Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Everybody out!


It is billed as the largest strike since strikes were invented, or something like that. Public sector workers by the million will today withhold their labour, imperiling the education of millions of children; prolonging the suffering of the sick; endangering national security...

Brendan Barber, very important man at the TUC, said the public sector was ‘absolutely under attack’ by the Government. Not just ‘under attack’, but ‘absolutely under attack’. So he explains: “There comes a time when people really have to stand up and make a stand. With the scale of change the Government are trying to force through, making people work much, much longer and get much, much less, that's the call people have made.”

What is so difficult to understand about the state of the nation’s finances?

WE CAN’T AFFORD TO GO ON SPENDING MORE THAN WE EARN.

Unless we are to bequeath to our children (and their children, and their children’s children) not merely entrenched structural deficit but perpetual levels of impossible debt. We are all living longer, the economy is stagnant, and the balance sheet isn’t too healthy. You’d think teachers at least might understand these simple facts.

But this is not merely about economics or politics: it is about morality. Look at Ireland, Greece and Italy (which Spain and Portugal are likely to follow). If you bankrupt your nation, you increase poverty, hardship, suffering, and so the likelihood of civil strife. It is incumbent upon this coalition government to keep the country solvent – it is its foundational raison d’être. We simply cannot afford to go on paying living beyond our means.

Austerity measures are never easy, but the failure to act now will simply prolong the misery. The lifestyle to which we have become accustomed is illusory: we have created an economic model that was built on sand. It may have been 3-D, surround-sound, all-singing, all-dancing sand. But sand is sand. As the eurozone is discovering, the foundations need to be rather more robust.

Today’s strikes aren’t about privileges or pensions: they are about union revenge. Having endured 13 years of ‘New Labour’ – during which period the unreformed Socialists were frustrated but essentially compliant – they at last have another Tory government against which they can vent a decade of pent-up grievances. And so, like the 70s, it’s back to ‘everybody out’. It is profligate, unthinking, and selfish.

The joke, of course, is that George Osborne and David Cameron are not cutting as deep as is necessary: yesterday’s Autumn Statement actually confirmed £111bn of increased borrowing. As ConHome observed, it was a Brownite budget; not a Thatcherite one. The perilous state of affairs demands the blood, sweat and tears of Churchill; not the media-friendly strokes of the PR-pro Blair. There is no point trying to please all of the people all of the time: you end up pleasing no-one, and going down in history as a Heath or a Brown.

Unpopularity is the price you pay in politics for courage, conviction and truth. The perpetual pursuit of popularity brings nothing but paralysis.

122 Comments:

Blogger whitespacebug said...

The strikes ARE about pensions. And a lot more besides. The one day strike is no more perilous to children's education, or anything else, than a one day holiday for a Royal wedding. Public sector workers should not be paying such a high price for a crisis not of their making.

30 November 2011 at 09:22  
Blogger increasinglymiffed said...

Whitespacebug - that is such an immature and selfish attitude to take, and one that so many seem to cling to - "It wasn't me that caused the state of affairs, so I shouldn't be part of the solution!"

Grow up. We are where we are, and collectively as a society, we all have complicity in causing this mess, by the decades of growth through borrowing - on credit cards, on mortgages and the rest. The banks may have acted incautiously, but in the end were simply taking the opportunities WE gave them with our hunger for all the goodies and pretend property wealth NOW.

The country, Europe, and most of the world is fucked. Time for a readjustment in living standards to something sustainable. The next few years will be painful, but there's no avoiding it. All the rescue schemes being deployed at the moment simply involve MORE debt - look at what the EU are up to!

30 November 2011 at 09:35  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

I am very much divided on this one Cranmer.

The economic realities are as you expound. And I have no doubt that the motives for this call to strike are the political ones you highlight as much as they are to do with pensions or economics.

However, where is the courage, the conviction and the truth you speak of when it comes to holding the banks to account or contributing to completely ineffectual "bail-out" funds, or the profligate EU?

30 November 2011 at 09:36  
Blogger The Gray Monk said...

While I have every sympathy with people defending pensions they have contributed toward out of their earnings, I have to say that the "Public Sector" is now so bloated with non-jobs and the upper echelons so overpaid, the whole edifice needs to be deconstructed and limits put on the size of departments and on their activities. Far too many duplicate and even quadruplicate (apologies for the inventiveness there!) work done by other departments. Shed all these duplications, cut back the pay of the top civil servants and INVEST the money collected against pensions and you could sort this out in no time at all.

WE cannot afford a Public Sector which employs 22% of the total UK workforce. When you add the percentage on benefits or unemployment, the government is actually employing over 25% of the workforce. No economy can afford that proportion of utterly non-productive "employment."

Teachers, doctors, nurses, emergency services, defence and police are essentials and should be paid commensurately and treated fairly, but all to often they are "managed" by some jumped up filing clerk brandishing an MBA who looks after him/herself first and last and bugger the rest.

You will not cure this until we break the link between the entrenched and unassailable Civil Servants and their equally entrenched political masters, most of whom have never had any employment outside of politics. Sadly, I suspect the country will be broken beyond repair by the time we do.

30 November 2011 at 09:36  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Increasingly miffed. I didn't say public sector workers shouldn't be part of the solutions, I said they shouldn't be paying SO HIGH a price. Wage cuts, pension cuts, and 775,000 job losses? That's too much in my view.

30 November 2011 at 10:00  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Rebel Saint - I presume this is the same logic as that which leads us to attack Iraq and not North Korea. Like the playground bully you attack the weak, not the strong.

30 November 2011 at 10:06  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Gray Monk - I assume you have some evidence for these assertions? For the past two years the NHS - which has never despite the newspaper stories, spent a vast amount on admin - has had to cut billions from budgets. NHS offices are virtually empty. Any further NHS cuts will fall on health services and workers; there's virtually nothing else left.

Furthermore, if the employment of public sector workers is "utterly unproductive" - what's the problem with a one-day strike? It obviously won't make any difference, will it? Unfortunately by telling us how irresponsible the strike is the government is giving the game away. Those people are doing productive things, and we will miss them when they are gone.

30 November 2011 at 10:15  
Blogger increasinglymiffed said...

It would be interesting to see an exercise carried out where a national budget was done properly - by starting out with how much money we had, then deciding what to spend it on, and what not to spend it on.

30 November 2011 at 10:15  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

I.M. what makes you think that isn't how things are done? I can't imagine there's any job in the public sector, actually, that isn't there because of some initiative the government has begun - in other words, something the government has decided it has to spend money on.

30 November 2011 at 10:18  
Blogger martin sewell said...

Listening to Ed Balls attack George Osborne, is like hearing a Tobacco salesman sneer at your Cancer specialist.

I heard this morning that tax revenues account for 38% of GDP.

Anyone with common sense knows that this is the boundary of what you can afford to spend

30 November 2011 at 10:22  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Whitespacebug said ... "Rebel Saint - I presume this is the same logic as that which leads us to attack Iraq and not North Korea. Like the playground bully you attack the weak, not the strong.

Errr ... you what?! That's the exact opposite of what I said. Or were you agreeing with me? /Confused

30 November 2011 at 10:25  
Blogger Preacher said...

Dr Cranmer.
We do not have a Conservative government. We have a coalition of Tweedle Dumb & Tweedle Dee or maybe Tweedle Dumber. This was the result of broken half promises on behalf of Mr Cameron & a totally unelectable Labour alternative.
We are now stuck with a hybrid a Push me Pull you coalition that has no power, half of which will prostitute itself to get a chance to rule & in the process hamstrings the other half.
All this in the wake of the expenses scam by M.Ps & the scurrilous rip offs by the EU.
No wonder the country has no confidence in it's leaders. Churchill was a strong & tough leader who could call the people to sacrifice. Todays lot couldn't boil an egg without help. Respect has to be earned.

30 November 2011 at 10:27  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

RS: you said: "However, where is the courage, the conviction and the truth you speak of when it comes to holding the banks .." etc

Do you get it now?

30 November 2011 at 10:43  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@whitespacebug ... So you were agreeing with me then? The government take on the weak rather than the strong?

30 November 2011 at 10:50  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

RS: yes, exactly!

30 November 2011 at 11:10  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

Cranmer, there may be something to what you say, but this is NOT just another cyclical recession - it's a debt crisis and the debt cannot be paid. When that happens, the smart thing to do - the ONLY thing to do - is remit all or part of the debt and start again. Unfortunately, the ECB has decreed that no matter what happens, the banks who lent out far more money than they had - and whether you like it or not, that ABSOLUTELY includes the big British banks - will not be allowed to go under. Joe and Jane citizen WILL be paying for them, and so will their children and grandchildren and maybe even their great-grandchildren. Unless somebody makes a stand now. Democracy is already being crushed under the heel of the European superstate and British politicians today are most certainly not cut from a Churchillian cloth. They want to join the repression, not fight it. There won't be any 'standing alone' for Britian this time because nobody in British government has the moral character or spine for that. The same goes for all the politicians in the EU. The solution to the problem is political, not economic. Unfortunately, that means it's not going to get solved.

30 November 2011 at 11:12  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

"What is so difficult to understand about the state of the nation’s finances?"

If we're all in this together why let the like off bankers, Vodafone, off-shore tax avoiders, dodgy expense fiddling politicians at home and in Europe, carry on to rub the noses of the nation in their effluent.

Strikes are futile, but better than ripping up the cobbles and trashing Westminster. The Government must start a programme of total reform if we are to have any kind of cohesive, inclusive, equality driven future.

30 November 2011 at 11:47  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

30 November 2011 at 11:53  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace, you wrote; “The lifestyle to which we have become accustomed is illusory.”
To me this is the nub of the situation. Public sector workers have been cushioned for far too long with gold plated pensions and without fear of redundancy. Yes, they do mostly contribute to their pension, but don’t we all. Those in the private sector or self employed, the resulting pension is dependent on the economy. As a business man, my income is dependent on the economy. Public sector workers might really start to complain if their income was based on the balance of Government revenue and Government spending.
I believe that strike action under these circumstances is not justified. No one is immune from the effects of the finacial situation of the UK and therefore everyone should be involved in the country’s economy. The chairman of Christian People’s Alliance announced last Friday that not only would he give his support but would also be involved in organizing local strike activity. In my opinion this is irresponsible for a Christian political leader.

30 November 2011 at 12:19  
Blogger matt zx said...

This action is about the protection of union members and only them! it is not about standards or about service to those who need help ,like the poor who with the least able to cope are being collectivity punished to serve the unions political agenda sorry but don't fund a political party and use your members to attack your pet party's enemy's and then say it's for my benefit!
That is horse dangles!!

30 November 2011 at 12:25  
Blogger James Reade said...

Do keep up this warped idea of Thatcher's budgets. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I do believe there was something called the Lawson Boom during Thatcher's time - this happened when it got to the point, early-to-mid 1980s, when it was clear that the contractionary everything policy wasn't working and certainly wasn't a re-election strategy.

Thatcher, just like every other politician, is just that - a politician. She didn't preside over some wonderful halycon age of shrinking government (the size of govt actually rose under her!). The sooner you remember this and stop this deceit, the better, really, for all of us.

30 November 2011 at 12:27  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

> Public sector workers have been cushioned for far too long with gold plated pensions and without fear of redundancy.

Complete rubbish. Lord Hutton said public sector pensions were "far from gold plated"..and I lost several colleagues to redundancy this year. You are just recycling Daily Mail lies. See Alastair Campbell.

30 November 2011 at 12:31  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Matt zx - I think you need to go back to school.

30 November 2011 at 12:32  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Ever heard of "Disaster Capitalism"?
Which isn't real capitalism, it's corporate greed and exploitation.
I suggest you look it up.
THAT is what peope are protesting about.
Not that it helps that we have ANOTHER traitor as PM, as every single one has been, since 1979.....

30 November 2011 at 13:33  
Blogger non mouse said...

One layer of fat my be regarded as a necessity in a cold climate. In this picture, though, the protesters have so many layers that they're clearly overfed. I don't think one march is going to slim them down.

Now, maintaining heavyweight standards all the way into all their retirements will be a tall order - considering inflation et al. If they marched to cover pensions by stopping payment of taxes to the euSSR, however, I'd have a whole lot more sympathy.

Incidentally, I hear the government's doing a typical pr stunt by standing in for immigration and passport control at LHR, etc. Just for once I wish I were going through there ---Oh, how I hope those ass's ears are getting filled with what people really think of them.
_____________

PS: The strike's thoroughly boring on another level too. The TUC have pulled strikes during winters of every conservative government I can remember. Bringing Britain to a standstill is their 'in opposition' ritual.

wv: eatti

30 November 2011 at 15:22  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Mouse - "The TUC have pulled strikes during winters of every conservative government I can remember" that couldn't be because every Conservative government you can remember has attacked the public sector, I suppose?

30 November 2011 at 15:42  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Corrigan1
The solution to the problem is economic. Without expanding Britain's industrial base the public sector becomes unsustainable. We have to learn how to make things again and withdrawing from the EU will not solve this fundamental economic problem.

30 November 2011 at 15:50  
Blogger non mouse said...

typo regrets: 'may' be regarded.

whitespacebug... At this point I regard the TUC etc. as a commie instruments using commie ploys to keep the British divided against ourselves so that the euSSR can rule.

It's merely schizoid to imagine that there's presently any difference between any of our political parties.

30 November 2011 at 15:56  
Blogger Berserker said...

The Union bosses have to call strikes to justify their existence. Messrs Blower, Prentis, Serwotka, Barber etc need to show 'that they are worth it'. After all, a salary plus expenses of about £140,000 a year plus gold plated pensions - no let's change that to real gold, the silly little workers who pay us our livelihoods get the gold plated variety.

It is well known that recently Miss Blower got a 10% pay rise plus a large dollop off dosh into her pension pot 'because she is worth it'. Teachers of the world unite!

Like the police, I think they should all be forbidden from striking. The police went on strike in 1918 and 1919. The second strike had very little public support. Mind you, it costs. Making striking illegal for the coppers actually did them a power of good, raising their wages by about double.

30 November 2011 at 16:10  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Lord Hutton said public sector pensions were " far from gold plated". So can we stop repeatedly saying this?

30 November 2011 at 17:19  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

The country needs to bring back manufacturing jobs. This free trade business has wrecked it for us. You can’t compete with countries that pay their workers barely enough to live on. Re-introduce trade barriers slowly. For example, the shoe industry. Ban or impose high import duties to enable the home sector to expand. Shoes will cost more, but then, it’s creating employment.

Reduce the working week down to 35 hours. After that, overtime at time and a half becomes mandatory.

Throw out our foreign ‘guests’. They are taking OUR jobs, and OUR benefits and OUR services and are not over here for OUR good.

Leave the EU. The new cost of membership is £ 51 million EVERY day. What a waste ! So that European farmers can live like princes on a handful of goats, while our aged spend all day in a shopping centre to keep warm.

All chairman and chief executives of banks to be directly answerable to parliament. No ifs and no buts. Break them on a wheel if they foul up again. Punish them, make them cry.

Encourage a society of ‘make do and mend’. This one here remembers painting his old bicycle black to bring it up to spec while listening to a transistor radio held together by yellowing sellotape, while inside his mother was putting yet another patch on his jeans…

The years of plenty have resulted in a soft, fat, ungrateful and degenerate nation. Time to harden up…

30 November 2011 at 17:47  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

whitespacebug

I presume this is the same logic as that which leads us to attack Iraq and not North Korea. Like the playground bully you attack the weak, not the strong.

Iraq was attacked because it was important. It was a regional power seeking to establish a nuclear hegemony over a critical region of the world that (among other things) contains 50% of the world's known oil reserves. It was also a destabilizing power that had started two regional wars in a decade. Iraq's achievement of that goal would have constituted a geostrategic disaster. North Korea on the other hand is an isolated nation surrounded by China, Russia, and Allies of the US. It doesn't actually constitute a threat to any important interests of the world's powers. That's why Iraq was attacked and Korea wasn't. It had nothing to do with who was weak.

The Gov't must do two things to decrease spending. It must reduce the amount of people it employs either directly or indirectly. It must reduce the subsidies it provides to inflate the standard of living of the population. It must do those things because that's where the bulk of the excess is spent. It doesn't matter who is weak or strong. If you want to reduce spending you must reduce in areas where large amounts of money is spent. Ultimately that means more money is left in the economy to increase employment in the private sector. It also means that people who depend upon that gov't spending for their lifestyle or employment are going to suffer disproportionately. It can't be avoided.

carl

30 November 2011 at 17:48  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

I can't say I'm an expert in economics but it doesn't seem to me that rendering 750,000 more people unemployed actually increases employment. That is potentially hundreds of thousands of defaulted mortgages, benefit claimants, and fewer people spending.

30 November 2011 at 18:03  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Inspector
A lot of cheap shoes are imported from abroad.However in the last twenty years the market for English shoes has grown and there are two factors that have had a considerable influence on the market for English shoes.

The first of these is that London has become the foremost financial market in the world. English bankers have always dressed well and there are now more of them and they all need good shoes. The great shoe makers have grown on the back of their support.

The second factor has been the increase in American visitors to England and American men’s sophisticated appetite for quality luxury goods. Brands like Barkers and Church’s have become synonymous with good taste and luxury.

30 November 2011 at 18:29  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Manfaang. That is good. Public sector workers should be put on the dole and have their pensions slashed...so that bankers can have luxury shoes. You couldn't make it up.

30 November 2011 at 18:41  
Blogger len said...

The facts that cuts must be made is obvious.
The fact that some could contribute a lot more is obvious as well.
Corporate tax dodgers should be made to 'cough up',those in the failed banks should perhaps contribute their obscene bonus payments to the treasury.
If the burden is seen to being put on the backs of those who can least afford it then we shall see some repercussions.
Cameron taunting the strikers with witless remarks hardly helps the situation and could help to harden the resolve of others to strike.

30 November 2011 at 18:48  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Manfarang. That’s really good news about the luxury end of the market, but the fact remains that cheap imports have destroyed the bulk shoe manufacturers in the UK. The Inspector recalls it was based around the town of Nottingham. What the bankers did was terrible, but a close second comes unregulated free trade. A similar fate was experienced by the British motorcycle industry in the 1960s/70s. We now live in a throw-away society partly because there is cheap foreign rubbish in the shops that, frankly, people are glad to throw away once it’s past its best or falling apart.

30 November 2011 at 18:52  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Whitespacebug
There is no more iron rice bowl.
As the Chinese discovered go out and set up a company.
If there is no spirit of enterprise and hard work left in Britain then there is no hope.

30 November 2011 at 18:59  
Blogger IanCad said...

Carl,

You makegood sense re.. govt. spending.
Am I to conclude that you are for slashing the US military budget?

30 November 2011 at 19:00  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

I'd be happy to set up a company, but the work isn't there.

30 November 2011 at 19:11  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

" Cameron taunting the strikers with witless remarks hardly helps the situation"

It seems ministers cannot help making witless remarks. And I thought you had to be clever to become a government minister.

30 November 2011 at 19:14  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Inspector
There were some good motorcycles made in Britain but in the end it was the price. They became too expensive.
Triumph still makes motorcycles but it is at their factory in Thailand.

30 November 2011 at 19:14  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

whitespacebug: "I can't say I'm an expert in economics but it doesn't seem to me that rendering 750,000 more people unemployed actually increases employment. That is potentially hundreds of thousands of defaulted mortgages, benefit claimants, and fewer people spending."

I think the idea is that they are let go over time and get other jobs, ideally in the private sector where the wealth is generated. Of course, that's unlikely to happen if we go into another recession.

30 November 2011 at 19:42  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

" Of course, that's unlikely to happen if we go into another recession"

It's not even happening now, is it?

30 November 2011 at 19:58  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Inspector @ 17.47 said, All chairman and chief executives of banks to be directly answerable to parliament. No ifs and no buts. Break them on a wheel if they foul up again. Punish them, make them cry.'

But the banks are answerable to the Parliament, through the agency of the Bank of England and the FSA. The real problem may be that the bankers are just a little bit brighter than the politicians.

Non mouse, absolutely correct, the end of the obesity epidemic is nigh.

30 November 2011 at 21:14  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Bluedog. Both toothless beings unfortunately. Has to be Parliament, otherwise the buggers will cry ‘commercial confidential infringement’. They need really close observation. They can’t be bailed out by the tax payer and expect to go on as before, though that is what they’re praying for...

30 November 2011 at 21:22  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Bluedog. Make that ‘Parliamentary Committee’

30 November 2011 at 21:53  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Inspector, I can see your point, but there is a symbiotic relationship between the banks and the politicians, not unlike the similar relationship bettween media moguls and politicians.

This communicant awaits an inquiry by Parliamentary Committee regarding the take-over of NatWest by Royal Bank of Scotland and the takeover of Halifax Building Society by Bank of Scotland. However, this communicant has elected not to hold his breath in anticipation.

To continue, what exactly was agreed between the respective CEOs of RBS and BOS on the one hand and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown on the other hand? Were these essentially reverse takeovers an attempt to launch Scotland as a banking super-power before Scotland won full independence from the UK? If so, what position did Gordon Brown take in the negotiations and what assurances were given?

Of course, such is the club nature of the Lib-Lab-Con troika that no questions of this nature will ever be put.

Come the Revolution, Comrade, a People's Disciplinary Tribunal must be established to find the Truth. This communicant will head the Tribunal.

After all, it was these merged entities that caused the initial financial disaster that befell the UK in 2008.

30 November 2011 at 23:00  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

IanCad

Am I to conclude that you are for slashing the US military budget?

The truth of my observation is independent of my opinions regarding the required size of defense spending. It doesn't matter whether I support "slashing" the US military budget or not.

The direct answer to your question depends upon the mission assigned to the US military. The funding must be adequate to support the required mission. I for one am not excited by the prospect of the US being 'Global Rent-a-Cop' for the world. I don't see any reason for the US to have the ability to project power to any and every area. Certainly Europe has been given a free ride long enough. It is not a coincidence that the only country in Europe with a military worth a damn is the UK. I don't understand the continued need for NATO or the continued US military presence in Europe. Europe is a big continent. It is quite capable of defending itself.

Which brings up an interesting counter-question. Is Europe ready for the US to slash its overseas military commitments? There are lots of people in the world who really like having that behemoth of American military power nearby - so long as they can say how it's used. Certainly Europe falls in this category. They appreciate American power at times. This is after all the continent that wanted to 'solve' the Iraq crisis by placing the US Army in perpetuity in the Arabian desert while Europe bought oil from Iraq and sold weapons to Iraq.

Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.

carl

1 December 2011 at 00:41  
Blogger Dodo's Gray Way said...

Sorry, but the public 'servants' striking today have shown themselves up. Their union leaders are dynosaurs, whipping up class conflict. Of course their fat salaries and pensions depend on this.

When I joined public services over 30 years ago there was a sense of vocation. Over the years professionalism and a sense of responsibility for others has been eroded. My salary has tripled in 10years.

Year on year unions have banged on emotively about how hard done by nurses, social workers, doctors, teachers, policemen and doctors are. No they're not! Our armed forces are but then they can't or don't organise.

Hours have been reduced. Salaries have risen. Staff numbers have rocketed. More and more managers and strategic planners have been appointed. It's absolute madness.

Union membership cancelled. I refuse to financially support this nonsense anymore. Should have done it years ago when I cancelled the political levy.

1 December 2011 at 01:48  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Grey Dodo thing. I don't know where you work but where I work, hours have increased, budgets have been slashed, people have been made redundant, wages have been frozen.

I would agree to an extent about managers, who all seem to sail unscathed through rounds of redundancies and even end up with pay rises. That's because they are the ones who decide who goes, who stays, and how things are restructured.

I take it you'll be handing back two thirds of your tripled salary in protest at this madness? Thought not.

1 December 2011 at 06:22  
Blogger Nowhere man said...

Read this disgraceful blog from a teacher. it will make you sick...

http://blogs.birminghampost.net/news/2011/11/why-i-will-not-be-going-on-str.html#more

1 December 2011 at 07:43  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Nowhere man.

Exaggerated for rhetorical effect, but I'm sure it reflects the feelings of many.

1 December 2011 at 08:29  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Your Grace

It appears that the main bone of contention is missing from comments on this thread.

Seeing people on strike lines MUST be utterly offensive to the genuinely unemployed!

1. There are people who can AFFORD to give up a days work and its pay?

Ernst knows a family where the husband has been unemployed for 3 years despite even offering to do menial/low paid work but is ignored
as too experienced and qualified but his missus has had to brave the picket lines to get into work as they cannot afford to lose a days pay as a family.

Bet he would not mind their wage!

Ernst Blofeld

1 December 2011 at 08:56  
Blogger IanCad said...

Thanks Carl,
You have explained your position very well and I entirely agree with you.
What prompted the question was my concern over the size of the military budget, and whether or not it was being spent wisely.
I recently drove the entire length of I-10 and thus had plenty of time to ponder on the marvel that is the forty six thousand mile Interstate Highway System. It has been my privilege, over the years, to have driven on almost half of this incredible feat of engineering that has been the seed of so much prosperity.
To rebuild this road system, at current prices, would be about two thirds of one year's US military budget. Thus my doubt that we are getting value for money.

1 December 2011 at 09:01  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Ernst. I take it you agree that unemployment is a BAD thing, and unions are fighting in part to prevent people from becoming unemployed. The point is, a days pay is much less than people stand to lose from the raiding of their pensions.

1 December 2011 at 09:12  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

WSB

"Ernst. I take it you agree that unemployment is a BAD thing (Bleed'n obvious, lad), and unions are fighting in part to prevent people from becoming unemployed (Are they. More likely their own MEMBERS and to stop themselves losing those nice high pay wages as Union exec's..What a great time to show those less fortunate their wealth of opportunity they can afford to 'squander' within sight of the less endowed with the means of caring for themselves or their families. A days pay is more than those on unemployment benefit get in a week in most cases, or is Ernst been obtuse? Count your blessings!"

Ernst

1 December 2011 at 09:19  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

WSB

ps

Ernst was technical representative for the south east at the EPEA prior to it becoming EMA and then Prospect.

A bigger bunch of chancers inside he had never come across, who care nothing for their members other than a means to an end.

As it became Prospect by merging two bodies, they showed they employ pure political beasts who would sell their membership out for political gain. They did magnificently by negotiating union recognition on the basis of opt in rather than opt out FOR MEMBERS *sad chuckles* as Ernst fought for them to negotiate with companies prior to leaving the industry. Destroyed the strength of the membership to protect itself in one fell moronic swoop!

Morons in a suit who could not sell ice cream to a child, as Ernst has seen the parent of Shadow Home Secretary in action and was most unimpressed but recognised the intense and borgia-like' family's' political ambitions, which have come to fruition, of sorts!

Ernst

1 December 2011 at 09:38  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Yes Ernst, you are being obtuse. Union members usually are people. And ALL employees get the benefits of terms and conditions negotiated by unions. There are not two strands of terms and conditions, one for union members and one for non members. Yes, people should count their blessings - but history shows us that they sometimes have to fight for them, too.

1 December 2011 at 10:23  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

WBS

"Union members usually are people." Did Ernst imply they are 'Sea Urchins'?

"And ALL employees get the benefits of terms and conditions negotiated by unions." What on earth are 'private contracts' then? and as these can be variable in terms and conditions that relate to individuals, how has union membership benefited the process?
Union membership usually guarantees persona non gratia status up the management ladder and as Unions are unable to influence this, what is it's benefit at work. Ernst took the role at work as Union Representative so others lower down would not be picked on and destroyed by management.

Unions rarely take on cases of unfairness at work, unless they handpick to show they are 'doing something' for the fee taken monthly. Ernst knows, as he fought where the union would not on behalf of union and non union members in disciplinary and steering group hearings and meetings, where the paid official could not be ...pardon the french, ARSED.

Why did Ernst do this as a senior manager....because he is a christian and believes in justice and fairness!

A union is a purely political beast pretending it fights on behalf of it's members! Can you smell the coffee lad.

How have the strikers helped the unemployed, who are look forward to a bleak meagre Christmas for them and their families?

Who is really being obtuse??? Ho Ho Ho.

Ernst

1 December 2011 at 12:08  
Blogger Anglican said...

Although I am not a fan, in general, of the former Chancellor Nigel Lawson, I liked the reply he gave on Nick Robinson's programme 'Your Money' last week. He said that raising children, dieting, and the Treasury's answer to spending requests was really the same. You have to learn to say No.

1 December 2011 at 13:05  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

IanCad

There are two reasons I think that people desire to cut defense spending beyond the need to save money.

1. The (truly asinine) idea on the Left that weapons cause wars.

2. A desire to shape the state according to a "maternal" view of power instead of a "paternal" view of power.

Whenever you talk about defense spending, you involve these areas. My answer intentionally did not address either. It's not just about saving money.

carl

1 December 2011 at 13:10  
Blogger Dodo's Gray Way said...

whitespacebug said ...

"Grey Dodo thing.", I'm not a thing, thank you very much. Just undergoing a temporary fast for reasons given on an earlier thread.

"I would agree to an extent about managers, who all seem to sail unscathed through rounds of redundancies and even end up with pay rises. That's because they are the ones who decide who goes, who stays, and how things are restructured.", absolutely. And everytime they do who ends up doing more for less and with less resources? It's generally the lowest paid, administrative and ancilliary staff who are women in the main.

"I take it you'll be handing back two thirds of your tripled salary in protest at this madness? Thought not.", as if! What I have done though is saved the bulk of the pay rises rather than adjust my living standards upwards. This means the 'Bank of Dad' is now in a good position to assist my children with their student debts, rising rents and, sometime soon when I do retire, with down payments on mortages.

The more I think of the trade union leaders the angrier I get. Do you know the salary and pensions of these brutish people and the pay rises they've received in the last few years? You should do.

1 December 2011 at 15:12  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Hi Dodo. No offence was meant. I've missed your earlier comments about fasting, I'm sorry.

I'm no fan of union leaders - but I don't spot anyone else sticking up for workers. In fact I was a union steward for a while, but found that a. it was a difficult position to be in and b. you didn't get much help from the union!

1 December 2011 at 16:13  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Ernst, you implied that unions are not sticking up for people, but for their members. Their members are people.

If you are talking about private contractors, then obviously no, they are by choice self-employed. Sometimes they decide they like the public sector and are given full-time jobs.

"Ernst took the role at work as Union Representative so others lower down would not be picked on and destroyed by management."

So to take that role - you had to join a union. You couldn't do it otherwise, because management will negotiate only with recognised unions, and tend to trample over the rights of non-union members who have no backing. Correct?

"Why did Ernst do this as a senior manager....because he is a christian and believes in justice and fairness!"

Hats off to you Erst, would that there were more like you. I'm sure you'd agree that even many other Christians would be on the other side of that particular fence, eh?

"How have the strikers helped the unemployed, who are look forward to a bleak meagre Christmas for them and their families?"

How has you sitting there commenting on this blog helped the unemployed? Do all activities have to help the umemployed?

We actually don't disagree on much by the sound of it :o)

1 December 2011 at 16:21  
Blogger Dodo's Gray Way said...

whitespacebug, no real offence taken.

I know your position and actually have some sympathy with what your saying. My basic objections are against the senior managers of public services who were quick to take advantage of New Labour's tendency to throw money at every 'social' problem and wanted to 'measure' results. And also with the trade union bosses who have a lot to gain from the tactic of confrontation and polarisation. Have you noticed the waistlines of manyy of them?

1 December 2011 at 17:47  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Have you seen the waistline of Eric Pickles? I'm not sure of the relevance.

1 December 2011 at 17:56  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

WSB

"If you are talking about private contractors, then obviously no, they are by choice self-employed. Sometimes they decide they like the public sector and are given full-time jobs.
" No, private sector (the real world). Nothing to do with self employed contractors, my lad.

"So to take that role - you had to join a union.(No. Ernst was already a member of the union. Do please spare a few seconds to read Ernst's pathetic account properly, there's a nice chap.) You couldn't do it otherwise, because management will negotiate only with recognised unions, and tend to trample over the rights of non-union members who have no backing.(Ernst stated that in getting the union recognised they betrayed the rights of membership to ensure that recognition and negotiating terms and conditions included an automatic opt in for existing members rather than opt out, so as to ensure they were not harassed by management..Basic negotiation skills lad, always get a position of strength not a weakness in the contract. Hence why Ernst was feared by the industry and his own MD..caused some severe ructions when Ernst took over technical role! The industry saw Ernst as one of them..He is NOT. Ernst is first and foremost a CHRISTIAN) Correct?"

"How has you sitting there commenting on this blog helped the unemployed?" Well, one thing Ernst has not done is stand outside a workplace and stick two fingers up at the people who cannot find what they already have and wish they did this Christmas?

"We actually don't disagree on much by the sound of it :o)" Tell Ernst something he did not already know? Oooh.;-o

Ernsty

1 December 2011 at 18:26  
Blogger Dodo's Gray Way said...

whitespacebug, yep, but he's not representing low paid public servants whilst drawing a salary in excess of the Prime Minister's, is he?

Now Unison are bleating about Mr Clarkeson's satirical remarks and conidering legal action! Is there no end to their stupidy?

Sorry, the unions are an embarressment. And so too the Labour Party. Did you see wee Miliband and big Balls yesterday sneering across at Mr Cameron?

The Labour movement has reached full-term and a cesarean section is called for!

1 December 2011 at 18:26  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Ernst - I didn't stand outside waving placards etc either. It's undignified. I withdrew my labour and stayed at home with my eldest, who couldn't go to school because the teachers were on strike. We played chess.

Dodo. Someone has to stand up for workers before we are once again living in the stinking, polluted slums our politicians seem to have in mind for us, either not working or working enormous hours for a pittance. If not the unions, who? I agree, not the Labour party, they are in it up to their ears. Not the Church, for the established church showed at St Paul's it is more established than church. Maybe it's up to your lot, i.e. my old lot, in Rome, but I won't hold my breath.

Normally I laugh at Clarkson but he has gone too far. He has apologised, I'm sure he wasn't entirely serious, it should end there.

1 December 2011 at 18:54  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "Now Unison are bleating about Mr Clarkeson's satirical remarks and conidering legal action! Is there no end to their stupidy?"

Can't argue with that, myself.

*raises bunting*

Presumably the time-honoured method of exaggerating for comic effect is not acceptable when unions are involved.

1 December 2011 at 20:37  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Danj0 - he's talking about ordinary men and women there, not union leaders. His comments are deplorable. But as I say, he no doubt was joking, he misjudged it, he's apologised. Move on. My kids are big fans, but I'm sure they'd change their minds if he shot their Dad in front of them.

1 December 2011 at 20:46  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Whitespacebug. Clarkson is a professional clown. Paid good money by the BBC to act the horse’s arse. Really can’t believe you took offence...

1 December 2011 at 20:51  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

wsb: "My kids are big fans, but I'm sure they'd change their minds if he shot their Dad in front of them."

The chances of that are zero, as people who are not union leaders know. Has anyone mentioned the fake-guillotining of Cameron and Clegg effigies at the Unison rally at the National Indoor Arena yet? How shocking! I haven't been able to sleep properly since because of the imagery involved. I think I may be traumatised. I'm currently seeking legal advice.

1 December 2011 at 20:56  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

It was quite ironic yesterday that I got a letter through regarding my private sector final salary scheme from a past employer. They stopped the scheme for new employees a few years ago but now they've frozen it for everyone so no new years of service are accrued in it.

It's because it is too much of a risk for the company to carry, I think, especially as the backing fund value has dropped 10% in the last 6 months. The company must make up the shortfall in reasonable time, you see. If the company subsequent goes bust then the value of the pension is not guaranteed. Also, it grows at a maximum of 2.5% now so if inflation goes mad then we lose out.

I'm not sure public sector workers with final salary schemes realise how lucky they are having future tax-payers to guarantee their pension value. My other pension schemes are money purchase ones, where I take all the risk on stocks and bonds, and the dire state of the bond markets means that anuity rates are really crap now anyway.

1 December 2011 at 21:05  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 December 2011 at 21:18  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

inspector - I'll wait till he says all Catholics should be taken out and shot, and see what their reaction is. It's bound to happen sooner or later.

1 December 2011 at 21:19  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Whitespacebeg. I'll wait till he says all Catholics should be taken out and shot, and see what their reaction is. It's bound to happen sooner or later.

If he said that, he’d fit in well with this site, what ! But seriously, if he does say that, the Inspector wouldn’t get all pissy about it, just casually remind Clarkson that he knows where he lives (...he’s one of the ‘Chipping Norton’ set...)

1 December 2011 at 21:31  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

He says something similar about vegetarians quite regularly in the newspaper column as I recall. :)

1 December 2011 at 21:33  
Blogger Dodo's Gray Way said...

whitespacebug

Clarkeson wouldn't dare say anything like that about Catholics. He knows he'd be struck by lightning!

Unison are making themselves look increasingly daft. And as for wee Eddie - why does he always furrow his brow when he's trying to look 'serious'. He's not a good method actor at all and should get lessons. What a joke they all are.

Public sector pensions are generous. They do have job security too. Ho many compulsory redundancies have there been? And the voluntary redundancy payments are considerably better than the minimum legal requirements.

This dispute is just alienating the public and will backfire.

1 December 2011 at 22:17  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Dodo - I lost several colleagues to compulsory redundancy earlier this year - one of whom also has a disabled wife to care for; and there are probably going to be more redundancies after Christmas - so shut yer gob.

1 December 2011 at 22:34  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Having just seen a replay of Clarkson on TV I eat humble pie. He was very obviously joking, and I agree, people are being very silly.

1 December 2011 at 22:35  
Blogger Dodo's Gray Way said...

whitespacebug said ...
" ... so shut yer gob."

Never going to happen!

I can't disprove your comment about compulsory redundancy, just ask that you double check these were staff on permanent contracts.

Glad you understand about Clarkeson too. A tasteless joke, but a joke. Shame wee Eddie and Unison haven't quite got there yet.

1 December 2011 at 22:56  
Blogger len said...

Clarkson is one of those people who`s 'claim to fame' is being offensive as is so many 'new age' comedians today, they like to push the boundaries and offence is one way of doing this(in their eyes at least)
Quite similar to our pair of Catholic comedians(only funnier)

2 December 2011 at 00:12  
Blogger Oswin said...

Clarkson doesn't push any boundaries, neither is he truly offensive; rather, he invites us to either laugh with him, or at him....occasionally, it goes awry, is all.

2 December 2011 at 00:35  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Dodo. I know that there were around 70 compulsory redundancies where I work earlier this year. About a third of the workforce. I know that several years back there were redundancies, and I was myself made redundant in 1994. The idea that public sector workers are safe from redundancy is another Daily Mail myth I'm afraid.

2 December 2011 at 06:16  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Oddly I left out my wife, who suffered compulsory redundancy from a public sector job 5 years ago.

2 December 2011 at 06:39  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

wsb: "Having just seen a replay of Clarkson on TV I eat humble pie. He was very obviously joking, and I agree, people are being very silly."

Helped by the media, I think, who are reporting it for maximum impact to wind people up.

2 December 2011 at 08:01  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

The Telegraph was reporting yesterday that the public sector headcount has actually gone up 51000 whereas 410000 jobs have been lost in the private sector. Unfortunately, there's no source or reference and that wording looks a bit careful to me.

2 December 2011 at 08:06  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Danj0
Take it from me. There are empty offices everywhere.

2 December 2011 at 08:18  
Blogger Phil Taylor said...

Getting back to the crux of the matter, I think the strikers could do with watching Nick Robinson's 2 part series on how money is raised and spent. It clearly shows a lot of interesting facts about the country's finances and also points to some of the things that have been done in the past that didn't work.

Particularly clear was that the idea of taxing the super rich heavily was insane, as this was done in the 70's and they all (Rolling Stones, Michael Caine, Rod Stewart etc) upped sticks an left.

Now, in addition to that (and bringing in a comment that was made a lot earlier here) we have the issue around spending what we can afford. And I would say that MPs have the same deluded idea of spending as the rest of the population. How many of us spend money on things with credit cards with the understanding that we can pay it off over time? And how many of us are still doing that now even when the job situation in this country is currently rather perilous? It would follow that if people are doing that now (and I'm assuming that a lot of you, like so many in the UK, answered yes to the above questions) then politicians have a similar point of view on the nations finances as a whole. The question I would ask is, what are we going to do when the interest on our borrowing becomes more than that which the country raises in taxes? Tax the rich? They'll leave the country like they did before, because they can afford it! Tax the banks? See my previous comment, for all companies who do not see it is financially viable to stay WILL leave! And where does that leave us? Bankrupt and most likely having to sell off all sorts of things (like the Royal Jewels) for a pittance just to survive! And even then we might not!!!
The simple fact is that if a country wants to survive in times like this then it needs to be self-sufficient because it then doesn't rely upon anyone else for the things it needs. But with our own agricultural production not providing enough for the population (and I would assume this would be the case even if we brought in rationing!) and that same population continuing to spiral upwards we are clearly not able to do that.

So, what's the answer? God only knows! That said, I'm pretty sure that there are some good ideas around that could help. How about turning some greenbelt into farming land? After all, if we are broke then we can't afford to be choosy and most of us probably couldn't afford to appreciate it anyway! And what's good about farming? It means jobs! Jobs for those who are not university material, indeed who are not that bright at all but who are physically capable of work if they get it. Rather than letting them be a burden to society we would be creating jobs for them. Then there would be the need for farming equipment, so start making new stuff - more jobs! People of intelligence for design, your average Joe Bloggs to run the equipment in the factories.
Simply be creating that which would bring us closer to self-sufficiency we would be creating jobs, more taxes into the coffers an more industry that could, eventually, also lead to exports.

But the problem is that we in the West seem to have almost given up on this side of life. We think it's all about computers, planes and high-speed trains and the internet. Sanity has left us and we no longer look to how to sustain our own economies, just how to borrow from each other!

2 December 2011 at 09:30  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

I'm sure there's much truth in that, Phil. What seems to be the case is that this free market capitalism which less than twenty years ago we were told was the answer, the only answer, has failed miserably, for all but those privileged few who actually run the system.

2 December 2011 at 09:48  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

wsb: "Danj0 Take it from me. There are empty offices everywhere."

No doubt. I'm quite bemused by that Telegraph snippet. There's tables (table 4 in particular) in here (ONS) that put some figures on it.

Public sector Jun'10: 6,277,000
Public sector Jun'11: 6,037,000
-240,000

Private sector Jun'10: 22,868,000
Private sector Jun'11: 23,132,000
+264,000

The public sector is 20.7% of those in employment. I think the biggest falls in public sector jobs are predicted for 2014–15.

2 December 2011 at 09:55  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Bemusement all round, since that seems to show a net gain in jobs when we see unemployment figures rising!

2 December 2011 at 09:58  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

There's historic data too:

Public sector Jun'07: 5,785,000
Private sector Jun'07: 23,393,000

2 December 2011 at 10:00  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Finally:

Public sector Q2'97: 5,179,000
Private sector Q2'97: 21,315,000

1997 data chosen for obvious reasons.

2 December 2011 at 10:03  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

wsb: "Bemusement all round, since that seems to show a net gain in jobs when we see unemployment figures rising!"

New university graduates? Changes in total population? Economically inactive people now claiming unemployment benefits? I dunno.

2 December 2011 at 10:11  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

>1997 data chosen for obvious reasons.

Yes. We did better under a Labour government ;o)

2 December 2011 at 10:16  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I've probably forgotten how horribly run down services were back in 1997 but what on earth do those extra million people do? And what effect has the outsourcing of services to private sector companies by local government had? Does that mean there are much more than a million extra posts?

2 December 2011 at 10:27  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Though to be fair, the UK population increased by 4 million during that period.

2 December 2011 at 10:33  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

>but what on earth do those extra million people do?

No idea. but usually people are taken on to do work the government has decided needs doing :- they aren't taken on for the hell of it.

As for outsourcing - interesting question. The boundaries are blurred. Some outsourcing would be essentially work once carried out by full-time public employees, but now carried out by "private" companies who are contracted to do the same stuff. Like bin men. Other sorts of outsourcing would be simply hiring already existing private sector companies to do discrete pieces of work - like building websites for example, or producing promotional literature etc.

2 December 2011 at 10:36  
Blogger Dodo's Gray Way said...

len squeaked ...

"Clarkson is one of those people who`s 'claim to fame' is being offensive as is so many 'new age' comedians today ... Quite similar to our pair of Catholic comedians(only funnier)"

You need to get out more dear man and make enquiries if a sense of humour is obtainable under the NHS.

Learn to laugh - it's good for your wellbeing!

2 December 2011 at 12:33  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Blofeld at the ready, Doddy.

Blog Humour For Dummies, 2nd Edition
Ernst S Blofeld, (Foreword by Ian Fleming)

ISBN: 978-0-666-34540-5
Paperback
666 pages
April 1st 2008

Write a humourous comment and place it into the thread of famous blogs!

So you want to be hilarious? Whether you want to write a humourous comment or impress others with your sharp and pithy retorts, this friendly guide gives you expert advice in everything from creating your narrative and developing memorable characters to include adding witty situations into the mix based on historical FACTS. Ernst gives you savvy industry tips and strategies for getting your humour noticed and giggled at!

Buy now and be a blast on the blogosphere.

http://www.dummies.com/store/product/Blog-Humour-For-Dummies-2nd-Edition.productCd-666-34540-5

Disclaimer;
Maybe toooo funny for people of the tiberian persuasion as humour is based on proven historical based facts relying on wit to convey a message. What!

2 December 2011 at 15:00  
Blogger Dodo's Gay Way said...

Ernsty

An entry for the third edition.

Two small boys, one catholic and one protestant get lost in the woods. Darkness comes down and they near a monestary.

Upon entering they are asked their faith, telling the head monk their religions. The catholic lad gets the best of treatment, good food, a good bed near the fireplace. The protestant lad however gets a bowl of cold gruel, is told to sleep by the draughty door to keep the cold out of the room.

In the morning the head monk asks the boys how it was.

"I dreamt I was in heaven Father " said the catholic boy. "It was just wonderful"

I dreamt that I was in hell " said the protestant boy. "And what was that like?" said the holy father.
"Just like this place, couldn't get near the fire for catholics"

2 December 2011 at 18:19  
Blogger Dodo's Gay Way said...

Ernsty

Just to establish equality of treatment in the next edition:

A protestant gets in a plane crash and ends up stuck on a deserted island. Years go by, and finally someone else gets stuck on the same island with him.

The protestant says: “Let me show you around.”
Pointing to a small hut, he says: “That’s where I live.”

The visitor then notices two other huts nearby. “What are those huts for?”

The protestant replies: “Well this one is where I go to church, and that other one is where I USED to go to church.”

2 December 2011 at 18:22  
Blogger Dodo's Gay Way said...

Ernsty

And my favourite:

An Orthodox, an Anglican and a Roman Catholic all arrived at the pearly gates and were greeted there by St. Peter.

As they passed through the pearly gates they saw a great big wall.

St. Peter said: "Shhhh!... You will have to be very quiet as we go past the wall." So, they were all very quiet as they passed the enclosure.

After they had passed the enclosure they all wanted to know why they had to be so quiet.

St. Peter said: "The Evangelicals are in there and they think that they are the only ones here!"

2 December 2011 at 18:29  
Blogger Larks Tongues in Aspic said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2 December 2011 at 19:00  
Blogger len said...

After the Baptism of his baby brother in a Catholic church, little Johnny sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car. His father asked him three times what was wrong. Finally, the boy replied, "That priest said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home, but I want to stay with you guys."

3 December 2011 at 09:35  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Doddy (the unfunny un)

2 December 2011 18:19, 2 December 2011 18:22 and 2 December 2011 18:29

Doddy, doddy, doddy.

See, you prove Ernst's point.

If the best you can do is dredge the back pages of Father Ted's christmas annual for guidance, how on earth would a side splitting tome from Ernst help, hence the disclaimer.

People are supposed to laugh with you, NOT AT YOU, me strange bird.

Off now, have a tattifilarious day.

Ernsty, tatty bye, duckie, tatty bye

3 December 2011 at 11:59  
Blogger Dodo's Gay Way said...

Ernsty the Milkman

I don't know, I thought the last two were actually apocryphal in nature. Afterall, one can imagine both scenarios.

The first was to help you proddys feel a bit more self righteous - as if needed!

3 December 2011 at 16:05  
Blogger len said...

Dodo`s( having a gay day)

self righteousness is the province of the 'works orientated religious ' wouldn`t dream of intruding in your World .

3 December 2011 at 18:14  
Blogger Dodo's Gay Way said...

len, I am having a joyful and happy day and feeling gay, thank you for noticeing.

Same old same old, with you. I note Albert tore your position on 'works' and 'faith' apart and yet you still wilfully hold onto your ignorance.

3 December 2011 at 20:03  
Blogger len said...

Dodo, I think you are losing your grip on reality.

Perhaps it is the stress of 'coming out'?

4 December 2011 at 00:51  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

len

What does 'coming out' mean?

4 December 2011 at 11:44  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Ps

And 'reality' - what do you understand by the term?

4 December 2011 at 11:45  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "What does 'coming out' mean?"

It's when someone like you makes the decision to announce that he's actually gay despite past assumptions to the contrary. It's quite difficult for someone of your age, I'm told. I believe the relief afterwards is often considerable, especially if one has been fighting against one's natural inclinations surfacing for a long while. People of your age sometimes display considerable levels of homophobia beforehand. Curious, really. Good luck anyway.

4 December 2011 at 14:15  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

DanJ0

Thank you. The question was directed at len as I'm interested in his definition, not yours. He seems to be becoming a fan of yours and he might find your accountof some use.

Do you think you might be able to overcome your early experiences that have imprinted a homosexual tendency into your sexuality? I do hope so. Counselling and support is available through many secular and religious organisations. One that seems particular effective is the 'post-homosexual' approach.

Never know, you might just be able to free yourself from the past and 'come out' as a straightman (note: opposite to bent or crooked).

Good luck.

4 December 2011 at 15:24  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "Do you think you might be able to overcome your early experiences that have imprinted a homosexual tendency into your sexuality?"

Well, if one needed proof that you merely pretend to be something, erm, important in psychology then this is it. You actually push hospital trolleys around, don't you? :)

4 December 2011 at 15:36  
Blogger Oswin said...

Re' Dodo's ponderings, mentioned by DanJo above:

Wonders how my predilection for lissome, green-eyed, stocking-clad French women originates...? Must have been an advanced infant ....?

4 December 2011 at 22:28  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Oswin
No that's within normal parameters, built upon a natural attraction to women. Obviously nothing got in the way of your healthy pyscho-sexual development. Just don't fantasise too much or expect to see such women in Tesco or walking down the High Street.

5 December 2011 at 09:46  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo: that's true enough, Tesco don't stock 'em....I've looked! However, we have a new M&S store being built; perhaps that might flush 'em out?

5 December 2011 at 15:31  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Oswin

Try Selfridges or Debenhams.

5 December 2011 at 23:04  

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