Living life in the bus lane.

A couple of years back, I realised a few things.

I was running my own business and starting to struggle with the recession, working 24/7, making a reasonable income though staying well out of any high-tax brackets. I realised ‘I am too old for this shit’.

I realised that I was paying tax to people who hate me, and who used the money they took from the work I did to campaign against me.

I realised that my retirement plan to try to write a novel and get it properly published… I had already done that. Now I’ve done it twice. Still six and a bit years from retirement. What the Hell do I do now?

I realised that I had bought everything I ever wanted to buy and done everything I ever wanted to do. Then again, I always had small ambitions. I wanted my own oscilloscope (I have two), my own micrometer (I now have two, with the recent acquisition of an Imperial one to add to my metric one), I wanted to own a laser (lost count of those and can’t even remember where they all are). Yachts, planes, cars… no interest. Although I still would like to buy a rare Lamborghini or Bugatti, brush-paint it with Hammerite while utterly plastered and then leave it to someone in my will. Maybe I’d Araldite some furry dice to the rear view mirror too.

My one remaining real ambition is to be cremated while stuffed with whisky-soaked tobacco leaves, then have a pinch of my ashes blown in the faces of each of those I despise. So I can get right up their noses, one last time.

Most of all I realised that in the ‘game of life’, I had completed the last level. I had faced the final Big Boss and it was me. I was the head of the business.

Now I am a janitor in Local Shop on just above minimum wage. It pays the bills and not much more. I pay as little tax as possible to those who campaign tirelessly against me. Last year, they paid me. This year, they might again. The janitor job is on half the tax allowance because I am still also self-employed. I have to declare the risible income from books and a small retainer paid by one company. This will not exceed half the allowance so it’s possible I’ll be a negative taxpayer again this year. If not, I’ll be a very low taxpayer.

Some like to live in the fast lane. Me? I’m tootling along in the bus lane and enjoying the scenery. I’ve been in the fast lane and you know what? Screw that. Far too much bother. All that work to accumulate a pile of money that isn’t real anyway? Not for me.

Recently, the Secret Ninja Cleaning Company that services Local Shop cut the hours available to us for work. No big deal for me. It means more writing time and more model-making time – which is good because the job no longer completely covers the bills. I could make a living selling books and models but these are careers with a long lead-in time. You have to get ‘known’ first. That can take many years, especially in this age of easy and free self-publishing. While building that up, you need a job that pays the bills – and a job that pays the bills takes time out of your other activities. So it’s a slow transition. Not a bad thing, gives you time to build it up.

It could build up quicker if the Citizen’s Income was real. This is something Mark Wadsworth has mentioned often and the idea is that everyone gets a set amount each month which is just enough to live on. Everyone, whether a company director or a layabout who quaffs Red Stripe on a park bench while giving a throaty ‘Graaaah!’ to passers-by. Everyone gets this and  if you want more, you work for it.

If you want to spend it all on booze and drugs and starve to death well that’s your choice. You have been given the means to survive, what you do with it is up to you.

It would wipe out all those layers of benefits and layers of administrators at a stroke. We would all get the basic amount needed to live on. Everyone. Including the now-unemployed army of middle managers in local government. Tax could be reduced, council tax could be nominal.

As it is, we have all kinds of morons in suits vying for power and expecting us to pay them to be pompous gits. One of them thinks that increasing minimum wage is a good idea.

It is not. I have experienced that level for over a year now and the response to increasing costs is… to cut hours. Minimum wage is an hourly rate. If they have to pay me more per hour they will call me in for fewer hours. Oh sure, I’ll be in there for fewer hours, but my take-home pay will be just the same.

I am not a typical case here. Making the same on fewer hours would be a good thing in my book. This is not true of other Secret Ninja Cleaners. The reduced hours do not mean reduced work and if it gets too bad I can say ‘Sod this’ and find another job. This is not an option for many of them. They will be forced into slaving themselves to death or just going back to benefits. The sensible ones will take the latter option.

Minimum wage is a stupid idea. Citizen’s Income is a good idea.

There was also the idea one country had of ‘retiring’. You could take yourself out of tge employment loop at any time by retiring and accepting a State pension. Much the same as a citizen’s income – those who had no intention of working could declare themselves retired and take monthly state pension payments.

Then sit on park benches quaffing Red Stripe while giving a throaty ‘Graaaah!’ to passers-by.

Life choices eh?  We all have to make them, as long as there’s no twat in an office deciding to make them for us.


28 thoughts on “Living life in the bus lane.

  1. Isn’t the ‘Citizen’s income’ much the same as ‘negative income tax’? Fine, but how do you deal with the likes of what’s-his-name, who shot off to the Lebanon and left nine kids and a wife behind? Choudrey, was it?
    I mean, what do you DO? It is no use the government introducing general laws about benefit claims since these specific cases will still be there, and there is nothing that the gov can do about it.
    But there is. The answer revolves around the idea that “One size fits all” is a fallacy. That idea is totalitarian. In such cases, the housing etc of that family must be ‘ad hoc’. They have no rights, and must be treated as ‘foreign nationas’ who just happen to be here. They have no history of citizenship. Thus, they need only be housed in the cheapest available wherever that may be. For example, that may be on the Outer Hebrides, or in your glorious birthplace – Wales, or even in the Falklands.


    • As Mark W says, there’ll be only one payment, no ‘extras’, and everyone who gets it will have to be a citizen. Either born in the country or granted citizenship.

      Then you don’t need to worry about border controls at all. Anyone coming in will not be eligible for the handout and will only come here to work. No freebies. Those who come here to work can apply for citizenship, of course, but the likes of Antjam and his cronies will not be able to turn up and demand free money.

      Aplication for citizenship chould take about five years – by which time any incomers have proven that they really are here to work. It would be a really dedicated workshy who would hold a job for five years just so they can get a free pittance.


  2. Zooming down the bus lane, eh? I’m fortunate enough to have reached the next stage, ambling along the pavement. You meet all sorts of interesting people that way. (and the twats)


  3. I am waiting for the bus lane to be available. Unfortunately I am still at the 24/7 work stage but luckily compensated well. When it gets really stressful, which makes me tired and in need of short naps, I do sometimes question my own motives at 60…
    On a brighter note my first package of snuff preparation leaves arrived this morning, ordered ‘coz I ran out of DF HRT and don’t have time to go and get more (the 24/7 thing again!). So I tried scissors – too slow, blender – too “square” and Pasta maker – too wide! So have ordered the shredder as suggested by L.I. and will have to wait. Meanwhile, desperate to try some I fed the results of some of the scissors-blender-pasta-machines effort into my old pipe…. Whoooooo!! 🙂 quite nice, and effective! Now have spent half the day in bit of more than one type of haze :)).


      • Hi FT. You may be misreading, maybe I should have used inverted commas. Pestle and mortar indeed, so 19th century, not that modern way surely? I shall be soooo disappointed when my snuff making efforts leave me with straggly strips of leaves of approx. 0.8mm. What shall I do with it? I wonder? I must be trying to make snuff tho’ ‘coz that the only legal use….


        • I have several mortar and pestles (all old scientists do) – plain ceramic in the lab, black granite in the kitchen. If your leaves are too dry when shredding you’ll get snuff-dust anyway. It goes in the tubes when sprinkled among the shred.

          Another legal use is making Electrofag juice. I can get back to working on that now the madness of the holidays is over.

          Yet another use is to extract a spray insecticide.

          And, of course, wine making…


    • I recommend the dental kit from Poundland, with the spiky thing nobody with any sense would attempt to use on their own teeth. Great for cleaning gunk out of the shredder when you’ve run through a leaf that wasn’t really dry enough.

      Also the wallpaper scissors, also from Poundland, that makes short work of cutting leaves into shredder-width strips.


  4. How would you go about distributing a citizen income? Or have you so much money in the UK that you can support the entire global population?

    ‘Cause you ain’t gonna be able to keep them down on the farm, once they’ve heard about freebies in dear old England.


    • That’s the thing – the ‘citizen’s income’ only applies to citizens of the country. Born or naturalised. Anyone wandering in from WeWantFreebieLand gets nothing until naturalised (five years sounds fair). Nothing at all. Not a bean. No free house or car or medical treatment, and no money. Work, or go elsewhere.

      The situation at present is exactly what you describe in your second paragraph. The loony Left think they can give money to any hook-handed maniac who wants to freeload while doing Freddy Kruger impressions and scaring the children. Citizen’s Income only applies to citizens. Not to freeloading hate-filled nutjobs.


      • A better idea on citizenship is to completely abolish the “citizen by birth” rule; make everyone apply for citizenship and be judged by the same criteria, namely having paid into the State by a set amount or by a few other very prescribed routes. Merely wombling up to these fair shores with a sob-story of foreign persecution and a plea for alms must absolutely NOT be a criterion for full citizenship.

        Another little wrinkle is to permit only full citizens the vote and jury service, and only full citizens may be eligable for the Citizens’ Basic Income; full citizenship would also entitle said persons a higher level of NHS care and numerous other benefits. The idea is to select as full citizens only the non-criminal, and non-lazy.


  5. Citizen’s income sounds like a good idea, except that it has one fatal flaw – it would have to be arranged by politicians and administered by public servants, both of which groups have shown themselves to be utterly incapable of organising a bunk-up in a brothel and incapable, too, of resisting the inclination to allow their seemingly-unlimited, idealistic vision of The Perfect World (however that Perfect World appears to them – left or right) to c*ck up any good idea by rendering it impractical, unworkable and totally unfit for whatever purpose it was originally intended.

    These days, I don’t want the Government to do anything, no matter how desperate the need might be for action of any kind, simply because I no longer have any trust in their ability to achieve anything worthwhile or anything good. Whatever they do never seems to solve problems – it only seems create new ones or exacerbate the existing ones. So I’d rather live in a country with soaring crime than demand that these incompetent fools try and sort it out; I’d rather live in a country where the NHS is constantly only one step away from bankruptcy than ask politicians to apply their usual sledgehammer tactics in trying to put it right; I’d rather live in a country over-run with immigrants from all over the world than allow some out-of-touch “committee on immigration and border control” to try and tighten up entry requirements; I’d rather live in a country where chavs and the workshy receive handouts aplenty just for pushing out endless offspring rather than see the Government “making cuts” which hurt the needy whilst making not the slightest impact on those who have no good excuse for not doing a paid job of work.

    Shame. It’d be a good idea otherwise. But you just know that it would turn to dust the moment the politicians got their hands on it and we’d end up with an even worse situation than we already have.


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