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Tuesday, 31 May 2016

189. Zika. Rio. Where is Chief Brody when you need him?

What does the landmark 1975 man-eating-shark film JAWS have in common with Rio and the Zika virus 2016?

Everything. Sadly.

In Jaws, the presence of a man-eating great white shark is discovered. It devours a young woman in the fictional town of Amity just prior to the lucrative tourist season. The mayor of the town refuses to heed warnings because money will be lost. Chief Brody wants to safeguard people. He is ignored and further tragedy strikes.

Fast forward to 2016 and the Olympic Games are due to take place in Rio. There have already been deaths on construction sites in the rush to get arenas ready for the prestigious event (The same is happening in Qatar for football arenas). State officials and large companies have their corporate seats booked. Profit from advertising is set in figures so high I cannot even imagine them. 

But Zika virus has put in a significant and disturbing appearance. Over 91,000 cases were registered by the Brazilian health authorities between February and April this year. Then, last week, 150 international scientists and medics submitted an open letter stating, it would be “unethical” for the games to go ahead in the light of recent findings about the Zika virus in Rio.

Rio has refused to postpone the games and the W.H.O (World Health Organisation) has not supported the scientists – remember how slow they were with Ebola? It is worth also noting that the W.H.O is a partner of the I.O.C (International Olympic Committee)!

And if you want to try the 'benefit to ordinary people' argument then come to Britain and show me any ordinary people who benefited from the 2012 games...

Zika is the Shark. Rio is Amity. The scientists, calling for postponement, represent Chief Brody. We know what happened next.

Last week I posted a blog entitled Pursuit of Profit is a Terminal Illness. I was referring to environmental vandalism and how pursuit of profit negates any sensible response to ecological destruction. Rio also demonstrates that money and the wants and desires of the powerful matter more than human life. Here are some other examples -

Cast your mind back to the invasion of Iraq where, against evidence and huge public protest in Britain, Tony Blair’s government illegally invaded a country at the behest of then US president G.W. Bush. The Bush family had been cosy with Saddam Hussain’s family but things went sour and, as always, the West had greedy intentions on Arab oil. Against common sense, against law, against humanity and decency, thousands of young American and British soldiers were committed to bloody war and were killed or maimed (See blog 75 about US soldier and Iraq veteran Lindy England) Not to mention the gross carnage of Iraqi civilians, the devastation of a country that has yet to recover and the subsequent birth of a new breed of global terrorism – whose leaders have recently captured Fallujah.

The latest boats, full of desperate migrants, sank near Pozallo. Many hundreds of human corpses will literally become food for sharks as people flee destabilised countries and then become prey for smaller man-shaped sharks – the people traffickers.

Recently in Britain, the slow-burning crisis faced by the steel industry erupted. But it was the UK government that refused to back EU legislation to protect European countries from Chinese steel over-production. Short-term pursuit of profit lead to economic disaster in UK business, affecting the job security of thousands of ordinary workers and their families.

We know the British arms trade sells to corrupt regimes. There is huge profit to be made so the UK government ignores the moral imperatives.

The government dragged its heels on cigarette related health legislation (see blog 47 Smoking Causes Government Insanity) Why? Profit.

Public services are struggling under the weight of debt to private companies. Under legislation such as PPI, where private firms ‘invested’ in, for example, the health service, they obtained a share-holder profit strangle-hold forever on the public purse.

Many local government amenities have been contracted out to private companies since the 1980s. This way local councils offload their responsibilities but public funds are again plundered for profit with the inevitable result that services suffer.

Rio is just the latest in a dreadful litany of miserable situations where financial return matters more than people.

The famous statement in Jaws uttered by a shocked Chief Brody (played to perfection by Roy Schieder) on first catching a glimpse of the monster shark is -

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat…”

I would suggest – in our world – in 2016 -

‘We need a different crew’

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Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

188. Pursuit of Profit is a Terminal Illness


#Save Druridge Bay
R.I.P Kirby Misperton
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POP (Pursuit of Profit) – is the deadliest carcinogen on the planet. Sadly, the profit motive has never had such necromantic energy. Pursuit of Profit is a disease out of control; a bigger killer than cancer. It is more terrifying than terrorism and as destructive as war.

Why is open cast mining, in environmentally sensitive areas such as Druridge Bay on any agenda in 2016? How, yesterday, did fracking get approval in North Yorkshire?

When did the lunatics take over the asylum?

No, I am not talking about third world countries or places that British Prime Minister Cameron sneeringly refers to as “fantastically corrupt”. I am referring to the UK. Specifically, a beautiful pocket of British NE coastline called Druridge Bay.

If I showed you a puppy in a basket and told you to stamp on it till it was dead, you would think I was mad. If I excused the act on the premise of profit and short-term gain you would say I was worse than mad. But companies such as Banks Mining, with their eye on Druridge Bay and Third Energy who just persuaded the Neanderthals on North Yorkshire council to approve fracking at Kirby Misperton are doing this but on a huge scale.  

Ok wildlife and the creatures living in these precious eco-systems don’t get dressed up in human clothes and appear in moronic youtube videos but actually they are far more important to the planet than puppies falling asleep with babies and kittens tumbling hilariously of sofas.

Plus, the stuff produced as a result of the proposed environmental vandalism kills us. Why does Pursuit of Profit snuff out common sense?

I was at Western General Hospital last Friday morning for a cardio check. (My heart is probably just broken by the litany of global misery). I saw a young woman struggling with the electronic exit doors. She was in a wheelchair, hooked up to a mobile IV unit, desperate to get outside for a cigarette. It was a perfect analogy for the state of the planet and this government is aiding and abetting self destruction.

Here in the UK – despite minor earth tremors during the previous fracking ‘experiments’ a little way off in Lancashire – Yorkshire council approved fracking yesterday.

This government even welcomed French company Total into the UK shale gas frenzy. Ironic. Fracking is banned in France and other more forward thinking EU countries (see blog 142. Fracking Fraud).

As technological advances allow deeper sea investigation, we find that human rubbish and toxins got to The Deep before us. We’re destroying places we haven’t even explored.

You have to be a Profit Zombie not to acknowledge the problems of Eco Vandalism.

Here in the UK the press love nothing better than a story about how science is going to provide the answers to all global crises. No one runs big stories about how the most effective answer is to waste less, use less and create less pollution. Stop consuming like human locusts.

So - I heard from old friends that Druridge Bay in Northumberland, where I used to live, is under threat from open cast mining. Druridge Bay is a breathtakingly beautiful part of the NE coast, relatively untroubled by heavy-foot tourism. But Banks Mining cannot see wildlife, nor beauty, nor a precious natural haven but PROFIT. They are POP zombies.

Now – like a weird prophetess of old (and possibly as mad and as unpopular) I wrote about an identical scenario in a piece that was first penned well over a decade ago. It may have to come under the heading of another unhappy brown girl premonition / prediction like the 2015 election results (see blog 135. Kim Kardashian & Ed Miliband – I TOLD you...)

After years of re-writes I posted the eco story, Casey and the Surfmen as an audio free-to-listen on bandcamp in 2014 and toured the story round schools and libraries here in Edinburgh.  

Inspired by the very part of the Northumberland coast now under threat, part 1. of Casey and the Surfmen depicts an excavated, ravaged coastland and environmental devastation – exactly like the plans for Druridge Bay. Part 2. portrays an heroic grassroots campaign to defeat ‘the digger men’. I’m not joking (spooky noises in background as I type). Check out

The planet is in a wheelchair attached to a life support machine and we are still doing the global ecological equivalent of smoking – because somewhere someone is making bad profit out of bad habits.

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The grass roots campaign to save Druridge Bay can be found at
http://www.savedruridge.co.uk/

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

187. British Boarding Schools Breed Posh Psychopaths.


It’s no secret. The British boarding school system has populated the globe with civilised psychopaths for centuries. The unasked question is - Why aren't the neglectful negligent parents in prison?

It is a phenomenon that has been observed by social psychologists. Frankly it is entirely unsurprising that abusive neglect dressed up as privilege should produce cold calculating ambitious avaricious monsters incapable of empathy. However, the question I pose on this blog is why the parents aren’t in prison and why public child care services haven’t set up permanent offices at boarding schools?

Why do parents who send their young children away for over 2/3 of the year to be buggered by older boys, physically and or emotionally abused and brought up by strangers, not end up in prison? Why are their kids not taken into social services care? It matters because the rest of society has to live under the fine leather boots of these emotionally stunted, psychopathic stuffed suits.

Not only is it yet another example of one rule for the ruling class and another for the ruled but ordinary people then reap the results of the emotionally illiterate, callous, psychotically ambitious, avaricious, psychologically immature mishaps that these gilded gothic ghettos spew out.

If you can stand it, take a look at the current farce that is the UK EU referendum. Some tabloid-reading oiks and those in the grip of delusional politics genuinely think IN or OUT of the EU is the real issue of the moment. They’ve been brow beaten by a lazy media into believing it’s about making Britain great again (by which they mean white and patriarchal and without workers’ rights?) They are easily diverted from the reality that it’s just an Eton bust up. Something that was not sorted out in the 6th form common room or the Bullingdon club when these abandoned brats were all yomping round in the grounds near Buckingham Palace. Another Eton Mess. (see blog 35 in the archives, Eton Mess – Pudding or State of the Nation?)

Boris Bad-Bonce Johnson (scroll down to blog 184) has made it quite clear he gives not a fag (!) whether Britain is in or out - this is his pre-leadership bid. Cam is off soon to whatever life-after-PM luxury set up he’s got his eye on. And neither of them will suffer a gold sovereign one way or the other.

Yes – the numbers of children boarding in Britain is low but these hot-house mutants are disproportionately represented in positions of power while being ill prepared to be in charge of real humans.

Many who board are from wealthy families abroad and will go and spread their damaged psyches elsewhere.

These ex-boarders are massively, disproportionately represented in the upper echelons of both government and the wealthy elite and at the helm of some of the largest global companies. They display the kind of behaviour that in the lower orders would have them locked up (in prison or a mental hospital). You and I are at the mercy of very damaged people with severely arrested development posing as adult humans. This is no big secret and has, as I’ve said, been written about more extensively than here. But I ask again - why aren’t the parents doing porridge  - why aren't they locked up?

Prison for Posh Parents and foster care for the offspring. It’s what society would do to working class parents who deliberately neglected their kids.

Sir Philip Green (see two blogs down 185. ‘Does Sir P Green kick disabled orphan kittens in his spare time?) went to boarding school. If he’d had any sort of normal upbringing maybe he would not have deliberately ruined the lives of 11,000 people landing the British public with the responsibility of their previously healthy pension pot.

The racist ex Lord Mayor of London - yes he who insulted President Obama and just likened the EU to Hitler - is an ex boarding school brat.

Tony Blair, the oily psychopath and unrepentant war monger went to boarding school here in Edinburgh – ew yuk.

Jeremy Hunt, current Health Secretary – the snivelling, suddenly media shy – creepy nemesis of NHS doctors was a school boarder.

The Emir of Qatar went to a British Boarding school. If you check out blog 183. (Is Saudi Arabia the World’s Moral Cesspit?) you will see that Qatar is a contender for the 'Moral Cesspit' title.

Jump back just over a decade and Nepalese Crown Prince Dipendra was an ex UK boarder – though he only massacred his own family to be fair.

Last year the New York Military Academy that boarded Donald Trump closed. Maybe the responsibility of disgorging the nest-headed Nuke-happy nutter was just too much for the 126 year old school.

Our own shiny PM Cameron had to be dragged kicking and screaming to agree to help unaccompanied migrant children stranded in Europe. He was a boarder.

And so it goes on.

Now I know the idea of taking in a Boris, a Tony, a Jeremy or a Sir Philip as a foster child probably makes you want to puke BUT think of the social damage / global carnage and misery that might have been prevented.

Imagine the lives that might have been saved if people with a moral compass were in charge.

Being a parent on an income that makes the church mouse look comfy aint always a bed of roses. BUT my kids aren’t going to be horrible to disabled people or poor people or vulnerable children and they aren’t going to kick off illegal wars in the Middle East from the safety of Westminster on the basis of lies and ego.

So – if Social Services could get themselves down to Eton, Dulwich College, Harrow, Westminster school, Fettes College etc any time very soon that would be great. Thanks.

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and again – thanks for reading

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

186. Leicester City’s victory matters more than the elections?

A friend of mine has been writing to the local council for years. Among other problems, fast food outlets turned her street into an unofficial landfill. Flower beds, thrown in by a developer and maintained for years by the council, were abandoned, adding a flavour of bleak 1950s Eastern Europe. In the last few months it’s been impossible for my friend to get any response – that is until the week before the elections. Then, miraculously, responses; including this one. I’ve x’d ID.

I completely agree. If am elected we will have 3 xxx councillors all batting for xxx. I will make it a priority to work with businesses and the community to improve the flower beds and I will do all I can to have the pavements and highways looked at also. I have already spojken to the Coop.

I can bring alot of enthusiasm, experience and energy to the area. Perhaps much more than the current xxx councillor who has been in power for xxx and done very little to support the area in practice !

I would like to put my words into action as I think they speak louder. I think I can help put xxx back on the Map !

Let me translate this X’d up document for you.

‘Nobody gives a xxx about you or your problem you tax paying nobody but as I have your email would you mind voting for me.

And all around us that is the message. If you are not rich and you are not powerful, you don’t matter.

I do not blame this individual for the content of the e-mail. It’s the standard conveyor belt approach to politics; to life.

Now. You may not need to be told that I have less than zero interest in football.
The nearest I got to football as a kid was going – with my dad – to Leamington AC. My memory of those events was of the cold and the rain, rotten wooden benches and sweet tea in polystyrene cups. Hours after the game if you belched you could taste the polystyrene. I only went because I got to have my dad to myself for a couple of hours.
So why does Leicester City’s triumph matter? Why do I think it may be more important than the recent circus of elections?

On the whole football epitomises the state of a world where money is everything. So called teams are not – from a distance of disinterest – teams as we would have understood them when I was at school. They are a collection of obscenely wealthy hyper fit young men who play for the highest bidder. They behave like immature mercenaries often treated like prize race horses. (see blog 81. What happened to mud fun and anticipation?)

So, along comes Leicester City. And yes I know – they didn’t exactly rock up with brown paper tied round their feet and sandwiches made from last week’s whippet pie but financially they seemed no match for any of the teams they beat to win the Premier League.

I won’t go into the detail of the rise and rise of Leicester FC because it doesn’t matter to me. However, the word I heard in the immediate aftermath was ‘hope’ and I wanted to unpick that.

Clearly they were talking in the world of football. BUT in general terms it was affirmation that sometimes despite the money, despite the packaging, despite the string pulling of the elite, the uber wealthy, the corrupt, the powerful, the steam roller of MONEY – Johnny ordinary (relatively speaking) can come through. It is what we all want to hear. Believe. It’s what we all hope for. In a world where life expectancy depends on your social station and the head start that those from entrenched wealth get overrides talent, commitment, ability, merit – we have to see the occasional example that suggests the ‘other’ is possible. Or what is the point of coming out from under the duvet?

I’m not suggesting Claudio Ranieri for Prime Minister and Vichai Srivaddhanaprabah for Chancellor (although…)

We need to trust that we are not always going to be screwed over by brats of the elite. Maybe one day corrupt bankers will get their come-uppance. Maybe the wealthy and powerful who have taken us into destructive wars, illegal wars with lies and self-interest may not be untouchable. Maybe those who crap on ordinary people (see last week’s blog) will be brought down.


Maybe.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

185. Does Sir Philip Green kick disabled orphan kittens in his spare time?


No worries a Parliamentary Select Committee is getting involved – which is like getting the pantomime horse’s rear end to deal with Jack the Ripper.

Sir Philip Greedy Guts Green siphoned off over £500+million from the UK high street store BHS over a 15-year period (with help from his family). Via dividends and rental.

There is a £500+million hole in the company’s pension pot. Oh and the possibility of 11,000 people losing their jobs since sir Greedy Green quickly offloaded the company last year for £1 to a dodgy twice-bankrupt pal.

Now – I am not an MP. I am not chancellor of the exchequer. I am not an economist, a banker or a revenue inspector or even a good mathematician but I’m sure there is something here that is kind of obvious and clear as daylight. IF you are not looking through the increasingly weird prism of free market rampant 21st Century Capitalism where anything goes as long as you are rich.

I listened on Bank Holiday weekend with incredulity as an MP proudly announced that at the circus we fondly call a Pantomime Select Committee – is going to ask Greedy Green if his behaviour was “appropriate”. Wohooooo. I wonder if they will use those really stern voices they apply when they know they are being recorded.

He must be shaking on his yacht. The PSCs have a bit of a reputation in the UK for being a tough talking forum where MPs really sock it to the badly behaved. Yes, I am yawning as I type. In fact, it gives MPs – some of whom were involved in making the legislation that allowed the crap behaviour – to SOUND tough while changing NOTHING.

There is an obvious corollary to the lose lose for the employees and the win win win for Greedy Green and his – handily placed – Monaco-based wife.

Greedy Green cleaned out the company like a one-man plague of locusts in a field of human corn including emptying the pension fund. He should be IN PRISON. Not getting ‘tough questions’ from a pantomime court at the House of Commons. Problem is because it’s the pals of the wealthy who make legislation – his gross morally revolting activities possibly just squeeze in this side of legal – so the wooooo scary MPs are left throwing around the question of his peerage.

I’ve rounded down the figures but let’s run them by again
£500+million grabbed by Greedy Grubby Green
£500+m hole in the pension funds for 11,000 ordinary workers
Did you spot the connection?

£500+ missing from the money that has been put aside for decades to support ordinary hard working people who have given their working lives to this company.
£500+million now sloshing around Greedy Sir Greens (no doubt) offshore accounts.
He – Mr already rich -  is £500+ million UP. They – the workers - are £500+million down.???

MPs are ‘asking’ nicely if he wouldn’t mind returning a bit of it. How tough are they gonna get? Maybe they are going to tut at him next or wag their fingers.

In fact, the government and the tax office are being so tough on him it’s a wonder he is still wearing that Cheshire cat grin under his expensive tan aboard his multi-million-dollar new yacht.

This is how Capitalism works these days. The rich fleece the poor extremely and with impunity. The government underpin that greed out of the public purse, hitting ordinary people again. It’s a win win for the rich and a lose lose for ordinary people. Aint rampant Capitalism great. And this is, as I’ve said, because the pals of these monsters MAKE THE RULES.

Maybe I’m wrong. As I say. I am no expert. Maybe it’s a huge coincidence that the public purse is going to have to pick up the bill for the missing £500+ million that just happens to be the same amount that was TAKEN FROM THE COMPANY - £500+ million.

I wonder if Sir Greedy Guts Green mugs old ladies when he gets bored? Does he take sweets off babies and punch little girls to get their dinner money? Or does he just get off on mugging an entire workforce and plunging them into misery and leaving the country that gave him a knighthood to pick up the pieces?

You wouldn’t want to get stuck in a lift with this crocodile.
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And – from this luddite – sans FB sans twitter – thanks to the 45k+ readers who have found their way to my wee blog.