The British Political Parties – Labour Party – What they stand for and where they came from.

The British Political Parties – Labour Party – What they stand for and where they came from.

The British Political Parties – Labour Party – What they stand for and where they came from.

Posted on July 18, 2015 by Opher

Labour

Disclaimer – I would consider myself a left-wing moderate and pragmatist. While I will try to be objective and impartial one must always bear that in mind when reading further. My bias may subconsciously select words for me.

It is quite apparent to me, from my years in education, that the majority of people do not have a clue as to what the political parties stand for. Their philosophy has become shrouded in obfuscation. All the politicians are interested in is power and that means votes. In order to get elected they have to compromise and disguise their intent. That is politics.

I am attempting to state clearly, simply and objectively what the main parties stand for and where they came from.

The Labour Party.

The Labour Party are a centre/left party.

They came out of an amalgamation of the Socialist Party and the Trade Union movement of the late 19th Century. They were founded in 1900.

They were formed in order to give working men a voice in parliament and fight for reforms that would improve the conditions and pay of working people.

The Labour Party is a broad church ranging from extreme socialists to moderate social democrats.

They believe in social ownership of the means of production – ie. State ownership.

They believe in the principle of – ‘To each according to his contribution’ and/or ‘From each according to ability; to each according to need’. That is basically a fairer distribution of the wealth of the nation.

They embraced social concerns to improve the lot of ordinary people – environmentalism, feminism, and liberalism.

They oppose the premise of capitalism.

They believe in government intervention in business, taxation to provide services, redistribution of wealth, rights for working people and a welfare state.

Nb. No doubt my political friends of a left-wing bias will put me right on a few of my assertions!

The Disaster of Brexit portrayed as a Triumph

The Disaster of Brexit portrayed as a Triumph

The true costs are staggering!! Johnson negotiated an appalling deal!!

Posted in UncategorizedTagged BREXITPoliticssatireThe Disaster of Brexit portrayed as a TriumphTory liesLeave a commentEdit

Captain Beefheart On Track: Every Album, Every Song

5* Review

5

Superb Companion Guide For Every Beefheart Nerd

Submitted 4 months ago

By The Inconsistent Jukebox

From UK

Firstly, reader, I’ll tell you what this book is like: You know when you go into an art gallery or museum and have an accompanying guide book explaining a little about the art or artefacts? Well, this is very much like that. A companion piece for every track. The author has lovingly reviewed and described every song and it is also full of little facts and interesting information. If, like me, you are a Beefheart and The Magic Band aficionado (and I’m guessing that you are) then you’ll appreciate this book. We’ve all read John French’s definitive horse’s-mouth and meticulous account, Bill Harkleroad’s equally valid (but not so obsessively detailed) story and we’ve also read Mike Barnes’s fantastic and accurate outsider view. There are a couple of other tomes too but those three are the glorious triumvirate of Beefheartian history. This book isn’t trying to be that. What it does is makes you revisit the albums. Not with a different perspective – we all have our own, as does this, but with another incentive; to listen to the most original, influential, unique music in rock history. It’s a book for Beefheart lovers, nerds and obsessives. If you don’t agree with some of the author’s viewpoints on the music it really doesn’t matter. The purpose of the book is as a companion to this vast and broad decade of sheer creativity, originality and music-as-art from a genius/tyrant/eccentric and the supremely dedicated and unique musicians who helped to realise the vision, even taking a backseat to his ego for the sake of the art. I love it and so will you.

In the UK

In the USA

Anthropocene Apocalypse – Scenario 2 – The Population explosion and the future!

Anthropocene Apocalypse

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In Scenario 1 the population continued to grow eating up space, wilderness and destroying all naturally living creatures. Technology dealt with the problems of food, water, energy, weather and even oxygen in the atmosphere. We lived in huge urban developments and the world is devoid of wild-life and natural areas.

Scenario 2.

The premise:

a. We realise the impact of our actions on the environment and limit our numbers, conserve the wilderness and wild-life, stop our habitat destruction and pollution.

b. We lay aside 50% of the planet for wilderness and wild-life. We do not allow roads, hunters or development in these areas.

We are extremely good at solving problems. We can easily create a sustainable future where wilderness and wild-life has a place.

The result:

a. We introduce contraception, education and family planning on a global scale and successfully reduce our population.

b. We use technology to produce better transport, housing, energy production, and food.

c. We do not have urban sprawl, deforestation, overfishing, or other unsustainable exploitation of the environment.

d. We raise the standards of life for all people globally so that there is no longer war, conflict or poverty. There are social services, pensions and sick pay enabling people to live without requiring large numbers of children to support them through hard times.

e. We produce technology that is not polluting and is sustainable. We have ample energy (probably through nuclear fusion and solar) and our farming methods are not cruel or ineffective. We can produce ample good food to support the population without encroaching on the wilderness areas.

f. The forests are conserved. Fishing is sustainable. The weather and global warming is controlled.

g. 50% of the world is teeming with wild-life that we can marvel at. The air, water and soil are not contaminated with carcinogens. We globally control the weather and global warming. Everything regarding conservation and pollution is controlled and enforced globally.

I know which of the two possible future scenarios I would prefer to live in.

The future is for our grandchildren’s grandchildren. In my own life-time we have destroyed over half of the world. I feel we are at the precipice. Will we jump?Posted in EcologyenvironmentExtinctionTagged conservationEcologyeducationExtinctionidealismjournalismLiteratureNatureOptimismPoliticsPopulationSciencethe futureWritingZeitgeist4 CommentsEdit

Anthropocene Apocalypse – Scenario 1 – The natural conclusion to our population explosion.

Anthropocene Apocalypse

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Let us look into the future and extrapolate from where we are to where we are heading.

Scenario 1

The premise:

a. The population continues to grow

b. There are no catastrophes that wipe us out

Man is extremely good at solving problems. So let us assume that we negotiate our way through problem after problem. We do not annihilate ourselves through nuclear war or manufactured biological warfare. We do not succumb to a virus. We merely continue to grow in numbers.

These are the consequences:

a. Space and shelter. We need land and housing and our cities, towns and villages grow. The countryside becomes consumed in plastic and concrete. Roads connect and transport systems enable easy access.

b. The Wilderness. The wilderness and natural world become open to us and exploited for farming, mining, logging and habitation until there is no more inaccessible wilderness areas. Roads run through every place.

c. The Wild-life. The wild-life now has no habitat left, no food, shelter or way of living. It is butchered for meat, hunted for ivory or medicine (The rarer it gets, the more it is worth, the higher the price, the more worth the risk). The remnants of the wild things are corralled into parks or zoos and confined, protected and used as objects of tourism. Those considered pests, unpleasant or dangerous are eradicated.

d. Food. Even with all the wilderness opened up for farming, the seas fully harvested and hydroponics, genetic modifications and intensive farming methods there is not sufficient food for the burgeoning population. Food is produced from bacteria and fungus in vast industrial vats (Pruteen, mycoprotein etc. – already produced in large quantities – in our pies, sausages etc.), textured, flavoured and used as a meat substitute. Proper meat is a luxury food item.

e. Water. Water is a dwindling resource and desalination plants provide supplies.

f. Energy. Fossil fuels are replaced by large-scale sustainable technology – probably nuclear fusion supplemented with solar.

g. Weather. The effects of global warming are alleviated. The hurricanes and extreme weather conditions are now able to be controlled.

h. Oxygen. Oxygen is a natural product of photosynthesis. With the destruction of the forests and pollution of the oceans it is no longer being produced in sufficient quantities. Oceans are seeded to produce algal blooms and hydrolysis plants produce oxygen from water.

Our lives in these huge metropolises are highly controlled. Our environment is plastic. Our food, water and even the air we breathe is manufactured. We take our children to see the last remaining trees in the tree museum. We then go to the zoo to get a glimpse of and wonder at the little animals that used to run free in the wild.

It’s a vision of the future. It is quite possible. But is that the way we really want to live? Is that the world we want to pass on to our children?Posted in EcologyenvironmentTagged AlternativeconservationEcologyeducationExtinctionidealismNatureOptimismPoliticsPopulationWritingZeitgeist

Poetry – The Death of Democracy

The Death of Democracy

It whimpered.

                It’s tiny cry

                                A beacon of hope.

Strangled at birth

                By greed,

                                Power,

Arrogance,

                And disdain.

Buried

                Under a mound

                                Of lies.

Its ashes

                Spin

                                Spin

                                                Spin

In the machine

                Of power

                                Where the big dogs play.

All that’s left

                Is a game,

                                A hollow farce.

Spin,

                Lie,

                                Spin.

Play up! Play up!

                As the red meat

                                Of unlucky scapegoats

Is fed to the timid runts.

                Only the powerful

                                Count.

We are controlled

                Like mindless

                                Counters

                                                In a game

Of tiddly-winks.

Opher 18.1.2022

They play us for fools.

They think we will believe anything.

Our short attention spans are so limited.

Our forgetfulness makes us easy to manipulate.

We are being played.

They are good at it.

Only occasionally does their arrogance create a misstep.

The trouble is that they are right.

Too many of us are taken in by these smarmy conmen.

The game of power was never going to allow democracy to live.

Power lies in the hands of consummate liars.

Java – Borobudur – ancient carvings – reliefs, wonders. Buddhist art.

Climbing around the immense structure is a delight. Everything is ornate, richly embroidered. The art is stunning.

One of the wonders of the world.

The ancient Buddhist world lives.

Posted in UncategorizedTagged ArtJava – Borobudur – ancient carvings – reliefsreliefsSculptureswonders. Buddhist art.Leave a commentEdit

In The Wake of Progress

In The Wake of Progress

In the wake of progress

                Who pays the price?

                                Stripping away the delusions

In the pursuit of plenty

                                                                                As we roll the dice

Without any solutions.

Forget the trees,

                The bird and butterfly,

                                As the chainsaws buzz.

Communities all decline.

                                                                                All the creatures die

Let’s not make a fuss.

Opher – 14.12.2022

Progress is a mixed blessing. The word seems to infer improvement. If that is the case then we have to ask the question: is it progress at all?

When were human beings happiest?

As carefree hunter gatherers?

As early farmers?

As Victorian factory workers?

As present-day rat-racers?

We’ve certainly got much more in the way of material wealth and medical care. We can travel. We have the technology – but…

When was nature at its best?

Before the dawn of man?

Before the hunters wiped out all the mega fauna?

Before the forests were cut down for agriculture?

Before the cities and concrete highways?

Before the world population grew to 8 Billion?

When I look around at the slums, depravation, rubbish dumps, urban decay, wars, pollution and smog – where there used to be forests and wildlife – sometimes I wonder.

What is the price of progress?

Journey Pt. 13 – Kota Kinabula – the bounties of Borneo – photo

Posted on  by Opher

Sorry – I can’t seem to get all the other photos to come out.

Our second stop in Borneo was Kota Kinabula. We sailed in from the South China Sea to check out what is a small new city. The original was almost completely flattened during the Second World war.

                        

We were welcomed ashore by two girls in costume and two groups of musicians and dancers.  They certainly wanted our custom. The first was a set of dancers in costume supported by a tradition band with gongs. The second were dancers representing the native Indian population. The guys were dressed in skimpy bare-chested costume with wooden swords, shields and tall feathered headdresses. The girls wore brightly embroidered tunics and dresses with a little fetching headband with a single feather. They did a fearsome dance that was meant to be menacing but I couldn’t help noticing one of the guys vacillating between embarrassment and finding it very amusing.

The irony was that most of the native Indians had been displaced by the incomers.

No buses this time. We walked straight in. We set up the path into the hills to get a view over the city. The path led up through thick jungle with insects, birds and animals trilling and rustling. The views were good.

        

 

We headed back along the promenade to the fishing quay. Across the water we could see an extensive stilted village with a backdrop of jungle. It looked more ramshackle and rough and ready compared with the similar village we had seen in Banda Sera Begawan although it was a lot more extensive.

      

 

We jumped a taxi to take us to the Mosques and other major new buildings. The architecture was unique.

        

Back on the boat we looked at the stilted village a bit more closely and sailed past the other beautiful looking mosque.

   

The frustration with visiting Borneo was that we were skimming the edges, visiting the cities and not getting into the interior. I wanted to be where the wildlife was – in the real Borneo.

After leaving Kota Kinabula we headed up the coast of Borneo with a strong warm breeze in our face and a glass in our hands. On one side of the boat the shore of Borneo slowed edged past with massive volcanoes peeking through the reefs of circling clouds while to the other side the sun was putting on a show as it sank between various islands.

          

  

The frustration with visiting Borneo was that we were skimming the edges, visiting the cities and not getting into the interior. I wanted to be where the wildlife was – in the real Borneo.

After leaving Kota Kinabula we headed up the coast of Borneo with a strong warm breeze in our face and a glass in our hands. On one side of the boat the shore of Borneo slowed edged past with massive volcanoes peeking through the reefs of circling clouds while to the other side the sun was putting on a show as it sank between various islands.

          

  

The frustration with visiting Borneo was that we were skimming the edges, visiting the cities and not getting into the interior. I wanted to be where the wildlife was – in the real Borneo.

After leaving Kota Kinabula we headed up the coast of Borneo with a strong warm breeze in our face and a glass in our hands. On one side of the boat the shore of Borneo slowed edged past with massive volcanoes peeking through the reefs of circling clouds while to the other side the sun was putting on a show as it sank between various islands.

          

  

The frustration with visiting Borneo was that we were skimming the edges, visiting the cities and not getting into the interior. I wanted to be where the wildlife was – in the real Borneo.

After leaving Kota Kinabula we headed up the coast of Borneo with a strong warm breeze in our face and a glass in our hands. On one side of the boat the shore of Borneo slowed edged past with massive volcanoes peeking through the reefs of circling clouds while to the other side the sun was putting on a show as it sank between various islands.

          

Journey Pt. 12 – Borneo – Banda Sera Begawan – tropical city with stilted village, mosques and temples.

Journey Pt. 12 – Borneo – Banda Sera Begawan – tropical city with stilted village, mosques and temples.

We have just crossed the equator heading for Borneo!  As usual there is the same silly pageant on deck with people dressed up with seaweed and gowns, covering volunteers with shaving foam and  dunking them in the swimming pool. The Captain asked Neptune for permission to cross the equator. It was a farce. Yet it was a farce with a history. At one time, back in the days of yore, this was a solemn ceremony. Sailing was dangerous. The seas could be terrifying as mountainous waves swamped ships and little wooden craft were tossed about like toys. Back then they believed the Gods created the storms and needed pacifying. We see in the Odyssey how sacrifices were made. Back then gods such as Neptune were real. Now, we look back at those beliefs as daft. The ceremony is now ‘a bit of a lark’. There were amazing feats of creativity on deck as the chef did the most amazing ice carving in no time at all!We were back into the northern hemisphere. Just 50 days left!Borneo is hot. 31 degrees!!! We headed off to the local town and boarded the local bus. The locals were extremely friendly and interested in these Westerners joining them, fascinating for us. It was a 30 minute journey, bumping along and hurtling down the roads. Around us was the lush tropical rainforest. We were heading for Banda Seri Begawan – the capital city.  Off the bus we walked along the waterfront looking over to the stilted town and back towards the impressive bridge. Then it was straight off to see the wonders of the Mosque. There was a fantastic reflective water pool in front complete with large colourful tiled ship. As mosques go it was a beautiful example. They build to impress and Muslim architecture, ceramics and abstract art is extremely beautiful.           The next stop was the stilted water village. We took a local boat and he took us round the village, out to the mangrove swamp, complete with crocodile, and over to the Royal Palace. The village was extensive with stilted hospital, schools, fire-station and police station.        Back on land we headed for the shopping mall to cool off with air-conditioning and a local cinnamon and honey ice-drink with tapioca – very different.Refreshed we set off to check out the Chines Temple. The gruesome warriors, demons and gaudy red, blue and gold, bells, dragons, drums, idols, incense and bonsai trees all part of the rich pageant. It all goes into the rich tapestry of religion. You have to wonder at what people believe.         Hot, and sweaty again we headed back to the boat on the local bus.Quite a day!!Off somewhere else tomorrow!! Just have to plan a five course meal in the restaurant for today. It’s a hard life but we’re not wilting yet!!