Thursday, August 27, 2009

Channel Four News Needs to do Better

There was a discussion on Channel Four news last night about the Kennedys. It disturbed me because it seemed to be pandering to some ridiculous notion that a famous politician is by definition on useful because of their fame.

The panel were positing whether or not certain US ‘dynasties’ were in effect. They mentioned the Kennedy s, the Clintons and the Bushes.

The gist of their conversation was that these people got into power because of their name.
Now I understand that in politics name recognition is important and it must play some part. But to make it seem as thought name recognition is the major reason why someone like Senator Kennedy was what he was is disrespectful.

The panel didn’t pay much attention to his actual political career – legislation he had put through, issues he had championed. They just kept on about the name. At one point the news anchor Krishnan made some point about the Americans being fascinated with political dynasties because they don’t have a royal family! How silly.

From what I have read, the Kennedy’s have been a family that believe in public service. And not all of them went into public service. Also, I don’t see how the Bushes or the Clintons can be seen as dynasties.

Basically, if a news show is going to discuss something important such as the passing of an influential man like Ted Kennedy they should do it a lot better than they did it last night.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hard work

Too many of us are too damn lazy.

If there is a goal you are trying to reach I can guarantee that the only way you are going to get there is with hard graft. Hard work has two distinct and equally important components. There’s the sweat equity, i.e. actually doing the work and doing it hard and there’s the consistency. Consistency means you need to keep at it. Keep at it how long? As long as it takes to get to your goal.

Some people bizarrely think that saying you are going to do something is as good as doing it. Some believe that a little spurt of work – say ten minutes – qualifies them to say they have worked hard at something. All of this is rubbish. Hard work means effort and it means consistency until you reach your goal.

Now get on with it.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Translate the Success to Other Areas

The success of Jamaican athletes speaks for itself. Gold medals abound and records are being broken right left and centre. When you go further as well you can see not only dedication but skill – in a couple of the hurdles races it has been good form that has been a large part of the success as opposed to the bad form of some of the other competitors.

There must be a way to harness this attitude to other areas of life so that Jamaica can be a prosperous country.

Can you imagine, if the spirit the athletes have is taken into business and general attitudes - Jamaica would make Monaco look like an impoverished third world nation! Because of Jamaica’s size it could become an exclusive powerhouse – financially strong like the Cayman islands – but perhaps more inclusive?

While we are enjoying the success of Bolt and his compatriots we should really be thinking how this success can be put to a wider use for Jamaica.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Obama a Racist? Get a Grip Beck

Glen Beck a conservative talk show host on Fox has been getting into increasing trouble over his accusations that President Obama is a racist. Beck claims that Obama hates white people.
A lot of white people just don’t get it.

Do they ever wonder how come black people don’t just rise up and kill the lot of them considering what white people have done to back people collectively? Part of the reason why I suspect they don’t is ignorance. I asked a colleague the other day who was educated in the UK to degree level what history he learned and he said he learned about World War II. I had heard rumours of this but couldn’t believe it was true. With all the things that were done through empire, the British do not teach any of it to their kids – they just teach a period of 5 years. Why? Because they must know that their own history is a litany of shameful acts of thievery and brutality to people who did nothing to them, so they prefer to focus on a period of history where thy shined. This limits them to the five years between 1939 and 1945. So the British are largely ignorant of their own history. I imagine it is possible that the same thing pertains for the Americans.

As this is very likely the case white people ware probably oblivious to the fact that most black people in the west have a significant chunk of their family who are white. You cannot hate white people without hating large numbers of your extended family – it is unthinkable.

If I hated white people I couldn’t sit in a room with some of my relatives without wanting to kill them. But when I sit in a room with them I see relative – not colour.

Most intelligent back people I know abhor the actions of white people as a whole but this doesn’t’ translate into everyday interactions with your white colleagues or family members.

If white people were more versed in their own history, which is tangled up with ours they would realise that a significant chunk of their families are black too.

For President Obama to hate white people he would have to hate his mother and his grandparents who raised him. In order to hate your mother and grandparents, you’d have to be a pretty bitter hollowed out shell of a person – he doesn’t strike me as such. When his grandmother died a day before the election result he looked pretty sad to me.

People who listen to Beck and many white people in general need to educate themselves about themselves – and they need to start thinking. For centuries this notion of demonising people who don’t look like them (for no reason other than they are different) has been nothing but harmful to both parties – both white people and non-white people. It’s time to stop this vastly unproductive habit of prejudice.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mi Mooma Blouse and Skirt!


Can you believe it?

Man what a race - poor Tyson Gaye - he ran extremely well and was so far being Usain! Tyson had to get a good start to have had a chance (he didn't get a good start in the hear with Asafa and had to fight Asafa off for most of it) and he did get one but Bwoy - didn't make a difference eh?

Very, very happy with that result. Can't wait to see him in 2012.

Leave Hillary Alone

Hilary Clinton has worked hard to get the prominent jobs she has had and currently has. She decided to marry her husband and decided to stay with him in spite of what appears to have multiple instances of infidelity – this was her choice,

She ran for president and lost – must have really sucked but she has taken on her job and by all accounts has been doing very well at it.

So no wonder she was pissed off by the question in Kenya (even if it was inaccurately translated). Heck, I was mad as hell when I heard it and it wasn’t even me! Some jackasses have been making various demented comments about her being upset because it hit home that she isn’t sh** and has been living off of her husband’s glory. Rubbish! Those folks need to get a grip.

It’s the same as when she said she’d rather have a career than stay home and bake cookies – well so would I, Marks sells a lovely butter chocolate chip cookie – very reasonable at £2.50. After I pick up a batch I’ll be off to earn a crust, hopefully doing something stimulating.

The status quo has changed – women have been capable of holding high office for centuries, they have actually been doing it for decades. The world needs to catch up with reality. And they need to give Mrs. Clinton a damn break.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The ideal working arrangement

I’ve been thinking about what that would be and I’m clear on it now. It would a situation where you would be measured by the relevance of your contribution. Where you would be rewarded for the quality of your work. Where you would be able to be as comfortable as you are in social situations. Where you could deliver what has been bought in whatever time is feasible for both buyer and seller. It would enable you to go outdoors often. It would enable to interact or not interact with many interesting people (depending on your personality).

The ideal working situation would free you up to use your experience, education and ingenuity to provide a sought after service or product for the right price. The only thing you would have to worry about would be delivering high quality on time and all the buyer would be concerned with is getting that high quality on time.

Why can’t it be like this?

Too many people in charge of working places have so many ridiculous agendas – often at the expense of making money. Their main aim often seems to be to make employees miserable and disrespected – it seems this is the only way many people can feel superior.

Those who have managed to eke out a living freelance and those who have found places to work where they allow people to feel comfortable enough to produce (Google comes to mind) are indeed fortunate. Let’s hope that we can use the credit crunch as a time for us to change the labour market for the better. Where people can have a much better work experience and where companies can reap the awesome benefits of a skilled, comfortable and well connected workforce.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Government should extend the scrappage scheme

I wonder if the government will extend the scrappage scheme? It seems to have worked for the most part. Apparently, some car makers are screwing around with the intent and raising the price of cars – what is wrong with them?

It seems to have worked in the States too and they are extending it.

On Channel 4 news last night the relevant government official insisted it would not be extended. He also insisted that VAT would go up again at the end of the year.

Both seem ridiculous to me. By all accounts and purposes the UK has been hit the hardest by the recession – why would the government scrap schemes that are helping (albeit in the case of VAT a little)? Can you imagine what’s going to happen to retailers (and of course the people who work in them) if VAT goes up again in December – during the Christmas shopping time government? Hello!!!!

Our lot have been too slow to enforce a whole bunch of things which is why we here in Blighty are suffering so much more and seemingly for so much longer. Let’s hope good sense prevails.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

We Must Encourage Girls to Stretch

Recently there has been a lot of conversation about the place of women in business and about unequal pay. Now I know there is discrimination from men but what I want to discuss here is how we prepare girls for life.

From my observation we aren’t equipping girls to adopt the traits and interests to be successful – not according to men’s standards, but according to successful standards.

I’ve noticed the behaviour of many of my female colleagues at work and it’s not good. There are hour-long conversations about mascara – vacillation when making decisions, an unwillingness to speak up or take charge and a seeming willingness to sigh, say ‘ah men’ and then smilingly do some clerical task for some man who claims he can’t do it (usually binding something or printing a document).

We need to develop interests in the subjects that are useful – mascara doesn’t warrant a conversation much less an hour-long one. There are plenty of relevant things to discuss at work. When projects come up we should take charge or volunteer for leadership roles. We should chase them and support each other so that leadership can be done on our terms. Trust me, from what I’ve seen women at work are more than capable of managing things – they just don’t step up for it. And when your male colleagues comes over to ask you to bind a document for him because he doesn’t know how to do it (cue sickening grin) and you are much more smarter than him, please pretty please, tell him to bugger off.

We must also demand much much better of our husbands. Disabuse yourself of the notion that they are ‘helping’ with the house or kids. ‘Helping’ infers that it is our task and they are giving a hand. No, they must do their part. Also, stop being so damn picky about things. If hubby is to do something and he employs the age old masculine ploy of doing it badly so that the wife will do it from now on – let him do it badly and then LEAVE THE MESS ALONE!!! Eventually he will get the message that you will not take on his responsibilities and if he takes too long to realise it – call him on it and shame him. If he’s a decent man he will see the sense in what you say.

Let’s encourage our daughters to go for the top – inculcate in them a strong belief in their abilities and give them courageous spirits. And remember, only discuss mascara at length if you are the CEO of a cosmetic company and you are discussing a fantastic strategy to shift the stuff.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Leave Barclays Alone

People just don’t get it do they?

One of the major problems with the banking crisis has not been the fact that people have earned large bonuses. It is that many people were paid large bonuses when they had not done anything to generate the funds needed to do so and had even done things to evaporate the funds to run those very banks.

In other works – people were rewarded for failing, and failing dismally.

What has happened today with Barclays is success. They didn’t (as far as I know) take government money and they have managed to make a profit. Good on them. There is therefore no problem whatsoever with their employees taking bonuses.

This country needs to become acquainted with the language and mechanics of success. You get (or should get) rewarded when you do well – not when some backra master feels like tossing you a few crumbs.

Too many people in the British workplace who add spades of value and work damn hard make next to nothing and cannot earn more in proportion to their contribution to the bottom line. At the same time thousands of ignorant, stupid, vile and downright lazy SOBs earn hundreds of thousands of pounds for doing sod all – in fact they earn their lavish lifestyles on the back of the work done by the people at the coalface. Many companies who made more profit than they had forecast but made a lot less than they did last year – used this fact to not pay profit sharing bonuses to the rank and file while senior executives continue to get hidden, expensive perks – like brand new X5s etc.

So I am happy for the Barclays staff – I wish other companies would do likewise. In order for us all to do better and earn more we need to ensure that people are rightfully rewarded for their efforts. Monetary incentives should be down to merit, not down to some monstrous class creation whereby often crass and uncultured people are deemed worthy of bonuses just because they say so and the hardworking employee with ingenuity is not.

Largesse should go to the hardworking, those who use their heads and those who take educated risk. Not to people based on some cloudy and secretive criteria.