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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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