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

March 29, 2020 Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, there are positives that are likely to come from this Crisis. The most significant will be a new ‘norm’

March 27, 2020 Leave a comment

Fear has gripped the Nation. Whether its fear of catching Coronavirus. Fear of not having enough toilet paper or fear of not having enough to eat. Fear of being fined or worse for going out in the way that days ago we took for granted. Fear and how it runs and rules our lives has suddenly become very obvious to us all.

The immediate question is will we all learn the lessons that the role of fear and it’s impact on our lives involves?

But what if fear isn’t the only thing we are now waking up to that has influenced and taken over our lives and has only become apparent to us since the Coronavirus Shutdown occurred?

Right now, the novelty of having our lives placed at a standstill has still to run its course. But for many, a realisation has started to unfold in front of us that is showing us very clearly how habit has been dictating life in so many ways and takes over pretty much from the minute that we were born.

Routines like going for coffee, where we shop and how we respond to the influences that prompt us to choose how we dress are all routine. They are the tip of a culture that we have bean brought up and conditioned to accept as normal, which is based upon material wealth and little more.

Money has become the lifeblood of everything.

What is more, the role of money, its importance to us and its suggested value has been successfully used to manipulate us. Banks and big finance have taken over the responsibility for its generation and flow, and cheap money facilitated by ignorant politicians has made us debt dependent. Those in control have swamped the world with money that didn’t come from any other source, making themselves ever richer, whilst what money we already have has gone down in value repeatedly making many of us feel like we are a lost cause.

But that was before Coronavirus arrived.

What this enforced space to think and see life differently is likely to reveal to many is that putting money and material wealth before anything else is never really going to have a happy ending.

I’ve been writing blog after blog about the reality of how badly the impact of the shutdown is going to affect people of all backgrounds simply because they have lost or are about to lose their income.

I have argued that the Government should simply stop the payment of bills, interest and accumulating debt of any kind for everyone. Because without the income to service bills and debt even partially, it is easy to see and understand the pain and misery that lack of money is going to cause – when it doesn’t need to be like this and there isn’t any need for it to be so.

The banks, the finance houses and big business only have the ability to make politicians think that bills must always be paid, because politicians think the way that normal people think.

Yet there is no golden rule or higher law that says money and interest must always be paid back on time, or that the application of interest for lending or debt should be payable at whatever the created rate might be.

Yet economists and the people who work in finance have managed to surround themselves with what seems to be a perpetual myth. A false or at best hollow idea that they have secret and esoteric knowledge about money, how it should be handled and that this understanding, alone and only in their hands will keep an economy strong.

Relaxation of restrictions under thinking such as neoliberalism has made the situation worse. And the open secret hiding in plain sight that we should all be aware of as we weigh up the situation that we are now in is that these banks and financiers literally create or print the money that they lend out to us at interest. They then manipulate everything so that money can be made at every angle without the need to add value, whilst the amount of money available inevitably means that we all have less, whilst they end up with significantly more.

Climate issues, poverty, the cost of living, going into debt simply to live. Before the Coronavirus arrived, it was the march of this form of greed-driven capitalism that pushed globalisation and cutting the corners that hurt us and future generations. It has been sold to us insidiously as the way for us to access the material possessions and things what we are continually told that must have or that we need at cheaper prices, whilst the value of our earnings have gone down and the goods we then believe we want quickly become too expensive to easily afford.

Its a vicious and destructive cycle that politicians have the power to and should have already stopped.

But we are now in the place where things could easily change.

People across this Country are now being forced – ironically by the incompetence of our political classes – to see the value in life, in things that are not material and therefore that we don’t have to have money to afford.

Our real wealth is in the way that we see the world. How we interact with others. How we help and support each other in a crisis. How we make allowance for the way that others think and see the world differently. How we take collective responsibility for the resources and the world that we share.

Money isn’t going to disappear anytime soon. But the way that we all see it, think about it and revere it is certainly going to change very soon.

We are now seeing that we can work and operate very differently. That we have been liberated and are not enslaved to the behaviours that ruled us before.

When the Coronavirus Crisis is over, we may not see the change as it happens around us, but we are going to want things to be run differently and the time will have come for big business to accept that it can no longer rule our lives, our environment or our politics and there is going to be a very different way of us living our lives, our travel and how we look at economics and business across the world in store.

This is a time when nature has intervened to call time on the selfishness of man, did away with the old and gave us the tools to create the new ‘norm’.

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

March 20, 2020 2 comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It isn’t.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

images thanks to unknown

 

Our Politicians are failing us over flooding, but this is nothing new. ‘Out of sight, out of mind’ is simply the method they use to prioritise everything they do

November 14, 2019 Leave a comment

 

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Tewkesbury in Flood. Image thanks to http://www.theguardian.com

It’s now 12 years since the 2007 Gloucestershire Floods.

The people living and working in Villages and Towns around mid and Northern Gloucestershire and South Worcestershire experienced the worst that inland flooding can throw at us – and for a great many even more, when critical infrastructure was affected and the drinking water supply dried up as result.

Nobody could argue that the impact of the event did not come to the attention and supposed scrutiny of Westminster Politicians at the time. Pictures of RAF Rescue Helicopters winching stranded people to safety whilst hovering against the backdrop of the Cotswold Hills quickly caught international attention. I stood outside the Local Council Offices when then newly appointed Prime Minister Gordon Brown arrived.

At the time, within the immediacy of the flooding event itself, it felt like the powers that be simply couldn’t do enough.

But the moment that the floodwaters receded, the RAF had returned their big yellow flying machines to their bases and tap water supplies were restored, the media’s and therefore the attention of the politicians with the real power to do something meaningful simply drifted off to elsewhere and beyond.

Yes, remedial flood protection work took place here and there – especially in places that are very much in the wider public’s eye.

But the changes made in response to the Floods that year were in many ways little more than being aesthetic.

There was then and has been since no change in the way that Politicians, Government and the Agencies address the causes, influences upon and effects of flooding across the UK – despite many similar experiences for other people and communities across the Country that have already happened and are taking place in Yorkshire and the East Midlands today.

What was clear to me as a Local Councillor at the time of the 2007 Floods here, was that the Environment Agency wasn’t fit for purpose; that flooding was and always would be managed on the basis of so-called tried and tested thinking. And worst of all, that there was absolutely no room for new approaches or original thinking to deal with the problem as the specialists and those who possess the fiefdoms that are public sector responsibility would always know best – no matter what the reality and impact upon real people was or would be that was involved.

Nothing has changed.

If anything, things have got worse.

And whilst processes and procedures to deal the impact upon families that have to move out of their homes and perhaps live in caravans as a result for many months now appear to have become normalised, the fact that Government has concentrated only on managing the effects of any flooding crisis at the time, rather than dealing with the causes and what lies ahead should be telling us all that we really need to know.

Flooding isn’t a vote winner when there’s no water on the ground

With the shallow, self-serving politicians that we have in power today, the harsh reality we must all face is that in their majority, Politicians and the Political Parties that they represent are not interested in seeing any task through from start to finish, unless they believe that doing so will secure them more votes.

What our Emergency Services, our Military, and the people on the ground will do in Yorkshire and the East Midlands during the current crisis to help people will not be an issue in Westminster once the water has gone and this ridiculous General Election Campaign has passed by.

Addressing the issues that count and will make a difference – that’s Planning Policy, responding to the Housing Crisis, how we address Climate Change and the way that the Public Sector itself actually works, are not and never will be on the agenda for longer than it remains in the news. Or at least not until we have politicians with very different motives and people-first mindset involved.

Planning Policy

Many people don’t understand that Local Authorities don’t make planning law. They just interpret it.

And with rules that come from the centre – rules that sound great because they seem to consider this and sound great because they appear to consider that – we have all been misled into believing that a one-size-fits-all approach to the way that we build in all locations, environments and conditions across this Country can work out for everyone wherever they are in the same way – even with different people with different motives doing the interpretation that is involved.

There is no room within the Planning System for local understanding and anecdotal evidence to be considered.

For instance, the Planning System is itself so arbitrary that floodplains that have been built up and covered with dumped earth and inert debris then qualify as being safe to build on. Yet there is no consideration for the displacement of floodwaters that would have historically rested at that location. Nor is there though given for how that water might flow around this newly created island or indeed what other properties or places would now be affected by what will be both a new and at time of flooding inevitably different water flow.

For the impact of future flooding events to be limited for existing properties, Towns, Cities and Villages to the same levels and impact that they are having right now, Planning rules and the way that we interpret them must change to embrace the increasing likelihood of the black swans, rather than the imbedded mentality of ‘it couldn’t happen here’.

Unswerving technical adherence to manmade rules doesn’t allow for reach and impact of Mother Nature.

Solving problems without creating others must be a priority for all areas of civic life and activity.

The response to the Housing Crisis

 Yet another of the political footballs that is currently being bounced around is the topic of which Political Party will build more houses and how quickly they will build them if they should find themselves in power once the Election question has been resolved.

The myth that we need to build so many new houses evaporates the very moment that you consider how much they actually cost.

How often have you seen house prices drop in any part of this Country when a new estate or development has been built?

The truth is that prices of old and new property in the local areas usually rise and like most things where prices and need can be manipulated, profit and therefore greed are the underlying cause.

Building at the levels we have already embraced is already creating a time bomb for potential flooding incidents that would never have had this kind of impact in the past – especially with planning policy as it is.

There needs to be a massive rethink and politicians who were thinking about the people they represent would certainly bring this foolish and ill considered approach to the problem to an immediate stop.

The way to deal with the housing crisis is to make better and more equitable use of the houses and buildings that we already have.

It isn’t helpful to pretend that the only solution is to keep on building more and more, whilst creating many more real ones than the hollow one that it is supposed to solve.

Climate Change

Yes, Climate Change or the Climate Crisis that our young people are now beginning to champion and the way of thinking that they are challenging is a very real part of the flooding problem too.

The weather in this Country and around the World is changing – no matter what your views might be about the cause.

The cold hard reality that we all have to face is that the weather patterns that are here today will take many years to reverse.

But there are steps that we can take to address their progression and pathway to becoming worse.

It is not simply about legislating to change the behavior of people who are already trying to make the best of what can be very difficult lives.

This is where the inexperience and impractical idealism of young people could easily be seen to make a valid argument that is beneficial to us all seem outwardly very wrong. Like Flooding events, protests soon disappear from the minds and plans of the wrong politicians and that is the truth – no matter how wrong.

Sadly, with Climate Change, much of the problem is again about money and greed.

The businesses that have the biggest part to play just need to be led to think differently and see that the profit which is their obsession is still there for them tomorrow as it is for them today. It will just come from them investing, operating and behaving ethically in a very different way.

Industry and money might not be listening now, but that will be different when we have different people in charge.

The necessity of political change that wont be served simply by having a General Election

The complexity of the problems that are contributing to the Housing Crisis, the failure of Planning Policy, Climate Change and Flooding as an issue in its own right will never be dealt with in the way that it needs to be by politicians who are only interested in the outcome of the next Election and how they convince all of us to give them their vote.

If we want the change that we need with the issues that we are facing not just like Flooding, but which we are experiencing each and every day, we must elect different people into Parliament, our Councils and into positions of power who will put people first. Politicians who know what it will take and – most importantly – are actually prepared to do everything necessary to get all of those things that need doing – and not just Brexit – done.

 

 

 

 

 

No Boris, profit isn’t a god to be worshipped. Many of the problems you tell us you care about are driven by greed for money as the root cause

November 6, 2019 Leave a comment

5824a3c1-508e-4d1f-a672-e453b9d85794In this world, perception is everything.

First impressions count more than anything else.

We have politicians who rule us – and therefore are also failing us – because they judge everything on the basis of what is effect rather than the cause.

Profit or rather the generation of wealth and money was an inevitable topic and focus for policy in this upcoming General Election.

Yet within the majority of Policy areas it has and will not be identified in any way as being relevant. Even though the motivation to secure it, extend it and to be able to play with it will almost certainly be buried deep down somewhere. Possibly many times over as any problems root cause.

The Politicians who covet the role of Leading this Country should know this.

But they don’t.

Whether that ignorance is wilful or innocent, the result is just the same for us all.

On one side of the not-so political divide, we have a Marxist Leader on the verge of entering No10, who will do everything that he and his supporters can to dismantle the apparatus of commerciality, simply because Labour do not understand or value the intrinsically human concept of individual aspiration. They believe it possible to make a world fair that is fundamentally unfair by its very nature, simply by coercion and inflicting a set of man-made rules.

On the other we have Boris and his conservatives who are actually only conservative in name. They call themselves ‘one nation’ but follow a way of being based on freedom of the markets and the ridiculous idea that deregulating business and the markets gives commercial interests the motivation to think of and look after the needs of the public and all others ethically – all when profit and finding new and innovative ways to increase it legally but without care for anything else is money’s one and only true cause.

Both Corbyn and Johnson, and their respective Parties and the ideologies that currently underpin them have got the whole question of money, profit, power and influence completely wrong.

They do not have any understanding or appreciation of the role of human nature in all of the problems that this Country is facing.

They don’t see or place any value on the relationship between money and profit as a motivator and how it overshadows so much of public policy as the open secret that nobody talks about because so many of the problems that the UK faces have the obsession with making more and more money deep down as the root cause.

They do not see how the cultural malaise of everyone taking money out of production, services and supply chains without adding any value are exponentially widening the already significant wealth divide.

They simply don’t understand what they are actually doing.

They have no experience of the lives and futures that their ignorance is wrecking.

But the system allows them to continue on without question, whilst the problems such stupidity causes continues to pass them by as they become mine and yours.

Until such time as we have Leaders running this Country who understand all the problems they have been tasked to deal with, no matter who they effect, what they are or what work and effort it will take for them to be solved, the depth and breadth of the issues that we are facing right across our households and our communities alike will simply continue to be there and in all probability develop further – no matter the crap we are being told.

None of the Politicians who are seeking our Votes in this coming General Election are seeking to do anything differently than any of those who have campaigned to be elected to run this Country before.

Look at the problems and the trouble that they have already caused.

Until we do have politicians who do give a shit about how what they do impacts upon all of us too, it doesnt matter whether we are Left, Right, Centre, Leaver, Remainer, Rich or Poor.

We all have a whole lot more pain in store.

Don’t blame the Americans for doing what the Americans do. Worry about the people who have been appointed to negotiate with them – because it’s their ineptitude and self-interest that will cause us hurt

October 30, 2019 Leave a comment

So we are straight into the 2019 General Election Campaign and somebody in the Labour Policy Office watched the Channel 4 Dispatches Programme earlier this week on the Americans hoping to leverage open the pharmaceuticals market as part of a post-Brexit Trade Deal.

Should we be surprised that this is what US business interests want? No – of course not. This is exactly what they do.

All the concerns that the C4 Documentary flagged are real. But they are also replicated in the approach and mentality of big businesses across the world covering all forms of services and goods. It is inevitable that if the people going into negotiations with others have money as their god, they are not going to care about the fallout from any deal they make or the consequences for others, no matter what they are and no matter how many times removed.

What we should be more concerned about is the lack of understanding of big business, global markets and the impact of their actions on the economy on the part of our politicians, and just as importantly the people who they and the Civil Service may appoint in future to negotiate on our behalf.

We witnessed how high level negotiations go wrong – or rather how their direction goes to a location it shouldn’t – with the negotiations over Theresa May’s failed Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

The process was carried out by people who were purposefully looking to frustrate the Brexit result. They were working with others whose main aim was to frustrate the Brexit result. It was all was overseen by a PM who ultimately wanted to frustrate the Brexit result. That’s why we still haven’t had Brexit.

Good negotiators usually get whatever they are aiming for or walk away.

But what they are aiming for will either be overt or hidden. It will never be both.

And that’s the biggest problem we now have as we look into a world of opportunity – once a meaningful Brexit has been delivered.

If negotiations between the UK and Countries such as the USA are always carried out on the basis of considering all consequences and knock on effects – as part of the process of negotiating deals which only work in our best interests – there will never be a problem – and in this specific case, pharmaceuticals are unlikely to ever be put on the table or involved.

But if negotiations take place on the basis of simple political expediency or just the benefits on the table for the negotiators involved, we will ALL be in a depth of trouble post-Brexit, like we have never been in before.

 

 

 

 

Ignore the climate change concerns of young people and children if you dare. But addressing the shared fate of nations will help to solve many more of our UK problems as they have the same cause

September 20, 2019 Leave a comment

getting-startedYoung people and children share an idealistic view of the world and how it should be. Their view may not be practical or show any understanding of the issues involved. But that doesn’t mean that their passion should not be our guiding light and the one that we follow. Not just in terms of tackling the real causes of the climate problem, but also as we move forward to a future where we work together to put all of the wrongs right.

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg appears to have set the world alight with her ideas and passion for the climate cause. But the sensationalism around her carries as much cynicism as it does genuine feeling. In fact, it may well be a whole lot more.

Whether you feel able to argue about the causes of climate change or not, the reality is that change is certainly taking place. It is now in everyone’s interests to do everything possible to mitigate anything and everything that we recognise as being a possible cause.

The biggest problem that we, and the many young protesters that are out and about this world of ours today face, is that the focus on climate change that they and most of us already share is based upon and focussed only on the effects of the problem. Not the actual cause.

We are not talking about the overuse of plastics, chemicals, fossil fuels and more. Those are but the effects of the problem. A problem which is based on a worldwide culture where those with more always want more.

The world uses materials and methods of working which damage the environment because they make everything cheap. Not cheap for us or other end users. But cheap for the people and companies that make, sell and transport our goods and services to us.

Climate change is costly for the future of the entire world.

But for those making money out of it, futures costly misery comes to them today feeling rather cheap indeed.

What we are seeing unfold in front of our eyes really is the fate of nations. Nothing less. Nothing more.

And as our children and young people are rightly telling us, climate change or the effects of it are no longer something that any of us can or should attempt to deny.

The momentum which is now being unleashed by the passion of younger people alone, can now open the doors to dialogue and change that before has been resisted by big business and self interest. It has therefore has been unknown.

But to capitalise on the opportunity, there must come a wider realisation between all of us that we cannot continue to think that the only god available to us is money. A way of thinking that will require our politicians to bring a very different, intuitive, considered and above all selfless way of working to the fore.

The companies, bankers and financiers that sit behind these problems, making money all the time, just need to be handled differently, by leaders able and not afraid to act upon all that they know.

They must be asked the question ‘would you prefer to fold when the wheels fall off all of this in just a few years, or change approach and adapt to a new way of thinking, so that you are making a good profit, albeit ethically in many years time?

To do this, our politicians and the governments made up of them must think very differently and look at every level of shared commonality as what makes us all one.

Politicians can no longer see themselves, their own interests, their own ideas and the people they relate to as the only priority or cause.

This is not a question of creating a world government or trying to use anything as an excuse to build empires.

Its about accepting and being open to working together. Knowing that even across borders, we have things in common as part of a bigger picture, that must now outweigh the comparative trivialities that only define us as nations and as cultures.

We can be different. But also the same.

We only need to make the right steps and to do that we must look all of this for what it is.

We must stop still and pause.

 

image thanks to unknown

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