Saturday, 19 January 2019

Message from Financial Mafia: Well Done Greece, You Allowed Us To Plunder Your Assets.

      Greece has received its final bailout, and the financial Mafia are saying, "Well done Greece". Of course that doesn't return Greece to a sovereign state, it is still under the hard boot of the financial Mafia. There are stipulations Greece has to adhere to. It has to show a surplus in its budget to the satisfaction of the EU, ECB, and the IMF, that means keep the austerity going. It is also instructed that it will have to "modernise labour relations and working conditions", this of course translates as giving employers the right to keep wages down and for them to attack workers conditions and also to shirk any employer responsibilities. While the financial Mafia applaud themselves for their "success" this "success" is a health service that has virtually collapsed, an education system that is in tatters, they froze hiring in  public schools in 2009, unemployment running at 18.6,  still the highest in the EU. If however your are one of those under 25s, your chance of earning money to survive is reduced considerably, with the unemployment rate at 38.5.
      So while the bankers and the rest of the financial Mafia rejoice, what they are actually saying is, "thank you, the ordinary people of Greece, by suffering more than ten years of deprivation, and allowing us to plunder your assets, you have allowed us to make up most of the money we lost gambling at the billionaires casino, the "market".   
      Like France with the tenth week of Yellow Vest protests, the streets of Greece are not quite. Primary school teachers have been out showing their anger and disgust at the Greek government doing as it was told by the financial Mafia, loosening up employment conditions by changing the hiring process of public sector workers. The protestor deserve our support.

       Over 3,000 primary school teachers clashed with police in the second week of protests over hiring reforms.Teachers in Athens demonstrated on Monday against government plans to change the hiring system for the public sector. Protesters held banners that read: "Permanent hirings now!"
         Police threw tear gas at the gathered crowds in response to some of the protesters letting off fireworks in their direction. Protesters also tried to break a police cordon near parliament.
Teachers argue schools are understaffed and want the creation of more permanent positions. The Greek government froze hiring at public schools after it was hit by an economic crisis in 2009.
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Wednesday, 16 January 2019

In Or Out, Or Half Way In And Half Way Out???

        I made a promise to myself that I would not join in the Brexit pantomime, but at the moment it is difficult to escape the spewing out of a myriad of Brexit scenarios from every avenue of the mainstream media. The views range from greater glory for the wonderful UK, to doom and disaster for this confused and bumbling nation state. After last night's massive defeat of the government by 230 votes, the Westminster Houses of Hypocrisy and Corruption was filled with our political ballerinas indulging in a range of expressions from wringing their hands in despair, to chuckling with glee, and on occasions, that dazed look of confusion. What is clear is that they all state that we, as a country don't know what is going to happen next.
      Perhaps my simple mind can add some clarity to the situation. Leaving with a deal, any deal, or leaving with no deal, to changing the direction and staying in the EU, one thing is certain. We will remain under the yoke of capitalism, the poverty and deprivation will remain, the homeless will still struggle to find shelter, the elderly will continue to die from fuel poverty, our children will still go to school hungry, social services will continue to be decimated. The only real debate is at what rate these injustice will move, certain conditions will accelerate the plundering of the poor, but no conditions under capitalism will alleviate these injustices.
     As long as we accept that our world be driven by the financial mafia and the corporate juggernaut, as long as we accept a world hell bent on profit, as long as we allow ourselves to be governed by "The Market" and the billionaires that control that "Market", we will continue to wade through the swamp of poverty, deprivation, inequality and injustice. In the EU, out the EU, half in and half out, the capitalist system will still control our lives. Until we sort that one out, as far as the ordinary people are concerned, nothing will change.  
     Instead of debating the Brexit, which is just another power struggle among the privileged parasites, we the ordinary people should be debating how we free ourselves from the grip of the capitalist system, how we can take control of our communities and our workplaces. The answers are there, the resources are there, we have the imagination and the intelligence to govern our own lives, creating a society that sees to the needs of all our people, all we need is the will to do so.
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Sunday, 13 January 2019

Stuff = Happiness???

       Consumerism is the pillar of the capitalist system, without mass consumerism the whole capitalist system collapses. The system lives and survives by masses of people buying "stuff" and through well constructed advertising, gets you to come to the false conclusion that your "stuff" is out of date and needs to be replaced. The propaganda machine of the corporate world also weaves this illusion that more "stuff" will bring you more happiness, get the right "stuff" and your life and loves will be transformed, and that this method of living is the only game in town. Of course to get more "stuff" you have to work long hours and do shit jobs. This whole fabricated illusion creates the belief that money is the only thing that governs the quality of your life, so you spend your life on the treadmill of trying to get more money to get more "stuff" and in the end find you have an empty life chasing an illusion.
      As usual a few words of quite wisdom from "Not Buying Anything"

 "Me Grog. Me big caveman - need storage cave for all my extra stuff."
        Is a focus on materialism an instinctive behaviour? Is it human nature? Are we predisposed to want to accumulate things?
       Materialism researchers James Burroughs and Aric Rindfleisch think they have it figured out. I have my doubts.
       "Telling people to be less materialistic", they say, "is like telling people that they shouldn’t enjoy sex or eat fatty foods. People can learn to control their impulses, but this does not remove the underlying desires."
       Sex and eating fatty foods are survival strategies for humans since early times. But until recently, accumulating things as a human would be a very bad idea running counter to effective survival strategies.
        We are the most adaptable and mobile species on Earth. In order to do this, we have, for hundreds of thousands of years of evolution, had to travel light. As nomadic people, extra accumulation of stuff would not be an evolutionary advantage.
      If the researchers are right, where is the evidence of acquisitiveness in the archaeological record? Did cave dwelling humans have off-site storage caves to store all their extra pointy sticks, and rocks and stuff?
      If so, where are they? Where are Grog's Super Self-Storage Caves?
     People don't really want 10 tons of crap. Or the storage caves or lockers to put it all in. They want to be loved, to be content, to be part of a vibrant community of supportive compassionate citizens.
     Those are the real underlying desires, and we have been told that the accumulation of stuff will bring us all of that through the completely artificial construct of consumerism.
       Survival is instinctive. Materialism is a learned behaviour, and one that now runs contrary to our survival. Even a cave dweller could see that.
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Thursday, 10 January 2019

The UK, Abject Poverty In The Midst Of Obscene Wealth.

      A recent report states that the UK government is presiding over “significant and growing” hunger, the report warns that one in five children in the UK live in homes that are severely food insecure, this is the worst level of child hunger in the EU. The same report states that 2.2 million people in the UK are classed as severely food insecure, this translates into the fact that the UK is responsible for one fifth of all severely food insecure people in the EU.
        So the rich UK has an army of adults and children who are classed as severely food insecure. It has another army luring in the shadows of this corrupt exploitative system, the army of homeless. According to Shelter at least 320,000 people in the UK are homeless. The report also states that this is a year-on-year increase of 13,000, up 4%. It puts the national figure at around 1 in 200 people in the UK as homeless. It also states that these figures are probably an under estimate as it doesn't take into account, the sofa-surfers, those sleeping in sheds and cars etc. 
       Another hallmark of this rich UK society is poverty. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation's recent 2018 report states:
 This research reveals that, in our society: 

  • Child poverty has been rising since 2011/12; 
  • 4.1 million children are living in poverty, a rise of 500,000 in the last five years; 
  • Four million workers are living in poverty –a rise of more than half a million over five years; and 
  • In-work poverty has been rising even faster than employment, driven almost entirely by increasing poverty among working parents.
        Then there is that other army of those on benefit being driven to destitution by never ending cuts in social services, a rapidly crumbling health service, and an education system that has vacancies that can't be filled, and a vast number of teachers off with stress.
     All the signs of a poor country, debilitating social conditions that blight the lives of millions, but in this case it is a very rich country and the conditions in the country are created by deliberate choices made by those in power. There is more than sufficient wealth and resources in this country to see to the needs of all our people, the choices are ideologically chosen.
     In the midst of this swamp of poverty and deprivation, our "lords and masters" are spending billions on weaponry. We have had the usual chest thumping and flag waving at the UK's recent acquisition of two monster aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. The cost of building these monstrous imperialist weapons of mass destruction is in excess of £6 billion. Of course this is a drop in the bucket to the final cost when completed and fitted out with its fancy super expensive F-35B stealth fighter jets. Each jet comes with an eye-watering price tag of £78 million. The UK with its army of hungry and homeless, is buying 48 of these imperialist testosterone pills to kit out its two mammoth carriers, but is planning to buy a total of 138 to complete its battle group. That would come in somewhere around the £14+ billion, then add a cool  £6+ billion building costs. Thanks Loam for the link. Details of this mad imperialist chest thumping extravaganza here:
         Of course the billions spent on these two brutes of indiscriminate killing machines is just a small fraction the UK spends on weaponry just to be the side-kick of the imperialist USA.
          This shows where the privileged parasites that control this country put their priorities, certainly not in the well being of the people, but in the defence of their power and wealth at the expense of the people.
           In the words of the song, "When will we ever learn---"
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Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Those Pesky Migrants!!

         How many EU citizens live in the UK? How many UK citizens live in the EU? January 2017 figures for the population of EU were 511,522,671, population of UK 65,808,573. If we subtract the population of the UK from the EU figure, giving us a figure of EU population of 445,714,098. Of that vast number of EU citizens, approximately 2.9 million have come to live in the UK. Of our much smaller population of around 65 million, 1.3 million have chosen to live in the EU. 
      The largest portion of UK citizens living in EU have settled in Spain, population wise, a much smaller country than UK, but it has 391,194 UK citizens settled in there.
     The following LINK gives a breakdown of where that UK population have settled in Spain, and you can see that in the chart just how high in certain places the UK migrant population is in relation to the local population. Thanks Loam for the link:
       Populations have always moved around and across borders, some by choice, others by necessity. Borders are imaginary lines drawn by power mongers who wish to hold onto what they see as their territory and their power base. The UK is a broth-pot of Roman, Viking, Norman, Saxon, Irish and a large mix of African, Eastern and Middle Eastern populations. However the racist duped element in this patch of the planet called the UK, see any new migrant as a threat, blind to the fact that their own ancestry is made of of a hotch-potch of migrants over the ages. We are all human and belong to the same family tree, if we really open our eyes we would see that the only real division between us is the one created by those same power mongers that create those imaginary lines/borders, and it is one of class. 

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Monday, 7 January 2019

A Little More On The "Migrant Crisis".

        The vast majority of people living in the UK are far from racists, of course we have a racist element, which is usually fed be fear propaganda spewing from our lords and masters the privileged political ballerinas, mainly the product of the Oxbridge sausage factory, which trains the wealthy in how to rule. As usual our "government" is well out of step with the UK public at large on this matter of racism.
       Just how racist is the UK government? A guide to how our prancing political ballerinas see migrants could be the way they react to the situation of migrants arriving at our shores.
     The recently released figures for migrants reaching Spain state that Spain’s maritime rescue service, in the last two days has rescued almost 550 migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean to Spain. This Saturday the figure was six small boats carrying 350 migrants, and on Sunday the figure was almost 200 migrants. Some of the small dinghies were carrying children. According to the EU’s border agency, Frontex, approximately 57,000 migrants landed in Spain last year, this is double the figure for 2017.
      Here in the UK, according to Home Office figures, in 2018, 504 migrants attempted to cross the English Channel, 228 were intercepted by the French authorities, and a mere 276 managed to reach UK shores/waters. This trickle was sufficient for our racist establishment to call it a “migrant crisis”. In a country of over 63 million of a population, 276 migrants landing on our shores in a year, is deemed a “migrant crisis”. Bearing in mind that almost all migrants who take the desperate chance to cross a dangerous expanse of water in makeshift over crowded craft, are fleeing some or all of the following, poverty, deprivation, violent repression, death and destruction, in most cases caused by Western foreign policy, we have no right to turn our backs on them. Our privileged political ballerinas can pour in extra resources, money being no object to funding racists policies, into funding this illusionary “migrant crisis”, while at the same time social service are cut to the bone, under the mantra, “we need to make savings as we can’t afford the money”. It is obvious where the priorities of this cabal of privileged parasites that lord it over us really lie.
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Thursday, 3 January 2019

"Migrant Crisis", Or Political Cynicism?

         Politicians as a rule are self centred careerists prancing around seeking photo opportunities and spouting how they alone can lead the people to the promised land. However, when they gain power and become part of that cabal called the government, they add another quality to their repertoire, they become experts in cynicism. They will fashion any situation to push their policies and ideology, irrespective of the facts on the ground, or the human suffering involved.

     The "migrant crisis" is just the latest human tragedy to be used cynically by our political ballerinas to raise anti-immigrant fears. Home secretary Sajid Javid, is just the latest in a long line of cynical careerists to turn what is a human tragedy of Western imperialist policies, into a prop for his anti-immigrant ideology.
       The Latest "migrant crisis" is a few hundred desperate people, over several months, risking their lives in small boats, to seek asylum in the UK. The facts are that the UK receives around 28,000 asylum applications a year, the vast majority arrive by plane at airports. They do not "flood" in on boats and lorries. So how does a few hundred arriving in small boats, over several months, suddenly become a "migrant crisis"?
This extract from Freedom News:
      Vox Political speaks of a manufactured ‘migrant crisis’, maybe to create an anti-EU sentiment ahead of the Brexit vote.
          “Make no mistake”, Labour MP David Lammy said, “this is not in response to genuine concern for human life. This is Sajid Javid imitating Donald Trump’s “migrant caravan”manufactured emergency to whip up fear before the Brexit vote. Desperate and cynical.”
        The London Economics also accuses the Conservatives of using the refugees as political pawns ahead of a critical Brexit period.
Read the article in FULL:

      You would think that after 300 years or so of being hoodwink and exploited by a political system, we would have learnt by now that politicians are never on the side of the people.
     People risking their lives fleeing deprivation, death and destruction, in most cases caused by our Western imperialist foreign policies, deserve our fullest compassion and assistance. They should not, under any circumstance, be hounded as criminals, and thrown back to face that same deprivation, death and destruction. However, humanity is not a quality that governments are known for, that particular quality lies with the people.
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Wednesday, 2 January 2019

The Warmth Of A Dream.

       Sorry, I can't help it, perhaps it's my age, or perhaps it's my personality, perhaps I will be accused of putting a damper on the merry-making, but as the raucous parties die out and the merry chanting of "happy new year" fades into the background and they're filed in that cabinet called memories, my mind is filled with images. Images that confirm in my mind that in capitalism there is no real reason to be jubilant. Its daily savagery is everywhere to be seen. 

The Warmth Of A Dream.

He lay in a dark doorway, dreamed of home,
night frost locked his joints
morning rain chilled the marrow of his bone.
In the dream there was a sister,
a pram in a garden, a crowd of youngster
who called him "mister", a time of little pain.
Are these youngsters the same young men, who
now laugh at him, throw beer cans,
piss on him as he lies drunk in some dark lane?
When was that first step down this slippery slope,
when was that first step to no forgiveness.
No will to rise to beg for food,
numbness kills the pain,
The dream brings a warmth that feels good,
dark fog shades out consciousness,
an ambulance carries off a body washed in rain.
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Tuesday, 1 January 2019

I'll Walk With The Poets.

        I have always considered the tradition of making a "New Year's Resolution" as rather pointless, as I usually try to mould my life from day to day with the same fundamental principles of humanity that I personally hold dear.
       However, this year I have decided to make an exception and make a "New Year's Resolution" and it is that I will take council with the poets, the dreamers and the utopians, the future looks so much brighter that way.
      Here's wishing you all a future built by the poets, the dreamers and the utopians.

My head has had enough of you,
you doomsday sooth-sayers, and
rationalists, that trap us in the world that is.
Go weave your tales of “can't be done”
to the dead, and those of no imagination.
I want to walk with the utopian,
the dreamer and the poet,
laugh with the child and sing with the wind.
Run with the deer, not with “the market trend”
Enough of, “this is the way it has to be”,
a world of poverty, wars and inequality.
Now, I'll create the world I want to see,
A world of sharing, peace and liberty.
I want the children to plan tomorrow,
the adult help them get there,
trees and flowers our treasured possessions,
with birds and animals their keepers.
Who wants a world that chains us to mortgages,
binds us to a labouring day, just to eat bread?
Who wants to spend their life, feeding fat-cats
while their own children go hungry?
No, this is not the world that has to be,
in our foolishness and misplaced trust,
this is a world that has slithered over us,
poisoning our mind, putrefying our spirit.
Let's call on the poet, let's welcome the dreamer,
let's take council with the utopian,
They'll help us create a better world for all.
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Sunday, 30 December 2018

"Nation States are population containment zones for global capital use."

       It is obvious to anyone with at least two brain cells, that this world is very ill divided. The millions of ordinary people who labour day after day producing all the wealth on the planet, receive no more than the crumbs. While a small band of financial manipulators, peel of vast amounts of wealth which is used to buy up assets, assets that are essential to the survival of that vast army of labouring millions, such as water, electricity, food production and distribution, housing, health care, and anything else that can increase their wealth and power over the population. Of course they could not do this without the co-operation of the various governments of nation states, who do their bidding and clear the way for that small cabal of rich and powerful to plunder the planet.
       This stage of capitalism is not just a tragedy for those millions of ordinary people, but for all of us as we head at ever increasing speed towards a human catastrophe of unimaginable proportions, it is also speeding up the inevitable extinction of the human race by the plundering the Earth's resources, and the destruction of the entire environment. Just a glance at the workings of modern capitalism tells you its trajectory, but it is always illuminating to have it all explained and confirmed by authorities in the field.
          This from Real News, thanks Loam for the link.

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Our Short Escape.

       Hi all, back from our wee break, what a wonderful week it was, the place was a walker's paradise. We stayed at a small village called Dunure, the cottage was right on the beach, and the weather was very kind to us, extremely mild for Scotland at this time of year. Each day we walked part of the coastal walk. My daughter and family arrive for a couple of days as well as Stasia's sister, all keen walkers. The weather was so mild we sat outside the cottage after 10pm at night and had the most wonderful and ridiculous discussions, with the waves as background noise. On Friday, our last day friends Roger and Keith arrive for the day, adding to what was a already a fantastic holiday.
      Of course while we strolled around steeped in a mixture of pleasure and tranquility, the world still rolled on with all its problems, injustices, wars, poverty and deprivation. These little escapes belie the truth of our world today. Something we can never turn our backs on for long.
A few photos from Dunure.

Dunure Castle ruins, not where the peasants lived.

       Some views from the front of the cottage.

     View from a cliff part of the coastal walk.

     Sunrise view of the Isle of Arran from the front of the cottage.

       The morning we were leaving the sea took an angry turn,(I say sea, but it is really the Firth of Clyde.) I like to think it was because we were leaving.

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Friday, 21 December 2018

A Wee Visit To Rabbie's Patch.

       Tomorrow Stasia and I will be escaping for a week or so to a lonely cottage on the Ayrshire coast. A chance to recharge our batteries, relax and just drift. Some members of the family will be dropping in for a wee visits, just to add that rich flavour to the break. Also might be another opportunity to visit Rabbie Burns' cottage, who knows.

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Pointless Consumerism Or Pleasurable Solstice?

        At this time of year it is difficult to escape the continuous onslaught of the pressure to indulge in pointless consumerism and the pressure to sink into excessive gluttony. It is the time of year when the corporate juggernaut gets desperate fearing that it hasn't stripped you of all your cash and loaded you with enough debt, to stuff their coffers. The wave of jingoism and totally misleading adverts form a goo that fogs the minds of many, especially the young and parents of the young, it is all about pressure and is difficult to escape. As usual, a few calming words of wisdom from Not Buying Anything. Happy solstice everybody.

      Winter solstice is one of my favourite events of the year, perhaps because I was born on this day almost 6 decades ago (that was fast). If I had delusions of grandeur, I might have thought that the light returned because I came into the world.
       "Did I do that?" Even if I am not responsible for this wondrous photonic turn of events, it is still a time of year that I cherish.
        First of all, solstice is a celebration that is based on observable facts, and I find that comforting in its solidity. One does not "believe" or "not believe" in this well established annual celestial occurrence.
        It is a celebration based on science, which can also be just as magical and amazing as any fabrication of the imagination. The rational part of my brain likes that this event is as real as it gets.
        Best of all is the fact that this is a celebration for everyone, and in a world that is increasingly fractured along religious, political, and tribal lines, such an event is of infinite value.
        Today we celebrate something that is 100% inclusive, even if our Southern Hemisphere brothers and sisters are celebrating the longest day of the year while we celebrate the shortest.
       It is solstice everywhere on the planet, and the wonder of nature joins us all together in one great human family on the best home in the known universe.
      Now, the light returns, and I find that pretty amazing, even if I didn't do it. Happy solstice, my human family, wherever you happen to be. This is a celebration for everyone.
      Note: In lieu of sending a birthday present, please donate to a charity of your choice. I don't need, or want, anything (although a cure for multiple sclerosis would be nice, and the permanent end of war would be brilliant).
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