Sunday, 27 July 2008

School Exams Are Family Emergencies: Gordon Brown-Trousers

I'd have thought that most people would, by now, have noticed that the UK - and, indeed, the world - is in deep financial trouble. Everywhere you look, there are pundits babbling about the "credit crunch" but that seems like way too cute a name for what's happening - and what's to come.

Face it, the economy is buggered, and the government's economic policies with it. People are not making as much money as they need, so they are cutting out non-essential purchases, from small luxuries all the way up to bloody big houses. That means the government isn't making as much as it needs in various taxes, forcing it to borrow more than it can realistically afford to repay.

Businesses are in a similar position, but they don't have an entire country's assets to use as collateral, and so they fail because they run out of money. That puts people out of work, and means that instead of gaining income from tax on their wages, the government has to pay out even more money in dole money. Jobless people have even less money to spend, and so the cycle continues.

Oversimplified though that may be, it's all basic economics and shouldn't come as any great surprise to Gordon Brown-Trousers and his fellow government idiots. Indeed, financial alarm bells have been ringing merrily for more than a year, but nobody seems to have noticed until it's far too late to change course, even if this washed out administration had a clue where to go.

Even now, however, I fear that those who think they run the country - and those who, in reality, pull their stings - have totally failed to grasp the extent of the problem. Or, for that matter, to have noticed that there is any problem whatsoever. Take this strange story from the Sun, for example.

No doubt in response to demands from the bankrupt Labour Party's union paymasters, Gordon Brown-Trousers yesterday announced that "Millions of parents will be able to take unpaid time off work to deal with family emergencies." Useful for the few honest individuals who will not abuse this facility, I'm sure. But how many people already "pull a sickie" when they don't fancy putting in a day's work? This new proposal seems little more than a skiver's charter, particularly when you see what will be deemed to constitute an "emergency".

Flexible working hours when a child falls ill may, or may not, be reasonable, although some would suggest that it is the parents' responsibility to arrange adequate care for their children, and if they cannot, they should not have them or should not work. But the absolute limits of sanity have surely been surpassed by the proposal that "days off to give emotional support to children sitting exams" should constitute any kind of emergency whatsoever.

Has the UK become so feeble minded, so absolutely bloody inept, that its offspring - the very future of our once-proud nation - are incapable of sitting a few paltry examinations without needing emotional support? It's not even as though exams are all that demanding, these days!

And for this, for the sensibilities of some snivelling brats without the backbone of a jellyfish, who clearly can't handle any kind of real-world situation and therefore don't actually need an education beyond "the cat sat on the mat", British employers are expected to suffer hours of disruption and inconvenience? Sure, they won't (yet, it's only a matter of time) be expected to pay doting parents for the privileged of buggering off to hold their brood's hand through the incomprehensible terrors of GCSE maths, but what about the man-hours lost to this pathetic idea?

All over the country, office phones will be ringing. "Sorry, Boss, can't come in today, Jemima has a GCSE exam, and it's almost two hours long, the poor dear, you know how they fret, isn't it terrible? I'm sure the clients won't mind rescheduling this afternoon's meeting, we can clinch the deal next week instead... Boss? You ok, Boss?..."

Small companies, in particular, operate in tightly-knit teams. Each member of staff has a vital role to play in the running of the company, and sudden absences wreak havoc on their day to day operations. This is because people are people, not machines, and cannot easily be swapped out for a new one (even if the law allowed it these days) when something goes wrong. Specific individuals are employed to do specific jobs because they are good at them, qualified to do them and have been further trained to meet the exact requirements of their employer.

In large companies, where each individual is just one of many with the requisite skills, this isn't such a problem. But for small firms, which may only be able to afford one fully paid up widget wangler, the cumulative effects of these stupid proposals will be enormous. Deadlines will be missed, orders will be lost, companies will fold and yet more people will find themselves out of work - even those who don't have children, or whose kids have got enough common sense to survive exam season without a nervous breakdown.

Whether Gordon Brown-Trousers really doesn't see the implications of this announcement, is so far gone that he doesn't care, or just doesn't have enough control over his own party to do other than its union backers demand, I do not know. I do, however, know that this almost unspeakably dumb policy will be yet another nail in the coffin of British industry, and, consequently, the British economy, not to mention British citizens.

Nice one, Gordon.

Billy Seggars.

No comments: