As readers of this blog will know, I am working on setting up a web design business. It is not easy when the government has taken all your money and you are trying to visit potential customers on the bus!
I have been put in touch with a government organisation called "Working Links". It is not clear what they do. According to their website they help the unemployed get work. They boast (on their website) that, and I quote "Self Employment ticks all the right boxes". Their site is written in the usual self-congratulatory style that all enterprises now adopt, no matter how useless. As you would expect from any government department it is all smoke-and-mirrors: feel-good insubstantial waffle. There are, however, several case-studies of the people they claim to have "supported" into self-employment.
The other significant feature of the way they work is that participants are required to sign a two year compact confirming that they will co-operate with Working Links.
I bring all this up because I have been in contact with them for five weeks and I have just received an email that states they have expended "nearly £200" on supporting me and they feel that this is more than enough.
Last week the European Union issued press releases to the effect that it was "promoting and supporting" self employment across Europe as over 90% of all jobs are in the self-employed sector. They have introduced various initiatives, costing billions, maybe hundreds of billions to re-invigorate self employment.
There is a scheme called "Microfinance" by which Euro millions are used to fund business start-ups across the continent. When you click on the relevant page you find that the UK is conspicuous by its absence in this programme. That is because all European finance, in this country, is directed back into the government.
The UK government, as always, wants to be in control. The problem is that this money, like all the other billion-pound schemes, sloshes from one state organisation to another until it has all, somehow, leaked away into the ground.
There is always sufficient money to pay the bureaucrats, fund their plush offices and pay their running costs. It is just that, when all this has been done, they tell me there is no money left actually to fund any job-support activities.
A walk around Colwyn Bay, reveals one unmissable fact: the town is dying; enterprise and commerce are breathing their last; the people look as though they have been transplanted from the old Soviet Union; yet there are nearly a dozen very expensive, very large, very new office blocks all staffed by government employees. The contrast between these and the boarded up shops could not be more striking.