Drawbridge Brothers 4

Banksy

Diversity is a weak glue. Its purpose is to placate today’s society. It is based on a vision that suggests that society will not change. The basic premise is that of equal opportunity and a general respect for the rights of the individual, inclusiveness. Unfortunately, this brings diversity into conflict on various aspects of its tenets.

You must admit it is a lovely picture, well drawn and you can see why many are attracted to it. But it was drawn in charcoal, posted on the outside and it rained. The jolly old rain!

We can all agree with Ha-Joon Chang1 that “Equality of opportunity is the starting point for a fair society.” But and it is a big but, “However, it is equally unjust and inefficient to introduce affirmative action and begin to admit students of lower quality simply because they are black or from a deprived background.” From any angle we come back to the obvious conclusion that we are dealing with discrimination.

Is it ok to discriminate against a rich kid because their family has money and therefore his/her life chances are so much better? To which group should we lend our support – an underprivileged female or an underprivileged black person? Michael Sandel2 deals with this question expertly.

Sandel prompts us with a proposition that affirmative action is acceptable because it fulfils a ‘socially worthy aim’. That still leaves us with the problem of discrimination. The real question is why society needs affirmative action or diversity, what is the root cause? We are always skipping over the big question as though it is too big to solve. Stay clear a political volcano is about to erupt!

Professor Johnathan Wolff3 opines that affirmative action can be ‘patronizing and degrading, and, in the long term, may do more harm than good’. America has had a form of affirmative action since the mid-1940s. While a number of black and Hispanic people have gained from the initiative the vast majority are still on the bottom rung of life chances.

As Wolff points out, ‘…equal political rights are worth fighting for, but they are of little value if you are still treated unequally in day to day life.’ So, even democracy may not solve the problem. Representative democracy is subject to corruption and nepotism to mention but a few distractions.

Tony Blair came to power in the UK 1997 with a sound bite of ‘education, education, education’. Later his left-wing credentials were left shattered on the ground as he became more Thatcherite than Maggie.  We have to take a serious look at the power of the market over our lives to find a solution?

In South Africa, apartheid was shown the way to …. Off. However, the ordinary people are no better off financially or socially; they are free, but free to live in poverty. The ANC has not delivered!

We are constantly told that a strong and growing economy is the best way to ease the burden of poverty. It seems to be one of Theresa May’s favourite sayings and guess what, she’s wrong. The 2008 financial crash is testament enough. The market ruled and the people lost – big time.

Therefore does ‘trickle-down economics work? According to J Stiglitz4 the nations that adopted the Washington Consensus – the American way – strong growth everyone wins “…the poor have benefitted less from growth.” This is supported by Ha-Joon Chang1 “Trickle down does happen, but its impact is meagre if we leave it to the market.” Poverty is as widespread today as ever.

Therefore, the concept of diversity sounds good looks good but is wishy-washy. It is all things to all people. I’m sorry but that cannot be the way forward. We cannot allow certain sections of society to spew their intolerance for others as a belief. We cannot allow a minority group to dictate policy for the nation.

If we are to build an understanding that will last then we must accept that that will take time. We must talk not push, we must listen not railroad, and we must argue not fight. Remember inclusiveness! Let’s put it to music

The road is long

With many a winding turn

That leads us to who knows where

Who knows where

But I’m strong

Strong enough to carry him

He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

 

Songwriters

Bobby Scot, Bob Russell

Read more: Hollies – He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother Lyrics | MetroLyrics

 

1.       Ha-Joon Chang, 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About CAPITALISM (p210) (pp137-138)

2.       Michael Sandel, Justice (chap:7 pp167-183)

3.       Johnathan Wolff, Political Philosophy (p186 + p91)

4.       J Stiglitz, Globalization, (p79)

 

Driven Mad (2)

CAZe0jAWgAANZ5_[1]

No one is guilty but all of us are!

For some of us it’s ‘I didn’t know defence’, whilst others should know better. The latter is especially true for those who have knowledge of the environmental issues.

Car Pollution

 It may well be that we have a tendency to switch adherence in our beliefs dependent on the situation. I am always bemused by the constant snipping between pedestrians and motorists; each demand courtesy from the other while going about their business. Their attitude is governed by whether they are on foot or driving.

A pet hate of mine is the out of town shopping centre (Malls). Does anyone have an idea of the amount of exhaust fumes (CO2 & NOx) hacked-out like so much bronchial mucus on a weekly, monthly, annual basis? I don’t either!

Driving along in your automobile,

Going for shopping and a meal.

While exhaust fumes are seeping through,

To your partner, kids and you.

It’s gonna shorten your life,

And cause other medical strife.

Environmental and Human Health Inc. claim that air pollution by cars, diesel being the worse cause:

Cardiovascular disease – asthma – lung cancer – diabetes – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Diesel contains: benzene + formaldehyde + 1, 3-butadiene. All of which are carcinogens!

The American Academy of Paediatrics concludes that the particulate matter from diesel threatens children’s health in many parts of the USA.

www.ehhi.org/reports/exhaust/summary.shtml

Tens of thousands of us drive to an out of town Shopping Centre at least once a week. Some drive quite a distance, the Trafford Centre near Manchester which has 11,500 parking spaces claims to attract shoppers from a 50 miles radius. That’s a lot of drive for a pair of knickers. Bluewater in Kent has free spaces for 13,000 cars and caters for parts of London as well as Kent.

Merry Hill, Dudley West Midlands has 10,000 spaces and has developed in stages. Construction began on Merry Hill farm, ‘cherished locally as a haven for wildlife’. The new Centre had a serious effect on the surrounding towns, Dudley was the worse effected with a 70% decline in retail. The Centre has now been incorporated into Dudley district with buses to and fro many local destinations. However, cars are the preferred mode of transport.

www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merry_Hill_Shopping_Centre

The colossal increase in car ownership opened this opportunity for big business. Businesses could now have larger premises, buy more goods in bulk, saving on costs. Further advantages of reduced rent and rates (council tax) were also a boost to the bottom line.

All the advantages motivated the move out of town. The spin or marketing ploy was that it was a better choice for the consumer and a more relaxed shopping experience with restaurants and café’s well positioned throughout the Centre. Back in town, charity shops filled the vacated spots. Whilst those without transport find it increasingly difficult to source their shopping needs locally and, it’s more expensive.

With profit as the sole motivation little thought was given to how staff could get to work. Even less consideration to the environmental impact of such Centres.

So much time is spent in these places that I am surprised that no enterprising folk have opened a bed & breakfast establishment. Perhaps, that’s the next phase after the swimming pool and sand pits have been added.

However, business has won through as the Centres do create a more amenable environment for shopping. Being under shelter with the array of shops is a huge convenience. Just a pity they are not in the city centre, like Liverpool or Brussels.

The custom flocks to the Centres and flocks regularly. Some just flock to walk aroundthCA54HI3M and maybe have a coffee. Others flock to buy goods they could have sourced locally.

“What did you do with your day”?

“I flocked”.

“Flocking nice”!

Our love affair with the car is directly linked to our notion of individualism. I’m not advocating screwing with peoples’ belief in individuality. If they feel free and motivated so be it. Nonetheless, I feel entitled to expect them to be considerate of others. They can achieve this by demanding that the government take action to prevent NOx & CO2 emissions and not simply impose a levy on the motorist. And, that the government demand the manufacturers build engines without toxins.

An individual’s convenience should not impose a toxic poison on the rest of society. Unfortunately, there is little option but to spew out the toxins.

th[2]It is well documented that our leaders led us to this mire. We were encouraged through marketing that diesel cars emitted less CO2 than petrol ones and thus a switch to diesel was good for the environment. With tax incentives e.g. reduced road tax.

Astonishingly, ‘more than 10 million motorists were “betrayed and misled” into buying diesel cars’. In consequence 18 cities across Britain have more NOx in the air than permitted by law.

www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/news/11007326             August 2014

There are now an approximate 12 million diesel cars on the road in the UK and the numbers are increasing annually.

Two years since the telegraph article and still we wait. Arrrh! It’s worse! In 1993 [23 years] Professor Roy Harrison of Birmingham University chaired a committee that warned the government of the dangers associated with diesel cars. www.independent.co.uk/life-style/motoring/motoring-news/  Jan.2015

This was the same year (1993) that the EU introduced directive E. See the post Driven Mad. The point is that knowledge of the risks was known and our political leaders chose to ignore it or dilly-dally with solutions.

July is the 60th anniversary of Britain’s 1956 Clean Air Act brought about by the London smog. Our air quality is now worse! Seriously! It’s all to do with politicians playing into the hands of the car manufacturers. Since 1993 they have been chasing the car industry to improve emissions, giving the manufacturers more time to get it right. The automobile industry has abused the situation.

Back in 2013 it was stated that nitrogen dioxide (NOx) had, ‘a greater impact on human health’. That we could significantly reduce NOx, ‘if the lower emitting technologies were more widely adopted’. But very little has changed in the past 20 years.

www.airqualitynews.com/2013/05/24/newer-diesel-cars-emitting-more-no2-study-finds

Another report highlights the work of the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Paediatrics who suggest that poor air quality causes around 40,000 premature deaths annually in UK. Europe wide the figure is an unbelievable 400,000 per year. Wow!!!

Airqualitynews.com/2016/07/05 +  airqualitynews.com/2016/07/04

Do some good…..Join Robin Hood.

 

 

 

Morality: Will it Ever Exist?

thXJDRNI6Q

There is talk and talk and then some more until it becomes irrelevant. Talk about the justice of human rights and the need for a moral landscape. A landscape that holds all equal. It has never existed. At present it’s as far off as never-never land!

For those adherents of morality it is time to remove the blinkers. They need to stop walking into a crowded room wearing sunglasses. Many of the smiling faces they will encounter will hold dark and at times barbaric secrets behind their chic exterior.

We try to make our children aware of morality and while some take it on board others I fear need a more intensive and extensive programme of study. That we are not meeting the needs of many highlights our own lack of understanding.

A moral code cannot be imposed; ask the Catholic Church. It has tried for centuries and as often as not has resorted to force, intimidation and war in their quest for rectitude.

The failure of the Catholic Church is obvious. Even among the ‘saints’ they sent out to deliver us, abused their position. In doing so they turned many off the very notion of morality.

True moralists are as rare as gems in a coal mine. In the modern era we can look to Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King all of whom were subject to or breathed the air of persecution. Does this mean we must live in servitude to understand that it is wrong? NO!

We do not have to walk in the shoes of Pastor Niemoller on Nazi persecution.

http://hmd.org.uk/resources/poetry/first-they-came-pastor-martin-niemoller

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

It does mean we must step back from the mirror, open the curtain and realise there are others out there. That we need and depend on them for everything we have. We are born, in all aspects, naked.

History should teach us lessons. World War 2 was a barbaric conflict and should have been enough to lift the shades from our eyes. However, genocide is still a part of our life. War reminds us just how basic we are. How the limbic brain still controls the neo- cortex.

http://www.humantruth.info/limbic_system.html

  • Khemer Rouge nearly 2 million slaughtered
  • East Timor 200,000 Catholics
  • Bosnia – 200,000 Muslims
  • Biafra – 400,000
  • Kosovo – 300,000
  • Rwanda – over 1 million Tutsis
  • Darfur – 400,000
  • Congo – 6 million and counting

There are several more examples but genocide or ethnic cleansing is still very much with us.

A story of bitter discrimination is taking place In the Dominican Republic (DR).  Here around, one- million Haitians, many of whom have lived there for 30 years + are under threat. The government of the DR now wants them removed and in 2013 introduced a law which strips the children of Haitian illegal immigrants of citizenship. The Guardian 5/8/15

Ancient Celtic Warrior

Ancient Celtic Warrior

Meanwhile, we play with our gadgets by the score which feed our intrinsic desires. We unashamedly flash them as an ancient may flash their trophies. Technology has eased our lives, freed up time and given us more experiences. BUT! Technology has not served our moral being or made us more empathetic. We have taken giant strides but remain static.

Where in the world will we find: no persecution, no discrimination, no child abuse and no slavery? In 1833 slavery was abolished throughout the then British empire. In 1948 the United Nations issued the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which banned slavery globally. In 2007 Mauritania made slavery a crime.th1HIFN26V

 In 2015 there is more slavery than ever!

We suffer greatly from the complacency of politicians. Many speak with a liberal tongue but their taste buds are immune to anything other than delicate compromise. In the world of compromise there is no clear water only mud baths.

We can learn! (Hope) Every fool you have ever come across or are likely to come across is looking at you. Mirror, mirror on the wall. The learning curve is to be conscious, understand and develop in consequence. Unfortunately, testosterone has power over male brains as well as their genitals!

The world cannot grow until men learn how to!thI9DEC6BP

Do some good….join Robin Hood

On the Road to El Dorado

 

 

They jet speed ahead leaving the people bemused by their haste. The people cry for them to wait. But the Pseuds’ don’t listen. The people try to pull them back and call out for the Pseuds to explain. The Pseuds won’t stop or slow down.

The people try once more to hold the Pseuds’ back with little success.th5JO5Q6I2

“Catch up!” the Pseuds’ scream back at the people. You need to follow! You need to follow”.

The people pull harder. “Be aware, there’s a cost to everything”.

“Passé,” the voice of the Pseuds’ drifts back.

“Wait,” the people cry, “rushing leaves little time for thought”. Their voices carry on the wind. “What you lose in speed you gain in understanding,” the voices of the people harmonized on a cloud of cold air. “We don’t want to change everything all at once. We should keep what’s good and think before we step into the unknown. What colour will we find at the end of this road? Walk, so that all can follow, leave no one behind to a bedlam of hate and envy. Walk, we will still get there and we can examine the route forward so as not to make mistakes that haste can cause”.

“Hurry,” the distant voice of the Pseuds answered. “We must get to El Dorado”.

“What would be the point?” ask the people. “If we are forced to leave many behind, the goal is worthless. You do not listen. What makes you so sure that you are right? You can run but we will not be dragged. We have come to a crossroad, you think politics, and, we think community”.

And so the great paradigm continues. The attempt to herd the people lapses because those who anoint themselves as leaders fail to understand the beauty and strength and value of community.

The Ennobled Leadership:

The ‘left’ in politics are more divided than their polar opposites on the ‘right’. It seems that every thought generates a faction on the left. So many factions, so many political views from the mealy-mouthed do-gooders to the fascists on the extreme left, each demanding, each with a ten point plan to reach El Dorado. Each faction is adamant that they alone hold the map; only their programme can activate the sequence of events that will lead to the Promised Land.

Moreover, just as the political class on the right fail to take cognizance of the electorate th3XEPWNZGso it is with the left. The people are encouraged to follow not to lead. Hence the concept of ‘democratic centralism’ under which the leadership dictate the policy to be adhered to. A comrade may challenge the leaders of the party but they better remember to sleep with their eyes open. Force is the key noun in the left’s armoury. If they can’t dictate they seek to brainwash, which is just a slightly more subtle means of using force.

We have witnessed the dictatorial power granted to the leadership under ‘democratic centralism’ since the Russian Revolution of 1917, in every communist state. They have all ended up as a one-party state with the merest semblance of democratic involvement of the people. The conclusion is simple, only the leadership understand and know what is in the best interest of the people.

Democracy is no panacea!thOMVN3EG7

At every election you can tot up the promises made. Choose between candyfloss, ice cream or free rides at the fair. Yes folks step right up, get your free entertainment here! Unfortunately, the truth is that they treat the electorate as children because once you have swallowed their banal offerings and voted accordingly, you are removed from the equation. After the election they do what they had planned to do all along. Their party manifestoes are not even decent toilet paper!

The priorities of all the political parties are as one – look after the interests of big business, nothing else matters. Such an outlook will be with us for a long time because there is no alternative to capitalism around at the moment. The Labour Party (UK) is the most contemptible as they profess to be the organ of the workers. Where are all the great stags of the Labour Party that said they would rally to the needs of the poor? Look to the House of Lords on £300 a-day or to the board of some illustrious company on a fat salary or jet setting around the globe doing ‘charity work,’ on a fat salary.

And where are the poor? “Here mate! Nothing’s changed”.th9ISRWBAA

Politicians’ will never allow the electorate power because they do not trust the people to make the decisions that the political class deem necessary. Yet how are the voting public to come to terms with decision making if they are never allowed to participate. Even a car mechanic serves an apprenticeship.

The political class fear the people will not understand the principle of ‘the politics of the possible’ and that the voters will act spontaneously and irrationally and thus screw up the happy medium that has been created. Herein lies the essence of truth, that politicians have become complacent and too wrapped up in the cosy thickness of their environment. They have come to believe their own spin. The spin becomes like rote learning and unthinkingly they rat-a-tat-tat the same old spiel.

Behind the veil of democracy the politicians make their compromises, make their deals and over lunch congratulate each other on a good day’s business. As obvious as the conclusion is, it needs to be spelt out for the benefit of the politicians, the political class do not believe in democracy except as a means to an end.

The politicians’ anthem:

thCA57R6FMVote then disappear,

Go down the pub and have a beer;

Leave us to belch and fart and cheer

That over lunch we’ve made a deal that’s clear – as mud!

Who the . . . . mentioned the EU?

Hope springs eternal and so it always will be. Where there is community there will be a future. Community teaches us that there are always needs to be met. “When you have done, you have not done, for there is more”. (John Donne) The power lies with the click of the finger and the art of the mind. The internet opens up a new field of expression that cannot be extinguished by the big boys. The authorities will seek to curtail it as has been done in China and other tyrannical regimes but the people have the wit to overcome.

Quote from Charles Handy The Empty Raincoat p67. The actual quote from John Donne reads:

“When thou hast done, Thou hast not done, For I have more”. A Hymn to God the Father

The people will have the ability to organise their own polls and to let the politicians know what they like and dislike. There will be no need for a violent revolution; the power of the vote, the power of democracy will finally emerge as it should, as an expression of the peoples’ will. There are dangers as with all advances that the process can be derailed by gangs who fixate on one item politics.

Nonetheless, the future can be bright as political parties can be encouraged to include in their manifestoes the legislation they plan to pass and the rationale behind their thinking. The electorate can then voice their opinion on-line. Be aware, politicians speak gobbledegook which is intended to confuse you and put you off, but someone in the net family will explain it in clear English. Power has always been yours. Take it and make it work for all!

 

 

Don’t Roll the Dice on Slavery!

 

The sun was shining and somewhere around the world people were sunbathing, splashing in the water, having a barbecue or just zonking out in their back garden with a beer or two. Life is ok man, when the sun shines and you have some money to spend. Hey, lazy days, we love them. We call them stress busters, happy tune time, or chilling. Cool, for those who have the time to laze.

‘Hey man, don’t change the music. I’m into the blues, its soulful man. It’s rocking my boat.’ And there he lies, without understanding, listening to the blues.

There’s a pounding at the door, reluctantly he gets up to answer it and opens the door to the police. Several questions later and he has worked out the story; his next door neighbour has been keeping slaves. ‘Hell!’ He didn’t even know. He thought it was all a big movie thing and media talk. He grabbed his phone and texted a few of his friends. While waiting for their response he went on the net.

Wow! The information came at him thick and fast. In 2007 it was reported that 5000 child sex workers were in the UK, most had been trafficked into the country. ‘That’s puke zone!’

www.jrf.org.uk/publications/modern-slavery

In 2013, 1,746 cases of slavery in the UK a 47% increase on 2012 and the figure was likely to be much higher. He thought, ’Where have I been living! Slavery, next door!’ People being trafficked from places like Romania, Albania, Nigeria and Vietnam.

www.modernslavery.co.uk

More figures, he wants to turn his phone off but can’t. He’s on the BBC site with several cases of sexual exploitation and forced labour. He reads one of an 84 year old man and a 10 year old deaf girl. ‘Oh, puke!’ A gypsy site in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire 2011, (he doesn’t even know where it is) twenty four men set free, some after years of slave labour. The same place again in December 2013 more vulnerable men freed. Loads of it!

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london

The door is pounded again. His mates pile in to find out what happened when the cops came calling. There were now four phones on the go and one laptop. In between gasps of astonishment and a barrage of swearing, the facts continued to roll in from places some had had holidays in.

Devon & Cornwall – 8 Czech nationals freed and 8 arrested all of foreign origin.

Lincoln (lovely cathedral) – 9 freed from forced labour and seven arrests made.

www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/achive/2014/09/17

www.thelincolnite.co.uk/2014/09

th9EDTYYGJSlavery, “more prolific and lucrative than ever”. An estimated 30 million slaves worldwide with the criminals making around $150bn. The air turned blue with ‘bloody’ being the softest term and, utterances of surprise from everyone in the room. Pizza and drinks were ordered. The race was on to find the worst case. More than 10,000 slaves are in the UK, says Frank Field, Labour MP. ‘Where are they all?’ Horror! Two-thirds of children saved went AWOL again once the traffickers found out where they had been resettled. There was genuine surprise at the ruthlessness of the traffickers.

The pizza didn’t last long.

www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/08/

Everything stopped, it was quiet, and someone made coffee. There was a kind of telepathic understanding; as cyclists they could raise money. A ride was not a problem, a 10K run, they could handle, but this needs to be different. It would need to be something that got a lot of publicity. Not a gimmick, but everything is a sort of gimmick, but this was bloody serious stuff.

Ideas started to flow: a 10K run, but every entrant had to buy a T shirt to participate. Not a black on white one, more colourful, different but bold with the message crystal clear. A mosaic of colour as the runners pounded along the route of the run. Organise a cycle through London at peak time. How many guys could they call on to help? Who do they know is a graffiti artist? Do an outrageous stunt for ‘You Tube’, a twitter campaign, a sit down outside TV studios and sell badges and car stickers.

All these ideas were considered as, here today but gone tomorrow. They need something lasting. Trucks with their sides painted roaring up and down the country, with smart art work/graffiti. A plastic bag levy, the proceeds to be pooled to help the victims. A £10K/$15K prize for the best idea for an anti-slavery campaign; sponsored by either government or big business.

Set up a national/international competition for graffiti artists to design an anti-slavery poster. The work could be displayed in local museums for an entrance fee of £1/$1.50. People would then be able to vote on line for the local winner and later for the national winner. Of course that needs a logistics expert but then good causes generate good people/organisations to help.

A photo taken with a pop star, TV star or film star for a fee of £10/$15, with all proceeds pooled for victim support or help towards costs.

More coffee and a good stretch as juices start to fade. ‘Who fancies a beer?’

‘We should leave it to the government.’

‘Oh, no, you should read this! They’ve shamefully let big business off the hook by dropping the supply chain option from the Modern Slavery Bill.’

‘And?’

‘It means that the big boys can still buy goods from suppliers who use slave labour.’

‘Here’s one, called double criminality; whatever the charge it has got to be exactly the same in other countries otherwise the shysters get away scot free.’

‘I’ve got one, a children’s charity the ECPAT, they say that the Bill is too narrow and does not have enough about victim support.’

‘Stuff the government then! They’ve lost my vote.’

‘Make that two. Wait a mo. (hands are raised) All five!’

Later.

‘Look I’ve found another!’ It was a letter to the Telegraph newspaper about 3000 thO9KC4HY2trafficked women being used in prostitution at any given time in the UK.

www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/letters/11109347

‘What’s the point; those guys could go down town any weekend and find loads sprawled out, wide-eyed and legless; cheap as well!’  Laughter.

‘What would be your dream scenario?’

‘Blockbuster movie with all the action heroes, you know, Rambo types; flying all over the world taking out trafficking gangs.’

‘Name that movie!’

‘Doom Traders’

‘A Cry of Innocence’

‘Bounty Men’

‘Sex: Make it about Love’

There’s a lot of laughter and lots of cooing.

‘What about a game? Some evil nutter with a serum infects trafficked women and kids and men who catch the disease must pay for the antidote. Millions are infected and we need to find the baddies. Special hit squads are set up; the player must pick his team, outline his strategy, then get in and clean up.’

‘What would you call it?’

‘Keep your zip up’           The Iron jockstrap!

‘Drop your pants and die’

‘Don’t let Johnnie roam’

There is much laughter.

‘Seriously, what about Killing Darkness’

A holler of oohs and aahs brought the group a lot of attention.

Barman calls over, “You lot are loud tonight.”

‘Just deciding how to kill off the slave traders.’

Barman, “Oh yeah, read something like that in the paper.”

A conversation starts at the bar.

Warning: GovernmentthPZ03VNK6

Don’t rely on the government! A new toothless law won’t help. We already have sufficient laws. It’s a game politician’s play, to be seen to be doing something but keep the costs down and the big boys smiling, hence no supply chain legislation. They tell the police to take action but don’t increase their budget. They speak loud for a short period and then let the whole thing slide back into the abyss. They treat people like children with a short interest span.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blindland (6) Connecting the Dots.

People who live in a democratic country assume that they have participatory rights, unfortunately they are hoodwinked. Several instances whereby the electorate have not been engaged in decision making include: multiculturalism, political correctness, immigration, human rights and Europe (new laws) and the amount to be spent on foreign aid. What’s the difference between Nazi, Communist and Liberal brainwashing – methodology! Even our food is under attack: food waste, genetically modified (GM) crops and sludge lead to a chemical blitz on our dietary system.

Those who dare to raise a voice in opposition are stigmatized: little Englanders, racists, Neanderthals and Nimbys (not in my back yard). But it’s not the political or business class who have to live with the direct consequence of government decision making. Politicians may talk of transparency as a key word when trying to placate the voter or win support, but they rarely implement transparency as a prerequisite.

Keeping people in the dark helps them to expedite their business. They also hold the notion that insufficient numbers of voters care about issues and therefore they as representatives can implement whatever, whenever. In effect the electorate are disenfranchised. The State operates as would a dictatorship!

A classic example of the total contempt the ‘top boys’ have for the ordinary Joes’ is made explicit by the revelation that we are all being forced to eat halal meat. Rather than take on the additional cost of serving a minority preference, business and politicians took the cheaper route by forcing everyone to eat halal meat. It doesn’t matter what one thinks of halal meat, it should not be forced on people! The only motivation behind such a move is profit.

thQZ4H6Q5LMany areas remain under the radar until they become too big to keep submerged e.g. food waste, GM crops and sludge. I have dealt with food waste in some detail but the political significance of the topic has a major impact on the debate about GM crops and the use of sludge (human waste). These all have a link to poverty, foreign aid, human rights and the general wellbeing and democratic rights of the people. Groups of activists fight their specific corner on these issues and in doing so dissipate so much energy and ingenuity that otherwise could be a force for good.

Some very telling facts from the Director of United Nations Environmental Programme, Achim Steiner:

  • Research shows that the world produces more food than is actually needed; food that is lost along the food chain or wasted due to poor consumption decisions.
  • 1.3bn tonnes of food produced is wasted which has used up 1.4bn hectares of land.
  • It is estimated that there will be 10bn people by 2050 – If current population and consumption trends continue, humanity will need the equivalent of two Earth’s to support its self by 2030.
  • Both USA and sub-Saharan Africa food loss is estimated at around 40%

To these facts we could add many more. Here is a short sample:

www.foodwastestats.com/ Food wasted in developed countries = 670m tonnes – in developing countries = 630m tonnes.

www.cbc.ca/news/world/food-waste-overeating An approximate 870m people world-wide do not have access to enough food to be healthy.

www.nrdc.org/food/files/wasted-food-IP.pdf Reducing food waste by 15% could feed 25m Americans.

www.cbc.ca/strombo/social-issues/ Food waste costs the global economy $750bn.

“Over half the food produced today is lost, wasted discarded as a result of inefficiency in the human managed food chain. There is evidence in the report, (The Environmental thCAICQCNOFood Crisis: Environment’s role in averting future food crisis) that the world could feed the entire projected population growth alone by becoming more efficient while ensuring the survival of wild animals, birds and fish on this planet”. Achim Steiner

The real gem of such an understanding of food waste is that we don’t need GM crops to feed the world; we have the technology to achieve that now. All the propaganda aimed at our heart strings about the importance of GM crops is such balderdash. It’s all about money! The big pharmaceutical companies have poured their dosh into research and now want it back with a hefty profit margin. Profit at the peoples’ expense is the key ingredient here. Come back, Robin Hood!

At present most soybeans, canola and maize produced is GM crop and widely used in animal feed. Studies of animal digestive tract suggest there is no build-up of toxins, but there is serious disagreement. While some work has been carried out on the eco system of areas used to grow GM crops a more thorough longitudinal study must be done. How long was it before they accepted that DDT pesticide was a disaster?

Did You Know? Mosquitos became tolerant to DDT! “Science cannot declare any technology completely risk free”. www.greenfacts.com (8.2)

Those who advocate GM crops point out that many plants are grown outside their natural habitat and therefore don’t cause transfer to wild relatives. However, over a period of time GM crops will create their own wild relatives and we need to know how that will affect the host environment and the eco system generally.

In future, genetically modified plants may be equipped with mechanisms designed to prevent gene flow to other plants”. Is this an admittance that ‘gene flow’ is already prevalent and host ecosystems are being destroyed? One substance used in the process is Bacillus Thuringiensis (B.t.) “Unfortunately, B.t. toxins kill many species of insect larvae indiscriminately; it is not possible to design a B.t. toxin that would kill only crop- damaging pests and remain harmless to all other insects”. www.csa.com/discoveryguides/gmfood/ April 2000. This statement is supported by a study in March 2012 by the Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich. www.naturalnews.com/GM_crops

thOE0QVMS2A further study found GM enzymes in bread, cheese, soda and beer. www.pbs.org/wgbh/harvest/exist   .What exactly is being force fed into our bodies?

Over the past century our bodies have been subjected to a bombardment of chemical change and in consequence we have witnessed a steady increase in cancers and allergies. Animal welfare activists campaign vigorously and, at times, violently against the use of animals in experiments. But is it the truth that we the people are the true lab-rats, used in experiments, without our knowledge, in the name of science and profit?

Moreover, the new government of India are presently discussing whether to introduce GM science more widely. However, India is guilty of much waste; 33% of fresh crops are wasted because of poor storage and distribution. Also only 44% of India’s 140m hectares of arable land are irrigated. Perhaps a little more concentration on irrigation is required and a little less on the ‘big boy’ profit margin.

Nonetheless, scientists in general are adamant that GM crops are safe. Such anthV7F3OIT0 attitude leaves too many doors unopened and thus has no foundation in scientific exploration or in an intellectual mind. For all the bluster of scientists, they have failed to convince the public. In the USA, Maine, Vermont and Connecticut have all passed a GMO labelling law. Fear is thus a factor with GM crops and while fear exists change will prove erratic and increasingly difficult.

Another chemical attack on our food comes from the use of sludge (human waste). Allth[7] the rot that goes down the toilet has to go somewhere! A few telling facts:

  • While there is no documented scientific evidence that sewage sludge regulations have failed to protect public health, there is persistent uncertainty on possible adverse health effects. National Research Council July 2002.
  • The EPA cannot assure the public that current land application practices are protective of human health and the environment. Environment Protection Agency 2002.

N.B. budgets to carry out research in these areas have since 2008, been slashed!

  • Since 1991 it has been illegal to dump sludge into waterways or in to the ocean.
  • 60% of sludge goes on farm land in UK & USA www.euwfd.com
  • Sludge tends to be dumped, “where poverty is high and economic prosperity and opportunity is low”. www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sludge

Concern with the use of sludge comes from the metal content. Some metals are regulated and some are not. However, a study over 20 years in Arizona concluded that the use of biosolids (sludge) was ok. Other studies drew different conclusions suggesting that plant life uptakes the heavy metals and toxic pollutants in the biosolids which is then consumed by humans.

An intriguing case comes from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA):

For foods labelled ‘organic’ sludge can be used as a growing medium, but, “For produce to be USDA certified organic, sludge (biosolids) cannot be used”.

Sludge (raw sewage) can be injected into land but it should be registered and monitored. It’s a similar story with sludge Class B; this contains some raw sewage but can be spread if the guidelines are followed.

thABKKZDBB“Land application of raw or treated sewage sludge can reduce significantly the sludge disposal cost component of sewage treatment as well as providing a large part of the nitrogen and phosphorus requirements of many crops”. www.fao.org/T0551E/t0551e 08.htm

Three points can be raised here:

  • Nevertheless, in the case of certain crops, limitations on planting, grazing and harvesting are necessary.
  • Contains traces of many pollutants used in modern society.
  • Can reduce significantly the sludge disposal costs.
  • The metals found in wheat, potato, lettuce, red beet cabbage and rye grass were: cadmium (cd) Nickel (ni) Copper (cu), and Zinc (zn).

Furthermore, pathogens need serious consideration when dealing with sludge. Pathogens are, “bacteria which causes disease in other organisms”. www.wisegeek.com .There are two sure ways of dealing with pathogens.

Anaerobic Digestion (AD) which works by storing the waste in a large tank (digester) for 12/20 days at a temperature of around 35c. The pathogens break down and the mix generates a gas which is used to heat the tanks and other engines.

Thermal Drying (TD) which converts the sludge into pellets having gone through a heating process. The end result can then be used in farms and public areas such as golf courses and parks. www.euwfd.com/

You may be thinking why these processes are not compulsory – think money – think profit!

Many organisations refuse to source their produce from farms that use biosolids – www.sludgevictims.com/FOODCOMPANIES.pdf

????? Did You Know – aquaculture is a process whereby fish are cultivated using human waste!

There you have it! We are subjected to an avalanche of chemicals without our knowledge; so much for democratic accountability. Transparency is covered in so much crap it is difficult to unearth.

If capitalism is to develop a softer touch, we need people power. A people power that is more expressive than parliamentary government allows. Government generally rides roughshod over the people. It tends to view the voting public as of a narrow outlook. However, judgements can only be made on the information we have before us. The Overlords, politicians and the Gibbers only give the people titbits; no wonder therefore that some views appear narrow.

We can feed the world. We can produce enough medicine to prevent thousands of deaths. The ‘market’ cannot offer a solution; only people can find a way forward. We need thinkers who see beyond self but are truly selfish enough to understand that their life is better served by unity of purpose. However, progress will be slow as long as activists only confront their own dot. The sleepers must awaken!