Sunday Column (93)

This week I don’t know where to start. The year is coming to an end. I start reflecting. Today I should have been with an old university friend. Reason I am not is that Colin has an ear and eye infection. Whilst he is getting better, travelling with an ill toddler is just not fun. So instead Jen and I spend a nice weekend together. Both having the start of a cold/infection – it never seems to stop when you have children.

Not another moan I was thinking. But how can I help it? At least my new Android phone, the HTC Desire Z, finally arrived and I absolutely loving it. Intuitive, clever, user friendly and quicker than the Blackberry. Loved the Blackberries but time came to change and move on and up.

The only drawback I think so far is that there is no real task application, e.g. you cannot sync your Outlook tasks and productivity is limited. However, there are solutions and I start looking into it.

Now, looking at the news from Friday night it gets me thinking. First of all that a noble peace prize winner cannot come to the ceremony because a country like China has imprisoned the winner. How can that happen? Either our perception, or the perception of the Noble Peace Prize committee are wrong, or China’s? Who decides what is right or wrong. Leading on from the world peace, we are looking right into London to the “student protests”. What is going on there?

Most of you know that I am rather on the conservative side when it comes to politics. Not that I am very political anyway. A healthy balance of social welfare and harsh decisions. I wasn’t objecting to Mr. Cameron becoming PM but what happened in this country? Students have to protest against fees of up to £9,000. Wow, I couldn’t afford that now, and I am working. If a student has a loan of that size, it takes probably ten years to pay it off, then another 5-10 to save for a house deposit. That harms the economy all over again, as the money spend in the system will be reduce. Or, students just go abroad to study in order to avoid the fees. Either way, we starting to ruin the UK. So well done protesters. How can I support you?

Now Charles and Camilla got caught in the protests. First of all, well done to the Metropolitan police of not avoiding the crowds. With today’s technology, you were unable to avoid protester pockets. Right, just drive a non armoured vehicle with windows down into a protest. WTF? Are you guys dumb? I really don’t get it. If I was Charles I would make you all redundant. And, what really annoys me, you are now launching an investigation into the whole thing that costs probably as much as it costs to put a few students through university.

I don’t even want to dig any deeper. Why the Liberal Democrats betrayed their country and voters. For f*&! sake – what is going on. Either I am getting really old and grumpy, set in my ways or this country is just deteriorating. Customer service is one thing, and not being able to cope with the snow and ice. Now this customer service, or people service, is going down the drains too. Nick Clegg stopped caring for his voters, the party will be split and never going to be back in power for many years to come. The Conservatives just show everyone how to NOT rule a country and treat the future generation of lawyers and bankers and managers who for sure will remember what happened last week and will NOT vote for them again.

Whilst I am not a Labour fan, it seems to be the lesser harm for the country. The more I think about it, the more I think after 10 years of having a good life, it will be time to move on. No, I am not bitter but very thankful for the hospitality I received in the UK. But I am looking ahead. I have family, children, a future. I don’t want my kids to grow up in a country where people have to go to the streets to protest for their rights. If that is what I wanted, I could go to any 3rd world country and had this kind excitement every day.

I am afraid – this is the bottom line. Afraid for my own security, for my kids’ future, my wife. What about house prices? What about tax. What about security for everyone. Maybe I am seeing black and white, but if less people go to university, without a real alternative we are having problems. There is no proper apprenticeship, no alternative “degrees” or qualifications to obtain. Of course that is why you can study football or “knitting” at university.

Maybe I should stop moaning and start looking into the future. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe things will change for the better. I just cannot imagine it. I cannot see it. I dream of a future where I can live in a house, have a safe neighbourhood, and of course where my kids can grow up safely without having to pay huge fees for schools, for universities or healthcare. I don’t want to live in a country separated by education, by money, status or heritage. I do want to have freedom of speech, freedom to protest and don’t see politicians wasting my tax money. I want the education system to be cheaper but good. A system where we pay for most things through taxes, maybe some additional fees, but in return get good schools, a good education. A state where money is wisely spent. I don’t want my children to not have the chance to become doctors or lawyers because of money. I would love to see a future where I am happy, my children are happy and where basic needs of human kinds don’t need to be paid for. Money must not be a divider for society.

I guess it will be difficult to find that place. That place where kids can be kids, grow up to be youngsters. Where kids don’t grow up in a society of fear and drink. And, NO, I don’t take things for granted. And some might say “go back to Germany if you don’t like it here”. And maybe they have an argument there. But this isn’t a solution. My life, my wife, my kids, my job, my friends are here in this country. I care about this country, otherwise I would have disappeared already, wouldn’t have I?

Have a good and peaceful week.
Love and Happiness from my little world,
Volker