Sunday, December 05, 2010

Staying afloat and doing well

There is no good reason why people who are willing to work shouldn’t be able to support themselves and their families and live comfortably. But for some reason the way things are set up make this impossible for many and extremely difficult form the majority.

The fitness instructor in this story made me think. There he is doing a full time job – probably with plenty of overtime but at the rate he is paid there is no way he’s ever, get me, EVER going to make enough to do more that struggle. Now they have two small kids. Childcare costs a fortune so his wife can’t work because her salary would cancel out the childcare. I suspect this couple are not well qualified and to become so would take aptitude, time and money which I suspect they have little of. So the best that can happen to them is for the wife to be able to work once the kids are older, which could be years, and for nothing to go amiss in the intervening years, such as job loss or illness.

Firstly, the minimum wage needs to be something people can really live on. Secondly a proper market rate needs to be established for a whole range of jobs – why is a fitness instructor being paid so little – it takes some knowledge and skill so surely he should be paid more than six quid an hour? Thirdly there needs to be a much more intelligent attitude towards childcare. In Jamaica where I used to live, many businesses had nurseries on site or ran one affiliated to them and perhaps a group of other companies. Parents paid a lower rate and the businesses benefited from employees who were secure in the knowledge their kids were properly being taken care of. I suspect our love for bureaucracy at the expense for the welfare of our kids prevents this from happening here. Paying for childcare should not cancel out a salary.

Lastly we need to encourage aspiration and laud intelligence and achievement instead of making fun of people who do well. Also people need to become entrepreneurial– create our own jobs. We cannot function well as a nation with low achievement and poor educational results that trap people into a life of low paid jobs. It’s a fact that the more qualified you are and the batter able to solve problems and form good relationships, the better job you can get. Until we get this, there will continue to be many working poor like the family mentioned above. Trust me on this, the difference between this family and ones I am familiar with are £800 per month earning power and £3,500 per month. Heck, on half of £3,500 a household could afford for the mother not to work. How do you get to earn that kind of cash and much more? With qualifications and problem solving abilities that businesses cannot do without. Those of us in positions where we can earn a lot are somewhat able to because of the dearth of qualified people. Take a profession I am familiar with – bid managers for instance, there are so few people that can do it well, the salaries offered are in the region of £40k and up plus bonuses and companies scramble to hire the few people available - for the most part. If there was a larger pool of qualified people the salaries might be lower (but I doubt it because of the nature of the work). Instead there are millions earning less than half of this. With prices and taxes in the UK the way they are and with further cuts things look bleak for the unskilled and low qualified. If you are in this position I advise you to do some heavy research – find out what professions you can get into (without a degree) that are in short supply and can earn you a wage upon which you and your family can be comfortable. These professions DO exist. And encourage your kids to do extremely well at school – you need them doing so well they can get scholarships people. It’s the only way out of this.

Monday, November 22, 2010

We are all human.

I am watching an episode of Dispatches in which Pakistani people are speaking about the loss of loved ones in various bombing incidents.

It is heartbreaking.

One man made a point that stuck with me – he said something to the effect that to many people throughout the world, when they hear of bombings and deaths in Pakistan, these deaths are just a number. He said that in the morning he dropped his wife off at work and in the evening he collected her body. How can you explain that he asked? How indeed.

Let’s try not to see these and other deaths simply as statistics. One death is the loss of a loved one for many people and creates a pain that will probably never fully go away. Let us be compassionate and remember these people. For those of us who have faith, let’s pray for those who mourn, regularly, that they may be comforted. Just imagine for a moment if your loved one had been killed. How would you feel? Like they were a statistic?

I think not.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

'Allo 'Allo

I am watching a re-run of ‘Allo ‘Allo and I am reminded of how incredibly funny it is. One of my favourite moments is in the days of the original La Clair. Madame Edith was once again going to thrill the patrons with her singing, but the British airmen were hiding inside the piano. So La Clari decided to mime playing the instrument for Madame Edith while the airmen said ‘plink plonk, plinky plonk.’ Priceless!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Why the plastic surgery?

Why do some women insist on getting plastic surgery when it neither makes them look better nor younger? And not to mention the risk – I mean why put yourself under a general anaesthetic for a look? I can get aging and not being happy with how you look but I can’t get going through risky surgery , spending a fortune and then coming out and looking worse.

As for me – I hate hospitals and the thought of going under does not thrill me – elective plastic surgery? Hell no.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Madness in Trini Land

Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said that her nation would have to get something in return for helping Caribbean neighbours affected by Hurricane Tomas.”

I, like others (see this story in the Gleaner are gobsmacked.

Have you EVER heard the leader of a country state that they would need something back for helping their neighbours out in the aftermath of a natural disaster? As they say in Jamaica, anyting go so? It would seem it does.

Look, when natural disasters strike, people suffer. They need help, and if you have any compassion you will give it – without asking for something in return. It begs the question, what the hell kind of person is she? And also, not just that but she surely must have had an inkling of how her statement would be greeted yet she said it anyway. SO either she is not politically savvy or she is truly a heartless *****.

Anyway you look at it, this is very sad. The only good thing is that she seems to be very much alone in her opinion. Let’s hope it stays that way.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Death of Good Taste

The latest instalment of the X-Factor has sealed the death of good taste in the UK. It seems as though if you are an excellent singer, can keep in tune and in time then you are not considered of the greatest value by the judges. However, if they take a shine to you for whatever reason (never the reason of musical talent) then you are considered fantastic. Even after hearing a lacklustre, out of tune, out of time performance, these ridiculous people who know better laud their acts to the skies. They can’t possibly be fooling even themselves.

They need to remove the competition element between the judges because it is now in the realms of the ridiculous. Make it a straightforward, talent show for goodness sake before we become even more of a global laughing stock than we are when it comes to high quality anything.

And I think they should keep up the guest singer judges because to be honest (and I don’t want to be harsh) but neither Danni nor Cheryl Cole can sing well so it’s a bit rich hearing some of their comments. They need some successful, SINGERS not people famous for being famous more than anything on the panel in addition to the industry experts. And if someone is a successful singer they don’t have months to devote so judging a programme like this so you either need a successful person who has kind of retired from the biz (Anita Baker for example) or rotate guest judges.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Does our culture let women down?

There’s been a lot of talk in the media recently about the pay gap between men and women. In some respects the discourse is confusing – often people say that the type of work women choose is the problem i.e. they go into low paid areas of work. In that case then like for like isn’t being compared – I thought the equal pay issues were about a man and woman who do the same job and the man gets paid more not that women on a whole earn less than men. Is my reading right here?

Anyway, if the issue is that women tend to take lower paying jobs and don’t push themselves forward then perhaps our culture has a lot to do with women being paid less. Let me explain.

I’ve lived about half my life here and half in Jamaica – two very different cultures. Now there are probably disparities in pay in Jamaica – but it seemed to me that proportionately more women there were in senior positions earning a sizeable chunk of change – myself included. Jamaican women are not shy and their husbands and boyfriends on the whole, expect their wives and girlfriends to work and to prosper – either for themselves or in business. They also expect and want them to be well rounded intelligent women who can hold their own. Admittedly, Jamaicans have housekeepers (called helpers) so both men and women have less to do around the house but in general things seem to work well in terms of equality.

Most other English women I encounter on the other hand are super traditional and very timid. And their husbands and boyfriends have a very condescending attitude towards women which the women often seem to back up. When I ask English women what their interests are they will generally say they don’t have any and the next most popular reply is ‘my kids and husband/boyfriend/ clothes or shopping – the stereotypical options. English women are ultra timid about speaking up, going bright red if they have to even say something in a meeting and they (in my experience) don’t like to push themselves forward for responsibility.

English women often act like they are vapid (or maybe they are), in need of assistance to do the simplest things and don’t exhibit much interest in weighty issues but cling to the trivial and demeaning (Jordan’s love life instead of the effects of the cut in child tax benefits).

I’m not saying it’s our fault but I am saying we aren’t helping much. Don’t the ladies that gave their life so that we could vote and those Dagenham ladies who went on strike for the equal pay act deserve better from us? Don’t we deserve better? Don’t our daughters?

Friday, October 08, 2010

Why are the English so Fascinated with Hitler?

On English TV there is a preponderance of shows focusing on Hitler. More Four just advertised a programme; apparently someone has uncovered footage - wait for it, wait for it - of one of Hitler's aides! Yes folks - you'll get the chance to see one of Hitler's servants.

Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't Hitler a bigoted murdering bastard? Why keep focusing on him?

And in that spirit I end.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Journalists need to speak for us

I am tired of journalists trying to stir up trouble when they have the chance to interview those in power. In the wake of Ed Milliband’s win all I seem to hear journalists ask him is, ‘how does this affect your relationship with your brother,’ ‘does this mean Labour will lurch to the left,’ ‘Didn’t you only get in because of the unions?’ ‘You don’t really have a mandate, or you didn’t really win because there was only a 1.3% difference.’

For goodness sake – as a voter does the answer to any of those questions add anything to your life? Doesn’t add anything to mine.

Why don’t they ask him how he plans to make Labour winnable in the next election? How about, how is he going to counter to ConDems’ slash and burn techniques? How can he convince us that life will be better under a Labour government than under a Tory government?

We need to demand better not just from our politicians but from our media too.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Curse of the Mookoot

In popular Jamaican parlance, a mookoot is an idiot. Basically what we in the UK call a muppet.Now many people who seem to get onto property related reality TV shows in the UK suffer from acute cases of mookootism. The symptoms usually are:

1) Copious amounts of money

2) An acute lack of any sense, common or otherwise

What always amazes me is the restraint of hosts like Kevin McLeod and Sarah Beeny. While I am sitting in front of my TV yelling various names at the people on the screen – their response is usually considerably tempered.

The one exception is that show ‘Under the Hammer.’ The people on this show are usually incredibly sensible, except of course those who buy places without having seen them and then end up with something with structural issues.

I remember one episode of Property Ladder where the couple insisted on revamping a house as a two bedroom. Beeny told them that if they added a third bedroom (and they had plenty of room to do so) they’d add £100k to their asking price. I remember the woman saying this ‘I know, but we aren’t going to do that.’ Now keep in mind the premise of the show is that people fix up houses in order to make a profit and that is what this couple purported to do. What the-?!!!

Ahhhh, why do mookoots have access to so much money?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Men need to snatch their balls back

Too many modern British men are wusses. Now I am not advocating old style gender roles – I don’t believe women should be wusses either – trouble is as a result of man-made gender rules many women generally aren’t. Let me explain.

Over the centuries, women have been treated as though they were not as important as men, yet they have been made to do the bulk of the work in many cultures. Now because they have had to do this work and manage things like families (people management), meagre budgets (fiscal skills) and be brave in the face of all kinds of attacks (condescending mechanics)many women have had to become strong and decisive. (I’m not talking about the idiots who behave as if to have a brain is unfeminine). So where has this left the men? With few leadership skills, squat by way of fiscal skills and unable to make decisions. So we end up with wusses.

This needs to change. We need to see ourselves as equals with different roles in some areas depending on our capabilities, preferences and in very few occasions our gender. We need to bring our kids up to think differently or we’ll be producing a bunch of wishy washy men with no cohones who will not be wanted by most women

Monday, September 13, 2010

Anyone who voted Tory should be beaten in the town square

To all of you who voted for the Tories and the Lib Dems because you felt we 'needed a change' - well I hope you're bloody happy! We are screwed!!!!!

These jokers will cut until we all bleed and then they'll cut some more. At the end of these five years the UK will be fifth world country unless we all make it clear we won't stand for it. I am not looking forward to the next few months. Those who suffer - and there will be many - will be forced into behaviour they would previously have eschewed.

I pray the government sees sense before the anarchy begins.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Integrity of the X-Factor

People are complaining that using auto tune software on the X-Factor compromises the integrity of the show.

Hello . . . . . . ?

WHAT integrity?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Silly Season Again

So the X-Factor is on again this Saturday. Well, what do you think - will we get any actual singing, or any good singing this year?

One thing the programme does is highlight how many delusional people there are in the UK and how many mentally ill people there are. Especially the particularly disturbed people who come back year after year, clearly after not bothering to take any voice lessons. But then why would they? I was watching Cheryl Cole perform live at some concert a few months ago and it was embarrassing. She has a voice but she really needs to fine tune it and most of all strengthen it. She sounded like someone on the karaoke. Yet she's a successful 'singer.' If after all those years as a singer she doesn't feel she needs to vastly improve her singing then why would the people auditioning.

As a good example, take Rhianna. When she started out she had a terrible nasal voice bordering on the whining. Now, she can sing. Listen to that cheating song of hers vs. Russian Roulette. BIG difference. Now it's clear she has done some considerable voice work.

But for our Z list celebrity culture, talent is a minor consideration, if it is one at all. So sadly, I doubt we'll get much good singing tomorrow night.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Poor shouldn't mean thick

A story on the BBC website this past week states some stats saying that poorer kids are more likely to be killed or injured on the roads than richer kids. The argument is that richer kids have back gardens and parks to play in and are driven around in cars, whereas poorer kids have to play in the street.

I disagree. The problem is poorer parents don’t teach their kids sense – in this case, road sense. I have had this experience of a poorer area. There are several playing fields within a few yards, plus a central green, yet a certain bunch of kids decide to play in the street. In fact one set, saw me go into my car ready to go somewhere and at the moment I turned the key in the ignition, that is when they decide to run out into the street RIGHT BEHNIND MY CAR. And get this, their parents were standing right there watching them and they didn’t move a muscle to remove their kids. I had to wait until the cretin, moved out of the way which took a while. Now is money the issue here?

Hell no! Some people don’t want to admit it, because it is politically incorrect – but many poor people are at least remaining in their poverty because of their mindset and the attendant habits. And this goes to how they raise their kids.

All this talk of equality – the focus is on the wrong things. Producing more and more vehicles for poorer people to do all sorts will not work if un-progressive attitudes prevail. – and no, you don’t have to be privileged to be progressive. I read on the money saving website the other day that a grant of 10,000 laptops have largely remained unclaimed. They were earmarked for poorer people. And don’t talk about if it was publicised enough – if you are disadvantaged you should be looking out for what you can get. Lord knows those who aren’t do.

At a certain point – progress has to be down to the person who will benefit from the progress. Some people, sadly cannot be helped – not until they want the help.

Ensure all have access to relevant services and opportunities – after that it is survival of the fittest.

Making roads safer not the solution - making people teach their kids sense is!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Getting out of a funk

Getting out of a funk is hard.

Been in one for a while.

But what do you do if you feel as if you are going crazy? What if you can't afford to do what you KNOW will help?

I don't have the answers but I'm going to have a stab at it.

1) Try and take a deep breath and breath slowly for at least 30 seconds.
2) Say a word of thanks for your blessings - they are likely to be many.
3) Then think of what you REALLY want to do - don't analyse it, just think of it.
4) Then - without fear, write down what YOU need to do to do that thing.
5) Then pray for guidance
6) Be obedient and then do what needs to be done in faith.
7) Keep on keeping on (being obedient and working).

I'll let you know how it works.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Learning from our mistakes

Check this story out from today's Independent.

It's very good and poses some sober questions about English people's attitude to mistakes and the lessons that can be learned from them. It is time for us to start learning from our mistakes instead of hiding them and continuing in wrong and unhelpful practices.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

High Quality UK Programming

Big up to the creators of the new Sherlock show on the Beeb. This goes to show that the UK can produce excellent programmes soothe question is, why don’t they do so more often? Often the cry is money and in some respects that makes sense, but in terms of good stories and acting, that can still be done with limited sets etc. I think part of the problem is the UK audience. It’s hardly a discriminating one. Crappy soaps filled with miserable, low aspiration people are the staple. There are seemingly very few aspirational UK soaps. Nothing to look up to. Oh well, with programmes like Spooks, Hustle and now Sherlock there is hope.

Enjoy it when it comes back as the creators say it is coming back.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Comfort over Competence – the British Way

Watching an episode of Boston Legal, the one where they give Brad the partnership over Jerry. The issue here is that the partners didn’t want Jerry to be a partner because they felt he didn’t fit in. They however acknowledged that he is extremely competent and has brought in shed loads of money. They had him work extremely hard hanging out the hope of partnership each year even though they knew he wouldn’t get it. Thing is they were happy to take the fruits of his labour but didn’t want him to benefit from it.

This is the same in the British workplace. I see it time and time again, intelligent, hardworking people are kept at a low salary and low hierarchical level while those that ‘fit in’ but who are almost always incompetent to the point of madness are promoted. This means they get more money and status. By extension, they are better able to take care of their families, enjoy a higher standard of living and have the regard of many. Meanwhile, those who are at the coalface making intelligent decisions and effecting positive change are kept on lower salaries and not given any regard.

If this is you, I advise you to leave your job as soon as is feasible and either go into business for yourself or go to work for a decent company – there are some, often large multi-nationals. It is of no use to stay at companies who operate like this – they will kill your spirit.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Time to man and woman up

Simple statement today – we are given stewardship over kids, to care for them and to raise and train them to be worthwhile fulfilled adults. They aren’t given as some sort of ego booster or as a way to make you feel better about yourself. So, keeping that in mind, employ some common sense when it comes to discipline and stop wimping out. In the long run (and it’s the long run that counts) learning consequences and restraint though painful in the present is a whole hell of a lot less painful that finding bail money in the future.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Working From Home

I was thinking again about working the other day and I know that many of us can do our jobs from home with the technology we have yet we are not permitted to by our employers. Even in this economic climate – most businesses would rather spend more money on having everyone come into an overpriced office than stay home and work based on targets. Why?

Well, I say that while companies are coming to grips with the sensible way of doing things, more and more and more workers will take the freelance route. I wonder what will happen then?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Big Stars on UK Screen

How comes so many big Hollywood stars have been on the UK small screen lately?

We had Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz on Top Gear (prior to Andy Garcia a few weeks ago), and Chris Rock, Adam Sandler and Kevin James on The One Show!

Now US stars come over here all the time to premier their movies here but I can’t ever remember seeing them on everyday UK TV shows. So what’s up? Rumour is that the Cruise Diaz film is bad and they showed up on Jeremy Clarkson’s sofa in a bid to stave off the bad reviews. That would make sense out of their appearance. But still . . .

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Lost Art of Conversation

One of the things that exasperates me about English culture is the fact that most English people seem incapable of carrying on any sort of conversation – and by conversation, I mean an exchange of ideas. Especially women. The list of topics to prattle on about (it certainly is never an actual discussion on these topics) is as follows:

· The weather
· Whatever the hell you did or plan to do on your weekend (why the hell do they care?)
· Where you are going on your holidays
· Any other airhead subject like the dilemma of your eye shadow not matching your dress (I am not making this up – this was couched as a ‘problem’ in a bride magazine. In my defence I was newly engaged and naively thought these mags could help. Boy was I wrong!)

It drives me nuts. There are a few English women who are compos mentis but it is a very small number.


A good reflection of the level of intelligence of our women is the magazine rack. Take a look at the mindless tripe you’ll find in the so called women’s section and you will want to top yourself.

What is the deal? Do English women like operating on empty (brains) or do they feel pressured to do so because the vast majority of English men seem to like their women vacuous? Andy why do they? (the men that is). Are they threatened by a woman with brains? The answer sadly seems to be yes. I asked some male friends of mien if they preferred outstanding looking and dumb or good looking and smart. They preferred the former. How depressing! Even a good looking smart woman is less desirable than Gracie-Lue Freebush (watch Miss Congeniality for the reference)

If this is so, it’s a very sad statement on women in a supposedly first world country.

Trust me, if you want a good conversation you are forced to seek out the tiny minority of Englishwomen interested in conversation, men – or foreign women.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bin Fear

Yesterday I read an interesting quote. It basically said ‘what would I do if I wasn’t afraid?’ The answer to that was rather enlightening. The list was as long as my arm! Basically, it included everything I really want to do but don’t because I am afraid of stepping out. A lot of it has to do with money. If I do what I want to do, in the immediate aftermath I would be income-less and my home etc. would be in jeopardy. That’s what it really comes down to.

On a similar vein, last night I was watching some money show and they focused on a guy who has given up money for the past 18 months. He seems to be doing fine. And though I have no desire to go his way – there was an interesting lesson to learn from him. Money is a tool to get certain things, (and just certain things, not all things) done. It shouldn’t be a weapon. And to many people it is a weapon – one used against them, by them (and the wider society) to keep them in fear. If we keep wanting to buy more stuff then companies can keep making money you see, even the debt we get into to buy the ‘more stuff’ is advantageous to many companies.

I want to let go of that fear. I hate it, it is paralysing. So with God’s help I aim to bin it.

Many people who have become wildly financially and spiritually successful took certain calculated risks and came out on top. It’s time I did likewise. What about you?

What would you do if you weren’t afraid? It’s worth thinking about. . . then doing.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Baiting the electorate

Is anyone else fed up of journalists baiting politicians on behalf of us the electorate? I just watched a so-called feature on the Milliband brothers on Channel 4 news and as a voter I heard little that was of importance to me and much that seemed to be geared towards getting a rise out of both men. We are in interesting times and I for one want to hear from politicians on the hustings, how they will do their job if elected. I don’t give a toss about a dust up between rivals. I wish journalists would share my view.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bathrooms – the last bastion of gender separation

‘Don’t put your handbag on the bed it’s been all kinds of nasty places,’ says HRH.
‘All kinds of nasty places, what do you mean?’ I ask him.
‘Well bathroom stall floors for one thing.’
‘No no no, when I am in a bathroom stall I hang my handbag on the peg.’
‘Peg? What peg?’

It was at that point that it occurred to me. My husband would have had no opportunity to go inside a women’s bathroom stall so he had no idea there were pegs on the back of the doors to hang your bag and coat. And I had no idea that there were no pegs on the back of the door in men’s bathrooms. I went on to reveal (to his amazement) the presence of nice smelling hand soap and hand lotion (in the better bathrooms) and sofas and separate mirrored waiting areas (in the even better bathrooms known as powder rooms).

It got me thinking. In this day and age there are very few areas of life that are not integrated in gender terms. I reckon the bathroom is the last place that exists where genders are separated. I know that there are some smaller places where there is maybe one bathroom that men and women share but I don’t think guys notice the hook on the back of the door for the simple reason that their backs are to the door when they do their business (well most times!), and I imagine they don’t give a thought to the low gray rectangular box next to the toilet either.

Men and women are equal and different. We aren’t the same and in the midst of a lot of misunderstanding about what it means to be equal, on both men and women’s part, it is good to reflect on the differences too. The differences are part of what makes us so interesting and so able to complement each other.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The US of UK?

So, there’s another nutcase gunman on the loose in the UK and this time he has managed to evade the police for several days. It really does look as though all countries ape the US is absolutely everything. Well this is one aspect of life in the US I can do without. First that nutter in Northumberland and now this guy in Newcastle. I know it’s not scientific to say so but it doesn’t say much for the north does it?

SO many theories have been posed as to why people go postal. I think we will have to start looking at the possible reasons really hard and really soon. Today I actually felt nervous about going about my business. The thing is – there is no defence against a madman who kills randomly.

We all need to be more emotionally mature.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Let us do what needs to be done, now!

We need to be accountable and we need to finish things. I was in a meeting today that typifies the British attitude to doing almost everything. Several of my colleagues were to have investigated certain issues and research certain information in order to complete some work. They came to the meeting having not done it. When the matter came up, said people made statements to the effect of ‘Well I can’t do so and so until I know such and such.’ Keep in mind that they were supposed to have researched such and such but didn’t. They weren’t challenged and the issue at hand was dropped. Now this issue is something that could win a lot of business but the powers that be seemed to be satisfied to let it slide on the basis that finding out this information is seemingly impossible or they don’t have the stones to make the relevant parties do what they are supposed to.

I was aching to scream at the relevant people, ‘So, you don’t know such and such, then why on earth didn’t you go and research it like you were supposed to then? Get up now and go and do it and report back to us in half an hour!’

Too many times I witness this ‘don’t care, can’t be bothered, lazy, ineffective attitude. It gets us nowhere! Let us pull ourselves up and do what needs to be done people. For goodness sake, the level of inertia in the UK is horrifying! It’s that same attitude that loses us World Cup matches and allows thieving bankers to continue in the same vein in spite of the massive fallout and taxpayer bailout. Does England have a pulse? If we can’t find it our inertia will kill the nation – there’ll be nothing whatsoever left because the rest of the world who have the brains and go getter attitude will sweep up opportunity after opportunity and those Brits who are alive and kicking will simply migrate.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

FIFA Sees Sense - Hopefully

Finally, some positive noises from FIFA about using technology in football. This World Cup has shown how desperately it is needed. I do hope that this is much more than lip service and that he means business.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Try to be of use to someone today

We are all on this earth together for a reason and one of those is to be of service to each other. So make it your mission each day to be of service to others. There are so many lonely people in need of various types of assistance and it shouldn't be this way. Let us have each other's back.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Predictors of Divorce

Very sad to hear today that the Gore's 40 year marriage is over. But it can happen. Take a look at this interesting article. What do you think?

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Decision to Leave Jamaica

One of my friends responded to a post from someone who said they were glad to have left Jamaica given the current unrest there. The responses were generally negative. Now maybe the person didn't put their comments in the most complimentary fashion but nonetheless there are salient points.

If you leave Jamaica it doesn't mean you are a traitor. There are lots of lovely things about living in Jamaica however, sadly the things that make it very difficult to live there are fundamental issues that affect life itself.

Unless you are well educated and can pull down a decent salary, you WILL be living in poverty with not much of a security blanket. And even if you do earn a lot there is the thorny issue of security. Some people still living there like to brush the crime situation off but it is a serious issue. And for those of us who just couldn't take the daily threat to life limb and property there's no shame in moving some place where you can be safe and not have to devote a sizeable chunk of your salary to basic food items.

Now there is an argument that if we all stayed then Jamaica would be a better place. No it wouldn't There is a culture in Jamaica that ensures that the minority of criminals and backward thinking attitude prevails and you can't prosper as a nation like that no matter how many well intentioned people stay. There has to be consensus that certain habits will prevail - such as being on time for instance.

I left because I realised that the way I wanted to live and progress was not in sync with how the majority of Jamaicans want to live. That difference is fine - if you don't like the prevailing situation in a country then by all means leave. But we shouldn't be chastised for that choice.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Telly Talk

I was hoping to get some answers from Lost but it seems like the closer we draw to the end of the programme the more questions get thrown up. This week’s episode with Alison Janney was great – quite haunting really. But I do hope they won’t leave us hanging at the end by not answering all questions in the hope they can come back .

Can’t believe they are cancelling Flash Forward and Heroes. I think this is a mistake and I hope some other station will pick them up. Same for Lawder (what we call Law & Order in our house). I hope they know what they are doing with an LA spinoff and I hope it keeps the same strong story lines and doesn’t got the route of looks over substance.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Beginning of . . What?

And so the marriage has taken place. I am conflicted and somewhat disturbed. Disturbed for obvious reasons unless you are a Tory, and conflicted because I seriously doubt that the two parties can really co-exist without real friction. Also, I feel that unless Nick Clegg turns the Deputy Prime Minister role into something substantial – that his party has got the short end of the stick in this.

We wait to see what unfolds.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Does anyone out there know of the best painkiller to take (in the UK) for migraines, without having to get a prescription? When I was living in JA Exedrin and codeine tablets worked a treat but I haven't come across anything in the UK that works. Appreciate the feedback.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Don’t be a fool all of your life

I was at an event recently, a discussion and voting came up. Many in the group said they will not be voting because they don’t trust any of the three major parties on the hustings. Now I have heard people say this type of ridiculous thing very often. Here is my position: whatever these people do or don’t do, there will be a government, the UK is not turning into Somalia anytime soon. Now all of the people saying they weren’t going to vote said that they had serious issues with many areas of their lives which are ultimately affected by government – housing, education, crime etc. Now you tell me, if you don’t vote, you have no say in putting in place the very people that control the issues that seriously affect your life. How is that a smart choice?

‘But I think they are all as bad as each other so what’s the point?’ I hear you say. But is that really the case? Come on, be honest, go through the list and I’ll be there’s one party that you can be positive you don’t want to win the most. So vote for someone else and take a vote from the most loathed party – if anything (and hoping you are a decent person) you can take a vote from the BNP.

Women and black people especially have no business talking about not voting. Too much blood has been shed on their behalf. So go and exercise your right and responsibility. No one is violently preventing you from voting as is the case in many parts of the world. Why would you voluntarily give up that which has been so hard fought for?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My Manifesto Continued

11) No repayment should be penalised - if you pay off debt early that should be a plus.

12) The welfare system should be overhauled so that you are not penalised for bettering yourselves.

13) Anyone on benefits not making an effort to better themselves should be thrown off benefits.

14) Power companies should be nationalised.

15) In fact public services should be nationalised, power, water, transport. Phone companies can be privatised.

16) Travel companies should be by law, forced to keep prices level throughout the year, parents, teachers and ancillary worker at schools should not be ripped off when they go on holiday.

17) Head Teachers and other teachers should be in charge of schools.

18) Vastly reduce the fuel tax.

19) Money sense and business should be taught in school.

20) Second jobs should be taxed at the same rate as first jobs.

More later.

Monday, April 12, 2010

My manifesto

Now we are in the silly season, here are some things I think should be done to improve life in the UK:

1) Flat rate of income tax for all income above £18,000 per annum. Anyone earning £18k or under pays no income tax. Everyone else's first £18k will be tax free. This saves the administration costs of administering different tax rates and it is fair - 10% of £10 is by definition less than 10% of £100.

2) Abolish the Tv license tax and make the BBC pay for itself - it already has a commercial arm and it sure as hell has fallen down on the edifying programme mandate.

3) Force, through legislation, each TV channel to have a certain percentage of their programming as public service and tightly define what that means.

4) Make farmers vaccinate against what can be vaccinated against.

5) Make kids get vaccinated against chickenpox.

6) Vaccinate everyone against flu - prevents valuable man hours being lost.

7) Make companies incorporate flexible working and have as many people as possible work from home - reducing traffic and childcare issues.

8) Make banks be honourable.

9) Everyone should have the option to pay bills by standing order.

10) Companies should not have the upper hand re: direct debits.

More on Wednesday.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Last installment on First World Thoughts

On analyzing the behavior of the people in rich & developed countries, we find that the great majority follow the following principles in their lives:

1. Ethics, as a basic principle. Not true. A large number of people in rich and developed countries are extremely unethical and dishonest – just the same as anywhere else. Their wealth is as a result of theft, murder and oppression of people who don’t look like them. This is nothing to be proud of. Their treatment of their own kind is pretty abysmal too – depending on how much money a person has or how much social power or what class they belong to. The fact is that the average ‘first worlder’ is too willfully ignorant of the things that affect them to be bothered by being oppressed – most can’t even be arsed to vote.

2. Integrity. Same as above. In my experience people in developed countries on the whole lack integrity.

3. Responsibility. Also untrue – they are not responsible at all. They rely on the spoils of the stolen riches or the government’s largesse on the whole.

4. Respect to the laws & rules. Again, untrue. A large number have no respect for the law and rules.

5. Respect to the rights of other citizens. To a certain extent – as long as they look like them and conform.

6. Work loving. No. They have devised a culture where the appearance of effort and presenteeism is lauded as ‘hard work’ but the economy is proving that this doesn’t actually produce anything. Actual hard work needs to be substituted. It’s the immigrants on the whole that work hard.

7. Strive for saving & investment. Ha! No they don’t! They borrow like mad for all kinds of ridiculous things. They will mortgage their house to borrow money to go on holiday. Give me a break!

8. Will of super action. Eh?

9. Punctuality. Yes, true for the most part. But what you do once you are there on time is also very important and herein often lies the problem.

In poor countries, only a minority follow these basic principles in their daily life. This is true but it is also true of the majority of citizens in developed countries. If the citizens in underdeveloped countries had the advantage of 400+ years of free labour from elsewhere and loan repayments with high interest rates then their attitude would probably not matter with regards to their wealth either.

We are not poor because we lack natural resources or because nature was cruel to us.

In some cases nature being cruel does indeed cause poverty – be fair, have a thought for those poor sods who get hit by hurricanes and floods year after year – of course it affects them. If first world countries were hit by natural disasters year in and year out don’t you think that would affect their wealth?

We are poor because we lack attitude.

This is true because out attitude does not include acknowledgement in conjunction with smart actions.

We lack the will to comply with and teach these functional principles of rich & developed societies. No, we have to think up our own principles, ones that include fairness with intelligence that works in today’s world. To follow the principles of rich societies is to be unprincipled, thieves, murderers, oppressors and unwilling and unable to reason. We must base our principles on our beliefs and on what is required for success, success as we have defined it for our cultures.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Remainder of first world thoughts

(My thoughts in normal type)

Executives from rich countries who communicate with their counterparts in poor countries show that there is no significant intellectual difference.

Actually there often is, people in developing countries who are educated are often the recipients of a superior education due to a culture of embracing education and the fact they had to hustle to get it. This should be reflected in a better result for them but it isn’t. That’s because most people will flash to a safer environment – the well educated can earn a packet in Jamaica, indeed they can be more well off there than in ‘foreign’ but you can’t be well off when you are dead can you? More educated Jamaicans would stay if there was less crime. And that’s up to us.

Race or skin color are also not important: immigrants labeled lazy in their countries of origin are the productive power in rich European countries.


What is the difference then?

The difference is the attitude of the people, framed along the years by the education & the culture.

No, the difference is that the developed world benefited from the fruits of free labour while the underdeveloped world has had to manage with having given away that labour and its fruits. Also, our attitude must involve an acknowledgement of the past but an understanding of what behaviour will work to prosper us. And that means while we ac knowledge the past atrocities, we employ attitudes and actions that prosper us. Too many acknowledge and re-live the past whilst indulging in self destructive practices which they blame on past oppression and don’t indulge in progressive practices in the here and now. Why pay continuous homage to a brutal past only? We must, like the Jews, be knowledgeable about the past and pass this knowledge onto our kids, but along with this they must be taught how we responded in order to produce a better future for them and we can only do this if we do create a better future. Give you an example – Mugabe took the farms back because the land had been stolen but he didn’t prepare his people to manage them so they could benefit from the wealth. His bitterness has led to his people’s destruction. He should have taken back the stolen land in a more systematic and feasible way – and with a time frame for training his people to manage things.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

First World vs. Third Part 2

Here are my thoughts on the email my friend sent me. They are in two sections – I’ll post the rest on Friday.


Original copy in bold, my comments in normal type.

The following does not take into account the fact that many first world countries stole resources and labour from the poorer countries for centuries and systematically brainwashed their people into believing they are inferior. This mindset has repercussions today. In spite of this people from underdeveloped nations cannot expect to prosper by remaining enslaved to these actions. As unpalatable as it might be we have to forget to the extent that the past doesn’t mortgage our future. And we must learn from the thieving, murderous actions of these oppressors and don’t become like them. The following should be seen within this context.

To reflect and... Act.

The difference between the poor countries and the rich ones is not the age of the country.

This can be shown by countries like India & Egypt that are more than 2000 years old and are poor.

Remember, they were stolen from and oppressed by first world countries.

On the other hand, Canada, Australia & New Zealand, that 150 years ago were inexpressive, today are developed countries and are rich. As a result of stealing and oppression. But we mustn’t steal, murder and oppress in order to become wealthy.

The difference between poor & rich countries does not reside in the available natural resources.

Japan has a limited territory, 80% mountainous, inadequate for agriculture & cattle raising, but it is the second world economy. The country is like an immense floating factory, importing raw material from the whole world and exporting manufactured products.

True, they make the optimum use of what they have and don’t waste time bemoaning what they don’t.

Another example is Switzerland, which does not plant cocoa but has the best chocolate of the world. In its little territory they raise animals and plant the soil during 4 months per year. Not enough, they produce dairy products of the best quality. It is a small country that transmits an image of security, order & labor, which made it the world’s strong safe.

Again, true – we must change out attitudes, the existing atmosphere and social climate is up to us, in spite of our past.

More on Friday.

Monday, March 15, 2010

First World vs. Third World

Someone sent me the following:

To reflect and... Act.

The difference between the poor countries and the rich ones is not the age of the country.

This can be shown by countries like India & Egypt, that are more than 2000 years old and are poor.

On the other hand, Canada, Australia & New Zealand, that 150 years ago were inexpressive, today are developed countries and are rich.

The difference between poor & rich countries does not reside in the available natural resources.

Japan has a limited territory, 80% mountainous, inadequate for agriculture & cattle raising, but it is the second world economy. The country is like an immense floating factory, importing raw material from the whole world and exporting manufactured products.

Another example is Switzerland, which does not plant cocoa but has the best chocolate of the world. In its little territory they raise animals and plant the soil during 4 months per year. Not enough, they produce dairy products of the best quality.

It is a small country that transmits an image of security, order & labor, which made it the world’s strong safe.

Executives from rich countries who communicate with their counterparts in poor countries show that there is no significant intellectual difference.

Race or skin color are also not important: immigrants labeled lazy in their countries of origin are the productive power in rich European countries.

What is the difference then?

The difference is the attitude of the people, framed along the years by the education & the culture.

On analyzing the behavior of the people in rich & developed countries, we find that the great majority follow the following principles in their lives:

1. Ethics, as a basic principle.
2. Integrity.

3. Responsibility.

4. Respect to the laws & rules.

5. Respect to the rights of other citizens.

6. Work loving.

7. Strive for saving & investment.

8. Will of super action.
9. Punctuality.

In poor countries, only a minority follow these basic principles in their daily life.

We are not poor because we lack natural resources or because nature was cruel to us.

We are poor because we lack attitude.

We lack the will to comply with and teach these functional principles of rich & developed societies.

I think whoever wrote this has missed the point big time. My thoughts on Wednesday.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Forward thinking or just not thinking?

Take a look at these two links. and

It is time we re-evaluate what type of country we are – a forward thinking one that cares for its people or a fourth world place with a formerly strong currency?

Monday, March 08, 2010

Persecuting Christians

Once again Christians are being persecuted in Nigeria. I pray that those affected will remain strong in their faith and I also pay for a cessation of this persecution. But then again, we expect persecution don’t we? Lord be with them. Amen.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Quality Music

Let us bring back high quality music and great artistes. Let us be done with talentless weirdoes who just want so desperately to be famous. It is time to bring back the magic!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Three D – A New Era

Went to see Avatar in 3D on Saturday. I was speechless. It was by far the best move experience I have ever had! This wasn’t just because the 3D experience was out of this world, because it was but it was also because the story was excellent, the cinematography fantastic and the acting were also wonderful (I think it is unfair that no actors were nominated for Oscars – they did act, it isn’t animation).

When I went to see the Matrix, I knew I was witnessing a step change in movie making and here is another one. There were several trailers before the movie started the next Shrek movie, Alice in Wonderland and others so the trend is already in place. I hope they keep the trend of keeping a great story plus excellent acting to go along with the great technology. It can only be good news for movie goers.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ladies, get a grip on marriage!

Picture this. We have a beautiful set up whereby many of us at some point decide to make a lifelong commitment to a member of the opposite sex. We make solemn promises and we do so in front of witnesses so that we can be held accountable for this. If we are mature, we understand that it isn’t a magic ceremony but a decision to love and live with someone in spite of all the vicissitudes of life – until one or both of us dies.

Now this is a legally binding agreement and there are some costs associated with doing it. These are: (in England, in Scotland and Ireland it is slightly less)

To give notice £30 per person £60.00

Registration ceremony £40.00

Certificate £ 3.50

Total £103.50

Now tell me, for what reason do we then decide that what I discussed above is a far secondary consideration to throwing our friends a party, buying an overpriced outfit we will wear once for a few hours and buying some jewellery? For this is what a wedding has become.

Time and time again I hear couples who wish to marry say they cannot afford to and trust me, they are not saying they don’t have £103.50 which is all they need. They mean they don’t have twenty grand to throw a party, buy the clothes and the ring (and the rings are usually in addition to the £20k!).

To be fair, it’s usually the women who go nuts over the party, jewellery and clothes. The men seem to be quite sensible and see a marriage for what it is. Lord knows they take it seriously; you won’t get a bloke marrying you (for the most part) unless he really wants to. And many sensibly don’t want to have anything to do with putting on the overpriced fiasco that the modern wedding has become – just tell them when to show up. In fact, many a male friend of mine has said how disgusted they have become with the behaviour of their bride to be in the run up to their wedding. The obsession with show and the extravagant spending on so called ‘must-have’ items leads many a man to take a long hard second look and causes some to scarper.

The obsession with peripherals is a disgraceful indictment against womankind. If I were a man, I would leave skid marks at the sight of a bridezilla (basically any woman obsessed or in my opinion, even remotely interested in a party, dress and jewellery), they should be obsessed with the marriage and it being successful.

There ought to be a law that you cannot have the party and the dress until your fifth anniversary. I give a concession on the rings because it is part of the public declaration – a way to help prevent adulterous advances or thoughts – but the rings needn’t cost the earth. You can get good ones for £100 or less.

Marriage is not about a party, a dress and some jewellery. It is madness to treat it as if it is.

If you are considering getting married – put some thought into what your life will be like and how you will have to behave for the rest of your life with this other person. Keep in mind that you both will change, life will happen to you, for better and often for worse. Understand marriage isn’t a Mills and Boons novel or a Hollywood film and if you have spent months concentrating on the party and given next to no thought to the marriage, then recognise you have no business inflicting yourself on another person. Step back and take some time to grow up.