After the Virus – A new world.

When and if the corona virus is conquered or brought under control the world will be a different place. In the west our high streets and cities will be changed and radically so. Human resources management particularly for ‘Knowledge workers’ will be changed for ever as the remote worker becomes the norm.

Hopefully the awareness of our environmental needs will be harmonised and new business opportunities to add to the green machine will abound.Every business will have to be a green business with new regulations and the participants to enforce them. A new green collar class will soon be as common as blue or white collar ones.

The use of electronic communication systems like Zoom will become common place and octogenarians and children will soon be equally comfortable with today’s gizmos and tomorrow’s necessities.

The snag is that those countries who are now technologically advanced may well move ahead much faster than those not so prescient. Educational needs will have to keep in step with these huge changes and those centres of so called blue collar workers will have to transcend their traditions and change, or be excluded from the new post-Convid age,

Whist Governments struggle with re-financing and enormous debt, there will be great challenges of high unemployment and civil distrust. Change is coming and coming fast. Those who embrace change will prosper those who demure will find it gut wrenchingly difficult.

Looking forward to these cataclysmic changes is beyond most Yet whether in Government or in industry an innovative spirit is now a necessity not a choice.

British democracy on the ropes.

Cronyism and incompetence characterise the Government of Boris Johnson. This egomaniac believes that with a massive parliamentary majority he can do what he likes. The recent shambolic handling of the procurement program, the track and trace operation and the vaccine issues have all been mishandled and managed without regard for the general good. These issues have however profited a few of Boris’ chums and the occasional lucky Spanish entrepreneur. All utterly irresponsible actions of an out of control executive.

The mantra that all public servants are useless, is wrong and always has been wrong. True, civil servants of all hues need to be aware and responsible for their work and output. True much is wrong with many parts of our very complex public service sectors, but nonetheless they are amongst the best, and the most conscientious in the world and should be respected as such, Look at the NHS. Lots wrong with it, for sure, but what a fantastic organisation it is.

The time has come when the UK needs to restore the balance between the extremes of left and right. Corbyn or Johnson! What a choice! The UK has lost its way, Boris is blowing money we don’t have on strengthening our defence forces and at the same time lessening our overseas aid. Big boys toys instead of mature soft power.

As an ex-Tory, I have to confess the time for proportional representation has come. UK is not exclusively a free enterprise, it is, and will hopefully remain, a liberal democracy and the example of balanced democracy to the world.

Is Mr Cain able? Or just another Brexit bruiser?

Boris Johnson moves further away from his democratic roots and even his fiance Carrie Symonds has put in a jab, though what her role is, is anyone’s guess. PM Johnson ignores the institutions on which our democratic systems are based and he does so at his peril.

A kitchen cabinet is one thing but a bunch of hired hacks none of whom are elected is quite another. It seems Boris sees himself as an appointed President of UK not as a democratically elected PM. The Bullingdon club syndrome is written all over this self centred “I can do what I like” syndrome.

Whilst many would point to the enormous problems facing our government at this time, most would also argue that it is a time for consensus and cross party cooperation. In contrast we have an accident prone buffoon who is just happy to be Prime Minister simply because he sees himself at the centre of everything. He has few or no discern-able beliefs, he chose the Brexit route not because he fervently believes in it but because he saw opportunity in leading the majority, and in so doing finding a way to Downing Street.

Well, thanks to the pathetic left, he’s made it, he’s where he wants to be. Full marks for ambition and strategy, now he’s building a wall with Cummings and Cain and is attempting to repeat his success in leading the Brexit initiative. As far as Parliamentary participation is concerned, he distances himself from it, and in so doing denies his right to lead the democracy that is the UK.

Only the Tory backbenchers can make Boris repent and change his ways. They must not allow themselves to become irrelevant, they must vote with their true conscience and not allow Boris and his cronies to lead the country to extremes that we will all regret.

Old Boy Network alive, well, and bent in UK.

It is nice to see that nothing really changes. A bumbling Boris handing out massive perks to his old school chums and their spouses. Both the vaccine management program and the track and trace are being woefully mismanaged by these cosy mates of the PM.

That they have both squandered millions of pounds on Consultants, both Bingham and Harding are showing either that they have no faith in the civil service or they din’t give a damn and passing the buck to anonymous and very expensive consultants.

The whole thing rings of corruption and self serving amongst Boris and his old school or MP chums. He bumbles at press conferences about what a splendid job these surrogates have done when it is plainly untrue.

We sneer at Trump as an inveterate liar, when our own Prime Minister is of similar ilk. He rose to power in a vacuum left by May and Corbyn, he has a weak cabinet and has been chastised by the highest court in the land and is now breaking international law. The man is proving to be a liability or should I say a liarbility?

I only hope the new MP’s from the north bring Boris to heel and remind him he is there to serve the country not just his old school chums. Soon I trust that he will be removed, and kicked upstairs to the Lords, where he can join a cabal of crooks many of whom use the chamber as an expense account. He will find himself very much at home.

America turns in on itself.

To see the leader of the former principal democracy in the world talk complete nonsense and to tell unfounded lies has been deeply shocking. Whilst we do not want to criticise other democracies and how they do and don’t work, it is hard to avoid being shocked by the electoral debacle that is the USA.

The former leading democracy has been reduced to a laughing stock by the delusional liar that somehow became the President four years ago. That was anathema enough, but that poor divided country has completely lost its way. Not only has the USA under Trump surrendered its global leadership role to China, apparently ‘putting America first’, I had always laboured under the illusion that America was first. Not any more. That once great democracy has now held an election between the aforesaid duplicitous, womanising, lying crook and an exceedingly weak geriatric.

That the opposition to a world class delusional liar was so weak, is testimony that the electoral choices of the main political parties in America are not fit for purpose. That the voting populous has such a shocking range of choices that they find it hard not to give the incumbent the heave ho is deeply disturbing.

Trump has managed to subvert the influence of the United States which under his predecessors at least showed moral and honest attempts to influence the world toward liberal democracy. If Biden scrapes in, as we fervently hope he does, then the Democratic party has its work cut out to restore both domestic and international decency. It is an objective worthy of the biggest of men.

If Biden succeeds to the White House, let us hope he gathers about him men and women of noble cause to raise the USA to its proper place as a leader of world democracies.

I choose not to contemplate the alternative, a self serving spiv is not what the world needs right now.

God bless America.

I write as my american friends go to the poles. As I said in my last blog we Europeans have very little idea of what motivates our American cousins. It’s easy to see the bad things, despite the fact that I know many Americans who are truly friends of mine, and they all seem sane and good.

The one thing they have in common is a mighty belief in the American way of life and the individual freedom that it enshrines. I have never met an American who was not kind and generous. On my numerous visits in my youth I was always greeted with good nature and respect. Americans were always too polite to point out my idiosyncrasies, too generous to stint their splendid hospitality.

I never received an unwanted comment about my own country and as far as I am aware I never fell out discussing the UK’s failure to support the Vietnam war, or the UK’s massive cock up in the invasion of Suez.

Should I therefore keep my pen still and avoid any comment on the current election? I find it hard not to criticise the present incumbent of the White House, because he’s so ungentlemanly, which is pretty stupid and very British.

I hope they will forgive me if I just hope that good behaviour will win, even if it is old fashioned.

Across the pond, another world.

As Europeans we watch the American elections with disbelief. The whole process is outside our view of political normality. The American way seems more than foreign, more than alien even, it really is another world.

Dollars, the mighty dollar is the root of everything. No £150 pounds expenditure on election expenses here, on the contrary the more dollars a candidate raises the better chance he/she has of election. I don’t want to appear naive here of course all political parties everywhere tout for funds but the American ‘way’ is off the scale.

You see Americans are obsessed with their idea of freedom. Being successful in America is all about how many dollars you’ve accumulated, and with those dollars you can purchase influence, advertise more, be free and use those dollars to get your way.

Frankly, I am astonished that America elected a misogynist, philandering, ignorant, liar to be their Head of State. But they did, and astonishingly may do so again. Why?

Examining the Constitution and Bill of rights of America is an exercise in discovering the wondrous light of democratic independence. Where did it all go wrong?

It may be that those freedoms expressed have been commandeered by extreme elements and literally applied. The whole nation was founded on hope and the freedoms of escaping a brutal colonialist empire.

The great paradox of the present holder of POTUS is that a braggart who boasts about his great wealth (real or not) is supported largely by those who are without education or wealth. All Trump supporters are what they style as anti-socialist, socialism and a sharing society is an anathema to them.

The Constitutions first words “We the people” affirms that the Governments supports the individual folk who are members not subjects of the state. Yet the fear of interference of the federal state remains acute. The gun toting republicans want to repeal the affordable care act (Obamacare)despite the fact that it will be the core of the republican voters who will benefit, if not most, then certainly very many in the rust belt will . These are massive issues which this side of the pond we do not and perhaps cannot understand.

That the POTUS is allowed to plant rank lies and innuendo about postal votes and actively encourage right wing gangs to intimidate free voting is another astonishing misuse of his power. Yet all Americans seem to put up with it.

What a mess, We hoped when Trump came to power that perhaps he would be unorthodox but use that unorthodox attitude in a positively creative way. How wrong we were.

I devoutly hope the American people see the errors of this choice and choose instead an aged, ordinary but decent man called Biden.

Civil service, consultants and politicians – who is running what?

I see the government is blowing a huge amount of money on consultants on everything from Test and Trace to Brexit. My own experience of consultants does not fill me full of confidence. I should know, because I was one for a while.

The business of leadership is to look after the present, foresee the future and plan accordingly. Then deliver, to sustain growth and wellbeing. Whether it be a political party, or a commercial enterprise (indeed anything in between) then these criteria are self evident. If however, something interrupts these steps, such as corona virus – then certainly the planning for future activity becomes infinitely more difficult.

Should we expect Government to augment its own thinking capacity with a host of outside consultants. By so doing I believe they are confessing that they (the Government) are not very good at planning in a more difficult scenario. Their permanent administrative support comes from the civil service which surely must include planners for this very purpose.

However it seems that the present Government has drafted in hordes of consultants at huge costs. Can the consultants know more about the logistics of International trade than our export logistic contractors combined with our civil service? Yet £88 millions on consultants has already been spent and much more is to follow. I understand that external support is being sought to plan contingency for health product requirements in light of a no deal. Doesn’t the health service and ministry know?

I vividly remember expensive consultants telling my bosses that which the lower echelons already knew. We suspected then and I suspect now that the bosses (Boris and Co) need advice not because they need it but because they are afraid to make decisions that they know will end in difficult dilemmas.

Consultants I believe have been heavily involved in Corvid track and trace in England, it has proved to be shambolic and very expensive, it has been a complete Hancock. But still the Government does not learn.

They are either afraid or incompetent. Take your pick.

Watchdogs need support.

Whilst we’re all submerged in the massive issues of economic collapse and the spread of Corvid 19 it is easy to forget the wonderful gifts right on our doorstep. Not my doorstep but everybody’s. Whether it be our rivers, wetlands, country and marine reserves or ancient monuments.

It is natural to respond to the immediate crisis and hard to keep in mind the things we take for granted. Successive governments have cut and slashed support for virtually all our national watchdog institutions. Sadly our response has been to let things slip. No one responds to farmers who are killing off rivers, no one responds to stop destructive trawling, in a word the people’s representatives have applied resources to the more immediate issues of human needs, school meals, homelessness, law and order, these are just examples.

It seems to me that these watchdogs underfunded as they are, are neither fish nor fowl, neither under local or central Government. Rather a kind of Quangolated agency where no one has a strong enough voice. The problem is not an easy one to solve, after all ultimately neither local or central government has a magic money tree.

I know that a number of these watchdogs already rely heavily on voluntary support, should they be made entirely charitable entities like the RNLI or similar? Or like the hospice movement part Government funded?

We should not stand by and see our environment wrecked simply because Government is short of money. Someone somewhere needs to look at structure, funding and teeth, if we are to sustain our beautiful environment.

Go harass your MP!