My Solution To The Public Sector Strikes

Unless you live under a rock, you’ll know that the UK economy is in difficulties, has a large debt (60% of gdp or 103.5% if you include future pension commitments and a few other things) and a deficit of about 13% of gdp, ie this is what we are adding to our debt every year.

Note only Iceland and Greece have a larger budget deficit in the world.

This is clearly unsustainable.

Everyone has to play a part in getting the country working again, and back to a sustainable footing – those of us in the private sector have had our wages held down and many have lost their jobs, or have given up a month’s wages or bonuses to keep their companies afloat in extreme difficulties, or worked extra hours.

Oh and before anyone says that the generous public sector pensions are due to lower average pay – this is not true any more.  The average public sector worker earns more than the average private sector worker.  By about 10%.  Along with a pension about 25% more valuable.  Oh and private sector workers are thought to work 20-25% more hours than public sector workers over their lifetimes.

Sadly the public sector trade union leaders and many of their members see themselves as exempt from having to contribute towards fixing the UK economy.

Many simply blame the banks as if it is their fault – when the banks contribute huge amounts to our economy, and the very large wages that some people are paid are taxed very heavily.

I am going to try my hardest not to loath all of those on strike, like I do their trade union leaders who I dearly despise nearly as much as people like Robert Mugabe, after all, not everyone on strike will understand the financial situation of the UK and the potential future difficulties, and some probably don’t take any notice of what is going on and just get told by the union leaders that the nasty government is attacking them.

I am sure many of those on strike are probably just sticking up for what they believe in, which is exactly what I am doing now – the return of a well-run country with sound finances and a good future with a strong economy, good employment levels, low crime and more housing.  Not what we will have if we don’t fix our finances.

It is after all, an idealogical battle that the trade unions are trying to fight against the Conservative party, using their members as pawns.

In an ideal world, if this continues, I would like to see my government fight back.  Remember the coal miner’s strike?  What did we do?  Build nuclear plants.  No more need for coal.

Sadly I am not sure how to replace schools.  Though perhaps if a couple of hundred were shut down, especially in Labour areas, that could be quite amusing.

We could always sack the immigration officers and just let anyone in.  That seemed to be the policy of the Labour government, oh except they probably didn’t sack anyone, just told them to let everyone in (so they would get more votes, goes the slightly debatable theory, though it sounds good).

But maybe we actually need a solution.

I suggest setting some targets for public finances, such as a reduction of debt – in 1990 it was just 25% of GDP.  Perhaps if we get it back down to this level (for example), then we can offer an increase in the pension contributions made by the government.  And if the debt goes back above, say 40% of GDP, then this extra contribution is then stopped.

Therefore public sector workers would have a personal interest in a sensibly run economy.

Reasons To Be Cheerful 28th June 2011

1.  I have 5 weekends in a row with really good plans; this one Martin’s birthday, 9th CITP (number 6), 17th meeting my sister, 23rd having a catch up with my best friend from university days, 28th (albeit a Thursday) Nicolas Jaar at fabric, maybe, just maybe, Ricardo on the Saturday.  July looks very good 🙂
2.  I had broccoli without gravy for probably the first time ever yesterday and surprised myself that not only was it edible without gravy, it was still nice without gravy.  Bonus because I don’t always want gravy especially when it is rather hot, and I really like broccoli.
3.  There is a chance of a thunderstorm in Reading today.  A small chance, we really would have to get lucky.  But it is a chance.  2pm – 3pm perhaps.
4.  Just 2 days until pay-day.  I’ve only been counting down to this for 16 days I think.
5.  6 whole days until I am moaning about being skint.
6.  12 days until Cocoon In The Park – Seth, Reboot, Ricardo and Sven – could it be any better?
7.  Public sector workers and teaching staff going on strike on Thursday, and marching through Reading town centre.  I am also considering going on strike so I can through eggs at them.  Delighted to see very little in the way of sympathy for them in the local newspaper.  Actually, I need my wages.  Sick day perhaps?  (HR – this is a joke).
8.  Ginsters large sausage rolls.  Part of my 5 a day, they do count as vegetables, right?
9.  The hot girl at work is looking very hot.
10.  And the biggest reason of all is that it is the 107th birthday of Hull City today.  Yes the football club which has given me about 5 years of good memories supporting them, and 20 years of pain and frustration.  Joyful pain and frustration.  I asked the club if there is a fan who has supported us for 107 years – the oldest season ticket holder is 94, quite some going.

A Weekend More Boring Than Work! Hurry The **** Up Pay-day!

That has to go down as one of the more boring weekends that I have had this year, and I am increasingly having boring weekends…well 1 in 4 are anyway which is way too much for my liking.  No money and no friends around to keep me entertained culminates in inevitable boredom.  I actually had more fun at work last week.

It isn’t quite time for a drastic change yet, it is after all the age of austerity so I just have to get used to being increasingly bored.

All is not lost as the next two weekends promise much more fun, with a trip to some dodgy restaurant in London so my good friend, Martin, can introduce us to weird South African food for his birthday weekend, and the one after that, Cocoon In The Park.

Oh and just about to book tickets to see Nicolas Jaar live at fabric on Thursday 28th July.  Also playing are Soul Clap and Gadi Mizrahi.  Huge fans of all of these – last time Nicolas Jaar played fabric it sold out well in advance so if anyone fancies joining, get a ticket.

There was one highlight this weekend – the adorable Heidi doing the Essential Selection on Radio 1 – I love her music and her positive energy that she puts into her radio shows, sadly too rare an occasion on Radio 1.  Amusingly for my little mind, she played 5 tracks in a row with the word ‘jack’ in – nothing to do with the fact she has a compilation CD out called ‘Jackathon’, I am sure.

Oh, and the sunshine was good yesterday though an uncomfortable night’s sleep with a very warm and stuffy top floor flat with my windows open so tosser’s could wake me up driving as loud and fast as they could especially to wake up as many people as possible, at regular occasions during the night.  Oh and now I have a stiff neck thanks to having to have my window open – happy days.

Thankfully it should be a bit cooler tonight, especially if we have a downpour later on – am I the only person to have brought an umbrella to work?  If anyone is obsessed like me, then netweather are going live UK storm-chasing streaming later today, dependent on the strength of a mobile broadband signal.  Useful for me as it seems that Reading always misses out on the good storms.  That is about the only reason I could ever want a car so I could go chasing storms!  Weather forecast tonight.  It should be fairly positive.

I did want to go down to the cafe at work for breakfast but I have just remembered that I am boycotting it as they have put a limit on the amount of sachet’s of ketchup that I am allowed.

Very thankful for my blog even if only a dozen people will read this – I always seem to put a smile back on my face when I write it 🙂

Enjoy your week.

The Problem With Socialism Is That Eventually You Run Out Of Other People’s Money (Oh, And My Thoughts About The Weekend And Exciting Things!)

Oh, Maggie, thank you ever so much.

I have just read an interview with her, back in 1976, a full 3 years before she became Prime Minister.  It is a fascinating read, if you have the time.  She really was on the ball.  So many comparisons between then and now.

Just one quote for my blog, in reply to the interviewer’s question of “There are those nasty critics, of course, who suggest that you don’t really want to bring them [incumbent Labour government] down at the moment. Life is a bit too difficult in the country, and that … leave them to sort the mess out and then come in with the attack later … say next year”

“I would much prefer to bring them down as soon as possible. I think they’ve made the biggest financial mess that any government’s ever made in this country for a very long time, and Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite a characteristic of them. They then start to nationalise everything, and people just do not like more and more nationalisation, and they’re now trying to control everything by other means. They’re progressively reducing the choice available to ordinary people.”

Spot on Maggie – what did Labour nationalise?  The banks.  Control things?  Socialists?  Other people’s money…ie China’s money?

Anyway, that is my rant for now, Maggie remains an inspiration.

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Individualism.  Perhaps I need a bit more of it in my life.

This weekend, I don’t have much in the way of plans, but I fully intend on basking in the very warm or perhaps hot sunshine of Sunday, down by the River Thames.  By myself quite possibly, either way I shall make it enjoyable.

And there is just a chance that we might get a thunderstorm come Monday night, into Tuesday, I do love a good storm.  There is more potential there than I have seen in years for something quite severe – but it is only potential for the UK, say 15% chance of it coming off.  It will most likely be France, Belgium & Netherlands that get to experience something quite special, albeit quite damaging too.

On the off-chance it comes our way, it should be one that everyone talks about for days, and many remember for years.  The potential is there but it is more hopecasting right now.  Maybe in a couple of summer’s time – it is getting closer each summer.

Back to individualism, I booked my coach journey from London to Leeds and back, for Cocoon In The Park.

I was initially disappointed when I realised that every single person that had previously said that they were up for going to Cocoon In The Park dropped out, but they need to have their adventures, and I need to have mine.  It is a long time since I have done something like this, I am almost breaking some of my own boundaries – kind of as if I am going travelling, but only for one day!

I’m actually quite excited about doing it on my own, and I will have nobody to look after or point in the right direction – I can be free and do exactly whatever I want to do.

Enjoy the sunshine!  Weather forecast…

How To Assault Coppers And Get Away With It

You cannot say that I don’t write some really useful stuff on my blog.  This will help you if ever Labour get back in charge of the UK and we turn into Greece.

If you want to assault a police officer and get away with it, follow this young female student’s idea.

She noticed that the police officers were wearing helmets, and therefore concluded that it was “fine” to throw missiles at them, for a whole 15 minutes, before being arrested.

This seems an acceptable defence, as she only received a 6-week suspended sentence.  Granted it won’t help her employability when it comes to trying a get a job in the future, but it is hardly punishment.

I note she is moving to Belfast so she won’t have the opportunity to get involved in riots in the future.

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Just in case there are any really stupid people reading this – this is not an encitement to violence, merely a little attempted humour.

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Ooh, here’s a thought, does this mean I can throw missiles at pavement cyclists?  Happy days 🙂

My Thoughts On How To Save The Euro & The Greek Crisis

There are two schools of thought on how to save the Euro when it comes to countries like Greece (which is the one currently most in the shit), one controversial, one very controversial.  Actually, there are three if you count the current one of keep lending to Greece but I’m not counting that as a solution as it is a temporary measure which to me is like a sticking plaster on a broken leg.

The controversial one, is let Greece default on it’s debt, ie going bankrupt in the process, and therefore having to leave the Euro.  This is espoused by the UK’s next Prime Minister, Boris Johnson (can you seriously see the public wanting Gideon in charge?  Though I do like him too).  He argues the case better than I can, but the Euro area countries did agree many moons ago to a Stability & Growth pact with large fines for countries that broke the rules on budget defecits.  France and Germany first broke the rules, and of course as the leading countries of the EU project, did not voluntarily fine themselves.

So, how do you then expect other countries to behave?

It should certainly make going on holiday to Greece cheaper – I remember going to Cyprus a few years back, seeing that it was a poor country with some really ramshackle infrastructure probably only marginally better than what was in Somalia (anyone else been on one of their buses?!), but yet many things were ridiculously expensive compared to the value I placed on them – taxis were more expensive than Reading!

Anyway, the very controversial one, which I prefer, is for the Euro countries to merge into one country, have the same parliament (preferably part of the existing European Union gravy-train as opposed to a whole new political structure), have the same polices on tax, and transfer money throughout the new large European country from the rich areas to the poor areas.  Just like we do in the UK, transferring money from rich London to the poorer north of England, Wales and Scotland.  Also known as expanding the public sector.

And I have come up with the perfect name for this country – Germany.  It may also make more sense if everyone spoke German too, it now being one country.

Those countries to the east not able to qualify to be part of this country, such as Poland and Czechoslovakia (wow, I spelt that correctly first time!), could also merge together, perhaps this area could be called East Germany.

To keep the rich West Germany safe from the poorer people in East Germany, perhaps a big wall could be built?

Anyone like my ideas?

I Want To Piss In A Resevoir

This is my new hero.  A man called Joshua Seater, urinated in a resevoir, causing it to be emptied of it’s 8 million gallons of water…

I had a lovely 12 hour sleep last night though I think I needed it to help me recover from the weekend, given that Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights I probably totalled 12 hours too.

Work is a little quieter than normal this week so I am going to take the opportunity to catch up with my training hours.

Outside of work is also very quiet, though that is mainly self-enforced due to the lack of funds.  I really have to find somewhere cheaper to live.  I have absolutely no idea how I am going to afford a trip to Ibiza – I really don’t want to have to miss out two years in a row.  Any suggestions?!

Due to this said lack of funds, I am going to have to keep this weekend very cheap.  Probably stay in on Saturday and clean the kitchen which is a mess.  But Sunday looks like being lovely, sunny and warm so I shall go down the river and have a few beers, hopefully I will find someone for company, but if not then I shall go on my own and take something to read, either way I’m happy.

The other conundrum is how am I going to get to and from Cocoon In The Park in Leeds without it costing me too much?  I am resigned to going by myself, but I’m not too fussed, I quite fancy an adventure on my own, though clearly going with other people is a preference.  However public transport and hotel will easily set me back £100 – not ideal.

Ooh, and I have just noticed that Ricardo Villalobos is playing fabric on 30th July, and the night is scheduled to finish 15 hours later at 2pm Sunday.  With a bit of luck he might be back to his best and won’t collapse in the DJ booth at 10am off his face (allegedly).  Actually, balls to that, I want him just like everyone else.

Oh and back to peeing in resevoirs…sarcasm doesn’t always come off so well on the internet, does it?  I don’t actually have any intention to urinate in a resevoir, nor is he my new hero.  But it did tickle me.

My Music History – 1994/95 – Twilight FM

I’ve always had an obsession with at least one form or other of dance music pretty much from when I first discovered it back in 1989, though until 1994, my only opportunity to hear new dance music was via the 2-3 hours of Pete Tong’s Essential Mix on Radio 1, from 1991.

Discovering Twilight FM, a pirate radio station in Hull, circa 1994, changed all of that for me.

It would start every week on a Friday evening, sometimes a Thursday if lucky, and go on through to the early hours, and then starting up late morning.  Except if they had been raided by the authorities or had their equipment stolen by smackheads.

During the day it played more in the way of house music and more commercially-minded dance music, but in the evening would get a bit more lively with rave, hardcore, a little techno and trance, and the beginnings of jungle music – my favourite forms of music during my rebellious and angry teenage years.

Rumour has it that at it’s peak, it could attract 20,000 listeners – quite a lot for a city of approx 250,000 but whether this is true and how it was calculated, I have no idea!

Over the weekend just gone, I discovered a few clips of a show, and had to have a listen.  Anyone who knows me from my minimal days may be rather shocked at how ridiculously fast and lively the music was.

I may give more snippets of my musical history – feel free to comment, would be interested in what others have to say, or whether they used to be into this.

How long can you manage to cope with listening to this?!  Anyone able to guess the BPM?  And can you translate the chatter?!

Part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4.

Roadtrip To Birmingham

Sometimes on a roadtrip, everything goes to plan – other times it is a comedy of errors and bad luck – this was definitely the latter category.

There is always some kind of calamity when my very good friend Matt is involved, and this time it involved his car gaining a flat battery before we had left Reading.
All was not lost, except a little time before we were back on the road and running smoothly – though with no guarantee that we would be able to start the car the next morning!

The weather was of course delightfully summery in a British kind of way, which never encourages people to embark on a night out, and then my Brummie friend Terry who was navigating us, decided to take us on a long tour of Birmingham rather than going directly to the venue.

I like Brummies – I don’t recall ever having met anyone from Birmingham that I didn’t like, and I met some more good, very friendly folk once again.

I like Birmingham too, though you can really tell that it has suffered in the recession. It has a certain air of despondency, like everyone is waiting to be rescued from the recession by a mysterious outside force. Completely unlike my adopted town of Reading with a grand total of about 3 buildings boarded up – some areas we drove through seemed like every other building was falling apart.

The pub, Hare & Hounds, was quite a good venue, sadly not that many people upstairs with the reliably enjoyable music from Matt, Terry, Dan and some Birmingham guys that were running the night. Probably part weather-related, part recession releated and maybe it was a student area and students have gone home – only guessing on that front though.

There were about 6 or 7 of us from Reading, only just beaten by the number of those from Birmingham, maybe there were 20 – and a couple of drunken rockers and punks from the room downstairs with the bands on which were seemingly loving it more than the house-heads among us!  More converts?

It ended early, assumedly due to a lack of people, and onto an after-party in this flat which was in the middle of a block with scaffolding everywhere, it was like they were converting a prison into flats. Quite weird. I did attempt some photography, but my skills aren’t the best when sober and are distinctly lacking at 4am, as you may be able to tell?!

Ahem.  Normally we have a decent photographer with us.  That isn’t in my repetoire of excellency.

And then to our own after-party in an apartment booked for 4 people – 6 made it in ok but it took a long time and a lot of persuading for them to let anyone else in, and quite a lot of hassle and stress from the sounds of it – I was attempting and still failing to sleep by this point – 48 hours and still going strong! Maybe not so strong, actually. And a £25 charge if we left any washing up – what the hell?

After an average of one hour’s sleep each, we then managed to find the car across the other side of Birmingham – and thankfully the engine started up.

It might have been slightly lacking in organisation and/or communication at times, I am a fan of things being organised and communicated, too old for too much randomness perhaps, but that didn’t stop it from being a lot of fun.

I nearly pulled out before we went and at the petrol station when we broke down, but definitely glad I persevered – it was worth it. Yet to have a roadtrip which isn’t a lot of fun, and very few of them pass without incident – unless of course I have organised it – you can trust me, I am from Hull.  Roadtrip to Hull, anyone?

Thanks to all involved.

Father’s Day

 I’ve got a lot of appreciation for my Dad, I doubt he realises this, although he is stuck in his ways a bit, he has taught me a hell of a lot.  I will likely reveal more over the years of my blog – I remember him saying one thing though, and that was that there is no more two interesting things in life than politics and cricket.

As much as I love music, I find it very hard to disagree that politics and cricket are both now fascinating to me – when he told me this as a child, I don’t remember what my response was but in my head it was “fuck off”.

But he was well on the ball when he said that.

I remember when I was about 8, insisting that he listened to Kylie Minogue.  He couldn’t stand her.  About 10 years later, he could really appreciate her.

Maybe now is about time to introduce my father to Sven Vath and Ricardo Villalobos?

Ha, ha, ha – happy father’s day on the off chance that you get around to working your way around the internet and onto my blog one day!