Wednesday, 29 December 2010

The de-valuation of people : the process of privatisation

In these dark, dank times of recession the United Kingdom government has decided we must cut our costs. To serve these cuts people who have worked as public servants in local and national institutions lose their jobs. Of course the work that they do is necessary and very soon after putting these people out of their reasonably but not highly paid jobs with their good but not extravagant pension rights, their work is tendered to the private sector. In this way the work is done less expensively by reducing the pay and removing the right of a permanent job and a pension to those who are now carrying out this work.
Maybe this is the price of profligacy : the de-valuation of people.
The question left hanging in the cold damp twilight is "Whose profligacy is being paid for?"

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Camden to Islington, 2008

The weekend went well for the celebrations:
long boat, snacks, prosecco and the nice;
the young middle-aged do duty
to the early-aged as they dice.
Good to be with people,
a couple of kids but no pets.
There were genuines and superficials
but they weren't making any bets.
So polite to,
could be wrong to,
could be right to
worry about who it upsets.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Thinking about Machiavelli

One thing you can say about Machiavelli was that he made it clear that seeking wealth, and power does not canter along harmoniously with humility, self-sacrifice, honesty, generosity and other virtues.
This was and is an awkward truth. First expressed in The Prince which was written in 1513 but not published until 1532, five years after Machiavelli's death, this idea was condemned by the church and now, as then, no one likes to be thought of as ruthless, unscrupulous and self-centred - even if they are.