May the Farts be with you…

I missed last night’s Smoky-Drinky and opted instead for a sleep catch-up. I am saving myself for next week’s Burns Night – Bonfire of the Neurons. I started this post last night but ran out of wakeyness before I finished it. It’s a bit of a ramble.

Since our Great Leader, the Cameroid, has decided to go along with the latest nonsense and have a day of no sugar intake at all (it won’t adversely affect his brain because he’s never used it anyway), I think we should be kind to the almost-man.

Let’s send him some sugar-free sustenance to keep him ‘going’ throughout his biologically insane experiment. The reviews make it clear that this particular snack is an instant weight loss miracle and the more weight he loses, the less he exists. That can only be a good trend. Experts have Said and Studies have Shown that if he loses weight at the rate described in those reviews, by the time the election comes around he won’t exist at all.

Little Ozzy, the Chancer, could do with being somewhat less rounded as a person too. He would benefit from a few bags.

Ozzy has decided to increase minimum wage to £7 an hour. I am currently on a little less than that at my part-time janitor job and I am most displeased that he intends to increase it.

But… but… how can that be? I’ll get paid more, how can I object?

No. I won’t get paid more. I’ll get paid less. It works like this.

Local Shop pays the Secret Ninja Cleaning Firm to employ me and others to keep Local Shop from becoming a shithole. Local Shop also has staff who are on minimum wage and some who, like me, are above the minimum but below £7 per hour.

The Secret Ninja Cleaners will say to Local Shop ‘Look, we have to increase our wage bill. So we have to charge you more.’

Local Shop will respond ‘We have to increase our wage bill too. So we have to pay you less.’

The only outcome will be a reduction in the total amount paid to Secret Ninja Cleaners and since they have now to pay us all more per hour, they will have no option but to reduce the hours we work.

Well okay, I’d work less hours for the same total pay, right?

Wrong. The same issue applies to Local Shop who cannot afford to pay the extra to the Secret Ninja Cleaners, in fact they cannot afford to pay for all the hours they are paying for now because many of their own staff wages have suddenly gone up by law. At the same time, the Secret Ninja Cleaners have to pay more per hour to their staff and they have less income to take it from.

The hours available will decline below the current pay/hours ratio. I’ll get a lot less hours and my total income will decline.

Okay. I am an atypical case. I could go to the Food Standards Agency and be a suited shop inspector with a company car and a big salary. I just don’t want to. Most, if not all of the other cleaners have no such option. I can bail from the job and, with my new layer of retail experience, find another in a flash. They can’t.

I have met, in this job, people who don’t know what IQ means. I have met people who can’t spell it.  I have met people who have come to me with ‘There’s been a milk spillage’ and I’ve replied ‘Well, don’t cry over it, there’s no point’ and they didn’t get it. There was a time before Christmas when one of the Local Shop staff was removing a pharmaceutical display (we only have a little one, it went away to make room for Christmas crap) and she was stacking sanitary towels into boxes. As I passed, I asked ‘Oh, do you only put those out once a month?’ She didn’t get it either.

There is nothing wrong with these people. In fact, they are the majority by far. They are normality. I’m the odd one. Even so, they are the ones who will think that an increase in their hourly rate is a good thing and will struggle to understand why they end up with less at the end of the month.

For me, it can work out. Remember, I’m the odd one. I’m the one called ‘Doctor’ and few of them know it. Nobody, not even the manager, understands its meaning. These are people who gain qualifications by going on a course and filling in a test at the end. Not by being told ‘This is the subject. There’s the lab and the library. You have three years. Go.’

I’m the one who writes stories and few of them know that either. I’m the one who, when they complain about the stress of their jobs, thinks ‘Get tae fuck’. When you’ve spotted a student about to pour a sodium azide solution into a stainless steel sink, when you’ve watched a flask full of nasty bacteria fall in slow motion to the floor,  when you’ve discovered that those you have been roped in to teach microbiological food safety on an organic farming M.Sc. course have been accepted with degrees in accountancy or geography, then we can talk stress. Running the entire shop, even at Christmas, is a doddle. But then, it is not my place to say. It is my place to chuckle at the headless chickens and I admit to taking more enjoyment from that than is strictly decent.

I still have an attic full of stuff I could sell on eBay if my income dropped below the monthly bills. If I worked less hours I’d be less tired and would write more. I have alternatives. The others do not have these alternatives so when the new regime hits, I can adapt. They cannot.

For these normal people, boosting minimum wage sounds like a great thng. They might well vote for Ozzy’s Jam Tomorrow Party on the basis they will be less skint and then find later that they are more skint. It’s not likely they will vote that way. Most will vote for Moribund and his ‘let someone else do the work’ party, or for Oily Al and his Scottish Nannying Puritans. The result will be the same.

Ozzy’s scheme thinks of businesses, not low-level workers, although on the surface it looks like it’s the other way around. It looks as if businesses are to be, in some way, forced to pay all their staff more.

In fact, businesses will reduce hours and/or shed staff to keep their wage bill the same. Ozzy’s cut to employer’s NI is irrelevant because many small businesses are on very tight margins – the amount they save on NI might not be enough to employ a weekly window cleaner, and most would prefer to let that small saving in NI contributions bleed back into their general/emergency fund.

Who benefits? Big businesses, with loads of employees, who are therefore paying a lot of employer’s NI. A few percentage points off that bill means a lot of money. The Local Shop with its few employees will certainly appreciate a reduction in one of the many taxes imposed on businesses, but in real terms, it’s not going to mean much money at all. Certainly not enough to alleviate the destruction caused by a suddenly-higher wage bill.

There are empty shops in this town centre, more and more each year. It’s only two streets. I’ve seen some change hands so many times you just can’t predict what will be on sale next week. One has been a craft shop, a fishmonger’s, a guitar shop, a Cartridge World and more in the last ten years. It’s currently in one of its ‘lying empty’ phases. To be honest, the Cartridge World franchise was a bad idea anyway. A shop selling only ink cartridges can work in a city centre but in this one-horse town? There just isn’t enough demand to keep it going.

If I were to take on one of those shops and set up a little business, the first hit will be business rates. Which are likely to be a big hammer blow to any start-up loan. Survive that, make a good profit, and at the end of your first year, you face a double tax bill. This year’s tax and also the same amount for next year ‘on account’. Oh, and then you get next year’s business rates bill. If you have staff then you have a whole crap-load of extra taxes to mess around with along with your wage bill. Little wonder then, that most new businesses fail within their first year. The taxes are designed to nip them in the bud.

It’s good news for the big, established companies who can afford all this, who can sit back and watch potential new competitors wither on the vine and who will reap the greatest benefit from small percentage cuts in these taxes.

If the Tories really wanted to help small businesses get started, the first thing they would do would be to phase out the ‘tax on account’ nonsense that the Brown Gorgon thought up. That would help those start-ups through their first year. Then they would put a stop to the massive business rates used by councils to stamp on innovation in the high street. Neither of those, as far as I am aware, have even been mentioned, much less considered.

Reduce the State burden on small businesses and you’ll find they will naturally pay their staff more because they will be able to afford it. They will be able to compete for the best available staff rather than having to start with the wage they can afford, and then find someone willing to take the job at that price.

Instead we get diktats on the amount a small business has to pay its staff, and if they can’t afford it then they just have to employ fewer staff. Fewer staff means there’s no leeway to take account of holidays or illness. People do really get sick sometimes, it’s not always just a hangover. Then there are holidays – the EU dictates how many days of paid holiday everyone must get but minimum wage means you have no spare staff to cover those holidays. That’s the situation in Local Shop. Nobody can take so much as a day off in December. Not even the manager. Holidays have to coincide with quiet times – and when one is on holiday, someone else is working double shifts.

Reducing staff to cope with a higher minimum wage is going to make an already bad situation a lot worse. It will make some, who are already on the line financially, give up and go for benefits instead. The only ones smiling are the big bosses of big businesses – but they are the ones who give money to these political parties. They are the only ones the parties are hearing.

Many people say, in comments on news articles, that they will vote UKIP – but will they? I expect there will be a big surge in the Euro elections but when it comes to the real thing, the UK election, will they stick with UKIP or will they chicken out at the last hurdle?

UKIP are seen as the party that will stop the EU monster and stop the crazy rules that let anyone come here for free money. They need to talk about other subjects too. Especially those subjects the other parties pretend aren’t real issues, like the ‘tax on account’ hammer blow to every new business. Would UKIP stop it? How would they phase it out? They won’t be able to just stop it because this government has spent next year’s revenue already. The Brown Gorgon’s curse on innovation won’t be easy to lift.

On second thoughts, we’d best not send those sugar-free gummi bears to Ozzy. It would only increase the rate of emergence of crap and he’s nearly at warp speed on that one already.

The Farts are strong with this one.



38 thoughts on “May the Farts be with you…

    • Yes, I forgot that part. The reason Farmfoods can sell a pot of stovies, or curry and chips, for 89p is that those who produce it aren’t paid much per unit. When the producer’s wage bill goes up, so will his prices.

      The cost of living increase might not be all that gradual.

      BTW, they do have pretty good stovies in those freezers.


    • I wasn’t going to say anything about that article because I was laughing too hard (Dick Swaab – aaahahahaha), but multiple recommendations made it impossible to resist.

      In the end I tempered it with a documentary on the Spatula vs. Spoons war just to cut back on the insanity.

      A documentary that declares that the afterlife is France. Well, that’s not as bad as it being Westminster – but then only the undead go there.


  1. Oh, and the righteous have started on our pets now ..

    It’s a dog’s dinner: Pet foods containing huge amounts of salt, sugar, oils and fats are ‘leading to canine obesity’ expert warns

    Read more:

    I don’t think lying down in a dark room is going to have any effect anymore.


  2. They increase the minimum wage to make themselves look good, even though it was them who fooked up the economy anyway, they have to do something. So they increase it to make them look good. Beggars belief that they are all supposedly more intelligent than us (well, at least better educated).


    • I really don’t think ‘they’ care a jot about ‘looking good’. More often than not it appears they are doing as they are told by the big corporations/bankers.


    • There is no qualification or intelligence test for becoming an MP. In fact it seems the opposite is true. All you need is a band of drones making wild claims you don’t have to honour, and get enough people who can spell ‘X’ to vote for you.

      There is a place in the US (I forget where) where the mayor is a goat or some such.

      We’d be better off if…


  3. Perhaps we should send that idiot Cameroid several packets of sugar-free mints, without drawing his attention to “excessive consumption may cause laxative effects”. If he was to shart himself at the dispatch box it might even persuade me to go and buy a TV and licence.


  4. XX Reduce the State burden on small businesses and you’ll find they will naturally pay their staff more because they will be able to afford it.XX

    No they won’t.

    They will do like any person with half an ounce of common sense would do, that finds he can run his firm just as well on a shoe string, he will shove it in his pocket and bugger off to Monacco, or somewhere to open a bank account.

    I know I would.

    AS to your comment on empty shops. Same problems here. Because landlords, for some reason, would rather see shops empty and crumbling than give in and lower the rent to an affordable level.


    • Some Scrooges certainly would keep their staff on crap wages and line their own pockets. However, not all would do that. The ones that pay a little more will take the best of Scrooge’s staff and leave him with a troop of monkeys. Those willing to compete for the best staff, and therefore get the best product/most efficient service, will leave Scrooge’s business in the dust. He might struggle on with his dwindling IQ pool but he won’t be making anywhere near the profits of his competitor who’s paying more.

      That can’t happen while profit margins are tight. As long as most of the business is only there to pay tax, there’s not much room for wage increases. Get the government off the businesses’ backs and watch them fight for the best staff.


  5. One other problem we have is excessive numbers of politicians. We have the EU bunch spewing out regulation, then we have about ten times more MPs for our little country than the USA has senators for myriads more people, then there’re district councils, local councils and parish councils too. Lots and lots and lots of rule-makers, all pulling from the public purse, and most of ’em brainless drones. The thing is, most of the time for them being brainless doesn’t actually matter, because they don’t matter either.

    Seceding from the EU, halving the number of MPs, sorting out devolution so that an MP in scotland is an MSP in his local House, and an MP when all devolved houses are sitting together, and devolving a lot of power to local councils (abolish the Parish councils, they do bugger all) needs doing. In particular, devolve the paying of benefits and the amount, type and so on of benefits to local councils. This then gives local councils the power to make or break an area, and importantly gives the local electorate the opportunity to link “voting for moron” to “living standards going to shit”.

    This latter point really does need making; the electorate needs to learn that voting really does matter; the electorate also needs the power to tell the central government to go do one.


      • Welcome to the P.R nightmare!

        Wee shites who got less than 10% of the vote from those bopthering to turn out, and they end up being able to command what the ones that actualy GOT a few votes are allowed to do, and get “Ministers” to prove it!

        THAT is why Germany has so many fucking wind turbines, and is trying to get rid of Nuclear power, because the twatisch mbicilic crawling incredible green filth told the leading partys that they would withdraw their support and force a general election if the main party did not do as they were told.

        Wankers, the fucking LOT!



          • XX Thus proving democracy is rule by mob.XX

            At one time, maybe….BUT;

            I would have said the other way around, from my examples.

            It is the wee shites that are controling the mob by wedging themselves in where not wanted, but have the greatest amount of power. I.E “You cause trouble, we will take our fifteen parliamentary seats away, and you will end up in general election E.R pal!”

            That is of course in a P.R system. But even Britain has shown in the last U.K elections (General), that it has now begun to work in their system as well.

            Confuse the public enough, so they do not know WHO to vote for.

            Then all you have to do is gain enough seats to swing the vote in the house. Hey Presto!! They ALL want to talk to you, and, like good Liverpool dock road whores, turn over and spread their legs WIDE open.

            Easier than burning down the Reichtag, but the same effect.


    • In Scotland every region has an MP, an MSP and an MEP. None of them any bloody use as far as I can see.

      ‘Politician’ is the only job title you can get without passing any tests or having any training. Even cleaners are trained in basic chemical handling since some of the stuff is toxic, and some of it can dry the skin of your hands until it cracks. It’s nothing compared to what a basic lab has in store but then, cleaners don’t typically have that experience to draw on.

      All you need to become Politician is to convince a load of gullible idiots to put an X in the right box. Even Ed Balls could do it. And the drones will pass their X on genetically to their drone children because logical thought and critical analysis are words with too many syllables for most of them.

      If Gove gets his way and kids are taught how to think for themselves again, UKIP will get a landslide when those kids vote. If he realises this, he’ll stop his school reforms at once.


      • XX If Gove gets his way and kids are taught how to think for themselves again, UKIP will get a landslide when those kids vote.XX

        Something I have been considering for years.

        O.K. So, say, the BNP won the elections (Like fuck, but we are talking hypothosis here)

        Now think about that documentary on politics “Yes Minister.”

        Does any one think they would stand a cats chance in Hel of getting the “civil service” to work with them?

        FIRST you have to get your supporters into positions of power. Example, the boss of the immigration “service” must be a supporter, or the one who signs off on money for “integration funds.”

        ESPECIALLY the Home Office and the Judiciary.

        You do not get to run the country by relying on the imbicilic voter. You do it by gaining control of the executive.

        Anything else makes all the “alternative partys” into “also rans.”

        You need to control WHO is saying “Yes Minister.” NOT the Minister.


  6. Life was better in the pre1980’s before the “let’s make money from nothing” stage, when the value of currency was set quarterly, not second by second. When Company owners valued their employees & gave bonuses when profit was good, not treat them like a drain on finances stealing the profits today’s owners feel they deserve. When Banks saw the money as belonging to the customer, not as it is today where the banks see the you earn should belong to them. When politicians came from a society that believed they were giving back to the Country and the people they loved.


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