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Posts Tagged ‘Fairness’

This Money and Greed obsessed world wasn’t the only option. The alternative has always been with us, hiding in plain sight

Perhaps the most deceptive part of the reality we live in is the idea that the money and greed obsessed world and the way that it functions and has taken over everything around us is and has only ever been the only available choice.

To be fair to many, the intoxicating way in which a world that perpetrates self-interest at every turn works, leaves the option to see the mechanics of the deceptive lie and the myths upon which our whole way of being sits, very difficult to see, and even harder to believe for those who genuinely can.

In fact, the level of self-awareness that it takes not only to understand but also accept the role that each and every one of us is guilty of playing in this very unfair and imbalanced form of life is indeed the antithesis of everything this whole system has been constructed to be and how it governs and influences every part of our lives.

However, just because we cannot see the alternative, doesn’t mean that it isn’t there.

It doesn’t mean that the alternative to all this isn’t available to us right now.

It doesn’t mean that the alternative to this world hasn’t been a genuine option for us, all the way along.

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The people-centric, fair, balanced and values-based world that is ready and waiting, hidden in plain sight

Few may see it or even understand what it would mean for us all, but the alternative to this destructive and inhuman money and wealth-obsessed world exists and has always existed hidden in plain sight from us today.

The difference between the two worlds is surprisingly simple, but on its own would be perhaps the most challenging voluntary choice to make.

The choice for us is literally to reject the money and material wealth-based order, and to live a people-centric and values-based lifestyle in its place.

The change to a people-first order, isn’t about the rejection of money itself or even the latest forms of technology and advancements that we have; everything in a balanced and fair world still has its place.

The choice is about refocusing, returning and reforming our basic values set, so that we place value on only the ways of being and the experiences that should be valued, instead of placing value only on external ‘things’.

The Basic Living Standard is the practical living formula for a people centric, vales-based world that is balanced and fair to everyone in each and every part of life

July 5, 2022 2 comments

Success and results are always related to the use of formulas, whether it be in the form of an algorithm or what we learn through our experiences in life.

Creating and maintaining a people-centric and values-based world is no different, and the Basic Living Standard is the formula that once adopted universally will lead to a fair, balanced and values-centric life.

The Basic Living Standard can be defined as:

Adults, working a full working week in any job at any level, must be able to feed, house, clothe and provide adequately for their own transport needs, whilst providing basic necessities such as communication themselves, without the need for credit, loans, benefits or third-party support of any kind.

We can have a money-focused economy, or we can have a people-focused economy. But we cannot have both

The really hard bit of the coming collapse or crisis that through things like price rises and the cost of living crisis can already be seen to be underway, is understanding, accepting and then acting upon the reality that our destructive relationship with money is all about the way that we think.

We quite literally have to do ‘cold turkey’ to get over the money-based addiction that is destroying us and the world around us.

And as part of that process we have to accept that as is the case with every other addiction, there really are no different levels of addiction involved.

There is no halfway house.

If we continue to maintain our belief in money and continue to award it the value that we do in any way at all, we will damn ourselves to repeating exactly the same mistakes of the past, no matter how much we do to correct everything in life as we have the opportunity to do so right now.

A new, fair and balanced system, can only be built from the Grassroots-Up

There is no part of the system we have today or the governance framework that allows it to function and dictate every part of our life, that has been left untouched by somebody somewhere changing it to further or to protect their own interests in some way.

Whether it has been local public service provision, local interpretation of planning law, the way non-government organisations are run, the rules that govern imports, exports and supply chains, or how public policy is designed by civil servants in Westminster, EVERYTHING at EVERY LEVEL has been built to serve the mechanics of a system that is Top-Down.

If you are anywhere in this hierarchy or pyramid at a level which is below the top, it has only worked for you by giving you things you have been led to believe you need, but which you actually want that are outside of yourself.

The price will have been that to some degree or another, you will have forgotten something or perhaps everything about real life, real values and the fundamental building blocks of who you really are.

How we interact with others and with everything in the world outside of us, is a mirror image of the person inside us at that very moment. Its who we believe we really are at that time.

If you pause and take that in, you may begin to see the part that everyone has played in allowing the world to become the place that it is today.

However, rather than dwelling on the things you’ve said to others, or the things you have or haven’t done, the way to put that behind you and play a role in shaping a world that is fair, balanced and works in the best interests of everyone, is to put the value back into everything in your life, and make everything that feeds into your life experience have meaning. This is not only your first building block of a new life for you, it’s the very first step towards the creation of the new world around us, beginning by changing the way we think about everything around us. Its how the old world will be replaced.

YOU ARE THE GRASSROOTS – no matter who you are, where you come from, or what you have or haven’t already done.

Before anything else, it is you, the Grassroots that must come together as neighbourhoods and then as communities. We can then work together to rediscover, reinvent and reinterpret localised systems that work for and on behalf of everybody. Always prioritizing peoples needs before anything else, and not what money or profit can be accumulated, or what glory, status, power or influence can be attained.

Top-Down is over. It’s all about Grassroots-Up. And it’s the people who are the GRASSROOTS who must always come first.

The Lie About Balance & Fairness

We are told that the system we have is the fairest that we could have. That by having so much emphasis on ‘the markets’ and the role that money plays in everything, we can keep having more and more of the best things that we have ever had.

But the system isn’t fair, because it is driven and motivated by greed. But that greed is not just at the top. Those at the top have been able to do all that they have done to benefit themselves, because  they have used the system that greed has created to convince all of us that we can keep accumulating little pieces of all the things that they have.

The irony is that even within a system built on and servicing greed, there is a point of balance, which once exceeded, may appear to keep working. But it is in fact on its way – through increasing and accelerating disfunction – to ending in a massive and potentially epoch defining crash.

Thank you for your support – Here’s the best way to get value from Levelling Level:

April 11, 2022 Leave a comment

Before anything, a big thank you to everyone who has visited Levelling Level here (in its Blog form) or has already downloaded the Book.

Since I began to publish the Book broken down into blogs last Tuesday, the number of visits has been more than I had expected. I have really appreciated the likes received from some of you, that have reflected a lot of interest in pages such as Food: What we need and The Basic Living Standard. This has been rather heartening, bearing in mind that creating and then maintaining The Basic Living Standard is what Levelling Level is ultimately all about.

Clearly, many of the ideas and suggestions I have made in Levelling Level stand up on their own at first glance, to those of us who are already receptive in any relevant way to the need for change.

Yet I am acutely aware that the complexity of the problems that we all face together are such that we cannot and will not succeed in fixing them or implementing real solutions that will work, unless we take a very different approach to the one that has led us here. We must seek to address each and every problem in its own right, but also in relation to each and every other problem, one-by-one and one-and-all, as never before.

The fact that even people who have a vested interest in rejecting a Basic Living Standard do at least unconsciously appreciate how it would work was illustrated very well to me just yesterday, when I went out for an early morning walk. Bumping into a very successful business owner who I have got to know by passing the time of day, the subject of us not meeting over the past 6 weeks came up and I told him that I had been writing and publishing the Levelling Level Book.

Their rejection of the idea that everyone should have a fighting chance of success as a stepping off point, instead of so many of us having lives that revolve only around a lifetime of fighting to keep our heads above water (and in many cases failing, as the system has developed to so easily allow us to do) was palpable, just because they had experienced a very challenging start to life.

Once we had passed the accusation that I could only propose such things because of the privileged position that I now had, and that had been put to bed by referencing the back story that I have had, we very quickly moved into a number of suggestions that they were making – which are a natural follow through of where we really are all now heading – but which from their current perspective, they were adamant would never be practical or work.

As things still appear to be for many people today, they certainly appear to have a point. The intrinsic values crisscrossing society are all based on what we have or what we can get after all.

In fact, before starting only to touch the nuts and bolts of what Levelling Level is really about, I had already warned them that they might find what I was about to say controversial in some way. And that’s why I have written the whole proposal, suggestion or philosophy that is Levelling Level in the way that I have.

Levelling Level is about the present, immediate and longer-term future of my Country, The UK. But the principles and suggestions are relevant to wherever you live or may be.

Levelling Level is written as a book that journeys through how we got to where we are today. It covers the role that events such as Brexit, Covid and Ukraine have played as the catalysts of a massive change that has been in development over decades. It then discusses how we will have to change the way that we live and everything that we are used to in order to survive and manage through the challenges and difficulties that we will experience in many forms as events force everything we know to change.

Levelling Level reaches its conclusion discussing how we can harness the learning from the experience that this challenging time will provide us to mould a better way of living for ourselves, whilst ensuring that there is a genuine safety net in place to ensure that nobody is from that point ever left behind.

Through the lens of the very material and money-oriented world that still surrounds us, the numbers of people receptive to the change now required may be growing. But for the majority, that need for that change will not be accepted or real, until events have led them personally to experience the pain that lies ahead.

When that pain arrives, it is essential that we harness the power of an opportunity to change life for the better that can only come at that flashpoint or seminal moment. A point in time when everyone will know and accept that the way we have been living and treating each other is unsustainable and can no longer go on.

From this perspective alone, I will make a suggestion: That any of you who are already receptive to the level of change that events and circumstances will soon force us all to embrace, will benefit most from reading Levelling Level in its original book form.

Sharing Levelling Level has never been about making money or charging any fees. The Book for Kindle is modestly priced, and I will be happy to provide a PDF copy of the text by e-mail, Free Of Charge, in receipt to any legitimate request. (Please email levellinglevel@gmail.com )

To get the best value from reading Levelling Level in its blog form without charge, please visit the web version using PC/Mac/Laptop. Please use the index on the right of the page to navigate from top to bottom, what are the equivalent parts/pages/sections of the Levelling Level Book.

Levelling Level is linked on Twitter (@levellinglevel) and Facebook (@levellinglevel) and I would really appreciate your follows, likes, shares and your taking the time to ask questions or make comments that might be helpful to all of us in some way.

Thanks again for reading. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes,

Adam Tugwell

Sat in a Starbucks in Cheltenham, UK. Monday 11 April 2022

Levelling Level | The Return to Values

Values and self-worth reflect in the way that we interact with others and how we come together with respect and care for others as a community.

Levelling Level is a way of being that recognises the only way to achieve and maintain the outcome of having a system that is fair and balanced for us all as individuals and as a community, is to create and secure a system that is fair to the poorest and most vulnerable individuals within our society before anything else.

Levelling Level | What Levelling Level will look like

When a system exists that is balanced and fair for all, many of the societal problems that exist and that nobody seems to be able to fix today, will simply vanish or quickly go away.

Poverty, debt, inflation, knife crime, antisocial behaviour, the cost of living, educational standards, drug abuse, theft, restricted social mobility, prejudices, political disenfranchisement, fake news, the lack of community, the failure of public services AND many other issues will be addressed, when enough people understand, accept and are ready embrace the inevitable change that will allow us to help others as we go through a process of helping ourselves.

Levelling Level is all about creating a system that takes care of every individual, every person in the same way no matter how many degrees of separation lie between us.

When we get it right for everyone else, it all comes full circle, and we get it right for ourselves.

No, this is not wishful thinking. It is about giving everyone at every age and from every background the reason to rediscover and give them back a sense of value and self-worth.

Levelling Level | The UK Courts – Fixing the Problems

One area of public service that could easily become a book all of its own is the future and direction of the Law Courts across the UK, whether they are dealing with Criminal, Civil or Family Matters.

Both the judiciary and the legal profession have been overtaken by self-interest.

In terms of the judiciary and of magistrates there has been massive blurring of the lines between what standing law actually is, and what they themselves want to see – or feel influenced to allow for there to be, depending upon their own innate prejudices or the fear that currently comes from the culture of group think or the populist voice of what they see as being the relevant crowd.

In terms of the legal profession, the desire and aim of providing the best service possible based on the understanding and knowledge of law that the lawyer, solicitor or barrister has to ensure the least pain possible to the client, has been superseded by the desire to provide the most expensive service over the longest time possible, without any consideration for the qualitative impact that unnecessary, emotive and highly polarising human misery that court cases cause.

In recent years there have been steps to temper the direction of this evolution by the introduction of mediation as a step-requirement in the case of family law, but its success has and will always be dependent upon the commitment and motivation of the primary counsels or solicitors within the process, and so it has been doomed never to reach the height of its potential and do the good that it can for any civil or family law process, for as long as the prioritisation of the bottom line continues to exist.

For a fair and just society to work in a balanced way – as it should – for all, it is essential that we have a healthy and robust court system, supported by a legal profession, which facilities an unquestionably impartial decision-making process and a legal advice system that always puts the interests of the client – and not the bottom line – first.

Such change will be greatly supported by the removal of laws for laws sake, as the Levelling Level approach provides, but it is nonetheless essential that the whole legal system them operates without self-interest of any kind, and that once fixed, it is fully funded as locally as possible, so that it can function as expeditiously as it can in every way.

The collapse of everything we know will teach us about the essential basics

The process of everything changing around us that is now underway will lead to what some will recognise as a wartime economy – whether or not we have by that stage become involved in any larger conflict that has been set off as a result of the response to the Invasion of Ukraine.

The availability of foods and goods and the prices of those foods and goods that are available to us in anything like the way that we are used to will diminish and this will quickly lead to empty shelves. Shelves that will not be replenished with the same products that they previously held.

The twist to the evolution of this situation is that it will in effect recreate the ground zero for the provision of what we actually need to live. Rather than what we believe that we need to obtain in order to maintain the type if lifestyle that we believe that we are entitled to.

Whether it is food, water, waste care, communication, clothing, housing, transport or anything else, circumstances – that have been created by the long-term mismanagement of life by politicians and influencers with vested interests – will create the experience that will demonstrate what is actually important for anyone to have available to them as a basic standard.

This real-time demonstration will prove to be a genuine reminder to everyone of what people really need available to them to be able to function and exist at a time when they are down on their luck.

This demonstration will show us what everyone needs to be able to have as a basic requirement to live and will illustrate in a very practical way just what anyone should be able to buy or pay for without debt, support or subsidy, on a basic full-time wage.

What will in effect be a return to rationing will indeed have a significant silver ling in terms of the process of Levelling Level.

The outcome of Levelling Level will only be achievable because the majority of people will have no choice but to experience the basic hardship that is now inevitable, before they will understand, accept and then embrace the change that will ultimately benefit everyone fairly and in a very balanced way.

A Debt Jubilee

Within the Great Correction, the change from a system that has been skewed in the favour of the money men and the belief in money and wealth, will require the way that everything we own is also valued. This necessarily means reevaluating how we see and manage past debt.

The best way to ensure fairness – in a system where money lenders have been lending out money that has no value and charging interest for it, is to reimagine that debt and recalculate it so that it no longer exists.

This isn’t a suggestion that we all embark on some giant game of musical chairs where we all suddenly own outright what is in our possession when the music of the old system stops.

But it does mean that ownership of everything must be revalued to be proportionate.

Where major assets such as land and resources are concerned, if they are not to be returned to or held in public or community hands, the new system of taxation will reflect the benefit to the private owner, so that the benefit from its utility is shared via the community for the benefit of us all.

A New Practical Reality

Circumstances will dictate the changes that lie ahead.

The changes we face will not be dictated by politicians or the elites as we know them in any form.

The Ideas and ideologies, often written by people who have never even experienced the times we are living in, that have previously driven our system of leadership and the direction that it then takes all of us, will be replaced by public policy and a way of living that based on practical need, rather than the impractical idealism that our current political culture represents.

That isn’t to say that we will not always be looking for ways to improve our lives and the world around us.

It will simply be that the motives and reasoning for doing so will be based only on improving life for everyone, rather than because of the benefit to self-interest or profit margins as is predominantly the case with everything now.

The need for regulatory balance

If politicians and public servants were being completely honest about their jobs and responsibilities, they would already be doing a lot more than they already do.

They would also recognise that they don’t need more responsibility than they already have.

They would in fact understand that they would be better giving much of that power back.

However, once again there is a complete avoidable battle between the ideology of the Left that created this mission-creep culture, and that of the slash and burn approach adopted by the Right

Earlier, we discussed the approach or philosophy that drives the Right that we know as Neoliberalism.

One of the tenets of this highly flawed and self-serving philosophy is the removal or reduction of rules, laws and red tape – or what is commonly known as the process of deregulation.

In context, the push from the Right would see not only the unnecessary rules and regulations that have been created by the Left-wing rights culture destroyed. It would also see the removal of many of the regulatory tools and devices that provide genuine checks and balances across society – the ones that are actually serving us right.

Passing the point of balance means doing harm in a different way

The good achieved by what we now know as the Labour Party and the Left that surrounds it came to its natural zenith decades ago, when businesses and organisations accepted the duty of care that they have to all staff, their safety and welfare at work.

But like most things political, when that point was reached, the practicality that had driven meaningful change was replaced by impractical idealism. Probably for no better reason that the movement needed to find reasons that justified it continuing to hold the position it had and gave it a legitimate reason to exist.

Whilst there should always be a system of checks and balances to ensure that benchmarks for acceptable management practices exist, what few have realised is just how damaging it was when the Left adopted a new path which was the pursuit of rights.

Rights of any kind, but employment rights in particular have always been a popular cause.

It is after all pretty normal to be happy if you feel you are being given something for nothing, no matter that at a very different level, no such equation for employers and their bottom lines exists.

Socialism will always fail because there’s a capitalist at the heart of everyone

February 10, 2022 Leave a comment

We are told by socialists that the socialist experiment has only failed so far, because it hasn’t been done properly to date.

Like most things today, one of the biggest problems that it actually faces is that it has one name that has many different meanings, and the reality is that some of those meanings don’t even overlap, and very few look similar or are actually quite the same.

The truth is that the idea of socialism only works for people when it is perceived to be giving things away or making life in some way easy.

Such generosity is received well by the young (who are inexperienced) and by those who have a chip on their shoulder, an axe to grind or are angry with the world around them and how they see themselves to have been mistreated in some way.

Yet free rides don’t improve lives. They have a habit of just making your existence more comfortable, wherever it is that you are. And if you want to improve yourself and the experience you have, that will never be something that someone else will hand you on a plate.

Lying latent within everyone, is the sense that we can improve and better our situation, and that betterment requires more from us coming from within ourselves, than simply reaching out in any direction with a begging bowl or with open hands.

Capitalism is a muti-meaning and multi-faceted word too. One that misleads in the sense that it is commonly accepted to equate with the desire and greed for money, when the truth is that with morality, ethics and responsibility, it is the industry that capitalist thinking generates which is the powerhouse at every level within our communities that can ensure that each and every one of us has the opportunity for personal growth.

The badges of Socialism and Capitalism, with the meaningless nonsense attributed to them that we have come to know as left and right, are anachronistic and have no place in a balanced and equitable world.

The truth is that if we all adopted the approach of treating all others the same, of treating all others fairly, and of treating all others as we would ourselves wish to be treated the same, the unequitable nature of both socialism and capitalism as we know them would no longer be necessary and we would have a world that was balanced and equitable to all.

Some workers want this amount of money whilst others want more. But our needs are the same and government support is favoring some over others when we should all be getting exactly the same – not just in money but also support

April 12, 2020 1 comment

If you dare to look at the headlines or glance across the editorial of any of the national newspapers that might be worth reading, you will see today that there is talk within Government of there being Ministers who are doves and others that are hawks.

The growing argument between them is the subject of when the COVID-19 Lockdown should end. The so-called Hawks want the Lockdown to begin to end at the beginning of May, whilst the so-called doves want to wait until the Whitsun Bank Holiday at the end of May before even a loosening of the current restrictions can be allowed to begin.

When you have been writing about the massive holes and inadequacy of the financial support that the Government is providing since the Lockdown began like I have, as well as questioning the cost of the Lockdown vs. the benefit too, you might think it would be natural for me to be happy that at least some of our MPs are looking at all of this in the same way too.

I’m not. And the problem is that they are not even in the same room.

Whilst certain Ministers are clearly aware of some of the issues already being caused by the Lockdown – as they are being flagged by Civil Servants within their Ministries, they are not aware of others whilst many MPs are clearly unaware at any meaningful level of the real crisis that has been started by the Lockdown.

A personal and costly disaster is now starting to unfold in front of more and more of the people just like you and I and it is going to slowly but surely soon come into full view.

We have been conditioned to think and view certain behaviours as acceptable by the world around us. The behaviour of self-serving politicians, an Establishment that cares not for anyone other than its own, and a media that is so obsessed with the sound of its own voice have all contributed significantly to the selfish approach to life that we have which we don’t recognise as being wholly self serving – because right now its just the ways that life tells us things should be done.

As we look at the Locked-down COVID-19 UK, our thoughts will inevitably be about how the Lockdown is effecting us personally and the people around us, whether it is our jobs, source of income, the business we own and operate or any one of the large number of ways that each and every one of us has had our life affected or compromised in some way since life as we knew it changed in March and the Lockdown got under way.

No, it isn’t wrong to think about any of this chapter of our lives in this way. But as we fall over ourselves to shout about treating gig-economy workers the same as employees or to sign petitions to specifically tell the Government that we want directors of small limited companies to receive the same money as if they were an employee, we are collectively falling into the trap of thinking that different help and support for different people based purely on how differently they are employed will equate to the same thing. It won’t.

What we are overlooking is that all people share something very distinctive in common that makes us all the same. We all have regular bills that we need our incomes to pay and  the amount we pay is relative to what we normally earn.

It doesn’t matter what they are or how much those bills are for. Whether you are young, a Millennial, middle aged, retired or very old, there will be bills that you have to pay or have paid on your behalf.

Beyond the fact that we are human beings who live and die, what we all have in common is our shared reality that we always have to pay a bill each month and in some cases many of them. That’s how we are all the same.

If we were to genuinely be treated the same by the Government and a situation were to never to exist where any individual, social group of business sector were to fall through the gaps, the Government would by necessity be targeting the help they can give at us all in a way that was proportional to what we earn or the situation that we are in – but in a way that would actually treat us all fairly because it would support and help us in the very same way.

The very same rules apply for businesses and business owners whether they are limited companies or sole traders too.

For us all, the flow of money into and out of our bank accounts is what makes life turnover. And for business – who in this sense are exactly the same as people, cash flow is king – unless of course you are the bank or finance house which creates all the money and to where all the money we pay out in the form of each and every bill we pay will ultimately flow to and end up.

We pay our bills to a service provider or company that has provided us with goods or the finance to do it. It might be a mortgage, rent, for a car, our phone, TV, electricity and gas or many other things that we might either want or need.

The company, person or business to whom we pay that bill and the money we use to do it will be in exactly the same position as you and I are. What we pay them is their income, just like our job or business is ours. From all the combined income they receive, they too have to pay their bills.

In many cases, this payment of different bills and transfer of money happens over and over again at different levels in what might be a very long chain, until the flow of the money ends up in the same place: the banks and finance houses.

If the Government really desires to treat us ALL exactly the same as it should – that’s equitably and in a way that is completely fair – it would temporarily stop the need and requirement for that money to continue to flow where the chain is no longer complete or simply has no start, so that none of us have to earn anything at any level or any stage of that chain to keep paying bills to the people, businesses or companies that are in the next link of the chain above us.

With the need removed to pay our bills for items that we wouldn’t order or commit ourselves to having during a time that we couldn’t afford to or would be willing pay for because they are a luxury and not a necessity, the only problem for the Government would then be a question of how people pay for food and essential items that we simply need to meet our real everyday needs – not our ‘wants’.

If the Government did this, it would create a genuine level playing field in a time of National Crisis that would benefit us all.

Stopping the need for monetary flow would significantly reduce the chances that businesses will not reopen and that more and more people will lose their jobs and income permanently once the Lockdown actually comes to its end.

Be under no illusion. This action would prevent misery for many and save a significant number of lives.

Without a universal financial support solution of this depth and breadth in place to counter the effects of the COVID-19 Lockdown, the problems and very challenging life experiences that many people would not have been suffering before it began, are going to get much worse. The impact of what the Government hasn’t done will affect more and more of us as the length of the Lockdown rolls on.

The Government should End the Lockdown right now. But if it refuses to do so, it must at the very least change direction with the financial support that it is giving all of us and do it right away.

  • Job losses
  • Suicides
  • Hunger
  • Business Closures
  • Evictions from homes
  • Administrations
  • Domestic Violence
  • Abuse and safeguarding issues
  • Debt
  • Insolvencies
  • Repossessions
  • Loss of custom and business
  • Debt and borrowing
  • Bankruptcies
  • Mental Health issues
  • Depression

And the issues that are the cause of any or all of these horrific life experiences are already on the rise as a result of the COVID-19 Lockdown.

No considerate and caring person would ever wish any of these experiences upon another human being. But the Government’s decision to implement the Lockdown, then failing to treat us all in the same way will ensure that a rise in these real-life horror stories is exactly what the UK is going to get.

No matter what the Media messages tell you or how unpopular TV presenters and Journalists may insist that the alternative to what the Government is doing will be, the Government MUST change direction and handle COVID-19 differently by bringing the Lockdown to a decisive end as soon as it possibly can.

If the Lockdown continues for any further time at all or not, the current system of financial support that the Government has issued doesn’t work as it should. It is creating many problems for individuals that not only include those mentioned or referred to above, but will in time be known to have caused many more whilst creating a national financial crisis and the accompanying personal hardship that none of us alive today will consciously remember having ever seen.

These wholly inadequate measures MUST be removed and replaced with a system that ends the requirement to pay bills for anything that has not been ordered or committed to during the Lockdown – with the exception of things like car insurance if you are continuing to use your car.

Despite the complication of doing so, the system should also be backdated to the start of the Lockdown (at least 23rd March 2020) and those who have been paid some or all of the £2500 per month average wage equivalent excluded from any weekly essential goods and food payment scheme until the equivalent of what they have already been paid through the current payments system from the start has been reached.

A £100 per week payment per person is enough for food and essential items for those who have lost all their income, have been furloughed or are not being paid during or as a direct result of the Lockdown.

Everyone who has been able to continue to work is doing a great thing to keep the Country moving when everyone else cannot. For them, having their bills stopped would be a payment holiday nonetheless. It would therefore be a financial bonus for doing their bit that would be fair and acceptable both to them and to all.

The damage that the Lockdown has already done to lives and businesses is already on target to be very severe indeed. But the cost of the Government failing to treat us all equally and in the same way will be catastrophic for us all.

Beyond a financial depression that is likely to be worse than the Great Depression of nearly a Century ago, the patience upon which civil order sits is already painfully thin, and the moves by the Police and even Supermarkets to behave like we have already become a police state does not bode well for the future of the UK if the Lockdown continues or continues without meaningful change to the system of financial support that is currently in place.

The lack of care and consideration for the impact of this Lockdown that has been driven by the advice of medical specialists, and measures to counter the impact that have simply not been thought through tell us that there is already a vacuum or absence of leadership at the top of the Government. This absence will help even less if that wafer thin patience is broken and the leadership void could easily be filled by alternative leaders who would happily expand and assert that police state deliberately.

Please don’t allow this to happen whilst we still have influence and a choice.

Let’s join together and tell the Government that the measures they have been taking aren’t helping us all in the same way that they would if they were fair.

Let’s also join together and tell the Government that its time to End the Lockdown now and treat everyone like we have the same value, whether or not we get talked about a lot on TV!

 

 

 

 

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 2 comments

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 16 comments

It 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 people are facing now and will 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 opportunities for the usual suspects to carry on making money at our expense, whilst 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 otherwise be put on hold so that everyone is in the same position, whilst 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 this political ineptitude will be far worse for real people and for 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 and smile as they start making 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 for us all 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, the Government and the 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 politicians 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 any Governments one and only cause.

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

This 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.

Current economic theory is one founded upon the idea that money must be kept flowing at all times, just 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 and movement are the only important thing.

They are not.

What economists and the people who have been influenced into thinking this way are failing to consider, is there is something far more important than money. That is the people and the communities that we live in. Beyond the thinking and the ideas that the ‘money men’ and their supporters choose to accept, there is most definitely another and very clear way to approach this crisis which is an option.

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

It should be people first. Money only 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 necessary to underwrite 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 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.

Changing Politics for the better Pt 3: Money

September 6, 2019 Leave a comment

The role of money is now seen and accepted as being a key to every part of life.

For many of us, monetary wealth is a benchmark or reference point for happiness.
Money has been elevated to the status of a god. And we interpret our reality based on what we believe.
Because it has become such an emotionally powerful tool, the role of Money has become imbedded in the psyches of decision makers and is automatically considered to be the key or default factor when all decisions are made.
As such, Politicians make decisions based on the premise that spending more money or simply lowering costs will be the best way to solve any problem – no matter what the non-monetary costs, knock-on effects or consequences for us all are involved.
When it comes to the creation of money and the economy itself, very few Politicians have a genuine understanding of the processes and real responsibilities that are involved.
It is a fact that successive Governments have simply abdicated responsibility for the one area of policy that is guaranteed to have an impact on us all.
They look upon the banking system peripherally and listen to economists who give them the messages that they want to hear.
Often, they interpret and perceive information only in the short or electoral term and are only too happy to allow problems with debt and overspending stack up for later generations. It’s only ever the quick-hit to gain our buy-in and support for them about which we are told.
Beyond the ineptitude of the Politicians, the finance industry has become a law unto itself in these circumstances and whilst capitalism itself is pretty much an intrinsic personal state, untamed and allowed to flourish on the basis of exploiting others and taking value from supply chains without adding any or putting anything meaningful back in, is itself having an incalculably negative impact upon the basic cost of living, and why we are in a situation where going into debt is for many the only way that People can keep going and have ‘normal’ lives where these unseen influences have made basic life too expensive to afford.
We cannot continue allowing anyone with the power to do so, to keep pushing up prices directly of indirectly beyond what it is reasonable for an average salary and typical commitments to afford.
Monetary responsibility must be returned to the hands of Government and not entrusted to the whims of so-called specialists and experts who have no understanding or no desire to understand the impact and consequences of what they do on anyone else, so long as there is a juicy profit involved.
A good Government could begin addressing the difficulties being created in our lives through the miss-use, miss-creation and miss-management of money by:
  • Removing the ability of banks to ‘create’ money through any type of leverage process.
  •  Abolish the practice of spread-betting, hedging or any financial activity which involved speculation or making profits from activities which are at arms length from the businesses or bodies with which the shares they are handling are affiliated with, and so are not in any way actively involved .
  • Create a Law to stop unreasonable Profiteering from any financial or business activity that removes agents and middle men who take value from supply chains simply by assuming temporary ownership and adding fees and margins without adding value to whatever it is that’s involved.
  •  Work with the City to create a new and hopefully temporary set of Regulations to restore ethics to all financial practices and above all refocus the way that publically owned businesses are run to prioritise service and value, rather than returning guaranteed levels of profit to shareholders.
  •  Incentivise banks to speculate on the creation an development of small businesses, placing the emphasis on there being risks involved for bankers too, rather than allowing them to walk away from opportunities that would benefit us all if realised.
  • Create a new People’s Bank which will provide cash-free services to all People who are receiving benefits from the Government of any kind, and will fill the gap in supporting new businesses and projects for growth that the time it takes the banks to transform to responsible capitalism leave behind.
  • Considering a reset of our currency in whatever form that might take, to ultimately bring values back in line with where they should be, so that those with much cannot continue to leave those with very little behind.
  • Introduce a Flat Tax system.
  •  Tax all retail business at the geographical point of sale
  • Remove the ability of commercial organisations or bodies that they have control of to oversee credit ratings and the influence they can have on businesses or individuals of any kind.
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