Give the Youngsters Jobs (Part 3..)

I tried to get a watch fixed this week, an average priced watch, or maybe above average price. It needs a chain putting on the strap, it falls off now and again and my friend is worried she will lose it. A small strap safety chain would make the watch secure.

Wembley Development

The Monstrosity called ‘Wembley City’

It is almost impossible to find a craftsman jeweller, such shops are becoming a thing of the past in this day of out of control consumerism. With the majority of products we use being made in Asia and China, home-grown skills are disappearing.

This country needs to shut the door on imports of Chinese goods and get back to making our own, we need to re-nationalise, water, electricity, gas and railways this is important because they are the necessities for people in a civilised society, heating, transport and water. Not forgetting food – this should be regulated strictly and high street shops should be encouraged to offer crafting and skills.

What is all this to do with young unemployed you might ask – well it has everything to do with employment, we need to close down companies that are outsourcing jobs to other countries, BT for example, they make massive amounts of money for shareholders from people of this country, so they must employ people from this country who make them profits. On second thoughts nationalize telecommunications.

Wembley High St

Cosmopolitan Wembley

Supermarkets such as Sainsburys and Tesco need to plough their profits back into the community by offering jobs that pay a livable wage, not a pittance just above minimum wage. In Willesden Green, Sainsburys have opened a small store opposite the station, they already have a mega store 300 yards away. This puts smaller businesses out of contention. Now they have decided they don’t need check-out staff and machines will do.

Where is the government while this is happening, is it good for society to have massive supermarkets – monopolise high streets, substitute machines for workers? These company’s exploit and then up the price of everything making food almost unaffordable, besides that they sell crap, the ‘fresh fruit’ is disgusting and almost inedible.

These money-making enterprises need to be reigned in, the profits ploughed back into the community that makes them rich, jobs should be created and the pay should be in line with the average wage. The youth of society should be trained in skills and apprenticeships, crafts and trades. Companies that don’t wish to contribute to the community by sharing the profits by putting back into the community should not be allowed to trade. The obscene amounts of money made by Centrica, EDF etc., need to be frozen and all bills should be reduced by 25% immediately, the government should employ energy experts on normal salaries to sort out the distribution of supplies and take back the supplies into public ownership, our water belongs to us. The amounts of profit can start to be used for the benefit of the people of this country.

To be continued…

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Give the Youngsters Jobs (contd…)

Friday 12th October.

Took a while to get back on topic, such is the world today, distractions and diversions.

What can be done about this appalling situation when the youth of the country are thrown into the ‘World of Work’ with competition so fierce for jobs that it leaves a large percentage of aspirants jobless and without any employment prospects on the horizon.

Wemblet _Sept_2012

Wembley – Sept 2012

The elected government needs to stop farting about with ridiculous attacks on the ‘lazy’ youth, threatening to make them live with parents, abolishing housing benefit to those under 25. The fault of the economic state of this country has nothing to do with the young people, the blame lies solely with the incompetent politicians, and financiers who have been in control of this country for the past 30 years.

Why on earth should the workers of this country along with the people on the dole, and the young unemployed have to forsake pay increases, put up with inflated prices, compete for jobs and housing with immigrants from all over the world. There is very little growth or any positive ideas in place to turn around this countries decline into one of rebuilding and strengthening our nation and society. All I hear from this absolutely useless government are meaningless statements and false promises, it appears that everything they do ends up a farce or a disaster. One current example is the ‘West Coast Train fiasco‘, another £40 million of tax payers money lost because of incompetents.

Continued tomorrow……

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Give the Youngsters Jobs

I was reading the Evening Standard yesterday and was captured by an article highlighting the problems of unemployment amongst young people in London. The plight of teenagers facing a future of menial work or unemployment is now a reality for many of the Capitals youth. It is the norm now when leaving school, college or university to send off hundreds of job applications and to receive no notifications, either rejections or job offers, employers more often than not don’t reply to the applicants.

I can’t imagine the plight of these young people, to start off in pursuit of a working life and career, with aspirations and ambitions and then experiencing rejection piled upon rejection, after paying for an expensive education and being saddled with debt, then to find your degree or college diploma is worthless. The bleakness and uncertainty facing young people today must be frightening and soul-destroying.   Link to the Evening Standard

I shall digress for a while;
Going back to the end of the 60′s, I left school at 15, as we were poor  my mother insisted I couldn’t go to college and I should get a job to learn a trade. Coming from a working class family ‘Up North’, leaving school at 15 and getting a job was the norm, all my peers did just that. Most went to the local industries to learn a trade, BAC, English Electric, Leyland Motors the choices were plenty. I was offered three jobs within 2 weeks, I went for an interview at Goss, BAC and Joshua Hoyle all three jobs were variations of apprentice engineer.

I took the Joshua Hoyle job because my uncle worked there and my mate got a job there as well as an apprentice electrician so we could start together, thing was I was able to choose where I wanted to work, a choice of career other than stacking shelves or minimum wage.

One of my ships the ‘Silvercrag’

I left the family home aged 18 as I wanted independence, renting a flat was easy and cheap, in those days you had security when renting, non of this 6 months short-term tenancy agreements were the landlord can kick you out on a whim. To be British and young was a good feeling, the country was full of optimism and people seemed to have a sense of community and a pride in their country.

So what went wrong with our society, community, country? What on earth could turn a reasonably prosperous society into one where our children struggle to get a job, property is too expensive to buy for first time buyers, rental property is nothing but temporary accommodation without any security? The governments over the last 25 years have taken us deeper into dept and appear to be unable to get to grips with the economy, unemployment, housing, utilities, transport, immigration, the health service and the well-being of the country.

I think worst of all is the decline of our industries and manufacturing. We are an island with a population of around 60-63 million, it is difficult to ascertain the true number of people living in the UK, especially in London – there are thousands of people living in the capital who are working illegally and are not included in official counts. Successive governments have let this country become a consumer society reliant upon overseas goods and imports. We produce little of value in this country, unlike Germany and France we have sold off important industries and have nothing of strength, almost everything in a Britishers house is made overseas, including the clothes we wear.

Part 2 – Will follow tomorrow.

This could turn into a long blog. For now it’s in its infancy and will be divided into three or four parts. Further content will be added throughout the next few days.
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The Mail Delivery Thieves.

Good day folks

Today I am going to look at the problem of mail and parcel deliveries. Like many people in this age of the Internet, I do quite a lot of buying on-line. It is so convenient and easy to sit in front of a screen, search for the product you want and then compare prices. Not only can you find the best priced goods but also the companies that offer good customer service.

When I order a product from the internet, I usually leave a review of the service provided by the seller and the quality of the goods. This is good for all concerned, it filters the good companies from the bad ones and warns people of dangers dealing with certain on-line sellers. I once used to have a retail business myself, in fact I spent 15 years trading on the High St. It must be difficult if not impossible nowadays for High St businesses to compete with the on-line traders and the current trends will probably see the end of many community shops.

Hello – Trust me I’m honest.

Over the last 6 months I have bought a lot of items on-line, Kayaks, wetsuits, amplifiers, music cd’s, computer hardware to name but a few. I am quite familiar with many of the bigger on-line companies and tend to stick with the ones that also have retail units as well. I haven’t in the six months bought something on-line that was not what it seemed. Most of the products have been as described and not advertised wrongly, also the companies have been quite delightful to deal with.

With all new systems of trading there will undoubtedly be some  drawbacks, you would probably expect some goods to be  damaged in-transit, or delays in despatch. I didn’t experience any problems with any orders from the ordering, purchasing or communication with the seller in my recent dealings. The problems that seemed to be common to my on-line activities were with the delivery companies.

Let me explain just three examples. These examples have made me very wary of the companies that deliver goods, I choose deliveries that offer a system to track them minute by minute wherever possible and  I choose now to buy only from companies that have a good tracking system. My first problem came with delivery of hi-fi gear and a missing parcel, this particular delivery was by mail untracked and it never arrived. I contacted the company and another order was despatched, I changed the delivery address from Brent to Twickenham and it arrived without a problem.

The second delivery was for a turntable and amplifier, this was despatched and told 3-5 days delivery/signed for. I was able to track this delivery and even find out to the hour the time of delivery. I waited at the delivery address and heard the letter box open ( the mail box is in a hallway separate from the front door to the flat). I went to the letter box and saw a card stating that no-one home for delivery and parcel left next door.

When I opened the door, a neighbour was signing for a parcel for me, I asked the driver why he hadn’t rung the bell, he said he did but it didn’t work – it works perfectly well and was never used by him. I checked the delivery and I pointed out that there is a parcel missing – he said “no only one box”. I told him to wait while I called his office, he then proceeded to find another box in his van containing an amplifier, he told me he must have overlooked it because of his busy schedule.

The week after I was waiting for a tracked parcel from PC World, delivery by Royal Mail unsigned but racked. I saw that the parcel had arrived at my local sorting office and despatched, Cricklewood at 8:00am. I the noticed at 09:50am that the tracking had changed to parcel delivered to a safe place. I checked in the street and at the front door, there was no parcel and no delivery card. I checked again on-line and I wasn’t mistaken the parcel had been delivered to a safeplace, so I went into the street and saw a mail van with the postman a few doors away.

I Want Free Parcels.

I asked the mailman, do you have a parcel for me and he said he didn’t, I told him that it was registered as being delivered to my address to a safe-place, this prompted him to say “there is a parcel for the house next to yours” and he took it from his cab, not from the back of the van but from his cab. He then apologised and said “he had read the address wrong”. I took the parcel from him containing an electronic drawing tablet and went back to my house.

I telephoned the Royal Mail delivery Office and told asked the why a parcel had been recorded as being delivered to my address to a safe-place when it hadn’t and it was in the drivers cab neither delivered or left in a safe place. The operator asked my what time I spoke with the driver – it was 10.05am, the parcel was recorded as being delivered at 09:40am. The Royal Mail said they would investigate. I have since received a notification that my enquiry had been reported to the relevant person.

That was 3 weeks ago and I have since heard nothing. So I am in a situation were I no longer trust the delivery firms, it is all well and good ordering on-line but it appears that the final part of the parcels journey can be subject to very dodgy goings on. I suppose the only way to guarantee delivery is to pay top wack delivery charges and get the parcel signed for/recorded, otherwise the light-fingered delivery thieves will be tempted to top up their wages.

This takes me back a few years to when I had a travel business in Paddington and complained to the post-office that tickets and other mail was going missing in transit. They told me that it was nothing to do with them and I should check the senders, I lost quite a lot of money on one occasion, having to buy another ticket for the customer. Later that year a gang of criminals were arrested and charged at Paddington Sorting Office for stealing mail and valuable items. They were all Royal Mail employees, I didn’t get any compensation.

It’s a bad do when you can’t trust the postman.


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Dealing With Cancer (Part 2)

This is the second part of the story about my experience of cancer.

That’s me in Heaven

The months from September 2011 to February 2012, were spent trying to regain weight and strength. This wasn’t easy as the only way I could feed was through a tube in my stomach and slowly small amounts orally. In January the Consultant told me that the tumour had disappeared and things were looking good. I has able to swallow and things were looking up.

I was eating small amounts of soft food so the stomach tube was removed. Over the next two months eating began to return to normal and I started to regain the pounds. Overall my health was low and I was very weak but I could go for walks and I knew I had survived the cancer and the ordeal of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. There were a few complications, blood counts, hearing problems and hair loss.

It is now a full year since I finished the treatment and the cancer is nowhere to be seen, I feel so very lucky that I am alive, a second bite at the cherry. I no longer take my life for granted, I feel it is a gift, something that is so very special, the ability to be able to breathe, smell, see and marvel at the spectacle that is the planet we live on. Almost like a rebirth, thankful to be alive.

When I was younger I used to look at the stars and see the beauty of life, the mountains and rivers, the sound of the ocean, nature and flowers. We have everything that is needed to sustain life on this planet, the food we need grows freely and wild, we live in the Garden of Eden. Yet we don’t appreciate it, for some reason we have made living so complicated and difficult for each other.

The gift of life is a blessing, you are born and you will die and in between is something so special, don’t waste it, the greed and corruption that causes suffering on this planet is man-made, in each human being is a place of beauty and goodness, look inside and you will find it. This feeling is there at the beginning of your awareness of life, but as the complications of living come with development, you lose the closeness with nature and your natural consciousness, it is replaced with conditioning and indoctrination, you almost forget your alive.

For anyone who develops cancer and has to undergo the treatment, no matter how uncomfortable the treatment becomes, there is always hope, don’t give up and you can overcome the disease. At first when you are told you have cancer it comes as a shock, for your friends and family as well. We humans are pretty tough beings and even through the most ghastly of the treatments you have to undergo, there are good moments and plenty of periods when life isn’t so bad after all , so persevere and all can turn out well.

That’s it for now, god bless and may your life be all you want it to be.

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The Destruction of Communities.

Out in the sticks of London you will find the Borough of Brent, I have lived in the area on and off for the last 20 years.

It dismays me to see the borough in so much decline, places of interest are being demolished or closed down, would you believe the borough has a population close on 275,000 people and just one private cinema and theatre owned and run by The Tricycle. I don’t think there are any art galleries left apart from one in Willesden Library Complex (soon to be demolished), Artist Resource it’s called and exhibits local art.

As far as music venues go I don’t think there is one anymore for local people, it’s quite sad, the houses and many of the streets in Brent are beautiful, leafy streets and very residential but that is what Brent is nowadays a place to live but without any sort of community events or spirit.

Cricklewood Library – Victim of Brent Council

Brent Council are making matters worse by closing local libraries, the one around the corner from me is now boarded up. I have fond memories of this branch library it used to house Brent Archives and had important photos and historical documents related to this part of London.

The image above was taken two days ago and this library served thousands of people, the young and old who live in the surrounding area. After I saw this wanton destruction of resources I wandered up to Willesden High Road, situated on this thoroughfare is Willesden Library Complex.

If you know the area you will be aware that the High RD is a bit of a dump, the shops and businesses are hard put to keep afloat, there seems to be unending take-aways and off-licenses, no ‘NAME’ shops just local grocery, beer and non-discript retail outlets. The stand out feature of the High Rd is the library complex. It is quite beautiful in it’s design and stands out amongst the run-down buildings that surround it. The image to the left is the building in front of the library due to be demolished by Brent Council.

I believe around September time this building along with the library complex are going to be knocked down and a new smaller building will take it’s place. This will leave Willesden, Cricklewood and the surrounding area with no library, the one in Kensal Rise has been closed by Brent Council also. You can read about it here, Invasion of the Book Snatchers.

Willesden Green Library

I will post some small images of the Library Complex and a link to a gallery of them, along with a link to a page on my website. You can see for yourself the structure and layout of the complex and how important a building it is in such drab surrounding as Willesden High Road. Link to Brent Today Webpage

There are quite a number of local groups fighting to save the Libraries of Brent and have been at it for quite some time, I have been out of circulation for about a year due to ill health but I would like to offer support to these groups and will link wherever possible to events and news of action and endeavours to save these important community assets. Here is a link to the Save Kensal Library Campaign, I must say that reading about the actions of Brent Council in it’s dealings with Kensal Rise Library makes one wonder what sort of people are running the council. They don’t appear to be very straight dealing individuals, more akin to pond life, beings without backbones.

I have spent a great deal of time in Twickenham over the last 12 months, mainly because I needed some support over the last year and I have friends there. Twickenham (Richmond Borough),  seem to take community and culture very seriously and preserve and promote the borough as a cultural stronghold. I can’t understand why Brent aren’t preserving it’s culture and heritage, because without culture and heritage a community is nothing (Just my opinion of course).

Willesden Library Complex

Closing Branch Libraries is not a positive thing for the educational needs of a community, Brent Council have closed 6 libraries out of 12 in the borough. I can’t imagine what effect this must be having on the youth and students in Brent, most of my education was obtained by visiting libraries almost daily as a youngster.

My parents were working class, poor and could hardly afford food and clothing, books had to be got from libraries and that is where I spent a lot of my time. I was no swat but the school I went to was rough and tough, lessons were difficult and often disrupted, the library was a retreat to go to if you wanted to study and learn.

Another image of the Library.


This blog will be continued tomorrow.

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