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Posts Tagged ‘Fear’

Boris has gone too far with the shutdown and nowhere near enough to mitigate the true cost

March 24, 2020 Leave a comment

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So Boris has gone for the full lockdown and the draconian measures to ensure that we all behave ourselves, do what we are told to and basically stay at home.

What is the aim of this and what is the benchmark that will tell him his plan has worked?

Nobody actually knows. Not even the specialists and experts advising him. It’s guesswork at best and pretty much down to seeing how the wind blows.

The Government is simply making things up as they go along. That much was clear from Michael Gove telling viewers on GMB this morning that children from split homes have to stay where they now are, and then went on the BBC shorty afterwards that it’s ok for children under 18 to keep on moving between homes.

Through fear and nothing more, the people of this Country have had their freedoms and liberty removed by a Government made up of Politicians who have only ever been successful by being part of a system that promotes self interest as their only priority and cause.

These should never have been the people we had in charge of our Country during a Crisis.

Boris has done everything to make us believe that he would be the next Churchill. But he has shown himself as the new Nero instead.

Yes of course they all pay lip service to doing what’s best for all of us.

But the decisions they have been taking in recent days are not about real leadership and if Boris really thinks he’s a great leader, he’s already failed the biggest test of good leadership itself by falling into the trap of giving the most credibility to whoever has the loudest voice.

Nothing that can be said will take away or offset the personal tragedy unfolding for the those affected directly by Coronavirus and those who have or will die.

But the number of people who will survive the Coronavirus Crisis and deserve to live lives that are manageable for both the duration and once it is all over is by far significantly more.

The measures our inept politicians have taken are inequitable. They do not reach everyone who already needs or will need help. The steps they have taken continue to play up to the false concept that money is the real god, that bills must always be paid on time, interest is always payable and that those within the finance and banking sector or have the title ‘economist’ can never do any wrong.

By shutting down our society and our lives purely on the basis of preventing the NHS from becoming overloaded using delays and playing a game with time, Boris is condemning a significant number of people to ongoing state of fiscal servitude.

The Johnson Government is actively demonstrating that we do not live in a Country that is governed by those who believe everything should be equitable and fair.

People have and will die from Coronavirus – that much we know to be inevitable, no matter how regrettable or sad.

But the damage this fear-soaked and gutless decision to close down an entire population because our wannabe leaders simply feel out of control, and do not have the wherewithal to connect with and consider ALL of the people they were elected to represent is going to hurt many more.

The cure to this Crisis is going to kill and destroy the lives of many more victims than the cause ever will.

 

image thanks to unknown

WE ALL NEED TO GET A GRIP PEOPLE: Because this is a Government that could react disastrously wrong to what is now going on

March 19, 2020 Leave a comment

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Hands up. I’m not worried if I have to eat less or perhaps miss a meal or two and go without. The upside is that I could do with and would be happy to lose a few pounds.

But for my elderly mother (73) and her husband (87) who are as good as housebound and rarely go out, what those of us who are out shopping on behalf of the people we care about are experiencing has passed the stage of being ridiculous and has now become negatively profound.

Many of us have responsibility for someone else, whether it is each other, children, parents, relatives or someone else that we care for normally day-to-day.

But even if we live alone and have not one other person to think about, the reality is that the Coronavirus does not and is not going to recognise any of the differences that we might usually use to build ourselves up, to blame others or to simply use as an excuse to differentiate ourselves against others or to make ourselves out to be special or entitled in some or other way.

We really are in this together.

As I walked around the local Tesco Store this morning, looking for the aisle where the tinned potatoes should be available, I was already thinking the shopping list on the envelope containing the money from my own set of oldies was itself some kind of surreal joke. And as I stood there, looking at the collection of baked beans that at one end don’t seem as popular as the loo roll at the other, it became clear to me that the guy who was stood there surveying the carnage in the same way as me, was having the same, if not very similar thoughts. As he walked away, he looked at me, smiled and said “Thank God we aren’t at war”.

The whole experience, following on from the pictures of stripped shelves and queues of people with trolleys from across the Country made me realise just how shameful our collective behaviour has really become and question yet again how it is that things have really got this far?

We are not at war.

There is no shortage of food or essential items available to retailers.

Yet the experience that normal people are now facing in shops and supermarkets tells us something very different.

And it’s not that there is a shortage and we are demonstrating any form of rational need.

It says that the panic buying, fuelled by the non-stop ‘Coronavirus Show’ in the media and online, will quickly play into the hands of a Government led by politicians who got themselves elected for all the wrong reasons and are as fearful of the unknowns that are accompanying this dreadful outbreak as anyone else is including you and I.

Talk of being on a war footing and using emergency legislation to effectively turn this Country into a dictatorship – albeit an apparently temporary one – should be cause for concern in itself for us all.

But our behaviour, whether that be our attempts to fill up on everything at every opportunity – because those rules were meant not for us but for others, or because we are saying damn the ‘advice’ we have been given in London and elsewhere – because coffee, beer and socialising as if everything is normal remains the priority and overriding cause, is increasing the risk exponentially that the politicians who are leading us today will not only create but then use those very draconian measures to restrict all of our lives indefinitely and disproportionately. Simply because their own fears have been amplified by what is on the part of too many of us a self-serving, selfish and completely unnecessary response.

Think back to when you have been upset or you have been angry. Think about how you have spoken and acted. What was your response?

Did you ever get it wrong?

The politicians that we have today are no different. And when they cannot, will not consider or are unable to understand the bigger picture, the added pressure on them from the avoidable breakdown of what should and still could be a fully functioning supply chain today, to how we will choose to behave as the negative spiral that panic buying has started escalates into anger, frustration and potentially much more in the days and weeks ahead, will in all likelihood at some point precipitate a knee-jerk response from the people we have put in power, with consequences for us all that will be far-reaching and considerably much worse.

If we don’t do our bit to help others and to help ourselves right now by following the advice that we are being given – no matter how ridiculous or how it can only really be there for others as we might see it – we will all have played a part in giving our inept leaders reason enough to act in the way that you can be assured that they will do, just as soon as it is clear that they do not have any more options to try to get things moving and to get people to cooperate.

All-too-late, it will become painfully clear that our elected leaders simply lack the real world experience and understanding to think outside of the Westminster box, whether the Country is in the middle of a National Crisis or not.

The Chancellor’s failed attempt to help the majority of workers and businesses affected financially by Coronavirus this week has already demonstrated the lack of ability within this Government to step up and take responsibility because they do not understand the reach and depth of the responsibilities that we have entrusted them with, or will not make decisions to help the people who elected them that many of their funders and supporters simply will not like.

Either way, these are politicians that we cannot trust to act equitably, fairly and in the best or better interests of us all in each and every way that either they should or that they can.

However, surviving this Crisis is not about them. It is about you. It is about me. It is about the people we care about and know we can trust. It is about the power of decision that each and everyone of us has to do the right thing now on our own and with the people who are around us, that when taken and done together will become worth a hell of a lot more.

Let’s use the example being set by neighbours, by pubs and by volunteers across our local communities as the real guide. People like the Salvation Army man I saw with a shopping list and trolley this morning who are out there doing everything they can to fill the gaps and keep each other going in practical ways that are human and about a real sense of selflessness and community.

Let’s be inspired by real people helping other real people in real ways.

Let’s join them doing something that we all have the capability to understand.

The shop shelves will refill for us all if we stop overloading the trolleys and only take what we need for ourselves and the people we care for in the immediate term. That’s pretty much what we can carry safely in our own hands.

 

image thanks to The Sun / Mercury Press

The words added to the picture ‘There’s enough for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed’ is paraphrased from the quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi ‘The World has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed’.

If the outcome the People Voted for is to be delivered through Brexit, the UK must actually step off before it can touch down

December 19, 2018 Leave a comment

The infamous scene from the Film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where Jones (Harrison Ford) steps off in a leap of faith and finds footing on a bridge that had not appeared to be there

 

‘What could possibly happen next?’ is a phrase which is now used by Politicians as an indirect threat and way to create fear, rather than respecting and stepping up to the responsibilities which most of them covet, but would never understand even if they were theirs to own.

The complete shit shower, clusterfuck or whatever else you might feel the most appropriate way to describe the Brexit process, particularly in recent weeks is a complete mess that was avoidable from the outset, and must therefore in many ways be recognised as being there by choice.

Whether proactive, reactive, strategic or emotionally based, every decision on the part of the Politicians who have brought us to this point has not been based on delivering a proper Brexit as the outcome. To do so would have necessitated that every tie-in with the EU was broken BEFORE a relationship based on the UK being sovereign and independent could be discussed, implemented and yes, remade.

As I have written before, the problem with the plan for Brexit, is that Brexit has become all about having a plan.

Even now, as ‘contingency’ planning has been announced for the ‘no-deal Brexit’, the Political piggies, feasting at their Westminster trough are still enslaved to the idea that there can be no way forward without there being an agreed plan. And they advocate this, even though it has now been clear for a significant period of time that this same self-interest dictates that one will not be found which a majority will agree upon.

Until this past 7 days, there appeared to still be a group in Parliament that was ready and able to break this mould. But now even those who have until now been the advocates of a clean, proper, no-deal or WTO Brexit, have demonstrated that even they believe it is not possible to take the UK forward into new and unchartered territory without having some kind of plan.

Whilst fear drives everything in this world in some form or to a certain degree, we have the right to expect that the Politicians we have elected possess the leadership skills and wherewithal to look their own fears in the eye and step forward, knowing that they are representatives of the people, and that the challenges they must face are on behalf of others and therefore a much bigger cause.

Yet they don’t. And now racked with fear or the obsession of keeping what they believe to be control, even the Brexiteer contingent of the Conservative Party is obsessed with clinging to this out of control wreckage, from which the UK must now positively step away from, before it can find its footing and again touch down.

Call it a leap of faith or whatever you might like.

Opportunity by its vary nature is unpredictable.

Even when you can plan, those plans will only ever take you so far.

And when you have many decision makers in the mix who all advocate a different direction which without fail they will insist is the best, it is time to forget planning and deal with each and every thing as it comes along.

Yes, there are many who say ‘you have to have a plan when you are in government’. This is a myth and one that is as self-prophesying as it is destructive and as it is misleading.

It is a myth based on fear and the idea that there is safety in avoiding change.

Governments have, do and will succeed well by embracing uncertainty and making it work as they go.

This is the approach that must now be adopted, rather than indulging false premises based on the idea that finding consensus between decision makers will only ever be the first step.

It is a fallacy that such actions must be carried out before we have embraced and began working with the huge range of opportunities that will come from Brexit, just as soon as we step off and accept that things have already changed in the UK, that we must go forward and that things will not ever be the same again.

A General Strike will be little more than terrorism in a sanitised form

The saying ‘everything is relative’ is perhaps the most polite way to tell someone that they are being insular; focused only upon the impacts of a wider issue on themselves, or simply failing to grasp that each and every one of us has a different viewpoint and that they could perhaps do well to look at things a different way.

Whilst the possibility has been grumbling in the background for some time, this week has seen the first clear indication that the Unite Union is seeking to take a lead in initiating a General Strike, of the like this Country has not witnessed since 1926. But is this throw-back to an age when Unions may have still possessed some form of genuine purpose actually going to help anybody?

The excuse given for a level of action which is more likely to destroy support for Union Members rather than be of any benefit to it, is of course the measures of ‘austerity’ that the Coalition Government has apparently been taking. It is indeed no secret that these measures are resulting in the loss of jobs and Benefits; but it has also brought an end to the seemingly ceaseless momentum behind enhancement of conditions for professions which are most likely to yield Union Membership.

Even as a former business owner and politician elected on a Conservative ‘ticket’, I myself can see that there was a time when the rights and welfare of workers needed much greater consideration so that exploitation became the exception, rather than a rule in any sense at all.

But we live in very different times and the rights, conditions and systems of support which now exist at every level of business and Government for staff are already far beyond that which the Strikers of the Twenties would have ever dared to have imagined – even in their wildest dreams.

Few businesses would survive today for very long without paying wages that the market can sensibly sustain, or by providing conditions which do not genuinely reflect the value of any role within a business. Therefore, the question that we should now be asking is not whether business and Government should be forcefully coerced into paying more money in wages because of the threat of strike action from Unions, but rather if we as a Nation are already overburdened with Legislation affecting employers and their ability to create new jobs?

I consider myself as being fortunate to know and socialise with people from all walks of life and count many of them as friends. However, it has become increasingly clear that nobody has been insulated against the affects of our age of ‘austerity’, which itself has far more to do with the spiralling rises in the true cost of living for us all, rather than it does the efforts of a lacklustre Government tinkering around the edges of policy, covering cuts with band-aids when the breaks in our whole Society are so very much more profound.

Ironically, it is the very same failure on the part of Politicians to consider the full impact and self-serving nature of their actions (or lack of them) upon others and ultimately themselves that the Unions are now displaying – even by just talking-up the potential of a General Strike. Sadly, the similarities do not end there.

The horrible truth in all this is that neither the Government nor the Unions hold any genuine level of moral currency either in the way that our times of economic hardship have come into being, or by how either would act in their contributions to ultimately attempt to resolve it.

No group that is politically motivated, other than one which is truly and comprehensively people-centric will ever be ethically and morally sound. Until that time, the Unions would do well to remember that even the poorest of our Governments have been elected democratically and by majority votes.

However frustrated any of us feel, there are many more people suffering financial hardship beyond the realms of just those with Union Membership and there are far more appropriate and reasoned pathways to bring about the change that we all now need.

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