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Tuesday, 9 August 2016

198. Just Words.

#I am GLAD to share this world with you.
A few blogs ago I bemoaned not being able to be more positive. Then two posts ago I did a piece about sharing the world. It gave me an idea... which could involve you.

It’s a very tiny pill to use against the virulent diseases of fear and hatred but let’s give it a go.

I believe there are lots of good people out there who do not go with the messages of bigotry and violence put about by exclusionists such as Trump and Farage. I believe a lot of folk would respond positively to common sense if the media stopped behaving like hysterical cheap-romance heroines. The problem is that fear is hugely lucrative and history shows us that populations will put up with many dark political arts if they are scared enough. (If you haven’t read Orwell’s 1984 or watched the old film version with Richard Burton and John Hurt you really should).

Globally, as the elite who have it all scrap for more, we do not need to be reminded that money is the root of all evil. In the developed world some CEOs rake in 130x what their workers earn and palaces and silly cars are the norm for many in power in some of the poorest countries on the planet (see blog 196 Sharing the World is the Only Answer) The resulting inequality of wealth and power exacerbates the instability that creates the stagnant moral swamp in which the virus of terrorism can breed.

Take the most obvious example of this process, the 2003 illegal invasion of Iraq. Only the most gullible and politically naive now pretend that there is no link between Bush’s fake but deadly war against Sadam Hussein (as he tried to placate his Arab paymasters and shield his family’s highly profitable friendship with the Bin Ladens) and current terrorism. Yes it is true that once the terror virus spreads it infects many who have nothing at all to do with any root provocation. Just as with Irish terrorism there was many a crazy, unstable person or nasty guy with a grudge who became its avatar. And once this virus spreads governments offer remedies that may kill democracy and seldom cure anything.

Around the world people who try to protest about inequality or even bizarre priorities of national governments are met with oppression and violence. Just look at protesters in Brazil being pepper sprayed by police and arrested for daring to complain about the cost of the Olympics in a country riven with poverty and health concerns. And on the same patch of the planet, in Venezuela, a resource rich area, children starve.

You only have to look at the defunct sports facilities being flogged off cheap here in the UK and the total lack of any positive impact on society with regards to the ‘legacy’ of the 2012 games to understand what a nonsense this is when the world is in its current mess. There has been no increased uptake in sports which is hardly surprising as many schools here have sold off their playing fields to developers.

Meanwhile the discord between the West and Russia is played out in the ridiculous debacle over doping. Why didn’t we care before? For the same reason the UK government didn't cared about Litvinenko until, years after he was killed, we fell out with Russia. Suddenly he was a cause celebre.

From tax havens and lavish spending in the face of struggling public services to gross consumerism as people starve (see blog 21 Save the Emperors Genitals - ridiculous wealth is ridiculous). From political spite and bickering while social infrastructure crumbles and economies collapse, to international posturing while child migrants, fleeing war, die or become ‘lost’ in Europe, we have to find a way to redress the gross imbalance.

Let’s start by openly rejecting the messages of hate and division targeted at the most vulnerable in our global society.

Are words enough? Just words? Well – its a start if those words are just, loud, clear and often repeated.

Over the next few days I’m going to randomly take my wee blog walk-about here in Edinburgh. I’ll have a small banner saying,

I am Glad to Share this World with You.

This is where vaguely modern (the blog) meets low, low, low tech or pre-tech even, which is where I am comfortable...

And no – I won’t worry too much about making a fool of myself – what is the point (check out an old post on that issue in the archives - blog 4. Dinosaurs cured my performance angst.)

It may even be the first ever walking blog – who knows. And if you or anyone you know is at the fringe and sees me – say hi and/or come and get a free, signed cartoon from my blog. My scrubby cartoons can be viewed in the post list. Or if you are young and in-with the modern world come take a selfie with the banner– you know I am rubbish at all that (see blog 53. I suffer from PANTS syndrome – do you?)

‘You’ means you dear blog reader but also anyone who also thinks we need to share the world and start saying so. If, like me, you think that a large number of the world’s problems could be lessened by the reduction of extreme global inequality then help me say so by sharing this walking blog.

Come on. Let’s change the message.
a pic of me with the banner in Edinburgh can be found in the post list too. click on the orange Amanda Baker top right or below if you are on a mobile device.


  1. I love this idea, Amanda! Yes, please. Glad to share the world with you from the U.S.

    1. Thank you. It was cold and wet at the fringe today but i did my first stint...
      A :)

  2. This is me (Noel) commenting under Oonah's name as I can't find another way of doing it. I am glad to share the world with you Amanda and all my friends and, indeed, everyone. Well there may be some exceptions, I'm sure you can guess who. But maybe love can change them. What you say in your blog is right on. Let's spread the message as widely as possible.