Self-employed – the nouveau pauvre

Nice insight into the self employment myth and bluster!

Flip Chart Fairy Tales

I take a break for a week or so and lots of people publish stuff about self-employment. Even the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee were discussing it earlier this month, describing it as a “striking feature” of the UK’s labour market while holding a “range of views” as to the possible reasons for it. As Ben Chu noted, this is a polite way of saying that they disagree, which is not surprising given the ambiguous and sometimes contradictory data on self-employment.

Of course, this didn’t stop the government putting its own spin on the MPC’s comments. Ian Duncan-Smith claimed that welfare reforms were reviving Britain’s entrepreneurial spirit, citing the Bank of England in support, even though there was no reference to entrepreneurialism anywhere in its report.

What the MPC did say, however, was that benefit reforms might have been one of the factors leading to higher rates of self-employment…

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I noticed a tweet today which I believe launched a new campaign about the relationship between  cyclists and cars.

As the better weather and longer days are upon us I have been getting out on my bike, as well as encouraging my family too. My family consists of my mountain biker wife Kathryn who is petrified of being on the road, my eldest Tom (14) a very confident cyclist having been mountain biking since 8 and dreams of being in the SKY team or being the next Brownlee, and then my youngest Luke (11) who is a very keen swimmer so very fit, but a grudging cyclist!! We cycle properly and go at a reasonable speed.

I also drive a car, a lot, so spend a lot of time behind the wheel so see both sides of the argument. I get annoyed by fellow drivers, but really annoyed from the perspective on a bike.

So let me put the record straight. I don’t jump lights. I stop at pelican crossings, I don’t go up the sides of the lorries, nor do I undertake lines of cars at lights. I do however ride in the middle of the road so you need to overtake me properly. Im allowed to do that under the highway code so there!!!

So in return, when I’m on my bike could you not overtake me unless the way ahead is really clear, and please pass me like you would overtake me like a car. I really don’t enjoy being able to shake hands with your passengers as you go past me. Could you also use the gears on your car, and slow down when you are behind me. Also when you are approaching me on a country lane, you might think 40 is slow but its bloody scary from my position as you force me into the pot holes.

So now my turn as a father. I have seen you cut in front of my boys at speeds around 40-50 mph, beep me and hurl abuse because Im riding out in the road to protect them on busy roads and windy conditions. Imagine my torment this weekend when I had to let my son compete in a triathlon and he had to complete 20 kilometres on open roads and I could do nothing as he raced to achieve a great time but competing  with drivers in their tanks for space on the road. He got back fine by the way.

So I promise I won’t jump red lights, and I will treat you with the respect the Highway Code demands I do. But in return I expect you to treat me with courtesy. I also have potentially the next Bradley Wiggins and Michael Phelps in my family and to get where they desire they need to be on the roads, so give them room and space too, and maybe their mum won’t be so anxious.

See you on the roads, lets be safe together!!