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Monday, 2 July 2012

BFG Mr Jimmy Young

I appreciate that Jimmy Young is not the most erudite political commentator and I appreciate that this is extracted from the Sunday Express, but even by these low standards, Mr Young’s pontifications should not be allowed to pass without comment.
Indeed we must Mr Young, but how would you rank Rose Jones against Bob Diamond and his staff?
The fact that welfare payments overall have increased could of course be due to a huge range of factors and only an idiot would suggest it was solely due to fraud or even misplaced generosity.  Despite being wholly ill-informed, articles like this do have a cumulative influence on public opinion, which is being conned into believing that all people who receive benefits are undeserving scroungers and these scroungers are the root cause of all of the ills in society.  This is simply not true, but nevertheless, this jaundiced view causes the last vestiges of compassion to slowly ebb away.
The DWP with all of its resources does not have the ability to distinguish accurately between false & genuine, so how does Mr Young expect the public to do likewise? Disability hate crime has shown an alarming increase and it is Mr Young and his cronies that are directly responsible.  So put that on your turntable and spin on it Jimmy!
An equivalent loss arises through DWP inefficiency and incorrect payment, but this appears to have escaped your notice or does not deserve mention.  Public sector waste and profligacy for many people comes at the very top of the list of priorities to address.
I would simply ask you, how many benefits cheats do you know and how many people do you know who might one way or another be manipulating their tax payments?  In the interest of balance, it would be interesting to know if you would vilify your friends and colleagues to the same degree as the ‘parasites’ you have wrongly singled out in your article here.
BFG not BFN - 'Bye for Good!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Hypocrisy with a capital "H"

Yesterday I was quite angry with Jimmy Carr, today I feel a bit sorry for him over the way he has been vilified when he has only done what all rich people do.  I think Mr Cameron’s beef is primarily because he didn’t think of it first. Some credit to Jimmy though as he has apparently pulled out of the K2 scam albeit for probably the wrong reasons –at least not out of a sense of moral duty, which for him must mean there is quite a price to pay for public acceptability.  Phillip Green by contrast along with most of his genre, just waves two fingers to us all. 
Rich people will only give up some of their wealth if they want to and it is a bit rich for Mr Cameron to talk about morality when he is presiding over the severest attack on the sick and disabled ever.  It seems there are no questions of morality when someone is wrongly declared fit to work and suffers, even dies as a result – c’est la vie???
Only a few weeks ago a Government sponsored ‘investment opportunity’ was highlighted where a £50k deposit generated an immediate £50k+ tax rebate, let alone returns subsequently. You do of course have to have £50k lying around spare, which I guess is why primarily footballers had shown interest.  I wonder which side of the morality line Mr Cameron would place this scheme?
I hope his and his Cabinet’s tax affairs are spotless and I hope the press will tell us if they are not.
Tax avoidance schemes like this are no less acceptable today than they were 5 years ago and it is dishonest in the extreme for Mr Cameron to suggest otherwise.  If everyone had paid their fair whack then, the national debt would not have been so large.

Monday, 30 April 2012

DWP Performance Related Pay (Ho Ho)

We are all in it together and one of the “contributions” from the public sector is supposedly through pay restraint.  Interesting to note though that at least some civil servants in DWP can still receive performance related bonuses.  I have been trying through FoI requests to find out quite how this works.
It was not too difficult to establish that one senior individual received their maximum bonus entitlement of £15,000 in one recent year, but it has been impossible to find out what they did to deserve it – although disclosing the former falls within the Act, the latter does not.  Being maximum bonus, performance must have been astonishing and something one would want to brag about surely.
I think that the only logical conclusion to draw is that it was actually nothing of any consequence.  The request has specifically confirmed that there is no requirement at all for bonus payments to be in any way self-funding - clearly something for nothing.
So much for the pay freeze and yet again so much for all being in it together

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Pasties vs. Caviar.

Yes, there is an odd dilemma. 
Fish & chips carry VAT, so why not a pasty?  Yup, I get that.
Caviar is expensive and bought by rich people, so why not tax it?  Yup, I get that too.
But we don’t want to tax all food and however you split VATable from non-VATable, there will always be anomalies, so you have to make a choice and take it on the chin from the people you upset.  So Mr Cameron realised he could not keep everyone happy.
What I object to is that whenever a choice like this arises, he always falls the same way and decides to upset the generally weaker, easier targets that have less influence.  This is why we are clearly not all in it (equally) together.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Compromise Agreements - a new meaning???

We all know there is a contract between employer and employee with which both are expected to comply.  We all know how this offers some security to the employee (setting aside the misconceived and wretched “Cameron’s Employers’ Charter”).  The contract does not mean an employer cannot ditch an employee outside of the terms of the contract, it just means they have to pay, perhaps heavily, for the privilege.  In return, the employee willingly agrees to waive their legal rights.  This is what a Compromise Agreement is all about.
I guess in fairness there is a reverse scenario, where an employee compensates their employer for an early exit, but outside of footballer transfers, I have not come across one.
What we have here is an employee who wants to leave quickly and an employer PAYING them to do so, when they could be claiming compensation.  This is absurd and if true is one of the worst examples I have seen of the public sector losing complete touch with reality, common sense and the commercial world in general.  It is not their money to do with as they wish and such self-serving profligacy is tantamount to treason.
Of course quite right it is nipped in the bud, but all those around her who agreed to it must be brought to account too - they simply do not have our authority to do this sort of thing.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Are Accountants no better than Bankers???

Are Accountants no better than Bankers???

I must be dim.  It seems that companies can reduce tax liability through dodgy charitable donations and make a net gain overall.  The "charity" may in fact not exist and if it does, it might only receive a fraction of the original donation. 

Every limited company has to have its accounts audited each year by a suitably qualified accountant.  These experts are highly trained and at the top of their profession and can supposedly be trusted.  Aren't they meant to detect this sort of thing?  Aren't they legal liable if they do not?

Thursday, 29 March 2012

PA(STY)THETIC - the importance of a politically acceptable diet

I’m not sure which is worse, the fact that we judge the two most senior politicians in the country based on their penchant (or otherwise) for pastry products or the fact that they feel the overwhelming need to ingratiate themselves with made-up stories.  Was it Leeds, was it a railway station, was it indeed a pasty – who knows and more to the point, who cares?
I not exactly a fan of either, but would defend their right to the end to eat pretty much what they like.  I am not posh (but do know a little French) and I haven’t had a pasty since 1981 (if I recall correctly???) and I don’t think that makes me a bad person.  They are not after all the healthiest snack in the world and I need to watch my waistline, but there I go falling into the same trap of defending my unconscious abstinence.
I’m sure it will all blow over soon.
As regards the tax, why not sell them cold and offer a free heating up service?
The posh version of a pasty is boeuf en croute, so will that be taxed in the same way?  In fact if I buy it frozen at below room temperature, can I claim some VAT back?  They really do have their work cut out with the small print on this one!!!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Moral Standards - no wonder they are on the slide

The so-called moral decline in society is simply because we have been very bad at drawing lines and continually confuse cause and effect.  At some point, you have to draw a line or guess where you end up?
Here is a trivial, but perfect example of both.
We are continually told we must be responsible for and will be held accountable for our own actions. Fine.  Now look at the excuses here.  The REAL point is that if having a driving license is so critically important to so many lives, what the hell was he doing speeding anyway?  Clearly this man is irresponsible, is unsuitable for the position he holds and should be replaced.  If someone else was that dependent upon me, I would not even take the risk.
Now do you see why this let-off is arse about face and places just one more small panel pin in the coffin of moral standards.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Tourism & Debt

A German tourist walks into an Irish hotel in a village where pretty much everyone owes money to someone and they are all struggling to get by and repay their debts.  The German want to see a room before deciding to take one for the night.  He offers the hotel owner 100euros as a deposit, on the condition he gets it back if he doesn’t like the room and sets off up the stairs to look at it.
Seeing an opportunity, the hotel owner quickly runs round to the local restaurant and uses the 100 Euros to pay off some of his debt to the chef. Finding himself unexpectedly 100 Euros better off, the chef trots round to the local butcher to pay off some of his debt.
This continues from the butcher to the owner of an abattoir and on to a local prostitute, who herself owes money on rooms she has rented and finally ends up handing the money back to the hotel owner where the story started.
Just at that point, the German reappeared and, deciding he didn’t want the room, picked up his 100 Euros and left.
Nobody has any more cash, but everyone has less debt.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Tebitt & Cameron - Same DNA???

No immediate resemblance until you read this article and recall the "get on your bike" advice.  Then look at the photos again and image DC 30 years on . . . . . . . .

Firstly Mr Cameron, if we do stop complaining (as you put it) about the Welfare Cuts, who will defend the vulnerable & stand up for fairness and compassion - clearly not you!

Secondly, can you point me to where I can find this work because I'm buggered if I can.

Oh and thirdly, sadly I had to sell my bike.

Friday, 6 January 2012

The bleeding obvious!!!

We really should expect more from our MPs that pontificating over what is blindingly obvious.  Today it was the PM himself.
For all its shortcomings, today’s Daily Telegraph contained a couple of gems.  
First, there was the timely reminder from the PM of the growing divide in society, with a suitably thoughtful portrait of him to emphasise the point. ( ).  He didn’t quite put it this way though, he just pointed out that some people are doing OK thank you very much.  So the central heating bills have gone up a bit and the £50k+ salaries have not moved much, but the new telly was heavily discounted and the company pays for the petrol – yes, these people have a job and a good one at that.  You don’t have to puzzle too long over why John Lewis is not seeing much of a recession – and it’s not solely because that’s where the MP’s themselves shop!  No highly paid retail guru needed to work this out.
In contrast there are all those on benefits of one kind or another being squeezed on both sides, which are too embarrassing to talk about very often – better to remember and concentrate on their nice Waitrose-patronising counterparts.

Secondly, there was the article by Fraser Nelson “Poverty, not colour, is the real dividing line in modern Britain”, which echoes the same theme ( and whilst I don’t agree with all of what he says, I do with the headline.  (Remember too that there are not different types of poverty (so-called fuel poverty etc.), just poverty!)

No politician will openly say that they are happy for the social divide to increase, but there clearly comes a point where through the actions they have taken, wilfulness to do just this is the only logical conclusion that can be drawn.