The Twists And Turns Of The Daily Mail

Mail Bashing is of course the preserve of every right minded citizen in the UK.  I had the misfortune to see the front page today (I’m with Nye Bevan on newspapers) while I was buying scones and cheese.  Not really relevant but there is more fact and research in that sentence than required for a job at a national rag. 

With the Mail, first you get the untrammelled nonsense, followed by the comments from Mad Dog John in Melbourne who left the UK because Wilson got in – again – and who seems to think he knows what’s best for us after nearly forty years of living it, Buster Edwards style, 12,000 miles away.

Yesterday, they bucked the trend.  Sonia Poulton wrote this article

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2102484/This-wartime-Nazi-Germany-Camerons-attacks-vulnerable-needy-stopped.html

and came out to tell the current shower that are in the position of “government” that they are little short of evil slavers.  It is unfair to say that “even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and again” about the author without at least further research, but it is entirely fair to say it about the paper.  It’s vile and for it to indicate that its source of main support is vile, well, that’s a whole new shade of vile.

Sadly, the world is supposed to work on balance.  The Korean flag addresses it, Newtonian laws cover it, even Locard’s Exchange Principle touches on it after a fashion.

Edmond Locard was a forensic scientist and effectively stated that everywhere you go, you take something with you, and you leave something behind.  Adapting that to the Mail, you get the good elements from the excellent article left behind and somewhere further along the line you’ll pick up the poorly-written nonsense. 

One day, it took.  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2102785/Snag-tights-payout-How-civil-servants-allowed-claim-everyday-wear-tear-clothes–taxpayers-foot-bill.html  The Taxpayer’s Anschluss were right in on it but given the imbecility of that unrepresentative organisation, it’s clear they’d never consider researching if any of the preposterous claims were in fact true.  Philip Davies MP, the disability hater, also pitched in, forgetting that he is, of course, a civil servant and parliament is the biggest gravy train of the all.

Let’s dissect the claims.

Now, I’ve known an awful lot of civil servants across an awful lot of departments and I’ve been one myself.  Compensation for lost or damaged property is a preposterous claim and in two decades in and around civil servants, I’ve never heard such nonsense.  This is borne out by the clothing farrago.

Replacing tights would assume the wearing of tights in the first instance.  Already we’re into fractions and those fractions don’t get preferential treatment over the majority.  Regarding replacing and recompensing any clothing, apart from having seen managers in the same clothes on rotation for over four years, how does that work for uniformed prison officers, police, border staff in uniform, indeed ANYONE in uniform?  It is hard to decide which is the more spectacularly dense; the claim, or; the simple fundamental principle of failing to think for more than four seconds and see that someone is having you, The Daily Mail and the Taxpayer’s Anschluss, for a patsy.

“Taxi for family to pick up an honour if the recipient has died”.  What?  Someone who dies in service (low percentage indeed) who does so after winning an honour [we all have honours, of course] but before the award (really?  In 500,000 civil servants, I doubt this has ever happened) is even more preposterous than the uniforms the employer provides being a source of income.  If I were reporting this, I’d be ashamed.  Next up…

Pensions?  A sustainable element of pay agreed through negotiation with successive governments?  Really?  I can see the only source of objection being because of the prospect of upcoming strikes (late March, kids, get ready) and that Francis Maude is cacking himself.  Again.

Partial retirement, part year working and flexitime, meanwhile actually save “the mythical  taxpayer”.  The first cuts salary and actuarially reduces pension payments, the second is a means of filling a department only when needed and the third is an element of statutory law that can be and is used for worklife balance.  It actually makes people more productive.  Do the research, it’s true, go on, I’ll be here when you get back.

Home workers, meanwhile, aren’t the “500,000 civil servants” cited because like it or not, you can’t lock down prisoners, police the streets or act as an MOD clerk in a war zone “from home”.  Border staff do not monitor entry clearance through a portal in their garden and DWP staff do not interview prospective claimants in their kitchen while making some toast.

Last one.  “Compressed hours”.  Aside from that being potentially flexible working, and so has legal backing, why would anyone care how you put in your time as long as you put in 36 hours?

And then I saw it.  36 hours.  Not 37.  36 hours is a London contract.  The civil service outside London works a 37 hour week as full time.  Unless all the half million are working in London – and they aren’t – then the wheels fall off completely here.  The most basic element of working contracts – hours worked – hasn’t even been investigated by two, yes, two reporters at a national newspaper.  And the Taxpayer’s Anschluss, who weren’t in on the “workfare is slavery” article above jumped in right behind this, filth that they are.

The article states within “It is not known how much money is claimed each year in compensation.”

Of course not.  That would involve truth and research.  And this is the Daily Mail.

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