Scared of my Own Thoughts 351


In Doha last week I watched on TV an utterly contemptible speech by Theresa May in which she grasped for ideas to shore up the increasingly eroded Establishment control of the political zeitgeist. Yet more pressure would be put on the social media companies to curtail the circulation of unauthorised truths as “fake news”. Disrespectful questioning of the political class will be a new crime of “intimidation of candidates”. The government would look for new ways to boost the unwanted and failing purveyors of the official line by some potential aid to newspapers and their paid liars.

In short I did not merely disagree with what she was saying, I found it an extraordinary example of Orwellian doublespeak in which she even referenced John Stuart Mill and her commitment to freedom of speech as she outlined plans to restrict it further. I found myself viewing this dull, plodding agent of repression as representing a political philosophy which is completely alien to me.

I had a similar epiphany the week before watching the gathering at Davos. I have often been sceptical of the philosophy and motivation of the neo-liberal elite, but I have never before looked at them and seen them as the enemy. Yet after the super wealthy were rewarded for the financial collapse of 2008, by the largest diversion of ordinary people’s money to the rich in human history, as bailouts and QE, the steady but unspectacular economic growth of the ensuing decade has resulted in no significant real wage increases for the working person across the entire developed world, while the wealth of the 1% has more than doubled. There has been a curious but matching phenomenon whereby even the “third sector” representatives at Davos – the heads of universities and charities or the senior presenters from the BBC, for example – are themselves on over £300,000 a year and completely divorced from the lifestyle of working people, due to the abandonment of their institutions to corporate philosophy.

In short, as with Theresa May, I found myself looking at the inhabitants of Davos with utter contempt, as people whose philosophy and lifestyle I detest.

Then a couple of days ago I watched an uncritical BBC report of alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria based entirely on film provided by the White Helmets, which plainly had zero evidential value. Given that the origins and motivations of the White Helmets are today known to anyone with an internet connection, the continued retailing of this repetitive propaganda is extraordinary. I felt contempt for the BBC journalists who were retailing it. In the last 24 hours Israel has carried out large scale bombing attacks on Syria which are undeniably illegal, and for once has acknowledged them brazenly. There has been very little media reporting of this. In a two sentence report on BBC News as I type, the second sentence was that the attack followed the downing of an Israel fighter, without mentioning that plane was itself illegally attacking Syria. The Israeli statement was given verbatim and no balancing view from Syria was given.

I am not comfortable with thoughts of contempt, disgust or hatred towards anyone. I have always held the view that people are entitled to their political views, and having different views to mine in no way makes you a bad person. I have been known to suggest that anyone who has all the same views as me must be in dubious mental health. I have tried to acknowledge common ground with people where it exists – for example I have always admired David Davis’ commitment to civil liberties. It is not the case that some of my best friends are Tories, but I do have Tory friends.

I was for most of my working life a fully paid up member of the Establishment, and reasonably comfortable with that. Even bad governments do some good. I was a Liberal and fairly well on board with the prescriptions of the party in the time of Charlie Kennedy. I am, I hope, a naturally friendly person and have always considered myself gentle and kind. It is certainly true my political views are driven more by empathy with the suffering than by rigid systems of thought.

I therefore am not comfortable being so stridently opposed to everything that is happening in the UK political mainstream. I am scared by the prospect of being the extremist nutter who mutters on about a worldview entirely at odds with the accepted narrative.

Yet I look at the world with disbelief. I see an economy that gives little opportunity for secure and fulfilling lives to millions of young people. I see the obscene lifestyle of the super rich. And I perceive that, contrary to neo-liberal propaganda, that is not the natural order of things but a direct result of the operation of institutions created by government and their use to channel the flow of wealth to a tiny minority.I marvel at the continuing Ponzi scheme of the UK property market. I see Africa plundered for its commodities and deliberately kept poor.

The panic-inducing correction in the world’s stock markets this week was triggered by news that unemployment was falling rapidly in the USA. That was “bad news” for the markets because it might result in workers getting better pay. There could not be a better illustration of the madness of the system. The world is suffering from a failure of imagination. Corporate ownership structure has developed in certain ways because of social conditions prevailing in the UK and Europe from the 16th century onwards. The development consists of the overlaid accretions of accumulated accidents of history. There is nothing natural or inevitable about current stock market models. The rational alternative – worker ownership of enterprises – is, however, not on any mainstream accepted political agenda.

Jeremy Corbyn and John MacDonnell are doing their best within the awful constraints of the Labour Party they inherited, but their economic proposals are nowhere near the radical change required. In Scotland, the SNP have put in place some commendable but very modest social democratic measures to increase taxes on the wealthy. But the SNP appears to have been seized by crippling timidity on the subject of Independence. There are worrying signs that Sturgeon’s evident lack of serious intent to push for Independence, is finally damping down grassroots activism, including on social media. Meanwhile virtually the entire political class of Europe has united behind the vicious suppression of Catalonia, with peaceful campaigners facing lengthy years as political prisoners. Those events, more than any, crystallise my understanding that a “liberal” political Establishment no longer exists.

In conclusion, either I am barking mad or the world is becoming a much darker place. As the position of the vast majority of people as helots to the super wealthy is further consolidated, the manufacturing of consent by the control of information becomes ever more crucial to the elite. I have never desired to stand outside society barking unheeded warnings. You have probably gathered that the last few months I have been inclined to succumb to the fact that my own life would be more comfortable if I stopped barking. But I shall continue – please feel free to warn me when I get over-bitter.


351 thoughts on “Scared of my Own Thoughts

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  • Ba'al Zevul

    *Apologies*

    I’m parking this here (or trying to) because An Apology has rejected it.

    In other Ethiopian news, the family of one Andargachew “Andy” Tsege (formerly living in the UK,sentenced to death in absentia and snatched in Yemen in 2014, imprisoned in Ethiopia since then), repeated their appeal to Tony to try to obtain Tsege’s release in October 2016:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/andargachew-andy-tsege-tony-blair-ethiopia-death-row-british-father-a7356241.html

    Tsege is still in jail.

    http://freeandargachew.com/1070-2/

    Well, as he had to cancel yesterday’s planned visit to a Chinese manufacturing zone in Oromia* – due to massive anti-regime civil unrest – maybe he had time to raise the matter with the charming Dessalegn? We think not.

    https://www.opride.com/2018/02/13/ethiopia-oromia-state-rocked-protests-killings-amid-3-day-market-boycott/

    Ethiopia is rocked by widespread protests and reports of killings as a three-day stay at home strike and market boycott continues for the second day across the restive Oromia State. Security forces killed at least 17 people in two separate incidents of violence in Hararghe and Bale zones.
    The social media-driven market strike was called to demand the immediate and unconditional release of jailed Oromo political prisoners. In dozens of towns across Oromia, tens of thousands took to the streets to express their anger over the continued detention of activists and opposition leaders, including Bekele Gerba, whose failing health has become the cause célèbre for activists in Ethiopia and abroad. Other demands include making Afaan Oromo the federal language; calls for an end to rampant impunity for federal security forces and justice for the victims of its ongoing abuses.

    Looks like a job for the transformative governance pillar to us. Watch the suits teleporting to Addis with their governance rays.

    *’Supported by the TBIfTB, we believe. See TbIfTB website for details of how manufacturing, privatisation and Tony could transform Ethiopia. If you have a strong stomach. But first be clear that Tony is unworried by the behaviour of whichever autocrat happens to be running Ethiopia. Or what happens to the aid funds abundantly channelled through his (and, here, Clinton’s) organisations.

    (link is possibly problematic: to a Google Book – deleted. BZ)

    • Ba'al Zevul

      The book whose link I’ve scrubbed is The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor by William Easterly. The section deals with Blair’s relationship with Ethiopia’s previous dictator, Meles Zenawi, and the adoring endorsement of a confirmed tyrant which is now a familiar feature of Blair’s African activities.

  • Baalbek

    Excellent post. Please do not stop barking…these are indeed dark times and afflicting the comfortable while comforting the afflicted is important work that needs to be done by all who are in a position to do so. I am certain that things will be getting a lot darker; this is only the beginning of the beginning and we need all the light we can get.

  • Hmmm

    For those of us who’ve been barking all their life is can assure you that it hasn’t got worse, it’s always been so. Nice to hear it from someone in respect. The Internet has been truly a modern miracle. I know that not only am I not alone but that there are billions of us. No wonder they’re so desperate to close it down…

  • mike

    Ah the good old state broadcaster! Not a whisper about Ahed Tamimi’s cousin being shot in the face just before she got a wee bit angry with the heavily armed soldiers! Not a word either about how resistance to occupation is entirely lawful.

    The spin in this shit is sickening. Ahed is being painted as the dangerous aggressor:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-43032411

  • Baalbek

    I am currently reading Wofgang Streeck’s How Will Capitalism End? Essays on a Failing System and I can’t recommend it highly enough. The main thrust of the book is that capitalism and democracy are not natural bedfellows and it was only during the postwar period (1945 to 1975) that ordinary people, via elected governments and the labour movement, had the ability to keep elite power in check and enjoy relatively high incomes and the comfortable lifesyles they afforded. During that time the welfare of the rich was linked to the well-being of working folk.

    From the mid-1970s onwards neoliberal economics and the shift to finance capitalism, i.e. the elites taking back power, has destroyed the labour movement, weakened central governments and again made it possible for the elites to hoard massive wealth without regard for the lives of ordinary people. But radical de-industrialization and financialization has pushed western capitalism into a serious crisis from which it cannot easily recover. The rich continue to prosper while income inequality increases and working people become increasingly disenfranchised and restive as employers have evermore power over them and upward social mobility grinds to a halt.

    With the weakening of the nation state due to the restructuring of capitalism governments are at the mercy of central banks and elected leaders no longer have the power or resources to make changes that benefit the citizenry. But there is no competing economic or social system (unless one considers political Islam) for the increasingly angry masses to rally around so they remain impotent. Elections will still be held with great fanfare every four or five years but politicians will be powerless to affect change and democracy will become a toothless spectacle.

    This will result, Streeck argues, in a long period of instability and decline with citizens forced into a social Darwinist struggle to avoid falling into poverty and destitution. The effects of climate change combined with a pathologically unstable economy will lead to widespread social unrest but the lack of a viable system on offer that can replace capitalism will make revolutionary change impossible.

    It is a rather bleak book so far but I am only about 30% into it. Streeck argues his points very convincingly and his book is essential reading for anyone who is concerned about future of western civilization. Highly recommended.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Looks about right to me, thanks. But it’s our fault (with the benefit of hindsight). We stopped requiring government to be at least partially independent of business interests. We stopped obstructing the rise of the lobbying culture. We allowed cronyism, corruption and patronage to flourish. We didn’t use our votes rationally.

    • Sharp Ears

      The oldest of her four children. Wonder what they think of things?
      Alexander Arbuthnot – Operations Leader, GDPR Expert and Personal Data Entrepreneur
      London, Greater London, United Kingdom
      Information Technology and Services
      Current
      Data Requests – GDPR Personal Data Startup
      Previous
      Sabbatical Break,
      Symantec,
      Deloitte
      Education
      Imperial College London
      Eton College
      https://uk.linkedin.com/in/alexander-arbuthnot

      Q. What is GDPR?

      • Sharp Ears

        Answering my own question. Strange irony.

        Home Page of EU GDPR
        https://www.eugdpr.org/
        The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) replaces the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and was designed to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens data privacy and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy. The key articles of the …
        ‎GDPR FAQs · ‎GDPR Timeline · ‎GDPR Key Changes · ‎The Regulation

      • Sharp Ears

        Ref GDPR, one of the Hon Alexander Arbuthnot’s activities.

        38 Degrees are after financial contributions to implement its introduction. Hope they don’t use him.

        ‘This email’s a bit different from normal, …… I’ve got a serious task ahead of me and I need your help.

        There’s a new law coming in that will protect us from big business selling off our personal information or contacting us when we don’t want them to. [1] It’s called the General Data Protection Regulation. It might sound boring, but it’s a good law that’ll keep our personal info safe online.

        But it doesn’t just apply to corporations. It applies to 38 Degrees too. And I’ve been tasked with making sure 38 Degrees doesn’t break the law.

        I’ve got it all planned out – I’ve got spreadsheets, I’ve got to-do lists, I’ve colour-coded everything. I know what needs to happen. But I also know that for an organisation like ours, without big legal departments, it’s going to be costly. We need top legal advice, state-of-the-art new tech, and staff on call to help get it all ready in time.

        As 38 Degrees-ers, together we’ve run and won campaigns to protect our personal data, so we know how important it is to get this right. [2] ….., can you chip in whatever you can afford to help fund legal advice, new tech, and the staff to make this happen? etc etc’

        The references:
        [1] Business Matters: The GDPR & its impact on businesses in the UK:
        http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/in-business/gdpr-impact-businesses-uk/
        [2] 38 Degrees: Snooper’s charter:
        https://home.38degrees.org.uk/2018/01/16/snoopers-charter/
        38 Degrees: Why big business won’t be seeing your health records this summer:
        https://home.38degrees.org.uk/2016/07/07/big-business-wont-seeing-health-records-summer/
        [3] 38 Degrees: Privacy policy:
        https://home.38degrees.org.uk/privacy-policy-22-12-17/

  • Julie Shackson

    Thank you for barking! I’m howling over here and it’s good to know that others are sick of this neoliberal farce.

  • Manda

    “I am scared by the prospect of being the extremist nutter who mutters on about a worldview entirely at odds with the accepted narrative.”

    The next step is realizing that we, in its broad sense of people who feel similarly, are not the extremist nutters.. ‘they’ are!

  • Roderick Russell

    The truth is that the Westminster form of government is not working well in the countries that practice it. It is throwing up politicians who in my view are generally of poor quality – on both sides of the house. One only has to look at the mess the Brexit negotiations with the EU are in to see the proof of this.

    I think that the concerns that you, and others, have raised are simply systematic of constitutional arrangements that are no longer working as they should, and are throwing up the wrong sort of politician. Our present system seems far from democratic, and some even refer to it as a type of “inverted totalitarianism” or “managed democracy”. Isn’t it time we became a real democracy with a constitution fit for the 21st century? The Westminster system of government was designed in the last century in an era of small decentralized government that is very different from what we have today.

    Perhaps it is time that we rethought our constitutional arrangements and made them properly democratic in today’s world.

  • Joe Bloggs

    “The panic-inducing correction in the world’s stock markets this week was triggered by news that unemployment was falling rapidly in the USA. ”

    But it isn’t. even by their own figures one can see it is nonsense. A labour force participation rate of 62%.

    They say 4.1% unemployment but there are 45.6m Americans on food stamps

    There are a HUNDRED MILLION AMERICANS OUT OF WORK

  • Joe Bloggs

    “I was for most of my working life a fully paid up member of the Establishment,”

    Until you cease being so willfully ignorant on 9-11 you still are mate.

    • CruisersCreek

      Well said Sir!

      I lost a cousin in 9/11. Big fan of Craig’s too. Yes it’s a funny one, that, isn’t it?

    • Jon Bentley

      What, if someone doesn’t agree with you about one thing, then they’re wrong about everything?
      It doesn’t follow.
      We need unity (against the establishment) – realising that people on your own side might not agree on every last thing is part of that unity.

  • Aidworker1

    Ahed Tamimi’s trial is to be held in private.

    Please everyone publicise this terrible injustice.

  • nevermind

    Today I have seen the first pictures, all provided by the IDF, of the alleged Iranian drone. This website also deals with Irans drone development, or reverse engineering, since it took down a whole US drone some years back. How convenient of the IDF.

    https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/02/13/sentinels-saeqehs-simorghs-open-source-information-irans-new-drone-syria/

    Not sure what to believe of this news gathering team and their aim to be partial to the truth, they employ at least one RUSi member and contributors from all over the world, incl. volunteers.

  • Neil Macowan

    Sorry, but “virtually the entire political class of Europe has united behind the vicious suppression of Catalonia” is either deluded or wishful thinking. The far-right Belgian nationalsit Vlaams Belang are the only organisation that springs to mind. However, I agree with the rest of the article in general.

  • Macky

    Surely Craig is not too scared of his own thoughts to comment on the Assange’s arrest warrant appeal decision.

    • John Goss

      Strange but I thought he had done when I read this post a couple of days back. I thought he wrote something to the effect that he had no faith that justice would be done in the Assange case. I also thought he wrote something about the biased political motives of the IOC against Russian athletes. Perhaps I dreamed it!

      In short thought the post was much longer.

  • Hieroglyph

    So, inevitably, Assange’s appeal is denied, in the usual Kafka-esque manner. At every single step of the way, Assange has been denied by legal bodies, to the point where it’s become absurd. This one example speak to Craig’s post about sinister forces. It’sclear to me that the legal system is corrupt to the bone, and I am reminded of Judgement at Nuremberg. It really is that bad in the UK, and May is a noxious character who almost certainly used blackmail to become PM.

    This is the UK now. Scotland has to leave. And our English cousins have to rid themselves of the odious royals, who remain the head of the hydra. I note also that ‘Nick’, who made the allegations of elite child-abuse, is now likely to go to jail. The cover-up, of course, was orchestrated by May. Here, I think, one has to pick a side: does elite child-abuse take place, or does it not? I have picked my side, sadly.

      • Hieroglyph

        Clear to some, not clear to others. However, an established spook technique is to lead people along a false trail, debunk the allegation as demonstrably false, and then widen the net to heavily imply that all such allegations are demonstrably false. They probably have a clever term for such things; I don’t know what it is.

        In other words, if ‘Nick’ is indeed a fantasist, that doesn’t mean that all such allegations are fantasy. Nor, of course, does it mean they are all true. Believe what you wish, sir. I’d rather be wrong.

        • MJ

          “an established spook technique is to lead people along a false trail, debunk the allegation as demonstrably false, and then widen the net to heavily imply that all such allegations are demonstrably false. They probably have a clever term for such things; I don’t know what it is”

          I call it primitive, magical thinking. Magic by contagion, as anthropologists call it.

      • John Spencer-Davis

        I don’t know about that. Reading the judgement, I note a few problems with it.

        Judge Arbuthnot quarrels with the Working Group’s finding that Assange was “held in isolation in the Wandsworth prison in London for 10 days, from 7 December to 16 December 2010”. However, she doesn’t bother to ascertain whether any or all of that is true.

        “It was said by the “source” to the Working Group that Mr Assange was held in isolation in Wandsworth Prison. I have not thought it appropriate to contact the prison to find out whether he was held apart from the rest of the prison population”. Why not? No reason given. I note that the Working Group properly relied on the “source” because the assertion “was not challenged by any of the two Respondent States.” [Sweden and the UK] Why not? No reason is given, and Judge Arbuthnot does not bother to enquire.

        Judge Arbuthnot relies on the fact that Assange was represented in court on 7th December 2010 and represented again in court on 14th December 2010. In which case, the Working Group was wrong by two days about its “isolation” and “left outside the cloak of legal protection”. What happened in between? Was he able to see his lawyers in between? No answer. For all we know, he was banged up in solitary for a week with access to no-one.

        Judge Arbuthnot asserts that “In December 2010 for seven days, Mr Assange was held in Wandsworth Prison whilst the bail package he suggested was being put in place.” (para 56). That assertion is false and at variance with her own words earlier in the judgement. “On 7th December 2010 Mr John Jones suggested (on instructions from Mr Assange and in his presence) a number of bail conditions including a condition of residence, a curfew and reporting to a police station (quite apart from the securities and sureties). On 7th December 2010 bail was refused and Mr Assange was remanded in custody.” (para 29). Nothing about his bail package being put in place. On the contrary, for all he knew he was being banged up in solitary for good.

        This is a cursory reading. There are other things wrong with it (e.g. if Judge Arbuthnot had to wear a tracking device, report to the police station every day and be subject to a nightly curfew in the same house for a year and a half, would she regard that as a deprivation of her liberty or wouldn’t she? I suspect that she would, in a way that she might not if she had to do it for a week and a half.) No doubt if I subjected it to exhaustive scrutiny I could find many more things that skew the judgement in favour of the result that the authorities want. However, I anticipate that Craig will be coming out with his own analysis before long. So will Gareth Peirce, no doubt. I await with interest. J

        • Kempe

          It’s common practice for anyone held on suspicion of a sex offence to be held in segregation to protect them from being beaten up or worse by other prisoners. By some accounts Assange’s own lawyers requested this. He had limited internet access and was allowed visits by his legal team during that time.

          If you read the judgement it makes it clear that the conditions of house arrest were proposed by Assange and his lawyers. He’s really got no case to now complain that they were too onerous.

          • John Spencer-Davis

            Assange and his lawyers had to balance the likelihood of his bail conditions being accepted by the court against their severity for him. In any case, what is not too onerous for, say, eight weeks may obviously become too onerous if in place for seventy-eight weeks.

            “Prolonged periods of curfew” are a deprivation of liberty under V.82 (b) of Deliberation No 9 (24/12/2012) of the Working Group, so Judge Arbuthnot can get stuffed on that one.

            Please could you show where Assange “had limited internet access and was allowed visits by his legal team during that time” – sorry, but I can’t locate it. Thanks. J

  • Velofello

    The SNP are exercising good sound socially conscious government. I think you will soon find that the Yes movement is about to mobilise.

    Empathy is absent within the corridors of the UK establishment and government.

      • JOML

        Yes, Fred, I watched that on Facebook and it’s heart rendering. However, it’s a bit hypocritical of the Tories involved in the making of the film. I think it would have had greater impact had there not been political motivation in the background. Bottom line is that greater funding is required for the NHS, with a much higher amount per head for rural areas – which face the greater hardships when cash is short. Longer term solution is to increase the population in order to increase the funding. Caithness has it hard but parts of Sutherland have it even worse. A sad state of affairs, requiring cross-party, longer term solutions, but not much chance of that.

  • giyane

    The UK establishment have a highly selective memory. In the case of charity workers they totally forgot what everyone in the world has known for years that UK Aid Workers regularly abuse the people they are paid to aid, but in the case of Assange they have remembered to charge him with an offence that has long been dismissed.

    What is more the Trump administration is in the process of draining the very swamp that Assange proved to exist. I doubt much pressure to extradite Assange is coming from that source. No, it’s the British establishment ring-fencing their own swamp of using proxy jihadist vomit, that wants Assange silenced for fear of that vomit being traced back to its original licenced-to-kill premises.

    NATO vomit ingredients: Turkey has sided with Russia; the US is smooching with China; Germany is too busy eating the vomit of its involvement in the war against Syria; France is threatening to bomb users of chemical weapons that it is certain do not exist. The UK establishment swamp’s bottom is now fully exposed, with old cars, dead animals, supermarket trollies and God knows what other skeletons all on public display.
    Yes Craig, it’s not a pretty sight.

    • SA

      “What is more the Trump administration is in the process of draining the very swamp that Assange proved to exist. I doubt much pressure to extradite Assange is coming from that source.”

      giyane
      Do you really believe this?
      If he is draining any swamp , it is only to create another bigger one.

  • Cairobilly

    Hi Craig,
    I was worried about my own thoughts during the miners strike. However I was actually enlightened by an older fella from Ayr. He recckoned that all tradesmen who had come out of their time were issued two buckets. “One for money and one for shit” and whichever one came first you just left.
    That has worked for me all through my life, “God Bless Bobbie Hendrie”.

  • SA

    AN APPLICATION BY JULIAN ASSANGE
    RULING OF THE SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE (THE CHIEF MAGISTRATE) EMMA ARBUTHNOT:
    “14. I accept that Mr Assange had expressed fears of being returned to the United States from a very early stage in the Swedish extradition proceedings but, absent any evidence from Mr Assange on oath, I do not find that Mr Assange’s fears were reasonable. I do not accept that Sweden would have rendered Mr Assange to the United States. If that had happened there would have been a diplomatic crisis between the United Kingdom, Sweden and the United States which would have affected international relationships and extradition proceedings between the states.”

    So the judge is expressing a personal opinion on international politics and its working between Sweden, UK and USA and thinks Assange’ extradition to US is unlikely? Has this judge not been informed of the arbitrariness of international law application by at least one of these countries? Could the ubiquitous excuse of ‘national security’ or ‘war on terror’ not be invoked to override normal law?

  • Cairobilly

    Cairobilly
    February 14, 2018 at 04:30
    Hi Craig,
    I was worried about my own thoughts during the miners strike. However I was actually enlightened by an older fella from Ayr. He recckoned that all tradesmen who had come out of their time were issued two buckets. “One for money and one for shit” and whichever one is full first you just left.
    That has worked for me all through my life, “God Bless Bobbie Hendrie”.

  • SA

    The Syrian Arab Red Crescent SARC, should really be the heroes celebrated in Syria. Unlike the Oscar and Nobel prize nominated propaganda outfit, the White Helmets WH.

    The SARC is an internationally recognised charity that is truly independent and not affiliated with either side in Syria and work across Syria . They have 11000 volunteers who often risk thier lives in this war torn countries. Yet have we seen documentaries in the BBC and C4 about them? Are they less worthy than the WH?

  • CWM

    Not an “everyday “ read for me. But it touched many chords in me. I have children in their 20s who will Never achieve what I did by hard work alone. No silver spoon here. There just aren’t the opportunities nowadays for working class people. They are being squeezed dry from all angles. And what I may eventually be able to leave them will be swallowed by the tax man I am truly scared for my children and future grandchildren’s future

  • Ruth Gould

    Craig, please do continue. There are many of us, fellow travellers, who feel despair at the crass stupidity and poverty of thought amongst our leaders, as well as their (natural?) tendency to feather their own nests at the expense of others. The trouble is that the system and the paradigm within which we understand that system are deeply flawed. The idea that untramelled profit-seeking will result in the common good has never been true. On occasions, taking a very short-term view, it has appeared to be true, and this seemingly sporadic beneficial outcome has been seized upon by those who benefit most to provide a justification in ideology, and has been backed up by hard and soft power. What is needed now are people who see the bigger picture, and we need to be dedicated to keeping that picture open – and wider than just the future of the human species. You help us to do that, and thank you for it.

  • Jonathan Clatworthy

    I’m very impressed by this. We’ve had 40 years of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. As power gets centralised, it gets easier and easier to manipulate elections. As increasing numbers get desperate, history shows that one of three things will happen: war, revolution or deliberate government policy to redistribute wealth and power. War and revolution often just replace one set of oppressors with another.

  • Sharp Ears

    The latest attack on our culture takes place in Hampshire. 23 museums previously funded and run by Hampshire County Council were handed over to a ‘charity’, the Hampshire Cultural Trust.

    Now that Trust announces the cutting of 10% of the staff, including three curators. The curators possess the very important knowledge about the museum collections of course. I am unsure if any closures are happening.

    This move is blamed on Os-Terri-Ty and a shortfall in state funding approaching £500k.

    Hampshire Cultural Trust set to cut about 10% of workforce
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-43007367

    Philistines rule OK.

  • Marilyn

    I see what you see, I hear what you hear. I fear for the young the disadvantaged, elderly and the unborn. Will action be taken against the democratic process by the elite, if an election goes against their need to garner wealth. I fear now that it will, that when a voice is followed in this country it will be silenced. They are allowed to kill us as patients, vagrants, in our homes with avoidable disasters,as employees, and as a class. I have no confidence that the can hear the many not the few, I see only modern slavery.

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