Kent Jobfair invites Argos, a Company fined by HMRC for underpaying staff

A Jobfair, sponsored by Jobcentre Plus, the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and Sevenoaks District Council, to be held on 14 September at the Assembly Hall in Tunbridge Wells, has invited Argos to come along and speak to jobseekers about work there.

The Independent reported that Argos’ owner Sainsbury’s had been fined the vast sum of £1.5m by the HM Revenue & Customers for paying their hardworking staff less than the minimum wage.

Around 37,000 current and former Argos workers suffered from loss of earnings.

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Do I feel safe in London after the attacks?

No, I do not.

I believe the police when they say we are on Severe or Critical alert.I have seen that London is not safe.

We rarely get police walking along the streets due to red tape and cuts. I don’t see police do Stop and Searches though they do sometimes but I don’t see them doing this. There are no proper check points screening and checking motorists. The police tend to be out in their cars a lot, missing local intelligence.I feel sorry for them, as they have their hands tied by the ‘people at the top’.

The local media and Government tries to say #londonisopen, which is a bit of a PR stunt. It’s all very well carrying on ‘as normal’, but this can put our lives in danger. I certainly don’t trust our politicians. We have seen that these attackers target busy areas for maximum media coverage, so avoiding crowded places helps. Sometimes I forget about avoiding crowded places, and then, think about it afterwards. I try to avoid busy areas where there are few escape routes and I always take shoes that I can run in. Some people say, ‘you are letting them win’, I say, ‘I am winning, I am staying alive’.

I am a lot more vigilant now and I do report any suspicious behaviour to the police. Only a few weeks ago, I reported someone suspicious on the underground who was going from East London towards Westminster, a couple of weeks before the London attack. My friend kept on telling me, ‘there’s no need to report him’, but the police were glad that I did. He certainly looked out of place on the tube, particularly his reading matter. As soon as I saw his reading matter and his manner, I got off the tube train at once.

Once I helped a police inspector catch some car thieves at our local train station. The police were using our offices to spy on them. Though he was probably pi**ed off that I spotted them, and he didn’t, he did say they were up to no good and caught three males. I have a good sense of spotting shifty behaviour. We need to use our observational skills.We cannot be apathetic any more.

In the ideal world, I would prefer to wear an anti-stab vest in London or anti-knife collar round my neck, then if I was caught in some kind of stabbing spree, I would have a better chance of survival. These are quite expensive though, but I think they are worth it if you have the money. The thing is terrorism is so ‘random’ but there are places, that they always target and types of people.

A few days ago there was someone loading fireworks in Bermondsey, Southwark, and we wondered what was happening, and only last night, at the ridiculous hour of 1.30am I heard a serious of random gunshots or firework bangs,and I heard a police siren soon after. This is out of the norm at night. I am on edge, and I don’t safe but because of that, but I can be far more vigilant, and report unusual behaviour, this is something we can all do to combat terrorism. Maybe the nutter at Manchester could have been spotted earlier if people were vigilant. Prevention is better than cure, however, it doesn’t always work, as some people did report the London Bridge attackers to the police, but they somehow got through the net. At the end of the day, you can only try and do what is right, avoid busy areas and ones that ‘are likely to be terrorist targets’ as many of them follow a familiar pattern, particularly the copycats.

It is horrible that the UK has changed so much over the last decade. Things are different now, but we have to be awake to the new UK and learn to deal with it. Actually no city these days is safe from extremists. Sometimes avoiding busy and touristy places, is the key to survival now. Surviving is the best revenge to terrorists!

The Police 101 number kept me hanging on for over half an hour

I had to phone about an incident and I rang them for half an hour but there was no reply, other than ‘the police are very busy’. The same thing happened this morning. They are expected to answer within five minutes.

They encourage you to use the online service but when you go into the online service, for some incidents, you have to ring them on 101. It was like going round in circles.

Clearly there is a problem with understaffing, poor management and police cuts.

In the end, I resorted to good, old fashioned snail mail, and sent it First Class.

South Eastern Railway passenger from Kent tells of his Experience of the London Attack

A passenger from Tonbridge, Kent, said that he was travelling on a train at 10pm on 3rd June to Lewisham when the South Eastern train driver said that he had heard some information and said there had been ‘an incident’ at London Bridge and that the train wasn’t going to let passengers off at the station.

The train driver told the few passengers that were on the train that it had to go back to Sevenoaks.He said the situation at London Bridge was ‘out of control’. He sounded like he knew more about the incident than he let on.

The driver was then seen to walk on the railway tracks at London Bridge to get to the other end of the train, presumably Network Rail turned the electrics off. There appeared to be no guard on the train.

The passenger said that while the train was waiting at London Bridge for a good half an hour he could hear several police sirens near the station, although he thought it was ‘just drunk men fighting’ at it was a Saturday night. Charing Cross station was swiftly closed during the incident was known.

The passenger was pleased that South Eastern Railway staff knew very quickly what was going on, and that they took swift action as soon as they knew something was up,

Though he never got to Lewisham, the passenger came home safely thanks to the driver and those communicating with him.

London Bridge Attack: My Experience

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ABOVE: Borough High Street, Sunday morning.

I was in Bermondsey, South London, listening to my friend’s podcast of his father who was doing his oral history for his birthday as he wanted to record his dad’s childhood memories as he was getting ill and approaching eighty.

We had a quick break after listening to an hour of it and my friend looked at the internet, looked shocked and said that there had been an terror attack at London Bridge, which is about 15 minutes’ walk away from me. We then dropped everything and tried to find out what was happening. I have never been so close to a terror attack before.

My friend had actually just arrived back from Bath on the train and had been on the tube going past London Bridge at about 9.45pm on the Saturday night but when he got home to Bermondsey, we didn’t look online until we had listened to some of the podcast, an hour later.

We couldn’t take it all in at first. I was online until 3am trying to give information to the public (although this was not always easy that there was false information from ‘reputable’ outlets which was frustrating.

Both of us let our family know that we were ok. My friend’s mother texted him and said ‘please be safe, as I have paid for the deposit of our holiday!’ in a typical British fashion. My own family, who I was estranged with at the time, seemed to be thinking of me, so this evening we had made up. The London Attack has brought us together again.

One thing that was really helpful, was the Facebook Safety Check, which went into action as soon as there was a terrorist attack in our area. This would tell our Facebook friends immediately that we were ok, so they wouldn’t have to worry, and they wouldn’t have to jam the Casualty Bureau’s lines. We could also ‘see’ friends who were also in the area too.

I heard the helicopter overhead all night which was really noisy and there were reports that one of the attackers had escaped (this clearly was inaccurate). At about 2am or so, I heard a huge explosion which was about a mile away which was a bit scary.

After this time I was very tired, and went to sleep. It was only afterwards when we both began to grasp how bad it had been. I was very surprised how late the incident had been which seemed to be out of character for these type of events. It was surreal as the London Bridge area is my regular neighbourhood, places I know very well and the people are generally nice It was shocking what happened to people, it beggars belief how mad these frenzied maniacs were.

This morning we wanted to gather our thoughts, reflect and visit the London Bridge area but it had all been cordoned off by the police with a bunch of international press there.

What I think we need are checkpoints like they had for the IRA in the Square Mile. In other countries where there’s frequent terrorism they have them. They can monitor comings and goings of cars and do stop and searches. Cars can be checked if they are stolen too.

I would like to thank the emergency services and volunteers who were so quick to the scene and helped make the area safer and all those who offered places to stay, free Wi-Fi, bagels and even tequila.

It is a terrible tragedy, there really aren’t words that can really describe the horror.

World Narcissist Abuse Awareness Day 1 June 2017

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Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Day (WNAAD) occurs on June 1st every year. Established in 2016, WNAAD is a growing global movement dedicated to raising the profile of narcissistic abuse, providing public education, resources for survivors, and effect policy change. WNAAD is an international event that is recognized worldwide.

Many of the people who suffer from narcissistic abuse (a form of psychological and emotional abuse) aren’t even aware that what they are experiencing is a legitimate form of abuse, and when they become aware they are being abused, they have a difficult time describing it because it’s so hard to put the finger on. So much of it can be covert.

WNAAD came up with the hashtag, #IfMyWoundsWereVisible, because unlike physical abuse where a single strike or blow, narcissist abuse is generally invisible. An indiscernible assault on the spirit, identity, and the psyche of the victim. The impact is cumulative, and its full effect isn’t felt until the damage is extensive. Although bruises and broken bones heal much faster than a broken spirit, narcissistic abuse tends to go unnoticed.

Narcissist Abuse is controlling, anti-social and manipulative behaviour. Narcissist abuse is experienced everywhere, workplaces, religious groups, education, not for profits, in the armed forces, and families.

It is also important that those in Human Resources know about narcissist abuse in the workplace, often the victim is not believed.

People need to learn about ‘Red Flags’ before they enter into a relationship with someone and recognize them in workplaces early on, and learn how to handle them and avoid them. Many people living or working in close proximity to full on narcissists have had to leave their family or place of work, some have had Complex PTSD because of the abuse.

My own experience of narcissist abuse experience ranges from emotional neglect, lack of empathy from the abuser , abnormal hostile behaviour ‘behind closed doors’ at home or in the workplace, smear campaigns, emotional blackmail, secretive behaviour, mind games – the abuser makes everything your fault, financial blackmail, lack of support by fellow colleague or family member, anti social behaviour, passive aggressiveness, covert, controlling and public humiliating behaviour, violence and betrayal. Walking on eggshells every day too. Both men and women can be narcissists, and many people have parents and siblings who are ‘narcs’.

Some red flags in a relationship, for example, according to WNAAD.com:

◾As the relationship becomes more established, you may start to see some stronger warning signs, or red flags, such as: You may spot bigger lies, and when you confront them, you never get a straight answer or they will turn it around and accuse you of what they’re actually doing.

◾If you try to raise an issue with them, it becomes a full-blown argument. They may accuse you of causing the fight, or they may use the silent treatment as a way of punishing you for confronting them.
◾Arguments feel circular and nonsensical. You’re left feeling emotionally battered and confused. There is no resolution to the issue, no sense of compromise or seeking a win/win outcome. It feels like they need to “win” regardless of the issue or what’s at stake. You’re left you feeling unsupported and misunderstood.

◾They may tell you something didn’t happen when you know it did, or vice versa. This is called gaslighting and it’s designed to make you doubt your own reality and judgment.

◾You feel like you need to ask for permission before making plans with others. They may try to control where you go, or call and text constantly to check up on you, and interrogate you about where you’ve been/what you’ve been doing.

◾You start seeing less of your family and friends. Perhaps because they openly prevent you from doing so through guilt tripping or threats of abandonment. Or, it could be more subtle, where they make such a fuss about seeing your family and friends that you start avoiding them so you don’t have to deal with the fallout. You end up feeling isolated and lonely.

◾The relationship feels one-sided – like you are the one who is doing all the giving, the one who is always in the wrong, the one who is trying the hardest, changing the most or doing the most sacrificing, just to make them happy. And it still doesn’t work. Nothing is enough for them.

◾You can’t feel at ease or relaxed in their presence. You feel like you’re walking on eggshells, waiting for the next time they lash out at you. You realize you feel a sense of relief when they aren’t there.

◾You feel like whatever you do, it’s not enough. You’re manipulated so that your flaws and vulnerabilities are exploited and used against you at every opportunity. You begin to feel inadequate, unlovable, and like everything is all your fault.

Sign up to the official website for free on http://www.wnaad.com/ and learn about symptoms and how to spot red flags and follow the hashtag #ifmywoundswerevisible. You will be surprised by how many people you know who have it.

There are some good books on Narcissists on Amazon, and one of them is ‘My Narcissist Mother’ https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Narcissistic-Mother-narcissistic-mother-ebook/dp/B015R9YQHG/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1498224587&sr=8-12&keywords=narcissistic+mother (I have not been paid to recommend this book)

Discounts on Personal Safety Products

I am getting fed up with feeling unsafe in Britain so I have been finding ways to improve my personal safety, particularly in view of the ‘killer clowns’ and random madmen stalking women in parks etc.

I do my bit by avoiding getting drunk and going out on my own later at night, and taking a personal CCTV camera and alarm with me. I also wear trainers so I can run out of the way quickly.

Whilst doing this, I am pleased to see, that to  highlight the 30th anniversary this year of the estate agent Suzy Lamplugh going missing, the Suzy Lamplugh Trust,  is offering 25% off personal safety products till the end November  2016:

Personal Alarms: https://www.suzylamplugh.org/faqs/personal-alarms

I would also recommend that your next of kin have up-tod-ate images of you, so should you ever go missing, people can look out for you.. The Suzy Lamplugh investigation was hampered early on because the parents gave the police an old photo when she had dark hair, in fact she went blonde.

 

I would report ‘Killer Clowns’ if I saw them in London & Kent

Fortunately, I haven’t seen any in my patch, but I am glad that the police and Brunel University take a tough line of the males  who clearly have nothing to better to do with their lives than to frighten people.  It is bad enough for women to even go out safely  at night without all this happening as well.

This is really not a prank, this is a Public Order Act. They are wasting valuable police resources. They are deliberately setting out to alarm strangers.

Friends living in Manchester are saying their kids are finding it hard to sleep at night, and fellow school kids are bullying them by frightening them.

Motorists could kill other people if a male clown with a knife or chainsaw jumps out at them. One male media studies  university student from Brunel University  was arrested by the police and there is a risk his career will go down the pan. Too bad, he is an adult; this was some ‘stupid’ mistake! He only apologised when it got caught. As someone who never went to university (for various reason), even I know what he did was madness. It is not funny at all. These males are just cowards, having to hide behind a stupid clown outfit.  Save the outfit for the circus or a fancy dress party.  Carrying a knife or chainsaw is just asking for trouble.Being nasty is not funny. Do they really want a conviction which will ruin their job prospects, and spend hours doing forced community service?

I will do best to be vigilant, keep to streets with lights and be particularly careful in towns with colleges and universities and I will be learning some self defence skills online and make sure I can run with decent trainers on. I will be taking my camera, and collect evidence!

SEND DOWN THE CLOWNS…

MORE INFO:

Clown locations in the UK: http://metro.co.uk/2016/10/10/killer-clown-sightings-mapped-out-across-the-uk-as-craze-continues-to-terrify-6182865/

Chatham:  Male ‘killer clown’ gets headbutted:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3832731/Killer-Clown-armed-baseball-bat-gets-HEADBUTTED-picking-wrong-victim-scare-multi-storey-car-park.htmlreste

Another male  killer clown gets arrested: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-37605841

Meanwhile, in Bracknell, Essex a clown frightens some restaurant goers http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/update/2016-10-11/killer-clown-spooks-people-in-berkshire-restaurant/

Blogger talks about being scared of clowns: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cApteePPqe4

Police continue to monitor Feral Cyclists on Tower Bridge

On Friday, 8th October, police were at both ends of Tower Bridge, giving out feral fines to cyclists cycling on Tower Bridge whilst works were going on.

Police reported that there are been several injuries already after some  some selfish cyclists failed to walk along the bridge. Some were doing deliberately sneaky things to avoid being seen by the police, although they were caught.

One lawless male cyclist of about 25, was seen smirking and coasting on his bike on the bridge, when a police officer said, “You won’t be smiling when we give you a fine”. Feral fines are £50.

Most cyclists were seen behaving responsibility.

Domestic Abuse against Men -My thoughts, & Helplines

Caroline Aherne’s ex-husband  Peter Hook claims that the Late Mrs Merton star abused him physically and mentally.

(see the article on: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/oct/03/peter-hook-caroline-aherne-physically-abusive-during-marriage?CMP=share_btn_tw)

If this is the case, (after all I don’t have all the details),  I applaud Peter Hook for talking about this important issue.

Domestic violence is everywhere, men v women, women v men, and in the LGBTQIA community too, which hardly EVER gets talked about.  It is rife.

Most of the media goes on about male v female abuse, and yes, there is tons of that unfortunately.   A lot of the time, families  or friends do not know about this, after all, who wants to tell them about that, they may think it is ’embarrassing’, or may ‘get all the ‘lectures’ or worse, the disbelief that their ‘angel’ sister, sister-in-law , colleague would do this? I know from own experience of having been abused, I kept it quiet apart from a very few close friends, who kept an eye on me). It was only if it got bad that some senior bosses and the police knew the situation. A lot of people do not know about the years of abuse history. It is not something you talk to aquaintances or fairweather friends about.  Only the people that matter know about it, if you are lucky to even have that at all.However, talking about it is still the best thing really.

When bullies, either at work or at home  get ‘targets’ on their own, this gives them full rein to abuse.  They want everything their way. If someone brings up the subject that they are being abused, accept it , why would they lie about being abused? Bullies thrive on secrecy and double lives.

From my own experience of women v male abuse, one of my male friends (yes, ex military) in Sussex  was both physically and mentally abused.  I have even heard her frenzied abuse on the phone. I would love to have done something about it, but it was quite difficult as the male friend ‘didn’t want help’.  He had divorced her so was well out of the situation, well, kind of. She had a young son too, and I was worried about the child who was often caught in family conflict. The woman belonged to some Youth Panel too, so she had some respect in the community. But she led a double life as a controlling, negative abuser. I didn’t know where she lived so it was difficult for me to act. However, what I can do is highlight this problem and provide helplines and listen to someone experiencing this. Friends can help by oftering a place to stay for a short while too. There was one other  woman v male abuser I was aware of, that my colleague’s son, who was in the army, had his whole joint account drained by his wife and there was nothing he could do. So women abusers cannot only be emotional or violent, they can be financial abusers too. Colleagues talk to colleagues these issues…

You  can frequently  see clues of abusive behaviour this  in the workplace.  You get a tyrant woman boss or colleague and they make your life hell, sometimes just as much as ‘they can get away with’.

Once a bullying female colleague  I knew was seen at a train station in Kent having an abusive shouting match to her partner  in front of other passengers, humiliating the man even more. And one of these passengers was another colleague who told staff what her colleague had done. So, yes, colleagues can witness this behaviour too. I would add, which is very important, is that when the news of the fight reached staff in the office it was considered ‘funny’ (because the wife was targeting the man, but this would not be funny if it was the other way round).

We have to make change, a lot of women are not really ‘angels’ and some of them can give quite a thump.  The  middle-aged woman who had the shouting match at the train station once threatened to thump me  at work so you can just  imagine what she was like to her partner when she didn’t get her own way.It is not always as hidden as you think.  If I saw a women doing that to someone I would say something  or, ideally call the police.   It is unacceptable for any person to treat someone like shit in this way.

There is some good news to the story, the man left the woman, and eventually the tyrant was made given a warning at work for bullying me, and then she was made redundant.  All of us went our separate ways which was a blessed belief. I do wonder what where she is now and what havoc she is causing. Maybe she is in jail, after the new emotional abuse laws have  come in!

Get help:

http://www.nhs.uk/…/Pages/domestic-violence-against-men.aspx
Domestic Violence Information (for Men) http://www.dvmen.co.uk/
LGBTQ+  http://www.galop.org.uk/
Find a Peer Support Group / Set up a Group about this issue
Oh and write about it… women v men domestic abuse exists! Domestic abuse is not a laughing matter.
 PS This has been a popular blog online, so I will Retweet it every so often.