Ed Miliband MP speaking at the Labour Party conference. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So, Ed Miliband wants to raise the minimum wage over the course of the next Parliament from £6.50 which is due to take effect in October to £8 an hour.
This is a remarkably easy vote winning strategy for a Labour leader to throw out there, but he needs to understand the reality of what he’s doing because somebody has to pay.
Let me take an example of somebody I know who runs a takeaway and fast food restaurant, he employs around 40 staff, working seasonal and shift patterns to deal with demand. Most are young people, working in their first jobs, in an area where work is quite hard to come by. [click to continue…]
This morning I had reason to query some payments from my bank account and ended up having to call the fraud team.
When they answered they took me through security, but not by using the account or online passwords or codes I normally use. Instead they asked me detailed questions like: my full name and date of birth. Not very secret at all.
Then when we had discussed the details of the possible fraud I was asked to answer a series of pro-forma questions. One of them was: have you given your account details to anyone?
When I asked what “account details” meant I was told that it was my account number and sort code.
With that account information on every cheque that I write, it is potentially a very long list of people who know my details or, as I suspect, a remarkably stupid question!
Someone asked me this morning: "how is it that we can be prepare to use airpower in Iraq but appear to be so reserved about a response to the situation in Ukraine?"That set me thinking: and the answer is, in my opinion, that we face very different situations. In Iraq we will not project our military power on the land, so can only do so from the air. The Islamic State air defence capability is limited, so risks are low.
Historically we might have considered using Armoured power in Europe as our principle weapon, albeit supported from the air.My first regimental posting is within 24 hours drive time to Kiev. But having now removed nearly all our troops from Europe we are unable to project force into the East. Moreover the use of air power in Ukraine will meet effective defensive responses from the separatist and/or Russian forces.
We are therefore "stuck". We don’t have any local or close-by capability available to intervene on the ground and we face a dangerous risk from intervention in the air.
Consequently we are suffering the fate of an alliance that has fought "light wars" for the last decade whilst forgetting that Russia has not reduced its military might and can certainly advance armoured forces from cross proximity.
Developing a suitable response for Ukraine will prove difficult