Sir Greed and the Knights of Exploitation

Sir Greed banged his fist on the round table, “Bring me truffles!” he thundered, as the serving staff in BHS livery went scurrying. “’Tis treachery! The May Queen talks softly of helping the poor, yet it is the avowed intent of this fair kingdom to crush their will and keep them in grinding poverty, lest they get ideas and organise resistance!”

Knight on horse
Sir Greed rode out on his black stallion

He rode out of Castle Green at the head of his personal escort and made his way to the commission of poor men to give evidence for his alleged misdeeds. His squire, a mean and indolent fellow called Chappell, rode beside him.

“Chappell, heed my words. These villains will ask why I favoured thee with half my lands, to which you must reply, ‘My Lord put me in charge of the upkeep of the serfs in good faith, but I lacked the knowledge of my wise master to manage the estates and provide for their welfare’. Got it?”

“Yes, my Lord. And I shall remain in your favour by not mentioning that you stripped the silver and gold from all the holy places to pay for your new royal yacht.” Sir Greed glared at his snivelling underling, knowing full well that his deviousness and avarice had bound him to the villain.

“Look, my Lord! The May Queen awaits you before the humble parliament shed.”

“Good day, my Queen, to what do I owe this pleasure?” The portly knight said, quivering in his saddle as he attempted an ungainly bow.

“It is no pleasure of mine, Sir Greed! I have come to warn you not to mock my councillors and give truthful evidence, for I intend to reform this kingdom and reverse the culture of theft and oppression that has become your hallmark.”

“My Queen, I will doff my cap and tell them what they want to hear, but we both know your kingdom is based on a wealthy elite exploiting the serfs for personal gain, aggrandisement and displays of riches. For every rich man, there must be hundreds of serfs to support him, working his fields for a pittance, fighting his battles, and being grateful for a rat-infested hovel to live in and a handful of grain to feed his lice-ridden family.”

The May Queen eyed him with a cold, well-practiced withering look, and answered in a low and threatening voice. “That may be how we want it, Sir Greed, but we must at least make a show of appearing to care for the welfare of the legions of poor, for without their labour, our kingdom would falter and we would not be able to continue our lavish lifestyles… beware the dangers of arrogance and cruelty! They have been the undoing of many Lords, and I will move swiftly to strip you of your titles if you do not play along with our mocking game of deception and false hope for our minions!”

Sir Greed, suitably chastised, went before the commission, and smiled like a devious crook as he rebuffed charges of dishonesty, avarice, and cruelty to his people. For in truth, the commission had no powers to strip away his lands or titles, merely the power to chastise and humbly request some coins for the alms box.

Sir Greed and Squire Chappell rode away, laughing at the powerless rage and frustration of the councillors, and dismissing the paltry amount paid into the alms box.

“We shall recover our outlay with higher taxes, my Lord,” the heartless squire quipped.

As they rode through a dark, foreboding forest, making their way slowly under overhanging trees, their path was suddenly blocked by a band of outlaws.

“Out of our way, vermin,” Sir Greed demanded.

The leader of the group, an ageing man with a grey scaggy beard, approached on a mangy nag. “My Lord, I am The Corbineer, leader of, well, one of a number of bands of outlaws in this forest, having been duly elected by my peers, and I must now ask you for your purse, as we have many mouths to feed.” He waved a short, bent sword, and encouraged his men to laugh at his boldness.

“Out of my way, scum!” Sir Greed replied, spurring his horse forward and brushing aside the dandy bandit. He rode away on his black charger, closely followed by his whimpering squire. They soon cleared the forest and turned back to see their entourage beaten and stripped of their clothing.

“Shall we ride back to aid our followers, my lord?” the panting Chappell enquired, feigning bravery.

“No need,” Sir Greed replied, “There are plenty more where they came from. I shall send a group of knights from the Order of The Exploiters to deal with this troublesome Corbineer. The poor are too divided with their village rivalries to come to his aid. We will not kill him but instead capture him and keep him in our Palace of Westminster as an example to others of how hope of advancement is in vain and they must accept their subservient position in our kingdom. As my Uncle Avarice once said, ‘It’s their hope that kills ‘em’.”

They laughed as they rode to Castle Green, oblivious to the cries and screams of their abandoned followers, safe in the knowledge that order had been upheld in the Kingdom of Fear.

 

To find out about the future of the Kingdom of Fear…

http://amazon.co.uk/dp/B01EGDLHLW

 

 

A Dystopian Brexit

“George picked through the odd assortment of items in his trolley outside the looted supermarket. Life inside the Red Zone had descended into a desperate battle for survival, as the caged-in labour pool waited glumly to find out if they had been chosen for a day’s work in the Green Zone to the east, or the Blue Commercial Zone to the west. A day’s labour for food tokens was as much as the working class could hope for in 2044 Britain….”

Welcome to the Red Zone

Yes folks, the EU In/Out Refendum poll takes place this week, on Thursday 23rd June, with the opinion polls now showing ‘The Remainers’ edging slightly ahead after a fraught period of bitter deadlock where ‘The Leavers’ appeared to have gained the ascendancy.  The violent murder of a Labour MP, by a mentally ill man shouting ‘Britain First!’ has been callously exploited by Remainers as a further threat to your personal safety in the wilderness of a non-EU Britain.  It appears to have tilted the predicted outcome in their favour.  Fear and threats are now standard tactics in British politics.

Resistance is crumbling and an air of resignation has set in amid threats of a collapsing economy and further hardship being piled on the ‘difficult’ white working class if they vote Leave as some kind of protest against the dark forces of Capitalism. They are angry that their ability to earn a descent wage is being eroded, their quality of life and future prospects are being gradually stripped away, as is their right to feel comfortable in their living space, recently invaded by millions of ‘alternative’ workers from poorer countries. But will a Leave scenario really help them?

If the vote really comes down to a question of ‘which right-wing politician do you hate the least?’ then it is a damning indictment of where we are after 30 years of Thatcherism, under which we are witnessing our national assets being privatised and the on-going dismantling of our welfare state, depressingly aided and abetted by the Labour Party. The disenfranchised working class have been backed into a corner, and now plan to vote Leave in a futile two-fingered protest against the Establishment, ignoring the fact that by doing so they are doing the bidding of political leaders who care less for them than the ones currently in charge.

It is a bleak scenario, a world where hope is gradually being strangled, and citizen’s rights are being sacrificed on the altar of capitalist greed. Our property market ignores the basic need for shelter for our people and has become an investment platform for the world’s rich, with no one asking how they got their money. The Establishment are lined up on both sides of the referendum debate, each group calculating their profits should their side win. They threaten, cajole and brow-beat a tired and increasingly powerless population, confused with so much mis-information, to vote for their side, so they may continue with their own brand of oppression.

It really is no choice at all for those at the lower levels of society. ‘What brand of personal hell would you like to vote for, sir?’ Go ahead and protest-vote for Leave, thinking it might slow up the process of replacing you with a cheap and easy to exploit foreign doppelganger. Now it’s immigrants, but in the future it will be robots – whatever is the most efficient and cost-effective way of having basic functions fulfilled in a world becoming polarised between the haves and have-nots.  What has happened to us?  Are we really sleepwalking into losing our rights, welfare and dreams?  It’s the illusion of hope that ultimately kills our souls and destroys our motivation to resist.

As for me, I’ll exercise my democratic right to vote (whilst I still have it) by presenting myself at the polling booth. But I intend to put a big cross through my paper – a NO THANKS vote. A spoilt ballot, but still a democratic statistic. I reject them all, and continue to hope for a sea-change in British politics, a change to a citizen-focussed agenda. I will not be the puppet of right-wing zealots.  That’s my personal protest.  Let the sneering BBC presenters pour cold water on all those who don’t buy into their misguided one-world utopian (but not in my street) hypocrisy.  They are misguided fools who are merely doing the work of those who exploit us for profit.  How about prioritising the needs of British citizens?  An unpopular proposition in this age of greed and short-sighted liberal do-gooding.

A plague on Bojo, Farage, Cameron, Osborne and the Slithy Gove! They are all products of the same private education system that props up the Establishment. They are all power-mad narcissists who only have their own interests at heart, who would rather seek out the company of international murderers and thieves with money to invest or launder in Project Off-Shore Britain than you or I.

Our role in their vision of future Britain is as low paid and powerless serfs.  So I say again, why should I vote for them? It’s like voting for your own internment in a Labour Pool Camp (see above). I have finally decided….I’m registering my protest at the failure of our democratic system to deliver an equitable and fair society, and at the elevation of selfishness and greed to an acceptable mode of behaviour, by SPOILING MY BALLOT!!!

How Much is Enough?

So, how much is enough when it comes to top executive’s pay? (‘earn’ doesn’t seem to come into it). Today’s news (15/04/2016) includes a story with the headline:

 

FATCAT BONUSES… ENOUGH’S ENOUGH!

 

Rich man poor manThe story concerns a shareholder’s revolt at oil giant BP’s plans to pay their Chief Executive a £14 million package, set against a background of a declining share price, £4.5 billion in losses and 7,000 jobs cut. It raises the questions, how much should a senior executive earn, and should it reflect company performance?  A shareholder asked if it was ‘morally right’ to hand him huge bonuses to boost his £1.3 million wages.

59% of shareholders voted against the proposed bonuses for their big cheese CEO, with another shareholder saying, “While much of the population must accept austerity, it is not right to increase director’s remuneration.” Clearly he didn’t get the memo from Tory HQ.  Shareholders are pissed-off because their dividend was less than expected, so their ire is more to do with, Surely we should ALL share the pain?

The Swiss started the debate on capping senior executive pay by putting a proposal to their citizens to limit the earnings of top executives to 12 times the wages of their lowest paid employee. Despite this 1:12 earnings ratio being rejected in a 2013 referendum, it has continued to fuel debate in Europe and North America on the thorny question, How much is enough?

 

The wealthy elite remain fireproof, despite recent offshore banking probes, showing how untouchable they are and unlikely to ever pay their fair share of tax on earnings. In the UK our Conservative Government shows no signs of easing up on their plans to protect them at all costs whilst bashing the poorest and most vulnerable members of society with their malicious austerity programme.  To suggest a cap on earnings ‘in the interests of society’ is abhorrent in our age of capitalist greed and insane wealth hoarding.

I’ll leave you with the words of comedian Frankie Boyle, commenting on the offshore savings probe: “The Panama Papers show that rich people aren’t even rational: they send their money on holiday to the Caymans, and live in perpetual rain in Britain.” Surely they can afford to do it the other way around?  Oh yes, but they would have to declare their pile to the tax man and contribute to the running of the country… We can’t have that!

Sanctioned!

He woke up at the noise. The first plane flew over the house at 6am every day, including Sundays, like a Promethean punishment from the Establishment. Although his alarm was set for 7am, he rarely slept beyond the first low-flying aircraft heading for Heathrow Airport. “Please, don’t let them build another runway,” he moaned, as bleary-eyed and with an uncomfortably full bladder, he manoeuvred his swollen legs and numb feet over the edge of the bed and sat up.

despairMarge was still sleeping, ear plugs in and mask on. He looked at her with a mixture of love and envy. He couldn’t sleep with ear plugs in – what would happen if there was a break-in or explosion? Such things were not unheard of on the Runnymede Council estate. He managed a slow, painful shuffle to the bathroom and relieved himself. After a quick wash and shave he returned to the bedroom to get dressed. Not a straight forward procedure, as nerve damage to his hands and feet made routine tasks a trial. He sat on the bed and took his pills.

Johnny was downstairs having his cereal, ear phones in and eyes glued to flashing lights on his tablet. Thankfully, he was a self-sufficient teenager and could make his own way to school.

“What you got on today?”

He removed one ear plug. “Nuffin’ much.”

“Well, let’s hope your teachers can spark an interest; and stay out of trouble.”

The letterbox snapped and he robotically moved to the front door. His heart froze in shock. A brown envelope. He hated getting brown envelopes. It was not his fault he was unable to work anymore due to a chronic condition. These things happen. Now he was in The Welfare System.

He sat at the kitchen table, turning the envelope over in his tingling hands, sitting quite still with bowed head as the boy plonked a mug of tea in front of him and rushed out just as she rushed in, gulping a cup of coffee.

“What you got there?” she said.

“Letter from the sosh.”

She hovered behind him. He could sense her unease.

“I’ll open it when you’ve gone.”

“Oh, no you won’t. I want to know what it says before I go for work. You know our budget is on a shoestring. Any changes will leave us going to the Food Bank. Open it.”

He reluctantly thumbed it open, fearing the outcome. He read in brooding silence.

“Come on then, what does it say?” There was an uneasy tone in her voice.

“It says, ‘…you are required to attend a meeting to review your status as being medically unfit for work.’”

“Oh God!” she cried, as she slumped onto a chair. “Why can’t they leave you alone? Doctors have examined you and said you’re not well enough to return to work. Why are they doing this? I’ve got to go. We’ll talk later.” A kiss on the cheek and she was gone.

He took his time clearing up. Put warm water and washing up liquid in the sink. Pile the dishes in, then sit down. Wash up and leave on the drainer. Sit down. He moved slowly to the lounge and picked up his inhaler and welfare correspondence file. Sit down. He was breathing heavily and took a few seconds to recover. A squirt on the inhaler. His tired eyes wandered to family photos on the wall. One of him with team mates holding a trophy.

The warm sunlight and effect of the medication made him drowsy and afternoon naps were a part of his new routine. He woke to the sound of sobbing coming from the kitchen. Slowly pushing himself up from the armchair, on swollen feet he moved to the kitchen. She was sitting at the table, head in arms, body shaking with deep sobs. He put his arm around her.

“Don’t worry, love. Things will be alright. I’ll get another letter from the doctors. I’ve already made an appointment.”

“Oh no it won’t!” She sat up, red eyed. “Look what’s in today’s paper!”

He read out loud: “‘Sick Dad Killed Himself After Benefits Axed’. Hmm… a Coroner has ruled that a man committed suicide as a result of a government-approved assessor telling him to get a job against doctors’ advice.”

He looked at a photo of the Minister responsible, clearly selected to make him look sinister. She sat up and looked at him miserably, mascara running down her cheeks.

“What are we going to do? You can’t win against these people. They’re on a mission to cut welfare payments at all cost, even killing people! It says in there that 2,500 sick and disabled people have died within two weeks of their benefits payments being stopped after being declared fit for work. It’s not fair!”

“Come on, love. There’s no way they’ll find me fit for work. Look at me! Still in my dressing gown in the afternoon. I’m a wreck, and that’s how they’ll see me. Let’s have a cup of tea.” They sipped their teas and munched on biscuits in miserable silence. How can I tell her that I’ve already been sanctioned for missing a meeting?

He persuaded her to go upstairs and have a lie down. His mind was numb. There was nothing else to be done. They’ll probably be better off without me – the Union will pay-out. He took a roll of washing line and a foot stool and walked out into the back yard. Blinked up at the late afternoon sun, he scowled as the shadow of a ‘plane flashed over. Placing the stool under a tree he stood on it and threw the washing line over an overhanging branch.

Madge woke from her nap when the front door slammed.

“Mum! I’m home!” Johnny shouted.

She got up and made her way to the bedroom window, looking down to their tiny patch of garden. She froze in horror at the sight of her husband’s legs standing on a stool under the tree. With a scream she rushed downstairs, past the startled boy, and out into the garden. His head and torso were obscured by the leaves of the tree as she rushed up to him, throwing her arms around his legs and squeezing as tight as she could.

“Hey! What’s going on, you silly mare!”

“Don’t do it!” she sobbed, “We’ll manage!”

“What are you on about? I’m just fixing the washing line!”

HOPE FOR WORKING PEOPLE

On Saturday, 12th September 2015, the UK Labour Party elected a new leader, Jeremy Corbyn, by a majority on nearly 60% of the vote. He is the candidate the right wing of British politics feared the most, as his plain-speaking advocacy for the rights of the working people and those disadvantaged in society has brought sneers and character assassination, showing their fear of his strong political stance.

Corbyn is now challenged to unite a Labour Party battered by the UK General Election result. A humiliating defeat characterised by the fragmentation of the working class vote, leaving Labour staring at a bare cupboard. They must now come together and reflect on the lessons learned from their unexpected general election wipe-out, that handed an undeserved win to the surprised Conservatives.

It’s vitally important for the future of British society that the Labour Party get their act together and challenge the dogma of the ruling Conservatives, whose greed-driven agenda is leading to a divided society. Like schoolyard bullies, they are waging war on those less fortunate in society by levelling a 12% across-the-board cut in the welfare bill, regardless of the effect it is having on the sick, poor and disabled. Those with genuine need of help should be supported, not demonised and driven to despair and, in some cases, suicide (as recent figures have shown following a well-supported public petition to force government to release figures on welfare reform victims).

We need a strong Labour Party in opposition to hold the government accountable for their rob-from-the-poor to give-to-the-rich policies. Corbyn can lead that resistance, and show the British people that there is an alternative vision for our society, based on common decency and equitable wealth sharing. I like his talk about re-nationalising utility companies. Why not? At a time when the top 1% of world society own 90% of all wealth, there is a need to try to redress the balance, and show to the rest of the world that there is another way than pure unchecked capitalist greed.

Congratulations to Jeremy Corbyn, a man of the people for the people. The Conservatives ask nervously; “what does he plan to do?” Well, he has said it in his acceptance speech: “No one will be left on the sidelines, everyone should have equal opportunities – that’s what Labour is about…we need to develop economic policies that deal with the issue of inequality.” They must now convince the country that this can be achieved without undermining the strength of the economy.

Let’s listen and give them a chance. Britain can do better…

George Caught Up In Pub Bomb Terror

Life of George Pub BombDon’t panic!  It’s a fiction story line!

In Chapter Two of my serialised novel, Life of George (http://channillo.com/series/life-of-george/), George meets his mate Dave in the pub to plan a trip of a lifetime to celebrate their early retirement from work.  A suspicious man leaves a backpack on the bar rail, seen by George, but too late for him to take any action.  A huge explosion rips through the pub sending both Dave and George flying…

life_of_george_cover02Chapters One and Two are up and can be read by subscribing to channillo.com – at £3.65/month (US$4.99) you can choose up to ten books from their wide range of titles to read (mine plus nine others!), and I expect my novel to be up in full by the end of the year. If you’re an avid e-book reader then why not give it a try?

FIT AND SAFE FOR WORK?

Job Centre PlusShould people certified as medically unfit for work by doctors be forced back to work by a Government obsessed with reducing the number of welfare claimants? I’m sure the families of the dead and injured from the Glasgow bin lorry tragedy would be the first to asks for more stringent screening of employees to identify medical conditions that could compromise safety of other employees and the general public. People who are genuinely unfit for work, and by implication a risk to both themselves and others, should not be forced back to work prematurely as part of a Government cost saving exercise.

Interesting to see the Government, and in particular the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP), squirm uncomfortably at public pressure to release statistics on the number of individuals who have died shortly after having their welfare benefits cut as part of the controversial policy of sanctioning.

Sanctioning is employed by the DWP to penalise claimants who are late or don’t show for appointments, and for other minor misdemeanours that usually crop up during interviews when a claimant can ‘say the wrong thing’, perhaps being led into doing so by a clever interviewer who may be trying to hit a target aimed at reducing the welfare bill (a DWP whistle-blower has admitted this happens).

It seems unnecessarily cruel and harsh to bully mentally and physically ill people, who have been certified as medically unfit for work, in an attempt to reduce spending on welfare with an across-the-board saving rumoured to be 12%. Harassing and tricking the most vulnerable in society to say the wrong thing in an interview or turn up late for an appointment, smacks of the peevish actions of ideologically motivate right-wing minds. Iain Duncan-Smith (DWP Minister) is one such class warrior, determined to deliver on his party’s crusade to punish the sick, poor and disabled in order to reward the rich.

Is this really acceptable behaviour in a G8 country that boasts of its democracy, freedoms and welfare system for looking after the less fortunate in society? Clearly, the current UK Government wants to distance itself from the last part of that claim. I’ll leave the last word with this press statement doing the rounds on the net:-

27 Aug 2015 — Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, and a member of the work and pensions select committee, hit out at the government’s attempts to block publication of the data (on the number of deaths of sanctioned welfare claimants), saying: “It’s disgusting that this government, the one David Cameron promised would be the most open and transparent, would deliberately try and suppress these figures for so long.

“It was only because the Information Commissioner ordered the government to publish them that we can now start to see the damage Iain Duncan-Smith’s cruel regime is having on thousands of innocent and vulnerable people.

“Duncan-Smith has deliberately tried to stop publication of this information, even telling me in the House of Commons that this data didn’t exist, and that’s why I’ve written to the Prime Minister asking him to investigate if this constitutes a breach of the Ministerial Code of Conduct which, if it does, he should sack him for it.”

To support the petition to force the Government to release these figures go to:-

https://www.change.org/p/hm-courts-and-tribunal-service-publish-stats-showing-how-many-people-have-died-after-their-benefits-stopped/

GLOBAL MIGRATION CRISIS…DON’T PANIC!

The UK’s island mentality has once again been mobilised by the British media, this time led by The Telegraph (‘Global Migrant Crisis’, 02/08/15), quoting Home Secretary Theresa May, and the ever predictable Mail (‘2000 Migrants Storm Tunnel’, 29/07/15). Prime Minister Cameron waded in by referring to the Calais migrants as a ‘Swarm’, further alarming his white English Shire supporter base.

They are merely playing catch-up, as the disgruntled white working class in Southern and Eastern England have already recorded their (largely ignored) protest at having to share their living space with ‘loadsa effing foreigners’ by voting UKIP in the recent general election (anti-immigration UKIP picked up close to four million votes). By doing so they effectively handed an election win to the strutting Tories who have now inherited the immigration crisis hot potato.

However, for many in Britain the news footage from Calais of desperate migrants risking life and limb to board trucks or trains bound for England, merely provides a visual fixing point for the belief that the country is experiencing an invasion of foreigners not seen since the Norman Conquest. Britain is already creaking under the strain of a population approaching 70 million, with over six million recent arrivals already crowded into the South and East of the country.

As with the futile resistance put up by Anglo-Saxons against the Normans, and before them the Briton tribes against the Romans, our current crop of political leaders seem relatively helpless to stop the inward flow of people fleeing war zones, third world poverty and post-Soviet Eastern Europe. Add to this the practice from settled commonwealth citizens of sending for families and friends that has been going on over the past 40-odd years, and you begin to get an insight into the retreat mentality of the ‘White British’ (a new census category, not needed on previous surveys). Home Secretary Theresa May has recently sent out a strong message aimed at these hardy travellers that the streets of Britain are not “paved with gold”, and that those who fail the asylum-seekers test will not be able to claim benefits.

How do you stop someone coming who is prepared to risk their life in doing so? Add to this the cut backs in border control by this and the previous government, sprinkle on a dusting of a failed computerised immigration system, and you have a perfect storm. Where will these people live? How will they be supported? Already the Government is putting the squeeze on its own citizens with harsh austerity measures (whilst ring-fencing the wealth elite).

The rampant greed-inspired capitalist system we have in the UK will only deepen the crisis, as foreign settlers will be expected to crowd into inner city areas and swell the pool of cheap labour to be exploited by those in search of bigger profits from lower wage costs. Already Health and Safety is going out the window, as Britain slowly slides back to Victorian values, and inner city ghettos will soon emerge. It all smacks of hypocrisy as the white Tory Shires, who have grown fat on cheap foreign labour, attempt to halt the spread of foreigners to their neatly mowed village and town lawns. Exploit them, yes, but we don’t want to see them.

The Divided Society has already arrived and the language of fear and mistrust will continue to escalate from our alarmist media. The question of ‘how many is enough?’ has been superseded by events. The dam wall has broken – the flood is upon us. Is Britain heading for a Johannesburg-style two-tier society, where the wealthy whites live in private security guarded compounds? Britain is squirming uncomfortably – not wanting to be seen as racists, but unable to articulate that enough is enough. Small numbers of settlers who are willing to assimilate into British life have always been welcome, but we are now witnessing the unravelling of the idealised myth of a happy multi-cultural society in the face of large numbers of culturally alien peoples. Biological programming will kick in and people will seek security in their tribal groups. A tipping point has been reached. Where are we going with this?

Health Service Roulette

I noted in today’s newspapers (16/05/15) that the NHS has reached a new low as 20,464 operations were cancelled at short notice from January to the end of March this year.  This is the highest quarterly number of cancellations for ten years.  The statistic resonates with me because I was due to have a skin cancer operation at my local hospital in February, but this was cancelled a few days before, ‘due to unforeseen circumstances’ and a new date issued in March.

I remember the shock and dismay I felt at the time – I had physically and mentally prepared for going into hospital for a delicate operation on my head, under general anaesthetic, with a few days in for monitoring afterwards.  I had notified friends and family, cleared my diary and even made a will in case things went badly.  In effect, I had to sit around twiddling my thumbs for a month until my new op. date came up, stressing about whether it would also be cancelled.

In the end it went ahead, and I woke up in a hospital bed on a ward, with a man who appeared to have dementia screaming all night in the bed next to me.  The nursing staff were great, and the surgeon visited me the next day to examine his handy work and declare it a cautious success.  Much monitoring would be required and attending the dressing clinic once a week for the next four weeks.  All in all, it went well and I was mightily relieved.

My heart goes out to all the patients waiting for their NHS operation dates to come up, fretting about whether their procedure will go ahead as scheduled, and about the state of our overcrowded hospitals.  A new Government who are not committed to public health will only intensive people’s worry.

Yes, they have pledged more financial support for the NHS, but their record in the last Government shows their policy is to privatise and shut down.  Downsizing and forcing people into the growing health private sector.  This doesn’t work for 90% of the population, who have consistently shown, in poll after poll, that having a free and properly functioning NHS is one of their highest priorities.

I can only hope, along with millions of others, that the National Health Service is fully supported by Government, and that those in need of urgent and vital medical help can get it on time, so they can continue with their lives.  We all need help from time to time, so don’t mess about with the Nation’s greatest asset – our health service.  The last thing patients facing a worrying operation want is to play Health Service Roulette.

On Being Patronised By Hypocrites…

It’s been a long time since UK politics got me agitated.  But now, in the run-up to the May General Election, I can see that this election is the British people’s last chance to save themselves from a miserable life of economic slavery.  We are being patronised by a bunch of hypocrites who expect us to believe that cuts to our Welfare State are justified and that ‘We are all in it together’.

We are not – we live in a divided society where our work prospects and standard of living are being eroded, along with our democratic freedom – witness the Metropolitan Police announcing that from now on all public demonstrations will have to pay for policing.  If you can’t afford the average £4,000 fee then you can’t demonstrate.  Shut up, stay at home and pay your taxes.

The current Coalition Government has systematically lied to us about the justification for their Austerity programme.  ‘We are all in this together’ they say, when clearly we are not, as the wealthy elite are encouraged to avoid tax and to exploit the population.

The latest scandal to hit the news is that major bank HSBC has been exposed for advising its wealthiest customers on how to avoid paying tax.  It is not a crime to have a Swiss bank account, but it is a crime to avoid paying tax.  The rich are mocking us, as they are the untouchables, guiding the hands of our political leaders and effectively dictating policy. “1,100 Super Rich Cheats, 1 Conviction”, is a headline in one of the dailies.  We are definitely not in it together, as the gap between the wealthy elite and the rest continues to widen.

Whilst the majority of citizens are heavily taxed in the UK, the super rich manage to keep their cash and accumulate vast personal wealth, much of which is externalised in overseas bank accounts and foreign property.  Meanwhile, at home, ordinary citizens are trapped in a shrinking comfort zone and are subject to punitive fines for any form of avoidance – late payment of income tax, TV Licence avoidance, and benefit sanctions for late attendance – all of which collects a fraction of what is lost in tax evasion by the wealthy – estimated to be £80 billion a year.

We are being herded like cattle, and if we don’t resist this deadly trend, we will find ourselves sleep walking into a return to Victorian poverty and loss of all the rights our forefathers fought for.  The wealth elite are happy for immigrants to come into the country as it creates competition in the labour market, leading to lower wages and greater profits.  They are happy to see our urban areas turned into slum townships, and for British people to be sucked into a world of squalor and degradation.  To the rich we are all just units in a labour market that serves them.

Resist!  Whilst you still have a vote.  Make it count and throw out those who are the puppets of the depraved super rich.  They will not all want to live in Luxembourg or Panama City when there are much better shows on in London’s West End!  Call their bluff and chase them for tax avoidance.  Some may leave – and good riddance – but the majority will grumble and pay up.  After all, how much money can you spend in one life time?  This is not about envy – it is about fairness and social justice.

It’s time for Britain to wake up and smell the coffee – we must say a resounding ‘NO’ to David Cameron and George Osborne.  They are cynical class warriors, intent on grinding our noses in the dirt and rewarding their rich friends.  This is not our vision of a free and fair society, where all are equal and can live peaceful and fulfilling lives.  Reject the patronising hypocrites who have evil plans for us, and free yourself!