Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Agent of change

I've had a funny old year work-wise insofar as I've now changed jobs - reasons too long and boring to go into here - twice. The first time took three months from leaving one to finding another, a period in which I sent out about 150 applications. The second time took two months and about 120 applications. Both times, I managed to get one interview from all those applications and by some twist of luck and fate, the one interview was enough.
What was different about both of those was that the application went to the company directly without the use of a recruitment agency.
There's a moral in the story there somewhere.

Dilemma

The Stone Roses are reforming and playing a couple of gigs not that far away. This is quite a big deal as they were bloody marvellous. So how to decide whether to go or not. Only one thing for it: lists.

AGAINST

Ian Brown never could sing
At £55 a ticket, it's a lot of money
It'll be full of blokes my age trying very hard to cling to last vestiges of youth, fruitlessly
It's a cynical exercise that serves only to pay off the mortgage/tax bills of some middle age men

FOR

It's the Stone Roses and they could well fall out again mid-song and that'd be funny


In short then, still not sure...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The obvious answer

'Government to tackle energy price rises' said the headlines yesterday. I'll confess to not reading on after that as it should be obvious what the body of the story was. The one sure-fire way to reduce energy costs is to nationalise the whole industry thereby removing the profit motive from the whole operation. So that's good news then isn't it.

What?
They're not doing that?
Oh for fucks sake...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Listing heavily

So many things are going through my head that I can't quite focus my on any one thing. There's only one remedy for that and that's to make lists.

Things that are really winding me up:

  • Prices up 18%, profit margins up 733% in the same period. I maintain that anything you consider fundamental to your way of life - and taking electricity away would require a massive change in the way we all live - should be a public service, not a profit motive
  • Liam Fox, up to his fucking eyes on it
  • Oliver Letwin and his inability to shred
  • Unelected body passing mandate-free legislation to destroy something good that everyone benefits from
  • The BCCI
  • Libraries - it's not libraries themselves that annoy, rather the short-sighted closure thereof. They'll be extremely difficult to get back once they're gone.
  • Ian Duncan Smith's intemperate language as people who are bearing the brunt of someone else's problem take a stance
  • Another £75bn of QE that we won't get back
  • The failure of the Charities Commission's challenge to private schools regarding charity status and the fact they serve no charitable purpose at all, just use it as a tax dodge
  • Ian Ayre and Liverpool FC for their 'I'm alright Jack' attitude. Fuck you and the horse you rode in on
  • Cuts to our national broadcaster. If - a big if - you accept the need for cutbacks, then the things that other broadcasters do, and do well like talent shows, should be first to go and the things that other broadcasters can't/won't do should stay. Like BBC4, BBC6music, county cricket commentaries and many other things.

Things I'm not annoyed about:

  • The Blackberry outage. It was mildly inconvenient not being able to check twitter while I was in the pub on Tuesday night, but you know what, I managed.
  • Wayne Rooney's ban. Couldn't give a flying one

Things I'm actively happy about:

And breathe.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Won't get fooled again

A friend of mine* is an inveterate gambler. Horses, mainly, and every now and then he'll share one of his absolutely red-hot tips with everyone down the pub. At first, you'd listen intently, note the name of the nag on which his giro will be going this week, perhaps even put a couple of quid on it yourself. Occasionally, it would win, but those times were very much a rarity. More often than not, it'd limp over the line a couple of hours after the rest of the field and be so poor that you begin to think that you've been caught up in a massive scam. Eventually, you stop listening. At best, you'll nod and say "Yes, Limpy Geoff. 100/30. I'll get right on it" while having no intention of doing so.

Basically, this chap is behaving like a credit rating agency. After they told everyone that collateralised debt obligations - fancy packaged debt with lashings of sub-prime mortgage gravy - were a sure thing, what we should have done was stop listening, go put some more coins down on the pool table and leave them wittering away into their pints of cheap bitter. Instead, however, the world still hangs on the every word issued by these unaccountable institutions and panics/relaxes on the strength of how bad/good the news is. How anything or anyone who has proved to be so badly wrong in it's judgements and predictions is credited with so much trust is staggering.

* - I have no such friend. I made him up, but the point stands.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

A square yet to be circled

Help me out. How can these notions - lose unemployment benefit if you are deemed not to be looking hard enough for work and making it easier to sack people - exist in the same brain of an individual? They surely cannot be compatible.