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The Impossible Dream

My inappropriate sense of humour may be showing again, but the front page of the Metro today had me struggling to repress giggles. First of all, we had the story that pregnant teenagers have been smoking to try and reduce the size of their babies, and therefore make labour easier. I know, I know, it's not funny, but something about the logic just appealed to me. Mainly because I can see the anti-smoking lobby, who have been telling people for years that if you smoke while pregnant you're guaranteed a tiny tiny ill baby, running around looking alarmed and bemused, going "This wasn't supposed to happen!"

Second, we had Tommy Sheridan becoming a parody of himself and claiming that MI5 are stitching him up and planting high quality fake videos of him confessing to going to swingers clubs and to telling his party about it. I'm not sure why MI5 would be doing this - presumably Tommy thinks it's because his socialist party is so dangerous to the establishment, but I think it would have to be likely to get more than about 1.5% of the vote before they thought that.

It's a shame - Tommy used to be my hero, when I was a kid, and he went to jail protesting about the poll tax and so on. And now he's just a self-absorbed arrogant (and orange) idiot who thinks people will believe whatever crap he spouts. Here's his mum singing The Impossible Dream really badly at the Solidarity launch. I may have linked to it before, but it's still funny.

andrewducker points out that higher rates of pay for longer service have been ruled illegal by the European Court Of Justice. This could impact my company quite strongly - the pay for my job has been going down since subtitles started, as the technology got better and it was less skilled, or more secure, or whatever, which means that the people who've been here 20 years get paid probably double what I do. But I can't really tell from that article whether business are expected to raise everyone's salary to the longest-serving person's, or whether they can cut longer-serving staff's salary to what they'd pay a new recruit.

Comments

( 15 comments — Comment )
nyarbaggytep
Oct. 4th, 2006 11:58 am (UTC)
Heh, I'm loving that icon.
pickwick
Oct. 4th, 2006 12:16 pm (UTC)
There were a whole bunch of them, and they're great! It's amazing how often I get to use this one...
(Deleted comment)
pickwick
Oct. 4th, 2006 12:17 pm (UTC)
Oooh, interesting. I wonder if I should helpfully forward the story on to my bosses, then...
(Deleted comment)
pickwick
Oct. 4th, 2006 01:18 pm (UTC)
Indeed! Nice icon :D
pendlemac
Oct. 4th, 2006 10:34 pm (UTC)
Probably no point as they will no doubt have seen the articles on the BBC news pages by a journalist here and a employment lawyer & equality consultant here.

Both these say the exact opposite of the article you quote in that the woman has lost her appeal ( although it's being sent back to the UK Court of Appeal to see if any of the exceptions apply ) and it's OK to reward more experienced employees with higher pay.
pickwick
Oct. 5th, 2006 07:43 am (UTC)
Strange - I wonder why there would be different stories?

And we're not BBC any more, so there's no reason they should have seen any of the stories :o)
poliphilo
Oct. 4th, 2006 12:08 pm (UTC)
It's a shame about Tommy Sheridan. He's making a terrible exhibition of himself. Some people just don't know when to shut up.
pickwick
Oct. 4th, 2006 12:19 pm (UTC)
Yeah. The thing that annoys me is that I don't think people - especially people who'd be likely to vote SSP - would have been remotely bothered about his swinging club visits and random sexual encounters. But lying in court and betraying your party - your socialist brothers :) - is a different matter entirely. So it just seems like his whole reaction has been completely counterproductive.
loveandgarbage
Oct. 4th, 2006 12:40 pm (UTC)
I worry about Tommy. He's in a position where he cannot back down and I am concerned about his health. The interview last night on Newsnight saw him becoming ever more of a parody coupled with the twitches and sudden grins of Michael Murray in GBH.

The video of Tommy's mum is wonderful. We need more political karaoke. Have you ever found the clip of John Redwood singing the Welsh national anthem?
pickwick
Oct. 4th, 2006 01:21 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's getting towards the stage where I'll have to stop taking the piss, because he's starting to look properly mentally unstable.

YouTube has the Redwood clip too, and it's great. What DID we do without YouTube?
magda_vogelsang
Oct. 4th, 2006 01:06 pm (UTC)
We have the opposite problem here at the University, salary compression. Each year the salary for new people goes up 2-3 percent (due to cost of living), and the existing empolyees get only a 2-3.5 percent merit raise, so eventually the folks who have 10 years experience are getting paid about the same amount as the new hires, which just feels wrong.

Over at the university hospital where my mom works it's compounded by the fact that periodically they'll do a survey to see how they compare to other hospitals, and raise everyone below a certain salary mark up to a more competitive salary, but those with more experience and/or a better work record so they've gotten bigger raises in the past, who are making just slightly more than that don't get a raise. Which in effect negates any raises they've gotten in the past for working extra hard/well, so far as their future salary is concerned.
pickwick
Oct. 4th, 2006 01:22 pm (UTC)
Ack. Yeah, that doesn't sound good either. One would think there would be some kind of common-sense middle ground, but common sense is hard to make laws about...
tanngrisnir
Oct. 4th, 2006 04:02 pm (UTC)
Given some of the stuff MI5 has got up to in the past, there is nothing inherently implausible about them fitting up Tommy S.

I don't believe for a moment they are because this would have to be a pretty bloody competent fit-up (and we are talking about MI5...), and anyway, why fit him up when there are all these socialists prepared to factionalise and do a bit of dorsal steel insertion?
pickwick
Oct. 4th, 2006 05:36 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's not that I believe MI5 don't set people up, just that I can't see them doing this particular sort of fit-up, especially if as Tommy suggests they'd have to be in league with the tabloid newspapers. Maybe if they needed to discredit the queen or something, but a lowly Scottish politician?
tanngrisnir
Oct. 4th, 2006 10:22 pm (UTC)
MI5 fitting up the Queen? Don't think that fits their, er, political inclinations really. ;o)

I wouldn't assume that Tommy being small potatoes in the Sane World would necessarily protect him from their intentions. The security services have historically been interested in all sorts of political figures on the left. I also don't think it is unheard of for there to be journalists who will help them out.

But these days I think they are far too busy frying other fish. Besides, Tommy is doing a good enough job of wrecking his own career to need any help from them. ;o)
( 15 comments — Comment )

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