America – the craziness of competition!!

I am boggled by Trump and the craziness of competition!! It is obscene!!

Trump is stuck in some capitalist nightmare! He can only see money!

He is refusing to create a Federal response to the Corona virus emergency because he says it smacks of socialism. Hence we have the madness of different States competing with each other for scant resources instead of cooperating.

So New York is desperate for ventilators and protective clothing but has to compete with other States for these things. There is a bidding war. Some States are outbidding others and selfishly stocking up. The only people who prosper are the manufacturers who are receiving obscene prices for their goods while people die!!

Profiteering out of death and misery!! How can that be morally right??

Trump claims that this is alright and the capitalist way.

In Europe Germany is donating ventilators to Italy to help in the crisis. They are shipping stricken Italians to Germany to treat them in their hospitals. This is compassionate goodwill.

If your neighbour is sick you help them. You don’t walk by on the other side of the road! There is such hypocrisy in these supposedly Christian people who are profiting from death.

If there is one thing the world needs to learn from this crisis it is that people and nature matter more than money!!

Cooperation is preferable to competition!! Isn’t that what Jesus was saying?? How come it takes an atheist to point out this hypocrisy to greedy, selfish Christians??

What the world needs now is compassion, altruism and cooperation. Thank heavens there are so many caring people out there who are not seeing everything in dollar signs!!

Migration and Immigration – why we need checks.

Migration and Immigration – why we need checks.

The overriding issue that was behind Brexit was immigration. There is a fear of terrorism, a feeling that we are being swamped with foreigners – particularly Muslims and Eastern Europeans, a sense that they are taking our jobs, receiving housing and benefits, causing overcrowding, creating problems for schools and the NHS, putting pressure on transport, displacing our culture and not wanting to assimilate and take on British values.

How accurate are these fears?

Is there a basis to them?

Is an opposition to mass immigration xenophobic or even racist?

The British people are a mongrel race. We always have been. We take in immigrants from all over the world, welcome them and assimilate them into our culture. I like the richness of culture that introduces. I like the cosmopolitan communities it produces and I like the way immigrants over the centuries have assimilated, become British, taken on our customs and values while still celebrating their own heritage.

But I do not think it is either racist or xenophobic to be concerned with mass immigration. It is the sheer numbers and attitudes of the recent immigrants that are causing the problems.

We have areas of the country with high Muslim populations who have completely displaced the indigenous people and culture. The perception is that many do not wish to assume British values at all. There are militants in the Muslim community who espouse to take over Britain and bring in Sharia law. The Hijab and Burqa do not fit easy with many people. It represents a culture and attitudes they do not agree with. Many, because of the association with terrorism and this strident, arrogant militancy, find it threatening.

There are a number of Muslims who support ISIS and the Caliphate. People find this traitorous to the country they have come to live in. ISIS is our avowed enemy. We have had terrorism from these militants. It creates suspicion and fear. In reality the number of incidents are few, the Intelligence Services are doing a good job rooting the militants out before they cause atrocities, and most Muslims do not subscribe to these extreme views.

There are Eastern European shops opening all over the place and Eastern European languages all around in many cities. I do not think that people have a problem with this until it reaches a point where they feel saturated and displaced.

Yes it does cause big pressures on the NHS, Schools, housing and the infra-structure. That causes aggravation but I don’t think it is the main issue.

The main issue is not one of racism, xenophobia or pressures on services – it is simply that there have been too many people coming in.

I believe we need immigration. We need labour for our economy. We need to staff the NHS, to pick crops, to work in Old People’s Homes. These people are valued. Their cultures are respected.

But when they come here they should respect our culture and if they are planning to stay, be prepared to assimilate into our communities.

In my opinion this integration is not assisted by more Faith Schools or concentrations of immigrants in any one area.

Education is the long-term solution. But mass immigration needs curbing. We need to stop so many coming into the country and the ones that do come in need processing. We do not need terrorists, criminals or people who do not subscribe to our values being allowed into the country.

We did not need to leave Europe to achieve this. Most of Europe wants the same thing. It surely is not beyond the wit of man to devise a practical system?

Lessons to be learnt from Covid-19

We are very fortunate that although this virus is extremely contagious it does not affect children as badly and, despite the number of deaths, has a low death-rate. It causes major respiratory problems that put 10-14% of victims in intensive care though. Not nice.

Rarely does something come along without having some positive outcomes. This pandemic has reduced pollution and global warming for a bit. That can’t be bad.

But more importantly it has been a warning that might make us look again at some of the things we are doing. Here are some lessons I think we should learn:

  1. We should stop taking animals out of the jungles and eating them as exotic meat. Leave them in the jungles where they belong.
  2. We should not slaughter animals in open markets – spreading blood and disease.
  3. We should be open and work together to pool our resources and knowledge.
  4. We should value our nurses and doctors and teachers and cleaners and carers and police and all other public servants more – and bankers and profiteers a lot less.
  5. We should create better caring societies.
  6. We should recognise that there is more to life than money.

A thought for tomorrow

A thought for tomorrow

Some of these are very good.

indigodrift

​Too often we are hard on ourselves.Life can be loving or brutal all at once. I subscribe to a lot of healing and health pages on social networking sites to increase the positivity at the images I look at. Here are some amazing ones I came across today.

Always remember you are your own best friend.
Take care and goodnight.

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Great Britain – those glory days of the past. What a myth.

Great Britain – those glory days of the past. What a myth.

I keep hearing about how great it used to be in the past. You must be joking! It stank.

Back in the days of Empire Britain exploited a great deal of the world, robbed their wealth, stole their resources and used cheap labour to create huge wealth. That wealth came back into the aristocracy and the huge stately homes but did not filter down to the workers. Their conditions were appalling.

My Grandfather fought in the First World War. My father’s generation fought in the Second World War. I was in the first generation that didn’t get massacred in war. Fortunately my sons and daughters have not had to fight either. Things are much better. I wouldn’t want that worry.

Times were hard when I was young despite being risen middle class. The house was so cold I got chilblains every winter. There was no central heating, telephone and we got the first TV on the block – a little black and white.

My Dad worked in Fleet Street in London. He worked six days a week. Left the house at six thirty and got back at six thirty. He ate his tea, read the newspapers, watched a little TV and went to bed at ten. On Sunday he cut the roast and mowed the grass. He had two weeks holiday a year.

From where I stood he had no life. He had no possessions. His life was hard and regimented. He wore his suit and toed the line.

Britain was great? No. The aristocracy and wealthy creamed it all off. The middle class were subservient and knew their place and the working class worked hard for low wages in dangerous conditions. One of my classmates was killed at work in the first three weeks after he left school. Thank heavens for unions and a decent wage. Thank heavens for the health and safety that the unions fought for. They had to be wrested from a screaming management.

My father was a man of great integrity, intelligence and principles – but he was a product of his time. Because of his poor background he was shunned by management and ostracised. He knew his place and just got on with it. There was such a rigid class system that it was claustrophobic. If you were part of it you got on and had it made. The Old Boys’ network ruled. The Rotary Club and Masons, the all-male clubs in London. It was obscene.

I was offered Rotary and Masons and turned them down flat. I will have nothing to do with secret societies scratching each others backs. The Old Boy network and class system stink worse than a room of dead rats.

Women were second-class citizens – good for typing, shop-work and nursing.

Racism was extant. My father believed that a white Englishman was better than everybody else. He was racist and refused to employ foreigners, blacks or Asians. He had an impossible test he gave any applicants he did not like. We would argue like mad about it.

Where is this greatness?

Back in the early twentieth century we were a major power. Yes we were. That was because we robbed our empire and stole all the raw materials and exploited our own working population. The profits went to the rich and powerful.

We were respected? I’m not so sure about that. We were feared because we were so brutal, but respected?

So we are heading back to greatness when everything was great. So where is this wealth coming from now? We have no empire anymore. The working class don’t want to work for low pay and be exploited and we have little manufacturing and resources.

I had a great life. I had fun fighting for a liberal world and an outgoing society. I wanted fun, freedom, fairness and equality and had a great life fighting for it. I have a life with possessions and travel and a standard of living that my parents could only have dreamed of.

Great – this is the greatest it’s ever been!

Billy Bragg – It Says Here – Lyrics about the media – Can we have democracy if the information we are fed is false?

Billy Bragg – It Says Here – Lyrics about the media – Can we have democracy if the information we are fed is false?

In order for people to be able to make decisions on important issues and electable candidates it is necessary to have access to unbiased information. Failing that it is important to have information from different sides of the argument with a clear knowledge of what the bias is.

Unfortunately this is far from the case. All our information in the media is biased towards the establishment. Information on the web comes from a number of dubious sources for a variety of reasons.

Our newspapers are owned by exceedingly rich individuals and feed us with a pile of lies, exaggerations and rubbish. They would prefer that we do not think about issues at all and concentrate on celebrity nonsense, fashion, trivia, Royals and sex. What they do put out is strongly biased to feed us the story they want us to believe.

The BBC has a reputation for being objective. This is simply not true. After seeing the scandalous way the Orgreave situation was reported on BBC news, with an editorial decision to reverse the order of the film to completely alter the narrative and blame the miners, one can clearly see the establishment bias revealed. BBC news cannot be trusted. This is increasingly true following the loading of the BBC board with Tory people. Politics has no place in the reporting of news.

Brexit clearly demonstrated this. Lies and exaggerations were the prevailing diet and went completely unchallenged.

Can you have democracy without unbiased news? I think not.

If the electorate are consistently fed political propaganda without balance they are being indoctrinated. That is not democracy.

Is Jeremy Corbyn really a left-wing nutter who is unelectable? Or do his policies make complete sense?

The brilliant Billy Bragg summed it up:-

Billy Bragg – It Says Here

It says here that the unions will never learn
It says here that the economy is on the upturn
And it says here we should be proud
That we are free
And our free press reflects our democracyThose braying voices on the right of the House
Are echoed down the Street of Shame
Where politics mix with bingo and tits
In a strictly money and numbers gameWhere they offer you a feature
On stockings and suspenders
Next to a call for stiffer penalties for sex offenders

It says here that this year’s prince is born
It says here do you ever wish
That you were better informed
And it says here that we can only stop the rot
With a large dose of Law and Order
And a touch of the short sharp shock

If this does not reflect your view you should understand
That those who own the papers also own this land
And they’d rather you believe
In Coronation Street capers
In the war of circulation, it sells newspapers
Could it be an infringement
Of the freedom of the press
To print pictures of women in states of undress

When you wake up to the fact
That your paper is Tory
Just remember, there are two sides to every story

To try or not to try – that is the question.

To try or not to try – that is the question.

To try, or not to try – that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them.
I have been told that there is nothing we can do to take on the powerful who are presently destroying our planet, sowing the seeds of war, exploiting the poor and desperate and controlling us for their own greed and selfishness. That they are too big and too powerful and we are helpless. These massive global corporations who control our media, and through them our thoughts, buy our politicians, are funding both candidates in the USA election, are funding all parties in the UK, are running war for profit, creating inequality for profit, are too big to oppose.
I am pissing in the wind.
So we have two choices:
  1. We give up – retreat into the safety of our comfortable homes, despair at what is going on, feel helpless and acknowledge that the future is lost. There is nothing we can do but carry on our own lives and try to blot it out. Give up on our children’s children, the chimps, gorillas, elephants and all of nature. Accept the planet will be bulldozed for profit – to suffer the slings and arrows.
  2. We try – we oppose the wrong we see around us. We speak out. We protest. We campaign. We shout! WE SHOUT!!!!  WEEE SSSHHHHOOOOUUUUUTTTTT!!!!!!! as loudly as we can. We take up arms and oppose them.

I’m not one for giving up. I’m one for shouting. I’m taking up arms!

It may all be a gesture. There may be nothing we can achieve. But that does not matter. You do what is right with all your might.

Who knows? There are millions of us out there. The internet connects. Together we are strong. They told Ghandi he was nuts. They told Martin Luther King he couldn’t win. They told Nelson Mandela it was futile.

Sometimes – against the odds – great things can be achieved.

For the sake of the chimps, elephants, rhinos, starving people, the sweat shop employees, those in the filth of the shanty towns, the gorillas and polar bears, the rainforests and coral reefs, the climate and those being bombed, gassed and executed – we have an obligation to try.

How to change the world for the better! Easy step

How to change the world for the better! Easy steps!

The first step is to acknowledge that things are not so bad as they might be:

  • We are not dead
  • We are not starving
  • We are not at war
  • Hardly anyone has been killed by terrorism
  • We are quite comfortable
  • We are not cold
  • We are not in great danger
  • Our children and grandchildren are safe
  • If we need help we will be taken care of

In fact we are exceedingly lucky when compared to the conditions most of the world lives in!

The second step is to realise that most of the things we worry about do have solutions:

  • Islamic terrorism will be defeated
  • War in Syria/Libya/Iraq/Afghanistan will come to an end
  • The environment can be protected
  • Poaching of rhino and elephants can be stopped
  • Overpopulation can be dealt with
  • Global corporations can be controlled
  • Inequality and poverty can be addressed
  • Racism, sexism and xenophobia can be addressed
  • We can create global legislation
  • We can enforce global laws
  • We can prevent and cure cancer and heart disease
  • We can set up a colony on Mars and the Moon

All it takes is the will. Some of the things are hard but they are not impossible.

The third step is to recognise that there are a lot of things that are much better now:

  • We have had peace in Europe for the longest time in history
  • We do not have marauders coming through killing us
  • We live comfortably without great threat
  • We are not cold and hungry
  • We have a much better standard of living than our parents and grandparents
  • We can travel the world
  • Violence and murder is on the decrease
  • Racism and sexism are being addressed
  • There is no systematic cruelty to animals – dog fighting, badger baiting, cock fighting
  • We have welfare and support for those in need
  • We live in far greater comfort
  • We live longer
  • Education is much better

We have a tendency to think that things were better in the past. But they weren’t. Looking back over the last three hundred years you can see the journey we have made. We have become more civilised.

Over the next hundred years we can, via the internet and education, create a quantum leap forward.

The fourth step is to help build that change in mass psychology – the new positive zeitgeist:

  • To be optimistic
  • To highlight the problems and issues that need addressing
  • To harry and force politicians to act
  • To provide a positive force for change
  • To be outward looking, full of compassion and realism

In future posts I will outline my thinking on how to deal with all of the major issues besetting us. They are all able to be solved.

Is There a Formula for Happiness? – A Small Experiment

Is There a Formula for Happiness? – A Small Experiment

Here’s my list of things that would make me happy
(Not necessarily in order)
A Good Education
Lots of Friends
A Good Sense of Humor
Great sex
A society that is compassionate
No war
A community and world in harmony with the planet and nature
Appreciation of the wonder around us – trees, rocks, countryside, culture, sunsets, geology
No religion
Plenty of love, children, family
Pets and wildlife
Creativity
Debate and argument
Relaxation and sport
Writing and painting
Photographing beautiful things
Communicating
Alcohol
Great food
Warm weather
Being respected and valued
Valuing and respecting others
A good marriage
Good neighbours
Great music
Discussion and close friends
Adventure
Health and fitness
A great job doing some good
Making a difference to the world.
Meeting interesting people and going interesting places

That should do it!

I think, therefore I exist.

Happiness is hard to understand: sometimes something bad happens but you still feel happy and sometimes you’re unhappy with no logical reason as good things are happening. Everyone has their own personal factors that make them personally happy and unhappy. There are some universal aspects, however. Some things – like poverty, low self-esteem or loneliness (not feeling alone) can be objectively linked to unhappiness.

So is there list of ingredients, which applied to everyone in the world would mean happiness to everyone?

I will ask for your collaboration in this one. Below there is a list of possible ingredients. I ask you to think about what would be a universal factor of happiness and either organize them from most important to less important or give a top 5 of most important.

  • A Good Sense of Humor
  • A Beautiful Big House
  • A Healthy Diet
  • Children and Grandchildren
  • Predictability
  • Good Government
  • An Interesting…

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Behind every great fortune lies a great crime – Balzac.

I am sometimes accused of being extreme. I do not believe that is true. I merely oppose a system that I see as grossly unfair.

The world is run by the rich for the rich. The mass of people (us) are manipulated, controlled and given as little as they can get away with.

They control the media and use it to denigrate anyone who is a threat to this system.

They promote their own, use corruption and inducements and buy off politicians.

The result is that wealthy people like Trump, Johnson, Cameron, Osborne and May are put into power. They then fail to address the tax evasion loopholes, give tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations, and support a system of corruption.

The result is a small elite who cream off a huge slice of the wealth and the rest of us who have to live off what is left.

The result is public services that are grossly underfunded.

We have a grossly unfair system.

The inequality gap widens. The rich get richer and the poor become poorer.

After a decade of Tory mismanagement and austerity we have a lot more very rich people, decaying public services and the poor being demonised and placed in terrible straits. Rough sleepers, soup kitchens and food banks.

Do the Tories care? Not at all. They have just been elected with an increased majority. They’ve conned everyone again!

So I ask – is it extreme to ask for a fair wage?

Is it extreme to ask for better public services?

Is it extreme to suggest the tax evasion loopholes should be blocked?

Is it extreme to want a graduated tax system to reduce gross inequality?

I think not.

I want a fair and just society – not paupers and princes!

As Balzac said: Behind every great fortune lies a great crime.

The wealthy elite, through greed and selfishness are creating mass poverty and destroying the environment for obscene amounts of profit.

They need curtailing.