Taming the Beast (2)

Why is human progress so stifled?

The obvious reason is that our politicians are failing us. Why? Are they being bought off? I’ll let the economist Ha-Joon Chang answer that,

“Money gives the super- rich the power even to rewrite the basic rules of the game by – let’s not mince words – legally and illegally buying up politicians and political offices”.

Economics: The User’s Guide (p338)

  • Therefore should we allow business to make campaign contributions to political parties? NO! The reason is obvious, the business (es) are buying patronage.
  • Should politicians have jobs outside their political one? NO!
  • Should we allow lobbying? NO! Lobbying has no place in democracy!

The American system is a voluptuous but crass form of democracy. No business is giving to a campaign fund as an altruistic gesture or in a considered belief in the democratic process. As long as businesses dictate the size of the campaign fund they will dictate the policy of government. Unless they fall foul of the other big boys.

The Politburo of China is another major roadblock to human progress. While the present regime may face being toppled by their nouveau riche, that creates a new roadblock. The Russian Federation sideshow of democracy is another block on progress. Worldwide we have Junta’s and dictatorships and we have religious tyranny. The grab for power is one of the nasty aspects of capitalism.

Meanwhile, a quick scan around the globe highlights that there is no credible government. All treat the people as a bugbear. For the most part the people are belittled by the enormity of the task of moving human progress forward. Our hope rests with the leaders we elect but they become distant once elected.

The poet John Donne wrote that no man is an island, implying that as a mere mortal he has to live in the real world. The same is true of a nation. No one state can stand against the might of capitalism as we are witnessing with the growth of multinational companies. Human progress requires a concerted approach, a basic standard the people can support and view as achievable.

Who stands up?

Reliance on the left in politics has the people just as bamboozled as they have been with the political elite. There are a million hymn sheets out there flapping, each with a different tune. Little wonder therefore, that the message is lost in the babble of sound. However, that botched sound is as an aria to the ears of those who control the world’s economy.

As long as the voices of human progress are disparate the chorus of the 1% will always be in harmony. Therefore, the various groups and factions are as much a hindrance to progress as are the 1% who own the bulk of our industrial base. We must all join the orchestra or accept we are just another broken wind instrument.

An old motto ‘United we stand – Divided we fall’ has more relevance than ever. The origins of the motto are in dispute; some say it comes from the bible (Luke) others suggest Aesop’s Tales but modern use is accredited to the American Revolutionary, John Dickinson in his 1768 ‘The Liberty Song’. I find it ironic that that same liberty is now holding back human progress. www.en.m.wikipedia.org

thC0SM07SGThe motto whatever its origin still holds the power of action. Unfortunately, we hear things in monotone, groups, factions, those generally of the left tend to view events singularly and become tied to that specific movement. The overall symphony becomes subordinate to the intense focus of the moment. Human progress takes a seat in the gods!

Charities – something is wrongthTGFNAKKN

We have identified several misadventures by kings of business but a more telling damnation of the system is found in every town – charities. Millions are spent annually to entice us to give to a charity. Millions more is given by government who use charities as outsource workers. Charities point to everything we should be doing but are not.

I wonder if anyone has ever counted the number of charities around the world. If we lay the charities length ways then stand them upright we may get a better understanding of the scale of the task that lies ahead. We are reaching for the stars.

th0LB68ZID

 

 

 

 

 

Migrant Crisis.

th5ME3YUAOThe migrant crisis is bringing anxiety to the fore in the EU, notably: Greece, Italy, Austria and Hungary, and other former eastern bloc nations. Such is the scale of the exodus and the political pressure from within these nations that something has to give. Is Europe sinking into its own mire?

An estimated one million have left their homelands and are making their way to Europe. It is a terrifying number made worse by the prospect that several thousand more will join this meandering river of hope.

The economics of the numbers is but one problem that has an immediate impact. However, the long-term costs both economic and social may have a greater effect. Housing, schooling and health which must include sewage, need considerable planning. The infrastructure, especially the road network may need substantial updating. More cars/lorries = more headaches =more pollution.

Pollution with the build-up of diesel fumes. See, Diesel Vehicles: Killer in our Midst. An approximate 9,000 deaths in London are directly associated with pollution. Sadiq KhanthE0TWUDA5 Moreover, frustration is mounting in Southern Britain with the number of hold ups, crashes etc. on the main routes.

The assimilation into the community and workforce and the scale of jobs required to compliment the number of migrants will generate a huge social/economic cost. It is already known that it has a consequential effect on wages, on welfare, and on the level and make up of those on the dole.

Youth unemployment is alarming high in Spain, Greece, Italy and more generally.  Such unemployment cannot be ignored as it could stimulate radical consequences down the line. Politicians need to remember above all else that every action has a reaction.

A Syrian migrant family enters Hungary at the border with Serbia near Roszke, Hungary August 28, 2015. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

A Syrian migrant family enters Hungary at the border with Serbia near Roszke, Hungary August 28, 2015. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

Inviting the migrants is a very human reaction and it is good to see that we have not lost our humanity. However, many more anxious souls are watching, worried by the influx for a myriad of reasons. Opposition parties will be cheering with each gulp of beer; they know there will be trouble ahead. Their argument will find a receptive ear in pubs and the workplace.

Germany has opened its borders and has called upon the rest of Europe to follow suit. It is suggested that Germany will take 800,000 this year alone, perhaps up to 1million and 500,000 next year. Germany already has a Muslim population of some four (4) million. www.my.telegraph.co.uk         The scale of such figures has two direct consequences:

  • They cause grave misgivings among large sections of the indigenous population.
  • They stimulate more movement. News of a welcome will spread as quick as mouths can chatter and phones can ping.

The media have put the crisis front and centre in an avalanche of coverage which has brought an emotional screech of humanity, humanity! However, there are a host of other issues, inhumane, happening now, but it’s not in the peoples’ face and so there is silence.

A silence more deafening, more barbaric because it suffers from an old cliché – out of sight out of mind, and so child abuse , slavery, trafficking continue. As those who screech humanity wander back into the microcosm that is their life; chuffed with their emotional outburst, suffering grows.

Germany, France the UK have a large immigrant population and they are not a happy bunch. They have tended to congregate in particular areas and towns. Integration has not worked. Adding to the dilemma will not ease but rather exacerbate the situation.

Furthermore, the tension in Europe is growing. Juncker’s notion of compulsory quotas has not gone down well: Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland and Rumania are not keen. Britain, Ireland and Denmark have an opt out clause. The Schengen agreement is in tatters. The idea that France, Germany and Spain should take 60% of migrants from Italy, Greece and Hungary will meet opposition as the numbers increase. www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-34193568

Opinion polls in several countries point to great hesitation on the part of the indigenous population. The second largest political party in Finland have grave reservations. Bbc.co.uk

  • France: a poll found 55% didn’t want more migrants.
  • Germany: dozens of attacks on migrant centres.
  • Switzerland: a poll found 45% want their borders closed.
  • Denmark: has closed railway links to Germany.
  • Some towns and cities in Italy have refused to house migrants. www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_migrant_crisis

www.cnbc.com/2015/09/08/how-europeans-have-reacted-tomigrant-crisis.htlm

The EU had 626,000 asylum applications in 2014; it will be well over one million this year. The question of numbers will start to dominate thinking. En.wikipedia.org

Turkey is reputed to hold 1.9 million migrants. However, around 3,000 are sailing to Lesbos in Greece daily. How many will come? After-all the welcome mat has been dusted and placed at Europe’s doorstep.

  1. None of the richest Gulf States have taken any, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Bahrain. Why not? www.npr.org/2015/09/08
th37W5KMYL

The precedent has been set, wherever there is conflict people are free to come to Europe. If you open it, they will come. People will come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blindland (5) Democracy: A Delusion

We are, we are told, living in a representative democracy. We have the right to vote inthBWNZL3F9 elections at national and local level to elect our representatives. The question is how represented the ordinary person feels or actually is represented. Are we the subject of just another delusion?

So who rules, the people or THEM? ‘Them’ is a hazy word because democracy is a concept shrouded in haze. There are so many mouths jabbering at us that sometimes we get confused by the confetti of ideas and promises that rain on us. Politicians may promise much but they deliver little. They are brothers in arms with just a hint of a different colour of tie. It doesn’t seem to matter who’s in power the working class get stuffed either because it’s our fault or we brought it on ourselves.

The true masters of the universe are the Overlords as they have the means to bewitch their underlings, politicians and the Gibbers – money, status and a gleam of power. You will not find many ordinary working class people in the halls of power unless one is highly regarded in one’s club, assuming one is allowed to join.

In America you will need a gold mine to be elected and of course the backing of one’s club. Hundreds of $millions are spent by opposing parties to have their man elected. The vast majority of people can’t even afford the club fees never mind the suits you would have to wear. Nor can Joe Bloggs afford the time off work to fly to every state to flaunt his stuff.

Elections in America are all about money; it’s a game by the rich for the rich to stay rich. It’s the same no matter which democratic country you live in. The Overlords don’t have the time to oversee the day to day business so they have managers: we call these guys politicians.

All political parties are formed in a pyramidal system, as is society. At the top is a cabal of leaders who dictate policy. The leadership (UK) can and do impose candidates on constituencies and all female shortlists. Leaders can break the rules – grassroots can’t. Their preoccupation is spelled out clearly by H.L. Mencken, “Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule – and both commonly succeed, and are right”.

thKGW4YVRMThe hypocrisy of democracy is evidenced by the scale of lobbying. Note this example of Australia, “Over the past twenty years lobbying in Australia has grown from a small industry of a few hundred employees to a multi-billion dollar per year industry”. www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lobbying Lobbying circumvents the very essence of democracy as industry seeks to gain an advantage their vote could not bring. The businesses that use Lobby companies would not spend the money if it didn’t pay dividends. Lobbying is thus anathema to democracy and should be banned!

The superior position of the Overlords is more glaringly obvious today with the continued growth of multi-national companies. These big boys can dictate government policy by deciding where they will locate a segment of their empire. Such a development has lead Bryan Gould (ex-Labour) to say, “The uncomfortable truth is that democracy and the free markets are incompatible.” Guardian Nov: 26 2008.

History tends to support the view expressed by Gould which therefore suggests that most attempts to reform the system will be negligible. Excited left-wingers can howl at the moon as long as they like. They can bark furiously at the Overlords but no decision on reform will manifest itself without the nod from above. Therein lies the paradox which gives credence to Gould’s assertion.

Can capitalism meet the needs of all? The short answer is no! We cannot all be rich under a capitalist umbrella. Research will show that in any war or recession the cost will be borne by the poor – without exception. It would prove impossible to share the world’s goods equitably. The 20% at the bottom are the scaffold that holds the edifice upright. This is true of individual nations and of the world as a whole.

We can give charity but that approach is a double negative because you can never solve the problem of poverty. For over 60+ years we have poured money into Africa, possibly $2 trillion into the Horn of Africa alone and the problems still persist. Even if Africa could be lifted out of poverty another black spot will emerge elsewhere. We give to charities believing we are making a difference but nothing seems to get better. Unfortunately charity is not a solution; we are being duped (twice) but it does take our mind off the problem temporarily. Charity organisations are now big business like any other business employing thousands. The guys at the top of the charities earn more in one year than ordinary Joe will over 15/20 years.

“Democracy cannot flourish half rich and half poor, any more than it can flourish half free and half slave”. Felix G. Rohatyn, investment banker. www.izquotes.com

The Human Rights Act 1948 (HR) is paraded as the panacea for the future of all. HR thO9KC4HY2was conceived to promote democracy and for the purpose of uplifting the social and economic lives of the general populace. Unfortunately, in the present political climate it seems to have abandoned its raison d’etre. As with earlier Christian, communist and socialist thinkers’ their attempts to create a better world failed because the message was corrupted by man. HR is now viewed as a political tool supporting outlandish individuals, criminals and lawyers pockets, because of this scenario the general public no longer support it and many want it gone.

We cannot all be equal in a system that by its very nature breeds inequality. Capitalism is the perfect fit for the selfish gene.

pissing

pissing

Gibbers, jabber at considerable length telling us what we should know and what we should think. As human beings we can only rationalize with what knowledge we have. Imagination may take us a step forward but it needs to be empirically tested. Media outlets cater for different layers in society; some have generated and then feed a passion for celebrity. Thus they are market oriented, without their niche market and reliance on advertisements from big business they would not survive. They are the Overlords bladder rats!

It is extremely difficult to find any objectivity in any of their presentations. Bias runs through their work like a drip-feed on a patient: we are the patient. “…the public must be barred from managing their own affairs and the means of information must be kept narrow and rigidly controlled”. Noam Chomsky

Can capitalism be ameliorated? Yes, but it cannot give everyone an equitable standard of living. The UK has proven over the past 60+ years with a welfare and health system that all can benefit, though education lags well behind. Ethics are the only bulwark against “…the unpleasant and unacceptable face of capitalism”. Ted Heath Conservative P.M. 1970s

A set of ethics are an essential for any society that aspires to do good. Ethics are the measure of society. Of course ethics are subjective and over time they may need to be amended but ethical guidelines separate us from the Neanderthal. The authors of the Human Rights Act probably thought they had cracked it, alas they did not envisage the selfish gene.

Is there an alternative to capitalism? Not that can be seen on the distant horizon. All attempts to create a better society have proved disastrous: religion and communism stagnated under the sheer weight of their respective dogma. They were far too restrictive to allow expression and became corrupted by the army of self.

If we cannot rely on democracy then we are heading toward a new Dark Age. To forestall such an outcome politicians, the judiciary and those working in the plethora of service organisations have a responsibility beyond the confines of their job. They must ensure objectivity, transparency and honesty to help generate trust so the people can engage with the system.

Is there a way forward? There is always a way forward that is the beauty and the genius of people. No road has a dead end while we share that road with Objectivity and Reason.

Meanwhile we can take inspiration from John Quincy Adams, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader”. Every thinking person should have the statement framed and placed on their mantelpiece.

Take heart: “Reason is immortal all else is mortal”. Pythagoras

Blindland (3) Individualism V Community

“I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.”          George Bernard Shaw

We are born dependent and we die dependent.

thM2C9A04UThe ruthless Overlords have tried to distract us from Reason by suggesting that individualism is the prime tenet of our world. As long as they can convince you by such duplicity then they can remain in power and hoard the wealth. The Overlords are good magicians with many a trick up their sleeve. Do not be taken in by their sleight of hand. If you are in doubt or lost, look to Logic/Reason and Community for here you will find a helping hand.

Community is the warp and weft which holds the fabric of society together. We would not have the advances in science or thought that is of benefit to us all without community.

We are born and placed into the hands of our parents who are vital to our survival and essential to our development. Without the suckling of the mother, most, if not all babies, of early society would have died. Babies also need a long period of development before they can be considered able to look after themselves.

The mother during pregnancy may rely on her partner for protection and food. The father may require the help of others to allow him, in a hunter gatherer situation to look after his family. Mutual need for survival invoked community. This need was born of logic. The people used reason to work out what best suited them and decided on community. There is real strength in community and so it has proved since those early days.

An individual gains his/her strength from the community. They are allowed to benefit from the communal wares of: education and health etc. No one is totally individual from others. Some will shout of fingerprints and irises but these are biological inheritances, whereas we are all dependent on the society in which we live for our everyday needs. We don’t generally build our own homes, roads or schools; nor make our own clothes and medicines.

Even if someone pops out from the wilderness and professes to be an individual, the fact that they are alive suggests; suckling, feeding, learning, language etc. Of course if a caveman was to emerge and shout Ugh! Ugh! I would give him the price of a beer and hope he can buy it for himself! Thus there is nobody in the wider sense that lives outside of community. Therefore community is of benefit to everyone.

Moreover, community is not a mould; we are a rather motley crew with a staggering degree of abilities and an equally staggering degree of potential. It would be dreary if we were all humanoids. We can be quite different but have much in common. The beauty and strength of community is that it is always there if ever we fall.

The Overlords seek to divert us by the institutionalized attempt to have us think that individuality is the key to human success. We are fed a great array of movies and TV shows that promote the attributes of the individual hero.

Scenario:

Joe Bloggs – the unlikely hero!

While the world held its breath in fear and horror, one man stepped forward. The aliens would not win the final battle. Having been battered to almost destruction, Joe Bloggs forced himself into one last stand! He would not give up! Out of the ashes of his home town, he stood: erect, determined and undefeated. He buckled his belt, picked up his frying pan and screamed, ‘You chickens better cluck, ‘cause I need my breakfast!’

It is true that some individuals do exceed in their craft and bring forth great inventions and works of beauty. However, they are recognised and held aloft for all to see, be they scientists or artists. There is no end to our ingenuity. What is the point of such brainwork if not to serve the community? If there was no monetary award, no £/$ millions to flash, would the inventor stop inventing or the artist refuse to paint? Would the brain go into a daze and refuse to get out of bed or is there a drive greater than financial reward? Why would the Overlords try to hide such truth from us?

Think of Vincent van Gogh who died without recognition. Franz Schubert likewise and thSEMNLR0PWilliam Blake and many others: think of Galileo Gallilei forced to recant his firm belief that the earth circled the sun and not the other way around. But science had its way. The brain is the greatest tool of exploration; it’s an annoying child with the constant stream of whys.

We all know that money makes the world go around, the world go around, the world go around…that is the essence of capitalism. But should capitalism serve only greed or thCASYM14Salso need? I would hazard a guess that there are more individuals predisposed to charity work than the quest for El Dorado. It does not take an individual beyond community if they succeed because community helped to build the ladder. Wealth is only obnoxious if it does no good. There are many good philanthropists who recognise the part played by community in their lives.

Reason has served the people well since the beginning of our time. Reason will never abandon us: it is who we are!

People Trafficking:Slavery down your back Alley!

 

thCAXBWG7XWe talk at great length of being civilized, of having laws, of respecting each other, of human rights and the talk goes on. Words are carefully crafted, statements painstakingly drafted, teeth especially whitened and politicians suitably dressed pontificate at great length their desire for a better world. We have organisations: United Nations (UN), World Bank (WB), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a host of charities all barracking us to support them to end poverty, prevent illness, aid victims of drought and famine and so on. Television adverts by the score, using emotional blackmail, implore us to show empathy with the plight of others. Yet I don’t see much obvious content on slavery, in fact not very much of anything.

There are many reasons for the lack of candour about people trafficking. Perhaps it is not a vote catcher or it may upset friends in high places or a country you hope to influence on other matters. Perhaps, it’s not a headline grabber, so few column inches appear in the press. I don’t know the number of column inches that same-sex marriage or the need to maintain and enhance foreign aid provoked in the UK but it was substantial. Politicians were motivated to push the issues through parliament, irrespective of the popular view. They dictated to the people.

Note that none of the issues mentioned are about every day being a nightmare for millions of people. Some may argue that ‘aid’ is about suffering. I would contend that ‘aid’ is more about winning friends and influencing leaders in emerging countries. The poor rarely see much of the donated aid.

Is slavery a – too hot to handle- topic? Are politicians afraid to bring to the fore an issue they know is difficult to solve? If the issue became current they may have to do thCA6S7RJLsomething about it and that may mean challenging leaders of nations where the evil practice is most prevalent. Not many Trade Deals to be had with leaders embarrassed into taking action on slavery. Money, it has a peculiar affect on some people.

The same is true of the press; they may have campaigns on sensitive issues but nothing that compares to the horror of slavery. It has been suggested that newspapers do not have the resources to fund the investigative journalism required over an extended period that would bring justice to a flagrantly unjust situation. Is it not possible on such an issue that a joint fund could be arranged, with a shared authorship of the material generated? What of funding: from charities, foreign aid, trade unions, (workers of the world unite) a media mogul, the lottery fund or even public subscriptions.

Raise awareness by having a small weekly column looking at websites that deal with slavery. If nothing else it will encourage more people to become aware. It builds momentum.

thCAXR63SGLet precedence go to hell, break with the norm, enquire of Houdini how to get out of the straightjacket! Are there no Wilberforce’s anymore? Investigative journalism could prove the key to further action and it is vital that collected data comes from an independent source. Unfortunately, Wilberforce has been dead for a long time, nowadays we have ‘the art of the possible’ politician, with the built-in excuse, ‘it wasn’t possible,’ who always use words like: but, if, maybe. We live in the time of the wishy-washy, lame-duck Liberal and these guys like to talk. Lots!

Memo: “It always seems impossible until it’s done”. Nelson Mandela

Meanwhile:

“There are more human slaves in the world today than ever before.” www.randomhistory.com

It is difficult to verify the claim above because the collation of data is bedevilled by problems:

“Because of its hidden nature, it is difficult to get accurate statistics on the numbers affected”. www.antislavery.org

The UN reckons that around 2.5 million people are trafficked each year, half of them are children. The international Labour Organisation (ILO) 2010 estimates that around the globe there are 21m ‘forced labourers, of these 4.5m are also sexually exploited’. It is a difficult number to get your head around as it constitutes more people than some countries have as a population. Twenty-one million people and their screams are overshadowed by the ‘art of the possible’.

There are a plethora of laws. The UN, the main body that collates information is to the forefront of issuing directives. In 1990, the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and their Families was adopted. It suggested the promotion of regular and managed migration as a means of defeating people trafficking. To me ‘managed migration’ would entail the granting of rights and a proper wage for the workers. However, the guys who employ the migrants just want cheap labour that they can: use, abuse and sack on a whim; a law will not prevent that situation.

Furthermore, The Convention against Transnational Organised Crime was adopted by the UN in November 2000 but did not come into force until September 2003. Why did it take 3 years for an agreement to become official?

To add to their list the UN adopted 3 Protocols:

  • Against trafficking in people-December 2003 (117 signatories of 193 members –March 2013)
  • Smuggling of migrants – January 2004
  • Against the manufacture and trafficking of firearms – July 2005

I am staggered that it took so long for the UN and the representatives of all nations to do such a little thing about people trafficking. Perhaps the rationale lies in the fact that it is now a major criminal activity and not so much about people suffering.

Q. What do they propose to do now they have the directives in place?

Nothing! Decisions are taken at individual nation level therefore the UN has no power to force countries to adhere to the ‘Protocols’. It is a political sham to make people think they are actually doing something. Why?

“This, unfortunately, is one of the most flourishing and profitable criminal industries of the world”. www.buzzle.com

According to the respected, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) trafficking is in the top three (3) for money making alongside drugs and firearms. Law enforcement does not have a good record in combatting the latter two, what hope for people trafficking? The ILO estimates that it generates around $32 billion annually. A massive block to remedying the situation is that it is known in several countries that some policemen and judges are complicit in this heinous crime. buzzle.com

Q. What’s the betting that a politician or two have their greedy little fingers deep in the proverbial pie?

 

“Trafficking in human beings is a multi-billion-dollar form of international organised crime, constituting modern day slavery”.  www.Interpol.int/Crime-areas/

The reason why the crime is thriving according to Interpol is not only the huge profits but “…benefitting from weak legislation and the relatively low risk of detection, prosecution and arrest compared to other activities of transnational organised crime”. Even the UN admits a waning of endeavour in detection and prosecution across Europe.

India is infamous for its use of ‘bonded labour’ which is the: “…most widely used method of enslaving people”. Wikipedia (see India: An Indictment) Pakistan and the whole of Asia seem passive towards it. Don’t assume a change in the law would help; the laws are systematically ignored. Much like the UN itself as all of the nations are members of the UN. Saudi Arabia has an estimated 9 million migrant workers many of whom are badly treated. The USA has recently, June 2013, criticized both Russia and China as failing to combat forced labour and sex trafficking. These are members of the G8 the most powerful nations in the world.

People trafficking appears endemic in Asia but the horror is spread to some extent throughout the world. Of the 2.5 m trafficked each year the UN breaks it down thus:

  • 1.4m – Asia & Pacific = 56%
  • 250,000 – Latin America & Caribbean = 10%
  • 230,000 – Middle East & North Africa = 9.2%
  • 130,000 – sub-Sahara Africa = 5.2%
  • 270,000 – industrialised countries = 10.8%

The UN contends, that it “…affects every continent and every type of economy”. www.unglobalcompact.org

Will anything change? Not without you and your voice. Peoples’ interest varies as much as plants in the rainforest. Certain issues become ‘must do’, for example the politicians seem possessed by same-sex marriage and homosexual belief generally. In the UK, Prime Minister, David Cameron championed the cause of same-sex marriage and foreign aid. Same-sex marriage has been promoted on a world scale; it has generated substantial column inches in the press and wide coverage on television. How many will it affect? In the UK, anywhere up to a hundred individuals, worldwide, one/two thousand. Slavery an estimated 27 million souls with no say, no choice, no hope.

The furore over Russia and its stated position on homosexuality nearly went thermonuclear. The apoplexy of the PC brigade broke the sound barrier. Twitter went twits-up, famous homosexuals demanded retribution. Calls to ban the Winter Olympics and ban Russians, just ban, ban, ban! Their hypocrisy is matched only by their dictatorial traits. Where are these paragons of human rights of political correctness? Those who consider themselves the embodiment of a civilized society; you should wear a badge of shame!

Let me make it abundantly clear that I am not opposed to homosexuals but given the choice of freeing slaves or same-sex marriage to me is a no-brainer. I wish their passion was directed to save the millions and not unnecessary choice to a few.

Will anything change? Bob Dylan: Long Ago, Far Away – first 2 verses.

To preach of peace and brotherhood,

Oh, what might be the cost!

A man he did it long ago

And they hung him on a cross.

Long ago, far away;

These things don’t happen

No more, nowadays.

The chains of slaves

They dragged the ground

With heads and hearts hung low.

But it was during Lincoln’s time

And it was long ago.

Long ago, far away;

Things like that don’t happen

No more, nowadays.

thCA5VNJ7W“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know”. William Wilberforce. Read a short bio:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/wilberforce_william.shtml

Will anything change?

“Unfortunately, despite its prevalence and the innate seriousness of the crime, trafficking is currently not viewed as a priority by government or law enforcement agencies”.  He goes on to tell us that we have the ability and capability to tackle human trafficking. Peter Ship: www.guardian.com

“Longitudinal research following villages from slavery to freedom has shown significant freedom dividend”. Nick Grono.  www.walkfree.org/modern-slavery/learn/#  . Short video have a look.

Will anything change?

A liberal is as a communist is as a fascist. Adherence to a political outlook is as a panoramic vista to a blind person. Their dictum is; agenda, agenda, agenda. Progress is slow in such a small world.

Will anything change?

“As of January 2012 over 27 million people are believed to be working as personal and sex slaves all over the world”. buzzle.com People trafficking is going to need a lot of opposition to end its savagery.

 

 

 

Food Waste: The only Campaign in Town!

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

Achim Steiner, Director of United Nations Environment Programme. (ENEP) (Wikipedia.)

To me this could be one of the most illuminating statements of the 21st century. Why did I see this in Wikipedia and not on a £5 note or a $1 bill? Obviously the politicians have not read the report or understand the significance of the statement. It’s ironic that we spend billions (£ $) through charities’ on trying to feed the poor around the world at the same time wasting nearly half the food produced. We have the technology to feed all of us; so why do politicians not show some initiative.

This is in essence a story of politics. The global game of geopolitics is what is holding the whole process up. In addition people fighting in their little blind alleys affecting nothing. In a few years most activists will go home, or get a job or find a partner and the energy and enthusiasm is directed elsewhere or they become (ick) politicians. Meanwhile, the politicians, aware of the time-span-activation-meter, just keep peddling the same old same old and bagging the dosh. Who’s the idiot?

Charities beat out on a daily basis the same tune, to donate X amount or some child will die. It’s an in your face constant reminder that poverty will not vanish without a heavy push. However, I have not seen an advertisement about food waste. I walk past various charity shops and never see a poster about food waste. Nor have I ever received a flyer on the subject through my door. Clearly, food waste is not a priority, or more damning they don’t believe it can be solved. Can that be true that there is no resolution to the scandal of food waste?

We spend billions (£ $) annually trying to end the dire situation of children’s welfare. Meanwhile we dump millions of tonnes of food into landfill which then spews out millions of tonnes of methane gas into the atmosphere. In doing so, we have created and continue to do so, a massive double cost which was, and is, entirely unnecessary waste.

Why can’t charities fight a two prong battle, at once feed the poor as necessary but point out the absurdity of the waste that goes on under our noses. We are the real culprits; we toss food away and put some money in the charity can. Is there a psychoanalyst in the house? I would like to see a poster in every charity shop window helping to make us all aware.

Create awareness and you begin to create solutions.

Unfortunately there is no end in sight; we are swamped in food waste. As already indicated, one-third of food produced is lost, that is diabolical but then add the cost of the resources needed to transport and distribute it to our homes and then onto the landfill. We are talking of astronomical sums of dosh (money) e.g. $680 billion for industrialized countries and $310bn for developing nations. What could charities do with that kind of money?

A UN study carried out by the Swedish Institute for Food & Biotechnology (2011) estimated that 1.3bn tonnes of food are tossed every year. This analysis has been backed up more recently by a study by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (UK) in 2013. This report suggests that between 30%/50% or 1.2bn-2bn tonnes of all food produced remains uneaten. (Wikipedia) Absolutely staggering!

Can you take another blast of facts or do you need more time to chew on the last load?

every tree is oxygen

every tree is oxygen

An estimated 8.3 million hectares of land (rain forest) is needed to maintain the food levels to suit the industrial countries. (www.tristanstuart.co.uk) Agricultural and land use changes contribute 30% of greenhouse gases globally. (UN)Staggering! My pet word at the moment is, you’ve guessed it, staggering.

Hordes upon hordes of activists: stomp, march, rant and chant and generally run around like headless chickens demanding an end to all manner of things. They wear their association like a merit badge, much like gang members. Perhaps it’s time they got off their hobby-horse to focus on one cause, a cause that can benefit the whole of society. It might be time that we all stopped thinking ‘me’ and put a little more emphasis on ‘we’ as a global population.

If only it was about food waste.

If only it was about food waste.

If activists truly want politicians to rise from their slumber and think people rather than self then they must do the same. To fight food waste requires a campaign that is global in nature, concentrated on the single issue and has the energy, enthusiasm and power of you.

There are many pet campaigns out there aided and abetted by the bandwagoners or perhaps better described as sheep; it’s the instant thrill seekers, they are the ‘self’ brigade. Will it change anything? Not one iota. Can their number be a positive, that’s an unequivocal, yes.

If Achim Steiner is only half right then a campaign to end food waste is still a runner, still a very significant step forward. We have the facts, we have the hungry people and you have the power at your fingertips to create, to sculpt a beautiful solution.

 

Beauty has no equal.

Beauty has no equal.

 

Charity: Does it Work for You?

There are many who need charity and many who depend upon it. It would seem that poverty and the poor will be forever with us, such is the nature of our system. Charities are therefore a positive thing as anyone with a modest degree of humanity would not like to see others go without. It is a truism that everyone cannot be rich, nor can everyone be in good health; thus help is essential for those less fortunate than others.

However, what started as a philanthropic gesture has grown into a massive business. Some charities have an income that would far outstrip all but the largest conglomerates. Two examples should suffice as an illustration: Oxfam has an income of £385,500,000 that is one sizeable figure. They also employ 4,900 people. The employed figure is not so huge for such an organisation with such an income, until you add the 22,000 volunteers. Then you can start to appreciate that Oxfam is a very large company.

The other example is the’ Save The Children Fund’ with an annual income of £332,880.000 and employ around 5,000 workers. I am in total agreement with the sentiment of helping children. No child has a say in where or when they are born. Likewise s/he has no incline that they can become a burden. It does not matter whether born of love or lust, their future is our future too. Think of your own twilight years, of the society that would make you feel secure, the society that you want for your own offspring. That humane society, that vision, becomes severely blurred when a majority do not share your altruism.

Most people are aware via 24hr TV news stations, and the daily diet of crime reporting in our newspapers, that the disillusioned and disaffected and the pure evil find a means to survive, and we all suffer the vacuity of their activity. If charities can help some of these lost souls, then more power to their elbow.

That ends the sermon, lest we break into hymn.

I as other members of the public have been accosted on the street, had flyers throughthCA57R6FM the door and had my emotions bombarded by TV advertisements to give a little and often. If I do give then I want to know where the money is going and how it is being used.

There is disquiet about the use of donations to charity. No doubt they do some good and are praiseworthy but other aspects may leave a sour taste in people’s mouth. Donors want to know that their contribution is being well spent, that it reaches the places that it should. A report by ’New Philanthropy Capital’ based on a survey of 3,000 donors highlighted, “The report has sparked fresh concern that charity leaders are failing to prove the effectiveness of their work.” (Guardian 14 March 2013) The illuminating phrase is the reference to, ‘fresh concern’ which suggests a long term failure.

As of December 2012, there are 162,915 charities in the UK with an income of £58.5 billion. Both these figures are immense. My first thought when I looked at the number of charities, was duplication. I dug a little deeper and found several examples were duplication was indeed the case, e.g. 23 different bodies for ‘autism’, eight within London. No disrespect to anyone involved in one of these charities but would it not make more economic sense to combine their effort. Harness the energy and knowledge rather than a disparate approach.

Likewise, with water in a number of African states. Some of the charities were very focussed in one area and their income reflected this. I don’t doubt they are doing some good, e.g. ‘Pipedreams’ in Tanzania and ‘IRWA’ in Sudan, but more could be done by linking up with a more substantial body and pressing their case.

thCAQA6CPNI had to look twice at the total amount raised by the charities of £58.5bn. That is a staggering sum of money. Where does all the money go? It is more than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of many countries. This is where doubt creeps in, because the advertisements are constant, news of more tragedy seems to be a more frequent alert nowadays. One is lead towards a conclusion of waste. Is there waste on a massive scale? Is corruption on a similar curve? The poverty, the need for aid does not diminish, it’s as constant as the sun in the Sahara desert.

Transparency is a buzz word at the moment and I thoroughly recommend the charities to adopt it as a philosophy. Scepticism is almost a tangible force and will only grow stronger with a current debate on International Aid and the 0.7% of UK GDP being earmarked to be spent on aid. That constitutes a lot of dosh to spend abroad at a time of hardship at home. Joe Public, is finding a bitter winter compounded by a freeze on income a huge burden.

Moreover, it is well documented that corruption in sub-Sahara Africa is almost endemic. Another concern is that anecdotal tales are being adopted as truth and thus shift the balance of public opinion. Transparency, well presented, not spin, can act as a George, with a mighty sword, to slay that particular dragon.

Are we being duped? Are large amounts of money being siphoned off to corruption? Is

Help or hinderance

Help or hindrance

the cost of feeding the desperate made exorbitant by the need to give backhanders? Have the charities created a monster that now consumes a large sackful of their intended gift to the people? May be it is time to think outside the box and find a way around the corruption or has corruption become too entrenched.

Above are classic examples of the sentiments often mentioned by people. If they are true or false then transparency would open the eyes of the public as well as the leaders of the charities. A powerful reason for opening the books stems from the fact that personal donors are triple givers. The large charities get money from the government as well as funding from the European Union (EU). As that money comes from taxation, then those who make a personal contribution are forking out thrice. Now I think that deserves an explanation.

I have mentioned ‘duplication’ of several charities focussed on the same objective and therefore dissipating their economic muscle, the same can be true in terms of administrative costs. E.g. location costs, warehouse, transportation, field workers, not to mention the over paid executives. It seems that the higher echelons of our society view charities as a sound place to work.

Do they really need plush offices in London? Surely with new technology; iPhone, internet, conference calls, faxes, etc., location becomes a matter of choice.

The Charity Commission (.gov.uk) in November 2012 urged the charities to, “be good, as well as do good.” Moreover, the New Philanthropy Capital survey suggests that a more open format by the charities would bring considerable benefits in contributions. Let’s put it into practice.