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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FEAR NOT. RICHARD LEONARD IS BOUND TO BE ON THE CASE

I MEAN HE WOULDN’T JUST TWEET HIS ANGER WITHOUT ACTUALLY DOING ANYTHING, WOULD HE?

Rudd is rolling out her defective benefits system in Edinburgh just before Christmas.

She must know that it will leave families penniless at perhaps the cruellest time of the year. When people will have no money to put on their electricity and gas meters, no money for kids’ treats and no money for food.

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Fortunately, though, as we noted above, Richard Leonard is on the case.

This is absolutely shameful.

So, presumably, tomorrow he will be writing a letter, along with Nicola Sturgeon, to Treeeza, demanding that Universal Credit (and hopefully all other benefits) be devolved to Edinburgh where they will be overseen by ministers who are actual human beings.

I can’t tell you how angry I am about this.

Until they iron out the faults in Universal Credit it shouldn’t be rolled out anywhere at any time. But, although, as you know, I hold no brief for Christmas and all its tra la las, you’d have to be some kind of fool to believe that it was appropriate to roll this shambles out in December when you know that the folk concerned will get no money for FIVE weeks.

What kind of person would sign off on that?

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Rudd

Oh yeah, her, silly question.

Not that this one would have been any more human.

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McVey

We probably suggested this last year, but we make no apologies for doing it again this year. Munguin and I (and Munguin’s gran and I) won’t be buying big presents for each other. Instead there will be a small token gift. We’re all lucky enough to have all we need. Whatever else we would have spent on gifts will be used to help food banks.

Staples, some treats and maybe some little presents for children who otherwise would have nothing.

Nothing for kids, at Christmas?

Jings, that’s such an un-Christian thing for a deeply religious Prime Minister and monarch to preside over.

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The walls should start to crack as you walk through the door, you dreadful, heartless, cruel woman.

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I don’t suppose you or yours will go without over the festive period.

As for the Daily Record, can I just respectfully remind them of this:

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So, don’t you look so smug! We didn’t think you were promising us THIS fiasco.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

!5
Lead us, says Gordie, but from the rear, behind that big door there, in the cellar and never expect anyone to listen to anything you say, you stupid Jocks. How’s staying in the EU working out, Ruthie? And Theresa, maybe you want to have a word with Fluffy, you know other than “black with no sugar and a small rich tea”.

!6
Fluffs, when you finished washing up, maybe have a word with the Maybot. (It’s black with no sugar and a small rich tea, by the way.)

!7
P r o m o t i n g and P r o t e c t i n g, Fluffette. Jeez, you are SOOOOOO Bad at your job, aren’t you, poppet!

!c2a3mundel
Does anyone else remember that being mentioned before the referendum? Nah, nor me. It was just getting shot of the foreigners and the bus with the ludicrous promise splashed all over it. 

!dilusional
Och, Pauline, ya wee scone. You come and shout at me for marching next Saturday in Bannockburn. And if it makes you feel better, throw a wee hissy fit, then I’ll buy you a nice cup of tea and Munguin will tell you a story of how he became a media mogul… (Oh, and it was 90,000+ that time. Yer arithmetic’s fell dodgy.)

!DWP
Initiated by the odious creeps’ odious creep, Iain Duncan Smith of Betsygate fame, continued by successive DWP ministers and now delivered incompetently by this evil item.  As Stuart Campbell said, Incompetent and Evil. That’s quite a combination. Probably excellent qualifications for a job in the Tory Party. Oh wait…

!labour
Why are people always walking out on the Tories? Rhetorical question, folks. Oh, and what was it that Labour MPs were saying about the SNP walk out?

Atory
Now we know: Outlaw, Robber, Brigand.  Seems like a good place to exile them all to.

Over 5000 people have joined the SNP in the last few days. I’d like to say that we welcome you all. Together we can do this.

And finally, to those Scots, and folk around the world, (and very specially to Abu, who’ll be here in a few days), who are celebrating the end of Ramadan, Munguin and I wish you all ‘Eid Mubarak’.

IT IS THE POOR THAT ARE SUPPORTING THE POOREST

What on earth kind of country are we living in?

IT’S NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE: HALT IT UNTIL IT IS

WE ARE TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE’S LIVES….

I reckon Conan and I saw this at about the same time! (See the previous post.)

Q: What can we add to what Mhairi says?

A: Not a lot.

I just hope the Tories are touched by her passion for ordinary people who get a crap deal out of being British, and that they vote to tell the Work and Pensions minister to get back to the drawing board and see if he can’t fix the problems.

At the very least they could halt the rollout implementation until spring or summer when fewer people are likely to freeze to death.

He’s shown he can listen by his scrapping of the outrageous 55p-a-minute charge to phone the helpline. Let’s see if this kind of passion can persuade him to see sense. To carry on with knowing the consequences, particularly in the winter, it is frankly, inhuman….even by this government’s standards.