The need for good data protection practices at utility companies

I just received a call from a utility company and yet again found myself dealing with someone who does not understand that asking me for my name, address and date of birth has nothing to do with data protection.

My name and address are all over the internet, for starters, because I am a company director. My year of birth therefore is too. My birthday is available from so many organisations and companies! Half of Portsmouth, so to speak, has access to these data and many people outside of Portsmouth have access to them too.

If someone calls me about a complaint and thinks that it is okay to snub me when I challenge the company’s data protection practices and ask “How do you know that this is me and not for example one of my neighbours?”, I am not impressed.

(What’s more, how do I know that the call came from a utility company and not from someone who wanted to have my “confidential” data?) 

Watch this video below. Pay attention to the WOMAN who calls from her phone which displays the MAN’s phone number on the screens of the parties she calls and who sounds like a MAN when she does that. 

Are EU citizens in the UK the world’s only undocumented legal migrants?

Probably.

In case you didn’t know that… indeed, legally residing EU citizens in the UK have NO PROOF of that so there is never a guarantee that when they leave the country for a holiday or a work visit abroad, they will be let in again.

Why? If you need to ask that, you’re asleep.

But why did the EU go along with this???

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/jan/16/nhs-worker-stuck-in-kenya-as-settled-status-documents-are-rejected

What it is – can be – like to live in Portsmouth

Years ago, someone at the local Salvation Army (where I volunteered briefly) told me that I saw Portsmouth in a much too positive light. I think I now know what she meant. For a long time, I thought that a lot of the nastiness of Portsmouth came from the poverty here. Nope. We were talking about the theft of wrapped Christmas gifts at the time.

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Lovely Portsmouth in the UK’s top spot again for discrimination and intolerance

This fully fits with my own experiences of Portsmouth where I’ve been living since early 2009. If you’re one of the victims of this discrimination in Portsmouth, feel free to contact me if you think I may be able to help you.

Dear Gerald Vernon-Jackson – dyslexic and gay – this appears to have happened UNDER YOUR WATCH. The LibDems pay very little attention to all kinds of diversity issues in Portsmouth. It’s the main reason if I recall correctly why I asked to be removed from the LibDem mailing list some years ago and stopped voting LibDem. The aggressive prejudiced bully of a volunteer you had during the last elections did not serve your cause either as far as I am concerned. She’s exactly the kind of person that causes these kinds of disparities. (Steve Pitt knows who I mean. She comes within an inch of being downright vicious.)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55221474

Portsmouth, a “strong sense of community”? My ass. It’s much too often a hotbed of intolerance, corruption and intimidation but there is a lot of, how shall I put it, cosmetics going on. The “guy in the dress” is welcome here because it is felt that he enhances Portsmouth’s image of contrariness.

But people with Parkinsons and autistic people or even normal professionals are seen as not “sexy” enough for Portsmouth.

Some of the staff at the Civic Offices is an utter disgrace – a Mr Thomas Young, for example, but he may no longer work there – and should be sued because of how they violate English law (and are completely unfit for the work that they do for other reasons as well). Some should probably even be charged. I mean that. It’s disgusting, some of the stuff that goes on there.

People with Parkinsons can also get a hard time because other people – including police officers – mistakenly believe that they’re drunk. Did you know that?

 

Brexit, cultural differences and negotiation styles

Captions below. More information and some tips under the captions. Also available on YouTube.

READ THIS: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/dec/25/make-what-you-want-seem-normal-david-frost-and-the-brexit-deal

“It was a Trumpian use of alternative facts,”
said one EU source.

(It is not tied to the Trump era, however. I first ran into the above in Southampton, in 2006 or 2007. It’s part of the silly games the English often play. It renders you powerless and speechless, pulls the rug out from under you, thus putting them in the driver seat. Be prepared for this. Stay focused!)

…as a British official put it:
“They found it very difficult to deal with our obstinacy. It was wearying.”
)

READ THIS: https://www.amazon.co.uk/When-Cultures-Collide-Leading-Across/dp/147368482X/

READ THIS: https://edition.cnn.com/2021/01/02/uk/2020-hurt-the-uk-2021-could-kill-it-intl-gbr/index.html

READ THIS: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-3-types-of-negotiators-and-how-to-tell-which-one_b_594378c5e4b0d188d027fd4c

About Chris Voss: https://www.blackswanltd.com/our-team/chris-voss

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An example of Trump not being all bad

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/12/28/politics/house-vote-direct-payments-2000/index.html

“The legislation, which passed with a 275-134 vote, comes a day after Trump signed a sweeping coronavirus relief bill into law Sunday evening. That measure, which was negotiated on a bipartisan basis, provides for $600 in direct payments, but after a deal was brokered and passed out of Congress, Trump railed against the amount as too low and called for $2,000 checks instead, prompting House Democrats to push for an increase.”

Oh dear… he is at it again!

Sigh.

Yesterday, I’d been getting a lot of interference too, but of a more remote nature.

Right now, he’s totally blown a bunch of safety valves again and is directing all his anger at me, it seems. Whoever it actually is.

Posting something like the above can make him disappear. Yep, seems to have done the trick.

He hadn’t done something like this in a long time.

Has caused some challenges for me and seemed to want to know how I am liking them apples. 

The challenges are of an IT nature, and of a nature I can’t actually, as usual these days, do a thing about because of the situation I am in, but it means that I can even do less than the little that I still can do these days (and those restrictions have nothing to do with the pandemic).

I also got an e-mail about female genital cutting. He threw a lot of that my way at some point in the past, apparently wanting to freak me out. Could that e-mail be a coincidence this time? Sure. But I doubt it. Anyway, it doesn’t matter, but then again, it does, because it probably indicates that he is very upset.  

What set him off may be the fact that I watched this movie last night. Who knows. (Probably, yeah. Been there many times before in the past 12.5 years, after all.)

 

The Dutch Financial Times about Brexit

Echoing what I’ve been moaning about since I moved to “Britain” (that “Brits” are recalcitrant by definition and difficult to work with) and saying that Boris Johnson is full of it, with one major difference – and this is important – namely, equating English and British. (I stopped doing that after a while.)

In the Netherlands, the UK is called “England”. The distinction between Britain’s four nations barely ever features in the conversations there.

If you’re a non-English business Brit who deals with Europe and may have to do more negotiating now, this is something to keep in mind and be forgiving about.

This too is diversity.

(I’m about to make a video related to this, so be on the lookout for that post here, if the topic is of interest to you.)

(Also, I too am now often perceived as “difficult to work with” for Dutch people and Americans, I am sure, after 16 years in England.)

Merry Christmas

Since this pandemic started, the following thought has crossed my mind repeatedly.

“My coughing has to be so much harder on my neighbours now.”

Because although they know that I always tend to cough a lot, particularly in winter or when it’s cold or when I get less exercise, they have to be wondering off and on whether I have that corona virus. It’s only natural.

I have suffered from sinus problems etc since my teens and have tended to cough a lot in the morning for decades – never in Florida, of course! – but it got much worse – lol – after I moved to Portsmouth.

At the moment, I cough a lot in the mornings because I currently take two capsules of N-acetyl cysteine in the morning and I start the day with coffee. They both start to kick in almost instantly. One thins my mucus, the other widens my lower airways, so… out comes the stuff.

I still have plenty of hand sanitizer – which I funnily enough bought on a whim at Aldi before the pandemic started – and while I have run out of the super disinfectant cleaner of which I prepared three spray bottles at the start of the pandemic at the appropriate strength for this virus, I do still have a flacon with the pure concentrated super disinfectant so I will fill up new spray bottles today.

I will start using that on doors and often-touched surfaces again here where I live .

Because it is a little thing that I can do.

And it only takes about five minutes.

While my neighbours know that I don’t interact with a lot of people here in England, this new, more infectious strain and this second new strain from South Africa that may be even more infectious than the English one, hey, even if people don’t form the thought consciously, at the back of their mind, there has to be some concern when they hear my annoying morning cough. Period. It’s only normal.

I haven’t put up any decorations this year and I haven’t bought any Christmassy food. (Unless you count the traditional English Christmas food Brussels sprouts, an idea that will surely puzzle the Dutch greatly.) I don’t even have any alcohol in the house. But I do have a few irons in the fire that are ready to come out. Because it is that kind of year.

From the Tao te Ching

The Master has no mind of her own.
She understands the mind of the people.

Those who are good she treats as good.
Those who aren’t good she also treats as good.
This is how she attains true goodness.

She trusts people who are trustworthy.
She also trusts people who aren’t trustworthy.
This is how she gains true trust.

The Master’s mind is shut off from the world.
Only for the sake of the people does she muddle her mind.
They look to her in anticipation.
Yet she treats them all as her children.

Lao-Tzu

Nah, we don’t need stupid Europe and its silly backward countries

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/23/lufthansa-fly-fresh-food-uk-shortage-fears-fruit-vegetables-border-french-blockade

“Lufthansa flies 80 tonnes of fresh food to UK amid shortage fears”

Meanwhile, those same lorry drivers we so depend on are getting whipped by Kent Police and ignored by the authorities so that it’s charities – thank you! – who are keeping these lorry drivers alive now by supplying them with hot meals etc.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55420193

Right.

And yet there are still people who think it’s crazy that I think that England is a big bizarre mess on way too many days of the year. There is a giant disconnect from reality in England, the kind of disconnect displayed by Donald Trump and Boris Johnson. Here’s to hoping that that disconnect will now start to dissolve.

(Some of this has to do with the vast difference between how the English negotiate and how the rest of the western world negotiates, I am sure. I may do a video on that one of these days.)

Wanna do something extra against Covid?

Wipe down some of those traffic light buttons at pedestrian crossings. A bit of tissue paper and a 45-pence bottle of hand sanitizer from Aldi is all it takes.

If everyone who walks to a local supermarket or whatever wipes down just one traffic light button on the way, you could be making a big difference. And it can’t do any harm.

Since the start of the pandemic, I have been carrying a tiny bottle of disinfectant – yep, from Aldi, but other chains carry them too, as you know – and tissues in my right pocket. You are likely doing that too.

So it’s an easy peasy thing to do. For me too. Let’s see if I can remember to do it in practice. 😉

People in Kent to provide coffee and tea for nearly 3,000 stuck lorry drivers, both English and European

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-55410114

This is easy peasy. Lots of things you can’t do right now. Tons of stuff you still can, and should. Because these lorry drivers too help keep Britain going, whether they take meds to Europe or a ventilator or produce to Britain. So people in Kent have decided they are going to do it. Period.

And the city councils are going to give them access to the public toilets. I mean – (LOL) – would you prefer the alternative, folks? What do you think that might be?

Curries, too!

https://www.kentonline.co.uk/gravesend/news/hundreds-of-curries-delivered-roadside-to-stranded-truckers-239717/