Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Don't let it get you down - it''s only the news!

I found it quite depressing reading the newspaper this morning. First of all there was this article by George Monbiot, always a thought-provoking writer, warning that Trump's attitude to climate change was dangerous enough to lead to war. If it came to that, would Trump tweet about it? To what extent can you govern via social media? What will next year bring?

Then I found an article about the JAMs, the "just about managing" families, with stories about how people in work find it really hard to get by. One that struck me told of the mother having to break into her very limited food budget to give her children £1 each to take to school for a collection for Children in Need. This is particularly ironic when you read about a certain Jasmine Whitbread earning £234k per year working for Save the Children!

She is not the only high earner in chastity work. Here is a list I came across of the top ten highest paying charities:

 1. London Clinic £850,000 to £860,000
 2. Nuffield Health £770,000 to £780,000
 3. St Andrew’s Healthcare £750,000 to £760,000
 4. Wellcome Trust £590,000 to £600,000
 5. Royal Opera House £566,000
 6. Anchor Trust £420,000 to £430,000
 7. City & Guilds £400,000 to £410,000 
 8. Legal Education Foundation* £360,000 to £370,000
 9. Children’s Investment Fund Foundation £350,000 to £360,000
10. Church Commissioners for England £330,000 to £340,000

Somehow you imagine people working for charity organisations to be more altruistic, perhaps turning down high pay so that the charity can use the money elsewhere! Am I just being naive?

And there is Tony Blair, another high earner, being tipped to make a come back into British politics, maybe saving the Labour Party!

However, just when I could take no more doom and gloom I discovered that someone in politics still has a sense of humour. Well, I assume that is what it is all about. Here is the story of the pet tarantula in the House of Commons:

"The Conservative chief whip has declined to remove a tarantula called Cronus from his office despite a House of Commons ban on pets. Gavin Williamson, appointed by Theresa May as her parliamentary enforcer in July, has spoken in recent days about his unusual deskmate, who is kept in a glass tank and named after a Greek god who castrated his father and ate his children.

However, the publicity means the pet has come to the attention of the serjeant at arms, since Palace of Westminster rules state that the only animals allowed on the estate are guide and security dogs.

A source close to Williamson told the Sun: “The Commons authorities were told in no uncertain terms that Cronus was staying, as he is government business and this is not a Commons matter. “The point was also made that when they remove all the mice here, we may then think about removing Cronus.”

Williamson spoke earlier this week about how the tarantula was part of his team. He said: “You have to look at different ways to persuade people to vote with the government and it’s great to have Cronus as part of the team. Everyone is obsessed with Palmerston and Larry the cat, but in the whips’ office we have a proper pet. “I’ve had Cronus since he was a spiderling, so I have a very paternal sort of approach. It’s very much the same sort of love and care that I give to my spider as I give to all MPs. “Cronus is a perfect example of an incredibly clean, ruthless killer – absolutely fascinating to rear.”"


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