“If you want eggs, take care of the hen”

chickens in grass pastureOddly I found this quote in an article about a Japanese billionaire, Kazuo Inamori, who is a Buddhist Priest, and is talking about his business philosophy.

The hens in this quote refer to the workers in his companies, and he believes that the recipe for success is to look after your staff and your customers.

This advice is directly in opposition to the usual business rules that the shareholders are the people to consider first!

Well as all you fellow poultry keepers will know, a happy and well fed chicken will certainly give you eggs – so there might be more than a grain of truth in this quote – smile.

This philosophy could equally apply to any organisation, and even to politics – wouldn’t it be nice if the current British Government thought again about how to re-organise the tax credit system, instead of trying to starve the workers!

If you want to read the original article please click HERE

The Effects of the Financial Mess In China – for the rest of the world…..

What’s happening in China – Who Knows?

map showing the size of China and its 'position' in the world (http://www.worldatlas.com)

map showing the size of China and its ‘position’ in the world (http://www.worldatlas.com)

Just a thought –

many years ago – well it was about 25 years ago I think – when I was selling gift items at Trade Shows, I first heard from manufacturers that they were starting to buy parts or stock from China.

It was a very adventurous and difficult process at the time, but boy was it cheaper to buy the items from China, even taking into account the cost of shipping!

As I was listening to them boasting about the margins and how they were going to make more profit ……. a little thought crept into my head – I even expressed it to some of them and they ridiculed me for the fantasy!

The fantasy was that China was going to take over the world…..

They were progressively stealing patents at the time, and copying processes without bothering to put in all the effort that companies in the USA and elsewhere had spent doing the research and testing.

Of course they were going to be cheaper!  They were also being subsidised by their Government, who were still a thoroughly communist regime, but were experimenting with a bit of capitalism!

So follow this trend – and if it continued – (it has) – there would be very little incentive to “Buy British”, and basic manufacturing, say iron & steel mills, would struggle and die, and soon the world would be dependent on China supplying them cheaply with all the things that cost so much more in this country, and others.

The South Wales Iron & Steel Industry was bought & “saved” by an Indian Company some years ago – but they have just moth-balled the production again!

These were all the problematic industries that had active unions to protect their members in an industry where “HEALTH & SAFETY” actually matter and are not the joke that they have become – and of course demanded high wages.  How much easier politically for Maggie to let these industries die, as she decimated the Unions. (See previous post)

Health and Safety in China?  Well we only need to look at the recent disastrous fire at a factory there, which spread to the surrounding newly built high rise flats, and killed hundreds of innocent people!  Apparently their Fire Service didn’t even know how to treat combustible material! (I know, I’m being very simplistic here, but I’m just making a point about the differences in the costs of manufacturing that we incur and they don’t!)

poundland shopfrontFast Forward to August 2015 – most of the day to day items we buy are actually produced in China – how do you think the £1 shops are able to give us such cheap prices?

And we have become almost totally reliant on them for many of the items we use everyday.  Who else is going to bother to make these items when they can’t compete on prices – and even many of the high end manufactured items are now made in China.

I sell craft supplies on both ebay & etsy (see my other blog julzcrafts.com), and have noticed that many of the jewellery findings (like connecting rings etc), as well as a lot of other items, are sold direct from China, for amazingly silly prices.  I’ve even bought some of them.  I couldn’t understand how they could charge 99p including postage!

It turns out that even small businesses are subsidised by the Chinese Government – they allow them to post overseas items free!

I have to check out the competition to make sure that the items I sell aren’t undercut by the many Chinese families who are giving the idea of selling abroad a try!  I sell a lot of silk yarns & fibres – some of these must have been sourced in bulk from China – but oddly – I haven’t yet found a direct supplier of Chinese Silk!

Back to my main theme – so China HAS taken over the world.

We are now reliant on their cheap products.

The second part of my fantasy, all those years ago, was that – once China has decimated our manufacturing ability – they will raise their prices.

So I’m asking this question – especially of all those “talking heads” appearing on the media just now – saying that the Chinese Government has lost their grasp of their Finances, and have let the Chinese Stock Market fall catastrophically – affecting not only their own stockholders – many of whom are the newly entrepreneurial middle class – but causing slides of nearly the whole world’s Stock Markets ……..

What if this was part of the original master plan?  Implemented a bit messily, yes, but …. We now know who the masters are ….. a hiccup in China can affect the whole world.


Why the Labour Party Lost the Last Election …..my view!

ImageWell – that’s what they are all asking – isn’t it?

There’s a short answer, and then there’s the longer more nuanced answer – take your pick!

The Short Answer:

Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/Press Association Images/Destiny Miliband / AMC / Via destinymiliband.tumblr.com

Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/Press Association Images/Destiny Miliband / AMC / Via destinymiliband.tumblr.com

This montage shows “the culprit” on the far right.

Only, in my view Ed Milliband was/is an innocent.  Not totally without blame – but an innocent trying very hard to do the right thing and being ridiculed by all and sundry – and not all of the nasties were as clever as this one.

The media machine, in collusion with certain members of all parties, including the Labour Party, went into action, and dished as much dirt as they could find – often finding stuff that wasn’t there – but hell – who cares about the truth when it makes good copy and sells The Daily Mail!

They are doing the same thing to Jeremy Corbyn – but this time its even more vicious.

Admission – I buy the Saturday Mail regularly.  It has the best “free” TV Listings magasine I know, and includes the full radio schedules, which most papers don’t bother with, and oddly, all the programmes are reviewed with intelligence.

I then read the actual paper, for the horror value.  They make it their mission to twist any political story so that Labour is seen in the worst possible light – and – carry this message into the supposed light relief of the catty Amanda Platell’s Gossip Page, and malign ANYTHING LABOUR in its business pages.  OK, who can resist a bit of sniping – sometimes its quite funny, but really, if you only ever read this stuff you would believe all Labour supporters were total idiots.

And I am a Labour supporter.

And I must be an idiot – I’ve just burnt a pan of vegetables that were going to be part of my late Sunday lunch, because I got distracted by starting to write this!  Must be Ed’s or Jeremy’s fault – obviously – maybe I should ask them to reimburse me for the pan – it is/was a nice one too – smile!

So – think about it – if your reputation was being trashed from every angle – how many of your friends would stand by you?

Even if they knew you well – there’s that old saying – “there’s no smoke without fire” – and if even just a smidgen of this rubbish was true – wouldn’t those lily livered colleagues of yours believe that some of the trash was true too, and dump you as fast as they could?

Ed – What was a good Jewish boy doing, eating a bacon roll in front of a load of paparazzi?  It wasn’t only the awkward way you ate, it was what you ate!  Ok – maybe you don’t keep kosher, but do you have to eat bacon in public!  It undermined you in all sorts of ways – not least because you seemed willing to go against your religion just to curry the favour of the masses, and be seen to be eating what everyone else does??????

Well, I think I’ll eat my dinner before its totally inedible ….


I am definately an idiot – I looked out of the window and the sun was shining – so I took my meal outside.  Its been raining straight for 48 hours in my part of Wales, but the forecast said it would stop sometime this afternoon – it hasn’t yet!  A cold meal in the rain – not quite the Sunday Lunch I had planned!

So back to ….

The Long Answer:


No I haven’t read this – didn’t even know about it until I searched for some images of him!  So altho’ I’m sure I could find some really good quotes in it to make me sound more knowledgeable, I’ll just carry on without them!

In 1997 – Labour put a package together – led by Tony Blair, called New Labour, and won power!

In doing so, they chose to tread the middle ground, and ditch many of the Labour policies that had been the mainstay of the Party,  that had historically reflected the thoughts, ideas and needs of the working man of Britain. (In case you want to nit pick, I said working man because feminism as a movement did not exist at the time.)

That is why they have always had Trade Union support – because they actually started the Trade Unions, and fought for “the rights of the workers”.

the alamo - miners picket hut

the alamo – miners picket hut – a picture I took at the time of the strike – see julz cards – sepia mining range – page list on the left hand side.

Maggie Thatcher went to war on the unions and almost succeeded in killing them – I was around at the time of the miner’s strike, and say what you will about the pro’s and con’s – she did actually kill the community, their sense of identity and the sense of humour shown by the naming of the picket hut above,  that used to exist in the Welsh Valleys, and other historic mining areas.

The war on the Unions has continued – and once again – anything they do is vilified in the Tory Press.  Non Sense – is talked about organisations that have done a great deal for their members over the years – but their wings are so clipped now that there is hardly anything they CAN do!

Tony wanted to win by fair means or foul.  He thought about how to win an election and decided to become a Tory – in all but name.  (Sorry, but his lifestyle since leaving office does betray his true ambitions – to be a rich playboy!)  I’m not saying that they didn’t use their power to do some good things for this nation. Gordon Brown, the generous and principled thorn in Tony’s side, managed to engineer some true equality and keep as near as he could to the old Labour ideology, but he was too often out manoeuvred and outwitted by the PR machine that was Alistair Campbell!

And of course they all got taken in by the money machine that was – and still is running things – the banking industry.

SO –

When it came to the last election, at a time that we badly needed to give David Cameron a bloody nose, poor old Ed was still singing the New Labour song – but it wasn’t NEW any more – it was just a little bit better than the lies (see my post about the elections results) that the Conservative party told to get themselves the power they wanted, and to kill the old ethos of government for the people stone dead!  Replacing it with government for the rich and never mind anyone else!

Unfortunately, the Labour politicians had all learnt from Tony, that they had to follow the money?  Have policies that the rich middle class would vote for too, almost to the exclusion of their old and faithful following.

Oh dear, I am so sad to see all the ‘Old Guard’ of distinguished Labour politicians warning against anyone voting for Jeremy Corbyn in the current election for a new Labour Leader.

Even John Prescott is re-neging on his initiative to introduce another vision by asking Jeremy Corbyn to stand for Leader.

Why are they all so shocked that its taken off like a runaway train?  And concentrating only on insisting that the election will not be disrupted by the small percentage of cats and dogs that seem to have paid their £3 to be allowed to vote?

The people are talking to you folks – they never liked New Labour – well I didn’t for one.  I had been an active member of my local party until then, but I just didn’t bother to renew my subscription.  I didn’t much like what was going on and certainly wouldn’t have been able to defend it on the doorstep of a campaign.

And its not just me – there are thousands and thousands of people supporting a more “left wing” Labour ethos. Maybe not as left wing as Jeremy is painted, but he’s the only one standing, so we are giving him our support.

I even re-joined the Labour Party last month – a full subscription, not the £3 cheapo rate – just so that I could vote – and vote I did – yesterday!

And was rather amused and saddened to get an email today, from the Andy Burnham campaign asking me if I’d voted yet – and asking WHO I’D VOTED FOR!

I didn’t tell them, but I will tell you – Andy got 2nd place – Jeremy got 1st, and I didn’t bother with a third place nomination.

If there was an outstanding woman, I might have voted for her, but they have all been taught the party line so well, that they’ve forgotten to think for themselves.  Look Hard you lot – there is a reason for this huge swing –


These are just my views and my take on the current situation – writing this has passed a wet Sunday afternoon reasonably pleasantly – I’m not saying it will be a united party if Jeremy does win, I can, once again, see trouble ahead – but you have to call it as you see it – and if I have offended anyone – I’m not really sorry – smile!

Your comments would be welcome below!

To leave a comment you will need to click on the heading of this post, and then troll down to the end again, where you should find a box that allows you to write in it!

Obesity – its all Nixon’s fault!

SugarThere has been a series of interesting radio programmes on – my favourite – BBC Radio 4 – oddly in the comedy slot at 6.30 pm, about modern addictions.

Coffee, tobacco, alcohol, and the last one has been a stunning forensic look at sugar, and how, for all the best reasons, Richard Nixon changed the American diet, and as a result, we have all become dependent, and “hooked on” SUGAR, and diabetes has become a widespread problem.

It’s worth checking it out for yourself – This is the direct link to the BBC page where you can find all the 4 episodes of


And you can hear the SUGAR episode here:


The iPlayer service allows only one month for you to access this, and its currently saying you have 29 days left to listen!

Those who know me, will know that I am the last person to go on about dieting, and hate the constant food fads, and “bad food fads” that litter the media.

But I have to say this programme has convinced me!  I have always thought there was something wrong with sugar substitutes too, so please listen, and make your own mind up!

On the subject of healthy food and diets etc, you may also like to have a look at Sophie Cussen’s piece on Diet Development.

And on the subject of the BBC, please have a look at my post on julzcrafts.com – and perhaps you might like to add your name to the petition to HELP SAVE OUR BBC from the machinations of David Cameron et al!


Has Britain Gone Mad? The Election Results ….

David Cameron at a Banquet in London's Guildhall (2012) .  (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

David Cameron at a Banquet in London’s Guildhall (2012) . (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Do we really want this man running the country?  Or running DOWN the country.

I know I am not alone in having noticed that George Osbourne’s Budget Speech, some weeks before the Election, was full of holes.

He claimed that the Conservatives had got Britain back on the road to recovery, and set out various spurious plans to ‘get people back to work’.  I’m writing from memory here, so I’m just giving my own opinion, and am not ‘fact checking’ – but along with several small useful ‘initiatives’ to ‘help business’, which probably would  be worth implementing – there were some horrendous gaffs and boasts that ‘Britain was back on track’.

the young George Osbourne

the young George Osbourne

After five years of austerity and the brutal hacking back of our Welfare State, to a point where thousands of hard working families are relying on Food Banks, and skilled workers are forced into zero hour contracts and paid a pittance, you would have thought that they should have been well on their way to balancing the books by now, but in fact they are still borrowing huge amounts.

Do you know where all that money has gone?  I don’t!

That was bad enough, but to my mind, this Election has been won by lies and bribery, and I can’t believe that so many of us fell for it and voted them back in.

David Cameron resorted to making promises he couldn’t keep which will involve huge outlays of public money, and to scaremongering – if we voted Labour, the country would be run by the SNP.

Well, David, the country IS going to be run by the SNP now – you pushed Scotland into kicking out nearly everyone else, yourselves included, and now YOU will have to deal with them.

The NHS is on the point of being mangled beyond the point of no return, affordable housing is on the point of being sold off, with minimal new building to replace it, the poor and the disabled are losing their benefits – I truly fear for us all!

PS:  Just seen Lance Greenfield’s Post – We’re all DOOMED – he says it so much better than me!  Have a look!

X is for – Xtra, Xtra – read all about it!

XThis is the newz according to Julz!

Readers of this blog may have noticed I have a campaigning streak – I’m not sure what you think about it, but its in my genes!

My other blog – julzcrafts.com – as well as being about crafts and all kinds of information that might be useful to knitters, quilters, spinners & weavers etc, is where I find that sometimes, I can’t help but get on my soap box about matters that matter!

I have used this last week of the A-Z challenge to do a review of these campaigns, and to remind people of the issues – if you’d like to see what I am talking about – please go and have a look!

The last two posts in this series will be posted on this blog, and I promise you, are totally frivolous – its been a hard slog to post something each day for a month and its time I had some jokes and stuff on these pages – smile!

Downton Abbey style dramatics in British Politics

tumblr_static_header_2I’m a Radio 4 junkie – I admit it!  Daytime only tho’, when you work from home, you can indulge yourself – smile.

I manage to wean myself off it for evening tv viewing, when the pick is anything from Corrie (Coronation Street for the uninitiated) to the stunning music history programmes on – well its BBC 4 – not the BBC’s Radio 4!

The title of this blog is taken from Eddie Mair’s amazingly funny/serious 18 minute start to this evening’s PM programme.  If you click on the link below it will take you to the programme page and you can listen to it yourself, if you want a laugh! http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0543b0s#auto

Pretty indulgent of the editor to allow that amount of time for the incredibly stupid debate about the ‘Will it – Won’t it happen,  and how …..and ….where and…..WHY – proposed TV Debate between the Party Leaders of the main political parties.  And,  but, are there seven major parties?

from The New Statesman

from The New Statesman

In his effort to avoid talking to Ed Milliband, (Labour), David Cameron (Conservative) is insisting there are, whilst trying to dictate to the broadcasters how they should be managed.

These debates are new to British politics, the very first one was held before the last election in 2010, and had very mixed results.  David Cameron has some reason to say that the ‘Nick Clegg effect’ (Liberal Democrat) lost him his majority and forced them both into the first ‘co-alition’ we have had since the 1940’s.

And Gordon Brown (ex Labour Prime Minister) was so stressed out, that you could say, his performances in these debates were what put an end to his career.

I do have some sympathy with ‘David’ – once tv debates start running the show, as they do in the US, real politics goes out of the window, cos no one is listening to the politics, they are just watching to see the ‘combatants’ facial expressions!  And how well they do – ie: Nick Clegg came out top in the first one – and ‘Gordon’ was lampooned for his catchphrase “I agree with Nick”.  Can YOU remember what ‘Nick’ said that ‘Gordon’ was agreeing with?  I can’t.

But ‘David’ does really seem to hate ‘Ed’ – the vitriol that pours out of him at Prime Ministers Questions in The House is palpable, and seems to me to be more than just a man being threatened by an ‘enemy’ – and he has done a good job at making ‘Ed’ look ridiculous, and smearing his name wherever he can.

What kind of sensible debate could you have when things get so heated and ugly?

However, this morning 6/3/15 –  I posted this yesterday evening – I got a request to sign a petition on Change.org asking me to support this petition:-

David Cameron: Take part in the leaders TV debates

So here is the link and you can decide whether to sign it or not!

I used to belong to the Labour Party – but I hated what Tony Blair did to it – so I’m no longer a member.  I used to hate Maggie Thatcher with a vengeance for the damage she did to this country, and I have had many heated debates with friends and family about the effect of the Tory policies during the depression.  They have damaged so many lives.

So, for me, the tv debates are only window dressing, I would probably vote Labour these days, I’m not so unsure about ‘Ed’ as many people are, but then I am not sure whether their plans will work.  I think he might suffer from the ‘Obama effect’, by which I mean that all his good intentions will get mired in the political struggles to gain ascendancy, and the forces gathered against him!

they have even got a map to show you were the flood is - looks a bit like Downton doesn't it?

they have even got a map to show you were the flood is – looks a bit like Downton doesn’t it?

‘Nuff of that – as a last aside, I also caught the flood drama on the Archers just now – why on earth are they running this story – and doing it so badly?

There was hardly any mention of rain in the days leading up to the sudden floods that are set to destroy all the settled households, and give the writers new and ‘interesting’ story lines to play with.

The Archers longevity and popularity has been due to the fact that it always felt like normal life and the only dramas they had were ones we could all relate to – Corrie used to be like that in the ‘good old days’.

New writers – new ideas – no – just leave it alone!  (But its too late now)