This is coming at the subject of climate change from a different angle. The protests in London last week were bad for London and ignored the reality of the situation. They brought London to a standstill costing £12m a day. The protesters had plastic banners and signs, wore plastic and rubber trainers, drank beer from plastic glasses and water from plastic bottles! One of the ring leaders, Robin Boardman-Pattison, jets around the world while criticising air travel! Adam Boulton upset him when he accused him of being patronising and self-indulgent, so he stormed off! Can’t have seen Swampy doing that!
So, I hear you asking, why do I have this in good? Simple, the message has already been heard. As Margaret Thatcher said in the eighties, peace doesn’t come from chanting the word like some mystical incantation. It is hard work and the Governor of the Bank of England has already taken up the cause. Screwing up the economy of London won’t save the planet but Mark Carney joining forces with Francois Villeroy de Galhau, Governor of the Bank of France and writing to the heads of 34 central banks and linking environmental and economic prosperity just might.
Protestors might feel good waving their banners and singing songs and maybe those of old are responsible for Carney’s initiative; but the fact is that we now know about the problem and need to find answers. Repeating the problem doesn’t help find an answer! We’re on to phase two, the protesters have the attention of the people they need to convince to achieve their objective. Work with them don’t alienate the hard-working people of London/ Practice what you preach!
We are to get a dozen new Institutes of Technology - about time! They are alternatives to universities, and you know I think there are too many of them! It’s a great move which will use industry experience from employers and create the specialism our industry needs. OK, we’re starting small with a budget of just £170m, but we need to start teaching advanced technical skills so let’s welcome it and not just knock if for a political motive as the Labour Party has done by saying it’s not enough money!
Odd this week that so many stories could be good or bad depending on the angle you take. But I’m coming at things from the heart of the problem, so this is bad. It appears that Shamima Begum was part of the Islamic State morality army - an enforcer. It is said she carried a gun, recruited others and may have played a role in equipping bombers. A far cry from the sob story she fed the media when wanting to come back to the UK. Good for the Home Secretary for taking the action he did and good that we are fair enough to allow it to be challenged in open court. A fair hearing is the way a democracy works but we need to protect the system that gives us that privilege.
Why did she really want to come back to the UK? It appears to infiltrate and take advantage of our fair society to do bad.
Now I’m the last one to believe all that I read in the press, but I think we can accept that Sir Philip Green was pressurised into giving £50m a year to the BHS pension fund. But now he is apparently looking to half this. I come from a different world in every respect. When I agree to something, especially after a healthy discussion, I stick to it and most people I know do just that.
We are now told that Green is looking to half that contribution. There is much in employment law that is heavily bias towards the employee and it is getting worse and makes life a nightmare for all SMEs, but the more people cheat, the more calls, and maybe justifiable calls, there will be for even more rights for employees that small businesses simply cannot afford. That threatens jobs.
Is it naive to say that the rules for employers employing five people shouldn’t be the same as those who employ 500 people? Green’s general behaviour has been bad but if it brought focus on the problems the SMEs face there would be some good from it. Who was it in the 1970s that spoke about the unacceptable face of capitalism?
Andrew Good, an ambulance chasing solicitor, has been struck off for being dishonest. That’s good you’ll say. Indeed, but let’s look a little closer at the madness behind it. He was charging £400 an hour, the going rate I’m told is £110/150, to sue the NHS for clinical negligence. We don’t know if it was no hay no pay but almost certainly was, so he only got paid if he won which would mean the NHS then picked up the costs. It took 22 successful cases for someone to challenge the fees, why?
A recent internal NHS report found that if they were more efficient they could do another 290,000 operations a year. I’ve recently had some exposure to the administrative side of the NHS, the private sector wouldn’t get away with it, wouldn’t survive. But it is part of a greater problem which encompasses so many of the everyday problems in life. Madness.
My second mad this week comes from Bristol - or Brizzel as the natives say!
Ornate lampposts dating from before the Second World War, odd to think that Bristol was at the extreme range of German bombers, have been removed from what are referred to as poorer areas of the city for safety reasons to be recycled. They have been replaced with modern LED lampposts.
But English is a great language. What does recycling mean in Brizzel? Much the same as in the 1980s and 1990s some say. ‘Asset stripping’ the city to make the upmarket Clifton area smarter. Yes, moving the lights to a smarter part of town… madness - why not raise the standard and have new ‘old’ lights in Clifton, someone had to pay for new lights somewhere anyway! And that would probably be cheaper, so a win, win!