Morning Call: Can’t We Strike a Deal? | The New Statesman

To strike or not to strike, well that is the question. But, is it easy to answer for it all depends on who you believe, for it could be that each party is exaggerating the areas in question.

It is true that inflation has begun to rise, now 9.1% from the similar period last year, so say, a 3% salary increase would be, in real terms’ a wage cut. It is also said that due to COVID and persons working from home there has been a reduction in rail travel of say, 20% and by striking this reduction could well increase and be hard to recover, especially in the short term.

The government could do more for all UK workers by bringing in tax cuts to Income tax, thereby increasing net pay, by reducing the rate of VAT, which would reduce, to some extent, the costs of goods and services, but would mean there would be less revenue for the Government, thereby to recover this shortfall some Government spending could have to reduced, which could lead to some services being reduced, especially those funding by Local Authorities, as, to a large extent the Government funds Local Authorities. But there are other services and organisations which are funded by the Government, including the Police, the armed services, the NHS, etc., so funding could have to be cut to these organisations and services.

With the railways some alterations to working conditions could be a solution to save on costs and release more money for salaries, as there are some restrictive practices. Some of these are relating to work processes before modernisations or automations were made, such as ticket machines instead of ticket booking offices. But the Unions appear to be against alterations affecting the reductions in the workforce due to these modernisations and automations, so staff are effectively having less to do. There are also possible future automations, such as driverless trains, automated track inspections, automated signaling and others.

But there is something which has not been mentioned to any large degree and that is the large pay gap from the lowest paid workers to that of the highest paid workers, of which the highest would be the Chief Executives, so the highest paid could have there salaries restricted to a certain percentage increase above that of the lowest paid.

Much needs to be looked at and nothing should be off the table, including compulsory arbitration on all parties, with strikes being not required.

Source: Morning Call: Can’t We Strike a Deal? – The New Statesman

There’s a simple way to fight the cost of living emergency: a £15 an hour minimum wage | Nadia Whittome | The Guardian

Opponents say this will lead to a wage-price spiral – but that’s an argument that’s stuck in the 1970s, says Labour MP Nadia Whittome



I do agree that the minimum wage should be around £15 per hour, but not for other salaries to be increased in the same ratio as this would lead to a wages spiral.

But in saying it should be £15 per hour, this will not be a major problem for many industries, especially multi-nationals, but it will be for charities and certainly the care profession.

The care profession has been starved of finance for way too long, well before 2010, when austerity measures were introduced, but these measures made the finance much worse. So the Government needs to finance Local Authorities much better and return all the losses they endured through the austerity cuts.

As for charities, with all the problems with the cost of living, donations to charities have been considerably reduced, meaning many charities are having to decide whether they can continue let alone afford a minimum wage of £15 per hour. Without charities the gaps caused by lack of statutory services will only get greater thereby causing even more difficulties for the vulnerable that charities look after.

Also Chief Executives of industry needs to have their salaries capped so they are not earning more 10/15% more than their lowest earning employee.

Source: There’s a simple way to fight the cost of living emergency: a £15 an hour minimum wage | Nadia Whittome | The Guardian

Cost of living crisis: Minister says people could ‘take on more hours’ at work or move to a ‘better paid job’ to protect themselves from cost of living surge | Politics News | Sky News

Labour said the comments by safeguarding minister Rachel Maclean were “disconnected from the realities of people’s lives” after she said the government has “already taken action to help people with energy bills and there’s more help coming”.


Yes, safeguarding minister Rachel Maclean, action was taken, but it was too little and the help that is supposed to be coming is too late.

As to working longer or getting a better paid job, shows just how little Rachel Maclean knows, for most people will not get more pay for working longer and better paid jobs don’t grow on trees for we are not all Government ministers on large salaries, with expenses.

We are in crisis one of many different crisis’s all of which this Government is not helping with.

This minister and all others should come down from their pinnacles and see how the majority of us live.


Source: Cost of living crisis: Minister says people could ‘take on more hours’ at work or move to a ‘better paid job’ to protect themselves from cost of living surge | Politics News | Sky News

US oil refineries spewing cancer-causing benzene into communities, report finds | Pollution | The Guardian

Analysis shows alarming level of benzene at fence-line of facilities in Texas, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Indiana and US Virgin Islands


This is not only exceedingly alarming, but shows incompetence and should be seen to be a criminal liability. One instance is one too many, but one could be seen as a mistake, but another not so and a considerable fine should be imposed. Then, if there is a third then the establishment should be closed permanently.

Then to see that these are occurring in close proximality to residential areas means that the existing exposure levels need to be tightened and why should those being exposed be largely people of colour and of low-income.

I am sure if this was occurring in close proximality to the ‘White House’ not even one exposure would have been allowed. So, the safety levels do need to be examined and be revised so no exposures occur, and if not possible the establishments need to be permanently closed or moved to non-residential areas, for surely America is more than large enough to accommodate this.

Source: US oil refineries spewing cancer-causing benzene into communities, report finds | Pollution | The Guardian

Should patients own their health records? | The BMJ

It’s my body and my health so why can’t I be the legal owner of my medical record? This important question was debated during a series of webinars run by The BMJ on patient access to medical records.1 Most of those involved agreed that we should be able to access all data that’s held on us, including our full medical records, but the ownership question was more contentious.

Many webinar participants saw record ownership as key to rebalancing healthcare in a more person centred direction, empowering patients to take more control of their health and data. They argued that ownership would deliver benefits in terms of the ability to control access, to check and correct errors, to record health goals and concerns, and to monitor usage through an electronic audit trail.

Others asserted that most people don’t want the responsibility of holding, managing, and maintaining their records, as long as they can access them when they need to. Some felt that defining ownership of electronic data are impossible anyway and must not be used as a ploy to derail patient access to their records, which is more important.

Patients in the UK have had a right to view, but …


Yes, I want to see my health records not at a specific time, but as and when I wish to, so I have requested access with my GP practice, to be told access is not currently available due to safeguarding reasons. What the specific safeguarding reasons are I have not been told and no likely date when access will be granted, this I feel is an unreasonable situation, so ownership is a prime concern to me.

Is it my safeguarding or the practice.

Surely there is an infringement of my Human Rights and if it is not, it should be.


Source: Should patients own their health records? | The BMJ

Hundreds of patient data breaches are left unpunished | The BMJ

Pharmaceutical companies, NHS commissioners, and universities have repeatedly breached agreements around sharing patient data, audits show. Should NHS Digital curtail their access? Esther Oxford reports

Hundreds of organisations including pharmaceutical companies, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), and universities have breached patient data sharing agreements in the past seven years and yet their access to the information is not curtailed, The BMJ can reveal.



This is extremely disturbing about any data, but even more so about patient data.

For we have all assured that this is does not occur often, but, if it does the full protection of the data protection processes will be brought into force.

Data is essential in research and, if it’s usage is not being policed fully, then more and more data will not be agreed to be released and used, which will inevitably affect future developments in research.

Then to find the likes of Virgin Care then refused to allow access to check their compliance is unbelievable. But Virgin Care do apparently feel they are entitled to do as they please and become really offended if they are not allowed to do so. Hence the case where Virgin didn’t win a tender and took legal action against the respective authority.

Where compliances are suspect then all organisations need to be compelled to allow access to ensure that compliances are correctly conducted, if they don’t then they should be barred from tendering  for more contracts.


Source: Hundreds of patient data breaches are left unpunished | The BMJ

Rishi Sunak says he is the victim of a ‘smear’ campaign

Politically damaging leaks and questions over his wife’s non-domicile tax status follow public spending battle


So, Rishi is saying there is a smear campaign, but is it for the non-dom with respects to Akshata Murty is true as is the Green Card of Rishi and there is the evidence that both of them did decide to keep them. While the green Card was not avoiding tax, but causing more tax to be paid by Rushi, but with Akshata Murty there is tax avoidance, or do we believe she had no intension to remain in the UK.

What should be there and I believe it is not, is transparency, honesty and accountability, which should be there for everyone in Public Office.

But then we have a Prime Minister who apparently, as he says, he thought he was attending business meetings, so he is not aware what a party is or he attends some very peculiarly business meetings.

Source: Rishi Sunak says he is the victim of a ‘smear’ campaign

Covid: React study finds latest wave ‘may have peaked’ in young – BBC News

It is all well and good saying just ‘live with COVID’, but for some COVID is still very serious and, if people are not taking COVID seriously this creates very worrying concerns for those of us who have many health issues.

Yes, the current variants may be mild, but they are very contagious and who is to say that the next or next variant will not be as mild and still contagious. So, while living with it, please be a responsible persons and do not discard and ignore COVID as you could be responsible for allowing COVID to be caught by the people who will become very serious ill or even die from COVID.

You, may be ‘all right Jack’, but not others.

Just because this Government is not concerned, as they are more concerned about money, than the health of the nation and the NHS, it does not mean you should follow their bad examples.

We are not all multi-millionaires or even billionaires, who can afford to live with COVID, but the majority and certainly those who are seriously at risk of COVID are nowhere near able to afford life at the best of times, let alone having to live with COVID.

Source: Covid: React study finds latest wave ‘may have peaked’ in young – BBC News

Non-domiciliary residency and paying UK tax

It is now in the news that the wife, Akshata Murty of the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, being of India origin is unable to obtain Dual Nationality and decided to retain her Indian Nationality rather than applying for UK Nationality. This means she does pay UK taxes on her income earned within the UK, which has been stated that she does, but not with regards to any income earned in India and this has been so for the last 7 years as this is paid un der India’s system

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng also stated that this was not possible after 15 years, but didn’t take time to expand on this’

I would stress this is all perfectly legal as is the situation such as Amazon and paying UK tax, but is it ethical and only open to persons or companies of wealth.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng also states that the tax affairs of Akshata Murty should be treated as being private and this |I would normally agree with, but she is married to Rishi, the Chancellor you by them being a couple could well be enjoying the benefits of his wife’s earnings, so with this questioning should be done.

Many in the UK are suffering considerably due to the measures introduced by Rishi to gain more revenue, while revenue is being avoided by his wife as she chooses to retain Indian Nationality rather than obtain UK Nationality as she could do having been in the UK for 3 years.

A Tory prime minister, one David Cameron, once said ‘we are in it together‘, which reflected his comment when in Opposition.

Talk is easy, but actions are what are noticed and rightly so.

We are never all in this together for it is down to wealth, the less you have the less equal you are, when the true equality should be, in that for all to be equal, more needs to be done to bring people up to being more equal for it will never be that the wealthy give to make those less wealthy more so. Even, if the miracle does happen, the wealthy have the means to leave the UK, which the less wealthy have not.

Will a millionaire, ever need to attend a food bank, for if they do it will be because only millionaires and billionaires exist as all below have creased to exist and the millionaires will then be the new poor. No wealth redistribution only the extermination of those who have no means to exist, which in many instances are quickly approaching and for some already have.

It is said that there is a facility to voluntarily pay the tax you would have paid if you were eligible to pay, so as a gesture of goodwill she could pay voluntarily, for she can afford to do so, but feel she is unlikely to do so.