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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.

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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.

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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.

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After Virus

Moving On

That just seemed amusing this morning. It doesn’t apply to me now, I’m not married.

Most of the world is in lock-down. Strange that government leaders should be prepared to throw away their income, and therefore their power. I love to hear government ministers tell us they are going to award money to a project. They don’t have any money of their own, that comes from various forms of taxation.

I’m not sure about the democratic process. At least with Vlad the Impala you knew where you stood (often in morbid fear). With democracy, as we have allowed it to develop we have lost all power of persuasion.

We vote for a candidate who suddenly appears as ‘our candidate’. My present MP had never been to my county before being selected. She was seen as a ‘safe pair of hands’ by central office, and her resume matched Margaret Thatcher’s.

A better way is to live ‘off piste’. Don’t ever allow the bureaucratic system to realise you exist. I suspect this is the way for many folk. The CEO of a successful company can do that quite easily. All their expenses can be eased out of the company income. A salary can be turned into spending money.

Amazingly our governments allow the CEOs of large corporations to get away with the plunder. Company HQ are normally hidden away, often in a tropical paradise. Company accounts are manipulated. All is quiet. I wonder why?

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After Virus Podcasts

Our Prime Minister

Having heard the Tory rhetoric for many years about Tory “back to basics” family values and their revulsion towards unmarried mothers, the romanticising of Boris Johnson’s behaviour by the British media and tories smacks of hypocrisy (to say the least). In fact Johnson’s history of radical selfishness, duplicity and betrayal towards his wife and children should have us all very worried indeed For any who are unaware of this man’s sleazy past, be aware that it makes for unpleasant reading.

We cannot even begin to guess how many casual flings and one night stands he has engaged in, but here is the gist of his career with women.

Johnson’s first wife was Allegra Mostyn-Owen whom he married in 1987 after they met at Oxford. The marriage ended when he had an affair with Marina Wheeler who gave birth to the first of the couple’s four children just five weeks after they married in 1993.

After their marriage Johnson then conducted a four year affair with Petronella Wyatt while he was editor of The Spectator and she was one of his columnists. MS Wyatt subsequently disclosed that she had an abortion and that she also suffered a miscarriage.Mr Johnson initially responded to allegations of their affair by stating that it was an “inverted pyramid of piffle”.

In spite of his assertions he was forced to resign as shadow arts minister and party vice-chairman in 2004 by the Tory leader Michael Howard for his lack of honesty about the affair, with a Tory spokesman stating that it was an issue of “personal morality”.

Far from learning from his mistakes and regardless of the pain and humiliation he heaped on his wife who was openly deeply distressed and furious with him, he began yet another sexual relationship with Anna Fazackerley, a journalist on the Times Educational Supplement. Contemporaries state that the affair with Ms Fazakerley actually overlapped with the affair with Ms Wyatt.

Undeterred Mr Johnson then fathered another child with arts consultant Helen Macintyre, once again leaving his wife profoundly distressed and humiliated. Details of the affair with Ms Macintryre were disclosed after Ms Macintyre lost a three-year legal fight to prevent the the press naming Johnson as the father of her daughter. The Appeal Court also heard that Ms Macintyre’s daughter was alleged to be the second child conceived as a result of Boris’s extra-marital affairs.

Lawyers for the Daily Mail argued it was in the public interest to reveal Mr Johnson’s extra-marital affairs and children because it “went to the issue of recklessness and whether on that account he was fit for public office”.

(The same Daily Mail currently eulogising the birth of this latest child with the headline, “Beaming Boris Johnson looks every inch the proud father as he’s pictured hours after leaving bedside of fiancée Carrie Symonds and newborn son to return to tackling Britain’s Covid crisis in No 10.”)

In 2018 his long-suffering wife had had enough after 25 years of being with the serial philanderer as the affair with another worker from his office came to light (Carrie Symonds) and the couple’s intention to divorce was announced.

Marina Johnson was subsequently diagnosed with cervical cancer which required surgery twice in 2019 while her husband simply abandoned her and the couple’s four children. He added insult to injury by announcing his latest lover’s pregnancy and their engagement three days after the death of his wife’s mother.

His ex-wife was reported as being devastated and his children furious. Not being one of those leopards that changes its spots he also began a liaison with American Jennifer Arcuri who described herself as “heartbroken” by his treatment of her.

Let’s not ignore the facts of this man’s history in the face of the media’s current lionising of the supremely selfish and compassionless PM. This is the level of honesty and morality he employs in his personal life towards people he allegedly cares for. Imagine what he would be willing to do to us if he thought it was in his personal interests to do so.

God help us all.

I must admit that I’m not the author of most of this piece, but the facts, as stated, are widely known.

There is no reason why the citizens of this country should have to put up with this outrageous behaviour by a man who purports to be our leading citizen.

It is reported that he does not work weekends, that he missed five Cobra meetings. Is he fit to do the job?

He was not born in this country, his family has no real connection with this country. He can claim to have gone to Eton, a noted private school. Where the funds to pay for that education is not immediately apparent.

He has one option: that is to resign immediately.

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After Virus

When it’s Over

When will it be over?

Despite the worried looks on the faces of government ministers at daily press conferences nobody really knows. Certainly not the variety of medical experts standing alongside the minister. None inspire confidence.

Although the Chief Nurse is very attractive.

The present strategy seems intent on stopping our under-funded NHS from being unable to cope. It’s like everyone gathering around the stable to rescue horses with the building on fire. Action now being taken is insufficient to cover the weaknesses that have been allowed to develop over the last decade. It’s a divisive form of conservatism.

We are now struggling to flatten the curve. 800 people a day dying is better than 1,000. Politicians seize upon statistical trends as if they are gospel. They are not. The only statistics we are given deal with those collated at hospitals. Many more are probably dying at home, in care homes or on the streets.

What happens when the death rate falls to 50% of the maximum? That still means thousands of people will suffer.

Hospital staff have few weapons to fight viral infections. Care and love are not always enough. Corona viruses have been known about for years. Coronavirus 2019 may be slightly different as it is easily transmitted from person to person. There is no effective remedy, other than the body’s natural reactions.

Changes will have to be made. Reserves of equipment, such as face masks, coveralls, and respirators are needed. Incidentally so are body bags and coffins. Just in time supply is not always appropriate, particularly as global supply systems are far too slow to react. Chancellors of Exchequer will try to resist.

Entrepreneurs, like Bill Gates, jump in to spend tax-deductible money. There’s a moral dilemma that allows one man, or a group, to make billions from a product, especially when they play no real part in its production. Merely because investors put money into an enterprise should not allow them to take precedence over workers, for example.

The assumption is that once the death rate slows below its peak all will be well. Why knows? Even so how and when do we restart?

Spain is planning to ease restrictions. We shall see if this works. It will still be a long haul to get back to what once we had. That is a highly unstable strategy.

Should we try to recover? Our economic structures are in need of reform. There will be resistance. Big commerce will resist. We really need the regrowth of small local industry. At its simplest it shows that globalisation does not work,in all caeses. A form of community liaison is urgently required. Convincing the masses that they can ignore large corporations will need societal change akin to the French revolution. Time will tell to see if people can see the advantages of community cooperation.

Where is Dominic Cumming, an architect of the early disastrous policy?