Categories
politics

Degradation

It is Autumn (you may call it Fall). Indeed the leaves are leaving their branches and falling to the ground. There they will rot, and provide energy for the tree and its next generation of leaves.

Humans (Homo sapiens) also leave droppings. In most cases in the developed world our waste is washed away down a pipe, never to be seen again. Of course it doesn’t disappear, it is cleaned, dried, and lots of other processes (we hope) and pushed back out into the world.

That’s what should happen. Keeping all in balance. Unfortunately it is not always like that. Through ignorance or greed we don’t really look after our environment.

Ignorance can be tackled. Legislation may be the ultimate sanction. Greed is rather different. Too often it relies upon the ignorance of the population, or on corruption.

Stupidity knows no bounds. The American President says that socialism is evil, not to be trusted. I supposed an absolute egoist, a spoilt rich kid who has spent his life going bankrupt – how many times? Five! He knows all about the dangers of sharing money with those less fortunate than himself. Such a pity that the USA is led by such an absolute cretin.

Categories
Podcasts

For Ever Again

For Ever Again A novel of exceptional… you may decide.

I’m adding a few chapters to see if there’s any response. This is the first: Harry is a lonely writer who meets a fellow author, to talk about the books they are writing.

It could lead to more.

Categories
cooperative

Marathon

 

I remember going to the first London Marathon. We went to the East End, and were able to get through the tunnel under the Thames in time to see the runners going round the Cutty Sark.

It made the event exciting, and gave us all some exercise. Happy days.

Cutty Sark
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – APRIL 13: Runners run past the Cutty Sark in Greenwich in the 2014 London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage)

The London Marathon has stood the test of time. It has become much more comercial. This year the elite athletes are in St James Park, although you’d never really know as Mammon has insisted on advertising boards all round the route. At least London is putting it on, many others have been cancelled.

Ordinary runners (hmm) are running around their own areas. That could help build a sense of community, even worldwide.

I wish them all well.

Categories
politics

USA

 

Some of us have a lot of trouble understanding the USA. They are just 4.2% of the World’s population.

It spent £886 billion on defence in 2018. That’s 15% of its entire budget, and over half the discretionary funds it has to spend.

There are about 900 US defence establishments dotted around the world. Dotted is an imprecise word, most of these places are to be found in strategic positions;  the map shows US bases around Iran.

Why is the USA so scared of the rest of the world? They live on a continent, with a benign neighbour to the north, and a ready source of cheap labour to the south. Who is going to attack them?

This strategy has little to do with defence. They want power and control. Their problems are deep-seated. They live on land they plundered. The indigenous population has been badly treated. The imported workers, called slaves, have not fared any better. For a bunch of renegades and neer-do-wells who fled Europe they have done well, but have they yet to pay the price for those evil deeds?

Facebook is now threatening to cut off Europe if they are not allowed to do what they want. They may have bitten off more than they can chew. Europe could easily create a replica of Facebook, and directly compete. It is surprising that it has not already been done. Of course it has been tried. We had a growing example here in the UK. The USA sensed danger and bought up the company.

The USA is showing cracks at the seams. The choice of an egoist and an old politician standing against each other for the Presidency must pour shame on its people.

Categories
personal

It Will Continue

 

I had a depressive moment this week. It was brought on by the death of a police sergeant in his station in south London. Shot by a prisoner, who was handcuffed. How this happened is not yet fully explained but, suffice it to say, he is dead.

That prompted an email from the mother of my two children, my ex-wife. Someone I regard as the love of my life. She recalled how she’d often been scared as I left for work.

A really good friend, who is also a psychotherapist, suggested we meet for coffee. That we did, meeting at a local hotel.

She knows me well. Better than I know myself. I explained my current state, how it had been brought about by the death of a police sergeant and the reflective email from my ex-wife.

She listened carefully. Then told me, abruptly, to move on. She said I’d been moaning about this lost love for years. It was a long time ago. It was not coming back. It was gone. Get over it!

I persisted. This was the love of my life. I still needed explanations.

Then write it down. Get it out of your system. Move on.

Back home I mused for a while. Sometimes tea and sympathy seem to be all you need. I’d had warm coffee and a sharp rebuke.

Later that evening I went online and bought a fountain pen, good writing paper and a bottle of dark green ink – my ecological roots still remained.

I will write my side of the story. It may never be read by anyone else. It may help.

So far this morning I feel more positive. Loads to do, lots of projects spring to mind.

Life goes on.

Categories
After Virus Allotment

40% tariff on British Lamb

 

My favourite reporter, Charlotte Smith, was on the BBC Farming Today programme early this morning talking to a lamb exporter. He was worried that the EU may impose a new 40% tariff on our sheep and lamb exports.

I wept for the man.

Years ago, let’s say in the 1960/70s I bought lamb from Covent Garden, our major meat market in London. I’m sure I paid under £2 for half a lamb.

Today lamb s the most expensive meat we can buy in the UK. The exporter revealed why: we export 40% of our sheep and lamb meat to the EU. That us rising rapidly, our exports last year are up by over 90%. Australia appears to be the loser, as they have seen a drastic fall in the value of their exports.

It can be seen that the increased value that a few exporters gain from our wonderful British lamb is really coming from our own pockets. Lamb is now an expensive meat. Why? We grow enough animals. Not when we export 40% of the product.

We have got to realise that we can only export the excess of our food products. For the country it is cheaper to grow and consume than to buy, or sell, abroad. Exports only help a minority of people.

I remember a time when it was normal for folk to enjoy a Sunday dinner. Roast meat with all the trimmings. Pork, chicken, beef and lamb were all affordable. The lamb was often there because of our admirable cousins in New Zealand. You may recall how they suffered when the EU imposed tariffs upon their imports.

Well folks, it is about to happen again. We must refuse to export at high tariffs, instead offer such food to our own people. We have allowed ourselves to believe that all foods are always available. That’s not really true without importing, and we buy in abut 60% of our foodstuff now.

Corvid-19 may change all that.

Categories
After Virus cooperative

Reflections

 

Sunday morning is a good time for thinking. I awoke  early. It was still dark. The BBC radio carried the news (as they saw it). Every item was about the USA. We hearing nothing about Europe these days, but plenty about the inadequate man in charge over there. He is a poor reflection of the talents to be found in that country of renegades and immigrants – they are all immigrants, but You’ll understand me.

I crawled out of bed, unable to take any more sycophancy. There’s a strong rumour that the USA is now in decline. If there is a God then that country seems to have upset her or him. They are suffering like biblical plagues. There’s Corvid-19 with about 200,000 already dead, and not much being done to stop the spread. Belief in a vaccine before Christmas is laughable, or would be if it wasn’t so serious.

At the same time Oregon and California are being ravaged by fire. Global warming hasn’t hit home enough, so thousands are leaving their smouldering homes and smoke clouds reach out to the East. They do so in gas guzzling vehicles, many of which could serve as luxury dwellings they are so huge.

Then the southern states are hit by tempests, making more people flee. As this is a free country we must hope they all have friends willing to help in their hours, days and weeks of need.

Corvid is now coming back, and this time it will hit the world economy, not just the USA. There are few contingency plans in place. Like the poor immigrants in the destroyed refugee camp in Greece there will be some unfortunates left to fend alone. Shades of the Great Depression of the 1920/30s.

Within this turmoil is unrest. The despicable treatment of the poor, in this land of the free, combined with the collapse of the economy, and increasing replacement of workers by automated machines will lead to unrest.

A major subject of discussion when I was at the London School of Economics many decades ago was overpopulation. The basic concepts have not gone away. Now they are starting to talk of part-time working to accommodate the excess.

Little in being said by the 2,000 or more billionaires about distribution of wealth. None of these people have made money by themselves. They have ALL exploited their fellow citizens of this world.

We have an excess of extremely rich folk, and that overpopulation must be addressed if people and the planet are to survive.

Categories
After Virus cooperative

Capitalism

The morning started well. I woke up! That’s always a positive sign. One day that may not be the case.I switched on my aged Apple, put in the password, hit (such an aggressive action) Return – nothing happened. I rebooted. Same problem. Slowly I realised that the Return key was not working. That’s why this is one long paragraph, unless I can recall the html!

There’s been a delay – then I remembered that I had a spare keyboard. Having dug that out, I found that it works. All that needs to happen now if me to remember what I was going to write about!

cooperation

A picture is worth a thousand words. Capitalism was the subject. Let’s start with the Bible: Revelations 13. I urge you to read your Bible, as this is not a detailed exposition. Suffice it for me to say there were two beasts; one from the sea; one from the land; both were enemies of God.

My interpretation is that they represent the way we have structured our society. In brief, they are capitalism. This exploitative state allows our leaders, whoever they may purport to represent, to exploit. That exploitation extends to everything. They exert rape and pillage upon the whole earth. They do so for their own ends.

That’s enough for today – tell me what you think.

Categories
cooperative

Real Danger

The United Kingdom is at a crossroads. As events unfold history will reveal which way it jumped. These are the death throes of Empire. Those oppressed or hard done by the pounding boot of domination are now able to voice their discontent.

This is not to complain. We have become an identifiable tyrant, and probably deserve to be castigated.

There is one element that is too often ignored. The English peasant was not responsible for all this pain. Like the German thugs who emerged during Nazism, or the untrained police officer in the USA, or soldiers everywhere – we just did as we were told by our lords and masters. Look around Britain at the stately homes, now largely controlled by the National Trust, a charity that allows the peasantry on to these estates for a mere £72 a year, so they can admire the splendour.

How these people acquired such wealth is rarely mentioned. Peasants were grateful for jobs below stairs, as servants paid a pittance plus the scraps from their master’s table.

The First World War changed the structure of society. Servants we nt easy to find, and they made outrageous demands, of proper pay, time off, reasonable living conditions. All too much. At least money still flowed in from the colonies, most now peopled by ex-slaves.

Within a short space of time Britain’s elite found an excuse. The Second World War changed the income stream. Now business emerged, especially the arms industry, and the populace could be made to pay by an efficient tax collection system. Pay as You Earn ensures the coffers remained full.

Work became the watchword. You all need a job, is still a watchword. With a job we can all be kept reasonably content. A wide range of taxes would hardly be noticed. Income tax was paid, with National Insurance (ostensibly to pay for the NHS, pensions and social services), then VAT on everything that is bought, Council Tax for local services, Capital Gains tax, North Sea Oil production, taxing the banks, and many more taxes, such as business rates, fuel and vehicle taxes. In every case it is the peasant who pays. They are bottom the pile. The only trickle down we are likely to see is the paying of taxes.

Now we have Crvid-19. That’s got ’em worried. Some are making fortunes, gambling on the falling rate of Sterling, or linking to foreign owners and a plethora f tax avoidance schemes. Amazon pays a paltry £14-14 million in tax for an income of over £3 BILLION. The peasantry have discovered that it is easier to work from home! We have the technology! They may be working for anonymous bosses now bt how any will stay tied to these conglomerates, many of which are foreign owned?

They may choose tocreate worker-cooperatives, such as Mondragon in Spain, https://www.mondragon-corporation.com/en/about-us/ which has grown exponentially as the workers share control and profits.

This is not the time for predictions, but this country has the money, expertise and resources. It’s just in the wrong hands. As automation assists then work may not be so necessary. A Universal Basic Income could reduce fear. Cooperation could bring rewards.

We will see.

Categories
Allotment Lockwood Podcasts

Urban Farming


 

You don’t need thousands of acres to become a farmer. A windowsill is enough to produce food (just a little) You’ll need more but keep it local, eat what’s best at the season of the year. Don’t use chemicals, there’s lot of better ways.