Tag: Politics

Work.

….It’s been another rum old week.

I was sent on that fork lift training course at work. That should have been a skive and another skill gained.

Alas!

They are having an overhaul at work. The Assistant General Manager has (jumped/pushed?) left. The General Manager’s prospects don’t seem much brighter. They are having a massive crack down on mistakes made in the picks for the stores, and time off sick and accidents.

So instead of our on-site trainer taking us we had a crazed Jock!

He is re-testing all the current fork lift drivers in an attempt to weed out those that might be an accident risk, and being harsh on those being trained, ie, me!

Our on-site trainer gave the lads time to practice so they would be ready for the test, allegedly helped with the written part, and let one lad have ten attempts at the test until he passed it! Others have told me they failed and were told to go away and get their heads together then come back the next day.

Not so with the crazy Scot! He gave us two goes at each exercise, most of the course was spent in the canteen drinking coffee whilst he went for fags, Bollocking each mistake like you were in the army (instead of pointing out how to rectify the error)  no dummy run, straight in to the test.

I was well on top, I’d done the hard moves. I thought I had cracked it so I started to relax. I got myself into a challenging position, managed to get myself out of it, was dead chuffed, reversed out ready for my last move….’Park up and get off the truck’.

What? In my haste and relief I’d forgotten to retract the forks before I backed the truck up.

FAIL!

He was such a crap instructor I wasn’t that bothered. I’d already overcome the urge to beat the crap out of him after one of his screaming harangues, and after he’d threatened to cut me from the course I had started to get off the truck to go home. He stopped me, but I was ready to walk right then.

In the end I was just glad to have it over and done with, either way.

So that was less than fun.

Yesterday at work the new AGM came and asked me how I’d failed, I told him about relaxing and being forgetful, didn’t mention the crapness of the trainer as it would have sounded like sour grapes, he said that they would put me back in for it.

Then I saw the trainer again and he said that he’d told them to put me on a three day one to one course with the manager they are sending away to become a trainer.

Tesco’s opening a big warehouse has scared the crap out of them, it seems. HA!

Then I noticed that there was a missed call on my ‘phone. An event in itself as I don’t give out my number. I got home and tracked it down as the number for that agency driving job, the car transporter one.

I rang it this morning and the guy said he had been ringing around letting everyone know that he would have work for them in the next two to three weeks!

This is good news, but somewhat scary.

I have a full time, not too poorly paid job in the middle of a recession.

I quizzed him, and he reiterated that it was a full job, no experience necessary, with two weeks training given. All the things I need to hear really.

An agency guy’s word being only second to a politicians in veracity I am cautiously optimistic. Why would he be ringing me if he didn’t have work coming up?

The down side is; it would be a bit of a pay cut on basic pay, (but there are bonuses) I would possibly have to be away from home for five nights a week, possibly sleeping in my cab, and I have to risk losing my permanent job to take an agency one. And it’s based in Skelmersdale, thirty miles away.

The only other thing of note is my front tooth cap is coming loose so I’m going to have to go to the dentists. Hate going to the dentists! Can’t remember if that was the tooth that was shot out or the one that was nutted out. Either way, growing up was shite!

Buck.

Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be.

At work some coffin-dodging bastard has switched to Gold. Allegedly all the best songs from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. Actually all rock ‘n’ roll, and a few pop songs from the latter decades. Apparently there was no hippy era, no punk, no new wave British heavy metal, no gothic. Just saccharin 60’s and the odd inoffensive mainstream pop song.

Which brings me to my point, spleen vented.

They have played Cindy Lauper’s ‘Girl’s Just Wanna Have Fun’ a few times. Each time I hear it I feel a bittersweet pain.

I am suffused with a nostalgic melancholy for a loss I can’t quite pinpoint.

It’s not the song, which I like in an off-hand way. It’s not exactly the time in my life when it was in the charts.

I  have been thinking about it. O.K., so I was getting drunk but I was still working full time and my standard of living, due to the above, was considerably poorer than now.

It seems to be some sort of product of the milieu, the zeitgeist and my own age of innocence.

Girls just want to have fun.

We were young, all the fun was new and thrilling (not the dependencies they would become) life was innocent and hopeful, and we were all just kids. Trying to live the dream of the day, which was to be totally ‘right-on’, (which later became ‘Politically Correct’ and a stick with which to beat the dream to death.)

You weren’t a man, woman, black, white, atheist, Muslim, whatever, you were all people, and it could all work out.

I’m getting choked up looking back on that.

‘So young, so dumb’, as a later songstress would say.

Sorry about that, I was trying to capture a feeling and explain it. Wendy objects strongly to me writing it, so if it was too much…, well, tough tits, we ain’t in the 80’s no more!

…..And, we’re back in the room. Senior moment over with.

What has been happening with your quest for a driving job? I hear you cry. Potentially good news, at last!

For months every job I’ve seen is either advertised as ‘must have extensive previous experience’ or it turns out to be a prerequisite when I have applied.

Out of nowhere, like the proverbial bus, three come along at once that state ‘previous experience preferred, but not essential’.

Woo-hoo!

I’ve applied for two of them, (the third was 20-50 hours, I need to be sure of more than 20 hours).

One of them is for a car transporter driver. Not great in many ways, I’d have to take a pay cut on my basic, might be away from home for a week at a time, and it’s at Ellsmere Port (about 25 miles away, so petrol money would be more). However, when I rang them (turns out it’s an agency fielding the contract) they said that the jobs were full at the mo, ring them back every fortnight on a Friday and they would get me in. No experience necessary as two weeks training given!

That will do me!

Gotta go, boss says it’s bed time.

Buck.

I refute it thus….

I refer, of course to Bishop Berkely’s philosophical argument that we can only be sure of the existence of matter as and when we perceive it. More commonly thought of as ‘matter doesn’t actually exist’ and Samuel Johnson’s legendary reply; kicking a rock and declaring ‘I refute it thus’.

A seconds reasoning shows it doesn’t actually refute it, but a clever and witty spontaneous reply, none the less.

Anyway, I’m here to refute, or at least argue.

I have started to follow Adam Baldwin (the American actor who plays Casey, a comedy fascist, in Chuck) and the links he posts are moving me to reply. Either he is keeping in character or Casey was type-casting.

Let us begin.

He posted a link to an article which had a cartoon of a stereotypical yank hick sat on the porch of his ser-then plantation house, whilst other white, suited types picked cotton in the field. The suits were labelled tax payers. The hick was saying something like ‘ we’ll look after you, provide you with health care’ etc. and it was entitled ‘about slavery’. The accompanying article said that Obama was good for at least making people decide between freedom and Socialism, or freedom and slavery.

Right, where do I start? The implied, if inverted, racial dig at the cotton picking blacks? The pejorative, closed question that states if you have any form of social conscience you have no freedom? No, lets start at the beginning; the slavery jibe. If it wasn’t for people with a social conscience there would still be slaves. Business is never going to say ‘tell you what, why don’t we enshrine your rights in law, ensure a minimum wage and your right to get a different job if this one is too shit.’

The slaves never have a voice and business will not cut it’s profits. It is up to the free and empathetic, those with a conscience, to stand up for those forced to live on their knees.

 

.

Here is the proof, from 1863. Some poor yank got the shit beat out of him

This is what business always wants, an expendable workforce bereft of rights.

Then there is the matter which seems to be causing this polemic disingenuous waffle, the matter of public health care. Thank (non-existent) god that I live in dear old Blighty, where the ideal of a national health service is at least an aspiration. To think that someone would kick up a fuss about the thought of the poor having a minimum safety net of health care! Capitalism in such a crude form, in a nation that professes to be Christian, is disgusting to me. Economic Darwinianism is a fallacy, one that invariably leads back to slavery. If all ‘men’ were ‘created’ equal, and on a level playing field, then perhaps one could ascribe lack of financial security to laziness, and promote health care Nazi-ism as a form of incentive.

As neither of the above pre-conditions are close to being fulfilled, the conclusion does not follow.

A chap with learning difficulties, born into a family of under-class dole wallahs, who is expected to leave school/ jail early and scam his life on benefits and crime is in no way equal to a really clever kid born into a middle class family who expect him/her to go to university and beyond.

The fact that kid A is not likely to amount to much in financial terms doesn’t mean his/her life is intrinsically worth less. Or to put it another way, as a guiltless baby do we let kid A die of an illness because his family have no money?

So, to return to the nub of the point, are we nobler creatures if we look after the less fortunate or if we exploit them for our own pitiless gain?

That’s all I have to say about that.

Then he posted a link to an article which claimed that the data that suggests global warming is a fabrication.

I honestly can’t think why anyone would claim that.

I found myself like Mulder when Scully makes claims based on her belief in Catholicism. He is willing to consider any possibility, however far fetched and statistically unlikely, if it is grounded in the physical universe. Yet he is dismissive of her ‘faith’.

I found myself in the same boat over this. I don’t know all the evidence but have a blind belief in science and the scientists.

It is just incredible to me that the overwhelming scientific consensus (except, until recently in the States) should be made up. Why? To what end? What do all these disparate scientists gain from it?

There is obviously an answer to the inverse, why do the deniers deny? To what end? What do they gain from it?

Money.

There are reports from sources as diverse as holiday companies not being able to let the holiday makers off the boat at the pole (forget which one) for a walkabout because the ice had all melted, Alaskan houses subsiding because they were built on stilts onto the permafrost which has started to melt, polar bears becoming a nuisance around northern townships because they can’t find enough ice upon which to hunt, etc. On which note, I don’t think anyone who saw David Attenborough’s documentary with that poor polar bear swimming for miles because it had no ice upon which to hunt, then in desperation attacking a walrus (or sea lion) colony and getting battered, will soon forget it.

The point being, the evidence seems to be all around us, (freak weather everywhere, melting icecaps, etc) and the only ones who stand to lose by us combating it are the big polluters. i.e., big business. Back to my point about slavery, if we give the capitalists free rein everyone loses. They are never going to say, ‘if we cut our profits by half we could eradicate emissions.’

Take the legendary GM electric car scandal, up and running, ahead of it’s time, recalled and crushed with the patent sold to an oil consortium.

My point then is; there are massive interests in promulgating denial of global warming, there is no coherent scientific/ business gain from stating there is warming.

Go figure.

That’s it, rant over, blame Adam Baldwin.

Buck.