News, Media & Society

I am feeling sick, Manchester!

News, Media & Society | Politics

Having read many posts, threads and news articles and reports discussing the heinous act in Manchester which has affected scores of families across the nation and abroad I have been exposed to so many different viewpoints around this situation, some very positive and others not so, I guess like most of us have been too. I have a teenage daughter and a younger child and it pains me enormously to think what those parents and children must be going through who experienced the horrific incident on Monday night.

What is bothering me very much is that I am finding an idea taking hold in my psyche and it is a very disturbing one. We have all heard of ‘conspiracy theories’ citing the possibility of false flags in many recent ‘terrorist attacks’ around the world. None of these have caught my attention as this one has. There are ideas being floated around that the ‘elite’ were losing their grip on the election battle for the 8th June 2017. A so called ‘loony socialist communist’ was gaining ground and rumoured to be surging ahead of the ‘defender of the rich’ and ‘only hope for all humanity’ and in some circles it was being exaggerated as if the ‘world would come to an end’ if that were allowed to happen. We have been told in the recent modern history that it is justifiable to go and turn to rubble a flourishing foreign country where the despot ruler is killing his/her own people. ‘We’ have every right to defend the rights of those ‘poor souls’ who have nobody else standing up for them. In the process of doing so, any innocent lives (children, news reporters, first aiders and medics included) lost are described as unfortunate collateral damage and the ‘news’ done away with. Move on to Next target!

How sad a point in its evolution has our human race got to. Human lives are being sacrificed in the name of deposing a ‘tyrant’ ruler. Is this acceptable? What we are being told by the powers to be and the media – is it even true? Do the politicians have someone else pulling their strings? Who is ultimately benefiting from all this? I have always believed that it is greed for extreme wealth and power that is behind all the wars in the world; there is never an altruistic reason to ‘help’ people which justifies any war EVER.

What if those concepts of ‘killing’ your own countrymen to gain an upper hand in your war of words against the opposition seem so attractive to the ‘hidden elite’ in our ‘advanced western world’ that they have started adopting them as a justifiable means to ‘win at any cost’. If human life in a foreign land can be sacrificed and a justifiable story be created around it to fool the masses, why not do it in our own lands. Media can be easily bought and fed elaborately created stories with villains and heroes, while drawing attention away from the real reasons behind this charade. I shudder at the thought of innocent little children being sacrificed and immense pain being inflicted on hundreds of families for the rest of their existence, purely to hang onto power by the few. Please tell me that this is an extremely irrational thought in my head.

It is an extremely dark, sickening, painful, repulsive, abominable, loathsome, nauseating thought and I can’t seem to shake it off.

Financial Crisis – the aftermath!

News, Media & Society

(This article has been in my head for several months and further thoughts have appeared since the London Riots, which will need to appear in a separate article now!)

2007/2008 saw the collapse of some of the biggest names in the financial industry; banks that had been in existence for over a 100 years.  There has been lots of commentary, analysis and editorials all around the world on the subject.  There are plenty of interesting facts emerging from all this writing. The greed of the bankers and lenders, the impotence of the Financial Regulatory bodies, the toothlessness of the governments and the suffering of the ordinary tax paying public to have to pay for this crisis have been the common themes in all these writings.

In the UK, like in many other western economies, the governments have bailed out several banks to the tune of 100s of billions with no penalties associated; soo.. unlike the penalties you or I have to suffer if we miss a single loan repayment to the bank.  The governments pledged (during the election campaigns) to put restrictions on what the banks can do and limit their bonuses and penalise for non-fulfilment of their promises. These have all been forgotten and all is well again in the banking world (post elections in 2011!), thanks to the tax payer’s money. The big expense on the ‘Merlin Report’ of public funds to pay for the experts has been lost behind all the smoke and forgotten about.  Whilst the huge amount of taxpayers’ funds have been used up by the treasury to help out the banks, they need to find the monies now to pay for what the governments are really supposed to do – looking after their subjects. They have found a shameless way to do that – cut public services, increase taxes and reduce AND delay pension payments to the public services employees who have no recourse to anything else.  Very few politicians have the guts to stand up and fight for the common man!  The overriding desire to look after no. 1, in these hard times have made it very difficult for anyone to oppose the government initiated ‘austerity’ cuts.  If you oppose or strike, you are branded as being removed from ‘Reality’ and not accepting the market forces.  Why should you have to?

 

The local governments are being asked to cut down their budgets and cut short any programmes, which are not deemed to be ‘essential services’.  What is needed is a whole shift of attitudes and a more business-like approach to running public services.  The Civil Servants still think of their jobs as ‘jobs for life’ and once they get to a certain decision making position in the authority, that is when the abuses start.  The generation old practices of setting up budgets and then making sure it is spent fully to get a similar (or higher) allocation for next year is all nonsense.  Awarding contracts to outside commercial organisations with poorly worded contracts and little respect for the public money being spent (wasted), outsourcing services with no idea of what you are expecting to receive from the supplier and having no penalties in place if they fail to meet the standards appear to be the most common ways how government agencies waste money.  It makes me laugh when I hear of commercial organisations being hired (and paid!) to dish out the social security benefits and other social programmes spending, purely because the government bodies do not have the ability to manage their affairs efficiently.  Won’t it pay to hire ambitious and more dedicated staff and promote people with the right spirit to the positions of decision making.  People who generally make it to the top are those who are ‘old friends’ or ‘pub mates’ who have refined the art of social networking to an extension of the Interview Room.

I once worked for a ‘not for profit’ organisation in a Department Management capacity.  What a joke that term is!(‘not for profit’). Do the chairman and cronies not get huge salaries and contracts to provide services to these ‘not for profit’ organisations?  In a meeting with the Finance Director, I once commented if it was possible to encourage the department managers to run their departments as their business and reward efficiencies and help cut wastage.  What a ludicrous idea I had suggested, because the FD thought that it was impossible to expect managers to work in that way.  I thought of myself as being so naive at that point.  This makes me think of most businesses in this country, which are owned and run by Indians.  There must be a cultural thing to manage things well without too much wastage as most of these business go on to become highly successful, irrespective of the field they are in.  The process of ‘Lean Management’ comes naturally into all Indian businesses! Additionally, the thing about Indians is that they do not shy away from hard work and are, generally, loyal and trustworthy and have a natural acumen for business development.  Why not find such people (not just any old Asians, but Indians!) to run government departments and see how the services flourish.  Obviously such people should be able to present themselves well in public and possess good business knowledge or, at least, show the willingness to learn the trade!!  The reason I spend all this time on this section is because, I believe, that the key is NOT cutting down services, it is to manage the services well, cut down wastage by poorly managed outsourced services, ensuring that the organisations which are given funds by the local or central government are properly monitored on their spending and their programme structures.  Many ministers and local councillors have such faith and trust in the goodliness of fellow humans that they form an unduly high opinion of themselves once they have agreed to fund the ’social-uplift programme’ proposed by some crude businessman with excellent presentation skills.  They fail to put any checks and procedures in place to oversee the progress of such ‘charitable’ organisations, who then continue to drain the public funds for years, purely to get rich on public funds!!  Such practices need to STOP!

Poor monitoring and haphazard selection of business partners appears to be one of the biggest reasons for draining of public funds from local and central governments.  If such wastage can be controlled, many of the cuts and the cancellation of services will become unnecessary and the governments can still control their budgets.  The governance methods of the councils and central government need to become more transparent and effective along with introducing a mentality of accountability, which has been missing for decades in government.

The now all prevalent austerity measures (a lovely phrase!), is a way of saying that most services to public are being cut, while the bankers and our politicians have not suffered a bit!  All thanks to the capitalist greed left to get out of hand by their colluding government partners (worldwide!).

Photo finish? Nothing like it!

Event reviews | News, Media & Society

I was proven right again.  It is so bizarre that I have not got around to writing another blog until another big cricketing day today.

The day started off as the series deciding, all-gripping ODI between India & England.  India already having (just) won the Test series, this was being dubbed as what would be an icing on the cake, if India were to win it.  India had managed to come back from 3-1 down to 3-3, level pegged with England in the ODI series.  Having managed to follow all the games in this series, I was not convinced that India could do it.  It was only in the 6th ODI that they showed some desire to win.  There were some wonderful batting performances by the individuals and the fielding beginning to look better than the local village team.

How come that the England bowlers were able to contain the runs during India’s innings, despite all the big names currently playing for the squad.  Dhoni was the only one able to offer any resitance!  tendulkar was unlucky to have been given out, when he clearly was NOT.  Will Umpire Dar be given teh same treatmet which followed a recent football game involving Chelsea where the referee was taken off his duties?  I hope that ICC take necessary action.  After all, this is not the first time this happened during this series; and more than once to Tendulkar.  Indian fielding was back to its shoddy levels.  Despite knowing that they were playing with a moderate total, why could they not apply themselves a bit more to the task of the day make the game a bit more interesting.  England seem to cruise through and I am surprised it took them 36 overs to reach the total.  Indians had given up long before and they were not even trying.  The fielding seem to deterirorate.  I was alluding to this missing ‘desire to kill’ in my last post.  England were definitely the better side in all aspects of the game and achieved a well-deserved win.  Congratulation to them!

My conclusion that it is down to our communal psyche of those who have grown up in India.  We grow up as obedient, respecting and non-agressive people because of the culture and religions in India.  Why is there such a small minority of entrepreneurs in the massive population of India.  This is because to be that, you need to be ruthless and ‘hungry’ and sometimes slightly less caring.  We do not grow up with those traits as the norm.  This is why Indians have not been able to compete with the West in the world of Sport.  Despite being close to the finishing line, some of us give up and let the competition go through.  Apart from when it comes to commerce, obviously, because, we are caring towards our families as well and we have to amass a lot of wealth for them (and ourself).

The Indian Cricket Team!

Event reviews | News, Media & Society

‘Team India’ – what a joke!

They lost three wickets in their chase of an imminent victory at Trent Bridge on the 31st July 2007.  The top batsmen in the world (that is how they are rated) struggled for what seemed like hours to make a mere 63 runs on Day 5 of this match.  The young ‘inexperienced’ English bowlers deserve all the credit for keeping these ’stars’ under check.  Isn’t it time that the Cricket Authorities in India realise that the players brought in to represent the country need to have some ‘fire’ in them and the killer instinct to go out and achieve, rather than wait for things to be handed over to them!  Sreesnath, Dhoni & Yuvraj Singh are the only ones who get close to that team, we really need! Although India won the game, they were so uninspiring and pitiful to watch.  Feel very sorry for the England players; bad luck in both the test games in this series so far.

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