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Tuesday, 20 December 2016

216. God bless you

Dios te bendiga / ربنا يحميك / Dieu te bénisse / Gott segne dich / Tuhan memberkati Anda / Будьте здоровы / Niech cię Bóg błogosławi / gabh mo leisgeul  / Боже мій / भगवान आपका भला करे / Dio ti benedica / Gud välsigne dig / 上帝祝福你

I've tried (with Google translate) to reflect the languages of some of the people who found my blog this year. Thank you for reading.

Do have a trawl through the archives. I aim to be back blogging as usual on Tuesday 10th January 2017.

Amanda x

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Tuesday, 13 December 2016

215. Brexit Broke Britain, Trump Trashed America

I agree with Michael Moor but regardless of whether Trump finds a way to slough off the responsibility he never contemplated, the damage is done.

The Leave campaigners spewed out acid hyperbole, deliberate lies, vitriol, bigotry and xenophobia during the UK referendum campaign. Trump made the kinds of outrageous statements a psychotic toddler with developmental problems tripping on diesel fumes might make. Like the Leave campaigners, Trump didn’t think he’d have to follow up. He thought he could stir the shit and walk away. But if Brexit means Brexit thenTrump means Trump.

Unfortunately, even if he were to step away, that doesn’t mean the toxic Trump smog will clear. Like nuclear fallout, sometimes the after effects can be as problematic as the immediate disaster.

Here in the UK, the political establishment – and a proportion of the public – believe they are in control of the Brexit process. They think that we are in a period of decision and sorting out strategy – albeit one that should have taken place BEFORE the referendum. What they don’t seem to understand is that the boat has sailed, the horse has bolted, the tide has gone out, yada yada yada. And it happened the day after the referendum when the results hit with the devastation of a fractured nuclear facility.

The government continue selling Britain off to the highest bidder while the Leave campaign crow about reclaiming borders! The NHS creaks and groans under the weight of overpriced drugs, depressed citizens and the lack of foreign doctors and nurses on which it has always relied. Meanwhile, the bickering and arguing over minute detail (see last week’s blog) is so much chicken squawking after the fox has cleared the hen house. (Yes – you know how my analogies get tangled when I am upset).

In the last few days Trump did a rush job to try to save an air conditioning factory because he’d forgotten he’d promised that several times during his campaign. But a. most of the jobs were lost b. the government is now in hock for huge tax breaks for this firm which will have every other greedy corporation in America claiming they too are leaving so they can suck upTrump tax treats.

Here in the UK it is the same. Tata steel has been ‘saved’. (NB the remnants of the steel industry in Britain were screwed by the Tory government when it vetoed EU attempted protection against Chinese overproduction. Oh, the irony). But now the skeletal industry is ‘saved’ partly by ditching pension security for the remaining workforce. Recently a car firm in Sunderland was ‘reassured’ by May’s government that they would be ok if they stayed in the UK!!! I’d hazard a guess that this just means more unsustainable public funding diverted to private companies.

But the main damage to Britain and the United States of America, is in world standing. The wounds that won’t be healed any time soon are kudos and credibility. It’s like that guy at school who everyone grudgingly admired – albeit that they may not have liked him. Then he was photographed in a gutter covered in his own vomit with his ironed jeans round his ankles and his beer gut hanging over his stained women's panties.

Self-destruct personified did play out slightly differently on each side of the pond.

Think of Trump as the brain tumour – the single malignant growth that will nevertheless cause irreparable damage to the body of America. Britain suffered the sporadic reoccurring, sometimes hidden, malignant growths in multiple organs.

It will be a long long time before anyone takes Britain or America seriously again. And many countries around the globe that have been held in check by the idea of the greatness of the UK and the impenetrability of the US will have seen that the bloated stupid spiteful old Emperor is not wearing any clothes…

 Oh and, if you’re interested, the Guardian printed another of my Mrs Fed-up of Edinburgh letters

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Tuesday, 6 December 2016

214. ‘The 3 Million’ - Aleppo…

…and the compassion vacuum.

The current rotten crop of world movers and shakers show that they fall not just short of the task in hand but short of basic humanity. We’d be better off if we were elephants…

If you haven’t heard of them, The 3 Million is a group trying to ensure that EU citizens, settled in the UK prior to the madness of Brexit, are treated as – well – human beings. Is that too much to ask? In the present environment, it seems so.

From those who were abused after the referendum result in June (and I was one caught up in the post-referendum xenophobic shit despite being born in the UK) to EU citizens with British children whose status is uncertain, there is deep unease. Stress and unnecessary worry is being caused by the ongoing nonsense of the vacuous position Brexit means Brexit (see blog. 207).

Theresa May has been scurrying round to pet companies assuring them they will get everything post-Brexit that they got before June 23rd. The Prime minister ought, by now, to have given similar reassurance to UK based European citizens.

The current expensive supreme court appeal by the government is a side show. The whinging of a Labour Party that did so little to make the case for EU membership prior to June, is irrelevant. Nothing more than pathetic babbling; posturing about the paint work and when the wreck will be towed away, after a nasty car crash.

I was wondering why videos on you tube of, for example, a mother elephant spending 11 hours rescuing a baby elephant or a whole herd risking their safety to pull a calf out of a bog, get so many views. Then I realised. It is a craving for what we thought of as humanity. It’s got to the point where we look to the animal kingdom for evidence of compassionate behaviour (see blog. 209 - Put the Monkeys in Charge).

Have we forgotten what happens when compassion dies and fear-fuelled bigotry becomes a driving force? Elephants supposedly never forget but it seems humans do.

At the extreme end of the compassion wasteland is Aleppo. It is not the only humanitarian disaster right now but it is certainly contending for 2016 title of Hell on Earth.

While I am not equating the slaughter in Aleppo with the way Britain has sunk into the stinking quagmire of spite, bigotry and short-sightedness (which signals the end of a positive status in the world) I state without hesitation that one is the thin end of the same wedge.
SO – yes – when we humans, desperate to find some good on the planet surf you tube – we end up watching wild animals.

We glance at Aleppo side on. We cannot look at it directly, it is too grim. To see human beings behaving like this in the 21st century fries the minds of decent people. But the way EU citizens, resident in Britain, are being left in limbo is just a lesser level of lack of compassion. It smacks of an us-and-them world none of us should be proud of.

But, I suppose, while humans are demeaning and slaughtering each other they’ve done a pretty good job of wiping out elephants too.

Residents of Syria's Aleppo are at risk of extermination and the clock is ticking on the besieged city as winter sets in, a top UN envoy told the Security Council last week.


What shall we have for tea
While another child
Is blown apart
In Aleppo

What shall we watch on TV
Celebrity freak shows
While homes are pulverised
Mothers clutch children who hold
Their breath

Western clocks tick slowly
Alleviate boredom
With online gambling
Parade of women
In ‘fantasy lingerie’
Would you like
A three-million-dollar bra? 

In Aleppo a deafening clock ticks fast
And sometimes


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Tuesday, 29 November 2016

213. Fidel Castro would be proud of Trump/Brexit - the musical...

I am going to call my Brexit/Trump pantomime/musical Hair of the Dog Politics (H.o.t. Dog politics). If you don’t have this phrase in your country, it is something people say when they have too much alcohol the night before and start drinking again the next day as a ‘cure’. The full saying is ‘Take a hair of the dog that bit you’.

Hair-of-the-dog  is the equivalent of getting hit by a car and deciding that the cure is to throw yourself under a bus.


Forget Hamilton or Mamamia. I gave you Brexit the poem (see blog 207 Brexit means Brexit) now –its H.o.t. Dog politics the show.

I cannot help wondering what Castro, the life-long revolutionary would have made of this ridiculous mess. The Brexit/Trump results are as close to a contemporary revolution as the craving-for-the-days-of-empire dullards of the UK and the we-wish-it-was-1950 crazies in the US could do.

Imagine a sort of ‘d’ grade pantomime version of the musical, Cabaret with Nazi ditties playing in the background sprinkled liberally with cheap glitz, rubbish costumes and pre-recorded music.

This is the broad narrative of the new production - 
There is grumbling from rent-a-mob because the theatre managers took their money, turned down the heating, took the stuffing out of the seats and told them they can only eat straight bananas. Then the managers told the mob its all the fault of the low-paid immigrant cleaners. Rent-a-mob tear up the theatre and scream at the cleaners.

Un-elected prima donna Theresa May, rushes in to replace the weak previous headliner, David Cameron. Cameron suffered a terminal case of ‘oh shit, what have I done’. She finds herself thrust into the footlights where she lip-syncs catch-up while stumbling badly, repeating her lines and boring the audience.

The increasingly unfunny buffoon is played by Boris Johnson. Every time he appears on stage a groan goes through the audience. They yell, ‘how did he get up there’ and ‘seriously, he’s the best we could do?’ as he mumbles, leers at the chorus girls and hurls abuse at people far more talented than himself.

The chorus is made up of a motley crew of has-beens and never-weres belting out the production’s main theme tune,

Britain can be racist
Myopic, xenophobic
And still get everything it had before
Yes we’re mad and shifty
We want article 50
We’d rather drown in our own mess than help the poor.

And so on and so forth until everyone has lost the feeling in their legs.

In the background is the mesmeric beat of the Chancellor’s autumn statement song -
Hey baby, we’re in the shit now – you better believe it - etc.

No one is actually paying attention because the Remainers are dazed and depressed and the Leavers still think they won something.

Usually in such productions there is a primary villain with a side kick. In this production, there is a veritable football stadium of people jockeying for the roll of moron-in-the-spotlight. MP John Redwood – an oily, creepy private school cadaver - really should have been the director’s main choice. Redwood is always there, ready to sneer at the truth, denigrate anyone who may have actually checked the facts and dangle the rotting, whiffy carcass of empire glory under the noses of potential non-believers. For a while he was upstaged by the flamboyant racist Frothy Farage but Farage is chasing a bigger gig state-side.

As for Fidel Castro, the CIA once thought of eliminating him with an exploding cigar. That’s as close to pantomime style slapstick as you can get. It’s also an example of how the US has behaved like a colonial power intervening in any administration that doesn’t take their fancy (unless it ploughs substantial funds into the pockets of the US elite, like Saudi Arabia). When Trump trots out his one liner ‘make America great again’ I wonder if he is thinking Bay of Pigs! Or is that just the name of his new administration?

Few media outlets highlight the fact that Cuba has, for example, a better fairer health care system than many so-called democracies. But a couple of serious papers in the UK have pointed out that Castro replaced dictator Batista in 1959 only to become de-facto dictator himself. Maybe this marked the start of the popularity of Hair of the Dog politics. Look at both Brexit, orchestrated in part by UKIP / rich kid Frothy Farage and privileged non-tax paying Trump. 

In the US and Britain, arrogant, privileged white blokes have been messing up badly for decades. So, what did both countries do? They listened to privileged, arrogant, bigoted white blokes when those men said ‘hey – we have the answers’.

Hair of the Dog politics is so in fashion. Fidel Castro would be proud.
For all you folk who've enjoyed this free blog it's hand in pocket time. At less than the price of one cup of coffee, read my new novella zero one, zero two. Check it out -
Or buy the paperback version for Christmas.

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Tuesday, 22 November 2016

212. So, you thought it couldn’t get worse…

Joking apart, America and Britain currently stand as the laughing stocks of the developed world. But there's a strange synchronicity here. Both countries were built on slavery, colonialism and pissing in other people’s countries. Both have been brought low, beyond the point of farce, by racism, bigotry and prejudice.

Also, on this side of the Atlantic we number days and weeks differently to the US. Here - 9th November is 9/11, the day we found out Trump was elected... Another US disaster.

And now Tony Blair, one of the architects of the Iraq war and arguably the destabilisation of the Middle East, thinks it’s time to return to British politics. Is the guy addicted to chaos?

In last week’s post, I used the phrase ‘what goes around comes around’. Surely we have to acknowledge that the universe exhibits a highly developed sense of irony.


If you enjoy my posts, do check out my new short novel


Now available in paperback

If you already got the e-book Thanks.

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Tuesday, 15 November 2016

211. Thank you America…

In the 2016 poker game of ‘who are the biggest political idiots?’ democracies across the world have been pointing at Britain since June 23rd. But on November 9th America trumped us.

Thank you for diverting a painfully revealing spotlight.

And it will be ok. Not for a while but eventually.

I’m talking to the KaTs - Kind and Thoughtful people. Here in the UK we’ve just been through it. Spiritually ugly, egotistical bigots successfully drowned out common-sense because fear, spite and self-interest already made many listeners partially deaf. We’ll call them the KJs – knee Jerks – (reactionaries).

In Britain, those who supported the UK Independence Party are UKIPers – led by frothy Nigel Farage; think Trump lite without the tan, the orange sweep-over or the sexual assaults but with all the malice and intolerance.

Frothy Farage, teamed up with other deplorables including the racist ex-mayor of London - Boris Johnson, and UK tabloid newspapers, owned by men who don’t even pay their taxes in the UK. In the absence of real opposition they pushed sanity towards the Exit sign.

Across the Atlantic you also have YaKs – You are Kidding. YaKs have been chewing on the envy stick since an admirable, successful black family entered the White House. They had to sit on their racism for 8 years and they were not (especially, it seems, white women) going to let a female president disturb their internalised misogyny.

On both sides of the pond don’t forget the SWIOKs – So What, I’m OK. These comfy cliques are so insulated from life’s realities they don’t care. They may not have favoured Brexit / Trump but now blow with the new wind. Their lives have expensive foundations and they can afford the roof repairs in a political storm.

K.a.Ts are hurting. People who take time to check facts, read information, make informed decisions and don’t spend their waking hours blaming convenient scapegoats for their problems, are just ill right now.

The KJs, like the UKIPers, feast on the false diet of a delicious past. Mmmm – the McCarthy witch hunts, segregation (US), rationing (UK), rickets, TB, the establishment turning a blind eye to child abuse and the degradation of minorities, women and indigenous peoples – truly it was a Utopian banquet.

But the SWIOKs are the most morally aberrant in my view. These people are now saying – you know, Dump isn’t that bad. They’re also berating the KaTs for being distraught at the way the Hate volume has ratcheted up. Like Boris Johnson. Although – to be fair – being a racist he fits other categories.

In ancient times, humans tried to fashion themselves in the image of their God. They would look upwards and aspire to be better, hence the reaching architecture of churches, synagogues and mosques.

With mass addiction to ‘talent’ programmes and reality TV and in an atmosphere where politics is run like a game show, increasingly the public seem to want someone who reflects them on a bad day. Peering down into the gutter, they embrace what they see. Like a grim version of X-factor – it’s now acceptable to be preening, gurning and strutting in public if you are stupid, thuggish, talent-less.

Talking of talent-less – wasn’t the fake ‘scare’ at the Trump rally, where security hustled him off stage, the worst acting you ever saw? For a better version of that watch Colombo – Candidate for Crime.

However, here in the UK we have a useful saying - ‘what goes around comes around’. There is a similar Arabic adage which is ‘if you sit by the river long enough the body of the wrong-doer will float by’.

We sense that things are not right (check last week’s blog to see where I think this could go). We know deep down that many privileged communities have failed to act generously. Somewhere even deeper, we know there is always a price to pay – whether it be displaced people on our borders because their countries are broken or strange diseases erupting from parts of the world few cared about before (see blog 105 Ebola – What’s really gruesome) or just a general sense of insecurity.

Across the globe the insanely rich have siphoned off so many resources to fund their yachts, gold houses and daughter-aged wives, that we’re now staring at the socio-economic equivalent of locust denuded fields. What better than a vindictive, macho gob-shite who screams loudly enough to convince millions it’s the fault of the already downtrodden?

Fear is driving people to the old ‘the strong man’ fantasy. Notice Hollywood is vomiting up super hero movies like a kid with the nora virus who won’t stop eating fudge sundaes?

Trump is a distorted version of King Canute. Whatever he hollers and however loudly he shrieks violence and bigotry in our faces, the tide of decency will flow back in. The people who do ok in the end will be the ones who build boats of friendship and kindness and community – not the ones on the shoreline screaming and ranting at the waves. The only question is, how many will these nutters drown in the process.

(Why not check out blog 152. Could the Nice People Speak Up Please)

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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

210. zero one, zero two...

Yes – I want to cheer you up this week - sort of!

If you have enjoyed reading my blog posts, my brand new short novel should rock your boat.

Zero one, zero two is a mix of acerbic social comment and observation sprinkled with satire and dark humour (brown girl style), wrapped in futuristic science fiction and flung out into space.

Rachel Smith exists at the mercy of technology she does not understand hurtling to a place she does not know with only the bodies of her crew and her memories for company - or is there something else there...
here's the intro

zero one, zero two
… we are all dead…
 “There is no cruelty here because cruelty needs a tomorrow. Deliberately induced fear or pain combined with anticipation, that is cruelty”


We were meant to be a crew of 6. The 6th member of the crew was swallowed up by a fractured earth sink hole. She was on her way to the departure facility two days before we were due to leave. No time to prepare another human. Preparation does not just involve training but certain chemical alterations that make the body both more resilient, more malleable and receptive to adjustment should a destination be reached – which is not a given.

It is not wise to dwell on these things. There has been so much death, what is one more? But I was shaken by the news.

1 is a large proportion of 6. There should have been 6 of us. It is a number the algorithms like. It worried me that things went wrong so early. Not that we are needed to operate the craft. And that ‘gone wrong’ was tiny compared to all the others.
Sector 4, which is in what remains of the old country of Germany, contains the launch facility.

Despite all advances we cannot undo death so only 5 of us were sky lifted, one at a time, then carefully lowered into the opening slit in the outer energy shield of the curving, egg shaped craft. Even getting aboard was dangerous.
I tried so hard not to be sick. Impossible.

As you are lowered, in what looks like a glass inverted teardrop, through the outer, shimmering defence layer, surrounded by throbbing atoms that are supposed to protect you from the unbearable pressure, your lungs feel as if they are bound in iron. At least mine did. No training can prepare you. Pulse waves stop you falling like a stone but all sensations are disturbed. The worst is the effect on the mind. Though, I am told, the process of being forced through the outer shield takes three minutes it seems like half an hour. Half an hour of struggling, gasping, sweating with pain as you sense your head is being crushed by boulders.

Lying shivering, clammy and naked on a recovery pallet I think, not for the first time, what is the point? Why suffer more, why go on? The others who are to follow are, at least, younger than me.

We have not met but I have read their profiles. I have seen their pictures.
Maybe it is just normal human camaraderie but I felt pre-disposed to like them. I was keen to meet them. Ngendi, the youngest, is beautiful. I suspect she has been modified in lots of ways but her cheekbones and strong forehead say Africa to me. She is, among other things, a geo-physicist. She will be clever and capable; it will be good to have her aboard.
The Russian, Nikkoli was a psychiatrist and a geologist. Yes, extra longevity has its benefits. Time to learn. Time to study. And I know from his brief biography that he is brave.
Sophia was a medic in the days before machines took over our biological care. She has even learnt to use some of the genetically modified plants. There is nothing though that she can do that the craft cannot. What she may do is reassure the rest of us, the rest of the crew. Funnily enough it was Nikkoli, one of the chosen himself, who selected her. The fifth, Deepika volunteered. Yes, not everyone chosen for the project wanted the chance to hurtle through space to an unknown unknowable destination. Many clung to the delusion that life would again become sustainable on earth. Finding crew for the four small, even more dangerous kamikaze relay craft that were to follow at intervals of four months, had been almost impossible.

As we prepare to depart, only two of the relay craft have designated crew.
I have been many things. Some useful some not. My last job was working in the hydroponic grow tunnels for my unit. I preferred it to work in areas where there was more necessary human interaction. A plant will not suddenly throw itself down in front of you, screaming, because it has run out of bio-meds.  It was good work. It felt useful.

I think kind, sweet Deepika said yes for the same reason that I agreed. The crew has the feel of a human unit: a family. But maybe she is too young to know what that is.

1.    An End

With the development of the Kepler telescope, NASA discovered the first planets outside Earth’s solar system at the end of the 20th century. Many thousands more were discovered over the next couple of decades and then too many to count. It was not long before planets with similar life potential to earth were recorded. Some orbited their stars at almost the right distance. They varied in size, had different temperatures, different gravitational energies because of their size but some were not so different. Some, it was presumed might have water, some may have similar gravity to earth and others may have breathable gas compounds.

Armed with muscular speculation, the mission began. We had ample evidence that humans would soon, for the purpose of our existence, wreck the planet on which we all lived. The race was on to chart a viable course to a place that could sustain human life.
The search was often frantic, occasionally methodical, sometimes almost forgotten.
Over the decades as humans alternately faced up to the reality of self-annihilation or sunk into collective denial, projects were developed then shelved then revived.
Now we are going. Or, I should say, we were going. Now only I am going. A 200-year-old woman with a precious cargo.

It is 2164

We are all dead…

Read it in paperback or get the e-book for the price of a coffee.  My blog remains entirely free to read. Purchasing this book or any of my other publications will support my free posts as well as entertain you. -
or etc

UPDATE Fri 24th Feb - Although the main driver of this novela is the way we are destroying THIS planet - my youngest daughter and I were on the edge of our seats a couple of days ago when NASA made their announcement about the 7 exo-planets, 3 of which could be the intended destination in Zero One Zero Two :)

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

209. Put the monkeys in charge?

 Donald Trump is 70. The officially oldest Orangutan (the other orange primate) in the world is 60 and I know which one is more deserving of our respect.

Recently, I listened to a radio interview. You know the ones. The media outlet gets a serious subject, finds two blokes on opposing sides who try to get a few words in for about two minutes before the sport or whatever.

In this case the ‘debate’ was whether scientists should continue medical experiments on primates.

Both interviewees delivered the predictable responses. The scientist’s angle was that there are lots of horrible diseases that affect humans that an understanding of the monkey brain (for example) might help us cure. The other guy pointed out that it was cruel, often completely useless and immoral especially since we now know how intelligent non-human primates are.

As it happens, it is entirely possible for both positions to be true.

What was not said is that a huge percentage of human health problems are,

a.  Entirely preventable
b.  Caused by humans

Also, we apply only a tiny proportion of the knowledge we have, to help people. Add to this the fact that much of the global population is blocked from even basic medical care by poverty or lack of infrastructure and suddenly the case for causing suffering and harm to any other species begins to fall apart.

Putting aside drug/alcohol abuse, smoking, poor diet and debt-related anxiety, is there anyone left on the planet who does not know that pollution is killing us, both directly and by devastating the environment we depend on?

Stress will shorten your life. Here in the UK, thanks to zero hours contracts and employers finding new ways around paying the minimum wage, even those in work often struggle to make ends meet. (see blog 174. Zero Hours is not a contract)

Data has emerged to show that in parts of Africa air pollution is now responsible for more premature deaths than starvation or unsanitary water.

Road deaths from motor vehicle accidents have reached epidemic proportions across the world. This is never headline news. Why? Because we don’t want to give up or reduce car use.

Right now, humans around the world are doing a monumentally efficient job of killing each other with guns and other highly sophisticated weapons. In America, they slaughter each other daily. It’s so popular, even school children join in.

Meanwhile pharmaceutical companies spend more time and energy creating drugs for profit than they do in developing and making available drugs that benefit humanity. (see blog 97. Viagra yes, cure for malaria, no…)

Here in the UK tree coverage is down to near 11%. Even mainland Europe does better and that is only just over 30% But what are we doing? Planning more runways (Heathrow) and preparing to cut through great swathes of the countryside with the new HS2 rail link. The rail systems we have would serve us if they were brought back into public ownership and run properly with revenue going into investment rather than shareholder’s pockets.

Trees, by the way, are those green things that produce oxygen – that stuff we like to breathe…

The world is in some turmoil. And there is a powerful underlying reason for that – Inequality. Inequality is arguably the greatest cause of war, famine, unrest and even disease and premature death. But maybe this is not something governments will tackle head on because it means curbing human excesses and the grossly bad behaviour of the very rich. But we desperately need to change the rules (see blog 201 Change the Rules).

Radical re-foresting programmes and energetic tackling of social inequality would do far more to improve human health and wellbeing than brutalising primates in the name of science. 

Short-termism appears to be everyone’s modus operandi right now. Much better to keep burning the planet for profit and hope science gets us out of the mess, keep poisoning and choking people and wish for a drug that can put things right.

Ironically, inequality is something monkeys understand and reject. There is a famous experiment that shows this. I won’t link the video as I cannot stand to promote images of intelligent animals in cages.
Also, monkeys may even be smart enough to reject selfish behaviour. If only humans could do this…

I’m sure chimps could help us out. We should just give them some lab coats and test tubes and a few millions of research funding and ask them,

Why is the upright, clever aquatic ape so f***ing stupid?


For related reading from the archives try blog 12. Armageddon will not be Televised

And remember if you like a post to follow/share/tweet/ or whatever you young folk do. THANK you.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

208. The Cannibal Economy

Syrian refugee children, having escaped the horrors of Apocalypse Syria, are being used in Turkish sweatshops to produce garments for, among others, the UK store Marks & Spencer.
This is just part of the global Cannibal Economy.

I posted a blog a while ago on the Tat Economy (see blog 202.) We also have the Cannibal Economy. Simply put, in the absence of real industry and healthy agriculture, the advantaged feed off the disadvantaged.

Slavery, child pornography and people trafficking, elements of the Cannibal Economy, are in the ascendancy. Social structures implode as short term gain is put before general economic well-being. Here in the UK 1930s style worker exploitation is back in fashion (see blog 174. Zero Hours is not a contract).

Ironic, isn’t it, that the gutter press in Britain spent so little time on the issue of abused refugee children in Turkish sweatshops. Meanwhile they sneer about whether migrant children, belatedly brought here from Calais, are the correct age!


The Cannibal Economy is the dreg end of that thing we grew up with and worship via the TV, now via internet devices, via advertising and which people unconsciously fuel through gambling, multiple cheap holidays abroad that wreck the environment, cars that do the same etc. It is the monster of rampant capitalism.

Out of control capitalism eventually eats itself. In the race to exploit for profit all engines of human existence, all means of production, all natural instincts, there comes a point where the only thing left to devour – economically – is people. Economic Cannibalism.

We should not be surprised that for some, the Syrian Exodus is just another opportunity for personal gain. Just as some people see a vulnerable child and their first thought is their own sexual gratification.

Here in the UK, politicians, like many across the rest of Europe - focus on short term populism because a headline means more to them than the long-term prosperity of the country they are supposed to serve.

Like ‘Sir’ Philip Green (see blog 185. Does Sir Philip Green Kick Disabled Kittens in his spare time?) many running the companies we know on our high-streets do not see age old institutions that employ people. They don’t think of humans like themselves who need to pay bills (or unlike the owners – pay taxes) feed and clothe their families. No. These predators simply see human fodder. People they can feed off. The fact that this may mean trashing the lives of thousands upon thousands of other humans doesn’t enter their equation. They do not care. As long as they get another yacht.

But African farmers growing flowers to be shipped across the globe for western houses when those fields could be used to grow food is also Economic Cannibalism. Ditto tobacco.

Women and children chained to tables in factories with bars on the windows in India to make cheap throw-away items for the West is Economic Cannibalism.

Here in the UK the government is serious about more airport capacity because money is more important than clean air.

Fracking has been given the green (excuse the pun) light because profit is more important than the environment (see blog 194. Beside myself beside the sea)

Pharmaceutical companies making Viagra instead of concentrating on a cure for Malaria is Economic Cannibalism. (see blog 97.)

Zero Hours contracts right here in the UK, allowing employers to by-pass legislation set in place to protect workers’ rights, is Economic Cannibalism.

And so on and so forth.

Counter-intuitively, this barbaric inequality allows the likes of Trump and Farage to flourish. Because when things get desperate, humans have a strange habit of blaming – not the people at the top but folk who – like them – are being exploited. Other struggling families, migrants, black people. Here in the UK many in the Polish community are having a hard time. Anyone who looks or sounds different is a scapegoat. 

But you don’t hear of bankers being abused in the street or being the recipients of nasty comments as I was in the days after the Referendum. And what are the banks doing right now? Decanting out of the UK faster than warm shit off a shovel. Latest figures suggest upcoming 70,000 redundancies as banks exit and that is not counting the related service industry jobs that will also go.

Let’s just remind ourselves – as it’s not such a hot topic as migrants – that the UK treasury bailed out the banks after their criminal activities to the tune of billions of pounds. We were told they were too important to the UK economy to fail. Well now the good times are over they are leaving.

The Cannibal Economy is eating us alive. Vulnerable Syrian refugee children hijacked on their escape from hell, are just the latest manifestation.

And remember if you like a post to follow/share/tweet/ or whatever you young folk do. THANK you.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

207. Brexit means...

Frankly - months after the referendum no one knows - not the  voters, not the leave campaigners and most certainly not this administration. That is why we are stuck with criminally insane policy distractions and meaningless phrases such as 'Brexit means Brexit'.

Let's see if this helps...

Brexit means Brexit
by amanda baker - your brown girl blogger

Brexit  means Brexit trala trala la
Brexit means Brexit trala trala la

Take the truth bend it and flex it
Lots of Brit firms rush to exit
Take the sterling pound and then hex it
Let UKIP go to Brussels and vex it
Cos Brexit means Brexit means Brexit

Maybe Nandos can help and Tex-mex it
Or we could go to Mars and annex it
Or Dinosaurs come back and T-rex it
We could all understand if we were Dyslexic
Brexit would mean that in fact you got Rex-bit (your dog bit you?)

Brexit means Brexit means Brexit
Take common sense twist it and stretch it cos
Brexit means Brexit means Brexit...

And remember if you like a post to follow/share/tweet/ or whatever you young folk do. THANK you.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

206. Kristallnacht lite UK?

Following The Home Secretary Amber Rudd’s appalling Tory Party Conference Statement about immigrant workers – I presume the next step is to force non-British-born workers in the UK to wear identifying armbands?

Is this administration on message to sound as racist as possible at all times to maintain popularity? (Let’s face it Trump got the monopoly on misogyny). Certainly she topped even Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s attempts at anti-foreigner gutter populism.

There has been back-pedaling because – fortunately - people with clout in the business community, revolted at the idea. Decent people, generally, were just nauseated.

Sadly, we are not out of the woods. Rudd now claims the information, though collected, will not be made public(!) This reminds me of when the infamous SATs tests for young children were introduced into schools. As a parent of a, then, junior age child, I was told ‘the children won’t even know they are being tested’. SATs quickly became one of the most stressful times in schools for pupils, parents and teachers.

And even if we trust the government on this (and I don’t) do we trust their competence at handling sensitive data?

Do we?

Do you?

I think that’s like trusting a bull in a china shop.

Frankly if this administration is so obsessed with foreigners why don’t they focus on the issue of UK arms sold to Saudi Arabia being used to slaughter Yemeni civilians?

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

205. Trump - Political Constipation

It’s hard, its impacted, it’s the dump that won’t thump the shit that won’t quit. You’ve got it and so have I. Trump constipation.

And Hillary isn’t turning out to be political syrup of figs…

Now that another US news outlet (USA Today) has broken with tradition and openly slated the Republican candidate we’re really into a raw new era where screaming from the margins at others who are also screaming from their fall-back position is normalising. Once that happens there is no way of moving things through sensibly.

Here I am too, and I’ve tried restraint, I’ve tried to avoid the subject but it keeps just bothering like a scab you’re not supposed to scratch. Each morning I wake up and it’s still there. It’s like going back to my vandalised local park and finding that the play equipment is still burnt. En route trees have branches ripped off for no reason. And it’ll probably be the same tomorrow. For no sensible reason. (Ok – you know I start muddling my metaphors when I get agitated)

To be fare – I’ve not posted about Trump since blog 167. Donald Trump and Katy Hopkins Scientifically Explained.

Trump is one of the best examples out there of just what unearned privilege can do to trash a country. If anyone can give me an argument that he’s not stupid I’d like to hear it. But this man with a string of failed businesses was started on life’s road with significant parental wealth and here he is now, living proof that you can polish a turd.

Entrenched wealth seems to send whole countries down the sewer. Large swathes of the Arab world are run by spoiled brats who squander their country’s resources while infrastructure for ordinary people remains in the dark ages (see blog 183 Is Saudi Arabia the World’s Moral Cesspit?).

Here in the UK we somehow never seem to have shaken off sycophancy and adulation of the rich and powerful – however moronic or dull they may be.

I’ve written many times on this blog about the dangers to society when the upper echelons of rigid hierarchy become clogged with Tim-rich-but-dim. The effects when Trevor-poor-but-clever is not pulled in to freshen up the increasingly stagnant talent pool, can be terminal.

What most of us find hard to fathom is that there are clearly lots of Americans who genuinely think Trump should run America. We hoped he’d be hoist by his own petards (the many many many petards). We hoped that his stupidity, racism, misogyny (did I mention stupidity?) - would do the trick but we just can’t shift him. He’s bulky and thick and stuck.

Many have tried the humour emetic. DT memes must be at a record level – even considering the relatively brief time memes have been a thing. But he’s still there. The whole of America is suffering political anal retention. Where is the laxative of logic when you need it?

Here in the UK we’ve had the lesson of what happens when these turds get their way. (N Farage) They talk crap, mess things up then ride off into the sunset on their delusions leaving the rest of us in the stink.

Furthermore – in terms of any effect the ‘debates’ are having on Trump’s popularity, the results seem to be that they are not. The entrenched Trumpites are just that – entrenched, stuck, blocked, bunged up. As were the Ukippers. The idea that logic or humour or satire or plain obvious facts are going to budge them is dangerous. 

We need something like the political equivalent of a nuclear suppository. Telling folk, pointing out the obvious – the lies, the failed businesses, the racism yada yada yada will not work. It wouldn’t work, any more than telling your teenage daughter that the guy she thinks she’s madly in love with is a druggy, lying shithead with babies sprinkled all over the neighbourhood.

So where can we get the necessary political laxatives to shift this great steaming turd? I mean things are bad here and we didn’t even get a Farage PM he just made the mess and then disappeared like a really badly behaved guest who massacres your toilet then leaves without washing their hands or flushing. Or like those dog walkers who bag up the pooh and then hang it on a bush or fence when no one is looking and walk off.

If you think a nasty little bag of pooh can’t come along and wreck a country with spite and lies, check out Brexit. I don’t wish to seem indelicate but, seriously, when it builds up to this  extent, all that is going to happen if they flush Trump, is he’s going to break the toilet bowel…