Mark Thomas talking about PFI in 1999

With the state of schools built under PFI by the Labour/Lib Dem coalition in Holyrood in the early days of that parliament being a big news story now, it’s worth looking back at what was said about PFI back in the day.

PFI is a fairly complex method of funding started under John Major’s Tories in the 90’s and enthusiastically seized upon by Tony Blair’s Labour and especially Gordon Brown who pushed PFI to help build new infrastructure. Now to be fair, the UK needed that because the Tories had let that crumble. The problem with PFI is it’s essentially privatisation, and not just that it leaves us with crumbling sub-standard buildings that endanger lives, not to mention it means it costs us all more money in the long run.

But it’s worth having a look at this. It’s an episode of the Mark Thomas Comedy Product from 1999 where he deals with the subject of PFI, explains what it is and looking back it today 17 years later looks horrendously prophetic in it’s predictions of doom in regards the NHS in particular.

Give this half an hour of your time. It’ll make you as angry as it did me in 1999, and it’ll make you hate Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Labour then even more than you may do now.

Whatever you do today just vote!

Today is election day in the UK general election after what seems like a campaign that has went on for decades. There’s a brutal choice in front of people: do they vote for one of the Tory parties (Conservative, UKIP, Lib Dems) or do they vote Labour, or for one of the more progressive anti-austerity parties (SNP, Plaid Cymru, Greens) that will support a minority Labour government to hopefully pull them from their current centre right pro-austerity position.

It’s a choice you have to make but what ever you decide just vote. Polling Places are open so go do the one thing the establishment is terrified (and David Cameron is clearly scared of the possible result) of which is the people using their democratic right. Even if you stand there in the polling booth and spoil your paper, just use your right that people fought so hard for.

Especially this year. There’s a real potential for change be you left or right so there’s hours left to vote. Don’t put it off and hopefully we get the right result in the morning…

The Election in Bristol West isn’t as easy as people think

There’s an article in the New Statesman this week about the election in Bristol West, which happens to be just where I live and am campaigning for the Greens. Predictably they use Banksy’s Mild Mild West toi illustrate it so I’m going to be lazy too…


It’s a pretty fair piece for the New Statesman which normally cheerleads for Labour, and it raises an important point in this election.

Labour’s candidate for this seat, the exquisitely named Thangam Debonnaire, is very dismissive of the Greens’ apparent success here.

“A three-way marginal? Well, that’s what the Greens will tell you,” she says, as we walk along a shaded footpath beside the railway line in Lawrence Hill, the poorest ward in the whole of the southwest. “I actually think it’s a four-way marginal, because the Tories could do well.”

Debonnaire says this area, which is Britain’s 52nd poorest ward, “typifies why we need a Labour government”. Its greying terraces and imposing tower blocks tell the story of a completely different city than the organic cooperatives and artistic affluence of Stokes Croft.

The way Lawrence Hill residents have been left behind by the progressively prosperous centre is one of the main reasons Debonnaire is a candidate: “The effects of not having a Labour government here are keenly felt.”


Now I don’t think a pure Labour government is going to help somewhere like Lawrence Hill, but there is a point that areas likes that are ignored in the greater debate going on in the constituency that focus’s far too much on the Gloucester Road/Stokes Croft/Clifton scene and not in those run down forgotten areas that aren’t wealthy, full of students and gentrified.

Bristol West contains some serious paradoxes in that it has some extraordinary wealth in the likes of Clifton, while less than a few miles away there’s areas in the sort of poverty that’s become generational. As someone supporting the Greens I never hear Green supporters discuss these areas as much as say, Stokes Croft or Clifton.and that would be an extraordinary pity if the Greens lost a chance of a second MP if these areas were lost. Not that Labour are going to get an easy ride as although somewhere like Lawrence Hill is forgotten about, Labour had 13 years in government to help those areas and didn’t as it chased the middle class vote.

As current polls look to show that no party looks set to win a total majority (though this bizarre poll in the Observer suggests a clear Labour majority which looks like it’s totally ignored the situation in Scotland) so the Greens aren’t going to win an election, but they could well be important as a junior partner in the alliance formed between themselves, The SNP and Plaid Cymru. There is a way for the Greens to expand and that’s to follow what the likes of Radical Independence did during the Scottish Independence referendum and get out in the streets in places like Lawrence Hill and not just hammer the streets of Clifton and Stokes Croft. Bring these areas back in and play up the fact the Greens are going to be alone but we’re hopefully moving into genuine multi-party politics so the Green voice needs to be heard and that can only be done if the people of Bristol West return a Green MP.

Later this month this parliament is dissolved and every single one of our MP’s are no longer MP’s, which includes Bristol West’s current Lib Dem MP, Stephen Williams. Come the 8th of May I hope we don’t have him returning to prop up a vile and corrupt Conservative  Party that’s helped damage areas like Lawrence Hill.

I don’t think there’s ever been such a good chance to change the system and genuinely change things for the best, so this month is important as manifestos are released and the phoney war that’s been the campaign so far kicks into gear. The fight has just started in a seat that’s going to be bloody hard to predict……

Scottish Independence debate is showing that the old order is dead

With less than a week left to the Scottish Independence referendum, the announcement that 97% of the Scottish people who are eligible to vote, have registered. That’s a record for any democratic vote in the UK, and those people registering aren’t doing to in order to try to maintain the status quo. Turn out was estimated a while back by Alex Salmond to be around 80% but that could end up being a conservative figure as it could easily pass 90% and if so, then forget about all the polls we’ve seen. Everything is now up for grabs in the last few days before the referendum and yet, the London based media are still playing this as a normal party political election and in focusing on the SNP, are missing what’s happening right now in Scotland. They’ve missed something extraordinary and in doing so, they’ve failed to do their job in telling the rest of the UK.

As readers of this blog know, I’m a Scot living in England and people are seriously unprepared for what might happen after next Thursday. They think that the debate is about currency, or where banks (the same banks we bailed out to the cost of a trillion pounds of our money) try to scare voters in what has mainly been, a lively democratic debate.

People don’t know about the Radical Independence Campaign, who have done wonders in getting those people disenfranchised by Westminster politics feeling like they’re part of society again. They don’t know about Women for Independence who have shown the sort of egalitarian feminism that involves bringing all women up as equals not only to men, but not just those middle class women writing for the broadsheets. They don’t know of the Jimmy Reid Foundation and of The Common Weal, whose motto is ”All Of Us First‘. Of course there’s the Green Party and many, many more so it’s not just the SNP supporting independence. It’s a distortion of the truth to assume it’s the SNP V Westminster. It’s more than that.

You expect the Labour Party to support these groups but they don’t and in fact, have attacked these groups even though they stand for the working people left behind by Westminster politics. The same people Labour used to represent, and this brings me to the pitiful sight of Labour MP’s trudging through the streets of Glasgow for a desperate attempt to save their jobs, or as the media would have you believe, save the Union. This was mercilessly disrupted by some genius on a bike playing the Imperial March from Star Wars.

Imagine had Donald Dewar lived? What would he have thought of seeing Labour MP’s mocked so openly by the people of Glasgow, a formerly strong Labour stronghold?

The problem with Labour is summed up in this advert which popped up on my Facebook today.


Labour now doesn’t really want to kick out the Tories for anything more than to regain power, and with this illusion of change, they want people to believe that maybe, just this time, they might be the ones to make a difference if only YOU vote for them.

See, this is the problem. The Tories are scum. They are however, Tories. This is what they do. The Lib Dems aren’t worth talking about as they’re dead men and women walking as far as the electorate is concerned, but Labour were supposed to change things but they didn’t. They failed, and now they appeal to tribalists preaching the faith that they will really do it this time!

Then Scotland comes around and after they’ve taken the people for granted, it all blows up in their faces. They side with the Tories and Lib Dems and in doing so, drop the mask not only for the electorate of Scotland to see, but across the UK, but still, the people of the UK outside of Scotland think it’s the SNP telling the Tories to fuck off. It isn’t, it’s those  wanting an independent country to make their own decisions which involves scrapping everything and starting from scratch.

Things will be tough. Scotland needs skilled workers fast even if it doesn’t vote Yes, and it’s got to deal with an aging population, but the country seems like the only part of the British Isles which is alive. It’s woken up to the trap of Westminster politics that Labour have held them in, and by saying Yes, they lose all of that bollocks. They lose the Commons and the farce which is Prime Minister’s Questions, and they lose the Lords, and they lose the London based media, not to mention the likes of  UKIP, Britain First and the EDL are either gone or so diminished that they can be easily ignored. New parties will emerge from the wreckage of the old, and new ideas will be better heard but people can’t let this massive move towards democracy die. Left, right and centre in Scotland have to combine to make it work, after they’ve ditched the rubbish who I imagine will leg it south in the hope of finding safe seats in England or Wales.

On September the 19th I hope Scotland wakes up independent. I also hope the rest of the UK sees what’s happened, and realises that they’ve been sold shite by the establishment, and like the people of Scotland they can fight for what they want through the ballot box. The very real fear in the eyes of David Cameron as he realises that people have power is glorious, so don’t waste a chance to make things happen as they have in Scotland. The old order is dead whatever the result may be next Thursday. The party is over for Cameron, Milliband and Clegg in Scotland. Time to start working for the future.

Scottish Independence is now a real possibility

The latest YouGov poll puts the Yes campaign for Scottish Independence at 51%, ahead of the No campaign at 49%. This is the first time that any major poll has put Yes ahead, and the fact it’s the notoriously conservative YouGov is important to understanding that Westminster, the London media and the establishment have completely underestimated the support on the ground for independence, and the complete failure of the No campaign to make a decent argument. After all, at the start of the actual campaign a few years ago, the No vote was in the high 60% mark, so they’ve lost tens of thousands in support and in the last two weeks since the last televised debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling they’ve seriously hemorrhaged support.

In the light of this latest poll, this has made the government sit up and George Osborne is promising ‘extra powers’ should there be a No vote. Two major problems with that: one, it’s clearly desperation and there’s no idea what powers they may well actually be, and secondly (and more constitutionally important) Scotland is in purdah at the moment and to quote from the Wikipedia article I’ve linked to, this means:

The time period offers a prior opportunity for government departments to develop guidance and policy due to any impact resulting from the election. It also prevents central and local government departments from making announcements about any new or controversial government initiatives (such as modernisation initiatives, administrative and legislative changes) which could be seen to be advantageous to any candidates or parties in the forthcoming election, or which may commit any incoming new administration to policies which it wouldn’t support.


George Osborne has just promised that Scotland may well get powers in an attempt to firm up the No vote, but he can’t. Nobody related to government, be that UK or Scottish, can do this. There could well be some legal issues over this and anyhow, the fact it is desperation will be so overwhelmingly obvious that the Yes campaign will be guaranteed a boost in support from this announcement.

As those people who read my blogs which aren’t reviews of films, TV programmes, or comics will know, I’m a Scot living in England and there’s a singular lack of understanding from most people as to what potentially might happen in less than two weeks. This superb post titled A Letter to England sums it up better than myself but I can totally back that post up. I’ve had around a dozen conversations in the last two years about the subject of independence, and they’ve ranged from patronising nonsense from people who think Scotland can’t do anything without permission from London, to the one I had on the Friday just gone with an Irish lad, and a chap born and bred in Bristol but seriously interested in the subject because he’s gotten fed up with how’s it’s being reported down here and wanted another perspective. In the last week in fact, I’ve had a few smaller discussions about the subject, including one at work which shows that the company I currently work for (a large multinational company with a large Scottish presence) will just get on with it should Scotland vote Yes. I imagine that’s exactly how 99% of companies operating in Scotland will do come September the 19th.

Obviously the only poll that matters is the one on September 18th, but let’s not diminish what this poll represents which is the first clear sign that the first ever democratic vote on the Union could see it’s breakup, and that the majority of the rest of the UK are not prepared for it as the thinking they’ve had installed into them by the London based media is that No will win and things will carry on, and anyhow, if Scotland votes Yes, they won’t get Sterling, or a currency union.

Here’s a lengthy quote from the post, A Letter to England that everyone south of Berwick should note as it’s importan which is why I’ve included it in detail. It shows why the media have failed to make this a national debate across the UK even though it affects you all who read this in the UK.

There is something that I believe that people in the rest of the UK need to get their heads around very quickly. Your leaders will attempt to convince you that Alex Salmond is either begging you to help him out or threatening you if you don’t agree to what he wants. The truth is that the negotiating position that the SNP have laid out in Scotland’s Future isn’t just the best deal for the people of Scotland – it is the best deal that the people of the rest of the UK could possibly expect in the event of Scotland’s departure.

I have done the reading and let me tell you – the currency union model that the SNP propose benefits the people of the UK far more than it is likely to benefit the people of Scotland. If the SNPs negotiating position was purely about winning the best deal that they could for the people of Scotland then they would not even be entertaining the idea of a formal currency union – they would simply go straight ahead and establish an independent Scottish currency with it’s own central bank and a fixed interest rate with Sterling, walking away from the UK’s national debts in the process.

Here is the most important thing that you need to understand right now. The idea that a newly independent Scotland would be walking away from a share of the UK’s debts is false. Scotland cannot agree to take on the UK’s debts because such a thing is legally impossible. The UK’s debt commitments are a legally binding contract that the UK government has entered into with the investors who have leant them money. Those contracts cannot be re-assigned to another third party and even it were possible the investors who issued the debt would not agree to it because to do so would go directly against their own interests. The reality is that we are not negotiating what share of the UK’s debts Scotland will be willing to take on. What is actually being negotiated is the level of foreign aid payments that a newly independent Scotland will be willing to make to the UK government in order to help it cover it’s debts.

That is not a threat. It is cold, hard reality. In February of this year George Osbourne, backed by Ed Balls and Danny Alexander, issued an announcement confirming that if Scotland votes for independence then the UK will continue to honour 100% of its existing debt obligations. Your government have already taken the unilateral decision that in the event of a breakup the rUK will be the sole continuator state, meaning that there is not a single thing that they can do to force the Scottish Government to accept any share of UK debt. That decision has already been taken on your behalf and that ought to worry you.

It ought to worry you because that triumvirate of Osbourne, Balls and Alexander have already proven themselves to be pretty poor negotiators. On the same day that they confirmed that the UK would continue to be liable for 100% of its debts they also announced that there is no way in which the rUK would agree to a formal currency union. Over the last week we have already seen the fallout of that decision, with Sterling sliding several points against both the US Dollar and the Euro. I can guarantee you that when we see the financial markets open tomorrow Sterling will start sliding even further. The financial press are already speculating that if Scotland votes Yes on the 18th then the minute that the markets open on the 19th Sterling will crash.

The reason for this is simple. What investor in their right mind is going to invest in a currency when the person in charge of running it has openly declared that he intends to slash his own economy by 10% overnight?

Right now Sterling is supported by the tax receipts from North Sea oil, meaning that in the event of a currency crisis the UK can back peoples investments by paying them back in oil instead of in cash. The minute that Scotland votes for independence 90% of the UK’s oil revenues disappear and the security that they provide disappears with it. I fully expect to see the rUK experiencing a further downgrading of its credit rating, meaning that it will face yet higher borrowing costs to continue financing its existing debt.

None of this has anything to do with Alex Salmond. It is already coming about thanks entirely to the outright incompetence of your own political leaders.

The reason why Westminster is desperate now, is that Scotland becoming free of it, means they are simply fucked and cannot spin austerity out as intended. You vote Tories/Labour/Lib Dems/UKIP and you get the same sort of incompetent careerist tosser who’s got people working 40 hours a week to just keep a roof over their head and they’re being told that they’re not working hard enough. But hey, they’ve been voted in because people stick to the same tribalist ideas so the system keeps going and going while the rich become richer and the rest of us look at pay packets which have barely changed in years, while prices constantly increase.

I don’t want friends to wake up on September the 19th to a free and independent Scotland and begrudge Scotland and it’s people for what they’ve done. I want them to realise that actually, this is the best chance they’ll ever have to break things for the better in the rest of the UK. This is a chance to take the incredible movement that Scotland has had over the last few years and drag it out across the UK so we can drive out the bastards who clog up the system and work only for themselves.

If there’s any lesson to be learned from this, it’s that the system we have now is broken. Rather than cling onto broken remnants of the past, we should be grasping this opportunity to start fresh not just in Scotland, but in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. So inform yourselves in the last few days before the vote as to the possibilities it opens up. Make sure you know that the people of Scotland are not doing this to ‘get at the English’ as many on the Unionist side would have you believe, but because they have a change for the sort of real democratic change this country hasn’t seen since the end of the last war.

How much are the UK government getting the press to attack the Scottish Independence movement?

With two weeks left before Scotland decides whether to leave the UK and decide it’s own fate, or remain and be governed by Westminster governments, the debate is getting incredibly heated as polls show a narrowing of the once though unassailable lead the No vote had. As a Scot living in England what’s amazed me is how badly the debate has been reported down here, and also how identical much of the reporting is as if the media are being briefed to say the same thing. This is especially apparent when you read the broadsheets like the Telegraph, Independent and the Guardian which all sound like they’ve all been well briefed in the day’s talking points. Even the international press sound like the London based press. Right now, the talking point is that it’s a Scottish government that decides whether the NHS is privatised and not Westminster. More on this later.

Today I was idly reading through various parts of the internet and stumbled across this article on Vice. It’s an interview with Danny Alexander, the Lib Dem lacky of George Osborne, and it’s a far, far more interesting read than I though it’d be because of this part at the start of the piece.

A short while ago VICE got a call from the Cabinet Office telling us they’d seen our article about a stupid video by “Let’s Stay Together”, the government’s campaign to stop Scotland leaving the UK. They were under the impression that we had taken an editorial stance staunchly in favour of independence, rather than simply against early 2000s English celebrities with crap opinions getting involved in important debates.

They said if we wanted to discuss the “real issues” (whichwealreadyhave, butwhatever), rather than just laugh at Tony Robinson, they could help us out by giving me an interview with Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, who – as the Cabinet’s foremost Scot – is heading up the government’s Let’s Stay Together Campaign.


The insinuation here is that the UK government are looking at the media and trying to get them on message, including the likes of Vice. This frankly is quite extraordinary when we’re to believe the likes of the Guardian who have maintained they’re running a ‘balanced view’ on the debate, but clearly aren’t.

The fact is the entire No/Better Together/No Thanks campaign has been run exactly like an election campaign with Downing Street clearly briefing the London media, and anyone falling out of line is contacted to get them in line as seen here. One of the reasons why the Unionist campaign has failed to gain support is they’re not presenting any positive vision, but seeing as all they’ve got is to say ‘the status quo is fine‘ when in fact, it’s perfectly clear it’s not (unless you’re one of the few benefiting from the system) and something needs to be done. Faced with a grass roots campaign which has roused people who’ve never voted, and a large amount of working class voters registering while informing themselves of the debate in a way I’ve not seen happen in any bit of mass democracy in the UK probably at least since the 1980’s.The Yes campaign has striven on the whole to present an inclusive campaign based on solid arguments rather than spin the same old tired politicians talking points and this is what’s connected.

A case in point is Jeane Freeman of Women for Independence’s interview with Andrew Neil about the NHS in Scotland on the BBC today. It’s simply wonderful to see an old lag like Neil being shot down in flames so comprehensively.

Neil’s points are tired, and not just that, they’re easily proven wrong to anyone with a passing knowledge of the Barnett Formula, but the assumption is that people are stupid and they’ll do what they’re told. In fact the entire Better Together campaign has based itself upon disinformation, which isn’t to say that the Yes campaign hasn’t also indulged in some wee white lies. They have, but the Unionist campaign sums up everything wrong with how democracy is seen by those in positions of power. Do as you’re told because we’re right.

This has seen the UK government scramble for a Plan B as if Scotland does vote Yes in two weeks then they have made no plans for it, such is the arrogance of those in power. The only thing they’ve planned for is a No vote, so hence we’ve got the coalition panicking and Ed Milliband desperately telling Scottish voters that ‘this time things will change’ even though they’ve not. There’s the problem with the establishment telling you that the flavour of shit you’ve been eating will be really good next time, honest. They’ve thrown everything at the Unionist side of things and although the No vote is still in the lead, the Yes vote is rapidly catching up,even though the weight of the media (backed by the government and Westminster) is against it and that, in the UK in 2014, is bloody extraordinary.

Vote for Arseface-The European Elections are upon us!

Tomorrow is the day of polling for the European Elections and in some parts of the UK, the local elections. I’ve already cast my vote by post and as I’ve already said, there wasn’t a lot of choice so I ended up voting Green with some serious reservations. Anyone reading this should decide on merit where their vote for. Weigh up the policies, not to mention the people who will be possibly representing you in Europe for the next five years.

The choices are awful. You can vote Tory and vote for a party drooling at the prospect of possibly consolidating power ahead of next year’s general election. This sadly would mean that David Cameron (a man with a freshly skelped arse for a face) remaining in power so he can ruin more people’s lives.

You could vote Labour and for the party which set everything up for the coalition to wreck things. You can vote for a slightly less evil centre-right party with Leader Droid Ed Milliband set to perhaps replace Cameron in next year’s election by winning through default.

There’s those who will vote Lib Dem but fuck you.

Then there’s UKIP. Fuck UKIP. I found out today Nigel Farage is 50, only three years older than me but he looks like an old man who’s never, ever had joy in his life. He could have been involved with Punk, or the dance scene, or hung around in dodgy clubs with dodgy women having dodgy fun but no, he’s been boring and tedious all his life. Vote UKIP if you want to get old before your time.

Voters in Scotland at least can choose the SNP who unlike UKIP, have things like policies, something all the major parties have whether we like them or not but UKIP (and all the other extremist parties) don’t. Bleating ‘immigration’ or ‘we’ll regain control of our borders’ aren’t policies. They’re dog whistle lines designed to flush out the racists too ashamed to vote BNP, but happy voting UKIP or the English Democrats, or An Independence from Europe or any of those fucking splinter groups from UKIP who are equally vile, bigoted and racist.

UKIP and what they represent, should be repulsive to anyone who wants to live in a free modern country. UKIP are the past having, hopefully, one last stab at the present before they vanish off into history. Or they could be the start of something very scary indeed as their lack of polices mean they’re going to get a lot of people voting for them, even though they have no manifesto or polices at any level. This means they can gather a large support based upon nothing but lies and racist soundbites- a perfect way to gain some foothold in politics without having to put your policies under scrutiny. They’re the sort of party Alan Moore warned us about in V for Vendetta, and they’re a threat so vote for them if you want to ‘stick one to the other parties’ but the things about policies is that it’s better to have some, break them and take the flak than have none at all.

So tomorrow when you make your cross, vote for who you think you will be happy representing you at a European or local level. Don’t vote for a backward step as UKIP are, and don’t vote for anyone who’s face looks like an arse.

My vote for the European elections goes to……

I got my postal voting pack through for the forthcoming European Elections here in the South West of the UK. It is frankly, a shocking indictment of how bad modern democracy is in this part of the UK. Here’s a list of parties and this should explain what the problem is.

I’m a very left wing type with a strong working class background, so where’s the party which represents me? It’s not Labour as they’re Tory-Lite, and it’s certainly not the Lib Dems who wiped their arse on the benefit of the doubt people gave them in order to maintain their place in a position of power. I’m certainly never voting Tory as frankly, that would be wrong to vote for people like the Tories but what other great choices are they?

There’s An Independence From Europe, who are an offshoot of UKIP who are also standing. There’s the English Democrats and the BNP. The BNP bigots, racists and homophobes but out of this four they’re the only ones who demand any sort of respect because they are at least honest about their racism and xenophobia. UKIP and their offshoot are just xenophobic bigots pandering to the very, very worst in people while hiding their policies, though in UKIP’s case they’re not printing their manifesto til after the election. That’s right, UKIP want people to vote for them without knowing what they’ll be voting for.

Then there’s the English Democrats who are just old fucking bigots who want to blame everything on Scots, multiculturalism and whatever isn’t old white English people going grrrrrrrr at everyone who has the hints of a tan or a vague Scottish brogue in their accent, while making a mockery of the word ‘democrat’ just because they’re wankers.

So that leaves The Greens. A party who’s science policy is flaky and they support homeopathy. Fuck.

This means the least evil, the least xenophobic, the least racist party wins my vote and with a lump in my throat I stuck my X next to The Greens. This is by no means a party I want to support but as I want to vote in the European Elections I have no other sensible choice. This is bollocks however if I’m to show any sign of dissent against the Westminster parties and the xenophobic bigots hanging like winnets from the arse of British politics then in this part of the world, I have no fucking choice.The last thing I want is Nigel Farage or some prick from the English Democrats cawing over the fact they’ve used feat to mobilise a vote based upon bigotry.

This does not mean I’m going to start eating mung beans and open a mindfulness workshop. Fuck that. It just means I’m registering a protest vote with the only party left to me as an option without having to swallow too much of my ethics.

This is not the way is should be.