Grown Up Work

Apparently my age has caught up with my experience and I am now to be considered for grown-up jobs.  That is helpful.  I will be re-entering the thrilling world of evil banking in the next month or so.  (probably more dull than evil for a while) Meanwhile the exciting world of insurance also beckons.  Worry not, if you are stuck in a lift or carpark in the USA, I will still be fitting that in for a while.  80 hours is a moderate week if you happen to be a former chef.

In the meantime, I have suddenly dropped a stone, so I am back in my corsets and on the supermix.  The way I operate now seems to be based on the idea of the Holy Grail being supermix and a lot of water, and in the event that I am forced to socialise or very cold and upset, I eat low carb.  Low carb no longer promotes any weight loss,  however, so I think I have probably reached the age of CRON.

Now that I am back into my corsets, my back problem is improving, so more walking is getting done.  It is rather hilarious that I have this particular kink, given that I still habitually wear men’s clothes, but all the more fun if you get me into a compromising situation I suppose.

Meanwhile, there are more pressing issues at home.  Boris’s face needs shaving and dewrinkled, he probably needs a haircut with some handy nail scissors, the camera is still an issue – I have found when dealing with the public that the bigger the camera, the more they play to it so a big one is essential, and I think I have come up with a good strategy for the nation-wide project in terms of participation.  Given that it is effectively an apolitical campaign, although it is cloaked as an art project, I suspect that I might get some help if I ask for it.  I need to sort out my banner and am waiting to get my flags made.

So, although I am a bit weak and spindly and certainly a bit stiff, progress is being made.

Digging my reading at the moment, so there may be some more work on the books page soon.

 

Ina

 

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Grieving is a strange process….

To avoid the rage I feel towards the probably 30 or so people involved in collectively avoiding their responsibility for the murder of my mother, I have focussed heavily on the No Glass Walls project for a week or two.  There is a nurse called Darren who single-handedly made sure I knew that if I attempted to stop their idea of a process, I would have legal problems, so I basically had to back off.  I do not like Darren very much.

Some of the required props have been purchased, I am waiting to see if I get a suitable camera, my filmmaker friend and I have already fallen out, and I am now at the contingency planning stage.

He makes beautiful but exacting films, but I have a very different approach to things, because I am very overview-led and loathe to involve other people or actual dates for doing things if I can avoid it, as this always causes so many problems that I end up not bothering to do things at all.  I am a busy person.

His latest very well-meaning suggestion was that I get someone else to be me, as I showed some concerns about his wanting to make the logo look like me in reality.  Apparently realistically ugly women are joyful.  Clearly I still have some confidence issues, especially after reading the comments on the latest Amy Schumer masterpiece, which itself looks horrible.

I tried to explain to him that in order for things to be appealing, sometimes you have to alter them slightly, and asked whether this was part of his planning?  The response to this was that perhaps we have someone else do it.

As this was supposed to be a national scale project, involving an actress to come at short notice on long day trips across the country over a period of several weeks at no cost seems highly unlikely.  I now also feel that I am not good enough to be my own logo, because my idea of a logo is something that can be easily replicated, as opposed to something that becomes a major disaster if it goes missing or you don’t have access to your laptop.  For this reason I now have a logo that makes me look as if I am wearing a burkha on most sites.  I am not sure if I have updated the one on the website, but I am probably going to return to the rune anyway. It was a nice idea, but I am not comfortable with it now.

Anyway, I am now feeling very sad.  The complications involved, including hiring a green screen studio, are likely to be expensive and what started as a nice big idea to take me through the grieving process is now looking expensive, unpleasant, difficult to manage and I obviously don’t look good enough.

Grieving is not a joyful time.  You don’t really understand why people are acting perfectly normally as everything is seen through a sort of veil.  I have had dealings with a number of irrational and seemingly hysterical people over the last three weeks, and I don’t really care about their motivation for their actions.  They just look crazy to me.

I quite enjoyed doing my bit of Conservative ass kicking last night though.  I might do a bit more of that.

 

 

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Let’s make the Conservatives Fit for Work!

 

Let’s make the Conservatives Fit for Work!

Here is a truly awful, and yet very clear picture of what we are not hearing from the Conservatives at the moment.

This is by no means exhaustive, but this is what the public actually want to hear about as it most directly affects them.

I will take this point by point after some general comments.

The graphic is based upon a very basic strategy, codified by Simon Sinek (whom I otherwise cannot stand) based upon the common aims of inventive businesses.  Successful enterprises look outwards, not in, and at the core is the Why?

The why in this case, is what the Conservative Party actually represents. At the moment this seems to be tax breaks, encouraging crazily rich people to invest, and starving the poor to death.  This is not a successful strategy, for a variety of reasons which I will proceed to demonstrate.

Suffice to say, even Thatcherism was an improvement on the current direction of the party.  You have to water the plants to make the garden grow, not weed it to death.

My suggestion for strategy in this case, is to promote a fairer Conservatism, in which you show some awareness of basic economics. I will go into this later under the headings Trickle down, the Pound and Multiplier.

The What in this case is, of course, Brexit and how to make it work properly, in a careful and planned way, regardless of the outcome of negotiations.  I will be suitably vague on this, but the picture may become clearer as I run through the other points.

The How is your actual tasklist, which is largely up to you, although I will make some suggestions.  This is very much a line drawing approach, which I am squandering my expensive education on providing for a laugh, so if I get bored, there will be less of it.

Ok, so let us start with the Pound.  Much panicking has surrounded the value of the pound, with people getting very upset because their Camembert is more expensive.  It does however mean, that our Crowdie is cheaper to sell elsewhere, which means more jobs and a better standard of living for people seeking work in manufacturing.  Continuing to say that we need more immigrants is cutting your own throat in this respect, given that as the party of motivation and stability, you really ought to be happy if people’s general living standards go up and work is more available to them.  A low pound also encourages more tourism, which was badly hit by the Smoking Ban under Labour.  Nobody seems to talk about the two million jobs which were finished by the smoking ban, but since smokers pay for themselves twice over in tax, it was a pretty dumb move.

Next we have domestic industry.  As I have just demonstrated, this benefits from a low pound, particularly with domestically generated raw materials.  It may be seen by Thatcherites as taking a step back, but who decided that typing was better than making actual stuff?  There is nothing wrong with producing goods for a living and selling them, particularly if we go with the Boris plan and trade more freely with the commonwealth and elsewhere.  We seem to have largely forgotten that we know how to do this perfectly well.

Tertiary Services were dearly beloved by Thatcher, her vision was to kill off single earner families and replace them with fully earning families with less money because instead of one working miner, you got four working in a call centre.  Whilst this is theoretically healthier and fairer, it made a lot of people suffer.  Tertiary services may suffer short term, but in the event that we can negotiate with Canada, Australia and America since you seem to be hell bent on selling us to them anyway, there is no reason why we cannot see massive expansion into new territories for tertiary service jobs.  I currently rescue people from car parks and lifts all over America at night, so there certainly isn’t a communication barrier in terms of cost anymore.

The Multiplier I have been ranting at my TV at the conservative shower about this for years now.  It makes no sense to starve people at the bottom of the economic ladder, since they are forced to circulate more cash than anybody else.  Even a child’s understanding of economics will tell you that you should put more money into the hands of the poor, because they make it work harder than rich people do.  Instead of money flowing out of the country into tax havens, you could be making it work by putting it into the hands of people who will actually spend it.

Inflation is feared by the Conservatives because the middle classes don’t like it and it benefits the working class in terms of wage rises and their ability to actually buy things.  The working classes, however have done rather well in recent years, particularly amongst the trades, and so I do not think making the garden grow should be a source of fear for the current administration given the current situation.

Trickle down does not work.  Again this is a stupid idea circulated by someone with a brain which has shrunk from too much port.  Rich people do not continuously generate ideas to benefit other people.  Savings are bad, bad, bad if you wish to stimulate the economy and they should be discouraged.  Debt is not great either, so do not go down that tiresome road again. The 2008 crash was largely caused by talentless people and too much credit.  I have covered the benefits of trickle up under multiplier.

Corporation tax is a good thing to lower because it means that companies choose to situate in your country.  As I was saying earlier, 3% of something is a lot better than 23% of nothing, and there are entire villages in Switzerland full of empty office buildings of British companies who have chosen not to pay tax here.  Sort it out, now that ghastly Giddy has gone.

Inward property investment is a worry for many people, particularly in London.  Having a property market endlessly inflating and a city full of empty houses makes no sense at all.  It would be considerably better to encourage industrial investment, which is why a low pound rocks my tiny world.

Foreign property investment actually counts towards your figures, so it is useful to encourage people to do a bit of neo-colonial investment.  It does mean, however that the money is leaving the UK, which I do not particularly approve of.  I would prefer to see a flourishing of the bond market and a set of financial products enabling more interesting and viable projects which actually make money elsewhere.  Neo-economic-colonialism yes, more immigrants no.  There is a world beyond our shores which we could be making much more of, which is why I am a non-conservative Boris superfan despite his apparent misery at the moment.

Currency exchange – we were doing very well at this with a strong pound, and I daresay we will again, however this is less appealing with a low pound.  If you are possessed of sufficient wit, it is however fairly simple to focus on the currencies that will work, so just get on with it and stop whinging.  An independent financial regulatory system is probably a helpful, rather than unhelpful thing.

Tax Havens – here is where the Boris plan is a tad weak.  We are not dealing with entirely charming and philanthropic rich people, we are dealing with people who value their money and wish to put it somewhere safe.  A method of making it considerably easier and more attractive to invest it in places that need it is in order.  The Gambia even lacks its own fruit juice, which is frankly ridiculous.  Again, a bit of neo-economic colonialism would enormously help the Gambians and elsewhere.

Investments generally – I think I have covered this really.  We need a talented set of products to cover the Boris plan, which is firmly rooted in history, outward looking and very kind of him.  Help is needed to bring it to life, however, so a bit of movement is required in this direction.

In conclusion, we in Scotland are sick to death of hearing people whinging about Brexit.  The media seems to be obsessed with failure, and it is not helpful to continuously report how badly things are going.  It is not a good time for the Conservatives, but since England insists on voting for them and will probably do so for some time, let’s see a bit of wit and strategy and stop wallowing in the swill of potential defeat.

 

 

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Popular liberalism

I have just been accused of being racist because I pointed out to someone that having people selling their children five minutes away from your house is not a good advert for globalisation.

Rather than thinking about it, the person simply called me a racist.  Not surprisingly, this means the conversation is over.

For the benefit of less regular readers, I am a former ethnic minority specialist interviewer.  I am far from racist.  I do have a problem with being unable to mention that I do not find it acceptable to have trafficked prostitutes and the prostituting of children happening unchecked in the UK, which is what is happening.

The person concerned assumed that these people were selling their children because they need the money.  This is not the case.  They have housing, a social network, work, and enough money to have the children in the first place, which is more than I have.

Mentioning it, however, is racist.  It is racist because this guy has none of these issues on his doorstep, and because he has not considered that other cultures are different from his.  Honour killing is still acceptable in some cultures, therefore it is not a huge jump to sell your daughter to a nearby bidder, thereby reducing your food costs and perhaps having enough money to have another child.

From my perspective, it is more racist to assume that just because we have determined that this is not acceptable to us, that the presumption is that you are supposed to be a social worker and, I assume, go around to their house and tell them how to live.  I doubt very much that any unfortunate immigrant has gone to this guy’s house and suggested that he should sell his daughter.  Why then, does he think that we have the right to determine what is right and wrong for this immigrant group, who are behaving in exactly the same way they behaved in Czechoslovakia, Slovenia and several other countries in Eastern Europe?

Likewise, police in the North of England are still shy about concerning themselves with multi-cultural cases of child-grooming.  How long before we grow out of this veiled racist idea of liberalism, where saying anything makes you a pariah?

Can you see how that works?  There is no moral high ground to take.  Either you accept globalisation, increased competition for wages, other culture’s ideas of right and wrong or you decide that no, borders are helpful.  It is ironic that this guy lives in the most protectionist country in the world as he virtue signals at me, whilst not listening to actual problems from a country doing exactly as he suggests.

From a sociological perspective, ghettos forming shortly after new populations enter the country is normal, and it always provokes an upsurge in racist behaviour from people who get fed up having to be accompanied in a neighbourhood they were born in in case of attack. (I was assaulted in the same area I refer to, but I am thinking here of a gentleman who now has to take a taxi 200 yards to the pub because he is not safe.)  I wonder how my snowflake chum would feel about entering a gang fight to get to the child-sellers to provide his idea of ‘help?’

We often glorify our Polish workers.  Meanwhile in Poland they instead take on slave work gangs from North Korea and poorly paid workers from Portugal who cannot get work at home.  The Polish government have also refused point blank to take any Muslims because of their history.  I interviewed one man from Poland who was earning less than I was as a part-time interviewer despite running a huge corporate building site.  What on earth is liberal or fair about that?  What is liberal about the videos of what Polish people like to do to immigrants at home?

Getting people to actually think is not worth the effort, quite a lot of the time, and you do wonder what the outcome of this fear of discussion is likely to be.  As far as I can see, it is designed to create dissent and prevent communication of any kind.  Fear is going to be the destruction of any recognisable form of society.  An excellent climate for the removal of human rights or concern for others on any basis at all.

 

 

 

 

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Looking serious doesn’t make you serious

Theresa May has an image problem.  There is a sector of the population that like her, and it happens to be the same sector that believe in Conservatism, apparently don’t know any disabled people, have not had to resort to welfare to any great extent, and presumably live in the favoured areas that never see the effects of economic up and downturn.  They see very expensive clothing, some oddly nice necklines and a grim expression and they mistake this for seriousness and competence.

Theresa May is married to a wealthy hedge fund manager.  She is, therefore, not really in a position to judge what is best for you, despite resembling a Girl Guide leader.

It is interesting, as a native of another country, that this alone seems to be so persuasive for some voters.  They clearly don’t hear much of what she is actually saying, otherwise they would realise that she isn’t saying all that much.  Strong and stable has been replaced with delivering and achieving.  Endlessly repeating the same fairly empty rhetoric is not improving her image to those of us actually listening.

Of course, the real villain of the Brexit debacle is David Cameron, for panicking about the popularity of UKIP with the little Englanders and having a referendum in the first place.  Now that that referendum has been and gone, everybody including the Conservatives have to deal with it.  You won’t be making that mistake again, rather unfortunately for the stupid 55% in Scotland who voted incorrectly in our referendum.

So, now that we are in this situation, and there is no way of backing down or getting away from it, we are looking at what kind of Britain we actually want to see?  I assume that nobody genuinely wants to sell off our public services unless they are making money out of it.  We know that in the hedge fund game, any old result will do, but what of Britain’s standing in financial servicing, insurance and the tertiary economy generally?

Many of the Brexiting voters wanted to see more manufacturing.  Thanks to the fall in the pound, we already have some recovery in this respect.  Indeed, as a seemingly constant jobseeker, I see more jobs at present than I have since 2001.  So far, so good.  Apart from general noise from some of the investment banks, who worry about finding multilingual staff in post-Brexit Britain, I do not see a lot of panic-movement.

So, one wonders, what is so wrong with a bit of vision?  My historian head will tell you that 2200 Britain looks a whole lot better out of Europe than in.  As I was saying yesterday, this is not much help with buying cat food, but it is certainly the reason for more thoughtful Brexit voters to have made the decision to opt out.  Short term pain for long term gain is a very British thing to do, after all.

Having said this, Boris’s vision of investment in the commonwealth replacing hiding money in tax havens may be more difficult to implement.  Bridges to the continent may be a friendly and subtle way of indicating that Britain is still open for business, however we cannot expect private enterprise to mop up all of the split milk.

Cutting corporation tax may not look like a public-friendly option, but 3% of something is a lot better than 23% of nothing.  Therefore, whilst I am very glad old Giddypants never got to do it, I think it is important to consider this alongside some form of external savings limitation for those nearer the top of the pyramid.  What we need, rather than Rees-Mogg, is more of a whizzkid figure in number 11.

So then, fellow Britishers, the die is cast.  One hopes that the gamble is worthwhile, and that my fellow strategist continues to focus.  Looking serious does not mean that you are serious, and the reverse is also true.

 

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Blame and Shame, your two biggest enemies

In your battle to stagger through life, there are two big enemies you should avoid.  Blame and Shame.  If there is anything I have learned from my narc sister, it is that people who are devoid of either get on far better in life.  It is much better to have a personality so devoid of empathy or reason that you don’t ever experience any.  Not only are you happier, you can leave everyone else eating your dust whilst you move on to your next miserable task.

I wept for years over the behaviour of my siblings towards my mother.  No decent person could be invited into my life, I thought.  To make matters worse, the only positive person I knew had not turned out to be particularly positive in reality.

I regarded it as a smirch on my character, that three people who clearly regarded themselves as superior would behave in such a shoddy, selfish way.  It took several years for me to wake up one morning and say “Wait a minute, I have taken care of both of their parents.  I have given up any decent prospects to do so, and in addition I have repaired the family home at considerable expense of my time and money whilst they did nothing.  Why am I still hearing tales of how selfish and nasty I am when I stopped speaking to them several years ago?”

This behaviour is called mobbing, and it is employed by stupid and deranged people to avoid responsibility for either helping or acknowledging anything you are doing.  It is classic amongst non-caring children.  It is a reason to do nothing.  As long as they can make your life miserable, they have the excuse to then make your reaction to that, which in my case was to completely ignore them, into a good reason for being even more abusive.  They will continue to do this as long as nobody from outside the family points it out, and nobody ever does.  There is no mechanism for protecting carers from this form of abuse at all.  Try searching for examples online, and you will not find any.  I tried. It is rife, and yet there is no protection at all.

This is exactly how the public behave.  Instead of taking any responsibility for making political decisions and employing anything in the way of actual reason to do so, they elect to delegate it by voting.  A vote for conservative used to mean belief in the monarchy, in militarism and international standing.  It now simply means that you consider the Conservatives to be better at making a more advantageous deal than anybody else, and to hell with the dead people.

“Things were better when there were gentlemen in charge.”

This was said by an elderly neighbour within my lifetime.  This is a hangover from when it was considered noble to serve the public.  The gentlemen in question frequently left their estates to the public.  This is no longer how the class system operates, as I have previously mentioned.  Those gentlemen no longer exist.  To be a well-educated member of the upper classes now means that you are better at taking things than anyone else, a throwback to how many prominent aristocratic families got their status in the first place.  It was highly relevant and useful when we were still conquering uncharted territory, but it does not work so well when the only thing left to take is right here.  You may consider it astonishing that people who have every advantage seek to take more from you, but it is a dog-eat-dog world.

If you are, therefore, in a favoured position as a result of association with such people, it is far more difficult to express the ghastly horror when they take it one step too far, especially when you are conditioned to accept that they are also inclined to ‘mob’ you in much the same way a vile family does.

The recent experience of the last few years has taught me this:  Sometimes it is expedient to employ the methods of the enemy to do the right thing.  Ditch the blame and shame.  Concentrate on what you are good at.  By all means internally acknowledge your mistakes, but focus on what works in terms of moving forward.  Build some new bridges.

I have moved on from the shame of having a repulsive family of money-grubbers, to experiencing shame at being in love with someone that I had no way of knowing was married when I exchanged a few sentences with him.  I refuse to feel bad about it.  There is no way that even I can twist it into being my fault.

Remember – strategy is our thing – focus on that.

I may have to rethink my strategy for the new project.  I will keep you in the loop over the next few weeks, but it looks as if I will be earning the funding, at least.

Toodle pip,

Ina

 

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British society is kept under control with hatred for others

Image result for top hat

I have heard so many ridiculous things from people who have never stepped outside their own limitations in the course of my life that I have now come to this conclusion.

I have had many wry smiles at the events of the last decade or so, particularly with the attitudes of my occasional long term boyfriends. (occasional because they have been around for thirty years and I have maybe spent three months with them in total over that time) I have, as a consequence, developed a healthy disrespect for opinions, since they tend to be formed without much in the way of research.

As I was scribbling the latest short story, it occurred to me that a lot of British culture is about disdain.  Disdain for people outside of one’s class, disdain for people who are socially mobile, disdain for people who are new, disdain for people who are different.  I lived in England for a period in the nineties, and I can honestly count on one hand the number of times anyone gave me any nonsense because I was Scottish.  I cannot say the same thing now.  On my recent trip to see Wolfe, I noticed heads jerking in my direction as soon as I was over the border.  I presume this is media influence. I amused myself by considering that I was braving enemy territory to catch a glimpse of my beloved.

Now, this could be because I am rather class  neutral.  I went to a very tiresome state school, and yet am considerably posher than my privately educated siblings.  I put it down to the binge reading of Wodehouse and a lot of Russian and French philosophers in my formative years, but it could also just be a pose, I don’t know.  I know I have managed to blend in equally well working in the best and worst areas of Glasgow in the course of my research work.

I also transplant easily into rural areas, because I chose to leave Glasgow at 17.  I have lived everywhere from a tin shack on an island farm to a stately home, thereby becoming unclassifiable.

So, when my friends assert that ‘posh gits’ are ‘snobs’ and that I cannot possibly understand why they would say this because I am also comparatively posh, it is very easy for me to wonder if they know what snobbery actually is?

Glasgow has always been particularly stratified.  Different areas don’t like each other.  People will even take a dislike to you because you aren’t interested in hair care products, or because you don’t dress like them.  People used to be segregated on the grounds of being Protestant or Catholic and it is said that the council is still run in this way.  (as someone who is neither of those things, it has always been amusing introducing people to theology during the tentative questioning) Opening your mouth to speak at all can be a problem, and God help you if you actually know anything, because this is ‘giving yourself airs.’  It is a huge failure as a national culture that many Scots just don’t like it if anyone achieves anything.  Even doing something is a problem, as I found out when I did my micro survey to find out if people in the ‘Yes’ movement really understood the figures they were quoting.  I was challenged on the usual basis – “Whit ye dayn that fur?  Who does that cow think she is?”  It is not particularly encouraging for the future that the only way people can agree is if they all slavishly worship individuals and nobody else is allowed to speak.

In considering the ‘No Glass Walls’ project, I am led to consider what is universally appealing.  Many of the things I find funny are sources of boiling fury for others, and my long view of history and decision making are simply not relevant if you are worrying about feeding the cat.  It is difficult to find something universally appealing in a country so obsessed with hate.  Hate the Scots, hate the Lancastrians if you are from Yorkshire, hate the Londoners, hate the Brummies.  I would like to say that English people hate even more than Scots do, but I am not sure that this is really the case.

This leads me to wonder how Britain has been so successful in the ‘Divide and Conquer’ policy within the state.  I look at the USA and see something similar, but they have the benefit of a stratified junk education system to help things along.  Here, there is absolutely nothing to stop you taking your state education and working your way up to Prime Minister if you are able to do the networking and put the hours in.  It isn’t miraculous, it is simply the decisions you make and the work you put in.

So, I wonder, as a mute project, as it will have to be, what is the best way of expressing this self-limiting culture we have created?  How to get people out of their chosen discomfort zone?  The class war is just strata, along with all the other self-made strata people actively choose to maintain.

 

 

 

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That’s My Boy

Here’s a nice piccy of Boris.  I have prepared it in ultra-high resolution for use later.

I have so far come up with a long, long list of things I would like to bring up in the course of the project.  I will need to involve quite a number of interest groups.

Just to make something clear for people who aren’t quite understanding why a genetically predisposed revolutionary Scottish Nationalist is a Boris superfan, there is no malicious intent at all.  I just came up with a rather nice set of ideas which happen to work well together, and I am sure even Boris would agree if it was discussed in any depth.

It is very important to establish that the Conservative party – the party of tradition and maintaining the status quo – develops a  memory at some point.  There have been times in the struggle between right and left, when the right have actually been right.  Boris, as a fellow history buff, will be aware of the ebb and flow of Conservative history, and, subject to the inevitable shooting of the rapids that is actually being in parliament, I am sure he will remember some of the more useful elements of British conservatism if he chooses to think about it.

As I have previously mentioned, Disraeli is a whole lot more useful than Churchill. Whilst I do not forsee ever wanting to actually vote for them, taking my usual interest in their mutual backstabbing is always fun.

Anyway, there is a lot of work to do before I can proceed with the performance component of the project.

Have fun in the meantime,

 

Ina

 

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Those 120000 death links, plus a few for extra fun

My recent return to the workplace has taught me that people choose to be stupid.  They choose to actively avoid information they do not want to hear, and they are very keen on blaming people, even for disabilities.  Here are some links you cannot avoid, stupid people, and this does not even cover Scotland, in which the deaths from Alzheimer’s went up by 31 percent in ONE YEAR.  My mother was falsely claimed to have Alzheimer’s on her death certificate, so presumably the rule is that you misdiagnose before you kill people up here.  They also had a joint effort between the social work department and the  NHS to make my life a misery for caring for her.

Make sure you take some heed, before it happens to you.  If the English are going to insist on voting for these morons, then at least pick a decent one and get him Fit for Work

Independent – Landmark study links 120,000 deaths to Tory austerity

Health and social care spending cuts linked to 120,000 excess deaths in England

Mirror – Economic Murder

Daily Mail – NHS cuts blamed for 120000 deaths

Marketatch – UK austerity linked to 120000 deaths

Conservatives accused of “economic murder” in landmark study which links 120k deaths to austerity

Research linking care cuts to 120,000 deaths ‘is fresh evidence austerity kills’

Herald

Thousands died after fit for work assessments – Guardian

Mirror – Tory government keeps report on fit for work tests secret

Mail – almost 2400 people declared fit for work dead within two weeks beteen 2011-2014

Telegraph – thousands died after being declared fit for work

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The Best Madness Ever

Why don’t you try thinking about it another way?” Leon frowned at Kira. “You never seem to deviate from this position of not being good enough.”

Look, there is no other way to think about it. I have a job to do. That has been the case ever since I met him. I am the problem.”

Why do you feel you have to work so hard for his affection? He won’t even speak to you.” Leon screwed up his face. Your non-relationship makes no sense?”

It makes perfect sense to us. I can’t bear to look at him, he can’t bear to look at me. Every time we go anywhere near each other one of us ends up extremely upset. It is much safer if we avoid each other.”

But you said he seemed quite pleased to see you?”

Yes, and I was pleased to see him, but it is in the nature of our awkward characters that it is always teetering on the edge of a huge fight. Negotiation is bound to be difficult.”

He seems to be winning on that front.” Leon pursed his lips. Kira was different since she had met Sam. Less anxious, and yet still consumed by Sam. If anything, more than ever.

Not at all. I still lack confidence, and I am too easily distracted. This is about head space, and life goals. It is not about ordinary things at all. If it was I would starve for a year and turn up in a bikini with some exceptionally good aphrodisiac, now wouldn’t I? What on earth would be the point in that? He has plenty of women. Even I wouldn’t be crazy enough to dissuade him from such a convenient and comfortable arrangement if that’s what he wants.”

What about what you want?”

I want him to be happy. I don’t want him to be unhappy. Neither of us will be happy until I do the damned work, regardless of how he arranges things with his genitalia.” Kira was growling now, impatiently twitching at the computer.

But you said he didn’t know anything about what you were doing? Isn’t he just an asshole really? What do you get out of this?”

Being difficult or unaware doesn’t make you an automatic asshole, I’d just like to point that out. You are right, of course, but if I remember correctly, I was being an actual asshole the last time we had any dealings with each other, because I was hurt. Sam doesn’t usually tolerate ‘feels,’ for all his chosen pithiness.” Kira looked blank. “Trust me, it is much easier if we make it a public only relationship. I don’t want to have to eat his cubs anyway. That is what lions do.” Kira got up and rubbed her sore back. “I just want to kick his ass with impunity, and nine years ago there was no question of my ever getting to do that. He can keep his bits to himself apart from that if he wants. I just love the idea of making him bloom, and for that he needs to be challenged now and again. Safely, by someone who cares. It is in the grand tradition of the super-Greeks.”

I wish somebody loved me like that. Have you ever considered that maybe he loves you too?”

God no. Trust me, you would not want an imaginary relationship this contorted.”

Why not? Maybe he longs for a soft cuddly twin who doesn’t take any shit from him.”

I think Sam’s love of control is well established. I don’t want to end up looking pinched and terrified. I want to be loved, not moulded, thank you. Besides, can you imagine how the Yanks would take a fat chick? America hates women, never mind women who don’t conform to the delusional rules of trophy-hunting success. I’m not in the business of ruining careers.”

Is that why you’re hitting on the Foreign Secretary?” Leon was quite pleased with this development, especially as it meant a host of new opportunities emerging from Kira’s creative brain.

No, I actually like the Foreign Secretary, and he is big and kind enough not to mind me creatively crying on his shoulder.” Kira looked up. “Besides which, he needs a good shake too. His health needs some attention. Nagging from crazy strangers is almost tolerable.”

Everyone will assume you agree with his politics, however. They may not take it well.”

They can take it however they want. He is the only one in the party that cares about the public or credits them with any brains at all. If the English will insist on continuing to vote for them, we might as well give the UK to the only decent one, assuming we can woo him away from his evil paymasters at some point.”

Can we do that?” Leon stared at the wall. This was so bonkers, it actually might work.

Of course we can.” Kira rethreaded her needle as she worked on her latest figurative work. “We can do whatever we like.”

You used to say that to your mother.” Leon smiled.

She is still here, so I am still saying it to her.” Kira nodded towards the large flowered tube on the table. “Poor mum. Why are people so stupid?”

They do what the Reich tells them, and the Reich wants anyone disabled dead.”

True. Let us not talk of it just now. We need to get another grant application in.”

When is it due?”

5am?”

Are you crazy? People work on these things for months!” Leon was dumbfounded.

I only found out this morning. I just need a few photographs. I will write it up tonight.” Kira seemed remarkably calm. “I’ve been writing business plans for years. It isn’t difficult.” Kira smiled. “I could even make an application for ‘beneficial to the community’ schemes and include the new project.”

There is nothing beneficial to the community about the Conservative party.” Leon spluttered. “Especially not as you seem hell-bent on promoting the Foreign Secretary, of all people.”

Everything will be fine. A national-scale project will help enormously with the scheme for Sam. I had better finish some of the old stuff though, just in case anybody ever actually buys any of it.” Kira’s work had not sold recently. She seemed blissfully unconcerned, as she did not rely on it for income. Kira’s life seemed to be a very long learning curve. Leon wondered if she realised how little time she had to perfect the over-arching work-of-art that was her endlessly expanding brain. “Don’t worry, Leon. I just need to get more work to fund it. Look what fun I had after Brexit, and it didn’t cost me anything at all!”

So, basically the idea is we get the Foreign Secretary, who is just as crazy as you, into Number 10. Then what?”

Then I will need a proper publisher to appear, as if by magic, and take the Conservative books I am working on. Once I have a publisher, it will then be time to return to the original book, which theoretically removes all politics as we know it and creates an entirely new landscape for debate. Sam has no idea how clever he is. I shall take great delight in presenting it to him.” A twinkle seemed to sparkle in Kira’s eye as she glanced at Leon.

Are you sure he is the clever one?”

He is the key to my lock. Why do you think I hold him in such precious esteem, even when he insists on being silly? There is nothing either of us can do about that. We shall just have to make it a rhetorical question.” Kira seemed to be glowing as she smiled, and returned to her sewing.

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