21 March 2019

The forgotten arguments since Boris's hollow Brexit bus.

To make a decision on Brexit MP's have the unenviable task of weighing two incompatible realities:
  • Leaving the EU gives back to the UK electorate the right to hire and fire those that govern them.
  • Leaving the EU will cause years and years of economic disruption on a scale that we have not seen since the 1920s.
Below: Tony Benn puts the democratic case for leaving the EU

















More on the EU:

31 January 2019

Is philanthropy just a guilt-trip triggered by avoiding taxes?

Is it fair to argue that philanthropy is a psychiatric solution adopted to alleviate the guilt within those that live off other people's labour.   And, is it true that people who give money away volunraily use their vitue to justisfy employing people cleverer than themselves to help them avoid their share of tax? 

 

In this video the historian, Roger Bregman, argues that philathropy is "bullshit" and suggests that the conference should focus on taxes, but I particularly admired the speech by Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam, who, in response to a question defending the economic status quo (that encourages/allows and results in widespread tax avoidance) by citing  record US employment. Winnie Byanyima made the point well that the questioner was "counting the wrong things" she then explains that it's not the level of employment that matters to people, but the quality of those jobs.  I couldn't agree more. 

In the UK, as in the US, it is true that there is currently high levels of employment. However, both Republicans and the Conservative governments, frequently cite this as a universal success. What the Republican and the Conservative governments don't tell us, is that the drop in unemployment is on the back of in-work poverty, the need for in-work benefits, the explosion in the need for food backs, insecurity at work, a lack of union representation and a rise in zero-hours contracts.  

Is it any wonder that billionaires and the government's whose support upon which they rely to perpetually increase their weath, prefer to judge the performance of the economy on the levels of economic growth and the levels of employment, and irrespective upon which that growth is based and quality of the jobs that the system provides.  Is is not time, when deciding which economic policy is best to measuring the well being of the majority and respect and reward better the workers that create the nations wealth. 


Another article like this

30 January 2019

Is Labour's call for a full-blown Customs Union the UK's last chance to avoid a No Deal Brexit?

Business leaders must have been squirming on the golf course yesteday as the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn gave Theresa May's government a lesson in what's best for the UK economy.


So why isn't the Conservative Party trying harder to help business?  After all, it's they that claim to care about business and finance and by failing to embrace a nationwide Customs Union, rule out a No Deal Brexit, or at the very least, consider a second referendum on the final deal. The Conservatives are, as it were, biting the hand that feeds them.

The answer, however,  is not as simple as it might seem. The problem the government faces, is that, because it has no overall majority in Parliament, its ability to compromise on any EU deal is difficult, not only by the need to maintain the support of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), but also a much larger group of hard-line Conservative Brexiteers who favour a clean break from the EU, or No Deal.

The DUP's position is confusing, but, in a nutshell, the DUP is adamant that they will not accept a deal that treats Northern Ireland differently to other UK countries. It follows that, without a UK-wide Customs Union, or a No Deal Brexit, the DUP, along with 100s of others in Parliament, find it impossible to vote for May's deal, a deal which centres on the so called Irish Backstop.  For those who find the notion of a Backstop difficult, all it really is is a political mechanism designed to make special arrangements through a natonwide Customs Union that keep the EU border between Northern Ireland open to trade and people.  If the Backstop were permanant the DUP would, because it's nationwide, accept this, however, to Conservative Brexiteers, an Irish Backstop that leaves the EU in control of when the border between the EU and the UK can be lifted, is unacceptable and feels to them like being half-in Europe.  

 

Given the history of Northern Ireland and an appreciation of the DUP's stated position to preserve the Union and remain inextricably linked to the UK, the DUP's attitude to the Irish Backstop shouldn't have been a massive surprise to the May Government.  Preserving the integrity of the United Kingdom is a purpose the DUP share with the Conservative Party, which, alongside supporting the owners of property, wealth and the monarchy, have developed to protect the Union of countries which now make up the UK. This, of course, is why the DUP has the word Unionist in it's name, why the Tories have the official label of The Conservative and Unionist Party and why the DUP insists on being welded to the UK
So, despite the perception of the Conservative Party as the natural party of business, the Theresa May government appears to be marching the UK towards an economically suicidal No Deal Brexit and, in the process, risk damaging the business community they exist to protect.
It follows that remaining half-in the EU via a Customs Union, whether that be a Custom's Union negotiated separately with the EU, or one part of a permanent Irish Backstop, is, by far, the best comprise for UK business.  Some will say that, if we have access to the Single Market through a Custom's Union, then we may as well, in economic terms at least, have voted Remain? I understand that, and have written about it on this blog, but the point I'm trying to make here is that, if the Conservative Party remains the champion of business and truly believes in the integrity of the United Kingdom, then they must now work with Labour and the majority in Parliament, to jettison a No Deal and put in place Customs Union so that the UK can, at last, wriggle free of this appalling political impasse.

Brexit could take 10 years and might not happen at all. (Written the day after the 2016 IN-OUT EU referendum 

16 January 2019

Student Guardian | Top employers flock to the National Careers and Internship Marketplace


On February 6th 2019 twelve-hundred student job hunters are expected to arrive at the Glasgow University Union where students and graduates will be able to meet with around fifty of the UK's most sought after organisations looking for new recruits.
 
The Careers & Internship Marketplace 2019 is a free national event organised by University's of Glasgow's Careers Service in conjunction with The Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Service (AGCAS) and open to students and graduates from all universities.
Graduate and student job seekers from any university across Britain will get the chance to hook up with employers from a wide range of industries and at the same time find out more about opportunities tailored to meet today’s competitive jobs market.

Employers from top business organisations in key UK employment sectors from technology giants Dell and software developers Turnkey, to the global accountancy and professional services practice KPMG will be there, and all of them will be looking to recruit talented new graduates into both the private and public sectors. Some of Scotland’s Top Universities will be attending: University of Glasgow, University of Strathclyde and Heriot-Watt University along with the highly regarded University of Bath.  The Civil Service Fast Stream will also be looking for the brightest and best, as will, Save the Children, professional services multinational and Times top-ranked graduate employer, PwC and of course, the events main sponsor, Morgan Stanley the world famous US investment bank.

This year students can:
  • Pop along to the Professional Pitch-it Zone area where employers will provide useful information, hints and tips.
  • Get career advice from Glasgow University’s team of Career Managers.
  • Update your professional profile picture.
  • Meet stylists from high street fashion retailers Slaters and Marks & Spenser for some style advice that could give you the edge at interview.
  • This year there’s also a chance to have a caricature of yourself done that you can use as a fun profile picture and there’s also the chance to win prizes, tons of freebies and more...
There’s such a lot happening at Glasgow University Union at the Careers and Internship Market Place this year so make sure you get there early to make the most of what promises to be an incredible day.
The event will take place on Wednesday 6th February, across the whole of the historic Glasgow University Union. Doors open at 11am until 3pm and there's no need to register until you arrive on the door.

Don’t miss this great opportunity. Entry is FREE.

For more information and a full list of potential employers exhibiting visit: University of Glasgow's Careers Service

Keep in touch using the #UofGCareers,  or why not download our App from the App Store, or Google Play - it's easy just search Careers Fair Plus

Read more articles mentioning the University of Glasgow

READ THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE

4 December 2018

Looking for that pefect gift for the boss?


What a surprise...
It was twenty years ago now that my old boss shouted:

'Has anyone seen my mug'.  Then, belted out across a crowed office, came the reply:

'It's the one with twat on it'

Let's face it, we all know one and wouldn't it be great if you could tell 'em how you really felt? The problem is though, you can't just come out and say it, not really, it's just not nice. Then again, whoever they are, they do need to know, so here's a few ways you can insult those you love to hate...
  1. The unsuspecting other half.  Chances are who ever gets the I'm a Twat Mug won't get it out the box staright away, but the first time they do they'll be the second to know.  If you can it's best to try to keep a straight face, this way you can repeatedly enjoy your victim's confidence drain away as they remember the last half dozen times they had a cuppa. 
  2. Just watch his face after he's loaded the dishwasher.  If whoever gets the mug usually does the washing up make sure they load the dishwasher when the mugs first used.  For maximum impact ask him to wash it up before all the dinner guests have left. 
  3. Important meetings. Just before the interview panel assemble switch their usual mugs for three of ours.
  4. Cup of tea for the boss. Not all bosses are pompous, self-satisfied arses, so take care not to emotionally destroy a good one, but, according to a recent survey, 99% of employers will recognise themselves when they get the mugs message.
Warning: Not to be given as presents to the blind, even if they are twats...
 
Read the published article

Another very amusing mug