The Matrix has you!

When they learn how to plug you into a digital world, you might not ever know how to unplug and come back to the real world or even the reason why you should. They will probably start plugging in the old, disabled and poor into a new matrix of control as an act of kindness, in order to save us from ourselves.

My mum has finally sold her home in Cornwall and due to move to Devon next Wednesday; we are all really looking forward to it. Though moving during an energy crisis is not the easiest time to move if you’re trying to save money on your energy bills. Mum has spent hours over the last week on the phone to utility companies, banks and council officers trying to update her home location status with them and there are very few people left in those organisations to take her calls due to the reduction in customer services employees and a push to do everything online.

One of the key roles that I have to do in my job at the council in Exeter is answer the phone and speak to customers and as such my job is also under threat due to long term restructuring aims seeing this role as a money saving cost effective form of progress to get rid of. This so called progress has forced me to bounce in and out of work for the last 26 years of my working life, sometimes choosing to apply for new jobs prior to an organisation or role being shut down or sometimes being made redundant due to restructuring issues and businesses closing down while I am still employed at them.

I can honestly say I am a very good hardworking and dedicated employee in an area of employment that people no longer wish to employ. I know for a fact that the work that I do is hard work and still needs to be done. I solve problems that are presented to my organisations, I am always busy there is always something important that needs to be done. By sacking people like me that need to answer phones and work with customers it does not make those customers problems go away it just means those customers are either ignored now or processed via a different channel.

This job is one of the many work roles in the UK that has been rapidly phased out by many companies there is a money saving exercise to increase profits by not enabling customers to speak to staff in business and government agencies.

First that sacked the face to face staff and I did not speak out, although I too was made redundant.

Then they came for the staff that talked to customers over the phone and again I did not speak out and again I was at risk and at times made redundant or moved on.

Finally the aim will likely be to digitise the workings of staff customer service roles so that there will be none left to hire, and likely none left to speak out too!

I strongly disagree with the digitising and outsourcing to computers of employed roles within any organisations and my main reason for this is that is businesses do not need to hire people and people do not have money from working to afford to pay to put a roof over their head and feed and clothe themselves then the state will not hand them those resources on a plate.

Either so called wealthy societies such as ours learn to adapt to look after and resource their most vulnerable members of society be they pensioners, disabled or the out of work or there will be a considerable amount of damage and ongoing suffering in society to these vulnerable individuals people claim to care but often money and actions or even lack of money and lack of action speaks louder than words.

No mainstream political party in the UK grasps this nettle at present as both Labour and the Conservative parties consistently want to chase the right wing element of the voting public in this country which is why the labour party do not have my vote in the upcoming council elections and it is a labour party that is presently facilitating my next round of redundancy at the council.

I have just written to my local MP Ben Bradshaw asking him if he wholeheartedly endorse the new planned restructuring of employment roles that are going to take place at Exeter council by a labour council and merely blames the Conservative for the cuts that will be endorsed in customer services roles and can he explain to me why I should vote Labour in the next council election and vote in my own potential redundancy at the hand of a Labour lead Exeter Council?

Though I cannot stop the world from spinning even when it appears to be spinning out of control, I can at least look to make sense of the madness and express my disapproval in my own way to my political representatives at the very least.  

Your Coronavirus Pandemic 1 Year on

On 11th March 2020 the world health organisation announced that COVID-19 could be characterized as a pandemic and that a pandemic was not a word to be used lightly.

The early stages of the pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns were hard on many people, in different ways, unemployment, families trying to live, work and study under one roof or individuals having to rely on themselves and draw on their own resilience resources to adapt and absorb the enormity of the situation. There were also many other challenges severely affected the mental well-being of many people around the world and yet here we are, a year on.

It’s a tough subject to write about and one which we are all effected by on daily basis in our own uniquely uncomfortable way. It’s possible to feel both guilt for the good things that have happened as well as joy or remorse for the bad things that have happened and yet relief for the bad things that have not happened too, all in one blink of an eye on a reflection of range emotions and issues.

I do also wonder what would have happened politically, socially and environmentally to our streets, towns, cities, countries and planet had no pandemic occurred and life had continued to race on at its break neck speed into potential oblivion.

It feels like the brakes have been put on a runaway train of consumer capitalism that was our everyday race for life and although consumer capitalism is still very much our way of life and affords us to live, can we now appreciate what we have a little more and aspire to protect and value the sanctity of life in a new found appreciation of what we have and what we hold dear to us. Essential workers can finally feel that well for want of a better word they are essential to the fabric of human life and society.

Who would have thought 12 months ago that to stack a shelf in grocers store was a means to help feed a nation. If I had my way I would give all essential workers and minimum waged workers a huge pay increase not as a thank you but as an acknowledgment to the role they play in a society and economy. This would enable workers to be able to afford to keep an adequate roof over their heads and food in their stomachs. The money that the low paid earn is ploughed straight back into the economy because unlike the wealthy they don’t have the luxury of saving wealth you simply spend to live.

You could tax pollutants such as fossil fuels like they were industries equivalents to humans smoking tobacco or drinking alcohol. You could also create a new digital economy type of VAT where everything bought online had a Digital value deducted tax. It would cause prices to increase but if people are earning more this would still balance out.

Well look at that not been in a pub or had a drink of alcohol for what must be over 3 months and still getting drunk on ideas and trying to put the world to rights. Roll on the open of those bars again so I can go in and start to have a conversation about ideas like this and pretend it is because I am drunk again!   

Massive Attack – Teardrop