Welcome to the weekly social ramblings of our always vocal Citizen Jane...
 

Monday 14th January 2013

The other day I asked my boss for a pay rise, I stated that I felt I had worked hard over the past year and had put a lot of time and effort into the company….  The sound of his laughter ringing in my ears is still prevalent.  The audacity of the man, he said that I use the place as my own personal social network…..  Well you’ve always got to make time for your friends, right.
 
I suppose everyone is entitled to a pay rise, especially when our lovely Chancellor of the Exchequer boosts the price of fuel, goods etc, but then our wages should be able to move with the changes.  Now when we get a pay rise it usually goes up by just a few quid, but I guess things are different in the world of Parliament.  
 
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) conducted a survey and found that the Conservatives wanted on average a £31,000 increase in their basic salary taking it up to £96,000 a year, while Labour wanted £12,000 to take their wages up to £77,000.  MPs are currently on around £65,000 a year.  Bearing in mind Nurses; Occupational Therapists (OT) who are also doing a public service, Soldiers who are risking their lives and many other people in challenging jobs will never experience this wage within their lifetime.
 
It seems ironic that the conservative MPs have asked for such an increase considering the amount of Benefit caps and pay freezes they have put in place for ‘we’ the people, it would be like a slap in the face and a very bitter pill to swallow.  
 
They have compared their earnings to that of a deputy head teacher in a large school, Pharmacists and GPs.  When was the last time you could get hold of your local councillor to ask them to stop making decisions that never benefit you?  
 
MPs have stated that they should be allowed an increase due to the fact that they have expenses that cannot be claimed for things such as raffle donations, lunches, teas, breakfasts and dinners etc.  They also claim that they have to entertain people.  It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it eh…  
 

Tuesday 15th January 2013

As I walked through the city centre today, I noticed that there were quite a few units and shop fronts that were standing empty and gaping like toothless hag.  When I was little, the whole going into town on a Saturday, touching and feeling the quality (or lack of it) of goods was a recreational past time for me and my family.  It was a thing that various communities did.  People would meet up and share or compare bargain prices.
 
Hearing about Jessop’s stores closing has torn another wrench in the hearts of the people; we all shake our heads in wonderment of how such a thing could have happened like we did when we heard of other large chain stores closing down.  But who can we blame but ourselves with our online impersonal shopping, some of us don’t even leave our homes anymore, we do our clothes shopping, food shopping, electrical goods shopping all online now.  Unless you have to go out to work, some of us don’t even have to get dressed in the mornings now, Instead of browsing through shops we browse through the web.
 
The internet is catch 22 it is fantastic for a lot of things, but it is also causing the decline of our high street as well as our communication skills.  We the consumer not the retailer dictates how we will shop, if we lean more towards the internet then that’s where they will head too.  Our world is more convenient but less friendly, gone are the chats and catch ups with Mrs so and so and the hustle and bustle of the market place.
 
Is there anyway of turning it all around? Or is it too late for us now? Machines are taking over, you don’t even have to talk to someone in a shop now, we can use the self serving impersonal tills and then go back to our lonely lives indoors, the knock on effect is vast, causing break downs in relationships due to the fact that people no longer have anything interesting to say.  
 
Anyway no time for chatter, I’ve seen a holiday on line that I wish to book before it goes up in price, just seen a closing down sign in my local travel agents…..  What a shame.
 

Wednesday 16th January 2013

I was called into my boss’s office today and reprimanded for using the company phone as means to organise my social life, which I might add is quite a lively one.  My boss asked me about a few phone calls that were made on the internal phone, of course being human and a coward I tried t deny it, only to have to listen to a recording of me and a friend organising a social gathering… I thought who does he think he is Hercule Poirot? Then remembered I had bills to pay.
 
My nose actually grazed the ground that’s how low I hung my head; thankfully he accepted my apology, (well I was busted so it was the only way) although his face did go tight especially when I said I’d organise it by using my mobile or via face book instead…  I’m not sure but I think that I might be pushing things I guess the clue was when he just pointed at the door requesting my exit from his office without saying a word.
 
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have taken snooping to another level; they have tapped into people’s websites and phone calls as well as checked out taxpayers personal data to trap the tax dodgers.  We are told that we live in a free civilised country and have even travelled around the globe for hundreds of years to instil our ‘civilised’ doctrine into the hearts of the truly free people. 
 
The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 has allowed the HMRC to view emails; texts that were made and received that have led to prosecution of tax evaders.  Even though some people may support the government’s achievement on the capturing of tax evaders, how does this fare with people’s privacy.  Strangely HMRC does not wish to state how many times they’ve had to issue warrants or delve into people’s private emails/phone calls etc. 
 
Don’t we need to stand up and do something about this as a collective? It just goes to show that a private conversation is never private.  Big Brother is everywhere, even in our homes.  Are we happy with this? It’s not even a case of we’ve got something to hide, surely it’s the principle.
 
Since my boss’s disclosure of the telephone recording, I now move around the office in a covert manner…  My boss has stated that he’s never seen me work so well and efficiently.  What’s that all about?
 

Thursday 17th January 2013

I went to an event which featured a club night called “Horse Meat Disco”.   (Yes the word disco is still being used in the noughties.)  The event was packed, people sang along to the songs that were being played by the DJ.  People who had never met actually spoke to one another without prejudice, everyone was rocking to the music and the stage performance by the dancers which at times can be quite cringe worthy was indeed palatable.
 
Unlike the Horse meat infused Beef burgers that were found on the shelves of various reputable supermarkets.  Tesco’s shares fell by 1 per cent (£300m) after removing all twenty-one lines of frozen own brand burgers.  Now I’m not saying people shouldn’t get to know what they’re eating but has it ever bothered us before.
 
Do we ever actually know what’s really in our foods?  Yes, the Horse meat was discovered and people were generally horrified, yet we take all of the E numbers in our food with a pinch of salt.  What is all the other bumph that is written on our packages too?  Do we actually know what they mean…?  Do we ever look them up to see what crap is being pumped into our bodies?  
 
Yet we hear the word Horse meat and take offence.  Surely some of the additives and preservatives that our bodies don’t need and struggle to process should be more offensive.  Companies were quick to take the burgers of the shelves, but what about the other foods.  How is it that these foods are not in the line of fire?  Is this a case of what we don’t know about can’t hurt us, when more and more people are dying of cancer related illnesses.  Why is this?  Has this got a lot to do with what is in our food folks?
 
I think that the Government should stop ‘horsing’ around with what they try to feed us; they need to know that we are not happy….  Neigh, neigh and thrice neigh. 
 

Friday 18th January 2013

We are in a time where we need to move and make things happen, only we can cause things to become stagnant, as I’m writing this I know I need to heed my own words and make that difference as well as being consistent but consistently good not bad.  Continue to support each other and lend a helping hand to your fellow fallen soldier to help them back on their feet; it takes time, patience and love.  Rolf Harris said it well with his song Two Little Boys, check out the lyrics
 
I am just one persons opinion, think for yourselves and spread the love.
 
Citizen Jane ©   

Article by Citizen Jane / 18th January 2013

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