Tuesday 27 September 2011

Capitalism doesn’t work and is not efficient

You would think that in these lean times buying parts for industry would be a piece of cake. But, I suspect if you were to ask any buyer in the private sector if their job at the moment was a doddle you would get a resounding “No!”

There is a perception peddled by much of the press, big business and the Tories that the private sector is ultra efficient and the most effective driver of the economy. At best this is utter nonsense. I’ve worked all my life in the private sector and it never ceases to amaze me how little people care about their company, their job or their customers.

Unless your only procurement requirements are for water coolers, photocopiers, fork-lift trucks or telecoms your are unlikely to have a long queue of suppliers desperate or even willing to sell you the goods and services that you require. I’ve never understood why you almost have to beg suppliers to accept an order. Nobody seems to want business. It is an everyday struggle.

I suppose if you are buyer for the likes of Tesco, Glaxo Smith Kline, BAE or other big spenders then you could well be beating suppliers back with a stick every single day, but I’m sure it is not the case for the majority of supply chain personnel in most SMEs up and down the country.

It is a sheer fallacy that capitalism and market forces fill demand. They do not. They take the path of least resistance. Their destination is making a ‘fast buck’. Far too many businesses in this country are no longer interested in manufacturing, investment or the long term. If you are relying on the private sector to drive us out of recession I think you could well be living in cloud cuckoo land!

Airship over Norwich last night

Here's a photo of the airship that was buzzing around our flat last night. Photo taken by the Lady.

Wednesday 7 September 2011

Occupied Country - a must read

I started blogging back in 2003, and in most of the time that I've been off and on blogging I've also been reading Steve Garry's blog Occupied Country, he also seems to blog off and on. His latest post is a must read. It basically sums up the state of play in this country by making some very entertaining as well as serious points about how unfair things are. Please pay steve a visit.

Semicircular canals

Don’t worry I haven’t gone all leather elbow patch and topographical on you. For the last week and a half I have felt like shit. Popular medical opinion would seem to be that after an initial diagnosis of “bulging eardrums” and “fluid in my middle ear” I’ve been suffering with a blockage in or before my semicircular canals. I was told at the surgery that there was nothing that they could do for me. It would sort of its own accord. Although they did persuade me to try an exercise that involved breathing in holding my nose and then letting blasts of air out once pressure had built up substantially. It gave me ear-ache and didn’t alleviate the symptoms. Reading up on the NHS website suggested that what I had should last around three or four days. Clearly my ears have to be awkward and attention seeking. Not content with being a bog-standard blockage the problem has to go on for a week and a half. The result is that you feel like you’ve downed ten pints and then been marooned in a dingy on the high seas during a force eight. My days would start with me sitting up in bed with the room spinning. This would last for anything from one to three hours and it was all about being vertical. I knew I had to be sitting upright and vertical for the duration to enable the room to stop spinning. Even once that feeling had subsided I still had problems with my sense of balance as well as a permanent feeling of nausea. I put up with this for just over a week when I decided enough was enough.

I’m not sure why I didn’t think of it before but I suddenly remembered ear candles. I figured that at the very least they would get things moving a bit. The lady went off into the city, returning later with a couple of packs along with a bottle of a fresh herb tincture of Plantago drops from these people. I immediately started on my first set of drops followed closely by the ear candle treatment. I won’t go into too much detail but the candles did bring quite a lot of muck out. I then proceeded with an intense course of vapour rub steam inhalation, four or five times a day. That night I also slept with an extra pillow under my head. My thinking for this was that given that if it did need to drain, lying almost flat wasn’t going to help. The next day saw me feeling worse than ever. I was prepared for this though. I believe they call this a ‘healing crisis’. Undeterred I carried on with the tincture and the frequent steam inhalations. Thankfully by day three it appeared to have yielded results. Today was the first day in over a week and a half that the room didn’t spin when I awoke. I’ve been able to go to work and get through the day without wanting to give up and die. At the height of the discomfort you think that it’ll never end. Thankfully today, even though I’m not fully back to normal I do feel that I am getting better.

Of course I can’t categorically state that any of my home treatments have helped to cure me. They could just be placebo or a coincidental. But I’m convinced that the ear candles did at least a small amount of good because of the amount of wax they brought to the surface. Either way I’m thankful that I appear to be on the road to recovery.

I hope in some small way that I can help others who might be suffering in the same way with this information.