Will a policy of having to pay interns be detrimental?

I completely understand where people on internships (particularly in politics) are coming from. It is outrageous that in some instance people are essentially given a proper job to do and not paid. I absolutely get it. Yet there is a counter side to that. I have been a political adviser, association chairman, regional deputy chairman parliamentary candidate twice, and guess what.. received not a penny for it. Did any of those roles have clear job descriptions? Well I suspect the roles within the party may have done – though I can’t recall seeing them.

If someone is given a 6 month role with clear responsibilities then I can accept they should get paid. But what about if someone volunteers to help out for a couple of weeks in order to get some experience? I know from experience that actually having a vounteer or indeed intern (call it what you will) for a short period of time actually takes up time and effort in order to manage the individual. The pay back for them is they learn a few things and get a good reference. If that positions also had a salary then frankly I suspect many positions would no longer be offered. If that is the case who actually loses out? I would suggest the individual who loses out on some valuable experience.

The question I have for those who know more than is when does a volunteer become and intern and is there a case whereby an individual can accept that for two weeks help on a voluntary basis, experience and a reference is payment enough?


Time for capital punishment?

So the recent story of Ian Huntley wanting compensation really raises alot of questions for me. As pointed out in the comments to my previous post, a situation like this is absolutely allowed to happen due to considering the Human Rights of a prisoner. I accept that is the way the law is now. Though for me it means that the law should change. We hear too much about rights and not much about responsibilities.

I really cannot give any sympathy to a man such as Huntley. I personally cannot comprehend anyone who would offer such a person sympathy. So if we currently have a situation that exists whereby such a person can have compensation there is an easy solution. Re-introduce capital punishment. Protect these people once locked up until the day they face they face the ultimate retribution.

Would I support a move? Yes. Would the British public? Yes Will any politician suppport such a move. I hope so.

Huntley case typifies what's wrong with the criminal justice system

So lets get this right. A convicted child murderer is suing the prison service because another prisoner slashed his throat. Gosh my heart bleeds for him. How on earth anyone in their right mind could show one ounce of sympathy for that man, or indeed suggest that he very fact that he is able to bring such a case forward is sensible, is beyond me.

Until the rights of the victims of crime are given a much higher priority I just don’t want to hear anything about the rights of prisoners!

Seven Days Show roundup

Missed an of this months Seven Days Show? Listen again here.

Episode 33

Episode 32

Episode 31

Subscribe to Tory Radio on Itunes here

Call me fat… and I'd tell you to stuff off!

So the Telegraph think articles about whether David Cameron has put on a few pounds is journalism? Well maybe they thought it relevant with regards whether those of us not a size zero are chunky, big boned, obese or just plain fat.

For me, I’m not so sure. Does the fact that Eric Pickles is not stick insect mean he can’t do the job? For me he seems to have hit the ground running in his department, with a work rate second to none. Are we saying that our politicians, and more importantly our leaders have to look a certain way? That may be the case these days but isn’t it a sad reflection on society. Yes I understand the health implications of being fat, but articles like the ones which have appeared in the Telegraph are more about image than health.

Should we come to accept that if you are fat, funny looking, plain ugly, or even have a disability, that you can not be successful in politics? If that is the case then it really is a sad sad day. And if you call me fat.. I really would tell you to stuff off!

East Coast Trains – time to get on track

Don’t get me wrong. Just as in every business there are some wonderful staff and some not so wonderful staff. I along with many other travellers feel however when you are paying over £8,000 a year on a nationalised rail company, who currently are the worst performing rail company out there,  there should be a little bit of accountability. That’s why we have raised a few issues.

Firstly the issue of none working staff travelling for free in first class carriages. Now apparently according to a very rude train guard (backed up by fellow travellers I may add) I was told it was a “perk”. This is the same train guard who has never checked my ticket yet and who from just after 7:00am parks himself in first class for 50 minutes. Nice!

So when this was raised with the extremely helpful chap in the press office we have been told,

“Although management staff grades and drivers are permitted to travel first class, subject to capacity, our employees are not entitled to first class travel when travelling to/ from work. ”

So essentially as I thought staff aren’t allowed to travel in first class free of charge, though we know that won’t be enforced don’t we?

“On some occasions though, especially on a number of our busiest services, East Coast staff will often assist the booked crew on the service should they need the extra help. “
Maybe that’s true – but its never happened on a train I’ve been on. This is a train where the standard class trolley has been removed to cut down the number of staff needed. This is the same train company who removed the direct debit scheme for season ticket holders who now either find £8,000 up front if they travel from where I do, or buy monthly tickets which over a year will cost you £1200 a year more. These changes of course do not effect East Coast staff.

“However, in such circumstances they should not be accepting our complimentary food and drink offerings.”

No No…. they didn’t accept “complimentary food and drink offerings”.  What they had which was not paid for was a bacon sandwich (and indeed a bottle of juice) we I believe would cost the rest of us over £5.00

The lovely chap at the press office ended with,

“I want to thank you for bringing these issues to our attention.  And on the basis of your enquiry, we will undertake to re-brief our employees on the policy of not occupying first class accommodation to/ from work unless assisting the booked crews – and to remind our staff to refrain from accepting complimentary food and beverage items.”

No some may say its a small issue. Yet in most places I have worked staff theft (isn’t that what it is?) even if unintentional would be investigated – not just an internal memo being sent saying don’t sit in first class and don’t take free food. Surely when you do a stock take the figures just would not add up? Perhaps it just doesn’t matter when its the public purse footing the bill?

But lets not be negative, let’s think of what should happen? Well I have no issue with free travel for staff. It makes sense. I have a problem with all none working staff clearing off into first class – particularly when we are now told that it is not allowed. I have a problem with staff sitting in luxury when standard class gets full, which could easily be solved by swapping one first class carriage with standard adding over 20 total seats to a train – and by removing over 50 first class seats you end up with 70 new spaces in standard for both staff and more importantly the fare paying public.

I have no issue with staff getting food provided for by the company if they are working. I do have a problem with employees not working on a specific , being given food. Interesting two people on the train who worked in Government departments were tempted to go up and ask that given they too were in the public sector could they have free food too?

Just as with the policy of broken windows policing, by concentrating on minor issues you combated bigger ones the same applies to operating any company. Of course detractors will say that these issues are petty, however a (completely unscientific) poll of fellow travellers who pay in excess of £100,000 to a public  sector organisation says otherwise.

If that makes me a bacon sandwich snatcher, it is a badge I wear with pride.

The Unions don't like it up em

They don’t like it up ‘em. Apparently the Unions (take a look at stronger unions . org – no link provided absolutely intentionally) have taken a bit of a disliking to the fact that god forbid an elected politician actually had the temerity  to question how many people working in Government departments had time off for Union duties.
Given we all know how much time their members spend in call centres undertaking political work on behalf of the Labour party to prop up what we all know was a discredited Government, why would anyone want to question whether time off on the taxpayers bill is money well spent?
You have to wonder why the Unions received £5.7million over the last term of parliament under the union modernisation fund when they have so much money to donate to political parties. Of course asking questions about that are just no on…. are they?

Isn’t it interesting that they believe tabling parliamentary questions is such a waste of money. This from the Unions who seem to love to table Early Day Motion after Early Day Motion. No… they aren’t a waste of money are they?

Nice to see the likes of Skinner still trying to fight a class war.

It's not just rural broadband that's an issue for BT

We pay for Sky. We have a BT landline as it hooks up to the burglar alarm. We have BT internet. We pay for “up to 20MB broadband”. We live on a housing estate in Newark with houses that are around 10 years old. We don’t live in the middle of  nowhere in an ancient farmhouse. We only have one phone line entering the house. We have a working filter on it. We have checked the front plate of the phone line. We have even paud £100 for an engineer to visit us in the past.

Why are we only getting half a MB speed when we are paying something like £22 a month?

It isn’t just rural areas that BT are letting down!

Good things come to those who wait

The Member of Parliament for Witham, Priti Patel made her maiden speech today. And what a fine speech it was too. Click the play button above to listen. A true Conservative if ever there was one!

And on a lighter note…..

Don’t know why, but the lyrics just amused me.