Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Social Responsibility

I've lived a fairly simple life.  For over forty years I worked earn money to pay my way and then to bring up my family.  My father taught us that we must never get into debt and always live within our means. Good sound advice. There have been many times I've made bad decisions but I've learned to live with the consequences and to resolve them to the best of my ability.  Money has never been plentiful.  When the family were young we had 'days away' rather than more expensive holidays as I thought a good education was more important.

We all make choices to suit our circumstances.  A friend's son was made redundant a few months ago and he's struggling to come to terms with his situation, although his young children seem oblivious to the crisis and are just delighted to have their dad at home.  This week he's put the family car up for sale because he needs the money to keep his family. There is no doubt he will find work but somehow I think he'll go down the self-employed route if he's fortunate enough to find good support. Scottish Enterprise or banks aren't interested in a skilled man setting up business and that's to our shame.

Throughout the months of his unemployment he's continued to train youngsters to be the next generation of Scottish athletes and it's these young people, along with his family, who give him the confidence to believe in himself. Once his car's gone he will have two changes of bus plus a reasonable walk to get to the gymnasium but he says that's the least of his troubles.

This week David Cameron announced an extra £814m towards vaccinating children against disease in the Third World.  I welcome this decision.  Every child should be protected against preventable diseases.

It's over 30 years ago when the UK government began contributing to a third world vaccination programme. We must have given £billions towards these projects and other projects such as developing clean water supplies and hygienic toilet facilities.  We were told that our contributions would see a vast improvement in the health and wellbeing of the these countries' populations in 20 years.

Thirty years on and there is little improvement yet our politicians continue to pour taxpayers' money into governments' coffers and completely disregard the corruption. I see the point in helping poorer countries but many of the countries involved are wealthier than ourselves nowadays.  Today's aid system doesn't work - it doesn't reach those who are most in need. We should only be distributing aid money upon results.  That's how most of us are paid.

David Cameron is giving away money we don't have so it will be borrowed. Is that wise?

We have an ageing population and the Coalition have yet to make any suggestions about the care of the elderly in their later years. Fortunately the Scottish government has addressed this problem and there is a system in place. It may not be perfect but Scottish politicans recognise the care of our elderly is a prime social responsibility.  The care of the elderly is only one social problem we have in this country.

The money for this vaccination project should come out of the current aid budget and the costs be strictly monitored. Too often I hear caring health workers in these countries saying promised medicines never materialised. It's part of our social responsibility to ensure they do.

We have a Prime Minister whose only concern is his standing in the world and social responsibility, for both his own people poorer countries, is well down his list of priorities.


Joe Public said...

I was taught to believe 'Charity begins at Home'.

Apogee said...

Hi SR, perhaps we should look at the record of the WHO, the UN and its hangers on for the cause of some or many of the problems, If we as a country are so stupid as to give away money without controls, there will be plenty of willing recipients to take it.

James Higham said...

There is no doubt he will find work but somehow I think he'll go down the self-employed route if he's fortunate enough to find good support. Scottish Enterprise or banks aren't interested in a skilled man setting up business and that's to our shame.

Support for this is currently contracting in England.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

"30 years on and there is little improvement...."

And the difference SR, between this and anything else government has had a hand in, is?

Or was it, like me (increasingly, I have to say) a Senior Citizen moment?

Nikostratos said...


Cameron just wants add a few points to his opinion poll ratings and counter his terrible image of a mad cuts man of all things needed by the poor and disenfranchised.
I always remember watching a docu about aid to African country's.
they spoke to few ordinary local people and one said about all the mansions which were being built for the members of the Governing elite.

seeing as they had no money before and there was no visible means of paying for such buildings etc...

where did the money come from bet we can guess eh?

subrosa said...

And it wasn't borrowed charity either Joe. It makes no sense borrowing money to give it away. It's bad enough the level of borrowing we have now. Worst since 1946 I believe.

subrosa said...

There are willing recipients Apogee. Problem is DFID doesn't have a record of where much of the money's gone.

subrosa said...

I do hope you mean support for self-employed people James. If so then that's a good move.

subrosa said...

A Senior Citizen moment WfW. They seem to be far more frequent these days.

subrosa said...

I don't think the majority of the UK population support him giving more money away Niko.

I've seen many programmes like that and it's terribly sad to think our taxes go into the personal coffers of corrupt governments.

Captain Ranty said...

Never, ever forget that when the WHO banned DDT they condemned millions (per year) to death. And why? To save 100,000 lives a year.

The WHO is not your friend.

Cameron is not your friend.

This is a career for him. When, at last, he gets dumped, he will amaze us all with his earning capacity. We will all be shocked at his meteoric rise on the world stage. Don't believe me? Look at Blair.

Never, ever think that he (Cameron OR Blair) is where he is because he gives a shit about you, me or anyone else. For him, politics is a career choice. He will slide up the greasy pole with nary a thought for the millions he made miserable on his way up.

All politicians are selfish. All politicians are psychopaths. (They HAVE to be to progress). All politicians care only for their regional/national/international "standing". All politicians are liars. It is axiomatic.

They are parasites.

All of which may explain why I progressed from Labour, to Conservative, to Libertarianism, to Anarchy.

Nothing else makes sense.

/rant over.


Brian said...

To quote WfW "And the difference SR, between this and anything else government has had a hand in, is?"

I beg to differ. Take the examples of Bazalgette and London drains, Joe Chamberlain and "municipal socialism" in Birmingham which provided town gas and clean water. Compare this with the recent failures of our gambling banks and Phoenix Rover. I think that we have lost the ability as a nation to administer wisely in both public and private sectors.

Anonymous said...

"Thirty years on and there is little improvement yet our politicians continue to pour taxpayers' money into governments' coffers and completely disregard the corruption"

Probably because they are up to their necks in corruption too.

Anonymous said...


I sent you an email a few days ago (about a press complaint). Did you receive it?

I am not bothered about the content - I just need to know whether or not you received it.

My first attempt was to address it to your email address: subrosablonde@gmail.com, but that email was 'not sent'. My second attempt was to email: subrosablonde@yahoo.co.uk.

Did you get the email or not?

I have complained to Press Commission again, regarding the article by Sheila Duffy in the Evening News (Scotsman). Spcifically, about her claiming that Tobacco Companies 'HAVE ORCHESTRATED A CAMPAIGN TO AMEND THE WESTMINSTER SMOKING BAN'. I have complained that the Evening News should not have published such a claim unless it can be shown to be true.

I said before (if you recall) that ASH propaganda must be contested. It can only be contested if the 'means of desemination' of the propaganda is contested.

But I just want to know if you received my email! That is all.

Dioclese said...

I think your views pretty much coincide with mine, Rosie. I have a piece going out on this tomorrow which I donlt think you'll argue with too much.

Charles Crane said...

As you will have gathered from reading my memoirs, I was made redundant - or politically fired, depending how you look at it - 5 times, 3 in one year!

I feel for your friend. I know how badly I coped the first time it happened. At the end of the day, it was the making of me. I got so pissed off, that I decided the only way to avoid it happening was to work for myself. I did this for twenty years and retired at the age of 52.

You are right about the support though, and this is something the government really should address. Banks in particular are just not interested. It's very short sighted of them.

subrosa said...

Good rant though Ranty and spot on.

subrosa said...

Brian, I've often wondered if politicians have always been like Blair and Cameron - men of no substance, yet I can't quite believe they have been. When you quote the likes of Bazalgette etc then no, they haven't all been careerists.

subrosa said...

Tris, when I typed that your thought ran through my mind. Great minds... :)

subrosa said...

Junican, the last email I had from you was around 2 weeks ago. The addresses are correct though.

subrosa said...

Charles, he's keeping afloat but as you say it's the shock that does the damage initially.

Thankfully he has a caring family and his mother (my friend) is one of those women who won't take no for an answer.

subrosa said...

Dioclese, I look forward to reading it as I do all your posts.

Michael Fowke said...

I find myself despising Cameron more and more. He's trying to make himself look good - with other people's (taxpayers') money. Doesn't this make him a socialist?

Anonymous said...

No Michael it makes him a greedy stupid, pompous, self important incompetent.

Edward Spalton said...

Of course, I am sorry for your young friend and his family. I narrowly missed being in a similar situation.

HOWEVER, it is no business of the state to provide start-up capital for unproven businesses, even if the people concerned seem very deserving.

The state is hopeless at "picking winners" whether on a large or small scale.

If someone has a good idea and friends, family and business associates are not prepared to back it, I would back their judgement against a civil servant's any day.

Most of the trouble we are in arises from excessive reliance on borrowing, which some business people appear to think is some sort of right. To extend it ( or worse still, grants) as a sort of social service is bonkers.

Back in the late Sixties I heard a merchant banker give some sound advice (that's what they call an investment banker now).

Having set out what he could do for the mostly long-established, middling sized businesses at the conference, he said
If you can raise capital from friends or family or any other source, do it first". There is no reason to suppose that the government or its agents can have better judgement than people committing money which they themselves have earned to any business venture, large or small.
BTW I agree about Cameron!

subrosa said...

I tend to agree with Tris Michael. What is a socialist these days? The lines are more blurred than ever.

subrosa said...

Edward, I mentioned Scottish Enterprise because he was pushed in that direction by his bank as they 'definitely had grants which would be suitable for him'. However it didn't take him long to realise they weren't interested in a one man band which would possibly only expand to around 10 employees over time.

He had some excellent news today though and his mother phoned earlier to tell me. The man who trained him throughout his 6 year apprenticeship (he's been long retired) made contact through a mutual friend and he knows of a small fully equipped factory which he could perhaps get for a minimal rent. He's off to see it tomorrow.

Coming from a family with our values, he doesn't want to borrow but he may need some cash flow for sales, extra equipment. He knows there's a ready market for his work and others aren't employing anyone regardless how good they are.

Derek said...

Quite so CR.

Subrosa, I fear you mat be misled about the vast majority of disease preventative vaccines. Even Penicillin has little effect on more than half a dozen

The majority over the past 200 years have a history of little effect in themselves towards alleviating certain diseases, but have been introduced at times of increasing hygene and cleaner waters.


On a more contraversial aspect, Listen to Dr. S. Monteith. Note: there is 30seconds of black screen followed by 50 secs of patriotic music intro, so forward to 1m 20 secs for the start:


1hr 22minutes.

On a happier note, glad to hear your friend has found something constructive. It's out there, but often huge changes in mental approach are needed to succeed.

subrosa said...

Derek, I thought polio vaccine, measles and TB were still effective but I'm happy to be wrong.

Thanks for the link. I'll view it now.

Part of the problem with the unemployed is the additional stress when they have young children. I think his voluntary work has been a great help towards his mental state and also the positive attitude of his family.

He sold his car yesterday his Mum told me and is buying a scooter. Luckily they live in the city so public transport is available for the rest of the family.

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