* Prices may differ from that shown
I know you probably don't realise it and this is largely because I don't show it enough but you are my rock and my complete world. I know some Mothers and Daughters that spend every weekend together shopping and doing other things together and I know other examples where all they do is fight and argue. We are neither of these, just the happy medium, which makes me appreciate the time I spend with you even more.
The silly things like just wandering around town with you and going to a coffee shop or making fun of hideous clothes in shops or sharing a private joke put a smile on my face even just thinking about them. I've always known I could confide in you with anything and everything and lately I've come to be so grateful of that thought and knowledge that what I say to you stays between us. Even though me and my sisters are growing up, we are still your little girls and we're always grateful of a hug and kiss from a our Mum - nothing and no one will ever change that.
You've done so much for us over the course of our lives even though both you and Dad work full time to give us all of the luxuries in life and we haven't always showed you just how much we appreciate that but I can assure you that we really do. I want you to be proud of me more than any words could ever begin to describe - what you think of me is paramount in how I live my life. I want to be a role model and set myself up in the right way, exactly how you've been throughout my life. I hope by working and studying hard, especially now with my degree and everything that I am doing this. Every little sacrifice that you've ever made for me means more than you'll ever know.
The fact that there have been times in my life where I haven't shown my love and thanks for having you make me feel so sad on reflection. Everything I put you, Dad and my sisters through with my Anorexia makes me feel sick. All of the tears you cried and hugs you gave me to try and make me see sense to what I was doing to myself that I ignored and shrugged away make me feel a huge amount of shame. Looking back on the past few months and everything we've been through, I wish I'd clung onto you and told you how scared and confused I was but mainly how sorry I was that I was upsetting you so much. Your the reason I want to recover Mum, to make you proud of me and so you have three healthy girls to continue loving. I'm so sorry for the months I've stolen away from you in terms of worrying about me when we could have been continuing to live our lives like we did before but I promise I'm working on changing that and getting better now. I will give you those months back I promise.
So this is it, the final paragraph in my letter to you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making every day of my life special by filling it with your warmth, love, humour and energy Mum. You are the most beautiful, inspiring woman who fills me with hope, courage and belief that there are good people left in this world. You are my best friend, my absolute everything Mum. Thank you for being everything and so much more that a mother should be.
All my love always, Alex, your daughter. X
I was so happy when I was pregnant with you, the hospital had already said I would have scans every few weeks to check on you and lots of other tests but I was still scared. Me and your Dad were petrified that something might happen to you too, your Dad made me get a mobile phone as he was so worried (ok now they are just what we have).
We knew you were a girl and we had already chosen your name, I remember going to the hospital for a checkup a few days after buying the mobile phone and they sent me for a scan that hadn't been planned (I was going for a test to check the blood flow from me to you). I went to the hospital for about 9 o'clock and used to always phone your Dad once I got in work and I hadn't phoned him and time was getting on. He had phoned work twice and just as I was walking through the door my mobile rang (he must have just remembered I had one) and it was nearly 1.30pm. He had been so worried as he had thought I would be back at work by about 10am.
Anyway it's just how we was you meant so much to us even back then.
When the day came for me to have you we were so worried but I think a bit excited too as it was 3 weeks before your due date so deep down I thought nothing could go wrong this time, lots of tests had been done and the doctors were getting you out rather than letting nature take its course.
When you were taken from my stomach they held you up and I saw your little purple feet (I know I have told you that before) then you were whisked away and I heard them say the chord was round your neck, your Dad and I looked at each other with tears in our eyes as I said NO not again and then we heard your kitten like cry - it was the sweetest and best sound I have ever heard well we had both heard. We had the odd tear run down our cheek we were so chuffed.
The nurses seemed to think skin to skin contact with you was important and ripped the top of my gown down as they gave you to me. Of course I had to tell them I didn't believe in that as I had bonded with you months before. You were so tiny they told us you weighed 4lb 10oz years before you would have had to go into special care at that weight but you were strong. Although you didn't feed very well and they had to take your blood sugar every few hours because it was low which wasn't very nice as they pricked you in the heel and it hurt you.
We were both so happy I used to put you on my legs and sit there looking at you and when we got home your Dad was quite happy to sit for hours with you in the crook of his arm.
We could even walk around with your head in the palm of our hand and your legs on our arm you were that small. We had to buy tiny baby clothes for you as when you came home from the hospital you were only 4lb 6oz. You were and still are so special.
You are now getting older it's hard to believe you were once that small but you were and once again it's scary. You are growing up and getting a bit more freedom. You don't always take notice of what we tell you, you are starting to answer back and say things that I don't like. I understand this is part of growing up but I want you to be a good person with manners and I try to teach you this, I just hope it pays off.
You can be so good and sweet and helpful then sometimes you can just turn because of something that has been said. And I know that sometimes I snap which doesn't help but parents aren't perfect we too have our faults.
You do so much that you get tired but for some reason you don't get it, you still get up early and moan when it's bedtime (ok I know children do this and you are no different) but you have to understand why you can't go to bed at 10pm on a school night or even both weekend nights - you still have to be up on Saturday. I know some of your friends go to bed late but they don't do the amount of dancing that you do and everyone is different, some people can cope on less sleep and others stay in bed till nearly dinner time at a weekend (and I know of at least one person in your class that stays asleep till 12 at weekend).
Anyway I love you more than the world and I hope you know that, and I always tell you you can tell me anything and I mean that. It doesn't matter what it is if you tell me the truth we can sort it together.
Daddy loves you soooooooooooooo much too and you should also know that.
So please think before you shout and remember we love you no matter what you became our world the minute you were born and that hasn't changed.
You are 13 now and things are harder you seem more interested in your phone than your family.
An open letter to my daughter.
When I held you in my arms for the first time I felt such a surge of protective love and rightness that I almost felt faint. You were so perfect and so, so beautiful. There was nothing else in the world except us. The noisy ward, the intrusive medics, the harsh whiteness of the sheets all receded into a pinpoint of nothingness, there was just us.
Now you are going to have your own baby. When I focus on that revelation, emotions swirl through me. Joy that you and Graham will have what you want and crave. Anxiety that you and the child will be all right. Shock at where the years went. Fear that I will not be a good enough Nana. Delight at your Dad's delight.
It feels like scree running, exhilarating but frightening too. Moving fast but without sure footing.
Over the last ten years I have had to practise the discipline of opening my arms and letting you go. Mercifully, as you grew up, I had small opportunities to learn how to do this. Your first steps where you could walk without my help and indignantly pushed me away when I was being too helpful. Watching you learn to ride a bike with my heart in my mouth. Waving goodbye to you at the classroom door. Watching you get on the bus when you went to secondary school, your big brother assuring me that he would keep an eye on you. Your first date. Your first love affair. All these steps helped me to learn that you needed to be let go of.
Now my heart lifts every time I see you come up the path when you visit. The squeezed in times when you come for coffee before work are so precious to me. You choose to come back and come back and come back.
I listen to my clients sometimes and hear their grief over abandonment by their children or their parents. I picture you calling your greeting as you choose to come here and be with us. A small thing to you but a perpetual reminder to me that you love us and all the painful letting go meant that you were free and glad to come back, to come home to your Mum and Dad.
Your child will come, as you did, into a welcoming world. You will watch it like an eagle, and hold it like a dove. You will never be the same again as I was not.
You will get some things wrong and learn from them. Mostly you will get things right. You will do it your way because you trust yourself where it matters and have the humility to ask when you are not sure. That is how you are. How you will always be.
I have never met a child before or since that was so instinctively able to discern and fight against injustice, intolerance or wrongness. Your heart was and is enormous. Your inclination was to feed the hungry and fight for the undervalued. Now as I watch you wear yourself out with your work with the underclasses of this society I worry, even though I knew you would never be any different.
Your fiery temperament means that you fight for what is right and that is just another reason that your child will be born into very safe hands. Your humour, your massive intelligence, emotional as well as intellectual, your integrity, your fierce loyalty, all of this and more means that you will be the best parent a child could ever need.
I know that I am biased because you are mine. I also know that this is all true.
Here is a poem for you.
Nestling and growing,
surging towards the light of life
is the seed of your love and belief
in the future.
Nestling and growing from your birth
surging towards the light of life
was the seed of our love and belief
My arms are empty of you
but never for long
my heart is full of the knowlege
of your perfect wholeness.
The circle completes.
An Open Letter to the general public
If you see a mother with a child in a wheel chair would you stand by and watch her struggle? Would you tut, or stare? Or would you even talk quite openly in ear shot of the mother saying things like " ...she shouldn't be here" ? I doubt it.
So why do I dread taking my daughter places in case some one stares and makes comments. My daughter has a disability, she isn't in a wheel chair, she has all her limbs and she has no disfigurements. She looks like any other girl of her age at a first glance, but she isn't she has a hidden disability. Yet members of the public stare at her as if she is a monster and you tut at me and make comments. Children laugh, point and stare.
My daughter has Autism, you can't see Autism some of you have heard of Autism but have no idea what it is. Others may think they know what Autism is because they have watched Rain Man. Autism is a life long disability you can not cure Autism and it affects every one differently.
My daughter can be fine one minute but not the next. A sudden noise could upset her because it causes her pain; she may then lash out and throw her self on the floor.
That's what happened once whilst shopping in the super market, an assistant came out with a big metal trolley. The noise was loud I heard it in the distance but to my daughter it was even louder and unexpected. She started screaming, covering her ears and rocking. I tried to calm her, with her fingers in her ears she rested her head on my shoulder I covered her ears with my hands, but that wasn't enough. She dropped to the floor screaming. I sat down rubbing her arm trying to avoid her kicking legs, She did try to bite me but I'm getting quicker at that now and moved my arm. What must have felt like ages to her but was just a couple of minutes I managed to calm her down & she got up saying "Sorry " over and over and over again.
It was what happened next that was more upsetting. There standing staring where members of the public, some youngsters laughing, a mother pulling her child away quickly down a different isle. Then I heard it two ladies looking at me one shaking her head the other then said " it shouldn't be allowed, it should be locked up, obviously not normal"
I didn't finish my shopping, we went straight back home, my daughter none the wiser. I don't know how I managed to wait until I was in the safety of my own home but I did. I then sat and cried and cried some more. Was it my fault am I a bad mother may be I shouldn't take her to the shops again. Then anger set in "IT" how dare they call my daughter it and why should she be locked up. She is no monster, she is not perfect but what child is what is a normal child anyway! I am not a bad mother it was them being ignorant, rude and uneducated.
So members of the public, should you see a child behaving in such a way don't just think the child is naughty. If you see a child or an adult making strange noises or rocking please do not stop and stare. If you see a child becoming so anxious and a mother struggling to calm them down please don't make snide hurtful comments.
There are many children & adults that suffer from many hidden disabilities so do not assume that all disabilities have to be visual.
That day hurt and upset me deeply, but I won't let it get me down. I am proud of my daughter and I would not change her for the world.
To the Home Office Minister,
I am livid.
I am a New Zealand woman, fast approaching my 60th birthday and I have been working in United Kingdom for over five years and this morning I hear on the television news you value my services in a ''downwards'' scale - my ''low skills'' services are not required anymore.
How will my MS client feel when I go in and tell him I will not be allowed to renew my work permit as I am lowly skilled, and the government does not want me here?
Minister, please advise me why you value the EU carers over me.. I can speak the English language to high levels, I have been a reporter for 25 years so have a good command of the English language. I can write in our daily care book to most acceptable levels of handwriting, some of your EU privileged have not been able to write the simplest of sentences for our most necessary recording procedure.
I can speak clearly and succinctly to my MS young man who is completely paralysed, blind, incontinent and cannot move anything properly except his head. He cannot speak clearly and all in all it is fair to say he does need SPECIALIST CARE.
I am being honest with you here Minister - I am SPECIALISED, I do not have a formal degree but with many years St John Ambulance training in First Aid and Home Nursing, decades of looking after my late husband who died at 62 years old of early-onset Alzheimers Disease and generally a long-term at the University of Life - I am not ''in the lower skills'' grade you have declared us mature carers from outside the EU are!!
I am livid Mr or Mrs or Ms Minister.
My current work permit runs out in December 2011 and if I want to beg you for Indefinite Leave to Remain I have to do the following: Pay either GBP750 if I send in a request or GBP900 if I take time off work and travel to Croydon to present myself and all the things you need for me to grovel to be allowed to stay and to work, to pay taxes and to contribute to the economy. You will know I have to present your officers with birth certificates of myself, my father and grandfather who was born in Deptford, London... as well I will be presenting three months original bank statements, your several page application form as well as my UK Quiz results (which I will pay GBP35 for and have to take a day off work to sit) I will have to be sure to make application within 2-weeks of sitting this exam. If I post it you will want to hold my passport for 40 days which restricts when I can sit the exam and get things off to you.
You will of course know that your EU preferred carers will just show a passport as they fly, bus, train in and walk into work and not have to do anything else.
Minister I invite you to look up my records to see that I paid around GBP400 to get my original Ancestry Work Permit and before it ran out after four years I took a week off work, travelled to Croydon and went through an arduous application/renewal procedure costing me over GBP1000 to get a five year Residence Permit which runs out in December 2011. If I want Indefinite Leave to Remain (which I do) I now face all the procedure mentioned in this communication to you and a further GBP750 or GBP900 plus costs involved in making my application.
Minister I am livid ....as mentioned earlier, the EU people come in for hardly any cost and form filling etc etc!!!
May I remind you Minister that New Zealand men and woman answered the call from the Motherland when she called on her British Commonwealth citizens for support ....30,000 died and thousands of others maimed in two world wars which they fought for Britain! We are still members of the British Commonwealth and the Queen is our Queen.
Some of these EU people who walk into England to work, and send child benefits home to places all over Europe, are from countries that people from Britain and my Kiwi elders were at war with ----dying and fighting against.
I have worked for over five years in Britain, I have been the Live-In-Carer for 20 clients and every one of them and their families have been so pleased to have me live-in and give top-quality care at all times. The anger I feel right now has forced me to give up humility as I tell you I AM A HIGHLY SKILLED AND HIGHLY sought-after live-in-carer. After nearly five years I have left working for the agency and am now privately, self-employed working with a young man who is definitely in need of a highly-skilled, competent and committed carer - I am that person and wish to remain so for many years.
Minister - I am livid.
My young man has had a huge variety of carers from all over the world - he has had so many disappointments that he has decided to only have me working to look after him.
I am privately, self-employed - I love my work and tell you I look after him the best he could get in the world. I am from New Zealand and I am a valued and contributing member of the community I work and live in - near Manchester.
Minister - I am aware that Britain has an migrant worker problem but may I respectfully suggest that you are hitting the wrong area. Live-in care agencies and care-homes are short of carers and it seems the low wage does not attract English people to the industry. What are the clients/patients going to do if there are not enough people working in the industry?
Why hit New Zealand and Australian mature people? They bring a load of skills and life experiences to share with the elderly and infirmed.....they speak English, they know how to work hard and have a strong desire to contribute to all aspects of life.... you are making a huge mistake.
I am livid that EU people are valued and I am not.
Minister - I expect a reply from you.
Minister - I expect you to re-assess your decision.
I remain, committed to caring to my Professional, Highly Skilled and dedicated standards.
I remain, yours faithfully (if not disillusioned),
Three years ago, on 22nd July 2005 God decided that you were very tired and that your time had come to leave this world. You had been blighted by ill health for many years before that. You were always strong and carried on with your life as best you could.
I could only stand back and watch you getting more and more tired. If there was a family occassion coming up you would tell us, with a smile on your face, that you would try to "hang around for it". And you did this on so many occassions.
You were the head of our family for as long as I can remember and everyone looked up to you. You were, and still are, very much loved by everyone you left behind. No one has tried to take your place, as head of the family, because we all know that no one ever could.
At your funeral, the Church was full with everyone wanting to pay their last respects to you. You were described at the service as "the man everybody loved" and this was so true. You knew everone and everyone knew you.
Anywhere you went you were always treated with respect and you respected everyone else. It never mattered to you where people came from, or what sort of life they led, you treated everyone as a friend and an equal.
I think about you all the time and I am sure that you are watching over me.
Father's Day is on Sunday and all I can do is put flowers on your grave, or as your great grandchildren call it "granda Robert's special garden".
As I said everybody loved you but you are MY Dad and I love and miss you very much.
This August it will be 20 years since you died. People say that time heals the grief and to some extent the grief is not so raw as it used to be. However, you are still loved as much as ever and your memory is so very precious. You are thought of every single day and it is always with happiness.
So, what's been going on down here then? Well, a year after you died and four years after my little Robbie was stillborn, I met the man who I married. It was love at first sight and I paid the price for that. 16 years of being in a relationship where I was subjected to physical and verbal abuse practically every day. Yes, I know what you would have done if you had still been alive but I didn't find the courage to leave until 3 years ago.
However, I did have two wonderful sons to add to your collection of grandsons. You now have 7 grandsons, 2 great grandsons and my 2 stepchildren making a total of 8 grandsons and a granddaughter. You would be so proud. When both my boys were born, we had an Only Fools and Horses moment. You missed the episode when DelBoy finally becomes a Dad but he holds baby Damien up towards the night sky to show his mother who is "up there" like you are.
I wished like anything that as on so many other occasions, I could have you back for the day so you could hold them.
Mind you, when the youngest was born who has your name for his middle name, I thought it WAS you. That kid looks like you so much, all the family notice. He even walks like you and has the same habit of wiggling his right ear when his whole face is still. And he is VERY prudent with his money.....wonder where he gets that from, Dad??
Well, you know that when I nursed you, I gave up 6th form and went to college instead to be a nursery nurse. It was second choice for me as my dream was to finish A levels and become a teacher. College paid a grant, and with you not working and terminally ill, there was little choice. I'm now a specialist teaching assistant and love every minute of it.
Would I still have made the same decision to nurse you? Yes, without a shadow of a doubt. You were the most wonderful patient, you never complained. Dying from leukaemia was a terrible thing. Your veins were so bad from all the needles for testing everything that we both cried every time at the hospital, but you were as brave and dignified as when you fought in the Second World War. You bore your pain with dignity and still found the time to share a joke with the doctors and nurses.
This last year has been very very special to me. Last year, three years after I left my exhusband, I met my new partner. Funny really, with you being an true EastEnder, I remember you telling me "Make sure you marry a Romford boy". Guess where he is from then? Yes, you've got it. My friends all think he is the best thing since sliced bread. The exhusband said "I bet the sun shines out of his ****" and yep, he's right!
So now, I am a Mum of four, with a wonderful partner. We aren't "properly married" but we went to Glastonbury this year and we had a hippy wedding in a tent in the mud with about 50 other couples and how many people can say Dame Shirley Bassey sang at their wedding reception? Ok, it was the two of us in folding chairs and wellies sharing a pizza and a Coke, but we were happy!
I often think of you "up there" as we called it, looking after Robbie and with your sister now, who I dearly miss too. But you are always in my heart, and like the song you used to sing "they can't take that away from me."
Must go now, I have to have dinner. Your 13 year old giant of a grandson has cooked, he is already a head taller than me and takes after you with his size 12 feet!
love you Dad
An Open letter to advocates of democracy.
Dear Democracy advocate
I want to argue a point about democracy. But before I can do that I will give you one definition of democracy.
government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system
Please look closely at this definition.
Government by the people. Do we have such thing in any of the democratic nations in Northern or Southern Hemisphere.
Did you say YES. Well you are wrong. I will come to this later.
Lets carry on with the rest of the statement
a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them
Everyone will agree this is false.
Carry on with the statement
or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.
this last bit is true.
Under the name of democracy we have gangsters in disguise ruining our lives. That is what political groupings are, gangsters and criminals.
Every single country in the world is controlled by a very small number of men and women. They serve interests of rich. Businesses take priority our rights of ordinary people.
I give one example. National wage in this country for an adult is under £6. A man or a woman with children will make £50 a day. An executive sitting in the office will make 10 times that. Where is the democracy, where is equality. Unfair laws and unjust taxes exist in every country.
Where is the right for every man and woman. Voting in elections has no meaning. You elect member of an established party. These parties are shut out to majority of people. Yes, you can join as a member but you won't influence policy.
Life is funny, politics sucks blood out of ordinary folks.
Even here in Britain we are ruled by a dictator style government. There is no opposition to Blair or Brown. Labour does what it likes, before Labour it was Conservatives.
Politicians set out at young age with fancy ideas, principles and ideals. When they enter the doors of Westminster they are sucked in the corruption and exclusiveness of the system.
There was and there is no democracy and there will never be.
I have no solution. In fact there is no solution.
Now I know you guys and girls were taking aback in the mid-nineties when Bush's oil cronies decided to get 'Dubya' elected so to invade Iraq, now the worlds most lucrative and easy to extract oil supply, and wanted Blair to go along wit it to legitimize the invasion. This coup would mean you would have to quickly come up with an excuse to get Britain involved in the so called 'The War against Terror', or T.W.A.T as the guffawing British Army likes to call it (and Blair). Obviously, as you guys were allowing most of the world's terror groups to openly set up in London and Birmingham in the 80s and 90s there was never a shortage of candidates for the terror threat, evidence already showing how complicit you guys were in the slaughter on 7/7, and your dodgy dossiers initiating the war in Iraq triggering the attacks against the UK etc.
As I was reading up on the recent terror trial I am confused why you didn't keep a closer eye-in hindsight-on the two 7/7 bombers linked to the fertilizer plot guys. Clearly they were known Jihadists at the time and you had files on both. The fact you didn't even hand them over to the West Yorkshire police for credit card fraud, something they could have been followed up and nicked for, is extremely frustrating. If they had been shaken down on that then they may never have blown up London. Or don't we prosecute Asians for CNP (Card Not Present) and cheque fraud anymore, by all accounts quite prevalent in the Muslim communities according to your sister Home Office site (see footnote #1). Even the Sri Lankan government has admitted that Tamil Tigers are using British garage forecourts to commit huge fraud to raise funds to fund their terrorist insurgency problem in their country. Indeed one of the then 7/7 suspects quoted that:" all the brothers have scams going on". A simple six months sentence for CNP fraud could have broken this gang up early on. By not handing over a file to the West Yorkshire Police it feels like you wanted these guys to stay out there until they came up with an unlikely plan, emptying more innocent people's accounts, almost facilitating crime. By their version of Sharia law the paying of interest is illegal but mass murder and fraud isn't? You're not dealing with rational human beings here. Arrest them! Did you want the 7/7 bombers to succeed so to justify the oil grab in Iraq?
With most electoral fraud in the UK in Asian wards (see footnote #2), the terror threat is going to grow if you don't get on top of these fanatics. As organized crime is the common link-some 171 gangs (footnote #3) operating in the UK now- then why don't you just hit them before they can become radicals, or would a cynic like me be right in thinking that you don't have a job without uncovering or making the terror threat appear bigger than it is? Indeed the people that have most to gain from the terror threats are the ones forever talking it up. Your ex-boss in Dame Elizabeth Manningham-Brewer claims there were over 200 active terror cells in the UK on her watch, an excessive and a juicy parting sound-bite to earn another pay rise for you guys me thinks. But now the Tories are in she has admitted alot of the terror claims were exagerated. Have the Tories ended the War on Terror by not funding it?
You know what I think? I reckon you have lots of double agents on great money that infiltrate the known Jihadists and rebel rousers in the UK and your agents talk them into thinking about, and then planning attacks they may never commit, getting it on tape, and then you nick em when its politically expedient, say when Blair and Brown were in trouble on domestic sleaze issues, or there was an election coming up? Isn't it amazing that the jury deliberated for 27 days over the fertilizer plot, the verdict engineered to coincide with the local elections on 2007...
The trial was a good thing on some levels as 7/7 happened and there are sociopaths out there, but it all seems hyped up and encouraged, a terror threat that is just not as rampant as what is being presented. Since 911 America has not been attacked once, bar the looney in New York with the child like car bomb. The arrest and prosecution of Dieran Barret, a complete fantasist attention seeker, was the pinnacle of your hype in the UK. Up until that point you had arrested 1500 people here on terror related charges but mange only 27 convictions on serious charges, most of those Algerian terror suspects fighting against ex 'Worlds Most Wanted in Colonel Gadaffi, now our friend, guys who had been here for 15 years and funded by MI6 to infiltrate Libyan security. Still, I suppose you know how nasty they were and they did need locking up now they are the enemy, handing them over all part of our new oil deals with Libya one pressumes. The release of convicted Libyan bomber Magrghi to smooth opil deals exposes our duplicity over what we would do to get oil deals.
I just don think these airline plotters in England would have made a bomb from that rusty tin of Chapatti powder leaning against a back garden shed all winter with that pallet of fertilizer, purchased by a guy who was NEVER charged. Could he be working for you I wonder? Why don't you ever arrest these guys when they actually have a plan to make a bomb? It's always an idea, what we call beer talk, that they get knicked for. If I hate my boss and I want him to be wiped out in a car crash it doesn't mean I am going to undo his break peddle!
Don't get me wrong, there are some bad people out there and with the influx of asylum seekers from war torn Muslim countries here and disaffected home grown radicals from impoverished communities, it is a challenge. But if you don't let them argue the case that it's Iraq that has pushed them over the edge then this will only get bottled up even more. Again, is that your plan? No terror threat. No budget increase, promotions and so nice top of the range bullet proof cars a thing of the past?
Your masterpiece, the WMD nonsense, although obviously a load of tosh, is what intelligence agencies were born for, telling lies to further the countries needs. I don't blame Blair for lying his socks off in parliament. This country's need for secure and future energy supplies will always be bigger than any incumbent PM. And to be fair he's a great actor and was convincing to people off less intelligence, so to speak, only body language experts that trained him not to give too much away able to spot his 'tells' and lies. I also feel for Tony that he can't just say to the public: look, we need the oil; you need the oil, why are you blaming me for doing what you know that needs doing, the public's dirty work? The erroneous satisfaction the electorate gets from that has been the biggest contradiction of the new century. As an anti war type that's why I didn't attend the big march in London just before the war as I would have felt a hypocrite, not feeling the need to appease any middle class guilt. Most of those people marching were intelligent and knew this war had to be done, however awful.
In closing, can you please stop hyping up the terror threat. We are in Iraq and the oil has been signed over to the West now. No more Londoners need die for that. You need to calm the situation and start arresting these guys on mass for normal offences, instead of empowering them by letting them run, invent plots, and raise fears. Global Warming is the new War on Terror now guys. Nick em for fraud and whatever early on, break up the gangs and preachers of hate. It's clear the general consensus in the Muslim community is that this festering anger is about Iraq, Palestine and now Afghanistan and so unless you give them a voice this won't die down, and so little help likely to come from these comminutes. Job done! Its what they have done in America and they have had no attacks since 911.
The CIA's motto is 'You never hear of our successes'.
To Mr Duncan Fletcher,
I thank you for resigning. Your record in test matches is very good. Taking the team from 7th to 2nd in World test match league table.
I was always concerned about your one day record. It is worse than all the previous managers or coaches. I presume sir that you don't take any interest in one day game.
One day game in England is in very bad shape. You relied on older players. Why is Nixon in the team. He is 37 years old. You forgot to groom a match winning bowler. You failed to handle Flintoff. You made a mistake in removing him from vice captain job. He is the best player in the team and because of your mistake he failed to play to his ability.
Where is the batsman who will score a century in the one day matches.
Why was Michael Vaughan taken to the world cup. He is good leader but bad batsman.
It is not your fault because Counties are not producing the players. However you should have gone before the world cup.
To Mrs Gordon Brown.
First of all, I would like to commend you for 'standing by your man' at this difficult time, which is all the time. You are the most trusted, loyal, tender, kind, caring, understanding, intelligent, wise, considerate, strong minded, unassuming, individual that Britain has never ever seen. Long may it continue......
Forget the 'Iron lady' term of Lady Margret Thatcher, you surpass her in everyway in unassumingness alone. Imagine what Britain would be like without the customary quiet word in the Chancellors ear over a breakfast of piping hot tea and poached eggs.
"Think about the poor who have lost someone close to them, Gordon dear". Your request is greeted with a customary nod and a flicker of a grin. Hubby jots a note down in pencil on the last page of the budget......IHT 40% not 45%. On all the budgets that your Mr. Brown has delivered, there is a little sweetner to take the bitterness away. I thank you for that.
Every year on Budget day your hubby tells us how and where he is going to spend our money.... We wait patiently for 48 minutes for a piece of humanity a crumb of thanks for all the hard work Britains servants provide the treasury. We linger to each word...We think to ourselves."I understood that bit...Oh perhaps not..Did he just contradict himself? and he expects us to be grateful for the crumbs he throws our way. Crumbs weve paid for. Thats nice large crusts to you Mrs. B.
Top economic reporters then dissect your hubby's statement and try to put it into "layman terms". He has complexed simple tasks many of them, and then swapped it round again a few years later. He waits for an applause.... and smirks (is this the punch line?) is this your doing Mrs. B? Do you reward him with small treats from time to time?
Mrs. B as you know the economy has been booming for 10 years expert say, but few taxpayers actually have any more money to spend. Can I suggest you give him yet another gentle word in his ear.
I'm not sure you are aware but the average gross weekly income has risen by just £16 in the last four years... What has happened to my treasury donations? I ask you because I feel that by being your hubbies confidante you could give me a crumb of belief. Is there a master plan? I have to ask because we taxpayers in the UK now face one of the highest tax burdens in the industrialised world, according to the IMF.
I'm a little concerned and bemused... Why has Mr. B inflicted all this damage on taxpayers disposable income without any politically dangerous rises in the headline rate of income tax. I know that Mr. B has been cruelly labelled as Stalin like....You know the truth...Though this does smell of dishonesty to me. Your Gordon's most recent sneaks have been in Inheritance Tax (IHT), where the tax taken is soaring as rising house prices due to unquestionable demand have pushed more and more loyal people into this blackhole of cash.
During the past five years...the estates on which IHT was paid soared by 75%....Ermm.. I think that a shed is the best option for my Mother... nothing too expensive anything around 85,000 (somewhere near her family) perferably 9ft by 12ft. My Mum is a big believer in savings; she has saved most of her life and wants to keep most of it to do as she wants...not what your hubby wants it for; I'm sure you understand; this is the only option. IKEA do good deals for sheds. Do you have any suggestions?
I'm not sure if you have sneaked a peak at the housing statistics in Gordon's study Mrs B; but in each region of the UK in 2006 there was at least one parliamentary constituency in which one in five houses sold for more than that years tax threshold of £285,000. Now that you are looking as if you are moving to a 'grand place' yourself in the near future. It is worth looking at the housing market as a whole, unlike you Mrs. B, most loyal taxpayers don't just get given a house. Though personally, there always seem a lot of "odd bods" constantly slipping in and out of your potential new home. The 'welcome' mat looks shabby to say the least.
I'm not sure if your Gordon knows...well actually I'm sure he does...he's a clever man... that the really wealthy do not pay IHT; they employ big burly, hot shot lawyers to solve that tricky subject. That I think is particularly UNFAIR. I'm no mathematician but I guess that GB, may I call him GB? knows that there are more OAP's than really wealthy people, hence more money for the government to pocket for a nice 2mn pension. Heavens forbid Mrs. B I'm not saying YOU don't deserve it. You have worked hard.
For a fairer threshold the IHT should be realistically 550,00 before the 40% kicks in. Thanks for your gentle ways I'm sure that it would be more....What is wrong with a nice round number..like 30%?
I wonder sometimes whether GB has been influenced from the affluent peers. Labour as you very well know use to be in favour of the working class and worked tirelessy for a fairer country. It's a pity all that entity has been wasted. It is important to know that it is the common people who voted for Labour to represent them all in goverment...Something to think about while you organise Gordon's home coming party at number 10, this Summer...or whenever it is... It must be difficult for you this year when to book your Summer holidays. Blair has always been a pain in the a***, to GB, all those playful uni jibes.. still haunts GB don't they?
I've watched your Gordon for years and I always felt he wanted to be the one in power. You know Mrs. B, spill the beans..... I know it's difficult....you got to stand by your man... I commend your loyalty again.
Instead GB is getting his kicks out of seeing millions of people of middling-wealth paying tax on inheritances that consist of just a suburban home and a lifetimes savings - all accumulated out of income on which income tax was paid! If, I can put it in "layman" terms; it is like paying for your groceries every week twice; or in your case getting a scary 'frollicking cheeky wink' from Gordon..... I do sympathise with you.
I do have the answer, if your interested Mrs. B....I know why the rich pay inheritance tax? It is because business assets are exempt from tax so apart from having hot shot lawyers the very rich still wont pay a penny of IHT. Do you think it's fair Mrs. B? There is more...Farmland is also exempt and so high flying executives routinely recycle their bonuses into land and AGAIN escape tax.
I'm not against the rich getting richer by no means.....Call me a modern Robin Hood, except I have a PC, instead or crotch hugging green shorts. I feel your eyes shining...GB will be in for another treat later, no doubt.
Forget the green shorts Mrs. B... concentrate....Now ask GB this: why should business assets and land escape tax when a house, paid for on a mortgage out of taxed income over a lifetime, is subject to tax? Or why should investments accumulated out of taxed income be subject to inheritance tax? A bank survey found that 71% of people cited savings from income as the principal source of their wealth - why should they pay tax twice?
It does not make sense that these exemptions practically give the rich two big fat get-out-of-jail-free cards. Many of us Mrs. B strive everyday to reach dizzy financial heights and want to live in this promised land, however reality steps in and gives a hand of mediocreness, leaving millions of people of modest wealth subject to tax. I know you have mentioned this in so many ways to GB....but a firmer voice is require...perhaps even play on GB's laptop.
This possiby could get even worse... without your help.. I believe that without your help... The UK would of been subjected to an orgy of illogical think tank taxes.. that would of hit middle Britain. The "lost generation"would be talked about for years; as millions of people would of seeked solace in Jersey.
Your husbands colleagues have openly said that he has an astute manner that does not allow democratic discussion. I think it is time you should step out and share some of your bargaining secrets... give lectures to spurned MP's on... How to be a Russian democrat, as it looks likely that when GB takes office, The middle Britain peasant population will be flourishing....with fellow MP's scuttling off carrying GB errands like flustered chambermaids....worried that the "drop jawed tick" would be in their direction....
Mrs. B; Middle England needs you, more than ever.
Sadly, the fantasy world does not stretch as far as number 10 Downing Street... It is very unlikely the IHT threshold will be lowered at anytime in the near future especially as GB's dug his heels in. Now the High street banks have suggested a change in the IHT threshold.
Mrs B; we all need you to ween your hubby off this unsavoury IHT habit. It could be a good time to book him into the Priory Clinic... as this unsocial habit is effecting millions. GB will have 10 years of "cold turkey", though would thank you eventually. He may even learn the guitar... apparently there are lots of good musicians there who have all the time in the world to teach your husband the guitar, for free. Oh dear I've just realised... it would be pointless...he hasn't any finger nails.
Oh well Mrs B. It's in your hands...........No pressure.
Dear Mr Brown
Please find enclosed my completed self-assessment form for the last financial year. Hopefully your staff will process this before the 31st January, thus avoiding them the stressful task of writing to me asking for £100.00 for the late filing of this form. To avoid any confusion this year, Ive returned the form, recorded delivery.
Im a team player and have worked extremely hard this year, so I trust you will put to good use the tax you have collected from me. As a faithful servant, even after providing for my wife and 4 children Ive managed to save a few quid that should generate you further income from the interest this will attract.
I do have one minor confession, I have drastically cut down on the fags and I sincerely hope the lost tobacco tax revenue does not cause you any undue hardship. I pondered the pros and cons and selfishly arrived at the conclusion my health was more important. The chances are I may now live longer, which should increase my overall earning potential and thus allow me to contribute more in taxes, I hope you understand.
Ive continued my private health care policy for the whole family to lessen the burden on our National Health Service, you may not know but my son was in a very serious car accident the year before last. The operations and health care exceeded £10,000, hes made a full recovery Im pleased to say and PPP picked up the bill. I trust my unused National Insurance contributions will come in handy and are put to good use.
Possibly some good news, we are thinking of moving, dont worry Im not going to move abroad. Im a loyal employee and will continue to contribute all I can to the treasury. The Stamp Duty or SDLT (Stamp Duty Land Tax) as I believe it's known now, should generate you a considerable amount of money. As you know I reside to the south of our Kingdom and house prices are extremely high compared to some of the other regions. The kids are growing up and we really do need a four or five bedroom house. As such we will smash the £500,000 band limit you so cleverly introduced a higher tax percentage on back in 1997. I must say you have done very well to hold these bandings at the same level all these years even though house prices have soared. It brings a smile to my face to know you will collect from me in excess of £20,000 for such an obscure tax.
On the subject of SDLT, there has been some unrest in the camp; some of my fellow employees have been rather vocal expressing negative views to say the least. Many do not look upon this tax as favourable. I did point out you were only following tradition, after all Stamp Duty was first introduced way back in 1694 by King William III and his wife Queen Mary II to help fight the war against France. From that point on those in charge have added to the spectrum of the Stamp Duty levy. I told them Mr Kipling would have been proud of you as you have done exceedingly well increasing the 2.5 billion income Stamp Duty produced when you first entered government to around the 9 billion mark it pulls in today.
I argued that you did increase the limit from £60,000 to £125,000 before SDLT was due but my fellow colleagues informed me that the average first time buyer cant buy a residence for less than £125,000 in the area I live and the limit should be raised in line with the inflated house prices. They have a point, having 4 children myself this is a little worrying but I will keep saving hard, paying the tax my savings generate and what is left you can have because Ill probably end up giving it to the kids when they want to leave the nest, to pay the imposed duty on their new home.
I summed up my argument by informing those rowdy lot that we should all help each other, I did say you were on our side and at some point there comes a time when you may have to bend over and take one for the team so to speak but unfortunately I dont think they were convinced.
On a completely different matter I overheard a fellow colleague complaining about your Inheritance Tax, they felt the £285,000 limit before this tax becomes due was far too low. They said as house prices have risen highly, a lot more people would now fall in to this tax bracket. I even heard one of them say they were going to keep their relative on life support in a vegetative state for 7 years and then claim the house and savings were given to them as a gift, seven years previous. The lengths some people will go to eh? Might be one to look out for!
Brian Octavius Locks
B O Locks
The most reprinted newspaper editorial of all time is the reply sent by Francis Pharcellus Church to 8-year-old Virginia OHanlon who wrote to the New York Sun in September 1897. She wanted to know whether there was a real Santa Claus. I guess if I was going to do something similar today, maybe Id write to Dooyoo and ask the same question.
Dear Dooyoo Santa,
I am 41 years old.
Some of my Dooyoo friends say there is no Dooyoo Santa Claus.
Papa says, If you see it in The Sun its so.
Please tell me the truth; is there a Dooyoo Santa Clause?
115 West Ninety-Fifth St.
p.s. My Christmas Wish List
-Re-instatement of a split read count for member/non-member reads on my profile
-A decent archive that can be searched and products actually found
-Review traffic as busy as it was in the glory days of a few years ago
-The comments link brought back so that opinions dont have to be read to catch the comments
....and pay per non-member reads. Well, if you dont ask you dont get...
Marandina, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except what they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Marandina, whether they be mens or childrens, are little.
In this great Dooyoo universe of ours, the consumer reviewer is a mere insect, an ant, in his or her intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him or her, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, Marandina, there is a Dooyoo Santa Claus. He exists certainly as love and generosity and consumer products exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy as well as information about phones and movies.
Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Dooyoo Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Marandinas. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Dooyoo Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in Ciao fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch the Dooyoo Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see.
Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but thats no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You tear apart the babys rattle (as reviewed in October on Dooyoo) and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world (see debate in discussion about wearing the veil right or wrong?) which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond.
Is it all real? Ah, Marandina, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, nay, 10 times 10 thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood and help make purchasing decisions from afar.
Merry Christmas everyone.
Dear Job Centre Plus staff AND people who make policy for Jobseekers Allowance AND scummy people who claim Jobseekers Allowance and work on the side
Firstly I want to say that I'm writing this just to get off my chest how ineffective the majority of you are in your roles and how much I despise people on benefits who are working on the side. Yes, this is a personal attack! Having had dealings with you from various perspectives over the years: a) as someone who was made redundant and had to make a claim and sign on for a brief period of time, b) as someone dealing with long term job seekers referred by the job centre to my previous 2 employers and c) as someone who has known of so many people fiddling the system; I just had to voice my disgust at the lack of common sense, common courtesy and overall blasé attitude you display in general towards your duties and/or conning other hard-working people like myself.
As a person who was made redundant at very short notice a few years ago and not given any redundancy money due to the company going under, I went to you in the hopes that I would get a sympathetic ear and some professional advice as well as help with my mortgage. It was the first time I was signing on and had no idea of the bureaucracy involved in what I thought would be a simple process. You made me make an appointment to fill in what seemed like dozens of lengthy and fairly complicated forms and made me feel like a criminal just for applying for what was rightfully mine. Having worked solidly from the age of 17 and paid income tax, national insurance and every other tax our wonderful government chooses to levy on hardworking people of this country I was then made to go through a nightmare process to get a reduction in my council tax payments by having to show all kinds of evidence to prove who I was and all kinds of stupidity to prove I was entitled to a reduction. This was utterly ridiculous as I don't remember having to give evidence of who I was when they sent me my annual bill telling me I had to pay £1,500 a year or something resembling that figure each year. I pay VAT, I pay road tax, I pay for dental treatment and pay for my prescriptions. On top of that all I had a nightmare getting even a fraction of my mortgage paid - if I had been paying rent (which I might add, would have cost three times the amount my mortgage was at that time for this property) you would have paid my whole rent without question but oh no, someone works hard, pays a mortgage for over 10 years and you question and question and then pay a paltry sum each month and make me feel like a beggar for even asking for that sort of help!
Every fortnight I was subjected to what felt like total humiliation having to go to that disgustingly depressing job centre and sit around for over an hour waiting to sign a bit of paper and have a so called review with an advisor - the review which never happened and on the very rare occasion that someone actually looked up some jobs which might be pertinent to me they were nothing to do with any of the skills I had acquired over 15 years of working. I was talked down to at every opportunity, being told I would have to lower my salary expectations after 6 months if I had not found a job! You wish! I was earning more than most of you do before I was made redundant and have been doing so ever since. You're not trained in recruitment and you have no idea what you're doing so why do you sit there and act as if you know what you're doing? You don't know what you're doing - putting people forward for jobs they have no experience of, you're supposed to be civil servants, the majority of you that I've dealt with over the years don't even know what civil means nor the concept of serving the public. How many positions of Retail Manager or Call Centre Supervisor was I told to apply for? I've never worked in Retail so how can I be a manager of other retail staff and I've never worked in a call centre so how can I supervise one?
That rant now over, it's moving on to how you deal with other people. In my roles working in training organisations partnered with the job centres, basically you sent long term job seekers to us that you decided needed our help in things like interview skills, CV improving/writing, work placements to get some current work experience, things that we were qualified and experienced in doing (obviously we wouldn't have been doing the job successfully for so many years). I lost count of the number of times we sent people back to you for lack of co-operation, for refusing to attend job interviews because they "didn't feel like it" or "didn't want to travel half an hour to work each way" or "didn't want to work in a nasty charity shop to gain retail experience" or "were studying part-time 3 days a week" which meant they couldn't apply for a full time job (job seekers allowance is only supposed to be available to those who are able to work full time DUHHH) or were just too plain blunt about working on the side and not being able to commit to a full time job. No matter how many times we reported back to you about the lack of commitment on the side of the job seekers to accept jobs, less than 5% of the time did you take any real action against these people. I've lost count of the number of times the job centre staff didn't want to take action against clients and I quote "Oh it's just so much paperwork to deal with if we instigate action against them!" WHAT A JOKE!
When I was looking for work when I was 17 years old I had to go around looking for a job for myself, I never had the opportunity of going to a centre each day when I could use free computers and write letters and take advantage of free postage, get reimbursed for travel fares and even have people give me lists of relevant jobs that I could apply for and there I was in my mid 30s having worked for nearly 2 decades trying to get people in their mid 30s or older apply for their first job in their lives as they'd been happily signing on since leaving school. How angry that made me and so many of my colleagues you have no idea but why are healthy fit individuals allowed to sit around on their backsides for so many years doing absolutely nothing whilst the rest of us work our way up in the world and end up paying higher rates of tax for the those that won't work.
Don't get me wrong, I have complete empathy for those genuinely in need; who have physical or mental issues which prevent them from working, they need the help. But someone signing on for 20 years since leaving school and getting their rent paid each week and who can afford to buy 20 cigarettes a day and go to the pub regularly make me wonder how easy their lives are and how I have to work my rear end off to pay for them having it so cushy? Why was action never taken against people we reported when we found out they were working on the side, we even provided you details of where they were working so you could take action. It wasn't our job to do that, you have a separate fraud team to work on that. I don't want to hear that they're too busy to follow up on genuine leads provided. IT WAS NOT OUR JOB TO FIND OUT THIS INFORMATION ONLY FOR IT NOT TO BE ACTED UPON!
Only the other day a guy I know who is a lorry driver said he had a consignment of goods to be delivered to a really rough council estate. When he arrived at the house a woman opened the door with 4 screaming kids around her, she told him to go drive round to the set of garages a few yards away and someone would be out in a moment. Her rough looking partner/husband/whatever came out in a vest and shorts smoking a joint and wearing more gold chains than Mr T and opened up the garage and asked my pal to unload the stuff. It was palettes of cleaning equipment - when my pal asked him if he was in business and if so, why was he living in such a rough area, the guy told him with a wink "We're on benefits mate, why should we give up a free council house when we're running a successful business on the side, have 3 or 4 holidays a year? Know what I mean? Most of the people around here are doing the same thing anyway!" When my pal asked him how could he go on holiday if he had to sign on he said that they went away for 10 day trips and made sure it was in between signing on dates! I'll say no more on this one as my blood is boiling over just writing this down now!
My husband, who hate the soap Eastenders with a passion, asked me the other day, if Keith Miller was unemployed and signing on, why is it that he can afford to go to the pub so often? I couldn't answer that. When his wife, (who wasn't really his wife, but that's off topic) Rosie, was in the show, she was signing on too and she used to do cleaning jobs and their son Mickey was openly running a stall in the local market and they used to get a cab to the job centre altogether to sign on. Now that is the ultimate p*ss take, showing that on national TV. The only way that storyline was wrapped up somewhat was when Keith was filmed playing football with his son and was taken in by the fraud team for questioning as he was claiming benefits for disability (I think) and was then put onto normal benefits.
When people are getting away with this kind of behaviour why on earth would they want to sign off the dole? Benefit fraud is benefit fraud and I don't care what anyone says or thinks of me, if I know someone is doing it, I'll report it without hesitation! If you're a drug dealer and you're signing on why? If you supposedly make so much bloody money selling drugs why do you still have to sign on? One of the "clients" at my last company was a guy who'd done time for dealing drugs on a big scale, he was on probation, he admitted he was still dealing drugs and had to sign on so the job centre wouldn't ask where he was working and why he wasn't paying tax, admittedly he said all of this to my colleague so I couldn't report him but my colleague was too scared to report him as he said the chap would know it was him who reported him!
Jobseekers Allowance in my opinion is paid out far too easily and for far too long, when young people with no experience or qualifications refuse to go out and work for minimum wage making comments like "I'm not getting out of bed for 5 quid an hour" I want to wring their necks, how the hell can you expect to earn more than minimum wage if you have no experience, no qualifications and a chip on your shoulder the size of Wembley Stadium. What moron is going to pay you £25,000 a year when you have nothing to offer them? Most people had to start at the bottom and work their way up, that's life - deal with it or stay a loser signing on for the rest of your miserable lives!
This is also aimed at those who've done degrees and then refuse to take a job because it's not exactly in the obscure field they studied. The longer gap you leave between completing your degree and taking a job out of fussiness actually devalues your degree, or didn't you know that? A 6 month gap might be acceptable but when it becomes 12 months, 18 months, etc, you start to sound less principled and more LAZY. Take any job you can get and gain some experience, gain some life skills, gain some people skills, possibly even people management skills and then continue to apply for jobs in your field - it's not hard. Employers will look at you more favourably if you've at least made an effort to keep yourself employed until you've found that "perfect job" and gained valuable work ethics along the way.
Ok so that rant might have seemed a bit harsh. I was not in the best mood when I wrote this but reading back on it now I'm in a better mood, there's nothing I want to change, I could add more but I would not want people to fall asleep before they reached the end as I could quote dozens of more examples of people cheating the system and the useless job centre not doing anything about it!
In summary - to the job centre staff - pick up your game, to the bureaucrats who write policy - shake up the system - don't make it so easy for people to turn down perfectly suitable jobs and damn well make sure action is taken against those who do turn them down! And to anyone out there who is raking it in on the side and signing on, as far as I'm concerned, you had better not come across me in your travels as I'd report you to the fraud team in a second!
Yours not so sincerely
p.s. this is not intended against people on minimum wage or low salaries who do a few online surveys and write reviews on the side for a bit of extra pocket money or Amazon vouchers, nor against those that are genuinely ill and need to claim income support to survive until they are fit to work again! If you're paying tax, I don't begrudge you a few extra quid's extra income by any means, but if you're earning the equivalent of a full time wage from undeclared income AND signing on full time then I have an issue with you!
p.p.s. I thought I would add that my above comments/digs at Job Centre Plus staff are based on staff I have encountered over the years at 5 Job Centres Plus offices in West London, this is my experience of the service they provide and I would not want to make it seem that all staff behave like this across the UK.
To those civil servants who work with the fire brigades,
When I was a teenager, I can remember my dad giving me some rather stern advice which went something like this, "Son, when you go out into the world to get a job and you are hired, then you should do your best. Not only should you do your best, but you should work to the best of your ability for the pay level at which you agreed to work!"
It was probably one of the best bits of advice I could have received. While I have worked for companies where strikes have taken place, I have never been involved in a strike but have continued working. When I applied to work at the "XYZ Company" I was offered a salary or an hourly wage which I was required to give much thought as to whether I wanted to accept it or not. If I did choose to accept, my boss/manager/supervisor/etc. expected me to show up to work at the appointed time (not late), and begin the work that had been assigned to me. If I did not like the work, I was free to make a decision which normally took one of three different paths.
1. I could get over it and realize that there is no perfect job and that I should really be thankful that I even had a job to go to and the health to do the work assigned to me. I have done this.
2. I could gather the needed courage, list my reasons succinctly, and state my case before the boss as to why I believe that my services were worth a little more than I was currently earning. I have done this before in two different jobs and as I had a track record of working hard, both times (miraculously maybe) I was rewarded with a pay increase that was more commensurate with the level of work I was putting out.
3. The last choice was that I could tender my resignation and choose to go and find another job that I felt was better suited to meeting my needs (financial or otherwise). I have done this one as well only to realize on a couple of occasions that the grass is rarely greener on the other side of the fence.
Now, how does this compare to the fire brigade continually taking more strike action and expecting us to feel sorry for them?
First, I understand that the job is hard. I have worked in emergency services type jobs and I understand full well the dangers that are inherent in these type of jobs.
Second, I also know that when the wanna be firefighters first applied, most were probably not receiving the kind of pay they are now. If they were ex-military, it is fairly certain they were not and I know that some firemen are ex-soldiers.
Third, when you did apply you agreed to the pay you would be receiving and gladly accepted the position. That means that from a work ethic standpoint, you should be happy you have work, happy you are getting a decent paycheck that is more than many people are making in this country including more than soldiers who are in more harm's way than many firemen are in on a daily basis. (As an example, look at the news and see how many firefighters have died this year as a result of burning to death in a fire they were trying to put out versus say the number of soldiers fighting in Afghanistan or Iraq!).
Fourth, I believe that when firemen and women choose to strike and stand outside stations gathered around burn barrels expecting us to honk our car horns in support while we have to continue on to work for smaller paychecks and longer hours, who do you think they are fooling?
Fifth, if you are not happy with your pay, then with due respect tender your resignation and go apply for another job and see if it comes anywhere close to what you are making right now. Yes, I can sympathize with people who are not making what they think they are WORTH, but that is the case with probably the majority of people in this world. Yet, many of us still have families to take care of and we do so to the best of our abilities with the pay we chose to receive.
In conclusion, I have nothing personally against firemen, soldiers, or anybody making more than I do. I have had the privilege of earning big money in two different jobs in my careers (and pastor is not one of them LOL!!), and do not begrudge others who feel they need more. What does obviously irritate me is when people stop working and put other lives potentially in great danger because they just "know" that somebody else will just "have" to fill in why they skive off until the government hopefully backs down and gives them what they want and then a few months or a year later will do the exact same thing because it still isn't good enough!!
Displeased at poor work ethics,