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

COVID-19 and the Vaccination Programme


It is viewed that the COVID-19 vaccination programme was a huge success, especially initially, but it appears now that there has been some reduction in the uptake in coming forward for additional vaccinations. As it is shown that the vaccine did produce a good rate of immunity to catching COVID-19 and if caught passing this onto others, over time this immunity will decrease and continue to decrease.

Many reasons for this could arise, being reactions to the vaccine, some reluctance to invasion by needles, time availability to attend for the vaccination and while not the UK, it could be the costs involved in purchasing the vaccine and also availability and further costs of a medical professional to undertake to give the vaccination.

So should more be done to alleviate some of the above for there could be other means to have the vaccine, being nasal sprays, tablets and even patches. There are some projects which are being researched, but not with the same urgency as with the original vaccines.

I believe there should be for nasal sprays, tablets and patches would, more than likely not need to have a medical professional for its administering, which could be so much better in ways of time, availability, especially in many other countries and much more easy to transport.

Some of the original vaccines had to be kept at certain very low temperatures, which caused the need for a least being kept in a refrigerator and with some, even in a freezer, which could well be difficult in some countries, especially where there is a great need for transportation over large distances. This would not, be to a large extent for these other forms of providing the vaccine.

But not everyone can be vaccinated by injections, some have severe needle phobias and while some forms of needle aversion therapies are around, they may not be readily available when required or even successful. Also the injections had to be in limb muscle, invariably the muscle at the top of a persons arm, but a considerable number of persons may not have such limbs available, but we all have mouths and noses, so tablets and nasal sprays could be accessed by more than can be injections.

I feel these other forms of providing the vaccine are much better than the vaccine, especially the nasal spray which will when taken go directly into the nasal passages and then down to the throat, where the COVID-19 infections generally around, so the vaccines start to work much quicker, the upper arm muscle.

But, the urgency and amount of finance and time are not being given to these other forms than were to the original vaccines. While research is being conducted in many areas, by not being viewed in the same urgency much is being lost in bringing COVID-19 under control to a greater degree.

We all need to understand, that COVID-19 is to be with us for the long term and all is needed to ensure we can all live with it, so much more still needs to be done.

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

 

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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

£11.8bn of taxpayers’ money lost to fraud due to flaws in Tories’ Covid support schemes | Morning Star


Average of £420 per household lost, the equivalent of more than a month’s worth of food.

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Yes, taxpayers money was lost to fraud, but if forward planning by many previous Governments had been in force in the preceding years there would have been no need to spend this money in the first place. Lets hope lessons have been learned, but I have great doubts that they have been.

Source: £11.8bn of taxpayers’ money lost to fraud due to flaws in Tories’ Covid support schemes | Morning Star

Government says it’s too costly to give disabled people in fire risk blocks evacuation plans – The Big Issue


Campaigners say they are “devastated” after ministers rejected recommendations made following inquiry into the Grenfell fire

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Everyone should be equal, but some are more equal than others as finance is a prime factor in creating equality when it shouldn’t be, as needs should be the main factor within any legislation to combat discrimination.

Disability discrimination was supposed to be dealt with through the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, amended by the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 and then replaced by the Equality Act 2010,

but written into these acts was the proviso, that  if adjustments were to be seen to be unreasonable then the adjustments did not need to be proceeded with and exorbitant costs were one of those provisos.

This could well be the reason for the rejected recommendations in the case of the Grenfell fire. But should costs be, really a reason to make safety not equal.

In building regulations these should be there to protect and when, especially, these regulations were not abided by, then, irrespective of costs all actions and recommendations should be carried through and make those who were at fault accountable.

 

Source: Government says it’s too costly to give disabled people in fire risk blocks evacuation plans – The Big Issue

Johnny Depp’s firebrand attorney REFUSES to comment when asked IF she is dating the Hollywood actor | Daily Mail Online


The 37-year-old California litigator declined to answer as she giggled, brushed her hair aside and waved to the throngs of fans gathered outside the Fairfax County courthouse on Tuesday.

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While Johnny Depps attorney is entitled to her own fame, I do hope that this does not overshadow and so influence the decision in this highly controversial case. The facts are what should be considered not the fame of his attorney, for if so there could be a great incidence of miscarriage of justice.

But, unfortunately the performance of an attorney can go a so long way in reaching verdicts. Facts should be the determining factor and not performances of side parties and also the influence of a persons standing in monetary and other aspects. For in this case and many others it is about one persons word against another’s without very little seen evidence.

Source: Johnny Depp’s firebrand attorney REFUSES to comment when asked IF she is dating the Hollywood actor | Daily Mail Online

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”.

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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

This is what the cost of living crisis means for those with a terminal diagnosis | Helen Barnard | The Guardian


The government’s refusal to raise benefits is forcing those facing the final days of their lives to choose between food and warmth, says Helen Barnard, associate director of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation

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Unfortunately many of the past UK governments have not shown a great deal of ‘Duty of Care, which is, especially so for the current Tory Government which as virtually shown no ‘Duty of Care’.

So far as I can see this current Government is of the opinion that those in need of care and need both warmth and food are to be left without any means to achieve this and some Ministers and Tory MPs stating instances which are no help whatsoever and just emphasises their complete lack of understanding .Yes, Lee Anderson MP, this means you, with the possible exception of Tory, Michael Fabricant MP and Home Office minister Victoria s MP, however, not her comment ‘or anyone else in government’.

 

 

Source: This is what the cost of living crisis means for those with a terminal diagnosis | Helen Barnard | The Guardian

More than 2m adults in UK cannot afford to eat every day, survey finds | Food poverty | The Guardian


One in seven adults estimated to be food-insecure, up 57% from January, owing to rising cost of living

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The cost of living crisis in the UK has been bad for sometime, but with increasing costs, food, energy to name, but 2 more and more are having major problems feeding themselves and their families and very little is being done by this Government to help those in real need.

No increase in benefits, salaries if at all rising they are not inline with inflation, so more and more people are falling into poverty, even people who are employed.

Then we have the MP, Lee Anderson, criticising people who attend food banks, by saying they don’t know how to cook meals from scratch, but at food banks people are refusing food that needs to be cooked as they can’t afford the energy costs.

This Government could do more, but is currently refusing to do so. people health will continue to deteriorate, causing more pressures on the NHS and eventually many deaths will occur.

Could it be that this government is wishing for deaths as that will reduce the welfare costs.

 

Source: More than 2m adults in UK cannot afford to eat every day, survey finds | Food poverty | The Guardian

Alberta family struggles to find resources for autistic grandson | CTV News


Rita Fahlman loves being a grandma but says it hasn’t been easy as she fights for help to support her autistic grandson who has complex needs.

Here we have Canada, but it is also just as bad in the UK, perhaps even more so for some.

Is there anywhere in this world where persons with disabilities, expressly learning (Intellectual) disability and autism are looked after sufficiently, I fear not and in some countries not only is there no services, but persons with these disabilities are even seriously discriminated against to the point of even causing deaths.

Why is this for no one asks to be born this way, but they should expect to be able to live life, at least, reasonably without fear. It is the responsibility of everyone to do all they can to ensure discrimination is countered wherever it occurs and every ruling body should legislate to ensure full equality is available for everyone.

Abuse of any nature should never be tolerated and those who do abuse should be always dealt with accordingly. Remember there are many forms of abuse and not having sufficient required and appropriate legislation should be included as a form of abuse. Abuse is done to anyone be they be a child or an adult and anyone can be an abuser, be it a family member, friend, stranger, professional, etc.

By not having sufficient, appropriate  and required legislation is restricting their Human Rights and could be, in effect allowing abuse to occur.

Source: Alberta family struggles to find resources for autistic grandson | CTV News