There is an old joke that goes “how can you tell when a politician is lying? His lips are moving.” Mildly amusing and based on the premise that most politicians lie most of the time. However, I believe that some politicians are honest and don’t lie, at least not all of the time.
So how can you tell if a politician is lying? Well, to try and quote Kenny Craig, the hypnotist character created by Matt Lucas, “Look into my eyes, don’t look around the eyes, look deep into my eyes.”
It is a phenomenon that I have noticed a lot during the current election campaign. Many politicians have their eyes so wide open that you can see the whites of them all around the pupils. It’s quite scary looking and also quite unnatural.
If it was just the odd one that was doing it then it could be disregarded as a slightly odd physical trait, but there are just too many of them doing it for that to be the case. Then I remembered some of my studies from years ago, especially those relating to neuro-linguistic programming; NLP for short.
NLP describes the way people’s eyes behave when they are being dishonest. It’s a reflex action and therefore hard to control. Hard - but not impossible.
Firstly when someone is being dishonest their blink rate increases. It is a consequence of the mental stress created when telling a lie; the fear of the risks and consequences of being caught out.
Successful poker players are able to use this ‘tell’ in order to work out if an opponent is bluffing. It’s why players often don’t make eye contact, look up at the ceiling or down at the table. Some even resort to wearing dark glasses. If you want your opponent to think you are bluffing when you really have a good hand just up your blink rate a bit (not too much, that looks creepy too). It’s why playing poker on-line is very different to playing it with real people at a real table.
For most people the blink rate of someone on TV is something to which we wouldn’t normally pay much attention, but we now have computers that can do the counting for us and they can instantly register an increase in blink rate as a politician moves from saying nice honest things to saying something more dishonest. That is a hell of an edge that an interviewer or a political opponent might have if the information was fed to them through an ear piece. Of course, if we were able to spot the increase then our voting preference might well be influenced by us spotting a lie in this way.
However, it isn’t just blink rate that changes. According to the theories of NLP if someone is telling a lie then they will look upwards and to their right. It’s because they are having to engage the brain to create a picture; they have to create a lie and they are visibly engaging the part of the brain involved in creativity.
When someone is remembering a picture, recalling something that is true, their eyes look upwards and to their left. They are engaging the part of the brain that is used to remember things. Truth is remembered, lies are created, it’s quite simple. It’s a subtle but unmistakable clue as to what is going on in a person’s mind.
Again, a computer could be programmed to identify this tiny shift in eye-line.
In order to control these two tells I believe the politicians have been taught to control their eyes, but it’s hard work. They have to strain to keep their eyes wide open and looking straight ahead, creating this wide eyed and rather creepy stare.
I have seen three politicians do it during the last couple of weeks: Ed Miliband when he announced the proposal to remove non-dom tax status, Douglas Alexander when he tried to defend this proposal on BBC TV's Question Time and Ed Balls when he says just about anything. I have also seen it earlier in the campaign (Yvette Cooper springs to mind) and even before it, but I hadn’t then worked out its significance.
I’m not picking on Labour here, it’s just that I haven’t seen any Tories doing it. I’m not saying they haven’t been telling any lies because that almost certainly isn’t the case. Maybe they haven’t been taught the technique, or maybe they just aren’t as obvious in the way they use it; who knows, practice makes perfect after all. With the Tories you may have to monitor their blink rate or watch to see if they are looking upwards and to their right.
Please pay close attention to the eyes of politicians when you see them speaking on TV if you want to know if they are telling the truth or not. If they have that wide eyed stare then they may well be trying to lead you up the garden path. Its why politicians prefer radio to TV whenever they are making public pronouncements. That should immediately make you suspicious!
It isn’t fool proof of course. I’m sure Marty Feldman wasn’t a congenital liar. He just suffered from a medical condition.
Of course there is another way of telling when a politician is misleading you, and that is to actually listen to what they say. They are very careful about how they use words and often what we think we hear isn't what they said. This week the parties published their manifestos, and without exception they all claimed they were "fully costed". Does that mean they have told us where they are going to get the money to pay for their promises? No, because "fully costed" isn't the same as "fully funded".
In all cases they failed to tell us how much they would borrow, what taxes they would raise and by how much, and what cuts they would make and how big they would be. Unless they tell you that then they are misleading you. Yes, they may put another £x billion into the NHS spending just as they promised, but where will it come from? Who will pay for it and how much will they pay?
Labour keep telling us 'mansion tax', but that won't raise a fraction of what they have promised to spend, so there must be other tax rises or spending cuts that they don't want to tell us about because it might lose them votes. Reducing tax avoidance/evasion? Ditto; it isn't enough. The Conservatives are worse, because they haven't even promised a mansion tax. ALL the parties are misleading us by not telling us. Their lips are moving, so we know they are lying; if not by commission then by omission.
Ed Miliband has promised to reduce the national debt by 2020. Does that mean we will owe less than the current £1.56 trillion? No it doesn't. He can't mean that because he has said he won't balance the budget until around 2018 and that means that the national debt will get bigger in the interim. What he means is that the debt will be smaller as a proportion of our GDP.
As a proportion of GDP the national debt is currently about 81.3%. Providing the economy continues to grow as predicted then that proportion will get smaller; it will be around 79%, but in cash terms it will be bigger. See: what he said wasn't what we thought he said. Predicting what the economy will do is like trying to preduct the winner of the Grand national, so what if the economy doesn't grow by the predicted rate? Well, Ed's promise is meaningless and he will claim that it wasn't his fault, it was the global economy wot dun it. Does that sound familiar? It should do because it's what Gordon Brown said in 2010.
It's a "fingers crossed and hope for the best " promise which is just another way of saying it's a lie.
Now to Nicola Sturgeon and the row over Trident. She has declared that the SNP position on Trident is a red line that won’t be crossed and she won’t support Labour on replacing Trident if Labour gets into power and needs SNP support at Westminster. The removal of Trident submarines from Scottish soil was an SNP policy during the independence referendum campaign and remains a major policy for the general election.
Apparently the decision on replacing Trident must be taken by 2016 as it takes so long to design, build and commission nuclear submarines and the ones we currently have are getting too old. Once they get to a certain age they have to be decommissioned for safety reasons.
During the Scottish independence referendum many traditional Labour voters didn’t like Labour’s support for the ‘No’ campaign and transferred their allegiance to the SNP. Naturally Nicola Sturgeon wants to hold on to that support. It will strengthen her grip on power in Edinburgh and also promises to increase SNP influence in Westminster.
By promising the estranged Labour voters that the SNP will support a Labour government on a vote by vote basis it allows them to vote SNP with a clear conscience, but it also threatens Labour’s traditional strength north of the border and risks them not getting a clear majority in Westminster. This favours the Tories, but probably not enough to guarantee that they stay in government. However, it favours the SNP even more. The term "punching above their weight" springs to mind.
So what? Labour and Conservatives are in broad agreement on the issue of Trident and therefore the vote on replacement, when it comes, is certain to be passed.
But that isn’t the way Nicola or, more likely, Alex Salmond, will use this particular bullet in the SNP gun.
They will wait for a vote on a policy which Labour is much less certain to get through Parliament and then they will fire the bullet. They may even vote against Labour’s first budget, risking its defeat.
“We will not support you at this vote” Alex will say, “unless you promise to get rid of nuclear submarines.” Or “We will not support you unless you remove Trident from Scottish soil.” They might even use both threats at different times. The SNP might not even have to vote against Labour, they might just have to abstain.
What this means for Labour is that they have to comply or risk the defeat of one or more of their flagship policies. If they keep getting defeated then they can’t govern. The alternative would be to go back to the country to try to win an overall majority without the need to rely on SNP backing to get their policies through Parliament.
That would be risky. If they aren’t doing well in government Labour may get kicked out if they’re forced into an early general election. With fixed term Parliaments, as we have now, they may not even be able to go back to the country. We could be faced with five years of a lame duck government.
It doesn’t matter whether you agree with replacing Trident or not, because Nicola has many more bullets in her gun than just that. If she wants more money for Scotland she can make the same threats. If she wants more powers for the Scottish Parliament she can make the same threats. If she wants another independence referendum within the next five years she can make these threats. If she wants Ed Miliband to have the words of Flower Of Scotland tattooed on his bum she can make the same threats. Ed Miliband may be Prime Minister, but he and Labour won’t be governing the United Kingdom.
What we would have is a minority of the British people dictating how the majority would be governed: the votes of under a million people living north of the border would dictate what happens to sixty four million people living in the whole country.
Is this democracy? No.
By ruling out a coalition with the SNP Ed Miliband has placed himself between a rock and a hard place. In a coalition the SNP would be morally bound to support Labour in Parliament even if they don't really agree with them. This is what happened to the Lib Dems in the vote on university tuition fees. It is the price that is paid by the smaller party in exchange for having seats at the Cabinet table. However, without a formal coalition agreement there is no such moral obligation.
How the SNP governs in Scotland is a matter for the Scottish people and quite rightly so, but how they impose their will on the English, The Northern Irish and the Welsh is another matter entirely. If you are a Labour supporter in Scotland, or were formally a Labour voter there, then there is only one way to make sure that you get a Labour government in Westminster. It is even possible that by voting SNP the Labour vote will be split and the Lib Dems or the Conservatives will win more seats in Scotland. Interestingly no one is mentioning that possibility, not even the Lib Dems and the Tories. Again I have to wonder why. Perhaps they don't want to scare the estranged voters back to voting Labour.
There is only one way to make sure that the SNP doesn’t hold the reins of power and that is for the rest of us to get off the fence and support either Labour or the Conservatives, to make sure that there is a party with an overall majority in Parliament on 8th May.
The same accusation can be leveled at UKIP, of course, but I sincerely doubt that UKIP will turn support in the polls into Parliamentary seats, so I really doubt if they would be in a position to support a Tory government. However, if they do then they can also do t the Tories what Nicola Sturgeon could do to Labour.
It would be a huge irony if the party that failed to convince the Scottish people that independence was a good idea became the effective rulers of the United Kingdom. I wonder if both Labour and the Tories are starting to regret the success of the ‘No’ campaign last year. Oh dear, it’s the Law Of Unintended Consequences again.
So Labour’s big election promise of the week is to remove the “non-dom” status enjoyed by about 115,000 people living in Britain and make them pay full UK tax. Will this work? No. Does it have the non-doms quaking in their boots? No. This "promise" isn't even listed on Labour's website
so one must wonder if they are really serious about it or just making noises.
This is Labour smoke and mirrors designed to appeal to the “tax the rich” feelings heard in the union halls and working men’s clubs, but in practice this is a totally meaningless announcement and may well actually end up costing Britain more than it earns.
I have nothing against the concept of making the rich pay more tax, but I feel that it must obey two important principles: (1) it must be avoidance proof. In other words there must be no way the targeted people can work their way around it. Is this the case with Ed Miliband’s proposal? I think not, but I’ll return to that later. (2) it must raise more in tax than it costs to implement. Does Ed’s proposal do this? Not on your life. According to his own Shadow Chancellor it may cost more than it earns. To date I haven’t heard Ed Balls retract this statement.
On the Jeremy Vine radio show on Wednesday 8th April, when pressed on the subject several times, another Shadow Treasury spokesperson failed to say how much more it would earn Britain, even in broad terms. That in itself speaks volumes. If you can’t say how much a tax proposal will earn then the answer is probably “not a lot”.
So, do I have alternative proposals? As it happens I have. More of those later.
Currently some non-doms have to pay an annual levy to maintain their status. This starts at £30,000 and rises over time to a maximum of £90,000. That means that non-dom status must save them at least that much in tax and probably a lot more. Currently 5,000 people pay this levy, raising around £227 million for the British Treasury. If you are going to remove the non-dom status it means you can’t impose that levy anymore, so any increase in tax raised must exceed this sum before the country ends up in profit. So let’s look at how this may be avoided.
First there is the simple fact that those currently claiming non-dom status can just move abroad permanently. That means one major change as far as tax is concerned. If those people earned any money in the UK they used to have to pay tax on it. By moving abroad they won’t have to pay that any more, thereby losing that tax for the Treasury. That means that the Treasury doesn’t just have to raise that £227 million to make a profit, they also have to raise the amount of tax that they would have got, but now won’t.
However, that is just the direct cost of a non-dom moving abroad. There are a lot more hidden costs involved.
First of all there is VAT. Rich people spend a lot of money in the UK and VAT (currently 20%) is charged on many of the things they buy. If those people move abroad permanently then the UK Treasury will miss out on all that VAT because the money will be spent in other countries. Our loss will be their gain.
But the tax losses don’t just end there. Wealthy people don’t clean their own houses, they don’t cook their own food, they don’t dig their own gardens, they don't even look after their own children. They employ people to do all that, along with secretaries, personal fitness trainers, chauffeurs; the list goes on. All those people pay tax and national insurance. If they lose their jobs then we don’t just lose that tax revenue, we actually have to start paying those people benefits. Yes, it’s the classic double whammy.
Then there are all the people who work in the industries that serve wealthy clients. I’m not saying that a business would be driven to the wall just because a few non-doms move abroad, but they may decide they don’t need quite so many staff down at the Mercedes showroom or in the expensive restaurant. More tax and NI contributions lost and more benefits to pay.
What about those that stay? Well, it is a basic rule of law that you can only be directly taxed on income once, so all those people have to do is produce a certificate to prove that they have paid tax abroad, however little, and they can’t then be taxed again here in the UK.
The only money that the Treasury can hope to get is by taxing income that has been squirreled away in tax havens without tax being paid on it. Will the non-doms tell the truth about that? I think we all know the answer to that. They may declare a small amount, so they can justify why they had claimed non-dom status in the first place, but it will be the minimum they can get away with. The big bucks Ed is promising us just won’t appear.
Are you still convinced Britain would end up in the black rather than the red as a result of this proposal?
So what is the answer?
First of all it's about time we got rid of the hereditary nature of non-dom status. Just because someone's great grand dad came to Britain a hundred years ago to start a business it is no reason for their tax status to be passed on to generations as yet unborn and unimagined. A hundred years ago rickets and diphtheria were still common but I don't hear anyone proposing that we pass those on to future generations. Pitt the Younger introduced this measure 200 years ago, but at that time we still had an emprie to run and granting non-dom status to the people who went abroad to run it made perfect sense, but it doesn't make sense now.
I think it’s also about making it uneconomical for non-doms to claim that status, so that they willingly pay more tax in the UK. The clue is in that £227 million that is claimed from just 5,000 people. The amount is too low and the number of people affected is also too low. Why aren’t the other 110,000 non-doms also paying something for the privilege of not paying so much tax here?
Now, Labour have made much of not wanting foreign students to be affected by any changes, and I have no beef with that. I see no reason foreign students should be taxed on whatever allowances their families give them so the first thing is for students to be exempted, subject to tight, auditable controls, for a fixed period. It takes 3 years to study for a degree and a further year for a Masters, so I think we can agree that they should be exempted for a period of up to 4 years providing it can be proven that they are genuine students. What about PhD students? You also grant them the right to non-dom status, but set a time limit within which they must gain their qualification (at present it’s open ended) and you also set a cap on the amount of income they can earn abroad without being taxed on it; somewhere around the national average wage would seem sensible.
Labour also made it clear that they didn’t want foreign workers who come here to work for short periods to be affected. Fine by me, but let’s place a tighter time limit on that, say two years, and also introduce tighter rules on returning so they can’t work for 2 years, go home for one, then come back for another 2 etc. Let’s place a threshold of working in the UK at a maximum of 2 years and if they leave and then come back they can’t claim non-dom status for 5 years. That doesn’t preclude the person from returning, that might fall foul of EU freedom of movement rules, it just prevents them from claiming non-dom status for five years after their return. This would give foreign workers three options: They can stay here and enjoy the benefits of living in our wonderful country and be taxed like any other citizen, they can pay the levy to supplement the cost of them living here or they can return home. That seems eminently fair.
Everyone else then pays the non-dom levy, but we stop this shilly-shallying about with three bands starting at £30,000 and topping out at £90,000. Let’s go straight in after two years with no minimum earnings threshold at £100,000 and increase it by £100,000 per year, with no upper limit. After 10 years a non-dom will have to pay £1 million just to retain their status, which means they would have to make at least twice that in foreign earnings to make it worth their while. And the real beauty is that it can’t be avoided. If they want to retain non-dom status they have to pay. Rich non-doms, the choice is yours.
In the first year that would increase the contribution from non-doms from £227 million to £500 million just for those 5,000 currently paying the levy. It would be bound to double each year after that. After ten years it might be worth £5 billion. If more people have to pay as a result of tighter registration criteria then that amount increases rapidly.
And the beauty is that it is totally unavoidable so long as the person wishes to retain their non-dom status. Many would, because it would still save them money. Others might still move abroad, and I have already described the possible consequences of that, but that is no more of a risk than Ed Miliband is already willing to take but with much less of a guarantee of a net benefit. However, we mitigate that risk by getting more money from those who stay, which at least offsets some of the loss of taxes through the routes I described.
However, there is more we can do to discourage the use of non-dom status in the first place. I’ll give you an analogy.
Britain is very unhappy with the way Russia is behaving towards the Ukraine. To try to encourage the Russians to behave better we, along with the EU and other countries, have imposed economic sanctions. We could do exactly the same with non-doms. They wouldn’t be economic sanctions, however, they would be social sanctions. Make it clear that if they want to live in Britain then we expect them to pay their full whack of tax in order to enjoy the privilege. Here’s a list of things that we could do:
You may be able to think up a few more ideas for sanctions of your own.
These suggestions may appear draconian, but if we want to get the message across that if you want to live here you must pay your taxes then the message must be a strong one. They have a choice: pay full UK taxes or become persona non grata.
I suspect most strongly that those that want to be seen as British, with all the benefits that go with that, will pay up. If we can voluntarily reduce that number of 115,000 non-doms to half of that then we will have a higher tax take than if we just remove the non-dom status in a way that still leads to tax avoidance or doesn’t yield a net benefit.
Why are none of the political parties suggesting the use of sanctions in this way? There are many reasons and I think you can guess some of them.
Of course the use of those sanctions doesn’t have to be limited to non-doms. They can be applied to all those who use aggressive forms of tax avoidance. Some won’t care, of course, they’d rather have the money. But enough would care and will be shamed into paying their taxes and that is what counts.
It was so lovely to finally find a book of poetry that didn’t make me groan with despair. There’s nothing wrong with poetry as an art form of course, but so much of it, particularly contemporary poetry, is just bad, bad, bad. But not Corpoetry by Rohini Sunderam. This is a delight.
Perhaps it was the way I was taught poetry at school. Endless boring epics from poets that may, or may not, have been high on drugs. I can’t listen to a verse of the Rime (sic) Of The Ancient Mariner without suffering flashbacks, and I assure you they aren’t drugs related. They're Samuel Taylor Coleridge related.
When I was asked to review this book the idea didn’t fill me with joy, but I love a challenge and I thought it might be challenging to have to find something positive to say about yet more poetry, but I needn’t have worried. There’s plenty of positive things to say about this collection and I’m more than happy to say them.
The theme of the collection is the Corporation. For the Brits that isn’t another name for the town council, but shorthand for the big Corporations that run most of the World’s industry and commerce. Mind you, this applies just as well to the local district council. This means that there is something in this for most people. We have met the people Rohini writes about. We may even be the people she is writing about. In fact I’d place a bet that any reader will be able to pick themselves out in at least one of the poems. To quote from a poem entitled Alpha Me, who hasn’t heard something like this?
“Modern and millennium smart
Totally, utterly state of the art
Suited and Booted.”
The poems are short, use nice simple metaphors and analogies, but get to the very heart of the subject like a scalpel cutting into flesh. There is a sharp wittiness coupled to just a tiny touch of cynicism behind Rohini’s writings. That air of worldly weariness; that ‘been there, done that, got the tee-shirt’ feeling.
I have to say that I laughed out loud at some of these poems. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a Pam Ayers world of fluffy but comedic bunny rabbits living in hutches, or regret about poor dental habits. Some of the pieces also made me stop and think about the way people are managed and treated in the corporate workplace.This is sharp and satirical stuff. Even if you don’t work in the corporate world a lot of what you will read is about people and situations you will recognise from pretty much any place of employment.
The following poem I reproduce in full, because it is so up to date and captures a mood. It’s called Big Cheeses.
Can someone please explain to me
A small insignificant nonentity
What is it that the top guys do
To merit all that ballyhoo?
Six and seven figure salaries
Numbers like leaves on trees
In stratospheres so rarefied
To get there I am terrified.
But, even so, I’d like to know
What it is they do so
Fantastically, uniquely great
That plunged us into this state?
If I screwed up my little job
They would have me on the hop
My permanent part-time state
Would be reduced to hourly rate.
But when they screw up really big time
Mega, giga, hugely big time
Enough to shut down whole departments
(some poor mid-levels lost apartments)
But those guys at the very top
(it’s enough to make my heart stop)
Would you believe that they
With gazillions walked away?
Were they fired? So I’m told
And if I may be so bold,
You see I really need to understand
I can’t grasp this notion and
Quite get my head around it.
They lost our money, every bit,
That we had all worked hard to get
They made some really big mistakes
Yet they received golden handshakes.
I never thought I would ever write this about a book of poetry, but if you want to read something unique, original and amusing please give this book a try.
I can’t imagine it being too long before we start seeing extracts of Rohini’s poems adorning mouse mats, mugs, calendars and posters. I’ll be the first into Rymans.
To find out more about this book please visit http://www.ex-l-ence.com/Corpoetry.php
Now for the answer to last week’s quizette, which asked “What do Alexander Graham Bell and the Labour Party have in common?”
The answer is that they have both claimed credit for something that was the culmination of the work of other people.
In 1854 an Italian American, Antonnio Meucci, created a device for the electrical transmission of sound waves. In 1871 he filed a caveat for a United States patent on his device, after producing several working models. A patent caveat was an official notification of the intention to file a full patent application at a later date. It was intended to allow the inventor to carry on development work on their idea while preventing others for filing patent applications for similar technology, perhaps because they had more money with which to pursue full development. It also gave the inventor time to find investors. Filing a full patent application is expensive. The US Patents Office discontinued the practice of granting caveats in 1909.
Meucci went so far as to demonstrate his ideas, but unfortunately ran out of money and couldn’t even afford to renew his patent caveat when it fell due in 1874. Meucci was only one of several people who worked on the idea of telephones, but his work got closest to the final invention that was eventually granted a patent.
In 1877 Alexander Graham Bell made a successful patent application for his device and the rest, as they say, is history. It can’t be proven that Bell stole Meucci’s ideas, but there are notable similarities between the two systems and it must be assumed that Bell at least built on Meucci’s earlier work but claimed full credit for the invention of the telephone.
In 2002 a resolution was passed by the United States House of Representatives (Congress) that stated “if Meucci had been able to pay the $10 fee to maintain the caveat after 1874, no patent could have been issued to Bell”. In other words, Bell's work was recognised as not being his alone.
So what has this to do with the Labour Party? Well, they have consistently claimed credit for the earlier work of others in regard of the founding of the NHS.
It was a Liberal idea stemming from the Beveredge Report of 1942. Beveredge was a Liberal Peer. The White Paper that paved the way for the foundation of an NHS was prepared by the Conservative Minister for Health, Henry Willink in 1944. All the necessary legislation required to permit the founding of the NHS, except for the final Bill that created the legal entity, but including legislation to take privately owned assets into government ownership, was passed before the Tories left office on 5th July 1945. The NHS was coming, regardless of which party won the 1945 general election.
For Labour to claim that Aneuran Bevan was the father of the NHS and that the Labour Party created it is like the anchor man in a relay team claiming sole credit for the whole team’s victory. It is distasteful and dishonest. That present day politicians should continue to make this claim about something that happened 70 years ago and before they were even born makes matters even worse. Would they just as readily accept the blame for a calamity that their political forefathers had caused? I think we all know the answer to that one. The whole thing is nauseating.
Will Labour stop claiming credit for creating the NHS? Oh no they won’t. Why? Because their record in government over the last 60 years has been otherwise so poor that they need this life raft to cling to. It’s the only bit of real creditability they have, even if it is wrongly claimed.
It would be remiss of me not to mention Thursday night's Leaders' debate on TV. The most notable speaker, in my opinion, was Nichola Sturgeon. Wow, what a formidable debater. She was cool under fire and direct in her answers. If she were speaking for Labour or the Conservatives she would be being spoken of as a Prime Minister in waiting. As it is she may yet be the King Maker. Labour are right to be worried about the impact the SNP might have on their vote north of the border.
Those of you who watched the Leaders' debate may think that I'm claiming credit for Nigel Farage's observation about Labour needing the life raft of the NHS (above), which would make me a hypocrite. Not true. I had already drafted this blog before the debate and included that sentence. I also have no reason to suppose that Nigel nicked the remark from me. Both of us using the same metaphor is just a coincidence.
I haven't yet decided what next week's blog will be about, but I'm sure our political parties will provide me with plenty of food for thought.
PS. Ed Miliband has featured Zero Hours Contracts a lot in his campaigning this last week. I doubt he would have been so keen on the subject if he had read my blog from last Saturday. Remember folks, you're likely to read it here first!