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Social Distancing and the ‘requirement’ for PPE will finish off many businesses that the Lockdown didn’t

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The only indicators of what is happening to business and our economy as a direct result of the Lockdown is the collapse of high street business names making it into the media and press.

They demonstrate just how vulnerable business has become to unexpected change in an age where for most enterprises cashflow is king and those big enough literally borrow money that sits in their bank accounts between payments from customers and the time its used to pay their bills.

Small businesses don’t have the luxury of such choices. Many get into enough trouble spending VAT and Corporation Tax (or the equivalent) using bank statements as their guide to what they can spend rather than management accounts.

No matter the method or morality of how businesses manage their finances, the Lockdown has created financial chaos for the majority that have had to stop or drastically reduce operations.

The cases where the Chancellors giveaway or Loan Guarantees would actually help businesses are few, because there is an assumption that trade levels will return to the level that they were before the Lockdown immediately when it is lifted. They won’t.

Some business owners already have no way forward. The debt created was never part of their strategy and is simply too big to service when trading will have dropped and trading figures before the Lockdown only just covered wages and bills.

Others will keep going, knowing that the debt may be repaid, but it will be a black hole they didn’t need preventing investment, pay rises and all sorts of positives that would have trickled down positively for customers, employees and suppliers.

It doesn’t stop there. Even business owners desperate to keep going – because their business is their whole livelihood – may negotiate the challenges the Chancellor created to find that their attempts to keep going are derailed by Social Distancing and PPE.

Take for instance the Dental industry. I am aware of a Practice forced to take one of the Government’s underwritten Loans in excess of £50K – a massive dent for any business to absorb, IF things had been the same when the Lockdown ends and the private business that they have developed over many years was set to immediately return.

The sting in the tail are changes to regulatory requirements likely to demand expenditure on additional PPE and the requirement to the lengthen of time allocated for basic procedures that may make private dentistry unaffordable for most.

What many don’t appreciate is Dentistry is already one of the most regulated workspaces already with standing requirements for PPE and procedural safety for commercial business that make them second to none.

Businesses will not survive in the long term if they are required to undertake procedures and provide equipment for which there is no evidential need, made mandatory by some bureaucrat who doesn’t understand the implications of what they are doing for the business and for customers and patients who will no longer be able to afford what they do.

This scenario is playing out over and over again. Not just in Dentistry, or in public transport that I have mentioned before.

Services we all need are being wrecked for no reason, contributing to an horrific mess where the basic requirements of life – like going on a bus or having a tooth fixed – will no longer be something we can afford.

We didn’t need the Lockdown. We didn’t need Social Distancing. We don’t need either to continue damaging life.

We need this fear-driven farce to stop before life as we knew it before the crisis is completely obliterated by the cure.

Don’t make Cummings your sinner. We are all playing a part in keeping this ridiculous fear-based farce on track

Everyone loves a guilty bastard. That special victim upon whom we can all project outwardly our anger, frustrations and yes – the blame. Especially now.

The media and the Government may not be saying it or acknowledging it in any way, but public feeling isn’t quite as supportive of what the establishment is continuing to do than they might like to think.

Reality dawned for some as soon as our Prime Minister launched the Lockdown and our Chancellor leapt out of the blocks and began a process of handouts that immediately sowed division, set up millions of people to fail and condemned us all to the coming catastrophe of a massive economic crash that was avoidable if it had been handled differently right from the very start.

The temptation for many, now that the truth of what the Government has done and what it is still doing has come into view, is to look for those characters leading us who demonstrate any behaviour that contradicts Government policy, whilst illustrating exactly the things that we wish to be allowed to do.

Yes, Dominic Cummings is right up to his bloody neck in the mess that the Johnson Government has created.

But the reason we are here, why things aren’t changing now even though we know they are wrong, and why things cannot begin to improve anytime soon, is because we are all in some way and at some level responsible for what is going on.

The imbecilic wannabes and self-serving glory seekers in Government who have driven the UK bus off the cliff with us all in it are in these roles because we collectively put them there – Not necessarily by voting for them, but because we accept and therefore allow our broken political system to exist.

The Lockdown has worked because through our actions – even if not our thoughts – we have supported what they have done.

Social distancing can only continue to work because we still accept that these restrictions on our liberty have legitimacy in some way.

They don’t. Because there is no evidence, proof or history to tell us that these measures work, or that they will benefit us more in some way than the alternative, which is for us to just get on with life and deal with illnesses and life events that jump up and hit us as and when they do so as we all did so well before.

The massive difference between the two options is that by continuing to acquiesce in Government Policy as we are doing so, as a Nation, for every day that the Lockdown or Social Distancing of any kind goes on, we are collectively condemning ourselves to experience the future that has been unwittingly designed and put into play by a system that we simply accept as being the pre-defined pathway we must follow in the very same way as we are accepting these measures now.

There is no requirement for us to do this. But until we accept that we have a choice between the system that exists and alternatives that haven’t yet come into view – then act upon it, or events precipitate change in Government from beyond the current system as they might well do so, we are in fact allowing this Government to continue in power and give them assumed legitimacy to carry on doing whatever they do.

Until we take back control from Dom and all those like him that populate Government, we really don’t have any excuse or reason to call him out.

Because we are in this together and are guilty bastards too.

Don’t waste money challenging the Lockdown in Court. Fund a people’s movement for change instead

It sounds like I’m about to critiscise Simon Dolan for his High Court Action against The Lockdown and the Crowdfunding Campaign he has been championing to find it.

I’m not.

But I can’t support it either.

Not because I don’t agree with the principle of what he is doing.

I do.

I won’t actively support it because the objective itself is a waste of his time and that of his legal team.

The money would be better spent funding a new people’s movement for change. One we will need very soon, when the reality of what the unnecessary Lockdown has done hits home and the UK wakes up to the need for real leadership to get us out of the mess that Boris and his Government created, putting right all that they have done wrong.

One of the most difficult and challenging things that I ever had to do as a Borough Councillor was to explain to consitituents who had valid, justified and correct arguments against the actions of politicians and Government that they would be able to say their piece, but the system would ensure that they wouldn’t be heard if it went against the direction of political travel that day.

It is no different now and the money that Mr Dolan has attracted from many people from across our great country who realise the Lockdown and attack on our liberty was not necessary and has done far more damage than it was ever worth, fills me with hope that we can change the way things work for the better – as long as we play the right game.

The flow of this broken establishment system goes only one way. You can only win by fixing the whole broken thing (which means changing all of it) or by taking action that compliments it and goes exactly the same way.

The Court Action does neither. No matter what exchanges take place, what is reported in the media or how the Government might appear to be criticised in some way, the justification for this argument will not stop the Government from doing what it is doing and will not get a result.

What we all need, more than futile gestures – no matter how well intended they might be – is for people who have something to say and have the ability to get public attention to say it, to make the argument for the need for change and give it real voice.

When the wheels fall off for the Johnson Government as you can be sure they are going to very soon, we do not need a situation where we only have Keir Starmer or whoever is leading the Liberal Democrat’s as the choice.

We will need options that will work for us all. Those options will not come from any of the existing parties, even if words like reform are involved.

Putting right the damage that this Government has done and making the very best use of the opportunities for bottom to top change that will come to improve the lives of everyone in this Nation post COVID-19 requires that we have new blood, new faces and above all new thinking at the top.

Working against the tide of this establishment isn’t easy as the fear they have installed within so many of Coronavirus has shown.

Money, passion and the support of real people like that given to Mr Dolan will be the catalyst for change that this Country will need and the money being spent challenging the Lockdown in Court would be better spent funding a people’s movement for change.

 

We need a good dictator

CycleThe disturbing thing about the mess we are now in is that many people – and in that I include many politicians – don’t know that we are already in it.

Rishi Sunak’s prediction that we are heading into a very severe recession overlooks the reality that he caused it and that the financial measures he used to do so are fuelling the perception that nothing has changed economically.

Then there is PM Boris Johnson, who unleashed the Lockdown, using messages to plant the seed of Coronavirus fear in the minds of many that continues t o grow and flourish like the most immovable of weeds.

Now that the questions are being asked and Politicians know that the spotlight is beginning to shine on their mistakes, we find that we are returning to what we experienced all the way throughout the Brexit impasse.

It was made clear that we have the wrong politicians in power. That the system only allows the faces and the words they use to change. We know the motives and the morality underpinning this broken and desperately self-serving culture remain arduously the same.

Democracy isn’t working in this Country. It will not do so for as long as the political system and the people who gain access to Government Seats remain the same.

It is a vicious circle. We will not get the right people in politics whilst the wrong people hold all the levers of power. We will have the wrong people in power until we get the right people into politics.

We need single-minded, selfless determination at the top of Government, not just to get us through the crisis and problems that are now crossing the horizon, but to drive through the changes in public services that are long overdue.

To address the massive issues of inequality that exist from the top to the bottom of society, we require determination and a unique form of bloody mindedness, resilience and ruthlessness to see it through.

Leadership of this kind will not be possible under the system of Government and the democratic processes that we have whilst it remains under the control of the existing political parties who have a monopoly on who our controlling MPs will continue to be.

During the coming crisis, we need to turn away from this broken form of politics and embrace the political thinking and tools that are needed to facilitate the changes that we need to be made.

This can only be achieved with one person, one mind and one vision in charge of the Nation.

We need someone who understands people of all background, how businesses and organisations work.

We need someone who can think through the consequences of action before decisions are even made, and see problems on the horizon before they come into view.

We need someone who is confident in us as a Nation, respecting each and every one of us as the adults that we are.

Above all, we need someone who is detached from the siren call of the media, thinks and sees everything, everyone and what they say generously but critically, using facts and human nature to determine what steps and policies are in the best interests of everyone to pursue.

In the times ahead we need balance and consideration in leadership above all else as we look to a better post COVID-19 World and the opportunities for something better for all that it will give us.

We have never needed a good dictator to take charge of our destiny like we do right now.

Now is the time to find that good dictator.

 

Pay rises ARE NOT a lasting solution for Key Workers and the low-paid who ALL deserve more

img_5939One of the few positives of Coronavirus has been widespread recognition that many of the workers who make much of life as simple as having to pay a bill don’t get nearly enough income so that they can live the lives they have outside of work in the same way as most would choose.

The emphasis has been on Key Workers and specifically the nurses, healthcare workers and medical support staff who work for the NHS. But refuse handlers, van and lorry drivers, shop assistants, shelf stackers, gig economy workers, takeaway staff and many more besides all do jobs that streamline and bring significant value to our lives.

Because we have been conditioned to believe that money is the only thing that really adds value to anything, there is a clear link between public acknowledgement of what these workers do and the growing clamour to provide a financial reward.

Yet the problem that is difficult for many to see is that by raising the salaries and hourly rates of the lowest paid or those we accept are not paid enough, we simply set off a chain reaction of price rises and financial benefits that stretches right back up to the top. It makes the money we have worth less and quickly takes the real-world value of the new higher wage back to where it was before.

The supply of money isn’t the best way to reward the people that we need to value more.

It is the money system itself that is the problem. The way that it is managed by Government that is broke.

As long as this continues, life will always be something that the low paid simply cannot afford.

Free markets and liberalisation of finance, big business and the banking system are a great idea if everyone working within them operates compassionately and considerately with the emphasis fully on service with profits playing only a happy and coincidental part.

That’s not the way that it works.

With Banks printing money at will, agents buying, selling and transferring goods before they reach us without adding value to the process many times, and a city that speculates on company and asset prices like the impact on users doesn’t matter, the real people who just want to earn enough to provide for themselves and have a life observe the rich who play with money getting so rich they cannot spend all they have, whilst the basics in life are all the low paid can hope for and little more.

The looming financial crisis created by the Lockdown will provide us with the opportunity to put all of this right. That’s as long as we have the right people with the right vision and the motivation to do whats right and see it through in charge.

The basic prices of goods, services and accommodation that are essential for the lowest paid worker to support themselves without help and live a life that is worth living now have to be controlled.

Only Government should have the power to adjust prices, print money or have the ability to manipulate markets.

The management of money and how it can be used against us should no longer be left unhindered in private, profit-hungry hands.

This is the way that every worker no matter what they do and where they do it can do their job and feel that they go home with adequate reward.

Let’s end the idea that more money can solve any problem and just change the way that life works so that it is something that everyone can afford.

Whatever happens next Boris, please treat us like the adults we are and not the idiots you consider us to be

What is clear from the so-called ‘easing’ of the Lockdown and the amount of people who have been out and about in the past few days is that the Coronavirus Pandemic is going to go either one of two ways:

  1. The medical problem is now over and life will continue to resume in every way, or
  2. Cases of Coronavirus are going to explode again within the next 2 – 3 weeks and the Government position for decision making is going to go straight back to where it was across the UK in mid to late March.

If we had better leaders in charge of us, we would have experienced this whole emergency differently from the start.

A mature Government led by real leaders would have treated people like the adults that we are, given us the information about Coronavirus that is known and then let us make our own decisions about what we do or do not wish to do, and what risks we are happy to take.

It would have been a lot lest costly for them to have done this for sure.

The Lockdown would not have been necessary if Boris had trusted us as he should have.

Businesses would not have closed. Workers would not have been furloughed. The UK would not be borrowing Hundreds of £Billions that we simply have no way to pay back.

We would not now be sat on the edge of a fiscal cliff edge that is going to create all sorts of pain for people in this Country. A return us to mass unemployment will just be a start.

What politicians behaving like Boris have done across the World collectively, may even lead us into war.

If the Virus is now contained and past its peak, it is essential for the emotional wellbeing of everyone that Social Distancing is moved from being led by coercive government rules and policed by people we used to know and like, to being voluntary for people, for businesses and for everyone to enforce, so that the fear that was manufactured within us but without our consent is contained and not allowed to fester on and damage any of us or our friendships any more.

But if the number of COVID-19 cases shoots up in the coming weeks as it is likely that we can expect, we need Boris to become the PM that he should have been in March and let life continue and move forward in every respect.

Where the Virus is concerned, his job and that of his Government should be all about supporting the NHS to treat patients effectively by giving them everything they need – but nothing else.

We must be allowed to keep going with life as the new normal will be so that we can all either manage and deal with the difficulties that the Johnson Government has created because it didn’t trust us, or get out and do our bit to ensure that the UK economy can be repaired,  developed and improved so future generations have a life that they feel able to live.

Good government doesn’t intrude into the areas of life where where there is no constructive purpose to anything that it can do.

Good government gets on with providing the services and solutions in the areas of life where people cannot do it on their own

We trusted you with the Country in the General Election Boris. Now be good enough to repay the compliment and trust us to manage our own choices and our own lives – whatever happens next.

 

 

 

The Social Distancing experience: Being herded like animals, treated as suspects and valued less than human

Its difficult to know whether to laugh or cry when going out to visit any of the shops that are open or even stop at the garage to fill the car.

Wherever we go, the plastic screens, barriers, floor lines and arrows that have now been upgraded to prefabricated and machine produced versions make it look like living in Lockdown and having Social Distancing imposed upon us by our peers is just the way that things have always been.

Shop assistants who used to smile and pass the time of day now growl and point the way. Security guards at supermarkets look and sound more menacing than the 7 foot burly body builder types that policed nightclub doorways in the Nineties ever were.

What should be worrying us all is the air of permanence with the way that this all now feels.

Social Distancing in this form is here to stay for a very long time.

Yet nobody seems to be concerned or asking questions about what the long term costs of this social policing and the rise of a police state will actually be.

Fear was weaponised by the Government to implement the Lockdown. It was used to facilitate Social Distancing measures that are impacting upon normal behaviour each and every day.

Once fear has been unleashed by causes that can be controlled, there is no way to contain the results and consequences of its growth.

It is easy to appreciate that many people now live in fear of Coronavirus.

This fear is and always was unnecessary. It is manufactured and a direct result of what the Government has done.

Fear affects everyone differently. Many will not realise that it affects their outward behaviour and the way they interact with others in what might be very profound ways.

Fear made real on the faces, in the words and actions of anyone who is afraid looks very different from the outside looking in. Outward appearances are rarely what the individual understands they are projecting outwards or is being seen by others on public display.

The anger, abruptness, lack of polite language or rudeness that we are witnessing on the part of the workers who serve or steward us is unlikely to be intentional at all.

Regrettably it is not how it is experienced.

The Social Distancing ‘guidelines’, equipment, infrastructure and the way those with responsibility for policing it at any level behave towards us is influencing the way that we all think.

We are being programmed to think that it is normal to be herded around and treated like an animal and to be viewed with suspicion as if we are guilty without the ability to ever be innocent again.

This is a dangerous combination for us all as a society. Because people are being actively and aggressively conditioned to think that it is ok and quite normal to treat others this way.

The Lockdown was a crazy idea that has caused more harm than good, made worse by politicians who lack vision and are terrified of seeing themselves as being out of control.

But where the impact of the recession, job losses and business closures the Government has caused through their actions will be possible to address with the right attitude and thinking on the part of good leaders over time, the damage that has been and is being done to us all at an emotional level with the irresponsible and unnecessary use of fear as a tool of choice for the Government is a completely different thing.

 

 

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