Unemployment Figures? – It depends on your definition of a job.

UnemploymentThe current Government are keen to claim that their policies are working and this is backed up by the number of new jobs created in the Private Sector to replace those being lost in the Public Sector.

It seems to me that if a job is so badly paid it needs to be subsidised by the State – it is NOT a job – it is a State-Funded Employment Scheme. It benefits not the recipient, who is just being raised above starvation level, but the parasitical business that pays the inadequate salary in the first place (and thereby their shareholders). Discount these jobs to get the true number of unemployed and you will see that we are making no progress whatsoever in job creation and we are supporting businesses that have an unworkable business model. Such companies should not be allowed to provide any public services of any kind and certainly should not be given tax breaks to encourage their parasitical behaviour.

Add into this the inherent insecurity of ‘zero hours’ contracts and you have an attempt it seems to me to return to the days where, for example, dock workers were obliged to turn up every morning and employers selected a few to work that day – often descending into the obscenity of throwing job tags in the air and watching the dockers fight amongst themselves for the work.

Decent pay and security of employment are intrinsic to any society that claims to be ‘civilised’.

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The Middle East

airstrikesThe Middle East conflict is complex – but here is my idea for a start. We set up a fund administered by the UN into which every member donates some cash to assist in the development of a Palestinian State. We apologise on behalf of our Government for invading Iraq – we can explain that whilst Saddam Hussain was a vicious thug – we overlooked the fact that our leaders, in particular Blair and Bush were too – and arrest them both and put them on trial at The Hague for War Crimes. We then confiscate all the wealth of both Blair and Bush and donate it to the Palestinian Fund. This could also be added to by diverting some of the billions paid to Israel used to suppress any chance of creating a viable two state option.

We than get the hell out of the Middle East until we are requested to do something by the UN.

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Capitalism – incompatible with social well being?

Alleged Tax Avoidance Here is a little change we could instigate immediately which, although totally neutral in effect, might actually challenge the thinking of some of our politicians. It is simply this.

MPs (Members of Parliament) should change to RPs (Representatives of the People).

So what’s in a name? – Well I think this would have the effect of reminding our politicians what they were actually in Parliament for, rather than making them sound like members of a club that the rest of us are excluded from.

It beggars belief that at a time when the people they are supposed to represent are suffering real hardship, imposed by them, they feel that they can even consider giving themselves a pay rise. This is simply obscene, and as the architects of the failure of policy that has led to the financial crisis, it is no more justified than the Bankers awarding themselves huge bonuses on the back of behaviour that has damaged us so badly and happened under the politicians (of all parties), watch.

In a just society, they would be suffering the same swingeing devaluation in their living standards that the people they are supposed to be representing are currently facing.

Perhaps then they would come to the conclusion that leaving anything important in the hands of private companies is not a good idea.

The executives of a private company have a duty to their shareholders not to society, so expecting them to do the right thing and voluntarily contribute to the well-being of the people is naive and stupid.

Business is amoral – it does not care about society, only profit; which is why they try to avoid as much tax as possible, pay starvation wages and live off the monies they can squeeze out of the public purse either via subsidies, tax breaks or by allowing the State to pick up the difference between the criminally low wages they pay and a living wage.

It is these businesses who are creating the massive welfare bill not the claimants.

The only way to get a proper rate of tax from these companies is to force them to pay tax on revenue generated in the Country – regardless of where the Company claims for tax purposes, the deal is finalised.

If they don’t then they should not be allowed to do business in the UK, and this is the major reason in my view for remaining in the European Union. If companies like Amazon, Google, Starbucks etc were told to pay tax or be excluded from the World’s biggest market, they would pay their taxes.

Personally if they wanted to take their toys and leave the Country – I’d happily hold the door open I can live without them.

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Our Latest Poll – on SNP outside Scotland

SNP LogoFollowing the recent Scottish Referendum result it is clear that the SNP policies met with significant support and that has triggered a new interest in achieving some kind of new deal for UK democracy, not only in Scotland, but in England, Wales & Northern Ireland too, where local interests are better reflected in a National Poll.

Our new Poll asks if joining SNP even if you don’t live in Scotland is a force for democratic change in the whole of the United Kingdom.

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The Government claims they have created thousands of new jobs…

Job CentreBut that really relies on a pretty loose definition of a job.

If you judge ‘a job’ by which you measure the level of employment at any given time as being someone in full time work (assuming they want to work full time) and who earns enough to not need to claim Working Tax Credit and who has guaranteed work (i.e. not a zero hours contract) – what do you think the true unemployment figure would be? Personally I think anything that doesn’t meet this basic criteria as far as I am concerned is not ‘A Job’ – it is a State funded employment scheme – and the unemployment figures are enormous.

Starvation wages does not in my opinion constitute a job by any sensible definition of the word.

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In the Beginning, There Was the Prologue

Absolutely right! I was told not to include a prologue so I included three! My view is that anything at the front of the book the author wants you to read first! If it is boring then that is the authors fault and bad writing – if you can’t write then Chapter 1 is likely to be just as boring. Anyone who says they skip over anything that doesn’t start ‘Chapter.. something’ is indulging in incredibly bizarre behaviour and is going to miss a lot of good books!

Guild Of Dreams

A few months ago I wrote about folding backstory into a narrative to give your readers the vital information they need without hitting them over the head with a history lesson. In that post, I quoted this received wisdom:

Don’t use prologues.

That advice comes from agents and traditional publishers who believe, based on the contents of their slushpiles, that “prologue” means “deadly boring waste of my time.”

MedeaThe actual definition of prologue is a separate introductory section of a literary work. Etymologically, the word comes from the ancient Greek prologos, which described the preamble to a play that established the setting and provided background information to enhance the audience’s understanding and appreciation of the drama. The Greeks may have given the prologue its name, but I’d lay odds they didn’t invent the literary device. Knowing human beings, I imagine we’ve been prefacing our stories since people could speak.

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The End of the Independence dream?

Stockholm Syndrome

I have taken a couple of days to mull over the outcome of the Scottish Referendum and it seems to me that a large proportion of the Scottish people were suffering from some kind of ‘Stockholm Syndrome’. On a lighter note I also thought of the scene from ‘Life of Brian’ where the prisoner – hanging as he was in chains from the wall of a Roman dungeon praises his oppressors crying ‘Nail them up, Nail some sense into them’!

I sit here in England 14 miles or so from David Cameron’s house and I am amazed at how easily 55% of my beloved Scotland fell for a fear and uncertainty campaign by unscrupulous politicians, an unholy alliance of Cameron, Clegg, Milliband, Brown, Darling, Galloway & Farage along with their paymasters in the finance sector and global business who pretty much brought the UK to its knees with greed and criminality in 2008 and continue to further transfer wealth and influence from the people to themselves.

They believe in nothing but their own power and influence.

We see violence beginning in the streets now as Scotland’s answer to the BNP and EDL inflict their racist and bigoted views on the Country and already the promises offered to the gullible by Cameron and Co and backed up by the traitor (not too strong a word I believe) to the Scottish people – Gordon Brown.

Brown is considered a laughing stock in England but somehow it seems an invigorated hero in parts of Scotland.

In my view he is for those of you who know your History ‘Toom Tabard’ to David Cameron as the modern day equivalent of John Balliol to Edward in the 14th century, a lackey to a far right agenda in the UK.

The promises made by these unscrupulous people are already unravelling as they started reneging on Brown’s empty promises even before the polling booths were dismantled.

So as they ask the 45% of you who saw through their empty lies and rhetoric to honour your agreement and give up your hope for Independence I would say an agreement is only valid when both parties adhere to its terms.

If Cameron and Co deliver ‘Devo Max’ then it would be perhaps a real agreement – but in my view they will not and are already making plans to renege on it to protect themselves from an attack from what really should be renamed the English National Party, UKIP, who hate Scotland and who refer to Britain and the United Kingdom, when actually they mean England.

Milliband panics at the thought of losing 40 or so MPs in Westminster if suddenly the Scottish Labour MPs can no longer vote on English matters.

Very soon we could have an extreme right wing Government with Farage, in coalition with other Scotland haters in charge of the so-called ‘United’ Kingdom.

You 55% made a mistake but what to do about it?

Get behind the SNP – leave Labour, Tory, LibDem whoever it is you think you support now and join the SNP until every representative of Scotland in Westminster cares about the people of Scotland.

Drive Brown, Milliband and his Red Tory traitors out of Scotland just as you have done with the Tories and the LibDems and hold Cameron and Brown to their promise and timetable.

The minute they break the ‘Devo Max’ promise they hinted at, but wont deliver. Then have another Independence Referendum.

This time you will win.

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