Careful what you wish for

It never ceases to amaze me what politicians can make up. Mr Mubarak says he must remain in power to ensure a smooth transition, but he forgets that the whole protest is against him – personally. So to even think that after 30 years you can engineer a smooth transition is a tad naïve. Sorry buddy, a CEO with your kind of shareholder popularity gets removed multo pronto.
 
Looking at what is happening in Egypt I could not help think back to our student protests, which were very effectively squashed by our government and quickly turned against the students because one of them threw a fire extinguisher off a roof. The unions are talking of more strikes so it will be interesting to watch and to read the comments in the Egyptian press about our version of repression.
 
Why these thoughts? Well a few things happened in the past week which made me focus on the fact that this government, and the mob before have no idea of what happens in the real world.
 
The first thing that happened is that one of my clients advertised for a handyman (or is it handyperson?). Nothing special, though we do need the right kind of person. Some 100 people enquired and about 60 applied. Many of them were clearly over qualified and desperate for a job. Others simply desperate. Frightening – there is only one job. It is like the Apprentice except this job does not pay a fraction of what the Apprentice gets.
 
The second thing was that I was talking with a friend of mine who has a web design, publishing and hosting company. He was having troubles getting payments from his customers. I remember this from the early nineties when I first landed on these shores. Getting paid was an absolute nightmare and sadly this is still the case. In fact I have had two larger customers short pay me in the past year and it is painful.
 
Lastly there is Liverpool which has pulled out of The Big Society. Well I never figured out what the Big Society is, so off I went to find out. Big Dave wants the have a Big Society bank funded using someone’s Granny’s uncollected savings. He already controls two of the biggest banks funded out of your savings and mine and I am not sure he is showing he knows how to do that! Do we really trust him with another bank?
 
Then he wants us all to volunteer. Well Big Dave, I have always done work for charity but I would like to have a paid job now. Telling us all to volunteer does not really help – I understand the idea is to ensure the riff raff out there do not bother your kind, but that may not be what is actually needed. There are fortunately not that many of you Big Dave but there are a lot of people out of work, or earning substantially less than they were a year or two ago!
 
Lastly pass everything down to local councils. Big Dave, have you ever dealt with your County Council? They are a nightmare. They are in no way equipped to do what they are doing at the moment, including making cuts, let alone do any more. I am impressed that Liverpool actually recognised this – though they phrased it slightly differently.
 
No, it will be interesting to read the Egyptian press about events here if the unions get their way. I just hope we can get through this episode without big strikes as they never seem to benefit anyone – unlike in Egypt and even there many are holding their breath and quote ‘be careful what you wish for’.

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