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The solution seems quite clear

It seems that once again, the Guardian is trying to convince us that poverty actually exists in England

‘Living in poverty’: workers at business ministry go on strike

Unfortunately these workers are unable to feed an clothe themselves and have no access to clean water or medical care...

Just kidding. This is 'poverty' in England we're talking about, not real poverty
Catering staff earning as little as £7.83 an hour danced and sang outside their work at the business department as they staged a 26-hour strike in protest at what they described as poverty pay.
The minimum wage is currently £7.38, so their 'as little as', is higher than employers are obliged to pay and certainly not poverty pay by a long haul

Many of the outsourced catering team at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) earn no more than the minimum wage, well below the £10.55 that the Living Wage Foundation calculates is necessary for an adequate life in the capital
Maybe if you're only capable of earning minimum wage and that is not enough for a life in the capital,you shouldn't be living in the capital? Yes I know, it's difficult to be able to move away from your place of birth sometimes, particularly if you don't have the means...

What?
Ana Joaquim, from Wood Green, who is originally from Portugal, earns £8.50 an hour as a barista at BEIS

“We are living in poverty in this company,” she said. “They pay the minimal national wage; we are not entitled to 28 days’ holiday.”
So you moved from a country with a much lower minimum wage and planted yourself right in the most expensive part of the UK. What exactly do you want? Yes, I know, money for nothing
Her colleague Novlette Hurd, from Wandsworth, who is originally from Jamaica, earns even less – £8.19 per hour...
Now I've no idea what the minimum wage is in Jamaica, or even if there is one, but surely if you purchase the plane ticket from Jamaica to the UK, it's probably a good idea to settle in a part of the country where you can live on the wage you are qualified to earn?
...despite 21 years’ service at the department. “We can’t live because, for starters, I’ve got dependent children and it’s just not going anywhere,” Hurd said.
So you've been earning the minimum wage for 21 years, without doing anything to better yourself or move to a more affordable part of the country and still chose to have children? Whose fucking fault is that?
Like, you think, why do I bother to work?
Like, some people actually have a moral code and would prefer to earn for themselves, even if it's not a lot, than scrounge from others who do go to work. If you can even ask that question, it says a lot about you as a person
The private contractors Aramark and Engie should be ashamed of themselves for not paying staff the London living wage.
The trouble is, the living / minimum wage is the problem, not the solution. If you artificially increase wages across the board, the cost of all the goods and services increases in line, making nobody better off in the long run

The only way to get more money is to improve your skills and experience and earn more, or cut your cloth and spend less. Part of that means not emigrating from a rather poor country and setting up camp in one of the most expensive places in the west, to live

The Right Reporter for the Right Article

It's very important in journalism, to select the right reporter for the right article

Take this article for instance:

You'll need this reporter:


Reminds me a little of this one from a while back


Of course, picking the right journalist for the right title isn't the whole story. You've got to come up with the ideal title in the first place:


It's a funny old world...



(*Update* The title of the Lancashire Telegraph story that prompted this blog post, has since been changed to, "Man made masturbation gesture...". Why? Because the hero of the hour himself, popped up in the comments and explained that he hadn't been tugging one off, he only pulled down his keks for a laugh. It really is a funny old world)

(*Update 2*. The headline has now been changed to, "Staff saw man masturbating..." and the comments have been closed)

Justice?



Or bad journalism? She hasn't just been sent down for life for a second time, as the title suggests, she had her conviction overturned on appeal, but was found guilty at her retrial

On reading that title I thought, 'she's not a cat', but then
Mr Justice King, sitting at Liverpool Crown Court, recommended that Rachel Tunstill, 26, should serve a minimum 17 years before being considered for parole
She's 26. She could easily be out in time to live another life. Or serve another 'life' sentence

Maybe she is a cat?

How not to Negotiate

Top government ministers pressure Theresa May to rule out 'no-deal' Brexit

Following reports a group of nearly 20 ministers have been meeting to discuss plans to stop a no-deal Brexit, the prime minister faced a series of interventions from members of her government.

Chancellor Philip Hammond repeated his warning that leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement would be a "betrayal" of the 2016 referendum vote.
What an amazing negotiating position. Not

No deal should have been the position from the minute the referendum result came in. Article 50 should have been triggered within one week of the vote and 'no deal' should have been the default position for leaving

Two years later, the EU would have been begging for a good deal and by now, we would have left already and our position would be a strong one

But no. We've dithered for almost three years and now we're willing to tell the EU that the one thing they don't want us to do, we won't do. If there is any more negotiating to do, the EU can do it on their own terms now, as they know there is no fight left in Britain, if there ever was

And no Phillip Hammond, no deal is not a betrayal of the 2016 referendum vote, it is the 2016 referendum vote. I don't know if your ballot paper was different to mine, but mine had two options - Stay in the EU or leave the EU. There was no third option for some crappy deal that kept us half in, half out, but mostly in

No deal is exactly what we voted for. Anything else we can get, is a bonus

No crack on and get us out

MAGA Madness

I'm a bit late to the party for the latest left wing outrage, the Student and the Native American, but unlike similar outpourings of manufactured hysteria, this one is not going away just yet

First it was a 'racist white boy' being racist and white, towards an oppressed minority, the American Indian Vietnam Veteran, because a short video clip said so

Then it became a Catholic student who turned the other cheek when a race baiting, drum beating chap got in is face beating his drum

Now it's back to a racist white boy being racist and white to a national treasure, although they managed to replace the 'Vietnam Veteran' with 'Vietnam-era veteran' and finally 'Veteran', because the idea that this chap was old enough to serve in that war, is more absurd than even the looniest of lefty can cling to

And as Longrider points out in this post, they certainly can cling to some risible bollocks

As far as risible bollocks goes, this story seems to really be carrying some weight. It's as though the left are having some sort of melt down, as once again, a story about a white racist person being racist, has turned out to be rubbished, once the surface was scratched, only this time, they've had enough of being proved to be beyond ludicrous and are hanging on to the narrative for dear life

Some muppet called Jason Wilson from the Guardian attempts to explain to us racist whiteys, why the original version of the story about the racist white boy being racist and white, is actually the true, despite the evidence to the contrary, which is in his opinion, manufactured by the 'Conservative Media'.
Conservatives have realized they can construct a parallel reality and have it accepted
There's a lot of this in the article; twisting reality on it's arse and then proclaiming reality to be a racist white construct, while the arse is the gospel and undeniable truth
It was the left who constructed a parallel reality, by using a short clip of video to denounce a white boy for getting in the face of a Native American, when in fact the reverse was true
In just four days, teenager Nick Sandmann and his fellow students at Covington Catholic high school have gone from social media pariahs to conservative heroes
Which cannot be allowed, as once again, it make the left, the actual racists in these outrage outbursts, look like a bunch of dummies
Footage show students wearing pro-Trump Maga hats taunting the Omaha tribe elder. The relentlessly repeated talking point – that there was a collective “rush to judgment” on the boys because they were Trump supporters – was used by conservative anchors Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham to attack mainstream media and left leaning social media users.
There is no mention about the tribal elder approaching the protest, walking into the midst of it and getting in the face of one of the students. A student who does and says nothing at all to this man.
On Wednesday morning, Sandmann got almost nine minutes of airtime on a national breakfast program to make his case, after his family hired a Republican-linked PR firm.
Almost nine minutes? How much airtime did the Indian chap get? And notice the reference to the 'Republican linked' PR firm? It does not mention what the link is, but I'm assuming it would be fine if it was a democrat linked firm?
In making this happen, conservative media have normalized the boys’ aggressive form of political expression
Lies mean nothing to these people, do they. Standing your ground while someone gets in your face, all the while doing and saying nothing, is now an aggressive form of expression. You'll see much more actual aggression whenever a lefty goes to bat for their cause
What it tells us is that in 2019, conservatives understand they can construct a parallel reality and have it accepted. They can act in bad faith and prevail, using tried and tested tactics that liberal media continue to fall for. Those are:
Trust me, this is good
1. Reframe the debate as soon as possible
A particular version of events based on early footage can always be called into question, and another version put forward as definitive, as more footage, and alternative edits of footage emerge
That's how it works, or at least that's how it's supposed to work. We wait until the evidence is clear before forming a conclusion. What's being said here, is that as long as the initial perception of the event appears to show a white person being racist, all further evidence must be ignored, unless it strengthens the initial perception
Instead of asking why a group of schoolboys were protesting wearing hats that many in the community view as a symbol of racism...
Why ask that at all? The MAGA hat is not racist, even though the Trump Derangement Squad are framing it as such. If someone in the community does see the hat as racist, then that's their issue and nobody elses. It isn't racist, so nobody should be stopped from wearing it, just because of the wilful misconceptions of some people who are quite frankly, mentally ill
...conservatives quickly turned it into a game of who approached whom, and began discussing the teenagers as if they were literal martyrs.
Literal martyrs they are not, but martyrs to the anti-left cause, they well could be, because the left singled them out and lifted them into the limelight, by choosing the wrong battle
And at the end of the day, it really only was about who approached whom
2. Pick your narratives
So far, conservative media has been unified and resolute in hammering the narrative that Nathan Philips, a Native American veteran, somehow provoked the boys by coming between them and a small group of Black Hebrew Israelites, to whose insults they had responded with chants.
Really? The only provocation was a man walking into a protest he disagreed with and getting in the personal space of one of the protesters. The reaction from the boys is mostly one of overall bemusement at what was happening
3. Focus on the extremes of the other side
Another tactic conservative media uses is to only consider the most appalling versions of opposing arguments, and to focus their audience’s anger on reliable scapegoats.
To avoid confronting reasonable arguments or new evidence, conservatives emphasize the worst of the other side – like tweets calling for violence or doxxing
That's actually a very good place to focus your attention, as the very violent reaction from the left was not the 'extremes of the other side', but more accurately, just another day at the mill for the liberal left
Every time something like this happens, the left expose themselves as the violent, race baiting, bigots they are. And it's not just a few bad apples, it's the majority
As of Wednesday, as a result of these well-worn tactics, liberal media has almost completely backed away from their initial, justified take on the story
'Justified'

The original take on the story, white man being racist to native American and should be hounded and vilified, was justified, even though subsequent evidence showed that to be complete and utter bollocks

The left is really having a problem with this one. Every time they stand up and cry 'racist', reality seems to slap them right back down, just like some international game of SJW Whack-A-Mole. Well this time they don't seem to be giving in

Which is fine. The more they get lost in the crazy woods, trying to justify their own intolerant and downright crazy beliefs, the more people will begin to see them for what they really are. The liberal left really need to pick their battles better

Quite frankly, I'm baffled that this story made it public at all. Literally nothing happened. A guy banged a drum and another guy watched. Nothing was racist, nothing was misogynistic, nobody got punched, nothing happened

But. White guy in a MAGA hat...

Smoking Bans Cure all Ills

The problem with Singapore's new ‘smoking ban’
It's illiberal? It's divisive? The people don't want it? It's not necessary? Do tell...
As of today, Singapore will introduce a “no smoking zone” [...] It sounds controversial – restricting people’s right to smoke in public spaces, as a way of tackling air pollution
Singapore want to tackle air pollution by telling people they can't smoke in the street
smokers will be concentrated in 40 designated smoking areas, spaced 100-200 metres apart.
Well not quite 'can't'. Can as long as your doing it in one of the Government designated smoking pens
Air pollution is a major challenge for cities around the world, as it’s a significant cause of death and ill-health. City dwellers have a hard time avoiding the impacts of poor air quality, and children, the elderly and people with pre-existing medical conditions are most vulnerable.
Which shits on the usual rallying cry of the anti-smoker - "I have the right to breathe clean air"
Clearly, any attempt to develop solutions should be welcomed. But Singapore’s no smoking zone is an odd intervention
Not so odd when you think about it. We've already crossed into the realm of all diseases are causes by smoking. It's now quite common knowledge that non-smokers die of nothing, so presumably the next logical step is that all air pollution is also caused by smoking
The no smoking zone simultaneously displaces smoking and concentrates it within small smoking areas. The level of pollution caused by each of these areas will be influenced by the environment around it, so ideally these environments will help to dilute and disperse smoke
You know what else dilutes and disperses smoke in the open air?

Air! Open air!
Secondhand cigarette smoke significantly affects air quality in areas frequented by pedestrians, but this is only one ingredient in a very potent cocktail of pollutants
Nope. Second hand smoke in the open air, is not part of a cocktail of pollutants, it's nothing. Nothing at all. A wisp of smoke in the outdoors can have no affect whatsoever on air quality or the people breathing it
For Singapore, the challenge is that herding smokers into the 40 designated areas might result in a concentration of microplumes
LOL! "Microplumes". How long before that nonsense becomes a regular part of the anti-smoker lexicon?