Challenge For A Cause 2020

I am raising money for the Electrical Industries Charity who help people in the electrical industry by completing the Challenge For A Cause 2020 – Inca Trail.

The ECA challenged me! I accepted! In September 2020, I will be undertaking the huge challenge of trekking through the Peruvian Andes to Machu Picchu to support the Electrical Industries Charity and I’m asking for your support so I can support the work the EIC do! The Electrical Industries Charity (EIC) are a charity specifically for people in the electrical industry.

That means the EIC look after anyone who works within the electrical or energy sector whether you are retired, an apprentice, a relative or an employee. Think of the EIC as a charity which can assist with almost every issue from every walk of life, the only qualification you need to seek assistance is to have worked in the sector for over three months. If you know of the EIC you will understand some of the incredible things they do. If this is your first-time hearing of them here’s just a little list of some of the cases the EIC have.

  1. Freddie, a two-year-old boy, undergoing chemotherapy and his family are receiving financial aid from the EIC and have enjoyed a trip to Peppa Pig world, Freddie’s favourite place funded by the EIC.
  2. Retired couple the Smith’s, who had worked on a regional electricity board, now have a warm house after the EIC helped to fund a new central heating boiler.
  3. Emma, who suffered with addiction and anxiety, is now on the road to recovery after the EIC sourced and funded both a counsellor and a rehab facility.
This is Freddie’s story. A two year old undergoing chemotherapy who the Electrical Industries Charity have been supporting.

These are just some examples of the over 10,000 people the EIC help each year. It is because of the incredible work they do to support our sector that I am trekking the Inca Trail. Over five days I will be trekking up to 12 hours daily to reach the famous wonder of the world, Machhu Picchu. I can expect to battle high altitudes and scale dizzying heights of 4000 metres above sea level.

If you can, please donate to my trek, any amount helps and support my journey to support the EIC and the incredible work they do. You can donate using the link below to my fundraising page:

SPONSOR ME! CLICK HERE


Alternatively, why not make your company the star of the trek by sponsoring a flag emblazoned with your company logo for me to display when I reach the incredible Machu Picchu. When you sponsor a flag, you are supporting the EIC and all the assistance they provide. In return for your sponsorship I will take your flag with me across the Peruvian Andes and towards the ancient Inca civilisation of Machu Picchu where once we have reached the perfect vantage point, we will unveil your business to the world. To take advantage of this incredible opportunity contact the charity directly who will arrange your company flag: fundraising@electricalcharity.org

Thank you for your support!!!

You can check out more what I have to say about the challenge below.

Electrium Podcast From Sockets To Sunsets

Electrium-Podcast-From-Sockets-To-Sunsets

Electrium Podcast From Sockets to Sunsets – Episode 4 The Electrium Podcast. Electrium talk to Dan Jackson AKA Dans the Engineer about travel, his career and business coaching for electricians.

Electrium Podcast From Sockets To Sunsets
Electrium Podast – Episode 4 “From Sockets To Sunsets”

HAVE A LISTEN HERE

Electrium Podcast From Sockets To Sunsets

Have you thought of just giving it all up and travelling the world?

Sounds like a pipe dream, but that’s what Dan Jackson (aka ‘Dan’s the Engineer) and his family did last year. Dan sold his share of his electrical contractor business and with his wife and two children travelled the world to seek new horizons.

A popular YouTuber and now business coach, Dan talked to us about:

– Making that decision to travel
– What he learned from his experiences
– Creating a YouTube channel for your business
– Coaching advice 
– Unusual installations around the world

HAVE A LISTEN HERE

Written by Dan Jackson AKA Dans the Engineer written in Essex, information taken from the Electrium Podcast

How many fraudulent electricians have ECS cards?

New electrician qualification checking system has been launched by City & Guilds and ECS to reduce fraudulent electricians.

City and Guilds report that a specially-designed computer programme that allows electricians qualifications to be automatically verified during an ECS card application has been developed by City & Guilds and the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme. Read the City and Guilds article here.

The Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS) certifies the skills of electrical workers in the UK. The scheme isn’t compulsory for electricians to join, but when they do, holding an ECS card shows the cardholders qualifications, electrical occupation, identity and whether they have sat the ECS health and safety awareness.

When somebody applies to obtain an ECS card, the qualification details are now automatically searched directly within the City and Guilds database to verify the certificate number, name and date.

The new system combats fraudulent electricians applications and increases efficiency as previously the details were checked manually between the two organisations. City & Guilds claim those who make fraudulent applications will be referred to the Fraud Investigations Team who work in conjunction with other schemes and the police if necessary.

ECS Contact Centre Operations Manager says “We are continuously looking to improve our service and the robustness of the scheme overall. Our work with City & Guilds and other partners not only makes the application process more streamlined for customers, but also importantly catches and deters those who attempt to gain an ECS card under false pretences. These people are potentially endangering the safety of themselves and others if they are carrying out work for which they are not qualified.”

How many fraudulent electricians are operating in the UK?

This begs the question – How many fraudulent electrician applications have glided past the ‘old system’? It has taken until the year 2019 for the ECS and City and Guilds to utilise a very simple technology system. Is this a complete mockery to the safety of the general public and those electricians who pay for their ECS cards and City and Guilds qualifications?

How easy is it to get fake ECS and Gold Cards?

How does someone make a fraudulent electrician application?

It is very easy. You purchase online fake City and Guilds qualification certificates. You can simply google it and find someone who offers the service. People do this to be able to earn an electrician’s wage on sites that require ECS cards as proof of being an ‘electrician’ without actually obtaining the qualifications.

The problem with this is that it allows non-qualified persons to carry out electrical work in the role of an electrician. It isn’t too difficult to work out why this is bad and a safety issue – electricians who aren’t electricians connecting up and energising electrical circuits which have the ability to cause electric shock or fires if installed and tested incorrectly. The other major issue is that it devalues the title of the electrician. If the average skill and ability of an ‘electrician’ is less, the wages will be less than if fraudulent persons were not operating because training as an electrician requires personal investment of time and money. If individuals are cutting out some of this investment, they will be willing to accept less of a pay because they haven’t the same expense of those who have qualified legitimately.

Innovative Technology?

It is fantastic this technology is now being used and hopefully will protect the title of the electrician further. However, obtaining an ECS card does not prove competence, it proves qualifications. There is a distinct difference. What is a registered electrician? Read our article here. It is like passing your driving test, you drive to a certain standard to pass the test, then once you have your licence you are completely free to drive as you please. How bad were the drivers on your commute today?

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

Dangerous Electrics in India – Shocking – Deadly

If you think the electrical standards are bad in the UK, wait til you see India!

I have been to 25 countries and the electrical standards in India appear to be by far the worst!

I am an electrician from the UK. I have worked all over the UK in a variety of properties. I would say the standard of workmanship in the UK really varies. I have seen amazing work which I would call art and then I have seen stuff that makes me shudder because they are so dangerous! In general, I would say standards are less than acceptable. I come across far more poor work than good work.

I left the UK in the summer of 2018 to travel with my family. Since leaving the UK I have been to Iceland, Canada, USA, Mexico, Barbados, Australia, Singapore and India.

Being an engineer and in the electrical game since I quit school, I cannot help but make observations of electrics and fire safety wherever I go. It can be a great skill because fire safety and understanding the dangers of electrics can save your life. In some ways it can be a nuisance because I just cannot turn a blind eye.

Everything in this blog post are my personal observations based on my knowledge and experience from my career in the UK. Nobody can make a complete accurate engineering judgement on electrics by using the eyes only. It requires more senses, tools and test equipment to provide a full record of condition.

If you have been to India and you are from a western country, it is one hell of a culture shock. It is so busy, but more relevant, the health and safety standards are terrible. You only have to walk through the airport and outside the airport in Delhi to grasp the standards by making a few observations of workmen balancing on the top of flimsy ladders in the middle of passengers walking by with no barriers and the way you can step onto the street and risk your life by being run over or falling down a hole!

I have bounced between Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and Rishikesh. I have stayed in hotels and home stays which are lovely and some places which are not so lovely. The streets in towns are absolutely chaotic. There are people trying to sell you things, doing business, commuting, and living. There is so much to take in it can make you head hurt, but at the same time is such a wonderful experience – I actually love travelling across India.

Then you see the electrics; single core cables lashed across a street to power up street lamps, cables jointed together with cellotape, open feeder pillars which I assumed are live where little kids are playing nearby along with a cow scratching her side up against the enclosure, and light fittings open to the elements. I am not sure IP ratings are considered within the design application!

The electrics are dangerous all over

I rented one apartment which was really basic. The apartments tend not to have many sockets or lights which is fine because I only need a socket for phone and laptop charging. In this particular apartment, I had a problem with the shower. I reported it to the landlord and they called out a plumber. The plumbers had to change the shower mixer. Their drill had no plug and the lead was joined several times. Oh, by the way, in India, it seems that not one person carries out a job, it takes several people. I have no idea why, but at least there is no such thing as dangerous lone working or getting lonely in general. One of the plumbers just shoves the two cores of the lead directly into the socket outlet. This seems to be rather common! I have seen many appliances without plugs where the cores are shoved into the outlet. The issue with this is in the event that someone pulls one of the cores out whilst the other remains, you are left with a live exposed part at low level.

I seriously dislike the Indian socket outlets because the plug pin entries are huge and not shuttered allowing foreign objects to enter. I am very used to the British Standard BS 1363 socket outlet and plug, which I believe is a good design. I don’t have experience with all plug and socket types around the world, but of all the plugs I have played with, it really has been the best! If you believe another is superior, feel free to put in the comments below. Please do not say the North American plug and socket or the Australian because I have extensively looked into both and both have huge flaws! In fact, check out this video I created regarding the dangerous US plug socket.

Watch a video and code dangerous observations with me

You can watch a video of me taking you round an apartment carrying out a visual observation of any electrical defects where I ask you to note down your comments on the condition of the electrics and how you would code them if you were carrying out an EICR (electrical installation condition report).

Whilst on my travels around India, I often see poor electrical work and dangerous situations, including fuse boards in busy public places with the covers off and access to live parts, cables unclipped, damaged and without mechanical protection, lack of IP ratings suitable for the environment and external influences and single core cables tied to metallic conductive structures.

Fire safety is a huge concern in India!

What I find more concerning is the lack of fire safety. I haven’t been in one property without noticing some sort of fire safety defect (to UK standards).

A lot of apartments seem to have sliding bolts on the inside and bolts on the outside. It is a fire safety issue should a fire occur! Someone can lock the door from the outside and you cannot get out! When I’ve been in the bathroom, my kids have locked me in multiple times. My son managed to lock in our neighbours in their home and fortunately we could hear them knocking to let them out.

These locks are not suitable on doors used for escape during an emergency such as a fire.

I see so many detectors sited in recesses and against obstructions which wouldn’t be compliant in the UK. There is a complete lack of escape lighting and signage. God forbid there is a fire. I make sure I know my exit strategy, discuss with my wife and hope for the best!

When I have seen poor electrics in the UK, it is a combination of poor training, incompetence, commercial pressure, attitudes towards safety, ease of entry into the industry, lack of skilled people and little enforcement. I have no doubt it is no different in other countries and the culture decides on how bad it can be.

Are the British Electrical standards better than anywhere else in the world?

I think the British Standards, as in the technical documents we which are published as the guides to work from are written fairly well (with some exceptions), but it doesn’t mean everyone in Britain works to them! The physical standard of work in Britain does seem far better, especially compared to the lesser developed countries, but that is no excuse to not desire to increase the standards in the UK. We should be the world leaders in safety to protect the general public. Just because the UK statistics of death or injury by electric shock may be less than another country doesn’t mean the UK government is doing everything they can to protect the public. We should strive to aim for zero injury or death by electric shock.

It is so important to create an attitude towards electrical and fire safety, that being proactive is more important that being reactive. The former can reduce the latter, yet UK legislation is quite clear on duties, but has little enforcement. It is down to the client to ensure duties are met, but many organisations lack understanding of compliance and duties and rely on external companies. I also feel it is a conflict of interest having the client in charge of electrical and fire duties as well as the client controlling the finances of electrical and fire safety. It is somewhat of a farce. At least I feel the UK is further advanced in electrical safety.

Where have you been where the electrics are shocking?

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

Holy Crap!! I left my great career to travel the world… Have I made a mistake?

This blog post was originally published on November 5, 2018, I am re-publishing it to show everyone who follows my new blog on danstheengineer.co.uk and my career path.

I’ll explain my background a little.

I quit A levels aged 16 to work to earn money. Soon after, I started an electrician’s apprenticeship which I loved! I worked my way up the ranks very quickly and aged 22 I started up an electrical contractors’ company which grew year on year.

Aged 30 I decided I wanted more from life than working every awake hour 6-7 days a week, the stresses of being an employer, the pressure of a very hard industry and wanting more time with my family.

I had fantastic security of income to pay the mortgage and to provide for my family, a 5-bedroom hillside house with a great view, good cars, and a business which turns over £1.5M per annum.

In the year 2017-2018, my career was at an all-time high. I had been accepted as a fellow of the IET, I helped set up the e5 Group, my YouTube channel Dans the Engineer was growing and gaining lots of interest, business was booming, I had a great client base, and I was given plenty of opportunities within the industry I was about to leave. 

I left the UK aged 31 to embark on an adventure of a life time early August 2018. I am writing this 3-months into my full-time family travel journey lying in bed in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

I certainly left on a high! 

My family have now travelled across IcelandBC CanadaAlaska, California, Nevada and Arizona to where we currently reside in Mexico.

My life is completely different to what it used to be.

I have absolutely no idea what day of the week it is and that really doesn’t matter…. apart from Sunday’s when certain things aren’t open. That can always be a pain.

My life used to be full of strict routine, procedures and schedules. Everything was a timeline. 

I still have timelines now, but they are far more flexible other than flights and key dates.

The only ‘routine’ I have is working out, eating and bedtime. A word was introduced to me recently which I would like to replace routine with; ‘rhythm’.

Typically, I get up when my body tells me it wants to which is around 6.30am. I work out in a gym if I’m near one or a park if the weather isn’t terrible. I then come home and wait for the family to wake up and make us breakfast. My wife then works out and I get the kids ready for the day as well as myself – although getting ready myself usually involved throwing on a top and shorts and I’m done! 

We love food and being vegan, we have to plan where we eat if we choose to eat out but we try to home cook as much as possible if we have a kitchen. In between eating we carry out the usual family chores, but we try to explore in the location we are as much as we can.

It might be a walk on the beach, checking out a town or going to a visitor attraction. It all depends where we are, and we try to be as active as possible…. but we all need rest. So, we do that too! 

My wife Poppy does our travel planning which is time consuming so when she needs the time I will take the kids out. Essentially, we have swapped roles. She was a full time stay at home mum. I worked. I spend a little more time with the children than she does, and she does more ‘work’ than I do.

I also have this huge amount of time that I have never had before during adulthood. We are always doing something but even on a walk up a mounting or around a lake, I don’t need to think about where my engineers are tomorrow, or if Charles has the quotation he was asking for.

I literally have time to think about whatever I like plus to enjoy being in the moment. And this is an important point…. I am totally living in the moment.

The transition from my old to new role has presented some main changes. Another point I would like to make is that I often replace the word ‘change’ with ‘develop’. So here are some of my main developments:

1. Being a main carer of my children.

This is something I never thought I would be doing. I enjoyed fatherhood in my old role but I looked at work as an escape because parenting is tough. I no longer have that. Do I find it hard??? Hell yes!!!! Parenthood is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do.

I’ve had to adapt my parenting and self to be able to deal with the mental challenges parenting brings. 

I’m not going to lie. My skills still need tweeking but I’m getting there! 

My kids have taught me more than anyone else. I learn from them all the time so it is important for me to embrace this role change and absorb what I can whilst having fun teaching my them and myself.

2. The sense of importance.

Being a business owner, I felt my team relied on me and in some sense they did. I had responsibility on ensuring they had work, were paid, we were paid, projects were completed, and materials ordered.

I’ve worked my way up the career ladder, so I’ve always had responsibility due to always managing but now I no longer have that responsibility.

This was tough. Sure, I have responsibility being a father and husband but that hasn’t changed, but the responsibility that I had with work has totally changed.

I grew up thinking that one must work. One must bring back bread to the Family home and provide – very traditional thinking. I thought that was essential as part of being male. 

Now I am very open minded. I’m not sexist and I welcome change but when that change is implemented it doesn’t mean I can adjust within seconds. I need to process the changes, especially when I have had certain beliefs my whole life. 

When I started travelling and no longer worked for my old business there was a huge hole inside and I started to question who I am and what my role is. I became paranoid that my wife may think less of me and wondered what I offered her. I developed anxiety.

I realised my job defined me!!!!! It was self-importance.

I thought that my job was everything I was, but now I realise how stupid that is!!!!

I’m not just what I my job was. I’m a father. I’m a husband. I’m a friend. A sibling. A son. 

Although I no longer bring home the bread, I support my family. I teach my kids. I encourage both my wife and kids to do whatever makes them happy and support them however I can. 

I have had so little time before travelling to think about myself that I have actually forgotten who I am and have neglected self-care!!!

I know that feeling important was perhaps egotistical and slightly delusional because the truth is my old role has been fulfilled by someone else. Whether or not they do the same job better or worse than me, I don’t know, but they have taken on the responsibility that I thought was so important. Do the engineers call me up asking for my help (not going to lie, I’ve had a few phone calls) but in general, no they do not. It isn’t my job anymore. 

A JOB is temporary thing. YOU are not.

I’ve realised this now, but I know I still need a focus to exercise my mind more than anything. My wife and I are implementing our future plans. To maintain some sort of focus I work out each morning, I read, I eat as well as I can on the move, I meditate and socialise when I can.

I’m spending as much time enjoying what I can, when I can. I’ve started to look after myself!

Since working on myself I understand that when my mind and body is in a good place, I am at my optimum. This is important, so I provide positive energy which transfers to my family. It dawned on me that all the time in my old role I was overworked and practising self-neglect, I was transferring negative energy to my family because I wasn’t happy.

My advice to anyone….. balance is key. You need to work to earn money, but you also need to be happy and do things for yourself. You will not be at your optimum performance if you’re over worked and unhappy. Employers should also take note of this. People are human. Not robots.

If you manage a team of people who are directly affected by you, if you provide bad energy to the team, they will absorb that whereas if you are providing positive energy, they will benefit too! Who wants to be around someone who is always stressing, negative and unmotivated???

3. The relationship with my wife

We have always had what I believe is a good relationship. We care for each other and support each other. We always seem to be on the same page and agree on most things. The extent of arguing is a disagreement about something but that’s it. We laugh more than anything else.

We are with each other ALOT. We don’t see friends regularly. We don’t have an escape from each other (not that we need one). 

We are best friends as well as being married but our bond has grown. We have created a stronger team. We are fully aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses and help each other where needed. This is so important when travelling because you need team work!

I think mutual respect is vital in any relationship. Understanding each other’s roles and being happy with what each of you provide, whether it is marriage, friendship or a business relationship.

We have become incredibly open with each other. The way to explain it is that you have friends you may talk to about certain topics but not to others. Well, we are that friend in all cases and no topic is off limits.

Our very strong relationship has got stronger!!!!

4. I can do whatever I want to. I can be whoever I am.

I don’t need to answer to anyone but myself.

Obviously, I have to consider any repercussions of my actions, but I don’t have to answer to society! 

I don’t have to do the same as everyone else and don’t have to meet others expectations.

Every country has its own culture which I enjoy learning but as a foreigner, I stick out like a sore thumb in many places. People may already judge me as a tourist which is fine, but nobody’s judgement will influence how I do things, how I dress, or how I act.

I just have to ensure that my family unit are well, and we are living life how we wish to! 

I am essentially at the start of my journey on Our Venture Beyond and hope it may inspire you if you feel you share similar struggles with your life! I will be posting more blogs as I go and hope to share my experiences with you.

The answer to the title of this blog post – I left my great career to travel the world… Have I made a mistake? HELL NO!!!!! I feel free. I feel like me. I am enjoying every second and have zero regrets. I have realised how unhappy I was and how negative my life was but when you’re in the thick of it, it is easy to be blind sighted. Do I know my future and is it secure? Nope, but that is the fun of it. I am in my own story book and I don’t know what is going to happen next!!!!

Written by Dan Jackson AKA Dans the Engineer in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

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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