Wednesday, 31 May 2017

It Never Rains In Fintry!!

        Today was another beautiful day, after a couple of dull windy and wet days, how our weather fluctuates, from the beautiful to the lousy, several times a week. So the bike and I headed for Killearn, and then on to Fintry, and back to the Killearn tearoom for some sustenance. The tearoom in Fintry's main street, died many years ago. In my distant past, at times I would "escape" to the tranquillity of Fintry. Oddly ever time I went, it never rained and was beautiful weather. So I had in my mind this thought, that it never rains in Fintry. However speaking to a local he pointed out that I was obviously deluded. I suppose he should know.
      Fintry is a quiet little village that lies over the Campsie Fells from Lennoxtown. It has won lots of prizes for its floral displays along its street, but I didn't see much of a display today. Perhaps they are bored with all the accolades. One thing that is different about Fintry, the village is involved on a community basis in a wind farm, from which the village benefits.
     It is also a village where you have to have a bike or some other form of transport, as there is no public transport service to the village. Though I think looking at some of the property, it will be cars as the main mode of travel, rather than bikes, pity, such a beautiful cycling area.
At Fintry Cross.
      Lots of lovely routes to take from here.
Looking along Fintry main street towards Killearn.
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The Corporate Juggernaut And Genocide.

       The horror, death and destruction that is Syria, is difficult to grasp, the scale of the deaths, maiming and total decimation of the country's infrastructure is Armageddon, here and now. No matter how you look at it, the greatest destruction and deaths on the planet are perpetrated by the so called "developed countries". This is how they attempt to dominate the world, state violence by their military might, taking sides and creating fields of blood and slaughter to determine who controls certain swaths of the planet, and the resources there in. Of course the various states don't always use their military killing machines, sometimes it is their corporate bed partners that do the damage with the backing and support of the state.
       I don't think you'll find our babbling brook of bullshit, the mainstream media, reporting this case of genocide, being carried out by a corporate juggernaut with the backing of a state that weaves the usual duplicity, and creates the necessary legislation to make it all "legal".
      In Columbia the Wayuu people have for countless generations relied on the Rancheria river, it is their main source of life, their only drinking water in the area for the people, animals and irrigation of the land. Now by duplicity, smoke and mirror illusion, it has gone, mainly to feed a large mining corporation. The Wayuu people are dying a slow death, while the corporate mining juggernaut gets richer and richer. The festering marriage of capitalism and the state at work.  When it comes to profit, people are expendable.
 A father and son observe the remnants of the Rancheria river on Wayuú land / The Cercado dam and reservoir

      Colombia’s largest indigenous group, the Wayuú, have been left for dead after the Colombian government diverted the Rancheria river to South America’s largest coal mine in 2011.
      Five years ago, Colombia’s government completed the construction of the Cercado dam, a project they claimed would improve the lives of all in the arid Guajira region by supplying 9 towns with a second source of drinking water, employing 1,000 workers and providing irrigation for 18,500 hectares of farmland. However, the dam’s impact on the lives of Colombia’s largest indigenous ethnic group, the Wayuú people, was ignored entirely. The river was the only source of drinking water available near the Wayuú and its disappearance from the landscape has had dire consequences. Now, the Wayuú must walk over three hours to water wells filled with dangerous bacteria and salt, making health complications and diarrhea the new normal.
        The area is entirely devoid of clinics and hospitals. Without the river, the Wayuú can no longer cultivate their land, leaving them not only thirsty, but hungry as well. Since the dam was completed in 2011, over 4,700 children, most of them under the age of five, have died from thirst or other complications associated with a lack of clean drinking water. Of course, these are only the documented deaths. The Wayuú, whose population now hovers around 100,000, say that more than 14,000 have died.
       Did the Colombian government live up to its lofty promises of offering water to new communities and farms? It turns out the largest beneficiary of the Cercado dam is a giant coal mine, known as Cerrejón, that uses more than 17 million liters of water a day while the Wayuú lives off of less than 0.7 liters a day per person, though their water is often too salty to drink. Cerrejón, whose logo reads “responsible mining,” is South America’s largest pit coal mine and produces an estimated 32 million tons of coal annually.
      Though originally founded by ExxonMobil, the mine is now jointly owned by a consortium of some of the largest mining companies in the world – AngloAmerican, BHP Billiton, and Xstrata. The Wayuú and their leaders have worked tirelessly to try to confront these mining behemoths who have stolen their water and threatened them with extinction. However, the mining companies often work with right-wing paramilitary groups, who are responsible for the deaths of thousands, in order to get what they want. The Colombian government is also uninterested in improving life for the Wayuú as its mining ministers are notoriously corrupt. Just this March, Colombia’s mining minister resigned amid a corruption probe.
Continue reading HERE:
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Monday, 29 May 2017

NHS Fire Sale.

        Just so that you know what this bunch of corporate shitbags and weasels are up to with their vacuous phrases and empty sound bites.

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We Know What You're Doing, ALL Of You, ALL Of The Time!!

       As the "Competition of Liars" sometimes called the General Election, hots up, and the various liars get their knickers in a twist about how to out spin each other, the topic of "austerity" is never far from their lips. No matter how they bandy the word about, none of them will mention the billions wasted on the attempt at total surveillance of the citizens of this country.
       Until the revelations of Edward Snowden emerged just a few years back in 2013, British citizens had no idea as to the level of state surveillance they were subjected to. The government, without due process, debate or permission installed a massive taxpayer funded spying system via its domestic agency GCHQ, to tap into internet cables and build an enormous and detailed database of the communications of every man, woman and child in the country with little to no legal oversight. An ID system is no longer relevant, they have far more information than an ID card could ever store.

        The amount of your tax money that is swallowed up in GCHQ is staggering, with the lie that it is all about protecting us from those nasty foreigners. However, the truth is that billions pounds are gobbled up peeking into the actions of your everyday life. You are permanently under their microscope, listened to, watched and profiled, all of us.
        GCHQ’s 360 degree full spectrum bulk collection data system was constructed in brazen and arrogant defiance of Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights. Britain’s parliament never debated or approved this massive construction programme as it would for any national infrastructure project. Every phone call, no matter the device is recorded, every image, website visited, personal details such as medical and financial records, contacts, everything private to you is no longer private.
        In this insane economic system, money means quality, hence the quality of health care, eduction, social services, etc., are all deteriorating due to the lack of money being spent on them. When we look at how much is being spent on prying into your personal affairs, you scratch your head and realise the true priorities in this state.
       Although no-one truly knows the costs of UK state surveillance systems over its own population, it is estimated that the cost to the taxpayer just for the storage of all this data exceeds £20 million a month. And whilst GCHQ’s individual budget isn’t public knowledge, its funding comes from the Single Intelligence Account (SIA), which by all accounts has now reached something in the order (£18 billion as at 2015) £20 billion plus.
     One can only guess that provision for GCHQ’s funding is exponentially increasing in an age of austerity where the NHS is in chaos, emergency services such as the fire-brigade and ambulance services to name just two are being stripped bare or privatised. People are dying at the hands of the state and yet we are told there is no money to pay for these vital services. And yet the taxpayer is still funding bank-bailouts, wars in far-off lands that pose zero threat to national security and a new architecture of state surveillance constructed that would make the East German Stasi blush three decades ago.

       £20 million a month just to store who you phoned last week, where you shopped yesterday, what pub you went to at the weekend. Think of an extra £20 million a month on mental health care?
         Is this the type of society you want? Do you honestly think any one of the political bandwagons standing in this "Competition of Liars" will demolish this insidious prying spy system? Don't be so naive, look at history, we are still struggling for equality, we are still struggling for a decent standard of living, our actions are under ever increasing surveillance, despite the fact we have had the full spectrum of political parties, each wearing the crown for varying periods. The system is loaded against us, it is the system we have to change, not the crown prince or the label on the box.  
Read the full article from Tarcoteca HERE:
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Sunday, 28 May 2017

The Toxins In Our Society.

       I suppose I'm like lots of other people in believing we have left the age of rationalism, and are now deep into the age of impulse, emotion and irrational actions. Forget evidence, that takes thinking, and thinking and debate can be slow, much better to jump in on some idiotic unfounded belief. Now more than ever, as our society seems to fragment, we the ordinary people have to calmly sit down and rationally examine the evidence of what is the best road for all our people. We, have to do it, for believe me, those in power don't give a shit about you and your society. They're all fine in their security surround mansions, their, multi-million dollar yachts and private jets. It suits their privileged position if we the "plebs" squabble and kill each other, that let's them get on with their life of pillage and plunder. 
        At the base of irrationality is religion, the belief in myths and invisible men, of super men, who live in the sky and watch over you personally, who demand obedience to their weird and irrational dogma, come what may, and fierce retribution on those who don't accept these fairy tales.
        Our society is poisoned by some deadly toxins, religion, capitalism and the state, all of these prevent our drive for equality, justice and co-operation. Religion, a dangerous hotchpotch of beliefs in magic and miracles, has to be replaced with evidence based rational thought, capitalism, a greed driven system of destructive competition, replaced with co-operation and mutual aid, the state, a power based hierarchical structure of domination and control, demolished, and in its place a system of a community based society, founded on sustainability, free association, and the needs of all our people.
     Of course we could continue to allow our lives to be dominated by brutal squabbles over whose powerful god is the purest and most powerful. We could continue to have our lives shaped by a greed driven system that allows the rich and powerful to become more rich and powerful, at the expense of the many. We could continue to walk that narrow road of total surveillance, control and a divided powerless existence. That choice is ours to make, but time is running out, the options may disappear from the menu.
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Thursday, 25 May 2017

Ecotopia Bike Tour; Summer 2017.

         For those who fancy a group cycling holiday, this sounds like their sort of thing. So if you want to see a bit of Europe and learn new skills, then get on your bike and give this a go.
Ecotopia Bike Tour; Summer 2017:

        Ecotopia Biketour is a self-organized, international community that has been organizing a yearly bicycle tour in different regions of Europe since 1990. During the tour we visit environmental and social projects and practice forms of activism and sustainable living. We follow a vegan diet, practice consensus decision making, and share skills by doing workshops. Ecotopia Biketour is for anyone interested in travelling by bike, community life, DIY, environmentalism, and learning by experience.
         Usually 20–40 people cycle with us at the same time. Most people join for somewhere between 2 weeks and 2 months and participate in the tour for the first or second time. We rarely cycle all together, usually some people go ahead in the morning and mark the route with arrows on the road. People then follow in small groups in their own speed and rhythm. We keep distances at a level where no particular fitness or experience is necessary.
         We try to create a non-hierarchical environment by rotating responsibilities, sharing skills and respecting personal needs. People can sign up for daily tasks (cooking, pulling a trailer, marking the route, etc.), but everyone can decide individually how much they want to do. We meet up every couple of days to talk about how it is going and to collectively make decisions. It is one of our core values to create a non-discriminatory environment.
         We cook communally with wood, carry all our equipment ourselves and try to buy local and organic food and to dumpster-dive where possible. Participants are asked to donate 3–5 € per day to cover the food costs, but people who cannot give this donation are also welcome to join.
         This year we will focus on skill-sharing and other forms of alternative education. We will have workshops regularly where we want to share abilities and knowledge within our group and with the projects we are going to visit. We will start at the end of June in Strasbourg in France and will cycle for 3 months via Nancy (Vélorution Universelle), Bure, Freiburg, Basel, Bern, Lausanne, Geneva, Grenoble, Toulouse to Barcelona and end near Tarragona. The exact route and dates are being announced on our website.
If you have some recommendations for projects, groups and events for us to visit on the way or would like to help preparing the tour, write to
Participation Guidelines:
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Bonspeil And The Lake Of Monteith.

        Managed out on the bike on Wednesday, not quite the weather they promised, but nice never the less. Not much wind, so that was good for an old wrinkly like me, quite warm but humid with clouds. Visited another spot I hadn't visited for a number of years, the Lake of Menteith. I have fond memories of the bitter cold winter of 1962-63, as that year the Lake of Menteith froze over, and we went ice skating on the lake, it was a wonderful expanse of ice on which to skate freely. There is an island in the lake, Inchmahome, on which there is an ancient ruined priory. Normally you have to pay somebody to take you to the island on a boat, but here we were skating out and exploring the island. The Lake was also home to the Bonspeil, (Grand Match), a curling tournament between the north and the south, held every 5 years on a frozen loch, though there hasn't been many frozen lochs of late.
       It was a pleasant run out the Aberfoyle road to the Roy Roy Hotel, then instead of turning left to Aberfoyle, I turned right and started up the Braes of Greenock, then turned off to the Port of Menteith and stopped at the hotel which is beautifully situated on the lake side, there sipped on green tea and sampled their scones with butter and jam, while looking out at the Lake. All very idyllic.
 Outside the Port of Menteith Hotel.

      Set off towards Arnprior, my timing was all wrong, as I turned into the Stirling-Erskine Bridge road, a main commuter route, it was peak travel time, so that stretch of road I was accompanied by an endless cavalcade of vehicles screaming past at 60-70mph, all eager, I imagine, to get home to dinner and tele. Despite, the modern madness of commuting, it was a wonderful run down memory lane. 
Lakeside, you can see two guys in their boat drifting with their fishing lines. 

      Just as a matter of interest, Stirling is where Andrew Hardie and John Baird were hanged then beheaded, (just to make sure) then buried in an unmarked grave outside the walls of Stirling Castle, for their part in the 1820 Insurrection. Their bodies were eventually recovered and give a burial and monument in Sighthill Cemetery, in the north of Glasgow.   
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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

I Will Not Choose My Master.

       They are still at it, that babbling brook of bullshit, our mainstream media, they are trying to turn this "competition of liars", known as an election, into some sort of really exciting drama. "Will the nation forsake Labour because of Corbyn", "has UKIP died", "Who will win, strong stable waffling May, or uncouth, scruffy Corbyn", "Will Labour find a sprint finish, or is the Tories lead to big". Election after election we are spewed upon by the babbling brook of bullshit's army of "experts", all suffering verbal diarrhoea as the fill the air with their candy-floss and bubble gum garbage of personal speculation. They are trying hard to convince you that you are in charge, by running an putting your little cross on that piece of paper, you are running the country. In my 83 years I have been witness to a lot of elections, and here we are still trying to solve the problems of inequality, homelessness, child poverty, injustice, we are still sending our young to foreign lands to kill and to die, in the name of power and resources for the big corporate beasts. What ever small gains we wrestle from the system, it eventually takes them all back. Here we are in the 21st. century and we are seeing the slashing of social services, wage freezes/cuts, working conditions being eroded, while the rich get richer on a daily basis. We have moved from Victorian poverty to Elizabethan food banks, from starvation wages and long hours to zero hours contracts and wageless workfare, that's the progress we have made by continuing with this farce of party political elections, the system stays the same. As has been said before, "If voting changed anything, they would make voting illegal". In my 83 years, I have never voted in an general election or a local council election, and this article from blasphegme coincides with my own position.
I don’t vote!


        I don’t vote. Because I don’t want to choose a master, to choose who will decide in my place what’s right for me, who will force me to respect their choices, who will present those choices as my own. I don’t want the majority to determine the conditions of my servitude, I don’t want the cattle to build the fences that enclose them and select those who will rule over me as well, regardless of what I think.
       I don’t vote because I don’t want the world they force on us. I don’t recognize the idea of the nation, of peoples, or of citizenship, because states always manage to construct identities that give the illusion of a unified population. My nationality, the language I speak, and the colour of my skin in no way determine who I am, and I don’t recognize the borders of the state in which chance saw me born. In the same way, I don’t want to hear about any “common good”, because I don’t want to be part of any community – I don’t want to be bound to anyone and I want to choose those with whom I build my life.
        I don’t vote because I don’t want to give power to the hypocrites who present themselves as something they’re not, trying to nourish our illusions to the point where waking from them is painful. I don’t want a world where I’m just a pawn in a chess game played between cunning strategists who use my credulity to trample my individuality in service of their sly interests, in their frenzied quest for power and domination.
         I don’t vote because I want to live in a world without masters or slaves. And such a desire will never fit into a ballot box. Instead, I want to take charge of my life and push myself to create it while revolting against the existing order and the misery it imposes on lives everywhere.

I will never abdicate my freedom!

Rather revolt than the passivity of the vote!
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Just A Thought.


We the people have, every brick laid,
have fed the world with sweat and spade,
every instrument played in every band
created by the skill of the craftsman's hand.
We made every truck and every load,
our toil our effort every winding road,
every ship that ever sailed the sea,
our power our imagination made it be.
Cities and towns large and small,
our labouring hands fashioned them all,
every home, every spire,
luxury mansion or humble byre.
No matter what dreams the mind might spawn
without labour's hand, never see the light of dawn,
without labour's strength and labour's skill,
we would be foraging beasts in a jungle still.

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The State Only Survives By Tightening Its Grip.

      It is universal, states across the globe will always grasp any opportunity to tighten control over the citizens. They will seize every possibility to stifle protest, to silence dissent, total control is their aim. Any excuse that offers itself will be snatched at as a reason to increase surveillance. It is the nature of the beast, it is its only means of survival. A call for solidarity from Poland.

Dear Friends,

       We have been waiting for over a year for the trial of the Warsaw 3. Today, we send this call out for solidarity actions on the first court sitting – the 31st of May 2017.
     There is also a demonstration ‘WE ARE ALL TERRORISTS’ planned for that day in front of the court in Warsaw (adress: Marszałkowska 82).
    The Polish government follows the international trend to see terrorist threat everywhere. There is no better reason to fuel war economy, enhance policing tools and prepare the ground for autocracy than the figure of the enemy. Either external threat – migrants (including kids ready to commit acts of terror), or the inside threat in the form of the domestic terrorism category is at this point commonly used in the whole EU to scare the population into obedience.
      As it is for other countries in the EU, terrorist attacks have been the justification to introduce new security regulations that grant states greater powers and significantly limit those of the peoples. Polish authorities also want to seize their chance to secure their own position riding on the European anti-terror wave. In the wake of the introduction of the new anti-terrorist law in Poland, mainstream media were first reporting the wave of false bomb alarms across the country, when finally they have got what they were waiting for. In the night of the 23rd three anarchists were caught on a parking lot of a police station in an attempt to set a police car on fire.
      For the authorities and their media the arrest posed a long awaited proof that there actually is a terrorist threat in Poland! The arrested three, after being beaten and tortured were thrown into the isolation cells for the most dangerous criminals to be held there for the next 4 months.
    Media theatre had begun and the introduction of the new anti-terrorist law was presented to the public as justified.
     The word ‘terrorist’ was abused by the media to the point of ridiculousness. Since this category is so vague that two individuals labeled as ‘terrorists’ can have almost nothing in common, the authorities have quickly understood it’s usefulness in eliminating potential threat to the their power.
      The Polish state has imprisoned the Warsaw 3, but it wasn’t enough. It has passed 3 new anti-freedom bills, but it wasn’t enough. Then it’s thugs brutally deported a PhD student who didn’t agree to spy for them – we all remember Ameer – but that still was not enough. They also feel the need to keep blackmailing activists, deporting foreigners and criminalize anyone who dares to resist.

We are calling you to take solidarity action on that day.

We are calling you to come to your nearest polish embassy, and show the republic of Poland what you think of it!

Fire to prisons, courts and copshops!
For a more detailed account of this case and other related events download the leaflet HERE: 
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Monday, 22 May 2017

The Answer Is In Our Hands.

       An odd place to go to find a somewhat favourable article on what some anarchists are up to in Greece, The New York Times!! Though some typical establishment phrases slip in, it in no way condemns the anarchists in the usual way that the babbling brook of bullshit, our mainstream media, do as a matter of form. A lot is going on in Greece and the anarchists involved are a varied and multifaceted array of people, their actions are diverse, but with the same aim, the destruction of the state and its bed partner capitalism, and the creation of a society that offers individual freedom with co-operation, free association, mutual aid, and which sees to the needs of all our people, in a sustainable environment. If that is the sort of society you want, why not join the anarchists in that struggle. 
ATHENS — It may seem paradoxical, but Greece’s anarchists are organizing like never before.
Seven years of austerity policies and a more recent refugee crisis have left the government with fewer and fewer resources, offering citizens less and less. Many have lost faith. Some who never had faith in the first place are taking matters into their own hands, to the chagrin of the authorities.
Tasos Sagris, a 45-year-old member of the Greek anarchist group Void Network and of the “self-organized” Embros theater group, has been at the forefront of a resurgence of social activism that is effectively filling a void in governance.
“People trust us because we don’t use the people as customers or voters,” Mr. Sagris said. “Every failure of the system proves the idea of the anarchists to be true.”

      These days that idea is not only about chaos and tearing down the institutions of the state and society — the country’s long, grinding economic crisis has taken care of much of that — but also about unfiltered self-help and citizen action.
      Yet the movement remains disparate, with some parts emphasizing the need for social activism and others prioritizing a struggle against authority with acts of vandalism and street battles with the police. Some are seeking to combine both.
      Whatever the means, since 2008 scores of “self-managing social centers” have mushroomed across Greece, financed by private donations and the proceeds from regularly scheduled concerts, exhibitions and on-site bars, most of which are open to the public. There are now around 250 nationwide.
Some activists have focused on food and medicine handouts as poverty has deepened and public services have collapsed.
      In recent months, anarchists and leftist groups have trained special energy on housing refugees who flooded into Greece in 2015 and who have been bottled up in the country since the European Union and Balkan nations tightened their borders. Some 3,000 of these refugees now live in 15 abandoned buildings that have been taken over by anarchists in the capital.

      The burst of citizen action is just the latest chapter in a long history for the anarchist movement in Greece.
       Anarchists played an active role in the student uprisings that helped bring down Greece’s dictatorship in the mid-1970s, including a rebellion at the Athens Polytechnic in November 1973, which authorities crushed with police officers and tanks, resulting in several deaths.
       Since the late 1970s and early 1980s, anarchists have joined leftist groups in occupying portions of Greek universities to promote their thinking and lifestyle; many of those occupied spaces exist today, and some are used as bases by anarchists to fashion the crude firebombs hurled at the police during street protests.
       Over the years, anarchists have also backed a spectrum of causes, such as opposing “neoliberal” education reform or campaigning against the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
Continue reading:
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Sunday, 21 May 2017

Faslane Peace Camp.

        I believe I posted earlier about us at Spirit of Revolt being delighted and honoured to be given the opportunity to collect and archive the Faslane Peace Camp material. The Faslane Peace Camp is the longest running peace camp in the world, this is its 35th year, camped outside the Faslane nuclear submarine base near Helensburgh on the Gare Loch. During that time it has been the hub of a myriad of protests and campaigns against nuclear weapons, and for peace in general. In its 35 years it has seen an army of names, well known and lesser know ordinary people, move through its camp site, some staying for a short period, others staying for a considerable time. All doing their bit to keep alive this important part of our protest heritage.
          Spirit of Revolt already has several boxes of memorabilia, photos, letters, newspaper cuttings, diaries, etc. and a box of the camp's own magazine. We have now been give some videos and podcasts, thanks to Neil Scott.
           We are eager to collect as much material as possible of this grass-roots peace endeavour, so that it can be preserved and made more widely available to the public at large. So if any of you old campers out there are sitting on material, or stories, from your involvement in, and with the Peace Camp, we would be delighted if you would get in touch with Spirit of Revolt, at info (at) spiritofrevolt (dot) info If you wish to donate material we can meet up to discuss this and make arrangements to collect. 

Saturday, 20 May 2017

We Can Do It Ourselves.

     Who said people can't manage to look after themselves, that they need a hierarchical structure with the leader at the top? Time an time again in tragic circumstances, emergencies, and disasters, the ordinary people prove, they are very capable and willing to get things sorted out. So let's grasp that fact and start to take control of our society, which at present is a disaster for the ordinary people, much like a sinking ship, and sort things out to the benefit of all our people. Thanks Loam for the video link.

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Thursday, 18 May 2017

When Is Enough, Enough?

         As I said before, the people of Greece have been put through the capitalist shredder by its bully boys, the financial Mafia. Now the vampires are back for more. Their puppet government in Greece are now humbly accepting the latest crippling demands from the Troika, (IMF, International Mankind Fuckers, ECB, European Criminal Bastards, EC, Exceptional Criminals,)
        With its health service in ruins, its education system disintegrating rapidly, wages slashed, pensions decimated, the Greek government is set to unleash more savage "austerity" on the unfortunate people of Greece. Here are some of the measures to be foisted on the ordinary people. There will be 14.32bn euros ($20.50bn; £12.82bn) cuts in public spending, tax rises of 14.09bn euros, over the next five years. There will be 2.32bn euros of tax increases this year, this follows on from 3.38bn euros increase in 2012, 152m in 2013, and 699m in 2014. There will be a levy to be raised twice next year from households of 1% to 5% of income. A vast swath of the poorest of families who were below the tax threshold will now find themselves paying tax. as the tax free threshold will be lowered from 12,000 euros to 5,000 euros, and property tax will be raised. Then there is that tax that hits the poorest most, VAT, 19% will go to 23%, the 11% rate will rise to 13% and the 5.5% goes up to 6.5%, restaurants will see their vat rate go from 13% to 23%.
        There is no end in sight for the people of Greece as long as this economic strangulation system of capitalism persists, the financial Mafia is not going to come over all compassionate and devise a plan to help the ordinary people of Greece, it is not in their DNA. However the people of Greece, as I said before, are not sitting down weeping and hoping for a return of the "good old days".
This from Act For Freedom Now:

       “We won’t live like slaves – The only lost battles are the one that they have not been given”. On Wednesday 17 May 2017 thousands of people joined the general strike protests all over Greece, against the new harsh financial measures of 4.9 billion euros incorporated in the 4th Memorandum signed by a Greek government, aimed once again against the lower income classes rather, than the banks and the wealthy.
       The self proclaimed left government of SYRIZA in co-operation with the right wing party of ANEL have unleashed a new class war, this time specifically aimed against people with disability and pensioners that have worked all their lives and paid their share under the false notion -as it seems- that during the time when they will be most vulnerable, they would have free public health services and subsidies that would help them get by. On the contrary after 23(!) severe cuts in pensions and allowances during the 8 years of the financial crisis in Greece (amounting to more than 50 billion euros in pension and allowances cuts during the last 7 years), that has forced people to live like beggars, a further 18% cut will be imposed on pensions under the 4th Memorandum being voted in the Greek parliament these days and a “freezing” of even the slightest raise in pensions until 2022.
      And as if a life with no future wasn’t enough, the streets of Athens have been filled with thousands of riot policemen to impose fear on people daring to protest during the general strike of 17 May 2017. Thus, during the protest in Athens anarchists attacked the riot police brigades in Syntagma Square around the Greek parliament, whilst inside politicians were discussing the new harsh financial measures to be imposed on the people, without the people. More protest will take place tomorrow 18 May during the voting of the measures in the Greek parliament.
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The Wee Blether.

       With our changeable weather you have to grab the sunshine when you can, so yesterday I decide to visit another area that as a young man I spent a lot of time hill walking, and later cycling, Loch Ard. In those hillwalking days we would take the bus to Aberfoyle and walk to the Loch Ard youth hostel, if the weather was kind we would skip the hostel and head up the Ledard Burn, ("burn" Scots word for stream) and pitch the tent there. This was a good starting point for making your way to the summit of Ben Venue. On those visits Friday and Saturday nights would be spent at the Altskeith Hotel, which would be the meeting place for hill walkers, climbers and cyclists. The nights would be filled with   guitars strumming, singing, laughter and loud chatter, until the  proprietor threw us out. The hotel has since moved a bit up market and is now The Altskeith Country House, no doubt catering more for tourist with money, rather than walkers and pauper cyclists.
Loch Ard, just before Kinlochard.

        The Loch area in general hasn't changed much, delighted to note that the road surface is much better than my last cycle up that way. I stopped at Kinlochard and enjoyed a bite at the beautifully situated tearoom, The Wee Blether ("blether" Scots word for friendly chat). Many, many years ago I would come up here with an inflatable dinghy, and take my kids out to the little island in the loch, Eilean Gorm, there they could run wild, and live out their fantasies among its rocks and trees.  On the island there is also a fisherman's bothy, (Scots for a small hut or cottage, especially one for housing farm labourers or for use as a mountain refuge).
Beautifully situated tearoom on the shore at Kinlochard.
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