05 May 2014

Why do you write?

 “Being a writer is like being stuck in a leaky rowboat tossed about in a tumultuous sea of poverty, rejection and isolation. But I still love writing.” – Arthur Nersesian
The question 'why do you write' may seem simple but coming up with an answer isn’t always that easy.

After taking a slight detour into the land of excess cynicism the other week (probably from spending too much time in the snark polluted waters of the internet, although my excuses and reasons are indeed my own) I decided to obtain some advice and perhaps inspiration from a variety of writers by asking them one question – why do you write?

The writers who took the time to give me an answer were Arthur Nersesian, Julian Gallo, Bill Friday, Loren Kleinman, Hunter S. Jones and Dean Walker, all of them excellent writers, novelists and poets who are the embodiment of the word 'inspirational'.

The article 'Six Writers, six reasons' can be found by clicking here – Expats Post

11 April 2014

Writing Through the Hangover

I’ve a feeling I’m supposed to be doing promotion for my new book. 

The promotion side isn’t something I hate doing but I’m definitely no professional at promoting my own work.

As a freelance writer I’ve done it for other people but when it comes to touting myself - touting, is that the right word, well, when it comes to touting myself or my work I feel a bit nervous, anxious, I don’t know how to describe it actually. You have doubts when you’re writing your book, you have doubts when you put it out there and then you have doubts when you have to kind of gently force this thing onto people. 

I feel like I’m standing in an alley whispering to people as they walk past, “Hey, hey, you, c’mere. Take a look at this”, which in itself is a dubious image I don’t want in my head.

Anyway, I’m in the midst of a hangover due to the visit of friend who is in town on holiday and who doesn’t seem to realise that there are maybe other things to do in this town apart from getting hammered in the pub, not sure what else there is to do but there must be something. So I’m writing through the headache, which seems as good a hangover cure as any other. I can’t actually blame my friend for the hangover as I’m my own worst enemy when people say, “do you fancy a drink” but, as way of an excuse, I haven’t really had a drunken night since my holiday to New York in January.

So, as we were talking about New York and promoting my book, well I was anyway, I’d like to mention Julian Gallo who interviewed me and wrote a book review for Leaving London. I’ve known Julian online for many years now, I’m not sure if it’s quite 10 years but it must be getting on to that. Mr Gallo is a fantastic writer with five novels under his belt as well as being a tremendous supporter of other writers. He placed the interview on Expats Post as well as his own blog Desvario for which I thank him. Julian has also conducted a series of interviews this week with Dean Walker and Loren Kleinman, two great poets, check out the interviews if you get a chance.

Wait, the reason I mentioned New York is because Julian is from New York and I had a great time meeting up with Julian, his sister Andrea, Andrea’s son Stephen and his cousin Steve Palermo, who is also a fine artist. It was great to wander around the East Village, Little Italy and Queens with these guys and see New York through the eyes of people who actually live there. I sometimes dis Facebook as being annoying mainly due to its distraction qualities but it does offer you the chance to connect and meet up with people from all over the world. I met a few other people that I had known via facebook on my second trip to what I consider one of the world’s most amazing cities and I will get back there soon, I hope. The picture below is Julian, Andrea and Steve, taken in Vincent’s restaurant in Little Italy. Great couple of days with those guys during the holiday.

A short excerpt from Leaving London was also accepted and published on Roadside Fiction literary site, issue seven. Very happy they decided that the piece fit in with the theme of their magazine. Rejection in the literary world is par for the course so it’s always nice to see an acceptance email. So thanks to Roadside Fiction Editor John Campbell for that and you should head over there if you get the chance and check out all of the excellent writers and stories in this quarterly magazine. Another short excerpt from the book can be found here at Createspace previews.

Thanks also to Baxter Labatos for this piece on his The Wind Sings website. After completing Leaving London I was looking to change a few of the character names and I needed a strong name for one character and couldn't really think of anything to fit this character's personality. The name Baxter just seemed like a really strong name and i've never actually met anyone with this name before so I settled on Baxter after taking a look through the names of my friends on Facebook. I know Baxter, the real life Baxter, has gone through some tribulations and tough times recently, and i'm glad this cheered him up a little.

Anything else? Thanks to all who have bought the book and shared comments and reviews. If I’ve forgotten anyone let me know, the hangover is impairing my memory, which is sometimes a good thing but not in this case. Slange!

22 March 2014

Leaving London – An Anti-Romance Story for the Analyzation Generation

Leaving London
360 pages

A ramble on writing that first book.

And so my first book has been set adrift among the millions of others out there hoping to find a home. 
Finishing a first, full length book is a strange feeling. I expected elation but found myself sitting at the laptop looking at the last sentence with a sense of, “okay, that’s done, time to move on.” I let the book sit for about five months I think before putting it out there on Amazon. It had been in my head for a decade, five more months wouldn’t matter.

I started writing it about 10 years ago when I was still living in London. I think when I first started to write it I had just been sacked from another soul-crushingly boring temp job and this was a way to fill the afternoons or the evenings. Actually, now that I think back, I had just left a job because the management wanted me become a permanent member of staff and I didn’t want that. I didn’t want permanency, I wanted everything on a temporary basis, which is one of the themes of the book. At that time I’d rather choose nothing over permanency because when you’re in jobs that you hate, the term ‘temp employee’ seems like you have a 'get out of jail free card’ tucked in your pocket - nonsense of course, you can leave permanent jobs almost as easily as temp jobs.

When I eventually moved out of London I fell into a relationship that lasted six years and not a word was written in the book during that period. But during those six years I started writing as a way to earn a living, writing articles for both print and online. Writing for others for money has its ups and downs, and although I didn’t undertake any writing on the book during that six year period, (I think I stalled after about 80 pages), it was never out of my mind. So eventually, a couple of years ago, probably during a period when my freelance writing had dried up for a bit, I started to tinker around with it, consider ideas on how the story would progress, where the characters would go.

The characters and the story I wanted to tell were still there, like a film that I had only watched half of years ago and then tuned into again recently. Rereading those first 80 pages and then continuing to write brought back to me the excitement of living in that grubby flat in London, (although it probably didn’t seem all that exciting at the time, the selective nature of memory) with my money rapidly dwindling or more likely non-existent and the only thought in my head being, “just write, at least you're doing something, fuck London and all its problems.”

And yet, although at the time I thought, “fuck London and all its problems”, the problems I had back then or the situations I found myself in were not caused by London, the city is just a backdrop. There’s a line from the great film ‘Round Midnight said to Dexter Gordon’s character Dale Turner as he is about leave New York for Paris for a better life, “You know who's going to be waiting for you at the airfield in Paris, don't you? You.”  Unfortunately with no escape to Paris or anywhere else open to me there was nothing much else to do but write.

Creative writing is a completely different thing from writing articles for websites and copywriting for businesses. With creative writing you can escape, create your own world and do as you please and the only person you have to please with your writing is you. When you write you escape, even if the thing you are writing about at the time is the situation from which you’d like to escape. You can change your circumstances in a story, take small elements from your life if you wish and enhance them, exaggerate them, make them better or worse, bring in completely imaginary characters and situations, it’s the writer’s choice.

Maybe the thing that makes writing a pleasurable experience much of the time for the writer or for anyone who is engaged in a creative endeavor is that for once you have control over a situation, it’s yours, you own it or maybe it owns you. You're doing something you want to do. Whether anyone else likes it or not is not your concern during writing. You have no one to answer to but yourself and once it's over, hopefully, you will feel a bit better about having accomplishing something for yourself.

I’ve rambled on aimlessly now for 700 words and barely mentioned what the book is about.

Well, it's about life in London. An anti-romance story for the analyzation generation, about the city and a selection of its inhabitants, most of whom have all landed in London for their own reasons and soon find that the streets in London aren't paved with gold. I'll leave you with the book cover description. Thanks for reading.

"It’s not like I didn’t have a life before she arrived. She didn’t magically appear out of nowhere and give my life meaning." - Cal

"Your problem is that you’re more like an empty book and you’re waiting on someone else to write your pages for you. For someone who doesn’t believe in fate and destiny and all that shit, you seem to spend an awful lot of time waiting for something to happen to you.” - Sofia

Temporary jobs, temporary friends and temporary relationships. Temporary can easily become a comfortable lifestyle if you linger in London too long.

Moving to London means you’ve now become one of the eight million players on a large, vibrant and sometimes dangerous stage. This is a city that offers something for everyone whether you’re looking for love, money, work, fun or simply a way of avoiding life. Drink, drugs, sex, relationships, office politics and the daily grind – just another day in London. Leaving London takes place within one year in the city, a year where two people, who weren't looking, find each other among eight million other inhabitants.

Narrator Cal finds himself living in the city once again, trying his best to traverse the metropolis by having only the maximum fun with the minimum of effort. The city has other plans. Mugged on Christmas Eve, daily office politics and a suicidal flat mate all conspire to add to his constant hangover but it’s Sofia who makes the biggest impact on Cal’s year. It’s easy to find someone in London but trusting someone, that’s a different matter.

Leaving London is an anti-romance story for the analyzation generation. A humorous and often dark look at everyday life in a city where a year can be a life changing experience.

*Review copies are available.

31 August 2013

It Has Been a While - Some Writing News

Tonight I shall mainly be discussing writing stuff including my last short story, Dean Walker’s collection of poems, Julian Gallo’s new novel and Blogger Interactive. Oh and my hatred of Donald Trump, that had to be included.

I haven’t written anything on this blog for nine months.  Nine months!!! 
What bullshitery is that? It’s not really that I gave up writing here, more that I’m not a full-time blogger, as in, I post here occasionally and you have to admit that a nine month gap is stretching the occasionally limit.  I usually use this blog as a place to put articles that I’ve posted elsewhere but a few things have been going on and I thought I’d mention them here, writing things that is, no one is interested in my latest coffee maker acquisition, which was pretty much one of the year’s highlights.

Back in June I wrote a 30 page short story called Grand Canyon, which I didn’t really publicize that much. This is a surreal little tale about a recluse who is forced to make a stand against big business. Part of the description I placed on Amazon was, “This is a story about fathers and sons, about how the past can determine your future if you let it, and about making a stand for something you believe in.”


The idea for this story actually came from Donald Trump (thanks Donald) and if you know the story behind Trump and the golf course he built, up near Aberdeen in Scotland, then you may well recognise him as the character Donavan Thurrock. It takes me ages to get around to writing stories unless I really have something persistently nagging in my head and Trump’s destruction of that part of Scotland, in order that some old rich guys dressed up like a clown's wet dream could knock a ball into a hole with a stick really did it for me. I mean Trump is so unoriginal he built a golf course in a country awash with golf courses and in the process he destroyed something of great beauty and unique scientific importance. The guy is, if they served a burger in France named after him, le bell-end supreme.

I read a newspaper article recently about New York's attorney general suing Donald Trump for $40 million due to Trump’s phony “Trump University”, a course designed to make students rich. One piece of the story stated, “Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says many of the 5,000 students who paid up to $35,000 thought they would at least meet Trump but instead all they got was their picture taken in front of a life-size picture of "The Apprentice" TV star.”

It just takes a tiny bit of internet research to show that no one benefits from a Trump deal but Trump. The term ‘buyer beware’ is tattooed somewhere on Trump’s body, probably under his hair, which is why you will never, ever, see it. He knows he is conman, his track record is there for all to see and yet people still hold him up as businessman worth emulating. 

If your idea of a good business role model is Donald Trump, do yourself and the world a favour and don’t start a career in business, the world does not need another Donald Trump, we don’t even need the one we have now. The guy is the biggest douchebag in business and he has a lot of competition for that title. There are plenty of other weasels in the business world but they are just clever enough not to hog the limelight unlike Trump; I’m sure Trump is there just to take all the heat of their shady dealings. If there was a Mount Rushmore for business assholes and Trump’s face wasn’t on it he would sue whoever sculpted it just for the sake of few more inches of publicity.  

Enough about Trump.

I wanted to give a mention to a few writers I know who have come up with some good stuff in recent months. Dean Walker, he of Expats Post, who you may know for his spot-on political writing, has written a book of poetry called Hurricane: A Collection of Poems. I really didn’t know what to expect from this as I’m not really a massive reader of poetry at all.

The book description said:

“During my divorce I wrote many distraught and desperate love poems. Eventually, I put the collection into a box and moved on with my life. After a few years, I finally pulled the poems out and re-examined them. The poems in the following collection represent the poems written during this time in my life. What I found in the poems is that during the winter years of love, the themes of longing and vulnerability became the dominant themes.”

I downloaded from Amazon and thought I would read a few poems before going to bed except that I could not stop reading and ended up finishing the entire thing. This could have easily been a bunch of schmaltzy love poems that should have stayed in that box but instead what you get is some of the most honest writing on a break-up I have read. Maybe the reason these poems are so honest and unpretentious (and the feelings and emotions written about throughout will be completely recognizable to anyone who has been through a bad break-up) is because the poems were written during or after the break-up, without any intention of publication, so there was no censorship, no “what will people think if they read this, I better not write that, it’s too much.”

To me it brought back all the ‘lying on the floor reliving memories shit’ that people go through when they break-up, trying to hopelessly work out what went wrong, what could have been done to put it right, just the sheer fucking torture of knowing you have lost something that’s not going to come back no matter how much you want it to, and sometimes for good reason. The water down the drain.

And these poems are beautifully written. Walker really took his time over these. After I finished the book I wrote to Dean to express congratulations on this collection and he deserves congratulations. There are poems in there such as Bagged, Ex on Meth, Tomorrow I will Sing, Suicide Watch and Wild Geese that made me sit up as they brought back memories, and some of them were like a punch in the gut. The end of the collection does bring a surprise and it’s a great way to end the book. He has written something at the end that feels like the world moving from winter to spring (emotionally speaking) and it definitely lifts you up. Melody Haislip, no slouch in the poetry writing department herself, also deserves an honorable mention here for her editing skills.

So I would highly recommend Walker’s book, available on Amazon, and I just have, above.

What next?

Next is Julian Gallo’s novel Europa. Julian Gallo is a writer I have known for a few years now and I think I’ve read and reviewed every one of his novels. He is nothing if not prolific and he’s actually now more than halfway through his new novel before I’ve even had time to review Europa.

The thing with Gallo’s novels is you never know what to expect, you never know what he is going to write about next. If you have read more than one of his previous novels you will know that each one is completely different. There is a big argument about self-published writers not being of the same quality as those published by one of the big publishing companies but if you have ever read any of Julian Gallo’s novels you will realize that this argument does not hold water and that the people saying this have either got very unlucky with their choice of reading material or are just talking shit about self-published writers for the sake of it.

I read three books recently by a well-known writer, a very successful, well-known writer. The first two I thought were great, not the type I usually read at all but I couldn’t put them down. However, I did notice that the same plot-line ran throughout both books, then I read the third one and I was like “wait a minute this is the same plotline as in the last two” and I gave up on the third after about 50 pages, it just didn’t hook me because I kind knew where it was going.

With Julian Gallo’s books such as Naderia, Be Still and Know That I Am, Mediterraneo and Europa you are getting something different every time. There is a theme of searching for identity running through his books, and I’ve mentioned that to him before in an interview, but the stories are always different. If you have read any of his previous novels and then read Europa you will notice that Europa seems harder hitting, more graphic in parts, maybe because it deals, in part, with themes such as the racism and fascism that are running through Europe or more specifically Eastern Europe at the moment.

Anyway, I’ll be interviewing Julian on this novel soon and will update when that is out.

Finally. I say finally because this post is getting on to 1800 words and I was only going to highlight a few things to do with writing. Too much coffee. Did I tell you I bought a new coffee machine?

As this post is all to do with writing I want to mention Blogger Interactive. This is an event taking place in Austin, you know the place right, it’s in Texas, you know, the state that is the same size as the UK. The UK, you think you’re so great, you’re tiny UK tiny, get over yourself, and your right wing government sucks ass. Sorry, I live in the UK and can say things like that, especially after too much coffee.

Anyway, Becca Cord of 25toFly and Jen Sharp of Sips of Jen and Tonic did something together, I don’t know what they did but they will give birth to this event on October 25th to 27th 2013. It’s an event designed to bring bloggers together and from what I've read on the website it sounds like it’s going to be pretty amazing. Julian Gallo, he of Europa, is going to give a talk about self-publishing and Chiara Mazzucco, CEO and Editor-in-Chief at The Indie Chicks is also a guest speaker. 

The event is open to all and it’s free to all plus there’s alcohol, which you’ll probably have to buy yourself although you know, if it were me, I would just drink the mini bar dry and then charge it to Blogger Interactive. What do you need, a written invitation? Go on, go to Texas, go to the convention, meet everyone, get drunk, get up on stage, dance naked on the bar, tips some cows over if you feel the need – sorry, flashbacks there.

If it ends up like the photo below, you'll know you've had a good time. Just avoid the vodka cranberry drinks.

And that’s it, that’s all I’ve got tonight. I felt like doing a bit of writing and this was the result – it was okay right, it could have been worse - oh believe me it could have been.

Now I’ve got to put all those damn links and pictures in!!

04 November 2012

The UK Government Waging War on the Poor

If US voters need a reminder of the right wing in action they need look no further than the war waged on the poorest and most vulnerable members of British society by the UK government.

It’s not too much of a stretch to say that Prime Minister David Cameron, Chancellor George Osborne and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg have become the top hate figures in the UK. Take a look at any of the latest UK newspaper stories on the government and then scroll down to the comments section. Charlatans, liars, thieves, rogues, incompetent privileged posh boys and leeches are some of the tamer examples of how most of the UK public, regardless of political allegiance, view this government.

Why the concentrated levels of bile for this government in particular?

Maybe it’s because David Cameron didn’t actually win the election; he managed to become Prime Minister of the UK with a mere 36% of the votes. The only reason Cameron is in power now is because the Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg joined forces with Cameron, much to the disgust of the majority of British voters. The majority of people who voted for Clegg did so as an alternative to the two major parties and certainly didn’t want the Conservatives in power. Nick Clegg threw his principles down the drain, stuck two fingers up to the voters and hugged Cameron’s ankles as the newly appointed Prime Minister walked into Number 10.

Clegg is perhaps hated in the UK even more than Cameron. With Cameron and the Conservatives you knew what you were getting; a party of the rich for the rich, which is why the public didn’t want the right wing in power. Clegg is certainly hated among students in the UK and considered one of the biggest sell-out politicians since, well maybe since Tony Blair, although I don’t think he has quite reached that level yet and I’m not sure anyone can reach that level but give it time.

One of Clegg’s major election pledges that won his party the student vote was, “Use your vote to block unfair tuition fees and get them scrapped once and for all. The Liberal Democrats are different we will oppose any raising of the cap.” Once in power Clegg voted to increase university fees, fees that tripled under the coalition government. According to a recent survey by the National Union of Students (NUS), the Liberal Democrats are now less popular than the Conservatives.

But enough of the back story concerning Clegg.

This article is about how David Cameron applied for a job, made huge promises to his potential employers at the interview stage, wasn’t wanted by the employers for the job but managed to get the job anyway. Once Cameron snaked his way in he then decided to break all those promises he made during the interview and proceeded to make life intolerable for his employers, tearing apart the company that his employers had built and setting them against each other using fear and lies as his main weapons.

It’s fact that since Cameron has become Prime Minister he has broken pledge after pledge. A list of the broken pledges made so far by Cameron, Clegg and Osborne can be found here.

To go back to the original question of why this government is so despised by the UK public you need only look at shameful financial welfare cuts Cameron has imposed on the poorest and most vulnerable members of society.

Since the Conservatives gained power they have systematically waged war on the poorest and most vulnerable members of Britain. The austerity cuts made by this government have targeted the disabled, the unemployed and the elderly. Let’s of course not forget the workers, the people who actually keep Britain moving, the people who are being squeezed dry by this government of every penny they have. The ones who can least afford it are being hit in the pocket to pay up for the financial crisis created by the greed and incompetence of others. The richest members of society in the UK meanwhile are given a tax cut by the Conservatives while everyone else is hit with a tax increase.

UK Government Waging War on the Poor

A major criticism of Conservatives Cameron and Osbourne is that as Eton educated multi-millionaires they are completely out of touch with the public.

One of Cameron’s latest proposals is to stop housing benefit for those under 25 years of age. This would mean that housing benefit claimants under 25 would need to give up their homes and either move back in with parents, parents who are already under financial stress, or end up on the street.

April 2013 sees the introduction of the Bedroom Tax in the UK. This tax is again specifically designed to hit those on benefits and means that anyone who is found to have more bedrooms than they actually need will either have to move to a smaller property (yeah it’s that simple to move in the UK when you are on benefits) or find their benefits cut by an estimated 14% for one bedroom and 25% for two or more bedrooms. According to the National Housing Federation, the proposal will affect an estimated 670,000 working-age social tenants.

David Cameron was of course famously quoted during one interview as saying, when asked how many homes he owned, “Do not make me sound like a prat for not knowing how many homes I have.”

UK Government Using the Unemployed as Cheap Labour

Unemployment in the UK now stands at 2.59 million, the highest level since 1995 when Conservative John Major was Prime Minister.

On the 22nd of October 2012, those in the UK claiming unemployment benefit were hit with new rules. The new rules basically mean that if the unemployed refuse to take a job offer their benefits can be stopped (the government like to use the word ‘sanctioned’ instead of stopped) for up to three years. The government can also stop unemployment benefit for those who refuse to take a ‘mandatory work activity programme’. This work activity programme means that the government can send unemployment claimants to work, for example in a supermarket, full-time where they will only receive their unemployment benefit as payment.

Take note that unemployment benefit in the UK for an over 25 year old is £71 per week. This amount is the same regardless of how much you have paid in contributions from your wages or how long you have paid them. If you have been working and paying National Insurance contributions from your salary for 30 years and are then unemployed you will still only receive £10 ($16) per day in unemployment benefits.

As mandatory work activity employees will only be paid unemployment benefit this means, in effect, the unemployed can be made to work in a supermarket for £2.36 ($3.79) per hour. If you are under 25 you will be working for £1.86 ($2.99) per hour, cheap labour indeed.
Who does this benefit? Well it’s telling that yet another Tesco supermarket has opened in my hometown city centre. This now makes five Tesco supermarkets within a five minute walk from my door.

UK Government’s War on the Sick and Disabled

The disabled have also been targeted by the Conservatives in what has been called a ‘war on the disabled’. If you are disabled or sick, say with perhaps, well, a minor little illness such as cancer, you will have to take a test set by a government appointed French IT company Atos in order to prove that you are unfit for work. If you don't pass this test then your benefits will be significantly cut. The UK government’s welfare cuts include families with disabled children who will face financial cuts of around 50% per year. Around 100,000 children are expected to be negatively affected by these welfare cuts.

An example of how this disability testing is affecting the disabled can be found in the case of Colin Trayor who was assessed as being fit for work by ATOS. Traynor, who suffered from several epileptic fits per day, was informed by ATOS that his benefits would be cut by £70 per week. While waiting on his appeal to the benefits cut decision Colin Traynore died from a massive seizure, which his family believe was brought about by the stress from having his benefits wrongly withdrawn. A video of Colin Traynor’s parents talking about the death of their son can be seen here.

In October 2012 Cameron was widely criticised when he used his disabled father and son (both now deceased) during a speech at the Conservative party conference in a bid to create support for the cuts to disability benefits. Cameron also mentioned the success of the London 2012 Paralympics during his speech but of course failed to mention how his Chancellor, George Osbourne, was booed by the attending Paralympics audience that night.

Prime Minister David Cameron the salesman

The writer Norman Mailer said after meeting Republican President Ronald Reagan,
“I never met his eyes once during the entire (two hour) lunch. He had an instinct that there was no reason at all to talk to me, he knew that he was not going to gain anything by talking to me. This man has never had a conversation with someone who cannot advance his fortunes.”

Cameron is certainly not adverse to accepted donations in exchange for access to his ear. The Conservative co-treasurer Peter Cruddas (a banker named as the richest man in London) had to resign earlier this year when he was filmed by undercover reporters from The Sunday Times saying that,

“Two hundred and fifty grand (donation) is premier league. What you would get (for this) is to get you out to Cameron and Osbourne dinners. If you are unhappy about something we will listen to you and we will put it into the policy committee at number 10. Things will open up for you. It will be awesome for your business.”

It’s perhaps just a little ironic or maybe prophetic that Cameron stated in February 2010 that lobbying was, “the next big scandal waiting to happen.”

Adrian Beecroft, the loan shark investor with Cameron’s ear

One person who does have Cameron’s ear when it comes to shaping government policy is British venture capitalist Adrian Beecroft. In recent years Beecroft has donated over half a million pounds to the Conservative party. Beecroft is the multi-millionaire and government advisor who is outspoken on his wishes to give more rights to employers in order to decrease employee rights with ‘fire at will’ and ‘no faults dismissal’ policies. Beecroft was actually commissioned to write a report with this ‘corporate wishlist’ for the Conservative party.

Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat and government Business Secretary claimed that he had ignored Beecroft’s report. However, the new ‘settlement agreements’ proposed by the government are designed so that employees agree to leave without the option of taking unfair dismissal cases to an employment tribunal. Cable also plans to give employees the option of giving up certain employee rights in exchange for shares in the company they work for including rights such as cover for unfair dismissal and redundancy.

One of Adrian Beecroft’s major investments include the loan company Wonga. In recent years Wonga has been incredibly successful despite the fact that it is well known as Britain’s premier loan shark company with interest rates that can reach 4,000 percent per year. So, here we have a loan shark investor advising policy to the government, policies that if implemented would certainly be of benefit to the companies Beecroft invests in. Beecroft is definitely onto a winner when it comes to sacking workers at will and higher unemployment figures; unemployed, can’t get a loan, head to Wonga.

*This week, Jonathon Luff, a senior government advisor has resigned his position to become a lobbyist for Wonga.

Cameron’s privatisation scam

Privatisation, the selling of a country’s assets to businesses is a scam. Privatisation is basically the government selling something that the public own and then making the public pay again to use it. The Conservatives, sorry, the coalition are in a sales frenzy at the moment. They are well aware that they are no doubt going to be a one term government and have two years to implement the changes they wish to make.

The National Health Service has always been seen as gold mine to the Conservatives, they have always wanted to privatise it and Cameron is doing it right now – dismantling and selling off (sorry, reforming) healthcare that is the NHS. Despite the fact that the majority of healthcare professionals and the public are against it, the sale of NHS is already underway and private healthcare businesses are cherry picking their way through the publicly owned NHS.

It will probably come as no surprise that 206 parliamentarians have financial links to companies involved in private healthcare. The Mirror newspaper recently reported that private healthcare bosses “bankrolled David Cameron with over £750,000.” One nursing home tycoon, Dolar Popat, has donated £209,000 to the Conservatives and has now been made a peer courtesy of the British Prime Minister. It’s pretty obvious who is going to be the financial winners from the NHS privatisation and it’s not the UK public.

The lie – David Cameron – spreading privilege to everyone

The examples above are just a few of the ways that the UK government is penalising the people of the UK for the mistakes made by others whilst at the same time making sure that they are filling their pockets during the financial crisis.

The right wing ideology is not about people helping each other. It’s about getting as much from workers as possible, keeping the wages, rights and benefits as low as possible and making as much profit as possible for those in power. It’s about aiding the corporations and wealthy individuals, taking their political party donations and bending to their wishes, not the public’s.

And it’s about trying to use fear to keep people from shouting out about the deterioration of their living standards and their rights. Fear of being left with nothing and at the same time imposing more and more ‘sanctions’ and increasing prison sentences for minor ‘crimes’ such as the punishments handed out after the London riots in 2011, designed to scare and stop people from fighting back against their policies. If civil unrest happens again, the government now have private police forces to protect them.
To the right wing in power in the UK, the people are simply cogs, subservients and they are there to serve the government, a government that the UK public pay for.

Why are the corrupt and greed filled bankers such as Bob Diamond and Fred Goodwin allowed to resign or retire early with multi-million pound handshakes and pensions when rightfully they should be sitting in prisons serving sentences for their illegal activities?

Why are corporations allowed to avoid paying taxes on a massive scale? Why is the UK government trying to create a culture where the disabled, the elderly, the benefits claimants are seen as the ones who are sucking Britain dry, the people the Conservatives see as contributing nothing and of course the ones least likely to vote for them.

President Obama was alleged to have said after his first meeting with Cameron, “Wow, what a lightweight.”

Cameron, to the majority of the public in the UK may be a lightweight and a failure but to the right wing he is doing his job.

Economist Michael Hudson -
“The economy has been set up to give a free lunch! That’s not failure if you’re the free luncher! If you’re the parasite and the host is shrinking and you’re gaining, that’s not your failure, that’s the failure of the host and its immune system. But the government is not failing to serve its real constituency, which is its campaign contributors and the financial sector.”

One voice among many – Don’t spoil it sir.