RANDOM THOUGHTS

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Well, I’m not entirely sure where they are going to recruit the *lower-paid hospital workers or care workers in future.

Great opportunities for British workers, I hear to say.

From what I gather, the UK unemployment rate is under 4%, a figure usually taken to mean full employment, given that at any time a certain number of people will be simply between jobs.

(Of course, in fairness, we cannot ignore the fact that the government cheats on that figure. People on zero-hour contracts are classed as in employment; those working a few hours a week are classed as in employment. So although they claim benefits, they aren’t counted in the unemployment figures.)

But even at that, the bulk of the people who are unemployed now, will probably be relatively unattractive to employers for a variety of different reasons, many of which are not their fault.

There are a large number of people in their late 50s and 60s. Those who were born in the middle to late 1950s and who do not enjoy the best of health or who are simply not sufficiently fleet of foot (and/or typing fingers) to satisfy today’s target-driven-culture bosses… more, more,  more.

There are also in the four countries of the UK, a fair number of people who have drink and drugs issues and there are a not insubstantial number who have prison sentences (remember Michael Howard’s “Prison Works” mantra?) which render them unsuitable for jobs in many different sectors but particularly those working with vulnerable people.

Some time ago, I worked on a project designed to get people into work, so I know a little about these problems. Employers are not interested unless you are quick, flexible, fit, unlikely to be off work, well presented, and frequently, although they wouldn’t admit it, of attractive appearance (catering businesses).

Of course, it isn’t unreasonable to expect someone to be able to speak the language reasonably well (although some native-born Brits fail at that), but we need to remember that, as my granny would say, “whit’s guid tae gie’s no ill tae tak”.

I know a guy who worked as a welder in the Netherlands. He didn’t speak a word of Dutch, but he was fine there because his supervisor and most of his colleagues spoke passable English, he could get cable tv from England or USA. The job was great, conditions marvellous, transport first rate. There was only one problem. His girlfriend was back in Scotland. They wanted to be together. But she was an office worker and office workers have to be able to speak Dutch, so he came home.

But I bet there are a lot of other Brits in various places in Europe who can’t speak more than a few words of the language, but who, for example, work in the tourist trade… I’m thinking of bars in the Costas. I wonder what their futures look like tonight.

* NHS England starting salaries: Nurse £24.2k; Paramedic £24.2k; Midwife £24.2k; Radiographer £24.2k; Care assistant £17.6k; Physiotherapist £24.2k ; Therapist £24.2k

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It appears that Air Miles Fatboy is spending a quiet evening with his ex-wife and their two “blood princesses” to celebrate his 60th birthday tonight. I was much amused by the fact that people were complaining on Twitter about government buildings in England not flying the UK flag to celebrate his big day. It was, they said, an insult to the queen.

 Prince Andrew pictured with his daughters Beatrice and Eugenie

But the Queen, who was due to attend his birthday celebrations, has found that she is otherwise engaged, as have, strangely enough, the rest of his family.

So it seems that she may not have felt that snubbed after all.

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DON’T SWEAT IT, MATE, JUST TAKE AN EARLY BATH…

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Despite being warned most strongly by his PR staff (whom we pay) that taking part in a television interview on the Epstein affair would be seriously inadvisable. HRF, the Duke of Airmiles, decided that he knew best and went ahead with it anyway.

So his PR manager resigned… doubtless certain in the knowledge that if it all went horribly wrong, which he was sure it would, he, and not Fatso, would get the blame, the tubby one not being renowned for his humility.

So off went Porky Yorkie to the tv studio, or to be more correct, there not being a suitable helicopter available to transport him… the tv studio came to him!

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And boy, did he ever make a mess of it? Despite it being a deeply respectful interview taking place in one of the royals many homes, he managed to cock it up, well and truly, whilst educating and amusing us in equal measure.

We learned that he seemed to be blessed with no real memory at all (given that he can’t remember the 17-year old who was allegedly trafficked for him), but at the same time, he is blessed with total recall (as he remembers absolutely where he was 20 years ago on that particular evening when the girl was supposedly with him, and that it was at Pizza Express in Woking…a rather odd place for a prince of the blood royal to be. He remembered because it was one of the lazy princess’s birthdays and his wife was away,  and they always made sure that one of them was there… [sweet], so he was definitely buying her tea a fast food place).

Prince Andrew

Of course, he and Mr Epstein didn’t really know each other that well. He vaguely knew Epstein’s girlfriend (dodgy admission to make given the crime for which Epstein was in prison for the second time), and he and the billionaire got to know each other through her.

They maybe saw each other casually a few times a year, according to the duck.

However, despite this most casual of relationships, when Epstein came out of prison after his first incarceration, Tubs felt he had to fly over to the USA, to tell the man that he couldn’t see him ever again… (do royals not use email?) and he also felt honour bound to stay for four nights at one of the paedophile’s  mansions and be the guest of honour at a party Eppy was throwing.

He explained that though. Turns out it was because he was just too honourable for his shirt…or something.

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We also learned that for sometime after the Falklands conflict in the early 80s, he was unable to sweat, so it couldn’t have been him that was getting off with the 17-year-old, because she had said that the person impersonating him that evening (while he was having a pizza with one of those blood princesses), was glowing like a pig. Must have been the chilli peppers on the pizza, methinks.

Yeah… if I’d been him I think I might have listened to my PR person. The matter, which had been one of little interest to a tiny number of people prior to the interview, was now front-page news in newspapers, and the top story on tv news bulletins, halfway around the world.

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Over the last few days, charities, universities, and other organisations both in England and elsewhere that have had the Grand Old Tube of York on their headed paper have ditched him. He has become a massive embarrassment.

And I heard on the news tonight that he has decided (or someone has decided for him) that he should stand down from royal duties… or at least the two or three things he actually did every year for his massive stipend.

That’ll be a huge loss to the country, right enough, but on the bright side, we can probably all claim a tax rebate on the basis that we won’t any longer have to provide helicopters to take him to parties or on visits to dictators.

Who am I kidding? Like the rest of that family when they retire, he’ll carry on squeezing us dry.

[PS: Incidentally, the single princess, Beatrice, was about to get married and might have expected us to fork out a few million for the carriage drive through Windsor, but it appears this may no longer be likely and they may have to nip over to Woking Registrars and pop over to the Pizza place for the breakfast.]

THE GRAND OLD DUKE OF YORK FLEES

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According to Buckingham Palace, Andy the lad is appalled by what he has learned about his dear friend, Mr Epstein.

A statement said: “The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes. His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent.”

But, two years after Mr Epstein was jailed having been arrested for sexually abusing dozens of girls between 1999 and 2007 (he bargained this down to a Florida state felony prostitution charge, and was obliged register as a sex offender and do some jail time), Duke Airmiles was videoed with him at his mansion in New York.

So really he can’t have been THAT appalled.

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Please note, I’m not accusing Airmiles of anything except incredible stupidity, something for which, along with greed, he is renowned.

Many of the rich and famous have been friends with Epstein, spent time in his home and gone to his parties. And not all of them, possibly not any of them, will have shared his sexual proclivities.

But once they were known, and there’s no excuse for not knowing about them after the guy spent time inside for sexual misdemeanours, you’d have thought that someone at Buckingham Palace would have had the good sense to advise “his royal highness” that to be seen in Epstein’s company was probably not in his, his family’s or indeed the state’s best interests.

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Given that Tubby gets a fair old whack of dosh from the taxpayer to keep him in golf clubs, and his two daughters (who appear to do absolutely nothing for the state except mooch) in expensive clothes, I don’t think it is too much to ask that he steer his lazy self clear of people like Epstein.

If he was too stupid to see this for himself, or accept the advice of officials paid for by us to keep royals on the straight and narrow, then he deserves all that’s coming at him.

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As, I suppose, was to be expected, his highness was so upset about all the bad publicity that he and Duchess Sarah have flown off in a private jet to Malaga where they will hide from public scrutiny for a while.

It must be wonderful to be able to drop everything at a few moments’ notices and push off to an exclusive villa in the sun, all at taxpayers’ expense.

WHY…?

…would anyone in their right mind find this kind of cruelty anything other than repugnant?

…would anyone pay these people £300 tax-free plus expenses and subsidies booze and food, a day to sleep?

…would Boris bend low in front of a king/ dictator of a tyrannical and murdering regime?

… would anyone leave a drain like this?

…would anyone give either of them a job, any job?

…would we continue to subsidise this arrogant self-opinionated wastrel with his helicopter trips and blood princesses?

Must be good old fashioned British values…