I'm not partisan-political. I tend to be self-defeatingly liberal most of the time. But a couple of things have really got up my nose recently.
1. BNP. The BBC were, on balance, wrong to provide the BNP with a platform. If we're splitting hairs, which perhaps we should, given that they had to accomodate the BNP they provided the wrong platform by creating an edition of Question Time which turned out to be anti-BNP. They should have had a normal Question Time or a QT Special specifically to examine the BNP. Fudging doesn't always work.
2. Following the BNP's appearance two other things irritate.
a) I didn't see the programme but I understand that Jack Straw was unconvincing on Government immigration policy. Straw should have come to that programme with comprehensive, air tight, scent-of-fascism-neutralising policy on immigration. QED - it doesn't matter that I haven't seen the programme, the fact that I've picked up even the suggestion that Straw faltered means that he failed.
b) Griffin can claim many things and in so doing demonstrate ignorance, delusion and mind-numbing stupidity. Unfortunately one thing that he, following QT, has now claimed that is not any of these things is that the British political climate is detrimentally London-centric.
3. Bankers. It's annoying that public money - my money, of which I have little enough anyway - has been used to prop up privately-owned banks. It's doubly annoying that those banks now seem to be performing well again and using my money to reward their imperfect staff in the same manner which led to the 'crisis' in the first place (that I don't understand or feel the impact of the 'crisis' is also of considerable concern for me, but that's another blog post).
So, the city's bonus culture continues, as if the vampire has been pinned down with plastic tent poles rather than a stake to the heart. The Mr Hyde part of me understands that financial workers are hired on the basis of performance-related incremental pay increases and so hard/productive work should be duly rewarded. I'm a meritocrat.
But when the red mist clears and I look with clearer eyes, specifically across at the public sector, I get annoyed. Over there people are hired to turn up and do a good job and are paid a set wage. In the city, that set wage seems simply for the turning up bit. The 'culture' of offering incentives for performance over and above what can be reasonably expected from doing the job has dripped down, like mildew, into the expectation of the basic job contract.
Consequently there is simply a line of damp where one might otherwise find those people simply 'doing a good job', where culture takes on a double meaning (i.e. rot) in the basic competence level of the industry. Modern day finance workers seem to have a contract level - contracted to do a job means they have the situation and paperwork to maintain an average lifestyle - and a bonus level - they can actually DO the job they are contracted to do but expect extra remuneration for it. It also continues to encourage risk-taking.
As long as this attitude is written into contracts and, indeed, the culture of the city the problems that (we're told!) have beset us in the past year will continue.