Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Budget Day

The UK waits with baited breath to find out just how screwed we are going to be by the Government.  The poorest will more than likely bear the brunt of any hikes in taxation and various other charges with the upper and middle classes being considerably less hit.  I, for one, don't think it's fair that the poorest are worst hit all the time, call me an old softie if you like, but I feel that the better off in society should shoulder more of the burden.  Of course, the Government is run by a bunch of public school dicks who are so out of touch with the 'real world' that they might as well be considered a different species (somewhere between single celled organisms and pond scum) and, as such, have a warped view of the world as it is.

It's interesting that one of the current Government's strategies is to encourgage wealthy people to come here by fast-tracking their immigration applications - the more money they agree to house here, the faster they get through the process - but these wealthy people don't have to pay the UK any money, just have it in a bank in this country.  David Mitchell, on last week's 10o'Clock Live (Channel 4), likened this to the UK whoring itself out to the highest bidder and he felt that the wealthy people who want to take advantage of the UK in this manner should have to pay £1 million a year direct to the Treasury like a kind of rent with a £2 million deposit to cover breakages.  I can't see why this would prove to be a problem.  Under the current strategy, the Treasury would only get a fraction of that from the tax on the money these people would be obliged to keep here.  As David Mitchell put it - if we're going to act like a whore, we should take the money up-front before we get fucked.

Mitchell's idea is the way this Government should be working - making the well-off pay the most and leaving the poorest alone.  What we need are proper Robin Hood taxes.  'Boy George' Osborne should give the poorest people in the country a break.

Monday, 21 March 2011

It's lonely at the top

It's funny to think that, until a while ago, I didn't think that the cliche "it's lonely at the top" was true but now I know that it is.

I was the Chair of the Thurrock Mental Health Service Users and Carers Forum until last Wednesday when I quit at the March meeting.  It seemed to come as quite a shock to people.  I don't know why.  I had had enough of the stress of carrying the group as I had no Vice Chair to carry the load with me despite numerous requests for one.  It may seem that there wasn't a lot of work to do or worry to be had but there was.  I had had enough of taking other's problems on when no one was helping me to sort my own problems.

What surprises me is, that people seem to think that I should continue to carry the burden of other people's problems, the Forum and my own problems as if my doing so somehow means that they don't have to take responsibility for helping to 'fight the good fight' so to speak.  That it's my duty and no-one else's.

I can appreciate "Call Me Dave" Cameron's position now, although he does have something I did not - a deputy in the form of Nick Clegg to curl up at the feet of his master so Cameron can unload the stresses of the day while scratching Cleggy behind the ear.

So yes, it is lonely at the top.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Two Lives

It's funny how life works, isn't it?  One day you're just sitting there not knowing what to do and then a project slides its way into your head and you can't think of anything else.  This happened to me a while back when, after writing a couple of songs with my Facebook friend Anne, I had the odd notion that we should write a musical together.  Amazingly, Anne thought that it was a good idea and, in the past month or so, I have sent her about five or six sets of lyrics for her to write the music for.  I have to say that the first piece that Anne has worked on is really good and much better than I could have hoped for.

The story behind the musical, titled "Two Lives", is based on how Anne and I met up on Facebook through a group I set up and how we started this very productive song writing partnership.  Of course, I've only loosely based it on our story as I wanted something that will really be a dramatic and rather tragic piece with the odd touches of light-relief thrown in so that people aren't running from the venue trying to slit their wrists in an attempt to forget what they've just seen.

I don't know how long it's going to take to write but, hopefully, one day, you'll be able to see the completed musical on a stage near you.  If that ever happens, please remember that this is our first attempt at anything like this so go easy on us.  Of course, if you end up liking it, for heaven's sake let us know.