Is The Electrical and Fire Industry Broken?

This blog post was originally published on June 24, 2018, I am re-publishing it to show everyone who follows my new blog on danstheengineer.co.uk and my career path.

Dangerous electrical system in a basement of a mixed retail/office block in Oxted, Surrey 2017

At the end of this month (June 2018), I will not only be exiting my business, but also the industry I have been working in since leaving school. I am leaving to travel the world full time with my wife and kids and have booked a one-way ticket out of the UK. You can see our announcement here.

Many are asking me what plans I have when I get back and what I will do for work when I return. I have also been offered many jobs in various roles.

The truth is, I don’t have plans to come back. I don’t know where I will be in 6 months’ time, in a years’ time, in 3 years’ time. That is sort of the point! We stop off in Iceland first in August and have booked one-way tickets. We will adapt and mindset will alter on our amazing journey and I will remain open minded.

I have very mixed emotions right now.

I have been in the trade for 15 years and I boast some fantastic achievements in my time here. The last 12 months have been the most memorable and my career has been at an all time high…. I was accepted into The IET: The Institution of Engineering and Technology as a Fellow, I helped set up the #E5 Group as a founding member, turnover and profits within my business are at an all time high, I setup my YouTube Channel – Dans the Engineer which has gone rather well, carried out some prestigious projects and I have many contact me online to ask for my advice, help and guidance (which I am happy to).

Many didn’t expect my decision to leave but I have my reasons. I will openly admit that I love and loath the electrical and fire industries. I am a geek at heart, love the technical and engineering aspects of my job, love meeting interesting people all over the UK, building relationships and completing fantastic projects. BUT, the industry requires improvement. The type of improvement I mean is increased safety and procedures to prevent people getting hurt, or worse still – deaths.

My content online, articles written, and YouTube videos were to raise awareness of issues we face, to improve standards and to help people. It is something I am very passionate about.

This is where it gets complicated for me. I spend god knows how many hours focused on work and my business, learning and researching within my field of work. But my new Venture is to enjoy time with my family, watch them grow, travel and take some time out for me. We are filming Our Venture Beyond on YouTube and Instagram so others can follow what we do.

I decided that when I exit I will stop my focus on the industry and to focus on my new lifestyle. It is something I have to do for my family and for me.

Since announcing my decision to leave, many people including industry influencers and leaders have got in contact either wishing me well, thanking me, and/or offering something for the future. Honestly, it is very overwhelming!


I love innovation. Any company who change the game by making a great product and making a difference is just brilliant – Linian Clips.

I do have a few final things to say though.

The electrical and fire industries are very similar in many respects in that each industry is very vast in what it covers but legislation is similar for both.

What I am about to say in generally speaking about both industries.

Anybody and I mean anybody can work on fire alarm systems…. Worrying right? In fact it is the same for electrics too. Legislation allows this which I will touch on in a minute.

A person or organisation who owns or is in charge of a property is also responsible for the electrical and fire safety. It is down to them to determine how they do this. There are many ways to achieve this but in my honest opinion, this is a slight conflict of interest due to money. There is little way of enforcement to be compliant.

Responsible people can have work carried out with the intention ‘to be compliant’ but it doesn’t mean they are compliant, and it is down to client / person ordering the work to ensure it is carried out correctly. The problem with this is that the client needs to either be able to assess the work carried out themselves or contract somebody who can on their behalf. There is a risk of relying on the contractor carrying out the work to ensure they have done it correctly because it is a conflict of interest in many cases. The way contractors make money is by pricing a job, there will be a margin on labour and materials so the quicker they complete a job, the more profit there is. They are hardly going to highlight to you any issues because it will cost them! There seems to be a horrible culture in the industry where many have reduced costs so much that it is very easy to be so tight on making a profit that there isn’t room for any errors. When there is, many cut corners to maintain profit at the risk of reducing safety! Don’t get me wrong…. there are some fantastic contractors out there who consciously think about their actions and strive for a great install regardless if it won’t make as much profit as they hoped.

The accepted level and quality of training needs improving. Training providers seem to be in battle with each other to provide the cheapest training possible to win over clients based on price more than anything else. It seems to be the accepted by society. We all like a bargain but the quality can vary so much and can make such a difference. Some trainers will be happy making a little margin which is fine, but there are too many courses available which do not offer a good outcome for the trainee. That is not ethical.

The level of knowledge and skill has been watered down. It is very easy to do a short course and get some tools and start working on life safety and electrical systems. System that can cause fires or prevent suitable means of detecting fire. It is an important job and there is far more to it other than it just ‘working’. Courses I have attended and feedback from others suggest that they passed the course via a very easy system such as multiple choice but walked away not really knowing everything they should do. It seems like the pass result percentage is what matters and measures the success of the training. A bit like the UK education system. Unfortunately, that doesn’t help the student. Correct and suitable training is vital!! IF people knew what they are doing and the dangers caused by their actions, they would have more of a chance in installing systems to a better standard.

Attitudes towards management of systems can completely change how effective a system is. I could install a brilliant compliant system, but if it isn’t maintained adequately, it is only as good as the day it was installed.

That doesn’t stop someone dying, does it?

I came across a project recently where the client has a procedure where the contractor has to sign a permit to agree that they will make good any penetrations to fire compartments to ‘the best of their ability’ as part of their works. They sign the permit in the morning, do the work and bring back the permit at the end of the day. When I carried out a survey I noticed tons of cable and pipe penetrations in the fire compartments, it was like swiss cheese and informed the client that clearly previous contractors have not installed fire barriers. The client turned around to be and said, ‘I have this bit of paper that says they have installed fire seals to their work’. I was gobsmacked!!!!! That paper DOES NOT STOP SOMEBODY DYING IN A FIRE!!!!

Common sense seems to be a thing from the past. It almost seems like we are trained to be robots who cannot think for themselves outside their pre-programme. I say, step outside of the norm and think for yourself. Question everything!! Why do we use this cable. Why do we install smoke detectors there. As a parent it can be funny at first but then frustrating when your child keeps asking why…. but honestly, I encourage my kids to ask why. Then we explore the reason why together.

Who on earth designed that?

In 2017, BS5839 Part 1 was revised and one of the good changes in my opinion was that manual call points are to have covers. So there is a plastic cover that you lift before activating the call point. This is to reduce false alarms by people accidentally pressing them. It is a great idea and has reduced false alarms in the many properties that I manage. But I have seen so many covers installed but have old signage above them advising how to active the call point by pressing it failing to provide the vital information that you need to lift the cover first! It seems obvious to people who are in the know, but in an emergency, a layman may not know this and it reduces the chance of activating an all important system. An example of this was a very fancy building in London I was in recently had manual call points with covers and pointless signage above and all the smoke detection was literally right by an air conditioning ventilation system blowing air into the room. If there were a fire, the smoke would be blown away from the detectors so manual call points would be vital because I believe the smoke detection to be pretty ineffective in this premises.

Who on earth designed that? Design is so important but what is more important is that the design is to be verified by the designer once installed. I strongly believe in third party consultancy where the consultant designs a system based on the clients needs who signs design documentation, oversees the installation and commissioning and testing, then signs a verification of the system to effectively takes responsibility of the system. This is supposed to happen with fire alarm systems but often what happens is either the contractor is the designer and carries out verification or a third party does it but doesn’t sign the documentation at all and leaves it to the contractor as well. Going back to my previous statement, I believe this is a conflict of interest.

If a third party was involved from the outset, it would be in everybody’s interest to make sure everything is how it should be! The problem being is cost. It would cost much more contracting a consultant or third party but can a client who isn’t able to make the necessary judgements themselves afford NOT to have a third party? I mean, I know clients responsible for the electrical systems and fire safety who have never read or even heard of the Electricity At Work Regulations 1989 or the The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Guess what? Both are free. Click each link and you can download it. Every person involved in systems and management inside the scope of these documents should read them from an apprentice to a manager. They really are not complicated.

I walk around premises all the time and notice issues with fire and electrical safety. The problem is, you cannot un-see them. It could be a pub where a fire exit sign is pointing down instead of left. Or a hanging exit sign which is double sided effectively directing you back into the property. I believe that exit signage is confusing to the layman. Professionals keep saying it isn’t confusing at all. Well of course it isn’t confusing to someone who deals with it day in a day out but in the event of an emergency, the majority of people who need to understand signage, won’t. When I was in the US recently in Disney World, Orlando, in most of the areas, the signage is so clear I felt confident I would be able to find my way out. Every sign was electrically illuminated, directional, says clearly EXIT, and was supplemented by low level signs in places. It just made sense yet I was standing in a very large shopping centre in the South of England the other day and it has the smallest exit signs only located at the exit point which are not obvious unless you look for them because generally they are not at the main entrances and the colour clashes with the colours of all the fantastic shop front displays. It is confusing in normal circumstances. I hold little hope when the place is full of smoke!

Poor escape signage in a pub / restaurant I noticed whilst on a jolly up with the #e5 group in Coventry.

A few years ago a client has a fire in their property and it was reported that people struggled to see to get out due to smoke filling the place as the emergency lighting did not illuminate. Well it wouldn’t! It is run in FP200 fire rated cable and only activates when the mains fails. The mains didn’t fail because the cable withstood the fire! Nobody could turn on the functional light due to the panic of the emergency and didn’t want to locate the switches as they were near the fire.

And just to clarify to a few contractors…. exit signs are not necessarily emergency lights. Think about it.

Just because a contractor is part of a CPS (Competent Person Scheme) does not mean they are competent and/or carry out works to the relevant standards. It is up to the person ordering the work to carry out due diligence to assess if they are able to carry out the work and then review the work is acceptable. Cost SHOULD NOT be the main factor on choosing who does the work and just because they are part of a CPS is not good enough due diligence at all.

Remember, the British Standards are a GUIDE. However, unless you have sufficient knowledge and experience to deviate from the standards, you should stick to them as the minimum. There has been many situations where I have deviated as a designer but I have been happy to take that responsibility without reducing the risk of the level of safety of the system(s).

I believe we all have a duty to improve standards in the industry and can all make steps to assist this:

  • Individuals and companies to continue training externally and internally
  • Review management procedures
  • DO NOT put pressure on time to complete tasks but penalising individuals but also financial incentives to complete tasks in impossible times. There will be errors in this way
  • Stop boasting how cheaply jobs can be done. I am all up for saving money where possible, but under cutting others usually isn’t as transparent as it may seem. When cost goes down, often quality does too
  • Putting safety first…. always…. without compromise. Let’s go to bed every evening, knowing what we have done could save a life
  • Use this fantastic site as a forum to help each other, share experiences and ideas. There are some seriously clever guys and girls on Linkedin who can provide so much help. This is pretty much what #e5 is all about so being part of it is to help each other.
  • Remember that people are humans and not robots
  • We all need to earn a living, but let’s not allow offers to suffer as a result of greed

In the words of Paul Meenan, we should have assurance, not insurance when talking about electrical and life safety systems. Ask yourself, have you done everything you possibly can to ensure you have done your part including highlighting any shortfalls on the parts you may not necessarily be responsible for. If not, you may be breaking the law!

Grenfell was a national disaster but speaking to professionals within the industry, it is no surprise a tragedy like this occurred. The problem with fire and electrical safety is that it only tends to be apparent there is a problem when an accident or disaster occurs, not before hand. IF all fire measures were in place in Grenfell, it may have been a different story. One where many people wouldn’t have lost their homes and lives.

This is how I see ‘The Industry’

I am about to leave my company to set off on an amazing trip, but I believe that every one of my team who works for my company matters. Whether it be my head electrician, my fellow director, receptionist, clients, the guy who supplies my materials and even the cleaner! We all have a role and together, we are a team. The team cannot operate without the team players. This is how I see ‘The Industry’ . We are all involved and linked together. We have our roles and the goal should be to provide safe systems to protect each other and the public. If one team player doesn’t pull their weight, the goal will not be achieved.

I could keep going with this but I hope you get the idea of what I am talking about and can relate, maybe stop and think about a few things I have mentioned.

I would post lots of fancy pictures for this article but my van got broken into and my photos were on a hard drive that also got stolen. Those photos probably will mean nothing to the thieves but little do they know, that they are evidence that could potentially save their lives one day!

Now you’ll have to excuse me because I am currently doing some research on mountain hikes 😉 Must go!

Tradesman van broken into parked in the car park at the Excel in London

#e5

Written by Dan Jackson AKA Dans the Engineer in Kent, England

Meet Your Coach – Dan Jackson – About Me

My name is Dan Jackson AKA Dans the Engineer. I am originally from Surrey in the UK, but I travel the world full time with my family and I am a business coach. I am a digital nomad!

I served an electrical apprenticeship in the UK, set up an electrical and fire alarm contractors aged 22 and grew it to £1.5 million turnover per annum within 8 years.

I sold my shares in my business so I could spend some much-needed precious time with my wife and two young children.

In this post, I am giving you some further background information about me, what I do and how I can help you. I may come across as a bit nuts, it might just be true!

Diving through the waves at Lucky Bay in Western Australia – The best Beach I have been to! – Instagram @danstheengineer

My clients come to me to help them grow their business, for personal development, marketing, sales, social media strategy and / or to create a better work life balance.

The reason they come to me is because I have been there, done that, bought the T-shirt, then sold the T-shirt.

I am not all talk and no trousers. Everything I teach or post online is from my own experience. I have evidence to prove it all. I have been featured in a variety of press articles including; The Independent, The Daily Fail, I mean Mail, the IET, Sparks Magazine and IFSEC Global.

I have had a colourful career in the electrical and fire industry. My experience is vast, I’ve worked all over the country in multiple sectors and I have relationships with world leading manufacturers, organisations and individuals. My career highlights include:

  • Being a founding member of the e5 Group
  • Becoming a fellow of the IET aged 30
  • Contributing to industry leading technical publication – Napit’s Codebreakers book
  • Tendering, being awarded and running fire alarm upgrade project of the prestigious 15th century grade I listed historical property – Knole House
  • Selling my business to achieve my dream – travelling the world

Life is full of hurdles and so is business. I wasn’t fortunate to have any mentors. All of my ups and downs came from first-hand experience including being knocked for £60k, winning a contract for the fire alarm upgrade of a 15th century historical property which I project managed, creating all of my own marketing techniques, employment and competing in a market full of cowboys and chancers!

I started blogging about parenting when my first child was born as I was up all night and had nothing better to do. I turned blogging into a business tool, which then developed into creating YouTube videos on my channel Dans the Engineer and regular social media content. All of which contributed to business success and personal development. It is likely you have found me and are reading this due to my knowledge on social media and marketing strategy.

Besides coaching I am a freelance author and content creator. It is work I can do remotely, and I love doing it. I write articles for media companies including technical content and content that will provoke engagement. I also create social media strategy plans for organisations.

Ethics are the forefront of my business morals. I used to treat people like shit! It was only when I had a child, my mindset completely changed and instead of treating staff like robots, I treated them like humans. Compassion goes a long way. I reduced staff turnover, increased morale, had less guys in my team but increased profits! I actively promote employers to reduce hours staff work to increase productivity. Yep, you heard me.

All my methods and techniques are self-taught, and I utilise them to help others. I provide another perspective to business owners because often the guys at the top have nobody to go to. I am that person. I believe in team work and believe collectively, more minds can produce so much more than one, providing communication, direction and ethos are aligned.

My core values are; keeping things SIMPLE, remembering we are HUMAN, and ALTERNATIVE thinking.

In my personal life, I have faced many challenges that we all tend to face in modern society but the big one for me was having such a crap work life balance. I worked like a dog for the majority of my working career with little gain. Now you’ll find me on the beach more than you will find me working #beachlife.

I believe in looking after myself both physically and mentally. Working smart is something that can be taught, and efficiency of individuals and companies is vital to increase profit and available TIME.

I believe time is more valuable than money, but you must go on a journey to find your opinion out yourself. Many of my clients come to me to help create a better work life balance and it is something I am very passionate about.

Exploring Wilson Prom, Victoria, Aus – Instagram @danstheengineer

I am vegan, I am a family man, I research a lot about the environment, I am a feminist (yes you heard me, I’ll explain more another time), I LOVE travel and believe we should show compassion to every being that roams this planet.

I invite you to follow my Instagram @danstheengineer where post about my day to day life to show you the man that lives an alternative lifestyle who many dream of. Honestly, it’s not that exciting. Well maybe sometimes, if you call swimming with sea turtles, seeing humpback whales, learning to trapeze, living in the Bajan jungle with a pack of dogs, being robbed by Mexican police, going inside an Icelandic glacier or randomly getting a boat from Alaska to San Diego, exciting. To me, it’s normal!

Although I have wild hair and I’m slightly crazy, I am honest, I am open minded, I am caring, I love to help people and I have very alternative views and tactics, I am actively working for many clients showing incredible results. Check out my reviews to find out what they say! My CV is also available upon request.

Running a business can be very personal at times and it has been critical to us rely on his level head, knowledge experience. Having Dan Jackson as a consultant has been an absolute asset to the company.Stephen Wallach20/09/2019
Dan has been coaching us since May this year and we can not thank him enough for his expertise, knowledge and experience, He has a positive outlook on work and life, and it’s fab to bounce ideas with a likeminded soul, we will continue to work with Dan and look forward to many more sessions and chats putting the electrical industry/world to right! Thank you DanChris Thompson23/07/2019
Would recommend dans service. Drops in little nuggets of information that get your thinking cogs going. No bs approach and no general management stuff, just brilliant info tailored to your businessneil robinson22/07/2019
I’ve known Dan for nearly three years and our relationship is built on trust and respect. Dan will go out of his way to help anyone in trouble and always offers sound advice. There are few people in the world who look after others, just because it’s the right thing to do, as such, Dan is always seen doing volunteer work online, or in person and trying to change the world around him for the better. I would have no hesitation in recommending Dan, as you will be in safe handsAdrian Davey20/07/2019
I approach Dan after watching some of his Youtube videos. We start chatting, and he helped me improve my business, the way I promote my work, how to offer better services for my customers, plus many more He is knowledgeable, friendly, helpful, and approachable. Don't hesitate to get in contact you won't regret it. Many thanks for all your valuables bits of advice, Dan.Laurentiu Martinescu07/07/2019
Dan provides so much value with his business coaching. It has helped me improve my sales technique which has led to greater profits and converting more surveys and estimates into orders. My business efficiency has increased.Harry Kellermann05/05/2019
I can’t say anything but great things about Dan. Both as a person and also the fantastic service he offers. Dan has gone above and beyond in helping me and I can’t thank him enough. His knowledge has helped me improve my business and more importantly helped me as a person which I think is something that is very rare to find. If you are considering Dan’s services I would stop considering and just get on board! Can’t thank you enough Dan!!Joe Cooper29/04/2019
I have been working with Dan and using his services as a business coach since February this year. His help, advice and knowledge within his expert field are second to none! He has a wealth of experience within the electrical and fire industry. Through his coaching sessions I have been able to ensure all the right processes and procedures are in place and have made some great connections! I highly recommend Dan to anybody seeking help within their business! Top man! I for sure will continues to use Dans coaching services, thanks Dan!Daniel Nickson25/04/2019
Dan has been mentoring me for some time now and I have been following him on YouTube for some time too. His knowledge and real life experience is very unique and his mentoring sessions allow me to look at my business as someone who is not only a tradesman but someone who runs a business, who has a family and other commitments . He has helped me work out my day rate, taught me how to deal with customers so I can attract the right customers and how I should always behave ethically whilst doing so. Thanks Dan for all your help, I will be continuing with our sessions as I have a lot to learn and Dan has a lot to teach.AMF Contractors13/04/2019
I've been taking mentoring from Dan and I am really impressed. His knowledge in contracting is incredible and his methods are genius. The focus is partly on my company but also my personal development and my whole outlook at work is different. I really enjoy work now. Dan has taught me how to attract the right people, employees, clients and general people around me!Scott McRae12/04/2019
I signed up for business coaching with Dan to expand my electrical contracting business. It helped me see my business in a different light. Overall It has been a very positive experience and I will be contacting Dan for some more sessions at some stage.Adam08/04/2019

If you ever want to reach out to me, hit the Whatsapp button at the bottom of this page and give me a shout. I might be on another time zone to you or up a mountain, so please be patient if I don’t get back to you quickly.

Best wishes

Written by Dan Jackson AKA Dans the Engineer in Rishikesh, India

Why I Am No Longer Proud To Be British – BREXIT

Brexit. What a joke. Yet everyone has something to say about it!

I am British. I was born in Britain – England to be exact. I have always been proud to be English. Being English has always been important to me but I always like when Britain pulls together so I would say to many I am British and that I also used to be proud of being British.

I am currently travelling the world with my family. I left the UK in the summer of 2018 with a one-way ticket. To date I have been to Iceland, British Columbia, Alaska, California, Nevada, Arizona, Mexico, Barbados, Florida, Australia and I am currently in India!

I have already mentioned being from England, Britain and the UK. Either way, they typically all mean the same thing to me.

On my travels, I speak to many people and often Brexit comes into conversation. Not so much in Mexico or India but certainly in the other places I have visited. I have spoken to people who simply follow the media, but mainly Brits who have moved abroad or non-Brits who have once lived in the UK. The ‘outside’ perspective of someone who has experience living in the country is very interesting. These people have been Dutch, German, Australian, American, Canadian, Spanish, Swiss, and many more.

They obviously ask my opinion Brexit. I am very upfront from the outset and advise them that once I left the UK, I stopped following UK mainstream media so am not fully up to date with Brexit. The reason I stopped following mainstream media is because it isn’t always factual, it is biased in some form and it is mostly negative. The news isn’t always relevant to me. News articles are created from ‘stories’ that would be popular. The more people would find something interesting whether negative or not is more preferable to publish simply due to popularity. The more people read or watch the media, the larger the advertising potential it has. Media also massively influences people’s thoughts processes so it wouldn’t surprise me if everything was written in a way that was paid for to sway the mindset of the reader. This crooked world is run by greed. Money talks unfortunately and runs the majority of decisions on governmental scales to smaller individual scales.

Anyway…. What do I think of Brexit??

I voted for Britain to remain in the EU.

When I heard the outcome of the United Kingdom EU referendum held on 23rd June 2016 which was that 51.9% voted leave, that was when I decided I wanted out of the country I once loved.

Let me explain.

To date, bearing in mind it has been almost 3 years since the outcome of the British EU referendum, I haven’t heard a single justified reason that has evidence to why the UK should leave the EU. Not a SINGLE reason!!

What I have heard is stories and predictions.

Now, many of you who know me and follow me on social media will know that I do not base all my thoughts and feelings based on facts, but actually I base a lot of it on gut instinct and following my heart. Obviously, logic plays a huge part and that is what I often use in business, because I have to!

I started an electrical and fire alarm contracting business in 2010 near the start of the recession. I was based near London and London was still booming despite construction and the building services industry struggling in the rest of the country. However, the recession really messed up my trade and industry during that period.

Many clients used it as a way to reduce the market value of the services from an electrician simply because many were out of work. When that happens, people become desperate and reduce prices and some even worked for cost or for a loss!!!!

Prior to 2010 starting my business, I worked for a well-established company working all over the country and I earned fantastic money. I was young at the time – in my early twenties and had no children. Life was great. I wouldn’t think twice about splashing a thousand pounds on something. I was made redundant because the company I worked for were into their bank overdraft (or so I was told) and it was taken away by the bank leaving the company with immediate cash flow issues which couldn’t be resolved. Everyone was made redundant overnight.

It led to my opportunity to start my own company and boy it has been one huge learning curve. Learning to be a businessman is very different to being an electrician.

I was a shareholder of my company until 2018 when I sold my shares to travel so I was at the helm of the company for 8 years. The business steadily grew over time to turning over shy of £1.5M before I exited.

At first, things were tough. Partly because it was a start up business but also because we were in a recession. However, 2015 was a turning point. Organisations, companies and individuals had money to spend. The sales of homes were crazy. In parts of the South East, you could put your home on the market, have an open day the following Saturday, have a dozen people round who saw the property for 15 minutes and entered a bidding war to buy it! It was nuts. All good for my industry because there was money and value on spending for installations and maintenance.

Up until 2015, wages in the industry typically hadn’t risen at all. From a point of view as a business owner, I couldn’t charge any more than what we did because the market didn’t allow it. It was still recovering from the recession and how the market rate was massively reduced. Clients were still really keeping costs down and held lots of power. Again, money talks and the UK safety culture tends to understand it has legal duties but neglects responsibilities by passing the buck. Something that shouldn’t be done *cough* Grenfell.

2015 was different. There were tons of work out there. It was amazing. Without being completely ridiculously priced, I could name my price and it would be accepted providing I could deliver the timescales. Fortunately, I had a great team and working short notice wasn’t a problem. Clients would struggle finding an electrician who was available, so I ensured I was available and charged accordingly. Wages were on the increase and so were the market value rates. All good!

When the EU referendum outcome was announced, that all stopped. Home sales decreased. The amount of work declined a little but clients continued pressure with lowering costs again. The prospect of higher wages became all but a dream supplemented by higher overheads to run a business. I noticed cost of living was generally rising in all aspects of expenditure. Nothing went down, it all went up!!!

Up until the referendum, I saw the UK economy from my point of view rise from the recession and was onto a good thing. Once the outcome was announced, it hasn’t moved forward one little bit!!!!!

I spoke to many business owners in a similar position to me, peers and friends about Brexit and I didn’t hear a good enough argument to leave.

“It’ll save the NHS millions” ….. Oh really?? Tell me how…. With evidence.

“We can farm our own foods” ….. Sure we can. UK oranges sound lovely.

“We need to get Great Britain back!” ….. Hmmm. Okay.

“We need to stop immigration” ….. Why? This country has repeatedly been invaded time and time again and immigration is our history! Many have said this who work in construction because they claim foreign workers come over to our country and take our construction jobs. Firstly, the need to build new properties and to maintain existing is relative to the population growth. If it suddenly stopped, it would lead to a huge hole in the need to build new homes and commercial premises. Construction would suffer!!!!!!!!!

Now when people say that foreigners come over to the UK and steal British jobs, I can’t help but roll my eyes. NEVER have I ever thought to myself, someone has stolen my job because they are foreign. I would think that because they offer more than I can to an employer. This is bold and I mean it….. Many Brits are bone idol and LAZY! Yes, you heard that. I come from a council estate in Surrey. It is working class for sure and although there are many very hard-working people there, equally there are completely lazy people who think the government owe them a living. They have capabilities to work but the UK system allows people to be lazy. The majority of people from my home town are white English.

We are brought up in schools thinking Britain is great! Great Britain!!!!! We are led to believe our ancestors sailed around the world making our mark in America, Australia, Asia and Africa and it creates some sort of self-importance. Let me tell you, I have lived in Barbados recently – a country that was cut down, destroyed and created to farm sugar and tabaco worked on by slaves!!!! The history is frightening. There should be no ‘pride’ in that. The brits done this in many new lands across the world killing people as they pleased. It seems acceptable because we forced our social norms and culture across the world dismissing that any others could live any different. Again, all for greed. For precious metals, for land to farm on, oil, and slavery. Money is a man-made product yet, proves to be the most valuable.

Spending time time at the Taj Mahal, India – on my travels

I voted remain because the economy was on the rise in my opinion, business was flowing in the right direction and although there were huge problems in the UK at the time, I didn’t see that leaving the EU would solve issues. In my opinion it would create more.

The aftermath in the UK was weird. It felt like it was divided by the narrow minded who were using racism as a driver for a decision, people who saw value in the EU at the time and people who really didn’t give an F or didn’t have a clue.

Now I don’t think Britain should remain in the EU forever, but at the time and at this time, I think it would be beneficial to stay. There are many countries who are not in the EU who operate very well but you can’t easily compare them. I spoke to some Brits who originally voted not to enter the EU back before I was even a dirty thought on a Friday night and they express how they voted leave simply because Britain hasn’t been the same since and shouldn’t have entered. Comparing back then to now is completely and utter madness. Post war was a very different time. Society was different and so was technology. You can’t compare 25 years or 50 years to now!!!

Speaking to foreigners who were in Britain at the time all have said the same things to me. They didn’t feel welcome in the UK. To work in another country requires bravery in some respects because you have to slot into their system. You wouldn’t do it if you didn’t feel they offered you something different to your own country, but diversity is a good thing. If everybody had the same views, came from the same background and did the same thing, you can prevent development because you can’t progress if you use the same practises time and time again without change. Britain needs a change for sure, but I don’t think leaving the EU is the change it really needs.

I found that many people around me based their views on racial influence and hearsay on how better off the UK will be to leave the EU. When someone does this, I switch off. I’m bored of it. Someone please tell me something factual! I am open minded and always willing to learn something. I’m even open to changing my mind.

We cannot trust politicians because it is their job to polish a turd. There is always an alternative motive – usually financial for somebody. Like the media, popularity is important because popularity makes money. Influencing how we live our lives has huge benefit to business and where those with money invest their money. We are simply sitting tax ducks waiting to declare our tax returns to HMRC. The rulers are laughing. We pay for everything!

If I could completely live out of the system, I would!!! But it isn’t easy, isn’t cheap and provides little security. So, I have to suck it up and do what I feel is sensible from time to time. Anything in life has a compromise. I just feel we shouldn’t do everything for this man-made story called money.

As for my future, I have been out the country for 9 months now. I don’t miss it a bit and I love travel. I enjoy learning about British history and society because it fascinates me. Fortunately, I happened to be born in a country where I have white and male privilege. It sucks for those who don’t because believe me, if you travel India and see the poverty first hand, it might make you stop and think about how hard you feel your life has been. I feel countries with privilege should use the ‘power’ influence positive change throughout the world. For now though, I feel the average Brit is sucked into capitalism and materialism because we know no different and lives could be improved at home in many ways. My decision to leave was because I saw a decline in lifestyle, individual money and prospect. I’ll be back at some point because the system forces me too! Plus I better see my family at some point!!!!

Let’s see what happens in Brexit next.

Written by Dan Jackson AKA Dans the Engineer in Rishikesh, India

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