Monday, 3 January 2011

Monday, week 1, hello 2011

Sun on a babbling brook in sepia tones
(drowned shopping trolleys don't
 stand out so much in sepia)
Started Bank Holiday.  Monday 3rd January 2011.  0923 am

Word Count 804.

A Bank holiday in the UK meaning that only, shop workers and public health employees are on the road going to work today.  The last day of VAT as we know it so all the sofa companies are making a big deal about the fact VAT is rising by 2.5%.  Last minute 'savings' linked to 1 year interest free then XXX% for next 4 years doesn't seem like much of a long term saving to me.  Cash is king if you can afford it, no matter what the VAT rate.  So what would Samuel  Pepys have experienced on 2nd January 1667?

The perplexing debate of Big Government (apparently there was a very large gathering to discuss this) that day was whether to shorten the topmasts of his majesty's ships.  Pepys expressed his utter incomprehension at this debate.  I wonder whether this was literally a defence cut aimed at recycling masts to make smaller vessels.  Without decommissioning the mast, and transferring it to rowboat did it then become a man of war.  Or was it still a rowboat?  Economy with facts in reporting to Parliament seem to hinted at as well as an alliance with the French.   So not a lot of difference to today?

I read with growing disquiet the story on Saturday in the Daily Mail (Kindle version) "2011: Toughest Year on the Middle Class since 1982" by Becky Barrow and Jason Groves,  in that I remember watching the Falklands Task Force depart live on TV.  I have an Uncle who was formerly a Chief Petty Officer on submarines, and two cousins (funnily enough my Uncles sons) one a submariner and the younger on surface fleet.   Only one went to the Falklands, but not with the Task force as he was already there at the time, on what would become the  famous submarine (or infamous depending on which side you were on) in that conflict.

My father had just about finally sorted  himself out after redundancy, funnily enough this happened to him in his 2pointfiveageofman (see first ever blog).  He started to run his own business which in 25 years he chose to train at least 5 apprentices at his own expense owing to the inadequacies of the YTS/YOP scheme.  This did make us cash poor as a family with some months the apprentices earning more than my father from the business. 

The Task Force left the UK just before I started my final compulsory school year during which I sat my O-  levels.  I didn't sit  any CSEs.     At that time there was  an equivalency of 1 CSE Grade 1 pass to 1  C -grade O-level pass.  (A bit like GCSEs and BTechs but simpler to understand .  My younger sister's year did not sit O Levels or CSEs but a pilot exam called 16+, if I remember correctly, but were awarded the respective O Level and CSE certificates.   The 16+ then became the GCSE we all now know that, again, is being declared not fit for purpose.

So 29 years on,  a full generation, have we really made any progress?  And it has to be remembered both Labour and Conservatives gurus have had equal longevity in influence.   Obviously the way we do politics and the way we organise finances in this country need radical alteration.  It would appear to be that even though different faces are in charge and  the names for the mix of  economic and political factors may change, the ultimate outcome one generation on  is the same.  As a biologist I would see similar sorts of population (or measured outcome) graphs in predator-prey relationships.   The Independent variables or Key Factors that our economists are trying to manipulate are not actually affecting the outcome.  At the end of each generational  cycle  the happiness index you would hope to be at least better than at the beginning of the cycle.     

So what should be the prize for the person who can come up with which nut in the engine is the most important? The keys to number 11 Downing Street.   

My task  from this point in 2011 is that I put in place for me, personally, a change plan so I won't be writing about the same things but with different names on  3rd January 2040. As we are all living longer and I come from a long lived maternal line (my grandfather died aged 99 and my grandmother 86), there is a very good chance I will be around to reflect!    

The cat has just batted a ping-pong ball across the carpet so she 's telling me it's time for a game.  The simple feline pleasures of life!

No comments:

Post a Comment