Thursday 24 July 2008

Talk about tale of rags to riches.. Living on streets was a lesson

A Girl Named Raye

never expected life to imitate art when she played a youthful Cinderella in Dublin's Olympia Theatre.

But she was to learn the harsh reality of Cinders' world, living rough on the streets.

A brilliant musician, at 18 she was already being tipped as a future concert pianist by the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

With a family background in theatre it was no surprise when she won a part in the TV soap Fair City and formed her own girl band.

Soon afterwards she abandoned her classical career path to become a full-time singer-songwriter and headed for London to live her dream.

A Girl Named Raye

Three short years later her glittering future seemed in ruins when she was forced to sleep rough on that city's mean backstreets.

Broke and disheartened the talented artiste was using her keyboard case as a pillow and on the verge of returning to her Clontarf home with shattered illusions. But her luck changed when record producer Scobie Ryder stumbled across "Cinders" at 5am, asleep in an alley close to the Thames embankment, clutching a plastic bag of clothing.

Scobie Ryder

Thanks to him after just three months the stunning blonde, with the looks of a young Debbie Harry, is starring in a TV commercial and preparing her first album.

At her newlypainted, large airy bedsit in Kilburn, North London the 21-year-old, stage name A Girl Named Raye, reflected happily on her dramatic change of fortune.

"Talk about rags to riches. I'm not earning a fortune, but I have money in my pocket, a nice new flat and a download single on the internet.

"For the first time in years I believe things are finally starting to happen for me - and it's a grand feeling.

"I'm the new face of Cinderella hair products and I'll shortly be appearing for them at the Birmingham Clothes Show at the National Exhibition Centre.

"It's really strange because ever since that panto performance alongside Dustin The Turkey at 15 my friends called me Cinders. And for about a week back in the spring I discovered what life was like at the bottom of the pile.

"I won't say I enjoyed it. I was almost at rock bottom when Scobie stumbled on me. But looking back it was an interesting experience being on the streets.

"I'd been struggling to hold down parttime jobs as a barmaid, waitress and working in a gym. But I was taking so much time off for rehearsals and playing small-time gigs that I got the sack from all of them.

"Then I ran out of money and got kicked out of my bedsit - which wasn't too much of a loss. I stayed in a hostel for a while and then ended up on the streets.

a.k.a. Rachel Barror

"But it wasn't too bad and if I hadn't been dossing down I would never have met Scobie. I'd probably be back in Ireland now with my tail between my legs.

"I can still hardly believe I've been given this chance to sing my own song on TV.

People who've seen the advert say it's just great.

"I had all but given up after working long and hard to get a break as a singersongwriter."

The award-winning owner of Killer Records dismissed her doubts. "Raye's a survivor.

Sooner or later she would have got back on track without me.

"But I'm delighted we met. It was purely by accident. I was heading home after a night out clubbing when I spotted this beautiful girl dozing in an alley between Charing Cross and the river.

"I could see immediately she wasn't the average homeless person because she was using an instrument case as a pillow.

"That intrigued me so we got talking. I was immediately struck by her cheerful attitude, despite finding her in such shabby circumstances.

"Her ability to survive on the streets and still stay optimistic and cheerful was a key factor for me, so I invited her round to the studio later in the day.

"It soon became clear then that she was a very talented musician - she had attended a top Dublin conservatoire for years - and she had a great voice.

"I think she is one of my best creative finds ever. Apart from a truly brilliant voice she has real musical talent. She plays superbly and writes phenomenal songs.

"She has that special energy that you can't buy or teach. It's just natural. Even her stage name tells you something about her.

"It was inspired by the Johnny Cash record A Boy Named Sue, which like her is all about dealing with adversity and whatever life throws at you.

"I quickly signed her up and helped her to get the Cinderella advertising job - which seemed appropriate considering how I came to meet her.

"She gets to sing a few bars of her download single and wear their hair extensions. The commercial has been aired during the Britain's Next Top Model programmes. I think she's going to be a big success."

Raye was modestly down-to-earth about her future. She said: "If I make it big time that will be a bonus.

"At the moment I couldn't be happier. I'm doing exactly what I wanted creatively, working on the album and doing the odd modelling job and getting a small band together.

"It's all a far cry from what my family had hoped for me, but they have always been firmly behind me from the start.

"There's been a long tradition of theatre and music in our family, although my sister Jennifer broke the mould by becoming a special needs nurse.

"My mother Rita is a drama teacher and my dad Ray has been a comic actor and singer all his life. Sadly they've split and he now lives in Wicklow while she stays in Dublin.

"But they've all been great for me. They knew I had musical talent at an early age.

I entered the college of music at six and attended the Royal Academy from 12 to 17.

"I had a very strict tutor who used to frighten the bejaysus out of me, and she was certain I had a career as a concert pianist.

"But I started to get bored with playing other people's music. I wanted to carve out my own path as an entertainer."

Her driving ambition has left Raye little time for romance. "I've had a few boyfriends since I came to London, but nothing serious and I never let them last long," she explains.

"Most of them were unsuitable. I seem to have a talent for picking bad boys or wastrels. I'm unattached right now and likely to stay that way.

"I've got more important things to do - like painting my flat. My last bedsit was like a small cell. It was claustrophobic - if truth be told I found it easier sleeping in the open air.

"In any case I like my own company and I've got enough going professionally to keep me busy."

Scobie, who has won three gold awards for sound recording work, said: "Raye's got her head screwed on. She's not going to let anyone or anything distract her from her chosen career path.

"I think she's going to be big and if her album is a hit she's going to donate part of the profits to a homeless charity. She's had first-hand experience of what life on the streets can be like. And not everyone there has her strength of character."

'I have money in my pocket & a nice new flat'

'If it wasn't for streets I wouldn't have met my producer'

Saturday 19 July 2008 Co-Sponsors Mongol Rally 2008 Team


According to the Mongolia information site, the Mongol Rally is possibly the largest departure of adventure teams from the UK ever staged – they have no route, no back up and tiny 1-litre cars!

Yak To The Future Team - London to Mongolia

200 cars, driven by teams from 23 countries (some in fancy dress), set off today from Hyde Park, London on a journey of around 10,000 miles through 15 countries in cars they swapped for a bag of crisps. And they are doing it all for charity!

The brave Yak To The Future team from Godalming, Surrey and their trusty 2CV was co-sponsored by lifestyle social networking and file-sharing site

l to r: The Yak To The Future Team: Joe Turner, Mark Coughlan and Tim Hopkin just before their epic journey, with John Wood from

The charities that the Yak To The Future team is raising funds for are:

Home for the Elderly: Pashupati Briddhshram (old home) is the largest old people's home in Kathmandu, Nepal run by the government - Home to 236 residents but only 9 car workers.

Mercy Corps: Mercy Corps Mongolia supports rural communities and herding families through economic, educational and agricultural programmes.

For more information on the charities, visit:

To donate, visit:

Thousands turned up to see the teams off

A few minutes before the start of the London to Mongolia Rally 2008

Follow their every move via the Yak To The Future Blog:

Thursday 17 July 2008

New Print Management Software Improves Law Firm Billing

Print Manager Plus 2008 includes a sophisticated print tracking system which allows law firms to accurately bill back their printing costs to clients with ease

Print Manager Plus 2008 helps legal firms bill clients
for their print outs (image by

Clearwater, Florida and London, UK: The just-released software, Print Manager Plus 2008 for law firms includes features to help recession proof law firms and improve billing practices and income. The entire time-consuming process of manually recording all printing done of behalf of clients, attributing each print job to the correct client and working out the respective costs to be billed to each is now an integral part of Print Manager Plus 2008. No expensive hardware or training is needed with this pure software solution.

The software allows for the client name, account name or matter codes to be billed back to a central database each time a user within the law firm prints from their workstation. It then keeps track of all print job characteristics such as date and time printed, username, document title, number of pages, number of copies, duplex, NUp, and the cost of the print job.

“PMP even allows legal firms to add a margin to the actual cost of each print job, either as a fixed Dollar (or other currency) amount or as a percentage,” says Danny Byrnes, VP of Software Shelf International. “They had to use a paper logbook and try to work it all out in a spreadsheet. Inevitably, many print jobs slipped through the net and were never billed back to the client. Thanks to Print Manager Plus, that’s now impossible and it also saves them hours of admin, paying for itself within a very short space of time!”

Print Manager Plus is fully transparent and almost indistinguishable from Windows itself. It is very easy to use and requires no changes to the existing network configuration. It works with all makes of printer and on any operating system, running off Windows Server or Workstation. It is also fully scalable with flexible licensing available from SOHO (Small Office/Home Office), to the Small Business Edition, right up to the full version, so it is, therefore, suitable for any size of law firm.

With over 150 pre-made in-built reports, graphs and statements, billing back to the clients of law firms has never been easier to administer and audit.

Pricing and Availability
A free, fully functional version of Print Manager Plus 2008 is available for download as a thirty-day free trial at
Source: Enterprisewire® News Service
© Enterprisewire News Service

About Software Shelf
Software Shelf is the worldwide leader in tightly-integrated Windows Print Management solutions. Established in 1997, its flagship product, Print Manager Plus is used by thousands of businesses, schools, colleges, universities and other organizations worldwide including Hewlett Packard, the US Army and Microsoft. Legal organizations include: Arizona State University College of Law, Stanford University School of Law, Marten Law Group, Bates and Carey LLC, Wright Law Firm, and Rudolph, Fine, Porter & Johnson, LLP. Software Shelf provides technical support (in 13 languages) from its offices in the US and UK and from its more than 150 partners and resellers in over 60 countries, and it was awarded the Hewlett-Packard Outstanding Partner of the Year Award in 2007. Software Shelf and Print Manager Plus are trademarks owned by Software Shelf worldwide.

For further information, please contact:

Danny Byrnes
Software Shelf International, Inc.
601 Cleveland Street
Suite# 710
Clearwater, FL 33755
United States
Phone: +1 727 445 1920
Phone: +1 800 962 2290
Fax: +1 727 445 9223

Tatjana Kunze
Software Shelf International, Inc.
Vitality House
2 - 3 Imberhorne Way
East Grinstead
West Sussex, RH19 1RL
United Kingdom
Phone +44 1342 310950
Fax +44 1342 302405

print software, print management, print accounting, printer control, print manager, economical, charge-back, bill-back, print jobs, recession proof
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Monday 7 July 2008 launches July/August trends

New Equators End, Surreal Life and Unplugged collections on site now

London: Fashion e-tailer, showcases 3 womenswear fashion-led trends for July and August, all mixing distinct silhouettes with vibrant colour and striking prints.

Equators End” unveils ‘70s safari glamour, taking inspiration from Northern Africa and Savannah wildlife to create a sultry summer look with an exaggerated colour palette and unique print motifs. The look is a real retro take on tribal decoration with embellishment reining strong.

Surreal Life” is the main going-out story for high summer evenings. Details are extravagant, colours vivid, and pattern is inspired by oversized illustrations. Ruffle duchess satin prom dresses make for a statement look and are perfect, teamed with tailored blazer with jewelled brooch.

Taking influences from the late 1960s, the final trend, “Unplugged”, is inspired by a revival of folk music and hippie utopia. Fabrics are tactile with handcrafted elements coming to the fore in floral folk vintage scarves and oversized crochet berets.

Matt Setchell, Creative Director of asos who directed the July/August campaign shoot commented, “The inspiration behind the July/August trend campaign plays with the overall theme of colour and light, fusing rich kaleidoscopic projections with a simple set of coloured blocks and cubes to give a more graphic edge.”

The new season trends launched on on Friday 4th July.

Launched in 2000, is firmly established as the UK’s leading online fashion store. offers an extensive range of own brand women’s and men’s fashion, designer labels, lifestyle accessories and cult beauty brands. is the second most visited on-line clothing store in the UK attracting over 3.3 million unique visitors per month, and has received numerous awards such as Drapers E-tailer of the Year 2006, Retail Week Online Retailer of the Year 2007, and Business XL Company of the Year 2007, to name a few.

For more information, please contact:

Susie Young
Greater London House
Hampstead Road

0207 836 1284, trends, collection, clothing, clothes, dress, dresses, fashion tops, fashion skirts, Matt Setchell

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1933 to 1941
A Nazi Rally at The Stadium in Nuremberg in 1934

Adolph Hitler was the most evil dictator the world has ever known*. During Hitler’s 12 years in power, some 11 Million people were put to death and, as a result of the World War he caused, some 70 Million military and civilian people died.

This paper is not about Hitler; it is an account of the re-armament and the military operations of the German armed forces in the eight years from 1933, when Hitler and the Nationalist Socialist Democratic Workers Party (Nazi party) came to power, to the year that Germany was at the peak of its power, 1941.

At the beginning of 1933, the unemployment rate in Germany was over 30%. The standard of living was low; the country was in a demoralized state. The Versailles Treaty limited the German Army to 100,000 men for security duties only. There was no Air Force. The Navy was restricted to 24 old WW1 ships and 15,000 men.

As soon as Hitler and the Nazis took power in 1933 they set about dismantling the existing democratic form of government and installing Nazism throughout Germany. By 1934, Germany was a totalitarian state. From the start, Hitler’s policy was World Domination. In 1935 the Versailles Treaty was torn up and a Four Year Re-armament Plan was launched.

In 1935, the whole nation was put on a war footing. Over the next four years enormous and wide-ranging projects were undertaken. Industry was expanded to produce armaments in large quantities. Over 2,000 Km of motorway (autobahn) was constructed. Strikes were illegal. Every fit man had to take part in the war effort or was conscripted into the armed forces. Unemployment went down to zero.

The German Armed forces underwent massive expansion. The military strategy of Germany’s new armed forces was to be the ‘Blitzkreig’ (lighting war). There were to be Stuka dive-bombers to terrorise the enemy ground forces; highly mobile ‘motorized’ infantry and artillery to overwhelm them; the tanks were to be of greater speed and fire-power than of any other European army; the Luftwaffe was to have a greater number of, and more advanced fighter and bomber aircraft, than any other European Air Force; the Navy was to have ‘pocket battleships’ (small, fast and superior fire-power cruisers) as well as some modern battle ships, destroyers etc; the main naval weapon was to be the ‘U-Boat’ (submarine), in numbers greater than in any other Navy,

By 1940, at the end of the Four Year Plan, the German Army had 2.5 million men and 2,500 tanks. The Air Force had been re-established and was equipped with 3,200 warplanes. The Navy had some 40 new warships and 67 submarines -- and a U-boat building programme which launched several hundred more in the following years.

In 1938, Hitler started to implement his plans for world domination – “Greater Germany”. First was the annexation of Austria. Next that year was the annexation of Sudetenland, a part of Czechoslovakia.

In 1939 the rest of Czechoslovakia was invaded by German forces and occupied. Next, Poland was invaded and the Polish armed forces were quickly overcome. Poland was divided in two – half being occupied by Germany and the other half by USSR.

In 1940 the German Army attacked and overran the Armies of France, Belgium, Holland, Norway and took control of Denmark by non-violent agreement. The British Expeditionary Force in France comprising some of 400,000 men was defeated. Later that year, the German Army occupied Hungary and Romania.

It was in 1940 that the German forces suffered their first set-back. Having occupied most of Western Europe, the German Army prepared to invade Britain from France. This required German air supremacy over the English Channel. The Luftwaffe (German Air Force) attempted but was unable to achieve this while suffering heavy losses in the attempt. The invasion was abandoned and, instead, the Navy’s Submarine fleet was given the job of securing the UK’s submission by denying the Atlantic to Britain’s merchant ships and thus cutting the vital supply line between the UK and the USA and Canada. In this the U-boats nearly, but not quite, succeeded.

In 1941 the German military occupations continued. Greece, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Crete fell. The German Army landed a force in North Africa which threatened to conquer Egypt and the Suez Canal, and onwards to the Middle East and the oil-fields. (In the event, that plan failed.) In June that year, the German Army invaded the Soviet Union and in the following six months they took control of a very large area of Western USSR – by December they were nearing Moscow.

At this point, the end of 1941, just eight years after Hitler came to power, Germany had gained control of 15 countries, a territory several times greater than Germany itself, and the number of people now under German rule was several times greater than Germany’s own population of 80 million. In the annals of history, for one nation to accomplish such industrial and military results in just eight years has to be unique.

By the end of 1941, the advance on Moscow had failed and the German Army was forced to retreat. It was the beginning of the end of Hitler’s plans for world domination. By 1945, 12 years after he came to power, the Germans had left all the territories they had occupied, Germany itself was occupied and in ruins, millions of Germans had lost their lives in the war, and Hitler had killed himself.

* A possible exception is Joseph Stalin, Dictator of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1953, who put to death an estimated 20 Million to 30 Million people.

July 2008

Saturday 5 July 2008


The foreign policy of the USA is to install Democracy in every country throughout the World.

What constitutes a Democracy?

"Government of the people, for the people."
---Abraham Lincoln

Democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.
---Sir Winston

How many people live in a Democracy?
How many do not?

by L. Berney

President George W.Bush and his Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Condoleezza Rice, frequently reiterate that, “…in the National Interests of the United States of America…”, all the countries in the World which are not Democratic should be converted to Democracy. Regime change -- converting non-Democratic governments to Democratic governments -- is one of the stated principle objectives of the American government’s foreign policy.
The reasons they give are, primarily, to “prevent the destabilization of international order” which, they presume, will inevitably threaten the security of the USA; Democratic states are likely to be more stable than non-Democratic ones. Another reason is “the fight against terrorism” -- to protect US interests at home and overseas from acts of terrorism. It is thought that terrorists are supported by non-Democratic countries and that Democratic governments would help the USA to fight terrorism.
A third reason (not usually emphasized) for the USA’s need to install Democracy in non-Democratic countries (at least, in certain ones) is concerned with the supply of oil and gas. For the survival of the Americans’ way of life, the uninterrupted availability of oil and gas is not a luxury, it is a basic necessity – just as vital as the other necessities: water, food, clothing, and shelter. The USA’s own oil and gas fields cannot supply all the country’s needs and it is essential, therefore, for the USA to import oil and gas from overseas. It is thought that the security and continuity of this foreign supply is more certain if the supplying country is Democratic than if it is not.
(It is interesting to note that neither the United Nations, nor the European Union, nor any sovereign country other than the USA has a policy of imposing Democracy on any other country – the USA is alone in this.)
So, the USA wants to install Democracy throughout the World. But what is a Democracy? I was interested to find out what constitutes a Democratic Government.
From the beginnings of human civilization, some 10,000 years ago, mankind has formed communities, then states, then nations. For a civilization to exist, there has to be some form of government. From the beginning, the form of government has been “Autocracy”, a one-person all-powerful Ruler, a King or Queen, a Pharaoh, Caesar, Mogul, Kaiser, Tsar etc. In Islamic lands the religious leaders, the Ayatollahs and Imams, were the autocratic Rulers. The Ruler laid down the rules (laws) that the people over whom he ruled must obey. The Ruler gathered around him a group of barons (or Ministers as they are now called) to enforce his rules. The barons appointed their own enforcers.
All Rulers have the same personal objective: the attainment of personal POWER and WEALTH. Power to enforce other people to obey his laws and to punish them if they don’t -- Wealth to enjoy a high standard of living for himself and his family, and to accumulate personal enrichment. The objective of the barons (Ministers) and enforcers is, likewise, attaining their own personal Power and Wealth.
Throughout history, the people being governed have wanted to have some say in the rules they have to obey, and especially in the taxes they have to pay, and on how that money is spent. To appease this pressure, Rulers have allowed the existence of advisers, councils, parliaments etc., but the Rulers always maintained their ultimate and overall power.
From the beginnings of civilization, this ‘one person ruler’ form of government (Autocracy) was universal. It was virtually the only known form of government until the latter part of the 19th Century when a new form of government, named “Democracy”, started to take root. (The word ‘”Democracy” is derived from the Greek, demos, ‘the people’ and ‘kratia, ‘power, rule’.)
In 1775, 13 of the British Colonies in North America rebelled and declared themselves independent of the rule of the British King (then King George III) and formed the ‘United States of America’. A Congress (a National Government) was formed consisting of 65 Representatives of the people of those ex-colonies. This was the World’s first Government by Representative Democracy. Representative Democracy is a system of government in which power is vested in the people who rule through freely elected representatives. All rules/laws were to be enacted by these representatives by majority vote “for the general good”. All men were to be equal under the law. There was a written Constitution to protect minorities and there was to be a system of “checks and balances”
Over the next decades, the concept of government by Representative Democracy slowly replaced government by one person Autocracy (Monarchy) throughout Europe. First was France – the French Revolution in the 1789 replaced King Louis XVI. In Britain, during the 19th and early 20th Centuries, the Monarchy gradually and finally handed over its powers to a democratically elected parliament. In all of the new European Democracies, it was the parliaments that made the laws and decided on the taxes; the Monarchs either became Constitutional Monarchs or the Monarchy was abolished.
In the 10,000-year history of civilization, government by Democracy, commencing only just over 200 years ago, is still very new. In the last two Centuries we have seen autocratic Monarchy and Colonialism replaced by several other forms of government: Communism, National Socialism, Fascism, Apartheid, Authoritarian Regime, and of course Democracy. Some failed – Communism, Authoritarian Regimes and Democracy still exist. As to the future of Democracy, some think, “the jury is still out”!
The USA wants every country to be Democratic. But what, exactly, is Democracy? How do you measure it? To answer that question, in January 2007 the Economist newspaper conducted a survey of the level of Democracy in 167 countries, the inhabitants of which comprise 95% of the total population of the World. They said about measuring Democracy:
There is no consensus on how to measure democracy, definitions of democracy are contested and there is an ongoing lively debate on the subject. The issue is not only of academic interest. For example, although democracy- promotion is high on the list of American foreign-policy priorities, there is no consensus within the American government on what constitutes a democracy. As one observer recently put it, “the world’s only superpower is rhetorically and militarily promoting a political system that remains undefined.
They graded each country in five basic areas of Democracy:
Electoral Process – Free, fair, and competitive elections.
Civil Liberties – Protection of basic human rights; freedom of speech, religion and assembly; the right to judicial process; decisions by majority rule.
Functioning of Government – the quality of government; the implementation of decisions.
Political Culture – acceptance by losing parties of the judgment of the majority; peaceful transfer of power.
Participation – citizens’ active and freely chosen participation in public life.
Out of a maximum score of 100 points, the results of the 167-country survey were
Fully Democratic, over 80 points 28 countries with 13.0% of World population
Partially Democratic, 60 to 80 points 54 countries with 38.3% of World population
Not Democratic, less than 60 points 85 countries with 48.7% of World population
The Economist scored the USA at 82 points out of 100; the UK 81 points. The highest score was Sweden with 99 points out of 100.
Clearly, with half the peoples and half the countries of the World not Democratic, to convert all countries to full or even partial Democracy, there is a lot of regime change to be done!
From an examination of how Democracy is applied in the 28 countries that the Economist rates as “Fully Democratic”, it is apparent that the form of Democracy is use today varies greatly from one country to another. For example:
  • Head of State – in some Democratic countries the Head of State has executive powers, in others none.
  • Legislative body – in some there is an Upper and a Lower chamber, in others one only.
  • Political Parties – In some there are only two parties, in others many parties.
  • Voting –Some are “first past the post”, some have proportional representation.
  • Written Constitution – some have a written constitution, others do not.
  • Prime Minister -- some are appointed by the President, others are the leader of the party in power.
  • Civil Service – Some heads of departments are appointed by the political party in power, others have permanent heads.
Which form of Democracy is it, one wonders, that the USA would impose on non-Democratic countries?
For the government of a country to be Democratic, certain pre-conditions must exist. All, or the great majority, of the citizens of the country must have a sense of loyalty, of belonging to, that country. They must be willing to be subject to “rule by majority” -- to comply with by laws so passed.
There are many countries in the World today whose boundaries were set by colonial powers in the 18th and 19th Centuries. The boundary lines between one colony and another were set arbitrarily for the convenience of those powers. They paid little or no heed to the ethnicity, religions or languages of the people living within those boundaries. As an unfortunate result, some countries are populated by two or more different peoples who are antagonistic to each other. Parliamentary representatives of such countries form groups of their own ethic origin and no Democratic consensus is possible.
In these countries, probably Autocracy, not Democracy, is the only form of government that can ensure reasonable security and normality for its citizens. It seems to me, therefore, that Democratic government is not practical in all countries.


(In the following, for ‘he’, ‘him’, and ‘his’, read ‘he/she, ‘him/her’, and ‘his/hers’.)
by L. Berney
British Prime Minister, Gordon brown with US President, George Bush
On the face of it, the job of being a President or Prime Minister has many serious disadvantages.
  • It is potentially dangerous. There is a constant risk of an attempted assassination.
  • Considering the responsibility, he is paid less than comparable jobs in industry and commerce.
  • Everything he does or says is minutely scrutinized. Every opportunity is taken by the media, the opposition, even by some members of his own party to criticize him.
  • It is impossible, at best very difficult, for him or his family to enjoy a private life.
  • The work schedule and pressure must be tremendous.
Why, then, do Presidents and Prime Ministers undertake such a job? Why do they fight tooth and nail to get it?
If one were asked, Why do you want to be the President / Prime Minister?” his answer would probably be something like this:
“I have been a life-long member of the XXX party and I firmly believe that our policies are absolutely right for our country -- for all classes of society, for the young, the students, for families, for the elderly. Our policies will ensure financial stability and economic growth, for this generation and for generations to come”.
“I vow to strive for the good of all, and I will devote the whole of my abilities for the welfare of our people I believe I am the right person to lead the Party and the Country”.
If he were to speak the truth, the real reason why he wants the job would go something like this:
“Many years ago, I had to decide what career I would follow; I liked the Power and Status that professional politicians have. People look up to them; they make the laws which people have to obey, whether they like them or not. Their work-load seemed not too onerous; they have long holidays; as an MP they have an office and a staff paid by whatever political party they belong to. The pay is quite good and there is a generous expense account”.
“I reckoned I was good at making speeches and convincing people. I decided to become a Career Politician, a Member of Parliament. I wasn’t too concerned about which party I would join.”
“My ambition, having become a MP, was to be the President / Prime Minister. Think of it! To be the Most Powerful Person in the whole country! I knew that, in addition to the substantial salary, there would be considerable additional incomes from newspaper articles and after-dinner speeches. And, of course, while in office, a luxury all-expenses-paid life-style, for me and my family. At the end there will be substantial incomes from memoirs and lectures, and an appointment to the board of one or more of the major private sector companies I had been able to ‘help’ while I was in office -- with a REAL financial reward. And, no doubt, a Title for services rendered”.
That is something worth fighting for, fighting very hard for.
It is very clear that the motivation of the person fighting for the President’s / Prime Minister’s job is solely SELF-INTEREST – it is NOT what it is supposed to be: the welfare of the people. Is this the ultimate in hypocrisy?
In the light of this, the question about a would-be or an incumbent President / Prime Minister that every citizen must, or should, ask himself is this:
A mentally well-balanced normal person would not want the job. As this man is so clearly desperate to get, or to hold on to the job, he must be to some degree unbalanced, not normal. Moreover, his basic motive is egotistical, self-seeking; it is not what it should be: ‘for the good of all’
Question: Is he a fit and proper person to govern?
Answer: Almost certainly NO!
It is exactly this problem – the ‘one-person Ruler’ problem – that resulted in the American Revolution of 1775. The British American colonies broke away from having their lives governed by King George III and set up their own form of government; a Democratic Government. It was to be a Government of the people by the people and for the people. Most essentially, there would be no ‘one-person Ruler’. Over the next decades, Democracy spread throughout Europe.
The first few meetings of the people’s Representatives in the new United States Congress were indeed Democratic -- matters were decided by ‘free majority vote’. But it was not long before Political Parties and their Leaders emerged. The form of government changed from the original ‘…Government by the People’ to ‘…Government by the Political Party in power’. The leader of the party in power became ‘the President’, a `’one-person Ruler’. The system of government returned to (almost) the same system as it was before.
In the new Democratic Governments of Europe, party leaders, as ‘Prime Minister’ or ‘Premier’ took over as ‘one-person Rulers’ with overall power, just as they had in America. And that is still how it is today.
The style of government practiced in Western called Democracy, in spite of the name, is not a Democracy (rule by the people); what we have is an Autocracy (rule by one person). The ‘one-person Ruler’ system of government we have today is, for the reasons set out above, seriously flawed.
There is an alternative: Return to the original concept of what a Representative Democracy was meant to be – a Parliament without Political Parties and without Leaders or Rulers or Prime Ministers or Presidents – a Parliament that enacts legislation by its members exercising a ‘free majority vote’- a True Democracy.
Government of the people, by the people, for the people.
Is a Government without a one-person Leader or Ruler possible? I believe it is.
(See This Can't Be The Best Way To Run The Country! series: “Democracy and Party Politics”)