Thursday, 16 October 2014

Able Bodies

What do you have to say to get noticed these days? Judging by the latest crop of Apprentice wannabes a load of bollocks ought to do it. Or you could just tell the truth. Lord Freud is in trouble because he did just that. Okay it may be a truth we don’t want to hear and he might have couched his utterance in less stark terms but it’s still true and for the avoidance of doubt I repeat it here. Some people, economically, are worth less than others. I know; what a heartless bastard I must be. I make no claim to be otherwise but nevertheless the market daily sets people's individual worth, based on their productivity, abilities, availability and yes, sometimes, their actual appearance.

Only one person in the world can be, say, Bruce Willis, while for all their efforts the majority of the world’s billions might be better utilised as furniture. Why should it be somehow inhumane to say that some people, for whatever reason, make a smaller contribution to a nation's wealth than others? Lord Freud is guilty of only one thing - being recorded giving an answer in a public forum, allowing Labour to wait for a PR opportunity to use it in faux-anger. The PC World we now inhabit peddles all sorts of misguided equal-opportunities garbage and woe-betide the public figure who forgets that the whole purpose of opposition is to prevent the government from running the country.

Thus a perfectly rational response to a valid - albeit fundamentally tricky - question about how to finagle the minimum wage rules, yet still make it possible to employ disabled people without bankrupting companies, whilst also protecting their feelings has become the latest demonstration of why lefties are unfit to run anything, ever. Their sensitive skins prickle at the merest mention of harsh reality, or more likely they are just in tune to anything from which they can  raise a stink of outrage.

I heard a spokesmanperson for DAM ('Disabilities are Marvellous’) or whatever on the PM programme insisting that, in effect, disabled people are just as abled as non-disabled persons. That far from 'dis' their ability was not only absolutely fabby, but that they may even possess super powers... just so long as they were assisted in some ways. Thus a limbless window cleaner could be just as productive as a fully-complemented one, were they only accompanied by, say, an actual window cleaner. She tied herself in knots trying to be politically on-message and deny the evidence that all disabled people have to face and overcome daily.

I could have been somebody; I could have been a contender. I could have been a millionaire, if only somebody would give me a million quid. I could be an international movie star; all I lack is the looks and the talent... and the luck. And sadly, luck is a very real and harsh aspect of all this. The cards are not dealt evenly, but to try and pretend otherwise is disingenuous. Plenty of disabled people put up with their unfair lot and want nothing other than acceptance by society, while others genuinely do need every bit of help we can provide. Lord Freud was actually mooting such help.

Not for political gain, Mr Miliband

I have no axe to grind about disabled rights; many people overcome what to the rest of us seem insurmountable challenges to do sterling work at all sorts of levels... sometimes around about waist height. Okay, bad taste (even I can see that) but you may be surprised to learn that disabled people have a sense of humour... yes, just like the rest of us; you prejudiced pre-judger you. And while they rightly hate being dismissed they also hate being treated with kid gloves. Or as if they weren't there. I heard no actual disabled voices raised in genuine, first-hand protest, merely those of disabled rights ‘activists’ and opportunist political knob-jockeys. So, do you want the truth? Or the lie that the grasping, manipulating left give any more of a fuck about you beyond your vote?

Monday, 13 October 2014

Doing the maths

You go to work for forty hours a week and earn, being over 21, £6.50 per hour. That’s £260 which, after tax earns you the princely take-home wage of £233.62, assuming you are paid 52 weeks of the year. As a lowly cleaner/shift-worker/shelf-stacker this is your lot in life and it doesn’t even cover your rent and basic services, so the state steps in and helps out with a few thousand quid to keep you in your sub-standard, cold and damp private let and you struggle gamely on, juggling work, kids and what home life you have (television) in this life you never asked for.

Next door, the family on £26k a year in benefits, the equivalent of a salary of £34k, carry on their life of relative ease and never see you as you leave for work each day because behind their curtains they are sleeping away last night’s revelry; any night can be a party night if you have nothing to get up for. But hey, you say, that’s okay because it’s some other idiot’s tax they are spending, you get back many times the paltry £1371.68 you pay in each year and you believe that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

“Mustn’t grumble” your grandfather said and after all, you’re not living on the street and starving, we have a mostly-free health service and a pretty decent societal moral compass. But, still, a pay rise wouldn’t go amiss, so you ask… and you are denied. Mr Miliband says he will increase the minimum wage, but it turns out that so, too, will the coalition and in the same timescale. In a misty memory of a long-forgotten maths lesson you dimly remember that if wages rise, so will prices, but you don’t get a chance to observe this in practice because soon your hours are reduced. A rival firm, employing only migrant labour on sub-minimum wage is taking work from your employers.

With a sigh and a stiffened upper lip you take yourself off to the Job Centre to discover that few locals are finding employment and much of the background chatter is foreign, but at least they have plenty of interpreters on hand and will also help you claim all that you are entitled to. You worry a bit about that ‘entitled’ but, as you’ve worked pretty much since you left school you accept the assistance, promising yourself that it is only until you can find a decent job for reasonable pay. That day doesn’t come, of course and as you settle into a life on benefits you do the sums and realise you will never make a better living than this; you have joined the ranks of the forgotten.

If you observe that all the shop workers are eastern European and you suspect they are being exploited you are called racist. When you draw attention to the uneasy feeling you get when you see private hire cars parked up in a cul-de-sac with a gaggle of school-age girls making familiar with the drivers you are called a racist. Proffer any opinion that our society is becoming fractured into ethnic enclaves which do not mix and you are labelled a racist. Your memory of the Britain you grew up in is challenged; you are wrong – it’s always been this way, they tell you. Besides, Britain has for too long paid too high wages by comparison with the global labour market; you are lucky the immigrants are here to pay for your benefits.

In the balance

You do the maths again and can't make that last statement add up at all. And as for being a mere commodity on the global market, when did you ask for that? So what options do you have? Vote for change? You already tried that… and nothing changed. Now what? You express your frustration by flirting with Ukip… and they call you a fruitcake. But what else is there? You ask around and discover that you are not alone; many are abandoning the old order and tentatively grasping at the Ukip straw. It’s a cry for help – Ukip don't necessarily have any more of an answer than anybody else, but at least they seem to understand you and you want your problems to be recognised by somebody... anybody. So what do the Westminster elites do? They call you a loony. Everywhere you see the establishment flying the flag for anything but Britain, anybody but the British and denigrating all who object as 'closet racists'. 

Is it any wonder you are coming out of the closet?

Saturday, 11 October 2014

They never learn...

Einstein, or somebody else clever, is supposed to have said that forever repeating the same actions, with the same undesired outcomes, is a sure sign of madness; much as banging your head against a wall will only exacerbate the pain of the first time. As they say, it ain’t rocket science, although Einstein may beg to differ. What it is though is plain old common sense. And by common I refer to the innate sense of justice of order, of right and wrong, primitive though it may be, of the common man.

Which is why it is almost painful to watch the old guard, both Labour and Conservative demonstrate their inability to think themselves outside the box against whose walls they are attempting to crack their skulls. Almost painful… with a side helping of glee and a hefty dose of incredulous fascination with just how ready they are to repeat the mistakes of the past. UKIP are racist fruitcakes, they said, as a result of which the racist fruitcakes – or as I like to call them, ordinary working class voters – switched their allegiance to the new kid on the block.

UKIP are nasty, they said; cue the further swelling of the ranks. Earnest thinkers pressed their heads together and came up with a new strategy…  Ukip are against immigration, which we all know is unremittingly ‘a good thing’, they announced. Meanwhile, the indigenous dispossessed, seeing the rising tide of mass, unskilled immigration overwhelm their local infrastructure came to different conclusions. And while Labour and Tory alike sought to paint those objections as bigotry, the parents of teenage girls abused by systematic imported sexual abuse on a massive scale sought out somebody, anybody, who would listen to them and make the right noises.

All along, the establishment parties have fought, not for the people who elect them but simply to retain their seats. And in that world of pure politics, where actions are the work of a lesser breed of ‘doer’ the solution is to keep on banging that head against the wall on which it is written that to maintain the illusion all is well is just as good as it being so. But down there in the common herd, where that repetitive denial of the truth and the refusal to examine the evidence causes real harm, what is obvious is that voters are despised by the political classes.

Even herds eventually learn from their mistakes and after a couple of generations of seeing the causal links between voting for Westminster and getting fuck all except castigation for their fears, the herd’s own head banging is stopping. All of a sudden the hated little people are banging instead the drum of support for a party of people much like themselves. Yes, the big boys are still claiming that Nigel Farage and Douglas Carswell are merely expellees from the same posh schools as Cameron and Miliband, but those hollow taunts are falling on ears wilfully deaf to anything the old mainstream parties have to say.

Stitched up like a 'Kipper!

It may turn out to be a complete waste of time… and energy and hope and finger-crossing, but the same old solution holds little appeal for those who live with the consequences of traditional government. And if they are turning to Ukip in uncertainty, being castigated as stupid for doing so is a sure fire way of convincing them they are making the right choice. So, go on, Labour, go on Conservative, go on, Lib Dems, you carry on bashing and watch as your minions lift their heads up from your walls and simply walk away.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

None so blind

A spitty little twitter spat the other night, between me and an out-and-proud lefty shouting about her credentials of ‘having spent 25 years of higher education in politics’ got me thinking. As usual, the clash was brought about by the failure, once again, of a self-proclaimed political expert to grasp what is bleeding obvious to anybody with a proper job and both feet on the ground.

Irony blinkers firmly fixed and utterly incapable of seeing those all around them making ‘the sign of the wanker’ in their direction, your lefty political theorist merrily ploughs straight ahead and tells you what’s good for you. How you should behave, what you should earn, who you should positively discriminate in favour of and what kind of weather is in your best interests; all blind to the realities of what drives humans to make it from one day to the next.

It’s as if Karl-never-had-a-job-in-his-life-Marx himself invented politics; virtually all concerted political movements are leftist in nature and on go the theorists, dreaming up ways of convincing themselves there will genuinely be a utopian future where we all put nurture before nature; if only they could stop the little people from indulging in original thought and individual action. Meanwhile, those on what is disparagingly referred to as ‘the far right’ are too busy making a living and fending for themselves to have the luxury of envy of what others possess; and as a result they tend to have far clearer understanding of the hopes and fears of ordinary workers.

John Humphrys said on the Today programme that the problem of immigration is a right wing issue, when in fact it is the very large, low-paid, unskilled sector of the work force who are most exercised and most disadvantaged by it. Those who welcome mass immigration are those who gain from it – a small and privileged minority of British society – or those who are blind to its downsides. Behind the heavy blinds of the lofty ivory towers, Ed Miliband’s policy unit no more understands the masses it believes it fights for than a sheep understands the workings of the ticks living off its blood.

Time after time the left-wing ‘thinkers’ do their thinking on behalf of the hoi polloi without ever actually consulting those same beleaguered legions, whose most likely reaction, post incomprehension, would be to tell them to do one. Today, Clacton’s forgotten denizens will, for good or ill, reject the traditional parties, just t see if there might be a better way. Will they also roar in Heywood and Middleton. Interesting times, folks…

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

A message for Vince

I hear Vince Cable reckons that, if the Lib Dems have anything to do with it, a future government must both increase taxes and borrow more. Why? So they can engage in more of the fiscally intemperate nonsense that caused us to be in the shit we’re in already. Lib Dems; Labour in lambs' clothing and just as dangerous - never forget the Fabians' famous emblem

Remember Gordon Brown’s “Are you claiming all you’re ‘entitled’ to?” public service announcements a decade ago? I do; I remember being utterly astounded that any government could be so blatant as to offer such a transparent bribe in return for power. And all paid for by those who could never bring themselves to vote Labour; that’s practically genius in political terms. Or is it? Short term electoral popularity at the cost of the whole ship; free drinks and canapĂ©s as cruise liner Great Britain turns turtle and sinks without trace.

It’s called freeloading, living off the efforts of others. ‘Tax Credits’? That sounds like getting some of your tax back, but many people get tax credits far in excess of what they earnestly believe they pay in. Add to that Child Benefit and Housing Benefit and a per-capita share of the cost of the state and it turns out the majority – yes the VAST majority – of working families are net recipients. I’ll say that again – the majority of working people will NEVER pay into the system more than a fraction of what they take out.

So who does pay? Who would Vince punish more for the crime of being a net contributor? Last year I worked out you’d have to earn at least £30k as a single individual, claim no benefits and pay every penny due in tax to just make up your ‘share’. You’d also have to have no kids and never get ill, pay top-whack road tax and never use any public services, otherwise the balance tips back into debit. I think I was way out; it’s got to be more like £50k before you owe the state nothing and start to make a net contribution. (And this does not include a single state worker - the tax-take from public service employees is a fiction as every penny paid to them has already been taken from others.) 

£50k per annum does not make you rich in the UK, but you can live like a king in many parts of the world on that sort of money. Anybody with the wherewithal to earn a half-decent level of salary will pretty soon begin to feel aggrieved when Vince’s sheriff’s men come a-knocking. Those at the top of the earnings league already have the choice and will only pay what they are comfortable with. Some have already chosen to depart these shores; those lower down the scale, the fifty-kickers will pretty soon realise the price for patriotism is too high to pay.

But still Vince would speed them in making that decision. Soak the rich? Eat the rich? Why not just send them into exile? But before you adopt that jaw-jutting, heroic, 'man of the people' pose, Vince, just remember a few little, inconsequential things. Without the rich there would be no welfare. There would be no NHS. There would be no state. Make the rich pay more? The rich pay your salary and that of the Queen; the rich already pay for everything.