Labour

A couple of things happened yesterday which re-affirmed my belief that if we elected the Labour Party (in the UK) we might well be getting more than we bargained for.

To explain the first, I need to explain the current news. Over in the USA, a guy has been proposed by Trump as a Supreme Court judge. Once selected and approved, they hold this position for life, so pretty important. The guy is going through the senate hearings at the moment, and a woman has come up and testified against him, saying that he sexually assaulted her. I mean, powerful stuff, but so far it is just an allegation – nothing has yet been proven and this guy has never been charged with any of this. It is, after all, a criminal offence.

Anyway, on the strength of this allegation, one of my friends (who is an affirmed Labour Party supporter) shared some posts on Facebook, to the effect that this guy is an abuser, and shouldn’t get the job. This would be totally fair enough, if the guy had been convicted of something. But, at this stage, nothing is proven. Indeed, by posting this stuff on Facebook, folks might well be harming the case against this guy, just because his lawyers might say that it shows the guy won’t get a fair trial.

But the point I picked up on was the willingness to let due process go out of the window, to forget that somebody is innocent until proven guilty, in favour of lynch mob justice, and that scares me. I’m left feeling that in their ideal world, they wouldn’t bother with things like courts, and that worries me.

The second event happened last night. A guy I don’t know, but who said he worked for the Labour Party. He posted a clip of some young kid going into the Tory Conference, and being pelted with eggs. And it was posted as if this is an acceptable way for people to behave. In fairness, this kid seemed totally obnoxious, but despite that, it showed that for people who didn’t agree with him, it was ok to assault him.

So, I see that event and worry that free speech itself is at risk. I see this, and envisage the Brownshirts.

I can feel for Jeremy Corbyn. It doesn’t worry me one bit about his links with the IRA or Hamas – these are groups with a clear political agenda, if Corbyn happens to share the same politics, I’m not bothered. Whether I agree with him or not is a different matter, but I don’t really attach any significance to him having those views. But these Facebook posters follow him and are extremely vocal in their support. I mean, I’m sure he’d like their vote just as much as he’d like anybody’s, but would he want to dispense with the courts, and ban free speech? I very much doubt it – when I see him in interviews, his views are mostly well thought out, surprisingly well for a politician. But the trouble is, he can’t do it all on his own. Sooner or later, he has to delegate to people like exactly like these Facebook posters, and he’s then at the mercy of their prejudices, which aren’t immediately apparent from the Labour Party manifesto.

 So Corbyn, unfortunately, is not the issue, it is his supporters, and, unfortunately, the guy can’t do anything about them.

End of an era

Well, not quite, but I’ve decided to place some other commitments over my Wednesday afternoon peer support group, Salisbury Stroke Support Group. In truth, the attendances have not been brilliant for a while, and yesterday I turned up and was on my own (again). I actually took my wife with me yesterday, so strictly speaking, I wasn’t on my own, I just mean that no-one else turned up. And, at least I got a lift home afterwards, so I didn’t have to hang around for the bus. But the two of us spent half an hour just chatting to each other, something we could easily have done at home any day of the week.

It’s good, I suppose, that people feel they have recovered to the point where they don’t think it is useful to come along to the group any more, but at the same time a little sad. Moreso really because I think of it all as a bunch of mates getting together rather than just peer support. And, of course, there is the perennial question, “what if someone new needs support.?” There are precious few avenues as it is, and we’ve just closed off one of them.

Certainly, whilst I’m not working, I had a very straightforward view that I had nothing better to do than to go into Salisbury every couple of weeks, so I was happy to go along. By that I mean that there was always other stuff to do, but generally these days I don’t have to be in a certain place at a certain time, so I was happy to go to the group. But, really, if I’m going to go along – leaving the house at midday and not getting back until 5pm – and sit there on my own, there are far better things that I can be getting on with. I may even end up going into Salisbury anyway, but at least I won’t be constrained by meeting times.

Ties

On the subject of getting myself back into work, I’m really happy because last week I managed to pick up a suit in the sales, which just about fits. And today, I got a pack of white shirts – I’d already got a couple of silk, clip-on ties, and have just checked myself in the mirror and…I look impressive!

I haven’t had to wear “smart” clothes since 2013, and really, it’s good that I can wear all that garb again. And of course I’m a lot bigger – at the height of my cycling I remember buying 28″ waist trousers, and now I am a healthy 34″ at least – what few pairs of jeans I have are 34″ but when I tried the suit on, I should probably have gone for 36″. And my neck has got a lot thicker – I needed 17″ shirts! The rest of my torso hasn’t increased as much, in fact the shirts look a bit tent-like apart from around the neck! But I can’t really complain, I’m coming back after a stroke, after all. And it is true, I’m more sedentary now, but I’m hopeful that a job will get me moving about a bit more in any case.

One other bit of semi-good news today. It’s nothing definite yet, but when I was consulting, the first trick was to have a CV which was attractive enough to make agents bite. That was always the key. If I could achieve that, and get the CV in front of the client, then it would normally impress them too, and I would get to meet them at interview. I mean, that was always another kettle of fish, but unless the CV turns heads, you’ve fallen at the first hurdle.

As I said last time, I consider that when I worked up in London, it was Premier Leage stuff (even though it often didn’t feel like it!) and I developed a CV to match. I could pretty much guarantee that I’d get an interview if I went for a job. Anyway, I sent it off in respect of one job last week, and it obviously still ticks the boxes because the agent phoned today to say she wanted to put me forward.

I mean, there is a potential hitch now in that I have all this experience at quite a senior level, and the work around here is somewhat lower-key: my experience might put some people off – although I have to admit this is a good start.

On the same note, I am going to a job fair tomorrow, and am feeling quite optimistic about things, although I’m not sure what to expect, or whether it’ll be a total waste of time.