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These politicians wanted the job, the titles, the benefits and the glory that goes with it. But they never wanted or expected the responsibility and it has become plain for all of us to see

August 16, 2020 Leave a comment

Right now, we are collectively waking up to problems created by others that have already, or soon will affect everyone.

The difference with this process of mass awakening is that it will not be yet another where we believe that we are going through it alone.

This crisis, its impact and its immeasurable consequences will sooner or later be shared very publicly and by us all.

Some have said that the behaviour of our politicians echos that of the people. As if the way we behave somehow permeates its way up to the highest levels of society.

But as we pause to look at the loss of jobs, the closure of businesses, our children missing school and the grades that they should have had, the rise in food poverty, the growth of domestic abuse and an explosion of suicides not just amongst men but across society and including young people too, how could it be that the way these stupid politicians see the world is so very different to the view we have of our own?

Bizarrely, the suggested relationship may in many ways be true. Not because we can openly see any correlation between the choices that Boris and Co have made that we can either relate to or which we believe that in the same position we would do the same. But because of the similarity of the principles that are now culturally ingrained have and those Boris, Sunak and Government are still demonstrating through a prolonged period of national crisis that will get much worse and will not be ending anytime soon.

Have you noticed that very few of us choose to pursue a professional career or be in a job these days because we want to be the best at whatever that role delivers or what it requires – for instance becoming a lawyer because we want to see that the law is fair for all?

It doesn’t matter what the profession might be. The desire to be a top-quality vocational professional because you are good at what you do no longer exists.

Careers are now about the money. The image of ourselves that we perceive. The image of us that we believe others will perceive. The benefits, the lifestyle and just about everything else we think that it will provide and enable us to do.

The flipside of all this is the customer experience of this. Being on the receiving end is reflected in the focus of shops and service providers always being about creating the opportunity to charge us more. For example, lawyers happily destroy the possibility of amicable divorce settlements because the more hours they do, the more they can charge. Yet mediation – if promoted and pursued as it could and should be by the whole legal profession – would be a significantly less destructive way to conclude many legal confrontations for the clients who are involved before there is any genuine need for them to exist.

Likewise, if you are a pet owner, you may have noticed that many of the vet practices will now offer you more and more expensive ways to treat your pet when they are ill or manage their lives when they are not – all with little regard for the impact on your pets wellbeing or the impact on your wallet that might be involved. It is cynical financial exploitation of the emotional bond we have with are pets to say the least.

Sadly, our children have not escaped this cultural malaise either. Many of us beyond the age of 40 will have grown up knowing some of not all of those who taught us having been genuinely inspiring educators who believed passionately in what they did and made the learning experience a good one for many if not all. It is not the same today. And with conditions, pay and personal safety being the main focus for the hollowed-out ‘teachers’ who are wrapped in a deceptive blanket of overqualification, we are all experiencing the result of what happens when there is an excuse not to work but get paid in every way just the same.

Politics in the UK is supposedly about public representation. The concept of our democracy itself is about representative government at all levels. But this is not what today’s politicians do or are aiming to do. It is the same principles at work within this political class that Teachers, Lawyers, Veterinary Surgeons and so many have too that has brought the whole basis of Democracy in this Country into doubt.

Whether it’s perceived power, glory, or the money and book deals that are supposed to follow, the motivations that this political class had to get to Westminster are not about responsibility or doing what’s right for anyone but themselves.

Boris has spent his life wanting to be Prime Minister and had it mapped out that he would be the Churchill of this age. But it is clear that he also believed that he would get there by some kind of divine right, rather than because he had any kind of natural gift as a leader or because in a national crisis he would simply have the wherewithal, life experience and self-certainty to know what to do.

People, and above all our politicians – who should be setting an example to us all rather than simply being a mirror – have no concept of what it is to be someone who takes on a role because it is worth doing to benefit others. They only recognise jobs on the basis of what they can provide or give them.

This MUST change.

The coming reset is going to inflict hardship on all levels of society of the like we have never seen.

There is an opportunity for everyone to experience how everything and every part of society will work better for everyone and not least of all ourselves, if we focus on doing our jobs well, and the best that we can.

Our whole culture has for years been obsessed with material gain and what it means to be financially rich. This has resulted in a level of inequality that leaves people at one end of the scale unable to ever feel secure financially at one end, whilst those at the other simply accumulate more money than they or even their descendants could ever feasibly spend.

The opportunity is about to come calling where whoever is leading and in government will face the perfect set of circumstances that will provide them with the public will and support to put all of this right.

But to get there and to demonstrate by example how much better life will be when money and material wealth are no longer the default thought, we need new leaders running this Country who want to embrace the responsibility that the times we are living through require of them, rather than them being there because their only aim was to look great because they got that role or job.

Boris & Co. tout a V-shaped recovery whilst ONS GDP figures show a recession with everything going pear-shaped for the UK at best. Do we really want the idiots who created this mess left in charge of getting us out?

August 12, 2020 Leave a comment
Courtesy of Office of National Statistics (ONS)

We knew the figures were coming today. But we probably didn’t bank on the situation having already gone so far.

The UK is now in a Recession of the likes that we have not before seen. In fact, with the 2008 Financial Crisis being the only recent benchmark or reference point that can be used to pinpoint and illustrate what happens at Economy level when things go financially wrong, we can see just how deep the depths of this politically created recession will be when we compare the them on the above graph.

This is just the start. Things are set to fall further. Life, financially for us all, is set to become very hard indeed.

Regrettably, it makes perfect sense that the politicians who not only created this situation, but continue to take step after step that is making things considerably worse, would think and say out loud that they are now looking to ensure that a V-shaped recovery is found.

With the unnecessary and avoidable damage that was done to this Country the very moment that the Lockdown began, the window of opportunity to minimalise that impact was lost when the Chancellor failed to shut down the flow of money in the same way that the Prime Minister had shut lives, businesses and jobs.

With every day that has past, every job that has been furloughed or lost and every business that has been shut down, the ability of any politician or leader to take the UK Economy back to anything near being the same as it was before Coronavirus has become less and less.

When we look forward and ask ourselves  how we get out of this mess, there is only one step that this Government could take right now, today, that would maximise the opportunity to return things to whatever normal will now look like with the minimum pain and in the minimum time:

End all Social Distancing and Lockdown measures immediately so that all businesses that are still operating or capable of operating can do whatever it is they do without any kind of unnecessary legislator restriction, and get everyone who still has a job straight back to work.

This Government does not have any idea or concept of the depth and voracity of the domino effect that it caused and the damage that it has done by shutting down the Country and then failing to mitigate the fallout of their Lockdown in the comprehensive and universal way that it could and should have been.

In reality, the only way that we can have the best chance of us all reaching a place where the way that the economy and finance will work fairly and for us all is if we replace the politicians that we have right now with those who are committed only to doing what is right.

Boris and all of this political class do not possess the vision to picture the consequences of decisions that they take. Nor do they having any comprehension of what life experience is for the majority in this Country in any way beyond what they relate to as being their own.

There is a massive reset coming. Not of a wilfully or conspiratorially created kind with names like ‘new world order’ as some now fear. But because of what stupid politicians in the UK and right around the World have done over a long period of time through a process that speeded up exponentially as soon as the Coronavirus Pandemic began.

The reset that is coming presents the opportunity to review everything that we know and understand about our economic system, revise it and then re-established a responsible form of capitalism that considers the demands of present need, but also gives due consideration  to the needs and obligations that we have to tomorrow too.

It is the potential silver lining from the very dark cloud and storm that this Recession will be. But getting it right will depend on us not being tied to the ideas and motivations of any politician or leader who has capital of any kind tied up in making the now futile attempt to return everything that we know to how it was before.

The lives that have been and will be destroyed and the pain that has and will be caused to too many of us to mention and in ways that are simply too long to list must have a value in the change and transformation that they will empower us to bring for the benefit of all – as long as we have the right people in charge.

Do businesses make staff redundant now or delay using furlough money until October?

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The Financial Measures that the Government implemented as a follow up to the Lockdown are a piecemeal response to a universal problem.

Even now, organisations such as Forgotten Ltd are fighting to highlight for a response from the Treasury over the lack of provision for Directors of Ltd Companies forced to stop or severely reduce trading, losing their incomes as a result.

They are not alone. There are many people already suffering in silence from the impact of the Lockdown.

As the so-called help from the Government is reduced and then stopped, there are going to be many more.

Of the businesses able to apply for ‘furlough money’ under the Job Retention Scheme, many jumped in as quickly as they could, knowing only too well that if their turnover ceased or was severely reduced, it would be the jobs of employees that would be out of the door first.

In principle, the Scheme well for companies employing significant numbers of staff who are paid around the average wage. Or at least that’s how it seemed before the realities of what the Government has created with the Lockdown began to actually sink in.

What is not being reported in the media yet, is that all sorts of unforeseen consequences are beginning to unfold for business.

One business I am aware of that employs around 750 people has began to end furlough, re-starting around 200 of their most qualified and experienced staff. They have already concluded they are achieving 40-50% of normal productivity and turnover with just 25% of the workforce and they are now re-evaluating their business model, even before the coming recession begins to kick-in.

However, the wider marketplace has changed overnight. Jobs that were needed and even considered critical until March no longer exist on the whiteboards in the boardrooms. But because the Government is paying the wages – or the biggest part of them, they will technically exist until October. That is unless Business Owners, Directors and Managers turn away the ‘free money’ that the Government is providing for those staff until and bring forward mass redundancies now.

At first glance, it is easy to conclude that if a job no longer exists and the Company knows this, they should make those staff redundant now and stop claiming the money from the Government.

But life is seldom as straightforward as it looks at first glance. We must be careful over how and where the answer to what is fundamentally a question of morality, wholly dependent and conditional upon where our own perspective lies.

With the Spectator Magazine, the dilemma that is at work was put into full force yesterday when Chairman Andrew Neil announced that they had done much better through the Lockdown than expected and had decided to give all their Government Furlough Money back.

Kudos to the Spectator as far as the fortune of their current position goes. But an elaborate form of virtue signalling like this – no matter how genuine the reasoning might have been, in itself helps no-one. Simply, because for too many other businesses, the decision they make over the money they claim and pass on to people who are currently on their books have real-life outcomes involved.

Yes, it is Public money that the Government is handing out. But the Government created the Lockdown in the first place.

No, an employer shouldn’t claim money from the Government that it doesn’t have to spend. But they are doing nothing legally wrong and after October, the many thousands if not millions of people living on furlough money today, may find themselves beginning many years without jobs.

What is very clear is the Government has entered a minefield of its own making where it could and should have made the effort to really think these things through.

A universal problem requires a universal solution.

We should have been given a a simple one, rather than the complicated one that we have got.

Nobody should be falling through the gaps in provision. Nobody should be made to feel wrong or guilty for taking any or all of the help that has been offered when they didn’t choose to stop trading.

Taking whatever is on offer is all that they – and many of their employees – have still got.

 

Support local shops, farmers and suppliers today so they are there for you when other options no longer exist

If things about this new life we are living make you feel uneasy, you have good reason to be concerned.

Beneath the veneer of slogans, the false security given by social distancing and the Government’s big cash handout given with a manufactured smile that is meant to tell us it’ll all be alright, trouble is brewing on an unprecedented scale not just across the UK, but the whole World throughout.

Policies like the Job Retention Scheme are creating a false perception of the condition the UK’s economy and businesses are in.

There is a genuine belief that things will just go back to how they were up until the 23rd of March, as if the Prime Minister has a great big UK On/Off switch.

Regrettably, this picture has been echoed by political ineptitude across the World and if tackling the Coronavirus Pandemic the way they have chosen to really was the war that politicians like Boris would like it pictured to be, in hindsight, the Lockdown and all the Social Distancing measures will become known as the phoney bit.

What is only clear to very few today, is there has been no comparable event in history that gives anyone an idea of how any of this can now actually work and anything remain the same.

The Lockdown has set off a chain reaction that will not only break the back of many small businesses and destroy the jobs that they provide, it is also setting off asymmetrical reactions and consequences in supply chains and big businesses not only in the UK but right across the World.

Because we have for so long taken for granted that we can drive to Sainsbury’s, Tesco or Morrisons and that our milk, eggs and sausages will have simply materialised on the shelves along with petrol at the garage to fill our cars, we have forgotten to look into the processes that get them there and just how complicated the supply chains are that make it look and feel like only simplicity is involved.

Greed on an unimaginable scale has meant big is best and global is even better. We don’t question the fragility of a system that had already become so dangerously convoluted before the crisis, simply because everything in these shops appears to be so cheap.

In the coming weeks and months, the appearance of everything going on as normal is going to crash spectacularly to the floor. The real damage that the Lockdown has created is likely to mean that the experience we had with there being no toilet rolls on the shelves at the end of March will expand to include many other ‘essential items’. Yet this time the shortage will be very real because the manufacturers and suppliers that the Supermarkets buy from can’t get the things they need for production, or they themselves will no longer exist.

Nothing is too big to fail, as many of the big companies whose only focus has been on profit are about to find out.

So if you want to be sure that you can put food on the table and get access to supplies and services that you genuinely need when things begin to get really hard as they soon will, buy whatever you need from your local shops, farms and suppliers of every kind today so that they are there and able to serve you with the goods and services you need at a price you can still afford when you have neither the option nor the choice.

The Government has Bankrupted Britain whilst jumping into a trap that it will not climb out of if it continues to behave the same way

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Somewhere in London, a new kind of reality has dawned. We may note ever hear it spoken about or acted upon in any way or sense. But rest assured, a new era has now been born.

Six weeks ago, the Johnson Government took a series of decisions that are about to have seismic consequences for us all.

It began with the Lockdown. It was aided by the clever and manipulative messaging that was purposefully designed to make normal people too frightened to go out. It then culminated with a series of financial ‘support’ measures such as the so-called ‘Job Retention Scheme’ that has failed businesses, workers and the Country at large whilst addicting many to ‘free wages’ and polarising them against returning to work.

The Bank of England has today announced that the UK is officially now in recession, and this my friends is just the start.

The Lockdown itself was unnecessary. It traded all the certainties and regularities of life that we had like going to work, the pub, the gym, the shops, catching a bus or train or visiting whoever we might like to as and when we wanted to, for a gamble on what stronger leadership would have known would be a futile attempt to control a virus which they could only ever manage – not control.

The use of Behavioural Insights and mass manipulation, aided by an out of control media to install fear, purely on the basis of getting people to accept and adhere to the Lockdown and the Social Distancing measures that the Government imposed was a textbook example of both what to do and not to do all wrapped up in one.

Use of terms like ‘Stay at home, save lives’, ‘Protect the NHS’, and go outside on Thursday night at 8 and clap for the Keyworkers succeeded in securing such rigorous levels of buy-in to the Lockdown, Social Distancing and the measures taken, that many people genuinely and sincerely believe that acceptance of any and all measures that the Government dictates will be the only way that they can remain alive.

Many will not willingly respond to directives that go the other way, simply because the subject matter of the manipulation used has touched on the promotion of measures to avoid death.

Death and its avoidance is the primary fear that drives many parts of life and sits within the subconsciouses of us all. It influences so much in life, but rarely finds its way coming into our rational view.

The financial package that the Chancellor followed up the release of the genie with was much too clever for its own good. It over complicated matters when there was always a simple, fairer and much less damaging way to mitigate the fallout from the lockdown whilst addressing the issue of income for us all.

It is unlikely that senior members of a national government running the UK Treasury would not have known about or discussed the alternative options that were at hand. So we must conclude that the absence of real leadership at the top meant that the Government yet again went for what seemed to be the easy option rather than the right one, and in so doing laid out a giant trap for itself into which the Country is now about to fall.

In the coming days it is likely that the ties of the Lockdown will be loosened. But with the same ideas and mentality driving the direction now as we have experienced since the COVID-19 emergency began, it is likely that in only a couple or a few weeks from now, the Government will have to return us all to the full Lockdown again of not something even more punitive, because these so-called leaders have still not faced up to their responsibilities or the most salient facts.

That is of course if the majority of people still agree.

You cannot inflict absolutes on a population to resolve an emergency when no absolutes about the emergency like when it will end and how it will be ended are known.

It takes real leadership to go against the media and say that it is unavoidable that people will die, but we also have to maintain a level of life and functionality across everything that lies beyond the emergency so that we can make it possible for everyone else to live.

But that is exactly what we needed from Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak at the beginning of the Pandemic, and even now, which such an incredibly damaging chain reaction for the economy now started and underway, it is the same thing that we need to hear them say.

COVID-19 is not going anywhere anytime soon and we cannot restrict every other part of life with Lockdowns and Social Distancing measures that are completely impractical until it has, just so the fearful believe that we have it all under control.

We don’t. We wont. And what the Government has been doing has been giving people they have deliberately worked up into a frenzy of fear false hope and a false sense of security. People genuinely believe that they will avoid death by following these measures without realising that they no longer have lives to live.

The Government needs to manage Coronavirus as the firestorm that it is. That means firefighting wherever the fire breaks out by focusing all the resources where necessary and not spreading them out so thinly that we will continually be overpowered by a Virus that they still don’t understand.

Only when the Government does this will they begin to be able to start addressing what is going to become the far more pressing crisis at hand: How do you manage an economic crisis when you cannot keep printing money and printing money is the only thing they can think of that will work.

 

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