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Posts Tagged ‘Crisis’

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

March 29, 2020 Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

March 25, 2020 Leave a comment

Coronavirus 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

March 23, 2020 Leave a comment
img_5369

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What then will happen next?

 

 

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

March 23, 2020 Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

March 23, 2020 1 comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Categories: Coronavirus Tags: , ,

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

March 21, 2020 1 comment

img_5361Friday was a very dark day for this Country.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

None of them are particularly nice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The real fear for us should not be Coronavirus.

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

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

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

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

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

None of us really wants anyone else to suffer.

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

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

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

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

March 20, 2020 2 comments

img_5347It doesn’t matter if it’s electricity, gas, water, credit card, a loan, a lease, rent, a mortgage, phone, broadband, TV streaming, contract subscriptions of any other kind, or anything else. It is the ceaseless demands of the private, profit-making interests in this Country being allowed to continue sucking money from our pockets that is the real problem that people are facing now and will then continue to do so long after Coronavirus has been put in its place.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It isn’t.

img_5348What economists and the people who have been influenced into thinking this way are failing to consider however, is there is something far more important than money – which is the people and the communities that we live in. And beyond their thinking and the ideas that they choose to accept, there is most definitely another and very clear way to approach this crisis which is an option.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

images thanks to unknown

 

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