The Bullies & The Banks!
If you were unlucky enough to be bullied at school your one overriding hope was that such behavioural, along with its effects of demolishing any confidence, ego and self-esteem, at a time when you are starting to establish who you are and what your place in the world was, would end when you left school and entered a more mature adult state. Finally leaving school and being seen as a sensible adult would surely banish bullying from one’s life forever. Now my wife would have a little to stay at this point as she is of the view, and in my opinion obviously misguided, that most men, or at least a significant majority of men, do not actually mature. Instead boys becoming men simply learn how to give the impression of maturity, which is at best a very thin veneer of maturity, a mask that slips, cracks and releases the ‘boy’ and his childishness, his blindness to the consequences of his actions, the vision impairment when it comes to dangers of unrestrained enjoyment of earth, wind and fire, especially FIRE! ! ! My mush better half, my wonderful wife is also of the opinion that men have children in order to act as a cover for their own indulgences in immaturity, facilitating the things that we may not have got to play with when we were younger, transferring this onto our children as the excuse to justify one’s own childishness. This effect of having children on her husband (yes me) results in behaviour such as a sudden urge to by your children Lego, remote controlled cars, helicopters, hell I even tried to get bow and arrow sets below the wifely radar but was, as always thwarted, but any toy I wanted but when a child did not get (this isn’t a case of blaming parents as I did have a wonderful childhood in many respects).
My darling wife was always patient with me, exasperated at times, incensed may be a more accurate description, but always patient even trying to educate me that it was very immature of me to think that my two young daughters (at primary school) would be interested in, and were way too young to be let loose with instruments of war, even if they did originate in an English Heritage gift shop. My wife also felt that the children should not be witnesses, in her opinion only (which was the opinion that counted for sure), an immature adult nearly blowing-up the garage and parts of Northumberland up with fireworks. She was just as adamant when it came to building and igniting bonfires with petrol (that one I did agree with after having eye lashes and eyebrows removed in a ball of gaseous fire) as the resulting 30 to 40 feet high flames would have lit the great halls of Valhalla, and perhaps may even have been seen from the International Space Station. It was also mention, and I think I have blogged this before, that I was irresponsible when teaching the kids not to be afraid of creepy-crawlies by linking a slug to show how harmless it was, only to find parts of one’s mouth, tongue and face quite numb for a few hours. In my defence (which is a phrase I found myself using with significant frequency, as my kids took considerable joy in ‘grassing’ me up to their Mother about what we had got up to, whilst my wife was at work) I didn’t mean to lick the slug but just make my kids think I had only I slipped as I was walking towards them and could have easily have ate the blasted slimy thing.
My wife did concede that my intentions were usually well placed, well intended but my execution was at best immature, lacking any rational thought of possible consequences and definitely in need of adult supervision of the female variety at all times. When faced with such evidence, even though I very quietly protested (in my head) that such evidence was just the word of children, the occasional trip to Casualty and evidence such as scorch marks could have alternative explanations. For example, missing eyebrows and general scorching may have been caused by extremely localised lightening/electrical storm, which is definitely act of God and not act of the kids’ immature Father. But I admit it was usually best to concede my wife was right, especially with ideas such as combining all the rockets in a fireworks display into one massive rocket that would surely take a less than favourite Barbie into orbit. This idea, especially using a long taper soaked in petrol as the ignition was met with what I will claim to be crushing hostility, with a reminder of when one rocket that fell over (I was also blamed for not securing it properly but how can I be blamed for the tin can falling over when the rocket ignited) as it exploded into life and raced for the stars on a cold clear Bonfire Night. Unfortunately the trajectory of the missile was somewhat ‘hampered’ shall we say by the tin falling to one side (an act of God if ever there was one) which sent the rocket on a direct collision course with the roof of our house. The impact exploded the rocket, which sent showers of multi-coloured sparks in all directions and the burning remnants lighting up the guttering, with some fragments falling to the garden as it continued to fizz and splutter a rainbow of coloured sparkling splinters. I was subsequently blamed for the scorching the roses that many of the red hot remnants of rocket landed in after skidding off the roof. Well the kids enjoyed the fireworks after they stopped running for cover screaming.
To me though my Wife’s intervention, motivated by health and safety you could say, was a form of suppression of the child that remains in most men, which I felt was a form of bullying (although from a well meaning and loving source). Yes I admit it I was (and still am at times) bullied by my wife but as I advanced in my career I can as say with honesty I witnessed bullying of a more damaging nature in the workplace. When I recall these events they weren’t comical at all and left people bereft and as emotionally beaten up. I think the pain of which was equal to or perhaps even worse that a physical beating, bruises and bones heal, the fractured mind can affect someone for many, many years. It was a form of dominance in the workplace, a way of managers to show who had the power, who controlled people’s destiny, a real object lesson in how not to manage and get the best out of people. I have said before that I learnt a lot from these bullies, from these people that if they were in a pack of wolves would be spraying testosterone around. I think they got off, gained some pleasure from the misery they caused, they definitely had no insight that such behaviour reduced the productivity of a team and increased sickness significantly. These poor excuses for humans always picked on the most vulnerable, the people less likely to fight back, they found the power intoxicating and addictive as their behaviour escalated over time, these putrid retches, perhaps many were Tories or went into Right Wing politics? I see such behaviour from Ministers such as IDS, who only seem to exist to bully the:
- Those off sick;
- Anyone using the Welfare State;
The list could go on but you get I am saying. Bullying on an individual basis is horrid, bullying as a group is shameful, bullying as part of a Government’s approach to the vulnerable is surely disgusting and makes such bullies criminal having committed crimes against humanity, so how bad must it be when the bullies are a group of European Officials demonstrating utter contempt for a country on the edge of disaster. I am of course referring to the EU Finance Officials acting as a team of bullies towards Greece, holding them to ransom with the threat of expulsion for the EU. Greece has tried to stick by its guns and say it needs money to create jobs, create a more productive economy, not more EU money so it can just service the debts that came from the previous EU loans. Even as I write this I can see the absurdity of the situation is overwhelming, to lend more money to a country so it can continue with severe austerity and pay back some of the money it was already given, not a word about developing new industries, new homes, employment for all, etc. There were no positives put forward by the EU, so the Greek Government did something really bold and took the deal to their people in a referendum. The people gave the EU a bloody nose and gave their Socialist Gov a mandate to negotiate for positive deal that ended and not extended austerity. Following the referendum the EU stepped up the pressure as that’s what bullies do, if they think their control over their victims is slipping the pressure is piled on, with the ever looming deadline for an agreement speeding towards all of them. The meetings went on all night, intense negotiations, brinkmanship, even media game-playing, but resulted in no deal. All the Greeks wanted was a fair deal to end austerity but all the EU was demanding was even more severe austerity and increasing debt that was crippling the country already, but what do you do when your cash points are empty and the banks are closed. These negotiations were already affecting tourist trade, which the country was overly dependent on, but when tourists don’t think they can get their money out when on holiday they become somewhat nervous and would prefer to go to other countries with a more stable economy. At the 11th hour, with Greece about to slide into bankruptcy and being told they would be expelled from the Eurozone, with their banks remaining closed and there literally being no money in their economy. The EU Finance Ministers had effectively pulled the hammer back on a gun pointed squarely at the head of Greece, all were in no doubt that the EU were more than prepared to take their losses and flush Greece down the loo. I think sometimes when we use phrases like ‘Greece’ or ‘EU’ we forget that this is the group name for millions of people, lives dependent on their representatives making the right decision to enable them to live, and these representatives are there to implement the will of the people. This is exactly what Greece was doing, they had had a referendum and this empowered their Government to move away from austerity and not move deeper into it. Who gave the EU Ministers the right to effectively threaten a proud nation with total ruin? The EU Ministers seemed incensed following the Greek’s people vote to end austerity and demand that the loan was to be used to build, to rejuvenate an economy in freefall with increasing unemployment. They refused all further talks with the Geek’s Left Wing ruling party and set out an eye watering schedule of demands:
- Cuts to pensions;
- Cuts state employees;
- Freezing of pay;
- Forced privatise publically owned businesses (a nice sweetener for the wealth to by services up cheaply, as is happening under our NHS);
- Increased VAT & Taxes;
In reality the demands were far more severe than the proposal the Greek people had voted against! This was a punishment to the Left for thinking they can stand up a fightback against the mighty federal state of the Euro. This was pure revenge, pure bullying of the weedy kid by dozens of top bullies in the playground, France, Germany, even Ireland gave Greece a bloody nose. This was horrid to watch, the EU at its most vile, its most destructive, and faced with this gang of bullies the Greek representatives caved in at the point where they were sure the trigger would have been pulled to kill of this once proud nation where democracy ironically had its birthplace. The Financial Ministers only sought to represent the interest of the blood sucking banks, they never once were interested in developing a stronger Greece. Instead they want to drown it under mounting debt.
As riots occurred on the streets, the Greek Parliament voted in the new, deeper, blacker level of austerity, driving people away for the now failed socialists, the only winners were the Greek Fascist ultra-Right Wing Party who berated the Government in histrionics that would have fitted in to one of Hitler’s mass rallies in 1938 & 39. The people were behind the Socialists but they caved and the changes were voted in. At the same time the International Monetary Fund announced the level of debt that was now being imposed on Greece was unsustainable and would sink the Country. Creating more debt to pay older debt is the finances of people on Acid, the only people winning this are the banks, and once again they excel and at the same time are protected by the politicians of the Right – what a surprise. At some point Greece will default and run away from the EU and I can’t blame them the way the bullies have treated this seat of democracy where the will of the people were ignored so the banks could get to own an entire country!
The 63% Who Didn’t Vote Tory
Smiling Cat Ventures (www.smilingcatventures.org)
Foreshore Fossils (www.foreshorefossils.com)
Twitter: @AbleNotDisabled (https://twitter.com/)
Face Book: Disability in Business (www.facebook.com/DisabilityInBusiness)
Linked-In: Jonathan Wade (Innovative Minds at Work) (www.linkedin.com)
Pinterest: JWSmilingCat (http://uk.pinterest.com/JWSmilingCat/)
Word Press: Disability in Business (https://disabilityinbusiness.wordpress.com)