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My new blog –

Well I’ve finally bitten the bullet and got my own domain name, to which I’ve moved this blog too. This means that I will not be using this blog any longer. If you want to keep on reading my ramblings, the domain is

See you on the other side!


The Ills of the public sector

My girlfriend works in the public sector, and for the last year and a half, I’ve had an interesting insight into the inner workings of a government-funded organisation. She works for a company that is tasked in giving direction and career guidance to students aged between 11 and 16 both in schools and in local communities. And she hates it.

One of the main issues with her job is the lack of work ethic her colleagues display. In the private sector, if you work hard and are successful, you get rewarded. If you don’t, are lazy or are permanently ill, you are disciplined or further still sacked. Fair enough you may say. However in the public sector this is not the case, as many a time she has complained about people displaying minimum effort but reaping the same rewards as someone who has worked much harder. Many times she has come back from work having to cover the shift of someone who is off ill. This does little for her morale. Furthermore she is then tasked with covering the target of this absentee, despite her exceeding her own target without praise or any incentive to perform. As a naturally hard-working person, this can be extremely demoralising. Until recently, I thought this was a local issue with her organisation. However it seems that this is symptomatic of the public sector.

Her argument was compounded by an article we read recently in the Sunday Times. Apparently Sir Stanley Kalms, upon becoming chairman of an NHS hospital, threw a tea party for members of staff who had served for more than 25 years, as a reward for loyal service. However what he encountered was a motley crew of people who neither he nor other members of staff even recognised, as the majority were either ill, grotesquely overweight  or “no longer fit and proper people to be in a hospital”, but crucially were still being paid. Also because their packages had been negotiated in more profitable times, they were generally on better pay than the majority of their colleagues. In the example, this had repercussions for the hospital, as wards were left short-staffed and hospitals were without funds to purchase vital equipment. Reading this made me realise that the local issue my girlfriend had mentioned time and time again was  actually a more generic issue afflicting the vast majority of the public sector.

But the question has to be asked, why can’t they just sack these individuals? In every company I’ve worked in in the private sector, if you had a long period of illness that was unexplainable you would at least be disciplined. However in the public sector, the trade unions have a much larger sphere of influence. Again according to the Harriet Sergeant’s article, 61% of state employees belong to a trade union, compared with only 20% in the private sector. Their influence is not waning either. In 2006, Labour received roughly 73% of their donations from unions. This figure is thought to have increased during the subsequent recession, as the labour government relied further on donations..

Unfortunately there is no real way to rectify this, as any real resolution will need to be dictated from the top, filtering down through the system. And as we know, this could take years to implement properly. However there are positive signs. There is pre-election talk of the Tories disbanding government-funded organisations such as Connexions, with a view to giving this responsibility to privately funded companies with a similar ethos. This is part of a more macro trend, as the government looks to increase the number of projects they relinquish. One way they are doing this is by outsourcing. Serco, one of their key benefactors of government outsourcing, recently posted a 34% rise in annual profit, and they expect this to grow further. By giving as much responsibility, jurisdiction and control where possible to companies who understand from the ground up their industry in the private sector will only help to weed out the inefficiencies of the public sector to bring it into line.

My thoughts on Dick (sorry I meant Nick) Griffin

nick griffin

There’s been a lot of talk recently about Nick Griffin, the leader of the BNP, appearing on Question Time recently. His appearance has only heightened the talk surrounding the ideals of the BNP, and personally can only be a good thing for them, as it is inevitbly getting people talking about them. In fact, I understand that since yesterday, they’ve received a record amount of donations. Even the BBC has profitted, obtaining record ratings.

I found it surprising why there was such a ferocious protest outside the BBC HQ to give him a platform to share his views. We live in a democracy and everyone has the freedom to express their opinions. In this case, Nick Griffin and the BNP are (unfortunately) representative of a small minority, and at the least deserve a platform to answer some of the feedback they’ve been receiving relating to thier outlandish claims.

However my main gripe is that instead of offering a platform for insightful debate around issues incorporating the Royal Mail strikes, MP’s expenses and other current affairs, it degenerated into centering around Nick Griffin defending himself to the onslaught he experienced from the other panel members and the audience. Understanbly he has to answer to some of his outrageous claims in the public domain. However to have the whole debate centered around them was a mistake, and potentially an opportunity wasted. This had the effect of seemingly victimising him and in the long run will probably play into the hands of the BNP, who already cast the BBC as a ‘hard-left organisation’.

On the whole, I think Nick Griffin came out of it rather poorly. This was exemplified incredibly by him trying to distance himself from ever denying the holocaust, by stating that he did not know why he he had changed his mind. Most people I’ve spoken to about this seem to think that the political establishment will not be shaking in their boots about the prospect of Nick Griffin taking the BNP mainstream, and I agree. However the real threat comes when someone who is intelligent enough to connect with the masses whilst upholding the values that the BNP stand for should come to power. That’s when I will be worried.

Sorry I’ve been so distant…

Well it’ s been a long time since I’ve writen in this blog…and A LOT has changed! Most notably in my career prospects. Unfortunately personal problems meant that I was not able to continue on the path I was on before to becoming an entrepreneur. This setback has undoubtedly been a hard pill to swallow. However, as Richard Farleigh states, the key to becoming succcessful is to learn and ultimately bounce back from your mistakes. Financially, I have not lost much. However in terms of momentum, I have lost a lot. I have rejoined the rat-race in the big smoke. However, I am working within the same industry, for a company who I considered to become a key supplier of ours. As an ISP, the company is extremely innovative in a very convulted market. This gives them a degree of flexibility enabling them to position themselves as a niche supplier. So in terms of career prospects, it is a good opportunity.

I am still learning as much as I can with regards to self development and coaching. I have yet to undertake an NLP diploma, but this is something that is definitely on the agenda for next yr. I have been to many seminars since I went to see Chris Howard, learning a wealth of information from each. I have also purchased a number of books and audio books from ‘gurus’ such as Donald Trump to Jay Abrahams. However, it doesn’t matter how many books you buy, it is all about how you implement what you read. And for me, these next 12 months will be critical for me to take action to achieve my massive goals.

One thing that I learnt relatively early is that to become wealthy, you cannot just rely on one source of income. Therefore, I have been looking at many passive income streams that I can learn and implement. One method that interests me greatly is online marketing. I have been keenly studying different methods for the last 18 months, ranging from article marketing to SEO and PPC. I have implemented campaigns with varying degrees of success. However these campaigns will require dilligence and persistence…all attributes that I feel I possess.

Anyway, you can be certain that I will be keeping you well informed throughout the rest of my journey. There will be many highs, and even more lows, but I hope I will learn from this experience, and if you learn something from my mistakes, then all the better.

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