Author Topic: Stress  (Read 187 times)

JLR2

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Stress
« on: May 14, 2018, 10:49:49 AM »
If it is thought that my op is on the wrong page I will not be stressed were it to be moved.

I was listening this morning to Radio Scotland as they had their phone in subject focused on 'Stress'  and whilst I didn't myself call in, my being oot for a wee while and missed the first 30mins, my thoughts were in the direction of just how the country has become so prone to stress.

I feel it really started many years back as more and more jobs were moved out of the UK to cheaper sources of labour, Asia and the far East. I have for many years wondered at the hopeless aim of the UK government to compete in terms of the numbers of available workers to the likes of China. It is to my mind obvious that the UK cannot compete with these numbers and to some extent I would expect those at Westminster know this too. It is for this reason I feel we hear MPs talk of developing the high skilled end jobs. Well even with the best intentions they, the Westminster MPs, will have to get it into their heads that not everyone is so mentally gifted as to be able to handle such work, I'm certainly not clever enough to work in the likes of IT.

In the government's push to see everybody working as many hours as their breath will allow them it has tried just about everything it can think of to drive folk from their home into their place of employment from the crack of dawn till the day ends. Government's have looked to provide nurseries and indeed pre-nursery places to families with the idea being if the children are off the parents hands then the parents are available to employers to employ in the quest to boost the country's income.

The stresses put on folk to make profit from every waking minute by which I mean the government expects everybody, disabled included, to be earning constantly and even then they are more and more being charged with seeking to find and secure higher returns on their efforts in the work place. No moment must be spared in the search for extra hours or a higher wage, not to actively work towards such a goal of higher income has in some areas of our lives become something of an offence subject to sanctions should the person be in any way dependent on DWP benefits.

The stress of trying to find, secure and keep a regular 40hr working week job at a decent wage is getting to so many people and causing a real impact on the health of thousands with the knock on impact on the health services. The impact on health services again has its own impact on those working in the NHS leading to long term problems in the NHS.

Employers working in thousands of small and medium businesses, I'm sure, are doing all that they can to keep their employees from the doors of unemployment offices, these companies do not relish the idea that their employees are faced with the prospect of needing the help of a food bank. Once upon a time the big embarrassment was for a parent to look to the pawn to get the monies to put food on the table. Taking their children with them as they went to the pawn shop knowing what their kids might face at school from their fellow pupils if their parents had been talking about how they saw Mrs So and So 'doon the pawn'  nowadays it's not so much the pawn but the food banks kids are learning of. In my life it was either the pawn or in my faither's case the bookies I became most familiar with, thankfully I never learnt to write a bookies line.

The impact of the stress being suffered by many has, we are being told by the MSM,  seen a rise in self harm and suicide well sadly I think the DWP could have told the MSM that some years back as the WCAs took their toll on disabled benefit claimants. If the MSM and reluctantly the government are now beginning to see the impact the increased levels of stress are having on the working population just how hard do they think the levels of stress have impacted on disabled welfare benefit claimants and those able bodied job seekers allowance claimants punished by the government's sanctions regime?  Then again reality kicks in and I sadly I think of the governments in Westminster, including that of Gordon Brown, and have to accept the government is aware of its policies in relation to disabled claimants and they are content that their policies are working just as intended.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2018, 11:19:30 AM by JLR2 »

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Stress
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2018, 11:40:44 AM »
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If it is thought that my op is on the wrong page I will not be stressed were it to be moved.

I thought it would sit better in Disability Talk, so I've moved it  >biggrin<

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The stresses put on folk to make profit from every waking minute by which I mean the government expects everybody, disabled included, to be earning constantly and even then they are more and more being charged with seeking to find and secure higher returns on their efforts in the work place. No moment must be spared in the search for extra hours or a higher wage, not to actively work towards such a goal of higher income has in some areas of our lives become something of an offence subject to sanctions should the person be in any way dependent on DWP benefits

There is a definite emphasis of late on the 'work solves all problems' ideology - without the recognition that pressurising people in this way could actually leave them unfit to work at all  >erm<

JLR2

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Re: Stress
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2018, 12:20:53 PM »
In days gone by it was thought that the impact of the huge loss of lives resulting from the World Wars saw an increase in the lack of the surviving parent to properly look after and bring up their children. As many fathers died in these wars the widowed mothers found themselves,  in the days before the welfare state, no choice but to seek work. This situation saw many children pretty much left to their own devices after school. Many of these children found themselves more or less charged with bring up their siblings, the older children looking after their younger brothers and sisters.

Today as many children go through the nursery system they will be, I feel as only I can not having any children of my own and hence no experience of the bringing up of children in todays world, that bit distanced from their parents. Their world will become as much about what they learn from those they see day to day in their nurseries. Many parents working all the hours they can find, dealing with the whole gamut of what life has to throw at them as they do all that they can to get from one week to the next will find themselves, in some cases, that little bit short of a long fuse and this can impact on a child's experience of childhood. I might be a bit too gereralistic but I can't help but think a child brought up in a home where due to the pressures being faced by even the most best intentioned of parents who under the stresses being faced are more prone to be either grumpy or more prone to rowing than others will in their turn grow up likewise grumpy and quick to the row.

I was fortunate in having a wonderful mother who worked hard to bring my brothers, sisters and me up, I hasten to add my father was in fulltime work as a painter and decorator for Glasgow Corporation. To my shame it has only in my later years, since my mother's death, that I have begun to really understand just how much my mother did for us.

If governments honestly want to do something to reduce the stresses faced by families and in doing so reduce the impact of stress on the working population they could make a start by allowing parents the chance to bring their children up themselves rather than through the surrogates of nursery staff or school teachers. A government could start with allowing the parenting of a child, by a mother or for that matter a father whom remains at home, to be awarded a full NI contribution and guaranteed their entitlement to the full state pension rather than what happened to many mothers who did stay at home as my mother did in my childhood to bring up their children but suffered the reduction in pension entitlement.

If some sort of stability can be brought into the homes of many working families the result can be a far happier and stable environment for the children. This would pay dividends in terms of a more settled community where children brought up in such households are more able to take in the education they are provided with in their school years. An added bonus of sorts could be found in the better chances for parents to bring up children with a sense of discipline and respect for others.

Maybe I'm just being daft and yapping a lot of wishful thinking.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2018, 12:28:10 PM by JLR2 »

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Stress
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2018, 12:54:20 PM »
I'd like to give a classic illustration of where something nasty happens and people later mostly assume that most of the nastiness was intentional and don't see the incompetence, i.e. that it is so easy to over-estimate the competence of those in power.



Warning - description of violence and colonialism.  Scroll by if you haven't the stomach for it.

This is about entrepreneurial incompetence by powerful leaders and the impact.  Ok, think back to the heyday of the British Empire.  We weren't the only ones at it, the Belgians were as well.  Or more to the point, they had a king that was.  Leopold II rallied his troops and invaded the Congo in search of making his fortune, as is the wont of rich, powerful rulers around the world and through time, by exploiting local natural resources and labour.  In this case, it was rubber, which was valuable. 

But not all the people out there were terribly keen on this (well, who would be?) and so rebels got shot.  Targets were set and increased for rubber production and people who didn't achieve their targets were shot.  To incentivise soldiers & administrators to be brutal, they were given bonuses for killing people, but they had to prove it by chopping off the corpse's right hand and sending it back.  Thus arose and spread the practice of chopping off hands.

Meanwhile, it wasn't easy to hit rising rubber production targets, the pressure went on, and there were more killings.  But bullets weren't as easy to come by on the front line as they should be, and so it became simpler just to chop hands off living people, whether they rebelled or not, and send those back.  Naturally, those that liked hurting people enjoyed it, and the others mostly just went along with it.

However, the rubber industry really wasn't doing terribly well and in due course, it became more profitable on the front line to go into a village, attack the locals and harvest hands than to go into a village and force them to harvest rubber.  It's said these days that Leopold II stopped his rubber trade in the Congo because of pressure from human rights campaigners and fellow royals, but there's an alternative view that others in power only spoke out when the industry was already collapsing.  In other words, mass death and mutilation happened not only because of greed but because of business/enterprise incompetence.

The point I'm making is that when we see misery caused by people in power, it's so easy to assume they've thought it all through and know what they're doing.  But how do most people in power get into power?  A significant proportion get into power in one of three overlapping ways: (1) they inherit it; (2) they're good at social networking and electioneering; (3) they got lucky.   Obviously that isn't the case for all powerful people and some powerful people are very, very intelligent, some are great entrepreneurs etc.  So if the government's  plans seem ill thought out, it doesn't surprise me.

And now, I'd like them to reverse things, but I don't know what arguments one would advance.  You're a career politician either in cabinet or in some way closely networked with them (i.e. not an ignored backbencher).  What can you do that will make you personally better off?  What would make you feel better?  Can you really fix this or would it  be better just to spout platitudes and then pick up work elsewhere getting paid loads of money for after dinner speeches and token non-executive directorships?

I don't say politicians don't go into politics for moral reasons, but if you had, how long would you stick it before giving up?  And if you didn't give up, how many compromises would you make?

I also don't say we should lose hope, I just say we shouldn't expect politicians to have a clue what to do to fix what's going wrong.  My big hope is that someone can convince them that improving things in this country can benefit  them better personally.  More profitable use of human beings.  A population better able to offer them adulation.  Glory for being seen as a wonderful person.  Who could or would do that, I don't know.   Many's the time I've wished I had what it took to be a politician, but I don't. 

Maybe the incentive to improve people's lives would be to convince ministers that it's terribly important to improve the health, welfare, education, family life etc. of the population in order to increase the number of potential soldiers.  But you can be fat and operate a drone control, can't you?  There might still be some potential, there, though, and supporting disabled people needs the big purple pound economic argument again.

Here endeth another history lesson and gloomy political ramblings, but less gloomy than sometimes.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Stress
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2018, 12:55:14 PM »
Quote
Maybe I'm just being daft and yapping a lot of wishful thinking.

No, you're not.  You're making a lot of sense.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

JLR2

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Re: Stress
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2018, 01:29:36 PM »
''Maybe the incentive to improve people's lives would be to convince ministers that it's terribly important to improve the health, welfare, education, family life etc.''

Perhaps someone could mention to government ministers that an engine will only last so long as it is maintained. In saying that I think of just how we maintain our engines, car engines or for that matter engines of industry, in a car engine providing too much oil can be as damaging as too little getting the balance right is what takes the skill particularly when it comes to the country's economy.

MPs should look beyond the figures in front of them and think about the wider implications. To say unemployment is, let us say down by 1%, if that were to refer to 100,000 out of employment the impact will go further as the spending wherewithal will be affected leading to if not further job losses it could see heavy reductions in working hours available to those remaining in the retail sectors and again with their reduced hours their reduced spending monies with these reductions impacting on the economy.

When a bank or lender considers making a loan they will take into account the applicant's ability to repay the loan over the term of the loan, if the applicant is uncertain of their future job security the lender more often than not will decline to confirm the loan. The impact on the confidence of the would be loan applicant can be more than simply disappointment, it can sap their mental health and maybe, I'm no mental health expert, take a toll to the point of depression in the applicant.

People need to have a point to their lives, waking up just to wait for bedtime to come round again is not what folk want to be doing. Neither do folk want to be taken for mugs, hence the expression a ''fairs day pay for a fairs day work'. A job where the worker employed can see a point to their toil, that is to earn such a wage as to allow them to plan a future to have a realisable ambition is one of which many will willingly aspire to. These folk will put in their best and hardest graft, they will be loyal to  their employers in that they would do their best for an honest and respectable employer whom respects their employees as more than just a cost to them and no more. There was a sizable improvement to the British economy in previous generations when some of the larger employers put in the effort to provide better conditions for their employees. Companies such as Cadbury's built decent homes near to their factories and in doing so had themselves a fairly contented work force. The health of Cadbury's workers was vastly improved through the company's housing provision and this saw few days lost to ill health. Today's companies might want to spend a little more time thinking about their attitude towards the staff/workers by themselves. Look after your employees and they will, without a feeling of force, threat or intimidation driving them give their best.

Nurses give their best in our NHS they do so in spite of the heavy demands made on them by numerous governments and not just for the money but because they care for those they see every day if only employer could have a bit of thought for those in their employ.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Stress
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2018, 02:09:52 PM »
It's difficult if, in a disposable society, where we use once and throw away, people in power may see people like that.

Again, while I'm doing the historical rambling.  America.  Abolition of slavery.  Sounded good, didn't it?  But we've seen there are still problems over there.  However, in the aftermath of abolition, there were commercial issues - plantations that weren't commercially viable without slaves and freed slaves with no land and no resources to buy land.   Obviously, in many cases some sort of deal was struck.

However, then they had Jim Crow.  Have I said something about that recently?  In county after county around the Southern states, they introduced a raft of laws that made it verging on the impossible for fit young men, and to a lesser extent women, not to break the law.  There is also evidence of corrupt white judges.  So then the men got jailed, but then there's an expense for the country.  No problem, chain gangs were the answer.

The former plantation owner hires a chain gang at rock bottom prices.  Since he doesn't have to pay for a replacement if he works a prisoner to death, he can push the prisoners to the limit.  In those days, if convicts died in custody, no one sued the county.  In some places, former slaves were actually treated worse than slaves.  And then there were the lynchings, but that's another story.

But how did that happen?  My guess is that most of those that  campaigned for and implemented the abolition of slavery neither foresaw nor wanted chain gangs, much less the reality of prisoners becoming less valuable to many 'employers' than slaves.

And now?  Many aspects of American law are biased against African Americans and American convicts work for hideously low wages (if one can call them that).  The only difference is that these days the 'slaves' aren't doing much chain gang work, they're doing work ranging from manufacturing armaments to working on chicken butchering conveyor belts.

So to me, politicians need to have some sort of sense that just because the world has become use once and throw away they can do better not to, which I don't have the commercial arguments for except that surely there are types of work where happy, loyal, long-term workers are more productive.  As you say, Cadbury and Bournville.  But what sort of work people in this country would do that would make that the best option, I don't know.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)