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Saturday, 29 August 2009

Big Brother Rubbish...

Glad to hear that c4 have come to terms with the fact that programmes like BB are no longer of any interest to most people. Apparently the figures show a drop in figures for those watching from 4 million to just 1. I must admit I just watched it now and then only because I am a student of human behaviour and like to observe how 'ordinary' people interact with each other. And of course the lesson from this year is that people behave in a strange way when they are out together and they know they are being watched. A lot of wannabes always apply to be on BB but most of them end up becoming has beens. The media plays with them chews them up uses them then spits them out. Ah well some people like the pain I expect. Disappointed with all the participants this year and even my favorite Rodrigo has gone down in my estimate. He has displayed levels of immaturity and has shown how false he is so I am hoping that they can all be evicted and the price money goes to water aid or some other real cause!

Friday, 28 August 2009

Linda Perks

I am going back to the piece I did on the 20th of August on 'fact or speculation' which was focusing on whether anyone will be standing for the General Secs position when the time came up. The interesting thing was that Mr or Mrs anon put a comment on that referring to a conversation he/she overheard on some train. I subsequently received a complain from another anon person stating that it wasn't fair on Linda Perks to be put in that position. I chose not to publish this comment as I did not wish to prolong or encourage the start of a negative exchange of comments on my blog but it has prompted me to say what I think of the whole situation and make a statement.
I worked with Linda Perks for a period of 2 years after her arrival in London when I was the Regional Finance Convenor (I was F Convenor in London 3 years before that as well) . We worked very well together and despite the rumour that she is the type to impose her will on whoever she works with this was not the case with our relationship. It is true that she does not tolerate those who simply wish to be disruptive but neither do I so despite coming from different directions we agreed on that. I also found her to be very flexible and very supporting. I can also confirm that she never tried to influence my views and had no problem whatsoever with my involvement with the United Left (they supported me) I can also state that she did not fight any proposals I came up with and more often than not she would agree to be persuaded to follow my line on finances. An example of this was the massive expenditure I got us to agree on the London European Social Forum event. So the fact is very different from thes fiction about how she works. I will go further and say that those on the Left who resisted the idea of me standing for the position of Convenor for London in 2005 made a huge mistake not because I would have been the best candidate for the job but because I would have been able to keep the balance between the different strands in London Unison. So quite honestly the United Left messed it all up for themselves and their arrogance is to blame for this. As for Linda Perks she has shown a remarkable degree of cleverness by being able to prevail and in a way achieve control over the region which is not what she was looking for when she arrived. She was simply looking to reach a balance. So in that respect I would say she is quite clever and very definitely on top of matters. I had no doubt that had I been the candidate for the position of Convenor things would have been different. So my message is to leave Linda Perks alone and attend a few courses on strategy and tactics before you get critical...

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

The Levithan is getting ready to go bad again...

I am informed (reliably this time rather than the opposite) that the Levithan is getting ready to go back to its old bad ways. Mike Suarez, the very competent it has to be said Director of Finance and Resources, has instructed his officers to go through the scrutiny stage of the budget process which starts in September, with the view to finding any existing fat so that it can be chopped off. This is of course what a competent Director of Finance with statutory obligations has to do but the move this year could be linked to an anticipated demand from central government and with directives coming out from the Treasury and our 'darling' Darlings obsession (he should change his surname!) with eating away the public sector. It looks like we will be returning back to the decrees from the Town Hall and instructions to reduce costs from anything between 10% to 15% this will of course affect staffing levels and morale will be hit. I am just grateful that Mike Suarez who anticipated these problems before has kept some funds in reserve. The question is whether the reserve has been reduced dramatically because my Labour 'mates' wanted to keep the Council Tax level as low as possible. The battle will start soon and I am expecting the first wave of cuts sometime in January so we must be ready to deal with this.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Telly hegemony

One of the great advantages of living in this green and rainy land of ours is that one can often whinge and moan without having to justify the reasoning or attribute the reason to the movement of the moon. So in the best of British traditions I wish to register my great dissatisfaction with the deplorable practice of using the same old boring presenters on national television. I am specifically annoyed at having to switch my telly on and see Philip bleeding Schofiled or Miline Klaus (not sure that's how you spell her name) I find this hegemonic practice to be unacceptable and do not accept that the BBC producers who are after all using my money are right to employ the same people all the time. Can someone tell me why Philip Scofield or Miline completely non event Klass is on our screens all the time? Why doesn't teh BBC give other younger presenters the opportunity? And what the bugger is special about Noel God Damn Edmonds? Promise to join the United Left if they start a campaign to expose and abolish this elitist practice (just imagine Andrew Berry or Sean Fox on the telly and why not?) and I will of course write to the BBC (done it a few times before) asking them to justify how they are spending my money??

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Where is the united left then?

The image on the left does not relate to the superb content of the article below.. it just looks good ..

Was wondering where the United Left is? Haven't seen or heard much from them? Does it mean they are on holiday in the Bahamas somewhere? Or is it cappuccino time around Piazza Di St Marco in Venice? Anyone knows what's happening?

Friday, 21 August 2009

The 1% offer...

Apparently the offer right now is for a 1% pay rise and if we don't accept it then even that will be withdrawn. This threat by the employer side reminds me of a conversation I had with my grandfather who died 3 years ago at the age of 94. He lived all his life in Greece and despite the fact that he was very knowledgeable he didn't travel abroad too much as he thought the weather in Greece was, on balance, better. Anyway he once asked me what it is that a big Trades Union in Britain does when there is trouble. I answered by saying we go on strike after we ballot members and then try and get some sections go out for longer periods by paying them and we also leaflet outside major buildings or march (rarely) down the centre of the town. He smiled and said that what I was describing was nothing he was used to and of course he was right. People will rarely win battles or struggles by simply complying to procedures put in place to protect the establishment. And of course as a reformist I am not advocating revolution but I am amazed how we have allowed ourselves to be put in this position where defeatist talk is being spread around. The message we should be putting out is that we must fight because the financial crisis that we are now expected to pay for was not created by us. The press and the government have very conveniently forgotten about the mess the bankers have created and have shifted their attention on to destroying the public sector to pay for the mess. What irritates me is that we have allowed this shift of focus and emphasis to take place without challenging it! So I am hoping people will be sensible and vote to reject this pathetic offer! Time to fight back and not give in!

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Speculation or fact?

I am unreliably informed that certain individuals may be preparing some people to stand for the position of General Secretary in the next elections for that position. The reality is that Dave Prentis could do it for another term and whatever anyone says he has held the fort well enough to win another term. Not everyone will be satisfied with what he has achieved but that is part of life. I am informed that even in my case some people don't like my approach or what I have done! (my mother is not happy with that of course!) Anyway the news or non news is that Linda Perks or Heather Wakefield could be the alternative candidates. Linda could be a strong candidate mainly because she is seen as someone who will take anyone on and could (wrongly of course) be seen as the one who 'managed to control' the London region. I won't make any comments on that but the general membership throughout the country will like that piece of PR so the reality is she could get a lot of support... but as I said before my money is on uncle Prentis doing it again... and I can confirm that Bannister wil probably be standing again and that Rogers will not!

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Should troops be in Afganistan or Iraq?

The answer to this is of course that on balance British troops or any other army should not be deployed in countries where they are clearly not wanted. There is also the fundamental question of whether the international rule of law (which I so much believe in) is broken by one country deciding to tell another what and how to do things.
There is no question in my mind however that Sadam Husein was a tyrant and the Taliban did not have policies that complied to PC standards so there is that conflict in my mind constantly which makes me feel that if women in Kabul are not allowed to be humans and if the freedom of expression that we so much cherish in the west is not afforded to them we should do something about it? And of course the answer to this internal conflict is that we in West should sort out our own problems before we tell everyone else what to do. And if the principle of invading foreign countries because they have breached moral standards is to be adhered to then why did we not do something to stop the genocide in Rwanda? Was it because that small country in the south East of Africa was of no economic importance to us? And if the answer to that question is yes then we have a big problem n our hands.
So some would say there is no way we can educate the Taliban to treat their people better and if that is correct do we then have the right to invade Afghanistan to make sure that they do? Is the price to pay too high? The answer is I do not know and this is indeed one area where more of a debate should take place.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Is the recession over?

It will appear that based on figures announced yesterday Japan, France and Germany could be out of the recession as the stats show signs of growth. This, however, isn't the case with the USA and Britain which means, I am afraid, that in a global market situation the knock on affect will be that the capitalist system has not sorted itself out. Economists will also tell you that the injection of false money into the economies of Western nations will only produced short term gains and will artificially boost demand which means that we will have a brief reprieve followed by a worst economic crisis later on. This brings on the question of whether the capitalist system which allows this kind of boom and bust is the right one and whether the United Left is right and we should be looking at alternative ways to manage our financial affairs. The capitalist system depends on human greed factors which is of course morally wrong. Should we be looking at alternatives?

Monday, 17 August 2009

Talk about Unison elections

Been rather busy lately so haven't been paying too much attention to detail on other blogs. But am I right in thinking that my mate Jon of the Rogers is making the wrong noises about the General Secretary election? Did someone suggest that Jon of the Rogers might be threatening to stand again? And of course I could speak to Jon as I see him every day but thought I should make it publicly known that if he has any funny ideas again he should forget them. It wasn't a good idea last time and it won't be a swell one this time either so I am hoping that this is just a storm in a tea cup and not a toe nail in a coffee cup! So this is a good way to making it clear that his 'pretorians' (someone called us that once) will not support this move again!

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Half Wit is out

Not much to say other than well done to channel 4 viewers for evicting the biggest twit in history out of the BB household. I know the entire programme is rubbish but we can learn lessons by studying human behaviour in action. He was an arrogant idiot who contributed greatly to his own demise. Good that he is out!

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Can Gordon save the world?

There are two ways to look and examine the theroy of whether Gordon has been responsible for saving the world. One way to see things is to go back and see that the first thing Gordon did as Chancellor was to remove regulation and make the bank of England independent and allow the markets to run riot in which case he was partly responsible for creating the current economic crisis. the other way to see this is to ignore what happened before and examine the steps he has taken since becoming Prime Minister to deal with the problem. If we look at option two then he has acted quickly and has shown strength and determination. His effort will produce short term results and a brief recovery (and it will be brief)
So in conclusion I would say beware of lawyers and support people of financial backgrounds (like myself) accountants may not make exciting speeches but they are practical and better equipped to run a modern country so Gordon is better than Cameron as he is a finance man. He will be able to save the country but it will be a short recovery that is my prediction as an accountant.
Vote for Gordon!

Thursday, 13 August 2009

How we won the war against privatisation

In December 1997 a foolish Lambeth Council ( dominated at the time by the Lib Democrats) made the decision to privatise the Revenues and Benefits service and the contractor Capita was awarded a 6 year contract. As a result the service went out and 238 public servants became private sector employees against their will. The Council saw an immediate benefit in that in the first year it achieved a 15% reduction in costs.
Unison engaged the community in the fight against the decision and a lot was done in the years before the decision was overturned in April 2001. The eventual return took place in July 2001 and this was a triumph for those of us who believe that public services belong and should stay in the public sector. But one of the arguments that we used during the long campaign was to go through the detail of what was going on and prove that the actual costs in real terms had gone up in the 2nd and 3rd years. We did this by going through facts and figures (especially figures) and analysing them. On top of that there was no improvement in the quality of service as many good assessors had chosen to leave rather than stay. So the factors that helped us win were a combination of careful campaigning and the methodical production of facts and figures proving that the move did not produce any savings in real terms at all. It was an accountants dream come true being able to prove your argument by referring to costs! The press was delighted to look at what we had and supported (indirectly) the campaign. But this effort needed the support of activists in the area who put a lot of hard work in achieving this major victory for the public sector. I think we can repeat the 2001 victory if we combine our efforts with hard campaigning based on facts and figures.
Privatisation does not work!! Get rid of it! Stop it!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Big Brother 10 and Half Wit

I know there is a lot more going on in the real world but can the thousands of readers who have not written to me please call the c4 lines and vote Half Wit (Freddie) out for God's sake! He is getting on my nerves and his scheming (very incompetent) has shown him to be totally useless at the game plus he is constantly trying to act but looks so false with it. The man is a disaster good thing that Bea has given him a piece of her mind . He has not got a clue and constantly gives out a negative vibe. He must be thrown out!!

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

The criminals behind baby P

The identities of those inflicting severe pain on baby P before his death has been revealed. These monsters were allowed to abuse a little Innocent baby and get away with it. I don't believe that simply punishing people changes attitudes or practices but on this one I will make an exception. These arseholes deserve what they get now. But we must also look at how under resourcing social services could have led to this and ensure that more is spend on making sure that there are enough trained people doing the job.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Is Big Brother of any relevance?

Research conducted by myself last night when I was asleep shows conclusive prove that the way the British public feels about race hasn't changed very much. Big Brother 10 is on right now and despite the fact that the ratings are down by a massive percentage there ares still 2 million viewers watching what's going on and some of them (not me) bother to vote when evictions are on. If Big Brother teaches us something it is that people like to get involved with gossip and find criticising others that are on display interesting. That is why nonsense about the royal family or the Beckhams or Pete Andre's split with Jordan (who doesn't want to be known as Jordan) are still filling front pages of some toilet papers.
Anyway the only bit that I am interested in regarding BB is the way the 'inmates' have managed to nominate all the Black contestants from the 'show' and how the public has obliged by voting them all out. This is a worrying trend and if C4 viewers are representative of the British public then we should worry about the fact that we haven't progressed as far as we want to in the race relations field. Am I right?

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Pensions again...

Been busy lately and haven't been able to write anything I often write something as I find it therapeutic but pressure coming from social life and the rest meant I was out of circulation so apologies to the thousands of readers who must have been wondering what has happened to me.
Was not shocked to hear this morning (after I managed to wake up) that the 'Institute of nothing better to do than create problems' (same institute that decided that the problems created by the bankers -there's a w missing there-) should be paid by those of us at work. Anyway the same tossers are now recommending that the government should change the retirement age from 60 to 70. I obviously object to this and I think they should do us all a favor and increase the limit to 102 that way we won't have any problems interrupting our working routines and drop dead at work. This will also allow the government to collect more taxes to pay for the huge deficit created by their banker friends. Well it all makes sense! Plus we can all have an 7 year mortgage which will reduce the monthly repayments? They are all mad!!

Monday, 3 August 2009

Lords and demons...

There was something on the news this morning that prompted me to write on the subject of dishing out titles. We have a system in this country that allows for the continuous perpetuation of total inequality a system that isn't used in many civilised societies. We have of course Lords and Ladies and a plethora of other people carrying titles with them to make them feel different and distinguished from other members of society and this dates back to ancient times. People who have acquired these titles were simply those able at the time to push themselves up on the pyramid of power and most of these guys achieved this greatness by being rather nasty to everyone else. So your average Catlee thief 800 years ago (someone who would be in jail today) got themselves a title that their children and their children's children are carrying on today. We also have a new version of this total nonsense where a Prime Minister dishes out titles to people who have done very little other than help them retain power so we have people like Mandelson being called Lord Mandelson? Isn't it time that we grew up and got rid of these disturbing system of inequality and removed all titles? We are all equal. The other way to deal with these total nonsense (and am saying this at the risk of losing my opportunity to be knighted in the Queens honors thingy) sell titles to raise money for those in need. Make them cheap enough so that we can all afford to buy them. In other words we could have Lord of the Rogers and Lord of the Grays and Lady Perks? Or maybe not?? Get rid of titles I say! There was nothing Devinne about Elgin or bloody Mandelson!!

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Miliband and Labour

Those of us involved with the 'internal affairs' of the Labour party are horrified with the rumours circulating amongst constituencies of a possible take over by David Miliband. It is becoming increasingly obvious that the Miliband circus is putting extra effort into preparations to get him (and the rest of his brothers, sisters and cousins) into the number one position. This will be a tragic move for the party as he has no charisma or much to say, or as my neighbour said the other day (not totally agree but..) he looks false. In fact I was watching BBC news 24 last night and observed how uncomfortable he looked next to a confident Hillary Clinton. Labour must not make this major mistake! Get old Labour people back in!