance Houses would have received through their income via the repayment of debt in different times when the alternative language being used would  chalk the same return up as being a big win.

As I have made clear in Blogs since the beginning of the Lockdown , it is the Government that took the unnecessary decision to shut down the Country as a disproportionate step to fight a Virus that it still does not understand.

The direct and overriding consequence of that shutdown was the sacrifice of businesses and jobs on a mass scale, the size of which has only been kept from public view to date by the range of financial giveaways that the Government has used to give the appearance of propping everything up so far.

It would be vastly unfair and deeply inappropriate for the Government to again – like the Financial Crisis of 2008 – step in and bail these predominantly private interests out. But there is also more.

Whether we like it or not – and in this sense I mean whether your interest is personal, business, political, financial, banking or anything other – we are all heading for and may already be in the preliminary stages of a massive reset of the way that economics and capitalism works that has been overdue not only for our Country, but for the World for a very long time.

Money has become revered and worshipped as a god, with prices of capital items like houses overinflated to the extreme, the wages of top executives eclipsing anything that it would be reasonable for anyone to genuinely need and money or rather credit having become the tool of choice to enslave normal people with the promise of vastly overpriced goods that they don’t need and that on their artificially low wages they could never otherwise hope to afford. The list doesn’t stop there.

By bailing out the Banks again, the Government will insulate the Banking and Financial Sectors from the changes that they should already have embraced. Changes that will see the influence of money brought back to being just a method of payment rather than being an identifier of what life and value in the eyes of others anyone is entitled to, or what basics in life they have to scrimp and save for simply to afford.

There is no value in the argument that the UK has to keep its economy and banking sector in line with the other Countries around the World, as to do so will ensure that millions and millions of people continue to experience the effects of financial and emotional harm. It will only take one high profile Nation to set the example and be the plug that removed will quickly break this very artificial and unscrupulous dyke.

If Boris and Rishi Sunak had shut down repayments,  interest and regular ongoing payments to everybody from everybody at the beginning of the Lockdown as they could and should have, we would not be staring in the face of the unfolding economic catastrophe that we now are. Most jobs and businesses would still be able to function and be safe and the banks would have been able to maintain their take after they – like everyone else

It’s not the British People who are unable to use common sense, Boris

Boris Demolition

The joke that is a British Government lurching from pillar to post over what to do next would be funny if their actions and decisions were not already causing such distress and pain. Boris & Co really are on the way to making the UK we knew before March little more than a nostalgic moment as we all begin to wake up and long for what we then had.

Whilst observers have been watching the descent of British Politics since long before the Covid-19 Pandemic even put a toe across the horizon, the horrid pill that we have all found ourselves having to swallow has been that the demise of Government, the Public Sector and the Establishment has been accelerated tenfold as we have observed the Johnson Government push measure after Lockdown measure forward since this horrid chapter in our lives began.

As I said to a 63 year old stranger I met on my morning walk today who opened up by telling me that he was on furlough and expected that he would never work again, the genie was let out of the bottle the very moment that Johnson and Co shut the Country down.

No matter how much the Government protest and how much of our money the Chancellor throws at their hair-brained ‘investment’ schemes, the UK and the World Economy is never going to return to the place that it had once been.

Shops and businesses will not reopen. Jobs that were never at risk before 23rd March will never exists again. The merger between the parallel universes of real life and the internet have been supercharged as never before.

Yet the stupidity of this political class continues. And where the lessons should have been learned much sooner than now, we are instead living and breathing the coerced regimentation of our lives. Not in a way that genuinely helps any of us. But in ways that are creating increasing distance between all of us and dehumanising the relationships that we have with each other like never before.

As I write, we have seen new ‘localised’ Lockdowns being imposed on our fellow Brits in the North in the past 24 hours. We have found ourselves having to wear muzzles in shops to pick up everyday goods for the past week. And meanwhile, the latest threat from our would-be Churchillian Prime Minister is that the measures we were supposedly on our way out of are now likely to be returning. Many are already wondering if they will end up being even worse and more draconian than before.

This whole charade is no longer about the safety of you or I, as we might ruefully dare to hope was the genuine case at least momentarily at some point before.

No. This whole process is now about political control. About continuing to frame the agenda. About making sure that none of the catalogue of mistakes and errors that this Government has made will ever be exposed.

What should be happening is the Government and the Public Sector should be focusing on doing its thing and dealing with cases as it is their responsibility to do so, whilst we should all be treated as adults and allowed to go about doing ours which is to live, work and go about life as usual (or as best we can), so that everything we collectively value doesn’t collapse into a heap or fall.

Coronavirus or Covid-19 is now known to us all, as are the steps that are thought likely to protect us from a new virus or rather another form of an already existing virus that may have been around for a very long time.

People can and should be treated as the adults that they are. They should be trusted to make their own choices about whether to wear masks, to isolate or do anything else on the basis that they can do as they like as long as they respect another individual’s choice.

It’s the same for businesses too. They already operate in probably the most regulated environment ever as health and safety and all other issues go. And with a customer-centric culture at the heart of every business, it is the owners and the managers who run them who or best placed to make a judgment about the measures they can take which are reasonable and strike a fair balance between the interests of the customer and ensuring that the coronavirus overkill doesn’t condemn them  to permanently close.

Between people and business, common sense is all that we need to prevail and keep the wheels moving. It’s the common sense approach that the politicians don’t dare risking to let us have.

Boris and his cronies are too insecure and self-interested to see and understand the damage that they have done and the legacy they are still creating, the responsibility for the damage done to this Country by the Lockdown is completely in their hands.

If these politicians were the leaders that believe they are or perhaps genuinely set out to be, they would understand and live the virtue that books, history and the advisors who can quote them are only there to inform and to guide. They are not there to take the responsibility and the decisions out of any elected representative’s hands.

It is not the People who lack the common sense that it will take to live with Coronavirus and to embrace the reasoned steps that it will take.

It is the politicians themselves that have become the victims of their own fear and are inflicting chaos and unseen consequences on the masses as they flounder around, desperate to control the uncontrollable whilst trashing the lives of People that if they were any good they would surely already understand.

Categories: Coronavirus

Coronavirus is not a Government conspiracy: We just have politicians making stupid decisions

July 29, 2020 4 comments

Definition of StupidityBack in April, I wrote about the 5G conspiracies that were bouncing around and why links had been drawn by many normal people who were looking for a way to explain what feel like unexplainable events, then joining up a few of the wrong dots as they did so.

The more things change, the more things stay the same.

Some three or four months on, it is the Government’s handling of the whole Coronavirus Pandemic, the Lockdown and the Social Distancing measures they have implemented that is focusing the minds of many sensible people in exactly the same troubling way.

It is a regrettable that the Government has already and continues to make decisions or mistakes that are piling up a list of catastrophic consequences for us all.

Individuals and families, owners of small and medium sized businesses and a raft of others were immediately left behind when the economy and our business operations were literally brought to a halt in March, whilst little or no consideration was given to the consequences that the shutdown of everything would have upon so many.

The situation the Government created led to the creation of a range of pop-up organisations and activists focusing their ire on the decisions that the Government has taken. Sadly, in a genuine disconnect between the idea of representative government should be and what it actually now is, these very frustrated people do not understand that the concept of politicians listening to anyone who has a story to tell rarely happens or makes any difference when it does. despite the narrative that the business of government to represent others and get things done.

The activists and leaders of these organisations are good, genuine people who know that the ‘new normal’ that is being forced upon us by an out of touch political class simply isn’t right. But as time passes and more and more of the injustices that have occurred come into focus, it really does seem to many more that the decisions taken must have been planned and that there is some bigger secret strategy or conspiracy at work.

But there isn’t. There is no bigger strategy in play. Even though it looks like Dominic Cummings has one and is completely in control.

There is no conspiracy. The politicians that we have elected are just making very stupid decisions for reasons so simple as not having the experience of dealing with a real crisis and continuing to get things done.

Too many of the politicians we have are in elected roles for completely the wrong, self-serving reasons. They have no idea what it really is to lead. This is why things have gone so very wrong with the handling of Coronavirus and have began ending up the way that they have .

There is no big brother watch list for those venting their spleens about what the Government is doing wrong on Twitter. At least not yet. That will be a problem for us all if we don’t fulfil our own roles collectively in making sure that politics in the UK is done right.

The Politicians we have are insulated by the disconnected reality that is their belief system. They don’t have the skills and experience to lead. They are too self centred to listen. They don’t have the motivation to understand what life is like beyond their own bubbles of experience and the gilded cages they live in. They do not see anyone other than their own kind as a tangible threat to their position and all that they do.

It is basic human nature at its worst and is the constituent problem with all that the Government and the public sector do. Yet most of us find it impossible to believe that people who are as out of touch as the majority of our MPs are, could have been elevated to such positions of power, doing the things that they do, without there being some grand plan guiding them.

Sadly, we elected them and put them where they are too.

The best thing that all of the groups that have formed and the individuals and activists who are supporting them could now do is start focusing on what comes next.

Creating a political movement that will either step into the breach if the Government should fall, or win against the Conservatives and all of the current Political Parties that mirror their behaviour when the time for the next General Election comes is the best and will be the most effective thing that everyone could now collectively do.

It feels like the Government is in charge of events. But the truth is that they are not.

The processes that exist in Government and the Public Sector are the only things that are keeping the show on the road. But they have given us all the impression that the politicians remain ‘in charge’.

The only difference has been that when Politicians have had to make decisions that break new ground that existing process and history doesn’t cover, that has been when the overriding lack of understanding has shone through and everything we have taken for granted has began to be broken by the stupid decisions that have been made.

Out of a population of more than 60 Million People in the UK, the task of finding 650 politicians who have the skills, life experience, motivation and wherewithal to make decisions and create public policy that will really be in the best interests of everyone really shouldn’t be all that hard for us to do.

The problem is that it is because the system has been taken over by politicians who make stupid decisions who then recruit politicians to replace them who in the same situations would do exactly the same, the whole system is now well and truly broke.

Don’t get angry. Get prepared instead.

Categories: Uncategorized

We must change the way we see politics today so we can experience better politicians tomorrow

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One of the most frustrating things about reading my LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook feeds is the number of you who are suffering because of the inadequacy of government and the poor decisions politicians are making.

The work of those involved with campaigns such as ForgottenLtd, Excluded UK and Keep Britain Free is inspiring for many for us, but unlikely to yield the fruit that such passion and motivation should deliver, just like any public campaign should do so when the reasoning behind it is justified and fundamentally right.

Regrettably, Government of all levels – whether it be Westminster, your local Borough, District or County – simply doesn’t work in the way that it should. Politicians and the Officers under their ‘control’ are rarely attuned to what their responsibilities to you and I and voters like us really are and the only reason that the plates keep spinning isn’t because there is leadership, but because there are well established processes that remain in place. (It’s when a politician has to decide to do something that isn’t covered by history or a textbook that things inevitably go wrong!)

The hardest thing to accept is that much of the damage from the Lockdown and social distancing to normal lives, incomes, businesses and the way that people feel and think has already been done, even if the damage is not yet there for everyone to see and experience as it soon will be in plain sight.

The politicians will not back date the help and the remedies they should have provided from the start, even if they could. They will not change, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t.

We may well be stuck with the Johnson Government until at least 2024, that is if events that they cannot control do not get there and catch up with them first.

As it stands, the only way to change things for the better is to play the democratic process and the broken British Political System at its own game and provide political options for voters in future elections that will actually deliver during their time in office as they actually should.

Yes, it’s a very hard pillow to swallow, to have to accept that the people that we elected in 2019 are out of touch and that they don’t want to hear anything real that you and I have to say. The reality is that they have lives that insulate them against real-world experience and so they have no currency invested in making life better for anyone other than those that they readily identify with.

Politicians are misusing and abusing the power and responsibility that they have been entrusted with. They are storing up a list of devastating unforeseen consequences for us all as they do so, whilst focusing only on their electability and personal gain.

It is only by creating a completely new political movement, driven by people who are not influenced by myopic issues, the tunnelled vision of political philosophies or the influence of others with money or power that we can establish a new way of doing government that works for everyone and everything just the same.

It will happen one way or another, once enough of us have had our lives touched directly by the stupidity of the current political class and the majority of us accept that we cannot go forward as a Country or as individuals or as businesses whilst the leadership and the pool of politicians that it comes from continues to be the same.

 

Categories: Uncategorized

If you want a change in Government approach and policy, you will have to change the Government and the politicians we elect first

img_7811It is because the politicians that were elected to our Parliament last December are so out of touch with real life that so many people are facing catastrophe at home, in their business or are having the most bizarre and de-humanising restrictions placed upon daily life.

Yet it is the very same reasons that make our politicians so out of touch that they will not respond to the needs of real people, do not have the forward vision to see the catastrophic impacts of what they do, or possess the awareness or maturity to change and adapt so that they do.

Social Media feeds are alive with new organisations, groups and activists that have come into being since the beginning of the Lockdown and have a focus on the people whose existence has at best been forgotten, overlooked or literally ignored by the Government and its policies. Others increasingly centre on the injustice and random imposition of unnecessary social distancing measures that are being used for political purposes right now but pay little heed to the social impact and damage to British life that will inevitably follow.

This is not how a democratic government is supposed to work. But because we have such anger and frustration with the lack of response and the injustices of a system that we have only noticed when we find that we are the ones getting burned, there is a massive disconnect between where we are all now and what steps and what time it will take for us all to turn it all around and get to a place where UK government and the public sector will work for us all as it really should.

Politicians generally become caricatures of their own idea of what a politician should be, no matter the level or tier of government to which they have become elected. The injustices that are now coming to light nationally have been occurring the same, just in different forms right across all forms of government for a significant period of time.

Attempts to change decisions by lobbying, by petition, by legal action will never change the mind of any government that has been constructed in the way that this one has. Any campaign that looks successful will only have succeeded in convincing this political class that change will improve the chances of their re-election from those they already had.

To achieve the change that is right and experience the change that we want, we must play the politicians at their own game. The politicians that we have will not change so we have to change the politicians first.

Yes, you are probably now thinking ‘what about my business!’, ‘what about my job!’. ‘what about my income!’. ‘what about having to wear a face mask!’. These are the problems that we didn’t knowingly ask for and didn’t knowingly invite into our lives. But they are already here and whilst we may not like to admit it, they are here because of the way we have previously voted.

If we want things to be fair for us for the future, it is now that we have to make what feels like a very untimely choice. The choice to replace the politicians and the political parties that we currently have and that it will be no good waiting until 2024 to think about making a start.

All of the arguments and points that groups like Keep Britain Free, Forgotten Ltd and Excluded UK are making are valid and would never have been needed if we had different politicians in power, it was a different world and a different day.

These voices will not be heard by nor change the approach or the wider policies of an incompetent government that was unwittingly put in place to take charge at a time of national crisis. But that energy and the pain that is being experienced by so many now can be used positively to create change for the future if it is redirected, re-channelled and re-distributed right now.

 

The SNPs progress on Scottish Independence is the EUs only UK success story. It was just a bit too late to seal a whole Nation’s fate:

img_7806Never has the curse of a short term memory been more prevalent than it is within today’s political class and those who choose to emulate them.

Reading articles in what are now some of the more respected online journals and magazines, it is easy to become overwhelmed by an almost universal narrative that all of the political situations that exist are isolated events in themselves.

This is exactly the way that the Politicians would like us to see what they do. It’s certainly what they are aiming for and the short term memory of those of us whose futures are being written by all that they do is a great help to the politicians cause.

One of the most interesting developments of late is the switch of the Opinion Polls in Scotland towards supporting Independence from the UK, riding on the back of the SNPs non-stop efforts to gain and win a second Indyref in the shortest available time.

Commentators and the SNP fall over themselves to relate the current situation in Scotland and the prospect of Scottish independence as a direct and isolated consequence of Brexit.

It is anything but.

Devolution and the Regionalisation of the UK was always part of the EU’s or European Project Plan. When Tony Blair and New Labour rode in to power on their 1997 landslide victory, the new Prime Minister did all he could to ingratiate himself with the would-be European Super state, and underscored his commitment to the Devolution Strategy by portraying it as being a plan that was completely his own.

As Strategies go, the aim of Devolved Regional Government, sold as localisation but created as a tool to disable the function and power of National Government is a textbook example of how a foreign power can overcome a nation by breaking it up from within by using its own tools of government to do so.

Devolution was always a long game. What we have been witnessing in Scotland and to a lesser degree Wales too, is a successful outcome from the EU strategy to break up the UK and subjugate the 4 separate parts under permanent membership and political leadership from the Bureaucracy of the EU.  

The strategy went drastically awry when the UK technically left the EU before the dastardly deed was done. But before even that, the plan that would have seen England broken up into devolved Regions suffered a failure to launch through the EU’s oversight that the English collectively see themselves generally as one, just as the Scots and the Welsh more obviously do.

Sturgeon and the SNPs contradictory obsession with leaving the British Union so that they can then ‘re-sign’ Scotland to the EU is ironic. The EU’s failure to keep the UK as a Member, effectively means the level of devolution that the Scottish Parliament has reached is likely to already be providing the greatest level of autonomy it could ever realistically have.

We don’t know what even the immediate future holds. The EU may not even survive the financial crisis that is following and building momentum behind the Covid-19 pandemic. But there is a good chance that the SNP will find themselves able to justify another Scottish Independence Referendum to the Westminster Government and that this time, it will be one that they will win.

What Sturgeon and the SNP will not be so wiling to recognise in their battle for glory is that Scotland will not be able to function as an isolated nation-state for very long. So even if the EU is there for the SNP to have talks with when the SNP’s battle for ‘independence‘ has been won, they may not like the answers that come back.

When that time comes, being part of the British Union is likely to be a very attractive option then that will never be available to them then as it is to them right now and then as it was before.

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized

Process is the only thing holding government and the public sector together

July 22, 2020 3 comments

You’re probably wondering why things don’t seem to be working as they should. Looking back at the Lockdown it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the government are in control of everything that’s been happening and that everything that has happened has been the result of reasoned decision making at the highest levels.

Look more closely and you begin to see the mistakes. The errors in judgement. The key milestones when decisions were taken that have resulted in things for us all taking a turn for the worse.

Without fail, these are the points where decisions have been made where there is no history to reference, where no precedent has been set, where none of the members of the Government have ever had reason to tread or cast a view before.

Where everything else that has taken place has been concerned, the decisions have seemed easy, because there has been a guidebook, a framework, a way of doing things, or what is known as a procedure to address events of these kinds when they take place.

Events that fall outside the scope of procedure or where procedure is outdated or doesn’t cater for the needs of our 21st Century World require leadership skills that our Politicians and the people that advise them simply do not have. That is where everything to do with Coronavirus and the Lockdown has began to go very wrong.

People who are or have always been insulated from the ways of the world and the life experiences of the governed should never be given the responsibility to govern. Yet that is how the broken British Political system works.

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published on Twitter at 6.44 on 20/07/2020

Earlier this week, one of the more in-tune MPs at Westminster, Tory Steve Baker wrote in a Tweet that ‘All our imaginations were unequal to the task of foreseeing the consequences of closing down a large proportion of our economy and society.’

Outside of Parliament and outside of the establishment, at least some were not so blinkered or deficient of the understanding and foresight necessary to know what the Government was about to unleash and how inadequate and destructive the financial remedies would be that like the Lockdown, the Johnson Government imposed by choice.

The reality is that if there had been a procedure in place to address a national crisis of this kind, the provision that was made may well have been better than what elected Politicians have put together when making choices that have illustrated that they are well and truly out of their depth.

As with the off-the-shelf test and trace strategy that they failed to implement, there would have been a risk that they would think better of using it in the heat of the moment. But one can certainly live in hope that that’s what they might have otherwise done.

Instead, the rise of movements of those disenfranchised by the Lockdown and inadequacy of the financial remedies such as #ForgottenLtd and #ExcludedUK illustrate only the tip of the iceberg that exists in relation to the lack of provision and support for people and businesses that were stopped in their tracks and the disparity that exists between what the politicians believe and what is actually going on for people in the world outside Westminster.

When politicians of the level and ability of Steve Baker are putting their hands up and opening admitting that they are not capable of living up to the responsibilities of the jobs which many of them long coveted, it is quite clear that whilst this political class continues to run the Country, as a people, we will continue to be well and truly damned.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Business, Coronavirus

No Rishi, Money WILL NOT solve the problems that you and Boris created

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In August, you can get 50% of your restaurant bill paid by the Government. Do you still think this Government is conservative?

If you are a business that is trading and you bring back any employee from Furlough and keep them employed until January, you can claim £1000 per head. Do these idiots not realise this is just subsiding jobs that were going to continue to exist?

The fiscal incompetence of the Johnson Government is only outshone by its handling of the Coronavirus Pandemic and the implementation of measures that are still strangling the UK from within.

The only real question that is burning for anyone who is not tied into this farcical project in some way is how these lunatics ever got their hands on the levers of control.

Every day, the people we entrusted to look after our interests are actively destroying this Country in some new way.

The Conservatives are following an economic theory that simply does not fit the financial terrain that we are now facing. Keeping money flowing by burning public cash and stacking up the national debt is not the way to create a recovery or build for the future in any way. It just keeps the money flowing into the same old pockets, benefiting the same old interests in the same old ways.

The travesty that we collectively face is that without a revolution, these complete prats cannot be replaced. Labour and the Liberal Democrats can offer nothing better. Collectively, these political parties have the British Political System tied up like a monopoly, and if you don’t subscribe to the very same ideals of self interest and furthering your own cause at any cost, there simply isn’t room for you to become involved.

We have not even gone off the cliff that Boris and his cronies are racing the UK towards. But when we are over that edge and everyone has woken up to the reality of what will be a massive fall, we will all begin to wake up to the damage that has been done.

The danger is that once the void of leadership in this Country has been recognised, it will be filled by people who will ride roughshod over the population just the same, but in a different and potentially even darker way.

The crisis that we are now experiencing presents opportunities for this Country and for the people in the UK that we have never had before. But realising those opportunities and achieving a new way of doing things that works in the best interests of all and not just the few will never be possible whilst we have stupidity or anything in the same image left at the controls.

Categories: Business, Coronavirus

Chancellor to burn more Public Money subsidising Big Business whilst SMEs go to the wall

img_7005Many people are waiting for announcements to be made by the Chancellor today that will answer the questions about jobs, young people and what the Government will do to put things right now that the Country is waking up to the economic disaster that is beginning to unfold.

They will be disappointed.

Instead of taking a proper look and at least trying to understand what is really going on at the cutting edge of the current UK economy, the Chancellor and the Johnson Government are yet again digging into the public purse with their fallacious strategy that money cures all ills.

In the forlorn hope that they can keep the plates spinning for another 6 months, they are now offering a splurge of cash for employers to take on young people at no cost to the businesses. All under the pretence that the employers will offer training and hopefully keep the employees on once this further giveaway is done.

That big companies like BT and Sainsburys are already ‘signed up’ should tell us all that we need to know.

Sainsburys rely on a flow of cheap low-paid and low-skilled labour to literally keep the tills running and the shelves filled. No company of their size and profile could exist today without an induction and instruction on processes that can be sold as ‘training’ in any form.

Meanwhile BT by their very nature will continue to run an ongoing training or apprenticeship programme for young people which will continue every year, come what may.

The reality of this latest scheme that the Government and its advisors have cooked up is that the only people it will ultimately help will be its own.

This is yet again free money being pumped as subsidies towards big business and those who are already rich, whilst the people who need genuine help will either be failed by not receiving the support and real vocational training that they need or will receive what they would have got from the company anyway whilst we the taxpayer instead pick up the bill.

Few of the small and medium sized enterprises that have been condemned by the Lockdown that the Government wilfully imposed on us have the resources or the facilities to indulge the existence of either training or low-skilled roles that outside big business genuinely exist.

Where the opportunities within SMEs to exploit this scheme in places like independent coffee shops and pubs, the upshot is likely to be that older and established employees will be displaced, made redundant or lose hours so that this cash giveaway can be indulged.

It seems that the madness of this Government knows no end. There is no basis of logic nor understanding of the real world at the basis of any of the decisions that are being made.

Boris, Sunak, Cummings and the advisors and politicians behind them are responsible for the mess that has been created. Yet instead of trying to take even baby steps to at least begin putting some of the destruction to lives they have created right, they are instead taking giant leaps to make the whole thing worse.

If Coronavirus has only killed 1,366 people, WHY did we have the Lockdown and WHY does the massive injustice of Social Distancing continue?

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The mainstream media portrays the accepted establishment narratives, even when the Government is itself being looked at critically through the lens.

At no time has this been more obvious than the many weeks that have now passed since the Coronavirus Pandemic arrived and the 23rd of March 2020, when the Lockdown, Social Distancing and what is now becoming the new normal effectively began.

Some of us knew from the start that the Lockdown was a disproportionate response to the spread of a virus that the Government and their Scientists did not then and still do not fully understand.

We blogged and we tweeted as much as we could to try and raise the questions that the media and politicians should have been asking.

But apart from the same old lone voices, pigeonholed by the ‘clique’ as having nothing useful to say, the realities of shutting down the whole country when there was simply no data available to justify doing so was simply overlooked by anyone with any influence over what the Government does.

That was before Chancellor Rishi Sunak got to his feet and began fire hosing cash at causes with the loudest voices. He left many like the Limited Company Directors championed by ForgottenLtd, businesses like the Events and Meetings Sector and organisations such as Theatre Trusts with very uncertain futures that even now, after many other struggling businesses have been able to reopen, find themselves unable to trade and much nearer than anyone else to simply going bang.

If the Lockdown has genuinely already prevented around 250,000 deaths as current commentary suggests, there would be a strong argument for the Lockdown to have been implemented.

This would remain the case, even if it could be argued that the Lockdown could have been implemented in much better and even more effective ways, such as the Test & Trace service being put into full action and being the hinge that the whole thing was hung on right from the start.

What we are being told by the Government via the mainstream media, is that to date, there have been around 44,000 deaths from Covid 19.

In terms of a quarter of a million deaths being prevented and forty four thousand still dying after all of the change we have been compelled to embrace, there are few who would argue with what the Government has done – even if their own experiences tell them that something doesn’t really feel right about it all.

Yet the figures that we are being spoon fed, are not all they are hyped up to be by the media and the Government.

They represent the TOTAL number of deaths of people who TESTED POSITIVE for Covid-19.

This includes those who had – in most cases – profoundly serious underlying health conditions. Illnesses that made them individually very vulnerable to ANY infection, further disease, or complication even before Coronavirus came along.

Buried within the Government’s own publicised reports, figures exist that confirm the number of deaths of people with Covid 19 being the only cause at an astonishing 1,366 to date.

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That is a mere 4.99% of the people who we are being told have died from the Virus and less than 1 in 20 of the people who have died.

The number of people in the UK whose death can be directly and honestly attributed to Coronavirus is 0.00002 % from a population of around 66 Million People across the UK.

Meanwhile, of the 65 Million + who have not been touched, they will have ALL had their lives affected in some way. Some gave had their lives stopped and been confined like prisoners to their homes. Businesses have been wrecked. Jobs have been lost. Innocent adults and children have been subjected to increased or otherwise avoidable abuse. Many have been forced into debt. Others have been forced into food poverty. Some have felt they have had no option but to commit suicide.

This is to highlight just a few of the ways that people have been affected by what the Government has done.

The figures that the establishment narrative wilfully neglects to use give the lie not only to the way the Government has handled Covid 19, the lockdown and the financial measures it has taken. It also exposes the sham reasoning that underpins all of the steps that the Government is now taking to address the unfolding financial crisis that they created, whilst they behave as if they are saving us from a chaos that came from outside their own hands.

Over 95% of the people who have died from Coronavirus were already ill.

Covid 19 is undeniably a disease of the weak.

The ridiculously small, almost negligible number of people who have died literally from catching Covid 19 could easily have died from anything else.

The question must be asked, was all that Boris and Sunak have done to save a handful of lives really worth all the pain, misery and suffering that they have inflicted upon everyone else already and within the financial crisis that is yet to come?

 

 

 

Boris condemned business with the lockdown, now he’s going to crucify them with a clawback too

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The ignorance, lack of foresight and fear that drove the Johnson Government to implement the Lockdown was only surpassed by the stupidity that underpinned the financial measures that the Chancellor implemented, leaving holes for many to fall through and creating anomalies at every turn.

The owners and managers of businesses knew exactly what the implications of the Lockdown were going to be as soon as it was called.

Business people didn’t need advisors, astronomy or the gift of second sight. They had the experience of running businesses to understand what damage would be caused to an economy when everything is simply shut down.

Sadly, the politicians did not.

After months of stories that any half-decent representative of the people would be paying attention to, the Government should have known only too well that their clever giveaway devices like the Job Retention Scheme were only going to retain jobs for as long as they continued.

Instead, the Government is now planning to claw back money from employers who paid staff using these schemes, if they will not continue to pay employees for jobs that no longer exist.

It should be of critical concern to us all that the people who run this country really thought that after imposing the Lockdown, handouts and loans were all that it would take to stop the UK economy from going bang.

Unfortunately, because of the way that media-led group thinking now works, instead of looking at the reality that we need immediate change, we will instead be drawn to look at the apparently unscrupulous behaviour of company owners and big businesses who have paid out public money to pay for non existent jobs instead of making everyone immediately redundant – as they would have done in March, if Boris and Sunak’s great ‘free money handout’ hadn’t begun

By creating an after-the-fact clawback as it is understood to be the case that the Chancellor now is, the Government will effectively crucify many of the remaining businesses left of those that the Lockdown had already condemned.

It used to be only a Labour and union-driven fallacy that businesses only exist to provide jobs. But by adopting the so-called economic thinking that this Conservative Government already has and now seems set on continuing to do so, it has become clear that none of our politicians are equipped with the basic understanding of what drives enterprise and what it takes to makes business work.

Businesses pay people to do and make the things that earn them money and it is only when those services and products are being paid for by customers that there is any need to employ people who take a cut of it in what they earn.

The Johnson Government has created the economic crisis that is now unfolding and instead of trying to turn things around, seize the opportunities that the crisis has created to effect positive change and make the best of a difficult situation as they should, they are instead digging in, looking to consolidate and setting themselves up to make things even worse for us all.

Boris and his Government have not been short of lessons after all they have done. They just keep refusing to learn.

 

 

There’s nothing new about Boris’ New Deal

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The penny hasn’t dropped for many that we are about to go over the edge of a very steep financial cliff. Figures of a 2.2% contraction in the economy in the first quarter followed by early figures of a 20.4% drop in April alone betray a reality that says the UK is economically dropping like a stone.

Of those many, the few who really shouldn’t be there amongst them are the Members of the Government themselves.

Yet to observe the way that Boris, Sunak and Gove are swanning around like they are on the verge of reinventing the economic wheel, it is impossible to conclude anything other than the people running this Country should be the last ones involved.

It takes more front than seven Boris buses to proclaim you are about to be the saviours of an economic crisis that you actually created. But front isn’t something that the Johnson Government is short of. And front is all they have when it comes to covering their tracks.

There was a distinct lack of originality in the thinking that has led to countless job losses, business closures and all the other reckless policies born of the mother of all avoidable public policy travesties – the Lockdown itself.

Now, when we are so very desperate for a change in thinking that will not only save us from collectively dropping any further, but will make the best of the opportunities that the crisis has created, we are instead being treated to yet more shoehorning of old political ideas. This time they come from post-depression American economics and are being pumped into an unprecedented scene where none of the usual or tried and tested economic theories or ideas will apply.

Talk of restarting the economy with huge cash injections and years of infrastructure projects might make great headlines for Boris et al. But these are not the policies that the UK needs as we head into what are sure to be very uncertain times.

The pretence that this mess will be simple to solve needs to be ditched right now. People should to be treated like adults. They need to be told what to expect and be engaged so that they understand that whatever their background, whether they are employees, self-employed, company directors or corporate leaders, we are all in this together and we all have to play a very big part in putting right everything that is now wrong.

To try and give CPR to a system that was already broken before it was thrown under a bus is very cynical. It would be irresponsible even if it were possible to return the economy to where it was before the start of the COVID Pandemic. Regrettably it is not.

With the UK now beyond bankrupt, we need political leadership that looks forward in very different ways and forms. The free market economics that the Government wants to champion only work when there is a fully functioning marketplace that is able to perform.

Right now there isn’t. And what the Conservatives need to do as a priority is rethink what they are going to do.

It doesn’t matter what source or political direction the ideas come from. Getting the UK out of this mess is now all about identifying and implementing what will work.

It isn’t about reading a book, studying classics or looking at the leadership giants of history and cherry picking what you think will work.

The system now provides capitalism for the poor and socialism for the rich. That must now change if any good is to come in the chapter of our history that comes next.

Policies that continue to promote this disparity simply will not do.

 

 

Fire-hosing Cash into a Broken Economy won’t turn it around

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That the political classes are suffering with serious amnesia over the part they have played in creating this economic collapse would be hilarious if it were not so serious.

That they believe the problems they created can be erased by fire hosing public cash in every direction says as much about their inability to think as it does their reliance on their advisors’ ability to read.

With a diversity of thought that appears to go no further than Cummings reading a book by Keynes, Boris has used the parapet provided by this week’s Mail on Sunday to proclaim that he will pump ‘Billions to get Britain Booming’ and spend, spend, spend on infrastructure projects as if he’s spending his summer out in the sunshine making hay.

The real impact of what the Johnson Government has done may still take several months to hit enough of us and reach the critical mass where the media will openly turn on the architects of what will surely become a dreadful malaise.

They have crippled this Country, our businesses, and our economy with a disproportionate response to a problem that they still don’t understand. But the Government still wants to sidestep the biggest opportunity in living memory to unravel many of the injustices that people in this Country experience day-to-day. Yet again they are falling back on the political view that money is the only tool that can provide a fix.

It is easy to see why they think this way. Former Conservative PM John Major stepped in to say that the UK must borrow to pay for a ‘crusade’ to improve living standards for the poor. You really would have thought that 23 years out of Office would have been enough to understand that washing everything with public money doesn’t make it gleam.

Money can only ever play a part in solving the problems that the UK is facing. It will never be the solution in itself.

Together we are living through an age where we have capitalism for the poor and socialism for the rich. Continuing to use money as the cure for ills will only serve to extend this problem further. It lines the pockets of those who are already rich and lowers the value yet further of the incomes of the middle classes and the poor.

Politicians have got used to treating their responsibilities like being treasurers of some nice country club set in Westminster where all they need do is listen to requests for cash from club captains and the staff, then sign the cheques and watch the upgrades to the course roll out – never having to lift a finger at any point in between.

The big clue to where their responsibilities lie is in the name. Politicians are supposedly there to champion and develop policy. Not just solve every problem based on what they decide ‘we’ can afford, or what they can borrow to make their re-election secure.

Market freedom without regulation of ethical standards and morality, coupled with the impact of transactions that have real-life impacts taking place at distance in the cloud have made the life experience of normal people completely meaningless to those who control the processes and have a grip on the financial levers of life.

Attempts by any politician to address the ills of society without taking on the task of making big business, the banks and the financial sector responsible for all they do will do nothing to help anyone other than those whose interests who are best served without reform.

For politicians to believe that the problems people have are all about the amount of money is an ideological trap. Acting on them only serves the purposes of economists and money men.

The way to help everyone in the UK is for responsible politicians to take back control of the basic cost of living and regulate the way that prices of all things essential to basic life are set.

The aim MUST be the cost of essential food, transport, accommodation, and anything that always contributes to an individual being able to live self-sustainably without help from Government or charity being controlled and maintained.

Once we can all live in safety, without fear and free of debt as an absolute minimum, the UK will have crossed the threshold of all the societal problems that we have and be on the pathway to the ills we share being solved.

 

 

 

Categories: Coronavirus, Poverty

Corruption in Planning isn’t just about financial gain

img_6717Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government Robert Jenrick has been skewered by his involvement in a local planning case in London that circumstances suggest benefitted a Tory donor.

A debate has flared up over the role that Jenrick has played. But beyond the smokescreen that his involvement has provided for the PM, questions have been raised by journalists and politicians alike over the Minister’s interference in a local policy decision. Lib Dem Leadership Contender Layla Moran has gone as far to state on Twitter that Jenrick has gained personally from the transaction and should as such immediately resign.

img_6682Ms Moran could be on very dodgy ground making such a statement if it is read purely in the sense of receiving a financial reward of some kind, and that is precisely the way that her Tweet reads when you relate it directly to the challenge from The Mail on Sunday’s Harry Cole.

When we hear the term corruption, most of us immediately assume that it only applies when there is an exchange of money involved. Yet corruption itself is by far a much more nebulous thing.

The term corruption arguably applies to any transaction in the public sector or government where any preferential interest or misuse of power in public office has been shown.

It is after all the cost of anything that has been done or any decisions made in the pursuit of self-interest on the public or the taxpayer – whatever that might be – that really matters. Because it is the outcome of that influence being applied that leaves the world around us and the experience that we have as mere mortals not turning out they should if all was being played fair that really counts.

The Planning system in the UK is fundamentally flawed. It has been for some time.

Unbeknown to many trusting local people, the decisions they think are being made by local councillors on a planning committee have already been framed by planning criteria that was set up and imposed by faceless bureaucrats in London.

It is therefore not decisions but interpretations of planning decisions that are locally made.

Regrettably, the way that the system is set up pretty much guarantees that dodgy decisions can be made with little scrutiny, simply because of how arduous and costly it is to appeal, particularly when powerful and malign influences or outright stupidity are involved.

As a former Councillor who effectively resigned their seat when they walked away from the Conservative Party over a local Group’s pursuit of a highly controversial planning strategy which was ultimately rejected by the Secretary of State, I am well acquainted with the dubious practices and decision making that defies all logic in terms of planning frameworks.

I may not have seen the passing of brown envelopes between councillors whose votes were for hire. But I am damned sure that with some of the decisions I saw made, there was too much smoke around the whole process and debate for there to have been no fires burning in between.

I have seen it happen frequently in other authorities too. Whilst it will always be very difficult for anyone without adequate power and influence to prove otherwise, the reality is that people in positions of power like Mr Jenrick can absolutely change the destiny of whole Towns, Villages, City suburbs and the people and communities within them simply by picking up the phone – if they so choose.

Yes, the whole system needs to change. But the fix is not so simple as letting Dominic Cummings roll in with the creation of yet another bureaucratic body to make decisions in a democracy that are themselves no longer democratic in any way.

Planning Committees are simply too big and there is too much scope for corruption in the broadest or pecuniary sense to be involved.

Corruption exists throughout government and the public sector. But this corruption exists as ideas, as behaviours, as preferences as well as picking up the phone or sending a letter, and there’s a lot more being lost by the public as a result than any money changing hands – if and when that is the level of corruption that is involved.

Categories: Uncategorized

Only a new political movement will make sense of the mess that the UK is now in

June 21, 2020 2 comments

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Rarely does one individual have the platform and access to the eyes and ears of the Public and then use it to speak the truth in the way that Lord Sumption did so in his piece for this Week’s Mail on Sunday.

In an evisceratingly honest analysis of a kind you are unlikely to ever receive from the new generation of Judges, readers are treated to a brutal overview of the root cause of the problems we have in Government today. Sumption tells us ‘You have to go back to the early 1930’s to find a British Cabinet as devoid of talent as this one’. Please do find the time to read it as he certainly doesn’t stop there.

What this article tells many and concludes for others is that British Politics is no longer simply broken.

We have reached the stage where the incumbent political class is progressively pressing the self-destruct buttons on every part of public policy they touch. The Covid-19 Pandemic has just given them a smorgasbord of opportunity to foul things up in one giant hit.

As a Country we are in deep trouble. Unless there is change to the political party set up and the way that government is formed, there is no way that the politicians we have in power and those cast in the same image who are falling over themselves to replace them can ever be removed and replaced so that a process of helpful change can begin.

There have been murmurings this week of Nigel Farage rebranding, re-evolving and then relaunching what was previously known as the Anti Federalist League, UKIP and then the Brexit Party. But we don’t need a right-of-centre solution to a problem that crosses the whole spectrum of questions that people are asking and must now have asked on their behalf.

We need an answer that speaks to, understands, translates and transforms reality for everyone – right across the political divide.

This isn’t going to come from anything we have seen in the public eye before, no matter what it is called.

A book could easily be written about everything that is wrong with British Politics. But the net result or bottom line of any analysis made without influence or prejudice will tell us all that Westminster has steadily been going around in ever decreasing circles with the people who enter Parliament and sit on the front benches for a very long time.

The way that the Political Parties function and select ‘their next MPs’ mean all MPs end up in London with an outlook and abilities that are dangerously myopic. To all intents and purposes, MPs are exactly the same.

The monopoly must be broken. Not simply by launching and bank rolling another political party that acts and behaves the same. But by getting a completely new movement started that looks beyond the machinations of political philosophies, tribalism and self-interest. One motivated by knowing the world would be a happier, healthier and a lot friendlier place if politicians could look at us, treat us and lead us all as one and the same.

We cannot and will not get this from anyone or any movement built upon a platform of promoting one or any particular cause. To do so is always at the cost of something or somebody somewhere else.

What we need is a new movement that is of the people, with the people and for the people where age, gender, colour, race, education and everything else used to differentiate us now makes no difference there. It is experience, understanding and wherewithal that should count.

We need leaders brave enough to actually lead, who know what it is and what it means to have responsibility. They may not have all the answers, but they will know what questions to ask and how to ask them, so that the right ones will always be found.

This will not be achieved by anyone who has or wishes to promote their own agenda, like the politicians we have now and those who have for many years gone before. They are the biggest obstacle in the road to bringing the real change that the UK is going to need to survive.

It is the result that matters. But culturally, we are obsessed with controlling the means.

It is only when we can look beyond our comfort zones and embrace the truth about how sick our political system has become that we can build and develop a movement for change that will rise to the occasion as the depth of the coming recession will dictate.

With the right aims and genuine ability to implement them in the tough times that lie ahead, we can ensure what needs to be done in the best interests of everyone will lead to the right result.

 

The false floor economy: when will it fall through?

June 18, 2020 1 comment

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These are strange times. We know that things are not the same as they used to be. Our lives are being governed by a set of rules that seem to be changeable at political whim. We see the rising numbers of redundancies reaching out from our TV screens and know from conversations that many businesses are already struggling and looking ahead hopefully but suspecting that they will go bust.

Yet life continues and even seems to be returning to something like normality before the Lockdown began. The drive thrus are open. We have a choice when it comes to going out to shop or buying online. To listen to the media, it is as though Covid-19 has done all the damage to the economy that it possibly can.

Underlying all of this, economically at least, there is something very deep and very dark going on. UK GDP fell by 20.4% in April alone. High-profile business restructures like that of British Airways have pre-emptively begun and the Bank of England has today announced that it will pump £100 Billion into the Economy.

The people whose job it is to watch for the distant elephants as they cross the horizon are already extremely hard at work.

Somehow however, there is a shared feeling like this is all happening to somebody somewhere else. As if any of the pointers, red flags or warning bells that are telling us that the shit is about to really hit the fan are just another media headline that has been cooked up by story tellers for the benefit of someone else.

It feels this way simply because we are walking together through the existence of false floor economy. One that was created by the Government’s Lockdown alleviation measures such as the Job Retention Scheme and the ‘Furlough Money’ that has been fire hosed at any company or business that employs staff and has qualified itself for a Scheme.

There are potentially millions of people who are today employed within jobs that no longer exist. Employers are keeping them on the books for as long as it is not costing them their own money to do so.

As the Government money dries up or is reduced to a level where continuing to live the lie no longer makes sense, this whole situation will change.

The difference between where the economy is and where it appears to be is significant. As things stand, there continues to be a common belief that things will simply return to how they had previously pre-lockdown been. The media and political commentators who should know better have made it worse by reporting the queues outside shops as non-essential retailers reopened on Monday as being illustrative of the British Economy recovering and the Country getting back to work.

At best, what we have seen this week is the effect of little more than a bubble or overhang from the pre-Covid time that will continue to exist until the impact of the massive recession that we are now sleepwalking into has impacted a critical mass of people that will be enough to push the media to begin reporting in a very different way.

The key ignition points will be when the need for employers to contribute to the existing levels of Furlough Money comes into force at the beginning of August and then when the Schemes have ended in October, when the full six months of this artificial reality that Politicians have created come to their end.

The false floor economy will soon become a trap door for everyone. Not just the people who have already been made redundant or the incredibly significant number of business owners and company directors who have not been catered for by the Chancellors various initiatives. Policies made by a Government in fear of everything other than the consequences of what they were doing for everyone else. They never helped in the way they should, and their only real success has been to hide the arrival of what is going to be a very painful reality for all of us in plain sight.

 

Categories: Business, Coronavirus

The genuine need for Free Meals is something this Government will never understand

 

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The Government U-Turn on providing Free School Meals during the Summer is one that only a different set of politicians could have avoided.

Yes, we have seen Boris led once again by powers outside of his control. But where the Labour Party is concerned, they have also spent many years in power too, never once taking the opportunity to extend provision beyond the end of School Terms.

Political philosophy has become so malleable these days that it is difficult to identify where the left begins and where the right starts.

In fact, so transparent has the motivation of all politicians to secure and then maintain power at any cost become, we have entered a new chapter in British Politics where the leaders themselves are not leading and instead are being led.

Scientists and the Media led the Lockdown. Protests are now leading a national identity crisis. A Footballer has led the policy on Free Meals for Children to be changed.

The increasing need for Free School Meals and support for households suffering from food poverty during the Lockdown has drawn attention to the deepening impact of the Government’s farcical decision to deliberately engineer a recession. But also, to the reality beyond the current crisis that there is a huge demographic in the UK that simply cannot afford to eat.

For reasons unknown, the Conservative Party manages public policy under its control with the clear belief that unemployment and poverty are one and the same thing.

It may not be intentional. But this callous and disengaged approach to social disadvantage in the UK leads the politicians responsible to provide on our behalf for those in need with the idea that once an unemployed person can be recatagorised as having a job, the problem is no longer theirs.

A clear and dangerous disconnect exists where decision makers really have no understanding of what it is to live in poverty. They have no idea of the experience of a life where the simple basics must wait until a payment arrives or often are something that you simply cannot afford.

Indeed, it was very sad to hear the mocking of queues outside of shops like Primark and Sports Direct on Monday when ‘non-essential’ retailers reopened, as I can relate well to what it is like when shops like these are the difference between standing in rags and being properly clothed.

I grew up in a one parent family, in social housing and received Free School Meals. I left school with no qualifications at 16 and could very easily have been one of the ‘statistics’ that this debate has been all about. I went on to become a senior manager with a national charity and launch my own successful start-up when I was 30. But I became a Conservative Councillor and Licensing Chair too and saw the inner workings of what politics, politicians and political parties in this Country do.

Politicians on all sides of the political divides do not possess the experience required to make the decisions that will affect the lives of people other than their own.

The political party system has turned Westminster into a quasi-monopoly that splits three (or four) ways and the majority of candidates endorsed by the Parties do not have the skills or knowledge necessary to understand and empathise with the lives of people who will continue to find themselves going short for as long as this way of doing politics in the UK remains in place.

You cannot fix a problem if you do not understand or will not accept how it was caused.

The problems that riddle society like social mobility, racism and food poverty are simple in their complexity. They require a level of 360 degree thinking and empathy from Government that this political culture collectively does not encourage in any way.

The rot is now so ingrained within the system that Politicians like Boris. Keir Starmer and the London Mayor are all being led by events. They have resigned responsibility for taking the lead without having done the right thing and stepped down.

The Conservative Government of today does not understand that the need for Free Meals for Children does not only exist when children from deprived backgrounds are in school.

Boris may have caved into this amongst other demands since his tenure in No10 began. But the policies that are needed will not be written and the changes that the whole of our society needs for the future will not be implemented until we have a very different type of politician driving it and standing at the helm.

 

Boris’ Commission on systemic racism is a diversion that will not help or change anything

img_6290These are desperate times for the Government. The narrative that Boris is in control of a Country going through a national crisis is still being pumped out through every medium possible.

The truth is the Conservatives are anything but in control and to everyone outside the establishment bubble it certainly shows.

The ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests, the trashing of statues and the far-right response last weekend have shown how weak the Government UK political leaders really are.

Events have exposed the truth that senior politicians and the Police answer directly to mob opinion or the loudest voices that the media gives airtime to.

The regrettable truth is that we are at the mercy of whimsical leaders who are not leading but are themselves being led.

Distraction is one of the key chapters of the political playbook that the current Westminster culture relies on. So, it was perhaps inevitable that Boris would start pulling white rabbits out of the hat so he could start telling everyone that he is once again ‘getting the job done’.

Boris has identified that the problem for him to solve is systemic racism in Government and the Public Sector. He has launched a Commission or race equality inquiry, even though like most politicians, he is unlikely to be consciously aware of the cause.

The hard realty that we must face is that if we go looking for racism in Government and the Public Sector, is it will be found as sure as night meets day.

Yet what we are being pushed to accept as racism by the media and by activists is not all that it seems.

We are being sent on a witch hunt for a prejudice that in its most basic form simply does not exist.

All that Boris will achieve by setting up this Commission is give legitimacy to a dangerous yet widespread whim. One that has power to deliver a solution that has nothing to do with the cause.

Commissions and consultative instruments that the Public Sector use have outcomes and solutions that are all too often designed before they have even been launched.

The upshot of what will inevitably be an expensive project will see newsworthy recommendations made and a series of measures implemented, championed as a breakthrough result for all those concerned.

Yet all the Inquiry will really achieve is the creation of more measures and regulations. Making jobs more difficult, creating more distrust and furthering the resentment that many have about so-called rights and diversity measures that sow greater levels of division between people rather than addressing the very issues that they were created to resolve.

Racism exists throughout Government and the Public Sector as part of a much wider problem within society that the rights and measures that were created to address have ended up making even worse.

Laws, regulations and processes cannot address and overcome the way that people think subconsciously. They will not address the many prejudices that exist not only within the workplace but across life itself.

To address racism and all innate prejudices effectively, every one of us would have to become self-aware at a very enlightened level. Nothing less.

Regrettably, there will always be those who use that awareness to further their own cause.

Intelligence used without love and consideration for our fellow man is not intelligent at all.

The only way to begin to address the racism we experience as people being held back from jobs, opportunities and the basic human decency that we all deserve in any situation is for there to be top-to-bottom reform.

Leaders must lead and demonstrate by example how we all should really behave.

Only then will people begin to think differently about the people around them and the interactions that they have.

Legislation and rule books have their uses. But unless people consider them respectfully and accept that they are there to benefit everyone in every sense, there will always be those who look for and will find the ways around them. They will hide their prejudices in plain sight whilst proclaiming that they are furthering this right or that cause.

The upshot of what Politicians are doing in response to the protests and the momentum of Black Lives Matter, is to keep themselves in power and live to blag their way through and make excuses for their inaction and ineptitude on another day.

Until we have changed the political system and removed the cuckoos who sit within democracy’s nest, we will never be able to begin the process of dealing with the real inequalities that the British People face.

To do that, this Government and the Parties of power must be replaced.

 

Welcome to the deadly age of Groupthink where groups and ‘leaders’ aren’t thinking at all

June 14, 2020 1 comment

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Whilst none of the usual suspects have produced work that reflects this from the US, the chances are that when they do, it will show that there has also been a giant leap to the left in political direction since George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis Police.

Polling that has suggested that Keir Starmer is already doing as well as the early days of Blair may well be the reflection of this shift without those same questions being asked. This being the guaranteed landslide at the General Election of December 2024 that Labour supporters so desperately want is however a different question altogether.

Social Media in recent days has been an experience to behold. The cancellation of TV comedies such as the ‘Germans’ episode from Fawlty Towers, the planned removal of statues like that of World Scouting Founder Lord Baden Powell and the boarding up of Winston Churchill’s Statue in Parliament Square at the behest of London Mayor Sadiq Kahn demonstrate just how overpowering the Groupthink underpinning what began as the Black Lives Matter protests is. It also shows how overpowered the Politicians and the Police have actually been.

Yet the speed with which this whole ‘movement’ has gained momentum gives the lie to the solidity of the foundations upon which what the leaders of the protests would hope a direction of travel has been built.

When events are studied in as much detail as we might like to think those advocating anarchy have done so before trashing everything that the UK has been built upon, incidents such as the removal of PM Winston Churchill from a Google Search of British Prime Ministers might have at least demonstrated that those responsible were wise and experienced enough to know that the great man had returned for a second term.

That groupthink has become so powerful that an horrific injustice in a foreign Country where police and government operate in a very different way with openly sanctioned gun use by the police and members of the public is worrying enough.

But the herd-like actions of British people who we might otherwise consider to be very intelligent and above all human, to become violent, involved in public disorder, to damage property or even attack the police on what appears little more than the spur of the moment should tell us that we have indeed entered very dangerous times. This is how inexplicable changes to the collective consciousness of whole Countries or an entire race are created and become formed.

The Government is actively doing all it can to distance itself from the decisions that it has made, now that the impact and consequences of the Lockdown are manifesting and finding their way into the light. But he reality is that public unrest has been all but guaranteed to kick off right from the start. It was just a question of when and what it would be that would set it all off.

That Boris and the Establishment are being led by the nose is only too well demonstrated by the delay and pyric nature of the statements that Government MPs all too frequently now make and by pictures like those of the Labour Leader and his Deputy Angela Raynor ‘taking the knee’ make.

A vacuum now exists in the top tiers of Government, the Public Sector and the Police that shows there is a massive void in public leadership that is begging to be filled. Not by Black Lives Matter or anything else which has so far only really made sense to an inexperienced and emotional few who are desperate for the World to make sense. But by whatever is coming and will come very soon that achieves a critical mass in opinions across society because no matter how hollow, it makes collective sense and comprehensively connects.

For those of us who want and advocate genuine freedom for every one of us to be who we are and be all that we can be without anyone else being able to impose their own ideas of what that looks like as a framework upon us first, these really are very troubling time indeed.

We don’t have leadership in Government, nor across this Parliament as things stand. And whilst this particular dynamic of MPs remains seated and the British Political System remains broken, our future may be imperilled by whoever manages to start talking the right talk, get a media platform and start reaching and engaging the masses with the most clear and compelling voice. Because sadly, as we can see from the front benches at Westminster today, it is more often than not the case that empty vessels make the most sound.

 

What Makes Anyone Racist?

June 12, 2020 1 comment

Of the words and actions most noticeable during the riots, protests and unrest that has followed the death of George Floyd in the USA, it has been the trend to use some process of transference to make just about anything relevant to the anger that protestors have by branding it as being racist too.

A significant group of mainly young people rightly feel disenfranchised from a system that cares little about who they are, where they are from and what they do.

What they do not realise is that beyond Westminster and the Establishment system, we all feel this way. We just have a different way of looking at the World because we have had more time looking and thinking about it.

Groupthink has taken over to such an extent that racism, like many other isms that represent prejudice against certain groups is now being identified and attacked like it is a conscious, considered and deliberate dark political philosophy.

Yet racism and all these innate prejudices that so many of us unwittingly carry are a basic animalistic or intrinsic level reaction to difference.

Too many of us possess prejudices against others for the world to be as fair as it should be. But few are self-aware enough to understand and value the differences in the way that they feel about others and everything that appears to be outside of them.

We do not like anything that is different to the image and perceptions that we have of ourselves. As we look outwards. the easiest way to define or differentiate ourselves against others is by the colour of our skin.

But that same process works at different levels and in different ways with wealth, sexual orientation, race and nationality, level of education, social standing, demographics and even our view and approach to any gender different than ourselves.

Difference is important because it is the easiest way for us to define ourselves and our state of being against others who will then either elevate within our perceptions so that they stand above us and we look up to them – perhaps as celebrities and people we look up to, or we use as leverage to elevate and place ourselves above them and look down upon them – perhaps as if they have no value or do not qualify to have the same things or same experiences that we do in some way.

The recognition of differences between us and the process that goes with it runs like a background computer programme. No matter what anyone might say if they are challenged about the innate prejudices that they may or may not have, few will really be able to identify the real cause of what makes them prejudiced and the assumption will remain that it is either a cultural thing or they have been conditioned in some way.

Prejudice works in all directions too. A viral spread comes into play where the racism or prejudice about one will be mirrored towards everyone who looks or behaves similarly in some way.

The flow of prejudice is not one way and cannot be defined so simply as the oppressor is racist to the oppressed as the intrinsic reaction of the oppressed is to be equally racist about their oppressor(s) too. The harsh reality of what protestors are doing is that they are practicing an inverted form of racism and prejudice too which is invariably just as bad because they are accusing whole sets of people or professionals of being exactly the same, often in very sinister ways.

Confirmation bias is a big part of the problem too and steps in at every opportunity that it can. Any behaviour or action that can be interpreted negatively to reinforce that initial feeling of discomfort and doubt which was genuine, grows automatically and evolves itself at an emotional and therefore highly charged and dangerous level too.

As we look outside ourselves, it is rare that we realise or understand the way that we are constantly being conditioned by the media and by the world around us to think and behave. But it is the behaviour of the media that opens the floodgates that allow prejudices to come marching in.

The process is very nuanced and begins at a level where there is either extreme positive prejudice or on the negative scale, there is simply none.

Think in terms of how you view the actions, behaviours, misdemeanors and even crimes of the people who are most like you. Your family.

No matter what your family members do, can they really do any wrong? Would you stick up for family members and fight their corner because you know and trust that they are intrinsically good, no matter what they do?

If family are level 1, then your friends and the people you most closely align yourself are level 2 and within these groups you will overlook differences because whilst you have a good relationship, you see them as being the same as you. ‘You make allowances’ in the same or a similar way, and there is a bizarre reality that whatever you are used to in life becomes normality and it is everything else beyond that normality where your prejudices will be found.

As you look at what could be a series of many levels the differences increase too. We look for the easiest way to stereotype, identify and anchor those differences and skin colour is probably one of the easiest that we will ever identify.

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When you have watched a video like that of the ‘arrest’ of George Floyd, it is easy to understand how so many can conclude that racism is a very conscious and highly malevolent act and that anyone who can be deemed to be racist must either be punished or have their behviour changed or doctored in some way.

As Hanlon’s Razor says, we should “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”.

Whether it is the people who project or behave in ways which we consider to be racist, or it is those who look on and accuse them of being racist, it is a hard truth to accept that it is mostly stupidity or downright ignorance that makes all of us prejudiced about others in some way.

Solving the problem of prejudice should never have been easier than it could be today.

But what we collectively fail to understand is that the championing of difference and the messages that are crafted to promote the interests of any group with the aim of promoting equality makes the differences between groups even more profound.

The message being heard is that we are all different and need to be the same. But it is the people who are not in these groups that are the ones who are wrong to be different and that it is they who must now change.

If we really want to have and experience the kind of equality between all peoples, all races and all groups in each and every way that we can, we will have to be led and inspired to understand, believe and live the reality that differences between us are nothing more than perceptions and that whatever they might be, we are all, collectively equal and we are fundamentally just the same.

It is all about creating a condition of familiarity and conscious acceptance of difference that can only be facilitated if we learn from every angle that the differences between all of us are no big deal from the start.

 

 

 

 

 

Our leaders aren’t leading. So who’s really in charge?

The one thing that many people in leadership positions fail to understand is that if they are having to look outside themselves for every answer,  they aren’t leading anything at all.

Events have led to reactions by the Police and Politicians which they all believe are examples of good leadership.

Two Metropolitan Police Officers ‘took the knee’ to show they were ‘with the crowd’ a couple of hours before their colleagues were attacked.

Keir Starmer and Angela Raynor provided Twitter with their fully choreographed version on Tuesday afternoon too.

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees did a grand job of making an Interview with the BBC about the drowning of Edward Colston’s statue all about him, whilst Sadiq Kahn has pretty much picked up the phone and had a Slaver’s Statue in London’s Docklands removed overnight.

Since the weekend itself, Boris has rolled out Home Secretary Priti Patel to talk tough at the Despatch Box whilst he has provided plenty of the baffoonal bluster over the topic that he has now become renowned for.

Left or Right, supposedly impartial public servant or politician. What all of these actions share in common is they are not acts of leadership. They are the actions of people in positions of responsibility with a remarkable level of power to do something good, but are instead being led by the mob.

Covid-19, The Lockdown and Social Distancing has taken over life to such an extent since March that the Black Lives Matter protests feel like they have come completely out of left field.

From this point of view, some would argue that these actions are an appropriate response to the public mood. They are not.

As Boris did with the Leave Campaign, with the pre-Covid-19 phase of his Premiership and his response to the Coronavirus Pandemic too, these actions are opportunistic. They are responsive to events and what people are already doing, rather than defining a direction of travel and being used to inspire people to think differently before these supposed leaders then back up the words with action that can really deliver and get things done.

What we are witnessing through the absence of leadership during all the events that seem to be taking over our world is all symptomatic of a systemic rot.

The mealy-mouthed words and platitudes to Black Lives Matter haven’t been constructed with any great thought. These are not the sentiments of people with responsibility who care about the injustices within our own society, let alone any place else. They are about managing the fear that these individuals have for the loss and threat to their own positions, about the safety and reduction of risk to themselves, and in the case of the Politicians about ensuring re-election just as soon as they can.

Police Officers and Politicians are not appointed to demonstrate that they are one with us. They are appointed to show impartiality, integrity and an ability to think beyond us as they go. that will allow normal people to go about and enjoy their normal lives knowing that they are safe and being looked out for in ways of every kind.

We expect the police to watch over us and maintain the interests of the common good.

We expect the Politicians to translate the events that are happening into words and meaning that we all understand, make sense of it and then lead and inspire us to all be better in our relationships with others wherever we can.

We expect public servants of all kinds and at all levels to do the things for us all collectively that we as members of the public simply cannot.

Right now, The Government, The Opposition, Local Politicians and the Police are all failing us and failing the mob that wants to inflict its own form of justice on us all by erasing history as a part of what they do.

Nobody can lead when they are already being led. The people that we have elected to lead us along with those who have been appointed to watch over us are all being led by events.

It is the crowd and the media that sensationalises their actions that is leading our leaders today.

Those who are leading our leaders are being led not by any form of experience or logic. They are being led by emotions and responses to the events of a cruel world that with the right leaders in power for the right reasons, they should and would never have to try to understand.

The lack of leadership that is the result of a broken political system has just about circled itself once more. It’s anyone’s guess what will happen when all of this hits the floor.

 

 

 

 

 

Do businesses make staff redundant now or delay using furlough money until October?

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The Financial Measures that the Government implemented as a follow up to the Lockdown are a piecemeal response to a universal problem.

Even now, organisations such as Forgotten Ltd are fighting to highlight for a response from the Treasury over the lack of provision for Directors of Ltd Companies forced to stop or severely reduce trading, losing their incomes as a result.

They are not alone. There are many people already suffering in silence from the impact of the Lockdown.

As the so-called help from the Government is reduced and then stopped, there are going to be many more.

Of the businesses able to apply for ‘furlough money’ under the Job Retention Scheme, many jumped in as quickly as they could, knowing only too well that if their turnover ceased or was severely reduced, it would be the jobs of employees that would be out of the door first.

In principle, the Scheme well for companies employing significant numbers of staff who are paid around the average wage. Or at least that’s how it seemed before the realities of what the Government has created with the Lockdown began to actually sink in.

What is not being reported in the media yet, is that all sorts of unforeseen consequences are beginning to unfold for business.

One business I am aware of that employs around 750 people has began to end furlough, re-starting around 200 of their most qualified and experienced staff. They have already concluded they are achieving 40-50% of normal productivity and turnover with just 25% of the workforce and they are now re-evaluating their business model, even before the coming recession begins to kick-in.

However, the wider marketplace has changed overnight. Jobs that were needed and even considered critical until March no longer exist on the whiteboards in the boardrooms. But because the Government is paying the wages – or the biggest part of them, they will technically exist until October. That is unless Business Owners, Directors and Managers turn away the ‘free money’ that the Government is providing for those staff until and bring forward mass redundancies now.

At first glance, it is easy to conclude that if a job no longer exists and the Company knows this, they should make those staff redundant now and stop claiming the money from the Government.

But life is seldom as straightforward as it looks at first glance. We must be careful over how and where the answer to what is fundamentally a question of morality, wholly dependent and conditional upon where our own perspective lies.

With the Spectator Magazine, the dilemma that is at work was put into full force yesterday when Chairman Andrew Neil announced that they had done much better through the Lockdown than expected and had decided to give all their Government Furlough Money back.

Kudos to the Spectator as far as the fortune of their current position goes. But an elaborate form of virtue signalling like this – no matter how genuine the reasoning might have been, in itself helps no-one. Simply, because for too many other businesses, the decision they make over the money they claim and pass on to people who are currently on their books have real-life outcomes involved.

Yes, it is Public money that the Government is handing out. But the Government created the Lockdown in the first place.

No, an employer shouldn’t claim money from the Government that it doesn’t have to spend. But they are doing nothing legally wrong and after October, the many thousands if not millions of people living on furlough money today, may find themselves beginning many years without jobs.

What is very clear is the Government has entered a minefield of its own making where it could and should have made the effort to really think these things through.

A universal problem requires a universal solution.

We should have been given a a simple one, rather than the complicated one that we have got.

Nobody should be falling through the gaps in provision. Nobody should be made to feel wrong or guilty for taking any or all of the help that has been offered when they didn’t choose to stop trading.

Taking whatever is on offer is all that they – and many of their employees – have still got.

 

Sturgeon: Any path to Scottish Independence will do

These are strange times politically. The key players on the political scene that we do have are shining out. But the real news or the opportunity to flag it still sits very snugly under the cloak of Covid-19.

One of the political heavyweights that we should perhaps be paying a lot more attention to than we are is SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon who really does have to be flagged for how effortlessly she manages to turn every opportunity she is given to make it all about her.

When I say her, I of course mean making it all about Scottish ‘Independence’. Because frankly, that’s all the SNP Leader is about.

Whilst the viewing figures are now dictating the demise of the daily briefings from No10 – albeit only from air over the weekends, the public interest in the Lockdown and Social Distancing is clearly waning, it wasn’t always the same.

Indeed, it was notable from the start that once the SNP Leader had managed to create enough media attention to get a seat at meetings with Boris in No10, she then deliberately went out of her way to abuse the trust or protocol of the arrangement and make unilateral announcements that to the untrained eye looked like real leadership whilst she was deliberately making every attempt to show up the actual PM.

It would be a challenge for anyone to criticise Sturgeon for trying to big herself up into looking like a world statesman when that’s pretty much what all of the current political class does.

However, the track record of the SNP beyond their collective attempts to reflect any interest in their own unfolding legacy in Scotland by criticising everyone and anything else is something to behold.

Indeed, if the SNPs track record with leading the Devolved Administration was showing their form of Government as a beacon of integrity, diligence and putting public need first, we might all struggle to be critical of anything that they do.

All we see instead is the passing of the buck when there is a problem, without fail carefully placed in the vein of Westminster does it worse than we do or something along those lines. Whilst anything good that happens is immediately owned as if the Westminster Parliament’s signature on the UK Taxpayer’s Chequebook has zero to do with anything that the Scottish Parliament can do.

Devolution was of course the bastard child of the EU, regrettably administered, re-wrapped and rolled-out by Tony Blair and the 1997-2010 New Labour crew.

All this form of localisation achieved was to take more power away from the Scottish people and place it in the hands of yet another set of politicians who are in it for themselves.

Just like Blair and the Remain-obsessives who are doing all they can to make the Coronavirus Pandemic yet another re-run of the question of Brexit and Leaving the EU, the SNP see their best chances of glory being aligned not with the destiny of their own people, not even with Independence from the UK or anyone else, but with that of the EU.

 

 

 

Solidarity is not reprisal.

img_6200Very few things make me stop and think quite the same way that the video of looters in the US attacking a shop owner who pleaded with them to stop did so on Monday.

Yes, we can all understand how angry and frustrated normal Americans feel after seeing the way that George Floyd was treated by Police. But crowds making themselves judge, jury and potentially executioner over the proxy offenders they have appointed help no one, least of all themselves.

Nothing justifies an aggressive and violent response. No matter how bad in one particular moment of time those who feel they are being oppressed or mistreated as if they were the victim themselves might feel about what they have heard about or seen on TV.

Fear drove the actions of the Police. Fear drives the actions of those rioting and looting.

The reason that Government systems around the world aren’t working and people of all backgrounds feel injustices like they do is that the politicians in charge are driven by Fear too.

Put yourself in the shoes of a leader for a moment. If your aim is to maintain the appearance of control, which scenario is more likely to unsettle your mind, question your resolve and really make you think twice before you act next?:

  1. Rioters across the US burning cars in showrooms, attacking police and shopkeepers, causing as much damage as they possibly can
  2. Hong Kong residents continuing many months of protest against a regime set on removing their freedom without damaging anything
  3. Thousands of Colorado protesters lying face down on the floor with their hands behind their backs for 9 minutes simply saying ‘I can’t breathe’.

Those that have taken the law into their own hands in the US have handed the initiative straight back to Donald Trump – who had until this week been on the back foot because of his handling of Covid-19.

No matter how broken the system might be, physical reprisal or retaliation at any level simply returns the power to those who appeared to have it all at the start.

Through reprisal, you simply hand your power back to them as you crash to the level below.

The alternative is genuine solidarity. But genuine solidarity is a thinking mans game.

Solidarity is not reprisal.

Solidarity is being the voice and the peaceful action that makes a statement without inflicting any kind of material or physical cost.

In Colorado what do you think the authorities who were in fear of a mob reaction were thinking when the violent protest they expected never came and they instead found themselves observing a peaceful protest that marched straight into their minds instead?

Solidarity has the power to make the perpetrators of injustice and oppression know that they are wrong.

Reprisal against them just gives them the opportunity to demonstrate to everyone else that they were right and you were wrong all along.

The World today is a fragile place. Peace, whether between communities, people and authorities or between whole Countries themselves is no longer a given – if indeed it ever really was.

The Coronavirus Pandemic is changing the field of play around us whilst we stand upon it. We must all start to think differently about what is happening and the roles we can and should play. 

 

What will the true cost of the Lockdown be for our kids?

June 1, 2020 1 comment

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As the ties loosen, shops open, horse racing returns and we dare to hope that the pubs will be open before the end of June, the questions that have been troubling many for the duration of the Lockdown are finally finding their way into the news.

It is troubling that only after 9 weeks of the Lockdown have senior Tories recognised openly that there may have been a related increase in abuse for children vulnerable in their own homes.

The voices speaking out against the Lockdown from the start are a comparative few to the number today. But the realities and consequences of a universally-applied Lockdown with a piecemeal response from the Chancellor were openly being discussed back in March.

What the suicides, job losses, bankruptcies, cases of abuse, evictions and a seemingly endless list of personal tragedies that have yet to unfold all have in common is that they will be suffered most often only by individuals, their families and the people immediately around them. These are not stories that will make the mainstream news.

Yet there is one story that is very different to all of the above. That is the question of the impact that the Lockdown is having on our children, their education and what home schooling for the better part of half an academic year is going to involve.

It was disturbing to learn that a Union boss has gone on the record over the weekend to evangelise that Teachers deserve their full summer holidays on the basis they have continued working ‘flat out’ to ensure that the children continue to be taught.

I dont know what parallel universe this so-called representative came from, because it is does not contain the same world where I and many parents like me are from.

Children of all ages and from all backgrounds are completely switched off to education today, and have been since the Lockdown began.

It is impossible for parents to replicate the school environment in the home – no matter how motivated they are to do so, unless there is ongoing proactive intervention from teachers and educators, sufficient enough to keep education and learning real for their students during a period that has been confusing, unnerving and completely strange for adults and children alike.

Some teachers are getting it right. They are using all the great resources at their disposal to get the messages and encouragement through. Yet in the majority, these diligent educators represent not the state system, but the Private Schools that the very same Unions would like to see destroyed.

The disruption to the learning process and backwards leap for children who will only get this one chance aside, the psychological damage that children are suffering from having the life they understood switched off like a light, taking their friends, grandparents and many others out of their lives in one stroke will be very VERY profound.

As adults, 9 weeks of this strange reality have passed very quickly. But to a 9 year old, 9 weeks are an eternity that makes what we perceive as a temporary change, one that feels very permanent indeed.

Parents are beside themselves. They can see what the Lockdown and the withdrawal from life is doing to their kids, but they are dependent on those with responsibility providing the way out.

The majority of parents know it would be much better for children to be back in school learning. Because the benefits of consistent education far outweigh the risks from Covid-19 that only Unions and those with a vested interest in pursing their own agendas are still choosing to see.

 

China: The war we must win without ever fighting

May 31, 2020 1 comment

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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

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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?

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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

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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

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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

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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: Coronavirus

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: Coronavirus

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: Coronavirus

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