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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.

We need a good dictator

CycleThe disturbing thing about the mess we are now in is that many people – and in that 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 t o 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. We know 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 remain the same.

It is a vicious circle. 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 people of all background, how businesses and organisations work.

We need someone who can think through the consequences of action before decisions are even made, and see problems on the horizon before they come into 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, thinks and sees everything, everyone and what they say generously but critically, using facts and human nature to determine what steps and policies are in the best interests of everyone 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.

 

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.

 

 

 

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

May 13, 2020 2 comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Support local shops, farmers and suppliers today so they are there for you when other options no longer exist

If things about this new life we are living make you feel uneasy, you have good reason to be concerned.

Beneath the veneer of slogans, the false security given by social distancing and the Government’s big cash handout given with a manufactured smile that is meant to tell us it’ll all be alright, trouble is brewing on an unprecedented scale not just across the UK, but the whole World throughout.

Policies like the Job Retention Scheme are creating a false perception of the condition the UK’s economy and businesses are in.

There is a genuine belief that things will just go back to how they were up until the 23rd of March, as if the Prime Minister has a great big UK On/Off switch.

Regrettably, this picture has been echoed by political ineptitude across the World and if tackling the Coronavirus Pandemic the way they have chosen to really was the war that politicians like Boris would like it pictured to be, in hindsight, the Lockdown and all the Social Distancing measures will become known as the phoney bit.

What is only clear to very few today, is there has been no comparable event in history that gives anyone an idea of how any of this can now actually work and anything remain the same.

The Lockdown has set off a chain reaction that will not only break the back of many small businesses and destroy the jobs that they provide, it is also setting off asymmetrical reactions and consequences in supply chains and big businesses not only in the UK but right across the World.

Because we have for so long taken for granted that we can drive to Sainsbury’s, Tesco or Morrisons and that our milk, eggs and sausages will have simply materialised on the shelves along with petrol at the garage to fill our cars, we have forgotten to look into the processes that get them there and just how complicated the supply chains are that make it look and feel like only simplicity is involved.

Greed on an unimaginable scale has meant big is best and global is even better. We don’t question the fragility of a system that had already become so dangerously convoluted before the crisis, simply because everything in these shops appears to be so cheap.

In the coming weeks and months, the appearance of everything going on as normal is going to crash spectacularly to the floor. The real damage that the Lockdown has created is likely to mean that the experience we had with there being no toilet rolls on the shelves at the end of March will expand to include many other ‘essential items’. Yet this time the shortage will be very real because the manufacturers and suppliers that the Supermarkets buy from can’t get the things they need for production, or they themselves will no longer exist.

Nothing is too big to fail, as many of the big companies whose only focus has been on profit are about to find out.

So if you want to be sure that you can put food on the table and get access to supplies and services that you genuinely need when things begin to get really hard as they soon will, buy whatever you need from your local shops, farms and suppliers of every kind today so that they are there and able to serve you with the goods and services you need at a price you can still afford when you have neither the option nor the choice.

Both of my Grandfathers fought for the 75 years of Freedom we had that Boris Johnson ended on a whim in one day

Today we celebrate 75 years since Victory in Europe was declared. VE Day truly was a special occasion for us all as it marked the end of a European tyranny that had the destruction of freedom and a way of thinking that should be alien to us all at its very heart.

I cannot put into words how proud I feel of both of my Grandfathers and the roles they played. They volunteered rather than waiting to be called. One with the Royal Navy, the other with the Royal Artillery. Both suffered physically after the Second World War had finished and neither of them had lives that we would now consider to be long.

What they fought for has become too easy for us to overlook. In fact many people today are so insulated from the realities of the hardship that the wartime generations experienced that many have surrendered them without even giving it a second look.

The point was driven home to me this week when I was asked the simple question ‘What are you missing most’. I passed and thought about it and said ‘The freedom to choose to do the things that we can’t do at the moment, whether it’s go for coffee, for more than one walk a day, to a pub and of course to meet up with people in real life’.

Whoever you are, if you have any respect for the workings of a democratic and civil society and what that means – which the majority of us genuinely do – you will not be alone in constantly wondering whether your interpretation of the Social Distancing ‘rules’ is right. The chances are you have that feeling you need to look over your shoulder to make sure you aren’t doing something ‘wrong’. You will probably also be one of a significant majority who has been quietly questioning themselves if there had ever been a time that we had continually seen so many Police Cars and Vans on the street and wondering where they had all been parked before the Lockdown began.

The Lockdown is not freedom.

This is how a police state works.

This is how a dystopian society kicks off.

The great irony is that it is the mirror image of our wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill that Boris Johnson has always intended that his ‘leadership’ would be seen to be.

They are not on the same page, in the same chapter, the same book or the same library for that matter.

Churchill was driven by service to his Country. He was objective with the decisions he made during the war to a degree that many people today simply do not have the life experience to understand.

We won the War by facing and accepting all the costs.

Boris is driven by service to himself. He is subjective with the decisions he has been making during the COVID-19 emergency and his decision to impose the Lockdown and the steps taken to control the Country in his attempt to fight the impact of a Virus over which there is still no definable way to fully contain has set off a chain reaction of events that are escalating out of his Government’s reach and control. It has already restricted both our physical freedom and our freedom of thought.

Boris is losing the UK’s campaign against the Coronavirus emergency because he and his Government believe that they can pick, choose and plan their way out.

Their futile attempt to control Coronavirus has opened a Pandoras Box of problems that their limited and self-serving thinking will never be able to resolve.

The loss of the Freedom that many Grandparents just like mine fought for is just a drop in the ocean of the challenges, difficulties and pain that are now on their way as a result of what this Government has done.

We need a real Churchill to lead us out of COVID-19 and the massive challenges that now lie ahead if this very different kind of war is ever to be won and the freedoms taken from us on a whim by weak politicians is to be fully returned.

The Government has Bankrupted Britain whilst jumping into a trap that it will not climb out of if it continues to behave the same way

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Somewhere in London, a new kind of reality has dawned. We may note ever hear it spoken about or acted upon in any way or sense. But rest assured, a new era has now been born.

Six weeks ago, the Johnson Government took a series of decisions that are about to have seismic consequences for us all.

It began with the Lockdown. It was aided by the clever and manipulative messaging that was purposefully designed to make normal people too frightened to go out. It then culminated with a series of financial ‘support’ measures such as the so-called ‘Job Retention Scheme’ that has failed businesses, workers and the Country at large whilst addicting many to ‘free wages’ and polarising them against returning to work.

The Bank of England has today announced that the UK is officially now in recession, and this my friends is just the start.

The Lockdown itself was unnecessary. It traded all the certainties and regularities of life that we had like going to work, the pub, the gym, the shops, catching a bus or train or visiting whoever we might like to as and when we wanted to, for a gamble on what stronger leadership would have known would be a futile attempt to control a virus which they could only ever manage – not control.

The use of Behavioural Insights and mass manipulation, aided by an out of control media to install fear, purely on the basis of getting people to accept and adhere to the Lockdown and the Social Distancing measures that the Government imposed was a textbook example of both what to do and not to do all wrapped up in one.

Use of terms like ‘Stay at home, save lives’, ‘Protect the NHS’, and go outside on Thursday night at 8 and clap for the Keyworkers succeeded in securing such rigorous levels of buy-in to the Lockdown, Social Distancing and the measures taken, that many people genuinely and sincerely believe that acceptance of any and all measures that the Government dictates will be the only way that they can remain alive.

Many will not willingly respond to directives that go the other way, simply because the subject matter of the manipulation used has touched on the promotion of measures to avoid death.

Death and its avoidance is the primary fear that drives many parts of life and sits within the subconsciouses of us all. It influences so much in life, but rarely finds its way coming into our rational view.

The financial package that the Chancellor followed up the release of the genie with was much too clever for its own good. It over complicated matters when there was always a simple, fairer and much less damaging way to mitigate the fallout from the lockdown whilst addressing the issue of income for us all.

It is unlikely that senior members of a national government running the UK Treasury would not have known about or discussed the alternative options that were at hand. So we must conclude that the absence of real leadership at the top meant that the Government yet again went for what seemed to be the easy option rather than the right one, and in so doing laid out a giant trap for itself into which the Country is now about to fall.

In the coming days it is likely that the ties of the Lockdown will be loosened. But with the same ideas and mentality driving the direction now as we have experienced since the COVID-19 emergency began, it is likely that in only a couple or a few weeks from now, the Government will have to return us all to the full Lockdown again of not something even more punitive, because these so-called leaders have still not faced up to their responsibilities or the most salient facts.

That is of course if the majority of people still agree.

You cannot inflict absolutes on a population to resolve an emergency when no absolutes about the emergency like when it will end and how it will be ended are known.

It takes real leadership to go against the media and say that it is unavoidable that people will die, but we also have to maintain a level of life and functionality across everything that lies beyond the emergency so that we can make it possible for everyone else to live.

But that is exactly what we needed from Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak at the beginning of the Pandemic, and even now, which such an incredibly damaging chain reaction for the economy now started and underway, it is the same thing that we need to hear them say.

COVID-19 is not going anywhere anytime soon and we cannot restrict every other part of life with Lockdowns and Social Distancing measures that are completely impractical until it has, just so the fearful believe that we have it all under control.

We don’t. We wont. And what the Government has been doing has been giving people they have deliberately worked up into a frenzy of fear false hope and a false sense of security. People genuinely believe that they will avoid death by following these measures without realising that they no longer have lives to live.

The Government needs to manage Coronavirus as the firestorm that it is. That means firefighting wherever the fire breaks out by focusing all the resources where necessary and not spreading them out so thinly that we will continually be overpowered by a Virus that they still don’t understand.

Only when the Government does this will they begin to be able to start addressing what is going to become the far more pressing crisis at hand: How do you manage an economic crisis when you cannot keep printing money and printing money is the only thing they can think of that will work.

 

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