Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Be careful with British higher education

The government basically wants universities to economise, there’s a suggestion of two year degrees.

A lady from the Russell Group (UK Ivy league) on channel 4 news made the point that it’s not as if British unis are operating in a mass of waste. She also said that in order to come effectively out of a recession, it is vital we have credible and high quality universities so that our young people can compete in the global job market. Government says to cut back and save cash – like families this Christmas.

Government, in this case David Lammy, the relevant minister, doesn’t get it; I agree with the Russell Group lady. Universities are not the same as families – the problem of money needs to be dealt with differently. The UK is not in a good position when it comes to competitive workers – we need to be beefing up this area not weakening it. Admittedly, many of our problems in these areas do not relate to our universities but it doesn’t make sense to weaken our position by lessening the effectiveness of our unis and trust me – cutting funding will weaken their effectiveness.

How about some inventive thinking so that people can be allowed to study effectively on a part time basis? More inventive on campus job opportunities for people in exchange for tuition? Some tax breaks for people who study for a period of time? Bonding people to work in the public sector for a minimum of 2 years after studying? Things can be done. There are some lazy officials out there I think.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Let something good come of this.

So they have convicted Tobin for killing that girl which is excellent. Now that justice has been done in that quarter let us turn our attention to an important matter.

Let us impart upon our daughters the importance of taking the utmost care of themselves. One thing my mother drummed into me? DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES ACCEPT A RIDE FROM A MAN YOU DO NOT KNOW! Please let your daughters know this. It can save their lives.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Tax,tax, tax

Bills, bills, tax, tax. Mi ah suck salt troo wooden spoon!

Why is it that the only way this government sees its way out of any spending issue is to tax people who are already heavily taxed eh? Because they are weak and lazy that's why.

Intelligent wealthy people find ways to avoid paying as much tax as possible and they will continue to do so. It's the rest of us salaried workers who pay the taxes that run the country. Why don't they just do the work that needs to be done to ensure a fair payment of tax (in my opinion a flat rate of income tax only because calculating and collecting all the different taxes costs a lot to administer)? Because they are weak (they want to win votes and many unthinking people think taxing a wealthy people somehow does them some good. People it doesn't. If you are in a low paying job with not qualifications your position is not ameliorated by a wealthy person losing money). And because they are lazy. To fix to fiscal problems we have takes application, ingenuity and hard work. It is much easier for them to put a plaster over the chasm rather than build an appropriate bridge.

I do not agree with the majority of Brits that success and wealth should be taxed to the point of punishment. All of us should be encouraged to do well and once we are we will all benefit. I mean one of Alistair Darling's proposals is to tax patents on people's ideas! So what, you come up with a good idea, work on it and protect it with a patent and you are to be punished?

I've said it before and will say it again, if they carry on like this the country will run further into the ground. The only people left will be those who are shiftless and or dumb. The hardworking and intelligent will have all buggered off to Europe or America.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Is the music dying?

After watching about half an hour of music TV I had to ask myself this question. The proliferation of crap music and even crappier videos is depressing.

Some say that talent shows of the ilk of X-Factor have contributed to the crap. It contributes but is not the cause I think. I think marketing and recording people who want to make a quick buck, in conjunction with an increasingly dumb, young public are the cause of the problem.

Undoubtedly there is some good music out there but more and more, you get record companies who only want to make a quick buck plus young untalented people who just want to be famous inflicted on us. That lady who used to be on Fame Academy was quoted in a daily the other day as saying she was working with a talented young singer who won a national singing contest, sounded excellent but sadly couldn’t get a record deal. The companies apparently needed to be assured the public would like her – talent was definitely not enough. She had to go on a few years later to win the X-Factor in order to prove herself. Now, Leona may very well have found a deal without X-Factor but it’s a shame she couldn’t isn’t it?

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Good sense in Iran

It’s nice that those guys who got lost in their boat have been released. From the media reports that had been floating all over the place it had seemed as though there might be a major international incident. However, it would seem the media were wrong and those anticipating a major dust up have been left disappointed. Well I am not. I am glad these guys have been freed and sent home. After all what else would you expect from reasonable people? Well now that reason has prevailed here perhaps it can prevail elsewhere? I wait with baited breath.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Give Real Presents This Christmas

Here’s a thought. Be honest, most of the presents you will buy for people will be unwanted and unused right? Just like most that you will get. So how about not buying any or at least restricting how many you buy? Do what my family does. Everyone’s name in a hat, you all pick one name and buy that person something. Or what about doing something for someone instead? Like taking them out to a place they’ve always wanted to go to – create some memories you know?

Try and make your gifts, REAL gifts – an expression of your love for someone else and not just an empty mindless activity done just because you think you must.
Happy Christmas when it comes!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Race and science

Very interesting programme on Channel Four last night. Rageh Omaar took head on the lies people tell about black people being genetically dumber than whites.

As intelligent people know, how smart you are depends on many factors – all contributing to your intellectual capabilities. He was very brave for doing it. He spoke to some pretty disgusting people but his investigative approach to this topic was refreshing. Channel Four is having a week of documentaries on race and science. They are on at about 10pm UK time. If you can – worth watching. Tonight’s is on the myth that the standard of beauty is white.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Thanks God for some commonsense.

It would seem that the government has seen sense and will allow friends to make reciprocal child care arrangements without the need for vetting by the authorities.

Duh! People have been doing this for years and it has been helpful in the extreme. There have been no statistics that say that these reciprocal arrangements have contributed to rising paedophilia. Apparently parents are OK as long as no money changes hands. This is stupid too I think. How does money changing hands put your child at risk? The focus is on the wrong things. If the authorities really care about the well being of kids they need to attack those things that put that well being at risk. Not waste time making up stupid rules.

PS. Rest in peace Sonny Bradshaw

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Why does New Technology Take so Long to Come to the UK?

The Kindle was unveiled in 2007. The Sony book reader also about a couple of years ago. Here in the UK the Sony reader has just become available a few months ago and now there's news the UK friendly Kindle will be available in two weeks - but only through so we'll have to pay import duties for it!

Why did it take 2 years for these items to become available in the UK?

When I was living in Jamaica I could get access to all kinds of things as son as they were released. Now that I'm what's known as a first world country I have to wait 2 years! That makes sense to anyone?

Is the answer that we aren't producing new technology - the Americans are?

Come on - in this global world surely we should be able to have access to the best the world has to offer right here in our own back yard? Yeah sure, over the past two years I could have bought a Sony reader in the States and brought it back here but I live here. I should be able to buy this stuff here shouldn't I?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

A No Brainer

The country is in debt. Many, many people are out of work. Within this context, digest the following:

1) Our population will be made up of more and more pensioners in the coming years. They will need to be supported.
2) Age Concern brought a case to abolish or amend the retirement age – they lost and people are still often forced to stop earning a living at 60 or 65.

Now it seems a no brainer to me. In this day and age many people over the age of 60 are more than capable of contributing to the economy by working. Many prefer to keep active – yet they are often prevented from doing so.
In a time when we will be having more pensioners to care for and a time when we are running out of cash – surely anyone who isn’t brain dead would allow all people to work until they feel they don’t want to?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Be Realistic - Don't Vouch for Anyone Unconditionally

It’s amazing how people will lie to themselves about their loved ones even in face of evidence to the contrary.

Yes, you know and love them but no, you cannot completely vouch for everything they do. Don’t be stupid and put yourself on the line for someone else. We can never completely know what is in someone’s heart.

So stick up for them by all means – but don’t be naive and rule out all types of behaviour – because, well, you never know do you?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Check out some Tyler Perry Material

Just been having a great laugh watching some Madea videos on YouTube. I checked it out and you can get them in the UK at Amazon. Check this one out here

I have always been fascinated with Tyler Perry because he does what I’d love to – write great material, act in it and produce it. Here’s to more people like him.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Enable People to Support Themselves

So the new unemployment figures are out and there is the usual talk. I agree with one point being made – I think the TUC made it. They say that just because some things are improving we can’t say we are coming out of this recession until people are able to get jobs. And not only get jobs, but get ones that pay a salary that can keep them.

One of the major problems I see here in the UK is that many jobs do not pay a salary that can keep a person and their family. So you have an awful lot of working poor and to be honest, they and their families are better off if they stop working and take benefits.

This is stupid. People should be able to earn a living wage. Surely it’s better for the country for people to be able to support themselves and to contribute to the country’s coffers through purchasing goods and services and taxes?

And here we have one of the largest stumbling blocks. The British tax policy. It is totally against the ordinary working person. If we were taxed fairly people would probably be able to support themselves and their families on the wages they ear, at least they’d be able to support them more.

If there was a flat rate of income tax that would be better. People earning more would automatically pay more for those of you who are so inclined. If they scrapped the tax on having a TV that would be an extra £150 a year on average. If they were reasonable about fuel tax the majority of things would be cheaper. About 70p out of the average £1.04 for each litre of gas is tax - madness!

If council tax was a reasonable figure and you were able to get a decent service in return – that would help.

And the biggie – if child care costs weren’t so astronomical it would help get a whole bunch of people into work. If you have more than ne child your salary is cancelled out by nursery costs.
Yes, something definitely needs to be done to get people a salary that can support them.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Are we forgetting that the criminals are in the minority?

Instituting these new rules regarding taking care of children is ridiculous. It seems to have come out of the fact that Ian Huntley was able to get a job at a school even though he had complaints or offences against children.

This is one of the major sicknesses with British society.

Somebody is negligent or a mistake occurs. Instead of punishing the negligent party and making things right by enforcing the rule that already exists, we create a whole new elaborate set of rules and force law abiding citizens to abide by them – oh – and the new rule is completely useless and ineffective.

This is the case with this situation. In this case someone was negligent. Huntley should have undergone a CRB check before he got that job. He either didn’t or more disturbingly, he did and the school’s authorities ignored the result and hired him anyway. So what do they do after Huntley murders those girls? Tighten up the existing rules, examine them and plug any loopholes? Nope. They wait a couple of years and institute this farce of an idea.
The majority of adults are not paedophiles – this will only hurt kids. Those who are paedophiles will not be stopped by the new rules.

Talk to the relevant authorities and the relevant specialists, i.e. teachers, parents and relevant groups and help them to come up with a sensible solution. Don’t scare responsible decent people from taking care of kids.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Taking a year out

Wouldn’t it be lovely to be able to rent your home, just pay any outstanding bills online and take off for a year of travelling?

HRH loves tennis and we could then travel around visiting the various grand slams. I dream of being able to do this. Anyone had experience of doing this? How did it work financially?

I am at the point in life where I would love to enjoy the wide open and varied spaces this world has to offer. I realise that you can spend the majority of your life sitting in an airless, too bright office, sitting in front of a computer screen and not really experience life or people or the world. And what keeps us there? Maintaining our lifestyles. So perhaps if I change my lifestyle I can get to live a little. Who know when my time will be up? So hopefully within a year or two this is what I would like to do – travel the world.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Political Debates in the UK

There is some talk here in the papers of the political parties engaging in a US style debate. I don’t believe in copying things for copying things’ sake but I believe in copying thinks that can be of benefit to you. I believe such debates can be of great benefit to the UK. It will force politicians to actually face the public, it will expose those who are not up to the job and it may very well get more people engaged in political issues.

Now, I know that performing well in a debate does not replace a person’s ability to serve their country but it is a pretty good chance to see what they are made of isn’t it?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Channel Four News Needs to do Better

There was a discussion on Channel Four news last night about the Kennedys. It disturbed me because it seemed to be pandering to some ridiculous notion that a famous politician is by definition on useful because of their fame.

The panel were positing whether or not certain US ‘dynasties’ were in effect. They mentioned the Kennedy s, the Clintons and the Bushes.

The gist of their conversation was that these people got into power because of their name.
Now I understand that in politics name recognition is important and it must play some part. But to make it seem as thought name recognition is the major reason why someone like Senator Kennedy was what he was is disrespectful.

The panel didn’t pay much attention to his actual political career – legislation he had put through, issues he had championed. They just kept on about the name. At one point the news anchor Krishnan made some point about the Americans being fascinated with political dynasties because they don’t have a royal family! How silly.

From what I have read, the Kennedy’s have been a family that believe in public service. And not all of them went into public service. Also, I don’t see how the Bushes or the Clintons can be seen as dynasties.

Basically, if a news show is going to discuss something important such as the passing of an influential man like Ted Kennedy they should do it a lot better than they did it last night.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hard work

Too many of us are too damn lazy.

If there is a goal you are trying to reach I can guarantee that the only way you are going to get there is with hard graft. Hard work has two distinct and equally important components. There’s the sweat equity, i.e. actually doing the work and doing it hard and there’s the consistency. Consistency means you need to keep at it. Keep at it how long? As long as it takes to get to your goal.

Some people bizarrely think that saying you are going to do something is as good as doing it. Some believe that a little spurt of work – say ten minutes – qualifies them to say they have worked hard at something. All of this is rubbish. Hard work means effort and it means consistency until you reach your goal.

Now get on with it.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Translate the Success to Other Areas

The success of Jamaican athletes speaks for itself. Gold medals abound and records are being broken right left and centre. When you go further as well you can see not only dedication but skill – in a couple of the hurdles races it has been good form that has been a large part of the success as opposed to the bad form of some of the other competitors.

There must be a way to harness this attitude to other areas of life so that Jamaica can be a prosperous country.

Can you imagine, if the spirit the athletes have is taken into business and general attitudes - Jamaica would make Monaco look like an impoverished third world nation! Because of Jamaica’s size it could become an exclusive powerhouse – financially strong like the Cayman islands – but perhaps more inclusive?

While we are enjoying the success of Bolt and his compatriots we should really be thinking how this success can be put to a wider use for Jamaica.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Obama a Racist? Get a Grip Beck

Glen Beck a conservative talk show host on Fox has been getting into increasing trouble over his accusations that President Obama is a racist. Beck claims that Obama hates white people.
A lot of white people just don’t get it.

Do they ever wonder how come black people don’t just rise up and kill the lot of them considering what white people have done to back people collectively? Part of the reason why I suspect they don’t is ignorance. I asked a colleague the other day who was educated in the UK to degree level what history he learned and he said he learned about World War II. I had heard rumours of this but couldn’t believe it was true. With all the things that were done through empire, the British do not teach any of it to their kids – they just teach a period of 5 years. Why? Because they must know that their own history is a litany of shameful acts of thievery and brutality to people who did nothing to them, so they prefer to focus on a period of history where thy shined. This limits them to the five years between 1939 and 1945. So the British are largely ignorant of their own history. I imagine it is possible that the same thing pertains for the Americans.

As this is very likely the case white people ware probably oblivious to the fact that most black people in the west have a significant chunk of their family who are white. You cannot hate white people without hating large numbers of your extended family – it is unthinkable.

If I hated white people I couldn’t sit in a room with some of my relatives without wanting to kill them. But when I sit in a room with them I see relative – not colour.

Most intelligent back people I know abhor the actions of white people as a whole but this doesn’t’ translate into everyday interactions with your white colleagues or family members.

If white people were more versed in their own history, which is tangled up with ours they would realise that a significant chunk of their families are black too.

For President Obama to hate white people he would have to hate his mother and his grandparents who raised him. In order to hate your mother and grandparents, you’d have to be a pretty bitter hollowed out shell of a person – he doesn’t strike me as such. When his grandmother died a day before the election result he looked pretty sad to me.

People who listen to Beck and many white people in general need to educate themselves about themselves – and they need to start thinking. For centuries this notion of demonising people who don’t look like them (for no reason other than they are different) has been nothing but harmful to both parties – both white people and non-white people. It’s time to stop this vastly unproductive habit of prejudice.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mi Mooma Blouse and Skirt!


Can you believe it?

Man what a race - poor Tyson Gaye - he ran extremely well and was so far being Usain! Tyson had to get a good start to have had a chance (he didn't get a good start in the hear with Asafa and had to fight Asafa off for most of it) and he did get one but Bwoy - didn't make a difference eh?

Very, very happy with that result. Can't wait to see him in 2012.

Leave Hillary Alone

Hilary Clinton has worked hard to get the prominent jobs she has had and currently has. She decided to marry her husband and decided to stay with him in spite of what appears to have multiple instances of infidelity – this was her choice,

She ran for president and lost – must have really sucked but she has taken on her job and by all accounts has been doing very well at it.

So no wonder she was pissed off by the question in Kenya (even if it was inaccurately translated). Heck, I was mad as hell when I heard it and it wasn’t even me! Some jackasses have been making various demented comments about her being upset because it hit home that she isn’t sh** and has been living off of her husband’s glory. Rubbish! Those folks need to get a grip.

It’s the same as when she said she’d rather have a career than stay home and bake cookies – well so would I, Marks sells a lovely butter chocolate chip cookie – very reasonable at £2.50. After I pick up a batch I’ll be off to earn a crust, hopefully doing something stimulating.

The status quo has changed – women have been capable of holding high office for centuries, they have actually been doing it for decades. The world needs to catch up with reality. And they need to give Mrs. Clinton a damn break.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The ideal working arrangement

I’ve been thinking about what that would be and I’m clear on it now. It would a situation where you would be measured by the relevance of your contribution. Where you would be rewarded for the quality of your work. Where you would be able to be as comfortable as you are in social situations. Where you could deliver what has been bought in whatever time is feasible for both buyer and seller. It would enable you to go outdoors often. It would enable to interact or not interact with many interesting people (depending on your personality).

The ideal working situation would free you up to use your experience, education and ingenuity to provide a sought after service or product for the right price. The only thing you would have to worry about would be delivering high quality on time and all the buyer would be concerned with is getting that high quality on time.

Why can’t it be like this?

Too many people in charge of working places have so many ridiculous agendas – often at the expense of making money. Their main aim often seems to be to make employees miserable and disrespected – it seems this is the only way many people can feel superior.

Those who have managed to eke out a living freelance and those who have found places to work where they allow people to feel comfortable enough to produce (Google comes to mind) are indeed fortunate. Let’s hope that we can use the credit crunch as a time for us to change the labour market for the better. Where people can have a much better work experience and where companies can reap the awesome benefits of a skilled, comfortable and well connected workforce.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Government should extend the scrappage scheme

I wonder if the government will extend the scrappage scheme? It seems to have worked for the most part. Apparently, some car makers are screwing around with the intent and raising the price of cars – what is wrong with them?

It seems to have worked in the States too and they are extending it.

On Channel 4 news last night the relevant government official insisted it would not be extended. He also insisted that VAT would go up again at the end of the year.

Both seem ridiculous to me. By all accounts and purposes the UK has been hit the hardest by the recession – why would the government scrap schemes that are helping (albeit in the case of VAT a little)? Can you imagine what’s going to happen to retailers (and of course the people who work in them) if VAT goes up again in December – during the Christmas shopping time government? Hello!!!!

Our lot have been too slow to enforce a whole bunch of things which is why we here in Blighty are suffering so much more and seemingly for so much longer. Let’s hope good sense prevails.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

We Must Encourage Girls to Stretch

Recently there has been a lot of conversation about the place of women in business and about unequal pay. Now I know there is discrimination from men but what I want to discuss here is how we prepare girls for life.

From my observation we aren’t equipping girls to adopt the traits and interests to be successful – not according to men’s standards, but according to successful standards.

I’ve noticed the behaviour of many of my female colleagues at work and it’s not good. There are hour-long conversations about mascara – vacillation when making decisions, an unwillingness to speak up or take charge and a seeming willingness to sigh, say ‘ah men’ and then smilingly do some clerical task for some man who claims he can’t do it (usually binding something or printing a document).

We need to develop interests in the subjects that are useful – mascara doesn’t warrant a conversation much less an hour-long one. There are plenty of relevant things to discuss at work. When projects come up we should take charge or volunteer for leadership roles. We should chase them and support each other so that leadership can be done on our terms. Trust me, from what I’ve seen women at work are more than capable of managing things – they just don’t step up for it. And when your male colleagues comes over to ask you to bind a document for him because he doesn’t know how to do it (cue sickening grin) and you are much more smarter than him, please pretty please, tell him to bugger off.

We must also demand much much better of our husbands. Disabuse yourself of the notion that they are ‘helping’ with the house or kids. ‘Helping’ infers that it is our task and they are giving a hand. No, they must do their part. Also, stop being so damn picky about things. If hubby is to do something and he employs the age old masculine ploy of doing it badly so that the wife will do it from now on – let him do it badly and then LEAVE THE MESS ALONE!!! Eventually he will get the message that you will not take on his responsibilities and if he takes too long to realise it – call him on it and shame him. If he’s a decent man he will see the sense in what you say.

Let’s encourage our daughters to go for the top – inculcate in them a strong belief in their abilities and give them courageous spirits. And remember, only discuss mascara at length if you are the CEO of a cosmetic company and you are discussing a fantastic strategy to shift the stuff.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Leave Barclays Alone

People just don’t get it do they?

One of the major problems with the banking crisis has not been the fact that people have earned large bonuses. It is that many people were paid large bonuses when they had not done anything to generate the funds needed to do so and had even done things to evaporate the funds to run those very banks.

In other works – people were rewarded for failing, and failing dismally.

What has happened today with Barclays is success. They didn’t (as far as I know) take government money and they have managed to make a profit. Good on them. There is therefore no problem whatsoever with their employees taking bonuses.

This country needs to become acquainted with the language and mechanics of success. You get (or should get) rewarded when you do well – not when some backra master feels like tossing you a few crumbs.

Too many people in the British workplace who add spades of value and work damn hard make next to nothing and cannot earn more in proportion to their contribution to the bottom line. At the same time thousands of ignorant, stupid, vile and downright lazy SOBs earn hundreds of thousands of pounds for doing sod all – in fact they earn their lavish lifestyles on the back of the work done by the people at the coalface. Many companies who made more profit than they had forecast but made a lot less than they did last year – used this fact to not pay profit sharing bonuses to the rank and file while senior executives continue to get hidden, expensive perks – like brand new X5s etc.

So I am happy for the Barclays staff – I wish other companies would do likewise. In order for us all to do better and earn more we need to ensure that people are rightfully rewarded for their efforts. Monetary incentives should be down to merit, not down to some monstrous class creation whereby often crass and uncultured people are deemed worthy of bonuses just because they say so and the hardworking employee with ingenuity is not.

Largesse should go to the hardworking, those who use their heads and those who take educated risk. Not to people based on some cloudy and secretive criteria.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Slackness in the Highest Degree! - Smaller Chocolate Bars

Can you imagine, there is a call to reduce the size of chocolate bars. See this link

I must protest in the strongest terms and HRH agrees with me. What kind of slackness is this eeeh? Look man, if people are undisciplined and nyam too much sweetie and get fat and unfit that is their issue there is no call to punish decent hardworking chocolate loving citizens by reducing (sob - let me compose myself) the size of the goodly chocolate bar.

I am ready to march on Westminster about this. Anyone willing to join me?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Excitement in the House

You’ve got to hand it to the South Koreans. It’s highly unlikely that broadcasts of of parliamentary proceedings aren’t eagerly watched by the populace – unlike poor old BBC Parliament over here.

Check out any of the news sites you like and you can see some footage of the fist fights that took place recently during the attempt to pass a media bill. I believe the Taiwanese parliament likes to settle their differences the old fashioned way too. Amazing!

Check out this link from the Guardian to some famous legislative brawls

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Aspiration is up to us not the government

There’s a lot of talk today about the gap between the privileged and the less privileged in relation to education and how that can lead to well paying professions. A study has concluded that certain professions exclude people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The news has been full of this and person after person has come on saying the government needs to do something about it.

This is ridiculous. Aspirations do not need to have anything to do with money and it’s certainly not up to the government to create aspiration in people.

There are thousands of people throughout the world, often in what’s called the developing world by ignorant people (but that’s another argument) who come from extremely deprived backgrounds who have no problem with having very high aspirations. These poor people know that education is the way to attain their goals and they pursue education wholeheartedly. Their lack of money and lack of an entré into elevated society does not hold them back. Why then do people here in Blighty have this ridiculous notion that deprived people’s lack of aspiration is somehow the fault of those who are wealthy?

At no point have I heard any of the pundits talk about personal responsibility.

I am not naïve. I know some people are born into advantageous circumstances and some are not. I know it is easier to get ahead if your parents support you and you don’t have to worry about paying the bills. But I also know that in a country like the UK where education is FREE there is no reason why someone cannot work hard to get ahead. In many of the countries in the developing world education is most definitely not free.

There was talk about university and the cost and loans not being available etc. The student loan scheme doesn’t discriminate according to the wealth of someone’s parents and the information is freely available for those interested in looking for it.

The fact of the matter is that too many people from ‘deprived’ backgrounds are deprived in their attitude and not when it comes to money.

The study mentioned that many people in high level professions were privately educated and talk about this as a sign of inequality. Now how can the country collude in the dumbing down in our education system and then say that there is inequality because some parents who want their kids to be properly educated are forced to send them to public school?

Over the years, foreign languages have become optional, some jackass thought it would be a good idea to stop teaching grammar so millions of us are unable to speak our own language much less write competently in it, the concept of failure has become anathema, kids aren’t taught to reason and memorising times tables also seems to have become unpopular over the years. Teachers have been stripped of the power to enforce anything so homework is optional and forget about doing any extra work. And then people want to complain about the social divide and equality?

Look, we all know what it takes for kids to do well. Once our society grows up and agrees that we get back to basics then there will be more than enough opportunity for most. There are indeed inequalities and there is an old boys’ club old school tie thing going on but so what? That’s how the world works – if you went to school with someone and they are in a position of power of course you will use your connections to get ahead but not ALL positions can be filled in this way and companies wouldn’t want to. In the final analysis, most successful companies do want the best qualified and the most able candidate. Anyone can achieve this – it might be harder for some but it can be done.

I read something the other day that President Obama said. He was talking about the need for black people to have a new attitude and not blame racism on not achieving. I get what he meant. There is still massive racism but what he said was that if you are black and you break into a shop and rob it you can’t blame racism for that. He said that it is up to black people to do their best in whatever endeavour they undertake and at the same time tackle racism when it comes up.

The same goes for the ‘disadvantaged.’ There are some barriers, but those barriers don’t stop you from joining the local library and using the books. They don’t stop you from paying attention to your teachers; they don’t stop you from working hard. That’s down to you. So get on with it- keep and cultivate an enquiring mind and then when you encounter obstacles, formulate a plan to overcome them. Don’t do sod all and then complain that you are at a disadvantage.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Slackness of the Parent/Teacher/School dinner lady tax

The government should make it illegal for travel firms to double and sometimes triple their prices during school holidays. It is tantamount to an added tax on families , teachers and the poor people who work as support staff in schools.

A plane flying from here to the Caribbean uses the same amount of fuel in the end of February that it uses in the middle of August – it’s the same damn distance. The only reason these thieves charge more in the holidays is because they know that parents etc. have no choice but to holiday then. It is wicked and a disgrace.

I really think this issue should be taken up by parents and seriously lobbied for.

Also, an enterprising travel agent or holiday company willing to charge reasonable rates during the holidays could seriously command a massive chunk of the market and then force the other companies to behave decently. Any enterprising business people out there willing to take up the challenge?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

I have been remiss

I don’t take back my sentiments from yesterday’s post – but after watching the memorial service yesterday for MJ I was struck by one thing I had shamefully forgotten – On June 25th somebody’s daddy died and that is incredibly sad.

When MJ’s daughter said her piece it was a reminder that in the middle of all this there is a human tragedy and great loss.

As I said yesterday, the media and the public should not deify the man or gloss over things that were wrong but the family should also be comforted. Perhaps it is time for those who aren’t family to leave this all alone. And in that fashion . . .

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

MJ is dead but many are mourning the wrong departure

I don’t usually agree with much in the Daily Mail but take a look at this article. Basically this guy is saying that MJ was very likely a paedophile and people should not be lauding him to this degree while forgetting the real achievements and contributions of people like teachers and firemen.

Some may say why bring this up now he’s dead – it’s uncharitable and may hurt his loved ones. I say it needs to be brought up because people seem to have forgotten and seem to be saying, ‘yeah well, he may have molested a few kids but it’s alright because he was a great artist.’ This is dangerous thinking. Wrong is wrong – it doesn’t change just because someone dies.

Use his death to reflect on the problem of molested kids and the equally large problem of people ignoring this issue.

The departure of decency and god sense that the collective amnesia about child molestation is what should be mourned and it should lead us to act to prevent these crimes from being committed.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The argument for a republic

I am in favour of a republic for the UK.

People say we ‘only’ pay about 69p per person for the royal family. My point is why should we be paying anything at all? Here are the facts. All taxpayers – many of whom can barely make ends meet, contribute money towards a family who by the accident of birth are deemed royal. This family doesn’t work and they are given palaces and mansions to live in and lucrative estates which earn massive incomes. They are lauded as the cream of society and don’t ever have to worry about feeding themselves or having a roof over their heads.

This is not right in any circumstances but even more so in a recession.

Some argue that they are of tourist value. So they are – but are you telling me that if the UK became a republic then the royal family wouldn’t still be a tourist attraction?

I say get rid of their official status – make the lot of them earn a living by contributing to the economy. Lord knows it would probably allow them to have healthier family lives. And let us all eat by the sweat of our brows and be citizens of the country we contribute to instead of subjects to a family that contributes nothing.

Oh – and let us have a proper national anthem as well – something rousing about what our country means to us and how we will contribute to it. Not an entreaty for God to save the Queen who as head of the COE should already be saved in the Christian sense and certainly doesn’t need saving in any other

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Mentality of a Winner

In the Independent the other day (June 23) Dominic Lawson spoke about the spirit of a winner. He was talking about Andy Murray and how some people say he’s not the most genial of men. Dominic’s position was so what – In order to be a winner in anything, you have to have a single mindedness of purpose. He also mentioned a very successful cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan, and how even though he is go great he still practices religiously.

It got me thinking about the winning mentality and he is right. If you want to do extremely well in anything you have to be focused, and willing to put in some hard graft – and be mentally strong enough that setbacks don’t cripple you.

So, if you are striving to achieve a particular goal I think this is very worth keeping in mind.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Make Sport Count For Our Kids

There have been a few stories in the Gleaner lately about Jamaica’s success in Athletics and what can be behind it. The consensus is (and I agree) that it is the special emphasis placed on sports in school and the healthy competitive atmosphere that is created in Jamaica.

It got me and HRH talking – why doesn’t the UK do likewise? In the States too they have a very successful system whereby kids who take part in sports and do well can earn scholarships to university – this helps them to get an education so that when or if the body gives out they have a profession for which they are qualified.

Here in the UK the most popular sport in terms of young people wanting to get into it is football. It seems as though extremely young, not particularly well educated boys are taken into this very fast world and then if they are good, get millions of pounds thrown at them. Surely it would be more helpful if they got to the top by moving up through a system that supported them and educated them?

Also, this ridiculous notion that some official and people seem to have that competition is unhealthy is exactly the opposite. Life is competitive – the best win the best get the best. Failing to train out kids to have a healthy competitive advantage does them a great disservice when they go out into the world and does the country an even greater disservice by lumping us with low aspiration, low achievers.

If we want to be the best at anything it’s time to look at others who are successful and learn some key lessons. Let’s face it, the UK is not successful when it comes to sport by design – this is the key point - by design. Those that have done well have done so through their own hard work but I am sure we could have more doing even better if there was a sensible system. Also, we would end up with young people who are educated enough to deal with the massive sums of money they will earn and who will be able to be effective in other areas once their sporting careers are over. Also, with a healthy competitive spirit we would all be the better. Being stretched and challenged to do your best is extremely healthy.

It is worth investigation.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Please Take Care

What has happened today in Ireland is a disgrace. Sadly it is not too surprising.

What many Brits take to be tolerance and progress in areas of what they call race relations and what I call basic decency - has largely been a joke.

Here's what's happened over the past twenty or thirty years:

Non-white people have become sick of racist attacks - often after particulaly traumatic events. They have then been pushed to fight back and through this fight legislation has been enacted - under duress mind - so that white people cannot discriminate - let me correct myself, so that white people cannot be caught discriminating.

There has been no heart change - no introspection about the evil nature of being a racist in the hearts of white people as a whole - it's just the cultural climate and laws that have kept them in the closet.

Now, with the resurgence of the racists by getting elected under the guise of people being unhappy with the mainstream parties they are coming back out - hence events like what happened to those 20 Romanian families in Ireland.

People, the legislation has been enacted what is needed now is heart change but only white people can do this!

Non-white people, sadly that means we're screwed as far as I can see.

But we can do our part. It is our duty to call white people on being racist and stop keeping quiet and sucking it up. And I'm not talking about prosecutions and suing I'm talking about reason and 'drawing a crowd.' So when they make racist comments no mater how unobtrusive they might seem call them on it publicly. When they are silent on issues like those in Ireland, bring them up and force them out into the open. Sadly though, it is over to them. We cannot change their hearts for them.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Stop the Assault on Reason

I highly recommend a book called ‘The Assault on Reason” by former US Vice President Al Gore. In it he intelligently presents the case that without reason democracies cannot function.

One of the arguments he gives is that if the electorate is more concerned with the minutiae of ZZ list celebrities than they are about issues that affect them, then corrupt governments can continue to exploit the electorate.

This is exactly what happens in the UK. The last election, (the one w few weeks ago) the turnout was less that 40% I believe – it was definitely less than 50%. That means that a minority of the British electorate has decided who is in power. That is not what democracy is supposed to be about! I get the impression that most people believe democracy is a one way street – with governments supposed to do all and the public nothing. But we the public are the ones who have the power to put politicians in charge and the keep them there. If you don’t exercise that right and responsibility to vote then how can you expect things to function in a way that is beneficial to the electorate?

It is time for British people to wake up and take an interest in the things that affect us. Which cretinous idiot is doing what mind bogglingly stupid activity on a brain dead watching show like Big Brother is of now consequence. Indeed, if the electorate was doing and being what they should – there would be no market for Big Brother-like shows. Now, we need to be concerned with and knowledgeable about the issues that affect us and our families. And people that will take some effort. This will mean reading stuff and extrapolating from it and asking questions and taking part – like getting off your arse and voting.

Let’s get it together shall we?

Monday, June 08, 2009

Stop Lying

There are a number of political parties in existence in the UK. There are the three majors and more than five minors. Let me list the parties (apart from the majors and the BNP) that were on the ballot in my neighbourhood:

1) The Christian Party
2) The English Democrat Party
3) Jury Team
4) No2EU Yes to Democracy
5) Pro Democracy Libertas:eu
6) Socialist Labour Party]
7) The Green Party

That means if you were disaffected with the three majors –apart from the racist BNP voters had a choice of 8 parties.

If out of the total 12 party choices you had, you decided to go for the racist party – you are a racist – not a disaffected voter. Full stop. Stop lying.

White British voters should really stop and take stock and ask themselves ‘What does it say about us when people who claim to be disaffected with the major parties decide to vote for the racists?’ This is a very dangerous state of affairs. If we as a human race insist of failing to learn from past mistakes we will be doomed to repeat them. How many times in the past have evil and stupid people used disaffection with the status quo as an excuse to enact all manner of barbaric racist acts?

If you really aren’t a racist there needs to be some introspection and some honest debate and some gathering of facts. Too many times I hear these people who have decided to vote BNP and claim not to be racists, spouting information that is incorrect and it’s quite obvious they haven’t bothered to source any facts.

People, running a country involves a wide range of very important issues – if you think that the UK can be run solely on the premise than anyone not white shouldn’t be here – you make a sad mistake.

If you vote BNP you are a racist. If you say otherwise you are a racist and a liar.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

If Only They Would All Do It . . .

Got a letter today from a bank I owe money to. They offered to take £200 off of the debt if I paid £20 a month more than I am and so clear the debt within 12 months.

Previously, they had sent a letter saying they would take a certain percentage off if I would clear the debt immediately. I am in debt to them because of all that goes with the credit crunch (not willing to divulge details here) and so of course their offer was meaningless too me. Now the offer I got today was very usable - I need a reduction in the overall bill, a cessation of interest and a monthly payment I can manage in my reduced circumstances. Now we both win - they get some, well most of their money, I reduce my debt and pay it off within a year and am able to live. Now if all other institutions were reasonable they would stay in business, get their money and people would be able to keep their stuff.

I hope circumstances will prompt other companies to act accordingly. In the meantime I encourage you to make offers to your creditors along these lines.

On another note - I have found the magic formula for losing weight - you ready? Here it goes.

Step 1: Eat only the calories you need (about 2100 for women and 3100 for men but check according to your lifestyle). Eat when hungry and stop when full.
Step 2: Exercise at least 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week.

Aim to lose 2lbs a week and it will stay off.

See - magic isn't it?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

What Hazel Blears did today was wrong.

Imagine, on the face of it she is upset that the Prime Minsiter took her to task for not paying capital gains tax. Firstly she shouldn't be upset about that, she ought to be ashamed as should everyone else who claimed when they shouldn't. Secondly, how immature and destructive to the party and the public is it to resign in this way just to (as it seems) thumb her nose at the PM.

Voters, don't let these types of shenanigans distract you from the serious matter of voting and voting intelligently.

Make it count tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It Must Stop

If you are a christian (and I am) then certain things are extremely clear. For instance, sex outside of marriage is wrong. If all who call themselves christians kept within the paramters of this one law then a great deal of suffering would be avoided.

God's intention for christians is unity and our guide the Bible is pretty straightforward on the important matters. This is why I am angry at certain groups calling themselves christians who continue to sin by careful design. Once you have made the decision to accept Jesus as your lord and saviour then certain behaviour change needs to take place. How can it be then that so many leaders in the Roman Catholic church knew about the sexual abuse of kids in Ireland (and other instances across the world) and facilitated it by not reporting the perpetrators?

This is unspeakable, sinful and a terrible witness. At no point at all did the suffering of these children ever seem to concern these people in authority.

This is most certailny not what God wants of us at all - this is sin and God cannot look upon sin in any way. When will so many Roman Catholics who seem to put their denomination and all the 'add on rules' they have come up with before Christ, repent? And when will the abuse of children by men who call themselves men of God cease?

It is a multi faceted problem but a major part has to be down to one of those 'add on' rules the RCs like to make up - that of celibacy. God does not call on people to be celibate for life. There is a healthy place for sexual relations - within marriage and people are more than capable of ministering to other Christians if they have a family. Imposing celibacy is obviously useless - many of these men are finding a terrible outlet for their urges. As Paul said, better to marry than burn so why on earth do they not marry?

Because it isn't that simple is it? These priests are slipping sexually but they could just as easily slip by having affiars with women. The fact that they are choosing to molest children is a sign of a deeply embedded sin. We must be careful not to pervert ourselves and our natures in the name of God. The RC church needs to realise they are God's church and get down to Christian basics - including hauling any child molester in front of the police as soon as they are found out! They must stop facilitating sin - there is no excuse for it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


So they have got rid of the speaker.

Yes, he should have gone but my feeling is that MPs bayed for his blood as a diversionary tactic. I believe they think that by piling the blame on the Speaker, it will be diverted from them. But the fact is that anyone who defrauded the taxpayer of money needs to be dealt with within the parameters of the law. It remains to be seen if this will happen.

Watched ‘Dispatches’ on channel four last night. It was on British bankers. It seems that in spite of the crash, they are still earning unbelievable salaries, bonuses and pensions in spite of there being no wealth created from which these salaries etc. can come from.

That my friend, is the crux of the matter.

A person should be able to earn, yes earn their living and if able, to earn a pretty hefty one. If wealth was created by these banks, then the bankers, along with the employees of those banks, and shareholders, should benefit. What seemed to have happened and amazingly seems to still be happening, is that bankers are not earning anything – they are just taking large sums regardless of the performance of their banks, in many cases while they have been responsible for the dismal performance of their banks. Some of the figures quoted on ‘Dispatches’ last night were astronomical sums being paid to replacement bankers of banks now controlled by the taxpayers i.e. people who were put in place after the robber barons were booted out by the government!

Non-executive members of the banks who were supposed to be the internal watchdogs, and the official watchdogs didn’t do anything. The government didn’t – it has now been revealed that they were basically doing the same thing but with tax payers money.

It is a colossal mess and a disgrace.

One of the men on last night’s programme used to work at one of the banks that the governments now control. His pension after 30 years amounts to £14 per week. That former CEO’s pension (which he can get from age 51) amounts to £5,800 per week according to the programme. If this is true this is heartbreakingly wrong.

I believe that you must be rewarded in proportion to your contribution but are you convinced that the CEO’s contribution was that much more valuable than the middle manager? Especially when the bank went pretty much bust?

There is a serious class problem in the UK and it is not the one the working class are always on about. It is one in which a certain echelon of society, in their heart of heart believes that people like them deserve to be given vast sums of money for doing precious little and for contributing precious little in the way of ideas and innovation while those that do the work and add the value should be satisfied with nothing. It has little to do with the background you were born into. I know people with that attitude who were born into working class backgrounds. Additionally this greedy class believes that those who are educated and use that education and have morals and are willing to work hard, owe it to them to give their services for very very little and dare you not ask to be remunerated in keeping with your obvious contribution – it makes them apoplectic and it makes you mysteriously redundant.

There is going to be trouble because lessons have not been learned.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Going After Your Dreams

This has been on my mind lately. And I now realise something. If there’s something you want to do – you need to start putting in the work NOW and not later. And it doesn’t matter how old you are. There’s still time – until you’re dead.

The road many of us travel – go to school get a decent degree, get an office job and for many of us – ‘then stagnate until you die’ is not helpful to put it mildly.

I never really put much thought into what I really wanted to do and I am paying for it now.

If I had thought about it or had been encouraged by teachers and parents to do something specific then I would have had a lot longer to work on it. Now, at 37 for many areas, the ideal time frame has gone – not to say you can’t blaze trails, but it is more difficult to become say a world renowned pop singer when you are pushing 40.

So, if there’s something you want to do, research it, work at it and get on with it. And if you have kids, see what their inclinations are and guide them into areas that can develop them – they will thank you for it.