Saturday, April 17

'Ossis Aren't Indians'

A fascinating comparison caught my eye. This East German lady was is complaining about being discriminated.

The case hinged on a woman identified as Gabriela S., who was born in the Communist former German Democratic Republic but has lived in Stuttgart for more than two decades. In 2009 the 48-year-old bookkeeper failed to get a job at a window manufacturer in the southwestern city and her application was returned to her with "Ossi" and a minus sign written on her resume.

"Ossi," based on the German word Ost, or East, is often used disparagingly, and Gabriela S. and her lawyer sued the window company for three months salary on grounds of discrimination based on ethnic background. The closely watched case ended on Thursday with the Stuttgart labor court rejecting her claim and arguing that East Germans could not be seen as a tribe-like group.

In determining an ethnic background, more must be considered than just a person's regional origin, the judge said, while at the same time conceding that the term "Ossi" could be taken as a negative label.

And then a news paper, trying to comment on it, says that Ossies (Ost Germany, or East Germans) are Indians. I quote:

"The white, er, wise man, has rule: 'Ossis' aren't Indians. ... But plaintiff Gaberiele S. and her attorney have already done a lot by drawing considerable public attention to this issue. She should be praised for taking this to court rather than just accepting it." "Too old, too fat, too costly, too sick, too female, too 'Ossi' -- in the daily fight for jobs many candidates face discriminatory judgments, either directly, or implied. Sometimes these are careless -- but rarely are they justifiable. It is fair enough, and even important, when the victims of such hurtful comments try to defend themselves and recover their self-esteem."

Presuming that the Indians in this case refers to India Indians and not Native Americans, I was laughing because there is a major industry in India which refuses to think of Indians as one group but is divided into zillions of ethnic groups. And here are the Germans, how horrible of them, they force all Indians into one ethnic group. The assorted motley Indian groups of groupist dalits, Muslims, Buddhists, Jains, Hindus, Christians will spontaneously self combust. Except for Bongs, but we are the superior group amongst all Humans anyway, so we dont count.

But found it quite piquant :)

Worshipful Company of Information Technologists gets a royal charter

I am a bit involved with the worshipful company charitable activities and it was nice to hear that we have now got a royal charter. I quote the announcement:

The Royal Charter Celebrations

As you will be aware The Queen has graciously granted our Petition for a Royal Charter. The celebrations are to be held on Thursday 17th June 2010 and by pressing the button on the right you can view a short presentation that tells you about the background to this event and explains how you can join in the celebrations.

Please have your sound on - it only takes a few minutes. You will also be able to access the booking form via the attachments tab in the presentation. Please note that places will be limited so it would be wise to secure your place early.

At this stage we have to limit tickets to The Mansion House Banquet to 2 per member. Space permitting, we may be able to accommodate additional guests - please follow our instructions on the booking form. If you have any questions please call Trisha on 020 7600 1992

Thank You!

I dont think I can make it, but it promises to be pretty good so will try to move things around :), good for them.

Monday, April 12


This news item which I read on the day that three British Members of Parliament were granted Legal Aid to fight accusations that they ripped off the public in their expenses. I find this really objectionable. They get paid by the public purse, they ripped off the public purse and now they will be reliant on the public purse to defend their alleged fraud against the public prosecutor who would prosecute them using the public purse? My tax money gets ruined four times over. I mean, this is seriously stupid. What do these political class think?

But to go back to the original point: I quote:

The vice of offering a 'bribe' to state employees in order to accelerate bureaucratic practices is so widespread in Turkey that the government, unable to repress the trend, has instead decided to legalise it. The report comes from daily newspaper Aksham, which said that the government's ethical commission had decided that it would be legal from now on for state employees to accept a backhander of up to 20 Turkish lira (about 10 euros) as a "sign of gratitude". However, a sum in excess of 20 lira or other payments in kind are forbidden. Under the headline "State employees, watch out for this list", the paper publishes a whole series of scenarios outlined in a booklet distributed to those employed by the State. Among them, a nurse cannot accept "a cake" from a patient being treated in hospital, just as other employees cannot accept "melons" or "turkeys before the New Year". The practice of bribing state officials has always been extremely common in the country, not least on account of low wages of around 1,500 lira (750 euros) a month.

Its funny on the face of it, but this is wrong. This is not the right step, this is accepting of bribery and corruption. If the salaries are low, then fix that, not change the entire thing around and legalise bribery. What is this?

Totally unacceptable. I also think that this wont be accepted by the EU in its EU Accession negotiations. Bulgaria had to jump through hoops as well. Mind you, this is the same EU which has not been able to get its accounts signed off. I am seriously sick of these corrupt, incompetent, fraudster wankers subsisting on my taxes and making hay.


Sunday, April 11

UK Companies scrambling to cover bribery provisions

What really got me upset with the entire British Aerospace issue was that despite it being found guilty, despite it paying hundreds of millions of dollars in fines, despite tens of investigations in various countries, not even ONE person was found guilty to be chucked in jail. Presumably this was done by invisible men. It is indeed a sad indictment of the company, its shareholders (I am not, I would not dream of investing in a company with such obvious political risks and horribly bad management, have a responsibility towards my kid’s wealth!) and the venal politicians who saved its bacon. Everybody profited from the corruption. Bah!, disgusting.

But as this report suggests, British companies are scrambling to learn more about the new corruption law and fix the problems. I agree with this.

An early sign that UK companies convicted of bribery could expect tough sanctions came last month when Lord Justice Thomas, the second most senior criminal judge, said corruption was “much more serious” than price-fixing, which attracts fines of tens of millions of pounds.

Corruption as a way to screw up poor countries is horrible. So many countries suffer from this scourge. If you ask me, this is not a victimless crime, this is a crime against society and frankly one should consider the punishment at par with criminal law. If one thinks that paying corruption monies is not victimless, then the opportunity cost of diverted monies in terms of non investment in education or health should tell you that it is indeed not victimless.

Also,  the report mentions that:

Defence and energy companies are obvious targets after high-profile corruption investigations, such as at BAE Systems. But utilities, telecoms, pharmaceuticals and consumer goods are also vulnerable sectors, say experts.

Good, the British sectors which are high export oriented or globally oriented should become a force for good, stand up for standards. And for those who say that we will be disadvantaged because others do it, do you remember what we did when slavery was widespread in the world? We went and established law in 1772 when Lord Mansfield declared that slavery was illegal. We even went to war and fought for it. Even regime change was done by our forces. We can become the standard bearers of anti corruption across the world.